Monday 31 October 2011

The Little Witch

It's that time again when many a parent around the globe forces their child to partake in Halloween just so that they can put the photo of them in costume on their blog.

Although Halloween should be the perfect opportunity for me to present 'something I made', I didn't actually make this fairy-slash-witches costume. As with last year my lovely sister was staying with us in half term and knocked this up while I lay on the sofa. She prepped the pumpkin (ready for me to carve) and made a delicious spiced pumpkin soup. Seriously, she just made me feel quite bad about my sofa lazing tendencies.

Her ability to turn £9 worth of fabric from Goldhawk Road into this double-costume magic is impressive. The black skirt is worn over a pink and purple one (the three year old bullied us into buying the pink and purple toile) so although she could be being a fairy, it seems she's quite enjoying getting into character and being a witch. She wanted Henry to be her cat. A little bit of a missed opportunity there...

Tuesday 25 October 2011


I've just downloaded the last couple of months worth of photos from my iphone, here is a little glimpse into the minutia of my life...

1) (Window) shopping for handbags in Selfridges - surprise surprise Coco liked the pink bags best. Watch out all parents of baby girls. The pink monster will get them in the end... I still can't believe it happened to me.

2) Henry seems to like getting himself awkward spots, he is at the finger-in-plug-socket age. I had to save him yesterday after he got stuck under Coco's bed.

3) I'm trying (really trying) to get fit by going to Holland Park at least once a week and partaking in the strange ritual that is 'buggy fit'. On the upside, I'm re-discovering what a GREAT park Holland Park is...

4) Shoe tales.
We are playing 'Shoe Shops' a lot. It's a bit boring too be honest, I'm always the customer and I keep being told to 'have a little walk'. The last time the real shop assistant asked Coco to 'have a little walk' she went straight out the shop! Strangely my shoe size is always different. It was eight meters last time I think.

I forgot my 'normal' shoes after a friends wedding so was forced to wear high heels the day after... not only did I feel like a fish out of water but it dawned on me that I don't think I'm ever going to be able to walk properly or gracefully in heels. A sad realisation.

5) There's been a lot of list writing going on as normal. Down at the bottom there is 're-design blog'.

6) Despite a horrid cold, my birthday was great... bunting, and a basket full of cards and pressies, I also got a pretty good cake. And the cold meant I was able to have legitimate three hour nap in the afternoon.

7) Harvested the last of our first sewing of carrots, pretty impressive (I can't take any credit, the carrots were Hugh's crop)!

Friday 21 October 2011

Don't Hang It All on A Hang it All!

(images from the beautiful blog Varpunen, found via Pinterest)

When I found out I was pregnant with Coco the first thing we allowed ourselves to buy 'for the baby' was an Eames Hang it All.
Not essential for a new baby I know. As it turns out, contrary to popular belief, not much is essential for a new baby as the only other thing we bought prior to her arrival was a buggy, and she was fine. Hugh was told off by a stern midwife at the hospital for not having a long sleeved vest ready to put her in when she was born, but seriously it was very warm in that delivery room!
(As normal, I've gone straight off-piste...)

So we have a Hang-it-All.
The problem is, that we do hang it all.
So it looks like this.

You can just spot a couple of the lovely coloured balls on the top right, under a swimming noodle (that's the weird pink thing).

It should look like the ones in the top picture, that are all allowed to breathe and be sculptural!

But now plans are afoot to build a hall cupboard so that we can shove put away all our coats/shoes/bags.
Then we'll move the Hang-it-All to Coco's room, where it belongs.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Alice Drinks Guinness

In our continuing efforts to sort/tidy/de-clutter and finally actually unpack our STUFF (only after 2 years of owning our house...) We started going through a box books that we found in a cupboard when we moved in.
Caked in dust were a variety of books, old school magazines and exam papers from various universities circa 1950 - many a gem has been found, but this, so far is the best.

From Christmas 1938, complete in its original waxed paper envelope is an alternative 'Alice' story...

