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!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Interlull

I hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas, and is now suitably stuffed with mince pies, cake, chocolate and turkey. Now all that remains is to see in 2012 at the weekend, before life will get back to 'normal' again!

We've had a very busy Christmas, as you can imagine, with a completely over excited 3 yr old and an overawed (almost) 5 month old. But it has been lovely seeing how happy Caoimhe was with her presents (and Teaghan's as well!) I think it will take a while to bring her back down to earth, and back in her usual routine. The joys, eh? :)

Violet returned to the North Pole on Christmas Eve morning (taking Caoimhe's potty with her) and left behind a little door so that she can pop back and see Caoimhe over the next year. Thanks once again to Jan at Handcrafted by Picto for the fairy door. Caoimhe loves it! Especially when she returned home from visiting on Christmas day to find a little note and present by the door! I think it will be a valuable source of discipline fun for Caoimhe over the year to come.

So what presents did you give and receive? I was most disappointed with my handmade contribution this year, as I had wanted to do so much, but managed relatively little really. I guess it was never going to be easy with a new baby! But really I should have been better organised, and certainly not finishing gifts and cards in the days leading up to Christmas! I vow to do better next year!
I made chocolates and soaps this year, and Tim helped out with some lovely earrings too. I also finally found a use for the white teacups I saw in the sales months ago and had been wondering what to do with ever since

I cut some flowers out of some vintage style paper I have in my stash and used a florally ribbon, attaching them along with an old button from my button box (thanks again mum!) I had wanted to cover the teacups with lots of paper flowers but in the end decided that Less is definitely More in this case! I was going to line the cups in some lovely satiny fabric I have but decided to use them for pot pourri and thought that they would be easier to keep clean inside if I left them 'bare'.

I've decided that at some point next year I am going to try and sell some of my cards, and maybe some handmade gifts too. I say 'try' as I have even yet to decide what market to aim for! I have a few ideas, and hopefully, despite my Libran tendencies, they will come to fruition at some point over the next 12 months. Watch this space!

That's all from me today, except to wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year, and I'll see you in 2012!
Til then!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas cards

Much to my disappointment, I still have a fair few cards to make. I had hoped to have finished them by now, as well as the wrapping of gifts and all the other preparations needed for the Big Day next weekend (eeeeeekkk!) Of course I have not wrapped a single thing, and there are still a few little bits to get. On the card front, I am getting there slowly but really must get my act together next year! I would rather like to sell some of my cards next year so leaving it until the week before Christmas really won't work!

I managed to get two cards done yesterday morning, whilst Teaghan was snoozing (a very rare occurrence as those of you who know her will attest!) and Caoimhe was amusing herself with the pretty Kaleidoscope that Violet left her.

I'm entering this card into the Less is More challenge, which has it's theme as music this week.

Yes, there's that snowflake stamp again! I also used a piece of the vintage music I bought for some cards I was asked to make a few weeks ago (scroll down here to see them) and a left over die cut tree.
I made an ATC to go with it but the photo I took was really rubbish, so I'll have to nick it back off my mum to photograph again! I think at some point I need to actually invest in a camera rather than using my phone all the time but I digress!

And here's the stamp one more time:

I'm entering this one into the Craft Room Challenge Blog challenge with a theme of die cuts and punches. I really like these tree die cuts and may have to invest in a die myself next year.Especially since I am now running out of them!

I'm also linking up again with Wendy over on her blog for Handmade Monday, the last one before Christmas! When I get some time later, I shall be having a good old look at everyone's busy week and seeing what they've been up to!

We have a week left in the company of our little elf, Violet, and she will be returning to the North Pole on Saturday morning. Will she be telling Father Christmas that Caoimhe has been a good girl? It remains to be seen, but the forecast so far is good. When she departs she will leave behind a magic door (thanks to Jan at Handcrafted by Picto) so she can pop back periodically throughout the year to keep a check on Caoimhe's behaviour, (and maybe leave little treats or tricks...who knows!) I will miss her presence in the house a lot but I am looking forward to her leaving little notes to remind Caoimhe to be good!
She even got Caoimhe's bear, Theo, in the Christmas spirit!

Well that's all from me this week, I doubt I will have time to update before Christmas now so I would like to wish you all a lovely Christmas. I hope that you all have a fab and happy time with your families and friends, which is certainly what I will be aiming for!
Lots of love and best wishes from the Gallery clan to you all xxx

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Let it snow!

Well I'd rather it didn't to be honest, I'm not one for the cold really. But that's the theme for a couple of challenges I'm entering this week. And since it's less than two weeks to Christmas (OMG!!!!!) and I'm not working this year (thanks to still being on maternity leave) and don't really need to leave the house particularly, well it might be nice to have a bit of white around for the Big Day. Be nice for the kids, anyway (that would be Caoimhe and Tim, since Teaghan's a bit little yet!)

