Saturday, 27 February 2010

I feel physically sick.

I got the confirmation letter through this morning about my interview on Thursday. Rather than being the cosy chat about the job I imagined, its actually a 2 hour ordeal which will include

1) A 30 minute 'in tray' exercise
2) A 30 minute mock interview of a potential volunteer
3) I then have to deliver a training session for 30 minutes
4) Followed by a 30 minute interview with a panel of people

To say I am completely terrified is an understatement. I feel physically sick when I think about it (speaking in front of people is my worst nightmare) and its on Thursday - thats less than a weeks time. So you would imagine that I had been sat preparing for my interview all day? No I have been cleaning my house from top to bottom. This is what I do when I want to avoid doing something else. I used to do it when I was supposed to be writing essays at University. Anything to avoid starting the task in hand. On a more positive note my house is clean and tidy which makes a welcome change and a lovely friend has offered to have Izzy on Thursday. I think my mum can have Sam so at least childcare is sorted. Now I just need to get my brain in gear and do some planning. Oh dear this could take some time!

Friday, 26 February 2010

I only went and got an interview

OH. MY. GOD. I've only gone and got an interview on Thursday. Yes next Thursday. An interview for the lovely part time Homestart job that fits in perfectly with school hours. Thats less than a week to prepare. I have no childcare, nothing to wear and no brain. I'm scared already. Seriously scared. My stomach is churning just thinking about it. This wasn't supposed to happen. They were supposed to very nicely say thanks but no thanks. They phoned me up this evening at about 7.30pm and as we seem to be getting lots of annoying marketing calls at the moment I picked up the phone and grunted hello in a very abrupt manner thinking it was someone trying to sell me something. So they now probably think I am rude. I have a cold too and my voice is really croaky so I also sound like a man. I bet they can't wait to meet me! Also the interview is in Weston and I hate driving and rarely drive outside a 3 mile radius of my house so thats scaring me too. Arghhhhhhhh!!

On a lighter note. This lovely package of books arrived today.

For the 'sew a long'

For inspiration for my lost sewing mojo

For my 2010 challenge

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Gotta get me one of those

I think I may have found my 40th birthday present to myself. Check out these beauties....

Gorgeous vintage style mannequins from I love Vintage Mannequins on Folksy. They are around £60 and would look fabulous in my sewing room which I've decided I'm going to revamp in honour of getting old! Also now I've joined the Sew A Long on Kitschy Coos blog I'm going to need a mannequin to help me make the clothes right? So its not just that I want one but that I NEED one.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Confidence (I need some)

I've only gone and applied for a job! Now I'm scared. What if they want to interview me? That will involve having to string a sentence together and wear clothes that are not jeans and not covered in yoghurty handprints and mushed up banana. They might expect me to have an opinion on something. Now I'm really scared....

Its amazing how being at home with children can zap your confidence. I use to laugh at mums who were worried about going back to work but now I know how they feel. I haven't had a paid job for over 4 years and even though I had a proper job before I had children with lots of responsibility that I was actually very good at - I still doubt my ability to do anything other than perhaps stack shelves in Tescos. Anyway wish me luck. Its a lovely part time job (16 hours a week) co-ordinating volunteers for Homestart and right up my street. Would be great to get an interview at least although I have no idea how I would work it with childcare but I guess  other people do it so it can't be impossible. Anyway can't think that far ahead yet! Anyone got any tips for interviews??

Monday, 22 February 2010

Lets get swapping

My flower swap is now oficially under way. Woo hoo!!
Izzy and I put all the names in a hat and randomly pulled out two at a time to match you together in pairs. So here is the list of who is swapping with who and their blog links.....drum roll please.

