Saturday, 31 December 2011

The End of The Year

Last blog of my first year of a blogger. I usually don't like New Year and tend to stay in with my husband and children watching DVDs, but this year we've been invited to a friend's house for a child friendly party. The evening will consist of curry, champagne, crackers and childish games. I've printed off a quiz from the internet and the instructions for beetle. Last night I woke up about 3.30 and couldn't get back to sleep and for some reason this game popped into my head, I used to play it with my Godmother when I went to stay with her in the holidays. She even took me to beetle drives at the local village hall, ah happy days!
I've made a chocolate coca cola cake, which is currently cooling on the side.

Chocolate Cola Cake
 On Thursday we all went out for a cooked breakfast at Sea Lane Cafe in Goring. This place is always busy, even on the greyest gloomiest of days. It's always worth the wait though.

Beach Huts at Sea Lane

On Friday my husband went back to work and the children invited a friend over to play on their new X-Box, I took this opportunity to make a couple of cards, it's been a while.

I used some of my new stash from October Afternoon which arrived on Thursday, I love OA and I love my niece who lives in America and kindly agrees to be my post handler!
In the afternoon the boys decided they wanted to go to Brighton to spend their Christmas money. So we duly drove along the seafront to Brighton and after avoiding the traffic jam by using some little back streets we arrived at the car parks. My usual car park was jam packed so I went to another one, which is much more expensive; £4 per hour, I kid you not. We all decided that we wouldn't risk going over an hour and they understood it was silly to spend £8 on parking, so we drove home!
In the evening I had an invite to a party at an old school friend's but my car wouldn't start so I stayed in and watched Kirsty Wiseman doing a scrap book page on U-Stream and then played Lego Indiana Jones on the X-Box. Don't tell anyone but I actually enjoyed it, I had no idea what I was doing, I just followed instructions.
Anyway, I wish you all a happy and healthy 2012, I'm really looking forward to next year for some reason.
Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011


My head has been bursting with ideas since Christmas Day when I received Kirstie Allsopp's new craft book. I can't wait til we get back to normal and I can start some new crafts. I also want to make sock monkeys, so if any one knows how, I'd be grateful for some tips.
Anyway, I don't scrapbook but last year I made my first page using a photo of my youngest son at Christmas. I'd displayed it on a 12x12 canvas last year but decided to re-frame it in a box frame I'd bought in a charity shop. Unfortunately, it didn't work out and the page got ruined. This morning I went through my paper stash and managed to find the same papers I'd used first time around so this afternoon, in between watching QVC craft sale, I'll be re-doing the page and framing it in a frame I bought in The Range yesterday.
Can't wait to see what's on your work surface this Wednesday Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Time to catch up

Well people it's been a while! Let's see if I can remember what I've been doing this week.
Thursday 22nd December.
The day began with a 7.30 alarm call as we were off to London to take my youngest to the Soccer Dome in Greenwich. We caught the train to London Bridge and then hopped on the clipper boat service to the O2.
After dropping my son off at the very smelly indoor soccer tournament my eldest son and I walked to the bus station to catch a bus to Greenwich market.
The atmosphere was lovely and this picture doesn't really do it justice. At this market they have different stalls on different days and luckily today was antiques and collectibles so we had great fun, we'll I had great fun, looking at all the 1950s paper Christmas decorations, you remember the type that you fold up and put away year after year? The type your Nan had probably, well what a pity we didn't keep them all as we could sell them now!
We wandered around Greenwich for a while, it is an absolutely beautiful place just like a scene from a Dickens novel. I went with my parents when I was about six and all I can remember is thinking The Cutty Sark was huge, alas now I'm older it seems very small. The buildings are breathtaking and we were so lucky with the weather. I am definitely going to go back in the summer with my foreign students to show them another side of our wonderful capital city.

