Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Paper Pom Poms

This weekend Lillia turns 6.  I can barely believe it has been almost six years since we were hurtled into the path of parenthood and our lives changed forever!

This year we decided to step away from the frightening practice of inviting the entire class (30 kids!!) to birthday parties and to allow her to choose just 6 friends to invite to a small party at our home.  As a result we are all rather looking forward to the big day on Saturday!  The theme for the party is to be "meadow"- think all things ladybird, toadstool, bunting and flowers! I have had much fun whipping up various little decorations (more on these later this week) but none so much fun as making these wonderul paper pom poms...

Martha Stewart paper pom-pom

The instructions are on the Martha Stewart website, all you need is some tissue paper and some floristry wire, they are incredibly simple to make, yet SO effective don't you think?

Martha Stewart paper pom-pom

I made a white one and a pink one before I completely ran out of tissue paper, so it'll be off to Hobbycraft for me tomorrow!  I think a few of these hung around the house and garden will be just beautiful.

Martha Stewart paper pom-pom

Perfect for a spring-time birthday! And what good timing as this week Spring has really arrived, it is warm and sunny, I have washing drying in the garden. We've been able to start pottering around outside clearing up dead leaves and planting seeds, and generally enjoying some vitimin D from the sun! Phoebe is particularly enjoying being outdoors, she is enjoying playing on the slide and see-saw and picking up twigs and leaves...

Spring-time walk

My own handmade garden pot has been placed in its new home on the patio.  The green glaze on the main body of the pot is patchy as this is how it goes during firing, I love it as it makes it look mossy, like it has always been in the garden.  I just need to decide what to plant in it...

My handmade garden pot

Strawberries perhaps?  Or sweet-peas? Hmmm.  A nice decision to need to make!

Hope you are enjoying the Springy weather wherever you are!


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Making time to make it - Elbee the Crochet Bear

One of the other mums on the school run lent me her copy of "Woman's Weekly Best of Knitted Toys" magazine so I could peruse the crochet patterns.  I do love swapping recipes and patterns...I'd make such a good WI member wouldn't I?  Jam and Jerusalem and all that.

The "Cute as a Button" bear really appealed to me as it looked relatively simple to do whilst at the same time being a bit silly looking with its balloon-like head.

Lightbulb bear

I love the funny shape - the bulbous head and tiny arms and legs.  So I decided to cast aside all other works in progress (oh so many...) and hook this one up at the weekend. Hubby thinks he looks like a lightbulb and gave him the name Elbee ("L", "B", for LightBulb...groan...) How darn cute is this bear?  I mean seriously, what's not to adore?  I loved him so much in fact I made another one to keep him company....

Lightbulb bears!

The yarn is a beige acrylic DK left over from Luna the Unicorn earlier in the week.  And some of the yarn I had left from my Christmas ravelry swap, the same stuff I used for Phoebe's leg-warmers. I am very much taken with the colours of this yarn - not pastel, but not garish - all the colours have a kind of dirty feel to them which makes them feel earthy and warm.  Love it.

Lightbulb bears!

Elbee is tucked up next to hubby's pillow, and the other has been named Princess and is snuggled in the arms of Lillia as I type.  She's running out of room in her bed with all the bears and soft animals she keeps adopting.  In fact, this is leading me to another crochet project, more on that another day though...


Sunday, 18 March 2012

A day for the mummies

Happy Mother's Day everyone...I trust you were all spoiled? I certainly was with a good lie in (needed after a few glasses of muscadet in the local last night), then a cup of tea and pancakes in bed, lovely cards, cuddles and a couple of lovely little thoughtful gifts.

I've also had time this weekend to experiment making some toadstool muffins for Lillia's upcoming 6th birthday "meadow" party.

Toadstool muffin

I found some professional food colour that colours butter icing really well (didn't want a repeat of the dead salmon cake) and I used white chocolate buttons for the toadstool spots.  What do you think?

Toadstool muffins

These are actually orange muffins with orange buttercream icing.  You only need to eat one of these, my goodness they are delicious but filling! I am rather pleased with how they came out and I think they will make a very whimsical addition to the meadow-themed food :)

For mother's day lunch we went to my mum's and prepared her a buffet style array of goodies.  We tried Gentleman's Relish for the first time, not sure I'll be in a hurry to try it again!  Rather...um...salty...and fishy, very fishy. Blergh.  Nice pot though...

Gentleman's Relish

Amidst the mother's day lunching, fish paste sampling and muffin making, I have also had a chance to attempt something I've been wanting to do for some time - my own version of decopatching...

My own take on "decopatch"

Papier mache letters from Hobbycraft decorated with ripped up pages of the Cath Kidston catalogue stuck on with PVA glue.  This is just a sneak peak, more on this in another post soon! 

Well, it's been a long weekend so I am going to enjoy my orchid and my chocolate-scented candle, perhaps partake in a little Ben & Jerry's cookie dough and have a very early night.

Sunday evening

Happy Mother's Day everyone x

Thursday, 15 March 2012

London in the Spring

There is no denying it now - the air is noticably less nippy the mornings are lighter, the evenings slightly longer, there have been sunshiney skies and a few rain showers.  Spring has definitely arrived. 

