Friday, June 27, 2014

scarlett fever

Today Dulcie went to meet Baby Scarlett for the first time.  I secretly already met Scarlett last week, but don't tell Dulcie that if you see her!  Dulcie had been so looking forward to this meeting all week.  Last night she sat bolt upright, just when I thought she'd dozed off, to exclaim, "Where is Baby Scarlett's present?!"  My dad gave us a lift over to Scarlett's house and all the way there Dulcie was saying, "Where is Baby Scarlett's house?  Where is Baby Scarlett's house?  Where is Baby Scarlett's house?" She was so delighted when Scarlett's mum said she could have a cuddle.  She'd been practising gentle cuddles and kisses on me for days for just such an opportunity.  Bless her cotton socks.  Hopefully this scene is the start of a beautiful lifelong friendship :)

[In a bid to stick to my vow to be less revealing/depressing, I have deleted a couple of hideous sentences from this post, but I can't resist telling you that they were there.  This could have been worse, people.  Jeez...]

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

time-travelling tuesday (part 7)

29th February 1988
Today I went swimming swimming.  We got a lady called Joyce or maybe she spells it like this Joice.  She gave us a little test.  We had to swim one breadth without stopping.  We got a certifacate.  Only Julia Garry and I went.

1st March 1988 [and some faces drawn here - see picture above]
Today when I did my writing I had to write William walks to school then the poem that is going to be on the cairn.  The Ythen welly boots had to go home early.

[I'm guessing the Ythen Welly Boots were the children who travelled from the neighbouring village, not even a village, of Ythenwells, though I had no recollection of ever calling them this.]

2nd March 1988 [more faces drawn here - see picture above]
Tonight I write two ballets and I am going to write one more.  [Prolific or what?!]  I went over to Julias house to play.  Toby was there too.  Mummy made new curtains with the sewing machine.

3rd March 1988
Now then today I made a game and played it with mum.  She was sulking because I won the game.  I finished The Firebird.

4th March 1988
Today there was no dancing.  I discovered that Gary L, Gary W, William R, Robert Hunter, Garry N, Gordon B, Jhon W and Toby R all love me.  I won a game of jump the blob.

[Wow!  I was so popular, no?  My school was tiny and that's nearly 50% of all the boys!  Perhaps it was my Jump The Blob skills that attracted them all...?]

abcmafexyz to from 5 t e 5th March 1988
Today it was snowing so naturally I went out to play.  Mr Scott brought up some skis.  Mrs Scott let me let me have a go.  I was very good at it.  I watched a very good film.

e e e 8 6th March 1988
Right now I cant think what to right.  I know I'll give you a name.  Donna Diary.  I was doing my writers badge for Brownies on Thursday.  I was baking.

Monday, June 23, 2014

multiple mailings

I'm still off work for now, but feeling a good bit better after some tweaks to my medication.  This is the second batch of snail mail I've managed to write and send in the last week.  It feels good to pop pleasant surprises in post boxes :)

Now I must go and find some nailvarnish remover...

Sunday, June 22, 2014

six today!

Vintage 30s 40s Birthday Card Age 6 Years Childrens Greetings Card Nursery Art 1930s 1940s Blowing Bubbles Puzzle Card UNUSED
This card available here.

My blog is six years old today!  What shall we do to celebrate?

In some ways, my blog hasn't changed much over the years, not in any meaningful way.  In other ways, it has mutated into something of a monster that I can't quite control.

Goals for year seven?

More: making and blogging about making.  
Less: revealing!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

illuminating reading material

 I'm still loving The Luminaries and am maybe 75% of the way through now.  I'm no longer worried I'll still be reading it come Christmas.  Dulcie's been getting in on the act too, borrowing my copy to "read", i.e. removing my bookmark (aargh!) and sticking her nose between the pages.
Don't worry, no spoilers here and if you ask Dulcie what happens in it, she'll just start reciting Humpty Dumpty.

(These pictures were taken pre-haircut, by the way.)

