The second Spring…

Hello there…

 Goodness, it’s been a while hasn’t it?  My little space here has been sorely neglected and ended up being bottom of the pile far too often over the past few weeks. When  I last wrote we were still enjoying the Summer and now it’s the Autumn and the clocks are almost ready to slip backwards into the winter months ahead. I truly love this time of year and am thoroughly enjoying the slow change in colour of the leaves, the cooler mornings and darker evenings. I once read that Autumn is like a second spring and I am trying to take some time every day to appreciate how colourful everything looks at the moment.

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This time of year also means I can get my Autumn wreath out of storage and hang these little foxes on my front door. I made this last year using templates from a selection of Mollie Makes magazines and I think that little foxes may put in a Christmas appearance this year…

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 At the end of August we had our final trip of the summer to Hayling Island. I have been going there every year since I was pretty much the same age as Little Pickle and it really feels like returning home. It was a large family gathering with Aunts, Uncles and cousins and it was so good to be in their company. There were good days and not so good days when Little Pickle struggled to adjust to unfamiliar surroundings and new routines but I was propped up, supported and laughed with those people that I love the most which made it all just a bit easier. We visited the beach, threw stones in the sea and felt the salty air on our cheeks.

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 The end of August also meant the long awaited news about Little Pickle’s autism diagnosis. After two and a half years he was finally diagnosed and I breathed a very long sigh of relief. I still feel very emotional about it and my feelings are very hard to put into words but through the heartache it finally feels as though a door has been opened. Not long afterwards I started the Early Bird Programme for parents of young children with autism.

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It’s a ten week course and I can honestly say that it has become a weekly highlight for me. Just being with other parents who face the same daily challenges has been a huge comfort and inspiration. The two women who run the course are a complete encyclopaedia of ideas and their positivity is a huge boost. At the first session we had to introduce ourselves and our child to the group and I only managed a couple of words before the tears started falling. The sense of relief was just completely overwhelming and I can only describe it as being exhausted from treading water for a long time and finally someone had come along and offered their hand so you could get out of the water.

 September was a very special month and Little Pickle started school for the first time.

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I had lots of worries about how he would manage and cope with such a big change and we spent a lot of time over the summer looking at pictures of his new school and teachers and reading Harry and the Dinosaurs Start School. I frantically stitched name labels and labelled virtually everything in sight whilst trying very hard not to worry too much. When the big day arrived I think I was probably more nervous but I am so happy to report that everything went extremely smoothly and we couldn’t have asked for a better start to school. It is so wonderful to see the change that has happened over the past few weeks and watch how much Little Pickle is enjoying all of the new experiences. I miss him a lot, especially during the afternoons when I’m not working but I can see now how much he needed school and watching his delight in learning things for the first time is one of the loveliest parts of being a Mummy.

 We also celebrated my mum’s birthday and I made a very yummy raspberry and white chocolate cake. The recipe came from Lorraine Pascale’s website and you can find the recipe here When I saw the almond and raspberry flowers I was so taken aback by how pretty they were that I had to try and make it myself. I added some cake bunting and voila!

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 As a little surprise I also made my mum a little embroidered hoop for her bedroom. I went through my box of hexies and other small scraps of fabric that I had in my (ever so slightly) bulging fabric drawer and came up with this.

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 I wrapped the same floral scraps around the hoop and delved into my Cath Kidston Stitch! book to find a little floral cross stitch pattern. I have to be very honest here and say that I sewed this late at night and made a few mistakes but I don’t think that you can notice. I really enjoyed making this and have another hoop to celebrate my Godmother’s 50th Wedding Anniversary to show you soon.

 Oh dear, I’ve just realised that I’ve been rambling on here for quite a while now and thank you for listening to me. I promise to be back sooner rather than later with a mini quilt and some pictures of the two quilts that I’m making for my sister’s twins…not long now!

 I’ll leave you with these beautiful flowers that have brightened up the school run over the past few weeks.

 Pretty in pink……

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Three Cushions and a Rainbow…

Hello there… are you having a good Summer?

I’m not sure how the end of August is very nearly here. How did that happen so fast! I don’t know if it’s the same where you are but the mornings have started to feel slightly cooler and at the weekend I heard the first of the geese fly overhead on their noisy journey. This is normally a sign that the Autumn is approaching and for me one of my favourite times of year. I have the same sense of excitement as the Spring and I think it’s that back to school feeling of new beginnings that makes me like the Autumn so much.

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Little Pickle and I managed to visit our favourite local farm a couple of weeks ago and picked a huge bowl of raspberries and blackberries and a small bag of plums. They were delicious and there’s nothing like eating fruit that is still warm from the sun.

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Over the past few weeks I’ve worked on three different cushion commissions. The first was for a very special lady who was turning 80. I was very lucky to be given a completely blank canvas and decided to reach for some Liberty squares and embroidery threads and came up with this…

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The cross stitch pattern came from a book that I first mentioned here and I used the scraps of water soluble canvas I had left over from a free magazine gift to complete the design. There is something sooo satisfying about pulling off the jelly like scraps of waste canvas when they are wet.

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The next commission was for two new babies and the brief was rainbows, hearts, stars and flowers. One for a boy and one for a girl. Now then, I’ve made a rainbow cushion in the past and it very nearly convinced me that sewing wasn’t for me. I vowed that I wouldn’t make another one…no siree, never ever! Well…that didn’t last longer than about five minutes…I decided that this time things would be a bit simpler and straight forward to save not only my sanity but the sanity of everyone in our house! I had great fun ordering nearly all of my supplies from the wonderful Pretty Fabric and Trims and matching up a selection of threads. After lots of cutting and stitching the following cushion babies were born…

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Welcome to the world Zosia and Kenzie!

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   These cushions were also my first cushiony collaboration with my super talented friend Jo. Do you remember the apples from my last post? Well Jo was able to use her fabulous crochet skills and made me the crochet hearts and stars for these cushions. It’s the first time that I’ve added crochet decorations and I’m so pleased that I did and very grateful for Jo’s suggestion!

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In between the Summer sunshine there have been a sprinkling of showers that created some beautiful rainbows. Look at this one taken from the window in Little Pickle’s room. I love how bright the colours look against the inky grey sky.

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I hope that you have a lovely weekend. We’re heading away for a few days on Monday and I can’t wait to be near the sea again.

I’ll be back soon with news of a mini quilt and a Minecraft Bag!

Enjoy the Bank Holiday and see you soon.

xxxxxxx

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