Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Just popping by to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you all have a wonderful time and that all your Christmas wishes come true :O)xx

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Advent swap

A few months ago I signed up to take part in Laa Laa's Advent Swap and I was paired up with Ada Bea ~ who has a lovely blog called Vintage Sheet Addict.

These were the parcels that I sent ~ I really did enjoy putting together the swap parcel for Ada and my daughter was also really enthusiastic about it and gave me lots of help and advice along the way, suggesting that " the lady might like this" in practically every shop we went in to! She also handmade a present for me to include in the parcel too.

If you fancy having a peek at what I sent to Ada then you can pop over to her blog and take a look. There is also a Flickr group for the swap if you would like a wee browse at all the other swap pressies.

It has been really has been rather exciting having a little pressie to open up each day ~ much better than having a chocolate Advent calendar! In fact, my children want to know why they can't have an Advent parcel to open every day and are asking if I can make them up a box each for next year ~ we shall see!!

This is what I have received so far::

Day 1 ~ embroidery threads
Day 2 ~ a little bar of Green and Blacks chocolate
Day 3 ~ a pretty sea shell
Day 4 ~ a pack of vintage wall paper
Day 5 ~ a little bar of Green and Blacks chocolate(this one didn't quite make it as far as the photo shoot as it was too tempting and got eaten with a nice cup of tea)
Day 6 ~ heart decorations
Day 7 ~ vintage sheet material

I'm looking forward to the opening the rest of the parcels and will let you know what's inside once they have been opened :O)xx

Monday, 10 December 2012

Giveaway Winner

Thank you to everyone who left a comment on my recent bloggy birthday Giveaway post.  This year I somehow managed to get my brain into gear and work out how to use the Random Number Generator thingy ~  however, I didn't quite manage to work out how to post a picture of the said generator results onto my blog!

The lucky number selected was comment number 11 which was from Tales from a handmade home. Congratulations to you! ~ please can you e mail me with your details and I will get your book posted out to you sometime very soon :O)xx

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Polar Express ~ All Aboard!

Last weekend we headed off to Weardale as we had booked ourselves tickets on The Polar Express!

We all love the film of The Polar Express ~ we watch it faithfully every Christmas Eve ~ so the chance to have an actual trip on it was too much for us to resist.

We boarded the train at Stanhope station and set off on our journey through the dales towards the North Pole. The small people were dressed in their pyjamas and dressing gowns which made it seem even more magical for them.

Each carriage was decorated with Christmassy wreaths and baubles and had it's own conductor and fleet of singing and dancing chefs who served everyone with cups of hot chocolate and delicious chocolate chip cookies. During the trip the story of The Polar Express was read over a sound system whilst the chefs carried a beautifully illustrated book up and down the aisle for all the children to see.

For those of you that are not familiar with the story ~ it is a lovely story about a little boy who is just starting to doubt the reality of Father Christmas. He embarks on a magical train trip to the North Pole ~ along the way there is a ghostly hobo who preys on the boys doubts, but he is looked after by the kind conductor and all the other children who are on the train dressed in their pyjamas and dressing gowns. At the end of the journey he has his beliefs reaffirmed when he meets Father Christmas at the North Pole.

Our journey towards the North Pole was really enjoyable ~ the chefs went up and down the aisles singing and dancing and the ghostly hobo made the occasional appearance trying to steal the children's golden train tickets. As the train got nearer to the North Pole all the children on the train got very excited ~ pressing their little faces to the windows trying to get the first glimpse of Father Christmas. Once we reached the North Pole, Father Christmas and his elves boarded The Polar Express and all the children got a chance to tell him what they would like for Christmas and he gave out silver bells from his sleigh to all those who believe!

It really was a most enjoyable trip and I am now starting to really get into the Christmas spirit ~ not many sleeps to go now!! :0)xx

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A Thank You and A Giveaway!

Firstly, I would like to say a huge Thank You to everyone for all the good wishes and bloggy hugs that were sent our way when my daughter went in to hospital for her operation.

