Monday, 28 November 2011

Looking for a hideaway .....

Image from
Thanks for all your wonderful, supportive comments on my last blog post.  It seems a lot of us Mums could do with a bolt hole away from the madness of family life :-)  I have therefore been looking for a property for us all :-)  Just think how wonderful it would be to hide away in one of these places.  Love the hobbit house (or cob house as they are known) above.
 Or how about a little Gypsy Caravan ....

A cute little garden studio, we could use a hammock as a bed :-)

A cute little pod that looks like some sort of bird creature .....
Or a converted, very pretty garden shed .....
Or maybe a Camper just like the ones shown on Suz Place's blog ....

We could all club together and buy somewhere where we could run away and just be 'me' for a while.  We could do something creative, read books, potter around the garden or even just snooze without interruption :-)  We could have a rota so that we all got away for a couple of nights every few months.  Oooohh what a dream (this dream is taking place whilst Eldest Sweetpea is asking me a mathematics equation :-S)!  One day, one day I will have a little space of my own but I probably won't NEED it then :-) 

Sorry for all the dreaming :-) The Sweetpeas were meant to go to their Nan and Grandads this weekend just gone but none of them wanted to go in the end :-(  Mr Sweetpea was 40 so we wanted some very rare time for ourselves but that all went out of the window.  They don't often sleep round their Grandparents so we were looking forward to it , hey ho.  I have also had a bad cold for the last few days (11 days and counting) which seems to be getting worse rather than better -  grrr I spent last night from 1.30 am - 3.30 am watching tv because of it, just when I don't need to lose any more sleep.  I have therefore been grateful for little things that make me happy :

My wool stash has arrived :-)  I am not sure about the turquoise just yet, some days I love it against the other colours, other days I don't.

I received a lovely soap from Handmade Haven , wow it smells nice and was so nicely packaged :-)

I have also been enjoying creating felted things for my facebook shop and for home :-)

I hope you have  a fantastic week free from germs and horrid colds. xxx

Monday, 21 November 2011

Trying not to feel exasperated .....

I was recently lucky enough to win a complementary ticket to the Country Living Fair in London which was running the other weekend.  The lovely Mary Kilvert sent me the ticket - pop over to her blog and look at the lovely sheep she created ! 

I was so excited at the prospect of going plus a little nervous at the same time.  When I used to work full time I didn't think twice about getting on the train to London for conferences but since having children it isn't something I do. I worked out that Saturday was the best day to go due to train prices, school runs and work (it would cost £40+ if I didn't go during off peak times in the week :-o).  I went on Google map and walked down the road from the underground station I would stop at so I knew exactly where I was going to go.  I was going to take little Sweetpea and it would have been her first train ride. 

Wednesday the tickets arrived and I did think of going on Thursday but school runs put a stop to that idea.  As Saturday approached , my gorgeous little Sweetpea decided to go back to waking 3+ times a night for a couple of nights :-(  Saturday morning arrived and I was exhausted, having my usual dizzy spells bought on by sleep deprivation (I even become dizzy just sitting still when I have had a few really bad nights) and generally felt terrible with no energy to go to London :-(  I was gutted!

To stop me feeling annoyed by the circumstances that had arisen I decided to drive up the road to Blackthorpe Barn (near Bury St Edmunds), I am so glad I did - what a joy that place is !  It was full of local artists showing and selling their creations.  Eldest Sweetpea came along with me and we had a lovely time looking at all the gorgeous creations.  I had a lovely chat to lots of wonderful creative people and Eldest Sweetpea was given a bookmark from a lovely watercolour artist, Katie Millard, and a felt bead from a lady call Cathy who creates gorgeous things out of felt - it was so sweet of them to give him a piece of their artwork.  I even bumped into a lady who had a stall with the most gorgeous silver work (click link to see scrummy buttons wrapped in silver) who lives in our village.  I had heard her name mentioned in magazines before but had never put a name to the face so I was surprised and happy to see a familiar face there.

I came home with two lino-print cards created by the artist Penny Bhadresa, she had some lovely prints on show and Eldest Sweetpea really wanted one for his room (one day we will save up for the real thing for him :-)).  I also got two other lovely postcards created by Abigail Mill, she created the most exquisite creations out of fabric, silk, lace - the original images look 3D and her use of colours is gorgeous.  3 little ceramic spotty egg cups also launched themselves into my bag, one for each Sweetpea - they are so sweet. 

I must still admit to feeling a little annoyed at having missed the Country Living Fair and a little trapped with the life of being a Mum 24/7 but that trip made me feel a whole lot better!  Having been ill for a few days has again made me feel that way, I went to work on Sunday just to have a break from the 'madhouse' when really I should have been in bed getting better (but then the Sweetpeas would have joined me in bed and probably had a pillow fight over my head!). 

Don't get me wrong, I do love them all dearly but sometimes a little space is nice, oohh how I would love my own little flat somewhere, where I could escape for a few days rest every now and again......... dream on Zoe :-)  Mind you then I would probably miss them all too much :-)

Moan over :-)  x

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Easy Skirt Tutorial

Thanks for all your helpful comments on my last post re the crochet urge, I am now picking colours and will blog as soon as some wool arrives :-)

Now this blog post comes after chatting to a friend some time ago about a skirt I made little Sweetpea.  I promised to do her a photo tutorial of it but as always it has taken me some time to get around to doing this.  I made this skirt back in August - how does time fly that fast! 

I saw this lovely skirt design on Patch Fabrics site and just had to buy the fabric to make Sweetpea one - she is still in love with ladybirds so she loves this skirt.

