Sunday, 30 March 2008

Patches of loveliness

By the end of last week I was feeling run-down and tired. When I drop Dinosaur-boy off at nursery I usually race home, turn on my laptop, open my email, check my phone messages, put on some music from my itunes folder, thread up my machine and start some sewing...but suddenly the idea of all this felt too much like multi-tasking, so I chose instead to leave my laptop inside my desk and enjoy some fabric-filled silence...and how very restorative it was! For I realised that computers whirr....LOUDLY! This is what I was halfway through making by lunchtime when I left to collect the little Dinosaur: a cushion for Zebra-girl's bed. My last attempt at patchworking revolved around a pre-cut pack of peach hexagons bought from Laura Ashley in the late 1980s, aged 11 (when peach was a hugely fashionable colour). I remember having a very frustrating time with it and being quite devastated by my inability to align the hexagons nicely, eventually consigning them to the bin. But Zebra-girl has been quite desperate for a cushion on her bed and my instinct was to try and squeeze a great many different fabrics into its creation, so that she might have the fun of gathering favourites, counting flowers and tracing shapes as she goes off to sleep. I love the idea that these materials that surround her in childhood, might later jog her memory as she sees a similar print on a dress or a shirt in a shop and that it will perhaps transport her back to evenings spent staring at the things in her room as she waited for sleep to come (for she does a lot of this type of waiting). So this cushion was to be my first grown-up attempt at patchwork....and I loved it. Although, I have decided that squares are probably an easier starting point than hexagons. I wanted to applique a rose in the centre, as Zebra-girl has been coveting this detail on the teabag holder that I made a couple of weeks ago.

When I collected her from school on Friday and told her what I was in the midst of making she was hugely (to a most unexpected degree!) excited and implored me to carry on immediately once we got home. Dinosaur-boy wanted her to play with him, but she insisted on watching over me, asking questions and encouraging me to work faster so that it might be ready for bedtime.

It was finally delivered, to gasps of delight (what a very gratifying recipient she is!) 20 minutes after she'd gone to bed. It appears to be a cushion of the sleep-inducing variety - horay!

Patchworking aside, as I'd been saying earlier in this post, by the end of last week I was just feeling exhausted and...well....haggered. Recently every time I unexpectedly caught sight of myself in a mirror I was shocked by how old and witchy I looked. On Thursday morning I measured my hair. It was 21 inches long. It was an excellent canopy to hide behind, I could tie it in a bow, cover my chest and part of my stomach up with it, drape it over my lips in a handlebar mustache several times over (if I felt inclined to do so) and lots of other interesting things...but ultimately I felt like it was dragging me down. By Thursday lunchtime my hair measured a mere 12 inches: a length less handy for tricks...less appealing to my children, who requested that I 'stick it back on'...less predictably responsive to being waved at carelessly with a hairdryer whilst reading a book...but I am feeling so much better for being in the company of hair that bounces like an excited puppy around my jaw.

(NB: Photo taken from a very odd angle due to the presence of a small Zebra working at my desk beneath the mirror).

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

A meme about blogging...

The lovely Jo from Today We Are... has tagged me for a question-and-answer meme about the act of here we are:

1. Why did you start your blog?
In the early Summer of 2007 (which is when the above picture was taken...just in case you begin to wonder later about what the relevance might be) I finally bought a book that I'd had in my Amazon wish list for some time. It was the Crafter's Companion, edited by Anna Torborg. I had no idea at the time what an impression it might have on me or even of the existence of the online world of craft and sewing that it is based around, and that I would soon choose to become a part of. There was an overwhelming feeling of relief as I devoured the words on its pages and then followed the links online to the blogs that it talked of - it opened up to me a community of people whose thinking so often felt familiar and recognisable to me; a need to constantly create, when logic so often might say that it would be easier, and even cost less, to buy the same thing from the shop; as well as so many who share an obsession with colour and order - a people who will be delighted by a rainbow of cotton colours, tactile wooden toys, the ordering of colouring pens, a haul of vintage buttons or the satisfaction of storing a fabric stash in an aesthetically pleasing way....and a general willingness to preserve a little more of the 'old-fashioned' in their lives.

