About Me

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My motto: It's not the wrong way; just a different way... This blog tracks my chaotic life as a mum of six wonderful children and one gorgeous granddaughter, my addiction to knitting and all things crafty, oh, and life with The Viking...

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Silent Sunday

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Gothic Prom Princess

Last thursday was Teenage Daughter's High School Prom. She didn't want to dress up as a pink meringue or Lady Gaga; instead she wanted a gothic fairytale inspired dress, in black. The dress was finished in a bit of a panic on thursday morning, but worth it. Doesn't she look fabulous!

A few minor adjustments to the tiara...

Where's the tiara gone??

A proud moment for dad...

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Rosie has left the building...

The theme over at Sticky Fingers this week is Travel. I suppose I could have taken this opportunity to share tales of our adventures in Sweden with The Viking... walks through the forest picking mushrooms, swimming in the lakes, trampolining with the Swedish cousins...

However, this week, Rosie has abandoned Our Handmade Journey and travelled over to her own lovely blog, leaving Little Grandma all alone to cope with the chaos, knit the hats, admire the spiders...and so on...

Wish her luck on travelling solo...

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The Gallery - My Weekend

A Post by Little Grandma

The theme over at Sticky Fingers this week is My Weekend

On Saturday, while everybody was living it up at 'cybermummy', and everybody else was drowning in the rain; myself and The Viking took cover at a local playcentre... along with half a million other people...

On Sunday we were treated to glorious sunshine.

Our back garden is a neglected rubbish tip nature reserve, so the three Little Uncles set off on a bug safari...
Lifting stones to reveal centipedes scurrying away, a cluster of woodlice, or a coiled millipede or two is a firm favourite with the boys... even more so since they discovered the reaction they can get when they introduce their new 'friends' to their big sisters!

Anyway, this 'monster beetle' didn't disappoint

Monday, 27 June 2011

A Boy's Best Friend...

A Post by Little Grandma

I am just about ok with spider's, even those of tarantula proportions, as long as I don't have to touch them and I know where they are. What I mean is, I would get pretty freaked out if I saw one sneak into my bed, and then when I whipped off the duvet, it was nowhere to be seen... ugh!

Anyway, this morning I spotted a rather large, hairy specimen on my bedroom wall. I hastily came downstairs and decided not to think about it... until...

...a little voice chirped up, "mum, mum, look, i've got a new best friend!"

So here he is, the Littlest Uncle showing me what his new buddy can do...

Belle doesn't want to be left out...

Turn away now ladies if you don't like hairy monsters....

A shot bravely taken with the macro lens on my mobile...

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The Gallery - Mavis The Dog

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A Post by Little Grandma

The theme over at Sticky Fingers this week is 'three words'. My three words are Mavis The Dog...

...because I am far too much of a meanie to allow the Littlest Uncle his own 'real' dog, he has to improvise. This may involve the use of soft toys, his 17 month old little sister who is constantly told 'no, you're not doing it properly' when she is asked to do 'doggie tricks', an invisible dog, or sometimes he 'becomes' a dog himself...

Anyway, this morning he drew himself a dog. At first I thought it was a three-eyed mutant, but I have been assured that it has '2 eyes, 1 nose and a beautiful smiling face', and her name is Mavis ofcourse.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Child's Boho Bag - created by a genius!

A post by Little Grandma

Well, not quite created by a genius, but I did feel pretty chuffed with myself when I managed to make my own pattern for this bag and sew it up nice and neatly on my first attempt.

I desperately wanted to make one of these bags for myself; my two favourite bags have met sticky ends i'm afraid. One was seriously overstuffed with tat; nappies, chocolate wrappers, banana skins etc, causing the strap to rip beyond repair, the other took a dive into a cup of coffee. Anyway, I scoured the internet for a pattern, only to find my mind boggled with overly complicated looking bags with gathered bits and 'decorative topstitching'. As I had used 'small paper' to draft the pattern, I decided to make a bag for Belle first. That way I would waste less fabric too...

Anyway, here it is. Plain red cotton lining, a lovely Timeless Treasures retro apple print on the outside. It has no clasp or button because I thought Belle would prefer it without.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Button Mania

A Post by Little Grandma

After the challenges of half-term, why on earth did I think that going out for tea at Morrison's cafe, with 4 small children, would be the nice, relaxing, 'easy' option for tea on the first day back at school??

During our short but eventful visit, the Middle Uncle (aka Action Man), was lucky enough to spot three 'celebrities':

Grandpa in my pocket,
Blitzer Malony (all skinny and boney)
and a pregnant man!

These rare sightings stirred up rather a lot of excitement amongst the three boys; sightings of this type are highly significant in a small town, especially the pregnant man; who if discovered would undoubtedly be a subject of special scientific interest. Anyway, Action Man wasn't going to keep this news to himself; he announced it very loudly to what felt like the whole town...

