29.7.12

in search of the sun

Dear Annie,




After what seemed to be weeks of endless rain here in the UK, we have finally had some summer sunshine. An unexpectedly free weekend with a sunny forecast felt to us like a gift. We threw the bell tent in the car, along with our camping essentials, and headed to the Gower in search of sun, sea and sand. We were not disappointed.













We came home sandy, windswept, sun-kissed... and happy.


Love from,


Laura


(Square photographs are via Instagram, where you can find me as @steadyeyebrows)

23.7.12

a cotton Milo


Dear Annie,


The teeny tiny Milo vest has been cast off and blocked, and it is now awaiting the arrival of the baby for whom it is intended. I knitted it in Rowan Pima Cotton in a colour called Verdigris.






One of the things that I particularly like about this pattern is that you can vary the cable each time. This time, I chose the xoxo cable, but the last Milo that I knitted had an owl cable. You can read about it (and see it being modelled by baby R) here.


Love from,


Laura


PS: Details- as usual- on Ravelry.

21.7.12

Travel Kit

Dear Laura,


I am doing a lot of travelling in the next few weeks and I wanted to find a way to make sure I could still do some sewing whilst away. Do you remember that I was trying make a little travelling sewing kit a while ago. Well I finally managed to get it finished!




Unfortunately I didn't have a zip so I decided to use a button system to keep it closed. 




I put a pin cushion in and a little pocket to keet a tape measure or buttons. I made sure everything was tied down with a ribbon and a popper. I also made sure there was enough space to put some material or a small project I am working on there as well.




Lots of love


Annie

17.7.12

end of term

Dear Annie,


Time has flown by since last September when I wrote in this post about S starting preschool. All of a sudden, the summer holidays are upon us, and he is leaving his preschool, ready to start "big school" in September.




For a while now, I have been mulling over present ideas to make for the fantastic staff at his preschool. With all sorts of other things on the go at the moment, and nine presents to make, I didn't have quite as much time as I had hoped, so I opted for simple homemade sweet bags, using this tutorial.




Tomorrow, we will be writing our Summer Holiday To Do List. I think I'm going to need a very large piece of paper, as my little man has all sorts of ideas. Now all we need is some sunshine...




Love from,


Laura

15.7.12

A Plethora of Pink

Dear Laura,


Whilst on holiday R and I searched through a couple of antique / second hand shops and to my joy I found this awesome dress.







It is pink and it is spotty and I love it. I will have to alter it unfortunately because as much as I love it, it is pretty dated. Soon I will breath new life into it, but for now I am going to frolic in as many woods as I can in it just for fun.


Lots of love


Annie

13.7.12

a quilted cosy

Dear Annie,




A little bit of speedy sewing last weekend, to make a cosy for a new (and oh so exciting) laptop. I used this tutorial as a starting point, and made it up from there. 




For the outside, I kept it plain with some Joel Dewberry ticking (given that D is supposed to share the laptop, I thought it best not to go crazy on the florals!). I added interfacing and two layers of cotton quilt batting and machine-quilted it along some of the stripes.


I couldn't resist a few hidden flowers in the lining, though- I used a fat quarter of Liberty quilting fabric that I had stashed away from the V&A quilting exhibition a few years ago.





Working out how to attach it all together took more brain power than it should have done, but I got there in the end. 


I love making gadget cosies with favourite pieces of fabric. My Liberty Tana Lawn phone cosy makes me smile every day, and I hope that this will too. Whether or not it will have the same effect on D remains to be seen!


Love from,


Laura

11.7.12

The Smokey Mountains

Dear Laura,


We have been having a heat wave, a proper unpleasant heat wave, in DC. For the last week the temperatures have been exceeding 100'F. This is very very hot. So we decided to escape for the 4th July holiday. Off we went, down south to the mountains, it was wonderful. 




I think it is fairly self explanatory why they are called smokey mountains. All the traditional things were done, BBQ




Watching the DC fireworks on the telly (even though had we been at home we could have just popped out of the front door). Some wild turkeys even stopped by for a bite to eat.



Some trees were chopped down. Yikes!



Mostly it was just wonderful to be in the forest in the mountains watching the cows and the horses in the fields surrounded by so much greenery and so many flowers.



Goodbye beautiful mountains I hope we see each other again soon.



