Saturday, 12 October 2013

Clowns & Conkers at Crafty HQ

Well, another craft fair today selling my handmade soaps and other goodies, went well.... very pleased. Followed by Mr Crafty taking eldest to play centre and I (rather foolishly) volunteered myself to take youngest to a classmate's party. Oh wow. Did I regret that. I'd completely forgotten that it was quite clear on the invitation that they were having a clown. I don't like clowns. It's not a fear as such, I just don't find them funny, in any way. He did a pretty good job, kids were entertained, but I was extremely glad to get home. Thankfully they were both pretty shattered and bedtime was relatively easy tonight. Or was that because I crumpled in a heap and got Mr Crafty to do it tonight? Hmmm, probably.

So, I saw this a while ago, can't quite remember how I came across it but it's so going to be our Sunday project this weekend.....

How to make Viking Soap...

I will let you know how we get on with this one!!

Hope your weekend is a little more relaxing....

Crafty Mum signing out for now :)

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

So, it's another late night watching QI on Dave with the inevitable outcome that I will more than likely fall asleep on the sofa and wake up with a stiff neck at 3am. My sleep pattern has disintegrated again.... I'd love to be able to blame the kids, but, on this occasion, it's NOT their fault! I wouldn't mind but I know I've seen this episode before....

So, on the crafty front..... I've been busy. Little crafter is now 5 and has started school, big crafter is 6 and continues to try her hardest.... So..... this...... apparently, leaves me with something called 'free time'. Hmmm.

I am trying to make a go of my project 'Mum's A Bit Crafty' selling crafty wares as a full time job now. It's early days and I think the paperwork is driving me very slightly insane but watch this space.... I have lots of craft fairs booked coming up to Christmas so will be very busy :) :) :)

Hope all my fellow crafters and followers are all good :)

I might just turn the TV off and go to bed now...

Feedback Welcome....

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Oh My - AWOL for 12 months!

For those of you who have stuck around over the last year, waiting for another post, I applaud you. I can only apologise for the lack of input on my part. It's been a funny 12 months.

Whilst a rather long and mostly dull story, I'll try and condense it into a few basic facts.

We've spent the last year trying to get a diagnosis for our eldest daughter after she was having some 'settling in' issues at school (now in year 1) and finally happy to report we have one. Turns out she has Aspergers Syndrome which is on the Autistic Spectrum. I don't think it came as a shock to me or my better half but it will take a while for a lot of the family to get their heads round it. As I keep telling everyone, she's still our little blondie no matter what the label says. At least they don't mind so much at school now that she spends most of her day drawing pictures (when she's supposed to be writing or reading!)

So, in other news... well, not much else really. I've started doing some craft fairs to keep me busy (because looking after a 4 & 5 year old and keeping house just don't take up enough of my time)

oh, I have a new Facebook page to show my wares.... MumsABitCrafty please do visit and like if you should happen to enjoy it :)

This years batch of wine is on the go (didnt think much to last years, too much like rose for my liking)

Jam making and whatnot has been a success so far...

...and the kids made some cracking Halloween biscuits....

Hope everyone is all good and crafty :)

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Sometimes I Feel a Bit Like The Pied Piper....

I've had a tiring couple of days, little ones were not playing ball this week. In fairness my youngest has a cold and isn't being her normally compliant self and my eldest is, well, being her usual lovely but non-compliant self. On the way home from the school run yesterday when I was feeling particularly exhausted, the kids were dawdling and every now and then I glanced back to make sure they were still following me, whilst I, packhorse mum, carried all their belongings on my person back to base camp. I truly felt like the pied piper....

...and so, this leads nicely to my entry for 'Big Wall Scene Makeover'. I'd already decided I was going to enter something into this fab competition but couldn't decide what to use. I started looking through my old photos and came across this. I drew it many years ago, inspired by a wonderful fairy tale book I had as a child. I loved the illustrations in this book so much I decided to do my own take on one of The Pied Piper. Sadly the picture was destroyed in a leak we had at our old house so this photo is all I have left of it. Coincidentally, my Mum's been clearing out her loft recently and she gave me a box of books, guess what was in it?

I'm Taking Part in the Kodak Big App Challenge

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Wine-making and Children...Two Things You Dont Often Hear In The Same Sentence!

