Sunday, 31 August 2008

My baby isn't a baby anymore!

Here she is this morning looking cute and very tousle haired in her cot (she had only just woken up so you can forgive the hair!)

And this is the big girl bed that she is currently asleep in - I quite fancy that bedding for myself but Ikea don't make it for king sized beds!

And here she is enjoying it. Just after this photograph was taken she requested some books and she lay there for a good half hour reading and generally being lazy in bed (wonder where she gets that from!)

Do you think she is pleased with it!?

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Yeah - adress labels!

Finally I have perfected the address labels that have been waiting to be sorted for a while! I have decided on sets of 20 and they are all hand drawn by me - none of this printing malarkey! Each set will vary slightly due to being hand drawn but you can expect 10 of each of the two designs below.

My personal favourites are the ones with the fancy edging although they are slightly more time consuming. I'm thinking of offering them at £3 ($6) a set - what do you think?

Friday, 29 August 2008


I decided that after a day of sitting on our bums in the house yesterday (we did tidy up a bit!) that me and the girls had to go out and have a bit of a play. We went to Little Treasures, a play area that is fantastic and the girls love it. They do cheap and cheerful lunches too which are delicious - I had a tuna and cheese toastie!

Anyway, while the girls were playing I was doing some playing of my own with buttons. I made two more large buttons brooches - my only dilemma is which shop to list them in!

My favourite is the green one below - I like the contrast with the purple stitches.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

The easiest way to make jam - ever!

This recipe came from my lovely mother in law and she now uses it to make all her jam - which is delicious by the way :) It takes about 15 minutes and at the end you have lovely jars of jam.

You will need

Berries (I used blackberries which had been picked when camping)
Microwavable bowl
Electric hand whisk (optional)
Jars for your jam

1. Firstly wash your berries - I do this as ours come straight from the bush and I need to make sure that the bugs have gone!

2. Weigh your berries. You should ideally have 1lb of berries to 1lb of sugar but if you have more or less then just adjust your sugar - just make sure you have a ratio of 1:1

3. Pop your berries and sugar into the microwavable bowl and microwave on full for 4 minutes. They will look a bit like this.

4. Stir your berries and then microwave for a further 4 minutes.

5. Stir the berries again and pop back in for another 3 minutes.

6. I now whizz the jam to get rid of the lumps of berries that are left but this is a personal thing (remember that your jam is boiling at this stage so be careful!) You can also push the jam through a sieve if you want to remove the pips/seeds. Again this is a personal preference.

7. Once I've whizzed the jam I normally put it back in the microwave for another 2 minutes to ensure that it has boiled enough to make it set. It will still appear runny at this stage so if you aren't sure if it needs boiling again you can leave it to cool for a bit and if it still doesn't look like it is going to set then you can pop it back in the microwave.

8. Pour your jam into jars and let it cool - I would place your jars into some warm water first to ensure that they don't crack when the hot jam goes into the cooler jars.

9. Ta da - you have lovely jam without all the fuss of thermometers and great big jam pans!

If anything doesn't make sense then just leave a comment :)

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

So....... you like the new header? And does anybody have any idea how to get it to the size of a banner for my Etsy shop? Paint Shop Pro is crap and isn't doing what I tell it to so I've given up on that so if anyone can help me then I would be eternally grateful :)

On my desk....on a Wednesday

I've decided to join another weekly 'challenge' and this one is 'On my desk on a Wednesday'. I first spotted it over on Curly Pops and thought that it was something I could do easily - not sure I'll manage to do it every week but I'll try! The idea was first thought of by Kootoyoo.

My desk today is actually my coffee table! Here are some gift tags that need the holes punching in them, string attaching and then packaging. There are a couple of sets that need photographing too before being listed in one of my shops.

Here are some more chicken tags - I thought I would stock up on some while I had the tag making things out.

Here are some more of my recycled tags - an old lego box that Matt let me cut up and some paint chip cards rescued from the manufacturer. They are completely recycled too as I use cereal packets etc that are destined for the recycling box as the backing card.

And this book just jumped into my hand at the post office (I officially love my post office because it sells second hand books!) and is destined to be turned into more gift tags. These will probably be going into my Folksy and Etsy shops when they are ready.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

This is........ favourite book as a child - I read it and re-read it hundreds of times (and I'm not kidding about the hundreds of times either!)

I love all the Roald Dahl books but this has got to be my favourite. Mr Twit is disgusting and I loved the fact that he saved his food in his beard. And Mr and Mrs Twit were so nasty to each other too - it made me laugh so much. I can't wait until Anya is old enough to read it.

