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!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas is coming!

Now that Caoimhe is at school nursery I'm looking forward to all the Christmassy things she'll be doing. They are currently practising for the nativity play (it's top secret and she won't tell me anything about it other than that she will be singing something!) and I can't wait to watch her with her friends from nursery and reception..... Surely one of the nicest things about being a parent is watching your kids take part in a school event. And yes, I am definitely going to cry!

The children have also been preparing for the school fair later this week, and we were asked to make some things for the school to sell, namely a cracker with a small gift inside and a 'jumble jar'. Of course the children are supposed to make them themselves but obviously 4yr olds will need some help. Caoimhe helped me to collect the things together for the jumble jar, some bobbles, key rings, sweets and obviously there had to be some crafty things in there too, so I added some glitter and some gold and silver pens. I decorated the top with some Christmas wrapping paper and ribbon. We will make the cracker this week and I'm sure Caoimhe will enjoy helping me to decorate it.

The Christmassy prep didn't end there. There has been an afternoon baking with grandma, making Christmas cakes, and Violet the elf has come to stay too... I'm sure there will be more about her visit in future posts.

I'm linking up with Wendy for  Handmade Monday as usual so don't forget to go and have a look at all the other blogs linked up there.

Til next time!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Flop!

I can't believe it but on Sunday my little girl was 4! Not sure where the time has gone, it seems literally yesterday when I had the biggest shock of my life looking (very disbelievingly) at two pink lines on a little white stick. But here we are and that little shock is now 4 years old!
She has grown into a loving, generous, funny, bright little girl and I am very proud to be her mum.

I wasn't able to make her birthday cake this year, so we had a Haribo cake with lots of candles. Instead we started our family day with home made Herman breakfast muffins (apple and raisin) and the first sit down family breakfast we have shared in a long time thanks to that horrible work place! It was lovely.

On the crafting front I've been a bit of a slacker recently! But I have a few things planned including, of course, family Christmas cards which I'm hoping to make a start in soon. I'll be getting the yarn out soon, too, as well as thinking about some home made gifts for Christmas. Just as soon as I find a few more hours in the day!

I'm linking up with Wendy over on  Handmade Harbour for Handmade Monday so have a wander over. There are some lovely blogs there and I'll definitely be visiting and hoping for a bit of inspiration :)
Til next time!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Baking day!

I hope all you mummies (and daddies!) enjoyed the half term holidays with your littlies. What did you get up to? It can be a nightmare organising childcare if you work never mind trying to find things to keep them entertained. So the fact that I am able to work weekends does come in useful. I guess I should think myself lucky for that.

Himself had a week off too, and it was so nice to be able to spend time together as a family. We had several days out planned and even though the weather wasn't great, it didn't really spoil anything.

As well as the trip to the museum, soft play (I was more shattered than the kids on that one, chasing round after a fearless Teaghan!) and a very poorly considered trip to the Trafford Centre (really, in half term, what were we thinking!) we had some fun at home with a couple of jars of mincemeat.

If you thought that mince pies were all you could make with mincemeat then do yourself a favour and let your imagination run. It is actually quite versatile, as I have found over the last few years. By far the favourite use of it has been to add a few generous tablespoons to pancake mix to make christmassy pancakes, delicious with vanilla cream or ice cream. If you're keen to try this (and please do, you won't be disappointed!) then might I suggest using a thick American style recipe for the pancakes and not thin pancakes. Although the mincement would make a lively filling if warmed a little rolled up in flippy pancakes as Caoimhe calls them. Mmm might have to try they. Watch this space!

This year I attempted my first lattice mince pie,  which Himself declared as delicious. But easily the biggest hit was when I introduced mincemeat to Herman. Ok you know me well enough by now so I bet you saw that coming didn't you!

For the benefit of my good friend Sharon (you can find her fab blog Chasing Art  here ) here's the recipe.

To 1cup of Herman starter add 2 cups of plain flour, 1cup of sugar, 2heaped teaspoons baking powder, sprinkle of salt, generous teaspoon of mixed spice, 2 eggs and 2/3 cup of oil.

When all are combined, and as with all muffin batter don't go mad beating it, a few lumps are not only acceptable but necessary in my experience!, add the mincemeat. You can add as much as you want according to your taste. I started with 4 very generous tablespoons, although did add slightly more for the second batch. After mixing in you can add a chopped apple, which I have found to be a necessary addition to all my Herman cakes so far.

The batter will make 12 muffins or 2 1lb loaves. Or a mixture of the 2. Bake at 200c for 25 min for the muffins and 35-40 for the loaves. You may need to cover the loaves towards the end of cooking as they may burn.

As it's Monday don't forget to get yourself over to Wendy's blog for  handmade Monday and I hope you all have a fab week.

