Friday, 10 July 2020

Mopping like never before ...

Many of you know I have unusual decor. This is the varnished floor I have in the downstairs loo and it’s  looking pretty shiny lately thanks to being sent a Flash Powermop to try. It’s got on board cleaner, twin squirters and it’s a fun shade of purple. Have you been cleaning more during Lockdown like I have? I’m not sure why but it’s nice having such a quick way to respond to post dog-walk dirt. I may just stick with this mop, although I wouldn’t say no to an echo cover or two I could wash and replace. Stay safe - wet floor! 

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Cats ...

Topsy came back! She was a little skittish. She came back after I posted about her all over the internet. She must therefore be stalking me online 

I finished this lovely cat portrait, and sent it off for a very happy birthday, I hope! 

Monday, 22 June 2020

Lockdown round up ...

We recently helped a ferret called Bear move home from Portland to just north of my children’s school. It was lovely to meet him and smell him too. He is a full ferret and mine are usually spayed girls. Mike thought he was fantastic. He was certainly very sweet a few of us got licked! 

We have continued a tradition of Enrichment every Friday afternoon when we grab a huge piece of paper and create something else for the windows. It’s a pity we live in a cul-de-sac it’s looking really cheerful and I’ve noticed one delivery man remark on the art so that was nice. 

Since losing Salt the Ferret on the 9th of April we have been watching some ferrets grow. Seven of these ten babies are girls and we will be choosing two to come and stay at The Raggy Rat house. Only a few more weeks to go now. 

Each Sunday millions tune into online services, and some may spot my prayer flags adding thought and colour to the sermon. This flag is one of my favourites and yes that’s my tiny size three foot. 

Sadly Topsy seems to have gone awol. She often pops off somewhere for a jolly but it’s been just over a week, so I’ve started asking around. We hope she is back tonight. She will be seven this year! Keep smiling xxx

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Back to the future ...

Here is a composite image I made for Facebook in 2015, showing what a difference 5 years makes ...

We are all still seated on our second hand seesaw, which actually might be third hand. We have hung on to it much longer than my friend who’s son Solomon enjoyed it before us. And on the 1st June this year Mike dragged it out from behind the shed. 

Hmmmm. The next photo shoot could be a bit of a squeeze. No one is yet taller than me, but it won’t be long! Brave wee Mary is partly sat on me but partly on the handle! Denim jackets are pretty cool and Daisy is concealing AirPods in that long thick hair! We have all tasted coloured hair this lockdown. 

My smile tells a story, top photo, my way-off adult bite, second image you can just about see the braces I wore for three years and in the recent photo shoot there was my post jaw surgery smile and the new shape of my face. I still don’t take it for granted. 

Finally here you can see the whole seesaw, our chicken run, and how we swapped a Wendy house for a pretty painted shed! 

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Good News ...

This is Safari, and soon he will be available in book form. He’s actually a very cute puppet and not shy to performing in front of whole villages and school children, especially in Africa. I was asked to illustrate some of his adventures for publication, and I spent a very busy two weeks with my pastels and pencils just before Lockdown. 

And despite the fact that things are not easy for publishers, after consideration, and probably some fun Zoom meetings I heard yesterday morning that this book has been accepted, it’s one of Mary Weeks Millard’s first books for younger children, and her first with this publisher. I feel so excited and that this will be a stepping stone for me. Look out for more information as and when I can share. 

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Prayers for our time ....

As lockdown life continues, I keep making the prayer flags ...

Love is something we all need and may miss forms of, the love of hugging or holding someone, the face of someone we love. So we do acts of love, phoning a friend or delivering practical help. Love has arms and legs ... 

We can be thankful for our lives and pray for the lives of those we love. We mourn for others. We stay at home to preserve more lives. 

In all the doubt we seek truth. This prayer flag will be aired on Sunday. But for now hangs in my hallway.

I’ve got a sweet little collection going. And a collection of driftwood and laces. Call me a gypsy ...

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Birthdays ...

Mary turned 12 today. I had bought some donut tins on Amazon and tweaked one of the recipes that came with the packaging. Thus Mary was happy and we staged a fake stake out in the car for breakfast. We also had some of that delicious whipped coffee again .... 

