(Sooo many loose ends to sew in! Crochet heart bunting in progress based on Julia Crossland's pattern!)
Happy Saturday to you.
I expect a lot of you with children will be languishing in the enjoyment that is a week of half term ahead. Well, we're coming to the end of ours so homework is being completed, uniform is drying on the radiators and I'm trying not to think about the 6:16am starts. :-(
Anyhow, thought I'd use this opportunity to do a little blog housekeeping and tie up a few loose ends.
Firstly, thank you very much to those girlies offering to take part in my PIF giveaway. For ease and, I hope, fairness, I shall select the first three:-
Yay! If you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me have your addresses, I shall be sending you something Heathermade in the forthcoming months.
Secondly, one of my very first and bestest blogging buddies, the lovely Kayleigh at Love 2 Illustrate, tagged me with the following seven 'Meme' questions:-
1. What is your favourite book?
Definitely this one ...
2. What is your most treasured childhood memory?
I had a happy childhood and treasure all my memories as they come back to me. I treasure the memory of the freedom we had, going out for adventures down by the river and returning home only when we were hungry. I treasure the memory of the constant company of my three brothers. I treasure the memory of the pebble lino floors and peppery smell of the house we used to rent by the beach once a year and the rose petal perfume I made with my Gran. Most of all I treasure the memory of always feeling safe and loved.
3. Have you got a favourite holiday destination, and if so, why?
Marbella, Spain. Sun, beach, wine, clams. 'Nuff said!
4. What is your favourite day of the week and why?
I love Sundays which are very much family days.
Then again, I always enjoy my Mondays when everyone is despatched and the day is my own.
5. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names?
Bertie Boo the chocolate working cocker spaniel.
6. What would your ideal job be?
Greg Wallace's on Masterchef.
7. Do you have a favourite artist/designer/illustrator?
Lauren Child is, in my opinion, a genius. Her illustrations cleverly appeal to children and adults alike.
Nostalgically it would have to be Shirley Hughes' charming illustrations.
I should also like to mention an artist called Lucia Stewart who I discovered some years ago selling her ACEOs (tiny collectable art originals) on eBay. I adore her style and should so love to be able to paint like she does. She has since moved to Shanghai. I'm lucky enough to be the owner of a couple of her originals featuring her wonderful creation, Stressie Cat.
Now I am to think of seven questions of my own and ask them of seven people so ...
Being a nosey bugger, I should love to know the following:-
1. Have you ever been in the newspaper? If so, why? 2. If you were given £1000 which you had to spend which would be the first shop/s you'd head to? 3. Is there a skill you wish you had? 4. What was your favourite sweet as a child? 5. What is your favourite time of the year? 6. If you were marooned on a desert island with a celebrity, who would you like it to be? 7. When did you last cry?
That's all for now. The uniform on the radiators is nearly dry so, if I can bring myself to bear the excitement, I'm off to iron!
A little while ago I was lucky enough to be one of the winners of Me Plus Molly'sPay It Forward giveaway. I've often lusted after Kirsty's beautifully embellished 'textile treasures' so you can imagine my unrestrained delight when her parcel came in the post ...
Feast your eyes on this gorgeous purse (which is simply perfect Kirsty) ...
and this lavender heart ...
They are absolutely gorgeous!
Kirsty, thank you soooooo much, I am delighted and an even bigger fan than I was before! ♥
Now it is my turn to Pay It Forward. I will send something handmade by me to three people, who should then go on to give something handmade to another three people. That's the only 'rule' but you've got twelve months in which to do it.
As you know I'm a bit of a crafty butterfly but I suspect it will either be a painting or a piece of my jewellery or maybe both. If you'd like to take part, please leave a comment saying so and give me an idea of the theme you'd like your gift to take (green, butterflies, summer, vintage, etc.) and I will randomly-ish select three. :-)
It looked so cosy and inviting last night bathed in the warm glow from the lamp, I leapt gazelle-like(!) up the stairs in my pyjamas and got my camera so that I might show you.