I have a couple of contributions to Handmade Monday this week. First of all a couple of dozen mince pies, which, once shared around didn't go very far at all!

I'm not a huge mince pie fan, I can take them or leave them. But Tim loves them, and I think he'd have me making them every week if he could. I made these at my mum's. as I've discovered baking is not easy with a toddler AND a baby to entertain. So it was a case of 2 pairs of hands being better than 1. It also meant I got to play with my mum's new *gadget* - a pastry cutter, and I will be buying one as soon as I possibly can!

I also discovered this week that my lovely woolly hat is on it's last legs. For some reason it decided that it wasn't happy with being washed last time and became all big and mishapened, far too big for my head and not really much use at all. Not sure what happened, as it has been washed before, at the same temperature etc etc with no problems. But it meant that I had nothing for my poor cold head. I had a quick dig into my stash and a couple of hours work (over 3 nights) came up with this:

Saved a few quid and I now have a warm head!

So on to the challenges. I have my friend Sharon to blame thank for introducing me to the wonderful world of craft challenges and swaps. Cos I needed something else to spend my very limited free time on! In all fairness, it is a great way to get the old creative juices flowing, and is making me work the grey matter - not that I have much left now! I enjoyed making them, and that's what it's all about!

The first is for ATCs With Attitude, who have an Anything Goes theme. I wanted to do a wintry theme without it being Christmassy. I used some silver ink across the cardstock for the base and stamped on two snowflakes from a Christmas stamp set (free with a stamping mag last year) in red distressed ink  I added a bit of cardstock with a snowflake theme and some silver ribbon and rhinestone embellishments.

I have also entered this card into the Less is More challenge for a  Let it Snow theme.

I used the same inks and snowflake stamp, and added a stamped greeting.I had to stop myself from adding more to it but actually when I stepped away and went back to it 10 minutes later, I decided I like it as it is.

Don't forget to visit Wendy and see what everyone else has been up to, and I'll see you next time!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas prep!

Only 2 more Handmade Mondays til Christmas (after today's!) I can't believe how quickly it's come around. Are you all prepared? Christmas tree up? Presents bought? Cards sent? If you're looking for some last minute gifts I'm sure some of the blogees (is that even a word??) who participate in handmade Monday may be able to help you out with some lovely handmade items. Don't be looking at me though. I'm way too far behind in my own preparations to be making extra things!

We put the tree up this morning, and this afternoon me and the Flop spent a happy hour or so making paper chains to decorate it with. She really enjoyed herself and got quite excited, especially when she watched her video message from the Man Himself (thanks to Portable North Pole - if you've not tried it out, you MUST!) she wasn't even phased by the fact that he mispronounced her name (to be fair there are 2 ways to pronounce it, both correct, so it was a 50:50 thing) She was so impressed, she watched it twice.

My own preparations aren't going quite as well as I had hoped. I knew I wouldn't have the time to make many handmade gifts this year, so I have limited it to a few people, and only part of their presents (and I can't divulge any details as potential readers may be the recipients so I don't want to spoil it for them! I also decided that family cards would be made by Caoimhe, and I will post a pic of the finished article just as soon as we finish them! I have made a handful of other cards for friends, but still have several to make. I hope that I learn my lesson and get more organised next year!

That's about it for today. More later in the week hopefully!
Til next time!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Santa's little helper!

We have an elf to stay. She arrived this morning, although Caoimhe is yet to discover that. There is a little note and a packet of sweets on her pillow for when she goes to bed tonight. She would have found the note this morning, if I had been organised last night and not faffing about with denim.. more on that in a mo!

So what's this elf all about? Well thanks to one very creative mum over on the Verity discussion board and lots of posting to and fro from other members, I have been introduced to the concept of a little elf - one of Santa's Helpers - coming to stay with the children with the sole purpose of reporting their behaviour - and their naughty or niceness - back to FC himself. It's a big, busy world nowadays and he needs all the help he can get!
We decided that the elf can sleep in Caoimhe's doll's house, and so I was tasked with making a mini cover and pillow for  her comfort. Thankfully I have a scraps bag (I throw nowt away, just ask Himself!) and a glue gun, and the lint from the dryer provided some nice comfy filling for the pillow (now there's a reason in itself to do a load of washing this morning!)
What do you think?

(Yea, I have no idea why there's a wooden ball in the baby's cot either, must ask Caoimhe at some point. I'm sure there's a good reason!)
I am planning lots of surprises for Caoimhe 'from the elf' so we'll see how it goes down, and also if she is a good girl as a result! (I'm also planning that the elf will take Caoimhe's potty away with her on Christmas Eve when she goes back to the North Pole to report her findings. Caoimhe doesn't know this yet!)

The faffing with denim which caused me to completely forget about the elf's arrival was to make a brooch/corsage, again out of my recycled fabric bag. No sewing this time, but good use of my beloved glue gun. I added some glitter and an old button from my reclaimed button jar. I have my mum to blame for the button jar, as she started me off on that particular hoarding habit. Indeed she provided me with most of the buttons in it. Mmmm is she trying to transfer her stash from her house to mine....has she now run out of room herself?! Still I am very grateful as I have used them for loads of things. Here's the result of my late night faffing about.

