Monday, 8 November 2010

a little sewing

just a little.

these are heart shaped wheatbags for a good friend. they are filled with wheat and lavender ready to be given out at birthday parties. a great idea... i sold a lot last year. i just need to order more lavender, pick up some more wheat, choose fabric etc.... for a new batch to sell.

to be honest, i am only just keeping on top of the house and the kids at the moment so it may be a bit of a pipe dream.

i did a tutorial on making animal wheatbags before last christmas if you fancy whipping up a few. great gifts!


well, the month has now been and gone. but here are a couple of things we got up to:

gus found his hand.

freddie was a very stately nelson for book week. and harry was a grumpy gruffalo (there are purple prickles all over his back).

and we went trick or treating.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Harry at school!

yes... there should have been photos. Here you go, lovelies! And I am impatient at the moment with the formatting so excuse the lack of flow.

Just look at what a big boy Harry is now! He is so excited about school, and has fitted in brilliantly. It really helps that he knows the teachers well already and feels quite at home.

And the other thing to share is this fantastic pudding feature in November Living etc . Already my favourite magazine delivery, it includes Donna Hay's recipes. Here are a few old standards including super simple chocolate self saucing pudding. You wouldn't believe that it actually works - make a batter, sprinkle over dry sugar and cocoa and cover with boiling water. It comes out of the oven a gooey, sticky revelation.

I had a great day on Saturday at Anna's Bumble Shopping Event. It was in a gorgeous town called Wing, near Leighton Buzzard. Anna invited her really lovely friends, opened her beautiful house and I sold a few bits. And ate cakes. Even having a really busy lead-upto the event, I feel quite at peace today having had so much positive feedback for my stall.

Sunday, 19 September 2010


We spent two weeks on the South Coast - the lovely Wittering, which is near Chichester. Not the hot summer we were hoping for but still plenty of chances to visit the super-close beach.

Here is baby Gus, a few weeks old while on holiday. I can't believe it has been (even more than) a month since my last post. I just can't seem to find the time for reading or writing anything at the mo. Or even updating the photos. I spend a lot of time on the sofa, feeding. Or taking Freddie and Harry up to school and back again. And up and back again.

Gus is 9 weeks old now. Amazing!

So life here has motored on.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

paper city 2

here is our paper city.
the boys were slightly distracted and decided to cover themselves in 'tattoos' in the middle of the process... and then really enjoyed playing with the city in the garden.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

paper city

thanks to sycamore stirrings, i found this crafty blog from a dad...
madebyjoel. and we are in the process of building our very own paper city. scroll through and see all the amazing things he makes - and great evidence that simple things can be so effective.
i am hoping to add the boys' city to this post today... or tomorrow... or soonish, anyway!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

day ten

baby boy gus edward, born 19 july, 2010.

all is going well... thanks for all the kind wishes.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Friday, 16 July 2010

baby quilt

Look at this beautiful quilt that mum is making for the baby. It has such great colours! There are marching animals embroidered on the white strips which are a bit difficult to see in the pic. So much work, but greatly appreciated.

All the grandkids have been lucky enough to get a quilt from granny - and they will be treasured forever.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

waiting for the baby

here I am about to leave for the hospital and my sweep. mmm.

we aren't overdue - just expecting another big baby.

and waiting (finally got keith to take a pic of bump for posterity! nothing like the last minute).

Thursday, 8 July 2010

sewing, again

If you notice the list of blogs to the left, vintage fern is there. The author, Amy, is from Bountiful, in Utah; and she was part of the original charm square swap that inspired me to keep this record. A pattern review of hers was published in Sew Hip and I posted a copy of the magazine to her so she could have a hard copy.
And look what she sent in return! Really gorgeous fabrics, loving the birdie print!
Trying to deal with my procrastinating instinct, I wanted to make something for the baby. I have been lent a perfectly good moses basket... but I thought I'd re-jig the cutesy bear design. And I LOVED the use of black in the patchworks at the V & A. So - ta da!!
Maybe it doesn't say newborn to you... but I am quietly pleased. Keith is not so sure... I think. I used some recycled sheets, too. Yellow for a fitted sheet and brown (very Laura Ashley) sprigged for the back of the little 'blanket' that fits in the middle. The turquoise graphic sent by Amy worked really well as a binding to the black.

To make it, I just cut the old pieces apart and took a pattern from them. Haven't yet broken the news to the owner of the basket...

fred's cinema day

Five friends didn't seem many... that is, until you are at the end of a row trying to 'hush' them all!! (There is on hiding behind the column).

We did have a good time. The film was good - Bedtime Stories - with Adam Sandler. And I had little bags of popcorns and only a few sweets.

Then McD Happy Meal, and home for collection. And Freddie's lovely friends put some money in for a new scooter (to replace to one 'borrowed' from the school playground). They are all fab kids, and you can see, so kind to Harry.

Maybe it was unecessary but both boys have had a special day... leading up to baby-madness.