When I've had enough of the day, good or bad, there is nothing on earth as desirable as waiting pyjamas and the bliss of bed.
I love sleeping too! I am a great believer in the healing/recharging power of sleep and am lucky enough to sleep very easily, quite deeply.
Other than sleep, I crochet in bed, internet shop and browse your blogs, do my crosswords, write lists and watch television or films.
This all-consuming stressful life we lead these days needs to be countered with a relaxing pyjamas/duvet day from time to time. I insist on them. The blondies love it when I declare one. It now being half term (yay), we will naturally be holed up for at least one day this week, pottering in our comfies.
Back to my bed. May I introduce you to my bears, Rummage (on the left) and Valentine (on the right)?
I rescued Rummage from a jumble sale about twenty years ago (I spent a lot of my youth in fusty-smelling church halls picking through other people's cast-offs - hmm, nothing changes).
Valentine was a gift to me from Mum and Dad on the eve of my wedding day. Handsome hubby and I got married on Valentines' Day in 1998.
I love to have flowers on my bedside table. Whenever I buy a bunch of flowers, I always carefully select a couple of stems for my thrifted bedside jug.
My bedside table is unstaged owing to my spontaneous photo shoot but I think it sums me up pretty well! Slightly dusty and a nice cluttered mix of the necessary and unnecessary!
There's normally also a cold half-drunk cup of tea there too (if you look closely you can see the ring)!
Anyway, I may show you the rest of my bedroom in another post. I love to nose around other people's homes so you might hopefully be inspired to do the same!! :-)
Before I pootle off, totally unrelated, I've found this brilliant website I thought I'd share. If, like us, you or your little ones love colouring, Doodle Art has the most brilliant free doodle colouring pages to print out. Perfect for rainy half term afternoons!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend ... yippee, Downton Abbey tonight!
The scene was set; the radio was humming quietly in the background, Nigella's recipe was laid flat on the table with it's reassuring 'easy peasy lemon squeezy' instructions and all the ingredients were present and correct - I was frankly the picture of domestic bliss.
Well I won't bore you with the details suffice to say the first attempt resembled a pancake. Couldn't get it off the base of the baking tin either! Seriously, somebody ought to consider building houses with my cakes!
Not one to give up easily, I considered my options and decided that I'd make chocolate birthday muffins instead. I couldn't bring myself to make another cake so, yes, muffins would do nicely. I hotfooted it to Asda and purchased a silicone muffin tray which PROMISED that the cakes wouldn't stick once cooked and cooled. (I have yet to decide whether to pursue said manufacturer legally under the Trades Description Act 1968 for false claims!)
Second time round I even folded in some chocolate chunks for added interest. I followed the recipe to the letter.
My Mother In Law called in for a coffee at this stage and suggested I maybe blend the mixture for longer in order that the sponge would be lighter.
They rose beautifully in the oven but, as soon as I removed them, they deflated like poo-coloured balloons.
Hmmm, they do resemble some of the deposits Bertie leaves on the lawn!
Long story short, this was blondie daughter's chocolate birthday muffin hereafter called the 'poo cake' ...
The moral of this story? Well, on a personal level it is not to EVER make cakes - I stopped enjoying the whole procedure after about ten minutes. Generally, we can't all be good at everything and wouldn't the world be a boring place if we were?
Now, as you probably know by now, I am not a cake eater. Perhaps this was a case of 'the flesh being willing but the spirit weak' or even the other way round? However, hormones dictate that I should devour something extremely chocolatey once a month (it's purely a biological thing!). So, from now on, I shall vicariously enjoy all you talented deft-fingered cake makers and your creations. When the need for chocolate cake arises in this household however, I shall stick to Marks & Spencers' Belgian Chocolate Cheesecake which is heaven in a slice!
PS. I was awarded 9/10 for taste though! :-)
PPS. Anybody want an only-used-once silicone muffin tray?