Tuesday, 23 September 2008


I'm feeling like I'm getting life back on track. Actually, what I really mean is that I'm feeling like I'm finally getting some time back for ME. And time for me means time for crafting.

One thing I find hard in business is thinking ahead. I seem to miss out on various occasions by not thinking a few months ahead. Which, for those that know me, won't be too surprised. I'm lucky if I've remebered to do things for today by the time I get to bed at night. So forward planning is one of my downfalls.
Last January I swore I was going to plan ahead for Christmas for Blueberry Park. Needless to say, it's not yet October, but I've already missed it. So here I go again, back pedalling, trying to resuscitate it and hope I pull it out of the bag in time.

Consequently, I have no idea what made me think September was a good time to start thinking about Halloween. But yesterday the urge took me and I found myself having lots of fun creating some ghouly felt decorations.

The latest addition to my Mini Bunting Kits are available here. I'm also thinking of doing some already made up. What do you reckon?

So be more prepared than I am and hopefully you'll have them made and up for Halloween!

Friday, 19 September 2008

The Great Escape

I think this is a craft blog, although you wouldn't know it to look at it of late. The summer holidays have caused havoc to both my crafting and business. There just hasn't been any time to get in to any kind of routine. It went to pot as soon as the children broke up and I haven't managed to claw it all back into order yet.
I can't blame it all on them really. By the time they were all back at school and by the time Samuel was sorted at his new High School, I was packing my bags and off again.

When we moved back to Leeds from London 4 years ago (that is impossible for it to be so long) I would never have dreamt that I would hook up with 3 of my oldest friends from High School and we'd be heading off in to the sun for a girlie break. Rachel and I never lost touch - as she freely admits, because I always popped in to see her when we were back in town. But I hadn't seen Sarah or Ruth since we ripped open those A-Level results way back when.

We were inseperable in school from Day 1. We formed a third of the hockey team, a quarter of the netball team and pretty much all of the tennis team. But I think, because we all had healthy independent social lives out of school (we all lived in far flung corners of Leeds) once we took away that common ground of school, we lost our point of contact and very soon drifted.

More years than I care to remember and our children are now starting to go to that same High School and here we are all together again. It's been fantastic rekindling this particular friendship group. We make sure we meet up regularly - just the 4 of us - no children - no husbands - just us - and usually copious amounts of the ol' red!

On one of our debauche evenings, Ruth invited us all to her bolt hole in Perpignan. Tickets were booked and we were off.

I love my family. I love my kids. But boy did I enjoy not thinking or caring about any of them.(after the complicated time table of where they all needed to be, go, have, for things to run like clockwork in my absence was sorted out) Matthew and I have had a couple of short breaks over the years. I've had a couple of overnighters for trade fairs in London. But, just me, to do what I wanted without feeling guilty. It's defnitely the best tonic and hopefully will set me up for the onslaught of the Christmas silly season ahead.

And for any of you that haven't managed to have the same experience... You must...and if you need any volunteers to accompany you...

And I promise. Now summer is well and truely over, I promise to bring this blog back to what it is supposed to be...until the next vacation of course!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Let's make Cake

There I was minding my own business (trying to get down to my own business) when Samuel came bounding in declaring 'Let's make a Cake!' He took me so by surprise that the only answer to that was 'Yes, let's!'

As I think I've mentioned, Samuel starts High School this week. He actually starts tomorrow so today is our last day together. We've had a lovely time spending time together while Noah and Ruby already went back to school. And I've a feeling that once he enters the independence of High School, he's not going to want to stay at home baking, however much chocolate is involved.

I know I don't spend enough time with my children. I certainly don't get much opportunity for one on one time. So when opportunities come along you really have to grab them.

Judging by the bowl licking expressions, I think Samuel had just a good time as I did.

And when the result looks this good, I hope there will be many more 'Let's Make a Cake' Days.

And when this is what is waiting, Ruby didn't mind being at school and missing out on the cosy time Samuel and I had.

Well, good luck at High School my little one. I hope you enjoy it half as much as we enjoyed today. x

(As for more from the U.S... I promise that will follow very shortly x)

Thursday, 4 September 2008

The greatest city in the world?

We are back from our mini travels around New England (and New York, for those American's amongst you who will correct me!) Matthew and I used to do a lot of travelling in our former life before the kids. We did our mammoth and unforgettable 7 month world tour a little while after we got married. This is the first 'travelling' we have done withe the children. Usually summer holidays are gites in France or other equally beautiful and relaxing places. So I'm not sure we were mentally prepared for travelling with kids. It did take a while for us all to realise this holiday was a little different from what we normally do. There was no pool to dive into 24/7 . There was generally one room, 5 people and a lot of baggage.

But what better introduction to the world of travel for the children than New York City. Home to the Yellow Taxi (albeit a new modern version Matthew and I were initially saddened to see). The New York Yankees. The Empire State Building. The Statue of Liberty. All of which and more had to be fitted in to our brief 2 and a half day stay.

This city has such energy and charisma that you can not fail to be moved by it. And we were delighted that the children marvelled at it as much as we do. Noah particularly spent the whole time going around saying 'We are in America! We're in NEW YORK CITY!'

We had such an amazing start to our trip. It was wonderful to see everything through the children's eyes. I, in particular, am very fortunate to have had numerous trips to The Big Apple. But to go there with the children was truely magical.

It's definitely one holiday we won't forget in a long time.

And if you happen to find yourself lucky enough to be here, you HAVE to seek out the very special Burger Joint at the Parker Meridien Hotel. The best burgers in town in a very surprising venue.

And thank goodness...thank goodness for them so I didn't complain...thank goodness for me that I didn't miss out...I managed to get a trip to the best fabric store IN THE WORLD.

Purl Soho is not only a feast for the eyes (oh my word, I had died and gone to heaven) but the cutest shop on the planet. I was very restained. Too restrained, I realise, now I am home and 3000 miles and goodness knows how many years away from this scrumptious slice of heaven.

Still, my little pile of purchases are giving me so much pleasure, that it is the perfect eye candy until I decide what I am going to do with it.

So, farewell New York City. Greatest City in the World? Oh, yes, I think so.

Next up, Bethlehem, Connecticut. And hey, guess what? A spot of blueberry picking for Blueberry Park! How cool is that!