Saturday, 30 November 2013

The End

Oh my goodness. Well that was November. And I managed it! Sometimes it was short, sometimes a collection of pictures but I got to today having posted every day. Thank you to everyone who paid me a visit this month and thank you for your lovely comments. 

Doing this challenge has certainly reinvigorated my passion for creating and making things. It has also made me realise that my blog posts don't necessarily have to be crafting or recipes. I certainly feel less conscious about voicing my opinions or feeling on subjects- well in blog form anyway!
So this evening I shall be venturing into the cold workshop to make another elf on the shelf as the last one got discovered! I will be back soon, probably not tomorrow though!
Have a great weekend! Xx


Friday, 29 November 2013

A Little Fairy Dust

Lets face it, having children is really a second childhood for us too. I quite enjoy an excuse to watch Mary Poppins or sit and make Lego models. My girls are still at the age where they believe in Santa. We told then that a red sky in the evening was Santa's elves making their way from Lapland to visit all the children and they believed us, which is wonderful. In a world where children are encouraged to grow up so quickly, to have a little magic now and then is quite something. 
Which is why, come the spring and I feel it is warm enough to venture outside, I want to make a fairy garden for the girls. There are some enchanting ideas on Pinterest. 

Because I want their childhood to be laced with just a touch of fairy dust. 



Thursday, 28 November 2013

Last Minute

It's a short one and a late one this evening because I have one small coughing, sneezing girl who keeps waking up. This is not good. And I'm trying to catch up on Masterchef before she wakes up again. 
But on the plus side, and despite sore fingers and two broken sewing machine needles, I have

New bag!!
Somewhat generously proportioned, but full of foxy fun!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Yes Moments

I had to quickly check exactly what was meant by this. This yes moment is when you get that instant of complete clarity, when everything falls into place. 
I had to think about this. Hard. 
Much as I wanted it to be something like the birth of my children or the day I got married, the one moment that stands out in my mind, the time that everything clicked was the first time I took a flute to pieces. 
I don't know whether that's kinda sad or not. But I'd been looking for a bit of direction, not really sure what I wanted to do with my music degree- and let's face it, teaching music aside, the options are a little limited; I didn't want to be working in a music shop forever. But I went on a technical day, learnt a tiny amount about the mechanics of a flute and that moment I knew that was what I wanted to do. 
Eleven years later, I'm still doing it. Gets my brain working!


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Home Sweet Home

I don't think I'm alone in having lived in several different places across the country and I've found that those places have suited a certain time in my life. Now, whether I changed to the place I was l living in, or that place was right for the stage in my life I'm not sure. 
For the last seven years I have lived in a village to the north of Norwich which is a long way from where I grew up in the Midlands. Whereas here, this is my typical view

back in Solihull where I came from you could drive the ten miles into town (Birmingham) without spotting a single field, without there being a break in housing and built up areas. 
I left Solihull to go to uni in Leeds and ended up staying there for eight years. I loved living in Leeds, I knew from the moment I stepped off the train to visit the university at eighteen, that it was the place I wanted to be and I will always have very fond memories of living there. 
However, I returned there about five years ago and found that I couldn't really imagine living there any more. It had been a place for my student times, for my clubbing days, not a place for where I am in my life now. 
 I moved from Leeds to Ashford in Kent and although I was there for five years, it always felt like a transitionary place to live. I was there for the job and that was pretty much it. 
Moving up here, buying a house in a little village where the pace of life was so much slower, I felt like I was in holiday for quite a long while. I thought I might feel isolated, not knowing virtually anyone and being stuck in the middle of nowhere compared to where I had been before, but now I can't imagine living anywhere else. The village school is within walking distance, you see someone you know every time you go out, all of the girls friends live near by and I have made close friends too. It's a place that suits our family life. 
And the village library is in the phone box. Quiet please!



Monday, 25 November 2013

One month to go...

Ooh, this blooming computer stuff (technical term) completely foxes me (that's foxes not fixes autocorrect). I've just done this blog post once, checked a link, got stuck in the link, lost the post. 

Yes, it's the twenty fifth of November. One month to go. One moment it's all witches, pumpkins and fireworks, the bam, it's the end of the month, nearly time to dust off the Christmas tree. And am I one of those organised people that I keep talking to, who have already got their shopping done, got their cards written? Am I heck!
I have a cake made and a vague notion of what I might make for presents. And generally my Christmas cards get sent on the last day of posting. (Love making gifts, hate writing cards- need to read my last post when it comes to those!)
 We don't really have any Christmas traditions in our house, I just know that it's so much more fun now because of the children. But my own personal tradition is to make little hampers of tasty (or at least I hope they are) morsels, jars of jams and chutneys. Perhaps some sweets this year if I get adventurous with my new purchase of The Vintage Sweets Book.
I certainly know, not to give too much away, that some of the inspiration will come from this page. I'm not going to test the link this time. Two times is enough to write a post!

