Thursday, 8 December 2011

Fantastic giveaways at Poppy Sparkles

I love entering Blog giveaways, lets face it you have more chance of winning than the lottery (which I never do). I have found some wonderful blogs to follow by doing this. I do not enter them all (that would just be greedy) only if its something I would like to win, which brings me to the point of this post.

I found out about Poppy Sparkles via the folksy forums, she is currently running two fantastic giveaways

The first is for Washi Tape, something I had not heard of until now. I will definitely be getting some. If you want to find out about it and enter look here (you need to be quick on this one as it closes tonight).

The other is for a years subscription to Make Jewellery Magazine, this is my favourite jewellery magazine and the one I always buy when I decide to treat myself. Please pop over to her competition to enter.

Whilst you are there please take a moment to look at her shop. I did and found some lovely items.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

November de-clutter

The really good life is organising a November de-clutter, the idea is you throw / give away 1 item per day and an extra 5 things per week in the mini challenge. I am joining in as I really need to de-clutter my home, I have way to much stuff. I found out about this via swirlyarts whose blog I follow, big thanks to her.

I don't think rubbish counts a your 1 item so I am giving myself the personal challange of 1 item per day plus a carrier bag full of rubbish per day - I am hoping that I will not need to throw out a whole bag full of rubbish each day for the whole month. (If I do then the problem is much worse that I thought).

My item for today is a pair of boots that I no longer wear. 

Sunday, 23 October 2011

I am soo lucky

Firstly I apologise that I haven't done any more Halloween posts.  I am disappointed that we won't be able to join in the fun this year as Little Mr has a party to go to which I need to attend also. This means I can't put any decorations up as people will knock if they see them up and we will be out )-: I am still planning on doing a small Halloween themed buffet tea just for us and of course a pumpkin will have to be carved (I need to make pumpkin pie and roasted pumpkin seeds).

I am undecided if I will take Little Mr trick or treating, we could go on our way back from the party, but I will feel guilty if he get sweets from others but I am not giving any out myself.

Anyway back to the reason for my post. I can't believe how lucky I have been I have won 2 (yes 2) blog giveaways, the first one some lovely hair grips from Miss Marple Makes she had the most unique way of choosing a winner, I have pippin to thank for my prize. I am sorry I am unable to show a picture but my memory card seems to have decided to shop working, but you can find examples of what I won in her shop.

Then a few days later Sophie from The trinket box told me I had won her giveaway too, she makes gorgeous jewellery out of silver art clay. I should receive a parcel from her this week.  I will get myself a new memory card so next blog I will be able to post pictures.

I did buy a lottery ticket yesterday hoping that winning happens in threes but alas I didn't win that.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Getting ready for Halloween - Blog 3

These are the final 2 recipes I will share from the Morrisons magazine

Worms, maggots and flies

• 550g jar frankfurters
• 400g can black beans
• 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
• 1 Mini Babybel

1 Drain the frankfurters and shred them into long lengths.

2 Place the beans in a pan and heat gently. Strain then return to the pan with the ketchup and stir well. Pile the shredded frankfurters on top, cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and heat gently for 5 minutes without stirring.

3 Carefully lift the frankfurters off the top of the beans and set to one side. Pile the beans into the center of a serving plate and top with the frankfurters.

4 Cut the Mini Babybel into quarters and push through a garlic crusher to form the ‘maggots’. Scatter the maggots
over the top of the frankfurter ‘worms’ and black bean ‘flies’.

I do not have a clue what black beans are, whatever there are I am sure its not something Little Mr would not eat so I will use baked beans with a bit of black food colouring instead.

Spider eggs

• 4 eggs
• 50g soft cheese
• 1 tbsp mayonnaise
• 50g Red Leicester, grated
• 4 black olives, pitted
• small piece red pepper, cut into 8 tiny pieces 

1 Place the eggs in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 8 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water for 2 minutes then peel the shells off.

2 Cut each egg in half and carefully scoop out the yolks into a small mixing bowl. Add the soft cheese, mayonnaise and Red Leicester and beat together well.  Use the cheese mixture to re-fill the eggs

3 Cut the olives in half. Place one half in the center of the eggs then slice the other half very thinly to form spider legs. Use bits of red pepper to form the eyes.

