Thursday, September 4, 2014

Two Years On...

Isn't it funny how at the most stressful times of our lives we reflect back on where we have come from. It was with this in mind that I re-found my blog…I actually had to google it as I couldn't remember which blog provider I had used!!

Reading back over my posts, the last of which was 2 years ago, I was amazed at some of the day to day stories that I had completely forgotten about but remembered like yesterday as I read.

To update those who are interested, we bought a house in Holland and survived 10 weeks of renovations, (only to have the toilet back up and over flow 1 week later), we holidayed in Egypt which was just perfect and I would quite happily return to that resort.  We have experienced family celebrations alongside tragedy which has tested us all.

All my very best Expat friends returned to their respective countries, which left me bereft for quite some time.  My youngest started school and is loved by everyone he comes into contact with, he really is a charmer.  Hubby was approached to apply for a job in Hong Kong, which sent me into a flat spin.  My Father in Law and then Mother in Law came to visit, my parents turned up for a surprise visit to help with Christmas preparations and because they knew I was going through a stressful time.

We have gone through trials and tribulations with school work and reading support, including physio and tutoring. Swim lessons, gym class, football training and recently running.

There have been visits from God-Parents and friends, trips home for weddings and summer holidays.  Day trips with friends to the tulip fields and beaches, nights out with girlfriends and 40th birthday celebrations.  Visits to castles, ship museums, science parks, and presentations by gym class, school music concert, Christmas carols by candlelight, wild animal presentation day, and much much more.

Oh and one more small thing….that job offer….we took it… Welcome to HONG KONG!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Whats a girl to do..?

One of the downfalls of being a "stitcher" is that there are so many opportunities to hoard things.

As we are going through the process of moving house...again, this has become very apparent.  We have designated a space in the new house for "Sewing Corner", its not exactly a room but a space on the large landing, and Hubby has consented to specific storage and seems to be engaged in determining where existing pieces might go!  Its an exciting time but does involve quite a few trips to Ikea!

I don't throw out many clothes, because I am convinced I can turn them into something fabulous, whether it is through alteration, customising, upcycling or completely hacking up and using buttons, trims and fabric as patches or binding.

I am often inspired by bloggers about their upcycling projects like this one for boys hats

My favourite inspitation at the moment comes via a shop bought top with a chiffon patterned fabric on the front  and fine knit on the back.  Comfortable to wear, easy to pull on with the stretch from the jersey back.  It is also the perfect opportunity to turn some of my larger "scraps" into beautiful tops.  This is perfect for my hoarded stash if I can just find some old T-shirts that would benefit from a beautiful frontage and they happen to be in the complimentary shades to each other!


Monday, July 9, 2012

True Friendship

In March 2011 my best friend asked me and our 3rd Musketeer to be bridesmaids at her up-coming wedding.  So much has happened since then, I have moved to Holland, Musketeer 3 has got engaged herself, the bride to be has bought a new house...the list goes on.

Like many best friends our hectic schedules and the miles between us mean that we do not often get together, and sometimes it can be weeks between a phone call or skype, we are better at text and e-mail to keep us ticking over, but it matters not.

This weekend was the Hen Do. Musketeer 3 and I have been prepping, planning, spreadsheeting & sewing like crazy for the last 8 months, only for it to be scuppered in the last 10 days by cancelled accomodation.  M3 handled it far better than me, I actually screamed when I saw the cancellation e-mail and scared the crap out of my kids!
Frantic calls and first rate negotiation found us a more than suitable alternative and at this point I can honestly say God Bless The Hilton Group, particularly the Nottingham branch!

The 3 of us and the brides mother gathered for our first day of spa treatments and dress fittings which included the most efficient shoe shopping trip I have ever been part of!

Then off we trekked through the floods, to Nottingham for Clay shoots, Private dinners and Champagne tasting as well as the obligatorily dancing to music from our adolescent years!

Stresses and strains of organisation aside, we had an amazing time and it just proves that the quality of a friendship such as ours is not based on the hours spent in each others company (although we would like to increase that a bit) but the absolute ease and loyalty to each other.

Roll on the next 6 weeks when we are together again for the wedding and the beginning of new chapters in our lives as they criss cross each others, and weave the unbreakable fabric of true friendship.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Jubilee Dress

Hi All,  Long time, no see!  I have been particularly waylaid by the Queen's Jubilee, my own Birthday, a visit from the Mother-in-law, numerous house viewings, extending my running expertise and ultimately buying a house!

So lets start at the top...You may remember the red and white halter dress, well it was just not going to work, halter is not a style I will ever pull off with any sense of dignity.  I removed the top half and cut out the bodice from a Vogue pattern from my stash.

