Posts filed under ‘being creative’

making a wild stripes baby blanket

Day 9 - first car trip to Stroud 4BChoosing this photo of E in his stripey blanket for my 2012 in pictures post reminded me that I am long overdue sharing the making of my ‘Wild Stripes baby blanket’. I first added the pattern link to my ‘Crafty‘ page as a work in progress when it it was already two years in the making!  Started when a friend announced her pregnancy and I needed something to switch off from work stress, I admitted defeat when my friend’s baby turned 2 and I was still only half way through.  I think deep down I’d always hoped I’d be knitting something for my own baby so I had no guilt at all when being pregnant with E spurred me into action. I finished it long before his arrival and when we found ourselves in hospital for a week and making daily trips to SCBU for E to have his antibiotics it bought much cheer to all of us.wildstripesBEAUTY-1

This is Kristen’s Wild Stripes blanket and pattern.  My work stressed brain found it a bit taxing try to colour co-ordinate my yarns as per the pattern so having bought a wonderful rainbow array of similar acrylic yarns I simply altered colour and line width as the mood took me.  I tried adding french knots as Kristin had but found they just looked like spidery mistakes so settled for the beautiful simplicity of my irregular stripes.  I was rather pleased with how it turned out and E is sleeping peacefully under his blanket of warmth and colour as I type.13-1-13 - E sleeping under smiley stripes blanket 4B
© Wild Stripes baby blanket on chair picture – Kristin Goedert

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January 13, 2013 at 12:17 pm 5 comments

heart filled hand-made

The arrival of a new baby and a steady stream of cards and presents seem to go hand in hand.  We’ve been overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness of the gifts we’ve received for E from family and friends, some of whom we’ve only seen a handful of times in the nearly 14 years since our wedding.

Being a wanna-be-crafter I’m especially touched by the hand-made gifts as I appreciate how much time has been invested in making them.  Many hours of time that whisper ”we love you too precious boy”.  It’s a pleasure and a privilege to have the creativity of loved ones shaping the play space we’re creating for our son.
Most importantly Euan is enjoying them too!

Giraffe Mosaic by Merci, quilted playmat by Bilbo, Noah’s Ark cross stitch by Nanny M, Baby blanket by Nana H, quilted playmat by Charlie’s Nan, mobile by Aunty Catherine, knitted cardigan by Marian.

March 14, 2012 at 11:22 am 5 comments

March memories

You may have come across a photographic scavenger hunt called 26 Things?
Kate in Brunei blogged her colourful results of the November challenge and I was intrigued by the concept of bloggers around the world snapping the same 26 words with such individual results.  November was too cold and grey in England to feel inspired but Kate’s 16 things challenge coincided with the first signs of Spring and a new resolve to go for a walk on my lunch breaks.  Perfect timing, thanks Kate.
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CELEBRATION

”cat mum home with stuff for cat cake, now having a little cat party” wrote G.
 ‘you know how bonkers that makes us sound, don’t you?’  cat mum wrote back.
Making a cake to celebrate the cats birthday amounted to turning a tin of Sheba upside down on a plate and decorating it with treats to look like a cat face.   Weird 6 legged spider was more the effect we ended up with!  Nevertheless the cats loved it and we barely made it to the end of ‘Happy Birthday dear ‘  before they’d finished it.

STRIPEYGorgeous Smiley Stripes yarn bought using a voucher 2 years after I was given it! Casting on is a little overdue but in the next decade I hope to make one of these
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EMPTY Can’t get enough of those crispy greens!  As well as Kale, Spring greens work well – less crispy, more chewy.
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A GAME

The ‘scrambled snake game’ as Tom and Kim call it.  We all love the story of the Gruffallo and played this board game during their visit to England last summer. They hadn’t come across snakes and ladders before and thought we were cheating when we told them snakes always meant slide down and not climb!
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NEWA dedicated flower bed inspired by our visit to Durham’s Botanical Gardens last year.  Poppies, Cornflowers, Love-in-the-Mist and some scented flowers sown. Weeds and flowers emerging but I can’t yet tell what’s what at the moment!