Friday, June 20, 2014

haircut one hundred

 Today I gave Dulcie her first ever haircut.  It's taken so long for her to have any hair worth mentioning (let alone worth cutting) and she'd been so proud lately that it was "long", but it was really getting into wispy mullet territory and looked wilder by the day.  Her hair is a hilarious fluffball every morning and frequently knotted and straggly-looking looking throughout the day, partly because she wraps it around her fingers incessantly and partly just because her original baby hair at the ends was so straggly by nature.
 Check out my pro-hairdresser stance here!

Our local hairdresser was quoting £25 for a toddler trim (what?!) and the other hairdresser, who was quoting £10, would only cut under-tens' hair Monday to Thursday, no exceptions, so I decided to do it myself.  I was a bit nervous, even though it was just a trim of the ends at the back.  I love the wildness of Dulcie's hair in some ways and I didn't want to de-Dulcie her.  Dulcie also approached this project with some trepidation.  "Leave it long!  Leave it long!  No, I do it!"  As you can see, she was most co-operative in the end, but did frighten me with a few sudden head movements.  No ears were lost.  Phew.
 All done, her home-made cut and blow dry turned out super cute.  She still looks like the fuzzy headed Dulcie we know and love, just a bit less straggly at the back and slightly more grown up.
I think she'll be getting home-made hairdos for years to come.  Perhaps next time she'll have enough hair to merit the pudding bowl :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

time-travelling tuesday (part 6)

Me in my Brownie uniform, 1988.  No shame...

22nd February 1988
Today I wore my brownie uniform to school for thinking day.  At gym I was so good at doing cartwheels that I had to walk and do it withot stopping.

[To the best of my knowledge, I have never managed to do a cartwheel in my life...ever!  Have I misremembered or was I just bigging myself up in my own private diary?)

23rd February 1988
Today after I had done my writing Mrs Smith said you can do joint writing in all your books now.  Mum said I was very good at doing joint writing.  I had to take Kerry to chanter.

42A 24th February 1988
Today is Wednesday.  I had to write about the nurses watch.  By the way did you know the numbers are on it upsidedown.  I made a marvellous medicine.

25th February 1988
Eventually it is today.  I was working with Miss Corregall.  Comapring Surfaces was the thing.  Mum is baby sitting Lynsay tonight.

26th February 1988
I am at Finlay's house for the night.  I saw Lynsay having a bath.  Mum and dad are at a policemans ball.

25th July 1988
[I guess I must have been filling in spaces when I ran out of pages?!]
Granny phoned to see if mum and dad could have a meal.  So we had to go to Finlay and Flora.

27th February 1988
Today is mums birthday and Martins too.  I got a little dog from Flora who looks like this.

Of course it is a toy.  [What?! The drawing looked so realistic!] I've read a lot of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Factory.

28th February 1988
Today is Sunday.  I was making a mat.  It was tapestry matiriel and I was sewing a patern on it.  Kerry made penut peenut peanut butter bon bons.  Kerry said they were bum bums.

Monday, June 16, 2014

it's for the birds (and the cats)

I made a wee treasury list on Etsy this morning while waiting for the doctor's surgery to open, all because I wanted to include this ceramic bird house...which I didn't.  This was my fastest treasury list ever, thrown together in a jiffy from my existing favourites, but I still like it.  I just love seeing things I like the look of all in one place.  Case in point, this person's favourites, which was where I found that bird house in the first place.

Plans for today: reading, crocheting, visiting the doctor, possibly printing, resisting the urge to scrape the walls (wallpaper prep) as this is decidedly unrestful!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

dusting off the old gocco

 On one day of rest this week (a day when Dulcie was at nursery and I was home alone rather than at work) I felt amazingly better all of a sudden.  This turned out to be because I had stupidly failed to take my medication that morning, but I made the most of the welcome, surprising and unexplained energy boost and set my resting aside for an hour or two to do some Gocco printing.
 I think I mentioned recently that I had a design all ready to go.  Well, this is the first screen.  Can you tell what it is yet?  (Not sure if it's still OK to say that in the current climate...)
I didn't have any brown ink or quite the right shade of pink, so I mixed these colours from scratch.  Knowing I might never be able to recreate it, I printed until the ink (well, the paper, actually) ran out.  That was nigh on 100 cards and 30 prints.  I hope someone wants to buy some when they're done!

