Tag Archives: autumn

Playworks scrapstore

Standard

image

Oh! I have died and gone to heaven! Look at that.. All that shiny, twinkly paper in that trolly. Cardboard tubes, ribbons, card, strange materials and offcuts…. The trolly is heaving with crafty goodness. And do you know how much it all came to? A whole trolly full???? A mere £5. Five pounds!!!!!!! This my friends is Nottinghams scrapstore, called playworks. For those of you in this area, it is just off of huntingdon street. Scrapstores are charity establishments where local businesses donate their offcuts, odments and surplus bits and pieces to be sold for a minimum amount to fund a venture. In this case, playworks do street play and work in schools, workshops with children and more and a large amount of their income is derived from people like me, grabbing crafty bits for bargain prices. There is a membership fee…. £5 for the year in my case as I went on behalf of my local voluntary run children’s art club that b and I stumbled across in our local library.

image

Rows of weird and wonderful stuff. It just goes to show that old saying, that one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure. B and her little friend z seemed to be quite captivated in there, but I was very pleased to have my dear friend with me to lend a hand. Scrapstores are all over the country in the UK. Look up yours!!!! Do any of our international friends have a similar venture? I’d be interested to know.

image

I had some thank you notes that I needed to post this week and I had just the job. I’d pressed some more Autumn leaves and thought I’d cut some love-hearts in them so that they could be stuck to a window. They look really sweet don’t they!

image

And after all that immense growing and taking over, look at the produce of squashes. Mmm, rather disappointing. I suppose it is our fault for not realising they are supposed to climb until probably too late. Well, just a quicky tonight…. I just wanted to urge you to look up your local scrapstore, as it was a really worthwhile venture for our little outing today! Goodnight xxxxxxx

Halloween galore!

Standard

image

Crikey!!! I think this has been the longest I have left my little chats with you. I’ve been very, very busy! Mostly because m has been working all the hours god sends and so I have been busy with my little friend, and also…. The impending Halloween festivities have had my fingers busy and messy at every opportunity. Well…. I think I am nearly done. So much to tell and show!

image

The weather has suddenly changed to the gloomiest fog and drizzle and I am longing for the beautiful Sunsets and bright days we had recently. This sunset was caught from my upstairs window. that night, after my sister informed me, I put little b to bed and assumed position to watch the international space station go over. It was very impressive. I had no idea at the time that a crew of 33 were whizzing over my head, guided by a female captain! The following night, I gave them all a wave and b was singing her goodbyes to the world and waved to the ‘rocket’ as well!

image

Everyones chimneys are suddenly smoking as it has turned chilly, chilly, chilly! It’s a comforting sight.

image

So many green tomatoes failed to ripen this year and I can’t bear to waste them so in the pan they went with half their weight of onions, a large amount of dried fruit, mustard seeds, brown sugar and white vinegar to make….

image

Green tomato chutney! Yum!

image

Poor little b had her foot painted and stamped to make these cute little witches and sent to loved ones in the post

image

An army of them!!! Oh, it was funny. I did laugh, squelching her gorgeous, tubby little feet over and over, and watching her confused, amused and giggling face as we did so.

image

B and I watched my beloved David Attenborough in a documentary (well, a clip of it on youtube) about fruit bats and then set about recreating the scene. I tend to do this with most things that she doesn’t see in real life to explain and contextualise things for her. It was actually an amazing clip. Hundreds of thousands of fruit bats greying the exotic skies. She looked quite interested in my tale of one weeing on me as it flew over on my travels in the past!

image

Anyhow…. I cut some bat shapes out of cardboard and let her loose with the black paint.

image

And we even cut up an egg box and made it into bats…

image

Cute! Not hundreds of thousands, but she seemed to understand…

image

Maybe we’ll add to it!

image

These sponge sticks are great for little hands and short attention spans. They make things so much easier.

image

Whilst b was asleep, I made these little felt bats to hang by the fire….

