Thursday, 27 January 2011

my creative space

I had a tiny amount of free time today, and I needed to sew. I've been playing around with a few ideas in my head and I got to try them out today. I'm not sure this is 'just right', but at least I got to make for a little while.

It might be because it's blue that I'm not thrilled with it - I had gold stamps but was in the mood for some colour.

Also popped into a charity shop - look what I found! So excited! I think it might be a dry clean sort of fabric, but it has an attic-ish smell, should I wash it? Could use some advice, I normally just find cottons so this is a bit of a dilemma. And then what to do with it, I initially thought of a skirt, but might not get to wear it that often, curtains - for an imaginary window? Hmmm....

More creative spaces over at Kootoyoo.


Wednesday, 19 January 2011

10.10.10 day 10, phew...

I've done it - 10 days taking 10 picutres in 10 minutes with (almost) no editing. 

Big girl off school again so another day at home. Which is where I spend most of my time, where I can be me, where I can relax, where I can let go, where I am loved.

So todays photo's are all about my girls. The things they make, play with and leave scattered all over the house. They are my world, they make me tick and my life revolves around them completely. I love it.

I love the line of little Happyland people and their friends. They were all queuing up waiting to try out the Happyland house before they bought it. (Where do they get such notions from).

Hooray for reward charts - one little sticker will make the little one 'just try', thankfully - I spend way too much time in the bathroom testing my persuasion skills. 

Isn't that dolls house amazing, my soon-to-be-sister-in-law gave it to the girls, her parents made it for her when she was small. We love it, but should they ever have nippers of there own I will (sadly) hand it back. 

And these? Take one, a little thank you for sticking with me through this. 
I know it's been a virtual tour around my house, (so many grey skies and rainy days) but notice they are all close ups? So you don't have to look at the mess that I'm trying to avoid dealing with. But believe me, it's there. My Mum once commented that she didn't recognise the house in my blog, and asked if I cleared that surface just to take the photo? Answer - yes, and then I put all the junk back. No need to look at it all on the screen as well as in real life.

I have enjoyed this project, it has seemed like a long time to me and I'm itching to do something creative with my hands, I am getting googly eyes with all the computer stuff I've done lately. But I'm glad I have 'looked' a bit more, and I have focused and I now know what I plan to do to move my creative work along again, it's been inspiring and a bit exhausting.

So I'm off to tackle the ironing, and give my eyes a break. x

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

10.10.10 day 9

Still at home with a sickly child (who is thankfully almost a normal temperature again) so these are snippets of vintage and nature I found around the house.

I got these gorgeous rusty tins (5 of them) in a flea market in Paris, they weren't very expensive at the time. I went back to find more treasures a few years later when we had a home to fill to discover the prices had soared, wish I'd bought more the first time I went. C'est la vie. 

Thanks for all your encouraging comments on my sketching, I hope to continue - there are oh so many ideas swimming around in my head.

Monday, 17 January 2011

10.10.10 day 8 and sketching

I'll come clean before I start this post, I've broken the rules a little. This project is meant to be photos just as you see them and no editing. 
I was inspired as I was clearing up after breakfast, the jar of Vegemite sat on the worktop and I remembered my nerdy fondness of packaging. I love bright colours and stylised packaging. Not only do they look great but they often provoke some sort of memory - a time, place, person or emotion.

I remember on trips to Greece and Turkey collecting the crisp packets and Coke bottles, they were so different from the ones at home but instantly recognisable. I probably still have them in the chaos that is our loft. That packet of Kimia Dates was polished of at Christmas but I keep rescuing it from the recycling as Mr tries in vain to stop my hoarding.

So, I cheated, as I looked through the cupboards I was struck by so much of the packaging, I hauled them out and photographed them, just there on the worktop. I didn't arrange them, just put them out one by one. 
I don't love the photographs themselves, they are full of flaws - but I love the content.  

I also made a start on my sketchbook, this was something in my hopes and dreams list for this year and I thought I may as well make a start. Missy Big was off school with a high temperature so I had them cutting out, sticking and drawing in their scrapbooks so I joined in. Initially struck by fear - what the heck am I going to draw? Thankfully a vase of lilies were just there and waiting.

I haven't sketched  just for the sake of it since my college days, I started off a bit wobbly, the first one is a bit wishy-washy, but I like how the second one turned out. I like the lines just flowing over each other and the movement of the pencil. I like how it shows that I was enjoying it and more confident as I went along, the left side is a bit unsure of itself and the right is much stronger. 
I think I might enjoy this.

