Thursday, 25 December 2014

...let your hearts be light...

Each year Christmas seems to come around faster and faster - as kids we wish for that don't we?

I hope all of you will be enjoying a truly special one spent in love and good company, filling your tummies and hearts with good stuff in equal measure.

Thank you for being readers and friends, and visiting the Idle Needle blog each time, and making it a great place to post to!

Happy Christmas! See you in the New Year!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

parcel beauty

The beauty of parcels, packages and all manner of presents is in giving and receiving them.

And also in the wrapping, no? The polkadot one and the star one were wrapped by nimble fingered shop assistants (and I don't know what's in them yet) the green wrapping was done by me, and the paper was originally on a baby gift sent in October by a dear friend, but it's so lovely I saved it and used it again.

Later on today, all the ribbons will be undone and the gifts revealed - here we open prezzies in the evening on Christmas Eve.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

quick fix

These days opportunities for crafting or other non-baby-rumba activities are few and far between. Yet I find myself trying to squeeze in a moment here and there for the shortest ever projects. Earlier today I stole a few minutes to crochet a chain for a little pair of thrifted wool socks that I wanted to hang on the tree. These kinds of mini-projects and quick fixes have a chance to realize and give my crafty soul a little boost.

They also gave me an idea to set a challenge for the new year - a blog challenge, to inspire, channel and get more creativity into the blog again while parenting. I will call it my Make, Thrift & Tell challenge. I'm thinking to run it as a link-up thing, with a logo and everything, so if some of you fancy joining you will be able to. I'll launch it in January and will tell more then - exciting!

By the way, we bought a real tree - a small but sturdy one. Got some dainty silver garlands and a trio of red toadstools in the sales, the rest of the decorations we already owned. I like our tree a lot; it's shiny and a bit quirky with birds and mushrooms and wool socks and mini glass candy canes. Today it snowed in earnest and it's going to stay - as if it was on order for the holidays.

Sharing my post via the Celebrate It! blog party on Teri's blog.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014


Halfway through the last month of the year, actually more than... This year has come and almost gone in a blink of an eye, don't you agree?

Gearing up to Christmas now, we are still thinking whether to get a real tree or buy a good quality fake one that we could pull out each year. Either way, it will be a special tree, although probably a sparse one. Special because of our little one, and sparse because we don't have that many decorations. But now it will make sense to begin collecting baubles for our very own family spruce, be it real or faux. I'm imagining adding something nice each year, thrifted or maybe shop bought if really nice. (The other day I fell for a special porcelain snowflake, to mark baby's first Christmas - I'm amazed how having a child is turning me into more of a consumer... a conscious one I hope.)

Got those wooden trees in the picture above from the thrifts, along with some colourful wooden blocks. They now make lonely little thrifted plastic deer a little forest to frolic in, on top of the sewing machine. It's hard to find a spot in this apartment with good lighting this time of the year...The postcard was sent by a relative, the design is really lovely.

Winter has been really warm so far - there were some days when it felt like springtime. Luckily we sleep in the night and are awake in the daytime now, so enjoyed some nice walks, mitts and sunglasses and all.

How is your December? Have you got your tree yet? Do you have snow?

Friday, 5 December 2014

flea friday: kitschy cubes

circus picture cubes blocks puzzle peoples republic of china vintage 1970s seventies toy kitsch

Hello! Time for a brightly coloured thrifty find on this foggy grey December morning.

It's always nice to find an old toy that is in a near perfect condition. I wish I looked after my toys this well as a kid! These lucky picture cubes are from the 1970s, they were made in the PRC as the box clearly states.

The illustrations show rosy-cheeked circus animals performing their cheerful acts - super kitschy, eh? My favourite has to be the bear with the geeky glasses.

circus picture cubes blocks puzzle peoples republic of china vintage 1970s seventies toy kitsch

circus picture cubes blocks puzzle peoples republic of china vintage 1970s seventies toy kitsch

circus picture cubes blocks puzzle peoples republic of china vintage 1970s seventies toy kitsch

circus picture cubes blocks puzzle peoples republic of china vintage 1970s seventies toy kitsch

Sharing my finds with my favourite link-ups:

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

night time living

Baby is boss. He seems to still live in womb-time, sleeping long hours during the day then being much more awake and demanding during the night. So we live just like that; resting in the day when he does, all activity saved for later when normal people go to bed.

Our 'morning' starts at 5pm at the moment... just in time to put a wash on or hoover, go to the shop, cook. It's winter, which is dark and quite boring anyway - kind of like the desaturated pictures. The colours don't come out right in the available light, for long months.

Hopefully the sleep pattern will move towards normality by spring - that'd be perfect actually. The only worrying thing about the vampire rhythm is that our houseplants are wilting - they don't really get any daylight. For me, the blogger, not a lot of chances to capture things in nice crisp images either.

