Thursday, 30 December 2010

camping for wimps - help me!

The guests are gone, the food mountain is shrinking, the presents are all loved and I can barely fit into my trousers any more. It's been a good Christmas.

This is the stocking I sent along with a few goodies to Anne in the Christmas Stocking Swap, hope she liked it.

Lazy days aplenty has been just what we needed. But of course the brain is thinking ahead, and a little last minute I know, but we have decided if we want any holidays again we are going to have to camp. *sigh* I have mixed feelings about camping, I like a comfy bed and warmth, and to eat food without grass in it. But reality is, our budget doesn't stretch to the silly prices it costs to rent a cottage for a week. So camping it is. I'm hoping it will be fun.

So I need your help - the sales are on, we are heading to the camping shop - what do I need, and what type of tent is best for 2 adults and 2 children? I looked on the website and my brain went into meltdown. Advice please!!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

visiting Rudolf

Today we visited the reindeer and fed them carrots, apples and parsnips, just to make sure they have enough energy for Christmas Eve.

We do this every year, it's lovely trip out and gets us all in the mood. We pass by a magical little stream and keep a look out for the fairies.

I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas, may all your Christmas wishes come true. x

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

... and breathe

So how's the preparations going with you? I managed to catch up a bit last week and I'm glad I did. The snow we've had lately has caused chaos. From lunch time on Friday everything went downhill. Missy Big had slipped on ice in the playground and hurt her arm, there was nothing to see, but she woke several times in the night in pain.

We took her to the clinic on Saturday morning as she could barely move her arm - we were sent for an x-ray at a hospital which is normally a 15 minute drive away. Just as we set off the great big fat flakes of snow came down again. It took us 5 hours to do this journey.  We couldn't get into the snow filled car park and had to carry the girls as the snow was deeper than their wellies. 

She has fractured her wrist and is in a sling. Her biggest concern was how would she open her presents? Thankfully now the pain is easing and she can move it much more, we go to the Fracture Clinic on Christmas Eve.

We had to cancel her swimming assessment so now her lessons will be put back a term, and the train ride we'd booked to go and see Santa was cancelled because of the snow too.

I spent Saturday evening thinking of what a terrible start to the holidays this was, and how disappointed I was for Missy Big and what she couldn't do over the next few days/weeks. But she has been resilient and hasn't complained and is happy doing different things that she can manage. Her spirit and 'get on with it' attitude has lifted me and made me think differently about how I view things.

Yesterday we had fun playing in the snow for the first time - and so far the week has been fun, calm and happy.

So now we're all very excited, and don't have long to wait until the big day, and I'm thankful that we are all together and mostly healthy.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

remembering to stop

It's been a busy few weeks round here, I still have much to do. I'm sure it's much the same in your house too. 
I've not written a single Christmas card yet, I still have presents to make, a few to buy, all of them to wrap. 

But at the weekend we all slowed down, trying to remember what it's all about.

Missy big made an egg cosy for her teacher. 

She then taught her sister how to make a tree decoration, as she'd learned how to at school.

We went to the party at the allotment, and had fun winning prizes in the raffle, eating way too many mince pies and chatting with other plot holders, many of whom I'd never seen before.

We watched Christmassy films, ate popcorn, laughed, and stopped to have fun.  Must remember to do this more often.

This week I shall go like a maniac to try and get most of the jobs done before school breaks up. So we can just enjoy the holidays. Together. Stress free (?!?)

I shall be popping around your blogs soon,  have a great week x

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

what do boys want???

Teenage boys, not easy to buy for, even more tricky to stitch a handmade present for, that has to be light to post to New Zealand, hhmmm... I do like a challenge.

Then I got thinking, they love Top Gear (snore) and I know they eat.... 


I hope this makes them smile at breakfast...

it made me giddy with excitement - I hate it when I have an idea just before bed, keeps me awake with all the other possibilities, which led to this...


...and then these.... 

someone stop me! They are heading to my sadly neglected little shop, I have such great plans... 

Life sometimes gets in the way (happily) x

Thursday, 2 December 2010

my creative space

This week I have stitched like a mad woman, trying to get 24 mini Christmas stockings made in time to use them as an advent calendar. Last night I finished the last four (I don't think anyone noticed they were missing). I like how they turned out, though I need to find (or make) some nice looking pins to hang them from.

 I have filled them with crochet flower hairbands, chocolate coins, silly toys and crafty bits and pieces.

