Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dream job?

I didn't think I'd say this a year ago....I love my job!

I've been asked to make 'recycled' gift bags with a school next week. I have an hour and a half session booked, with 15 children. As I'm not sure how long the bags will take I thought I'd better have some other options up my sleeve.

Lucy told me about this fab tutorial and I just had to give it a go.

The Argos Christmas catalogue :

...with it's friend - Sainsbury's magazine:

I found a great tutorial for the gift bags here. I used two layers of newspaper to make mine and reinforced the base and 'the bit that the handle goes through' (very technical term!!) with cardboard.

I also found a tutorial (you need Adobe reader to open this one) for a really easy bag made from an A4 envelope.

Thanks to Ali for posting her great origami wreath tutorial I have another option if we need to fill the time. These are made with the weekend travel section of M-I-L's newspaper.
I've since made another 10 of these using some lovely old yellowed pages from a very decrepit encyclopedia...but no photo thanks to a very grey and dismal day.

Tomorrow's my day off and I have another girly present to make for another girly birthday party.....but I just want to knit socks.....

Monday, November 24, 2008

All the P's - party, pouch, PIF and a pair

P1 - Phew - we survived the sleepover... just!

I may have realised that four hyped up boys and two equally excited little girls does not make for a good night's sleep.

At least we have a few months to recover before we have to do the same for Minx's birthday!!

P2 - Feeling like a zombie on Saturday morning was not the best, especially as Minx had a party to go to on Saturday afternoon.

There was no way I could have coped with any form of retail transaction so I got out the sewing machine, dusted off my befuddled brain and made a quick zippy pouch for the birthday girl's present.

P3 - Mr Postman delivered a little cheer on Saturday morning with these beautifully wrapped parcels from the lovely Mrs Twiggy.

I had completely forgotten that I had signed up for a PIF on Twiggy's blog, so this was a lovely surprise.

The Green & Black's has been scoffed sampled already, the decorations are all ready to go up and the mulled wine sachet is highly unlikely to last until Christmas!

Thank you for my lovely goodies Twiggy :-)

Now, the idea with the PIF is that I pay it forward to three more people.

So, if you would like to receive a little PIFfy parcel from me - highly unlikely to be before Christmas but definately in the next 12 months - then just leave me a comment on this post saying 'Yes please'....or words to that effect :-)

P4 - I did it!!!!!!!!!

I really really did it!!!!

Look what I did!!!!!!!!

Thanks to Team GB for beating the Aussie medal tally (by one medal!!) and thanks mostly to my lovely Aussie friend Mrs TrashIdon'tcareifyouareapolicemanyoushouldn'tbeparkingthere
for buying me the most beautiful sock yarn, I have finally beaten my nemesis and knitted a pair......A PAIR....not one.....but a PAIR of socks!!!!


The can of worms is now well and truly open.

I'm already up to the heel flap on a pair of Christmas socks for Monster and have the wool ready for Minx's pair.

Even Moogsdad seemed mildly impressed with them.

He'd better watch out 'cos I might make him some too!!!


Friday, November 21, 2008


Surely it was yesterday?

It can't be nine years......can it?

This gorgeous young man is NINE years old today!

How did that happen?

Happy Birthday Sausage Monster!!!!

We're having a 'We're never going to sleep' over tonight. Four loud boys and two (relatively) quiet girls are terrorising the Moog. Moogsdad and I are flagging already.

It could be a long night!

Picking up Ali's tag I thought I'd do six things I love about my little boy:

1. The fact that he just came over here and said 'I love you' even though his three best friends are in the same room.

2. Those beautiful hazel brown eyes and those long long eye lashes.....just made for winning hearts :-)

3. How the world lights up when he really really laughs.

4. How he seems to know (and remember) everything about Star Wars - like a 'mini-me' version of his Dad.

5. Even though he's all long and boney he still curls up and fits perfectly on my lap.

6. How he gently picks up the creepiest creepy crawlie on the footpath to stop it being trodden on.

I could go on.

I'm just proud to be the Mum of such a sweet, kind and fun 'young man' ...who will always be my little boy!

I've also nearly finished my first pair of socks!

Sleep/insomnia permitting, they may be finished tomorrow!!