2. How did you come up with your blog name?
When I was about eight my mother read to me a short series of books about a little girl called Flossie Teacakes...and I suppose Flossie is a variation on Florence, so I identified with the character and carried the idea of her with me past the age of reading the actual book . However, despite calling my blog Flossie Teacakes, which may seem like an open invitation to call the author 'Flossie', that is something of a self-created undesired side-effect that I hadn't thought through when choosing a name for my blog - as an adult I've found being called Flossie somewhat undignified. I wonder whether anyone else feels similarly, but I find the whole idea of name shortening a troublesome ground (she said, straightening her petticoat...yes, I know that statement probably makes me sound freakishly stuffy and formal) for unbidden name shortening with anyone other than close family and old friends feels like an imposition, unless the person has introduced themselves, or signed themselves off in that way, in which case name lengthening seems equally inappropriate! Does anyone else feel the same...oh please say I'm not alone on this!?

3. Do your friends and family know about your blog? What do they think of it?

My family and closest friends know about my blog and all read it from time to time, and their reactions have been lovely. Zebra-girl enjoys scrolling down through the pictures and seeing bits of her life on there, but also likes looking at other people's blogs. I think the idea that you can get such a snapshot of someone else's world fascinates her. I sometimes question how it looks to family and friends that my blog is very much focused around the things that I create and the edited highlights of our family life which can create the appearance of a sort of vacuum....I worry that it may look as if the other things that go on in our lives are of no consequence...but it's not that at all...just a lack of desire to bare all about either myself or those around me.

4. How do you write posts?
I always start with a picture...and I don't think I've ever done a post without one. Normally, once the image is uploaded, I start writing and a lot of things that I hadn't even been aware that I was thinking, or thoughts that were only half-formed, spill out onto the page jumbled up with some bits and pieces that I've been making or thinking about making.

5. Have you ever had a troll or had to delete unkind comments?
I can remember deleting one comment that was about 2000 words long and rather religious in tone and completely unrelated to my post, but that's it.

6. Do you check your stats? Do you care how many people read your blog? If you do care, how do you increase traffic?
I used to check stats often when I first started blogging, until Mr Teacakes pointed out to me that site traffic is rather irrelevant, as you only know that people liked what they saw and read if they leave a comment or return again. I think that's a slightly simplistic view, as there are lots of lovely blogs that I choose to only lurk on, but even so, his words have seeped into my subconscious somehow, because I only check occasionally now. I think site traffic is probably increased by doing tutorials...but to write or order my blog in a way that purposely increases site traffic would most probably be at the expense of how much I enjoy just using it for what it yes, I'd really like people to read my blog, but I wouldn't change it to make that happen. Having said that, I really appreciate it when people share sewing tricks and tips that they've found helpful, and so I do try to do that when it occurs to me.

7. What kind of blogs/posts interest you?
Probably the same things that most others are attracted to: I love blogs that are well written, have nice photos and are full of the author's personality. I like it when you have a sense of the place that they might be writing or working from and what the hustle and bustle of their daily life entails. I like blogs that feel like the owner has taken the time to make their page feel like a virtual many with their colourful headers and busy sidebars feel like a familiar and favourite armchair to sit down in when the page first loads. And of course...lots of sewing inspiration is always good too...

8. What do you like and dislike about blogging?
For me, blogging is a catch-all for many of my favourite things - it involves writing, photography, sewing, and the opportunity to record the best bits of my life with Mr Teacakes and our children. Although when I first started to write a blog my reasons for doing so were fairly straight forward, my continuation of writing a blog is partly because the idea of leaving some document of our daily existence for our children appeals to me.

The most unexpected delight of blogging though has been meeting so many like-minded and lovely people through doing it - a passion for sewing can be a solitary thing...what loveliness to find that reading the blogs of others so often makes it feel otherwise.

What don't I like about blogging? Sometimes I'm not very efficient in answering emails quickly and then I feel awful about how rude and ungrateful of people's lovely comments that may look.

So, who to tag? I've been meaning to share some blogs that are newish to me that I've been enjoying reading recently, so I'll put links to them here and if they want to join in on the meme then that would be most lovely! They are: Erleperle, Tilly Moss, Girl Number Twenty, and The Philosophy of Lists. Some provide wonderful sewing inspiration, others are fantastic reads. If you aren't already familar with them, I hope that you enjoy them too!

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Eggful Easter

I had a nasty cold, especially for the Easter weekend, so while Ian and our small ones have been out visiting, having fun, and even off for a walk that revealed a treasure map and mysteriously appearing Easter eggs along the route (yes, Mr Teacakes is indeed almost magic!), I have been holed up feeling sniffy, but very cosy, with my sewing machine. However, by Sunday, cabin fever allowed me to venture out for the annual Easter egg hunt that my mother holds at her house for both adults and children. Always the same beautifully-wrapped Lindt eggs, always the same (forgotten) hiding places, and always the same confusion over how many eggs we still have left to favourite part of Easter.

