Sunday, 31 August 2008

Pledge Update ... 3 down 4 to go

2 I will offer one unwanted item on Freecycle or take to a charity shop

This one was a little bit easy for me - because I LOVE freecycle!!!! Had a good sort out and everything in the picture had to go. The green bag is full of things for the charity shop, but there was no way I was heading into town on a Saturday afternoon so will call in first thing Monday. The rest was offered on freecycle mid-afternoon and everthing had been claimed by teatime - half has been collected already and the rest should be picked up tomorrow! What a great system - big cheers to the person who thought of it and all those who act as moderators. I was discussing the pledges and freecycle with Craig and he asked how many things he thought I had offered. So of course this got me thinking and I thought I'd check - the grand total to date is 132! I have also received some amzing things, both as replies to their offers and also from my wanteds. The generosity of people has never failed to amaze me and as I look around me whilst I type I can see at least half a dozen items that I've collected - thank you. x

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Self portrait by Maia

Me as a baby mummy

Me as a little girl mummy

Me as a bigger girl with my necklace mummy
They're frisbees for my party mummy!

In the post this week ...

A couple of months ago I got a whole swag of craft/sewing books from the library and of course would have liked to have gone out and bought half of them! The two below have got great ideas for little scraps of fabric that are leftover and I was lucky to find them on Amazon for 23p and 28p (yes I know you have to pay for the postage but it was still a great deal!). I keep all my cut offs and scraps so it'll be great to delve into these and make some things up.

From ebay - another last minute bid and win - again only a matter of pence! I really want to try some of the motifs in fine cotton which I've never done and thought these would be a great place to start.

Some of the ladies on the GP Forum have organised a GP LETS scheme (see here for more information from the lady who was agreed to 'run' it!). I didn't want to formally join up (reasons for that will become apparent soon!) but 2 ladies did post that they'd 'quite like some crocheted hearts' !!! Wonder where they saw those then? Well I wasn't going to pass up an opportunity of a good old-fashioned swap and so contacted them both to see if they were agreeable. These hearts were sent off to a lovely lady and in exchange I'm getting some knitted bugs which are soooo cute and look soooo hard to knit

and this bunting is for a marvellous mama whose knitting me some socks - again wouldn't even know where to start on that one

and this is the yarn for the aforementioned socks.

I am so excited and I'll be sure to show all.

Pledge Update ... 2 down 5 to go

3 I will cancel my telephone directory/Yellow Pages
Thanks to Jem for the phone number to do this pledge 0800 671 444 - although it must still be an uncommon request because having given the lady all my details she then proceeds to say "So you want your local directory and Yellow Pages sent out to you, yeah?" and this is after I started the converstaion "Is this the right number for cancelling my directory and Yellow Pages?" !!!! Almost more waste when I'm trying to reduce it!

Friday, 29 August 2008

Pledge Update ... 1 down 6 to go

1 I will take active steps to stop junk mail being delivered to my home
Thanks to mama4 for the following link - so I have opted out of the Royal Mail 'door-to-door service' - just have to wait for forms to arrive and then send them back.
The Mailing Preference Service is a service whereby you can opt out of receiving direct mail. I have used this service before, when we were receiving mail for the previous owner who was deceased, but I had forgotten about it. I have just registered - it took quite a while because we have had 5 addresses since returing to the UK so I've had to register them all!!! We also receive a lot of mail for the previous owners, and others!!!, and you can regsiter their names too so you don't get their marketing mail either - I think I may just have saved a tree!

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Zero Waste - take the pledge

Well I have finally got my A into G and taken the pledge!
A lady I know from the GP Forum has been working at reducing her waste to zero, see My Zero Waste, and has a pledge & win page - lots of goodies up for grabs aswell as helping this planet we all live on. I have been really inspired by this and some other fine ladies are also doing this, see A Smile a Day blog and Where there's a Wills ... there's a way.

