Sorry everyone - I've been a rubbish blogger lately. There just doesn't seem to be enough time these days!
So once again this will be a blog with lots of different components.
First of all I thought I'd show you the birthday present we made for one of Fred's friends recently:
A personalised Monster Making Kit
full of felt, needles, thread, scissors, sew-on googly eyes and an invitation to come for tea one day after school for a monster making session!
So Fred's friend doodled some ideas
(really good drawing for an 8 year old, I thought)
and then came for tea with one of Daisy's friends too
and these were the monsters they designed and I helped them create.
Pretty fabby aren't they?
Unfortunately I had to do most of the sewing because the needles I had bought weren't quite sharp enough to go through the felt. Does anyone else struggle to get the right kind of sewing needle for children - i.e sharp enough without being too sharp?
I haven't done much sewing of my own lately - partly because I have been welded to the sofa knitting in every spare moment. I think I knit more in the winter because it is a cosy, in front of the fire, type of craft. It's also very portable and I can sneak a bit of knitting into my lunchbreak at work.
I finished the Simple Yet Effective Shawl in the gorgeous wool from Michaela's raffle,
but I'm not totally in love with the finished article. I'm just not sure how to wear it - and that mistake in the middle really bugs me too! Should I "frog" it? The wool says it should be handwashed but I don't know if that is just a precaution as it is a mixture of superwash sock wool and nylon. Do you think I could get away with knitting it into socks and machine washing them? (basically it is totally unrealistic to think that I will ever handwash my socks!)
I know I complain about work (I'm really struggling with working 30 hours a week - it's WAY too much for me) but the students on the programme that I am secretary for are absolutely wonderful. Look at this gorgeous piece of homemade cake that one lovely lady brought in for me:
It's such delicious cake - and there is a lovely story behind it. In the student's home country, when they have some good news, or something they want to celebrate, they make a cake and share it with their friends and family as a way of sharing their happiness or good fortune. Isn't that a wonderful tradition? I wish we did things like that over here.
On Friday night the students had a party and I was invited too so I went along with Dot and Daisy (after first meeting my lovely knitting-student-friend Maura and her husband for a meal at Nandos). It was a great party and many of the students had brought different foods and music from their home countries (it's a truly international programme). And what was particularly lovely for me and my girls was how pleased they all were that I had come along. I think it was good for Dot and Daisy to see another side of my life.
Meanwhile, Dot's book review blog has been flourishing and she has been receiving wonderful book recommendations and even actual books through the post (thank you so much Michaela and Diana)! And thank you all for taking the time to visit her - we all really appreciate it.
It was her "Tutor Review Day" at school on Thursday so we went to see her form tutor and heard what a wonderful "model pupil" she was - which was lovely as always - and then went on a trip to The Fat Quarters where we bought this gorgeous fabric for Dot to make her first quilt.
On the way there I decided to treat Dot to takeaway Scampi and Chips from Harry Ramsden's Drive Thru. Out of curiosity, how many sachets of salt and vinegar would you expect to be given with two portions of scampi and one of chips?
Sixteen of each???????
The mind boggles really!