31 August 2009

Violet Fancy

A short while back I was dithering over getting the Friends of Violet print, but when I finally went to order I fell in love with the Circus Violet & the Gang prints.

They arrived pronto from Sweden, and are beautifully printed in such lovely colours. I was going to put them in the living room but Lucy insisted they would look best in her room. She chose the yellow frame. I think the coloured frames are a nice change from the neutral ones I was planning on getting. They lend nicely to the circus theme. Lucy is pretty chuffed! Studio Violet rocks!

29 August 2009

un peu fran├žais?

Breton-style top, Scout jeans, navy leather mary-janes and pigtails.

I have a little amount of this denim (ksubi) left, and think I'll make either some Scouts or Strutters jeans from it. I was saving it for me, but it makes such good toddler jeans. You know, somedays I feel positively daggy standing next to Lucy.

28 August 2009

Delicious Afternoon Sun

A much needed respite from the chores indoors, especially on such a cracking late Winter's day. Audrey and I basked in the warm rays while Lucy snoozed indoors.

27 August 2009

Narrow Quarters

I really do think I would suffer claustrophobia if I lived in this Greenwich Village house but it sure has charm. It is touted as New York's narrowest house and is currently up for sale for US$2.7m. Apparently it was an alleyway to a brewery in a former life.

And this is the world's narrowest house. I mean, how would you sleep? Which way would the bed go? Could you pass each other in the hallway? At least you could clean both walls at once and polishing the floor would require only one long sweep.

Feeling better already

It seems 3 is a magic number, as suddenly Lucy is all about going down the flying fox "all by myself". Once she took that first ride I thought I'd never leave the park - "more!", and (her favourite) "again!". As she dangled on the seat above, I dragged her up to the platform by the rope, made sure she was stuck fast, and then let her rip. Then I would have to run downhill at great speed all the while snapping photos of this daring feat. I didn't care that a man and his boy were looking on probably thinking how silly I looked, as I noticed earlier when talking to him that he had bits of tissue stuck to his top lip and that surely must make him the sillier of us two.

Audrey watched on from her buggy (she is unbelievably patient) while Lucy rode a thousand rides, and I got all hot in the cooling late afternoon air.

And you know I am all about keeping sick kids away from healthy kids. After Lucy’s one week birthday party fest she came down with something yesterday. I think an open air park is not off-limits though so long as the sick child gives others some space, and when we arrived it was pretty deserted. And Lucy, at first glance, looks totally normally.

So Lucy’s riding the flying fox and tissue-paper man and his kid came over. Lucy finished her ride, and as she handed the rope over to the other boy a spontaneous and violent coughing fit erupted, and I have to admit it sounded pretty dreadful. The man tried to hide the fact he was reeling, though his young son couldn’t have cared less, grabbing the rope from the hand she had coughed into. Lucy insisted on further rides. If I were the man I would have hotfooted it to another part of the park, but his boy too insisted on more rides. Damn. Oh well, with any luck he would have gotten back into his car and found his papier-mached upper lip and forgotten all about that wretched sick child on the flying fox.

Now every time Lucy coughs she immediately says 'I'm feeling better already'. Hmm, not sure about that Lucy though positive thinking surely must help.

Audrey's signature tight-lip smile

25 August 2009

I am 3

Me: "How old are you, Lucy?"

Lucy: "Two"

Me: "Noooo..."

Lucy: "Three !!!"

I think it will be a few more rounds of that before she twigs on to her new 'number'.

Wow, three years ago today (24 Aug) a very petite Lucy was born, weighing in at a strapping 2.6 kg (about 5 lbs 12 oz). After her tiny start she now graces the top of the growth charts. I think she is shaping up to have Dad's 6+ ft legs, unlike my 5 ft 6.5 ones.

Before her birthday she went out shopping, picking up these Bibi boots from Mesamis, a children’s boutique stocking French brands (and obviously Brazilian, as Bibi are). She was feeling pretty pleased with herself as you can tell. And a long visit to Mainly Toys. I think I had as much fun there as Lucy did, revisiting the toys of my past. So glad to see some are still around. Hey, maybe I’m not that old after all!

The house is now quiet (as quiet as it can be with a baby and a toddler) and things are back to the usual pace. Lucy was utterly spoilt, of course, with one particular present being a stand-out. My father (who has made multiple wooden keepsakes) handcrafted a bedhead for Lucy's new bed. All I wanted to have incorporated into the design was a cutout heart, as the cot I spent my first couple of years in had this feature and my sister used to smile at me through it.

As I was planning Lucy's party, I'd watched an episode of Nigel Latta's 'The Politically Incorrect Parenting Show' and he was lamenting the disappearance of simple birthday parties, and the fact that children are rewarded, by way of a goodie bag, just for turning up to a party, and that it isn't just about the birthday girl/boy anymore. When I was growing up it was ALL about the birthday boy/girl, and they were made to feel like the most special person in the room. And things were simple. Pass the parcel, lolly scrambles, etc. When did birthday parties get so darn complicated? Now if you don't have a paid performer you're probably looked upon like either a cheapo or someone who doesn't care. Well, I personally think goodie bags are a ridiculous idea. And, like my childhood, prefer simple pleasures. For Lucy's birthday I did not hire a fairy or clown or anyone professional (gasp!), and did not have any goodie bags (double gasp!!). I thought the toys and games and balloons, and muffins and cakes and assorted treats I labouriously baked over three days, would suffice. The sun shone (thankYOU Mother Nature!), and the children enthusiastically played in the sandpit, chased each other up and down the slide, rode the ride on toys and cars, and stuffed themselves silly. Modern parties can get so over the top. Kids can have just as much fun playing amongst themselves, with a few toys and sticky treats thrown in for good measure.