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Fixing things

During lockdown you can perhaps do some house keeping. This is because it’s not easy to replace everything at this time. So Mary and took apart a toy pirate gun that wouldn’t fire, saw how it worked and promptly fixed it. Bang bang! 

My friend’s daughter tore a very pretty dress while trampolining (PE at home), and I agreed it was just too nice to throw away. It tore right across the front in two places, and stitches were just about holding the other side under the bodice. 

It was fairly easy to rejoin the skirt part to the top, then to repair the long rip in the fine fabric I opted to stitch it to the lining using two lines of zig zag in both pink and green. There’s a visible repair but in use on a child playing doesn’t really stand out. 

The dress dips lower at the back and you can see it in all it’s repaired glory here modelled beautifully by Vienna, who gave me permission to share this happy picture with you. The post wasn’t too bad either, first class only too two days. 

Keep smiling, and see what you can fix! 

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Lockdown life .... some thoughts

Lockdown life has thrust families together. It’s also enabled us to help those without family nearby, as long as we safely can. 

A routine has helped fill our days, and little celebrations are also important. We delivered balloons on a birthday by tying them down and retreating to a safe distance! The shadows of balloons should be enjoyed. Why hadn’t I noticed them before? 

If able, take your one outdoor exercise everyday, and drink in the sounds, sights and smells. It’s a good way to break up the ‘school’ day too. Much of it is administered via laptops and iPads. 

Bean and Flute remind us to be kind and look out for those older or more vulnerable than ourselves. 

Wearing a mask will help protect you and others and help you to feel safe especially when in the shops. I think mines cute, but I don’t seem to raise many smiles. Wearing a mask is clearly very serious business. 

Cuddles help. Ash wants more cuddles, he can clearly tell that the world is a different place now. Cuddles it is, then ...

If you can’t get out, you might find a way to keep fit indoors, like Bean. Especially if you do a lot of the baking and sampling. 

Above all, now and always, love each other deeply. This weeks prayer flag was released on Sunday. We were a little sad after saying goodbye to a second  pet since lockdown started. Stay home, stay safe xxxx

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Prayers for our time, lockdown life ...

I’ve been working on a series of small textiles using scraps and what I have available. I have thought about them as an exhibition or event for quite sometime, but it wasn’t until now when we all took to our homes that working on them became important. I wanted them to be made from things I already have and to feature single words, perhaps something that could be prayed or spoken over something, a series of things to be thankful for. 

After running my idea past Nick The Vic each of them will be shared during the online Sunday church, and the first appeared last Sunday ... 

With no work available apart from house work and cooking it’s nice to have a little project on slow burn, and perhaps beyond lockdown too. It’s also very satisfying to hit that stash and create something that might reach further than I can. Feel free to comment with any single word prayers or blessings or words for things we should be grateful for during these crazy times. Practising thankfulness is very powerful indeed. Love you xxx 

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Lockdown life, hair!

All my children dip dyed their hair because there’s no school, apart from home education, and home education has no rules as far as hair colouring goes. I decided to bring forward my hair colouring to join them in blue solidarity. For I was planning to turn my hair to match the colours of The Court Said, previously scheduled for the 6th June this year. 

I applied about half a pot of manic panic to my head after smearing my forehead with barrier cream to hopefully prevent nice blue skin. It was hilarious watching my white hairs brighten up as my very curly hair slowly dried! 

This shade is called Blue Moon if you fancy trying Manic Panic. It smells rather nice and looks like children’s finger-paint! 

On Easter Day I got dressed up for the dog walk, casting aside my usual lockdown attire and tuning in to our churches online service feeling smart for once. Have you coloured, cut or even shaved your own hair? Let me know. Stay happy xxx

Second hand out fit, with shoes from The Dorchester Collection, cardigan from Sue Rider and dress (also planned for the court said) from Ebay. As you were ... 

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

House Work

So as lockdown began, and Mike could not attend the local gym, he began to shift furniture instead of weights, and I gleefully watched magnolia walls and painted polystyrene tiles disappear. About time too in the case of those tiles! The walls were full of fine cracks, and some bits of plaster fell off. The ceiling had well defined lines, and some water damage from one very rainy night some years ago. 

