Last one done

The final order from my handbag party in July is complete Hoorah!!!!!!!!!!!! So now i am embarking on the mammoth task of sorting out the spare room – my sewing room. NO mean feat i can tell you especially as i keep finding bits of fabric and thinking ooo i could do something lovely with that. I still have the puppet theatre to complete well two actually as I am making one for Oliver and for Isobel his best friend for her birthday. The pattern is out of Bend The Rules Sewing. I bought the book after reading about it in Ali’s blog Domesticali. I have a huge stash of fabric to use up, i just need to get the doweling, and some edging. Looks fun though and i have been reliably informed by Ali that it is just a lot of straight seams. It will be nice to make something other than a bag for a change.

Oliver and Isobel on the train to Harpenden

The summer holidays are coming to an end and now they are nearly up, I have no idea where the time has gone. Most of it has gone in pulling my hair out thinking “how the hell am i going to get through the next six weeks” My eldest Oliver starts full time school in a week and i will really miss him, although i will be relieved that i don’t have to pretend i am in a tardis with daleks 24 hours a day – or so it seems. I even know that TARDIS stands for Time And Reletive Dimension In Space. FOr all of you who think I have gone mad, it is from Doctor Who on the telly. Andrew and Oliver are fans. Although Oliver is in bed when it is on and only watches the non-scary bits in the morning after it has been vetted by me.

I am hoping that when he is at school, during Martha’s nap time i will be ale to get stuff done and my house will resemble somewhere nice to live as opposed to somewhere that needs to be closed down!! I will also be able to get some sewing done during the day!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeh right

For now i have two PE bags to make – one will have safari animals on and the other will have rockets on – and two pairs of trousers to hem!!!!!!!! This is not to mention the labels i have to sew on. If they turn up on time as i ordered them VERY VERY late.

Off for a run now.

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D’ya know what i am patting myself on the back

This is rather a strange post and doesnt mention bags at all. TOday i completed a run of just over three miles. Not a huge distance i grant you especially when you take into consideration i have got a ten mile run at the end of october for charity. SO i have to treble my distance in a short space of time

Anyway the reason that i am giving myself a big pat on the back is that 14 months ago i had a baby, Martha Rose. When she was 2 1/2 weeks i became incredibly ill with a uterine infection and a very rare condition called cavitating pneomonia which basically means a hole in the lung full of crap. Poorly is the understatement

I was rushed into hospital in agonising pain (believe me i know i gave birth to martha in 3 hours with no pain relief – this was worse) although my husband was convinced i had a pulled muscle from coughing. The scary stuff started to happen then, coughing up blood, quarantined, havng my baby taken off me as they thought ihad TB. Expressing milk inthe hope that i would get better soon so needed to keep up my milk supply. Having to tip the milk away down the sink in my room in tears alone each night. In the end i was on drugs so long there was no hope of continuing breast feeding – a fact which still makes me cry as it had been going so well and it could have helped her eczema

I was discharged just two days later even though i was still coughing up blood with lots of antibiotics. I made it to my brothers wedding with only one lung working (didnt know this at the time) and then nearly collapsed the next day. When i took myself back into hospital i was told by an out of ours doctor that i should drink more water and appreciate my baby rather than winging on about being ill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thankfully i saw a consultant next who whisked me upstairs to a room of my own and there i stayed for 10 days.

So had to give up breastfeeding, was away from my baby, too ill to really want to see my children and spent a day thinking i had lung cancer as noone had given me a deifinitive diagnosis.

I got better, i got home, i was shaky physically and mentally for a while and was told that it would take a year to get fully better.

BUT

in the past tweve months

i have got better – hole in lung all gone (consultant was superb, local GPs super heros)

Been on holiday twice

Coped with Martha being very poorly in hospital

Set up handbag business (already getting orders for christmas)

Ran three miles

AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT?

I wanted to give myself a pat on the back because it struck me today that running like i do after what i have been through is bloody marvellous.

I am lucky to live in a fantastic village with a proper community who support each other

I am blessed with a fantastic family

I have unbelievable friends

Local doctors are supportive

And God bless the NHS

Rant over. Normal handbaggy life continues – although i am like an eco grocery bag factory at the minute.

Hen Do Survival

So sadly it is over. My cousin Danielle survived her hen mania as did I – much to Andrew’s amazement- it is now countdown to the big day. The stags have their frenzy this weekend, but it is going to take a lot and I mean a LOT of partying and silliness to beat us girls. I am counting myself as a girl even though i was the oldest by 8 years because firstly i got shouted at for winging about my age (quite rightly too i might add as i was starting to annoy myself) and secondly because my willingness to dress up as a cheerleader with my hair in a bunch on top of my head like a six year old means that I may have departed from my 20s but they are still visible from the rear view mirror.

