Friday, 28 October 2011

More Halloween Crafting

 Here is my dynamic Batgirl- they have been Bat Mad this week. Bat masks/pompom kits/scratch art and hats. Superman hovering on the side lines there is also pretty cute!
FI befriended her spider ("tickles") and actually walked around talking to it and stroking him- I drew a line at Tickles wanting to help make tea though! Busy week with all the half term activity sessions- generally gone well- including Rackets for SJ which I was a little dubious about. Just pumpkins left to carve now- leaving that one for Daddy as i am working this weekend.
My crafting- well my ripple blanket is progressing well- really need to do an interim photo and have been playing with trialling some crochet stars. Have volunteered to do the GP winter swap- so trying to get my head around 'what to do'.
Have been trying to update my educational reports for the children- after receiving a call from the School Nursing service earlier in the week- this may be the end of being "unknowns"- just want to be prepared so it isn't an issue if we do get the letter....will still be a little peeved though.
Decluttering went fairly well- sold a few e-bay lots including the rest (which was the best) of TPs last size of clothes- its not about making money- just getting a little something back. I do donate a fair amount to the local charity shop- but occasionaly it is nice to have not given it all away....
Ohhhhh and we have jsut splashed out- M got some back pay froma delayed PayRise and we have used it to buy Life Membership of English Heritage- there is not an awful lot in our immediate vicinity but often a lot in the type of place we tend to go on holiday too.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Seasonal Projects

 Wow- everything fall so close this year- we are having to rush to squeeze things in. Briefly visited Divali and the story of Rama & Sita and then moved onto Rangoli pictures. Interesting to look at the pair and work out which is the five year olds and which the seven?? Well I have to say that it obviously appealed to the five year old more than the seven- she spent far more time and effort and put more colour into it (given it away now)........
Moving on rapidly to Halloween/Samhain- one year I would like to think about the Mexican 'Day of the Dead' - but not this year. TP was particularly tickled by his 'Batman' headress which he looks ridiculously cute in. The others are doing some scratch arts and a couple of pompom kits- I need to think about our Halloween Trail which we have made a little of a 'family tradition' - we do silly clues around the house until they find the prize of a toffee apple each. One year I may even make the toffee apples as the bought ones always seem to be on particularly disgusting pappy apples.........
Having a busy week this week- two parties  and a raft of taster activities at the leisure centre- where the children have membership- so this week the big ones are Go-Karting and Snorkelling with SJ doing Racket Sports and FI Pool Pirates. TP did a trial gymnastics today which he loved- seeing your three year old hanging off a bar.
SJ had a spectacular gymnastics session- witnessed by mummy & daddy! He tried sooo hard and listened - which is all we ever ask- hopefully it may be a start to emerging from his 'doldrum' (but then I hoped this for a while)- he seems to not hate it so much anyway and he is progressing. So he had lots of strokes and positive feedback and we will see how this progresses.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

A Baking day....

Spelt Harvest Loaf- "Baking Bread with Children"

Today was a well planned day... TP was off at his last playgroup before half term and the big two and I had plans.
Soo today we baked our Christmas Cake- lots of group measuring and pouring and smelling and mixing- all the exotic ingredients  that don't often come out. They decided that Brandy was not pleasant (fine by me!!) and that grated Nutmeg makes you sneeze.
The cake making was followed by baking a Harvest Loaf- I was determined to get something in for Harvest- although it seems a difficult one as there doesn't seem to be a defined 'time' for this anymore.
We have snipped a great idea from another lovely blog that I follow with her 'Busy List'- as it provides a really good way for me to record all of my 'good intentions' (Harvest activity appearing on there- as well as baking bread- but can't quite make my mind up whether it is allowed to have the same acivity for two categories). Over the next week we have to fit in Divali and Halloween/Samhain.......

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Crafting projects

 Firstly a peek at our cleaned up seasons table......not the most imaginative in the world- I always have good not always very good at clearing things off.... but today I like it.
 We have been having a 'finishing off' spree with various half finished projects which have been lying around the house. SJ received his first Airfix Kit as a joint present wuith Daddy last Christmas and they have slowly worked their way through it together- he has requested another kit for Christmas and wants a German Plane this time
 FI received this 'Paint a Teaset' for her birthday and has really enjoyed producing the individual pieces. I have to say that I am really impressed by the quality of this kit and the amount of paint included- but then I have usually found GALT to be good quality- not cheap. We had some of their baby toys and we have some jigsaws which are really nice.
There was even enough paint for them to do some painting with afterwards- which has come out interesting- ceramic paint on paper- very glossy! SJ produced this on one of my work days and I have to admit I didn't believe it was his- I thought it had come from Daddy!!! Proves how much he has leapt forward on a creative front over the summer.
He has also been madly finger knitting this week- (thanks to shell- at the GP Meet last November) and produced a little necklace for a friend- which he labeled and wrapped.....except the friend was the daughter of his Beaver Leader and he came home from Beavers having been promised his Hobbies badge due to it.....He loves Beavers and is getting quite into the 'Badge' thing- which is great from a HE perspective as we have the freedom to produce projects accordingly.
Rippling continues well- I can see how addictive it is- enough of a pattern to not be too boring yet not so complicated that you can't chat or have half a braincell on another activity- like Downton Abbey....

