Friday, 30 December 2011

Last bit of Razzle

Little Bun had fun making me a sticky and gorgeous gummy bear trifle for birthday tea. Eldest Bun made the tastiest chocolate birthday cake (all munched). Mr Bun's a great cook, but all food becomes inedible if he tries to make anything cakey or puddingy so he's banned from trying.



We had planned to go to our favourite Italian restaurant in the evening, but they're back home in Italy. Then we thought we'd try the new Veggie restaurant, but they're shut until the New Year. The 29th's not a great date if you're in Norfolk as all the shut signs go up.

We drove up to the North Norfolk coast in the morning as I fancied going on the Mince Pie steam train ride along the coast to Holt. The traffic was beyond rubbish and so we missed it. I sulked for a bit and then we went for a bracing sea walk followed with soup and cakes in a tea shop. We also found a lovely shop and I treated myself to a couple of things. Promise to show you another day.


Today is a lovely chill out day - well until 3ish when we're going for after christmas drinks and then off to see the film Hugo in our big 3d specs. The cold I had before christmas turned into enormous loud sneezes on christmas day. Now I've got a swollen throat and the back of my tongue feels all huge and sore. Mr Bun can't stop laughing when I speak as I sound special apparently.

So I'm being quiet and having a rifle through some of the lovely books I've been bought. Last night I snuggled in bed with the Strictly annual that Eldest bought for me.


I'm taking time to enjoy all the bits and bobs around the place. Like the jolly new deer that Mr Bun found for me. 


I'm dreaming up plans of new makes, even though I still have two toys, a sock, a cushion and probably something else to finish first.


Having time means I can really enjoy all the bits and bobs we add to the tree each year. Ever since the Bun's were born I've bought them a decoration each for the tree. This year Little Bun got a drummer girl.


Eldest got a small crocheted monkey. Johnny her monkey has been her best cuddly friend ever since we spied him in a charity shop when she was one. He's no longer fluffy and bears all the signs of worn true love. There have a been a few long drives back to places she's left him, our hearts pounding all the way hoping that he would still be there.


Then we have the old friends that made up Mr Bun's christmas childhood.





Now it seems it's time to start thinking ahead. I've started on the slouchy hat that Eldest has chosen from Jane Brockett's knit book. I'm using Debbie Bliss aran tweed which is a bit itchy, but has the most wonderful colour flecks running through it.



Once they all go back to school and work I've one day free to try and finish painting the stairs. I started them just before the holidays as I'm getting sick of them not being finished.

After that fun I've planning to do writing up three schemes of work. Two for completely new courses I'll be running and the other that largely depends on the individual learning needs of the students I'll get so it has to be vaguish and flexible if you know what I mean.

Let's try to keep the real world at bay for a few more days though shall we, keep munching the roses and daydreaming?

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Eve's

After a beautiful and perfect christmas eve, we're now on the eve of my 43rd birthday. My mum was 43 when I was 18 and I thought it sounded an ancient age to be. It still sounds ancient, but I really don't feel it, or look it thank god.


On christmas eve we went to the crib service at the village church. It was the perfect start to christmas being called into church with a peal of bells. After a few carols we were off home again to a candlelit supper followed by the Darling Buds of May christmas eve programme. Then it got tense, excitement rising as stockings were hung. We read Willow at Christmas as we've done since they were a toddler and a baby (Mr Bun and I are dangerously nostalgic and melancholic and hang on to traditions fiercely). After strict instructions not to repeat last years 4 am wake up call they were off to bed.






They were true to their promise and came in on Christmas morning, dragging their stockings onto our bed after 7am. I love the whole Santa preparations, from the letter, drink and biscuit to the excited yell of "he's been, he's been". I remember this so clearly from my own childhood and now love watching it with our girls. We're so lucky that they believe in magic still. Mind you they know we do.




Eldest Bun had fun laying the table for lunch. She was busy wishing the time along waiting for grandparents to arrive and present opening to begin. When I was wee we had to wait until about 4 o'clock for the presents. Lunch would pass and then the grown-up's would wash up. I'd think at last - now we can get on with it. Then my aunty or mum would say shall we have a cup of tea first? I'd be pulling out my hair by this stage.


