Thursday, 29 May 2008

Hello Hormones!

I have been very mindful of not turning my blog into an all singing all dancing pregnancy and baby zone, but today, I am afraid, I cannot ignore the thumping inside my womb.

I would like to say that I am one of those women who relishes every aspect of pregnancy, indeed they do exist. I see them often, they are always the ones that "bloom", develop a perfect little bump that actually makes them look pregnant, as opposed to the enormous all encompassing bulge that assaults every inch of my physical body and just makes me look fat. They relentlessly stroke said bump, with a twinkle in their eye as they toss their blooming silky hair and tell you that pregnancy is just wonderful! They always look slick and stylish despite said bump, and seem to glide through their pregnancy as though the 20 pound mass attached to their abdomen never once wreaked havok with their back. I wish I was she, alas I am not. Bitter? Moi? um, not much.

I love babie's, I am very excited about our little girl popping out, if not only to finally meet the little munchkin that I am so very curious about. But more than anything, I just want to get the damn thing out and into the open so I can feel like a normal human being again. All the time I struggle with the notion that I must be an evil, horrid mother to have such thoughts, because pregnancy is supposed to be beautiful, we are supposed to embrace the ultimate act of woman hood, and revel in the presence of the child within. If only...

So, anyway, I slept badly last night, actually, that's a lie, I didn't really sleep at all, I tossed and turned all night feeling as though my chest would implode, such was the horrendous never relenting burning sensation of pregnancy indigestion.

I mean who's flipping idea was it to put our womb in it's present position anyway? Right in the middle of our abdomen where it squeezes your bladder so tight that even a sip of tea has you running for the loo.... Right where it crushes your stomach into believing it is full after one bite of toast and thus promptly shoves all that hot indigested food back up your wind pipe, whos flipping idea was that?! Why not put it on our back? We might have a bump that likens us to something akin to The Hunchback of Notre Dam's long lost cousin, but at least our backs could hold the weight and there are no stomach muscles there to be assaulted into sagging like an old ladie's backside, leaving us with a tummy like a rotting piece of fruit that hangs somewhere in the knee region when the baby is finally ejected, so cruel .

When I finally dragged my weary body from my bed this morning, I was told by Simon that we had run out of milk. To any normal human being, I am sure this news would be met with no interest at all, perhaps a mere grumble about not being able to have the morning cuppa.
To a pregnant woman, for whom milk is the only respite for that dreaded indigestion, and is indeed the only thing she craves relentlessly, this was worse than an impending nuclear war.
Confronted with this information, and the realisation, having glanced out of the window, that it was once again raining, combined with a broken tumble dryer and a towering pile of dirty laundry was enough to send me flying over the edge of all rational thought.
My bottom lip quivered, and within seconds I was a heaving, sobbing mass of pregnant misery, much to Simon's dismay, he is never quite sure what to do when the hormones kick in, and seeing me in all my naked pregnant glory, slumped over the toilet sobbing like a child who lost their favourite teddy is perhaps, understandably, a somewhat disturbing sight to any man.

Aren't hormones a wonderful thing? The most irritating thing about such outbursts, is that at the time, when all that emotion comes tumbling out, it seems perfectly normal, and then afterwards I end up feeling just a wee bit silly and irrational, until next time...

On the few occasions that the sproglets have witnessed these displays of childish sobbing they have been both shocked and amused. 8 yr old Ambear tries very hard not to laugh at the sight of her mother blubbing like a baby as she contemplates an evening without tea, milk, or clean pyjamas. The poor Hoozel, aged 7 and slightly less world wise, and who thoroughly enjoys a good cry and all the attention it brings, takes it all very seriously and strokes my hair and hugs me with all the sympathy she can muster, all the time a look of complete innocence and naivety crosses her concerned little face.

To add insult to injury, my cat is pregnant. In my present hormonal state I even feel jealous of the way she seems to carry her baby weight to elegantly as she sashays to and fro, purring like a cat that got the effing cream, silently mocking my bulk. Smug cow.

Now that I am half way to the big day, my mind has turned to memories of child birth. Never has the term "Ignorance is bliss" seemed more true, when you are having your third child you know what lays ahead and being in a foreign country where they are still clinging to the archaic notion that women in the throes of labour should be on their backs with their feet in stirrups does nothing for my morale. Did you know it is actually illegal in France to intentionally give birth unassisted at home? Crazy world.