Mary Poppins and Mrs Yappy Dog
Winnibriggs and Chez Sophie
SewHotMitmot and English Teacup
Lexilooo and Elizabeths Attic
Poppyart and Gallimaufry
Handmade from the heart and VivWild
Emily Pickle and Made with Love
Crafty Helen and Mollimoo
BekiMarie and JennyFlower
Fairly Girly and Ems Shabby Shack
Lululiz and Dizzy Izzy Handmade
LemonadeKitty and Amberlife
Mad about bags and SewPatchwork
Love to craft and Crafting in the beach hut
Ulrike and SewScrumptious
AnniesAntics and Marigold Jam
Anilla and Dolly Dollop
The Madhouse and Kelly

Some of you have sent me your addresses to pass on but I am still missing quite a few so to make it easy could you all please contact your swap partner direct to say hi and swap addresses please. 

I really want everyone to enjoy taking part in the swap so here is a quick reminder of what you need to send and when

1) A fat quarter (1/4 metre) of a lovely flowery fabric
2) A packet of your favourite flower seeds (can be bought or from your garden)
3) A handmade lavender bag (can be any size/shape you like)
4) A handmade item related to the flower theme (can be anything really)
5) Another item or items relating to the flower theme (Minimum one item but some people might want to put in several smaller fun items rather than one big thing. This item can be bought or thrifted or be something you have lying around the house!)

Please can people make sure that their swap partners get their packages by Good Friday (2 April 2010). A few people are posting overseas so to give you the same amount of time to make things perhaps you could agree to have posted by then on the understanding your packages may arrive a little bit later. If your parcel is going to be delayed for any reason please can you let your swapee or me know.

I can't wait to see what you all make and send and thought it would be nice to share photos of our packages so I have set up a Flickr group here. It would be great if people could take and download photos of their package when it arrives to the flickr group for us all to see (I'm sure we will all be blogging about them too!)

Happy swapping!!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Come and Sew Along

I've been interveiwed and featured on the fabulous CraftblogUK website. I'm so excited!

I'm also very excited about being part of this

A sew along on Kitchy Coos blog. Come and join in - you know you want to!

Last chance to enter my flower swap as well. It closes tomorrow and then I'll contact you all with more details. If you haven't already please can you email me your name and address and blog links. Got me some work to do I think!!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Hello Hetty

Today we welcomed a new member to the family. Please say hello to Hetty. A rather gorgeous kitty that I won in a giveaway on a lovely blog called Dizzy Izzy Handmade. She arrived today beautifully wrapped and was immediately taken out of my hands by my Izzy who was absolutely thrilled with her new cat.

After fighting Sam off (who also took rather a shine to Hetty) she whisked her upstairs to have pride of place on her bed. Thanks so much. Hetty is lovely. She is made from gorgeous fabirc and is extremely well made.

Dizzy Izzy Handmade also have a shop on Folksy full of cute little kitties and other lovely things. As you can see Sam is still sporting his long girls hair. I just can't decide whether to have it cut or not. He won't look like Sam with short hair but he has been mistaken for a girl at least 4 times this month! He is modelling his lovely new t shirt from BirgittaDesigns. The proceeds of which Birgitta VERY kindly donated to Refuge.

I do love getting nice things in the post. Talking of which even more people have signed up for the swap today which is fantastic! Can people please email their details if they haven't already. There were a few people I couldn't find contact details or blogs for so I need to know how to contact you! I really am extremely excited about this swap (I obviously need to get out more!). Its the first one I've organised though so if I make any glaring errors please let me know!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010


I am so excited that so many of you have signed up for my flower swap. Thank you. Its really exciting and I can't wait to get it started. I'm very happy that some new people have signed up too! Welcome to my blog and I can't wait to start checking out your blogs.
A couple of people have mentioned that they have never done a swap before. Don't worry! I'm new to all this too so we'll just muddle through together. Thank you to Mary Poppins for answering my  questions about organising swaps and also for this link about swap etiquette which is very helpful to read. I'll leave the swap open until next Monday 22 Feb and then contact everyone once I have matched you up (names in a hat job!). There seems to be 2 ways of doing swaps - matching people in pairs so you send to the person who sends to you or more random where you send to one person but receive a parcel from another person. Anyone have any strong feelings either way? I'm happy to go with whatever people prefer. Also if people can email me their names, addresses and blog link here that would be great and I can pass them on to the relevant people.