Whilst I wouldn't really consider this a craft activity it fits within my basic remit of 'fun, free,educational and useful'. I don't normally suggest the use of alcohol around children but this week I've made an exception. Together with the children's assistance, I've been making wine. My parents have a monstrous grapevine that used to give me strange body snatcher dreams in my younger years, but the grapes aren't that great for eating. My Dad suggested making some wine and in my current 'why not, I'll have a go at that' state of mind, I agreed. So, after school yesterday we went down to my Mum & Dads and the kids had a ball picking as many grapes as they could, 10kg in total. As this is my first attempt at making wine I bought a kit with all the necessary bits in to make life a little easier. After cleaning the grapes I then let my little darlings loose on the wonderful business of 'squishing'. Not wishing my finished product to taste like small children's feet I made sure their hands were VERY clean and gave them a lovely big bowl each with a suitable pile of grapes to mulch. I can honestly and quite sadly admit they haven't had this much fun in ages! What a delightfully disgusting experience it is to pop each little berry between your fingers - delicious! With all the grapes squished they were then added to a large vat containing a huge amount of sugar and a seemingly small quantity of water. Sachets of various things were added (don't ask me to get technical - there's plenty of sites for that!) and by teatime tonight it was frothing away quite nicely. Unfortunately I know I am now going to have the question every morning 'Mum, when's our wine going to be ready?'  Hmmmm, sorry kids.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

We've discovered a new hobby...

Something new for me to bore my nearest and dearest about......we've discovered foraging! I love a bargain, well, who doesn't? A freebie is better still. I've taken the kids for some lovely walks around the village recently and I noticed that there was still a multitude of jem-like berries hanging from branches everywhere. I noted these places in my mind and went back with the girls to fill our baskets with lots of lovely fruit. This is a pastime I can see continuing for some years to come, it may well become part of our family history. We returned home with purple fingers, muddy boots, pink cheeks and a lovely collection of goodies; elderberries, blackberries, sloes, damsons, rose hips, haws and crab apples.  I was itching to have a go at making something with all this lovely stuff and along with the apples from our tree in the garden, there would be plenty to have a go at. First up was hedgerow jelly which was, I have to say, a great success. I have never made jam before so this was a new venture for me. Second batch I tried apple & rose hip jelly, not so successful, set a bit hard but may be suitable for stirring into hot herbal tea and suchlike. Third attempt was a few jars of apple, blackberry & damson jam which I was pretty pleased with. My little darlings enjoyed helping throughout the process but I made sure they were well out of the way when it came to boiling up the jam or jelly, that stuff boils like hot lava! These had already been earmarked as Christmas presents so I let the children help with the labels and lids for the jars to give a personal touch.

I pinched recipes and some very helpful tips from here -  The Cottage Smallholder

All in all, a wonderful new enterprise. The girls had a great time walking around with little baskets for collecting goodies. We talked about all the hedgerow plants and which berries were edible and which ones they shouldn't touch (very important!). I let them have one of my old nature books so they could try and identify things for themselves and they soon got into it. The children helped with washing the fruit, measuring out the ingredients, stirring the fruit whilst it was reducing to a pulp and finally they decorated the finished jars. They are so proud of what we've made and they can't wait to give these little pots of goodness out at Christmas to our friends and family. I have to admit, neither can I!

I shall have to put my thinking cap on now to come up with some more Christmas gift ideas that the girls can help me make.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Summer holidays continued.....

Sorry, not been around much of late - we've been off on our hols! Sunny (or not so sunny) Cornwall and then a few days in Somerset on the way home. The kids are still full of energy from their daytrips to various places, Pony stables, Aquarium, Farm etc etc. I havent really had to use much imagination this week (as far as arranging activities for them goes) as they've been more than happy to document all the fun they've been having by putting pen to paper and drawing their adventures for their grandparents to see. They've also been happily making collages of their adventures too - my 4 year old having particular fun creating scenes from the Aquarium using scraps of paper to make seaweed and rocks.

Top Tip - I did pick up a few extra brochures of the places we visited so that when we got home they can use them in their collages / scrapbooks.

One of the places we visited on our holiday was The Eden Project - well worth a visit. The kids were quite interested in the different areas and were asking questions about the trees, plants & flowers growing. They especially enjoyed the small craft area and the outdoor water play area which are both things that can be done at home using everyday bits and bobs from around the house. We thought it was pretty good value for money too as we bought an annual gift pass which admits 1 guest free and as our kids fall into the 0 - 4 category they were free too! Book online to get a discount. If you're down that way - definately give it a go!

My youngest enjoying the water play area at The Eden Project

Hope the summer holidays are going well for you - they seem to be flying by for us!