Saturday, 19 October 2013

21st celebrations, including lovely gifts and cards and experiences, plus my mum came down and brought my sewing machine, the first sewing project made in Bath, and my week working on Maternity ward

So, it's official! I'm 21! I had an amazing birthday the other week - my placement were very excited! The mum gave me a huge balloon:

Which is still floating in my room!! Very impressive, definitely earning its moneys-worth! It makes me smile every time I see it, bobbing around.

She also gave me this beautiful card which she made herself:

Isn't that just stunning!! It's such a beautiful card, I can't believe the effort she went to! And she wasn't the only one...

The 4 yr old drew me a card as well! There is nothing I love better than a card which a child makes for me; it shows such care on the part of the child. For them to focus on something like this for such a long time -!

My placement family also gave me this book:

It's full of projects to make, with beautiful photos all through. There are so many things in there which I want to make, and the images are so inspirational. Even the front cover - I love the style! It's a book brought out by a (for want of a better word) store in Bath, which runs courses and classes in sewing and making, called The Makery. It also hosts parties and sells habadashery items. Very cool!

So I was given all of that amazing stuff from my placement family, then we chilled at home in the morning before going off for cake and coffee early afternoon with a friend and their child. The 2 older children were pretty tired from school in the morning, so their emotions were running a little high; but it was a lovely afternoon, with chats and laughs.

My mum came down the weekend before, and stayed a night. It was lovely - we chilled out Saturday evening, and went to Newark Park on Sunday. It's a lovely hunting lodge, not too big for a ramble, but very interesting and really pleasant. She also brought down my sewing machine:

And the bag of sewing machine extras (I made the bag with my sewing machine!!):

 And the gift my sister got for me:

An ice cream maker!! Very exciting! I can't wait to make some ice cream! I've wanted one of these for so, so long, so I can't wait to try out some recipes.

My mum also spoilt me by getting me an extra gift of this adorable fabric:

 Isn't that just ridiculous?! I'm so grateful - she knows what I like!! It's one of those fabrics you just can't leave a shop without buying.

 I got this lovely card from my Friday babysitting family:

 The 3 yr old drew these pictures of himself (left) and his little brother (right) which was just lovely and sweet and oh-so-cute! And they gave me a gift card to buy a book, and some delicious chocolates!

 And my housemates also got me some yummy chocolates, which are mostly stashed at the back of my cupboard in order to savour them(!), and this notebook, which is utterly stunning:

 It has a quote from the bible on the front of it - to be exact, Exodus 33:14. Notebooks come in so useful for studying the bible, so I know I'm going to love writing in this one!

We also went to La Tasca as a house, and had a delicious meal together which was lovely - our first meal out as a house!

And the final thing I want to show you is this:

 yep, I wanted to use my machine, so I threw this quilt together. Oh yes, I did just say 'threw together'. Because I took blocks I already had, joined them together, and quilted and bound it in a day! It nbow sits on my bed, and is super warm and snuggly! the batting in the middle is 50% bamboo, 50% cotton, so it's really soft and warm and delicious! I also ordered some other materials to start another quilt, and I know there are some bits and pieces in my room at my parents' house for quilting too, so it's going to be a busy quilting year I think! I used fabrics I already had for the back:

See how simple I kept it?!

And then a super simple siggy block on the back, too:

Just my name and the year it was made, nice and simple! I love the wavy stitch here - it's really simple as well, but it's very pretty and covers a multitude of sins easily. It also can give the impression of there not being a seam or an edge there, which I love! I've used it before on my mum's machine, when I made the wife's quilt, and when I made my laptop bag. I used bias binding I already had for this quilt, just to keep it quick and simple. I like making my own binding, but pre-made is just as good, and much quicker to sew.

