Saturday, 31 December 2011

Jan 1st

My first blog post of 2012, can you believe it's a new year already, I'm so excited about all of the exciting things that are going to happen this year, I feel it inside it's going to be a good one. My newest makes ( made yesterday ) are these 2 canvases, the one with the red hair is called "Bella, the butterfly princess", the one with the blond hair is called "Pippa the natural beauty". Both are on box canvas, mixed media with glitter and faux gem embellishments. £26.00 each including postage to U.K., I really enjoyed drawing and creating these, I can't wait to make some more, hope you all have a wonderful new years day x

New Years eve

I know I've not been blogging for ages and I am sorry dear readers I have missed you all but have been so very busy organising and participating in craft fairs, things have gone crazy in December, I think at last count I have done around 10 fairs in December and then as I see everything myself each time I had a really good fair and sold lots I had to get back to the sewing machine and make more stock, I have become more popular and well known thanks to these fairs, Facebook and twitter, it is an exciting but super busy time, we had a lovely Christmas we went to the in laws on Christmas eve and spent Christmas day at home enjoying the children's presents and watching Christmas tv. We went to my mums on boxing day and then into town for the sales so the boys could spend their vouchers and Christmas money from relatives. On the Tuesday we had a dear old family friend round who is 73 and played the wii with such energy, we had a brilliant day with him and enjoyed an Able and Cole organic roast chicken dinner, Mmmm delicious. On Wednesday I came down with a bad cold and have been laid up ever since, tonight for new years eve I shall be snuggling and snotting all over my lovely fellow watching UFC, not glamorous but just how we like it. Never been one for a big new years do, anyway I hope you all have a lovely time whatever you may be doing, hope you all had a wonderful 2011 as I did, and let's look forward to an amazing 2012, I'm sure it's going to be a really great one and I will try my best to upload photos as soon as I can get a new monitor for the computer, I can't upload them off my iPhone x

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

crafty catch up

Been super busy crafting, homeschooling, trying to keep warm and sleeping lately, each day whizzes by and before you know it it's bedtime again, I have tons of fairs coming up over the next few weeks so have been neglecting my blogs, so sorry readers for that normal service shall resume soon!,

This week we did a photoshoot for our local newspaper, its for ladies pamper night on 15th December in Blackpool at Cafe Dolce on Abingdon street, 7pm - 9pm if you live locally and dare brave the seaside weather pop down, the lady on the left, Anne does angel (oracle) cards and readings, me in the middle will be selling my sewn items and Fran the one on the right does amazing vintage clothes, there will be other stalls too and lots of cake :)

Hope to see you there xx

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Super Duper fair

On Saturday I attended as a stall holder Blackpool's Super duper fair, it was awesome, 60 stalls all selling lovely handmade items and gifts, there were so truly talented folks around

 Here I am making a finger puppet for the children of watamu with Aunty socials pop up workshop

some lovely photos of my things by Mrs marmalade who sells gorgeous peg doll fairys, check out her folksy page, I met her at a fair in the summer and she is one of those ladies who I have been lucky enough to meet that makes me smile and is a truly lovely person.
I also met a lady who has the soapure website (great name isn't it), she hand makes soaps and lots of other lovely smelling things for your body and bath, all her products are totally chemical free and pure, I bought some things of her for presents but can't say what they are in case family members sneek a peek!, all I can say is the smell heavenly.
I finally got to meet cool crafting, if you haven't heard of them before they run crafty workshops and make lovely sewn items, I got some great buttons and ribbon of them.

Friday, 4 November 2011

what has been going on?

twas Halloween and all the zombies came out to play, well actually it was just me going to our home school party, I was the only adult who had gone the whole hog and each time I smiled and talked to small children I forgot I had this look so was surprised they didn't like me!, the children had fun though, well other people's children that is, my boys wouldn't wear there costumes and didn't take part in any games, it's an awkward age being 12 and 14, our group is full of small ones and then a big gap until my two, sometimes other older boys come and they have a good time. We are trying to organise some inside activities seen as though the colder weather is upon us, in the summer everyone played outside the building as it leads straight onto the park which was great. We are slowly building up a bigger group now which is good, I did take photos of the day but I have lost my camera lead so unfortunately can't share them .

