Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Christmas Outfit

Christmas Outfit
Originally uploaded by commonplaceiris.
I hope all who observe it had a wonderful Christmas Day yesterday (well I hope everybody had a wonderful Day regardless too).

I finally got an outfit made for my daughter for a special occasion again, yay! I missed for last Christmas, her birthday (and the Easter dresses were supposed to be for earlier in the year...). I'm especially pleased because at the moment she didn't have another new dress to wear as she has all the other times.

The pattern is Simplicity 4304. I used some green fabric that's been sitting in my stash for years (used some of it for a Christmas dress for our niece about 3 years back!) and a thrifted pillowcase for the pinafore. Since I did all the sewing Christmas Eve and morning it's not the best job ever but I think it looks good once the pinafore's on. (I actually still have to add buttonholes and buttons to the pinafore, it's done up with safety pins here...).

Now off to have a fun time on Boxing Day with the dancing and the mumming and the caroling and the socializing.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Warm Finished Objects!

Pink Mittens
Originally uploaded by commonplaceiris.

With the weather getting colder and owning nothing to keep my daughter's hands warm I decided to grab some bulky yarn and knit up some mittens. (Not that she is really willing to keep anything on her hands you understand but it's time for that battle to commence, especially as she seems to be being won over to hats at last.)

I took a look at some mitten patterns and using suggested number of stitches and such from Kate Gilbert's Gifted pattern (which happened to be the right gauge for the yarn and needles I was using) I got going.

I decided I wanted to knit in the round (actually I used my Denise interchangeable circulars -- think that's magic loop method, right?) and fiddled around with where the increases and decrease went, and kitchenered at the end. Also I added a row of holes so that I can thread ribbon or i-cord or something through to tie them on (although her jacket coat does a pretty good job it turns out).

The first one was a little small so I sized up for the second and then knit a third (perhaps I'll get around to knitting another to match the first and gift it). Of course the bigger pair are a little too big but they stay on quite well and will do for now (and then get grown into).

I've also managed to make my daughter a new hat/bonnet that covers her ears and because it ties on (hadn't added the ties yet when I took the picture)cannot be pulled off easily when she tires of it. (Although today we went out of the house and I asked her if she needed a hat and she said yes and wore it the entire time we were out, even while we were in the store which is pretty impressive based on her track record.)

The hat is from helloyarn's top down bonnet pattern which I like a lot and will use again, am tempted to make one for myself but not sure whether I'd actually wear it... Perhaps next time I make one for my daughter I will actually add ears (and maybe even embroidered face) as per the original pattern.

For my own head covering purposes I finally had a go at calorimetry. I wasn't sure when I first saw the pattern that it was really my kind of thing. But then I saw so many versions of it appearing on the Internet I got interested, and I realised that it'd be a useful thing for those days when I want to go outside with my hair up (especially when it's up because I've washed my hair). It's a nice quick and easy knit and I've been wearing it a lot. I'm not sure whether I'll wear at as much when it gets really wintery, or perhaps I'll wear it under my actual hats to ensure ear coverage!! We'll see. I think I will probably make this again, if not for me then as gifts for friends (and possibly family).

Monday, 15 October 2007


It's too late to ask anyone who might be visiting this blog to join in the Wave of Light this year, but I still wanted to post something today.

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day (in America) or National Baby Loss Awareness Day (in the UK). The idea of the wave of light is that people light a candle at 7pm in their time zone on the day and let it burn for an hour in order to create a wave of light across the world.

There was going to be more to this post, hopefully there will be later when I can get back to the computer to write more. However, tonight my very much alive and kicking and screaming daughter needs me as sleeping is not going so well for her tonight. This (to the right) is a picture of my first little girl.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Thrift Thursday

I haven't posted any of my thrifting finds for ages. I don't have photos of most of them. I've been mostly getting old bedsheets, some plain to use to try out patterns I'm not sure about and some more interesting ones to sew with too. Also scraps of fabric, books and even a few items of clothing for me and the rest of my household. Here's a picture of some thrift-store finds from mid-July that I didn't manage to actually blog about back then:
Some clothes for my daughter, and some fabric. The books were my favourite part -- I'm sure there's lots of useful info to be found in "How to Make Clothes Fit and Flatter", and "Fun with Scraps" looks as though it could really live up to its name. Hopefully I'll manage to spend some more time looking through them before too much longer.

