Monday, August 24, 2009

Well, I have been a bit of slacker lately. I haven't had a post in over a week, but I seem to be fighting to get on my own computer in the waning days of summer holidays. School starts Thursday!!! Hooray! I love my son, but back to a regular schedule and some peace of mind for mommy is in order.

I did finish this hat over the weekend. I used a new method that I found in Crazy Felt. You use Solufleece (available at Hickeys in Dublin or online at to sandwich your fibres between water soluble fabric. The fabric is like interfacing and is really easy to sew on. Once you have your fibres selected, lay them out on top of the first piece of Solufleece in an even manner. Then spray it with adhesive so nothing shifts and cover it with the second piece of Solufleece and pin the whole lot in place. You then stitch the whole lot in a random, free embroidery kind of way on the machine. The thread must capture the whole lot to hold together. When you are done, rinse it in warm water and you are left with a fabric you have created yourself! Very exciting.

Next time I do it I can photograph the whole process, but the final result turned out pretty good. I followed the pattern in the book for the first experiment and it turns out that the side piece needs to be a bit wider, so I added a bit of denim as trim to give it that bit more coverage. Don't know why I chose pink, but I am going to do a black and silver one next. The fibres are merino in various pinks, Wensleydale, fuscia satin, and micro fibre trim. It's easy, but I must stock up on thread as you do go through quite a lot to make sure you have the fibres caught up.
It's very tempting to stay up tonight and do another!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Well, we are home and well recuperated from the English holiday. For the record, I would not recommend the earliest flight in from Stanstead as it means getting up in the middle of the night. Money is saved, but exhaustion is total.

Legoland was brilliant, but expensive. The small boy loved it! We went on lots of rides and he came home with a new Indiana Jones Lego piece to add to the collection. The London Zoo was excellent and the weather was picture perfect over the last weekend for it. There was a live animal show, a Bug House, gorillas, a butterfly habitat, a children's play/animal explore area, and all the usual suspects. We had a great time in London's parks; Holland Park had an excellent playground for bigger kids. We also caught Regent's Park, Greenwich Park, and Kensington Park. Kensington Park is the home of the Diana Memorial Park, which is the best kids park I have ever been in: a Peter Pan theme with a big pirate's ship sunk into sand, water features, tunnels, climbing, sand, swings, musical garden. It was a child's dream come true. Small Boy just stared in wonder and didn't know what to do first. Then he threw his shoes at me and ran for the ship. And it was FREE, enclosed, and people without kids can't get in and kids can't get out without parents. As an added bonus there were healthy kids meals served at the concession. To be honest, it was a lovely memorial to Diana and a bit of peace for parents in the summer. The kids just go play and come back when hungry. Why does Ireland not have lovely parks for kids???

The only disappointment was London Dungeons. We waited in line for an hour only to scare the pants off the small boy. It was just more appropriate for teenagers and a shame that they didn't state this on entry. Small boy kept saying "We are never going there again, Mommy!" Over and over til I felt truly guilty. To be honest, I could have skipped it, but I thought it was a fun way to do London history. Live and learn....In the picture of the two of us together in que at London Dungeons, the scar on my arm is all makeup. They were doing gory makeup for free and I got one; small boy was mortified as you can see from the pic.
Other than that, it was nice to spend time in the city. Small boy is a bit too independent and I had to keep pulling him back from his wandering ways. He asked me the first day "Why is everyone brown in London?" We were on Brick Lane in the Bangla/Pakistani/Indian area at the time and the comment was made in innocence, really. Kerry is still quite white and so I do want him to see that other parts of the world are much more diverse. I noticed that when he played on the playground, he never picked mates that were white, so maybe they do learn to be colourblind. Thank God.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Well, we are nearly ready to head away on holidays. I find that right before I head away, I am nearly at the breaking point with people, ready to yell or lose the plot at absolutely nothing. Of course, the small boy is excited about holidays and asking for the world before we leave town; he is six years old and full of WHOO-HOO about the whole thing. All I want is to finish packing, tidy the house for our return, and have a glass of wine so it actually feels like I am in holiday mode. I just need to purge the fridge of science experiments so that they won't be walking and talking when we get back home.

Camera ready and has new batteries-check! Phone charger and UK adapter-check! Clothes packed, London A-Z and travel paperwork all stowed. Just to throw in toiletries in the morning and away we go to Kerry International (ha!) Airport. All that is left is to CALM DOWN and actually enjoy myself. I must have the Big City Lecture with my son, as well. Living in a small town he has no idea about the dark element to life and London is a great deal bigger than Seattle. We need an If-I-Get-Lost plan just in case he goes day dreaming and wanders away. Normally I would say that I would never let this happen, but I will be shopping for fabric and, well, you know how it can get....a friend tells me on Brick Lane you can get silk for like €1.50 a metre. That alone makes my blood pressure go up.

The only possible glitch is that the neighbor boy has chicken pox. I don't care if small boy gets them, but the timing would be truly dreadful as Legoland has been the carrot that I have dangled in front of him for the last two months. No little dots yet, so I just have to watch and see. Too soon to worry about that yet!

It's time for me to start singing my holiday song....

Monday, August 3, 2009

The view of Connor Pass outside my front door. It looks fairly hazy, but the camera just isn't picking up the rain that is whizzing sideways. Fairly dirty stuff. On the other hand, there was bright sunshine in Dublin for Kerry to totally defeat the Dubs on their own home turf. Let them have the sun if we get to win!

Things to do on a rainy day

Oh, I would surely love to be reading all day in my pajamas, but people keep coming to the door and it is embarrassing to get caught in pajamas after 11am as the whole Pajama Movement has been derailed by the horrible Early Morning Brigade that must Accomplish Lots. And I have a six year old who does not understand that if someone knocks or the phone rings, you are not obligated to answer. Let the world wait.

So here I am, pajamas frustrated, and the boy has decided that he needs to eat AGAIN, having been fed four times already today and he will need to be fed at least twice more again before I declare that I am on strike for the day. A dinner must be made. I think pork chops and mash and veg, which I will make him consume entirely as pennance for disturbing my reading and afternoon of reverie. Children just do not understand the beauty of relaxation and pottering about the house. Thank God we are going on holidays soon so we can get out of our routine and do something we both would not ordinarily do and just be different people for a week.

I just finished a necklace so take a look above....