Wednesday 10 October 2012

Continuing the garden theme

In July Big Cuckoo said farewell to his school. He had been struggling for some time and although the school had done what they could it became clear he needed more specialised help. His self esteem was fragile and his attitude was one of defeatism. We could see he was happy enough in that he enjoyed his friends but increasingly he was falling into moments of distress and his behaviour was born of frustration and irritation. We took the decision to pull him from main stream, it was a big emotional leap for us all. It's hard to have the realisation that your son is finding things too difficult, that his happiness was being affected, but trickier still to remove him from all he knows, from all his buddies. 

Anyway, I'll blather on no more about this as I have thought and talked about very little else over the past six months. At least that is how it feels, it has been a discussion niggling away in my head in the background for a long time. Happily for us all, mostly for Big, he has settled into his new school, he has made friends and over the past two weeks he has been such a happy child. His confidence has grown and he is motivated anew. I found him the other night with his homework sheets, he was tucked up in bed, chatting away to himself whilst filling out one of those sheets that has letters all over it in dots for him to trace. It was enough to make me want to run about whooping with sheer relief.

Of course, when he left his old school I wanted to thank his teachers and helpers so they all got gifts and a letter each. I made his main teacher (who was a huge support to me when making our decision) and his gorgeous TA a gift rather than giving them a CK book bag I'd bought.

I made his teacher a gardening pinny. I got the pattern from Cath Kidston's book "Sew". 

Loving my shellac'ed nails here. Coordination a gogo!

I reckon she'll use it a lot as she is a keen gardener. She sews a lot too, so I know she appreciated the effort. I did try really hard to be very precise and neat with the stitches.

It didn't take too long to make, I can't say for sure how long it took as I made it in snatches of time over a week.

I popped on a few buttons for embellishment, it needed a little something, my urge was to whack on a great big corsage but I wasn't sure the recipient would agree. The buttons are cute though. May be when I make myself one I'll pop a flower on the crotch area, just for the ridiculousness and the fact that it'll make the large juvenile part of me laugh uproariously. Is it wrong I find myself so funny? Well someone has to laugh at my lame jokes, visual or otherwise.

I popped a pic of the finished pinny on Instagram and my good friend Princess saw it and commented that she knew a person who might like one for their birthday. I'd forgotten this but when I was panicking just days before her birthday that the Cox and Cox wooden angel I'd bought her hadn't arrived I remembered she had said she'd like a pinny.

I love these little charms.

So off I trotted to raid my fabric stash and found a long forgotten meter of this Heather Bailey Fresh Cut fabric. So very Princess, totally the stuff she gravitates towards.

I popped a few weapons in for the pic, she wouldn't put much more than twine
and plant labels in it. Don't worry, she'll not do herself a mischief!

I have thought of several other people who would probably like a gardening pinny for Christmas so I'll have to wait for mine.

I'm getting a shed load of spam emails everyday now. Mostly they are trying to sell me valium and xanax. I wonder what they are trying to tell me?!! They are irritating me no end, I know if I disallow anonymous comments or do the word verification thing they will stop. But I get some marvellous comments from anonymous commenters and I know I find the word verification a pain in the whatsit most if the time. I wonder if there is any other way of preventing my email in box from filling up with all this spam?

Opps, nearly forgot to show the brooch I made for his TA. I saw this over at Coco Rose Diaries (where else!) and have had it on my to make list for over a year. I used this tutorial and it was a really enjoyable little project to make.

I modified the original a little. I ironed on some fabric with bondaweb, I'm not sure I love it like I love the originals I saw. I just hope Big's TA liked it.


  1. I REALLY love those little pinnies. So cute and useful. Might muster up the confidence to have a go myself one day now I have my lovely machine.

    So, so pleased to hear the new school is working out well. What a relief, can imagine you peeking in on him then skipping along the hallway :)

    Roll on Saturday, can't wait! xx

  2. It must be an enormous relief to know that you made the right decision - it was such an important one, after all.
    Love the pinnies (spelling??!!). I bet Big's teachers loved their gifts.
    I have to say I struggle with those word verification thingys - can't work out what letters they're asking me to type in at all!

  3. How wonderful that he has settled and is enjoying his new school, it must be such a relief to you all!
    I love the pinnies, they are gorgeous! I think its so scary making something for someone who sews, I'm always worried they will see my bodged bits! but yours look perfect!

  4. What a lovely story. You clearly made the right decision, and I'm so pleased that things are going well. :-)
    I love the aprons you make - and the button bits are the BEST!!!

