Thursday, 25 January 2007

Diwrnod Santes Dwynwen Hapus

or happy Saint Dwynwens day, to those of you who dont read welsh! here in Wales this is like the welsh version of valentines day, Laurie came out of school and presented me with a heart and told me he loved me and his Daddy, ahh.

earlier today I had needed some retail therapy (I tried to just get away with having just cake and coffee, but could find no one to go with, so shopping it was!) and I bought these chickens for a fantastic bargain price in the sales. I am so pleased as I have liked them for ages, I first saw some on holiday in West Wales several years ago. So, now I have 3 chickens all of my own!! I dont think I will be able to let them remain free-range in my garden though, as their wire feet will rust, although their bodies are pretty waterproof. they are (fairly) made from recycled and over-run plastic bags and food wrappings, aren't they cool?? They say they want to live indoors. I got a few other bargains too, including some fab bookends which you can see here or here (not a direct link, but look for boy/girl bookends under stationary). That website has some nice blackboards and other bits too, I wanted to buy the apple shaped coat pegs, but there were only 2 left and they were both damaged. Had lunch in a nice little salad bar/vege food place, healthy , but made up for with the rocky road bar for dessert, though I did have to share with the baby!!!!!

Sunday, 21 January 2007

house shoes

sometimes it is just nice to start and finish a project in one night. none of that WIP business to have hanging over your head. So last night I made myself this pair of house slippers. I found the pattern at the Craft: pattern podcast on friday, and totally loved it. I used fabric I had close to hand, choosing heavyish weight cotton rather than the suggested denim.

and they fit!!

I am not much of a slippers girl, I like to be barefoot, and now I have 2 pairs as my mum bought me some pump style slippers for christmas too, but both those and these new house slippers are just nice to slip on for a bit when its cold and my toes feel icy. That is why I didnt worry about making them too sturdy, for occasional use prettiness wins the day.

Esme wants me to make her some now, another evening project for me.

Thursday, 18 January 2007

nice slow day at home

The weather is still terrible here, so much so that I kept the children home from school today, they have colds and we have to walk to school, they would have been so wet and windswept by the time we got there, that I took one look out of the window this morning and thought, nah. I would rather stay in than go out in that, not to mention the falling/flying debris, roof tiles, bins etc out there.

So we have had a lovely slow day at home. The children helped bake the soda bread hedgehog above (that looks a bit like a mouse) for lunch, then this afternoon we all sat and made pictures using this idea (a bit loosely).

First the children and I coloured in a sheet of paper each, we used coloured pencil crayons rather than the suggested ink, these ones, which are so lovely and chunky and smooth to use. I just said colour it in, and they did the rest. I did help laurie as he asked me to about halfway through when his arm got tired (he did the pink, I did the red).

then we cut up our sheets of paper (Esmes was the multicoloured, Lauries the pink and red and mine the green) into bits. this was good as well for the children to practice cutting. Next, we glued them onto white paper. here are the results.

This one is mine, you saw it before up top

The children gave theirs titles, so here is "Monster" by Laurie

"In the night" by Esme

"Mummy lying on the sofa" by Laurie (when do I get to do that???)

and "the Mushroom House" by Esme.

we cheated a bit as we used colours and shared each others shapes and papers, but it was fun and we all enjoyed it.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

rainclouds gathering

The rainclouds are gathering again here.

Esme drew these little cloud characters along the top of one of her pictures at the start of this week, I love all their little faces.

Sunday, 14 January 2007

borrowed a dog...

today the weather was lovely, so this afternoon we decided to go for a walk. we took our neighbours dog, just because she was outside when we were setting off and looked like she wanted to come!! So, please meet Wendy, our new (borrowed) dog. Esme said on the way, now we are like The Simpsons because we have a dog and a cat. hmm. It was pretty muddy underfoot, especially if you happen to be a tantrum throwing roll in the mud one-and-a-half year old (naming no names).

Wendy was returned home several hours later looking like both she and her pink leather diamond studded collar and lead needed a bath. why do dogs come in white??

Other stuff, I got these books in the library sale the other day.

