Hemming and hawing

Yet another year of leaving the preschool teacher's end-of-term gift to the last minute... Hopefully I'll have the finished item to show you this weekend.
I've finally had a couple of full nights' sleep in a row - oh, it feels good! I haven't switched on the sewing machine yet, as I've spent the last couple of evenings hemming maternity trousers for my sister-in-law (the in-laws are visiting). I probably should get around to hemming my own trousers one of these days. It's hard to get motivated to do boring sewing like that, though.
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This will just have to be a flying visit, I'm afraid, but I thought I'd poke my head around the door to let you know I'm still alive. Take care all.

So very tired

Still no sleep: my daughter has been ill again. I remember when they were newborns, when I could hack this sort of sleep deprivation with ease. Forget energy drinks - they should bottle whatever hormone or natural chemical it is that gets produced when you've just had a baby...
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In the interests of safety, I'm avoiding operating heavy machinery, by which I mean a not-very-heavy-at-all sewing machine. This is all I've got for you: a pincushion. I've heard them referred to as biscornu, presumably because of the weird shape.
It's actually a great shape: very, um, balanced? stable? steady? I can't think of the word I'm wanting. Anyway, the long way of saying it is it doesn't need weighing down and doesn't tip over.
Take care all. Will post more translations when I'm capable of conscious thought once more.

And the winners are...

It's been hot, hot, hot around here. Thank goodness that it is finally starting to cool off a bit. It does mean that I had to quash the English chocolates I wanted to add to the give-away, though, and pick a non-melting variety instead...
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Without further ado, the winner of the give-away is Sarah of http://www.frogcreekcottage.com/. Sarah, this little lot is yours:
And, as there were two bags, I thought I might as well give away the second, too, so Christina (HikeBikeKayak) of http://sometimescrafter.blogspot.com/, this little lot is yours (good luck for the upcoming birth!)These prizes are given away with the understanding that all poor stitching will be ignored, as sleep has been a rare commodity around here...

Here's the crossword answers:

Sarah and Cristina, I'll be e-mailing you to find out your addresses.
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Take care all.

Slowest crocheter in the West

and, no doubt, the East, too...
This wee basket has taken me several evenings, although I did waste a bit of time doing three different attempts at handles...
It's based on the crochet basket pattern at http://orangeflower.typepad.com/orange_flower/crochet-basket-pattern.html, although I made it a little smaller in diameter and skipped the fold on the top. It is only just now - and after my repeated attempts at handles that I see that she made a version with handles http://orangeflower.typepad.com/orange_flower/2008/02/another-crochet.html in what looks a much easier way... darn... Anyway, she recently posted that she is stopping her blog this weekend, so you might not have long to get a copy of the pattern.
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I have further plans for this basket, but took pictures now in case they go awry. If you see no more of it, you'll know my idea went hopelessly wrong...
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Meanwhile, here's proof that I should not become a clown: 1st attempt at balloon animals for the kids... Um, a big-nosed pink poodle and, um, a giraffe... obviously...
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As for those of you missing your UK / US English lessons, never fear, I will be posting the crossword results soon...
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Edit: OrangeFlower's blog is now down, but it was a collaborative effort and there's a link to the basket pattern at http://chickpeastudio.typepad.com/chickpea_sewing_studio/2008/02/the-little-croc.html

Give-away time

As you were all so sweet about the favour bags made for the baby shower, I thought I'd have a give-away, what with this being my 40th post and all. Ok, so I also have been procrastinating and don't have much else to show you, unless you're interested in half a basket, an eightieth of a scarf and the fabric choices for an apron - yep, haven't even started the cutting on that project...
All you have to do is take your pick of either the black bag with the pink lining or the floral bag with the black lining and leave a comment on this post stating which you would prefer. I'll also throw in a pack of buttons (poorly pictured here, in the packet) and probably some other bits and bobs, like fabric or something - the final choice will depend on how much peace my darling little angels give me in the upcoming week...
nb. As blogger doesn't show me your e-mail addresses, please make sure I have a way to contact you - either by leaving a blog link or putting your e-mail address in the comment or promise to check back to see if you have won. You can send me a separate e-mail (click on 'view my complete profile' over there on the left column to find my e-mail address) with your e-mail address if you don't want to put it in the actual comment.
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The winner will be chosen randomly on Tuesday (probably). Bonus: You get a bonus entry if you send me an e-mail with the answers to the following crossword!
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If the clue is followed by (Brit) it means the answer is the British equivalent to the American term given. If it is followed by (US) it means the answer is an American word meaning the same thing as the British term given. Clear as mud?
Take care.

Mother's Day Greetings

Happy Mother's Day to many of the mothers amongst you (the UK Mother's Day was back on March 2nd - it keeps me on my toes trying to find out when it falls each year).
These red paper flowers were made for me by my son at preschool. My daughter's artistic efforts for the day were limited to an impromptu ink drawing on our living room wall... grrr. After a day of waking early, wiping bottoms and listening to squabbles, I think my favourite part of Mother's Day might just be now: the kids are in bed and I plan on sitting down and maybe even watching TV...
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Sorry, I'm sure I'd be waxing lyrical about the joys of motherhood if I had had a smidgen more sleep in the past fortnight. K had croup, poor lass, and wasn't sleeping at night. J was under the weather. Then throw in a leaving party, a baby shower and two birthday parties and it's been a busy few days. I'm not caught up on checking my e-mail yet, so please don't think I've been ignoring you if you've sent me a message.
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Still, the kids' birthday at the park went really well. All I had to worry about was taking along food, drink and favours (including these great kites that I found that are ever so easy to fly). The kids had a blast and the mums had a chance to natter (I found out that one of the preschool mums is English, too!). The kids even liked the English style sandwiches - phew!
Here's some of the wee bags I made for small favours for the baby shower. I put a handful of chocolates in each one. I adapted the clutch pattern in Bend the Rules Sewing (by Amy Karol) to make it smaller: about the size of a small camera case. I'm hoping they'll be found useful, but I didn't have much time on my hands, so there's lots of improvements I would like to have made, especially in terms of using matching thread colours and taking more care to avoid wavy top stitching. Oh well, hopefully my friends won't examine them too carefully!

We went to a restaurant, so for games I just drew up a couple of small quizzes. One of which was a crossword based on UK English / US English translations for baby terms. I did this once before and each time I'm amazed to find out that my friends actually understand very little of what I say. One good friend thought K spent much of her first year sleeping on a camping cot (a frame camping bed), as she kept hearing me refer to K's cot. Goodness know what kind of mother she thought I was. Probably one who enjoys the post-bedtime part of Mother's day the best, no doubt...
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I guess the translation of the day should be
UK English: cot = crib in US English
UK English: camp bed = cot in US English
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Take care all.