Tuesday, May 22

New priorities

Regretably this will be my last post for a while. This little one is taking up most of my spare time with his fancy pants diet. He's being very brave and we've only had a few tears about not being able to have favorite foods. I made soup tonight, I have to admit it was disgusting without the stock cube in it! He cried and said he wanted "mato sauce soup" but tomatoes are banned. I cooked a batch of oaty flapjacks on Monday but left them in too long and they burnt. Had to cook them again today. "Disco pops", liquidised melon and water frozen with a lolly stick in, are going down very well and are his main source of 'sweets'.

I've also made some pure sugar candies, tooth rotting stuff, but I thought they would be handy for bribery if/when we have to go to the hospital again. They are great fun to make, you pull the sugar mixture and twist and fold it to make it look like glossy stripes - this also burns the skin off your finger tips, so added protein too!

Needless to say absolutely no crafting has taken place. The shop is in a good position to be left, practically ready to open, with the code for the shop front and links saved ready to go when I am.

I'll be getting my internet fix in the evenings when I can and I'm still looking for exciting recipes that fit a Salicylate, Tartrazine, Azo Dye and Benzoic Acid Free Diet (just rolls off the tip of your tongue doesn't it!).

Catch up with again soon, enjoy the lovely weather.

** Kate **

Sunday, May 20

Sunny Sunday

Ended the weekend feeling really exhilarated. Had a fantastic day at the Rainbow birthday party. The weather was glorious and the girls lifted my spirits and made me so glad to have been involved. Absolutely exhausted now. Here's Dinky Diva starting off the biggest pass the parcel with about 150 other girls and 10 parcels between them.

After playing games and making things in the morning we were entertained in the afternoon by Mr Jengo and his friends. This guy was great, good clean family fun. The girls loved all his animal friends and were screaming with laughter at their antics. If you need a kids entertainer he's your man. Here he is with DD's favorite Dinostar.

I've got an absolutely packed week. I won't fill in the schedule here but I am off now to go and form a battle plan.

** Kate **

Saturday, May 19

Long weekend ........

Just a quick blog tonight as its going to be a long busy weekend for me. Spent yesterday at the dermatology dept of the local hospital where Small-N-Grubby had his 1st referral. This is for the rash he gets (I blogged about it in one of my very 1st posts). Its always difficult with little ones because hospitals/tests are never comfortable. He always makes us laugh though, one way or another. Its hard to keep a straight face when he tells his dad "when they call my name lets run" and he was true to his word legging it off down the corridor when they called for him. He's now on a very strict exclusion diet (hopefully not for too long). He's being very grown up about it and rejoicing in little things like a home made ice pop (melon and water blitzed in the blender and frozen with a lolly stick stuck in it). Its going to mean lots of cooking from scratch for me, no packaged and preservative filled foods. Wheat, most fruits and nuts are all banned. All recipes and links to interesting sites welcome!

Spent today relaxing and sorting out for a day out for the Rainbows 20th anniversary tomorrow. Had a delivery from Craft Obsessions with a cool journalling pad and some bargain papers and beads. Very helpful chap on the phone and a little suprise in the parcel!

Hope everyone's having a good weekend.

** Kate **

Thursday, May 17

Here's one I made earlier

The shop is coming on at a pace, so not much crafting (or anything else) going on. Uploaded some pictures to the shop site today and have nearly finished the shop front. I'd like a fancy header on the welcome page but I'm still working on it. Here's one of the first few items I'm planning to launch with:

I've put the pretty dress cards that I blogged about the other day on there as well.

One thing that isn't working is the link between here and the shop. I wanted it to look at least a tiny bit eye catching but my first attempt failed. The code ran when I tested it but not when I put it into blogger. Boo hoo, back to the drawing board for that one. As I'm teaching myself as I go along the learning curve is steep, but I do think I will be ready long before 07.07.07. I've got a holiday to fit in before then so I'll remain cautious and not revise the date yet.

Busy day tomorrow, so I might have to catch up with blogging and reading everyone elses blogs over the weekend.

** Kate**

Edit : I take it all back it was me, I just spotted a missing colon thingy in the code. Did a quick test and it works. Have whipped it back off the blog again as there's nowt to see yet. I can now head for bed happy!

