Rabbit Rattle

Crochet Rabbit Rattle for my friend's new baby.

Gardening Apron

Gardening Apron for a friend's house warming present.

No Junk for Us!

Handmade "no junk mail please" sign in Finnish.

Meet Cyril!

Cyril is an amigurumi pig, made for my nephew.

Boxy Matryoshka Pouch

Boxy pouch made with very kawaii Japanese fabric.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Spanish Succulents

From my Dad's garden in Calpe, where we are staying this week. It's hot, hot, hot, but there's a pool so we're doing just fine. VV gets a bit too hot sometimes, but we've become expert baby coolers.

Since I'm on holiday and not supposed to be blogging (doing this while everyone gets ready for our zoo visit today), I'll just bung the photos up without labels for now. Included are aloes, aeoniums and Donkey's Tail. I'm cactus spotting as we wander hither and thither, so expect more to come...

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Sewing bonanza

At last I've worked out how to keep VV happy so that I can get things done, including (most importantly; hang the housework) crafting. And the secret? It's BBC Radio 2 - Terry Wogan to the rescue. Actually, it's really my terrible singing-along to the rescue. If I sing and pull funny faces while I sew, VV is happy in his bouncer.

The results of this discovery are two waterproof bags for wet nappies and an out-and-about changing mat. I made the bags from poor quality PUL that my mother in law gave me. She bought it to make washable nappies from, but it doesn't wash that well and is a bit too stiff. Perfectly fine for washable bags though, so I made two. One has a Velcro closure (the spotty dog one) and the other has a ribbon tie closure. The latter doesn't work very well, so we'll have to tie the ribbon around it too. Not happy about that, but there you go.

I'll use the Pooh one to hold dirty nappies next week when we visit my Dad and his wife Maria (who knitted the lovely blanket that's also pictured) in Calpe, Spain. We can wash them every day, so we don't have to use evil disposables. We will use them for the journey, but we found some biodegradables for that. Mind you, we are flying, so we're being pretty evil anyway. Next holiday (to the UK) and we're going by boat and train.

I'm particularly pleased with the changing mat, which I made from some wipe-down tablecloth fabric with some old towel sandwiched between. So, we're all set for our trip - back in a week's time!

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Great start to the day

The postman brought great things today - my CueCat barcode scanner from LibraryThing and issue 7 of Craft: magazine (my first as a subscriber). I'm saving Craft: for a quiet moment, so more on that later. I've already scanned a couple of books into my LibraryThing library and it's so quick. My library awaits!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Milk ethics

As a vegetarian I have long been concerned with the ethics of drinking milk, but, as anyone who knows me will attest, I would probably die without it, given the amount I consume. I've tried various substitutes in the past, but they either taste too sweet (Rice Dream) or of mashed up beans (hardly surprising).

So, we've switched to organic milk. Organic dairy cows supposedly have a better time of it and the milk certainly tastes better than standard milk. I know this because hubby loves to conduct taste tests on me and this time I chose organic. Same happened with eggs too. Both the milk and eggs cost 50% more, but I think it's worth it and since I stopped going out (no beer) and hubby stopped smoking, we can afford it. Who said having babies was expensive?

While I'm on the milk subject, Sainsbury's in the UK has started doing milk bags (thanks for the tip-off Jude, via Google Reader's great share function). Great idea, hope it catches on this time - it's been tried before, but failed. And it's a good reason to use an old fashioned milk jug, which I've always wanted to do, but couldn't justify transferring the milk from perfectly usable containers.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Cool bookshelves

Spotted this great shelving installation on freshome. I shall be keeping it in mind for when we buy our own home.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

He gave me the moon...

...and I broke it! Super talented hubby turned a boring white globe ceiling lamp into a moon a while back and last week I trashed it in a spectacular sheet changing accident (it was hanging over our bed). Thankfully no one was hurt in the shower of glass shards, but sadly the lamp is no more. So this post pays homage to the amazing, but short-lived, moon lamp.

More moose!

