Sunday, 29 June 2008

Pass the aspirin - and a giveaway

We've had fourteen extremely well behaved little people here for a belated birthday party today (hence my silence this week - I've been sewing metres and metres of bunting). Either they are growing up, and better able to entertain themselves a bit, or we are far more organised these days, but whatever the reason, it was a fun way to spend a sunny afternoon. It has always rained for this event in the past, and we thought we had blown it by choosing the weekend of both Wimbledon and Glastonbury, but the weather was kind and our gamble on having a garden party paid off. I usually curse our small and shady garden but it really comes into its own on days like this.

Anyway, we threaded beads, had a treasure hunt and painted stones:

We danced to High School Musical and Hannah Montana (give me strength) and feasted on our traditional cheese number biscuits and the new (but definitely to be repeated) ice cream cupcakes.

The birthday girl asked for Nigella's bee cake, but I have to say it looks better than it tastes - way too rich, which is not something you will hear me say frequently. Last time I made this, Winnie the Pooh perched on it but they're far too sophisticated for that now! (Anna, this pic is for you - sorry it wasn't a sunnier one!)

And now to the giveaway. I managed to miss both my 150th post and my 1 year blogiversary - how very careless - but now I present - tada! Party bags. Lined, appliqued and named!

I was so pleased with these - pure self indulgence but the little ones seemed to like them. I have two left over, complete with home made hairclips and other party goodies, and I would like to give them to two of you. Leave a comment here if you'd like one, and I'll draw two names on Wednesday. If I have the appropriate letter beads I'll name it for you, and will include a couple of extra bits and pieces from my stash.

If you have a strong preference for uber-girly pink spots, or for mad Ikea-ness, pop that in your comment and I'll try to do something sane to sort it out.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Now we are six

Our gorgeous Tall Small turned six this week. She had a lovely day full of presents and laughing, two hours in the swimming pool after school, and fish & chips and Malteser cake for her birthday tea:

Miss Tiny Small chose a lurid plastic Polly Pocket pool set to give to her big sister (we all know who *really* wanted it!) while I was thrown into a flat spin by her casual bedtime mention that "I will have a birthday badge to wear to school, won't I Mummy?" Now, that's a challenge I couldn't resist. I knew there was a reason I bought those needle felting supplies ...

And for the birthday party next week, I HAVE to make these!

Happy Birthday to my funny, clever, cuddly, cheeky bookloving monkey!

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

When will I ever learn?

I always do this. I plan to make a gift for someone at the last minute, I take a simple pattern, and think of all sorts of ways to fiddle with it and change it around, and inevitably the 'quick project' takes all day, the air turns blue and I end up scrapping it.

I decided to add a cash pocket to Amy Karol's No Cash Wallet. Oh dear. Oh. Dear.

Poor credit cards don't like being treated this way,

and just LOOK at how badly it lines up.

Bah. Back to the drawing board. I will suss it, but for this time I ended up making something else.

Fortunately, some other ladies were having good craft times, and I received this gorgeous selection from Michelle's Animal Fair Button swap. I think I am going to just keep these and stroke them ocasionally ;-)

Thursday, 12 June 2008

What a difference a day makes

Tracy and Ruth both tagged me recently; I've done a few memes, so I thought I'd cheat a bit and only answer one question - What were you doing 10 years ago?

Well, ten years ago last weekend I was celebrating my thirtieth birthday in a fabulous restaurant (sadly now closed) in upstate New York. Forward to the present, and this weekend we celebrated my birthday in a tent! Yes, we finally got with the program and made it out to the Featherdown Farm in Norfolk.

(Obligatory shot of children sleeping in the cupboard bed)

Friday night and Saturday were wet - so wet that we ran out of clean dry clothes for the tiny mudlarks who came to the tent with us, and even had the "Shall we go home to dry out and come back in the morning?" conversation. But we stayed.


Saturday evening looked like this:

By Sunday morning, a complete transformation:

And all of a sudden we started to realise why people have been raving about this place. Masses of chickens, calves dancing in the field just behind our tent, truly free range pigs - as in not in a field! There were issues, I won't pretend there weren't but I think they were probably specific to this farm rather than the concept as a whole. The farmer, Ben, and his wife, Diane, could not have been more friendly; the smalls went round telling everyone on the farm it was my birthday and in the evening they went off to the farm shop and arrived back with this:

Diane had baked a cake for me and let the smalls come into her kitchen to ice and decorate it. It was delicious and big enough to share with the other campers!

But the best part was seeing my often-shy little girls head off to befriend the other children, splash in the huge quantities of mud and just roam about in the tent field.

Bye then, girls!

Monday, 9 June 2008

Mini quilts!

We have been away for a looooong weekend - more on that tomorrow - and it turns out our timing was bad because both my quilts from Lucy's mini swap turned up arou d the same time. Lucy's arrived just as we were leaving, and Rachel's was waiting for me on our return. I have taken some rather rushed pictures because I have to show these to you NOW. My words will not do them justice ...

This is Rachel's - I love the colours, the stitching, the whole shebang. I have to hide this from the small cookies because they are rather fond of pink and butterflies and they are NOT having this one.

This is 'just' the label:

And here is the one Lucy made - she has sewn a picture of me making dottycookies in my kitchen! (Those of you who have seen the mess I usually make in the kitchen can pipe down right about now). Thank you, Lucy - I adore her!

Though you have pitched my prices worryingly low ...

PS Thanks for the piggy photo love last week. Though I wish I could take credit for it, I have to confess it was one Mr DC took. I should also add he took ten more that were RUBBISH. I realise I am being uncharitable, so even though it pains me to admit it, I must say he is the king of (pig) photography in this household. Ha!

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Old Macdonald had a farm

Today was Open Farm Sunday so along with half the village we trundled along to our local LEAF farm for an afternoon of carrot sketching,

pig watching,

ice cream eating, tractor riding and scarecrow making.

We were treated to fly-pasts from Duxford Spitfires, and met a world champion baker. All for the princely sum of zero pennies. We were in good company, as Ruth and David Archer opened their farm today too!