Thursday, 31 March 2011

March Roundup

Thursday, 31 March 2011
My goals are currently looking like this:

1. Blog more -yep I've kept up the daily posting for a third month
2. No stash purchases - I've been a good girl yet again this month
3. Reduce my stitching WIP list -1 finish and good progress on Snapperbets
4. No new stitching starts in the first half of the year - check
5. Find the quilting bug again and reduce my quilting WIPs - well I've been sewing like crazy on the bags so whilst my WIPs haven't been touched I have found the bug big time
6. Read at least 50 books -erm, I realised when typing this that I haven't actually finished one book this month!
7. Reduce the clutter in the house -a little
8. Lose weight -ahem, let's gloss over this one shall we?
9. Stick to the household budget and find ways to reduce expenditure - kinda
10. Work on the garden - the patio is looking great!

I also had the additional goal of making the party bags this month and I've made great progress on them

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Boy bag!

Wednesday, 30 March 2011
So I finally started the boy party bags after getting thoroughly bored of the pink ones!  I have to say it's been a steeper learning curve than I expected as I was a bit blase about doing the casing.

However, I got there eventually and have 7 of the 12 done.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Anyone seen this film?  It's about a couple who erase their memories of each other when their relationship goes bad.

What I really need right now is a way to do exactly what they were hoping to achieve - erase all information in my brain pertaining to this bloody affair my friends are having.  Yes it is still going on and no, the spouses don't appear to have any suspicions yet.

I've removed myself from the situation as much as I can - I avoid talking to her about it, I don't respond to her texts that mention it and I've quite brutally told her that I don't like some things on a couple of occasions now.  But all this has done is make me realise that what I really and truly can't bear is their social engagements as two families together and I can't get away from the knowledge of that.

So now my head feels ready to explode with it all and I want to scream at the cheated on spouses for being too stupid to realise what is going on.  Obviously I won't as that just lands me right in the middle of it all as the bad guy but I just can't imagine how the pair of them will feel when all this comes out and they realise they've spent days out together with the pair of lying, cheating, two-faced, hypocritical idiots (writing that down felt good LOL).

It is now impacting on my social calendar as I refuse to do anything where the two families will be together.  DH has entered a 10k run that the cheated on husband is also doing and there's a family funfair on at the same time.  DH will be attending on his own as the other family are also going.  DH is fine about this as he understands my feelings (and doesn't exactly enjoy being around them himself)  plus he knows the more time I spend around them the more likely I am to say something.

Sorry to rant about this yet again but it's generally spoiling my mood at the moment and I'm trying to think of ways to keep it out of my head.  I've given up facebook as they are all on there posting pics of each others kids and talking about the fun times they have and I'm 'forgetting' my mobile quite a lot at the moment so hopefully that will help.

What I can't do is cut them out of my life completely though as I see them every day, twice a day on the school run and Lia and their daughters are best friends so I can hardly stop Lia seeing them.  Grrrrrrr.

I've even resorted to some retail therapy to cheer myself up.  No stash I should point out but stuff for the kids - storage boxes, beakers, books, etc - I am not even missing the whole stash buying thing at the moment but I'll admit it will be nice to get some exciting parcels through the post!

Oh and one last thing before I sign off this post, I'm 99.99% convinced that the pair of cheaters had sex in my bed when he was round cleaning our patio for us.  She promised me that she absolutely wouldn't do anything but when I got home that day my bedroom door was closed - we never, ever close the doors in the house and I was the last one upstairs so it can't have been Lia.  This is, of course, not helping my mood.

Monday, 28 March 2011

This weekend I...

