Thursday, 31 March 2011

Another layout + Alice

Today I was reading Cathy's blog and the layout she had made for Aidan's 15th birthday blog post really caught my eye. The fact that she also gave a free digital template for the layout was a huge bonus and I wanted to use it straight away. My layout is a complete scraplift because I loved the way Cathy's looked.  
I had been wanting to put down my feelings about being involved during Claire's pregnancy and this layout gave me the chance to do just that. In all honesty, I think this is probably the most journalling I've put on any of my scrapbook layouts! I have so many more photos I want to scrap so I can see hybrid layouts could well be the way for me to go as they make things so much quicker.
These photos were taken last night after Craig got home from work. As I was going up stairs Alice kept smiling at me, so I got my camera for a couple of photos.
 This one was taken when she spotted her Mummy coming down the stairs :)
 Group photo - you can tell Craig loves it when I get my camera out ;o)
When Alice was first put in this bouncy chair she looked so little - not so much these days!
Her fingers tend to be in her mouth all the time at the moment and we think we can feel a little tooth cutting it's way through the top gum.
Who could resist this cute little face? :o)

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Post and Spring Flowers

Today I received my Team Teal wristband to wear in honour of Deb's Mum, Marti, who has cancer.  I am proud to have been chosen as one of the people who have received the band and will be wearing it daily. Marti, I hope you know we are all thinking of you and keeping you in our prayers as you fight your battle against cancer. xx

I received my copy of Ideal Home magazine in the post earlier this week and this little notebook came as a free gift - how cute is that!  I've been using it today as I start jotting down ideas for a project I'm thinking of doing. More about that in another post, one day. ;o)   Let's just say Etsy may be involved at some stage!
 We've had some lovely weather over the last few days and while the sun was out our tulips started to open. I had just brought in the washing one evening when I saw them again and decided to take a few photos. These two are my favourites.
I have been told by Emily that she expects a mention on my blog today as, at school, they had their inter-form netball tournament and Emily's form/class came 2nd out of 9 classes - well done Yr 9PHZ!

Now I need to go and feed the animals (I'm half an hour late!) and make a start on dinner.
Oh! Remember that clean desk I showed you the other day? Hmm, not so clean any more :o(  I wish I was more organised/tidier ;o)


Sunday, 27 March 2011

Well, ...

I did warn you that something like this may happen when I cleared my desk a bit ;o)
This weekend I've had the chance to do a bit of scrapbooking.  I decided I wanted to do layouts for Alice's album the traditional way - ie. with photos and paper :o) .  I certainly have enough photos of Alice but rather than trying to choose which ones to use, I've gone for starting at the beginning with her birth day.
The little owl on here was made using a Tando Creative chipboard owl which I then traced round on card and cut out by hand. I then punched circles for the eyes and cut out a triangular beak. It certainly makes me smile when I look at the layout!
The second page had been going to be a stand alone page but once I started playing around with it, it made sense to make this a double layout instead.

Now to decide on the next photos to use!

PS. Although you wouldn't believe it from these photos, the pink of the journalling boxes is the same colour as the pink in the gingham paper!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Finally ....

Finally ... finished Alice's cot quilt. This has been on the go for a little while but it was finally finished yesterday afternoon.
 Back (red gingham)
Close up of some of the materials 
Finally ... means I've been able to put away my sewing machine which has left my desk fairly tidy
It's been a long time since you could actually see desk!  Who knows, perhaps one day soon there could even be some scrapbook pages made here!
Finally ... getting round to posting some photos from last week!
 Jon made the most of the lovely weather when he was home last weekend. The grass was cut and we were able to sit outside until late afternoon.
 Jon's sister Deb, and her husband Dave, came round on Saturday afternoon with their puppy Beth. Emily was quite happy to look after Beth and I think Beth was quite happy sitting on Emily's lap.
 Cloud wasn't 100% sure what to make of another dog in the house but we reassured her that we weren't replacing her.
Great Aunty Debbie got to have cuddles with Alice.
 This particular afternoon Alice spent some time sitting on Mummy's lap chewing Mummy's finger
We're trying to encourage her with her sitting ;o)
Finally ... starting on my log cabin quilt. 
I've been wanting to make one for some time and last week went round to see a friend who showed me how to sew them so that you quilt and back the squares as you go and then join the squares together at the end. I'm hand sewing this quilt and using all the scraps of material I have in my stash. Although it all looks a total mismatch at the moment, it doesn't seem to matter once the quilt is complete and sewn together.  I like the idea of hand sewing it as it then becomes portable - I can sit at the kitchen table to sew, or in the lounge watching TV or even in bed in the evening if I want to. I'm not sure how long it's going to take me but I'm looking forward the challenge.

And finally ... I think that's it for this post. No special plans for this weekend so hopefully I'll get some sewing or scrapbooking done. Check back soon to see if I make anything ;o)

Monday, 21 March 2011

Making the most of the weather

By the time we were on our way home from the weekly grocery shop at Sainsburys and our coffee in Starbucks, the sun had come out and it was lovely and warm in the car. Once back at the house, Claire changed Alice out of her warm clothes and put her in a little dress.
 Uncle Hugh got to have cuddles and play with her while Claire and I unpacked the shopping.

