Sunday 30 December 2007

happy new year!

we're going to spend New Year with friends - here.

4 adults, 4 children (9,7,7,5) Miss K is the oldest and the only girl so she gets to boss everyone around, or at least I think that's the plan!

lots of good food, good fun, good friends, and fireworks on the beach to celebrate the coming of the new year.

when we get back reality might start to kick in, and it will be time to starts lists, and resolutions like reddy made. I like the idea of a list of books to read, and maybe I should also resolve to make one thing from each of my craft books, and my recipe books ( of which I got several new ones for Christmas - yippee!)

hope you all have a lovely New Years Eve, whereever and however you celebrate.

Happy New Year. xx

Wednesday 26 December 2007

christmas festivities

could it be that we were the only house where the carrots had to be individually labeled for each reindeer?

do you think someone was delaying going to bed?

can you believe that I was finishing presents at quarter to midnight - making that is, not wrapping?

how long will it take for my 2 year old niece to understand that not all dolls are called "baby jesus" after going to church on Christmas eve?

we had a truly magical day, the kids were adorable, I'm assuming the good behaviour will wear off now that father christmas has visited, meanwhile I'm enjoying it, and playing with lots of star wars lego.

hope you are all full of Christmas leftovers, and too much chocolate, we're heading off to the grandparents tomorrow-

- wish me luck.....

Sunday 23 December 2007

happy Christmas

I wish you all a very happy Christmas, thanks for making my first Christmas in "blogland" so special.

thank you for all the lovely comments on my last post, it was great to hear all your ideas, and so many people commented - thankyou!!!! I'll let you know what I decide on, just as soon as I decide........... but if you have any more ideas you know what to do!

I'll be back in a few days, hope you all have a magical Christmas

Happy Christmas!! xx

Wednesday 19 December 2007

what's in a name

I need some help today.

I've very recently been in touch with a little local shop ( they visit craft fairs etc as well) that sells handmade items made by local mums, and takes 25% commision. I took in a few little tote bags, some Christmas hearts, and a few Christmas brooches. They liked what I had and would like some more.... and some patchwork, and some felt flowers, in fact anything I want to take in, you get paid if it sells, if not you get it back.

so here's the problem, everything they sell goes under the name of the shop primarily, but you can have your own labels if you like as well.

so what do I put on, if it works out well then maybe I might open an etsy shop one day, and driftwood is taken on etsy (by someone who has nothing in their shop..) and would people think the things were made of driftwood?

ideas I have so far;

handmade by tess - not very original, but does what it says on the tin..

or as my hubby always just calls me t something like

t and .......

or tea and .....

or patchwork pear - in homage to this,

possible other relevant things,

I'm very fond of cake and roses and tea, and my middle name is Kathryn (Kate, Katie....) and... no can't think of anything else.

please leave a suggestion, including all those people who've never commented before, I know you're out there with just the right name, and I could have a prize draw if I need to bribe you to comment....

let them eat cake

after seeing so many pictures of snow and cold it was a delight to see this on Gina's blog, it amazes me that she can be having such different weather!

meanwhile here in England it's grey and chilly, just as well we have more smiley faces to cheer us up!

2 more days of school, E has his school party today so could go to school in "party clothes" - he chose a pair of trousers of which the elastic button waistband had come undone, so I've just spent 10 minutes sitting in the corner of the class with a safety pin threading the elastic back through...

we took the teacher gifts in this morning, mostly because they were in danger of being eaten by J, who insists that as its now Christmas ("well we have the tree up don't we"), that any Christmas related food is fair play, including any cakes that might be on the kitchen table.

I'm not sure how well it would go down at school if they turned up saying "daddy ate your present" - it might make the next parents evening a bit tense..

Tuesday 18 December 2007

oh christmas tree

little pixie hanging on the tree

the tree - I'd never realised how difficult it is to photograph a christmas tree, I tried several times, the ones in the dark are just a blur of colour, quite pretty actually, but unrecognizable!!!

Monday 17 December 2007

getting into the Christmas spirit

here comes Father Christmas in his sleigh, no make that a light aircraft..

and his fire engine....

this is more like it, a fairy grotto, (inside a plane!)

now we are in the mood for writing Christmas cards

Friday 14 December 2007

christmas tag

Lina tagged me for Christmas randomness

mmm lets see.