Remember that divan base that we upcycled? You can see it here, fabric covered. Under the grey worn carpet lurked on the whole some very nice floorboards, imperial not metric, but sadly in some areas the floor boards have taken some abuse on account of electronics and plumbing. Both needed doing when we got this house in 2006.  

Also on the to do list will be some curtains and carpet tiles will finish the floor. Mike will come up with a headboard and there must be a shelf for teddies and other things we like. The dressing table I picked up a few years ago, someone had begun to do it up so we painted it with some white undercoat and I have decoupaged the draw fronts, adding back the original handles. We need to do something similar with our bedside cabinets! 

Meanwhile, home education, arts, crafts and cooking carries on. And Bean the muse, explores the dust sheets on the stairs! 

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Lockdown life, food ...

These simple potato bites are made from mash mixed with cheese and rolled in polenta before frying in a light spray of oil. Some of the cheese melting through the polenta makes the coating extra special. Good use of lockdown leftovers! 

I often make banana cake but found myself short of one banana. I mashed my one banana and grated a juicy ripe pair! Result. This cake was for Matty and Daisy’s 14th birthday as they popped over during their holiday time with Steve. And check out that post jaw surgery bite! I’m still great full!

Did you have an Ester egg this year? We had ours for breakfast, while watching Breakfast @9 live on YouTube! Missing Sausage church, mostly the people of sausage church of course ...

With flour becoming available again, and eggs from our own chicken, waffles have become a usual breakfast staple. It was certainly a good choice to take on the rescue chickens this autumn. 

How about something to drink? I tried my hand a the whipped coffee that’s all over the place, but I think it tastes better once you fold it into the milk a bit. The kids liked it, even Mary who tends not to be a coffee fan, but making this coffee does call for a lot of sugar. I reduced the coffee for us, so blended 4 teaspoons of instant coffee, 4 tablespoons of sugar and 4 tablespoons of very hot water with my Bamix. 

The mixture whipped up pretty fast using the whisk attachment and we spooned it over mugs of chilled soya milk. I felt so good after drinking it I collaged most of a mirror and went out to play cowboys with Mary in the cul-de-sac!  

Friday, 17 April 2020

Someone left the paint out in the rain ...

So I painted a lion in one of the last services before lockdown, and added layers of chalk at home one night while doing a social distancing ‘cake church’ with Mike and the Fuzzies. I wasn’t sure how much I liked it but sat with it for a while. 

Then I sat wondering when it would rain. The weather during lockdown has been fabulous. Perfect for children to walk home from school in and here we are, all home-based. I knew that when it did rain I was going to shove this gauche-and-hairspray-fixed-chalk lion outside to let something performance art style to happen. 

So today my ever thoughtful lion spent the day on the front lawn (away from the dog) until after my home made cheese and onion pie dinner. 

I found him remarkably intact and quite fresh looking with much of the brown shades removed. Incase you are wondering, the canvas is stretched curtain off-cut onto a pre made frame, up cycling. 

I’m not sure what I’ll do with him next. Watch this space! 

Monday, 30 March 2020

Rainbows for the lockdown

I might blog a bit more. A blog seems like such a thoughtful place to be right now. We I live gently inside a family bubble and find myself not only free to home education once again, but legally required. 

So we have joined the worlds children in posting love on our windows, even tho we live in a cul-de-sac with no other children in it. 

Enjoy your daily walk and have fun counting rainbows. I’m doing a lot of cooking but aiming to keep crafting too. I hope you are well. 

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

I Can't Draw .... well i can but, i love books like this!

I Can't DrawI Can't Draw by Lydia Crook
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

i was given a shiny new hardback copy of this book to check out, since we are a very creative family indeed. i plan to let my almost teen have a play in this book, because i think its very clever in that it builds skill through games, and looks like a lot of fun. the book is one of those you can fill in yourself, so you can pretty much grab pens and pencils and get stuck in. you could cherry pic the activities a bit, but it does build nicely towards independent drawing so i would recommend working your way through it, and tick off what you have done in the contents using those cute boxes! i love quarto books anyway, this is another gem!

View all my reviews

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Edward Tulane

I’ve been making Edward for 10 years! And yes, I still have some to make! Have you read the book?