Back Row from left – Sarah, Laura, Carolyn, Rhiannon Middle Row from left – Kate, Cleo, Cheryl. Front Row from left- Danielle (green tights), Mercia, Jessica, Me

The photo above is of us cheerleading at the David Lloyd Centre in Brighton. We soon realised from the stern face of the instructor as she came to collect us from the bar, where we had decided to have a quick beer, or in Danielle’s case a bottle of blue horridness, that the lesson was going to be hard work.

Danielle’s drink of choice

We got the feeling she found the concept of people drinking alcohol 2 minutes before an exercise class alien.

Danielle prior to “dance” class

After 45 mins of strutting our stuff and learning the art of pom pomming!!!! she taught us the routine to our chosen song of Hey Mickey

What can I say but we were all naturals – well until the bit where we got it wrong. It was a good laugh. we kept these GORGEOUS outfits on all afternoon much to the amusement or not as the case may be of the locals. (one bar refused to serve us – miserable gits)

The girls on route to the David Lloyd Centre

Sarah, Danielle and Rhiannon

The evening was a huge success. We all dressed up, we all looked gorgeous complete with little red horns (I had co-ordinated my shoes with the horns), and we hit Brighton with a storm. TO say too much about what went on that evening would break the hen night code but it ended with Danielle in the sea at 3.00am. Her shoes are still missing.

We all made it to breakfast and we all made it to pottery painting which turned out to be great fun.

The girls (minus me as I am taking picture)

So an absolutely fantastic time was had by everyone. I am SO pleased that i met all of Dan’s friends who without exception are wonderful girls. Here’s looking forward to even more fun at the wedding. Over to you boys – match that with your stag do!!!

Oh yes and my handbags had fun too.

It is finished!!!!!!!! Well nearly

I have finished the bag for the hen weekend and I am really happy with it. Although the line of top stitching around the top is not as straight as i would have liked, but i do find that tricky on basket bags. (it is nearly finished as i have the hole in the lining still to sew which i always leave until the very last minute for some unknown reason)

I was worried that the fabric would not go that well with the handles but actually i think it works really well. And it is for me!!!!!!!!!!!! The dimensions are slightly smaller than normal, firstly because i did not have enough craft pelmet interfacing stuff and also because i will be using it in the evening so wanted it to be slightly smaller.

Susanne wrote a very interesting post in her blog creative.mother.thinking, about high heels – to wear or not to wear. It was a very good blog as normal with very interesting comments. I too wrote how although i feel high heels are pretty they are just not practical any more so i do not wear them. Until now that is. I have bought these and they are SO HIGH but they are so pretty. I will be in a wheelchair by the end of the evening with my feet covered in plasters like a teenager – not an supposed respectable mother of two, but they are pretty and really do go with the bag- don’t you think? I bought a paid of pretty flat shoes at the same time – the trendy ballet pumps. But they didn’t suit me a t all. Made me look as if i had strapped sacks of potatoes to the bottom of my legs.

I have had a ridiculously busy week this week with the world and his mother coming round for lunch each day so i feel that i have constantly been tied to the kitchen sink and oven. Oliver has had a good time with his friends though.

The beach bag is finally finished ready for collection this weekend. The photo did not come out too well but i am really pleased with it. The handles are long enough to fit comfortably over the shoulder but not too long. It can therefore be carried in the hand without dragging on the floor. IT has a tab fastening with a metallic clasp and the famous internal zipped pocket.

Susanne has tagged me with a meme about 10 things i like about myself. I will write these up next week. I thought it would be quite difficult but actually when i think about it i am finding it quite easy – my ego is obviously a lot bigger than i thought

I will take some photos of the hen weekend and post them next week.

One of those days

I was under the understanding that with small children you can guarantee that they will be ill between October and April and then well for the summer.

So 2 weeks into the summer holidays and Oliver has had tonsillitis, Martha is teething for England and now they both have fruity coughs. ARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHH. I am going slightly insane. To top it all off Andrew who is never ill has had an infection of the salivary gland. Why he couldn’t just get a cold like the rest i have no idea. So 4 weeks till term time and counting.

Off to Ikea today because I forgot to get enough fabric last time which means that i have to brave the shop from hell. Although at least it means that lunch is sorted. – what child doesn’t like Swedish meatballs.

The hen do is looming and my weight has not come down at all. Not at all. I am running 2 – 3 times a week. I walk 2 miles a day plus stomach exercises every day and swimming. Any weight loss? Not on your Nelly. I must be the fittest fat person around.

How can you not lose weight when you do all that exercise?????????????????????

