Saturday, 29 June 2013

The Tray Game

I'm now officially off work for six whole weeks. Six weeks to plan other money making schemes, to try and mend some of the house, re-vamp other bits of it, garden, create and generally enjoy being a full-time mum for a while.

I've a couple of new books to inspire me to yet more new projects before I even see the finishing line with all of the others. Granny Squares only cost a couple of pounds as I'd managed to get all the stamps filled in with the bookshop loyalty card and I found the other in a very old fashioned haberdashers.


Whilst there's nothing essentially different in granny squares, I was drawn to it for the inspiration I get from seeing all the yarny colours together in the different patterns. Craft Time takes me straight back to the 70's with all of it's comforting patterns.


I'm drawn to all of these cosies, although I loathe tea and have never drunk a full cup in my life, one sip was enough for me thank you. Not being a tea drinker shouldn't preclude me from tea cosy loving. I also have three tea drinkers in the family so it would be unfair not to decorate a pot properly. I've had a go at the pink and red version, but I keep mucking up one of the stitches. Until I work out a solution it'll have to wait awhile.

Now this afternoon, after netball practice, we headed off to an idyllic village fete. One we go to each year as the setting is so magical and it has a theme. Last year was the 40's this year was the 60's. I forgot my camera so all pictures of the beautiful cottages around the village green are stored on my phone and I'm yet to work out how they get on here.



A friend of mine has a stall there which is a big temptation for us as we'd willingly re-home most of her goodies. I took her a brooch I'd made for her, pennies were exchanged and then I picked up a few bits and the same pennies were handed back. I'm so thrilled with each and every thing we've brought home.



Jimmy was bought on our third turn around the green. Mr spied him and instantly fell for his charms. Miss Rosey announced he was creepy. His maracca's look like a pair of yellow boobies too and with a turn of the rusty key he can still bang them together don't you know.


I couldn't resist the wee christmas baby. Normally I can't stand soft dolls with plastic faces, but I really like this one and so there was no contest, she had to come home with us.


Later licking our icecreams and hugging the bottle of fizz we won on the tombola we headed happy homeward bound. The end of a very good start to the weekend.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Honesty

As I drove back into the village this morning, all three of my lovelies delivered to their different places, I stopped by the honesty stall. I look forward to this simple place each year. At the end of a lane tucked behind the pond various homegrown plants and flowers are offered up for sale. At the moment there are cornflowers and sweet williams. This morning I spied the first of the sweetpeas which I've been waiting ever so patiently for.


Although it's the dullest and coldest June day, I have the scent and beauty of these flowers to fill the house with a small bit of summer. For just £1.60 I had sweetpeas and a bunch of meadowflowers to make the day bright and cheery.


Last week I was lucky enough to get some plants to fill a few pots up for the handsome sum of £3. Lily was fascinated by the outdoors smells being brought in. Soon one of my favourite flowers will be on the stall. Each year I've had the most amazing dahlia's from here. Later on as autumn beckons there are Robin pears, apples and gooseberries to be had. The honesty stall reveals the signs of the seasons to me and is a lovely place to stop by based solely on sharing and trust.

I get comfort from the fact that there are still parts of our lives based on simple trust and honesty. With our girls, however, we've not always been completely honest. When asked for our opinion on something they've made or done sometimes a wee white lie is better than causing floods of tears. I've said tons of things are marvellous and wonderful. To me they are, but not necessarily to everyone else. 


Yesterday Little Bun made a chocolate cake with absolutely no help from me at all. I was banned from the kitchen.

The height her cake rose to was unbelievable. It also tasted divine, gooey, light and perfectly chocolatey. When I told her it was far better than any cake I can make (and without being big headed I don't think mine taste too bad) I could see she thought that's what you're meant to say, you're my mum. I had to really insist that it was the absolute honest injuns truth.