We got two new chickens this week, they are lovely girls, we have called them Alice and Dorothy, they will start to lay in about a month and are black tails, they cry a lot and haven't got the hang of going to bed yet at night but are very loving and lovely to watch. We are going to extend the chicken enclosure to stop them digging up my veg patch - naughty girls!! Photo's to follow soon.

I am also preparing for 5 craft fairs - 5 all in the space of 2 months, it's crazy but I'm sure I will enjoy them. I have had a burrow feeling lately where I have lit the coal fire and got snugly under a blanket to watch TV, I normally knit or sew but haven't felt like it even though I have all these fairs to sew for. I'm feeling like it's a time for reading and feasting and snuggling under the duvet, though there is no chance of that with the new chickens at the moment.

Hope your all keeping warm x

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

All about teeth

Today a friend said how she was suffering with toothache on facebook, I commented and told her about some natural things to do, my comment sparked a lot of interest so I have done a page on my shops blog (where I write about natural health) to send to people if they ask for info, I thought I would share my thoughts on here aswell in case my lovely readers don't know any of this stuff either, feel free to comment and ask questions x

Having suffered myself with tooth problems and researched about alternatives to the dentists chair, I have found some great sites with helpful info that actually works. I have tried remedies from these sites on natural healing and oil pulling and I will tell you - THEY WORK!. Hop over and have a look at them: and

Have you heard of the effects of fluoride on your health?, we are led to believe fluoride is good for our teeth, many famous toothpaste brands boast about how great it is, how it is essential for children's teeth, all those posters in the dentist about why you need it blah blah. I'm afraid it is not true at all, if you haven't heard be ready for a shock - fluoride is very bad, it can cause brain damage, affects your thyroid, kidney damage, leads to bone disease plus a lot more. Children are especially vulnerable as they are still developing and fluoride can lead to fluorosis.

I use Sarakan a natural toothpaste with no fluoride or and other chemicals in it. It may surprise you to know what is in your toothpaste and what you put into your mouth twice a day, everyday all your life.

Take one leading toothpaste brand and look at the ingredients, in no particular order of awfulness - sweeteners - are used to alter the taste of a product, sweeteners used in this toothpaste are sodium saccharin and sorbitol. Saccharin is 300 times sweeter than sugar - hang on are we not meant to be cleaning teeth?, sorbitol can cause irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate - one of the main effects of sodium lauryl sulfate is to mimic the activity of the hormone Oestrogen. This has many health implications and may be responsible for a variety of health problems from PMS and Menopausal symptoms to dropping male fertility and increasing female cancers such as breast cancer, where oestrogen levels are known to be involved. There also have thickeners, binders, colours and preservatives in them. All in all not something I would be happy or letting my children put into their bodies.

There are natural alternatives to toothpaste too like bicarb and peppermint oil or miswak sticks .

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

and now he is 14....

An open letter to my lovely middle boy,

 your clever, tidy, very artistic, sensible and adore your xbox 360 like there is nothing else in existence,
your helpful and a good listener, how did you become 14 already?
I remember those long days of endless crying as a baby when nothing was wrong, your lovely smile and full cheeks, your gorgeous blond curls and then as you grew you turned into a most lovely boy, always great at school, full of life, loved sports and had lots of friends. Your now nearly grown up (as you tell me) and push the boundaries sometimes as teens do but I wouldn't change a single thing about you my lovely, I'm so glad you enjoyed your birthday, we had lots of fun bowling and ate the most delish bolagnaise. I still can't believe your 14! Crazy how time goes so fast, I hope you enjoy the next 14 as you have done the last, here's to you my sweet, love mum xx

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Running with scissors, what a book!

