Monday, 30 November 2009

Bits and Bobs

Happy Birthday Mom! Yesterday was my mom's birthday. I finally managed to time it right with the South African postal service and got this card sent out to her in time for her birthday. My poor dad suffers from having his birthday two days after mine, and I'm always so self-absorbed I never remember to post his card out quite early enough. I am going to make it my New Year's resolution to get better at that. Anyway, I hope you had a lovely day, Mom, and I would love to be able to make your 60th cake next year...we'll have to work on that!

I saw the little owl brooch on LollyChops in her post dated 26 October. She is fabulously creative and generous too, check out her free printables link if you like digi scrapping and card making. I knew straight away that I had to make my mom an owl - she has collected owls since forever!

And then, I have been crafty, I just haven't been blogging about it all. Tomorrow I will start the reveal of my latest will take nearly all of December to reveal the whole thing, hehe, can you guess? And because I managed to drill holes big enough for the pegs to fit in on these wood beads, I've managed to make a few more peg dolls. I'm going to have to find someone who can ship me the proper head beads from America though, because my wrists were killing me after hand-drilling all of these, then wood-filling the top hole and then sanding the whole bead down again. They're going to look very sweet when finished, and hopefully I'll be able to sell a couple before Christmas!

ETA Fixed the link ;-)

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Mail from South Africa!

This is Jo. We have known each other since I was five, she was six, and I got chicken pox just after she'd had it. My mom took us across the road to confirm what she suspected. Her mom said yes, that looks like chicken pox. And although they moved away a few years later, we met up again while studying, much to our surprise, and we've pretty much stayed friends ever since. We even became neighbours for a second time when Jo and her husband bought a house four doors down from ours. But then we left for the UK, and contact has been sporadic, but we're still good friends. We have always shared more than just a name...Jo and I were often likely to turn up wearing the same skirt or blouse, and our love for all things sparkly will always keep us connected! She's a magpie of note, and so often I will see something in our British stores that makes me think of her straight away, and I SO wish they'd move over here!

Here we are on my first day of school - my big sis Andrea, who was in Standard One, Jo, who was in Grade Two, and me, going into Grade One. They've changed the names of school grades now, they just follow on numerically. But we were six, seven and eight years old.

Jo and Alexis got married in Cape Town last year in February, and we flew out for their wedding. Holly was their flower girl (what a treat, she loved every minute of it!). Jo made her wedding cake toppers - aren't they darling?

The whole wedding was themed around sweet little garden birds, from the invitation (see it here), to the bird cages with floral displays, Holly's petals were in a little birdcage, the cake toppers were of course birds, and we even got a pair of wings for Holly to wear!

And yesterday, I got a lovely parcel in the mail from Jo for my birthday! Typically, you can never count on the South African post service, so it took a whole month to get here, but actually, it's quite exciting receiving something out the blue! This protea brooch is gorgeous, it's already on my coat and I have had compliments on it too! The protea is South Africa's national flower, and the springbok is the national animal. This brooch? it's a protea made from springbok skin! I love it, so THANK YOU SO MUCH JO!!!

And then she also sent me this gorgeous bracelet. I took the photo of it on my table lamp, as I couldn't shoot it on my wrist! It's lovely, and I can't wait for summer to be able to wear it and show it off properly too!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

One Week Later...

I had to redo the plaster dressing on his toe this evening, so I thought I'd try get a quick picture of it. The bruising has gone down substantially, you can't really see the colour in these pictures, but it is looking a whole lot better!

In this shot you can see how rotated it still is - I'm not sure if it will ever recover to a fully upright position, but the doc said it shouldn't bother him at all if it doesn't. But just look at it compared to his left toe - it's huge! Ouch, no wonder he is loving the too-big crocs his cousin gave him, they're perfect on his sore foot!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

My Little Hopalong Casualty

That's what a broken and rotated baby toe looks like on a four year old's foot. Ouch! With sock imprints for added texture, LOL!

