Saturday, 28 April 2012

Saints on a Saturday

There is a very important match on television at the moment.  Mr very much a saints fan and oldest boy have been telling me the consequences of this game and lots of other football trivia for days.  I am trying to do a good wifely thing and keep the younger kids happy so the tension of the game can be enjoyed without a background of star wars play fights.

It seems an appropriate time to show you all the gift my ever so talented mother gave her saints supporter son in law for his fortieth birthday.  

Such a long time it took her to make and sew the badge to the wall hanging but it was such a fantastic gift.  The only football memorabilia I don't mind hanging in the house!

Just to keep up the family tradition for making and to show her support for our favourite team on this special day middle girl made a little flag to wave  during the game.  It looks fabulous on the fireplace, in pride of place next to the screen.

Let's just  hope they win....three nil so far...

Come on you Saints!

Have you made any football inspired gifts for the fans in your life?

Thursday, 26 April 2012

sunshine on a rainy day!

Sitting here, still wet after the morning school run and very much enjoying my hot coffee  I am ready to welcome any form of sunshine  or light around.

Even if it means turning on the lamp and pretending!

Dreaming a little of visiting a place far away.

Sadly   we would not get very far if we used this map of the world, newly hung on the wall above our computer desk.   So pleased with it, even more that it was a piece of wrapping paper and much cheaper than a print.

We had lots of fun trying to date the map; really helpful being married to a history teacher who was able to date it pretty accurately.  It is amazing how our world has changed so much over the last century.

My sunshine moment was in accepting this lovely blog award from Mrs Thrifty ,

I am bending the rules a little as I am meant to answer some questions and pass it on to other blogs.  I will be doing that another day but combining it with another lovely award given by several other lovely bloggers.  One of whom is Emma  who has a lovely giveaway at the moment, do pop over and visit her.

Hope you are finding some sunshine somewhere in your day, pretty sure if you are in England it won"t be outside though!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Fabulous felt flowers

These fantastic felt flowers are one of the latest makes for the craft stall at the school summer fete.

These pretty little makes  are  very easy and quick  to do.  This was our best attended craft session  and we have lots, all ready for eager little  or big girls to buy!

If you want to make one  and this would be great craft activity to do with  children, here's how you do it:

You will need: felt, something circular to draw around, scissors & matching thread, hair clip or band 

1.  Using a pencil draw around a circle, I used the top of an old baby bottle, but a small glass would work as well, you can use any size circle to start with -
 the smaller the circle the smaller the finished flower.

2. Cut the circle out, if you use pinking shears the finished flower will look like the blue & yellow ones in the first picture, if you use normal scissors your flower will look like the yellow one.

3. Cut inside the circle to create a spiral, leaving a small bit at the end, this will form the base on which the flower sits.

4. Starting at the outside edge (as shown by the pin on the photo) roll the felt up, 
inwards, towards the centre.

5. Stop it unrolling by pinning it and then sew the bottom together

looking at it from the top
looking at it from the bottom
I used contrasting thread to show in the photo, you would use matching thread to look nicer!

6. Attach (sew or glue) securely to a hair band or clip or whatever you fancy.  Larger felt flowers would look gorgeous as rings, there are lots of creative possibilities!

Don't they all look fabulous?  

Which one would you buy?

Monday, 23 April 2012

Two and two

Having lamented the closure of picnik ( a free online photo editing site), I was so pleased to discover another equally simple and fabulously free online site. I had lots of fun exploring the site this afternoon in the small gap between work and school pick up, making the most of the peace while the little lady slept.  Reaching two years and two months was celebrated by jumping on the trampoline in the small gaps between the rain at the weekend.  The static caused by the trampoline makes her fine hair look completely crazy!

This was the  photo straight out of the camera; after uploading it to pic monkey

I cropped it to give more emphasis to her face and then played around trying out the different  effects.  The photo at the top is using a black and white effect with added dark edges and the photo below is using a sepia effect.

Which effect do you like the best?

Also a really big welcome to my new followers and a huge thank you for all the blog awards I have been given recently.  Thank you all so much for  the wonderful comments, emails and words of loveliness.

Makes me fair happy it does!


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Jubilee Knitting

There has not been much time for crafting recently, working and the Easter holiday clear up have sadly cut short my  making moments.  However I did  manage to squeeze in this patriotic make at the weekend.

