Handmade Mummy returns

I know I’ve been absent without leave for quite a while now so I should probably start with an update on the world of Handmade Mummy. I now have two children! When the little man was about eight months old we discovered that we were expecting another little person. It turns out that it a girl, born in July at a whopping 4.68kg (10lb 5oz to those who work in old measurements) and so we now have a little miss too. Thankfully she is a pretty chilled and very smily baby so the transition hasn’t been too painful so far.

You may remember that we were due to move as well, that happened and we now live in Wellington, New Zealand. It took quite a while to feel settled here but we’ve got there slowly and I am happy to have found an awesome group of fellow crafters to share my passions with.

In the world of crafting I have been busy with the crochet hooks as ever, making hats mainly. Hubby and I have a big project on the go at the moment but more about that later.

I decided I wanted to share the crafty journeys I have been on again so decided to resurrect this blog as a means to do this. As always I will share the projects I have been working on, my insights into life as a mummy and general musings on life.

Advertisements

Where do ideas come from?

I got asked the other day where my ideas come from and I must admit I found it quite a hard question to answer. I often think I have quite an over active imagination and ideas just tend to pop into my brain. I guess I might see something I like and it’s like a little seed that slowly grows. I’m a fan of the quirky so most of my ideas will fall into this category, remember the octopus hat? I’m also a fan of colour and as I ink most children are too I tend to get to indulge this passion. Inspiration can come from many sources, the TV, things I see in shops, a picture, the list could go on. When an idea comes to me I have to do one of two things, make it or jot it down so I have a little note book in which I doodle down my ideas for safe keeping. (If I go down the making road I always take a picture of the finished product to make sure I have a record of it for later).

I like to think of my crochet as my main creative outlet (at least until the boy is old enough to get stuck into some serious crafting with me – I can’t wait for that day!) and as such I let my imagination run wild. I am a teacher by trade and so am not afraid of a challenge, I have taught 32 nine and ten year olds how to make sock creatures before now (a note for any teachers out there, sewing with 32 children, two thirds of which can’t thread a needle, is really hard work but extraordinarily rewarding!). I miss that creative outlet as you are allowed to be quirky when it comes to children, I guess therefore that it was only natural that I would need to find another. I’m just thankful that there seems to be at least a few people who like my ideas so I hope they keep whizzing my way!

Life just got a whole lot more interesting

We’re back from our travels (actually been back a couple of weeks but has taken a while to get back into the swing of things!) and life has got interesting. We had a lovely time away with family, the little one getting thoroughly spoilt. The really fun and interesting bit though is that the little one became mobile whilst we were away! It was great that the grandparents got to share this moment and it was a lot of fun to watch, it has however made getting home rather more fun.

Obviously we left with a pretty much stationary baby who could roll but basically stayed where you put him. We came back with a baby who refuses to stay in one spot for more than about five seconds! All of a sudden something as simple as going to the toilet is filled with dilemma!

We took the decision not to massively change things in the house and hope that he learns ‘no’ nice and quick, so far it has worked. We are due to move house in two months so if we need to we can set the new house up better for a small mobile monster!

An exciting month ahead

The blog might be a little quiet for the next month as my little family is heading off on an exciting adventure. The Hubby and I are taking the little one back to the UK to meet the family he has not yet seen. It is going to be a marathon getting there (two flights and a journey time of over 24 hours) but I keep reminding myself that there will be lots of pairs of hands ready to have a cuddle when we get to the other end so it won’t be so bad. We are away for a month in total, spending half the time with Hubby’s family and half the time with mine. It is going to be awesome for everyone, great for us to catch up with people we haven’t seen for a long time (it’s six years since we last went back) and great for the little man to get to know his extended family.

So please excuse my quietness, I promise it is all in a good cause and I will be back as soon as the jet lag has gone on our return!

Trouser obsession?

I think I may be a little bit obsessed with making trousers! I remembered some rather funky denim type fabric I had in my stash and I knew just how to turn it into the most awesome pair of pants for the little man. So as soon as he was down for his afternoon nap I was straight to work.

Rocket trousers

Rocket trousers

As the fabric I was going to use has little stars embroidered over it I decided to create a little appliqué rocket to go on one leg out of felt. I carefully sewed that on first and then set to putting the trousers together. I added contrasting yellow stitching down the leg seams to create a little more detail as well. I have to hand stitch the leg hems and they are a little wonky but I guess that just adds to the hand made appeal (doesn’t it?!).

I’m out of elastic now and should probably be concentrating on getting this little family ready for a very big journey that is happening next week so no more trousers for a while. Maybe I should try a shirt next, although I am a little apprehensive about whether my sewing skills are up to that!

More mini trousers

Hippo print trousers

Hippo print trousers

The trousers are done (as is the skirt but more on that later) and looking rather awesome. I bought a kwik-sew pattern this time and using baking paper traced out the 6-12 month size. It was really nice and simple to put them together and it has only taken me a couple of hours to go from pattern to completed trousers. I love the fabric and think it makes a rather natty pair of trousers for the little one, he might even have to wear them tomorrow just so I can see what they look like on.