I am pleased to report that the operation went very well, and although there were some hysterics before the pre-med, she managed to cope very well with the procedure. They decided to use "sleepy" gas to put her to sleep and then did what they had to do with needles whilst she was out for the count! Everything is healing up very nicely and she returned to school yesterday complete with a set of crutches. It will still be a few weeks until she is running about again but I am just so glad that everything is done now and we will just have to keep our fingers crossed that the legs grow at the desired pace and sort out their differences!

Last week ~ on 21st of November to be precise ~ I noticed that I been blogging for four years. I can't quite believe that it has been that long ~ but it has! I love being part of this lovely bloggy world ~ it truly is a wonderful place to be ~ packed full of inspiration and ideas and lovely like minded crafty souls like you!

To say a big Thank You to all of you that take time out of your day to read my ramblings, I am having a little Christmassy giveaway. Up for grabs is a copy of the new Mollie Makes Christmas book and I will also add a few other Christmassy bits and pieces to the parcel ~ although I haven't quite decided what they will be yet!  All you have to do to enter this giveaway is to leave me a comment on this post ~ it would also be lovely if you were a follower of my blog too.

I will leave the giveaway open for a week ~ until Thursday 6th December ~ so that the lucky winner can enjoy the book and hopefully have enough time to make a few things from it before Christmas arrives.

Good Luck and I look forward to reading your comments :O)xxxx

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


About three years ago my daughter's dance teacher took us aside and told us that she thought that there was a slight difference in the length of my daughter's legs. She had noticed this because she was paying particular attention to the posture of the girls in the ballet class. Up until then we hadn't noticed that anything was wrong ~ but when we looked more closely we did see that she definitely had problems when she was trying to stand up straight. We promptly made an appointment with the doctor and the doctor did indeed confirm that there was definitely a difference in the length of her legs by about 1.5 centimetres. The correct term for this condition is Leg Length Discrepancy.

We were then referred to a Paediatric Orthopedic Consultant so that her legs could be monitored by X rays and MRI scans to see if the discrepancy became worse. Unfortunately, over the last couple of years it has now gotten to the stage where the difference is 3.4 centimetres ~ which is now fairly significant.

Whilst this is not really bothering her at the moment ~  it could have major implications later in her life if it starts to affect her back and spine.

Tomorrow she is being admitted in to hospital to have an operation to take growth cells from the knee joint of her longer leg so that hopefully her shorter leg will catch up when she takes her biggest growth spurt as she approaches puberty. She is absolutely terrified! She has a huge fear of all things medical ~ mostly needles ~ and although we have managed to successfully avoid these things in the past she will obviously need to have an anaesthetic which will obviously involve a needle.

I know that she is going to find this whole experience incredibly difficult and there is no doubt that she is going to be in some amount of pain afterwards. I really wish that I could change places with her and that it was me instead of her that was going to have to go through the operation tomorrow.

I am trying desperately to remain calm but inside I am terrified too! xx

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Half term and Halloween

Life has been pretty hectic around here recently, what with half term and lots of extra time spent working in the library. There has definitely not been an awful lot of time left over to indulge in much crafty stuff ~ although I have managed to snatch a little time to knit up a bit more of my lacy scarf and am now on to my third and final ball of yarn.

I am desperately trying to have a bloggy catch up before some of the moments get lost in the camera ~ never to see the light of the day!

We had our half term a couple of weeks ago here in Scotland and we headed off to the beautiful little village of Alton in Staffordshire to visit family. And of course, a trip to Alton would not be complete without spending a day up at Alton Towers. We scared ourselves completely silly on some of the bigger rides ~ in fact after going on some of them it was almost impossible to walk!  

We were really lucky with the weather the day we visited as it was a beautiful Autumn day ~ very cold but thankfully no rain! The leaves on the side of the Towers were a spectacular colour.

There were lots of Halloween decorations dotted about the place as it was the start of the annual Alton Towers Halloween festival ~ Scarefest.

We hid in giant pumpkins!

And came across some very strange residents!

Who were driving some very spooky vehicles!

The following day we had an enormous amount of fun at Splash Landings ~ which is a water park inside one of the hotels at Alton Towers. There were lazy rivers, crazy cannons and a VeRy fast and VeRy scary Master Blaster water coaster. This is an extreme water ride and definitely not for the faint hearted and most definitely NOT for me! Once was more than enough and I will never venture on it again! Needless to say the kids loved it!!

