Monday, 3 November 2008

pumpkin fun

We dont really do halloween, but I do like a pumpkin, so last Thursday we went to the pumpkin farm and chose a nice big one to carve. They were quite pricey so we all shared one and squandered the rest of our money on the other goods for sale; locally made ice cream (for the children) and hot chocolate (for the grown ups) to enjoy at the farm, and a jar of fresh honey to take away with us. There was also a walk with clues that took us into the orchard, past the henhouse, through the vinyard and back to the pumpkins. The children charged round, it was freezing but very sunny, and we had a really lovely afternoon.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

autumn acorns and mice

Getting into the Autumn groove, I have been enjoying making these acorn caps over the last week or so, I am not so good at crochet really, but these are easy peasy! The children have been enjoying the Brambly hedge Autumn story. We love the detailed illustrations of the little mice houses.

(ps, the acorn cup pattern was not originally by me, I found it on whip up (I think!) but now i cant find it to put in a proper link)(link added, it was via crafty crow!)

Monday, 6 October 2008

small things of beauty

I have to show you this moss.

It grows on a wall I walk past most days. I first noticed it on a really really rainy day, I was walking home up the hill, pushing the baby in her pushchair, with my toddler by my side walking, and we were drenched, to the point where I had just decided we couldnt get any wetter.

We slowed down to a stroll, and looked around about us, and there was this moss, luminous against the dark, nearly black-wet stones of the wall. It was so green and soft and velvet and lovely, and we just stood and looked at it and touched it.

Now I cannot walk past without touching its loveliness, and I may not have even seen it had we not got so wet.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008


I was inspired by some ric rac coasters I saw on whipup to make some for myself. I had already been thinking I would make some quilted ones from this lovely tree mushroom squirrel fabric. I cut rough squares, hand sewed them and stuffed them with a piece of old woollen blanket to make them able to withstand lots of heat. I found it tricky to get the ricrac round the edge, I think I was probably doing it wrong (I didnt read the tutorial!), but they turned out sweet and make me smile and only took an evening to make.

Monday, 29 September 2008

cake day

Chocolate chip cookies, Lemon syrup cake, Praline cake, Devon apple cake and a carrot.

A few days ago we had a long-missed cake day round at my house. We used to do this more frequently but have got out of the habit!

It involves everyone baking the day before, then bringing a cake to share, and we sit about and chat and drink tea, all day. There were the usual cake day group of friends plus a few newbies as my sitting room isnt too big, but we have lost some original members to full-time employment. We had a little collection for the Christian Aid Mad Hatters Tea Party (like we needed an excuse to eat cake!) I also made cheese scones for lunch, one friend brought round fresh chives for these and another bought olives - the carrots were for the babies!

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

tree report

Over the summer a flock of beautiful birds have made a new home for themselves in my little fabric tree. The branches are rather crowded but no-one seems to mind. The bird pattern was from ....

and here is the progress of the weather tree after almost a month. I think I could have picked the colours better in hindsight. I will continue this year and change them for next year I think.

And Esme has been thinking about trees too, she drew this one last week.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

so excited receive this in the post!

It is a weather tree, and I and my sister in law Red Rapunzel have been searching for this poster for 5 years since we first saw one. We were staying in Ilam hall youth hostel and there was one in the shop window, but it was the only copy and not for sale. since then we have been unable to track one down, and after many phone calls to the YHA I had all but given up. But she has managed to track them down and buy one for me too! And, on what I think is a new website, you can buy one for yourself here.

You assign a different colour for each type of weather condition, and then each day of the year you colour in one leaf according to the weather, we are going to use watercolour pencils. So you eventually get a pictoral record of a whole years weather. you can start at any time during the year, we started ours yesterday.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

how does your garden grow?

recently we took charge of our neighbours garden while they were away on holiday. I had a little willing helper, to water the many pots. We then went back to our garden, which is mostly lawn and plastic toys, and felt inspired to attempt to grow some of our own. here there should be a photo of our great success, but the slugs and snails all seem to live on our side of the hedge!

Friday, 23 May 2008

trip to the beach

My love of the seaside has meant it is never very long before my babies get to see the sea. This has to be one of our favourite beaches too, it has rockpools, nice smooth sand when the tide is out, (although an alarmingly quickly incoming tide!) and an exciting hidden walled garden with heavy weathered gates and turreted walls, great for hiding and chasing about in.

We spied this garden display belonging to the little house right next to the sea, how did we miss it before? One day I want to live by the sea just so I can have a wall like this!

Isla was not phased by all this though, cosy in her sling, she just came for the ride!

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

what shall i call this - blimey a post???!!!!

Thought I would share some most recent gifts, it was my birthday on Monday, a pretty jar of buttons, arranged in rows of colours, a gift from Julia (thank you!) and a hand spun and handmade bracelet, a gift from non blogging (yet - though she should!) kirsten - thank you too! (fabric behind and on top of jar is from Julias recent trip to London, I must let her do a guest blog in the next few days and tell you all about it!)

Baby Born keeps freaking me out, Esme has taken to dressing her in the babys clothes, borrowing the moses basket and putting baby born in it, leaving her lying on the floor, that kind of thing. You can see why, they are pretty similar!!

I haven't fallen off the edge of the planet after all. here I am. And its not the babys fault, its my stupid Internet provider. it mostly isn't working. roll on June, and hopefully a smooth switch over (another) to someone better.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

busy little blackbird

From my sitting room window I have been watching this female blackbird collecting materials to build her nest. She has chosen a beautiful spot, deep among the flowering clematis right next to the window. We cannot see the nest, and I am guessing now she is getting ready, or maybe even sitting on her eggs already, as I have only seen Mr Blackbird the last few days, taking mouthfuls of worms to the nest.I am hoping soon to see baby blackbirds taking their first flights, how lovely.

