Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Easter Egg Competition

Do you remember the Harvest Creature competition? Well, my kids' school also holds an Easter Egg competition at the end of the Spring term, and here are some of the fabulous creations from this years' lot!

Holly had this idea since Christmas when one of the stores had a set of Russian Dolls in their gift range. We used a goose, chicken, duck and (plastic) quail egg to get the dolls sizes, and after I drew the outlines for her, she painted all the colours. I love it so much, I think I'll keep it to display every Easter!

Liam is newly into Ben 10 and he was absolutely sure he wanted to do Ben Egg, but when I had a look at the characters and saw there was one called "Echo Echo", it came to me.... Eggo Eggo it had to be! When I arrived at lunch time today, everyone rushed to tell me that Liam had won (again!) and again, he hadn't realised that going up on stage to get a prize from Mr P means he'd won! Bless him, but he was super chuffed to know he actually was one of the winners!

One for all the Top Gear fans...

Boiled Egg and Soldiers!

Jeggward... there were a few of these this year, but this was by far my favourite!

Story Time With Miss Hemmings... and can you see what story she's reading to them? I *heart* this one so much!

Little Egg Riding Hood... my friend's son did this one, and took one of the Year two prizes!

I love all the Eggy names the kids come up with - they are so creative!

And this one was amazing - I was walking past and thought I'd seen a flash. On closer inspection, I noticed the Eggs-ray machine actually had a little flashing light, so every couple of seconds it flashed on to show the chicken's X-ray! Brilliant!

The school council vote for their favourites, and two winners are selected for each year group. I'm so glad I don't have to vote, I'd want them all to win!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Good old South African party treats!

As kids growing up in South Africa, our parties were very different to the ones my kids have now we live in England. Back then, we would arrive to a table laden with party treats, and after playing the games we'd sing happy birthday, blow out the candles, grab a paper plate full of birthday cake and sweets and crisps and ice cream cones made to look like clown hats filled with sweets, and scoff the lot until our parents came to take us home. Occassionally, the party treats would have been put into boxes or bags which we could take home with us if there was anything left to take. Here in England, not only are the kids treated to a sit down arrangement of snacks, sandwiches, cupcakes, and sweets, but the birthday cake is cut and wrapped and placed into party bags with even more sweets and treats for the kids to take home! I guess it's fun being a kid at an English birthday party, but I loved the good old fashioned South African way of doing things!

For the final event in the month long fundraiser at my kids school - the long awaited Bake Sale - I made the Clown Hats filled with Smarties, and then couldn't resist a batch of cupcakes with pastel coloured strawberry flavoured icing with glitter to match! My mom sent a package with a friend who visited my sister, and in it was edible glitter in orange, lime and white ( I had the blue from my last batch) so thanks to Sainsbury's Fresh Ideas mag for the idea, the kids each have something different to take in!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Scrapbook Inspirations Ideas Book

I don't think I ever blogged about the end of Scrapbook Inspirations Magazine. If you remember back in September I proudly announced the fact that I was a member of the new design team for Scrapbook Inspirations. Well, the job was sadly short lived, as December saw the very last issue of the magazine published. It's a tough time for companies and I guess luxuries like magazines are often the first to go, but I was absolutely gutted. Not because I wanted to carry on designing layouts for the mag, but because I really enjoyed getting my copy every month and bookmarking it for ideas and pouring over all the new papers and embellishments available.

But, every cloud has a silver lining and for Scrapbook Inspirations, it took the form of a quarterly 'bookazine', which launches on 31 March.

It will retail at £10.99 in the UK, and can be ordered here, no matter where in the world you are. I think I have at least one layout and one photo in the book, and actually, the layout is one I did using a picture of an online photography friend of mine's son, so I'll be excited to finally show her the layout in it's published form - I thought it might never see the light of day and would have been really disappointed for her if it weren't used!

I'll be able to show you once it hits the shelves ;-) Anyway, I have since stepped down from taking on any new assignments, my new job as dinner lady at the school is keeping me very busy and very happy, and I'm helping out in many other ways at the school too. My scrapbooking has relaxed and I allow myself to scraplift layouts I like in their entirety -something I couldn't do as a designer!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

My Garden Girls

I launched my little Garden Girls on Etsy on Saturday. I didn't want to make too much of a fuss about it, but I've had quite a few views and two sales already! I'm hoping to keep it slow and steady, and as soon as I sort out alternate stands for my dolls (US stands don't fit the UK clothespins) I'm hoping to introduce some birthday cake toppers/trinket dolls.
Here are a few of them...

