Friday, 28 September 2012

Kids Clothes Week Challenge - Autumn 2012!

I'll admit it, I have been feeling a little lost recently. I've not made anything for a while, and I think that I've got so much on my 'To Do' list that I've not really known where to begin. And so I've not begun at all...

One chilly morning last week as I was cycling to work I was thinking that Autumn was properly here, and that the warmer clothes would have to come out, and Wiss would need some new winter clothes, and hang on, have I missed that great event from Elsie Marley this year....? (Yes, this is what I think about as I commute!)

It turns out that I haven't missed it and I even have some time to prepare! For those of you who don't know Kids Clothes Week Challenge runs twice a year and the idea is simple: you spend just an hour every day making some clothes for your child/ren and at the end of the week you'll be surprised to see what you've achieved. It is running from 8-14 October 2012. You can see what I made last year here - and in fact the tractor PJs have only just started to get a bit snug!

It's a great way to finally get round to making some of those things you've been planning but never quite find the time for, and because there are loads of people doing it too you've got lots of support and virtual encouragement. It's just an hour a day but I found that actually I ended up doing more some nights as it gets addictive! There are always some great tutorials on the Elsie Marley blog during this week to inspire you and there is a flikr group for everyone to share what they have made.

While I've been cycling I've been thinking up a list of what I'd like to tackle this time, including some new PJs, some t-shirts to layer up and a yellow scarf. (Lewis's favourite colour is yellow!) I am really excited and it's come at just the right time for me - now I just need to move some boxes around enough to make some space for me to sew! Who else is going to accept the challenge? Sign up at Elsie Marley, and please leave me a message below. I'd love to have some sewing buddies and I look forward to seeing what we can all make!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

The End of the Summer

Yes, it's true. Summer is officially over. I don't mind too much, although I love warm sunny days and long light evenings, I really like it when the weather turns and there's that crisp bite in the air. Cold days but bright blue skies.

With Autumn comes many of my favourite things: conkers, 'back-to-school' new stationary, opaque tights, my birthday....! But seeing as Summer 2012 was the most fleeting season in recent memory, and we spent most of that precious time house-hunting or house-moving we thought we'd give it a proper send off with a weekend away.

I am really fortunate that I work for an awesome company, and one of the (many) perks is that the office owns a grade II listed weekend cottage near Whipsnade Zoo that we are able to use. Cool, huh? Just wait til you see it...
Holly Frindle was designed by Berthold Lubetkin in the 1930's (he also designed the old Elephant House at Whipsnade and the Penguin Enclosure at London Zoo). It's always reminded me a bit of a hip Big Brother house, and although this bungalow has seen many, many parties it works so well for kids too. I guess that's a sign of great architecture when it works on many levels. It's just a fantastic space to inhabit. There's no stairs to worry about, it's got huge windows with long ledges that make great play surfaces, and we even had space to build a brio railway using EVERY piece of track we own down the long hallway! The boys were in heaven.

As much as I love London, it is always a treat to get away for a break especially in the countryside. We went to the Zoo, played camp and explored, petted the horses, saw the wallabies at the end of the garden, (had a take away and watched x-factor!) You know, all the lovely relaxing things you can do when you're not at home.

The boys (all aged between 2.5 and 3 years old) were brilliant fun and got on so well all weekend. Of course, we couldn't resist taking tons of photos and I even tried to set up an arty photo shoot. Hmmmmmm, it wasn't a huge success....

What I enjoyed most about the weekend was not having to rush anywhere, or try to do a million things in the day. We had time to relax, hang out in our PJs, enjoy ourselves and each other, and I think Wiss really liked having a bit more freedom and adventure. All things I plan to work on now we're back to 'normal life' in London. I'll have to make sure I add 'chillax' on my ever-expanding To Do list! That counts, right?!

So farewell Summer, and hello Autumn. Please be kind and don't rush too quickly towards Christmas!

Monday, 10 September 2012

It's a Small World

Hello! Is anyone still there? I do hope so but it has been absolutely ages since my last post so I wouldn't blame you if you're not!

As you may know already, I moved house about 6 weeks ago and it's taken ages to get to any sort of normality. I blame having a toddler! We have still got loads of unpacked boxes around the place and there's a list as long as my arm of things we should be doing (including replacing the net curtains for something a little more 'us'!) but at the weekends we've been heading out to our new local park instead. Much more fun but not really as productive!

We also had a serious lack of technology when we moved in - no tv aerial and no telephone connection, let along Internet connection. This doesn't sound like much a problem when I type it but it meant no Olympics coverage, no blogging and limited tweeting. Eek! We got the telly situation sorted on day one, we weren't going to miss the Olympics for anything, but the Internet took about 3 weeks. I could still get on line when I was at work but this period was also THE busiest we have been for ages so just never quite found the time.

I was thrilled to get the broadband up and running again, but then there was a new problem... I didn't know what I should blog about anymore! The longer I left it, the more the nerves kicked in. I hadn't been making anything due to the move - all WIPs are on the back, back burner, all the birthday presents we've given this summer have been bought rather than made and I've not had enough time to formulate any big ideas (!) - so what to write about?!

I was going to blog about the end of the summer, the start of crisp autumn days, that back to school feeling and conkers on the ground....and then we went and had the most amazing scorching weekend across the country and summer was back again. The conkers will just have to wait!

I have done a couple of things that I am immensely proud of recently so I thought to break the silence I'd show you those instead. I'm an architectural modelmaker by day, and I work with a team of 6 others to build scale models, often highly detailed....and often this means very repetitive work. My part on this job was to build two 28 storey fire escape stair cases at 1:200 scale. You can see one of them on the right at the back of the building of this photo, and the detail below.

In case you are interested in knowing more, this is a project currently onsite in Sydney called 8 Chifley Square. The photographs are courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.

The second job I had was to make 140 tiny mobile phones, on stands with price tags for a detailed retail model at 1:25 scale. Boring to make but worthwhile as they look so effective on the model!
So that's what I've been up to this summer - now how about you? I'd love to hear what you've been up to over the last 6 weeks and what you've been making. I really need to dig out the sewing machine from one of the boxes! I'll be back soon, until then....thanks for reading!