Friday 30 December 2011

I made sloe gin for the first time this year. (Nigel Slater's recipe here) I don't know why I haven't done it before as it is very easy and most delicious. It is just sugar, gin and sloes. I bought the sloes in Greenwich, but next year I will go and pick them near where my Dad lives. I put the bottles in the back room and turned them every so often. Now it is sweet, syrupy and intoxicating. I wonder what it would be like mixed with champagne.
I also made crocheted washcloths which I wrapped in pretty tissue paper and cellophane packets. I made some gift tags and cards with embossing powder and ink stamps. I don't think I could manage a whole handmade Christmas but little bits are fun.

We are off to Holland for new year. Euro star first thing in the morning-most exciting!

Happy New Year!

Thursday 29 December 2011

Post Post

In my journal nothing much was happening. Until, that is, the Christmas post started to arrive, with its exciting stamps and postmarks. I scraped some ink onto pages and started to stick in all the things that took my fancy. After the day itself I added some of the tags and ribbon too. This mosaic has the lovely Jessie, on the envelope of the card from Linda and Becky in Greece. Today's post has a recycled princess and the pea bed for her. There are also some Dutch stamps from my friend Sarah who we are off to visit on Saturday.

Pretty and religious stamps-and helpful information in the postmark.

A lovely Canadian stamp from Kat.

A page trying out a tree stamp (of the other kind!) from Clare.

A sticky label from a delicious lunch in Leon in Bluewater.

A handmade tag from Cleo.

Doing this is also good for combating my hoarding instincts-stick in the pretty stuff and recycle the rest-every little helps!

Before I go, have you seen Retronaut? I have subscribed to it, so get at least one fascinating email a day. It is such a great site.
Also this is very sweet. The geese think the microlight man is their mother!

Tuesday 27 December 2011

Christmas Animals

Sadie as Santa.
Bert and Ernie as Oliver.
Sadie as Circus dog.

Christmas Socks

Christmas tea towel.

Saturday 24 December 2011









x x x x

Friday 23 December 2011

Treat Addict

We have spoiled Cassie and now she is a little monster, determined to get treats at all hours of the day. She is getting a little fat belly. The treats have to stop. This is day three of limiting the treats. Yesterday was day two and she was very angry. Poor Cassie, it is not her fault. Today she is less cross and has given up begging a little more quickly. At the moment she is in her favourite spot on her sheepskin rug. It is hard to say no to such a cutie, but we have to be strong! I am playing with her a lot to try to distract her, and also as she is a bit house bound at the moment, as she seems to have gone off of winter weather.


Thursday 22 December 2011


A speed awareness course took all of Monday. I should not have been doing 36 mph in a 30 zone, so I went willingly. It means I do not get points on my licence, and also that I am now aware of a few things I didn't know before, and which have made me more careful than maybe I was before. It is always good to think about things more carefully for a change and I am doing so.
Tuesday was work-from the morning until the evening. Planning and assessment. I took a break and ended up tidying the kitchen drawer and cupboard. Does anyone really need 10 packets of fuse wire? I was amazed there were so many! The last week of school was a blur-school production-went fine, sorting out the problem I mentioned-went ok-not perfect but the best I could do. Next time I will just refer the people concerned to the head as I feel some things are just not my job. School Christmas do on Friday-not great-a comedy club but the comedy was not very good. Drank too much, walked home and felt really ill all day Saturday. Saturday night was a friend's party which I enjoyed-didn't drink too much so felt ok on Sunday-just exhausted!
Wednesday-Christmas shopping and wrapping. Today Christmas shopping and lunch with friends.
All this adds up to no blogging time and no real inclination either. I have had lots of things in my mind to share and just did not have any energy. I also have not really visited much this week either. I am hoping to rectify all this tomorrow and over the weekend. I am looking forward to Chirstmas day as it should be relaxing. I hope that everyone has had a good week and look forward to catching up!

Wednesday 14 December 2011


Glittery and faded. Cassie nosying around as I was taking photos the other day. A bus speeding past the New Wine Church in Woolwich. Their Christmas light display is amazing. They dress up the whole art deco building with fountains of lights and the holy family on the roof. Here, they are the silhouette at the front of the bus.

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Monday 12 December 2011


A moment to breathe and look at the sunrise, the seagulls and the red cranes.
To paint a face-or at least look back on one painted.
She looks serene, which is almost how I feel-maybe on Friday!