Having done a bit of research (seriously, how AMAZING is it to have the internet?) it seems that this was a promotional booklet for Guinness given out in doctors surgery's...

The illustrations are a great pastiche of the John Tenniel originals.

It's actually whet my appetite for reading the real Alice books to Coco. I'm looking forward to reading her all the classics that I loved when I was little - which she of course is probably obliged to hate... ho hum.

Which reminds me; I've spent most of this evening feeling all mixed up about the Stone Roses... My favourite band, who I met in 1990 on Neal Street and who sorely disappointed me when I saw them live (without John Squire) at Reading Festival when I was 18. I agree with a lot in this article, but I can't help feeling a wee bit excited about their reunion tour.

Friday 14 October 2011

Another year, Another project.

Today is my birthday and last night before I went to sleep I said, in a jokey sort of way, 'I'll have to start my book about Being 36 tomorrow'. (If you don't know what I'm on about see this post).

Be careful what you say in jest... after THIRTY SIX years, i should have learnt not to say things in jest. Especially in my trademark dead-pan way. It's got me in to trouble too many times.

But I said it. And now the seed is sown.*

Enough time has passed for me to have almost forgotten what a weird/annoying/self-centered task making that book was. At the moment, I'm vaguely aware of this voice in my head which is saying 'it couldn't possibly be as hard or all consuming this time around though could it!?'

Oh, how many projects have been started under those false assumptions?
But the voice reminds me that photo book software is aplenty, I now know how to use InDesign, I do my blog, so am compiling 'content' all the time... and I have time. Oh no, that's not right, that is indeed the one thing I am lacking.
But, as I said the seed is sown.

So, in illustration of this post - here are some further (never seen before!) pages from Being 26. A good excuse for me to think about what chapters Being 36 might have...

A page on my lists website, which was, a compilation of lists from friends.

When I was 26 I went on lots of holidays...
We went to Cornwall for our annual Cornish camp, hopefully that'll happen this year... (although is a slightly different affair now that there are so many kids about).

We went to Egypt (mainly for sunshine).

Madrid, mainly for food. The text is a transcript of a conversation Hugh and I had trying to remember all the nice things we ate.

We went to Wales and I met Hugh's parents for the first time.

And I went to Thailand with Bella to visit my lovely friend Tan.

This is what I mainly wore. How I loved that coat. And those jeans. The skinny ones on the left were pretty rare for 2002. If only I could fit into those now.
Plus it's a bit hard to see but the little half moon satchel, which was £12 from Alfies Antiques has had a few outings recently, see bags, always a good investment!

Wednesday 12 October 2011

A lot can happen in 9 months...

We had to have an early morning photoshoot for Henry this morning to catch the light before Hugh headed off to work... it will be dark by the time he gets home (boo to darkening days...) so we wouldn't have been able to get Henry's nine-month photo taken.

I can't believe he is nine months old already. But I always say that...

Monday 10 October 2011

A Renegade Plate

Yesterday I had a taste of freedom... I went out to lunch with some friends WITHOUT children.

Not one to miss a shopping opportunity I made a little detour on route and I went to the Renegade Craft Fair where I got this great plate by James Ward. I'm hoping the bear looks scary enough to get Coco eating.

I also got some cards (above) from Chase and Wonder,

but I really want to get Chase and Wonder's 'Gentlemens A-Z' for Henry's room (when he has a room)!

And then I'd have to get one of these prints by Mary Kilvert for Coco to keep things fair... and for myself... I'd happily have either the retro kitchen print by Patrick Edgeley or one of Kate Sutton's recipe prints.

Friday 7 October 2011

A little bit of Culture, Baby.

Last week, against the odds (poorly 3yr old, tube delays etc) I made it to a Culture Baby museum tour. After administering medicine to Coco and leaving her on the sofa watching Charlie & Lola (with an emergency babysitter) Henry and I our way to Westminster and dodged the tourists while we raced along the river to The Garden Museum for a private tour with buggies and babies in tow.

I found out about Culture baby via West London Mum (the good ol' Mums online network) and as soon as I clicked onto the site I was in awe of what a great idea this is. Of course it took me about two months to finally go to an event, but it was worth the wait.

