Monday, 24 December 2012

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Crochet christmas trees

I mentioned before that Mum over Mum's Simply Living blog
was crocheting Christmas trees during the countdown to Christmas in a moment of madness I decided to join in and although I started a few days late I did make a start as you can see below

I then didn't make any for a few days and that must have been fate because last Saturday when I popped into chelmsford market I spied some lovely green wool in a much more Christmassy colour. I bought some of the wool and got cracking on making Christmas trees.

As you can see I'm still not quite on one a day but since taking this photo I have made two more, my only dilemma now is do I continue to make more trees or do I make some stars to go with them in the lovely red wool that I bought too.

As you can see I didn't only buy wool on my trip to the market!!
Here is a link to the granny tree tutorial that I am using if you would like to make some yourself.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Cracker Swap

There are some lovely cracker posts out there in blog land at the moment, don't forget you can also upload your photos to the Flickr group I've really enjoyed giving and receiving my crackers and will definitely be running this swap again next year.

My cracker arrived from Betty the Wood Fairy a few days ago and this is what Betty sent me, I could tell from the package that maybe some of the things wouldn't fit in a kitchen roll tube!!

Wrapped around the cracker was a very pretty piece of fabric which I think I will use to make something for Rachel's room. There was also a large piece of calico which I am going to use to make a crazy patchwork with in the new year which is something I have been wanting to try for sometime.

Tied to each end were these lovely hanging ornaments, a white metal heart with red ribbon and a handmade clay leaf.

As you can see this was another crammed to bursting cracker so crammed that Betty had to split open the cracker!

Inside the cardboard tube were these fruity bath fizzers

This cute bird cross stitch kit

Lots of glittery white snowflakes I was thinking of putting a jug on the table with some branches to hang small decorations and these will be ideal.

I have to say that this chocolate aero Christmas tree didn't last very long at all and tasted delicious!

And finally this scented heart which I shall keep in one of my drawers to keep my smalls smelling fresh and lovely!

Thank you to Betty for being a brilliant swap partner, your cracker was posted today so should be with you tomorrow.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, 10 December 2012

New Year's Knitting Resolution

The lovely Joy over at Welcome to Daisy Row recently blogged a review for a knitting book, 

there was also a chance to enter a giveaway for one of three copies of the book and I was lucky enough to win a copy!!!

My book arrived the other day and I have already read the first couple of pages all about the different yarns.
I am going to make my crafty new year's resolution a knitting one, as although I can do the basics it's one of the crafts I've always found difficult to master. I have always blamed it on being left handed but I don't think that's really the case!

I have quite a stash of wool to work with and with this book to guide me I'm hoping that I (and you) can see some progress in my knitting.

Thank you Joy for holding such a great giveaway. 

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Cracker Swap

How are you all getting along with your Crackers?
I've received two of mine, Kimberley's I've already blogged about here and today I will be showing you what Bea sent me. I've sent off three of my crackers, Bea has received hers (you can read about it here), one is on it's way to New Zealand and the other is on it's way to Spain for Amanda, my final cracker for Betty will be posted out on Monday. Phew!! that's a lot of crackers!!!

Bea sent me a beautiful blue cracker crammed (and when I say crammed I don't think there was a millimetre of space left in that tube) full of wonderful goodies. As you can see Bea also sent me a cracker joke and a recipe for rocky road, I completely forgot to add these things to my crackers!!! doh!

Firstly there was a hand knitted mug warmer decorated with pretty pearls.

Then inside were lots and lots of packages

tiny Christmas tree buttons

red and white Christmas shapes

a teeny gingerbread man decoration

three seed stick books

the prettiest earrings

a bendy magnetic man

a reindeer peg

a teeny Christmas lady decoration

a star pendant

a charades dice game

a cross stitch Christmas tree and some wooden buttons

some variegated green thread

teeny tiny red bells

red puff stars and gold and silver card toppers

more buttons

and finally four pieces of patchwork fabric.
I told you it was crammed didn't I!
Here is a photo of all my lovely goodies together.