WORK
I use Gloucestershire Car Share scheme to get to work.  My lift share partner had two weeks off in March and I got the bus instead.  The journey home begins here.
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GROWING
I planted some cuttings from Henri’s redcurrant bush in November.  They resembled dead twigs until March when the tiny buds that had formed started to open up.
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HOME-MADEA naughty treat from my dear friend Mel who bought them from her church bake-a-thon.  The lady who made them is a lovely, sweet, scrummy character apparently, just like her cupcakes. They raised £1000 – that’s a lot of cupcakes!
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FAVOURITE
My new favourite mug (another fab Mel gift). We don’t do small mugs in our house but this one’s jumbo even by our standards. 500mls in one very huggy mug
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BLUE
I’d happily cycle to work if there was a more pleasant, less hazardous route. Sadly this cycle route sign indicates the shared pathway that circles the business park.
It stops and starts at the bus stop on the main road. Boo.
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EVENING
Billy is our loyal evening companion and always sleeps like this to watch films with us (my outstretched legs are buried underneath him)
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PATTERN
Last Summer I bought 100 flowers to knit and crochet. Unhappily for me all the small delicate flowers are crocheted not knitted and I can’t work out the patterns.  I browsed Ravelry instead for a knitted pattern and Julie’s strawberry flowers have been sitting at the top of my favourites list ever since!  By happy coincidence I was already following Julie’s Little Cotton Rabbit’s blog so it felt like bumping into a friend unexpectedly (Julie’s Hedgehog pattern never made it on to my needles either – shocking I know!)
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FLIGHT
Mikey loves sitting on the back wall:  the wheelie bin is his launchpad!
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YESTERDAY
Yesterday, the last day of the challenge, coincided with a visit from Al and Rafferty. After lunch we raided the book box and settled down for some very cute story time.
My heart smiles every time I recall Raff’s ‘pink I think‘ answer to ‘What colour is Mikey?’ (our black cat).
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FABRIC
A very generous hand-made gift from dear Bilbo for G’s music room.  I’m ashamed to admit we still haven’t hung it yet – bad little Hobbits!
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LOUD

Huge loud potential but actually G’s music room is a gently creative space where instruments are strummed, bashed and plonked with a delicate touch.

April 29, 2011 at 9:15 am 9 comments

artists at work

Licking spoons is a very important part of cake making.  Wearing cake mixture in your hair is optional.  Unless you’re 6 years old with flowing locks.

We loved having our nephew and niece over from Germany at the end of the summer. The days were filled with stories and laughter, Gruffallo games, drawing and sticking, woodland treasure hunts, tennis and tinkling the ivories.
And cake making.

George and I had as much fun painting our cakes as Tom and Kim did. You can see that G hasn’t lost his artists’ eye and that I still haven’t found mine!

In the afternoon we took Tom and Kim to Gloucester Cathedral to check out some real artwork at what is being described as ‘the sculpture exhibition of the decade’.  
Crucible features over 70 sculptures by many renowned British and International artists.  Some of the sculptures have never been seen in public before or were made especially for this exhibition.  Seeking them out in the various locations around the cathedral, cloisters and grounds is a little like a grown up cultural treasure hunt. Except when you’re with kids as soon as you find one they’re on to the next.  I like the immediacy and randomness of looking at artwork with children though; going where their curiosity takes you and their natural instinct, and mine, to reach out and touch to make sense of it all (fingers are allowed on all but a handful of fragile pieces).  I’d like to visit the Cathedral again before the exhibition closes on the 30th October to take a more considered look at the pieces I particularly liked, those I was puzzled by and the ones I missed altogether.

‘Come and find me at Gloucester Cathedral’ says Rodrigues Giant Tortoise

Rodrigues Giant Tortoise by Nick Bibby

September 17, 2010 at 7:25 am 12 comments

making newborn bootees for May flowers

Two very special friends have become mum’s this month so I’ve been busily knitting up more baby bootees.  I knew in advance that Jasmin and Matt were naming their daughter Daisy Belle and needed no further excuse for making a flower inspired pressie.   Ever the gardener I picked a grass coloured yarn as I’m not a fan of conventional pastel pinks and blues for new babies.  I couldn’t find a pattern for tiny knitted flowers so opted for the simplicity of felt flowers again (rather tricky this tiny but made possible using manicure scissors!).  With the daisy flowering on the front I used poppers instead of buttons for the straps.  Daisy was born a few weeks early bless her so it’ll be a little while before her bootees fit her.  Nevertheless it was really satisfying for me to post off her  parcel knowing they’d be delivered the same day as she was.

Mel and Keiron’s baby kept everyone waiting and wondering for an extra 2 weeks but arrived safe and well last week.  At 9lb 11oz I don’t think Rosa Willow will have much trouble filling her bootees!

May 19, 2010 at 7:33 pm 13 comments

making felt flowers

A girl can never have too many bags so it took some discipline to part with this green goddess of a bag for Jenny’s birthday last month.  If you lack the motivation and talent to reach for the sewing machine (guilty on both counts) hand stitching is very gratifying.  Who wouldn’t love felt for it’s no-edging-required virtues and lush bold colours?
Felt flowers inspired by Laura’s flower brooch tutorial. In need of supplies?  Felt squares, and more, available from Laura’s Etsy shop Lupin Handmade.

