Tuesday, 30 May 2006

small things

Its half term, this is the closest we are going to get to any craft!!

I love covering things in fabric (I blame Cath Kidston!), I had a new box of matches for my kitchen and so I used a little bit of one of the fat quarters I bought from the quilt show last week and here we are, small things that cheer us in our day-to-day lives, so much nicer now than before.

I did have to cut off the bit you 'strike', fix the box with a bit of cardstock, then stick it back on after the fabric, but this is easy peasy stuff.

Talking of easy-peasy, or not, I am debating whether to take the kids to the cinema this week to see Curious George. I would really like to go, but with 3 under-fives??? I'm not so sure. Found this site with fun things to do with Curious George. I think I will see what the weather is like before I decide, it has been nice today so we have just played around in the garden.

Monday, 29 May 2006

crazy ukulele house

theres a crazy house near the bottom of our garden....

where our completely crazy daddy leads our little band!!

Sunday, 28 May 2006

lazy plate craft

I had an idea yesterday as my children were waiting somewhat impatiently for dinner to finish cooking, and I happened to glance at the huge pile of washing-up that was already waiting....

paper plate pictures!!!! I gave the children a paper plate each, plus one for myself and for Andrew, and some food-colouring pens I had left over from another food-crafting moment, and it kept them occupied until dinner was ready, and then they ate their dinner off them. I didn't think to take pictures but I have to admit, we did it again today at lunch! Esmes on the left is spongebob squarepants:

With the added benefit that after dinner we would not have even more washing up. We both hate the washing up anyway, and our dishwasher is broke and un-fixable until we find where we put the instruction manual and warranty last november when we bought it(uurgh).

..I later found andrew had washed the paper plates - so we could then put them in the paper recycling bin, no waste, hooray!!!

Thursday, 25 May 2006

happiness is this

a garden full of bubbles and a line full of washing.

today has been so lovely and sunny, we have all enjoyed it. apart from pickle perhaps, who is still feeling miserable, this I deduct from her terrible crossness all day. she isnt so hot today though, thankfully, and still spotless, fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 24 May 2006


9 years ago today, this was us.

Happy anniversary my love xxxx

Tuesday, 23 May 2006

poorly pickle

My little pickle is poorly sick. She has a high temperature, a bit of a cough and today a runny nose. I am hoping it is not chicken pox, which is doing the rounds locally, but I will just have to wait and see. She also has a rattly chest (as always, at the slightest hint of any illness, and is being sick (ditto) and is just generally miserable. I do feel sorry for her, she always catches every bug, I even let her play with (eat) Rose, my new unazukin.

It has also rained all day, again, I bought one of these online, to hang over our stairs so I can dry clothes indoors. We used to have one at our old house and it was great.

I have also been contemplating getting one of these for outside.

I think they look nice and would save having to carry an airer outside on sunny days once my line is full.

I have also been contemplating this.

Not in reality, you understand, but in my dream world where costing thousands of pounds doesn't matter.

At the quilt show on Sunday a man demonstrated several models, and I enjoyed pretending that I was the sort of person who might be able to buy one...

I might have a well paid job...

I might have a rich husband...

Sunday, 21 May 2006

more fabric, just what I need!

Today I went to the quilt show at the three counties showground at malvern. I went last year, 8 months pregnant and with psd and hardly able to walk, and managed to walk around all day! This year was even better, what with the lack of pain.

Andrew fantastically sat in the car with the kids reading childrens magazines and eating sweets and chocolate (yes, the baby too - not under my instruction I hasten to add - someone call social!).

Anyway, I bought some nice new fabric and a few other bits and bobs, it being my birthday weekend and all that. We tend to have an extended birthday policy, you can spend as much as you can, and do what you like when its your birthday, and we always try to spin it out as long as possible.

I have just tried to take some photos, but the elecric lighting really isn't doing any favours so I will try again tomorrow. the photo above is about the best, some lovely Japanese fabrics that were the first things I bought.

Saturday, 20 May 2006


I bought this from a charity shop in town this week. Laurie thought it was great, it makes a noisy clicking sound when you pull the tape out. it also winds itself back in. Useful too, I can never find a tape measure when I want one, and this is big enough not to get lost.

Friday, 19 May 2006

instructions for the day

Happy birthday to me, today I am 31!

