Monday, 31 May 2010

Absence makes the heart grow fonder - I hope!!

Sorry for the dreadful delay in posting, I have been full of cold, busy painting, lots of other stuff which is a bit boring and trying to find a house to move too, anyway today is the day in between making dinner and tidying up for a thank you post. You see I took part in crafty helen's fabric swap
My swap partner was Kazzy from A mermaids purse who has a lovely blog and is a very talented illustrator, so can you imagine my delight when my parcel arrived wrapped in cath kidston wrapping paper and I opened it to find this beautiful fairy girl drawn onto fabric, Oh my saints and souls, I was thrilled. I'm half way through making it into a lamp shade, just perfect for my sewing corner.
I also received this lovely hand crafted textile card and this lovely tin which has a friends poem written on the lid, so lovely. Inside it had little lavender mice which are now hanging in my wardrobe to keep the moths at bay, some fabric cut out hearts and ribbons, wooden hearts too.

loads of delightful girly fabric, I'm loving this felt toadstool scene too, I have a cardie I may sew it onto.

Beautiful, THANK YOU KAZZY!!!!!!!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

What a week!!

It's been one of the busiest weeks we've had for ages, its been lovely and sunny but getting hotter each day, so now its Saturday I'm staying home nursing sunburn and falling asleep every time I sit down!!
On Tues we went to a home school summer fair/meet up party as one of our friends is going away for 3 months!!we won't see them till September. Lots of us stayed in the garden, me knitting (thanks for this knitting pimp pic Claire!)
I managed to get quite a bit done and the boys were shattered from all the outdoor playing.... On Wednesday my friend came to show me her delicious baby boy, so the boys very quietly got on with school work whilst she was here - they are always quiet when people come round and then the people always say "what lovely, quiet boys you have", Ha if only they knew that as soon as the coast is clear they go back to funny, loud boys!!
Then on Thursday we went to lego land in the Trafford centre, Manchester, one of the dad's from home school arranged it for us, everyone else went in cars and me and M went by train and bus, oh my the bus stops about 2 1/2 miles away from the entrance, it was roasting and the bus was full of manky people, when we got in though it was good, but on the small side, I imagined it to be like the Windsor one but this one is like a big dept store that has been turned into lego land. There was no air con and they had those hideous bright lights that give me headaches. Everyone was sweaty and then school children descended and the noise so really loud, not my thing. On the plus side because I'm sounding like a right old grump, there was a good laser shooting ride to save the princess and fab builds like this Darth Vader....

Blackpool in Lego was surreal
a huge Lego pit, which is great in theory but in reality it kept getting brats stomping through it in their shoes making a right racket and potentially causing injury to any nearby builders *brats did not belong to our group! loads of other fab building and statues etc. They also had a 4D cinema, I wondered what 4D was, its 3D glasses and effects like rain, wind, snow etc blasted at you, it was really good but it takes my eyes ages to adjust to the 3D thing, I can't watch a full length movie with them on, I'm sure they are no good for your vision or brain. What else, erm a car racing area, where you could build your own car and race it down big ramps, a workshop to build the tallest tower, the kids enjoyed that one. A big Lego shop, Chris thought all his dreams came true in there, he had been saving up for 2 months to buy something, so spent ages choosing.

The journey back was spent missing trains, standing up because train was packed and more stinky passengers on the bus. Home for around 7pm, sweaty, tired and bad back ache, kids exhausted and sweaty but had fun.

Friday.....oh what joy (that's sarcastic). Names shall not be used to protect my ass in case it gets a whippin'. It started off good, my friend J came with her little girl and me and the boys and her went on the bus to Fleetwood to catch the ferry but we was early so we went on the pier for a bit, I'm surprised its still standing actually, it could do with a lick of paint and a good scrub but we was amused to find this musical puppet show:
I'm not sure if it is totally hideous or rather kitsch, the boys hated it and the girls loved it in a weird way. Note to self: don't ever use the staff toilets on the pier - eurgh!!

We then went to catch the ferry and our other friend was running a little late so the ferry driver was waiting for her and f'ing and blinding for her to hurry up which is pretty funny because the crossing only takes 3 minutes!

