Picture it – me, sitting at the kitchen table, head in hands. Material and thread everywhere. Not a stitch done – and I mean that literally. I could have cried.

There I am sat at the table all ready to go. I needed to fill the bobbin and it took ages – the bit the bobbin goes on whilst filling kept springing off and resulted in a mass of tangled thread being frustratedly pulled off by me! Then, afer several attempts I finally got it done – only to then for the bottom thread not to pick up!

Parts were taken off, out, removed, put back in. Several times! It was no use and eventually after wracking my brains for a way to get Harry and Rosie done I admitted defeat, packed everything away and headed for the shower.

I have to say, I felt better after a shower and came downstairs with a (sort of) plan. I appealed on facebook groups I am on. I advertised on gumtree and freecycle. I decided to call the lovely ladies at the fabric shop in the morning to see if they could point me in the direction of somewhere that had a machine I could hire.

So after dropping Big A at school I beat a hasty retreat to the house where I got straight on the phone. No luck.

So resigned to the fact that it would be a new machine that was needed I set about looking at what was on offer. This was going tobe an expensive week!

I knew I wasn’t going to get anything done on the H & R front, so decided the best plan of action was to make the cranberry sauce for Saturday!  I will do a separate post in a bit with the recipe etc, but I can tell you that it’s gorgeous!

At lunchtime Mr A called  – he was sure his Gran had a machine and he would give her a quick call to find out. Very nice of him, only i’s information I could have used at 9pm last night!!! Luckily Gran came to the rescue and Mr A is off to collect it tonight.

So, all going well I will be back tomorrow with Harry and possibly Rosie to show you!


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Filed under A Home Made Christmas, Fabric obsessions, Harry & Rosie - the bear and the cat

Cut and Pinned!!!!!

Hooray! I have now got Harry cut and pinned ready for sewing and stuffing this evening once Big A and Little A are in bed.

I am actually very excited  – Rosie is tomorrows job and then I will be keeping them hidden until the big day on Saturday. My intention was to pop Harry & Rosie in the children’s stockings, however their stockings are smaller than I remember, so I am having to have a rethink on how to present them – I feel like wrapping them but am not sure if I really want to. I am it has to be said probably a much bigger child than the children are when it comes to Christmas!!!

So, check back tomorrow for pictures of a sewn and stuffed Harry and a cut and pinned Rosie!

All drawn out ready for cutting

Cut and Pinned!

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Filed under A Home Made Christmas, Fabric obsessions, Harry & Rosie - the bear and the cat, Sentimental Old Me

It’s A Mince & Tatties Kind Of Day!

It really is a mince & tatties kind of day – cold, dull and really, really snowy! As I type this there is a fresh flurry of snow falling on our previous 9 inches! It was so deep poor Little A was up to her knees earlier and Big A was not too far behind!!! Luckily the tractor had just arrived to dig us out!

So here it is, my mince and tatties recipe:


850g  lean beef mince
1 white onion roughly diced
2-3 carrots peeled and diced
Peas – as much or as little as you like
Beef gravy – your own, fresh shop bought or bisto


Pop the onions and carrots in a pan with a wee bit of (olive) oil. Cook gently until onions have softened.
Add mince and cook through gently.
Add gravy and then add peas.

Make the tatties – it’s just mashed potato!
Peel and boil enough tatties for however many you are feeding.
Cut and boil.
Drain once cooked through and mash.
Add milk, butter, salt and pepper to taste.

I plate them side by side and most people i know make a ‘dogs dinner’ – mix it all up and eat with a fork!

We like brown (HP) sauce and fruity (HP) sauce with ours. I have seen the odd person ( very odd) have red sauce, but that really is sacrilege!!!

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Salt Dough Decorations

This week I have been busy making and baking salt dough decorations. I have made several batches for use on our tree, for gifts to various family members and for tomorrows messy play date with friends in our kitchen!

There are several recipies for salt dough, but I find that this one works best for me:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup table ( fine) salt
  • 1/2 cup water

Put the flour & salt in a bowl and mix well, add the water and form a dough. The dough should not be too wet or it will stick to everything and spread while cooking. It also shouln’t be too dry or the finished items tend to be a bit crumbly.

All you have to do is flour the surface lightly, roll to about a 1/2cm thickness and use whatever cutters you fancy!

Cooking – as far as I can make out, everyone has a different way of cooking salt dough, but I have found that the following method gives me good results.

  • Cover a baking tray with grease proof paper
  • Place the decorations on and place in oven for around 2-3 hrs on half a gas mark.
  • Remove from oven and alow to go touch cool and gently remove from paper
  • Place back on the papered tray and leave to cool compleatly ( i leave for a good 2 hrs)
  • Return to the oven on Gas 1 for another 3 hrs

You need to check regularly during the second cooking to ensure they are not going over done. You can tell when they are done by tapping on the bottom of the decoration and you should hear a hollow sound.

You can then paint & decorate however you like!

First batch of salt dough decorations


Painted and ready for sparkle!


All sparkly!

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Filed under A Home Made Christmas

For our tomorrow, they gave their today


For The Fallen ( 4th Stanza) By Laurence Binyon

They shall not grow old, as we who are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.



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Filed under Rememberance Day


As Remembrance Day is tomorrow, I thought it might be nice if all the family could wear a Poppy in honour of those that have lost their lives in battle. The thing is, the green plastic stalks of modern paper poppy’s aren’t great for attaching to most fabrics.

So I thought I’d make my own – a nice big one for the buggy hood, and a smaller one for me, even Big A asked for one.

For the large Buggy Poppy I used a basic outline and drew it onto a template ( an old cereal box). Then drew round that onto red felt. I used black seed beads to make the seeds in the centre and then a few round the middle for the stamen. For attaching it to the buggy I used a basic broach clasp, which can be bout in packs of 2 for about 99p.

We will of course still be donating to the RBL Poppy Appeal as usual.  

The finished Buggy Poppy


In Situ


I think it came out ok! I will also add a pic of the mini one and of Big A’s tomorrow when I can take a picture in better light!

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Collecting Leaves

The school has been off for the tattie holidays for the last couple of weeks. Last week Big A went on his ‘holidays’ to my parents, this week Mr A has been off work and we have done various activities with the children. But Wednesday was a perfect day.

It was so cold, about 4 or 5 deg C, but beautifully sunny and dry so was the perfect day for collecting leaves to use for crafts at a later date.  There isn’t much explanation needed, as the pictures say it all.

It started to get to that point where it’s just too cold, so we decided that we had enough leaves ( both children’s backpacks were full!) and we walked back to my parents house via the train station – which pleased Big A very much!

And although it was a Wednesday, it felt very much like a lazy Sunday afternoon. So now all we have to do is make our leaf prints and leaf collages and we are done!

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Filed under Lazy Sunday Afternoons, Sentimental Old Me