I have tried my hardest to follow the above instruction given on one of my birthday cards (my friends know me well!) For my birthday please let me indulge myself with a blow by blow account of the whole day(or you can just scroll down and look at the pictures!):

I got up, had cake for breakfast, and opened presents from my family. Andrew got me this bracelet

after the school run some of my friends from school took me for coffee and more cake. Then I meandered through town and up the hill home. At home my friend weirdbunny had just arrived, before me, with more cake. we also had chips then for lunch, with mushy pea sandcastles (great british food lol)

I opened some more presents, oh I should have said before, my kids bought me chocolate and flowers and a big chocolate cake (notice a theme???) oh and a kinder egg from Lucie.

I was stunned with this kokeshi doll my sister-in-law Isabel got me as I have been coveting them for ages and she is beautiful. Andrews Mum got me a groovy knitting thing and some wool, I will have to show another time or blogger might explode with all the photos, its cool though.

Weirdbunny bought me some cool stripey mugs, and she also made me this fab felt needle case.

And then, this evening I have been out to a show, my little girl Esmes very first dancing show! My friend Kirsten looked after the baby (thanks kirsten!!) and the rest of us went to the performance. There was some mix-up with the tickets so we ended up on the back row but as it was tiered seating it didn't really matter. It was quite moving seeing her on stage with all the other little girls.


as it has rained all week these are the only photos I have been able to get of her in costume so far (sun please come out tomorrow!).

Thursday, 18 May 2006

fabric wrapped chair and my life

This is a corner of my home, my bathroom to be exact. We have a large bathroom, large and messy usually. We are going to get some new windows as the old ones are falling to bits and a man came to measure today, so I had to clear the area of its usual laundry heap. I have been meaning to photograph this chair for a while, but never know where to do it, as the light in the bathroom is rubbish. If it stops raining later this week I will take it outside so I can do it justice. However, in-situ it sort of sums up our day-to-day life, even though I have cleared most of the stuff, there is still paint lurking underneath (when we painted the bathroom last year we never got round to painting the ceiling - its still waiting), and of course the inevitable pile of electrical leads that exist in each and every room my husband has a hand in (and I know you shouldnt have this sort of thing in the bathroom, but it falls on deaf ears honestly).

Anyway, back to the chair, this is another inherited item that came with the house(the previous owner left a great deal of junk), it is a very heavy large dining chair, and I loved the shape of it, although one bit of the backrest had a split in the wood. While I was wondering if I could rescue it, perhaps by wrapping something around to fix it, there was an exhibition of chairs by art students at the then new Ikea in Cardiff. One student had wrapped fabric, ribbons etc around a chair in a similar way to this, and I just loved the idea, so my lovely shaped chair got some new clothes! I fixed the fabric by dipping each piece in pva glue before wrapping it around the woodwork.

I still love it every time I look at it.

Wednesday, 17 May 2006

shine welcomes rose

...and then there were two.

Rose has had a long journey, she is all the way from Singapore courtesy of Li Li, who also sent me some yummy chocolate goodies(thanks!!!!). We arranged a swap after meeting in a flickr Unazukin group, as each country seems to have its own set of Unazukin available.

Unfortunatey, Rose was met with much rain (welcome to wales!), I have got wet so many times today. Shine and Rose seem to like each other though, so now I have 2 nodding girls to sit on my desk.

Tuesday, 16 May 2006

Textile art find

Yesterday while we were out I couldnt resist going for a quick look around Craft in the Bay. I found these lovely textile ribbon flowers by Kara Smith, not much about her online and I have not heard of her work before, but it is all beautiful. I had to buy these two small pieces, a hair clip and bobble, although I wanted the necklace(but not in the colours they had left), and the neckpiece is a definite need for the summer wedding I have coming up. I will be back, craft in the bay!!

And while I was just taking these pictures in my kitchen, the best place for nighttime photography, by the way, I knocked my foil off the worktop, catching one end as it fell, so it unravelled in my hands (but luckily was saved from the fate of the floor - just!!), But look what I created, foil art, no???

Sunday, 14 May 2006


Today my son Laurie is three years old. I can hardly believe it, he still seems so small, I am sure my daughter was older than this when she turned three! Here he is trying out all the new presents.

We had the party yesterday with lots of friends, then today we met up with another old friend Angela in Cardiff and later went on a boat ride across the Bay.

The all-important party bag.

The cake, I copped out and bought this from Tescos!

I was going to make one, honest, but then while we were shopping it suddenly seemed like a better idea to buy(there is a lot of pressure for success where birthday cakes are concerned) and this cake was pretty cute!

