Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sorry for the long delay in blogging but I have been rather busy just lately. We have had Ellie's birthday, half term break with a trip to the London Eye and Disney on Ice with the kids, my craft night, bonfire night, character day at school and many other activities.

Yesterday I had a wonderful time with the girls of Chepstow again, I have come back fully relaxed yet desperate to scrap. Kirsty Wiseman came down for the day to teach THREE yes you heard right three classes. We had a house layout below, I still need to add my photos of the family.
House front opens up to show the photos inside. I still need to add my title.

a lovely simple layout with punch out buttons which we tied on with thread. I still need to add my title which will be Cpt. Jack as this is a picture of Euan on Book Character day at school. He went as Jack Sparrow.

and best of all a Christmas advent. I loved the papers immediately and the project was just Divine.
above is the outside of the advent and below you have the inside. I still need to write or print my numbers on the little pockets. I think I am going to write a little bit of something each day to remind myself of what we did in 2007 at Christmas. If you ever get a chance to take a class with Kirsty grab it with two hands. We got all of this and teaching for £25 total Bargain. Kirsty is such a lovely lady who is so willing to share what she knows with you. If you live in the Wales area Chepstow Pink Scrappers is definitely the place to go for scrap booking.

Louise bless her invited me over for dinner again which was just Divine. I have commented on her house and shop before it is like a sweetie shop with eye candy everywhere. I don't think there is a piece of bridgewater pottery made that she doesn't have and I am so jealous :) We had a fabulous dinner of Moroccan Lamb pie with delicious cheesy potatoes, sticky toffee pudding, warm cheese dips and lime drizzle cake, gorgeous if not totally fattening! Considering this is only my fourth time with these ladies, I feel like I have known them a lifetime they are so giving and caring. Ailsa best of luck with the diet you are doing so well. Maz lovely to have met you again, good luck with the photoshop and t-shirt nipples! Kirsty I look forward to seeing you on the 8th if you can fit us in :) pretty please.
Right I shall attempt to upload a few more of the recent photos over the coming week in between filling orders. Now I need a shower and start the usual house clean and laundry sweep.
Love to all Helen

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Do you ever seem to have so many things to do you get paralyzed?
I have a to do list the length of my body, I don't seem to be getting any further forward in fact just further back! I went out into the garden at the weekend to simply cut back my lavendar as it had got to the point that when it was raining you couldn't walk up the path without being soaked. I thought I could do this quickly and then plant my bulbs that arrived last week while I still remembered them, as past years some have gone very soggy before I got around to the task. Well five hours later and six bin bags of garden waste later I had a very nice tidy lawn and beds but the bulbs were still sat in the box on the bench :( One job seems to lead to another and create another ten that need doing before you can do the original job, are you still following me?
Anyway, last week was a right off as on Monday Ellie was sent home from school with the stomach bug Euan had had last week. Bless her after only being home thirty minutes she was throwing up and looking really peaky. She headed back to school on Wednesday and saw me heading off to the dentist. Well I made the dentist only to find myself home in double quick time with the very stomach bug but tens times worse. Not to be to graffic but I ended up on the toilet with bucket and not to great :P I had to call J home from High Wycombe to take care of me and the kids (who's harvest festival I missed:( and who I had to call several friends to pick up for me). I took me a good few days to get over it which I spent most of asleep in bed and for those who know me know that this doesn't happen often.
Sickness done and we hit the weekend again and the usual round of birthday parties to attend (does everyone else seem to get twenty invites a month?). Sunday was spent visiting my grandma who is 93 years old as my Mum was out of town and wanted to make sure she was okay. The girls and I went to visit while J took Euan to rugby and I was so shocked how much she has deteriorated in the last month. She looked so frail and I just wanted to cry. I am not sure how much longer we have her for but I made a promise to get over to visit with the kids more often as she loves seeing her great grandchildren.
Yesterday saw me attempting again to plant bulbs but that was side tracked when a friend came around in a great need of tlc. My Mum popped in on her way home from visiting my Godmother and Aunt and that was another day over! I did manage to get some invites started for Ellie's birthday party next month.
Below are a few pictures of some trading cards for my year to remember class which needed to be sent off quickly. We had to take a quote and pop it on some cards with our own design ideas.
The quote reads "Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you." by Carl Sandburg.
This really got me thinking about how I seem to be unable to say no to those asking for my help or time and made me realise that it is my time and I should really think carefully how I choose to spend it. Take yesterday, my friend needed to talk and I stopped what I was doing to give her that. Don't take me wrong I don't begrudge her that time, but now I feel on the back foot I am rushing to get things done, the weather has changed and the bulbs aren't in which in turn is stressing me out. The chain continues on to the kids when I get ratty at not being able to get my things done for my craft night because I have household stuff to sort out. I feel rightly or wrongly that I should take care of the house, garden and family issues before I do my crafting, even though that crafting brings in a little extra to the family coffers each month. I put myself and my "craft" last in the order. Is it right, who knows but I just get a bit grumpy from time to time about how my "time" is dictated by others and other things. Boy I bet you wish you hadn't popped in for a look:)

