Monday, 31 December 2012

And now I'm back .......

Thankfully not from outer space. Although, wouldn't that have made an amazing story to tell?!
No, just from an extremely busy December and with apologies for having been AWOL for most of December.

Just popping in to wish my Followers 

and sending you every blessing you need and deserve for 2013.

Personally I'm praying my mental health improves in 2013 and although I learnt some amazing new crafts in 2012 which will stay with me always, I'm not all that sorry to leave it behind. I'm not one for resolutions, but there are one or two things I'm determined to achieve in 2013, so wish me luck.

Love to you all.

Arwedd xx

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Bags of Fun

Well some fun and a lot of hard work.....

Firstly apologies for my absence. I am nearly finished with all my makes for Number 2 son's PTA Christmas Fayre next week and I do promise to share them a.s.a.p.

Secondly, massive, massive thanks to the amazing, gorgeous and very generous Frugalmummy who gifted me this amazing Toyota sewing machine. My first ever!!! I am still getting to grips with it and have gone a long way today with my learning as you are about to see.

Lastly, what another fabulous day with Frugal Queen at her Bag making workshop.  After a quick lesson on how to load my "bobbin" and get the thread to come back up which I struggled with, we got to sewing the material we had cut out. The food as always was fabulous and very filling, especially the gorgeous cake, all of which are on Froogs blog.

Frugalmummy and Froogs' finished bags were superb. I'm still waiting to see the other two finished articles as the remaining 3, myself included were a bit slower.

My finished bag is anything but perfect. We won't mention the lining with the beginners mistake of one right side and one wrong side, or my wonky stitched lines, the rather odd shoulder patches on the straps, etc, etc. However, no matter how dodgy it is, I have to say I am extremely proud of my first ever machine stitched project. I've spent the rest of the evening swearing at it while I tried to get it finished, (during which time I learnt how to wind a new bobbin, with four attempts), and it's not brilliant but it's done for what its worth.

One finished bag!! Not perfect, but my day out certainly was. Thank you ladies, thank you.

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

updated: forgot to say, the fabric was an old navy sheet, a small piece of a double duvet cover bought for £3 from a charity shop and a 'vintage' pillow case.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Sew much to do....

.....So little time.

Apologies Followers I am busy setting up a new Facebook page for #2 Son's Primary School PTA, a new Website for the PTA and working on the Committee for our big Christmas Fayre in the Square. This involves creating, printing and packing Letters to Santa Kits  x 100, sets of 4 Christmas Tags with crochet snowflakes (photos to follow) x 25 sets, Christmas paper chains to match my handmade Christmas wreath (photos to follow), Christmas gingham lavender bags - felt snowflakes and buttons to be sewn on, mini crochet Christmas puddings to fit a Ferrero Rochet in, and I think there was another make I supposed to be doing aswell. I'd better go and check my notes.

Sorry can't stop. Be back soon.

Lots of Love 

Arwedd xx

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

PIF Crochet Style

When I was reading the Blogs I follow, I noticed that Tara at Little Things was playing a Pay it Forward style of game she had found via Melissa at Mel's Daisy Patch (following on from Oodles 4Noodles and Create Bella Create). The game involves crocheting surprise gifts for 3 Followers and as I so enjoyed my recent Giveaway and I'm still in love with the crochet at the moment, I agreed to play and P-I-F too!

Here are the rules if you want to join in:-

1. I will send a surprise gift to the first three commenters on this post. The crocheted gift will be handmade by me. It will be sent sometime in the next 365 days, probably after Christmas now, as I still have some UFO's for then that take priority. It will be a surprise. We all love getting surprises in the mail right? and how nice to get a little something extra in the New Year, when all of the festivities have died away?

2. To sign up and receive a gift you must play along too. Pay it Forward on your Blog, by promising to make a surprise gift for the first three people who comment on the post.

3. You must have a Blog, that is updated, as I will Blog stalk you to find the right gift for you. Include your Blog address in your comment.