(I am going to take Rufi up on her offer to make cake next birthday !!!!)

And you know when you get home from the party, just sit down right in the doorway so you can go through that bag in more detail!!!

Some photos on the boat today

Friday, 12 May 2006

shopping fun

I have had a good week shopping wise, I finally treated myself to this, the Garland by Tord Boontje, It is intended to be twisted around a lightbulb, but we only have candlelight in our sitting room, so I have draped it around the candlabra. It looks really pretty as it catches the warm light of the candles.

We have also been to Ikea twice, yes, twice!! There has been a deal on all week where whatever you spend in the restaurant gets deducted from your purchases in the shop - so a free meal!! We needed a spare slipcover for our sofa, so that was tuesdays purchase, and then today we returned for coat hooks and a shoe-storage bench. Unfortunately they are reorganising the warehouse, so everything was in completely different places to where it should be, we eventually found the bench, not in aisle 17 but in 21, by walking around reading the sides of boxes, but we shall have to return again for the elusive coat hooks. Now for the flat-pack challenge!

Wednesday, 10 May 2006

Quick print for pickle

I saw this idea on whipup and thought it would be cool to try. Just one problem, what on earth (to use my daughters favourite phrase of the moment) is freezer paper??? From reading various accounts of what people have done, I understood it to be a sort of greaseproof paper with a wax coating on one side, Like wax paper I thought... so off I trotted to the Kitchens shop. I bought wax paper, but it does not seem to stick to the fabric (no matter which side I iron!).

Anyhow, it seems to have mostly worked, there are a few misty dotty bits but as they are round the antennae they look kind of magical I reckon. I am going to try this on a t-shirt for me next. If anyone can help me out with the whole freezer paper thing I would appreciate it, otherwise I am going to have to try to beg some at the next possible swap opportunity!!

Sunday, 7 May 2006


This weekend we have been to a 50th anniversary celebration at my childhood church in my hometown. I was in the Girls Brigade for 13 years(aged 5-18!), not always through choice (and I did get expelled on one occasion) but still quite an achievement. Anyway, this weekend was a rose-tinted look back with a film and lots of photo albums, plus a good deal of yummy buffet food thrown in for good measure. It was nice to catch up with a few old friends and lots of people who you vaguely recognise but who seem to know you really well!

There wern't too many strange photos of me, but I thought I would show the above one, taken on a Girls Brigade camp when I was about 7 or 8 years old, I am the one sticking my tongue out. It is quite a bizarre photo, I dont know what is going on, I am wearing my nightie. The girl standing next to me is my best friend at the time, Jane, we looked quite similar and people always thought we were sisters, which we liked. she was actually a year younger than me but looked older.

This was also the camp where I instigated the rule that as we had a bowl of jam (for some unknown reason) on our tables every mealtime, we should put Jam on everything we ate. Of course everyone followed my instruction, much to the horror of our leaders. We kept it up all week, you would be surprised how well Jam goes with lettuce, or chips!!

Saturday, 6 May 2006

retro books haul

When we were away I couldn't help but look in the odd charity (thrift) shop, you know how it is. One shop in particular proved pretty good, this is what I got there. Firstly, a rather cool book teaching children about cameras. It is from 1972 and is wonderfully outdated now.

Then, there was a book called 'the cat thief', this one is 1961, I like the illustrations in it.

And finally 'prayers for children' again from the early '70s with nice pictures

Although there are some really scary heads with wings that I am guessing to be angels, pretty freaky huh??

the other illustrations make up for that though.

Thursday, 4 May 2006


After school today My daughters friend came around with her big sister and her Mum to do some homework together. They had to look around outside for signs of spring, then make a picture to take to school tomorrow. I thought it might be fun to give the kids the digital camera and let them take some photos.

I did have an ulterior motive, my neighbours are away, and have such a beautiful garden, but no one is seeing it right now, except me, when I slip round to 'borrow' their line to hang more of my laundry out, and I really wanted to take a few pics of the pretty flowers growing there. Not much grows in my garden you see, as I have mentioned before.

Here are the collages. (well, only my childrens as I only just photographed them) Ironically Esme and her little friend who had to do the homework were not overly interested in the whole project, whereas their siblings, Laurie and big sister C were far more involved, from the photographing and collecting petals to the cutting and sticking afterwards, and produced better pictures for it.

And these bluebells are actually growing in my garden, I have them all the way along growing under my hedge and they are just opening their flowers. They are such a beautiful pale shade of blue.