All the cards have been sent off and I should be receiving 10 different ones back next month from other course members.

Bunny invites close up - I used the basic shape from a Making Memories Chipboard. I cut out all the faces then inked the edges, cut out and inked ears and noses, then Ellie and Maddie helped me find and stick on pairs of buttons for the eyes. We hand wrote the invite on the back. We are having a Rabbit Cupcake Decorating Party, since the ladybird one last year was such a hit. (plus it is a new bunch of girls since the move so no one has done or heard of this yet!)
All thirteen (yes I am mad) invites ready to be handed out tomorrow.

Tonight I have been working on the name tags for the party bags, carrots of course! I have bought barbie sprinkles, a rabbit cookie cutter (in pink) and some chocolate bunnies for the party bags. I thought I would type out a cookie receipe and put that in the bag. Do you think it will be enough? I can't stand the usual rubbish you get home in party bags, I think it is such a waste because it all ends up in the bin usually within a day. I managed to get hold of some cute little stuffed rabbits for party prizes, which hopefully we wont have to spend to long playing if they get involved in the cupcake decorating. Last year it worked really well even if it was majorally messy!! Angelia I need your help again you were great last year please come for a visit ;)

Right it is 11 oclock and I should head to bed as I am grumpy Mum again today, even retail therapy didn't help :0 I have teaching tomorrow afternoon and a tag rugby tournament to attend. Love and good wishes to all and to all a good night.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Fully Relaxed!
Dear friends and fun have totally relaxed me. I have come home knackered (2am bedtimes don't do me any good!) but so relaxed and ready to start again. Pam (on the left) kindly gave me a bed for the night and fed me dinner - thank you sweetheart!. Louise (in the middle) fed me lunch and allowed me to drool over her house and shop - if you are ever in Chepstow check out Country Clutter you will definitely come out with a light wallet if your taste is anything like mine. Maria Grace (on the right) came over from America to teach at Scrap Camp (sadly I couldn't afford to go) but I did manage to attend her class she gave at Chepstow Pink Scrappers. Maria Grace has a blog called if you are a scrapbooker and fancy a nosey.
Pam and Louise hosted us both for the day and gave us a personal guided tour around Chepstow, the castle and best of all Louise's shop. I might have had to pick up a few bits and pieces from her shop (god I wanted lots more!!!!!!!!!!!!). The little Christmas tree below just jumped into my arms and shouted at me to take it and put it in my downstairs loo! honest I am not lying........
Talking of shops there have been a few more uploads into my Etsy shop. My Mum has also uploaded some of her fabulous hand dyed and hand painted silk scarves.
Rupert the Red Robin
Rockey the Rock Hopper Penguin

Rusty the Round Red Robin

Penelope the Penguin

and some xmas puddin love.

Now this morning was spent at Venture Photograph having a family shoot which I won last month. The kids, dog and parents all had a fabulous time larking about and hopefully getting that group family shot we don't ever seem to be able to achieve. The voucher I received gave us one free print, so UMMMMMM how much this could cost is anyones guess. I will let you know tomorrow when we go back for our private viewing just how bankrupt we are. Can you tell Miss Ellie above hates having her photo taken? Oh boy she could not stop jumping in everyone elses shots so we promised her a private photo shoot at Grannies in the afternoon.

Not to be outdone her sister demanded the same!

Okay so Euan and Leo wanted in on the action as well.

Right I am off to bed to try and remove these bags from under my eyes. Pam and Louise I hope you are enjoying Scrap Camp and don't get lost with the Housemaid's trolley! Goodnight to all.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hip Hip Hooray I am going away
Yes you heard it I am going away for a night without children or husband. The kind ladies at Chepstow Pink Scrappers have invited me down to a scrap class tonight and offered me a bed for the night. Whooo Hoooo I asked J to take the two days off and he said yes!
I shall report back if the headache allows as Louise is known as the Bubbles Monster
My layout for the September Art challenge in my big picture class. Not sure I enjoyed this one really, we had to do an art journal page and its not really my thing. Still its done!

