Monday, 27 April 2009

Ellie's Big Night

Ellie's dad was playing in a Cup Final this evening at the Luton Town Ground and she was mascot ..... here she is .... one of the boys .... she is such a character and they all think the world of her .... should have been a boy !!

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Sunny Sunday at Delapre Abbey

Today was the day of Delapre Abbey's St George's Day Celebrations in Northampton. They had a craft marquee and I was lucky enough to get a stall ... the sun was shining as we arrived.The Abbey is surrounded by acres of glorious English countryside and we wished we had brought the dog with us ... they were allowed on site and she would have loved it.This is the Abbey courtyard and the Craft Marquee faced the clock tower building .. this area was used later in the day for musical entertainment.It didn't take too long to set up our table as I had been practicing on the kitchen table last night ... this is only the third fair that I have taken part in so am still learning.
This is me all ready to go ... my daughter Laura came along to help and husband too but it was a little cramped behind the table as we had to share with the neighbouring stall run by Linda and Steve .. a lovely couple who we chatted with all day and swapped crafting and life stories ... it was really nice to meet friendly people and made the day go so much quicker. With the current economic climate it seemed that a lot of people were just looking and not spending a great deal but not a bad day overall and a profit was made ... seemed later in the day the good people of Northampton were more interested in offloading their spare cash in the beer tent.
During the afternoon this gorgeous Silver Cross coachbuilt pram arrived in front of our table ... it was the pram that caught my eye, I love them but my daughter wouldn't be seen dead with one (shame). Then I did a double take on the baby ... it is a handmade re-born doll, her name is Georgina and she is so life like it was quite spooky.

Then to top the day ........ yes ladies and gentlemen .... Elvis was in the building ... this young man came on to do two sets during the afternoon and he was really good (considering he probably wasn't even born when the King died .... for those of you who are old enough do you remember where you were at that time? I was tucked up in bed with an old tranny radio under the covers so my dad couldn't hear listening to Tony Prince on Luxembourg 208)
If you see anything on my table that you like please get in touch as I have lots left and will be adding them to my website and blogshop during the coming week. Tara for now.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Paying it forward - the Gift

A BIG BIG thank you to Louise over at Snuggle Shack for my paying it forward gift. A lot of hard work and love has gone into making this lovely felt heart hanger which has a lovely sparkly button (doesn't show too well in my photo), a sweet little crochet flower brooch and a Russian Doll key fob - such tiny little stitches and so neat. Thank you so much. I picked Ellie up from school yesterday and you know what 4 year olds are like, they don't miss anything. What are these nanny she said when she spied them on the table .. I like this and this and this ... I did manage to keep the key fob for myself but the heart is now on her wardrobe door and the brooch on one of her many bags. I thought as a knitter, sewer and crocheter (?) that we were a dying breed and it is so refreshing to learn that there are so many of you young ones keeping the skills going. I wish my girls would take an interest but they don't sadly .. maybe one day


Thursday, 23 April 2009

This green and pleasant land .....

Although I live in one of the grottiest towns in Bedfordshire I am so lucky to be on the outskirts close to the Hertfordshire border and just a few minutes drive away from this beautiful countryside. This was the view from the pub garden where I sat with my daughters this lunchtime. My son lives in the village mainly because that is where is partner's family are and he is so lucky. I dream of moving to somewhere like this but the house prices are just way beyond me.It has two main roads with lovely individual traditional houses and a few modern ones chucked in here and there. Three pubs have survived (number one son works in the one we visited today so we had personal service and a discount ... lucky us!). There were two others but they have now been converted into dwellings along with an old Methodist Chapel and some old barns. The house pictured below has been on the market for ages at around 900K .. it was derelict and the little cottage to the side was almost falling down and it has a large plot of land at the back which cannot be built on. If my lottery numbers had come up this would be my dream home .. someone has now bought it and has started renovations ... I do hope they don't strip all of the character and install loads of spotlights and stainless steel. I will keep you posted on progress.As we leave the village to drive back home via the country route the pond and the large house are the last things we see. Such peace and tranquility and it is only ten minutes drive to Luton Airport.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Trolley Dolly

The small people returned to school today leaving just Angel and me at home and we have had such a beautiful day it was too good to stay indoors. We travelled 8 miles to the next town for market day .... taking my new trolley for its first run out. The little one thought it was great and insisted on dragging it around until it got too heavy. My lot laughed at my granny trolley but they are well worth investing in .... loads of room ... stands up on its own when you stop to buy/look at something else and unlike the husband doesn't wander off!! Angel loves the charity shops and we came home with a dozen new books, three pairs of pumps for me (brand new and only £1 each) in orange, turquoise and a CKesque floral print. Also found this boxed set entitled Best Kept Secrets of the Women's Institute, in pristine condition with an RRP of £32 - purchased for £3 and well worth it. When my gals saw them they were horrified and thought I was going all Julie Walters on them and asked if I was getting my baps out! There wouldn't be enough icing and cherries big enough for mine ......

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Such a Perfect Day

What a perfect day for car booting ... today however we were turning our trash into cash ... daughters 1 & 2 and I set off this morning for Stondon in Bedfordshire where my favourite boot in this area is held and this was the first one of the season. I love this one because it is very well organised and doesn't start till 10 am so we don't have to get up at the crack of dawn! They only charge £4 per pitch and it is solely proper car booters ... no traders are allowed. We took around £300 and I was very good and only spent £4 on this little distressed cabinet containing soap, candles, flannels and pot pourri, some knitting bits and couldn't resist the doggy book coz it has Cath Kidston Paisley on the cover.

Because I was such a good girl and didn't bring another load of crap home with me I treated myself to this nifty trolley ... it will come in handy next week .....