Later that evening, after I had put a bag over my head and whisked them all back home where I nailed them to their beds read stories and sang lullabies; I discovered a lovely way to relax and a new obsession. In fact I have been far too engrossed in my new fetish to blog about it until tonight...

Button jewellery. I can't get enough of it! I've made vintage button bracelets and necklaces galore
Here are a few...

Friday, 3 June 2011

A Cute Little Flower Headband

A post by Little Grandma

My 'make' for today is a cute fabric flower headband, modelled beautifully by Elle. This was fairly simple to make and I can definately feel another addiction coming on...

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The Gallery - I am Grateful for..cuddles

A post by Little Grandma

The theme over at Sticky Fingers today is in recognition of Chris from Thinly Spread, who, on monday set off on a journey with Save the Children. Please follow the link and sign the petition. I have.

Anyway, today I am feeling extra, extra shattered. I have, yet again, been up since 5.40am with Belle. I, once again, went to bed ridiculously late after trying to fit knitting and sewing into my life somehow. I love knitting and sewing, and I am trying to prepare stock ready to trade at a festival later on this summer, but i'd prefer not to have to do it when I feel like a propped up corpse.

Enough of that twaddle and back to the point...

I am so grateful to my beautiful boy, Action Man. All of my six children are beautiful and wonderful and special in their own ways, but this morning my gorgeous, cheeky, blue eyed, 5 year old boy recognised how tired I was and gave me the most wonderful cuddles and kisses, and told me he was going to look after me. He is the funniest, kindest, most perceptive little boy ever; he's also sometimes the naughtiest, but with that cheeky grin and his endless supply of warm cuddles, he can get away with anything!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Half-term starts as it means to go on...

A post by Little Grandma

Friday afternoon (late)

Leaving The Viking in charge of the 3 Little Uncles ( I'm loving that bit), I head into town to buy some knitting yarn. I had none left. None whatsoever. So when I found that both knitting shops in town were closed I got a bit panicky; until I rediscovered charity shops. On entering the first shop, Belle almost stopped breathing with sheer excitement when she spotted a Baby Annabel pushchair. I bought it ofcourse, without hesitation. It wasn't until afterwards I worried I may be setting a trend that I would begin to regret...

Anyway, I came out of the same shop armed with a small stash of wool and eager to start knitting friday's hat; which I started at about midnight

As usual, the morning started early; Belle and the Littlest Uncle were kind enough to get me out of bed before 6am. This is their way of ensuring that way I can really get the most out of each day (!) This morning, the Middle Uncle (aka Action Man), was looking forward to going to a birthday party, so by 8am the dining room floor had a lovely sparkling carpet of glitter and sequins, and his friend had several homemade birthday cards.

The Viking kindly volunteered to take Action Man to the party (easier than staying at home with the other 4). Anyway, it wasn't until they were about to leave that we realised the Littlest Uncle thought he was going too. Poor little man, he was so upset, he cried so much that tears ran down the outside of his Optimus Prime mask. We also realised at that point why he had got dressed up in the Transformer costume; it must have been especially for the party.

The Littlest Uncle holds the world record for maintaining screaming tantrums for impressively long periods, so I had to think on my feet...

I whisked him outside where he just couldn't resist a cuddle from the beautiful Mavis, one of his pet guinea pigs, and the Transformer was transformed.

And here is friday's hat, knit on saturday, and courteously modelled by a bottle of red (keeping it warm for later)

I expect there is more of this to look forward to over the coming week; more early mornings, more tears and tantrums, more cuddles, more late night knitting, and hopefully more wine!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The Gallery - Our Backyard

A post by Little Grandma, with a bit of help from the 3 Little Uncles

The theme over at Sticky Fingers this week is Our Backyard

Apart from being a jungle of weeds and a dumping ground for all things broken and mouldy; our backyard is:

A place to fight baddies
A snowy place
A sunny place
A football arena
A stage for rockstars
A bughunter's safari
A place to do handprinting, footprinting and bumprinting!
A place to climb the tallest trees and look out for aliens.....

and the list could go on for ever...

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

A Cute Little Pinafore

A post by Little Grandma

Ever since I started watching 'Pippi Longstocking', or 'Pippi Longstrump' as she's known in Sweden, I have wanted to make (or have!) a little cross-over pinafore like the one she wears. It's a lovely simple design that can be worn over leggings or jeans, and either with or without a top underneath. I ordered a pattern from etsy because I thought it was easier than boggling my own poor brain. This was delivered to me via email; it wasn't a paper pattern, and I don't have a printer, so I improvised by tracing it off my laptop screen, hoping I would get the sizing right.

Anyway, I made a reversible version (I like reversible clothing!). I used an Alexander Henry 'wren' print on one side and a cheerful yellow Micheal Miller print on the other side. Then Belle put it to the test...