And what a haven of serenity awaited us.

We had a fantastic tour by a wonderfully knowledgeable/eccentric museum volunteer who gave us all SO much information/food for thought. My brain ached slightly afterwards - in a good way of course. Meanwhile, Henry got to explore the garden and the historically significant tombs.

Not your average toddler playground - but exactly why Culture Baby is so great. They organise tours, salons, walks and events where you and your baby are catered for.

The Museum is housed in an old church, but the interior was redeveloped with a free standing wood structure by Dow Jones architects so now has a much more useable space with a mezzanine floor and further exhibition spaces.

This place is truly a hidden gem. As commented on by my friend Gareth who also took a much better photo of the interior (he is professional photographer though)!

And, even though I feel a bit cheeky saying this, as the museum is very interesting, it's worth a visit for the cafe alone (I know I said this about Frieghtliners Farm too - but a good cafe is not to be underrated)!
We sat in the garden under the canopy of this beautiful tree and had a vegetarian feast.

A tradescantia flower in the garden of the museum - named after the sixteenth century gardener John Tradescant whose tomb Henry was playing on above.

I realise that I'm heading off my 'something I made' brief with all these posts... am thinking I may have to change the name of this blog... but what to!?

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Four Letter Names

New cards for two new arrivals.

Was kind of thinking of the LOVE graphic by Robert Indiana but got a bit side-tracked.

So welcome, baby Noah and baby Theo. I hope you like your cards.

PS Am posting this at 6.25am for no other reason than the fact that I've been awake since 4.50. I don't understand! I feel really excited for some reason, but it's just a normal(ish) Wednesday. I tried to get back to sleep using my favourite method which is to chose a topic (today it was 'Why am I excited?') and then think of something related to said topic for each letter of the alphabet. So, in this case A = Autumn, B = Birthday (coming up soon) etc. Normally it sends me back off to sleep again pretty soon. But I got stuck on 'i'. There's nothing exciting in my life beginning with 'i'. So I got up. I crept downstairs and I heard the milkman... now this is exciting. Alan has been delivering our milk for nearly a year and I've never seen him. I quite often hear the unmistakable hum of the milk float, but I'm normally tucked up in bed. I wanted to take my chance! I was thwarted though. By the time I got the keys and fumbled with the door all I saw was the milk on the step and a man disappearing swiftly into the still dark street. Then I heard the hum of the van.
Now Henry is awake and chatting in his cot.
So the day starts.

Second Chance Summer

So it looks like our Indian Summer here in London is over... we enjoyed it while it lasted. On Saturday, in our quest to make the most of the weather, we had a little jaunt up to N7... and went to Freightliners Farm, as suggested by my friend Ali.

We had a lovely lunch at the cafe... and then went to bother all the animals.

although the (huge!) pigs, were sensibly staying put in the cool barn.

I liked the brightly coloured two story hutches for the rabbits... and on the right, the compost bins. They may have smelt a bit, but they were very pretty.

Then we checked out the veg patch (well, it was a bit more than a veg patch... ) I think some of these tomatoes were in our lunch... which was delicious.

I quite fancy a sundial like this for our garden, I took this photo at about 3.30 (2.30 GMT).

And of course, we obeyed the health and safety rules, and washed our hands... a lot, it seemed. Coco liked trying to work out which basin was best for her!

Bye bye Summer... can't wait until next time...

Monday 3 October 2011

A Flying Visit

Last week when I was doing my post about the butterfly frames I had that feeling someone was watching me. I turned around to see a robin sitting on the back of Henry's high chair!

My camera was right beside me so I picked it up quietly and tried to take a photo... no CF card! Argh.
Robin took flight and got confused by the glass roof... and then hopped under the cupboard. By this time I was actually feeling a little more worried for the bird than bothered about getting a photo.

But then the bold little bird flew out and sat on the basket - where I got my photo of him before he flew out the door again.

I'll probably find some bird poo behind the cupboard now.