image

They look pretty cool….

image

And will flutter when the fire’s lit.

image

But these are my favourite creations so far, along with these….

image

My crochet garlands! The first is basically just a flat circle pattern….

image

That is embellished with some added leaves. I just poked my hook through my finished orange circle on the very edge

image

And pulled through the green yarn

image

Then chained 8 to make the stalk

image

I then did half double crochets back down the stalk

image

And slipstitched it back on to the pumpkin.

image

I then chained 6 and worked my way back down with a single crochet, half double, double, half double and finally a single crochet. This makes a nice leaf.

image

Fasten off and go to the other side of the stalk and do the same again.

image

I made five pumpkins. I like odd numbers when making garlands. I then chained 80 then slip stitched in between the pumpkin and the leaves along the tops.

image

I then chained 30 stitches between each pumpkin. After the last pumpkin, I chained 80 again.

image

I then made the faces with a needle and black wool.

image

And am really pleased with them!

image

I will do another post very soon with the pattern I made for my cute little bat garland.

image

Do you remember my little pompom spider I made b? Today, we made him a web out of icelolly sticks!

image

And hung him up!

image

He’s much happier.

image

B and I also made this lovely little lantern

image

We always collect pretty leaves and I put them straigt in a heavy book until I can figure out what to do with them. Well, this was really easy for little fingers! Simply brush clear children’s glue on the jar, put the leaves on and brush glue on top of them! I’ve decided this is to be our craft lantern and will be lit each time we make something together.

image

Well, there’s more to come, but here is a little corner so far. What I love about this the most is the happy afternoons that b and I have spent at the dining table making our things. It’s nice to sit and work together and see where things take us. I feel that we are more connected spending time together on activities like this, rather than just running around the planet from activity to activity. B certainly seems very content and happy too. I can’t wait for her to wake up tomorrow, as I have put all of our handy work up tonight after she went to bed. Phew! Tonights been a long one! See you soon xxxxxxx

Autumn leaves and soup bowls!

Standard

It’s a lovely, bright afternoon and little b is tucked up asleep in much needed dreamland. Bless her heart, her canines are really hurting her and I could hear her whimpering in her sleep all night last night. Consequently, she has been a little monster this morning!!!

I had to share this little snap of her on the monitor, fast asleep with her bum up in the air!

image

Aaaaa! Sweet little friend.

Anyhow…. Today I am going to show you how to make these Autumn leaves.

image

Firstly, chain 13.  In the second stitch from your hook, half double crochet. Half double again, double crochet, double crochet again, now do three treble crochet, follow these with two double crochet and then do two half double crochet. Chain 1 to help you around the bend onto the other side, now repeat the pattern until the you get to the top. Slip stitch into the first half double you did, now simply single crochet all the way around to make a nice, neat, sturdy edge. Now when you get to the top, slip stitch again into your first single crochet.

image

Now, this next bit is to make the central vein down the middle and it is easier than it sounds. Find the first space in your original chain and poke your hook through it.

image

Pick up the yarn and pull it up and slip stitch. Do this all the way until the end. When you get to the final space, poke your hook through and let go of the yarn. Instead, pick up your original tail and pull up. Pull it all the way through and release. Now put your hook up through the underside of your edge and pick up the tail and pull back through. Snip your yarn and knot the two ends. Weave the tails in and there you have it! Have fun with your new leaves!!!!

Well, I’m off to check on my pear crispy slices.

image

I’m experimenting and whilst the oven is on low for a rice pudding I’ve made for b I thought I would wade down the pile that m bought home the other day. I hope they work like the apple ones as they are much easier to prepare, having no cores.

image

I’ve added nutmeg this time so we shall see!!
We are enjoying our soupy dinners and b has the most adorable items to eat it out of.

Firstly….

image

This royal doulton bunnykins bowl was a christening present from her grandma and pop pop as she calls him,
and….

image

Granny found soupy bear as we have christened him in a charity shop.
I can still remember a picture on a plate that I used to use, with great fondness so here they are little b… For years to come, when hopefully, they remain unbroken!!!!

