Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Mug Wrap and Tea Bag Pouch

Potato Salad Heather's birthday is two days after mine and we have shared celebrations in the past. This year was our 30th birthday (as you might have seen from my earlier post).

I decided I was going to make her something crocheted for her birthday gift. I've been doing quite a bit of crochet lately, and it's not because I've fallen out of love with all the other types of craft I do, it's just more easily accessible at the moment. I'm quite busy with uni work and children, toddler group and life in general, and crochet is something that I can fit in a few spare moments for here and there without taking a long time to gather the tools and materials required, it's portable, and it's quick.

Heather has many allergies and intolerances including black tea, so she usually has her own red tea or other with her and she tends to carry it around in a little plastc food bag. This was all I could think of after it entered my mind, so I decided to make a prettier pouch for her. I was originally going to make it the width of a single tea bag, but then I thought, if I make it double sized, it would fit a teaspoon in too :)

I followed the pattern in Cute and Easy Crochet by Nicki Trench for the floral purse.

Once it was finished, I cut small triangles of fabric and felt to create the mini bunting. I back stitched them in place and added the 'H' to one of the flags, and the small bird perched on the top of the bunting.

I looked at it and thought, wow, that seems kinda small for a present...

So I set to work making a mug cosy to match. I bought a plain white mug, and used the same stitch pattern as the pouch, checking it frequently against the mug to check for fit. Once it was the right size to fit around the mug, I created a button loop and sewed a button on which fastens through the handle space. I used the same fabric and felt to cut larger triangles to create bunting all the way around the mug cosy. I embroidered the 'H' on one of the flags again, and I was all done.

In true Vicky style, it was about a month late, but I got there!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Baby Crochet Blanket

My absolute best friend all through secondary school and sixth form has just recently become an Auntie. Her older sister gave birth to a lovely little boy earlier this month, and they named him Zachary (what wonderful taste they have!).

I've been crocheting as fast as I can to finish a blanket I made for them, but I wasn't quite fast enough. I have only just finished it.


The main body of the blanket is made up of treble crochet, then the border is double crochet, with a 2 row blue stripe, finished with an eyelet type edging. It's the first time I've used this yarn an I absolutely love it! It was so nice to work with. It is Cygnet Silcaress DK. The main colour is Winter White, but I can't remember the blue name and can't find the label right now, sorry!

It's only a pram size blanket, but I hope they like it anyway.

I also made a few cards:

This one for the new parents

and two like this, one for new Auntie Lisa, and one for the new Grandparents.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Congratulations to our Lovely Friends!

Just popping in quickly to say that Mr Bogert and I were at a wedding yesterday. Our friends Natalie and Darren got married at St Nicholas Church in Kenilworth. The weather was beautiful and so was the bride, and we just had a really lovely time.

Natalie's mum made lots of little things that added all the finishing touches, all centered around a pink butterfly theme, including the cake. We unfortunately couldn't stay for the evening because of the Small People, but were glad to be there for the important bit!

The reception was held at Walton Hall where the food was extra yummy! We enjoyed ourselves which was made all the better by being surrounded by so many of our best friends.

L-R: Ted, Jim, John, Stu, Steve, Mr Bogert, Weller, Mark.

L-R: Sarah, Holly, Gemma, Simone, Andrea, Me.
Thank you so much Natalie and Darren for including us in your day, huge congratulations to you both!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Olympics 2012

So, what did we think of that amazing opening ceremony? I was a little worried it would all be a little too weird and out-there for everyone, and would show GB up, but it was just great! We let the Small Person stay up late to watch it. She lasted right until the last 20 minutes, when she asked if she could go to bed - poor thing! She said her favourite bits were the Children's Literature bit with Great Ormond Street Hospital and also the music and dancing through the decades (with the house in the background). I think I would have to agree with her there, although the industrial revolution bit was quite impressive.

So far through the Olympic coverage we've been watching quite a bit of the swimming because Mr Bogert is big on swimming, he used to compete as a teenager. We've caught a bit of the archery, equestrian and gymnastics too.

Before the school holidays started, the Small Person entered a competition at school to win Olympic tickets. The school had been given 10 tickets to the Olympic football, and so there were 5 pairs available for students to win. Alexandra had to work out which Olympic events the Olympic Event Symbols represented (Olympic and Paralympic), so when she brought it home and said she wanted to enter, we sat down with the laptop and did a bit of investigating. She was very good at recognising and matching up the symbols we found and filled the whole sheet in. Anyway, the last week of term, the winners were announced in assembly and presented with their tickets.

Alexandra won 2 tickets to the Women's football, New Zealand V Cameroon, and oh my gosh was she excited!

So Tuesday 31st July in the evening, Mr Bogert and the Small Person set off in the Spaceship to see the match. Alexandra decided she was going to support Cameroon, and so Mr Bogert decided to support New Zealand. New Zealand won 3-1. They also performed the Haka, which cheered Mr Bogert up (he's not a big football fan).

Unfortunately, I have no proper pictures to show because of the strict rules and regulations regarding sharing images taken at Olympic events :(
(these are taken at the football ground, but as you can see, before pretty much every other ticket holder arrived!).

The Small Person really enjoyed the game, and has been watching the Olympic coverage on TV with the rest of us. It has also kick-started Mr Bogert's excercise section of the brain into signing up to the Coventry Water Polo team (he used to play a LONG time ago) and after his first session, he's super happy to be playing again (even if he did injure his finger).