Such a sweet little egg cosy and it took less than two hours to make, including sewing together. I love that kind of knitting  and am really looking forward to making seven more so they will look bright and cheery on our breakfast table.  

Doesn't the wool look fabulous on the sofa?  The  bright colours look so happy and colourful mixed together, just the antidote to the dreary dull weather at the moment.  For those who are interested I used Robin Double knit and as it was 100% acrylic it was much  cheaper than the wool I usually knit with, only £1.79 for a huge ball. I could be knitting in red, white and blue forever  but I have plans to use the left overs to make knitted bunting, using this pattern here.  Inspired by all the yarn bombers in the neighbourhood I hope to hang it in the front garden.  If you are a knitter and have not yet discovered Ravelry, it is fabulous with so many inspiring patterns, most definitely worth an explore.  I am on it as oldpolicehouse, come and be my friend!

The super speedy and really easy pattern for the egg cosy came from this months Craftseller magazine, I actually only bought it for the pattern, thinking it might be a fun thing to make for the school fete craft stall.  It was a good read but no more helpful than other (free) places online.  

The egg cosy has joined the top shelf in my kitchen which is rapidly looking very  union jack overloaded. I had no idea I had accumulated so many!

Have you got any making plans to celebrate  the Jubilee or Olympics?

Monday, 16 April 2012

Titanic Remembering

I may be a few days late but have been so struck by all the Titanic memories that have been in the newspapers and on television recently. This is the front page of the Southampton Echo on Saturday and as I have looked at the photo I am so aware of the contrast between the magnificent and the everyday.    The  normal everyday dock yard life continuing against the backdrop of this magnificent ship: The old man sitting on the wall, the group of men in the background presumably working on the dock,  another captain walking past importantly while the women of the time are not captured in this image.  I have been thinking of those women; wives, mothers and daughters  of the seamen, stewards and ship workers and wondering what they felt as their loved ones set sail that day.  Probably they were grateful for work and a wage coming in to the family.

I watched this clip  and found it incredibly moving,  the actor who played the captain in the 1997 film 'Titanic' walks down a Southampton street and names the men who lived there  and died in the disaster.  In total 538 crewmen who were registered with a Southampton address lost their lives in the tragedy,  so many families left without a husband, father or son.  No other city felt the impact as strongly.

Can you imagine what it must have felt like to be waiting for news of your loved ones?

  In a time before welfare benefits the inevitable poverty the family would have fallen into without a breadwinner, must have been a huge worry for the women.

To mark this  centenary  the  BBC visited the  Southampton school where my husband teaches history, the whole school took part in a special day dressing up to represent different sections of society on the ship.   They filmed some of the pupils sharing their family memories and passing on stories of relatives who perished.  Everyday families who  eventually survived the aftermath of the disaster

It must have been  very moving when the same number of pupils as   people who were lost were grouped together; a visual reminder to the whole school  assembled on the field of the impact the disaster had on the city.

It is good and right to remember the Titanic, and all who were lost, but we must  also remember and celebrate the survival of all the grieving families left behind. 

Their survival story  was just beginning.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

sunny colour

This morning I am loving all the colours and patterns on the draining board. The sun is streaming through the window and it all looks so bright and cheerful, a perfect welcome to a new day.

I am also very much looking forward to the dishwasher man arriving soon to mend our broken one.  Hopefully in time so we can enjoy this respite from the rainy hail!

What's the weather like in your part of the world today?

Monday, 9 April 2012

Milestones: vintage signs, shops & transport

For all you lovers of vintage signs and stuff I would recommend a visit to the Milestones museum in Basingstoke, such a fabulous wander down history streets.   There was so much to marvel at and enjoy I am saving the room designs and everyday appliance exhibitions for another day.  

Looking in the shop windows was a real treat,

how the high street has changed!

So many exciting things to look at and happy memories as we spied things we remembered from grandparents houses. 

The bright vintage advertising signs  adding a colourful touch to our walk.

The different forms of transport were fun to talk about and explore.

My top find of the day had to be this box showcasing all my favourite things:

sewing, chocolates, flowers and turquoise!

Which is your favourite transport picture?

Sunday, 8 April 2012

A Cracking Hunt!

A slight change to the annual chocolate hunt this year, mainly because I realised too late we didn't have enough little chocolate eggs in the house.  A large amount of real eggs had been smashed while the children were drawing on them earlier so I couldn't even use them. They were so keen to start I thought it wouldn't make much of a difference if they weren't hard boiled - turns out it does matter  quite a lot!