4. After commenting here, you must repost this, or something similar, to your Blog within 48 hours. If not I will chose the next person who comments, who follows these rules..... It's that simple :-)

I am looking forward to playing this fun game with my fellow bloggers and am already thinking of what I might make. Something special and handmade just for you, so I hope you will want to join in.

Oh and please go and check out the fun going on at Little Things, Mel's Daisy Patch, Oodles4Noodles and CreateBellaCreate.

Lots of Love

Arwedd xx

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Two on Tuesday

Two things making me smile today:-

1. My new Mattress - after lying on broken springs for quite some time, I'm looking forward to going to bed tonight and trying out my new mattress. Although the shpae of it seems a bit unconventional!! Don't know how DH is going to get on it aswell as me?

2. Seeing the room I helped my friend decorate, all finished for her new lodger.

Lots of Love

Arwedd xx

Monday, 12 November 2012

The Eleven Blog Tag

There seem to be a few versions of this going around by I got tagged by Frugal Mummy at My Beautiful Life.

Here are the rules, as passed on to me by Frugal Mummy: 

  • every tagged person has to tell 11 things about themselves
  • answer the 11 questions from the person who tagged you
  • list 11 questions for the folk you are going to tag, and they should have fewer than 200 followers if possible
  • don't back-tag

It's getting harder to find random things to tell you, that I haven't already mentioned from previous awards, such as the Leibster and One Lovely Blog, but eventually here are 11 things about me:

1. I am the tallest of all the women in my family. I'm not that tall at 5' 6 1/2", but most of the women are in my family are around 5'. My cousin is the tallest at 5' 2". My maternal grandmother was 4' 9". Her husband was 6' 4", I take after him rather than her.

2.  I also have big feet for a "lady" at Size 8. Not attractive.

3. When I go out anywhere for a Christmas meal, (we used to have a team and whole organisation one, where I used to work), I always have Turkey. It's just not a Christmas meal for me otherwise.

4. I really, really want to dip die my hair in shades of purple. I've never been able to while working, as it would not have been acceptable for my job, but now I'm not working, I'm still not sure I'm brave enough.

5. I'm not a morning person. It takes me until my first coffee at 11:00 to really switch on, despite the fact I've been up since 7:00am.

6. I'm not very good with heights. I once had a very bad panic attack on a chair lift during a school trip in Germany and scared my teachers. One of the teaching staff took me back down the mountain on the train rather than put me back on the lift, very wise!!

7. I love Marmite! I also like Twiglets, which taste the same to me and I like Worcester sauce.

8. I hate wearing tights and very rarely do. They are a nightmare to put on, both legs never face the same way so they end up twisted and after the most wierd jig you have to do to put them on, they spend the rest of the night tugging at your skin as they insist on falling down.

9. I've been to Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida twice with DH and family and hope to go again, as M is the only one who hasn't been yet. However, this is very money dependant so I'm not even mentioning it to the boys in case it never happens.

10. Although I love Christmas, I'd rather have it hot and sunny than cold.

11. I have no memory, that's why I love photos.

Now for FM's questions:

1. In which month is your birthday?

2. What is your favourite colour?
 Lilac, but pastels in general are good for me.

3. What one thing do you wish you could change in your life?
 Not to have depression.

4. What is your biggest regret?
I had to look up the definition of regret, just to check this one and it says 1. To feel sorry, disappointed, or distressed about. 2. To remember with a feeling of loss or sorrow; mourn
In which case I mourn the loss of my job/career because of someone else's nastiness.
5. What do you feel is your Christmas tradition?
a) Spending Christmas morning in our own house so the kids can open presents from under their own tree b) they have to have a Satsuma in the toe of their stocking, it's the only fruit they eat all year !!

6. Which part of your body do you dislike the most? 
The bit from my hairline down to my toes.

7. Which celebrity would you take out for dinner, and why?
I can't afford to take one out to dinner, so I'd have to entertain at home and it would probably have to be Stephen Fry, because there's so much he could teach me and talk about.