How are your plans for the year going? Keeping up with your challenges?

Sunday, 16 January 2011

10.10.10 day 7

I know I'm lagging a bit behind with this now, but at least the rain stopped today long enough to get out into the garden for a play and a bit of a tidy up. 

Somebody who lived here long before us planted it very well, it's green all year round - but it doesn't have many flowers and because we have more trees than necessary nothing much grows in the soil. So I'm slowly filling it up with bits and bobs to make it a little more interesting. 

I love our garden, it's a bit dishevelled, I can barely keep on top of it, it's very private and attracts so many birds it's amazing. 

Every year the blue tits come and nest in the wooden bird box, it's on the side of the garage and quite close to the house so we get to watch them bringing in the twigs and moss for their nest and patiently wait for the chirping of the babies. Mum and Dad then spend many days back and forth with food for them and they eventually come out and learn to fly. It's such a pleasure to have them for a few weeks.
Sadly the cats and crows around here are quite sharp and I'm constantly on edge, last year a crow swooped in and took a parent. I was heartbroken, I know it's nature but it seems so cruel.

I was so pleased to see the snowdrops today, they always make me feel like spring is on it's way and we're past the worst of winter - not always true but I like the promise it gives me.


Thursday, 13 January 2011

10.10.10 day 6

I needed a splash of colour today, so I looked for colours and patterns. 

Ooh, lots of red and pink, fancy that....

And I confess, I cropped the picture with the flowers in (they are my hair clips), I realised afterwards that there was something with my address on next to them - I hope you understand and forgive me!


Tuesday, 11 January 2011

7 things and Day 5

Get comfy, this is a long one. I am very honoured and surprised to have received a 'Stylish Blogger Award' from Jenny at Love and Peas* I'm now required to share with you 7 things about me. Hmmm. Then I get to pass this award onto 7 'newly discovered' blogs. That's a tough one.

So 7 things....

1. I love roses, their sweet scent, gorgeous colours and delicate petals, heavenly and recently I've discovered they taste great too, Mr made a rose petal jam last summer, it didn't set but it is the most delicious syrup, drizzled on pancakes...mmmm *oops - drooling here*

2. I hate waste. Waste of time, emotion, energy and stuff. I hate that as society we buy so much and so quickly it's all disposed of, by landfill and recycling. I try to buy with all this in mind but sometimes it's impossible to get what you want without loads of unnecessary packaging, this infuriates me. Vegetables wrapped in plastic - why???

3. Some foods I like but I can't eat with other foods. Jelly and ice-cream, together - eugh! Peanut butter and jam, NOOO! Egg (except fried egg) and tomato ketchup - makes my stomach turn. I can't even look at at.

4. Small animals invite themselves into my home, but only while Mr is out. Mice, birds (these both gifts from the cats we used to have), a squirrel, a frog, and a fox. I'm not good with animals I'm not expecting. I usually need a little dutch courage to deal with these. Or in the case of the squirrel £100 and a very nice man.

5. I love the colour red (but not a tomato shade - a raspberry shade is best)

6. I've never cooked meat and don't know how to. I've been vegetarian for 20 odd years.(yikes am I that old?)

7. I would sew all day long if I could and I dream of having a cleaner, and more space.

So 5 newly discovered people to pass this on to (I know it should be 7, I haven't found many new blogs lately, too busy reading old ones!) -

Joyce Lives Here
The Linen Cat
Natalia Lovat
Chez Chouke

Are you still awake? Well done, nearly there!

Now we're off to Harrow on the Hill. This little patch of Harrow is terribly English, a little bit stuffy and steeped in history. Home to Harrow School, many influential people have walked these streets, Winston Churchill, Lord Byron and more recently James Blunt and Benedict Cumberbatch (wasn't he great as the new Sherlock recently?) 

It's also full of quaint winding streets and lovely architectural details. Up here you'll also find my favourite cafe, The Dolls House on the Hill, vintage crockery, accommodating dolls as waitresses and the best cakes (and lunches), we go here for treats and my girls love it (fab ice cream too).

It's another grey day so the skies are a bit gloomy - apologies.

I'll make you a cuppa if you've made it this far, you deserve it. Slice of cake too? Coming up.

