Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I don't normally do New Years resolutions I figure why set myself up to fail BUT this year I decided to log goals I plan to aim for as much as a reminder to myself as anything.

So this year I plan to .....

1) Keep doing weekly menus and try and do some more long term planning with batch cooking and so forth.

2) Get our finances on a more even keel and sort out proper budgets as we have been doing to much random spending and while our income is good we have slipped into bad habits.

3) Get the allotment up and running properly.. long term aim to visits regularly enough I can consider getting chickens which I will not do unless one of us is going up most days anyway.

4) Get my fitness levels up another notch.

5) Get the bikes sorted and a space to keep them that is easily accessible so we start riding again (plus a child seat and/or trailer) which indirectly should help with aims 3 and 4.

6) Learn to drive the bigger manual car.. I have a manual licence but have only driven automatics since and need to relearn how to use a clutch !

7) Declutter some more - I do think we are very slowly starting to do this but with a house full of squirrels it is hard work.. in line with 2 I want to rapidly cut down the amount we spend on storage by getting rid of things we are just not going to use particularly spare furniture and so forth.

8) Move the industrial sewing machine to the workshop so Mark can use it and I have somewhere to go and work that doesn't have outstanding housework and a hundred and one other distractions !

I think thse are the main ones. I'll add to this if I think of anything else later.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Crochet doll is a hit.

I recently made this doll form a pattern in Let's Knit, though it is crocheted not knitted. He is called Dude in the magazine and I thought he would make a good present for my 15 month old nephew. One each obviously. I finished him just before Aunty Jane's party and showed him to their mum who thought he was wonderful so planned to make a second one and give them to them in January as they are in South Africa for christmas as her mum lives there.

However Treestump saw him and made a grab for him and ever since has tried to get him when he has seen him so I have given in and let him have it. After all he seems more interested in him than most toys so go with the flow. Does mean I need to make two for late January... and probaly one for Christmas as big brother wants one, wel maybe two more as he thinks the other young cousins needs one.. and then there is our friend's baby boy.. I could be making quite a few !!

Luckly he is easy to make even over a sleeping babay as all the parts are made separately and joined together so expect to see various versions of this over the next few weeks,

Sunday, December 14, 2008

2 versions in one

I have two versions of the same layout for you today. Tell me which you like the most and why if you don't mind it will help me work out what works and what doesn't.

The first one is using a lovely kit by Ladybug at Digital Scrap Garden it is the second free kit this month for the Miracle gro challenge. If you like the kit she is bringing out a much bigger version soon.

The only change I made.. I always seem to make at least one, is that I re-coloured the flower to give me several shades but I tried to stay in the same colours as the kit. I like this and think the flowers give it a lovely soft feel.

The second layout uses Ladybugs paper but the elements are from Digital Scrapbook Artisan Guild who I only found this weekend. They have a digital magazine every month which just looked too good not to try and it came with several free items to use including the elements I used here. If you join as a guild member there is a monthly kit on top of that which goes with the magazine.. so far i am quite impressed as the kits are delicate and complicated and I want to do some layouts that are less bold and simplistic. I did adjust one of the frames on the bottom line to make it slanted and added the third above to give a similar layout to my first one. I also like this one and I chose the elements as they have some complicated clustering done for me but they are also harder edged,

Tell me what you think ?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Two layouts using Full Abalone

As I mentioned I've had the Full Abalone by Magick Scraps to play with for a few days and here are a couple of layouts using it.

I hope my Freeport friends don't take it too badly that I've called them pirates as I'm sure they are all upright citizens really.. For those not in on these things they are live roleplay characters who spend much time talking like pirates, drinking and being silly.. and of course wearing sunday best on important occasions !

The other layout is photos from our trip to Ireland a couple of years ago.

All in all it has been a fun kit to play with and there are many more elements and papers I haven't used. In particular there are some great metal jewellery pieces which I love and I'm sure I'll find the right photos to put them with soon.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tell All Tuesday

so this weeks question is

When do you put your Christmas decorations up and how long do they stay up?

My answer is it depends on when we are visiting grandparents and so on, we have three sets plus various brothers and sisters to fit in so weekends before Christmas can be a bit full. The said we try to leave it to quite close to Christmas otherwise I feel it starts to get a bit old before the actual holiday.

This year the plan is at the beginning of the week Christmas is actually in as we are away for the weekends before that and Noodles will have finished school. The Tree is bought and keeping fresh outside.