I do not blog at the weekends so next post will be Monday. Over the weekend Little Mr and I will be making some decorations for Halloween.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Getting ready for Halloween - Blog 2

Yesterday I found out that they might put something on at Little Mr's school on Halloween night so now not sure what we are doing. Today's installment is another recipe from the morrisons magazine.

Worms in toffee apples

• 8 Royal Gala apples
• 450g caster sugar
• 50g butter
• 1 tbsp cider vinegar
• 1 tbsp clear honey
To decorate
• 200g bag jelly snakes
• few drops green and black
food colouring
• 50g white ready to roll icing
icing sugar, for dusting
• ½ pack Oreo biscuits, crushed

1 To make the toffee apples, place the apples on a baking tray lined with a sheet of non-stick baking parchment.

2 Place the sugar, butter, vinegar and honey in a large non-stick pan with 150ml water. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat and boil for 10 minutes until the mixture turns to toffee. (Test frequently towards the end of the cooking time; when it is ready the toffee will be a golden colour and a small drop will harden immediately when lowered into ice cold water.) The mixture will be very hot so take care.

3 Skewer the apples then remove the toffee from the heat. Working quickly so the toffee doesn’t set, dip each apple into the toffee to coat evenly. Transfer to the baking tray to cool and harden, then remove the skewers.

4 To decorate, make 2-3 small holes in each apple and push a jelly snake into the holes (these will become ‘worms’). Trim the snakes to achieve different lengths.

5 Remove a tiny knob (about 1cm) from the icing. Roll into 8 tiny stalks and paint with black food colouring*. Knead the green food colouring into the rest of the icing and roll out on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar. Cut out leaves and press the stalks and leaves on top of each apple. To serve, spread the crushed Oreo biscuits out on a serving plate or platter (this will look like mud) then sit the toffee apples on top. You could also poke a few jelly snakes into the ‘mud’.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Getting ready for Halloween - Blog 1

I like Halloween, I decorate the house and last year I did a buffet style tea and invited a few people round, we played games It was great fun.  I hope to do the same this year but we will see how things go. I plan to do a series of blog posts on this as I have lots of recipes and ideas to share, some of them I did last year, some of them are new ones I hope to try this year. I will post every day until I have listed everything.
Before I start I would just like to point out that not everyone (especially the elderly) enjoys Halloween.  When my Nan who was in her nineties was alive, she hated it, she found it difficult to walk to answer the door and was terrified when the kids came to knock. If you are going trick or treating please respect that some people do not like to be disturbed. Only knock on houses that have pumpkins placed outside, this way you will not upset anyone and are guaranteed that those people will be expecting you, and hopefully have treats waiting. Also remember not say out too late, the later you are out, the more the elderly panic.

Right I will start off with a new recipe, I have not tried this one, I found it in the morrisons magazine
Witches’ fingers

• 250g plain flour
• 100g butter
• 75g Red Leicester, finely grated
• 30g sesame seeds
• 4-5 tbsp milk, plus extra for glazing
• ½ red pepper, deseeded
• ½ green pepper, deseeded

To serve
• 3 x 30g pot cress

 1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture
resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the Red Leicester and sesame seeds, then add enough cold milk to form a soft

2 Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and cut into 16 lengths. Roll each length lightly between
your palms to form a ‘finger’. Lift onto a baking tray and brush with a little milk.

3 Use a small knife or scissors to cut out red and green ‘nails’ from the peppers and press into each finger. Bake
for 20 minutes, until crisp and golden.

4 To serve, place the pots of cress on a board and push the fingers into it.
(As always I am on a budget so I will do this with out the cress and just put the fingers on a plate)

Remember to check back tomorrow for the next recipe.