  5. We moved all three of our boys just over a year ago from the little village school of 50 to the big rowdy town schools where there are 2/3 classes of thirty for each year group....hugely sickening decision, I still feel I have to justify myself, but the results are obvious, middle has gone from not being able to read at all, to in a year reading above his age ability, big has loads of friends(not just one lad his own age that made decisions for him) is excelling in class and gets all sorts of opportunities.

    I'm so glad that Big Cuckoo is happy, it's so hard to move your kids but you know now you made exactly the right decision.

    Love your pinnies, especially the flowery one, clever lady, you're too good at so many things, the flower is lovely too.

  6. It's hard, making such big decisions. You know your child, and you know what they need. It already sounds like he has settled and is beginning to make progress, so you know you've done the right thing! The pressies are lovely, bet they loved them! Ada :)

  7. I am so glad your little one is feeling better about school now.
    I love those pinnies you made
    Julie xxxxxxxxxx

  8. I'm so glad that your little boy is happy in his new school. All children are different and I really do think that despite inclusion being a very good thing, if there is not the back-up and resources available it doesn't always work out. Plus sensitive children need an environment which might be better suited to them. I think it is vital that all parents have a choice for all their children.

    I moved my daughter from her first primary school because of bullying. It caused a lot of stress and heartache not to mention guilt at the time. But yes, it was the right thing to do. Academically it wasn't considered such a good school, but they looked after the children better and that was much more important to me. Besides, academically it did all work out too. This is all a long while ago now. Daughter all grown up now!

    Love the apron and flower brooch, both really nicely done. Always enjoy the pleasure of reading your lovely blog. I don't mind the verifier thingy (have got quite good by the 6th attempt these days) but I often want to comment on a blog but can't as anon is the only way I can. I had a google account but I hate the way they trample over your privacy and keep tabs on ALL you do. Yep, just a bit paranoid.

    Thanks for a nice read and pretty pictures as always.

  9. It is so hard being a parent sometimes. I find that true especially when it comes to making decisions about school. Isn't it wonderful though when you see that your child is happy and that you made the right decision? So rewarding! Make sure to make yourself a gift too :-)

  10. Hiya hunny,

    It's hard making such important decisions for your kids, but now it's done you can relax a little - so nice to hear your little chap is settling in.

    Love the pinny, so professional looking.

    I really like two tone flower, I may have to make one myself.

    I'm also getting LOADS of spam and its doing my head in so I'm afraid I've turned the word verification thingy back on.

    Can't wait to see you on Saturday!!


    S x

    BTW I laugh hysterically at my own jokes!!

  11. Ooh, what lovely thoughtful gifts, bet they were very touched and delighted. Glad you shellac your nails to match your latest work in progress as every good crafter should!!!;))

    So pleased to hear your lad is happy at his new school, sending them to a place you feel they are not thriving in is so soul destroying (I have been there with one of mine and moved him too), so how wonderful you bit the bullet, changed schools and he seems so much happier - GREAT result and I am sure a massive relief.

  12. Ooh, those pinnies are lovely, especially the one for Princess - such nice fabric!
    I would put on the word verification if I were you. I know it's annoying, but it doesn't put me off commenting. I turned mine off briefly a while back when the verification became more tricky, but all those junk mails are so annoying that I turned it back on!
    Maria x

  13. Such a hard decision to make but it sounds like it has been for the best. Love the pinnies what lovely presents you made.

  14. Well I LOVE IT!!! Love all your cool stuff! Keep it up:)

  15. I'm glad to hear your little one is doing better at his new school, love the gifts you made his teacher will love it. I love the little heart charm made with love as it is the name of my blog, do you remember wher you got them from?

  16. So glad that big cuckoo is happy in his new school! :)
    Love the aprons, pretty and useful!!
    Vivienne x

  17. LoVe the gardening pinnys Cuckoo.I'm so glad Big has settled into his new school JuLieXxx

  18. I'm so pleased that Big is happy in his new school and that you feel you made the right decision. What a leap into the unknown for you, although you HAD to do something since he was so unsettled. Long may his progress continue! And I just love the flower brooch, it's so clever and pretty. Good luck! Jill

  19. So glad your decision to move Big has worked out for the best. It's the hardest thing about parenthood I find, making life changing decisions for your child.

    Your makes are too good. Can you just mess up a bit more for me so I feel better about myself?! Okay then, thanks!

    I miss catching up on blogger but it's such a palava these days and IG fits the bill more when days are too busy.

    I have the word verification on as the spam emails were just too much.

