Tuesday, 30 December 2008

The inbetween bits

Hello, again thanks for stopping by. The weather today in Preston is cold, quite cold, the canal is lightly frozen - not too many skidding ducks to be fed this morning .

Does anyone else find the in between bit from Christmas to New Year a bit unsettling? I find I spend a lot of time thinking about the things I should be doing but don't really do anything about it. All this makes me feel in someway unsettled - that feeling that I've somehow forgotten something does that make sense?? Possibly not - I must admit that I've always been a bit odd....

Anyway, so far today I have done very little. Both big and little man (aka Neil and Jamie) have gone to face the shops as J needs glasses and his very first pair are ready for picking up this morning. I feel a bit nervous about it and hope that he copes well with glasses, I know he is a bit anxious about walking into school next week with glasses on but I've done my best to reassure him that the days of continuous name calling for glasses wearers is long gone and these days it's trendy to wear glasses (crumbs how old do I sound). Nonetheless I am also nervous for him as J is not despite appearances a rufty tufty young boy and apart from being one of the loudest children in the world is actually very very sensitive and my protective mothers instinct is definately kicking in. Please don't think I am specaphobic, both Neil and I are as blind as bats without our glasses so really it was inevitable that J would need to wear them one day and I'm actually quite suprised he's managed 8 years without needing them. Oh well deep down I know he will be fine.

I've been working on two cushions for my God daughters which are to be collected on Friday morning as late Christmas presents. Hopefully they will be finished without too much stress by tomorrow and I will be able to put the photos on here. My God daughters are gorgous, they are the children of my oldest friend from school. She lives near Birmingham now so we don't see each other as often as we would like but like all true friends despite the lack of regular contact we regress back to our school girl behaviour instantly whenever we meet. My friend adopted her daughters 3 years ago, when they were 3 and 4 years old and it has amazed me how well they settled in and became part of the family. I cannot imagine them not being part of all our lives and I find it really heartwarming how children can just adapt. J just accepted that one day my friends had no children and then suddenly they had two - no questions asked. I love the way that kids just get on with things as far as J was concerned it made the visits so much more fun as he had instant playmates and that was that.

This is a photo of a penny rug I made as a wall hanging for our lounge. It took a couple of months to make but I love the colours. Every day I look at it and smile, I think it's hard not to smile when there are bright colours around. I love colour, I love the way that something as simple as a colour can make me feel happy. When I look at magazines of homes I always think the neutral colours make homes look spacious and clean and calming but I know I could never live like that myself. Neil and I tried it once - pre child - to have a neutral minimilist home, we painting the walls cream, had our wooden floors and leather sofa and not much else. No books or magazines lying around and everything in its place. It lasted about two months, we just couldn't keep it up I remember the last straw being me trying to work out what to wear - nothing too bright or bold in case I didn't 'blend in' with the room - how bonkers is that!! Anyway it had to change so now we have bright coloured rooms with flowers, J's toys make the house looked lived in (well that's one word for it) and books around ready to be read. I love our home it feels like us and whenever I think that perhaps cream would be calmer I remind myself of the day I tried to match my clothes to the sofa - how's that for a reality check!!!!!!

take care and have a fun 'inbetween' day xx

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Starting Again


I've decided to restart my blog after nearly a year of browsing and lurking around into other peoples lives via their blogs. It's been so much fun reading and seeing how others have spent the last year. It's a bit like people watching via computer I suppose. Anyway, I've decided to come out of the shadows and join in the fun again. The problem with this is it becomes a bit of an obsession and I find that I end up spending far to much time on the computer but then never mind such is life I suppose.... Anyway it gives me the excuse to get some much needed practice with my camera.

So a quick think back over the last twelve months tells me that not that much has happened and the year somehow merged into a mass of work work, school, work, shopping, cleaning and in reality not much else. Hopefully this will not be the case for the next twelve months. My man and I have decided that the last year we spent far too many evenings talking about work and far too many weekends running around chasing our tales catching up on the shopping and/or housework that we never seemed to have enough time to do during the week.