over we go....still smiling at this point......
Then we met up with other home schoolers for a walk, the walk was described as down a disused railway track, I'm thinking stand by me film, adventures etc.....oh no, think dried up muddy track, no railway lines, no sleepers, nothing just mud, in fact until it was pointed out where we were I wouldn't of had a clue! The map reader kept calling us to go back as the turning had been missed on more than one occasion and it was so pedantic that this map was followed it was like a military operation, there was no slowing down to see any wildlife, no resting in an idyllic spot, in fact it was bloody hell, burning heat, marching forward. Me and J and our kids, broke away from the group who still had miles to walk and went our own way, as soon as we turned the corner Adam said he felt free again, I did too. We then started to enjoy ourselves even though it was boiling, we saw a mummy duck and her ducklings crossing the road

we found a farm shop, saw Indian runner ducks, lots of Jemima puddle ducks and lots of other lovely things at a nice pace, we then jumped on the nearest bus and came home!!
Today I am very burnt, very tired and my lovely fellow and Adam have gone to Wembley to see Blackpool make it to the premiership, its 107 degrees pitch side so they will be really hot, I hope their coach has air con, they won't get back till 1am, so tomorrow we are having a day in, chilling and being together. Ive really missed spending time with my fellow this week, we have been so tired with the early mornings and travelling that we have been in bed straight after the kids. It has been lovely though to see good friends and have some sun.
I was part of the fabric swap Helen did, and my swap partner was the lovely Kazzy, I received her parcel on Lego Thursday so that cheered me up big time, all I can say is wow! what a beautiful parcel I received, full of goodies. I am going to do a separate post on it as Adam has taken the camera to Wembley so I can't take pictures and it needs to be shared through pictures, so THANK YOU KAZZY for all my adorable things and for making me feel lovely xxxxx

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Monday, 17 May 2010

lovely, lovelies

I have been a busy bee, making and doing, I had, had enough of the chunky winter curtain that hung at the kitchen window blocking out the sunshine (it is good for keeping drafts out too!) and whizzed a quick replacement up with a vintage pillowcase and some lovely lace and 3 gingham hens...
the pics don't show but I hand embroidered the combs and wattles on and some tail feathers too, I had been saving this material for ages for the perfect make and I'm glad I did it on this, it cheers me up each time I wander into our tiny kitchen.

I have also been out and about rummaging in charity shops, which I will be honest have been disappointing of late, too overpriced or filled with not very good stuff. So imagine my delight dear readers when I found a new charity shop had opened just around the corner from me!!

Some of my bargains..... this woolen next cape was £1 - can you believe it, the brand new balls of wool are only 50p, and craft mags are 10p........see now why I'm excited!

I also got some lovely books for me and the boys, there were so many to choose from.......

Imagine the look on the boys faces when mummy declared "ooh boys, look what I got for home school" and showed them the learn french record, they smiled sweetly and said "gee thanks mum", actually that's a big, fat lie, they screwed up their faces and shouted "were not listening to that". But alas one day I shall play it, maybe whilst we eat lunch so they are stuck at the table and can't escape hehe.
Have any of you been watching over the rainbow?, my faves went out a few weeks ago but I'm a little bit addicted to it, much to the horror of the rest of the family - I'm the only girl remember, I love the clothes and shoes and the sad fact that if you press the ruby red button on your zapper you can sing-a-long- much to the horror of my neighbours, but who cares eh as long as I don't have to perform in front of THE LORD der,der derrrrr.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

my lovely boy

My youngest boy Chris is such a funny boy, he makes me smile everyday, he is kind and thoughtful and rather mischievous, he comes out with some cracking things and I wish I had kept a note book with all the funny things he has said. I love his joyous grin and the way he pulls funny faces and the way hes a great dancer when no one apart from me is watching. At the moment his 'thing' is the trampoline, he's really good at it, unlike me who weed quite a bit every time I bounced or Tom who went all dizzy for days after being on it. I videoed him jumping up so high and giggling to himself as he did, He kept shouting for me to watch him do a different trick and at that moment as I watched and snapped away with the camera the thought occurred to me that this little boy will soon be a teenager, soon be grown up and soon won't be calling "mum come see" anymore, at that moment when minutes before I had been laughing with him I felt a sadness, a worry an empty feeling of longing for him to be small always and I remember telling my mum when I was little that I never wanted to grow up, I never wanted to leave home, and that I promised I would always hug her and live with her forever.
My lovely jumping bean has said the same to me at night when we snuggle and share a story and I can't tell him its not true because right now, at this moment he is small and I will appreciate every hug and laugh we share for I know the truth that one day it won't be the same x

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Pink, pink to make the boys wink!

Its been my birthday - fab time charity shopping with my handsome man whilst my mum had the boys, a rather rare event for us, lovely gifts and cards and a right good home made curry, I was treated like a princess and felt blessed I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful family.
We have been to the zoo, a sea lion show for members only which was great but freezing as it was nearly night time. We also went to see the new born gibbon which is hairless and oh so tiny. Boys loved that the monkey was born on their nan's birthday!
I have been creating like mad but there are never enough hours to finish things and I have so many projects on the go, a patchwork quilt Ive been making for the past 3 weeks or so, a crochet throw for our bed, a shawl which is nearly finished, a tiny summery skirt and this lovely pink one (above) I finally finished - Yippee!!. It is based loosely on a 50's style circle skirt but sewn in sections rather than in one piece, I have edged it in hand dyed hot pink lace and embroidered little red stars all the way round the edge, I even put an embroidered waistband and zip in this one - blimey, normally I just use elastic. Anyway the outcome is so pretty, it makes me feel like swishing around and tap dancing- although I can't.

the boys and I visited our local park happy to see the council have finally re-furbished it after about 12 years of being crappy, lots of new equipment to climb on...

even a climbing wall, cool stuff painted on the floor and I'm loving the new colour for the benches - yep hot pink!!

