Sunday, 23 August 2009

Edinburgh Book Festival

We went back to the Book Festival again this year - we were organised too - took lunch, water and remembered our rain jackets (we needed them!). We were extremely lucky to get a couple of ticket returns so Lucy and Adam could get in to see Jacqueline Wilson and then even luckier when a woman behind me in the queue said she had a spare ticket and gave it to me so I could go in too (and she wouldn't take my money either - nice lady). JW gave an hour long talk with question time at the end and was really lovely. Really interesting and easy to listen too. The only tiny disappointment was that we didn't manage to get Lucy's book signed as she had to limit the numbers due to her health, but we were all thrilled to have seen and heard her. She is teeny!

I also met up with a lady from the Open University (they are one of the sponsors of the BF and had an area there) that had helped me when I returned to study with them 3 courses back. She was extremely helpful to me at that time, although I had never met her in person, and so I was delighted to finally meet her face to face and be able to thank her in person.

After all that excitement, we traipsed in the rain to watch the street performers in the rain at the Mound. I seem to remember it raining at the Mound last year too! It was fun though - the kids absolutely love it.

So, a good day had by all including Dave who even managed to avoid all tram works and find a very handy parking space.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Sock Pattern?

Some time ago I was knitting a pair of socks on four needles with some lovely self patterning wool. I say some time ago, but it was actually July 2008. How time flies ;-) Anyway, I've not got much (any) further forward and have lost the pattern and am trawling the net looking for another.

So, my question is - does anyone have an EASY pattern for a pair of socks? I would much rather begin with something that someone else has actually knitted and can vouch for instead of me stumbling through a pattern that may or may not work (surprisingly, this has happened to me a few times lol)

You never know, I might get further this time :-)

Tuesday, 11 August 2009


I hate DIY. Well, not hate exactly, I just loathe all the hassle that goes along with it. All the furniture heaving and towers of books all over the place that are guaranteed to fall at any moment, treacherous toys underfoot and so on. I've been decorating Lucy's bedroom and I'm (almost) finished. It seems to have taken forever but now it is a vision in pink (a surprising choice from the girl who has objected to all things pink and 'girly' up till now) - on one wall is Cheeky Wink - a dark pink, and the other three are tastefully pale in Mademoiselle - oh and traditional white woodwork. Good. I'm not planning any more DIY for a while :-)

By the way, thank you so much for all the comments that have been left regarding my course result. I do truly appreciate every one of them. Thank you. xxxxxxxx

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Happy Dance!!!

I am totally gobsmacked and (almost) speechless... I got a Distinction for my OU course A363 Advanced Creative Writing!!!!! I sincerely cannot believe it. But I have checked several times and it is writ large in red letters so it must be true lol. Happy happy girl :-)

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Sphinx Cake

After being sent to Mr Ts for fondant icing, I was banished from the kitchen so Miss Lucy could bake a secret cake (she's very bossy sometimes. I don't know where she gets that from...). The result was a very artistic (and extremely delicious) Sphinx cake. We weren't sure if a Sphinx should have a tail or not, so she added one anyway!

I'm not quite sure why it needed candles - it just did :-)

I love it's happy little face.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Twilight Mini Book

Miss Lucy is a big fan of the Twilight books so I thought I'd make a little keepsake for her. It was a lot of fun to do and she really loves it, so I'm pleased. I thought you might like to see it - but please excuse the photos, they are a bit fuzzy.

This page below was a little flowery for the genre really, but I couldn't resist that floral black red and white combination!

This page below is my favourite - it looks a lot better in real life, the colours are actually really nice together.

I must admit I do love to make mini-books and journals - there's something about all things compact that appeals to me. It's inspired me to get back to doing more in my art journal - I love working on that - I think it's the freedom to express yourself and create pages without restriction or boundaries. Where did I put that gesso...?

Monday, 20 July 2009

Last week...

My second post in one day - miracle!

I have to be honest. Last week was pretty boring. After being camping we were out of cash, car-less (Dave being back at work) and a bit stir crazy. Well, I was stir crazy - the children were quite content to play on the playstation or the computer or go to the local park which has been renovated and has a zip slide! By Friday I had had enough and we headed for the local town where I enjoyed with great delight, a large cappucino in M&S. Bliss.

There were some developments at the bottom of the garden. A new gang hut was under construction, and with some useful bits of wood and two different coloured tarpaulins and a bit of string, it was soon built and looking good.

