Monday, 23 December 2013

Spin Daughter

Today daughter wrote her letter to Father Christmas.  She sat with paper and pencil trying to start when she suddenly said,

"I don't know what to put"

"Well, " I said, "Father Christmas wants to know that you've been good, so why don't you tell him that you've done your piano practice without moaning?"

"I haven't", she said.

"Well, how about you've helped mummy with the housework?"

"I haven't"

"Well, it sounds like Father Christmas won't be bringing you any presents"

She sat and thought for a minute, then she wrote

"Dear Father Christmas

I hope I have been good, if I have, I would like............."

That girl is going to be a politican!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Gingerbread House

In addition to our Christmas Cake this year, daughter wanted to make a gingerbread house.  I've never tried making one, but I thought "I'm sure it can't be that difficult" (famous last words).  So I dug out my old Christmas editions of Good Food and found this one:


Then Mary Berry did one on this week's Great British Bake Off Christmas edition and made it look so easy, so, armed with Mary's wise words we started.

It did take us nearly an entire day, but I think the result was worth it:



Daughter wants to eat it immediately, but I can't bear to break it up at all!

If you have a spare 7 hours this Christmas (ha ha!) and would like to make one, the instructions can be found here.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Christmas Cake 2013

It's that time again.

The Working Mum Christmas Cake.

I made my Christmas cake in October half term.  This year it was decided (mainly by daughter) that we would try a chocolate christmas cake, ie a chocolate fruitcake, so I used this recipe and have been feeding it copious amounts of brandy ever since.

Now it's time to decorate.

Much discussion now ensues between daughter and myself to decide the annual design and this year we went for this one from Good Food Dec 2012 edition:

Here's our effort:



If you want to try it yourself, here are the instructions.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

The Great Gingerbread Challenge

Christmas is coming.  

We did our house decorations yesterday (it was the only day in December when we were all at home to do it) and it made me feel really Christmassy.

So today, despite the long list of jobs, I decided it was time for a mummy and daughter bake off challenge.

This time it was a decorating challenge.

We used the same gingerbread recipe, but we each had carte blanche to make Christmas designs.

I went for Baubles and Snowflakes 
(with a cheeky gingerbread man):



Daugher went for Running Reindeer, Falling Snowflakes 
and Gingerbread Men:



Hubby was the judge and declared...................


........................ a draw!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Update

In the midst of November and still surviving.

Steroids now seem to be having an effect and my chest is not hurting when I breathe. Yay!

Side effects seem to be subsiding as I am weaned off the steroids so cramps have stopped, head clearer, can think straight again, no headaches and lost a couple of pounds.  Yay!

Written five sets of reports so far (another five sets to do before 3 Dec), marked countless tests and have organised our department's displays and interactive activities for tomorrow's Open Day. 

Solved childcare problem of tomorrow's Open Day by bribing daughter to come with me and help demonstrate the Mathematics of Bubbles in exchange for Hairy Dieter's Spiced Apple Cake tomorrow afternoon.

Nearly organised the departmental Christmas Do, although the old adage "you can't please all the people all of the time" springs to mind.  I may end up booking it on a day I can't go!!

Have arranged for old (as in 'long time', not age) friend to come over next weekend for tea, cake and conversation.  Yay!

Have arranged to go to Tatton at Christmas with my mum and dad the weekend after and booked Afternoon Tea at the Gardener's Cottage.  Yay!

Yes, there's a lot of cake involved, but who doesn't like cake?

All in all, not doing too badly!





Monday, 4 November 2013

Admitting the Inevitable

I joined the Manchester Chorale in 1993 and was given a uniform of long black skirt, white blouse and maroon cummerbund and tie (I know, but it was the early 90s).

Time moved on, as did choral fashion and in 2003 we had dresses made to measure and changed to blue silk scarves:

(That's me, second row, second from left)

I am pleased to say that a decade on, the dress still fits and providing I watch my weight, no problem with Chorale concerts.

However, when we sing at the Bridgewater Hall we are required to wear long black skirts and black shirt.

Now, the skirt I was given in 1993 has a 25 inch waist and I have been trying to squeeze into it for the past few years with little success (safety pins have been involved) and so I have finally given in.