So far this week I've been to 4 shops to find replacement bulbs for the Christmas tree lights, and have bought 2 sets that didn't fit. Today I found some that did fit but they were coloured, so we have 2 sets of white lights with a random pink blue or green sparkle here and there.
oh and they work when they're lying on the carpet, but stop as soon as they're on the tree....
2 small children keep saying "can we put the decorations on..." and they can as soon as the lights stay on for more than five minutes.

every Christmas morning we drive over with my brother and his family to my parents for a Christmas breakfast feast, which is a long and casual affair during which the children are itching to get at any presents that might be under the tree. I remember the waiting being torture as a child so we always let them have a few at home first, but we don't tell Grandma!

we don't always have turkey for Christmas, but we always have a baked ham for Christmas Eve, and then left overs for Christmas breakfast with scrambled eggs.

there's a photo every year from when I was little standing by the christmas tree with my brother and sister, it's so funny to look back at them and watch the fashions and the decor change. we've been doing with our family too, following on traditions is part of Christmas.

my mum still makes me a Christmas stocking and she always puts a sugar mouse in it.

and today I finally made the Christmas cakes - better late than never i suppose!!

if anyone wants to share their christmas thoughts please join in, and leave a comment so I know where to come and look.

Thursday 13 December 2007

happy birthday E

my little one is 7 today!

he decorated the cake himself, can you tell?

Tuesday 11 December 2007

holiday traditions exchange part 2

this was in my parcel from Carolyn at Laughing Duck.

beautifully wrapped gifts

little pixies for the tree

a sample of teas

little notelets to organise me!

A signed copy of Carolyn's fantastic cook book for children
- check out her website, American Baker

a holiday music compilation

which is filling my house with Christmas spirit

I can't believe how generous it was, thank you again Carolyn.

Monday 10 December 2007

happy birthday miss K

9 today!

Happy Birthday Miss K.
a fairy castle cake.

an early lighting of the cake because Grandad, Nana and uncle D were here last night.

lots of cards

a tree for jewels or decorations.

beautiful wrapping paper, I know it ends up in a scrumpled heap in 2 seconds but I couldn't resist it.

she opened some of her presents from the pool party this morning (well there were a few opened yesterday too), and will wait for the ones from us till this evening, because getting up at 6 to open them before daddy went to work wasn't a good plan, and opening them without daddy wasn't either.

the pool party was a great success, an hour of very loud splashing and jumping about, no one bumped their heads on the side, or got into mischief, we had some great water toys including some "sea weed" streamers which had one end that was weighted and sank to the bottom, and the other end was light and so they made ribbons in the water for little mermaids to swim through.

and then we escaped to the local pub for Sunday lunch!

It's the brownies Christmas carol concert tonight, so we've got a hectic day, I've told Brown owl it's miss K's birthday so I'm hoping they'll all sing!!!

and even though it's Miss K's birthday the postie brought a parcel for me today! From my holiday traditions swap partner Carolyn. It is fantastic, I feel incredibly lucky to have such a generous swap partner, thank you Carolyn, photos tomorrow, meanwhile I have a huge grin on my face and am just about to put part of my parcel on the cd player now!!!!

Saturday 8 December 2007

the calm before the storm

today was a respite in the midst of a crazy busy weekend.

last night was our nct group christmas dinner, 14 of us drinking eating and talking till late into the night.
tonight is a friends 40th birthday party
the inlaws have come to stay to baby sit for tonight
and to be here for pool party tomorrow...
at some point before Monday I really need to wrap miss K's presents
and make her a cake (she has requested a fairy castle!)

but today I had a lovely day with Beth on one of her felting workshops. I went with my sister in law and we drank lots of tea to revive ourselves after the excesses of the night before and we spent the morning making lots of samples, and in the afternoon we made two fabulous nuno scarves.
photos when I get a chance, and it's not dark which maybe never... Beth had an amazing little pop up tent to photograph inside which acts like a sort of light box, can I convince myself I need one??

Thursday 6 December 2007


it's grey and wet and I'm full of cold.
it's a soup day.
this is my favourite recipe, but we don't have all the ingredients, so I'm making do with a tin of Heinz tomato.

Butternut squash and potato soup.1 oz butter
1 onion chopped
1 butternut squash peeled and chopped
1 large potato chopped
pinch of ground nutmeg
2 pints stock (chicken or veg)
salt and pepper

melt butter, soften onion
add squash, potato, nutmeg
cover and sweat for 10 minutes
add stock, bring to boil,
reduce heat, cover, simmer for approx 20 minutes till soft.
season to taste.

garnish with crispy bacon bits, croutons, roast chestnuts, whatever is in fridge.