They will stay up till after new year, normally as close to 12th night as possible, while making sure they come down for it ends..

Pop over to Jellybelly Jellybrain to see what everyone else says.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I've joined a Creatve team !

Mojo from Magick Scraps asked me to join her creative team which bowled me over than someone thought my layouts were good enough to showcase their kits. After a little though I said yes. I am aware that I don't have unending time but I think what she asks of her CT is very reasonable and do-able, so expect to see layouts using her kits very soon.

The first one I will be working with is her newest one Full Abalone which has some very fun elements and a lovely colour scheme. If you like the look of it then pop over to Digital Scrap Garden and buy it as it is currently 50% off.

One of the reasons I said yes to Mojo is that the DSG forum is such a friendly place and I have enjoyed doing their challenges so much that if I was going to join a CT one of their designers seemed a good idea rather than on a site I would be making an effort to be active on.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

A great family get together

Last weekend was my aunts 60th birthday party. She arranged to get as many of her family and her hubbies family together in one place as possible, normally we don't met up like this. We had a great couple of days and a fantastic group meal to finish up at which there were about 80 people. At the meal she mentioned she had 11 grand nephews at the party (no girls) and 6 of those are mine and my siblings so mum wanted to try and get a photograph of them all together. Considering that includes an 8 month old, 15 month old twins and a 2 year old it was 'interesting' .

The following layout is a one of the better ones with some cut out shots from others so here is a good shot of everyone. It is scraplifted (based on) this layout.

The kit is True Blue, the papers from an add-on by Sara and the alpha from Vicki who has done the main kit.. it's a great one for boy related layouts so you may well see it again here and best of all free..

The second layout is of my mum and aunt and uses as the kit from Dee's secret garden challenge at Digital scrap garden, great colours which I thought really suited these two ladies who have always been some of the most vibrant and wonderful people I know.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Christmas Look

I've got a new blog look for christmas.

Another great layout from Allie Brown using a kit by Vicki who's blog I follow anyway.

Hope you all like it and I'm tempted to try and do one myself or possibly a header at least so watch this space.

Oh and the fish pool got paler for the winter. You can get one too from here along with various other silly but fun things.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pefume Bottles

As some will know I have a bit of a weakness for perfume oils and essential oils. I have a modest collection of bpal perfumes, only something over 100, mostly just imps which are the sample vials and I rcenlty started getting a few bits from Nocturne Alchemy who specialise in Egyptian inspired perfume and have a love of Amber.

For thier second birthday they brought out two special limited editions which are 10ml rather than the normal 5ml and came with decorative bottles.. I sucommed and got both and they along with a few others turned up today. The two bottles above are the ones for the birthday oils. They are triangular which is why one looks a funny shape it is symetrical really.

The silver and blue is for Amber 46, a blend of 46 Ambers. yes 46 different ambers! They did 23 for thier first birthday so the mind boggles as to what they have planned for next year!

The red and gold is for Amber Kyphi (Sweet Flag, Wine Soaked Raisins, Egyptian aged Red Wine, Camel Grass, Storax Bark, Mastic, Benzoin, Juniper Berries, Mint, Cinnamon, Aspalathos, Egyptian Frankincense, Myrrh, Honey, Calamus, Rose Wood, Orris, Galangal, White Wine, Henna, Rhizomes of Cyperus, a drop of Dragon Blood and Amber Resin).

The great thing is the pretty bottles come empty with the perfume in a separate well sealed bottle and they even send pipets to decant with. So heaverns forbid and i don't like either of them i could use one of the bottles for something different.

Tell all tuesday

Emma at Jellybelly Jellybrain has started a weekly question slot which is quite fun so I thought I'd join in.

The question for today's Tell All Tuesday is :
Were you named after anybody?

I wasn't named after the Esther in the bible even though mum is a vicar ( well a retired one now) and both my brother and sister also have biblical names. In fact I was named after Esther Summerson the heroine of Bleak House.

I suppose at some point I should read the book but I'll have to get over my dislike of Dickens to do that.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

and one more

A quick and fairly simple one using another kit by June of Cen's Loft I think you can probably guess it's name if I tell you she is doing nursery rhymes at the moment.

I like the kit very much and thought it would be just right for these photos. I was more looking to lay them out nicely for Noodles to show them at school rather than do anything complicated with them.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

recent layouts

Some more layouts done as various challenges on forums. Have you got that I like challenges to give me a head start yet? Using one specific kit has a similar restriction which can help to cut things down enough to know where to start.