And now to this week's finds. I went into the thrift store with my mum along which meant she could watch my daughter if I wanted to try on clothes. Consequently I came out with two pairs of trousers, very exciting! Also I've been wanting some shoes for a while: I need some to fill that period between sandal and snow boot weather; something to cover my feet and preferably that I can slip off and on easily for getting down on the floor with my daughter to play (and 'cause I prefer to go unshod whenever I can). I've been looking at Earth shoes online, and in the local shoe store but can't really afford to buy any just at the moment. However, I found these two pairs for just over ten dollars at the thrift store this week. Yay! They both seem barely worn, and seem to fit me nicely. Definitely belong on my 10Things list as the brown pair in particular are making me very happy (and unexpectedly so as I don't like not having a back to my shoes usually, and haven't worn much of any heel in ages).

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

in the dark

This is why I should not attempt anything patterned when knitting in the dark.
I was knitting the first cuff for the longies I'm making my daughter. Obviously they are supposed to be moss stitch and while knitting in the car without bothering to get my little light out I managed to get off and start ribbing. At least it was only a few rows, it's fixed now and I'm on to the second leg. My mum's going to finish her pair first though I think. Not that she has to finish as soon as we thought -- my parents just changed their tickets to stay another week!

Monday, 1 October 2007

Visiting and Ravelry

My parents are visiting. They've been here for three weeks already and go home on Thursday. As usual I anticipated all I was going to get done with my mum around to help out and as usual I've done hardly any of it. There's the time spent visiting, the time wasted procrastinating when I finally do get me time that I don't use for housework, and the extra stuff that has to be done because we have people staying with us. Also my parents always time their trips to do singing stuff which means the weekends tend to be full of events rather than relaxing, not to mention the potluck cooking that is usually involved too. This trip we did actually have one weekend mostly free which was nice, we made it to the Saturday farmers market for the first time in ages. We (my husband and I) were going to go on a date to see a movie by ourselves for the first time since my daughter was born, but then there was nothing on that we were excited to see. Disappointing.

Anyway, I'd been thinking I'd get back to this blog in September and clearly didn't. I haven't even managed to keep up with the year of color posts (though I have been taking pictures and putting them up in my flickr account).

I managed to get into my sewing room a couple of times in the last few weeks which felt good. I made myself a new tank top based on drawing around an old tank top. It came out pretty well I think. I know the weather's getting colder here new, but as a nursing mother that means I need layers so that I can have some pulled down over my midriff and some pulled up to allow access when nursing so I don't get chilly! I'm also working on a pair of trousers for my daughter -- I'm always sad about the lack of warm trousers on offer for little ones and last year I made some reversible elasticated waist trousers for my daughter that worked great. They actually still fit, sort of -- they're too short but they still go over the bulky cloth diapers unlike a lot of store bought pants.

Not sure whether I'll manage to blog more when my parents leave. This is especially true because today I got my invite to Ravelry so I may get sucked in there adding stash and projects and the like. I'm going to try and go slow and steady with adding my stuff because we have managed to make the house a bit more presentable while my parents have been here, and have found a fairly good rhythm for the day which we should maintain. (I'm commonplaceiris at Ravelry)

Here's one of my current knitting projects which I did just add, a new pair of Aubrey Doodlepants for my daughter since she's growing out of her old ones (they're too short but just about squeeze over the diapers still) and we need some warm things for the cold weather that's coming.

My mum and I each cast on a pair a few weeks back ready for some long car trips and look how far we've come (she's about the same amount through as me). The gusset is a bit wider than I meant, but then the space between the leg holes on the short soakers is often wider than that so hopefully it'll be a good thing. I have almost enough yarn in one ball to get to the end of the first leg so I'm not sure what I'll knit with the rest of the yarn. Maybe a short soaker, or perhaps I could make a hat and mittens and lanolize them for my daughter to wear when playing in the snow.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Links for 2007-09-01 to 04 []

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Year of Color Update

There are lots of things I think of to do and blog about but things often don't work out the way I plan. The challenge of the Year of Color group at flickr is helping to keep me feeling as though I'm paying attention to the world and being somewhat creative. Certainly I'm walking around with my eyes more open to my surroundings a lot of the time which is uplifting and inspiring for me. It also reminds me to talk to my daughter about what we're looking at as we walk around the house, the town, and the world at large which can only be a good thing. So I want to keep sharing my pictures here from time to time to show that I'm doing something with my life other than accumulating links!

