Tuesday, 28 July 2009

School Holiday Diary Day 4 and a new arrival

Boy what a day .....I had a very early start with a text message at 4.45am from my daughter as her labour had started ..... shortly afterwards I was up and went to collect my grand-daughter whilst mum and dad got on with the impending delivery. At 6.00am we commenced on a mammoth junk modelling session, as you do on occasions such as this and I don't know how but both Ellie and me are still awake! We are on an adrenalin rush I think. Daughter was in good hands as her sister is a midwife so she stayed with them till it was time to go to the hospital and was with them when baby Jack was delivered at 4.47 pm weighing 7lb 6oz. I couldn't get to the hospital this afternoon as this is my busiest childminding day of the week with a full house of 6 children today. When the last one was collected at 6.00pm we got cleaned up and left for visiting at the hospital. Mum and baby look fantastic and the clever girl did it all herself without drugs, they will be staying in overnight and will come home tomorrow. The little guzzler is feeding well already and has met his big sister. Well I just don't have the energy to do any more now so will say night night!

Monday, 27 July 2009

School Holiday Diary Day 3 and one lucky little bird

Day 3 started off very wet and dull so inside activities were the order of the day. The fantastic array of card making and crafting materials I had collected from a local freecycler yesterday came in very handy with some of the littlies making birthday cards for their mums. My lot will chop things up & stick things down for England ..... our best days have been spent playing with cardboard boxes which just goes to show you don't need expensive toys and gadgets to keep them amused. A couple of summers ago we took delivery of an American style double fridge/freezer which came in an enormous box ..... the delivery men kindly left it behind and it was used every day until it finally collapsed.
While we were all busy at the kitchen table this morning our black cat Binks came in from the garden. I didn't take too much notice of him at first but he sat by my feet and wouldn't move ...... I heard a little flapping sound and when I took a closer look he had this little chap in his mouth! I gently removed him and was so relieved to find he was still in once piece. He is a baby Robin and you will be glad to know that after I put him outside on the bird table he flew off seconds after I took this photo. My husband keeps and breeds budgies, canaries and small parakeets and somehow our moggies know they have to look after birds and it was as if Binks had found him in the garden and brought him in to me. Many years ago we had a cat called Tiggy ..... one summers day I was relaxing in the garden when he came up to me and dropped a baby bird by the side of the chair ..... it turned out to be one of the babies from our shed that had escaped under the wire door and somehow Tiggy had found it and brought it back safely. After lunch the skies had brightened up and the sun came out so we decided to take a walk to the local park with the dog. A few minutes after we arrived a group of young people came over and it turned out they were from the local council and they had managed to obtain lottery funding to provide a Play Rangers scheme for the summer hols ..... they hadn't had enough time to advertise in the schools before the end of term and we were lucky that it was our park's turn today. They had brand spanking new equipment ...... cricket, footballs, hula hoops, skipping ropes, rope swings to put in the trees, frisbees, space hoppers and boxes of craft equipment ..... just about everything to cater for all age groups. There were two other groups of children playing in the park and my lot (5 in total this afternoon) so we all got together and played non-stop cricket and ended up staying there for a couple of hours. They will be there one afternoon a week for every week of the holidays and so we will be going again and will be prepared next time with a picnic and drinks. The children really enjoyed themselves and it was free which was excellent from my point of view. When we came home they were knackered so we watched Pirates of the Caribbean and I finished off my latest bag. In a former life this denim was a pair of jeans belonging to my daughter .... I was just about to put them in the bag for the CS when I thought it would be worth seeing if they could be converted to a bag and I am so pleased with the result ..... I have lined it with Laura Ashley pink Aubrey check fabric.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Bargains galore and a productive weekend

Hope everyone is well and not fallen victim to the swine flu or any other nasties out there. I've has a nice productive weekend and feel really satisfied on a Sunday evening that a lot of odd jobs have been ticked off the 'to do' list. We have to try and get as much done as we can in the next couple of weeks because OH goes into hospital on 13 Aug to have his knee replaced and he will be on crutches for 6 weeks and probably at home for 3/4 months. The wet weather has held off round here so we managed to get some car booting in too. The garden has been tidied, redcurrants and first blackberries picked, grass cut and I must start to think of where I am going to plant my bulbs. I also managed to spend some time tidying up the small room where I dump all my craft bits and pieces and car booty bargains ..... it is also the room where the grandchildren sleep when they stay over and it was getting to the point where you couldn't see the bed!

On Friday I put my name down for some crafting and card making materials that a local Freecycler was offering .... I was delighted to get a message late this afternoon to say that I could go and collect them and this is what I came home with

Masses of papers, cards, a cutting set, glue, stickers, books, magazines .... as I childmind these are a Godsend and will keep the small people going for ages.

