Tuesday, 31 January 2012

January - Make A Month 2012

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I pledged to make something every month in 2012.

Since it is the last day of January I suppose I'd better show you what I made

I have signed up for a craft fair in the spring so I've been playing around with new ideas in my head mainly.  I decided to have a mess around with designs and see how they worked and these are the first two of those.  Keyrings - one made with two felt scalloped circles stitched together with cotton yarn and the other is a crocheted ruffle like the brooches I sold at the last fair.

I'm not sure if these styles will make the final cut but I'm reasonably happy with them.

I'm not happy with the photo as I left it too late to get any natural light not that there has been much of that here today.  Brrrrrrr it's freezing!

Annie at The Felt Fairy has organised the whole Monthly Make thingy.  There is a flickr group for each month and the January one is here

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Give Me A B

That's the end of the B fortnight.

I won't say our B words were all good because:

I had back pain which is still ongoing

the car needed money spending on the brakes which left us broke

our eldest went back to uni

It wasn't all doom and gloom though:

I was delighted to see buds forming on lots of my climbers and even on my rose bush

bulbs are peeping their heads out to say hello

we ate

bangers and mash (sausages and mashed potatoes for those of you in other countries)

went to Burger King
baked a cheesecake

our library reopened after relocating and being closed for a few weeks so I was very pleased to get a new book to read.

but the best thing we did was have a birthday

there were lots of this type of blurred photo whilst presents were opened

What did you get up to during the B fortnight?  If you would like to share your adventure please add your link via the linky thingy below.  I'd love to see

Thursday, 26 January 2012


It's hard to believe looking at the sky today that it is January. 

I wanted to get a picture of the clouds today but I got lucky with a gull flying across at the same time.

If you want to see lots more skies from all over the world please head on over to Skywatch

Monday, 23 January 2012

Upper Back Pain Caused By Shopping Bags?

For a few weeks I've had a niggling ache at the top of my back, mainly at the side where I carry my bag over my shoulder.  This is my bag which I've been using for about 4-5 months.

It is quite big and because of that I have always had a tendency (when I have a big bag) to put anything and everything in there.  I realised that these niggles were most probably caused by carrying something which weighs several pounds over my shoulder but didn't do anything about it.  I have no reason whatsoever in day to day life to carry anything more than my purse and a reusable shopping bag.  I very rarely go any further than our local town or shopping outlet, both of which are within easy walking distance so carrying all manner of stuff in my bag is just not necessary.

Yesterday was a turning point though. I carried a big bag of potatoes and 4 pints of milk plus some other bits back from town and it was extremely heavy.  Last night my back was really hurting. Much more so than previously so this morning I got out a smaller bag which is one of those across body types so the weight is distributed more evenly and made sure I only put the essentials in it.

Much less pain on the old back.  However I walked to Asda after the school run and whilst my shopping wasn't particularly heavy I really felt it especially on the side I carried the heavy potato and milk bag yesterday.  I'm guessing I've pulled something yesterday that was already weak from carrying all the unnecessary stuff around in my shoulder bag.

I always do the main supermarket shop in the car but usually stock up on fresh stuff  two or three times a week aswell which involves walking and carrying.  Until it starts to get better those extra trips will have to be reassessed and heavier things will have to come from our local shop regardless of the extra cost.

Painkillers and deep heat are the order of the day I think.

Sunday, 22 January 2012


I won't be putting pictures of dog hair corners on here as also dared to do!

I use the Dyson every day but with two big dogs the hair just keeps coming. Anybody who owns two or more dogs will know just what I mean. One is black the other is fair so regardless of what you wear you end up covered!

I'm not the slob you all must now think I am after the last couple of posts. I wish I could be clutter free and it could be second nature to put things in their place rather than on the kitchen table or the other clutter hot spot which is the dog cage. Our living room was actually quite tidy and relatively clutter free before December when the Christmas stuff came out. I was so looking forward to putting it all away again after Christmas but was left with (as probably most people are) new toys without a place to call their own yet. Currently they are living on the hearth and top of the dog cage. Last week my youngest had his birthday so yet more toys were added. I have no idea why I thought big boxes of Lego were a good idea when we already have a gazillion Lego pieces. One thing he particularly likes are his Hexbug sets. I got him a small one for Christmas and a raceway one for his birthday but he also bought another big one with his Christmas money. I don't mind this type of clutter just now though. We've been there with the older kids and I know that it will all eventually make it's way up to his bedroom. He is a child and children have toys in the real world!

