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The past two years have been all about adjusting to motherhood and finding my way through it via craft. The out pouring of this came in the form of my blog Aunty Mum. Now I'm finally finding my feet, the children are growing, I'm getting some independence and my interests are morphing . . . into cooking. Join me in exploring creativity in many forms, food, fabric, frowns and laughter.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hearts full of hardanger

I know it’s been a very long while since my last post but I’ve something very exciting to share . . .  my latest obsession!

I had a brainwave in the wee small hours of the morning a couple of months ago that I fancied doing a cross stitch again. So since then I’ve done not one but two and they’re due back from the framers tomorrow so I’ll endeavour to take a photo and share them; however, during the cross stitch process I was reminded that I’d once toyed with the idea of trying out hardanger embroidery and while I had the embroidery bug, and I was waiting for Rogan’s cross stitch pattern to arrive from Australia I thought I’d give it a go.

Well, as only one who is obsessed with hand crafts knows, I very quickly became addicted and I wanted to quickly share my toils.


I started out with this little gem and it got me on the track to finally working out what to give the teachers for their Christmas gift this  year. This is the first of my bespoke decorations.


I moved on to something a little more difficult with the Christmas stocking. There was a fair bit of unpicking but I got there in the end.





Then this one where I used gold thread, something I’m not keen on doing again as it’s horrible to work with.



And finally the bookmark, which I totally adore.

The decorations were terribly floppy so tonight I have soaked them in mod podge and laid them out to dry. They’ve hardened nicely and I’ll attach some thread so they can be hung on a tree.

Something I’ve had to work hard at since completing these is the buttonhole stitch. Not for the first time in my life have I given thanks for you tube. There are some fabulous tutorials there that very clearly explain how to do all kinds of stitches.

But that’s not where the display ends. Having worked hard on a buttonhole stitch and having realised that attention to detail and pinpoint accuracy is key with hardanger, I’ve embarked on this gift for my mother . . .


It’s still a long way from complete but I can’t tell you how much fun I’ve had so far. I’m working on the buttonhole stitch border now and then I can begin taking a pair of scissors to it to create the filet effect and begin the long and slow binding process, but I’m fairly sure it’ll be complete for Christmas day. It’s been tough keeping it a secret from said mother, but I know she’ll love it.

This project started out as an experiment to see if I could hack making a table runner and I’m fairly confident that I can. I’ve ordered a couple of pattern books and once they arrive in the post I’ll be hardangering my way through the summer hols.

Maybe once the cherubs are back at school I’ll have something more to share.

If you’re interested in trying hardanger embroidery check out you tube and pinterest. There doesn’t appear to be a great deal of free patterns out there (probably due to its obscurity) but the local library is sure to have some books that can get you started. Be warned though, it’s highly addictive.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Practicing the Art of Positivity


Having been through a month of chicken pox, sleepless nights, long days and juggling work, sick children and all the other activities in our lives we have all been fractious and struggling to get along. When Janae prayed three nights in a row that she was thankful even though she had the ‘crabbiest mummy in the whole-wide-world’ I decided it was time for a different tack . . . bring on the positivity. And this morning’s picture was proof that it works. I was busy packing school bags etc and Janae wanted her hair brushed so her beautiful brother decided he’d help out. How gorgeous is that!

And I have a finished project to share. All this positivity has allowed me greater focus. Check this out.


I’ve really loved making this and only experienced the “I’ve got to get this done” feeling in the last three rounds. Today, after all the ends were weaved in, I made a twisted cord, folded and rolled the blanket into a cone and tied it neatly. I can’t wait to give this to it’s recipient because the whole point of gifts is the joy of giving them away.

So now I’m embarking on something I keep putting off . . . the knitted blanket.


I’ve started countless knitted blankets and never got far as they seem to take an age to get anywhere, while a crochet blanket almost makes itself. This particular one is done in panels of 35 stitches so it should feel like it’s going quickly. Well, here’s hoping anyway. I found this pattern on bernat.com in the ‘new patterns’ section.

Well, all the children are home and, there’s a gap in the rain that’s hopefully long enough to go and check to see if we have any more lambs.

See you soon.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Popping In

Well, hello. I can scarcely believe it’s been so long since my last post saying goodbye. I’m not entirely sure if this is “hello” again or merely “hi” in passing. But I’ve been beavering away on so many projects and it’s just not so much fun when you can’t share so I’ve dug out the camera, dusted it off and taken a couple of pics to share.

Firstly though, if I were to say to you “such fun” in a plummy almost “awfully” English accent who would you immediately think of? Hopefully my new heroine . . . Miranda.


