Cotton Strudel

  1. New beginning

    newbeginning

    1.1.11

    A new beginning. That’s what’s so nice about the first day of the year, it stretches in front of you like a new notebook, full of shiny new pages ready to be filled with any adventure you can dream of. It’s a time for making new resolutions and feel that the possibilities are endless. We can improve, learn new things and do everything we couldn’t achieve in the last year.

    I hope your new year brings you nothing but the best and a lot of health.

    I’m off to start new lists :-)

  2. Blogging in my head

    dinner in progress

    If there was a way I could invent a way of publishing the posts I write in my head while I go about my day, you would have a lovely idea of what I’ve been up to in the last two months. Sadly, I’ve yet to find that solution.

    Abby (Hi Abby, it was great you commented as I had lost the link to your site!) was right in her comment on my last post, having a baby really makes you appreciate the little pockets of time you have to yourself.

    I have been using those moments to do chores (not so exciting) and a little crafting here and there. As usual, my head goes faster than my hands can but there are plans for fun holiday ornaments that are baby friendly this year. Little by little progress is made after bedtime.

    I’m very excited about the holidays this year and I’m thinking I might take a page out of the Swedish book and put out my decorations on the last Sunday of the month.

    That is, of course, if the little one allows. He’s definitely the most demanding boss I’ve ever had!

  3. Fall cleaning

    Housekeeping

    It’s amazing how fast six weeks can slip by, especially if they’re full of dear visitors, wedding anniversaries, birthdays and of course, a growing baby. This summer was definitely a hectic and fun one full of new adventures.

    The kid is now a little over 3 months, which means the house has been in a bit of a mess for just as long. The husband and I did an awful lot of house tidying and projects just before I gave birth but there’s only so much I could do towards the end of my pregnancy carrying around a big, heavy belly.

    So now that the little one and I are slowly getting into a routine, I’m starting to have crazy ideas of house reorganisation. I should really say decluttering since the house is organised but I am one of those people who hangs on to things in case they might be useful one day. I’m recovering from it and I think I become a little bit more ruthless every time I declutter but I do need to do it often. Things that were saved the last time might go on this round and therefore, the house benefits from it.

    One of the presents for my birthday a couple of weeks ago was the book “Home Comforts” by Cheryl Mendelson. I started reading it and the idea came into my head: it is time for fall cleaning, which is the same as spring cleaning but getting the house ready for the autumn. So here I am, reading away, supplementing with Martha Stewart’s Housekeeping Manual and making lists of what needs to be done in each room.

    I’ve always been a fan of organising but I do realise (I learned it the hard way) that with a baby time is limited. I don’t really have the luxury of having a full, uninterrupted afternoon in which to empty all my shelves, sort, clean and put things away again. However, it is not impossible and if you catch me on a specially optimistic day, it’s even better. You see, once I came to terms with the idea that this time around I should feel proud of myself for doing at least a couple of drawers each day, I happily started planning and since time is limited, I was very efficient in organising the chest of drawers that sits as my bedside table. Now my underwear and bags are all in order and I was quite ruthless binning and giving stuff away so I have extra room! No time for second guessing, which in my case is a wonderful thing.

    So at least one thing a day is what I plan to do. Yesterday was undies and bags. Today a bit of photo tidying on the computer and bill paying. It’s tough but not impossible. I should have a lovely organised home by Christmas.

    A girl can dream, right?

  4. Colourful flags

    bunting5

    The first thing I bought for the nursery when I found out I was pregnant was the red hot air balloon in the photograph above. I didn’t think much about it at the time, it caught my attention, I was over the moon with the news and decided it would be cute for the baby.

    When I brought it home and started looking at it, inspiration hit and that little balloon mobile was the basis for our baby’s nursery. Obviously the first project to tackle in my mind was… bunting. How could I not? I had visions of little flags going all over the room.

    bunting1

    Off to the fabric shop I went with the balloon in tow to try and find matching fabrics. A little bit of calculations – which done with a pregnant brain must be revised a few times – and I was set to go.

    bunting2

    I had a yard of each of the five colours so I designed my flag pattern to be a long and skinny triangle of roughly 5.5 inches wide by 9 inches. I washed, ironed and marked the back of each piece and thank the heavens for my lovely big cutting mat with a quilting arrow and cutter that I got for last Christmas. I try not to have too many gadgets but the right tool for the job certainly makes things easier.

    bunting3

    I got 7 flags out of 4 colours and 6 out of the 5th as I used two fat quarters for the last colour fabric. I cut them all, ran them through the sewing machine and then sat down patiently to tie knots on the seams and turn each one of the triangles inside out.

    bunting4

    Next came ironing them nice and straight and measuring them on the long strips of bias tape and once again running them through the machine.

    I was quite pleased with the result and it was very sweet when my husband took the utmost care to hang the flags just right all around the nursery walls.

    I would very much recommend the project. It takes a while to complete but it’s easy and there’s a nice rhythm to it. Every time I walk into the nursery and see them, I remember cutting all those flags and tying all their knots and going through all the next steps while a little someone was kicking away in my belly. Sweet memories.

  5. Swirl cake

    swirlcake

    One of the things that people with children warn you about when they find out you’re expecting is the lack of personal time you’ll experience.

    They are right. The first few weeks with a newborn at home just melt into one long day broken up into a repetitive sequence of feeding, sleeping, changing nappies. I completely lost track of time. Didn’t know what day it was, is it time to eat lunch already? But I just got dressed, surely it’s breakfast time.

    As the weeks move on, and still with sleep deprivation, you figure out how to make the most of the bits of time when the little one sleeps. Of course, since those times are very inconsistent (you can’t be sure when they’re coming or how long they’ll last) you must be flexible. And realistic too, sometimes you have to use them to catch up on sleep.

    batter

    Then again, sometimes it’s worth trading a bit of sleep for a bit of homemade goodness. Especially on a Sunday, when it’s lazy day and you can lounge with the newspaper or a movie and need something to go with our cup of tea.

    eggs

    Eager to try something new, I went for the swirl cake in the current issue of Everyday Food. The recipe calls for blackberries but I had lots of blueberries waiting to be used. Very delicious, especially with a little bit of sour cream on top.

    blueberries

    The good news about the whole exercise is that I learned when time’s not abundant, I become more efficient.

    Off to sleep now before someone wakes up…

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