My next job is to make a pair of matching bloomers, scrumptious!

Monday, 23 May 2011

The Joy of Teenage Daughter

A post by Little Grandma

Now that the dreaded GCSE's are upon us and Teenage Daughter only has to attend school for exams, she has a lot more time on her hands... she's been very busy revising watched the complete box set of Lord of the Rings, got up early to help me clean the house rolled out of bed at lunchtime, and her hair has changed colour a few times...

...any mum of a Teenage Daughter will know that when you find something like this on the kitchen worktop, it's best not to venture into the bathroom at all; not unless you want to be done for murder!

Anyway, this manure cocktail natural henna hair dye, which was so considerately mixed using my kitchen utensils, seems to be part of her 'natural and healthy phase', which is great; she's decided that she can't eat meat anymore, has to avoid dairy (interestingly this doesn't seem to include icecream), and excess amounts of pastry. Having four small children to prepare meals for, I always get a little nervous about how i'm going to fit this in with teenage eating fads and fancies. When I asked her what she would like for tea, she replied...pot noodle(!!!)...not one of the 'meat flavoured' varieties ofcourse

Saturday, 21 May 2011

My Fear of Sewing Machines...

The other day, I decided I should combat my fear of sewing machines (As I mentioned before, they seem to just die in my presence). So, I decided to make Elle a new buggy liner with a matching blanket... sounds pretty simple...

However, as soon as the first stitch went down, CLUNK... I'd already broken the sewing machine!

Still determined to make this liner, I drove to the nearest sewing machine repair shop which is miles away; and then when you get there, you have to park a good few streets away, from where I had to struggle with the machine and a baby IN THE RAIN!

When I got there, the sewing machine man kindly agreed to look at my 'broken' machine right there and then. Now, all he did was flip it open, fiddled for about 3 seconds and then claimed it was mended!

Anyway, that night I managed to make these! I was very surprised; the machine didn't even break once! (Touch wood).  

 Even Elle looks happy with it!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

The Gallery - Mustachioed

A post by Little Grandma

The theme over at Sticky Fingers is Mustachioed. I couldn't resist using this as an opportunity to share a picture of The Viking, our resident man about the house, who happens to be Swedish

Ok, maybe I am cheating a bit and the picture would be more appropriate to the theme 'wiggy' or 'Jesus Christ Superstar'; but he does have a moustache!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

A Swirly Girly party dress

A post by Little Grandma

I am relieved to say that I am very pleased with the final outcome of this dress. These past few days, I have been busy 'trying' to make dresses ready for a photo shoot next wednesday. Thursday morning, amidst total chaos, I wondered whether I could possibly achieve anything at all...other than a few snot smeared scraps and an unravelled hat...

 I was going through the usual morning stuff; wrestling Little Uncles into their underpants, wiping bums, trying to convince Teenage Daughter that revision for exams IS necessary etc...
 Anyway, eventually we were ready to leave the house. I loosely use the term 'ready' as I still looked like Jon Bon Jovi in the late 80's and hadn't brushed my teeth!
 However, just as I was standing in the doorway with Belle, she gagged on a fig roll. Ironically, I had given her the fig roll to keep her 'quiet' whilst I tried to locate two matching shoes for the Littlest Uncle. Nevermind, the gagging episode resulted in a fairly neat biscuit sized blob on the floor just near the front door, nowhere else, so I left it there to deal with later.... it wasn't until I was driving home that I thought about the postman...
Anyway, after the poor Littlest Uncle scraped his knee on the road next to the car, I set about dropping them off; Teenage Daughter at college, Littlest Uncle and Belle at preschool. I said goodbye to the little ones, feeling a tad guilty as 'the knee' was still bleeding, drove home, cleaned up 'the blob', and set to work on the dress

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

The Gallery- Chilled Out

A post by Little Grandma

The theme for this week over at Sticky Fingers is chilled out. What better way to chill out than to lie on a hammock wearing your muddy wellies? This picture of the Littlest Uncle and Middle Uncle (aka Action Man) was taken during last summer's Just so festival. The chillin' didn't last long, I hasten to add; before the camera was back in my bag they were back to their usual stunts and mischief...chasing baddies...killing giants...eating slugs...

Monday, 9 May 2011

Something to keep your trousers up...

A post by Little Grandma,

Fed up with the saggy nappy/builders bum look, and desperate for an excuse to use my cute pink owl ribbon, I decided it was time to make a belt or two. Apart from the ribbon, I used a couple of D-rings, 27" of 2" wide pink linen, and a strip of fusible interfacing for each belt. I'll post a tutorial one day...if anyone is interested...

Anyway, this was a relatively easy project; manageable even with two Little Uncles fighting 'baddies' under the larva spewing mountain table that I was trying to work on.

So there we have it, a couple of matching 'owl' belts for Elle and Belle, stylishly and cooperatively modelled by a teapot and a button jar