Week 5: Red + White (I'm linking to the discussions for each week which have mosaics of favourite pictures of the week and late entries, other photos for all weeks can be found in the group photo pool)

I found this one challenging, not that there isn't plenty of red and white out there but I found picking something interesting and different was hard.

My first picture I took to document my current obsession with making cobbler for dessert. This is my favourite combination -- peach and raspberry. I noticed that the red raspberries and the white spatula were quite dominant in this photo.

Walking around town during week 5 made me notice that there are a lot of buildings around with red and white dominating. Here's just one that I got a picture of for the challenge.

Lastly, and I think the picture I'd choose if I were giving you just one for the week, is of a red reflector in our driveway (in theory to help the guy who ploughs our driveway in the winter although he doesn't always follow the handy helpful hint) and in the background the white of the porch and the screen door.

Week 6: Pink + Orange

When I checked on Sunday to see what the new colours for the week were I noticed I was even wearing them (see second photo on the bottom row)! Then walking through town that afternoon I saw so many places where there were pink and orange flowers together (you can see examples of some of those in the mosaic).
I also found quite a few examples of the colours in my own home: The peach and raspberry cobbler baked and served up in a bowl becomes a pink and orange dish; One of my daughter's cloth books with an orange and a pink pig on opposite pages lying open where she left it; popsicle (ice lolly) sticks; a straw in the dish drainer; a pitcher and boxes on top of the fridge; yarn waiting for me to knit something new.

(You can see all the photos here.)

Week 7: Yellow + Black

Another week that seemed tricky. There's a lot of yellow and black around -- lines painted on the roads, street signs and so on. So I was looking out for things that were not quite so everywhere. There were actually a lot of things I looked at and never actually photographed, and then I did take a (somewhat blurry) picture of traffic lights which are among the everywhere things!
Also somewhat among the everywhere things are the black eyed susans, quite a few pictures of these in the flickr pool in fact. I wasn't going to take more flower pictures this week until I passed this big blooming bush of flowers (with some other yellow flowers right next to them) while walking to the park. And then more of the examples of yellow and black around the house: utensils in a can; a push pin my husband found somewhere and put on a black canister in the kitchen; an old poster kept for scrap paper; the most yellow of the granny squares in a blanket made by my grandmother; tool bits and pieces lying around while my husband and his father are doing some work on our house; marmite jars (I am English after all -- not that everyone English likes marmite -- I bring big jars over with me and the one in the top right is currently in use for toast and stock while the other ones have been cleaned out and now hold loose tea and dried mushrooms from the bulk section of our co-op).
You can find all of these pictures individually here.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Links for 2007-08-27 []