I like Kate Atkinson, but havent read this book, and hadnt heard of the other two but they sounded readable, I paid £1.10 for all 3 of them, pretty good huh? And yes, I know the library has books you can borrow for free, but I always forget to take them back in time and have to pay fines, so really it is better to buy them!!

Friday, 12 January 2007

random buttons

I love these little buttons, they always make me smile, whenever I see a cute button I have to buy one or two for my collection. (yet another reason why anthea turner will never make me into a perfect housewife...have you seen that woman and her show???!!!)

I have no idea what I will do with these buttons, of course, but I just enjoy having them.

And look, I have sweet owl buttons, how adorable!! my owl love continues, today I found this, as I have been playing on flickr, updating my long neglected photostream and visiting some of my contacts photos. - I wasnt even doing an owl search. So I have bought the pattern on etsy and it will be winging its way to me (no pun intended!) through cyberspace hopefully as I type, lets hope my crochet is up to the challenge.

Thursday, 11 January 2007

owl obsession

I don't often get obsessions, I am not very faddy, I tend to flit about many interests at a time, fads are more my husbands thing, as I like to tease.

Anyway, I think I am developing a thing for owls, an obsession maybe. the other night I had a vivid dream about owls, which I only remembered after thinking my winter tree needed an owl. So, above and below are pics of my first needlefelted owl, he is only about 2 inches tall and comes complete with button eyes (I couldnt work out how to needlefelt eyes). I think he is sweet, and liked how quick and satisfying needlefelting turned out to be (can you see he has wings too?). I had been scared to try it, although I have had the 'gear' for a while, as my sister in law here and also here, who is soon to start her own blog... gave me a needle and some wool last summer.

I would share with you some of my other owl finds as some are pretty cute, here, here and here. And how did I miss that one of the month of softies last year was birds, but had so much owl cuteness??? I must have been asleep or something (for a whole month!!) .

Yesterday in town I also bought an Oilily bandana for the fabric, some of which I have already covered my smallest diary in (the diary that has been uncovered since its beginning in september as I hadnt found fabric I liked enough), and look what the design is called...

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

more crazy milka goodness

My friend went to Austria over the new year holiday Skiing, and bought me back these choccy bars. They are pretty yummy!! They seem to be representing decades through their flavours; vanilla pudding for the 50's, Raspberries and icecream (sundaes??) for the 60's and some sort of noisette/nutty thing for the 70's. We have only tried the Vanilla one so far, actually, being pretty chocolated out after christmas!! She also got me some mini kinder bars (what, those were for the kids? oh. ).

I have been attempting needle felting for the first time tonight, will show you tomorrow (dont get too excited though, I am not very good at all ), but I am too tired now, hubby has been hogging the computer all night.

Monday, 8 January 2007

because I am missing my christmas tree...

I had one of those metal trees from Ikea, like many people I am sure, they are pretty funky, but I never did anything with mine, I had a red one because I like red, but it never seemed to do much, it was too wide to sit on my mantle-shelf, and just got in the way really. for a long time I thought it would be good to cover it, to wrap it with fabric, as it always looked a bit plasticy, a reminder that it was pretty cheap, but its been one of those things I just think about.

Today we took the christmas tree to the recycling centre, to be turned into little chips or something, it was a bit sad as it was still looking good and hadn't lost many of its needles, but christmas is over and tradition dictates it must go, along with all the trimmings and other bits that brighten our houses. So, last night, in the knowledge of this, I wrapped my little ikea tree to put up instead, it can be my winter tree and maybe I will keep it through the year and redress it from time to time.

I used fabric from one of my old broidery anglais wraps, it was getting old and had a small rip on one side, so i didn't mind tearing it into strips. I really like the result, I have draped it with a ribbon and paper rose garland I bought before christmas, and added a robin from my decorations, I had wanted an owl, but I have no owls and the robins redness makes me smile. The tree is actually very white but it looks lovely in the warm glow of artificial evening lights, so I kept these photos rather than make some daytime ones.

It is sat upon my shelf where I had the nativity scene, but usually where I have family photos, so next I must bring those downstairs again and see which fit and which look nice with it. hope you like it. if you have an Ikea tree, why not make it pretty too?