Such a relief after the mad rush that was today. The production went ok-I was the only one that made a mistake-due to sudden overload of things to do-but we coped and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I have half sorted out my problem and need to plan carefully what to do next-but the difficult part of today is over!

Thanks for all the encouragement yesterday-it helped!

Sunday 11 December 2011

Weekend Things

The weekend started with watching "The Lake House" on Friday night. I have not seen it before and it was most upsetting wondering what would happen and being convinced he had died, and having to wait to the very last second to find out what had happened. There were some inconsistencies but I enjoyed it.
Saturday morning started with a twenty person queue in the post office (where you pick up undelivered parcels) which I couldn't face and left very quickly. I was there behind three people the other day and it took about twenty minutes. Twenty people doesn't bear thinking about. It continued with a party which was most enjoyable and where I received good advice about a tricky problem I have at work at the moment. I have spent most of the weekend mulling over this problem and planning how I am going to deal with it tomorrow. I can't wait to get it out of the way so I can stop worrying!
I read the first chapter of "Middlemarch'' again after talking to our niece about her university work. She has to read "Jane Eyre", "Middlemarch" and "Great Expectations" over the holiday and she was not looking forward to "Middlemarch". I have only ever read the first chapter and would like to continue as I enjoyed it last night.

Today was spent sorting out the messy house, washing and ironing and then going to buy a tree. I didn't want one last year but this year it seemed a good idea again. It is a lovely tree, and after all the sorting out, hoovering, sawing (a bit off the bottom and a bit off the side to make it fit in the holder) it now looks beautiful in here. I found the peg person nativity I made the year before last and also got out the lovely habitat lights I bought in the after Christmas sale last year.

The cats have been mainly loving, and today, mainly asleep. In this picture Tiger, on the right, came along after Cassie, and kind of sat on her and slid down into a comfortable snuggle.

Tomorrow, as well as dealing with my problem, it is the day of the Christmas performance. We have spent a while making our own shakers, and the production starts with the Shaker Rap.

''We made our shakers and we'll show you how they SHAKE!!!

We made our shakers and we'll show you how they SHAKE!!!

They shake LOUD!!!

They shake quiet.

They shake HIGH!!!

They shake LOW

They shake FAST!!!

They shake low"

The kids have been rehearsing for about two weeks now and it has been fun. They are all great-just hope they don't go shy! At the beginning they all start off on my carpet and they walk round to the other carpet shaking their shakers. I thought it would be a fun and dramatic start to the whole thing.

Below are my own shakers I have made at home. The ones I have made from bottles I will take into school as the children are taking theirs home. The shakey eggs are an ongoing project and too delicate for the nursery I think. I have really enjoyed all the collaging of these shakers.

I hope your weekend has been fun or productive or both. Have a good week.

Thursday 8 December 2011

The Giveaway That Time Forgot

A strange photo of Cassie's back leg that made me laugh the other night. The brown thing is the very expensive 'El Gato', a cloth cigar of the finest cuban catnip known to cat, and a very popular choice in toy, so much so that we have three, though I don't know where they all are. All the cats have lots of aliases. One of Cassie's is Pip Pip-which stems from her energetic and mad little personality. This has developed into Pippi and then Pippi Long Paw-can you see why?!

Anyway, the giveaway. Time may not really have forgotten it, but I did. I remembered last night, and wrote all the names on pieces of post-it. Cassie knocked most of them on the floor this morning-if she had knocked four I would have chosen those, but unfortunately she can't count, and had also forgotten about the giveaway. Anyway, I picked four tonight and here they are!
Linda Sue
Please email me your addresses and I will send your little book off soon. I hope you like them!

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Monday 5 December 2011

Woolly Spring

If it is cold outside it doesn't matter, as it is Spring inside. Crochet flowers-big on reward and small in effort-so quick! I had to use double crochet stitch as well as single and now I get it! What to do with them? Garlands, blankets, weird woolly swimming hats, scarves,

Christmas tree decorations, hairclips, brooches, keep them in a bag and forget about them?

