Friday, April 18, 2014

Almost back to school.

Today was the last day of Steve's holidays and Ian is back to school on Monday after the Easter holidays. So, we decided on a quiet day at home just relaxing and doing things together.

We investigated the garden, all the new flowers appearing were a welcome sight after a grey kind of winter.
A bit of seed planting has been going on too. Actually quite a bit this year. Now whilst we do not expect to be wonderfully successful at growing fruit and vegetables, we do hope to be able to grow a few bits and pieces (gherkins are high on my list)

I did manage an hour of book reading, tea drinking and radio listening this afternoon too. It was perfect.
I am loving this four books just now. Especially Alys Fowlers 'The Thrifty Forager' and Kate Ulmans 'Vantastic'. The Surf Cafe Cookbook has been a favourite of mine since I bought it. I just find it a bit lovely really.

My experiment of using an old Duplo box with a green see through plastic lid to grow some radishes and courgette plants in seems to be working. These seedlings are a lot bigger than the ones planted in the ground. Hoping to get some lovely radishes pretty soon.

We had a lovely walk at Gartly Moor yesterday. Ian and Iona adore being outside. Even if Iona does have a tendancy to want carried round by Daddy. Not that we mind too much. Pretty sure in 10 years time we will miss these days.

Here's hoping for a gorgeous spring this year.

Thanks for reading

Monday, April 14, 2014

So on Friday I turned a bit older

 Friday was my 30th Birthday. I went for a lovely Indian Buffet meal at the local Indian restaurant with friends on Thursday. Then on Friday I took the kids to the Grampian Transport Musuem (which is actually the furthest I've driven completely on my own in ages, It's only 20ish miles away haha. But I'll do a seperate post on that later)

On Saturday my Sister came over with these adorable tint shrimp. It's an eVivo eco system. Me and the kids love this thing. They don't need feeding and create their own little ecosystem. So easy and adorable.

My Dad got me a few little extra gifts but his main one was this gorgeous silver necklace. It's just so pretty. And obviously has all my favourite people on it :)

Finally... My Mum and step Dad got me an Overlocker, Serger, whatever you want o call it. Now I'm pretty much just trying to find things to 'Serge'. Need to get some more thread soon though as the spools it came with weren't full and this thing eats thread compared to my sewing machine. The first time I got it out I'm not sure who was more amazed at the cutting action, me or the kids. Ian has claimed the pile of fabric snips for his toy animals as a bed.

If anyone knows of (or has) any good blogs that have Serger tutorials I'd love to know hehe.

Hope everyone is having a good Easter week/holiday


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Macduff Aquarium Visit and ducks on the beach

 We went to Macduff Marine Aquarium yesterday. If you are ever in the Banff/Macduff area it is well worth a wee visit. It's not the largest aquarium we have been to but it kept my information sponge Ian busy and entertained for well over 2 hours!!!

 The main aquarium (above) was a hit with my two... especially once Daddy showed them that by standing in the little curved bit (below) that Iona could see Ian and Ian could see Iona it was even more fun.
Back and forth, swapping who was standing where and trying to beat the shark. 

 We then got the little rock pool area. You were allowed to touch the starfish and the anemones. Iona, of course, was straight in there. Sleeves rolled up tickling the starfish. Normally I'd say Ian couldn't be coaxed to touch something so strange to him. BUT! yesterday he cautiously poked that starfish and actually twice prodded the poor anemone. WooHoo!

 Spotting the tiny Plaice and Flounders in the little tanks was fun.


 But... Ian went to bed last night a happy little guy... This microscope contained tiny little wee sea beasties or 'krill' as Ian called him. He has been obsessed with whales and krill and has so far been a bit sad he has never seen krill. Well now kiddo, now you have!


 Photo bombing baby ray. Just because well, how can you beat that for cuteness?

 We then had a stroll along the sea at Banff. The ducks on the beach were amusing Ian. The River Deveron meets the North Sea at this bit so there were quite a few ducks. Not the usual Marine birds... 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring has sprung (sort of)

So, we have some seedlings... we still have to actually dig and compost the herb garden. But I guess some little green shoots are a start?

Daisies are springing up and my little helper is just loving them. That and the daffodils, the pansies and well, quite frankly anything with petals. I do like these little moments with her. I will miss these after the summer when she heads off to Nursery! Surely it has not been nearly 3 years since she appeared? No, can't be!

Isn't it grand to have a big brother to hold your hand and tell you all about the Wind Farms and the seagulls...

With the start of the drier season we have been visiting beaches... first beach visit of the Easter Holidays was Nairn with my Step-Dad. He was off on a wool shop hunt so we were invited to go along.

Ian is so much calmer near the water. It just soothes his serious soul. I adore the beach and the sea and rivers. Heck, I could stand next to a brook for hours just listening. So it was good for all of us to just spend some time by the water, investigating stones and of course just playing... can't beat a bit of playing. Especially when this two have a case of the giggles.