So, Simon has hidden himself away, from my hormonal rage, in his new home office (AKA Le Sad Caravan) - which is actually a touchy subject because, as you know, I had Le Caravan ear marked as a little guest retreat, it was to be my little decorating project whilst the house is rendered a No Decor Zone as a result of the impending extension and new roof. Hey ho.
The children are safely cosseted in their classroom away from the scary pregnant woman, and for but a few hours I can enjoy some peace, sans milk (sob), though having had no sleep, I suspect I am going to be one over tired hormonal wreck this evening, Poor Simon, Poor Sproglets, let your thoughts be with them, and thank your lucky stars today, that I don't live with you.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Hoola Fairy's and Mothers Day Treats

Back with more, as promised!
Today is still grey grey grey, but at least it isn't raining, managed to take a few pics, yay!

First up, the Sunday just passed was Mothers Day in France. We already celebrated Mothers day on the UK date in March, so I was spoiled twice!
The girls made these lovely mirrors for me at school, how sweet!

The Hoozel told me that since I already received a Mothers Day gift from her, would I mind very much if she sent the mirror she made to Her Nana Ann, who is very poorly and needs cheering up, so the blue mirror, will be packed up and sent to our dear Nana Ann, I am sure it WILL indeed cheer her up, how could it not? So cute!

Ambear also wrote me a lovely mothers day poem in FRENCH. I was so delighted, not only by the poem, but also that she is coming along so well with this new alien language that has been thrust upon her.
I feigned ignorance and asked her to read it for me and to translate, just so I could hear that beautiful French accent, which she speaks so effortlessly, and so much more eloquently than any adult learning a new language could ever hope to achieve, brought a wee tear to my eye when she read it out loud, she was so shy about it too...

I have been busy making two dolls for two super late swaps, starting to wonder if I will ever catch up! Still, progress is progress and I so enjoyed stepping out of my box and creating something new, I introduce, the very first Hoola Fairy!

Isn't she sweet? She is not much bigger than a Dotee Doll, about 5". The wand is a tiny twig from the garden with felt and fabric.
This one is being sent out as part of the "Where Women Create" Swap I joined a while ago, for which I had to create anything of my liking, and send it off with a little note about where I create, my swap partner has been super patient, I really hope she will like her Hoola Fairy!

I am still putting the finishing touches to another wee fairy, here is a sneak preview...

This one is a touch bigger, and was much easier to make, those arms and legs are sOOoOOo fiddly, I might make an even bigger one next time!

I treated myself to some Berol Felt Tips recently, the fine tip and brush tip. I appreciate felt tips aren't the most sophisticated medium to work with, but I love doodling, and I love the colours of these felt tips, they remind me of my youth!
Here is an A4 doodle drawing I did last night, now pinned in the girls bedroom, they stole it away before I could even blink, only seems fair since I steal away all their drawings to pin on the kitchen wall!

I am looking forward to having more fun with felt tips, a vastly under rated, if somewhat juvenile, medium!

That's all for now, there is still plenty of time to join my Blog Giveaway (see post below), I will probably draw the names this time next week.
Happy Wednesday to you my lovelies!

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Blog Give Away! Yay!

Hello my lovelies! How kind of you to visit!
So much to tell you and so much to show you, but it has been raining and pouring for two days straight, grey skies do not great photos make, so, I shall save my crafty bits and bobs until tomorrow, in the meantime, some news to share!

First of all, I had my second scan yesterday, which revealed that the bump can now be referred to as a SHE, yay! It's a little girl! I was quite surprised, after two girls, I expected this one might be a boy, still 3 little girls I shall have, which is all good, dressing up little girls is one of my favourite things!

So, baby news aside. I also want to tell you about some wee bits and pieces I have decided to part with...
My paper ephemera collection is at bursting point, also, I am working a lot more with fabric these days. That's not to say I won't be doing any collage or paper crafts in the future, just that right now, I am limited on space, and something had to give, with all the new fabric coming in, something has to go out, and alas, some of the paper it is.

So, I have started listing some in my Etsy store already, but there is SO much, that I think I am going to be doing this for a few weeks, so, if you like French paper stuff, go see, and check back often, I will try and add new things every day, time allowing. I had no idea how to price everything, most of the pieces I have don't seem to be available by other Etsy sellers (aside from Postcards - and I have mostly priced these cheaper than others - unless they are rare/special), I am very mindful of not over charging and so would genuinely appreciate your feedback on the prices I have set, let me know what you think!

In the mix are various items, including many vintage postcards, vintage French fashion magazines, oh my! Also, my ever so hard to part with collection of vintage labels, including lots of pharmacy and perfume labels too!

This all surely calls, for a bit of a Blog giveaway too! So I have prepared this wee package of delights....

The giveaway includes, a few sheets of vintage French music, a 1950's French fashion magazine, complete with the most wonderful illustrations and adverts, 10 vintage postcards, mostly French, some vintage pharmacy labels, a fat quarter of adorable vintage French fabric, and some cute French trim.

