Friday, 30 July 2010

Allsorts...... don't get excited ladies I'm not offering allsorts of the liquorice kind, tempting as they may be, but this post is a little of everything as it's been a week since I last posted and although I have lots to say I'm finding that the summer holidays are tiring me out (it's an age thing/a Tom pom thing!) and I only seem to have the energy to read blogs and not write them at the end of the day..

Firstly I just wanted to say thank you for all your kind comments regarding the fabric notebook covers that I made and does anyone know if there is an easy way to respond to individual comments?

Well Week 1 of Operation Summer Holidays is over and we have tried to make the most of our time, although now I'm struggling to remember what we have been up to (it's an age/Tompom thing!!)

I think it's probably better if I work backwards because at least I can remember what we did today....

...probably like thousands of other Toy Story fans we went to see Toy Story 3 today at the Rio in Burnham on Crouch, where I used to go to see films as a youngster, it's a really old cinema, privately owned and has large leather sofas as well as ordinary fold up cinema seats and it only cost £15 for 2 adults (my mum came too) and three children. It was great as it was Tompom's first cinema visit and I think for a two and a half year old he did pretty well. Both Rachel and Jack also loved the film, Jack got a little sentimental at the end and definitely wants to play with his toys again before he gets too old... this has come as a little bit of a relief for me as it means that I might get a day off from playing cricket... we also enjoyed a stroll along the seawall to see the boats and ice creams, all in all a fab day!

Thursday saw us take a walk in our local country park, this was supposed to be an organised meet up with friends but as I'd left the organizing a little late everyone was busy so we went on our own. It took the older two a little while to get to grips with the idea that it was just them, Tompom and me but after we got over the initial "how boring!!" stage we had a lovely time to the point that when I eventually found them, they'd gone off exploring leaving Tompom and me to our own devices, that they didn't want to go home. We were also in luck with the ducks, as on previous visits they've been a little full and not wanted our bread, but on this occasion they were even taking it from our fingers, although the swan hissed a bit if you got too close!!!Left to our own devices Tompom and I played peek a boo!!!
I even managed to take this fab picture (if I don't say so myself!) of this bee buzzing off for more nectar.
I also saw this sign and was just wondering if the wall had been offered any form of counselling to help it with its unstable state... Wednesday we had a rest, although when I say a rest we did move the sauna from upstairs to the garage, put up some shelves and had the electrician in to put in a new consumer unit!!

Tuesday we popped to my Nan's for a visit and to pick up some foldaway bikes that she said the kids could have, one is in working order the other needs a little TLC to get it roadworthy but the kids have had a whale of a time and Rachel had decided she likes old (I say vintage) things and doesn't want to change anything on her new bike....
Well I think you get the gist of what has been a busy first week of the holidays, I just hope I can keep it up...

I promise that the next blog posts are entirely craft related as I had received some lovely swaps parcels in the post and can't wait to share them with you all, so until then I shall say goodnight as I need to recharge my batteries for week 2 of Operation Summer Holidays....

P.S Jack's just reminded me to tell you all about his terrifying attack by a swarm of wasps, and also that he fell off his bike! hopefully this will be the end of any injuries and we can get through the summer holidays without anymore incidents.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Last Minute Teachers Gifts

As per usual I left the teacher's gifts to the last minute, Rachel wanted to make notebook covers for just a few of her teachers (thank god!! - secondary school = more subjects = more teachers!!!)

I found this really easy tutorial here and then it was just a case of choosing fabrics.
The music teachers were easy so that was one notebook cover and one sunglasses case sorted.

This apple fabric is probably my favourite, although Jack didn't want that one as he didn't want to be teacher's pet.....

I'd also forgotten how pretty this sewing fabric was, it's been sitting in my stash for sometime and definitely looks better made up than just sitting forlornly in my piles upon piles of fabric, i think i might make myself a bag for my crochet...

The green floral and green check are bargain fabrics, these are brand new curtains from B&Q that i bought a while back after there had been a leak at the store the bags were slightly wet but the curtains were fine so i bought two packs of each and want to make garden cushions and a table cloth(one day!!)
That just leaves this very cute bird fabric which I teamed with some pink seersucker gingham.

Now I finally finished these at 1am this morning but when I was putting them together with the cards that Rachel had written I noticed an extra name, another music teacher, as you can tell music is one of Rachel's favourite subjects, so this morning because as Rachel said "I can't walk into the music department and give out the two presents to Mr and Mrs H and not give one to Miss J", I quickly ran up another music themed glasses case, it's a slightly different fabric from the other one, more girly, before school and off she went quite happily. Well that little lot has left me feeling a little tired but there's no peace for the wicked the summer hols start this afternoon and its a picnic in the park after school and I haven't got anything in to make any sandwiches so I must get to the shops...