Wednesday, May 16

Happy Tuesday

Having a good day today. Weather not too bad, even a bit of sun at times. The store front for the online shop is progressing faster than I thought and I am very optimistic about it.

Ordered some fab stasherooney yesterday (she says in her best Milo from the Tweenies voice - can't you tell I've got a pre-schooler). Got it from Papermaze and its already come this morning, hows that for service. Its the 2nd order I've made from them and I've been very impressed. The stock levels on the website are really up to date (I've ordered stuff from other places but the stock levels haven't been updated, so you think you've bought loads and then get an e-mail to say they haven't got any left - sorry a rant snuck in there). Here's what I ordered :

All the papers were in the sale - the floral ones are Chatterbox campus, brocade from Scenic Route and some Basicgrey Sophie card hidden at the back. The Autumn Leaves stamps are fab and I couldn't resist finishing off with a bit of Queen and Co. Oh, and the chalks were in the sale too, thought I could pop them in my bag I take out when I'm crafting. That should be my craft spending over for the month, lets see how long that idea lasts!

Got given this today :

Its a strange beast. Little boxes clip on around the edge and there's a big container in the middle. I think nails and DIY stuff might have come in it. I'll soon have it filled up.

Off to do more work on the shop.

** Kate **

Tuesday, May 15

2 Things ...............

I've discovered about blogging.

1. It takes a lot of time. Not the blogging but nosing around other blogs, then checking links on those blogs and looking at the dares, templates, shops and so on and so on.

2. Then there is the weight issue. I'm sure sitting here scoffing crisps is doing my figure no good at all!

Anyway, the reason I have spent so long sat here today is I have really started sorting out my shop in earnest (earnest isn't a host its an expression, like don't call me shortly, I'm losing the plot now, or plop as I originally typed!). The actual host will be CraftMarkets, Sally may regret setting this site up by the time she's finished with me, I'm already stuck in the registration bit.
I can see it's all going to take some time so I have decided to give myself a realistic opening date of 07.07.07 (sounds catchy ehh?!?) and if its ready before then alls well and good. The only real set back is it may mean a bit less crafting while I get it all up and running. If only I could drag myself away from this blithering computer.

** Kate **

Monday, May 14

Rainy Sunday

Sunday went as expected. Very wet and sat in all day with the out-laws. Took the jewelry to make as planned and finished a few pieces I'm really pleased with.

One thing that hasn't gone to plan is my sea album. The papers are lovely but I'm finding the chipboard and letters that came in the set too big for the 6"x6" size I have chosen. Still need a bit more work on this. Here's the intro page and one other as a taster. There are some other pages with more on but it just feels like too much - back to the drawing board I guess.

** Kate **

Saturday, May 12

Not Quite Ascot

Spent the morning in church at 'May Madness'. It was kinda based around Ascot races. The kids made hobby horses and everyone made big hats. There was Morris and Maypole dancing (not at the same time!). Dinky Diva's handbell group played a couple of tunes - they're getting very good. Didn't have my camera with me - shock horror. We had only intended to look in quick but then the cricket got called off, due to bad weather, and we stayed all morning. Small-N-Grubby was crowned May King and had a splendid time bossing people around. There were a few tears when DD didn't get May Queen but she did both lots of dancing and it all ended with smiles.

When it came to the hobby horse races the adults borrowed the kids steeds and Silly-Mid-On was determind to win. He even pushed past one old lady, very unsportsman like. He won a 2" high cup which befitted the achievement.

With the bad weather the plan was to craft all pm, but it just didn't happen. Woke up feeling not on top form today, so took the opportunity to slink back to bed. Slept soundly all pm, so I think I needed it. May get some more of my sea album done tonight - got the quote I had been looking for in the poetry corner this morning so research went on if not actual crafting.

Going to the out-laws tomorrow. Is it bad form to take a bag of craft stuff with you? Especially as the weather looks bad, we could be sat chatting all day. If I finish the album tonight I'll take some jewelry to make, then if I leave a bit behind for the hostess it won't look so bad - sorted.

** Kate **

Friday, May 11

My fairy name is ..................