Now with family christmas get togethers over, it's time for birthdays, drinks with friends and a New Years eve dinner to look forward to. 

I also need to plan some sort of a give-away for the new year as this blog will be having it's third birthday. I'll have a think and get back to you very soon.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Running Up

Just before I get ready for our festive drinks tonight and blow the dust off the furniture I thought I'd pop by here. 

It's been a lovely run up to christmas this week (apart from the Bun's bickering which then makes me a very shouty mum). I love all the preparations and anticipation of christmas. Christmas Eve most definately is my favourite with christmas day coming a close second.


We had a wonderful evening at the end of the pier christmas show for Mr Bun's birthday, then it was back to the wrapping presents grindstone. A bottle of Advocaat and a tin of Roses really help make this go with a whizz and a bang. Two very excited Bun's searching under the tree in the morning checking out labels.


The Bun's loved the labels I'd made so created their own the next day.


We also found a moment to make a few crackers with our own naff jokes inside. The hats we made from music sheets wouldn't fit in so they're ready and waiting instead. By the way, the plant behind is a Paperwhite. It has to be the most godawful stinky plant I've ever had in the house. Two pots are now hanging around the back hall where Alfie Blue sleeps.


Even though I've not found any Babycham glasses that don't break the bank I still love the wee bottles.


Everywhere is decked, the tree is sparkling and the cupboards are full of food and drink. Half the stuff I started making mind you hasn't been finished. Lots of I.O.U's methinks. I will get these placemats done though as they're pretty easy to whip up.


Next year will be even madder for time it seems as I've just accepted another day and half teaching a week today (the money was too tempting to say no). Decisions will need to be made about how to juggle all the things I really want to do with bringing in hard cash which means life can be more fun.

Righty o - off I go. Wishing you a very Merry Merry Christmas and see you after the big day.

X

Monday, 19 December 2011

The Shiniest Week

A week of glitter and glamour has been and gone. End of term fun with my students; the school disco for the Buns; dragging our christmas tree home in the dark to be decorated while Mr Bun partied; singing songs full of seasonal cheer at the school carol concert and visiting the man in red himself yesterday followed by rides on a glittering carousel. Mind you I wouldn't reccomend sitting on a wooden horse for too long in this weather - brrrrr.



Coming home to the shimmer of candles and chucking tons of logs in the woodburner soon warmed us up. Snuggled by the fire with a full bottle of fizzy on the go I ended up hooking a Toadstool after a bit of begging from Eldest Bun.


Now Little Bun wants one too. Hers sits waiting by the mini tree for blobs and a face to appear. Meanwhile a ton of makes need to be started and finished before next Sunday so I got a wiggle on today.


Mr Bun who has two feet has a sock for just one of them. Unless a small miracle happens with my knitting speed he'll have to choose which foot to put it on. Mind you I'm pretty impressed with myself for making something that actually looks like a sock and after rejigging the pattern so I could knit them in DK Cashmerino yarn. The pattern I used is from Purl Soho if you're interested.


All afternoon my sewing machine has whizzed and whirred starting on napkins, tunics, cushion covers and pencil cases.


Being able to make stuff and have girls who love handmade means that the list of stuff they ask for keeps getting longer and longer. A slouchy beret and a snood got added to the list yesterday. One day maybe, but not this week.

Anyways all is calm, the house is decorated and I'm sure everything else will happen while we get on with the business of enjoying ourselves. A birthday party tommorow, then Mr Bun's birthday on the 20th followed by drinks a plenty with friends.



Have a lovely week and Merry Christmas to you all if I don't manage to pop back here before the big day.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Slowly realising it might be Christmas

Finally I have a quiet moment to myself to write a bit of this and that. After a week taken up with a school interview for Eldest and extra hours needing to be made up at work there's been no time for stopping by here. 

I'd been vague with Eldest's school about the time I'd be bringing her back after her interview, so we had a bit of stolen playtime. After hot chocolate and cake I used her good colour sense to help me choose yarn to knit Mr Bun some christmas socks. She went for a teal blue with silver grey, but wasn't too impressed with the mustard I chucked in.