Just thinking though too if we are talking about children's book in general then my favourite as an adult has to be Philip Pullman's Northern Lights Trilogy - just magnificent and again I'll be introducing them to the girls when they get older. Go and search them out if you haven't read them yet.

Thanks to Potty Mouth Mama for this weeks theme and to Three Buttons for coming up with the idea! And apologies because it is 3 days late!

Monday, 25 August 2008

We are back!

From a very wet Bank Holiday Monday in the Lakes - the rest of the weekend was lovely but it chucked it down all morning because (yes the weather is especially mean to me!) we were taking the tent down! Just got to find somewhere to hang it now to get it dry.

I'll leave you with the news that I have reached 400 hearts in my Etsy shop! I'm quite pleased as I'm not one of these people who heart everything they see in the hope that someone will heart them back - I only genuinely heart people I like and I think that it will follow through to the people who heart you. Anyway enough drivel for tonight - see you tomorrow :)

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Isn't it amazing..... hours of fun can be had with some bubble wrap and Bob the Builder toys. They wrapped them up as presents, made 'furniture' out of the bubble wrap for the toys, the toys went shopping and at one point they had an elaborate game of hide and seek - the toys, not the girls!

Muck is letting everyone share his house while theirs are being built.

Tara is directing Scoop in his activities.

Scoop at the shops - he was talking on the tannoy at one point!

Chatting away about the houses they have built for Dizzy and Benny!

Thursday, 21 August 2008


Well I finally got round to sorting out the photo's of our holiday to France - there are too many to list all in one post so I will start with out trip to Disney Land in Paris. The girls were so excited and to be honest so were we! Matt and I last went to Disneyland on our honeymoon back in 1999 so it had changed quite a bit since then. And we seemed to have picked the hottest day of the year to go there too. Here are some of the highlights - if you click on the photo it should enlarge it.

Anya squealed like mad when she saw the castle and then got even more excited when she saw the shops that line the main entranceway into Disney. We were there with Matts sister Nicola, her husband John and their son Tom. They have annual passes so we got in at a discount and got free parking too. Also as Tom is autistic he has a disabled pass which means that he doesn't have to queue for the rides - on some we could go straight to the front and on others we had to go back at a specific time (he is allowed to take some helpers on with him too) Anyway it made the day much more bearable for the girls as I'm sure they wouldn't have queued for the times that were advertised. And Disney have changed the system so that you can only fast pass one ride at a time and until you have been on that ride you can't fast pass the next ride.

It was great for me and Matt too as Nic and John don't like the rollercoasters but Tom does - step in Uncle Matt and Auntie Lynsey!! It was fab that we got to go on lots of the rollercoasters but I feel old as they aren't as enjoyable as they once were :) We all went on Small World which the girls loved and we all went on Buzz Lightyear. Anya hated this as the Zorg character scared her (the result of a very overactive imagination!) but Tara loved it and was zapping away at the baddies all the way round. Later in the day we went on the Aladin themed carpet ride which Anya loved as she could control if the carpet went up or down but Tara really didn't like it. Matt asked her if she liked it - 'Me did NOT' came the response!

The parade at the end of the day was the highlight for the girls although we had to grab a spot on the side of the road an hour before it started (!) but it enabled the girls to have a rest, drink and something to eat. So all in all we have good memories of that day and the girls want to go again soon. We will have to see!

Wednesday, 20 August 2008


Not one I'm in but one I curated - I called it colourful cute!

I love Dexter the needle felted guy in the middle - very very cute! I've had one friend over this afternoon and I have a different friend coming over this evening so that will be it for today. I'll be back tomorrow though! Hopefully with giveaway details but if not then that will be next week!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008


Well I've been busy getting on with some more bubble envelopes - they are quick and simple to make and pile up quickly so it's a satisfying thing to make. I'm envisaging a whole lot more soon but I need to go to Asda to get more bubble wrap first :)

First up some huge envelopes made from an old atlas I bought from the Post Office (our local postmaster sells books for the local hospice and so far he has raised about £16,000) so I try and support him when I can - and at 50p or £1 a book he is a lot cheaper than the charity shops!

And then some made from old Usborne books - I loved the illustrations as a child and I still find them fascinating. These are made from The Word Book - Inspector Noun, Adjective etc etc are out looking for criminals.

And this last shot is to show you that they really are lined with bubblewrap!

These are all for me to use for my craft sales and I'm still thinking about whether to sell them or not - I do have plenty of book pages to be getting on with!