I was the one who introduced the bottle banks to my mum and dad whilst still at school and have been recycling what I can since then so we are already doing quite a lot of the actions. Since having children my interest in it has increased and we've made lots of positive changes to the amount of waste we produce and to our exposure to toxic chemicals. Since I've read through the full pledge list I can see that we are doing quite well, although there's always room for improvement. It's funny but when things become part of your every day life you stop noticing them anymore so this was a great exercise for me to re-iterate what we do.
I've taken 7 pledges which I have listed below. To begin with I thought I'd tick all the ones that we didn't currently do - do you see an obsessive nature turning up there?! I then realised that I didn't need the stress trying to do everyone of them would entail so I've signed up for a more modest 7 and can revisit when these are ticked off!
1 I will take active steps to stop junk mail being delivered to my home
2 I will offer one unwanted item on freecycle or take to a charity shop
3 I will cancel my telephone directory/Yellow Pages
4 I will use a refill scheme for one product
5 I will plan a weekly menu and shop accordingly
6 I will make one meal from leftovers
7 I will make something like bread instead of buying in plastic wrap

The F word ...

If I tell you that Cassia says “fee” instead of “tree” it doesn’t take too much to work out what she says when she sees a truck! Luckily she usually only sees them when we are in the confines of our car as she happily shouts “f*&%, f#$* mummy!”.

Along the same lines, she says “mucky” when she sees a monkey. So you can again imagine what came out of the little babe’s mouth when we went to a soft play area called Funky Monkeys!!!

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Some real little grubs!

So the first unwanted visitor we had to the garden came some time ago but thought I'd share the photo with you. We had found a whole load of slugs that afternoon and I thought I had dosposed of them all - but obviously not. When I went out that evening I found this one:

It really was amazing to watch it - you could see his mouth working and the lettuce leaf actually disappearing whilst you watched! Now slugs are one of the only things that make my skin really crawl but it was incredible to watch.
More recently I found these unwanted little grubs!

I don't really mind them and I know I was fascinated by them as a child and so too are my little girls. They find it very funny when they crawl all over their hands and arms. When I looked at this pot there were 10 caterpillars on it and they had decimated the nasturtium but hadn't touched the geranium.

Also note the black dots around the base of the pot - caterpillar poo!

Is the scent in the geranium leaves a deterrent? I don't know that for a fact but it certainly looked that way to me. Now, once we'd had a play with them and gently put them back on the leaves I carried on with other jobs in the garden with a reminder to the girls to 'play gently with them'. Of course it was only a matter of time before I heard a cry from Maia 'Mummy, Cass has squashed one!'. Cassia's not afraid of anything but still hasn't grasped that certain things will succumb to the pressure of her little thumbs and fingers. Now have you ever tried to get squashed caterpillar off hands? It is so sticky and took forever. She understands the word gentle but I guess we just have to work on the action!
Other news in the garden includes more beans

and more courgettes.

But what I'm really excited about is the tomatoes! I was getting quite worried that with the lack of sun we're experiencing that all the green tomatoes would stay that colour, but I saw the first blush of colour yesterday so fingers crossed there's still time.

Finally, after what seems like a really long wait, we had something approaching edible carrots - baby carrots for sure but still big enough to bother with.

And last, but not least, the apple tree. We inherited a building site of a garden that included an old apple tree that was half buried in rubble and soil. It hadn't had any pruning, care or love for many years and we didn't know if it would even survive the excavation. It did, the blossoms came and now the apples. A lot of the apples are falling to the ground already mouldy and eaten by wasps and many still on the tree have large black/brown scabs on them - I'm sure there's a proper name but I don't know anything about apple trees yet. However, there are the occassional ones good enough to eat and both of my little girls love their apples!

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Some firsts ...

Maia had her first visit from an imaginary friend yesterday - Lukey lukey! I don't remember having one but certainly didn't dissuade Maia, in fact I thought it could be quite a good idea because it might keep her busy for some time. What I hadn't bargained for was the fact that Lukey lukey went absolutely everywhere with her which meant that whenever Cassia approached she was quickly pushed away 'because she's stepping on Lukey lukey', or for the fact that one 'friend' morphed into 3 'friends' rather rapidly - so we currently have Lukey lukey, Nukey nukey and Tukey tukey :0)
The other milestone we reached yesterday was Maia cutting her own hair! She came to sit on me and I saw a huge hunk of her hair and couldn't figure out where it had come from. I put it in the bin and relegated it to something I'd just never know so let it go. Then when I went to the table I saw more - and it had a very straight edge to it so I knew it had been cut and not pulled. Luckily I couldn't even see where it had been cut from so I think we've got off rather lightly!

