Monday, July 28, 2008

How to keep the children amused...

and avoid too many mesages like this...

so i have time to play with my fabrics...

and get sorted in my new workspace... yeah!

worktop extension knocked up by R as the worktop wasn't long enough. He made the top with wood from an old futon base and the legs and frame from all our offcuts...perfect!

a bright little corner where i shall design and sew.

and a place to put our tea and cakes!

Now i am nearly set up , i will be sewing again. First project is to make myself a lightweight sun dress in time for my holiday... hope this glorious weather lasts!

g x

Thursday, July 24, 2008

thank you's and moving on...

The school term has now finished for the Summer and brings the mixed emotions of the excitement of lazy days and holidays but also the sadness of saying goodbye to special teachers and of the anticipation of moving on to the next stage.

My youngest will be moving on to a different school in September so it was a final goodbye to the fantastic infant school which has nurtured her for the past three years and her sister for three years before that. It was also time for me to say goodbye as a parent. We are all ready to move on but will remember this very special school with such gratitute and warmth as it truly has given both my girls the most amazing start to their school lives.

On the whole I believe that a School Education is a good thing but feel that it is so important for schools to give each individual child the freedom to experience and develop in their own special ways. I base less emphasis on the academic results but in nurturing a child's spirit and desire to embrace the world and everything around them. I do not agree with the testing as i know many teachers do not either, especially with such little ones!

I wish for my children to have a good all round experience at school, to be inspired by the wonder of nature, to learn by doing, to build their confidence and excitement about life, to follow their dreams and to be sensitive and caring to others. This school has provided the tools to inspire learning and really has complemented the philosophies that i hold and that we practice at home.....except the large amounts of homework!... i do like my girls to have lots of unstructured down time when they drift off into the most amazing imaginative play.

My youngest who loves to sew wanted to make some thank you gifts. She had a clear idea of what she wanted to do and designed some lavender cushions with each of her teachers in mind choosing the colours that she thought they would like. She stitched and stuffed them herself and i just helped when instructed.

My eldest also made a gift for her teachers (sadly no photo). It was a lovely fimo plaque with the words 'the best teachers' on it. She said that they really liked it and were going to put it up in the class. Her teachers have been fantastic too and she has grown so much this year.

All the teachers got some 'divine' chocolate too... it felt mad buying so many bars at once and if you are wondering... yes we couldn't resist getting a bar for us to enjoy too! Some special teachers received green and blacks mint or orange chocolate instead. And the caretaker even got some dark chocolate accompanied by a hand written card thanking him for , 'cleaning up my sick'! Not a nice job and definately deserved some chocolate don't you think?

So today is the first day of our holiday... the girls are playing in the garden, the collared doves are cooing, the sun is out , i am just about to hang out my washing, which is one of my favourite household jobs. What bliss.
Have an appointment to sort through fabrics later as i am finally moving into the new space... will be back later in the week with more on that.
Happy days and happy holidays to you all!
g x

Monday, July 21, 2008

Vintage and Handmade Fair

Vintage & Handmade Fair to be held on Saturday the 22nd of November 2008 at Rangeworthy Village Hall, nr. Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire. 10 a.m - 4.00 p.m. Free admission.

This wonderful photo was created by Michele at Cowboys and Custard to bring to our attention this fabulous event that she and Jayne from Country Cottage Chic are organising. After chatting over coffee a few weeks ago, they came up with this lovely idea of combining a Bloggers Meet Up and a Christmas Fair where a mix of vintage loveliness and handmade goods would be on sale as well a chance for fellow blog friends to meet, chat and eat cake.

At the moment the following bloggers, who will definately be there with tempting goodies are;
There are still spaces for more stall holders so if you have something vintage or handmade to sell and fancy a day out with fellow bloggers then please sign up by contacting either Jayne or Michele. Tables are just £10 each .

It would be so great to meet up with all our blog friends but don't worry as you don't need to sell anything to be involved... just come for the chat and the cake. If you are unable to come in either guise but know someone who may like to join in the fun please do spread the word... the more the merrier.
For further details please follow the links to Cowboys and Custard or Country Cottage Chic blogs.

I am so looking forward to this event and am really excited about meeting blog friends and eating lots of cake!

Friday, July 18, 2008

for Tracy

Tracy at Pink Purl invited me ages ago to play a meme. It's a mix up , getting to know you snapshot.
It has similar bits in to one i have already done but here goes... this is for you Tracy x

What was i doing 10 years ago?

10 years ago i was living in North London in a tiny flat with my 6 week old baby girl, very bad mastitis and was getting no sleep. It was worth it though as that sweet baby is now a beautiful happy 10 year old.

Five things on my to do list:

1. put away clean washing (always on my to do list)
2. finish making teacher thank you gifts with my girls as schools out for Summer next week...yeah!
3. buy a new washing up bowl as the last one is now our 'sick bucket' yuk!
4. finish the final t & g in the workshop and paint it.
5. make myself a fairy godmother wand.