Friday, 2 July 2010


a few things to report today.

the moo cards arrived, very speedily and they look great. the reverse side has my contact info, and the front has any picture you would like. up to 50 different images can be chosen. they look great. thanks to sew scrumptious for posting this offer - 50 free cards (just pay postage) to be found here.

and had a great parcel from mum full of baby things - especially lovely target and bonds stuff from australia.

and super easy tea this week for the boys and us. chicken drumsticks marinaded all day in tomato sauce, sweet chilli sauce, soy and ginger. do slash through the skin to let it soak up the flavours, and cook at around 180 degrees so they don't get too brown and crispy with all of that sugar in the sauces. the boys love eating the drums like cavemen!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

oooh. a sale.

cox and cox have up to 60 % off their lovely bits at the moment.

i bought one of the jigsaw cookie cutters. but resisted the bird postcards. then added a few bits for the present cupboard. (we seem to have boys' birthdays galore at the moment).

Sunday, 27 June 2010

harry's adventure

this is a very quick post to show you harry's special day. it was all a great success - went to the local petting farm - which is on a suitable small scale. visited animals, played on the equipment, jumped on trampolines and the bouncy castle. then consumed lunch bags, ice creams and made it home in time for the football.

just me and keith with the 6 children and it was a breeze. keith was fab - carting the lunch supplies etc in the 30 degree heat. and all the children were beautifully behaved.

bring on fred's cinema day next sunday, i say!
here the boys are, 'watching' the football with daddy!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

party bags

we have had a summer party for freddie and harry for the last two years. their birthdays are the 28th and 29th dec. (!!??) so it has been nice to celebrate with them in good weather with some time to prepare.

but with the baby coming soon, we are having two small days out to give each a bit of attention.

freddie is off to the cinema with 5 others... £1 showings on the weekend... then probably pizza hut.

and harry has 3 friends coming to the small farm just near us.

this is harry's party bag assortment. i visited poundland and dunstable discount. great fun! the latter had some plain coloured sheets of paper which i folded and ironed before stitching into a little booklet with a strip of fabric on the outer. i remember mum doing this for us with waste paper and a zigzag stitch. if i was doing it again, i would take a bit more time... find my pinking shears and cut an outer piece of fabric the same size at the sheets. you can see a stack of booklets to the left - there is one each for both groups.

included in the see-through plastic wallets (depending on the group) are : haribo sweets, pen/ toy story stamper felt tip, plastic recorder, glow bracelet, badge, teeny dinosaurs, lei, chewy sweet, kinder hippo, balloon.

v a

I made it to the quilt exhibition! hurray.

and it was fabulous. great to be inspired and awestruck by the hard work involved. the historic quilts were favourites, plus one from the inmates of wandsworth prison.

plus the v & a was lovely. for some reason, i'd never been in the cafe before and was surprised by how beautiful it was with some very romantic tile-images. and lovely food, too! here was lunch - pastrami bagel. mmm. (note glass of milk - horrible heartburn with everything at the moment).

and i probably don't need to write about what great stuff was in the gift shop. half a dozen fat quarters later... and a badge maker plus book, plus tea towels...
i didn't tackle anything else that day. just straight in on the train/ tube to south kensington and back home.
i am feeling the weight of the baby, now. and it is count down. three weeks, here we go.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

actually sewing!

Ok. It has been a while... but I have just finished a flag special order for Jon's friends.

Their little girl, Aphrodite -what a great name!- will have this adorning her wall. And there is a bib and satchel (I think for Isabella and Alina and Jon).

I have made lots of bunting anf flags. They look great... but are so time consuming! Saying that, I stetched four sets of the bright triangles around the garden yesterday and they really add to the festive feeling for the bbq we had. Glad there was something festive after the slightly disappointing result from England.

Go Australia tonight - against Germany. We'll see how that goes. Perhaps an upset is on the cards?

Thursday, 10 June 2010

roald dahl museum and blenheim palace

We are around 40 minutes from a beautiful town called Great Missenden. Here is where the late, great Roald Dahl lived. And where you can visit a special museum. These fab petrol pumps are on the High Street.

The boys are in hysterics as we bought some farty sounding putty from the gift shop. Hours of fun.

Inside the museum there is so much to inspire. For me as an English teacher, and of course the boys, too! Here Freddie is with one of the story bags... items linked with some of Dahl's famous novels.

Harry has just been sitting in the actual chair used by Roald Dahl for his writing. He would vanish off to a separate building with his thermos, lead pencils and a specially taped up cardboard barrel resting on his knee to write comfortably.
There was an emphasis on the process of writing for the kids - getting ideas together, creating heroes and villians and developing plot. Perfect for a school trip. I loved it! And although Freddie got the most out of it, still there was stuff for Harry to enjoy.

And the other weekend-day we had was at Blenheim Palace for brother Jon's triathalon effort. Well done to him! We were there with his Alina and the gorgeous baby Isabella...