Til next time!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Missing in Action

It's been too many weeks since my last blog post. This working only weekends malarky is definitely having a negative effect as I just don't seem to have time to blog at the mo. I don't have the energy when I come home from work and now I do the nursery run 5 times a week as well as all the other things I try to fit in time just seems to disappear. I am in awe of mums with small kids who get everything done. How do you do it??!

I have had a little time to make over the last couple of weeks. We have made Herman (of course!) blueberry and apple muffins, I've made a couple of cards and Caoimhe carved an ace pumpkin with her Auntie. We also got a papier mache pumpkin and Caoimhe enjoyed painting that with Grandma, as well as going to Ashton library with daddy to make a lantern for Diwali. There was a disappointing turn out for the latter apparently. Much a shame as we will lose these services if we are not careful. Our local library service holds a fair few events for children and we do try to go. Obviously it's not easy especially when you have to squeeze so many things in but lots of these events are free and lots of fun for the kids too. It would be a huge loss if they stopped offering them. At least I think so!

As it's Monday I'd like to give a huge shoutout to Wendy at Handmade Harbour for the weekly bloghop. I've not been able to read many blogs recently but really hope to remedy that as I feel I've been missing out!

Also I'd like to mention ATCs with attitude, a challenge blog for tiny pieces of art that are very addictive!

That's all for now! Am blogging from my phone today and this will be my 3rd attempt at publishing so wish me luck!

Til next time!

ps the links seem to have appeared at the bottom of my post today and I can't put it right! But here they are:

 Handmade Harbour  handmade harbour  ATCs with Attitude

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

An unexpected treat

Just a sneak peak of some gorgeous super chunky yarn I've been treated to this weekend by my hubby. I'm going to make myself a scarf with it as it's so wonderfully soft and I'm loving all the colours! I prefer variegated yarn to plain for most things and can't resist it. He also treated me to some yellow baby dk which has lovely flicks of pink and green so will look fab when made up. I'm not sure to what yet tho.

It's such a treat because my hubby normally complains about the amount of wool and other oddments I have scattered around the house. For him to see it in the shop and buy it for me without being asked was a lovely surprise.

I really do have a fab husband who I love very much!

I know I'm too late to add my link for Handmade Monday this week but please go and have a look at the blogs that are linked. You'll find the link on my sidebar to the right.

Til next time!

Monday, September 24, 2012


I can't believe how quickly Autumn seems to have hit! I know we haven't had the best summer but I really didn't expect to be needing big coats and the heating on before the end of September. But here we are! It did give me a reason to find my mojo and get my crochet hook out though. I realised that the Littlest doesn't have a winter hat so thought I should do something about it.

The photo shows the hat I made over the last couple of evenings. It's in a lovely soft baby chunky yarn and i'm not sure if you can see from the picture bit I added a scalloped edge just for a bit of interest.

Of course the Biggest wants one now, so the hook will be out again later when she decides what colour she wants.

I know I have been missing in action for a couple of weeks. Sorry about that! Sometimes life gets in the way a bit and over the last few weeks I don't seem to have had a minute to myself.

I have been a busy girl on the baking front. We seem to have turned Tuesdays into mummy and Flip Flop's  baking day. We've made lots of pasties, Herman bread and of course Herman cakes. The biggest hit was apple and blueberry muffins and though i say so myself they were delicious :)

More of the same this week, too. She starts school nursery next week so I am making the most of it!

I'm linking up with Wendy for Handmade Monday over on  Handmade Harbour  Go and have a look at some lovely blogs :)

Til next time!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Home, Sweet Home

We''ve had a lovely family break in Norfolk, lots of shopping, and playing and exploring to be had in one of my favourite counties. It's a pity the weather wasn't kinder but you can't have everything, and we did manage some lovely rain free days. Without a doubt the hit of the week was Bewilderwood The kids loved it, even if our pockets didn't! I don't often say this when spending lots of money as I really do believe attractions, and merchandise etc aimed particularly at children are way overpriced and take advantage of a parent's love of their child and wish to make them happy... but it really was worth it.
We had exploring and climbing and boat trips and face panting, and two very happy, giddy, tired girls.
The picture I posted for Silent Sunday was taken in Bewilderwood, Caoimhe told me it was her fairy's house and got very excited telling us about the colourful fairies and elves she could see as we walked round. Oh to have that powerful, wonderful, innocent imagination all over again! It really is what being a parent is all about!

Needless to say there has been no making from me over the last week, aside from some cooking of course (and we had homemade pizza, by far exceeding in quality, taste, cost and fun the efforts of takeaways and even the prepared ones from the supermarket. We made these with round pitta breads, a dollop of passatta, cheese, mushrooms, and strips of ham and even fussyeater Caoimhe ate the lot!) So I have nothing recent to share with you. However I am keen to show eager for Handmade Monday as I have missed it over the last couple of weeks. It's such a lovely community and it's always nice to see what everyone has been up to.