Monday, 28 March 2011
- Had a late Friday night / early Saturday morning as I babysat for friends and got home after midnight
- Had a 6am wakeup call on Saturday
- Did the swimming and ballet runs
- Delegated Lia's cinema and pizza party invitation to DH
- Changed a few too many smelly nappies!
- Snuck in an afternoon nap when noone was looking
- Watched the boat race
- Visited friends
- Got annoyed with stupid cheating friends (who have still not been caught)
- Watched a film snuggled up with my husband
- Stitched
- Sewed bags

Sunday, 27 March 2011


Sunday, 27 March 2011
It's practically impossible to get a good picture of him these days as the minute he sees the camera he tries to grab it LOL

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Snapperbets Progress

Saturday, 26 March 2011
I've been stitching on this one for the last week or so and enjoying it.  I remember why I stopped before, it was because I had run out of Maple Syrup and discovered that the new skeins ordered were much much lighter than my original.  I was convinced I'd had an extra skein to start with but it never appeared so I must have imagined it.  A friend was good enough to send me some that she had but it still wasn't as dark as the original but a better match than the ones I bought.

So I'm in the position that I'll probably have to frog a huge section of the border as I've never found another skein of Maple Syrup as dark as the one I used originally.  However I have decided to completely finish the design and then see how I feel about how noticable the colour change is before making any rash decisions.

Enough of all that here's how it is now:

And here's how it was before I picked it up:

Not exactly like for like pics I know but you can see that the F and N were only just started and W is entirely new work.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Happy Greek Independence Day

Friday, 25 March 2011
To be fair I wouldn't usually celebrate today (DH sulks because it's a Bank Holiday in Greece but he usually has to go to work) but Connor's nursery have decided to go Greek for the day!

All the kids have been encouraged to wear blue and white, they have Greek flags and blue and white bunting up, DH translated some basic words for them (nappy, food, water, etc) and today's lunch menu is written in Greek and English.

I gave them some Greek colouring pictures to copy and also a CD of Greek nusery rhymes (it's a truly awful CD but they asked LOL).

Apparently they even have the local paper coming round to take some pictures.  It's great that they are so enthusiastic (and obviously the publicity is great for them too LOL) but I'm just wondering what the reporter will think of my little blonde haired, blue-eyed little Greek boy...

Thursday, 24 March 2011

The Patio

Thursday, 24 March 2011
So our garden is a blank canvas.  This is a vast improvement from the 'mess' that we inherited when we bought the house

This was the overgrown back garden when we first moved in:

And here's the patio:

We worked hard to clear the whole thing including the rubble and brambles that were the biggest part of the end patch:

Yes that was once a pond!

Which led me to have big plans which we were due to get started on 18 months ago. And we all know what happened then...

So absolutely nothing happened in the garden for the whole of the last year. DH doesn't do gardens. He grew up in a sixth floor apartment in Athens, gardens confuse him LOL. He did keep the grass cut (sorta) but that was about it so this year I am on a mission to get started with my plans. Stage 1 is getting the patio sorted.

This is what it looked like after the winter:

And this is what it looks like now (minus the bread which the birds have removed):

A friend of ours jet washed it for almost two hours to get it to that state - there's just no escape from the fact that they are old and nasty slabs but we cannot afford new and nice ones so we're going to repoint these ones and make the best of it for now. 

Do you see those decorative bricks down the left hand side?  We have enough of those to build two walls at the end of the patio either side of the steps (it's about a foot and a half drop from the edge to the garden below) to make it a bit safer for the boy toddling around.  I will also finish painting the side of the garage so it's all blue (I painted the first bit two years ago LOL).

Once that is done I have plans for a veggie patch and a wildlife garden as well as leaving a large chunk of kid friendly lawn.  We won't get too far with it all this year but we will definitely make progress on last year!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Bags, bags and more bags

Wednesday, 23 March 2011
So I've had a bit of a lull in my bag making but I've made 14 now:

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

My name is Joy

Tuesday, 22 March 2011
and I'm addicted to Angry Birds.

Very addicted.

So much so that I have had to leave my iTouch at home so I don't get sacked for playing it while I should be working.

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about please do not try and find out as I take no responsibility for you too falling into this addiction - it is spreading across the planet already.

There is no hope for us.

Monday, 21 March 2011

This weekend I...

