Sunday, 31 May 2009


When I first decided to join in the giveaway, I thought it would be fab to put all the names in a hat and let Cara pick the winners. This idea soon went out of the window with the sheer amount of comments. I can not thank everyone enough for joining in and making my first giveaway so successful. I also can't wait for the next SMS giveaway!

Anyway - down to business. I'm using to draw the lucky winners - I've spent the last 15 minutes trying to work out how to copy the little results table over to here but I can't do it, so I'm afraid you are just going to have to trust me!

Winner #1 for the pattern and fabric is comment no 68 which is Jules over at MoonCat Farms meanderings. She said "Having to pick just one is Hard!! I love the August Fields collection, especially the Graceful Vines in grey. Thank you for entering me in the drawing."

Congratulations Jules - I can't wait to see the finished article!

Next up is the quilting book. The winner of this is comment no 128 who is Melanie over at Sugar Lemon. She said "I am currently working on my first ever quilt - it's a cot quilt for my youngest (7 weeks old yesterday). I'm really enjoying it so far. I'd love to be in your giveaway :)" Hope the book comes in handy Melanie and I'd love to see that quilt when it's finished.

Finally we have the cupcake cards. There are 2 sets of these.
The first winner is comment no 20 who is LFinn over at Lfinndesigns. She said "Okay, I love all of your giveaways! You are so very generous. These cupcake cards are adorable. I love cupcakes (but don't like 'big cakes'). Thanks for sharing!"

The second winner is comment no 114 who is Breanna.S over at Breanna's Knit Bits. She said "Your cupcake cards are very cute."

Congratulations everyone and thank you all for joining in. I'm still trying to visit the blogs of everyone who commented - I think it may take some time!

An hour to go!

Well it's 7.05pm here and I said I would close comments at 8pm. Less than an hour to get your comments in and be in with a chance. I've made an extra set of the cupcake cards, so there will be two draws for giveaway 3.

We went to a boot fair this morning and I picked up some bargains:

The craft magazines were 20p each, the book of paper has never been used and was the grand sum of 50p and the cards for Cara were 50p. These are brand new and have never been used. I've put them away for a rainy day!

I also got this sewing pattern for 20p which has never been used - I like the look of the skirt and one day may get around to trying it out. For that price, I couldn't leave it there!

I also got some lovely new fabric.
This has become my latest obsession, lol. It's also recycling in the best sense! These are actually mens shirts and cost me 50p each. I love the patterns and have lots of ideas on how to use them. I'm going to do some more bunting with them and I also experimented with some more cards earlier. What do you think?

I'll be back later with the giveaway winners!

Saturday, 30 May 2009

A finished project

Cara and I haven't had the best of days. She has almost perfected her 'threenager' strops but she continues to work hard on them and the attitude at times is beyond belief. If I hear the word 'now' pass her lips one more time.....

Anyway, I cunningly planned that we would take the dog out for his walk at about 4pm. Fifteen minutes into the walk she fell asleep. Yay! I transferred her to bed when we got in and got on with some sewing. Bliss.

I have been wanting to make her some personalised bunting for a long time now and tonight I finally turned my hand to it.

I'm on a real fabric 'recycle' kick at the moment - the pink gingham here was once a pair of curtains (I really should have ironed it before putting it up, but I was far too impatient!)

Here is the little minx herself.

We went to Farming World on Thursday and it appears to have become a tradition that I take a photo of her on the little boat thing they have there.

Photo 1 was taken on September 2nd 2007 (aged 1 year and 7 months)
Photo 2 was taken on March 2nd 2008 (aged 2 years and 1 month)
Photo 3 was taken on May 28th 2009 (aged 3 years and 4 months)

Friday, 29 May 2009

Blown away!

That is how I feel about the response to my giveaways! I can't believe all the comments and visitors to my little ole' blog in the past few days - it is completely amazing!

Thank you to everyone who has visited and joined in.

The giveaways are open till Sunday evening so if you haven't yet joined in, there is still plenty of time.

In the meantime, I'm still trying to make my way through everyone else's blogs. I'm trying to look at the blogs of everyone who has left comments as well as participate in other people's giveaways - I'm up to 'M' on the Sew, Mama Sew list so far - the generosity of everyone is amazing!