Just got back from Rainbows (little girls group - aged 5 to 7). We had a fairy evening and everyone went dressed up. It was hard work though, there was a lot of mucking about. NOT the girls - the helpers! Put teenagers and twenty-somethings in fairy wings and tiaras and there's no controlling them. No wonder they get out of hand on these hen nights. All my lot needed were some L plates and they'd have been well away, no alcohol required.

One of the activities was to work out your fairy name. Mine's 'Secret Dream', I quite like the idea of being someone's secret dream (however unlikely!). My happy helpers all thought the activity was great so here's the list to work it out for yourself. Just look up your initials to get your new name :
  • A = Moonshine
  • B = Glow
  • C = Magic
  • D = Silver
  • E = Firefly
  • F = Sparkle
  • G = Flower
  • H = Glitter
  • I = Twinkle
  • J = Moonbeam
  • K = Secret
  • L = Flicker
  • M = Light
  • N = Glisten
  • O = Enchanting
  • P = Flutter
  • Q = Gleam
  • R = Petal
  • S = Shimmer
  • T = Dream
  • U = Charm
  • V = Wish
  • W = Star
  • X = Glimmer
  • Y = Butterfly
  • Z = Shine

(taken from a Tinkerbell fairy comic)

Have started working with my QVC TSV kit. Decided to keep it all to myself, so the 1st thing I'm making is a 6"x6" album from last years beach trips. Hopefully I'll have something to share soon. I'm using Shimelle's Box of Sweets template for all the pages, keeping the photos 6"x4". If this grotty weather keeps up there might not be any cricket tomorrow and I might get some time to craft in the afternoon!

** Kate **

EDIT : almost forgot to say, the lovely people at Storage4Crafts have sent me a voucher to spend after I sent them my photos of the holey cabinet. I feel a spot of shopping coming on.

Thursday, May 10

Found : Inspiration, Location : Bargain Bin

Went to the craft group at the local store yesterday. Played around with embossing boards but left my creation behind cos it was covered in wet glittery bits. Had a mooch round the shop and found a fab 3" dress punch in the bargain bin, half price.

Couldn't wait to have a go with it, all other projects on hold. Experimented with some paper scraps and soon realised the best dresses were made from plain/textured paper or very small prints, the larger prints just looked out of scale. Here are a couple of my fav creations, felt like I was a fashion designer. Made 4 cards and an ATC in all.

I plan to make up a load of extra dresses to keep as home-made toppers ready for when I need them. Its a bit of a grey day here - hence the dull light on the photos, hope it brightens up later.
Waiting for my QVC TSV to come, £200 worth of craft stuff for £30.11, hope the quality is as good as they say! Over on the Just Bex forum, Lynne has received her's already this morning, so fingers crossed.
** Kate **

Tuesday, May 8

Crafters Block

Was determind not to blog until I had actually done some crafting to talk about. I need to do cards for people but I am in a scrapbooking mood so that doesn't help.

First a quick catch up. The kids went to a farm on Monday with the out-laws. Dinky Diva came back with a very life like wooden cobra for which she is demanding a tank and snake story books! Small-n-Grubby came back with a lump on his head. Apparently he had dived onto one of the activities and hit his head on the safety sign, bless! We spent the day on DIY, grouted some tiles in the bathroom which have been up for at least 3 years without being finished - took less than an hour, why didn't I get on and do it before? Had a tidy in the living room and got rid of an old footstall that I had bought second-hand and recovered twice. I was half tempted to give it another new lease of life but it was beyond help.

Had a good day today, pre-school was shut so Small-n-Grubby had a friend round to play all morning. They built a den which incorporated a ball pool, cafe and a small alien in space ship on wheels. Great stuff.

Now for the crafting :
Still lacking in inspiration I turned to the DCM little extra challenge. Chipboard, metal and stamping. It just wouldn't come together and in the end I abandonned the stamped background I had planned and made this card and ATC instead. They will be winging their way to Debbie in New Zealand with the little treat I promised her.
Also made a couple of orientalish ATCs for my craft group tomorrow. We are looking at friendly plastic (I think) and I had some coins I had already made.
Excuse the horrible pictures I left it all far too late and couldn't get the lighting right.
Here's to better inspiration tomorrow.
** Kate **

Saturday, May 5


I've just been in a fight.