8. Who was your favourite teacher at school, and why?
A European History teacher, I can't remember her name, but I can picture her and she was just so enthusiastic about her subject, you couldn't help but share her passion and learn something.

9. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Craft, whether it's my new-found crocheting, or cross-stitiching, card-making, pottery.

10. I'm coming for dinner: What will you cook for us to eat?
I'd be too scared to cook FM anything to eat, as she is a much better cook than me, besides, if it needs to be Vegan, I'd have to learn to cook something new.

11. What are you planning for your garden next year?
Less garden and a small patio area.

Here are the questions I'd like to ask:

1. What Quite Interesting fact do you know?
2. Do you bother with crackers at Christmas?
3. If you could only have 3 electrical appliances in your house, which would they be and why?
4. What's the #1 most played song on your iPod, CD, record player?
5. What's your favourite day of the week and why?
6. What's your favourite body part and why?
7. If you could know the answer to any question, besides “What is the meaning of life?”, what would it be?
8. What would you name the autobiography of your life?
9. What was the first thing you bought with your own money?
10. What story does your family always tell about you?
11. Do you have any phobias?

The lovely folks I've tagged to answer these questions, (if they feel so inclined, but I understand if this is too much like a chain letter and you don't want to) are:

1.  Amanda at Eight by Six
2. Jan at Jan's Journey
3. Justine at Jazzy's Place
4. Rachel at MaidofDevon
5. Tara at Little Things
6. Sarah at The Little Family of 3
7. Alison at Ali Bee Creations
8. Becky Bee at Bumblebees and Apple Trees
9. Mrs Thifty at New Beginnings
10. Morgan at Growing in the Fens
11. Rachelradiostar at Eternally 28

Sunday, 11 November 2012

How very dare you!!

Grrr, I'm in angry Mom mode tonight, so stand well back !!

This is an e-mail I received for No 1 Son today in relation to his Hockey.

"Dear Player

We hope you have enjoyed the recent JDC (Junior Development Centre) coaching.

Unfortunately the coaches do not feel that you are ready to go forward to a JAC (Junior Assessment Centre) assessment at the moment.

Please keep practicing and playing with your club and school and we look forward to seeing you again in the future.

We will be in touch when future coaching opportunities occur.

Thank you
. S

This is the e-mail I want to send in reply:-

 "Dear S,

I must admit I am somewhat surprised by the coaches decision not to put C forward for a JAC assessment at the moment. C's hockey playing has significantly improved over the last 12 months and this has been highlighted by the coaches within his Club and School. Not only has C been chosen to Captain both his Club and School teams at various tournaments in his age group, but he has also been named Man of the Match when playing for the A****r Men's 3rd team, in four consecutive matches at the start of this season, at only 14 yrs.

C will no doubt be extremely disappointed with this decision as he was last year, which almost resulted in his not applying to the JDC this year. However, that did at least allow him to captain the Teignbridge Boys hockey team, at the Devon Games, to a grand-slam victory. I wonder whether it is possible to have some more constructive feedback on the reasons for this decision, in order for him to know where he needs to focus his attention and what part of his game play is lacking. Or perhaps the problem is that his face doesn't fit and he's not in the "In" crowd. I would be grateful if you could tell me if this is the case, so we know not to bother with the JDC in the future

DH would rather I didn't burn any bridges in case we want to cross the river, but I am angry that all his hard work and effort is not being rewarded because he plays for a Club in direct competition with the one providing the Coaches at the JDC. Sadly there is only one route through to higher levels in Hockey in this Country and it doesn't seem to "spot" the talent I am told by several others he possesses.

Is this my fault? Should I have been a pushier Mom, like a couple of the others are, who seem to get what they want if they shout loud enough? Should I have blown his trumpet louder? 

How dare they not choose my child. Idiots!!
Angry Hockey Mom in Devon.

Arwedd xx

Friday, 9 November 2012

Flash, Bang, Wallop

Tonight I have been out helping M's Primary School PTA to marshall their Annual Fireworks Night.