So yeah, the last 2 weeks in pictures! I've spent this past week working on the maternity ward, which has been an incredible, indescribable experience. Lots of baby cuddles have happened, and baby baths and topping and tailing and first nappies and lots and lots of changing beds. It has been a full ward all week and I've loved it! I've had some hilarious conversations with mums about the real nitty gritty details of giving birth - those things you don't usually learn about until you actually have your own baby! One mum said that she didn't know you had to deliver the placenta after the baby; lots of mums said there was no preparation for the amount of pain having a baby came with; many of them described the tenderness and discomfort of the aftermath (the waddling that doesn't stop once you've had a baby!); and many of them talked about how weird it was that that was inside them only a few hours before. Truly a worthwhile experience, and I feel so lucky to have been able to do that. Having said that, I got a sicky bug from one of the mums and ended up missing out on the last day because I was ill. I feel much better already, but I didn't want to risk passing it on to any other mums or their babies, so I stayed off yesterday.

And that's all for now!

Love love xx

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Turning 21, and a flurry of photos about myself, including making, baking, jamming and a whole lot of Nature

Tomorrow is my birthday. My 21st, to be exact. Scary stuff! I don't feel old enough to be that old - it sounds like such a big, grown-up age to be and I'm not a grown-up, am I? But apparently so.

I've had an amazing few weeks at placement - the mum is lovely, the boys are sweet and amazing, and I have so much fun!

So what have I been up to recently? Brace yourselves for a whole lot of photos! Well, this happened at home:

 This is bubble dough, made according to these instructions which I pinned on Pinterest.

 See how it breaks?


 And stretches...

 And then I made it with the older boy at placement - again, it stretches...

 And snaps!

And then this happened:

Yum! That, my friends, is a plum crumble! My placement mum spoils me, sending various treats and tidbits home with me all the time. On this occasion, she sent me home with a bag of plums, which duly got made into crumble for the whole house to enjoy.


 Isn't that beautiful!

Then there was a day at placement where I discovered this:

 Isn't this just incredible?! A stunning butterfly got stuck inside. Being a good person, I released it. Being human, however, I took lots of photos first! It was a great opportunity to get close-up photos:

 How stunning is that?! Hold on, let me give you a bigger photo...

Just look at that! Okay, maybe I'm some kind of sucker, but I just love the details that went into creating such a tiny, perfect, fragile creature - the downy fur near the body, the colours, the actual symmetry!! How is that even possible??

I find nature to be incredible - it works so perfectly, it doesn't seem possible at all. But it is. Another few photos:

 Sunset outside placement...

I walk this walk twice a day, to and from placement, every day. Am I not the luckiest person alive?! I mean, it's really super steep, and I'm always out of breath climbing to the top. But in exchange I get to see all the amazing colours, and leaves and plants and life mingling - truly, the colours I see are just awe-inspiring...

See?! I'm not sure that there's a single shade of pink or purple not found somewhere in there...

 As far as I can tell, these are snowberries. They look beautiful and plump, and bursting with white juiciness. They're poisonous. It's a shame, because they're everywhere just now, and do look so attractive to eat.

After going blackberry picking with my placement family, my housemates and I caught the bug and went out near our house - there's a field right outside with bushes dripping with berries. I turned a few of the berries into a fruit mix with pears which was stewed gently and made for a bowlful of yumminess when mixed with yoghurt - again, an idea I got from my placement. I love how my placement mum feeds the family, and I'm constantly making mental notes all the time I'm there, not even for future children or anything, but for myself!

The rest of the berries got turned into jam:

 For most of my housemates, I think, this was the first time they'd ever seen jam being made. Fascinating for them to see, especially when ti came to the wrinkle test (checking if the jam is set).

We got some jars of dark, beautiful goodness from the berries! It tasted great on toast!

And speaking of jam, I made plum jam at my placement:

Again, it looks so beautiful! Such a pretty colour, and it tasted wonderful! My placement mum so sweetly sent 2 jars of jam home with me, one to share with my housemates and one for myself!

The hamsters have been a lot of fun so far. One of them, Houdini, earned his name because the minute the lights go out he heads straight for his wheel. the minute you switch on a light to catch him in the act, he's gone. No matter how fast you are, it's like he senses it! we managed to capture 2 photos of him in the wheel, I think? after an hour of trying!

And finally, one of my housemates got this beasty on her wall. Needless to say, she was terrified, and mama Beth had to remove it...

 that's all - a long post of photos, I know, but I hope you enjoyed them!

Love love xx

PS. a couple of amusing links for you to enjoy:

Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball Parody

Ylvis - The Fox (What does the Fox say?)

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