The children danced to old songs played on my father's Wurlitzer and then retired to watch Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz...while I went to work on the project that my father has set me in preparation for his 60th birthday, involving the compiling of certain photographs. So as the others followed the yellow brick road, I waded back in time through boxes and boxes of old photos...which left me feeling unexpectedly time-warped and odd.

But, amongst others, I did find this lovely photo of my sister making lace at our old next-door-neighbour's house. Audrey taught my sister lace making when she was seven or eight...and I think she even tried to teach me at one point too. How lovely it was to be reminded of her bobbins and the beads that she decorated them with, and the sounds of clicketty-clacking that accompanied Audrey's own lace making as she confidently skipped them over one another.

I hope you all had lovely Easter celebrations.

And thank you so much for all the lovely, encouraging comments that you left for me on my last post - such kindness. x

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Sneaky peeky bits

After I'd posted about the doorstop that I'd made for my daughter a couple of weeks ago, Catherine of Molly Cup Cakes contacted me to ask if I would be happy to make one for her little girls' bedroom. So here are some sneaky peaky bits of the finished version. It's very similar to the one that I made for Zebra-girl...but Catherine asked if I could put a bird at the top of the tree (a cat sits down below!). I love that idea and wish that I'd thought of it myself!

And who might these two little girls be? They had to be on here, because what's the point of having something custom-made if it doesn't feature the lovely little recipients in its pictures! Their names are embroidered beneath them.

And it also includes some of my favourite bits from the original doorstop, like this house.

I was hugely flattered that someone likes something I've made enough to want one for their own home and it is a confidence boost that has come just at the right time, as Ian is currently busy working on making a little online shop for me, so that I might start to - hopefully (that's why the confidence boost was so lovely!) - sell some of the things that I make. In the last couple of weeks I've also had a few unexpected orders from friends-of-friends and friends-of-family, which is really nice, and makes me think that I should put any issues I might have about timing to one side, as things normally have a habit of happening at the right time if they're meant to.

I've now heard that the doorstop has arrived safely and that the little recipients are most pleased with it (thank goodness!). Oh, and if you haven't already visited, then the Molly Cup Cakes shop is definitely worth having a peek into for all its polka-dot hand-painted goodness and lovely Easter goodies.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Soupy heart

Since they were tiny, both of our children have delighted us by looking for shapes in their food...look it's a bridge, a nose, a dog they would say. As adults, Ian and I look at these things that they show us and are just about able to make out which part they may have construed to be something other than a slice of bread edged with bite marks. We have old books full of optical illusions, the type where there first looks to be a man's face...but if you study it for half an hour longer the realisation suddenly jumps out from the page that from another angle, when you allow your vision to be drawn further into the page, it is also a vase. How perfectly lovely that children spend so much of their time not limiting themselves to looking at things simply for what they are, but are constantly seeking out an otherness to their surroundings, finding a place for an alternative interpretation.

One day last week Dinosaur-boy and I sat together eating soup and ciabatta for our lunch. 'Look, Mummy, it's a heart!' he had said giggling. I had looked up expecting to see an unrecognisable splot of soup on the breakfast bar...but was amazed to see that the soup from his spoon really had been spilt into the most perfectly-formed heart.

I shall miss sharing lunch with him in September...I wonder if I shall start looking for shapes in my solitary lunches and taking pictures of my finds to show when they come home...or if I will lose the will to bother making lunch at all once I'm home alone. Probably the latter, children are so good for giving adults a structure to their days.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Two-tone fun

Mr Teacakes has had rather a rush on birthday cakes in the last couple of weeks. Last night we went to a party at a lovely country house that a friend had hired out to celebrate his 30th birthday. Ian and several others were to provide the musical entertainment, along with the actual birthday boy, who is not averse to singing with grand piano whenever there's one around, hence the theme of the cake. Pre-party, I was Mr Teacakes' helper and was given the task of slicing out the black bits from the Licorice Allsorts so that he might use them for the keys. I liked this many unwanted colours of licorice crying out for a home.

