Monday, 29 February 2016

In my heart it feels like Spring

   A bit more colour here and there and a few bright days, blue skies and just a smidge longer days.

First of all my send a little love swap partner Tracy (mad about bags) who organised the beautiful Valentine swap
I sent these

Bookmark with handmade hatpin 
I have started making these to decorate 
bookmarks and pin cushions

Scented mini cushion

And also a pin cushion

and received these beautiful gifts from Tracy

This beautiful handmade bag 
by Tracy is really 
Lovely and I adore all the fabrics she used

Thank you Tracy
for arranging this fun swap.

Then a few days later
Tracy sent me and little miss these beauties...we were both so touched by her

Tracy knows.  I love collecting China 
and hope to arrange a tea party in the summer
for the children and their 

they now sit on my dresser. 

Little miss said "mummy you have such lovely friends". She is so right of course...wonderful friends .

The half term whizzed by, a bit of resting, a bit of shopping and visiting friends and just enjoying our days.  All too soon the children are back at school and as always I miss them.  If I had the brains, patience, energy I would home school them both, but then they especially need different stimuli, social interaction and although I hate to say it time away from us.  They need to develope their own
life skills, make their own relationships and friendships other than the ones we enjoy at home and expand their owns is hard as we love them being so close...but it is about them and not us.

Little Miss has the last week been sewing on the machines ahem I mean "my" machine...ha ha .she
loves the patterns and trying them out and I have been more than happy doing more routine stitching
when I get the chance on hers.   I have been busy upstairs, a bit of spring cleaning .  The new bed arrived and I moved a few bits around (as you do) and then in the process de cluttered even more.

Last Monday  we drove to Aberaeron and dropped off a few bags  of donations . Anyway I dropped the bags off and out of the corner of my eye!!!!!!!!!!!!

YES..... A typewriter, portable and I couldn't believe it...I have wanted one like this for over a year.
I learnt many moons ago on a manual to touch type whilst at school and at one point I think had over
60 words per minute, I think one exam I managed 80 wpm but that must of been on a super duper
day.  !!!!All my jobs have required typing but obviously manuel.  machines are seldom used now but I wanted one.  I wanted one to decorate fabric, tags, sticky labels and make stuff.  The ones I saw on e bay were all £40 plus shipping usually £12 or so  and knowing all the workings of a typewriter appear easy to bend or damage,  I didn't think they would travel well in the post and how accurate would the description be re the condition it was in be when it arrived ??? ..ummmmm

Well "Erika" was there, on a shelf, tucked away in the back room of the charity shop.well I could not
resist , took a deep breathe.I had a look it looked fine,. A  bit of a wipe down required and the box needs a thoroughly good wash and clean but well...and then a little "play" and for £10 (seemed a absolute bargain) what did I have to loose...if nothing else I would have a nice sturdy case to use.  However I got her home and did a little dust and wipe down of the keys etc and the ribbons was still inked and she types beautiful...I am in love.  Memories flooded back of school , the teacher hitting our fingers if we dared to look at them whilst learning to type!   To this day I remember our old
teacher Mrs Bennet bellowing out "girls, shoulders relaxed, head up and eyes looking ahead ) .  I remember watching her type to demonstrate and it was a blur she must of had over a 100 words per minute .    I am a very happy bunny.  Both the children had a try when they came home from school and declared "those keys are hard" and "this is old stuff ". But I don't care!  " Erika" and I are going to have lots of fun together.  The funny thing is this is apparently a portable typewriter and I am no weakling but it is heavy.  When I think of old themed films and posh people having their secretary with them when they travelled I know what those poor girls had to carry about...I do not envy
them one bit.  For now until I give her a proper clean and tidy Erika is destined to stay in the dining room. I have looked  on You Tube and a gentle wipe with pure.  alcohol and a can of air to blow the dust out under the keys (total all in £11)
seem to be the order of the day and a spare ribbon too as this one is only black and she can print in black and red.  So it would seem for the princely sum of £21 , the original cost and the extras  to clean her up nicely, it was worth waiting for.  Obviously if I hadn't popped in to donate some stuff I
may never of found her ... Funny how things work out isn' it?