Obviously I haven’t given up the wine, chocolate or my new summer drink Pimms (with DIET lemonade of course). But a girl has got to have pleasures.

I would like to think that it is all turning into muscle, but the flab hanging over my waistband is giving the game away slightly.

SO the bag i am making had better be bloody good to avert peoples eyes from my jelly belly. The handles arrived today – well actually two pairs, but that is a WHOLE different story, so I just need to get cutting and sewing.

The beach bag is nearly finished and I inserted a zipped interior pocket without swearing, breaking a needle or getting divorced! A first. And thanks to a handy hint from Ali, my machine is working properly.

Is anybody else having one of those days????

Bloody Hell I have been tagged

Lisa has tagged me and now i am it. So I have to share 8 things about myself. This is my first tagging so all very exciting. I have to tag 8 other bloggers to keep it all going. This bit could be quite tricky as I only know a couple being all quite new to this but i will try my best to hunt down some fun and fab individuals whose blogs i have been secretly digesting.

Right firstly have a photo

Enjoying a coffee in Spain 2 years ago

slightly worse for wear at the NCT Valentine Ball i helped organise in 2005

  1. I hate mushrooms and prawns and any other food that squeaks. DO NOT tell me they don’t squeak because they do, listen next time you eat them. In fact i cannot watch anyone cut up a raw mushroom without my palms sweating.
  2. I LOVE coffee. GOOD coffee strong enough to make your teeth curl. I try to limit myself to a couple of mugs a day and drink green tea the rest. It is a health decision not a taste decision
  3. I have a Philosophy degree. Always good at an argument, well less as time goes on. I was OK at school. better at the literary subjects, really not brilliant at the science ones. Although I did have a major crush on my Biology teacher Mr WIlmot and my maths teacher Mr. Davies. My brother Rik is the science geek ( a term i am using affectionately obviously)
  4. I adore the last part of making the bag when it is pulled through the lining. My heart starts to race with excitement as the bag is born. Such a fantastic feeling – that is until i realise that the handle tags are not centred etc etc etc. I wish i was better at sewing but i am getting there.
  5. I live in a little village called Toddington in Bedfordshire and it is the best place in the world. I moved here three years ago with Andrew and Oliver (Martha had not yet graced us with her presence). I moved back as Andrew is away a lot with work and I wanted to be closer to my family. What I have also been lucky to find is a amazing group of friends who are a fantastic support at all times. It also houses 7 pubs within a half a mile stagger so Andrew is happy.
  6. I have been married 8 years this year – all of them happy – in between the arguments none of which serious
  7. I love a tidy house but hate the act of getting it that way. Tidiness does not come naturally and it bores me to death. Consequently i do not live in a tidy house and constantly moan about this fact.
  8. I am currently reading Cock and Bull by Will Self. Just a fantastic writer. To summarise in the book Cock – a woman grows a penis and in the book Bull a man grows a vagina. But in some clever way he has made it seem a natural occurrence and it is not horrid but a really good read.

So there we are 8 things about me. I am going to tag these 8. Hel, Ali, Knit Lint, Sylvia, Angel Jem, Susanne and two others when i find them

Hen do or dont

My cousin who is 8 years younger than me is getting married and has invited me to her hen do which is fantastic. They are all hot shot twenty somethings and i am a mid thirtyish married mother of two. SO i figiured that if I am going to be the oldest there with a waistline somewhat bigger than it used to be then I need to have a bloody good bag to go with my fab dress i bought a week ago.

So today i have bought this Alexander Henry fabric off EBay

and I am going to match it with these handles which i ordered from U-handbag a couple of days ago.

You can order them here. I cannot wait for my orders to arrive!!!!!!! It is very unusual for me to make a bag for myself and it is normally embarrassing when i tell people that i like to sew bags and knit scarves and yet my scarf is knackered and my bag is falling to bits. However this bag will be cool and funky. Pictures will be posted soon – as long as it goes OK.

I am over the moon at the thought of making something pretty rather than the grocery bags and nappy pouches that i have been making recently. Although first i have a beach bag order to complete and that includes a zip – don’t like zips. In fact i make up new words when putting in zips, the air turns blue and the Andrew and the children hide or disappear altogether.

Before all of that i have to work out what is wrong with my sewing machine. It keeps looping underneath the stitches which could be the wrong needle for the fabric or the wrong tension. My sewing knowledge is limited so it is a case of trying everything and seeing which wins.

I am slightly nervous about being away from the family over night (the Hen Do is in Brighton for the weekend) as the only time i have been away over night from them is when i was ill in hospital a year ago and then i was too ill to worry. I feel a long list of do’s and don’ts coming on for hubby