Tuesday, 1 July 2014


Clearly this month has been busy... more teeth, no sleep, and crafting bits and pieces in the very little spare time I've had. Most of the craft bits are unfinished or unphotographed, but here's what I did today.

I love making cards when I have the time, which means pretty much never these days. I looked in some local shops for cards though, and when you need three that quickly adds up. £4.50?! I don't think so, I'd rather get little presents for that price, so I did. The idea for little guy on the left just popped into my head on the walk home, and was so easy to put together. They're for some lovely neighbours of mine; one, three and five year olds all with birthdays this week, so of course I had to make the others! R was kept quiet with a nearly empty jar of chocolate spread... I'm feeling slightly guilty for the bribery, but it was great to have a quick 'I made something!' session. And I'm so proud of them!

Friday, 6 June 2014

Boxing clever

What do you do after spending a little too much on a shopping trip? Make stuff for free!
 So this is what I had, two empty boxes and a bit of packaging. To my eyes, I immediately saw a little house, especially as R is fascinated by them at the moment. Here, then is my rough and ready guide to how to make a cardboard house!
 Take the labels off the boxes. The idea is that it makes them look better, but I got bored part way thorough, so I've got a fairly random splotchy bit. At least it's not advertising a car seat now.
 Open out the roof box (or however you're going to make the roof), put it into position and draw around it.  Cut around your lines, and to try to make things a little more likely to be symmetrical, I drew round the off-cuts rather than draw more lines and wish I had a third hand.
I also found that scissors crushed the structure of the cardboard and made very rough cuts. A craft / diy bladed knife (or in my case a penknife) was much easier and made nice, easy clean lines.
Take some heavy duty glue
Make a pretty pattern (remembering to get close to corners and edges, as sometimes you need practicality over pretty, especially as this bit won't be seen).
Quickly take your damp cloth and remove the glue from your toddlers fingers (sorry, did I forget to mention you needed a damp cloth? It might even be easier to wield your glue and sharp knives while your toddler is elsewhere).
 Stick the roof box to the flaps of the walls box (hopefully you can see what I mean from the photos - there's not many words in the English language that distinguish one bit of box from another!)
I thoughts it would be fun to pretty up the roof, so I drew the rough shape then cut round some vaguely Swiss inspired twiddly bits (for my sister who's currently living in Switzerland).Here's the munchkin 'helping' with that.
Cut out a door that's the right size for your toddler and your box. Mine was about 12 inches wide, and 2 inches from the top. I hadn't even finished before R wanted to test it out!
Add some windows. Mine are 20cm square, with a 2cm wide cross section-y bit. I also left some cardboard where I will put my window box and flowers (again Swiss inspired). 
Looking much more house-like!
Take the spare bits of cardboard from the roof, and one square from the window, and cut as above (you don't need the triangle bits), and if you're a little bit cunning with your spares, you can make...
 A chimney! A bit bodged, but it looks about right. I also cut out some flowers for the window boxes.
 I cut the packaging into four, and gathered them with a bit of sticky tape to make curtains. There are no action shots of this though, as R decided her house wasn't to have curtains. She had ripped them off before I'd finished sticking them up.

And here it is! Complete with pigeon (of which we have a fair number around here, and R is always pointing out the windows at them, so her house wouldn't be complete without one!) I may yet get round to painting it, it all depends on what paints we have lurking in the garage, if I have time, and how long the house stands up to toddler play. All in all a fairly quick project, which has been a massive hit!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

On our holidays

Hence why I've not been around for a while! We had a lovely time away, first to Cardigan in Wales, then to Wells.
We stayed in a very friendly B&B in Blaenannerch, and did some exploring around that area of Wales.
Toddling on the beach.
Some lovely colours of seaweed.
The cutest sight! Chubby sandy toddler feet.
Fishguard, skimming stones didn't bother this seagull.
Watching the wavelets.
Masses of shells on the beach.
Popping the seaweed, such a memory from my childhood!
 It wouldn't be Wales without sheep!
 Such great colours.
 A glimpse of sunshine.
Look Daddy: toys!!
A classic beach scene, from a lovely holiday. Lots of time spent on the beach, introducing R to the wonders of the seaside, watching her love the sand, the waves and thoroughly enjoying spending so much time together as a family .

