Friday, 29 December 2006

been and gone


and gone!

Well, I have been browsing the photos we took over christmas, just a few you know, like 490, yes four hundred and ninety photos collectively, and trying to sum up the lovely time we had. I have tried a few times to write this post, and failed, so I was pretty relieved today to see my sister in law Anamama has done a brilliant job!!! if you want to see more of our christmas festivities pop on over and take a look.

Sunday, 24 December 2006

pirate hat ready

As hoped I finished the hat in time for the trip to the mountain zoo. The skull and crossbones are vintage blanket wool felt appliqued onto the (shop bought, as my knitting is nowhere near this level!) stripey hat. I googled for jolly roger images and found one like this here at Hello Yarn (thankyou!!), so i drew a quick pencil sketch of it and then just cut it from the blanket freehand.

Cute enough for a little pirate I am sure you will agree.

Saturday, 23 December 2006

paper doll garlands

its nearly christmas now!! last night we travelled up to Granny and Grandpas house in North Wales, where we will be spending christmas this year. The children were so excited to be coming here and to be with their grandparents and with their cousin Ana and their auntie and uncle too.

today we have had a fairly relaxed day, the children really enjoyed making the garland of paper dolls and decorating them with card and paper clothes made from grannies stash!!( and the mummies had fun too!).We like the way when we hung the garland on the wall, the people look like they are crossing the road in the picture.

and we have eaten lots of yummy food already, more to come I am sure.

tonight I am hoping to sew Lauries pirate hat, a quickish project I have had sitting around for several weeks waiting to be done. there is talk of a visit to the mountain zoo tomorrow and I have a feeling it will be chilly there, he will be needing it.

well, I am off now to play homemade 'deal or no deal' with everyone else here - hubby has found that those matchboxes have come in handy for more than just advent activity ideas!!

Friday, 22 December 2006

lucky me

Another day trailing around town trying to get christmas sorted. I was pleased though to find this book at a discount -opened just for christmas- bookshop, especially after I had been lusting after this nativity set earlier in the week. I bought it for myself, as it was only £2. It has the christmas story with a tiny cardboard pop our nativity scene to play with as well, and arent those little angels so sweet??

I have had some pressies too, My friend Julia, (who is blogging again, pop over and say hello!) and I always set a christmas challenge present, where we decide a theme and buy each other gifts each christmas. She gave me my pressies on wednesday, and this year our theme was (kitsch) religious items/charity shop /market finds. She found some jems too, 2 little framed vintage postcards (you can see one on her blog, my photos came out awful) and then the sound of music on vinyl 7 inch, and 2 more vinyl records, The trumpt of the Lord and Harry Seacombe!!!

I got her presents today and am pretty happy wih my finds, hope she likes them too.

Last, but definitely not least, I got a candyswap parcel in the post today!! We swapped at the end of October, but the first parcel Sibille sent me got lost in the post and never arrived, so disappointing, but she was very lovely and sent me another parcel. I have just been tucking into the amaretto milka and it is lovely (and gone!!). Thanks again Sibille!

Monday, 18 December 2006

The gingerbread house.

Amazingly sill intact, but the kids are under the promise that they can eat it when they get home from school tonight!!!

I have switched to blogger Beta now, hope it will be nice to me.

Sunday, 17 December 2006

uurgh blogger trouble

was going to show you the gingerbread house I made with the kids today, but blogger isnt letting me add pictures. mayed this is just another reason why I should change to beta (it doesnt ask me if I want to any more). I did paint the decorations, and they look pretty cute, I think.

can someone postpone christmas for about 3 weeks. thanks!!

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

got the tree

It is really hard to photograph a christmas tree, so here is a tiny bit. I need to do some work on it, I let the children put on all the decorations, and they did a pretty good job, but this year I wanted the tree to be really bright colours, previously it has been folky/red but i am feeling a bit bored of that for this year. I got new coloured lights though, and have plans for a few new homemade baubles (its ages until christmas yet isn't it??....). When I get round to that I will try again to do it justice with a full length shot, its a pretty nice tree and has taken over my 12 foot square room.

In the mean time I thought I would share with you some of my oldest and newest christmas decorations.