Five snacks i enjoy:

1. black kalamanta olives 2. chocolate chip cookies 3. milk chocolate 4. cheddar cheese 5. dried apricots.

Five places i have lived:

1.north London 2. Leeds 3. York 4. south London 5. Hampshire

Things i would do if i was a millionaire:

1. live in a sustainable environmentally sensitive home and be self sufficient. To have some land for lots of outbuildings and space for fruit and veg growing and hens and animals.
2. give to my family and friends to help give them financial security.
3. use my money to help others by giving charitable donations.
4.take lots of courses to satisfy my creative urges and to explore my interests. e.g. pottery for starters... then natural dyeing...willow weaving...wood carving...ecology... design...etc etc...
5. Support local artists and craftspeople by commissioning their work and to put money into supporting creative and arts projects within my local community.

Not sure if i am meant to pass this on but if you fancy playing please feel free to do so.

photos from sweetmyrtle

Monday, July 14, 2008

my favourite kind of day

We have had a mixed few weeks here... with both good news and bad.
Firstly the joy of a new little soul and then the sadness of learning that a friend of ours had tragically lost her 3 year battle against breast cancer.
Life's preciousness has been very much in the forefront of our minds and it has made us more determined than ever to live for the moment and to fully embrace life and to give our children happy times and good memories.

Yesterday was a well needed lovely low key day with the four of us just hanging out together, with good measures of pottering and relaxing. These kind of days with simple pleasures are my favourite and days that i feel very fortunate to be able to enjoy. These are some of the things we got up to.

My little ones planted out their seedlings... polly pansies, calendulas and pumpkins.

My eldest painted the bricked up wall of the workshop with a tiny paintbrush and a sample pot which is all we had left of the colour as the paint it seems is now discontinued. She did a great job.

I pulled some rhubarb and made us all crumble for lunch - one plain and one with our raspberries added in and served with vanilla ice cream...delicious.

The girls merrily played with pebbles in the pebbley bit of the garden and lined up their finds on a chair which we were under strict instructions not to move. They also made a den with windbreaks around the climbing frame where they made up all sorts of wonderful games, of which little snippets were a delight to hear!

We also spotted a large hoverfly on the sage bush and luckily managed to get a shot of it...

I think R was avoiding tackling the last bit of the workshop as instead he made these two covers for the salad bed out of some of our offcuts of wood.

but the biggest distraction on Saturday was seeing this arbour seat in the sale at £75 at our local garden centre... i could not believe it as they retail at over £300. I set my heart on this style of seat ages ago but had just resigned myself that i could never justify buying one. It is perfect and i bought it with my 40th birthday money which i had been saving. So last night was spent relaxing there with my beau after the girls had gone to bed.

Before i sign off, I would like to say a huge thank you to lovely Diana at Pebbledash who's kindness this week has overwhelmed me. She has been making these beautiful sketch books recently and ran a little giveaway to win one. She then decided to make one for everyone that left a comment. Three beautiful doodle books arrived with a bundle of lovely tags and some 'delightful 'chocolate. The girls and i love them and daddy was very interested in the chocolate! Diana has a lovely calming blog with gorgeous photos and lots of creativity. Do pop over and say hello.

So a good day yesterday but now i have a very poorly girl at home who woke up with a sickness bug at 3am this morning. She is asleep at the moment, hence the chance to post. Better get back to the housework now before small gets home from school... it's been nice to check in though as i have been a little absent lately.
Have a lovely week everyone!
g x

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

a Dorothy dress

We have now completed the tongue and groove of the third wall in the studio space,(hooray!) but it still needs painting. Only one more wall to finish now. I am so itching to get in there and to get all my books, beads and fabrics in one place as most things are still in storage.

Despite the fact that the new workspace is still not complete i have managed to sew albeit on one end of my dining room table.
We do not have much space in our tiny house so unfortunately i can't leave the sewing machine set up as we use this table to eat our meals at and the kids also do their homework there.
I know many crafters manage this way. I was spoilt having the Flour Loft Studio. But soon i will have my new Garden Studio and it will be amazing.

I had another special commission to do last week. A Carnival costume to make for my eldest. Her schools theme was Hollywood, so after finding some...

blue gingham...

and some ruby slippers...

i made her a Dress and blouse and we set about transforming her into Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz... completing the look Buster went as Toto in a straw handbag as we didn't have a basket.

We ragged her hair the night before the Carnival to give it a little more body as it is usually dead straight and went to town on the make up. We had to buy some lipstick just for the occasion as i don't own any.

Here they are together with lots of make up on and my little one dressed up like her school friends as a Samba dancer.

The Carnival was great fun, the weather was sunny and the kids had a ball.
g x