Tuesday, 23 June 2009

sunny day out and sewing

What a lovely day, sun shining and a day out with my mum, we don't really go out together very much anymore as she is elderly now but today we went to Poulton, somewhere I love as the buildings are lovely and its full of trees and in the middle of the square is a church with lovely gardens. My mum had discovered a haberdashery shop and had been buying fat quarters so she took me to look around, it was wonderful, so many to choose from, plus buttons, ribbons, beads and loads of other stuff, I choose these 2 designs, not sure what for yet though.

Also got these, how adorable are the polka dot buttons, I couldn't resist. I also got these lovely little silk roses and this big copper bead to make a necklace wit. I could of gone mad in there but I have stacks of craft stuff already and keep adding to it is not a great idea! - that's me being sensible, just wait till i find some other treasure somewhere! hehe

I made this yesterday, I found an old vintage nylon dressing gown in a great little shop I go in regularly and after swanning round the house in it a couple of times imagining I'm in some 50's movie I realised it would be better cut up and made into a skirt, I added pink polka dot bows (polka dot mad at the mo) and sequins near the hem, I over locked it to some stretch elastic banding......

and voila turn it into this baby doll like ......dress!, it can be worn as a skirt as well I just pull it down to my waist. It does look better in real life I'm sure, even though my youngest said "WHAT are you wearing?" I told him I wanted to be a princess and he rolled his eyes and said "yeah right!" like I am so daft.

Better than the dresskirt is my second fairy girl painting, she is under a blossom tree with real dried daisy's glued on and a diamante and glitter on her wings, I really enjoyed doing this one, it made me all cheery. Its for sale, not decided which avenue to take yet for selling them, shop or Etsy or from my blog.

Enjoy the sun and hope to see some of you at Stanley Park on Friday for a home school meet x

Monday, 22 June 2009

Summers here....

I have been dreaming of a real summer, one with bright sunshine, making daisy chains and having long, lazy picnics in a field. So with that in mind I have been doing some dream shopping - if i ever actually get to own any of these lovelies then I will be a very happy lady!I really want this 6 man tee pee from Cath Kidston, I love the print and it makes me think of happy things like campfires and hot chocolate.I would want a few of these boxed floor cushions to park our weary bottoms on after chasing a frisbee at £35.00 I don't think they are cheap but this is my dream summer!! These pumps are the only thing I may actually buy, they are adorable and come in other prints too, at £16.00 they are a good purchase. Both Cath kidston.
Cabbages and Roses have some lovely clothes but this is one of my favourites, its plain and muted but I love the carefree style, its cotton and made in England but at £150 I will be trying to knock one up on my sewing machine.This beauty would be wonderful to relax on with tea and cake in the garden, with the scent of lavender filling the air and Mr Blackbird singing a song high up in the trees, this is also from Cabbages and Roses home deptI adore these mugs, you must take a look at this cool website full of quirky pottery, this mug is called Gogo, he lost his eye in a fight but has since reformed and spreads peace and love. They have a great collection of table wear too.
Happy summer to you all, fingers crossed for some lovely weather!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009


Oh so adorable and just what I would love, these cute note books, this one has got fairy tale pictures on it, now if only I had something to write other than shopping lists....

Little red riding hood on a cute bento box, just perfect for a picnic lunch under a cherry blossom tree.....

Cup of tea guvner?, Yes please out of this red riding hood teapot, perfect with home made scones and jam made with berries from the garden!

all from From Japan With Love, they have loads more too cute for words stuff, take a look!
now onto something less dreamy...
I did a bad thing... I fell in love, this in itself isn't bad, in fact its one of the best things that has ever happened to me, like EVER! but what came with it was that lovely feeling of feeling wanted warts and all and over the past 3 years without really realising it with that contentment came me eating, I love food, I love to cook and bake and especially love cake but before as a single woman I watched each mouthful in case dread of all dreads I had to get naked in front of a man!!!. As time goes by and your naked in front of the same man there isn't that same worry that he will not like your body, well in theory anyway.

I have always said to myself I would never let myself go or put on too much weight because I thought this is why lots of couples split up, you know after so long men generally don't fancy your wobbly bits and bobbly pajamas and would much rather live in cyber land with all the air brushed beauties and then probably move on to the first sexy woman that pays them any attention. I had confidence and a strong sense of reality when I was single and I never thought I would fall for a man in the way I have so maybe I was so sure I wouldn't let myself go because I never thought that love would happen to me.

Then standing in front of the mirror, feeling pissed off because none of last years summer clothes fit me, the fact of it all hit me, oh god when did the extra rolls appear - I kinda knew they were coming but kept telling myself it wasn't a big deal as I could just eat less and would lose them but now I realise I'm in denial.

When I stopped smoking last October I substituted the fags with sweets, I have no cravings for fags and found it really easy to stop, in fact I can't believe I smoked for 9 years, even watched my Dad die of cancer from smoking and still carried on. I read Allen Carr's book and feel in awe of this guy, he was a fantastic man, and stopped easily. But then if I didn't have sweets it would be biscuits or anything really to put in my mouth, I think I'm orally fixated (see I did learn something in psychology!).

I have tried to start calorie counting - how boring and being more aware of whats going in compared to how little I'm doing that day, its all a bit of a bore but I thought in spite of all this I will confess in the hope of making someone smile......