It seemed a suitable opportunity to wear my favourite dress: a knitted one that my sister bought for me as a surprise last year. I love all the different types of stitches used in its creation and the lovely scalloped crocheted edge that gives it the most wonderful flickyness once on...but mostly I love that it has a slightly 1960s feel to it, which is my favourite era to dress from. I realise that when you put these two pictures next to one another it might seem as though I had chosen to wear it in a strange bid to colour-coordinate myself with Mr Teacakes' cake...I can assure you that this was not the case and thankfully I spent the evening at the other side of the room from the sponge.

Moving around the tables was a magician from the magic circle...whose tricks were many and impressive and who whipped cards from my hand and hid them in his pocket without me seeing or feeling a thing, despite the fact that my palms were clamped firmly together with the cards apparently safe inside. Our taxi ride home was filled with plans to create a midnight feast that revolved primarily around a slab of brie and a french stick, as well as the need for a proper debrief as to how Mr Magic might have worked his tricks. The former was quite delicious, the latter produced no firm you might have expected.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Pink domesticity...

Last week I made these pink oven gloves in an attempt to soften the new cream glass splashback that sits above the cooker, mastic-ed to the wall. I am wishing that it was pink...but even more than that I'm really wishing that I had insisted on going through with my original idea: a transparent sheet of glass that would protect a little injection of colour in the form of some delicious pink wallpaper or fabric; glass that would have been screwed to the wall with little stainless steel caps so that I could take it down and replace the decoration behind whenever I felt like a change. I am mourning the loss of this piece of loveliness that might have been...and waiting for the passing of five years, by which time it might not look quite so frivilous to rid of the solid cream splashback and replace it with what I had originally dreamt of. In the meantime these little mitts that I made using some of the lovely Amy Butler that my mother bought me for my birthday do provide some comfort.

I have never quilted anything before and so this was a really good small project to sample it on....and I absolutely loved it, there's something so unchallenging about ploughing up and down the lines that I'd marked out that I found it a very absorbing and restful activity. Yet again, my walking foot was the most wonderful sewing companion, even if it was a little noisy.

For the pattern I drew around some old, charred, oven gloves, but decided to adapt it a little as I didn't want binding on mine...which was a good thing as it's such a very tiresome thing to try and install nicely!

Anyway, as this post is about such a very domestic item, I feel it is the perfect opportunity to share with you a tip someone told to me recently, that delights me every time I try it. It involves a bottle of the deliciously scented Baby Oil and a fat roll of kitchen towel for all the fun to come. It appears that after years of slugging away over previous stainless steel ovens with various cleaning products and e-cloths, only to be left with smudges and dull patches, that actually, all that I really needed was the Baby Oil from the children's nursery. It is quite amazing. You just put a small amount on with some kitchen towel, wipe it around and it will get rid of any troublesome splats that may have leapt from the saucepan and leave the surface looking completely and evenly shiny, and it even leaves a light film that seems to repel pesky fingerprints. It also leaves me wanting to cuddle my oven and being happily transported back to my babies' early days. It is a very good thing indeed.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

A happy plethora of pink & red...

Today I broke into some of the stash of fabrics that Ian had given me for my birthday. I wanted to make something small that wouldn't use up too much of the my mind turned to the thing that always seems to be lacking in my handbag - a little teabag holder (of course). I don't drink normal tea or coffee (although oddly I do love coffee cake), and often when I go to a friend's house they don't have any herb teas. Sitting there drinking a glass of water instead of sharing in the cosiness and companionship that comes from tea drinking seems most unsociable, so I have adopted the habit of keeping a couple of sachets in my bag...but that's dissatisfactory as tea doesn't taste nice when it's been borne from a crinkled old sachet. So I made my little teabag holder from these fabrics:

I cut a rose from the white fabric and appliqued it on to the flap. I had no idea whether my machine would cope with doing something on that intricate a scale, but actually it was really good, so I then decided to try and pick out some of the smaller lines created by the inner rose was a sewing session, for once, where everything went right!

I over-locked the sides of the pouch (gosh, pouch is such an unpleasant word...sorry!) to hold it all together, which was a new technique to me, but I found the result most pleasing!

And here it is with my olive bowl that I picked up from the ceramics studio can see I was working to a theme here! I have gone quite crazy for the combination of pink and red.

And on the left is Ian's pot...which I love.

Anyway, I know Mr Teacakes will disapprove of this question....but does anyone have any tea recommendations? My addiction to collecting new flavours has become the source of some resentment in my house and when I'd accumulated over 40 different varieties Ian forced me to do a cull and resign at least 35 of them to the garage, only permitted to re-enter the house on a strict rotation basis. My two favourite staples are Licorice Tea and then the rather dull, but trusty, Peppermint tea, so this leaves me with only three other possibilities at any one time! The man is a teabag tyrant!

