Welcome to my blog!

If you ask me what my very favourite thing is I would not hesitate to say my family. I came into motherhood quite late on, and was immediately overwhelmed with how amazing it is. Now I would like nothing more than to be a Domestic Goddess, and surround my family in love, good food, beautiful things and lots of happy memories. And like the majority of families these days, we need to do it on a budget!

I firmly believe we all have a little bit of the Domestic Goddess inside us, just waiting to break out. Whether that is knowing how to make a roast chicken feed a family of 4 for a week, being able to make, repair or recycle clothes, hunting down a bargain, or simply turning everyday, simple things into pretty or useful items, with a little bit of imagination we can all dip in to the Goddess inside and make our lives that little bit more interesting.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy sharing my (challenging) journey into Domestic Goddessness!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Time to Dye

Several months ago I was given a Tie Dye kit by the Hubs. It was in response to my complete obsession with hand dyed yarn and other custom dyes, such as those over on Rainbow Fusions (a really lovely page, go and visit it!) I vaguely recall tying marbles into t shirts and dipping in a pan of dye, along with eggs at Easter as a child, although it isn't a practice I've continued. But I do still hold a special place in my heart for that style of art. Tie Dye kits are readily available now and I urge you to give it a go. It's not as scary or complicated as it might seem...though it can be very messy!

I thought I'd share the results of my dying sesh with you all. It did take longer than i anticipated, and getting up early to start it all off without Little People round my feet didn't really work out, as they were up before I got to the dying stage! Incidentally this is totally an activity that you can share with the kids. You just need to be well prepared with messy clothes, aprons, gloves and covers .....the dye gets everywhere! But on my first try I didn't want to be worrying about dying the children ..or the walls...or the floor... (in the end I escaped with a multicoloured bin lid but that's a small price to pay really!)

The dye really does get everywhere but that's part of the fun, and the beauty. There are loads of tutorials and techniques available. or you can make your own up too.

Anything can be dyed, though natural fibres are the best. Most of the items I used were 100% cotton. I had some plain white t-shirts, that were new and bought especially to dye (I don't normally buy white clothing for my children, I hate laundry and spending hours trying to get whites white is just too much effort for me!) but I also had some old clothes, too, including a white school shirt that I've not quite finished altering, so will share another time.

I just wish i could have saved the paper towels, they looked so pretty.

The colours did fade quite a bit, more than I thought they would, but I've learned loads and hopefully next time the results will be even better. Even so I am pleased with my little efforts. And the children are, too, which is really the main thing after all.

Here they are...still abit damp so not pressed yet, but you'll get the idea!

And it's not just tees that can be dyed. Here's a pair of once white leggings, that had started to go grey. Not any more. 

I'm looking forward to doing this all over again, and involving the children, too. This would make a great activity for the school holidays, so I'll have to book a day in half term to have another dying day.

I hope I have inspired you to have a little go yourself! 

You can see more of my makes, finds and little adventures over on my Facebook page. Come and say hello!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Happy (unofficial) Birthday Baby Sis!.

You may remember in my last blog I mentioned my little sister's birthday. If you follow me on Facebook (either personally, or on my page) you may have seen the pictures already. But I just wanted to share it here, too. It is a very special birthday, as my not so little sister (she is bigger than me!) is turning 21 this year. And just like the Queen, she will be having two birthdays, her unofficial one was last weekend, and her real one is in a couple of months. The reason for this was totally practical, as she is away from home at university, and this was the only opportunity we all had to get together.

I wanted a special present, as you can expect, but I was completely flummoxed about what to get her. Then one afternoon I was browsing on Ravelry and I came across a pattern for an Elise shawl. I had seen other people post up pictures of their completed Elises and always thought the pattern was beautiful. I selected some gorgeously squishy yarn in lovely autumnal colours and off I went..
It did take considerably longer that I anticipated. I'm not the fastest hooker in the West anyway, but I found myself with something creative minded people dread. I Lost My Cro-Jo. I don't know why or how but it just went. not good when you have a deadline. Somehow I managed to bring it all round and finished the shawl with a couple of days to spare.

So here it is :

And a closer look at the stitches:

I did enjoy making this on the whole. It is a lovely, rhythmic pattern on a simple two row repeat. If you're a crocheter and want to give it a go, you can find the pattern on Ravelry It is called an Elise Shawl, by Evan Plevinski.(you might note that I have altered the border from the original. I opted not to do the picot border but it is simple to add)

I also made my sister some earrings in similar colours, though I completely forgot to photograph them in my rush to get everything wrapped in time!

That's all for now. I hope you have a great day :)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

School's out...

If, like me, you're a parent, I would just like to take this opportunity to offer my sympathies, and hope you are surviving the holidays. Back at the beginning of July, before my girls even finished school for the summer, I was so organised, with lots of things planned  so they didn't get bored. As usual the good old British summer has rather ruined it a little. We have had some lovely weather, but not nearly enough, and trips out to the park with bikes, and walks along the canal , and picnics with friends haven't had chance to happen yet. I only hope the last couple of weeks makes up for it...though it is now August, and we all know what that means! 

Having the children around (as well as trying to squeeze in work) has resulted in very little time making, I hope to remedy this in the not so distant future. I have managed to make a few special things for a special birthday...but since they haven't been gifted, I will spill more on that in another post. 