We have decided to buy into the Country Living campaign to reclaim the weekend and as such try to limit 'chores' to the barest minimum. There are some wonderful places within an hours drive of our house and we fully intend to visit as many as possible throughout 2009.

I also fully intend to get my act together and concentrate more on my sewing with the aim on perhaps trying out a market stall or an etsy shop, But I have said this every year for as long as I can remember so don't hold your breath on that on. Also January 1st looms every year with the aim of losing weight once and for all but again I would suggest not holding your breath on that one either......
So tomorrow I will pick up my camera afresh and share a little more about my life in lovely Lancashire in our little terraced house on the canal banks of Preston. Till then take care and bye bye x

Monday, 11 February 2008

Back to Reality


this time last week I was wandering round Krakow in Poland having a fantastic time. It really is one of the most beautiful cities I've ever seen in the world. Such a shame we had to come home really, I love being on holiday. I had a lovely birthday and got some really nice presents including a yankee candle (i really love them, this one is a 'clean cotton' fragrance), and two really nice cook books specifically for cookies so looks like I'll be doing some baking in the coming months. Over the weekend we ate lovely food, drank the most delicous warm cherry wine and toured around one of the prettiest castles I've ever visited.

We loved the medievel squares of Krakow's old town and were amazed at how peaceful the Kaziermierz district (the old Jewish quarter) was. I suppose that somehow I expected the Jewish quarter to be more depressing given it's history but strangely it was quite the opposite. It was very thought provoking and there were lots of reminders of the war everywhere you went, from memorials to run down buildings that can't be touched until relatives of the jewish families who owned the properties can be traced. But, everywehere in this area had a calmness and peacefulness that amazed me. Just goes to show that despite everything sometimes human spirit still wins out.

Anyway, having said that just how fabulous is today's weather. It really feels like Spring has come. I really hope we have a nice summer this year after the wet one of last year. We seem to have loads of plans this year: plans for the garden, plans for camping, plans for delicous picnics, nice gentle walks and the plans go on and on and on. Funny though that all of my plans when pictured in my mind are accompanied by endlessly bright sunny days, warm comfortable evenings and I am off course at least 2 stone slimmer and wearing a beautiful and flattering wardrobe throughout.

One of my plans that's having to be slightly delayed is the launch of my etsy shop. Despite my hopes to have it up and running by Feb 10th, the speed of this year has got the better of me. What with virus's, a mad work shedule and weekends away I've just not enough time to sort things out or do as much as I'd hoped so I'm setting myself a much more realistic target of April, and this time no more delays. April it will be!!!!!

Off now to catch up on all my favourite blogs to see what you've all been up to while I've been away.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

5 days to go and we're getting excited...


Once again it's nearly the end of the month - January always seems to take an age to get through. I'm not wishing my life away really I'm not but if I could spread the 31 days of January out and tag them onto the end of the other months (especially summer) I'd be very happy. It's always wet and cold, it takes an age to get to pay day and everyone always seems to be cutting down on this or not giving into that, so everyone seems to be walking around looking fed up all the time. Having said that, Jamie doesn't feel that way at all and decorated this tile at his beavers club which I think is really cheeful.

Because I always have a downer on January's Neil and I decided nine years ago to do something that would give us something to look forward to. So this year on 30th January it will be our 9th wedding anniversary. This year we are celebrating with a take away and a bottle of wine, nothing too major because on Friday the three of us are flying to Krakow for a 4 day break. We are all sooo excited. My birthday is on the 3rd of Feb and since Neil and I have been together we've tried to take a trip away and go somewhere so spend my brithday. Having a birthday in Feb has it's advantages as you can normally get some really cheap deals for city breaks all over the place. I've been really lucky during the last 9 years we've been Havana, Goa, London, Seville and now Krakow. Jamie's got some great memories and I think it's good to see different parts of the world and hear different languages eat different food etc. Also it's fab to have a break away out of work.

Hopefully we will get some good photos and I'll be posting some on here when I get back.

