Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Do they know something I don't??

THIS came for me in the post today.

A lovely blue envelope from Mr Tesco.

Just the usual load of bumpf for Clubcard holders I thought. Although maybe they were a little off the mark with their targetting of the image on the envelope.


THAT was nothing!!!

Inside was this little lot...


My baby's needs??

Kiddie will be 9 YEARS old next month!!! A free handy pack of baby wipes is not really an appropriate present Mr T, but I suppose they'll come in handy somewhere, so thanks very much. :ox


Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Shiny, shiny, shiny...

...shiny, shiny hair!!!

OK. So we're not talking drastic restyle here, after all. I decided to keep my ears covered in this cold weather. I'll chop it all off in the Spring.

I've had so many nice comments about it whilst shopping that I've been floating. :o) Thank you nice ladies of Lichfield. Thank you too Oliver at Silks for a fabbo cut. Actually it's worth going just for the shampoo bit. They have these amazing chairs which recline and then give you a back massage whilst your hair is shampooed, conditioned and massaged. Bliss....

And now a cheeky request.

Does anybody have a ball of this stuff they would like to swap? It's Rowan Biggy Print in Splash shade. I really want to attempt to make a hat from the Biggy Print pattern book I have. The problem I have is the hat needs two balls and I only have one of blue and one of caramel and I don't want to mix.

Would anyone like to swap a ball of sandy/toffee coloured wool, or indeed something else, for a ball of blue? Pretty please?

Here's hoping...

Monday, 24 November 2008

Well we had snow - did you??

On Sunday morning we did have a sprinkling on the car roofs at about, but by the time all sensible people were up and awake it was raining. However, the kiddie and I did get our winter clothes and thick boots on and we went tobogganing. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.....

We went to The Snowdome at Tamworth. It is the best place in the world to have a kids party. A 170 metre slope of real snow which is cold and wet when it soaks into the seat of your trousers (nice!).

It starts at the top left of this picture bends round to the left and down to the bottom with a couple of little bumps on the way. (This piccie is a bit distorted to fit it all in - credit to for it.) It is soooooooo much fun. When you take small people (under age 10) they have to go in a toboggan with a grown-up, but I have been a few times when it's been just adults and you can really get up to some speeds on those things. Kiddie and I did get airborne on the last run, but no crashes.

After that the kidlets go upstairs and stuff their faces with something and chips, and ice cream. Then the glamour-pusses go and get changed ready for the disco from Hell!!!

Imagine 11 birthday parties all going on in one room!!! Lots and lots and lots of shouting and cheering and screaming and singing and dancing and Bedlam. It's a riot!! They had a whale of a time and, to top it all, our bunch of girlies, or should I say Alicia's bunch of girlies won the prize for the best dancers (due in no small part to Alicia's mum/my BDB Julia who was shimmying and shaking for all she was worth). They had to get as many members of their party on stage, adults included, to jump and prance about. Sadly I had gone to sort out my car park ticket and get a refuel from Starbucks so I came in to see their final 10 seconds. Shucks!

Must add that Julia also won a bottle of bubbly for being the best mummy at dancing ther Macarena. (She says she was in front of me and wearing heels, so I couldn't be seen very well - that's why I didn't win. Personally I think the DJ had got his eye on her after her performance on stage ;O) hehehehehe).

Thanks for a fab time. I know it was for the kids but I had a whale of a time too.

And now.

The moment you've all been waiting for (I know I have been waiting quite a while for it),


My Fairy Tale Swap parcel unveiled.

I know poor Missy has been having a real nightmare trying to get this finished, but with so many girls of various sizes to look after, I'm amazed she got it done this side of Christmas.

So first of all there is a really sweet little tote bag, which is already in use holding a craft project I'm working on in secret for kiddie. All will be revealed on December 1st (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, know what I mean).
It has a little pocket on the front which, in the photo, contains postcards from Arizona (where Missy lives). You know you see all the programmes on TV about storm chasers and freak lightning and extreme weather, well that's where she lives. Scary or what?! Look at that lightning!! Oh and there were some candy buttons (which we won't talk about cuz if I ignore them they might go away and stop taunting me with their sugary calorific-ness. (My diet crashed and burned last week).

