Saturday, 30 July 2011

Yey I did it!

Back in May I was lucky enough to win a meter of fabric from the lovely Claire's Patch Fabrics facebook page.  As I am still borrowing my friends sewing machine I really wanted some fabric to make little Sweetpea a skirt out of.  Claire was not only kind enough to give me the fabric (click the link above, she has some scrummy fabric) but she also gave me a link to a skirt tutorial that she said was easy - click here for info.

So the fabric arrived and it was gorgeous, in fact it was too gorgeous as it has taken me this long to pluck up the courage to cut into it :-)  Well last night was the night I decided that yes I could cut the fabric and yes I could get that sewing machine whirring !

I printed off the instructions, read them, re-read them, tried to make sense of some of the sewing jargon and got on with it.  It was quite easy, I think the hardest part was trying to get everything straight and then adding the ribbon at the end (which I would personally add at the beginning in future - not sure if there is a reason why it is added at the end as I am no seamstress :-)).  Also another hard part was getting little Sweetpea to stay still to check the elastic was the right length for her ickle belly - she ran off when I was trying to do this and nearly bungeed back down the corridor whilst nearly breaking the stitching I had just done!

It came out really well (well for someone who has never sewn a skirt before),  and I love the ribbon detail at the base of the skirt.

My sewing was pretty straight but I do need to work on those endings where you have to go back and forth to lock in the stitches, they are rather hard to get perfect.

This is where the elastic went in and the bungee incident happened lol, not easy holding an excited youngster still whilst checking the elastic length.

But this is one happy little girl.  Last night I finished it at about 10pm, first thing this morning she was up with her jim-jam top on and her new skirt, she had to put it on right away! :-)

I am really chuffed that I finally did it !

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

They just keep on growing :-(

Well it is the end of term here and the end of an era with Eldest Sweetpea moving up to Secondary School in September.   We had end of term school productions where he played an entrepreneur and then he had his cycling proficiency test in the last week too (he passed unlike me who must be the only person in Britain who didn't much to Mr Sweetpeas amusement for many years!).

We also had SATS results and school reports sent home.  I was incredibly proud that Eldest Sweetpea did really well in his SATS especially as I didn't send him to any of the after school classes he was asked to attend.  I must say the SATS process really did annoy me, we were told that the children were not going to be put under any pressure for these tests and then came letters home re parents meetings regarding them and extra lessons for the children after school.  I stuck to my instincts (which is really quite hard when you get all these 'no pressure' invites from the school) and didn't go to any meetings or send him to any extra lessons.  I knew that if I had attended meetings I would have accidentally put pressure on him for a test that really is to do with how the school is performing not him, also the extra lessons would have put pressure on him too and then he would have frozen when the tests did take place.  In the end he was very chilled out about the tests and did his best and did very well indeed, especially in his favourite subject Science :-)  Middle Sweetpea and Little Sweetpea did very well in their reports too - one chuffed Mum !

Thursday night there was the School Disco and I went to help, goodness I nearly cried several times watching all the Year 6 kiddies together - thank goodness it was dark!  Eldest Sweetpea's year has been a lovely year group, nearly all have them have known each other since Pre-School and I know them very well.  Friday then saw his last ever walk to school so we all took a trip there together ....

In the afternoon they had a last assembly which was held in the village Church, I really was in two minds as to go or not as I knew it would make me upset.  I asked Eldest Sweetpea if he wanted me to go and he said 'I am not bothered really' so I asked him again telling him the only reason I didn't want to go was that it would make me cry and he then replied 'Oh, if you are going to cry then I want you to come, I never see you cry' ...... well really, what a loving son I have lol.

Well I got over my own feelings (after feeling low all morning, blimey I didn't know it would upset me that much) and went along to the Church.  Thank goodness for little Sweetpea, Bear and their little mate Harley for distracting me with their giggles, cushion arranging and dancing to the Year 6's songs. 

Above is a photo of Eldest Sweetpea being presented with a RSPB book that he had picked as one he liked - he was really happy with it as it also had a CD with bird songs on it :-)

It was a lovely event and I am really glad I got over my worries and went along.  I held in most of my tears and only became dewy eyed for a little while.  Luckily I had these lovely and rather apt tissues in my bag that Emma Bear Forever gave me some time ago - see bloggers to the rescue :-)

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Still addicted to Crochet!

Thanks for all your comments on my last blog post, I hope you all get to see the butterfly life cycle, it really is amazing.   If you only want to see one or two caterpillars turn into butterflies you can always potter around the garden and collect caterpillars, make sure you check what food you took them off and feed them until they are ready to turn into cocoons - they will hang in a J shape when they are getting ready for this.  Eldest Sweetpea has done this a few times but as this project is for a pre-school and has to run in term time so all the kiddies see the magic we buy the kits.

As you may know from reading this blog I recently wanted to learn crochet.  I bought this book to start me off:

and created quite a few things from it whilst learning the stitches ...

Above is me learning a chain, single crochet, double, half treble and treble crochet.  The circle is to learn increases in stitches and the wavy one is a pattern in the book that could be used for edging.

I then gave granny squares a go, loved making these.

And here are a few flowers and a pattern that started as a circle but ended up looking like an Ammonite (see the one of the right - eldest Sweetpea's fav as it looks like a fossil lol).  A lot of mistakes were made on the way, a lot of growling at the wool not wanting to do what I wanted it to do but slowly and surely I got there.

I then went to our local library to see if there were any good books there and wow was I amazed!  There are loads of fab crochet books there and if they aren't I can look them up on the Library stock list on-line and search for a book I want and order it - how fantastic is that!