First one is another miracle gro on digital scrap garden, this is where we get given papers etc then some elements then some more elements and build up the layout as we go. This kit has similar autumnal colours to the last one or at least the parts I used did though they were fairly different when you looked at the two kits side by side. The photo was taken by himself when we went to the woods for a picnic recently and I though it was wonderful.

The next two were for challenges on snap and scrap, both for the weekend cyber crop. The first one was a progressive scrap which was were we went round a blog list collecting items to then use them in a layout. We got a very nice selection of items on a purple theme which went perfectly with photos of a hat I recently made Treestump as you will have seen in a previous post.

The other one was the All The Same To Me Challenge where again we were given a kit and had to use it, I only used the blue parts of the kit but it had similar elements in pink and yellow too. The layout is about a trip to the London Eye this half term and all the photos are ones I took while we were up there.

Finally I used the wonderful new Wee willy Winkie kit from Cen's Loft to scrap a layout for a challenge from Cottage Scrapbooks to do one with something to do with music. That was easy because we sing a lot in our house and Noodles is dead sweet trying to lull Treestump to sleep singing twinkle twinkle little star. June was even kind enough to re-do one of the frames with the alternative wording for me to change nursery rhymes.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Blog award

I got given a blog award ! Thanks to Doris from Tempus Fugit . She does great scrapbooking freebies on her blog.

The rules of the award are
1. The winner can put the logo on her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the girls you've nominated.

so the blogs I'm nominating are

1) Emma from jellybelly*jellybrain because she regularly makes me laugh.

2) June from Cen's Loft while I have only been reading her blog a short while I love her kits and her encorraging comments.

3) Katy from I'm a ginger monkey because I still owe her a swap.. which I will finish soon honest ! and because she loves shoes and fabric so she must be cool :)

4) Tea rose at needle and clay for her great doll site.

5) Nikki at Ninny Noodle Noo cos she sells wonderful toys and I love hearing how the kids are doing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A hat just in time for the snow.

We had snow in October today ! A summer that hardly saw any sun after a couple of scorching weeks in the spring and now snow in October certainly a different year weather wise.

Anyway Treestump had managed to grow out of his hats so I made him another one starting with the pattern I used for the twins last Christmas. It rapidly changed from the pattern though. The pattern was for a new born and while he is only 7 months he is certainly not new born any more in fact he is in 9 - 12 month clothes.

The pattern is worked as a circle then changes stitch to make a brim, even on the small version I did the brim needed tweaking and with his bigger head not only did the brim not curl nicely but the whole thing was the wrong shape so instead of taking it apart I took two tucks in it towards the back, crocheted another row to fix it then added an ear flap round the back of the head. It really worked very well and next time I think I will work out an asymmetrical pattern so it fits better to a real none circular head !

I think it came out quite well really.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY from Gosgrain

Gosgrain does a regular giveaway of kids clothes that are always sweet but this time she has out done herself.

She has made the most wonderful little 18th century court dress, I want one just bigger. Makes me very jealous that I don't have a little girl who can wear it. To have a chance to win it you have to post on your own blog and even though I don't have a girl I wanted others to know about it because it is so beautiful.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My first two page spread

On Digital Scrap Garden they have a challenge called Miracle Gro your LO where you get given the papers first then once you have started your layout with those and a photo or two you get some elements then when you have used those you get a third set. It is very interesting to how everyone's layouts build up.

I did a page with pictures from a visit to town recently where we spent some time in the priory ruins the photographs were partly taken for another challenge on the same forum which was to take photos with the theme down, as a result I stood on the bridge above the ruins and shot down onto himself and the boys who had great fun running round the courtyard.

I ended up doing two pages that go together. I used the kit given though I did adjust the colour of the ivy element to be closer to the greenery in the photograph and then cut it up to use it in a more organic way. I also played about with the frame to allow me to add ivy and tags to the ribbon and re-coloured the other frame but otherwise everything is pretty much as given.

Blogwear giveaway

Allie Brown the lovely lady who so generously puts up blog layouts for us all to use is having a completion to win an exclusive set of layouts.

It is done with a very pretty kit she has designed herself and I find myself like pink more as I get older. weird or what.

Anyway to get an extra chance at winning it I have to drop my odds by blogging about it and giving you lot a chance to win it too :)

Go look here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

great wooden chickens

My friend Nikki is celebrating her daughter's birthday with a sale and some give aways on her shop and blog.

