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September 2010
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November 2010

It's very nice to be 9

A very happy birthday to our fun, sunshiny, creative, monkey-like, Halloween birthday girl.  

Nine is so much bigger than eight and so very close to ten - two digits! From there teenage years are right around the corner, oh my.

piñata before

Gracie's slumber/birthday party was a huge success, the girls even slept... eventually. This year the piñata was a witch. We painted the face instead of using traditional tissue paper to decorate

Witch after the smash and grab

Lucky she broke off at the back of her head because then she provided loads of fun as a mask.

Ooooh she's scary

I'd love to show beautiful images of Gracie making her own party bags, the glowing pumpkins the children carved and more of the general fun and mayhem but I can't. I somehow had my camera on a naff setting and most images didn't come out. Instead, here are a few of my favourite G images of the past few years. I has a hard time editing them down; lucky me, she likes the camera :)


I never knew how lightning fast time goes, until I had children. I watch the years pass in their little faces in a happy way, but with a dash of bitter-sweetness as well. We can't go back, so make it all count.

I hope you're enjoying a wonderful, family Sunday.

Don't forget, the giveaway is tomorrow, enter now if you haven't already :)


Walking paths, new bag and giveaway too

A new favourite path

I have many images from the couple weeks I've been away, and many more stored up in my head. I've been doing a whole lot of walking, exploring paths and discovering new places to roam. The path above is reached by trekking from our house and over a few fields with countryside views. 

Multi-trunk tree

Tristan has always enjoyed long walks, now Gracie has grown to really love them too. Showing her this place I smiled inside as she stopped to point things out to me along the way, gnarly trunks, pretty lichen, an the shapes of fallen branches. 

This tree is still growing!

 I've also been exploring in a big country park up on the South Downs. The geology there fascinates me. One section I pass through is littered with white, flint nodules, I love their crazy shapes and sometimes I just have to pop them in my pocket; like this one.

White flint nodule

And imagine my joy when I took it out of my pocket and find a clam shell fossilsed on the other side. Click the image to see it larger.

Clam shell fossil

Finally, I've been writing up a pattern for a bag I've been meaning to get around to for a long time (it's nearly ready Becki!). I've been using my first sample continually since I finished it. I wanted a bag, that I could toss all my foraged finds into that also has a zippered pocket for keys, a phone & things. I also wanted it to be breathable, so damp things like seashells don't make it musty that's why I gave it a hessian base. 


Gracie took this image; see her in the shadow. We're collecting bundles of sticks for winter fires but there's also a large water bottle in the bottom (making it saggy :) I've been ultra-simplifying the pattern so that anyone can make this. I've also been refining the shape a bit, the flap fits better than the one in this first sample. It's very nearly ready so I'll give more details about it soon.

And the giveaway


BookletThe new bag has also been useful at the Wednesday boot fair I've visited recently. I've had fairly good luck there finding vintage sewing and crochet supplies - some of the bounty is included here for the promised giveaway.

The prize includes:

  • Two rolls of unused, vintage Coat's crochet cotton
  • 12 vintage, bean shaped green glass beads, (probably Czechoslovakian)
  • Two crochet hooks, one metal 2mm and a bamboo 4mm
  • One large flower shaped wooden button
  • A bag of new, small glass beads (similar size to those used on the futuregirl bracelet here)
  • One large mother of pearl button
  • A vintage needlework magazine 

I will ship anywhere and the prize drawing will be on Monday, November 1st. I'll have another, non-supplies related giveaway coming up soon too.

UPDATE: Forgot to say, just leave a comment on this post, thanks.

Flickr will have more images I've taken while away. The rain just started pouring down and we have a wood fire ready to snuggle up to. Enjoy your weekend!

Painted owl cards & things

Parliament of cards

Just dropping back in for a quick post on Gracie's party invites. She's having a small gathering this year for a sleepover... wish me luck. They have to do it at least once right!? I know, not more owls, but because it's a sleepover we decided night owls would be just the ticket. Gracie and I had such a good time making these together she wanted to share them.

The cards are just half an A4 card (A5) and folded once. A4 is nearly the same as letter size.

It ended up being very good practice using different brushes to vary paint effects. We used three brushes, one flat brush a round brush and a tiny round brush for details like the point of the nose. Making more than one owl gave Gracie a chance to practice the brush techniques. 

Painting base colours 

I've uploaded a very simple sketched template if anyone wants to use it. Simply draw the owl on the fold and cut it out. Sketch in the circles with pencil as a guide for the paint. We used acrylic because they blend easily and dry well. To make the paint more opaque on the darker papers paint a base colour first mixed with some titanium white.

Painting details

To paint the feathery details we dipped the flat brush in whites and browns without blending them and painted from the eye outward. We used the unblended paint the same way on the body feathers.

Easy and effective and quick to do too. 

I'll soon be back to check out what I've been missing with friends around blogland and share a sewing project I've been working on for quite a while, it incorporates some new, simple embroidery patterns.

Oak leaf on a linen/cotton blend

I'm very excited about this one. The project started as many do, making something I needed then deciding other people might just need or want one too.

Seashell on denim

And BTW, I'm still looking for the floor of Gracie's room, but to be fair, I haven't bothered to look very hard yet. We've been enjoying many sunny autumn days and new projects far too much to bother with indoor challenges. Besides, I've always found just closing her door very effective anyway ;)

Back soon. 


P.S. The template (sans the feet) would also work well for owl softies and acrylic or fabric paint would work just as well painting on fabric instead of paper.

Time out

Webs 2

Thank you very much for the birthday wishes, and happy birthday to my sis and daddy too.

Time for a time out. Life is running away from me again so it's time to take a little break from these pages and Flickr too. There are unfinished projects, deadlines, correspondences untended and far too many corners of our house looking a lot like the image above. I'll be finding my desk again, the floor of my daughter's room, enjoying the colours of the season and more importantly two little people who are becoming big people at what seems to be lightening speed. 

If you're wondering about my de-stashing, it still hasn't happened but I hope it will soon. I've found it hard to photograph linens, the skies turned grey each time I attempt to and if the sun peeps through I just see wrinkles that I thought I'd ironed out. It will happen though because we still need the space.

I hope you all find time to enjoy the season yourselves, what ever autumn brings in your neck of the woods. When I return I'll be bearing gifts for a giveaway and hopefully new things to share, bye for now.