Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Christmas Fair

For the last week, all my spare time and energy has gone into crafting for the Christmas Fair. This is the second year that I have joined forces with my lovely and very creative friend Michelle to peddle our wares at the infant school's Christmas fair. Of course it is supposed to be fun but that doesn't mean to say that I don't get just that little worried because I never seem to have enough time to get all the products made that I want to. I guess it is the curse of a creative mind, as suggested by a friend last night, that causes panic about everything not be finished and ready.





Despite my reservations about how much I had done and how much I still wanted to do, our stall did look rather pretty. That is probably the best thing about having a craft stall, it just looks so fabulous to see all of our beautiful things there together.


I rather liked Michelle's crochet reindeer and snowmen this year which were very popular and I do believe that she practically sold all of them.



And as anticipated I did not have enough crochet monsters or crochet baubles.







I did sell a number of my snowflakes but fortunately not all of them as I do have plans for them so I am pleased to have some left. I also priced my crochet bunting and stocking a little high as I thought that there might be less chance of selling it and therefore I would get to keep them.


I even took an order for a pair of wrist warmers which is so exciting because it just makes me feel that I truly am in business.


I would love it if you could leave a comment or even contact me for an order. 

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Gathered

The more I craft, the more I read and blog about craft. One of my favourite crafty magazines is Mollie Makes. If the world were just like an edition of Mollie Makes magazine then I would be very happy. It is just filled with the most deliciously fabulous craftiness and super talented people. I really do look forward to every copy dropping on the door mat each month.

Recently life has got even better because the makers of Mollie Makes now produce a weekly online interactive magazine called Gathered. Once again it is full to the brim with beautiful loveliness and is out every Friday with all the best ideas to keep you busy over the next week. I do love it so and even better than all of that, this week one of my photos has been included in the Show and Tell collection. I was so excited.



It's a photo of my crochet African flowers stacked up ready to make to make a Christmas stocking that you can see here and I am hoping to sell at the school Christmas fair on Thursday but if not I rather like it and the it has been featured in Gathered!



The finished stocking.


Thursday, 22 November 2012

Floristry Workshop - Jubilee WI


It is no secret that I love flowers so last night's Floristry workshop by the very talent Hannah and her lovely students from Canterbury College at our monthly WI meeting was completely up my street. When it comes to table decorations for Christmas, the traditional red, white and green colour scheme is a classic for a reason.



The foliage smelt amazing and the simple combination textures and shades of green looked fantastic in Hannah's Christmas wreath, especially with a little sprinkling of another one of my favourite favourites; glitter.


Of course I know not everyone is as much of a glitter fan as I am and that not everyone lives their life by my motto of if in doubt wear glitter but it does look so pretty and you can always leave it out if you don't like it.


I discovered a new spray adhesive called Tack 2000 which is specially designed not to harm flowers. At the moment I don't have any spray glue. It is definitely something that is missing from my craft room. Tack 2000 is about double to price of spray glue but I suppose that it's worth it for special occasions.


Last night however I did not take part in the flower arranging, instead I asked if I could be the photographer in order to try and capture the atmosphere and enjoyment of our WI meetings. I am planning on putting on my website geekery hat and imagining myself to be a bit of a writer in order to put together an article for our  Jubilee WI website after all if I don't try to be a writer, I will never fulfil my ambition.


It really was such a great pleasure going around the room and speaking to all the wonderful women who attend our WI meetings. It was fascinating to see how each lady interpreted the idea and expressed their personality through their choice of foliage and design. They answered my questions which such openness and honesty, allowed me to take photos and filled me with a sense of pride that flower arranging and sharing skills, ideas and resources is still a part of our modern world.


Thank you ladies of the Jubilee WI for a very special evening.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Trees are best

When both Josie and Charlie were tiny babies, we took them out daily for walks. Josie was not so keen at first to spend time in her pram preferring to be carried in a pouch but Charlie was quite content lying there looking at the leaves, branches and sky whilst I explained which tree was which and why I liked them.



At this time of year, I am always enchanted by the luminosity and beauty of silver birch trees. They hold on their delicate golden yellow leaves right up high in the sky and their white papery trunks glow in the pale Autumn sunlight.

With the sky so blue, the contrast of the yellow and mellow orange hues is the perfect backdrop for the tall spindly silhouettes of wintry trees.

Charlie is still an upward gazer, checking out to see where the best colours and shapes are, watching for patterns and suggesting what would make a good photo. It's a love we share as a family but Charlie and I particularly like to watch trees change through the seasons.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Granny square Christmas

When I was younger I fell in love with the granny square blanket my Nan had made. It was in her tiny little Welsh cottage near the mountains and was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. So many colours and combinations of colours, it was just truly amazing.

I'm not sure if it's the happy childhood memories or my ever increasing passion for crocheting, but granny squares (and doilies) are something I could fill me life with. Even more delightful are the variations on granny squares.



Star burst blanket, which used to be my favourite, but I have recently had a go at African flowers.


They are quick and easy to make and so very pretty.


Thanks to the brilliant free pattern that I found here, I have managed to make a little crochet Christmas stocking made out of 16 1/2 motifs.


I am happy with the how the little Christmas stocking turned out and am now rather fond of African flowers, star burst and granny squares, well actually, all things crochet.











