Saturday, 23 November 2013


Wow we're flying towards the end of the month alarmingly fast!

It's been a busy month so far, this is our birthday month - me & Pedro - so there's been a little bit of celebrating and spoiling going on.  I was definitely spoiled.  My lovely husband replaced my missplaced/stolen Kindle with the new version. Loving the ability to read in bed again without having to put on a light!  He also got me a lovely necklace from the children which is also a baby teether, it is fantastic and saves me from being garoted by my normal everyday necklace (a Hot Diamond star) as it is yanked by Little Miss.  Only I've just realised I haven't taken a photo of it, but this it the link.  It's absolutely fantastic, pretty enough to be worn with any outfit, to work, etc without looking like a novelty but also really practical that it can be chewed as much as my baby sees fit and it still looks great.
I bought myself a little birthday present too, I need to get my scrappy trip quilt top finished and I decided it needed a border as it's very, very scrappy to a did a little online shopping at Backstitch and bought some lovely solids.  I'm really impressed with the excellent service from Backstitch, ordered fabric on the Sunday night and I had it by the Tuesday lunchtime.  Can't ask for better service than that can you!
Now I just need to decide which colour is the inside border and which is the outside - I was thinking slim green border then wider blue border but looking at that photo I'm leaning more to a slim blue border and wider green.  Still debating!

I also got a fantastic gift from the lovely Lynz, a book all about Zentangle, a little notebook, the best Sharpie pen I've ever seen and a gorgeous handmade pouch to keep it all in.
Basically Zentangle is just fancy doodling, you are supposed to go into a 'Zen' like level of concentration when creating your 'tangle' - yeah, yeah, yeah.  I just wanted to find out how to do cool wee doodles.  The book shows you 2-3 different techniques every day, with the idea of building your skills over a period of 6 weeks.  I've never really been one for following things exactly to the letter, so I've dipped into to techniques from the start, middle and end of the book.

I've had a couple of wee shots and I'm pretty impressed with how well they have turned out.  Just after an hour or so of playing about. 

I also got some money which I used to go clothes shopping for the first time in ages.  I'm not very good at shopping, even less so having lost weight.  Yes it was a great feeling trying on sizes which I haven't worn for quite a few years but I have no idea what suits me.  So with the forthcoming festivities I'm utterly clueless about what I should get to wear to a couple of parties I am going to, or what will even look remotely decent.  It's not a big dilemma to have, but it is confusing me!!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013


I've been busy in the last week.  Really busy.  I had a couple of days off which I'd planned shortly after returning to work from mat leave (I was being super organised and putting in for my Christmas holidays what with being part-time and all I need use annual leave for public holidays and stuff and just decided to book the rest of my holidays til end of March!).

Anyway I had time off arranged for last week and decided at the last minute that I was going to decorate our bedroom.  We've talked about it for AGES, but like most things with us, we talk about it but never really get round to doing anything.  So I decided to just buy paper and do it when I had the time off booked.

But I forgot to account for the many other things going on last week (and for the time taken up actually looking after children!).  So my great plan was to start painting the bedroom ceiling maybe Tuesday night or Wednesday morning then the walls on Wednesday night and get the papering done on Thursday when No1 child was at nursery ........ well that didn't really happen!

By the time I got myself and kiddiewinks home on Tuesday and did bedtimes I was exhausted so all that was achieved was emptying the room of unnecessary 'stuff'.  Wednesday morning I was helping out at Nursery to make 70(!) cupcakes for the Halloween party.  I eventually started to paint at 9pm on Wednesday.  This resulted in us having to camp out in the livingroom
(we were joined by a small person and lots of toys just as we were waking up!)
Then Thursday morning we had nursery halloween party so rushing about making sure that we had all of the Dude's Spiderman costume  - superheros can't leave their masks behind! 
Cue 3 walls very hurriedly painted while he was at nurser.  What was intended to be a quick trip to the Baby Clinic early Thursday afternoon ended up taking most of the afternoon and us leaving without being seen so we returned home one grumpy, tired, hungry baby and one highly unimpressed mummy.  Painting resumed after kiddiewinks bedtimes!

