Tuesday, 30 November 2010

My turn at the craft table.

The date crept up on me unexpectedly.  I said yes to organising the craft table at toddler group ages ago & then suddenly it was here!

Lots of rushing around but I managed to get there eventually.  We were making christmas trees from green paper plates, with glitter, stickers & a badly cut out gold star.  I think the kids had fun.  We got covered in glitter anyway.

'oh, are we making hats today?'  I got that at least twice! Ahh well.  Hopefully it won't be my turn for a while yet!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

On top of the world!

Today we went for a walk to the place that has been declared 'the top of the world' by our children.  It goes to show just how flat it is around here!

It was so extemely cold.
We had tea & coffee at the top to try to warm up.
That & jump around like a dizzy gazelle, whilst trying out a borrowed camera.  Yes, I finally got a photo of me on this blog.  My beloved husband finally got round the other side of the camera for me.

Vintage at the Village Hall

Yippee.  Its Vintage & its near me!  Just hope Roo will let me enjoy it properly.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

First one done!

My dear sister gave me 24 hours notice that they were coming to stay on Monday.  I had to clean the house & make safe for crawling baby again & finish her advent calendar.  Obviously priority went to the tidy up. 

Then mad sewing into the night.  It all went horribly wrong about 11pm when I discovered that I cannot, in fact, quilt at all.  I don't know why this should have come as a surprise as I don't quilt, I just assumed that it would be easy. 

Note to self: If I ever get round to making that dream quilt I will just be a topper & ship it out to an expert that doesn't cobble & bobble.

I decided to back it with blanket to give some weight & back that to make it look finished.  I sewed the blanket on with the buttons then the backing & turned through.  I felt really smug with myself at this point.  Then top stitch.  Which is where the party ended.  Looked awful.  Had to undo seams several times until I gave up & went to bed in disgust.   In the end I realised I'd just have to do subtle hand stitches to make it hold together & not look too bobbley.

Which meant that I had to give it to them before I had finished it, & then sit sewing it with them in the evening!  Luckily they were delighted.  My sweet sister was beside herself, which was exactly the response I had been hoping for.  Not expecting the same from my brother but hopefully he'll appreciate his.  He has the advantage of the second hanging with me having, in theory, learnt from some mistakes.  By the time I get to our one I'll have it down pat!

The photos really didn't come out very well, the light was really poor, not to mention my photography skills.  Want a close up?

The wooden ornaments hang on the buttons.  That's the plan anyhow.   Yeehaa. I got one finished!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Cough cough

We are all a bit poorly in Keepapi Cottage.  So we have made some homemade cough medicine.  Made using a recipe given to me from a New Forest witch. 
Basically you cut up an onion, some fresh thyme chopped on top, then cover it in honey.  After several hours a clear liquid appears that you strain off & use as cough medicine.  Tastes OK & the kids like it.  Jury is out as to its efficacy, but it feels good enough. 
In case you were in any doubt as to what we look like right now...

I think I love these labels more than the medicine!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Nature's pavement art

Does this mean its late autumn now?  Which means it will be Advent very shortly. Oh my.

I/We have three advent calendar hangings in a state of almost ready to be finished. Ha! Which means they totally aren't finished.  Trees & pockets are sewn on.  Now needing buttons to hang the decorations on and Finishing.  My problem is that I am not sure how to finish them off to make a nice hanging. 

This is actually a metaphor for many of my projects.  I am fantastic at starting things.  Not so good at finishing things.  I think I need another Santa elf who comes along behind my whirlwind of ideas & completes & makes good.  Any offers?!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Surely she can't be that old

My sweet 8 year old girl & I went to her new school open evening.  I got all nostalgic & sad that First school is in its final year.  It only seems a couple of years ago that we were deciding what first school to go to.  Now she's all bigger & not my little-girl anymore.  I really see the changes in her body preparing her for adolescence.  I try not to get all bitter sweet about it but dammit, its all getting away from me.  I really need to remember my word for the year - Delight - and enjoy what is.  My sweet baby is growing into a young girl, soon to be a girl-woman.  That is the way things go, and its OK.  She will always be my precious first born, whatever age she is.

Saturday, 13 November 2010


My evenings have turned into a sweatshop.  Sewing up number pockets & other parts.  My beloved has been helping.  I managed to persuaded him that as the advent calendars were from us, he might like to play too.  He bought it, bless him.  I let him listen to Blondie rather than make him listen to my crafty podcasts! 
I could really get used to having a santa's elf.  So much fun to have someone else doing the ironing part!

