Friday, 30 November 2012

Forever Amanda

I just wanted to dedicate today's ramblings to a wonderful lady called Amanda.

A happy, delightful, loving, funny Mummy, Wife and Friend to many.

Isn't this smile just pure love and sunshine? (With a bit of mischief rolled in for good measure!) *wink*

I can't help but want to smile right back at her even though my heart is heavy.

I can't quite believe I shan't hear that South African accent shouting "Hey! Woman!" from a distance when she wanted to catch my attention! Though, the thought of it will always make me smile and remember her.
Today we shall be saying farewell to Beautiful Amanda and giving thanks for her life and the love she has left here amongst us.
My friends, please pray for peace and strength for her husband and 2 children as they face today, and also the coming months and years.
God Bless you Amanda

Monday, 26 November 2012

This monthly catch up is becoming a habit!

Not sure if it's a good habit or a bad one....but there we are, that's the way it is again this month.

There are things I'd like to share with you but finding the time in amongst all the other busy-ness in life is sooooo hard!  I'm sure you feel the same sometimes!

The decision to have a chat with you today is all down to the rotten weather!  I thought we all needed a catch-up and a cheer-up.

Yep, the weather is horrible, grey, murky, overcast, dull, cloudy, drizzly.....I could go on...but it's just depressing!

But before we get on to some nicer bits of making and baking, I just wanted to share these photos I took at the beginning of November of a hail downpour!

They were BIG and they were many......!  This is my back lawn....

This is the road outside our house (sorry about the neighbours rabbit hutch!)....

As you can see it was quite a covering!
I had my washing out and some time later I noticed this.....

YES!  That is hailstones caught in my sheet!!  I was amazed that they hadn't melted!
Anyway....the next day we had to take Teenage Son No.3 to a football match in a village called Newdigate, not far from here.  We took our wellies so that we could walk whilst he played....but due to the wet had to stay on the roads.
But there were some jolly little suprises hiding away, how about these.....
peeping from under a hedge....and these in the hedge......
that one just sung Christmas at me!
Then there were the trees....
This little splash of yellow, orange and brown against all the juicy green behind really stood out. (Not the best photo...sorry!  But I'm sure you get the idea!)
Poor Tiddly Toes got a bit Daddy to the rescue....
Can you believe that the 3 cars in the picture were the only ones we saw for over an hour!
So after all that wellie-trudging, puddle-spalshing, leaf-kicking and mud-squelching, we had no choice *hur-herm* but to make a nice Hottie Choccie when we got home.....

Mmmmmm!  You just have to have cream and 'shmellows' as Tiddly Toes calls them!
I've done a bit of baking this month including....
Apple Spice Bonfire Cakes (for Guy Fawkes Night on November 5th)....
.....they got iced and sprinkled after this by Teenage Daughter!
Here's one I rewarded myself with after a long, hard day of cleaning....
These are the Attic24 Oaty Biscuits by Lucy (love that recipe!)....

Then after a rummage in the cupboards realised I had a barrel almost full with broken biscuits (anybody would think they taste different to whole ones!!), 2 Easter eggs and 4 jars with about 1cm in the bottom of each of crystalised Golden Syrup!!

I had a better use for the jars which I shall be sharing soon!  SO as these are the basics of Rocky Road.....guess what.....

Then there were Makes.....
I've been following a blog called Greedy for Colour for some time... I fell in love with Kates Christmas baubles for which there is a tutorial.
So the other morning (whilst lounging in bed with a cuppa!) I knocked up this little beauty! 
(sorry about the poor light in the photo...said the weather was dull!)
Thought if I made any more that I might like to add some ribons or stitch some details on...what do you think?
Then my next bit of creativity was for Tiny was her 1st Birthday yesterday!  Time has flown....Happy Birthday Tiny Angel!! xxxx
You may remember I made her a cushion (it's the one with a red ring in the centre), her Mummy had (sometime ago...ooopppps!) fallen in love with a birdie decoration I made from a tutorial over at Lucys on I decided a matching Birdie of her own would be a gift she wouldn't receive from anyone else!
And here it is........
Do you like the addition of the little's an old Macrame trick...I thought it worked quite well!  What do you think?
Well I'm nearly there....couldn't resist showing you a very cold-ridden Tiddly Toes who was very sad to miss out on attending the Christmas Fair at the school our Out of School Club is based at.  I was on the face-painting stall!
So on Saturday to cheer up a Little Snotty Person....Mummy did this......................

