Smocked

I got a little nervous after posting that sneak peek on the previous post - and people telling me that they couldn't wait to see the finished item - that I was going to bodge this. As for those asking me what it is called (really, you should know by now that I am the last person to ask about technical terminology), according to the McCall's Needlework Treasury that my grandmother-in-law gave me, it is honeycomb smocking. There's an online tutorial here.
I have had this idea for a top for my daughter for a long while now, but I was a little intimidated by the idea of doing the honeycomb smocking and kept procrastinating (as usual). It turned out that my only problem was with trying to iron it, as I was too lazy to clear the counter top and I didn't have much room to manoeuvre (maneuver). The stitching itself took no time at all.
It's grey with pink stitches on the smocking, but I'm not sure that you can tell that from the photos. Lined with a pink polka dot fabric, in case I needed to persuade my daughter that girls can wear grey (she's starting to get ideas about what she wants to wear these days). Trying to get her to stand still for a picture is proving difficult these days too, for that matter...
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Translation of the day:
UK English: bodge = botch, to do an inept or inelegant job in US English. Sometimes as a temporary repair.
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I'm not sure yet when we are heading out of town, but we shouldn't be gone for long. Take care.

Avoiding painting the living room

Well, both versions 1 and 2 of the baby blanket got scrapped. My friend that just had the baby has been my friend since we were toddlers and it just didn't seem right to give her a blanket that I was not happy with - and one that did not seem to fit her personality either.
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There was still the problem of finding some yarn that I did like, though. The above eggs (made using this pattern) are made out of yarn that I have stashed, ready to make a normal blanket with. So, I did pull those out for consideration, but, while I love the colour combo, the yarn just doesn't feel soft enough to go against a baby's soft skin.
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So when I found the same yarn that I have used before, I went with it. I had hoped to have a change from what seems to be becoming my standard baby blanket pattern, but I know this yarn works and, more importantly, I think she'll like it. I hope so, anyway.
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I think I will make my daughter a messenger bag out of the ridiculously thick yarn, as we do not know anyone in the Arctic that will need a baby blanket anytime soon...
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Meanwhile, here's a sneak peek at what I am making next. Hopefully I'll be able to find the sewing machine - it's probably covered in rust, dust and cobwebs by now...
Translation of the day:
UK English: yonks = a long period of time, an age, ages in US English.
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As in, I haven't sewn anything in yonks. I hope I remember how to thread the bloomin' machine...

Hidden dangers of spring cleaning

Well, I haven't been keeping the curtains shut, leaving the phone off the hook and catching up on things around here.
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Somehow the spring cleaning led to buying two new bookshelves and moving my daughter out of a toddler bed, which somehow led to plans to rearrange and redecorate two rooms. Ugh, I don't want to do plastering and painting again. I haven't even found a cupboard or finished putting up the shelves etc. in the bathroom yet. Why couldn't I just leave well enough alone??
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Translation of the day:
UK English: DIY = 'do it yourself' in US English
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My husband says that Americans do not use the acronym. Not that he would be the one to know - I'm the one that does all the DIY around here. Installing laminate flooring, putting up shelves, putting together furniture etc. etc. is all done by yours truly.
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Actually, I do like putting together furniture, but it does take a while when you're having to chase curious kids away from the hardware every 5 minutes (my husband was supposed to be entertaining them, but I guess that watching him play computer games wasn't that entertaining...).
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There hasn't been much spare room / time for crafting. Finding two matching colours of the same yarn in my still half empty yarn stores for a baby blanket has been a challenge. Version #1 felt too thick and fluffy, even for Scottish weather. I started version 2 last night, but I'm not convinced that those colours work. Any ideas for things to make with thick and surprisingly fuzzy yarn?
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While I'm asking for ideas: We're off to Sacramento for a night or two in a few week's time. Does anyone have any recommendations for things to see / shops worth checking out?
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(PS. Paperweight made by tying a Monkey's Fist knot around a wooden ball).