Sunday, 26 June 2011

Kaleidoscope QAL begins

Woo hoo! I spent a couple of hours cutting 240 triangles last night. I'm very pleased with how the fabrics work together. I'm going with the 'scrappy' approach rather than making it more coordinated.

I still have the 120 small triangles to cut, but we're away from tomorrow for a few days, so I'll catch up next weekend.

Find out more about the quiltalong at Don't Call Me Betsy

Getting over the pox

Whoof it's been a long few days. Freddie was superduper rough on Wednesday. He was a lot better on Thursday but a long way from right. He was up for more than lying on the sofa though. So, we had playdough, a Kung Fu Panda comic, a Peppa Pig board game and some Jarvis time

On Friday it was our darling Meg's 1st birthday. I can't quite believe this, but there it is.

The day wasn't what I had planned (Bucks Goat Centre, or Whizz Kids if it was wet). The kids opened her presents. We made her some felted balls.

Mum came over, and Tor and Jarvis, and we had cake.

We'll give her a birthday day out another time, when all chicken pox has left the house.

On Saturday morning we had some rare visitors to the front garden. We live next to the canal, but have had ducks come by only a couple of times. Today we had 6! They beetled around the place for a while, eating the shrubs and the seeds that have fallen from bird feeder.

They were scared away by a dog. We had really enjoyed watching them.

Today Rob went to allotment. He was there for a couple of hours, and came back laden down with serious goodies. Carrots, spinach, chard, red onions and strawberries. Amazing.

I made lunch - the small spinach and chard leaves for salad, some red onion, shop-bought tomatoes (fresh and sundried), cucumber, feta cheese. So delicious.

Strawberries for pudding!

It was so hot today. The kids played in the paddling pool, without bubbles then with bubbles.

Later we danced around to Paolo Noutini. Happy days!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Day 5 in the chicken pox house...

It's been a rubbish couple of days. Tuesday we quarantined ourselves. Freddie did some plaster of paris dinosaur models.

We did some more experiements from the kit he got for his birthday. So lots more volcanos, plus bobbing raisins in fizzy water and food colour 'bombs'. I made Betsy a very cool kitchen with the play frames, her oven, washing machine and play food.

It was the summer solstice, and a clear evening so we got to see the sky darken slowly. I took this photo at 10.15pm.

Then yesterday Freddie felt rotten. He didn't move from the sofa at all, didn't eat, barely drank. He wasn't itching but the spots were very sore. Poor guy. He needed me close, to sit with him, rest his legs on my lap. So Betsy had to wait for almost everything she wanted all day, and Meg was just slotted in somehow.

Thank goodness he woke feeling much better. We're not at the end yet, but at least he's happier.

I'm glad that you can pick up supercheap films from Tescos - Home Alone, Night at the Museum 2 and the box set of Ice Age have made the last two days more bearable for all of us!

Meg's birthday tomorrow. It will be a bit of a damp squib.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Work in progress Wednesday - Lizard Ridge

Just a quick one this week - Freddie has chicken pox and today isn't a good day!

I've done some sewing so have had less time for knitting. But I have finished my first Lizard Ridge square. I really like the pattern - only 1 row in 6 to concentrate on. Enough to keep me interested and still watch a bit of telly!

Here's the first 3 rows of square #2. I can't wait to get to the red.

See lots more WIP over at Tamis Amis

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

My first anythingatall-along: Kaleidoscope Quilt-Along

I've never done anything like this before. A lovely mama from the NMs forum posted about the quilt-along at Don't Call Me Betsy , and it coincided with me wanting to make a quilt for my mum's retirement present.

So I ordered some gorgeous looking fabric from Sew Fresh Fabrics at etsy. They were very helpful, messaged me a photo of the fabrics so I could see how they looked together, and were just generally fab.

My parcel of loveliness arrived less than a week after I ordered it.

I have half a yard each of Soul Blossoms Peacock Feather in Sea Glass, Snail Scallop in Aqua, Turtle Bay in Coral, Cartwheel in Lime, Hugs and Kisses in Pink Lime, Coreopsis in Moss, Triflora in Lipstick, and Summer Totem in Graprefruit, and Mingle Polka Dot in Hot Pink . The backing is summer tolem in Streudal, and I have Jade green for my neutral.

I'm so pleased it arrived before the 23rd, when the cutting instructions are posted.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Getting ready for cabin fever

We have chicken pox. We've sort of been expecting it since Freddie and Jarvis had a wrestling session 2 weeks ago, and Jarvis came out with spots the day after. So our plans for this week - home ed cafe, summer solstice get together, home ed co-op, Meg's birthday trip out - are cancelled. And our holiday next week is very unlikely. Thanks goodness we took out the insurance.

Freddie has quite a few spots already, Betsy has one or two. Meg is not herself so I suspect is coming down with it too.

We popped into town to get chicken pox provisions, and came home with Aloe Vera gel, cammomile tea bags (for the bath), liquid antihistamine, Calpol, rhus tox homeopathic remedy, magazines (Scooby Doo, kids TV mag and Mollie Makes for me!) and chocolate.

On the way home we finally saw the swan and her cygnet. This is a sad story. Her mate was killed a couple of months ago, hit by a truck as he flew over the bridge. Unfortunately she was incubating her eggs, and had to keep leaving the nest to eat. I didn't think any of the eggs would hatch, but one did.

Apart from the chicken pox we've had a lovely day. Freddie (unusally for him) suggested a game of musical statues. After a couple of rounds with me on the remote control, he took over and Betsy and I danced. Fun!

We made some bubble mix using the directions from this blog at It seems a little thin to me - maybe something is lost when replacing corn syrup with glycerine - so might tweak the recipe a bit. Freddie liked it, Betsy hasn't mastered the blowing techneique yet.

