Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Goodbye for now...

Well I have been a busy Lizzie.

A ton of jewellery to make, birthday preparations, Yule/Xmas makes, trying hard to avoid materialism/Santa/crassness of Xmas, and plain old day-to-day living-ness has kept me nicely away from the 'puter this month.

So I shall sum up in pictures.

My new beanie, crocheted by me, actually FOLLOWING A REAL PATTERN!

I'm getting rather good actually, so I'll be working on this new-found skill. I made some lovely slippers for the big girl for her birthday in some yummy chunky wool.

Yule fire, complete with mead

The big pixie in one of her birthday dressing up outfits; with her birthday cake and looking just plain beautiful

The small pixie ready to go off out in the car for a ride
A rare bit of snow for Lancashire

This has been such an amazingly busy year. Our second beautiful daughter joined us, hubby was made redundant, hubby successfully started his own business and fulfilled his ambition, and I have been busy with the children, house, husband...it hasn't really seemed to stop.

But now I want to hop off the roundabout for a while, so I shall be taking a break from online life.

I have a full manuscript and artwork ready to send off to an agent, so I will be spending what little spare time I have polishing this up and getting it off. I should have done this last year, but really, I felt like crap for the first half of the year, and have spent the second half with my boobs constantly out at the 24 hour Milk Bar.

My green-ness will still be continuing, as will my crochet (am starting a throw for our bed with Granny squares).

But writing is where I have always wanted to be, so I think at almost 31-years-old, I should get off my ass and get back to it. A four-year break is long enough.

So I wish you love, health, happiness and mucho muffins for 2010 and will say goodbye for now.

Thank you for reading this year,


Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Eglu Schmeglu!

A new house for the hennies!

Not being one to spend a whole month's mortgage payment on a hen house, we recently had to get a new one due to nasty infestation of red mite :(

The buggers invaded our little wooden house and cause the Warren hen to start ripping out her own feathers and become aggressive to the other hens.

We looked at lots of other designs, and husband, being the handy guy he is, said he could build a new ark. But with the red mite being so heavy, it would be likely that they would return - we had already tried the treating of them and even blowtorched the wooden house to scorch them.

And they still came back. Gits.

So plastic seemed the next choice.

Now, the Eglu, as lovely as it is, is bascially a lump of plastic. We already have a run and hens so it seemed pointless and frivoulous to spend a large amount of cash on one.

I scanned Freegle for days looking for old plastic Wendy houses etc, but nothing.

So I went to B & Q and bought a garden storage box. Here's what hubby did to it:

A hole was cut out of the side and an old kitchen vegetable scrap caddy door was used as the in/out flap, and the botton of the caddy was used with a coat hanger, as a feed trough. A broom shank for a perch and away you go!
Easy to clean - it hoses out great and is incredibly warm in there.

The hens love it. The brown Warren Monica's feathers are almost grown back, and all three are laying again. We treated them just before we put them all in the new house with powder, and watched satisfyingly, as the old hen house was committed to ashes in a mini bonfire :)

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Charity Shop Bonanza!

Another trawl in our local goldmines...here are the results:

A piano book for moi - I used to love this range when I was a child. 25 pence!!!

A 100% wool hat. Not sure whether I really like it or will wear it, but I can always make something and felt it.

Some books for Pixie - 25p each!

Innocent smoothie book, RRP £12.99 - we got it for TWENTY FIVE PENCE!!! There are some AMAZING recipes in here - all I need now is a juicer and I'll be a raw foodie convert!

A four-disc Classic FM box set - £4.00 (a bit pricey I thought, but then, you know, I think I'm used to such bargains, I'm turning into a right bloody miser!)

A Flik Flak watch for Pixie - we were getting her one of these for her birthday anyway, admittedly, a pinky one, but hey, for FIFTY PENCE!!!! ya can't complain! They retails at £22 upwards.

And some clothes for me - a top, skirt and lovely knitted cardi - all for £8.
And a silk scarf for my Mammy but I'd already given it to her by the time I was a-taking the piccies.
Well all of these bargains almost made me pee a little with excitement. Old Betty in the Hospice Shop thought I was most strange to be running amok all the clothes and books with a manic "Here's Johnny!" smile but I really didn't care.
In fact, I think someone should commission a new TV programme: "The Charity Shop Hop" starring, or course, me. And I'll show viewers how to rummage through the stuff that smells of old lady wee, to find the treasured pieces hidden under all the crap.
Next blog: how to bypass the horendously priced Egloo and make your own plastic hen house for little or nowt.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Jewellery for Mamauk

My website is STILL not finished. Surprise! So have added some more stock via here.

