Monday, 10 October 2011

Busy, busy, busy...

There really is never a dull moment here! There is always something happening or changing and just when you think you cannot simply fit anything more in, it all goes and gets just a little more chaotic!!
Or is it just us? If nothing is happening, it means we are all asleep!
With two boys in school it feels like the day is so short and although people always think that with the kids at school you will have more time, it just isn't true!!!
So what has been going on here??
Two small boys in school. It seems to be getting easier on that front, although a fabulous expression I read on one of our local Home Ed groups springs to mind. Boiling the frogs. I won't explain it it!!!
One eldest boy in college this week. It will be his first day in an English educational establishment since April 2007!!!
And one 14 year old who seems to finally be emerging from his Neanderthal man phase and is almost back in the land of humanity! He has started making nets for ferreting to sell on Ebay and has already sold 4 sets!!! The dreaded paper round may soon be a thing of the past, thank goodness. Its a real bone of contention for both of us.
We have also bought a wood has only been here a week and he can make beautifully turned pieces of wood that resemble chair legs and such like already! He made a matching pair of door knobs for the rabbit hutch (lol) and a lovely little goblet.
(Photo to follow here when i find my cable for my phone)
We have money making plans for this skill too, and have just started him off with a blog...see my side bar for The Nifty Knotter!
Rob has got his first proper commission for the framing business this week and so we are busy planning that, as it is not a standard picture framing job!
I have been busy crafting in between my shifts at work and hope to have a stall at a Christmas gift fair or two. Eeeek! It is all very scary! but also exciting!
Rob and David are also planning gift boxed wands, with a few pre made frames for those family photos for Christmas. Commissions for portrait drawings are also welcomed!
But do we think versatility is a good thing? Or should we be specialising?!!! We shall see.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Autumn is upon us.

As i walked the dogs this morning around the local reservoir, I couldn't help but notice a large flock of Canada geese. They were all honking and jostling on what little water there is left after the summer. The resident swans were none to pleased with their prescence, and one swan in particular kept running across the water, like they do before they take off in to the air, and flapping its wings at them whilst hissing and honking itself. Rather brave I felt as there must have been well over a hundred geese in that corner.
I usually see the heron on my morning walk but not today. Too much noise I guess, from these other large birds.
And so, here I am at home thinking about putting together an Autumn season table and thinking about how different life is now.
The two youngest boys are in school still.....which I can only liken to a rollar coaster ride, and Tom has officially started his apprenticeship in a 4x4 garage in the nearest town. He will attend his first day of college in the next couple of weeks.
So it has just been me and Jonathan at home for the last few month,(summer holidays being the exception) and it has been mighty strange. Not a situation that I have found easy to get used to, or indeed accept readily.
All is about to change again here though, with Rob leaving full time work and us both attempting part time jobs again, with a view to setting up our own business in the near future. More on all that another time.
I intend to begin posting again regularly, because we do still do stuff worth sharing in blogland; its just that I haven't felt like it for a while!
Looking forward to catching up with some craftiness now that the season is changing too!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011


was totally wonderful!!!
But oddly enough this lady's creations were what I will remember most.
Please take a moment to look at them using the above link. Her stand totally overwhelmed me xx

Monday, 4 April 2011

I seem to be paddling up the rapids at the moment...

... but at least I still have my paddle.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Sewing Saturday

Today I had one poorly wee man with chicken pox to look after and entertain and one highly stressed boy to talk to and spend time with.
So after discussing the stresses and pressure he was feeling we started a list of things that he wanted to make.
We started off with a plan to make a knife modelled from air drying clay, while Will played with the plasticine. This has been put to one side to dry before possibly painting.
One of the other things was a medicine pouch and knife case, Torak style.
Now I just happened to have bought some off cuts of suede from the international history fair I went to last autumn. I had such a 'make' in mind I guess.
This is the suede with the holes punched all round the edges.

This is David doing the over sewing with string and a large bodkin.

This is the sewing of the knife case.

