Saturday, 30 June 2012

Busy Being...

Three weeks until the end of term people,

and  I think I may have  finally  found the perfect teacher thank you gift!

Every teacher will be counting down the days amid writing reports, assessment, new class meeting, sports days  and all the many things that have to be done before the school year is wrapped up.  Busy Mums will be rushing to get all those jobs done before the children are around and the mum entertainment and taxi service takes on a new dimension.  In a house of two teachers and six children the end of the summer term is always a busy time.

Knowing how  hard teachers work and being very thankful for the wonderful people who care for them daily, I always like to say thank you and show my appreciation for all they have done for my child over the academic year.  It can be hard to know what to give; bottles of wine are always appreciated but are very heavy (and expensive when multiplied by six) chocolates are good but thirty boxes are not, it is a dilemma.  

The solution was clear when I saw these gorgeous prints designed by a local artist who I first met at a craft fair.  I love the typography and the bold colour of these  prints.  I bought one of her first designs last year 'being a Mum', it hangs  next to my kitchen sink and has very much kept me going during those crazy tea time hours of the day.

I do need to get  very  busy tidying the kitchen but at least one of the many to do lists can be ticked off by buying these prints  as teacher thank you gifts.  Have a look at the many colours and prints  available, so hard to choose a favourite. The mum range is perfect for a new baby gift, the girl and boy range just adorable....  I could easily fill our house with all of them.  The teacher prints are hot off the press so you may need to contact her  or like her on facebook to see the full range.

If you had to design a 'busy being' print, what would yours be?

Thursday, 28 June 2012

The Craft Stall

After much hard work and months of preparation the day of the school summer fete arrived.  It did not feel much like summer as the wind forced us to abandon the gazebos we had planned to set up on the school field.  Amidst the hustle and bustle of tables being moved outside, van loads of donated toys and books being carried to their rather blustery table, hooking with ducks and pig racing stalls being arranged  and the barbecue being lit  our little craft table very calmly took a coveted place inside the school hall. 

The weather was good to us and by the end of the afternoon we wished we were outside watching all the amazing Olympic themed events.  We had a prime spot next to the delicious International foods stall   which made up for missing some of the action on the field.

Here are some of the lovely things we had to sell, there was lots more.

The cutest teddy bears, very keen to find a new home and  handmade in different and gorgeous fabrics.  Perfect for a little child to hold  and love, a few made their way home to the oldpolicehouse and have been very played with.

Little aprons for messy play, and some rather gorgeous olympic theme aprons which I forgot to photograph!  A collection of little bags to carry those precious things around in.

 A quick and simple make and popular with young fans of the game "angry birds", we laminated and cut out pictures of the game characters and glued them to pencils.  A cheap pocket money buy.

The other birds were much less angry and were sold either as hanging birds or hanging off a special coat hanger, to brighten up your wall.  We also made hanging hearts which were pretty gorgeous as well.

A few Grandparents helped swell our stocks and among their makes were these mug hugs, perfect for keeping a cuppa warm when gardening or camping.  Perfect for bringing a bit of happy colour into the day.

I took photos of the stall on my daughters camera but we have mislaid the lead so photos of the actual set up and looking beautiful stall will follow soon.  This was a section of the stock laid out ready for pricing.

It was so hard to decide on the right price, we wanted to sell it and cover our costs but as it was a  school fete and not a craft market we had to gauge our market differently.  At least we had a few people to bounce ideas and argue price with, it must be so hard for sellers on their own, we did not factor in our time either as it was for the school.  I have fresh admiration for those setting up their own small craft business, it must be very hard to actually make any profit.

It was all worth it though as the stall made over two hundred pounds, the actual fete made nearly four and a half thousand pounds, a fantastic result! We have enough left to stock a christmas table which is a bonus.

Craft sellers, how do you decide your do you make any  profit?

What would you have bought from our stall?

Monday, 25 June 2012

Coming up for air

What a hectic few weeks it has been, oldest boy was in hospital for thirteen days with osteomyelitis.  Bad mother made him walk to school (and sit exams) with an abscess in his leg  but has certainly earned enough mummy points in being his hospital partner for the resulting month to make amends.  We have been on such an NHS journey and have been so thankful for the wonderful treatment we received along the way, from super fast A&E treatment on a busy Saturday evening, a variety of scans including an  MRI, alongside lots of fun with the bed controls in the children's ward.  Scarily moving to  a bigger hospital with not such good bed controls but thankfully an actual bed for me to sleep in,   followed by  intravenous antibiotics and a painful operation but always fantastic care by a host of super talented doctors and nurses.

Dress down Doctors!

We have learnt a whole new medical language:  PICC lines, Cannula, abscess, myositis and drains to name a few.  Along the way we discovered a  whole section of NHS care we had not needed before, community children's nurses are so helpful.  It is pretty rare to have a bone infection like this at his age, an abscess right next to his sciatic nerve and he mystified the doctors for a while.  Thankfully the worst is over, his scary PICC line was removed last week and apart from a few more weeks of antibiotics he is on the way to health.  

We missed the jubilee weekend but did have a great view of the Southampton docks from the top floor ward and just about saw the three Queens (ships) arrive in the docks from a distance  to mark the event.

Just about see the three Queens!

Life is just about returning to normal after such an upheaval and we are as ever so blessed by our many friends and family who all in different ways made a hard time easier.  Wonderful people who cared for our children,  cooked meals for us,  visited us, sent encouraging texts, even walked the dog,  all have been truly is so much better sharing it with all of you!

I really missed all the other children but especially my littlest girl and she seems to have grown up so much in the days we were apart, chatty and cheeky  and showing off her latest trick "I Wuby, Wuby Foss - her!"  Two years and four months and growing more independent daily, baby days are fading fast.

I am  very much  looking forward to a lovely catch up of everyone's blogs this afternoon,  I have missed my blog inspiration.  I did manage to squeeze in some knitting in hospital, every cloud has a  (crafty) silver lining!