Sunday, November 18, 2012

glorious mud

Playing with mud is generally awesome and to be encouraged.

Going back and playing with mud after cleaning up and changing into fresh white taekwondo uniforms just before a grading (test for new belt level), not so awesome.

- Jane x

Friday, November 9, 2012

baby chicks!

This post is a bit overdue since the chicks hatched last Saturday. But 'better late than never' has become a bit of a theme for me lately.
We did not have the best of luck with our chicks this time. From a dozen eggs, one broke early on and in the end just three hatched. One of them was apparently stepped on as it emerged and sadly, had died when we found it. So only two sweet chickies remain.
Our broody hen had been so diligent and dedicated, I couldn't imagine the hatch rate was her fault. I contacted the breeder and she confirmed similar results with other recent hatches. There were two roosters 'responsible' for these eggs and one has apparently not been doing his job!
Nevertheless, we have two ridiculously cute babies that are receiving plenty of loving attention.

There's also a chance we may yet get another broody hen this season, and be able to try again. The Wyandottes seem to be a rather broody breed. Our second Silver Laced girl decided to join Broody Trudy on the nest an about day 18 (of 21). Actually the poor chicky that was squashed probably resulted from this as Trudy was a bit crowded on the nest. Anyhow, just like last year we now have two proud 'mother hens' showing the babies the ropes.
(Trudy is on the left with the pale and shrunken comb, a result of being broody for some weeks.)

And now onto sewing news, and some quite practical sewing at that. Charlie and Jasper now require USBs to bring some of their homework to and from school. But a USB is so small! How is a ten or eleven year old to be responsible for something like that? Why, with the help of a USB Key Fob, made from the clever pattern by Nicole Mallalieu.
Of course, I really should have thought more about using pale colours with grubby ten-year-old hands.
Below is Charlie's; he picked the fabric to go with the pencil case he made himself a while back. It's just waiting for me to find it a hook to clip on and off his schoolbag.
And in the next photo you can see how it works: open the snap and the USB can be used while still snug inside. (There's a buttonhole behind so it can be removed and replaced if need be.)
The pattern looked over-complicated to me at first glance. However when I read it through properly and followed it step by step, I realised it was in fact very precise and helpful. The detail helps in achieving a very neat and satisfying finish.

We have a very busy weekend coming up which exhausts me just thinking about it. It's all good stuff, but I just wish I could spread it over about five weekends, you know? It starts with the Christmas Pageant tomorrow morning, which means a certain five year old will be fully hyped up for the season from tomorrow onwards. Deep breath and dive in, hey?

- Jane x

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