Yesterday's moose encounter (albeit only stuffed, skeletonised and bronze specimens) reminded me of a cool story I came across a few weeks ago. It was about a man in Alaska who reared an abandoned moose calf as a pet and then trained it to work for him. The photo gives you an idea of how huge these beasts really are!

Here's the original story

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Things I want to do...

There are so many things I want to do, all rattling around in my head, that I thought it prudent to note them down. Here goes, in no particular order:
  1. Catalogue all my books in Library Thing. Totally anal I know, but I love it. Have persuaded myself that there is a point to this wanton time-user - if our books ever get lost, burnt or otherwise destroyed we can work out a sensible insurance claim. Of course, that will require household contents insurance.
  2. Get household contents insurance (see #1).
  3. Post more often to my blog. See, I'm doing this one already!
  4. Finish making the rest of the fleece nappies. They have already been cut out by hubby, so it's not that much work.
  5. Make a nappy bag that both of us will use (no flowers, then). Needs to have cunning strap arrangement so that it works with the baby wrap.
  6. Make a boring wrap for hubby to use. Again, no flowers.
  7. Get on with The Tapeworm. Progress thus far has been slow.
  8. Declutter. No small task, but I'm getting great tips from Unclutterer. My hubby pointed out that nearly all the clutter is mine and I have to agree. We started today with a new rule - nothing new can come in without something going out. So, we took a vase to the Salvation Army shop before we set off on our Saturday Adventure.
  9. Become more ethical. Very large task, but we've already started. We use washable nappies and we've just signed up to an organic veg box scheme. Yep, there is one here in Finland, but it doesn't run in the winter, when nothing grows. We also just bought some biodegradable nappies to use during the journey to and from my Dad's place in Spain at the end of the month. Sadly we're flying, but next time we'll go by train. I've been thinking ethical for a while, but Leo Hickman's Life Stripped Bare: My Year Trying to Live Ethically has just spurred me into action.
That's all I can think of right now, more to follow and hopefully progress reports too...

Saturday adventure wearing the baby

Since VV was born, we've taken to going on a Saturday 'adventure'. Mostly, this has been to the shops, but today we went to the Finnish Museum of Natural History. I've wanted to go there for what seems like forever, but it has been under renovations for almost the entire time I've been visiting and then living here.

The museum was great, although the signage was only in Finnish and Swedish. Mind you, that's not so bad in my opinion - I'm always compelled to read everything out of some perverse sense of duty, so it was nice to be relieved of that. Best thing in the museum by far were the two stuffed moose. I've wanted to see a moose since I came to Finland and this is the nearest I've got to them yet. They are simply enormous and fabulously gangly (I have a fondness for gangly animals, giraffes also being high on my list of favourites).

One of the photos with this post is of me and the moose statue outside the museum. The bulge is not my stomach, but is in fact VV strapped to me with a wrap. I'm enormously pleased with the wrap, which is actually just 4.5 metres of fabric (75cm wide). It's the fourth carrier I've made (not that there is much making, except hemming, which is still to be done) and it's definitely the best. Before that I made three ring slings in progressively lighter weight fabrics. The final version does work well, but I find it makes my shoulder hurt and if VV isn't in quite the right position it's uncomfortable too. Wraps are the way forward.

Since I did extensive research for the baby carriers, let me share my favourite sources with you:

Jan Andrea at home on the web - I used the ring sling instructions from here to make mine. Easy to follow and very neat (in both senses of the word) pleated shoulder.

wearyourbaby.com - great information on all kinds of slings. I'm using the instructions on how to wear wraps from here. Some git seems to have attacked the site in the last day or so, but hopefully the site will be back up soon.

TheBabywearer.com - extensive site, with personal stories, advice on which carrier is best for you and lots more besides.

I totally recommend baby wearing, regardless of the semi-daft moniker. VV sleeps nearly all the time he's attached to me and I plan to try the wraps that you can supposedly breastfeed in while on the move. And I'll make a manly wrap for hubby, so it's not just me lugging the darling 6 kilo lump around.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More