I picked this book up from there, it is full or lovely flowers and ideas.

I then created these cute flowers from a pattern in the book ..... well actually you won't find this exact flower pattern as I made a mistake creating the flower (due to getting muddled with US/UK crochet terms)  but then preferred my bodged flower design so kept going with it :-)  You can see a bigger photo at the top of this post of the flower ...... hhmmm I might do a tutorial for it as it is my own bodged design :-)

I have made a few of them now, not sure what to make with them but I love them.

I also got this book, it has some lovely throws in it.

I especially like this one:

Not sure I am quite up to that standard yet but practice makes perfect I suppose, I just have to get my head round the more complicated patterns :-) 

I hope you are all well and life isn't too hectic for you all - thanks again for your comments, they really are appreciated.


Friday, 15 July 2011

Butterfly time again :-)

It was that time of year again recently when I buy little tiny tiny caterpillars for the pre-school so the children can watch them turn into butterflies. 

Every year this project makes me feel like a child again, I get so excited when the magic box arrives in the post :-)

We all got busy and popped the food into separate containers and then added 2 baby caterpillars to each little pot.

We then pop tissue paper over the top and then put the lid on, this is so that the caterpillars have something to make their cocoon on.

They really are so tiny when they first arrive, here is a photo of one on my finger to give you an idea of scale.

After a couple of weeks watching them eat and grow they turn into cocoons.  They then stay in there for another couple of weeks before they hatch out in all their splendor to reveal their new body shape - it is so magical.  We keep two at home and pre-school have the rest - theirs always seem to hatch a little earlier, not sure if it is the temperature of the pre-school being a bit higher than our home or that the noise levels in our house make the butterflies want to stay hidden for that little bit longer lol :-)

Then comes my favourite bit, letting the children release them into the garden and watching where they go ........

Nature really is rather amazing!  To see photos of the full life cycle click here - Butterfly life cycle.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Swept away by time ....

Well goodness me, I do apologise, I didn't realise I had been away for so long :-(  Time really does seem to be going incredibly fast and I can't keep up.  I thought I would do a little catch up with what we have been up to in the Sweetpea household.

Well as you will see above I have turned my cute little crochet hearts into bunting for my bookcase, I popped some beads on the end of the bunting too for a finishing touch.  In fact I loved this bunting so much I made some for my friend's little girls first birthday a couple of weeks back :-)

We have also been strawberry picking a few times , here are some that are from a local farm and also eldest Sweetpeas patch.

Of course that meant we had to have some scones and cream with them as well as jam.  I made the scones without raisins in them as eldest sweetpea hates them for some reason.  This all lead to a picnic in the garden :-)

My friends have been rather busy too over the last few weeks so little Sweetpea has had the pleasure of some playmates coming round whilst their mummies are busy bees.  Here is little Sweetpea with her mad hair and one of her best friends James.  I just loved how they held hands on the way home.

And then we had little Sweetpeas other best mate round that week too,  this is the gorgeous Bear, is he going to melt hearts or what!

They had a lot of giggles.....

Then Bear had to sit and watch one of little Sweetpeas dance routines lol..... If you pop over to my friend's blog here you will see piccies of Bear and Sweetpea Strawberry picking, excuse the photo of me in my scruffy clothes :-)

In the garden Scented Sweetpeas have been flowering, oohhh one of my fav flowers, I love cutting them and bringing them into the house.  They don't seem as prolific as previous years but we still had enough to receive 2nd prize in our local Gala competition.

Talking of the Gala, I spent many an hour last week down the local Strawberry farm helping to create our Cubs gala float.  Middle Sweetpea is the only one left in cubs of my brood at the moment and the only girl in the group - she always was a tomboy :-)  We had to create a float with the theme of Dennis the Menace as it was his 60th Birthday this year.  I had great fun creating bunting for the whole float - Helen (Bear's Mum mentioned above) also came to help.

One of my friends dressed up as Minnie the Minx, we all thought she looked rather fetching in her red wig :-)  She seemed to enjoy that role far too much lol.  Middle Sweetpea was also a Minnie the Minx.

I also went into pre-school and helped the kiddies create items for their float too.  It is a shame more parents don't help as although I found it very tiring with all the extra things to do last week it certainly was a lot of fun :-)  Unfortunately poor little Sweetpea couldn't go on the pre-school float after all as after going to do some more work on the Float the other friday she became sick and was sick from lunchtime that day until early evening on Saturday - it wasn't much fun taking her around the Gala (she didn't want to stay home with her nanny as she didn't want to miss the fun) with a bowl poor thing.

Whilst there Middle and Eldest Sweetpea joined the fun run (why on earth is it called a fun run - can't see anything fun about it myself lol).  I was really proud of them as Middle Sweetpea came 2nd and Eldest Sweetpea came 9th in their groups - goodness knows who they take after as I run like Phoebe out of Friends!

Before I go I just wanted to say a thank you to the lovely Harmony and Rosie.  A long time ago I took part in something called PIF, in fact I think I took part in it twice.  Well I posted off a few parcels as a random surprise for people and then when I returned from holiday recently I was greeted with a surprise package.  'Oooohh what could it be' I thought to myself, on opening it I found a gorgeously soft crocheted cuff and a very cute notepad with birdies all over it, they were all wrapped up in some lovely blue tissue paper.  Thanks very much Harmony and Rosie.

Also thank you for all your comments, although I can't comment quite as often as I used to I am really enjoying catching up reading all your blogs and also reading your comments here.  Take care. xxx