This nativity set used to be my Grandmas. I dont know how old it is, its plastic but probably some of the earliest plastic. I love it for many sentimental reasons, she used to wait until I visited (she lived the other side of the country) so that I could get it out with her and we would arrange all the little figures. It is well worn, the sheep are not original but I remember her adding them in one year so they are probably at least 20 years old too. One of the angels has lost her wings, and baby Jesus is loosing his paint, but it still has pride of place in my front room (well out of the reach of little fingers for now)

And these are my newest additions, christmas limited edition Sonny Angels. pretty cute arent they, I especially love the reindeer one, so cute. They are small, only about 3 1/2 inches, and have travelled all the way from Hong Kong via Ebay, I love the internet!!!

Back to my tree for a moment, I found lots of these in my decorations, do you think I should paint them bright??

Friday, 8 December 2006

hot and cold

A few weeks ago we moved the woodburning stove in our front room out from its hole in the wall (where all the heat seemed to get absorbed by the wall) into the room proper. and it is so much better! It is deliciously warm now, I am only sad that I have to come into the other room to use the computer (oh how i wish for a laptop!). Anyway the fire is good, because the rain and gales here have calmed a little but it is getting colder, like it should be really at this time of year. proper winter weather please!

We have been making paper snowflakes to decorate the windows, last year we cut our own designs, but this year we have also been enjoying patterns from the childrens advent calendar sent by their Granny.

I think she got them from this site. I noticed earlier today there are also some on Martha Stewart (found via Kiddley).

Last night my friend Julia also told me about this snowflake site that she had just discovered where you can design snowflakes then save them and animate them to all fall together. it is absolutely brilliant fun and very addictive, I think the kids might enjoy it too, though it might be a bit tricky for little ones.

And I still havent got my tree, but when I popped into the shop earlier they assured me they will be arriving tomorrow!!

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

possibly the worst photo you will see in blogland today, but hey it is winter in Wales and there is no daylight, it is raining and raining, so I am forced to take photos indoors with flash or wobbly hand (or both) or there would be no post again today!

Anyway, the dodgy photo is of some of the seriously cute stuff on my pinboard right now. the little guardian angel my friend Julia (dear old weirdbunny) sent me in my christmas card from her, along with some other little cards and cute stuff. she also prides herself in being the first to give me a card each year, although now I have another one too (we usually have a running competition of sorts of who has got the most). The card on the left is from my sis in law Isabel, it is the most gorgeous retro wallpaper print, and i just wish i could still get wallpaper like this as i would definitely buy it for my daughters bedroom. on the right is a Mabel Lucie Atwell card which is pretty cute too. These things make me smile.

Also making me smile, Kelli sent me some pudding mixes, how lovely is she??? there were 3 but I have eaten and lost the box for the french vanilla one, but it was scrummy. The pistachio pudding she sent me in particular so I could have a go at making these pistachio cookies, definitely on my to-do list! And I have just discovered last week that I can buy the chocolate Jello brand pudding in the small american foods section in Howells (a big shop) in Cardiff, at import prices of course, but i will be getting it once in a while as a treat as we all enjoyed it, I made a biscuit base then just made it up and set it on top - yummy.

How is everyone doing witht heir christmas preparations and shopping? my corner shop still does not have their trees in, I was almost tempted just to get one at Ikea on the weekend but I resisted. and dont even ask me about writing christmas cards or present buying, I seem to only be able to function by leaving everything until the last minute then going into overdrive and running about like a headless chicken. I will let you watch though - you have that to look forward to in the next couple of weeks.

Friday, 1 December 2006

Always a bit behind.

Finally, it is back!! and so I am back. and wow, it is December already.

The matchboxes above are supposed to be pretty boxes with fun activities in like this, however it is the first day of December and I only just got them today. so that is me, always a bit behind. But hey, they are pretty cool and pop-art, I might just keep them plain, and I am already further on than last year when I just saw them and thought about doing it.

So, what have I been doing during all my computer down-time? well, not an awful lot, I have read a couple of books.
this one

and this one

I have been involved in the making of 16 angel costumes for school (nasty silver fabric, very cross, best to say no more).

I havent finished even one of the UFOs that i thought I might have done.

And thats about it. mostly I have moped about.

Anyway, now it is advent and that is exciting. I cannot wait for the local shop on the hill to get in their locally grown christmas trees so I can go down with the children and choose one and carry it home. I also cannot wait for the decorations to come down from the attic and be rediscovered for this year. Christmas is pretty fun, especially with three small children around to help with the preparations and to get excited about it all.

