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

Monday, 18 July 2011

Mostly Imagination

The Three Belles - Imagine Watford 23rd June 2011
 Yes am a bit behind with blogging, sorry its that end of term thing and with some lovely weather we've been just so busy outside. This amazing street performance was so good I went back a second time with the kids. how cultured and in Watford of all places!

"Seductive and charming, The Three Belles transport the audience into a dreamlike world of period charm and frivolity. Through a whirlwind of dance and movement, they transcend past, present and future as they enchant admirers. This street spectacle is choreographed by Strange Fruit’s Creative Director Phillip Gleeson with Senior Artist Sally Smith.
Australia’s Strange Fruit is a much celebrated performance company that creates and performs a unique style of work for audiences worldwide. Using 5 metre flexible poles, the performers bend and sway to impossible angles, combining elements of theatre, dance and circus to create an original style of performance. Since forming in 1994, Strange Fruit has established itself as one of Australia’s most iconic outdoor theatre companies, having performed at over 450 international festivals and events, in over 50 countries, on 6 continents to well over 5 million people."

you can tell we are nature inspired by these lovely drawings by the kids. O did the snail and J the spider (i did the web for him!)
even my thrifty finds have been very floral!!

can you guess what fruit this is? can ya? i'll leave you guessing til the next post as it's late and I need sleep!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Mostly Self Sufficient!

Yes we are self sufficient in salad leaves - and broad beans though the family is pretty fed up of them now. the peas are just starting but horror of horrors my entire crop of carrots has been eaten by those pesky carrot root flies!!! the discovery was quite traumatic. I tried to save a few carrots for the kids to try but in the end i had to bin them as they were really ruined... grrr oh yes and our first potatoes will be cooked tonight
fresh salad leaves

carrot disaster!

snipping carrot tops off

first potatoes
I have just ordered the splendid Action Pack online magazine for kids from and am very excited. actually all four of them. some freebies from the mag are listed on their site. we have already made some trail mix - with just what i had stashed in the baking cupboard and am eying up the tea issue next. it is really inspiring

trail mix or gorp!

making trail mix

a few blogs back i made some comforter blankets and said i didn't have anyone to make for - shame on me! well to be fair there was a time delay coming all the way from australia. anyway i do now have a little one to make for - welcome Thomas and congrats to Amanda and Andy! I made some burp cloths a la Rae a few weeks back, using the kids old muslins and some cute train fabric which was in a bundle from the lovely Rhoda. I was pleased with the result and added in Mr Snuggles too for good measure. I hope you get them and enjoy them Thomas!

burp cloths with tag - shameless advertising

mr snuggles

My dear friend Annie has just celebrated her birthday and I thought I would make the T Junction cosmetic case from Cath Kidston - which co-incidentally Annie bought for me for xmas! i ummmed and ahhhhed over the colours then thought about recycling a kids book bag for the waterproof liner and my decision was made! i just need to bind the zip seam and it's complete. I will make more of these though i did change the style slightly to accomodate a smaller zip as it is what i had in stock! Annie " happy birthday!

Blue T Junction Bag

Friday, 1 July 2011

Mostly Blue

 yes it's been a very blue kinda time on the thrifty front. i even added to the beauties below with a blue top for O and a blue Spiderman top for J today (for when he is about 9!)i am a sucker for linen which the two from the left are and the cotton one on the end is so soft and comfy i've worn it alot (despite it being a blokes one i think) the stripey one will become trousers for J in the future- see below in fact. the t shirts are gorgeous shades of blue too and have necessitated a t shirt sort out. 3 sad items will be either sent to charity or cut for my latest project - a rag rug!!!

i am a big fan of condensed milk. it has a vast amount of sugar in it but adds a rather wonderful chewy moistness to biscuits.which is lucky as i left these in too long this time and they were more crunchy than chewy and they still tasted good. hurrah!

Chewy yet Crunchy Cookies

  • 225g (8oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g (8oz) caster sugar
  • 170g tube condensed milk
  • 350g (12oz) self raising flour, sifted
  • 100g (3½oz) dark chocolate, chopped ( or milk or white if you prefer!)
  • 100g (3½oz) hazelnuts, roasted, chopped (or other type of nut or raisins, cranberries etc)


  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale. Stir in the condensed milk. Mix in the flour and then work in the chocolate and the nuts. Divide the dough in half and place each half in a square of foil or cling film. Roll into two thick sausage shapes. Chill well; this dough will keep quite happily in the refrigerator for a week or so.
  2. When ready to bake,preheat the oven to 180˚C 350˚F Gas Mark 4.
  3. Peel off the cling film or foil, cut off thick slices, and batch bake in the oven on trays lined with baking parchment for about 15 minutes or until golden brown at the edges, but still a little soft.They also taste good if you leave them in the oven a little too long because you are gardening. Just a little crispier!

thrifty fabric find

John Lewis fabric "Sparkle"

nice isn't it. not quite sure what i will do with it as it doesn't really go with any colour scheme i have in mind for the house. however the kids shed is green so maybe some cushions or curtains for there? its a Jonelle (John Lewis) cotton called "Sparkle" and it's rather nice.not sure what era - tempted to call it vintage for a laugh!

Dress for O from free fabric

upcycled to a new skirt

This was always one of my favourite fabrics and was a freebie from an old charity shop. i made O a dress from it in one of my first sewing classes which sadly shes grown out of. no matter. i chopped off the top turned it over and added elastic and now have a new floral summer skirt for at least this summer and next (as it's quite long). a very happy O bouncing on bounceline and happy mummy admiring new skirt.

just a link to this wonderful series a book and a craft. such fun

and and see also this link  for a great list of childrens literature reviews.

Once upon a Thread is a great blogseries from "no big dill" totally awesome - I still need to read it all!'11
and as promised, boy pj's from man's shirt a la Dana's pattern for Kid Pants at!