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December 2007
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February 2008

Unexpected blog rest

I have so much to show and say, but no internet connection thanks to the ever inefficient British Telecom - fancy giving me a new telephone number with someone else's broadband account still attached! Needless to say it has taken them weeks to sort out and we will not be using the bumbling BT for our broadband connection.

Should be up and running again by Feb 7th. I'll have news of new Mistletoe Cottage courses and some other bits I've been involved in - but I won't bore you with what I've been concentrating on most (unpacking!)

How do you doodle


A little something I made during the Christmas break. This type of doodling usually goes in my sketch book but I decided to use needle and thread instead. No planning, just free-form and very fun to see where it went as I stitched along. I used a bit of felted wool blanket for this one, but I'll probably use linen next time.

It was very satisfying to have an unplanned little craft. Give it a go, stitch a little sketch with just needle and thread, see what you can come up with.

Haven't had a chance to unpack any craft and sewing items yet and this treasured little piece is buried under a mountain of boxes.


My sewing table. I got it a few years ago in a little antique shop in a village nearby. It's nothing fancy, a small old pine table with two drawers at the front and lovely marks of wear, vestiges of owners past. When I saw it I knew it was perfect and finding my sister's initials carved into it meant I just had to take it home.

For some reason my family feels finding things like laundry soap and cutlery is more important than my bits and bobs, sorry table you'll have to wait.

Quick peeks


We'll miss our little Edwardian home near the sea. It had little hideaways like this back porch covered with jasmine and we could walk into town or to the beach.


We're now back in the countryside closer to school. I asked the children to take some pictures of the new house, but this is what I got. Our new house from a 6 year old's perspective.

Music to pack a house by:


Love this

Mark Ronson CD. Funky, jazzy beat energized me for the dreaded move.

Music to unpack a house by:


Fantastic live JT album we just found again (benefits of a move - finding stuff.) Voice with perfect clarity and amazing backing vocals too. Something about James Taylor that makes me feel like I've come home.


Also, thanks Laura, my Holiday Traditions Swap partner for the fantastic package of goodies. I love it all, especially these little santa cinnamon sticks!

Thanks Meg from Montessori By Hand for organizing the swap : )

Moving is for the birds!


Gracie and I took a rest from packing today to make a few pine cone bird feeders - a little going away treat for the birds. After putting them up we were visited by our usual robins, blue tits and black birds but also dozens of starlings that would swoop in all at once and suddenly disappear all together again.

Last year I was lucky enough to catch this little guy with my long lens, a great spotted woodpecker. Click on any of these bird names and on this RSPB site and you can hear each bird's call. It's a fantastic site, even if like me, your not a madly dedicated bird enthusiast.


And if you take your eye off the wildlife in the tree for a wee second, you might just find they've scurried to the top for a better view of the sea!


I just had to run in the house and get up stairs to get a picture of this little monkey at the tree top - perhaps some mums might stand underneath in case the child fell ;)

Making these couldn't be easier. I've made them in the past with peanut butter and margarine, mixed together but have since heard peanut butter may not be best for birds - something about a lack of salivary glands? Someone from MIFS mentioned it, sorry don't remember who.

This year we just used margarine and rolled the cones in seed and pushed as much seed as we could into them. We hung three and they were cleaned out in just a week - the birds love them. Our weather is cold enough that the margarine firms up nicely - give it a go, they couldn't be any easier to make.

Tip: Tie a bit of garden twine to the top of the cone (for hanging) before slathering margarine all over - less mucky that way.