Today I'm taking part in the Bath Bomb Creations link party. There's some lovely bath time goodies on offer over there!
I'm also entering my handmade flowers into this fortnight's challenge (to make something with handmade flowers) over on the Craft Room Challenge blog

Til next time

Monday, November 28, 2011

A bit of upcycling.

Last week my Christmas present arrived.  Himself told me as soon as it arrived and gave me the option of having it there and then if I wanted to instead of waiting for Christmas. (Fueled by his own complete inability to have any presents in the house until the actual day (birthday or Christmas, he isn't fussy) and he wanted to get his paws on his own Christmas present...) But no, I held out...I did very well, because it was sitting in its box for several days before I took it out to admire it, and then a couple more days before I actually did something with it. That is a record for me.

Of course I am quite rubbish at sewing, as regular readers will know. My New Year's Resolution is to use it for more than hems and mending split crotches in jeans. And phone socks. I'm quite fond of making phone socks, there must be half a dozen floating around the house. But I owe it to my lovely husband to use this magnificent beast for more than that.

So the other morning, armed with my new sewing machine, a bag of material for recycling and my daughter's LeapPad I knocked up a little cover. ('knocked up' makes it sound like I did it in the Corrie ad break on my way to make a brew, not in the hour and a actually took...) I made it from a piece of my old and very favourite pj bottoms. I sadly cannot wear them anymore as the split down the bum,  although it has been fixed, really doesn't want to stay fixed. So into the recycle bag they sadly went. And now they live on. Hurrah!

Don't look too closely at the stitching because it's really not good! In my defence it is quite difficult to sew when you have to sew standing up (I had to put it on my kitchen work top to use it as the cable isn't long enough! Really must find a better solution than that!) and it gets a bit harder when you have a 3yr old pulling at your pant leg too! I made the button hole out of a ribbon for two reasons. First of all it is big enough for Caoimhe to manage to fasten and open herself. And secondly...I don't know how to do buttonholes....yet. But I will learn (It's been 20 odd yrs since Needlecraft at school so give me a break!)  I tried to make it quite roomy so she can fit a couple of games in it as well. When I handed it over to her she gave me a really big smile, so I think that's a hit.

A bit later than usual this week, but it is *still* Monday so don't forget to take a look at what people have been up to via Wendy's blog for Handmade Monday
Have a good week everyone.
Til next time!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

ATC challenge - lace.

This is my entry for the ATC Challenge Blog this week. They wanted something to do with lace, so I found a piece of lace in my stash and took it from there.

Not really sure what's going on with me : pink, lace and flowers aren't really an accurate reflection of my personality! I will blame it on the hormones!

I'm also linking up with Handmade by Me Thursday Blog Hop today. some nice links to crafty blogs over there, and especially good if you're after some unique Christmas gifts!

Til next time!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Birthday Party!

No-one told me that children's birthday parties were such hard work, and so stressful!
Caoimhe had her third birthday party on Saturday and of course I've been fretting about it for weeks. In the end it seemed to go well enough, and she certainly seemed to enjoy herself!

Thank you to all of our family and friends who came from near and far to help us celebrate, it was really appreciated and lovely to see so many loved ones under the same roof!¬ Caoimhe loved seeing everyone and of course loves all her presents!

I promised a picture of the cake. I finished it at about 9.45 on Friday night. It wasn't easy making and decorating it away from Caoimhe's prying eyes, so it had to be done at night after she went to bed.

It was made with a chocolate layer and a layer of vanilla with chocolate drops, sandwiched together with vanilla buttercream. I'd love to tell you how it tasted but I didn't get any!

Short and sweet this week, as my attention is being sought elsewhere. Small children make an awful lot of noise when they want you!

Don't forget to visit Wendy over on her blog for Handmade Monday and I'll see you next time.
Til then!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Miss Flop!

Today my big girl is 3 years old.
I can't believe it. Not quite sure where the time has gone. It only seems like yesterday when I found out about her, and when I met her for the first time. The last few years have been quite surreal to say the least. From completely giving up on the idea of being a mummy, here I am today with two scrumptious daughters.

Caoimhe is such a lovely little (big!) girl, she's sweet natured, very loving and also quite cheeky! It's fair to say that everyone she knows loves her to pieces.

I am very proud to be her mummy.

I love you to the Sun and back, my Flip Flop!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A bit of a begging blog!

Here we are again, another week closer to Christmas! I hope you are getting yourselves organised for the Big Day?
Another week means another Handmade Monday over on Wendy's blog, and of course I am linking up with other lovely crafty bloggers again. Don't forget to have a wander over there, there are some really nice blogs showcased there, and you never know, you might find some great ideas for Christmas gifts for your loved ones.

