Sweet nothings

Clips and hair grips, flowers and bows isn’t that what being a little girl is all about? I have been making some of these for the little ones in our family.

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Not terribly time-consuming at all. In fact it takes just a few minutes! I learned this from a book that I picked up in the library but you can actually see it being done here on videojug, which would have made life easier had I seen it first!

I also crocheted this up over Christmas. A bit here and a bit there. I pulled it out of the bag today to sew the seams and finish it off. It will be on its way to a new baby girl very soon. Congratulations to all families with newborns 😉 My thoughts are with you and how I really don’t miss night feeding!

crochet baby cardigan

Last-minute makes….

We are enjoying our Christmas Eve and I hope you enjoy yours, wherever in the world you may be.

I just wanted to share with you a few last-minute makes….

…a fluffy snakey pencil-case for Little man and little bags for three little girls to put their dolly things into…
zipped bags

mince pies, jam tarts and brownies

…mince pies, strawberry jam tarts and chocolate brownie.

Now I have to say that I did make some mince pies the other day. Little man wasn’t up for it as he was feeling a bit under the weather. I however, disappeared into the kitchen and made the most unpleasant pies you could dream of. Not intentionally of course! I got the mix wrong from the beginning, having being shouted every couple of minutes from the depths of the living room. The pastry turned to some kind of gloopy chewing gum. How on earth?? To top it off I burnt them. Big sighs and a return to the living room with a cup of tea. Sorry visitors, who didn’t have any!

 So until today nobody has mentioned more mince pies. Little man was on a chair next to me singing Christmas songs like a little angel. It must have been the singing that made it all better. These are lovely, light, crumbly textured little delights. My little man made all the stars to top them with too. All packed into tins now so they won’t be munched too soon! Says me who already ate two!

cheese flan

…and cheese flan. Mmmm, my most fave of all!

I will be busy lurking around upstairs with wrapping paper and tape for a bit now. This is the hard bit… where did I hide everything so it was safe from everybody else in the house, errrrmmm…

Have a fab Christmas everybody. See you back here soon. X

Brrrrrr!

Oooohh, babe it’s cold outside!!! More ice and frost than snow, hence us mostly inside watching rather than playing in it!

We have been keeping busy with all kinds here, remember these snowflakes from last year? This time round we have embarked on a new adventure, soap making or rather soap melting and decorating. Some of our soaps have these tiny snowflakes inside them…

making tree soap decs

making tree soap decs

You simply have to try these super snow globe soaps from alpha mom with your kids, or by yourself if you fancy! What fun we had making those for the teachers and our friends!

making tree soap decs

Tree soap

I made the yearly wreaths too. Hubby and I went sliding on the ice to gather holly. What fun we had. All that fun isn’t just for little kids you know!

Christmas wreath

Christmas wreath

Some things that I’ve found and loved…

…a delicious circle sweater*enter me, the fiber junkie* here.

and a book to ummm and ahhhh over…here

I hope you are all having Christmassy fun. We are on a mince-pie make today. They will be ready for some of our friends who are visiting later on.

Merry early Christmas everybody 😉

Just to get you all up and dancing round your tree, here’s the song I was listening to on the radio as I wrote this post! Thought I’d find it on youtube and share it with you.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ARMUvcjOUQ 

The famous Quo aren’t doing too bad at busking in this video are they! Tee hee!

Felting and a colour wheel

Here is the felted fabric that little man and I created last weekend…

felting

What fun we had, sloshing about in the soapy suds! It didn’t however felt as I’d hoped it would (we were at the sink for ages, the water probably wasn’t hot enough) so we shoved it into the washing machine on a hot wash for about 20 mins with some old towels. Hey presto! Felted without fuss!

Love, love, love! Will I felt anything again? Yes, we had such fun. I probably wouldn’t have tried it but for having my grubby soapy mitts on the Chicks in Sticks book. I’m seriously considering crocheting the hoodie pattern from it too.

Little man and I are busy cutting and sewing the little pocket where the hooks will go. If you are thinking of felting, give it a whirl. You will be pleasantly surprised by the outcome, I’m sure 😉

crochet hook case

 

 

The study of colour is pushing us to create this colour wheel. We are going to pin it up to use when we do other projects. It will help my little man determine colours that can make his work stand out by using contrasting colours like yellow and purple. Also the colours that sit together in harmony on the wheel like yellow, orange and red.

We have talked about primary colours and the secondary ones that you can mix from the primary ones, by using the same amount of each primary.

using a compass

making a colour wheel
making a colour wheel

I think we may make ‘pop art’ to show contrast of colour in the next week or so. This continues the use of a compass, measuring and a steady hand to get a good circle! My little man seems to find it easier to turn the paper instead of the compass itself. The point has to be embedded into newspaper or card to keep it from moving too:-)

Tapestry vs Crochet

Some time ago I had been handed a bag of tapestry wool by my good friend, Mrs J.

I’m not really into creating tapestry but have been hanging on to it for a love of the colours and not wanting to waste it. Using some of the darker colours to darn wool socks was ok but I thought not really a good enough a job to do them justice.

Each weekend I home school my little man for at least an hour a day on things that are creative as well as the reading, writing and maths. We have been looking at colours recently. With lots of messy mixing of paint, checking out the colours that each season produces. Also the primary colours that each colour may be made up of etc.

