Friday, December 30, 2011

FFS Friday / Shiny Things Friday

Yikes - Friday's almost over!

Millie got a cold for Christmas. She woke up Christmas day snotty and snuffling. She was in fairly decent spirits all day but the last few days have been face-blisteringly hard. FFS.

Millie is still hating on sleep. I sobbed intermittently all of last week through sheer exhaustion. Our nights have resembled something along the lines of 10.30, 12.30am, 1.30am, 2.30am, 3.30am, 4.15am and usually ending at 5am when Mr S takes over and I get 90 minutes of solid sleep. She has no desire to catch up during the day, only sneaking in an odd 30 min kip perhaps twice a day. FFS.

Except for when she goes to daycare. This week's she's cracked two three hour day sleeps. FFS.

I thought she might have had another ear infection, so we went back to the doctor. Nope. This time it's Just A Virus. Pain relief and cuddles are the only prescription. FFS.

Someone blocked me on Twitter a while back for reasons unknown to me. Except they keep referencing me in conversations which makes me think that it's a Twitter bug. And I can't tell them because they've blocked me. So time after time I keep being reminded that they've blocked me because I can't see the whole conversation and need to trawl back through manually. I hate that The Internet still makes me feel like it's high school sometimes. Ugh. FFS.

We've been tidying. The week between Christmas and New Year's seems to herald a DIY bug in Mr S. He (very kindly) purchased me a new desk from our new local tip shop. However to get it in the house has required rearranging of three different rooms. And all the stuff to be 'gone through'? Mine. What do I dislike more than capsicum? 'Going through' stuff. FFS.

Speaking of the Tip Shop today, I know that Mr S has a fond love for all things re-usable and loves himself a Tip Shop. After we spent Tuesday 'Going Through' kitchen and hall cupboards Mr S put together a box of things to take to the Tip Shop (Visit #2). Where he purchased my desk. He then went back to pick it up (Visit #3).

I took Millie out to the Tip Shop today to have a look for a new cupboard (long story) and as I walked around this new fancy Tip Shop I thought 'Huh, that insulated bottle case matches my other nappy bag. Oh, Mr S must have brought it here, that's fair, I don't really use it.' I keep wandering and start seeing lots of VARIOUS KITCHEN ITEMS that I did not know where destined for the tip shop. Mugs and tea strainers and plenty more things. However, I rally to the occasion and the inner Bookseller within me came out, and in no time at all I sold a lady my entire Linda Fairstein and David Baldacci book collection next to the second hand TVs. FFS.

When I mentioned seeing all my stuff there to the delightful lady running the tip shop she said to me 'Oh! You must be Mr S' wife! He told us all about you and the bub! Now, this stereo amp you're buying isn't yours already it is?''. Jeebus wept. They've only been open for a week or so and Mr S has been there 3 times. And she wanted to make sure that I wasn't re-buying stuff that Mr S had taken to the tip shop! FFS.

Shiny Things Friday

  • Boxing Day saw me buy a new sewing machine. Four days later I unpacked it out of the box and it  is glorious.
  • Millie's communication is off the show lately. Shaking her head when she doesn't want any more food, handing you things, shoving food in our mouths, gently patting Lucy, putting the round shape in the round hole of her shape stacker and so much more.
  • Speaking of Lucy, Millie went at Lucy like a madwoman the other day. Lucy freaked out and haughtily moved away, only to have Millie crawl straight past her, pick up her new book and take it back to Lucy and show it to her. Lucy couldn't believe her overreaction to Millie but in true feline style kept up the indignant ruse.
  • My new desk is freakin' awesome. It's huge and has lots of room for things. I will attempt to keep it clear of things.

Last Friday I got my hair cut off and gained a fringe.
Loving it.

I took M on the swings at our local park.
She was appropriately dressed for running.

Christmas Morning 2011.
Contrary to her expression, Lucy enjoyed this.

Hoot kept his eyes on Millie on Christmas Day.

New swimmers with wings make you fly!

'A ball Mummy? You're hilarious!'