Lots of yummy stuff there. Better get on with it I guess!

Sunday, 24 November 2013


Yes, the subject of the day. Those of you who may have read my blog over the last year will know that I have struggled with the motivation to get off my backside and make things of an evening, but I like to think that generally I am a fairly well motivated person. 
I have been self employed for six years now, so I've always had to be disciplined to get on and do my work, not be distracted by other things around the house that might need doing. Sometimes it can be hard to get yourself going as there are always other things you can find to do. 
This is maybe a little to the point. But it is true, the only person who is going to be disappointed by your lack of motivation is ultimately, you.
 After my two children were born I'd decided that it was time to try and find something that vaguely resembled my body before two babies, now that took some serious motivation. To stick to the diet. To exercise every evening. But I tend to find that once you get started its nowhere near as bad as you might expect. And after a while, I enjoyed the exercise, I didn't mind the dieting. And it was worth it because the hard work paid off.
So as far as my tips for motivation go, just start. Give it ten minutes, because chances are, that ten minutes will be half an hour before you've even noticed.


Saturday, 23 November 2013

The Nutcracker

On reading my new copy of Molly Makes this afternoon the pattern for these little fabric Nutcracker doll caught my eye. 

And it got me thinking towards maybe theming my Christmas tree this year. I must admit that I've given up trying to have any control over how the tree looks for the last few years. I hand the girls the box of baubles and stand back, subtly redistributing and elevating some beyond the reach of a four year old, after they've gone to bed. I've even relented to tinsel. But this year I might try something different. 
I have always loved the ballet. I'm pretty sure I went to see The Nutcracker as a child and I always search it out in the TV listings at Christmas. It's not just for its magical escapism however, it's more for the music. I am a little obsessed with Tchaikovsky. I wrote my dissertation on The Sleeping Beauty and somehow manage to centre most of my final years work at uni around his works. I can listen to the music of Tchaikovsky time and time again and there are passages that never fail to make my skin tingle, to give me goosebumps, it's that powerful. 
 However, I digress. There are a multitude of ideas I can go at with a Nutcracker theme. 

Very pink and girly I admit. Then again, this is a pretty pink and girly house (my poor husband!) 

I've had an idea for making fairytale themed bunting and I think that this may well be the place to start!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Crafty like a Fox

There are a lot of fox themed item starting to emerge at the moment. I have just ordered some rather dapper fox fabric by Robert Kaufman which has pictures of foxes in monocles and waistcoats which I think will be destined to be a bag for my tablet or a new handbag. Because I haven't had a new one in a while. 
So today, I have swept Pinterest for a few foxy themed delights. Enjoy!


And these were my foxy makes:

And now I'm going to put my feet up, have a glass of wine and watch a scary movie! X




Thursday, 21 November 2013

Elf take one

There's an elf. It's not on my shelf. It's on my desk. 

She's not quite finished yet, she needs a hat and a frilly skirt. Maybe a bell. 
 Oh, and she needs her stuffing hole sewing up too. 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


Todays topic of the day. What do I know about fashion? During the week I tend to wear whatever I've fallen out of bed into. Mind you, having said that, the closest I've got to a clothes shop is the local supermarket of late. I don't iron either, not unless its Willows school uniform. 
I do sometimes wonder whether my tasty in clothes has actually progressed much beyond my teenage years. There are some days I'll go out in all black with big boots on and I know I definitely wore very similar when I was eighteen. But sometimes, when I feel like it, I will put on a pretty dress. I tend to do it on a Sunday- don't ask me why; we don't even go out much on a Sunday! And I know that, although my tastes may not have changed that much, I am aware of my limitations. I certainly wouldn't go out in a very short skirt any more and I have a better idea of what suits me.
Occasionally I'll catch the fashion slot on breakfast tv and invariably find myself thinking that I wouldn't be seen dead wearing that. I suspect, as with my taste in music also suggests, I haven't really grown up much past my teenage years!
Oh well..

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

#BEDN Newsflash

The topic for today is to write about a news story that has caught my attention. I must admit that I rarely read a paper or watch the news. It's not that I'm not aware of what's going on in the outside world, but actually I function quite nicely not knowing intricate ins and outs of the latest disaster or financial crisis or which celebrity has cheated on their partner now. 
So, given today's topic, I had to go in search of the news headlines, not expecting to find one to make a comment on. 
But I did. It's not one that's going to change the world, but it might make some people happier, it might make them laugh. And with such a dark and depressing world out there (at times) a little frivolity and fun is much needed.