Today I'd like to share something that is in essence with what I am trying to achieve - making, upcycling and rescuing. I love browsing in all kinds of shops, I think it drives the hubster a bit mad, as I lag behind him spending far too much time looking at some random object (that I usually don't buy) but what I'm actually doing is looking at it, thinking about it, do I want it, can I do something with it. Sometimes (often) the answer is no. But even so, it might spark a little idea that I collect and put away for another time, and maybe get out every now and then, polish, twist about until it becomes clearer and ultimately give me something to work on. I'm full of these little ideas.
So I spent rather longer than I needed to looking at some cute bracelets made with wooden beads. And then they were in my hand and I was paying for them. 

And I thought about them, and they became these:

I've had some positive feedback about these earrings over on my Facebook page and I've added them to my Etsy shop as well. I'm quite pleased about how they turned out. 

I've been trying to promote my Facebook page a little bit recently. I update as often as I can, so please come over and say hello, and have a look at my new makes and finds. 

Have a great weekend. We're off to a birthday party later, a barbecue in honour of a special milestone for my baby sister. 
I'm taking my wellies. 

Have a great weekend. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

It's been a while....

...but I've been busy with life, work, family ...and finally getting on with doing some things I wanted to. I've been introduced to the wonderful new addiction of sock making. it was on my bucket list, and something I had avoided forever. i have no idea why, it just looked so complicated, and what were all those pattern instructions about?? I've discovered that socks can be made on double pointed needles, small circulars and even toe up, 2 at a time - which is one of my next must do's.. Thanks to a very good friend Sharon, who offered to do a knit along with me, and some fabulous indie dyers (Lollipop Guild Yarns, Pollyorange, Truly Hooked. to name a few) my yarny addiction is hitting a new level!

It's not only yarn that has me smiling, I've been busy with other makery, stich markers, earrings and even a little bit of sewing. yes, I'm pleased to announce that I even made myself a little project bag

I'm very pleased with my efforts. And I now have a little bag to replace the tatty plastic bag that was being dragged around everywhere. This is definitely a much better bag to contain my yarny project around with me. Sadly I still remain the world's slowest knitter. , it's really taking me forever to knit these socks, but I'm enjoying being able to take it out of my bag and knit a couple of rounds when I have a spare minute.

I was hoping that I would find those extra few minutes whilst waiting for my son at the new Street class he started a few weeks ago. Sadly not to be, as so far he has resisted my efforts to encourage him away from the apron strings and is refusing to go in alone. So unlike his sisters' who didn't give me a backward glance the first time they went into the dance studio...and continue to give me only a fleeting wave to this day. It's really quite strange how my boisterous, loud, energetic little boy tries to melt into my leg if anyone even dares speak to him. I think it might be a few more weeks until mummy gets the chance to sit and knit while he goes off and does his thing!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Clay Play

Yesterday I finally got round to doing something I've been thinking about for a while, making polymer clay handles for some of my crochet hooks. I've had the clay for a while, but was a bit daunted. I can be a bit cack handed when it comes to modeling and making, I wasn't sure I'd be happy with the results.
It took me a bit of time fiddling and changing things, adding and taking off, and I learned some valuable lessons - such s don't mix the colours too early or it'll just all mix into one! But I had fun and ultimately I was rather proud of myself at the end.
These hooks are for my own use, but I do plan to make more to sell in the near future. And I even had enough clay left over to make a rainbow badge, too :)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Breakfast yoghurt pots

I'd be lying if I said I came up with this idea myself, but it's such a simple and tasty breakfast, and one that's often on our table, I wanted to share it with you. I originally was told about it by a good friend who had, I believe, seen the recipe on the Slimming World website. Now please don't stop reading, thinking that this is diet food, and bound to be lacking something. It's not. What I want to show you is the bones of it, pad it out any way you like, with things you enjoy. See where it takes you.
For our breakfast pots I always start with the basics, and you must too. They are yoghurt, porridge oats and fruit. For 5 servings (3 are for children) I used 500g of natural yoghurt, about 80g of oats, and 120g of blueberries.
You want to start by putting some of your fruit in the bottom of your containers/glasses/beakers. I use plastic beakers because I have 3 children who like to drop things. And they're colourful.  Today I used frozen blueberries, of which I often have an abundance in my freezer. You can use anything you like, fresh or frozen, mix them up or have a single fruit, strawberry and kiwi work well, but blueberry is the run away favourite here.
Next cover the fruit with a layer of oats. Just enough, not too much. Roughly a dessert spoonful. Plain porridge oats, the kind you make porridge from scratch with, and even better is you can buy the cheap as chips stuff, it's just as good.
Then add a generous layer of yoghurt. Any type of yoghurt... Plain, natural, flavoured, Greek style... Choice is yours. Just remember if you are giving to children under 2 that you'll need it to be full fat, otherwise it really doesn't matter.
The next step is to repeat the layers, fruit, oats, yoghurt and optional - add a swirl of honey to the middle fruit layer if you so desire.
I like to top it with more fruit, just to make it pretty. You could add toasted oats or granola too.
Cover with cling film - and this is the hard part - and put in the fridge, for at least overnight, to let everything all soak together.
I make this usually the morning before I need them, and it does take a bit of forward planning. But it's definitely worth it!!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Learning a new skill

You are never too old to learn something new, and whilst I was having a bimble through some of my favourite crafty blogs recently, I came across something that immediately grabbed my attention. Tunisian crochet, otherwise known as Afghan stitch. Definitely something I wanted to try!
It's done with a Tunisian hook, which looks a bit like a cross between a crochet hook and a knitting needle, and it is a little bit like a cross between the two arts in actual fact.
I'm right at the beginning of my Tunisian obsession, and once I master it I'll gladly share my finished pieces. In the meantime if you are intrigued take a look at, there are some great tutorials available.
Happy hooking!