Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Goodbye Mathams Drive

I'm sitting around feeling useless. M has taken MJ to school. The removals are emptying our house at rapid speed and I'm left wondering what to do! The past few days have been hard work, packing, cleaning and lifting. Last night we could barely get into our bed. And not knowing when our moving day will actually be has made it stressful. Even yet with a near empty house we haven't exchanged or completed!

I will post photos of our new house as soon as I can although M has warned me that we might be without internet for 20days (I don't think that will be possible, but we will see!). There will be a lot of work to do when we move in as the new house is like a show house from the 80's. I'm looking forward to the re design but a rest day would also be welcome.

So, here I am signing off for 20 days (ha ha).

See you soon at our new abode...hopefully!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Recycling in a recycled bag

It is MJ's responsibility to put our empty plastic, cardboard, glass and tin packaging into the various bins but I needed a place to store them between use and bin.

I have had this idea in my head for awhile, a bag made from Capri sun containers. I'm sure I saw something similar when on holiday last year but I can't remember exactly. So we have been saving our Capri sun containers until we had 19 (i think). Slicing each at the bottom so we could wash and dry them thoroughly.

 I thought it would be a fun idea, a recycling bag made from recycled packaging and I knew making it would capture MJ's attention...which it did. He helped me tape them together into the right arrangement before using a big zig zag stitch on my sewing machine to sew them together. My tip in sewing them together is to use a heavy duty needle...I got through 3 needles!

This photo shows the net pattern before sewing up the corners.

It has worked really well as I hang it on a hook in the kitchen, it stores a couple of days packaging and then MJ can carry it all outside together before sorting. He is not always willing but always does a good job and quite often when he comes back inside he tells me that a grown up has said 'hello' to him in passing which he rather likes!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Here she goes again

This girl...she never ceases to surprise me, challenge me and make me smile...oh and baby doll is in there too, of course!

Capri pants for Lj

Last Autumn I came across some lovely girls cotton summer tops in our local charity shop for age 2. I couldn't resist buying them at just 50p each for Lj. But as I sorted her summer clothes recently I was at a loss as to what she had that she could wear with them as they are lovely colourful prints, one yellows and greens, one pinks and yellows and the other navy and white. I decided she needed some plain capri pants and purchased Emma Hardy's book, Making Children's clothes.Thankfully, I decided to try making a trial pair to make sure I didn't ruin the sky blue cotton which I had chosen. I did not find the instructions easy to follow and had to play around with the pattern but finally I had a pair of yellow capri pants. The second pair in the sky blue fabric I made in a quarter of the time as the pattern was ready and I now understood the instructions! As yet she has not worn the blue ones with one of the tops, I'm keeping them for a warm day when we do something more special than play around in the garden! But hopefully I will remember to photograph her when she is wearing them to show you. I'm sure I will use this pattern again and again now that I have it cracked and my daughter so easily ruins clothes!

Jubilee cape for MJ

On Tuesday MJ arrived home and asked if I had his Jubilee superman cape ready. I said no, that I still had a couple of weeks before he had to dress up in red, white and blue to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee at school. He insisted that his teacher told him it was the following day and I needed to make it straight away. Last weekend, we had discussed whether he would prefer I made him a waistcoat or a super hero cape to dress up in and while at the fabric shop I had purchased some red gingham and royal blue cotton. He choose the super hero cape so I went into full sewing mode that afternoon.

The next morning a super hero cape was ready for first fitting and thankfully didn't need any amendments and could be put straight into his book bag.

His face was priceless as I picked him up from school and asked about whether it was the right day to bring his dressing up...he had been so adamant the night before that his teacher was ALWAYS right.

But no harm was done. We now have the cape ready for next Fridays Jubilee celebrations!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Pyjamas for Lj

Independent Lj no longer wants to wear an all-in-one sleep suit to bed since she discovered a pair of pyjamas in her wardrobe. I think she enjoys being able to pull the trousers and top on herself. However the pyjamas which she found are too large so I thought I would have a go at making her a pair to fit. I knew I had some cotton jersey knit in my stash from a trip to The cheap shop last summer and thought I could use a pattern from Clothes kids love by Nancy Langdon which I also purchased last summer.

