Monday 27 April 2015

Me on the last Monday in April

How did that happen? 4 months of the year gone already, crazy.
Did you have a good weekend? Did it fly by in the blink of an eye? Saturday was a day of finally getting round to those jobs we'd been putting off. For my husband, that final coat of paint on the walls of the study, for me, altering those new lounge curtains.  You see, for a procrastinator like me, the worst thing I could have done was to hang those curtains and pin them up to the right length. So they looked the right length, they looked like they hang nicely and only on closer inspection could you see that there were pins where stitching should be. Would anyone ever really get up that close to inspect them? It was such an effort to take them off the curtain pole, unpick the lining, alter the lining, stitch up the hem and re hang them. But it would have been more of an effort to get the paint roller out and help in the study, so I got the stepladder out and got to work. 
Out to dinner with friends in the evening, and despite a late night, I was still awake at daybreak on Sunday. Thank goodness (for many reasons) I wasn't running in the London Marathon! 
So today, Monday finds me visiting a poorly friend, and taking her some cute mini cupcakes to cheer her up .
Before I go, I'll be giving a wave to Sian and pop over to see what she's up to today. Fancy joining me? Come on, maybe we could pick up a few more cupcakes on the way!

Monday 20 April 2015

Me on the first Monday back at work after the Easter holidays

... Otherwise known as Moaning Monday.  Oh but I dislike CPD days.  Sitting in a hall on uncomfortable plastic school chairs listening to facts and figures, predicted grades, percentage increases, blah di blah di blah.  The only respite being a trip to the office to see what emails have arrived in the two weeks off.
But I'm home now and it was a case of relaxing in the conservatory, reclining on the sofa and recharging before tackling dinner preparation.
The weekend was full and varied.  My husband and daughter went off on a bike ride on Saturday {we only have two bikes which is, of course, the only reason I didn't go too ;-)} Husband goes freewheeling down a hill, turns a corner too fast, bike skids on the baked stony track, he swerves to avoid a post and you can guess the rest.  My daughter who was a way behind him, saw him go out of sight, heard him scream and rounded the corner to find him flat on his back, with a broken cycle helmet and blood appearing to come from his mouth.  I think it's fair to say that the helmet saved him from some serious damage, and the blood actually came from a hefty graze under his lip rather than internal bleeding but it really shook her up.  Unlike him who got up, dusted himself down, checked his bike for damage and climbed back on!  I think it's fair to say it shook her up far more than it did him.  I suspect that as a boy, he has more than his fair share of bike 'incidents'.
I completed the finishing details to the top I was making
I am pleased with it, it's the first thing I've made to wear for years.  It was surprising how quickly I remembered the finer points of dressmaking, even making my own bias binding for the neck and armholes.  Then because I have the dressmaking bug, I made a little origami bag because ... well, just because really!  I've seen them on the internet and thought they looked cute.
Sunday we spent visiting my son in his flat in London.  He had moved to an area that I had no knowledge of, but had visions of Eastenders so it was a lovely surprise to see where he is and he's so happy living there.  It certainly is a very different area to where we live but it is obviously one of those areas that are becoming quite trendy.  Had a lovely Sunday lunch (Mum and Dad's treat, naturally) and a wander around, visited a local flea market and generally browsed around.
Then, back to reality and back to work.  Me on Monday - sulking! 
Giving up a wave to Sian, and giving a big wave to everyone else that is joining in to Me on Monday this week.

