Wow, the past 2 and a half months have flown by! And how my life has changed!
I had my beautiful baby at the end of October. I had a natural birth and I was lucky that from the time the contractions kicked in strong to the time she was here was only about 6 hours.
I got to the hospital at 7pm and she was here at 10.01pm. The doctor told me that I should definately get to the hospital earlier when I have baby number 2!
Baby M is doing great! At her first month check up she had already put on 1400g, I can`t believe how much she has changed. Now, at nearly 8 weeks old she is smiling, cooing and grabbing on to things.....oh, I am so in love!
I was in the middle of knitting a blanket for her when she arrived, I so want to finish it but finding the time for knitting is proving difficult at the moment. I get a row in every now and then and I am deternimed to finish it. As it is a lace pattern I can use it in the Spring too so I suppose there isnt that much of a rush.
When I was pregnant I knitted her a cardigan......how cute!
My first baby is due in a few weeks so I am busy making lots of bits and bobs.
One of the things that I think will be really useful for me and also a great present for friends (once I have perfected it) is a nappy pouch that can be slipped into my bag when we go out. This is just big enough to fit in a packet of wipes and a handful of nappies. Quite cute I think.
I started this quilt months ago....as you might be able to guess from the spring colours that I chose! This was a quilting class that I took back in March, it`s called Strips and Curves.
It was quite a difficult make for a beginner like me, but I am so happy with the outcome. It has been sitting in a bag in my house for the past 6 months and I finally thought that I should bind it and finish it. I love it!
I wanted to make something for my father in law`s upcoming birthday, I couldnt really think of anything that he would need and then I stumbled across this tutorial by Ayumi Mills in her blog Pink Penguin.
Last night we went on a sunset sail around the south of Manhattan. It was a little hot to start off with but as the sun started to set and we picked up a bit of speed it was much cooler. The boat (schooner) was beautiful, and there was champagne, wine and beer to be enjoyed. The staff were friendly too. Would definately recommend it.
This is my first attempt at making clothing..can I call tiny baby trousers clothing? Well, its a start eh! They are reversable and so fun and cute. I will definately be making more. Because they are so small its a good way to use up scraps of fabric. I have fallen in love with them.
I got the pattern from the book `handmade beginnings` by Anna Maria Homer.
This has been a work in progress for quite some time and it is finally finished. I planned on making this for my nephews 1st birthday.....but it`s a little late. I love the colours in this quilt! I`m so happy with how it turned out.
Another little thing I have been making recently is bibs. I have had so many friends have babies recently I thought that this would make a nice gift that can be easily personalised. Also, they are something that will be used. I bought the plain white bibs and then appliqued the shapes onto them, really simple but so pretty I think! I need to do some boy ones now.
Although I have been going to my knitting class every week and enjoying it lots, it has been a while since I finished something. My short sleeved cable cardigan is still `in progress`, unfortunately it is a little monotonous and takes lots of concentration because of the cables. So I took a break and started on a baby cardigan, what a breath of fresh air!! and I have finished two in the past couple of weeks. I have learnt a few new stitches along the way and I have enjoyed the gratification of finishing something so quickly. Here is a picture of one, with two matching hats that I made too.
This weekend we decided to go to Niagra Falls. Hubby took Monday off from work so we had 3 days in total. It took 7 hours (one-way) in the car from here so it was a long journey but we took turns with the driving and the time passed quickly. I loved seeing the falls, as always they look smaller in real life than they do on TV (same I found with the Statue of Liberty) but they were still pretty amazing.
We viewed the falls from both the American side and the Canadian side, you get a much better view from the Canadian side though as you get a full view of both the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls.
The American Falls
The Horseshoe Falls
We went on `The Maid in the Mist` and it was spectacular, to get up so close to the falls and see them from below was quite amazing! If you ever go I would definately recommend it!
View from the Maid in the Mist
Niagra as a town itself is extremely commercialised though, I suppose it is to be expected. But I was only interested in the falls and not all the amusement arcades, shows and tatty shops that come with it. (Think Blackpool on steroids)
On our second night there were fireworks over the falls and they were spectacular! I was very impressed, probably the best fireworks I have ever seen. All in all a great trip and happy to get a Canadian Stamp in my passport, even if I only went in about 1 kilometre inside the border!
Well, I was actually done a few weeks ago but yet again I have been poor at updating this. The course went extremely well and I enjoyed every minute of it....well, maybe not the grammar lesson so much but it did go well in the end (Grammar isn`t my strongest subject) I havent been to pick up my certificate yet but I will be doing that shortly.
I took the course at Rennert School in Manhattan! I definately recommend it.
