Monday, July 23, 2007


Lucky Escape

We had a lucky escape on Friday of last week when heavy rain and flood waters caused chaos and damage throughout our village. My neighbour Linda wasn't as fortunate as she had water start to creep under her floor and along the grout lines of her limestone flooring. Many in the village had oil, raw sewage and dirty flood water in their homes which must be horrendous for them. At either end of the village the water was waist high in places completely covering bench seats and walls.

Flora, Linda's dog is seen here in her front garden which thankfully didn't get any deeper. With heavy rains still forecast I think everyone is on tenterhooks. John and my Dad took 7 hour to get home which would usually take them 2! but I am thankful they arrived safe and sound. Dad stayed the night here and we had to laugh in the morning because Euan complained of Grandad's snoring and Grandad complained of Euan talking in his sleep! The girls thought it was wonderful to wake up and find Grandad eating breakfast with them.

The rest of Saturday was pretty much a right off. I have been so tired this week that I took the opportunity with John being home and went back to bed for a massive three hours!! I felt so much better for it and could actually start to function.

Sunday was spent cleaning the house and getting the last of the pictures up on the wall. John is happy as his plane pictures are finally located at the top of the stairs. We finally have new neighbours who are absolutely adorable. Guy and Rachel welcome to Crudwell and we hope you settle in and have a happy home here. I had to laugh as Rachel has two horses (huge smiles from Mummy and the girls at this comment :) !!!!) so she has been trying to persuade John about how wonderful it would be for them to have their own! Meanwhile I am trying to persuade Guy that Rachel really does need to have two colour co-ordinated Christmas trees in the house this year with all the swags and trimmings that go with it. I think we could make a good team.

Sunday night was spent creating my July layout for my Big Picture class. Lots of mess was made but I am happy with the results.

June Layout completed some time ago but just not posted.

Well I had better go and sort the ever growing laundry pile out so that my kitchen doesn't look like a Chinese laundry when my sister in law Sharon and her children arrive this afternoon.

Monday, July 16, 2007

A few work in progress pictures for you to see so that you don't think I have been slacking off. Mum and I are starting a new venture together with felt. We have been making felt necklaces and creatures to see and some kits for children and adults to play with. We are a few weeks off putting the items up in our shop at etsy but I will notify you when we do. Above is a wet felted necklace my Mum made with a Kumihimi (need to check the spelling) braid made in 100% silk.

My necklace is also wet felted with a silk braid and adorned with little flowers and beads.
Euan made this spider all by himself after Mum and I finished the felt workshop with his school during art week.
Shock Horror I have started my christmas stock and this little fellow is a prototype for a new range of tree decorations. I am planning on adding little wings at each side as I decided that some legs I had planned on didn't really suit. He is wet felted using alpaca and then dry felted details using merino wool. He is just over an inch tall.
Hello Mr Snail sorry your colour is not great in this photo, in real life he has a lime green body and rather vivid pink shell. Another creature in our felt range.
Meet Sid the Snake who comes in many different colours and designs.These were a real hit with the boys at the school.
Then there is Mr Bumble who will come in kit form and finished form. He has clear winds and lovely bead eyes.
Last but not least are next in my range of tree decorations, little felt christmas trees. These are all needle felted using merino wool and then adorned with more felt or beads.

So there you have it, I haven't been totally idle and there are lots of ideas in the works just don't have the time at the moment to bring them to fruition. We have John's parents staying with us this week and today was their wedding anniversary - Happy Anniversary John and Margaret! In the morning we took advantage of the break in the weather and got outside to do a little bit of weeding since the garden was becoming more weeds than flowers. Thank you John and Margaret for all your help with that. We then went to Bibury for lunch which is just the most picturesque village of all time. We had a nice lunch in the Swam Hotel, lovely food not so sure about the atmosphere there though. We spotted huge trout in the river and millions of ducks, I will definitely be taking the kids there for a wander around in the summer. We returned home just in time for Euan and Ellie's sports day and luckily Daddy was off work for a change. We returned home to cook american pancakes for tea for the kids (their request) and tikka chicken salad for the adults. I have watered the garden, walked the dog and finished all my thank you cards for Maddie's presents. So all in all a productive day. Plus this is my third post in two days can you believe it!!

Right off to bed now and up bright and early for my babies first induction day at school tomorrow. I still cannot believe she is going. :( Let me know what you think I should do with my robin, I am thinking little tear drop wings but if anyone has any ideas they would be greatfully received.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

House Pictures especially for Hilary, Sarah and Margaret!

After much time wasting I have finally got around to taking pictures of some of the rooms in my house. You will have to excuse the order of the photos, blogger didn't seem to want to play when it came to uploading them in my chosen order! Above is a shelf I have built for Maddie's room, I still want to make lots of nice bits and pieces to put on it but I am sure they will come in time. The shelf itself is quite big, it is probably about a metre plus wide.

My living room fireplace and stove. The wall colour is sea urchin from Dulux and I am still not sure whether I should have stuck with a cream or minky colour on the walls but I am not changing it now!

