Friday, 14 December 2007

sing choirs of angels...

This week we have been mostly doing christmas concerts. The children have been angels, Mary, Joseph, a star and a cowboy!! I didnt get many photos from the concerts themselves- why do I always end up with a seat at the back?? So this was a little home concert Lucie did for me (in pretty bad light, it has stopped getting properly light here these days)...because angels always wear berry hats, or didn't you know?

christmas tree

I have been trying to post this all week but have not been able to upload the pics. either blogger is playing up, or it just doesnt like my new(ish) camera. really annoying anyway, but at least it has worked now.

I always find it hard to photograph the christmas tree, it never comes out looking as twinkly and pretty as it really is. This year we have a teeny real tree on the windowsill, and I have left all my usual ornaments in the attic, deciding this year to have a change. I wanted to keep it really simple,because it is so small, and have just got white handmade decorations. Me and the kids made these, using cookie cutters, rolling pins and Das clay. we made patterns by rolling the clay out on (free!) textured wallpaper samples that I got from the DIY store when we bought our tree. I am really pleased at how they turned out. I found the sweet pompom garland at paperchase.

Saturday, 8 December 2007


Granny has been really busy, these are the lovely paper advent calendars she made and sent for the children this year. Each day they find a chocolate coin, a tiny handmade card, or a little toy and a sweet. They look really festive on our door too!

Monday, 3 December 2007

I can show this now

Took Julias pressie round to her today, so now I can show you. It is a crochet hook roll, for her new hobby (well, possibly, she has a book on it!). On the front I embroidered mushrooms with cake on (of course), following my 6 year olds picture guidelines...she had seen my sketched ideas lying around, had coloured them in, then asked 'why are you drawing aliens Mum?'!!! So I thought it best she drew up new ones. Inside I put in a few hooks to start her off, with Fimo Mushroom ends - a great idea that I stole from my sister-in-law.

I had also given Julia a little green bird from the country living fair, and she had been on a shopping trip to cardiff, and bought me...a little green bird!!!

And I wanted to show you this picture that Esme drew yesterday during a visit from Nana and Grandpa, I found it once they had gone, and it makes me laugh each time I see it. Look at my Dads great angle, and his big feet!!!

Friday, 30 November 2007


Today started out interestingly. All week I have had a nasty cold/flu-y thing, and I am just getting over it. Anyway, Esme has come down with it too, so I had decided not to send her to school today. We still had to walk down the hill in the wind and rain though, to take Laurie to school and Lucie to Meithrin. When we arrived at school his teacher came round the corner of the yard, surrounded with children. 'No school today' she told us, 'the classrooms have flooded!!'. (at this point I am wishing I had stayed in bed) Luckily a friend offers to walk Lucie round to Meithrin and another offers to collect her later. So we walk back up the hill, with one sick child and one sad-not-to-be-at-school energetic one.

Things went well after that though, the children played happily together, and because I didnt have the littlest one around I was pottering around and decided to get out my sewing machine for some projects I have ongoing. Now, they are ongoing because my machine needs a service, and only works when it feels like it. When it doesnt feel like it the bit under the foot doesnt feed through, and it is disasterous and tangly. Today though, it chose to work!!! Hurrah!

So, all in all the day turned out pretty good. The childrens birthday projects up top begun and finished, and this little project for my friend Julia nearly completed (its a surprise, thus the vague and dodgy photo!), just needs a little bit of hand finishing...and only a month late for her birthday!!!

Thursday, 29 November 2007

vintage stocking swap

Last week I received some amazing post! I recently took part in the Vintage Stocking Swap over on flickr, and the person sending to me was the lovely Bridget. I have sent my parcel to Maria but I was a bit late sending out, it is on its way now though Maria!

I was so excited with my stocking, absolutely full to overflowing with goodies, look she even had to put some in a little box for me too. I took photos of the stocking and the detail she added - a vintage silver teaspoon with my initial on it!!

After this I became so interested with the contents that my camera was laid aside, so I will have to show you the goodies another day, if the sun ever comes out here in rainy Wales again that is.

Sunday, 25 November 2007


Last weekend was very exciting! My sister in Law flew over from Northern Ireland, and on the saturday we caught the train to London for a weekend away. It was the first time I have ever left the children overnight, (they were with their Daddy) and it was really nice.

We spent Saturday afternoon walking around Marylebone High Street (funny video I just found), a great place to spend a few hours. We had lunch at Eat and Two Veg, which again I can recommend.