Right…. Pears….

See you soon for a Halloween pattern that I’ve been working on xxxxxx

Autumn loveliness

Standard

image

Hasn’t it turned cold!!!! Brrr…. There have been a couple of frosts here on windyhill. Thankfully, it’s been bright in the days and my little friend and I have been out and about all over the place making the most of the sharp, sunny days. Cold days like this deserve hearty food and today I used up a load of m’s tomatoes with a nice jaimie oliver soup recipe. Yum! We had a lovely morning at newstead abbey yesterday, the home of the late and rather strange Lord Byron and extremely ancient, pre- reformation abbey ruins. There are so many gardens there for b to discover and a lovely safe environment for her to run around in and let off some steam. We have had dry pants all week and she is extremely good at communicating her desire to go to the loo now, so although I keep a set of spare clothes in my bag, as of yet, they’ve not been used. Wow! I’m so proud of her. Many people wondered if she was too young at 18 months to potty train but I knew she could do it. She was making it very clear to me before hand that she was ready and her verbal skills and understanding is really advanced for her age so I’m really pleased I gave it a go and that I didn’t give up on the day that I felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall!!! I’m intrigued to learn that babies in third world countries are trained by the age of 1, and I was talking to a fellow mum in my library who knew of a baby trained at 8 months!!!! My goodness!!!! That’s incredible! Anyhow…

image

We’ve been enjoying a variety of baked apple puddings this week and m came home with a load of pears for us which we’ve been merrily munching our way through.

image

And I learned a very good tip for removing that waxy coating on shop bought fruit. Warm water and white vinegar in the sink for ten minutes. Excellent!

image

Poor m…. I think I have finished making Autumn garlands now, after playing with Autumn crocheted leaves all week. The result is a lovely cheerful….

image

Garland for our French doors.

image

I will put the pattern on for this larger leaf as I ended up devising one as I just couldn’t find a suitable one on the net.

image

They are tacked on to some ribbon and I’m very happy with their Autumn colours and cheerfulness.

image

After much hard work on m’s part…

image

Things are finally coming together upstairs. This is the new en-suite he has built us. He has made this unit himself and there will be a nice little cupboard underneath soon.

image

What a clever fellow he is!

image

I’ll be glad to see the back of all this lot though…

image

And a new carpet has gone down in the bedroom too, much to b’s dismay as it made a wonderful horsey in the living room! Night xxxxx

Friends

Standard

image

Well look at that! My lupins are popping up again. There’s a lot of late goings on in the garden at the moment. I’m really pleased to see these lupins as I sewed many little black seeds hoping for a bumper crop of them and they’ve been hugely disappointing. Only one flowered up until now. Many shot their leaves and stalks out of the earth and teased with such promise but unfortunately, amounted to nothing. These flowers remind me of childhood memories for some reason. I’m not sure if they were in my parents garden or not, but something feels vaguely familiar and very comforting and evocative about them.

image

Wonderful. And I’m going to collect their seeds and spread them around even further for next year.

image

I’m keeping little beebop out of her garden at the moment as it is teaming with the most toddler- tempting toadstools of many, many types.  I’m hoping that they will die off soon, but at the minute…. It’s a no go zone!

image

Aren’t these amazing!!!! Autumn crocus. Their colour is so vibrant I can’t take my eyes off of them. These are the only flowers that grew in our garden when we inherited it. 5 clumps of them and all the rest of the land was uncared for. Strange for a vicarage really.  They sit at the base of big tree and decorate his trunk. I’m going to attempt to split them up and spread them around for next year.

image

Mum and dad have gone away again and mum didn’t want these flowers to go to waste so I am enjoying them instead. What a feast for the eyes!

