Thursday, 29 April 2010

new items

finally. i have updated my website. here are some new things for the stalls on saturday and monday.
i have the lovely linen satchels... great for holding the inevitable collections the boys seem to have. plus linen children's aprons.

i have ordered these items from shenzen in china. i went across on my last visit to my sister in hong kong and met up with the company and designed four items. to be honest, it was all a bit stressful! not from that end, more in terms of getting the stuff from felixstowe in the UK to here! and a bit more expensive than what i budgeted for! so while the unit cost is fine, and i knew the transporting costs from china, the charges in the uk were more than hefty.
anyway, i am adding an applique detail to the items, and am really pleased with the finished product. the quality is excellent - lovely linen, strong zip in the satchel. even a great towel-clip on the children's apron.
the ladies' apron is also lovely but my pregnant tummy doesn't do it justice at the moment and as it looks nothing on a coathanger... i need a model.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

the beltane festival

This is where we are headed on Sunday - sandwiched between the two stall-days of Saturday and Monday. So a proper family day out to help make up for the distractions of preparing for the fairs.

It looks great, an Iron Age Village set up with all sorts of stuff for the bank holiday. Face painting, archery, demonstrations and dressing up are all expected.

It is near Hertford, so only around 30 minutes from us.

Buy tickets online in advance for £7 each adult, kids will go free.

Monday, 26 April 2010


This unrelated image is a sneak preview of one of my satchels... embellished with a dinosaur, ready to appear at Kimpton and Markyate Fairs. (See previous post details).

I always said I would struggle to teach primary school... thinking they would be a bit needy and clingy compared to my secondary English classes. But find that they are pretty sweet!

I have picked up quite a lot of suppply teaching lately (except for school hols of course!) and have really enjoyed some groups especially. I had one of those days today. Really lovely kids, needing reminders to listen as expected, but generally fine.

And I got to launch into some familiar ground while covering non-fiction texts.

I go in armed with stickers, lots of praise and try and get a grasp on students' names immediately. It isn't always successful, mind you.

I wanted to tackle a few schools - expecting to get jobs in secondary - before popping out baby number three. I had a bit of a panic thinking that it may be nearly a decade between classes (!) But the predominent work seems to be in primary schools around here. I think the reason for this is that secondary schools keep their own cover teachers on the books themselves, saving on agency fees I guess. Anyway, I am thinking a month or so with the two days a week I am currently doing and I will feel ready to put away the whiteboard markers for the time being.

And what a job teaching is! Full of surprises, no two days are the same, it is creative... and lots of hard work. I would recommend it to anyone.

Sunday, 25 April 2010


I am here this Saturday... Kimpton Craft Market.
And also we have the Markyate May Fayre on the Bank Holiday Monday. It also includes the school walking float of Peter Pan - not to be missed. Harry would make a great Lost Boy. I think Freddie is going to be Captain Hook. Shall I try to make a tin foil hook?
Markyate's Fayre will hopefully be outside, by the village hall on Cavendish Road. Fingers crossed for good weather!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

another day

i really try to be more focussed on one thing at a time... but it just doesn't seem to happen that way.

today, things which are distracting me...

  • tax return (i have until 21 april. that is now, then)
  • toilet cleaning. we have three toilets in the house and with the boys, there is a lot of wiping over/ bleaching/ spraying and scrubbing involved. you would not believe how often this happens.
  • an over-full larder cupboard and my resolution to use at least one tin or jar. it looks like this.
  • fun stuff with the boys. we made this yesterday from a pack of squidgy clay from wilkos. (£1.49!)

  • and enjoying the lovely weather we are having.

Monday, 12 April 2010

sweetie shop

or 'lolly shop' as we'd say in australia. this is a very popular role play!

the boys set out lots of plastic boxes and fill them with the cupboard's treats. depending on whether there has been a party/easter/christmas... the selection varies. quite a lot to choose from at the moment!

they use my kitchen scales and their toy cash register and my little product bags to have their own shop.

it is helping freddie with his coins and counting (i am hoping!) and, well, harry just likes collecting sweets.

today's selections include
  • easter eggs - big, small and mini

  • animal crackers

  • raisins

  • lollipops left from last years summer party (i have been avoiding giving them out!)