Although, it didn't pour down on us, there was a fairly heavy misty rain so I'm pretty soggy. I had to stand the wrong side of a net fence and was asked by the Head Marshall to make sure no-one was leaning on the netting or pushing/pulling it, as last year it was almost on the ground before the display had started.

I am always truly amazed at the way in which some parents can stand and watch you ask their children, politely, more than half a dozen times, to stop doing something, in this case yank on the net fence, without saying a word to them. I know if my boys, (when they were both younger), were told something by an "official" of any kind, or member of staff in a shop, etc, just once, I would be immediately there re-inforcing what they had been asked to do, or not do. If they did it again, they did not need to be told by anyone else, as I was straight on it, and removed them if necessary.

Definitely time to dry off and sit with a hot drink and then on with my Christmas present WIPs.

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

In the Meantime.....

We have to try not to lose the joy of living.

Today I'm just giving you a song........

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

A Safe Place

Dear Readers, I need your help today. Apparently I have to "install" a safe place, before I can move on and I am struggling to find this place in my mind.

I was hoping you could give me a few ideas, by sharing your safe places, if that's not asking something too private. If you had to think of somewhere calm and safe, where would you go in your mind? What would it sound like? Are there trees and a babbling brook? or Is there sand and shells?

Inspiration needed. I think my ability to "install" anything has been severely hampered by too much Garbage In. I may need completely re-formatting.

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Sunday, 4 November 2012

A Gift Horse

I'm not sure if that's a very complimentary thing to call someone, and Carole looks nothing like a Horse, but she did give me a very nice gift today at Church.

I make a lot of Homemade cards, nothing special, but it does help me to relax, as I can get quite lost in planning the design and choosing just the right colours, or ribbons and gems. I use some of my cards to send on birthdays, etc, but the vast majority I give away for free. I donate them to my community Cafe to sell and the money goes into their coffers. I also donate them to Church and the sale money goes into our Church extension fund. I also have one elderly lady at Church who "orders" all her cards for family occasions from me and I make her special personalised cards, which she has always seemed delighted with. So most people there know about my Hobby.

I guess that's why Carole thought of me when she wanted to get rid of a piece of craft equipment and I'm so delighted she did. I have wanted one of these for ages, but due to cost it is well off my wish list. So imagine my surprise when she just handed me one at the end of Church today.

For those not in the know, it is a die-cutting machine and it costs anything upward of £80 + and I got it for free. I did offer her something in return, but she wouldn't even accept some cake. It is broken as it makes a nasty clicking noise, (it sounds as though a cog has come loose inside), but it still works so what is a noise between friends. I've already got a few Christmas makes in mind for it help with.

Now Lord, I'm still waiting on that sewing machine, a slow cooker, a fixed washing machine and "Oh Lord, won't you buy me that Mercedes-Benz". Only joking !!!

I'm off to check if the washing machine repair man is ready for some tea.

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday DH. You mean the World to me.

Glad to see you made another one. Your battery is obviously still charged.

Love W, C & M xxx

Friday, 2 November 2012

Scrub a Dub Dub

Yesterday I spent the day helping a friend redecorate a bedroom for a new lodger she is taking in. Together we painted the whole ceiling and top of the wall down to the picture rail, twice.

Sadly we just painted the ceiling white!!
After a spot of lunch, we started putting up Wallpaper. Now I have never put up wallpaper in all my life so this was a new experience for me. The paper she had chosen will perfectly suit the chap and although I didn't put enough paste on the first strip, I did a lot better with the second. The pattern was quite easy to match and I helped with the cutting and trimming too. I got a nice tea as a thank you for my assistance. I don't really think I did a great deal, but it was nicer for her to have some company as she worked.

Not my real hands!!  Also, somewhat odd brush action?
However, no good deed goes unpunished, and I got home to find out that our washing machine had broken. In the past, we would have been straight on the phone to call someone out, however, those days are gone. The washing machine was secondhand, so we don't have the instructions, but after quite a lot of internet research DH thinks he has found what the error code means. After further research, DH believes he has found the part needed online for £7.00. 

