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When am not doing the everyday stuff of life i am making things. Or thinking about making things....

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year

Having just been introduced to the joys of JibJab by Zola via an elfyourself christmas e-card I thought a review of 2011 was in order. click here to play!.
Happy New Year

Friday, 30 December 2011

Mostly 2011

Here's a quick summary of 2011 on the eve of the New Year!
It’s been another lovely year at our new house. We’ve had a wonderful hot and sunny Spring and Summer working on our garden landscaping project (sheds’ paths, trampoline and decking) and our veg patch was fantastic in it’s first year. We had some great crops of peas and beans and beetroot, rocket and courgettes and strawberries were still ripening in October! The children have loved being outside and playing in their old shed rescued from our old house. Project giant shed is getting along nicely with a roof and nearly a door so Stokie Bloke can feel nice and cosy in there!

We had a super break in the Lake District in the summer, fantastic weather and wonderful house to stay in. We were in Elterwater and the views were amazing. We had some great days out on Coniston  and at Beatrix Potter’s house, Hilltop. We also did our first Festival with the kids at Wychwood in Cheltenham.We've just booked again for 2012 as James are headlining on the Saturday night - hurrah! We had a great time making stuff and listening to the Wurzels and the kids are bending my ear about the next one already - ony 5 months away. 
I am looking forward to mastering crochet (ha ha) and reducing my stash a bit more and setting up an etsy shop when I get the time. I have also just done my first craft fair for “Mostly-Making” which was fun but hard work. Stokie Bloke surpassed himself with the Chrissy pres and I am off to River Cottage for a course around about easter. I am seriously excited about it! Next year is the year of the house when we can reclaim the front room and redecorate the infamous
purple room!


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Mostly Dinsosaurs and Christmas Trees

Yes a typical sunday in December really! The weather was a bit dull last weekend so the dinosaurs came out to play. they got everywhere but mainly enjoyed the dino swamp - aka playdough and the dino forest outside. some of them are still braving the minus 1 at night and living out there. maybe that's why they became extinct!!!!

 Oh oh the three wise monkeys. or just the three monkeys!! we went to choose our christmas tree and have it cut down. stokie bloke offered to wield the saw but the gent in charge declined muttering about health and safety!!! whatever that is?

 we forgot a ribbon to tie around the tree (you forget which one you chose otherwise) so a scarf was commandeered. and a small child told to wait by it for double effectiveness! then we got it home, watered it and in time honoured fashion the kids decorated it and i moved everything around as they did so!! voila Christmas is on the way!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Mostly night owls

Above is the sign i made for the school xmas shopping night. it took a ridiculous amount of time to make but i did enjoy designing it. it may become my new header - maybe. am enjoying not making anything for a few nights now and writing my xmas cards at last!

try this out- a free - yes free calendar with lovely graphics you can make out some of you may be getting one for xmas! oh and my first attempt at "grabbing a button" ie html code for this nice little graphic below.

Owl Lover 2012 Calendar

Stall with Stu
Scarf bags

Pencil and crayon rolls

sewn xmas cards

toys bags with wooden toys were popular

woollen blanket stockings

A few photos of the School Shopping night and my crazy stall. It was good fun and went all too quickly. I did sell a few things and had nice feedback which was a boost.Thanks to Vicky on the Heath and hub Stu for their help and all of you who bought something. I hope you enjoy your purchases!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Mostly Origami

Xmas origami star
Its that time of year again when Yumiko and her friends at St.Peter's church create some wonderful origami cards for us to make. Sam and I look forward to these events with great glee and try to rack up as many cards as we can so that we can remember how to make them in future. this tactic invariably fails but we do come home with a good stash of cards,even if we cannot remember how we made them!
xmas origami tree

2nd xmas origami tree

Olivias Birthday card by Yuko
Clever Aunty Yuko make this stunning birthday card for O and we just had to frame it. not the best photo but you get the drift. Her recommended website is It's very cool!
Enjoy Origami friends!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Mostly Halloween & Guy Fawkes Night

i know i know i am a little bit behind!