Monday, 12 September 2011

New beginnings for Little Mr

I have just taken Little Mr to school for his first day. I have felt sick all morning and still do now, I also came out in the biggest spot you will ever see on my chin (must be the worry). I am sure he will be fine, I left him playing with a wooden garage. I was the last parent to leave but I had only been there a couple of minutes I would have liked to have stayed a bit more really. I am now not sure what to do with myself which is odd as he goes to nursery so I am used to him not being here all day. He only goes for mornings this week so next week will be worse when I have to be parted from him all day. I will try to keep busy and get some housework done (there is plenty that needs doing!). I will be thinking of him all morning and just hope that he will be ok and enjoying himself.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Look what I won

I recently entered a competition on Doda's Creative Wanderings Blog and I couldn't believe it, I won, I was so excited, I can't remember the last time I won anything. My prize was a punch that she designed (how clever is that?), she also sent me one of her lovely matchbook notebooks, you can see the tutorial for these on her fantastic blog.

Her blog has some great features including her Angel Delight cake frosting which I tried the other day.

I can't wait to get using my punch, I am now off to look to see whose birthday card I have to make next so I can try it.

Thanks Doda you really made my day.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Knit and Natter

I went along to a knit and natter group yesterday. The only thing I have ever knitted is a scarf when I was about 12! I have wanted to learn to crochet for ages and have looked at so many books and you tube but just couldn't get it, I was hoping there would be someone at the group who would teach me. I was lucky as there were two volunteers to show me two different ways so I could use the one I felt most comfortable with, the people at the group were very friendly. This is what I made
Ok so I need lots more practice but for me just to do one stitch and hold the yarn was an achievement. Last night I made myself a face scrubbie, the whole in the center was too big and the stitching uneven but I am still getting used to how it all works. My next project will be a bear which I am working on now. I will go again to the group and am actually looking forward to showing them what I have made. Next time I may take some knitting needles as well.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Getting ready for Christmas

 I have finally got round to start making some bits for Christmas, every year I make friends and family some handmade items. This year I will make up some felt trees with people names on. I am going to use these as gift tags then they can be kept to be hung on the tree.

They are double sided, one side has small coloured buttons on and the other wooden heart buttons and the persons name in letter beads. This is the first one I have done for myself, hopefully my sewing will get neater on the subsequent ones.

I have not decided what I will be giving out as the presents yet. If I manage to find any teacups I will do teacup candles. I would also like to give some handmade soap with crocheted face scrubbies but as I can't crochet yet, this may be a problem! I am going tomorrow to a knitting club (can't wait) so am hoping someone will teach me there. I will let you know how it goes.

Bye for now.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Sprinkles Playdough

Well we made some play dough with sprinkles in (for recipe, see previous post). I wanted it to be white so didn't use any colouring and instead of vegetable oil (which might have turned it yellowish) I used baby oil. This part worked quite well but next time I will need to think of something else to add as sprinkles. We used plastic straws which we cut up into tiny pieces, this might have been ok if they were a darker colour but I only had pastel shade ones and these turned out to be difficult to see.  Little Mr loved it though and happily played with play dough all afternoon. I now just need to figure out how to remove it from the carpet!

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Play dough recipe

I never buy play-doh, it is so easy to make your own, and very cheap. Use the cheapest flour you can buy or you can use any out of date flour you might have. This is my tried and tested recipe, I have have found that the most important stage is you have to get the mix very smooth before you start to heat (sift your flour and use a whisk to mix). Once made the more you kneed it, the better it is.

1 Cup Flour
½ Cup Salt
1 Tablespoon of Cream of Tarter (found in the cooking isle of supermarkets)
1 Cup Water
1 Teaspoon (approx) Food Colouring
1 Tablespoon Oil
2 Teaspoon (approx) Vanilla Essence (optional – I think this makes it smell more like original play doh)

Pan (an old non-stick one is best)

Combine flour (you do not need to sift but I do), water, salt and cream of tarter in a bowl.
In a jug combine water, colouring, oil and essence (if using), whisk this into the flour mixture, the smoother this mix the better, which is why I sift the flour.
Cook over a medium heat stirring all the time until mixture starts to come away from the sides of the pan and forms a sticky ball
Remove from heat and kneed well for a few minutes, if it is too sticky add some flour.