I have an afternoon of baking planned today, and I have some carrots and potatoes bubbling away make potato cakes for dinner. But that isn't very exciting to show you...and I haven't started the cheese and veg pasties for tea yet, or the Herman cake for afters. So I have decided to share a couple of ATCs I made for the ATC trail on UKscrappers a few weeks ago. I used my new steampunk digikits from Daisytrail on a backing of some scraps of paper from my stash.

Hopefully I will have more to show you next week. I really need to get my crafty mojo back so I''ll be looking at the blogs linked up to Handmade Monday for inspiration!

Til next time!

Ps sorry about the format of the photos. I'm using a new app to blog from and frustratingly it won't let me move pictures where I want to. Grrr.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Testing on Animals

No I've not gone mad! Today's blog post is a product review for

Anyone who knows me in 'real life' or who follows me on twitter/facebook will know that I love my cats. They were my babies before my real babies arrived and although I am not, and never will be, a crazy cat lady, (not sure my hubby would agree!)  they do pretty much rule the roost. For those who don't know, I am owned by a beautifully fluffy, chunky, vociferous silver tabby and white Norwegian Forest Cat (and for more about this remarkable breed see here  ) and an almost equally fluffy,equally noisy, tiny little black bundle who was rescued as a 6 month old, and whose parentage is questionable..(put simply a mog) and who has never really grown much in the 2 1/2 yrs that she has shared our home.  I am quite fortunate with my kitties, in that they are not especially neurotic, nor faddy eaters, though I do suspect this is luck rather than good management.

Reilly Thomas

Hazel Alice
I was asked by Charlotte at to write a product review on some of the pet supplies they stock. As I have said already, mine are not especially fussy eaters, so I didn't expect to meet with any complaints from them when faced with food they had not had before (in fact they are quite used to having a change now and then as my poor old mum's cats were the fussiest I have ever met, and my own kitties were often the grateful recipients of food they suddenly went off and refused to eat!) I was not disappointed.

The first product I tried them with was a cat treat. Felix Goody Bag  to be precise. They don't often get cat treats. Not that I am a mean moggy mummy or anything, but they tend to get little smackerels such as chicken skin, bits of tuna, ham you know what it's like when you are cooking and you have cats swirling round your feet. Needless to say they enjoyed them very much and are especially happy now that the youngest family member has figured out how to open the pet food cupboard and particularly likes to dole out the treats herself. We gave them the original flavour and found them to be not too strong smelling at all, as some can be. They are also not covered in 'dust' and don't make your hands smell which is always a bonus when using them to bribe tempt your cat to do something they are reluctant to do! I think the price is reasonable for the quality of the product, and given that it is an occasional treat. They are also much better than the cheaper varieties, which are often strong smelling. They are pretty much what I would expect from a big company such as Felix, and one I'm sure I will buy from time to time.

We also tried out some Go-cat  chicken, duck and rabbit kibble. My cats are quite fond of their kibble and I always ensure they have some available to graze on through the day. That is if they manage to get to it before the dog (who, it has to be said, is quite partial to a bit of cat kibble herself, greedy girl). We have had Go-Cat before, although tend to get other brands including shops own. The price is right for the quality, it is not too strong smelling, as some can be, and seems to go down quite well. I even caught the Littlest with her hands in the cat bowl this morning so it seems that this kibble is palatable for cats, dogs and humans! (although I'm not prepared to try that out for myself!)  There are different flavours available, and I note that they make a variety specially developed for indoor cats, which mine are. Whether that's a gimmick or not I don't know, but it's a great idea for those cats who are restricted and not able to find their own mice, birds, know those special presents that outdoor cats like to bring home and share with their families! My only complaint with this product, and it really is nit picking, is that the packaging is not really designed to keep the kibble fresh, I would prefer a 'resealable' pack, as some brands offer, but that really is just a niggle and wouldn't put me off buying it in the future.

The last product we tried was a completely new one for us. Gourmet perle ocean delicacies. This isn't the type of food I usually buy, in fact I rarely even look at it on the shelf in the supermarket. My cats have always been happy with cheaper options so I have never considered buying these, or similar more 'premium' cat foods. I was impressed with the flavours, which seemed interesting and as if they had been thought about, and not just normal plain chicken, or tuna that we usually buy. The food itself looks appetising as well and contains flakes of fish. The cats certainly enjoyed them, and I don't think they preferred one flavour over another, they seemed happy with all of them. They are slightly smaller than other pouches and contain about 15g less per pouch, so I did end up giving them more than I would usually do. Not really cost effective in this economic climate, but if I do find myself with a few extra pennies in my purse and think they deserve a treat then I might just buy them again. I would also consider getting them if either of the cats are unwell, or recovering from an op for instance as they seem to be easier to digest. My greedy tom sometime gobbles at his food so quickly he is sick afterwards, but I have noticed he hasn't done whilst eating these.

