Wednesday, 13 February 2013


It is unbelievable the amount of change that we have experienced in our house over the years. I look back at this blog and it is difficult to remember what it felt like to do all those things.
Right now, we are busy. But it is a totally different sort of busy than the hustle and bustle of the Home Ed life that I blogged about in years gone by.
We have taken on a small shop in a nearby village, for the framing business and are hoping to sell art and crafts there too. It all happened very quickly, as things invariably do in this house! We saw it vacant before christmas, peered in the window and inquired about cost. Then the idea lay dormant during the flurry of activity before and and over christmas.
Ir wasn't until the second week in January that we went again to look, and actually met the owner to have a proper look around. Rob and he talked business, while I chatted to his wife, and then by mid afternoon, we had verbally agreed terms and were awaiting the contract in the post!
It is hard to believe that was only a month ago. We have hardly come up for air since.
We opened on the 1st February and have had several framing jobs and a few purchases in the shop, which we hope shows promise for the months ahead. It is a very busy little village in the good weather, with the oxfordshire canal running through it, and home to a music festival in August.
I have added Faery doors to my repertoire, and have plans for other felt items and more complex dolls. I have looked in to CE marking my current range and I am nearly there with the paperwork. A must for selling my wee folk in the shop. I need to sort out a website as I currently use Facebook and a few pages on the framing website, but if I want to really sell my dolls etc I need to have my own site.  I also have a wedding fayre book in a few weeks and so will be taking my wedding dolls there. So much to do! I could spend all day sewing, but David and Will need organised activity, so I am hoping to have one day at the shop when I can sew in peace!

So, now I have my living room back and with it comes space to just be. Room to craft while the boys play or watch TV, or space to spread out things to make with them.
  I hope to DO stuff this year. I want to get our allotment fully planted this year and the weeds kept down. I want to get back to baking bread and cakes regularly again. I want to get the boys actively involved in the kitchen and garden again this year, and we may even hatch some new hens! I have missed Home Ed, and all the exciting mad projects that came with it when we first started.
Do you remember the honeycomb Jon found in the hedge? We melted it down and made a candle!
We made butter in a jar! Beetroot ice cream!
We hatched Guinea fowl and quail, and ducks too!
We made lap books by the thousand (or so it felt!).
And the wood projects! How many wooden structures made from pallets did we have in our garden?!

I miss all these things.
But then it has been winter hasn't it.
Spring is on its way.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Its about time I started writing here regularly again,

as I miss being able to look back at all the things we have been up to!!
There are photos of our activities/crafty makes etc but I have very busy recently with making these that I haven't been able to find the computer time to post here :(

This is just a quick post to say 'hello, we're still alive', and I will get some photos and words together in the same place very soon, as David is standing over me with the iron requesting that I iron his badge onto his Army Cadets uniform....he has Remembrance Day parade tomorrow.

I'll just leave you with this one picture.....

Chess has invaded my house!!! Thank goodness its not wizard chess!!!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Last minute birthday makes.

Sewing a 'pocket' for David's birthday tomorrow. It is his own design and he did pretty much all of the stitching too!

I just helped by sewing on a little wooden button afterwards.

 I made the is supposed to be a dragon, but it looks more like a Smurf crossed with Gnasher, with wings!!!!
I also made a lasagne and a trifle, which thankfully look like a lasagne and a trifle respectively!!


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

A quote for today...

as told to me by my wonderful, larger than life Scottish hairdresser.

You can't make a silk purse out of a pig's ear.

She's fabulous xx

Monday, 25 June 2012

The Solstice

This is where we spent the solstice day.
We awoke to beautiful sunshine.....

 David lit the fire with a little 'help' from Will.
 Rob and I painted while the boys played and then Will wanted to make a boat to float on the I rustled up an Origami sampan and he went down to the water to float it with daddy.
 We made a sunshine/mandala with natural materials....
 and then we laughed all the way home at the worker ant in front of us!!!
A beautiful day spent outdoors in the glorious sunshine.

Fabric photo book for a special birthday

I saw this post on a blog a week or so ago and decided that i  just had to make one for Kim's 18th birthday!
 So in true Carolyn style she sets herself a mammoth task with a very tight schedule!
I sourced the material, the interfacing and, or so I thought, the special printer paper to put the photos on to the material. The printer had run out of ink, and the new printer we had stashed from the purchase of our computer last year, was duly unwrapped and installed, only to find that the necessary mirror image function did not seem to be there.
Ok, so new cartridges purchased for the old printer and installed, only to find that the silly man in Hobbycraft (with which i have a massive love/hate relationship (currently in hate mode), sold me printer sheets for dark fabrics which you DO NOT need to reverse the images for!!! He spent ages talking to me about how good it was and the things to watch out for, including reversing the images etc before printing. Aaaaaaaahhhhhh! So, having printed out all the images and writing on the sheets in the entire packet back to front, I then ironed one on to the cream fabric only to discover that it was all wrong!!!! Grrrrr and he was the manager!!!!
At this point I was very grateful for the timely arrival of Han who sat and crocheted some beautiful flowers for embellishing when if i managed to get it put together!
So, back to the blessed printer paper!
Thank goodness for Staples is all I can say!
 Back on track and printing furiously, closely followed by ironing furiously all onto cream backing material.
Then it was out with the sewing machine to sew all the small cream pieces on the main fabric pages, after working out where they should all go, pinning them and putting all the pages in the right order!
Then to sew all the pages together with the interfacing inside, a ribbon to hold it shut and voila!
Then all that was left to do was embellish it with a few of the fabulous flowers, a bit of embroidery and a couple of sequins!
I also included in the book, a butterfly that Will coloured for her. We scanned it, shrunk it and then printed it out. Brilliant!

I intend to do a turorial for making it, without all the ranting in it with pictures showing all the different steps. As soon as I work out how add a side bar icon for it!

Happy Birthday Kim!!!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Buttercups and bread dough.

This weekend we were hiding in a field of buttercups....

making bread dough!!!

 The weather conditions were perfect for the dough to be left to rise in our dutch oven.....

and it cooked quite well too!

It was a little smokey flavoured though!

The boys enjoyed a bit of exploring while Rob painted and I knitted. You can just see them if you look carefully! David spotted a Jackdaws nest high up in a crevice in the rocks, and when the parent birds arrived with food you could hear their squarking echoing inside the rock!!

We arrived back this afternoon to a village adorned with bunting and posters proclaiming an exciting weekend of celebrations......all a little beyond me really but thanks to this blog I may be able to bring a little Jubilee to this weeks activities. The laminator awaits!!