And the finishes articles...

including one I made for Will.

Sew that was both the boys looked after and entertained ;-)

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Some felty creativeness.

Mother Nature and a root baby....I need to make at least one more as Will keeps reminding me, but as this one looks like it would be more at home on the set of The Sound of Music than our season corner, I have started to make something else!

These fishes are for Will to use when he is being Ray Mears. They are almost done. Stitched and stuffed, just awaiting some details on the fins and tail, I think.
And this little fellow....

I really like him. He started off as possible Torak figure but has more of a look of Windy Miller about him, don't you think?!! I'm not sure whether to give him a face and hair. I quite like the simplicity of him.

I'm going to do a cloaked figure next, I think.

This is Will playing with the Plasticine the other day after we attempted to make a roundhouse and tried using the plasticine to hold the sticks in place. lol. Will has spent quite a lot of time playing with this over half term.

This is the day we crossed over the enemy lines and went to a Home Ed group visit. It was freezing. It was misty. Will and I were both still quite very pooorly but we were all desperate to go. It is an Iron Age roundhouse built on an old original site not too far (!!!!!) from where we live in Northamptonshire.

The children got a chance to do some daubing on the walls. It was so cold!! The clay was hard to manipulate and the muddy ground made it difficult to walk around.

But David did a small but perfectly smooth patch so that he could return and say that he helped.

They also had a go at stamping an Iron Age coin using the method of the era and there was a lovely lady who told the story of the Hallaton Treasure. Will and David were captivated. Story telling is so fantastic. It is such a shame that it is a rarity.
David had a great time playing in the huge playground there with the other HE'ers. It was difficult to drag him away.
And so they are back to school this week and I am struggling to get any kind of rhythm to my days. They are more of a topsy turvy mix than usual. It is all so wierd.
Still, there's always sock knitting for comfort and familiarity!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Humbled beyond words.

I have many other things to blog about but this makes evrything else just pale into insignificance.
This beautiful little man arrived Earthside yesterday morning into my hands.
Well done Han, you were brilliant!!! And thank you so much for allowing me the privelege xx

Wednesday, 16 February 2011


than a hatter!

My socks that I have finally finished from the beautiful hand dyed wool that BMF brought back from Scotland for me. Hand dyed with rubia tinctorium, otherwise known as madder. How appropriate!!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

A week ago today....

at this very moment, I was lying on the grassy patch at the top of the hill in a local woodland counting ladybirds with William.

The two younger boys were not at school as they were both still recovering from colds. So we took advantage of it and went to the woods.
The bigger boys were all playing on the rope swings and all getting on so well. The sun was shining. It was gloriously warm and the boys had all taken off their jumpers. They were inventing games and testing their strength. At one point they were almost inventing a new olympic sport....synchronised swinging!

Tom came over to me at one point and said how lovely it all was. Just like when we first started Home Education. I was thinking the very same thing.

Then they went off in search of a longer branch to hook down the other swing that someone with a Health and Safety issue, had looped up in the tree!

The peace and quiet was wonderful. It was one of those perfect moments.
I was totally happy.

And then it happened.

Tom came walking over with a very white face and clutching one hand with the other. He had caught his thumb with the folding saw and pretty much ripped the nail right off. It was torn down one side and all across the bottom, but hinged along the other side.

Whoosh. Back to reality with a jolt.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

The time has come....

