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