The bodice and skirt waist seams went together surprisingly easily... it must have been fated!  Hubby was very encouraging...he likes me in this style of dress, and suggested I team it with a belt.  I have to admit I did not respond well to his suggestion, it felt a bit like I had laid a beautiful dinner in front of him only for him to tip ketchup all over it.  I stalked back upstairs and after about 5 minutes decided he was probably right and if I could find my blue belt I would have all the necessary colours to attend our friends Jubilee BBQ the next day!  Fortunately I had shoes to match!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

New Super Power

Now I know that if you search back in my posts to January, you will unearth a pledge to get running, and keep running.  Well I think it happened once in ooh....January!
I have been feeling the pressure recently as my other half has stepped up his training and is signing up for half marathons left, right and centre.  He also corrupted School Dad A earlier this year, who is now out-running him.  Our neighbours are serious runners, the club types, our first introduction included comparison of running times, and he does crazy runs like 40k over sand dunes and is super fast.  Between all of these nutters they have been trying to convert me for the whole year we have lived here, and I have resisted.

Now, however I have been double crossed.  Recently one of my girlfriends, who I firmly believed would be my cake, chocolate and cocktails friend for years to come has, horror of horrors started running, and...she looks great for it.
She has been trying to co-erce me and one other into her madness.  So over coffee, she demonstrated across the living room (and dodging toddler toys) her jogging pace.  This act alone had us in giggles, but spurred me on to try a short circuit (the running kind, not the one in my brain) round our neighbourhood.  So I strapped the girls in (twice) and dusted of the new trainers, found yoga pants I didn't know I owned and borrowed something called a Garmin, looks like a watch to me, and off i trotted.

Turns out I have a new super power, I am an incredibly crappy runner!!  I know plenty of people who post their running times on Facebook, but I am not ready for the teasing that will follow that announcement, here is a much safer environment!  I ran 2, yes 2, kilometers and it took me 16 minutes.  It was fine, not fun, just fine.  I will probably do it again one day.

The neighbour has already suggested that in 4 weeks time I will be ready for a 5k race, I knew there was a reason I had avoided this activity!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Vakantie Fun & Games

My boys have been on May Vacation for 2 weeks and I thought I would post about some of the boy-child fun and games I have been introduced/forced into this fortnight.

Days 1-3 were pretty much taken up with chores, outdoor play, bike and scooters round the local park etc.  However, on day 4 of the vacation I decided to brave a trip into town to the busy market and cheery breakfast with a friend and her wee one in a newly opened cafe.  Now I know bribery is not something that many parenting gurus will advocate but my two are pretty used to it now, so should they behave themselves they would be treated to their choice of toy from the toy shop, (budget restriction applied).  It is at this point I was introduced to the totally mysterious (read: seemingly pointless) boy-world of Bakugan.  For the uninitiated among you this is basically a Transformer-type alien but no bigger than a large marble, that you roll across the floor and when it comes into contact with one of the magnetic cards provided it springs into alien/monster/robot form.  This is supposed to happen in a battle environment, but my 4 year old is quite happy to roll and observe the transformation!
Later that week at the Queens day markets (biggest flea market ever) he picked up Top Trumps - Sports Cars from the son of a family friend, for the grand old price of 50 cents!  I can tell you now, I am bored of these damn cards already but am trying to hang onto the educational aspect of comparing the top speeds of cars as numerical reasoning.  I cannot wait for Godmother Yellow Hair to get out here, she is a demon Top Trumps player she can take over from here!
A medley of treat days followed, trips out to various indoor soft play climbing frames and trampolines, swimming at the wave pools. 
Todays activities have surpassed even my expectations.  Today we played hide and seek, I decided to get pretty creative about it.  I spent 10 minutes under a bath towel behind a door and another 10 minutes stood in the hallway in wellies with my coat over my head.  They walked past me several times, there is something to be said for hiding in plain sight.  I had to reveal myself after Child 1 shouted, "Mum, we've looked everywhere... I'm starting to get a bit worried about you now".

After all the treats and days out, it was todays game of Hide and Seek that got them running towards their father to tell him what a great hider mum is!  Score!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mission completion,,,,

I have been sorting through the "incomplete" pile today, a task in itself I can tell you!

I have uncovered the following;
2 incomplete boys waistcoats made in anticipation of my sisters wedding in 2010, (we ended up getting one to fit from the hire shop to match the groomsmen).
1 incomplete halterneck summer dress

1 incomplete maxi length evening skirt from...OMG 2003!!!  (This one only got as far as being cut out)
Numerous alterations, hemming, missing buttons.

I left the room feeling quite hopeless.

But I have a plan...
Waistcoats I will probably abandon, no foreseeable use for them, and the boys are getting so big so quick.
Must hem summer halterneck, and as it is a little low cut probably fashion a little extra coverage.
Turn maxi skirt into a retro style dress, this will be the first time I have combined patterns, ie the existing skirt to a Retro bodice.  The skirt is just not something I would wear anymore, but completed as a dress it may just do for any weddings or partys that crop up!

Watch this space!!!

I will probably omit the bow...
I'm not a bow kinda girl!