I still have about a meter of the the fabric left so now I have to decide what else to do with it…any ideas people?!

Ode to my sewing machine

I love my sewing machine. It is a calming influence on my life and delivers hours of relaxation. Through it I can fully unleash my need to create in a purposeful and useful way. Skirts, trousers, bibs and toys have all been born with its help providing clothing for my family and fun for my little man. I don’t say I’m particularly good at using it and there is still so much I have to learn about it (I only discovered yesterday for example I can type a whole word into it, press the peddle and “Bob’s your uncle”, you have a perfectly embroidered word!) but that’s part of the fun, discovering all the secrets it has hiding away and then finding new and exciting ways to use them.

As I have said before there is something so incredibly satisfying about making something yourself. I will admit to feeling a little smug when someone asks me where a skirt I made is from and they give me an impressed look when I tell them I made it. I don’t think it is hard to make things yourself it’s just that it is so cheap not too and people, rightly or wrongly, feel they don’t have the time so they don’t bother. I love the fact that the things I make are one of a kind, no one else can have one like it as I only made one. It’s great to see some fabric I like and with the help of my machine turn it into something I can wear or use.

The fabric from my last post is already a skirt (although frustratingly without its lace trim thanks to a measuring error at the shop) and hopefully will soon be a pair of trousers too. A pile of fabric scraps became a cuddly toy yesterday and I know my machine and I have many more sewing adventures to come. So yes, my sewing machine really is the bee’s knees, hence I dedicate this blog post to it!

Exhausting weekends and fancy fabric

My weekend was exhausting and not in a good way. The little one has his first cold (at least that’s what we think it is as he does sound awfully snuffly) and with that came a temperature. This led to a very grumpy baby. Thankfully Hubby was around to help (although he was feeling jet lagged after finishing a run of seven night shifts). We did manage a nice walk on the Saturday and Sunday I was given a pass to go shopping and get a haircut, but other than that is was trying to keep the little one happy. It felt a little like whatever we did just didn’t cut the mustard although I am sure that has a lot to do with a squiffy perspective and a feeling of over tiredness.

My beautiful new fabric

My beautiful new fabric

It would seem that whatever is bothering him is still bothering him as his temperature is still raised and he’s still grumpy. I was given permission to head to he fabric shop today though and was very happy to see that the fabric I have been coveting was on offer meaning I HAD to buy it! Four meters of fabric, two patterns and a few bits and bobs later (including a bit of a dent in the bank balance!) I now have the means to make myself a nice skirt and a pair of funky trousers for the little man. All I need now is the energy to get on and do it!

The truth about babies…what I’ve learnt so far!

I thought I would share some of the things I have learnt in my first six months (almost) of mummyhood. In no particular order…

1. Your baby will always fall asleep on a walk just before you get home/back to the car, just in time for you to have to wake them moving them into their car seat/bed.

2. Just when you think you have a schedule happening your baby will change things up just to keep you on your toes.

3. Your baby will always wait until your other half has gone to work before doing the biggest, smelliest poo possible (Monday mornings are a particularly popular time for him/her to do this)

4. Whenever you think it is safe to get a hot drink/some food your baby will prove you wrong.

5. Just when you think your baby can not scream any more they will find their second wind.

6. Your baby will save his/her cutest smile for the time he/she knows you are most annoyed/frustrated with them (I’m sure this is a built in survival mechanism!)

7. Your baby will behave impeccably around other people, making you out to be exaggerating everything you say about them. The second those people have left your baby will revert to normal behaviour.

8. Your baby will save their loudest burp/fart for when you are in company (but it’s ok to laugh at baby burps and farts!).

9. You will try all those things you were told not to do, anything to get some sleep (a cuddle or a snuggle can solve many things)

10. Despite and because of all these things it is an amazing first six months (even if it is at times difficult to see this)

Please let me know any pearls of wisdom you might have learnt about mummyhood (or daddyhood) as it is always good to get warning about what might be ahead!

Busy, busy, busy

I have no time to make things for us any more, all my crafting time is taken up with making hats for other people! I’m not complaining though as it is nice to have something purposeful to do, to be bringing in a little extra cash for treats and to have the beginnings of a little business (maybe!). I currently have 10 hats on order and excitingly a few repeat orders which suggests I did a good job of the first hat!

I am in the process of designing myself a little logo and have been refining my ideas. This week I have made a rugby themed bobble hat (as the local team won the Super 14 championship), a beanie with a digger on it and a couple of minion hats. Next on the list is a little fedora style hat. Despite being busy with these I am making plenty of time for my little man who is very time demanding! I never want this to completely take over my life as it is supposed to be a means to gain some extra cash more than an attempt to bring in an extra salary and I am aware that most of my orders are from friends and that they will only want so many hats! I’m still awaiting my first on line order.

Hubby is impressed with my efforts and celebrates every new order with me, he’s even become chief bobble maker (he’s very good at getting them kind of splodgy, if that’s even a word!). Possibly in the future I might look to sell at craft fairs but we have a trip to the UK to get out of the way first and then some other news that I will share in my next post, so I think that will be a development maybe for next year.

20130819-104000.jpg

A little digger hat for a little man.