Thursday, 28 July 2011

Sneaky Peak

So I've started another blanket. I know I wasn't supposed to, I was supposed to be finishing off my other hexagon blanket. But my mum gave me an old crochet book and I was very taken with these pretty little hexagons. They are so quick to make, just two rounds and they are done. The wool is the usual Stylecraft Special and I am using what I had left over from Emily's striped blanket. There's going to be quite a lot of white hexagons too, to join them together, but I don't have the wool for that yet.

I started joining them yesterday - thought I ought to do it as I go otherwise it's too mammoth a task. I had a false start with the first one, had to unpick it and start again, but now I am happy with the results.

All the flowers are going to have the bright yellow/orange centre.

I'm really pleased with how it's coming along. Realistically I don't think I am going to get it completely finished during the summer holidays but I think it will grow quickly.

This week has been quite a good first week. I have made good progress with my ME in my MoleskinE journal, but I'm not rushing it. I've been able to relax and rest and recharge. I don't know if I told you that I hurt my leg during a rounders match at the Year 6 leaver's party. I felt something pop as I ran to first base, and like a fool I carried on running! The next day I could barely walk on it. Then the pain started to recede, but on Sunday I realised I had a whacking great bruise on the back of my calf, and that it was still very sore. I already had a physio appointment booked on Tuesday for something else, so while I was there she had a look and said I had torn the muscle belly of my calf - recommended rest, ice and no running for at least 6 weeks! So there we are, just as well I'm on holiday otherwise it would be a bit tricky!

Isn't it great that the weather has improved (hope I haven't temped fate now!), it makes me feel so much better. Hope you are having a good week.

M x

Saturday, 23 July 2011


The summer holidays are here!!

Well, it's been a roller coaster of a year but it finally came to an emotional end yesterday. I've had a brilliant two years with this group of children and it was hard saying goodbye and sending them on their way to secondary school. There were tears and hugs, presents and cards and lots of photos. The children and parents gave us some lovely gifts - lots of chocolates, flowers and some very generous Cath Kidston vouchers. I feel very lucky indeed.

And now the pressure is off and the holidays are here, and I've been thinking about setting myself some goals for the six weeks, and a few spring to mind.

  1. To make my ME in my MoleskinE Journal from this clever lady here .

  2. To enter into a challenge blog as suggested by the lovely Autumn Mist (check out her blog here .

  3. To complete my current crochet WIP (more of that later).

  4. Making a start on some Christmas cards.

  5. Spending more time in general on my card making, trying out all my new products and being a bit more adventurous.

  6. Tidying up my craft area and making it work more for me.

That's turned into quite a list - I didn't expect that. And the other thing is to find more time to share things with you.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

M x

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Nearly there

One more day to go until the term and the academic school year is over. It's been a pretty long week with all the leaving activities for Year 6, but fun - we've had a leaving disco, the production of The Wizard of Oz and a leavers' picnic (and rounders match). We still have a very emotional leaving assembly to get through tomorrow.

One of my colleagues is going on maternity leave tomorrow so I made her a good luck card to wish her well. I played it safe by using pink and blue (papers are from Craftwork Cards as are the templates I used to make the letters), with a bit of glitter glue to give it a lift.

My boss turns 40 during the summer holidays, and he is a keen Arsenal fan hence the theme of the card I made for him. Mark is really good at getting the photos, all I did was assemble it.

Tonight will be the first night of no obligations for a good few days. I'm looking forward to putting my feet up and catching up with some TV programmes - gathering myself for an emotional day tomorrow!

Have fun.

M x

Sunday, 17 July 2011


Inspiration came from an article in Papercraft Inspirations (issue 87, June), a magazine I bought by mistake! The article featured the Four Flowers stamps by Hero Arts and was written by Angela Poole. I based my card on one of her designs, tweaking it here and there.

I used a cream scalloped base card and stamped on cream card stock, using raspberry pink to accent. The inks were Marvy Matchable dye inks and I used accent beads in the centre of the flowers (stuck on with Glossy Accents). The stems of the flowers were coloured with a Promarker, highlighted with a black Sakura gel pen. The pink flowers are raised up with 3D foam pads. I inked the scalloped edge with the pink dye ink for a bit of added interest.