Tonight, following in our own Halloween traditions, the small people will be dressing up in some scary Halloween outfits and we will play hide and seek in the dark with torches. We will get absolutely soaked dooking/bobbing for apples and then we will get cosy and snuggle up on the sofa to watch some spooky Halloween movies with maybe a little bit of Scooby Doo thrown in for good measure.

I hope you all enjoy your Halloween happenings as much as we will!! :O)xx

Monday, 1 October 2012

Weekend away

I spent last weekend away visiting my best friend who lives in the beautiful Scottish Borders.

There is something quite nice about going away by yourself for the weekend. It's not something that I do very often, in fact hardly ever, but when I do I find the whole experience very enjoyable indeed. The very fact that you can completely do what you want to, when you want to, without having to stop for a minute to consider the needs of others is quite wonderful! Of course I did miss my little family very much ~ but I made up for that with lots of cuddles when I returned back to the fold on Sunday morning.

My friend and I had arranged a little bit of retail therapy for ourselves, and as we were in the Borders we headed off to the Gretna Green Outlet Village. Before we went shopping we decided to stop and have a look at the Blacksmith's Shop at Gretna Green, which is famous for marriages and for the place where Scotland and England meet.

We had a stroll around the sculpture garden and stopped to admire this lovely sculpture of two hands clasping. The sculpture was designed and created by County Durham artist Ray Lonsdale. It only took two months to create and is made from weathering steel and standing at 13 feet tall it is rather impressive to look at.

It can be interpreted in lots of different ways ~ are the hands coming together? Parting? Meeting up or saying Goodbye? Is it a happy or sad embrace? Are the hands joining in friendship or is it an embrace of love? Personally I like to think that it is an embrace of love.

There was also a wedding taking place at the Blacksmith's shop whilst we were there and as is often the tradition at Scottish weddings there was a lone piper playing his bagpipes. There is nothing quite like the sound of the music which comes out of the pipes. I really do love it!

Which is quite fortunate really ~ because for the last few months my little boy has been learning to play. He started out learning on an instrument called a chanter and he has now progressed rather quickly onto his first set of bagpipes ~ he is aiming to get his full set of pipes complete with drones, which are the really noisy part sometime very soon. I think the reason he loves his music so much is the very fact that he is allowed to do something noisy without getting told off for making a noise!!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend too  :O)xx

Friday, 28 September 2012


I am now the very proud owner of a Teenager!

My beautiful little girl was thirteen yesterday. Thirteen!! I am not sure how that happened quite so quickly ~  I really don't feel old enough to be a Mother of a teenager, but that's what I am.  It doesn't seem like all that long ago since she was born and whisked away to Intensive Care in the Special Care Baby Unit where I sat holding her tiny little hand through a little door in the incubator and didn't even dare to dream about birthdays. However! Here we are celebrating her thirteenth birthday and what a lovely day we all had too.

The present of choice this year was an ipod touch.

Yesterday was an extra special day for our family as it was also our wedding anniversary. I have been married to my wonderful husband for twelve years!  All those years ago we thought that it would be a lovely idea to get married and have our daughter christened on her first birthday. A little unconventional perhaps ~ but something that is very special to us as a family.

We tend not to do very much to celebrate our anniversary as birthday celebrations are obviously much more important in the minds of children. Our anniversary night out was a trip to The Handmade Burger Co. accompanied by the birthday girl, her little brother and her best friend. All very romantic I must say, but very enjoyable none the less :O)xx

Thursday, 20 September 2012

It's been a while!

But I think that I'm just about ready to get back to blogging again.

Life just kind of took over in the summer months ~ what with school holidays, family trips away and trying to keep the small people entertained. And to tell the truth, whilst there really wasn't that much time available for any woolly stuff I really didn't have much inclination to put wool to hook or sticks either.

I am even more ashamed to say that I haven't done anything remotely hooky or even picked up the knitting sticks once since my last post which was WAY back in the middle of June.

