Sunday, 29 May 2011


Sunday, 29 May 2011
So I've found a new site to play with.  Pinterest allows you to create boards full of visual bookmarks and it's fab!  I have a huge list of bookmarks, many of which are a tad obscure because I've bookmarked them quickly without noting exactly what they are but with pinterest you can pin any image from a website onto one of your pinboards with a note and you have a visual reference.

I'm slowly tidying up my bookmarks this way and my pinterest boards are here - sign up or message me and I can send out an invitation as I have some spares, it's fun!

ps there's still a couple of days to enter the anniversary giveaway, just comment on my previous post...

pps I should warn you that looking at others pins can be dangerous, my wish list has grown a bit!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Six years!

Thursday, 26 May 2011
Yep today is the sixth anniversary of this blog.  This time six years ago I was five days away from having Lia and I started this blog as a method of keeping track of how life changed when she joined us.  Who knew I'd be where I am now?

Looking back over the last six years it'd be easy to say not much has changed as I'm still with the same man, living in the same town and doing the same job but those are just the surface things.  The same man is now my husband of five years (or at least he will be in 24 hrs as it's our wedding anniversary tomorrow), we're now in a bigger house with a bigger garden and my job now only takes up 4.5 hours of my day instead of 7.5.

Of course more has changed - we're a family of four now for a start - six years ago I couldn't have imagined the little boy who completed our family so perfectly, it was hard enough imagining the little girl soon to be arriving LOL.  Around us our family and friends have also had babies which has been wonderful for us - Lia was only the second child born to our social group and, for a while at least, it was tough being in the minority as others didn't necessarily appreciate how our life had altered.  It should tell you all you need to know that 1 child attended Lia's christening and 36 attended Connor's LOL.

In my crafting life the biggest change is that six years ago I wasn't a quilter and I'm not sure I even really had aspirations to be one.  I remember the conversation I had with a fellow stitcher that led to the two of us taking quilting classes but I don't really remember what sparked my interest.  I do know that I am glad I took those classes when I had the chance as I was able to properly explore and indulge in a new hobby, a chance that I won't get for a while now as money for hobbies is bottom of a very long list until Connor starts school and we lose those pesky nursery fees.

I have never had an anniversary give away before as I'd never thought that many people were likely to read these ramblings of mine but with 47 followers I guess there are one or two of you out there paying attention to me.  So post a comment and I'll put your name in a draw for a pressie - I'll leave this open for the next five days and get Lia to draw a winner on her birthday (1st June).

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Book 15

Wednesday, 25 May 2011
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

I'll admit I'd never heard of this book until the theatre production came about and there was a huge amount of press around it (I think there's a generation of children's books that passed me by - I can only hope that I get to enjoy some of them now my children are going to bring them home).

Anyway I got the chance to get a copy from a source of cheap books (The Book People if you're in the UK - I love them, especially the box sets which are super value) and I justified it by the knowledge that it would end up in the kids reading pile.

I think it's quite hard to review a children's book when you've only read it as an adult but, for what it's worth, I'd say this is a lovely read.  For those not familiar with it the story centres around (and is narrated by) Joey, a farm horse who is sold to the army and sent to France to serve in the cavalry in WW1.  Over the course of the war he serves on both sides and the book gives a good (IMO) insight into the conditions faced by horses and men during those times.

If this were an adult book I would say the ending is a little too nicely wrapped up but I think the happy ending is more than justified given its target audience.  Having said that it brought a lump to my throat which just goes to show you're never too old for a happy ending LOL.  Definitely one to read with the kids.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Ewe Look Fabulous

Tuesday, 24 May 2011
Apart from my splashing out on fabrics this is the only other stash item I've bought this year and I used birthday money for it so it is within the rules.

I don't know why this particular design appealed to me so much (I'm certainly not drawn to any of the other JABCO pin cushion releases) but I just had to have it.  It was actually a pretty simple put together - the hardest part was deciding whether or not to do the bunny ears but DH and Lia both voted them in so they won.

Also I swear that yesterday all four feet were at ground level but today it's wonky so I may remove that back foot and reposition it...

Monday, 23 May 2011

This weekend I...