In the meantime, I've been busy making a few cards some of which I've sold to people at work. Also thanks to joining freecycle (after Ragged Roses suggestion) I've collected a huge bin bag of fabric samples. There are some which are gorgous and some which are not really my taste but will be great for costumes for Jamie's next school play. The heart, I made this morning just so I could play with one of the samples.

When we come back from Poland I'm really going to have to sort things out and decide what to put in my etsy shop and also hunt out some local craft fairs. I've really not got into the swing of things this year yet so really must try to get more organised. At the moment though going to look forward to tomorrow. Mum's coming round for the afternoon so going to have a lazy time with perhaps a walk to the park if the weathers not too dire, followed by homemade lasagne, garlic bread and salad. Might even get round to making another one of Anna's gingerbread's.

Have fun, don't work too hard...

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Mid week tribute challenge

Hi, thought I'd have a go at the mid week challenge seeing as I enjoyed the last one so much.

The challenge is to make a card in the style of Lynne or Gillian. As I'm new to this group I've trawled through the old posts of both designers to get some inspiration. Anyway, I really loved the card by Lynne, made back in July 2007 for the Haberdashery challenge.

This is my version inspired by her original card. I haven't followed the challenge rules on this one which was to use other haberdashery items or skills as well as stiching. The only thing relating to needlework on my card is stitching but forgive me as this was a test for me as this is the first card I have ever stitched onto. I've used basic grey papers from the loads and loads of papers I seem to have accumulated, to create a similar look to my card, and used beads instead of buttons. I've also really enjoyed stiching onto the card so I imagine that the sewing machine might live on the dining room table for the foreseeable future. Hope you like it.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Daring Card Makers Challenge

Me and My Shadow !!

I want you to create not just one but TWO cards ! But wait........there's more ! I want both cards to contain the same embellishments and papers, ribbons etc- but arranged in a different way for a different occasion....the only thing being different is the wording....I'll let you have different wording ! (How nice of me eh?) I'm well aware this is a really hard challenge, and that I have thrown everyone into 2008 off the deep end....but go on- give it a go - I DARE YOU !

These are my cards for this weeks challenge. I'm really going to have to practice my photographic skills, it's taking me loads of attempts just to get one shot in focus - maybe I'll have to go on a course 'Simple photography for cardmakers' what do you think?

Anyway for my cards I have used a heart stamp which was a freebie with Craft Stamper magazine (I think), background papers from 7 gypsies (I think) and some ribbon stickers which came in a lucky dip box from graphicus craft shop in Barnard castle. Other than that I've used stome sticky gems and I did the writing myself in a black permanent marker and went over it in glossy accents. I've really enjoyed this challenge as it's making me do something different from the norm and also today I decided to use the stamp and papers which I've had for ages and never picked up to use.

My motto this year is going to be 'try something different' I think. I'm determined to do other crafty bits and pieces as well, for example I'm having a go at bath bombs next and looking for things to use up the bits of felt and other materials I have around the house. Hopefully this will encourage me to use up the things we have at home rather than going out to buy new bits all the time.

The Other thing I'm going to have to have a go at is gingerbread. Ever since I read Anna's blog on 'all things lovely' I've had a craving for baking her cake recipe. I've tried to hold out on the temptation down to fact that I really want to lose the 10lbs I've managed to gain since last year but the thought of homemade sticky gingerbread is beginning to become an obsession, so we'll see how much longer my resistence will last..........

PS. it's a whole 2 hours ish since I drafted this post first off and guess what?? I've just spent the last hour and a half making gingerbread - thanks anna, but in my defence it is the loveliest gingerbread I've ever made - ok ok it's the only gingerbread I've ever made but going by the taste it won't be the last time I bake it, it's delicious - and calorie free of course!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

What a surprisingly lazy day.......

