Archive for August, 2008

Toadstool or mushroom?

August 30, 2008

Another Toadstool Cottage… or is it a Mushroom house?

This one is about 3.5″, or 9 cm high.

I’ll post a pattern and tutorial for these some time soon.


This time last year

August 28, 2008

When I wrote yesterday of all the things I should be doing instead of making mushrooms, I should have added “sorting out my wedding photos” to the list. It’s almost a year now since I got married, and the photos are all still languishing on my laptop, unsorted and unprinted. I keep starting to go through them, but there are so many that the task seems insurmountable. I also find it disconcerting looking at so many pictures of myself.

This, though, is one of my favourites:

Just me and my niece, walking hand-in-hand by the River Thames, like we usually did at weekends…

(This is especially for you, geckogrrl, because I promised you a pic almost a year ago and never did show you one.)

This time last year, I was putting the finishing touches to the dress my niece is wearing in that picture, and sorting out last-minute details for my wedding. I’ve just been reading through old emails, and all mine from the weeks leading up to my wedding had headings like:

  • ‘What are your five favourite songs?’ (the replies were used to fill up the iPod for the wedding reception, although we didn’t use it in the end as the Elvis impersonator we had booked for an hour enjoyed himself so much he sang all night);
  • ‘What are we going to do about shoes for the flower girls????’ (we bought some lovely little shoes from bHs – they have a great selection of dresses and accessories for child bridesmaids);
  • ‘What about cardigans?????’ (bought them online from M&S. Oh, I miss M&S…);
  • ‘Hen night!!!!!!!!’ (less said about that the better. The smoking ban had just come into effect in the UK, and half my “hens” spent the night outside, smoking, and those of us that were left inside were pestered all night by a load of geeky IT bods who were having an office do);
  • ”Aaaaaargh! Stressed!!!’ (seemed to be used for lots of different things….)

I’m sure the nearer it got to the wedding, the more question and exclamation marks I used.

Anyway, I made these dresses, using a Vogue pattern, no V7819. I was particularly fond of the sash – I made it from the bridesmaid dress I wore at my sister’s wedding, which I thought was a nice touch. But you’ll notice there’s no sash in the pic above. That’s because on the day of the wedding, my niece took one look at the sash, let out a wail, and refused to wear it. My sister valiantly tried every trick in the book (threats, tears, shouting, bribery) to get my niece to wear the sash, but, in the end, my niece’s 2-and-a-half year old will prevailed, and the sash was left behind. Such a shame, as I think it took longer to make the sash than it did the dress – fiddly thing.

What I did yesterday instead of work

August 27, 2008

Toadstool Cottage

Because making a pincushion is so much more important than doing the two reports I have to write, making the dolls I’ve promised the children, taking the dogs for a walk, or doing housework.

The cats repurpose things, too

August 26, 2008

Not to be outdone by the dogs, my cats decided to join in the repurposing fun. I’ve got a lovely little chest of drawers that I bought 8 years ago when I bought my first home. Oh, I love this chest of drawers. And so do my cats – look what they’ve done!

I could have cried when I saw how bad it was. And, do you know, when I told the cats how disappointed I was with their behaviour, they weren’t in the least concerned? In fact, I could swear they sneered at me, and said it served me right for bringing dogs into their house.

Anyway, I sanded it down, but some of the gouges were so deep that I couldn’t make it smooth without planing away at the wood. So, I decided I would paint it in the hope that that would at least discourage the cats from using it as a scratching post anymore. This is the result:

Eventually, I am going to paint the hall white – the yellow doesn’t look too bad in that picture, but in real life it is horrible. I think white will really set off the kauri floorboards. I have been hinting to my husband that it would be lovely if he painted the hall for me as a surprise when I am in the UK, but he gave me the same sort of look the cats did when I told them off for scratching the chest of drawers.

I love how tidy the hall looks in the pic above. Of course, the camera never lies…


August 24, 2008

My dogs have had a busy week repurposing household items. Look what they made:

  • a chew toy out of the remote control for our new telly

  • another chew toy, this time out of the remote control for the ipod dock, which I had hidden on the windowsill for safe keeping…

  • and yet another chew toy, this time from my favourite trainers.

Clever boys. Grrr.

What my three year old niece said…

August 22, 2008

… to my step-mother:

  • Tinkerbelle: Mormor, what are you doing?
  • Mormor: I’m putting on make-up so I look beautiful. Would you like some?
  • Tinkerbelle: No, thank you. I’m already beautiful.


… to my sister, her mummy:

  • Tinkerbelle (standing by the window, watching the rain): Cracking gooseberries!  It’s raining hard.
  • Mummy: ????????

Next day…

  • Tinkerbelle: Mummy, can I say ‘Shagging gooseberries?’
  • Mummy (trying to keep a straight face): No.


Ah, I miss that little girl. Only three weeks now until I see them all. Can’t wait.

Cheeky monkeys

August 8, 2008

I’m making more of these dolls at the moment for my niece, my god-daughters, and a little girl whose godmother I might just pretend to be as she’s so cute.

Annoyingly, after cutting, basting and sewing 24 pieces for six heads, I started stuffing one, and realised I had used an earlier version of the template, and the doll looked like a blockhead. Why did I decide to do six at once, and not try one first to check I was using the right pieces? Grrr.

So, no more dolls to show you, yet, but here are some monkeys I made last year instead.

The big monkey is called Shanadee. He was named, and accessorised by my niece.

The pattern for these is Cedrich the Monkey by Roxycraft.

Where did the last week go?

August 6, 2008

I think the rain washed it away.