Making life look pretty

As promised I have been crafting my way through January, the plan is to learn some new skills, spend time doing something I love and to make life look pretty at the same time.  I have found that the pretty things in life can make you feel so much happier.

My bathroom unfortunately continues to be a source of stress so I decided I needed to make something to introduce some positive vibes and happy memories.  While we were on our amazing summer holiday in Cornwall we went to the beach almost every day.  While the twins entertained themselves with sand, stones, shells and seaweed (supervised by A I should add) I would take a trip down the beach to collect shells with holes in them.

Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

One evening a few weeks ago I settled myself in front of a film (Julie and Julia) with a lap full of shells and got stringing, several hours later and I had, I think, a beautiful shell garland to hang along the walls of my bathroom, what do you think?2015-01-27 13.57.26

As previously mentioned this month I have started crochet lessons, while  M’s illness took me away from one of two lessons I still think my efforts at crochet aren’t looking half bad.  I am really looking forward to learning to make flowers, I have grand plans for a spring wreath for my front door…. excited!

It's beginning to look a bit like crochet

It’s beginning to look a bit like crochet

On Saturday I went on a one day dress making course, I met some likeminded people, learnt a lot and ate a lot of cake.  I haven’t finished my dress yet but despite my measuring and following a pattern I’m a little concerned that it looks a little like the gown I wore in the hospital for my c-section or…. a maternity dress for someone with bigger boobs than I am blessed with.  I think I might need to go back for a bit more help.

dress making progress so far

my progress so far

hospital gown

possibly not the best fabric choice…

Future crafty plans include covering some wooden magazine files to match my bureau and making some flowery paper bunting.  Paper bunting tonight I think…

Little glimpses of E and M

My babies (am I still allowed to call them that?) are very poorly.  This week has been a tough week in our house with several visits to hospital and the doctors and a meningitis scare.  M has conjunctivitis plus a terrible reaction to a virus? or an allergy plus the virus? We are none the wiser.  E is two days behind, as always what one gets inevitably the other gets.  While M is coming out the other side E is at his worse today and to top it all off mummy is poorly too.

In amongst the twins crying, moaning, exhaustion and endless gunk I have caught glimpses of my beautiful babies.  After their bath yesterday to warm them up and calm them down I decided to blow dry E and M, something we used to do when they were tiny and a bit afraid of the bath, to my astonishment they got up and started running on my bed.  Today E although so poorly he could barely move still managed to get up, lay his head on daddy’s pillow, knees to his chest, bottom wiggling in the air while the warm air passed over him.  I miss my little monkeys, the daily chaos of emptied drawers and laughter as they chase each other the length of the house.  Roll on the good times.

When to say no?

Apologies if you are reading this in desperation for an answer to this question, I am not about to give one, just exploring the dilemma that I face daily with my two little explorers.  Outside, go for it! But inside…

Emptying cupboards

Emptying cupboards

This morning I fixed a mobile and wait for it… my beloved bureau.  Yes E dared to touch and rip off the paper I so lovingly and carefully glued and varnished in place of the old ripped leather, I am more than a little sad about it.  Two other things await repair after this morning’s rampage, a pompom garland that needs rethreading after it’s cord was snapped and a felted zebra who’s hanging string was ripped out.   It is a good job I am the creative sort, the sort that is a jack of all trades and master of none, otherwise these items would become sad and redundant.  I shall add the fixing of these items to my very long list of things to do around running after and being climbed on by two little monkeys.

Emptying kitchen drawers

Emptying kitchen drawers

So my question to you is when is it right to say no? All too often I find myself saying this dreaded word, “no!”… don’t make puddles of water with your beaker all over the dining room, “no!”… don’t turn on the oven, “no!”… don’t climb on the windowsills, “no!” don’t empty the clothes horse onto the floor, “no!”… don’t rip my books, the list of no’s goes on.

I work as a forest school leader and a field studies teacher in outdoor education settings, recently I walked into work to find someone troubled by health and safety and potential law suits had stapled hazard signs to every tree stump in our play area.  I saw red that day, surely every outdoor education setting has an unwritten ethos to inspire and equip children to fully experience the outdoors?  The problem? the world is full of things children can’t touch and things they can’t do, children need to experience things in order to learn to risk asses potential hazards they face in everyday life and with a no touching approach to life can you really fully experience anything?

Health and safety overload

Health and safety overload

At home I want my children to be relaxed and free from these constraints but sometimes I have to say “no!” for their own good.   Also much of the time that I say no they are playing and children learn through play so although irritating play it is good for their development.  I feel I need to strike a balance, if I continue to say no as often as I do, won’t the word just become white noise? If I say it all the time when faced with a dangerous scenario will they listen? My plan is to only say no when really necessary, if it just causes irritation and no harm will be done I will try to avoid the dreaded word (I make no promises, it is tough when you are feeling irritated but I shall try).

I enclose two exerts from ‘Five Children and It’ by E Nesbit… It is useful to remember what our world is like through the eyes of a child.

“London has none of those nice things that children may play with without hurting the things or themselves – such as trees and sand and woods and waters.  And nearly everything in London is the wrong sort of shape – all straight lines and flat streets, instead of being all sorts of odd shapes, like things in the country.  Trees are all different, as you know, and I am sure some tiresome person must have told you that there are no two blades of grass exactly alike.  But in streets, where the blades of grass don’t grow, everything is like everything else.  This is why so many children who live in towns are so extremely naughty.”

“The best part of it all was that there were no rule about not going to places and not doing things.  In London almost everything is labelled ‘You mustn’t touch,’ and though the label is invisible it’s just as bad, because you know it’s there, or if you don’t you jolly soon get told.”




A fresh start

2014 was not an easy year (not to mention very expensive!)… the highlights; stress and anxiety, complete roof replacement, a ceiling collapse (while twins were sleeping in there), a disaster of a holiday, six weeks of the twins with tonsillitis leading to a knock to my confidence, many boiler fixes leading to boiler replacement, four broken radiators, endless leaky plumbing, major damp issues in the bathroom leading to completely gutting the room and refit over and over and over, a two month delay due to a plumber off long term sick, temporarily moving out, lots of difficult and some upsetting discussions with various plumbers, damp specialists, insurers, contractors, retailers etc.  In the words of Miranda Hart “Such fun!!!”  There was of course lots to be thankful for too including a dream job for my husband, spending lots of time with the twins, the twins turning one and an amazing holiday which shall forever be seen as our first real holiday as a family.

For me 2015 has not yet started.  The stress of the bathroom has not yet left us but the end is in sight… Today will see the last of the tradespeople and with them will leave the stress and anxiety they brought with them, hopefully never to be seen again.  Friday will be a tempestuous day, the field opposite our house is in the hands of developers, on Friday the council will decide if it is to be turned into 91 houses plus a retail unit or remain a vista that gives me joy each day as I open my curtains.  I live in hope.  Saturday will bring a fresh start, whatever it holds for me it will be 2015.

Our beautiful view

Our beautiful view

Next year (2015) I hope to be my happy, confident self again.  I have booked myself on courses to learn to crochet, make a dress and freehand embroider.  We plan to choose and attend a twins club once again and get outdoors with other nature tots.  Watch this space…