Thursday, 31 January 2013

Wanted Down Under!

Thank you for all your lovely comments on my Owliens today I decided to stick to a more inanimate object - the humble carrot. Paul and I were watching "wanted down under" this morning and this afternoon after finishing making some carrots Paul suggested that we should apply to go to new Zealand or Australia with me as the main applicant as there is possibly a shortage of carrot makers in these two countries. What do you think do we have a chance?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Binding tutorial

As most of you know I made some mug rugs for my cracker swapees and I mentioned the fantastic binding tutorial that I found on the web, without this fab tutorial I think I would have been pulling my hair out and quite possibly have given mug rugs with very wonky binding!!!

I emailed the lovely Kerry over at and asked if I could share her tutorial with you all and guess what you lucky ladies she said YES!!!

Use the link below to take you directly to the tutorial and put all your binding woes behind you.....

Tuesday, 29 January 2013


Today I have been working on a new idea I wanted to make some owls I made a squareish one which I thought did look quite owl like, this is Veronica....

and then thought I would make some a little taller and thinner I posted this picture on Facebook and asked what people thought! The lovely ladies on Facebook told me that although they were very cute they didn't look very owl like more like aliens! So I have decided to call them Owliens!

One comment made was perhaps they needed bigger eyes so I added some felt just to see whether they looked better or worse. The answer was definitely worse as they now look like scary sheep.

Perhaps I should stick to making bags!!!

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Sunday, 27 January 2013

Meet the boys.....

We welcomed Hector and Alfie

into our family on Saturday, having said no more big dogs Paul was feeling a little lost without a Dogue de Bordeaux and as these two cuties are great grandsons of our original dog Freddie how could we say no!
They are settling in well although they are still a little shy and it's great they have each other for company. I'm sure there will be lots more photos of these cuties as they grow......

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, 25 January 2013

I Love Hearts Swap

Wow! This has to be the quickest swap I have ever received, and I have to confess to not even starting mine yet although I had a few ideas!!! Well, this is what the lovely Lisa from NoodleBubble sent me in the I Love Hearts Swap.
Lots of lovely goodies wrapped in red tissue paper.

Some super cute heart shaped wooden buttons on a fab NoodleBubble card.

Some luscious lips bath fizzers.

A lovely red mini tea light lantern which is just the right colour for my orangery!

Some Tatty Teddy tissues.

Heart headed pins and a heart cross stitch kit

A British Heart Foundation red glitter heart pin.

And this simply gorgeous handmade padded heart brooch, I just love the turquoise flowers and the stitches are so delicate.

Pink heart cupcake cases (large and small) with some delicious cupcake recipes

Some very tasty love hearts sweets Nom! Nom!

A lavender scented heart made from some terrific turquoise and purple fabric

And a extremely cute Russian doll lip balm.

As you can see Lisa thoroughly spoilt me, thank you Lisa for being a fantastic swap partner and thank you to Shelly at All4meggymoo for organising the swap, I just need to get going on putting my swap parcel together for Lisa now!

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Thursday, 24 January 2013

My first knitting Ta Dah!

I've finished my first knitting project! I was given a lovely ball of variegated yarn in the autumn swap with Helen of moonstruckcreations.

And after practicing my knitting and finding a fab project book in the charity shop I set about making a phone case to keep my new phone cosy and warm in this cold weather.

I'm really glad I have gone back to basics with knitting as I always used to lose my place with whatever project I was working on because I couldn't tell whether I needed to start with a knit or a purl stitch this would lead to losing interest in the project and it becoming an forever work in progress.

The knitting know how book has given me the the confidence to tell my purl stitch from my knit stitch with it's clear pictures and instructions I'm starting to feel confident with my knitting. I was able to put down and pick up my knitting and know exactly what to do next. I even used the proper method to join the seams! I love the way the stripes formed with the variegated yarn and I still have quite a bit of yarn left and might just make some wrist warmers. As you can see my new phone is now nice and cosy with not a dropped stitch in sight!

Saturday, 19 January 2013


Please tell me I not the only one who feels like hibernating during this cold spell?
I have taken to wearing tights under my jeans and extra socks too! The only time I venture out is the school run, although Paul and I did sneak out yesterday morning for a hearty cooked breakfast at our favourite American diner!
This feeling is not helping with my aims for 2013 of taking more photos and crafting more, this week especially my mojo seems to have gone into hibernation too.
I have been enjoying reading all your blogs, seeing what you have been making and where in the country has the most snow, I think we have been a bit cheated here in Essex, although I for one am not complaining, as they promised us lots of snow yesterday but it just hasn't arrived. First they said 9am, then 11am, then 3pm but other than a very light dusting there hasn't been any snow to speak of!
I did manage to start on my knitting practice at the beginning of the week with the help of my giveaway win book

I thought I would go right back to basics and find out if I was knitting left handed or right handed and it turns out that I knit right handed, so no more leftie excuses!

I just used a bright chunky yarn to make sure I could see any mistakes, my end stitches seem a bit loose so if any of you knitters out there have any tips then please let me know

I'm looking forward to trying some more of the stitches in the book as it seems to describe well each different technique and I would love to make something with cable stitch. I think I may have found the perfect project, as I didn't want to make something too big like a jumper. I picked up this fab book in the charity shop the other day for £2.50 (before this cold spell) and it has some lovely projects including a bag using cable stitch!

So I have the book, I probably also have some yarn somewhere in my stash I now just need the umph to start knitting!!!

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Sunday, 13 January 2013

New Swaps for 2013

I love taking part in swaps and I have signed up for two fabulous swaps to kick start 2013.

The first one is hosted by Shelley over at All4meggymoo (which is a new blog for me) and is the

The idea of this one is to send 5 heart themed goodies, one of which must be handmade.
The closing date for this one is midnight tomorrow so you need to be quick if you would like to sign up.