Oh, yes, I was using a lollipop to mix paint, eagle eyes.  It was impromptu, what can I say?  If I'd waited until I had more appropriate tools, I might not have had the energy.  And it worked!

I'm hoping for another wee energy boost/free house lengthy enough to print the second and final layer soon.  (Yes, it is tempting to skip my tablets again, but I won't.  I'm playing the long game, boring and energy-zapping as it is.)  I'll be sure to share the finished design just as soon as I can.

It was ages since I'd last Gocco'd (over three years?!) and I'd allowed it to become scary again, like it was before I had ever tried it.  It was good to dust the machine off and be reminded of how simple and fun Gocco printing really is.  Hopefully I'll be able to get a few more of my long-standing ideas onto paper before too long.  Yay!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

she knows me so well...

Check out this terrible photo great-looking book!  My sister sent it to me earlier this week.  Oh, it is right up my street and I can't wait to read it.  I've dipped my toe into one or two pages already and my hopes are high.  Tales Grotesque And Curious?!  Yes please and oh mama!

I need to finish The Luminaries first, but I'm already over halfway thanks to my rest-and-recuperation plans.  Man oh man, The Luminaries is so good!  Or so good so far, I should more accurately say.  I'm totally hooked by all the twisting intrigue and shady characters.  If, like I was, you're feeling put off or intimidated by its size and apparent/alleged complexity, don't be.  It is big and clever, but it's also very easy to read and to get into.  You'll be romping through it before you know it.  Can it really stay this good right to the end?  Oh, I do hope so.

Friday, June 13, 2014

craft from the past

 My friend Lorna came to visit us this afternoon.  With her she brought restorative home-made scones and this rosette.  Apparently I made it for her in 2004.  She had recently moved to London and I made a rosette for each of us to wear while sat on our respective sofas north and south of the border so that we could watch the Big Brother final "together".  I had no recollection of doing this (or indeed of Big Brother's Jay) but I can see I fashioned the rosette from a deflated helium balloon (a romantic gift from my new boyfriend of that time, Graham) and a fairy-cake case, as well as a poorly printed photograph and a trusty glitter pen.
Lorna has mentioned a few times how much mail I used to send her and she wasn't alone.  I used to send daft things and handwritten notes to all sorts of folks, including people I saw on a regular basis.  I'm sorry to have lost this tendency.  I probably do still send more mail than the average person, but I think I have lost the knack of being a postal ray of sunshine like I used to be.  Even my new pen friends, actively recruited, have been sorely neglected.  (Sorry, Hilde and Marina!)

I'm taking some time off work at the moment to rest and recuperate.  Perhaps I'll use this opportunity to send a bit more snail mail.  Watch your letterboxes, people of the world, though I can't promise to include such high-quality items as this rosette!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

lovely lollies, pretty papers

I keep stumbling across links to this lovely collection of ice-lolly wrappers from days gone by.  It's definitely worth clicking over to see the full selection.  I'm sure I remember some of them from my lolly-licking youth, though I'm almost certain I never had a cider lolly!  Someone should bring these back, for sure.  Mmm!

eau de squashed caterpillar

KJL Caterpillar brooch

Over the last few days I've been convinced my skin smells of squashed caterpillars.  Why would this be?  Or am I imagining things?  Euch, all wrong either way!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

romantic weekend away

This weekend we both took some time off work and headed to Dunkeld for a long weekend.
 The true purpose of our visit was to go to a wedding, but we had plenty of time either side for mooching around and enjoying the sights.
We visited the enormous and slightly precarious-looking Birnam oak, the last remaining tree in Birnam wood (made famous by Macbeth) from Shakespeare's days.