An order for Hilary. Two little covers for a photograph album. Sent off on Monday.

A very belated name plaque for Aarons arrival, sorry Adam and Eileen - I Know he is already early 6 weeks old.

Last part of the order for FLynn went out on Monday to all in all not a bad weekends packing.

Right I am off to have some fun! :0

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Another one of those days!
No I didn't forget Flora today, I was definitely not in charge of her. Day started badly as I woke at 3am and couldn't get back to sleep, headed downstairs for a cup of tea and managed to get back to sleep at 5am. John woke me at 7:45am and couldn't understand why I was grumpy, it appears he didn't know I had left! Had breakfast, checked my emails with much jumping about and screeching as we have sold our first item on etsy!! Superb really made my day, ah yes but that means I really need to sort out my labels for sending things out. Okay asked J to copy all my publisher files from the disks we took off the old computer and put it on the external hard drive (ehd) for me (gets complicated here as the disk drive doesn't work on my computer). Went to get the ehd for him and dropped it!! F... F... F... or something similar escaped. The ehd no longer works - ahhhhhhhhhhhh all our photos were on it. Thankfully J has up till May backed up on his computer but I have lost the rest. I felt so sick again, J was great and just said it was one of those things but honestly I seem to be all over the place at the moment. My life seems to swing up and down at a dramatic rate of knots. I don't think things are helped by my neck being so screwed up, lets just hope my appointment to get crunched on Monday helps me out. Do you think she could unscrew my brain, tiredness and lack of organisation at the same time? Right off to attempt a sewing order not sure that it is a good idea but I need to get it done. Peaceful night to you all x

Friday, September 28, 2007

Every had one of those days?
Have you one of those days were you should have done something important and you totally forgot? I had one today. I was meant to be looking after my neighbours dog, letting her out several times for wees. I totally and utterly forgot. I look after Flora regularly and have never ever forgotten her before - today total blank until Lynda turned up at my door with donuts to say thank you. Oh God total sick feeling, the dog she didn't even wee in the house, how bad do I feel!
Right onto better news while I try to calm my sick stomach.
Pear doorstop for my kitchen

A pear just because
Ellie's picture of Mummy and Daddy in love, doesn't that make your heart melt.

Maddie's picture of Mummy and Daddy holding hands

Seasonal goodness

New homemade bathroom mirror with finally curtain to cover the crappy boiler

drawstring bag for the downstairs loo
I need to replace the heart with my own creation

christmas stock starting to build up

a very messy desk!

Hall settle with the kids new shoe draws that are fab as they hold all their boots, shoes, bags and general niff naff. They are on wheels for easy access.

Fishy cushions made from old curtains.
Poppy cushion made from an old section of knitting by my Mum which was meant to be a cardi for me. I have had this for over 12 years and didn't want to throw it away but didn't know what to do with it.
Hand made kitchen shelf (with the help of my Dad). I had no where to put my cook books and now I do!!

Meet Basil the worker bee, he and his buddies are in the shop, go and have a look.
Beatrice the Queen bee with her flirty heart shaped eyes.

Spiral bottoms! Quick while they are in stock!

Friday, September 07, 2007

WARNING MONSTER POST! - best you put the kettle on and make yourself a cup of tea before you sit down. Apron above is a recent commission for a little girl who is a tom boy and bike mad. Interesting thing to try and sew the detail since it is only a child's apron. I had another commission for an apron with flowers on for the same lady but I forgot to take photos. Been rather good at not taking photos recently, two shelves went out at the weekend before I took photos and a few other bits.

Can you believe my baby has started school?
Maddie started big girl school this week and is loving it. She is still rather quiet in the classroom apparently but we have assured them this will not last and they should make the most of it! Maddie was adamant that she should carry her own new and hand picked bag to school with her lunch box safely tucked away inside. By the time she had her gym bag and book bag as well she was rather loaded down. Euan was nearly dwarfed as well by his new bag that everything fits into!
Excuse the fuzzy photo I found a fingerprint on the lense afterwards!
Look how my babies have grown over the summer. It wont be long before Maddie starts to catch the other two up I think.

