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November 2015

Elma Family Kitty Me and Mine Photography Pip

Me and Mine 2015: November


The problem with waiting until the very last minute to capture your Me and Mine portraits for the month is that sometimes, and possibly rather predictably given that it’s about to be December, the weather didn’t exactly get the memo. As in really didn’t get the memo.  Even working from home on Friday this week, by the time Kitty and I got back from the school run, the skies were the inkiest of dark grey and if you’ve seen yesterday’s post and the pictures that were taken at about 3.15, you’ll know it didn’t let up.

Space for the Butterflies - Me and Mine

I thought about dragging the family out in the wind and the wet to stand under umbrellas and be cheerful in the face of horizontal rain and Kitty is sufficiently obsessed with umbrellas that she at least would have been on board with that plan.  But Elma was sleepy, and my poor little Pip has been feeling very sorry for himself. It’s either teeth or a cold or most likely, a mixture of both and he’s spent the day being a little bit hot and snuggly and having lots of milk and cuddles so there was no way we were going anywhere.

Space for the Butterflies - Me and Mine

Which is why, had you wandered past my garden doors yesterday lunchtime you’d have seen the five of us squished up into my impromptu photo studio; curtain pulled across the dresser and the white back of my blue and white stars quilt draped over all of the dining room chairs as a reflector.  It worked really well last spring to take pictures of a much smaller Pip but it was definitely cosy with all five.

Space for the Butterflies - Me and Mine

But cosy somehow seemed the right sort of photos to be taking yesterday while the wind howled around the house and the rain splattered against the windows, a snapshot of all of the moments in the past few weeks when we’ve been back together as a five; the afternoon spent making up silly competitions (loudest singing, highest note, biggest jump, best roar like a lion and the rest of it), the morning when I woke up to realise that as well as Pip having migrated into our bed during the night (which he always does), we had two little girls tucked up either side of H as well, and the meals full of chatter about our days and Kitty’s jokes that show that she really hasn’t quite grasped the point of a joke,

“I’ve got a joke that will really make you laugh Mummy – why did the truck run over the squirrel?”

“Was it because the squirrel ran out in to the road sweetheart?”

“Yes Mummy!!”

Space for the Butterflies - Me and Mine

And so we snuggled up together, and pulled silly faces – Pip’s is saying “yes, I know – and I have to live with them!”

They are my world, my crazy, noisy, wonderful and even occasionally sleepy family, in November:

Space for the Butterflies - Me and Mine

dear beautiful

Elma Family Kitty Living Arrows Photography Pip Video {the ordinary moments}

Levelling up


It feels like just yesterday that we spent a rainy afternoon at the park with Kitty’s godfather, helping her get to grips with her wonderfully pink and new and shiny birthday present scooter.  Three years later that scooter has covered some serious miles, propelled by both girls, but it was only as Kitty flew down the slope in front of Kensington Palace, on a scooter borrowed from the Royal Garden Hotel, tried a little braking, and abandoned the effort in favour of leaping off and running towards me that I realised that perhaps, just perhaps, she’d out grown Minnie and Daisy and it was time to look at the next size up.

Kitty, hanging over my shoulder as I flicked through pictures of all sorts of scooters, was absolutely adamant that she wanted one with only two wheels.  She’s never had one with two wheels before though, her Minnie and Daisy scooter is three (two at the front) and everything I’ve ever seen her on in a shop was the same, but she insisted she could balance on two wheels and that’s what she wanted.  So we slept on it and showed her the pictures again, and again, and by this point she must have been getting really fed up with us because she was consistent across the board.  She wanted a two wheeled scooter, preferably in pink. So we took a leap of faith in her self confidence, and said yes.

Yesterday we drove to the bank to withdraw some of her birthday money and then to John Lewis to make her first big “I saved up for it” purchase.

We made it to the toy department and there on the shelf lay a pile of Sprite scooters, neatly boxed up, and every one of them black.  We asked but apparently colours only come online and I told Kitty that we could order a pink one straightaway and pick it up from the Waitrose in the next town over in a couple of days and it would be here before she knew it.  And she looked at me and with utter seriousness said “I changed my mind, I want the black one.”

What do you do? I was fairly certain that this sudden shift to black was all about coming home with a scooter right then and there, the not wanting to let go of a dream that had frankly been a long time coming. But would she suddenly realise in a few hours or the next day that it was never going to magically become pink, that this was her scooter for ages and ages? And would she always mind that it was black and wish I’d made her wait?

I think there are times in life that can be used as lessons in patience, in learning to be really clear about what it is that you want and having the courage to wait for it, but I also remember being this small, I remember how it feels to have been waiting for what feels like half your lifetime, and how crushed I would have been to go all the way on a special scooter buying expedition, all for nothing. And so I looked into Kitty’s determined face, her expression an exact replica of her father at his most decisive, and took the second leap of faith.

Space for the Butterflies - Micro Scooter Sprite - The Ordinary Moments - Living Arrows

I did hedge my bets a little bit; we found the pinkest of shiny pink scooter helmets, a pretty pink scooter band with a rainbow on it and a little bag that will eventually attach to the front (when I take it back to John Lewis and swap it for one that actually still has the attachment bracket with it) and I think that in the long run it’s actually going to be the choice with the most longevity.  When she’s twelve and pink is just not cool any more, all it will take is a little redressing of the accessories and she’ll still have a great scooter – at least that’s the theory I’m clinging too!