Sunday 4 December 2011

Not the Dickens Christmas Market

What seemed like a good idea, turned into a four hour round trip in the car, with the only stop a Tesco Extra in Rainham. The Dickens Christmas Market in Rochester was what we had intended to visit, and we really should have turned around when we hit the queue just off of the motorway. But we persevered, only to find that we had to drive straight through Rochester as it was heaving! There were police directing the traffic and we could see a huge crowd in the High Street. I caught a glimpse of a Dickensian looking top hat and then we were off! We just kept on going, as we didn't want to queue all the way back through Rochester. We saw some very interesting buildings up on the hill in Chatham. We kept going and ended up having a drive through some tiny and very pretty country lanes. We saw sheep, horses, wild birds and men on a shoot. We saw glimpses of the river Medway in the distance looking steely blue, and we drove past the most amazing house with an orchard in the front garden. No photos though as we didn't stop. The Tesco Extra on the way back to the motorway was where we eventually did stop. We needed to do our Saturday shopping and thought we might as well do it here. I do like to visit an unfamiliar, out of town supermarket every so often.

This strange sign in the carpark, like a water tower, was what we followed. Very useful.

The industrial ceiling of the cafe where we had a very tasty Christmas dinner type meal.

Comfort baking was called for. Blueberry muffins. Very tasty!

The day turned out ok considering it was not what we wanted to do, but I couldn't help feeling a little cheated!

Friday 2 December 2011

Rosebud and Robots

Lots of dolls seem to be called Rosebud. I have two and they are very similar. I am not sure if it is a make of doll or if it is their little rosebud lips. This doll came with no clothes on. Tonight I finished her little crochet dress and made her a red silk petticoat. I also made her wired tissue paper wings so she can be a fairy on the tree or somewhere else if we don't get one. I need to make her a wand and then she is complete. I couldn't decide if I liked the black and white or colour photos better.
She looks like a little 1930s film star to me.

On a different subject, I can't believe my eyes when watching these Asimo robots. I am sure you all have seen them, but there was one on QI tonight, and in the end I could not make myself believe it was not a person in a suit. Amazing-and chilling in equal measure.

Asimo avoids a person.

Asimo plays football (it made me laugh how the human misses the ball in Asimo's first go!)

Nao Thriller

Qrio robots dance salsa

People dressed as robots get out of a Nissan and dance robotically

Thursday 1 December 2011

Through the Looking Perspex

Do you remember when I cut through the hedge of thorns, to let the children see what was going on, on the other side of the big blue fence? Then the builders piled a big pile of dirt in front of the view I had created? Well, the next thing they did was to build another big blue fence, running all the way along between what is left of Forest School, and the building site, thus cutting off the view again. But, after polite requests, one of the builders came to cut us two windows. He came to my carpet in the morning, and asked for an 'average child' to measure. E. obliged. I did ask if there would be a window for an 'average adult' but was told I would have to crouch down! Anyway, it is great that we can now see. This week things have moved on, and a drill for a giant has arrived, and is making its way around, drilling big holes.

As it is December 1st, it was an appropriate day to decorate the tree which was delivered to Nursery yesterday. Dion did it this afternoon, with the help of the children of course, and they managed to make it look very Victorian.

Just before I left tonight, I looked a little closer at the tree and was amused to see the poor fairy clinging on in a most undignified manner! I shall rescue her tomorrow.

Wednesday 30 November 2011

Japanese Things

It was the second strike over pensions for public sector workers today. I should really have gone into town and rallied, but I was too tired really, so had a quiet day at home. I had to do some work, which is not really in the spirit of the stirke, but it is in the spirit of having little other time to do it. After that I went to the shops for tissue paper, string and felt. All sorts of crafting is going on at the moment-crochet wash cloths with ribbon hangers to be wrapped around lovely French soaps, another attempt at double crochet-more successful, and one at a Granny square (big failure!), and a little crochet dress of my own pattern, shakey eggs -egg shells, filled with rice, covered in tissue paper and varnished, and soon to be made felt pictures/needle books inspired by the Japanese craft book below. Some are for presents and some are not.
I took a few photos around the house in the sunny morning-a treat to be here in the sunny morning as normally at this time of year I am not here in daylight, apart from at the weekend.
I like the picture below so that is the one I am sharing. A little old Kokeshi doll from Rye and his surroundings.

This is the craft book. It is so sweet and whimsical. There is a girl dressed up as Red Riding Hood in some of the pictures-sometimes she is normal sized but accompanied by giant felted animals, sometimes small-sitting amongst a miniature scene.

There is so much in it, and the fact that I can't read it is ok, as the pictures are inspiration enough. Fairy tales seem to be the main theme and there are lots of animal inspired objects. I love these silhouette fairy tale pictures and am attempting one of those. Hence the felt.

I have cut out the shape and think I will glue it rather than sew it as I don't want the stitiches to show on the back.