Monday, 27 August 2007

Links for 2007-08-24 to 26 []
  • The Meal Assembly Network
    I've heard of this meal assembly thing before:
    "A meal assembly kitchen is the ultimate partner in helping busy families get healthy, tasty dinners prepared. The typical kitchen has 12 to 16 stations that look like salad bars. Each station includes all of the ingredients necessary to put together a main entrée that serves 4 to 6. The ingredients are already chopped, sliced, and/or cut. Customers follow detailed instructions at each station and assemble the ingredients into freezer-ready bags. Buying and preparing the ingredients, as well as cleaning up the mess, is the responsibility of the meal assembly kitchen. The customer typically assembles 12 meals, and takes them home in a cooler or a laundry basket for storage in the freezer. Actual cooking happens at home."
    I like the idea but I don't think I'd actually do it -- but if I had more freezer space and could clear the time it'd be good to try and put stuff together like this at home sometimes for those nights when I don't want to cook but I don't want to eat take-out.
  • He has your... fear of veggies | Health & Fitness | Reuters
    "In a large study of identical and fraternal twins, researchers from University College London found that nearly 80 percent of children's tendency to avoid unfamiliar foods was inherited."
    I was interested to hear the part about fear of new foods, and the idea of just keeping giving children a new food until it's a familiar food and then they may find it's ok, or even that they like it! I know that for me (somewhat picky eater that I am) I've gotten more able to stomach foods through forcing myself to take a few bites. My mum always used to do this with vegetables we didn't like. We had one bites worth on our plate that we had to try then we could have more if we liked, or not. It hasn't got me to like swede but I could eat it if needed!
  • Breakthrough in obesity battle - 25 Jul 2007 - NZ Herald: New Zealand National news
    "The scientists have shown that if a mother is undernourished, her children's bodies are set up to cope with a life of scarcity.
    "But the energy-dense "hamburger and milkshake" diet of modern Western society is likely to result in children who are likely to become fat - unlike those from mothers who eat a balanced diet during pregnancy."
  • Neonatal Doc: Loss
    A wonderful post from a neonatologist - a quote:
    "After years of seeing various types of pregnancy and newborn loss, I have decided that there are really no good words of comfort at such a time. The loss is so final, so absolute, so irrevocable, that only time can lessen the wound and even then often not completely heal it. We can express our condolences to the family and offer to do anything we can for them, but beyond that we seem relatively powerless."
    Some great comments too. Made me cry, but in a good way. I'm so glad we also had wonderful staff at the hospital where our first daughter was born, and died.
  • Craving for junk food ‘begins in the womb’ - Times Online
  • not martha - more tiny kitchen storage
    a neat idea for storing utensils -- a good way to keep them out of reach from little hands!
  • Pattern for “Chunky Braided Scarf” « Butterfly Morning
  • Bust Alteration
    A handy how-to on altering sewing patterns to fit your bust size.
  • SO busy sewing › Red Instead BLOG
    Found the link for bust alteration at this blog post, there are some other handy links there too.
  • Six weeks without a wash: The soapless experiment | the Daily Mail
    An article about a woman who decided to try an experiment which I think was recorded for a tv show:
    "for 40 days and 40 nights, there has been no showering, no hair washing, no teeth cleaning and no deodorant.
    "She has ditched her make-up and hair styling products, and allowed herself access to just three outfits (her running kit, a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, and one summer dress)."
    I found this interesting; I think she went a little overboard, but still. It's good to hear what was good and what was bad about cutting all that stuff out. Clearly she felt all the chemicals she'd been putting on and in her body as part of her daily routine were not doing her a lot of favours (her IBS symptoms improved during the experiment, and her skin seemed much healthier), but at the same time). It was interesting to hear that as long as she was away from other people (and societal expectations) she felt " felt really healthy and good about [her]self" and that when she was tested at the end of the experiment she didn't show a great increase in bacteria and suchlike which confirms we probably don't need to be sanitizing our hands every five seconds!
    The article ends with her summing up:
    "the experiment worked in that I proved to myself there is no need for all these beauty products on which I've been frittering away so much money. My desire for them was all in my mind, not an actual physical need.
    "It showed me that for years I've been using excessive amounts, and, at the same time, potentially putting my health at risk because of all the chemicals they contain.
    "I was amazed to find that the point when my skin looked its best was after a month of not using anything at all. As a result, I've become far more moderate in what products I use and what I am prepared to spend money on.
    "A bar of soap, organic shampoo and conditioner, and a basic moisturiser are all I need now. I no longer wash my hair every day and I no longer feel self-conscious if I'm not done up to the nines.
    "If people didn't notice when they had me standing next to them during the experiment, I'm sure they won't be aware of small things that would once have got me down, such as a bad hair day or a minor skin outbreak."
  • Knitty: Fall 2006 - red herring
    Another CookieA sock pattern for my to-do list -- I've been wanting to try colour work again. I'm intimidated by it because of the tension issue but love all the possibilities that would open up if I could master it.
  • Choc Fudge Shortbread on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    This sounds tasty, need to make fudge first though!
  • eat me, delicious: Chocolate Orbit Cake
    This looks so incredibly chocolaty and rich, mmmm.
  • Vanana Cookies (Vegan Banana Peanut Butter Cocoa Cookies) » vanesscipes
    These look yummy. [I made some - posted on flickr]

  • And a couple more tasty looking recipes to try some time:
  • Sausage-stuffed portobello mushrooms - The Boston Globe
  • Creamy corn chowder with very little cream - The Boston Globe

Saturday, 25 August 2007


I saw a couple of bloggers who I follow decide to attempt Bella Dia's Encyclopedia of Me meme this month. Each day in August a new letter of the alphabet and a word (relating to the writer's life) beginning with that letter as the subject/prompt for a new blog post. A way for readers to get to know more random info about the blogger, a way for the blogger to think of new things to write about. Good idea I thought, I should do that. Not so much thus far obviously. I have been working on an alphabet/encyclopedia of me though as I started to think about what words were candidates for each letter of the alphabet. Perhaps I'll post that and add to it as things come to me, and then at some point actually do the whole posting project.