After we'd eaten our squashed rolls sitting on a bench we walked to Greenwich park so George could feed the squirrels. I also found a lot of my favourite trees. I have no idea what they are but I call them Gonad trees! There were several with low hanging branches so we collected a bunch of gonads and shoved them in my bag. They are now sitting in a huge glass vase along with some baubles, two giraffe cocktail stirrers and a slug made out of a sock. I call it my Christmas display of randomness.
I have decided that I am going to live in Greenwich one day, it's so lovely.
After collecting Michael from his football we went to the O2 for something to eat. Have you ever been there? It's amazing and so busy. We ate at a place called 'Armadillo' the boys had a massive rack of ribs each. They managed to eat almost all of it but what was left was taken home for Dad in a doggy bag.
The trip back up the River Thames was magical with all the Christmas lights. I would thoroughly reccomend it as a way of travelling in London, and quite reasonable too.
Friday 23rd:
was a day mainly spent in our pyjamas! My eldest went into town with his friend to buy my present and the youngest just about managed to be dressed by 4.15 when his Dad came home and they went Christmas shopping. He is training them well in the gentlemanly art of Christmas shopping for the lady in your life: leave it til the last minute and she'll just be grateful that she gets anything at all.
Christmas Eve
I love Christmas Eve, I love the anticipation, the preparation and then just sitting waiting for the big day. I made a dozen butterfly cakes for my cousin, a sponge cake for Christmas day pudding, thirty five stuffing balls and I'm sure there was something else, oh yes, red cabbage! My husband took the boys for their traditional Christmas Eve swim and I delivered my friend's Christmas cake to her mother's house, don't ask!
My husband continued the boys' training with a manly visit to the pub while I made the dinner and tidied up.

Christmas Day
My youngest son and I had made a deal over the timings of the cup of tea he was bringing me and what time they could get up, but I think he forgot about it whilst he was sleeping! The tea was brought to me at 'more or less 7.30', his words! We got up and the boys started to open their presents. They were expecting an X-Box and I wanted to make them work for it so I wrapped up a box of scrabble tiles, which they had to put into the right order to make a clue.

Well it kept them quiet for a while!
We had a wonderful day at my brother and sister-in-law's, full of food and laughter. We also managed to Skype San Diego to speak with my family and Australia for my husband's family. The inter net is a truly amazing thing at times.
Boxing Day.
My cousin had invited herself and my uncle over for Boxing Day so I decided to do a roast, always a winner.I had also decided I was going to catch up on my alcohol intake as I drove on Christmas Day! A small sherry, Limoncello soaked raisins in my bread and butter pudding, Oyster Bay sauvignon blanc and Baileys, yummy!

A lovely family roast with crackers, silly jokes and plenty of laughter followed by Madagascar 2, The Borrowers and Victoria Wood; a perfect day all round.
Tuesday 27th
Chillaxing and catching up on the laundry, oh and blogging!
Thanks for stopping by and sorry it was so long.
I'd love to see some of your Christmas photos.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Christmas

Well it's Christmas Eve and we're all ready I could blog about Thursday and Friday but I'll leave that til I have more time.
Just want to wish everybody a very happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year.
I'll do a full post with pictures after the big day.
Enjoy your day

Wednesday, 21 December 2011


So, it's Wednesday again and here's what my table looked like earlier
I was making this:

It's supposed to be Yoda, just to say I don't think I'll be making many more, too fiddly.
Last night I had the most fun ever whilst sitting in front of my laptop. I've mentioned before a Facebook page for crafters run by Kirsty Wiseman, Marion Emberson and Amy Shaw, and last night they had planned a U-Stream broadcast demonstrating some 'quick'makes for Christmas.
We were all sat in front of our screens at 8pm waiting patiently. After a few blips Kirsty showed us how to make a Christmas tree, a bauble and a card, then she handed over to Marion. That's when the real fun began! So many technical problems but oh so many laughs, if somebody doesn't post it to youtube or Britain's funniest videos, I'll eat my hat! You really had to be there.
I did manage to make this though:
Not as lovely as Kirsty's but not bad for a first attempt! I'll certainly be making more.
About an hour ago I popped my head out of the front door to look for my son and I saw this:

Isn't the sky a marvellous thing?
Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your Wednesday

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Please Forgive Me?

