Thursday, 30 April 2009

Doing it all at once


As usual I'm sat here trying to squeeze as much out of the child free bit of the day as possible. While my pictures are uploading I'm embroidering something (ssshhh - it's for Mollycupcakes my swap partner in Silkie Sue's Swap) and rubbing the dogs tummy with my foot. My brain is racing with the next lot of things to be done. I was never this good at time management before I had children, nor was I as happy. The phone could go at any moment so I'd better type quickly. We were up at 6am to take Mr Bun to hospital to have a metal pin removed from his foot. It's been in there for a whole year since he broke his foot playing football last year (at the start of the summer holidays - I ask you). I hope I can be a nice caring nurse today as I'm not great at it. More of a chuck a drink in and ask if you're ok every hour or so type of one.
Yesterday was another good car boot experience. I either have a bit more stock for my stall in half term or we have a lot more lovely things to keep? Which will it be I wonder.

This is for us as it's far too cute to give away.

A beautiful handpainted 1930's dish - I'm unsure at the moment.

Definately mine, mine mine. Even the man selling it to me said he wished the world was still like this. He looked at me a bit strangely when I said it was in my head. Oh dear - he probably thinks I'm a nutter now.


A beautiful and very well used 1930's plaster platter. I especially like the clouds and birds which are so evocative of still summer days for me. Mr Bun wants to keep the china teacup. He held it for a while to stop it going back in the box. It's hopeless around here. I shouldn't let my family see any of my finds.
These three rose plates are really delightful, but we do have plenty so off they go. The teacup was on it's own, but it will be great to keep jewels in or even soap.
I bought the mini fisherman gnome to keep Bertie company.
And finally to show you the Bun's are as bad. I bought this gorgeous little wicker pram months ago for a £1. I thought, with my business head put on, that lined and with bedding that it will sell easily. Little Bun spied it in the shed and within minutes had piled quite a few of her cuddly friends in it. Not so easy to be a mean mummy after that and take it off her. So yesterday afternoon I lined it with some of CK's fabric I had bought to make a patchwork quilt with and now she loves it even more than before. Now off to do the next things on my list before I do the hospital and school run.
As usual with blogger it looks fine on my post, but is all squished up when I post it to my blog. The perfectionist in me doesn't like this.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

I've Found It.


Lately I keep forgetting to take my camera with me. Lovely things happen in front of us and then I realise I don't have a camera to record it. This does mean I actually pay attention to what's going on though rather than worrying about taking a half decent picture. Tonight after school we walked up to the village pond to see the new baby ducks and to feed them all. Their mother let all eight of them jump on the bank in front of the Buns. Both of them crouched down and quietly watched them. I wish I had remembered my camera.
At the weekend, squashed between two parties (kids not adults), I managed to have a quick dash around the Norwich Bead & Textile Fair with little Bun. One lady was sitting with two amazing vintage bears to advertise a Vintage Fashion and Textiles Fair. The theme is Children's Hour and so she had added her elderly, muich loved bear to the stand. I wished I had my camera then as well. She spoke so fondly about her bear and showed me his new suit that she had made for him as his other had worn out. Moving on I bought a metre of this fabulous Kaffe Fassett fabric and now I wish I'd bought more. I didn't know what I wanted to do with it at the time, just that I wanted it, now I want to make a skirt out of it. Might have to go up to their shop and search out some more.






I also added to my huge felt stash and got some felted wool too. Before leaving we made sure we had one of the delicious brownies on sale before going to help Mr Bun with an exhibition he was taking down.
Yesterday I made up this pincushion with the new felt and have started cutting out hearts from some of the other felt to make some more brooches with.



Since my last post about trying to find where inspiration is hiding, I've decided to go and track it down myself. So I've taken action. I got out my sketchbooks and notebooks and started drawing and writing down some patterns. I'll definately have to embroider this little bird with her brolly. She just happened and I'm glad she did as I like her a lot.




Then I worked on some ideas for more children's bags.





After that a bit of general doodling that might become something or it might just be something happy to look at.




This is from an older sketch book when I was working on designs for my business cards. In the end Mr Bun, who is much better at drawing than me, did them. They are a lovely 1930's green with a small Bobo bunny holding a ladybirds hand. I must scan them in to show you.

Finally some of my writing books. I used to teach knitting and crochet at home, but now I want to branch out and approach a few cafe's and the like to see if I could hold classes there. So I've been working on a few designs to show as samples of styles. I've designed a crochet pattern for a cushion using almond stitch as I love the picture of one on the back of Vintage Crochet. Got to design some posters and flyers too before I can get going.

