Sucker

The middle child came with me to the Handmade Fair a couple of weeks ago. She's a creative soul and I had a feeling she would love pretty much everything she saw. What I didn't realise, however, was quite how persuasive she could be. We popped over to see Tilly (Bees Forever <3), who was as lovely as ever, and Lucy fell in love with the gorgeous Rosa Dress that was displayed on her stand. A quick trip over to Fabrics Galore for some lightweight denim and that was that. See - total sucker. Although I've sewn a few things from her book this was my first time using one of Tilly's stand-alone patterns, and it was a really lovely experience. It came in a nice big envelope with plenty [Read more...]

Twelve

It's happened again, that thing where time just keeps moving in spite of my best efforts to slow it down. A whole year. And now you are twelve - a hilarious, brilliant, and (dare I say it) increasingly self-confident almost teenager. Speaking of which, you are getting quite the dab hand at some teenagery characteristics. Sleeping late has suddenly become the most important feature of your weekends. Being embarrassed by your parents is a permanent state of affairs (and I look forward to dancing like a loon at your upcoming Bat Mitzvah). We are not yet at the (no doubt inevitable) door slamming, you-ruined-my-life, stroppy phase, for which I am grateful. You are sweet and kind and funny, [Read more...]

Fourteen

Rachel, it seems like five minutes since you turned thirteen. Please stop growing up so fast. Not only is it making me feel old, but your little-girlness is slipping away at an alarming rate. I dread the day when you no longer want me to wait "just a sec, just a sec" (spoiler alert - it never is just a sec) while you get ready for bed so that I can tuck you in. I feel it now, that cutting of the umbilical cord. Your perfectly natural and appropriate independence. But you are my baby, my first, my little girl. I remember the teenage years being hard to cope with as a teenager, but I never realised how hard it is as a parent. Next you'll develop an interest in dating, god help us all. But [Read more...]

Eight

Another year, and a cake designed specifically with your icing-hating nature in mind. It is your day, after all.You started a new school this year and have taken to it like a duck to water. You love the sport, the friends, the teachers, the challenge. Your spelling and maths abilities never cease to amaze.You are funny beyond your years and mature in so many ways. You help make dinner every night and love it when it's your turn to load the dishwasher. You're chasing your sisters in more than just the physical round-the-house sense - you really seem to believe that you are the same age. I'll admit it, it drives me crazy at times, but then you look at me with those blue eyes and I'm [Read more...]

Eleven

Dear LucyYou came in a hurry, and you've not stopped since. Running to do it all, make all of the things, dance all the steps, sing all the songs. You fill the house with joy and life and creativity. You are hilarious and kind and sharp as a tack.I watch you finding your way in the family, in the world, and I wish I could make you see how amazing you are. Ironically, the one thing you don't excel at is self-confidence. You have always been that way - the curse of the second child, I guess. My one hope for you this year, and every year, is that you will learn to believe in yourself. To compare yourself a little less harshly with those around you. To see what we all see so clearly.Sweet girl, [Read more...]

Three years

It was our third wedding anniversary on July 4th (not-so-much-independence day for my lovely American husband) and that means leather, apparently. I did briefly consider a pair of leather knickers, or possibly a full-on gimp suit (as a joke, honest) but thought better of it. For several reasons, not least of which was the sweatiness. And my tradition of making the gift myself.I have met lots of lovely people while out walking the pup, and one regular companion is my friend Gaulaleh ("G" for short) and her adorable whippet, Willow (who has his own twitter account). It turns out that G makes dogs' collars and other stuff out of leather, and she very generously let me have a play with her [Read more...]

Because I’m not making enough things

And also because I've had an Architextures jelly roll knocking around since last October.And also because I just got my sweaty little mitts on a 60º ruler.And also just because.In other news, it's Katie's birthday today. I made her a cake out of fancy dog food with a crushed kibble base, just like a cheesecake.I didn't try it, but she seemed to like it - it lasted about a minute and a half. Happy birthday, puppity. We love you.

*sigh*

We have just got back from a short break to possibly the most beautiful place I have ever been - the Scottish Highlands. Wow. It is breathtakingly, achingly, incredibly gorgeous. We stayed in a fantastic guesthouse in Oban, which looks like this (but without the peculiar v-shape from the panoramic photo, obviously):Unfortunately we only had two nights there, but did manage to hire a car at the last minute and spent the day driving around with our mouths agape in awe at scenes like this:Glen NevisThe trip was way too short (aren't they always?), and of course now we want to move to Scotland as soon as possible. Although my sensible side reminds me that it barely gets light in winter, not to [Read more...]

Thirteen

Dear RachelI'm not sure how this could have happened - it seems like just a couple of years since you were born. I remember being in hospital with my newborn daughter, insisting that my mother kiss you on the back of the neck. Absolutely insisting, in awe of the softness of your skin. Your golden blonde hair shining on the back of your head as you lay in the crib next to me. Bringing you home and being so afraid you would break, that I would fall while carrying you down the stairs, terrified to be left alone with you.Those days when it was as much as I could do to take a shower and get dressed - leaving the house was a step too far. Just holding you and staring at you in amazement. The [Read more...]

Seven

Daniel, yesterday you turned seven years old. So much has changed in my life since you were born that I sometimes forget to notice the tiny individual steps you have taken that make you the fantastic person you are.  You are hilarious - really and truly intentionally hilarious. You make excellent use of sarcasm (that's my boy) and the bait-and-switch. You are loving and warm. One of my favourite things in the world is snuggling with you. Watching you snuggle your stepdad or the puppy come a close second.You are bright and inquiring and ask really good questions. You know which questions to ask me and which are "Johnny questions" (usually anything involving cars, planes or [Read more...]