Running late…

I’m a little late this morning, aren’t I? Sorry about that, I was woken up at 4.00 by Mr Potato Head telling me the power had gone off in the house (thanks for that darling, in retrospect I could have happily slept through the whole incident without ever knowing) and as he won’t touch electrics (he has other uses) I stumbled down the stairs bleary eyed to check the fuse box. After struggling for five minutes to put the torch on I quickly assessed the electrical situation (yeah, get me) and surmised that it was not a tripped switch and that there was a power cut. ‘Good night’ I said, ‘there is nothing we can do, don’t open the fridge/freezer’. And with that, I returned to bed.

Ha ha, if only it was that easy, I couldn’t get back to sleep so decided to Google ‘what to do in a power cut?’, ‘power cuts today in Birmingham’, ‘how to check a fuse box’ (just confirming my initial assessment mind), texted my neighbour to check it wasn’t just us, texted my dad to check if there was something I should be doing and then checked Facebook because I was wide a flipping wake now so I might as well find out what Dr Zeus character I was while I was just sitting there (I’m the Cat with the Hat, if you were wondering). A productive morning already don’t you think?

So yeah, I’m a bit tired today and I didn’t have a post scheduled because I was having too much fun enjoying the sunshine this weekend, yes overseas readers (I know you are out there, say hello!) sunshine has hit the UK, and surprise, surprise we are going on about it. I’m sorry, I can’t help it, we have very few weather related pleasures here, let us brag just a little. Anyways, lets just say, a paddling pool, tent, croquet (uh huh), football, sun cream, a picnic and ice creams were enjoyed and blogging, well, that got put on the back burner temporarily.

Of course it would be ace if I’d take pictures of it all, but this is about it….soz…

22nd June x

Promise to add some better content soon, maybe when it starts raining?
What did you do this weekend?

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Sew What?

sewing

So I’ve had this sewing machine gathering dust in a box for about a year since we moved, I actually bought it about 4/5 years ago when I was hell bent on crafting a wardrobe worth of clothes for my daughter M and myself, hmmm… I made one dress for her, a very slapdash, hand scrawled, a line trapeze style dress out of fleece (cus it doesn’t fray, less edges to hem) sewed on some buttons, felt rather proud of myself and them promptly didn’t sew anything again.

I went on a course around that time to get my self better accustomed with the machine and had a great day making my very own tote bag. The course was in Brixton at ‘Oh Sew‘ and has sadly now closed, as the lady who owns it has relocated, however there are lots of courses available across the country.

A place I am most interested in going to locally is Guthrie and Ghani in  Birmingham. A very lovely looking little haberdashery, situated in the centre of lovely Moseley, which runs classes weekly.

Anyway I digress, this post is all about showing off, ha ha! Guess what? Yes, the sewing machine has seen the light of day and with a lot of motivation and a small amount of practical help from my mum I’ve managed to make a garment.

The plan was to create a little summer dress for M however when opening the so-called ‘easy’ pattern I noticed not only my bottom jaw drop with a thud to the carpet but also the gaping hole on my mum’s face. She is a pretty damn capable sewer, she’s my go to lady for hems, alterations and she’s the queen of the curtain! But even this lady was confused by this material based mountain. So I was like, ‘well perhaps we can make something simpler, maybe without a pattern?’ And on I went, I folded the fantastic material purchased at the one and only Birmingham Rag Market and drew a rough a line shape of a skirt, using a ruler and ensuring it was plenty big enough at the waist to fit my little model and allow room for the bunching of the elastic.

Anyway, bla de bla de blah later, a couple of tangles on the sewing machine and we had a nearly finished skirt. Mum had to leave at this point and me and my little model had to pick up Mr Potato from work.

The thing is with me, I want everything NOW, I have no patience, not for things I want and was on my own with an un-hemmed skirt. Now I know how to Wonder Web a garment, you know the iron on stuff, that is aMAAZing but I wanted this skirt to be ‘proppa’, you know quality. So call to mum, brief description of hemming given, me more confused than ever and then I went to YouTube, what did I ever do without the internet? I found a lovely American lady who took me through it step by step in less than 4 minutes. I’d got it. An hour later, pressed and hemmed (without burning the carpet this time) it was ready for M to try on before bedtime

skirt collage

So in short this is my plan, not to stop here but try to keep going, you’ll have to hold me to it though. Next projects planned include some essential sewer’s accessories, a pin cushion and a needle book. Wish me luck!

Are you any good at sewing?  What have you made recently?

 

Party Planning for a 6 Year Old (eek)

So this week is my little lady’s 6th birthday, excuse me whilst I fan myself down, knock back a bottle of gin and lay down for a while, but yes, she is growing up (runs away and weeps).  Ok, ok I’m pulling my self together.  I have to say I’m not the biggest fan of these packaged birthday scenes everyone seems so into these days, or is that just Solihull?  I know the kids love them. in fact I have been to some pretty awesome ones this year.  And look life is busy, life is hectic and if it pleases your child and makes your life easier, then go you, in fact, maybe I should have done that, no really *quickly wipes beads of sweat from brow*.  However, I really like that I can, just about, still string a home made, home based party together and M will still have an ace time.  A couple of classic party games, a bit of cheese and pineapple, a bowl of ice cream and a party bag, you can’t fault it can you?  Anyway as always the anxiety has begun, ha ha, I told you I’m not knocking your pre made parties, you seem like fun but I love a struggle!  So I’ve pinned, see here.  I’ve planned, see mad sleepless night’s mind map below, and I think I’m nearly there.

mind mapSo to start with, I had plans of buying invites, of course I forgot and ended up having to make (this aint as glamorous as it sounds) and print them myself. Canva is brilliant for this stuff, fling together a background and some text and it looks like you’ve had the invites designed for you, well I hope it did?