I've gone 10 rounds with a kitchen cupboard!

Silly-Mid-On does the weekly shop in the wee small hours, says there's no queues at the tills and all the shop assistants know him by name. I've just gone to put the tea on and 5 bags of potatoes have lept out of the cupboard at me. I wanted a saucepan but they were guarding them and wouldn't let me pass. 5 bags! ok, so one of them was sweet (no I don't have a potato fetish, I mean the orange sort, yams) but still 5 bags. You like to be stocked up but you don't expect to find the EU potato mountain in your pan cupboard.

He is at cricket of course, the 'season' is upon us. This is some sort of stupid pretence the cricketing world maintains when really there is no such thing - they play all year round. If your rich or extremely talented you go to Australia or the West Indies for the winter otherwise you play indoors in the local sports centre, have pre-season warm ups, nets and then its the summer again.

As he quite cheerfully pointed out to another dad this morning when we were collecting Dinky Diva from bell ringing, it's not like football (90 mins), you get there at 1.30pm for a 2pm start and if your lucky the game has finished by 8pm. Of course there's a game Sunday afternoon too (with kids coaching in the morning beforehand), Tuesday evening practice and Wednesday night league (with coaching at the local school beforehand). In case you are wondering this is not his job (he wishes!) all this is in his 'spare' time. Before I crack on totally about how abandoned I am, I should point out that he doesn't play Sunday's (just organises the team) - otherwise I may as well have gone for artificial insemination.

Never mind - at least he's done the shopping!!

** Kate **

PS my last few posts are making me sound like a right moaner - but I'm not, I don't think? I must get on I',m supposed to be cooking that tea!

Friday, May 4


Yes, its......................................heeeeeeeeeeeere! Arrived about 4pm but as I was practically on the door step waiting to go out I couldn't do an update. I may be slightly jaded by the long wait but it isn't quite all I'd hoped for (just picky things really I suppose it depends on your prespective). Here's a little review :

This is what all the fuss has been about - you know one of those thingies whats been advertised in a lot of the craft mags.

I went for it because I already use the boxes and have them stacked on end in my bedroom. When you knock one over on your toe those suckers are heavy. I also feel that if I have invested a fair bit in 12x12 papers etc its worth keeping them so you don't end up with lots of curly edges.

The draws fit in really nicely (after all it is made to measure) and they slide in and out with ease.

The construction is solid wood, no MDF and it arrives assembled - no flat pack (apart from adding the optional castors if you wish.)

Here's the thing - you can order them plain to decorate yourself or for no extra charge (they are £49.95 without the boxes in case you were wondering) they can be painted in a choice of colours. I went for pale blue but the finish is not as good as I would have hoped for the money.

There is a row of panel pins on the top that have been painted over unfilled and knot holes on the back and inside which have been sanded down but again painted over unfilled. I know the back and sides won't get seen that much but the amount of effort needed to fill them before painting would have been minimal, whereas now its been painted it would be a lot more work. Knots in natural wood can look very attractive but when the wood is painted they just look like big dents and nail holes are unattractive however you look at it! See what you think?

I feel a constructive e-mail to the supplier coming on - just pointing the problems out to enhance the satisfaction for future customers. Not right now though I'm missing Ugly Betty, it can wait till the weekend. Bank holiday in the UK too, have a good one.

** Kate **


An early update today as I'm Cabinet Waiting and its Rainbows tonight. The Cabinet was 'on the road' at 9.30am according to ANC tracking, which means it could arrive at any moment (will try and get time for an update this evening). Rainbows, if you were wondering, is a section of the Guide Association for girls aged 5 to 7. I've been involved with the unit for 5 years now and whilst I enjoy it I'm warn out by the end of Friday as its the same day as the toddler group I help at. Glutton for punishment is I think the expression you're looking for.

