Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Women at Work.

I hope everyone had a fabulous bank holiday weekend, pity the weather was so poop for most of it.....yesterday was gorgeous though and instead of wallpapering (yikes) I sat on the swing in my back garden and soaked up some sun.  Mr Beastie said I need to sun my bump a bit as the glare from its whiteness almost blinded him....cheeky bugger!
Well, back to the reality of my temporary desk at work again *YAWN*.  Thankfully, the man sharing this office has decided to 'look after me' and brought in a BIG tin of chocolates to keep me happy/quiet.

It's got me thinking though about how differently people are towards me now that I'm pregnant and no longer of any use to them!  I work for an aerospace company and, up until April, was running the analytical department, (lab full of technicians).  Lots of the chemicals we use are harmful to unborn babies so I had to move out of my office which wasn't a problem, just meant the logistics of running the lab would change.
My boss at that time already made it clear that women and industry did not mix well, often making comments about how I should have done something differently had I been 'smarter'.  My pregnancy seemed like a golden ticket for him to remove me from my department altogether, (even telling my technicians not to contact me - even via e-mails), and place three, yes THREE men in there to each cover an aspect of my role.

It's not just this 'gentleman' though, everyone has changed towards me and it's only now I realise how fickle working relationships are.  If people can't benefit from being nice to you then they will simply ignore you, not even say good morning.  It certainly was a shock to the system! 

Fortunately, something else changed too.  My attitude towards my career and being successful.  All it took was two blue lines on that pregnancy test to change my life forever.  Everything I worked for just seems so pointless now....who cares what car you drive or what your job title is, it simply doesn't matter.

For now I mark each day off my wall chart, read my book and tippy-tap on the computer...smiling away to the world as my baby kicks happily in my tummy.  I feel like I'm surrounded by a protective bubble and nothing or no-one can penetrate it and influence my wee world :)

It's still a bit shit that women in industry lose out at work if they choose to have children. 

Oh well, another mini Twirl for me....only 59 working days to go.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hurry up Book Three!

Have you dabbled in the Millenium trilogy yet?  Stieg Larsson is an amazing author and I am totally gutted to have finished both The Girl with the dragon Tattoo:
and The Girl who Played with Fire:

before the third book has arrived from Amazon.
I may have to read an 'emergency' book in the meantime but it won't satisfy my addiction to this trilogy!
The film of book 2 is released tomorrow but as the books are all connected, I don't want to see it before watching the first one, (also ordered and en-route from Amazon).
If you haven't yet read them then they are an absolute must read.  However, I am a tad mental and these books are quite dark, (bit of sex and violence), so if you are a gentle flower then they may not be your cup of tea!

The Nursery Saga Begins.

It is no secret that I have longed to be a mum since my teenage years and as such have designed and decorated the nursery over and over in my mind.  At the age of 33, however, and faced with an actual nursery to decorate I now realise that I always imagined the finished article and never the long, horrid process that it takes to get there!
Stage 1 - Empty the Room. 
This initial stage is now complete and I was delighted to see how big the room looks with nothing in it.  It had been a breeding room for our beetle projects, (we love bugs and wierd things in our house), which have now been relocated into my sewing room.
Stage 2 - Strip off the GHASTLY Wallpaper.
I went full-on into stage 2, fuelled by the momentum of stage 1 but came to a very sudden standstill when I realised that the crazy steamer would not penetrate the plastic wallpaper.  I needed a perforator apparently.  Bugger that, I just went to town pulling the top layer off the paper, a job which took the rest of the day and all of my enthusiasm. 
And so it remains as a complete mess with shreds of wallpaper all over the floor, (thus trampled via footwear all around the landing and stairs), and I haven't been able to face it for several days.
I am hoping that the impending bank holiday weekend will spur me into action and a stripping frenzy!

The ultimate plan for my sons room is an underwater coral reef with loads of corals, fish and creatures.  Painting it will be the fun part, (I hope), and I'll pencil in some of the characters from my childrens books, (see Blurb link top right), for added excitement!!

Knowing me though, I'll end up getting so fed up that I just paint it blue.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Knit Granny, Knit!

As you may know from previous posts, my mum happens to be an uber-knitter.  In preparation for my son arriving she has been knit-knitting like crazy and sends amusing photos of completed items being modelled by various stuffed toys!
I received photos of the most recent creation this morning - a stripey cagligan (my gorgeous niece's word for cardigan...I much prefer it) which is in the post as we speak.

As a sort of tribute to my mum I'm also going to repost some of her other amazing creations which I simply can't wait to see my son in this winter.

