Thursday, 29 June 2006

at the bottom of our garden...

...wild strawberries.

They are so tiny, but smell wonderful and taste fantastic "like sweets!" according to Esme.

The children request each day when we get home from school that they be allowed just beyond the gate at the bottom of the garden to collect these wild strawberries. Laurie eats his as he picks them, putting just a few in his bowl, while Esme keeps all of hers as she likes to sit down and savour them afterwards.

Look how tiny they are, this is Esmes hand picking the fruit from the plants.

Wednesday, 28 June 2006

blodyn haul

Today Laurie came out of meithrin very proudly carrying this blodyn haul, or sunflower to those of us not fully fluent in welsh. It is quite cool, and big, about 12" across and on a stick, he looks a little worried in the photo doesn't he?? He carried it up the hill then back down the hill then all round town and to the park, then to school and home!!

I think he likes it.

thankfully he forgot about it before bedtime, his big sister always liked to take things like this to bed with her (and therefore with us).

I got a few bits in town, not much exciting, except for these lip balms, look how cute they are:

They are allegedly for my party bag stash, although they are so cute I might have to keep them for myself.

Tuesday, 27 June 2006

topics for marathon

please excuse the rubbish pic, night-time in my kitchen again. if you double click on it it should open up bigger for you.

These were the photo topics we had for the photomarathon. as you can see we were given 3 slips of paper throughout the day, at 11am, 3pm and 7pm. we had to take the 12 photos, in the correct order, and then hand in our film later in the evening.

(and they said they would cut the film after 12 pics so there was no allowance for errors)

You only got one go at each photo, and you couldnt miss a topic then go back to it.

and its harder than it sounds, I assure you (covering myself here for when my pics are all a blurred mess).

give it a go, see how difficult it is!!!

Saturday, 24 June 2006

Photomarathon day

Today was the day of the photomarathon. Guess what number I was?

I dragged my husband and kids all about Cardiff taking photos. They were really good, the kids, not the photos. I found the experince quite hard, maybe because there were so many of us and we had to make a lot of drink/food/toilet stops, maybe because of the controls on what I must photograph, and in what order, maybe because, when I was taking one photo, my husband posed with my baby for another photographer (!!! whats that all about??? what was he thinking???!!!).

It was fun too though, I am glad I took part, I got a certificate at the end of the day to prove I was there, and in 2 weeks everybodys photographs will be developed by the organisers sponsers, and will be displayed in an exhibition here in the centre of Cardiff, which is pretty exciting.

And just on a totally random note, here is a tiny Simpsons car we saw in one shoppinc centre earlier today.

Thursday, 22 June 2006

lovely latest buy

This is Isobel number 31 by theblackappleand she is mine! I really love Emilys collage work and am so glad I have been able to get one. She really matches my dining room, which also houses the computer, so might live in here, or maybe in Esmes new room.

Here are some other lovely things I have been looking at online recently.

Re.Bites beautiful silver brooches, and she will make up brooches personally to your specifications from the examples given, you can pick the felt colour and so on.

natascha rosenbergs red riding hood picture in a box, I am really into red riding hood at the moment, and love this. A bit out of my price range though I am sad to say.

And as for these kids clothes from Farbenmix, I am so in love with these, I have just ordered a dress pattern and a few notions from her, but I dont know where to begin to make something as fantastic as these. Janina is so talented!

Tuesday, 20 June 2006

her own bed

Wacky as many people, especially in the UK, consider it, our family co-sleeps. we have a big bed set-up, with a king size and a single pushed together giving us an 8 foot wide bed.

Well, on sunday night Esme moved out!!

she has moved into the little pink bedroom she has always called her own. Now I am planning to girl-ify it even more for her, she is such a grown-up girl. and people told me I would never get them out of my bed (to which I always replied that I didn't mind them there in the first place.) I have never understood why we force our babies and children to sleep alone.

And when they are ready for independence they take it themselves.


Monday, 19 June 2006

cake deja-vu

variation on a theme.

I promised to take a cake to ti a fi (welsh mums and toddlers group) so this is what I made late last night. round this time so I could put it in a tin to transport it easier, and white so I would have less food colouring accidents when mixing my colours. on the previous cake I managed to knock over both the red and the green colouring while I was doing it, and can anyone tell me how to avoid looking like this after???

It is just the red colouring, although it looks like some horrific accident. neat bleach seems to take it off alright though, but it is a bit burny.