Inspiration hit as I looked at the easter crackers I had bought  from the pound shop; we were going to embark on a cracker hunt.  Can you find the one hidden in the bush?

This was the only egg left after our fun drawing session that turned into a messy but probably more fun time.

It is not as if they are being deprived of chocolate, this is only a selection of what is in the house.

This was my easter bunch of flowers, 

how special is that?

Happy Easter everyone, enjoy celebrating

"He is not here, he has risen!"

Saturday, 7 April 2012

yarn bombing

Following on from the excitement of  discovering this  last week, it was fantastic  to spot  a growing collection of "yarn bombing" (which is, I have discovered another way to describe graffiti knitting)  as we drove home a few days ago. Intrigued I quickly found a letter to post and returned to the source of the excitement with camera in hand.  The mystery knitters have been at it again:

pretty bunting to brighten up the tree,

a mystery animal hanging,

unusual flowers appearing!

Not content with brightening up the posts in the car park they have been busy and have also yarn bombed the tree, a lamppost and a telegraph pole. 

 Such a simple but effective idea used here

Was this stitching done in the dark?

It certainly does brighten up our little part of the world!

This is what I would like to see next please mystery knitters:

An old ladies knitting groups covered a pub in Battle, East Sussex with crochet graffiti for an Arts week they had last year. It was brilliant. They made a pub sign, flowers for the window boxes, bench covers, curtains. Wish I could find a picture now @zingzingtree

Thank you for everyone who left comments on my graffiti knitting post; I have had such fun exploring all your links and finding out about this crafty idea.  I think it probably is "middle class rebellion" but looks so much nicer than other graffiti and has made lots of people smile so it must be a good thing.  I found a reader with a fun yarn bombing   story, and I feel inspired to brighten   my own garden with colourful knitting.

Which one is your favourite "yarn bomb"?

Friday, 6 April 2012

Good Friday


Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it.  He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves." 

 He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.”

This cup is the new covenant between God and his people - an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you
Luke 22 : 17 - 20

"This is how we know what love is, that Jesus Christ laid down his life for us..." 

1 John 3:16

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Picnic inside

Feeding the family is a bit like laundry; never ending and always something else needing to be done ready for the next loading.  School holidays bring such a relief from the every evening packed lunch ritual but also provide a huge potential to double our food bill,  all  the extra bottles of wine me and relaxing teacher man consume don't help either!

We had a few extra for lunch yesterday and as I prepared the food I had to think really carefully about it to avoid the need to pop to the supermarket.  We were running pretty low on supplies but   I was determined not to pop to the shops and use what we had in the house, a little bit of creative cutting with a sharp knife certainly saved the day.

Apart from my littlest lady who I gave a plate too, the rest all loved helping themselves buffet style and eating it picnic style.  This was really because our big table has broken and they didn't all fit around the other one but  they thought it was  great fun.  It was a pretty basic lunch, we always make great use out of the Sainsbury's basic range.  Their peanut butter is the favourite of all brands with my children.

A few nights ago I bought several loaves of bakery bread reduced  and cut it using the slicing machine next to the bakery, this is really worth doing as it stretches the loaf much further.  It also makes it a lot quicker to defrost.  They all love choosing their own toppings and making their own sandwiches, adding to the fun kitchen picnic event!

I creatively sliced up the carrots to make four stretch between ten of us, used my fabulous apple cutter to make the apples go further as well. As ever I cut the one packet of biscuits I had into smaller pieces so there were enough for everyone, great skill is needed here to avoid arguments about biscuit size!
Unearthing the egg cutter, I used it to stretch the two remaining eggs around us all.  As it is the holidays I gave them  the last few crisps in a bowl, I am not sure that the last to the table actually got many but there were no loud complaints.

Basic: Carrots, dip, lemon curd & tortilla crisps!

The lovely mummy of the visiting girls had baked us a yummy cake which was wolfed down by the gang.  As it is Easter week we have been eating lots of hot cross buns and there were enough to be shared between us for lunch.

After the 'picnic' the gils played happily and I managed to spend time crafting with the boys:

The mask was meant to be his sisters!

As ever Mr funny guy made us all laugh!

Where are you eating your lunch today? 
Try & make it  somewhere fun!