I've been doing a lot of pondering about the blog; being awake at night seems to still inspire my creative juices... I will share in another post about my ideas and plans. I'm excited about them. I think - I hope - they will revive things around here a bit. Until then, here we are: the ones who get sleepy at dawn because they've been partying (feasting on milk, filling nappies and being cute) all night.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

dreaming of sleep

We dream of more sleep while we catch those few winks in the morning hours...

Our little boy seems to have forgotten how to sleep like the proverbial baby. He just blinks heavy eyelids unendingly or stares tiredly forever from over my shoulder while I try to sway him off towards the luscious fields of snooze in a slow dance in the dark bedroom.

The other day he was so utterly cranky from exhaustion that the only thing left to do was to go for a ride in the buggy. So we trundled through the deserted streets in town at night - baby finally snoring, and mommy carting him, putting one tired foot in front of the other for two whole hours. It was the last time we did that - with the weather soon to turn this place into Narnia and the town being so quiet and abandoned after 9pm I'd need a big old snowsuit with pepper spray in both pockets...

Since that dingy outing we figured something out after all - we've parked the pram in the bedroom and our little boy sleeps there nicely to the soothing shhhh sound of a detuned radio. As a friend said recently: whatever works...

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

the other Winnie the Pooh

This bath thermometer was given to us by a neighbour - so many hand-me-downs, baby is being very spoilt! (That's not meant to be sarcasm, we received incredibly nice things.) Anyway, Winnie the Pooh the bath thermometer made me think of the other Winnie the Poohs...

When someone mentions Winnie the Pooh I'm sure more than most will think of the orange Disney bear. But there is also the ink-drawn illustration in the Milne books and there's the actual teddy he based the character on... And there is Russian Winnie the Pooh. Do you know him?

Wednesday, 5 November 2014


There's a little feature with Idle Needle (a.k.a. me) on the Dream a Little Bigger blog, as part of the Crafting Abroad series run by the lovely Elena a.k.a. Midsommerflicka. She asked me a couple of months ago to answer some questions about crafting in the country I live in. Click on the link above to read it and check out the other abroad crafters too!

Sunday, 2 November 2014


I had a thought the other day while baby was happily cooing to the Monstera and I had a rare moment to myself (which I spent slurping a hot cup of tea and fixed the fastenings on a tiny top). I thought that my chatty rambling style of blog writing might have to change in order to fit blogging into our busy days.

I'll try pruning down tangents and meandering words to make time to keep a little buzz on the blog. I guess the how-it-will-be outlined in this post best be excused and forgotten... The same way I had no idea what my life will be like when baby is here I have no idea what Idle Needle will be like written by a baby-wearing, breastfeeding, sleep-deprived new mom - but I'll endeavour to find out!

PS. It snowed last night!

Friday, 24 October 2014

flea friday: one handed finds

Browsing amongst narrow shelves in a shop trying to spot thrifty gems with one eye and keeping the other eye on a - is he still asleep? - baby in the pram is an acquired skill. So is taking pictures with one hand with a cameraphone while the other hand is holding a suckling baby on the breast.

As I've found out by now, both can be learned, and moreover, can yield good results as the above (one-handedly captured) picture shows. Let me elaborate them then:

The first find my one free hand picked off the thrifty shelves is the little brother of this fat lava vase already in my possession. It's made by Strehla, and as usual it was a steal at a euro.

My enamel collection also received a nice new member - it's in perfect nick although I need to find the time to scrub it clean from the more stubborn looks like the previous owners were baking in it.

Our 'thumb mug' collection has also been extended - this chunky pair in a super 70's glaze are our new favourites.

And lastly, a board book entitled How the car works. When I spotted it on the shelf among the other used baby books I had a giggle to myself: a book for under-3's about petrol, combustion engines and pistons...? Then I thought why not, it's quirky and I don't really know myself how the car works.

Besides, this board book is unchewed and free of saliva stains or rusk crumbs. Actually it looks unread and the illustrations are gorgeous. I'm sure Jeremy Clarkson would pat me on the back for this purchase for a seven weeks old baby boy.

I'm patting myself on the back right now for typing this post to completion with one hand - while baby is sleeping so nicely in my arm held by the other.

I have plans to go out today to do the grocery shopping and I might pop in to the thrift shop briefly - if baby is happy about it too.

See you next time!

Joining the thrifty link party over at We Call It Junking.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

cuddling season

Autumn, autumn, how much I love thee... the blazing reds, yellows and rust against the blue of the sky. The fog in early mornings. That nip in the daytime air, which tingles my fingers to knit something warm and cosy.

Despite the carpet of colourful fallen leaves beckoning for a walk on the pavement below our balcony, we are doing a lot of cuddling indoors. We spend all our time with breastfeeding, sleeping and some baby wearing - just for half hour or so; the c-section scar mustn't get too strained...

The other day daddy went and bought the coolest pram from the secondhand shop that our money could buy. So now we can go outside for a spin to enjoy the weather and kick some autumn leaves covering the path.

It's quite unbelievable that baby turned 1 month old yesterday... time does go fast. It's lovely to spend all this time together, just us three - baby, daddy and mummy - cuddling and getting to know the little one and learning how life is going to be from now on.