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Finding direction........

 I have been feeling a little like I am floundering in life at the moment- work ticking over, HE ticking over, house ticking over, marriage ticking over- but nothing feeling like it is progressing- stagnation??
Soooooo solution... teeth into new project.
I am a self/U-Tube taught crocheter- not aided by starting off using an American book- which got me going- then switching to Amigurami- which great got me onto patterns until I realised that a) the language was wrong and b) my way of doing circles was Amigurami (ie spirals rather than circles). I have really got into following this lovely blog and her ripple patterns have got me determined to break into the BRITISH way of crocheting- so hence new book.......

 ripple pattern selected.......
 and started......
and a few colours put together......although not yet definate. All quite budget acrylics- am not yet at the stage that I feel I can splash out on lovely yarn yet. The pattern is actually for a cushion cover but mine is going to be a dolls blanket for DDs pram- as a Christmas present.
Another side effect of that lovely blog is that I am feeling the need to have some colour in my life- am feeling very neutral and blah at the moment- so a new tea cosy and new placemats have entered and were pleasantly welcomed by DH- so maybe he is feeling it too??

Friday, 14 October 2011


A busy morning embracing autumn and colour

One of SJs micro detail but ultimately unfinished pictures
 Don't know entirely what I am doing with this blog yet- for some reason today it will not allow me to write around the pictures- so it is pictures at the top today- with captions- so that is new..... (for me)

Autumn- I love it- I love the colours-russets/golds and oranges, fiery reds and browns- leaves and conkers, dark evenings and cool mornings- getting out the cardigans and winter clothing, slow cooking and preserving- smells and jars lined up on the window cill.... This year I have had a go at jelly with mixed sucess. One batch got quite over boiled and refused to set- thats the trouble of trying to multitask- have also been trying some new receipes for garden veg and chutneys. I love John Harrisons Preserving Book- simple, to the point and not using exotic ingredients- but some of his chutneys are very 'of the 70s'- very raisin etc- nice but not entirely to our am trying new sources to use up the marrows and the beetroot. The salad was the last of our tomato crop- tomatos were quite late for us this year-were a long time in coming and then ready simultaneously- so ended up freezing a lot- which is never the same.....

Am feeling quite upside down at the moment- we seem to have lots of stuff- which I am trying to order and sort, maybe thin out but there is a lot of emotion wrapped up in some of it. Some of the baby stuff and unplayed with toys- I can't quite get my head around whether to save for my sister ( at an undefined time ahead and obviously unknown sex), give to slightly more extended family where at least the sex is known or whether to try to sell and recoup a little something or whether to just donate to charity. I know it is all around trying to accept that our baby days are past- which with my head I know I am there but a tiny minute portion of emotion says ohhhhhhhh. M has his appointment coming up........

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Sausage Pie- still fresh after seven years

 My goodness me- you turned our lives upside down when you arrived- but we slowly adapted to your ways! A very loving tender little boy....
And yet every so often I get a glimpse of the man that you will become...... we want the world to be your oyster and will always be your number one fan club

Our Princess- five years along (slightly late!!)

 You were an entire surprise to us- I even had a moment of panic that I 'knew' what to do with boys but...... Hence we enjoyed the pink thing and the pretty dresses but inevitably your world was filled with as many boys toys

 But still the princess fights to get heard- sometimes very loudly and with great attitude and sometimes you order your brothers about and organise them (and even marry them repeatedly)
And then she starts football coaching ( followed by a ballet lesson later in the day)...........

We love you soo much and hope that the world remains open to your varied choices as you grow.

Monday, 3 October 2011

A 'not back to school' holiday

 For the last couple of years we have celebrated 'not back to school' by going on holiday (cos we can!!)- hopefully still getting OK weather and reaping the benefit of lower cost and quieter spots. However the flip side of that is that everyone misses some of their 'activities' and sometimes that can be an issue. As it was this year when Otter (Beaver Leader) announced a Beaver Sleepover on the middle weekend of our holiday......hence holiday to Northumberland became holiday to Derbyshire- so that he could still go ( especially as we had missed the summer family camp due to a family party). But Derbyshire was beautiful and we did all the touristy things that we have so often driven past- like the Heights of Abraham. TP above is demonstrating the use of the emergency descender on the cable wire!!
 A lovely- if slightly blustery day out at Crich Tramway Museum- which if you take a walk out of the main areas through some woodland- has fabulous views and some lovely wooden sculptures. This is a place where you pay a slightly inflated entrance fee but then can have unlimited returns for a year- and it isn't an unreasonable day out for us- so we don't mind.

Not quite on holiday- but the tractor had been ploughing the field opposite the house and when we walked through we found they must have gone deeper than usual- thus an archeology dig was held and the result was a bucket of pot shards which were religiously washed. In our haul was clay pipe pieces, some glass identifiable to a local brewery as well as some painted china.
The view from the Heights of Abraham over towards Riber Castle on a glorious day.
The last weekend of the holiday we went and joined a Folk Song & Dance weekend in Yorkshire where the children adopted a few new 'grandparents' and 'aunties'- as well as cycling continuously in circles and kiteflying