Dear Baby G

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Let's kick it like it's 1995...

*** Update ***
I confess, I assumed something about Blogger. That if you commented on a post I'd be able to email you. Alas, unless I'm missing something. If you've left a comment below can you please shoot me an email to mrssmyth AT amykendall DOT com DOT au so we can get this mix tape party started. Yikes. Sorry folks!

In 1995 I was 12, I was in year 7 at school and I was given my first CD. It was No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom and it was the most amazing thing. My sister owned the only CD player in the house so I would sneak in to play it. She would keep a notepad by her CD player with the order of CDs in her 5 CD player so she would know if I'd been in there. She also didn't think that this meant I knew which order to put them back in... similar to the time she put a padlock on her door to keep us all out. She put the padlock on the outside of the door.

But I digress.

16 years on (sixteen years?! What?*) I still own that CD and it's the heaviest, clunkiest CD I've ever handled. Technology has evolved and changed so much since then, and unless you're like Mr S and obsessed with physical CDs and artwork (and as a musician I'm so glad there's still people like him about) CDs are a bit obsolete.

I love a good mix tape. And by tape, I mean CD. I don't have the patience to sit with my stereo and pause and play CDs whilst negotiating the tape deck. Can you still buy blank tapes at any rate? I know you could put some sticky tape over the copyright hole on an old one if someone's flicked the tab off... but CDs are a lot easier.

In 2009 I made a Mix Tape (CD) of my favourite songs from that year. Not songs that were necessarily released that year, but my favourite songs for the year. I burned a copy for a friend and he vowed to send me his... I'm still waiting. Sad face.

I sat down last night and went through my iTunes and found my favourite songs for 2011 and I've compiled a 2011 Mix Tape (CD). And I thought we might like to swap. What do you think?

If you think this is an ace idea, and I really hope you do, leave a comment here and I'll contact you for your postal address. Then we can swap our 2011 Mix Tapes (CD) and all enjoy some new music.

Before I leave you to get commenting and excited about new music I want you to know that the entire time I've been typing this I've been singing Prince's 1999 with the words 'Tonight we're going to party like it's 1995.'

I defy you not to sing it as you read it.

*I'm so tired that I typed twenty six years and had to have a looong hard think about how old I am and how surprised I was that I was that age. After a few minutes I worked out that twenty six years would make me 38. Which I'm not.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Silent Sunday

All I want for Christmas is my two front teef...

Friday, December 23, 2011

FFS Friday / Shiny Things Friday

It's Christmas week, and despite myself I've got a teensy bit of Christmas cheer.

Just a bit, mind you.

It's been so joyful finishing work for the year. I tied up things and crossed i's, dotted t's and realised when I left that afternoon that I was late for the bus and had not actually done everything. It's four days later and I haven't emailed in to work yet to let them know. Ahem. FFS.

It's hot. I live in a cool climate. What's with the weather? I like it approximately 22-24oC thank you. Not the 29oC that it was in my bedroom last night. FFS.

I recognise it's a first world problem, but the Mothership is visiting and keeps logging me out of Facebook and Google to log herself in. First World Mothership Problems. But still. FFS.

Millie no longer feeds at night. Yessssss. However, she still wakes up a lot and I spring into action, pat her bottom and replace the dummy. Zzzzzzzzz. FFS.

She's also not keen on her 2 hour daytime sleeps anymore. FFS.

I've decided she's in cahoots with Maggie and wants to party all night with her. I speak for both myself and Sarah when I say FFS.

Millie's been watching Ra Ra the Noisy Lion and now crawls around the house yelling 'RAA RAA'. Oh god. FFS. (but what a cute problem to have huh? It's bloody adorable.)

Shiny Things Friday
I love telling my Mum about FFS Friday, because it gets a reaction from her every time.
'So Mum I was reading Sarah's For F-'
'Yes, yes, I know what it's called Amy.'
Every time. It's a small thing but it makes me giggle.
My friend from my online mother's group posted a
Get Well pack to me when we were all the under the weather. 