On the mend

Thank you for all your kind thoughts - we are now all on the mend. In fact Cassia hasn't had any ill affects from her accidents and I'm now able to walk again albeit with a limp! Enforced inactivity really doesn't sit well with me and I've got incredibly bored. One thing I have been able to do is crochet. It seems to have become somewhat addictive at the moment - to the extent that when I was out with the girls last week and they were happily playing with other children I found myself thinking "I really should have bought my crochet with me and I could get some things finished!" I've a couple of swaps going with some ladies on the GP Forum so now I've nearly finished them. Also made a beanie for each of the girls:

Maia has made some invitations to her birthday party - she told me she was drawing lots of balloons - she's into this handmade malarkey young!

I just love the kind of drawing she's doing at the moment. As with all the development, I've been amazed at how it happens with very little input from us. One day she was just scribbling really and then all of a sudden she was drawing what were recognisable figures. The first time I had to ask Craig if he'd been drawing like that with her but he hadn't. Aren't they miraculous little creatures with all this innate knowledge and understanding? If I think to hard about it makes my head spin!

We went for lunch at my parents yesterday and my uncle was there. We have seen him quite regularly since we returned from NZ which is great as we hadn't seen much of him over recent years. He was asking us all about NZ and the geography of the land and I mentioned that Edmund Hillary had learnt to climb mountains on Mt Cook, in NZ South Island, before he went on to conquer Everest. Uncle Jim replied - "Mmm, I met him once" .......!!!! I was gobsmacked but apparently he was working at a hotel in Liverpool and met Edmund Hillary - I thought that was soooo cool.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

They say things happen in 3s .......

well I hope they are right! We've had our fair share in this household recently and are feeling quite sorry for ourselves :(

Last week whilst at mum and dad's Cassia took a tumble down the stairs - a few bruises but otherwise OK, when I think what could have happened ........ Then yesterday morning was a comedy of errors.

We were in a cafe having some lunch, Craig's coffee was bought over, he went to pick up the milk jug to put some in his coffee, it was soooooo hot that his immediate reaction was to drop it so it didn't burn him, scalding milk all over the table and on Cassia's arm. It all happened so quickly you can't take it in. I got Cassia out of the way and stirpped of her cardi, she was howling, cold water all round and of course the magical mummy milk. She settled and was more interested in what was now on the table - her teacake and she was hungry!

However, on looking at her arm I could see it starting to blister so I went in search of lavender essential oil. I always have some at home but of course don't always carry it. If you get a burn it's awesome - after you have held it under cold running water for at least 10 minutes, or longer if there's still heat in it, you can put a few drops of neat lavender oil on it and it helps the burn and generally means there'll be no blistering or scarring. So I walked the length of the high street and went to two chemists and couldn't find any. Headed back to the cafe and everyone was walking so slowly that I decided to run - and did I pay for it? Don't know what happened, probably slippped of the kerb, but the next thing I knew I was falling head over heels onto the pavement! Now putting the pain aside can you imagine? A mid 30s taking a huge tumble in the middle of a busy high street on Friday lunchtime - I wished that pavement would eat me up! However, I was really hurt and couldn't get up for a little while. I landed really awkwardly on my left hand side and have grazed and bruised the whole side - owwwwww - and I cried too! So last night found me parked on the sofa, leg elevated with a pack of pea on it. Happy Bank Holiday weekend!

Friday, 22 August 2008

My first tag and meme

So I got my first tag the other day and a meme - didn't know what one was until I checked out Julie's blog!

THINGS TO DO IN MY TOWN FOR (ALMOST) FREE MEME from the lovely Julie. Here are the rules (because it wouldn't be a meme without rules):

1. List (at least) five things to do for free in your city or town, not just well publicised touristy things, but things YOU might do too!