My sewing mojo is coming back slowly. Made some bunting triangles last night to send to a folksy seller who is collecting triangles from all over the country to make bunting to decorate a venue for her wedding day. You can still join in if you would like? Have a look here for more info.

I know the colours are a bit random and don't match but I figure that once they are mixed up with all the others they will look ok. The last one has a little bit of freehand embroidery on it and I'm quite pleased with the result as I did it on a whim in about 5 minutes. The button is a little love heart button. I find that if I think about things too much then I become very critical and end up binning things like this so I literally finished it and packaged it up to send so I couldn't change my mind. What do you think?

I also started on my new range of bibs and I am really pleased with the fabrics I have used. Will show you once they are finished. I also had a go at a Mothers Day idea for my Folksy shop but it didn't really work out too well. Frustrating but at least I know now. The idea was good it just took too long to make for the amount I could sell it for so its is best saved for a special present for someone instead.

Thanks to everyone who has nominated me for various awards over the last couple of weeks. I do really appreciate them. I just haven't had the time to post about them or pass them on. I will try to do this but forgive me if I forget. There are not enogh hours in the day!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Anyone fancy a swap??

OK I've decided to bite the bullet and organise a swap. I love getting parcels through the post and I need something to motivate me as I've lost my sewing mojo. I've been trying to decide on a theme for my swap and as gardening is my other passion and I've really enjoyed being out in the garden the last week now that the weather has warmed up a bit I've decided that the theme for my swap will be


So if you want to join in my flower themed swap in celebration of the coming of Spring then just leave a comment by Mon 22 Feb. I will then contact you with who is swapping with who and also post links to blogs. Open to everyone but could people say if they would rather not post internationally.

You will need to send your swap partner the following goodies....

1) A fat quarter of a lovely flowery (floral just sounds too middle aged!) fabric
2) A packet of your favourite flower seeds
3) A handmade lavender bag 
4) A handmade item which is connected to the flower theme (can be anything)
4) 1 other item relating to the flower theme (again could be anything - something you have lying around or something you buy - you choose)

I know a lot of us have children and finding time to do anything is difficult so how about we say the parcel would need to be with your swap partner by Easter (Friday 2 April). Easter for me signifies the begining of Spring as I'm usually at the garden centre buying my bedding plants on Easter week-end although this year I will probably be in bed crying over the fact I will be 40 a week later! See I NEED this swap to cheer me up!!

So what do you think? Are you up for it? Don't let me down guys. I'm all excited about my swap now and just need some swapping partners to join in. Please feel free to blog about it and invite your friends too - the more the merrier! I'll leave you with some photos of my garden last Spring...

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Fairy Wings

Another post on the Folksy forum yesterday made me stop and think about how lucky I am. This Folksy sellers friend supports an orphanage in South Africa and is due to visit shortly. She wants to give the children a surprise fairy themed party when she is there and needs to collect 96 pairs of fairy wings to take with her so each child gets a pair. This really captured my imagination so I had a look at the website for Project Primrose to find out more. This orphanage which is run by volunteers supports nearly 100 orphaned children in one of the poorest parts of South Africa from very young babies to teenage children. Many having been affected by Aids, cancer, malnutrition, abuse or neglect. Its good to be reminded sometimes about how lucky we are and how much we have in this country. I wasn't sure how to make angel wings so I ended up in Asda today and found these

and some mini fairy wands

so these will be winging their way to South Africa and hopefully putting a smile on a childs face. If you can help by donating some fairy wings (old or new) then please let me know and I will pass on the details. I have also decided to become a 'birthday buddy' to one of the children. You 'choose' a child on the list and agree to send them birthday and Christmas gifts and maybe the odd letter. Its heartbreaking having to choose a child from a list but I decided to choose a girl with a similar birthday and of a similar age to Izzy. We can choose the present together each year and it will good to talk about what we are doing and how unfair the world is sometimes. If this interests you please see here. Sometimes little things can make a big difference. 