Before I get on to this week's craftiness, I want to make a little request. As many of you know, I have polycystic ovary syndrome and I belong to a fantastic support network and charity, called Verity. I have blogged about PCOS before here so I shan't bore you with the details again. However those of you who are my Facebook friends will know that last week was PCOS Awareness week. In celebration of that, and to do my own little bit for awareness I wanted to dedicate a bit of my blog this week to Verity. I've told you about Verity before. They do a fantastic job of bringing information to the public domain, and offering advice and support to ladies with the condition. They are also involved in research into the disease.Unfortunately despite affecting millions of women it is not a well known condition, and receives little financial support. and there is a real threat that the website and forum will not be able to continue without donations. We are all too well aware of other charities out there and I'm sure that the majority of you will donate to one or more of these charities. All I'm asking is that you take a few minutes to read the Verity website and consider just for 1 month making a donation to Verity instead of your usual charity. They desperately need to raise £5000 by the end of the year. You can find the Verity blog here so you can see how they are getting on. Thank you.

On to crafty things and I was asked last week to make some Christmas cards for my mum and step dad to give to the sponsors of the brass band they are involved with. It was my first 'commission' and I was very excited! I was asked to make 11 cards, and the only remit was that I had to include a musical theme somewhere. It didn't take me long to find some vintage music on Ebay, and as soon as I had decided on that as my backing paper, the rest slotted together. I added some Christmas trees die cut from mulberry paper and some 'Merry Christmas' ribbon for the greeting. They were pleased with the end product, so job done I think! Can't exactly give up the day job, but it was very satisfying to make them.

This week I will be spending my time and creative energy making a cake for the Flop's third birthday. I can't believe she is 3 this week, I have no idea where that time has gone! All being well I should have a photo of a successful birthday cake to show you. If it doesn't work as planned, I know there's a Hungry Caterpillar cake in the supermarket she quite liked the look of...

Til next time!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Like mother, like daughter!

I love this picture. This is my mum baking raisin biscuits with the Flop last week. It reminds me so much of my Saturday afternoons with my grandma (my mum's mum actually) We would be pretty much doing the same thing - I would be standing on a stool, and she would be baking with me. Not biscuits though, my gran was the Queen of Cakes. I loved baking with my grandma, and it makes me really happy to see history repeating itself, with my daughter baking with her grandma.

I hope everyone had a good time with the fireworks over the weekend. We certainly did. We spent a lovely afternoon and evening with the family.The food consisted of home made french onion soup made by my sister in law Catherine (It truly is the best onion soup I have ever had, I love it!) lots of little cakes made by the children (Well, children is a loose description, since 2 of those children are 18 now!) and my contribution was an oven baked rice pudding, which certainly went down well. So well, in fact, that I didn't get any despite making double quantities!

I really don't think there are any better rice puddings out there than a home made, oven baked one. It beats those tinned ones hands down. My own version is not as soupy as most, in fact it is more like a slice of pudding than a spoonful! But that's the way I like it, and that's the way it is enjoyed in my family. Blame my mother!

So my contribution to Handmade Monday this week is a simple recipe for the best rice pudding you will ever taste.
You need a large ovenproof dish with a lid, a casserole dish is perfect, lightly grease the sides of the dish with butter (and none of this margarine rubbish, this is not a pud for the faint hearted, or those on diets!). Put the oven on at about 160 C.
In the dish put about 2oz of pudding rice - that's the small round rice, 1oz of sugar, 1 pint of full fat milk, and ground nutmeg. Give it a stir, put the lid on, put it in the oven and leave it alone for about 2 hours. You can leave it longer, just make sure it doesn't dry out or become too thick. if it does, add more milk
If, like me, you don't want a soupy pudding, add a little more rice (I add about a handful extra.) You can also add single cream, replacing some of the milk to make up to a pint. I usually finish it off with a bit more cream or milk just stirred in right at the end. Try it, I guarantee you won't be disappointed!

Don't forget to see what everyone else has been up to over on Wendy's blog!

Til next time!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

First ATC challenge

I've made advantage of a long nap from the Bud this morning to make an ATC. I have entered it into the ATC Challenge Blog challenge which was for a vintage themed Anything Goes ATC.
I used a drying up bronze ink pad to wipe over the card first (knew there was a reason I kept it!) and then used some paper from my stash of distressed/old tatty style cardstock, and some old lace at the bottom. I stamped the quote on some cream textured paper. I have no idea where I got the stamp from, I've had it for years!The flower was cut using a die from my next catalogue, it was a photo of a vintage print style tea dress. I put mod podge over the top to stop the glare of the shiny paper. I finally added an old button from my button stash.

I've never entered a challenge before, and I will enjoy looking at the winning entries to see what they did! It was fun to challenge myself based on a given theme. 

Bit addictive this ATC malarkey!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sweet Sixteen !