Just a word about the packaging in which I received my items. It was delivered quite quickly, within a few days, and was double boxed. A lot of care had obviously been taken when parceling up and sending out, which is a small detail but one that is very important if you ask me. It shows that the sender cares enough about their product and their customer to ensure it gets there in one piece and in good condition. Can't say that for every company I have dealt with recently unfortunately!

No makes this time, although things have been made, I promise! But I've been busy getting the family ready for a long awaited holiday. Normal service will resume when I'm back from my break. In the meantime don't forget to go over to see Wendy on Monday for Handmade Harbour, you know where to find the link!

Til next time

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wedding wishes

I'm playing catch up this week as two 12 hour shifts on Sunday and Monday knocked me out of my stride. I usually write my blog on Sunday evening or Monday morning/afternoon but obviously being at that horrid work place put paid that and despite my best laid plans to write a midweek blog instead, it just never happened.

The Birthday Girl was very happy and very spoiled. She had two birthday cakes and two lots of fuss. Not sure she really knew what was going on but she made the most of it!

This weekend we celebrated my niece's wedding. The girls certainly had a good time (and those who are friends with me on Facebook will have seen the video of Caoimhe singing)  It goes without saying that the bride looked lovely. And of course I wish her and her new husband every happiness for the future. I obviously made her card, but after planning carefully what iI was going to do I realised that my embossing folders were at my mum's, and the congratulations stamp iI Iwas going to use was still in the shop. I'd bought another greeting stamp set instead which had a nicer baby greeting on it. No use remembering that at 9pm two days before the wedding though!  But I did have another lovely stamp to use which, in hindsight, I was happier with anyway. I hope they like it!

Don't forget to head over to  Hamdmade Harbour for Handmade Monday. I'm hoping to get round more of the blogs  this week as I was unable to get to many last week unfortunately.

Til next time!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Birthday Blog.

Well here's the start of another week, the last of July! This year is going so fast I'm sure it will be Christmas before we even know it. I hope you are enjoying the bit of sun we have had, and here's hoping it continues through August.
So August officially starts on Wednesday, and that means that on Thursday my little girl is one. It really does only seem like yesterday when I was sharing her first pictures with you, not almost 12 months ago. She's so different from her sister, a real feisty, strong willed little girl (and for those who know me in *real life* or follow me on Facebook, She Who Never Sleeps!) She is cheeky, and funny. and very loving, qualities which she does share with her older sister. I am still in shock that they are both 'mine' and as hard as being a mum can be sometimes, I would never change it for anything. I never thought for a minute I would ever be a mum, and I know how incredibly lucky I am to have my two beautiful little girls.

Having fun trying on hats at Portland Basin this week.

As you can see we went to Portland Basin museum again this week. The girls had a whale of a time exploring all the exhibits of life in Tameside through the ages. With it being a Jubilee year, there were various activities around that, and we had fun spotting where they had hidden pictures of the Queen in the different exhibits. They had provided bunting templates for the children to colour, cut out and string up on ribbon, and Caoimhe was very eager to take part in that particular activity!

It is a great day out, and free too, which is always a bonus! I can highly recommend it for a visit if you are in the area.

My own making has been quite limited this week, although I did manage to make use of the biggest bunch of asparagus I have ever seen, when I made an asparagus quiche.

I'm not a quiche maker, although I do love to eat it! And this was the first one I have ever made from scratch. It had a cheese pastry which went really well with the rest of the filling and was even better cold the next day. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be and I really don't know why I have never made one before. I will certainly make more in the future.

As it's Handmade Monday time again I will be linking up once again with Wendy over on her blog Handmade Harbour. Please have a wander over there and see what all the other crafty bloggers have been up to. There are some fantastic, inspiring blogs out there, so take a few minutes, grab a brew and have a read. You won't be disappointed.

I hope the weather is kind to you all this week!
Til next time!

Monday, July 23, 2012

School's out! (Well, nursery at least!)

Morning everyone. It's a sad one for me today, as it's the last day at private nursery for the Flop. She starts at her school nursery in October. That means that she is getting big! She will be 4 in November and it literally seems like yesterday when she was born. Not really sure where that time has gone to! She is very excited to start her new nursery and make new friends.
She has been at her nursery since October, and has really enjoyed it, so we decided to make a card to say thank you. I wanted to put her picture on it, so they would remember her!

I used my Craft Artist software again. It's getting a lot of use!

We had a big baking day in the week, too. First of all we made chocolate chip Herman pancakes, then homemade potato cakes for dinner and chicken pasties for tea. Caoimhe enjoyed helping me, especially with the pasties. She enjoyed eating them, too!

Note the new instagram app! That's getting a fair bit of use too!

I've been doing a bit of writing as well, and had an article published on the Herman the German Friendship Cake website. It includes a recipe for herman pancakes, so if you're interested, you can read it here.