Just a quick post to say I'll be back later to do a full post! I, like all of you, have been so busy I haven't had the time to blog. This is precisely the reason my diary keeping never worked either!

I promise, after I've taken my children to the pier, made cakes for afternoon tea with my Dad, been to the post office, thought of something for dinner........

See you later!
This, BTW, is a blue arsed fly!
So I'm back and have decided to do the catch up in pictures!
Thursday: wrapping, there are more presents other than wine!
Friday: making my husband's present and shopping for all the little food treats.
Saturday: Christmas tree, finally
Sunday: another pre-Christmas Christmas dinner
Monday: hand delivering Christmas cards and re-visiting my old haunts
Tuesday: Chillaxing on the pier and beach in Worthing.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


So, this is my first attempt at What's on your worktop Wednesday as I usually blog in the morning after the night before, if you get me?

Anyway, here's mine

I've just iced those cakes, one for a friend and one to sell to a mum from my son's school. In the background you can see a massive box full of Christmas themed papers and lovelies from yesterday's card making session plus my lovely jar of buttons.
Later today I will be making padded hangers as a present for my mum, I've never made them before but I have 'Sew' by Cath Kidston as a guide and youtube as a back up. I also need to wrap some presents and write some cards, oh and clean out the animals, make the tea, do the laundry, go to the post office, the shopping, take my son to his school disco, phone my mum....... you get the picture?
Wish I knew how to but those little linky things in where you click on them and they take you to other sites, but that's on my list for next year!
Thanks for looking at my work surface!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Tuesday Teaching

This morning I had a lovely time showing a former student of mine how to make Christmas cards. I taught her English a few years ago and we have remained friends; she has always loved my cards and when she asked if I had time to show her how to make some, I couldn't say no.

I tried not to bring too much stuff down as I know what it's like, you just can't make a decision as everything looks so tempting. I showed her my box of Christmas cards I've made already and she chose some she'd like to make, using mine as a guide.
This was the table at one point
I believe I was in the process of tidying up!
Hanka made 6 cards and bought some of my padded heaarts, which was a bonus. I did manage to make a few cards myself inbetween running up and down stairs every ten minutes.

I love the way that October Afternoon goes so well with Cosmo Cricket; these two companies are the ones I always look for at craft shows.
After I'd cleared up, well more like moved a few bits around the table, it was off to church to see my youngest son's final carol service. Yes, I admit I got a lump in my throat and my eyes filled, briefly. The song that did it for me was John Lennon's 'War is Over', to hear those cleaar, young voices confidently telling us that war is over if we want it made me think of all those people still serving in wars and all those families missing their loved ones at Christmas. But more importantly, all those famillies who will never have them back.
When I came home there was another lovely rainbow at the back of my house so I quickly grabbed my camera and attempted to catch the beauty of it. We've had some strange weather recently but some amazing rainbows, if only I knew how to capture the whole thing on camera.
This evening we went to a local carvery for a lovely big roast, all for £5.95 each but, best of all it was paid for with money I earnt from doing soemthing I love; crafting!
Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, 12 December 2011

A Cheeky Little Nerd

It's not often that my husband and I get to spend time together, possibly why we've stayed together, so today was nice as he had a day off work. We went into town to choose his new frames for his glasses and also to spend his birthday vouchers. I was very good and let him spend them on himself, usually he gives them to me, he bought a belt and a lovely pale grey jumper from Next.
Before we started though we had a coffee in Cafe Nero, or Nerd as I like to call it. For some reason it seemed naughty to be sitting in a cafe at 10.30 on a Monday morning with my husband, almost illicit! I need to get out more.
It has been over seven months since I've had a haircut so I thought it was high time I got it sorted. In Worthing we have a hairdresser's called Celly's where you just go in and wait, a bit like a barber's and, the good thing is that everything is £9. Even better was that last year my mum gave me vouchers for my birthday and I'd only spent one so my lovely new haircut cost me £2! My youngest son said I look like Claudia Winklewoman, he saw it as an insult I prefer to think of it as a compliment as I love Claudia.
Whilst I was being blow dried I received a phone call from my eldest son's school saying he was not feeling well and needed to come home. Pah, illicit time well and truly over for me then.
I did manage to make these for Amy Shaw, a well known TV presenter!