Monday 13 April 2015

Me on the second Monday of the Easter holidays

You often hear football commentators refer to a match as a 'game of two halves'.  One half being played very differently to the other.  That kind of sums up my weekend.  A weekend of two halves.  One half crazily busy and the other half so laid back and relaxed I actually fell asleep for an hour in the afternoon!
We had friends over for dinner on Saturday night. So naturally the thing to do the day before was to start to repaint the lounge.  (It seemed a good idea at the time.) We only wanted to do one wall.  It had been wallpapered in contrast to the three painted walls but it's time had come to be a painted contrast wall.  We stripped off the wallpaper and got one coat of paint on by the end of Friday so that Saturday just needed the last coat followed by a lot of standing back and admiring.  My husband - who was of the opinion that he 'didn't see what was wrong with the paper, it's only been up a few years' had to admit that it looks much better now.  The new curtains which I had ordered and weren't due to arrive before the beginning of May suddenly became available so by the time our friends arrived the room looked quite different.
Of course in addition to the decorating there was the food shopping, chocolate roulade making, vegetable prepping, food cooking things that have to happen if everyone is going to eat once they get here.  Naturally I also had to totally blitz the dining room and conservatory because during the course of decorating things had migrated into other rooms and we ended up with one clean, tidy and redecorated room and two messy, dusty 'we can't let anyone come round this evening with the place in this state' rooms.
So no one will be surprised to hear that after a late night of entertaining, eating and drinking a little bit too much, Sunday was very low key.  The house was spotlessly clean, neither of us fancied much to eat or drink, football was on the TV and I just relaxed on the sofa and next thing I knew, the game was over and the dog was looking longingly for someone to take her for a walk. 
Onto Me on Monday - well anyone who lives in the UK will know that we have a General Election coming up.  Today the voting slips arrived.  
The weather forecast for today was good so I got the washing on early so that it could be dried outside for a change. I am still getting used to there just being two people's washing, my machine is certainly noticing a difference.  It no longer needs to go on every day - which naturally means less ironing so that's a bonus too!
Half way through the Easter holidays now; this time next week I will be doing CPD on PowerPoint and Excel. I feel another sleepy afternoon approaching.  Let's not dwell on that.  Let's think about that dressmaking pattern I have cut out and ready to go, not to mention the fabric that I bought to make my top. Let's think about those temperatures they are predicting for Wednesday.  Let's think about what hairstyle I can choose for my hair appointment this week.  Let's consider how scrumptious Coco is going to look after going to the groomers.  (Who will have the most dramatic make-over I wonder?)
While we're thinking of all those things, let's give up a wave to Sian who may be slowly sinking among a sea of granny squares and socks!

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Sunny days and crafty ways

What's that? I hear you say.  Two posts in the space of a few days, it must be the school holidays!  Indeed it is and I'm already thinking that they are speeding through much too quickly. 
The new quilt is nearing completion, and I am loving these binding clips that were free in my quilting magazine a couple of months ago, far easier than pins and less likely to be lost on the floor and end up in a dog's paw!  There was a moment this afternoon where I was sitting in the garden, new quilt on my lap, hand sewing the binding, dog snoring gently beside me on the settee, sun shining down, bees buzzing in the daffodils, a couple of geese flew overheard calling to each other and I thought 'why on earth don't I spend all days doing this?'  Well, basically the good old British weather doesn't always co-operate, and going to work gets in the way.  I can tell you though, if I could have bottled that moment to open up and experience again and again, I would have!
A couple of days ago I saw that my nephew's wife had 'liked' a Facebook page for a local shop which I had never heard of before. Sew Contemporary.  It sounded like my kind of shop!  So this morning I set out on a mission to find it.  It was at an end of town I don't normally venture into, but now I've found it I can tell you that I will be returning.  There's fabrics and threads, wools and zips, patterns and gadgets.  I spoke to the owner as I went around looking longingly and stroking the fabrics and she is planning to start doing workshops either to learn a specific item or practice something that you haven't tried before.  There may even be a quilting class.  Oh my. 
Of course I was tempted to buy something there and then and I saw the pattern that Abi has just made but I thought I would ease myself back into dressmaking with something simple and something that I had actually been thinking about buying.  I thought I would make a shell top for work.  Our old building can get mighty warm in the summer and it's hard to find something that is cool to wear yet smart enough for an office environment.  T Shirts are not allowed!  Sadly there were no patterns of that type there but the owner told me about a good website where you could download free patterns and she happened to know that there was a nice shell top pattern there.  Can you guess what I did as soon as I got home?  Here's a clue ...

I nearly fell at the first hurdle though, it's an American website and obviously American sizes are VERY different to English ones!  It's going to seem weird making something in a size 6! 
Am I enjoying my Easter break so far?  I don't think I need to tell you the answer to that do I?

Monday 6 April 2015

Me on Easter Monday

After an Easter Sunday of eating more than enough chocolate, Me on Monday sees me buring off a few calories and test driving the new lawn mower ...
The left hand side of the garden looked like it was covered in confetti, and I assumed that it was all blossom from the cherry tree

But when I looked closer, I could see that it was in fact tiny little white flowering plants which were so pretty it seemed a shame to mow over them! 

Wasn't it a lovely long Easter weekend?  I seem to have spent most of the last 4 days eating.  Hot cross buns on Friday, out for dinner at Carluccio's with friends on Saturday, Roast lamb with all the trimmings on Sunday and vast quantities of Easter egg chocolate today.  It was great to have all the family over for Sunday lunch,

As you can see, even Jon came home!  And this week's selfie only took one try to get everyone in the shot and looking the right way, unlike the first one we took last week!
Just a quick Me on Monday this week, but in a day or two I could be back with a progress report on the latest sewing project.  The school Easter holidays have begun - two weeks off work.  I predict a lot of sewing will be going on.  Well, a girl has to make the most of some paid spare time doesn't she?
Let's give a big post Easter wave to Sian who's sporting a rather smart pair of hand knitted socks this week.  If we ask nicely, I think she might offer to make us all a pair too!