She very proudly went into town like that!  Bless!
She is still recovering, so today it all caught up with her and I couldn't resist showing you this......

Her arm resting on the arm of the sofa, snoring her little head off!  Sweet!
Well, that's me done!
I'll be back soon with a small person make...a great idea if you have little ones for whom you are struggling to find a gift this space!  Also the Pinaddicts Challenge for December!  YAY!
See you very soon.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Stash ! Me? Never.........

...mmmm...OK then, maybe just a bit!

It wasn't my fault!  It never is (she says covering her face to hide the blushes and terribly guilty look!)

Let me did it happen now.

Remember I've only just acquired some gorgeous fabric, I told you about that VERY necessary purchase here!!

That was the wonderful Eternal Maker.

Well, I made a little something for Tiny Angel which I am not yet at liberty to share with you (but it won't be long!)

I took it to show The Ballet Mums whilst we waited for Tiddly Toes and her friends to finish their lesson...... a bit of confidence seeking that this was a good make for my Tiny Angel...

Well, I have to tell you, and much to my utter delight, the answer came back a resounding....GREAT, BEAUTIFUL and can you make 3 for me....and 2 for me!!!!


Wasn't expecting THAT!

So having a chat I found I needed MORE fabric for 3 girls, 1 boy and a grown up boy!

I decided to hop on over to The Cotton Patch because I had seen an advert in a magazine (that I was flicking through in WH Smiths and decided not to buy as the mags seem to be getting very same-y!) and the picture was of some gorgeous Christmas-y fabric that I thought may fit the bill for these latest projects!

So.......... I ordered this...........

These are still a work in progress, but I'm nearly done and I am GREATLY looking forward to sharing these with you when I Ta-Dah in a few days, you'll still have time to whizz up a few for Christmas so don't panic!!
I'd better get back to the sewing machine!
See you soon and in the meantime, please, take very good care of yourself,

Monday, 19 November 2012

Oh! I forgot to tell you.....

all about our little weekend away!

It was AGES ago...back in September.

Sadly it's been the only opportunity we've had this year to go away in the old girl....but boy was it nice!

Remember us cleaning Flossie-van here, that was back in June!  The summer was very busy with work and our family Holiday, and of course, all the excitement of the Jubilee and Olympics.

So finally, early in September, I rang a local Caravan Park called Honeybridge Park and booked us in....then I told The Hubs!  I think he was quite relieved as work (at our local hospital) was getting to him (very busy but with the threat of redundancy hanging over him!) and if we're not at home, we can't be bothered by business calls either.....or be tempted to log on to email!

I planned meals, so there was nothing to think about there.

Hitched her up and off we went!

Friday night we were exhausted from setting her up and basically went to bed as soon as it got dark!

The weather was grim ALL weekend....but it didn't dampen our spirits!

This is our set up on day one and it sort of developed from there......

....this is Teenage Daughter prepping dinner........

This was breakfast inside...easy to do with the girls on the sofa and us in the awning as no clearing away of a double bed in a confined space before you can eat!  It also meant we could pop all of the girls bedding in the inner tent, zip it up and hide it away and have the rest of the awning and the whole caravan to 'live' in.

Tiddly Toes took her trike and Bouncer....and then enticed her big sister into racing her!

There were, of course, treats......

