Saturday, 10 March 2012

Colourful creative craftiness!

OK, slightly naff title, but I liked the idea of having all 'C's and couldn't think of anything better!
Another week has flown by, which means we're one week closer to hubby going back to sea and leaving us again :(. But on the up side, I've had some lovely chances to indulge myself with some crafting!
I had to complete a crochet project I've been working on - crocheted bunting for a 2nd birthday present for the youngest daughter of a good friend of mine. I had great fun being able to do something really pink and girlie for once - one down-side of having a boy! I was hugely inspired by things I'd found on some other blogs, added a bit of Mummy Lewis magic, and voila, completed bunting!!! And I am so pleased with how it worked out!!!
The colour choice was to match the redecoration plans for her room: I found a fantastic tutorial for the granny triangles from here, made a visit to the wool stall on our local market, and set off on my granny triangle journey. It was sublime - lovely colours, soothingly simple pattern and very pleasing results!!! I then decided to do a border of double crochet in the contrasting colour, and joined the triangles with a foundation chain between the triangles, and double crochet through the top edge to secure each one. I figure anything to go in a child's bedroom has to be as robust as possible, so I thought a few slip stitches was not going to be enough!!
As the bunting was for a little girl's bedroom, flowers were a must, and I found a lovely tutorial written by Lucy at Attic 24 (here). These has plenty of room for variation, and I altered the pattern for the leaves a little to give what I thought was a slightly better leaf shape.
I was originally going to try and do alternate coloured flowers (like the triangles) and attach them between eah flag, but I thought that might be a bit much ... or to be completely honest I ran out of time!!! Then after several different attempts to attach the flowers in different places, and much demanding of opinions from my very bemused and clueless hubby, I decided to keep the flowers to a minimum and attach them in the middle of the flags. And I actually love the effect!!! Simple but pretty, and not too OTT. I feel slightly smug looking at these pics, and I can't wait to see them in her room once the decorating is done!!!
So now I have to decide which of my WIPs to continue with next. I'm awful at finishing things - I start with a blaze of enthusiasm, and then I see something else I'd love to do ... and I get distracted.... Hubby keeps telling me I need to 'focalise' (he often makes up words - I find it quite endearing!), and he's right, I do. But it's not something I'm good at, and that's just part of me!
At the moment my WIPs include a crocheted zipped sleeveless cardigan for Baby J, an amigurumi monkey made from leftover yarn, and my first venture into the wonderful land of crochet ripples with an ambitiously (or perhaps stupidly!) large ripple blanket. (BTW since starting this post I may have discovered that I've still not got the ripple pattern right and need to frog the lot! Oh well, maybe attempt 2 can be a little more sensibly sized!)
Then one evening this week the wonderful Lizzie D (see her blog here) took me to an amazingly wonderful place of unimagined colour and beauty and scrumptious crafty possibilities!!! Lizzie makes beautiful handbags, and had discovered that one of the EBay fabric shops she particularly liked actually belonged to a lady who lives just up the road from us. She went round to collect some fabric and discovered that her house is an Aladdin's cave of the most gorgeous materials - I walked in and my jaw hit the floor! I'd drawn up a very organised list of potential projects and amounts of material needed, and ended up burrowing through mounds of colourful beauty for over two hours - and emerged with enough fabric to do all the projects on my list, and drooling with desire for more of the beautiful colours and prints!!!
And another pic of my gorgeous materials....
So now follow tons of pics of the scrummy fabric - and I can highly recommend her shop!
This one is to do some crayon rolls (in the optimistic hope that my little man may be persuaded to eventually like colouring!)
And these are for a floor cushion for Baby J - another tutorial discovered through Pinterest - I wanted it to fit in with the colours in the lounge, and have the potential to be gender neutral - and the frogs and tortoises were just too cute!!!
Then fabric for a couple of Mummy bags, with the excuse that I will 'try them out' for possible presents...
And some adorably 'boyish' fabrics for a portable highchair/toddler seat
I can't wait to get started!!! Problem is I need time without an inquisitive toddler - hmmm, maybe I'll just have to look longingly at the pile of beautiful material for a while longer...