Prayers please that when this part arrives it will solve the problem without any further expense, as my poor hands are already raw from a days hand-washing. They are clearly not used to hard work, well being immersed in water for a long time anyway, what with the washing machines for both the clothes and the dishes. Having said that, there is something slightly therapeutic in doing it the old-fashioned way. It makes my think of my grandma, who still washed all her "smalls" by hand, even when she got a new fangled twin-tub.

What do you prefer to do the old-fashioned way?

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Slightly Stirred but Definitely Not Shaken

DH and I "got rid of" both Sons earlier today as they are spending time with grandparents for the last couple of days of Half Term.

As we drove away, having dropped them off, DH decided to be spontaneous - it does happen occasionally - and asked if I wanted to go and see the latest Bond movie.

As I've never seen a Bond movie for the first time in the Cinema, I decided to throw caution to the wind and agree to this activity, which these days involves taking out a second mortgage. Well, You Only Live......?

So having just got home, what did I think of the film? 

It was alright, ................ hence my title, ............ but should a Bond Movie be just alright?

I'll try not to give too much away because that wouldn't be fair, but if you really don't want any spoilers then look away now.

The lack of any gadgets is a loss for the boys and the lack of any real romantic interest and one extremely brief scene of Daniel Craig with his shirt off, is surely a loss for the girls. Both of these reduce this down to just any other action movie as far as I'm concerned.

Don't get me wrong some great cinematography, some good car chases, although none in which Bond is actually at the wheel, and some interesting fighting styles, but what makes it any different from a Die Hard or a Mission Impossible?

I know the idea is to convey more realism these days, but for me Bond, James Bond, is meant to be a larger than life character. That should be able to push the limits of believability a tad. When you think Ethan Hunt could beat Bond in a fight, you've dumbed it down too much, for my liking.

The other thing very sadly lacking, as far as I'm concerned, is Bond's sense of humour. I think I could count the funnys on one hand and most of those from other characters. Roger Moore went too far with the silly innuendos and smarmy quips, but there have to be some, don't there?

Poor old George Lazenby, it wasn't his fault he couldn't act, he was a model. Roger Moore, a bit too smarmy. Timothy Dalton, let's not even discuss it, waste of space. Piers Brosnan, not bad close to the right mix of authority and invincibility, with humour thorwn in. Daniel Craig, too dark, needs to lighten up and at the start of this film is out of shape and incompetent, something Bond would NEVER be.

So an Ok film, but my best Bond still remains Sean Connery. How about you?

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Breaking the Silence and Revealing All

Hi Folks, that's the longest absence I've had from my Blog since I started it and I nearly didn't make it back at all. In fact it still remains to be seen whether I do or not. A few different factors really, it started with a cold and I didn't feel like much of anything, except sleeping, then there was a week without access to a computer, and then the darkness descended!!!

I've had a really difficult struggle with some very negative thoughts, in part (I think?) caused by starting my EMDR therapy. Why is it that having waited so very long for it, now that I have started it, I am suddenly angry about how long it has taken, rather than feeling grateful? I am angry that it didn't come in time to, maybe, save my job. After the first couple of sessions of introduction and structure, came a couple of sessions of "History Taking". This consists of trying to articulate all the occasions and situations where negative thoughts and beliefs were fed to you as a child, in 45 minutes. It would take me a week to tell all of these, that's at least 168 hours, not less than one. Then re-living the traumatic incident and picking out all of the worst pictures and scenes from that in your mind and the negative thoughts that go along with them, in another 45 minutes. Gee, that was a FUN session. 

Discovering your fundamental belief about yourself is, "I am not capable", strangely doesn't seem to alter that belief in any way. Does that make me crazy? Not capable of choosing what clothes to wear, not capable of being a good mother, not capable of holding a responsible job, not capable of saving a life. Not capable of writing a Blog that anyone would really miss if it wasn't there. Yes folks, I did have a couple of mopey days, where after a couple of weeks of absence from my Blog, and not a single word from anyone, I felt like it was a confirmation of that. Thanks to Sandra and Rachel for bringing me out of that particular fug.