Wallpapering finally happened Friday morning - we went from this
 to this in just over 2 hours (all done just by me - I'm really chuffed with myself!)
The room is nearly finished, I've put up the new curtains and shelves are back up.  I need something for the wall facing the bed but not sure what yet - picture, mirror, shelving?  Can't decide what I want yet but I'm not in a rush so I can look about till I find something which is just right.

Over the weekend the Dude also got his first swimming certificate (a Duckling award!), we feed squirrels in the park on Sunday, I got a lovely delivery from Backstitch of goodies to finish my scrappy round the world trip quilt top and I paid a visit to Tesco at 2.30am (yes am!) on Sunday morning to buy essential teething granules for Little Miss who decided her top teeth needed to come through and we were reminded just how useless teething gel actually is.  Tonight the Dude and Daddy went to the local firework display while I stayed home with Little Miss - 8 months is just a tad too young for her first firework/bonfire event.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Housework Gene

I have a theory that there are some people who are blessed with such a thing. There are some people to whom homework, tidiness, order and organisation come naturally.

I'm not one of those people. I wouldn't go as far as to say I hate housework but it definitely is a 'chore' for me. And one I'm not very good at. I mean I do it, my house isn't in the 'how clean is your house' bracket, but I do often feel it could be better. I could do it better.

But then I decide that life is too short and it's clean enough! So with that I'm off to find out what my son got up to this morning at his gymnastics class.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Testing, testing

Trying out a new bloggy type app

I'm hoping that this one will let me post pics throughout a post

So far so good - now to try publishing to find out where these ramblings are going!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Off on an adventure!....?

I live and work in the same town. It's good - it takes 10 minutes at the most to go from leaving my house to sitting at my desk, 25 if I walk.

But occasionally I get the opportunity to venture further afield - today I'm off to Glasgow for a meeting with like minded "private sector" colleagues from other local authorities across Scotland. I get to "network" (that term I despise, it actually fills me with dread, however I don't mind talking to people even if I'm a bit rubbish at it!).

So currently I'm on a train hurtling itself towards the west side of the country and trying to get a little bit of reading for work done at the same time. Although I do get distracted by people watching.  It always amazes me what others get up to on early morning trains - putting on make up, breakfast (coffee/muffin/stuff), reading, rocking out to tunes in their own world while trying to wake up! An interesting peak into the lives of others that I don't normally see.

Mind you I couldn't travel this far to work everyday, it would become tedious very quick. I like my very short commute.

Sunday, 13 October 2013


At the start of last weekend there was bad news about one of my bosses.  Sadly he passed away from lung cancer at the very young age of 57.  He was diagnosed just over 6 months ago so his passing has come as a bit of a shock to everyone at work. 

I've known him for 20 years and he was (it feels odd writing in the past tense) one of life's good people.  Although he was high up in management he treated everyone the same, irrespective of position.  He always spoke, took an interest in you, asked after your family.  He was a great family man, having 6 kids.  I really feel for them just now.

He was well respected by many people, so much so that our work are organising a bus to take colleagues to and from his funeral this week.  It will be difficult, but hell we are only work colleagues, how his family are coping just now I have no idea.  His family have been through more than enough in the last few years  - his sister passed from cancer, his elderly father was attacked in the street and died shortly afterwards and they then had to go through the court case.  Fortunately the person was caught and is now detained at her majesty's pleasure.

Although the passing is sad, we have all been trying to find a positive way to look at things.  This man was such a vibrant, happy, positive person that it's only right that we look at life in a positive manner.  While indulging in my pinterest passion I came across this and it just seems so fitting at the moment.
I can be a bit of moaner at times (can't we all?) but even I annoy myself so this is a little reminder to stop whenever I feel a moan coming on and appreciate what I have.  I'm grateful that I had the pleasure of knowing this gentleman (he really was a true gent) and I'm grateful that he is no longer suffering.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Life @ 4 (continued)

We had an invite to the Dude's nursery today for a little sort of show and tell session.  A tour of the nursery by the Dude and a chance to look through his development book.  We had the same thing last year just after he'd started and it was really good to see him through the eyes of others.  We had never used anyone other than family for childcare so it was interesting to see how he interacted with others.