 After a little bounce in her chair
  and thinking that Grandma is so silly when she makes faces at her
 we headed outside for Alice to get her first taste of sitting on the grass
 She wasn't 100% sure what she thought of it but was happy to have cuddles with Mummy
Unfortunately, a breeze started blowing and it turned the air quite chilly again so we headed inside.

I'm so looking forward to lots more sunny Spring and Summer days - washing on the line and lunch out on the patio. Can't wait!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Isn't technology wonderful!

A few weeks ago Deb asked some fellow bloggers if we'd be interested in having an online crop via Skype. Today was the day and at 3pm (UK time) we all got to see each other and chat. Through reading others blogs you feel like you know them, so getting the chance to talk in person feels natural - like chatting to a good friend. Today was the start of those chats and I, for one, am looking forward to more. 
Our Skype chat L - R and top - bottom: Carrie, Deb, Mel, The Girl, Karen, Denise, Deb, Ruth and myself.

After the call finished (nearly 2 hours later) I couldn't help but think how wonderful technology is. When my parents first moved to South Africa from Scotland all those years ago, none of this existed. How much easier it would have been if we could have gone on to Skype to talk to the relatives back in the UK instead of having to rely on writing letters! I wonder what new technology we'll have in years to come.

Back to today though.  Still buzzing from the Skype call, it was time to come back to reality and get dinner on the go.  It may have been slightly later than planned - but no one complained ;o)

Thanks everyone who took part for a fun afternoon.


Friday, 18 March 2011

A recipe for today

I've just made this apple cake and can't wait to try it - it smells delicious.

1 large Bramley apple (cooking apple), about 225g
225g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp mixed spice (I added a little more)
125g cold butter, diced
125g caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp for dredging
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 medium eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 190C, 375F, Gas mark 5 and lightly grease a 20cm/8in springform cake tin.
Peel the apple, cut into quarters and remove the core. Reserve one of the apple quarters and dice the rest.
Sift the flour, baking powder and mixed spice into a large bowl.
Rub in the diced butter to form fine breadcrumbs.
Stir in the sugar, diced apple and lemon zest, then gradually stir in the beaten eggs to form a stiff mixture.
Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface with the back of a spoon.
Thinly slice the reserved apple quarter and arrange on top of the cake.
Bake for 30 - 40 minutes, until springy to the touch. Dredge with the remaining sugar, then leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
Turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
Slice and serve with clotted cream.
After getting a taste of spring recently, it was a bit of a shock to the system to have it raining again today. Claire and I wanted to go into town and Alice didn't have any choice ;o) - fortunately, Claire had found a little jacket when she was sorting through Alice's clothes the other day and today she got to wear it for the first time :o)  
 She certainly didn't seem to mind having it on.

Another cute photo of Claire/Mummy and Alice :o)
Jon should be home shortly and it'll be time for us to head out for dinner ;o).  
When we get back I'm looking forward to chatting to Deb on Skype for the first time.  

Thursday, 17 March 2011

This week

Alice is 17 weeks today or 4 calendar months tomorrow.
 She started on solids on Monday and although she wasn't that keen on just baby rice, she seemed to really enjoy the baby rice mixed with stewed apples that she had on Tuesday (when these photos were taken)
 The time is going so quickly but it's lovely to see all the milestones happening.

 By this stage she had her mouth open waiting for the next spoonful and got quite excited about it :)
Daddy also got a chance to feed her some of her food.
I've :
Been doing a bit more sewing on Alice's quilt; 
Started a new log cabin block where you quilt as you go
Been doing some knitting (a 9 - 12 month cardigan - might take me that long to finish :) )
Been moving the kitchen around a bit (or rather Craig has) and had a new drawer unit fitted after our old one collapsed.
Been helping my parents with Skype and chatting to Norma in SA. And today, I got to speak to Amy on Skype as she happened to be on line when I got to my computer this morning. Thank you for the chat Amy, so nice to be able to see you and hear you talking.

I hope you've had a good week so far too - whatever you've been doing. :)

Thursday, 10 March 2011

How time flies!

I don't know where the time goes these days. It seems no sooner has Jon left for Milton Keynes on a Monday morning than I'm saying Friday tomorrow so I'll see you then! Where did Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday disappear to?  Of course I do have a very cute granddaughter and I get distracted very easily ;o) 

When she smiles and chuckles like this we all stop what we're doing :o)
Sitting with Daddy in the evening 
And in her pretty dress given to her by her Godmother, Lauren.
Having a little bit of tummy time
and playing with toys :o)
I did get the chance to make Mel's Malteser cake last week. Let me warn you, it's quite fatal! Once you start eating you just want one more little piece! The recipe itself was really easy and I can see it's one I'll be making again! Thanks Mel :o)
Mum and I also managed to squeeze in a bit of retail therapy last week at The Craft Barn in Lingfield. We walked in to a warm welcome from my friend Sarah. I didn't think she worked Fridays but her days have changed and it was a lovely surprise to get to see her as well as do some shopping. I got a bargain on a Bind It All ~ now I just need to learn how to use it ;o).

On that note I'll end off for now and get a move on with the quilting I need to finish before I start anything else.  Hopefully it won't be as long before I post again :o(