Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Moments of Christmas


What would you do if you had more time?


I would spend any extra minutes writing stuff down, those precious memories that I fear will get lost in my over-crowded mind. My craft / life balance is slightly out of kilter and I have a headache . Both indications that I am doing too much for my head to process and I need to sit back and allow my thoughts to catch up without being compelled to craft every spare second or constantly adding more items to my to do list.

It is after all almost Christmas and there is so much joy to document. What if I didn't get a chance to note down how entertaining I found it to watch Charlie spend the majority of the performance trying to remove the tinsel from his wrists as an angel in his school nativity? Or his description of Widow Twanky as "like this mum who was actually a man and wore these like really weird costumes and kept changing her costumes and telling all the jokes?"

Josie is far more grown up in her approach to Christmas this year. Her preparations would no doubt have involved hanging out in town with her friends, Christmas shopping and spending a fortunate on over priced seasonally flavoured coffee if she hadn't have been ill. No nativity for Josie this year, just an opportunity for her to spend more of my money on an outfit for the school disco.

Thanks to our advent candle, Charlie has learnt the dangers of playing with fire and how angry it's likely to make your mother. Fortunately this was a lesson that didn't involve burning the house down, however there was a fair amount of smoke, ash and water scattered around the candle. I particularly liked his response to my questioning of what had occurred; according to Charlie "nothing."

Best of all so far though has been Charlie hassling me to finish the peg doll Jesus set because he wanted to make a stop motion movie.


And a bonus Christmas moment for all those friends and family who will be able to picture Charlie saying, "if you don't believe me, text Santa and ask him" when I foolishly thought that he was lying about taking more Bombay mix without asking.


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

2nd December

I will endeavour to remain optimistic but I have my doubts. It could quite easily be a picture postcard white Christmas but just incase, Charlie and I have made our own pompom snowballs.


There's the old fashioned method of using card but pompom makers really do make life so much easier.

We took it in turns to wrap the yarn around each half, once we'd wrangled it off the dog, because Charlie found the edges a bit tricky. As a sheep dog, Sherlock certainly takes his role seriously and is a serial yarn stealer.

Charlie now has two fluffy pompom snowballs as part of his Christmas display.

And I have a small pile growing on my bedroom mantlepiece, ready for some very important decorating business in a couple of weeks time.


Monday, 1 December 2014

December 1st

I'm going a bit old skool on the whole Christmas Advent thing this year. Yes the children still have their trashy commercial chocolate a day at breakfast calendars but we also have a simple advent candle. It has caused much excitement as to who will be blowing it out on which day up until the 24th. Much as I'd like to fly off to see the Northern Lights in Lapland, we are keeping it simple and the Jesus set at the Cathedral will do us quite nicely, thank you very much.

And in the true spirit of a handmade homemade Christmas, Charlie, his little friend and I made popcorn string decorations after school today because it was far too gloomy and dark to play in the park.


It's super simple. You make some popcorn, you thread it onto some crochet thread or thin yarn and your done. Some of the popcorn might break in process but you can just eat, in fact the boys ate quite a lot broken or not. My favourite part though was when they both asked me if I was going to make popcorn strings with them and they were pleased when I did. It's nice to be wanted.

We did get a tiny bit fancy though and painted the finished strings with glitter glue. It is after all the season to sparkle and shine.


Saturday, 15 November 2014


It's a cliche, but it's just so true. Time goes too fast. That "blink and they'll be grown" warning that's issued by wise parents to those brand new at the job, is useless until it is too late. As I look at my children, I can feel them slipping through my fingers, powerless to stop those birthdays rolling round.

Just like Charlie, I don't want his birthday to end. I don't want it to be tomorrow. I'd like it to be today forever. Everyone together, happy in that special moment.

When Charlie learnt to ride a bike, I stood and took a picture of his back riding off through the trees along by the river. I remember wishing that I could stay in that moment forever. Today at the grand old age of 8, Charlie was allowed to go in the pool without me. Those years of shivering in the water supervising under eights are done and although sitting on the top watching and knitting is something I've longed for, I feel a bit sad that I'm now only good for handing out the cash for the vending machine and carrying the bags home.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

31st October 2014


I love my new shelves. They are rather like frames for all our precious Halloweenland crafting.