I’ve made another leaf hanging to go above them. This time, I didn’t use the sewing machine, I just hand stitched the leaves.

image

They look amazing in the sunshine.

image

We’ve had friends staying this weekend so I wanted to add a few welcoming, warming touches to the house.

image

I love the way that these pinecones look in my soup tourine!

image

And I went in the garden to find some nice berry stems to add some colour here….

image

And there…..

image

And who knew it!  Tea lights float!

image

And the berries look lovely against the candle.

image

We’ve had a lovely, lovely weekend seeing dear friends who live in a different county. Even though m was painting the bedroom they were to stay in at gone 4am on the day of their arrival!!!!
And little b is doing fantastic. Doing her little tiddles and poopoos in all different toilets out and about, holding her weewees for lengths of time and amazingly, she has started to use her voice to actually warn us now by saying ‘weewee’. I’m pretty sure that with the exception of the odd little accident here and there, she’s got it. Brilliant.  I’m so proud of her. Xx

Sewing leaves

Standard

image

Well! Here it is…. My leaf project! Lovely little b collected me some beautiful leaves and to preserve their vibrant colours, I wanted to dip them in wax. There’s no need to buy any special wax if you have some little candles handy like these….

image

I put these in a microwaveable dish but please note!!!! Once you have taken them out of their metal holder, turn them over and there is a little metal cap in the bottom, like this….

image

Make sure you take it out!!!! Once that is out you can then pull the wick out. Pop them in the microwave until they are all melted and get dipping!! Safety announcement number 2…. It will be scolding hot! Beware!! Safety announcement number 3….. Don’t put any waste wax down the plug hole, unless you really want to block your drains up! Pour it in something to throw in the bin.

image

I spent a long time threading these leaves to help dip them…. Don’t bother! God gave them their own handles by way of their stems! I ended up snipping off all the thread! Once dipped, lay them flat on a piece of paper.

image

Look how beautifully glossy they are! Don’t let surplus wax lay on them or they will go cloudy.

image

This is where it got exciting!!!! Once they are dry, put your sewing machine on a long stitch and get sewing straight through the middle of them.

image

Until you have a merry little chain of them!

image

I added a pinecone to weigh them down a little and experimented with where to hang them…

image

Maybe here?

image

Or here? Mmm…. I will have to have another look in daylight tomorrow.

image

I’m really pleased with this. Nature provides once again! A beautiful, Autumn feast of colour. It pains me that some people are so busy that they don’t see the beauty by their feet at this time of the year. It is my mission to try to encourage little b to appreciate the world around her and it’s abundant beauty. Just as I am in her beauty.

image

Guardian angels

Standard

image

B and I went out yesterday to blow the cobwebs away after a yucky, poorly week and to make the most of some glorious Autumn sunshine. I wanted to gather some of the beautiful leaves that are beginning to flutter down, so set little beebop on the mission.  We had a lovely morning, and it was also a huge success in pant land!! They remained dry!!!!! Bless her heart, she walked such a long way too. 
We got some fantastic coloured leaves and played with sticks and pinecones, ran down banks…. B’s favourite sport!!! And low and behold…. Met little b’s guardian angel on the way….

image

What an amazing shot.  I was taking it of b running down the bank and when I looked at it, it had this celestial hue to it.  A loved one visiting? Or maybe the sunshine through the tree? Who knows…. But a lovely shot.

image

we came back in with cold hands and rosy cheeks. What better on an autumn day to warm up with a snuggly blanket and your first ever drink of hot chocolate. Oh my! Little b loved it!

image

We spent a while after she woke up, examining our leafy treasures and then a lesson on needles, thread and scissors…

image

You see, I have grand plans for these little beauties.  A very fine needle goes through the stem easily and once b had finished examining the hanging leaves….

image

They were put inside a heavy book to flatten out and keep safe until I get chance for phase two!

image

In the meantime, tinky is clearly enjoying the firelit evenings, as am I… Especially gleeful tonight as today, I am extremely proud to announce that all wee wees and poo poos have been done cleverly on the toilet and potty… Even one whilst we were out and about at grannys church! Hurrah!

