Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Christmas Making and Learning

I saw an idea similar to this one on pinterest. Lj really enjoys the challenge each morning of matching up the Christmas tree bauble letters. Ideally I would make the baubles circular and a bit more Christmassy but time didn't allow and I don't think Lj really notices! I guess it could be used in all sorts of ways, matching numbers, words of a different language, colours...the list is endless.

My mum told me she had seen marshmallow snowmen in her local bakery, selling at 50p a pop. On Saturday while the boys played Lego Starwars Wii, Lj and I decided to try and make our own marshmallow snowmen. It was a fun activity and they taste great...but then why wouldn't them as they consist of marshmallows, white chocolate, milk chocolate, dolly mixtures and strawberry laces.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Things they said which I don't want to forget! #1

Sometimes my children come out with classic lines which I try really hard to remember but by the time M gets home I have normally forgotten. In future I'm going to note them down and put them on here so that in years to come I can remember those great little things they said.

These are a few of the latest ones...

Lately Lj has discovered a new favourite programme "Junior Bake Off", a cooking programme based on the adult version "The Great British Bake Off" where kids compete against each other in displaying their baking talent.

After watching one of the episodes we sat down to dinner. As we ate dinner quietly (v unusual in our house) I watched Lj take a bite and then say to no one in particular. "Hmm, it's a little dry, shame you forgot the milk. But I think I like it, well done'.

A few nights later as I dried Lj's hair after her bath she told me (I wish I could say, she asked, but sadly I'm still trying to teach her manners) to cut her hair off. When I asked why, she said she wanted to be a boy and that her hair only got in her eyes anyway. MJ piped up and said 'If you want to be a boy you need hairs on your legs and you must HATE pink!'

Lj raced MJ up the stairs at bedtime. She ran straight into the bathroom and said 'Kitted up, helmet on, ready to go before anyone else. Good.' I'm beginning to think this girl is watching too much TV...this quote is taken from 'Hero Squad' another CBBC programme that she and MJ love.

Apparently if a house is thatched it is where Heather lives as 'Heather's house has a hairy roof'!

MJ is sitting in the back of the car with Lj and Z as we are driving to Beavers. MJ says 'When I am 100, what age will Lj be?' He thinks for awhile and counts back '79, she will be 79'. 'No, she will be 97' I say. Ignoring me he goes on 'When I am 100, what age will Z be?' he thinks...counts back '69'.. 'No, she will be 96' I say, trying to be patient! Then I say 'What age will I be when you are 100?'. He asks 'What age are you now'. I reply, '33'...he thinks and then rather shortly says 'Anyway you will be dead when I am 100'!!!

Christmas Cakes 2013 :: Part 3

I have thinking about how to package my now iced Christmas cakes and even had a little search on pinterest but to no avail. Then when shopping with Lj the other day in the 99p store I had a light bulb moment. Christmas coasters with a selophane wrap! So I purchased a pack of 6 Santa coasters for 99p, didn't ask any ethics related questions and went on my way.

One wrapped and ready for delivery!

 Six wrapped and ready for delievery...which leaves 1...do I buy another set of 6 coasters or save this little cake for us?

For Part 1 of my Christmas cake 2013 story click here and for Part 2 click here

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Personalised bags

This week I seem to be making alot of personalised bags. I even had a mini man bag to make for Callum so he can carry his little cars and trucks around town with his mum and sister.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Wedding Venue Sketch :: Orchardleigh House

Two wedding venue sketches for the same day...but I can't post the other one yet :) December 7th must be a popular day to have a wedding this year!

This one was slightly more stressful that the other as the bride to be works for English Heritage!!! No pressure!!!

Christmas Cakes 2013 :: Part 2

To see Part 1 click here.

Today Lj and I finally got round to icing our cakes. We put the marzipan on at at the weekend.

I thought I had a snowflake cutter and was planning on using it to decorate the cakes so when I realised that I didn't I felt a little stuck for ideas. At that point Lj joined me so I let her loose with the star cutters and she got to work. We used a mixture of pre rolled icing and a ready made block of icing. Although the pre rolled icing is quicker to use I don't like the finish as much (it has a funny sheen and it is hard to get rid of the lines from the roll) and it works out at least twice as expensive. In future I think I will stick to the ready made blocks. The pre rolled marzipan however is very handy!

I loved the little star patterns which Lj came up with and she spent a long time rolling, cutting and re rolling. I finished the cakes off with ribbon at the bottom (to hide the untidy edges :)) secured to the icing with dress making pins.

Now I need to think of a pretty way to package the little cakes as I hope to give them as gifts over Christmas.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Dressed in Boden!