I LOVE READING, I don't mention how much I read on here really and I don't know why, the thing is, I get a book and in two days I have read it and move onto the next, I am an author groupie who devours every book every written by a good author. I love crime, horror, true life and factual books, I used to read loads of chick lits when I was single but they don't appeal anymore. I love Richard Laymon and have read all of his work, unfortunately he died so I can't get hold of anymore. I loved in a weird way the Dave Pelzer series of true life books even though his story was a harrowing one it was also a story of a courageous and inspiring man. I'm always on the look out for a new book, I choose books by whether the cover grabs my attention, then I read the first page to see if the style of writing gets my attention and makes me want to read more. I don't read the blurb on the back, I don't like to read the critics reviews either because what appeals to one may not appeal to another, actually that's why I probably haven't posted on here about the books I read because I'm not sure about recommending them to others but the other day I read running with scissors, what an interesting, twisted childhood Augusten (the author) had, it made me laugh out loud, it made me squirm, it made me think hard about life and the way different people live and think it's normal (or not). It is a memoir but written in a story like way, there are some rather strange bits in like the Dr who thinks his turds are messages from god and the dysfunction house where patients live with their shrink and his children but overall it makes a brilliant read, I did have to keep reminding myself this was someones actual life, it seems like a story you would dream up only with the help of good drugs. If I'm aloud to recommend a book then it's this one. I got so engrossed in Augusten's life I needed more so when I asked at the library whether he had written any more books I was overjoyed to find he had and I promptly checked out his next memoir

"Dry", I'm only a few pages in and can't wait for bed time to read more. Whist looking up info about him I also realised he is rather hot!!
What are you reading?

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Saturday blah blah fed up

It's Saturday, a day where normally I feel great at the prospect of a lovely day doing something good, my fellow is either at or watching football, my boys spend time on there xboxes and I normally watch catch up TV and sew or knit in peace. Today though, after a real crappy week with the teenager I felt fed up, I know I'm so lucky to have such a great partner and children, I love all the things I have, I love the way I can do as I please when I want, not being restricted to school times/job times etc, I am thankful, don't get me wrong, I know this but sometimes I feel fed up. I have been crying a lot lately, at songs, at memories, at anything really. I have felt pretty up and down, I am realising something that I didn't think would affect me at all, my boys are getting older and they don't need me as much anymore, I am not their whole world, the things I say are not magical and wonderful, I know all mum's must go through this but that doesn't make it any easier. I'm glad that they are beginning a new chapter in their lives and am looking forward to them achieving their hopes and dreams, but it's hard, it really is. I have borrowed books from the library on dealing/coping with teenagers and they have loads of info about what to do if your teen takes drugs/sleeps around/wears inappropriate clothing etc, none of which apply to us and our teens, none describe the transition between childhood and teen years, the struggle each day to understand each others view points, the battle in simple tasks, where once this child of yours was helpful and keen even to do things has turned into someone very different. Your boundaries change, their boundaries change, ideas that were once fun and looked forward too have become "boring" and "rubbish", I feel guilty each day, as parents guilt is a thing which crops up again and again, these things are not mentioned in any books or on forums etc, I wonder why, is it because the truth is hard to swallow?, is it because it is just me who feels this way and is secretly a nut case? I don't know, I don't have any answers - that maybe another reason it is not mentioned because there is no answer it's all about biding our time until the teenage years have passed. I find it difficult too being a home school mum and worrying about there future and what will happen with them although I'm guessing every parent whether they home school or not wonders this. So sat at the computer this morning, well it was lunch time actually after the time had vanished too quickly again, I thought about what would cheer me up and drag me out of this darkness that I wish would go away, the answer of course was baking (and eating them afterwards of course) so I made some bread which has collapsed in the middle again-why?, some mixed spice biscuits from the grannies cookery book and some carrot cakes from my own recipe, all dairy and gluten free, whist listening to Adele and singing loudly. I feel slightly happier now and am going to spend the rest of the day sewing I think.
I have 2 fairs coming up so need to get cracking at making some more lavender rabbits and I'm working on pinny's with appliqued teapots and cupcakes on, also the Christmas gift making is looming again, can you believe it is nearly that time again?!
I heard this song on the radio and fell in love, I really want this album now, have a lovely weekend whatever your up too x

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

A to Z of me

Saw this on Polly's blog and it looked like fun, I love to fill in questionaires, have a go at filling it in on your blog, leave me a comment with your blog link so I can have a nosey x

A: Age - 35 Ekkk!

