Sunday, January 30, 2011

More Sewing for School...

I am not so great with lunch boxes. In fact, I really can't stand them. They always get lost or broken, or go away on a secret mission only to turn up later with unrecognisable, horror filled furry things peeping up over the lid. I don't want to go on and on about it, but when they finally do become unusable, I always feel sick as I shove the still sturdy, broken lunch box in the bin, knowing that it's life span might out do all of my offspring's' offspring's' offspring and so on and on and on.
Oddly enough, I love little plastic containers and kid's thermoses and little sandwich boxes, however, these never seem to fit properly into lunchboxes either. Thank goodness for this tutorial. Which I have used a couple of times now. On my first attempt I used a stiff and very plasticy oilcloth which was okay but began to split after a while (hmmph). This time I used some Swedish oilcloth which is waterproof, very light and easy to machine wash.
I made four for the boys in the same fabric so they become easily identifiable to our family. Good grief, strange to think I will have to pack two lunches in two more sleeps. How grown up. Bunnies are thriving.
Very much a part of our every day life.
Learning to trust us.
Even if some people don't always appreciate their tender kisses. Actually, I'm not really into kissing animal either. I'm sure you can't catch hydatids from rabbits but still, boundaries are good.
Hope you had a good weekend,
Love Kate xxooxx.
P.S. Late breaking news, we just had an email saying that Archie has been accepted into Cubs (the junior part of Scouts - the waiting list is long in these parts). I am so excited!!! He is a little bit excited - Archie takes life as it comes. But me, I have been jumping around the room. He is going to be a CUB!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Shoe Shopping with Boys...

There are very few moments, if ever, when a mother can wear the same shoes as her sons and not have to book them in for counselling afterwards (I guess the exception to this rule would be sporting shoes but that's not a huge possibility in this family). There are also very few times noted our family history where we have actually enjoyed a shoe shopping trip. Usually they are just as you would imagine - bursting bladders, dehydration, tantrums... and the boys aren't much better.
But today, oh today was so different. We ventured out into the countryside to visit a friend who has started up a business called Artisan Shoes. I have to point out that this shoe rave is completely off the cuff and no sly envelopes were slipped into my bag on the way out.
So, with a car full of Stef the Bride (who by the way, should perhaps realise the wedding is over and start wearing normal clothes - her gown is becoming a little tattered.) and our collective menagerie, we wove our way up to Catherine's house and began to paw through all of her shoes.
I broke down and bought myself a matching pair to the boys because they were so beautiful and comfortable and they spoke so sweetly. But with all the colours, it was like being in a lolly shop. I almost hit the weepy stage because I didn't know which ones to adopt.
I took some flowers wrapped in string to make up for the over-excitement.
And stuck a straw in to make it just right.
By the way, here is a little picture of my current hot weather project. Archie's jumper has really slowed down, I almost pass out from heat exhaustion just looking at it.
One last glance at the shoes... Navy blue for Archie because he is a big person now, red for Hugo because I still get to choose for him and purple for me because it is the only colour I don't have in my wardrobe.
Clean, fresh and new leather shoes.
Lots of love, Kate xxooxx.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Honey and Grassy.

A couple of weeks ago, Archie and I placed on order on two little dutch bunnies. We decided to keep it a secret so we could give Hugo a wonderful surprise. When we arrived at the breeders house, he was told we were going to pick up a large crate of broccoli. Can you imagine how thrilled he was to find out that we were instead picking up these two little girls.
I love the facial expression on this one's face. Not its happiest moment.
It is so hard keeping up with twins.
The other exciting thing is that Stef the bride and her mum gave me this skirt. It was originally purchased for Stef's daughter who wasn't so keen on it.... so they thought I should have it!!!! It is going to drape on the wall above our bed on a clothes hanger (maybe a crocheted one) and I can look up at its filminess and dream. I always thought I would have to have a little girl to warrant an article of clothing like this but now I know... as long as I don't awkwardly and bulgingly wear it, I can hang cool girl stuff on the wall.
Now... where can I find some ballet slippers....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A New Skirt for Me!

Today I made...
A new skirt (the title of this post kind of gave that away). Pleats on the front AND on the back. I was going to put in an invisible zip but the foot wasn't right for my machine so I thought I may as well make the visible zip into a little feature.
Buttons on the front.
Hopefully I will see Jonno for long enough tomorrow that he can take a photo of me wearing it. I love this skirt so much and will include pattern details (it's by Simplicity) next post. The fabric is a linen/cotton mix and is lovely to wear, making me want to twirl in a sedate manner throughout the house.
Anyhoo, time to put to boys to bed and then get out my knitting needles.
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A New Little Beanie.

Wahoo - the rains I have been so desperate for arrived yesterday and poured and poured and poured. The boys and I played around with puzzles for a little while and then nestled down on the couch to watch 'Top Gear'. I owe a friend a beanie so I took my circular needles out, some 12 ply wool and my dodgy memories of a beanie I knitted for Hugo a couple of years ago. Not all freestyle knitting works so well for me but fortunately, I now have a little hat ready to gift. I must say though that it looks much better on than off (lying on the bench it sort of looks like a gigantic bosom warmer).
I hope the weekend brought many cosy moments to you too.
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxxooxx.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Final Week.