2. Write it with a visitor in mind.

3. Tag three people* - extra fun if they live somewhere you'd like to know better or you're going to sometime soon.

4. If you're anonymous/coy about where you live, choose another town or city that you know.

Well it's not my current town but it was once my town so I'm doing Wellington, NZ:

1 Te Papa - now I know this is right up there on the tourist trail but it is one of the best museums I have ever been too. Great for adults and really good interactive parts for the children. We spent a lot of time in front of the wild boar with Maia!

2 Cuba Street - this is just great for people watching, with a small playground for the children and an awesome 'bucket fountain' which captivates you whatever age. Full of lovely boutique shops, cafes and bars so it's only free if you show some restraint!

3 Cycling round the bays - this can be as little or as much as you like - you can start at Island Bay and head left or right. Right takes you to Owhiro Bay and then onto Red Rocks, left can take you round the whole peninsula bringing you back into the city at Oriental Bay. It's an awesome cycle and you have the chance of seeing dolphins and penguins amongst other wildlife. On a good day you can also see the snow capped top of the Kaikouras - great view!

4 Walking - there are so many walks in Wellington it's hard to know which to say. A great one starts at the harbour right in the city and then head around the water at the back of Te Papa along towards Oriental Bay. There's now a children's playground with a cool skateboard type frame in, you can see the old boat sheds, the fountain in the harbour and finish at the beach at Oriental Bay.

5 Swimming/surfing - yes, you do need to be hardy and wait for one of those Wellington days that wow everyone but there are good swimming and surf spots around Wellington. I learnt to surf at Lyall Bay (well learnt is a bit of an exaggeration - I got wet whilst holding a board might be closer to the truth!).
Of course if you like coffee then any trip out in Wellington won't be free because there are so many awesome cafes to choose from and the coffee is amazing - I'm hanging out for the flat whites!
So time to tag 3 others:
mama4 at A smile a day

The joy of summer

Picked an hour and still warm from the sun - yummmmmmmmmmm!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

The bean cutter

This is for you mama4!
I rabbited on in reply to your comment and realised it would be much easier to post a photo! This is the bean cutter from Lakeland - couldn't find it on their website but was in our local store. Unfortunately it falls down in a couple of respects - it's made from plastic and it's from Australia however, it makes the best beans out and as I'm now a converted veggie grower I thought I'd treat myself!

Monday, 18 August 2008

Bath salts

Last Christmas I decided to make our extended family all of their Christmas presents, with a little help from Maia! The girls, who all received some natural beauty products, were far easier to make for than the boys and as for my Dad I didn't know what to make him. I made the ladies some bath salts and realised that if ever there was someone who needed them it was my Dad so I made him some too. Now isn't it funny how things work? He was the first one to report back to me on them and he LOVED them, and I really do mean LOVED them. Every time he talked to me he mentioned them and he thought I really should sell them (now if you knew my Dad you'd realise how out of character that is!). So it was wasn't too surprising when he returned the jar the other day and asked for some more. MORE? Why certainly sir!

So I have just made them. Whenever I do anything with my oils or natural beauty products I fall in love all over again. The smell in the kitchen is divine and the lemon I used transports you to the Med and the sun and the lemon groves ............... then I look out of the window and see the rain lashing down - again! Today's bath salts were eucalptus (Eucalyptus globulus), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and lemon (Citrus limon) in a base of Epsom Salts and packaged in a kilner jar. I also added some dried rosemary to it for visual appeal and would have added some dried grated lemon zest except I had no lemons in the house!

Just pour into the bath whilst the water is running and make sure they are all dissolved before slipping into the warm bath and relaxing. This blend is perfect for any muscular or joint aches and pains and is quite invigorating so wouldn't be one to use before bed, maybe try lavender, frankincence and bergamot for that.

Having just made this and posted I realise I must incorporate more into my life again ....... I feel another post coming on, but I must run and get on with jobs :(

Handmade with love

Oh my goodness it's been cold enough these last couple of mornings to have porridge for breakfast! Not that I mind having porridge, and it's great because the girls will eat it too, but I've found I'm really missing summer! When I lived in NZ I really missed the seasons. The climate in the Bay of Plenty means that although there is some leaf shedding and some emergence of daffodils there isn't the clear demarcation of the seasons - some of the trees may lose their leaves gradually from March to June but then some tress actually flower in the middle of winter. It was all very strange to a Midlands girl.