The second one is an Springtime/Easter Swap organised by Joy over at Daisy Row.

The idea is to fill a container, either 500g margarine tub or the much tastier choice of the 1 litre tub of ice-cream - that way not only do you get to make and fill it with lots of goodies but you also get to eat a lot of ice-cream! I digress back to the container you need to fill it with some craft goodies, some handmade goodies and some chocolate goodies. Now who doesn't like goodies!!
To take part in this one you need to pop over to Joy's blog and sign up by the 31st January.

So come on if you need to get your crafting mojo back or you would like to take part in your first swap pop over to these two wonderful blogs and get swapping!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Cracker Swap

I was lucky to be partnered four times with the Cracker Swap, I have already blogged about three of them and tonight I wanted to show you what the lovely Amanda from crafty in the med sent me.
A lovely letter

Two delicious almond and chocolate nutty bars, which didn't last very long!

A ceramic mini jug and a Spanish lady

Amanda made me these very cute Christmas tree decorations, a 3D one topped with a star

And this sequinned and beaded one.

My cracker also included lots of pretty lace, which I can't wait to use.

More crafty goodies in the way of googly eyes and brads.

My cracker was tied with silver sequin strands which again I will be using in my crafting. I have got back into cross stitch again so I shall be choosing a project for me to use this aida band.

And finally here is a picture of all my cracker goodies together, thank you Amanda for sending me such a lovely cracker all the way from Spain.

I have really enjoyed putting together my crackers and I have received some lovely gifts in return. And if you're interested I will definitely be hosting this swap again this year!
One thing I have realised though it that I am absolutely rubbish at taking photos of what I send in my swaps the only picture I have is of my mug rugs/mini quilts that I made, this is the first time I have made anything like this and it's very addictive especially making them individual. I also found an absolutely fantastic and easy to do tutorial for the binding which I shall blog about very soon.

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Saturday, 5 January 2013

The BIG tidy up

Today has been a busy one, Paul has been going mad with the jet wash on the patio, it looks lovely and clean but it also meant that we are going to have to replace the garden table and chairs as the table broke when it was moved, also a couple of the chairs had seen better days. We just have to decide now what to replace it with before the summer comes!
I haven't been idle either, I was really busy before Christmas with orders and a few last minutes family makes. (which I shall blog about soon) I didn't finish sewing until Christmas Eve and because I had other things to do I just walked out and shut the door!! So today has been operation tidy up, I had cleared away lots of rubbish mainly unusable cast offs from my nan! I had tidied away my Christmas fabrics and cleared my cutting table. Boxes have been put away and floor space has been found! I posted some before and after photos on Facebook and thought I would share them here too. Here's hoping I can keep it this tidy!
Oh the shame!

And after a hard day's graft.

Now I'm all ready to get back into sewing when the kids go back to school next week.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

My aims for 2013...

I hope you all had a good Christmas, ours was a nice quiet family affair, everyone was pleased with their gifts 

and we had a very scrumptious breakfast of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on philly toast topped with bacon and fried mushrooms

followed later in the day with a delicious Christmas dinner, but I somehow forgot to eat my Christmas pudding (I'm the only one that likes it!) so it is languishing in the back of the cupboard at the moment!

The weather after Christmas was appalling here in Chelmsford, it did nothing but rain for days on end, so there were lots of pyjama days staying cosy and warm indoors. 

New years day was a completely different kettle of fish we woke to wonderful blue skies and sunshine, although it was a trifle cold!!

The boys have been hard at work in the garden, tidying one of the dogs kennel. We sadly lost our last Dogue de Bordeaux, Ozzie, a couple of weeks before Christmas, and although Paul said he wouldn't get another big dog, a friend of ours has recently had a litter from a stud dog that we bred, so I think there may be a new addition to the family if the work on the kennel is anything to go by!

Did you all enjoy new years eve? Ours again was another quiet affair, the boys went to bed and Rachel and I stayed up to watch Big Ben and the fireworks. We've never been that big on new years eve, I think its from too many years in the police working nights on new years eve!!! Paul read somewhere that only 1 in 5 people actually go out to celebrate, did you?

With the new year arriving there is a lot of talk about resolutions, I'm not big on new year resolutions, but I do have some long term aims for 2013.......

the first is to get healthier, I found this book in a local charity book shop for £1

 and thought I'd give it a read, which I did on new years eve. It had lots of useful information and I have already started on my new exercise regime. We have several pieces of gym equipment in the garage, including my butt buster, as we like to call it, it's a vibration plate we bought earlier this year and it hasn't had much use lately so I'm back on it again. We also have a rowing machine, a bike,  a cross trainer and a sauna which I am going to make use of every other day. We already eat quite healthily but I do have a sweet tooth and tend to get a bit peckish in the evenings so I will be cutting down on the late night snacks and sweets. One thing I really need to do is to drink more water I know I don't drink nearly enough and would rather have a cup of tea but it seems I should be drinking at least 8 glasses a day, just need to get some limes now to make it a bit more interesting!!!

my other aim for 2013 is to learn to knit properly, I was lucky enough to win this book over on Joy's blog, 

and although I know the basics I've never knitted much more than a scarf before. Hopefully I will be sharing my newly mastered knitting skills with you as I work through the book.

I finally took the rest of the Christmas decorations down today, I normally wait the full 12 days but just felt like I needed to get them cleared away and although the conservatory feels a little bare it is lovely to have it all clutter free again!!! Here a snapshot of my decorations on the stairs before I took them down......

I've really enjoyed reading all about your celebrations, your Christmas makes and your aims for the coming year, I have lots of makes to show over the next few days and one final cracker swap to share too.

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