I have now accepted that I will never again have a 25 inch waist and so, last Thursday, remembering that I have a sewing machine now, I bought some fabric and made myself a new choir skirt:


This is me backstage at the Bridgewater Hall in my new skirt for the concert we did on Sunday consisting of "The Armed Man" and some other of Karl Jenkins' pieces, conducted by the man himself.


I could breathe again!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Why does Metrolink conspire against me?

Yesterday daughter had a party in Stockport 3pm - 5.30pm , hubby was at a City match returning home at 6pm and we were all going to see "Wicked" at the Palace in Manchester at 7.30pm (my Christmas present from hubby last year).  It was just about doable if we were all home by 6pm and could catch the tram into Manchester at 6.30pm.

Today I was doing a concert at the Bridgewater Hall rehearsing at 10.30am.  Fine, I could catch the tram at 9.30am and be in plenty of time.

So what does Metrolink do?

What do they always do on the rare occasions we need to go into Manchester on the tram?

"Improvement" Works all weekend with a much slower, less convenient, replacement bus service!

Aaaargh!!

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Getting Ahead

So that's half term nearly over.

 I'm about to enter the long, dark tunnel of the second half of term.  

Parents' Evenings, Open Days, exams, reports, rehearsals and concerts mean that I have very little time in the next six weeks to get ready for Christmas.

Add to that hubby going to Qatar for a week in December (don't mention Qatar) in a week when I have two concerts and you see the problem.

So, I have been getting ahead.

This week I have:
  • made my Christmas cake
  • bought all my Christmas cards, wrapping paper, gift tags and ribbon
  • written half of my Christmas cards
  • done half of my Christmas shopping
  • wrapped and written presents and cards to be sent abroad
  • decorated and filled 10 jam jars for daughter's class stall at School Christmas Fair
  • bought and wrapped presents for the Toy Service at Church
  • boought and wrapped presents for the Salvation Army at school
  • bought chocolate for the School and Church Christmas Fairs' chocolate tombolas
  • bought bottles for the School Christmas Fair bottle tombola

 Bring on November and December!




Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Half Term Holiday in Haworth

With hubby off on his first trip to Qatar last week (don't mention Qatar), I decided that Izzy and I could go off on holiday without him and booked a lovely cottage in Haworth, Yorkshire for us and my mum and dad:



Izzy was delighted that the cottage was on an Equestrian Centre and the stables were literally oustide her bedroom window:


While we were there we visited the Bronte Parsonage, the Bronte Falls, the National Media Centre, where Izzy read the news ....


.... Skipton Castle.....


.... and Salt's Mill at Saltaire where we saw Hockney's pictures:



However, the rest of the time, we relaxed.  

We watched DVDs, we played games, we had lazy breakfasts and lazy dinners and we lazed about.

We were able to have a lazy, relaxing holiday because we didn't have hubby making us do stuff every minute of every day.

And best of all, when we got home he'd cleaned the house from top to bottom, made us curry and cake for tea and said that he'd missed us.

Perhaps I should go away without him more often?


Sunday, 27 October 2013

Victorian Costume Update

Do you remember back in April I said I would try to make daughter a Victorian costume?

Let me remind you.  

Daughter wants a Victorian lady's costume for Victorian Day at school this year.  Not an apron and mop cap as I was going to make.  Oh no.  Apparently, if you go as a servant the teachers pick on you.  No, not for my daughter the servant's outfit.  She wants to be a lady and then the teachers have to defer to her.  (Delusions of grandeur?)

Well, I decided to have a go at making one and after purchasing my new sewing machine (see here for details) and a general pattern for costumes ......

....... I realised that I may have bitten off more than I can chew.  

Especially when she announced that she wanted a costume like Clara's in Dr Who:



(I did point out that this was a barmaid's costume and not a lady's)

Well, I dragged daughter off to Leon's where we purchased the cheapest black and red fabrics we could and I began my challenge.

Let me tell you, a five foot nine year old does not fit any standard pattern so a lot of altering ensued.   Also a lot of adapting, mocking up, measuring, unpicking, recutting, trigonometry (well, I am a mathematician) and a little swearing (not in daughter's hearing).

Anyway, I've finally finished and here's the result:




Please tell me that is the end of the costumes........




Sunday, 13 October 2013

Turning Back Time

This weekend daughter is away on a school holiday.  

This meant a child free weekend.