Millie got her Kris Kringle present from a secret online
mother's group member. Isn't the romper gorgeous?

I can't stop sewing. I adore this clutch bag pattern.

Millie in Baby Jail outside whilst I rake up grass.

Baby Jail not to M's liking. ErgoBaby it is.

Wearing one of the beautiful dresses
her Daddy bought for her.

Still can't stop sewing. This was for my almost sister-in-law. 

Best friends.

Best latte I've had all year. From Red Velvet Lounge in Cygnet.

'Mum. So.... yeah. I can't really explain how this happened...'

Out and about with GrandMarg and Mummy.
She sat in the pram and ate some bread and played with a spoon.

Shiny Things Christmas Edition
I live in a part of the world where I am safe, my family is safe and we have no threat of war.I am thankful that when I forget to buy mayonnaise I can just nip down to the IGA and know that I have enough money to purchase some.
I am grateful that Millie has enough clothes, nappies, a roof over her head, food to eat and milk to drink.
I am so happy that Millie gets to spend time with her grandparents and know who they are. I'm watching her crawl around to find her GrandMarg and it touches me so much.
I recognise that I live a very comfortable easy life when there are so many who do not.
I am lucky that I can contribute to others who are not as fortunate as I am, though I wish I could contribute a lot more.
Mr S and I are so lucky that we have a perfect specimen of baby who is the picture of health and wellbeing.
I am thankful that I live in Australia, a free country.
I am so happy to be able to spend Christmas with my husband, my daughter and my mother.

Merry Christmas to you!

Dear Baby G

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The soundtrack to our lives (a letter to Paul Kelly)

As a kid, music was the backdrop of my life. My parents often had the radio on, or we listened to the endless Queen, Beatles and Boney M cassettes or the records. We never owned any Paul Kelly records but I somehow know all the words to most of the songs.

Fast forward twenty-something years and I play 'Dumb Things' on the banjo in one particular lineup of my band and I love the simplicity of his songwriting.

October 2010 - My job at an independent bookshop in Hobart means I look after the bookshop branding, marketing and produce all our printed branded material. It's highly exciting because Paul Kelly is coming to promote his new book 'How To Make Gravy' and will be playing a few tunes. My music skills come into play as I book stages, organise sound engineers and gear. I plan to park my pregnant self somewhere comfortable and enjoy the show, knowing that along with many others, I helped to make this happen.

Then I realise it's three days before I'm getting married, and on that particular evening all of my family fly into town and we're having a dinner so I won't be able to attend. Bollocks.

I mention this in passing to my brother and wish out loud that we could attend at least of the A-Z concert tour that Paul Kelly is playing in February, but after the wedding, and the impending baby it's not really something we can afford. Then, it's wedding time and thoughts of Paul Kelly serenading me and only me 300 people in the bookshop are gone.

Hooray! Mr S and I are finally married! (only took us 10 years!)

My brother surprises us by sending Mr S and I to all four nights of the A-Z concert as our wedding present. We will be dead centre, five rows back from the stage. Oh my!

35 weeks
February 2011 - I am 35 weeks pregnant. Yet, night after night, Mr S walked and I waddled went to the Theatre Royal and listened to the beautiful songs of Paul Kelly, with accompaniment by Dan Kelly. Some songs we know, some songs we don't. But oh, the atmosphere. And oh, my massive belly barely fits in the row. To enter and exit the entire row had to stand up and shuffle out to let me past. I hit more than one person sitting in front of me in the head with The Bump. Lucky them.

Mr S and I waiting for the music to start!

I've waffled on here about the power of music and how I believe that babies take in sounds and songs in utero. I played my last gig at 32 weeks and Millie kicked along the entire time. Throughout all four nights of the A-Z concerts she rested in songs I didn't know and kicked up a storm in the ones I did. Notable songs: 'Before Too Long', 'How To Make Gravy', 'Down To My Soul', 'Foggy Highway', 'They Thought I Was Asleep' and 'Dumb Things'. She kicked so violently that I had Mr S pressing on the bump to try and calm her down. It didn't work, she was a stubborn bump (I had to press her around in utero to move her head from under the guitar body at one gig... she didn't, then switched seconds before I started playing.) and she is a stubborn baby. Apples, trees and all that.