Lj and I have had fun dressing ourselves in Boden this afternoon. It was as much fun and a whole lot cheaper than the real thing. I even got to give myself skinny legs...win win I'd say!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Working from home!

Have I explained how busy things are with me at the moment...maybe once or twice :)...if not on here...most of my friends and family know all about it!

This morning as I sit at my desk I am feeling so thankful to God for
:: being able to work from home, in my cosy room with a pot of tea by my side
:: a good documentary on Paul Smith to listen to
:: employment when I now have a few kid free hours
:: sunshine on these cold days to help dry my clothes on the clothes line

My bible reading time this morning took me to this verse...

Psalm 92v4

'You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me!
    I sing for joy because of what you have done.'

Now it is time to pop another basketful of clothes on the line and literally run to pick up Lj...singing with joy as I go!!!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

House sketches

I'm really enjoying having a few house sketches to do. The latest one took the kids and I on a short walk after school to get a good photo of a house before the sun disappeared. It was bitterly cold but thankfully they were kept intrigued by what I was doing enough to not notice their cold hands and toes!

 Thankfully I had a happy customer who has promised another photo is on the way!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Printing and Scanning!

My new printer/scanner arrived yesterday and M set it up for me last night. It is quite a treat to be able to hit print and see colourful paper spew out beside me...before I had to send an email with an attachment to our other computer upstairs, run upstairs, pull computer out, pull printer out, turn on and wait for it all to get up and running, then print from my email. Of course there was always a hic up along the way and if you are like me, things never print how you imagined so there were a number of changes to make before the final document is the one I really wanted! In order to avoid this up and down the stairs cycle I would email the document to M at work and wait a couple of days for him to get round to printing it and then another couple of days for him to remember to bring it home!

So today I have been printing and scanning everything possible and finally got a few projects completed in record time.

I love my new printer/scanner :)

Monday, 11 November 2013

The holiday is long gone!

Wow...was it only a week ago that we came back from our lovely holiday?
Since then I...

:: started working alongside a local architect and have two projects to get going on...need to get drawing
:: ran 4miles, my longest distance in a long long time, possibly ever...need to keep it up
:: did my first creative birthday party with a group of 9/10 year old girls...need to market it as a business venture
:: redesigned our playroom...now a family study which involved a trip to Ikea and late night building of furniture...need to repaint and hang shelving.

alongside all the other weekly bits and bobs that goes on here at Lilyjean HQ.

Here are some photos from Saturdays creative party...how fortunate am I that the birthday girls dad is a film maker and photographer!

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Home again, home again, jiggety jig.

We are home after a great week in Askrigg, North Yorkshire. MJ woke, got into bed beside me this morning and said 'I miss our holidays and Nana.' I felt the same :(
I miss
:: the stunning Yorkshire countryside
:: the beautiful stone cottages
:: our cosy holiday home
:: walking in the hills and discovering waterfalls
:: running with M and Grandad (ipad)
:: relaxing and playing games with the kids and Nana (golf)
:: having time to chat and dream with M
:: early nights
:: making porridge in a saucepan and serving breakfast

my list feels like it could be endless...It was a wonderful week...what a blessing.

Exploring at Forbidden Corner.

Caving at White Scar Caves.

Exploring the quaint town and cute shops of Settle.

Morning runs around Askrigg.

Walking and exploring in the dales.

National Trust, Clumber Park.

Many happy memories.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Monday, 28 October 2013

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Workshop 5.2 Make a Zippy Bag

A fun night sewing with lovely ladies. Feeling blessed to have amazing ladies in my life all with a unique and fasinating story of their own. Thanks girls!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

The winning craft item!

Today was craft stall number 2 and thankfully I sold something! In fact I almost sold out of fabric covered noticeboards...perhaps because I lowered the price from Tuesday!

In any case, Lj and I decided to celebrate with lunch in Starbucks. Lj loves going to a cafe and I love it too, although not necessarily with Lj! I don't mean to be mean but she is drawn to everything delicious on display and chooses all the expensive stuff. OK so most things in Starbucks are expensive but for example she wants the teeny tiny pot of fruit...£2.99. Now that would buy us a bunch of grapes, bananas and a bag of kiwis in Sainsburys. So we agree on one thing each and one to share.

I enjoy watching Lj sit and take her drink in the cafe but I have to be quick as it only lasts for two minutes and then she is showing every customer in the cafe her full tummy and is getting restless to move on and my skinny latte hasn't even cooled enough to start drinking.

Illustration inspired by Pop I cok and Quentin Blake. Mj and I are reading 'George's Marvellous Medicine' by Roald Dahl.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

First craft stall of 2013

and another tomorrow!