My very gorgeous friend Sara loaned me this book and for the first time in quite possibly years I’ve been unable to put a book down. To put it very simply, it’s hilarious. In fact, I get quite worried of an evening when I’m tucked up in bed reading that I’ll wake the children with my raucous laughter. I HIGHLY recommend this as a read. And it’s available on Kindle too. Now I’m just hanging out for the next series to find out which proposal Miranda accepts. (Hopefully it’s Gary as he’s so much better in the way of eye candy.)

Anyway, work is going very well. I’m loving the job, am challenged mentally on a daily basis, have some very exciting projects in the pipeline and am happy to report that I’ve only wanted to resign twice and that wasn’t the fault of the job really. And I’m also pleased to report that I’m still yarning along every chance I get. I’ll show you.


Here’s a blanket I started about three weeks ago. I don’t have a pattern to share as it’s something I remember from many, many years ago when someone tried to teach me to crochet but I was too young, too interested in boys and crochet just didn’t fit my image back then. I’m trying to ‘stash bust’ with this one but still keep it looking a little cohesive with the white as the constant. I got a little carried away with the starting chain so it’s about the width of a double bed and each colour stripe is taking about half an hour. But that’s all good as this is one project I don’t feel I have to finish before starting another, which is good as I have a number of WIPs going at present.


And another blanket I started yesterday. A lovely lady I know has a five month old grandson that she will be caring for two days a week when her daughter goes back to work. This particular lady is a real inspiration to me so I decided I’d like to make her something for her gorgeous boy. I do have a pattern for this one on a website a friend shared with me the other day . . . Bernat. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, but it’s new and exciting to me. You can find the pattern here. I’m having a ball with this one and today I got a little blue fluffy yarn to do the final round, just to give it an ‘edge’ so to speak.


And the last thing I’ll share is a project I’ve asked my yarny friends to join in on. Our oncology department at the local hospital needs hats for those undergoing chemotherapy. This is the hat I’ve made and I’ve asked others to make one or two so we can take them up and keep those dear patients warm while they have their treatment. This is my first attempt at fair isle and I’m so pleased with it. Knitting fair isle feels like you’re racing through as something different is happening every round. I will definitely be trying something like this again. And if knitting things for your own hospital is something you’d like to do get your friends involved. There are always needs in geriatric care, paediatrics and oncology . . . and many other departments too.

As for my little darlings, we’ve been held siege by chicken pox for the last three weeks. Kayley is the last to go down with it and she’s suffering a bit poor wee lass. The astounding thing is that she is NEVER sick so, while her lack of appetite was something we expected, her lack of conversation is astounding. Just the other day I informed her that she doesn’t need to fill every silence with words, and now I feel a little guilty about that. I’m just grateful they’ve come in the winter because I can only imagine how awful it would be to have chicken pox in the summer.

Well, thank you for taking the time to catch up. I have a feeling that I may post a bit more as projects get finished; well, I hope so anyway.

Lovely seeing you again.

Belinda xx

Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's time for goodbye

It's been four years since my first post, and hundreds of projects later it's time to say goodbye to blog world.

I have been successful in getting a wee part time job as office manager at our local church and that will be taking up a good chunk of my week. Now the cherubs are all at school, the timing is perfect, the location is perfect and the hours are perfect. With all this perfection I knew this was the job for me. And, if I'm honest, I was getting a little fed up with five whole days to myself (and I never thought that wold happen).

I began blogging (encouraged by the gorgeous Greedy for Colour) as a way of getting some confidence in my craft work as well as a way of processing all that came with being a new mum of three. I've blogged less and less over the past year as I have found I don't need the outlet so much.

But I want to take the opportunity to thank those of you who have supported me throughout this time. The comments are always so welcome and I encourage you to drop a comment to other bloggers you follow;, we all know that sometimes it can feel like we're sending our hearts into a big void.

I will be checking in on my favourite bloggy reads when I can and, if I have a spare moment and a project I have totally loved I'll try to blog about it.

With lots of love.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Oh the irony

My littlest cherub has been through the mill in the last week. We had a night in the local hospital as she’d had her tonsils removed, adenoids removed, grommets in her ears and what I can only describe as a hot poker shoved up her nose.

Needless to say, it’s been a rough four days for her. She has a squeeky, nasely voice, dark rings under her lovely blue eyes and plenty of tears. And, also needless to say, I’m a bit the same. In the greatest of life’s ironies I’ve come down with tonsillitis myself. I’m sure it’s a sympathy vote for her but she doesn’t quite see it that. way. Thankfully both of us are on the mend and my wonderful Dad has the three children for the night while I rest up a bit. Quite why I’m blogging at 5am is a mystery though.