Sunday, 18 June 2006

Lucies first birthday

today my little girl is one year old. Here are some photos. (as blogger has been down and it is late, i will add more words tomorrow.) (- how do I strike throuugh my words???)

This photo was set up, as Lucie was actually not interested at all in any presents, no not even the wrapping paper or bows. Her brother and sister, on the other hand, were more than happy to take care of the present opening, as you can see by the ripped off corner already.

I made and iced the cake myself, it turned out quite well.

a little friend helps with the blowing out.

Lucie enjoying eating the contents of the sandpit -and no I haven't got round to painting it yet!

a party bag moment. I went overboard and made calico bags with retro applique and gingham ribbon, more pics in my flickr pages.

mum always tidies up for me! don't look at the mess of my kitchen, I could blam ethe party, but to be honest it always looks like that.

Thursday, 15 June 2006

cardboard box houses

the children have had great fun this week playing in 2 large cardboard boxes from their daddys recent spending spree purchases. (he bought a fold up bike, and a new 'cabinet' for his bass guitar, a huge speaker to you and me.

It amazes me how they can play for so long with simple cardboard boxes, and yet at the same time I can vividly remember doing the same thing as a child myself. Our cardboard boxes used to evolve in their use as they were played with from house to boat, and got more bits cut out or broken off, until they were just pieces of cardboard, that you could slide around the grass on, tapdance on etc.

I enjoy watching the kids getting involved in such timeless games.

I decided I would sign up for the photomarathon in just over a weeks time, can't wait!!

Wednesday, 14 June 2006

the before pic

I need to repaint this old tin bath, we like to use it as a sandpit during the summer months. I was going to throw it out, it was looking very sorry for itself - not even like this when I rediscovered it in the corner of the garden - but full of swampy water, last years sand with a seriously oily decayed-leaf layer, and a few faded plastic toys and spades. It also smelled really bad. I have thought about buying a nice new sandpit, but I am strangely attached to this one, we found the old bath up the mountain behind my old house, just beyond the old stone border wall, and I knew it would make the ideal sandpit. It is a nice size, they can kneel beside it and reach over, and it is also big enough to take one sitting child, or two at a push, if they so desire.

So I am putting it here so that I will get a move on and paint it, Esme is nagging me to hurry up, and telling me we must go and buy new sand from B&Q.

Other garden news, we had a brief visit from Mr Slow-worm yesterday. This will be very unexciting for anyone who doesnt live in the UK, who probably will be used to having lots of scary real snakes and spiders and stuff about the place, sorry! For us, an 8 inch slow worm is a major event. My neighbour spotted him in their garden, and called me and the children round to see him all curled up under a bush. Shortly after, Mr slow worm decided to take off, he struggled across the path, then under the hedge that divides our gardens. Once on our grass he picked up speed and zig-zagged all the way across the garden. The photo isnt very good as his head is blurred, he was moving fast and I was too busy watching him to take photos until he was nearly at the other hedge.

He was cool though, we liked him a lot, hope he decides to live under the bigger hedge he disappeared under, its huge and would make an ideal home, then we may see him again sometime soon.

and the other big news for today...this is my laundry bin....


I know!!!!

a momentous occasion, happens about once a year, I am totally up to date with all my washing. This is pretty impressive stuff you know, and down to all the nice weather we have been having. It is only recently that I have been able to go from 2 laundry bins to just the one. I am so proud!!!! and look, there was even 10p in the bottom, I might go buy myself some sweeties as a reward!

Sunday, 11 June 2006

not much to photograph by the sea

Been to the coast today, as it has been another lovely sunny day. We drove past a fantastic place on the way called 'Brickability' that had a really cool shaped old building and sign, I attempted to take a pic from the moving car as we sailed around the roundabout, but my camera wasn't up to the job (sometimes I hate digital cameras). So, instead I bring you Sea becoming river(the tide was definitely coming in-and fast) through ferns.

I hope you appreciate this rather mundane pic, I sat down on a rock to take it, fell off sideways and landed in a pile of stinging nettles, ouch. All my husband did was laugh at me, hhrmph.

There was very little to photograph today.

The sea was looking very uninspiring and murky, the waves were big but brown and muddy looking so I could not bring myself to photograph them. So I didn't.

On the photographic front though, I was very excited yesterday to see a poster advertising the UK photomarathon which is taking place in Cardiff (!!!) in 2 weeks time. I would really love to join this, although I have a dilemma as the date clashes with another thing in my diary, and I am undecided as to which to do.