Monday, 23 May 2011
- Did swimming lesson duties
- But let DH do ballet lesson duties
- Started a new family routine of DH cooking dinner on Saturdays
- Made my JABCO Ewe Look Fabulous pin cushion (pic to follow)
- Started sewing together a biscornu
- Swore a lot because I can't find the beads for the finishing of the biscornu
- Identified the projects I'd like to get finished in the next few weeks
- Tidied out my wardrobe and threw out a lot of very old clothes
- Bought a totally gorgeous jacket three sizes too small in a bid to motivate myself to lose weight
- Didn't tell DH about the jacket
- Read a lot
- Watched my son take his first three steps
- Finally caught up with our taped episodes of the Mentalist
- Realised it's only three weeks till my annual weekend away with my stitching friends
- Laughed a lot at the whole 'footballer super injunction' fiasco

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Cottage Garden 2 WIP

Saturday, 21 May 2011
I've been stitching on this quite a bit this month - lots of nice blocks of colour so easy on the brain.

Here it is when I picked it up:

And here it is as of today:

Not only a lot more stitches in, a much better pic from my new camera!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

The News Where you Are

Wednesday, 18 May 2011
by Catherine O'Flynn is book 14 read this year.

I've made a conscious effort to take a book to work with me every day and read in my lunch break as I've been reading less in the evenings lately.  I only have a half hour lunch but can usually get a chapter read depending on the book.

This story is about a man called Frank who reads the news bulletins for a local TV channel and his former colleague Phil who died in slightly mysterious circumstances.  It's by no means a whodunnit, although the mystery of Phil's death does form the centre of the story, rather it's a look at the small details of lives and their importance.

It's difficult to describe this book really as it touches on a lot of subjects - Frank's father's obsession with his work, his mother's depression, the dynamics of a career in local news, aging, loneliness, and more.  I'm also unsure if I'd recommend it - I did enjoy it but it was never a 'I need to pick it up' book for me.

In other news I have been stitching and sewing but I haven't been taking pictures (despite my new camera).  I hope to rectify this issue at the weekend and provide you with more interesting posts!

Monday, 16 May 2011

This weekend I...

Monday, 16 May 2011
- Ran about like a headless chicken
- Took Lia to swimming, ballet and a birthday party (and that was just Saturday!)
- Watched the Eurovision Song Contest
- Was stunned that a song that made absolutely no impression on me won
- Looked up Azerbaijan on a map
- Didn't cook - DH cooked Saturday and we had a lovely dinner out yesterday
- Did a lot of ironing
- Made what could be the best cake I've ever made (same recipe I've used for 30 years - the planets just must have aligned!)
- Didn't get my usual long lie in
- Stitched
- Frogged (but less than I stitched so I'm still ahead)
- Really enjoyed the latest Dr Who episode
- Let Lia stay up till 10pm
- Did a lot of research on butterflies for Lia's homework
- Got surprised by DH asking to volunteer with the Scouts

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Blooming Frogs!

Sunday, 15 May 2011
Or rather, blooming people who make charts with symbols that are almost identical.  Grrrrr!

There are a million possible symbols you can use so why would you use two different half shaded circles - one split horizontally and one split diagonally?  Even horizontal and vertical splits would be better - more obviously different.

They even have have two symbols that differ only because one is bold face.


Monday, 9 May 2011

This weekend I...

Monday, 9 May 2011
- Started the Saturday swimming and ballet routine again with Lia
- Remembered I should get some stitching with me while I'm sitting around when Lia's swimming and dancing
- Baked buns
- Did a huge amount of ironing
- Marvelled at the amount of clothes we now have for Connor due to donations from friends and family
- Enjoyed the rain - it's become a bit of a novelty!
- Stitched up a storm on Cottage Garden 2
- Had a lovely lie in
- Watched my son stand unaided
- Happily welcomed Nayno IV into the family ;-)
- Relaxed

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Sunday Stuff

Sunday, 8 May 2011
Thanks for your comments on the Nayno post - it's nice to know that we're not the only insane parents out there LOL.  You'll be happy to know that Mummy can work miracles and Nayno IV has been accepted without question.  He's slipped into his role like he was born to it and, apart from DH occasionally addressing him with a Mexican accent, it's like nothing has changed.

I should have added that if any of you readers ever come across a Nayno hiding in a shop anywhere out there please, please do purchase it for us as we feel now that we can never have too many - obviously I would fully reimburse you and more.

I finally pulled myself out of my mini stitching slump last night by pulling out a Michael Powell design.  It's nice to be stitching largish blocks of solid colour again - easy on the brain and not too much futtering about checking symbols and threading needles.  Talking of needles, I lost one last night and I still have no idea where it went!  I'd pinned it on my trouser leg whilst getting a new thread and I flicked it with my hand - after that who knows where it went!  DH and I must have spent half an hour searching the floor with eyes, then a magnet and light and finally I gave in and hoovered for fear of one of the kids 'finding' it.  I've never done that before and am still slightly on edge about where it went.