Monday, 21 March 2011
- Watched my husband run (and complete) his first half marathon
- Spent a fantastic day with visting family
- Was extremely proud of Lia who played with her cousins all day without a whinge or tears (this is a minor miracle given the kids are 5,3,1 and 0!)
- Took the kids to the park
- Had to get the sun hats out the weather was so lovely
- Made buns
- Cooked a great lasagne
- Started the great spring clean in the house
- Stitched on Snapperbets
- Got relieved of my swimming lesson duties - DH took the kids so I could have a lie in
- Was thrilled as Connor said 'Dad' yesterday quite distinctly - not sure if he associates the word with the person but hey, it's a start!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Beaded Heart Biscornu

Sunday, 20 March 2011
Here's my finished stitching on the biscornu - I need to get going on the finishing so it doesn't languish in the 'to do' pile...

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Better buns

Saturday, 19 March 2011
Much happier with the icing today:

Friday, 18 March 2011

Avast me car keys...

Friday, 18 March 2011
It's Red Nose Day here in the UK.  Lia's gone to school dressed in red and Connor had to dress in costume for nursery.  One of my absolute pet hates is dumb costumes for babies - anything furry or with ears or pumpkins and Christmas elves just gives me the horrors.  Once they're big enough to choose to look ridiculous then that's up to them, before that you just shouldn't dress them in anything you wouldn't be seen in yourself LOL.

Obviously this is my personal point of view and I will not hold it against you if you are of the opposite opinion LOL.

So today I went with the tried and tested pirate option - I had suitable clothes already and all that was required was a bit of face paint...

Oh and in case you're wondering, the blog title comes from Lia when we were trying to teach her some pirate phrases...

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Ten Pink Bags!

Thursday, 17 March 2011
That means I'm half way.  No pics as had too many chores to do last night but I will get some soon.

I've been talking to a fellow stitcher about Bent Creek's Snapperbets recently and because of this got the urge to pick up this WIP.  Unfortunately for me I couldn't find my charts for it but after a bit of frantic searching I found them this morning so I think I will be working on this one for a while.

Tomorrow is Comic Relief here in the UK so I should have a good few stitching hours in front of the TV in the evening which should help me get back into the design.  I'm about half way through and, if I recall correctly, it was quite a quick stitch so hopefully I'll make good progress before I get bored and move on.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Ho Hum

Wednesday, 16 March 2011
Thanks for your comments on yesterday's post.  I am trying to protect myself and my family and DH is doing a good job of that too.  I made sure right from the start that I discussed it all with him - I don't want to be keeping secrets from him for a start and he's good at helping me talk through how I feel and supporting my decisions.

I have obviously got the message across to B though as I'm getting hardly any text messages from her when they were almost constant at one point.  This can only be a good thing.

In other less stressful news I've had a HD with the Biscornu and I'm up to seven completed pink bags.  The construction part of the bags involves some sewing then some ironing and then the final sewing so I started a bit of a production line rather than doing each bag individually.  I've done the first part of the sewing for all of them now and most of them are ironed so I'm on schedule to have them finished by the end of the week so I can then get on with the boy bags over the weekend.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Life is never dull

Tuesday, 15 March 2011
But sometimes I'd really like it to be.

I'm currently in a position I never, ever, thought I'd be in and it's giving me a total headache. I should say I'm fine, my life is fine, my husband is fine and my kids are fine.  What isn't fine is that a friend has embarked on an affair and has confided in me which has left me totally sideswiped and, in trying to be a mate, I've gotten deeper into things than I would ever want to be.

The problem is that I know both couples - couple A & B are good friends of ours and couple C & D are also friends and now B & C are having an affair of which A & D are totally unaware.  To make things worse their daughters are Lia's school friends.  I should point out that none of them know I have a blog let alone how to find it so I'm not going to cause any issues by writing this down.

B and I are good mates and I've known since we first got friendly that her marriage isn't great.  I also know that C had an affair not long before I met him and the general opinion is that his marriage isn't that fantastic either.  The pair of them were always pretty open about their attraction so in one way I'm not surprised the affair has started but I am surprised because they live 2 minutes apart, their kids are friends and they socialise together so I can't believe they'd actually do it.

I'm a pretty moral person and this has landed me in a situation where I feel really compromised.  I always thought that in this position I would tell the person being cheated on but now feel like I can't because it's my mate that's doing the cheating so my loyalty should be to her instead.  But should I still be loyal to her when she's having sex with another friends husband?  It's a circular argument and I'm certainly not expecting any of you to be able to give me a solution but it's starting to drive me nuts.