Friday, 10 November 2006

my poor little computer

is at the menders! We think one of the children posted something into the front of it, as disks will no longer go all the way in. Hubby took it to the Mac shop and they said they would need to send it away - for 2 weeks!!! I am missing it so much, even though I wansn't blogging much myself this past few weeks, reading other peoples blogs, ebay, the forum I visit, I miss you all and much more!

Hope to be back with you soon, and I can make brief visits to the library or local internet cafe if the cravingss get too much!

Thursday, 2 November 2006

so it's November

...let's go to the beach again.

we have had some lovely weather this week, and this morning at 9am I had a surprise phonecall from a friend asking if we wanted a day trip to West Wales, as she was driving over alone. we jumped at the chance. After a hurried search for car baby seats and boosters - under the stairs and in the larder of course - and another phonecall ('I'll be there in 10 minutes" - eek!!!) we were all dressed and ready for the off (just about!) by the time she arrived.

we are pretty lucky in having beaches close by, our nearest is about a 30 minute drive(see last post!), and todays journey took just under 2 hours. (including a toilet stop of course doesn't everything). I should really live by a beach though, I need to, I totally love it, at any time of year, it is so beautiful, and I would love to live somewhere where I could see and hear the sea every day.

anyway, the kids loved it too. The beach was pretty quiet, and we walked around the harbour and along the harbour wall to see the boats, some were on dry land as you can see.

and, once refuelled with chips and cake and candyfloss, a warm sunny November day without a breath of wind is just the time for a spot more paddling...

Sunday, 29 October 2006

another grey week

sorry I haven't been blogging, time has been flying by, its not even as if nothing has been happening, but it has been grey a lot, and rained a lot.

the photo isn't rain, it is the sea, it hasn't been raining quite that much, just almost.

Some nice things - Anamama and family came to visit last weekend and we enjoyed spending time with them, and I managed to forget to take any pictures, what has been going on with the photographing part of my brain recently??? I did have to do quite a lot of tidying up the week before. In fact now would be a good time to drop in, the house is still quite tidy, but dont wait until the end of this half-term week as it will be sure to be trashed again. The week before was also my Dads 60th birthday and we had an eventful train journey to have a lovely tea with him, lets just say it was long but worth it to share the day with him.

So, I haven't been making anything much recently, though there are lots of things I want to do and this blog is supposed to encourage me to get on with things. I need to stop thinking and start doing.

Must try to blog more and make more this week.

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

oops, here I am

Unannounced blogging break! wow, its been a week. I do have an excuse though, well two really. the first excuse is that my hubby is off work with a bad back and has been hogging the computer every waking moment. the second excuse is we lost the battery charger for the camera, so I have no been able to take any photos. And whats a blog post without photos?

Anyway, here I am again, The pic above is a snippet from my pinboard here by my desk, a little vintage fuzzy felt girl I found yesterday when sorting through some toys. we had a whole set from a charity (thrift) shop, I will have to find the rest, I am hoping they are in their box somewhere (yet to be located).

I felt I needed something sweet and pretty to counteract what I have to show you next.

This doll I have rescued from Meithrin, she doesnt get much love there, but she is pretty ugly isnt she poor thing??

I tried to find a flattering angle for the photoshoot! Who would make a doll to look like that, intentionally. I know you can get funny looking dolls, ones with their tongues sticking out and stuff, but this seems more sad as she isnt even trying. I feel pretty sorry for her, so I bought her home for a bit, even though she sometimes makes me jump when she catches me unaware. Maybe she would look better clothed, I dont know.

I was going to add her to a flickr group I found the other day, but now I cant find it so I will have to search again.

The kids have got photos at school today, why is it impossible to do decent hair bunches with a decent centre parting when you really need to? Esmes is really wobbly today, oh well. And Lauries tie, where did that go??

Monday, 9 October 2006

WIP - learning to sew.

Esme has been wanting to learn to sew for a while now, as she sees me doing various projects. I was a little worried to let my 5 year old loose with a small sharp pointy needle, but yesterday she heard that her cousins were learning to sew and that was it. They were going to make Wees, and I thought this a good starting project, but when we went to Wee Wonderfuls to download the pattern, Esme wanted to make the bear from the pattern book instead, she follows after me and likes to jump straight in, rather than trying something basic first.

Luckily I recently purchased a copy of the pattern book and it was sitting patiently here on the side waiting for me. I too like the bear best, I think Esme has fantastic taste.

