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February 2009
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April 2009

While I'm away...

Close-up-garden

I'm taking a quick trip to California and will be away for a few days. Sadly the trip is for the funeral of a dear, young uncle.

I leave you with a tiny glimpse of my latest little project for The Green Parent. This is a mini herb garden put together with help from my elves.

We're loving the longer days around here, the sun shone all day today - hope it's shining where you are too:)





Links with thanks

Thank-you-package

This post is about two very generous people who are both so kind that I just have to share them.

Firstly, I received another package from Nanou this week. Thank you Nanou! She sent this package above as a thank you for my thank you package. It contained a fun little notebook for Tristan and more of her beautiful loom flowers for Gracie and me. She also made the most spectacular card - all so special and pretty, even her writing style.

Happily Nanou has been persuaded to share images of all her lovely paper art and collections here on Flickr. Please go and visit her there and see her sweetly unique creations. Leave Nanou a comment and welcome her to the great, big community of online crafters.

Secondly, Pam from Gingerbread Snowflakes began a Christmas themed blog and luckily for us has continued her posts (now not Christmas themed.) She is also a professional photographer so in addition to fantastic traditional craft projects Pam has beautiful images from her spectacular surroundings in the Pacific Northwest.

Pam also gives us a taste of folk art from various cultures including Sweden and Mexico. She currently has a great project using aluminum tooling foil, just one of many tutorials. Her craft interests are vast and varied - have a look!

Pam's-aluminium

This week I mentioned my little camera problem to Pam and although she didn't have any answers, she asked her local "camera guys" about this problem and found out a whole lot. She took the time to write out a huge page of suggestions gleaned from the "camera guys" and made it all sound very sensible and easy to follow. Of course none of the information is found in the manual for the camera.

Thank you Pam for taking the time to help sort this out for me!

Go and have a look through all she has to offer, you won't be disappointed. Leave her a comment and let her know you've dropped by, she's so very friendly :)

P.S. Craft addiction definitely runs in Pam's family, her daughter is the blogland famous, Sister Diane of the CraftyPod; she has loads of great craft podcasts available for download and a lovely site.


New Scarf for a Chilly Wednesday

Sunrise

This morning the clear sky that arrived with the sunrise over the little valley was deceiving. Looks spring-like but the cold is back. My fingers were numb after whipping outside to take a couple of early pictures, of course I was in pajamas. You should have seen me tear back into the house when I heard the farmer next door coming down the track!

The return of the cold gives me the opportunity to show my new "no-sew" scarf and take part in fabulous Scarf-325 Fi's WWW. It took me all of about 10 minutes to make this scarf and I swear 8 of those minutes were spent trying to find a place to spread out my fabric.

The tutorial for said scarf is brought to you by the lovely Debbie at  Pretty + Simple. Debbie's scarf is much prettier than mine so check hers out.

I'm not sure I like the crinkly jersey I used, but it's nice and soft. I love it because it's comfy to leave on all day, not just for outdoors. I bought the jersey here on ebay because ebay is my best option for fabric shopping but there is a downside; it was so inexpensive that I bought more than I need and ended up with colours I probably won't even use. I'm sure if I saw them and touched them in person I would have made better choices.

H A P P Y   W E D N E S D A Y !


Felt & Button Flower Cards

Flower-card

My class loved making these button flower cards so much I thought I'd share them. We made them for Mother's Day (it's celebrated in March in the UK) but they'd also be handy to use for any variety of other occasions like Easter, thank-you's or birthdays.

Flower-bouquet I created a whole bouquet of these felt button flowers for a craft magazine last year but knowing bouquets would be far too much cutting for 5 and 6 year olds I opted for a single flower for each mum.

The project is simple.
Gather some felt, buttons, pipe cleaners and small scissors.

  • Draw a flower shape on to a piece of felt or choose a shape from this template and trace around it. I find a biro (ballpoint) works best on felt. If you want leaves, trace them from the template as well.
  • Trim the flower just inside the pen mark. Make two tiny slits in the centre of the flower with small scissors.
  • Take a pipe cleaner and bend one end about 5cm from the end into the shape of a hair pin with one long end.
  • Thread the pipe cleaner ends through two of the holes in a button then through the two slits in the flower. Twist the short end of the pipe cleaner under the head of the flower to secure it. If you are adding leaves, put glue on the stem and wrap it around the pipe cleaner near the flower at the top.

For the card:
You'll need some card stock, decorative paper new or recycled, glue stick and craft knife

  • Glue a piece of patterned paper to a card cut two horizontal slits in the centre of the card about 5cm apart then thread the stem of the flower through the card (I did the cutting of the slits for the children using a craft knife.)
  • Note: Use multiple buttons for centres or stack multiple felt flowers. Also, be creative with the paper for the background - try the written side of an old postcard, newspaper, a page from an old book, wallpaper, gift wrap, etc.

