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April 2009
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June 2009

Garden party


We like the odd thunder and lightening storm around here and today we had a grand one. When it died down we stepped out the front door to a huge party in the garden, a mini-beast rave if you will.

All the snails were there and Gracie just had to say hello to a few.


Mr. Frog popped out from under the lavender bush and stayed for a very long while.


And loads of these little guys (gals?) were hanging out in the very long grasses reminding us of a certain famous Canadian celebrity.

There were of course hundreds of slugs and worms and spiders too but I'm not sure how many will survive if Mr. Frog invites his friends around to the party.

Gracie loves snails. I have to open her snack box carefully when she brings it back from school. On most days during break time it's been turned into a little temporary home for snail families and it comes home filled with soil, grass and leaves - luckily she remembers to release her playmates when the bell rings.

We're off to Holland tomorrow for a bit of cycling, sightseeing, visiting family and hopefully meeting up with a friend. The little blog birthday giveaway will be when we return :)


I love surprises


This was a surprise, because it was so quick & easy to make. I'd made the flower from a felted bit of dyed blanket ages ago and it had been sitting next to my sewing machine (along with too many other things) for ages. So I finally stitched an elasticated bracelet for it, added leaves and voila. A little pin ditty for my wrist.


Wonderful surprise. Lovely, witty Amy sent me Amanda Soule's book. Am I the last English speaking mother on earth who didn't already have it? I'll crack it open this week during our half-term break. She also sent me a mountain of hexagons in gorgeous fabrics and gingham pouch, this photo doesn't really show just how many hexies there are. Thank you generous Amy, it made me smile very wide indeed and your note, as always, made me guffaw like a mad-woman :)

Amy is hosting her Clothesline Challenge again this year, so ban the tumble dryer and join in. And if you can't ban it, try and use it a bit less. I'm very excited to say we finally have warm enough weather to hang the laundry out instead of in.


Another surprise this week came in the form of a beautifully decorated envelope filled with very pretty stitched paper greetings, cheery floral photos and the sweetest loom flowers that I'd admired on Flickr. Most of you will recognize the handiwork of the very kind Nanou; her parcels are so thoughtful and lovingly prepared, even her delicate handwriting is a treat to read. Thank you again Nanou  :)


Wishing you all a warm and sunny weekend!

Sprinting into year 3


Technically this giveaway should be in May, but we'll be away in Holland visiting some family next week during our school half-term break. I'll draw a name or do the number generator thing the evening of June first.

This contest is open to everyone everywhere, blog or no blog, from the UK to Kathmandu. Simply leave a comment on this post to enter. As usual, be sure to enter an email address not just a Typepad profile or I may have no way to contact you if you win (email addresses are not visible to blog readers.)

The winner will receive the following:

1. Grandma's bed pincushion, the prize cushion may not be the one pictured, I'm working on a couple more with the same materials. I will ship the winner my best version.

2. Ten squares of Liberty cotton fabrics (the ones pictured) all are at least 14 cm (5.5 inches) square.

3. Over a metre of antique, handmade lace trim; perfect for a pillow case or to edge a shelf.

4. A set of four large mother of pearl buttons (one inch) and two matching etched glass buttons.

5. A surprise gift from our trip to Holland (I can tell you it won't be cheese and as this is a family blog, it won't be from the Red Light District either.) The little Dutch doll pictured is not included in the prize package, she's simply a representative.

About Grandma: turns out it wasn't Grandma after all, it was a big, bad wolf. But Grandma is fine and the wolf won't be harming anyone, he's stuck up high on my sewing room shelf and can't get down.

Inspiration is a funny thing, here's the story of Grandma's bed.

If I'm sewing while sitting on the sofa I stick my needles into the arm of the sofa next to me but our sofa fabric is a perfect colour to camouflage needles.

After school one day recently, tired Gracie lay her head on the side of the sofa and got poked with one of my hidden needles. Feeling terrible, I decided to make a little mattress shaped pincushion that could sit nicely on the arm of the sofa and vowed never to stick needles into furniture again.

So I made the mattress but decided it would look sweet with a wire-work headboard. Then I thought the mini bed would be perfect for a little wolf dressed in Grandma's clothes; so then came the wolf followed by Grandma's night dress and cap. But of course the wolf, though clothed, looked cold so then came the tiny quilt.

The end

Note: Gracie was fine, no blood drawn :)

Incidentally, I usually get my best ideas while I'm brushing my teeth, when or how do you get yours?

Have a great Monday :)

Grandma's Quilt


The weather has been so blustery this week I whipped up a quilt for Grandma to keep her toasty warm; well not exactly whipped up, that implies a measure of speed. It's the first quilt I've actually finished, and at only 6.25 x 6.75 inches you'd have thought it would be a breeze but I think a king size would have taken me less time.

It's nearly all hand stitched using mostly Liberty. No measuring or precise cutting, I just snipped little bits of fabric and gleefully stitched them together. Liberty has a way of spreading happiness, maybe it will reach all of you.


So now Grandma has become my little guardian watching over me from a shelf in my sewing room. She will be back on Monday to finally share the giveaway news and Liberty may be involved:)

Have a lovely weekend.

PS, I'll put a full picture of it on Flickr, see just how imprecise my cutting and stitching is.

Little Red's Grandma has an Announcement


As a little blog birthday celebration, a giveaway is in the works. Not that the birthday of this here blog is an important thing to commemorate, but the joy it's brought its author in the way of friendships and opportunities made possible through it's creation are undoubtedly reasons to celebrate.

More on this soon, I'd say tomorrow but I just found out a very good friend has sailed back to us for a visit and I'm ever so excited to spend time with her instead of finishing off the giveaway item. But I promise it will be fun and Little Red's Grandma is sitting on a clue.

Hey - Grandma your ears are very big, and your eyes and your teeth too...

A happy day to you moms with an 'o'


Happy Mother's Day Grandma and aunties, grand aunties, cousins and mothering friends in America and everywhere else who recognize this special day.

Here in the UK we mums have already had our day, but we share in celebrating the nurturing spirit of motherhood with all of you around the world.

Nature inspired


Gracie really loved helping me with this project for an upcoming article, I'm lucky to have her as a filter to test projects on. She's so patient with being photographed too, although I do now pay her a modeling fee because it takes a lot of time and I need to keep her sweet. 

Read how we made this painting and about tips for mixing paint colours in the Aug/Sept issue of The Green Parent. Thanks to Dianne for our nature walk and raiding leaves from your beautiful garden.

I'm looking forward to lunch with friends today and hoping for a sunny afternoon. It's been a short week here but busy, a lazy afternoon is welcome.

Hope you have a sunny day too!

Tiptoe through the blue


Bluebell season is just beginning here. These woods nearby always have a beautiful carpet of them so I went for a little walk yesterday morning. It was so quiet, nobody around, they belonged to me for a little while. In the 12th century they were King John's woods, but yesterday they were mine.

Within a week you'll hardly see green, but I love to catch them in the early stages so I can enjoy them as long as possible.


There are well tread paths going every which way, perfect for running, which I did. Today I'm wishing I hadn't. Ouch.


These woods are coppiced and have been for centuries. The coppicing allows various species of plants to thrive, bluebells being one of them. Another feature of coppiced woods are lush mossy stumps where the trees have been cut back. Fairies love woods like this.


I like how the blooms are perfect little hats for fairies.


And this is the view I had as I emerged from the bluebell woods, one infusion of colour to another.

Happy May everyone:)