So here we go.  You will need some fabric of your choice, 1 1/2 meters of ribbon and 1 1/2 meters of ric-rac.

First measure the length you would like the skirt to be and add 2 " to that for the seams.  Lay out your fabric - you will be using the whole width of the fabric selvedge to selvedge (this is the part of the fabric where the manufacturer prints the fabric info on).  Measure the length you want the skirt to be and cut along there.

Now get some lovely ribbon and pin it along the bottom edge of the fabric on the reverse side.

Now sew along the top of this ribbon all the way along to fix it to the skirt.

Now you need to fold the ribbon back over so it faces the right side of the fabric - didn't take a photo sorry :-(  Your sewing will be along the bottom edge of the ribbon now.  Sew along the new top of the ribbon, this will lock in the edge of the fabric and stop any fraying.

Now sew the ric-rac into place, I popped it a couple of inches about the ribbon but you can pick where you want it.  It may be an idea to pop it in place with a few dots of fabric glue to make it easier to sew.

Now fold the fabric in half so that the right sides are facing in (e.g. your pretty pattern is not showing on the outside anymore) and pin along the selvedge.  Your ribbon should be along the bottom on the inside.  Sew along the pinned area with roughly a 1/2 inch seam - make sure you sew so that no selvedge is showing.

Now make sure your seem is open to make for a neater finish (it isn't the end of the world if you forget though :-)).  Now for the waist.  Keeping the skirt facing wrong side out fold over the top edge 1/2 inch.

Fold it over again 7/8 inch (or just over 1/2 inch in English :-))  This will seal in the edge again to stop fraying and make a nice hidden area for your elastic.  I iron my seams into place to make it easier to sew.

Now sew along the bottom edge of this seam but leave an area where you will be threading your elastic through.

This is where you will thread the elastic through.  Now measure your child's waist and take off a couple of cm's for the elastic measurement - I always test the length whilst it is on her too (be careful to avoid bungee episodes though :-)).  Now pop a safety pin on the end of your elastic and feed it through the the hole and around the seam.  I pin the other end to the skirt too so I don't end up taking the elastic all the way through and out again :-)

Now whilst doing all this remember to keep an eye on the future owner of this gorgeous skirt, if not you may find this sort of thing happens .....

Yogurt everywhere, apparently she became suddenly hungry and helped herself !

When you have threaded the elastic through sew it together and then sew the hole shut - yey one new skirt!

Monday, 7 November 2011

I have an urge .......

First thanks for all your lovely caring and complimentary comments on my last blog post, they made me feel a lot better :-)  Mr Sweetpea is nearly better now and is back to work with his sore foot - just hope he can drive home again!  We buried Petal under Eldest Sweetpeas oak tree behind the beach hut - I hope she likes it there.

Now I have to share with you an urge that I have.  Is the urge to bungee jump ...... visit faraway lands ....... learn to fly a helicopter .....  do a degree in astro-physics ... buy a Camper van and pootle off around the country in it .... ?   

Nope it is none of the above, my urge is to create my very own crochet ripple blanket (well to be honest the last thing on the above list is also an urge but I need to save up for that one for some time first :-().  This is where I need your help :-)  I know a lot of you are very good at the crochet thing, can you help me with the following questions:

Do you know of a good yarn that doesn't cost a lot (as I want to save for that Camper :-)). 
Does anyone know how many balls I may need for an average sized blanket?
Anyone know of where to buy yarn at a good price?

Thanks very much for reading about my urge :-)

Take care

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Halloween and a sad loss .....


It has been an eventful week so far in the Sweetpea household.  We had fun at the beginning of the week creating things for Halloween.  Instead of just going trick or treating I asked the children if they also wanted to decorate our car-port and turn it into a spooky barn for the trick or treaters.

In preparation the children did their pumpkins on Saturday evening.  They had 4 pumpkins, 3 bought locally and our largest one was given to us by our allotment neighbour - he is so sweet!


I think they enjoyed squidging the contents as much as they did carving the pumpkins!

We created a cat, a bat and two scary faces - wwaaahh ha ha ha - scary aren't they :-)

We then had fun with some with our old milk bottles - I saw this idea on Pinterest and couldn't resist!

We decorated the car-port to make it look all spooky ....

And had a bucket for apple bobbing and a bowl with homemade slime in it for people to put their hands in and get their treat.  The slime was a great hit and was easily made from cornflour, water and green food colouring.

Above is eldest Sweetpea testing out the apple bobbing , it is amazing how many of the children had never tried it before.  A lot of fun was had by making our trick or treaters work for their treats :-)  It was such a hit we are going to expand it next year even if (as eldest Sweetpea reminded me) I did say 'never again!' whilst preparing it all, mind you to be fair Mr Sweetpea did have to be taken to A&E by my Father-in-Law with a suspected broken foot whilst I was trying to arrange it all.  Luckily my Mother-in-Law stayed behind and helped to create the slime (Mr Sweepea's foot was thankfully not broken but he has torn a ligament in his foot) :-)

We have had a few sad things happen this week as well.  We lost poor little Petal (our chicken in the photo below).  She died in her sleep with her head still tucked under her wing - she looked so content and sweet :-(  She was the most lovely chicken, she was disabled and couldn't cluck (she just made a little squeaky noise) but she was still a very happy chicken who liked to be stroked.  

We also lost another chicken too, we had an old chicken which I re-named Battle-axe as she was a big bully really.  She started to sit for quite a while this year but I think she was too old for all that really as they lose a lot of body weight when sitting.  She was found dead this morning in the other chicken pen :-(