I wish the clutter free thing was second nature and I suppose if I had a nice big craft room in one of those perfect houses with the perfect people then a lot of that problem would be alleviated. Ain't going to happen though. One thing that can happen is a clear out and I think that is just what I am going to do. I have (like every other crafter) way way way too much stuff I won't ever use so clearing it out seems the sensible thing to do. I can be brutal when it comes to sorting out. I'm not one of those crazy hoarder people who can't get in rooms for stacks of stuff.

Do these perfect people have piles of laundry? I bet they do! I always have at least two or three loads ready to go in the machine. It's one of the most tedious jobs after all the hoovering up. Right now the basket is overflowing and reaches over the top of the washing machine despite doing two loads yesterday. Just wanted you to know!

Washing up - well I don't have a dishwasher - unless you count me. That is something else that is tedious but I keep on top of. I don't like to see dirty pots. Mainly because I know that the longer you leave them the harder they are to clean especially cereal stuck to the side of bowls. I wash up after every meal just about as soon as I've finished eating. If I've used a pan for prep I will usually wash that while our meal is cooking. Right now there are a few mugs and glasses from last night waiting to be washed but that is it.

There you have it - in some ways I am a slob but in others I'm not. I've been honest and I'm glad I have been able to do that. Life is not perfect despite what anybody wants to portray their lives to be!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Just To Clarify

and because I was dared to post a picture of my kitchen table...by shite I just mean things people have put down on there and not bothered to pick back up. I am the worst culprit closely followed by my youngest son.

Currently there is a football shirt he wore to the panto last night which is still clean enough to wear today, packets of Haribo sweets which he has left over from taking to school to share with his classmates on his birthday earlier this week, more Haribo that he was bought for his birthday, his lunchbox that is his responsibility to empty and is still sat there full, his teddy of choice that he brings down every morning and take back up when he goes to bed, a pile of clothes I've just taken out of the dryer ready to take upstairs next time I go up, a food storage container which usually lives on top of my kitchen cupboards but my eldest son needs it for GCSE cookery early next week so has left it there, husbands work bag, fish tank and food, hat and scarf, pencil case, 4 old books from the library, 1 cross stitch book from the library which I intend to find an alphabet from for the AtoZ of discovery, a party bag, two old invitations from youngest sons party last week, a manicure set, a whoopie cushion, a pencil case, reward charts and stars, school letters, eldest sons mock exam results, colouring books, a mixing bowl with cluedo slips in, brownie paperwork, a lollipop, smellies from Christmas and a few bits of paper and pen tops. Oh and the lovely embossing powders I won but haven't been able to use yet because the heat gun I bought from the Create and Craft show in Doncaster in the summer doesn't work. I've used it once and now it is dead. I've been in touch with them and am waiting for them to get back to me.

So there you have it

Friday, 20 January 2012

Coming Out

no not in that way!!

I have quite a combination of blogs that have found their way onto my google reader over the years and cutting straight to the point about 90% of them are full of perfect people living perfect lives with perfect children and perfect husbands in their perfect spotlessly clean perfect houses with freshly cooked wholesome food on the table every night. For goodness sake people get a grip and live in the real world!

I read this post by Karen Russell the other day and my husband asked what I was laughing at. Apart from the pyjamas and the god bit that could be me making those realisations. I'm still smiling even now thinking about it and how I'm not the only one to realise that a lot of blogland is fake. Yes I really did say that - call the blog police or unfollow me if you don't like it.

That wholesome food is slowly appearing due to me taking the decision to organise our meals into shopping list form and not just pick up whatever takes my fancy in the supermarket because we are skint and lists are the only thing which stops the overspending on food we end up throwing away. The wholesome meals don't end up on the table though. We eat on our laps in front of the TV (usually watching Neighbours) shock horror!

My kitchen table permanently houses all manner of shite including christmas smellies that I haven't put away yet and my son's fish tank. There are three chairs around it, one of which is broken so only two people ever sit there at a time.

There is dust, balls of dog hair and god knows what else in every corner of my house and other places besides. The whole of the downstairs needs new flooring, we have no stair carpet, the kitchen cupboards are falling to bits, the bathroom has black mould on the walls which refuses to budge with even the toughest of mould removing products, both those rooms are desperately in need of renovation and decorating which we can't afford. I don't wash the bedding every week, sometimes not even every month. The back yard currently has two days worth of dog muck waiting to be picked up.