Monday, 18 August 2008

Is it bad...... be eating frosting straight out of the tub with a great big spoon? Feel a bit sick now so I have to stop! I've just noticed too that this is my 300th post so I'll be hosting a giveaway shortly :)

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Adipose baby trains for the olympics!

Well we have just got back from visiting a friend whose elder daughter was 7 yesterday. We dropped off the presents and ate some yummy cake so thanks Alex! I made Elizabeth an Adipose baby as she loves Dr Who (as do her younger sister, mum and dad!) I wanted to take some photographs of him and as he had been watching the Olympics with us he decided to try out some gymnastic moves for the photo shoot.

Here he is outside using the washing line as parallel bars - he did do a super spin but he was too quick for me to capture!

He wanted to try the horse vault next but the nearest thing we had was the rocking moose - he seemed to like it anyway.

He liked the slide but decided it was a bit tame for him after the washing line :)

But the team sport that he enjoyed the most was the synchronised snuggling with the girls!

My girls (and Matt) are now pestering for their own Adipose babies. Well guys, it's nearly Christmas!

Saturday, 16 August 2008

More post goodies!

My lovely toadstool swap arrived earlier this week from the lovely Patricia and I love it!

Two lovely toadstool pincushions with gorgeous fluffy underneaths and that wonderful spotty fabric on top.

The card she sent is gorgeous too - I want to try paper cutting at some stage but I'm a bit daunted now I've seen this!

And these two cuties were taking shelter underneath the toadstools. The girls have already claimed these but I will wrestle them back at some stage :)

Friday, 15 August 2008

First folksy sale and some new address lables

Yeah - I got my first Folksy sale yesterday!!! Thanks to the lovely Natalie of Roseberry Crafts :) It happened a lot quicker than I thought it would and much quicker than my first sale on Etsy. Here's to many more!!

And here are some address labels I have been working on - I've only done one of each and they are rough ideas at the moment so any thoughts on improvements are welcome!

There are some close ups of the top left ones and bottom right one below.

My favourite one is the top left one and I quite like my Etsy shop address in the middle - what do you think? My second favourite is the bottom right one - I'm not sure if it should have my web address on the bottom instead of just Swirlyarts. The other two were just rough ideas that evolved into the ones with the close up's. Please do let me know what you think - I'm sure you will!

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Lovely post!!

Aren't I a very lucky girl - look what was waiting for me when I got back from holiday. A lovely envelope stuffed full of goodies from Lindsey at Ethel and Edna. I'd sent her a sticker maker and some other goodies a while back as she had always wanted a sticker maker and I got these in return :)

I'm particularly thrilled with the Rosie Lee tea bag - she is fabulous!! Anya thinks she is wonderful and keeps offering me a cup of pretend fruity tea with Rosie hanging out the cup! You should do some in brown Lindsey for the non fruity tea drinkers!

I also really loved my Silly Doll - she's even got a Swirly necklace on her so I know she is mine!!

And of course there were chicken things like the sticker above and the bright and beautiful postcard below.

So thank you Lindsey - I'm thrilled with it and Swirly Silly Doll and Rosie Lee are going to fight for a place on my bookcase with the other goodies that live there.

Speaking of chickens I got a book through the post the other day (well month - blushes) from the lovely Emma at Jellybelly*Jellybrain and although I said thank you personally I didn't show the world (well the few people that read this) the book - it's quite appropriate really!

And I want to know how Emma knows that that chicken on the front looks exactly like me when I do exercise!! So thanks Emma and sorry it's taken a while to write about!

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Yeah - in a treasury!

This treasury was created by the lovely Amy and she is a member of the Crafts Forum and included lots of us from there who sell on Etsy. Thanks Amy! See it pays to be members of lots of craft related things!! Did you spot Gertrude the chicken? She's hiding at the bottom.

I'll be back later to show you some wonderful things that were waiting for me in a parcel when I got back from holiday :)

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Everything has a re-use in our house!!

Like teabags! This is a sneaky peek at a little something I am working on and I've used tea bags in it. I'll unveil it when it's finished - can you guess what it is??

And now onto other things. I've made some address labels for the numerous parcels I post out - what do you think?

I'm going to make some changes to them like making the coloured line separating the from and to sections straight (as it is in the top picture) and I think I'm going to use a thinner pen for the black lines as my writing is quite small and the lines are quite big! There is plenty of room to write too which I like. And the last question is - would you buy them? If I do sell them do I need to have my name on there somewhere and where would you suggest - and how many in a pack? I was thinking 20. Any ideas would be appreciated - thanks!