Go and visit her at Ninny Noodle Noo, she sells a wonderful array of kids toys and everything we have ever got from her has been well worth the money. We have a bunch of the wooden toys like the chickens above, we she is giving away free, and they are fantastic. They are easy for kids to hold but sturdy and made to last from natural materials, they had a solidity that plastic toys just don't have. We have a castle, a bunch of animals and some people, trees even the billy goats gruff and they are all great.

She also has a whole range of other toys and some clothes and such like so if you have kids pop over and see if you can get a few things toput away for christmas.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

a couple more layouts

Another one in the role-play portrait series.. This time a small lass with a very big wig and a gun. Don't mess with Millenese women that's all I'm saying.

The kit I used is a wonderful new one from by June aka Census called Forgotten Dreams. I had to get it if only for the quill and inkwell but the whole kit is lovely and shades of purple, raspberry to boot. The font is Euclid Fraktur which I do like as it's twiddly but still readable. This is using the selective colouring technique again that I learnt from Go digital scrapbooking. I do think it works well for these pictures.

The pleated ribbon you can see on the shoulder goes right round the dress and took her hours to do and there are those little roses scattered all over the skirt too !

The second one is made from a surprise grab bag from Digital Scrap Garden. The pictures were taken on a autumn walk a couple of years ago and is Small with one of his sets of grandparents. It was a fun kit to use and I like the result.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

New Blog look

In my various wanderings through scrapbooking blogs I came to Allie Browns's site. She makes layouts for blogs. I haven't been happy with how this blog looked for ages and she had this background which I thought went with my photo of roses I have as a header so I have followed the nice easy instructions she has on her site and added it here.. She made the background from a kit by Abby from AJM's Creations in fact it is the background she uses too.

What do you think?

Monday, September 29, 2008

couple more layouts

The first I did for a speed scrap on Digital Scrap Garden yet another forum celebrating it's birthday.. what is it with September and digital scrapbooking? Anyway I wasn't going to do the speed scrap as it was at 3am my time but Treestump decide he wasn't going to sleep so here is the result. I mainly used their new members kit for papers etc with a couple of extra bits from Gunhild.

The other one is of Tom's main live roleplay character wearing the 'wedding' outfit I made him for his very short lived in character marriage. The photo is partly black and white and is for a selective colour technique challenge on Go digital Scrapbooking, they did a short tutorial on how to do it. I can see me using this again for roleplay photos as it is a good way to remove things like overly bright colours from modern tents which it is harder to ignore in a photo than when playing the game. The papers are from chocolate covered cherries add on by christy and my little sweet cupcake by digital anemona both at Go Digital scrapbooking as were the flowers by Amy Leigh. The Fleur du lyr was from 2peasinabucket and the jem was from Bon Scrapin, part of her current free It's Falling kit.

Friday, September 26, 2008

seashore Splender scrapbook kit

I'm a bit slow about blogging about this kit but then I have only just started to get my head round digital scrapbooking. One of the blogs I found early on was Tempus Fugit a name that appeals due to it being very close to Tempus Fugative which is a friend of mine's company and I have done historical education stuff for him in the past. Anyway it turned out to be a great blog by a lass called Doris and she has been doing a wonderful seaside related kit along with Nicole at NBK scrap.. between them they have given out a whole bunch of stuff for free and then asked for layouts made from them and in exchange you get some more sections of the kit.

I finally got round to making mine just as the deadline looms making it rather hard for anyone reading this now for which I'm sorry. Though do go and look as the rest of the kit is great and there is a gallery of all the LO's people have done.

This is the Layout I did for Nicole.

And this is the one for Doris.

Both are from a trip to the seaside this August. The weather wasn't brilliant but it was good enough for Small to go paddling and jumping waves with his gran, who also seemed to be having fun :) Actually I joined in to but as I was the one with the camera I only got pictures of them not me and him !

The second one I did another version of with an extra picture merged with the background. I couldn't decide if I liked it so I put it here for your consideration. Is it an improvement or not?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

All sorts of shiny Black

Our washing machine upped and died at the weekend. The motor is no more, the brushes are worn down and the door lock has been iffy for a while. As it is out of the 5 year warranty and changing motors etc ends up being expensive we decided to look for a new one.