Here is monkey wearing the purple knitted hoodie, (also cleverly lined with a stretchy cotton sheet material so it doesn't feel itchy when worn):

And monkey again wearing the amazing fair isle one:

And last, but by no means least, the utterly amazing hand-knitted baby shawl:

Thanks mum, I love you fifty twelve xxxxx

Friday, August 20, 2010

An Apple a Day.

Just another pimped up babygrow that I've completed.  The babygrow did have a little pink elephant on it so not really any good for my son.  One quick flurry of cutting and sewing later and we have a boy-friendly one instead.

And finally, another monkey is off to a new home...hooray!  Hopefully it will prompt me to get some more made.  I do have one almost completed but I seem to have misplaced an ear....I suspect I may have sucked it up whilst cleaning, (I do indulge in such pointless activities from time to time).  Here is the cheeky monkey:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Banish Boring Babygrows!

Just a quick one.  I have quite a lot of donated baby clothes for my bump, a few of which were plain white babygrows and I thought I'd experiment with ways to brighten them up a bit.
Here's a couple of photos of the first two that I attempted.
First up is a turtle painted on using a stencil and fabric paint.....so quick and easy:

And the other was also very straightforward but a teeny bit more time-consuming.  I cut out an object printed on fabric, in this case a fish from the very last of my favourite fishy offcut.  I pinned the fish onto the plain babygrow and simply hand-stitched around it whilst watching a crap film and having a brew.  Took about an hour in total:

I really love it and plan to do loads more.  Little sewing projects like this are perfect for me at the moment, I have the energy of a slug and struggle to sit hunched over at the sewing machine for any length of time.

My good friend nausea is letting me know that it's time for food....until next time bloggers xx

Wake up Baby Jones!

After so many days of mental, non-stop movement, I guess it's inevitable to have days where baby moves less.  I have activated my 'don't panic, everything's fine' shield so I'm not too worried.  Think he's actually doing some tumbling and pulling today rather than karate as I keep getting a slight sensation of an organ being elbowed or the cord being tugged.  It's the little things like this that no-one ever warns you about, I'm considering writing a 'Don't Panic' guide for first time mums, missing out all the obvious stuff and focusing on the less exciting:

- Hurry up and Wait.....until mid-way, pregnancy is bloody boring.
- You will feel shite but get no sympathy as you are lacking a bump and can't tell people you're pregnant.
- Lots of wierd changes.
- Try not to claw at your breasts in public.
- Yes, I have stopped smoking completely whilst pregnant but it is none of your business that I shall celebrate the birth with a big, fat glass of red and a fag.
- People insist on telling you about miscarriages and awful labours.
- You will cry at everything.
- You will eat everything.
- First signs of your bump prompts highly amusing, (for amusing read annoying), comments like, "Haha, are you sure it's not just all the cake you've been eating".
- It is by far the most amazing, awe-inspiring, life-changing experience of my life.  I truly feel blessed by life to have this chance to be a mum.

Did I miss anything out?

Monday, August 16, 2010

We are dungarees, if you please.

Wait, just hold on a minute here...2 posts in one day...is that allowed?!  Hells yeah!!
It kinda follows on from the sleeve trousers anyway, (which my darling partner was not impressed with at all...said they looked like the lining for something - pah)!
So, next I tackled another item of clothing.....some very-much-made-up dungarees.  Without any notion of dimensions or logic I embarked upon the following:

Take 1 pair of old jeans:

Chop his legs off thusly (I went about the knee, best if you measure an actual child though me thinks):

Chop three quarters down from the top along inside seam:

Turn one leg inside out, place right side out leg inside it (line up the openings):

Pin and sew the rough edges to eachother:

Once sewn, turn them all the right way out and, hey presto:

Now I just chopped and shaped the front and back as I pleased, overlocked all the bare edges and added a pocket from the bum of the big jeans, (may applique that later), and put in some elastic across the back:

Not quite finished yet, need to add buttons, some side fasteners of some sort and of course straps.  Have positioned fabric to look like straps and taken following photos so you get the gist of the finished article:

All I need now is my baby to arrive so he can try them on!!
I'm posting these projects in the hope that someone, somewhere will have a go at making clothes once they see how easy peasy lemon squeezy it is. 
Laters alligators xx

From Top to Bottoms in about 20 mins.