As well as my Michael Powell (Cottage Garden 2) I'm thinking this month should be the month of finishing.  I've got quite a pile of things lying around now that need to be properly finished and I should get on with it - in my 'tidying up' mode getting rid of finishing bits and instructions would help a lot so I'm going to dig a few bits out and decide which looks the least hard LOL.

And finally a quick update on the affair - it's still going strong (despite her telling me it's over) and she has made sure everyone knows the two of us have fallen out.  To the extent that not one person mentioned her absence to me at the Christening.  I've spoken to one of the other school Dads and he says everybody is dying to know what happened but nobody has a clue (or is brave enough to ask me LOL) - he knows all about it because he had pretty much guessed it was going on anyway but now both cheating parties are confiding in him!

The difference between this Dad and I is that 1) he enjoyed a minor flirtation with cheating wife although she knocked him back when he tried to take it further and 2) he cheated on his first wife, so they know he can't judge them and they think he's a safe pair of hands for their secret.  What they haven't considered is that 1) he didn't take the knock back that well and 2) all he's interested in is 'the game' and he'll play it his own way - I wouldn't trust him not to drop hints whenever he can...

On the surface at least it's not causing me any hassle - everyone is still being friendly with us - but it does appear that Lia is not welcome at cheating wife's house any more.  This is not unexpected but given the two girls are best friends it's a bit harsh - I did try and say that we shouldn't let it effect the kids but obviously that's not how it's going to be.  Lia hasn't noticed particularly yet but I'm sure she will and I hope when that time comes I have some idea of how to handle it.

So the saga continues...

Saturday, 7 May 2011

A Tale of One Kitty

Saturday, 7 May 2011
Our tale begins almost five years ago on 28th May 2006 when Lia was Christened and she received 24 pink dresses as gifts from various Greek friends and relatives.  All of the dresses were aged 12 - 18 months and all were extremely flouncy and totally inappropriate so I then spent almost a week going around Athens and exchanging the dresses for more appropriate clothes - something that wasn't exactly fun as approriate clothing in my eyes is far from what anyone in Greece thinks LOL.

Anyway, after three days of this I was extremely bored so when I saw the shop we went into first had toys I decided to get one.  After much deliberation I picked a cuddly cat that was orange and pink - just because it had a lovely face and a rattle in it's tummy.  This day just happened to be Lia's first birthday.

Scroll on six months and we were back in Greece for Christmas with various toys including the cat which she had taken a shine to.  On one particular day she was running around the appartment in Greece saying 'nayno, nayno, nayno' and we had no idea what she was doing (other than maybe being a police car).  Eventually she found the cat and picked it up saying 'Nayno!' and then proceeded to talk at it for quite some time.

From that point on the cat was Nayno (we have no idea why) and it (it started as a he and became a she and is now one or the other depending on Lia's mood) became Lia's one true friend.  The Hobbes to her Calvin...

Fast forward another six months and we were back in Greece with Nayno who had started to fray around the neck.  We found an identical cat in the same shop and decided to swap them as she was too young to notice.

This became regeneration 1 and Nayno 2 settled down to a life of adoration and adventure.  And much, much washing.  And a close encounter with her paw and some green gloss paint.

One year later we went back to Greece and DH's Mum announced she had found and purchased a third cat!  Number 2 was decidedly ropey after a year of love and attention (and the occasional vomit and nosebleed) so we did another swap.  Again Lia coped, her only comment being 'I've got a pretty Nayno!' when we gave it to her after a 'magic wash' from her Yia-Yia.

So here she was, a three year old with a twice regenerated cat and we thought that maybe, just maybe, the love would wane slightly and this one would last.  However here we are, just short of her sixth birthday and Nayno is still the companion of choice, still the one that must go to bed with her and still the one who is loved beyond all adult comprehension.

And the one who unfortunately now looks like this:

Too floppy even to sit up unaided!  If you hold her up to the light you can see through her neck and there are a lot of bald patches on her back.

An internet search brought up the horrifying fact that Nayno's are now extinct!  They ceased to be manufactured around 18 months ago and nowhere on the web could we find one.  Around 8 months ago a minor miracle occured and I found a Nayno on eBay - I eagerly bought and paid for it and waited for it to be shipped from France only to discover on it's arrival that it was in fact a mini-Nayno!  No matter it was Christened Naynaki (little Nayno) and became Nayno's baby to be loved in a similar manner to it's mother.

