Thursday, 13 November 2014

Hello forty!

It's happened, I've had a 'big' birthday.  If you look at the traditional views this occasion seems to be a big deal, a major phase in life, something to be massively depressed or upset about or to celebrated in some grandiose fashion.

For me, well the actual day itself started off with some lovely gifts from my family, then a shopping trip, then some visits from friends with some more lovely gift followed by a meal with extended family and ended with them all coming back to ours for a natter. It was a busy, but lovely, day and I was a very lucky girl given the amount of gorgeous gifts I was given. 

But it all seemed a bit anti-climatic, I don't know what I expected to happen or feel but I woke up the next day and felt ......... exactly the same!!!  And I'm perfectly happy about that.

I was very lucky with my gifts, I got this fantastic red (and very shiny) food mixer from Pedro, I've been debating over getting one for a couple of years, not knowing if I would actually use it but I decided well if I've got it, then I've got to use it!  I also got a few book and some baking things from the kids.
  My dad obviously knew about the mixer as I got a load of cake making/decorating accessories and a cheeky wee book about turning 40!  Oh and he got me my fabulous birthday cake, which I'm not sure I actually got a photo of before it was cut up but it had a funky wee handbag and shoe decoration on the top.

So the day after my birthday me and the dude had our first shot at using the mixer and tried out the number cake moulds too.  40 for me obviously, 1 for Little Miss, 5 for the Dude and 2 for Pedro because he was 42 (he's 43 today) and we didn't have two number 4 tins, so he could share my 4!!
 From the lovely and generous Lynz I got these fantastic little dragon prints, which are essentially my kiddies in dragon form, aren't they just the bestest, cutest little dragons?  I lurve them muchly.  She also made the gorgeous cushion for 'my' chair and the funky throw too.  The cushion has a feather insert and I swear it's the most comfy cushion I've ever had!  No word of a lie.  Thank you hugely Lynz :)
My friends at work got me some wonderful jewellery from a wee local place which had a few artist studios and a cafe in the middle of it (which sells the most amazing food and the biggest scones I've ever seen!) which also has space to sell the good of the artists who are based there.  I got a fabulous pair of angel wings earrings and bracelet but also these gorgeous earrings which I just love
From my brother I have been well and truly spoiled, he asked me what I would like a little while ago and I came up with a suggestion which, if they wanted to, I was more than happy for the gift to be from my brother, sister and dad, which is what we have done quite a few times in the past normally for my dad - joint gift of higher value that is particularly asked for rather than a 3 jumpers or whatever!  But he outdid himself and bought this all by himself.  I'm still a bit stunned and very, very appreciative.
(I used it to take all these photos and I'm still having a play with it but did realise that you can't take a photo of a camera when you are using the said camera so a crappy photo of the box is all I could achieve!)

I got quite a few other gifts but there are enough photos in this post tonight as it is and if I include everything in the one post I'll have nothing else to post about for ages!!  Well that's not strictly true as I've a massive amount of sewing to do/catch up on, but that's for another day.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Wise Old Man?

This little guy is one half of my world and he is the best.  Obviously I'm immensely biased based on the fact he's my son.  He's a very responsible little dude for being 5, he loves being a big brother and loves his little sister more than I could ever have hoped for. 

There are days when he drives me round the bend and then there are times when he makes my heart melt.  Like the other night.  We were walking to the local park to watch the Round Table Annual Bonfire and Firework Display when he noticed one of the street lights wasn't working.  I joked around making a comment about someone forgetting to put 50p in the meter (showing my age).  At 5 years old this meant nothing to him!  So I explained that my Granny used to have a meter that you had to put in a 50p coin and turn it round to make the electricity work.  He then asked if my Granny was dead, (we've talked about this before), so I reminded him that she died a long, long time ago.  To which he replied,

'yeah, but she's watching over everyone, that includes you too Mummy'

It was such an innocent but incredibly mature thing for him to come out.  I did have to wipe away a few tears very quickly before he thought he'd upset me. 

We've talked a little bit about heaven, not that I'm particularly religious, but mainly as a way to explain where my mum is, as she died 19 years ago, so he knows about his 'special granny' and that she watches over all of us but it's nothing we talk about that often.  That statement just took my breathe away at a time of year where I feel the absence of family members a bit more than normal.