Monday 3 December 2007

happiness is a pot of beads.

picture the scene, wet cold sunday morning, house looks like a tornado went through it at 200 miles an hour, E and hubby are feeling ill and very sorry for themselves, what I really want to do is go back to bed with a cup of tea and hide under the duvet.

Miss K "mummy can we do some sewing"
me "groan"
Miss K "can I use my beads, and make something Christmassy"

so we go for a rummage in the fabric box, and we find this little remnant that I bought several years ago, and after applying some wadding and backing, and making a few suggestions off she went.
all day there were requests to thread needles, but that was all I did,
and several hours later there was this!

Miss K you are way too clever to be my daughter!

Saturday 1 December 2007

holiday traditions exchange

here are the things I sent to Carolyn as part of the holiday traditions exchange.
you had to send Christmas decoration, so I sent some hearts,

and a mulled wine scented pear

and a Christmas recipe, and a tradition. I also sent her some Yorkshire Tea, as she said she was a tea drinker, and that's all we drink in our house!

other parcels that got posted last week were from the pay it forward challenge, so this felt flower went to Lina

and these went to Megan and Katie

Now to start making Christmas presents, can we say Christmas yet, we got our first card yesterday and it was still November!

Friday 30 November 2007

dirty feet

who's been falling in next door's pond?

oh, is that a bath for me?

there's a reason why some cats are left at the pet rescue home, this one has no brain!

Thursday 29 November 2007

a little star

twinkle twinkle little star, would you like to be on my new brooch?

Tuesday 27 November 2007

the world is blurry

our morning walk to school was strangely beautiful this morning

the houses we can usually see are hidden from view

we wander slowly admiring the mist

and are late for school....

back home my mind is still strangely foggy, possibly due to writing letters to the kitchen company at gone 11 o'clock last night, complaining about the number of errors in the plans (8 - 8! there are only about 8 units, how can there be 8 errors, and not just little things, no, this is "why are there no drawers in my kitchen" kind of errors....

Monday 26 November 2007

the knitting and stitching show

my first attempt at crocheting!

some purple chiffon

some very fluffy white wool, which will be part of a swan outfit in the christmas assembly (for me - not sure why I let myself get talked into it!)

and a copy of this!

and a lovely day out with my mum, lots of ideas and very tired feet!

Wednesday 21 November 2007

happy thanksgiving

two reasons to be thankful.



friends (that includes you).

hope you have a lovely day.

parcels to post

here is one of the pay it forward gifts ready to post. I'll let you know what's inside when it has arrived so as not to spoil the surprise.

thanks for all the lovely comments about my tagged post yesterday - it was fun, although took me a surprisingly long time to write. there's a fine line between random and ridiculous...

(Lucy - if you want to email me maybe we could meet up for a coffee if you like, I think I read on Vanessa's blog that you live near me.)

Tuesday 20 November 2007


I've been tagged by Gina to reveal 8 random facts about myself.
feel free to stop reading now!

1. I'm having swimming lessons because I was embarrassed when Miss K (then 7) could beat me in a race in any stroke, and told me off for not putting my face in the water in front crawl.

2. I love snow. It snowed when we got married. (the photos aren't digital so can't show you, must find someone with a scanner.)

3. I'm 37.

4. I make a really good rissotto.

5. I can't work the dvd player.

6. We didn't go on honeymoon till 2 1/2 years after we got married, when I was 5 months pregnant with Miss K, but then we had 3 weeks camping in the North Cascades, and Glacier National Park, and Olympic National Rain Forest. Just beautiful.

(photo from here)

7. None of my friends or family know about this blog, except my hubby who thinks I'm mad.

8. I love the sea, especially when it's stormy. When we move I want to live by the sea. (but that's another post, or several...)

According to Gina I'm supposed to tag other blog friends, but I'm worried if I do no-one will ever "speak" to me again. However, here goes, so if you're one of the unlucky 8 listed below and you want to play along please;
link to the person who tagged you - me! post these rules, name 8 things others don't know about you, and link to 8 other lucky bloggers. and if you don't want to please don't stop dropping by!

Vanessa at Do you mind if I knit

Katy at I'm a ginger monkey

Rowan at Clang Clang

Sheila at Tea and Toast

Val at Dotty cookie

Lina Linaloo

Cathy at Miss Marzie

Alice C at The Magpie Files

Monday 19 November 2007

weekend away

one glimpse of the sun

roaring fire

fabulous food

no lights (we blew the fuses - whoops!)
very steep stairs
lots of wine
great friends
a stormy sea

= wonderful weekend