I've also signed up for two one day courses. One How to Design Your Own Website and the other about Selling Online. That's me had a full shake up - told myself to stop faffing and to make the leap. In the background I've been trying to set up a folksy and etsy shop for a while now, but I just can't get my banner to be larger than a pinprick. As I'm a perfectionist this irritates me as I want it to look exactly how it is in my head. If anyone knows how to sort this stuff out I'd be really grateful for any help.

Oh and back to the beginning of this post. While I was out signing up for this course I felt compelled to buy this gorgeous toadstool. I've decided carboot funds can go in there and it's nicely full for tommorow already. Fingers crossed for a dry morning and lots of splendid booty finds.

Hope you're all having a good week so far.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Looking for Inspiration


The Buns are back at school, the sun's shining and everything is coming into bloom. Me, however, I seem to be at a standstill. I have dates booked that need goodies made for them and lots of ideas that I should be working on, not to mention the garden and finishing decorating rooms half done. I can't work out what's going on as I'm happy and I have the time to get on now I'm not running a holiday camp. I think I need a stern word with myself. The only reason I can think of is that having too much to do is overwhelming me and I don't know where to start.

Yesterday was car boot morning. A fantastic idea this one as it's on a Wednesday morning so I get there a couple of hours after it's started, once I've dropped the buns at school. I always get a bit annoyed with Sunday morning ones as I'm not an early riser. So if I've made the effort to get up and then come away with nothing I feel a bit cheated. I got some fantastic things again this week . My favourite is this bright yellow edged washbowl.

The minute I saw it I could picture purple flowers in it. Wandering along another few aisles and there was a lovely man, a proper elderly gardener who had brought his plants to sell. I bought some sweet peas, a couple of trailing ivy geraniums and then these three unknown names plants. All I do know is they are yellow, purple and white and look wonderful.

This pale yellow lemon squeezer is for selling on once it's had a good clean up. This is the hard part as I really like it, but I have to remind myself that one of the reasons I do this is to find just the right pieces to stock my stall.

Stanley dog is definately for us. He has a smaller friend in my glass cabinet who needs some company.

This plate, however, is a tricky one. I absolutely love it, so do the family Bun, but I paid very little for it and I know it will sell easily. This is where I'm not good at being a strict business person. Laying over the plate are some zingy bright red knitting needles. I need to restock these as tied up with ribbon and sized they go like hot needles.

I picked this picture up from one of the house clearance men. It's funny the groups that there are the car boot, there are the dealers who I will only buy from if it's for me and I really like something; then there are the house clearance people. Some won't do a deal others charge peanuts. The man I bought the floral print from is a true eccentric and has boxloads of peoples lives laid out around him. For the picture and a glass dish he charged me the grand sum of 40p. I'll need to clean it up and re-frame it to bring out its real beauty.

This metal tray is for little bun who adores owls. She writes to her fairy Flora asking for her own Barn Owl and has had no luck yet. We see the same one most mornings by a field on the edge of our village and so he has been named Barney suprisingly.

After car boot heaven yesterday I still fiffed and faffed. I have cleared out cupboards and ironed and ironed. I have told myself tommorow is the day - no excuses, I will get back to work. I did get inspiration from my scrumptious new cookery book today though.

There are so many mouthwatering delights. These marshmallow topped buns are a must for the weekend I think.

I chose, suprisingly amongst all the colourful and sweetly rich choices, Oat and Raisin biscuits. I just knew the Buns would love them when they got back from school and the other reason was they were quicker to make. The recipe suggested putting everything in a mixer. Although I don't have one, I don't think I would use it anyway. I really like the process of mixing by hand and feeling the different consistency of the mix as it changes with each new ingredient. When I'm cooking with the buns it seems strange how there are different ways of mixing depending on the cake you are making. When I was small my mum used to cook with me in what she called Blue Peter style. She would measure all the ingredients out into different dishes and then she would tip it all in as if she was doing a demonstration just like Lesley Judd, all for me. So when I saw this Borwicks Baking Powder it took me straight back to those childhood days so I bought it for my cooking today.

This is the end product of all my waffle. They worked their magic as the house smelt all cinamony and delicious as we walked in from school. The Buns asked if they could have them in their lunch boxes tommorow so I guess they like them. Just as well as I made quite a few.

After tea Little Bun and I made smoothies with my new cheapie blender. It was just me and her as she didn't want to go to Brownies. Every night this week has been a social event for her, so she is exhausted. As I'm not one for measuring, more a chuck it in and see kind of girl, I couldn't believe how delicious they were. Little Bun loved throwing all the fruit in and then set to work choosing just the right straws for us. Definately be making more of these as they were so easy. Eldest Bun wants a go next and as she doesn't really like fruit there might be all the more for me to drink.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Mish Mash

After a whirlwind of a lovely Easter school holiday, it's nearly over. Just one more day to go and then back to normal. More time for me and for working, but less cuddles and time with the Bun's. Blogging and crafting have definately been impossible as I fall into an exhausted heap at the end of each day. So here's a mish mash of our last week.

