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!

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.