I should add, that after I took this photo, and left this neat little package on the table, one of the cats puked on it! As I am sure you can imagine, paper does not really recover well from being puked on, hence, I have had to replace the postcards and magazine shown in the picture with similar ones, everything else survived the puking, fabric and trim included, phew! and BAH those cats!

For a chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. I will ask the sproglets to draw a name from a hat in the next few days, so say Hello, and all this lovely stuff could be yours! I am happy to send the package international, so don't be put off if you are in Timbuktu!

Back soon with lots of photos to share, Happy Tuesday to you! <3

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Can you tell....?

I have a thing for colour and florals right now?
These are all Kaffe Fasset, yum, yum, yum and more yum!

and of course, polka dots are ALWAYS good!

This last one is from Etsy seller From Holland with Love, so prettyfull!

This is the last of my fabric buying splurge, I swear!

Monday, 19 May 2008

A few Creations....

Remember I told you I was working on a very special dotee? Well! Finally, her royal highness is complete, and I refer to her as such, because seriously, of all the Dotee's I have made, this one was the most demanding!
It all started when I received a book about Bead Embroidery, I have been positively chomping at the bit to have a try, but have so many Dotee Doll swaps to do that I simply could not start messing about with other crafts, my swaps had to be fulfilled,. Then I hit upon the apparently genius idea of combining the two, a beaded dotee! As this Dotee was Goddess themed, it seemed rather appropiate to bead her head to toe, but alas, as per usual, I bit off rather more than I could chew, and this little darling has been many an hour in the making, about 3 weeks to be precise!

So there she is, in all her sparkling, beaded glory. In making her, I have learned about bead embroidery, this..
You require an enormous amount of patience, which I clearly do not possess, and a strong back! That you really ought not to try and bead such a tiny design with such tiny beads (the Goddess inspired spirals kind of got lost as a result), and that you should really not embark on such a project when you are thoroughly behind with swaps, it WILL take longer than you expect!
Seriously, had this doll not been destined for a swap partner, I would have given up long ago, I have a new found respect for anyone who beads, and beads a lot. I now look upon those gloriously beaded Goddess dolls I see on Flickr with renewed awe, it truly is a most pain staking art form, and this doll, is only 4" tall! As pleased as I am with the result, which is far from perfect, but pleasing all the same, I will not be repeating a beading project like this again, it was just too long winded for my wavering patience! I hope Joan in Italy, whom she will be flying to tomorrow, will like her!

Next on my list was an Easter Dotee, I am rather shamed to admit this, since Easter has long since passed, and this gives you an idea of quite how late I am with this swap, still, I got there in the end! An easter theme called for a Bunny, and a Bunny Dotee I did make!

My sproglets were so delighted with this one that I have been ordered to make two larger versions for them, another thing to add to my ever growing craft to do list! This one is going to Robin in the USA, a super talented Dotee maker herself. I always get nervous sending my Dotee's out to talented crafters, I worry they might not like it or notice some of my wobbly stitches! I appliqued the tummy and ears on this one, something I have never tried before (aside from attaching dotee faces), but am pleased as punch with how it turned out.
On the subject of applique, I really have no clue what I am doing and have been marvelling at the various reverse applique projects I have seen here and there, I would LOVE a good book on the subject, sooOooO, if you know of any fun and easy to follow books about applique, please advise, I am determined to improve in this area!

The weather has been a little rainy and dull, though pretty warm. So, when yesterday, the sun came out, we all trooped outside to enjoy the fine weather.

Simon got out his rods and perched himself by the lake, and I got out my sewing box and parked my ever growing pregnant ass in the sun for a spot of stitching.
My sproglets are always interested when I whip out an embroidery hoop, and so I have been encouraging their little fingers to have a go. The Hoozel has started many a project, and never completes them, but is really quite good with a needle and thread, Ambear seems to have more staying power, and both girls have cobbled together a little sewing box each, using old biscuit tins and the various supplies myself and my Grandmother have donated.
It is lovely to see them so interested and inspired. Yesterday I indulged myself a little and started some embroidery using designs from a beautiful Japanese Embroidery book I have been sitting on for a while, the children were clearly as enchanted by the book as I was, as they both parked up alongside me, sewing boxes at the ready, and we whiled away the afternoon stitching away, here are the results....

One of these, not sure which yet, will be used to decorate a simple shopper I am making for a swap (another which I am late on!), and I am not sure what I will do with the other.
Below is Ambear's work, The Hoozel's is absent owing to the fact that she, predictably, was distracted after 10 minutes and went fishing instead!

Ambear was up this morning at 6:30am to finish beading a Dotee Doll she had promised to make for her friend, how sweet! I found her, ready for school, cereal bowl and spoon in one hand, dotee doll and needle in the other, sadly I missed that photo opportunity before she whipped the Dotee off to it's new home, I am just not that quick off the mark first thing in the morning! I am so pleased she is enjoying sewing so much anyway, hopefully her completed works will inspire The Hoozel!

