Saturday, 29 May 2010


Boy what a week, I'm not really sure whether I'm coming or going at the moment but I feel really bad as I haven't blogged since last Saturday and although I have had the odd few minutes to see what everyone else has been up to I haven't had a chance to blog myself. Most of you will remember from my previous posts that I was hoping to redecorate Rachel's room whilst she was in France for four days, plenty of time to paint the walls, I had just forgotten that having a toddler means that you in fact only get two maybe three hours of painting time each day. And once I had opened the tins of paint I well and truly fell in and have only just managed to escape....
So here is the story of my week, I will try to keep it short....

Sunday 23rd
Still painting, Rachel arrived back from France happy but tired with a suitcase full of washing and lots of pressies for everyone. I was so tired by the end of the day I forgot to post my Crafty Sunday doings... these would have to be Jean Pierre and France Notebook for Rachel's trip.Monday 24th
Still painting, Rachel went back to school today sat a maths test and came second in her class and was made captain of the rounders team for this weeks match her happiness was short lived as when she came home after school she checked her guinea pigs and promptly burst into tears as one of her new ones had died, she was inconsolable, Tompom didn't help by pretend crying with her!!! Now every time you ask him about RoRo and her guinea pigs he does this shocked face followed by pretend crying, there's sympathy for you.

Today I was supposed to have given the name of the Pay It Forward receiver but again I was so tired by the end of the day I didn't mange to blog so my apologies but I placed all the names in the paint tray ( I felt that this was only fair as it was the paint's fault for my not blogging earlier)and Maria is the lucky recipient. Now Maria I know I said I would send it by the end of the month but that was before this marathon painting session so if it's okay with you I will send it out in the next two weeks.

Tuesday 25th
Still painting, but did manage to take Tompom to toddler group this morning. Paul popped back to the garden centre to buy Rachel a new guinea pig, she's called Betty. Ben the builder called in to discuss plans for next weeks knock through (from the kitchen to Rachel's old bedroom).Wednesday 26th
Still painting, not much else happened today so I thought I would mention my Fabric Swap goodies that I received from Gemma over at Little Gem's World. I actually got these on the 20th and Gemma is being really patient as I still haven't sent hers yet but they will be in the post on Tuesday (I promise) now my painting is finished. Here's what Gemma sent....
Lots of lovely all shapes, sizes and colours......Ribbons, lace and bias bindings.....Thank you Gemma it's all lovely and I'm looking forward to seeing what I can create.

Thursday 27th
I finally finished painting today, I feel like I've been painting forever and finished off the last of the glossing at 10pm. I received a surprise package in the post today - my Flower Swap Goodies from Kate at Sewpatchwork . Kate had had some family issues that had meant she wasn't able to send out my parcel and as I hadn't heard from her I thought that I probably wouldn't receive anything but I did and it was lovely and such a surprise, so thank you Kate and I hope that you and your family are well. This is what I received.....