The stage.

I remember being so tired by the fourth night of the concert, but forcing myself to push through because really, this was a once in a lifetime experience. I knew I'd be grateful later.

March 2011 - Fast forward again. Millie arrives and once Mr S goes back to work and my mother goes home it's errr, me, and a baby. What now? She cried a lot. She was learning to be a baby, and I was will always be learning to be a mother. (Never has my Aunty Carol said wiser words to me).

I would sing to her because I was not entirely sure what else to do. We bounced on the Swiss Ball in the mornings because she liked the movement. I sing. We walked around outside. I sing.

When Millie was 4 weeks old I tried her in the Hugabub wrap in an effort to ease my aching shoulders whilst still being able to hold her. 

By 5pm my overtired baby would be, well, overtired. And we all know what an overtired baby sounds like. No? Like this.
Until I would put on 'Before Too Long', max out the volume on my iMac and sway around the room. After 2mins 28 seconds, silence, snoring bubba. As time wore on, she'd be out by 31 seconds. Now, 9 months on, the opening jangle of guitar strings grabs her attention. This was a brilliant trick because it means I get to eat dinner a) with two hands and b) with Mr S, not one of us eating and the other baby-wrangling.

We listened to Paul Kelly in the car to put M to sleep. We listened to Paul Kelly in the lounge room to distract her and put her to sleep. I have the A-Z concerts on my iPhone and iPod and they get plugged into the speaker dock in the bedroom and we have a listen before a sleep.

If we're out walking in the pram I put it on my iPhone and we listen to it if she's feeling a bit fractious.

There is a Paul Kelly for all occasions. 

We listen to a lot of music again. I found that I was silent for a long time, and I think perhaps it never occurred to me to put music on because there was so much noise from suddenly having another person in the house. But now, oh, how we love the music.

Mr Kelly, thank you for the music. I don't know that you'll ever read this, and I'm sure my story about how you've spent the last few years with my family is not unique, but you need to know how special it's been to us so far.

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Silent Sunday

Yes, it is a good raspberry season so far.

Friday, December 16, 2011

FFS Friday / Shiny Things Friday

Um. Yes. It's been a week since I last bored you shitless my last confession.
What a week.

  • Actually, what a month. Millie got sick. Millie got better. Millie stopped sleeping. We got sick. Millie still didn't sleep. We got sicker. Millie got sick again. Millie started sleeping. We were so sick we couldn't sleep. We got better.
  • I spent 5.5 hours in the emergency room on Wednesday, whilst Mr S and Millie were in the Valley. It felt like a million miles away. I am fine now. But, the unforeseen logistics of this day meant that all the frozen milk was gone, and Mr S discovered the hard way that Millie would not like a one off bottle of formula thankyouverymuch. We've all never been so happy to see each other. FFS.
  • My internet connection dropped out and I lost half of this post. FFS.
  • Being unwell has meant I've been home a lot, and sometimes HOME ALONE (swoon) whilst M is at day care. However, being unwell means I've been lying on the couch looking at the craft projects I want to be doing, but needing to stay put instead. FFS.
  • Whilst I was typing this, Millie went quiet. Hmm. Always a problem. I found her eating a box of tissues (where from?). FFS.
  • Mr S, myself and M are all fully vaccinated against Whooping Cough. However, there was still a chance we'd contracted it as there is an outbreak in Tasmania right now. Why an outbreak? The amount of parents choosing not to vaccinate. Whooping Cough is deadly. Why? Why? Why? Whilst I am pro-choice I find this hard to reconcile when the choices we make affect more than just ourselves. FFS.
  • Meryl Dorey of the AVN being given a platform to speak at Woodford Folk Festival. Which is being held in one of the areas of Australia with the highest rates of Whooping Cough. FFS.