The problem is that once B confided in me that she had snogged C I became complicit in the affair.  I spent a lot of time talking to her and trying to get her to stop before it really got out of hand but the truth is I was never going to be successful and sure enough, a couple of weeks later, the consumation was done and dusted and everything was full on.  The problem for me is that because of my initial involvement she still felt like she could continue to confide in me and she absolutely did.

I did lay down some rules - I would never lie for her or be used as an alibi and he cannot know that I know because I don't want them to feel like they can behave like a couple in front of me.  I had thought that this would mean things are abstract enough that I could kid myself I wasn't really involved but that's just not the case.  Besides the rules got bent.  Last Friday she spent 20 mins on the phone to him whilst at my house and it was extremely uncomfortable for both me and DH.

So more rules got made.

No talking on the phone to him at all in my presence and there will be no invitations for both of them to be at my house at the same time ever again, with or without their spouses.

But the trouble is this doesn't feel enough for me - it's been 4 weeks and I'm so totally sick of it that I'm actually praying they'll get caught soon.

Now I know you're all probably shouting at the screen at this point telling me to tell her to stop talking about it, I don't want to be involved, but it's back to that loyalty to a friend issue.  She really doesn't have anyone else to talk to and, affair aside, she really needs support as she's considering leaving her husband.  The leaving her husband has been on the cards for some time but the affair has definitely speeded up the process.  How can I not be a shoulder for her when she's having a tough time?

As I said, I'm not looking to you to give me answers I'm just dumping stuff out of my brain in the hope that I'll feel better.  I have tried and tried and tried to talk sense into her but she's so loved up at the moment that she just won't listen.  They've already planned their happily ever after (them together with the kids) and they are like a pair of loved up teenagers.  She can't help talking about it and is extremely indiscreet about it all so I know it won't be long before the cat gets out of the bag.

I'm now also in the position of feeling crap for her husband as he's a nice enough guy and he has no clue she's thinking of leaving.  Because I understand her reasons for wanting out of the marriage (which I will not bore you with) I was happy to be a shoulder for her but now she's moved to a position where she actually appears to loathe him our chats always seem to include her slagging him off.  It's not a prolonged tirade about him or anything, it's throw away comments while we're talking about other things (eg 'yeah I'm off to the gym today as I need to burn off some energy because every time I look at A I want to punch him in the face).

And the pair of cheaters are also seriously out of order when it comes to their spouses.  Of course the very fact that they are cheating is bad enough but because the cheating pair are so desperate to see each other they have started arranging things for both families to do together!  Last Saturday she was in the park with both blokes for two hours of football and bike riding with the kids and yesterday cheating husband went round to A & B's house and spent the evening drinking beer with B!

I can just about cope with them fronting it out if they have to see the wife/husband that is being cheated on during the normal course of the day but the idea of popping round and spending the evening drinking beer with the bloke whose wife you have shagged in the very house the shagging took place just blows my mind!

Day by day they are losing my sympathy and my ability to bite my tongue and not give them my opinion on their actions is failing.  I keep telling myself they are adults and it is absolutely none of my business but if they are making it my business how do I protect my sanity?

Monday, 14 March 2011

This weekend I...

Monday, 14 March 2011
- had a very early wake up call from my son
- completed the St Patrick's Day Angry Birds with three stars on all levels
- took Lia to swimming lessons
- made a lot of buns
- entertained old friends
- watched my son climb the stairs from the bottom to the top!
- swapped out all his 9 - 12 month sleep suits and body suits for the next size up
- made bags!
- drew a line in a situation with a friend
- had a fab lie in
- found my son upside down in a bin after he slipped off the sofa
- hoovered
- had too much junk food
- discovered a reason we might end up going to Greece this year after all

Sunday, 13 March 2011

More Bags

Sunday, 13 March 2011
So here's the next three bags:

Okay so I'm not going to post every single one of the millions of bags I'm making but these show you the three different materials I'm using in the main panels of the pink bags.

