Sunday, 29 January 2017

January Round Up

I can't believe January is almost at an end, it's taken a while for us to get back into the swing of things and just as I was getting used to the routine it's all change again as Miss Madaboutbags has now gone back to university after being home on school placement for a month. It has been a fun but exhausting time for her with lesson planning, homework to mark and assessments. I was able to help out a little with lesson props and we put my Cricut cutting machine to good use and saved our hands from all that cutting out. I think that a machine of her own will come in very handy when she qualifies and the list of 'things she needs' is getting longer. These include a laminator, cutter, staple guns, lots of pens and so much more. If any of you lovely teachers out there can think of things that she might need or that I could make for her then please let me know. 
Giant Master Madaboutbags is also keeping me busy with talk of university visits and car driving, I'm not going to call them lessons, he has those with his instructor and as I have probably forgotten more than I know about driving and I don't want to pass on any of my bad habits so we shall call it driving practice instead. As for the university visits, it only seems like yesterday that we were doing the same thing with Miss Madaboutbags but this time we are venturing slightly further afield with Cardiff our first stop. 
January has been a quiet month for Mini Master Madaboutbags neither of us are really enjoying the dark cold mornings or the fact that by the time we get home in the evening it too dark for anything else but food, TV, homework and a bit of Minecraft. Although since becoming a cat family there is always time for kitty cat cuddles. Our new addition to the family has settled in really well, she was very skinny when she arrived but in the two weeks since she has been here she has put on weight but we do think she had been without enough food for a while as she likes to hang around the kitchen whilst I'm cooking dinner, luckily she hasn't pinched any food yet. 
We are finding having a cat very different from the dogs we are used to, as much as she enjoys cuddles and fuss she is more aloof than a dog and will happily ignore you if she isn't in the mood for company, because of this she is the cat with the every changing name with each of us calling her something different, hopefully she/we can decide on a permanent name soon, although I'm not convinced it will make much difference to her. 

I'm making headway with my #organisedsewingspace (organised by Steph) the first area to tidy was your sewing table, which had become a bit of a dumping ground for unfinished projects,
it's now all nice and tidy and I'm happy to report it has stayed that way too.
The second area to tidy was your cutting table
and ironing space.
This is a work in progress as there was a lot of stuff dumped on my cutting table, but new homes have been found for lots of things and I've hung up my swap gifts and made use of pieces that were no longer needed indoors, as well as making some fabric covered cork notice boards from some ikea round cork boards.
 I finally finished my #tobminiquiltswap, the idea was to make a mini quilt in any shape other than a square or rectangle, I chose to make a coffin shape for my swap partner and I'm really pleased with how it turned out, even the quilting worked out after a false start. 
I've also been working on a sewing challenge set by another crafter on Instagram, a NES controller table topper. I had to look up what a NES controller was and after chatting to Bionca about colours I set about creating the topper. These type of makes just seem to evolve, I start off with an idea and it grows from there, knowing when to stop can be a problem though. I'm on the home strait now with just the binding to add. 
I'm sure lots of you are well on your way with your send a little love swap makes and I can't wait to see what you all send to each other. I'm still brainstorming over some ideas for my partner and will finalise my makes this week. 
I'm not a great lover of the cold weather and I definitely go into hibernation mode during the winter months so there hasn't been much activity happening outside as I'm happy to stay cosy and warm indoors drinking tea and keeping the cat company. Although last week I did go for a long dog walk with a friend and we are hoping to making this a weekly event. I have also found a Pilates class to go to, I was doing Yoga last year but the class ended and I couldn't find another one that suited me but after a chat in the playground and a try out last Friday I'm looking forward to starting My Pilates journey. 
January has also been the month of gadgets, I used the crock pot for the first time and was really pleased with how our regular lamb curry recipe turned out and I'm looking forward to trying out some other recipes in the coming months, and I would appreciate any recommendations. 
My boys bought me an egg boiler for Christmas, don't laugh, it was sort of a joke present, 
but I'm also aware that there are only so many over cooked eggs that can't be dunked and undercooked eggs that have to be finished in the microwave (and yes they do explode if you ping them to long!) that one small boy can eat. This gadget really does work, no more guess work, just measure out the water, prick a hole in the eggs (handy spike on the bottom of the measuring cup) and add the water and the eggs to the eggboiler and wait. Perfect eggs every time. 
I also treated myself to a soup maker in the sales and have been making some delicious soups like carrot and coriander and vegetable, although today's leek and potato didn't go down well, it was a bit bland and watery. So I think I still need a bit more practice.

Phew! What a long post that was, if you managed to reach the bottom, thank you!
I'm looking forward to seeing what February brings my way, do you have any plans for the month of love?


  1. I can't believe we are at the end of January either. I've also bought a soup maker but haven't opened it yet. Funnily enough carrot and coriander is going to be my first choice too! x

  2. Great to catch up with your newsy post and hear how things are Chez Madaboutbags. Glad that all is going well for you and the junior members. Your sewing room is looking very good!

  3. Looking forward to seeing your milti-named kitty next week, and your wonderfully tidy workspaces x x x

  4. What a lovely, newsy post. Your new kitty is gorgeous, she's got such a pretty little face. They are very different to dogs, aren't they? They say you own a dog but a cat owns you and I find that quite true. I don't envy you the university visits, funnily enough, we went further afield with the second one too. A crock pot is so handy, isn't it? I use mine for stews and casseroles mainly and there's always welcome smells in the house when they're cooking.

  5. loved catching up with your news! We do a lot of lamb shanks in the crockpot and soup too - i had no idea there was even such a thing as a soup maker. I did just order a new kettle for 60% off as the colour is an "old style" - ha! I'm fine with a pastel green. Loved seeing your sewing room too - one day, when someone moves out... ha! University for the 2nd sounds scary! A teacher can never have enough of anything in their classroom - a laminator is a superb idea - schools provide all of that here, but it is way more useful to have your own. being a school librarian, I'd be saying , start buying your own book collection for the classroom (and cover them too!). And boxes and plastic bins... home made cushion covers for the floor are a great thing too.

  6. And this is what i and the students will be making this week - I so love this!

  7. Great to catch up with what you have been up the soup maker, I might have to think about this one!!! I love my crock pot/slow cooker though, its in constant use in our house. xx

  8. Doing a bit of a blog catch up, you seem to have been kept very busy :) Loving that the new cat has already worked out where the kitchen is :) so very typically cat to ignore you!

  9. Goodness you have been busy in this post.
    On a different topic how do you add the pinterest , twitter facebook , email icons at the bottom of your posts? iIwant to update mine a little and I can not find anything about it in settings.
    Love your sewing room too, lots of natural light.

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  12. wow, look at that... it's super tidy and nice, meanwhile,... my sewing machine still looks like a trash-corner


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