Today my little sister turns 16. I can't believe how quickly the last 16 years have gone, and I can still remember the first time I met her all those years ago! It has made me feel very old today, but also very proud, She is a now growing into a beautiful young woman and I feel very privileged to be her sister. I remember being very jealous of my friends who had sisters when I was growing up, even though I had a younger brother who I did actually spend a lot of time with. I did get my sister in the end, but it took 24 years!

In celebration of her birthday I made her card and a couple of her presents. I really didn't know what to buy her this year, so she got a few little things instead. A knitting bag with wool and needles (I have promised to teach her - what have I let myself in for with that one!) some funky jewellery (and a confession here, Cathy, you nearly didn't get the bracelet, I was tempted to keep it for myself! It was a lucky find on a market stall and I liked it straight away!) a brooch and a journal/notebook.

Cathy's birthday card

and an ATC made just for her.

I made the notebook from a plain notebook, with some card stock and embellishments. I glued a ribbon to it to fasten together, and inside I put two handmade and matching bookmarks too. I'm told the notebook is already in use, which I am pleased about!

You were wondering what I had done with my old jeans and my Big Shot, well here is the answer. My Tattered Florals die was put to use once again on a square of fabric from a pair of jeans that, thanks to my two gorgeous girls, I am unlikely to get back into again. I glued them together and added the button and a brooch back. I did consider adding some blue glitter glue I have but decided in the end that understated was better than bling. I might experiment with it however. There's still a fair bit of fabric left for me to use!

And yesterday saw another *first* for me, in the form of my first ever attempt at Yorkshire Puddings. I have no clue how I got to 40 and have never made them before, especially as I really do like them. I was most impressed with myself as I fully expected them not to rise at all. But here they are in all their glory:

I inherited the Yorkshire tin and it's been sitting in my cupboard for a long time. I thought it was time I actually used it!

As it's Monday, don't forget to head over to see Wendy for Handmade Monday, and see all the lovely blogs, and what other crafty type people have been up to this week. As soon as I get a few minutes to myself when the girls are in bed, and the hubby is packed off to work, that is exactly what I'll be doing!

And just before I sign off, I'd like to wish a Happy and Peaceful Samhain to all. Don't forget to remember your loved ones who have gone before you tonight as you enjoy your evening meal.

Til next time.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


My husband is always telling me that we don't fit in. I think he has a point. Watching Breakfast this morning, they are talking about kids as young as 10 carrying weapons in schools, and those of you who know me, follow me on twitter or are friends with me on Facebook, will know how I feel about certain aspects of this modern life. For all the benefits of living in the 21st century (and who now can live without their mobile phone, or the interweb?) there seems to be more reasons to despair, especially if, like us, you don't 'fit in' to the modern way of living and thinking.

It seems to all be about celebrity, vanity, money. We are inundated with 'talent(less)' shows, celebrity gossip, bling, keeping up with the Jones's to the nth degree. Crime and unemployment is sky high, people live on benefits, and some seem to like it that way! We are selfish as a society, putting number one first and who cares about anyone else? We gorge ourselves on junk food, junk telly, junk news. is this really civilised living? Somewhere along the line we have lost our identity as a society, and become dazzled by that false god that is bling.

Sometimes I think Tim is right. We don't fit in, we were born in the wrong decade (or even century!), the wrong place. My needs are simple, a roof over my head, food on the table, laughter in my house. i want my girls to grow up with respect for themselves and for others, and certainly not being encouraged to wear make up and become a mini adult at the age of 5! My one great fear is that our rich culture, thousands of years in the making, will continue to become diluted and our skills will be lost. The simple things in life: a roast dinner, making Christmas decorations, baking a cake. You get the idea.

Then sometimes I am reminded that we are not the only ones striving for that kind of lifestyle. All around you there are decent people trying to do the same things as us, thinking and feeling the same things, and there is the hope that actually there are still people out there who carry the torch for a simple life. Our British culture is not just being diluted, but being enriched by others as well, and people still make roast chicken on a Sunday, bake a cake for their children's birthdays, teach their kids that self respect is more important than having the latest Lelli Kelly slapper boots. People like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Kirstie Allsop show us this every week when you watch them on the telly box. So maybe there is hope for us after all.

I have been 'handmaking' this week, christmas decorations (thanks Ros!), Christmas presents, birthday cards, and my new found hobby of ATC's, which I'll share next time, but this week I just wanted to use my blog to share with you that you're not alone. If you're reading this blog, the chances are you think along the same lines as I do. Amd we can't all be misfits, can we?

Today I'm linking up with The Handmade by Me Bloghop, the link is in my side bar as I can't add links drom my ipad, so have a look at the other blogs taking part. Our handmade, domestic goddess skills are not completely at risk after all!

Til next time!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Baking with the Flop!

It's been a fair old weekend again. I hardly seem to have got anything done, but on the other hand, don't really know what happened to the time! So Monday rolls around again, and of course that means it's time to visit Wendy for Handmade Monday I didn't get time to visit all the blogs last week, so it is my ambition to make sure I do this week!

