Friday, 26 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

I haven't had a moment to post, we've had such a busy time! It's been lovely having Nana and Grandad staying, the kids loved having them here and we are going to miss them when they head home to South Africa. We were blessed with gorgeous mild weather so we were able to take them out to many of our favourite places. Today is Boxing day, and the temperatures have plummeted down to freezing again, so we're indoors watching Christmas movies! Nana and Grandad are staying with my sister for the next week, I hope it doesn't stay this cold, Brrrrrr!

My tree is getting pretty decoration-heavy, I love it though! I tried taking a picture with star lights, but I didn't have a tripod so it's a bit blurry. Then I did a blurry-on-purpose shot of the lights, which turned out pretty cool - a fellow Pea showed me how to do that!

Monday, 15 December 2008

What a Busy Time of Year!

It feels like ages ago that I made my submissions to Amy for the latest round of Club Little House. I wanted to make boat shape book shelves. Years ago, before my son was even born, I saw a boat shelf in a little shop in Cape Town and decided that if I ever had a son, I would do his room in a nautical theme and he will have a boat shape bookshelf. Now, my son is 3 and a half, and I still haven't found another boat shaped shelf for his room! So...I made some miniature ones!

Here they are from the start...I used bass wood for the backs, and balsa for the sides and shelves.

If super glue didn't stick bass wood together, I'm not sure I would have made these! It stuck like magic though, and soon they started taking shape.

Look at the state of my dining table! We ate every meal on our laps for weeks!

Here they are, waiting for their shelves and paint jobs.

And this is what you'll find in your parcel if you're getting one of my littles...

The stack of sailing magazines can be untied, there are five different issues. Some have two little starfish, and some just one larger one. I struggled to find enough of the perfect size, but these were all little enough to be okay scale-wise!

They even have a little ship in a bottle!
Amy had the sorting party last week Monday, go and have a look at her blog... and Pam's shows some lovely photos of all the different littles. I can't wait for my parcel to arrive, I'll post pictures as soon as it does!

Monday, 1 December 2008

Christmas Advent

I love this time of year! I love Christmas decorations, Christmas carols, Christmas food, okay, you get the picture! Do you like my wreath? I made it yesterday, with bits and bobs I bought from HobbyCraft. I'm really happy with how it turned out, and all for less than £14. The kids started their advent calendars this morning, we plan on getting the tree up very soon, I can't wait to make the house look all festive!

Friday, 28 November 2008

It's like the 12 Days of Christmas at my house!

Day One - A Canon Selphy photo printer!

Day Two - A cutting mat and press, two pairs of titanium coated scissors, a pair of PINKING SHEARS (yes, I shouted and squealed about that one!) a cutting knife and spare blades, a cool ruler and some sticky ribbons and rhinestones.

Day Three - an autographed copy of 'Paper, Scissors, Death' by the judge, Joanna Campbell Slan.

Day Four - The most amazing selection of books on scrapbooking, a tag punch, and some very tart citrus papers, monograms, flowers and brads, as well as a 12"x12" album.

Day Five - An exquisite selection of papers, rub-ons, embellishments and goodies from Melissa Frances.
Did I say how exquisite they are? Look at those little wings, and vintage rose embellies!

And do you know the best part? This isn't even the end of it! So, I hear you ask, what on earth did I do to be given such amazing gifts when it's not even Christmas?

Well, I am very honoured to say that I was one of six winners in a national, UK scrapbooking competition! I picked up a copy of Scrapbook Inspirations magazine back in August, and saw the details about the competition. After glancing briefly at the prizes, I realsied that I had six original layouts needed to enter, I had a week to photograph them and so I entered the competiton. For fun. Because I had just finished a page of my kids with their cousin that I particularly liked. Then at the end of September I got the most amazing phone call from the deputy editor. Seriously, I thought it was a prank call. I never in a million years thought I'd be chosen as a winner! It was only then, when telling my mom and sister about it that they asked "What do you win?" that I got the magazine out and started reading the prize list properly...and nearly fell off my chair! We EACH got the printer?! We each got all the fabulous prizes that I've shown you above, as well as a few more that are still on their way. I love how each company is sending their prize individually, it's so exciting to be getting a new parcel every day!

Here is the page from the December issue, which features the winners, showing my entries.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Last post about the cupcakes, I promise!

My daughter had her party on Saturday. She had a joint party with one of her best friends from school. It was great, her friend has two big sisters who were such a big help with the littlies, and they had the best ideas for party games.
My favourite (and the kids' too I think) was the pasta game - take one huge bowl of dry pasta, give each kid a plastic cup, and throw entire bowl of pasta on the floor. Get the kids to bring full cups of pasta back in exchange for a gold coin, and then tip the bowl out again! I have never heard such a collective scream from nearly 30 kids - but boy did they love it - and there was hardly any sweeping to do afterwards!
Needless to say, after telling each kid that the cupcake toppers were not edible, the first thing most of them did was try to bite their heads off! Good thing polymer clay is so rock hard once baked - none of them did any damage to the toppers or their teeth. mmm, what cake will we bake next year...?

Monday, 17 November 2008

Hidamari no Tami

Have you ever heard of Hidamari? I decided last year to make my daughter cupcakes for her next birthday. Partly because they would be easier than her Barbie cake of last year and partly because I'd seen these...

Looking through Flickr I found cupcakes with little tiny people on them called Hidamari no Tami. I googled them and found out that they're a toy, and they're known in English as Sunny people, because they are solar powered and nod their heads or wave their arms when powered up. They are also the cutest little things I've ever seen! So, out went the ballerina cupcakes (there are 11 boys on the guest list anyway!) and in came the Sunny People.
Here they are, ready and waiting for Saturday's party...