Just being able to stop the clock and relax has made a pleasant change from all the bad stuff that seems to be going on in my life at the moment.  My parents are suffering serious health problems and I've been struggling with asthma type symptoms since my cold two weeks ago.  Two inhalers have had no effect and now I'm on mega steroids to try to help me to breathe.  It's been getting me down.

So this weekend I have pottered about doing various little jobs, I have made a batch of maple and pecan fudge from a new recipe, two of our family favourite Pumpkin Cakes with the new season's pumpkins and best of all, yesterday morning, I just picked up my handbag and left the house to do a bit of shopping in the Trafford Centre.

No "We're going out in 10 mins" warning, no "You'll need shoes, not canvas pumps, it's raining" or "Yes, you do need a coat, it's raining" and then 10 minutes of waiting for Tilly Floss to put said shoes and coat on inbetween whinging and whining.

I just picked up my handbag and left!

I browsed around John Lewis, I bought myself "Mary Berry's Christmas Collection" in WH Smith and I treated myself to some Autumn chocolates in Hotel Chocolat.

Bliss!

Then, last night hubby and I went out for a meal to a local restaurant.  We walked there and back, had a relaxing meal and a glass of wine and a chat, to each other!  It was like turning back the clock 10 years!


Friday, 4 October 2013

Pudding Pilferer

I have a bit of a running battle with daughter over school puddings.  

You see, school lunches are compulsory at her school so I can't control what she eats.  The menu has lots of lovely healthy options such as homemade soups, jacket potatoes with a variety of fillings, a lovely salad bar, a selection of sandwiches including wraps and bagels, a homemade hot course with vegetables, that's fine.

There is a lovely selection of fruits they can choose to make their own fruit salad with toppings such as yogurt, granola and fruit purees, but the trouble is she just can't resist the syrup sponge with custard, marble cake with custard, cherry crumble with custard............ you get the picture.

Anyway, one day we were coming home from school when I asked her what she'd had for lunch.

"Chilli and nachos with sweetcorn", she replied.

"And for pudding?" I asked

 "Syrup sponge and custard and guess what, mummy?"

"What?"  I asked.

"If I stand on tip toe the dinner lady gives me a bigger portion!"

She seemed so proud of her deception.

Monday, 30 September 2013

It's not rubbish, it's a metaphor.

Do you know what this is?



It's a metophor.

It's a metaphor for the double standards that exist in the WM house.

You see, it's the wrapping and envelopes from my birthday presents and cards.

My birthday was on 18 September, this photo was taken yesterday.

Here's the thing:

On hubby's birthday he opens his presents and cards in bed and then leaves all the rubbish for me to put in the recycling bin because, and I quote,

"I don't have to clear up on my birthday"

Fast forward two months and I open my presents and cards in bed and leave the rubbish where it stays, for weeks, because, and I quote,

"It's your rubbish from your presents"

How long do you think it can stay in a pile in our bedroom this year?


Sunday, 29 September 2013

Lemons

On Friday morning I woke  up with a cold.  You know, coughing, sneezing, headache, aching bones, etc.

"Well, it's Friday", I thought, "I can make it through one day"

So off to work I went and managed to get through the day.

On Saturday morning I woke up to find we had no water.  

Can't have a shower, can't do the washing, can't even make a cup of tea.  A quick look at United Utilities website showed that there was a burst water main nearby which they were trying to fix.

So what do you do when life gives you lemons?

You make lemonade.

"Come on, Izzy", I said, "We're off out for breakfast"

Her eyes lit up.

Off we went to a local cafe where someone made me toast and marmalade and a pot of tea.  Bliss!

We went to the butchers, the bakers and the greengrocers to get some lovely food for lunch and then we toddled off to town where daughter withdrew some money from her savings account to buy some playmobil.  We had a quick flirt around WHSmith where daughter spent her voucher on two novels and I got two books for presents.

Home again and the water was back on.

Another cup of tea and Friday's "Strictly" on i-player.

Not bad for a weekend of lemons!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

A Decade of Juggling

I think my current malaise is due to a decade of juggling.  A decade of trying to be a working mum.  Of trying to have a job, if not a career, or just a hobby as well as a family.  Sometimes it just seems too hard.

