Sunday, 30 April 2006

Ana and the Strange bunny

So, to give you a break from my holiday and because I have my photos from Easter back now (remember, they were trapped in the camera while the lead went awol) Here is our beautiful niece Ana.

And here she is with Lucie, we had to take about 50 photos to try to get one where neither of them is actually blurred and moving and this one was actually one of the best!!!!

And this is the rather scary freak bunny rabbit I made her for our visit, I am quite frightened by it still, although I do think she may have a certain charm. I got to the pattern by combining and altering several patterns from a recent Japanese craft book purchase, I think I can safely say she is now my own design (frankenstein perhaps!) I even took a previous Bunny I had made for Lucie to swap if Isabel was too freaked out to keep her. She says she likes her though. Bunny has a name, though I have now forgotten it. (I must ask what it is)

Ana likes her and thinks her ears taste nice.

Saturday, 29 April 2006

Bridgewater and Glastonbury

After leaving Bath, we travelled down to Chedzoy in Somerset where we had booked a last minute (2 days before) holiday self catering, staying in a converted Barn. It was a lovely place when we got there, quite modern and brand new looking and I hoped the children would not crayon on the clean white walls, luckily there was a large climbing frame with various swings and a slide in the courtyard to keep them amused.

On Monday we drove into Bridgewater, the nearest town, to get our bearings. We only had 50p to put in the parking meter and after I was so glad, as the place is a dive (sorry if you live there!) and the hour was more than enough. The towns one redeeming feature was its £1 shop, where I bought the fab mint poppets above, a personal favourite, but not normally in such funky packaging. I also got a few bits for Lauries upcoming birthday party.

We then headed off to Glastonbury, for those of you who dont know, it is a small but crazy hippy town as well as a big ole rock festival. We ventured up Glastonbury tor

which was suitably misty and mystical looking

I love the litchen and the graffitti ancient and modern that people have etched into the walls

and a few more shots I like

Friday, 28 April 2006

Back home again

We have finally returned home again, and we have had a lovely time away, but it is nice to be back home too. The missing lead has also found its way home, It was hoping for a better life in Southsea, but has been discovered and sent home (Thankyou Isabel) and was in a parcel along with several other bits we had forgotten, sitting on the doorstep when we arrived back today.

So, I feel like I have been all over since I last posted properly here, where shall I begin??

On Saturday we arrived in Bath, I had booked a place on the Janet Bolton workshop at creative stitches quilting shop. Well, it was a great day, it was a nice small workshop, with about 8 or 9 of us there in all. Janet talked about her work and showed us lots of framed pieces, prints and other examples she had with her, and then we all began our own pieces - mine is still in progress and I will show you it in a few days hopefully completed! It was a lovely sunny day and we had lunch in the little garden there surrounded by the old tall buildings all around, it is right near the centre of town but was very peaceful and quiet. In the afternoon we continued our sewing, and what bliss to be sewing without small children around, and Janet talked with us some more and we finished by showing everyone else what we had done so far.

Of course then I had to go and have a look around the shop at all the lovely fabric there and couldn't resist a small purchase - it looks a lot but I only bought 15cm of each!!!! I really enjoyed the workshop, meeting Janet and seeing her work in real life (wish I had enough money to buy one), it was a brilliant day.

But it didn't end there, I then met up with my dear husband who had been looking after the children for the day. And they had had a great day too, they had been to a theatre production for children called 'the girl who lost her smile' and really enjoyed the show, and then had driven out to a nearby village and had a picnic (I elaborate, it was a pasty and some cakes really) on the green. When I met them back at the car everyone was sleeping!! We had nowhere booked for the night so we knocked on a few doors until we found a Bed-and-Breakfast place with a family room, and the one we found was nice, and reasonably priced too, ideal! Whilst doorknocking we had seen a large park and there were some people just setting out hot air balloons so we hurried back to the park in time to see 5 or 6 set off on their evening flight, and it was a lovely warm still evening. We got really close to the balloons as you can see.

On Sunday after a lovely cooked breakfast we mooched around the town for a few hours, before setting off to our next holiday location down near bridgewater, (more to follow!)

Just as we left Bath I saw a great shop which was unfortunately closed on Sundays, but had these fab Moomin mugs in their window - remember the moomins???