I don't know if any of you caught Kirstie's Handmade Britain last week, but I managed to watch it on Saturday morning thanks to my V+ box (there are advantages to having a small baby, who gets you up before everyone else in the house!) and I really enjoyed it! Even Himself sat through it, which I really didn't expect him to! The only problem then was Kirstie made scones for a country show event, and of course having seen them, Tim decided that was how I was going to spend my afternoon! Still, it gave me a bit of quality time with the Flip Flop, while daddy looked after the Bud. We had lots of fun and got covered in flour (at some point I'm going to have to concede defeat and buy her a pinny to wear when we're baking!) I did take several pictures of her making the dough and cutting out the scones, but of course they were rubbish because she just wouldn't keep still long enough!
This was the finished product (well 2 of them at least!) :

They weren't the best scones I've ever made, which I put down to the rough handling they got from Caoimhe (I think the gluten got worked too much) and also I did use a different recipe this time too...Hugh F-W's, with an egg added as well. But they still went down well!

I also made an ATC for my lovely hubby, just to remind him that even after nearly 17 years together, he is still my soul mate and best friend. I think having two small kids makes it a bit hard on a relationship sometimes, and I'm hoping that one day I'll learn how to split myself into 3 equally... then maybe I will be a true goddess!

I also learned today that my Big Shot works on my old jeans, which I am quite happy about. But more about that another time!

Til next time!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My first ATC!

What have you got me into Ms Edwards! ATC's, if you don't know, are Artist Trading Cards, miniature art work 2.5" by 3.5", traded, never sold, but those are the only rules. I love looking at the cards on Sharon's blog, so had to have a go myself!

I enjoyed the challenge of making it, and fitting art onto a relatively small area.

Continuing with the papercraft theme, I can now show you my friend's birthday card, as she has received it.

I think that stamp is becoming a favourite, and I expect to use it more often!

On Tuesday I turned the Big 4-0. Not quite sure how it happened! I wanted a hassle free tea, so in true Goddess mode decided on pasta bake, which I made whilst Caoimhe was at nursery, to heat up later. My pasta bake is a great store cupboard standby, as I always have pasta and chopped tomatoes in the cupboard, and can generally find cheese and veg. I use up whatever little bits of leftovers I've got. It can also be made in the morning and then just takes 20 mins or so to heat through and crisp up. (Grated cheese sprinkled over the top does that well!)

I realised the flaw in my plan when I went to the cupboard and found very little pasta in there! Not sure how we can run out of pasta really! But I did find a packet of chilli penne at the back of the cupboard, bought and forgotten about, but mercifully still in date, so that went in to bulk it out. Not really the best choice, as it was spicier than I thought it would be, and Caoimhe decided she didn't like it! But it was enjoyed by the adults so didn't go to waste!

Today I'm linking up with the Handmade by Me Blog Hop hosted by Caroline, so have a look at the sites linked there, and add your own link too!

Til next time!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Another Monday, Another Week...

My blog is a bit late this week, as we have not long been back from a lovely weekend in York. Well, it was lovely up until about Saturday teatime, when the lurgy seems to have hit and we have had a visit from the Snot Fairy. Caoimhe had already been sniffling for a few days, so it was inevitable we would all catch it sooner or later. In any case it was fab to catch up with the Mackays and introduce baby Teaghan to them.

On Saturday morning me and the Flip Flop even had a bit of time to decorate some gingerbread men

We also got stuck into some paper crafts at the end of last week, before we went away. Caoimhe seems to enjoy using mummy's 'sheen'. which is what she calls my Big Shot, so we spent a happy hour making hearts, stars and flowers. In true Domestic Goddess mode, I did a bit of recycling, and used the pages of my Next Directory:

Waste not, want not!

We used some of the flowers to make a card for Auntie Cathy, the rest have gone into the tub for another messy play day.

And as promised, here are a couple of pictures of cards from birthdays now gone:

Both cards made use of my new stamps, I need a lot more practice, but have found them fun to use.
(ps Sharon, you're gonna have to wait to see yours!)

Just time to remind you all that since it's Monday, don't forget to have a look at all the other lovely websites linked up on Wendy's blog for Handmade Monday

Til next time!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Time for Tea

Time for Handmade Monday once again. How time flies! So have a bimble over to Wendy's blog and see what everyone's been doing this week.
This week I'm also linking up with the Sunday Blog Love link on Cherished Treasures (thanks for that Jill!) So i think I'll be busy blog hopping later!
It has been one of those funny weeks this week where I don't seem to have had a minute to myself, but nor do I seem to have acheived anything either. It was Caoimhe's first day at nursery on Tuesday (which she absolutely loved, as I knew she would!) but even though I was big child free for 3 hours, I still had little miss with me, and she seemed to relish the fact that she could have all my attention. I was hoping for a bit of a sleep from her to get on with some of the card making I need to do but she had other ideas of course!

