Wednesday, 27 August 2014

At the start

I feel like this day should be more momentous. Tomorrow you start school; for the next 13 years, God willing, you will be a schoolchild. This is our last day together without a time limit hanging over us. There'll be holidays, of course, but our normal will be school, five days a week.
I hope we've chosen well. Your school seems like an environment where you'll thrive. Your EYFS teacher is exactly what I'd choose if I got to design her just for you. This is the start of a long relationship; unless we move, Anna and Samuel will go through this school too. It's reassuring that the other parents are all so positive about their experience of the school.
If I'm honest, I'm worried about how it will go. I know you're excited and you're looking forward to it. I know you'll walk into the room confidently and enjoy your first days with your class. But you're a 4 year old boy and you're impatient, energetic and impulsive. I want other people to see the kind, clever, independent boy I love so much.

I hope we've loved you enough in the last four years to help you stand firm in the sea you're about to enter. The waves of culture and peer pressure are strong ones and there are hidden currents that can knock you off your feet.

Until now, I've stood between you and the world but tomorrow you're starting a journey of your own. I will be a cheerleader and a coach but it's your life to live. I've said it before, parenthood is a journey in the direction of apart. My main purpose is to enable you to live a life that's more and more independent from my own. I can't fight your battles for you, I just have to trust the One who's always watching over you.

And isn't that what we've always been doing? God gave you to us to be our firstborn, much beloved son. For all the love and care we offer, there's always been a gap we can't fill. My mum repeats an old saying; "you do your best and God does the rest".

Every now and again I catch glimpses of the man you might become. He's strong and independent, kind and loving, funny and sweet. I love you so much, my baby boy. You made me a mother and you make me a better person day-by-day. I'm more patient, more forgiving, more joyful because I have you. I know you're going to have fun tomorrow, I know you're going to fly. It seems like an age since you were my baby, it seems like no time at all.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, 7 August 2014

In the albums

I haven't blogged about project life for more than a year and I've had a bit of a change of approach in that time.  I'm still completing a single side for each week, highlighting small moments and events from our daily lives.  I subscribed to the Studio Calico Project Life kits for about six months but they didn't quite fit with my style.  More recently, I've been getting the Gossamer Blue Life Pages monthly kits and they're great.  I love that I don't have to search my stash for ages to put co-ordinating supplies together.  The kits have tended to go quite well with each other; there's always something I can carry over to the next month's pages.  Changing up my supplies every 4 or 5 weeks keeps things interesting as well.

These are my pages from May, made with the May Gossamer Blue kit.  I love the bright colours and the little stickers.  One of the things I like most about the kits is that they also come with a free co-ordinating printable, full of small icons, labels and journalling blocks.

A lovely weekend at my parents' home, celebrating my Dad's 60th birthday.  For special occasions such as this, I usually include an insert for extra photos and stories.  This combination of single sided weeks and occasional inserts works really well for me, capturing the memories I don't want to forget without producing mountains of albums every year.
Another insert to capture our first overnight camping trip with the children and our new (inflatable) tent!

I'm storing all my regular pages alongside my project life spreads in one set of albums for each year.  I just add the regular pages in roughly the right places chronologically.  It's a nice way to highlight special photos or add some more details for holidays or events that have multiple pictures.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

For the love of giving

I got my first blanket commission a couple of months ago; a friend asked me to make a blanket like Samuel's to co-ordinate with her friends' nursery.  They chose the Snoozie Safari collection from Mothercare so after a quick reccie, I selected these colours of Stylecraft Special DK;
I used the dark green in the end, it just seemed to go better when I went to Mothercare to check out the collection in real life.  I tend to make these squares in stages; all the middles first, then the second round, then the third and finally the white outside rounds.  It's easier to ensure I'm getting a mix and balance of colours in the squares.
I completed twenty-five squares and joined them into a blanket using Little Tin Bird's technique.  I'm not a fan of square blankets, they seem to be less useful to me so I added another two rows (or ten squares) to oblong it out a bit.  Joining these squares is quite a quick process and very satisfying.
After joining, I added a round of white double crochet and then three rounds in half double crochet in saffron, meadow and lipstick.  It looks lovely and feels so squishy now it's all done.  And here it is all parcelled up, ready to go to its new home.