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Mummy trauma!!!

Well, I have finally done it - I have stopped breastfeeding my little man! Anyone who knows me will know that I've been through a lot to manage to keep breastfeeding my little guy - from refusal to latch, to nipple shields, mastitis and bleeding nipples (caused through early appearance of teeth!).
But I managed it - with a lot of help and support. I'd always said I wanted to feed Baby J till he was 12 months old, and then that got extended to our arrival back at home after our trip out to hubby's ship. But then when it came to it, I discovered that I was more attached to the feeding than I realised. I loved that snuggly, cuddly, personal time between my little boy and me - and although I wanted him to move to the next stage and I want the additional freedom of not feeding him for when hubby goes back to sea, I also wanted the snuggles and closeness.
So yesterday I had a visit from the lovely nursery nurse who has helped me through all the trials and tribulations of parenthood and PND, and when we talked about it she made me realise that I was just delaying things. On a him, I decided that the previous feed had been particularly lovely and peaceful, and I didn't want to get too emotional and ruin a final feed, so decided not to feed him last night.
I was upset - but he was fine! He sipped at some cow's milk (he's not a fan!), cuddled for a bit, and then went into his cot with no more than the usual objections. And he slept really well. So I think I'm going to have to accept that my baby is growing up, and although he doesn't need me in this way anymore, he still needs me. And as we close one door, a whole range of new ones open. Exciting!!!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Flowers flowers everywhere!!!

It has been an uncharacteristically sunny day here in the good ol' North of England!
I love sunny spring days - feeling the sun on your face while having to wrap up warm, wandering through the gorgeous riot of colour that is spring flowers. I'd been put in the mood by some lovely bright daffodils I'd bought while we were doing the supermarket shop
and then my wonderful mum presented me with a pot of muscari (or grape hyacinths), which are one of my favourite of all the lovely spring bulbs.
So when it proved to be an amazingly sunny day, and my plans for the morning were unexpectedly cancelled, I suggested to hubby that we took the little man for a trip out. At this time of year, one of my favourite days out is to go to the spring garden at Dunham Massey, a fairly local National Trust property. Lovely hubby suggested I took my SLR, which would be its first outing in almost a year, as I don't get the chance to fiddle with lenses etc when I'm the only one with the little man!
Off we trotted after the morning nap, and arrived just before lunch in glorious sunshine. I'd half expected it to start chucking it down as we made our way there, as northern weather is not what you'd call predictable, but thankfully the sun stayed out! We had a very tasty and warming lunch in the restaurant, and hubby had his latest opportunity to try and get used to being around kids as we sat in the 'family area'. Patience is not one of his virtues although he has many others, and I had to keep reminding him that noise is fine, and you can't expect little ones to be quiet with impeccable table manners! Well, we got through it, and headed out to the gardens.
I had an amazing time with my good old SLR in the gardens, and took tons of pictures of the gorgeous flowers...
snowdrops - so delicate looking but so hardy!
narcissus and daffodils - a burst of sunshine to make everyone smile!
hellebores - oh how I love their droopy grace!
and many other spring delights!
Baby J had a whale of a time practising his newly found independence and walking skills, and hubby watched us both with a kind of bemused benevolence.
We had marvellous fun, spent the afternoon in the spring sunshine, and drove back home happy...
...but tired. Especially the little man!
We're just hoping he sleeps tonight, as he either has the start of yet another cold or his teeth are on the move again. I'm not sure which is worse, but the signs so far are not good!!!
But the day has inspired me to push on with my latest crochet project, a birthday present for the daughter of a lovely friend of mine in a riot of colour!
Looking at it just makes me want to smile!!! I've taken ideas from some of my favourite blogs and added some Mummy Lewis flair! I'm just hoping it works out, but so far so good ... and I'm loving having an excuse to so something pink and girlie!!! Hopefully that will be the subject of a blog v v soon...

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