Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Coffee and Softplay

Wednesdays here are quite good fun for me as I generally get a bit of a 'me' day and this one was no exception.

Both children are dropped off at nursery then I usually go to the community centre for a bit of child free time with some friends, tea on tap, biscuits and normally as I'm not running around dealing with my two I get to do a spot of crocheting. Today was slightly different as the community centre is still being worked on so it was back on the mini bus and off to camp.

The local camp isn't normal by my standards, over the last decade I've grown used to uniformed guards and having to flash a pass to get on but this one holds some sneaky beaky stuff so not only are there armed guards but a selection of armed Police, a number of gates and lots of barbed wire. You'd certainly be safe from a zombie attack here! One of my favourite things about the camp is tucked just behind the guard station, I've never fancied asking anyone if I could take a picture so I managed to get a drive by one from the minibus window today - A red telephone box!

How random! I'd love to know the history behind this and if it's ever used.

Coffee morning was utterly lovely, we were on large comfy sofas in the Officer's Mess with tea served to us, lots of crocheting and some good chat. Next week is going to be very different as it's half term here so there will be a lot of noisy children, I don't really think they know what they've let themselves in for.

After being chauffeured back to town I collected the children and we came home for a yummy carpet picnic lunch then went to the local soft play for the afternoon. There are no time limits on it so you pay your money and can stay as long as you like. The food, as is normal with these places, is pretty extortionate but it's big, clean and my children adore it. They've just got to the age where they can run around it without me (bliss!) so I met up with a few more friends and 5 of them ran off together to have fun so I got some more chat, a nice coffee and a spot of crocheting with just the odd break to go weeeee down a slide or help them over an obstacle.

Any guesses as to what the crocheting is going to be?

It's become tradition that when we go to any soft play that cake makes an appearance. Not for me of course as I've never found one serving gluten free cake but definitely for the children. They are most insistent! Today they opted for a large cooking to share and it lasted seconds.

And just because I can and I adore this picture, lots of giggles and spinning.

I'm due to go for my 20 week scan tomorrow (excited much!) and the hospital is near to my parents so I travelled to theirs after our fun and that's where we're staying the night. My niece and nephew were already here and the two girls bullied me into make some bed spreads for their dolls. They didn't take long and I didn't really mind so I scouted around my Mums for some scraps and turned this...

With a helper, into these...

They aren't brilliant at all as my eager helpers were rushing me a lot and demanded they were finished right now. I've been informed I've got to make a few more so if any one does want a step by step tutorial I'd be more than happy.

Last but not least, I've had a sneak peak of one of the photographs of a prop I made for the lovely Helen Jane Photography. I can't wait to see the rest!

What a lovely baby model we had too!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Blue skies, fresh babies and photo shoots.

After the horrible cold weather yesterday today I was greeted with sunshine and blue skies. It's still not warm but I did the school run minus a coat. Look at the beautiful sky.

The sea is still univiting but it looks so much nicer today and the beach huts are looking so bright and cheerful.

After that, The Girl and I popped to see a beautiful 10 day old baby and I got lots of cuddles. She was having a photo shoot and I've spent the last couple of weeks preparing photo props such as cocoons and headbands. I can't wait to see how the photos turn out. Watch this space.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The 'where is Spring?' daisy chain.

Today was apparently the first day of Spring and the Equinox brings with it 6 months of days that are longer than the nights. A tentative yippee you might think... Not here in my corner of blustery North Yorkshire.

This morning I woke to a bitterly cold day, the type where just strapping the children into their seats leaves your fingers numb. The sea looked quite univiting this morning on the school run but even when it looks grey, cold and dangerous I still think it can be breathtaking. I never get tired of seeing this.

I normally drop both children at nursery on a Wednesday but The Boy decided he didn't want to stay, he's been quite clingy lately so after persuasion didn't help he came home with me. Usually, I go to coffee morning at the local community centre but its having work done to it so we clambered into a mini bus and were driven to camp and the journey took me by surprise, it's in the middle of the Moors and about 20 minutes from my town, we left a cold grey seaside and entered a winter wonderland.

drive by shots from the minibus window

After a spot of crocheting, some tea and copious amounts of biscuits eaten by my boy we got on the minibus for home and within ten minutes were back to green fields.

What *is* going on this March?

The bad weather and lack of oompf for going outside was the idea behind my latest project - an eternal daisy chain. There are lots of patterns out there for this but it's basically a small flower and a stem with a hole in it so they can be threaded together to make a bracelet, necklace or whatever your imagination decides.

I used Lucy's teeny tiny flowers over at Attic 24, added some embroidery in orange as my yellow looked too wishy washy with it and then sewed on the stem. The stems are various lengths as I wanted it to be as true to life as I could so I changed hook size a couple of times for the flowers and the stems were made of chains that were 10, 12, 14, 16 or 18 chains in length, turned and then slip stitched up part way, 3 chain, miss 3 stitches and then continue slip stitching to the end.

They've been really hard to photograph as the light here in the evenings is so bad and if my daughter sees them during the day I immediately have them confiscated so she can play. They've been loved by everyone that sees them, adults and children alike which makes me very happy. I'm hoping to do a few charity craft fairs and I think I might include small packs of these. What do you think?