Flowery patchwork squares, ready to quilt and some lovely ribbonsFlowery pegs far too nice for my washing line as I have a tendency to leave my pegs out in all weathers so I will find a far prettier use for them..A make-up bag, I love the black background and the roses on this.Handmade lavender bagThis pretty pink purse containing some lip balm which I purposefully haven't shown Rachel as they would be in her room in no time..Packets of seeds, I think I will leave these to Paul as he is the Monty Don in our family...And here it all is before I ripped off all the packaging.... Friday 28th
Jack woke up at 5.30 with a tummy ache so had the day off school, Paul and I manged to get the furniture back into Rachel's room. It's funny as all along she's been saying she would like new furniture in her room but now it's all in she wants to keep it... here are some before and after shots of all our hard work...Before the dining room....After the marathon painting session that went on and on and on....This photo's a little dark because of the window and as you can see we haven't got curtains and finishing touches yet but Rachel loves her new room and I'm just glad it's finished, only another five rooms to go!!!!
Box fun - here are just a couple of pictures of the kids enjoying playing with one of the boxes that I am using to pack away the kitchen in time for the knock through...I think looking at the address on the box the novelty of having a baby brother is starting to wear off!!!
Unfortunately Friday didn't end well for me, we decided to have fish and chips as we had been rushing around all day and Rachel goes to a youth club on a Friday and after we had eaten we were still humping and dumping furniture from one room to another and I started feeling a little queasy, but I put it down to all the bending and carrying we were doing. But as the evening wore on I started to feel more queasy and I was absolutely shattered but I daren't lay down on the sofa for fear of falling asleep and forgetting to pick up Rachel from youth club. Paul did offer to go but I thought the fresh air would do me good. Driving up I was fine and I picked her up and we started to drive home when I came over feeling really sick, I kept looking for somewhere to pull over but we were on a road full of houses so I drove a little further till I got to the BT building and jumped out of the car, rushed over to the bushes and threw up, it was not pretty, or dignified and embarrassingly one of my friend's husbands was walking his dog and saw me kneeling on the floor throwing up in the bushes. He came over to ask if I was okay to which I answered by throwing up again. Needless to say I spent the rest of evening feeling awful and threw up again during the night and I was so tired I didn't think I would be able to have the energy to make it to the bathroom...
Saturday 29th
Still feeling rough this morning and I daren't eat anything, but we have managed to sort out more of the junk from Rachel's old room, I didn't want to fill up her new room with stuff that she doesn't need, want use etc... The boys went to the woods to check on a den that Jack had built as part of his school trip, whilst Rachel and I stayed and sorted.
It has rained most of this afternoon and everyone has been feeling a little bored, lazy, tired, bored and more bored, but I am now feeling much better and thought it was about time i posted this blog, I bet you're glad I said that as this has turned into a marathon post. I just thought I would leave with a picture of Tompom that sums up how I feel about painting and feeling ill
Hope you all have a great weekend!!!!!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Painting and Pay it Forward

Just a quick post this morning as I'm busy this weekend painting Rachel's new bedroom and want to get as much done as possible before she comes home. I'm hoping that after lunch Tompom is going to have a nap, Paul and Jack will be off to Tilbury Fort (again!) and I can crack open the paint pots and get stuck in.
Pay It Forward
Just to let you all know there is still time to take part in my Pay it Forward, you can read all about it here.
Leave a comment either on this post or the Pay It Forward post to enter.
Here's hoping you all have a lovely sunny weekend oh and don't forget the suntan cream!!!!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Meet Pierre or is it Jean?

This is the french doll that I made for Rachel to take on her school trip, we were in my workshop making her french bag when she found a pre made doll and asked me to make a french man. Firstly I couldn't find any blue stripey fabric but then I remembered that I had put one of Tompom's old tops in the bag for recycling so I dug it out and made the top, he had to have a red scarf so that was just a thin piece of red cotton and black jersey for his trousers. His face is hand stitched but his hair is a black felt tip as I was still finishing him off the night before she was due to go and just wasn't able to sew fast enough, but I have to say his hair does look better than when I tried to stitch it. I completed his look with a jaunty black felt beret and apparently he needed a belt as he had had a few too many croissants and was a little portly around the middle....
Now I like to call him Pierre but Rachel thinks Jean - what do you think???

Here his is with the notebook that I made for Rachel to fill with pictures and souvenirs when she comes home.

And this is moment Pierre or is it Jean? and Rachel headed off on their journey to Paris - I'm hoping that Pierre /Jean won't be too traumatised from being stuffed in a rucksack and sees a little of the sights of Paris and maybe even have his photo taken at the top of the Eiffel Tower.

Finally here is a photo I took of Tompom today after he had managed (by himself whilst I quickly popped indoors!!!) to climb our rather high treehouse!!! He was very pleased with himself and I have a few more grey hairs from the experience!!!
Its very quiet in the house tonight without Rachel - I'm torn between enjoying the peace and quiet and missing her(grumps and all)!!!
Right I'm now off to finish emptying Rachel's room of stuff! so that I can decorate and move her into the old dining room!!! It's going to be a busy four days!!!
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Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Pay it Forward

I recently received these beautiful earrings through the post from Lorraine over at FairlyGirly as part of "Pay it Forward", along with a lovely note, they definitely did cheer me up Lorraine, so thank you and they will look gorgeous with my bracelet too.
Pay it Forward works likes this : having received a gift herself the recipient then sends one on to someone else in the hope that they too will forward a gift on to someone.