Monday, 10 March 2008

Beneath the papers

Some of you asked what was inside the birthday parcels...well, here are some of the lovelies that lay beneath the lovely scrunchy tissue paper. Above are some of the felts that Ian bought for me - they are so very different from any other felt that I've owned before - beautiful subtle colours, a thick fleeciness, they could become an addiction.

And here is a stack of fabrics that Ian also bought for me, after Mette of Erleperle wonderfulness had pointed us in the direction of Tilda fabrics. Each piece is a little smaller than a fat quarter, and will be so useful for applique pieces. He also bought me a Damian Rice CD, which I love...but I think it was sort of a present for himself too, as he was just so desperate for me to stop listening on repeat to the same two Damian Rice songs that I'd downloaded from itunes. I am now listening to my new CD and interspersing each track with a quick replay of my old favourites...this pleases him...a bit.

Our little Zebra was beside herself when she realised that it was soon to be my birthday and that Ian would be home too late each night to take her shopping. I suggested that she could make me something instead, but she said that wasn't a 'proper' present...I asked her whether she thought that all the presents I'd made for people for Christmas weren't proper presents either...I could almost see the cogs whirring in her lovely sweet head and by the time Ian came home she'd thought of what she wanted to make me: a Mummy's Catalogue, for which she carefully took her own pictures of, and wrote about, some of the things that I had made around the house (Dinosaur helped too apparently, in grumpy sort of way). It is adorable. Though the conversation that Zebra and I had reminded me of a conversation that I'd had with my grandmother when I was small. For Christmas one year I'd picked two tiny, tiny pottery creatures to give to her and had been quite delighted with them. But on the day, my sister handed over her gift and all that I could see was how much bigger it was than my own paltry looking parcel. I sat there with tears running down my face. It was only when my lovely little grandma (who is about 4'11) said to me: 'But I'm small...does that mean that I'm not as good as all the other grandmas?' that I was finally able to stop weeping. I think of this conversation often since I was reminded of it by her recently. As she had retold the story to me she went over to her corner shelves and got down the little figures that I'd given to her nearly 25 years ago...

These matryoshka were on my mother and father's birthday card for me - aren't they lovely!

And here are some of the Amy Butler fabrics that she bought for me - the pink and cream I have ear-marked for a kimono.

And some books from my mother & sister: The Soft Furnishing Workbook and Where Women Create: Inspiring Workspaces of Extraordinary Women - the latter was responsible for some changes to my own workspace (read: bedroom) involved saws, nails and lots of other trappings of faire du bricolage (sorry, DIY is too hideous a term to use, yes my chosen term may be a little pretentious for an English speaker, but at least it doesn't conjure images of lurid orange aprons in a B&Q More on that later though, when the transition has been completed.

Some Persephones from both my sister and sister-in-law....the end-covers are beautiful and I can't wait to start reading. And then these beautiful coasters from my dear friend, Debs, along with a beautiful necklace and a lovely egg from other friends (not photographed, but very much loved).

And finally this beautiful pot that I have quite fallen in love with - it is a gift from my mother-in-law. It always amazes me that the angle of a head can be so very expressive.

Thank you so much for all your lovely birthday case you were wondering my equilibrium has now been fully restored, the make-up has been properly cleansed away and my bed is no longer masquerading as a boat at sea. Horay! Being 31 is quite fabulous!

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Double birthday fun

This is the birthday cake that Ian made me this year. Last year was the most beautiful handbag cake, but this year's sewing machine I think I love even more and the yummy frosted rose petals that surround it were very tasty too!

In the morning we went and painted these little olive bowls at a ceramics studio. Once they're glazed they will be bright red and pink...but for now they are subtle and pastelly. Ian chose to do his in pink and red too as he knew those are the colours that I would most like in a kitchen accessory, but halfway through painting, he stopped and asked: Do you think my pot is a bit girly?....Mmmm, well yes! But I love it and I love that he created such a fabulously camp pot in my birthday honour. Surprisingly his is the one on the right...see, it really is very delicate and pretty! He had to bite the heads of some chickens afterwards to re-centre himself (not really...obviously).

My parents came over in the evening (and my mother brought these beautifully wrapped gifts) and we had a party tea with the children. My lovely Mama went to the huge effort of cooking me all my very favourite foods.

