Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Witching Hour approaches......

So it turns out my mother is not that keen on Halloween but will be donning a witches hat at our party to get into the 'spirit' of things. We never celebrated Halloween as children,  although it just wasn't as big a deal then. And I have never been keen on the trick or treating aspect mainly as it is often adopted by teenagers.  Opening the door repeatedly to a group of near-adults who have turned up in slipknot masks and are demanding money with menaces is not my idea of funtimes. They haven't generally rocked up for the gingerbread men.  Do I sound like a miserable sod? I am not honestly! Little nippers are always welcome!

Halloween was a Celtic celebration of summers end and the hope for  mild winter. Of course, there is the evil spirits bit , which inspires the dressing up and where the Celts thought people 'you done wrong' can come back from the 'other side' and haunt you.  There was animal sacrificing to appease the gods (plural) so I imagine you can file that under 'W' for 'Worshipping false idols'.  I expect this is one of the reasons some Christians object the celebrations.

For me it just an excuse for a dress up party which my niece usually hosts but as she is in New York until Saturday I have stepped into her witchy, pointy shoes.  I am hosting it on Sunday (a day early, easier with the children) and as its so close to Little E's birthday I'm tying them in together. I've appliqued an old t-shirt with a pumpkin (see below) and bought some stripey tights and a stripy witches hat.  Lttle E and Cousin B will be in shop bought affairs, what can I say there's only so many hours in the day for sewing and I have toffee apples and cakes to make and pumpkins to carve and scarey red bubbly stuff to brew up! (although if I had time I would definitely be rustling up the bat costume over at MADE.) I can't wait!

Backward, turn backward,
O Time, in your flight
make me a child again
just for to-night!

~Elizabeth Akers Allen

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Sun = Summer

This must be a British thing, a law I expect. There is a pretty crispy wind blowing sideways across the beach but the sky is blue and the sun is out so therefore it must still be summer. Don't let your goosebumps and wind-watery eyes fool you. You must disrobe immediately and let your body crack on with generating some vitamin D.....

We weren't so sure, Little E had his fleece and hat on at the beach this weekend, but as well as an assortment of skimpily dressed individuals wearing cheesecloth and sandals and exposing their fading tan lines, we even spied one little fella with absolutely nothing on! Not a stitch.

Pretending it is summer when the sun comes out is most definately a proud trait of being British. I wouldn't be a bit suprised if it featured somewhere in the British Immigration Test.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Halloween planner: Polka Dot cake & GingerDead Men

So I have decided we will go to the local play Farm on Little E's actual birthday and have a family only Halloween party on, well, Halloween so he can get together with his cousin and play dress up.  

I saw this cake over at Snowybliss and I am in love! (great staging too!) I even contemplated buying the 'Babycakes' cake pop maker used in the recipe, which only seems to be available in the States.  However since its about £40 in postage alone I think I'll wait for someone to import these bad boys for me. Though fantastically cute they are not essential and you can make cake pops without one (which comprise the 'polka's' in the cake).  Have I been living in a bubble? I've never heard of cake pops and they seem to be everywhere. Anyway Little E is as keen on spiders as he is on Bob the Builder at the moment so I think he would like this as a birthday cake!

I am also feeling the love for this funny cookie cutter and so I bought one.  We will see if they look as cute as the picture, I think they will be nice Halloween gifts wrapped in cellophane with coloured ribbon.

Little E's birthday is not too far off now so I really should get my skates on and make a plan that comprises more than cakes and biscuits....

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Quilts number 2 and 3?

I am liking the look of these retro inspired designs called Children at Play by Sarah Jane. There is another little girl on the way for our family and she is due in January. I am a bit unsure because her Mummy who is also my lovely sister-in-law is not a fan of all things homemade! 

I particularly like the pinwheels. There was a nice tutorial in Handmade Living magazine to make little pinwheels as brooches or decorations, I am sure these could be incorporated into the quilt or a matching cushion or even cot mobile. I'm thinking about it....

Whilst looking for a pic of Handmade Living I found a free download of the first issue.  Here is the link .  There are lots of great new magazines out there, I've just finished a subscription to Making and started one to Craftseller. Are these magazines a response to our materialistic lifestyles? A crafty quest for a simpler life with more value? Thats probably a question for another post.

Anyway, quilts. I also have a Soul Blossoms charm pack which I thought I would make a garden inspired lap quilt with either for my mum or for my sister for Christmas. So thats quite a lot to fit in, should I decide to attempt both! 

Let the stress commence! ;) 

Friday, 7 October 2011

Brecon Beacons break

So after the frantic quilting we had a few days away with my mum and son in Brecon.  We stayed at Brynich Cottages which was very lovely and only a couple of miles walk along the canal to Brecon itself. The cottages are run by Becca and Mark and guarded by the very noisy, watchful (and harmless to children they assured me) dog, Ianto. We also got to visit the chickens and spend an hour in the softplay area which is on site. Perfect for when the weather is not perfect. Although apart from the day we went on the mountain railway, the weather was good and the area very beautiful. Mum and I had a chance to chat (strange as it seems, we see each other most days and manage to not really talk because the days seem a bit full on). Cake was eaten and we visited St Marys for coffee where Little E 'appropriated' a couple of wooden cars from the church.  I don't know what the penalty is for stealing from the House of God but not wanting to find out we returned them the next day. I am not sure how religious I am but I do like churches. I particularly liked one of the stained glass windows in St Marys. The colours and light are fantastic.

After our canal walk we even made a 'nature table', with Autumn leaves and pine cones, it lived only briefly before Little E dispersed them about the room. I am a bit obsessed with nature tables on account of having read too many creative parenting books.

I also had time to think about my next project(s), more about those later.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Ironman Wales on Channel 4

So I should be packing my case for a few days in Brecon for my Mums birthday but I've been distracted by the Ironman Wales coverage - it was on yesterday on Channel 4 but you can watch online here .

Completely captures the spirit of the day! And a great showcase for Pembrokeshire.
I wish my Dad was still here, a committed athlete all his life, he would have loved it.