I really love this card, even though it took me ages to make it. I wasn't sure exactly how it was going to end up, but am pleased with the effect. I will definitely be making another one, but will vary it and use a different colour combination. The stamps are versatile and I think they will feature in a lot of cards to come.

I have five more working days left until the end of term and I am already planning what I am going to do with my time. I have signed up to an online journalling class with Kirsty Wiseman here and am itching to make a start. I also have plans to make lots of new cards, and I may even give Christmas some thought. I don't generally mention the "C" word so soon, but if I don't make the cards over the summer holidays, I will not have the time once I am back at work.

The main focus of the summer holidays is to slow down. Life has been pretty tricky over the past nine months and stress levels have risen quite high. I am looking forward to a slower pace of life, maybe sorting out some menus for family eating (that has gone to pot too), reorganizing my craft area and taking the dog for a lot of walks, and generally to have a nicer time.

Hope everyone has had a jolly weekend, despite the appalling weather.

Take care

M x

Saturday, 16 July 2011

And so it all came to an end

I was so excited yesterday - the opening day of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (I can't stand HP7 Part 2 - is it me? I guess it is!!). We had tickets booked for the 5.30pm show - I've never been to a film the day it opens - man, the cinema was heaving! We took our own 3D glasses, although I did succumb and buy the kids the special Harry Potter ones - I must be mad!

I'm a massive Harry Potter fan - I think the books are marvellous and they have moved me tears on numerous occasions, as well as being gripped and sitting on the edge of my seat. I love the films too, I think they have been sensitively done, and I guess that's because J K Rowling has been a big part of the production. Last night the four of us all had feelings of trepidation in case the end was a let down, but we needn't have worried - it was marvellous! The time just flew by, the glasses didn't bother me too much (such a pain if you usually wear glasses as I do), we cheered, we clapped and we cried. The end of an era - what to do now? I know, read the whole series again and preorder the DVD!

Have a good weekend - enjoy the rain lol! Our glorious summer!!

M x

P.S. Counting down - 5 more work days to go - hurrah!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Time is Flying

I meant to post this on Sunday, but I don't know where the time has gone. We had a busy day on Saturday when we spent the afternoon at Stowe Landscape Gardens, a National Trust property in Buckinghamshire. We generally meet friends and go there for a picnic every year. This year we weren't able to leave home until lunch time and didn't get there until 2.40pm. We got stuck in loads of traffic around Knebworth (Sonisphere concert) and had to stop a couple of times for Chloe. She doesn't travel well and whinges and fidgets a lot in the car, but she's still a baby.

Anyway, we had a nice relaxing time until the heavens opened and we had to take shelter under some trees! It was a long way to go for us for a couple of hours. My two sets of friends live a lot closer, and neither of them have children or a dog. I'm thinking next time we need to find somewhere suitable in our neck of the woods and they can travel to us for a change.

I'm itching to make cards and to have a play with all my new bits and pieces and the only thing that is stopping me is time - I just don't have any. I haven't even been able to take photos of my new things. It's been a busy week work wise, and I've been out a fair bit this week. My mum and I went to our local theatre/cinema to see Water for Elephants on Monday (missed it when it came out). It was a lovely film, a bit brutal in places, but Robert Pattinson was gorgeous. We had our Open Evening at school on Tuesday, then dog training tonight, and then off to the cinema tomorrow to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 - I am SO excited!!!!! So, busy busy.

Today has been a funny day at work. All our Year 6 children went off to their secondary schools for a transition day, so I made a yellow brick road for their Wizard of Oz production on Monday. It was great fun and I really enjoyed doing it.

Counting down now - 6 more working days until the summer holidays - woohoo!

M x
And the end of another busy week . . . .

Thank goodness! As we near the end of term, work is just getting more and more frantic. This week I have been making props for our Year 6 production on The Wizard of Oz, backing display boards, mounting work, painting a rainbow and making an Emerald City for the display, not to mention dressing up as a Victorian school teacher. It doesn't look like it's going to ease up anytime soon. I've got a list as long as my arm of jobs to do on Monday. Two more weeks and counting.

