Tuesday 28 April 2009

spring to finish

Jacquie has been having a spring to finish so ta-da - I hereby present some finished items.

lovely ripplyness, rippled whilst we were away, and now finished to make this cute cushion.

which is much fought over........... I feel another one might be needed, or two.........

and these two were a huge achievement to finish, as a friend rang to say she needed an urgent Christening gift for a friend's baby who was having an urgent Christening service prior to having open heart surgery. and then she rang an hour later to say could she have a gift for the elder sister who was being Christened at the same time. which was in 2 days time....... no pressure there then.......

still not finished is the crazy mom quiltalong, but I have at least pieced the back (determined to stash bust and use what I had, I regretted it after about 4 hours of maths trying to calculate how to make what I had into a use able back, that didn't look like it was thrown together from a scrap bag - which it was.........)

just need to quilt it now. really should order some wadding then........

Thursday 23 April 2009

birthday badge tutorial

I was making birthday badges yesterday for some friends, and thought it might be fun to share how.

Cut three circles, a fabric circle approx 9 cm across, then two felt circles each a bit smaller than before.

using bonda web, or wonder under, or some other magic adhesive, cut out some numbers of a contrasting fabric and stick them centrally onto the fabric circle.

sew tiny seed beads all over the numbers to make them sparkly.

turn over and sew a running stitch around the edge. I tend to use a doubled thread for this so that when you pull it tight it's less likely to snap.

cut a circle of card that will be the final size of the badge. I cut a 5cm circle of card.

layer the fabric beaded side down, the larger piece of felt, and then the piece of card.

pull the running stitches tight, to gather the fabric around the card.

sew across the back of the badge, criss crossing the stitches to hold it all in tight.

sew a badge back onto the smallest piece of felt, and then sew this onto the back of the badge.
sing happy birthday loudly in your most tuneless voice. xx

Wednesday 22 April 2009

are you sure that's me?

I started a course yesterday, a one term, one afternoon a week type of course, run by the University. It's title is "citizenship in the community". not my usual cup of tea, rather a rash decision after seeing a notice in the library.

I'm not that comfortable about meeting new people, new places, places where I can't hide behind my blog........ it will be fine I convince myself, no-one knows who I am, and that's ok.

we did one of those silly "warm up and get to know the group" exercises. but instead of the usual ask your neighbour some questions and then introduce them to the group, we were given a list;favourite food/drink/book/tv show/place to visit/celebrity chef/film star............. and then had to guess the answers to it, about the person next to you.

so hard..... don't want to offend. don't want to judge.
but honestly

I got descibed as an orange juice dinking, salad lover, who fancies Sean Connery....


oh yes, no-one knows who I am, and that's ok. question is, do I let on who I really am? or shall I play along......

Monday 20 April 2009

fossilly delights and no boring car stories

long long ago, in a galaxy far far away........ no that's not right.

long long ago in an ancient sea which covered all of Yorkshire, there lived wonderful and weird creatures.

these belemnites were strange squid like monsters whose remains look like little bullets or bits of liquorice.

often you can only find them still attached to a bigger rock, but this weekend we found lots of loose sections, include some with the illusive pointy ends.

wonderful mollusc shell fossils sometimes beautifully embellished by deposits of iron pyrites leached from the shales. Ironically it was probably the high levels of iron that killed them in such high numbers.

gorgous oyster like imprints, imagine the pearls in here........

and my favourite the ammonites

the swirling patterns never cease to delight

each one more enchanting than the last.

Sunday 19 April 2009

wheeling and dealing

the driftwood family needs a new car

we have known for a while that this was coming but we are specialists at leaving everything to the last minute........

last weekend driving over the North York Moors was quite an experience........ hiccuppy hiccuppy hiccupy, judder judder judder, goes the little car as I try to coax it up the hills, squeaky squeaky go the brakes as we navigate down the hair pin bends and the severe gradients........

this week the MOT ran out, and after one fail the garage managed to limp it through on a retest, but then said "you really need to replace this you know", and handed me a list of jobs that really really need doing, and another list of jobs that really really really need doing - you get the idea.........oh and they also said they felt happy for us to drive it around town but don't go on the motorway............ not easy when the in-laws live 100 miles up the motorway, and are in need of an urgent visit.......

Each member of the driftwood family has an opinion on what to do

Miss K went to the most expensive car on the website I was looking at and said

"I think we should buy this one.

It has an intelligent key."

we don't know what that does, but we like the sound of it. perhaps it will do homework.

Miss K is also very keen on satellite navigation. I think the number of times that I get lost when driving have traumatised her somewhat. I think the coffee lady could understand this.......

E has designed us a car. No showroom cars will provide the features that he thinks are essential. I especially like the trampoline option.

Mr Driftwood seems to favour the biggest vehicle ever. When we went for a test drive yesterday I felt like I was driving an armoured tank.