Coincidentally Secret Agent Josephine (whose blog I know I've visited in the past but in this case I came back to via Parentdish) has her own current alphabet project which is most excellent and I think my daughter will enjoy if I can get my act together with the printing and pasting and so on.

Friday, 24 August 2007

I ordered pattern cards from weewonderfuls before going to bed on Monday night and they arrived in the mail today. (What service, I don't know how she does it with two small children and all.) They're so cute! I wasn't sure whether to get them or not, after all I can't keep up with all the things I want to/need to do these days as it is. However, one of the things I have been doing recently is knitting and that's partly because it's something I can put in my handbag and pull out when I'm in the car, or we're out and the girl is otherwise engaged. These pattern cards are for little soft toys that are hand stitched so I can hopefully do the same with them. Also, as I mentioned, they're cute so how could I resist?
Links for 2007-08-23 []

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Links for 2007-08-22 []
  • BBC NEWS | World | Europe | The secret history of the Nazi mascot
    Fascinating story of a Jewish boy who escaped into the forest when the rest of his town was massacred by the Nazis. After he was handed over to police a soldier helped him by introducing him to the other soldiers as a Russian orphan and he was adopted as a kind of mascot:
    "To this day, Alex Kurzem has no idea why Sergeant Jekabs Kulis took pity on him. Whatever his motives, it certainly helped that Alex had Aryan looks. And together, they kept the secret.
    "'Every moment I had to remind myself not to let my guard down, because if ever anyone found out, I was dead. I was scared of the Russians shooting me and the Germans discovering I was Jewish. I had no-one to turn to.'
    "Young Alex saw action on the Russian front, and was even used by the SS to lure Jewish people to their deaths."
  • Neither Hip Nor Funky » Freezer Paper T-shirt Tutorial
    I've seen so many great freezer paper stenciled projects at flickr, and on various blogs, and would love to have a go myself sometime. This isn't the only tutorial out there, but it looks like a good one so keeping it handy for later.
  • Simple and Elegant dress
    A tutorial for making one of those dresses that's got lines of elastic running around the chest/bust, but using lengths of elastic rather than elastic thread which somehow seems more do-able.
  • Techniques with Theresa - Seaming knitting -
    Seaming is not my strong suit so I figure I can never have enough resources handy when I need them.
  • Toddlers are capable of introspection :: UC Davis News & Information ::
    Scientists have demonstrated that dolphins, monkeys and even rats can engage in some form of "metacognition," or an awareness of their own thought processes. But developmental psychologists have assumed that human children do not develop this capability before about age 5. Lyons and Ghetti have toppled that assumption by teaching 3- and 4-year-olds to communicate their awareness of their thought processes using pictures rather than words. "We've shown that even very young children can think about their thinking," Ghetti said. "The reason we haven't appreciated it before now is that the studies that have been used to test for it have been too verbally demanding."
    This reminds me of reading (and listening to a show on Radio 4) about early childhood memories a while back -- experts say lasting memories aren't formed until a child is verbal and can describe them. However in a survey of people in the UK a huge number of people reported pre-verbal memories. I know people who have really early memories - strong visual images in particular. I suspect the experts don't know everything!
All the following links I found via CRAFT:

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Links for 2007-08-20 []