Well having received a gift I would now like to pay it forward and send a gift onto someone else.

I'm not saying what the gift will be other than it will be handmade and it will arrive sometime before the end of the month.

So if you would like to take part in Pay it Forward please leave a comment below before midnight Sunday 23rd May and I will pop all the names in a hat and announce the winner on Monday.

Finally I just wanted to say sorry to Lorraine for not posting about these beautiful earrings before now but I wanted them to have a post all of their own and not just added to another post.
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Sunday, 16 May 2010

Crafty Sunday

I think I might just make it in time for a last post for Crafty Sunday before Sunday is officially over...
My daughter is off to Paris on Thursday for four days on a school trip and wanted a small messenger bag to use whilst she is there. I love this Micheal Miller Paris fabric as it always sews and washes up beautifully. Well here is the bag finally finished, when I say finally I mean that I still have to add the other side of the magnetic clasp and sew the gap in the lining, but I needed to do this post and my bed is calling me!!! so we won't quibble abot that will we. I made up the pattern as I went along using another larger messenger bag that Rachel has as a guide. I used a pair of charity shop jeans for the main body complete with pockets, the Micheal Miller fabric for the flap and a strap off an old free national trust bag that I had lurking around my workshop (I knew it would come in handy one day!!). The lining is pink cotton and I added one of the jean pockets to the inside too.

I love the way the pocket on the back of the bag is at an angle because of the cut of the jeans.

Rachel will be visiting the Eiffel Tower so that had to be on the front flap.
I apologise for the not so fantastic pictures as I am in a hurry to get to bed!!!

I will post some pictures of Rachel modelling the bag at a later date!!!
Good night everyone see you tomorrow!!!
Thanks to Me and Ma for organising Crafty Sunday
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Saturday, 15 May 2010

I LOVE blogging!!!!!

Probably like many of you I was a bit skeptical about blogging to begin with and wasn't sure what I'd write about and who would read it but I have to say I LOVE BLOGGING!!!! I've met (not in person - yet!!!) some lovely people along the way and now follow lots of different blogs and have joined in several swaps, which has brought about a real enjoyment for crafting. But what I really love is the power of blogging, not only how everyone looks out for each other and is always on hand to lend an ear or a shoulder to cry on, to shout out well done and congratulations but how it also brings out the natural giver in us all. (I've also been watching How to live a simple life on BBC2). I've been lucky to be on the receiving end of this giving by a round about way Vicki over at Vintage Vicki and in a direct way from Lisa at Kandipandi. Vicki blogged recently that she had a spare copy of the latest Cath Kidston magazine and would be willing to send someone a copy if they wanted, well unfortunately for me there was more than me who had yet to see a copy of this magazine (I know - where have we been living all us Cath Kidston Virgin's) and Vicki was sending her copy all the way over to New Zealand. But rather than leave it there Vicki sent me an email saying that Lisa had another copy to send if I still wanted one, Yes please said I and so yesterday this arrived on the doormat. (well not really on the doormat as we have a postbox on the gate but I've used poetic licence to make it sound much nicer!!!)

Now I'm not really a girly girl, although I do like a bit of floral, and I wasn't sure if Cath was for me, but I have to say I loved the magazine and my favourite has to be this tablecloth, closely followed by the basket

Ooohh! and this messenger bag too.

Luckily for me Lisa also popped in the 15% off voucher so there might even be a bit of retail therapy going on soon!!!!
So I just wanted to say a big thank you to both Vicki and Lisa for being terrific bloggers and for helping me lose my Cath Kidston virginity!!! thanks girls!!!
Finally here's what I caught Tompon reading a little later!!!!!

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Thursday, 13 May 2010

Good Enough To Eat - Yes They were......

It's been a busy day here at Mad About Bags HQ, Tompom and I spent the morning at Toddler group, I had the chance to catch up on some girly gossip and Tompom had a chance to climb and slide, and generally have a fun time, then it was home for lunch and nap time (Tompom not me!!) and in the afternoon I had a friend coming over for coffee so there was a mad dash around with the hoover and duster to make the place look a bit presentable!!! I had to keep myself busy as when I got home from Toddler group my Good Enough To Eat parcel had arrived from Dawn (aka A Country Girl) over at Life on the East Coast and although I was tempted to just rip it open I wanted to wait so the I could take photos to share with you all. So here is what I received all prettily wrapped in cupcake paper.