Not the day I expected it to be really. I was meant to be back at work today but the cold that has been lingering since Christmas has still not disappeared completely and has left my ears feeling really blocked up. I suffer from meniere's disease which affects my ears and balance. Luckily I don't have it severely and only rarely have attacks of vertigo which is the worst bit for me of this. But this cold has affected my ears this time more than ever before leaving me feeling that my head is trapped in some kind of bubble and struggling to hear parts of conversations. I continually suffer from tinitus because of this but somehow usually manage to manage if that makes sense. I'm not moaning about this but I did wake up thinking that I really didn't feel like facing the world today (probably not helped by the fact that I have had 3 weeks holiday)... Anyway just as I was thinking enough is enough and starting to get ready for work, Jamie walked into the bedroom with a streaming cold and looking like he has finally succumbed and caught the cold I'd been trying so hard to keep away from the rest of my family. So that was that really, back to bed for us both. Jamie went on to sleep till lunchtime which is unheard of but has woken up looking much much better and managed to collapse on the sofa and force himself to watch 'Ant Bully' for the second time this week!!!!

I've used this extra day wisely for once, I've had a really interesting morning of laundry, laundry and more laundry!! followed by tidying up some of our Christmas Presents which seem to have taken root to the lounge carpet. But excitingly after reading some of the other blogs I've registered to freecycle for Preston and have in the space of an hour managed to give away the chocolate fountain we've had in the house since Neil's birthday last year. It seemed a really good idea at the time but somehow just didn't 'float our boat' it was a real faff to set up and then an absolute nightmare to clean afterwards. I have pre warned the person collecting this so I can give it away with a clear conscience. We were given a fondue set when we got married - how kitsch is that, but we do use it fairly often as a fun tea and if I want melted chocolate to be honest I think I'll stick to using that as it's far far simpler.

The photo at the top is of Ivan our oldest cat - I say old but he is only 18 months and is very very cool. I thought I'd put a photo of him on seeing as I posted one of Ruby the other day. Nothing else much to say other than I really must start sorting out some of my stuff for my etsy shop which I would really like to start. I'm setting myself a start date of around the 1oth Feb - don't know why I've picked this date but thought it was as good as any other. In the meantime I'd probably have more time to make stuff if I hadn't become so addicted to this blogging thing......

Friday, 4 January 2008


Hi, I've decided to have a go and join in with the challenge from the Daring Card Makers.


So not only New Year, but maybe New Home, New Baby, New Job or maybe a card for someone who is starting a new chapter in their life.

I decided to do this new home card which I hope you like. I love Clarice Cliff pottery and used my version of that stlyle of art. I drew the picture, coloured it in in watercolours and then used my favourite ever product 'glossy accents' to add texture and 'oomph'. I don't actually know anyone whos planning on moving house this year but never mind you never know what might happen in the next 12 months.

Any way here is my card for my first ever challenge....

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Back to normal......

everything is slowly but surely getting back to normal again. Jamie went back to school this morning - he wasn't overkeen on waking up but didn't do too bad once he realised that a) he'd be able to see his friends again after the Christmas break and b) it was snowing - not enough to settle but still enough to make the thought of walking to school fun. Neil went back to work - the snow wasn't enough to make him leave the house happily but never mind he soon settled back into routine and by lunchtime rang me to say it felt like he'd never been away from the office. No doubt I'll feel the same way next Tuesday when I go back but until then I can still enjoy the last few days of my holiday and hopefully really settle down into making some cards and perhaps other bits and pieces.

I took the photo of my mum, Neil and Jamie on New Year's Eve, it was Jamie's first time at staying up for Big Ben and he loved every minute of it - was hyper excited all night but not enough to get upset so it was a really great night, especially with my brother and sister in law up from Essex to help us celebrate. I think one of the highlights for me was watching my mum dancing with Jamie and both having a great time doing so.

Another couple of photos for today are firstly Ruby looking ever so slightly confused tying to bat the snow flakes as it was the first time she's seen snow (she's only 6 months old) and at the same time I thought I'd take the photo of the first buds on our forsythia bush which is usually the first sign in our garden of spring. Can't see winter being over that quickly though somehow, can you??