Thursday 28 April 2011

Easter and other bits and bats!

Before I blither on about Easter I have to write about the crazy morning I had yesterday as I'm bound to forget and I don't want to forget this little snippet of my small but valuable (to quote the film "You've got Mail") life.
I love white washing on the line, especially when someone else has hung it out for me!
At 4.30am Mini woke and guzzled a bottle like there was no tomorrow, then he burped half of it up. I was covered, he was covered, the bed was covered too. Thankfully it didn't reach Mr C's side. So after removing baby gro's, pajama tops, pillowcases etc...we drifted back to sleep. A bit later Little wriggled in for a snuggle but was very fidgety so Mr C took him back to his bed where upon he fell into a deep sleep and didn't wake till nearly 8am, his brothers, with out him tearing around waking up the world also slept in. This is almost unheard of! If only it were the weekend but sadly it was a school day and we were then late for school. Only when I was sheepishly shoving Big through the school gates did I realise I'd left their packed lunches at home. I dropped Little off at his preschool and drove home hoping Mini would remain asleep so I could deliver the lunches straight away. But he woke and was fretful and although hungry wouldn't feed properly. An hour later we start to head off with lunches with a plan to go Fanny Adams, well, why not! Have a coffee and forget the silly morning. But on route I realise I had forgotten the nappy bag and my phone.....AND, horrors!! My Tesco delivery was due between 11 - 12pm and it was 10.55, I had totally forgotten.  It would take me at least 20 mins to get back and that's with no hold ups, which was unlikely as we live in the country and there is always a tractor in the way. But I had one of those spooky feelings that I might see the Tesco van on his rounds. Even though his delivery area would be rather large and it would be very, very unlikely.  Even so I couldn't shake the feeling and so I kept my eyes peeled. I dropped off Big's lunch and then went on a back lane to Little's preschool. Guess who I met on a sharp narrow bend? Tesco Van!!!! I asked if he was delivering to me and he was! I was his 4th drop down the list so I'd be back home in plenty of time. If I'd delivered Little Cuckoo's lunch off first I'd not have met him and although I'd have been home in plenty of time it meant I didn't need to race back, all anxious and sweaty. Somebody up there was looking out for me and I like to think it was my Nanny Dot, the original Cuckoo.

Ok, on to Easter. It started weeks ago for us with the Cuckoo's having Easter party's at their schools. I made glittery cake pops for Big. Check out Bakerella over there in my side bar for the low down. The pops I made where very basic as I knew they'd get scoffed in seconds and I didn't have an enormous amount of time to play.

For Little Cuckoo's party and Easter Parade I made Nigella's Cheesy Feet. Which I'm told were very popular so I'd recommend them to any one who has to send food in for a kids party. Terrifically easy to make too.

Here is the, quite frankly, fantastic bonnet Little made for his parade. I love it! Look at that mental looking chick peeping out on the left. It looks like it's clinging on to the side of the hat for dear life. I didn't get to see Little in his parade as we were at the children's hospital seeing a paediatric surgeon as Big Cuckoo has a hernia in his tummy. It was too important an appointment to miss and we'd waited weeks to be seen. The good news is Big doesn't need an operation at this stage and with a bit of luck will never need one. So fingers crossed everyone!

Here's a gratuitous shot of my Easter Bonnet, okay okay, my hat that I accidentally bought last time I was in Fanny's. Good job I didn't get there yesterday as I'd have bought more stuff. I always fall in love with something when I go there.

Talking about mental chicks, look at this one! I particularly like his feet.


Easter weekend was spent in Kent with the Outlaws. It was a really lovely weekend, the sun shone the whole time and it was like summer.

We drank Pimms

Ate homemade pizza's cooked in a proper pizza oven. My Father in Law made one for Belle Mere's birthday/Christmas present last year. It's like a little Hansel and Gretel cottage. I should have taken a photo but you see I'd had a couple of Pimms....hic!

I ate nearly all of these special chocs all by myself, what a greedy pig, I said to every one when my Belle Mere gave them to me "I'm really very sorry, I'd give you all my last rolo but I cannot share these with you!" They all understood. But I was frowned at as whenever someone came near I clutched the divine little eggs to my breast and barked "Not SHARING!" I obviously do not lead by example when it comes to my boys sharing.

side of the pizza oven in the background

We ate out doors in the lovely garden under a tarpaulin, yep you read that right. A very practical tarpaulin as it was soooooooooo sunny and we couldn't find the canopy for the parasol anywhere. We are such a glamorous bunch.