She also made me this really sweet little quiltette featuring Hansel and Gretel. I love the border fabric of chocolates. I have NOT been licking this fabric (contrary to what my OH may tell you).

Here's a close-up of the centre panel showing the glittery sparkly details on the gingerbread cottage. How cute. I've lost this to kiddie, well kiddie's monkey called Blossom is actually sleeping under it as we speak. Typical!!

Thanks soooooo much Missy. It was worth the wait. xx
So the decorating is progressing. Slowly...
From this angle it looks great. Just the radiator to do and we're sorted but then you pan back a bit...

and if you move a bit higher up the stairs,
you can see where I've decided that maybe I need a bit of help...
Despite the size and position of this 'note', he still hasn't joined in yet. Maybe I should email it to him or post it on Facebook.

Aside from the painting it's a busy week this week, not least because on Thursday I'm meeting up with some of the other lovely crafty bloggers.
In real life!!!
In person!!!
Not on a screen. Can you believe it? I've met one of them before (Sam - incywincy) but not the others. It's going to be fun.
That night is the switch on of the local Christmas lights in Lichfield, presided over by the great Tony 'Amarillo' Christie (he lives here dontcha know).
Also have double belly dancing, double Irish dancing for kiddie, a swap to start and finish, a craft show to prepare for, painting to finish, a commission to work on, a hair cut to have performed, more ebay shennanigans to sort out. I'm knackered and it's only Monday.
Better go and lie down with a nice cool glass of... erm... water. Gotta watch those calories. :o)

Thursday, 20 November 2008


A lovely bloggy chum has asked me to pass this urgent message on to anyone and everyone. If you can help please, please, please do. :o)
Love life!
Live Life!
Give Life!

For some Leukaemia patients time is running out and YOU could give a child, a student, a parent a chance they so desperately need. A small blood sample is all it takes to join the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register as a potential bone marrow donor. If you match a patient you can personally help by donating your bone marrow.........a life-giving experience.

Are you aged between 18 and 40 and in good health and weigh more than 8st?

The register desperately needs male donors and donors from ethnic backgrounds.

If you would like to join the register you can do so at this drop in clinic;

Thursday December 4th

Ightenhill Children's Centre
Oak Street
BB12 6QZ

From 2pm until 6pm.

Thank you!

Yeah. Yeah. I know.... but I'm here now :o).




Last weekend we went to sunny (yes it was) Devon for OH's birthday present. I bought hil tickets to see this bloke.

I bought tickets for the other half way back in June as he loves him. Never misses Mock the Week. Unfortunately the only ones I could get were not in a nice local Midlands venue - nope - we had to travel to the Princess Theatre in Torquay!!! Not quite as daft as you might think. It meant we could also visit my sis and her family, and get babysitters built into the trip.

Frankie was really good but I prefer him on Mock the Week to be honest. We were right in the front row so I spent most of the show terrified he was going to pick on us. When he did address me it was to ask what job I did. I told him the last one had been a Fashion/Textiles tutor and he made some crack about it being a really useful, necessary occupation. I got off lightly!!

Whilst in Devon I also managed something I've never previously done. We walked to Berry Head, around the fort and through the woods down to Shoalstone outdoor seapool. This looked really sad as it had been drained for the winter for repairs.

We carried on along the coast path to the 'stoney beach' (Brixham breakwater beach) where we saw this in the sea:

To the unititated this is a 'blob' - a DSMB (delayed surface marker buoy) and attached to it is a length of cord dangling down under the surface, at the end of which you will find a couple of scuba divers. (OK to the real experts this should be a more spherical SMB but OH doesn't have one). Basically our other halves went for a 'bimble' (technical term) while we went for our walk. They missed out on a cream tea in favour of getting cold and wet. The mind boggles...