to update the blog.
I received a lovely email from a good friend today and her kindness has warmed the soul! I don't even want to think about how long it has been since I have posted on here properly but then the last few months have been a complete blur.
David has settled in fairly well into the routine of going to school. He has had fewer days of procrastination and only a couple of point blank refusals, so I guess you could say it is going well. But then compared to his previous attempts, that wouldn't be difficult!!!!
He has made lots of friends, had a school photograph taken, took part in the school play despite having to wear an exceptionally tall chef hat which he felt very silly wearing (we all thought he looked rather cool, a little like Linguini from Ratatouille!!) and is now doing an after school cooking club. Yesterday they made scones!!! Funny how it is seen by school as such an amazing thing to do for the children, yet here it is a normal part of life!!! The teachers really are doing their best to make it as less stressful for him as possible and no pressure is being put on him. It cannot be easy for him to cope in a situation where reading and writing is of paramount importance yet not be able to do either. They are obviously assessing him on that score and putting together some kind of plan of action.
In an attempt to perhaps make the whole school attendance thing feel normal, Will has started going too. This was a very difficult decision to make and only time will tell if it is the right one. He has been going 2 weeks. The first week was extremely difficult as he was not happy being left despite enjoying the time he was spending there. Ring any bells? Sound familiar?
But then we started to take him in slightly earlier than the other children and settling him down with a book before the other children came in to the classroom. It is a very small class, only 22 which is Reception. Year 1 and 2 combined. The teacher has two teenage sons and the Teaching assistant has a son of Will's age too, so from my point of view it couldn't be a better opportunity!
So this past week he has been looking forward to going and has stayed for 3 afternoons, before succumbing to a sickness bug yesterday and now seems to have a cold!!!
Oh the joys of school!!!!
So it is all change here. Again. Nothing seems to stay the same for more than a few months here. It is hard to keep up and any thoughts of any kind of routine or 'normal' habits is impossible.
It is all I can do to keep things going without too many casualties along the way!!!!

Christmas was very enjoyable and we spent lots of time playing with Lego and doing puzzles.There weren't too many handmade gifts this year with the exception of the ones we made for relatives and posted just in the nick of time. Soaps,lip balm, biscuits and hand painted wooden tree decorations, this year.
I had a bit of a run on the sewing machine before christmas. It started with David needing some chef trousers for the school play...I had an old cot sheet in the loft that was blue and white checks which was just the thing!! I used some pyjama bottoms as a rough pattern ( I laid them on top of the folded material and cut around them allowing an inch for a seam allowance!!!!) and adjusted the length when David got home from school. They were a great fit and he now uses them as pyjama bottoms! I also ran up a couple of aprons for the boys from some old tea towels. David had one that tied around his waist and Will had one that hooked over hid head too.

Then I made some bags from some material that granny sent up from Cornwall a while ago. They were all one offs as far as size and shape went, but I was fairly pleased with them.

This led on to a felt crown for Will that was from some off cuts of felt that Tom had salvaged from Cubs I think. It made it quite a long drawn out job, but it was free!!
And then, I finally got round to making some christmas bunting from some material I had bought a while ago. I used it for jam jar covers a few years ago and it was perfect for the job with a few plain ones in between the christmas patterns.
I did manage finally to knit Rob his pair of socks...he got one wrapped up for his birthday but the second one was a few days belated!!!

Tom was 16 on the 23rd Dec and we all went bowling and to Pizza Hut (at his request) to celebrate. Kim came too and survived the excess of testosterone quite well I think!!! LOL Pizza Hut with that lot is quite an expeience, I can tell you! It's that darn Ice Cream factory that does it!!!!
It was really good to get out for his birthday because he does not find it easy having it so close to christmas. People tend to forget that a birthday is more important than christmas and tend to either lump the two together or forget it entirely. We bought Tom a Zippo lighter (not to encourage him to smoke!!!) for his birthday and I had it engraved, so that hopefully he will always remeber at least one birthday in his life as extra special.
Kim was also over for New Years, which made a nice change. We have never really 'done' New Years as a family,(and I'm not totally sure we made much fuss about it this year either!!!) so it was good to perhaps try something different. I just wish our living room was bigger!!!

So, with a New Year in mind, I do not doubt that this year will be any more normal or less boring than any other. There will be just as many challenges and changes as this year, but as I look ahead I can say that this year I am not frightened of meeting them head on. I have well and truly kicked the Black Dog (not literally you understand! I would never kick our little Annie!) and can say that I have been depression free for a year. Now to grow in strength and never end up back there again.

So here is to 2011. Happy New Year everyone!

Monday, 10 January 2011