So the summer holidays are upon us now. This is my 'first time' so I'm quite excited about all the fun things we can do together, once I've sorted out the nightmare that is school holiday childcare that is! What have you all got planned for your little ones for the next 6 weeks??

As usual I'm linking up with Wendy at Handmade Harbour for Handmade Monday, lots of lovely, inspiring blogs over there so take a look!

Off now to make sure I have tissues in my bag for Caoimhe's last day. Motherhood has really turned me into a wimp!

Til next time!

Monday, July 9, 2012

If you can't find it, make it.

It's Monday, and you know what that means, so once you've finished here, go and see what everyone else has been up to in the crafting world this week over on Handmade Harbour for Handmade Monday. You know you won't be disappointed!

This week we finally evicted Teaghan from our bedroom! She is almost one now (where has the time gone!) and we felt it was time she had a little bit of Independence from us. So she has moved into her big sister's room. Obviously before now the room was solely Caoimhe's. When she was born, we bought some ceramic letters from Hobbycraft to spell her name out on the wall (incidentally it worked really well, as she has been able to spell her name since she was 2, which is a lot more than her grandad can do!) We wanted to do the same for Teaghan, but have been unable to source any letters, at least none that we really liked. Same with her door plaque. We were lucky enough to have one given to us for Caoimhe but I didn't know where to start for Teaghan.

I thought it would be a lovely idea to get her door plaque made, so I looked around some of the lovely crafters whose blogs I follow. But I wasn't even sure what theme I wanted, or what style. Caoimhe's is a lovely, fairly plain plaque so I didn't want anything that stood out more than that does. (anyone with 2 or more children will know what I'm getting at here!)

So last week I had a good think about what I have at home, and what I thought I would be able to do myself.

First of all I loaded up my Craft Artist disc and chose some background papers, and letters that I liked. I  printed them off, and glued them onto Artist mount board before applying Mod Podge for a nice finish. When the letters were dry, I cut them out and stuck them onto the plaque, and tried out lots of embellishments, stars, buttons, flowers... but in the end I decided that Less is More and it looked fine as it was. I think it's bright and colourful and just right for a child's room.

I had some sticky foam strips, so I have used these to attach it to the door.

When it came to the lettering for the bedroom wall, I once again turned to the disc for a bit of inspiration (it's getting some serious hammering!) and saw that there was a template for party bunting. You just drag over your chosen background, add any embellishments etc and press print.. I wanted to add embellishments myself so I just chose two backgrounds in contrasting colours (I chose the same paper as I had used for the door plaque to continue the theme) and printed them out. I cut them out, stuck them to artist mounting board (and incidentally it's from the same bag of cut offs I bought months ago as regular readers might remember, so what a bargain quid that turned out to be!) and applied lots of Mod Podge again. . Then I chose the letters I wanted and printed those out, too. More mod podge and cutting out, left to dry for a few hours and I was ready to assemble it. I used buttons from my stash to embellish it, and strung it all up on a paper twine. I was quite pleased with the finished article!

I enjoyed making these, and they didn't take long to make really, drying time aside. I wish I had thought of making them sooner, rather than all that Internet browsing, although it did give me inspiration for other possible future projects.

Don't forget to have a wander over to Handmade Harbour, as I will be doing once the kids are in bed! Have a great week!

Til next time!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

And the Fairy Got Some!

It's quite scary how quickly the weeks are rolling by, and that it is now July already! This time last year I was just about to start my Maternity Leave, and now my little bugger angel is 11 months old! We are undecided about what to do for her first birthday, having the benefit of having gone through a first birthday before. Caoimhe was quite overwhelmed and I'm sure she didn't know what to make of all these people making a fuss of her, and in some way I would like to keep it small to avoid the same thing happening to Teaghan. Either way I have less than 5 weeks to decide!

Of course it's Handmade Monday again, which, if you don't know, is a bloghop hosted by the lovely Wendy of 1st Unique Gifts and gives crafters the chance to share their blogs with everyone. It is over on Handmade Harbour so go and have a look.

This week I shared my kitchen table with my mum, who has recently started to make cards. She definitely seems to have caught the bug, and most importantly she is enjoying herself. She made a lovely card for a freind who has been poorly. I found myself making a couple of ATC's for the ATC Trail over on UK Scrappers.

We've done a bit of baking this week, too. As regular readers will know I'm a Herman lover, and this week I decided to keep all the starters for myself instead of giving them away. Selfish, perhaps (you should share the Herman love!) but it was all in a good cause.
First of all it was sourdough pancakes

And then Herman bread

And finally Raisin and Oat Herman muffins. I didn't take a photograph of them, but we did share them with Daisy the Fairy, and she seemed to enjoy it!

If you want to know more about Herman cake, or maybe try out some of the recipes (and there are a lot!) then there is a great Herman website right here.

And that's it from me. I hope you all have a great week.
Til next time!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Come on England!