...and alot of showing off and acting (mostly with a filthy face!)

and playtime with the kids in the van next door and at the play park on site.
Teenage Daughter met some friends who also happened to be there!
The Hubs enjoyed a good read, playing and the opportunity to sit around.
I got the opportunity on Saturday morning to escape to Chichester ALONE where I browsed, quietly and By Myself amongst the gorgeous-ness that is Clothkits and also the utterly amazing and completely enormous Eternal Maker.
On Sunday The Hubs and I (with Tiddly Toes ridding in her seat on the back of my bike) braved the drizzle for a 7 mile round trip to the local pub The Fountain Inn at Ashurst where there is a delightful garden and deck over the pond where we sat and watched the fish whilst we supped real ale!
It was a lovely break from the hurley-burley of usual life.
Can't wait to do it again next year....and hopefully more than once!
Back soon with a walk, some cooking and a playdoh experiment!
See you then,
Nora xx

Friday, 16 November 2012

Pinaddicts Challenge - November 2012

This is a very quick post as I'm busy, BUsy, BUSY!!

BUT...I couldn't let November pass without an entry into the Pinaddicts Challenge!

Can you believe we have whizzed through summer holidays, sped through September, Harvest, Halloween and Guy Fawkes have all gone, here we are in the middle of November...yes!  The Middle of NOVEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!  I'm shocked! I'm usually there on the first possible day with my entry...but not this month!

It's all a very rushed blur and Christmas is just round the breaks up 5 weeks today!

We are having our first Christmas with Faraway Family on 8th December..... that's 3 weeks!  Eeeeek!

Christmas Pressies a-go-go!

We have some lovely little cousins in the Black Country, they are arty, crafty
do-ers...hmmmmm.....*light bulb moment* !

Louise from Sew Scrumptious!  No, no....I'm not going to send Louise....but I AM going to send her wonderful crayon rolls!  Well, no, not hers exactly....I made them from her super-duper tutorial.

I won't post the process, Louise's instructions are so good, you won't need me to add straight to the reveal......


The butterfly fabric came from the Clothkits bargain bucket when I visited during a little weekend away in Flossie-van in September (which I don't think I got round to telling you about!). The striped fabric is a fat quarter from my local C & H Fabrics.

The pink and orange dotty fabrics were bundles of fat quarters from my local Hobbycraft.  I decided to give the older girl felt tips and the younger one coloured pencils.......

I'm sure they'll share anyway!  The ribbons were from my stash, the yellow and orange one left over from the light shade upcycle!
So having done mind started whirring.
Knowing my auntie has a very unattractive plastic bag to keep her knitting needles in....ah-ha!
I went through the stash and for this knitting, cat lover found the perfect (very old) fabric!  Added some extra height to the roll and.......

The ribbon was from my Clothkits purchase (they tie up their fabric bundles and kits with it), I thought it might be handy for a knitter to have to hand instead of always reaching for a tape measure! And...what a bit of recycling!
Here it is opened up........  I now have another 2 of these to make for my Mum and

In addition, there was a very special birthday round these 'ere neck o' the woods, Tiny Angels Mummy, the beautiful lady here, turned 21!  (So long ago for me I barely remember it!!)
She's into handmade....crochet, knitting, button-y things, not making....just buying!
So wanting to make something one-of-a-kind for her I set to work on another hoop creation like this one from last months Pinaddicts Challenge and I thought now would be a good time to share it with you!
OK, here we go........
Fabric, beads and buttons this time!..
...and because I go the back neater this time...I don't mind showing you!...

So there you have it, my entry for this month.  Why not hop on over and take a look at the other entries or enter something yourself, you can find it here.
'Til the next time (and I am aware that we need a HUGE catch up), take care,
Nora xx

Friday, 9 November 2012

New stash....ooooppps!

Having said to myself time and time have ENOUGH!  I was asked to make something for a Very Special Tiny Angel in a specific set of colours....none of which I had!

In addition my darling M-I-L has asked for a lap quilt for Christmas, she doesn't know I've never made one before!  Her request did tie in rather nicely with a fabric stash I told you about here and showed you some progress on here!