Friday, 21 April 2006

catastrophe of the missing lead

No pics, and no posts for a few days (again!!) the reason this time being I have lost my camera lead somewhere between here and Southsea. Well, it could be in one of the bags I have yet to unpack, I will have to have a big old look.

In the meantime, all my photographs are trapped in my camera and can't escape.

And tomorrow we are off again, we are going to the Janet Bolton workshop in Bath (royal 'we' there, as it is just me)(so exciting!) and then we are going to spend the rest of the week in that general area as Andrew is off work on annual leave. We only booked it this afternoon but the place looks really nice, we are all excited. So I have to get those bags unpacked and packed up again quick.

Also, we took the cat to the cattery today (phew, they had last minute spaces) and the farm where she is staying has lots of new lambs. The lady there told us she is hand-feeding 5 this year, and that next week when we collect the cat the children can help with giving the bottles!! How much fun will that be??! We were talking about the markings on the sheep, the coloured dyes and what they were for, and we were intrigued by the black spot, for bad mothers who dont take care of their lambs, dont feed them, look after them etc. you can guess where they get taken. Interesting we thought.

Sunday, 16 April 2006

Easter Sunday

I am so far behind with my blog posts, but bear with me, as I will hopefully catch up again soon.

Anyway, Happy Easter, we had a great day, beginning with an early morning (mid morning - you guessed it) trip to the park, we ate a lovely lunch outdoors in the garden, as it was really mild and sunny. We made chocolate crispy cake nests with the childreni n the afternoon then later had an easter egg hunt.

We had a great high-tea, consisting of chocolate brownies, crispy cake nests with mini-eggs, homemade american pancakes and chocolate sauce (yes more chocolate) and fresh coffee. mmmm there was also cheese and bagels for those who couldnt cope with a purely sweet mealtime.

everyone took part in the easter egg hunt

some of the eggs were very well hidden!!

we laughed a lot at this!

Examining all the easter bounty

Easter blessings to you all xxx

Saturday, 15 April 2006

draw-it-yourself dolls

I saw the idea for these dolls in an old book of softie patterns, mainly beanies, from the 80's that I found lurking on my shelf when I was searching for simple sewing books to bring to my sister-in-laws. There was a pattern but it was a bit '80's' so I made up my own simple ones, a doll for Esme and a robot for Laurie.

The robot has no arms as I wanted to finish it quickly and my interest had waned by the end of the night, I thought I could help Laurie colour his and add drawn-on arms, but when I gave it to him he so wanted to draw on it by himself I resisted the strong urge to interfere with his work. I think he did fantastically too, for a 2 1/2 year old who isn't drawing anything other than squiggles when given a blank sheet of paper, he drew eyes, mouth, nose, ears, feet and arms all by himself with very little prompting and seemed to really enjoy it too.

Of course Esme was in her element and quickly whizzed up features for her doll, as I knew she would love to do.



They are sewn very simply on the machine (my sister in laws new sewing machine!) using unbleached calico, and then the children used fabric pens to draw. We got our pens cheaply at ELC but they are pretty easy to get hold of elsewhere too.

They were at least partly made with me working babe-in-arms like this:

Gone away

Sorry about the total lack of new posts this week. Let me fill you in on what you have missed.

Well, wednesday and thursday nothing of note happened, We were getting ready for our visit to see family in Southsea, packing, making stuff, you know what its like. On friday we eventually set off late morning (later than planned, of course) and arrived in time for a (very) late lunch. So, we have been here since, enjoying meeting our littlest niece baby Ana and being with Isabel and Alec.

Tuesday, 11 April 2006

fantastic Sweet Pea swap arrived!

The parcel I have been waiting for all week has arrived!!! Look at all the lovely things Amy sent me (please excuse the night time photos but I couldn't wait!

She sent me loads of lovely patterned ribbon, and patterned ribbon is so hard to find in my part of the UK, some papers and some tags that look hand-dyed, paper punches, random pages from old books (ripped out - naughty girl!) loads of stuff.

And were you wondering what was in those boxes?? (I know I was)

Tape measure and 'journey' ribbon trim and chocolate eggs for me, and mini m&ms for the children. We were all so excited to open them, and there was more chocolate than that but of course we had to eat some before the camera had a chance.
this is the 'before' pic of my box.

We had agreed to do a mini swap for the children because we have similar age children, so as well as the chocolates she sent these great books. I love the picture on the front of the Princess and the Pea book, what a fantastic bed.