Keep in an air tight tub

Add glitter for a sparkling dough
Try peppermint essence for a different smell
Substitute some of the flour with coco powder to give a brown colour and chocolate smell (obviously no food colouring needed with this)

PLEASE BE AWARE this has a high salt content, so watch you child whilst using

 The mix ready to heat
 Looks like this whilst cooking
Ready when it starts to come away from the sides of the pan

This recipe makes just the right amount to fit in one of those chinese takeaway containers you get


Little Mr wants to make some with sprinkles in so we will try that one later today - I am not sure how it will turn out - I will post later with the results

Anyone like to add any of their tips for making playdough?

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

I made my first solid shampoo

I managed to get the shampoo made, I was a bit concerned as when I did the soap it set really quickly but the shampoo took ages. It still hadn't set when I went to bed. I had to get up in the middle of the night to let the cat out so checked on it then and took it out of the moulds, luckily it was ok. You can see from the picture I do not have any professional moulds I just use silicone cupcake cases. The little bits are camomile as this is suppose to make your hair blonder.

If you have never tried solid shampoo I recommend you do, I have been using it for ages and would not go back now. I am not suggesting that you make your own you can find some lovely homemade bars on folksy or lush do them. Don't be put off by the price they do last a lot longer than liquid shampoo.

Unfortunately I did not get my other project started and I won't have time tonight as I really need to get some housework done this evening, but I will get there in the end.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Trip into town

Today I took Little Mr to have a look around the local museum. It is very child friendly and they have lots of activities for children to do. Whilst in town I looked around the charity shops. I want some teacups to make into candles but unfortunately they only had ones in sets and not any loose individual ones, maybe I will have to take a trip out to a car boot sale at the weekend. I did however buy this karlsson clock, it was only £3 and I just love it. My original thought was it would look good in the bathroom and handy to as I always spend too long in the bath. I failed to remember this would be no good for me as I wear glasses and will not be able to see said clock whilst sitting in the bath.  Never mind I am sure it will find a home soon.

I have also gathered a few bits and pieces together for my next project, hopefully I will be able to make a start on this tonight but first I have to make myself some shampoo, I am nearly out so this is a job that must be done. I have not attempted shampoo yet but I have been making my own melt and pour soap.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Back to blogging

I haven't blogged in ages, well it seems that way but when I checked it is only 4 weeks, but it blogger land that is probably a long time. Being new to this I am still finding my feet and hope to blog more regularly.
In that 4 weeks Little Mr and I have been busy - he has had his 4th Birthday, we have been to Legoland, been to a dinosaur park and generally had lots of fun.
I have been neglecting my shop lately as life gets in the way and I am seem so tired all the time, Little Mr gets up at 5 I put him to bed at 7 but he never goes straight to sleep, by the time I have put the house back together after his days playing I am ready for bed myself. Really must stay up later and get some jewellery made.
This has just been a quick post to get me back into the swing of things, I will post again soon and next time I promise there will be pictures.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

What a Wally

I have just taken Little Mr to Nursery. We always walk it is only a 10 minute walk and it does him good, however the other day on our return we got absolutely soaked, we were that wet it was a change of clothes and towel dry when we got home.
This morning it looked like it was going to rain so not taking any chances and running a bit late (yet again) I drove, dropped him off and set off back home again.
It was not until I was three quarters of the way home when I realised I was walking and had forgotten the car! How silly did I feel, I did think about leaving it there and picking it up when I collect him, but the nursery only have two packing spaces so this would be a bit unfair. Therefore I had to walk back again to collect the car and the trip took me twice as long as it should plus it did not rain so I have concluded that walking is the best way to go as it is kinder to the environment and in my case also alot quicker.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Today I have listed a new item in my shop

cats eye necklace

Also Little Mr and I have had great fun this morning at a soft play barn near where we liveAs normal we were in a rush to get out of the door, I was standing outside by the car ready to go and kept shouting him to hurry up else we would not have much time to play. When he eventually came outside, I opened the car door for him muttering about being late and bless him he said "but Mummy, you haven't put my shoes on." Oh dear, I did feel a bit bad but he can put his own shoes on if he tries, normally on the wrong feet but at least they would be on. 
The yellow slide is quite steep, I had a go and was a tiny bit scared. I always go in the play dens with him, not all the time I let him play on his own as well, but he often comes to find me to drag me in. I had fun as well as him, I am not one to just sit and wait with a cup of tea, I get bored too easily. Tonight he has gone out with his dad to watch some motorbike racing so will have had a very busy day.