I have had this in my mind since becoming a Mum and wanting to create our own little rituals and traditions, I'm glad I finally got it done. 

I had planned to do them much sooner, and get one done for my shop, but it didn't happen. You may remember a while back I was missing my little one as she was at playgroup. I missed her terribly, but had great plans for those free mornings. 
Well I got her back, in mid October the boiler at the playgroup broke down, it's still not fixed so she's been back here with me. It's been great - though she missed it terribly at first. We're waiting to hear if they will re-open next week or wait until after Christmas.

Lots of handmade goodness has dropped through my door lately and this week I got my Stitched Postcard Swap from Diana. It made me laugh - and scared me a little, she says they have enormous bugs over there in Georgia. Eugh!!! Thanks Diana!

More creative spaces over at Kootoyoo.

Friday, 26 November 2010

my creative space

Is a little full.

In the middle of this...

...making a waterproof cover to keep Little Missy's legs warm and dry in the pushchair and adding loops and tabs to keep it from falling off and getting tangled in the wheels...

... a scarf for the little one out of odds and ends...

...and great plans to turn this into 24 mini stockings as an advent 'calender'... (how many days do I have to get this done?)

And countless other projects that are unfinished - over ambitious as always. Do you have more projects on the go than you can handle? Please, tell me you do.

More creative souls over here.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

gorgeous hat - photo hell

A while back I won my first giveaway - Kelly was very generous to offer to knit the lucky winner (me) a hat, I got to choose the pattern, she got to choose the yarn. Fair deal I say.

Look what I got...  

Isn't it just gorgeous?

I love the colour, it's delightfully soft, it's perfectly slouchy.

Way better than I could have imagined. And to my un-knitting eye looks very complicated (sorry Kelly).

It arrived this afternoon and I wore it on the school run, my girls were very jealous - not often Mum gets something special. It feels good.

I think it's fair to say that I LOVE it. I've been smiling to myself all afternoon.

Almost all afternoon. It did of course mean that I had to photograph it, and I thought it only fair that it should be worn. But that meant a picture of me. 
I hate having my picture taken, just like I hate hearing my voice recorded, it makes me cringe. 

Over at Lola Nova she recently set a challengeTo take self portraits and put them out there for all to see and encouraged us to take part. This made me physically squirm. I instantly dismissed myself from this as it just seemed like torture to me. But it keeps creeping back into my mind. 

Maybe I could conquer my hate of the camera on me.  
Maybe I could learn to look at myself and not pick out all my flaws. 
Maybe I could do this.

So this is my only contribution. I took 92 pictures, I hate most of them. But I did learn that there's a remote control for the camera - and that was fun!

So a big thank you to Kelly, it's perfect, I will be wearing this all winter.

Monday, 22 November 2010

a tiny home

My stitched postcard made it to it's new home in America. It landed on the doorstep of Sonya, so now I get to show you what I made.

The theme was 'home', which was perfect for my need to sew little houses all the time.

I used tiny scraps of fabric, an old dictionary, some linen that's been in my stash for years and my lovely vintage typewriter.

I loved doing this and it's inspired me to do some little wall hangings (once I get to the end of my 'essential' to do list).

Thanks Beth for hosting the swap -  I hope there's another one next year.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

a parcel of goodness

Yay my swapped Christmas stocking arrived today, all the way from New Zealand.  It's so great to receive something handmade, all those stitches, all that time and thought - so precious.

Very Christmassy, with a gorgeous dyed doily and vintage trims and the best stripy lining! It came full of goodies too, a sweet fairy decoration, some fabric to do something gorgeous with, a lovely purse full of pink bells (not sure I'll be able to keep the girls off them) and a handful of vintage buttons (heavenly!) 

Thanks Deb - it's a wonderfully festive parcel. 

Thursday, 18 November 2010

my creative space

Having made many crochet flowers, the next question is what to do with them?

Add a hairband and a few french knots and you have a sweet little hairband. 

These will go into the children's lucky cups for the school Christmas Fair - much better than sweets don't you think?

More creative spaces over at Kootoyoo


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

country living in the city

Last week I snuck out again and went to visit my friend who was exhibiting at the Country Living Christmas Fair. I have long thought "I'll go there one day" but never got around to it. So when K said she was launching her gorgeous line of leather bags there I thought it was the perfect time to make the effort and go.