Reclaimed amethyst pendants, mounted on .925 sterling silver pins, two with rose quartz round stones, one with amethyst rounds. Strong sterling jump rings to add to a chain. £5 eco gift-boxed, plus postage.

Reclaimed carnelian stone pendant, with added jasper and Tiger's eye stone. Mounted on .925 sterling silver pin with strong sterling jump rings to add to a chain. £5 gift eco gift-boxed, plus postage.

Tiger's eye earrings, with glass rocaille beads mounted on soft .925 sterling hooks and pins. £4, eco gift-boxed, plus postage.

I also have the same size rounds in lapis lazuli.

Some Pandora-style beads too - gorgeous, .925 sterling silver lined in the colours below. £3 each, plus postage.

A huge variety of glass and crystal beads so feel free to request something individual if you have specific ideas


Thursday, 12 November 2009


On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, back in 1918, a cease-fire to all hostilities was declared and World War I was ended.

For a long time, I think that although we remember with love and admiration all of the brave people who were part of the War - those who lived to tell the stories, and those who sacrificed their lives so that we may live freely today, it was so long ago.

However, with the appalling attrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan of late, it becomes much more real and present.

As a former soldier, I feel deeply for those who have experienced the pain and anguish of hearing their beloved son, daughter, husband or wife would be coming home on a Hercules in a coffin, rather than the display of proud celebration of them stepping off the plane in a cloud of glory.

Thinking back to the days when I was serving, and detachments deploying for their six-month stints in the field. It was Bosnia that was the hot-spot when I was in the Army, but in comparison to Iraq and The 'Ghan, it was pretty tame. It was called peacekeeping back then. Ha. I do remember though, people having to write their 'last letter' to their loved ones. Just in case.

We hardly ever watch the news, but we did catch the vivid and lasting video of the six soldiers' repatriation.

I hate that word. Repatriation.

Sickness filled my stomach as my mum's eyes filled with tears and said that could have been me. It wouldn't have been, as I was never on the front line, but you can almost understand the terror that these families are experiencing right now, preparing for their child's/husband's/son's funeral.

Pixie was asking "Why are the those men carrying the boxes from the aeroplane mummy? What's in the boxes?" We are always totally honest with our children, so I explained about the men that had been killed.

"Oh," she said. "That's so very sad mummy. You used to be a soldier mummy. Before you grew up and had me and my sister in your tummy." I love my girl.

And recent reports of how the troops are totally under-equipped. They bloody are. I remember being in HQ Squadron each morning, with the fax machine spilling out error reports from the REME boys saying that this, that and the other helicopter had faults and poor performance levels.

I was on board a Lynx helicopter from Catterick to my garrison at Wattisham and my God, it was shagged. The floor was in bits and the rotors sounded like a tractor. I made up my mind never to accept a 'lift' home from the Colonel again!

A few months later, I had left the Army and my squadron had deployed to Kosovo on peacekeeping duties. A Lynx helicopter downed in Gornji Vakuf through 'technical problems' and three of our guys died.

So we remember. We remember all of the dead. We wish they didn't die. We cringe with sickness every time another of our boys or girls loses their lives. We think of all those currently serving in the field right now. We pray for them and for peace.
And we will never forget.

The following poem is so poignant and I think, the core still applies to our serving soldiers today. For them.

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae, 1915

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


Saturday, 31 October 2009

Baby is 16 weeks!

My darling girl.

Today you are 16 weeks old.

My heart fills with happiness every time I look at you.

The nine months you were tucked in my tummy, growing and turning into the beautiful little sweetheart you are, were the hardest in my life.

Not being able to leave the house for so long, and being in and out of hospital, made me wonder whether it was even right to be carrying another child.

The complete ignorance of the consultants and GPs did not help.

The minute you arrived, I knew it was all worth it. The pain, procedures and constant stress...it was nothing compared to the feeling of seeing you for the first time.

And now, you are totally adored and loved. Your big sister thinks you are the Bees Knees and her bestest girl, and mummy and daddy are completely in love with you.