Now while we like technology we are less gadget girls and boys than some of our friends and last time we looked at washing machines, about 6 years ago, I resisted the Dyson much as it was cool technology and pretty colours :) However this time we have gone for the cool new technology and tomorrow a shiny black steam washing machine will be turning up.

Does this mean we have a steam punk mashing machine ??

We are getting the LG F1402FDS6 which has a 9kg capacity and thier new direct drive where the motor is connected to the middle of the drum so it doens't use a belt like a standard machine.

It does wash normally but it also has a steam function which can do things like refresh mostly clean shirts as well as doing deep cleans the way a steam cleaner round the house can. It's A++ rated for energy and A for wash quality and spin though the second just seems to mean spins very fast if you want it too. It isn't the cheapest thing out there but it does have very good reviews including from one of Small's friends mums in the playground, it's always nice to get first hand experience on these things after all and I happened to mention we were looking at one and she couldn't praise the one she got recently enough.

At the other end of things price wise. Matalan is known for it's low prices and actually I've been surprised by it's quality particularly as it isn't totally slammed but the ethical consumer lot like most cheap priced places are for how they source things not that they couldn't do better but so could most main stream shops..

I have found they do a great line in shoes and boots. I have very wide feet and high insteps and I can still wear most of their shoes even the court shoes and heeled boots.. I tend to go up a size but that is more to get an extra degree of comfort where as in most shops I can't even get them on my feet as they are too narrow, in Matalan my size will fit me it's just a bit tight and with heels that makes my foot cramp which is very unpleasant.. Also the styles are fun and I'd even go as far as to say verging on fetish in style so I am now the proud owner of a new pair of black shoes which a friend described last night as my burlesque shoes ! Though I do need to practice walking in them as it's a long time since I've heels like that.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I forgot one

I forgot the first one I did which I must have saved in a different folder. It was made for what was called a crazy crop on Go Digital Scrapbooking . Basically the person running it gave us a list of things to do exactly how you did that was up to you. I used the welcome kit and birthday freebees as that was about all I had at the time. Plus a couple of bits the person running the crop gave us.

The rules

1/ Choose 1 large photo and 2 smaller ones for your layout.
2/ Now choose a plain background - but it must have some sort of texture to it.
3/ Choose 3 elements to use on your layout - at least one of them must be from the little group of freebies they gave us.
4/You need to choose 2 co-ordinating patterned papers for your layout. You can use them any way you want to. But there must be 2.
5/ Choose an appropriate quote to use on your layout and try to add it in an interesting way.
6/ You need to use cross-stitching somewhere on your layout to hold something down or merely as a decorative element - your decision entirely. (they gave us one to use)
7/Now add some sort of pin - any one you like. (again gave us a freebee)
8 Add a title. Optional : Add 2 more elements (your choice) OR double up on any of the elements you already used for prompt # 3.

This was a great way to start off as while there was a lot of variants between all the Layouts it was still very good to have some steps to follow.

Digital scrapbooking

For a long time now I've been meaning to get my head round a graphics package and do some digital scrapbooking but most tutorials didn't start in the right place and I'm very task orientated so I tend to need something to be aiming at to learn next techniques.

However a week or so ago I found a forum which was about digital scrapbooking and happened to have it's second birthday celebrations so lots of freebees and games and such. Lot's of challenges to do great for specific forms of layouts too which is great for me as it gives me some direction. Then I looked some more and found two more, also having birthday celebrations so obviously September is THE month to start scrapbooking endeavours !

The two I have actually got involved with so far are Digital arts Cafe and Go digital scrapbooking but I have also been following Stone Accents Studio who are running a designer completion at the moment and all the kits being designed for that are available free. The last two do a free mini kit of some sort every day and they all have really nice kits as joining presents so you can quickly build up a big library of papers and elements to use in your layouts plus they all have shops where you can buy more kits if you want something specific. So I would highly suggest joining a couple if you are starting out as I am to get ideas and items to start you off and also they are friendly places too.

I have also found a whole host of blogs that give away free designs or do useful tutorials, you can find most of those under the groups I follow and in just a week I've picked up some wonderful kits for free from some very talented designers.

So what have I actually managed to do? Well I am using Gimp so there are less tutorials on the forums than if I was using Paintshop but it's close enough I can work things out and Go digital scrapbooking has a good getting started tutorial plus a fourth forum Scrapbooks gone digital focuses on Gimp and has lots more tutorials.

I have done three layouts so far.