Love my little dude :)

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Seasonal Activities

I'll start this by making a statement that we don't normally 'do' seasonal stuff.  I mean, we do the standard traditional christmas 'stuff' and in the last few years we have started doing more easter stuff but the other seasonal 'holidays' to americanise things for a second, we don't really do.  For various reasons, but mainly because I've never really seen the point!

But this year is a bit different, for a start the Dude is at school now so that meant his very FIRST school disco.  Excited?  You betcha!  And what did I forget to do?  Take a photo of him, but he was dressed as Spiderman.

(actually this was him at a birthday party a few weeks ago - the guy is kneeling down, the Dude isn't quite that tall yet!)

I also take Little Miss to a local toddler's group once a week so when they said there was a Halloween party I thought I'd dress her up too
 Not the best photo to be honest but she hardly stays still for a second and the camera on my phone isn't the quickest!  But she was a little cute pumpkin and looked adorable :)

Then when we got home she ended up pulling this face!  She is going to be trouble this one!!

Then to finish off getting into the spirit I popped up a couple of decorations and even managed to carve out these 2 pumpkins.  With only a little help from a couple of stencils (I'm good at times but not that good!)

 Then I rounded off last week by completing my Siblings Together2 Bee blocks for Sue this month.  I really enjoyed these and I can't wait to see Sue's giant Granny Square quilt.  It will look fab.

Now to get organised for Christmas (did I just say that?) quickly slap me now!!!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Purely in the Interest

.... of science I ate some cake.

The other week the lovely Susan at Canadian Abroad blogged about an awesome cake.  Now I'm no Mary Berry but I like to think I can pull off a decent cake when I try and I like to try different things.  I have never baked a cinnamon roll cake before so throwing diet caution to the wind I decided to have a go.  Now a couple of people have tried this before and apparently not been successful so I wasn't overly keen I'd be either.  But a quick trip to the supermarket to make sure I had the necessary ingredients and I was ready to go.

So a little weighing, measuring and mixing (by hand! I never mix by hand but couldn't be bothered plugging in my hand mixer) I ended up with this
It smells amazing!  I made it last Thursday night and it still smells fantastic every time you open the cake tin.  Everybody loves too, including Pedro and he doesn't really do cake so it must be good.  My only issue with it is that I feel it's a bit underdone in the middle but the cake tin I used wasn't quite 9x13 so it's not as shallow as it probably should be so that's why it's not as cooked as it should be.  It is still really, really good though, even being a bit squidgy.  Definitely one to be tried again, even though it plays havoc when your supposed to be dieting!!!!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Sunday Morning ...

... up with the larks!  Well sort of, it's 8am and I'm sitting in blissful quietness having a cup of tea before the rest of the household descends for breakfast.  The song does go on to say, 'think I'll take a walk in the park' but it's chucking it down outside so I'll give that part a miss.  But I am watching the birds on our feeder having their breakfast so I'm 'at one with nature' in a sense!!

Part of the reason I'm sitting here myself is to have a wee wander through the web without little people pestering me.  Recently I've come across a quilter called Cristy Fincher, initially on IG, but I'm checking out her blog, Sew Much Like Mom, where she talks about paperless paper piecing.  She also glue bastes and I'm intrigued about that.  So Sunday morning is about learning stuff :)

And learning new stuff is good.  It distracts me from the fact that life is hectic just now.  I've been stressed the last week, quite a bit, which I'm putting down to dealing with a lot this year - apply for the dude to get into primary, selling & moving house, dude starting primary school, working extra hours, general craziness at work, car hassles on top of starting the year being ill - it's kind of all come to a head this week and to be honest I've been a right moaning minnie, I've been doing my own head in, and I need to stop.  Everyone one has hard times, I'm no different.  Whining does change things, it just makes me irritating - to other people and myself. Pedro tells me I haven't really, but then I do suspect he's only saying that to stop me moaning lol!!!