Shiny Things Friday
The nice bit of the week!
Millie is turning into a chatty pants. She chases Lucy around all day yelling 'TAT. TAT. TAT.' When she wants food she stands by the high chair making lip smacking noises. When I got home after my hospital fun day she woke up, sat bolt upright in the cot and said 'MUM.' Usually she saves 'Mum' for pain or hunger. And the cooing, the little noises that she makes all day are adorable. And last night Mr S and I lay in our bed laughing ourselves silly listening to her snoring. Cutest. Snoring. Ever.

Laydeepants took this on the weekend. My girl is gorgeous.

We were out Christmas shopping on Monday evening, and M had to eat dinner on the run.

She spent ages inspecting this on Sunday. 

I steamed some carrot and zucchini as finger food for M the other night.

Mmmmm... zucchini.

We went to the town the other day, so of course one must wear her Best Dress.

Helping Dad run her bath.

'HEY MUM! I'm about to HAVE A BATH.'

Happy weekend y'all. Head on over to Sarah and check out everyone else's FFS Fridays.

Dear Baby G

Friday, December 9, 2011

FFS Friday / Shiny Things Friday

Err. No pictures today. We've all succumbed to the 'Baby doesn't sleep, so we all don't sleep so we all get sick. We can't get better because the baby doesn't sleep, so we don't sleep.' dance that is part and parcel of parenthood.

It all began a few weeks back when Millie developed the purple spots on her feet, which was thought to be perhaps Hand, Foot & Mouth disease. However, no blisters developed and she took a good week or so to recover, so we chalked it up to a cold. In the middle of that I began to feel awful, so I had a few rest days from work and laid on the couch, or sewed.

In hindsight, I'd been unwell for awhile, but I'm either a complete hypochondriac or denial queen. So when I look back I think
'Two days of chills? Sick.' I thought it was odd, but whatever.
'Aching joints and muscles? Sick.' I thought it was from walking up hills.
'Exhausted but unable to sleep? Sick.' I thought I was just being an idiot.
'Aching, tight chest and wheezing? Sick.' I thought it was weird, but it'd go away.

It was only when this went on and on, I lost my voice ('Hallelujah!' I hear everyone I know say.), couldn't stop coughing and got worse and worse that I thought perhaps something was really up. I went to the chemist for some cough suppressant and the Pharmacist looked me in the eye and said 'Are you short of breath?'
Me: 'No.'
Her: 'You're wheezing.'
Me: 'No. Really?'
Her: 'Yes. Please go to the doctor.'
Me: 'Naw. I'm fine. Can I have some cough suppressant please? This cough is giving me the shits. Everyone else in my household is sleeping and I AM NOT.'
Her: 'Really. Please. I'm not giving you a cough suppressant. I'm thinking Bronchitis or Pneumonia. Go the doctor please.'
Me: 'Mutter mutter.'

I took myself to the Dr the next day and after she quizzed me about Whooping Cough immunisations (we all are) she took a sample for testing and gave me antibiotics to deal with the bronchitis. Then the Pharmacist gave me some cough suppressant. Praise jeebus. I also had to send Mr S and Millie to be tested for Whooping Cough, and while Mr S also has Bronchitis, Millie has an ear infection.

This is one of those times I feel like a dumb parent.

Dr: 'Has she been tugging her ear?'
Me: 'Um. Yes. But she does that all the time.'
Dr: 'Yeeeah. Ear infection. I'm surprised you didn't know sooner.'
Me: 'Oh. Huh.' We thought she was the brightest she'd been for weeks.

Then the same train of thought happened.

Millie shaking her head all the time? Ear infection.
Millie pulling her ear and looking sad? Ear infection.
More importantly: MILLIE NOT SLEEPING FOR THE PAST TWO WEEKS. Ear infection.

That's enough FFS for today.

Shiny Things Friday
Being sick really sucks. But endless episodes of Castle, How I Met Your Mother and Mythbusters does not.