The first is of a photo I did a while ago and is for a challage to do a modern picture in a heretage style. Of course doing roleplay does have it's advantages and I worked on this photo to make it look like a painting a couple of years ago. The original was extremly dark and looked like there was nothing there but after lightening it and playing about I like it very much. Most of the papers etc are from Prairie Tales by Marina designs but the frame was from Cen's Loft. The seal I picked up ages ago and I've no idea where. The font is King and Queen which you might see again as I like it and it is for another challenge this month.

The second was done with a kit which I got from doing a treasure hunt.. it's by Rhondogg and I just used items from the kit. The font is wicker SF. This is the christmas Small was two and four months and he was very much able to get the hang of the V-Smile he has in his hands. It is a games consol but runs educational games for small kids. He has loved using it and the games have helped him learn several things, I think used right such things are a bonus though of course if they only play with computers that isn't good.

The final one was for a challenge where we had to use several specific things. A torn edge, a button, a leaf, lace, a striped paper, string, and a tag. I used items from various places. cardboard, lace and string stitches by gunhild, who has all sorts of useful bits for free. Papers, tag and button from My Favourite Things by Christy Skaggs. Leaves by Bon Scrapit Designs

I did my first ever merging of layers with the photos on the cardboard and also had to make the edge of the photo match the edge of the ripped of cardboard. I'm not entirely happy with the way things are laid out on this one but I am happy with the techniques I've learnt and the fact that being told I had to get certain things in made me do more than I would have other wise.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hypobolic Crochet and tiny hats

I recently made a scarf for a swap which it turns out is hypobolic crochet!! Now I have some understanding of hyperbolic maths though not much but apparently crochet is the best way to model it. In simple terms you start with a line or a point and then each line out form that gets bigger so you end up with a plane that turns in on itself. In scarf terms you get a corkscrew effect which is easy to do and very effective.

Also this last weekend I saw more hypobolic crochet becouse the UK crochet coral reef was at the NEC. It was really fun, i wish i'd gone down to London now to see the American one but I'll have to make do with the photos here instead.

So what about tiny hats? Innocent smoothies run the Big Knit each year, they ask people to knit little hats which then get put on their smoothies and sold in Sainsburies then 50p each smoothie goes to Age Concern. If you look on their blog you will see my friend Heather's hats being showcased too. I plan to do a few this year though I don't think I will be able to match her or indeed the other friend I know is doing them who has done over 30 so far! Oh and when I say knit they are happy to get crochet ones too.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The party is over

That's right yesterday was the day of Small's party, a dozen small people all five or under and several adults with babies as well. Two hours of vaguely structured mayhem and it was all over. They all seemed to enjoy themselves even Small who was over tired before it even started.

So you'd expect such a party to leave the house in Chaos but far from it because we had to tidy up so much to fit them in it is much better than normal and it was also the driver to get the last zone of underfloor heating and new flooring done in the back of the house so we now have new oak floor in the final section, just like the kitchen but narrower boards. Actually there are a couple of short boards still to be finished but only because we are waiting on our heating engineer to pop in and plumb up the pipes properly as we couldn't get them to seal properly, it's a knack and one we don't seem to have. However an advantage from my old job is I got to know a lovely man who is happy to send one of his boys round to do the finishing touches.

I have a bunch of small projects to post that I have done in the last few weeks so watch this space! However my camera has finally died so I need a new one soon, luckly it's my birthday soon.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Re-organising the house

We are planning to have a belated fifth birthday party for Small in a few weeks because the August bank holiday means most of his friends are away on holiday. This year we have decided to have the party here and he has been planning it for weeks but anyone who knows our house will know it's rather over crowded with stuff.

We have moved the furniture around in the front room and made much more floor space which is also good because Treestump is starting to move about, not crawling more throwing himself about but still moving quite a bit. We still need to clear a few piles of stuff but the moving about has made some shelving a lot more accessible which helps.

We also currently have the last bit of flooring in the back up while we put in the underfloor heating and have to get the new floorboards down before the party !.

We have been trying to sort some better storage particularly for toys so got some Trofast storage from IKEA which is basically frames into which slot plastic tubs and you can chose which combination of size of tubs you get. We only bought some tubs, not enough to fill the frame though we already have some upstairs in Small's bedroom. The plan is the top layer is for spare tea, t-towels, placemats etc and the lower layer is for toys which will get swapped around for boxes in the bedroom as the boys decide what they want to play with.