This year it was good to see how much he has developed in 12 months.  He's not one for drawing or painting, if you ask him what he wants to do, he rarely opts for arty stuff.  Although he will do something if he has a particular thing in mind.  Like this the other day - quite obviously it's a rocket, including the rocket boosters on the bottom!
But his key worker (who is only temporary, as his usual worker is on sick leave) made a comment when we were being shown the 'numbers' area that made me laugh.  She can see him as a 'numbers geek' in the future.  Then she kind of apologised and stressed that she meant geek in a positive way.  I'm more than happy for my boy to be a maths geek in the future - he certainly doesn't get his fascination with number from me or his daddy!  Geeks rule!

I also came across a list of questions I did with the Dude back in June.  It was something a friend had on facebook that she had done with her son and I loved them. 

Q:  What is the meaning of life?
A:  Mmm - Bug's Life

Q:  What do you want to be when you grow up?
A:  the Captain of the submarine

Q:  What makes you happy?
A:  Happy things! Like getting to watch the telly

Q:  When do you feel loved?
A:  What's loved?  I don't know

Q:  If you could have one wish what would it be?
A:  Being the captain of the submarine.  Me: Which submarine?  D:  the yellow one!

Q:  What is the funniest word?
A:  A clown

Q:  What is the hardest thing to do?
A:  Build a high tower

Q:  What is the easiest thing to do?
A:  Building a low tower

Q:  What is the best thing in the world?
A:  You, mummy, of course  (I did not provoke this response!)

Q:  What is the worst thing in the world?
A:  Rain

Q:  What makes you angry?
A:  I don't know

Q:  If you had all the money in the world what would you buy?
A:  Ice cream and stuff (cookies apparently)

Q:  What does love mean?
A:  I don't know

I'm planning on doing them again next month, so roughly six months after the first time to see how his answers have changed.  It was fun doing this, kind of like interviewing my own child.  It's great seeing him turning into a little person with his own thoughts and plans.  I don't want to fast forward time but it's exciting thinking about him starting primary school next year to see what he enjoys. 

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Life at 4

I was having a little conversation with the Dude while he was in the bath last night about his day. 

 (slight obsession with swimming now he's got the hang of it)

He is always a bit reticent to tell us what happens at nursery, 'I can't remember', is his usual response when asked.  Even if we are still in the playground!  Anyhoo, yesterday is turned out there was a fire engine at the school and the nursery kids had been shown round about it.  The Dude even got a wee shot at firing the hose (with the aid of a fireman) so we chatted about that a little.  I then asked him if he wanted to be a fireman when he grows up -

Dude - no, mummy
Me - ok, so what do you want to do
D - 3 things - 1 land thing and 2 water things
M - Really, can you tell what they are
D - the land thing is an explorer
M - oh ok
D - the water things are a deep sea diver and the captain of a ship
M - the captain of a ship sounds good
D - oh no, not a ship, the submarine
M - what submarine
D - the yellow one of course!

I'm still trying to figure out how he knows about The Yellow Submarine but it's a good aim in life at 4!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Hello there :)

Today I've decided to link up with Lynne at Lily's Quilts and take part in sort of both the fresh sewing day - because in September I *shock, horror* actually managed to get sat at my sewing machine and achieve some sewing - and also the Small Blog Meet.
Sewing wise I tackled my first ever attempt at cathedral window blocks.  They are very addictive!  I'm really pleased with the results - not sure what I will do with this now however, but I'm contemplating turning it into a cushion cover.
I also managed to complete all my 24 scrappy trip around the world blocks.  I'm still deciding on the final layout so the quilt top is not completely finished but I'm more than impressed that I've finished the blocks considering that I started them shortly after my daughter was born this year - she's nearly 8 months!