I managed a fair bit of hooky time, mostly on the journey there and back but I ran out of pale pink yarn in the middle of a row. Grrrrrrrrrr! Fortunately I found a whole load of Rico Creative on Ebay in Sheila's Wool Shop and so I ordered more pale pink and while I was doing so I thought I better get some dark pink and pale blue as that was running out too. Her delivery was super quick, it arrived this morning just 36 hours after buying. I didn't want to risk ordering from the people I got the last lot from as they took 3 months to deliver and I really want to get this nemesis done and dusted. 

Get ready, I'm about to go all erratic again now. No surprise, you all know what I'm like now, I hope it's a charming trait rather than irritating.

Astri from Apple Blossom Dreams (love that blog name) has passed on an award to me. I find it so unbelievable that people even read my worblings and sometimes leave a comment let alone take the time to pass on an award. I am so humbled that people out there like what I post on here. It's just amazing! 

I'm loving Astri's dish cloth tutorial which niftily shows how to tidily join in a new colour yarn and carry it through rather than cutting the yarn and having heaps of ends to weave in. Click here to see a lovely jazzy cloth and a great tutorial.

Thank you Astri! I'm going to pass it on to Emily whose blog Unravelled has me smiling every time I read one of her posts, I love her turn of phrase.

Look what my great friend Gem (one of My Girls) sent me just because. It was all wrapped up with the spotty ribbon and was such a delightful surprise. She knows me well, can't go wrong with Cath K and hearts

Had to include this pic Mr C's sister, who from here on I shall call Lady Barballardy, took of Mini as it is too sweet not to. I did promise to show the  pics she took but there are so may gorgeous ones I think they deserve a post all of their own. I'll probably do that in a few days, it'll be mostly photo's and very little writing.

Have a fab Royal Wedding Weekend folks, our village looks gorgeous with bunting everywhere and Union Jacks all over the place. The children in the village school have each made a flag with their names and hand prints on and they have been strung alternating with a red, white and blue flag. So much thought and effort.  I hope the weather holds but it's forecast to be grey and cold. Humpf. We were going to go to Salcombe but there's rain coming on Saturday and Sunday and so we will stay at home with friends instead.


Just popped the Cheesy Feet into a linky party over at Paisley Jade's. That girl is a hoot!

Tuesday 26 April 2011

I'm FULL of chocolate!

And I'm supposed to be slimming into a dress in less than two weeks!

Oh well, have another mini egg I say.

I made a completely inedible supper tonight, way too salty, must have gone over the top with the soy sauce. I couldn't eat it so maybe that'll be my saving grace.

Today I've been busy trying to finish off a couple of gifts for my God daughter and her sister. Beavering away like an industrious beavering thing I was until I managed to totally jam up my sewing machine. SOD IT! Fortunately the place where I bought it is only a few miles down the road so I whisked Mini and Little into the wagon and off we went.  Sewing machine dismantled and sorted while we waited. They are so good to me down there. I'm always popping in for help with various sewing issues. 

Unfortunately it ate into my sewing time as I then had the school run to do and as you Mum's know from 330pm till 8pm it's all systems go!  Now I'm sat banging out this post when I'd really like to be writing about our lovely Easter weekend but I need to tidy up this↓ mess and iron some shirts and get Mini settled in bed. He is currently practising reaching out for the dangly bits of his activity arch and Mr C is bravely trying to eat the Salty Supper.

But I'll take some time to pause and smell the bunch of Lily of the Valley that my Belle Mere (Mother in Law), sent home with us.

For those of you who wanted it, the notice board tutorial is over in my side bar.

Back soon with the Easter low down and hopefully some of my Sister in Laws fabulous photographs. 

Thursday 21 April 2011

A day of two halves...

Don't worry this post wont be all doom and gloom, scroll past the top half and you'll get to the crochet yumminess. Yesterday was a day of sunshine and showers. Or rather showers and sunshine as it started badly and got better. 6am Mini woke for his feed, nothing wrong with that, it had been 5 hours since his last feed. As I was feeding him I got an itch. On my head, where I couldn't reach it as Mini was cradled in one arm and my other hand was holding his bottle. Such an itch my eyes began to run. I managed to get to it by clutching and balancing the bottle between my chin and chest. Then my elbow started itching closely followed by my shoulder, knee and sole of my right foot. Peculiar how an itch can travel. Try this for a second, close your eyes and tune into your skin. You itch don't you? You have a few itches now but if you distract yourself they go. Right? Funny that. Anyway these itches did not go because there must have been a bleedin' mozzy in the bedroom last night and it had a merry old time nipping me all over!