Friday, 12 November 2010

School in pajamas!

This week the school had a bedtime story session to coincide with the travelling book fair.  We had to go back to the school early evening, with the kids in pajamas & slippers to listen to various stories in different rooms.  It was really sweet to see all the kids & teachers in dressing gowns all excited at the novelty of being in school in night attire. 

I am currently sewing up a storm attempting these advent calendars.  I forgot to mention that I am letting myself off the hook by buying some small wooden decorations for the pockets.  Just concentrating on the hangings this year.  Maybe I will make some decorations for next year.  For now this is keeping me busy!

Thankyou for all your lovely comments recently.  I get ludicrously excited at each and every one!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Down to the woods today

We have been down in the woods recently.  Making faerie houses. 

 It was lovely to be in the woods together & enjoying a flask of hot chocolate & apple flap jacks.  A few fights as usual but I managed to subvert the energy to fun play.  Felt quite proud of myself in that moment.

We had so much fun that we went back the next day to check if the houses were still standing & to take pictures with a charged up camera.  Daddy even joined us later.
While the kids were playing we laid on our back and watched the canopy & the leaves falling

Our littlest friends enjoyed themselves too.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Advent preparations

Am I allowed to say Christmas yet?  I think I need to.  I had the mad idea on about 2nd November that this year was going to be the year I made a fabric advent calendar.  Not such a mad idea really.  Been wanting to do this for an age.  And better do it before the kids get too old to enjoy it. 
No, the mad idea was the brainwave that I should also make one for my sister's family and brother's family as their christmas present.  Genius.  Shall I make things simple for myself? A basic hanging with pockets perhaps.  oh no, I need to make a textile christmas tree with decorations added each day.  Three of them.  Oh goodness, I also have my best friend's kid who is my godson.  Maybe four.  Somebody stop me.  I need help!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Henna Heaven

As Bini has been studying India & Divali at school along with Mendhi art, we took that as an excuse to get ourselves inked up.
We followed the henna recipe according to Amanda Soule Blake's book, The Creative Family.  After making up the paste we used a ziploc bag with a tiny tiny bit cut off the corner.  It worked quite well.  The actual paste didn't mark as well as she was hoping but it was fun while it lasted.

I think next time we will do this when it is warmer.  It was rather chilly waiting for it to dry!

Tintin was not keen on getting himself marked but wanted to try some of the designing.  So I was his canvas, as well as Bini's.  Both my arms were filled!

I noticed one of the mothers I know at swimming lesson today kept looking at my arms which I got quite paranoid about until I remembered I still had faint outlines of monsters and other oddness on them!  I did explain to her what it was.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Feeling flat, Feeling elated

Today, I started driving away from our favourite baby group & thought, 'hmmm this doesn't feel right.'  No.  A completely flat tyre makes the car feel odd.  Sigh. 
Luckily for me, my knight in shining armour was working in the office today just down the road & came out to change it for me.  Even standing on the brace I was unable to undo the bolts.  I think  I am going to get hold of a long bar to create a better lever in case it happens again further from home.
The tyre people sorted it out in a short while & we are roadworthy once again.  Roo slept through the whole event at the tyre place.

Although it was annoying, it was an oddly life affirming incident & learning opportunity.  On finding it, I went to my mobile phone - no signal.  At that point, some of the ladies came out from the toddler group & loaned me a decent mobile to call my husband.  The sun was shining.  More people came out & checked I was OK.  Husband comes out & Roo is excited to unexpectedly see Daddy, as am I.  We/He changes the tyre & I made sure I got my hands dirty to remind myself what to do next time.  Learning opportunity number one.  Need longer lever.   Learning opportunity number two.  Yet more people come to check on me.

I go to the tyre place & the lovely men there sorted it out in a trice.  (I know these guys fairly well as they gave us the tractor tyres for the allotment & we have been going there for quite a few years.  Not on first name terms or anything but they know my face.)   Off we go home in time for lunch & continue Roo's nap.

What I took from this all was that people are basically really nice!  I actually felt rather lucky.

A day at the park

A couple of times in half term we made the trip to a special play park.  The playpark is by the river which makes the swings & slide superfluous for this little boy.  Lots of friends waiting to play by the water.  He got into trouble for eating all the fig rolls & feeding the pastry part to the ducks.  We went hungry whilst his feathered friends feasted!

A little brother to teach how its done.  The big sister ran off with her friends we saw there.

What a wonderful park!  We have to remember we live by here.  How blessed we are.