Friday, 13 December 2013

Christmas came early

I have been on the look out for one of these beauties for a while now and watched several go for silly money, even after discovering a nifty local app to save postage costs. The ebay fairies were finally smiling on me this week when I won my very own  Singer 99K,  even easier the pick up was on my husband's way home from work. 

The cover is in good condition and surprisingly the machine is not hernia inducingly heavy.

Even more exciting was finding the manual still inside, 

those  fifties illustrations are fabulous.

Look at the  matching apron and curtain!

The box of bits looks fun and appropriately festive.

This interesting website dates the machine as being made in 1956. I just need to clean and oil her and then she will be ready to play.

I am so looking forward to using her.

Have you used one of these beauties? 
Surely I cannot be alone in my love for them!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Rocking the Pixie look!

Three years and eight months today and I am feeling a sadness that I fell behind with my "Ruby Months" pictures.  Somewhere between teaching full time, having a house full of chaos with building upheaval and a newborn these monthly reminders of how my sweet girl is growing got lost.  Such a lovely chatty child, truly kind, sharing with her baby sister and so full of character.  A unique sense of style as demonstrated by her random choice of outfits for pre school, her fashion statement  however is not contained to what she wears.

Three years & seven months

Baby had been ill so I stayed home from church with the little  girls  and while the smallest slept I took a shower.  Even the unusual quietness did not prepare me for the surprise ahead.

If I hadn't been so tired I might have been more concerned at seeing this on the chair, however  the fog of exhaustion lifted abruptly when I saw my beautiful girl.

Even combing the remnant of her pretty curls across did not help.

She had well and truly hacked her hair!

The front was also victim to the innocent enough paper scissors.

It couldn't have looked worse so taking my small sewing scissors I began a rescue operation.

Actually it looks okay (ish)

Ruby the pixie!

Have you ever had a similar experience?

I am just so glad it wasn't before an important event and that she hadn't played hairdressers on a friend!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

A Moment to Make

When the most creative thing you have done in weeks is balance the bank account or stretch a bag of lentils into several meals. When the baby has been teething, the children ill and  it is raining and miserable outside; such times as these deem it necessary to ignore never ending chores and take a moment to make.

Having spent the last few months (years) sorting the clutter and stuff of our lives,   changing the furniture around and trying to make this oldpolicehouse into a place that works well for our family, there seems to be a lovely space for me in our now redundant dining room.  We still have no idea what to call this room, which as of  last week is now no longer a dumping ground.  A crafty study homework room seems to be the latest  name.

I've had a crafty corner for a while  but it was in the midst of a lot of boxes, bags and general household junk, those pictures were hiding a huge mess.  Not at all relaxing or inspiring.

It is still not finished but after a furniture shuffle the radiator is clear and the room works so much better,  just to keep it real you can actually walk in it now!

No one seems to mind that I am gradually taking it over with pictures and things that make me happy.

Love these vintage sewing items, the packaging is fabulous.

These victorian bible verses are beautiful, both to look at and read.

My Mollie Makes calendar is reminding me to get busy, happily I have a pile of delicious fabric to cut and sew.

My moment of making is set to start and I must grab it before the babe awakes.

What happy thing do you do in those moments to yourself?

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Lasts & Firsts

Such a season of change in the police house, lots of lasts inevitably leading to new firsts. New schools, colleges, courses and jobs, all reminding me of how quickly small people grow.

Oldest boy, as ever leads the way into new paths as he left school earlier in the summer.

First Prom and how how did we miss the hugeness of that event for so many years? Such a fun evening watching beautiful teenagers make their entrance up the school hill to celebrate the end of an era. My boy and his pals made a spectacular entrance as they bounced up the hill in their finery.

Exam results, finally reaching sixteen, working, going to music festivals and enrolling in college for A levels: huge life events for this not so little boy (more for his mother in reality).

Starting new exam courses, babysitting, socialising, getting new piercings, we have hardly seen our beautiful girl this summer.

About to start the new adventure of senior school, having shared the ear piercing experience with her older sister,  my girl has spent the summer making amazing creations using duct tape and crafting beautiful friendship bracelets. A font of quirky knowledge and keeping us all happy with her delicious cakes,  this fantastic girl even sewed in her own name labels for her new uniform. That's a first I welcome.

The chilled peacemaker of the family is next, about to move into his last class of primary school this boy has truly discovered football. When not playing, or illicitly retrieving a ball from a neighbouring garden, he will be reciting a random football fact. Beating his big brother in the fantasy football league was the highlight of his summer. Easily forgiving  his mummy for getting the wrong time and accepting disappointment at being too late to enter the football league at church camp, this boy is such a star.

Another August boy has firmly put little boy toys behind him. All trace of toddler ness has been firmly ejected from his bedroom and he is sharing the football and cricket passions with his big brothers. Six years old and loving reading the beano and playing Lego batman, he has grown up so much over the summer. Another super star.

This small girl who is no longer small is leaving toddler times behind and rapidly developing into a little (bossy) girl. Still battling with the eye patch,  she gave a spectacularly stubborn performance in front of the consultant, hands clamped over her eyes refusing to play any eye test games. Not her finest hour, just as well we love her!

This little girl continues to charm us all with her giggles and smiles.

As the late September sun shines I want to capture this time; life is good and I am feeling very thankful.

Tell me a thankful moment for you!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Granny in the Guardian

How exciting to open the paper today and see this.

Truly a proud family moment to read this in print.

For more on her story please read here.

Happy Weekending everyone!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Beano Bunting

I do have a bit of a love affair with bunting going on.  