I have finally fired up the sewing machine...well, overlocker to be precise but same thing.
I decided to face my fear of making clothes for my son and, having thrown all cutesy girl fabric to one side, realised I have very few fabrics for boys that weren't boring and plain.  All of the funky fabrics online that I ADORE - mushrooms, campervans and the like - are far outwith my current budget so drastic action was required.  Hardcore recycling!
First up - one of my favourite old tops that I wanted to try and make into a pair of trousers.
This is how it went:
Here is the original top before chop-chopping began.
I cut off both sleeves plus some extra to allow for the top of the trousers....completely guessed where to cut.  This gives you 2 pieces as below.  Fold one of the 'sleeves' inside out and place right side one inside it so it looks like this:
Then, pin together the open ends that will form the crotch...that doesn't make much sense but I've taken a photo:
Run this through the sewing machine, (or overlocker as I prefer as it's neater...well worth investing in one in my opinion)!  I also ran the overlocker around the top as it chops and seals the ends:
Turn trousers right way in:
Haha, even managed to get the Levi's tab on them...how stylish!  Now, the problem with not measuring anything, or following sewing rules in general, means that you end up not leaving enough height in the fabric to fully elasticate the waist so I'll fashion an alternative using a tube of fabric and bit of elastic....I'll let you know how that works out.
Going to try making dungarees out of some old jeans now...need to work out how to cut them to keep the snazzy pockets...oooh, in fact, I'll cut one of the big pockets to sew onto the front...may even do a bit of applique...fancy!

Right, feeling rather sickly now as baby needs calories....naughty me should know better than not eat for 10 mins!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Come back summer, all is forgiven!

I seem to have missed summer this year, all the excitement about being pregnant means I remember very little else about the past few months, I hope I didn't miss anything important!
The countdown to Baby Jones arriving has prompted a strange shopping list which includes everyday items such as a new freezer, extra mugs and a record player, (to name but a few).  The way I see it, once baby is here I'll be on maternity pay and unable to buy much at all...not that I'll want to do anything other than stare at my son all day long.
We invested in a new swing for the garden which I plan to spend many happy hours on next summer just gently rocking with the baby....does life get any better than that?!  Here is said swing and the view of the pond that it presents:

On a different, and exponentially more exciting, note - I saw my baby kick with my very own eyes.  Words cannot describe how amazing it was and my heart jumps a little every time I think about it.  Pregnancy is amazing.  Even the crap bits :)
I'm torn between wishing the days away so I can meet my son and chilling out and relishing every movement and kick for the next few months.
Roll on Christmas (at a medium pace) and that glass of red wine that I've been dreaming about!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Latest Book.

Here's a link to my latest book, let me know what you think :)

The Lost Book Club.

My most excellent and inspiring big brother is currently travelling around South America, regularly sending photos and updates back home of his amazing travels.  I always had it in my head that this would be an incredibly dangerous type of trip, just moving from place to place, hostel to hostel and enjoying the atmosphere rather than stressing about hotels and hire cars.  It turns out that I am just a massive feardy-cat!
The trip looks out of this world and he seems to have met some interesting and wonderful people along the way.  A symptom of all this travelling seems to be a major increase in reading books which has, in turn, prompted the creation of http://www.lostbookclub.com/ . It started initially as a place to review the book you just read before passing it on to someone else to read thus giving you a chance to track your book as well as encouraging reading and recycling.  The website now includes a place to review hostels etc and a section on free language notes which you can download, the German ones are excellent!
My favourite part is the positive thought section where anyone and everyone can link or upload things that inspire them in life, it makes for very powerful reading.
The website is designed for anyone to use and it's all totally free :)

Here is a photo of Big Beastie in Lima with the gorgeous Irish Beastie.  Kermit is also enjoying the travelling!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Sewing Room Sort-out of 2010.

As the title suggests, I have been sifting through my sewing room trying to clear some space in there and restore order to obvious chaos.  Perhaps that's why I haven't been sewing much.
It's rather depressing to pack unfinished projects into boxes but most of them are clothes for girls and this bump just happens to be a boy!  I have, thankfully, found some of my creations which I can proudly hang with the other clothes for Baby Beastie, can't wait to finally see them being worn.  Here are a couple of kimono wrap tops, the fish fabric is my absolute favourite:

I also found the felt octopus that I randomly made one day, I really love him:

So you see, it's not all doom and gloom clearing out the sewing room, (apart from this dress, which I would have loved to see being worn):

It will also give me a chance to have a good look through all my fabrics and be inspired to get creating for the baby.  I have a pile of mens shirts, (willingly donated I might add...I don't hang around mens changing rooms or anything), which I'm going to transform into dungarees.  This is blatantly copied from Sparrowarms who made a gorgeous pair for her Baby Sparrow.
I must also make a start on writing up some baby books which will, of course, contain Baby Beastie as the star.  I'm thinking pirates...aahaaar.  My first instinct is to go non-rhyming but they are crap to write and bloody boring to read!
Well, it's onwards and upwards as we rocket towards another weekend.  I've passed the 21 week mark and hoping that December is here in a flash, simply can't wait to meet my son.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Photo Updates!

My blog posts have been very lacking in the photo department recently, an oversight that I wish to rectify this morning!
Here is the 20 week scan photo of Baby Jones, look at his cute little nose!