Megan's Birthday

So onto entertainment, party games are where it is at, so the plan is fairly simple:

When they (the small ones, beware) get there, whack on the bubble machine, a little inane music and let them run wild, whilst children assemble offer face painting. a skill you may have picked up on Pinterest and now realise is something you could possibly do as a career should something awful occur at work and you be forced to set up your own business, just saying.

Once all the guests have arrived, commence the schedule (there is precision here, I am a teacher you know).

1.  Activity – Design your own party bags (previously ordered 10x canvas drawstring bags and 3 packets of fabric pens)

2.  Wind it up – musical bumps

3.  Classic, can’t be missed – pin the tail on the donkey

4.  Treasure hunt – preparation well and truly delegated to Grandma, she did them so well when I was a child it would be rude not to

5.  Gather the children for the finale, party would not be a party without, PASS THE freaking PARCEL – it’s always a winner, well it is if you wrap interim presents right?

6.  The FOOD – last year we delegated well, again, to Grandad, it was ace but under appreciated (aka he made so much we wasted half of it) so this year we are pairing down and simplifying, the dinner this year is simply pizza and ice cream.  Slices of warm cheese and tomato doled out to all, a notional offer of crudites and hummus to make me feel ever so slightly virtuous.   And then for pudding, ice cream, I have dreams of going all Pinterest (I know I’m obsessed) and providing individual jars of the stuff with an array of sprinkles but inevitably the paper bowls will be out and the kids will still love it.

7.  Cake – candles burning, wax melting, clanging chorus of  ‘Happy Birthday’.  Cake generously provided by amazeball chef Grandad or bought from local supermarket, equally pleasing birthday girl.  Sliced, packed in party bags with essential bubbles, balloon, toys (Amazon has been a hero here with multi buys of springs and finger puppets for bargain prices) and sweeties/chocolates (of course).

8. Children slowly depart.  Daughter runs round in circles for next hour on sugar high.  Mother collapses, only intravenous drip of wine will revive her now.

Done! Well that’s the plan anyway…

Maybe Mcdonalds wouldn’t be frowned apon for next year?  What do you do for your children’s birthdays?

Adventures in Half Term

So this week, as well as whipping by like lightning, has been blissful. I love holiday times with my little lady and feel very lucky to be able to spend most of these days with her.

Monday began the holidays with Twycross Zoo, just a 40 minute drive from us and a guaranteed fun day out.  Tuesday found us wandering down our local canal, feeding the ducks and muttering about how we really should do this more.  Wednesday with more rain, was spent with a quick trip to the supermarket and a potter round the newly housed local library then an afternoon slobbed out on the sofa watching Tinkerbell (living the dream!).

half term fun
Then today, well today was a special day. We began with a trip to the morning showing of ‘Charlie and Lola’s Extremely New Play’ at the REP theatre in Birmingham, well wow, it was simply magical. I won’t give away too much but I highly recommend this production, the puppetry is amazing and I found myself grinning from ear to ear throughout the whole show. It’s on until Saturday here in Birmingham, see here for details. We have seen this company before in Wimbledon at the Polka Theatre, an awesome children’s theatre in south London so I was so excited to hear they were touring and dropping by on old Brum with their new production.

day out 29th may

The second wonderous event today ( I won’t count the unfortunate trip to Monsoon and the calamitous accidental purchasing of not one, but two, oh ok, three items of beautiful clothing in between, that is to be kept between me and you ok?).  Anyway, if it wasn’t for my stumbling on a few bargains, which may have hampered our chances of being seated immediately at a couple of other restaurants,  we wouldn’t have been forced to try the new burger joint in the Bull Ring shopping centre . So Five Guys, oh my. It. Is. AMAZING. I had thought the delights of such dirty, filthy American burgers would never come to the tropical climes of Birmingham, but they have. AND…drum roll please, they only go and cater for coeliacs. Now don’t go all ape on me dear readers they didn’t go so far as offering gluten free buns, although their website does state you can bring your on should you wish. They do however offer god damn delicious, delectable and down right d__________ (you fill the blank with an appropriate alliterative adjective, go on spoil yourself) bun free burgers with ALL the toppings and frankly fantastic chips, golden brown, skin on, crispy, salty goodness (most importantly for us coeliacs, not cross contaminated by any other frying, just pure glorious potatoes). I’m dribbling salivating just thinking about them.  *Sigh* People of Birmingham, people of anywhere, seek this place out, it’s awesome.

Ok, and onto the third and final, ok maybe less monumental but equally wonderful flavour revelation of the day, and feeling rather virtuous too I might add.  I may be a tad late to the party on this one, but when seeking out a naughty little sweet something before we popped on the train home, we found Yoomoo frozen yoghurt stand in the Food Hall in Selfridges.  I don’t know why I’ve never tried this before but boy is it good, we had a vanilla pot with strawberries, white chocolate buttons and chocolate sauce (good choice lil m) and I have to say me and my little companion were mighty pleased with our choice.

So after another classic game of eye-spy on the train back, we are home, cartoons might be on the telly, we might well be planning to *forget* we have washing to sort and we may have turned a blind eye to the mounting  toy covered carpet in the living room, but who cares, we had an ace day and I hope you didn’t mind me sharing it with you.

What have you been up to this week?