Hopefully, things will start to change when we get on to the "therapy" proper. I get to choose between having the lovely lady wave her fingers in front and to the sides of my eyes.

Whether to hold some little paddles, one in each hand, which alternately vibrate, at different speeds or listen to clicking noises moving from one ear to the other, or both of these together.

Or, which I think might be my favourite, and the one I'll go for, watching lights move along a bar. These can also be altered in different ways, speed, etc. I did try it and it was the one I found the easiest to concentrate on.

My negative funk, was also in part (I know) caused by a lack of friendship shown to me by folks I actually thought were 'real' friends. It seems I am able to be picked up when wanted/needed for something and put aside when not. Boy, that has the power to really sting, every time! Never mind "a sharp stratch", that one's a sucker punch to the gut!! 

So yes, it's been a struggle and I fear its not over yet.

But as I sit here and write tonight, I am in the throes of another virus, (my second in less than 2 months, my Mum would say I need a "tonic", I never really knew what that meant?), and every paroxysm of coughing is causing terrible pain in my chest, the back of my neck and across my shoulder blades. I am high on pain killers and I have no voice, so I cannot speak, yet it seems very apt that I should be here 'talking' and breaking the silence.

You probably think, I've revealed quite enough already but that wasn't quite what I was thinking of when I wrote the title. I thought I would end on a slightly more positive note with a crochet reveal. So not revealing ALL, at all in fact, phew!!

You have, probably, all forgotten this sneaky peak of a WIP, I gave you back here, at the beginning of August.

I'm afraid to say Mum, all your guesses were incorrect, not a Zebra or a Panda. A bit unfair really, as the photo obviously didn't show the colours too well - they are in fact, cream, lemon and chocolate brown.

The Finished Object is ..............................................

How long do they normally pause for on those dreaded results shows?.........................

before they tell you, which couple.......................................

is leaving this week ..............................................

IMHO, it's far too long ..........................................

to the point where you could scream at the telly .....................................

or just turn over.................................... NO, DON'T DO THAT!! I'm sorry !!! Here it is.

It is actually a car seat blanket and hat, which was a present for FrugalMummy's GD (and she truly is, very gorgeous). Hence the initial secrecy back in August. There is a little hole in the blanket for the car seat strap to go through.

Now, I'm always very honest, so I have a confession to make about the hat. I feel I'm still fairly new to the whole crochet craze, although I'm hooked. (Sorry!!) So I'm still at the stage where I just follow a pattern blindly, but I must admit to having doubts about the size of this hat all the way through. I'm not sure why I thought that the situation would improve, but I did feel it would work out alright in the end. However,......

As I don't have a newborn in the house, Alvin had to step up and model.

When the hat was a tight squeeze even on his head, I knew it was wrong. Eventually I found a willing newborn to try it on and it just perched on top of their tiny head. Uh,Uh, back to the drawing board. Undetered I started again and thought, well I'll just keep increasing for a couple more rounds, but again having no newborn to try it on, I didn't really know when to stop. In the end, I had to consult the oracle, Frugalmummy herself, surprise blown, but I'd rather GD had a gift she can use. 

After taking advice I did a decrease round which brought it in again, so the final hat ended up as a kind of beret! A slight depature from the original, but it didn't look too bad when the flower had been added. What do you think?

The tiny hat went in the present aswell, hopefully Baby's doll can wear it and I so hope the beret fits. If not I still have some more wool left!!!!!

All of it was wrapped up and given to GD at her fabulous Baby Shower and she seemed pleased with the final result.

Now to start the next project, or maybe I should finish another one or two first.

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

What's in your stockings?

NO, not those sort of stockings. Despite telling Frugalmummy, I loved her Christmas planning posts, but in my mind it is far too early to be thinking of Christmas, I did promise to post my ideas for stocking fillers for the men in my life.