And now a little bit about me and my blog.  This is my second blog but my first one Biff's Funky Scrappy blog, never did have a huge amount of followers either so I decided to link up to Lynne's Small Blog Meet.  I've been sewing off and on for a few years - it's in my blood.  Both my grannys were very good with their hands - one pretty much constantly had a pair of knitting needles in her hands and the other had a large sewing table with the ever present sewing machine in her (small) livingroom and after a life working in mills she basically become the go-to mender of clothes/household essentials in the small fishing village where she lived.  My sister carries the 'make do and mend/creative' gene better than me to be fair - she did Home Economics at school and make her own leather jacket at age 17!  But I love messing about with my sewing machine, I will never claim to be fantastic at it or even particularly creative, but I love seeing how things produce and having something tangible in my hands at the end of a few hours in front of my sewing machine.

I'd love to have more time (and money!) to do more sewing but a large chunk of my time is spent at work (boo!) and an even larger chunk is spent tending to/running after/playing with my 2 lovely kiddiewink.  Occasionally I also attempt to spend some time with my husband!

If you've popped over from Lily's Quilts I hope you've enjoyed my blethers and I haven't bored you too much.  Maybe you'll pop by again, you're more than welcome too :)

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Busy few days

My son now has "activities"! We get towards the end of the week and most people go, 'yay, time to chill'.

Not us, the Dude finishes nursery at 11:30 on Friday and it's all go. Quick lunch & then swimming lessons. Home to chill - will kids chill, I usually end up in the kitchen trying to make up some kind healthy meal.

Then a lie in on a Saturday maybe? No his gymnastics starts at 9am. I miss lazy Saturdays, not even lying in bed for ages, just not having to leave the house before 9am! 

But he is coming along so well - 6 weeks in on the swimming lessons and he was swimming with NO armbands today and going under the water.  Now for a boy who protests about getting his hair rinsed because he hates getting water down his face, that's a big step.

So Sundays are my lazy days now. I'm up and presentable - even hung a washing out and done some ironing already (not even 10am!) but the kids aren't dressed & I'm still trying to decide what to have for breakfast. So probably not as lazy a start to the day as I used to have pre kids but I don't HAVE to be anywhere,  which is a nice feeling.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Scrappy trip

I've had a bit of burst of sewing mojo in the last week!  Don't know what has come over me.  I know what hasn't been done (housework!) but all the blocks for my scrappy trip around the world are complete - 24 blocks all done.  Yay!!!

I should really have been catching up with housework or even playing with my daughter this morning, y'know being like a proper housewife/mummy.  But I decided to play about with the layout of the blocks instead.

There's a lot of yellow and green.  (apologies for the rubbish quality photo - bad combination of rubbish light, phone & fabric colours not coming through properly)  Not sure if I'm entirely happy with this layout, might need to fiddle about with it in a day or two before I'm happy to finish the top off.

Next on my sewing To Do list (I'm a woman of lists, I feel uneasy when I don't have a list!) is to catch up with the Mystery Quilt that Sheila started a couple of years ago.  I got about half way through then it just fell by the way side.  So that NEEDS to be finished and soon.  Actually after a wee trawl through previous blog posts, I found this post which is from 2 years ago and that was pretty much the last time I worked on the quilt.  I had better look out all the instructions and get cracking.  Might even end up as a christmas present, now there's an idea ;)

Right some parenting it called for the dude needs his lunch then it's off to his swimming lesson!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Progress at last

My sewing machine has been in use!  Wonders will never cease :)

The partially started cathedral windows have progressed.  I pondered for a couple of nights on the layout of the inside bits (my rubbish with technical terms) to make sure it looked just right.
 Version1 - Just wrong - too samey
 Version 2 - Better with the blue but still not happy with it
 Version 3 - Still liking the blue but the middle 3 are just wrong (they look almost yellow but are green!)
 Final version - much happier with this layout and combination.  Much more pleasing to the eye.

All sewn up and finished.  No idea what I'm going to do with it now.  It's FAR from perfect, at the moment all I can see are flaws but I've done it and I'm reasonably happy with the results.  Might try the technique again with a bit more thought as to the end use!
I've also done some more of my scrappy trip around the world blocks (go me!) so 11 blocks done out of 24 - almost half done.  Isn't it odd how taking a photo can make things look different - I just randomly laid out these blocks with no intention of creating any pattern and now that I'm looking at a picture of them there is a slight pattern.

