Friday 29 July 2011

Just a little something

Another little thing I have enjoyed doing whilst convalsecing!  Clay heart, hand painted and inscribed with the word "blessings".  Now available in my Misi shop

Thursday 28 July 2011


 A quiet day for me yesterday letting my shoulder start to heal.  Alec's finger seems to be loads better already, they do bounce back quick don't they, children! So he was playing with his friends all day, both in the house, outside, and eventually at their friends house.

I made up a mix of rosemary, lavender, lemon balm and chammomile to put into some sleep pillows I have made for members of the family that have had trouble sleeping recently.  The idea being that you slip the sleep pillow between the pillow and pillow case, and the smell slowly aids sleep. Can't really see the embroidery particularly well on the following picture but they each have a little message on them such as "night night" or "sweet dreams".  There's enough of the herbs to make up a few more too, so some might make it into the shop.
 My peg bag broke, so in a few minutes I was able to make a new one with a scrap of material I got from freecycle a while back.
 And here is the start of the granny stripe blanket for Stan, my Father in Law.  Using Jean's wool, it will hopefully be enough to make a double bed sized blanket. 399 stitches for the length, and for the width?  Well, I'll just keep going until I run out of wool!
 Luke decided to make another castle from another Abel and Cole box.  He spent a good couple of hours sat in the front garden with a mix of PVA glue and sand, covering his model!

Tuesday 26 July 2011

What a week!!

 Taking photos of us in our Grandma jumpers to go in the coffin for Jean's funeral.  Sad, sad times, but family supported each other fantastically, and my brother came down to look after the children, which was a huge weight off my mind.  Family and friends came from all over the country to pay their final respects to her,and many good times were remembered. We visited a local woodland burial place, and I think we are all but decided that this should be the final resting place for her ashes, so peaceful, and full of wildlife, she would have loved it.

And as life has a habit of doing, it carries on, whether we want it to or not.  I have been kept busy with accomodating visitors and ensuring everyone has some food.  Such wonderful business, lovely to see so much family again, I just wish the circumstances were happier.

Lego rock band kept young and old alike entertained, and Ethan drew a lovely picture of it all.
 Stuart found some printouts to make model buildings, so many buldings were made, and no doubt more will be when more ink cartridges arrive!

 Alec and Ethan came racing in very excited the other evening, and insisted I went to watch them.  They had sussed out how to do front flips on the trampoline!

 Luke is definitely in model making mode.  Take a guess what this ruin started out as... go on, bet you can't guess!
 An Abel and Cole box of course!  Sophie saw it and said "oh no, castle broken, dragon blow down castle...huff...puff!"
 And then just to curb any thoughts of a physical summer holidays, Alec managed to take a knock to his little finger on Sunday night, whilst playing football.  By Monday morning it was very swollen and bruised, so a trip to A&E confirmed he had a chipped bone in his little finger.  He now has to wear this for a week, and to take things easy for a further 3 weeks.  He's gutted!!
I too have had to undergo a minor op to remove a mole.  There are at least 20 stitches on the wound!  Which makes me feel squeamish each time I think about it!

I do count my blessings, all that we have been through recently could have been worse, but you know, I would like it very much if things bad things could stop happening now, and let us get back on our feet.

Sunday 24 July 2011

New title

This last couple of weeks has brought home to me that we are not a family of 6. Family is so much more than our nuclear family, the influences upon us are from many sources, and they all make up part of our lives. The responsibilities we have are not limited to the six of us either, neither is the love.

The name change therefore reflects this feeling. A space to document our lives in all their fullness and complexities, as well as some of the nice stuff and fun we get up to!

Tuesday 19 July 2011


 We have felt very much in limbo this last week.  Preparing for Jean's funeral, not really knowing what the future holds for us, but at the same time trying to keep things as normal as possible for the children.  The children had a few days off from school, and went back at varying times last week, as and when they felt able.  One of the days off we got the air drying clay out.  They have made some sculptures to give to their
teachers, and I have been experimenting with an idea for Aisling Designs, my experiment is the next picture.
 I had about a week where the thoughts of doing any crafting just seemed so wrong, and the bunting that I had started just lay there neglcted.  It is coming together now, my crafting has returned for now, here is a glimpse of the order for Sarah.
 What brought the crafting mojo back?  My father in law giving me all of Jean's wool.  I had told myself I would not get any more wool, as I really should be spinning it myself, but I felt so honoured to have Jean's wool.  I then thought it would be lovely to make something for my Father in Law with this wool.  So I have embarked on a mammoth project of a granny stripe blanket.  I'm hoping it will offer him some comfort, as well as being my personal memorial to her.
As for Stuart, he has been looking after his Dad in such a wonderful, caring way.  Staying with him, ensuring everything is dealt with, reminiscing til the early hours of the morning.  Being a wonderful legacy to his Mum.