If these flower instructions make this easy project sound complicated, click here for a diagram and see how easy they really are to make.

Let me know if you give them a try.


Happy Mother's Day

Breakfast

Today is Mother's Day here in the UK and it has been very lovely indeed.

Sunshine, chocolate banana cake for breakfast, a huge cup of earl grey and lots of homemade cards. That is what greeted me this morning. Also a few beautiful items from my favourite shop, hubby knows it well.

Tristan was up extra early baking this cake and yesterday he helped his friend Lukey wash a neighbour's car for which they were paid five pounds. He then went to the local shop and spent his share of the earnings on these daffodils and a huge pack of chocolate biccies for me for Mother's Day. Sniff, sniff.

Gracie has been making cards for me for days and helped daddy with a bit of shopping yesterday and right now dinner is being made without my help. Why can't we have more than one Mother's Day per year?

I'm a very blessed mummy. It's not an easy job but oh so important.

A big kiss to all mums everywhere. x


A week of wow

DSCN1114

Sunshine has appeared and it's warm enough to go out without a scarf and gloves, and today, even a coat!

2-lambs

Our new neighbours. Nothing better than watching them hop around the fields of sunshine. Underexposed shot but their mummy came and gave me the eye so I had no time to get a better one.

Cant-Cathedral

My ten year old boy played guitar at Canterbury Cathedral and is performing there again tomorrow with his school singing in a performance of David Fanshawe's African Sanctus. No pictures, they're not allowed. For me this one is a very big wow. He was only just a little seven pounder, born in a hospital a few streets away - how'd that happen?

And if the sun, the lambs and son's performance weren't enough, hubby and I were invited to see Snow Patrol in London on Saturday. It was a last minute offer of four free tickets with good friends and it was brilliant, actually better. They were on top form and seemed genuinely shocked at their ability to fill 20,000 seats - bless. THEN, we arrived at our seats to find they were in a suite with a free bar and dinner, clearly some good karma has been accumulated somewhere. And if you've paid for cocktails in London before you'll know it must be a whole lot of karma.

And while on the subject of amazing Celtic connected music, why is it this band isn't HUGE? Lead singer, Glen Hansard even has an Academy Award under his belt for his song from Once, one of my favourite movies ever, ever. At the moment I can't get enough of The Frame's Set List, live CD, just listen. If they don't tour the UK a quick trip to Dublin will be in order to see them on their home turf.

Www-18-3-09I just squeezed in under the wire for wwW here's a quickie; a favourite Noa Noa blouse and an even bigger favourite, my thrifted £3, 1950s cashmere cardie.

If I took ten minutes to figure out the self-timer on my little camera I might have less awkward shots, but where's the fun in that?

I wish all weeks could be this great, but if all weeks were I guess the truly great ones would just become average. Obviously I need to sleep now.


A special project, now finished

Cover

A year ago I gave details about this special book project I’ve been working on for children who are bereaved, it’s finally here.

It’s part book, part scrapbook and was created to help keep a child’s memories alive after the loss of a loved one and to give them a place to return to whenever they wish. Award-winning children's author/illustrator, Daniel Postgate hit just the right tone with his images that are light-hearted yet thoughtful. See more images and read more about the project here.

Inside-2

Because they felt it was such a necessary book, The Child Bereavement Charity published the book.

Inside-1

We're now seeking international publishers, so if anyone has contacts with publishers outside the UK feel free to email the author, Dianne here <dianne(dot)leutner(at)btinternet(dot)com> or leave us a comment on this post. Look, there's Dianne just waiting for your email.

Dianne

And if you know a child who could use this book or an organization that would like to stock it, Remembering can be purchased through The Child Bereavement Charity for only £5.00


Some jewels of the sea

Stone-assemblage

Inspired by the beautiful assemblages at Resurrection Fern, I decided to create one of my own before packing these little beauties up for a long trip to Canada. Margie will then work her magic on them.

This assortment was chosen for their smoothness and lovely shapes. The one with the hole was added simply because I can never pass up stones with holes and thought Margie might like one too.

The circular one in the centre was included because it's flint and litters the landscape where we live. It's strength and availability has made it an ideal building material here in Kent since Norman times. The stone in the lower left corner is a hard chalk which is what gives the Cliffs of Dover their whiteness. The stony beach where I collected these is just south of Dover.

Stony-beach 

Many beaches along the channel that separates us from France are stony like this and I find myself looking down on most of my walks along them. There's just too much to discover in their shapes. Not surprisingly my children have inherited my habit of pocketing them along the way, unfortunately it's my pockets they usually drop them into. Perhaps a couple of bags to hold their treasure are in order... I'll put them on my list.