Saturday 9 November 2013

My Biggest, Fattest Round Up EVER

It just feels wrong not to log the events I missed over the last 6 months! Purely for the fact that my blog is my diary, 
you understand.

In no particular order, here's what also went on:
Our summers are usually centred around the table...this time it was centred around a mud kitchen! Cleggy built it out of an old bench as part of a project for a book, and added to it as the summer went on. 
rubbish photos, but you get the idea
 Our most frequent visitor little Mabel just loved playing in it, along with cousins Sonny, Luca, Daisy and Poppy. 
Literally hours of fun!

 We managed quite a few afternoons in the garden - even a sing song. I'm sure our neighbours love us!
 At the end of term we always have a treat to celebrate mark the end of the school year. This year it was a trip to Slatterys, a chocolatier (with restaurant) in North Manchester.
 Their wedding cakes are amazing (and I'm always flabbergasted at how much people pay for their cake!) but the main reason for our visit was that it was Alfie's turn to take the famous 'chocolate challenge'. It involves a HUGE slab of cake, 
a mountain of ice cream, and chocolate cups filled with cream and two flavours of warm liquid chocolate. All washed down with a jug of hot chocolate. If you eat it by yourself you get a medal and photo on the wall - the waiter said only 1 in 100 manages it!

  The other boys got hot chocolates...then waited like vultures to tuck in when Alfie (inevitably) failed!
Another summer tradition is to visit the home of Cuckoo. Even though her three boys are significantly younger than my three they seem to relish each other's company. Here's The Teen, always willing to help in the kitchen ('of course I'll peel a million potatoes for you'...not that I'm bitter) and wonderful home made brownies (WITH glitter) for Kenzie's 12th Birthday

Of course there were plenty of laughs. This was a scarf I had made which wasn't quite right. Once we had agreed it wasn't quite right we morphed it into a swimsuit, which I then modelled over my pj's. I'm eternally grateful that it was first thing in the morning for if some alcohol had passed my lips I fear this photo would be MUCH worse! (I appreciate it's still not great)
 Cuckoo also introduced us to a game called 'peg of shame' whereby for the whole weekend you had to try and peg someone else in the group without their knowledge. I ALMOST sent Toby to Taekwondo with a peg on his whites...alas not quite (that would have made my year!) I did both peg and photograph him here though...

all in the bath and STILL perfectly sober
I LOVE visiting you Cuckoo - it's always full of fun with your gorgeous family. Look forward to next year. 
Another summer tradition (we're full of them!) is chips and crochet in the park with Jane and her family. Basically the adults sit on blankets and catch up, the boys play in the park, we bring ready buttered baps (SO Northern!) 
and the older boys collect the chips to go in them.
This year we added cider, a welcome addition. 
That already seems so long ago my lovely friend - good job we've got the 'first snowball of Christmas' tradition to look forward to very soon!!
There has been a bit of tinkering in the house. 
The kitchen got some new bunting and a stool cover
The smaller boys room got a complete makeover. We covered a load of cheap canvases with favourite old T-shirts - Geordie was able to help with the making and they worked really well.
Sock creatures!
Our bedroom also got some new bunting
and I made some blocks using Cleggy's favourite 
Instagram photos of the summer
 Why so much bunting? well I sorted out my wool stash and realised I had more than your average wool shop - so promised myself I wouldn't buy any more until I'd used up a good deal of what I have. 
I'm getting there!
  Speaking of makes - there were plenty, some orders, some for us

  My favoutite make so far this year was a blanket for baby Orla (see last post) which was a huge challenge from a crochet skills point of view. Her Mum gave me a sample of the wallpaper for the planned nursery and 'suggested' a pattern she had seen on Pinterest
 Never one to turn down a challenge (!) I set to and am pleased to report it turned out nicely!
 It's a really clever pattern - because the owls are part of the square the reverse is equally as effective
(pattern here on Etsy)
 I made matching bunting too - 
not quite as bright as it looks in this photo!
Another favourite was some blocks I made but using 
somebody else's images.
I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Annie (knitosfacto) over the summer. We have long known that we live a mere hour or so from each other but finally took the plunge and made a bloggy blind date! 
It was such a lovely afternoon - both of us can blether (blather?) and could happily have sat there a couple of days, never mind a couple of hours! We drank gallons of coffee - and plan to do so again before too long.
Annie's writing is wonderful - but so are her images. I made her a set of blocks using my favourites from her blog - and of course they worked a treat!!
 Our 20th Wedding anniversary gift to each other was by a very clever maker called Jane Ryan who creates wooden 'toys' with moving parts. She is based in Cornwall and lots of her creations involve beautiful wooden boats and fish. 

