some corner of a foreign field that is for ever England

When England played the USA during the football World Cup (that's soccer to those Americans amongst you) I might well have put England t-shirts on my offspring and encouraged them to cheer for England. My American husband was not impressed by this, but when you have dual nationality offspring that are growing up with American accents, playing baseball instead of rugby and telling you that you have spelt a word wrong when you use the British spelling, sometimes you feel that you need to tip the balance back a little in your homeland's favour (yes, favour with a 'u'... - it's NOT wrong...).
So when my husband asked if I was also going to make a pillow with some American soldiers on, I said no.
Still, he should just be glad that I am finally getting around to covering the old and tatty pillows that are lying around the house. This one is for my son. I've already thought up another British pillow to go with it, but who knows when I'll get around to making it.
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I've been feeling all mopey so far this year. I'm not sure why, but it is about time that I got over it. I'm thinking that some sewing is in order - along with blatant procrastination of sorting out our tax paperwork...
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Translation of the day:
UK English: tatty = rather worn out or shabby in US English

What did the big tomato say to the dawdling little tomato?

Ketchup.
I feel like I am a long way from catching up, though. We seem to have spent most of 2011 taking the cars in repeatedly for repair. Rather annoyingly most of the repairs were on the car that we were looking to replace. Was one more week of health that much to ask of it?? Still, we now have a new (to us, not new new) car... and that's when the computer decided to have a funny spell...
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A wee school project meant that my son and I did get to squeeze in a little crafting time. After writing a report on an animal, he then had to do a creative project about his animal, such as a mask, a diorama (still not sure what that is), a puppet, a picture, a sculpture etc. After a quick web search for inspiration, my son proceeded to ignore all of my subtle attempts to steer him in any direction and decided that he wanted to make a wood and string puppet.
Ok. Well, this is what we came up with. I did the drilling. He did all of the painting etc. All the knots were a little fiddly, though, so I ended up doing a lot of the actual assembly.
That's when I decided that we should try another project, where he is the one doing ALL of the work. So a hand puppet it was.
He has done a little bit of embroidery before, but I thought that he did a really good job with his first attempt at sewing. The stitching is a little wonky - and he decided to draw the mouth and eyes on, rather than embroider it - but still. Oh, hopefully you can tell that his animal was a lion.
Valentine's day came and went, so more of our broken crayons disappeared into the oven. .
I used an ice cube tray this time - melting the crayons first, then pouring them into the mould. It worked ok, but I preferred using the oven-safe cupcake mould (that a certain husband threw out by mistake...).
A pebble baby vest was a quick knit. My version (ravelry link) was a little smaller than the pattern's stated size, but that's a good thing, as the wee baby that I knitted it for is a teeny tiny 2 pounder.
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That's about it on the crafting front. It's been weeks since I last dragged my poor sewing machine out. There's not even going to be a translation of the day today - I've run out of time. My daughter has lost her glasses, homework needs to be started and I haven't even begun making the promised stew for dinner yet. Hopefully I'll remember to plug the slow cooker in this time...
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Take care all.

Weaving in loose ends

Normally winter is knitting season for me, but I haven't had much on my needles this winter. It's possible that I have finally decided that someone living in California only needs so many hand warmers and scarves. Nah, that's not it. I don't know. I just haven't been inspired by any of the yarn found locally. I have a couple of cardigans that I'd like to attempt, but I haven't been able to find anything suitable (the shutting down of 2 local yarn stores hasn't helped).
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Then I went to a home goods store and saw a rather nice crocheted cushion. I picked it up, put it down, picked it up, put it back, went home without it, regretted it, returned, then sulked because someone else had since bought it. It still took one of my dear offspring accidentally cutting one of our pillow covers while doing their homework AND seeing these before I got out the needles, mind. I would have loved to use cream coloured yarn like that, but that would not last 2 minutes in this house, so practical 'taupe' it was.
I actually knitted a swatch for once, then came up with a quick pattern for a snug fit. I think that the back is called a buttoned envelope closure.
The best part is that I prefer it to that crocheted one I saw in the store...
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February already? Really? I'm trying to make progress on my resolutions. In terms of getting more organised, my garage is still a state, but I've almost got the google reader thing loaded up with blogs to read. I've set up a Facebook page for this blog, mainly so that I can have a visual bookmark system. For example, if I want to find the entry for an outfit that I have made, I can go to the clothes photo album and when I click on the photo there's a link to the page in the photo caption.
I haven't got very far with adding the photos yet, though... I did want to add the blog feed to the page, too, but it keeps telling me that it can not find it.
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While on the subject of Facebook, I'm here. If you do want to add me as a friend, let me know in the message section that you're a crafter, so that I know why you want to add me - I've had a few weird friend requests that seem to have come out of nowhere. Hmm, where else? Ah, I have a profile on Ravelry - a little bit neglected during my knitting slump, and Goodreads - a book review sharing site.
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Oh, and I almost forgot Pinterest. It turns out that my old 'bookmarking' system of marking things 'unread' on Bloglines had a fatal flaw - when they sold the site all my 'bookmarks' disappeared. I know it serves me right for being too lazy to actually bookmark the pages, but I liked to skim the images. Pinterest has come to the rescue as a visual bookmark alternative.
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I think that's all of my online profiles tidied up into one post. Meanwhile, here's another picture for those of you who are sick of winter: 'January in California'
(personally I didn't think that it was quite warm enough to warrant a dip in the ocean, but I was wearing short-sleeves).
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Translation of the day:
UK English: football = soccer in US English
UK English: American football = football in US English
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But my favourite form of football is rugby football.
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UK English: hooker = a position on a rugby team (so you usually do not need to worry if Uncle Fred was a hooker during his school days...)
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America may be watching the Superbowl this weekend, but it's all about the 6 Nations rugby tournament for me. Take care all.