Thursday, 26 July 2012

Hats on for the sun

Can you believe it, summer is finally here!  Yay. (although if BBC weather is anything to go by, it's not for long, boo).

Of course, for days out in this weather there are a few things that are essential for the little ones.  Sun cream for one and of course a hat!  I have been dying to attempt to make a bucket hat for my boys, so with the sun coming out and a trip to the park for a picnic with some friends meant that I needed to do it sooner rather than later.

Using the Oliver + S bucket hat pattern and tutorial, I made a start to them.  My mum had bought be some fab racing cars fabric and black & white gingham for the inside.  Due to evening commitments this week, I did have to make the hats during the day, with the two little monsters around.  Not something I will be in a rush to do again!!

Tuesday I spent the morning cutting out the fabric for both hats and then after lunch I got the sewing machine out for the sewing.  The number of times I had to say 'Don't touch', 'stop that', 'please leave that alone' was enough to drive anyone insane!

I did really well following the instructions until it got to the last stage.  Attaching the two hats together.  With this pattern, you attach the crown and sides of both fabric A (the outside) and fabric B (the inside).  Then you sew the brim of both fabrics together and attach that to the made up top of fabric A.  What the pattern then tells you to do is hand sew fabric B to the rest of the hat, using blind stiches and then top sew over the seam to reinforce it.

Of course, to me, firstly hand sewing is too much of a hassle and secondly, I haven't a clue how to blind stitch!  I thought that I would be clever and use the sewing machine for this part.  Unfortunately, when I turned the hat back around, the stitches were a bit all over the place!

For hat number two, I decided that it would be easier and tidier if I don't try to make the hat reversible.  This time I made up the sides and crown of both fabrics and attached the brim to both sides together.  The top of the hats wrong sides together and attached the brim as the tutorial shows for attaching to fabric A.  This does then have a seam on show on the inside of the hat, but the outside looks perfect.  I was really happy with the result of this hat.

In showing off my hats to a sewing group on Facebook, I have now been given a link to this tutorial for a bucket hat, which is a different way of making a bucket hat reversible, so I may have to get some more fabric to give that a go.  After all, a boy can't have too many hats can he?!

Jackie. x

Friday, 20 July 2012

End of term

Well, here it is, the end of term.  Yesterday was both Aled & Noah's last days at nursery and creche.  PJ still has a half day today to go, but this afternoon that is it!

As a thank you to Aled's teacher for all of the support she has given both Aled & myself, I baked her some cupcakes and decorated them with royal icing stars embossed with the word Thanks on them. (Don't you just love the Cake Decorating magazine!).  I also printed off a Thank You Teacher card from Activity Village  in which I got Aled to write his name and draw a picture.  I watched while Aled gave her the gift and she looked really chuffed to get them.

Yesterday morning was also Aled's parent/teacher meeting.  It went really well and I was pleased with the outcome.  We discussed Aled's development throughout the last year and his teacher has highlighted the areas in which she feels that Aled is still struggling with, which is mainly his social skills and speech.  She advised me that although Aled is more tolerable of children playing along side him now, he still does not play with other children and is still prone to having a screaming fit when another child tries to play with the same toys as him. She also advised that Aled has struggled this week in school as, being the last week of term, they haven't run to their usual daily routine, which Aled found difficult to deal with.  I have written down all that we have discussed ready to pass on to the Child Development Centre when we eventually get his follow up appointment through.  As expected from the NHS, we are now past the six months since we last saw them and I am having to chase up an appointment.  All in all though, I was pleased with the meeting and will really miss having her as Aled's teacher.  I also briefly spoke with the Head of Early Years, who assured me that they will keep a close eye on Aled when he moves up to Reception and if he shows signs of struggling in full time education, then they will work with me to help him to adapt to the new school routine.  She also advised that the schools SENCO will still be working with Aled when he moves up to Reception.

So now, we have six whole weeks for me to try to keep 3 kids entertained!  On one hand I am looking forward to not having to rush around in the mornings and being able to do what we like, but on the other, I am dreading the constant fighting and tantrums that my boys tend to have!  At least the sun is finally starting to come out and fingers crossed it is here to stay!

Jackie. x

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Last week of term...

Can you believe that this is the last week of term!  How quickly has the year gone since my Aled started nursery!

He has grown so much in this last year and has come so far.  Back in September last year he had very little social skills and his speech was not quite there either.  Now, even though he is still slightly behind the others in his class, his speech is so much better.  You can understand most of what he says and his social skills have come along loads as well, although he does still prefer to play by himself to playing with other children.