This may be a rather hurried post this week, as I am waiting for the England v Italy game to kick off. Are you enjoying the Euros? Must say I have been quite unimpressed so far overall, but there's time. I am not a betting girl, but my money would certainly not be on an  England win, as ashamed as I am to admit that. But I will still be cheering them on! (See, I am patriotic!)
If my arm was bent up my back and I had to say who I thought I would win, I think I would have to say Germany. It's a long time since 'The War' so I'm sure I won't get strung up for that!

Talking of Germany, it leads me nicely on to tell you about my week. Of course this wouldn't be my blog without a little mention of Herman, who is, you may remember, a German friendship cake. Well I have not baked any Herman so far this week, as he is not ready to cook with yet. However my interweb meanderings after inspiration about what to do with him led me to find a website and forum devoted to him. If any of you are interested in learning more about him or finding new recipes, or tips or advice, or other people's experiences, then you can find it here at the Herman website. And if you have a good look around the site you might find an article written by me! You might even recognise the photo!

I haven't had a lot of time this week to do much making. Although I did receive through the post a copy of Craft Artist Platinum edition and of course I have been having a little play. I'm enjoying the whole digital art 'thing' even though I prefer to get my hands dirty with paper crafting, and glue and glitter! But even so I thought it might be a nice way of making the thank you notes to send out to all our family and friends who came to the Christening last weekend. It took me quite a while to do, though I am sure with practice I will get the hang of it all. I didn't get the final effect I had wanted but was relatively pleased with what I did achieve, really.

There are some really nice digikits over on Daisy Trail so have a look!

As usual I'll be linking up with Wendy for Handmade Monday, over on Handmade Harbour, which, for those of you who perhaps don't know, is a link party for craft bloggers. There are some fab blogs linked there by some very creative, talented and inspirational crafters, so take a look! I will be doing as soon as the match is over!

All together now...Come on England!

Til next time! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

A very special Sunday!

Welcome to Monday once again! Can't believe how quickly these Mondays come around!
Once again I'll be linking up with Wendy and all the other crafters over on Handmade Harbour for Handmade Monday. Lots of fab and very inspiring blogs over there, so don't forget to wander over there!

As the title suggests, it was a very Special Sunday yesterday. Not only was it Father's Day, but it was also my littlest's baptism. So it was a very busy and very tiring day!

I don't need to tell you that The Father's Day cards this year were handmade, do I? I did try something different, however, and made them using a digital scrapbooking programme. Now I can't say that digital scrapping is, or ever will be, my 'thing', but I'm always looking for new things to try out, and since the programme was FREE with a magazine, I thought it would do no harm to try!
I used the materials and embellishments on the programme, along with photos , and put them together to make the two cards.

This is one of the cards, and I was quite pleased with how it turned out. Further experimentation is needed tho!

I do like the flexibility of using a digi kit. but it is quite 'flat' and one dimensional. It definitely would benefit from using other media too. I'm sure the uses are endless though, with just a bit of imagination. I already have a few ideas about how I will use the kits I have agreed so far!

So yesterday my daughter was baptised. it was a lovely day and I was so proud of my girls, who were both impeccably behaved, and also very grateful for all the lovely gifts and cards she received. it was so lovely to have so many close friends and family to share Teaghan's special day with.
Of course regular readers will remember that I had started to knit her dress. Unfortunately it never got finished, I was rushing it really, as I knew I only had a few weeks to make it. and I had to rip it back several times and after a few weeks I decided to just bite the bullet and buy her dress.

But I was very pleased with her dress in the end, and I know I'm very biased, but I thought she looked beautiful in it.
She did wear handmade shoes though!

These gorgeous shoes were made when Teaghan was newborn, by the lovely Caroline of Carolee Crafts.

I will make a christening dress at some point. I have the patterns and the yarn ready to go! So watch this space!

Short and sweet this week! I hope you have a lovely week ahead, and of course enjoy reading the fab blogs linked up for Handmade Monday.

Til next time!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Handmade Reward Tokens

This year seems to be flying past way too quickly. I can't believe we are into June already! Although you wouldn't know it from the weather we are having!

As usual I'll be linking up with Handmade Harbour this week for Handmade Monday. It's a lovely community of craft bloggers so have a bimble over (after you've done here of course!) Many thanks to Wendy for hosting it again.

For those of you who are regular readers, you will know of my love for all things Herman (and if you don't know what Herman is then take a look here!) We've been eating Herman cake and Herman pancakes for several months now. I have attempted to make sourdough bread in the past, too, with mixed fortunes. I was having a wander around the web looking for Herman inspiration, when I came across a recipe for Herman bread. I had a spare starter available and thought it would be worth a try.And it really was! Very tasty bread I have to say, and much nicer than the sourdough bread I have made before. It was a little bit sweeter than normal bread (that'll be the sugar in the starter obviously!) but not overly so, and it still ate well with savoury fillings. Not tried it toasted yet, though I suspect it will toast well too.