Other news...
Monday was our 18th wedding anniversary. We didn't go out, instead I hit the M&S food hall for steak and stilton sauce. Kiddie decided that we should make it into a posh party so she chose outfits for me and OH. This is what I had to wear:

my strapless ballgown. OH got off lightly with a co-ordinating beige ensemble. She even picked matching socks for him!! Bless.

This was my prezzie from him. Sorry - flower arranging is not my forte.
Making stuff? Well here are the finished snowmen. Like the trees they are layers of sheer fabrics, sparkly threads, sequins and lace all sandwiched together and free machined. A backing of felt is added then the details are stitched by hand.

Following a post by Summerfete I had a go at recycling last year's Christmas cards (yes - I've kept them). You need to cut out 20 circles the same size then mark an equilateral triangle in the centre of each one. (I think it's easier if you draw your triangle first then mark the circle around it). Score and fold along the three sides of the triangle, then glue these flaps together in the following way - 5 with points together to make the top, 5 with points together to make the bottom then the remaining 10 in a line. Join the end of the line to make a circle and attach the 2 'hats' at top and bottom. This should make a ball. I used paperclips to hold the flaps together while the glue dried. When dry attach some ribbon or thread to hang them from.

I spent the whole of yesterday using these:

We decided a long time ago that our hall, stairs and landing are very tatty and drab, and 2 days ago I decided enough was enough. OH was away overnight so I thought I would surprise him. I managed to strip wallpaper and wallop on 2 coats of brilliant white emulsion on the walls of hall and stairs, including cutting in. I can't reach the ceilings upstairs so hubby has got to do them. Today I have to start on the woodwork. Hooray!!
And finally...
Question - Is it possible to get a hangover from liqueur chocolates?
Answer - YES!!!
M&S had these on offer when I visited to buy the anniversary feast so I bought some. During the course of Tuesday I ate... a few... errr.. well 8 actually. But that was during a whole day. Anyhoo, I woke up in the middle of the night with a splitting headache. YEOWWWW!!! And that's all I could put it down to. The combo of several thimblefuls of alcohol and a smidge of dark chocolate was just too potent. That'll teach me to be a pig!!

Oooh before I go must just show my new shoes. Sorry Katy I know it's not Monday but hey... When I was getting glammed up on Monday evening I realised - SHOCK!! HORROR!! - I don't possess a pair of heels. I have 3 pairs of wedges but no heels. Am I a real girl??
So yesterday I bought not 1 but 2 pairs. Frivolous? Me? Nah!! I am the barain queen.
Here's the first pair.

And here they are with the price tag:

And the second pair - which I love and will wear all Christmas (as long as I'm sitting down)...

They were more expensive...

HA!!! £7.00 for two pairs of shoes. Beat that!!

Stay tuned. I WILL be back. And next time I will open this parcel.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

It's Emma's fault!! (But don't tell her...)

I don't really need to say anymore than this do I?...

Lola Again is having a mega-huge giveaway for her 300th post. Click on the MEGA-HUGE button above to link to her blog.

This is one of those catch-22 situations - I blog about it and I get 3 more entries into the draw BUT I increase the amount of competition... Hey-ho.

Off to Birmingham now to retrieve my ickle sister from the station. We may have a little lookie round the shops while we're there. Well it'd be rude not to, wouldn't it?


Tuesday, 11 November 2008

90 Years of Remembrance

A poppy mosaic.

Lest we forget.....


Phew! What a frantic but fantastic weekend. We went down to London to stay with some friends and 'do' Bonfire Night in style. There was loads of food and drink. And fireworks. We all took 'just a few' and ended up with over 40 rockets plus assorted others. But first, after a 'small smackerel' we walked to the Ally Pally and watched the amazing display there.
Apologies for the not-too-great photos. We both forgot our cameras so these were all taken on OH's phone.
Eeeek!! A rare photo of him and me!

Some of the Littlies playing with sparklers. S, M and E (mine).