B: bed size -double, full of homemade cushions and blankets

C: Chore that you hate - washing cutelry

D: Dogs - I had a collie dog when I was small but am waiting for a bigger house to get an airedale terrier and a french bulldog - although the mr thinks they are ugly

E: Essential start to the day - cup of clipper decaf tea and breakfast

F: Favourite colour - it varies but either green, pink or purple

H: Height - 5'2"

I: Instrument you play - little bit of drums but not for years

J: Job - full time mum/homeschool teacher/sewing crafts artist

K: Kids -three boys

L: Live - Blackpool

M: Mother's name - Eileen

N: Nickname - runty

O: Overnight hospital stays - 2 as a child, tonsils and appendix, 3 as an adult - all babies born in hospital

P: Pet peeves -littering, dog poo and people who stare rudely because of the way me and my boys look

Q: Quote from a film - " But the worst thing I ever done - I mixed a pot of fake puke at home and then I went to this movie theater, hid the puke in my jacket, climbed up to the balcony and then, t-t-then, I made a noise like this: hua-hua-hua-huaaaaaaa - and then I dumped it over the side, all over the people in the audience. And then, this was horrible, all the people started getting sick and throwing up all over each other. I never felt so bad in my entire life" Chunk in the goonies - best film of all time

R: Right or Left handed - right

S: Siblings - 2 sisters, I'm the youngest

T: Time you wake up - usually around 8am

U: Underware -depends on the occasion ;)

V: Vegetable you hate - parsnips

W: What makes you late - my children

X: X rays- foot, teeth

Y: Yummy food that you make -cakes, pies, stir fry, curry in fact loads of lovely food!

Z: Zoo Animal - elephant

Monday, 10 October 2011

I'm late, I'm late for a very important date.....

Ever since being a little girl and my sister took me on the Alice in wonderland ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and reading the book I have been madly in love with everything Alice (by the way that's the name of a craft book I really desire!) I used the graphics fairy site to get some pictures and printed them off, I used paint and glitter glue plus some decoupage I already had to make these canvases, I adore them, I had so much fun making them, I want to do more themes like Red riding hood and maybe Hansel and Gretal.
Another blast from my childhood, a school friend posted this on Facebook, our class in the first year of primary school, I loved it! I'm the one second from the end on the right, second row down. I always wore pinafores and roll neck jumpers and red tights, the school uniform was brown and yellow and not compulsory (thank goodness), it's so funny how I can remember the other children's names from 30 years ago!

It reminded me of such innocence and carefree childhood, I enjoyed primary and junior school until I was about 10, after that bullies took over and I didn't like it one bit. It makes me think how different children are now, not all children obviously, but some are so far advanced in the way they behave and what they know, it is a real shame that they seem to have grown up so quickly and can never get that innocence back. Children in our area dress like little tarts and the parents are the ones to blame, sexulising 5 year olds by buying them clothes and shoes which are far too old for them in the design and look. I may sound like an old granny whinging on about it but it saddens me.
On a lighter note I'm really looking forward to the Christmas fair I'm organising, I'm hoping it will be as great as the last one, if not better, I can almost smell the gingerbread and cinnamon now Mmmm. I found a lovely recipe at this ladies blog for cinnamon muffins which I can't wait to make tomorrow, the look so yummy, I would make them now but my chickens got a fright the other day when next door's dog broke through the fence and scared them which has stopped them laying so I'm out of eggs, have a lovely week whatever your doing x

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Autumn already! a monthly catch up

Another month passes by so quickly, its been one filled with ups and downs, my friend miscarried her baby which was awful, I did what I could to help look after her boys but there isn't much really to be done in these situations but just be there as a friend. We enjoyed some beautiful weather which cheered everyone up and had a home school sports day in the heat, the children really enjoyed it and we got 3 new families coming too which is brilliant. My mum moved from a flat quite far away to one very near by, we helped her move as she had an accident about a year ago where she broke her thigh bone, hip and shattered her knee so she has a frame now and hasn't been out since except in taxis. I'm hoping now she is around the corner I can encourage her to get out and build up her confidence again.