After reading how my friend creatively set up a nursery for her small boy I looked around the oldpolicehouse and realised there was bunting in almost every part of the house. Different designs and medium but without doubt quite a lot.  Seeing those happy little triangles, hearts or even rectangles hanging make me smile lots and I obviously got lucky with a man who never complains about it.

Boys bunting however is much harder to get right, especially as they start to grow and my teen boys room is a definite bunting free zone.

The slightly smaller boys room has just had the usual holiday sort out and de clutter.  Thomas the Tank engine has been firmly replaced by football and the duplo has been donated to a younger sister as it has been deemed too young.  How quickly time passes and it makes me slightly sad to see the Thomas train carrier that used to accompany us everywhere banished.

Smallest boy is amazing at reading and is loving all the Beano annuals we discovered in our sort. A few have not fared well over the years and I had a little play with some discarded pages and came up with this. 

Unfortunately the smallest boy got very upset as he saw me cutting because he hadn't read that page, oops!

I cut the pages into triangle, using a template made from an old cereal pack. This is because the pirate bunting hanging opposite to this, which I made in literally ten minutes before a birthday party, I didn't and every time I look at it and see the different shaped triangles I feel annoyed I didn't take more care!

I then used a piece of bias binding and folded it across the flag.  I started to pin it but actually found it much easier to just hold it and feed it through by hand.

Here's how to make Beano bunting a few simple steps:

1. Cut up an old annual (best to use a template)

2. Use folded bias binding (or ribbon folded)

3. Fold over the flags (easier to do it one at  a time as it is actually going through the machine)

4. Sew together

Using the sewing machine I simply sewed it all together, the paper was easy to work with at it is quite thick and hangs well.  It was so easy to do and looks very effective  although remember to change the sewing needle after as it will be very blunt after this project.

Hang it somewhere and enjoy.

Are you a fellow bunting lover? 

Where do you hang it?

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Summer holiday crafting

This is the time of year I am totally thankful to be married to a teacher: A summer without the pressure of  everyday life is the perfect antidote to our hectic term life. Almost two weeks into the break and we are all enjoying the slower pace and adapting to a calmer rhythm to our day, time to play and create is precious. 

Pyjama crafting has to be the best and whilst the small people were playing after breakfast, inspiration struck.

To dismiss any illusions of perfection just look at that floor!

I have a slightly sad love for my laminator (well I am a primary school teacher) and have gone through stages of laminating pretty much everything in the house. Apart from scan pictures as I was put off by all those scary signs in the scan room telling you it causes them to fade, very glad I read those! Unearthing the laminator to protect year six disco pictures for my almost starting secondary school girl I had an idea.


Quickly typing out a bit of proverbs truth and grabbing a fabric sample I happily fed it through our machine.

 A new inspirational verse to hang in the kitchen.

It worked so well and has sparked off lots of new project ideas. This method would work really well as a small business card or invite, without text it could be a hanging decoration or mobile particularly if I was to cut out a flower fabric.

My creative mind is buzzing with possibilities.

Have you ever used your laminator in a creative way?

Monday, 22 July 2013

Summer Sizzlin'

The weather has been pretty hot and humid in the south.  Al fresco eating has become the norm and jumping in the new  paddling pool to cool off has become an  essential part of our day.  We have lived in the garden, although at times it has been too hot to remain outside. The newly tiled kitchen floor is providing much needed coolness  and seems to be standing up to the wet piles of towels and footprint trails very well. 

We were a bit busy with builders and babies earlier in the year to make full use of the little vegetable patch at the bottom of the garden but our  neglected raspberries  are doing well and the strawberries are providing a tasty treat  for a small  paddling pool soaked and hungry child. 

This little girl is growing so fast and is about to enter her pre school year; three years, five months today and as full of chattery happiness  as ever.  It has been very precious seeing her take on the role of big sister so well.

She loves life with her little sister and often announces "I love  my Mabel, I'm going to keep her forever!" 

That's a relief, almost as much as ending up with a sweet little babe  who seems very happy to carry out daily life under the shadow of her busy sister. I will enjoy the peace while it lasts, although the house is far from peaceful at the moment as we have two extra (spanish students for a month) and my lovely craft corner seems to have become the local music mixing room  and is filling up with hungry teenage boys!

I have been playing around with the manual settings on my camera and cannot decide which strawberry photo  I  prefer. Obviously with eleven people in the house this month to feed and do laundry for I shouldn't really have time to gaze at photos, much more fun though!

So is it focus on strawberry at the front or do you prefer the focus at the back?  

Big life decisions!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Hat Fair

Hat fair weekend always brings with it such a buzz and adds an amazing creative vibe to our beautiful little city.

The name originates from the street performers leaving a hat out to collect contributions from passers by. It is run every year and most certainly worth a visit.  There are many events all around the centre of town, a huge range of fun performances to entertain.   

Such a happy, sunny walk down the high street last Sunday as the  busy vintage market was setting up  and preparing for a busy day.

Signs showing where all the events were happening, lots nicer than the usual ones.

So many amazing stalls, sadly small children were not as keen to browse as I was.

Lots of interesting objects to look at.

So many pretty shelves full of fascinating items.

I love the mix of colours against the table of these vintage items.

As I walked round the corner I was too early for this performance.

I was tempted to find a chair and wait, so many wonderful things to gaze at.

These little jars looked lovely with freshly picked flowers in.

Totally an idea to steal for the kitchen table at home.

Have you ever visited the hat fair? 

Do they have them in other places too?