Monty Python are reforming. 


Thank you and good night! X

Monday, 18 November 2013

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas..

Nothing says that like the smell of a freshly baked Christmas cake. 

Looking a bit dark on the picture there, but I can assure you that it's not burnt!
 A great tip that I never knew. If you create a dip in the centre of the cake batter before baking, you get a lovely flat top to your cake! Loving simple tips like that- thanks Lorraine Pascale- and for once the timing were right for this cake!
The other Christmas thing I will be doing this week, apart from panicking that everyone seems to have done all their presents and I have barely started, is to make an Elf on the Shelf. Sent by Santa, the elf watches the goings on of the junior members of the household by day and report back to Santa at night. 

If I can come close to this level of cuteness, I'll be well pleased!
That's me done for the evening. I'm just going to sit here in my spice scented house!

Sunday, 17 November 2013


It's Sunday evening. The calm before the storm that is Monday morning. I'm sitting here now, having eventually got a cold ridden Amber to sleep, knowing that although I may have a weeks worth of sandwiches in the freezer, I haven't ironed the school uniform, got dinner money sorted and so on.
The best laid plans for the evening have also gone to pot. I was going to catch up on Homeland, have a go at some paper cutting. But that's lying on my work bench unfinished 
And I'm none the wiser as far as Homeland is concerned. Then again, I suspect that may be the case even if I had watched it. However, I have managed to read a good hundred pages of the new Ben Aaronovitch book and I'm feeling pretty chilled. 
So I'll try and manage a proper post tomorrow, for now I'm going to enjoy my glass of wine. Cheers!


Saturday, 16 November 2013

Awesome Tattoos

So, firstly, my craft fair. Well it was all about moustaches and owls. Despite being tucked away in the small room and it not being overly busy, I did sell some things so that's me happy! There were the usual grumblings from other stall holders about not being able to charge for the time you've spent on what you've made. To be honest, as long as I cover my costs I'm cool with that. I gave up a long time ago believing that I could scratch a living from this. I enjoy making things and they've got to go somewhere!
Well, it's Saturday night, I've just finished a flute service and settled down with a beer to watch a spot of Supernatural (fit men and demons) so I'm going to dip into my Pinterest boards for tonight's post. I love Pinterest and my biggest board by far is my tattoos board. I have been totally blown away by the artwork of the tattoos on there and if I had the money/nerve I would totally have some new ink done. 
Here are some of my favourite pins. 

Right, that me signing off for another night. Jensen Ackles awaits!


Friday, 15 November 2013

Half Way!!

It's the fifteenth today, so that means I'm half way through this blogging challenge! Wo-ho!! Thank you to those who have stuck with me thus far. I did hope in doing this that I'd learn to use Blogger a bit better- nope; or that the quality of my photos would improve- nope. But never mind. Another fifteen days to go on that! Have I got another fifteen days worth of things to write about? Well to be perfectly frank, I didn't think I'd get this far and when I think I've run out of subjects, something always pops up its head and presents itself. 

In a bid to try something new, I have been buying a random and unknown product from my local Morrisons supermarket. They have a pretty cool exotic veg section which lightly dusts the vegetables and salad with a wave of  cold air. If you've been there, you'll know what I'm on about. This week, I grabbed one of these:

It's called a dudhi, looks like an anaemic courgette. A quick scour of the Internet and I learnt it's a melony squash type thing and you can stick it in most things. On peeling it and chopping it, it's texture is very similar to an aubergine. So I stuck it in my weekly curry. 

Along with some leftover chicken from the Sunday roast and some peas. 
Verdict? It's okay. Didn't knock my socks off. It tasted like a bitter aubergine, bulked out the curry nicely, not sure I'm going to rush out and buy it again, it's not going to top my weekly shopping list. But these things are worth a try. 
When I lived in Kent I was spoilt with some amazing farmers markets and I tried a whole variety of fruit, veg and game, but of recent times, and certainly with small children's tastes to cater for I have become less adventurous. So this week I have and onion squash, some galangal and some persimon fruit. Get me!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Craft Fair Ready

I know I did say mystery veg today but I'll leave that for tomorrow. This afternoon I have been beavering away getting ready for my one and only craft fair before Christmas. For anyone local, this will be at North Elmham Memorial Hall on Saturday between 11am and 3pm. 
I've been getting in a gluey mess with some purses:

And making a couple of moustachioed 


Absolutely spiffing!