There is one hiccup though...I can't at the moment "touch type" on her. Sunday morning a week ago.  I woke up and realised both joints just below the nail on the middle and index fingers on my left hand are well swollen and a bit painful.  I can't bend them like I should be able.  Thankfully I am right handed .  I am hoping it is just a glitch , I haven't bashed or trapped them , there are no marks , just swelling.  I am praying it is not the start of arthritis.  My mum has escaped it but my dear nan had
very crippled  hands and one sister especially has it too but mainly in her elbow and knee joints.  Oh well onwards and upwards.

Well off to play...have a little gift to russle  up tonight , but new curtains for  the "new" spare room arrived today so need to give them a iron and steam and hang them , not a job I enjoy.  ,.might be a job for DH to hang them though with these dodgy fingers!!

Spring tomorrow ..yippee , can't wait.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

A couple of new swaps announced

Just a quick post (while I remember!)

I know there are ladies out there that enjoy taking part in swaps and this weekend two new swaps have been posted

First there is Tracy's (Mad about Bags).

Her swap is a super stationery swap

Then Kimberley (Creative Chaos) is organising a Easter one,

(aren't those carrots and bunny lovely?)

It has been a busy half term here but I will be back soon.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

"Love me for a reason" -a finish-

Happy Valentines Day everyone.

Well a much delayed cross stitch finish ..I know it has been a while.   I bet many of you remember The Osmond's (yes I you cringe when you hear them mentioned...I do because I loved Donny, but then I was only a youngster that is my excuse and I am sticking to it!!)  the song "Love me for a reason" and some time later Boyzone's version ... have always been a song I have loved.

Well a few years ago as it was one of my little girl's favourite song I thought " I know I'll stitch those lyrics" .  well using a wonky alphabet and drawing a freehand heart I set about making a cross stitch.
Then with the major upheaval a big house move from Kent to West Wales involves it got packed away and forgotten about.  Last week I found it again and it only had half the heart to finish...what a shame not to finish I thought and the last few evenings i carried on with it and I finished it.

These fat eighths were purchased at Cross Patch when I met up with the blogging West Wales girls and I think they will go really nice with it.

My plan is to make a patchwork cushion .

Now to the very important business of young love !!!!
Who is Jessica ?

I thought as it is the day of "love"  I would share this with you, hope you like a giggle.
Last week  Little Miss came home full of giggles and smiles. Lovely.  I asked her how school went
and her reply so made me laugh "well I'm going to get married!" She said

"Oh and when did you decide this then?" Me
"I like Henry and I want to be Mrs *+*+*+$¥" she replied

"Well I don't remember Henry asking Daddy if he could marry you" I teased her
"Oh" was her reply"oh does Daddy have to say yes?"  By this time I was finding it hard to hide my amusement

"Yes he does need to ask Daddy and where do you and Henry plan to live ?" I asked
"In the annex but you will need to move your stuff!!" Oh the fun of it
"Well I think your brother has already decided he is going to live in the annex, so where are you going live?"

"He will have to live with you, I'm not moving out!" She declared "I'm the big sister" well that settles
it I thought laughing to myself, nothing like a 12 year old putting one in one's place!!!! I have no idea where she gets that bossiness from ha ha, but I'm sure DH has a idea!!'

Thankfully she has just turned 12 so I have a bit of breathing space for when/if that day ever happens
and looking at the amount of "stuff" in the annex I probably need all those years to empty it anyway!

Then .......

This reminded me of a similar conversation I had with Little Man a few weeks ago, as you know
Little Man speaks very little to us so this was a big glimpse for us into his world and thoughts.
This is what happened...

whilst getting him ready for bed (he still needs help in normal things like
washing, teeth brushing, dressing etc etc) a few weeks ago, well out of the blue he said

"When we have our own house we will have huskies , lots of them" well my ears are so fine tuned to
listen closely to when he speaks..I look for clues , for snippets of his life when he shows it.So when he said  "us" I asked who was "us" and so a beautiful part of my sweet boy emerged...oh I was so is how our mother and son chat went..

Me "who is us?"
Him "me and Jessica". Wow ..never mentioned her before..I was so happy and excited !!!!