It is the season for celebrating lights afterall. we made these lovely lanterns inspired by crafty crow's blog post and link from Imagine Childhood. they were beautiful and travelled to cambridge after we had used them at home for our fireworks night.

 leaf lanterns 1

leaf lanterns 2

leaf lanterns 3

leaf lanterns 4

we had a surfeit of pumpkins this year what with some small school ones and then a visit to Willows Farm where I carried two of the heaviest pumpkins you've ever seen around for half the afternoon. one instantly rotted but the other is still going. O and stokie bloke did the design and carving respectively and i roasted the seeds.
happy pumpkin

this would make a nice hat!

o quality checks dads work

wooden j proves a useful halloween decoration

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted Pumpkins Seeds - the best bit of halloween!

Wash and pat dry your extracted pumpkin seeds. they do not look promising at this stage. drizzle the following ingredients over them in a large baking tray:
soy sauce
smoked paprika ( or cumin if you prefer)
chilli flakes
lots of salt and pepper - don't stint!

roast in a hot oven til you hear the seeds popping. if they are still chewy ( and not very nice) they are not done. they should be crispy and very very moreish. this jar didn't last long at the dovecote autumn festival i can assure you!

stressful toffee apples

do you see how it all just blobs on the baking sheet grrrr
Toffee apples made with a kit. i won't try this again - the combination of whining kids, hot burning toffee and hundreds and thousands going over the kitchen nearly did me in. most of the kids didn't eat them at our family fireworks party in the garden, either as the toffee and apple combination was too difficult to eat! there is one languishing in the fridge still...However i did have a quantity left over of the toffee mix which i added flour too and nice dried fruit and baked as florentines. these await chocolate covering and a photo... the bits i tasted were much better than the wretched toffee apples. never again.

Some photos from the Dovecote - our goodbye party to ed and lu. It was a lovely afternoon/evening.

my firework photos need work

Peter releases a lantern

ed's great fire

kinda arty bonfire smoke pic by small child

ache dispatches the guy

its mulled wine in the that mug not Bovril!
enjoy panama you guys!

P.S. Hi to molly and glad the cake turned out ok! my one doesn't look like my mums so maybe yours does!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Mostly material

Zoffany Geranium Fabric
  After the Moth man visited I decided i really needed to sort the material stash out. i certainly didn't want any pesky moths getting their chops into it. of course as soon as he came to take a look the moths all vanished- i've ony found one since - to my great relief. either i panicked over a few moths or they are happily munching away on my silk curtains and wool blankets -grrr. the above material is Zoffany geranium at about £100 a meter, happily found at WRAP. I have used most of it and even very small scraps.however a small scrap found its way into the preschool craft bag donation and I had to laugh when i saw a Barbie had been dressed in it! whoever wrapped barbie up a rather nice dress (sealed with selotape!) must have great things ahead as a fabric designer if they can pick the good stuff out aged 4!

Wrap Goodies
A small stash above from WRAP. I was mainly looking for tweed to make some more bags see below but some purple felt snuck in - how did that happen!!

Free Dress
Above is a still not quite finished dress. the fabric i think is silk and i love the cantering deer across it! the material was free and the pattern was free from sewing class. what's not to love??  when i get it hemmed i will get a shot of me wearing it! I made another in plain black wool which is functional though not a nice as this one.

Tweed Scarf Bag

Tweed Scarf Bag close up!
 Here is the bag i mentioned above. i am extremely happy with it. it is from a pattern in Cloth Magazine. Much the best of the bunch right now. it's easy and very effective. the wool tweed was a remnant from a North Wales Woollen Mill we visited on holiday 2 years ago. the lining is kinda hard to see but is a nice colourful cotton sateen type material with stripes from the old Sewfine shop before it shut. ie i was actually using up my stash!! hurrah. I have loads more to make with different combinations and the added bonus is that you can use a scarf or tie or belt for the handle and even make it interchangable.
Cloth Magazine can be found here.

Wedding Bag
This bag, also made using with stash material was made using Making Magaizine's Vintage edition pattern. I had an old buckle perfect for it and picked out the broach for less than £5 in the local charity shop. the pashmina dictated the colourscheme and all in all I was very pleased with it. whilst i like Making mag because it covers lots of craft areas it seems to have gone a bit downmarket recently so i won't renew my subscription to it. Making Magazine can be found here.

Charity shop outfit
  Yep a denim skirt, grey Kew top, silk scarf, funky silver bag and semi precious stone necklace with vintage tie all in one shopping trip! Heaven

Thrifty Haberdashery
Lots of lace and embroidery, buttons and silk and even the bag to carry it all in. saw some nice bunting made from lace and hankies which inspired this lot. nothing more than £1...