A huge slice of cake that is beautifully made and even Jack was tempted to take a bite!!!Cherry key/bag charm which I love as I have had my eye on some cherry fabric to make myself a bag with and this will just finish it off a treat!!!A rosy red crocheted apple coaster, my apologies Dawn as in my haste to open and take photos I think I have photographed the back and not the front)Now I could smell the mango and peach of this candle as soon as I opened it and as you can see the temptation was too much for Tompom and he made a grab for itHe was unsure as to whether he should just smell it or bite it, I did the kind thing and told him to just smell it!!!!Next to be opened was a delicious bar of chocolate, I can say it was delicious as it has now all been eaten (I did share I promise) you can see in the photograph of all my goodies together that the chocolate bar has been opened that happened when I took all my goodies in to show Paul and as I passed him the chocolate he had unwrapped it and helped himself to a chunk or three before I could say anything!!! Now the last package was a box (like you get when you buy truffles) and was fastened with a ribbon and as I opened it this it what I found, now I wish there was a smellablog button here in blogland as these smell divine and they are so realistic I wasn't sure at first if I could really eat one...but Dawn am I right in thinking they are for the bath and definitely not to be consumed??? I will not be sharing these and I think they will be saved for those rare times that as a woman you get to have a long luxurious bath alone with a book with the bathroom door firmly bolted....Here you can see all my "Good Enough To Eat" goodies together and inside the cupcake card is a recipe for Orange Drizzle Cake which I will definitely try out..I've thoroughly enjoyed this swap and I just want to say a big THANK YOU to Dawn for sending me such a superb selection of goodies and well done to Claire and Em for organizing this super swap. Ooohhh and here is a little tease Dawn as to what is on it's way to you as we speak.....

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

A lesson learnt!!!

I learnt a very important lesson today whilst shopping at the charity shops, (we have 5 all in the same street). "What did you learn Tracy?", I hear you ask, "impart your useful knowledge"....


Don't do what I did and spot a lovely old padded stool with storage, that when rubbed down and repainted and recovered would look lovely in my summerhouse to hold my sewing bits and bobs and was only £8.99, don't say to the man at the till "I'm really interested in that stool but I need to pop to the other shops first and then I will be back and can carry it to my car" and then walk out of the shop (not having paid for the stool) and then whilst you are in another charity shop watch someone walk in carrying your lovely wanted stool, clutching it tightly to their bosom like a child, in fear that a mad flame haired woman might grab it from you shouting "it's mine I saw it first!!!"......

How cross am I........... lesson learnt BIG TIME!!!!!

On a brighter note I did pick up some books and a couple of bags to embellish, (one my daughter has bagged already and one to carry my camera and camcorder in) and a lovely pair of Monsoon Trousers...

Ill post some before and after photos of the bags once they are finished...

Oooo..... just wanted to say thanks for the lovely comments regarding the cake I made for Rachel's sleepover, it's a great no cook cheats cake as i used swiss roll for the bodies and small fairy cakes for the faces and then everything else is just icing.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Weekend Makes

Life has got in the way of blogging again this week and I have been feeling a little overwhelmed by things this past week, so in attempt to see things in a more positive light I thought I would post about our weekend makes.

Rachel made some Melting Moments - this was an assessment for tech class so we had a couple of practice runs and I must say they are delicious and very easy to make
Jack made a Toad Abode - very bright and colourful I'm just hoping that the lack of any pond or water in the garden isn't going to put the toads off coming for a visit!!!
I made this sleepover cake as Rachel had a belated birthday trip to the Chinese buffet and a sleepover this weekend - the only sleep that went on though was on the cake as the girls didn't get to sleep until 6am!!!!

Now my hubby Paul didn't want to be left out of the weekend makes so here is his list -
1. made the bed
2. made the sausage sandwiches
3. made the dog's dinners
4. made short work of my pork and mushroom dinner

And as for Tompom well he made his usual mess and then scarpered off to bed!!!!

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