In the midst of all this illness, Mr S sent me to sleep in the spare room for a night to try and get some rest. I do secretly think he was sick of all my coughing, but at any rate I don't think I've ever made a bed so quickly in my entire life. I starfished and put the radio on my iPad, prepared for a full 8 hours of sleep. It didn't happen. I hacked and spluttered and still woke up to the baby crying minutes before Mr S did. Bless his heart, sending me away was possibly the nicest thing he could have ever done.

Speaking of Mr S, contrary to my belief that I am a gracious and low-maintenance patient, I have realised that I am not. I am the biggest grumpy grumpleston out. I think I'm lucky to still have a husband. He's lucky I'm feeling better now.

To further feed my sewing addiction I just packed Millie in the car and we drove up to the local curtain shop. When we entered my heart leapt with joy at the ENTIRE WALL OF BEAUTIFUL FABRICS. Everything I could have possibly needed or wanted. Relatively well priced, but if it means I never need to go to Spotlight again, I'm a happy gal. It just got better when she led us out to her workroom, pulled up a giant bin of fabric samples and told me to take whatever I wanted. Then when I enquired about magnetic fasteners she nipped back out with handfuls of fasteners and explained to me how they all worked. And then when I admired some of the fabric being made into curtains she sold it to me, as well as another remnant oh so very cheaply. I love small towns for this level of service. And it was made all the better by the fact she carried it all out to my car and wished me a Merry Christmas. She's got my business.

Big cuddles with Millie. I held her close this morning when she couldn't sleep and we swayed around the bedroom with her snuggled oh so tightly into me, and I kissed her face until she slept. Man, she smells good. I want to catalogue that smell forever.

How's your week? What's the FFS? What are the Shiny Things?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mrs Smyth... is bitten by the sewing bug.

Someone send help. I can't stop sewing.

I didn't let my lack of sewing skills stop me. I read the Apron Pattern (it's a Simplicity one) several times, sewed things, unpicked things, ironed lots and went slooowly. And that is quite a departure from my usual smash and grab crafty pursuits. This took time. And I loved it.

These are special christmas presents for special little people and I think they'll like them. Now, Millie certainly needs an apron, and I can think of other little people who do as well.

Aside from anything else about the aprons, check out the pleats above. PLEATS. I love them.

Someone pointed out to me that Etsy sell sewing patterns... oh dear. It's purses next I think.

What's your latest sewing/crafty obsession?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Silent Sunday... on a Tuesday.

Family band... except the percussionist keeps eating her instruments.

Friday, December 2, 2011

FFS Friday / Shiny Things Friday

This week has been such that if I began to unleash the FFS... it'd never stop. Between professional woes and sick baby woes it's been... woeful.

So, with a dash of FFS I bring you Shiny Things Friday.

Poor M has been out of sorts for a good week or two and last Saturday morning I changed her bum to find two purple spots on the soles of her feet that had me shrieking at Mr S that we had to go to the Dr IMMEDIATELY and ringing the Dr and the Parent Health Line (yes, you can open a confidential file, yes, I've called before, yes, she's breathing normally, yes, she's pink and responding, yes, she's got a temperature, yes, her nappy is WET, yes WHAT THE HELL ARE THE DOTS LADY?). We wound up at the Dr and it turns out it's a viral rash that's related to a... wait for it... virus. Probably Hand, Foot and Mouth. Panadol, water, cuddles. Call daycarer who has to notify the parents etc etc.

A week later and she's a cranky, feverish snotball who either can't sleep one iota or is epically sleeping. A 3 hour nap at daycare? SERIOUSLY? (and after I typed this she pulled 2hrs 45m for me. yessssss.)

And now, Mr S and I are feverish achy snotballs. Mr S declared Millie and I have to Man Colds and himself a Lady Cold. He's gone to work today. I wimped out yesterday and I ache from head to toe today.

So.. the shiny things about this week.

We've been spending a huge amount of time playing with PhotoBooth on the iPad.

Millie PhotoBooths her chompers.

Sleepy naps whilst Mama watches her stories.

I have been Getting Healthy and taking M on long walks around Huonville. Oh, the view!

Watching M discover new things... admittedly I'd rather be sleeping...