Good luck to you if you have joined in mine or other giveaways - the next few weeks should certainly be exciting for the people of blog land with some lovely prizes making their way to the lucky winners!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

The time has come....Sew, Mama Sew May Giveaway Day

I am so excited about joining in the Sew, Mama Sew May Giveaway Day - this is my first ever giveaway and I have decided to give three things away. I know it's not the 27th yet, but I'm so worried about not being able to post before the deadline, that I thought I'd do it now so I don't miss out (hope tht is okay!)

I've posted each one on a separate post below. All you need to do to enter is answer the question in the comment box. Please feel free to enter just one or all three - just leave a comment on each one that you would like to be entered for (I couldn't see a better way to do it - sorry).

I'm more than happy to post Internationally.

Giveaways will close at 8pm GMT on Sunday 31st May when the winners for each will be drawn.

Good luck everyone and thank you for joining in.

Giveaway #1 - Amy Butler Frenchy Bag Pattern AND fabric

First off is an Amy Butler Frenchy Bag pattern. This can be made either as a shoulder or a handbag.

Accompanying the pattern is also fabric to make the shoulder bag. There is 60cms of Kaleidoscope Dots Leaf for the main panel and straps and 140cms of Full Moon Polka Dot in Lime for the lining, pockets and exterior top (the lady in the shop helped me calculate the amount, so it should be right!)

Of course, you don't have to use the fabric for the bag, but I know that whenever I get a new pattern, I just want to get started on it straight away, so thought it would be nice to give the fabric as well as the pattern.

To enter this giveaway just leave a comment telling me your favourite Amy Butler fabric. Easy!

Giveaway #2 - Learn to Quilt book

Next up is a book titled 'Learn to Quilt'. I have recently started on my first ever quilt, so I thought it might be nice to offer this. Of course, you might be an experienced quilter - there are lots of lovely pictures and inspiration in this!

To enter this giveaway just leave a comment telling me who your next quilt is for - is it your first ever quilt? Who is it for? Yourself? Someone special? Is it a gift?

Giveaway #3 - Something hand made by me!

Finally, giveaway number 3 is something I've handmade (please be gentle with me....I only got my sewing machine at Christmas!) This is a set of 5 hand made Cupcake cards. Each card measures approx 5" x 5" and comes with an envelope. It is blank inside for your own message.

To enter this giveaway just leave a comment below. No question for this one!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Busy weekend

I can't believe it is Monday already! Because it's been Bank Holiday, it still seems like Sunday to me. We've managed to cram so much in!

On Saturday, we went to Chessington. We very nearly didn't make it after H and I had an argument but we got there in the end. Cara had a fabulous time for the most part. There was one or two rides she didn't like (Professor Burp's Bubble Works being one of them!) but she fell in love with a dragon:

and came away as a lion!

Yesterday we spent the morning at a local boot fair, where she got lots of 'new' toys at bargain prices. We then spent the afternoon in the garden, where she played for three hours with two of her cousins. I think much fun was had by all - especially when we painted hands and feet on a large sheet of rolled out paper!

Today, we went to the beach. As a child, we spent every weekend camping at Romney Marsh. We used to come home from school on a Friday, get straight in the car and we'd be off. We would go with my aunt and uncle and several cousins and we would just have a fantastic time. My memories are full of our camping trips. As an adult, we've made a few trips back down that way, but this was the first time we'd taken Cara. When we got there it was raining and really blowing. We walked along the beach, but she really didn't like it.

We went into the amusements instead and as soon as she saw the soft play area, she was off.

It gave the weather a chance to brighten up a little, which then meant we could go on some rides.

She then decided she wanted to go back on the beach and build a sandcastle, but when we got back there, the tide had come right in and there wasn't a single bit of sand in sight. She wasn't too pleased!

We ended up driving down the road, but all that was there were pebbles. We ended up bringing a bucket full home so she could paint them!

I think a return trip very soon may be on the cards!

I was going to post my Sew, Mama Sew Giveaway this evening as I'm so worried about missing the deadline (I can't work out time differences and want to make sure I've posted it by the time I should!) but the two hour season finale of 24 starts in 8 minutes and I don't want to miss that! So, come back tomorrow for the giveaway. I have three things that will be up for grabs!