Sorry about the poor quality of the photo but I was too lazy to get my other camera from upstairs.
My husband and youngest son went off to Chelsea to watch the match and I decided to snuggle up on the sofa with a little bit of Hugh and Love Actually. What actually happened was that I got waylaid by Mrs Doubtfire and ended up watching that, great film, you have to love Robin Williams.
Hope you are all well and didn't suffer too much damage from the winds
Thanks for stopping by

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Pizza Frenzy

I was up at 7.30, yes 7.30 in the morning as my son had another 9.15 meet for his football near Chichester. I had to make him; bacon sandwiches to go, a flask of hot chocolate with marshmallows and a box of 20 cup cakes for the team. I was also worried that I'd have to drive him and two of his friends to the game as my husband had man flu. Luckily my husband managed to drag him out of his pit and take them. I think the option of staying at home and getting ready for the influx of people coming later in the day was worse than driving to football.
Ten minutes after they had left I noticed that they'd left a bag with the towel and change of clothes that my son was sure to need in this weather. So yes, I ended up driving down to meet my husband in a hotel car park to give him the bag. The things we do for our children!
I'd arranged a family get together for today as my mother-in-law, brother-in-law,sister-in-law and their children are off to Australia for Christmas so I thought it would be nice for us to have a little pre-Christmas do. I hadn't banked on a brewing family row that simmered under the surface most of the evening. Luckily a little wine, a lot of pizza and my charming hostessing skills soon smoothed out the issues. It's amazing what 8 15in pizzas can do, well there were 18 of us and I certainly wasn't going to cook for that number for the third time this year.
A great evening was had by all.
This is a picture from last year as I didn't have time to take any photos at the weekend, too busy chasing my tail but it gives you an idea of my festive shelves

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Hammer Time

Today was the day I decided I was going to find the hammer! I can't remember why I needed it, but I know that I do. Also I was hoping that by looking for the hammer I'd find the address book which has gone missing too.
I started about 11  and by 4pm I hadn't found either of them but I had a wonderfully tidy and festive looking front room. I had planned to make some marshmallow snowmen with my children but my eldest spent the day with his friends and my youngest was also too busy so they'll have to wait til another day.
As the day had slipped away from me we decided to have a curry and watch Strictly. My husband then took to his sick bed so it was just me, the boys and Kristina's boobies. Did anyone else notice them falling out of her dress during the Argentinian Tango? I need to check out the I-Player!
These were the other cards I managed to make on Friday, sorry about the angle I've used my point and press and haven't rotated it! The Christmas tree is made from buttons stuck on with Glossy Accents. I've just started using GA and I have fallen in love with it.
Thanks for stopping by

Friday, 9 December 2011

Frenetic Friday

Number one son still off school so the bad news is I had to cancel a lunch date I had with some old colleagues but the good news was I had more hours in the day to make cards.
First job was to marzipan three Christmas cakes, well two actually because I didn't have enough marzipan. I'm tempted to just ice the cake but there are varying reports as to how successful this is so I'll just get myself of to Lidl and buy some more. As much as I hate to give my mother credit for anything but I really have to thank her for the tip of rolling pastry out between two sheets of cling film. Why? Because I transferred the idea to marzipan and for the first time in over twenty years of rolling out marzipan , I didn't swear once!