My best news for the month has been this - following me entering the supportive business mums competition (ta if you voted for me), the lady that was running it emailed me and asked me to make a cushion and rabbit to go with her romance novels, she exhibits around the country and helps small businesses by including there wares in her books and promoting them. I was so happy to be asked, the brief was to make them fit in with the colours and heart scheme of the books. It was quite strange for me at first as I normally work in other colours but enjoyed the challenge

I'm pleased with how they have turned out, Ces said she loves them and will be exhibiting them at the networking mummies exhibition in Bournemouth on the 5th October
Click here to download your free copy of Taste the light direction, an introduction two chapters to the romance series. You can also enter giveaways on it to win a holiday and jewellery and other great prizes.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Please vote for me xxxx

hello all my lovely readers, I entered a competition at Supportive Business Mums to win £750 worth of design and print from Supportive Business Mums (Design sponsored by Biz Brand Buzz and Creatively Minded – Print sponsored by Dorset Digital Print).I  have been lucky enough to be shortlisted into the top 10!, Can you imagine my delight, I feel so wonderful knowing that out of all who entered Im in the top ten!, Well I need to ask you a favour, in order to win I need to get the most votes so if you have a minute could you please pop over to vote, you can also read my interview and read the other 9 lucky contestants interviews too if you like.

I want to say a massive thank you to Ces Loftus who has organised all this and who has done a cracking job on all the interviews x

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

what I wore, burnside nurserys

The other day was my lovely fellows birthday, he wanted to get an ornament for his fish tank so off we went on our bus ride to an aquarium he had found on the net, this is me with a silly look on my face because me youngest two was making me laugh whilst trying to be serious having my photo taken, I'm dressed in cardie and velvet scarf from charity shops, the vests from a shop in town and I made the skirt and underskirt, my floral doc martins are off ebay, arm cuff also made by me.

 well to my surprise the aquarium was situated at the back of a garden nursery which had an amazing craft section, I was in my element especially when I saw a most coveted cricut, I couldn't believe it wasn't that far away from our house and I had never been before.
Just look at the precious books, I love the covering, it reminds me of my room as a child
you know I love chickens and this tea cosy was awesome, they also had cats, pigs and houses, I may borrow this idea and make myself one as soon as I get some time too
look at this display, ohhs and arghhs a plenty coming from my lips I tell you, all sorts of lovelies for the kitchen, there was also a cafe area and lots of plants, gift section and an outdoor area with gnomes etc for the garden. We had a lovely time browsing but alas my fellow didn't find a suitable ornament. So we decided to go and get some more chickens, these are quite far away and we would have to get 2 more buses, it was OK as we had an all day ticket but we then got on the wrong bus (my fault) and ended up further away, we waited for ages for the next bus only to realise the stop was out of action because of road works, so we went to the nearest in service stop and just missed the bus!, by this time it was too late to get chicken so we went home, the boys whinged and argued all the way how bored they were and how its so boring looking at craft things/garden centers/blah blah. Not a good ending to a promising start after all!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Back to school

As you are aware if your a regular reader I'm a home school mum and its that time of year again when I see other mums rushing around the shops, spending crazy amounts on prison uniforms, oops I mean school uniforms, the little darlings in tow demanding new bags/shoes/pencil cases etc all because they have been off school 6 weeks, I find it crazy that the shoes they had in July can't be worn in September because its a new school year, fair enough if they don't fit but really it's madness, a friend of mine told me the other day how much money she had spent on school blazers - oh my god, that's a weeks food shopping in our house! The radio presenter they other morning declared how happy and relieved all the mums and dads will be because its time for the children to go back to school so the parents can have some peace - erm excuse me but who decided to bring these children into the world - yep mums and dads, can they not cope with Jack or Lucy being at home more than a few weeks?, the other thing that astounds me is parents at the beginning of the holidays complaining " I don't know what I'm going to do with them for SIX WHOLE WEEKS! I am not against good schools in anyway at all, I'm not against parents who choose to send the darlings off to school (I was one of those parents a few years ago) but now I have stepped outside the school norm and I'm on the outside looking in so to speak I can see the craziness of it all.
We miss out on all this so whilst in town the other day we saw all the back to school stationary aisle, my youngest thought it was all so great having a whole aisle of things for drawing that's not usually there, he really liked a robot pencil set and I told him about the whole going back to school thing, he was amazed by it, so I said he could choose a not going back set for a treat, he was delighted at this and promptly chose the robot set, I was pretty amazed myself that for less than £2 he was over the moon at something so simple and something most children expect at this time of year. He was rather proud and showed his brothers when we got home, maybe there is something to be said for the madness after all!
A couple of great sites I use all the time for worksheets are:

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

I love crafty talent!

