Monday 31 October 2011

Blogtoberfest ~ It’s a Wrap!

I can’t believe it’s the 31st of October already. More than that, I can’t believe that I have managed to post every single day this month. Hooray!

It’s been a strange evening here. We usually go out to an event in a local town for Halloween, so we’ve never been at home to receive Trick or Treaters, since moving here nearly four years ago. I got in a supply of sweets and turned some lollies into spiders, like the ones I shared on Friday. Although mine had eight legs!

By five o’clock, it was completely dark and we waited for the door bell to start ringing, but it didn’t. At half past six we drove across town for fish and chips (to soften the back to school blow) and saw throngs of costumed children up and down the pavements, but not a single one of them came our way.

I was a bit disappointed, but strangely the children were not. Could it be the thought, that the rather large bucket of treats is now theirs for the taking?

I couldn’t find the photo I wanted to share, of my children about to go Trick or Treating for the very first time, so this one will have to do.


It’s still a first. Me dressing up for Halloween, at the grand old age of twenty. I’m second from the left, in case you don’t recognise me with that green face!

I know not all my readers are fans of Halloween, but I hope you all had the kind of evening you wanted. Whether that was a constant stream of Trick or Treaters at the door, out and about with your own little spooks, or just cosy at home, with the curtains drawn against the dark night.

Sunday 30 October 2011

It’s all in the Numbers….

….if only I knew what they all meant!

I installed Google Analytics a few months ago, but haven’t really looked at it in much depth. When you first log in, there’s a number which appears in either red or green, with an up or down arrow. During this last week it has been green and gone up each day. Today it has reached 91.62% and I’m assuming this is a good thing.

Apparently if your bounce rate is over 35% this is a cause for concern. Yesterday mine was 76.6% so this must be a very bad thing!

My blog has been visited 983 times so far this month, the lowest number of visits being 19 on the 1st of October and the highest being 57 yesterday. I would have assumed that the days with higher traffic would be those when I have taken part in memes, such as Julia’s WOYWW and Shimelle’s 10 on the 10th, but this isn’t always the case.

Another thing I have noticed is that the number of visits bears no relation whatsoever to the number of comments, which makes it difficult to judge which kinds of posts are most popular. On one particular day I was visited 30 times, but that day’s post received only one comment. Another post had 26 visits, but 16 comments.

All in all I find those numbers quite fascinating, but at the same time utterly bamboozling. Please tell me I am not alone.

ETA I created a Wordle for this post, but cannot get it to appear. So much to learn!

Saturday 29 October 2011

My Place And Yours ~ Where I Sleep

After a day of waiting around at the hospital on Wednesday, my littlest one was ready for a nap. The sun streaming in the windows, had warmed the lounge while we were out and the sofa seemed like a good place to snuggle up.


This post was brought to you as part of Vic’s My Place and Yours. For other sleeping places you can head on over to Punky & Me to check them out.

Don't forget the clocks go back tonight, so we all get an extra hour of snuggling.

Friday 28 October 2011

Five Things I’m Loving This Friday ~ Trick or Treat

Halloween is almost upon us now, so here are a few ideas for last minute costumes and goodies to hand out to trick or treaters, or party guests.

A no sew witch costume, among other ideas at Fiskars.

Gingerbread skeletons from Disney Family Fun.

Spider lollies (although they appear to be missing two legs) from OhDeeDoh.

Converting a t-shirt into a bat costume at alphamom, complete with printable mask.

If you don’t want to dress up, try a Halloween manicure instead!

Thursday 27 October 2011

Star Toast

It’s been miserable and wet here and after the running around of yesterday, we thought a lazy day at home was in order. Eggy bread seemed like a good idea for lunch. Warm and comforting.


I don’t remember it being a part of my own childhood. I think I was first introduced to it, when I lived in halls of residence. One of my friends would make it for us, when we got home, after a night in the SU bar. I’ve made it for my children since they were very small, making the bread into all sorts of different shapes over the years. From hearts and flowers to trucks and Thomas the Tank Engine.

I’ve heard it called lots of different names, but my favourite, is the one coined by my best friend from those college days. Her son had a strong aversion to eggs and wouldn’t eat anything that he thought might contain the offending articles. She cut the bread with a cookie cutter, named it star toast and he happily tucked in.

What do you call it?

Wednesday 26 October 2011

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday? #125

Another dismal looking photo, but due to the late hour and poor light. I can’t blame those meddling kids this week!


No crafting happening so far this week, what with it being half term and all. A stressful day all round, as hospital visits were on the agenda. Thankfully all is well, so we can breathe easy for another year.

My Counterfeit Kit takes centre stage and I’m looking forward to playing with that next week. The new Mollie Makes, which was a nice surprise on the doormat when we got home. I’ve had a quick flick through and noticed that Shimelle is putting in an appearance this month. I’ll be enjoying her article with a coffee later.