Friday, 8 July 2011


After several trips past my living room table where I have been coiling a few beads each time I passed by, I have finally got enough to make the bracelet, this is the end result, I hope you like it.  If you click on the picture and cross your fingers with a bit of luck it will take you to my shop where you will be able to see more pictures of it.

 No sorry I can't get the clickable picture to work so all that finger crossing didn't help, you will need to click on the writing above instead, oh and you'd had better cross your fingers again!

Thank you

I have followers WOW

I now have some followers thanks to my friends at Folsky . It is great to have followers, I am really pleased, but slightly nervous at the same time. When I was typing to myself I could happily waffle away without fear of embarrassing myself, now someone might actually be reading this I will have to try to sound interesting.
I done some more of my cross stitch last night, I was feeling quite chuffed with myself that I seemed to be sewing quicker than on my first attempt. Until that is my partner stated "you haven't done very much" he is now taking bets on whether it will be finished in time before our son starts school. This has just made me more determined to get it done, I may even cheat and do some in the daytime.

I have also decided on a blog name for my son, I shall refer to him from now on as "Little Mr." This name seems appropriate for him as whilst he is a typical toddler with your normal tantrums and the like, sometimes I do feel like I am talking to an old man with the things he comes out with.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Cross stitch and bracelet

I recently found some cross stitch magazines in a charity shop (a bargain at 10p each) one of them caught my eye as it had a design to stitch for a first day at school sampler, as my little boy is starting in Sept I thought I would give it a go.  I have not done a cross stitch in years but used to find it quite relaxing so sourced some cheap threads on ebay, this has turned out to be a mistake as they are awful to use and keep getting tangled up, but never mind I will persevere. I do not have the exact colours as per the chart but have improvised and we will see how it turns out.  I started it last night and had forgotten how long it actually takes to do, I was sewing for over two hours and have only done this much

I will do a little bit each night and hope I have it finished by sept.

On another note I had an idea for a bracelet which requires loads of beads with each one individually coiled onto a headpin.  This will also take me ages so I currently have a stash of beads, headpins and completed coils on my dining room table, whenever I pass by I do two or three, this is working quite well and I have amassed quite a pile of completed ones but I still need more.

Got to go now (via table to coil beads!)

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

4th July

On American Independence day we went with a friend and her son (who is the same age as my Little Mr) to an American Air Base at RAF Feltwell. They had an open day with lots of stalls and activities. It was a great day, the weather was gorgeous.  The boys eyes lit up when they saw they could go inside a real fire engine, they sat in the back and then had a go in the drivers seat, whilst us mothers watched nervously constantly reminding them "don't touch anything!"

There were about ten different types of bouncy castles which the boys could run between and they loved it. Us mothers loved it too as we could sit in the sunshine while they were happily occupied.
Whilst we were sitting there, there was suddenly a loud noise, everyone looked up and to the crowds delight we saw The Red Arrows, they are marvelous to watch and even all the children were mesmerised.

Sorry about the picture quality, taking photos of fast moving planes is not easy on my little old 'point and click'.  Just before we left ,we passed a stall where you could win a large bear. My friend said she was having a go, I said I was not going to waste my money, well I couldn't believe it she won! The bear, her son choose an In the Night Garden Makka Pakka was HUGE, not bad for the 3 quid she paid, but I am not sure where they are going to put him, there would certainly be no room for him in our house.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

First Blog

Hi, This is my first blog. At the moment I am happily blogging to myself as I have no followers (I have not told anyone about this yet!) As a busy Mum, at home most of the day I often find myself talking to me, as my son, like this father are not normally listening. So I am happy to chat and type away to myself. I intend to use my Blog like a diary and record some of the events in mine and my son's life. I am also always trying out new crafty projects and will share these as well, I promise to Blog them even if they are disasters (many of them are - so you can be sure of a good laugh) 
We have just got back from a holiday at Butlins, here is my gorgeous son playing in the fountains on one of the hottest days of the year so far

 At the end of the holiday we had to say goodbye to Bob the Builder by giving him a high five


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