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Links for 2007-08-13 to 18 []
  • Study:Early diet advice for kids sticks -
    "Teaching children from a young age to eat a low-fat diet can be effective — even as they reach their teens and begin eating more meals away from home, according to a new study.
    "The study of children in Finland found that those who were taught to focus on healthy fats — those found in fish, nuts, seeds and oils from plants — had slightly lower cholesterol levels compared to those who ate an unrestricted diet."
  • BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Huge payout in US stuttering case
    "In 1939, the plaintiffs - all orphans in state care - were tormented for six months by Iowa University researchers. "The study was testing the theory that children develop speech impediments because of psychological pressure."
  • BBC NEWS | Health | Depression is 'over-diagnosed'
    "Too many people are being diagnosed with depression when all they are is unhappy, a leading psychiatrist says.
    "But another psychiatrist writing in the journal contradicts his views, praising the increased diagnosis of depression."
  • BBC NEWS | Health | Early cord clamping may harm baby
    "Clamping the umbilical cord straight after birth does not benefit mother or baby and may actually be harmful, a UK expert has warned. "Instead, leaving the cord for around three minutes can boost the baby's iron stores, cutting the risk of anaemia."
  • BBC NEWS | Health | Fat 'crucial' in children's diet
    "Concerns about their child becoming overweight means some parents put them on low-fat diets, but the Nutrition Journal study said this was misguided.
    "Researchers found children burned substantially more fat than adults relative to their calorie intake.
    "Youngsters needed that fat to grow and thrive, they argued.
    "Over a third of a child's energy intake should be made up of fat, the researchers at Pennsylvania State University said, a recommendation in line with UK requirements."
  • Aubrey DoodlePants Knitting Pattern
    A good (and free) knitting pattern for longies (to go over cloth diapers). I've made this pattern several times (with some modifications of my own) but thought I'd save the link here since I'm always having to search for it when I want to make more.
  • hardrockzombie: Rescued from the Ravages of Time
    "I dug these patterns with considerable difficulty from the belly of the New York Public Library. I'm quite sure they sat untouched for years on their shelves, and would have quietly crumbled to fragments and dust with no one the wiser had I not intervened. As it was, in handling and photocopying them I'm pretty sure I fast-forwarded that destruction by 10 years."
  • Instructables Make a diamond-paged book
  • Farewell French and Saunders - Times Online
    "After 20 years, French and Saunders are still our most successful, and funniest, female duo. So why are they calling time on their partnership — and coming over all serious about matters of life and death?"
  • Pollution Causes 40 Percent Of Deaths Worldwide, Study Finds | Scientific Blogging
    "...environmental degradation, coupled with the growth in world population, are major causes behind the rapid increase in human diseases, which the World Health Organization has recently reported. Both factors contribute to the malnourishment and disease susceptibility of 3.7 billion people..."
  • BBC NEWS | Health | Baby growth chart switch closer
    "New child growth charts which reflect the slower weight gain associated with breastfeeding could be soon be adopted in England.
    "Current UK growth charts are based on predominantly formula-fed babies, which tend to grow more quickly.
    "The new charts have been drawn up by the World Health Organization.
    "They have been backed in a report by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
    "It is hoped that adopting the new standards could stop breastfeeding mothers being worried about their babies apparently failing to put on weight fast enough."
  • Identification card for children - ParentDish
    "Ident-a Kid cards are like a driver's license for babies and children. One sturdy, plastic laminated card stores their eye color, height, weight, parents name and address, as well as a thumbprint and recent photograph."

Monday, 13 August 2007

Links for 2007-08-11 & 12 []

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Links for 2007-08-10 []

Colourful posting

I've been enjoying keeping my eyes open and taking in my surroundings as I look for photo opportunities for the Year of Color 2 flickr group I mentioned. I haven't done such a great job keeping up with posting the pictures, but I'm going to take a few minutes to get up to date right now!

This is a picture of the wall in my kitchen. This is how it was decorated when we moved in, we have lived in this house for 5 years now and not redecorated anywhere, sigh.

I don't mind the wall paper (though I doubt I'd have chosen it) but I hate the varnish of the wood, and although I quite like that colour of blue at the bottom I wish it was represented in something more pleasant than plastic paneling. Ah well, at least I won't be heartbroken if (when) my daughter starts colouring on the walls!

Mostly I've been finding pictures for the project when I'm out and about walking through town with my daughter. Perhaps this is because she's so busy watching everything around us that I have space to look around me for more then a few seconds at a time!

This next picture is of the multi-story car park. I put it in with the week 3 pictures but I guess it could also qualify under brown+blue as the darker bricks are more brown?


I noticed the blue mail box behind the orange bollard as we crossed the street and stopped to get a quick snapshot.

The flickr group pool has some wonderful shots with these colours. I notice some people make mosaics of their favourite shots of the week, if I can keep track of my favourites and find a few extra minutes I might have a go at that -- it's interesting how images strike people so differently sometimes.