Thanks Bea for sending me such a crammed full of goodies cracker, now I forgot to take a photo of my crackers before sending them off but you can see what I sent Bea here
Don't forget to add your swap photos to the flickr group too xx

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Mini Tote Swap & Crochet

Thanks for all your embarrassing parent stories I'm glad that it's not only me who is embarrassing their kids!
This week has been a painful one as I trapped a nerve in my back and is been giving me a lot of gip!!! I had lots of plans of trying to blog daily in December but because of my back I haven't really felt like sitting in front of the computer too much.
But with Paul playing nursemaid and dishing out the painkillers and anti inflammatories I'm feeling much better. Today here is Chelmsford is has been a snow day with both schools closed so we have stayed wrapped up warm indoors. we did venture out for a short while but brrr it was nippy out there!

Now I've started writing  I feel that I have so much to say that this could be a very long blog post, so I think I might have to blog again tomorrow...anyhow...

A little while ago I signed up to Quirky Hannah's Mini Tote Swap. I was partnered with Claire who tweet's under the name of Claire E Poppin's over on Twitter. The idea was to find out your partner's likes and dislikes and send a mini tote to them, well Claire really spoilt me as she not only sent me a lovely biggish mini tote but I also received some gorgeous fabric, a pretty necklace and some very tasty Mr Broon's (which i initially thought were toffee but they turned out to be delicious fudge (nom! nom!)

a close up of the wonderful quilted panel

and the inside which is lined is a beautiful green and blue fabric.

Thanks Claire for being a brilliant swap partner I love my new bag and all my extra goodies too.
I completely forget to take a photo of the bag that I made for Claire so hopefully she will take a pic or two and I will be able to show you but I went with her love of all things Chihuahua!

I've decided to use this bag for my latest crochet project....

which take me nicely on to my next subject

Mum (I love the fact that that when she leaves comments on my blog is says Mum - i had to check first to make sure it wasn't my Mum!!!) over at Mum's Simply Living Blog mentioned at the end of November that she was going to be doing a crochet Christmas advent countdown, with the idea of crocheting Christmas trees (last year it was snowflakes) each day to make a lovely garland to hang up on Christmas eve. Now I always up for a challenge even if I am very busy but i thought it would be nice to crochet them in the evening in front of the TV. Well I have to confess that I haven't quite managed one a day, BUT i have managed ONE!!! (don't laugh I will try and catch up) I haven't even got a photo to show you yet but hopefully I will take a couple of pics tomorrow and show you if I have made any progress.
If you would like to join in then pop over to Mum's blog where there is a lovely pattern to follow, they are quick and easy to do, I just need to be a bit quicker!!!
Okay having said all that there is probably just enough time tonight to make another tree so I'm off to find something to watch on TV and to get busy with my hook.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

How to embarass your kids in one easy lesson...

My eldest two (aged 13 & 14) have reached that age where they find their parents sooo embarrassing and at the same time I have reached the age where I'm no longer worried what people think!
So this post is dedicated to talking about embarrassing your kids, which I think is something I managed to do on Tuesday.

I was on the school run picking up Tomas as usual but because the older two have a late finish on that day I popped round a friends for a cup of tea and a chat. When the time came to go and pick up Rachel and Jack I left Tomas at my friends playing and headed out in the rain to get the kids. I park on a very small housing estate in the middle of both the primary school and the secondary school, it's basically a square with houses in the middle and all around the outside. Once I've picked up the kids I have to drive around the square to get out and as we were driving round I noticed a wooden ironing board left out with the bins ready for collection.
ME : "Ooh! Look a wooden ironing board! Let's go around again so I can pick it up".

The KIDS : "NO NO Mum that's so embarrassing, our friends will see you".

ME : "No it's fine I'll be really quick honestly".

The Kids : more moaning about how embarrassing I am in stereo from the back of the car.

I ignore them, drive around the block and stop the car outside the house saying "I won't be a minute"

Now I just wanted to make sure it was okay for me to take the ironing board so I knocked on the door of the house it was outside but there was no reply.
By this time the kids are cringing in the back of the car, this isn't helped by one of Jack's friends walking up to the house opposite and knocking on the door.
As the lady opposite came to open the door I declared
"Excuse we I just need to embarrass my kids, do you think it would be okay if I took this ironing board from your neighbours rubbish bin?"

The very kind lady said yes it would be fine and so I happily picked up the ironing board and popped it in the boot of the car.

I would like to say that we all drove away happy but although I was quite chuffed with my ironing board, the kids weren't quite so impressed by their mother's antics!!!