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Dunstable Downs

We decided today to take a ride to Dunstable Downs which are part of the Chiltern Hills and the highest points in Bedfordshire. The weather was the complete opposite to yesterday but that didn't put us off ... off we set with packed lunch, 7 children, 3 adults and one dog.

On a clear day the view is outstanding but it was somewhat muted today because of the grey skies, mist and drizzle.

We were lucky enough to see 2 gliders take off from the gliding club below

We walked along the top path which is on the flat, mainly because we forgot to put the buggy in for Charlie, my grandson aged 2. He was a little star though and walked for just over an hour with only a couple of wobblies along the way.

Molly loved it too

The staff in the Visitor's Centre cafeteria very kindly let us sit inside to eat our packed lunch as the weather had taken a turn for the worse and the rain had started to come down.

In the shop I found these books ... this one has some lovely old fashioned hints and tips and the meanings behind old sayings like 'You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs' - loosely translated it means a warning that you cannot get something for nothing and that sacrifices, though they may mean effort, can have tangible rewards.

We have been considering getting some chooks for years and hope that this year will be the one

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Two posts in one day !!!!

Day two of the small people ... they ate all my Monday baking as predicted so we had to make some more fairy cakes and flapjack todayThen we had a little craft session ... I bought some brooch pin backs so we made some felt brooches for them to surprise their mummiesAfter lunch the sun shone beautifully so we went to the park with Molly the chocolate labradog ... I have never seen so many people there ... we are lucky to have received some funding for new play equipment and there is a whole circuit of adventure play equipment and a basketball/football area. Sorry I can't show any pics of them enjoying themselves but I am bound by child protection regulations.
Thought I would take the opportunity of throwing in some pics of my garden ... we have spent a lot of time over the past couple of weeks tidying up and re-planting .. below are the blackcurrant, redcurrant and goosegog bushes which we took from my dad's allotment years ago. He had to pack up following a stroke but they are still going strong (so is he) My bamboo and cordyline are thriving at the moment ... must look up about taking cuttings from the bamboo .. if anybody has any tips I would be grateful to hear from you

This space looks a little bare at the moment but we have planted Dahlia corms which a friend of ours was about to throw away .. hopefully later in the year I will be able to show a vibrant display of flowers

My patio pots are doing nicely also .. the Pieris is in full colour now .. the Japonica .. some lavender and rosemary cuttings have taken nicely ... some other unknown plants are starting to sprout I(bought them last year at the school fete and the names washed off the labels). To the right of the pic is my old wheelbarrow which is also planted up and makes a nice feature of a useless old item

This beauty looks lovely at this time of year ... it has clusters of bright yellow bell type flowers which later turn into seed pods .... I have two new plants from seeds that I germinated from last year ... wish I knew what it's name was ... the tag has long gone

Paying it forward

This seems to be a favourite at the moment and a very good idea .. I found it via Snuggle Shack's blog It's quite simple, The first three people to leave a comment on my blog will receive a hand made gift from me! The only thing you have to do in return is participate and carry on the gift giving to three more people ... as soon as you have left a comment do a "pay it forward post" on your blog and continue the giving. I'm sure there will be others joining in so go on post a comment to say hi!!

Monday, 13 April 2009

Easter Weekend

Well the weather was typical Bank Holiday naffness in Bedfordshire this weekend ... we had grey skies, fog and rain which has meant that I couldn't do my usual rounds of car boots :-(
Not to be deterred we went to Stockwood Park yesterday where they were holding their first country fair. The park is one of the few jewels in Luton's crown and was originally a large country house which was left to go to rack and ruin by the local council in the 1950s ... it was eventually demolished and all that is left now is part of the walled gardens, the coaching section and stable blocks. Over the past few years a lot of money has been spent on providing a Visitor's Centre which is such a bonus and the gardens are a treat. The fair was a little disappointing - no sewers or knitters to my dismay (shame because they had a wonderful quilt exhibition last year). Ellie enjoyed herself and shows off her Easter Bunny face painting and the flower hat made in the activity centre. She likes to pose and here she is in the walled garden

The horses were out at the stables and there was also a lovely shire horse walking round

The weather did eventually brighten up today so we have been continuing with our planting in the garden. My childminding children return tomorrow, I will have six here for my sins so I have been baking biscuits and flapjack and making some fresh lemon curd because they are all like bottomless pits asking like Oliver 'can I have some more'.
I do hope that the weather keeps bright but the forecast is not good .... will be stir crazy by the end of the week if we have to stay indoors.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Good Friday & Happy Easter Everyone

I have been feeling a bit iffy this week .... always the way when I have no children to look after and some time to myself .... so a battery recharge was called for although I have taken advantage of sitting round on my bum and completed some more bits to take to the Delapre Abbey Craft Fair in Northampton in 2 weeks time.
We popped out to do some shopping earlier so I don't have to visit a shop till next week hopefully .... there is a shop that sells everything for 90p and just look at these seeds ... 15 small packets or 4 large packets for just 90p .... that was a bargain I just couldn't resist and Wilko had some onion sets for £1.25 a bag. We are trying to grow more for ourselves this year as money is tight due to short time working and hope to have a plentiful supply of our own salads, veg and herbs . I really miss my dad's allotment ... prior to his stroke he grew everything for years and I don't think we ever had to visit a greengrocers ... there is something about the smell and taste of home grown that the supermarkets can never capture, even with their organic ranges. Strawberry plants were on offer in B & Q this week too so got some of those to plant in a tub on the patio.
Yesterday the postman brought my lovely giveaway prize from Pat at The Sewing Room - this was my first win and I am absolutely delighted. Pat is a very clever and generous lady - the apron and hat are so cute and beautifully made and she had popped in my fave choc too.
Hope to raise the energy to have a de-clutter at the weekend and do my first car boot of the year to turn my trash into cash. Be back soon .....