Monday, 10 January 2011

10.10.10 day 4

We're back to grey skies. Little Miss and I went to a park after we dropped the big one off at school. This park has lots of great things for small ones to play on, but it's a bit shabby. Which at least adds some interest to the pictures.

I want some more sun, after a little taster yesterday I realised just how much a sunny day can lift your spirits. In the mean time I hope you like this little splash of somewhat tatty colour.

Joyce has joined in too, go and have a look.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

10.10.10 day 3

The sun came out so went to the allotment, it's the first time we've been in ages. Half was covered in frost the other half bathed in glorious sun. Just look at the colour of the sky! I can hardly wait until it gets warmer so we can spend our days there again. I have soooo many plans, unrealistic I know - but a girl can dream...

Mr glanced his critical photographers eye over my efforts for this challenge, he gave me a few pointers and I think I'm happier with this set of images (also helped that there was light today). 

The thing is once you start looking there is so much to see. Ten minutes is not enough.

I forgot to mention, we got our tent this week - YAY!!! Roll on summer. 
And you may remember Missy Big fractured her arm, or so the doctors told us, well the second lot of x-rays said she hadn't - luckily, and just after Christmas she was pain free and could move normally again, what a relief. It certainly made us realise how lucky we are that we are all (mostly) fit and healthy.

Friday, 7 January 2011

10.10.10 day 2

It's still raining, but I had to go into town so I took along the camera. It finally stopped for about 5 minutes while we were heading back to the car park. 

I hastily took these. You know I've walked past this pub a thousand times, but when I stopped to look at it and walked around to the back, I noticed for the first time just how charming the building was. Why they hide all this with it's bland modern fascia I don't know.

Hoping for better weather over the weekend, but if we don't get any - it just adds to the challenge.

Also playing along is:


Thursday, 6 January 2011


I wasn't going to do this. But while I was packing up the Christmas decorations I began to think of all the people who had given or made these decorations for us. That's what Christmas is all about isn't it. People we love, thinking of them if we can't be with them. It is for me anyway. All these things mean something, they bring back happy memories.

So I grabbed the camera and snapped away whilst thinking of them.

The photos are pretty rubbish, it pouring with rain outside and dark and gloomy in here.

But the point of this exercise is to 'Just walk/see/shoot/look/post'. No photo editing. 10 pictures 10 minutes 10 days. Fledge has kicked this off. I'll do my best to keep up.

Why not join in? I'll be doing this to focus my mind, I'm a little lost as to where my creative road is going. I'm planning a project, hoping to find the right route.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

cooking with little ones

Today the big one went back to school, as the house felt very quiet and empty the little one and I got busy. 


These are the easiest, yummiest, healthy(ish) biscuits to make. Little Miss can manage most of it by herself - perfect activity for rainy days.

Apricot Oat Snacks, here's what you need:

100g butter or dairy free spread
50g light brown sugar 
40g/2tbsp clear honey

100g oats
100g self raising flour
70g dried apricots, cuts into small chunks
1/4 tsp ground mixed spice (optional) 
Put the butter/spread, sugar and honey in a bowl and microwave on high for 30 secs to 1 min until all are melted.

Add the flour, oats, mixed spice and apricots and mix well.

Spoon small amounts of the mixture onto lightly greased and floured baking trays flattening them a little as you go.  

Bake until golden brown for 12-15 minutes Gas mark 4 /170C /150C for fan ovens.

Allow to cool on rack, wait patiently to munch.

You can of course use dates / sultanas / cherries etc instead of apricots. We love these as they are filling and great for on-the-go snacks. They're not around for long though.


Saturday, 1 January 2011

hopes and dreams

Happy New Year!

Last night Mr was working and I had a lazy evening thinking about what I would like this year to bring.

. . .
continued health and happiness

time to appreciate what we have and to live in the moment

to spend more happy time as a family

adventures exploring more of our city

happy days learning at the allotment

hoping I'll love camping

. . .
and practically...

to hoard less

make a wedding dress

start a sketch book

finish one project before starting a new one

tidy up

make more clothes for me & the girls

discover who I am these days

experiment with my cooking

laugh more

love what we have

. . .

Hoping the New Year brings you all you hope and dream for.

Thank you reading my waffle and for taking the time to comment, you have inspired me and re-assured me, it's good to know there are like minded people all over the world. 

Sending you love x