Thursday, 29 May 2014

#BlogBumpClub - 27wks + 2

I received a text alert this week telling me 'Week 27: Your baby is the size of a rutabaga!'*
From about week 4 onwards there are lots of fruit and vegetable comparisons to the size of your developing baby. I find these hilarious, and sometimes downright scary! Week 4: a poppy seed, week 31: a pineapple (ouch!) all the way up to Week 40: a watermelon. I've already had one baby so I'm not completely na├»ve about the size of them when they pop out, and Wiss was 8lb 5oz, but a watermelon? I've seen some mahoosive watermelons out there and I do not fancy carrying one of those around. Even for Patrick Swayze!
I've signed up to a couple of Pregnancy apps which have all this kind of information, and much more. I'm actually using Pregnancy + most and I will be reviewing it in full next week. If you are using an app to help/amuse/organise you during your pregnancy then I'd love to know which one - leave me comment below or tweet me @thisiswiss.
As always, these #BlogBumpClub posts are linking up with other fab bloggers, so don't forget to check out their posts this week, and if you're pregnant too then why not join in?
Mother's Always Right

*in case you didn't know, a rutabaga seems to be American for a swede!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Ta Da! The Chevron Quilt

It seems to be that my 'Work in Progress' posts are actually helping me to finish projects. Yay! After writing about my Chevron Quilt last month, I steamed on with the quilting and the binding and Ta Da! One finished chevron quilt :) I really enjoy how quickly quilts seem to come together after all the planning and cutting, and the hand binding (done in front of the telly) is one of my favourite bits.

The general consensus was to use the denim flannel for the solid binding and I'm really happy with how it turned out. It's a very simple design which is just perfect for our sofa and front room (which incidentally isn't where I took this photo! This was taken 'on location' at Holly Frindle, a gorgeous weekend house we visit.)

Although I photographed this on the one sunny day last weekend, the weather in the south of the UK has turned decidedly wintery this week so we have been keeping warm under this quilt already!

I'd love to see any projects that you've finished this month - leave me a link below, or tweet me a picture @thisiswiss

Bye for now! angela

Saturday, 24 May 2014

#BlogBumpClub - 26+4 wks

As you may already know (I have been going on a bit about it!) this week I have been off my feet for a few days. A sneaky little horsefly bite meant I was forced to take things easy, which isn't something I normally do!

So what did I do? Some 'preparation' for the new arrival of course...with the help of Netflix! I watched two Parental Comedies - a genre I didn't even know existed before - and they were pretty good!

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'What to Expect When You Are Expecting' (2012) has got a stellar Hollywood cast and follows five couples who all become pregnant at the same time, in various circumstances. Yes, it's cheesy but I laughed out loud (especially at the dad's Dude Club) and also cried my eyes out too. All in all, a good fun film.

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'Friends With Kids' (2011) Promised to be a more 'grown up' view on having kids and has many from the same cast from Bridesmaids (which I love!!) Two best friends decide to have a child together to have the best if both worlds - kids AND a happy romantic relationship.

This wasn't as LOL funny but some of the issues were a bit closer to home. How kids change the relationship with you and your partner is a really interesting discussion but unfortunately it was glossed over with a true Hollywood ending. Shame as I liked the film but I think my hormonal emotions needed the happy finish :)

While I was watching all this telly I made a start on my fab 'Wool and the Gang' kit. If you knit you need these guys in your life! I was sold at the funky website, cool graphics and modern designs but the good news is they are also a joy to knit too!

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I bought the Aloha baby hoodie pattern and chose Sunshine Yellow from the multitude of colours available. The cotton wool is so soft, and will be perfect for cooler autumn evenings. I also bought their bamboo needles and they are so easy to knit with! I'll post some pictures when it's finished.

I'll be back next week with more #BlogBumpClub news but don't forget to check out all the other fab posts in Week 2 of this linky.

Mother's Always Right

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Architecture - For the Kids

This week I've mainly been sitting down with my foot up - foot, not feet I'm afraid, and it's not been very relaxing. I developed an infection from a random horsefly bite which left me barely able to walk. I mean, honestly, how much pain can one little bite cause? Let me tell you... A LOT! Anyway, I seem to be on the mend now thanks to some strong antibiotics, and I'm going to be wearing a head-to-toe boiler suit from now on at all times, just in case!

I was due to be giving a talk to Wiss's pre-school nursery class about Architects (and Modelmakers!) but that has had to be postponed too. Instead, and to keep me prepared, I thought I'd share some of our personal architectural gems in London.
Photo Source
The view from the top of Gipsy Hill, SE19 is one Wiss has grown up with, and as views of the City go it is pretty spectacular. We watched the Shard being built from this vantage point and we see it daily in all sorts of weather - the way the sun reflects off it is amazing. Wiss developed a love for the Shard and points it out whenever he spots it somewhere on the skyline!

The Shard

Getting the train into London Bridge station offers a completely different view of the Shard, and standing at the foot of it you can feel completely dwarfed. The trick perspective from this angle makes it seem like the Shard is even taller than it really is. 

We have not taken Wiss to the top viewing level yet as the prices have always been prohibitively expensive, but this half term children go free! Between 26 May and 1 June up to 2 children can get in free with at least one full-paying adult. Even though adult tickets are still £25 each, this could mean a saving of up to £37.90 on the kids!!! See their website for more details and to book in advance.