I did manage to make one card, my mum's anniversary card (is it really a year since The Cake??) and safe in the knowledge that she doesn't visit the Interweb very often I can post it up here.

I didn't want to make anything too fussy, I wanted to make something that looked simple but elegant. Not sure on the elegant side of it but I think understatement works here. In any case the majority of it was done one handed so bonus points must be awarded for that!

I also managed this week to make cards for my stepmum, neice and friend. On the birthday front, I think there's just my sister's card and present to make now so I feel like I'm more than halfway there (as soon as I decide what I'm making her for her birthday of course!) Of course I'm not going to post up pictures of the finished cards as the recipients have yet to open them, but you can see my stepmum's card as I'm sure she won't peak here before next Saturday!

As you can see, my Tattered Florals die is being used quite a lot!

I'll post up the rest of the cards in a couple of weeks when the birthdays are over and done with!

The one thing I did acheive this week, which I am incredibly happy about, is I fullfilled my ambition to find an old teapot, with a good pouring spout, not a fancy one, or one that only holds enough tea for a barbie doll, but a good old-fashioned tea time teapot. I have always looked for one in charity shops over the years, but never found one to my liking. I did see a teapot, quite easy on the eye, and not too expensive, in Sainsbury's a few weeks back. That was a good size too, but just wasn't....right. Then this week I found one in the Wooden Canal Boat Society Charity shop £2, complete bargain and for a good cause too.  

I have obviously used it a lot of times in the short time it has been in my family! It reminds me of tea time, at home or at my grandparents (both sets of course, but mainly my dad's side) Tea from a teapot had a huge place in my early life but seems to have been forgotten about since I left home. Tim is not a big tea drinker, so I never really carried the tradition on (though we did have a teapot as a wedding present, that sadly got broken) But it is now having a revival, and we've had tea from the teapot at teatime this weekend, instead of having juice. It'll be tablecloths and bread and butter with everything as well before we know it! But there's nowt wrong with that, is there!

Continuing with the tea theme, I found a couple of sad and lonely looking teacups and saucers in Sainsbury's sale aisle as well. And although we *proper Northerners* drink tea from mugs! I couldn't leave them on the shelf. I'm hoping inspiration will hit and they will become a present of some kind for someone.

Any thoughts gratefully received!

Well that's about all from me this week. I probably won't get chance to take part in Handmade Monday next week as we are spending the weekend in the lovely city of York,We will no doubt be spending time in the National Railway Museum especially as we have to introduce Teaghan to trains (it's a Lee thing) and it;s Caoimhe's favourite place in the world!  And we'll be visiting friends too.
So til next time!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Another Handmade Monday.

Once again Wendy is hosting Handmade Monday so don't forget to have a look at what everyone's been up to this week. As soon as the girls are settled in bed tonight, that is exactly where I'll be heading!

October already! Bit hard to believe it, the year is going by so quickly, and the weather has not been particularly autumnal either, has it?! October in the Gallery household means only one thing. Birthdays. There's millions of them. Well, ok, that's a slight exaggeration. But from both sides of the family we have 6 birthdays this month. And a wedding anniversary as well. So there will be a fair bit of card making going on this month!

One card has been made already, I had a bit of a go with my stamps the other day, which I enjoyed and was pretty pleased with the result. I would love to show you the card but since it's for a birthday yet to come, I don't want to spoil the surprise for the (lucky!) recipient. Some more card making will no doubt follow.

We've been having a little bit of messy play today, and little Teaghan was able to take part, much to Caoimhe's amusement.

The flower petals are Caoimhe's hand prints, the bees are her thumb prints and the leaves are Teaghan's foot prints. It was fun to make, and I'm sure we'll come up with new ideas that incorporate the prints of body parts!

A short and sweet one this time, as it is nearly tea time, my busiest time of the day. More so today because I also have to get little Miss Flip Flop's stuff ready for her first day at nursery tomorrow! She is very excited, obviously, and I only hope it lives up to her expectations!

Have a lovely week. Til next time.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kiddie crafting

Morning all. Well what's with this weather?? Not that I am complaining, it's nice to have some warm, sunny days. Would have been quite nice to have them in the summer though!

As it's Thursday I am once again taking part in the Handmade by me blog hop hosted by Carolee crafts so don't forget to have a look at the other sites linked there, or even better add your own!

I thought I would blog about my lovely daughter Caoimhe today, since she has been quite productive in the creative department. She loves making things, as I suspect most kids do. She likes painting the best she tells me, though she is equally happy making cakes, making cards or playing with her play doh. This week she has had a baking session with Grandma and a card making session with mummy.

With grandma she made biscuits. Piles of them. My mum has a book which uses one dough for 50 different kinds of cookies (eurgh I hate that word!) I can't remember the title (though a good guess at 1 dough 50 cookies might be worth a stab at if you want to look it up on amazon!) They made Easter biscuits and raisin and banana biscuits.Both utterly delicious!