Take 6th November:

I have a Parents' Evening I need to attend at work from 5.30pm to about 8.00pm

Hubby has Speech Night he has to attend at work from 6.30pm to about 8.30pm

If I can get a babysitter who will give Izzy her tea (which I prepare the night before) and put her to bed, I can dash from school at 4.30pm to home at 5.00pm, deliver Izzy and rush back to school just in time to start at 5.30pm.

But then this week I got this bombshell from Izzy's piano teacher:

"Izzy's Grade 2 Theory Exam is on 6 November from 5.00pm to 6.00pm"

Aaaaaaargh!

How can I do that?

I think a working mum needs a wife!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

A Breakthrough?

So this week hubby had the following engagements:

Sunday afternoon:  City match
Monday evening - Saxophone lesson
Wednesday evening - Info Evening at work
Thursday and Friday evening - away on a trip with work

On the calendar for Tuesday evening he had written "City" (when I have a choir rehearsal).

"I assume you're not going to the match on Tuesday", I said.

"Ah, yes", he said, "I am; I need to organise a babysitter".

I knew who he meant.

"Well", I said, "I don't want you to ask Pam every time because we need to ask her when we're both at work in the evening, you know, when it's important we have a babysitter."

"Oh", he said.

"Also, you're already at a match on Sunday and out every other evening, so when will you see Izzy?"

"Ah", he said.

"I think you can miss just one match"

"Yes"

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Birthday Cake

It was my birthday this week and now that Izzy has become a proficient baker (wonder who she takes after?) she decided to make me a cake.

After an hour or so in the kitchen when I wasn't allowed in (even hubby was only allowed in to take the cakes out of the oven and out of their tins) this is what she produced:


Cheers!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Birthday Wish

This week it is my birthday.

Hubby asked if there was anything I wanted for my birthday.

"Yes", I said, "I want you to come home and look after your daughter so that I can have a job and a hobby"

Do you think the message is getting through?

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Not Funny Any More

This Saturday is my school's Open Morning.  

I have to attend.  

No ifs, no buts.

I wrote it on the kitchen calendar as per our arrangement.

Hubby had written on the kitchen calendar that he had school football, as usual.

I thought about various possibilities for what would happen to daughter and in the end I arranged that she could come to work with me and help with the bubble demonstrations that I do in our department.

Last night I told hubby that she was coming with me on Saturday to my Open Morning.

You know, in case he was wondering what was going to happen to his daughter.

"Actually my team don't have a match on Saturday, I just thought I would go and watch the first 11 play at Chester"  he admitted.

Of all the sneaky, underhand, unhelpful things....... writing an engagement on the calendar that doesn't actually exist and leaving me to sort out childcare so that I can go to work!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Too clever for her own good

Last week I had an Information Evening to attend at work and on the same day hubby was in Shrewsbury with a football team.  My evening started at 7pm and so we arranged that hubby would pick daughter up from me at school at 6.30pm when he got back from Shrewsbury.  (We didn't have time to both get home and then me back to work).

So I told daughter that I would take her out for tea, we would go to the local Pizza Express as a treat, but as we had to be back at school for 6.30pm there would only be time for one course.

I could see the cogs whirring, then she asked:

"Can I just have pudding then?"

*    *    *    *    *

(Just for the record, hubby arrived at school at 7.45pm, I was not happy)

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Don't mention Qatar

So that was the summer holiday been and gone.  I've been back at work for a week and a half and it's like I've never been away.

Of course, the day I went back to work the shower decided to leak and pour through the hall ceiling.  Eight weeks I've been off and able to get things fixed, but no, fate waits until I go back to work and dumps on me.  Hubby tried silicone around the tray but no joy.  He then went into a deep depression because he doesn't do DIY.

Anyway, last weekend hubby was absent (football tournament) so I decided to fix it myself.  Three attempts, five hours and one tube of silicone later I had done it.  I did find that the best way to use silicone is to use the official 'gun' to pump it into a piping bag and then pipe it along the shower tray a la cake decorating.  You get a much neater finish.

So this week I was also back at choir.  Busy busy busy.  Lots of concerts coming up including an illustrious one with Karl Jenkins again in the Bridgewater Hall.

That's when hubby dropped his bombshell:

"Can I go to Qatar?" he asked.

"Qatar?!" I repeated, unsure whether I had heard him correctly or  not, "As in .... the Middle East?"

