Monday, 21 February 2011

a new book... and 2 winners

I got this lovely book, The Handmade Home by Sania Pell for Christmas, it has many inspiring and not too frilly and girly projects to make your home a handmade one. I have just taken a load of photo's of the inside pages but have decided not to publish them, that's just stealing right? Copyright laws are there for a reason. So pop over here for a little peek insideOr look for it in you local bookshop - even better to see it in the flesh. If I ever get around to making anything from it I will of course show you that.

And the winners, of course, 2 lovely ladies wanted a copy of Alan Bennetts's - A Life Like Other People's and when I have them in my grubby hands I will be sending them to Me and Ma and French Knots.

It's half term here and I intend to spend the next week soaking up some good times, so I'll see you in a week. Unless of course they drive me insane and I need to escape.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

sowing time

The sun hat got his hat on, hip-hip-hip hooray, so we went out to play.
My it feels good to get outside again. I have missed the fresh air so much this winter. We sowed out first seeds today, Little Missy loves to garden and she got to try out their new tools. She very carefully helped fill up the plant pots and toilet rolls with compost and patiently made a hole for each seed and tucked it up to sleep.

As you can see 4 toilet rolls fit perfectly into the bottom part of a 4 pint milk bottle. We started off most of our crops this way last year as they are so easy to move on - no untangling roots from seed trays. And of course we seem to have hundreds of them so they are put to good re-use. 
And once cut up the top half of the milk bottle makes perfect labels, I use a sharpie to write on them, the pen scrubs off / fades away by the time you can recognise your plant so you can re-use them again and again. 
Can't stop a little one removing them though - any tips?

Don't forget to sign up for the book giveaway if you want a free book in time for World Book Night. I will be getting lots of copies to pass onto people so don't miss out!

Monday, 14 February 2011

do you love books? - a giveaway

I doAny kind... 

...novels to lose myself in and go on someone else's journey. 

...books to learn from and go on my own adventures. table books, to drool over beautiful images and be inspired.

...children's books, so we can learn to read together and laugh and share fears and experiences and fall in love with the characters. we can share the love of a good book and discover new worlds.

I've always loved books, the feel of the paper, the smell of an old book, wondering who else read this very copy. A stack of books waiting to be read, books to refer to, share and enjoy.

But since having children I haven't really read for myself, up until recently I was too tired - I would go to bed with a book and be asleep by the second chapter. I'm a little less exhausted these days and I'm trying to make the time to read more. 
I'm currently reading Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper. This is emotionally quite a hard book to read, some days I just can't face the sadness, but I am enjoying it.

When I heard about World Book Night which is on 5th March, and how they wanted 20,000 people to volunteer to give books to others, I signed up. I love the idea of thousands of people all curled up with a novel at the same time. By themselves but somehow sharing the experience.
This is the book I chose, Alan Bennett's A Life Like Other People'sI would like to share some of these with you. I will be giving away 3 copies on this blog. This is just open to UK resident's - sorry, I don't get the books until the week before WBN so I want to make sure they get to you on time.

If you'd like a copy leave a comment and tell me 3 things you love to do and what you're reading at the moment. 
If you win, you have to promise to read a bit of the book on 5th March, World Book Night.
I will drawn names out of a teapot next Monday afternoon, the 21st February. Good luck!

If you are overseas and sadly can't enter the giveaway I'd still love to know what you're reading. I'll be doing another giveaway soonish that you can join in.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

my creative space

Is a bit all over the place. I finally stitched the crochet flowers onto Little Missy's scarf, she's wearing it all the time now, phew she likes it.

But my new project is very exciting. My younger brother (notice I didn't say little brother - the temptation is huge!) is getting married later in the year and his lovely bride-to-be asked me to make her wedding dress.
Of course I will!!! I was honoured, surprised, thrilled and a little bit terrified - I haven't made anything for a grown up for ages, what if I've forgotten how?

With the little one packed off to pre-school I got cracking. Stereo blasting out (sorry neighbours), No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom, I drafted the pattern and today cut out the calico for the toile (mock up version). 
This took me back to when I used spend ours cutting patterns / fabrics for new designs, bare foot whilst listening to something loud.
I had the best time. It reminded me of who I used to be, it made me wonder who I am now and who I will become as the children get older. 
Needless to say I am really enjoying this project.

This is a bit of a creative tease, because of course you won't actually get to see it until the summer, after the big day. 
As you can imagine my little girls are delighted to have been asked to be bridesmaids, Big is oh-so excited, Little said she'd rather be a princess thank you. (two more dress to make?)

The wedding is a handmade one, they are a creative pair, as are many of their friends and family who are being brought in to help, I'm very excited - there's a lot of love going into this wedding.

Speaking of love.... 

... look what dropped through my letter box. I was the lucky winner of Flaming Nora's 'love token' giveaway. It is just perfectly scrumptious, along with a card and some chocolates for us all - which I promise I will share. Thank you, thank you!

More creative spaces over at Kootoyoo.

Sunday, 6 February 2011


I noticed some beautiful details this weekend, wonderful to see some colour too. 

This morning we plodded off to the allotment for the first time this year. What joy - fresh air, the girls digging and helping, planning, and finding weeding is strangely satisfying. 
We have big plans for this years crops, more variety, a flower bed, new fruits. So excited.

Thankful for friends in the playground, who give thoughtful gifts to the girls, just because. This flower opened while we are at the allotment, a very cheery surprise to come back to. More colour over at silverpebble.

Friday, 4 February 2011

ooh - cheat!

Thanks to school and pre-school, this week has been non-stop chatter about Chinese New Year, lucky envelopes, the colour red and lanterns. Keeping up with the interest in food Missy Big wanted a Chinese meal. I had intended to make one - but Mr cheered hooray for a take-away. Who am I to argue with the genuine article? Cheat, me? Too right.

We did make some lanterns though, you can't have a celebration without decorations. 
(Did you know you could get no-flame tealights so they are safe in paper decorations? I got these in Hobbycraft - perfect for a bit of atmosphere without the fire hazard!)

Have a great weekend, whatever you're celebrating. x

Wednesday, 2 February 2011


I started out the year with a plan to be a little more adventurous with my cooking. I like to eat good food, and I love to bake. But cooking isn't my favourite thing in the world. I think it's maybe because I don't have a sense of adventure in the kitchen. I can cook, but I need a recipe to follow, I just can't imagine how things will taste together. Also Mr is much better at cooking than me and I think I just got a little lazy. So with all this in mind I have tried out lots of new recipes and they are mostly going down well with the family. Only one 'Eugh I'm NOT eating that' and that was on appearance only - tasted yummy.

This of course means that I have barely been out of the kitchen, but it's not all bad. The girls have both jumped on board too, we've cooked a lot together and Missy Big is putting in requests almost daily for something new. I was thrilled that today she wanted scones, and the little one and I got busy. 

We made face pizzas over the weekend, complete with a necklace each.

 I finally got my marmalade done, my first ever, I used Nigel Slater's recipe, so easy and it is gorgeous - just the perfect wake-up in the morning, and the deep jewel like colour is wonderful.

The big one has requested Chinese to celebrate Chinese New Year, lets hope I can pull it off.
As a reward to myself for keeping up with my challenge - some beautiful red tulips.

Pop over to Flaming Nora's to enter her lovely reel love token give away - they are just the perfect way to send a love message. Hoping you don't enter of course - I have my eye on them!