Anyhoo, to attempt to stop myself from tipping right over the edge into complete crazy looney-ness I made stuff!  I've been playing with the halloween fabric I've got to try and decide what to do but at the moment indecisiveness and procrastination are my constant companions, so the other night I just sat down and started cutting and sewing.  Just to do SOMETHING and this is what I ended up with

I'm pretty pleased with them, although as ever I can see where they should be better, but they are a hit with the children so yay!  It's all good. 

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Buzzy Bee

Well we've been in our house just over 5 weeks now and finally all the boxes are unpacked (including my craft stuff).  We are still trying to find homes for some things and just the 'right' pieces of furniture for some rooms, including the convervatory which has the task of being a home office cum craft storage cum kids play room cum chill out space.  So not much to ask for one room eh?

But I'm very happy to say my mojo has returned! In an attempt to kick start my creativiness (yeah it's not a real word!) I took the plunge at the start of the month after reading an IG post by Lily's Quilts about the Siblings Together Euro bee and decided a) I've never taken part in a Bee before so meet new people, b) learn some new skills (mine are very basic!), c) take part in something which is about other people and making them feel better.  So this month's block was snail's trail, which is something I've never done before.  Like probably most of the blocks are we go on which is exciting and really nerve wracking at the same time!
I'm pleased with how they have turned out, but boy did they make my brain work.  Especially as I was sewing late at night.  A seam ripper was involved!  On more than one occasion too!!  This was my first attempt at a completed block. 
Not quite then intended result!

Having to look through all my fabric (my stash is very small - teeny, weeny in fact) I did come across a few things I forgot I had including all of these goodies.
 Now with halloween coming up and the couch looking bare of cushions I have a couple of ideas to put into practice.  I've had this material for about 5 years so no sense in it hiding away in a box any longer, cushions here we come.  Then I came across these little guys - half made into a mug rug.  Which again we need for the livingroom, in fact Pedro actually asked me to make 'some of those wee mug coaster things' so no more excuses needed.
I really need to mop the livingroom floor tonight but, well, one more night won't kill it.  Need to capitalise on my mojo when it's here is my thinking. 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Big Changes

Well it's been a hectic few months!  Lots have happened since I last blogged in April (really!  Was it really April that I last hit the keyboard and wrote about my life??)

There's been a milestone birthday (not mine, a little person one, but hey turning 5 is a big deal in this house!), nursery was graduated from (seems a bit silly but it was important to the Dude), primary school has begun (big milestone in a little person's life) but the biggest change of all has been the moving of house!!  4 weeks ago.

The initial steps went really fast - way, way way back in May we sold our house within one week of putting it on the market.  Then over the next week our offer was accepted on our new house - then it dragged ...... and dragged ..... and dragged and eventually we moved in the middle of August.  It was beginning to feel like it was just a figment of my imagination.

We're still in the same town and still in roughly the same size of house, although now we have a conservatory (oooohhhh!) and actually we have a smaller garden but it's a much more child friendly garden and the size is easier to maintain.  So it's all good.  Really, really good. 
 This is the kiddies leaving the old house, I think Megan was quite happy to leave!!

And this is the 2 of them, quickly settled in to our new home, glued to the tv (I think it's Cbeebies so kinda educational!).  I don't have many pictures of the new house yet and the livingroom is already slightly different since this was taken as we've painted in preparation for our new suite which is due to be delivered on Friday. 

My sewing machine is still packed up in a box but it is coming out this week as I've got sewing commitments to get done.  But now I need to go and 'Meet the Teacher'! 

Monday, 14 April 2014

A Quilt Along and a Finish Along?

Following on from my last post about doing different/new things this year I have taken the plunge and decided to join in with the latest round of Old Red Barn Co Quilt Along (or ORBC quilt along for those in 'the know'!).  This is round 15 so it's been going on a wee while now, since 2009 I think.  I've seen lots of people joining in and it looked great fun but I never really felt I could/had the time, etc.  But this round I am, it is called 'Angled Frames' looks a bit like a log cabin but with a twist (ha! no pun intend). 

Now this called for some purchasing of fabric - trauma! - so I duly went trawling through websites, bambozzling myself in the process but did find some fantastic half metres in a rainbow pack.  I've decided I'm going to make this a quilt for Megan so something nice is bright is great.
I've also decided to link up with Katy at The Littlest Thistle and join in the Finish-a-long she does every quarter, so this is quarter 2 (which is kinda messing with my head as deal with budgets and stuff at work and it's actually Q1, but hey that's life!!).