Hope everyone else has had a good weekend.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Trying to be organised

The deadline date for posting the Kids Mail Swap is Monday. It's a bank holiday here, so none of the post offices will be open. We are hoping to go to Chessington on Saturday, so ideally we need to post our letters on Friday. We've got 2 all done and ready to go, but Cara needs to finish the other 3 off. She seems to have a short attention span for learning to write, lol!

The sign ups for the seaside swap don't close till Friday, so I don't yet know who my swap partner will be, but I've already been thinking hard and have lots of ideas. I got so carried away with it all that I even started making something, which kind of feels a little like cheating as I don't even 'know' them yet. Anyway, I'm pleased with the progress of it so far, but as this (along with the mail swap) is the first swap I've been involved in, I'm getting myself all in a pickle, hoping that they don't hate it or think it's not very good. Anyway - here's a tiny tiny sneak preview.

I've also been thinking ahead to the Sew Mama Sew May Giveaway Day. Again, because of bank holiday on Monday and Saturday being taken care off, I have limited time to decide what to give away, photo it, post it etc, etc. So this afternoon, I paid a visit to my most favourite fabric shop in the world and decided what to give away. Again, being my first give away, nerves are setting in. What if people don't like it and don't comment? What if people just don't visit let alone comment? Too much to think about!

Anyway....I've decided to give away two things for definite, maybe a third thing if I can make something I'm happy with by next week. Do you want a sneak preview? Oh, go on then, twist my arm!

I'd be more than happy to enter a give away for either and even more happy to actually win one of them. I just need to decide on the specifics of it all now!

While I was in the shop, this was there as a new addition. Polka dots. What more can I say?

Cara fell asleep on the way home again today. But not before telling me that she wants to go on an aeroplane. "So do I sweetheart" I sighed wistfully. She went on to ask a million questions about them. "How do we get on aeroplane because it's high in the sky?" "Do we sit down on the aeroplane?" "Do we wear a seat belt?" "Why?" "How does it get in the sky?"

I think it's amazing how thier brains work. I also think it more amazing that this time a year ago she was speaking only in single words and only had about 20 of those and was referred for speech therapy. Who would have thought it now listening to her?

(Please excuse the dummy - it is something we are working on getting rid of)

Finally - viv of Concept Design Form - if you see this, I need your address to send you something for the Pay it Forward (I can't see a way to e-mail you via your blog or web page)

Sunday, 17 May 2009

The Farm....the one with the big sand pit

Cara had a day off from her swimming lesson yesterday and so we went out for the day. I took her and my two neices to Godstone Farm. "The one with the big sandpit?" Cara asked when I told her. It was, so she was happy. Although she did mention, "it takes hours to get there". It doesn't - only about 40 minutes.

The weather forecast wasn't the best and that coupled with the fact we got there about 10 minutes after it opened, meant it was nice and quiet. We started off in the soft play area and other than one little baby in the toddler area, they were the only 3 in there. They loved it!

We went on a tractor ride

And walked to the adventure playground

Where we played in the large sand pit

and played on all the equipment

We saw pigs

and piglets


and sheep



and more goats (goats are my favourite!)

Today, we topped it all off by making cakes.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Justice: served

Jury Service is over.

Thank goodness. I fully understand the necessity of it and to start with, I did find it very interesting, but for these past few days, I have been going out of my mind. Part of the reason is that I just wanted to be back at work - we got the message last Friday that Ofsted were coming Wednesday and Thursday of this week and although in some ways it was nice not to be there for that, in so many other ways, I did want to be there - if nothing else, just to support my colleagues. Anyway, it's over now and I still haven't heard how it went. I think speculation was that it was going to be 'satisfactory' rather than 'good'. Oh well.

Anyway...on to happier things.

I have signed up for Sew, Mama Sew's May Giveaway Day. They hosted one back in December and by the sounds of it, it was great. If you want to join in, sign up ends on May 25th and you need to post your giveaway by May 27th. I have an idea about what I'll be giving away, but check back here to join in on the 27th!

