Tuesday, 31 March 2015

This ladybird went to the ball

The Ugly Bug Ball that is.

This was the fancy dress day at Markie's school that I mentioned
in my previous post. Her class had been learning about mini-beasts
this half term and to celebrate this the reception children were invited
to come to school dressed as mini-beasts last Friday. Markie went
as a ladybird wearing the costume I made for her.

I've never made a costume before. For fancy dress parties, Markie
usually wears her beloved Elsa dress and Lulu wears fairy wings.
Luckily I found this cute ladybird apron over at Pinterest
(you can see it here) and this was my inspiration for Markie's outfit.
I've looked for the original designer and maker of this apron but have
 been unsuccessful. I would really like to credit whoever it was that
made this. Hope he or she doesn't mind.

Anyway this was what I made for my big girl: a ladybird pinafore.

On the back I added the wings.

 I lined all the pieces with calico and I also used light weight 
fusible interfacing for the wings so they're not too flimsy.

I worked on this for two evenings last week and I must say I really
 enjoyed the whole process, from drawing the pattern, cutting out the pieces, to sewing and adding the buttons. I'm also quite pleased that
all the materials that I've used were from my sewing stash, apart from the black spotty fabric which I bought for £1.50 for half a metre. 

Markie wore this over black leggings and a black shirt, and she had
matching pom-pom antennas too. I was a bit worried that she
wouldn't like it but she loved the whole thing (phew!) and she had
a brilliant time at the ball which is just fantastic.

This week we're busy preparing for Easter. We've put together
an Easter tree and yesterday I helped Markie decorate her entry
to the school's Easter egg decorating competition. I'm looking
forward to Good Friday and the rest of the weekend as well as
the school break. Some quiet, restful days at home with my girls
will be very welcome.

Thanks to everyone who has been visiting my blog, especially
lately, and for all your lovely comments. They're always very much
appreciated. I wish you all a peaceful Holy Week and a very
happy Easter!

Friday, 27 March 2015

Five on Friday

Hello! I'm joining in again with Amy for Five on Friday.
For today's post, I've chosen five things from these past five days.

I'm starting with this slice of pine nut loaf cake which my husband
made yesterday. It is delicious, especially with creme fraiche and tea
or coffee.

My husband is off work this week so he's had more time to do what he
 enjoys-- cooking. Today he's planning to make lemon ice cream.
It is going to be good. We're all very excited about it.

This is Markie's costume for fancy dress day at school today.

I've been busy making it this week. I've never made a costume before,
either for kids or grown-ups and it's been fun. Hope to write more
 about it soon.

My new pom-pom makers. I got two with different sizes and
this is the smaller of the pair.

Markie's costume was my excuse for this purchase. I made her
little antennas with pom-pom tops and having this little gadget made
the job easier. I thought it was a little extravagant at first, but now I'm
glad I got them. Next pom-pom project: Easter chicks.

This is the newly tidied wall shelf in our bedroom.

I've done some spring cleaning this week. It's so satisfying to know
 that every surface, item and corner had been cleaned, polished and tidied- well, almost. I still haven't finished, so more cleaning for me
next week.

My very simple makeshift loom.

I made it with cardboard and string. It's just a little experiment.
 Hopefully it will work and I'll have something woven to show you here next time.

So those are my five today. I'm joining in Five on Friday, taking five
minutes from our day to enjoy five things. Please click here to visit
the other people blogging about Five on Friday this week.

Thanks for visiting me here. Hope you all enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Simple Pleasures

Simple everyday things that have made me happy this week:

A beautiful hand painted card from Markie for Mother's Day

School got cancelled on the Friday so she wasn't able to bring
this home til Monday. It doesn't matter at all that I got it a day later.
I think it's wonderful! 

French toast and bacon for breakfast

We have these every Saturday. It's yummy and filling, our all time
favourite way to start a weekend.

Repurposing these set of face cloths

They're nicely soft and thick, and cheap too. I've added ribbon
hanging loops and they're now our new kitchen hand towels.

Meatballs made by my husband with help from the girls

We had them for dinner last Wednesday but there are still enough left
for another meal and sandwiches for lunch. Can't wait!

Lulu's lovely way of arranging her toys

There's always some sort of pattern and order in the way she places
her toys next to each other. She says she's "putting them in right
order". I wonder what she'll be when she grows up.

A bunch of daffodils

Whether in buds or in bloom, they're one of the best things about spring.

Washi tapes from Wilko

I love their spring colours and they're brilliant at prettying up
 jam jars and just about any old thing.

Simple things, simple pleasures.

Hope you've all enjoyed the lovely sunshine today.
Thanks for stopping by here. Have a nice week!

Friday, 20 March 2015

Lenten Stitches

Last year I wrote about the Lenten tradition in our church
where parishioners bring in squares of fabric, each square
representing our worries and stresses in life or those of loved ones.
All the fabrics are sewn together to make a patchwork 'Garment of
Suffering' which we bring to the altar on Good Friday. I think it is
a wonderful tradition. It is reassuring and hope giving and I am so
thankful that we can take part.

 As with last year's square, I have done some embroidery on ours
 just to make it even more meaningful. I always love a bit of stitching
 and this has occupied me in my spare time these past few days.
The inspiration for this came from a fabric book cover project in
The Ultimate Book of Quilting, Cross Stitch and Needlecraft. I have
 made a few changes though, making four instead of two birds
and adding blooms to the tree.