Under construction...


Looking out...

I'm just wondering how long till they want to sleep in there...

Camping It Up near Killin

It's been so long since I blogged on a regular basis, I think I've forgotten how. I've been feeling a bit guilty reading everyones lovely posts and writing nothing myself. So, I challenge myself to blog on a regular basis again - it may not be very interesting, but I will try to do it once a week at least. We'll see...

So, we went camping recently for a few days. Headed off to a campsite near Killin, which is by Loch Tay. We'd visited this site last year for a night to test out the tent and as we couldn't get into the site we were originally planning to visit, we headed back to this one. Miss Lucy and Mr Adam were so excited (I was slightly less so, I confess) and we managed to get there and erect the tent with no major incidents!

Lucy couldn't wait to get to bed that first evening!

Cooking facilities.

We visited a country park one day and Adam was not impressed at the size of field this coo was in - it wasn't big enough he said and 'what if the coo wanted to visit somewhere else in the park?'. Oh dear.

Ahem. Not my best side. We stopped by the side of a stream one day and cooked up our lunch on the wee stove. Dave and the kids thought it would be fun to take pics of me washing up without me noticing. Grrrrr.

The view from inside looking out. The first night was pretty noisy as a load of people were drinking and making a lot of noise and generally being a pain but by the next day (Sunday) they were all leaving and the rest of the week was lovely and peaceful.

I love this picture of Lucy at Loch Tay. It was a 5 minute walk through the forest to the shore and it was absolutely scorching on this morning. So much so, that the children ended up with their swimwear on, paddling about in the water - which was freezing!

Adam is very fond of Highland Coos and this one is rather famous in these parts - he is called Hamish and weighs in at 1 ton! It was absolutely pouring with rain when I took this photo - Hamish looked quite unperturbed.

The same day we visited Hamish we also stopped at the Queen's View near Pitlochry - gorgeous view.
Back at the campsite, Miss Lucy showed off her Girl Guide skills in Barbequeing (yes, there is a badge...) and wouldn't let anyone else help. It was delicious.

The weather alternated between really hot and both types of rain - horizontal and vertical. In the end, I really enjoyed it (even though I swear I was sleeping on concrete and the midgies liked me best) and I was the one who wanted to stay on longer! I just love waking up to peace and quiet and the sounds of nature - you just can't beat it.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Another Cake & a Study Break

At long last the final assessment has gone. After agonising over the damn thing, tweaking and re-tweaking, spellchecking and printing it out, it has been posted off and the course is over. So, time for a breather, a little space to relax (ha!) and catch up on housework (ha!) and maybe even time to be creative in a different way than writing (yay!). At least until September time when I will have to begin another course :-)

Tomorrow is my Nana's 89th Birthday Party - which she is having at my house. So, I've been forced to dust and hoover up months of neglect and make a cake. This was a bit of a cake saga (aren't they always) in that it was supposed to be a fairly simple cake - one layer, bit of icing, nice decorations on top. But no, once my mind was free from OU thoughts, it went a bit crazy with thoughts of more exciting cake designs - which took twice as long as they should and involved 'mummy being cross'. Ahem. Anyway, I'd never tried a two tier cake before and always wanted to, so I did and it turned out okay (I was surprised). And the fondant roses (yes, they are supposed to be roses!) were something I learned this morning from a tutorial on YouTube - that place is amazing, they have tutorials on everything! There are plenty of mistakes on the cake - lumpy bits, uneven bits, even bits where the cake shows through the icing and the icing shows through the ribbon (oops), but I think my Nana will like it and that's what counts, right?

Happy Birthday Doreen!

Friday, 8 May 2009

Another Birthday

Can you believe Miss Lucy is now eleven? I can't. I've noticed a big change in her this last year or so and next year she will be off to High School after the summer.

She had a great party at home with a few of her friends and much laughter. I had to do a rush job on a cake for her too - this is a 'Twilight' themed cake (based on the books by Stephanie Meyer - which I thoroughly recommend). It was different than my original idea because I had a slight icing sugar 'incident' :-) Miss Lucy liked it anyway, so all was well.

She was not expecting to get an Ipod Shuffle and I think she was rather excited...

I don't know why she suddenly looks so grown up. Soon she won't want jelly and ice-cream or pass the parcel...sniff, sniff. Don't you wish sometimes you could just stop time?

I will have more of this sort of scene to look forward to I guess!

Blog Candy!