They had a great time. A pack of 6 under-10s charging round together. When we got back we started the mammoth launching back at the house. The fence nearly got burnt down and an attempt to make a mega-rocket out of 4 smaller ones didn't work too well. I think next-door's tree surveved. Just. Boys and their toys.

On Sunday we did a bit of a whistle-stop tourist trip. We caught the tube to London Bridge and got off so the children could see the Great Fire Monument as some of them did about it at school last year. The we walked along the banks of the Thames, taking in all sorts of sights.

The Great Fire Monument

Southwark Cathedral had some great gargoyles but OH managed to not take a picture of any of them!! hee hee. It was the camera's fault honest. No zoom.

Brixham meets London. This is one of the replicas of The Golden Hind. There is another one in the harbour at Brixham. Spooky!

Here are Evie and her new best mate, Morwenna in front of St Pauls and the 'bouncy bridge'.

Those cultural bods amongst you will know that at one end of this bridge is St Pauls and at the other is Tate Modern. Well we even managed to squeeze a bit of culture into the trip with a quick pop inside the Turbine Hall. E, M and S loved it. They imagined they were in a nightmare with all these huge creatures stalking around overhead.

Must admit the current installation is a bit scary. Above is a giant spider apparently.

And this is "a massive cat skelington" they decided. They charged around between the rows of bunk beds untilwe realised that we'd lost everyone else and had to go and look for them.

Eventually, having found everyone, we ended up at Covent Garden. This is L (son of our host and hostess) helping with a performance. Unfortunately he got stage fright half way through and ran back to his big sisters. S (my nephew) took his place and ended up being paid for taking part! How many people can say they went to Covent Garden and made money?!

The drive back home at the end of the weekend had a lot less to be said in it's favour. It was blowing a gale and, as we got nearer to home, it tipped it down. The M1 was like a swimming pool and we could barely see a thing. Luckily kidlet slept for most of the journey so at least we didn't get 'Are we nearly there yet?' ringing in our ears.
And now we're home and have caught up on the lost sleep. I would just like to say a HUGE
to Jan and Simon for having us to stay and for a brilliant weekend. Hope the garden recovers soon. xxx
Don't forget 11.00am.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Me??? Cooking again????

So is it the 'credit crunch' that's making me go 'back to basics'? Or is it the festive feeling that's making me get the cook book out? Who knows but just recently I've been having a baking frenzy - well be my standards anyhoo.

Today I have made this gorgeous gloopy mess. Toffee!!! It's the first time I've ever attempted toffee or caramel or anything of that nature but it seems to have gone OK.

Kiddie really wanted a toffee apple on Halloween but didn't get one. Aaahh shame. (Not really when you see the bagful of other stuff she got! Sugar and E number overload!!)

I had a yen for some bonfire toffee like my nan used to make for Bonfire Night (more of that later) so I Googled a really simple recipe and that was that.

I also made some of my old favourites. The first batch of gingerbread of the winter. That must be special...

It was weird though because I made it on my own. No little extra pair of hands. No small hands to rub the fat in. Kiddie has been off school for the last couple of days with a bit of a lurgy so she was kept away from the baking.

AS they are also for Bonfire Night they had to be stars didn't they?

And as there seems to be a new penchant for kitchen macro shots here's a tasteful, arty close-up. ;o)
The reason for all this Bonfire type activity is because tomorrow we are venturing down to the Big City.
How exciting!!!!
We are going to stay with friends and have a 'pongfire' party and a possible visit to the Ally Pally for some firework fun. My sister's family will be there too so there's going to be quite a houseful. It should be FAB!!!
Sunday is going to be a whistle-stop touristy tour as littlest nephew is currently obsessed with the Houses of Parliament. Bleeeesss...
So, for a change, I should have some interesting photos and events to tell you about. Just recently it feels like everything has been very flat. People keep being ill. The half term interrupts everything. And now kiddie has been off school. She's OK now though. Well enough that I dont have to sit next to her and watch endless CBBC. If I have to watch one more episode of 'Chucklevision' I may commit murder!!! Aaaaarrgghh!!!
In fact I shouldn't moan as I have managed to do some actual sewing today. Oops! Were you sitting down? Sorry I should've warned you.
Lookie at my little snowmen. :o) Same method as the Christmas Trees I made before. Hand stitched faces, felt noses. Now they need scarves and hats which I'm working on at the moment. Just need to get some more white felt as I've run out. There's always something...