The weather broke on Monday and we were entertained by forks of lighting disappearing as suddenly as they appeared and sudden heavy bursts of rain on our long drive home.


Lots of love


Annie



9.7.12

Didn't Quite Finish

Dear Laura,


I am travelling a lot in the next few months. Inspired by the teacup bag I made and the encouragement from Lily at Making it Vintage and Libby at Truly Murtle, I have embarked on another sewing project. I am pretty excited about this one. I am trying to make a little portable sewing kit. Digging around in my fabrics I found the perfect ones.




Ideally I would like to have tried putting a zip in around the edge, but I don't have any zips the right size, so I am going to do a button ribbon tying concoction to keep it all together. I am very excited to finish it off, it takes quite a lot of brain power to figure out how it is all going to go together to try to hide all the seams before I sew! I wanted to take it on my trip to North Carolina (more about that soon) but I didn't quite finish it. I am hoping that I will be able to take it on my next set of travels so I can sew to my hearts content whilst I am away.


Lots of love


Annie

6.7.12

capturing childhood

Dear Annie,




Do you remember, back in this post, I told you that a had won a scholarship place on the six week photography e-course, Collect the Moments, run by the Kats over at Capturing Childhood? Well, those six weeks are at an end. 




I can honestly say that I have loved every minute of the course, and it is actually surprisingly difficult to put into words just what I have learnt. There have been some very practical lessons: I now know how to bounce the flash and set up back button focus. I know my aperture from my shutter speed, when to use Av mode and when to use Tv mode. I understand the pivotal importance of light (and I have developed a slight obsession with catchlights!) I have found out about composition: using framing, lines and the rule of thirds to compose a shot.




My camera has become my constant companion, and I have been taught to see the world, and particularly my boys, with a photographer's eye. I have loved the way in which every element of childhood has been celebrated. I have endeavoured to capture the boys'  daily routines, their energy, their concentration, their messiness, their beauty and the tiny details of their lives. I have also been grateful for the fact that having assignments to complete has made me pick up my camera when I might otherwise not have done so (which would have meant missing out on some great shots).




The course has really made me think about childhood, and what it means within our own family. Routines, traditions, achievements, pride, patience and love are just some of those things.




Through the course Flickr and Facebook groups, I have met a lovely, supportive network of fellow photographers. Their comments have provided encouragement and their photographs have provided inspiration.




As is so often the case when learning new things, more than anything  I have discovered how little I know about photography and how much more I would like to find out. In fact, I have signed up for a second course with the Kats, Manual Overdrive, which begins next week (and registration is still open!)




My confidence as a photographer has increased exponentially, but more importantly, so has my love of photography, and not just that, but also my enjoyment of my children. I have come to realise just what a pleasure and a privilege it is to share these moments in my boys' childhood, and that the desire and ability to capture them is priceless.




Love from,


Laura


PS: You may notice the predominance of hands and feet in the photographs here! I did of course take photographs of my children's faces- hundreds, in fact. The pictures in this post are not necessarily the 'best' photographs that I have taken during the course, but they are the photographs that I am happy to share in this space.



on-the-go knitting

Dear Annie,




Whenever I can, I try to travel with knitting, popping it into my bag in the morning with the hope of just a row or two at some point in the day.






This week, I have been knitting both my Milo and my Scrumptious Cowl. Knitting at playgrounds and cafes, in the garden and on the sofa.




Knitting whilst chatting, knitting whilst cuddling, knitting whilst day dreaming and knitting whilst sipping tea.




Slowly but surely, a row at a time, progress is being made.


Love from,


Laura


(Photos from Instagram, where I am @steadyeyebrows)

2.7.12

strawberries for jam

Dear Annie,





Once again, we have been visiting the Pick-your-Own farm. This time, our basket was filled with luscious scarlet strawberries. Of course quite a few didn't actually make it as far as the basket; they are hard to resist, with their sweet scent and their glossy sheen.





Jam was the destiny of this particular basket of berries. Nine jars in all. Hopefully enough to keep the resident jam-monsters happy for a few months at least!


A batch of home-made jam seemed the perfect opportunity to try out a new recipe that I have been eyeing. Jam Shortbread, from Tessa Kiros' wonderful book Apples for Jam. Intended to be this week's lunchbox treats, it will be a miracle if they last long enough. So sweet, so gooey and oh so very, very tempting.




Love from,


Laura

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