"Yes"

"When?"

"October half term"

"We're supposed to be going away then"

"Yes, well....." he continued, "That's the inspection visit.  We then go back for a week in December for the tournament"

"December?"  I cried, incredulously, "Just before Christmas and when I'm busy with concerts on top of work?"

"Yes"

"Well, no, I don't think you can"  I said, still not believing he would consider leaving me with daughter at half term when I have one concert and again a week before Christmas to go to a football tournament when I have two concerts in that week.

 (And remember, last year he left me to go on a jolly to Munich just before Christmas, daughter was ill and my dad got up at 6.30am to come and babysit so that I could go to work) 

(Remember also that he has a season ticket to City and attends nearly all games whether I'm working or rehearsing necessitating babysitters or missing rehearsals.  It's always me fitting around his hobby, never the other way round)

A few days later he tried again,

"So can I go to Qatar, then?" he asked.

"You're going to go anyway, aren't you?" I said.

Funnily enough, he seems to think I said "yes, you can go".

So I've pulled out of two of the concerts and need a babysitter for the third.

Seems he's allowed a hobby and I'm not.

Between that and the shower debacle, sometimes I wonder why I keep him!


Friday, 23 August 2013

Owl Experience

Last April daughter was given a voucher for an Owl Experience at the Gauntlet Bird of Prey Centre.  We booked her in to do it this holiday and off we went.

We went early and looked round at the birds, then went to the "Meet and Greet" to meet some of the animals.  Later we went and watched a great flying display:


(these are kites fighting mid-air for some food)

Then it was daughter's turn for a whole hour one-to-one with a keeper and five different owls.  She held them, fed them and flew them.  The keeper did point out, when daughter kept saying "Aaaaw, cute!", that these were deadly animals and had actually featured on "Deadly 60" with Steve Backshall. 

Here are some highlights:

Lumpy:


Tallulah:


Gromit:


She said it was ......

"The best day of my life!"

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Sod's Law

Ever since we turned the back garden from this:

 to this:


to this:


a process which took four years, I have been saying that I wanted a nice big table and chairs on the patio.

Big enough to entertain friends and family.

Well, after three years of umming and ahing, I finally made a decision and this month I bought this:



So the garden now looks like this:

Of course, twenty minutes after it was delivered it started to rain!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Northumberland

Last week we went to Northumberland for a week in a lovely cottage near Bamburgh.  As the fair weather continued, we had a great week visiting so many places and making up for our somewhat hindered holiday there last October (car broke down, Alnwick Castle shut a month early and had to come home two days early for a funeral).

This time, we had a new, reliable car, so we went to Lindisfarne safe in the knowledge that we should not become one of the Seahouses Lifeboat statistics.  Here's daughter holding Lindisfarne Castle:



We flew kites on the beaches:







We went to The Alnwick Garden where daughter took part in the Great Water Pistol Shoot Out and then played in the fountains:


But, I think the thing she liked best of all was Alnwick Castle where she met these two characters:





 And then two professors taught the Broomstick Training Class.

"Up":


 And now for the flight:


How did she do?

Sunday, 18 August 2013

China Anniversary

On the 6th August it was our 20th Wedding Anniversary.  

Twenty years!

How did that happen?

20 is the China Anniversary so, together with our friends who were married the week before us and also celebrating a China Anniversary, we went to China Town in Manchester for a Chinese Meal!

Clever, eh?

Now, hubby and I never buy presents for our anniversary, but as this year was special, he splashed out and bought me this:



A china mug!

For a Mathematician!
 
Ha ha!



Saturday, 17 August 2013

Catching Up

I know I've been neglecting the blog this summer.  The unusually fair weather we've been having has sent us outdoors for most of the holidays so I've been busy doing stuff, but not writing about it!  I'll try and catch up in the next few posts.

Firstly, at the start of the summer hols we enjoyed really hot weather so we sorted out the gardens and I managed to sit in the garden for a change.  I also ate a lot of ice cream.

Then we went to Croatia and enjoyed the sun there.

This was our hotel in Cavtat:


Fantastic pool:


 We were only a short boat ride from Dubrovnic:



We walked around the walls to get a good view of the city:


And of course, we ate lots of ice cream:


(Notice a theme here?)