Then when we started chatting about Miss Rosey's trials for the netball squad that day, the whole concept of honesty went a bit pear shaped. At nearly 13 I think it's time to face the truth about certain things so she can cope with the realities of disappointment. I'd love to keep creating an innocent and perfect world for them, but would be unfair. It's our job to prepare them for each stage of life as it comes up.

Miss Rosey was selected to trial for the county a few weekends ago. When she didn't make it to the team she was so upset. This was her first real disappointment as she's a very able girl who has always achieved what she wants through ability or hardwork. She was told she was put in a year earlier than is normal and she can try again next year. On Friday night we went to her High School sports awards dinner where she won an award for her netball. We were so proud of her and even more thrilled when we won B & B in a hotel on the raffle. Yay. 

Now this is where the honesty bit comes in. Yesterday she trialled for the U13 netball squad for the coming year. She had a load of fun, but put little effort in. Other girls played so much better and so when she asked how we thought she had done we paused for a mo. We could have said fandabby dosey, but that wouldn't have done her any favours if she doesn't get picked. So we took a deep breath and told her as kindly as we could that she's played better and that if she really wants it then dancing in the goal wasn't the best idea. Phheww that didn't go down well at all. What do you think, best to be honest or set them up for a fall? It certainly isn't easy is it.


The last person I need to be a bit more honest with and about is myself. I've been trying to face the fact that I'm unhealthy and need to sort out how I eat. I've always had a great metabolism that meant I could eat whatever I wanted with no extra weight plopping on. I used to smoke heavily before I had the girls too and that helped keep the weight off. I miss breakfast and then grab choc midday when my tummy rumbles. Then I usually miss lunch as I hate stopping for it when I'm on my own. By the evening I'm hungry and pick on biscuits and rubbish. I've suffered from different food phobias all my life and so when I have a plate of food I rarely finish it all which leaves me snacking again later on. 

Now I'm trying to get in charge of all of this as I can't get into most of my dresses. I'm starting the day with a large bowl of fruit, granola, yoghurt and a plop of honey. I'm not sure if this is fattening or not, but it's filling me up and keeping me away from the snacks which has got to be a good thing right. Apart from the knowledge that Little Bun's delicious cake is in the kitchen beckoning me. 


Final photo courtesy of Miss Rosey's history project on the dissolution of the monasteries. In groups they have to make a learning pack for ten year olds. She came up with the idea of adding a soft toy monk to the mix which I thought was great. He reminds me of Brian Lane in New Tricks to be honest.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Odd Job

Having Monday and Friday off work is the perfect way to break the week up to my mind. This week has been the first in ages that I've had the time to myself. I've been trying hard to use the time to get some much needed repairs done around the house. Not that I can tackle the leaky roof or holes in ceilings on my own, but I'm a dab hand with a brush, hammer or needle.


I have three of the 1930's chairs from my aunt and uncles house in our dining room.. Sadly we just couldn't squeeze in the table so that had to go. I've already taken the plunge and painted one blue. I love it, but know my dad would be horrified. Each time I covered something else in paint he would shake his head and ask how could I cover up perfectly good wood. Well two answers there, sometimes just because I like colour more than I like brown and sometimes because the said object looked hideous unpainted. To be honest these chairs look lovely in their natural state too, which is why I've not set to on the others - yet. The original seats are leather, but as I desire something with a bit more cheer I've always recovered them. As the last covers were absolutely filthy, I got out the nails hammer and a new/old sheet and off I went. One job done off a very very long list.


Lily slept through all the banging in of nails and woke up just as I got my crochet out. Rather than actually finishing anything else I've been distracted once again by a new thing. Inside Crochet has some fabulous patterns most of which grab my interest in a way that Simply Crochet never has. When I saw the Dahlia Stole I was smitten. I was instantly drawn to the gorgeous mix of colours and the swirliness of the stitches.


I'm using slightly different colours as I'm using what I have rather than buying yet more yarn. Although the more I look at the green, orange and lilac shades in the original I realise it's these colours that have drawn me in the most.