Hope your weekend was as fun yet calming as ours has been.

Thank you for stopping by...


Monday, March 31, 2014

Tubing, crochet and tantrums

This past week has been a funny one. Both simple and day to day drudgery and some beautiful making my heart melt moments too...
I have been escaping the same old same old with happy spring crochet. Cloths! Lovely clothes and those scrubby thingys too.
Iona has been struggling with being two and a half. There have been many tears, many tantrums but still plenty of adorable and loving ones too. It really is hard growing up isn't it? Especially when you realise you can't fly and jumping off that chair was always going to end in tears and a hurt pride.
And Ian shocked me by totally rocking at Tubing with his nursery... he seemed to throw his normal worry wort ways to the side to 'go really super fast like superman' down the slope. I think the Spiderman PJ top we let him wear under his jumper helped him to be brave ;) amazing what how a little thing helps them so much.

Hope everyone has a lovely week x

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hillary's Blinds competition and sore fingers

The wonderful Lisa of Stuff Mummy Makes was the reason I found out about Hillarys Blinds Competition
 Hillary's Blinds sent me a piece of gorgeous peacock fabric... it is completely lovely and to be honest the first week I kind of just stared at it not wanting to cut into it... and gave the instructions to make something original with it. There's a £1000 up for grabs for the lucky winner.

Now I started making a book cover, book mark, library card holder and book bag set. I got the first three made and decided it wasn't original enough. So I didn't make the bag (even though I had cut the fabric out!!)
Instead, I cut a small 6x4 fussy cut of the peacock and popped it in a frame. The frame looked bare, so I gave it a pale blue wash with some paint. I then copied (kind of) the plume(?) on the Peacocks head with marker pen and glued some sparkly seed beads on top.
Then came the *almost* genius idea to make a matching clock. I simply cut a circle out, again fussy cutting, so the beautiful tail was on the clock face. I cut a hole in the middle and followed the clock kit instructions to put the clock together. 
I adore this clock and can't wait to get it up in my craft loft space!

I was still left with a fair amount of fabric so I decided to attempt to cover the lampshade on my craft space lamp. I simply (I say simply, it was a bit awkward but I love the shade now. Perhaps the cut fingers, the glued to shade fingers and the realisation that I don't have 5 hands were worth it) traced the shape of the lamp shade onto the fabric leaving a little extra for folding under on the top and bottom of the shade. NOw was the bit that resulted in many a blue word, glue the fabric to the shade and wait to dry, now snip the edged of the fabric that need to be folded under and glue them to the wrong side of shade. I'm sure there are easier ways to recover a lampshade but doesn't it look pretty? Nearly as pretty as the 'Undersea' themed plaster that is now gracing both my thumb and my forefinger.
Note to self - buy adult plasters!

I still a small bit of fabric left over but that is going in my stash pile waiting for just the right pretty project.

Thank you so much Hillary's Blinds for this fun competition. The fabric is simply stunning. The artwork on these birds is just amazing. If I ever redecorate my bedroom I feel this fabric may make more than just a little appearance.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

wiggly octopus - an attempt at a crochet pattern!

My wee man really wanted a toy octopus with wiggly tentacles... I had a look for a pattern but the ones I found (admittedly I only looked quickly) all had tentacles that needed to be sewn on, either individually or as a seperate tentacley piece.  As I wanted it to played with I wanted the tentacles to be part of the octopus.  So here is a patttern for a one piece wiggly octopus.

I used King Cole Riot Dk and a 4 mm hook
Also some safety eyes Or buttons for eyes

(Although any dk yarn would work, I also made one with Rico Cotton too)

You may prefer a smaller hook as I had to crochet really tight so no stuffing showed through on body.

This Is crocheted in spirals, so you don't close round with slip stitch while crocheting body.

Make a magic loop and ch2 (doesn't count as a dc) then 6dc in loop

2dc in each dc all way round (12 stitches)

2dc in first dc and dc in next dc all way round (18 stitches)

2dc in first dc and dc in next 2dc all way round (24 stitches)

2dc in first dc and dc in next 3dc all way round (30 stitches)

Dc in each dc all way round for next 7 rows

Add safety eyes

2dctog in first dc and dc in next 2 dc until you have 8 stitches left.

Stuff the head

Now slip stitch into next dc then ch18

Starting from 2nd chain from hook 3htr in each chain until you reach head.

Slip stitch into next dc and repeat another 7 times until you have 8 tentacles.

Now slip stitch into base of first tentacle and cut yarn leaving a long tail.

Using a needle and long tail sew the hole on bottom of octopus shut and fasten off and weave in ends securely.

(That last tentacle gets a bit fiddly towards base when trying to move the other 7 tentacles out the way. But I got there in the end)

Hope my pattern makes sense, I don't write many patterns so I tried my best :)

I know there are loads of octopus patterns out there, this is just how I made mine.

Thanks for popping by x