Friday, 31 October 2014

Happy Halloween

We've been enjoying the most glorious weather for October here in Essex today and apparently it has been the warmest Halloween on record. We didn't go Trick or Treating this year as Tomas went to Rachel's church Light Party, where he had a lot of fun bobbing for apples, playing games and collecting sweets! We did carve pumpkins though 

Tomas worked really hard scraping all the gloop and seeds out of his pumpkin.

I also had my own little pumpkin to empty 

It was soon time to get carving and Tomas did an amazing job of carving his pumpkin face

just look at the concentration on his face!

I couldn't resist this picture showing off that dimple!

We also decided to decorate a little corner of the orangery with some spooky halloween bits and pieces.

 I wanted to shout out "he's behind you!" to this little ghost. 

It all looked rather spooky in the dark

and as for our pumpkins, Tomas decided that his one was the best

because mine didn't have a nose!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Cracker Swap Partner List

Thank you to everyone who has signed up for this year's Cracker Swap. I popped all your names in a hat and below is a list of partners and (hopefully) links to each of your blogs xx any problems just shout and all the details about the swap can be found on the cracker swap post

Pop over to your partners blog and say hello, get to know each other a little better and happy swapping xx

A Little Bit Country and Creative Chaos (Kimberley)

Fat Dormouse and Feltabulous (Ellie)

Busy Little Chicken (Debbie) and Lavender Basket (Annie Bananie)

The Snail Garden (PJ) and The Patchwork Robin (Melanie)

Blueberry Heart and Tracy (me)

Crafts @ Home (Sue) and Gilly Makes (Gilly)

Daisy Row (Joy) and Moonstruck Creations (Helen)

Tracy and Glenda (Glenda doesn't have a blog but I will post about our swap)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Walton on the Naze

Yesterday we made the most of the sunshine and had a family day out to Walton on the Naze, apart from Rachel, who came here on a geography field trip last year, none of us had been before. As we drove up the A12 we seemed to leave the warmth of the sunshine behind us and by the time we arrived in Walton it was a little overcast and rather blustery. We parked on the sea front and walked into town.

Walton, for the those of you that don't know, is a small seaside town in north Essex. It was a little like stepping back in time and even Rachel commented on how it felt like being in the 60's!
The town itself is a bit run down, which is a shame, but I'm sure in the height of the summer it is bustling with people enjoying the beach.
We headed straight for Yate's fish and chip shop, which Paul had read about on Trip Advisor, we weren't disappointed, the fish and chips were freshly cooked and delicious! Needless to say we tucked in rather swiftly which is why there isn't a photograph!

After lunch we headed back to the sea front where we were hoping to spend a little time on the beach but it was almost high tide and there wasn't much beach left....

The seagulls enjoyed someones leftover crusts,

and Tomas was determined to get as close to the water as possible....he did eventually end up with wet socks!

There were lots of photo opportunities with the crashing waves.

and although it was cold the water was still very tempting.

 Eventually we find a bit more beach to explore,

Tomas and I found lots of sea glass amongst the pebbles and shells

we were quite pleased with our treasures but the others were getting a bit wind swept and chilly so it was time to head back to the car and make our way up the coast to the Naze.

The Naze is a headland just a mile north of the town and is home The Naze Tower and a small nature reserve. We headed down these steps to the seawall and walked along the cliff defences, the cliff are eroding rapidly and without the defences the Tower would end up falling into the sea.


It was a great place for wave photographs.

Tomas was a little disappointed as this is supposed to be THE place for finding sharks teeth and fossils but with high tide at it's peak we weren't able to get onto the beach.

We headed back up the cliff steps and were lucky to find that The Naze Tower was open and that we could climb to the top.

There is a tiny tea room at the bottom of the tower and 111 steps to climb, with platforms at regular intervals showcasing the work of local artists. Tomas clambered up the narrow spiral staircase as only a six year old can, I on the other hand could have done with a rest about three quarters of the way up but Tomas was determined to get to the top.

It was definitely worth the climb as the 360 degree views were spectacular.

Rachel and Jack decided to head back down and Tomas and I waited to see them as they headed back to the car.

The flag at the top of the tower has taken a bit of a battering since it was hoisted a bit like my hair by the end of the day which felt wonderfully salty and windswept.

The climb back down the staircase was a more leisurely affair, with time to stop and look at the artwork

and look out of the windows,

before reaching ground level and heading home.

We had a fabulous day out and will definitely be returning to find those illusive sharks teeth.

P.S Today is the last day to put your name down for the cracker swap in my last post. 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Cracker Swap

They say absence makes the hearts grow fonder, so I'm hoping that a few of you have missed me just a little bit! No excuses, just a busy life, probably like the rest of you. 
I'm hoping things will settle down after Christmas and I can get back to blogging regularly and taking part in more swaps.

Talking of swaps do you think it's too late to run my 
Cracker Swap???

It would be lovely if I could and if you haven't taken part before and are wondering what on earth I'm talking about here's how it works.

Each of us will make a fabric Christmas Cracker filled with goodies 

1) Take a kitchen roll tube (much roomier and nicer than a toilet roll!)

2) Fill your tube with goodies (you're be surprised how much you can fit in!) I think it would be great to include your favourite Christmas joke or recipe!

3) Wrap you filled tube in some lovely Christmassy fabric and tie the ends with ribbon

4) Send your completed fabric Christmas cracker on it's merry way to your swap partner

5) Receive a gorgeous fabric Christmas cracker stuffed with goodies and a lovely piece of fabric too!
Suggestions to fill your kitchen roll

sewing and crafting goodies in the way of buttons, ribbons and threads, needles and pins, stickers, beads, charms and lots more

Christmas chocolates, sweets etc

pampering goodies like nail varnishes, bath bombs, soaps etc

something handmade (as long as it fits in the tube! Although it could also be wrapped around the tube underneath the fabric too!)

key rings, brooches, earrings etc

A favourite Christmas joke

A favourite Christmas recipe



This swap is open to UK and overseas bloggers
Last posting date for your Christmas cracker will be 15th December (before if you are posting overseas) - if for any reason you can't make that deadline please let your partner know. 
Blog about what you receive and what you have sent so we can all see your wonderful goodies.
I will set up a flicker group and post the link when I have partnered everyone up.

Right, I think that's everything, if you have any problems during the swap then please let me know, but bear in mind that I am only the organiser of this swap it is up to you and your partner to swap details, likes and dislikes etc and to arrange a time to swap (by the deadline hopefully). I do understand that sometimes things happen and if for whatever reason you can't take part in the swap and need to pull out then please let me and your partner know, it's so disappointing not to receive anything!

Here are some pics from previous cracker swaps

If you would like to join in please leave a comment below by the 
29th October 2014 and I will announce swap partners on the 31st.
Don't forget to let me know whether you prefer to post UK or are happy to post overseas 
Here is an image for your blog posts and a link (if I can get it to work!)
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