I was having a look at poppytalkhandmade and swooning over theses gorgeous items, I love the original designs and how cute they are
especially this I heart nerds design, it is so awesome it makes me want to go back to college just so I have a valid excuse to buy it!, Not that I need one really, have a look at the designers website too, its such fun. On poppytalk handmade  they say "Welcome to the World of Kukubee. We create adorable (and sometimes creepy!) zipper pouches, bags, purses and notebooks with our original artwork. We are inspired by all things cute and slightly odd!" I agree they are adorable!

Also on the same online market I found Katy Endle,
she has really bright fun designs which made me happy when I saw them
this turtle magnet is so lovely, I imagine him made up into a toy, it would look fabby and I adore this owl (I love owls ya know!) its an original artwork piece but I think it would also make a lovely cushion design
I am always in awe of how creative we all are and how different too, that's what makes us all so special. I had a meeting the other night with Aunti Social and there is so many crafty things coming up over the next few months, it's rather really great because its something Blackpool is missing, I can't wait to do felt making, it's something I have always wanted to have a go at. What do you think of my new header and background?, Ive been wanting a change, they do say a change is as good as a rest, talking of that I'm off to bed now, I'm shattered, night all x

Monday, 15 August 2011

Introducing Runty and Gretchen....

 stars of the coop, our youngest chickens have started to lay, they are exactly 18 weeks old and they made such a noise yesterday they seemed so proud (or frightened), the eggs are tiny compared to our big girls, look at the gorgeous blue/green colour they are, to our suprise the first one we cracked open was a double yolker!
Bring on the cakes!!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Flickr and finances :(

A lot of you are probably already on Flickr, but I have only just joined up, Im behind everyone in these things so forgive me, Im hoping to get more exposure ( not in that way cheeky!), for my crafted items, at the moment my partner and I are really finding things difficult and as we both are at home, doing homeschool, he is self employed and Im trying to get some extra money from my sewn/painted items, it is financially hard. We have been in talks about whether it would be a good idea to both get full time jobs working for the man and seeing if we are any better off. I don't want the boys to go back to school so we would have to work around that too and that is going to be tricky, I love our lives at home but now the eldest has left college and is trying (not very hard) to find himself a job, things are difficult. So I really want to be able to sell my things and make a living that way. I need to sort out my website, its ok but I do have a super one ready with music, moving things etc, trouble is I have to buy a domain name and hosting for it (money again you see), Im always posting on FB and attending craft fairs when I can, the last one I did on sunday was naff for me, my friend bought some things off me, so I was only a £1 down after paying for the table, it's so disheartening when you have put in a lot of effort and been up at 6am not to make any sales. Have you any ideas on how to improve my chances of becoming more successful?, I don't mind harsh words and suggestions, so feel free x

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

OMG August already!!

Howdy all, what a month, busy as a bumble bee Ive been, we had the grand opening of Aunti social, a local craft group, we all decorated and made it look tip top for the grand opening, the two ladies who thought up the fab idea are the ones who run our knitting club

I was rather proud my art work was featred on the walls (thats me stood next to one of my paintings)