Next on the list was making some more cards. Last week I received a massive box of October Afternoon papers and embellishments which I'd bought from their Santa Sack Sale, it was a massive bargain even taking into account the cost of postage from the USA to here. I admit it does help when you have a lovely niece living in California who is willing to post things to you. Anyway, I brought down all the papers and then was lost for inspiration so I had a look on Google images and was soon on my way.
Their papers are so lovely I don't know how I'm going to part with these cards. I went on to make twelve cards in total and I'll post pictures of the others tomorrow.
Only one more week before the boys break up from school for the holidays so next week is going to be frantic as I always try to be completely finished by that time so we can all just relax and enjoy the build up.
This weekend is going to be manic as on Sunday there will be eighteen of us round my house for a pre Christmas get together. I must be mad.
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Simply Thursday

Thursday arrives and I have child number one off sick. Why do I always resent this? I'm a mean momma really. I made some Christmas cupcakes to make up for it though.
On Sunday I sent a box of cakes with my youngest son to his football match to share with the other boys, big mistake. Why? Because he came back from training last night with an order for another load! Oh well, I don't really mind they only take 5 minutes to knock out.
Over the last few weeks I've been hunting for various items that I've lost. I seem to either find them after I've bought a replacement, for example my ATG tape, or I'm looking for one thing and I find something else. Yesterday's find was my Nan's old button tin. I inherited it a few years ago and it's full of lovely buttons, one of which was attached to a C&A tag, who's old enough to remember C&A? The other thing I love about it is that it is an old formula milk tin which must have been my sister's. On the lid is an embossed sign saying 'use before 1 Aug 1960', a genuine antique.

I needed the buttons as I have orders for three button covered hearts to complete, it was lovely tipping the buttons out all over my table, not so much fun putting them back in the tin though.
The only thing that remains lost now is my address book, this is a big problem as I need it for my Christmas cards. The problem is I can't but another one and I haven't got anything else to look for so that I can find it! Does that make sense? Probably not. I think it's time for coffee!
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for all the people who came by yesterday and left comments from the WOYWW page.
Enjoy your day

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Two Days in One

Tuesday and Wednesday joined together! Only been blogging a few weeks and already I'm getting behind, should really have been born at a quieter time of year.

On Tuesday lunch times I teach and so I don't really like to start anything in the morning so I only made a couple of cards. These were inspired by Marion Emberson as I'd seen them on her blog, I also was the lucky winner and received one in the post. She made them look so easy and I deceided to try. First rule is always, if something looks easy it isn't!
Hers looks classy, simple and elegant. Mine looks like a four year old did it. See for yourselves
 I made a few and then posted them on the QVC Facebook page I've mentioned before and Marion gave a few more instructions like: do the Glossy Accents tree shape onto a craft sheet then lift it off and stick to the card! Wish I'd known that before. I don't usually do two cards the same but I will try again with this tree.
I made a couple more cards using a tiny stamp and some lovely new ultra fine glitter that I bought from QVC

On Wednesday I spent the day sewing cushion covers. One for the man at the craft fair I did on Saturday and one for Kirsty Wiseman's daughter as a little present. I also started on some button hearts for some people who saw them on my Facebook page.
There was great excitement in the Morris household as we took delivery of a new TV. My youngest was desperate to get it out of the box but I was under strict instructions from his father that it was to be left until he was home from work. This meant that my son kept texting, calling and looking out of the window all evening.
One thing I have learnt from this is never let the men of the house decide on the screen size!
Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Finally Time for Me

Monday, yay. No seriously I love Mondays especially when I know I have money in my pocket and I'm off Christmas shopping, oh and to spend my birthday vouchers.

I was in Churchill square car park at 10.04 and ready to hit the shops. Shopping on a Monday is great, it's so quiet. First stop L'Occitaine to spend my birthday money, I love that shop it smells so good. If only they served normal tea instead of that green tea muck.
Next stop, The White Company for my 13 year old son some PJ bottoms. I then found a wonderful new shop which has just opened in Brighton. It's a German shop a little bit like Ikea with some fabulous home wares and, of course, at the moment it's filled with Christmas lovelies.
After Sports Direct I was ready for a cup of 'The Nation's Favourite' aka Costa Coffee and I was all set to finish off the shopping.
A very successful trip it was too and apart from something for my two nephews, I'm done. Although I'm never done as I can't resist buying little things for Christmas as I love it so much.
Thanks for readingx

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Fair Time

Waking up in a narrow, single bed in a girl's bedroom is a little strange and a silent house on a Saturday morning is unheard of where I live. It was a nice feeling to pad around in a big Surrey mansion, well big by my standards anyway! After my cup of tea I set about icing 36 cup cakes luckily I'd decided just to flat ice them and decorate with a shop bought topper. They did look sweet.