I'm going to publish now as I started to write this post about 10am (it's now 2.50 - thankfully Firefox has restored my last webpage both times)  Since then my laptop has crashed twice since then, I've collected Euan from nursery, made lunch and taking him to his swimming lesson.  Now Little Miss has just woken from her nap, I need to do other things that don't involve fighting with a laptop!  I'll finish with a little snap of the kiddiewinks from yesterday when I was doing my monthly photo of Megan - 7 months old.  I think I blinked!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The @$*&? Fence

Phase one of repainting our fence has been completed - yay!
I'm really pleased with how it's looking too.  Painting over red paint with green in a pain in the butt to be honest, as it take 2 coats, but it's looking lovely.  Although the husband is definitely wishing he'd just stuck to the original colour and not changed so there's been a few choice words flying about at times!  Oops ;)

Just need to get on with phase 2 ........

 (we really do have a big side garden!)

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Strictly Saturdays

My Saturday nights are now feeling back to normal!  I'm not a big reality tv fan - can't be doing with X-Factor, Big Brother or whatever else is on but I LOVE Strictly.  I even like Craig (at times).  It feels like the start of autumn/winter - nights get darker, husband is generally out working (although not tonight so I've got a night off bedtime duty), ideal way to spend a Saturday is to snuggle up on sofa and watch Strictly Come Dancing.

The rest of my night is planned to consist of settling down with a cuppa and a donut and doing some more of Jack's cross-stitch.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Redesign, Refocus, Relaunch

Welcome to my new bloggy home :)

A new home to record all aspects of my life - family, home life, making stuff!, work - if I do it, then I might just end up blogging about it at some point. 

It's been another period of change in the last few weeks as I've only just returned to work after being off on maternity leave after bringing Little Miss into our wee family.  So me and him (that'll be the husband Pete) are finding our new roles and getting ourselves organised.  We are in a very lucky position where due to how he works (guitar tutor - so mainly late afternoon into evening) and me being part-time, we juggle childcare between us with a little bit of assistance from grandparental units.  It's taking some time to readjust our time management skills.

It's a bit weird being back at work - somethings have changed but somethings have remained exactly as they were when I went of at the end of January.  I shouldn't really be surprised but as there was basically no-one covering my mat leave so a huge chunk of things have been on hold waiting for me to return!

Other than returning to work the end of August was busy with the Dude returning to nursery, he's a pre-schooler now - eeek!  Less than a year til he goes to the 'big' school.  I dread to think what I'll be like next August, I'm already stressing about it *facepalm*  However, he loves it and is definitely thriving because of it, this was him just before he ran off on his first day back (I have no explanation for the 'jazz' hands!)

Now that Little Miss is 6 months we have started down the road of weaning, which I know there have been various approaches to over the years, but I'm stuck to the current recommendation of waiting til babe is 6 months.  However, unlike what we did with the Dude (purees) I'm attempting to try 'baby-led weaning' - basically babe eats pretty much what we do and no purees.  Basically I'm reminding myself of the motto 'food for fun, before one' every time I give her something to try.  She's getting the hang of food and finding her mouth more often than I expect.  This is tonight's dinner, some pasta and homemade tomato sauce and a bit of rice cake - she seemed to like the sauce :)
It's also been my dad's 70th birthday.  It's weird to think of him being that age, part of me sees 70 as an old person.  But give him is due he's still working (3 days a week in a supermarket bakery - his preferred shift if 5am-2pm!), he's getting a bit more forgetful these days but hey, my memory is shocking, so I can't really comment and he does loads of funding raising for his church including making approximately 200 jars of jam and marmalade for the christmas fayre every November and runs a cafe at the church every Monday.
I've even managed to do some making and decided to try my hand at cathedral window blocks.  As ever it's not finished yet but I did the immense ironing task which is involved, and actually found it quite enjoyable, so currently it looks like this  (actually it's a bit further on than this, there's 16 sewn together) just need to pluck up the courage to do the next bit of adding in the 'window' fabrics.  Procrastination is a wonderful thing!
That's a bit of round up of August.  Blogging will happen more frequently (well that's the intention) so I hope I didn't bore you too much and you'll pop by again to see what else we get up to :)