The first few days after I finished the course I had so much time on my hands I really didn`t know what to do with myself but I have got back into relax mode and spending my days making...whether it be cooking, knitting, quilting or shopping. The hot weather is keeping me indoors! I
I have been so busy this past month. I literally haven`t had time to do anything. I am currently doing a 4 week intensive TESOL course. Teaching English to Students of Other Languages. It has been so much fun and such a great learning experience for me but I am tired!! Its 11-8 everyday but I`m usually out of the house at 7.30 and there for before 9pm, then I arrive back at home about 9.30pm. Weekends have been taken up with homework, lesson planning and assignments. This might sounds like a rant or a moan, but it really isn`t I have loves every minute.
I will update more when I have finished, three days to go!!
I visited Japan last week after 8 months of living here in New York. My friend was getting married last week so I decided to make the trip and go to the wedding.
It was a wonderful wedding and such a great chance to meet up with friends, its strange how Japan seems like home for me even though Im English. I suppose after 7 and a half years of living there thats what happens.
This is a photo from the wedding, the bride wore traditional white and then later changed into Kimono.
Whilst I was in Japan I visited one of my favourite places in Tokyo, Nippori, it`s also known as fabric town. I love to make things (although I am very much a beginner) Nippori is extremely popular place and if you go on a weekend you must be prepared to wait! If you ever decide to go, there is a shop called Tomato which is just great!
Luckily my friend Jo from www.jojoebi.blogspot.com and I went on a weekday and enjoyed the morning browsing and of course buying! I was flying back to New York that evening and I knew how full my suitcase already was so I really had to stop myself from buying that much. However I did get a few bargains....I just have to decide what to make with them now.
I am from `The Potteries`, Stoke-on-Trent. The home of Wedgewood, Minton, Spode. In the past there were many more pot banks (pottery factories) but as the years have past the industry has decreased considerably.
People from Stoke often have a habit of looking at the bottom of the cup or plate that they are given in a restaurant just to see if it was made at home or not, I do this myself all the time.
When I was at school I had a couple of pottery lessons and made a plate but since then I have had no chance to try. I saw a notice in a local magazine for a trial lesson to make a cup and a plate. It is a Japanese pottery studio in Manhattan. www.nytogei.com
So a friend and I signed up for a trial lesson and went along yesterday and here is what I made.
Part way through making the cup:
Part way through making the plate:
Once we had finished we picked the colours that we wanted them to be glazed with and the rest is done for us, they will be ready to pick up in a couple of weeks.
I really enjoyed the day, I was surprised at how easy the plate was but the cup really took a lot of work.
On Saturday we had a lovely picnic in Central Park.
The weather was just perfect not too hot not too cold and we spent a lovely few hours eating, playing frisbee and chatting.
The photo below shows the bento that I made. My friend had given me this two tier bento box a few years ago but I had never used it until now. So happy that I made the effort to get up early and prepare it, everyone was quite impressed with my efforts as everyone else had gone to the local supermarket to buy their lunch.
I don`t what it is with me but when I think picnic I think home made, even if its only a little something.
One of my favourite times of year in Japan is the Cherry Blossom season. There is so much excitement and energy in the air around this time of year. Going out to the park and sitting and having a few beers is always so much fun.
So when I found out that the Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC are really great too I was really eager to go.
It was out first road trip and we really enjoyed it, 4 hours there 6 hours back!
The weather was just great and the blossoms were beautiful! Take a look!
Is Winter over? I really do hope so! I love winter I really do, I love winter sports, winter clothes and winter food, chunky soups with bread and butter. Although I love all of these things this years winter seems to have been a long one. This is our first winter in New York and it has been cold. There has been more snow than I have ever seen in England or Japan and although I was very excited about it at first the novelty had worn off now.
I started knitting last year in October, a friend of mine introduced me to a local knitting circle that she went to every week. Although I could knit (just about) in a straight line it was at the circle where I learnt to do a little bit more.
The first thing that I learnt how to do was how to make baby hats, I started making preemie baby hats to donate to the local NICU. So tiny, so cute!
At the beginning of this year a couple of my friends had babies so with my new found knitting skills I decided that I wanted to make them something, so I started my first big (for me) project of knitting a basket weave blanket. Although easy to do they took quite a while.
After making all these things for other people I decided that I should start on something for myself, so I have recently started making a short sleeved cardigan .....with cables! This is my first time to do cables and although they aren`t particularly difficult to do I have to really concentrate when doing them so the project is going a little slowler than I would like but....watch this space.
I have the most beautiful nephew who I am totally in love with. Since he came along I have been itching to make something for him but couldnt quite decide what until I found this great pattern for baby shoes.