A handmade Christmas (almost)

This year I decided to make a few of the Christmas gifts, I however ran into a few snags along the way. Actually that is not entirely true, I only ran into one snag but it was pretty major, I ran out of time.

Next Christmas I need to plan better.  This year, although I knew what it was I wanted to make I underestimated the time required to make them. That and the fact that I left it all to the last minute, I am training for a ½ Ironman and I decided to take cookie orders all kind of played against me.

I am however very happy with the gifts that I did manage to make, the others, oh well, the intended recipients will never know that there were actually a few other gifts planned for them.

For both the grannies I made a cushion cover each, out of clothes from Little OL’s first year.  I intend to make a quilt out of the blocks I cut, but realised that I have a few blocks extra, so made 2 cushion covers.  (I still need to make the quilt)

Baby Clothes cut into blocks

I personalised each one a little by making sure at least one block was from an item of clothing that they gave to Little OL.

Baby Clothes Quilted Cushion Cover

Baby Clothes, Quilted Cushion

For my mother-in-law I also baked biscuits.  I saw this tutorial on line with this colour scheme and idea for the Christmas trees and thought it was stunning.  I deviated a little as I was trying to do it from memory but am very happy with the way they came out.

Pink and grey Christmas Cookies

For the Blog Secret Santa that Stiletto Mum was running on her blog I also made a couple of handmade items.  The first item is a notepad I covered.  I used a normal cheap notebook then decorated the cover a bit using dress-making pattern paper, paint, washi tape, printed letters and a fineliner pen.  I am very happy with the way it turned out and hope that the person I gave it to like it.

Handmade notebook cover

The second is a “Best of my Days” calendar using a printable from Ashley at Under the Sycamore.  I printed quite a few of these and gave them to some of my friends and family as well.  Follow the links to have a look – I did not take a photo of them.  (also just a note to add that Ashley’s blog is one of my favourites!!)

There were a few other items that I made as well, but forgot to take photos off – like Christmas Cookies for Little OL’s teachers and cards.

I had planned on make more Christmas Cards but…. next year. My word for 2013 is going to be “DO”

I hope you all had a very good Christmas and a that 2013 brings all you hope for.

I don’t know what to write at the moment.  I usually feel like this when there is stuff going on that I can’t or don’t want to write about.  It detracts from all the stuff I am doing that I could actually write about.

What I can say however is that Little OL and I have been having fun!  Lots of it!  When Mr OL left I decided that I would say yes to more social engagements than I normally do.  I have been feeling like a rotten friend lately and thought I had better get my butt into gear so not only have I said yes to stuff, I have actually initiated stuff too.  Very proud of myself.  Normally I only see my friend that train or race – I need to make time for the others too.

Little OL and I have been to braais, dinner, breakfast, lunch and play dates.  On Heritage day I invited a friend and her two little boys around and we lit a fire – yes, girls doing it for themselves.  I of course sent Mr OL a photo of the fire  to make him jealous just to let him know we were doing ok …

I have also been to gym a couple of times and this weekend Little OL and I went swimming.  I really want to teach her to swim so thought there was no time like the present.  At first she would not even put her toes in the water but in the end she was jumping off the side into my arms and even going under.  I battled to get her out – definitely my child. We then went home and washed my car – and both ended up soaked through.

I have also made a start to the quilt that I am going to make from Little OL’s baby clothes.  I have cut all the squares – and boy was it hard to cut the first few.  All I kept thinking was “somebody could wear these”.  It got easier after I did a few.  I could not cut them all up though and gave quite a lot to our gardener whose wife has just had a baby girl.

Baby clothes cut for quilt

I am going running tonight and my mom is watching Little OL – so that should be fun.  It is our club time trail – 5kms.  I don’t think I will do as well as I did at the last one, but it will be fun to run.

In terms of a confession – I have to say that I finished 50 Shades of Grey…  My thoughts – it’s an easy read and I can see why some people are enjoying  it.  I must say though that it is not my normal style of book, it is not written particularly well, the story is predictable and the girl is annoying.  Let’s just see if it gets any better in book 2……. J.  In the books defence I am all for anything that gets people reading!  And this book is getting people that don’t normally read that much reading.  I have spoken to friends that have not read anything in a couple of years and they have finished all three books.  So well done to the author.  She has definitely done something right!

 

Making a plan!

I want to thank everyone for their comments on my previous post – and for the kicks up the backside. I needed it.

Little OL is doing so much better.  I can notice a huge improvement in both her temperament and energy levels and I did not even know there was something wrong with them.  She has always been a happy child but now she is bouncing off the walls (in a good way).

Unfortunately I have not heard anything further from her Nanny, which I am guessing that is bad news on her behalf as I am sure she would have contacted me if she could.  I have tried contacting her but her number is no longer operational.

Little OL seems to be doing fine at Day Care full day.  It has simplified one area of my life as I now don’t need to pick her up at lunch time and take her home.  I did not realise how much of an extra stress that was.  Seeing how much of a change that one little thing has made to my day I have decided that other areas of my life need simplifying too.  I am generally a pretty organised person, especially at work and I have decided to carry this over to my home.  As I work through what I am doing I will let you know.