At the car boot this morning there was a lady with boxes of wool and fabrics from her crafting days so I had a good rummage through and came away with this stash of knitting yarn

buttons, threads - The Percy Pig sandwich maker was from another seller .... unused and a snip at £3

some lovely children's fabrics including some pretty Rose & Hubble

all that lot for a fiver .... much bargains!
I also got another load of knitting yarn yesterday so that's me sorted for the winter months.
Hope you all had a good weekend .... going to get an early night tonight ready for Day 3 of the summer hols .... I've got four children tomorrow and really have to build my energy levels for Tuesday when I have got six !!!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Summer Hols Diary Day 2

Phew ...... made it through day 2 in one piece ...... it was a mixed bag weatherwise today with sun and blue skies this morning which gave way to black clouds and rumbles of thunder this afternoon. While the littlies got on with some junk modelling this morning the older two went to the bottom of the garden to pick the rest of the redcurrants for me .... they were as happy as Larry (whoever he was !) and enjoyed it even more because the chooks were scrounging round their ankles searching for the fruit they dropped.
After lunch we visited the library where they have organised a summer reading quest .... they each got a joining pack and will get a stamp each time they return a book they have read .... when they hit targets of 6, 12 or 18 books they will qualify for a prize and today there was a treasure hunt to take part in too. I like to encourage them to continue with their learning and this is a good subtle way of getting them to read and they are enjoying themselves so much they don't realise it!!
ps forgot to mention this lovely giveaway at Shabby Chick's blog http://countryinthetown.blogspot.com/2009/07/giveaway-time.html

School Summer Holiday Diary Day 1

Well I managed to get through the first day of the hols in one piece. We had a lazy start to the day watching a Harry Potter DVD ..... all the children are shattered and we just needed to all chill out with tea and toast and TV. I also had to wait in all morning for the cooker repair man. It is quite a simple job, the element has gone in the fan oven but as per usual the largest electrical chain in the country don't keep them in stock and have to order one and they won't be back for a fortnight! If it wasn't for the fact that it is covered on an insurance policy I could buy one off Ebay for a tenner and fix it myself. Now I have to think of meals that I can either nuke or do on the hob.After lunch we decided to go to Stopsley Common ...... it is only five minutes drive away (we could walk but I have a 3 year old who is like a snail!) and as we set off the sky looked like this.
The Common is at the back of a sports centre so there are flat playing fields with a copse in the middle and then on the outskirts it drops away to open countryside and overlooks the town to one side. It is great for kite flying and taking the dog and we found that someone had made a swing on a tree in the copse so we stopped for a while. When I just have the older children and no buggies to manouvre and we can walk further there are some lovely footpaths to walk through the fields.One childminder, one pregnant daughter (due any day now) and some of the six children we had yesterday

In the copse the oak trees were already showing signs of growing their acorn fruit.
We had taken some balls and a frisby and managed to have a run around and then a drink & biscuit when to our left we noticed a huge black cloud was heading our way. Time to pack up and head back towards the car which was a good 15 minute walk away and we just made it in time before the heavens opened. At least we had managed to get a little exercise and fresh air and came home for hot chocolate and doughnuts which one of the children's mums had kindly brought for us in the morning.
It always seems to be a non-stop food fest when childminding ...... no sooner do we get one meal or snack out of the way and the little darlings are asking what we are having next! The older ones that I have are now 9 years old and are great little helpers ..... I am starting to let them help with the preparation and it is a great way of getting them to develop their team building and organisational skills.
It was 5.30 when the last child went home (the first ones had arrived at 8.00 am) so I relaxed for a while with a cuppa before having a clear up. I was just settling down with my knitting ..... I am attempting some socks at the mo using 4 double ended needles ..... when my other daughter came home and had brought my grand-daughter with her for a sleepover. No peace for the wicked is there?????? We had a snuggle and both fell asleep.

Monday, 20 July 2009

And the winner is

The draw has been made in true scientific fashion

and the winner is

Cathy at Menopausal Musing ...... please e-mail your address to lalabi_baby@btinternet.com and the bag will be in the post to you without delay
I am swapping internet provider tomorrow afternoon so this e-mail address may not be available from 1 pm onwards .... I will let you have the new one when I know what it is

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Have you ever had one of those days????

Well I have today. Everything started off fine with a little bit of bargain hunting at the only car boot on round here because it's under cover (it has been piddling down on and off all day)

This is a miniature or toy sewing machine made by a company called Grain in Nottingham who produced them in the 1940s and 50s ... it has a very heavy wooden base and is in the original box with cotton reel, instructions and spare needle ..... it's so sweet and I was going to let my Ellie play with it when she sits with her old nan when she is sewing but I'm having second thoughts now.

On our return from booting the heavens opened and it has been coming down heavy for most of the day ..... when I took the photo it was the one and only bright spot of the day. I then had an argument with number two son which rumbled on but hopefully has been resolved now. Then the oven packed up just as I was baking some bread rolls. Then a good friend popped in to say she has to go for a CT scan on her liver on Tuesday as they have found a nodule growing on it ..... needless to say she is worried sick and has the big C word in mind.

They do say bad things come in 3s so I hope that's my lot for a while.

Some good news is that my new grandson who is due to make his appearance in the next week or two may have decided to swing round in his poor mum's tum from the breech position that he has been in for the past few weeks. I hope so because she doesn't want to have a C-section. It was his big sister's 5th birthday last Thursday and the tea party was held at my house ..... I still don't think I've recovered!!!