And it was all packaged so nicely, from the little boxes to the reels of ribbon finished with string and beads. You did remember to put a notelet in too Amy. Thankyou so much, I love it all and I love swaps, what a wonderful blog-world it is!

Monday, 10 April 2006

A sunny day

Spent the day over at my friends house with all the kids playing in the garden. They had a fantastic time making dens, trampolining, drawing, looking at the chickens and rabbits and ducks, and taking the neighbours dog back home across the mountain (twice!). Here is one of her chickens, my children are a bit afraid of them, but I think they sort of like them too in a funny way.

I helped my friend to set up a crafty blog while I was there, so she will hitherto be known as weird bunny, go over and visit her!! She is named after one of her latest creations (a softie, not real-life!!) and I am looking forward to having her here in blogland with us!! Also, she gave me a lovely bundle of pressies while I was there, she made me this lovely new bag

and this little chicken in my favourite colours epecially. The fancy egg is a biscuit, which I have just had to eat after photographing!!

Sunday, 9 April 2006

A day on the canal

Yesterday we had a fabulous time on our friends narrowboat down on the waterways around Devizes. The day was crisp and sunny as you can see in the photographs. This watering can was painted by our friend, she is just learning the techniques of canal boat art but I am very impressed by what she has done so far, here and on other parts of the boat itself.

We went down for the day to take part in a sponsored walk our friends Roy and Maggs have organised to raise money for Mercy ships. Our friends daughter and their niece are working on these ships, and they do a lot of good work around the world.

We all walked on the towpath alongside the boat for the morning, then in the afternoon the children and myself got to ride up front on the boat while the walkers continued their distance for the day.

This swan seemed a bit cross at our presence and swam alongside us for quite a while, we wondered if he might be guarding a nest. He could swim very fast until eventually he got distracted by some bread thrown by captain of the ship!!

We all had a great time and the children really enjoyed the day. In the evening we planned to come home via my parents house, as my Aunt and Uncle were visiting and we don't get to see them often as they live a long way away. We were so tired that we ended up staying there for the night unplanned. The children enjoyed the novelty of sleeping in their clothes and we had a lovely time with our relatives before returning home this afternoon. I will leave you now with a photograph of the children enjoying the boat ride.

Friday, 7 April 2006

cakes and lush gabriella miller teasets

In a minute I am going to show you my cakes I made, but because they aren't that good, I thought first I would distract you with some lovely crockery. I recently came across Gabriella Miller and so I thought I would share her work with you. I do not own any yet, although I so want some (hint to husband, my birthday is approaching!!)

My favourite is the fairies pattern, I love anything fairy and woodland and the pattern is so intricate, look:

I also like hippy, many people will tell you I am a big old hippy, and its true.

And I am drawn also in my eclectic way to the simpler designs, like this one.

She also does some really cute childrens designs, look at her drop-down lists for more.

Ok, now I have distracted you, here are my cakes. they turned out a little uneven, but hey, they were for under-5's, who are easily swayed by lurid icing, hundreds and thousands and chocolate chip cake inside!

I tasted one (or two) and they tasted yummy.

Wednesday, 5 April 2006

can we really put up with 30 days of photographs like this??

So I was wandering around my garden looking for something to photograph, as I am going to try and do 30 days of photographs alongside my sister-in-law Isabel. Anyway there's not much growing in my garden, I found these tiny white flowers, like forget-me-nots but even smaller and white (yes, they are probably weeds but I do not discriminate, if it's growing it's welcome) Then I saw some daisies on the lawn, they looked pretty, but then the baby distracted me for a few minutes. When I had deposited her in the swing I returned, and tried to take my picture. Look what happened,

My 2 year old son kicked his ball right onto the daisies as I pressed the button. It wouldn't have been a great photo anyway, as the sun had gone in and caused the daisies to close a bit, but what a great shot by the boy - and what a disasterous shot by me!

So, dont hold your breath for good photographs is all I will say! I will be posting them onto my flickr site, (oh, there's a flickr pool too) and on here on the days I think they are blogworthy.

Oh, and for all you voyeuristic blog readers out there, peeping over the hedge my neighbour has much more in his garden worth looking at, and check out the cool shadows made by the washing on the far wall. (yes, those are shadows not the washing itself. )

Anyhow, I must go, I have cakes to bake for the school cake sale tomorrow.