Wednesday, 17 March 2010

catching up...

Sorry I've been absent from blogland for the last couple of weeks. I had a week-long visit to my mum's in Kent, including celebrating my daughter's second birthday. Then I had a hectic week with her party for her little friends at home, and lots of work planning and running creative writing courses, one for the weekend just gone down at a residential education centre in Somerset. And to top it all off my hubby has been away for store training for 3 weeks just as daughter enters terrible two's - so I've been getting very tired out, and only had time to blearily read a few blog posts and prompts from Shimelle's class before I've fallen asleep each evening!

Thankfully hubby is arriving home tonight, and I don't have too much work over the next couple of weeks, so I should be able to play catch-up!

You know how my last blog post was about my obsession with owls? And on my layout about this I mentioned that I could only find socks with the image on as grown-ups clothes? Well, literally a few hours after I'd posted this I arrived at my mum's in Kent and was presented with this:

I love it, love it, love it! How great is my mum? I think she'd somehow heard my plea when I was creating the layout. It shows that even though we've lived apart for over ten years now, our bond is still strong! She'd also bought me a dress which fits me like a glove - which is suprising as I've lost a stone in a half in the last couple of months (rosemary conley diet and exercise - wahoo!). So how did she manage to get a dress to fit me just so when she hasn't seen me since xmas? Miracle mum!

We had a great time spending the week with her, and my sister and stepdad. We also get to see my brother and his wife and kids when we visit as they live in the same town, so it was great for my daughter to have some quality time with them. She also enjoyed the fact that granny has a garden (we only have a paved-patio space), she did some twig collecting and some watering the plants for them:

I really want to get her a little watering can and plant some flowers in a pot at home now too!

It was her birthday while we were there, and we spent the day playing with her cousins and then having a b-day tea of pizza and chips followed by cake! Then on the following day, when daddy didn't have to work, we all went to the farm, also joined by my parents in law and hubby's foster sister. There was thirteen of us! Unlucky for some, but lucky for us as we had a fab day despite the drizzle. We watched a bird show where my daughter got to stroke an owl, saw some farm animals, and played on the boucy pillows (like bouncy castles but without the walls!). We also had a feast of a picnic for lunch (all our birthday celebrations seem to involve a lot of food!) Here she is (and me in pic 2) enjoying the day:

The day after we got back home to Dorset we had a little birthday brunch for her at our friend's house, where one of her presents was this little owl puppet/egg cosy:

And the day after she had her birthday party with her friends from playgroup - 4 little girls and a baby brother came so it was busy and fun! She really had an extended birthday - four days of celebrations - I'm quite jealous!

To finish off for now I'll show you a pic of her with a couple of the presents we gave her - disney princess barbie dolls. I wasn't sure whether to get them yet as I thought they might be a bit old for her, but she's really got into watching the films lately so we bought them - and she loves them! Plays with them all day long! As she was playing with them I remembered I got her this snow white costume at a car boot sale last summer and put it away until she was big enough. Her eyes really lit up when she saw it and she kept showing me her dress and the snow white doll's dress like she couldn't quite believe they were the same! I want to get her more costumes now!

That will do for this evening! I'm off to try and so some stash busting from the inspiration in Shimelle's Something from Almost Nothing class, so watch this space!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

An obsession with...


I love all the little owl designs that are around at the moment. I did point out a very cute owl cushion for mother's day which they had in Tesco's, but I didn't receive it this morning so I guess it went in one of hubby's ears and out the other!

But never mind, as I have this layout I made the other day to see me through:

I spent ages trying to work out where to write the journalling, then hit on the idea to cut my background paper down, layer it on some lilac paper, and write around the border. The journalling reads (I've covered up my daughter's name):

My little girl's fave book at the moment is 'Owl Babies'. She knows all their names and she speaks Bill's 'part' - she even pulls a sad face because he wants his mummy!
I made this owl cushion for Rosie ~ my daughter was upset that it wasn't for her!
You can find lots of little girl clothes with owls on, I can only find socks for me!

I've used 'Honey and Hugs' papers by Papermania, I think the owls are so very cute on them!

My little girl loves owl's too, calling them 'Twit-twoos' (hence the title), so I have also used them as the inspiration for her birthday party invitations. I'm only planning to invite 6 kids but I made a couple of spares, as I was using up scraps of paper on them anyway:

I can't believe she will be two next week! It's going so fast! I love that she has such a creative side emerging too. She helped stick all the pieces onto her invitations (though she did have some direction - or the eyes would have been no-where near the owls!), and thanks to a tip on Micayla's blog (post here), I glued over a whole sheet of paper so she could aesthetically place some sequins, paper flowers, punched shapes etc, and then tip glitter on top! I think it looks very pretty!

