Monthly Archives

November 2013

Elma Family Kitty Me and Mine Photography

Me and Mine – a family portrait for November

30/11/2013

There’s a moment in the early morning of almost every day.  The radio clicks on enticing us out into the real world, but it’s still dark outside, and a little bit chilly, and generally rather uninviting compared to snuggling down under the duvet.  And when I do open an eye, I know that there will be at least one tiny girl tucked up next to me.

Kitty has been coming into our bed since she was a few months old, and even now, when she wakes up in the night she rolls out of her bed, toddles across the landing, and climbs in without really waking either of us.  And when her incoming teeth make her a little sad and snuffly, Elma comes to join us as well.  When we’ve got both of them in with us there’s not a tremendous amount of space for the grownups.  It works for us though, and there is something lovely about all waking up together, watching tiny eyes flicker and open, and all the giggles and smiles that come from playing hide and seek over the duvet, and Kitty’s current favourite game of sliding down our knees.

November in Warwickshire has been grey, dark, cold, and more than a little damp.  It’s not exactly autumnal days glowing with photo-perfect amber light.  And so, for the second month running, our Me and Mine pictures are from home; the heart of our home, in a brief half hour on a Sunday morning when the clouds outside lifted to a pale charcoal.

I’d love to claim that you can tell that this is a reconstruction because Elma is carrying a wooden drumstick and a saucepan, but that wouldn’t be the strangest thing either of my daughters has ever tucked into bed

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Me and Mine November

(Everybody kiss Elma!)

We had such a lovely silly time taking these pictures, all curled up together.  For starters we were the warmest any of us had been since before we’d left for church (Norman architecture trumping 20th century heating every time), and then Kitty took charge.

She loves playing with the remote trigger, even though she’s got such a beautiful lack of self awareness that her pictures are almost always the rest of the party smiling for the shot, and a sternly concentrating little girl death-staring the camera with arm outstretched.  But even without the trigger she’s starting to call the shots, telling us what to do, “say sausages! Do it Mummy, do it!”, and just a little bit how to pose.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Me and Mine November

“Come on guys! Everyone kiss me!”

Sometimes she’s repeating the things she’s heard me say time and time before, a little mashed up with some of her nursery’s collective nouns, and sometimes they are inventions of her own imagination.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Me and Mine November

“Everyone! Tickle [Kitty]!”

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Me and Mine November

“And now tickle Daddy!”

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Me and Mine November

“Tickle me! Again!”

I love the things she comes up with; without Kitty we would never have been able to contemplate using this:

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Me and Mine November

“Hide”

As our ‘official’ photo of the month,

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Me and Mine November

Peepo!”

and more to the point, I wouldn’t have my favourite picture of the lot; thanks to a little girl who after the second iteration of “tickle Kitty, chirped up:

“tickle the camera!!”

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Me and Mine November

It’s completely frivolous and silly, and if I were being all techy about it it would fail on any number of counts; but I love it for capturing that moment in one little frame; the laughter, the indulgence, the sheer joy, and Elma’ habitual bemusement at the crazy things her family seem to get up to.

My little family, in November.

And the outtake? Well Elma is blinking, Kitty is pretending to be asleep, and H? I rather suspect him of having a little actual genuine nap mid shoot!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Me and Mine November

 

 

dear beautiful

 

 

 

 

Elma Family Handmade Handmade for Elma Knitting Sewing

What Elma wore next {handmade for Elma}

28/11/2013

I promised a proper blog post on Elma’s latest wardrobe additions.

These latest finished projects (“for there are several” – shades of Mr Collins, I know), are probably the first time I’ve had an entire outfit in my mind; usually it’s a cardie that I want to knit, or a dress to sew, and then I have to go furreting in the bags of Kitty’s old clothes to find the tights or the trousers that kind of sort of match, but this time I had it all planned out.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Handmade for Elma Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Handmade for Elma

It started with the cardigan – Temari from Fyberspates Scrumptious Baby Collection and two skeins of that gorgeously warming gold wool/silk that were snuggly souvenirs from our trip to Bath last April.  I’ve had the book since Elma was just a bump, and I’ve every intention of knitting through it start to finish – I just need to get a wriggle on because the sizes only go up to 24 months, and my little girl is on a definite growth spurt!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Handmade for Elma

And then, after spending far too much time looking at pictures on Pinterest and gently drooling at Bonpoint’s website, I had this vision of a little Liberty print sprigged blouse underneath and cosy cord trousers just perfect for crawling and trying to climb the stairs.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Handmade for Elma

The print is Betsy, in Tana lawn which is soft and fluid and everything you could want it to be, and absolutely perfect for little girl’s clothes.  If the blouse looks slightly familiar it should; it’s view B of the Oliver + S Family Reunion pattern that I used for Kitty’s Birthday Dress, with all the same little finishing touches that I put into the dress; French seams at the sides, bias binding to encase the sleeve seams, and not a raw edge in sight. Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Handmade for Elma

For the front I found four teeny tiny pale blue buttons, and for the back a soft teal version of the pink spotty buttons that I used on Elma’s Music Box dress way back in the summer.  It seems I’m more than a little consistent when it comes to button choices, and more importantly they also come in pale Cornish blue which I have a strange feeling will turn out to be just perfect for the birthday dress for a tiny someone currently under construction on my ironing board.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Handmade for Elma