Picture the scene after what you have just read, I'm in the kitchen making dinner and writing down the calories of the labels, dividing the 100 % on the packets up etc, running back from the kitchen to the computer to see how many calories are in home made chips - I know not a diet food - and baking the left over cookie dough from the fridge for the boys to have with their milk before bed - I was prepared this day, dancing around to whatever was on the radio, and generally trying not to think about chocolate when I couldn't hold on any longer, I took one of the hot cookies out of the oven and took a big bite, this is where diet karma came in, I had baked the kids salt dough by mistake eurgh!!! it tasted gross, Mouthful of salt put me off raiding anything else before dinner!

Friday, 12 June 2009

Fairies and foraging.....

After the success of the painting for my mum - she loved it! and chatting to a lady in the haberdashery shop I plucked up the courage to ask a local shop in town which sells the most delightful things mainly to do with fairies, if I could put some art in her shop, she said yes and ever since then I have been really joyous and enjoying painting when I can squeeze it in around the garden and boys, I came across the idea I would do the four seasons, so I started with autumn, I love the warm colours and listening to the crispy leaves under foot and my painting just appeared thinking of these things, you can't see on this pic but it has got glitter and little diamante on her wings, there are gold leaves that glisten in the light on the trees too and she is looking at a hedgehog. I have completed spring too but not took a pic yet.
Other things I have been up to is really getting into the idea of free food and foraging, this has appealed to me for the past year or two and I'm finally getting around to learning more, so with my trusty flower guide in hand we went in search of elder flowers, I guessed we would have a fair trek to find some but lo and behold around the corner from our house in the cemetery was loads of the stuff! now I will add, this was not near any graves - I'm not THAT bad....and I did ask the gardener who was more than happy to let us have some, even though he did that smirk, you know the one, where they think your a loony hippy mama who has been let out for the day!

We filled our shopper with elder flowers, the boys did take some persuading at first as they thought they would "get done" for taking it, they did voice the opinion "that we could just buy some". But after a mum talk they came round to the idea, mainly to stop me going on I guess!
They quite happily started picking off the flowers to put in the bucket but after half a bag got really bored with the whole thing, my eyes and nose was streaming as it really set off my hay fever, Adam was not happy at being covered in pollen, but finish they did and then into the kitchen to add the lemon, sugar and boiling water....

Ooh the stench that filled the air of floral, sweet pollen when the water went on, it really was strong, that made them laugh at me for coming up with such a daft idea as drinking flowers!
Lets hope it tastes OK or this will be another "where mum went wrong" story!

Thursday, 4 June 2009

how does your garden grow...

Growing veg for me this year was to see if with the help of Carol Kleins book Grow Your Own Veg (Rhs) was a sustainable thing for us as a family to achieve. Last year I planted seeds far too late, had a load of runner beans but didn't know how to cook them properly and carrots no bigger than a thumb!
I have been reading up and collecting seeds since before Christmas and couldn't wait to get going with it. Our garden I always thought is small and didn't think I could get a good supply of veg plus keep chickens plus have a sitting out place and a washing place plus the area for making impromptu tents for the boys to play in, but once I had cleared away the rubbish (old mattress, cardboard boxes, chest of drawers!!etc) and moved the pond with the help of the boys and bribes of a TV day and cakes! there is a fair amount of garden. We are boxed in on all side by houses and don't have a back gate so a rough idea of a plan was easy. On the back wall are fruit bushes, a couple my Dad planted a few years ago and some I planted this year. There are also brambles which I cut back with many thorn pricks and swearing on my part, but I didn't want to get rid of them completely because they give a good supply of blackcurrants in summer.
I cleared and dug over an area in the middle and put in bamboo canes for peas, green beans and french beans. I edged the different bits with small fence things from the pound shop and used all sorts of things for planters, this is how it looked a few weeks ago, the tiny seedlings around the tepee are the peas......

This is how it is now, the peas have shot up with this warm weather, in front are onions, cabbages and broccoli. In the tray to the left (which was an old ratty cage) are spring onions and lettuce, we have helped ourselves to the lettuce over the past few days but the youngest informed me "we must stop taking them or there will be none left" don't think he has the concept that, that is the idea!

In this really old Colman's starch ships chest are onions and sweet peas, I think we threw some cress in there too, I have used loads of kids plastic toy boxes as planters, they work out cheaper and are a lot deeper than garden tubs, especially good for carrots I find, damn the pesky slugs or they would be in the ground. I used half a milk carton for growing seeds in as they are free (well apart for when you buy them with the milk in)

Early mornings and last thing at night before it goes dark are the best, I water the plants and get in/put out the laundry and Chris feeds the chickens/ puts them in for the night and has little talks with them, he is often in different attire and is garden wear is limited to PJ's, duvets or just wellies sometimes! Here is is chattering away, he didn't know I took this. I adore listening to the stuff they come out with and really wish I had written more down when they were smaller.

I'm trying to get them more interested in gardening and flowers and found a couple of great books, junior book of wildflowers and junior guide to trees, these have lovely illustrations and tell you where to find the different flowers, we take these out to the park with us and the magnifying glass and try to match up with the book. If we can't match up we pick some and bring them home to look at and put in the nature journals I'm trying to get them to do. Its kind of hit and miss though this homeschooling lark, sometimes I worry we don't do enough and other times we do loads in one day then nothing for a few days, they are learning all the time, I know this by the chats we have, sometimes they shock me with the things they have learnt, I think wow it's really great.
I also wondered what to do about Adam, he is old enough to start high school this September and he has got a place just in case he wants to go but I'm really not sure whether just to send him and see if he likes it as he's right and does well when he is stimulated mentally, he loves art and is really good at it and think school would be good, on the flip side I really don't want him mixing with the hideous kids that go there. Has anyone else home schooled and then sent there child to high school?
I know Cherie from swift clan is embarking on this next week so it will be interesting to see what happens.