Betsy had a 'busy' day, and came up with all sorts of ideas to occupy herself. The one she spent the most time on was cleaning the windows and patio with a waterbomb ball.

I'm really not looking forward to the next few days - I think Freddie is going to be feeling rough, and then Betsy will as he feels a little better.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Chilly and wet again

After a couple of sunny warm days, the weather turned again. The kids snuggled in wraps on the sofa while we watched the rain (and the telly).

Freddie discovered online games, especially racing. He really liked playing, but got increasingly frustrated when he lost. He struggles with the idea that some things take practice - he just wants to know how to do something straight away.

Besty painted a mug for a fathers day present for Rob.

On Friday we went to Jeni's house, from our home ed co-op. She offered to host a fathers day craft session.

Jeni has the most wonderful garden, with great fir trees with secret hideaways under their branches. Freddie went out to play with some of the other kids when we arrived, and I didn't see him till we left a couple of hours later. He was pink-cheeked and muddy.

Betsy played inside, and made a card for Rob.

On Saturday, Rob and I saw this rainbow on our way out to dinner (the first time since Rob's birthday in January!). Mum was babysitting, and took the kids out to see the rainbow. It was huge and bright.

Today was dry, but cool. We met up with Kate, Tom and Mo at a morris dancing festival! We arrived in time for the parade. There were lots of morris dance troupes. Some were what I expected - wearing white, with hats, hankerchiefs, bells.

Some were scary-looking.

As part of the dance, this woman ran towards us yelling and brandishing a stick. This was too much for poor Betsy - who had been overwhelmed by the whole event anyway - and she wailed. Rob ended up sitting in the car with her.

Freddie, Meg and I hung out with Kate and Tom, had a good catch up and hatched a plan to go camping together later in the summer.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Work in progress Wednesday - something old, something new

I finished Ishbel last week yay! I posted the pics here

So this week I've been working on the Trillian shawl. I had a day out by myself at the weekend, including a couple of hours on the train, and got loads of knitting done. I was at an unschooling conference (really interesting, will post about it soon) so knitted and listened all day. Another delegate came over to chat, and told me it was Knit In Public Day. How cool is that?!

Slightly dishearteningly, despite the extra knitting time Trillian has grown very slowly. This really will take a long time. The yarn is Filigran Lace No 1.

Time to start something new. It's another long long project - a Lizard Ridge blanket. I only have 2 balls of Noro Kureyon so far, and will probably only get a couple of balls a month to spread the cost. I've started with colourway 254, which I'm really liking.

I have to say though, using this yarn is real shock after the merino/silk for Ishbel. It's so rough! I've been spoilt by the soft soft soft babylonglegs yarn.

Apologies for the blurry pic - I left it too late to get a photo in decent light, and the flash distorts the colour too much. I need a tripod!

Both WIPs will be slotted in around some sewing projects I have coming up - a cloth book for Meg's birthday, and a Quilt-a-long at Don't Call Me Betsy (I'm making it for my mum who's retiring next month).

I'm going over to check out the other WWIP at Tami's Amis

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

A sunny afternoon in the garden

After all the (welcome) rain we've had, it was lovely to have an afternoon playing outside in the sun. I made some shade with the parasol, big pegs and our Earthy Rainbow wrap, and lay some rugs on the patio stones.

Meg and Betsy palyed with the box of food and the butterfly life cycle toys.

Freddie played with the colour-changer-scary-skull-Hotwheels-track-thingy.

Then they did some painting of objects, including stones, pegs, a breadstick, a plastic butterfly, and hands.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Ishbel ta da!

I'm so happy - Ishbel is finished! I completed the knitting on Friday night, wore it unblocked all weekend (impatient), and blocked it yesterday. Here it is:

I want to knit another one now....

Sunday, 12 June 2011


Thursday was Freddie's 6th birthday. We went to Bekonscot Model Village for the day.

He loves it there. We've been every year since he was one. The weather looked gloomy on the way there, and I was feeling pretty bleugh about the whole thing. For the 1st time on his birthday we weren't meeting up with anyone, it was just us, and I felt that I'd really let Freddie down by not arranging something with friends. Then it started to rain, and I was in a baaaaad mood.

When we arrived, the kids raced around the whole model village very quickly, barely stopping to look at anything. Well, this was making me feel even worse! We'd be out of there in a hour at this rate. To try and make the visit last longer I got the picnic out, and went to get myself a cup of tea.

Freddie came to find me - Betsy had not made it to the loo in time. I could have cried. I had no spare clothes for her. Freddie only had choclate buttons and Hula Hoops for lunch. I wished we'd never left the house. Gloom and doom!

But.......I worried over nothing. I lost my entire sense of perspective. Betsy's clothes soon dried. We had a ride on the narrow gauge railway. We drove the remote control boats. We went round the village 5 times. We played 'it' in the playground. We stayed for 5 hours. We had a lovely day (or we did once I got over myself).

So, our day in pics.

Freddie's favourite train (it was the fastest):

Morris dancers - just like Grandpa used to do!

The house on fire:

A day at the races, like Daddy had last week:

The canal lock:

Fun fair:

Meg loved it, and then fell asleep:

The big kids train-watching:


On the Thomas ride:

Betsy and Meg gave Freddie a dinosaur battle Wii game. He loves it though gets frustrated when he comes up against a tricky opponent. Then he deletes the dinosaurs and starts again!

The cake - this year a chocolate cake with no icing, just some melted chocolate on top.

We gave Freddie a lego fire station.

Balloons with LED lights in - how cool is that?

Happy birthday to our firstborn. Can't believe we've been parents for 6 years!