Today particularly, we remember Mike's sister as it would be her birthday. I know Daisie and her girls are doing the race for life this year, I've not got round to sponsoring them yet but definitely, definitely will do....promise x
The idea for the look of the bathroom was to go for geometric, almost utilitarian fixtures and fittings, sort of institution-chic as Mike termed it, and then soften and pretty it all up with accessories. The first of these softening touches has been a monogrammed facecloth each.
I thought it may look a bit childish to spell out 'jam'
The flannels were 75p each from Sainsburys and I machine appliqued an initial on each one. It was fairly easy, although knowing that you're only going to waste 75p if it all goes wrong does tend to free up any nerves. I typed out each of our initials in Arial Black and then increased the size of the letters to 4cm in height, printed them out and used the printout to draw the reversed letters onto Bondaweb. If the printed cotton applique fabric was a little thin and the colour of the facecloth underneath would show through some plain cotton lining was Bondaweb-ed onto the reverse of the printed cotton to thicken it. This lining would then have the Bondaweb with the letter traced on ironed over it and cut out. The letter was then ironed onto the flannel, set in a small embroidery frame (which didn't quite fit as the initial was on the edge but it didn't matter) and satin-stitched in place. Hope that made sense and didn't just make a very easy process seem complicated.
Soon after Aidan was born and we arrived home from hospital, our neighbours dropped round with some homemade food in plastic boxes for us. This was one of the most wonderful things that anyone did for us. We were exhausted and generally in 'what do we do with this baby' chaos and so the cooking of tasty and nutritious food wasn't happening, not great at a time when you really need all of your energy. Did I mention that our neighbour R's parents had owned a Chinese restaurant? Well the food was not just timely but full-on delicious.
Yesterday they came home from hospital with their brand new, ultra-cute little boy. Not being able to cook anything savoury that would stand up to the food they gave us, the only sensible choice was to make cake (with my Mum's homemade jam as part of the filling). Not being a medical expert I couldn't guarantee the accuracy of this statement but I'm fairly sure that the best way to provide the sustenance required when breastfeeding is with a hefty wedge of cake.
Congratulations R,R and A! Sadly they won't be our neighbours for too much longer as they're moving to Hong Kong but there is still enough time this summer to remove a fence panel and have a few barbecues in the back gardens.
Our bathroom is almost finished. The builders completed their work pretty much within a fortnight but Mike and I haven't been quite so speedy with the decorating. Having to apply six or seven coats to the ceiling can damage your motivation when it comes to getting the walls done. Bathroom paint is troublesome on two counts, the first is that it doesn't come in one coat variety and the second is it doesn't wash out of your hair easily should it splot in whilst painting the ceiling (I assumed it would have washed out and didn't know white speckles remained several washes later, prompting a nit-check from my Mum). Anyway we finally reached the point we were looking forward to, being able to hang the ceramic tiles we bought back in February as our Valentines present to each other - don't you love an 'occasion' (however flimsy) as an excuse to treat yourself to something beautiful?
They are from ceramic designer Linzi Ramsden, who has a studio in the Manchester Craft and Design Centre which we found one Saturday afternoon whilst strolling round Manchester city centre. Both Mike and I loved Linzi's work when we saw it, I have a soft spot for ceramics generally, but being on a budget we limited ourselves to two small tiles.
The craft and design centre is housed in a converted Victoria fish and poultry market and has a good mix of studios selling some really beautiful things by talented designer/makers. It's perfect for a browse and a coffee on a leisurely afternoon, I could spend hours (and a small fortune) in there.
Oh just when I'd resolved to blog more, the camera broke. After a day of trying every trick in the book to get it working again, including of course hitting it with increasing ferocity, it was concluded that the only option was to get a new one. I phoned my Mum to gain a bit of new-camera advice as she's recently bought one and somewhat unexpectedly an hour later she was on the doorstep with a new camera for us - thanks Mum! Did I mention that my car isn't running very well?
With a stall booked at a local summer festival, I've been mulling over some new summery product ideas. The first to make it into reality is this purse. The idea was to come up with something that looked good but was quick to make, therefore not having too high a sale price. Unfortunately it takes a while to make so some rethinking and reworking may have to take place.
After recent events I decided to take a break from everything for a while, get back to basics, catch up with the ironing and generally not think too hard about anything. I'm still not completely sure I should have mentioned my miscarriage on here but I received some lovely and supportive messages because of it. Thank you.
So after some time to myself and a wonderful Easter weekend away with the family, the time is right to get on with it all again(this is a new spring resolution).
Tracking back a bit here's a bunnyand a few pics of our weekend in Conwy. I used to think Conwy was a bit tacky as a teen but it's not at all and very pituresque with it's harbour and castle, both of which are big hits with Aidan but neither perhaps as much as the independent toy shop there. With our National Trust membership, a visit to Bodnant Gardens on Good Friday to take part in the Easter Egg Hunt is fast becoming a family tradition now. Aidan likes to run about and spot the letters dotted about the grounds that make up an Easter themed anagram to be solved in return for a chocolate egg. I feel the need to defend my parenting and say that he wasn't allowed to eat the entire egg like this.