I have had a fiddle with another spot of crochet recently. While Miss Rosey and I watched Miss Marple on Sunday evening I fancied having a try at making up some yarny versions of anenomes to go with my felt ones. Looking at these pictures I realise I need to scale down the black middles which looked ok to me at the time. All in all though I'm pretty pleased with how they've turned out so far.


Final shot goes to Little Bun's moment of pride with her first ever cherry cake which was delicious.


Now I'm off to see if I can squeeze some sewing time in before the inevitable chores beckon me.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Here & Now

Not being able to blog for a while has given me bloggers block. I'm hoping that as I write the words will start to flow and my brain will become blogging fit once more.

The reason I blog is made up of so many things. I read an interesting post recently written by Annie about why we blog. I wanted to comment as like so many of her posts it got me thinking and I wanted to chat back. The moment was lost though as I was reading it on my phone waiting outside the school for Miss Rosey. The usual round of rushing to collect Miss Millie next, buying food, sorting out life when we get in at 6 so we can get through the next day means any intention I had to catch up with a comment is lost. Having to grab time here and there, coupled with failing pooters at home has forced me to step outside of blogging world. That's led to me questioning more why I really do it, what spurs me on to take photos and try to order my thoughts into something enjoyable to read. Essentially why keep on, when it would be so much easier to stop?


To be absolutely honest I can't imagine not writing here. It's a place where I order my life into some of the more cheery elements and reflect on all that I love the most in life. When I feel truly moany it's nigh on impossible to write a post as I don't want to share all of my innermost feelings and I can't imagine anyone else would want to read that kind of thing. Blogging is a two-way thing. I write and take pictures to record my creative life for myself, but to be really enjoyable I chose to share it with a whole host of people. Some are friends who catch up with my news, some are people who are blogging pals - people who I've met through this lark, then there are people who are kind enough to leave comments and share a bit of themselves, lastly there are all the unknown people who stop by have a read (and I hope enjoy it as I do all the blogs I pop into), but leave no trace of their visit.


When I write a post I have in mind different bloggers who I think will find something interesting. In essence it then becomes a bit of a chat in my head with them. There are so many wonderful women that I have chatted with through comments or emails that I sometimes wish I could literally pop over for a cuppa and say hello. Instead through blogging I pop into their edited worlds as they do mine.

Because I've been unable to visit many blogs lately I feel like a party's been going on and I'm behind with all the news. I'm going to cut a big slab of the cherry cake Little Bun made for Father's Day and pop on over this morning if my pooter lets me.


Around some horrible jobs that need doing too I'm hoping to squeeze in a spot of sewing, knitting or crochet. I haven't quite decided yet what mood I'm in.  Having this one day off before the working week gets going is fabulous, but it also means I want to achieve so much in it and then end up doing little. This morning I thought I could clear the garden, garage, make a dress, do the weeks food shop and fly to the moon. Now I realise I might have to settle for washing up and fiddling about as major achievements for my day as we have a new tiny furry distraction. 


Lily is three months old and arrived here on Friday morning. Little Bun's schoolfriends cat had a few kittens and it turned out the people who were having Lily changed their minds. Well we didn't even hesitate. A perfect kitten, small cheeky and loving who is toilet trained already, the ideal package. Olly is banned from seeing her as he has gone pretty feral (only turning up for meals and grumping at everyone), Pip our older cat is pretending she doesn't exist and Alfie Blue would like to be friends, but clearly Lily's mum told her dogs were bad. She'll soon learn this one is the bestest boy ever.


Around all of this we've seen Little Bun's end of year dance school show which was a great evening. rounded off perfectly by a man in the tightest skinny jeans and very high heeled boots singing Ring of Fire. My man has visited No 10 and had a chat with Dave himself. Ironically he got in with his British Library card as he couldn't find his driving licence. I think they'd checked him out for any dodgy aspects beforehand anyways. Miss Rosey has been going great guns in her sport and so we've been invited to a sports prize dinner with her on Friday. Me - well I've just been being me, no fancy achievements other than ticking along and discovering on Saturday night just how much I like cocktails.


