Hello wild weather!

craft2 craft3  craft1 craft12craft6craft14craft7 craft8On Friday the skies were clear blue, the sun shone over the beach, the squirrels played in the trees outside our house. It was a beautiful day. That night the village had a yuletide celebration and all the shops had mulled wine, free crafts and face painting, fireworks and bouncy castles. It was great to be outside, feeling festive.

Then on Saturday , well, we woke up to what appears to be the end of the world. We’ve had thunder storms, heavy rain, hail stones and wind so fierce that after Arthur’s toddler group’s christmas party the wind pushed us across the road. Yes it’s utterly British to talk about the weather but it’s been insane!

When is a better time than days like these to do some arts and crafts? Beth and I made a cardboard nativity with loo rolls as the Holy family (I knew there was a reason to stash empty rolls) and Arthur, well he likes to express himself is wilder ways these days, so while we cut and coloured he played on the rocking horse. The yellow thing in his mouth is a rubber toy that he loves. On taking Beth to school this morning Arthur hung to the side, just almost out his pram, with this toy in his hand saying “help me, help me”. He wanted to walk with it but I wanted home. Sadly it was a clash of interests in the howling wind and sleet but since he didn’t have shoes on I think I was the one in the right.

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First day of Advent

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Since yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent I can now officially get excited about Christmas.  I felt the tingle of seasonal cheer creep in quite early this year . Is it because after Christmas my dissertation proposal will be done? Perhaps, but whatever it is, I’m glad I can now start talking about my plans!

Beth and I had a boy-free afternoon on Sunday. In the village there is a beautiful old church that’s been renovated into a craft centre and we popped along to help decorate the garden with willow decorations.  We wove stars, Christmas trees, and Angels, and luckily we were allowed to make a few to decorate our home with. I took some pictures and they are on my instagram feed if you’d like to see them (link is in the sidebar)

I really enjoyed willow weaving, it’ a bit like knitting.  There is a class in March so I might sign up for it……like I have NOTHING else going on right now.

Graham and I were at a friend’s wedding on Saturday so Sunday was a fuzzy kind of day.  We were treated to a St Andrew’s day dinner thanks to Graham’s parents and once home I sat on the sofa, ready to think about bed, when I realised I hadn’t finished the Advent Calendar I planned to make.  I found some scrap material left over from Beth’s stocking when my singer sewing machine starting misbehaving. 10 mins later I was crawling around my loft to get down the old Bernina (note to self- buy a touch!). I sewed little bags and used pegs I’d bought in Tiger. Inside is a mix of chocolate, bells, pencils, special stones, and a very special gift to put on the tree on Christmas Eve. The lack of sleep was completely worth it.  Beth was really excited to see it this morning and who doesn’t like chocolate before breakfast?

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Yarn along- winter walk

yarn along 019yarn along 020Isn’t that yarn great? It knits up like a fair Isle pattern without the effort needed. I think I’ll make a hat for Arthur with it, now which pattern should I pick?  I’m also sewing Arthur a pair of Quick Change Trousers lined with some Warm and Natural Cotton wadding left over from a patchwork quilt I’m making for Beth’s Christmas. Oh my,  I love sewing and knitting. It’s almost my personal therapy!

I’ve felt a real desire to be outside these last few weeks.  It’s almost like a new world has appeared from under where there once was thick trees and leafy bushes, and I love the wonderful sense of freedom and space the scenery around me has. I’m training to become a Health Visitor and I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed recently so being outside has been great for my mental wellbeing. Good friends with coffee and welcoming wood burning stoves have also helped too. One day Graham and I would like to have our own working fireplace to curl up next to with a book and a soft blanket. Oh, bliss.

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autumn 2014 279(Did you notice that both kids are wearing a Gap sweater? My Mum bought all her Grandchildren one last year and they still fit brilliantly)

On the way home from a friend’s party on Sunday the sky was just unbelievable. Gosh, isn’t Scotland is one of the most stunning places in the world?

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Little red riding hood

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With these darker nights and shorter days we’ve been taking it slow, spending more time playing inside the house.  A favorite game is the tale of a little girl who visited her sick Grandma only to find she had been eaten by a greedy wolf (played always by the ferocious Arthur).

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I want to give this red cape to Beth for Solstice but I couldn’t resist putting it on her for a few photographs.  It was so quick and easy to sew.  Generally I find I’m too inpatient to put much concentration into sewing but this took 30 mins. Simply, I sewed an inch seam around the length, then I folded the two corners together and sewed the top to create a hood.  To add the tie I folded the material 1/3 down and sewed a seam.  The I threaded a red glittery ribbon left over from the tag rag rug I’ve made Arthur for Solstice.

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Also, our big bad wolf has started crawling.  I tried to take a better photo but Beth kept ridding on his back! I’m a bit worried about his teeth.  His incisors are cutting threw but his front two teeth are not showing any sign of coming soon. He keeps falling over and off things so hopefully he hasn’t damaged to two front teeth! As I type he has four huge red marks on his head. I’m glad he has lots of great hats to hide it from concerned members of the public! My Mum says maybe he is just waiting for Santa to give him his two front teeth for Christmas, Oh ho ho!

I have a really busy weekend ahead starting with friends coming for dinner tonight but I have nothing to feed them.  Is beans on toast acceptable?

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Paper Play

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We make a lot of things out of paper in our house. Bus tickets become airplanes, gifts are decorated with origami flowers, scrap paper become a bed for a teddy or a farm for the animals. So it was only natural that we have some festive paper fun. The toymaker has a great resource of free printable paper crafts.

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I am developing a crazy obsession with Sweden. Why you ask? Well, I read an article about this British family that couldn’t afford a house in the UK and after years of struggling and working hard for little reward the family on a spur of the moment decided to buy a house out right in a small village in Sweden.  For what cash they had saved up over the years they bought a 5 bedroom farm house with tons of surrounding land.  They couldn’t speak any Swedish and hadn’t even been to the country before the day they moved in to their new house. It’s inspiring that they took this gamble. Their kids have opportunities they couldn’t afford in the UK and the family now own 17 sleigh dogs and run their own business. Their sink or swim attitude forced them to learn the language and start the life they wanted. And Sweden? Well it’s a pretty great place to live.

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So through this new found passion I found a recipe for traditional meat balls.  It’s fully of dairy and will stick to your ribs but it was so delicious and warming. I think the writer of this recipe is just a wee bit in love with Sweden too. I made double the amount of meatballs and froze them for another meal.  Really, we’ve had four meals out of this recipe.

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