Laura’s felt squares

April 21, 2010 at 12:55 pm 18 comments

making newborn bootees for tiny toes

Baby bootees are a good place to start if you’re new to knitting.  These bootees, my first (yay), were made for my friend Deb’s baby and took an evening to knit (+ a little time the next day to sew them up and add the buttons).   Milo was a Christmas baby so using 2 strands of DK yarn for the bottom of the bootee was as much about creating a more interesting colour as it was creating a little extra warmth and cushioning for his tiny toes.  I’m taking Milo’s smiley face to mean ‘good job‘.

©  Saartjes bootees pattern used – see Saartje’s blog for other inspiring knits

March 29, 2010 at 11:00 am 8 comments

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About Nip it in the bud


Welcome to my blog about growing and cooking allotment veg since 2009 and growing sweet boys since 2012. Take a walk with us through our life in Gloucester with a boy, a baby and 3 cats.

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How to get your kids to eat your home made casserole? Cover it with their favourite #cullyandsullyuk chicken soup. Winner!
I learnt a new word today and if there was an emoji for it then it would be this! PIZZLED, when your pissed off and puzzled all at the same time. Thank you #rubywaxfrazzled for the language education and Euan for the always hilarious faces (he was 4 years old and eating lunch out with his new 2 month old baby brother so his face could be saying all sorts of things!) #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog
I don't suppose many people recall the exact date they found out they were pregnant or have a photo to mark their total delight. 15/8/15 we found out our second miracle Luca was on his way. We'd become second time parents in our 40s and 22 years after we started dating. Our boys were so worth the painful years of waiting. (And our picture to mark the occasion is thanks to Mum and Dad babysitting Euan so we could go to a friend's wedding evening do.)
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Best friend brothers. Our #siblingsproject post for this month (link in bio) #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife
It's so hard to grieve the loss of your Mum when just looking in the mirror each morning reminds you of what you're missing. Dad always said "thankfully you get your looks from your Mum" with a cheeky twinkle in his eye.
Regrann from @the_tightrope_walker - Emotional Impact 🎗. “CCLG parent survey reveals the emotional impact of childhood cancer.” I read an article by @cclg_uk ; it highlights many of the daily feelings that most parents & carers experience after a child is diagnosed with cancer. We have been unbelievably blessed to have had fantastic support around us since Dylan was diagnosed. The parents at school devised a meal rota & every Friday for months someone would drop over a week’s worth of home cooked food for us to put in the freezer. The amount of pressure that took away from us was immense; we would often be in hospital on rotation with Dylan overnight so it really helped...it particularly helped Ruari as Nick & I were often not home until late 💔. Whilst we are surrounded by wonderful friends & people who bend over backwards to help there is still an indescribable darkness that hangs over you once you receive the news that your child has cancer. Emotions are often unpredictable as are the minutes, hours & days. Some days you feel able to talk, other days you just don’t want to get out of bed such is the weight that you carry around constantly. This article touches on so many subtleties & there is little I don’t identify with. The sense of loneliness & isolation, the stress & crippling anxiety, the grief at the loss of a “normal” life, the lack of awareness, the things people say that cut through you...it goes on. The article also highlights the improvement needed in focusing on the parents & carers who are going through horrendous emotional & psychological battles whilst watching their child being treated for cancer. There is such a long list of unseen side effects besides the side effects of the treatments that these children have to endure in order to hopefully be cured. Childhood cancer affects absolutely everything; life really is never the same again & whilst we all wait for our “new normal” we’re still working out how to come to terms with losing the old normal & dealing with perpetual shock. If you have a moment, please read it (link in bio). You never know who might benefit from this kind of awareness. #ccam #livingwithcancer #emotionalimpact #childhoo
3 years of first day at a school photos. How is this little guy growing up so fast - nearer 7 years old than 6! #lovethisboy💙 #nipitinthebudblog
This morning's special time/art therapy with E 💕
I've been living in this t-shirt for the last week. The lovely Jo @drift.n.dream made it for me to go with E's rainbow t-shirt and I'd planned to write a blog post about the joy of rainbow babies after loss. Instead it's soft cosiness has been comforting me through the loss of my Mum at a time when it can be hard to even leave the house. I think I may well have to get more custom orders done with encouraging little mantras on - what would you choose?
I'm making @seasonalshaheen 's spicy tomato chutney today with allotment grown tomatoes (details on the blog). I love this recipe as it's great if left to mature but also good straight away, especially as a base cheese on toast or pizzas. #nipitinthebudblog #allotmentgardening #chutneyaddict
When you have special time with one boy and the other decides Daddy isn't all that interesting and falling asleep on the bathroom floor is a better option! @hand_in_hand_parenting #nipitinthebudblog

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