Monday, June 27, 2011

Sewing for a Show

Florence and Pom Pom

The last week of the school year is always a crazy busy one for us, not just because of all the usual end of term madness at school but also because, for the last six years, India and then Georgia and Savannah have performed in their ballet school's annual Student Showcase. This is the culmination of a year of lessons and hard work (five hours a week for India this year!) and the only opportunity at their level that they get to perform on a stage in front of an audience.

This is always a performance that showcases the dancers' evolving talents without the distraction of expensive costumes, but they do get a headpiece to fasten into their perfect performance ballet buns. This year, the girls' teacher was so enamored with the pom pom headband that India has been wearing to class (modeled above by Florence and made by me as part of India's Tinkerbell costume for the school musical) that she asked me to make one for all the girls in her classes - that's forty pom poms!!

Pom Poms. In Progress

The pom poms were made by adapting this tutorial. I used three layers of different colored tulle cut into four inch wide strips and about 25 inches long (half the width of the fabric). The pom poms for the show were attached to bobby pins, but for everyday class wear I have sewn them to elastic headbands just like the one Florence is wearing.

Savannah. Ballet

Georgia and Savannah's class wore blue, India's chose pink.

Georgia. Ballet

More than half an hour of combing out tangles went into each of those buns. Once I'm done, even Keith and I have a hard time telling the twins apart!

India. Ballet

The girls all danced beautifully. We were so impressed with how much their skills have developed in the last year and they all LOVE performing. It makes all the rushing to lessons and ouchy hairdos so worthwhile!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Paris. That's where the Eiffel Tower is...

Eiffel Tower. Day

Eiffel Tower. Night

...and soon it will be home to the Berry family. We are back from a quick (and fortunately, successful) house hunting visit to Paris and the only photos I took were of the Eiffel Tower!

Paris Engagement

When this photograph was taken at the top of the Eiffel Tower on the day we got engaged, way back in November 1997, we could not have imagined that the next time we visited would be with our FOUR daughters!

Eiffel Tower. Girls

We didn't have much time for visiting the sites on this trip, but the girls really wanted to visit the Eiffel Tower which we could see from our hotel room and pretty much anywhere else we were. It really does dominate the skyline and Keith will see it every day on his new ten minute commute to work.

As we were walking away from the Eiffel Tower along the leafy boulevards of central Paris, India said she thought that she would like living here a lot. I hope she does. I hope we all do!

Friday, June 10, 2011


Last Day of School

Today was the last day of school, India's last day ever at their current school. It's a happy day but also a sad one as the girls and I said goodbye to their teachers and their friends. It wasn't as sad as I expected, it's always hard to move on one from grade to the next anyway and we are all looking forward to the opportunities at their new school.

Last Lunch

Yesterday I found myself getting all sentimental as I made and packed up the last lunch of the year. I do not love this morning chore, but here it is a record of my everyday from the last ten months! Next year the girls will get hot lunch provided by French Chefs - or so says the new school's website - so these could be my last packed lunches for a while!


Each of the girls wanted to make something special for their teachers. After some ambitious project ideas from India we settled on Portrait Bookmarks from Handmade Home. India has already done quite a bit of embroidery, but this was the first time for Georgia and Savannah. They did a wonderful job with very little guidance from me once they got started. This has been by far the most successful of the sewing projects I have introduced the girls to - they liked the idea of drawing with thread and the guided hand stitching is very calming.

Portrait Bookmarks

The week rushed to a close so I did the machine construction for them - special gifts for special teachers.

Follow Your Dreams...
The new tile wall unveiled at school yesterday.

Now we are all off to follow our dreams at a new school in a new country...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Things to do on a rainy June weekend in California

Zip Line

Build a zip line for your toys...


Teddy had a blast!

Megan's Quilt. Label

Finish a quilt for your friend's birthday...

Megan's Quilt. Front

Make the most of the overcast lighting to take funky photos of it!

Bathroom sign

Impress your twin sister with your ability to spell the word bathroom all by yourself. Make Mummy smile with your cute drawing. Wait for Daddy to come home to fix the problem inside the bathroom!

Savannah stitching

Start sewing a teacher gift.


Make (lots of) pompoms.

Cloudy day

The weather recently seems to be training us for our return to Europe. We should have spent the weekend at the pool, but we kept ourselves busy inside. I'm impressed at what the girls achieved once I said no more T.V.! And yes, my first proper post is about the weather - I'm British - it's my birthright!

In other news... Florence blew her first kiss. No photographic evidence, just a memory to preserve.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Berry Blog

Sunday Waffles

Homemade waffles and June berries - a weekend tradition

Ten years ago this week we moved our first baby Berry from London to California. Now there are three more little Berries (and a dog) and we are preparing to move overseas again.

In an attempt to keep in touch with all the friends we have around the world I am going to try to keep an up to date Blog. (If you are one of my Facebook friends you should know not to hold your breath for regular posts though!). I will try harder in this space to keep the world regularly informed of what we are up to. Postcards from our life which I hope will chronicle the girls' growth, my crafting adventures and our experiences of living as ex-pats twice removed.

I look forward to seeing you back here soon!

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