There are still some areas for concern and I am awaiting an appointment from the child development centre for his follow on appointment, but he is a totally different boy from this time last year.

Last Wednesday was his graduation ceremony at Nursery.  It was the cutest thing ever and I managed not to cry through it! lol.  The different groups all took it in turns to come up and sing a song and then they were presented with their graduation certificates.  At the beginning while the Head of Early Years was making her speech Aled spotted me in the crowd, pointed at me and shouted on the top of his voice 'THAT'S MY MUMMY!'.  I think the whole crowd turned and looked at me. lol.

I think Aled is looking forward to going up to Reception in September and I am looking forward to him going full time, but I'm not sure quite how he is going to take to the change of teacher and classroom.  I hope he takes to it smoothly, but he is quite attached to his current teacher.  

September also sees Noah starting nursery, so I will have all 5 mornings with myself.  I won't know what to do with myself having all that time child free!  Noah is a much more confident child to what Aled was last year and from his time in crèche I know that he will take to nursery like a duck to water.  I really hope he gets as much out of nursery as Aled does.

But before all of that, we still have the 6 weeks holidays to go.  I do hope that the sun does remember that it is supposed to be a SUMMER holiday and we get some nice weather so that we can take advantage of our Merlin Passes during the holidays. 

Jackie. x

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Tea for two?

As mentioned in my blog post yesterday, I did manage to finish the handbag I started on Sunday night.  I had bought some gorgeous 'tea for two' fabric a few weeks ago from The Fabric Warehouse and as soon as I saw it I knew that it was perfect for the Buttercup Bag tutorial that I had found on Made By Rae's blog.  If you get the chance, go check out her blog, she has some fantastic patterns and tutorials on there.

All in all, the making of the bag went well.  I have never attempted to make a handbag like this before and I am really pleased with the result.  I did find that after putting the pleats in as directed, the main part of the bag was still a bit bigger than the top band, so I did have to trim that down to size.  Other than that, all went really smoothly.  My sewing is still a little bit wonky, but I'm sure that will improve with practice.

So, without further ado, I present you with my Tea for Two Buttercup Bag. :-)  I really can't wait for my night out on the 28th now so that I can show it off!  I may even take it for a trail run at darts tonight.

What better to line it with than cupcake patterned fabric. :-)

Jackie. x

Monday, 9 July 2012

The wanderer has returned....

Hello there!!  It's been a while hasn't it!  I can't believe it's been over 3 weeks since I last blogged!  I'm sure you are all wondering what I have been up to.

Well, to be honest, not much really.  I have been totally engrossed in the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy and almost everything else got put on the back burner.  Even my mother had to call me up to check if I was ok as I hadn't posted on facebook for a while! lol.

I have to say, I have loved the books and found myself hooked almost straight away.  I know alot of people hate them and find the writing awful and repetitive, but although yes, it is a bit repetitive, I didn't find it that bad.  No worse than say The Vampire Diaries books or alot of other 'chick lit' books that I have read.  I'm going to be honest and say that I find reading a trashy chick lit book like this much easier to read than a well written classic such as Jane Eyre.  I have tried to read Jane Eyre, but so far haven't been able to get as far as Chapter 5!

Other than the books, I have also got myself a new tattoo.  I already had a tattoo of the boys names on my inside wrist, but felt that it was a bit plain, so I got a design added on to it.  It has almost finished healing and I am really happy with it.  I am already planning my next tattoo!

I am doing pretty well at darts and have won a fair few of my games!  I am really quite please with myself at that.  I never thought I was very good and although I am still not fantastic, I am holding my own in my games (well apart from the week before last when I couldn't score more than 35 on each turn! lol). :-)

In other news, I am planning a girls night out in a couple of weeks.  I am a little disappointed with the lack of uptake from my friends, but so far there is me, my upstairs neighbour and possibly my little sister going out.  I am really looking forward to having a night out and in desperate need of letting my hair down.  My outfit is pretty much sorted and I have *finally* made a start on the handbag I have been planning to make with some gorgeous 'tea for two' fabric that I bought a few weeks ago.  I am hoping to finish the bag tonight, so hopefully will be able to post about it tomorrow.

Well, there you go, that is what I have been up to in the last few weeks.  Hopefully I will get my blogging mojo back and will be back much more often this month!

Jackie. x