Friday, 12 February 2010

What a lovely neighbour

Sometimes a blog post really catches your eye and makes you stop and think. BirgittaDesigns posted about domestic violence this week after she had to help her neighbour and child escape from an abusive partner after the woman arrived at her door battered and bruised. It still shocks me that some woman and children have to live in fear and makes me very grateful to have had no personal experience of this sort of abuse (physical or emotional). Birgitta very kindly offered to donate money from the next sale in her folksy shop to Refuge so I thought I would pop over and have a look. I spotted this gorgeous little t shirt straight away and it was the right size for Sam so it was obviously meant to be!

It came wrapped beautifully

and included a lovely little heart which izzy has already grabbed for her room!

The fabric for the rocket is gorgeous. I need to have some of that!


Birgitta very kindly rounded the money up to £10 for Refuge which is a lovely thing to do. I think she did an amazing job supporting her neighbour in this way too. Check out her Folksy Shop for more gorgeous things and Refuge for more information about domestic violence.

Thursday, 11 February 2010


I recently took part in the Folksy Valentine Heart Swap and got my parcel today from the lovely Nat at Harvey Crafty Cards. A lovely heart shaped pin cushion beautifully wrapped in tissue paper and a little box!

So what was in the box??

Only the cutest little 'sewing survival kit' that Nat had put together for me including some cute buttons, some cotton and the sweetest little hand shaped tags that say 'handmade' on them.

It was such a lovely thoughtful thing to send and really cheered me up after a very stressful supermarket trip with Sam who screamed his head off the whole way round Tesco because I refused to give him a second chocolate brioche!! It was lovely to come home to a little treat in the post. Check out these lovely cards from her  Folksy Shop. So pretty. I'm loving this swap thing. Might have to organise one. So would anybody be interested in joining in if I did?

Managed to have a lovely night out last night with some friends at the local Italian. Really good to have a conversation with them without constant interuptions from children!! Was really good fun. I'm in the middle. Not sure what is going on with my fringe tho. Think both me and Sam need a hair cut!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

What to do about Aprons

Feeling a bit lacklustre and uninspired at the moment and not finding much time to sew or make anything although I did finally manage to finish a commission for a personalised apron for a little girl called Charlotte. I hope she likes it.

Its for a mum at my daughters pre-school who saw me at one of my craft markets. It always a bit strange selling things to people I know. I don't know why - I just worry about whether they will like it and I hate talking about money with friends. Does anyone else feel like that? I've been making these little aprons for ages now and I really want to try something new for slightly older girls. I love little frilly half aprons as they look so cute but would you buy them for a little girl bearing in mind they don't cover their top halves which is the bit that gets covered in everything if you are baking with them. What do people think?

We've finally had the second meeting of the reading group. Much wine was consumed! We've decided the next book will be

All of our books so far have been very sad and involved horrible things happening to children so I need some cheerful recommendations please for the book after this. Trying to organise getting people together was a nightmare last time but this time everyone brought their diaries and we have the next meeting booked in ready to go. Hurrah! Just need to read the book now.....

Monday, 8 February 2010

You're Welcome

I've been tagged by Kelly from A Place of my Own for the You're Welcome Meme. Kelly shared 3 blogs she has recently discovered and loved (I'm following all of them now!) and then asked me to share 3 of mine. So here they are.