I will show you our finished leaf project next time, until then…. Wish me a puddleless few days ahead xxxxxxx

Leaves, apples and potties!

Standard

image

It’s been a few days now since my last post and we have just finished day 10 of operation wet pants. Urgh! It’s tiring and I have felt like a prisoner to the potty doing the cold turkey method…. Removing nappies and just going for it, but I think it’s paying off now. There’s been a few highs, and many lows!!!! Sitting in the booster seat at the dinner table and re-creating the angel falls was a good one, as were the parcels on the floor as the bath is running. Honestly…. It seems that the second I take my eyes off the ball, a calamity happens! Take today…. It took me moments to squeeze a tea bag out of the cup and in that space…. Houston…. We have wet pants!!!!! You’ve got to laugh… Although I have to say, I am a very, very patient person on the whole and generally have never been frustrated with little b before, but my word! I’ve felt frustration like you wouldn’t believe! It’s when you think it’s all going so well and it’s beginning to click and then you go backwards. For example, I have taken to playing peppa pig on my phone to b when she is sitting, trying to wee. We must have watched three episodes and two minutes after standing up….. Hello fountain!!!!!!! Oh well…. On the plus side, whilst she is still improving on going to the potty and communicating the need, she now can hold it well in between. Generally 2 hours and once 3! If I just keep saying…. ‘no wet pants’ she seems to understand and it means I can start to try to go out and about. Today, she managed a car journey to the town 5 miles away, a shopping trip and the journey home. What a little star and then did a little tiddle in the potty when I got back. She’s doing well on the whole.

image

We’ve both been ill this week so poor little mite has had a lot on her plate. I’ve relaxed during sleep times by playing with my leaves! They’ve been waiting for me and so I laid them all out on this cushion and got cracking.

image

The result…. My lovely, leafy Autumn garland.

image

I’m very happy with it….

image

And little b was thrilled when she saw it.

image

She’s really good with knowing her colours now and enjoyed naming them all….

image

And we’ve been collecting real leaves today, so it seemed to have some relevance to her.

image

M simply looked up…. And sighed!!! Ha ha….

image

These are b’s favourite healthy treats at the minute…. Apple crispy slices. Mmm they are yummy and offer a good potty incentive! I know you can buy these type of things, but the sulphuric additives are not to my liking so I’ve made them and in my opinion, mine are nicer!

image

Simply slice your apple across the core in thin slices. Now I don’t own an apple corer, so I use this….

image

A wine bottle top. It’s just the job!!

image

Lay them out on some brown paper

image

And sprinkle with your choice of sugar and spices. I use golden caster sugar and cinnamon. Delicious! The whole house smells amazing whilst they are cooking. Put them in a warm oven on a low heat… I put them in on 120. Now they take a good couple of hours and you need to turn them over after an hour.

image

But they are well worth the wait.

image

I put a few grains of rice in the jar to absorb any moisture. Now…. The paper you lay them on…. Don’t throw it away, or the left over sugar and spice. Roll it up, put it all in a jar and use it again for the next batch. I’ve used mine 4 times now!

image

Well…. Almost time for bedtime snuggles and stories, so I better be off. See you soon xxxxxxxw

Operation wet pants- day 2

Standard

image

Phew! I am very glad once again for a sit down during nap time. I feel like I am permanently stalking poor little b. She keeps eyeing me suspiciously as if to say ‘why the hell are you on my heels all the time! Give it a rest mum!’ but I can count on it that the minute I take my eyes off of her, she’ll present me with a fountain! Or worse… As she did as I was running the bath last night and believe me…. I’m just glad the upstairs carpet is as old as the house and will soon be ripped up!