Then, against all odds, DH found a Nayno.  In Mexico.  Several emails and an EXTORTIONATE, never to be admitted, amount of postage later and Nayno IV was on it's way to us from deepest darkest Mexico, via Memphis (I think he went to Graceland - he is the coolest cat after all) and he arrived here this morning.

So now Lia is primed that Mummy, who can do anything, is going to work on Nayno tonight and fill up her stuffing, 'dye' her fur, sew up her holes and generally make her beautiful again.  Will it work?  I don't know.  What I do know is that if it doesn't and we end up confessing the existence of the original three Lia will have more than enough room in her heart for all of them - whatever they look like...

So Nayno IV has met his predecessors and submitted his references (proof if it were needed that DH is as mad as I am as he set up this shot)

He's bonded with them:

Had a cuddle with Nayno III

And taken up the baton of Naynodom on his own

Friday, 6 May 2011

Some Christening pics

Friday, 6 May 2011
Well I know it's been almost a week since the big day and I haven't mentioned it here but this week has been filled with guests, gifts, cards, tidying, cleaning and getting back into the school/work routine.  I'm only just feeling focussed on the here and now again - also Connor has been teething this week which has meant my usual sunny little man has been a bit of a grump who wants cuddles.

So the big party.  It was absolutely fabulous - the sun shone on us and all the guests showed up (with 30 kids invited its was an achievement to have them all healthy LOL).  The service was lovely although it did drag on a bit as the Priest insisted on doing it in both Greek and English so it took twice as long.  Because the church has a sunday school there was a kiddie play area so the mass of under 6's kept themselves entertained there.

Connor was a superstar.  He only complained when he was stripped, oiled and dunked and, to be fair, I think most people would do the same LOL.

After the Christening we all went off to a localish pub where I had arranged an entertainer and face painter.  Unfortunately due to the fact the service took so long we only got 30 mins of the entertainer and he got his full 2 hr fee!!!  Still, the kids loved him and it distracted them long enough for adults to get drinks and cake and settled into seats, etc.  The BBQ meal was amazing - fantastic food and everyone was most complimentary - those that stayed over said the breakfast was amazing too.

The facepainter was fantastic - I'd booked her for three hours with the option to extend that if it was popular and she was there for five hours before I called a halt and let her go (I did feed her).  All the girls had face and arms done and some of the boys had monsters (most of the boys were under 3 so a little too small to sit still for that long!)  Then I got mine done as a masquerade mask which meant the rest of the adults felt they could too so there was a very long queue!

The only minor disappointment was that I didn't really dance but this was due to me wanting to spend as much time as I could talking to friends so I can't really complain.

Here are a few pics from the Christening itself - I don't have any from later on at the party as I didn't take any so I'm waiting to see if anyone else did LOL

Connor not knowing what's coming

Post dunking

Hair being cut.  For info the guy in the glasses is the Nonos (Godfather) an that's DH in the corner in the grey shirt.

Getting dressed

Lia holding the candle

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Books 12 and 13

Thursday, 5 May 2011
I've read the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency books since the first one was published but for some reason I totally missed a book being released last year (yeah okay, that could have been due to my son's birth LOL).

Anyway it has just come out in paperback as they latest came out in hardback so I bought and read both last month - The Double Comfort Safari Club and The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party.

I like these books because they are gentle and simple reads and the characters are extremely likeable.  To be fair not much happens in them but that's the point - it's a world where crimes and mysteries are simple ones - so if you like your mysteries fast paced these are definitely not the books for you!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

April Roundup

Wednesday, 4 May 2011
1. Blog more - well my posting dipped a bit but I still managed to post the equivalent of every other day
2. No stash purchases - There was a blip due to large amounts of fabric arriving in the house but, in my defence, it was birthday money I spent
3. Reduce my stitching WIP list - I made good progress on 4 Wishes but no finishes in April
4. No new stitching starts in the first half of the year - check
5. Find the quilting bug again and reduce my quilting WIPs - as well as finishing the party bags I also made 1 quilt and put together 1 quilt top
6. Read at least 50 books -2 read
7. Reduce the clutter in the house -yep - 3 large bags to charity, 5 large bags of kids clothes to various people and 1 bag of toys to my Sister-in-Law
8. Lose weight -no but now the festivities are over I'm determined to focus on this goal
9. Stick to the household budget and find ways to reduce expenditure - erm, for obvious reasons it was a month of spending but, to be fair, we did get given quite a lot of cash too.
10. Work on the garden - yep, DH built a wall round the patio and Lia and I planted lots of seeds

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

This weekend I...

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

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