Monday, 16 January 2012

Pay It Forward......

Many thanks to those of you that entered my Pay It Forward I put all the names into a hat, alright it was a plastic beaker as I look terrible in a hat! So congratulations to......

Claire of Cute and Cosy


Kimberley of Creative Chaos

you will be receiving some handmade goodness from me very soon! 

 I wish I could send all of you something but for those of you that missed out this time I've just be picked to receive some handmade loveliness from Vintage Vicki's Pay It Forward so there will be another chance for you to enter in the next couple of months. 

 Ladies I will be emailing you later to get your details etc and will send out a parcel to you soon.

Friday, 13 January 2012

January Makes

Like many of you I signed up to the challenge of making a least one item a month over at Annie's blog - 
I wanted to use this challenge to make some things for our home as these often get put on the back burner in favour of making lovely things for other people...think typical builder, builds lovely homes for other people but can his wife get him to put up a curtain pole - can she heck!!!

So I have surprised myself this first month by not making one but two makes, alright they are identical but we can count them as two can't we??? 
And here they are -  my patchwork stripe bolster cushions for Rachel's bed.....

 because of the design of her bed there is always a gap when she puts the bed against the wall (she moves her furniture around quite a bit so sometimes there isn't a gap at all!!)
Clothes, books, pens, socks and much more have a tendency to fall down this gap and I have meaning to make these some bolster cushions for ages to stop this and to make the bed look more comfy. 
I used a combination of new and reclaimed fabrics so we have pieces from a charity shop skirt, a duvet, a pillowcase, and the one I love the most one of my Nan's vintage dresses.
I have to confess to finding it hard sometimes to put fabrics together like this and initially when they were cut and laid out I really wasn't sure but once I started sewing them together, I was delighted with the combination. I used my over locker for the seam as I love the neat finish it gives. 
Anyone else find sewing the pom pom trim on a bit of a nightmare, I tried to sandwich it in between the fabric so that the pom pom's were only showing but my sewing machine just didn't like it so I resorted to putting it on the outside. Any tips would be gratefully received for the next pom pom trim project...
I think I may have over stuffed the first one and might re stuff it at a later date, am I'm the only one that does just keep on stuffing, I do find it tricky to get that just plump feeling!!!
Both the cushions fit nicely along the back of the bed and even if  when Rachel decides it's time for a room shuffle then they can sit at either end of the bed too.
Rachel loves them and I think they do go rather nicely with the CK bedding....

So that's one item crossed of the Home Makes List, it's a new ironing board cover next...unless I get distracted by something else!!!

Lastly I just wanted to say another thank you Annie as the other day I received my bag handles through the post from her bag handles giveaway, I received some round handles and a funny postcard, not sure whether I am actually going to use them as bag handles yet so we shall see what my creative brain comes up with???

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Soups, Scooters and Shiny Sinks.....

Rachel keeps asking for carrot and coriander soup so on Friday I popped to our local farm shop and bought several pounds of carrots and some lovely fragrant fresh coriander.

 Then on Saturaday after peeling all those carrots and chopping the coriander and using one of  Jamie Oliver's recipe  I set about making some soup. It's the first time I've made anything of his (I know where have I been - not in the kitchen obviously!) but it was a nice simple recipe and I what I loved most was because it was on line lots of people had left useful comments on it, so I added potato because I like a thick soup, was careful not to add too much stock and threw in the chopped coriander, stalks and all, to give it a bit of a kick.

The result, a really easy to make and very tasty soup, mine came out darker and greener than the photo on the website but its was very yummy. The only downside was Paul said his portion was too small, well you can't win them all can you. Not content with making one soup I made two on Saturday, simultaneously too, woo get me!
I also make a mean broccoli and stilton soup, if I do say so myself, so armed with a huge lump of leftover stilton and some fresh broccoli I got to work, stirring and simmering and blending. I try to make double the amount so that I can freeze some but as this is quite popular in our house (even Tomas likes it) it never seems to last very long. 
We did eat some of the soup(s) but thankfully there was enough leftover for another day.

It's not been all aprons and dirty dishes here this weekend, we managed a little fresh air too and took the kids scooters out for a, well, scoot!

Rachel and I also took our cameras with us and managed to take some photos for the scavenger hunt.
We also met a very friendly cat at the end of our lane, I think Tomas wanted to bring him home. 

As for the shiny sinks, well I have to say that I was quite sceptical and a wee bit tongue in cheek when I signed up to the Flylady but I have to say that keeping a shiny sink does make a BIG difference, my kitchen is definitely a lot tidier, and as the hub of the house of five it does take some bashing, but each night I have made sure that not only is my sink shiny but all the sides are nice and clear, it's so lovely to come down to in the morning. I'm not quite there with all my babysteps and need to sort my control journal, but I'm seem to be on the right track and its seems to have progressed to the lounge too. No more papers left lying around or toys on the floor just a nice tidy room at bedtime. I am hoping that I can keep this up and that it gives me more time to craft....talking of crafting now that the christmas decorations are packed away and the house is tidy(er) I really want to make a start in my craft room and getting some crafting done but what to make first???? perhaps I should pop over to pinterest!!! No seriously I have a long list of " I want to make"s and I'm going to try really hard just to use what I have in my craft room and not buy any more fabric, wool, buttons etc. We'll see how long that lasts shall we!!!
Hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Getting Back in the Saddle.....