So my proposals for finishing in quarter 2 are my quilt for the ORBC quilt along,

this quilt which started life as a mystery quilt along with Sheila at Bluepatch Quilter in ....... 2011 I think(?).  The plan was to have it finished by last Christmas as a gift for my dad and stepmum as the top is very nearly finished (I've only got 1 and a bit strippy bits and 1 block to do then the borders) but the run up to Christmas was a bit mad, then I was ill over Christmas/New Year which then prolonged into January.  And well it's still unfinished.  So I must get this done soon!!

And thirdly I'd love to get this finished
I started this cross-stitch when we lived in our flat.  We have lived in this house for nearly 8 and a half years.  I attempted to get started again after we had to get our beloved Jacky monster put to sleep last June but I got too upset every time I did (silly woman!).  But the end of this FAL will coincide with nearly 1 year since he died.  So a fitting tribute to aim for I reckon.  Still miss the litte bugger every day too!!

So there we have it a QAL and 3 proposals for a FAL - go me!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

A playdate?

Could I call it that?  Probably not, seeing as I'm a grown up and all, but it was just as much fun as kids have at a playdate.  What am I talking about?

An opportunity for me to get out, away from the normal routine of kids, housework, work and spend some time with other like-minded people and play with paper, pens, ribbon, glitter, glue, you name it.  That's right I got myself along to a craft club :)

My friend from work, Ann, runs a craft club in a nearby town once a month and has been asking me if I wanted to come along.  Now she has been asking me for about, oh ...... 2 years roughly, and while I've always thought 'yeah, that sounds like a good idea' I've never actually taken her up on the offer.  Why not?  Well generally because it means organising stuff, like husband and children, craft supplies, which kind of takes the fun out of it a little.  Oh yeah and there the vast amount of guilt I feel whenever I actually set out do something which feels slightly self-indulgent - you know like being away from those that I am responsible for an entire day to basically play with paper, or sit at my sewing machine when I can think of a million bits of housework that I should be doing instead. that I'm in my 40th year I sort of made myself some new year resolutions, well more of a birthday promise to myself.  That being this year, in the run up to my 40th, if I want to do something 'for me' then I should.  I'm one of the worst procrastinators/over-thinkers I know, I can think about things until I've talked myself out of it, or put it off till whatever it was is too late to do!

Anyhoo, back to the point, when Ann asked me a couple of weeks ago if I wanted to come along to her craft club and said yes.  So I spent a couple of nights planning and ordering photographs of the kiddiewinks, a Friday night hunting through my packed away papercraft supplies (it was all packed away to turn the spare room into Megan's room, so hasn't been looked at in over a year!) and toddled off on a Saturday morning to Dunfermline to meet a roomful of people, I only know Ann, and make STUFF!
This was us being all productive (& slightly messy!)

It was great, I totally over estimated just how productive I'd be, but over the course of 6 hours I did 2 and a bit scrapbook pages, blethered a fair bit and basically had a lovely time.  It's been so long since I did any scrapbooking that I'd completely forgotten just how much fun it can be to play with paper, ribbon and photographs.  Without feeling guilty :)
My efforts (although I did finish Megan's at home, ran out of time)

Roll on next month!!!!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Run out .....

Finally got a chance to do some of my mystery quilt again tonight
Some of an infill strip, not quite finished.  But nearly
Until this happened

I've run out of thread.  No probs I think, got some more in my little box.............oh no, actually I don't.  Flip! 

Wednesday, 19 March 2014


of a camera which no longer snaps!

it's been a good camera but given it's age (6 years) and cost of repair (at least £150) I think I may need to say bye bye to this beauty :(  But on the plus side this could mean I will HAVE to investigate the options for a new camera.  Oh the trauma.

Monday, 17 March 2014

A prize & a move

Every year there is a craft/hobby show in Glasgow in March and in October.  It's a good old mix of papercrafting of any description, some fabric crafts and anything else that is small and crafty, and very much aimed at the female market.