Genevieve on the left is sold, Katia and Helene are still listed.

Jin-May is my all time favourite, I just love her black bunches and wispy fringe! Florence is reserved for my friend.

Isabella is sold too. She was inspired by one I saw on Flickr, and Holly has one just like her!

Saturday, 20 March 2010

The Little Graduate who went Travelling...

Two weeks ago, Miss Heather the Graduate flew the nest to explore the great big world that is Missouri, USA. She's had me and her new family extremely worried as her flight got delayed and nobody could track it down for a whole week, but thankfully, a very kind USPS official delivered her safely to her new home today, and we all breathed a huge collective sigh of relief!

Rebecca is a fellow Pea, and has twice offered to help me get some obscure item from the States that I simply haven't been able to find in the UK. So it is completely thanks to her that I am in possession of around 100 head beads needed to make my clothespin dolls! She even paid an extra top up amount on the shipping that we'd misjudged, and instead of letting me know the final invoice in order to pay her the correct amount, she asked if I could by any chance make her eldest daughter, Heather, a doll to celebrate her graduation this year.

And, this is the doll I made! I changed her stand colour - I decided the yellow didn't do too well with her white and blue gown, so she has a grassy stand with yellow flowers instead, like my Garden Girls that I've listed in my new Etsy store ;-)

Becca, thank you so much for doing all the ordering and shipping for me, and I'm super relieved that your little graduate is safely with you now. All the best for Heather's graduation, may she have a wonderfully successful future!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

The Growing Season is Upon us!

Firstly, can you see how contrasty the lighting in this shot is? Do you know why it's so contrasty? That's sunlight shining on the Arthur! Pure, brilliant, bright sunshine!

I've started planning the garden. I really like this fake grass, it's one used in model railways, as opposed to the apple green carpet you get from the DHE. So, I'm going to make a little deck for the table and chairs, and put proper flower beds where all those pots are standing, so eventually when I've bought and made enough flowers from kits I'll have them along the porch wall. I haven't decided about the little stepping path - I've used all the pavers I have left from the last house I did, and using enough for the path up to the porch, I'm not sure if I need more or not to make the steps closer together.

For the other side, I think I'll leave it grassed up to the porch so the bike doesn't stand in flower beds, and put a tree in the corner in front... maybe big enough for a rope swing to hang from, with a bird's nest in the branches. I'll have my eyes glued to the ground when I'm walking through the woods now, looking for the perfect tree! And then, I found dinky little lolly sticks today, which will become a picket fence along the perimeter. What do you think?

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

More Circus Pics

As promised, here are some more pics from the circus. Excuse the camera shake and blur here and there...these are all shot with available light.

These guys opened and closed the show... and all I can say is, Wow! They were insane, I've seen a circus show using this 'hamster wheel' thing before... but nothing like these guys did.

The clown was very good, he was one of those silly-fool clowns that got our sympathy. The Shetland ponies were so cute, and set the scene for the next act...

The most amazing horses ever. They were beautiful, and while I do wonder about what goes on in training to get them so in tune with each other, they had a great bond with their trainer and gave him kisses frequently.

My all time favourite act though was the budgies! I mean, how much cuter could you get? They were so clever, and funny and cute and Holly really really wants one now (and so do I!)

The Chinese acrobats/contortionists were fabulous, and spot on with every pose.

I was super chuffed to get the moment the clown spat his 'honey' at the other clown, on a relatively slow shutter speed and no flash!

The high-wire guys ending with a bang - complete with fake fall to make us believe how dangerous it was. They needn't have bothered - I could see exactly how dangerous it was!

And the kids, standing in front of the big top. Fun fun fun!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Happy Mothering Sunday!

I think England is the only country that doesn't celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May. Instead, on the second Sunday of March, we have what they call Mothering Sunday. I was woken up with the gifts my kids chose for me at their school sale on Friday - chocolate from Liam and a scarf from Holly - and then Liam said to me, "Mommy, what's your favourite song in the whole wide world?" I replied that it changes all the time, but at the moment it's 'Don't Stop Believing' from Glee. I came downstairs to another gift...the Glee soundtrack ;-)

On Friday, I gave them the choice of activity for today. I said we could whatever they wanted to do with me on Mother's Day. It just so happened that the circus was in town, and they'd seen the big top the day before, so guess where we went this afternoon?

Yep, Zippo's Circus! It was fab, they had incredible acts, and I was so glad to be allowed to take pics (albeit without flash) so tomorrow, I'll edit them and upload a few to show you. If you ever see Zippo's Circus come to your town, I highly recommend them!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

To Trim or Not to Trim?

