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October 2009
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December 2009

Quick advent calendar


I'm resurrecting this advent calendar idea from a couple of years back. It was first made for a craft magazine and the editor liked colourful materials so we used Christmas themed paper. I think we'll use newspaper this year (we'll sift through our recycle pile to find some without horrible headlines.) Or we'll paint newspaper or brown craft paper for a colourful but more rustic look.

Adventtree_2 For a different magazine I made these packets and a twig tree using tracing paper, that would be fun to use for the bunting too.

We like to create little activities, riddles, or jokes instead of sweets or chocolate because we find there are already plenty of sugary goodies around every where this time of year. Making up knock-knock jokes is big with my two at the moment so I think the bunting might be stuffed with several of them.

If you're as far behind schedule as I am this year and you'd like to make advent bunting here's a handy template for you. Just trace the template on paper of your choice, fold on the dotted lines and punch holes in each one to hang. Here's what you need:

long twine to tie the bunting to • paper for folding • ribbon or string to tie the bunting to the twine • small sweets or chocolate coins and/or lots of jokes, riddles and activities

Have a great Monday everyone, I think I might spy some sun peeking out from behind a black cloud - things are looking up around here but I won't be taking my wellies off just yet.

It's raining, it's pouring


During my absence we've been hit with serious rain and wind but nothing like up north in Cumbria. Our thoughts are with all of those affected by the terrible floods.

As you can see by the dim light in the photo above, it's still raining here and this poor dolly is waiting for me to get off the computer to put on her hair and make her a dress. She's a larger version of Gracie's doll and will be going off to Oz for the Softies for Mirabel project. I hope Royal Mail won't take too long getting her there as I'm cutting it quite close.

I've kind of been Christmas crafting. A package of projects to help other crafters with their last minute  gift list has been keeping me busy. A pattern for dolly is one of the projects in development - didn't realize sewing patterns were so tricky. This little stitch-up below is also planned as part of another project.

The light on my desk has been burning through midnight and on again before the birds wake and I can't wait to show you the results (hope they look good in daylight ; )

Time just disappears like sand through a sieve this time of year doesn't it?
Last night Gracie said:
Mummy I need a cowboy hat, cowboy clothes and cowboy boots for assembly on Wednesday.
Mummy: That's okay assembly isn't until the 25th so we have a week.
Gracie: No Mummy, the 25th is THIS Wednesday (imagine a very exasperated tone in the 8 year old's voice)

Somehow I lost last week.


On the home front, Tris got this cast replaced yesterday with a fetching new blue one, three more weeks - oh my!!! It's just precautionary, he's healed but the doc says he wants it protected a while longer. A cast leads to lots of excuses for children: I can't bathe - my cast, I can't vacuum - my cast, I can't go outside it's too wet - my cast.... Mummy has come up with solutions to all of these things, except vacuuming but that's been swapped with laundry folding.

Felted-dalaSoon I hope to get a chance to make these dala ornaments Pam shows. She uses Pendleton wool and needle felts, they'll be great fun to make. Check out the rest of her site for everything Christmas.
Pam's horse reminds me, there's also a new embroidery pattern coming up in my package.

We've cut down on buying things in our family except for the children so my Christmas gift list seems to be largely a wish list for myself. At the top are these new gorgeous cushions by Geninne. I'm really hoping the London Urban Outfitters will start to carry them, her birds are sublime.

Also topping my list is one of Margie's crochet and sea glass neckaces, but I don't think I'll be able to nip off to Paris to buy one. Perhaps I could have a word with Father Christmas.

Geninne cushionI hope to be back very soon. Have a great Tuesday!

Life happens


Monday morning sunshine at breakfast, what a promising start to the day.

Fast forward a couple hours and we're at A & E getting a cast on Tristan's foot. He'd hurt it the night before running around at a birthday party. His daddy and I said, "It's probably a sore muscle." After refusing to put weight on it the next morning I decided it might not be a simple ploy to get out of PE, we went to the hospital. Small metatarsal fracture, oops.

After spending most of the day at the hospital Tris got a fetching new plaster boot and a new toy (crutches) then we raced back just in time to pick up sis from school and email my Green Parent article off last minute.


I put together a birth journal for this issue and offer up a tidy way to cover hard-bound books. As you can see I plundered the vintage button collection on one and made good use of some favourite fabric scraps on the other. I'm thinking the button journal will be included in an upcoming giveaway.

I'm in the midst of a reshuffle in my craft space then it's time to finish some important projects and mailings. And I really, really want to get a dolly whipped up for the Softies for Mirabel project this year. Now that the post office has put off their next strike until after New Year it might just happen.


Gracie has been a mad crafter this past week and learned her first little bit of crochet. I think her hands were made to hold a hook. It took her no time to learn how to hold the thread and hook then run up a long chain. She was beside herself with glee, me too. Now Gracie and I can learn together, I'm still not much past the chain stitch.

Also, I found yet another use for felted old sweaters, they make great padding for the hard handles on crutches, Tristan says the felt is very comfy : )

Autumn activity

Big pumpkins at the local farm shop

Life is still in fast-forward around here but I wanted to post a few images from the last couple of weeks before the season disappears like the leaves from the trees.

More pumpkins and squash

The colours this season have been outstanding. The unseasonal warm weather and light wind and rain have given us a longer look at colour on the trees.

A woodland park nearby

This park has beautiful woods and children make dens with branches all over the place.

Late afternoon sunshine filtering through

A mushroom family

This mushroom image is dedicated to Rane who has been very poorly but is happily now on the mend : )

A hill walk

My Aunt Kathy was one of our recent visitors and we had a lovely time together. My camera wasn't really up to the job but this is an image from a hill walk we took together. I'm enjoying getting out and about and learning my way around, there's a lot to discover right on the doorstep of our new home.

Big brother is swinging the piñata

And of course the most important event in our house this season is Gracie's Halloween birthday.

A great big happy 8th birthday to our little pumpkin!

We had a fun day with a small group from her new school. We were lucky with a beautiful warm day so we were able to have a lot of outdoor activity - a treasure hunt in the garden and of course the piñata, it was great fun.

I hope to be back soon with more projects, unfortunately the Christmas pattern will need to be put off until next year, it's more complicated than last year's pattern so I think I've left it too late for people to complete; but there's more to come very soon. I have managed to stitch up the Mouse House pattern, I really should stitch them before offering them up, but luckily it was a piece of cake to stitch.

Mouse House

I think this one is destined for a child's room or a child's bag as the colours are a bit bright.

Lastly, I want to share a link to Rachel's a pretty new blog nest full of eggs. Rachel is hosting a month of re-purposing jars, click over and see her sweet site.

A deadline this week and various commitments at school means very little online time but I hope to catch up with all of you soon. 

I hope your autumn has been warm and wonderful too!