Best of all, Lucy enjoyed herself so much so that later that day she fell asleep sitting up.

Does anyone think modern children's parties are over the top with their professional performers and their fancy schmancy food, or is it just me? I think that degree of entertaining is more about the adult and less about the child. Or maybe I stand alone.

Anyway, dear Lucy, Happy Birthday baby. I can't wait to see what fun we have this year!

17 August 2009

Ms Rykiel, we hope you don't mind...

but we flogged your apple tee design. We don't often do this, but Lucy took one look at this old-ish magazine clipping and decided she must have one. This morning. In purple!

15 August 2009

Audrey, six months

My little cherub, born St Valentine's Day, is a half year old. She is such a contented baby, with a coy smile, and an infectious laugh (like her sister). She is really showing her character now. During the night not so long ago, I thought she had finished feeding so lifted her up for a quick kiss before putting her back in her cot. In darkness, she started kissing my face then latched on to my nose. I know it's one of those situations where 'you had to be there', but it was hilarious! Now we both do it for fun. She immediately laughs as she pretend-latches on. She's just as perfect as can be. What a doll.

12 August 2009


It’s probably a bit unusual to share this part of my birth story so long after the event, but I often think about it.

After I had given birth to Audrey, I looked up at the call panel, lights madly flashing (Drs go to whichever room number flashes up when help is required), feeling darn satisfied that my birth was over. As I lay there basking in the glow of newborn Audrey, I could hear crying and just assumed a woman was having a hard time.

Brendan went out to the cafeteria and on his return said he noticed an older lady slumped on the floor, head in hands, crying. On pressing my midwife, she said the woman in the room next to me was told, at 40 weeks pregnant, her unborn baby had no heartbeat. To make the situation even worse, she would still have to give birth.

My midwife insisted I forget it, push it out of my mind, that it was my day and to enjoy my new baby.

When we finally left the delivery suite, me in a wheelchair and Brendan pushing Audrey next to me, I smiled at a lady approaching us. As she passed I noticed how miserable she looked then realised it was the lady I had heard crying in the corridor – the pregnant woman’s mother.

I actually felt bad for smiling at her. Brendan noticed her looking at Audrey. I felt bad for that too.

As each month has passed I can’t help but think of what this woman is still going through, knowing she should have a 3-4-5 month old too. But instead, all she will have is an empty baby room.

I don’t think I will ever forget this.

Audrey Tears

She rarely cries (except when I try to put her to bed before she is due (hey, my coffee is waiting...)) but when she does big round raindrop tears roll out.

And like Lucy, Audrey's eyes immediately look as if she has smeared blusher all around them.

The tears remain for quite some time after, sitting atop the cheek, as if to serve as a reminder to not repeat whatever it was I did to cause them to arrive in the first place.

10 August 2009

privacy is overrated

First it was just one set of eyes keeping watch while I showered. Then along came Audrey. Lucy even dragged her toys in today. Luckily children love you unconditionally, no matter what they unwittingly see during the morning grooming rituals.

7 August 2009

new things

new Strutters and Frenchy pants soon - just a few of each style as this fabric I bought recently is thin on the ground. It's a cool dusty blue, reminiscent of a young Jane Birkin's jeans. The Strutters have a stripe black & white knit waistband. I will be offering selected sizes, ready to ship. Oh, and a coat or two.

6 August 2009

Off the map

I reallllly want to get a pair of these for Lucy, maybe several pairs, but do you think I can find anyone to ship to little old NZ? No. At least not yet. That's the one thing about living where I do; a lot of places don't ship here, but really what's the excuse? If I can ship anywhere in the world, surely big companies can. And when companies do ship often they charge a small fortune, sometimes exceeding the cost of the goods themselves. I remember when I sold first my ever garment, and it cost a paltry US$7 to send it over the other side of the world (specifically Belgium). If someone sent me something from Belgium for even twice that price I would be elated, so I don't think I'm expecting too much.

Things are much better than they used to be though. In the mid 80's my father used to travel to the States regularly, and after six or so weeks away we were fair bursting to see him again. I admit part of the appeal was the fact that he would bring home US toys and sweets, things we definitely couldn't get here. I still remember watching excitedly as my father opened his suitcase to reveal giant-size bags of Jelly Belly jelly beans. "Let's make a Lemon meringue pie!" we would cry. "Here, have some candy floss!". Ah, such good memories.

Now days, if Lucy were to hanker after her own packet of Jelly Belly beans all it would require would be a short stroll to the corner shops. No airplanes, no duty. Now that's progress.

3 August 2009

Sleepy Sewing

Sewing is ve-ry slow at the moment. And lately most days I am only making bodysuits and baby pants. (And don't forget Bebe Alive...she has a new knot hat now). I've got too many ideas and nowhere near the time to bring them to life, but that has got to be better than the other way round, right?

I finally started on Winter coats - the one above is pure wool (thick, felted) with a Japanese cotton lining. This was the last of the Japanese cotton lining I made those smock shirts and Plus Fours from last year. So it looks like this will be the only one (size 4T, and should fit 3T through to 5T). I'll put it in the shop when I'm done. Made to order kinda scares me right now.

On a really positive note, Audrey's sleep has much improved the last couple of nights. I have been plying her with Weleda Teething Powder several times before retiring and it seems to have helped. No getting up every 45 minutes! Two weeks of that absolutely wrecked me, so I see any improvement on that cause for hoop-ra. I just hope I haven't jinxed it by telling you.