Here's the bargain - I was gonna share the QVC item number with you but its sold out never to return :
Blank book ,fibres, pink papers, instructions and quotes all for £15 including postage - I think it was a bargain and am very pleased. Probably won't make exactly the book in the instructions but thats what we all do isn't it, put our own personal stamp on things?
If I get really excited about the Cabinet later I might start re-arranging my craft stuff and taking photos - update to follow - fingers crossed!
** Kate **

Thursday, May 3

Share the Love

Over at Shimelle's there is lots of love to go around. She's posting lots of projects throughout May with heart based themes. I got making some felt hearts and before I knew it I had made 4.

The hanging one is based on a little necklace design that I have made with children as young as 5 (so its easy peasy). Small-n-Grubby has had a bit of a growth spurt so I chopped up some trousers to make shorts. On the inside the material was all fleecy, so guess what the beige coloured heart is made from?

Its been a strange day. I've managed lots of craft stuff in the morning but then got in a muddle with Silly-Mid-On and no-one picked Small-n-Grubby up from pre-school!! After that the whole afternoon was confusion. Whilst still being creative, I made a bag charm from a friendly plastic heart - for the craft group next week . Also completed a very plain exploding box to put some survival essentials in for a friends who is going into hospital with her little girl.

Yesterday I put a counter on my blog re the phantom cabinet. Today I receive an e-mail to say it has been dispatched by courier next day delivery. I'm sure the 2 aren't connected but it does mean Cabinet Waiting for me again tomorrow!!

** Kate **

Wednesday, May 2

Position Vacant - Tooth Fairy

Headed up to bed quite late last night and the first thing I noticed was my alarm clock was missing. Remembered the Tooth Fairy was due to visit, but don't recall her being famous for pilfering alarm clocks. Looked everywhere but couldn't find it. Anyway was reminded by then about the Tooth Fairy. Snuck off to see if she had been. Dinky Diva was sound asleep placed firmly in the centre of her pillow. Lifted up the corner of her pillow and there was her A4 letter to the TF directly beneath her head, the tooth was no where to be seen. By now I am pretty tired and not really thinking that clearly, so I stand there with the pillow half up contemplating whether the TF could add a little note to the letter without actually taking it out when the kid wakes up. I think of the first thing that comes into my head and promptly accuse her of taking my alarm clock! (oh the shame, I am bad mother). She grunts at me, lays back down and goes back to sleep. I slink off back to my bed feeling ashamed I have failed in motherly duties as TF.

The verruca gnome arrives home from cricket 'practice' (I say 'practice' as the majority of the time is spent lifting a pint glass up and down). He offers to sort out my mess and heads off to do the deed. The tooth is in a little pot under the pillow - the idea of which being that it is easier to find than a tiny little tooth. It has been commercially manufactured exactly the right size for the tooth to be replaced by a pound coin. VG comes back looking very smug, he has found said pot and managed to ram a 20p in it, the letter he has left behind "what letter?" he says.

So this morning Dinky Diva is all gappy smiles, very pleased with her 20p and perfectly happy with our explanation that the TF read her letter but couldn't take it with her as she had far too many teeth and coins to carry!

On a crafting note I have been playing a new game today (well not exactly new as I have been playing it for a while now). Its called Cabinet Waiting and is some what like watching paint dry except it requires a good deal of anger and frustration built in. Have decided to add a new tag to the bottom of my blog entries - number of days since cabinet was ordered (and paid for I might add) from Storage4Crafts.

Number of days since cabinet ordered = 44

** Kate **

Tuesday, May 1


I've won a competition in Quick Cards Made Easy. It involved using DoCrafts products, which I had plenty of, so I gave it a go and made this card.

It gives me such a buzz when this happens (prizes big or small, I don't mind!). I was really pleased with this card as I couldn't get hold of the cat rub-ons I wanted before the deadline and ended up doing some free-hand text. I've done this fo scrap LOs but not on cards. Next is a rather dark picture of what I won. The prize is much better than the photo - lots of quilling gear, which I quite like doing.
Family news now - Dinky Diva lost one of her front teeth at dinner tonight! She'd lost some bottom ones before but the new teeth were already there, so this is her first gap. Definately called for some photos - she is very proud of it and has written a letter to the tooth fairy to go with the tooth.

What's the going rate for teeth these days? I hope the tooth fairy doesn't forget!!

** Kate **