Friday 30 September 2011

Be Gone Oh Useless Clutter

I'm attempting a clear out... this is the kind of stuff I'm up against. I am my own worst enemy.

Top row:
Invitation to my friends degree show (14 years old).
Overprints of our wedding 'thank-you' cards
The lovely camera lens that I managed to MELT. Totally useless, but been hanging around for the last two years as I can't bring myself to actually chuck it out.

Middle row:
Old cards, with old website address, old address and old mobile phone number.
A Tesco clubcard voucher that expired in 2002. Useful.
Really cute box from Korea. I'm a bit addicted to empty/old boxes, especially nicely designed ones.

Bottom row:
Box of various old tickets...
Reading list from my first year at college (17 years old) still haven't read the majority of the books on it.

Of course, the only things that I can bring myself to get rid of are the lens and the Tesco clubcard vouchers.

Thursday 29 September 2011

Black or White?

I made two butterfly pictures last night, one in black and one in white. A friend wants one to give as a wedding gift. I'm sure she'll choose the white one, but maybe not.

I also finally finished these pinned butterflies made from an old A-Z which was falling apart.

Each one shows one of the streets I've lived on in London.

... and here are a selection of butterflies in frames all ready for their photo-shoot against the backdrop of some wallpaper samples from Svenskt Tenn, (we are putting the dark paper in our loo... one day). I should also point out the newly restored fireplace, well done Hugh. Just need to sort out the plaster (and the insert/tiles and the hearth... the never ending list).

The largest frame (above) is by Tracey Bush, my inspiration and my 30th birthday present which I LOVE LOVE LOVE.

My butterfly pictures are for sale in my slightly sparse etsy shop. They are made from old greetings cards which I struggle to throw away...

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Henry & The Wooden Walker

Henry really wants to walk.
He's got the crawling well and truly sorted.
And the dribbling.

Now it's all about standing and walking.

The wooden trolley is another toy that my parents kept from when we were young. I just wish they had taken more photos of us when we were little, it would be nice to have a picture of me learning to walk with it.

In the cupboard, eating the soil... keeping me busy.

Monday 26 September 2011

I ♥ Breakfast

I love breakfast,
and kitchen tables.

One morning last year, while we were putting up some temporarily homeless friends I stuck my iphone to the ceiling (in a cardboard pocket custom made for the job) and used the TimeLapse App to make this little video.

I was reminded of it when I saw Lynne's beautiful animation on her blog.
This isn't nearly polished, and 'high tea' is slightly more picturesque than breakfast with the cereal packets and milk bottles (and disturbing dolls, plastic tomatoes, phones and porridge pans) but it captured a moment, which is sometimes just enough.

I want to do a 'day in the life of our kitchen table' but, sadly, I can't imagine going a whole day with my phone stuck on the ceiling. I should do it though. In the name of art.

I nicked the heart html in the title from Kerry. I like it.

Friday 23 September 2011

Bags & Babies

Totally unrelated to this blog, I've been sent a Storksak baby bag to review.
We've never actually had a nappy bag, always making do with fabric bags, in fact most recently I've been using a Topshop one from back-in-the-day when Toppers was my employer, so it must be classed as 'vintage' by now. I may even stick my neck out and say that this was one of the first fabric bags given away on the high street, circa 2001, around the time when I was busy convincing Topshop that it WAS worth having an e-commerce website, and have I been proved right or what?

I digress, as normal. Back to the point, with a picture of the bag.

It feels a bit more bling and grown up than my normal bag choices (um, free fabric ones, obviously). But I was actually quite excited when the post man delivered this it. I spent a very happy half hour packing it up and discovering it's compartments. I think, if I can be organised, it might be the perfect bag, my fear however is that babygrows will be forgotten in pockets only to be discovered going mouldy weeks later... I hereby promise to try not to let that happen.

Allow me to just marvel for a bit at my own organisation (not often something I can do); we've got nappies (amazingly essential and so often forgotten), wipes, nappy sacks, anti-bacterial gel, tupperwears of food, bib, bottle & formula. Even a snack for me.*
Plus all the normal handbag fodder, purse, travel card, phone in the front pocket, tissues and keys... and those that know me will have probably already spotted my very precious diary/notepad - safely stored in it's own external pocket, if it got lost/damaged by leaking food/vomited on then I would definitely cry, so good to keep it separate.
It's a lot of stuff.
Holding it made me think I was off on a mini-break, not just popping out to the local leisure centre. You can't fight it, babies need stuff. Any new Mum will be able to recount the challenge that is leaving the house. You have to charge around collecting together all the stuff you need, often to the background noise of a howling infant. A friend of mine once compared early motherhood to being in an episode of The Crystal Maze, and I must say I definitely see the resemblance.