Fabrics have been arriving by the truckload, much to Simon's dismay! Every time another package arrives, he asks in obvious surprise "What exactly are you going to do with them all?!", I have been trying in vain, to explain the concept that one does not need a planned project to purchase much fabric, projects come after the fabric has arrived, non? At least, that is my excuse!

Here are a few of my faves.....

Ahhhh, sweet sweet fabric, now where to put it all?

Monday, 5 May 2008

Mouse in the House!

One of the perils of country living is of course, mice. When we first bought our house, and were using it only for vacations every now and then, we had a terrible infestation that practically brought me to a nervous breakdown. The house was literally crawling with them, and this was at a time when I had no kitchen, no washing machine, and very few home comforts, as we were still renovating, the mice, were not a welcome addition.

I would wake up at night convinced they were nesting inside my pillow, screaming like a banshee. Simon would drag me from my bed at some ridiculous hour of the night and with lights switched on, give my pillow a thorough shake and bashing to prove there were no mice inside, it was so bad, he almost sent me to the men in white coats.
Eventually, after much effort, we managed to get rid of them all, and stuffed every conceivable entry point into the house with wire wool (mice won't chew threw it as it cuts their mouths), and we never saw a mouse in the house again, that is, until now.

I opened my kitchen cupboard on Saturday and found a very small mouse staring back at me.
I am not squeamish, I didn't run screaming for help, I stared straight at the little beggar until he scampered off into the back of the cupboard.
He was a little field mouse, big round ears and glossy little eyes as black as soot, very cute indeed, however, not so cute in my kitchen cupboard!

I closed the door on him, and considered for a moment what to do. I was quite cross, you see, Nala normally sniffs out a mouse the moment it enters the house, and we have 4 cats, it would have to be a very stupid mouse to venture into our house! Alas, Nala's senses are clearly confused, she is evidently far too busy stalking duck butt to bother about a little mouse.
I called her and Mr Pip into the kitchen, and set about emptying all of my kitchen cupboards, then instructed the dogs to do their work.

Ambear, Hoozel and myself, watched with great amusement as the tiny little mouse scampered from one cupboard to another (via little holes cut for pipes), and the dogs tumbled clumsily in and out of each cupboard after him. Back and forth they went, cupboard to cupboard for what seemed like an age, before the little mouse finally disappeared to wherever it is he came from. The dogs were sent back out, many a dull hour were spent thoroughly cleaning the cupboards and it's contents, and then Simon dutifully lay a humane trap baited with bread, so that little mouse would be caught but not hurt.

The next morning, we were preparing breakfast and heard the trap rattling, one little mouse was caught and released far, far from the house. We thought that was the end of that, but replaced the trap in the cupboard just in case.
The next morning we checked it, the bread was gone but no mouse to be seen, now I was really cross!
I tore the kitchen apart looking for, what now seemed to be where "they", were nesting, but found nothing, and so very confused, the trap was returned to the cupboard, and again we waited.

Less than an hour passed and the trap was rattling away with another little mouse, we have caught another since, and another has sneakily stole the bread away, and at last, I have figured out where they are coming from!
The pipes leading out of the back kitchen wall (in the cupboard under the sink), which were previously stuffed with wire wool, now revealed a slight hole - did you know a little mouse can squeeze through a hole the same diameter as a pen?
The hole has been stuffed again, this time more securely, and the trap laid, just in case, but so far, so good, no thanks to the dogs, who are still, predictably, sniffing ducks ass.

So, mouse problem aside, all is very well! I have been working on a very time consuming, but certainly rather special Dotee doll, which I hope to finish shortly and will share with you in due course.

Also, the weather has been blisteringly hot, and three consecutive days of heat has spurred the fish in the lake into action, they have been spawning for the last 48 hours which is quite a magnificent sight!
The carp literally roll around the reeds at the edge of the lake, so close, and so busy that you could literally pick them up with your hands!

Much work has been done in the garden too, raised beds for potatoes and onions were finally laid, lots of flowers and plants added here and there, more brambles were cleared and more digging than my shoulders care to remember has taken place over the last few days.
Today, for the first time, we enjoyed the very first of our homegrown (if you discount eggs) produce!

The spinach survived the chickens, against all the odds, and was a very tasty addition to tonights dinner, yay for us!

I have been buying fabric like a woman gone mad, and packages are arriving daily, with scrumptious patterns galore, here are a few of my recent favourites, now, what to do with them all.....?

Secret projects will soon be underway my lovelies, watch this space!

Now take a deep breath and BLOW......

wishes for you!