Responding to Amanda Soule’s challenge, here are ten good things…
*Tokens of appreciation from friends
*New shoes all set to take him through summer
*Skyping with family
*Creative desctruction in the garden
*Enjoying one extra long weekend, and knowing there’s another one at the end of the week.
*Four generations of girls
*A bicycle now made for two
*Successful sewing attempts
*Growing relationships with Grandparents
This Easter Saturday we…
Made a clutch of these ‘baby sock bunnies’ from this blog entry
Headed to the woods, transformed by bluebells and decorations…
…and a toddler-friendly, ground level treehouse.
Some of us took the opportunity to go exploring…
…while for others it was just a lovely chance to socialise.
Then, watched by some curious onlookers…
We hunted for eggs (and prevented a certain little person from overfilling his tummy straight away, so that we saved a few for later- and maybe for Mummy and Daddy!)
With the unexpectedly warm weather continuing- it’s like Nature is trying to apologise for the hard, cold winter- we took to the garden yesterday. Having near enough burst my lungs inflating the paddling pool and given thanks for a hosepipe in the garden to save me lugging buckets about, I settled down to finish off some handsewing.
Proper smocking is something I’d like to learn, but for now I’m contenting myself with mock smocking using shearing elastic. A slightly late birthday present of a sun top for a little friend of ours in Cardiff was made in a similar way to the first of two sundresses I’m making for Maeve from some Liberty print and other fabric acquired on a recent trip to see my folks. I’ll expand- and reveal- more when the full ensemble is complete.
The town we live in has been an easy target for jokes for many years. It’s true, it does have its unattractive, industrial side. But with a blessing of sunshine on the dunes and sea, so that little ones can splash and dig and run about and yes, probably ingest a fair bit of sand you can be as rude as you like. We’ll keep it, thanks!
>May I present the work of a couple of evenings in front of the sewing machine, and the first stage of my efforts to improve my sewing skills. This trio of shorts was made using the Oliver + S ‘Sketchbook’ pattern (a ‘two scissors’ rated pattern, skill building fans!)
I decided to make all three pairs simultaneously. This was partly because for some reason I find doing it this way is quicker than making one pair after another, and partly because I thought it would give me the chance to really nail each technique by doing it three (or in the case of stages that needed doing for each leg, six) times over.
I can’t praise the instructions on the pattern enough. They seemed really lengthy at first glance, but working through one step at a time, it was really easy to get it right. I grew to love the way the shorts looked a bit ropey and hopeless until you put the waistband on and stopstitched it then suddenly- wow!- they look really good!
As well as being easy to follow, I really like the details that Leisl Gibson includes, like the pockets and mock fly. I also followed the suggestion to topstitch, using contrast thread. It was a bit of a fiddle, especially on the in and out seams, but the effect is really professional looking, a bit like when you sew up and block properly on knits. It’s interesting that the original pattern these are quite smart shorts, and I actually bought it so I can make some school shorts, but in these fabrics they look sort of surfer-casual.
All in all, I’m really pleased with the results. The best bit is- P, my greatest critic, actually likes to wear them!!
Ten or so years ago, had you asked me what I wanted to do, I’d have answered ‘Writing’. I did the temping that paid for the journalism course, did the course, got the first (terrible) job in journalism, moved onto the second, got promoted…and kind of fell out of love with it all. It wasn’t the writing, it was the media world surrounding it, where I was a fish out of water, far too shy and rubbish at networking to succeed.
So, instead of a sideways move into PR or something similar, I jacked it all in and retrained as a primary school teacher. Suddenly I was a fish in water (I know, I don’t think that’s a real saying either). I loved it. Never looked back to journalism, unless it was when I was writing press releases to promote the school, or teaching newspaper writing in Literacy lessons.
All was great, then, until the world’s finances went belly up, DH lost his job, we moved up here for his new job so I had to give up my old teaching job, DD arrived and…now that I’m looking to go back to my beloved teaching I find myself with no connections in a part of the country where teaching jobs are few and competition is fierce.
Amid the gloom of job-searching, though, there’s been an unexpected development. A friend was printing a job application out for me and noticed my writing background. He asked if I’d be interested in a paid (!) writing project for the group he works for. I went along for a meeting and got the gig. While working out what I should charge, I contacted another old friend who’s a successful freelance writer and editor to ask for advice, and she asked if I wanted her to put some other bits of writing work my way. I said yes and the other week I submitted my first invoice as a freelancer. Someone want to go back and tell myself ten years ago that I’m here, sort of networking and actually getting a (albeit very small) pay cheque from writing?!
All this leaves me with a whole bag of mixed feelings. I hate the idea of not going back to teaching, so I’ve not written that off. I love writing and can’t deny that it has the potential to fit well around the commitments of young children. But then again, I was looking forward to having a job that expanded my social horizons a little…but we need the money and there isn’t much doing on the teaching job front just now. I’ve decided to just go with the flow and not look to the future too much at the moment (gosh, that’s hard for me to do, I’m a natural worrier).
Flow is an appropriate word at the moment. The paid writing projects seem to have turned on a tap and I’ve now found myself volunteering to write for free for a new local magazine, plus I’m fired up with a new idea for a children’s novel. Maybe if I just gave up sleeping I’d have the time I need for all these words…