Daily Archives


Crochet Elma Family Finished Handmade Handmade for Elma Handmade for Kitty Kitty Sewing

Instant Gratification


Do you ever have that feeling want to make something completely new, and that you can finish really quickly so that your existing projects don’t quite count as having been abandoned? As sort of hit of the lovely happy feeling of having finished something to boost your commitment to the giant ripple blanket gently growing but months and possibly even years away from completion.  I think it’s the creative equivalent of writing something on a list that you’ve already done, just so you can cross it off again.

So I picked up the free cover kit from the latest Mollie Makes and the little crochet hook that came with it and got going.  The girls have been sighing in anticipation over the dream catcher ever since the latest issue arrived and with Kitty complaining of terrible dreams about onions it seemed only right to do something about it and find a way to make all their dreams full of sunshine, rainbows and ice cream.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

It’s a really sweet little project, it took me an evening to make, even after I had to look up double crochet on you tube because my ripple blanket is all trebles and it seems to have wiped my ability to remember any other crochet stitch.  The mandala came together very nicely and very quickly, and as it didn’t need to be sewn onto the hoop but was crocheted instead it was all a piece of cake, right up to the felt feathers, which I roughly sketched and approximated from the pattern rather than cutting out a template, ostensibly because all feathers should be unique but mostly because I couldn’t be bothered to get up off the sofa and go to find some tracing paper.


The girls discovered it hanging from the handle of my chest of drawers the next morning, loved it, hugged it (gently) and called it theirs.  It has been hung on their drawers, on the head of each of their beds (alternating, depending on who’s home at the time) and has now finally found a universally acceptable home dangled from Elma’s name bunting (that’s why it looks a bit blurry in the top picture, I’ve smooshed her name out).

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

And so far, there have been no more reports of dreams about onions.

Having done one mini project I was itching for another, and to be honest, itching to do a little sewing without having to cut out the rest of the hundred gazillion triangles that I am womanfully making my way through at the moment.  And I remember that although I’ve had a copy of Cath Kidston’s SEW for a while, and even used the patterns as inspiration for a few projects, I’d never actually got around to making the cover kit, a handbag in my favourite sort of Cath fabric, all little flowers and duck egg blue.  It’s the kind of fabric that reminds me of my Grannie’s kitchen curtains in the best possible way.Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

I pulled out the bundle, realised that the fabric was pre-cut (PRE-CUT!!!) and about 30 seconds later I was at the machine, loading up a bobbin and rethreading the machine in a nice pale blue.  The pattern is deceptively simple for what looks like it could be quite complicated; the whole assembly took me two evenings, and that’s only because I started at 10pm the first night.  The most tricky thing in the entire thing was getting the button loop to turn inside out.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

I love the pattern and the style and I think the only thing I would change if I make it again would be to make the shoulder strap about half an inch narrower, but I think that’s personal style as much as anything.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

If I make it again – who are we kidding.  I am absolutely determined that this is going to be my bag but I’ve already rescued it from Kitty prancing around the garden, and discovered it full of Elma’s building blocks and a fairy, and when I explained that this was Mummy’s there was only one response:

“So Mummy, when you make one for me…”

It’s a good job I like the pattern when I’ve got two more to make!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

I am utterly thrilled and over the moon excited to be a finalist in Baby category of the 2015 MADs Awards. To have made it to the final six in the blogging equivalent of the Oscars is a dream come true. But truth be told, I would really love to win! And so if you enjoy reading here, please would you vote for me? It literally takes seconds, you don’t need to be in the UK or a blogger – parenting or otherwise – and it might just make my year!  Voting is open until 16th June.

Baby Blogging Family Pip

In which I discover I am a MADs finalist


Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

Wednesday evening; the girls were pottering around after supper, engaging every delaying tactic known to man to eek out a little more play time in the sunshine before bath and bed called, H was trying to accommodate being a climbing frame for both of them, and I was scooping Pip up off the floor with one hand and trying to clear the supper things with the other.  And from the corner of my eye I saw my phone flash to life as a Twitter notification came through:

I looked at it, and stared and suddenly my brain started to work very very slowly, in a sort of cogs audibly clunking kind of a way:

“Why has Claire tagged me on this …hang on a minute….does that mean?…really…what!…..What!….hang on.  Am I a MADs finalist?!…….WHAT!!!”

Cue several seconds of flurried swiping and prodding at the phone to find the answer.  And there it was, written up large for all to see.  There on the list of MADs Finalists for the Baby category it says Space for the Butterflies.


I’m still not sure it’s really sunk in yet.

I asked you for your help and your nominations because I had a longing hope that one day enough people might enjoy my little tales of family life, the sweet pictures and the utterly bonkers pictures, that I might get a nomination, but with a lot more hope than any expectation.  To have made it to the finals, to be in the last six in my category when over 5,000 blogs were nominated is truly truly wonderful and for each and every one of you who nominated me, thank you thank you thank you.

This blog is my children’s baby book (because I’m terrible at keeping a hardback one up to date) and my record of my journey through motherhood, with all the highs and lows along the way, and in the last nine months I’ve recorded Pip’s milestones and his everyday, and our story of life as we changed from a four to a five.

There was his  birth story, one of my favourite of all the newborn photoshoots I did with him at Three Weeks of a Little Pip and the precious photos recording The First Smiles.  I’ve written about The End of the Fourth Trimester, knitted him his first Christmas Jumper and more recently captured the milestones as he learned to roll and then to crawl.  And I know that I will continue to write and take pictures and share the joy I find in all three of my children.  I would do that regardless of awards or rankings or any sort of external recognition because I love it and it makes me happy.  I write because I can’t not.

And if you take pleasure in it too, now I really need your help.  The winner in the majority of the MADs categories is decided by popular vote.  I know that I’m going to have an amazing time at the finals party in September and seeing so many friends and so many people that I hold in such high regard is going to make it an incredibly special evening,but I also know that it would also be the icing on the cake to actually win.  If you’ve followed along since Pip was merely a Little Bump, if you’ve watched my Siblings duo turn into a trio, or the Me and Mine shots get increasingly crazy much to Pip’s increasingly evident confusion, if you enjoy my stories of the everyday ordinary, please would you vote for me.

It only takes seconds, the voting page is here and you’ll find Space for the Butterflies in the second drop down menu under Baby.  You don’t need to be in the UK or a parent or anything else blogger, just be someone who wants to vote for me.  You might just make my year. Voting closes on 16 June.

Thank you – you’re awesome!