Wow, it was massive, and packed with women on a mission. It seems everyone was buying everything they need for Christmas.

I found my friend (eventually) and had a good feel of all her bags  (she does encourage it), supersoft Italian leathers in the most practical designs and stylish tote bags to last a lifetime which will age beautifully.

Just gorgeous - but I know the pictures I took on my phone don't do them justice so pop over to the St Leonards shop and have a better look. Oooh you'll be drooling, and if you're very good Santa might treat you!

I was a little overwhelmed by the size of the show - but managed to get around all of the stands (I think), I bought several Christmas gifts - which of course I can't show you and I found lots of things to add to my Christmas wish list, I'd better be a good girl now.


Thursday, 11 November 2010

my creative space

A little peek at the finally finished postcard I've made for the great big stitched postcard swap.

I will show you all of it once it's reached it's new home.

And remember the Christmas Stocking Swap?

Well my partner has received it, but she's waiting until (at least) December to open it - isn't she good! Once she's opened it I can show you the whole thing.

Hoping Mr Postman will bring me a some stitched happiness soon, x

More creative spaces over here.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

the magic number

This week has seen Little Missy turn into a big girl. Now she's 3 she can do everything you know, "I'm a big girl now Mummy".

How quickly she has gone from a tiny sleeping newborn to a confident, funny, cheeky, happy, thoughtful, caring, bundle of fun. She wants to have a go at everything, talks non stop and loves to pose for the camera.

The weekend was packed with family, friends, party, fireworks, laughter, dancing, dressing up (three new costumes = one happy birthday girl) and of course birthday cake -  lots of cake.

Happy Birthday Little Missy - I love you, x

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

when Miss became a Mr

Oh I know it's been a while, these days I just don't seem to be able to find the time to blog at all. Do you have days / weeks like that? Missy Big headed back to school today after the half term holiday so we've been knee deep in crafty goodness and playing with friends that we haven't seen in far too long.

And of course Mr Pumpkin had to be carved, and to my surprise Missy Big got all ghoulish and ditched the 'eyelashes and earrings' and decided we'd go a little spooky (but not too much).

I love the autumn and to watch the wonderful colours emerge, and then to wade through the leaves as they fall to the ground. There's something about the skeletal trees that is a little haunting and yet fascinating to gaze at.

I love that I get to wear boots and wrap up in scarves and pile the layers on. And the cosy days spent inside, cooking, making, eating, reading.


Roasted pumpkin seeds - yummy, must remember to share them though. 

Well I'd better get back to what I should be doing, Little Missy turns 3 in a couple of days - heaps to do!

See you next week, when I can read a few more of your blogs! x

Monday, 25 October 2010

meet Miss Pumpkin

We are coming to the end of our first season as allotment holders. It has been a huge experiment and a massive learning curve. Most people that know me know that I can kill a plant just by buying it at a garden centre, so when we told our friends and family they looked at us aghast. But it seems I have found something I can't kill - vegetables. We have had a fairly modest range in our first year - but everything has grown and given us produce - in abundance. 
This beauty is something we are all very proud of, we thought we'd have a go and see if we could grow ourselves a pumpkin for Halloween. Didn't we do well??!! She weighs (yes I weighed her, I have turned into a nerd) 2 stone / 13kilos.
How do I know she's a she? Well for Halloween Missy Big tells me she has to have long eyelashes and earrings. Of course.

We took two half plots back in March - which weren't next to each other as I missed out on a whole plot by one day, imagine my fury - especially as the person who took the whole plot only came once and decided it was harder work that they anticipated. Hhhmmmmm.
So when this person gave it up a couple of weeks ago I got straight on the phone to the council and snapped up the half that is next to my veggie plot. 
I can't tell you how excited this made me. So now we have all this space....

....ready for next year. 

And I will be saying goodbye to this plot, 

that way mostly clay, full of mare's tail and killed most of the fruit bushes we planted. I was going to rescue the remaining fruit bushes - but I don't want to risk bringing the mare's tail, or any disease that may be in the soil that has killed everything off. So I think I will kiss it all goodbye, and start afresh next spring.

Which is a very exciting thought, I can give the girls a space each, plan a cutting garden, more variation of veg, oh la la! Oh and we are now allowed a shed! Hooray! Oh yes - and they installed a composting toilet - could life get any better?

If you are inclined to stitch, there is a stitched postcard swap going on, you have until Friday to sign up - you know you want to...