- Spring time
- Quick and easy
- The first
- The Simple Things
- Happy times
- In the Studio
It's spring next week! It doesn't feel like it, with the snow we had last week, but it definitely is. And to kick it off I'm exhibiting at the Selvedge Spring Fair next Friday and Saturday (22nd and 23rd March) at the Chelsea Old Town Hall. In preparation for both spring and the spring fair I've been making some new spring inspired dresses and blouses. The Circles A Line dress is made from the most wonderful printed linen from Mini Moderns. I love all of their designs but I think this print may be my favourite. The sandy coloured blouse is a cotton mix with a printed white spot on it and a beautiful drape. All of these will be available at the Selvedge Fair, along with lots of other new designs - including new bibs and childrens headbands. If you're in the area, it's an incredible fair and I'm very excited to be a part of it.
I found a little time in the last week or so to make a couple of things for me and Bella. I saw a cardigan/shawl similar to this recently and decided to make one out of some wool I've been holding on to for a couple of years. It only took about half an hour to make, with just two pattern pieces and because I used boiled wool, no need for finishing any seam. It's warm to wear, which is what I wanted, but the wool is just a tiny bit heavier than I was hoping for. I made Bella's blouse using the same pattern that I drafted for this blouse. Again, it only took a short time (there's a theme here), with one pattern piece and other than the bias binding, nothing fiddly at all.
Last week Lily turned five years old. Lily struggles with birthdays every year. She says they happen too soon and that she always needs more time to prepare herself for them. I totally agree with her. It doesn't seem possible that it's been a year since she turned 4. And it doesn't seem at all possible that its been 5 years since she made us a complete family. I'm still amazed on a daily basis by Lily. She's extraordinarily kind and loving. She makes us laugh constantly and often makes me want to cry with her kind words. Every year I find it hard to put in to words who Lily is and what she means to us. I've had readers, in the past, suggest that I seem to care more about Bella, because I find it so much easier to write about her (seriously, I've had actual emails about it!). But the fact is, Lily is so much more than the words I can find to say about her. She's everything to us. And we've loved every single minute of every single day that we've been lucky enough to have her in our lives. I am beyond grateful to have her as my daughter. Love you times infinity Lily Bongo's. And I can't believe that you're 5 already!
Don't let that sunshine fool you...it's still blooming cold out there. Some new childrens snoods are in the shop now.
We've had a rough week this week. Both girls have been poorly, and it was my parents 48th wedding anniversary, the first one since we lost my Mum. Plus it's been really cold. And frankly I've had enough of the really cold. But this morning I woke up and it was beautifully sunny and the girls temperatures were finally back to normal, plus it's the half term holidays, so no getting up early tomorrow, or making sure that packed lunches have been bought or that uniforms have been washed. I'm always amazed as we start to slowly edge in to Spring, just how much difference the change in light makes. Without really noticing it, the days are getting longer and the light is getting brighter. Even this early in to the year, I'm starting to notice the greenery pushing through the mud and ice, even if it's only the weeds. And at this time every year I start to remember just how much easier life starts to feel with the promise of longer days and brighter light. This year is different though. This year is going to be a hard one. Everything is a first. Bella's 8th birthday was the first one that my Mum wasn't there for. Its the first Valentines Day that I haven't had a card from her. On Lilys birthday next week she will turn an age that my Mum never saw . Next month it will be my first Mothers Day without her. Then it will be my first wedding anniversary (and she's the only member of either mine or Jims family that has ever remembered it), then my first birthday. It will go on all year. And it makes looking forward very hard. But the sun light and the promise of spring still makes my heart feel slightly fuller. Even this year. Today , while enjoying my sun lit studio and thinking about how I will face the year, I did what I love to do, I made a new pair of leggings for Lily to wear to the park, and started a new blouse for Bella. And I imagine that's what I'll continue to do.
Six issues in to the new magazine from the Mollie Makes team, and I think its safe to say that The Simple Things is definitely worth buying. I'm not often keen on magazines that offer a little bit of everything. I'm a bit like one of those people that can't have different foods touching on the same plate... I like my magazines to be single discipline. But because The Simple Things has such a strong overall identity, I've found myself enjoying all the different apects of it. A lifestyle magazine, it covers everything from design, interiors, and food, to places of beauty, native wildlife and the history of modern culture. All with beautiful imagery and a reader friendly layout. Issue no 6 includes such diverse features as an article about the city of Melbourne, how to grow chillies and the joys of blustery walks on the beach. It also features the beautiful home of the photographer, Debi Treloar, as well as recipes for a special Valentine dinner for two. As well as looking great, Simple Things is worth reading from cover to cover and manages to balance interesting pieces, such as the article about photographer John Londei, with light hearted (but original) fluff like My Day in Cups of Tea! I only have a few magazines that I buy every month - Elle Deco, Living Etc and Mollie Makes - but I'm definitely going to be adding this one to the list from now on.
Instead of working during the last week, I've mainly been looking after sick children. Bella started feeling poorly just after her birthday and ended up with a horribly high temperature and sickness by the end of the week. To be followed rather quickly by Lily falling fowl of the same bug by the end of the weekend. Unfortunately they're both still in the mid grip of this nasty bug and are still at home, keeping me company, while I look at the piles of work that _really_ needs to be done before next week, when it's half term and they're home all week again! The never ending struggle of working from home....
Yesterday was Bella's 8th birthday. Which seems incredible to me. 9 years ago, after 2 years of trying and 3 miscarriages, we finally got past that elusive 12 week mark of pregnancy and started actually thinking we might finally have a baby of our own. At 20 weeks we were absolutely over the moon to discover that not only were we having a baby, but we were having a baby _girl_. At 28 weeks we were told that I had obstetric cholestasis and that Bella would have to be born before 37 weeks, or we risked a still birth. Ironically, within the week I started going in to premature labour and spent the next 5 weeks mostly in hospital, trying to keep her where she was! On the morning of February 4th, at 35 weeks I went in to labour. And again ironically, after spending 5 weeks trying to keep her in, once I went in to full blown labour, she decided she didn't want to come out! Twenty six hours later, and after a very, _very_ fraught emergency delivery, we finally held Isabella Florence in our arms. Eight years later, so much has changed. We've gained so much (Lily, Lily, Lily!!) and lost so much. But the very best thing that I've done in the last 8 years, is watch my beautiful Bella grow more and more every day in to such a lovely, funny, caring, crazy, clever, cool, amazing girl. Happy birthday gorgeous girl! Thank you for being all that you are! We all love you to infinity and beyond.
It's not that easy to imagine the warm summer sun at the moment, especially as we've just had more snow blizzards forecast, but when I look at these colours I'm full of hope for hot summer holidays, playing on the beach. And until then these blouses look great over long sleeved t shirts! Tomorrow is Bella's 8th birthday, so tonight we've been wrapping presents and hanging bunting. It's her first birthday without my Mum, so it will be a bittersweet day, but she's gone to bed just about the most excited I've ever seen her!