To keep me warm last night I put on a beautiful handknitted crdigan. When I was at my mum and dad's last week I found an arran cardigan which was knitted by my Nan. I think I had worn it before but then obviously thought it wasn't 'cool' enough to have. Well luckily for me my mum said I could have it - much better than being left to hang in a wardrobe don't you think? So there I was last night in my cardigan knitted by my Nan, using a vintage pattern book from my mum and crochetting a retro tanktop for Maia. It felt like a real connection with the past and the future - 4 generations involved in one simple act which had been and was being carried out with tremendous amounts of love - it left me feeling very peaceful inside and very thankful for the family I come from and that which I am building. xxx

Sunday, 17 August 2008

A day's work ....

How satisfying to actually finish a project, even more so when done in a day and not a week/month/year/or more* (* delete as appropriate)! Here's the crocheted heart embellished with a rose:

and the finished article:

I like it so much on the mantelpiece that I'm going to have to make another one for us! (Although Maia's shown a keen interest in it so it may well get wrapped up for her birthday!)
Further to the previous post today - yes we did go to a car boot sale this morning. Note the use of the word 'we'. In a fit of misguided wisdom I invited the whole family along. Why? a) it wasn't raining so thought we should all get some fresh air before the heavens opened again b) to introduce Craig to the delights of a car boot (that way he may show some understanding when I return from them laden down) c) Maia has been talking non-stop about the one last weekend so I knew that she would like it d) I thought Cassia would be OK and may even enjoy it. How wrong can a girl be? Cassia was grizzling the second we got out of the car, wanted to be held whilst there (and not by her Dad - only her mama would do), would not be placated by offers (bribes?) of food or even the failsafe offer of mummy milk, and in reality wasn't happy until we got back home. This is very unlike her but I had to go with it, so had a real quick whip round some of the stalls and got myself a few goodies which made the very short trip worthwhile!

The best find was The Golden Hands Toy Box on Soft Toys - have been looking for some toy patterns for a little while and this is packed full to the brim! My mum still has her Golden Hands from the 70s and I remember doing the child's activty at the time and never fail to get inspired when I look them now (last time I did this was this week when we stayed!). Another suitcase! And the Ikebana text cards - these are really interesting and I think I will post again on them - needless to say some little treasure from the 60s!
And finally for today, some beans! This was our second picking from our beans and they were delicious. When I sowed the seeds indoors in March I was thinking about the long hot days of summer, picking my beans and maybe sitting outside to eat them with a glass of chilled white wine. The reality was to run out in the rain to pick them. By the time we had picked them the rain had stopped so we decided to cut them up outside in the cold with our coats on! However, boiled for 15 minutes and served with a knob of butter, some garlic and lemon juice they were worth all the effort. I've said it before but what a great thing to be able to do - sow a seed, see it germinate, plant outside into the big bad world, watch and wait for it to grow and then finally be able to pick produce from it that you can then eat ..................... I know I'm not the first or last to do it but it certainly feels like that!

Unfortunately we had to resort to bought carrots because our current harvest wouldn't have really stretched to our family of four - although we did all have a nibble on this one!

Saturday, 16 August 2008

In the post this week ...

GIFTS in COATS Mercer-Crochet - a vintage pattern book won on e-bay (oh dear how easy is it to buy things on e-bay? I'm a newcomer but managed to win 2 items within 5 minutes!).

From the introductory page:
"Eveyone loves to receive a gift - and to have the satisfaction of being remembered at such times as birthdays and anniveraries. In this day and age of factory produced articles, you can makes goft so much more personal by sending something you have made from Mercer-Crochet - it will be appreciated."
So I had to look at the date of publication - 1959!!!! If they thought that was the age of factory produced articles what hope do we have!