The usual pile of leftovers and some of you may recognise the cheery envelope, under the coloured pens, if you are taking part in Mel’s fun ‘Facebook’ swap. Lastly a couple of chipboard reindeer, waiting to be decorated for another swap.

That’s it from me for this week. Pop on over to Julia’s, to see what everyone else is up to.

Tuesday 25 October 2011


I’m a bit very late to the party, but after seeing Clair’s lovely kit on her blog, I thought I’d have a go too. There is a main kit and a Halloween kit this month and after a quick look through my papers, I decided to go with the Halloween version.


I started with the sheet of journaling blocks from Pink Paislee and added a selection of Rusty Pickle, from three different collections, Paper Salon, American Crafts and Teresa Collins papers. I found some matching ribbon and trims and a die cut cat. I’m a bit light on the embellishment front, so will have to get busy making a few.

Apologies for the poor photo, it’s been so dark here today.

Monday 24 October 2011

52 Weeks of {Happy} Mail ~ Week 3

I completely forgot to take a photo of the mail I sent last week. Oops! I remembered this week though, so here it is.


The Facebook page is here if you want to find out more about 52 Weeks of Mail.

Sunday 23 October 2011

{Sunday Snippets}

Soft white finger rolls….


….ketchup and mustard….


….fried onions….


….and sizzling sausages.


Hot dogs for tea.

ETA This post was intended to be part of Sunday Snippets, but sadly there isn’t one this week. Get well soon Cathy xx

Saturday 22 October 2011

Not a Lancashire hotpot

Here is my very simple version of a hotpot, there is nothing traditional about it. I tend to work with what I’ve got and throw it all in, so I’ve estimated quantities as best I can. It’s a great way to use up any leftovers from your Sunday (or Tuesday) roast.

300~400g of leftover roast pork

4 large carrots

1 large onion

olive oil

1 tbsp plain flour

300ml vegetable stock

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp Worcester sauce

3 medium potatoes

Cut the pork and carrots into bite size chunks.

Chop the onion and fry gently in olive oil until softened.

Stir in 1 tbsp of flour and cook for 1~2 mins.

Add the pork and mix well.

Gradually add the stock, stirring as you go.

Mix in a tbsp each of tomato puree and Worcester sauce.

Add the carrots, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins.

Meanwhile slice the potatoes and place in a saucepan.

Pour boiling water over them and simmer for 5 minutes.

Put the pork mixture in a casserole dish.

Drain the potatoes and arrange on top.

Bake in the oven at 180 C or Gas Mark 4 for 1 1/2 hours.


You could add any other veg you fancy, along with the carrots and maybe swap the potatoes for sweet potatoes as the topping.

Sorry there is no photo, my camera battery died and there was no way the hungry hordes were going to wait while it charged! 

Any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. Writing recipes is not my forte and I may have left something crucial out.

Friday 21 October 2011

Five Things I’m Loving This Friday ~ Halloween

My children break up for half term today and maybe yours do too? Here are a few ideas for Halloween projects, to keep them busy during next week.

Some simple Shadow Makers from Minieco

A Shadow Theatre, from a cereal box and a sheet of tracing paper, to go with them.

Turn 12” strips of coloured paper into mini pumpkins.

Make ghosts from plastic milk bottles and fairy lights.

A sheet of finger puppets to print and cut out.

I hope you find something useful amongst those projects. Have a lovely weekend.

Thursday 20 October 2011

Rainbow Pages

I want to make some little notebooks like the one in the picture below.

I have it pinned to one of my boards on Pinterest, but for some reason it no longer links to the website with the original post. I’ve got a rough idea of how to make them, but some instructions would certainly come in handy.

I thought I knew just the place to look and sure enough, Lizzie didn’t let me down. She has a lovely detailed tutorial, that is clear and easy to follow. I’ve cut my pages, which is what could be seen on my desk yesterday, now I just need to assemble them. I’ll let you know how I get on.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my usual Friday Five, more Halloween ideas this week.

Wednesday 19 October 2011

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday #124

One of my meddling very helpful children seems to have changed a few of my camera settings, resulting in this pretty awful fabulous desk shot today.


I think I will be digging out the manual tomorrow.

Lots of rainbow coloured paper being trimmed to size, for a little project I have on the go. More about that tomorrow. An article on how to successfully grow chillies. I need all the help I can get, after my epic failure this year. My huge plant yielded me one rather sad little green chilli, after I tended it lovingly all summer. Otherwise the same piles of miscellaneous items left over from other projects.

Next stop Julia’s to see what everyone else has to show you.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

The Lady of Shalott

Last week I shared my entry for Collage in Bloom, part of a circle journal which is almost completed now. The first journal I received was My Favourite Poem and I chose Tennyson’s beautiful ballad.