This is what said four year old looks like watching one of the Harry Potter movies I bought him and his big sis as a treat for being so brave and as a bribe for not making one more complaint while I did my desperately overdue grocery shop (I usually shop on Mondays!)

Yesterday, although fully dressed for school and happy to go, by the time we were ready to leave the house he'd got all shivery and tired, so we dropped Holly off and then headed to a friend for coffee. While there, he somehow managed to tip the very heavy piano stool over which landed on his foot/toe.

You know when you hear a scream and you just know? And then when you pry their hand off their foot and you see, and you just know? Yep, there was no doubt in my mind what he'd just managed to do, and that we had to head on down to A&E as soon as possible. He was very brave, and thankfully fell asleep so was not aware of the fact that we were there for nearly four hours in total. Why oh why couldn't the nurse have made the decision to send us to X-ray earlier? Why was it only the doctor, who saw us after two hours waiting, that could send us, where we proceeded to wait another 40 minutes or so? Only to then have to wait for the doc to get a minute to look at the X-ray, and then come and tell us that yes, he has indeed broken the middle phalanx of his baby toe, and rotated the toe outwards, and that the only treatment is to strap it to his other toes, keep the weight off it and keep giving pain relief as needed.

Of course, Liam thought it terribly exciting to be going to the hospital, and very proudly tells people now that he's broken his bone, and I think he's liking being carried everywhere and getting Harry Potter dvd's as treats! He also thought it cool to have to wear a face mask because he had flu symptoms. I'm not sure how much he's going to like our visit to the fracture clinic tomorrow morning, where I hear the wait may be just as long.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

The kids wanted to say thanks... Nana and Grandad, and Sharon and David for their money gifts! Liam and Holly both got money from their grandparents in SA, and Holly put an extra bit from Sharon and David in, and they bought themselves these!
Unfortunately, because I needed to prompt them, you get to hear my voice (Ughh!!) and Tris sneezing in the background. I didn't hold the camera very stable so please excuse all the shakes, but this is just for my folks in South Africa!

The poor little guy is thick with 'flu, hence the very droopy eyes and nasal voice. But he's not too sick to play with his new lego!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

The Birthday Girl and Her Cakes!

How cute is she? She gave me this attitude for her quick little photo shoot this morning before heading out. I love her little outfit, I found that Lilli Gaufrette skirt in a second hand store for £4! The top and tights are from H&M. Love that shop too!

By this time she was a bit tired of all the pics. We had the most appalling wind and rain storm today, so the light was super horrid. There's camera shake in most of my shots!

And her mini cakes! because we were going to the cinema, and I wasn't sure about a place to cut the cake, and cupcakes don't travel particularly well once distributed to 6 and 7 year olds, I decided on making mini cakes a la Kirsty Allsop. They turned out pretty well - piping in straight lines is really tough, and I could have done with a number 3 nozzle instead of the 2, but I loved the roses and the overall effect was fantastic!

Photoshopping nightmare pics, I can't get my background clean and it doesn't look the same from one shot to the next. But who cares about the background, right?!

Look - glitter! How divine, don't you think? All cakes should have a bit of twinkle to them!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Hapy 7th Birthday Holly!

11/11/02 :At about 11am, I was getting my epidural. I remember the anaesthetist standing against the wall, feet crossed, watching the monitor. He asked me how that last contraction felt, and when I said "What contraction?" He said "Right, that's it, I'm out of here!" LOL - I guess it worked! At 7:20pm, Holly was finally delivered by C-section, as no mater how hard we(I) tried, she would not fit the other way. It's scary to think what would have happened a few generations ago, when C-sections weren't an option. But, luckily for us we had a fabulous team of doctors, and she was born, a beautiful baby girl.