I always fill all three of them a stocking every year and whilst I know the frugal amongst you may not want to do this, for those who do and are stuck for ideas, here are some I have used over the years. If you have any thoughts or things to add, please leave me a comment, as I am now starting to look for this year.

* Novelty handwarmers. I have bought different ones in the past, e.g. in car shapes, that you can charge in boiling water.
* Socks & Boxers. This is the time all 3 boys get any necessary underwear replacements.
* Tyre Gauge. It's surprising how many of these go missing and DH seems to constantly need one.
* Pack of their favourite Microwave popcorn. That's 2 sweet and 1 salty.
* Mints. My boys like peppermint creams and these are relatively easy to homemake.
* Electrical tape. Boys seem to get through a lot of this and they like different colours. (It's a man thing).
* In the same vein, Duct tape.
* Scratch off lottery tickets. They're the only ones we buy all year, so I allow the extravagance, you never know, one day we might win those millions.
* Batteries. All shapes and sizes, especially if they fit any toys you've bought.
* Cable ties / zip ties.
* WD40 can.
* Sanding block. These also come in different sizes. Even men who aren't into DIY seem to need these.
* Pez candy dispensers and sweets. We now have these in Jungle Animals, Star Wars characters, etc.
* Hot Chocolate sachets
* Small sachets of Aero mint dessert mix
* Jelly packet. Try and find a flavour they don't normally have.
* Car Shammy leather
* Car Sponge
* Aspirin or whatever they take for a headache.
* Toothbrush. I know you're supposed to replace your toothbrush more often but my boys only get a new one each year in their stocking. Although they get replacement electric heads now as the Hygienist insisted on electric toothbrushes.
* Dental floss and inter-whatsit brushes. I have also bought these tiny little brushes for between the teeth before to go in DH's stocking. We have to buy them, so they may aswell go in the stocking. I know it's not romantic, but hey, it's practical.
* Travel size suncream. Ready for summer camps etc.
* SD cards. These are good for their cameras, videos, etc.
* Matches, regular or extra long. Good for lighting the Bar-be-que.
* Glowsticks.
* Earphones 
* Little torches or Maglites. These also seem to be in constant demand, but no supply as they disappear faster than socks.
* Top trumps card sets. There always seem to be a new set out.
* Mini cans of deodorant.
* Mini pens, pencils, novelty erasers and those pencil sharpeners that collect the bits in the bottom.

If the guys have a particular hobby, then that can make things a little easier.
* Packs of seeds. Good for gardeners.
* Hockey ball. I just bought one of these for a stocking in the sale for £2.
* Guitar strings and picks.
* Fishing flies.

You may ask why I'm not doing the same list for girls? Two reasons, 1) girls are easy, they are enough hair accessories and nail varnishes out there to sink a battleship and it's normally the boys we struggle with and 2) I have boys not girls, get over it!!

What else have you put in?

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Beginning and The End

This morning was really lovely. I went to my very favourite Community Cafe and joined the gorgeous FrugalMummy who came to share her wonderful Crochet skills with some knitters. It was fabulous watching the Beginning of someone learning a new skill and one which can bring such happiness.

Two lovely ladies learning a new technique and some new crochet stitches. I just know they will crack this as they seemed very determined.

These were the circles in squares FrugalMummy was teaching with a join as you go method and some Triple Trebles, a new stitch to me too. FM seems to have got a lot further with her blanket than I have with mine!!

Here are my circles, on top of another Crochet Cowl, a WIP, and I ran out of time to join my circles together. Still, it's an excuse for another session with FM, hooray!!
 There was a fair amount of knitting going in the background, aswell, so the place was a total yarn fest. Wool, all over the place.

Sadly, I got home to discover that youngest Son's rabbit, "Bigwig" had died, presumably just of old age, as we were at the vets quite recently and he got a clean bill of health. He was 6 1/2 years old, and will be sorely missed by his buddy, "Speedwell".

M, is fluctuating between bouts of sobbing and feeling upset, then playing on his Wii and seeming not to care at all. I'm not sure which is worse? We held the funeral tonight, M decided he was the "Vicar", and started with, "Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today... what comes next?" Who knew he even knew that much. I blame the TV!!