I've been busy this weekend! I decided to get all the gingerbread trim out, sand it and paint it white, as I can't make a decision about it without getting it ready. I love the trim on the front roof next to the window, and on the sides where the roof joins at the peaks. What I can't decide about is the standing up bits - the little heart shaped trim along the top edge of the roof and the 'people' shaped bits. In person, when I first put it up, Holly and I both said "No! Definitely without."

But then, I look at the photos, and think, "Hmm, maybe with?" What do you think? Do you like it? Do you think it's too big and looks odd on the house?

Obviously, if I decide not to use it, I'll need to fix the roof apex and maybe put some 'lead flashing' on, and yes, touch up all those bits where the wood is showing through!

What I am loving is using my Club Little House boat shelf outside as a potting shelf! I can't wait to get some grass and paving stones down, I think the house will look so sweet with a little patch of green. I've also taken Amy's wonderful little garden goodies out of their box for the first time ever.
I'm also super excited to have finally put some of Mercedes' gorgeous birdhouses in place - and just in time for spring! Now all I need are some plants... I love the daffodils that Linda made, I need to find out what kit she used.

Oh, and did you notice something else I've done? Look at the windows ;-)

Thursday, 4 March 2010

World Book Day

Meet Harry Potter, The Troublesome Tooth Fairy and Tinkerbell, on their way to school on World Book Day! Hope you have a lovely day, and, if you live in England, be sure to ask your school for a book token, which allows children to buy a book at participating book stores for a pound!

*ETA* Holly's other bottom tooth has been wobbly since her first one fell out. For days now I've been telling her to wiggle it more so that it can come out - her big tooth is practically fully grown behind the baby tooth. So today, dressed as she was as the Troublesome Tooth Fairy, I said it would be a good day to lose a tooth. And, she did!! She'll be getting a visit from a tooth fairy tonight, let's just hope it's not the troublesome one... she takes children instead of their teeth!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Larks on a Wire!

I usually do reading with the Year Two's on a Wednesday morning. But last Wednesday, my daughter's teacher asked me if I would like to help with a project - the student teacher who has been with them for a term is leaving on Friday, and they would like to give her a card. They would like it to be something that each child can contribute towards. Do I have any ideas?

Well, I had this one...

Each class in the school is named after a bird. My daughter is in Larks class. So, I thought, why not get each kid to draw a lark, cut them out, and place them all on a telephone wire, the way birds do. I misjudged quite how big the card would have to be to accommodate 30 birds drawn on an A6 piece of paper, but I thought making one long card was a fun way to do it, rather than one huge A1 card. It concertinas into five sections, and I made an envelope to fit using the stripy wall paper.

I found the cute red alpha stickers for 99p, and with some dollhouse floor strips for the poles, black embroidery floss for the wire and each child's very creative, very original little lark, I think the result is simply fabulous! They also wrote little notes to Miss Taylor which I've stuck on the back of the card. It's been fun putting it all together, and taking kids a few at a time to work on it without Miss Taylor seeing us... although I'm pretty sure she's onto us - there's nothing like a bunch of suspicious looking 7 year olds to pique your interest! They're giving it to her on Friday, and I can't wait to hear what she thinks of it!

Kreativ Blogger Award

I was very touched to receive this award twice this week! Once from Genevieve and once from DollMum. It still amazes me to think I have blog followers, let alone followers who think I'm creative and inspiring enough to visit and pass on awards to! Thanks ladies, you made my day ;-)

Before passing it, here are the rules :

1. Thank the person that gave it to you
2. Copy the logo and place it in your blog
3. Link to the person who nominated you
4. Name 7 things about yourself that nobody knows

5. Nominate 7 kreativ bloggers
6. Post links to the 7 blogs that you nominate
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know that you nominate them.

So... seven things you didn't know about me...

1. I have a very sweet tooth, and cannot pass on cupcakes or chocolate
2. I have old lady toes because my circulation is so bad!
3. I started working as a 'midday supervisor' at my kids' school in February
4. I would love to become a classroom/teacher's assistant
5. I am a control freak
6. I used to work at Cape Town's largest daily newspaper, Die Burger, as a photographer
7. I am an Ebay addict!

I pass this on to
Liberty Biberty
Wee Cute Treasures
Little Nest Studio

Sorry, I am going to break the chain and only nominate three. Don't get me wrong, I can think of dozens of blogs to pass it on to, but they're all part of the same circle of blogs that we all follow and I don't want to get repetitive for them!

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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