Okay, I think I am about ready for the kids to start school now. Not that I am sick of them, or even the holidays but I have to say, I am spent. I have loved the laid back pace, the lack of running around and seeing the boys just melt into the garden or spend hours building crab hotels at the beach. After seven weeks though, the thought of hiding out in my studio seems like heaven. Maybe that is the sign of a good holiday though, to feel as though every moment has been all used up and maybe, just maybe, a very quiet week is exactly what the boys need before starting a whole new year of school. Rain is scheduled so I will keep my fingers crossed, a few board games, a bit of knitting, the odd d.v.d. That sounds so wonderful. I think even if the sun is shining, I might just call it a rain day anyway.
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Notes on a Chair Bag (and a little bit of embroidery).

First of all, a quick peek at my next piece of tapestry.
A nice 'light' summer project - Archie's jumper has been abandoned for a little while. It is very thick with a 3x3 rib and takes up a lot of space on my knee (almost eight year olds require a lot more knitted area!!!) and makes me feel very hot and bothered.
Now, many of you were wondering what a chair bag is. Well, here we go - they go over the children's chair at school and they keep all of their books and pens and secret things in there. Archie is very excited because this year he is graduating on to a proper desk where he gets to keep all of his stuff inside it. Sadly, when this happens the classroom loses something as it's so lovely to walk into a room and see all of the chairs covered with their colourful and highly unique bags.
This is the pattern sent home from school and I am sure they wouldn't mind if I posted the dimensions. It's kind of like sewing a back to front pillowcase where the right side of the overlap is sewn against the right side of the largest piece of fabric (a.) and the right side of the pocket is sewn against the wrong side of piece a. and then it is all turned inside out. Hmmm, maybe I should take photos for a proper tutorial but if any of you are desperate for your own chair bag, hopefully this will get you started. Whenever I make one (that's only been twice), I always think I should make a set for the table as they are so handy for magazines, cook books, pens and paper. Maybe some oil cloth ones would be good....
Yes, oilcloth would be good - Hugo was so happy about his chair bag it kept him company as he ate dinner and after the odd stroke, left saucy fingerprints and drippings of yoghurt on it. Uh oh - I am supposed to be having a cooking and picnic today but I can hear my sewing machine purring...
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hugo's Chair Bag.

With Hugo beginning school in a week and a half, I decided that it was finally time to sew him his required chair bag. It seems like such a rite of passage and surely it was only yesterday that Archie's one was finished - how can I be sewing my baby's chair bag????
Archie gently reminded me that Hugo's name had to be on it so I pilfered some melty counted cross stitch grid stuff from my new Cath Kidston book 'Stitch' (her best so far) and found some embroidery floss.
The melty-grid stuff is fantastic, I've never used it before but it is very, very easy. When you have finished your work, you simply snip around it and then soak it in water. Voila! The font pattern comes from 'Made in France: Linen and Thread' by Monique Lyonnet.
I had to share with you my sweet pea posy I picked for a friend today. Another use for washi tape - wahooooo!!! My new tapestry that I am currently working on is peeping from behind... I gave it a little premature fashion parade in the frame to see how it would fit. All very exciting.
I love washi tape.
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hips and Stuff.

We have recently had many, many meals with friends as is often the way at this time of year. And with all of the festivities, I am beginning to feel very average, almost as though my skin has forgotten how to breathe.
So today, with my curly headed Canadian friend Delphine and our gang of children, we met up at the local school and had a hit of tennis while the kids dashed around the concrete pathways on their bikes. I perspired profusely which is a very good thing and the best part is that I barely noticed because I was having so much fun.
However, just towards the very end, I wrenched my hip and am now hobbling around like an eighty year old. How can this be? The funny thing is even with the pain I can't wait to get out there and play again. Sometimes sport is fun something that always leeks from my mind whenever I am confronted by peoplele dressed in lycra with terrifying and torturous looks on their faces. Sometimes sport can be a game. I am waffling a bit I know but it has been so long since exercise seemed fun.
Anyhoo - here are a few more photos from my last couple of days. I have to remember to go easy on dressing the whole family in stripes. I am beginning to get too many comments on us all wearing matching outfits and I don't necessarily think that is a good thing. The green jug is a present from Bride-Stef and the buns below were for our picnic dinner down by the beach and were stuffed with ham and corn and red onion and cheese. Picnic food is the best and I love how virtuous I feel when it is lovingly bundled up and packed into a basket.
Better pop along and cook tonight's dinner now.
Love Kate xxooxx.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What we really looked like... and how we really are.

I felt I should include some photos of the wedding that show the truth of who we are... Stef with facial expressions beyond the spectrum of serene and me as the wedding junkie, only making the posy so I could walk around the house pretending to be the bride (whenever I was alone...).
Can you see me saying to Ellie and Stef... "Are you sure you want me to be in this photo with the two of you... really truly?".
"Look at me, I'm with the cool girls". Stef is a long-suffering friend.
Best moment of my life ever.
Begging to have a photo with the posy in my possession.
Having the wedding at my house really wasn't really the selfless act I would like people to think.
Stef really is very supportive.
And doesn't mind being seen in public with me. So that's nice.
Not all photos need a bride in it you know.
Just thought you might like to see.
Love Kate xxooxx.


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