Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Made with love

I wanted to share this sweet and easy purse I crocheted on Saturday for A, one of the clever Speech and Language Therapists whom I have the privilege of working with. She is moving on to new and exciting ventures in her life and we shall all miss her very much at work but hope she will pop in and keep in touch with us as time passes by.

I used this lovely easy and straight forward pattern from Lionbrand here (you will have to register with the website to access the free patterns) and enjoyed each and every stitch.

I enjoyed hand stitching this floral fabric to form an inner lining. I love the therapeutic effect that the rhythm of hand stitching brings.

I stitched this little tag into the lining which I thought would be appropriate for A who is following her dreams.

Last, but not least I sewed this pretty ceramic heart shaped button on to complete the little purse. I do hope she likes it.

It was made with love xox

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Presents and Parcels

While the down stairs of our home is one big dust ball of drilling, measuring, (ahem) cursing and rejoycing, I am staying upstairs where it is calm and comforting.

Away from 3 men and their copper pipes! Our kitchen is being fitted at long last.

Instead, I will pretend there is no drilling and fitting and fixing going on and take pretty pictures of my pressies and parcels like this one below that the lovely Speech and Language Therapists gave me to say goodbye on Friday (I am fortunate enough to share my second office with these lovely ladies).

Look at the gorgeous potato printing that V and A made on Thursday night to wrap up my pressie. I want a whole alphabet in this font please ;o)

Thank you so much for this delightful and thoughtful wrapping paper, I shall treasure it x

Inside the rectangular shaped present was this little lady...

Isn't she the sweetest timer ever? She can join Alice's Russian doll measuring cups {made by Fred}on the shelf of our brand new shiny kitchen. Oh, I can't wait to use her to bake a cake, we haven't baked for a month now and it's killing me!!

Not only did I get the lovely timer but sweet V also wrapped up another surprise for me. The present was wrapped in tissue paper and tied together with this beautiful beaded copper wire.

Lucky 'ol me to be spoilt so with another perfect pressie, this cotton bag from the De la Warr, thanks so much V, I shall enjoy using this in my new job for carrying all my extra bits and bobs around.

Friday afternoon brought another very exciting parcel to my door, this beautiful rainbow of cotton yumminess I purchased from Planet Penny's Cotton Club you can find details about here if you'd like to join in.

Are these not the most cheerful and happy colours you ever did see?

Such good quality too, I think I have the perfect project in mind for these cotton's this summer (or maybe sooner?)

I have felt so blessed amongst the chaos of saying goodbye to my beloved work colleagues and not having a kitchen and arranging our lives to suite our new daily schedules. Thank you all so much for your sweet words of encouragement and support. So well appreciated!

So, while I smell my beautiful lillies from the bunch of flowers I received on Monday...

I've been relaxing on our bed crocheting away

On a little present I am giving away to A, one of the Speech and Language Therapists who is moving on to other ventures in her working life.

Using this soft Swedish Yarn x


I promise to blog my little gift soon. An easy peasy crochet handmade with love gift which beginner crocheters can easily do. 
See you all soon xox

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Matters of the yarn

Hello all you lovely folk, thank you for commenting and reading my last post. It's always reassuring to know that what I am feeling is 'normal'. This week has got better and more calm as each hour has passed and I am feeling so much more confident about our metamorphosis, maybe there will be some pretty butterflies here after all! 

It's all good and when it's good I can turn my attention to matters of the yarn. Matters of the heart can be neatly compartmentalised for the now.

So, as you may have noticed I've been knitting away at my 20 stitch Aran / double thread DK yarn scarf. It was born out of two main purposes. To use up yarn and draw in the purse strings for a bit as well as my desire to knit a "first scarf". Do you know what I mean by a "first scarf"? I think that most people, when they learn to knit tend to make a scarf or knit a square as their first ever make and I have never really done this. Yes, I have knitted and crocheted numerous scarves, but never made a straight forward garter knit scarf before from left over bits and bobs.

My first knitted project was at school when I was in standard 2 (equivalent of year 2 in UK) in South Africa. We had to knit an all-in-one teddy bear which involved casting on and off mostly to accommodate for arms etc. This was then followed by knitted bed socks which everyone hated as it involved the dreaded purl stitch. I dropped many stitches but learnt how to knit reasonably well, but never felt inspired or inclined to knit myself a scarf from my mum's stash of yarn. This of course could be put down to the fact that South Africa is a gloriously warm/hot country and now that I think about it I don't think I ever owned a woolly scarf when I was growing up! This is not to say that SA doesn't have harsh Winter months in some regions and yes it does snow too.

I wanted to knit myself a "first scarf" with different colours.

So, this scarf was born. I want it to be long so I can wrap it round and round my neck for super duper cosy-ness when the wind chill gets up.

I've decided to call it my snail scarf because it reminds me of a snail when I roll it up.

And because it's being knitted here and there at a snail's pace :0)

Oh, and it's giving me an opportunity to have fun with my camera....

Pretending the stripes are landscapes....