Because it was raining I just put the ironing board in the garage to dry out and today I had a quick look at it and it's a lovely solid wood ironing board which I thought just needed a new cover, but as I opened it up I realised that there was a crack in the board itself, I think that this will be quite easy to replace and once I have made a new cover for it it will be as good as new.

What do you think was I embarrassing enough?

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Cracker Swap Updates

I don't know about you but time seems to be hurtling along at a great speed of knots at the moment...I'm not really sure what I'm doing with my time but it sure is disappearing fast!!

Today we're off to my mum and dad's for a quick visit so will be braving the winds for the drive down. Although it's nice and sunny I don't think we will be taking a walk along the sea wall!!! 

But before we go I just thought I would give you a quick update of all things "CRACKERS"

Firstly the lovely Betty from Betty the Wood Fairy has joined our cracker swap, I will be Betty's partner and we have already exchanged a few ideas! Don't forget to pop over and say hello.

Secondly, we have had a first "Cracker Swap" posts, if you pop over to Joy and Ellie's blog you can see what they sent and received, it really is amazing what you can squeeze into a cardboard tube!!!!

Finally, I was lucky to receive my first cracker yesterday morning all the way from New Zealand (this was an additional swap - Kimberley and I have been exchanging gifts and letters since the rugby world cup earlier on in the year and Kimberley thought it would be nice to do this swap between us, who could refuse such a offer - not me that's for sure!!)

This is what Kimberley sent me 

a Kiwi cross stitch kit

a cute red reindeer decoration

I just love this red and cream Christmas fabric

a snowman cookie cutter and some Christmas cupcakes cases

a very cute jar of Christmas mini pegs

some lovely manuka honey & kelp soap

I love the fact that you get such different sweets when you take part in swaps from other countries and I can't wait to try my Lumps!!!

Now I will definitely have to hide this pen from my daughter Rachel (this is MY pen Rachel!!!)

and finally this handmade Christmas house - I love the fabrics and it will look so festive hanging on my tree

Here are my wonderful goodies altogether, thanks Kimberley for another great swap, yours will be on it's way sometime next week!!!

I hope all you cracker's are coming along nicely we have just under a week to get them posted out 
(unless you have decided differently with your swap partner) and I can't wait to see them all.

here is a link to the flickr group so that you can post your photo's.....

Cracker Swap 2012

Sunday, 11 November 2012

A Great Friday Feeling - finished orders and I'm a winner!!!

Friday was a good day here at Mad About Bags HQ, not only did I finish off and post a custom order but I also won 4 YES! 4 cross stitch charts in an offer run by Sew and So over on Facebook.

At the beginning of half term the lovely Cheryl from Cakes by Chez asked me if I could make an apron and some bunting for her first fair, using the design from her business card.

and this is what I came up with.....

I really wanted to make the cake appear 3D so used some line stitching and curved the ribbon.

the apron is fully adjustable as the straps slide through a channel down the sides, as I don't know about you but I find that sometimes the neck strap is too long on a pinny!

I used a lovely chocolate and cream polka dot fabric for the lining and the strap.

Cheryl loved her new apron and bunting, and is hopefully going to send me of picture of it in action at the fair.

And now onto my lucky win....

On Friday afternoon just before going to pick Tomas up from school I was on Facebook (like you do) and in my news feed was a free order Friday competition run by Sew and So with a chance to win your order for free if you placed an order for £20 or more before 4pm, so I quickly popped over to there website as I had already placed four cross stitch charts in my baskets ready to purchase sometime in the future. I placed my order, paid and went off to school. I had a lovely email when I returned from Yvette over at Sew and So telling me that I had won my order for free Yippee!!!

Here is what I won...

click on each photo for a bigger picture and more details.

You couldn't fault the service as the charts were delivered the following morning, now I just have to resist the urge to start them before finishing off all my other WIP's.
So if you have never heard of Sew and So pop over to their website for lots of lovely sewing, embroidery and cross stitch goodies, and for the knitters amongst you they also have a site for you called Dragon's Yarns.
And that's not all if you sign up for their newsletter you get 5% off your online order.
Right I'm off to use my 5% off to get the fabrics that I need to get started on my first season, I think I should go for Spring (gives me a bit more time to get it finished, but Paul thinks I should just crack on and get winter finished first, what do you think?

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