Here I am back up to date (just!). This is a colour combination that I see everywhere (especially at this time of year), so I've got quite a few shots this week. Now I just need to pick which ones to send to the group pool. Here's a mosaic (put together here) of all of my flickr photos tagged blue+green (so far):

1. blue sky + green trees, 2. blue jeans + green grass, playing at the park, 3. blue sky + green mountain, 4. blue + green in the stroller, 5. blue can + green grass, 6. blue + green paint job, 7. blue clothed baby + green cart handle, 8. blue trash can + green surroundings

Friday, 10 August 2007

Links for 2007-08-06 thorough 09 []
  • Birth The Play :: Bold
    "Birth is a play based on over one hundred interviews Karen Brody conducted with mothers across America who gave birth between 2000-2004. It tells the true stories of 8 women painting a portrait of how low-risk, educated women are giving birth in America today."
    I don't know whether I'm likely to be able to see this play, or go to a Red Tent event, this year but it sounds really interesting to me (I read more birth stories than I have time for). During September there are groups all over the USA (and further afield) putting on the play, and/or organizing events in order to raise awareness about labor/birth and to make birthing more mother friendly -- look for an event near you.
  • A pause before parenting -- - Journal Star Features
    "Women who began their families later in life share the rewards - and regrets - of delayed motherhood"
  • August '07 edition of MagKnits, your friendly online knitting magazine
    I like the look of Lemonade (a fitted cotton cardi), Jenora (a cardigan that makes me think of the Bloomsbury group) and Summer Sky (a nice shrug/cardigan) Also there's a sock pattern, and a slinky knit dress pattern.
  • A pioneer in an experiment called open adoption - Los Angeles Times
    The second part of the story is here. Interesting look at one story of an open adoption, you should really read both parts of the story. I've been reading several blogs where adoption is an important part of the bloggers life - as a first parent, an adoptive parent or a person who was adopted - and it's really expanded my understanding of adoption enormously. It's given me far more insight than I've got from people I know personally who've placed a child, adopted a child or been adopted (probably in part because I've never really talked about adoption in any depth with those people). I'm really grateful for the people who have shared their stories and helped me understand more about the long term implications of adoption for all involved.
  • How Much Salt Is Safe? | Scientific Blogging
  • Latent Memory Means Genetic Learning | Scientific Blogging
  • Freebirthing: Should women give birth alone? -- Daily Mail
    Freebirthing scares me personally, I had drug-free easy deliveries but I really valued having the nurses, midwives and my doula around (and I know my husband would have been terrified without them). Of course we were at a hospital that knows how to support "normal birth". Hearing stories of being in labor at hospitals that have epidural rates so high that the nurses don't know what to do with a naturally laboring woman, and hearing of the rising and rising c-section rates around the country (US and UK), (not to mention how hard it can be to find midwives and doctors to attend a homebirth what with malpractice insurance and not enough OBs and midwives around) I can see where freebirthing becomes a more attractive option for many women.
  • MAGPIE » “Bread and Puppet continues, more than 40 years on, to live an ideal of art as collective enterprise, a free or low-cost alternative voice outside the profit system.” - Arthur Magazine blogs for you...
  • Baby Videos May Hinder Infants' Language Development | Scientific Blogging
    "Rather than helping babies, the over-use of such productions actually may slow down infants eight to 16 months of age when it comes to acquiring vocabulary, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute.
    "The scientists found that for every hour per day spent watching baby DVDs and videos, infants understood an average of six to eight fewer words than infants who did not watch them. Baby DVDs and videos had no positive or negative effect on the vocabularies on toddlers 17 to 24 months of age."
  • Online movie guides for parents - ParentDish
  • BBC NEWS | Health | Diabetes problems 'vitamin link'
    "A simple vitamin deficiency may be the cause of many of the side effects of diabetes, a study suggests.
    "Researchers found people with the disease expelled thiamine - vitamin B1 - from their bodies at 15 times the normal rate in a study of 94 people.
    "The Warwick University team said thiamine helped ward off complications such as heart disease and eye problems, the Diabetologia journal said."
  • The Phrontistery: Obscure Words and Vocabulary Resources
  • Owl Hat Pattern
    Seen in a flickr photo
  • BBC NEWS | Health | Diet food 'may fuel obesity risk'
    "researchers believe low-calorie versions of usually high-calorie foods disrupt the body's ability to use taste to regulate calorific intake."
  • Monkeys, Humans Learn The Same Way | Scientific Blogging
    “'Like humans, monkeys benefit enormously from being actively involved in learning instead of having information presented to them passively,' said Nate Kornell, a UCLA postdoctoral scholar in psychology and lead author of the study. 'The advantage of active learning appears to be a fundamental property of memory in humans and nonhumans alike.'”
  • BBC NEWS | Education | Academic study 'not always best'
    "Parents should encourage teenagers to pursue a wider range of courses, not just academic ones, campaigners say.
    "Educational foundation Edge warns of 'academic snobbery' against vocational courses. It says a fifth of pupils think they are on the wrong path.
    "Going on to study for a degree for its own sake is not always suitable for the careers they really want, Edge says."