Me " is she a new girl in your class?"
Him"no".  Not put off  and  trying to hide the excitement of him sharing with me  in my voice ,I
" is she in your school?"
Him "no ! she is in big school" well big school is the mainstream school next door to little man's unit,
he attends there for some lessons, like English and Maths.

Me "what is she like?"

Well he looked shy and embarrassed ..I had never ever seen that heart leapt!!
"Is she lovely?" I asked , his reply...

"Yes , she is very pretty and has blue eyes...we are are going to get married, we are going to have a
boy called "Dave " and a girl called "Sarah " if we like them we may have more !!!and 3 huskies".  My heart was so ...I cannot describe it ....
I didn,t know whether to laugh or cry...sharing many autistic kids don't share, they just don't
have the need or desires to do so ...
and when my kids open up and share and it is roses and champagne they just say it as it is ,..... this is always.  a big thing for me, and usually a funny one.

And so I asked Little Man    "Tell me some more  , what is Jessica is like ?"
She , Jessica,  is apparently kind , has white hair, blue eyes and they are going to live in the "little
house" (our annex) because I will need to cook tea because Jessica is too little to cook!!! And clean too apparently as she is too pretty to clean and they will be busy!!!

Oh his face when he spoke of this little lady..he is truly smitten!!!! I went to sleep that night a happy
Little soul.. My little man is "dreaming " in his own world, thinking of "Jessica , Dave. and Sarah"
and the huskies of course.....Little Miss dreaming of being married to "Henry".  (I hope he grows a bit taller though , she already towers over him !!!!" How and where did all this lovey Dovey stuff come from ? Wherever it came from it was lovely , Cupid has definitely flown into our "nest" and I am liking it lots....

This week in between finishing and sending off  Tracy's (Mad about bags) Valentine Swap to the lady herself , we have (daughter and I) been machining more random patchwork has been
excellent practice for her to get used to her and my machine .... I cannot tell you how happy those times have been... We have chosen fabrics and threads and chatted away , she has chosen die cutters to use and just been such a honey.

This morning blue skies oh so beautiful , I was wondering about outside and you know the expression "BEHIND YOU".

I turned around 

Big smiles ( me that is!!)

They are back in the next field 
the electric fence removed
and only maybe 6 feet away.

Snowflake is the white girl in the middle
She is the latest arrival....



I could almost touch them 
I wouldn't of course
but having them so near again 
is incredible 
another reason for choosing our home.

They moo and watch us with such interest 
I was so pleased I had the camera to hand 
for a change.

Then .. 


Then looking for something else 
I found this in the pantry 
and these too 

knocked up a quick sponge...

filled it with above

A Jaffa cake sort of sponge.
I use milk chocolate because we prefer it
but of course you could use plain chocolate..

I used to make this more often

it was too.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Crafting together

Little Miss' sewing machine arrived as promised .  The company I used have been excellent when I bought both my and Little Miss' machines and both times we got great freebies too.


Well sweetheart arrived home and I cannot tell you in words just how happy she was and kept hugging and kissing us until we yelled "stop!!" giggling of course.  She asked "why did you do this for me?", the simple reply "because we love you sweetheart" and for a second I thought she was going to cry.  Anyway we set about setting the machine up and it was easy and soon she was sewing away.  Her first project a pin cushion is coming along.

The freebies were a large packet of sewing scissors
and 50 large spoils of thread
I was very impressed .
I am quite happy for her to use my
machine too as it has some
fancy stitches
which her's doesn't and she 
seems very safe using both.