some brill folks went yarnbombing the bike racks, brightened up a bleak Blackpool corner, we had a lovely evening and it was a shame when a few days later the council shut the shop down (some legal conflict)how rubbish, this shop is due to be demolished in november and will now stand empty until then, it always seems no matter how hard you try there is always some red tape and council prat standing in the way. Have you heard the latest ridiculous thing, in Scotland you are not allowed to have bagpipes playing loudly from shops - seriously who the f**k comes up with this s**t. Im sure some tw*t sits in an office and has a plan for the day of pis***g as many people off as possible. Every day I hear of some joke law that Im sure Jeremy Beadle is behind sorry for the anger and virtual swearing but it makes me so mad and Im too tired to be eliquent and think up other non swearing words.
 Anyway on a more cheery note Im doing a craft fair on sunday at Lytham, it was a suprise thing as my friend got a table and told me about it, I have been busy making owls and bags and bags with owls on!, Im hoping it goes well and I make a few good sales, fingers crossed please! Whilst trawling the net looking for craft stall set up ideas (I think mine is too fussy) I came across a flicker group just for stall set ups, I loved looking at other peoples stall, also I found ideas for a craft stall check list if your new at it, in fact even if you have done it before it makes sense to keep fresh about the whole thing.
My dad died a few years ago of cancer and I wished I knew then, what I know now, I want to share this awesome page with you in case you or someone else s affected by cancer, it doesn't have to be the end, you don't have to say goodbye like I did, there are ways of curing it, please have a look, have a great week and don't forget to check out my other blog which showcases the very best of Lancashires crafty ladies x

Thursday, 14 July 2011

A new craft fairs

My new venture, organising and partaking in craft shows in Blackpool and surrounding Lancashire areas, for too long I have attended craft fairs where the venue hasn't been right or the other stall holders didn't make much of an effort, they wasn't advertised properly or something else where it became a shambles, it rely frustrated me that all the time and effort I put it had been wasted so chatting to my friend we came up with the idea of doing it ourselves, we are handpicking stallholders to make it a wonderful fair, there will be a mix of retro, vintage and handmade, from patchwork quilts to lovely owl cushions, we are also having a vintage teashop area, complete with fine china and embroidered tablecloths, please could you pop over to my blog for it and see what you think, I'm hoping to share stall holders web pages and blogs, have guest posts and mini interviews, thanks for taking the time to look x

Monday, 11 July 2011

MMMMmmmmm pie, owls and knitting!

Since going gluten free, I have tried out a few new recipes which I wouldn't of dared before -silly eh!, my triumph of the week had to be this gluten/dairy free egg flan, the flan dish came from the car boot for 20p and I made the pastry base, this was pretty tricky as gluten free flour is quite powdery, I managed by pushing it out with my fingers rather than rolling it out in one piece, I then whipped up 5 free range eggs, some oregano out of the garden, bit of salt and pepper and into the oven it went,
 meanwhile I made some harrissa roast potatoes, basically I mix oil, balsamic, chilli powder, cumin, S & P, chopped mint into a roasting dish and then boil potatoes, sweet or ordinary spuds will do, until just done then whack them in the roasting dish for around 25 mins, gas mark 5 until crispy, I'm telling you they are the most delicious thing ever
 I served the flan and potatoes with rocket from the garden and Abel and Cole carrot and toms, yummy! I was so lovely, Ive since made a flan with red onions and sage added to the eggs, that was blummin' great as well. I love food and cooking and eating but most of the time I forget to take pictures.
Ive been making owls this week too, I adore owls, and make all different varieties to sell at craft fairs, they are my best seller, everyone else must love owls too, in fact if you do check out this site, owl heaven!

 This week also saw the launch of a craft community shop being set up in our town, Aunty Social has been set up by friends who knew there is nowhere to meet except pubs/clubs etc for the younger crafters, so they have managed to transform a dusty empty shop into a warm welcoming bright venue, we all helped by either cleaning, painting or decorating and it was launch night on Friday, that's me next to my painting and standing in front of the zingy cupboards I painted. Its a great location, has lots of areas for different zones like sewing etc. The unfortunate and in fact bloody terrible thing is now the council have said we have to vacate by this Friday as the is some legal issue with the old tenants ( who have been gone 9 months), what bollocks, before it was stood empty and unloved and now its lovely and it can't be ours. We are having a knit in on Wednesday in protest, wish us luck!

Some yarn bombing opp our shop x

Thursday, 23 June 2011

How does your garden grow.....