Look at the lovely things that arrived yesterday from Sally. I love all of it, but my favourite has to be the bird card - isn't it just gorgeous? Not only did I receive all these lovelies, there were also several rubber stamps in the package and some (much coveted) bits of swiss dotted card. I didn't take a pic of them because I just couldn't fit them in the photo! So, a big thank you to you, Sally :-)

Sunday, 3 May 2009

A Lovely Award!

I received this lovely award from Sally over at Crafty Salutations. It has just made my day - Thank You! Sally, you are very kind :-)

I also discovered that I have also won some gorgeous blog candy from Sally as well! How cool is that? I just can't wait to see it either because Sally is a very talented lady, which you will see if you have a look on her blog. I'm feeling all smiley and happy now ;-)

Now, I need to pass this on to ten other people, but I think I will just pass it on to all the blogs I follow (and you know who you are!) because you all make me smile every time I visit :-)))

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Most Excellent Easter Activities

We've had a lovely Easter weekend here. The weather has been good - especially today - and the children and myself have been doing plenty of crafty Easter activities.

Lucy made this gorgeous Easter basket - following the instructions found here on the Limelight Papercrafts blog (thank you Limelight!).

We made some finger puppets. Quite cute, but the glue wasn't the most effective :-/

Then it was on to card making - we got a bit carried away with cards actually and made loads!

Card making in progress...

Finally, we coloured some hard boiled eggs with food colouring - brilliant fun!

Most of the crafty stuff was done on Saturday, but today we had such good weather that Miss Lucy and Mr Adam were out in the garden for ages and I had to make cupcakes without the usual helpers to assist :-( Still, they came out okay despite that! We had some visitors arrive in the shape of my mum, my Nana, my sister and my nephew (complete with full length cast on his leg - the result of his first ever skiing holiday!) - we had a good blether, tea and cupcakes and a generally nice time of it.

In the words of Bill and Ted; it was Most Excellent, Dude!

Please excuse the wonky formatting on this post - Blogger wasn't playing!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Getting back into Crafting

At last I did something vaguely crafty...well, it's been a while (apart from the Christmas Sock Monkeys!). I had been promising to make my niece a little photo album for at least two years and since her birthday was coming up, I thought it was the ideal time to get it done. Of course, I left it till the last minute and did it all in a day. I had printed out some photos beforehand though, which was a big help. In fact, I had extra photos and made a little tag book for them as a wee extra.

It's not my usual style, I like more grungy, less vibrant stuff, but for a fifteen year old girl, I thought the colours were nice. I did enjoy doing it, although next time I would start earlier because the glue was still drying when I gave it to her! You will have to excuse the photos, they aren't very clear and I took them in a rush (the colours were a lot more vibrant in real life).

Friday, 13 March 2009

Red Nose Day 2009

I know Mr Adam doesn't look that enthusiastic about it, but he was happier than he looks!

Some Red Nose Cakes made by Miss Lucy. Her and a couple of school friends made cakes and sold them at the school tuck shop to raise money for Comic Relief. They raised £20 between them. Hurrah!

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Monday, 23 February 2009

It's Time for Cake!

Had to show you my awesome birthday cake made by Miss Lucy and Mr Adam - isn't it cool? They made it in the shape of a book and the TMA on the one side refers to my studies (stands for Tutor Marked Assignment) and the writing on the other side says 'Once upon a' - which refers to my writing progress! Cheeky monkeys. I am so chuffed with them, they did it all themselves and daddy only helped a wee bit at the end. Can't wait to taste it now, but I have to wait till they get back from school :-(

Wee devils!

They do like cake making - here is the cake they made us for Valentines Day - the little figures are meant to be me and the other half - awwwwww.
Apparently Mr Adam made himself very useful eating all the bits left over from shaping it into a heart!!

Saturday, 14 February 2009

A Lovely Award!

I received this award from the lovely Karen at Time for Tea and Cake. Thank you so much, Karen :-)

Now, I must pass this on to eight more deserving blogs, along with the following text:

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbon of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."I pass on the praise to:

Graeme at Grumblog
David at Authorblog
Alis at Alis Clair
All lovely people, every one of them. And if they want to, they can pass it on, but I won't send da boys round if you don't :-)

Friday, 23 January 2009

Baltic on the beach

First beach trip of the year was some days ago and very chilly but lovely. Miss L and Mr A played a bit and then we walked alongside the sea for a good while. Blowing away the cobwebs :-)

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