Last night Mr Teacakes & I went to Milk & Honey, where my sister was having her birthday was lots of fun...but this morning my head hurts and, despite the fact that our small ones are residing elsewhere, I woke shockingly early feeling rather like I was on a boat. I never normally eat breakfast...but I think I may have some birthday cake in bed to try and make myself feel human...or just sugary. So much of post late-night recovery is psychological though and I have just looked in the mirror and I realise that I must have slept perfectly on my back, for my makeup has magically stayed in place, and I look weirdly healthy and like I'm all ready to go to another party....this has made me feel almost instantly better - horay!

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Daytime fun

Despite many happy hours spent looking at fabrics on the Internet, I somehow had previously completely failed to stumble upon Buttonberry. It was only when I was recently trying to find a UK stockist for a Melly & Me pattern, that I saw a link to it in Melly's sidebar. How very exciting, for Buttonberry is like a fabric-filled sweet shop - and I so love finding that wonderful fabrics are actually available in England when this so often feels not to be the case (normally after a browsing spell on New York's Purl Soho site). So, I ordered my much-wanted pattern and also this Moda Urban Chicks Swell charm pack, as it is always lovely to have a variety of little swatches around when doing projects like the applique doorstop that I was working on last week. What beautiful packaging my purchases arrived in too, which made the contents seem even more special - plain packaging gives me the same sensation as finding the perfect coat, but being aware that the lining is actually quite cheap and scratchy - such a missed opportunity to squeeze in extra loveliness that it just doesn't feel right.

This week it is my birthday (yes, I say week, because why limit ones self to one day?). I will be 31. That is a very short sentence and no amount of looking at it helps me think of something to tag on to the end of it to take away from its starkness....possibly because my feelings on being 31 are currently undecided. It's not the getting older that I mind so much, it's the passing of time and also the feeling that I might not have used all of it as well as I could have done...

Despite my ambivalence at being another year older, Ian has some time off work and we have lots of lovely things planned, not least, going to paint some pottery in a ceramics studio, alone, just me and Mr Teacakes*, which I am really looking forward to, because daytime time together seems like such a treat and it is one of my favourite places to go and spend time. I feel oddly guilty not taking at least one child along with us as it does seem like a completely self-indulgent activity without the presence of either of the small ones....but not so guilty that I shan't do it and enjoy every minute of it.

We will also be going to my sister's party in London because it is her birthday too...which will be followed by the picking out of some blue velvet the next day so that I might make her a window-seat cushion for her office at work...I am anticipating that we made need to take our sunglasses off to assess fabric colours properly - I am hoping it won't be too painful.

(* that was for you, Alice C! x)

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Mothering Sunday loveliness...

This was part of the Mother's Day card that Zebra-girl made for me at school. It has lots of these beautiful hearts on it, but also one that hangs from a loop, so that I can detach it and hang it up in a window. What an amazing amount of time and effort her teacher must have gone to with so many children - it almost makes me cry thinking of their loveliness. Zebra-girl told me how they went about making them and thought it would be a good thing to share:

Making Tissue-paper hearts - the Zebra way...

They first took a sainsburys bag and smeared pva glue all over it, then layered lots of beautifully coloured pieces of tissue paper over it and liberally added the glitter. Once this had dried they were able to peel it off the bag in one piece. They then drew hearts on it, cut them out and this bit of loveliness is what you are left with!

Zebra-girl took this photo of it hanging in my bedroom window.

Dinosaur-boy came home with these delicious choclate hearts that he had made with his nursery teachers. He was very definite that they were only for me, and that he absolutely mustn't eat even took quite a lot of persuasion for him to share them with me...but once he'd started, he didn't want to stop. They were delicious.

On Sunday morning I woke up to giggling and excited leaping next to my bed. Ian had obviously been up for some time with the children and they'd arranged a treasure hunt all around the house, with their own hand-drawn clues, which eventually led me to a Pizza Express gift voucher, so that I might take them all out of tea! Once there, the children were given a daffodil each, which they have now put in tiny vases in their rooms. They have also taken every possible opportunity to play 'Pizza Express' with one another. This picture below was taken in one of the many 'restaurants' that they have set up in Zebra-girl's bedroom. I hear the waiter doesn't always give you what you've asked for, but it seems to have a good atmosphere.

A few of the books/products that I link to on Amazon from my blog contain affiliate links and very occasionally, I'll mention a product that I've been given free of charge. I choose the things that I recommend carefully and my priority is to only share things that I love.