I am a registered childminder and our lot finish school this coming Wednesday so I have to get thinking about how to entertain them for the 5 weeks that I will be looking after them all full time (some days there will be six children from 3 years to 9 here so wish me luck).

Don't forget my giveaway for this

the lucky winner will be drawn tomorrow evening. Good luck.

Monday, 13 July 2009

I'm having a giveaway .....

No particular reason. It's not my birthday or a blogisversary but it is Monday, the school holidays are fast approaching (stand by your beds mums!), it's my grand-daughter Ellie's 5th birthday this week and her new baby brother is due in two weeks!

Here is what is on offer ..... ....... one of the shoulder bags that I have been making from re-cycled vintage embroidered fabric. This one was a table cover in a previous life ..... I have lined it with Laura Ashley Abbeville fabric and it has a vintage button from the collection sent to me by Mary Poppins in a recent SSC swap.

All you have to do is leave me a comment and pass the word to your bloggy friends. I will get my Ellie to pick a name from a hat this next next Monday the 20th July. Good luck everyone.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Spoilt rotten !!

I feel like the Queen this week coz it feels like I have had two birthdays this year ... two lovely swap parcels yesterday and today another!!!!

This one is from the lovely Mary Poppins and boy oh boy have I been spoilt. Our theme for June was spots and stripes and just look at these all carefully wrapped in spottiness.

One of Mary's handmade tote bags in pink stripes with a lovely ribbon ...... a spotty apron which will come in extremely useful as I am usually such a slut and am often to be found with floury handprints on my ample thighs where I wipe them when baking ...... a beautifully embroidered heart hanger with my initial ......

Another hand made lovely blue spotty drawstring bag with more goodies inside .... a spotty notebook and pen and an enormous bag of vintage buttons ....... a crafty girl can never have too many buttons and sad thing that I am I will be taking time tomorrow to sort them into my colour coded button jam jars!

And there was more !!!!!!!!!!!!

Some stripey napkins, a striped Sarah Smith cloth (these are so lovely I don't think I could ever bring myself to clean with one), a Designer's Guild composition book with lovely striped cover and a gorgeous Winnie the Pooh door plaque personalised with my name. One day, hopefully soon, I will have a room in this house all to myself and this will have pride of place on the door.

Cor blimey Mary Poppins ....... the biggest THANK YOU ever ...... xx

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

I love posties bringing parcels

And today he came bearing two gifts .... one was my blog swap from Pam at Hortensia on Mel's Knitting/Crochet swap and the other my swap from the Shabby Chic Cafe from Fabrose. Let's not waste time on to the photos!!!

Beautifully wrapped in pink tissue with yellow ribbons .....

In my favourite colours of green and brown (how did you know that one Pam) .... a mug for my cuppa with it's own hand knit jacket to keep it from going cold to soon ..... a soft wrap for my neck for later in the year ...... a lovely notebook with handmade cover in tweed fabric with beautiful embroidered bouquet of flowers ..... a handy pin cushion (I needed another to keep by my sewing machine) and a hand crochet flower brooch. Thank you so much Pam everything is just fantastic and I am so pleased.

On to parcel number two ....

Fabrose did her homework and knew I had a yellow theme in my kitchen ..... all superbly hand made in lovely vintage fabrics ....... a peg bag ....... tea cosy with enormous teapot on the side and a pair of tea towels to match and finished with the vintage fabrics and lace. Big thanks again for a lovely swap .... just perfect!

I love doing these swaps ... it is very rewarding to give and receive and I flast is gabbered at the skill and generosity of the new bloggy friends I have made. I think now I just have Mrs Thrifty's Sleepover swap to complete this month and then I am taking a swap break because my new grandson is due in two weeks time and I must finish some projects started for him.

Take care everyone and keep blogging and swapping ...... thanks again to Pam and Fabrose xx

Monday, 6 July 2009

Aunty's Book Sale

Pop over to my blog shop .... I am having a sale of a lot of my craft books plus some other interesting ones too.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

I've been busy, oh so busy !!

I've been a busy gal this week. First of all I had joined the Crochet/Knitting swap organised by Mel on this blog http://melaniegalloway.info/ last month and the colourful crochet bag below is now up north with my lovely friendly swap partner Pam. The more I blog the more my faith is restored in human nature ..... there maybe some wierdos out there but lovely people like Pam sure make up for that and are definitely in the majority. Pam is a very keen gardener and I thought the bright colours would remind her of colourful flowers in her garden.

The first two photos are bags that I have made this afternoon. It was still hot and sunny round here but I think I've just about had enough of the heat this week so decided to spend an afternoon with the sewing machine. My bloggy friends at Shabby Chic Cafe have been turning into a load of bag ladies this week so I thought if you can't beat them join them! The first is made from a vintage piece of hand embroidered linen and is lined with orange linen. The second is a piece of upholstery fabric in shades of orange, peach and green and is again lined with the orange linen. It was a lovely easy pattern to follow and I am so pleased with the end results.