At 9am I started the ten minute getting out of the house routine (it's usually 20 mins but Granny was here) .......and Mini had done a MASSIVE we were late getting to the doctors for his 8 weeks jabs. How can he possibly be 8 weeks? Anyway, we got to the surgery in the neighbouring village, but I'd got the wrong surgery. The appointment was in the sister surgery in my village, and I'd driven straight past it. See, I am Dippy with a capital D. We walked in 25 minutes late, I was flustered and Mini was in a deep and peaceful sleep. No need to tell you about how the injections roused him from his slumber. I hate that look of shock and disbelief on their faces. I wish on the one hand I didn't have to hold my baby when he got jabbed, I don't want him thinking I'm hurting him, on the other hand I want to be the one to cuddle and comfort him through it. Glad it's done, for a month or two at least.

1pm. I have a little crafty group that I go to fortnightly, a friend and I set it up shortly after I started this blog for the first time over at Typepad. There are 5 of us and we've become terrific friends. They are girls who totally get me, in the same way you bloggers get me too which was why I started blogging as I didn't have anyone to play with! I'll go into more detail in a post which I'll probably entitle "An ode to Swine Club". Swine as in "Sewing with Wine". SEWine Club. So yesterday we were all going for a pedicure and lunch as a gift of congrats for having Mini. But the spa called and cancelled in the morning on the grounds of health and safety as they had the builders in. And I was dying for a pedi as I have a crack on my right heel. BOO! We were disappointed but no loss, we met for lunch any way. I was late (again..grrrrr) as I got completely lost due to the sat nav not recognising the postcode or the street. Stupid stupid stupid sat nav, I'm going back to maps. Much better. Anyway, I finally got there and again Mini was deeply sleeping, hurrah, just before the food arrived and Mini let out a shriek and continued to squeal for 20 minutes. A proper panicky, painful squeal. It was awful, he's never like that. Being such a placid baby I had no idea how to soothe him, I tried every trick I know (and I have several as my other two boys were very sad colicky babs) in the end I had to leave as I was getting distressed and feeling so bad about ruining other diners nice lunches. I had one mouthful of my delicious saffron and pine nut basmati rice with chicken. Seriously, one mouthful.

Bleurgh, and the garden is full of weeds and algae! Humpf. It's not all jolly dee around here.


However....things aren't so bad!

On the plus side, I washed my Granny blanket for the first time, what a pikey!! It wasn't visibly dirty or smelly but I realised, with shame, that it had been ages since I'd finished it and it has been played with non stop by the Cuckoos. I bet the water was black. I put it on the wool cycle in my washing machine and it came out perfectly. Actually it came out better than before as it's much softer now and it smells sublime!

My Shawl of Dreams has grown a bit since returning from Salcombe and I have finally settled on the colour choice. The bright pink, although gorgeous, didn't fit with my memory of "the" shawl. So I cut out the pink and am much happier with how it's looking, I've also cut out the bright green and replaced them with two muted pale greens. I already have an idea of what I'll do with the discarded pink and green but I'll not start on that as the last thing I need is yet another WiP!!

Last night I met again with the Swine girls (without squeally Mini) and did a 3 more rows on my Nemesis Blanket. With a bit of luck I'll get to finish it over the weekend if I pull my finger out. We are going to Granny and Poppa's for Easter so it's hard to predict how much hooky time I'll get. I may get heaps or none.  The Big Cuckoo's have already left for Kent with Granny yesterday morning while I was at the docs. It was bitter sweet returning home to a quiet house. I miss them terribly but that's quite a nice feeling after all the frustration I have with Little Cuckoo at the moment. He is utterly gorgeous and funny and yet completely vile too. He turns on a sixpence. The other day Mr C asked the boys what Easter is all about. "Chocolate rabbits" Big said, "Yes darling but it's also about the resurrection of Christ" I said "Oh Mummy you do make me laugh" said Little Cuckoo with a withering look. See? He is so funny, but a bit  of a rude monkey too!

And finally to round up this rather jumpy post I have lost nearly 3 lbs this week so I feel optimistic again about fitting into my fronk for my Step sisters wedding. A panic shopping trip for an outfit seems less likely now thankfully.