 This bag of tapestry wool was pulled from the cupboard and little man explored the colours and texture of the wool. He arranged them into rainbows and stringy pictures on the floor which sent my mind into overdrive. We have mixed paint but what about wool? Seriously now, I am not going to use these for tapestries so how about some crochet? Ok something useable for me! Ha ha! I can teach about colour and how they mix and get something useful out of this. I really do need a crochet hook case, mine live in a plastic bag in a drawer, hooray!

Little man has been crocheting (on my knee with a bit of help) some of this blanket for his bed. It’s taking a long time so whilst he’s at school I do a couple of rows here and there.

crochet blanket 005

So back to the hook case…spotted some time earlier in this book from the library, Chicks with sticks guide to crochet. This is a great book by the way. It’s not just for beginners. It’s full of interesting patterns and lots of info.

Chicks with Sticks Guide to Crochet, The: Learn to Crochet with More Than 30 Cool, Easy Patterns

We get to work. Little man arranged the colours of autumn-yeah I know it’s like winter now and I’m still behind with all that! We have yellow, brown and reddish-purple for leaves, a bit of green, dull blues for sky and mustard-gold for sun. One strand of tapestry wool isn’t really thick enough to be getting on quickly with so we have used two. Overlapping colours with other colours to make a kind of random stripey, patterned ball of wool. Crocheted together, side by side and on my knee some of the time. Nice, very nice…well we think so!

crochetautumn

crochetautumn

crochetautumn

Got to get on with the felting of it next Saturday, hot soapy water and two pairs of rubber gloves. I can see more water on us than in the bowl but that’s the fun of it. I have never felted before, apart from by accident in the washing machine! The stitches are quite imperfect but it doesn’t matter. I can’t wait to see the stitches melting away into a lush fabric. That’s if it works!! I guess I’m just a fiber junkie at heart.

It’s autumn, AUTUMN? Where did summer go??

It’s been strange this year, I seem to have missed out blogging the summer, never mind it’s autumn now and maybe it’s time to catch up a bit.

It’s been ages since I wrote a post here, I keep starting and never finishing them. Really very naughty of me as you are all visiting and emailing me still.

I have made some jam this year with foraging finds of cherry, damson, blackberry and apple. All of which have been lovely…not that we ate them all of course, some are squirreled away for the winter! My freezer is full of pies and crumbles and as the wintry days draw ever closer I am tidying the garden, trimming plants and sorting pots for next year. I cut these last sunflowers from their plant the other day just before the frost came to ruin them all. This was the view of my kitchen window.

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I have vowed this year that the next summer we will be eating peppers, spring onions, lettuce and maybe our own tomatoes. Sowing and planting is marked on the calendar for next year! These were some of the things that we grew…mmmm much better than the shops if I do say so myself 😉

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We have been painting, cooking and getting down right dirty in between all the other things that happen around here.

leaf prints

mix my paint

leaf printing mess!

caravan

cakes

cakes

spider cake

cakes

spider cake

This thing I have about mushrooms and toadstools is getting worse! Shrooms everywhere! *not to be picked and eaten!* I don’t know what it is about them, honest. I’m just so taken with them, enticing, magical, fairytale-ish? Each type so different from the next…

autumn 004

autumn 006

autumn 002

Last but by far the least, laid on my belly in the grass clicking pictures… I leave you for today with my most favourite mushroom picture ever, no more than 2cm tall…

tiny mushroom!

Gardening and things…

It’s been a busy week, I don’t seem to have time to sew at the moment.

I passed my maths exam on Monday *yay!* and will be starting the next level in September *urghhh*.

Hubby and I have been outside, tidying the garden with a rather runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing all the time. It is apparent that you are supposed to eat local honey to ease the effects of hayfever. It’s not working, believe me!

We have put up a new fence in our little front garden and planted flowers. It looks very pleasant and it now means that I can open the front door and not hang onto the dog!

our little garden

our little garden

our little garden

our little garden

Our small apple tree gave us two apples last year but I can see about 12 now!

our little garden

A sneaky potato plant that we didn’t put there??

our little garden

Strawberries and raspberries, mmmmmm.

our little garden

our little garden

The Little man brought a sunflower home from school and has planted some dwarf beans, radish, kale and numerous other things.

our little garden

our little garden

our little garden

There’s an old plastic tub that we keep seeds, bits of string and odds and ends for gardening in. It was left unattended for a few minutes. Hmmm, you guessed it – little guy had a rummage when I wasn’t looking and I now have various green sprouts of things popping up here and there where he’s planted the seeds. So far I think I have found nasturtiums, sweet peas and lettuce! I fear weeding in case I pull out the things that I shouldn’t!

our little garden

This is our pepper plant.

our little garden

our little garden

We have been nurturing and checking it (sometimes 5 times a day!) for some time now and to our delight there is a little pepper growing there 😉

Little man had the fun of bashing eggshells again to keep away the slugs and snails. We need more eggshells soon. If I get chance I might just bake a cake later. On a second thought no, scones because I made some really lovely strawberry and apple jam the other night. It deserves to be eaten with a good scone so the cake will have to wait. Talking of jam, I may add the recipe for strawberry and apple jam so that you can make your own very scrummy jam!