After a late breakfast my friend and I made our way to the fair to finish setting up my table and get ready for the masses.

It was lovely to receive some lovely feedback from parents on my card workshop, they were really happy with the standard of the cards the children had made, this made up for the fact that I later realised I'd left all my supplies behind and I think they may be gone forever.

After a slow start I did manage some sales and even a final flurry on cushions while we were packing up.
These specimens are now gracing the finest conservatories in Godalming! I had to reduce the prices on some things even though I know cushions and bunting are much more expensive in the shops. Never mind, I learn from every event I do. Just need to find an outlet for my things as I love making them. Maybe next year I'll sell on Ebay or Etsy. After we'd packed up we drove back to Godalming to mooch around but I the only thing I bought was a Waitrose sandwich!
I got back home about 6pm and my boys were very happy to see me, I think I need to go away more often.
Sunday was always going to be a lazy day for me, well apart from getting up early to make my husband and son a bacon roll to go. They had an early start for football but I was excused as I was ill.
We had a lovely roast dinner and watched Elf together, all except my husband who retired to bed at 7.30 with man flu.
Thanks for reading.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Card Making and Christmas Fair

Friday already? All I had to do today to get ready was to make some Christmas cup cakes so I got them in the oven as soon as possible and they were done by 10! I then thought that I could whip up some more lavender bags, maybe another cushion. Then I thought, 'No, I'll just chill til it's time to leave.' Which is exactly what I did. I even managed to tidy up so that the place didn't look like a tip for when my mother in law came to look after the boys.

I drove up to Surrey, calling in on my friend's mother to collect something, don't even get me started on that! It was a lovely drive through the Sussex and Surrey countryside, I just wish I'd stopped to take photos but I didn't want to be late for school. I needn't have worried as I arrived in plenty of time and had to stand outside the classroom waiting for her class to finish.

The card making session went beautifully and I learnt something from the children, which was a bonus.
The Christmas tree card that you see above has a circle cut out above the tree and in it is suspended a snowflake. Now a couple of the children had placed their tree too high so that when I cut the circle it nipped the top of the tree off. One little girl brought her card to me and asked me to cut the circle to the right of the tree so that the tree wouldn't lose its top. Now why didn't I think of that? I love the way that children's brains aren't hard wired into thinking in a certain way.
The time flew by and before we knew it the children were tidying up and thanking me for helping them.
After I'd collected any useful bits of scrap, crafters never throw anything away, I went to the main hall to put up my stall and eye up the competition. It didn't take long and by six o'clock my friend and I were sitting comfortably in Prezzo's in Godalming.
If any of you have seen 'The Holiday' you will recognise the little town from the scenes where Cameron Diaz is driving madly in her little Mini. The best bit about going in December is that it looks exactly the same as in the film as all the Christmas lights are up.
To round off the evening we watched 'The Holiday' from start to finish, which made me realise that I'd never seen the middle of the film and now the end makes sense!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Marshmallow Madness

I woke up this morning with a temperature and the last thing I wanted to do was to make marshmallow snowmen but it had to be done. I was shown how to do these by my friend who said she'd made them with her children so I thought, 'how hard can they be?'
I'm sure if I was 100% fit they would have been simples but I was stuffing the last one into the cellophane bag at about 8.30 pm!
They do look lovely and I'm sure they'll fly out of the door on Saturday.

I also put together all the supplies for the card making class on Friday afternoon, I did mention that I'd be teaching 22 little darlings how to make three cards, didn't I?
All the things for my sale are now priced up and ready to be loaded into the car tomorrow. All I have to do on Friday is make 40 cup cakes, clear up, load the car, pack my overnight bag.......... I'm exhausted just thinking about it.
I'm sure it'll be alright on the night.
Thanks for stopping by.