Canvas

Back from 8 nights’ camping in North Devon with the children and Lovely Man and his son. Two tents, five pillows, three bodyboards, umpteen tent pegs. All crammed inside the car, speeding down the M5, eeking out Haribo. How to start a holiday…

Here’s my take on it….

Capacity

Your knee is in my back.

To move could you just Shift that rucksack

to your right

And then squash down that camping light

A little further…

There…spot on!

All impediments to my view have gone.

We have our bags,

We know the way

And

I think we could safely say

That every tiny space is filled

With bags or boys

and we are skilled

Enough in packing to achieve

Space for us all…

If we don’t breathe.

Break

well, here we are, end of the school year. And what have we learned?

  • Little one is not so little any more
    Elder is getting bigger and more grown-up and is no longer my little tiny boy
    Conversations with both of them are far more interesting these days
    And more challenging 
  • both of which are good things
    I can’t stay up until 1230 in the morning drinking wine without feeling it the next morning
  • Sometimes however, the pain is worth it
    Sometimes it isn’t
  • middle-aged women can be incredibly insecure 
    This is not a good thing
    I will not be one of them
  • How, quite I manage this is of course an interesting question and one that we will be thinking about over the next few weeks
  • Breakfast is the best meal of the day
    Especially when followed by a nap
    Guess what I’m going to be doing after drop-off!
    My world has shrunk and revolves around the playground these days
    This is not a good thing and will be rectified come September
    Blue hair is a good thing
  • As is the thought that this time tomorrow I will be by the seaside

Happy last day of school everybody

The secret SAHM club….and other campfire tales

imageSo, here we are at the start of the school summer holidays. These are my first ‘proper’ holidays since I left work. It’s my first year when I’ve been truly free to do what I want (with the boys of course) and, while I am as skint as a flint, I have a good roll call of plans to work through – a bucket and spade list if you will.

I’ve ticked the first item already…I’m writing this blog sitting in a golden field, listening to the wind in the trees, drinking a cool drink and with the prospect of an hour or so’s relaxation before driving to a nearby café to meet up with The Child Whisperer, her children and my two. We are camping en famille at CW’s rural idyll and, despite having had only four hours sleep, I have had a brilliant time thus far. Elder is best buddies with CWs eldest and Little One loves her younger child – result! We had pancakes for breakfast cooked on the stove outside and she’s taken them for a yomp in the woods before ice cream at the café while I have a rest here. I take over this evening while she has a break. Perfect.

There is this hidden world of the non-waged mother…the network of contacts, the mutually supportive coffees, play dates, parties etc that allow you to look after your children through those long six weeks without losing your sanity. I never really saw it until this summer holiday loomed and friends started whipping out their diaries and booking in meets, lunches, bike rides. This year my boys will play with their friends instead of going to holiday clubs. I’m not knocking the clubs, they have served me and mine well in the past but I think I’m going to like the Wageless Wonders’ version more. Cheaper, more friendly and infinitely better coffee. What’s not to like?!

Girls allowed

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, truly. I’ve been in Brixham this weekend with some good girlfriends (like my present from them?!) and also managed to catch up with High and Dry in Brixham’s Vicky. She’s so lovely. We’ve had a wonderful, chatty, chocolate laden time.

And I’ve loved it. But I miss my boys, all of them. So I’m on my way home now, looking for hugs and kisses. Lucky me.

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There a stitch in my bucket

So, I said I’d post a tutorial type chat about what I did with the TopShop skirt I got for £2 in Sue Ryder. Here it is….I realise that the pictures may be a little rubbish. I’ll try to get some better ones when there’s natural light.

 I made a little sewing bucket bag combinng the stitchy fabric with some left over bits of lime green wool felt fabric an upholsterer friend has given me (I’m making a tunic thingy with the rest of it, it’s a work in progress but promising so far) and some buttons recently culled from a scarf I got from another charity shop ages ago which I plan to tart up soon. So all materials are upcycled, not planned, but nice to know. 

It was quite easy to make, all done with running stitch although you might want to be less, ahem, rustic. 

 I thought I’d write it down in case you want to have a go. 

There’s a pocket that goes around the whole bucket so I started with that, cutting the bucket side deep enough to allow me to fold over to create the pocket. I used some of the fabric to bind the top edge of the pocket and then decided to make a drawstring top so cut another rectangular piece of printed fabric, hemmed the top with a channel and then stitched it to the top of the bucket.

Then I stitched the pocket to the side by making arbitrary channels down it so there are wide and thinner outside pockets. I then did the side seam to give me a tube. 

The base is the sleeve of a woollen cardigan I bought a while ago and chopped a bit off. I never throw any scraps away as my family will testify. I cut a circle and did a running stitch around it so I could ease it into the base of the cylindrical side. I pinned it first so I could get the size right. then I whip stitched it in place, right sides together and turned the bucket right way round.

The handle is a tube of green fabric top stitched and fixed to each side of the bucket with buttons for decoration. The drawstring is made from a turned over strip of stitchy fabric, again top stitched. Buttons were attached to each end to stop it disappearing inside the channel. 

A little Stitch This label to finish et voila! I have to admit to not being sure about thiso ne until the very end but I’m glad I stuck with it. Weird colour combo but the buttons seemed to pull it together. If I made another I’d put a stiffer base in and I’d do my hems better but hey, I’m on holiday. I laugh in the face of raw edges.

I hope you like this, if you make one similar I’d love to see it. All in all it took a couple of evenings to do. Have a go!!! 

Fire! Works!

There were fireworks a couple of nights ago. Brixham does good fireworks. Here’s a few snaps and a version I made using photoshop. I’m definitely getting into the idea of creating designs. Which might be handy. Work has announced a redundancy programme. Cue 4 weeks of angst. Perfect holiday news. I choose life. I’ll ignore it!!

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Statistics

I don’t know about you but I react quite badly to feeling like I am part of the crowd, Ms Average, Demographic Damsel. It’s why I don’t really like ikea. I can feel my family growing to 2.4 kids as I fight to find a parking space/trolley/meatball. And that’s before Other Half and I confirm our conformity by having The Ikea Arguement.

Anyway, I find myself today in another lemming like situation. Heading south to Devon on the M5. Oh I know I wax lyrical about beautiful Brixham but bloody hell the trip down is a penance. Thank God for videos on the iPad and 3G on my phone. I’m in the roadworks in Bristol. No coffee sellers approaching us yet but it’s only a matter of time before somebody spots the business opportunity.

I’m cross too because I’m not at the Festival of Quilts. Yesterday was brilliant. Thank you to everyone who clicked, tweeted and generally joined in with my real time natter. And hello new followers too. I’ve got a bag full of crafty goodies with me as I’m down here for two weeks now. Hopefully I’ll get some stitching done and I’ll no doubt burble on about seagulls. Ah, the great British holiday. Hopefully, not so average eh? If we ever get there!! Take care xx

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