Flossie Teacakes
is a gorgeous blog about sewing that I've just started following. Its VERY inspiring. Florence makes THE most gorgeous things. She is currently experimenting with making her own clothes and they look so good I'm almost tempted to have a go myself. There are also some great tutorials on the blog too. Its lovely.
Mary Poppins
Another blog which is new to me but already I'm addicted. Its full of fabulous pictures of gorgeous things and I knew the minute I saw it I would love it! Lots of fabric and shabby chic house things, crafts and vintage treasures. There is a fantastic giveaway at the moment too so well worth checking it out. I'm looking forward to reading this blog more.

I've been following this blog for a little while since Pomona very kindly sent me some seeds and lavender for my 70 presents challenge and its such a lovely blog. Its really well written and thoughtful. Some blogs I scan and read quickly as I'm usually in a rush but this one makes me want to sit down with a cup of tea to enjoy and savour it. Another blog full of inspirational ideas of things to make, sew, knit and cook. Lovely!

I've got to tag 3 other bloggers to pass this meme onto so I tag


The rules are:

  • Visit the new blogs I've introduced you to. If you like them, subscribe!
  • Recommend three new blogs you've discovered and loved
  • Tag three other bloggers and ask them for three new blog reads

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

I need to get out more...

'Free to a good home' was a post on the lovely Mutterings from the Moor blog. Could anybody make use of some tiny little bottles that had once contained antibiotics?? I thought these would be perfect for keeping my sequins and tiny little beads in and I was very lucky to receive a boxful several days later. I'm sad to say that sorting out all my sequins and beads into colour coded bottles gave me more pleasure than it probably should. I think I may be slightly annally retentive but just look how cute they look. It doesn't matter that it took me hours when I could have been sleeping or cleaning my house. They make me smile when I look at them and thats all that matters!

Finally got round to posting off my handmade heart for the Folksy Valentines Heart Swap today. A little lavender hanging heart with some heart chocolates and love hearts sweets for good measure. I hope they like it!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

What about those resolutions?

Thanks to everyone who left lovely comments about Sam. He seems to be on the road to recovery and we have a doctors appointment tomorrow for a check up so fingers crossed.

I thought the beginning of February would be a good time to review those New Year Resolutions I made a  month ago. I couldn't even remember what they were though and had to go back and check which doesn't really bode well does it? Anyway here they are....

1) Set myself a new blog challenge - I'm making childrens clothes as my challenge and have finished Januarys skirt. I'm on track for Februarys baby shoes and I've got ideas for the rest of the year so this one is actually going quite well.

2) Get into Twitter. I have embraced Twitter a bit more now. I don't use it as much as I should but I understand it more and can see the appeal. I keep sending Phillip Schofield messages in the hope he will reply but no luck yet. I've had to resort to stalking Richard Madely (Richard & Judy) instead!

3) Get Fit - yeah right. Done absolutely nothing. Figured I might as well wait until I am 40 now

4) Cook a new recipe each week. Sadly I am no Nigella yet. Quite frankly I just can't be arsed with cooking by the time the evening comes especially something new. I have made the odd cottage pie and lasagne though.

5) Make more effort - haven't really done much about this one either. have big plans re getting my hair highlighted and going to have a massage but its finding the time. I did get to the cinema with my other half though. I managed to fall asleep half way through the film but it was good to get out and we did talk to each other...kind of

6) Be fun mummy instead of grumpy mummy. This is very up and down. I did make play doh. Twice! and I put glitter in it which the kids loved. On a fun scale of 1 to 10 though daddy is a definate 10 and I'm still only about a 5 I would say.

7) Show my garden some love - in this weather?? Are you mad? - its bloody freezing out there.

8) Learn to love my sewing machine - I must admit I've had a real break from sewing since Christmas so haven't really done much on this one. Have that big pile of fabric though so February is the month for some sewing machine love.

9) Go to bed early - I wish!

10) Do more Random Acts of Kindness - now this I have kind of embraced and can think of 4 things in January that would qualify as one which I think is a pretty good start.

How are everyone elses resolutions going?