Anyhow…. I am being negative…. I don’t mean to be as it’s just life isn’t it and every one of us on the planet has lead our own parents a merry dance doing exactly the same thing. One of the most eye opening things about having a child is realising what your own parents did for you…. The sleepless nights, the endless fatigue and the puddles!!!!! I’ve also always grown up knowing that I am loved and feeling very loved by my parents, but having my own child, It is only now, that I understand the full extent of my parents love for me as I think it’s something you can only feel when you have your own child.

I digress….

image

We have progress on day 2…. Little b is enjoying the endless amount of books and one to one time she receives from us both during wee wee time and I am pleased to say that she has spaced out her wees enormously from the previous day, which I am told, reassuringly from a more experienced mum that this is a sign of progress, that b is learning bladder control and is trying to hold it. Also, her nappy was dry after her nap. She has gone from every 15 minutes to every hour and it’s like clockwork!!!! The amazing thing is, I’ve figured out, and apologies for too much information here…. But, if I drink when b does, I pretty much need to go at the same time as b so it acts as a prompt! Bit of a tip to try there!

Other things then….

So, yesterday, I showed you my crocheted Autumn leaf…

image

Well, what will it be?

image

Autumn leaves on twigs! I saw this on pinterest and wanted to try it. I made my own leaf pattern though as I wanted them a little bigger. And I’m really pleased with how they turned out.

image

Firstly, chain 7

image

slip stitch into the second stitch from the hook, then slip stitch the next one, then do a half double crochet in the next two stitches.
In the following stitch, double crochet. Now, it should look like this

image

And you see where my scissors are pointing in the final stitch, you are going to do several double crochets in the same stitch, to create the rounded end of the leaf.

image

Keep going in the same stitch until you are level with where you started this…. The amount will vary, depending upon what wool you use.

image

Once you are level, in the next stitch, double crochet, in the next, half double. Now, you aren’t going to go all the way back up to the top, that way, you can make a nice pointy tip of the leaf so now, slip stitch in to the following stitch and again in the next.

image

Now, this next bit seems tricky, but it’s not and it will make the vein down the centre of the leaf. See where my scissors are pointing, it’s the hole between stitches. Poke your hook through the hole, grasp the yarn and bring it up and slip stitch. Now do this down all the holes down the middle until you meet the end.

image

image

Once you get to the end, fasten off and weave ends in.

When you put it on your twigs, if that’s what you intend to do…. Just poke the twig under where you’ve tied your knot. Poke the stick through a little more and secure again under a stitch near the top of the leaf.

image

And it should stay put!

image

I made a few extra to scatter around the base.

Right…. Continuing with my trim now for the next reveal!

image

Until then xxxxxxx

Destruction and pretty things

Standard

image

And breathe…. Focus on the pretty jar of lavender and rosemary rather than….

image

What was, the kitchen! Remember me saying I could shut the door upstairs and pretend it wasn’t happening?! There’s no getting away from this blitz reenactment!   

image

Oh my! My vinegar cleaner is going to be on overdrive!

image

At least I had a five minute warning this time and could empty the work surfaces as fast as lightening. Unlike at my old house when I popped out for an hour and came back to a similar site, but with all the pots still in the sink and everything covered in muck. There was some hilarity in the situation…. Close your eyes if you are weak of heart…..

image

This was found in the ceiling!!!!! A gift from the builders from 1975!!!! And in a vicarage no less! I have to admit I have flicked through and it is incredibly tame by todays standards, with t.v commercials being more riskee than this vintage find! What should I do amidst the rubble while b is asleep??? Research potty training and….

image

Create a door hanging!!!! Ah, that’s better…. Focus on pretty things…. Ignore the hammering!!!!

image

Recognise the ribbon? I have recycled it from the wedding we went to….

image

And stitched on some pine cones for an early Autumn effect. I do love pinecones as you know!

image

At least the horrible 1970s archway is nearly gone. Good riddance there! And as I always try to do…. Look for the positive and something to be grateful for…. I am very grateful that we are moving forward and to have such a talented, handy fellow to live with. Right…. I’m off to granddads house to collect some runner beans!!! Xxxxxx