And finally, Shimelle's class 'Something from almost nothing' has started, and though I haven't made anything directly inspired by the prompts yet, I have been encouraged to use up some of my 'stuff', and created this button heart:
It was a free project sheet from Hobbycraft, and followed kind of the same principles as the button necklace I made before (see here) so it didn't take too long. It's currently hanging from a curtain rail as I don't have many hooks in the wall, but I want to find somewhere a bit more prominent for it!
I'm looking forward to trying out some of Shimelle's ideas, I have a layout and a few cards in mind already from her suggestions. Now I just need a spare minute or two...!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

sunny days

It's been lovely getting a bit of sunshine the last week or so, even though it's still been cold! It's meant that we could get up to some outdoor activities: clearing the garden, feeding the ducks, and going for some nodding-snowdrop and glittering-seaside walks.
My dad came down for a visit and took us over to Swanage for the day. We went for a walk in Durlston Country Park, along the cliffs to see the lighthouse. For that portion of the day I had come prepared with welly boots for my daughter, so she could splash in the muddy puddles and kick stones about without me worrying. Then we went in to Swanage town centre for a wander around the shops, so I changed her into her flowery shoes and left the mucky wellies in the car.
On the way back to the car she shouts "beach, beach," and I don't often turn down a walk on the beach, so we had a stroll along the sand, with my little girl holding my hand, throwing stones into the sea and running away from the waves. On the way back up the beach to go home she sees the perfect stone.
"One more?" she pleads.
I'm feeling lazy by now, so I say "Okay, off you go," and watch her run her cute little run back to the sea, and it's a perfect moment for a sunny beach shot, so like a dutiful scrapper I get out the camera and get a beautiful picture:
Then I decide to zoom in for a closer shot. Hmm, something isn't right...
Arggh! Ankle deep in seawater with pretty flowery shoes on! I shouted to her and she turned around with a bewildered look on her face, still standing in the sea. "Get out then you wally!" I call, running towards her, but she just looks forlornly down at the stone still clutched in her hand, not sure whether she should throw it first or obey mummy's suggestion! She decided on a compromise, quickly dropping the stone with a splash and stomping out to me with her soaking feet!
Luckily I had some spare trousers in the car but no spare socks, I put my woolly gloves on her feet to keep them warm, which she wasn't sure about at first but got used to as the car lulled her to sleep to recover from her ordeal!
The skies turned grey and threatening again this afternoon, but I had some good news to cheer me up. I'd won a Giveaway on Laura's blog, the prize being a place on Shimelle's new class 'Something From Almost Nothing' (click the image below to find out more about this). I was very excited to win as I'd been reading lots about the class from other participants and I wanted to be part of it, especially as it should help me use up some of my stash (and therefore give me an excuse to buy more!)
So thanks Laura for not only having a fun to read, inspiring blog, but also for giving us the chance to win great prizes!
Talking about great prizes my 'Blogging for Bliss' book that I won on Sian's blog arrived very quickly and look how prettily it was packaged:

I love it! I'm sure I'll use the fabric and the ribbon on future projects and the book is already proving to be a very interesting read, except that it's so packed with good blogs to visit that I want to spend hours cruising around them instead of writing my own...!

They say good things come in threes and it looks like I'm on a winning streak, so tomorrow I'm definitely off to buy a lottery ticket! (Though I've probably jinxed any future win by saying it out loud. Oops.)

I'm off to investigate the Shimelle class forum and to look forward for the start of the class tomorrow - yay!


P.S. Does anyone know why Blogger will sometimes allow me to have a gap between my paragraphs and sometimes it squishes them all together? I've had to put full stops in the line between most of them so they won't get all bunched up, but it did not do this for the last 3 paragraphs? If you know the answer please help!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Wandwomen, rag rugs and junk creations...

I spent today in Dorchester at Dorset Women's Day, an event organised by Wandwomen (Wand = Women's Action Network Dorset; It was a day of free workshops, goodie bags, interesting stalls and yummy food, I had a fabulous time!

It was discovered by my friend Rosie, who picked up a leaflet about it a couple of days ago, and we were so intrigued by all the things you could do that we had to go check it out! There was even a free creche so I could take my little girl and have her looked after for the bits she couldn't join me for. We took part in Street Dancing, a Self Esteem Workshop and two craft activities. The first of these was junk sculpture, building beautiful things out of rubbish, driftwood and odds 'n' ends! I asked my daughter what she wanted to make and she asked for an elephant so here he is:
She kept trying use the 'trunk' as a telephone until it was all glued together! I really like him, though I think his trunk needs some colour. It made me really want a glue gun so I can make some more funky stuff like this!
The other craft activity was rag-rug weaving on a peg loom. I let my daughter choose what materials I should start with - she picked a strip of pink bubble packaging!
So the rug evolved as a pink / white / blue fairy rug!
Here's Rosie with her purply green creation (I was a bit jealous of her colour choice!)
Would love to do it again one day, and make a bigger rug without any bubble packaging in it!
I will definitely be looking out for Dorset Women's Day next year as well, perhaps I'll help out this time? But then will I be able to attend everything too?!!
On an un-related matter, I keep meaning to post this little video of my cheeky monkey doing a 'balloon dance' with the free balloon we got from Ikea! Some of the things she does make me sad that I'm not little anymore as it looks like so much fun! (Excuse my washing hanging in the background!)

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