Saturday, July 23, 2011

Signs of the Times

The nights have been busy - and not just from intentional crafty-type activities. The children have slowly become more nocturnal over the past couple of weeks and James and I have been left with less and less child-free time in the evenings with which to perform our perfunctory adult styled tasks (as a consequence such activities as scrubbing the bath have gone by the wayside ho-hum).

But I have managed to gather together the materials for Harriet's sixth birthday party invitations. I tell you, the invention of the hot glue gun is a mini miracle in itself. Why have I never owned one before?! The gun is only about $10 and the little glue sticks are about $8 for a pack of 50, so it's hardly an exercise of extravagance. I made these fairy wands in about two minutes. Literally. It was great!

When I was younger I distinctly remember reading to my little brother when he was going to sleep. I used to read from one specific book a lot because it was his favourite ("The Beedy Book"). I loved it. I loved feeling like I was the elder one who could read and loved the process of feeling like an adult and finishing up with the book, pulling up his covers, kissing him and turning off the light just as it happened in Golden Books. I caught a glimpse of myself in Harriet the other night when Ted snuggled up next to her on the lounge when he didn't want to go to sleep. Harry stopped reading her own book and I dutifully brought out pile after pile of toddler books for Harriet to read to Ted who got more and more relaxed.

I'd love to say this all ended with me cradling a near-slumbering Ted quietly into the bedroom and barely lying with him before he fell asleep. Unfortunately what actually happened was far from that. Harriet started to read Ted an alphabet book that had questions in it. Ted has this funny little quirk of just answering "Yesh" to any question you ask him if it's from a book, even when it's perfectly obvious that he knows the answer. Harriet started getting agitated, then angry, then near furious at his insistence on answering in such an apparently uninformed manner, so Ted was whisked into the bedroom for sleep and Harriet was calmed down with yet another discussion of Ted being only two and not capable of all that she demands of him.

In other fairy party preparations I've bought some material to make Harriet a fairy skirt and some pantyhose (I really hate that word) for some wings (tutorial can be found here). But the chiffon will need to be edge with ribbon which I know will be a particularly tedious task, so in order to lead myself up to it I decided to finally make Ted's blanket. I found that vintage farm material at the op shop aagggees ago and have been keeping a (sluggish) eye out for the appropriate flannelette backing for it. When I found this purple star flannel at Spotlight I just knew it was perfect (Ted is always telling me "My favourite colour is purple Mama" with solemn sincerity). He really loves it. I want to find someone to show me how to do bias right angles in real life, because video tutes on YouTube just don't cut it for me.

This morning we went to post an important letter from Harriet, and on the way back we popped in to see our friends who lives on our street (and to drop in one of the wand invitations). We had a lovely chat and the children ran amok in the first rain-free afternoon for a week. She told me of an op shop she went to a few weeks ago. When we got back home and were eating our normal weekend lunch (what we call 'a board' which is a big wooden cutting board covered in dips, cheeses, crackers, gherkins, pickled onions, nuts, etc.) I mentioned it to James and he said "Well let's go there after lunch then!" Woot!

So off we traipsed and what a bounty we found! I grabbed quite a few cute pieces of material, another red suitcase, some cute little figurines for my wooden display, a funky big glass jug perfect for pouring out soda water at a certain party in a few weeks, and loads of other miscellaneous items. It was one of those poky little op shops, all camphor smelling and stuffed high with piles of old stuff that you just know have come from deceased estates nearby. I'm sure it makes the old souls happy to know their treasures are being passed on to grateful recipients.

Don't you think this sheet of little girls is just begging to be turned into pillowcases? For some reason that was the first thing I thought of when I saw it.

And I'm not sure if you can quite make it out in this photo but I love my little bambi at the front there, but I also equally love the deliciously shaped elephant eggcup behind her. And there's a perfectly kitsch white poodle ceramic mini photo frame behind it too but he's a little hidden in the photo unfortunately.

I have been thinking for a while now that I need to blog about Harriet's insatiable need to write signs. Some of them are hilarious, some are cute and others are just downright perplexing.

This sign is from a time when Ted was literally just hanging out in the playroom doing jigsaw puzzles. I don't believe Harry was interested in doing one, trying to help him or indeed had any kind of interaction with him prior to writing this.

This was written whilst very angry - Ted was refusing to answer her questions about what he had done during the day and kept on 'reading' his book, which incensed Harriet because, of course, Ted can't "actually read you know Mama, he's just looking at the pictures" (imagine that said with as much indignation and disgust as one human could summon).

One of the peculiar specialities of Harriet's sign writing is that she has absolutely no interest in aesthetics. It seems completely sensible to her to rip off tiny pieces of paper, try to cram all of her text into that and then just do the same for the rest of her sign writing. This gem is the result of her deciding to mix some yoghurt and water together, place a plastic 'jewel' (bead) in the mixture, leave it for a day or two and see whether it changed the colour of the jewel. Her interest in experiments seems to extend primarily to the writing up of the hypothesis.

I was in the kitchen with the radio on, the dishwasher going and I was scrubbing potatoes. So when Ted was yelling something out to me I told him I couldn't hear and for him to come in to the kitchen and tell me. He didn't but I heard him repeat whatever it was he was saying. I walked out a minute later and Harriet, who was sitting next to him, showed me this piece of paper and said "This is what Ted was telling you Mama". Hmmm...perhaps stopping him from mucking around with said phone might have been another helpful action?!

This is from a while ago. Harriet was reading Libby Gleeson's Hannah books and in one of them the protagonist writes up a list of essentials she's taking camping. Well Harriet decided to write up her essentials list too. Then when we realised we were going to go to the snow she amended the destination. I like how Bear, Little Robinson and Alice (the pony) come before the non-stuffed members of her family. And a toothbrush comes before Teddy!

About three days before the end of the school holidays I found this piece of paper on the buffet in the playroom. Being sick for ten days of your holiday does mean that an activity such as watching Toy Story 3 becomes a major event I guess ("story 3" is what is tacked on to the end on that little piece of notepaper. She cracks me up).

After this week of rain I'm hoping that the little flash of sunshine we're seeing is inspiration and motivation to get me moving on some ideas for the photoshoots I have booked in over August. Please don't let it rain, I need the sun!


Brenda said...

oh so much of this post had me nodding my head Cass!
Harriets' frustration with Ted? Yes! That sounds so very much like Ruby gets with Clary. So, ah, grrrrr!!!
And your board lunches? Snap. We have those on weekends too, yummo.
You totally made out like a bandit at the op shop too, love your little deer, adorable :)

Anonymous said...

I had those sheets as a little girl, ? Hollie Hobble I think :)
ps your snow adventure made me laugh :)

jay said...

i am gob smacked and delighted with that op shop haul, how awesome is that, it really ticks all the boxes; sheets, doily, fabric, suitcase and totally awesome ceramic animals. love to you and thanks to the op shop fairy

Zoe said...

Fabulous finds! maybe I shouldn't have told Zoe, sharing is caring :)

JennieMo said... me and we will make a date for me to show you how to put bias strips on at right angles. I am the master quilter. You will be super surprised how easy it is with my little tips.
I miss you tons!
Thesis is due August 31st. Will have a final draft for your proofreading eye shortly.