Early evening we braved the short but very busy walk along part of Oxford street and round to Liberty, where we browsed fabric and trimmings and buttons, before stumbling into their cafe for coffee and cake. We did have to put up with some most disappointing lemon cupcakes, they were solid and heavy and could probably have done some damage if thrown at a wall, which is all they were good for. It was nice to sit down though!

We stayed at Jurys in Islington overnight, then on Sunday we went to the Country Living Christmas fair. We met up with another Sister in law, and had a lovely day the three of us walking around the stalls, mostly browsing. One of my favourite stands had to be Made in Hastings, it looked beautiful and had so many nice things for sale. The fair closed at 3pm as it was the last day, and we JUST got round in time!

We had time for a quick meal in Wagamamas before it was time to head back for our train. We did have to spend longer than planned on Paddington station, due to a last minute platform change on the train we were supposed to get on, but our wait was eased by KrispyKreme donuts.

It has taken me all week to recover, I think, but we must do it all again soon!

Thursday, 8 November 2007

bonfire night week

On Monday I tried making toffee apples for the first time. They were delicious, I vaguely followed this recipe (I didnt watch the video so I dont know what its like, I just read the recipe) but I used Muscovado sugar instead of soft brown, and "butter me up' (!!!) instead of just plain butter, because that is what I had to hand. I also used red apples, which gave them a fantastic colour. They were good, The kids loved them, and Hubby declared them the best toffee apples he had ever tasted. I think the 'fake' butter, with veg oil in too, kept the toffee a little soft, and the muscovado sugar made them taste like treacle toffee. I shall be making more of these!

Tuesday, 6 November 2007


Bet you are wondering where I have been (I am kidding myself someone still reads this), I have been awol a while haven't I??! Well, I have some excuses. As well as my normal excuse (general laziness) I have two other good excuses.

The first is that last week we were in Cornwall on holiday with my parents. We stayed in a little place called Polruan, which is near an only slightly bigger place called Fowey. The two are connected by passenger ferry (a 12 seater boat) and a small car ferry, both of which we used a lot. Its a really pretty place, the photo above is Readymoney Cove (which sounds like it is from a James Bond film or Famous Five Book), where we spent several afternoons searching about in rockpools and generally having fun.

My second excuse, is that I have been rather more tired than usual, due to the fact that we are getting a new one of these in April!

I am feeling a lot less sleepy now I am 16 weeks pregnant, and thankfully the morning sickness was fairly short-lived too this time round. We always hoped to have 4 children so we are really pleased, and I just love babies, they seem to be everywhere right now, I can hardly wait!!!

Thursday, 11 October 2007

My friend sends me food parcels

lovely newspaper packages tied up with string, full of vegetables from Julias garden. plus, as Lucie could hardly believe, the biggest leek ever!! it was almost 5 foot tall! vegetable hotpot for tea tonight, yum.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

at last, the 7 things meme

I have been putting off blogging because nothing much has been happening here. I have also been tagged by Lucy Locket, and have been struggling to think of 7 serious things about me! Not that I have thought about it any more now really, but i must blog or you will think I am doing something more exciting, which I am afraid I am not!! Oh and last week I finished the shire horse square, so I thought I would show it here.

here we go then, 7 serious (kinda) things about me (ok, they arent really serious, but I guess they are true, so there we go)

1. I am really messy, I know everyone has said this, but I am. really REALLY messy

2. I am not very good at routine, following a schedule/timetable, or doing anything when I must do it. Some people call this rebelliousness, I like to consider myself free spirited/artistic!

3. a bit similar to the last one, but I am not good at doing repetative things like knitting something big, or at completing projects that take a long time. see for example my Grandmothers quilt (of which the shire horse is a block). I like doing one block, I can do one in 2 evenings, but then I dont feel like doing another block straight after. so, thats why things like that take me ages.

4. I am left-handed. When I was in Junior school I had a teacher who told me left-handed people were superior to right-handed people, that we were better at art and craft, and just generally better. I have never been able to fully shake this from my head.

5. I wish I lived somewhere pretty and sunny

6. at this point I can never think of any more things, isn't five enough, no?

7. I love collecting conkers, I drag my children out to get them, they don't mind, but I think I enjoy it more. I will leave you with the findings of a recent conker search.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Julias desert Island plans, and a pig

Here first of all is a pig square, towards my ongoing quest to finish my Janet Bolton Grandmothers Quilt miniquilt. I dont like his spot, it is too dark, I might rip it out and replace with a lighter fabric, if I can be bothered. It is a longstanding UFO so i have become a bit fed up with it. not far to go now though, only a few more pieces to do.