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Monday, 19 July 2010

A Little Bit Greener Swap

Back April (was it really that long ago!! sigh!!)I signed up to take part in That Little Bit Greener's green swap, I was paired with Stuffed Nonsense, and when I popped over to their blog I found that I was getting a BOGOF deal, two partners for the price of one. The lovely Bex and El have been ever so patient with me as the send out date for the swap was the 7th of June, well that date came and went and so so did another couple of weeks, my crafting time is very hit and miss at the moment!!! but I finally sent out their goodies and here are a few pictures of what I sent them.
Recycled books to read!!!
A pile of fabrics to share!!
I had this idea to incorporate the recycle sign onto a bag and as I haven't done much applique before this was an ideal excuse to get out the bondaweb and have a go!!! The bags are made from recycled curtains samples and the linings are from the same samples and the applique fabrics are from my stash of recycled fabric sample books!!!

I found these ingenious origami business card holder instructions over at Activity Village and not only made one each for the girls but popped in the instructions too in case them wanted to make some more...
A matchbox each of buttons - these plain matchboxes are covered in recycled buttons from my stash and filled to bursting with more buttons...
and finally I really wanted to make some envelopes from magazines so I cut out a template and found some lovely Country Living magazines in my workshop and set about making a set of 5 envelopes each, I added some labels so they're good to go, just not sure what the postie will make of them.

I really enjoyed this swap so a big thank you to Emma and Rachel for organizing it and thank you to Bex and El for being my partners and being just a little bit (oh alright a lot!!) patient when it came to getting their goodies. Looking forward to seeing what I receive in return!!!!
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Friday, 16 July 2010


I've recently come across two new blogs

My Grannies Attic


The Little Vintage Company

they're both fairly new to blogging and are both hosting their first giveaways

so for your chance to receive some gorgeous vintage goodies pop over and say hi!!!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Art in Flowers Exhibition

On Sunday my daughter Rachel and I left the boys at home and headed out to Woodham Walter for their school fete and the village Flowers in Art Exhibition and I just wanted to share some photos of the fabulous flower displays that I saw. Our school caretaker and his wife had said this was worth a visit and I wasn't disappointed. As you walked up to the church and through the gate you were greeted by the Salvation Army Brass Band and a marquee with teas and cakes. Heavenly. All of the flowers are displayed in the church over four days and were all interpretations of paintings. I love the way that someone can look at a picture and then visualise how it can be arranged as flowers. My favourite arrangement had to be The Lady of Shallot.

My photo does not do this arrangement justice as I had my zoom lens on and just couldn't get the distance.

This is an interpretation of a famous dutch painting
Now these have to be my favourite flower, the bird of paradise, i just love these.
Apparently some of the ladies that design these arrangements are gold medal winners at the Chelsea Flower Show and you can see why.
There was something for everyone from the impressionists to the abstract, unfortunately i wasn't able to photograph them all, but will definitely be heading back again next year to appreciate these wonderful floral works of art.

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Monday, 5 July 2010

ebay bargain...

Most of you will know that we had some major remodelling recently in our kitchen where we opened up two rooms into one, well the dust has settled and it's now a lovely big space which we are living in so that we can get used to the space and work out where our new kitchen appliances and cupboards will eventually go. Well during this remodelling i lost some of my old kitchen cupboards and we replaced our large electric range oven for a smaller one. This new oven is taking a little getting used to and i keep forgetting that it isn't a fan oven and wonder why things get burnt on the top shelf and undercooked on the bottom!!!
Sorry I digress, my cooking inabilities could take up a whole weeks posts!!!
Right back to my ebay bargain which is what this post was supposed to be about!!
So we've got this new cooker which could only go in one place until the electrician comes back and rewires but this one place is sort of on its own stuck on one wall away from everything else and I'm forever dropping spatulas and if I've got pans on the hob and dishes in the oven then there's no place to put everything. Well there's a nice space next to the cooker just the right size for a butchers block or a trolley so I thought I'd have a look on ebay to see what I could find. Well this T&G woodware
( no I've never heard of them either!!)was up for auction for £65 but i missed the end of the auction and then lucky for me that I did because the lady re listed it for .....wait for it ........£15 - yes i know £15.... I couldn't believe my luck. Paul went to pick it up on Sunday and the first thing the woman said was "you've had a bargain" and I think she was right as it's in perfect condition and when I looked on the Internet they sell for around £250...

It fits in it's new home perfectly and now has all my utensils stored in its drawers and it was a pleasure to make my leek and bacon pasta dish tonight... Don't get any ideas it's one of Deila's and is really delicious, everyone is always ready for seconds. I think it's one of my signature dishes, just feeling that I need to expand my repertoire though!!!
Anyone got any ideas for tea tomorrow......all answers on a postcard please or alternatively leave a comment below....
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Sunday, 4 July 2010


I really love photography and am still very learning what my digital SLR is capable of with me behind the lens, and over the years I've tried really hard (not always successfully) to get photos of our dogs for my husband's website. People have often commented that our dogs look better in the flesh than they do in our photographs. It's always difficult to capture their true expression whilst showing off their size and wrinkles too, most photos have ended in the delete bin, but this weekend Paul asked if I could take some photos of one of our boys - Ozzie - he's not yet 2 years old and still has some growing to do but I'm really pleased with how the photos came out, because although this is a huge and powerful dog he is also a gentle giant and I think that that really comes through in the expression in his eyes.
So what do you think of our Ozzie???
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