Sunday, 25 April 2010

Sights, sounds and smells of the weekend

As I sit and type I can smell the blossom on the table beside me...the strength of smell is amazing and so sweet. This has been a weekend made special by simple things.

Friday:: I met a friend in London and discovered for the first time Notting Hill and Portabello market. What a fun place! Another friend advised us to have lunch at Books for Cooks and what an experience that was. I would recommend it to anyone who likes something a little bit special and quirky. The day was made perfect by the company, sunshine and place.

Saturday:: I rediscovered the joy of riding my bike with MJ on the back. I was a little apprehensive to begin with having only 8 weeks to go before baby is due, but once going I felt comfortable and safe.

Today:: For a while now I have been concerned about eating shop bought processed bread. We have been buying Sainsburys wholemeal organic bread but I find it dry and unappetizing. Then I discovered this recipe for Simple, No knead fermentation bread at Abel and Cole. It does take a long time to make but with no effort required from me which sounds to good to be true. I tried it and it tasted great so I think it might just be the solution to my searching. I will try it with wholemeal flour next time and see how that works.

And finally, today I purchased the Collins nature guide on Trees. I plan to become a tree spotter over the next few weeks!

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Just now...2

Just now my sister has taken MJ to the park. In theory this means that I can relax and get some jobs done.

In reality my head is bursting with the things I need to do.

A list is required.

I need to-

:: Choose some relaxing music to calm me down- just discovered Habib Koité in my i Tunes, not sure how it got there and who he really is but I like!

:: Stop stuffing chocolate into my mouth in the hope that it will give me supersonic energy...I have already bit my tongue I am devouring it so quickly.

:: Tidy out my box of bits

:: Sort out my clothes frustrates me so much when I have to push things down in order to get them closed.

:: Consider the jobs I have offered to do for others and when I can achieve them rather than stressing about it but not actually doing anything...consider if I have issues saying 'No' and not feeling bad about it.

:: Clean out the cutlery drawer. I feel ashamed any time someone apart from me opens it!

:: Take a little time today to read another page of 'Great expectations'. I promised myself I would read some classical literature and I am actually enjoying the story but very slowly!

:: Order the photos I have been meaning to get printed...and send copies to family.

Okay this is calming me down but I'm afraid the list is endless so rather than continue to bore you with my minds ramblings I will leave you with a couple of photos of 'the hat'. Thankfully, the hat fits! Well it is maybe a touch big but that is easily sorted.

Now to start ticking off items on the list.

Monday, 19 April 2010

A new summer hat

It felt like one day it was winter, we were wrapped up in woolly hats and gloves and then the next day we woke up to sunshine and immediately sandals and suncream were required.

The weekend was beautifully warm but brought to my attention that MJ needed a new summer hat to keep the sun off his nose. So the quilting was put on hold while a new hat was sewn together. I used the same pattern as last year's summer hat: Amy Butler's Military Style Cap. It was a bit tricky as the pattern sizing only goes to 12 months...not much good for a 32 month boy. So a little adapting had to be done and as I have just finished it and MJ is sound asleep I can't get him to try it on and find out if my adapting was successful!

This is last summer's brings back great memories, especially of those days we camped in Cornwall and visited almost every National Trust property and garden in the area.

This years hat :: please let it fit! :: I hope it too sees many happy, hot and fun summer days in 2010.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

V&A Quilt Exhibition

Tonight I'm designing a quilt for the lounge.

Its function-
:: to brighten up our lounge
:: a play mat for baby when he/she arrives
:: a garden rug to picnic on
:: a blanket to keep us warm on a chilly spring/summer evening

It will require-
:: pretty, bright fabrics for the front
:: a fine wading for the centre
:: a durable and easily cleaned fabric for the back

Inspiration has been sought at the V&A quilt exhibition today in London and ideas are flowing from my head to my sketch book. But I wanted to take a brief pause to unload my thoughts on the exhibition. The two things which I took away from the exhibition are:

Pattern less, free formed patchworks are my favourite. These two pieces by artist Jo Budd really made an impression on me.

I love the colours, the sizes and the compositions. I love the large scale instant impression and yet appreciate the small scale and intricate stitching which holds the pieces all together. Is it just me, or are people a bit like this too? Obvious in one sense yet so much more intricate when we spend time getting to know them.

The second thing which captured my thoughts was the quilting done by inmates at Wandsworth Prison.

Quilting is therapeutic. It keeps our hands busy. My friend once told me that the best way to lose weight was to take up knitting. When we are knitting we can't be reaching for another chocolate from the box or we risk staining the wool with our mucky fingers when we return to the needles. It is the same with quilting. But even more than losing weight it keeps our minds busy, it makes us feel positive about achieving and it stops us from worrying about other things in our lives which can't be changed.

Mavis FitzRandolph in Traditional Quilting, 1954 said she could take no interest in life until she decided to get out her quilting frame. In spite of her unhappiness she was soon absorbed in the old fascination of 'studying what to put on' and then 'seeing the patterns form under her hand'. 'The quilting saved my life'.

Watch this space for my new quilt!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Sunshine, bubbles, and a picnic too!

Today was a day of sunshine and bubbles!

We explored Great Notley Discovery Park, Essex with friends and it was even warm enough to have a picnic on the grass. I could have stayed all day but nap time caught up with us. It was a fantastic park with lots to do for all ages. We will be visiting again soon I'm sure. Lets hope the sunshine visits us again too.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Easter thoughts

I'm surprised by:

How little we know and care about slave labour and child trafficking that takes place to get us the chocolate we feel we must buy at this time of year. Please watch Panorama- Chocolate: the bitter truth on Iplayer for an insight.

How difficult (in fact impossible) it is to buy fair trade Easter eggs at my local supermarket.

The things I'm discovering as I re read the true story of Easter. What a journey Jesus took and price He paid for us.
'God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.' The bible, Romans Ch 5 v 8.

How difficult it is to blow out an egg and how easy the effort is destroyed by an excited two year old wanting to crack it!

How long it is taking me to collect branches and make an Easter tree with MJ. I blame this cold and wet weather!

How much I'm looking forward to the long weekend and spending time with family.

Happy Easter to you all!