Tuesday, 11 August 2015

A Little Bit Of This, And A Little Bit Of That

I can't believe it has been almost two weeks since I last blogged. "In Real Life" (IRL) I have been incredibly busy, ie knackered, and blogging kind of took a back seat. As did sewing, too busy and knackered to do anything worth blogging about. So, now I'll tell you what I did do.

We had the honour of being at our other son's doctorate graduation. I hesitate to our second son, it just so happened his graduation was after the first son, sorry the first graduation. I have spent my whole life as a mother trying not to compare our twin sons, not to have an older son and younger son, a first son and a second son, a best son, a favourite son. You get the picture. They might tell you different.

This son is a little camera shy, I could re use a photo from the last graduation! Instead here's a photo of the cake and champagne in the Parsonage Hotel afterwards, and my macaroons. There's always macaroons in Oxford for me. I will miss those macaroons, sorry Oxford after ten years of toing and froing.

Anyhow, I am now the proud mother of two doctors.
I say, I say, I say, what do you call a mother of two doctors?
I don't know. What do you call the mother of two doctors?
Helen. Just Helen.

Then they all came home, two sons and a partner so along with the husband and the daughter the house was bursting at the seams. The partner, the delightful Miss C and myself managed to squeeze in  yarn and fabric shopping.   And a  little knitting and sewing was done,  but nothing too strenuous.

I did however get a lovely surprise. A few weeks ago I won a competition from Nat in Made In Home. It was a free ravelry download of a shawl pattern called Southern Shawl designed by Truly Myrtle. I don't have a ravelry account, well I do, but goodness knows what the password and user name is. So, I passed it along to Miss C who not only does have a ravelry account but is also a brilliant knitter of shawls. Miss C  bought a spinning wheel recently and had sent me a photo of her first quantity of home spun wool.

homespun wool by Ms C

So, imagine my surprise when we came home to find Jose Mourinhio modelling a lovely brown asymmetric shawl. The surprise was not Jose, he already lives with us, but the fact that he was wearing a shawl. He does occasionally wear a shawl or a necklace, but we'll  not go into that. So, I just have to wait until the cooler weather to wear my new shawl! Am I chuffed or what! Forgot to get a photo of me modelling the shawl, but how could I compete with Jose?

the mean and moody look
for the unitiated Jose is manager of Chelsea Football Club

I made a start this week on a prototype doll. I may not have mentioned it but I signed up for another swap, I blame instagram and the lovely Joanne who is game for trying new things. I'm not sure which of us signed up first, it may have been me. Now, I'm not really into dolls but when I began to look at the mosaics, it sparked my interest. I liked the long skinny dolls with gangly legs and arms, (not a role model for me then ), the dolls with attitude. The "what do you think you're looking at?" dolls. Is this my alter ego coming out do you think?

I drew a wooden spoon type shape, lollipop head, skinny neck and triangle body and cut out two of these and sewed them together. Then added two long skinny spotty legs. I plagerised a poncho from Arne and sort of cobbled crocheted round the edge. I think I, or maybe my tiny tears may have had a yellow poncho like that many years ago. One of the two of us anyhow. She then sat, armless, legless, faceless and hairless but with a lovely poncho on the kitchen bench for several days.

meet Red, the doll

She now has hair, two non matching arms with butter pat hands and a dress. Her dress is rather short and tight around the tummy. A classic case of size 14 squishing into a size 12.

She's definitely more of a red doll

I love the hair. And what I love about the hair most of all is, it came from my favourite wool shop. The blanket box wool shop in my dad's spare bedroom, which holds my sister's excess wool. That's the best wool shop I know. The stuffing may also have come from there. I'm just back tonight from two days "up the coast" with my bestie. She brought a crochet hook and wool for us to crochet "Red" a picnic blanket. But... we didn't have time we walked and laughed and walked so much.

I also started my Modern Quilt Ireland (MQI) summer swap. (I know, husband, another swap). This is tote suitable for holding a craft magazine. It is a secret swap. My partner seems to like "gentle" colours so I thought some girly fabric would be good. So far I have made a pocket from the fabric from a trip to the Textile Studio with Ms C. I'm going to team it with some linen and a spotty lining. I'm toying with the idea of putting an adult colouring book inside it and some pencils. Less chance of my secret partner already having the craft magazine I would buy her.

 And just to finish, the Great British Bake Off , GBBO, has begun again on BBC1. My partner in crime, the lovely Amanda, can't have our usual friendly competition this year, so the daughter and I are baking for the fun of it. This week was madeira cake.

bunting courtesy of my friend Amanda

Ah, I have just had a moment of epiphany, my eureka moment.
Earlier today, and two weeks ago I accidentally published my blog whilst writing it and quickly reverted to draft. But it meant it sent out a blank blog post. This seems to happen if I hit the return key twice. And there was I doing the old fashioned typing thing of double spacing. So, I'll finish this post off now, pronto, and publish it now before I lose what few followers I have!

Helen x


  1. Sounds like you have been one busy bee. I love they little doll and her rainbow hair. And it sounds like she is embracing adult hood like the rest of us...I can relate to her size 14 squeezing into a size 12 dress :) At least she has wine.

  2. Congrats on the second graduation. You have been busy ....no wonder you haven't had time to blog. Love everything about your wee doll...her dress, her hair and her spotty legs.

  3. Congrats on the second graduation. You have been busy ....no wonder you haven't had time to blog. Love everything about your wee doll...her dress, her hair and her spotty legs.

  4. Congrats on the second graduation. You have been busy ....no wonder you haven't had time to blog. Love everything about your wee doll...her dress, her hair and her spotty legs.

  5. The magazine tote is shaping up nicely! Tell Dolly her picnic rug might get done before Weds!

  6. Love your dolly with attitude. Amazing what that hair did for her! (I speak from experience - new hairdo about 8 years ago did wonders for me on many levels). Two doctors. Whoa. Don't think it'll go to your head, as you have the best sense of humour--adult colouring book, bahaha. Love the white and the red with your dolly as well as the wine rack behind the tote! That Madeira cake looks divine. Drool.


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