I'm so tempted to have a 4D scan done but it's such a lot of money.  I think my dizzy/faint spell at the last scan has convinced me that my money would probably be wasted as I'd only last about 10 minutes before feeling unwell.  Maybe Mr Beastie can use the money to buy more buggies instead!

Baby Jones is very lucky to have two awesome knitters in the family, namely Nana and Granny.
Granny sent me a photo of the most recent creation which is kindly modelled by the gorilla again.

I struggle to knit with 2 colours in stripes, my mother is a knitting god!

And finally, (and due to me not being on my home pc and lacking interesting photos), a trio of monkeys.  Two of these guys found new homes and the hearts one was kindly made for me by Sparrowarms.
I heart him a lot :)

I have BIG plans for more creations over the coming weeks.  I had a dream about making dungarees last night and awoke with an urge to sew...woohooo!  Now, the challenge is to make them without convincing myself that I need more fabric....although all of mine is very much girl-orientated....boys should have skulls...oh, and tractors.  I feel a trip to the fabric mothership coming on......I can feel my bank account wince at the very thought :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sew Not Happening.

Where has my unquashable sewing urge gone?  Me no know....
I'm feeling very uninspired at the moment, not least because I'm having to downsize my sewing room but also most of my 'active' (unfinished) projects are cute girls dresses and the likes.  No use to me and my future son!  I have been experimenting with fabric paints and white babygrows though, without much success I might add but they do look less dull.
My almost sister and very good pal Sparrowarms (see her blog in my list) is mostly a sewing genius.  I must post a photo of the baby changing bag she made me, it is simply fabulous and I must admit I've already started to use it pre-baby and may well be loathed to put nappies and wipes in there!
We are having a travel-system crisis in our house, Mr Beastie seems to have become a bit obsessed by it all and spends hours each night trawling the interweb for bargains and reviews.  He cannot resist a bargain and to his credit is an awesome bargain hunter.  I, on the other hand, am not all that fussed which one we have as long as it's easy to use...I really dislike faffing and would happily pull baby along in a cart provided it was 'simples'.
Well, it's clocking out time and I have chocolate cake in my fridge.............

Monday, August 9, 2010

Back To Work Again...Eugh!

Well, am on the flip side of using up my entire 2010 holiday entitlement, (seemed like a good idea several weeks ago), and am now on the countdown to maternity leave...whenever that may be!
20 week scan last week and I can confirm that the wiggle-master is a boy.  I'm very excited, not had much to do with baby boys so I'm blissfully unaware of what it entails :)
I've been swotting up in the usual first-time-mum stylie, reading every word I can about pregnancy, birth, stitches, breastfeeding, stitches...did I mention the stitches yet?  Ouchie!  I feel like a total fraud though as I find the whole thing very surreal and hard to associate what I'm reading with the fact that it'll all be happening to me soon enough. 
I am so unprepared for it all.....not the baby bit so much as the pregnancy and birth.  Following my 20 week scan and drop in BP/fainting episode when I was there, I had to pop up to the Ante Natal ward to be checked over.  My fella asked me, "What usually happens in this ward"?  I really didn't know and had to ask the nurse.  There I am with a whopping big baby bump asking what the ante natal ward was for.....I felt like such an eejit.  It just didn't mention it in my notes anywhere so I was clueless.
Still, I have faith that my body will take care of everything, (apart from the mortgage), I'm really not in control at all so not much point in worrying. 
I do wish I hadn't read the section on stitches and tearing......how will I ever get these images out of my head before December??

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's a Boy!

Hooray!  An eventful 20 week scan determined that my baby is a wee bouncing boy. 
It's amazing, I'm over the half way mark now and it should all be downhill from here, (haha), just have to claw my way through every day at work until November brings much anticipated maternity leave.
It wasn't all plain sailing at the scan though, after an amazing 20 minutes or so, (baby was wiggling, kicking and waving non-stop), a wave of dizzyness overcame me.  The sonographer sprung into action turning me onto my side, (faintness was caused by baby pressing on my blood vessel and cutting off circulation to my head...yikes), opened the window and patted my face with a wet compress....bless her.  About 5 mins later I was starting to recover but a check of my BP showed it was quite low.  We managed to complete the scan, hence we know the sex - although baby rather amusingly crossed his legs in protest and had to be 'jiggled' a bit, and I was sent to another department to 'recover'.  Still, I got my scan photos for free as they felt a bit sorry for me!
Despite feeling a bit crappy that afternoon, I still managed to pop out and buy some baby boy romper suits...not that I needed them urgently, just felt good :)
All attempts at sewing or knitting have stopped completely at the moment, just have no inclination to do anything right now....except sleep really...oh, and eat!

Off to stare like a loon at my scan photos again...he definately has a Mackay nose!!