She has grown into the sweetest, kindest, gentlest soul I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, and to be able to call her my daughter makes me extremely proud indeed. She was chuffed to bits with all her gifts - a pink Nintendo DS from us, an Avery Moxie girl from her Grandpa and Claudia and Tom, a pizza cooking set from Liam, a cooking game from her cousin Michael, and some spending money from her Nana and Grandad in Africa - thanks Mom - they were super thrilled with that! She's gone off to school with her poppy on one side of her jumper and her birthday badge on the other, and some sweets for her classmates.

We're taking her and some friends to see 'Up' on Saturday, which I'm about as excited as she is for!

And lest we forget....

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

~Lt-Col John McCrae

Friday, 6 November 2009

Greek Day

Aren't us mums a clever bunch? Our kids have been learning all about Greece this week in Year Two, other Years are doing USA, Brazil, Australia, India and Japan, and they end the week with a dress up day. They could either wear something traditional from that country, or pick out colours from the flag.

Well, yesterday morning, what started out as a Sainsbury's Basic fitted white sheet, ended up in a pillowcase-style dress for Holly, with a gold ribbon bodice! A sheet of gold card cut into leaves, stuck to an Alice band makes a perfect laurel wreath. Impressive, huh? Holly's friend has his baby sister's cot sheets folded over a belt for his skirt, with a scarf cleverly draped over him to make a waist coat. Now they could have gone the easy route and worn blue and white, but don't you think they're learning so much more this way? They're tasting Greek food today too, I wish I was there!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

The Roof is Done!

I finally felt brave enough to tackle the roof. I mixed three colours: the stone of the walls, seasoned oak and black ash, and then dry brushed the black ash on and blended it in as much as I could. It's tricky to see when you're looking straight at it, the paint has a slight plastic-y sheen to it, which reflects light, and in fact it looks lighter in the pictures than in real life. But I'm happy with it for now. The great thing about blending colours and dry brushing is that you can tweak it as much as you like. I might even try the seasoned oak straight on with a dry brush. But then again, I might just leave it like this.

The silly thing is, I've run out of shingles so the back roof panel hasn't been shingled. I'm not sure if it's because I used too many rows on the front sections, I counted 17 rows on my top one, and on an Arthur I saw on Flickr I think they'd only used 11 or so. Oh well, I'll keep an eye out for similar shingles, but even if I don't find any, at least it's just the back of the house.

I Have a Boot Dilemma

I need new brown, everyday boots. I have expensive taste, and simply cannot afford my absolute favourite leather boots from the High Street (they're over £100). Then, while in Chichester over my birthday weekend, I saw a pair of boots in a shop window, with a price tag (£35) I thought was a mistake. Turns out it was no mistake...they're not leather. I then found a pair at Next that are leather, and at £60 not horribly expensive.

Can you guess which is which? The ones on the left are the fake leather ones which style-wise, I'm leaning towards. The ones on the right are real leather, feel nice, look nice, but are a bit plain. Could I wear them with a skirt?

Here they are on...shot into a mirror so they look a bit hazy.

And what they look like with my boot cut jeans.

Front/ankle view...what do you think? In South Africa we have a great saying, which goes...

"Goed koop is duur koop." It means buying cheap is buying dear, kind of like penny wise pound foolish. Obviously, leather boots will last longer, wear better and have some kind of guarantee at the store if they fall apart after one season. But I do like the style of the cheap boots. Will I kick myself after a season for not having bought leather?

Monday, 2 November 2009

My 'Lil Trick Or Treaters!

The kids just before heading out - three witches and a vampire!

I love how Holly is such a poser for me now - this witch face and hands was all her doing!

My sweet little vampire boy! He so needs new trainers. Those are the ones he rides his bike in, see how worn the toe break pads are? LOL!

And then I found this image amongst my saved ideas file, I'd forgotten about it when it came round to doing my pumpkins this belongs to a Pea and it's from 2007...if it's your shot give me a shout and give you credit for it...and maybe next year I'll feel brave enough to attempt one like the one on the left!

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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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