That gave me plenty of time to practise my circular needles and another started project, a cowl/cape type thingy, I don't do patterns, they hurt my delicate head, I just make it up as I go along and that's why it is a thingy!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Poison our children?

After my eldest son was diagnosed with ADD and I refused the medication offered to him as I knew how harmful it is I looked into changing his diet, up until this point I thought I had been doing my best for my children, feeding them what I thought were healthy foods,until I looked into all the hidden nasties in the foods that are dumbing down society and affecting our children.

Carrageenan in most ice creams, known adverse effects include gastrointestinal ulcers (but it is also used to treat ulcers in humans) liver damage, effects on the immune system and it is suspected to cause cancer.

I was horrified to discover that most fruit juice/squash drinks contain Sodium benzoate, plus other nasties.
Checking it on the UK food guide for additives it says:

Used as a preservative, both antibacterial and anti fungal but effective in only slightly acid environments. Also used as an antiseptic, as a food preservative and to disguise the taste of poor quality food.
People who suffer from asthma, aspirin sensitivity or the skin disease urticaria may have allergic reactions and/or find their symptoms become worse following consumption of benzoic acid, particularly in combination with tartrazine (E102).
Not recommended for consumption by children.

How is it OK for drinks makers such as Ocean spray, Sainsbury’s, Robinson's and Tesco’s to have this in our children's drinks?

I also found sodium metabisulphite in some bread and sausages. Preservative.
May cause allergic reactions, particularly skin irritation, gastric irritation and asthma. Not recommended for consumption by children
Only 3 companies I know have a type of sausage that this is not in, that's Marks and Spencer and Helen Browning, and another local farm.

Another shocker is Hula hoops- they say on the packet no additives etc but if you check on the ingredients they contain potassium chloride, that's the same stuff they use in the lethal injection in America!! I emailed them and they said they use it as a salt replacement and at very small levels, I worked it out that if a small child ate 17 packets of crisps that is the equivalent to a lethal dose.

Following on about bad stuff in food I thought I would share the list for you to watch out for.
Heres a list off the UK food guide, these are not suitable/harmful to children:
E210 Benzoic acid
E211 Sodium benzoate
E212 Potassium benzoate
E213 Calcium benzoate
E214 Ethyl 4-hydroxybenzoate
E215 Ethyl 4-hydroxybenzoate sodium salt
E216 Propyl 4-hydroxybenzoate
E217 Propyl 4-hydroxybenzoate sodium salt
E218 Methyl 4- hydroxybenzoate
E219 Methyl 4- hydroxybenzoate sodium salt
E220 Sulphur dioxide
E221 Sodium sulphite
E222 Sodium hydrogen sulphite
E223 Sodium metabisulphite
E224 Pottasium metabisulphite
E226 Calcium sulphite
E227 Calcium hydrogen sulphite
E230 Biphenyl
E231 2-Hydroxybiphenyl
E232 Sodium biphenyl-2-yl oxide
E233 2-(Thiazol-4-yl) benzimidazole
E239 Hexamine
E249 Potassium nitrite
E250 Sodium nitrite
E251 Sodium nitrate
E252 Potassium nitrate

E102 Tartrazine
E104 Quinoline Yellow
E107 Yellow 2G
E110 Sunset Yellow
E120 Cochineal
E122 Carmoisine
E123 Amaranth
E124 Ponceau 4R
E127 Erythrosine
E128 Red 2G
E129 Allura Red
E131 Patent Blue V
E132 Indigo Carmine
E133 Brilliant Blue FCF
E142 Green S
E151 Black PN
E154 Brown FK
E162 Beetroot Red; Betanin: No adverse effects are known but should be avoided by babies and young children as it contains nitrates- this is found in Muller little stars fromage frais strawberry flavour.

I know this isn't an extensive list and it is being updated all the time, companies are becoming more aware of the fact that consumers are waking up to the crap in food and some companies have changed since we started out on our food journey a couple of years ago. Some others I'm sad to say have become more devious and don't label there ingredients with E numbers and instead use the full name which unless aware you wouldn't have a clue.

Lots of you already know this info and have great diets, some of you are vegetarian, vegan, raw foodies etc but I thought I would share it just in case someone else out there didn't know and it can help them to become a better consumer.

If you have any questions or you want me to send you the complete list just ask.