When we visited the grandparents we picked these gorgeous daffodils, grape hyacinths and forget-me-nots in their garden. Each day has been sunshine perfect just like these.



While we were there I remembered to take a picture of the tray cloth I had made for my mum for mother's day.



As we've had such warm sunshiney weather this week we went to buy the Bun's some springtime shoes. We went to a fantastic shoe shop called Lollipop. Eldest bun chose pink converse trainers and is very proud of them, little bun has some sparkly shoes which she loves. Everytime we visit this shop we wish this lollipop was real, very Willy Wonkerish.





Moving on to the middle of the week we went to a smaller version of the county show for kids called Spring Fling. There was a huge red Massey Ferguson tractor in the middle of the main shed, but this little pea car got our vote. At 6ft 1" I don't think I'd fit in it, but I can dream. It's my favourite shade of apple green.




The Bun's held pigeons and rats, saw sheep being sheared in a hilarious show called the Sheep Show compered by a New Zealander and bumped into lots of their friends. When we went to visit the cockerels who were making a hullabaloo we saw this corker. Two of our ladies are Light Sussex and I thought they might go a bit weak at the knees if they saw this handsome chappie. So I'll print this off as a pin-up for the henhouse.




Today we fancied visiting a different type of animal. Thankfully one that is fibreglass and a bit of paint.


We haven't been to the Dinosaur Park for a couple of years now and had forgotten what a great place it is. It's set in woodland, we love the walk winding down to a large open area where there is a farm set in a ancient walled garden. Running down paths you never know quite what you'll bump into next.







But the best and most miraculous part of our day was at the farm. We visited all the animals one by one. When we got to the sheep we saw a mother suckling her newborn and about to have her other lamb. We all stood there speechless watching with delight as this little one finally pushed themselves out and she set about cleaning it up.




Within about ten minutes this lamb was up and about on wobbly legs and trying to get some milk. I have seen lambs being born before and bottle fed them when I was a child, but nothing compared to this today. It was pure chance that we happened to be there for our girls to see something this wonderful. It has been elected as the best part of the day and now means I won't be asked anymore exactly how does the baby come out of the mummy. Before leaving little bun asked us to go back through the woods and down the hill to see how the lamb was getting on. We returned to find them all fluffy and a very content little trio. A perfect end to an Easter holiday.






Just remembered I've been meaning to add this gorgeous award from Beki and I didn't want her to think I was being rude by taking so long. I've already said a big thankyou to Beki so that bits been covered. I know I'm meant to pass on to seven others, but I find this bit hard as I really love reading all the blogs I list and more that I forget to list. So all please take a piece of this little girls hug to your blog.


Friday, 10 April 2009

Easter Babies

Today the weatherman said it would rain. Luckily he was wrong and so we woke to blue skies and the warmest day yet. Little Bun had wanted to visit her favourite ever place for her birthday, Easton Farm. She was desperate to see all the baby animals that had been born. With her well again we thought today was the perfect day, all very Eastery seeing chicks and lambs.
Just as you pass through the picture perfect village before the farm there are a few of these Tots TV cottages. I always wonder who lives here and imagine them living the most idyllic fairytale life.




Easton Park Farm was one the Model Farms built in the late C19th for rich landowners to play at farmer, now many years later it is an educational farm. We absolutely love coming here as we can touch and feed all the animals, walk around the 32 acres of woodland and fields, make a wish in the fountain and just feel genuinely happy to be here.




Lots of the animals were still pregnant, but many had given birth to the most beautiful babes. The photos are a bit blurry as I didn't want to use a flash and frighten them. This pygmy goat with her three young ones melted us. We have wanted pygmy goats for a while now and seeing these little ones meant we already had the hut mentally built in our garden for them.



Easter chicks.




This pair were having a quiet parental moment together. They had buried their kittens under the straw.



Day old guinea pigs.






This pair had given up on the milk and just chucked themselves straight in the foodbowl.




After seeing all these beauties we went for a fantastic walk around fields of sheep. Little Bun was in heaven as she absolutely adores sheep (or Betty's as they are called by her). Mr Bun and I dared to call a pair of sheep a bit maingey looking and got told off for being rude to them followed by a long hard stare.







Before going home the buns milked Mildred a very easy going cow.





When we got in I thought we had better get a bit of easter baking done. So we opted for Brownies and biscuits so we could use our easter cookie cutters. For plain biscuits the Bun's love these ones from Apples for Jam. Before anything happens I need my glasses so I can actually read the recipe and we can get baking.









We've already eaten far too many and feel a bit sick. How are we going to fit any eggs in?
Wishing you a lovely Easter.