Also I made a couple of padded noticeboards the other week and wondered if any one fancies a tutorial? I took photo's as I was doing them and have a half started tutorial waiting in the wings. Seems a shame to waste the effort so maybe I'll do one anyway. (edit: DONE! It's over there in my side bar!)

I'm delighting in the Clematis Montana which is beginning to bloom, soon it'll look like this.

Wow a very erratic post!


Sunday 17 April 2011

A great week.

Yes, a really great week. This could be a long post. I don't know where to start! The beginning would be a good place. But first let me warn you, what makes a great week for me doesn't involve anything very exciting. At least not to most people, exciting to me of course and that's why is was a great week! But if you're after stories of A list celebs and rock stars then click away, you'll not find any of that malarky here just tales of a week at the seaside, a couple of bloggy awards, a swap and such like. Good stuff!

Last Saturday we went to Salcombe to stay in the Seaside House for the week. We spent as much time as we could at the beach but it was a little too chilly and windy to stay all day long, we aren't that hardcore. What do you think of my mad pink trolley? I get some funny looks carting that around but it saves my back and many trips to and fro from the pop pop boat or the car. See that cream blob in the foreground?  My crochet bag, of course.

Mini being good as gold as per usual. Snuggled up in the Phil and Teds pushchair.
He is in there somewhere, you can just see his face.
I took my crochet bag everywhere. I thought I'd get a heap done but I was a little over optimistic. I only got ten rows of my Nemesis Blanket done and I didn't do any of my Shawl of Dreams. The reasons being I had very little time to hook during the day as the boys were very busy and needed assistance with the important job of being Busy Little Boys and in the evening I had two (maybe three, probably three) glasses of wine. Having been off the sauce for an age I have no tolerance and was too pickled to crochet. What a lush! Also Mr C wasn't with us the whole week so I was flying parentally solo for 3 days. Not only that when I did get myself all sorted for a crochet-a-thon I couldn't remember how I started off my flower granny square. I couldn't remember how many chains and doubles I started with. This shawl has got to be perfect, I've been daydreaming about it for far too long to bugger it up so I decided to pack it away till I could get reunited with my scribbled notes. It was a blessing really as I'm having colour wobbles, not sure the vibrant pink is going to work out.....we'll see.

All in all the week was spent pleasantly, a little bit of shopping, plenty of food and wine (never going to squeeze into my dress in two weeks for my step sisters wedding. Gulp) and a lot of sand castles and hole digging. The hours my Biggun's spent in the cold water, the miles they ran going to and fro from the sea to the hole with buckets and pales, the giggles, the tumbles. It's a proper childhood, it's how it should be and I'm so pleased we are able to give them all these experiences and memories.

Filling up

 The trek back with a "Bery Heaby" bucket

Almost there

Very important work this! Come on!

Yes, Very Important Busy Work.

 Nearly done

 We will difinitely fill it this time


We need more, off we go, don't give up!

And so it went on for hours.

If only I had one eye to crochet with and one to watch them, within seconds they'd be out of sight and they looked just like all the other kids on the beach. Even though it wasn't jam packed it was easy to lose sight of my Cuckoos. 

A week at the seaside and I've come over all nautical, funny how I seem to dress very differently in Salcombe. At home I'm much more likely to be found in a dress (fronk). 

Before I went away, in fact weeks ago now, I commented on a swap that Rachel of Contented had blogged about, I said how I admired her swapping prowess. She always seemed to do a good job, I feared I'd put together a rubbish parcel and that's what held me back. Well, Rachel said "Lets do one". So we did. It was much more fun than I even thought it might be. It did take me weeks and weeks to do. Firstly to think of what to make and send and then it took me even longer to execute my plans. But Rachel was so patient with me, bless her. Here's what I sent minus the galaxy chocolate as it didn't look pretty in my arrangement.

We'd agreed to send five items, 2 handmade and 3 little bought items. Then it was up to us if we wanted to add any extras. I made the coat hanger and strawberry pin cushion hangy thing and I sent some fabrics out of a sample book that I was given by an interior designers ex boyfriend (mother's brother's cat...) but for some reason I can't upload the photo's of them. They keep coming up as "server rejected", very odd.

Here's what Rachel sent me. All very thoughtful and gorgeous.  