Yesterday we decided to make Nana's birthday card and I let her loose on my Big Shot - with lots of help of course.

(sorry about the quality of the pic btw! She just wouldn't keep still!)
I even let her use my brand new Tattered Florals die!

The paper I used came from a £1 craft bag from the pound shop. It is basically off cuts but worth a quid for kiddies' crafts really. And I just added a dot of blue glitter glue in the middle of each flower. Obviously she didn't do all the card herself, but I was impressed with the contribution she did make. She obviously enjoyed herself too, because we now have a tub of die cuts to use on other projects.

Well I am not going to waste such a lovely day so that's it for now!
Til next time!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Handmade Monday is on once again. So don't forget to have a look at what everyone's been up to!

Last week I was lucky enough to win some blog candy thanks to Rowena at Craftypagan Designs It includes some lovely stamps, which I am very much looking forward to trying out. I have not really done a lot of stamping, apart from the odd bit here and there on a card, so it will be fab to have a good go and experiment with these stamps. The parcel also included some fab papers, which I am sure will look great with my new tattered florals die. I'm chuffed to bits to have received it, and can't wait to get a bit of time to play!

Not much in the way of creativity has gone on since last week. The week seems to have gone by really quickly, and to be honest I'm not sure I've done an awful lot of anything. Of course we did have the now obligatory weekly bake and I trawled my cupboards and my recipe books for something to make. It's fair to say that I was a bit Mother Hubbardish last week. There was very little except flour, cocoa and dried fruit and it was just lucky that I remembered my *in an emergency* muffin recipe, which basically means I can make muffins out of whatever I have hanging around (within reason, of course, not really sure I could safely include chilli or tomato ketchup in the mix!)
Here it is:

1lb self raising flour
9oz sugar
3oz butter
310ml full fat or butter milk
1 large egg.

Sift flour, rub in butter, add sugar, milk and egg and whatever flavourings you want. Spoon into muffin cases and bake for about 20 minutes at 200c.

I added 7oz of dried fruit (raisins, sultanas etc) a teaspoon mixed spice, and I exchanged about an ounce of flour for an ounce of cocoa powder. But you could pretty much add whatever you wanted to, blueberries, jam, apples, bananas, chocolate... give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A thought for the day.

It's Thursday today so head over to for the Handmade by me Thursday Blog Hop. (after you've read mine of course!)

I love being a mum. I can't remember a time when I wasn't a mum now, even though I have only been one for just about 3 years. I love my girls to bits, even when they are misbehaving, or getting me up in the middle of the night to invade my bed. I would do anything for them as I know those of you who are parents will relate to. They are part of the reason why I want to be a better person, and cook home made food, make home made things and rediscover the goddess inside that shows there is more to life than work and expensive branded clothing and 50in plasma tellies, and all the other trappings that come with this modern, throw away life I don't like!

But if you had told me 4 years ago that I would be sitting here blogging about how much I love my girls I would not have believed you. I am one of the very lucky ones who has managed to stick two fingers up at the medical profession, who told me 6 or 7 years ago that I would need medical intervention to have children. I didn't want medical intervention and somehow, incredibly, I am now blessed with two gorgeous (if noisy) little girls.

I have polycystic ovary syndrome, and apart from having to wait 11 years to have Caoimhe, I am one of the lucky ones who isn't actually affected too badly by some of the symptoms of this disease. I had to push to be investigated and when I was eventually diagnosed following a scan I left the doctors relieved that I knew what was wrong, but also completely at a loss about what it meant. I was told that I had it and honestly that was pretty much that. End of consultation. I found a lot of advice and support from the charity Verity and have met some lovely ladies through their discussion board, who I have been able to share experiences with..  Verity really did help me understand the condition, and they are freely available online to offer advice and support for people like me, a very valuable resource ,especially given the fact that medics seem to disagree on how to recognise it, treat it, and have even less of a clue how to help ladies who have it. That is scary when you think that up to 1 in 10 of the female population has it to one degree or another! And even worse when you understand it is not just about infertility or sub fertility but also has implications for future health. It is a metabolic problem and can increase risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke, as well as problems with obesity, altered body image, and even mental health issues just for starters.

As a charity, it is funded by donation, and they are looking to raise money to keep their website running. The website and the discussion board provide valuable information and support, and are involved in research, as well as running a conference each year. .It would be a real shame if this resource was not available anymore.

If you think you can help, or want to know more then the website is here and the blog is here.and there is a discussion board too.

I know this isn't my usual chatty blog about what I've been up to this week, but I really just wanted to use my blog to say all this today. I feel very blessed to have my girls pretty much against the odds, and I know a lot of ladies who would love to be in the position of being a mum but are having a very hard time getting there. So ladies, this one is for you. I am thinking of you all today and just spreading the message a little bit.

Til next time.