Mary over at Still Waters commented on my post earlier in the week that no-one has yet signed up for her Pay it Forward. Go on - head on over there and join in the fun (although that said, I still have one space in my own PIF!) She posted about a fantastic bag that she made, so who knows what she'll send you in the PIF, but if the bag is anything to go by, it will be something great!

Lastly, we received the names of our swap partners in the Kids Mail Swap and we are so excited about putting our letters and things together. We have 4 in Australia and 1 in America, so how cool will that be to receive post from so far away! (I just hope the children like what we decide to send - I always get so nervous about these things!)

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Dragon massacre and boot fair bargains

Today didn't get off to a good start at all.

For the past 16 years or so, I have been collecting Pocket Dragons. I have about 60 in a display cabinet, hidden away in the bedroom. I have even managed to train Cara to look but not to touch. This morning, at approximately 6am, my husband decided he needed to move the cabinet. I have no idea why, but rather than carefully considering his options and then gently pushing it one way and then the other so as to move it slowly and precisely, he grabs hold of the back and tilts it forward.

I was still half asleep when he started this mission, however the clatter of my precious dragons hitting the glass and being thrown about inside the cabinet was enough to fully wake me up. I screamed his name, sat up on the bed, eyes wide open and mouth agape. I must admit it was his words next rather than his actions that tipped me over the edge. "Don't be so dramatic" he told me. I burst into tears. "That's 16 years of my life there" I told him. "People have bought me those as presents for different reasons because they remind me and them of certain things." He walked off in a huff. I surveyed the damage to find that he had managed to break 3 of them. Cara came into the bedroom and asked me, "what's wrong mummy? Why are you crying?" She tried to help me pick them all up, bless her. A damn sight more sympathetic than H was.

A short while later he did apologise (in a begrugingly and half mumbled way) and told me he would replace them ("How?" I questionned him knowing they stopped producing them a few years back "Ebay?" he asked me) He knew he was well and truly in the dog house.

We got ready and headed to a local boot fair. As a child, I was bought up on boot fairs - they were still a relatively new thing back then I think and mum and dad often reminisce about some of the boot fairs we went to when my brother and I were small. As I grew up, I soon realised they were a fantastic way to make my pocket money go further (plus dad always gave me a little extra when we got there!). When I hit my late teens, I tended not to go as much - instead of getting up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning, I was instead reaching the point where that was the time I was going to bed after a Saturday night out! I still used to give mum and dad a 'shopping list' of things to look out for though! As an adult, and now especially as a parent, they are a firm favourite for a way of saving money.

Anyway - after the dragon massacre, one of the first stalls we looked at had a collection of none other, than some Pocket Dragons for sale. H said it was fate and bought the lot for me. I kind of thought I should forgive him at that point!

I also bought this book for 10p. I used to read these as a teenager and loved them. My mum commented recently that I am a very sentimental person and it's true I am. I love collecting anything from my childhood, books I read, toys I had, etc. In the back of my mind I guess I would love it if Cara wanted to read them when she's older, but I won't force them on her. For now, they sit in my study (collecting dust!)

I also got two more books - they were both 50p. What a bargain! The paper one is for me to have a look through and I got the knitting one for someone I 'know' (an Internet wierdie!) who loves knitting. I e-mailed her to see if she wanted it and she said it was on her Amazon wishlist, so that's good then!

We spent the afternoon in the garden, planting some new things and tidying up. So, not too bad a day after a very shakey start!

Friday, 8 May 2009

Friday night sewing

The news came today that Ofsted are going to be paying us a visit next Wednesday and Thursday. I'll still be on Jury Service. How lucky am I? I think we've been expecting them for a fair while and I think they've choosen a good time (for us - or at least my colleagues!) to come. Our Year 10s will be on work experience and our Year 12s left for study leave today. It's the people who have a full 6 lessons on those days with all Year 7, 8, 9 and 13 teaching (like my Head of Faculty!)

So, I decided I *needed* to do some sewing this evening. I made cards.

I hadn't been planning on making cards, but the Kid's Mail Swap got me thinking and half an hour later, they were done.

Made entirely out of scraps. I think a zig zag stitch may have been better, but I'm not very good at zig-zag and plus I quite like the 'rustic' feel to them.

Look familiar, lol?