I'm not quite sure why! I think that perhaps I had just become a bit bored with all of my WIP's and that maybe all I needed a new project to kick start my motivation again. The project I eventually decided on was this one ~

A lacy scarf designed by Debbie Bliss ~ which I decided to knit in double knitting wool ~ namely Sublime extra fine cashmerino wool in a lovely blue shade called Clipper. This wool is an absolute dream to knit with and very snuggly too which will be just right to keep me cosy in the winter months.

I have also signed myself up to take part in this wonderful Advent swap which is being organised by the very lovely Hookin' with Laalaa.

The idea of this swap is that you buy, make, thrift or share 24 little gifts for your partner to open each day of Advent and then one larger present for her to open on Christmas day. Sounds like amazing fun and I am really looking forward to taking part. There is still time to join in if you like the idea ~ although the closing date is today so you'll need to be quick! :O)xx

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Sock ~ tastrophe!

I had been getting on so well with my Jubilee socks ~ in fact I had nearly finished the first one ~ when disaster struck and I noticed I had a dropped stitch!

No problem I thought! I'll just unravel the offending sock until I reach the dropped stitch, pick it back up again and then carry on my merry way.

Unfortunately, the knitting had other plans and that is not how it worked out at all! I did some unravelling and I did try to pick up the pesky little dropped stitch, but no matter how hard I tried I just could pick it up and it would slip further and further down the knitting. At one point I did think about ripping the whole sock out and starting all over again but I just couldn't bring myself to do that.

I think that I have now managed to catch that slippery little stitch up ~ but to be honest with you I'm not totally convinced that I've done it properly and I am really hoping that I don't spot any more ladders in my sock when I get my momentum going again.

Wish me luck and hopefully I'll be back with a fully formed pair of Jubilee Socks sometime soon :O)xx

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Jubilee socks

Yesterday ~  I was sitting in the garden enjoying the lovely warm weather and adding a few more rows to my Jubilee socks. I am using a really simple sock pattern which involves absolutely no heel shaping and therefore, absolutely no thinking at all! Just simple knitting and purling (K6,P6 ribbing) in a tube like fashion ~ which is so easy to pick up and put down when my knitting mood dictates. The yarn is 4 ply Zig Zag by King Cole in Jubilee which gives lovely random stripes in red, white and blue. The other thing I loved about this pattern is that it needed 60 stitches to be cast on ~ which is very appropriate for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee too.

Today ~ I am back to sitting knitting inside as the weather has decided to turn a little cooler again and the sun has disappeared behind the clouds. I really do hope it decides to make a reappearance sometime very soon :O)xx

Friday, 25 May 2012

Seasidey homework

Goodness! Where is the time going to just now? It's very nearly the end of May and I haven't posted in absolutely ages ~ which is partly because I have been too busy to do very much hooky stuff and also, to tell the truth there hasn't been much else happening around these parts that seemed worthy of blogging about either.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago my little boy was set a homework task to produce a souvenir of our beautiful little seaside hometown. The souvenir he chose to produce was a calendar ~ which gave us a fabulous excuse to wander around in the recent sunshine and take some seasidey photographs for him to put in his calendar and I thought it might be quite nice to share some of them with you all too.

This is the view of the beautiful West Bay from the appropriately named Anchor Green::

Walking along the beach you can see the buildings surrounding the harbour and the harbour walls::

Going on past the beautiful old buildings and around the corner is the wonderful harbour ~ I just love seeing all the colourful little boats bobbing up and down on the water::

And just for good measure we decided to take another picture of the harbour from a different angle::

These were just some of the photos that my little boy wanted to have in his calendar ~ they really do sum up the beauty of our little seasidey town. Words can't really begin to tell you how lucky we feel to have this all on our doorstep to enjoy as and when we please.

The only downside of living so close to the sea is that the sea mist/haar has only just started to lift now and the sun is just starting to poke it's head through the clouds. It does look like it should warm up fairly quickly so I'm off to prepare a quick picnic lunch to enjoy in the garden when the small people get home from school ~ which should be any minute now!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and enjoy the sun :O)xx

Thursday, 3 May 2012


My beautiful baby boy is TEN today! Into double figures already!  I'm not quite sure how that happened as quickly ~ it really doesn't seem like ten years since he was born. Is it just me or does time really seem to speed up once you have children?