So I have decided it is for her...want to see a pieced top reveal?

OK, here we go.....TA-DAaaaaH!....

Having decided I would finish it for her, I needed some wadding.  Something that was a combination of warm, light, as natural as possible and not bank-breakingly expensive.  I went for this one from The Eternal Maker,

 they are quite right, it IS gorgeous. I realised I had ordered the wrong amount and sent them an email and 1 telephone call later from the lovely Jess....all was sorted!  Pictured with it is some fabric I know M-I-L will love for her Knitting Needle roll that she also asked for!
Next up some lovely Bubble Car fabric that I was going to use to make my Mum a Knitting Needle Roll, but it's thicker than I'd thought so I'm not sure, but I LOVE the fabric, what do you think?

Then there's some fabric for my Tiny Angel with a felt name or initial.... can't say more as TAs Mummy might read this (hope you like the fabric Em...the Christmas Tree one also has deer on it!).

Then an impulse buy...bad move as it always leads to a bank-breaking total!  Ooooppss!
The giraffe fabric on the left was a bolt end so it was a whole piece for a set amount....BUT then, I had to have some gorgeous bits to go with it!  As my Tiddly Toes likes Giraffes (and bought a cute toy one from Banham Zoo called Melman, yes, as in Madagascar fame!!)  I thought a quilt with giraffes would be a hit.......

What do you think about the addition of the turquoise spot in this picture (that was the trim I bought for the Christmas fabric....!)  Please let me know what you think and whether you think any other colours would suit....if you have a particular fabric in mind please post the link in the comments!  Thanks!
I need all the help I can get with this new journey into quilting!
I have moved all my sewing paraphernalia into the dining room......
and Tiddly Toes is happy in the sand pit!

Here goes..................
Nora xx
P.S.  Forgot to say that the pattern for the Quilt came from this tutorial for The Orange Quilt on Cluck Cluck Sew. 

Time to walk......

I can't believe how long it has been since my last is whizzing along and there is soooooooo much going on!

My eldest son Alex was 21 late on in October.  Am I really that old!  I must have been a child-bride!!

Then hot on the heels of that celebration came half term which started with a trip to the In-Laws for me and Tiddly Toes.

They live in a beautiful village near Bedford...take a look at our little walk to the Community Shop for sweets.....

Down to the crossroads and the memorial....

My favourite little row of cottages...the first set painted white and covered in wisteria and....

the second set, thatched...divine!
The Community Shop based in the Church Hall, as there's no 'proper' shop, this one stocks sweets and essentials like loo roll, biscuits, eggs, the sorts of things you run out of and don't want to have to get in the car to go and buy.

We went to the Community Shop on the way back, so further down the road is an enormous beech hedge....there was every colour between green and brown and lit up by the most wonderful , warm sunshine....stunning!

As we near the end of the road, we can see across the fields....*breath in*.....*breath out*, fresh air and open space *sigh*.

A little hint of the church as we get closer......

....and there it is, I think I'm right in saying it is 11th Century, Father-in-Law rings the bells on a Sunday, they sound so pretty.

We walk down the path behind the church and find a little hint of Christmas....this is my favourite thing to put in a table decoration or wreath.....

And along the path what do we find....... This is an old spring, it's been here as long as the church.  It is crystal clear, it never dries up, even in the harshest drought and it never freezes over, even in the depths of fact, it has steam coming off it!
Back up towards the shop now, me & Tiddly Toes and a precious leaf!

After the shop, we head for home, back towards the memorial.  The house opposite is THE most beautiful picture postcard, dolls house and with an old fashioned telephone box too!  I love this house, we looked at buying it.....too expensive!

Just outside the gate I look up the road, the white building, half of which is the local pub, The George, it looks a bit like a house, small and sweet inside and sells good and proper ale!
I hope you enjoyed joining me for a little walk and some fresh air.
I hope to return soon with this months PinAddicts Challenge, my, I AM behind this month!
See you soon
Nora xx