So, I'm happily embracing the baby bag. I'm still lusting after this Marc by Marc Jacobs one though, and if the compartments don't work for me, maybe I could get this very grown up bag from Bodie & Fou, très elegant, and would age well don't you think?

*Of course once I was out, and only when it was too late, I realised that I'd totally forgotten to put spare clothes in for Master Henry. Ooops.

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Autumn Harvest

Summer maybe on it's way out, but our little veg patch is still going strong.

This summer has been the first of my life where I've had a proper garden. My parents house has a little courtyard and two terraces but no real garden (no offense M&D) and roof terraces were as close as I got to gardens in my years of renting.


This picture was taken when we first viewed the house... we couldn't even see the end of the garden it was so overgrown, and the estate agent hadn't even bothered to measure it.
It looks quite nice here, but there were lots of brambles and so much junk too - we're talking old suitcases, broken chairs and a wardrobe, lots of broken tiles, even an old breast pump; and later on we discovered a replica gun!

For the first two summers the garden was the least of our worries - getting central heating installed and having more to cook on than a calor gas camping stove where higher up on the priority list... but last October, after a few false starts we started tackling the garden with a lot of clearing and some hard landscaping, plus we finally got our lawn put down in April.

We'd hoped to get some serious planting done this summer, but making decisions isn't our strong point and we're still dithering somewhat about whether to try to put in trees and also are somewhat in denial about how much plants actually cost... Despite all the above we have managed to really make the most of the garden this summer.

We've dabbled with a few plants that have kindly been donated and grown a few things from seed. 

We even managed a surplus of lavender plants so gave some away...

Henry has seriously enjoyed crawling around on the grass and messing up Coco's carefully laid out obstacle courses and Coco was thrilled when a large trampoline magically landed at one end via our lovely friends who very thoughtfully moved to a house with a gorgeous garden, but one that could no longer accommodate such a beast of a bouncing machine.

But mainly, we've started experimenting with veg. My sister got us going, planting garlic and potatoes... from there we moved on to peas & broad beans (in abundance), to strawberry's (not so successful), a lovely crop of lettuce all grown from out of date seeds and some amazing carrots. We've sent many a child home with their own freshly pulled, bizarrely shaped, carrot. Hugh's sister has kept the momentum up delivering a courgette plant (photographed today, above) which has been pretty vigorous and planting the cavalo nero, beetroot and more carrots.

Oh yes, and another big upside to the garden... after years of flat-dwelling, I just LOVE the smell of washing that's been dried outside.

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Sticky. Magnets. Photos. (Lovely)

My love of instagram feels a bit like my guilty secret.

I feel slightly embarrassed when Hugh catches me slouched on the sofa glued to my phone looking at pictures of... well, other peoples lives.
And it always feels a bit sad when I'm sitting in bed on my phone (again) before going to sleep... I should be reading great literature, but no, I'm just checking out photos of other peoples lives again. Pictures that mainly seem to feature cats and food.

My stickygrams however are baring all on display. Magnet versions of my photos. Nothing could be more up my street right now.

Incidentally, one of my instagram photos was used to illustrate an article on Why Is Instagram So Addictive, and I only found out about it because Jamie Oliver did a sort of re-intagram of the photo (my photo!) and I follow Jamie Oliver; one guilty secrect is revealed and they all come flooding out...  It's the photo at the top/middle of Coco and her pal in pajamas and bug masks. Quite a good example of why instagram is addictive, even if I say so myself!

Monday 12 September 2011

Back from the Blue - Breaktime Is Over

I am an island. I am bloody Ibiza!*

Flying back to reality - a photo of Ibiza taken from the plane on the way home (apologies to all the people on the Ryanair flight with us, we were actually traveling with a baby not a small bear cub as you might have thought from all the roaring noise).

We had a great 10 days... and are very grateful to Fran & Ad for deciding to get married in Ibiza and therefore forcing us to have a holiday there (of course grateful wasn't exactly the word that came to mind 8 months ago when I had a new baby and trekking to the Balearics was a slightly daunting prospect).

And also thanks to the blogging/crafting world for leading me to Helen's lovely blog which in turn lead me to finding out about Mark's place Las Joyitas Ibiza, the perfect base for our holiday. More on that later...

Now I've got that new-term feeling and a serious appetite to get on and DO some stuff... so more on that later too, I hope!

*The wonderful Donne miss-quote from About A Boy