I can remember that moment when the midwife handed my newborn baby to me and said "it's a boy"! I wasn't really ready for that ~ I was expecting to have another girl. A BOY!! What on earth do I do with one of those! The answer is that I love him with all my heart and soul and I really wouldn't have it any other way ~ it is such a joy to have a boy.

He is a very typical boy! An absolute whirlwind of boy energy ~ is never still and never quiet, he literally talks from the minute he opens his eyes in the morning until he goes to sleep at night and sometimes even talks when he is asleep! He likes nothing better than running about outdoors up to his eyes in mud and all things mucky! He loves his guitar and can't wait for the day when we say YES you can get an electric one!

He really is a lovely boy and has a very compassionate nature and is very kind and loving too. He loves snuggling up with his mum for kisses and cuddles at home. And I LoVe that too!

Happy 10th Birthday to my gorgeous boy ~ I hope that you have a wonderful day :O)xxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Wet Weather Walking

In true school holiday tradition, the weather decided to take a turn for the worse as soon as the schools broke up for Easter. The lovely sunny weather that we had been enjoying a few weeks previously decided to turn itself wet, windy and rainy ~ and on the odd occasion we were even treated to a few hailstones. A bit of a washout really ~ and not at all what you expect to be treated to in April ~ and of course it does make entertaining the small people a little bit more difficult too.

I not ashamed to say that we did spend quite a few days just lazing about in our pyjamas whilst watching DVDs and eating large amounts of chocolate eggs washed down with equally large mugs of tea and hot chocolate. I can't begin to tell you how much I love spending days like this ~it really is such a treat!

However, as we had planned to get some fresh air ~ and to go out for some walks in the park and along the beach ~ we were not going to let the wet weather stop us! We wrapped up warmly in some wet weather gear and off we trotted on some wet weather walks.

Our local park is a lovely place full of wide open spaces and pretty gardens which are at their best in the summer months. But when we went for our wet weather walk it was deserted and looking rather sorry for itself!

There wasn't very much colour around at all ~ the spring bulbs were nearly past their best, and it has to be said that most things looked more Autumnal than Springlike. It seems that our seasons are a bit out of sorts just now and are really getting more than a little bit mixed up!

If you take a little peek through the bare and brown looking hedgerow, you can just about see the volcanic plug of North Berwick Law which we managed to climb to the very top of last year just after we moved to this beautiful seaside town.

There was a little bit more colour to be seen at the pretty walled garden.

Out of the park and walking down some narrow streets and past this tiny little seaside inspired garden we came to the beach.

There wasn't much colour around here either ~ except for some bright blue and green stripey wellies.

We had been keeping our eyes open looking for some sea treasures ~ but they all must have been playing hide and seek and we didn't find very much at all.

Despite all the yucky wet weather we had a very lovely time on our little jaunt and on our way back home we stumbled upon this lovely flowery boat display ~ isn't it pretty?

I hope that you all enjoyed the holidays as much as we did ~ but let's hope that the weather starts to behave a bit better and sends the sun out to play sometime soon :O)xx

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Easter

Just popping by to wish you all a very Happy Easter ~ I hope that you all have a very lovely Easter weekend.

As I have continued to be very unproductive with my hook, knitting sticks and yarn I thought I would share a photo of a little knitted Easter chick that I made a couple of years ago ~ he is very good at hiding chocolate Easter eggs in his little woolly tummy. I am very good at that too ~ although my tummy is definitely not woolly!

Enjoy your chocolate Easter eggs and TRY your very hardest not to eat them all today :O)xx

Friday, 30 March 2012

End of term happiness

The small people have just arrived home and their school bags have been dumped unceremoniously in the hallway ~ abandoned and not required for two and a half weeks. This can only mean one thing ~ School's out! End of term has arrived at last ~ Hooray!!