In its simple way our square symbolizes our hopes and prayers
for the rest of the year-- good health, happiness, security. We'll take
it to church this Sunday and I'm very much looking forward to seeing
it and everyone else's making up the whole garment on Good Friday.

So now that's done, I have a ladybird costume to make for Markie.
Yes, more sewing for me to do but I am not complaning.
Have a nice Friday everyone!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Pot Holders

After making my crocheted pot holder in January, I decided
to make a couple more to use in our kitchen and here they are.
I have hand and machine stitched these two instead of crocheting
 them and I think they've turned out okey. The red one is a bit wonky-
 I was too caught up with sewing the binding to notice that one side
 was more curvy than straight. Oops! Never mind, it's still fine and
 it was good to practice attaching the binding. I'll try and remember
 what I've learned here when I get to the binding stage of my
 patchwork quilt later on.

These pot holders are about 6.5"x6.5" square and all the materials
I used here were from my fabric and sewing stash. The wadding is
 the same one I used for my patchwork quilt and tea cosy. It's thick
enough and these two are great for lifting lids and moving pots
around when we're cooking on the hob. I think they're also good
 as table mats and they add some lovely colour to our kitchen.
I'm really glad I made them!

So it's Friday again. Wishing you all a great weekend full of fun
and sunshine. Ours will be a staying in sort of weekend- Lulu's got
the chicken pox so we can't really do much. We had plans to go
walking with the girls in Derbyshire but that will now have to be for
another time. Anyway, enjoy your weekend and see you soon!

Monday, 9 March 2015

Joys on a rainy Monday

daffodils in bloom

a slice of Victoria sandwich cake

Lulu playing happily by herself while I ironed

finding inspiration for stitching

These were simple everyday things that made me happy this cold,
rainy Monday. I'm hoping there will be more of these simple pleasures
throughout the rest of my week. And yours too!

Have a lovely Monday evening. See you soon!

Friday, 6 March 2015

Five on Friday: Good Things

It's Friday once again, time to join Amy for 'Five on Friday'.

Today I've chosen five good things from the past week and a half.
These haven't been the easiest of days, with Markie unwell with
 chicken pox and my husband working for seven days in a row. We were
all tired and a little bit grumpy at times. We felt sad and worried too.
But there were still good and happy things and these are some of them.

I'll start off with Markie getting better and going back to school
this week. Thursday and Friday last week were her worst days-
no appetite or energy at all.Then she perked up over the weekend
and it was such a relief to see her starting to get better. She's still
full of the horrible spots but she's not letting them bother her.
 She's so good. On Wednesday she joined her class for a trip to the
Butterfly House. She had an amazing time and I'm so glad she didn't
miss out on this because it's something that she's been looking
 forward to for ages. Here's a little drawing that she did after
 the school trip. It's a little bit crumpled but I love it.

I found time to sew here and there and finished making my pot
holders. In the evening I've been crocheting too. They are good,
enjoyable, calming distractions and I'm grateful for them.

I've been trying to get back into reading for sometime now but
none of the books I've tried have really grabbed me until this one.
This was a great read, really enjoyed it. I've already started on
the next one, also by Kate Atkinson, and it's good too. After such
a long time, I'm glad these two books have come my way.
I'm now inspired to keep reading.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Rhubarb and Sculptures

This was our Sunday two weekends ago. We were at the
 Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb in Wakefield in the morning
 and then at the Hepworth Gallery in the afternoon. It was a full,
fun, happy day. The festival, a celebration of Wakefield's heritage of
growing forced rhubarb and also a showcase for other quality local
produce, was a great event. There were food stalls, street entertainers,
cookery demonstrations, all happening round the town's cathedral square.

The girls had a brilliant time at Katie Asthworth's show (she's the presenter from Cbeebies' 'I Can Cook') and were a little bit starstruck
especially after they had their photos taken with her after her show.
I enjoyed looking round the food stalls, there was so much on offer,
all locally grown and made. We bought rhubarb jam, rhubarb and
custard loaf cake and salted caramel fudge. We would've bought
some fresh rhubarb (it would have made a lovely crumble) but
heavy rain cut short our time there and so on to the Hepworth
which is only a short drive away.

We always love coming here. The gallery houses works by Barbara
Hepworth and temporary exhibitions of works by other artists. The
sculpture below is by Lynda Benglis. Doesn't it look amazing?

I love all the big square windows, particularly the ones overlooking
the River Calder. You see a lot, both inside and when you're 
looking out.

We joined a session of Musical Sculptures (noisy but fun) and
had drinks and cake at the gallery's cafe. The girls ran around
and we're a little bit noisy at times but thankfully the gallery
people didn't seem to mind. There were many other families
with young children there which was really nice.

We had a look round the shop and then it was time to go home.
We had great art, local history, goodies to take home and the girls
met one of their favourites from Cbeebies. Despite the horrible
weather it was still a really great and brilliant day.

Before I go I want to say thanks for all your lovely comments
 in my previous post. Crafting is always a pleasure for me
and I'm glad I've got this little spot here in blogland where I can
share and talk about the things I'm making. Thanks too for
your well wishes for Markie. She's still covered in spots but
feeling well again. She might go back to school tomorrow.

By the way, if you're on Instagram you can now find me there.
I signed up again the other day and so far it's been fun. Hope
you stop by and say hello. I'm mytwogirls1314.

Have a nice week!