Patchwork and Applique/Golden Hands - the other item won on e-bay!
I saw this book the other week over at my mum's and it is great! Unfortunately my mum wasn't quite ready to part with it so when I saw it going for 99p on e-bay I thought I'd better bid - and I won. It's really inspired to me to do some patchwork again. As a child I used to do traditional handsewn hexagonal patchwork - I don't think I would have the patience at the moment but anything I could try with the machine would be great. So I'll add some items to my fast growing list of things to make!

I had never heard of Country Living until I went to the Flower Show and saw some on the book stall for 10p each. I bought all four of them and love it! By chance, I then saw an offered post on freecycle for 3 year's worth of them - of course I replied very politely that I would love them! I was lucky and the lady offered them to me. So a very big thank you to Sarah for the supply and also for the fact that she dropped them into our house on a very wet and cold afternoon. I also received a latch hook kit from a fellow freecycler and he again dropped it into us. It restores your faith in human nature. A big thank you!

Creative endeavours ....

Well it's been 5 days since I last posted - where does the time go? I thought I'd have lots of time to do things whilst at mum and dad's but it doesn't quite work out like that does it?! We've been doing a lot of work on the house the last two weeks so my creative endeavours have been curtailed. Managed to do some crochet:

A beanie - which has turned out rather large for me but will probably fit Craig! Just realised looking at this that the colours are the same as my primary school scarf - now what is my subconscious telling me?

Crochet hearts to be made into bunting - I'm going out to a birthday dinner tomorrow and think this will be the girl's gift so I had better finish it tonight!
Had to pop into town today and thought I'd have a rummage in the charity shops. Well I can tell you I have been spoilt! The car boot sale was much more productive and soooooo much cheaper. I'm weighing up in my head whether I'll go this week because we are out to dinner on Saturday night so really should try to sleep in (a virtual impossibility with two littlies), but then the other side is saying that I really should go because the bargains and treasures are just there waiting to be found. Watch this space .......!

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Whoops - didn't think it would happen that soon!

So the suitcase I bought yesterday at the car boot, which was to be used for dressing up items, has already been emptied and conscripted into its original job!

Myself and the girls are heading to their grandparents for a couple of days tomorrow and it was just perfect for all their things. Anyone know where I can get another for the dressing up clothes? We've been renovating our house since we bought it last September and have had it comfortable and habitable for the last few months but there's all those jobs that aren't essential to your comfort but really need to be finished. I thought if we headed off for a few days Craig can have a clear run of it and get lots of ticks on the list!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Car Boot Virgin ....

We went to our first car boot today. I have always been keen on a bargain but have trawled charity shops and jumble sales from them. What an exciting place a car boot is!!!! I woke at 5.50am and neither of the girls had stirred so I thought I'd turn over and go back to sleep. 6.10am Maia comes in and I look out the window, see it isn't raining and decide the two of us will head off.

I hadn't expected it to be so big. Luckily when we arrvied there weren't that many people but by the time we left (a good 2 hours later after bargain hunting, bacon sarnies, decent coffee, a bounce on the castle and a lollipop) there were loads of people. I wouldn't fancy doing battle with them all when you've a littly with you so would definitely go early again. So what did we find?

Quite a little treasure trove for Maia and Cassia! I had been looking for a little suitcase to act as a dressing up box since seeing the idea in The Creative Family - 50p can't be bad! Now I have it at home it's actually I really nice little case and will probably end up as Maia's suitcase when we find something else for the dressing up things. Clothes for under 50p, toys the same - I was in heaven.

A real waterproof for Maia - thought about for this winter however, with the weather we're getting at the moment I think she'll be wearing it later on today. When I returned home my husband couldn't really understand what all the fuss was about - I showed him this and said that it was 50p and I think he's a convert too.

Three old Enid Blyton books, amongst a few others we found too! Now things for me:

I'm generally an all white kind of girl when it comes to everyday crockery but the pale blue plate was just too good to miss, a glass jug for milk (no more gravy jugs for us!) and a lovely egg cup (I don't know what this type of pottery is called but I have a bit and love it).

I bought this with the idea that it could be a storage container for some of the girls' toys but when I got home I realised I would like it. It'll be much prettier than some of the bags holding things in my sewing room so no doubt it'll soon be full of crafty bits and pieces.