We have a reasonable sized garden for a house in Blackpool and even though in the past have grown veg, we didn't make the best use of the space we have, so a couple of months ago we gutted the garden, moved the pond, cleared out all the junk that had accumulated and saved the things we would use like tyres.
the only plants we left in were the bluebells that were just peeking through and the blackcurrant bush, there wasn't much else growing or worth saving. I got 20 willow plants off ebay from Scotland and planted them along the back fence in the hope that when they grow tall the neighbours will be blocked out a bit. We also got some pallet's and spent a long time, days in fact taking them apart and sawing them to size to make some raised bedsIt also took ages trying to fill them with compost, 2 of my compost bins spread between the 4 of them did nothing at all, we collected horse manure for free from a farm and my friend donated bags of cow manure each time she came round, we also managed to get some big bags of organic compost from Lidl (supermarket in UK) for cheap. They are still not full but they will do, thinking the raised beds was going to be a cheap way of gardening kinda went out the window by the time I had finished.
I have reused tyres to plant green beans, courgettes and potatoes, moved the chicken arc next to the big chicken house to make more room,
 My friend took me to the industrial site and we collected some windows from a skip, these have served well as pop up cold frames for rhubarb and lettuce, I did plan on making a mini greenhouse like Alys Fowler's one of her TV show but never got round to it. Along the back fence we have willow, mint, strawberries in tubs and hanging bags, bluebells and delphiniums.
In our beds we have lettuce, peas, carrots, potatoes, pak choi, mooli radish, sweetcorn, rocket, butternut squash, runner beans, french beans, red onions and lots f marigolds to deter the beasties that love to munch on my salad! I have planted foxgloves for the bees and have honeysuckle growing up the fence, this is for bees and for in medicine too.

I love popping out early morning after letting the chickens out of their house and looking around the garden to see what has grown overnight, the chillies, peppers and tomatoes are growing in the greenhouse very slowly this year because of the lack of sun in Blackpool, I'm hoping that will change soon.

Under the blackcurrant bush I have sacks of potatoes growing which I think should be ready soon, hey were the first things I planted out. I use the re-usable bags from Marks and Spencer which cost about 50p, you just snip off the bottom corners for drainage and then when your spuds are ready slice the side open and voila easy access and much cheaper than the potato sacks from the garden centre.

 In the right hand top corner of the picture is our herb patch, we are growing lavender, oregano, horseradish, 2 types of sage, lemon thyme, lemon balm, marjoram, chamomile and lupins - I know not a herb but just for the bees. I love getting herbs from the garden when I'm cooking, it makes me feel proper!
Lots of lovely rocket in this bed, I adore rocket, it's peppery flavour goes so well with tomatoes on ciabatta

one of the sweetcorn plots growing very well this year, not had much success with the other times I have tried to grow it, so fingers crossed we will get some cobs this time. I have copious amounts of nasturtiums growing all over the garden to feed the caterpillars then they wont eat my lettuce, the chickens love the leaves and the bright orange and yellow flowers are a joy, I haven't managed to get anyone to eat them yet, even me, which is weird because I eat all the other garden things, the thought of eating flowers though hasn't quite got me yet.

another little patch of herbs right by our back door so if its pouring down I won't get soaked!, here we have rosemary, thyme, parsley and elephant garlic, which I can't wait to grow because it's meant to be massive and we love to cook with garlic.

Growing cucumbers this year for the first time, didn't realise how spiky the stems are!

foxgloves are so pretty, I think it's quite magical when the bees pop inside to collect the pollen

the pond is right in the corner but everything has grown so much you can't quite see it, we have watercress growing in the pond and froggy was last spotted a few weeks ago so I don't know if he is still around or hopped of to the birdbath for a splash

 Look here our first cucumber, I was so excited when I saw it, I ran in and told the boys to come see, they did say well done but I think I was most enthusiastic and I don't even eat cucumber!  love to grow things and am so happy when my hands are in the soil, I'm still learning and each time I do the growing thing I learn more. I got a great book called grow something to eat everyday, it's like having a grandad giving you tips, I would recommend it to anyone who wants to grow and I'm proof you don't have to have a big garden to grow lots, its all about the position of things, I'm always trying to squeeze more in. The thing I can't seem to get right is the continuous growing, we always have gaps where there is nothing to eat except lettuce. What are you growing this year?