This year I've decided that I'm not going to be a sheep. I can't afford to do all the 'latest classes' which almost always turn out to be an overpriced disappointment anyway. I've spent a fortune in the past on such things that never really promise what they set out to do. I even bought a pair of shoes once because somebody else had them on a blog and I liked them. They were one of the most uncomfortable pair of shoes I've ever worn. I've bought kits to go with classes that have, in my opinion, been full of crap that the person selling them wanted shut of. I know why people are like sheep because I've been there myself so many times but NO MORE.

I've said this before aswell and to hell with it - I'm saying it again. Some people on facebook really do my head in with their constant moaning about everything 10+ times a day. Do they not see how other people perceive them? I have friends on there who I always thought were ok but looking at their facebook status updates, or spam as I like to think of it nowadays, I've been given a different view of them.

I think I've got it all out of my system now so I'll leave you with those thoughts and go back to my perfect little house and wait for my perfect children to come home whilst I slave over my shining cooker with my husband's slippers ready for him to put on upon his return from his very highly paid job.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Start At The Very Beginning With A

A is the very first of our letters as we journey on a discovery through the letters of the alphabet.

The letter A runs from Sunday 1st January until Saturday 14th January and on the 15th we will embark on a voyage to discover the letter B.

If you are joining in the adventure I have done a linky thingy at the bottom of this post so you can share with everybody. I'd love to see what you have discovered/tried.

Here is what we got up to:

A walk by the River Aire 

Walked past the allotments

Several trips to Asda which I totally forgot to take a picture of!

I bought an amaryllis bulb

Made an apple pie

Ate sugared almonds

Drank Aero hot chocolate

Dealt with autistic tantrums

Leeds played Arsenal

Finished my Advent scarf

Took an aerial photo through the frosty window this morning.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

The Art Of Quilting

Yesterday I picked up this for the grand sum of 99p.

I was successfully avoiding the demons in my head telling me to call at the bakery and get a cornish pasty.  They are evil demons but I was strong yesterday!  Anyway this caught my eye and helped those pangs.  They are offering a few freebies if you sign up for the next couple online.  I'm loving the fabrics provided with this issue plus you get a reel of white cotton and some needles. All for cheaper than the cost of the horrible greasy fat laden pasty I was going to get lol

Thursday, 5 January 2012


First one of 2012

We have had crazy weather the last few days. The winds have been like nothing I've ever heard before.  Our bedroom is in the loft and we definitely have had a few scary nights hoping and praying that the chimney pots weren't going to crash down on us.  Thankfully the 'weather experts' are saying the worst is over. 

I grabbed a quick shot with my phone of the beautiful blue sky we have today whilst I was out.

To see more skies around the world please visit Skywatch Friday

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The Wednesday Stuff

First up Whats On Your Workdesk Wednesday:

Not strictly on my workdesk which usually is the kitchen worktop/glass hob lid or table but I really need to shout from the rooftops about these.  24 pots of WOW embossing powders by Sheena Douglass and I won them in a facebook competition.  I am so happy right now with these little pots of sparkly indulgence and can't wait to get my heat gun out from the depths of my stash box.

For more workdesks this week please stop by Stamping Ground

Next up is Work In Progress Wednesday

I started a new mystery sock on new years day.  I didn't make a single pair of socks (apart from the sock journey thingy) during 2011 so, in an attempt to use up some stash yarn, I decided to do the mystery socks in the SKA group over on Ravelry

This is to the end of clue 1.  The next section is available on the 8th Jan.

The only other WIP I have is the Advent Scarf.  I'm currently up to day 22 of 24.  I've shortened a few sections and missed a couple out as the yarn is running dangerously close to empty but I'm almost done and have really enjoyed it.  The yarn is Aade Long. I love the long colour changes in it.

For more WIPs please visit Tami

Sunday, 1 January 2012

A to Z of Discovery 2012 - The Beginning

Today is the very first day of 2012 and the beginning of our journey through the alphabet starting with A and working our way up to Z.  We will be giving each letter two weeks and will be enjoying/trying/reading/stuffing our faces with things beginning with that letter throughout that fortnight.

Here are a few lists of A to Zs to help you along the way





Kids Games and Activities



 Yes I know it isn't in alphabetical order lol

You could also just get out a dictionary and find a random word for the letter in focus that particular fortnight.

However you choose to do it is totally up to you. I will link us up with a linky thingy the day that our first letter ends which in the first case will be Saturday 14th January.

Have fun discovering all those new (and old) things beginning with A.