She's become obsessed with her Bumbo chair. I left the room for 30 seconds last week and she's worked out how to tip the contents of her sippycup into the Bumbo and was having a great time.

I've been sewing. I'm so pleased with how this turned out.

Millie got mail from Maggie G. More pictures soon.
So all in all, it's been an equal parts FFS and Shiny week. What's been ace and crap about your week?

This is part of Sarah at Dear Baby G's FFS Friday. I for one am VERY glad she's decided to keep blogging.

Dear Baby G

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mrs Smyth... crafts at a painfully slow rate.

So... I got the sewing bug again. Which I find strange because I wouldn't actually call myself a sewer at all. In late pregnancy I got the itch to borrow a sewing machine and sew a doona cover. And pillowcases. Laydeepants helped me measure things out and I went on my merry way.

Fast forward to now, I've sewed a headscarf for my first week back at work and little else. Then, I started actually reading the Spotlight catalogues that get sent to me every week. There were these sweet sewing-for-dummies panels for Christmas stockings. I still have my Christmas sack (a big plastic printed one with my name on it, but never fear safety standards of the 1980's, there's holes punched in it.) as does Mr S (a fancy handmade one...)

I wanted to make Millie a handmade Christmas stocking. Oh god.

I purchased the necessary materials, looking blankly at the sales assistants when they asked 'Do you want to line it with poplin or straight drill?' and saying things like 'Seam a-what-ance?'

Then I looked at all the materials for about a month. I'd pull them out, look intently at the instructions, hear the baby crying and put it all away again. After this time I decided I could do this. Laydeepants talked me through interfacing, so I went and bought Vlisofix (the only craft product I know the name of, thank you days of quilting.) Turns out, that's not what I needed.

I went back again and said 'Laydeepants uses that grey stuff there. What does that do?'
Spotlight lady: 'How stiff do you want it to be?'
Me: 'How stiff are stockings usually?'
Spotlight lady: 'Other Spotlight lady, how stiff would a stocking be? This lady is making one.'
Other Spotlight lady: 'You don't want stiff do you? Just to bulk it up a bit?'
Me: 'Um... yes?'
Other Spotlight lady: 'You want this.'
Me: 'Ok?'

Sewing it all together.
So I wound up with wadding interfacing. I started assembling and cutting and ironing. And recutting and reironing. (What do you mean stockings have two sides that aren't the same shape? What?)

Rick-Rack assembly.
Now, because I'm difficult like that, I decided my lack of experience was no barrier and that I'd like to add that giant rick-rack along the edges of the stocking. I thought this would work. And blow me down, it did.

The entire time I had a little helper sitting on the floor next to me. This is a rare moment of her not attempting to eat the sewing machine power cord.

 I was then mostly finished apart from the pesky top seams. The instructions on the panel said something... but I just didn't read them closely enough. I thought about it for a good long while, and wound up deciding to add a 'sock' style of band top to it.

Almost done!
In the midst of all of this Millie decided to start waking up every 60-90 minutes at night, so there's no photos of this next little bit because my eyes were bleeding and I was lucky I didn't sew my hands together.

I made the sock, and sewed the hanging tag on the wrong side. So I unpicked it and promptly resewed. With the tag on the right side but on the wrong end. So I unpicked it and resewed it. Properly. Finally.

I decided that the best course of events would be to add the sock to the lining, and I looked at it and thought about it and did lots of pinning. After a few goes at pinning the sock to the lining I sewed. And it wasn't right. So I unpicked and repinned and sewed. Still not right. Unpicked, got a chocolate, walked around, thought about it, had another chocolate. Repinned. Sewed. Still inside out.

More chocolate. Another walk. Then I tried something so ridiculous because I was Out. Of. Ideas. And it worked.

All that was left was the hand stitch the sock facing to the stocking as it was only affixed with the lining.

Does any of this make sense without pictures?


Ok, here's the ending.

It worked. And looks ace. I'm really proud of myself. All that's left to be done is for a friend to hand stitch a felt panel for the front with Millie's name on it, and she's got her own home made stocking for her first Christmas!

Almost done!


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