I'm so pleased with the results for two reasons...
:: I have never sewn with a jersey before so was a little unsure of how it would hem etc
:: It was the first time I had used a pattern from 'Clothes kids love', as previously I have looked at and loved the clothes in this book but felt to daunted to try making them myself.

The turquoise sleeves were not in the original plan but I ran out of fabric and thankfully had an old top in the fabric bag which I could cut up and use.

Lj seems to like her new pj's too!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Cake a month:: Rhubarb Crumble Muffins

 May :: Rhubarb Crumble Muffins from bbc good food.

Somehow April slipped by me (I'm sure I didn't go a whole month without making cake...oh I did try date bars but have no photographic evidence...they were good too!) and I missed taking a cake to yesterday's Craft and Coffee meet but in the afternoon MJ and I decided to try using up our glut of rhubarb to make muffins. I had done some research as I lay in bed the night before and came up with this one from the bbc good food website. As we had no muffin cases but plenty of smaller ones we made twice the number and they didn't take so long to cook...therefore they were ready just in time for desert.

MJ was a great help. He chopped up the rhubarb and mixed it in sugar, made the crumble mixture and set out the bun cases.

It is a super recipe to do with the kids as it is quick and straight forward and doesn't take long to cook in the oven.

The results were just as good as we had hoped and I don't think they will hang around for long. I would like to try them in muffin size as they are so good you want a bigger one. Lj doesn't seem so keen on them but I am discovering that she is a little more picky than MJ with food. She also refused to get her rice at dinner time and even if one grain found its way in her mouth she was trying to pull it out. Mind you she did eat a little bowl of frozen peas before dinner so she can't be so fussy!

So, if like us your rhubarb has enjoyed all the rain of late and you can't face another rhubarb crumble...try these...they get 10/10 from us!

Monday, 7 May 2012

May bank holiday weekend

 We had been looking forward to this weekend for a few months. The first bank holiday weekend in May is normally sunny and warm but not this one! We considered cancelling our camping plans and stay at home but as it was a special birthday weekend for our friend we felt we should make an effort and give it a go. As a family we love camping so there would have been much disappointment had we not made it.

On Saturday we met up with our friends and spent the day at Thetford forest. It was a fun day and warm enough to enjoy a picnic, although we were dressed in multi layers and coats. Some of the adults tried having a go on Segways while the kids played in the park. There was also a sculpture trail which we followed and 'Go Ape' which we viewed from ground level. (M is already planning a return visit so he can try out 'Go Ape' for himself).

As the rain came on we decided to make a move towards our campsite to set up camp.

Dressed in 13 items of clothing I went to bed but unfortunately didn't sleep much and got up every hour to move around and warm up. Although I felt comfortable I was anxious that the kids were feeling the cold and therefore I could not relax to sleep. It was a disturbed night for us all as temperatures went as low as 1oC. Interestingly our friends in the tent beside us slept soundly all night and one was dressed in just pj's!

On Sunday morning we decided that one night was enough and packed up camp, happy to try again in warmer weather. We visited a local RSPB reserve at Lakenheath, followed by coffee and cake before returning home, happy but tired!

We ate out a lot this weekend so did lots of 'waiting for food to arrive' entertaining. Picture of boats, rain, umbrellas and sharks!

Today, Monday we spent the morning at the allotment and pulled the largest rhubarb I have ever seen...perhaps they have enjoyed all the rain we have been having! Next we did lunch and a walk along the canal. Mj's obsession with boats continues so he enjoyed watching the canal boats. When the rain came on we helped a couple through the lock gates before heading home for some stewed rhubarb.

All in all, it was not the weekend we had planned but was a very enjoyable and fun one, none the less!