Today is the start of the Easter Holidays from school and I have to say that we are all looking forward to it immensely. We are all feeling tired and grumpy and a little bit yucky and definitely in need of a well earned break. I love the fact that school holidays allow you not to have to follow the usual routine ~ I really do appreciate that! I love not having to get up early and rush breakfast or try to nicely persuade small people in my best non shouty voice to get dressed and clean their teeth. Then there's the mad rush out the door at the last possible minute to try to get to school before the bell rings. No more of that for two whole weeks!

Being able to slowly potter around the house in the morning will be just blissful~ I'm really looking forward to that.

There is nothing planned ~ we are pretty much going to take each day as it comes and do whatever takes our fancy on that particular day.

I am really hoping that the weather will stay as lovely as it has been over the last few days ~ but as long as it stays dry and we manage to get out and about then I for one will be happy. Hopefully there will be lots of trips to the park and some long walks along the beach looking for seaside treasures.

There has not been much happening on the crafting front again this week as I have been ever so busy decluttering and listing what seemed like a million things on eBay. It's all very time consuming this eBay malarkey! Trying to take a decent photograph and then compose a lovely story about the item can actually take quite a while to do ~ BUT it is ever so exciting when someone actually makes a bid and buys one of your items. I really do get very excited when that happens.

I hope that you are all looking forward to the Easter holidays as much as I am and that you have a very enjoyable weekend :O)xx

Thursday, 22 March 2012

This week..........

I have been enjoying the beautiful Mothers Day flowers that I got from my two small people ~ there were some rather delicious chocolates too, but they got eaten far too quickly to have time to photograph them! It has to be said (for the record) that I didn't eat them all by myself ~ I did have some helpers both big and small!

I have been having lots of fun cutting out some colourful felty shapes from my Egg Cosies Kit ~ I am hoping to have at least a couple of these cute cosies made by the time Easter arrives.

I have been trying desperately to knit a few more rows of my very slow socks and failing miserably to get very much further because ~

I have spent quite a lot of my time with my head in this book and have been loving every minute of it ~ this author always manages to make me laugh out loud.

I have been having a bit of a rummage around in boxes and bags that have been hiding in cupboards since we moved into this house almost a year ago ~ and I have unearthed my long lost Summer Garden Granny Squares ~ which have been a WIP for far too many summers to mention!

I am also looking forward to spending a lovely Girly day out tomorrow in the beautiful Scottish Borders with my very bestest Girly friend.

Hope you all have a very lovely weekend ~ I wonder what delights next week will bring :O)xx

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Cheesy Scones

Whilst I was in the Supermarket one day last week I was hit by a sudden craving for a lovely cheesy scone, smothered in oodles of butter ~ very unhealthy I know, but to be enjoyed occasionally in moderation!

I found some in the bakery department and popped them into my basket along with the rest of my shopping. I looked forward to eating this cheese scone all the way home. Imagined myself smothering it in butter and then sitting with my feet up and enjoying it with a nice cuppa. But this particular cheese scone was a BIG disappointment! Desperately lacking in any kind of flavour, rubbery in texture and heavy enough to sink a very large battleship!

Anyway ~ this morning I took it upon myself to turn these ingredients into some lovely homemade cheesy scones. This is what you need if you decide to have a go at making them yourself ~

175g self raising flour
a pinch of salt and pepper
25g margarine
75g of grated cheese
half a teaspoon of mustard powder
1 medium egg
2 tablespoons of milk

First preheat your oven to 220 degrees or gas mark 7 and grease a baking tray ~

Mix the flour, salt and pepper and mustard powder in a bowl and then stir in the grated cheese, keeping a little aside for the top of the scone ~

Mix to a soft dough with the egg and milk, again keeping a little aside to glaze the top ~

Roll the dough out on a floured surface until it is about 1.5 cm thick and then cut into rounds or triangles ~ you should end up with about 8 scones ~

Place on your baking tray and brush with the remaining egg and milk mixture and then sprinkle on the rest of the grated cheese ~

Finally bake for about 10 to 15 minutes until your scones are lovely and golden brown ~

Smother your golden, cheesy scone in oodles of butter and enjoy with a nice cuppa ~ much nicer than any you can buy in the supermarket! :O)xx