Monthly Archives: January 2015

Scrap Sunday: Sunday Roast Left overs

Did you ever get a very useful advice that has changed your life?

A wise woman who happens to have a beautiful, clever, witty and kind hearted daughter (and a few other children) once gave me an incredibly helpful advice and I really try to live up to this wisdom. Well, maybe she did not think of it as advice, rather as a joyful story about her past. Anyway, apparently this wise woman used to put all those children’s tights and socks on one big pile to be mended in front of the fire on cold winter evenings. The pile grew bigger and bigger and so did the children. Until the waiting-to-be-mended tights did not fit anymore. As a good daughter I really try to follow this rule but today I broke it.

I wanted to mend my son’s trousers (hole on the knee) as we only have two warm ones, one with and one without hole. So, I offered him a good choice of beautiful and suitable fabrics for the patch. Which he all rejected. Not really to my surprise as he is notoriously rejecting everything I have ever made for him (Apart from literally one item. But I am not complaining. Really. He never asked me for all those silly dungarees, knitted jumpers or tiger costumes.)

Much later, when I had already given up on the idea I stumbled across another – probably less manly – fabric and showed it to him. I interpreted the lack of “yuk, disgusting” as a “yes please mother, I would be over the moon if you could mend my warm trousers with this beautiful fabric and I will be grateful for the rest of my life” and went for it. I cut out two manly footballs, appliqued them to the knees of the trousers (size 3y trousers are awfully tiny, in case you didn’t know it) and took a picture of a perfect left over project: left over trousers, left over fabric and left over food on the trousers.IMG_3128

A picture of the trousers covering a pair of legs would probably look better but I personally would not wait for that. I am already looking forward to tomorrow morning’s discussion in front of the wardrobe. And then we will just continue with our routine for the rest of the winter: Boy wears trousers without silly patches, comes home from nursery with incredibly dirty trousers, mum washes and dries them over night. Boy wears them again. Spring will come eventually.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrap Sunday: Christmas Crackers

I guess I should apologise for what you are about to read, I have been stuck at home with two sick children for a couple of days now and we are watching a lot of fairy tales, so please forgive me 🙂

Once upon a time there lived a beautiful princess. Well, probably more of a queen since she was married to a king and the mother of two beautiful, clever and well behaved children, but she certainly looked like a young beautiful princess, who happened to be also extremely clever, witty and kind-hearted.

The queen and her family lived on an island where the sun always shone far away from her home country somewhere in the highest mountains you could possibly imagine.   During one particularly hard winter there, the queen decided to travel home to help her family who lived on top of a very high mountain.

The beautiful, clever, witty and kind-hearted queen did not want to come empty handed and in countless sleepless nights she created very useful little gifts for all the members of the her family.

After a few weeks of preparation, she, the king, the little princess and the little prince set off  in their golden carriage drawn by twelve white horses  and after days through wind, ice and snow they finally arrived on top of the mountain.

The parents of the beautiful, clever, witty and kind-hearted queen could not believe their eyes when they opened the door of their little wooden house and her daughter stepped in with lots of presents in her hands. Rapidly, they called all of the queens brothers and sisters, their partners and children to celebrate the family reunion. The mother of the queen hustled into the tiny kitchen and started to cook a beautiful meal, her father lit the fire and everybody gathered around the big table to enjoy the meal together. And it was a miracle, the food came out of the tiny kitchen on big plates which never got empty!

The beautiful, clever, witty and kind-hearted prin queen handed each one teir  handcrafted, extremely useful gifts, beautifully wrapped in something she called “cracker” in the language spoken by the indigenous people on the sunny island.

Everybody got a beautiful crown made of the finest and most delicate paper and a little written thought to cheer them up.

All the children got little toys, something that they had never even heard of, let alone owned.

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For the adults, she had chosen more practical things to help them through difficult times, for example magic wands for her sister and sister-in-law, both mothers of young children,IMG_0826

a portable milk frothing device for her brother-in-law, a coffee connoisseur,

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practise nappies for her brother and his partner who were expecting a child,

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and the probably most challenging to be executed by the beautiful, clever, witty and kind-hearted queen : a working satellite for her brother, a sage (not the plant, the wise man of course) who has given the world the knowledge of befriended location determination

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The presentees were gobsmacked yet not surprised by the creativity and the skills of the beautiful, clever, witty and kind-hearted queen and just did not know what to say, they had never seen such refined technology and did not even know how to use some of these items. But they were overflowed by gratefulness and the evening ended in lots of laughter, tears of joy and an amazing firework display in the clear sky mirrored in the peaceful white blanket that covered the mountain that night.

And the beautiful, clever, witty and kind-hearted queen knitted happily ever after.

 

Great news: expanding business… or why it is sometimes just better to remain a small independent business rather than turning into a big multinational company

Yes, my wordpress account hasn’t been hacked, it is true, business went rather well at the end of last year and I really struggled to complete all my orders so I have decided that I can not do it on my own anymore. At first, I was rather excited about all these changes but I am less now.

When you have your own little business, you are independent, can take all decisions yourself, don’t have to compromise or – even worse – realise someone else’s – potentially silly and ugly – design. You can just work on your own pace, you are confident because you are creating something you can fully identify with. And now all of a sudden I have this rather bossy project leader, who does not listen to my ideas! Sure, she talked to the customer and made all the sketches for the design, chose the swatches and went back to the customer to discuss the final design. I only had to actually bring the design from paper into real life fabric. But, as I said, none of my ideas were even listened to! And then the fear, when I had to show the progress of my work…. I thought, joining with someone would take stress out of my life but it has instead increased it. But enough moaning, I guess, that is potentially dangerous anyway, I wouldn’t be the first one getting into trouble at work after a few imprudent comments online.

Lets talk about the actual project, the task was to make an apron with pockets for a nursery teacher who uses a lot of cards in her work.

So here is all the paperwork, from first sketching to measurements of the cards, notes about colour preferences,… and on the right side the chosen swatches….

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And that is were troubles started. Said teacher is a really nice person so as you can see, all swatches got ticked as she just found all of them lovely.

So, the new task was to make sure that all fabrics got used, in the – how I would have thought at least – most sensible way to make sure they match somehow.

So, in the next team meeting, I quickly realised that my opinion is not particularly valued …. Clearly the person taking lots of notes is in charge instead.

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– Pink is the main colour to be used! No discussion allowed! This is how it is! And the flowers will be the big pocket! Because it is the second nicest fabric!

– But…

– No but. That is how you will do it.

Clearly someone needs to go on a workshop about team work or leader ship or whatever.

Anyway, all that had left to me was to actually make the apron. I had sweaty hands when I nervously showed it to the project leader.  I can not describe the relief when the rather austere glance in her face turned into a smile and a “I like it, it looks beautiful”! IMG_3101

Phew. I am relieved, and I have to admit the result looks actually rather nice, even though I would have arranged things slightly differently (and in fairness, the appliques to use two of the many fabrics were actually my idea…. don’t tell her, but I just did it, without really asking)

Anyway, the awful experience of not actually being the creative head of my project have made me think again. I want to go back to my own small business. No other bossy people involved. I am currently looking into the legal side of undoing this fusion…. shouldn’t be a too big problem, considering that there has never been a written contract. I will keep you updated.

In the meantime, I wish you all a very belated happy new year! I hope all your holidays have been great and that you have settled back into reality with lots of good new years resolutions. As you can see, it has taken me two weeks to settle back. Sorry for this delay, it will get better. Probably.