I gave up trying to knit my first ever socks last year so this counts as my first go and it's had it's ups and downs. Mind you I've not made it easy as I changed from a 4ply in the pattern to DK Cashmerino which also meant bigger needles and therefore less stitches needed. I knitted a huge ankle first, then pulled it all out and went down by ten stitches.  That meant I had to rewrite the whole pattern and I can't believe it, it's worked and I have what looks like a sock - so far. Whether I get to wrap just one up with an IOU another sock remains to be seen.


This weekend has been the first stay at home and just chill we've had in a long time. We've had a lovely time making paperchains, toasting marshmallows and trying to find the chirstmas decorations. The Buns and I plan to get the tree after school later this week.  Mr Bun can't touch the tree or he gets all itchy so he stays well away and I have to wrestle with it and a bucket of mud.

We also found these wee crackers we made last year and started making a few more to add to the tree.


When no one was looking I grabbed a moment here and there to work on secret stuff cutting fabric patches and starting on Eldest's tunic. The list of things I want to make for them all and the amount of time left before they break up doesn't seem to be adding up. I've not even bought one present yet, hoping to get all of that done tommorow.


Somehow I feel relaxed and really not too bothered. Might be the sloe gin drunk by the fire every night that's making me feel everything is just fine.






Hope it's all dandy with you too.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Why the Poo Man?

Little Bun had a winning raffle ticket at the school Christmas Fair yesterday. On the table were chocs and wine a plenty. She picked a rubbery poo shaped man and is truly delighted with him.


While I was wrapping presents for Santa's Grotto on Friday a couple of gorgeous somethings were delivered that helped make up for the lack of wine and choc.


I hinted to Mr Bun to get me this necklace for christmas. Then I decided it might get sold before he got round to it so I pressed yes please and chucked some vintage terry into my virtual basket too. Maartje (big apologies if I've read your name wrong) over at Silly Old Suitcase writes a lovely happy blog and has various delights for sale in her etsy shop to tempt.


Next package was from Penny who had turned one of her hairslides into a brooch for me. I'm liking yellow right now after declaring who the hell could want to wear yellow.

My hands are slowly practicing making things so hopefully I'll have a bit of this and that to show you next week. Enjoy the rest of your weekend won't you.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

How could I resist?

What temptations there were at the Pick 'n' Mix Makers Market. Little Bun brought home a bag of sparkly reindeer food. Alfie Blue had other ideas about any reindeers eating it, so he had a go at it yesterday when we were out. What a treat to have an oaty, glittery house to come home to yesterday after a lovely day out with the Buns on strike day.


I can't wait to hang the wooden sign I bought from Gabriella. She said she'd only made the one, so I was glad I managed to get it for us. We don't christmas sparkle the house until the 14th or so, plenty of time then to decide where to hang it.



Although I have a minty green lovebird brooch from Daniella of Acorn and Will, I couldn't resist this eggy yellow pair once I'd seen a couple of friends wearing theirs. I'm a complete sucker for colourful plastic stuff.

After buying something of Daniella's from Ruth I somehow found myself wandering over to Acorn and Will's webshop and pressing the yes please button a few times.


Just a few of the happy making badges I had to have, along with some vintage inspired wrapping paper. As I know Daniella from the early Pick 'n' Mix she very kindly popped in a packet of Reggie deer to cheer up a cake or mincepie. She sells fabulous fun things for incredibly reasonable prices. If you've not visited Acorn and Will before then I highly reccomend a trip over there.


Once I spied this delightful Mabel Lucie Atwell hanky on Faded Splendour's stall I quickly grabbed it. I knew Little Bun would adore it. I've had an idea since that it might look good surrounded by patchy squares to become a cushion cover for her bed.

I did manage to get the tin from the Emporium too. A friend of mine told me it was still there in the morning so I sent my mum and the Bun's up there to make sure it came home with me. It comes with it's very own whiffy vintage cake smell and old cake paper inside. Lots of soaking before my mince pies will be hiding in there I thinks.


One other tin came home as a gift from Penny and has already been filled with pencils and crafty bits lying around.

