I was going to sew a dress at the weekend. I'd been thinking about it all week, thinking that the Saturday and Sunday just gone was going to be the last quiet weekend before Christmas and that it would be my only chance. I have to psyche myself up to using my sewing machine, mentally warm up the idea - see it as something exciting and full of possibility, not terrifying. I also need to be able to give over the kitchen table to sewing, not an easy task when it's the most used surface in the house.
I made sure the house was clean on Friday night so that I didn't have to spend Saturday cleaning. On Saturday morning I found myself blissfully - and unusually - alone in the house, and in daylight hours too. This is when I could do some sewing, I thought, and brought the sewing machine down from the loft. But then I made a coffee and read a bit of Nigel Slater's The Christmas Chronicles, drank the coffee hot and in peace. Then I started tackling the admin pile that builds up on the kitchen worktop next to the sink, under the shelves.
Everything that needs to be looked at or dealt with gets dumped here, and I sorted and filed, filled out and hung up a new calendar, put some new book ends to good use, and stuck newly printed photos on the wall.
A small task, but one that I had been meaning to do for weeks, and I felt so much better when it was done.
Next, I indulged in some first class pottering. I swapped over the blanket on our bed for a warmer one, tidied up a bit, put things away that had built up during the week.
There is always a mountain of washing to do at the weekend, and I went to and from the washing machine all morning. In between that I dug out the sheepskin rug and woollen cushions and brought them down to the living room.
I recently bought a few sprigs (stalks?) of pampas grass and had a lot of fun faffing around with them, putting them in different pots and vases. I love their warm colour and how they add so much texture to a room.
While I was at it I dusted and faffed around with the mantel.
Then I went to pick up Bella and Angus (and also look at my sister's new house - very exciting!) before eating bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese for lunch. Later, I took the kids and dog for a walk.
After a gloriously sunny morning, it had clouded over, but it was still lovely to be out in the fresh air in one of our favourite places.
By the time we got back it was too dark to start sewing, so I poured a sherry and lit the fire.
First thing Sunday morning I put a chicken stew in the slow cooker and then felt good about it all day. I baked a batch of sticky ginger cake and did the ironing while listening to The Archers. At some point I made a coffee and sat down with a book. It was possibly the highlight of my whole weekend. I did a few rows on this baby blanket that I'm making for a friend.
That afternoon I met my other sister for a walk in the woods with her children and dog, and then they came back here for a cup of tea, and before I knew it, it was getting dark again. There was just time to pin and cut out the pieces before I had to pack it all away as we needed the table to eat.
But that's OK. My weekend wasn't quite as empty and quiet as I'd pictured it, but I made a start on the dress and did a lot more besides. I don't have to binge-sew the dress over a weekend, I am allowed to do it here and there, and I may not get time to do any more sewing until the Christmas holidays, and that's OK too. I am bursting with crafty things that I want to do at the moment, namely finish the baby blanket, make a Christmas jumper, make a wreath and do a little festive embroidery. And maybe make a dress.