On a positive note the children were so in awe of it they didn't make a peep the whole journey.

I decide I will only choose a pink car, but I think Mr Driftwood knows I am just being difficult.

so we chose the type of car, and then we just have to find one we can afford. we go to a showroom that is part off a big chain, so we have lots of choice.

the salesman in his shiny suit (Alice is well used to salesmen although perhaps socks have a different grade of commission) offers a list of options, some a bit older, some with less mileage, all different prices and all different options of complexity - one has sat nav, but none have a trampoline........

my head is spinning with figures and decisions, but that could be the really syrupy cup of coffee they provided.

we choose the car we want, the shiny suit checks on the computer, and someone at another garage has just bought it.

we decide on another car.

by now the children have finished their hot chocolates, and are bored by football focus which is the only program showing on the showroom tv, and are so hungry they are threatening to eat the chairs. we have been here so long I feel like we have moved in.

Mr Driftwood goes to pay a deposit and that car has been sold too.

I have lost the will to live.
I want to go home.
so do the children.
Mr Driftwood wants to sort this out as he is going away to a conference in the States soon, and does not want to leave us with a car that is liable to break down at any moment, or actually just liable not to pull off at a junction when there is a huge wagon thundering towards you.....
The shiny suit finds another car on the computer. I take the children to listen to a story tape in our car, and leave Mr Driftwood to sort it out. meanwhile the price changes. and not for the better....... I wake up at 6am this morning, and can't get back to sleep because I convince myself we have made the wrong choice........... at the end of the week we can go for a test drive again, and then we'll see.

tomorrow I shall show lots of lovely photos of fossils we found on holiday, and block out the trauma of the car buying fiasco.......

Thursday 16 April 2009

Easter hunting

Easter brings daffodils to York in plenty, and each year we try and remember to take the annual photos. This year a rather naughty bunny got in the photos......

Easter also brings a few welcome days off for hubby, so off we went in search of sun and sea and relaxation........

E thinks the sea must be around here somewhere, we didn't have the heart to tell him the sea is usually down!

we did find cream teas, good old fashioned seaside teas, in hearty big pots, and mugs. no fancy rose patterned tea cups here!

we found wellies, must be getting nearer,

and a mermaid, they're usually at the seaside I think.....

kinder eggs contents distract us from the sea hunt for a while,

until finally we find the sea, hidden under a swathe of sea fret.

there's a lovely little bay just round the corner here, honestly there is

and a magnificent cliff path descending down to the shore

and as for the view of the sea, just startling isn't it.

what you can't see it?

too foggy............

oh and I just thought my eyes had gone funny because I ate too much chocolate......

Sunday 12 April 2009

Happy Easter

I couldn't resist this photo from the bbc website!

wishing you all a very happy Easter, we're off to the coast for a few days. see you when we get back xxxx

Friday 10 April 2009

cheerio slice recipe

we had a lovely day out at the coast yesterday (photos will follow when I've charged the camera........) but in between fossilling, crab catching, rock scrambling, wave dodging, getting rained on, and going to the pub, the children were fortified by cheerio slices.

melt 4oz toffees, 4oz butter and 4oz marshmallows. we did it in the microwave and it was VERY exciting to watch the marshmallows to evolve into molten goo!

then stir in 7oz cheerios, and spread out in a shallow cake tin (the sort you'd make brownies in) lined with greaseproof paper.

then melt 4oz of milk chocolate, and in a seperate bowl 4oz of white chocolate. carefully place - ok splodge with great glee the two types of chocolate onto the cheerios, and swirl about to make pretty patterns.

let it set, turn out, and cut into wedges. enjoy. get sticky. feel slightly queasy. and have another bit...........

Tuesday 7 April 2009

let the Easter hols begin

our Easter hols began early with a training day on Friday.
local village charity coffee morning /table top sale to the rescue.
pretty spring flowers for me

a brand new set of games in a box for the children, there has been much happy chess playing - and quite a bit of cheating............

followed by some Easter decorating

some cute crafts

and plenty of Easter "baking"

cheerio slice - very sticky and apparently delicious, not surprising as it contains marshmallows, toffee, and two types of chocolate........

and Eastery biscuits - they look too cute to eat, but they're not.........

and best of all some ripply goodness (it's that Lucy again, she's a bad influence on me - so many sewing projects abandoned................), this is my practise piece, created whilst watching the grand prix at the weekend, the cars go round and round, the crochet goes up and down.....love it xx

Wednesday 1 April 2009


reasons not to buy tea cups

  1. I already have quite a lot of nice mugs
  2. and several nice cups
  3. so do the children
  4. my hubby only likes huge mugs that hold LOTS of tea
  5. I've spent months and months decluttering stuff just in case we ever get to sell the house
  6. they are surprisingly heavy when you have walked into town

reasons to buy teacups
  1. the look of sheer delight on the children's faces when we had an impromptu tea party when we got home from school

I don't need any more reasons