Even at two in the morning when you're booby hunting. All I can do is smile at you.

I love you so much my small girl. Happy 4 months Earthside baby.

Mummy xxx

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Makings and Bakings

Some jewels from recent orders...

This AMAZING sock monkey for Baby's Yule gift. Did I make it?? Did I bugger! I'm not that clever. No, credit must got to Melodie and her crafty little fingers. I love it and would like if for myself but am afraid of being laughed at when I carry it down the street stroking it's socky skin. That, and my baby needs a sock monkey ;)

And the obligatory bakings of the week: chocolate chunk cookies with macadamia nuts. Taste scrummy with a cold glass of milk. Yum. Want one anyone??

I also have two new slings. Hmmm, am thinking I have a wee addiction already. A gorgeous new Mei Tei from Caroline, and a Lucky Baby wrap...not managed to get photos yet but shall post as soon as I do.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Another Charity Shop Hop!

More great bargains to be had...

Some books for Pixie for Yule...all as new, £1 each. Cat In the Hat; My Naughty Little Sister, Jabberwocky and a Picture Dictionary.

A Gap coat for hubby for £6.99...

Some FAB old books - Noddy and Hilda Boswell's poetry treasury - 1968 original. 30 p EACH...THIRTY FLIPPIN' PENCE! I mean, do these batty old ladies realise how much they will be treasured, not to mention their worth???

Some reflexology books,

£1 each

And a Per Una sweater for me...£4.99 - quite pricey by my standards but lovely and I can feed baby easily in it (in other words, I can get my boobies out quick and stress-free!)
And there was a lovely Enid Blyton book which I almost bought, before I realised that it was a new version. With Joe, Bessie and Frannie...and Rick, their cousin.
What a crock of s***?! Whatever happened to good old Jo, Bessie and Fanny...and a bit of Dick?

Sunday, 11 October 2009

More Autumny-ness

Is that even a word? Autumnyness. No, it's not, but it is my new word for the week. *Smug look*

An afternoon walk.

Crunching through the leaves...

Riding through the leaves...

The trees are a-changing. Lovely. Nearly Samhain.

Ivy is showing through over someone's hedge (note to self: this is where I need to "borrow" a little snippet from for the Yule Hearth. Will send the owner many good vibes in return).

Me and my bestest girl enjoying our afternoon amble in the leaves.
Enjoying the autumnyness. There, I got it in again.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Autumn Charity

Autumn baking and making:

MUFFINS - surprise! Banana and raisin - the best type ;)

Sweet potato and carrot soup,

Cheese-topped ciabatta bread,

And a mysterious little fruit we found whilst out walking
We identified it from Food For Free as a medlar fruit - uncanny as our correct postal address has our village  with the word Medlar in it, so perhaps these funky looking things were prevalent many years ago.

Some wonderful little bargains from the charity shop:

Schott's Miscellany (good old toilet reading), Goodnight Mr Tom (total classic), 2 vest tops from Next and Mini Mode, a brand-new Next straw bag with flowers, a dress and knicks, Tomy binoculars (or "bino-clears") as Pixie says - she loves looking at the moon and stars at night, and my bargain of the day - an almost-new Mini Boden dress and tights for Baby. All of this for £8.99!
Glad it was a different bloke serving today cos I nearly peed my pants with excitement at the price again!
I am sooo easily pleased.
I love much cheapness, second-hand chic and the whole reuse/recycle concept.
And I love muffins.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

I'm still here!

I don't know where the time has gone, but I don't seem to have blogged for ages.

We're finally back home now to a house that is still a bit topsy turvy but much more livable.
So a very quick update to remind you're we're still very much here, still crafting, still being as green as we can and still eating muffins!
An ankle bracelet from a recent order:

A friend's scultpure made from reclaimed wood using...a CHAINSAW! This guy is amazing to watch work and does work to commission.

The bigger pixie child and her chalk drawing of the Sun.

So aside from cleaning up the house, and all having snotty colds, we're doing ok and looking forward to a cosy hibernating autumn and winter - you know that time of year where you simply cannot wait to crawl into a steaming bath followed by snuggly pyjamas and a hot cup of something (chamomile, tea, whisky - whatever makes you smile).
And of course, the obligatory slice of cakey.