Monday, November 17, 2008

A fun packed weekend....or, the post with too many photos!!

Gloria and I knew we were in for a treat this weekend. We boarded our train on Friday morning full of excitement at the thought of two days in London meeting bloggy friends.

Even the fact that our reserved seat was one of only two wedged into a corridor between the toilets and the (closed) buffet kiosk could not dampen our spirits. Nor could the fact that buffet trolley man chose to winge at us, at great length, about the stresses of his job and the stupidity of passengers, diminish the euphoria.

See how excited Gloria looks?

Whilst I tried desperately to look totally engrossed in my book and avoid the eye of buffet trolley man, Gloria watched the world speed by.

Before we knew it we were being met on the platform at Waterloo by the mad Mrs Trash and the very lovely and long-suffering Wonderwoman[not!] or Maria as she is known in the real world.

Then it was off to Islington to meet up with the lovely Gina, my mad and funny friend Locket and her bossy BIG ( currently blogless) sis Ally.

It was a lovely day, with loads of laughs.


L to R -Gina, Trash, Maria, Locket, some strange woman.

There were some lovely gifties too :-)

A gorgeous partridge for my Christmas tree from Trashy.

A very pretty fairy from Gina.

A crochet hook roll from Lucy - see, Locket they all fit and I just need to find my others to fill it up!

Plus, all the way from America via Edinburgh and Newcastle, a beautiful bunny pincushion from Thimbleanna! (You were there with us in spirit Anna!!).

That naughty Mrs Trash also treated us to a very cute button badge from Poppy Treffry's beautiful stand at the fair.

After a fun time at the fair, sampling plenty of the wines on offer in the food hall, we said a sad goodbye to Gina and went on a mission to find Loop - the most gorgeous wool shop with the most patient and obliging staff!

We played spot the chicken with Gloria - who was very much admired by Lovely Loopman, by the way, Charlie !

Then that naughty Mrs Trash spoiled me even more. I recently won a bet with Trashy and thanks to the sterling efforts of Team GB I became the proud owner of a skein of the most gorgeous Collinette Jitterbug sock yarn and a set of beautiful bamboo dpns!!

Lovely Loopman even wound it into a ball for me with his (much coveted by us) wool winder.
These guys wondered what all the excitement was about...

We then said a very fond farewell to Trashy and Maria and headed to our luxury hotel for a three course gourmet meal.

As if that wasn't enough excitement for one weekend, Saturday dawned fair and unseasonably warm and it was off to Covent Garden to a superb restaurant and another bloggy meet up!

Gloria was beside herself with excitement at meeting Vera - seen here modelling the gorgeous Baby Pebble's footwear. Vera even brought Mrs Stash Basket with her!!

As well as Locket and Ally, we enjoyed a lovely meal and loads more laughs with Dottycookie, Silverpebble and the most beautiful and well behaved Baby Pebble, Domesticali, Michaela and The Vicious Chicken and NBM!!!

Not sure Gloria approved of my choice from the least I didn't choose the chicken!

There were more pressies too!

One of Domesticali's gorgeous origami wreaths and some fab parcel string (which I'm thrilled with as I'd been on the lookout for some!).

A really beautiful bracelet from Emmapebble....

and another really beautiful bracelet from Dottycookie....they are so pretty and I've had to fight Minx off several times as she has her magpie eye on them!

...and here is what is/was left of some of Michaela's deeeelicious fudge - chocolate and walnut...mmmm - and cherry and ginger ....aaaaah!

It was so wonderful to put faces to blogs and also to feel as if we knew each other already. To feel so at ease with people you've only just met (in real life) or met once before is quite amazing.

If anyone had told me 18 months ago that I would have taken off to London alone to meet up with 'strangers' I'd met over the internet I'd have thought them quite mad! However, the reality is that I had the best time, in the best company, with people I am honoured to call my friends.
We really must do this again!! How's about a big bloggy picnic in late spring, followed by some crafty retail therapy?

This last bit is for you you can see it's going pretty well so far :-)


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Some interim loveliness

Before I head off to pack my bag, I just had to show you the wonderful parcel that was awaiting me on my return from work yesterday.

