Monday 30 January 2012

A mini present guide for 1-4 year olds!

I've never wrapped as many presents as I have since I've become a Mother of a four year old.
It's just party, party, party.

This week for Ida's party I decided to make her her own '4' badge... I'm quite pleased with this and I think they'll be many more variations on custom badges in the coming months - plus I got to use sticky-backed plastic for the first time in AGES.

We more often than not stick to books for presents but here are my top non-book presents for kids for around a tenner! Might do a post of our favourite books soon... but it would be very very long.

1 yr old - We love the O-Ball - great for under ones too. Little fingers can hold on to it and it's easy to throw and catch.

2 year old - Melissa and Doug magnetic hide and seek board, lots of doors to open and things to discover (a bit over a tenner - but worth it).

3 year old - Spotty dogs is a great learning-to-count game, Hugh's sister got it for Coco on her third birthday and we've played it quite a lot (under-statement...) Now Coco is four it's fun watching her try to cheat!

4 year old - I think that most four year olds I know love a bit of dressing up, so recently for one of Coco's friends birthday I just bought a selection of (frankly quite cheap) hats from our local toyshop. We have some funny bowler hats in Coco's dressing up box which can add a clock-work orange slant to our play-dates!

(Oh, and the card in the photo is one of my colour-it-yourself gocco printed birthday cards - available in my etsy shop!)

Sunday 29 January 2012

Clever Husband

This is how Hugh spent his Saturday night...

Hunched over, fixing our precious 50mm lens.

I love this baby... so now he has returned it to it's former speedy auto-focussing ways I'm very happy.

He followed instructions given here... and we also watched this cute video of someone else doing the same. Wow, I do love the internet.

Thursday 26 January 2012

To keep, or not to keep...

A great deal of my Sunday was taken up searching for my old broken camera lens... (I could divert here into a long story... but let me just say we now have two broken 50mm lenses, urrgh, and no working ones, so my photos are all going to be wide angle for a bit)!

I found the lens, eventually, on Monday in the bathroom cupboard. I know, that isn't normally where you'd expect to find a camera lens. I seriously need to de-clutter and get organised. I just don't know where to start, so many boxes and piles of STUFF, it's all been moved from pillar to post, and now the problem is well and truly scattered all over the house.

The hard Evidence...

Exhibit A (on the left)
This is a classic example of a box of mixed randomness. At the top are are few muji photo albums one is labelled 'clothes tags' (I don't know what I was thinking) and another 'Tickets 1997-2002 Various'. Mixed in are small home-made books, notebooks, an old passport. The colourful folded papers are a selection of old Shoreditch Maps from around 1998/99.
I've kept it all this long, so it would be a shame to chuck it all now?
Reading that sentence back... keeping it all feels like madness.

Exhibit B (on the right)
A shelf of empty boxes... they might come in useful one day though?

Exhibit C
Box of stuff.
Feat. one of the broken lenses, some other broken stuff (kids necklace, wallet with broken zip), some useful stuff, some business cards for a job I don't have any more, some stuff wrapped in newspaper... a paper throwing toy thing... a camera film of undetermined vintage, possibly used, possibly not.

A lovely leather trunk with a handy tray for keeping, um, scraps of paper...

And underneath; more empty boxes.

Should I be like Annabelle, who threw away all her teenage diaries, or like Polly, who can't help keeping jars and jars of stamps?

Whichever way it goes, it's about time I got organised. Jules of Pancakes & French Fries is inspiring me with her William Morris project... purging her life of anything that is not either beautiful or useful.
But there is something very beautiful about an empty box, isn't there?
Maybe I should just get out more...

Monday 23 January 2012

Princess or Racing Car Driver?

It's all about the dressing up right now for Coco. Last weekend I collected together loads of random dressing up things, old clothes, shoes & belts, some passed down costumes from out neighbours and put it all in a big old school trunk in Coco's bedroom.
Not much else has been played with since.
I could start a rant about the annoying gender stereotypes in the kids fancy dress market. I really could...
But at least she's mixing it up.

Thursday 19 January 2012

Decorating: the fun bit?

Over the last few months of building & decorating work I've spent a lot of time shifting our stuff around the house (and suffered a lot of frustrating moments looking for things that I've moved).
Now, finally, our belongings can find the spaces where they will stay.