And skies...

for my birdies to take flight.

Have a great weekend xox

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Now that I am mum

My parents kept me from children who were rough
Stephen Spender
My parents kept me from children who were rough
and who threw words like stones and who wore torn clothes.

Their thighs showed through rags. They ran in the street
And climbed cliffs and stripped by the country streams.

I feared more than tigers their muscles like iron
And their jerking hands and their knees tight on my arms.

I feared the salt coarse pointing of those boys
Who copied my lisp behind me on the road.

They were lithe, they sprang out behind hedges

Like dogs to bark at our world. They threw mud

And I looked another way, pretending to smile,
I longed to forgive them, yet they never smiled.

These last two weeks have brought a roller coaster of fears, anxieties, excitement and anticipation. When I was out on my run on Saturday evening, I was so pleased that eventually the poet Stephen Spender's name came to me as I was desperate to track down the poem above as it was one of my absolute favourites when I was at school and I felt that it was able to express some of my emotions about being a mum at this point in Alice's life. About protecting, yet letting go of our children.

English literature and poetry was my sanctuary away from the bully girls in my last year at school.The library became my best hideout ever. 

I never saw the taunting and snide remarks and giggles (amongst other things) behind my back as bullying as such and despite my mum being upset about my so-called-friend's behaviour I tried to never let it get to me. This all started in the last 6 months of my matriculation (last year of school when I was 17). All because I wanted to knuckle down and get the grades to do a Science degree at University. All because I didn't want to go out drinking to get drunk every weekend and didn't want to sleep with boys to distract me from my studying. 

I remember the sheer joy of getting good enough grades to go to University and pursue a life away from the girls who had "rejected" me as their friend. 

I never looked back. University and my new life away from my home city was the best thing that ever happened to me. 

I chose a new way, a new start away from the pain I realised only years later that I had carried during those last 6 months of school.  

It felt good.

I guess the essence of my blog post today is that these past few days/week is seeing our lives change again. Metamorphosing into it's next chapter. The letting go of teeny tiny but very strong apron strings.

Practicing catching the bus, crossing busy roads, handling money and fledging into the world without me and learning to spread little wings of independence.

It's that fine line, that delicate balance of letting go but still watching over.

Allowing growth and dispelling any fears.

Seeing this as a positive and exciting thing.

Each time we go our separate ways in the mornings and find our separate ways back home at the end of the day, knowing that it will feel more and more normal.

Remembering how strong and brave my mother was needing me at 5 and my sister at 7 to catch 2 buses home and that despite my fear of all the evils in the world our sweet child is resilient and strong and sensible and will do just fine despite her mama's worrying!

Having all safety nets and contingency plans in place, I can start my new job on Monday in peace knowing we will be good.

Trusting that she will blossom :0)

Knowing that she will.

ps. Thanks for all your lovely comments, I do love reading them. I have been asked a few questions lately and thought I might reply in my comments box as some other people do on their blogs  so that I don't have to email you separately as I don't want to appear rude and not answer your Q's. Would that be OK? xox 

Monday, 20 February 2012

A lump in my throat


In amongst the Hum Drum of a busy work life comes a sweet moment of sheer overwhelming joy and a lump in ones throat. My wonderful Stroke Rehabilitation Team which I work in, organised a yummy lunch full of vegetarian deliciousness for saying goodbye to me at work today. It is my last few day's with them and I have such mixed feelings about saying goodbye. What a wonderful bunch of dedicated and hard working folk who really care for all our patients and have their best interests at heart, always.

I was there from day one on 1/08/2005 when four of us barely had paper clips to rub together and we set up Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation pathways and guidelines for people being discharged from hospital with a Stroke into the Community. We have had people come and go from our team but there has always been a core team which has stayed and so with a lump in my throat I say Farewell to my lovely colleagues.

They spoilt me thoroughly and gave me these beautiful flowers. This photo next to my bed doesn't do them much justice so I put them on my chest of drawers for some more light on this grey afternoon.

How pretty and uplifting these are in my very dusty home. They have really lifted my spirits with not having a working kitchen {thank you too for all your kind words, you are all so very encouraging and yes I know it will be worth it when it's done}.

Don't you just love Irises? The intensity of that purple!

Sweet HS gave me two lavender filled Laura Ashley velvet hearts as she felt a part of her heart was leaving with me going :(
HS you are the most beautiful flower of them all my friend x

JL made this mixed CD for me with some great Nick Drake, Tom Waites and Nick Cave tracks amongst others which I am keen to listen to. How sweet was that? He observantly listened to my music musings over the time he has been with our team and came up with this cool and very appropriate title for my leaving CD.

My team also gave me a very generous gift voucher to buy yarn and/or fabric from The Owl and Sewing Cat which I am over the moon with. How well do they know me! Thank you, thank you xox


with All My Love dear friends and colleagues I Thank You from the bottom of my heart and shall miss each and everyone of you xox

*** made by my clever and very talented fine artist friend Bronwen making up one half {together with Sam} of their Hey Cherry blog.