Well Imogen was a brat!  Two nights little sleep, yesterday I even had a mid morning nap on the settee I was so tired. Thankfully a check this morning and all appears fine on the house and goodness she blew her worst at us.  Walking to and from the taxis , the only venturing
out I did Tuesday  , we were blown a bit I can tell you.   This long long winter is so gloomy , even the
odd daffodil or snowdrop still isn't doing it for me.  Dexter speeds out the door when he can't hold it
any longer and nips back in record time and leaps and I mean leaps back into his warm bed next to
the Rayburn!!!!  So to cheer myself up , I made some more random scrappy squares of fabric.  I am
getting quite addicted....I had bags of all sort of scraps, not big enough to make even into the squares
for the postage stamp quilting ( the small ones I posted a few weeks ago)  and then I had a "light bulb moment " and now I happily machine away these little scraps and end up with large squares of randomness.  I printed out some templates and dug out the dies I wanted and cut out these applique shapes.  All are destined for Spring projects as I am fed up with winter and want to look ahead to
brighter, lighter and Spring things.   I have very little Sping material things so thought some felties , cushions , even a garland might be nice .  The scraps are all machined onto a cheap scrap of  light cream fabric I had hanging about.  This helps to give the fabric scraps some thickness and strength which helps especially when using thinner dies.

Well here are the templates and dies I used and the appliqués shapes I made.

I found some bunny colouring pages free
on the Internet 
cut them out for the templates.
When I nipped into Aberaeron library last
week I used the photocopier and 
enlarged the templates 
on the photocopier by 200% 
which just cost 60p 
for 4 different shapes.


Huge bunny

I will use double sided fusible interfacing  to adhere the appliqués to the fabric or felt and then blanket stitch to secure the small ones but the larger one I will machine.

Here as promised ages ago are the yo yo makers and makes...we have been making these curled up more evening...they are quite addictive too, we have covered some buttons to add to the yo yos later.

And some of the charms that are for the gentlework and crazy quilt projects which I hope will Little Miss will enjoy and also help  improve her hand sewing which she loves to do but finds tricky at times.

The high winds kept the birds away from the feeders but now they are back  and feeders restocked   for them.  Another molehill overnight too.   The marshmallow suggestion was because they apparently don't like the smell??? How anyone would ever think of trying that idea is beyond me ..ha ha.. it came from one of the farmers too..hey ho , I'm told the dug up soil is great to reuse in pots etc, when I can walk on the lawn again I shall use it for that.

Wednesday we took pupster down to the beach at New Quay..a full day here without rain...can't remember when that last  happened but it has returned again on Thursday .

a fishing boat heading out

View from the top road at New Quay.

Yesterday  after some carpet cleaning 
I made a start on the dresser. All the China has been hand washed 
and that alone took ages.
It is starting to look nice and I 
hope over the next few days to finish it off .
The start of spring cleaning ...
has cheered me up ..seeing
Lots of nice bright colours reappearing.. 
Spring ornaments, fresh bright cushions
have replaced the Winter ones.
I even saw three newborn lambs when I had to go 
out yesterday... to me it seemed 
early as I remember most arriving late
February and then March 
last year.

Next week is half term..
I am ready for a few duvet days.
The children seem really tired 
after this term,
more so than usual.
We have a few days with plans
but mostly to just 
"Go with the flow"
as the mood takes us.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Surprises and treats.

Well I have had a jolly week..I like that word and should use it more!  Monday I went to the beach. Tuesday I went to a weird abstract play in Little Miss's unit...weird because it was performed by a little elfin lady dressed all in white with weird blue eye shadow.  She played the violin and had this drugged glazed look on her face for the whole  hour..I named her "Bride of Dobby" as she shouted out random words that sounded rather like Dobby (Lord of the Rings fame) and was as I said dressed in white!  Her co stars were dressed in PJ's and said random words too whilst making chicken noises and throwing flannels and bed sheets about...weird!!!

Wednesday was WI.  This week we brought along favourite books and discussed why we chose them.  I chose "Rebecca" by Daphne Du Maurier...I love the book and the old version of the film.   I did the book as part of my English O Level and have read it several times since.  Various ladies brought in cook books, one on the history of "our" local villages which I must buy because it apparently mentions my house!!!! I was offered a loan but just in case I loose it or  spill coffee on it I would like to get my own copy and read at my leisure.  One lady who I met for the first time wow she must be nearly 90 but oh even at that age what a beauty !  She wore a beautiful white coat and scarf that looked oriental. ..beautiful high cheek bones and just such a graceful , peaceful air about her.  She brought a book called something like " The history of composition " it transpired she had been given the book in the late forties whilst she was studying to be a concert pianist and had studies under    one of the great Welsh composers.  she relieved her "secret" life that none of the other members knew anything about, some of her travels...I bet she had a few naughty secrets too..she had a naughty glint in her eyes reliving bygone times!!I so enjoyed my afternoon.