I never got round to posting some photos of my birthday presents. This first one is from a friend at work who knows me so well. Unfortunately they have all gone - boy could I have done with some of these yesterday!

Mum and Dad, as well as contributing the lion's share to my laptop, also gave me some more Promarkers to add to my collection. The colours are lovely. I'm going to need a new storage box for them soon, as I can't get the lid on the tin I'm currently keeping them in.

My parents also gave me four packets of Candi, some fancy edge blank cards and a storage box for the Candi - all from Craftwork Cards.

Mark and the children gave me The King's Speech on DVD and a couple of packets of Thorntons chocolates, as well as a contribution to my laptop of course. Can't wait to find the time to watch the film, as it is fantastic (and the chocolates didn't last long!).

Hope you are all having a lovely, relaxing weekend. Ours is very busy - just what I need after an exhausting week, but heigh ho!

M x

Monday, 4 July 2011

And another finished blanket :)

So pleased that I finished Emily's blanket yesterday. This one didn't take very long at all, I started it in February and have done it in small bursts of energy.

Emily's room looking unusually tidy (I think all the rubbish and dirty clothes are out of shot!!).

The blanket consists of 10 colours and bands of 10 rows of each. I think I started off with a chain 180 stitches long, but to be honest, I can't actually remember! Each colour is repeated twice. After my epic Granny Stripe, this one was so quick to make, and a lot less ends to sew in! The wool is the usual Stylecraft's Special DK from here

Someone else has taken a shine to it too! Chloe always curled up on it when I was working on it, so it didn't come as a surprise that she was the first one to try it out when it was on the bed.

Chloe's such a cutie. We've had her for 12 weeks now and it feels like we have always had her. She's a good girl (most of the time), and has taken to her training very well. She's also my early morning wake-up call - when Mark goes down to her around 6.30am, she comes bounding up the stairs and onto the bed to say good morning, usually landing on my head!

Hope your Monday was trouble free. I've had quite a good day, nothing out of the ordinary, but no stress. I am busy making props for our Year 6 production of The Wizard of Oz - it's amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it!

M x

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Birthday Week

Another week, another birthday, this time mine. I reached the grand old age of 43 on Tuesday. My birthday was like the Curate's Egg, good in parts. All my family had clubbed together to get me a new laptop as my other one had died, and I have had it for about a month, so I didn't expect anything else. So it was a lovely surprise to get some little gifts from Mark and the children, and a bagful of crafting goodies from my parents (more of that in a later post - I haven't had time to take any photos yet).

At work my fellow teaching assistants surprised me with a voucher for a beauty salon and I am planning on having a much needed shoulder and neck massage, and maybe a pedicure. The two teachers I work very closely with were the only staff members in the whole school to forget my birthday, so that put a damper on the day - made me feel under appreciated - apparently it was too much trouble to even wish me a happy birthday. Anyway . . .

Mark and I had a lovely meal out at Prezzo, they do a divine chicken ravioli, and the gin and tonics went down really well!

I did make rather a lot of cupcakes to take to work - 3 dozen for the staff and 30 smaller ones for the children in my class, and like an idiot I forgot to take any photos. Which is a shame because I bought some really handy cardboard cupcake carriers and they looked so professional, they would make a great gift. Needless to say all the cakes disappeared in record time - my headteacher confessed to having three!

I had to make a 50th birthday card today to go in the post tomorrow. No time at all to think of a new design, so I went for the tried and tested one that I have made so many of this year.

The papers are called Sugar and Spice and are from the Dovecraft range. They are really pretty and were perfect for this card. I popped into The Range this afternoon and saw that they do embellishments and rub-ons to match (no I didn't buy any!).

I'm looking forward to finishing school in three weeks. I am starting to get some ideas together of things I want to achieve during the summer holidays. There will be more of that later. At the moment I just need to get through the next few weeks, because at the moment I feel like I'm pedalling backwards!

Have a good week.

M x