City Hall

Once you've got the train to London Bridge, it would be silly not to take a stroll along the river. We always cut through Hayes Galleria (great pirate ship sculpture in the middle) then have a look at HMS Belfast moored just before City Hall. The piazza round here is always buzzing with people and interesting things to see. There's even a free table tennis table with bats and balls provided!

City Hall (designed by Norman Foster) is home to the Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority, and as such may seem to be off-limits, especially with a child...but no! Parts of it are open to the public, and once you've negotiated the airport-style security (always exciting for a kid) you will be able to explore the enormous aerial photo of the whole of London (just seen at the bottom of the ramp in this photo) I wish I taken some pictures of Wiss running around on this but maybe I will, and add them in post-posting?
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As well as trying to find your house on the huge map, there is a great cafe with an outside terrace into the Scoop (for little ones to run around in, if there's no free entertainment on) and of course, there is a toilet with baby changing facilities. Always handy to know where these are in busy tourist areas!

Toddle in the City

I've posted before about these brilliant Treasure Hunts for kids armed with digital cameras, and I'm pleased to say that Yat is back again with more Toddles this summer! The first ones kick off on the 30 & 31st May in Crystal Palace as preparation for the Overground Festival running from 26th -29th June. I love the idea of encouraging a love and respect for the city from an early age, and you really do get to see things from a completely different perspective when a child is behind the lens.

As well as being a great day out there is hope that the photos from these Toddles may help with the future redevelopment plans of Crystal Palace and the Park! The pictures taken by these children could help to shape the city of tomorrow by informing the city-planners - how cool is that?

We're booked in already and can't wait to see what treasures the kids discover in Crystal Palace. If you want to book too then go to the Toddle in the City website.

Iggy Peck

Finally, you can keep the architecture theme going even at bedtime! 'Iggy Peck, Architect' is a great story about a little boy who just loves buildings (and bridges) The rhyming story is funny, and we love the illustrations by David Roberts. (I particularly love the use of graph paper backgrounds!) I found this a really easy way to start introducing the concept of architecture to Wiss, and it has led on to lots of discussions about designing buildings - and how suspension bridges work!

Friday, 16 May 2014

A Major Work in Progress

I had a few projects in mind for this months 'Work in Progress' post but somehow I've not even found the time to start them, let alone get progressing. My Coco pattern and fabric have just been sitting on my desk, the neon shower curtains I've been commissioned to make are just waiting for some attention. But there's been another work in progress that has been commanding a lot of my time and energy recently, so it seems silly to ignore it.

I'm 25 weeks pregnant and this baby is a major Work in Progress!

This blog is primarily about crafting and making - my creative life as a parent - so it's perhaps obvious that I should also write about this big creation, although I've resisted so far. When I heard about the Bloggers Bump Club hosted by Molly on Mother's Always Right I jumped at the chance to join in.

This will be my second child (but my fourth pregnancy) and although I'm getting excited now it's been quite different to my pregnancy with Wiss (now 4 years old.) There was understandable caution and anxiety at the beginning and a reluctance to get too carried away but now I have happily been deemed a 'normal risk' by my consultant. But regardless of what has happened in the past it seems that many women experience their second pregnancy very differently to their first.

With Wiss I had so much time to 'be pregnant'; I read all the books, I wrote a diary, I made time to connect with my bump and I diligently took weekly photos from 14 weeks onwards. This time around....I'm afraid to say that I've not done anything. I took my first bump picture only last week!

I'm hoping that's all about to change. I'll be joining up with some other great bloggers, who also happen to be pregnant at the moment too. The Bloggers Bump Club (#BlogBumpClub) will be a great opportunity for me to stop and think about my pregnancy, at least once a week and to read and compare stories with all the other fab ladies involved. I'm imagining that for me, it may be a full post or as simple as a sharing a picture, recording a feeling or even detailing plans for making things for the new little one, but I'm looking forward to seeing a whole range from everyone. If you're 'in the club' then why not join in too?

I'm also testing out a new Pregnancy App at the moment so expect a review soon. Don't worry, there will still be all the usual posts, I'm just as busy making and crafting as always, but there will be some added extra baby ones sneaking in too! I hope you don't mind :)

Mother's Always Right

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

We Like to Read - Welcome to Mamoko

Welcome to Mamoko by Aleksandra & Daniel Mizielinski is a fantastic book but I struggled with whether I should include it in the 'We Like to Read' series as the story isn't actually written; there are very few words and the 'reader' is encouraged to make up the story themselves. But it is such an original book, and a firm favourite in our house I wanted to share it.
The first pages of the book introduce you to a whole range of characters, with amazing names such as Olaf Brown, Claude Van Clue, Cecily Beak and Edwin Drench. The following pages are crammed full of fab illustrations, almost like 'Where's Wally' or 'Find Foxy' from Okido. The idea is to pick a character from the front and then search and follow them throughout the book to discover what their story is. Each one intertwines with others, and there is something new to notice each time. We have literally spent hours looking at this book and Wiss even loves to read it by himself too.

There is a new book out too, 'Mamoko in the Year 3000' which is definitely on our wish list!

This post will be linking up with Tigerlilly Quinn so please do check out all the other great books recommended in this series and I'll be back with another book tip next month!