The tree is hollow inside but Dulcie could not be coaxed in for a photo opp.  I couldn't blame her - it was pretty creepy and full of cobwebs, her latest obsession.  "I don't like spider webs!"
We were staying near the Beatrix Potter centre.  Dulcie's Beatrix Potter-esque outfit was a coincidence.
 We all enjoyed staying in a bed and breakfast.  The lady who ran it was lovely - left helium balloons on Dulcie's bed and let us use the room as a base long after we should have checked out on the Sunday.  It was nice just to have a change of scene, away from the cats and the clutter and the jobs to be done.  Cooked breakfasts were a fun treat too!
 Dulcie had this fancy day-bed to sleep in and made herself right at home.  We packed some of her favourite books in the suitcase which helped.
Here follow some pictures of the wedding day, featuring not a single picture of the bride or the groom.  This is not because I'm so self-centred, but because we failed to get any decent photos.  I'm a very uncomfortable photographer of others, so 99% of our pictures were of Dulcie (as usual) and those of the real stars of the show were either blurry or unflattering.  But it was a beautiful day!
The wedding was at Eastwood House (so lovely!) and the sun shone just long enough to enjoy the outdoor ceremony and drinks afterwards.  The bride was my very dear friend Katharine who I lived with back in 1998, my first year in Glasgow, living in halls.  The wedding was sweet and heartfelt and homemade and inclusive and we felt very lucky to have been invited.  So apologies for the poor photographic representation of the day!
Dulcie was a wee angel during the ceremony, sitting quietly on my knee and taking everything in.  The musical interlude on the fiddle made her all relaxed and snuggly.  She has a definite attraction to traditional Scottish music, we discovered.
After the vows had been exchanged, we all enjoyed a glass or two of fizz and 60 kilos (wha!) of Alpine cheese, imported by the groom's father.  So good.
There were lots of little ones at the wedding and they were so well catered for.  Dulcie had one of her most fun days ever, I think.
Her first experience on a trampoline was a definite highlight!
She's been dreaming and talking about trampolines ever since.
The meal and the evening do were at the Birnam Arts Centre.  These paper lanterns were a lovely decorative touch for the main room.

Dulcie had her moments, but was generally very good during hanging-about spells and all the speeches etc.  We had come well prepared with stickers and crayons and so on, which helped, as did her dad's sunglasses and her mum's lipstick.  She looks like some French New Wave chick here, I think.  Her wee dress (a lucky TK Maxx find) was so sweet and reminded me of a similar dress in turquoise that the bride used to wear.  Dulcie will be able to wear this dress day to day now as it's not too fancy.  I see a chic summer ahead!

The groom works as a designer for Lego (dream job or what?!) and there was plenty of Lego around to distract and entertain the wee ones while the main room was set up for dancing.  Dulcie was delighted (she almost always claims Lego was the best thing about her day at nursery) and got stuck right in there, making a few new friends in the process.
Back downstairs, Dulcie was on the dance floor for almost every ceilidh number.  One of the other mums (lady in the blue dress here) was really good at making up simple children's versions of the dances and getting them all to join in.  There's a video of Dulcie doing the Dashing White Sergeant here for anyone who might be interested.  Watch right to the end if you want to see her rather impressive bow at the end of the dance!

She kept going until about 10.30pm when she suddenly crashed, just as the disco was starting.
We were staying right across the road, so we carried her home and popped her straight into bed in all her clothes, bless her.  Absolutely conked :)
The next day we meandered around, visited the cathedral, went to the play park, picked some daisies, met everyone from the wedding for a pub lunch...  All in all, a very lovely weekend.  I wish we could go away more often.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

who's the mummy?!

It's been a rubbish day today - my heart making life hard and that making me miserable.  My neighbour found me blubbing in the street, stranded 50 metres from home, unable to go any further.  All very embarrassing and just as I thought I'd done well to hold it together in front of strangers in the supermarket... 

I wish Dulcie wasn't able to pick up on these vibes, but she definitely can.  To be fair, my vibes are probably less than subtle, as my neighbour could now attest!  At least Dulcie responds by showering me with affection and trying to make life easier for me.  What a star.

When I feel really ill, I feel like the world's crappest mother, but then Dulcie's reactions make me feel like I must have been the world's greatest mother (yes, you heard me!) at other times/in other ways.  She is so very loving and wants to care for me and make me happy and I'm sure that's a reflection of my attitude towards her.  Of course, she's too little to get mothering her mother right all the time.  Here she is feeding me limes.  Dang, I love that girl :)

time-travelling tuesday (part 5)

15th February 1988
I had a bath tonight.  I was making my tiger.  I watched telivision. I write a letter to Jim ll fix it.