Anyway, I simplified the pattern by joining all the pattern pieces together, so she has one 2-D bear shape to sew around. This makes it probably as easy as the wees, just bigger. On a search for pink fabric I had the idea to use an old pillowcase, extra handy as the two pieces of fabric are held together as she sews, and we can cut around the shape when she is finished, flip it inside out and stuff, and voila!!

Look at the concentration required.

she also has plans to accessorise her bear with various hearts and so on. She has proved a natural, her stitches are pretty impressive I think and she only went wrong once when greatly distracted by her little brothers game on the computer!! So, today she has done more(despite having a friend round after school, she sewed regardless!), and I think she will be done on the main bit of sewing if she does some more tomorrow. And she is so excited by it. I will keep you updated.

Other news, I had fantastic post (again!!) today, a parcel from Mirre just because she is nice!!! look what she sent me.

oops, I posted the photo on its side, well you get the idea, tilt your head left!!

She sent a hanging pocket thingy (these have a name, what are they called?) plus a tissue holder, and a rubber pig eraser (that Lucie wanted to swipe) and a tiny cute magnet, and one of her new postcards. What a lovely surprise when I walked in from this mornings school run. And it fitted through our supersized letterbox, so no visiting the depot to collect today yay! The littlest bits were cutely wrapped in a page from a vintage childrens book, ripped out (gasp-naughty!).

Lucky me. I have hung the wall pocket hangy thingy at the bottom of my stairs for now, so I can put bits in that need to go up. the colours go best in my kitchen so I might need to go look for some wall fixings for it in the screws box. Love all the fabrics she picked, and especially for the tissue packet, which I have stuffed with Cath Kidston tissues (that match, should have taken another pic) and popped in my baby bag, they will go everywhere with us. Thankyou Mirre, you are fab!

Sunday, 8 October 2006

The best wedding cake ever

If I were having my time again, I think I would want a cake like this! Isn't it fantastic, it is by Mary Rose Young, who lives and works pretty close to here. Her house and studio is less than an hour away, in the Forest of Dean. I love her pottery and would own more of it if I could afford it (not that it is especially expensive, just that we are poor!). I think she is also more famous in the States then here, as she has many shops there.

We went to another wedding yesterday (seems like we have been to lots this year), this time of friends Danielle and Carl. It was a lovely wedding, the sun shone again, the hat came out again. oh and I got a picture taken of it this time.

Nobody said they wanted to see me in the hat! I think Esme models it very well.

We enjoyed catching up with friends at the wedding and being part of the wedding at the church, the large village church was totally packed with people, and the service had a great time of worship in the middle. Then we had drinks on the (slightly blustery and chilly) village green, complete with castle ruins, before moving onto the reception. The reception was at a farm in a large barn that had had hay bales, tractors and a 1951 Landrover in it up until last weekend!!

We were also childless for the reception, a rare occurrance indeed, as my lovely friend Rufi took on the children and allowed them to wreak havoc at her house for many hours (thankyou Rufi, you are brill!). It was nice to be able to go out just me and Andrew and be able to talk to friends and to each other uninterrupted.

So, another lovely day was had by all.

Thursday, 5 October 2006

exciting parcels!

kids pre-tea feast.

yesterday I had to walk to the other side of town to collect two parcels from the post office depot. One of them had nearly been delivered, but we were not in, and the other had a charge on it (stoopid customs charges). Anyway, I left happy (although nearly £8 down) with 2 yummy parcels to open.

I knew what was in the first one, fabric I had ordered from Ebay (US) with a customs charge too, which hurt as it was a lot more than the postage costs had been. Im sure you want to see:

Mostly Denyse Schmidt fleamarket fancy, with some other bits of other freespirit fabric too. hopefully to make some softies with, and to have a go at some childrens clothing.

The second parcel was even more exciting, all the way from Amity, my Red and Pink colourswap partner in the Netherlands. It came in a small but heavy box, and look what she packed in there for me!!

So many lovely things, please excuse the photos here and the variation of colour, it has rained terribly here today (I got soaked 3 times) and its really not the weather to bother getting a camera out.

You will notice that lots of the things have been opened, the chocolate didnt even make it home and the cone of sweets is not as full as it once was. in fact, the sweets at the top of this post are some of the cones contents (the half I saved for the kids lol!), and now they have all been scoffed too. I do have some very happy bouncy children to show for it though. The (drinking) tea has also been sampled, I dont know what it is but it's yum.

She sent some little beads that wouldnt photograph very well, and I shall have to photograph them again as they are beautiful. and take a closer look at this felted bag she made me, and these scrummy pencils.