Wednesday, 14 November 2012

I never imagined

Ten years ago I was an expectant first time mum. I had absolutely no idea what was install for me over the next decade. I didn't know how much life with children would alter my whole world forever. There is joy and hilarity in every single day. We've raised our children to be independent free thinkers and are now living with two incredibly strong characters. They fill my days with mess, intelligent observations, more noise than I ever believed could come from little things, loving cuddles and the opportunity to say things I never imagined.

Today, as with every day, has included a number of classic examples:

"No Irish dancing at the dinner table!" I shouted this at Josie whilst she jigged around the kitchen with her "Choccy Philly" on toast. (Yes chocolate spread, another thing I never imagined would be part of my life)

"Go and wash your hands and take your filthy trousers off and why is your tummy covered in mud?" - did I really think that Charlie would not get dirty running around the school field unsupervised whilst I was in a meeting with Josie.

"I'm not doing anything until I've had a cup of tea." I regularly say this and it is so untrue, I do loads of things before I even make the tea and then even more and some times so much more that the tea goes cold.

My world is often so full of chaotic children and their craziness that I do like to look at photos I have taken of quiet and peaceful moments. I never imagined that I would take photos of these snapshots of serenity and actively seek them out in order to escape from the richness of life created by my children.

The empty streets of Canterbury City Centre early this morning. Taken as I cycled to work, with a clear head and the reassuring knowledge that the simple things and my family will fill my day with more happiness than I ever imagined.



Is there anything that you never imagined about your life?















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Friday, 9 November 2012

Autumn Sunlight

It isn't just Dover that has the white cliffs in Kent. There are a number of beautiful bays along the Kent coast line which are cut from the dazzlingly bright chalk. The glorious autumn sunlight which shines slightly lower in the sky at this time of year, reflects off the cliffs with dramatic effect.




Mostly it's the colour and light that causes me to catch my breathe, but the cold wind truly does blow away the cobwebs.


These photos were taken at Kingsgate which is somewhere between Broadstairs and Margate. I simply adore the whole coastline and never tire of the tranquillity contrasting delightfully against the harsh elements of nature.


Cut through the cliffs, this rather precarious path leads down to a beach which is only accessible at low tide, but it is completely worth the scramble down....
 

if only to get a shot of the sunburst through the white cliff.
 

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Monday, 5 November 2012

5th November














  



In memory of Jack Arthur Bass
5th November 2009

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Ridgeway Cottage Anyhow - How to add social media buttons to your blog

I know not everyone is excited by learning code and techie stuff but in my quest for website geekiness, this post is just one step closer. For all my lovely friends and family who do not care one hoot about what goes on behind the scenes of Ridgeway Cottage, here are some lovely photos of October life. (Those who do want to know about the buttons, social media and coding, please read on.)


Social Media Buttons Anyhow

You will need.

  • Your blog open in layout 
  • The URL of your social media places you want to link to
  • Some lovely pictures of social media icons that you would like to use as your buttons
  • A photobucket account which you can easily open here
  • A small understanding of how the coding works 
  • A rather large smattering of patience unless you are super clever at all techie stuff
 What social media icons are you going to use?

You can find some very lovely ones by searching on the internet or there are some here, here,  or here.


I liked these one because I do rather like colour and the design is simple, but you really do have the choice of hundreds. (These are from here ).

What's next?
Now you need to do all the downloading and uploading of the images. This is where you are going to need some patience because each icon needs to be downloaded from the website, saved to your pictures and then uploaded to photobucket. With the icons I used there was a very handy link on the website that read


When I clicked on it, the page that opened looked like this and I choose the colour and icons I wanted. In this case I went for Rose Smoke Inspired but I have dreams of making my own icons.



Once you have saved each icon you want to use, you can upload them to photobucket.

Now for the coding

In simplest terms coding tells you computer what to do and where to go. In this case you want a button on your blog to take you to a social media link. You need to take the HTML code from Photobucket


and the HTML code for your social media link (I'm using Followgram for my Instagram link in this case)

http://followgram.me/ridgewaycottageanyhow

then you very carefully remove some of the code from the Photobucket (highlighted in pink) one and replace it with your social media link (highlighted in blue)


I did all my cutting and pasting and mixing and matching in a word document so I could see exactly where I was making mistakes when it didn't work. You need to do this for each and every icon and link....that's a lot of code!

So how do you put it all together and onto your blog?

Once you've gathered together all of your code you need to edit the layout of your blog and add a gadget.


When you click on add a gadget you need to find the option for adding HTML because you have got a whole load of that to add.


The HTML gadget opens in a pop up box (see above) and you can fill it full of the code you created with links to icons and social media sights and then as if by magic, there appear looking beautiful on your blog. Depending on your layout, you can drag the HTML box to where ever you think it looks best.


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Friday, 2 November 2012

The British Museum - snapshots

This week's blog school topic is photography which I love but seriously need to do a bit more learning about so I'm quite excited and intend to focus and study. Yesterday though we went on a half term holiday trip to The British Museum so I got access to some weird and wonderful artifacts but wasn't really able to put much thought into the art of photography as I needed to keep an eye on my crazy kiddos. As a result I have simple snaps but at least I can assess my starting point and we did have a super special day.


Fabulous geometric ceiling with the sky and clouds behind it, stunning.



Some modern architecture that I like.


A big hit with Charlie: bones, skeletons and skulls.


Those most teenie, tiny equistitely carved ancient jade reindeer.


This was totally one of my favourite room, filled with spectacular jewellery.


He looks like an angel, but this was in the middle of running around looking at statues.


 Can anyone guess what these two were finding most fascinating about the front and back of these sculptured gods?



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