[The tiger was a soft toy I made, one of many, from a kit that is still available now, completely unchanged by the looks of things!  I wrote a few letters to Jim in my time, so I'm not sure what I would have been asking for on this occasion.]

 16th February 1988 e e
8 Shrove Tuesday
Today is shrove Tuesday.  So yummy yummy in my tummy.  Pan cakes.
Whisk the pancake
stir the pancake
fry it in a pan
fry the pancake
toss the pancake
catch it if you can

making tiger

17th February 1988 Las
Today when everybody did their project I had to write my third made up story about the nurse because I'm the only one thats finished it. I was out on my bike with Kerry.

18th February 1988
Today I had to do the cureved bit on my sewing while everybody else did thier project.  I'm the first finished it.  Toby and Ruth came.  I got my animal lovers badge.

[Obviously being the first finished the project was a big deal to me!]

19th February 1988
Today is Friday.  There was no ballet today.  In the morning the whole class watched Start The Day.  Ealinor found the book that was on it today.  When everybody was working I had to read a book.

[I have no recollection of Start The Day.  Any ideas?]

20th February 1988
Today we got a teak table and four chairs aswell in Rothemay.  There was a handsome man on the milk lorry.  I did my homework.  The words I used were Jane lane and plane.

[A handsome man on the milk lorry?!  This was an eventful week indeed!]

21st February 1988
Today I was going to go to a thinking day service.  But the car wouldn't start and dad and Kerry had the jeep.  I got ready for bed at six o'clock tonight.  I was doing some french knitting.  Scraped back on wall.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

as close as I'll get to organisation right now

Last night I was looking for some sort of device to save my gocco print images to so that I could take them to the local print shop today.  (My own printer is not working too usual.  Ugh.)  Anyway, I found a dongly thing lying around and was surprised to discover it was full of pictures of Dulcie as a teeny-tiny thing.  The pictures were from my mum and dad's camera so were kind of new to me.  Judging by the relative lack of tubes, Dulcie was probably a couple of weeks old in these first few photos.
I can't believe this tiny tot is now halfway to five!  Amazing!  And yet I still haven't found my feet or got my crap together.  Shucks.  The "nursery" is still not ready for Dulcie to move into, not to mention the fact that the rest of our home is verging on the uninhabitable too.  And no photos have been backed up or printed.  I'd be gutted if I lost all our Dulcie pictures somehow, but until the day arrives where I get off my backside and actually hard drive their asses (that's as macho as I can making saving photos sound...) I'm always slightly soothed by the fact that I've shared regular photos here on my blog, a back-up of sorts.  And it's in that spirit that I share these today.  As the title of this blog post states, this is as close as I'll get to organisation right now.
Dulcie loves hearing about her time as a baby at the moment and lately has been looking at some of the little mementos we have from that time.  Her wee pal made the mistake of asking her if she had come out of my tummy and was regaled with the whole story - "A lady cut Mum with a knife and she GRABBED me out and I went in an ambulance to the hospital and I had a tube in my nose to breathe and drink milk..."  Wee pal's response to all this was, "I want to go in a fire engine!" but I think her mum was slightly horrified at how much detail I'd shared with my two-year-old...  Thank goodness Dulcie didn't go on to tell the story of the time she pooped and it flew halfway across the hospital ward, which she insists I tell her EVERY DAY.  Too much information?  Indeed!
These two pictures must be from when Dulcie was just a few days old, before I got to meet her.  It looks like she's still on the ventilator at this point.  The blue light (and blindfold) were for jaundice, it's not just my dad's poor photography skills coming into play!
Dulcie had her 30-month check-up last week and was a wee star, chatting to the health visitor in complete and complicated sentences throughout and suddenly knowing all her colours etc.  She really has come a long way since she left the blue incubator.  These days she loves to help in the kitchen, smothers my face in kisses daily, tells me she loves me and laughs like a total loony on a fairly regular basis.  I think (touch wood) that the only lasting effect from these early days are the poor wee scars on her hands and feet from all the blood tests.  Oh, yes, and the good stories she's got to share with her friends! I can't wait to show Dulcie these pictures later :)