Space for the Butterflies - Micro Scooter Sprite - The Ordinary Moments - Living Arrows

We dashed back home to pick up Kitty’s hand-me-down, now Elma’s dearest possession (at least until after her birthday in a couple of weeks) and then set out in the very dregs of the daylight and the pouring rain, because what’s the fun of having a new scooter that can go really really fast if you can only use it the length of the lounge.Space for the Butterflies - Micro Scooter Sprite - The Ordinary Moments - Living Arrows

One circuit of the park (about a mile) was enough to allay all my fears about Kit on two wheels; she’s got much better balance than I have and she loves zooming around – closely followed by her sister who, it turns out, is something of the speed demon herself now that she’s on a scooter that’s a much better fit.  For once I was striding out after both of them and it was lovely to feel the roses come up in my cheeks.

Space for the Butterflies - Micro Scooter Sprite - The Ordinary Moments - Living Arrows

And in honour of Kicksy II’s arrival into our family, it seemed only right to record a little snippet of our day, and of Kitty’s first scooting on two wheels.

Joining Katie at Mummy Daddy Me for The Ordinary Moments and, as tomorrow is a Me and Mine Day , Hayley at Shutterflies for Living Arrows Week 48


Elma Family Kitty Photography Pip The 52 Project

48/52 {The 52 Project}


Linking up with Jodi with a portrait of each of my children once every week for 2015.

Space for the Butterflies - the 52 Project

Kitty: Once upon a time there was sunshine. I think you’re like your Mama, you need fresh air and sunbeams in your day and it’s then you really start to shine. I can tell that we’re getting towards the end of the school term and by the time we get there we’re all going to be more than ready for our holidays but in the meantime we’ll try to grab as many minutes of quiet adventure in the garden as we can.

(Nikon D80, 35mm 1.8 lens – 1/400, f/4, ISO 250)

Space for the Butterflies - the 52 Project

Elma: Yesterday you went out for lunch with your brother and Daddy and some of his old work colleagues and you were just so excited at the prospect of such a special treat you were bouncing off the walls before you went, and smiling ear to ketchup-smudged ear when you got home again.

(Nikon D80, 35mm 1.8 lens – 1/50, f/2.8 , ISO 320)


Space for the Butterflies - the 52 Project

Pip: You look rather like you’re auditioning for Eeyore – you’re terribly stern in this portrait wee man but believe it or not you were loving being out and about in the garden – especially when your sisters ran back inside and you got complete control of the hula hoop – and that look is pure concentration!

(Nikon D80, 35mm 1.8 lens – 1/100, f/4, ISO 250)


Elma Family Finished Handmade Kitty Photography Pip Sewing

A surprise pear {handmade}


In terms of simple pleasures, I think that surprise post would have to rate pretty highly on mine. Surprise nice post that is, less the unexpected white business envelope and more something with a handwritten address, or a pretty envelope or even better, a parcel.

and as last weekend was the momentous opening day for the Autumn Surprise Swap, my post this week included a little box, neatly wrapped, all addressed to me. And my outgoing post, safely delivered to the post office by Elma (with a bit of help from H) also contained a little brown box, bound up in as many layers of sellotape as I could manage to make sure it made it all the way north safe and sound.

So which one to tell you about first? Well let’s start with the box I put together.  My lovely swap buddy Sharon has, I suspect, very similar taste to me, and with two adorable little twins, about the same amount of time to be spoiled (or lack thereof) so I had a lot of fun finding bits and pieces that would just be pure fun for a fellow stationery addict.

Space for the Butterflies - Autumtime Surprise Project Swap

A pretty pen, some washi tape (I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like washi tape), a whole pack of grown up stickers (not a princess or tank engine in sight) and a little trio of clouds maybe for labels or bookmarks or just hanging up to be pretty.  Chocolate jazzie stars to bring a smile and then just a little something handmade to finish it off.

I thought about going all out deck the halls and making something Christmassy because it’s only about three weeks away or something (a fact to which I am remaining stubbornly oblivious for the time being) but for an Autumn surprise I thought we could mash up the genres, something autumnal that could also go on the Christmas tree if she wanted it to. And so I made a pear.

Space for the Butterflies - Autumtime Surprise Project Swap

Just a little dinky one, cut from the softest wool felt that the girls gave me for my birthday for playing with, roughly using the pattern from the Mollie Makes before last (the one with the partridge wreath on the front cover), sewn up with gold thread, decorated with sequins and gently stuffed with wool.

So much fun to make, I think maybe our Christmas tree needs some seasonal fruit on the lower branches this year!

And then there was the parcel I got to open.  Kitty guessed that it was a book and a drum, Elma said a wand, Pip said “Da!” and H said “Something stationery” and I opened up my box of creativity to find a pile of beautifully wrapped treasures (in butterfly paper no less!).  There was a book of writing paper and gorgeous post it notes that will obviously make me brilliantly erudite and organised, some body cream that smells so good I want to lick it, a gorgeous fabric flower brooch and a kit to make my own (yay!), a glittery red Essie nail polish that is pure Christmas in a bottle and my favourite of all, a print of a quote that is so completely genius (well it is Einstein) and very very me:

Space for the Butterflies - Autumtime Surprise Project Swap

“Creativity is Intelligence having fun!”

I’m going to frame it and put it somewhere where I’ll see it everyday.

So hugest of huge thank yous to Sharon and to the lovely Lucy who organised it all; you made my day all the brighter.

Joining in with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday and Frontier Dreams for Keep Crafting On