I may have trouble giving them away though as every time I make one Lia decides that's the one she wants LOL.  I've told her to wait till they're all done and then she absolutely has to choose one!

Oh and Kathy, the floss for the biscornu is Polstitches Dragon Floss No 43 - Steaming Needles.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Sunshine Buns

Saturday, 12 March 2011
It's an absolutely glorious day here - I was out early this morning in flip flops and no coat - spring has sprung! (It'll probaby be pouring and freezing tomorrow LOL)

We have friends coming over this afternoon (they're due any time now actually) and I baked buns this morning.  I love baking - I certainly don't do enough of it - but the main reason I went with buns is that I'm planning on making lots and lots of them for our party so I wanted to know how many buns I could get from a specific amount of ingredients so I can work out how much I need to buy.

I also wanted to have my first practice with my icing set as I hope to be able to do nice swirly icing on the top but I'll definitely be needing more practice judging by the way these look LOL.

If I don't improve between now and the end of April I think we'll be going with avant garde icing LOL

Friday, 11 March 2011

Beaded Heart Biscornu

Friday, 11 March 2011
I've been doing a little stitching too - here's my progress on the Polstitches Beaded Heart Biscornu:

Thursday, 10 March 2011

The First Bag

Thursday, 10 March 2011
Finally I've stopped talking about the party bags and started making them!

Here's a pic of the first one (apologies for DH's luminous running jacket in the background!):

And here's a pic of the bottom of the bag:

The threads you can see hanging off the side are just from the last bit of sewing around the top band and I just need to tie them off properly.  As you'll see from the pic of the bottom I messed up the seams of the base just slightly (top left) - my own fault but I know why it happened so I'll be more careful on all the rest.

Finished bag size is approx 9 inches high.

I'm using a pattern from a book called Simply Christmas by Sarah Wellfair.  I've adapted it slightly but only for ease of making it up as I have a fair few to make (22 of this style!).  I've not bothered with wadding and quilting and the top band is supposed to be hand sewn around it's base but I've machined it.  Oh and she hand sews the handles on at the end but I've sewn mine in when stitching in the lining and top band.

I've cut all the fabric for the rest of the bags:

The lining is also all cut so now it's a bit of a production line!  I've used all the pink fabrics I could find in my stash so there's a real mix - hopefully no two bags will be exactly the same.

It's about 45 mins to an hour per bag so I'm hoping I can get two or three done a night now they're all cut so fingers crossed I should have them done by the end of next week.  I'm using a much less complicated pattern for the boy bags - they'll be one fabric draw string bags and there's only 12 of them so they should hopefully stitch up even quicker.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Another old finish

Wednesday, 9 March 2011
And it's another Sue Hawkins

This time it's a biscornu.  The sides use two identical thread colours but alternate the highlight colour:

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

An old finish

Tuesday, 8 March 2011
I realised I have one or two finishes that I never got round to posting so here's one:

It's a Sue Hawkins pin cushion

Monday, 7 March 2011

This weekend I...

Monday, 7 March 2011
- Cooked a killer lasagne (in a good way LOL)
- Motivated DH to work out a plan for getting patio cleaned and sorted
- Had a lovely lunch out with the family
- Met a friend for coffee
- Bought some of the Godparent gifts for the Christening
- Found the bottom of the ironing basket
- Started thinking about paint colours for the hallway
- Had a lie in
- Sold some more items
- Listed some things on eBay
- Tidied my bedroom
- Made the first party bag (only 28 to go!)

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Birds of a Feather finish

Sunday, 6 March 2011
So I tried taking pics outside today given the weather was glorious and they're better than my usual efforts but I think the main problem is that the camera is just sooooo old!

Anyway here's the pics (the fabric colour is quite washed out - it's a lovely lilac IRL):

Both sides of what will end up as the bag:

A close up of the stitching (you can see the sequencing on the birds)

Please don't comment on the date in the stitching LOL.  I was considering unpicking it and putting this year but I just couldn't face it - I was so sick of the repetition on the piece by the end but I'm pleased I stuck with it and got it finished.