However, hours spent in a hot and stuffy hospital ward haven’t been wasted.


I have finished what was supposed to be a genderless cardigan for Ann-Marie’s new grandchild (due on Valentines Day). Here’s hoping it’s a girl or there will be a rush job on in a couple of weeks.

I love making these vintage patterns. They have a style that seems so right for babies.


And my little invalid is the next to receive a cardigan. I think I’ve mentioned that I’m not a stripes person, but when ever I step back and look at this I just think of ice cream and I smile. Hopefully I won’t want to give her a quick lick when she’s wearing it.

Finding it impossible to sleep in the hospital I sat by Janae’s bed with just enough light from the corridor to knit. The night nurses snuck in about 1am and caught me. They thought it quite hilarious to find a mother knitting in the dark in the middle of the night. I’m not sure I saw the funny side.

Thankfully the weather has cooled a bit, sleep is coming easier for all of us and our invalid is starting to get her appetite back. (There’s nothing sure to get the tears welling up than seeing your child standing quietly under a hot stream of the shower with her ribs sticking out.) So I think we’re heading back to normality at last. I’m sure a few more games of Dora snap will help too.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Weathering the storm

It’s half way through the summer hols and I need to be completely honest by telling you it’s been the hardest three weeks in a very long time. The heat and humidity has been awful and the children have been hot and fractious. And with both my parents away I’ve been struggling a little. However, Dad’s home tomorrow (hopefully) and he’s taking the two older ones to stay on the boat for a night. They’ll love that.

So, in a bid to distract myself I went out to the Spotlight sale and came home with fabric to make my girls some pyjamas.


Here’s my little model proudly sporting the latest in bed wear fashion in our home. She loves these so much she’s been wearing them since they were completed. Thankfully the lovely Carolyn dropped by for a cup of coffee and pointed me in the right direction regarding pillowslip tops. These are so much fun and so easy to make I think Janae and Kayley will soon have drawers full of them. I will attempt a halter neck version for Kayley if I’m feeling brave enough.


Before the lovely Carolyn’s tutorial this was my effort in a top. Alas I wasn’t too happy with it but Janae was thankfully. Her face may not show it however, She was getting to the “I’m too hot and tired to be your model any more Mummy” stage. I get that.

And there was one more transformation that took place at the sewing machine today. Janae found this dress in the closet at Nanny’s house (we had a holiday there while the place was empty).


As you can imagine, she loved the way the skirt twirled when she danced but the top was too tight to do the buttons up. So I whipped the top off with the scissors, folded over the middle, bunged on a piece of elastic and now she has a skirt.


It’s not the most beautiful job, but once again she’s totally in love with it and danced around to the radio for ages.

Now I just have to figure out how to make some things for Rogan so he doesn’t feel left out.


DSCF0430 And this afternoon we were rescued by Janet who invited us there for a cool swim and a BBQ. It was bliss. I had a quick dip and then sat in the shade chatting and knitting.

Tomorrow’s adventure will be a trip up to the strawberry farm to pick some strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. I have a friend’s husband who needs bribery by chocolate cake to do a fix-it job for me and I need raspberries for that. Blueberry muffins will go down very well for afternoon tea. And a bowl of strawberries and cream would do nicely for pudding.Then I must hunker down and get my gender neutral cardigan completed as I have one I want to start for Janae . . . oh and more sewing.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year


I can scarcely believe another year is here already.Where did the last one go? Well, it’s been a very low key event in our home. We got my mother off to the UK on Friday so I’m feeling more than a little exhausted doing the whole child thing completely alone and keeping an eye on my Dad as well. So last night I was in bed by 8pm with the computer and Midsomer Murders. Lights out by 10 and . . . amazement of all amazements . . . the children didn’t wake me until almost nine this morning.


So yesterday was spent at the beach. You know, these photos are too idyllic really. It was blowing a gale.


Look at my yarn blowing in the very stiff breeze. We had a swim, some lunch and then packed up the car and walked down the beach for an ice cream. Just as we reached the shop the heavens opened and we were drenched by the time we hit the car again. Such is life on an island.


This morning we had a “baking day” and Janae chose cupcakes. This afternoon was spent icing them.


I feel certain there are cases where there is more icing than cake, but it was all their creations so I made an effort not to butt in.


Rogan showed a surprising knack for cake icing. Perhaps he’ll be a baker.

We’re almost three weeks into the summer holidays and only a month to go. We’ve done a bit already. Today we were invited over to the neighbour’s house for a cold swim. Very strange experience for me as that’s the house I grew up in, the pool I learned to swim in. But it was lovely to go back after all these years. I wonder what we’ll do tomorrow.