I do love this time of year.  Birthdays galore, daffodils, freshness and the smell of wet mud. Luv-er-lee.

On Sunday we decided to take advantage of the Springy weather and took a trip up to Greenwich to walk around the park amidst the neat old buildings and shiny new cafes and museums.  The skies were blue, the air was fresh, we even walked about without our coats on!

Greenwich March 2012

Greenwich March 2012

Lillia loved being able to run about in the wide open spaces and play hide and seek amongst the trees...

Greenwich March 2012

Greenwich March 2012

Although suggesting we play hide and seek here was probably not one of our finest suggestions...

Greenwich March 2012


We huffed and puffed our way up the steep hill to the observatory (you have to pay to get in these days!) and looked back down towards London...

Greenwich March 2012

Greenwich March 2012

It struck me as strange standing there so content with my little family, enjoying a relatively lazy day together, taking in the rather impressive view - when in fact I was looking towards the route of my car journey to work that causes me so much anguish.  The route that runs from the right by the Dome, past Canary Wharf and into the distance to the Gherkin.  I drive this three times a week before 7:30am, and back again in the afternoons.  It takes me away from my girls, my home and my sanity.  It was strange to look down on it from a distance and think about that.

After a pizza lunch we headed home, picking up some bridesmaid dresses along the way.  Lillia is to be a flower girl this year and I promised my friend I would take pictures of the various dresses she wanted her to try.  I took photos outside the front of the house, and they came out beautifully in the afternoon sun...

Trying on dresses

Trying on dresses

I can almost smell the roses and hear the clink of champagne glasses can't you? 

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Swapping into Spring

As promised, today I am sharing with you my little pressies from the swap I did last month.  My pressies came from Thea, who writes the MummyCat Gets Organised blog.

A little heart keyring that smells deliciously of my favourite thing - lavender.  I actually assumed she had bought this until I read her blog and realised she had made it!  


Well dur, it was a handmade swap after all so I am not sure why I would assume it would be anything other than handmade, it just it looks so perfect!  Just look at the teeny embroidery and the delicate beading, absolutely gorgeous!  I am going to attach this to a bag and carry it about with pride :)

I also received "everlasting flowers", which are so detailed and intricate...


Clever, right?  This little bunch of flowers is made from floristry ribbon I think, they are so dinky and sit perfectly on my kitchen window sill cheering me up as I scrubbed pasta-bake off the oven dish this morning :)

Thea also sent me a large tub of homemade chocolate and pistachio fudge.  Holy moly that fudge was DIVINE.  Unfortunately I did not have the self-constraint to take photos before hubby and I scoffed the lot.  I may have to look up the recipe (I believe it was Nigella) and make some myself, though this could lead to me regaining the weight I have lost since having Phoebe...

Thanks Thea for my wonderful pressies, and thanks too to everyone who took part!  Not all the swappers have blogs but for those that do here are the blog posts about their goodies:

Aw, now I feel all warm and fuzzy...happy swapping everyone!


Monday, 12 March 2012

Luna the Unicorn and crochet flower bunting

Amazing how the weeks skip by isn't it?  Life here in the snipsnaphappy household has been manic to say the very least, I am beginning to wonder how anybody mixes work and family life as I am finding it near on impossible to be a mummy at the same time as being an employee all whilst attempting to make sure everyone has clean clothes and the house doesn't crumble under the weight of dust and grime.

We live in such a small house (really, it's teeny) that I have to stay on top of clutter and mess at all times or we just won't get in the front door - but how am I supposed to do this when I leave the house at 6:15am three days a week?  Mind boggling.

Enough of my grumbles though.  Amidst all the daily mayhem I have still had to make some time for creating - with Lillia's 6th birthday coming up very soon I have been hard at work making presents and decorations.  She wants a "meadow" themed party, so lots of bunting, animals, flowers, butterflys and toadstools are the order of the day. I have made flower bunting and mini bunting so far...but more on those in another post. Here's a wee sneak preview though...

Mini bunting in progress

Then of course there's the annual handmade present that Lillia chooses.  In previous years we have had the Pink Ripple Blanket and the Patchwork Scotty Dog and Mr Skelly, this year she wanted a crochet unicorn.  I found the perfect pattern on Etsy and made Luna the Unicorn...

Luna the Unicorn 10

Luna the Unicorn 3

I rather love Luna, the pattern was great fun to do (I never used to understand it when people described a pattern as "fun" but this really was, nothing too fiddly, lots of new little techniques to learn, it really was fun...)

Plus she came out really cute, Lillia is definitely going to love her.

Luna the Unicorn 8

For now though she is hidden away in the ottomon in our bedroom, waiting for the Big Day :) 

Thanks to everyone who took part in our recent swap!  I have some beautiful gifts to share with you this week!  Except, I may have eaten one of my gifts...oops...


13th March 12 - Edited to add: Forgot to mention that the pattern for Luna the Unicorn is from this shop on Etsy!