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Cowpats

To quote Blackadder:

"The path of my life is strewn with cowpats from the devil's own satanic herd."

Having just got over five days in bed with swollen glands and a temperature that reached 39.3, I returned to work this week. 

I just wanted a quiet, easy week to get back on my feet.

But no, on Thursday a parent managed to smash my wing mirror whilst my car was  parked in the school car park. 

She did leave her number and when I phoned her to arrange a repair she kept saying how annoyed she was, but it's me that has the inconvenience of driving on a motorway twice a day with a smashed mirror (not easy), had to go to the garage today to get a quote to replace it (£354) and have to wait while she decides whether to go through her insurance or just pay, then I have to get it repaired.

Better put my wellies on.

You know, for the cowpats!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Down with the Dreaded Lurgy

I woke up on Wednesday with swollen glands and feeling terrible: nausea, headache, aching all over, shivering, etc.

I took daughter to school and went to work as usual, as you do, but when I got there I felt so bad I went to see the nurse.  She took my temperature (37.9) and said

"Go home and go to bed, NOW!"

After sorting out my lessons for the day and arranging for hubby to pick daughter up from school I went home, got into bed and didn't move for nine hours.

In fact, I've been in bed for three days trying to bring my temperature down with paracetamol and ibuprofen.  I've pulled out of a concert I'm supposed to be singing in on Saturday, but the worst part is.................................

........................ I was supposed to go and watch Robbie Williams tonight at the Etihad Stadium!

Six months I've been looking forward to it.

Aaaargh!




Sunday, 16 June 2013

Enter the Dragon

It's been the usual busy, busy, busy recently, but nothing really worth blogging about. 

Until today.

Hubby has just finished a hectic few weeks of work, work, work and now has a bit more time to be with  us.  Hubby being hubby cannot sit still and suggested an afternoon out.  Of course, it's Father's Day, so we couldn't refuse.

What did he suggest?

Dragon Boat Racing!

Not us, we just went to spectate.

So we took the tram over to MediaCityUK and there, in front of the Blue Peter garden and next to the Lowry, was a Dragon Boat racing competition:

We watched the teams rowing their hearts out to the beat of the drums:


We popped into the Lowry to see the pictures (and for a cup of tea and a slice of cake), then back outside for the Grand Final:

Great fun for Father's Day!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Inheritance Spent

You may recall that my MIL left me some money in her will.  A little bit of money, just for me.  I've been struggling to decide what to spend it on.  Like most mums,  I am used to spending money on the family or the house, so trying to decide how to spend it on me has been difficult.

Well, at Easter my mum, unwittingly, solved the problem.  As I was borrowing her sewing machine for the upteenth time in 20 years, she said

"Why don't you buy your own sewing machine?"

and I replied,

"Because I borrow yours!"

To be honest, it hadn't even occcurred to me to buy my own maching, I just borrow my mum's.

The more I thought about it, the more I thought this was a good idea.  I would have a machine readily available in the house; I wouldn't have to arrange to use my mum's.  I would probably use it a lot more if it were easy to get hold of.  Also, sewing machines have moved on since my mum's old Singer (it does straight stitch, zig zag and 4 step buttonholes) so it may encourage me to branch out and do something new.

So I did a bit of reasearch, mithered the Textile teacher at school and then went off to John Lewis on Saturday morning.  The sales assistant was incredibly helpful, and, having been sewing for nearly 50 years herself, very knowledgeable.

So I plumped.

For this one:



I love it!

It's so clever.

It knows to finish with the needle in the fabric, it does lock stitches and overcasting.

It does buttonholes in one step, to the exact size of your button!

It does fancy embroidery stitches, 

The feet fall off and clip on (no need to screw them in).

You can limit the speed of the stitching, like cruise control.

The bobbin goes in on the top of the arm, not underneath, so you can see when it's running low.

It can even thread its own needle!

(Very important now that my near sight is going)

In about 15 minutes I was fully proficient.

Within two hours I had made this:


which daughter thinks is "cool".

Daughter wanted a go, so I helped her to make a matching skirt for Georgina the Giraffe:



  Here she is modelling the skirt in the kitchen:


(Note the fancy stitches around the hem)

I think we'll be making a lot more 'Working Mum Originals' in the future.

Thank you, Reen.