Ways to make you feel like you really are moving No1 - Make Curtains

making curtains

I've unpacked the sewing machine (we thought we were going to move during the summer hols!) and am making a set of curtains out of a vintage curtain & bedspread given to us by Mr Fox's mum.  They will be for the children's bedroom.  They'll be sharing a room again at first.  That way, we only have to get one room clean and decorated.  Initially I'm just going to paint their room white, the curtains will stand out and add the main colour to the room; well, along with all their brightly coloured toys, books and pictures of course.

making curtains

This may take a few days, just unpicking the seams is taking an age.

But I love this bright bold pattern, these 'flowers' are about 40cm each.  I'm looking forward to the end result.  And it is taking my mind off the lack of movement on our sale.

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Decorating Inspiration: A Room of Colour

A room in Virginia Woolf's home
It's taking a while to complete on the new house, so, I am channeling the energy born of frustration into lots of decorating ideas.  I want to be bold with colour in this home, no more minimalist white walls for us.  A muddle of texture and colour, pattern and pleasure for the eye that's what I'm after.

from The Black Dog by Levi Penfold
from The Black Dog by Levi Penfold
Inspiration is coming from all over the place; the little fox's books and children's TV shows:
BBC's adaptation of Katie Morag by Mairi Hedderwick
CBBC's adaptation of Katie Morag by Mairi Hedderwick
Inspiration has come from nature - I love the colour of this lichen, but hate yellow walls in rooms, so I have to think of a way to use it as an accent, maybe with grey.  

And our holiday in Sardinia - I am itching to use bright orange somewhere, kitchen maybe. 
There have been surprises, I've found myself attracted to the idea of a green room and using pink - a colour I have always thought of as one of my least favourites.

Pinterest has been a treasure trove of ideas.  I'm particularly pleased with the development of the ideas for our hall cum bootroom:

Follow Mrs Fox's's board Hallways & Utility on Pinterest.
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Movie Review: The Lego Movie

We’ve been sent a copy of The Lego Movie*, or as it’s known in our house the “AWESOME MOVIE!” (said in movie preview style American voice) to review.  I should first state that this is in no way an objective review because IT'S AWESOME!  

It made us laugh, it made us cry (mostly with laughter).  Despite the characters being little animated plastic people (and things) there was real jeopardy, real triumph, real adventure.  And did I mention, it made us laugh?

So, there is an ordinary guy (made of Lego) who is told he’s the special, the greatest Master Builder of them all, who must save the (Lego) Universe from the evil of Lord Business, who is bent on ultimate control of everything, and everyone Lego.  And that just about sums up the plot of the lego movie, but doesn’t even begin to describe this fantastic, subversive satire about the drawbacks of conformity and the power of the imagination.

Despite a baddie called Lord Business, this film could easily have simply become an over long advert for the Lego brand.  Leaving us parents feeling like we had been slightly stitched up by the powerful combination of, toy manufacturing multi-national and Hollywood studio. But instead, this is an entertaining, creative movie that children and adults can enjoy together.  Doing that clever thing that Toystory pulls off so well, allowing us to laugh at the same joke from a slightly different point of view.  This joyous movie celebrates the imagination of our childhood and glories in it’s zany logic.

We loved it the first time we saw it at the cinema as Mr Fox’s birthday treat.  That’s what I mean about it appealing to both children and the child in the adult.  The nostalgic stop-frame style animation, the in jokes, the pop culture references and the genre smashing storyline appeals to the adults, while the vivid colour, superheroes, unicorns, good v evil, slapstick storyline appeals to the kids.

We love Lego in this house.  Both the little foxes have played with it from their early Duplo days, to the complete worlds they now create, that take up the whole playroom floor and that I am not allowed to put away for weeks on end.   

My only, only, issue with the movie is that with it’s positive message of creative play and building free form creations rather than following the instructions, the Lego playsets that came out after the movie to exploit it’s success were of exactly the latter type.  But, it did make us go to the Lego website, ignore the movie tie ins and seek out the Bricks & More Range that gives you all the loose Lego bricks you could want to make your own Lego creations come to life.