New swap alert!!! I just found this magazine swap on cotton strudel via domesticali and have signed up, I love magazines, especially craft ones and house ones. We dont get many good craft magazines here, though there are a lot of cardmaking ones other crafts seem to suffer at their expense. There are some nice knitting magazines though. hope I will be able to find something nice for my swap partner. sign ups end monday so not long until the swap is underway, rush on over there, go on!!!

Saturday, 10 June 2006

My Camilla Engman print arrived

I have recently been looking online for art by illustrators I have found out about through blogs. I have been sharing in this activity with my sister-in-law over at Anamama. I found this print that I loved, and as I was ordering it I sent her a message about Camillas prints. She sent a message back saying that she had been looking at them and had placed an order the day before!!!

Well, both our prints arrived yesterday (you can see hers over on her blog). Here is a close-up of mine, it is called 'Redhood', not very good quality pics though as they were taken in my kitchen tonight.

She even wrote her thanks on a pretty little sheet of her notepaper, in pencil on the back so it can be used again, how thoughtful.

I have my eye on several other artists work, so watch this space, as I aim to fill my walls.

Friday, 9 June 2006

building bridges

...and roads, and railways.

This is what I have mostly spent this morning doing with Laurie. I quite enjoy making big town layouts and especially like combining the brio train track with the road track. and look, the train can go under the (enormous and not-to-scale) car park, how cool!

Oh, and I hoovered everywhere downstairs before we started playing, look at the bit-free carpets!!! see, sometimes I can be an all singing all dancing housewife and mother

Thursday, 8 June 2006

Eating outdoors




Monday, 5 June 2006

knifty knitting

I have been playing about with this birthday present I had from my mum-in-law, a knifty knitter! It is basically a small knitting loom, and you can make all sorts of things with looms, like hats, socks, scarves and so on. Its a bit like the french knitting you may remember from childhood using a cotton reel with nails in, but with more pegs.

I do have difficulty maintaning concentration with crafts involving yarn, so this is good as it is for small projects.

talking of small projects, may I present the knitted bangle ta da!

Made from gorgeous local welsh Colinette yarn, But I want to make some more of these using this 100% wool yarn (the other is 50% cotton/50% wool mix) and then felt them, I think they will be fab!!

Sunday, 4 June 2006


This is what we have been mostly doing the last few days!! The sun has arrived, and we got the paddling pool out of the attic, and since then the kids have not been able to keep out of it, even before breakfast!!! We have rigged up a water slide and Laurie in particular loves going down at speed (they have discovered it is fastest with no clothes on but I am drawing the line at photographing that lol) though he looks a bit scared in the above picture, this is due to the icy cold water!!!

We had severe hosepipe issues before the pool was filled, including a flooded kitchen (twice) when our neighbour suggested we connect the pipe directly to the mains where the washer usually goes (uh-oh) and then we tried to make do without proper tap attachments onto the kitchen sink(uh-oh). We got there in the end though.

And it was all worth it, they will tell you!!

Thursday, 1 June 2006

Blooms in June

Its that post-may dead flowers point in my house right now, all the flowers bought for my birthday and anniversary are well past their best, yet they sit around in their vases still as I am too lazy to throw them away, and it always looks so bare when they are gone. These on my computer table have been feeling my pity especially though, I spend so much time sitting right next to them, so I made these:

(please excuse the awful not enough light/too much flash issues in todays photos, they look much better in natural light).

(note 06:05:06: I have now put a better photo on flickr.)

-I am quite proud of the speech bubble in the first photo as I am clueless with photoshop but managed to work this out myself.

We have had a nice day today, I took the children on the train with my friend and her two children to Cafe Junior in Cardiff. It is a fantastic place, its a large cafe/playland with big comfy sofas and nice wooden chairs for parents to relax in, and then a whole load of wooden toys, dressing-up clothes, fabric playhouses and stylish ride-ons to keep the children amused. We stayed for hours, luckily it was really quiet, as the nice weather had led most people to go further afield, and our 5 kids played happily. We relaxed and chatted on the leather sofas and drank fruit frappes and americano coffee. Lovely.

As we were walking back to the train station my friend noticed a little Japanese food store, very exciting, we bought the children green melon ice lollies and I bought these Hello Kitty bubblegums, and there were many more goodies there which I will look forward to next visit, as our cake and coffee lifestyle had spent up all the rest of my cash!