Thursday, 2 August 2012

The Ultimate 'D' Dance Show

* EDIT - I've noticed people are finding this blog post by searching for the show gallery on Rob's web site, so I thought I'd edit to add a link for the images: Once there, click the 'Order Online' link under the brown notice to be taken through to the event selection page. Click on the twda thumbnail, and then the "Click here to enter" bar at the bottom will take you through to the entire show gallery*

I've mentioned plenty of times in the past, the Small Person has been attending dance classes at The Whiteman Dance Academy since she started school two years ago. She does ballet and tap on a Monday, and she does freestyle and musical theatre on a Saturday.
The Whiteman Dance Academy puts on a show every two years. We just missed the last one when she started, so this July was show time - Alexandra's first ever show. It was performed at the Spa Centre in Leamington Spa over two nights: Wednesday 18th July and Thursday 19th July, the last week of term (so, very sleepy children heading off to school those mornings). She looked very grown up with the inch thick make-up on her face! But she looked tiny on stage. Still my little baby.

(Sorry, these were taken on my phone so aren't great quality!)
I have held off posting about it until now because I was waiting for Mr Bogert to release the show photographs (which was his job for the event), but now they're done and out, I can tell you all about it.

She had some fantastic costumes that we had to purchase through the dance school. There was a point where each week a new little note would come home with the costume name and price on (it certainly adds up), then each little costume had a extra note in the bag detailing additional items to buy (white pumps, white ankle socks, pink ballet socks, blue/white/red trousers, blue/red/white hair accessories etc).

Alexandra was in one dance per class that she takes, and the finale, so five in total. She was in the opening number: Sugar Plum Fairies for ballet.

On the opening night, at one point after the lights had gone down and the audience had finished clapping (you know, that big bit of silence where everyone is waiting for the next number to start) there was this little voice that called out "Help! I can't see! Where am I going?!" - it was one of the tiny dancers coming off stage. That got a few laughs.

Alexndra was in Aladdin for musical theatre (and had an Arabian costume), which actually consisted of 3 songs performed by the group: A Friend Like Me, A Whole New World, and Price Ali. This was probably my proudest moment because she really puts emphasis into her acting and her facial expressions just crack me up, but even more proud as she had a solo line to sing in "Whole New World" and I could hear her loud and clear (and in tune!) and it didn't even seem to phase her that there was a big audience of strangers watching her.

She had a quick change for her next number (only one dance in between, and she was the only one with a quick change here) for "Singing the Blues" for tap. The dress rehearsal and the first night everything went smoothly, the last night, she was just a little late, and she came running on stage with a big grin on her face saying "I'm late". Everyone in the audience laughed, and I heard a few people say they thought it was part of the performance :) She said Singing the Blues was her favourite.

She got a little bit of a break then until the opening number of Act II which was called "The School Bell" and was with her freestyle class. Then there was a huge gap until the finale. The finale was in red, white and blue, with an Olympic theme and and appearance from 'The Queen'.

It was so much fun to watch and all of the dancers were wonderful. Sharyn and her team did a fantastic job.

I spent the dress rehearsal night in the dressing room with her trying to make sure it went into her head what she needed to do and when. It didn't go all that smoothly, and she asked if I could write it down, so I did a mini print out for her with a list of things to do for each cotsume change an things to ask for grown up help with (there were chaperones in the rooms), but I was still worried, so enlisted the help of my sister for opening night. I watched the performance on my own, my sister stayed with Alexandra in the dressing room. It really put my mind at ease. The next night, I think Ali had a bit more of an idea of what she was doing and when, so it all seemed to go OK (and we didn't lose any costume bits!).

She had a big smile on her face the whole time, and said how much fun she'd had. She didn't get whiney or tired, which considering she put in full days at school, came home, ate dinner and rushed off to the theatre until gone 10pm, for 3 days in a row, is quite an achievement in itself. We even gave her the chance to take one of the mornings off from school to catch up on sleep, but she was adamant she wanted to go into school on time.

She was just so excited after the whole thing. She loved every minute of it. I asked her if she felt nervous at all at any point, and she said "I think I did a little bit before we went on, but then I was just having fun so it went away." She also asked me if she keep dancing forever. I said she could keep dancing as long as she still thought it was fun. I'm so glad she had such a great time, I really enjoyed watching the show, and I can't wait to see the video when it's finished being edited.

As I said before, Mr Bogert was on photo duty and someone he knows did the professional video, so we'll have plenty to remember her first stage performance by.

She has another show coming up in August, but this time with Playbox Theatre who she goes to on a Friday. The show is called "Starry Nights" and has 150 children of varying ages in, but I haven't a clue what it is about. Rehearsals for that run from the Tuesday to the Thursday, 9am-4pm, and then part day on the Friday, of the week of the show. There are two performances on the Friday, one at 3pm and one at 7pm. She is so excited! I'll let you know how it goes.

But as for this very first performance: Good job Small Person!

Picnic and Plastic Golf

We were due to head down to the Lunt Fort for the day yesterday, but we were slow to get going and the Smaller Persons pushchair isn't working all that well, it's really difficult to push. I really didn't fancy venturing that far with a pushchair free toddler, so a change of plan was called for.

Instead, we took a picnic, the picnic blanket, some bubbles and two new mini plastic gold sets we picked up for the Small People from Asda for a bargain couple of pounds each over to the Millenum Field, which is just out the endof our street and across the road. Not far at all, so I managed to wrestle the pushchair and it's bendy frameand wonky wheels over there.

I also took my course books, alot of good that did me. I think I managed to read the same paragraph around five times and took no understanding of the content away with me.

We had a lovely time though, and Mr Bogert met us over there once he got home from work. Summer Holidays are possibly my most favourite thing :)