Saturday, 5 March 2011


Saturday, 5 March 2011
A 6.30am wake up call from the No 1 son isn't too bad unless you were dumb enough to stay up till 1am the night before.

I. Need.  More.  Sleep.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Hormonal five year olds

Friday, 4 March 2011
Today Lia has a non-uniform day at school (or a dress down day as they are now referred to).  Without fail this event leads to instant stress the moment she wakes up compounded by whinging and whining and, today, tears.  My issue today was that it was zero degrees outside and therefore a summer skirt was not acceptable.  And neither was a summer skirt teamed with leggings that clashed so badly they could bring on a migraine.

Generally I have no issue with Lia choosing her own clothing - sure she's lacking a certain sense of style given she's only five but it's not like her wardrobe is extensive enough she can get into too much trouble - but for dress down days they have to still be smart and therefore my input is required.

We are generally suffering from her attitude at the moment.  There is so much answering back and whining and shouting that some days I despair.  I have to admit it's surprised me that this is happening so early on - I was thinking I'd got a few more years before the door slamming stage (it's only happened once but the next time it happens toys will be in a bin bag). 

The biggest issue is her hair.  She wants it long.  I say she can only have it long if it's tied up because it's so fine and whispy that it looks like she's been dragged through a hedge about a second after it is brushed.  This of course is not her fault, neither is it her fault that her best friend has perfect hair but I cannot stand it looking so awful plus she's all over Connor at any opportunity and therefore her hair is all over him too or in her mouth when she's eating and so on and so on.

However she majorly objects to having it brushed (or brushing it herself) and while she now accepts it's a french plait and only a french plait for school, weekends are still a nightmare.  She has to have it in a bun for ballet and this always causes ructions.  She actually missed ballet one week because I refused to take her due to her atrocious behaviour about her hair.  We are now in a final warning state - the next time she even starts a scene about it I'm cutting it off - only Daddy's intervention saved her last time and he now knows I'm serious too.

And we're not even going to discuss the tidying her bedroom.  Last time I told her she had to I got the response 'I'm not poor, my name is not Cinderella'.  So now this is another issue that will result in all toys in a bin bag. I do wonder if I expect too much from her as she's only five but it's not like I'm asking her to clean the house or cook the dinner, I expect her to keep her room tidy so that I'm not stepping on all her toys when I go in there and that's about it.

Having said all of that, I suppose can hardly complain about her stubborness and attitude when I really don't have to look further than a mirror to see where she gets it from LOL

Thursday, 3 March 2011

A Finish!

Thursday, 3 March 2011
I had a night in with a mate yesterday watching The Breakfast Club and St Elmo's Fire (I think my impending birthday has kicked off a serious nostalgia vibe) and I stitched like crazy and finished the Dilly Bag.

I can't tell you how happy I am - it's a lovely design but it's repetitive and extremely dull after a while.  It only uses four colours and I made it harder on myself by deciding to sequence the birds in it - ie I stitched every bird with the same colour sequence on the thread so they all look identical.  I'm glad I did it but it wasn't exactly a fun process.

No pics as yet - my photos are bad enough when taken in daylight so taking one at midnight would be pointless LOL.

I'm thinking now to focus on the Noah's Ark quilt and get that done and out of the way then the birth sampler so I get rid of the obligation stitching.  Hopefully neither will take me too long and then I might pick up one of my more neglected WIPs.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Confessions of a slap-dash quilter

Wednesday, 2 March 2011
I started quilting about four years ago when I discovered that a shop in my home town ran quilting courses - this meant I was able to drop Lia off with my family for the day and I could go learn to quilt.  This was back in the days when I could take leave from work whenever I wanted because we weren't tied to school holidays which was lucky because the courses tended to be during the week rather than weekends.

I don't remember exactly how many courses I went on, probably about 8 or 9 (it's a long time ago and I've had another baby since then LOL) but it was love at first class for me.  I'd never really been inspired to use my sewing machine, in fact I have no idea why I bought one as I had no clue how to use it or what to sew on it, but all of a sudden a new obsession was born.