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Happy Birthday Holly!

Happy birthday my sweet girl! I can't believe it's been six years already. I remember when you were just a toddler, I used to wonder what you'd be like when you're a kid. Well, I can say now that you're very loving and kind, you share everything, even when you don't really want to, you are patient with little ones and you are completely and utterly the little girly-girl I always dreamed of. I love you, Mommy xxx

Here she is posing with her new Doodle Pony, all ready for school. we were so early this morning, if only I could get them out of bed this early every morning!

I borrowed Saucy's idea of putting tea roses in a tea pot. I thought it looked so pretty, and I love shorter stemmed flowers in a vase that make a round floral display. She just posted the most fabulous idea for a girly birthday party - I'm bookmarking that one for the future!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Book Week

So the little guy found a very sneaky way to have his dummy at preschool...on Friday, at the end of his school's Book Week, the children were told to dress up as their favourite book characters.
He chose to go as Marlon, the little monster who doesn't want to give up his noo-noo! Some good has come of it - he told his teachers that the dummy fairy will be coming at Christmas time to take his dummies away. Whether he's confusing it with Santa Claus or not, we're going to be taking full advantage of the situation!
Can you guess what his teachers dressed up as? yep, The Elves and the Shoemaker! They are always so creative, I think us parents look forward to Book Week more for the teachers' outfits than anything else!

Autumn in England

Autumn is definitely one of my favourite times of the year. The colours of the trees and countryside are breathtakingly beautiful. My son is learning all about the colours at preschool, and keeps pointing out trees that go from light green leaves at their bottoms, through yellows to oranges to the deepest of red at their tops. I decided to get the kids out for a mini autumn shoot, to try get some of those colours. Of course, the perfect trees were always either in someone's front yard, or on a sidewalk with nowhere to stop, so we went to the nearest park and had fun there anyway! I got my shots, and they got to play on the play equipment. Now I can't wait to add these to my scrapbook!

Monday, 3 November 2008

How Perfect are these?

Minimiam click that link to be lost in forests of sea urchins, planets of Romanesco, and the sweetest little scenes imaginable!
Akiko Ida and Pierre Javelle are the artists behind the "Peinture Fraiche" shot above. I am in awe of their work. They have combined the world of miniatures and photography perfectly!

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Trick or Treat!

Pretty Pirate, Mr Bones and Flower Fairy all ready to go trick or treating with the big girls! They had so much fun, and got fantastic treats from everyone. See the kiddo's taking stock below...

I saw Heather's fabulous shot of a jack o' lantern and had to try a similar exposure of our ghost pumpkin before it got too mushy for it to look okay in a picture!

And Master Toby keeping me company while I wrapped up some little packages. No peeking now :-)

Friday, 31 October 2008

Happy Halloween!

The kids are super excited about trick or treating tonight - they've always been too little to go - and for the first time we've organised a few houses in the close for them to visit {some of our neighbours are very anti Halloween :-( } - here's the flyer we put through the mailboxes...

We carved our pumpkins on Tuesday already, and have been lighting the candles every night...can you tell how excited we are? LOL!
I'll put some trick or treating snaps on tomorrow... Happy Halloween Everyone!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Where there's a will, there's a way.

The squirrels have been desperate to get to my new (birthday) bird feeder, especially seeing as I haven't put any food out on the tray. So this little one finally figured out how to get to it.

But then: look, who's creeping up? Toby, who's been as desperate to get to the squirrels as the squirrels were to get to the peanuts...

He's pretty brave for a little kitten, but pretty dumb too. I mean, who does he think is going to win?

Oh yes, the squirrel!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Bonfire Night in L'ampton

We went down to the in-laws for my birthday weekend, which just happened to coincide with the Bonfire Parade! We had such an awesome weekend, I was spoiled rotten with gifts and a divine triple layer chocolate cake, a parade that went right past the house, a huge bonfire on the beach and a fire cricket display too! Okay, the last three weren't exactly in my honour, but I can pretend, can't I?

We went for a walk to the beach front in the early evening, the kids got to ride on a couple of the funfair rides. I just love the little guy's expression in this one.

Look how happy my big girl looks here, I can't believe she's turning six in a couple of weeks.

A friend dared to ride the Hellraiser. Yikes, it was fast. I tried shooting her as she came past, but I couldn't even see her. I took a bunch in rapid succession, and manged to get her in one!

The old steam engines are definitely the highlight of the parade. The sound of their engines chugging alone, the shrill toot of their horns, and the smell of oil and steam and metal...of course, getting stuck behind one on our way down to the coast was less fun ;-)

My husband pointed out the little guy to me...he watched the whole parade in this position, in absolute awe of it all.

The different bonfire societies from neighbouring towns and villages all took part, dressed up in a wide variety of outfits, from native American, to African, to traditional English...

...check out King Henry and his wives coming up behind Chaka Zulu!

The Morris Dancers are fascinating to watch, I love the way they dance and criss-cross.

Armed with cupfulls of pennies, the kids were carefully rationing them out between the bucket collectors. We have managed to go down every year since we arrived in the UK, it's a tradition I hope we can continue for many years still. Thanks Grandpa and Clauds and Uncle T, we had a lovely weekend!

About Me

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Mother, wife, photographer, crafter, scrapbooker, painter of murals, dabbler. Sometimes in that order, sometimes reversed! Trying to juggle all of them and having a ball in the process.

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