Monday, 6 August 2007

Links for 2007-07-31 through 2007-08-05 []

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Links for 2007-07-27 to 30 []

Friday, 27 July 2007

Links for 2007-07-25 & 26 []

I've been slowly catching up with my backlog of links (they're showing up in the past here because they're automatically generated posts that I edit a bit so they're all backdated). Meanwhile a new backlog is building and I haven't been good about blogging about what I'm actually doing.

This has not a little to do with the death of a friend which I mentioned in a previous post. I feel as though I'm doing so little to help, but even what I am doing (mostly relaying email messages) seems to be taking up most of the writing time that I have at the moment. As usual I am very behind on household tasks. (Sigh.)

Tomorrow I'm going to be cooking lots of food for the potluck lunch at the memorial celebration. (Well, I will assuming my delightful daughter co-operates. It seems she's often happy to amuse herself in the corner of the room until I'm actually trying to get stuff done and then she NEEDS me. Oh well, that's the way it goes! Hopefully my husband will be able to look after her for a lot of the day.)

I'm actually in a bit of a cooking phase at the moment. Have been for a while actually, I think it's partly where my need to be creative finds an outlet in these days when I have no opportunities to get into my sewing room (I have been knitting too, even have some finished objects I should blog about sometime). Now with grief and the desire to do something to help (even if that's only providing comfort food for us) on top of general frustrated creativity the cooking's necessary. The other day I made a cake even though we still had leftover birthday cake to finish and at the best of times cakes tend to end up moldy in our house (we enjoy them and then forget about them before they're gone, I don't know how we manage this). It came out very nicely.

It's a banana bread recipe I hadn't tried before, I came across it drifting around the internet (as I do in all the spare time I don't have) at Orangette, it's got coconut and rum in it plus I added chocolate chips because I can't let well enough alone! It's very tasty.

Also I'm entering a bread making phase I think. I have them now and then. Someone got me The Bread Bible a while back and I haven't used it much since for various reasons. I've been starting to itch to make bread again so for one of the parties we had for my daughter's birthday I made the cheddar loaf (very tasty) and some crumpets (slightly disappointing but I have some ideas about how to do better next time). I also made a sandwich loaf a few days ago which came out so-so, it tastes yeasty and I'm thinking I let it go too much in at least one of the risings. It's good toasted with butter and marmite though.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Links for 2007-07-23 []
  • Everlasting Bagstopper - Knitty: Spring 2007
  • Baklava Loaf | Baking Bites
  • Parent's survival guide: How to entertain a brood of bored kids during the summer holidays - Independent
  • Jemima Lewis: You can't beat a traditional liberal education - Independent
    "I am seized with jealousy of my husband, who had the closest thing to an old- fashioned liberal education that money can buy. He learnt Latin and Greek at eight, speaks fluent French, knows the Old Testament backwards and can still recite the Periodic Table. Life skills come easily to him because the basics are already there: if you can do Latin grammar, you can learn new languages in a jiffy; if you understand physics, you can (and will) wire up a digital surround-sound home entertainment system."
  • Andrew Franklin: The real reason why publishers miss good books - Independent
  • Jemima Lewis: We've created a genealogical nightmare - Independent
  • MOO | Stickers - Print stickers using your images
    seen at howaboutorange
  • Sock it to me!
    "[Mezzodiva] decided to self-publish [her] Campanula sock pattern (...) and offer it here for a nominal charge: To get the pattern, all you have to do is CLICK HERE and SPONSOR [HER] for the 2007 Weekend to End Breast Cancer."
  • nonaKnits: Sidewinders: The Prologue
    links at end of each post to the next until you've knit yourself a sock, sideways!
  • Apron/Sunbonnet Combination - April 2001 Free Monthly Project
    Saw an example of this pattern made up at flickr it's an intriguing idea; a garment that can be worn as an apron or a bonnet!