Busy procrastinating

I'm busy procrastinating. I have a couple of projects that I want to get done, but it just seems too, well, awkward to finish them right now. It never seems to be the right time to work on them. The truth, though, is that they are not particularly complicated and I could probably find the time. So what is the hold up? I think that it might be that they all involve zippers...Now I have put in zippers before - and they have never given me any issues. I wouldn't even say that I am 'scared' of zippers. Yet projects with zippers always seem to need those extra few days of psyching myself up beforehand. No, I don't know why, either.So while I have been avoiding those projects, I've been fiddling about with a couple of procrastination projects for my daughter's room instead:I wonder if the Union flag will change if Scotland votes itself out of the U.K.? It will look a bit plain without the blue of St Andrew's Cross.The cushion is normal size - it's the toy dog that is giant.

Translation of the day:
UK English: spotted dick = a steamed suet pudding containing dried fruit in US English
This one only came to mind as my husband has just bought his boss a badge saying 'I heart spotted dick'. That probably gives you a good idea of the standard of my husband's humour - and why I usually leave him in the car when I go to the import store for food...

Fabric design DIY

So much for my resolution that 2012 would be a more productive year craft-wise. All I've done so far is sew up the edges of a cushion cover. My offspring have been more productive than their mum: they've been working on a sewing kit received at Christmas. The constant tying of knots and untangling of threads has been my contribution. My son has been off school with the lurgy all this week, though, so it turns out that we still have a few more days of health issues to deal with.

I did get to play around on the computer while he napped and put together a little fabric design, though. Double-deckers, (old-style) minis and black cabs: I entered it into this week's cityscape contest at Spoonflower. I know it's not a cityscape, but all they asked for was something inspired by a city, so I picked London. It could have just as easily been several British cities, mind. Even my school bus was a double-decker bus. I still remember an elderly neighbour taking me on my first bus ride into the town centre on a double-decker, letting me sit at the front on the top deck, much to my delight.

I'm sure that you've all heard of Spoonflower by now. You upload a design and they professionally print it onto fabric for you. It's something that I thought that I'd be champing at the bit to try, but I didn't actually get around to testing them out until towards the end of last year.

My verdict? I was impressed. I picked quilting cotton for the fabric and was expecting that heavy stiff stuff that you find on the cheaper racks of the fabric store. Instead it is lightweight and reasonably drapey. It's not the softest quilting fabric that I have felt, but it was much better than I expected. As for the colour reproduction, this was the design on my PC: and this was how the swatch looked:Actually, that was how the swatch looked with some white paper behind it. Like I said, it was fairly lightweight fabric, so the white areas were slightly transparent. This is how the swatch looked with a dark background behind it:Plus, thanks to a few people buying a yard or two of that design, I have some 'Spoondollars' to put towards my next purchase...

Translation of the day:
UK English: the lurgy = undetermined mild illness in US English
As in, I hope that I do not catch the dreaded lurgy. It's similar to the American term 'cooties', but adults will say 'lurgy', too - and it doesn't have to be infectious.

As for my son, his body is obviously fighting something off, as he's had a fever all week, but not much in the way of other symptoms - except for general moping and listlessness. A nap during the day was big departure from the norm for him...

Up and down

The handmade Christmas presents did get finished on time, even the knitted ones. The late start did mean that I didn't find the colour yarn that I wanted for the hot water bottle cover, but mum didn't seem to mind. It's another version of the one that I had made before.Also on the list: One replacement pair of knit mitts for my mother-in-law, who was missing the pair that she had lost;some beeswax candles made by the kids for their teachers, along with some British chocs from the import store in a handmade drawstring bag;and a little bag of sewing projects that I put together to go with a beginner's sewing kit for a couple of nieces.I put together the booklet using some projects from PurlBee.com, along with some basic stitch instructions. I cut out the felt pieces ready for them and collected together all the notions needed, so all they have to do is the sewing. I also got them a commercial sewing project kit, which had holes pre-punched in the felt, so these projects would be the next step. Hopefully.Christmas already seems like it was so long ago. It was a mixed one: my parents were over, so I got to celebrate it British-style, for once, even having the traditional dinner on the day itself. Then one of our dogs stopped on his walk and refused to go on.

Much of the remainder of the day was spent at the Emergency Vet's office, quietly weeping, as I was told that he had heart failure, with possibly not much time to go. We had to leave him overnight... Yet when we took him to another vet for a follow-up ultrasound a day or so later, she disagreed completely with the diagnosis. So, two large vet bills later, it looks as though our elderly dog is healthy after all. Hopefully.

It feels like the last week of 2011 was a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions. A worrying lump on my son's neck is not worrisome now the doc has taken a look. Our Boxing Day family party went well, but that evening was the start of a few days of sickness for me. We had some lovely day trips and a stroll around the Christmas lights; but there was also a little girl not happy about having eye drops for pink-eye. Still, my parents said that they did enjoy their visit and all the worries seem to be sorted (By the way, if you are going to get ill, I heartily recommend doing it when your mum is in town. I had forgotten what it was like to be able to crawl back into bed for a morning, instead of still having to run around after the kids as usual...).

All's well that ends well.

In hindsight, it was a good Christmas.

Translation of the day:
UK English: Boxing Day = the day after Christmas Day (December 26th) in US English. It's a public holiday in Britain and several other Commonwealth countries
UK English: skint = broke, penniless in US English
As in, many more Christmas Day trips to the Emergency Vet and we will soon be skint...

Take care all. Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2012.