Secondly, Julia suggested I should write a list of the things I would take on a desert island with me, as she did a few days ago on her blog, in fact she wanted me to tell her last night but I refused, I was still trying to think of them...

so here we are,
5 essential things

...a nice man (gonna get in trouble for this one) who can fetch and carry for me and do any hard work that comes up.
...a tent (what, I can carry it, or my man can)
...flint firelighters (never managed to get a magnifying glass to work for me)
...a knife

5 luxury things
...big box full of cake and chocolate
...nice quilt (comfy in day, cosy by night) pair of crocs
...My grandmothers quilt wip, see pig square above
...helicopter to get us out once we have had enough

eek, im gonna get told off!! Anyway, Julia wont be cross that I have broken her rules because she is too nice, imagine the lovely time we had last week when I visited her for the afternoon, heres a little peek...

Sunday, 30 September 2007

Bugs and flowers

Im a bit poorly, Lucie bought a sickness bug home from meithrin, and all the girls in our house have had far. It seemed to go through the children quickly, but is lasting longer for me. I am hoping I am over the worst of it.

Anyway, Last weekend we went to stay with hubbys Auntie and Uncle in Hertfordshire. We also have a friend who lives nearby, who Hubby was doing a gig with on the Saturday night, but me and the children enjoyed spending time with family who we don't get to see very often.
The children had great fun, they especially liked storytime and piano singalongs with Auntie

watering the vegetables in the garden, (does he look like he is up to something? seconds later he turned that hose on us and we were soaked!!)

And going on some nice walks, which invariably involved collecting conkers. On the Saturday afternoon we went to Hertford town parish church to a flower festival.

There were so many lovely autumn colours and the children enjoyed searching for hidden church mice, all with different names, and they loved the miniature gardens made by the sunday school children from the church.

They wanted to make gardens too, so on Monday back at home, we went and collected some (mostly wild!) flowers (weeds),soil and moss and they had a go.

This was Esmes finished garden, I shall add more photos on flickr later, especially of the original gardens, most were done by older children and some were amazing!!!

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

here I am!

Ok, that was a bit of a break, but its nice to have a break sometimes. I have still been doing stuff, although admittedly not loads, but the back to school thing, getting back into a routine, is always a struggle.

So, I have lots of things to show, hopefully in the next few days. Firstly, I have actually made something!! I know, its been so long, and it was only an evening project, but it feels nice to be making again.

Esme has to take 20p fruit money into school each day, to buy fruit at break time from the school shop which is run by older pupils. In the first week, she seemed to mislay this money, be it in a purse or an envelope with her name on. So, I made this little purse, so she can wear it across her body all day and not lose her money. It fastens with velcro 'Mum, my friends don't believe you made it beause it has velcro on...' and has a strawberry button on the front and an apple on the back. I made it by hand, not bothering to get out the machine for such a small job.The purse is small, Esme can just get her hand in, it is lined in spotty green fabric, and the predominant red matches the school uniform. She loves it, and as yet has not lost a penny from it!!!

Monday, 10 September 2007

at the library

As my youngest has begun Meithrin (welsh playgroup) this month, on Monday mornings I am a lady of leisure. After a quick stop in town with a friend(it was breakfast time!!!) I had intended to go home for an hour, but on passing the library decided to go in and have a nice quiet morning reading their magazines.

I walked in, grabbed a couple of magazines from the shelf of current copies, and sat down. Seconds later a librarian walked over to me and said 'can I get you a cup of tea or coffee, we are having a coffee morning' to which I replied 'oh are we? how lovely, could I have a black coffee please?'. And so, the rest of my morning was spent sitting in almost-silence in the company of newspaper reading pensioners, enjoying free magazines and coffee.

A nice way to start the week, I think!

Two posts in one day - makes up for all the days I miss huh?

day out in Bath

The collection of a new ebay purchase, a 3 wheeler pushchair to replace my old broken-on-holidays one, meant a happily impromptu trip to Bath at the weekend.

We were on a cost cutting mission - free things to do while you are waiting for a pick-up time to arrive, so we headed over to Victoria park. Its lovely, big with lots of room to run around, and we even managed to avoid the man-made climbing/slide 'childrens area'. The children played in the trees and on the big stone gateways, chased each other, lay on the grass, and collected the first signs of autumn.

Of course we had to have a little trip into the shops, for drinks and cake, and we managed to find this beautiful little shop that Julia had told me about after her last trip to Bath, it has a cool wall of cuckoo clocks, and loads of pretty things. I was very good and just looked around, but I can tell I will be heading back there again!