Before I go there's a few things I must say. First off thankyou Kathryn (cheeky cherry wearer) for your lovely message, it was very much appreciated, glad you had fun. Second, hello to new followers who have jumped on board, good to have you along. Lastly my poor old hands are recovering from what I hope was just too much knitting and hooking. I daren't try and make anything yet as I was in agony with my hands and couldn't bend them out of a claw shape for hours on Saturday. I've so much I want to make for my lovely ones so here's hoping they heal properly soon. At least I haven't got sausage fingers anymore.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

A Sweet Treat


Mad rushing, lots of busyness, bombing here and there to get it all done in time and then suddenly it was time for the Christmas Pick 'n' Mix. A hall filled with my vision of what a truly fabulous makers market should be. Colour, joy, passion, creativity, oodles of talent, wonderful people and lots of laughter. Some supplied by the forever smiling Gabriella of Moobaacluck.

image from Planet Penny

Instructions from Roberta of Ripping Yarns to laugh in the face of our easterly winds when wearing her stunning fairisle berets.

image from Purple Podded Peas

My always happy, ever smiley gorgeous friend Ruth of Glory Days brought her joyful makes to town for the day. As the only stockist of Acorn and Will in Norwich means that even when the lovely Daniella can't make it at least she's there in spirit.

I forgot to buy Alfie a pressie and have been told off by the Bun's ever since, so I must remember over our next G & T evening to get his doggie treat bag sorted.


I've also got a phone call to make to see if the wee kitten in a basket is still needing a home from the superbly talented toymaker extraordinaire. Hint hint Sasha when you read this, could you please hold on to it for Little Bun.


Amongst all the pops of colour and noise Emma of Silverpebble found a moment to work away on a design. She's one talented lady whose design career is just flying. It's a fine balancing act between being a mummy and being the artisan she is. If you're about in the next couple of weeks then you'll be able to catch her at the Selvedge Christmas Fair on 10th December.






I was really pleased with my stall this time round. I decided to put less out and not be so cluttered this time. I sat next to the lovely Sam of Mamphii Button who was great to meet at last. Really it's like organising a party filled with a darned good selection of folks. 


Friends popped up to say hello which was really appreciated and there were many familiar faces from previous Pick 'n' Mix's who had such lovely things to say. Having such a great day and knowing a lot of people want markets like this makes all the hard work worth it.





There are far too many wonderful people to mention and show you here. I'll post over at the Pick 'n' Mix blog later this week once work and the PTA meeting is done. School's xmas fayre is this weekend and I haven't a clue what I said I'd do? So I guess that means I haven't done it yet! If you want to see more then pop on over to Planet Penny and Celia at Purple Podded Peas who've both written up lovely posts of the day.


The day after Pick 'n' Mix Mr Bun ran his first ever half marathon with a bunch of friends. It was all in aid of Macmillan which is a truly fine cause to be running for, especially when the memory of so many loved ones come with you. Somehow I don't think this will be the last long run he'll be doing.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

This 'n' That


After generating tons of paperwork for the Ofsted inspection I'm now trying to build up a few more colourful piles of happy things for this Saturday's Pick 'n' Mix Makers Market in Holt.
As always there's loads in my head that I doubt I'll get round to starting or even finishing. I feel really calm and unstressed about everything so my body's decided to let me know it feels pretty stressed by seizing my neck up. I much prefer that to feeling like a manic headless chicken though.


To relax a bit I treated myself to a few hours at a fairisle knitting workshop last Saturday. In a couple of hours I reckon I cracked it, so now lots of practice for me and then I can have a go at all the fairisly things I fancy making. 

Sunday saw us whipping along to Holt to put up posters and a big hedge banner to let everyone know the fabulous makers will be rolling into town. Both Buns and Alfie Blue were with the grandparents so a quick half in the pub and then a mooch around a warren of rooms in the Emporium. The word emporium promises so much magic to me and thankfully we weren't disappointed.


I fell in love with this tin, but we'd drunk our pennies so didn't have enough left. Fingers crossed he'll be waiting for me on Saturday. I've been a tragic addict to tins since I was small and I can't see a cure coming.

I did have enough pennies for this wee fellow though, so it was a toss up between the kitsch kitten tray and him. Mr Bun's no help in deciding as he loves it all too.


The drive home was a bit hairy with thick fog all around. Nearly home and it started to disappear.
 

Right I'd better disappear too and get on with some makings. See you all properly for a visit once this manic weeks out of the way.