And sometimes through the mirror blue

The knights come riding two and two:

She hath no loyal knight and true

The Lady of Shalott.


As often through the purple night,

Below the starry clusters bright,

Some bearded meteor, trailing light,

Moves over still Shalott.

Monday 17 October 2011

Wouldn’t it be nice….

…if they had used the original version of this song!

I still love the ad though and keep an eye out for the clouds, if you’re visiting, Alexa.

Sunday 16 October 2011

It was seven years ago today

Well not exactly, but these are a couple of shots from a Sunday in October 2004.



They were taken at Barrington Court, near Ilminster in Somerset. We had a great day kicking up the leaves and taking part in a fun Autumn trail and quiz.

Saturday 15 October 2011

Not Just a Pretty Face

Isn’t he handsome? I’ve seen a lot of pumpkins, during my travels round the blogosphere, over the last few days, but this one really made me smile.

As promised, here are some links to more traditional pumpkin carving ideas.

Pumpkin Masters

Spook Master

Celebrating Halloween

Better Homes and Gardens

Friday 14 October 2011

Five Things I’m Loving This Friday ~ Pumpkins

While browsing the internet for pumpkin carving inspiration, I came across quite a few alternative ideas, that don’t involve carving at all.


…..and Lacy Fabric both from Better Homes and Gardens.

Simply stylish from Twig and Thistle

Spray Paint and Stencils from

and finally, how about this for bling, from Madigan Made

I don’t think I would have the patience to entirely cover a pumpkin in drawing pins or thumb tacks, but I love the effect. Maybe a very small pumpkin.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a more conventional take on pumpkin decorating.

Thursday 13 October 2011

Loves Me….Loves Me Not….

This is my entry in Lou’s ‘Collage in Bloom’ Circle Journal.


I stamped the individual petals onto lilac paper with purple ink, added punched hearts to make the flower centre and a final layer of small stamped hearts on top.

I hope she likes it.

Wednesday 12 October 2011

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday? #123

It’s dark and dreary here today. I was holding the curtain out of the way with one hand, as I took this desk shot, to try and get every last ray of light through the window!


You can see the same pile of leftovers from last week, with a few new additions. The latest issue of Making, which gets better and better every month. A set of tea towels, that I bought to make some aprons. I couldn’t find the weight of fabric, in the type of designs I wanted, without having to pay silly money, so I hit on these as a solution. We’ll see how it goes.

I’m off to Julia’s for a nose around a few more crafty desks. How about you?

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Wherever You Will Go

My daughter is a huge fan of the manga/anime style of drawing and we were both completely captivated by this advert, when we saw it for the first time at the weekend.

Did you guess what it was advertising, before you got to the end? We didn't!

Monday 10 October 2011

10 Favourite Snaps from 2010

Exactly what it says on the tin, because I didn't have a blog back then.

Looking at pictures of yourselves as babies


Making Easter cards


Amusing yourself….a rare occurrence


Birthday girl


Birthday boy


Figuring it out together


Enjoying the view


Flying like the wind


Going it your own way


Back to school


This set was brought to you as part of Shimelle’s 10 things on the 10th.

Sunday 9 October 2011

52 Weeks of {Happy} Mail ~ Starts Today!

The event starts today and this is the envelope I’ve masked, inked and stamped, ready to contain my first piece of happy mail.


A few people have said they like the idea, but couldn’t commit to sending something weekly, which is fair enough. I think it would still be nice to do, even if only on a monthly basis. There’s no need to go to the effort of decorating an envelope, like I have for this week, anything handwritten is acceptable and it doesn’t need to be a handmade card. To me, ‘Happy Mail’ is anything sent with love by a friend.

The Facebook page has reached over 1000 ‘Likes’ now, but there’s still time to add your name.

I’ll be sharing what I’m sending, every week throughout Blogtoberfest, on a Sunday or Monday. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone else will be mailing out. If you’re joining in, I’d love to hear from you.

Saturday 8 October 2011

Make & Sew

If you are a fan of Cath Kidston, then you might be interested in these two 52 page booklets free with the Telegraph this weekend.

Part One is with today’s paper (Saturday) and then Part Two tomorrow.

I’ve got Sew! and it’s a lovely book, although the instructions are a little sparse sometimes, if you’re new to sewing. The 40 projects, of varying difficulty, include several different bags, cushions, aprons, tablecloth and napkins, quilts and lots of gift ideas. There is a full size pattern sheet with all the projects on it. Everything you need (except a reel of thread) to make the bag pictured on the front cover, is also included with the book, making it great value.

I wasn’t so impressed with Make! After a flick through I decided it wasn’t for me. There are 48 projects, which mostly involve decorating ready made items with applique and embroidery. 16 templates are included and the cotton tote bag shown on the cover, in its plain state, ready to pretty up.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more on the 52 Weeks of Mail event.