And here is my newest little bird, we have named her Isla, after much pondering, choosing names is so hard. I have been enjoying dressing her in the nighties that I wore when I was newborn - they have lasted well!

Friday, 18 April 2008

She's arrived!

Yes, the moses basket has a new resident! We have a beautiful baby girl, born at home on Monday evening.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

quick, sew!

After seeing the lovely job Kisskus did on her moses basket, I decided maybe I would have one too this time. I won the basket on ebay last week for a bargain £3.80, and immediately ordered myself some scrummy japanese fabric. I admit to blatantly copying the simple style of basket cover from kisskus, hope she doesnt mind. I also decided to make a miniquilt to go with it, using every last scrap of my japanese fabric, and joining it with some of my favourite green linen fabric, which goes on forever (but is hard to sew with, as it has so much movement.)I also stole the idea for the strip of patchwork down the quilt from someone in blogland, and when I rediscover who it was I shall ask their permission and give credit!! (was it you???!!!) so, in 2 days i completed this fun task, and I am pleased with how it turned out. All ready now!

Today, Weirdbunny - my guest blog writer!

(no news on the baby front yet!)

Hello Weirdbunny here.

Thankfully Hannah has let me invade her blog just for today to showcase the wonderful bunny I received from Suzie Sews. Yes I've finished my blog, but I just had to let everyone see the bunny Suzie made me as part of an Easter Swap we did. Thank you Suzie !
Julia x

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

38 weeks

I was taking a few pics of the nearly completed bathroom at the weekend and decided it was about time I had a photo of me during this pregnancy! so here we are, 38 weeks and hoping baby will come anytime now.

Oh and this is the bathroom, the walls are a kind of grey, with the bottom half tiled with big white brick shape tiles. it needs some other stuff on the walls too, like a mirror and maybe some sort of art over the bath, as its a bit plain at the moment. other than that, its turned out really well. Oh, need some new towels too.

and another one of me, dont you just love stretchy dungees!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008


Laurie has been drawing some great things this Easter holiday, especially birds. He drew his Nana a card with a jackdaw on for her birthday last week, and it was the beginning of many more bird pictures. I especially liked this little blue one.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Pirates, rabbits and snails

A random snapshot of our life here today! I have been meaning to make this pirate T-Shirt for ages now, we have this cool book called 'Tim, Ted and the Pirates' that had an equally cool scull illustration that I have always wanted to print onto a shirt. I was going to use freezer paper, but decided to use fabric pen this morning on a him. It turned out pretty good I think.

Next, Lucie poses with my Yo-Yo bunny, from Jackie as part of the Easter Bunny swap organised by Lucy Locket recycled. It is for the new baby, but try telling Lucie that!!

And finally, the (pet garden) snails have had babies, they thrive on neglect it seems.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Happy Easter!

Hi, I am of course back home, blogging very infrequently again I am afraid, still trying to finish the bathroom, and every other room in the house seems to be affected too, you start moving one thing around.... Hubby laughs and says I am nesting. 4 weeks to go until baby is due - not long now thank goodness. I also lost my camera lead, have found it now though. wanted to share a great book I bought at the nursery booksale recently, Henny Penny. Does anyone remember it? It is such a reminder of childhood for me, look at the picture story inside!

We made Easter hats the other day, the children wore them today proudly. they involved lots of pens and glue and general stickiness - great fun!

Is anyone else having trouble uploading pictures to blogger? I cant seem to load a single picture easily since about christmas, it takes ages and sometimes just doesnt seem to load at all, so I have to keep cancelling. It doesnt like it if I put on more than one photo at a time either. Its driving me mad! (had to backdate this post a whole day as pics wouldnt upload at all!)

Thursday, 28 February 2008

indoor fun

Still away from home, we have been doing lots, inside and out. A few days ago I discovered this great idea for making little magazines (or in our case books) from one sheet of paper, Esme in particular has been enthralled ever since and has been busy making up stories.

The two younger children have been discovering some of the toys that used to belong to me and my brother, I love that they take pleasure in playing with them, even though they are worn and chipped and dont make loud noises or need batteries.

My weetabix racing car.

Little people.

Monday, 25 February 2008

daffodil woods walk

We are away this week visiting my parents while at home hubby is in charge of supervising the man rebuilding the bathroom (how exciting!). Today we went on a lovely walk through Betty Daws Wood, the children, myself and Grandpa. The hundreds of daffodils are tiny and grow wild here, they are so pretty.

There were many snowdrops too.

Friday, 22 February 2008

blue skies

Another week (or two) and no posts, oh dear. been busy, the children were home last week on half term, we had a lovely chill-out week, and the weather was really good to us, resulting in some al fresco eating of lunch, in the park and at home.
(there should be a pic of lunch here but blogger doesnt like it and refuses to load it!)
One day we had some friends big and small round for a clay-day, which was great fun for all of us.

I really must also announce the winner of the oops magazine freebie, which was...

mijk of mijk improves, picked out by Esme "Milk, it says milk mum, oh no, thats a J, it says...(followed by a long silence)...". she got confused by the name that looked like neither English or Welsh! So, another parcel to Mijk, as I noticed she just won Julias 300th post freebie too!!! lucky girl! I will get the parcel in the post as soon as I can.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Sun Monkeys

I have been enjoying making these monkeys up for the last couple of evenings. And today they were able to bask in some rare winter sun. Still to decide if they need clothes, I kind of like them without. When I made Betsy, my first sock monkey, I tea dyed her to make her look old, and stuffed her with old cut-up shirts, so she is heavy and lumpy. These two are lovely and squishy and soft though.