And finally, a beautiful embroidered linen tablecloth ...... it's a square cloth with flower motifs on all 4 corners and flowers in a circle in the middle of it. It is lovely - the most expensive item I bought but well worth it I thought. I now just have to get over the fear of using it for the first time and not relegating it to the bottom drawer! Final verdict - we'll definitely begin going again and Maia also said that she'd like to come again too - so that makes it somewhat easier!

Top 5 tips for a cold and wet summer's afternoon ....

No 5 Painting
This always goes down well in our house. Today ice creams were on the 'menu' - the card is for my mum's birthday tomorrow (we live in hope for some sun), the streak down the cone actually does look like the ice cream's melting (unintentional but great effect!)

No 4 Curl up on the sofa and watch a movie with popcorn
We've not got to this stage yet - Maia would sit through a movie now but I don't think Cassia would. As for the popcorn? Well I thought flapjack was enoungh for one day!

No 3 Bake (you'll soon see a theme here - Unhappy? Bake! Raining? Bake! Bored? Bake! ......)
This brings to mind a peaceful family scene with mum and daughters together in the creation of something delicious to eat - maybe a little splodge of mix here and a smile there. Reality? It usually ends up quite stressful, lots of mess, me not quite so angelic and just hurrying to get the damn thing in the oven - not to even mention the clearing up! However, the end result is always worth it. Today a new recipe Sticky Date and Orange Flapjack. Found this under a pile of paper on the workbench not sure where it came from but sounded lovely.

No 2 Dancing
I actually had a thermal on today I was that cold but after a bit (or actually a lot) of dancing with the girls I've warmed up. Today's listening? Well, it's never to early to introduce them to such songs as 'Son of a Preacher Man'/Bobby Gentry, followed by 'Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)'/Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel. This led me onto the Steve Harley Greatest Hits and 'Here Comes the Sun' (forever the optimist) and currently The Clash/London Calling. I have a much older sister and brother so was into music way before my time and have a eclectic music taste as a result. In my school days I was the only 7 year old who had watched Top of the Pops the night before!

Photo not really appropriate!

No 1 Snuggled up in bed with a good book (my personal favourite)
Since children this doesn't really happen but I was just there! Cassia had just woken up and wanted feeding so I crawled back into bed with her - and very happy we were too. I could hear Maia running amok upstairs but wasn't concerned, it was only when I heard the alarm going for the flapjack that I thought I had better get up! Let's hope it was worth it.

Now, if children weren't in the mix I could very easily have spent the day at the sewing machine but as they say 'patience is a virtue'!

Friday, 8 August 2008

The wonderful world of Blogland

Well I have been well and truly sucked in! Having not read a blog until a few months ago and, to be honest, not really understood what they were or why people did them, the last couple of days have been a revelation. Some very kind people have visited me and left comments and I have visited them - is that not how it works?! I've then clicked on some of their links, and so on and so on. What a huge wonderful world is out there. Having spent years justifying myself for what others see as hoarding it's great to see other people have made it an artform and a living from it! Having moved many times and sent containers to the other side of the world, and back again (!), some might agree with my husband when he asks "Do you really need that now?", "Is that box of 'memories' really coming with us?" (in fact it was more like boxes). Yes it really was worth it all! I have been unpacking some of them recently and have unearthes some much loved and treasured possessions from my childhood that I guess I can call vintage now. Is the 1970s vintage?!! I've loads of things I'd like to show you but need to get them dusted down and photographed - and maybe a sunny day to take good ones!

A beautiful crocheted blanket I found here.

And an amazing patchwork skirt found here.

These are just a few of the blogs I have found. I really must find a way of organising them because I see such beautiful and inspiring things and then don't know how to get back to them!

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Art Overload

Since coming out of hospital Maia's arty endeavours have gone into overdrive! So here are some samples:

A cute little gecko!

A crab made with Daddy - with obligatory Dora stickers!

An abstract!

Wands - Maia made the painted one and it was so popular with her little sister we had to make another for her!

A thank you card for the nurses who looked after us so well