  • fizzy sweets from last half term

  • easter choc lollipops.

boys happy for time being.. lots of reminders from me that they aren't actually going to eat their bounty. which i think they are taking on board.

Friday, 9 April 2010

guinea pigs

here the boys are in warwick, over easter. harry sporting his 'new' glasses. sorry it has taken so long to post this sweet little - professor face!

and we have been looking after owen and eddie while their family is on holiday for the week. great names for pets - after friends from school!

the boys have been over the moon! freddie was up at 5.45 (!) wanting to go down and see them this morning. i let him out the back door at 6.45, on the proviso that he would say hello but not let them out. hmmmm.

after about 5 separate attempts, i got them into their outside run.

proving to be a little mischievous, these two. but lots of fun.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

thank you gallimaufry!

Here is some of the gorgeous things posted to me for the swap. they come from gallimaufry... to be found here....

truly beautiful earrings -

plus other goodies: pretty fabric, a lavender bag, seeds and card. i think the seeds have been misplaced by the boys... i just need to hunt them out now the weather is improving.

thank you so much, sarah. and also to louise from sew scrumptious who organised all of us! it really helped pep up my blog/ craft interests.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010


Swaps are lovely things to be involved in... kind bloggers gather lists of interested parties and pair them up to receive each others' goodies in the post.

And it is so nice to get something through the door other than bills and rubbish free catalogues. Here is what I sent last week, have to head over and collect Freddie from his tennis, so I need to show what I was gifted next post...

Plus I will let you know the relevant bloggers. Promise.

My package included :
  • flower seeds (nightscented stock)

  • spinach seeds

  • cherry/ flower printed fabric bucket with yo yos

  • lavender wings

  • fat quarter of paisley/ flowery fabric

  • scratchable plant labels

  • spotty ribbon

  • flower chocolates

Saturday, 3 April 2010

easter craft

We found some polystyrene eggs in 'the works' and had a chance to modge podge them before easter.

add a little chick poked into the polystyrene with its feet and ta da!

(i also attached a string loop before we started the fabric scraps decoupage.) A bit messy, and to be honest, i finished them up... but freddie and harry gave one each to their special friends. and we have one for grandma and grandad - heading there tomorrow for a visit.

Happy Easter to all! xx

Friday, 2 April 2010

t-shirts for boys

I can get a little disappointed with the ranges of clothes around for boys... i like bright colours and stripes. i tend to avoid beige and sludgy colours and logos. (saying that we haven't avoided Ben10 totally!! i keep telling myself...'it's not about me, it's about the boys.' yeah right!)

i found this site via mumsnet. ksbkidswow! and great prices, too. there are lots of lovelies for girls including really sweet stripey leggings.

here is the package which arrived last week... orange and purple long sleeved tops (sale - £6 each) and short sleeved green and navy (£8).

and here are the boys in the bath with goggles. i was chatting to another mum at swimming lessons can't rave enough about kids and goggles. if you have trouble with your children getting water in their eyes, try goggles and get them used to wearing them with bath-play. the boys have come on so far... and Fred was so anti-splashing before!

Thursday, 1 April 2010

lamingtons and anzacs

Freddie's school has had a fabulous community week. thanks to a lot of hard work from the teachers and parents, the children have had visitors and international tastings and community involvement. busy with some challenging (!) supply teaching, i sent along some Australian food. i did plan on posting the lamington process but wouldn't honestly recommend making them!! oh my goodness! what a phaff...

lamingtons are really popular for fundraisers at schools in Australia and are squares of sponge coated in chocolate icing and then coconut.

here they are in the tin, for Fred to take in - note the sponge WITHOUT coconut... i ran out at around 9pm.

look at how organised i am.. it all looks so tidy, ready to go.

this is the first piece of sponge, broken in the icing. (before you ask, yes i did leave the sponge in the fridge overnight to firm up... maybe two days is better.)

and it all became this rather quickly.

The ANZAC biscuits were much more straightforward... easy oat/butter/golden syrup stirred together and baked. do try them! anzac recipe