Right. Must go. The over timer is pinging - Chicken Chasseur a la Colmans!! See. It's not all cookbooks!!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Big Knit

So today's the day.

Today the little bottles of Innocent smoothie with little woolly hats go on sale in Sainsburys all over the UK. Every bottle sold will raise 50p for Age Concern. Click to read all about it. If you buy any bottles of this scrummy stuff, you could pop over to their Flickr page and see if you can spot your hat.

So today's the day.

America gets it's first black President. Listening to MLK's "I have a dream" speech and then hearing Obama's acceptance speech I had a HUGE lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. I don't follow American politics closely; couldn't tell you any of the promises on either side, and of course the election wasn't fought on race lines


this is a great day. Let's hope he does a good job.


Tuesday, 4 November 2008

So I've got over the shock of the grey hair incident. Nice and Easy to the rescue!!!!

I've also survived half term. We didn't do an awful lot but we did go and see

How spooky for Halloween week though - we went into the cinema and it was fine. We came out and there was a good inch of snow on the ground and it was still falling!! I just wish it had stayed for a bit longer than a few hours. Normally it snows when the kids are in school so they don't have chance to play in it. What a perfect half term that would have been - a few days of snowmen and snowball fights with next door's kids. Cheap too!!! hee hee

We did make a fab and groovy Jack O'Lantern but OH wiped the photo from his camera by mistake and now Mr Pumpkin Head is a bit saggy and past his best. (Sorry I am talking about the sculpted vegetable there, not my OH!!!) We bumped into kiddie's godmother on Thursdasy, having not seen her for months (sorry about the grammar). She and my godson popped round on Friday and she ended up taking kiddie back to their house for the afternoon/evening. Kiddie went 'treacle trotting*' with her two kids and had a great time.

* treacle trotting - knocking on neighbours' doors and saying 'treacle trot' according to my MiL. When this concept first took hold in the UK she misheard what the children were saying. It made me laugh so much when OH told me that it has stuck.

Yesterday was my mum's birthday. Have spent the past week and a half making her prezzie. Photos will follow but I forgot to take any before I wrapped it up. Doh!!! It's a mermaid doll. Mum saw the one I made for the Fairy Tale Swap and she really liked it, so I made her own for her.

On Sunday I was a domestic goddess and made not one but two birthday cakes!! Mum is a coeliac so I swiped a couple of cake mixes from her cupboard that she had never got round to making. One was a Victoria sponge with strawberry jam and fresh cream and the second was a chocolate extravaganza!! Choccie sponge, choccie butter cream, crumbled Flake, Aero Bubbles and Buttons on top. Sadly the Victoria sponge was a bit of a nightmare. I foolishly opened the ove door before it had finished cooking. It sank in the middle and went all gooey and weird! It tasted OK with loads of jam and cream though! Again I'm waiting for photos from mum's camera.

So did you see this on the news??

Remember my chum Ian?? I helped him hang his exhibition earlier this year?? Well this is his latest project. Things have progressed somewhat in the world of Ian Cook. (Remember the name). Reebok commissioned him to create this portrait of Lewis Hamilton to wish him luck in his final race of the season. The painting is created using toys cars - radio controlled cars, battery operated cars, tyres, etc - click on this link to watch a video of work in progress and to see Lewis Hamilton's reaction when he saw the 12 metre high painting unveiled on the banks of the River Thames.

Right. Must go and rescue my steak and potato pie (courtesy of Mr Ginster). I've managed to grill it rather than bake it for the first 10 minutes, so the lid is rather... err.. crunchy!!! So much for the domestic goddess attack.