You are the sunshine of my life

Untitled-2

Yesterday, on Grumble's last day of being 5, we walked to school happily chatting about what a big year being 5 has been for her, and all the things that she has achieved.

"I learnt to ride a bike by myself!"
"And a scooter"
"And to swim! And we went on an aeroplane!"
"That's right, Tiger. And do you remember that we went on a train under the water - and even a train on a boat?"
"That's crazy! And we went to Switzerland! And to the zoo!"
"Not sure that I'd put those two in the same category, but yes, we did. And you started school this year."
"And now I can read! And write!"
"You sure can, honey. And you got to meet your English Great-Grandparents..."
"Groff and Gram-Gram! And I was sick on the aeroplane - I remember that!"

And so on we walked, happily reminiscing about all the things that Grumbles had done that year for the very first time. Although, by the end of the walk we were somewhat running out of achievements. I believe the last one she came up with was this:

"And I learnt to lick the cheese sauce out of the saucepan!"

Oh my darling girl. Don't ever change! I am as proud as punch to be your mum, and to be lucky enough to experience the untrammelled delight that every moment with you brings.

And thank you, God, for allowing me to stick around to watch my little girl grow up. I'm so glad that I was able to wrestle with death that day, and win. I wouldn't have missed being with Grumbles for the world.

Happy 6th birthday, my love.

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How to win friends and influence people

Muffin

When getting together with new friends for a coffee for the first time, one should follow these steps in order to guarantee a successful meeting.

1 - Be on time. People appreciate your punctuality. Unlike Jorth, who left the house with a scant 5 minutes to spare, and then practically had to run the 2kms to the cafe, whereupon arriving she spent the next 10 minutes apologising for how late she was, and how puffed out, and maybe a glass of water gulp gulp gulp more water gulp gulp gee whiz I'm puffed and hot are you hot gulp gulp gulp ok so maybe it's just me gulp gulp.

2 - Listen carefully to your companion, and ask questions with thoughtful details that show you have been paying attention. You lived in London, you say? Geez, I love London...heavens my nose is running... heehee maybe because I ran all the way here...now, I think I have a tissue somewhere hooooooonkhoooooonkhooooonk so London, do tell me more hooooooonk hoooooooonk oh my nose, I'm streaming! Yes, London's great, isn't it hoooooooooooooooonk sniffle sniffle honk.

3 - Hold up your end of the conversation, but beware of monopolising it. Yes, so after I stopped working as a technical writer I choke choke choke oh my sainted aunt my tea has totally gone down the wrong way choke choke choke yes I know I should stop talking but choke choke geez I can't even breath choke choke cough hack choke now I'm crying for Pete's sake choke choke anyway tech choke writing choke choke ok, hang on just choke give me a minute and perhaps some water choke chokity choke oh sh*t I drank all my bloody water choke hack choke gulp gulp gulp.................[stupefied silence from both parties, with the occasional gasp for breath by Jorth]

So, simply follow these three easy steps and you'll be on your way to winning new friends in no time. Best of luck!

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Damn that looks tasty!

Muesli2

Is it wrong to eat muesli for lunch? Because looking at this shot - which I took on the weekend for the Big Harvest cafe - is making me want to just dive on in to that compotey, yoghurty goodness. Yum!
If anybody wants me, I'll be here, licking my monitor. Because, alas, my cupboard is bare, and try as I might I can't find any yoghurt in my fridge. Damn. Must. Go. Food. Shopping. ASAP.

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The Ruffle Backed Pinafore

Pinafore1

Pinafore2

Project Details
Pattern: Pinafore from Ottobre Magazine 1/2007
Fabric: Ryder Denim from Tessuti Fabrics
Notions: 2 recycled buttons from stash

Such a cute and easy pinafore to whip up. The hardest part was doing the rolled edges on the ruffles (fact for the future: denim fabric does not like being rolled) but we got there in the end. You could just edge them with overlocking, or even do a wee little hem, but you wouldn't get that true ruffle look that you get with the rolled edge, so it was worth the swearing effort.

Handy little pattern, too. Winter versions could be done in denim, as above, or corduroy, and for summer they would look smashing done in printed cottons, chambrays or linens. Me likes, and Grumbles likes, which is the main thing. All in all I give it a big thumbs up!

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The disgrunted dummy

Sabrina

Sabrina the ancient dressmaker's dummy gave a deep, disguntled sigh. As was the case for the past few days, the rest of the furniture ignored her. They were well aware of her sewing-based divatude, and had long ago decided the best policy was to ignore her completely.

But Sabrina would not be ignored. She gave another sigh, and then - with a fury that needed to be seen to be believed - burst forth with "Oh, I DO wish that Jorth would hurry up and finish this latest Vogue 8511. She's done the bodice, and put it on me in a rather nice fashion, but then what has she done with the skirt? Nothing, that's what, whilst she dithers about deciding what length to make it. Meanwhile I'm standing here, with nothing but a pinned on skirt front to protect my modesty! Let me tell you, fellow furniture, with this chilly weather we are having an older lady like myself could do with a bit more covering! Is a skirt back too much to ask? Hmmmmm?"