I've made around a 20 quilts in the intervening years as well as smaller items and, of course, my ever expanding WIP pile and one thing I've learnt about myself is that I'm not a precision sewer.  I absolutely prefer speed to perfection and I'm certainly not into quilting by hand as, if I'm going to sit and stitch, I'd rather it be cross stitch than quilting.

I should clarify that I love, love, love making quilt tops.  I love the designing, measuring, cutting and sewing of them.  I like it when they're fiddly (just as well since I have a Dear Jane quilt on the go), I love the fact that seemingly random pieces of fabric can come together into something gorgeous and I love the 'wow' moment when the top is finally completed.

What happens next is the problem for me as I'm pretty slapdash at the whole quilting part of the project - they're not going to fall apart but they definitely couldn't be entered into any competitions. I like to think this is lack of space to layer and pin properly and having a small sewing machine which makes quilting larger items a real struggle but in truth it is really just my impatience and dumb ass attitude that causes the problems.  I don't know why but I seem to look at the quilting bit as boring sewing rather than being creative and if it's boring sewing I therefore have to get it over and done with as quickly as possible.  I also think that my lack of experience doing it means that I worry about messing it up and ruining my hard work on the quilt top.

Apart from one class on free motion quilting I've only ever done the stitch in the ditch method and most of that has been wonky LOL.  So one of my goals this year is to get better at putting the quilts together and I've just found a blog post over on Stash Manicure that I think might help.  I'd never considered the idea of quilting blocks as I go - to be honest it hadn't occured to me that I could - but I'm thinking that I could use this method to make a bunch of smallish blocks that I can practice free motion quilting on and then if I do mess them up I at least am only messing up a small block rather than a whole quilt top.

I have no idea if this will work but my pile of quilt tops is just going to grow and grow if I don't get more confident in my skills.  One thing's for sure I cannot afford to pay someone to quilt them for me so it's definitely time to bite the bullet.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Rabbits Rabbits Rabbits

Tuesday, 1 March 2011
And a pinch and a punch just for good measure!

Oh and Happy St David's Day for any Welsh readers.

Can you believe it's the 1st March already?  The last two months seem to have flown by (admittedly in a haze of germs).  This month is officially sewing machine month as I have to make the party bags for next month and given I have to make 30 - 40 of them I think I'd better get started.

It's a Greek tradition to give out Bombonieres at Christenings and Weddings - I believe the do it in other countries too but it's definitely not something I had any experience of until our Big Fat Greek Wedding and Christening.  Basically it's the tradition of giving sugared almonds to guests but wrapping the almonds up in something fancy. This can be as basic as taking a square of tulle, putting some almonds in the middle and then tying some ribbon to make a little pouch (ie cheap and what I got for our wedding) or little decorated ceramic pots with the almonds in (ie not so cheap what my MIL got for Lia's Christening).

With Connor being Christened here we don't actually need to get bombonieres - all the English guests wouldn't expect them and all the Greek guests could be told we don't do it here but now I know they exist I really wanted some because the stuff they have for kids is just so cool!  When we were in Greece last year I popped into a shop that sells these things and was completely overwhelmed with the choice.  My Greek sister in law has been helping me sort out what I want by sending me a link to one of the biggest shops in Athens for these things.

Traditionally you would only have one type of bomboniere so every guest would get the same but me being me I want to differentiate between adults, boys and girls so I've ordered a selection of things (whistles, bookmarks, pencil holders, etc) and will be making each child a little bag and they'll get four or five different things.  Here's an idea of the ranges I've chosen:

You can see that they usually come with some kind of pouch that holds the sweets but I'm not having those, I just want the toys!  I was expecting them to be quite expensive (they would be buying them here) but they're all under a euro each.

For the adults I've chosen small squares of murano glass.  I don't have the actual ones I've chosen but they're similar to these except ours are brightly coloured:

They come with the box which includes room for the sugared almonds (or sweets of my choice I haven't yet decided). I think I'm now more excited about the bombonieres than I am about the party itself LOL.

So my extra goal for March is to get the little bags made - I've got lots of pink fabric I can use for the girl's bags and I've got quite a bit of pirate theme fabric I can use for the boys.  I intend to make a start tonight!

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