In other news, Gimli has been making himself very much at home, with plenty of adventures (yes, that's my cello case is sat on top of!) and finding comfort in the many forms, especially a big bag of alpaca fleece!
I know this new normal will be turned upside down again by Friday, which is when Jean's funeral is. I cannot think beyond that at the moment, but have a feeling that flexibility and the here and now is what will be most important.

Thursday 14 July 2011


This week, our family has suffered a huge loss. Jean, Stuart's Mum, died early Monday morning. Stuart had seen her on Sunday, spoken to her Sunday evening on the phone, and all was well. By the early hours of Monday morning, she had suffered a massive heart attack, and our world was turned upside down.

Jean was a remarkable woman. A talented woman with her painting, knitting, gardening, cooking She was the only person I know who could keep a parlour palm alive, and make them thrive! She would knit at an amazing speed, combining colours in wonderful ways through her fair isle knitting, we are all so proud of our "Grandma jumpers" She had just started going into a local school to help with needlework class, and had been quite a hit with them. She also made the most fabulous scones, through no recipe!

But talents aside, she was so warm and welcoming, gentle and loving, hardworking, and a rock for all those around her. Family was her everything, and she was everything to her family.

It has shocked me that the world is still turning without Jean there, really! And I know I am not alone in that feeling. She truly was an inspirational woman, and will be very, very sorely missed by us all.

Sunday 10 July 2011

Aisling Designs

Just in case you hadn't noticed the little tag at the side of my blog.  I have now opened a Misi shop, and will hopefully be filling it with all kinds of lovely goodies over the next few weeks.  It all stemmed from our holiday to Cornwall, seeing all those things that were handmade being sold and it gave me the confidence to think that I could do it too.  So as a step towards my dreams, I have started this shop, with the idea being that it will all contribute to "dream" funds!  Aisling, in case you didn't know, is an Irish name meaning "dreamer".

Some bunting that I completed recently for a custom order. I am now working on another.

 I was rather pleased with the effect of the contrast stitching.

 Some little things in there too, a bobble and two matching grips.  Planning on making similar things with butterflies and flowers too.

I have another idea too, I will make a prototype which will end up as Alec's birthday present, but hopefully will have some in the shop soon after.  A bag to put all those precious lego characters in.  Can't work out whether crocheted or sewn yet, we'll have to wait and see.

Thursday 7 July 2011

Questions, questions, questions!

 I'll start with my successes!  I have finished spinning that gold coloured wool for the guild competition, even if I have changed my mind over the pattern I am going to use, as I don't think there will be enough yarn there.  Which leads me to my first question regarding this.  How do you work out if you have enough wool to cover a project?  How do you determine whether it is DK or Aran weight?  How do you determine yardage?  And finally, how the heck do you get it into those nice neat balls I see around?  I asked at the Guild about equipment, and whether ball-winders were a good buy, and the answer I got was basically they use a broom handle!  Fine, but how do you use a broom handle? 

Next project... Alpaca wool.  I have started to card the alpace fleece I have, and it is very rewarding, to create these bundles of barely discernable softness, but my goodness, it is time consuming!  I have some hand carders, and I am thinking it may take me all year just to card it all, let alone spin it and make something!
 Just look at all this I have to get through...
 ...and this!
So is there a technique to speed up this process, or do I just need to invest in a drum carder?  Answers on a postcard please! ;)

Saturday 2 July 2011

May I introduce...

 Gimli! The cutest little bundle of fluff ever! 

A chance conversation at Breastfeeding Support group last Monday got the wheels turning. I mentioned to Stuart that a woman at the group had got a long haired kitten that was going to be ready for a new home any day now, and he suggested we got in touch with her. 

Lots of secrecy, a viewing whilst the boys were at school.  Then buying food, litter, and digging out all the old cat things we had kept just in case we were ever blessed with another cat.  Resulted in some wonderfully surprised children when they came home from school.  Stuart had said that we had a surprise for them at home, they were thinking along the lines of sweets, or perhaps a game.  When they came in and I asked them not to dump their bags down in the usual place, as their surprise had just taken up residence under the shoe rack, the look on their faces was classic.  The excitement, the puzzle, the questions!  Is it a pet? Yes.  A puppy? No Alec not a puppy.  A hamster?  No. A kitten?  Yes!!!

 I retrieved Gimli and introduced him to the family, but really all he wanted to do was sleep and hide.  He seemed happiest in the dining room, as that is where the kittens had been kept with their mother. But as the evening wore on, he started to play, and then another nap, play some more, another nap! A bit of an explore followed by yet another nap!
 The children are lovely with him.  And last night as they were going to bed, they were so grateful for us getting them a kitten.  I can see that Gimli is never going to be short of playmates!
Welcome to the family Gimli!