The view as you come into the living room, my first set of interlined curtains and boy were there swear words making these. The actual curtain fabric is a really floppy cotton weave that moves about quite a bit so trying to get three layers together to look neat when sewn together was a challenge. What you can't spot is the big mark on the laminate in the middle of the floor that I made while trying to make said curtains when I dropped my large sewing scissors from a height! More swear words might have been said!!

My freshly painted downstairs loo. It is actually Tarragon Glory by Dulux but I had to take these pictures without a flash as it changed the colour so much. More pictures and details below for the loo.

My number one son's room. He had a plane theme in his room and we decided to paint a huge target on his wall. The curtains are actually a duvet which I cut up because I couldn't find material to match his duvet.
The paint on the walls is from the Little Greene Company which I can thoroughly recommend it was a dream to work with. I think this is the neatest that the book shelf has looked.
This is two magnetic boards and the one in the middle I am going to put corkboard onto once I can find a piece large enough without having to patch it.
Miss Maddie's bedroom and a wardrobe that just about killed me trying to get up the stairs. We still need to wax the cupboard as well but it is somewhere down the bottom of said list!
Pottery Barn quilt which I bought for Ellie's first bedroom but still love. Maddie is still in her cot bed at the moment which is great because this is the smallest of the four bedrooms.

Ah the downstairs loo again and that colour. It has definitely grown on me and John doesn't mind it now. When I first painted up a sample J said it looked like puke and no I couldn't use that colour. Me I did the usual and just waited till he was away a few days and got on with it as I knew once it was done he would come round! I still need to sew a curtain to fit across the space under the stairs which you cannot see in this picture. We have a very ugly boiler and pipe system there, plus hoovers and mops et cetera which I would like to cover up. I cannot decide whether to sew any buttons on the scallop joins, at the moment the buttons are just pinned on.
The wall behind the door holds my angel and towel rail. I want to get a few other bits and pieces here to liven up the red and white colour mix.
My kitchen from the door looking towards the front. Sorry the picture was taken at night as it is the only time I get peace! I am still waiting for the builder to come back and put the kick boards on to finish this area. The walls are painted in Dulux's Mystic Mauve which has given the kitchen a really calm, warm feeling. I was worried that it would cool the kitchen down and draw it in but it has done the opposite.
The bottom end of the kitchen looking towards the patio doors, with my £60 welsh dresser (thank you Eileen I love you) and my £10 cupboards (in the corner) which has become the kiddies art cupboard after a lick of paint.

a close up of my kitchen window. I used some Cath Kidston fabric which although is mostly pink it also has a bit of blue which matches the wall colour perfectly. We are not overlooked from the front so I decided to go for a half curtain for a change rather than a roman blind or a full curtain and I am please with the result.

So there you have it. I still need to take pictures of Ellie's room, my workroom and our bedroom but I have yet to finish these rooms off. Ellie's room is almost done but I do have lots of ideas for bits and pieces to make it original. Well I had better hit the sack the kiddies are back to school tomorrow. We have John's parents staying with us this week so I will need to be up for breakfast duty extra early. Goodnight to all.

Party Time at the Shields House

Time to celebrate Maddie's 4th Birthday

Boy when did my baby get to be four years old? I cannot believe that Maddie will be starting school this year she still seems so little to me. We had a fairy Toadstool party theme this year and the invites were handmade by moi using some of my forgotten scrapbook supplies that have been catching dust since I never get time to scrap these days. I hand cut all the bits and inked them and then glued them together. The dots are just office supply dots which came in handy. We only had 9 little girls coming to the party this year which was a nice managable number especially in this house. I was hoping for nice weather and thankfully although the grass was slightly wet we did manage to get outside.

Party bags were going to be lovely little sewn bags in calico with toadstools on but as usual time didn't allow and I resorted back to the old faithful boxes with a simple toadstool tag bearing the child's name on the reverse. I did manage to pick up some gorgeous tooth boxes in a ladybird, sheep, frog and chicken design to keep with the fairy theme. They also got a little red notebook, fluffy pencil, fairy chocolate, toadstool post its and a cupcake!

How can you deny this little beauty anything on her birthday?! She is sporting her new hat and dress from Granny England which she wore to Nursery on Friday, she took cupcakes in to all her friends which I think was a big hit and then her party was on Saturday as Daddy would be around to help!

Blowing candles on her toadstool cake (picture below) please excuse the bad picture it was rather dark

Birthday table before the onslaught!

and one fairy toadstool cake which took Mummy four hours to make and a bit of structural engineering to work out how to get the top to stay on without flopping. I reckon this is probably the best cake yet for effect but boy if anyone knows how to get red icing without having to add so much food colouring I would love to know the secret please. We had some fun games of musical statues, duck duck goose, pass the parcel and what's the time Mr Wolf? but the last scaring a few darlings when Mr Wolf called dinnertime.

Well now I just need to design the thank yous and that will be another birthday gone for this year, only Ellie to go now in November and she cannot decided between a bunny birthday and a butterfly birthday. I am definitely thinking about repeating the cupcake decorating of last year and it was a real hit and so much easier for me than party games.

As usual forgot to take any photos of the actual party which is annoying as I have a little mini book planned for Maddie to record her 4th Birthday. I think I will have to get creative now to complete it! Right I had better go and clear up the kitchen and try to steer clear of the caramel shortbread that is calling my name before I am sick.