Saturday, August 27, 2011

Life in general

Well, we're nearly at the end of the first block of fulltime working mummy. I'm *really* looking forward to two whole weeks off with my babies and catching up on some much needed sleep!

Working fulltime has been really great in lots of ways, the kids have got to spend way more quality time with their dad (who is much better at keeping the house tidy than me) and work has definitely been much easier.

In the past, when I job-shared, I spent a lot of time catching up with all that had happened over my 'off' days - lots of meetings, reading and general bluffing people that I knew what was going on. Now I start each day knowing exactly where to pick up and can plan ahead a lot more easily. Less meetings means that I'm home a bit earlier a couple of days each week, too. Working through my lunchtimes and getting to work an hour early means that I rarely have work to take home. So when I'm home, I'm home - secure in the knowlege I know what I'm doing the next day. That's a nice feeling. I know I can be a better person, wife and mum when I'm feeling happy and secure at work.

The downside is that I can feel my kids getting further away from me. We all still get along, there are still lots of laughs, hugs and games, but they are living lives away from me and I notice we don't 'read' each other as quickly and readily as before. It's a real effort, sometimes a struggle, to stay connected and that hurts a bit. I'm really looking forward to holidays where we can spend more time together!

I have to remind myself that this job isn't yet permanent, that my role could be downsized depending on funding/transfers etc, and I find myself wondering if it's a good fit. Part of me hopes that it will be downsized! But after much debate, prayer and weighing of pros and cons I still think that this is more than likely the best option for our family. But I don't have to like it!

I am feeling more used to the new routine, wish me continued stamina, please!!!

Here are some pictures of our recent adventure at the International Airshow. Lots of fun for a family who loves to be in the outdoors together. We packed a picnic, a blanket and some cameras and headed out for a day of togetherness. The planes were just a bonus :)








Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Versatile

A couple of weeks ago I was pleased and touched when a talented Aussie mum passed on the "Versatile Blogger Award" to me. I've been slightly freaked out about writing this post but here it goes.

10 things about me:

* I am a fulltime working mumma - married with three gorgeous kids. I love it when we're all together, feel like a piece of me is missing when I'm away from them. I feel so blessed to have four special people to call mine.

* I've been married twice - to the same guy! Well, two ceremonies anyway - three years apart. The first was on his terms - 200 guests and he got to wear a Star Trek suit. The second was on mine - a ceremony for just us two in Vegas. Elvis impersonator and all :)

Yes, we were babies when we married. Where
have ten+ years gone?

Jase wasn't too impressed by the idea at first, but he had to admit it
was great fun. Oh and he got a ride in a helicopter first to ensure he was smiling
when we got to the chapel!

* I used to love magazines, but now I love nothing better than sitting at the end of a long day with a coffee and my computer screen, catching up on people's blogs and pinning things on pinterest (I finally caved on that one).

* I like quiet. Hubby likes loud. That makes our house seem as though it has a bit of a personality disorder at times, but it works for us! One minute music is roaring through the speakers, the next it's almost silent as everyone goes about their business of puzzles/traintracks/model building/housework/computers.

* I have had way too many jobs. I've worked in a bar, a restaurant, a hotel, a marketing firm, an office, takeaway joint, on checkout, in two delis, a fruit store, a call centre, a newspaper, several schools, as a companion/babysitter... My dream job would be as an art teacher but those positions are like hens' teeth so I guess I'll stick to English and Maths for now.

* Only after having my kids have I been able to embrace womanhood - I always felt like a bit of an imposter before then! It sounds weird but I always had a suspicion I was like the tinman or had green blood or something, like Pinocchio only not quite a real *girl*.



* I love the satisfaction of finishing a creation, but I'm not always motivated to get there in a timely fashion - hence the cupboard of unfinished projects that have me stumped :)

* I love quirky movies, the sort nobody else likes! I love a first film, a first book... something someone has dreamed of writing/making their whole lives. It's so special to be sharing someone's dream and the heart of their creativity.

* I would like to write a book. Maybe an adventure book for boys, although I have a love story that frequently haunts me, begging to be written down.

* When I travel far away, I *have* to visit a supermarket, pretend to be one of the locals and try out at least half a dozen new things. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't! It's one of my favourite things about being on holiday :)

Well, thank you Kelly from the lovely Polkadot Lane for inviting me to do that! I hope I haven't sent anyone off to sleep with my list :) I'm pretty sure the two people who will read this know all that info anyway!!! hehe

So, some blogs for you to check out:

Squigglemum - who inspires me to be a better, and more involved, mum
Scientific Culture - who finds and creates the perfect geekery online
Attic 24 - colourful woolly goodness interspersed with gorgeous photos of the British countryside
And Melissa of Molly's Inspirations. Conquering the world with kindess and love :)

and I must finally return the favour to Cami of You Seriously Made That who featured me on her blog a few months back. I like her blend of creativity and hilarity.

I'm guessing all of these ladies are too busy to be blogging ten facts about themselves, but I wanted to pass on the Versatile award regardless - thank you for being there and for inspiring me, week after week xxx

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Make your own mermaid... part two!

This is part two of a tutorial. For part 1, click here.

Step 7





Cut around your pieces, leaving 3 - 4 mm around the edges. Clip the curves


Step 8


Using a crochet hook or similar (the finer the better), carefully turn your pieces inside out. I won't lie, this is very frustrating, so make sure you have some patience handy!



Step 9



This step gives the tail some shape and structure. Carefully stitch around the outside of the tail piece, sewing stripes along the fin for a detailed look.



Step 10



I love sharpies! My hubby sometimes brings me one or two home as a little pressie, such is my adoration of them! You can use fabric markers if you like, but these are cheap and just as effective. Be bold, draw that mermaid face in! Of course, you might be more careful than me and have a practise on a piece of scrap first, but I always think there's nothing like diving in. That's probably why this mermaid looks a bit cross-eyed!


Step 11


Lightly stuff both pieces - starting with the head and arms. I overstuff the head a teeny bit to give it a fuller shape. The back end of a crochet hook also helps to get stuffing right down to the hands.


Step 12



Trace and cut out your hair pieces. I used felt for structure and because it doesn't fray.


Step 13





Using colourful cotton (I used silver and red) sew in some hair strands. You will need to sew strands on each piece separately. Join the two pieces together using a row of stitching around the outside only.


Step 14


When the two pieces are joined, you are ready to slip your wig on your mermaid!


Step 15


Stuff the body inside the tail, add the wig and secure using hand stitching. Then you are ready to decorate!

Click here to see some variations on this pattern.



 

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Please let me know if you made a mermaid! Feel free to make them for friends and family or to sell on your craft stall. If you'd like to share this with a friend, please send them on over to take a look!
I love reading your comments, thanks for stopping by :)