Here is my list so far (I am sure I will add to it) as well as some of the stuff I have already done

  • Sell Little OL’s baby stuff
  • Organise recipes – DONE
  • Create a meal plan (Mr OL has a new job with longer hours and is no longer doing the cooking)
  • Organise baking stuff - DONE
  • Organise craft stuff - DONE
  • Organise sewing stuff
  • Do a drastic clear out of my clothes – be ruthless this time (I have lost some weight and my work pants no longer fit)
  • Take stock of everything in the freezer – keep the list up dated.
  • Take stock of everything in the grocery cupboard – keep the list up dated.
  • Start a family file with all the important stuff in it.  Dates, numbers ect.

Then there are some things I want to do that are not purely organisational

  • Draw every day – I used to carry a sketch pad around with me and draw, I want to do that again (I want to post about this in a separate post)
  • Repaint 2 chairs (started – I have finished the first coat – so happy) – DONE – read about them HERE.
  • Start the quilt I want to make from some of Little OL clothes and blankets from her first year.
  • The abs challenge with Pink Hair Girl.

I am sure both these lists will be added to as I work through them.

Fabric Fascination!

OK, I think I need to admit that I have a problem.  It might even be bordering on an addiction…  Its really bad!  

I am stuck on fabrics at the moment!!!!  A fabric fascination.  

I have always had a thing for paper, even collected it when I was little, in fact I still do.  I have a cupboard full of different paper, note pads and sketch books.  This is worse though, and takes up more space!!!! 

Technology is not helping, in fact it may be hindering my recovering.  I see all these gorgeous things that people are making and ahhhh, swoon, the fabrics they are using and I want to rush to the nearest fabric shop.  Luckily or unluckily most of the fabrics are not found in PE, or if they are please don’t tell me!!!!  

At least I am putting some of the fabric I have bought on my credit card collect to good use.  I am making a patchwork playmate for Baby OL – yes, ok, it is not as if she needs another one but I just could not help myself, and anyway, I made the last one before I knew we were having a girl…..

Baby OL playing on the playmat

Me, obsessed? Never!

Mr OL thinks I get a bit obsessive about some things – like Ironman training or what ever it is that I have going on at that moment.  Although I was a bit upset when he said it, I realised that he is quite right. 

I get all passionate about “it” (whatever “it” may be), I obsess about “it” for a while, Google and research as much as I can about “it” – then finish, complete or do “it”, once it is over I hit a bit of a depression until I find the next “it”.  

This is not good – especially not for career choices.  It means that I have yet to find what it is that I enjoy doing and will continue to enjoy doing in the future.  How it is good though is that it means I have a broad range of interests and know quite a bit about quite a few subjects.  What is that saying “Jack (Jill) of all trades, Master of none” I think that describes me pretty well.  I can do lots of stuff reasonably well, but am not exceptionally talented in any.  Once I have figured out how to do it I will move on to the next thing.  Some things do endure though.  I have done TWO Ironman races and I have painted for over 10 years and I have been blogging for over 3 years.  

However – I do have a latest (passing) obsession – quilting!!! Go figure?? I can’t stop Googling it, looking at material and researching different styles and stuff.  I blame that b#@%@#% playmate.  I really enjoyed making it, but realised that as far as quilts go it was not quite up to standard or done in the correct way.  Hmmmm, I am NOT going to start quilting –NOT, NOT, NOT!!!! 

I will also give you a heads up to what my next obsession is going to be, unless of course ALL my priorities change once the baby is born.  It is going to be run training!  I need a goal, something to get me out of bed, onto the road and back into shape, and yes something to obsesses about and to research.  I need a training program!!! So, me being me I have figured it out.  I want to do the Comrades Ultra Marathon in 2011!  I have thought about it A LOT, it is something I have always wanted to do and would have done this year if I had not fallen pregnant.  I have discussed it with Mr OL (he is hoping once the baby is born I will change my mind but is ok with it if I don’t) and have uhmmm, researched it.  Unfortunately it is an “up” run that year but I don’t want to wait till 2012 (baby #2 might get in the way). 

So, over the next year and a bit please be prepared to be bored with this blog focusing on 2 main topics – the first being Baby OL and the second being running.  In preparation I have bought a running stroller…..  I could not get the one I wanted DRAT!  They don’t sell BOB strollers in South Africa – they would not even ship me one!!!  In fact they would not even ship one to my sister in the UK.  So I have had to make do with a local stroller.  Not what I wanted but the only reasonable one I could get, it does say on the website not for professional jogging though?  Not really sure what that means – but do you think training for the Comrades would be classed as “professional jogging”????  

Don’t say I did not warn you!

The finished product

Here are some photos of the padded playmat I made.  I am very impressed with my little self and love how it came out. Although I am sure that proper quilters or seamstresses would be hanging themselves with the cord of thier sewing machine if they took a closer look!

The finished playmat

The inspection

The approval

Bacardi seems to think I made it for him…..

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