My ancient crocheted pumpkin and the world's smallest pumpkin make ideal shelf buddies.


Topped with the ghosts of parsnips gone to seed in an orange vintage Tupperwear beaker.

Add Halloween bunting


And finally some candles to complete our Halloweenland for 2014.


Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Science Museum

There should always be a bit of an excursion to a museum in the school holidays. A day trip is just so exciting. Eating sandwiches on the train and trying to hold onto their little hands as all who are purposeful and important race by through the subterranean tunnels of the underground. I wouldn't miss their sheer delight at the immense entrance halls of the great museums of South Kensington.


Today we strayed from our well trodden path to The Natural History Museum to explore the world of science.


With shapes of mathematical marvels


Interactions with the interactive


Cabinets of specimen phobias

Thought provoking photography from the exhibition "Making living worth while" by Nick Hedges, commissioned in 1968 by the housing and homelessness charity Shelter.


And even a spot of retro gaming. The only thing that could have possibly made the day better would have been if I'd let them go skating on the outdoor ice rink.

Filled with excitement, sweets and new possibilities, they went to bed knowing a little more about the world.


Monday, 27 October 2014

Welcome to Halloweenland 2014

Yes that's right, it's that time of year again. The train of terror has terminated at Canterbury West unleashing two delightfully fiendish ghouls on no. 17.

The kiddies love Halloween and there is often talk of costumes, crafts and delicacies from the start of October.


Skeleton girl is a great fan of Tim Burton's gothic and dark animation, delights in scaring her friends with frightful tales and practices her horror film make overs throughout the year. She practically squeals with delight at anything that sends shivers down her spine.


Zombie boy is a little more sensitive to the potential threat of the undead. It's not that he's frightened or anything, he just feels like putting his fingers in his ears and burying his head into an adult. He's still more than happy to get involved in the Halloween crafting though and I imagine there will be a lot more spookiness to come this week.


Monday, 13 October 2014

Sunday, 28 September 2014


After putting my heart and soul into the Pink Ladies WI, I have discovered just why many WIs are made up of older ladies, it takes over your life. Not one for doing things half heartedly, I have dedicated hour upon hour to the inspiration of women and it is sadly time I do not have. Perhaps in 20 years when my children have left home and I no longer have to work, then I would be able to devote my time and energy, but there are so many other things I want to do. It's time for me to step aside and hand over what was always just going to be a temporary role.


It has been a total blast and the wonderful ladies I have met along the way have made it utterly worth every single second. I've made the best friends ever and shed several tears agonising over the decision but when it's time to go, it's time to go.


Cheers lovely ladies
Thank you for having me.


Saturday, 13 September 2014

M is for magazines

Ahh to lie around in the sun flicking through magazines.... what better way is there to enjoy life. Maybe a cold beer, a sprinkle of magic dust to transport me back to any one of my camping excursions this year and a good magazine. For me it's all about the way it looks , the style of the photos, the illustrations, yes that's right I want to look at beautiful images.

When we arrived back from our latest adventures at Wellington Country Park Campsite, my two favourite magazines were waiting for me (I love it when the postman brings good stuff). Mollie Makes is a total craftfest, with every page full of the stuff I love and Anorak magazine is for the kiddies. Charlie and I have read Anorak every night since. Mr Bumblechucks is our favourite in the current issue so far.

In my mind I can see my finished hexablanket laid out on the grass covered in all the magazines I dream of owning but I know are way beyond me. These are the serious interest magazines for artisans who don't fluff their patterns.



Saturday, 23 August 2014

L is for Lakeside


We've been on a couple of camping trips recently and both have been lakeside locations. Vast areas of tranquil waters are beautiful whatever the season, I just love the light and reflections, come rain or shine.

5 things I love about being lakeside

1. The early morning sun than glistens on the rippling surface.

2. The stillness of water despite the approach storm


3. Mist rising from the cool water in the warm of the rising sun.


4. The hypnotic effect of water and clouds. They even work on the dog.


5. Even seven year olds aren't too old to feed the ducks