Saturday, 6 January 2007

Winter W...where? shhh its a secret

today I planned a surprise after-dark outing.

Esme was desperate for me to tell her where we would be going and what the surprise was, but I managed to resist telling her, I almost whispered it in her ear at one point but managed to whisper instead " you are smelly and Daddy is smelly" sending her into fits of giggles.

I escaped to the shops for a few hours first leaving everyone else at home, mmmm, sales...they joined me once darkness fell so we could see the surprise in all its sparkly goodness.

it was of course Cardiffs Winter Wonderland, which ends this weekend, and where the children have been wanting to visit since the beginning of December when it first appeared, with all its lights and ice skating and big sparkly old fashioned fair rides, the Big Wheel, the Carousel, the Helter Skelter, fantastic, and all set against the impressive backdrop of the Museum of Wales and City Hall. What fun!! We of course had to have many a turn on each ride.

Unfortunately although the camera came on the trip (after a hasty reminder phone-call while shopping) the battery was dead, leaving us with only my new and cheap phone (how does it work, why is everything upside down) I get pretty cross when faced with new technology that I am not interested in (ie that I havent bought for myself).

immaterial really now as blogger is not letting me post photos tonight, after all my effort!

Maybe I can add something tomorrow, we will see. {photos now added!!}

In other news, I have set myself the arduous task of trying to find the best dark chocolate/ginger-combo bar out there. this follows Thorntons recent (ish) withdrawal of their little ginger choc bars, surely the best choccy bar of all time??? why oh why??? anyway, I have been sampling Green and Blacks ginger and Thorntons dark choc with ginger, results so far are inconclusive, more testing must be done.....

Friday, 5 January 2007

handmade christmas gifts #1

I wanted to show you some of the handmade things our family received this year. I will be showing more in the next week or so.

My sister in law Isabel of Anamama made all these, really cute bunnies (from Wee wonderful pattern book) with bags. She made one for each of the girls, and a matching bag for me. I love the fabric and colours she chose, really nice, and she is pretty new to the whole making/sewing thing too!! My bag has been used for storing books that I was given for christmas, until yesterday, when it got its first outing.

I took my new bag to the pantomime, a great british tradition (going to pantomimes at christmas that is, not necessarily needing a new bag to go with)! We saw Jack and the Beanstalk at the New Theatre in Cardiff. It was really good and fun to watch, and kept all the children well entertained, Lucie loved it and bounced and clapped all the way through, so it must have been good, to keep an 18 month olds attention for 2 whole hours!! The bag fitted 2 spare nappies, baby wipes, my wallet, phone, 2 large bags of sweets (which I managed not to open!!!) and a bottle of water, not bad eh?? I like to try and downsize what I need to take out with me every now and again.

Wednesday, 3 January 2007

christmas or easter meme

Weirdbunny tagged me with this meme days ago, but we have been here there and everywhere, and two of my children have been ill with a mystery virus, so I have not had much chance to get on the computer. so, I thought I had better do it now, after all my decorations are still up, including the pink barbie tree from Nanna for Esmes room which I only rebuilt in situ this morning!!!

Do you prefer Spring or Winter?
I like winter when it snows, but it exciting to see all the new buds and new life that spring brings with it.

Bunnies and chicks, or robins and reindeer?
robins and reindeer, they stir up childhood memories and the joys of christmas

Lamb or turkey dinner?
umm, neither, all veggies here!

Santa or the Easter bunnie?

Sacks of presents, or easter egg hunts around the garden?
Sack of presents, hardly anyone buys me easter eggs, I have to buy them for myself (or eat the kids ones!!)

Easter tree of Christmas tree?
both are cool , but we go all out on a big christmas tree that involves removing furniture to have room, and it is much more of an event, going to get the tree, putting on the lights, decorations etc

Dafodils or holly?
daffodils, holly is a bit prickly and I get twitchy about the berries and how appetising they might appear to my smallest child.

Easter eggs or tin of quality street?
both please! I love how now the cadburys creme egg production period begins before christmas, cant get enough of them!!

Easter or Christmas?

I'm tagging Anamama but I think I have left it a bit late to tag anyone else. if you are reading this and havent been tagged but would like to be, consider yourself tagged too!!