I'm so gutted and trying hard not to let this knock me back disproportionately, but it has rather taken the shine off what was a nice day and I find I have nothing to say this evening. I only hope Bigwig will be happy with his final resting place and can pop down from Heaven to romp across the Moors at his leisure. Do animals go to Heaven? I hope so!!


Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts Fair

I must bring you up to date on my lovely day out with my SIL and neice at the

                                                             Fair, last Saturday. (Sorry, lots of photos today).

As you may remember my SIL bought me my ticket as my Birthday pressie and, (as this was just before I came down with my dreadful cold), the three of us had a really super time. We started by booking ourselves onto a couple of the workshops we wanted to do and then we went back to the beginning, started at stand A01 and worked our way methodically up and down aisles A, B, C, D, etc, etc.

As we all had a budget each, we decided early on not to buy what we wanted as we saw it along the way, but make a note of what we liked or wanted, then decide at the end what we could afford and do a quick trip back to those stands at the end.

Along the way, I took part in a workshop to make a Macrame bracelet, using a knotting technique and beads. This was just a 15 minute workshop, so I only got time to learn the basic method and finished this one at home.

I also did a workshop to make a felt flower brooch. We got given a little kit with the felt pieces in and were shown how to stitich it together, but I did think the green leaf I was given in my pack was a bit too bright for my flower. If I was to make this again, I'm not even sure I would sew on the leaf. What do you think?

Just the petals sewn on and gathered in -->

<-- The completed brooch. Now I need to take it apart again so I can copy the pieces for templates so I can make more. I still don't like the leaf!!

All three of us also took part in a workshop to make a Peobo bracelet. You add drops of various colours and they had different reactions to each other as they dried. I don't particularly like my finished piece, but it was just an experiment to see how it was done and was interesting. Not sure I will take this one up as the components / materials seemed quite expensive to buy individually.

My SIL also added some flowers to the World's longest embroidery.

and my niece made a beaded and padded heart ornament.

As well as all the selling stands, there were also stands by the various Guilds and I watched some ladies Lace-Making for ages with absolute fascination. There was also various displays/exhibition type stands and I just loved the one with the actual costumes from Jane Austen films/dramas.

 On the left, the dress worn by Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma Woodhouse in "Emma".
On the right, Billie Piper's dress as Fanny Price in "Mansfield Park"

 Jennifer Ehle's dress as Elizabeth Bennett and Colin Firth's infamous white shirt as Mr Darcy. Both in "Pride and Prejudice".

 Left - Kate Winslett's dress as Marianne Dashwood, Centre - Alan Rickman's costume as Colonel Brandon, right - Emma Thompson's dress as Eleanor Dashwood. All in "Sense and Sensibility".

 I think this Kate Winslett one was my favourite with the velvet cape and bodice. Beautiful !!

You may or may not be interested in my actual purchases on the day, but here they are

The Rotary Cutter and Quliting Ruler are to help me make my charm squares ready for Frugal Queen's next workshop, (if I'm lucky enough to get a place again!).

The, hair accessory is not as nice as my African Butterfly one but was a lot cheaper at £7.00 rather than £20. I will try and take a photo of it in my hair so you can see the full effect.

The brown felt and gingham ribbon is for some Christmas makes which I will hopefully share nearer the time and the red gingham fabric is also for a Christmas make.

The very pretty white snowflake ribbon is just for adding to some Christmas cards as they get made because I loved it so much and it was only 50p a metre.

The sparkle glitter medium pots is for using with the stencils. I will try and show you what this turns out like when I give it a go.

I also loved these little mini stamps which you use on the clear plastic peg/stick you see in the middle of the photo and you can use these with the Christmas tree stamps and build them to make beautiful designs. That should have all of my Christmas cards just about sewn up.

I think that just about covers the whole day, (except for lunch, the coated nuts we bought, blah, blah........), but I've proably bored you with it enough anyway, by now.

Lots of Love Arwedd xx