I've been going every now and again for years.  Some years are really good, some are less so.  I suppose it depends on if I have a particular project in mind or not.

This year I was in 2 minds whether or not to go, a friend at work was planning to go and I was thinking me and Moo could tag along.  But then it was ALL the way to Glasgow, on a Friday which is my full day off and kind of a freebie day.  So indecisiveness reigned.  Until I got some mail two days before we were considering going.  A hand written envelope, I rarely get mail that isn't some kind of bill these days, and it's even rarer to get a handwritten envelope!  But inside was this .....
In a moment of 'ah why not' I entered a competition in our local paper for a chance to win tickets and I won!  I think the last time I won anything like this I was 12.  It was a pink umbrella with matching head scarf from Mackay's (way, way before it was M&Co).

As for a move, my work has finally moved office.  It has been talked about for EVER (I thought I was going to be returning from mat leave last August to a new office) but as of last Monday we were actually in our new office.  So bye bye this place
and hello our new home
It's a change and it's taking a wee bit of getting used to but it's nice and bright and the building is maintained.  Somethings which our old building were beginning to lack!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Foto fiasco!!

We do not do good photos!  Point blank.  Attempting to get a half reasonable photograph is always a nightmare.  The Dude's nursery have asked for some photos - a baby one of him and a family photo.  Easier said than done when I'm generally the photographer at most family gatherings.  Like my Dad's 70th birthday meal last year - I was in charge of photos, so have photos of everyone else but none with me in them.  So I roped Granda in to be photographer, the results varied!

We went from the kids acting up (I have NO idea why Euan is giving the peace sign) and me talking to Pedro's lazy eye (which is only noticeable in photos!) making him look like he's half jaked!  We did get one or two which are ok (although Moo does look like she's about to dive off the couch!)

We'll eventually get a half decent family photograph, it may take years, but it will happen!!!

Monday, 24 February 2014


I've had a small hiatus!  I knew I hadn't blogged in a while, just slipped my mind the last time I blogged was November.  That was last year! and now we're very nearly, just a kick in the bum away from March.  That's a nearly a quarter into this year.  Flippin 'eck :o

But life has been busy, so it's all good.  The end of last year involved housey stuff (decorating, finishing stuff started ages ago), then it was Christmas and all that malarky, then we had an 'ill house' over the festive period that cleared up for everyone but me (yay!) so the rest of January/early February was dealing with health stuff.  That promptly brings me up to the last 2 weeks, just like that!

I have had a very luxurious 2 weeks off work, luxurious in that work is hectic at the moment and who really takes 2 weeks off in February?  One week for school mid-term but 2 weeks is a bit cheeky :)

In my defence I had annual leave to use up (ain't losing that for nobody) and the week after our mid term was my little pumpkin's first birthday.  Yes it's hard to believe, but our little girl has gone from this (where frankly she looks like a little doll)
Euan trying to look enthusiastic about his baby sister!

To this little person, who is constantly on the go.  She really is the giggliest little munchkin, it's a rare sight to see her upset thankfully.
I'm also massively thankful that her big brother loves her to bits.  I don't know what I'd do if there was any jealousy to deal with.  Parents who have to deal with that must have the patience of a saint.

So the last two weeks have involved 2 birthday cakes (2 separate birthday teas!), lots of attempts at cake pops - not as easy as I thought they'd be! and my first ever attempt to make macaroons (or macaRONs according to the Great British Bake Off!).  They weren't as scary as I'd expected them to be and even seemed to impress my very own Paul Hollywood (ie my dad - fussiest foodie ever!) who asked if I'd bought them ;) 

I've also managed to squeeze in a little bit of sewing
 (granted it doesn't look like much but it will become a revised Mariner's Compass!)

 (playing with hexies)
and even a visit to the Spring Quilt show at Ingliston yesterday where I picked up this fantastic panel - 'Hello Tokyo'
It's a rubbish photo, but you get the idea and I discovered while 'surfing the 'net ' that there are coordinating fabric too.  Yay!!!  This will be made into a quilt for Moo but I'm in 2 minds what to do with it - keep it as a whole panel, or cut it up and do some applique or something.  Needs more planning!

Right off to have a quick cuppa for me but I will be back soon :)