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Handmade for Elma

The trousers are an old favourite, the reversible Quick Change trousies from Anna Maria Horner’s Handmade Beginnings book.  My pattern envelope at the back of that book is bursting with little scraps of pattern on baking paper, I’ve traced it out in so many sizes through the years, and with good reason, I love the construction and the finish of these trousers.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Handmade for Elma

I doubt Elma’s going to be wearing them Liberty print out, but it makes the inside all soft and silky on delicate skin, and I am unashamed about the matchy matchy turn ups – I think they’re just the cutest!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Handmade for Elma

 

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Handmade for Elma

And with a bit of luck, that growth spurt will be gentle enough that they’ll all fit for a good few weeks or maybe even months to come.  Fingers crossed. Because at the speed that I sew, she needs to last out until at least Easter!

Family Kitty

Kittyisms – November 2013

27/11/2013

It’s about a year since Kitty’s language really took off with a whoomph and we’ve gone from careful interpretation to being able to have some lovely conversations.  But there are still little quirks, little funny turns of phrase where everything hasn’t quite slotted into place that I want to remember before they’re gone, and then there are the little thoughts that come out, the answers to questions, the seemingly random leaps that give a tiny window into the inner workings of a three year old that I am obliged by the honour code of motherhood to preserve for posterity (and for use at her 18th birthday and/or wedding).

So without further ado – the world according t0 Kitty:

On not wanting to eat any more lunch:
“I don’t want to eat it, it makes me sharky and beasty.”

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog

H: “R, like R for Rabbit”
Kitty: “Wrabbit… Wrabbit, wrabbit….. Wrabbit, wrabbit, wrabbit, KANGEROO!”

“No I am-n’t” (I’m going to be a little sad when this becomes “no I’m not”)

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog

On being asked to sit down at supper:
“I love up, but I don’t like down”

To me: “I love you my wiggly worm!”

Appearing around the corner wielding the cardboard inner tube from a roll of wrapping paper: “I got a hamerite [samuri] sword! Shiver me timbers!”

In answer to the question – what does Mummy do for a job:
“Um – helps people to get angry!”
(I’m a litigation solicitor so there are moments when that’s not too far from the truth)

And what does Daddy do?
“He takes the water, and waters the flowers.”
(not as far as I know)

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog

Singing:
“A,B,C,D,E,F,G,
H,I,K,K,M,M,M,O,P,
Q,R,S,T,U,P,
W,S,Y,Z”

On supper meeting with approval:
“Mmmm, it’s very tasty”

And if she doesn’t want it:
“I no like this, it’s not very tasty.”

On not wanting to go to bed:
“It’s not sleepy times!”

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog

“I just really need to show you something” – or as it translates, “I have seen something that you should buy me”

“Frere Jaques, Frere Jaques
We must say, We must say
When we ask for someting, When we ask for someting
Ding dong ding, Every day”

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog

 

 

Books Elma Family Kitty Reading what we're reading

Peekaboo Peter {what we’re reading}

26/11/2013

I am a big fan of lift the flap and turn the page sort of books for tiny people. Perhaps unfortunately for the longevity of the books, so are the girls. More than one of our books has had to have a little adhesive surgery after too enthusiastic an approach from Kitty or Elma. It makes sense really, what would be a more natural hand hold than this nice little flappy piece of card sticking up from the page – well until you’re left holding the flap and the book has landed heavily somewhere in the vicinity of your small and hopefully unsquished toes.

So this week, let me introduce you to the most robust of our interactive books; and it’s cute as a button to boot.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Peekaboo Peter

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Peekaboo Peter Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Peekaboo Peter

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Peekaboo Peter

It was a present from my in-laws to Kitty. My mother in law loves all thing Beatrix Potter, and as the proper books were just a smidge beyond Kitty’s concentration levels at the time, she found this little treasure, to introduce the characters and enjoy the gorgeous illustrations without the tiny girl crawling off in the middle of the Tailor of Gloucester.

Each spread has Tom Kitten, Jemima Puddle Duck, Mr Jeremy Fisher and friends hidden away with only a tuft of fur, or a snippet of soft clothes peeking through, to be revealed in all their touchy feely glory when the inner page is lifted. Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Peekaboo Peter

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Peekaboo Peter

It’s now on Elma’s shelf and she loves it; she knows where to look for the tactile bits, and throws open the pages with vigor. And they’re holding up nicely!

It means that she can sit and turn the pages herself if she wants; I don’t have to be there holding the book, holding it away and removing a rather confused tiny grasp. And after all, isn’t that rather the point of a lift the flap and touch the fluff book, that they do get to do all of the holding and page turning, to add that sensory experience to the visual and audio.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Peekaboo Peter

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Peekaboo Peter

I want Elma to actually discover the world around her, not merely hear about it, and I hope all the fun she has now with Peter will linger when we get to the real stories later on.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life blog - Peekaboo Peter

Maggie Stone

Do go and say hi to Lucy and Kelle and see what they’ve been reading, and if you’ve seen something you think we all ought to be reading, please let us know!