Saturday, 29 October 2011


It was my friend's daughter's birthday this week and we had made her some little gifts - a crystal charm with her birthstone; some button hair slides; sweeties and a handmade card with an upcycled envelope from an old beautifully-coloured Katie Morag book that we have a duplicate of.

The little girl was delighted with the whole lot and so thankful that we had made an effort to make something entirely bespoke to her.

It just made me think of several kids' parties we have been to recently, where the parents have been waiting at the door, collecting gifts and shovelling them into bin liners! This horrifies me and makes me not want to bother with that extra-special wrapping paper or the gift tag made from letter beads, as I just know that no one really gives a shit. Except me.

I do know of some children who are really appreciative of gifts. I always make sure my children send thank-you cards following being gifted something. 

Christmas/Yule this year will again be handmade, like it has been the last few years. We do a Thanksgiving Tree, encouraging the children to be grateful for other things, and not just the materialistic ones. And thus avoiding the seemingly regulation Argos catalogue, with turned-down pages most children are handing to their parents (who incidentally, find this behaviour wholly acceptable).

Here is our Thanksgiving Tree from a few years back (when we had a skanky carpet!):

I leave a little cauldron of cards on the hearth, with a hole punched and folded so it can be closed with wool, and every time we think of something we are thankful for, we write it on the card and hang on the tree. We open them all together after dinner. The big pixie's thankfulness was all about being loved, having a lovely warm house and lots of food!

Just a small rant because this subject really pisses me off.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Upcycled bag

Can't believe where time has gone to this last few weeks. Completely stacked out with work and family. The website launch is coming closer and not everything is sorted. Pro photography is scheduled for Wednesday, so we'll be further on then. 

It was gone 02.00hrs before I got to bed last night and urgh, I felt grotty this morning. I'm not cut out for late nights. But I did get to spend the evening with a wonderful friend and we played in her office with a mahooosive stash of fabric and sewing paraphernalia...more in another post, chilling out and listening to our rock hero Jim Morrison.

So I finished off this week's make: an upcycled bag from an old pair of jeans and some fabric that I had imported from Hong Kong. I fully lined the inside and thought about more fancy bits, but seriously, I had no time to faff!

 I made this little scrunched-up flower but it was just too heavy to sit properly on the bag

 So I fashioned this instead, on a brooch fastening

 Hopefully I will get to blog more this next few days :)

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Fruity boozes

Some raspberry vodka on the go

And the bonus of having a family-run sweet company:

Sarsaparilla vodka and pear drop vodka. Awesome.

Teeny tipple, anyone? 

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Flylady-ing my ass off

Over at GS, we have our very own FlyLady, ready to haul-ass on the cleaning side of life.

If I am left to it, without any organisation, I get all of a dither and not much gets done. I need to split my day up into work time, play time, cooking time, cleaning time, chill-out time, wine time...

Today was cleaning the hallway. So I did. It's all sparkly and dog-hair-free with nicely polished bannisters, although not by doing this:

I even managed to tidy my crochet basket

It probably won't look that neat by the morning; already a naughty small pixie has been fiddling and twiddling with my wool.

I am running a half-marathon next month, to raise money for Help for Heroes and I have been struggling with shin-splints. My Army days have seen my pretty little pins pretty much buggered, but hey-ho, it's marathon training we go. I'm running the NYC marathon next year so my legs will bloody well have to keep up. I have rested for a few days now, but am on a 10-miler tomorrow evening. Ice at the ready :-)

I have lists-a-go-go today. Lots of planning going on for work. Because I work from my little desk overlooking the garden, I do find it much harder to stay motivated. Oh look, the hens are out again...

See? So I *need* my lovely lists to retain brain power and stay driven.

And I do need to transfer the remaining herbs before we change the hen pen yet again. We're getting another four girls, some cutesy little ones with fluffy heads. We're extending the run onto the veg patch over winter, so they can poop and fertilise the patch for next year. 

Must add that to my list...