And finally any review of this film simply would not be complete without mention of the song, yes, that AWESOME song that my children sang repeatedly for weeks after, and anytime the word AWESOME is said since.  I can say little to describe it's awesomeness, instead, here, see what you think...

*We were sent this movie to review by Suppose.com

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I'm turning into a 1950's Housewife?

1950's Del Monte Ketchup Advert
In that giant all-knowing child rearing manual that we are all given at the birth of our first child, selfishness is not one of the things they cover much is it?  I mean parental selfishness.  Obviously the kids are self-obsessed little bundles of desire.  But once you’re a mother you are meant to become all selfless, suppress your needs, give up your own dreams and desires, live FOR your children - but not THROUGH them, that's BAD!

And how do you do that then?

After 3 years juggling a full-time job, I gave up working outside the family home when we had our second child.  Mr Fox is a very involved parent, a GREAT dad, but I was the primary carer even with a full-time job.  It was my career, being the one that contributed less to the family budget, that was always compromised by child care needs, last minute chaos, illness and the like.  Mr Fox was quite happy to let me take the lead, as if through divine maternal knowledge I knew something he didn’t know when it came to raising a child. 

There was no pressure to give up work from Mr Fox, or anyone else.  Although the Old Man has since admitted to liking it.  He has to be the least macho man you could come across, but he said that he likes knowing the kids and I are at home and safe while he's out there providing.  Far be it for me to rain on his parade.

I try to run a small business with my best friend, the other Mrs Fox.  We work from home and the business has to fit around our families.  Someone asked me if it was a “hobby” the other day.  And it made me think.  

Is Mrs Fox's just me indulging my need to feel as if I am working?

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy being at home.  I liked my job, but I like this more.  It's not that I'm terribly domestic in the traditional sense.  I'm not house-proud, though I love my home.  I clean as little as possible and find much of the mundane stuff frankly boring.  I parent by trial and error, with errors probably winning on the score sheet of parenting.  I most miss the adult company of a working life, but love to watch the kids growing and changing, that much used phrase; "the time passes so quickly"  is so true with children.  

Being at home is often harder, but infinitely more satisfying than my career was.  I had good jobs; ones that other people probably thought were more exciting/interesting than they actually were, and good enough that I don't fancy doing jobs I hate, just so I can say that I'm a working mum.  I ended my career a little disillusioned and ready to explore a new path in life.

Which I guess also reveals that Mr Fox's earnings are enough to support the family on a single income, while I follow this new path.  And you have to factor in childcare costs, I am a pretty frugal housewife, there are fringe benefits to the re-cycling and vintage aesthetic.

Staying at home releases me from that need for butt clenching organisation, the military precision of the household with both parents working.  I have IMMENSE admiration for the parents that pull that one off.  But, I confess I cannot do it without feeling stressed beyond belief.   And that is the reason in a nutshell, so complex but so not, I decided to stay at home - because going to work made me unhappy.

Deciding to stay at home and look after the kids was a selfish decision.  While there are benefits for our whole family, I think I benefit most.  I feel as if I should feel guilty.  I’ve let the side down, the Women’s side I mean.  But, wasn’t feminism all about giving women choices?  My choice seems to be to become a bad 1950’s housewife that hates to clean and shouts at her children.

I just chucked the last of my personal savings into the (joint bank account) pot for the deposit on our new house.  I am now in my 40‘s living in Hertfordshire, not working (and haven’t been for 5 years), entirely financially dependent on my husband.  I sound like a 50’s housewife and yet I feel like a selfish little kid.  And this blog is part of that selfishness, I want to record the new home we are going to build, the family life and the fun it entails.  I'm looking forward to choosing tiles, raising bees and chickens, going to village events, digging the garden, growing and making food.

I've decided to accept my selfishness, get over the guilt and embrace the 1950's housewife in me.  Still don't intend to do any more bloody cleaning tho!

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