So I'm experimenting with things... like this bird print that I love by Fred Tomaselli and these new vases that I just couldn't resist from Anthropologie.
I think they make quite nice companions. For now.

Wednesday 18 January 2012

In the Midst of Making

Today I started at the top of my to-do list, something I do surprising rarely at the moment. I've made a custom Etsy order and a couple of overdue cards... and now I'm doing a blog post.
I've been in a humpf the last few days, suffering from writers block and a distinct lack of energy, but sitting and just making feels good!

Thursday 12 January 2012

Happy Birthday Henry

Today Henry is one.

It's just Henry and me today; I need another pair of hands to do his 1 year photo! Am hoping Hugh might be able to get home before dark...

I was a bit sad that it would just be us; but now, on the day itself it feels kind of right. A few hours after he was born Hugh left me in hospital and went home to get some sleep... little did he know that there were dramas at home as Coco had had an accident in the night, falling and cutting her ear lobe. Hugh was thinking he'd be creeping into a quite house at 5am in the morning... but no, it was all action. So she'll always have a scar on her ear from the day her baby brother was born. The upshot of this was that me and Henry were left together at the hospital, dozing and getting used to each other for a few hours more than we thought, so that's why it feels nice today.

So far I've taken him to the playground where he's had some fun on the slide, going down on his own for the first time (it was totally deserted; not that fun to have a birthday in cold January, sorry little boy)! and then later I'm taking him for his first haircut, I might put him on the back of my bike for the first time too, might as well stick with the 'firsts' theme for the day.

And, miraculously, right on cue, I think Henry just went to sleep without crying - that definitely feels like a first...

Tuesday 10 January 2012

In the Danger Zone

You might be hearing a lot about Henry in the next few days as he is one on Thursday (tomorrow)!
At the moment he is very mobile and interested in everything, especially if there is an element of danger. His favourite hang-out is on the stairs. Once at the top he either likes to slide back down (feet first) on his tummy, or make a run for the bathroom and have a quick look down the loo, ideally dropping something in there for good measure.

If Coco is around and I'm, for example, just sneaking a look at my email, I get a running commentary.

Mummy, Henry's in the fire
Mummy, Henry's at the top of the stairs
Mummy, Henry's got your phone
Mummy, Henry's in your cupboard
Mummy, Henry's playing with the plug


Monday 9 January 2012

Post 101

So; it's a new year (and a happy one for all of you I hope), and a blogging anniversary of some sort for me.
This is post one-hundred and one.

Of course I have plans and lists and fresh new-year ideas for this blog... and some other ideas that have been hanging around for a while (did I mention a re-design about 6 months ago!?)

As I recently actually sorted out some categories (bottom of the left nav bar) I can now see what I tend to blog about... so I thought now would be a good time for a little reflection, if you don't mind me indulging myself?

Home-made Stuff

Of course this was what the blog was meant to all be about, but as I don't find the time to make that much any more my brief has slightly expanded, I have made some things though. My letterpress 'business' cards, my Being 26 book, Coco's third birthday party bags and the poster/love letter I made for Hugh for our wedding anniversary.

My Home

Our chaotic and very slow-paced renovation is time-consuming, cash-consuming but very worth it; and I appreciate how lucky we are to be able to do it. I want to do more home posts but it's so hard to get photos when it's such a mess all the time. Some early and very much less-read posts include mirror mirror, instant collection, lovely lights and Coco's bedroom.

Minutia & Musings & Motherhood Too

These are the posts I find myself composing in my head as I push the buggy around... like B is for Brompton (which I still own and use occasionally) but a lot of these posts are really about being mother, like the one about my first half term and my all time favourite post I Love Breakfast.

London Out & About

I love trying to capture our London life... and my camera has become a much closer companion since I started this blog. Coco's favourite London haunt is undoubtedly the Pirate Park (as she calls it) mine is Columbia Road - and some of our favourite local spots are shown in our day in pictures.

So, thank you to my 24 followers (and the people on readers too). I love doing this blog, and I LOVE it when I get comments; it really does make my day. I like thinking of things to post about and having some reason to do my mad little projects. I like having a (small!) audience to whom I feel strangely accountable.
But most of all I love having a record of what I've up to. Looking after children is very.... well it's many things but what you don't have is something to show for your time, but in the 100 posts so far I feel like I have done something at least!