Thank you for all your well-wishes and congratulations! We are so very lucky to have this many friends and that he is loved and welcomed by so many people.

Hope your October is being as lovely and cosy as ours!

PS: Hope I can post up a thrifty post next - I found some nice things just before we gave birth which would be nice to show off.

PPS: For those who are curious: the full birth story is taking its time to be written, but it will be up soon.

Monday, 22 September 2014

the post that never got written

When I said at the end of my last post "...any days now", little did I know that only a few hours from writing those words down, that very day I'm going to have my baby.

It was a total shock and surprise. A full week away from the due date, and with all the doctors and nurses saying how high up his head and my cervix still were, everybody thought I'll be well overdue. We only reluctantly drove to the hospital to get a tiny spot of trickling fluid checked out, because you have to, to be on the safe side - even though we thought not much of it... Halfway out the front door I asked my boyfriend - Shall I change my top? It has a few holes in it... No need, he said, we are only being sent home after, so don't bother... In the hospital, being hooked up to the quietly galloping baby heartbeat monitor we were still joking around about the situation, thinking we will be sent homewards in a minute to concentrate on making some dinner.

Not so - instead suddenly it got serious. The trickle of fluid was in fact the waters breaking. I had no signs of contractions, or any amount of dilation, or any readiness of the cervix being anywhere near ripe enough for birthing... When the doctor switched on the ultrasound, it turned out that we had a breech baby! How he fooled everyone - nurses, doctors, me - with his bony little bum, for all those months..!

The options were quickly presented to us, and as soon as we heard the list of risks involved in natural or induced delivery in our case, I had no desire to do it naturally anymore. All my preconceived ideas about how it will happen went out the window: the breathing techniques, the no painkillers, no epidural, the ladida of it all... I was not interested in anything except my baby anymore, I wasn't interested in my fears or my preferences or how I will do during the procedure. All I could think of was our baby's health, so all of a sudden it was not dinner-, but emergency ceasarean time.

I get exhausted just to think about how intense it was from that moment on, right up until a few days it's settling down bit by bit. We now think that the whole scenario was a blessing in disguise. Not at all because of the labour pains and how I didn't need to go through it. It's because how our little boy was in there and how unready my body was to give birth to him. Now we have a very healthy two weeks and a day old baby boy, he is beautiful and turning into a total milk fiend.

I will write down the whole birth story soon, before all the funny and teary details sink into post-natal oblivion. For now I just wanted to let you guys know that it's done, that he's with us and it's all good. We are very happy, a bit tired, very much on a learning curve with it all, but it's bliss.

I'm still on blog break, but will allow myself to write when I have a moment, hopefully starting with the full birth story. At the moment the scar and the baby are the boss of me, so we are spending most of our time indoors, mainly feeding and sleeping, not a lot of thrifting or crafting going on at all. All in its own good time.

Until next time then - enjoy your autumn (or spring) wherever you are; see you here again soon! xx

PS.: There was meant to be a post between the summer recount and the birth announcement, entitled 'Any day now'. It was meant to be about my final preparations, but obviously it never got written - hence the title...

Sunday, 7 September 2014

goodbye summer, hello autumn

It's that time of the year again - the season is turning.

Only a few days ago I was looking out our kitchen window at the huge birch in our neighbours' yard and thought how green it still was despite the autumn feel hanging in the air. A couple of days later, and the same tree is adorned with yellow leaves. Autumn happens here just as fast as spring - you blink and the scenery is all different in a sudden.

Summer felt fantastic this year - about eight weeks of heatwave, sunshine, hot temperatures and gorgeous light. We shall have some really nice memories to reminisce over in the winter.

The amount of sky- and flower-gazing, and the number of teddy bear clouds spotted...

Those middle of the night talks and laughs with boyfriend on the balcony, sitting in a towel with a glass of cold sparkling water, trying to escape the sleepless heat inside the apartment...

In the daytime, going for little walks in town, keeping to the shaded side of the street, trying to cool down with funny flavours of ice creams and ice lollies - cactus, liquorice, and the cola one that colours your tongue black with medical carbon...

The lazy days, sitting in the breezy living room, just me and the bump, sharing a melting piece of extra dark chocolate...

Ducking into shops and cafes for a little time away from the midday asphalt heat, or into the cool cellar air of the big basement junk shop; and then the orange dress for a euro that became the only thing I could turn to during the hottest of days...

The lovely surprise when discovering those really good Hungarian plums that taste like childhood at the local grocer's...

The craziness of sweating by the oven in the hot kitchen waiting for a batch of muffins to satisfy stubborn cravings in a healthier but more labourious way...

The list goes on and on - I think I'll always remember this summer as a very special one.
And the journey of being pregnant is almost up to its finish line - it's really any days now - but that's actually another post I'd like to post before I go off the radar a little longer still.

I hope every one of you have had a nice summer, and a smooth start to the autumn!

PS. I've been not so good at replying to comments here, or leaving comments on other blogs lately, but rest assured I'm still reading and appreciating each word! x 

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