Excuse the large bottom (no rude comments please Adam!) The walk to school is good and gives me a workout since I have to do it three times a day now. Maddie will only be going until lunch time until after christmas because of when her birthday falls. (completely crazy as far as I am concerned, they are either ready to go to school or not nevermind this half day nonsense )

The last few days of the summer holidays were rather packed. John has been on leave for the last week and a half and took Euan and Grandad to Gloucester Rugby Clubs open day last week. Euan enjoyed testing out out the training facilities

He was rather good at the tackling and enjoyed this because in tag rugby which started up again this weekend there is no contact.
So you ask Euan which activity he enjoyed the most and his answer was a resounding yes to paint balling. The army were there and he got to shot the SH** out of some targets with quite a lot of paint amo.
So you really meant you enjoyed meeting the stars of the Gloucester Club Euan? no paint balling Mum! The girls and I enjoyed a day at Grannies helping her to dig some of her greenhouse area and I managed to get some verbena seedlings in the process (marvelous). We had a lovely quiet day until the men folk came home and started to wind every man and beast up until all the kids were crying and the dogs fighting. Funny that!

A lot of time this summer was spent riding our bikes around to the park to have a play and master new skills.Ellie has mastered the skill of hanging from the monkey bars and not breaking a sweat. I tried to show her how it was done and fell off after three bars. John thought was absolutely hilarious so I challenged him to do better. He managed two bars and fell off, apparently he had sweaty hands and that was the reason!!

Euan wanted to join in but couldn't hold on for laughing or was it that i took so long to take the picture?
Maddie did not want to join in the silly game but would really like a very VERY high push on the swing please. My children have become mad people since Grandad built a swing at the bottom of their garden in one of the trees. They like to swing up so high that their feet touch the branches and leaves!Granny cannot watch it is just to scary!!

During the month of August John and I celebrated our tenth year of marriage. 15 years together this Christmas. Apparently John said he could of got less for murder! nice dear I will remember that. We went out to the Rectory a hotel, restaurant bar in the village here and had a superb meal in the gardens on a very pleasant and sunny day.
My Parents joined us and we jointly celebrated their birthdays. The hotel has a pool which is open to the locals (unknown to me) and we spent a time cooling our toes in the water. Euan got in in his shorts and has a swim and Ellie also wanted to have a soak. Right the rules are Ellie you don't go past me because it will get to deep and you cannot swim - got it Ellie? Mummy has all her clothes on and will be pissed if she has to come in and get you. Yes Mum says Ellie - why do I believe her each time? Within five minutes I turned around from holding Maddie in for a swim to see Ellie just about drowning. Enter Euan the brave knight who saved the damsel in distress by dragging her back into her own depth again. If it is going to be any of my children it will always be Ellie.

The back of the Rectory where we sat and had lunch.
In the grounds they have this fabulous chair you can go and sit in which I would love for our garden it is so private and I could imagine a really lovely time in there with a favourite magazine and a glass of wine, plus a nap or two.

I also took the children to Bibury a beautiful little village which I have talked about before. They have a trout farm there which I thought would be interesting for the children. I would definitely take a picnic next time so the entrance fee was worth the time. Bibury itself always seems full of Japanese Tourist buses which is fine but be prepared for this if you visit.

They have lots of ducks and swans there also which are lovely for the children.
The fishes are of all sizes and with over twenty large pools that you can walk around and feed (obviously you have to buy the food yourself ) it is quite interesting to watch. Now what was I saying about only Ellie, ah yes do watch the children don't get to close to the edge in case they start sliding in and end up with a wet foot all day!

No I apologise if I have spelling and grammar mistakes in this post. It has taken me three hours to upload photos and just try to type this out. My poor laptop is a very sick bunny at the moment and doesn't like moving quickly anymore so correcting typos takes forever and quite frankly those that know me can understand what I might be trying to say.
With the school holidays over I will hopefully be getting back to some more crafting in the near future, my language will hopefully not be so colourful and the children shouldn't get shouted at by a crabby mummy so often. John goes back to work next week and regular programming will return. Peace and quiet at last, no tv, not stereo and no Mummy he/she did ............ I love my children dearly but I also love that quiet me time. I hope everyone is relaxed and enjoying a hot cup of tea in one sitting to!!
A few hellos while I remember. Welcome to the world Aaron Watts I am working on a present for you. Sarah I haven't forgotten I have to send you a parcel, ditto to Tara and thank you for the gorgeous coat for Maddie. Charlie Ball a Happy Belated birthday for yesterday. Right I am off to bed, the husband has already gone up which means I have snoring to look forward to now darn it. Goodnight!