I have been making with The Flop this week, too. We have a reward system where she collects lolly sticks over the week in exchange for a treat at the weekend. She collects the sticks by basically being good, doing as she's told, eating her meals, helping get the picture. And if she is naughty, then she has one (or more) taken off her. I can't remember where I came across the idea, but it really works for us in a way that the Naughty Step never did. And I like the idea of her being rewarded positively when she's good. it gives her an incentive as well because she wants that treat at the weekend!
Well, we decided to freshen it up a little bit and this week I gave her the chance to help me make some tokens to replace the lolly sticks.

We started off by choosing what she wanted her tokens to look like. She decided on some digital button embellishment images I have (from Daisy Trail ) then I gathered together backing papers, leftover cardboard from a box (so a bit of recycling there!), some scissors and glue

Then it was simply a case of cutting out and sticking. We glued the cut out 'button onto the cardboard first, then cut that out and added the backing paper on the reverse.

We had to find containers to keep them in, and I happened to have two sweet 'cupcake' tins, one to keep the tokens in and one for Caoimhe to collect them in.

She seems quite excited about earning her tokens, even more so than when she collected lolly sticks - maybe because she helped me to make them? Hopefully that excitement will continue!

That's it for this week. Don't forget to see what everyone else has been up to this week. Looking forward to a little wander through the blogs myself!

Til next time!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Congrats to Her Maj!

60 years, blimey! Not sure I could manage that long in the same job! I hope you've all enjoyed the celebrations, whatever they were. It has been lovely to see all the bunting and flags around. I remember all the celebrations from the last Jubilee, which has made me feel very old!

The Flop enjoyed her Jubilee party at nursery on Friday. She had to wear red, white and blue (obviously!) and wore a lovely blue and white striped sundress (with a very well known piggy on the front!) and a red cardie. It was quite easy as you can imagine to find something for her in Jubilee colours! I wanted to do something handmade though, especially as I haven't made anything for a couple of weeks, so I made a little crocheted headband for her. I was most impressed that not only did she wear it all day, she also managed to bring it home from nursery (and still on her head!) The inspiration for it came from the over sized flower button I came across at the local haberdashery. I had intended to make a crocheted red, white and blue flower and attach it to a plain plastic headband (do they still call them Alice bands??) but when I saw the button I changed my mind, and I am glad I did now as I was quite pleased with the end result.

I've also made some ATC's for the trail over on UK Scrappers.

I used some lovely paper I managed to 'obtain' from my mum, and the buttons are from my button box...also obtained at some point from my mum too!

I'm linking up with some other craft bloggers for the weekly Handmade Monday, which is hosted by Wendy over on Handmade Harbour. There are lots of great blogs to read there, so what are you waiting for! I'll be having a read as soon as I've replenished my brew!

Til next time!

Friday, May 25, 2012

I Love Tea!

As you will be aware if you know me at all!
I will happily drink any kind of tea, with milk or without. Black, green, white, herbal... there's very few I have tried that I didn't like. I don't have a favourite, although my preferred tipple is probably Earl Grey or Lady Grey with a bit of lemon.
But you can't beat Tetley!

So you can imagine how happy I was to come hone yesterday afternoon, from traipsing round the shops with a hot and grumpy baby, to be greeted by a Big White Box. Inside that Big White Box was a selection of fine teas from Chash who are a Fine Tea Company. I had entered a giveaway on Isle of Tea and I was one of the ten lucky winners! It was a generous prize, too! Four varieties of the teas they offer on their website.

I couldn't wait to get the kids in bed so I could sit down and enjoy a cup. Unfortunately that turned into quite a challenge. The phrase Sod's Law springs to mind.  But eventually I managed it, and enjoyed a cup of their Fountain of Youth blend which was lovely!

Just waiting for the opportunity to try the rest now!

Til next time!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The old ones are the best.

There's a lot of snot around at the moment. The only one not stricken (yet) is Teaghan, but I'm sure that will come. We're all dosed up to the eyeballs with paracetamol and brufen, not a great state of affairs at all! And not one I particularly like, either. I might work with medicines but that doesn't mean I think they are always the best.

This morning I've introduced the Flop to lemon, honey and hot water in a bid to see off the awful hacking cough she has. It's not especially going down well (even though she pronounced it nice) but I'm sure with a little persuasion we will get there!* She is a great fan of 'honey medicine' already, a teaspoon of lovely sticky honey already.makes even the worst ills more bearable.

*for persuasion read chocolate buttons

For a refreshing vitamin c boosting, cold and cough busting drink without the drugs simply take a few squeezes of lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey and add hot water, note it should be hot and not boiling as the hotter the water the quicker it destroys the vitamin c.

That's the only thing I have to share this week (though if you'd come by later I would have told you about the loaf, the cheese bread, the Sourdough pancakes, the chocolate Herman cake and the chicken veg pasties that we spent the day making!)