I am beyond thrilled with everything.  It's like she had been spying on me.  This week I have said the following "I need a new lipbalm, I'm running out...I could do with a cute bag to hold my balls of yarn when I'm crocheting as they keep flying about...I must get a little note pad and put it in my nappy bag". Honestly, no word of a lie! Not only that I was secretly really, really hoping the sneaky peek she gave of my swap gift on her blog was a mug rug and it is!!!! And I keep thinking about her embroidered inches and so I am cock a hoop with the card! Gosh she is good at this swap thing. The Easter banner is great too so I will be putting that up ASAP. She included my boys and sent some chocolate eggs (which were wrapped in tissue paper making it very easy for them to get into, perfect) and had a sweet little wooden gift tag shaped like an egg but the photo will not load no matter what I do. Did you see that the bag is reversable and has cuckoo clock fabric lining? Neat touch, hey?


Big week for my blog too, my blog which I enjoy so much, that has brought me lots of happiness and blog buddies. I adore having this place to chat to other like minded crafty souls and to diarise (?) my life, it's had a profound effect on me. It keeps my spirits up, something that is vital for me, especially having just had a baby as I'm terrified I'll get that manky Post Natal Depression again. So on top of all those positives for me, it seems my blog is being enjoyed by others too, wow that feels great. It got two bloggy awards AND was featured on two fantbulous blogs.

Firstly I received this award from Nicole, dear Nicole, from Must Be Destiny who has left so many joyful comments for me. She is a truly sweet lady and I am soooooo coveting her star spangled banner crochet blanket WiP (have you done much more to it love?) The rules say I have to reveal 7 unknown facts about myself and pass it on.

1. I have lived in Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Cornwall and Avon (when it was Avon) so I am a true South Westoner.

2. I had clicky hips when I was born and wore a brace.

3. I'm scared of the dentist, even though I used to have a crush on him, as I haven't had anything done to my teeth and I feel it's only a matter of time. 

4. I am frightened of dark, deep water and once freaked out when swimming in very shallow water because there was a shadow in front of was the shadow of my head! How silly!!

5. I modelled for the 1990's re do of the Nancy Drew paperbacks.

6. I have 5 pairs of fancy pants shoes but live in my 10 year old loafers from next and my £1 flip flops from Asda.

7. I have written my name in teeny weeny writing on a walls in each room of my home. Written where you can't see it. I've done that for as long as I can remember. We moved house so many times when I was little, it became my way of settling in to a new home. But please don't tell my sons, I bellow at them for writing on the walls.

I'm going to pass this award on to my great friend, one of My Girls, Gem who has started a new blog all about her charity shop finds. Treasures from the Cherry Tree. Her other blog which I have linked to before and is in my side bar is a compliation of her column, she's a journalist as well as a mum, wife, proof reader, part time job holder, breast feeding support councellor, school volunteer and charity shop addict!  I don't know how she does it all. She's a top friend too and is Mini Cuckoo's godmother. I'd pass on an award to her in spite of her being my mate because her blog, although very new is already a great read.

Second award came from Coco Rose. Vanessa has a B E A U T I F U L  blog, takes amazing photos, makes everything look so gorgeous. I want her to come and make over my home, be my personal shopper and make us a shed load of Rocky Road. 12 new followers arrived here in just four hours after she linked to me so I reckon if you're reading this you probably already know her.  Her flickr photo stream makes Mini Cuckoos 3am feed bearable.  I'm going to pass this on to Haken en meer which is a blog I have yet to read as it's in a different language and I haven't done a google translate yet but, oh my goodness, her photo's and crochet are marvellous.

So hard to choose just a few blogs as there are several I am enjoying hugely.

Also this week Tangled Happy featured my Bobble Stitch Tutorial. Hello to my new buddies who hopped over from there.  Tangled Happy is a treasure trove of crochet tutorials, it has made my to do/wish list become unmanagable in a very exciting, happy way. So be warned, you are in danger if you pop over there, in danger of losing several hours surfing the archives and in danger of having a big yarn shopping accident!

Finally, I was really chuffed when Rachel from Maybe Matilda got in touch to say she was in the middle of making a baby blanket using my Bobble Stitch Tutorial. You must go over there and see her completed blanket (unless that's where you've come from!) Uber gorgeous. Tres, tres jolie, I love it. Great choice of colour.

So all in all a great week. Before we'd gone away I'd almost managed to reply to all who have left me comments, I was about to start going through my followers, check out their blogs and say "Hullo!"  I've made so many blog buddies this week and received some lush comments. I'm delighted by it all and if I didn't have such busy children I'd be visiting you all individually. But I must live my real life so I can fill my blog with the goings on in Cuckoo Land. So do excuse me if I don't drop by for an age.


Click on the above to see other great stuff!