In two weeks I'll be off work for six whole weeks. Scary and lovely at the same time as it means no pay until September so I'll be trying to fit in a few fairs to up the pennies. Two whole weeks on my own before Miss Rosey breaks up and then another week and a half for Little Bun. Sadly I'll only have two weeks off with the pair of them before I head back to work as we've changed all of our term dates at work.


Well it's been great getting back into the swing of things. I'll try and make it a more regular thing again as I think blogging does my head good. See you soon as I'm now off to go visiting.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Weebles make for Happy Days

A snippet of a tune floats around in my head "Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down". A girly weeble saved from my childhood sits happily beside ginger bear on our bedroom mantlepiece. I'm reminded of how I wished and wished for the weebles playset where I could sit my eggy pals in the roundabout or push them on a swing shaped just for their round bums.



Our home is filled with bits and bobs from our childhoods, things from our parents lives and memories added from our family life.  Shells, flowers and stones are collected up on our outings and stuffed into pockets for pouring over later when we return. New things are made to add to the collections as an when the urge demands.


Sometimes we head off to carboots, charity shops, fleamarkets and emporiums of old stuff in the hope of finding some of those things we have on the lists in our heads. Miss Rosey wishes for a 1950's picnic set, Little Bun loves dresses, toys and books, Mr Bun has wanted for so many years one of those collecting boys you used to see outside shops. You know the wee lad with his leg in callipers. God knows why, but he loves the design of these - I've said if we ever ever come across one then the boy can live in the garden. Me - well my list is endless, but I always know when I've seen just the thing that is on it.


This afternoon we headed off in search of treasure after Little Bun had some of her Rapunzel locks shorn at the hairdressers. It's all very well wanting hair down to your bum, but it's a swine to brush out. She feels very swish with her hair a bit shorter.

At the emporium we saw lots to take our fancy and had a fabulous browse. I collected up a jolly tin and a few more buttons before I saw the wee weather house Little Bun had had her eye on waiting in the corner.


I had one of these when I was small and loved it so. At the till I spied this most perfect plastic kitty and so I quickly added that to my things. More new things that have already found their places in our home and remind us of good days together. 

This week we've had a wonderful half-term, just gone at our own pace and made the most of our days. We had a fabulous day in Cambridge mooching, eating and then ending up at the Fitzwilliam. I adored seeing the pre-Raphaelites and then moving on to the world of Stanley Spencer. I also treated myself to a wee bit of fabric because it was irresistible.


On Thursday the girls and I had a home day. I found time in the afternoon to make up a brooch that's been kicking around in my head for far too long now. My wedding bouquet was made up of anenomes which contrasted with my deep blue velvet dress, I've wanted some lasting anenomes ever since. I'm so thrilled with how it's turned out, in fact I've worn it ever since. Today at the emporium it was the first thing Daniella the owner noticed. I was thrilled when she asked if I'd be happy to have a few for sale in the shop.

Now finally in memory of that rare blast of sunshine that appeared again at the end of the week I'll show you where we went for a wander with picnic in hand. Fairhaven Gardens is a magical place where fairies most definately live set within the Broads. Alongside the inland waterways are masses of these Candleabra plants.


After walking through paths made into tunnels by the trees overhead we came out onto the Broad where we ate our lunch.


We waited awhile to see this beautiful boat sail past before heading back into the woods in search of bluebells.


Tommorow Miss Rosey and I will be in Hatfield while she plays in a netball tournament. I'm filling my bag with knitting, hexies, books and memories as it's going to be a long old day. Please lets have some more of this here sun as it won't be much fun out in the rain for seven hours will it.


See you soon.