I'm linking up with Wendy again for Handmade Monday, which has a new home now over on  Handmade Harbour so have a visit and see what everyone's been doing!

I'm off to spend the day catching up with my children and making and baking (as you already know!)

Til next time!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Last Handmade Monday Before the Dreaded W Word.....

The last 10 months have gone too quickly and I am now back in the realm of Working Mums. My first shift back is on Thursday. Quite rude, really. But bills have to be paid unfortunately. I have really enjoyed being at home with my girls and being able to make and bake, but now I am going to have to get back into the habit of juggling making and baking with working.

So this post is a bit later than normal this week, as I am trying to cram lots of things into my last few days at home. Of course I am linking up with Wendy for Handmade Monday, which is a lovely community of crafty bloggers... have a bimble over later and see what they've all been up to.

This week I've continued in my pledge to make something new from one of my recipe books every week, and I successfully made soda bread. Successfully ate the lot, too... it's a great shame that Himself doesn't like soda bread. I guess it had to be eaten, though, to avoid waste. The girls did seem to enjoy it too. I can't believe I have avoided making it all these years, as it is easily the quickest and simplest bread I've made. No kneading, no proving either! Only thing is, it really has to be eaten within two days otherwise it's dry and pretty inedible really.
(no picture, btw... it was tasty without a doubt.... but not the prettiest loaf I've ever made... imagine the craggy rocks in Cumbria and you have some idea!)

I've been making too. A little ATC for the ATC Trail over on UK Scrappers

I used cosmic shimmer on the background again, but overdid it.(deliberately I have to add!) and the silver swirls are the offcuts from some ...well swirly cut outs that I got with a craft magazine ages ago.

And I had a great find in the charity shop, The Wooden Canal Boat Society last week too.

A bargain £2.50 for a lovely fabric covered box. I'm a sucker for nice boxes and thought this might be nice to store my ATCs in. Until I opened it.....

Handmade paper and envelopes... well that was that, I had to have it!

That's it for this week. Hoping to have something to show you next week, but what remains to be seen!
Til next time!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Baby Tag for a special new baby!

I am very excited about this post today. I wanted to show you this tag last week, but I also wanted it to arrive safe and sound with the lovely lady who had asked for it first. I was asked by Rach (who has a blog called This Woman's Work - go and have a visit!) to make something to celebrate the birth of her new baby. yet another miracle. So I thought and thought hard about it before coming up with the idea of a tag, which could be personalised too by Rach when the baby arrived (birthday, weight etc)

I made it using Artists mounting board to give it some strength, and covered it with scrapbook papers. The back is a plain yellow paper, and the front is a patchwork of the same yellow paper on the reverse, and some papers fromNitWits' Waddles and Whimsy collection, and finished with Mod Podge.

I used embellishments from the same collection, mounting them on artists' board again for some depth.

Added some brightly coloured star embellishments I discovered in a craft shop, and some buttons from my button box.

And a couple of tags so that it could be personalised.

(Sorry, it has come out sideways for some reason and I can't correct it but you get the idea!)

Finally I added some ribbon, paper thread and funky coloured fibres to the top of the tag to finish it off.
I was quite pleased with it on the whole, even though it wasn't perfect and I kept finding fault with it right up to posting it off,. And of course it turned out nothing like I had originally planned. But most importantly, my friend was pleased with it, and that's really all that matters!

I am thinking of making some more in the future and will see if there is any demand for them.

We have finally set a date for my littlest's christening. It will be in June and she will be 10 1/2 mths old. Flop was christened at 3 1/2 mths so there is no chance that the dress she wore will fit the Bud! Pity, really, as she wore my sister's dress and in a way it would have been nice to have Bud wear it too! Instead I had thought that I would make one - either knitted or crocheted. What a faff that has turned out to be! And that is even before I have purchased wool and cast on a single stitch. It would appear that babies should be christened before they are 6 mths old, or on the rare occasion I have found a pattern that goes up to 12 mths, it is ridiculously small (or else my daughter is a giant!) as going off the chest measurements she would be hard pushed to fit in the finished article now, at 9 mths old! After a lot of searching I was led to communication with a lady on eBay, who was very helpful and I have bought two patterns from her. Now whether they can be made in time remains to be seen! But I did manage to buy a lovely dress (an occasion dress, not a christening one) at the weekend, on standby just in case! It isn't the gorgeous silk creation from Marks and Spencers that I was coveting (for £50 for a one off dress that is likely to get covered in snot, vomit, food or all three and will be difficult to clean given it is made of silk, I will continue to covet from afar!)  but I am more than happy with the alternative.

I am off now to read through my new baking book...I have been treated to the Hairy Bikers Big Book of Baking. So looking forward to that!
Don't forget to see what's going on over on Wendy's blog for Handmade Monday

Til next time!