Sunday, 17 March 2013

A Tree for Easter

I've wanted an Easter tree for years, well, not an Easter tree per se more just some pretty twigs that I could hang generic stuff from throughout the year. I do have a collection of those decorative twigs in a vase that light up but they're useless for anything but looking at. In fact, the lights don't actually work on them any more so I think they'll be going to the great big skip in the sky when I move. Anyway, I digress, this would be the year when I'd actually get myself a tree. I wanted to make one from driftwood but unfortunately it's been far too windy and cold in my part of North Yorkshire and the idea of going to the beach with my two small ones filled me with dread so that didn't happen.

Instead, I stole a couple of cuttings from a bush in my parents garden, a sample pot of white emulsion, a plant pot and some pebbles then threw in some creativity from my children and a niece and nephew and I have a lovely tree.

I'll apologise in advance for the photographs, at the moment I've only got my phone to take shots on and my parents house seems to take on a yellow hue.

Twigs drying out, waiting to be painted.

A selection of lovely sparkly things and 4 willing children ready to be let loose on them all

As the eggs were polysterene I put cocktail sticks into the bottom with the idea that it would stop them getting felt tip pen on their hands. It failed. However, I got a lovely bowl of pretty eggs ready to have ribbon glued to them.

Not all the eggs were decorated with pretty colours as the two boys helpfully decided to make a few footballs rather than Easter eggs.

I secured the twigs in the pot with playdough then stuffed as many pebbles around it that I could, added some ribbon and a lovely flower and leaves from Attic 24

Then it was ready for decorating!

A few helpers...

The addition of a little bunny rabbit who looks slightly evil I think.

The children love him and that's all that counts. He has a pom pom tail and it needed to be really small so I used a tip I saw on Pinterest for the first time of using a fork. It worked a treat.

Et voila, it's finished.

I love it although it's located at my Mum's at the moment. I did buy a few little bits to go on but they were mainly chosen by my eldest so they fall into the tacky rather than beautiful category. It doesn't worry me though, it's their tree as much as it is mine. I am very tempted to move everything around a bit.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Turtley Awesome 4th Birthday

I've just spent this evening debating what to do with the helium balloons left over from eldest's Birthday earlier this month and realised I still needed to edit photographs so in the spirit of blogging my life I decided to do my first proper blog on his special Day.

So, he's been Ben10 mad for 18 months now and was determined he wanted a Ben10 party featuring all his favourite characters. He'd started planning it the minute his last Birthday had been and gone (Pirate themed) and had been asking to go on the laptop to look at cakes. Then, one day, just after Christmas, I spotted Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was being shown on TV and it made me feel all nostalgic - unfortunately, this led to a new obsession and I ended up having to organise a rather retro party.

So, what do you do when you can't actually get official (or unofficial for that matter) merchandise unless you import from the US and pay a fortune? Well you craft it obviously!

Pinterest helped here quite a lot but the collage above is a little peek at what I did. We're moving to a different town over the next couple of months so I wanted him to have a party with all of his friends meaning I was organising a do for 35 children. Not a small feat.

I booked the local leisure centre as they have a bouncy castle, sports equipment and then another room for food and games. Feeding that many children meant my tight budget was going through the roof so I decided to do a little lunch bag for each child instead. I was amazed by how cheap this was. I ordered the green bags from eBay and spent an evening cutting out bandanas from crepe paper and gluing on with a marker pen smile. I filled them with a sandwich, some chocolate fingers, raisins, a yoghurt and a cake I'd baked with a topper again from eBay.

The party bags consisted of a cellophane bag jam packed with sweeties and a VIP badge with a wonderful insert made by a really good friend and Godparent to my daughter. I wasn't sure how well they'd go down but the children loved them and wore them straight away. The Birthday Boy was still wearing his days later.

She also made me some brilliant posters and some Cowabunga bunting. Unfortunately I was running around like a headless chicken all day and my DSLR is missing in action so you'll have to forgive some of these photographs.

The balloons were just 4 helium ones with crepe paper bandanas and eyes glued on. They lost their bandanas fairly quickly and the Birthday Boy and some of his friends ran around with them on their heads instead.

The cake let me down a little, I was feeling tired and quite nauseous from my bump so threw it together as quick as I could. He was happy with it though and really, that's all that counts.

I also got a lovely personalised t shirt that I ended up having to handwash each night for the week so he could wear it every day.

My final touch was some TMNT nails as requested by the Birthday Boy himself, I forgot all about doing these and ended up remembering at 1am so quickly slapping some polish on. He's requested I do them on him soon.

Finally, a list of all the wonderful eBay shops where I purchased a lot of my party supplies. I'd normally try and go for local but I left it to the last minute, I can't believe how fast they all delivered and that everything was such high quality so I'm more than happy to link them all up here.

VIP Badge holder
Cellophane cone bags
Cupcake toppers
Lunch bags and Napkins

Oh, and one very last thing. I went to a small Church craft fair today and bumped into some lovely Ladies from BC Crafts and they had the most amazing Ninja Turtle. Unfortunately it was Michaelangelo, had it been Raphael and I've snapped it up! I hope they don't mind me sharing their photograph here as I'm going to double check with The Boy which one he definitely wants and get one ordered. I'm wondering if they can work on a Shredder to complete the collection.

Hello to absolutely nobody as I don't have any followers yet.  I'm Sharon, a stay at home single Mum to 2 beautiful children with another on the way.  All my life I've crafted doing all sorts of various projects but I always seem to come back to crochet.

I'm late to the party but I've become an avid blog reader over the last few months and finally, after a bit of pushing from some friends, decided I would delve into this world.

I'm wishing myself lots of luck!