So, I have been truly spoiled, thankyou Amity.

Edited 10.55pm (ps: not sure whats happening with blogger photos, but if you only have a blue square with a ? where the photos should be click on it and hopefully the pic should appear.)

10.58pm:(actually, some of the time they appear not to be, but just nonsense instead, pretty freaky huh??)

Tuesday, 3 October 2006

stand still and I'll stick ya!

Ive never had a glue gun before, but after borrowing a friends recently, I realised my life wasn't complete. so I got one, and I must warn you, I am just looking for things to stick.

The photo is of new pins on my noticeboard/inspiration board that I have by my computer. You can click on the picture to make it bigger. it doesn't have much else on it yet but I am sure it will be full before long. I couldn't find any drawing pins (thumb tacks?? pushpins??) in the house at first, when I did find some they were very boring, so I glued some buttons on to make them look nicer.

I wanted to use more of my little retro buttons, the picture ones that I have been collecting recently, but it was difficult to remove the backs, I will have to find a good way of removing them.

The method I used was to hack off the back plastic loop with my rotary cutter held in a stabbing position, down onto the corner of the table without a cutting mat. I would not recommend this, as it is bad both for the ends of ones thumbs and for the table. ouch. so, when I find a better way (maybe pliers? - they are in the attic, will have to send hubby up) and my thumb heals up - I exaggerate heehee, I will do some more.

When I first started reading blogs, there was someone who used to make the most fantastic little pins for noticeboards, little characters that were really detailed, I am not sure what they were made of, maybe polymer clay?? does anyone know who this could be??? because I have tried to refind her blog, and cant, and we have had a new computer since so she isnt saved in my favourites anywhere. can anyone help?

anyway, more for the noticeboard,

I got this postcard from my parents who are on a cruise (spending our inheritance as they say) and it is going up, it's pretty cool, though I don't know what the front says. I am hoping to get a translation from my spanish sis-in-law soon.

I should stay on this subject (I was going to waffle off on a tangent then) so I will show you these, I bought this small book of Yoshitomo Nara postcards today, There are some cool pics, I like these two so far although I have only flicked through quickly.

anyway, Im off now to stick some more things, bring on the broken toys!

Saturday, 30 September 2006

every morning

I can wake up to this. lovely isn't it. I bought this hand-sewn quilt from ebay (had to fight for it!!) a couple of years ago, and initially had it on the bed, but one day I decided to hang it at the window and it has been there ever since.

I love the way the light shines through like stained glass, even on a dull day (It was raining outside when I took the photos). I am not sure of its age, but some of the fabrics look pretty vintage, it is lined so I hope it will not fade too much, and I think I get so much pleasure from looking at it that it is worth having it there, better than being in a cupboard where no one can see it. I love how you can see the turned-in seams and how it is made up with the light shining through, and of course all those vibrant colours.

I have taken some pics of the turquoise parts for this weeks year of colour photographs, and these are some of the quilt top without light shining through.

Tuesday, 26 September 2006

finished and scooted away!

Meet Bea, her of the lovely legs, and claimed by Esme before she was even half-made. since the photo-shoot I have seen her no more, as Esme has whisked her away somewhere, pleased as punch.

She is called Bea as we have had a lot to do with bees this last week, first the honey questions, then skep-making at the weekend, and today at school Esme was stung on the finger by a bee (but dont worry, she is fine now). I used the basic doll pattern provided by Amy from Month of Softies, although I did slim her body down very slightly.

I think she has turned out lovely, I rather hope Esme looses interest in her in a few days so I can reclaim her as mine!

monday morning: coffee and cakes

The best way to start the week, coffee, cakes and biscuits enjoyed with a good friend.

Yesterday I went to visit Julia of Weirdbunny, and we munched our way through a feast of sweetness, while chatting and browsing a substantial pile of magazines. We did then go for a little walk around the garden, to see various growing things and cheeping things, and enjoy the early autumn sun.

And what did I come away with? fresh eggs? veggies? no, not this time, but this

not the plant, but the photo, and a task, to fix weirdbunny blog up with a pretty header. so, watch her space, I did put a pic in mine but it was fairly hit-and-miss how i did it, and several months on I have no recollection exactly how to do it. but I will have a fiddle tonight, and see what I can do.

I didnt have time last night to look as I have been busy sewing, more on that later, must go finishh cooking tea as the kids are sounding hungry!