One little piano stool couldn't resist, and piped up "Oh, but dearest, we never hear you complain of the cold when you are naked!"

Sabrina glared at the insolent bench. "None of your cheek, young thing. Let me remind you that your comfy cushion will be flattened before you know it by hours of piano practice. I don't expect we'll be hearing any of your lofty opinions then. And speaking of, I thought Jorth had made a sewing pledge to get this dress finished. It appear to have gone the way of her blogging pledge. Oh she's a flighty one, she is. Gone and bought some Liberty jersey, and all thoughts of me and my needs have flown out the window."

Completely unaware of the conversation taking place, Jorth was getting out her overlocker, having decided that she would make the skirt on the shorter side. If she did hear any sighs from Sabrina she put it down to the wind that was rattling the window panes, and happily got out her scissors, unpinned the skirt front from the dummy (Oh! Sabrina gasped. The cold, cold drafts!) and got to work.

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The sewing pledge

Thread

I, Jorth, do hereby solemnly swear on the sacred trinity of needle, thread and fabric, that I shall block out a nice big chunk of time to do some sewing today. I shall rush about at breakneck speed like a mad woman this morning, doing my errands, and then shall come home and sew like I've never sewn before.

I won't even stop, whilst out and about, to do The Age quiz with Max, the cantankerous book shop owner, despite it being our regular ritual. And let me tell you, I love beating him in the quiz, but such is my commitment to sewing that I shall make the sacrifice, even though it pains me.
It really is a pity about the quiz, as I can feel in my boots that it is my lucky day, but goshdarnit, the projects and stash are out of control. Sewing must, and will, be done!

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Craft paralysis

Kidsilk Haze

I don't know what it is at the moment, but I just can't seem to settle down to any sort of craft activity. I have both a dress cut out and ready to sew, plus the above jumper I am knitting, but have completely lost interest in both.

This problem is compounded by the fact that we are now in the depths of winter. When the night falls as quickly as it does, all I want to do is crawl into bed with a good book. Some nights actually find me in bed, devouring my favourite Nancy Mitford a mere 15 minutes after Grumbles has been put down, and she goes to bed at 7:30!

Also, I feel like I'm doing a lot of rushing around the moment, and I'm just not getting any decent chunks of time in which to craft in. Oftentimes I'll find myself with half an hour before I need to go and pick up Grumbles from school. It doesn't seem worth the hassle to bring out and set up the sewing machine, and the thought of knitting is making me go bleugh (which does not bode well for any winter garments I hope to whip up!), so I instead find myself on The Guardian reading George Monbiot's latest missive. What George rails against is both fascinating and educational, but it's not helping me in the craft department.

This weekend, however, is a long one, so I'm determined to hunt down and utilise my crafting mojo. So watch this space - I may even produce a miracle and have a finished object to show you!

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Organisation is the key!

Eggs

It hasn't taken me long to figure out that the difference between a happy working Jorth and a nasty, grumpy, mean-tempered working Jorth is having a good supply of dinners tucked away into the freezer. Because, honestly, nothing will put me in a fouler mood than spending all day on my feet, and then having to come home and cook - particularly when it's wet and dark, and poor old Grumbles and I have had a 20 minute walk home in the freezing winter gloom.

And if I have to do dishes before I cook, then watch out - I am definitely not pleasant to be around (yes, it's a fault, I'm working on it!) So what I do now is to make double batches of any soups/lasagnes/casseroles that I'm making and have then waiting on standby for nights when I've worked.

It's heaven! All I have to do is pop whatever it is in the oven, and then whilst we wait Grumbles and I cuddle on the couch, catch up on each other's days, and if we are feeling particuarly industrious we even do her reader. And peace and harmony reigns once more.

Although, if all else fails, there is always omlettes...

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Another one in the works

Vogue 8511

Jorth sat back in her chair and took the chewed up greylead pencil out of her mouth with a sigh. In front of her lay a sheet of paper headed Reasons For And Against Making Another Vogue 8511.

In the For column she had written the following:
 - It's the perfect dress for work! Comfy to wear, yet so smart looking. A guaranteed compliment getter!

 - So easy to ride my bike in (see above)

 - Easy to wash, easy to wear

 - It was a remnant piece of the perfect length. That's got to be an 8511 omen!

 - Perfect for autumn, winter and spring. Definitely will get loads of wear.

The Against column was looking a little more skimpy:

 - If I make it too short then I might be flashing some unwittingly exposing my underwear to poor motorists as I ride my bike.

 - This will be my third... it's almost as bad as Vogue 8184. What will people think?

Jorth, brow furrowed and lips pursed, suddenly snatched up the paper and crumpled it, muttering to herself "Damn what people think! It's a great dress, and I'm going to make myself another!" With that she turned to the kitchen table, and with brow suddenly unfurrowing and a smile playing upon her lips, began to cut another one out.

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