This unit sits just outside the kitchen and has the tea making stuff ie kettle , t-bags etc and the bread prep area so that breadcrumbs don't contaminate the food prep area and make me ill. We used to have a tall boy there which was narrower than the new unit.

Until now the area by the back door has had a book case next to the sewing machine storing sewing and other craft bits. I realised this was the same width as the tall boy so I have combined them into a narrow dresser. The contents looks rather scrappy as it is random boxes and so forth currently but it is twice as much space for crafting bits and you can never have enough space for such things!

In case you are wondering the back door which should be in the space to the left of the dresser is currently boarded up hence the strange triangles you can just see in the space.

Friday, July 18, 2008

This week I have mostly been making bags.

Firstly I made three bags for Small's teachers (and teaching assistants) at school, turns out he has actually been taught by four but he didn't tell me that till the last minute so sorry to the one who missed out.

The bags are based on one I received at an NEA conference and which I find the BEST bag ever particularly for carrying books.

Here are all three with added cat.

Each is embroidered with a different design though all three come from the same place, Embroidery libary who luckily had a sale on school related designs recently. Each design had about a 80 min stitch time and lots of thread changes so they were not quick to stitch but they look good. The top one says Teachers have class and is for his teacher. The other two are for his teaching assistants. The one on the left is a bookworm and blackboard, the other says the Dog eat my lesson plan because one of them is off to train as a full teacher and a very good one she will be too. They have all been wonderful and made his first year at school something to remember for all the right reasons and I'm not just saying that because they gave him the yearly award for his class !

They all have an inner pocket and as well as the long strap there is a handle type strap on the top of the bag but they aren't visible on the picture.

I also make some money bags for himself to use at Maelstrom. But being as they were for the Compt I felt they needed to be a bit more interesting than just calico so I broke out some corseted ladies I picked up from BFC Creations a while back with himself in mind when I got them. The first one I made was a bit big so I made three more smaller ones.

Claire named them boudoir bags which I think is a good name and the larger one is big enough for a small pair of shoes. will probably be making some more perhaps in other fabrics and a little bigger for just that purpose.

As always click on the pictures to get a bigger version.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Wrong, wrong arg sorry just so wrong !

Sorry Knitting Daily some of your newsletters make me almost want to start knitting again, there have been some lovely jumpers, shrugs etc and useful suggestions on how to adjust patterns etc. enough to keep me interested in a newsletter on a craft I don't currently do but today you have gone to far.

Bustiers are not a good subject for knitting, and if you insist on knitting them at least bone it too... and make it fit the model.... and put them in a better pose or was that the only one where it stayed on? Even the colour is bad !

If anyone actually wants to knit this the pattern is here.

Though looking on Ravelry it is possible to make a good looking knitted bustier but the two are like chalk and cheese . This one has potential, unfortunately you will only be able to see the link if you are a member of Ravelry but if you like Knitting, crochet or yarn you should have joined already! If for some reason you haven't go here now .

Just realised I can link you to the picture on Flickr here.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Brunel does Steampunk

I have done another set of ATCs which are my first ones that are proper collage. I am really pleased with them as I think they work really well to give the feel I was going for.

All four use pictures of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, though wearing steampunk goggles and a background of the roof of paddington station which is a wonderful architectural sight. and I think very suitable. Mr Brunel is someone I think would fit well into any Steampunk world he had those mad flights of fancy and in many cases saw them through to completion.

Other elements on the cards include the Great Eastern and Great Western two streamships and a stream train.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Moo Cards and stickers

I finally gave in after looking at them many times and ordered some moo cards from For those who don't know these are long thin cards about half the size of a business card and usable in the same way as you get to put text on the backs.

However it is the fronts that are interesting as you get to pick what is printed on them either from their extensive design collection or download your own artwork/photographs. You buy them in sets of 100 and if you wish every card can be different.

I chose to download some of my photos and a few images from elsewhere. It was interesting to find images that cropped well for the un-usual format. I also ordered a box of stickers for Small as much as for me and those are square so I did swap out a few images for others that worked better. I ended up with around thirty images so have around three copies of most of them.

The finished product is very nice and I will certainly consider ordering more particularly once I have a few more pics of costumes I've made and so on.

If anyone fancies some I think I have a card with my order for a discount on a first order.

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All of the photographs on this blog have been taken by Esther, that's me, unless they are being used to link to giveaways etc in which case they belong to the person who I am linking to. All text is my own words.
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