Monday, 19 May 2014

Woodchester park

Saturday was very busy, chopping up bits of shed, painting, making the patio usable again, so Sunday was a day to just enjoy.

I baked one of Lucy's loaves using some seeded flour, grabbed some nibbles on the way and we were all set for a picnic!

We followed the activity trail through the woods, and stopped for our picnic here. This seemed like the best spot: it wasn't on the path, it didn't involve trampling through the woods and it was pretty. The only downside was standing up from time to time when children actually wanted to use the balance beams ;)

The woods were stunning; all the beech leaves out in their spring fresh greens, and some glorious sunshine to highlight them.
It's got to be one of my favourite sights, the sun shining through baby leaves. It's one that surprises me every year, I forget just how fresh and beautiful they can be.
The park was designed by Capability Brown, and so occasionally you come across some great views.
The design style is to mimic nature rather than anything formal, and it definitely felt like a lovely natural place to be.
The mansion at the heart of it was never finished, and we didn't visit as we preferred to be outside on such a sunny day.
The field at the bottom of the valley was filled with buttercups,
and lined with cow parsley. I just love our native wild flowers, but apparently my camera doesn't as it refused to take any close-ups of them.
So here's some more gorgeously green trees.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014


Walking home from the park I got a whiff of a wonderful smell. The wind was blowing nearly enough to knock R over, and we were really rather cold, so it was a bit surprising. Even better, it was coming from my garden!

Blurred, but this is the toddler enjoying the flowers. I ended up having to prise them out of her mitts once the bashing got too much!

Amazing that so delicate a flower has such an intense smell, without getting cloying.

They're looking lovely on the mantelpiece, and the living room smells just wonderful now. 

Monday, 5 May 2014

Yarn Shop Day

Saturday was Yarn Shop Day, and so of course I had to investigate. There were many shops in the country putting on events for the day, and the Let's Knit website had a useful interactive map to help you find a local event. I left Mr P in charge of DIY, and the munchkin and I went off in hunt of the yarn shop.

Our local one (at least our good local one, one shop in our town sells about five balls) is in Thornbury. And rather good it is too! Apparently it's recently moved to a larger site (and I managed to end up at the old site first, oops) and so it feels nice and open, while still having plenty of wool.

Of course I had to come back with some souvenirs from the wool stop (yes, it's called The Wool Stop!).

I got the basket from a street stall - I love wicker baskets, so couldn't resist getting one, especially as I hadn't actually got one. The ribbon came from a gift shop, it's got elephants on it, yay! The wool is for a few projects: the stripey is for socks; the cream/brown to finish this hat, and the grey and purples for this, more elephants! Goodness know when I'll finish all these projects, I've got enough on the go at the moment.

My little helper seems to approve, though of course the wool belongs out of the basket.

Thursday, 1 May 2014


Today I had the urge to get outside in between the showers and enjoy the brief moments of sunshine. I dressed the little one in her waterproof onesie, and out we went.

Rather a looming grey sky, but it definitely made the colours jump out at you!

Cleaning the pots ready for planting. R decided that it would be fun to sit in the suds, and even more fun to eat them.

Helping with the scrubbing.

My lovely mum gave me these, and they're brightening up the wall by the patio. 

Potting on the tomatoes, sunflowers and dahlias. They'll go back into the conservatory for a bit as we're still forcast frost.

She definitely loves getting in on the action!

Time for a bit of fun! (and a peek of the slightly grubby patio)

I was so impressed with our little munchkin today. Her words are really starting to come along, but even so I wasn't expecting her to say bubble! Maybe more buh-buu, but definitely distinct and understandable, more so than many teenagers! Another thing I was not expecting at 14 months was her to be able to blow bubbles! We had fun earlier in the week learning to blow dandelion clocks, which was met with a certain amount of success... some got blown, others got too close to her mouth and she ended up with the seeds in her mouth, pleh. But bubbles are so much harder, I struggle sometimes. She managed to grab the bubble stick just right and blow the bubbles too, just the right levels of puff. Well done R, a good few bubbles blown. Wow!

Not so impressed with the state of her waterproof. That's one muddy bum! Sign of an afternoon well spent in my view.