Thursday my little girl amazed me.  When I visited the unit to see the play , one of the teaching assistants told me how wonderful our daughter is at Design and Technology and how she uses the
sewing machine so naturally.  Well at the beginning of this term my darling asked if she could spend
her saved pocket and birthday and Christmas money on a sewing machine.  I said I would think about it.  To be honest I was frightened.  I doubted if she had the co-ordination and ability to use a sewing machine safely.  I am a fool!  Starting Wednesday after school we have every night sat and I have watched her use my machine..under supervision of course..but she is a natural.  She knew how to select her chosen stitch, use the foot and thread cutter and regulate the speed.  She amazed me.  She enjoys it so much.  So I spent a couple of hours reading reviews and have ordered her , her very own machine.  DH is so proud too...he said he thought she deserved it...she never asks for anything but this I know is something she will just squeal with delight over.  I cannot wait to see her face.  I cannot wait until we sit side by side  on our machines together creating.

Friday I went into cardigan for a few swap bits and a birthday present and found these

All newly washed and in perfect condition 
I plan to use these on the dresser

Cake for DH birthday...

I asked if he wanted candles but told him to think of the impact all those candles may have on the ozone!!!! "Very funny" was his curt rely!!!! Me and little man don't really like fresh cream but the others too certainly do!!!

Yesterday I wrote some cards and letters..long overdue, then did some scrap sewing as I want to make a few things that need a frayed, scrappy look.  Tomorrow I will have a play with some new cutting dies.

Today we nipped to my friend as it is her birthday and had a long overdue catch up.
afterwards whilst putting uniforms away all I could hear was the rain pelting against the Windows.  I am utterly fed up with rain and how outside everything looks muddy.  Some lanes I avoid now.  The farmers have been digging bigger and bigger ditches at the side of already thin lanes to accommodate water running off the fields., and some lanes  now I dread meeting any oncoming vehicles because there is no where to pull over and pass.  Reading other blogs I know this constant wet weather seems to be wearing thin with everyone.  Moles are causing havoc on our front lawn too or should I call it a bog!!! We have had various solutions suggested including, sticking marshmallows down the holes(what a waste I thought!) , sticking kiddies wind mills randomly on the lawn, sprinkling disinfectant , or going outside with a spade in hand about 5am as that is apparently their active time (??) and waiting until I hear action and then pouncing and dispatching said mole.  I must admit none sound likely to be effective especially me getting out of bed at some insane hour in the morning!!!

Well crumpets and hot chocolate have been ordered by little ones... The wind is howling so hot chocolate seems a great idea .

Monday, 1 February 2016

Hold on to your hats !

I gave up wearing mine (hat that is) and "Henry" hasn't even surfaced yet but oh !

We ventured down to Llangrannog and saw nature in all her rawness and beauty and the noise of crashing waves...fantastic,even magical if you like that sort of thing which I do.

As you know my little man calls that rock "Godzilla" and by goodness it was being hammered by all the sea could throw at it, obviously the tide was in but we have often walked over the other side of that rock, well days like today made that last walk seem a long time ago.

We sat on a bench in a shelter whilst pupster ran and woofed at the waves and it was simply , yes I know I said it before....beautiful...... The sky was light grey and it seemed very dark... I haven't seen a blue sky for ages.   We only saw two other people like us venturing out for a bit of fresh air.  The air was definitely fresh.

We stayed about 40 mins just watching, we didn't even grab a coffee, a bit chilled we decided to get pupster home to dry him properly (yes even if it was freezing he took a dip) . Five minutes later we were home , Dextie dried , fire on and oh so cosy again. I needed that break and we decided we should try to make more of an effort to go to this beach more often in the winter as it is so peaceful and in a chilly, wet sort of windy way recharges you.

Last night this was tea...DH makes the batter ...I did the rest..good old comfort food.

Toad in the hole, sausages wrapped 
in dry cured bacon

and lashings of onion gravy

This is "Daddy size portions"

Keep warm and safe
I hope Henry behaves himself.
Well as much as a storm can!