    Have a super duper rest of a week my lovely.


    oh and by btw, those cupcakes I made went down really well with the bears, then a couple of days after I made them I had notification of a cake sale at school so Baby Bear told me I had to make them for it. Another batch ( at 1 in the morning, i'm getting like Becca!) was made and Baby Bear was totally displeased that I didn't keep any back for him. We went to buy one back when the cake sale started but they were the first things to sell out so the poor love never got any. Which means, another batch will have to be made soon! Crikey! x

  20. Beautiful gifts, and what a blessed relief that Big is happy again. We home schooled our boys - different problems, different solutions - but I know how these decisions about where they'll thrive can become all consuming. How lovely that you have a skip in your step again as well as him x

  21. Yay for Big! He sounds like one happy little fella after the move to a new school. Good on you for making that decision. I am absolutely in love with your pinnies - they are fabulous! I can't wait to see yours when you make it - complete with floral crotch!!!!!

    Have a fab weekend you gorgeous girl.

  22. Go BIG!
    And that's a message to chief mate, not what my spam offers me on a daily basis (why do they keep offering me a bigger willy...even my boys have accepted I haven't got one??!!)

    Whoops, hope mention of the word w#i£y doesn't increase your weirdo tally.

    Loving your pinnies (natch)
    And that was Natch!!!
    miss you
    fee x

  23. I love your pinnies; actually I am a bit obssessed with pinnies for some reason and have taken to wearing them alot like my Nan used to. Is it an age thing? Or is it being fed up with spashing stuff all over me when I am cleaning and cooking!!
    I get spam emails offering things that can't be mentioned in polite company and I have no idea why they think I should be someone that needs what they are selling. Its so annoying but I agree about the word verification thing. Tha tis even more annoying! Lily. xx

  24. glad your son is settling in, it must be such a relief. My son has just changed to a smaller secondary school, 400 instead of 1500! and it makes such a difference. Still tricky at times though. I have been reading Kim John Payne's book Simplicity Parenting which is really good, it's so easy for kids to become over whelmed with their enviroment. Good luck with everything, glad the difficult decision is behind you! Heather x

  25. Hi Cuckoo,

    I can imagine it must have been a difficult time for you. I am happy to hear your son settled in at his new school! The garden apron you made for his teacher looks great. Well done!!!

    Happy Sunday!

    Madelief x

  26. I hope Big continues to thrive in the new school; what a difficult decision you had to make. The gifts are gorgeous too, I'm sure they appreciated your hard work.

  27. Glad Big's school move is working out well. I know how difficult it is deciding what's for the best with children.

    Love the aprons! Might have to make one myself!


    P.S. Had a blond moment when reading this post - thought your sewing machine was a CK design one. My first reaction was "I want one of those!", then had a closer look and realised it was the tablecloth reflected in it!

  28. So glad Big has settled in and is happy. I think that is the hardest part of parenting, making decisions for our children. We all want to do what's best. I often worried about the decisions I made for my two, but they've both turned out really well, I'm proud to say.

    As far as the verification thingie, I don't love them but can tolerate them. You need to do what works for you. I certainly won't stop reading and commenting if you put one on.


  29. Hello there,
    Sorry not commented for a while. Since I am now on maternity leave I am loving having the time to sit and read blogs and once I have a new baby who is immaculately behaved and sleeps wonderfully (just let me believe it for now) I will surely be able to continue.
    Anyhow I have just bought the wool to start making the snood from the pattern you sent over with Fee. It has gone so chilly I think I might have to knit quickly. She was full of stories of your gorgeous house and family upon her return from seeing you recently. I was very jealous! Great to hear the school change has gone well, I can only imagine how difficult a decision that was so brilliant that you are already seeing good things.
    Nelly xxx

  30. hello beautiful, hope all well, becca xxx

  31. Love your makes. So happy to hear that you have found the right place for your son- experts on education can advise but only you know your child through and through. I salute your courage in making a very difficult decision and from my experience you will have had many agonising discussions prior to the move. Keep sewing and knitting and crafting

  32. the brooch is so so gorgeous. i love it xx

  33. Hi Hon,

    I am so glad to hear that your darling son is much happier in his new school. These kind of decisions are so darn stressful for parents! My son has learning difficulties and a speech problem and it breaks my heart watching him struggle at times. I am sending you a super huge virtual hug for being such a fab Mum and having the courage to make such a brave decision - good on you babe! Becks xxx

  34. Love your pinnies,they are really sweet xx

  35. Love that pinny and your flowers you clever thing. Clairey x

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I L♡VE your comments. Thank you ever so for taking the time. I do try to get back to everyone but I am rather scatty and I have these 3 big distractions....(and I'm just generally a bit rubbish lately, so please don't feel obliged to leave a note) Sorry about the word verification too, too much spam.