No not on a horse, but just getting back into the swing of things after Christmas.
This week all three of the children were back in school, for Tomas this means an extra full day at pre-school so he has been feeling a little quite a bit  a lot out of sorts come tea time, so there has been a fair bit of cajoling on my part to get him to eat his dinner and he is then out like a light come 6pm. But I think he will be just fine as we get a routine going, he does so look forward to going to pre-school which is always a bonus I think.

As for the older two they seem to have settled right back into their routines with no problems at all, sorting out timetables, homework and after school activities with ease, I just wish I knew what they were doing!!! Rachel has just had another super school report and Paul and I are so proud of her, this year is going to be a busy year for her choosing options and she has already started some of her GCSE'S.

As for Paul and I it is just a matter of establishing a routine, I use the word routine in the loosest sense of the word, as we are both at home we can choose to change things around if we want to. Although  I would like more of a routine when it comes to the housework otherwise I find that things slip a little, so with that in mind and having been spurred on by Kelly's Clutter blog I joined the Flylady, and have started on my baby steps, so far I have shined my sink and managed to keep it shining!!!
Paul has been laughing at me because when I explained the babysteps and said this is great,
 day 1 shine your sink and then 
day 2 all I have to do is keep my sink shining and get dressed this is going to be a breeze,
you can imagine why he thinks this is hilarious can't you!!!
Saying that though there are some good pointers on the flylady and I think that I shall be adapting lots of them to suit our family home. Just think I might even have the last laugh on Paul too!!!

Right I must dash as I've just realised I've missed the beginning of Celebrity Big Brother!!!
I really need to sort out the WIFI extender so that I can blog on my iPad and watch TV at the same time....


Tuesday, 3 January 2012

A New Kid on the Block....

My daughter Rachel has started a new blog for 2012,

having received a new camera for Christmas she is hoping to join in some of the photo challenges and to write about her days at home and school, if you would like to pop over and say Hi that would make her day and if any of you have children with blogs please let her know as she would love to meet some people her own age here in blogland, until then she'll have to settle for boring old Mum!!!!

Monday, 2 January 2012

First Swaps of 2012

If you're feeling a bit flat now that you have packed away all the Christmas decorations or you just fancy getting back into making again then these two swaps might be just the ticket.
Firstly, in preparation for the month of LOVE, 
Gem over at Gem's Country Life Dream has organised a Blog Love Swap

The theme is blog love 
so basically it can include anything you wish to send that your partner would love to receive.
It must include a minimum of 5 items but there are no other requirements. For more information or to join in with this swap please pop over to Gem's Blog but be quick the closing date for this swap is the 8th January with swap parcels to reach their recipient by the 14th February.

 Secondly, if like me you still need to tidy up your craft area and you have more stash than you have time to create then the Travelling Craft Box over at Hookin' With LaaLaa might be just your thing.

Lynda will start the box off with crafty bits and pieces, books or magazines and each time it stops off on its journey the recipient may take any items they wish from the box as long as they replace them with bits and pieces from their own stash. Sounds like this one could be lots of fun as you have to blog about what you take (but not what you put in) and you will get to see the box travelling around the UK. 
For all the information on how this swap works and to take part pop over to Lynda's Blog now.

I hope these first two swaps of 2012 have whetted your appetite a little I'm sure there are plenty more swaps to come.

P.S Don't forget for the chance to receive from of my handmade goodies you need to join in my

Sunday, 1 January 2012

A Great Way To Start 2012...........

As you can see I have had a little revamp here at Mad About Bags, a new header showing some of my craft makes and a few little changes with colour and text.
I have found over the past year or so of blogging that the direction I thought my blog would take i.e networking for my mad about bags websites hasn't happened and my blog has become so much more... I have taken part in some fantastic swaps, "met" some truly wonderful people and found a passion for photography.
My crafting has also branched out in many different ways, I've learnt to crochet, tried my hand at applique, quilting and much more hence the addition of "and so much more" to my blog title. I hope that I can continue to try new things, whether they be crafty or not and that I get to meet some more amazing people along the way.....

Talking of amazing people some of you will already know Heather from The Patchwork Heart, but if you don't then do pop over and say Hello. Well back in November Christmas Heather blogged Pay It Forward (PIF) and I was lucky enough to be selected to receive a gift from Heather and this is what she sent me in the post a few days ago...
pretty packages all tied up with string...
a fabric flower keyring
a gorgeous HOME SWEET HOME patchwork kit
I love the colours in this kit and can't wait to start it
a shabby chic fabric heart
here are my PIF gifts all together 
Here's how to continue the Pay It Forward and be in with a chance to receive something made by yours truly...

So the rules of the pay-it-forward are:
 I need to find three bloggers who would like a handmade gift from me
 and who are prepared to do the same, and I have 365 days in which to do it.
If that appeals to you just leave a comment on this post telling me your favourite colours.
The closing date will be 16th January
and if more than three people are interested, names will be drawn from a hat.
I don't know what I'm going to make yet but I can guarantee you'll like the colours
and I promise it won't take me a year!
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