A beautifully wrapped bundle of wonderful goodies from my lovely Christmas Swap partner Rachel!!

I was so excited I accidentally opened them all, instead of waiting for Christmas Day....oops ;-)

mmmm....a very good start....yummy G&B.... of Rachel's gorgeous birdie brooches and in my favourite colours too!

aaaah......a FANTASTIC mini-quilt made with very special Prints Charming fabrics...

.....immediately put up on my fledgling quilt wall.....

wow!!...and the most beautiful cushion of my very very own...complete with more little birdies...

.....that is just as pretty in reverse!

Thank you sooooo much Rachel!!! I feel completely spoilt and am so thrilled with all my gorgeous goodies. It's been lovely to have you as my swap partner and to discover your lovely blog :-)

Also, an enormous 'Thank You' to Jo at French Knots for organising this great swap!!

((((hugs)))) to you both

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A right Royal send off

Those of you in the UK and maybe even beyond, may have discovered that a grand old lady is being retired. The flagship of the Cunard line and a much loved British icon, the QE2 made her last voyage out of Southampton last night.

Southampton is the home port of the Cunard line and the QE2. Living within walking distance of the river we just couldn't let this historic moment go by without being a part of it. So last night, after madam had been to Brownies, we walked down to the bridge and stood with the crowds to wave her goodbye.

We get many huge and beautiful cruise ships sailing from Southampton, such as the Arcadia, Aurora, Oriana, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria. It's always a bonus if we happen to be down by the water and see one of these magnificent ships sailing in or out of port. However, we generally don't follow the shipping movements or go out of our way to see them.

The QE2 is different. There was always a special thrill and a buzz when she was in port. That unmistakable red funnel stood out among the much larger ships in port. She is far smaller than many of the vast and more modern cruise ships now using the port but I think that is part of her appeal.

So, after 41 years and nearly six million nautical miles, this epitome of cruise luxury is on her way to Dubai to become a luxury floating hotel. A most touching part of yesterday's farewell was a fly past by a Tiger Moth that dropped a million poppies over the ship to mark the 90th Anniversary of the Armistice.

Of course, there were fireworks too.

Bit blurry but you get the idea?!

I managed to get one not too blurry shot as she started to leave port.....and just before my camera batteries died!!

Here are a few interesting facts from The Telegraph website:

'In 1995, the QE2 managed to withstand a 30-metre high wave breaking across her bow during Hurricane Luis

In 2001, the QE2 sailed into Lisbon with a 19-metre long finback whale impaled on her bow.

In March 1975, the QE2 made its first transit of Panama Canal, making it the biggest ship ever to travel through the canal. There was less than a foot to spare as the ship made its way through the canal locks.

Beatrice Muller, from New Jersey, has used the QE2 as a retirement home for 14 years, having paid around £3,500 a month for the privilege. Now 89, she is still deciding what she will do after the QE2’s final voyage – but says she plans to remain at sea.'

That's just four of fifty fascinating facts about this great ship. My Minx summed it up last night when she looked up at me with tear filled eyes and said 'But I don't want her to go Mummy...why can't we keep her?'

Aww bless her.

She barely knew the ship even existed before last night!!

After all that emotion, here's some evidence of craftiness.

Presents for Minx's friend's birthday. A pencil case and accidentally rather large zippy pouch:

These are finished too.

...and this continues to grow:

I'll be back here at the weekend with news of a bloggy meet up here. I'm running away on Friday and will even be staying in a hotel with Locket and her very bossy BIG sister Ally :-)

Wish me luck ;-)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Poetry on a plate

Kitchen poetry 5 - lunch.

Smoked salmon and salad toasted bagel with homemade mayonnaise...made with homemade eggs...yum!

There's been secret production line sewing going on and so, of course, all I want to do is crochet and play with paper!

I had my very own Stampin' Up party last night and ordered me some very lovely Christmas stamps (the set on top left of the page).

With a wet and gloomy weekend forecast I'm hoping some more craftiness will happen :-)

Have a good one!


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dream come true - kitchen poetry 4


Dreamy Lemon Cookies from here and beautiful Banana Bread from here ( I used two very ripe bananas).

I'm liking this kitchen poetry! It's made me get back in there and I may even have got my baking head back on :-)