For us I chose a bed of roses - with beating hearts.
 While she was making our piece she posted photos on FB as progress went on. It was fascinating to see the process (and peek into her workshop!) THANK YOU Jane - we both love our bed and you have represented us perfectly. I especially love the slightly quizzical look on Cleggys face - it looks like his 'what the heck are you talking about?!' face!
Visit Jane's wonderful Etsy shop HERE
  I also did a timely swap with Victoria (Tangled Sweetpea) for these beautiful spoons.
  In the olden days when we could eat what we want Cleggy and I used to get a sharp knife and half a pot of Hagen Dass down the middle (class!). 
We called it '2 spoons'!
I love them.
Visit Victoria's Etsy shop HERE
I also received some makes - this surprise one from someone who works with Cleggy - a simple idea executed beautifully.
Thank you Becky - it looks lovely in our dining room! I really appreciated your kindness.
 And these beads from Alison 
(who also has a great teaching blog here
as part of another creative swap! 
Thank you Alison - they are so this seasons colours!
The Granny (my Mum) has also had an eventful summer. Along with her good friend Sue they decided to ramp up their regular jaunts and take on a proper pilgrimage. After lots of practising (which appeared to involve walking to a country pub, having a Guinness then walking back) they popped over to Northern Spain and completed over 100 miles of 'El Camino de Santiago' or 'The Way of St James'.
They raised lots of money for their church - 
and blogged about it too (here)
Keep up the blogging too!
We seem to have gained a cat.

No one seems to know who she belongs to but The Granny (and neighbours) have started feeding her so I guess she'll stay. She doesn't come inside yet but is getting bolder by the day!
Here she is on the windowsill outside, 
obsessed with the pompom flowers!
 I have fallen in love with these beauties from the little red door. I've had them on my radar for AGES just waiting for an excuse to buy one. Then I saw them again on Jooles post here and purchased one for Great Granny - who had it by her bedside in the hospice.
 I enjoyed the receiving of the parcel so much I went back for more!! Unfortunately I can't be keeping them all but I have plans for them....
And I THINK that's it.
We have had a BIG family weekend away recently along the theme of Calamity Jane...that deserves a post of it's own, 
until then,
fee x


  1. Wowie, you have been super busy!!! Love them all and especially your 'bletherings'! ;-)

  2. As always your posts are so good, its like reading a novel (!!), you just can't stop. Wonderful creative family who obviously have oodles of fun, you are lucky indeed. As for the Chocolate Challenge, can I just say now 'I would do this no problem'. I would be sick, but I would do this! Much love xxx

  3. Sending s squeezy hug for your loveliness, we should do a christmas swap for I am indeed under duvet with christmas pudding on hook whilst teen on Xbox - chapter 5, book of good parenting! Am on brink of Instagram account- so tempting- Paul says if he even sees a onesie in this house I can pack a bag :) xxx

  4. Super a good round up...fave has to be that mud kitchen any man who can invent one of those has to be worth 20 years of your life!! well done to both of you....hope it continues as a bed of to visit a few of your lovely links now!!
    bestest as ever daisy j xxxx

  5. Such a lovely catch up Fee, I really enjoyed reading everything. Thanks for all the fab links I will take a peep. I just love the owl blanket you made it really is just awesome.. Our grandbaby was due yesterday and we are playing a waiting game here...I can't wait. Take care and enjoy the build up to the wonderful upcoming festive season. Jane x

  6. Phew.....that was good!
    Loved your post Fee..I know things haven't been too good of late but it was lovely to catch up with all your fun times!
    V xxx

  7. I have so enjoyed reading your catch up post. You posts are always so cheerful and jolly, food for my soul.
    Anne xx

  8. Fabulous post, thoroughly enjoyed reading it with my first cup of tea of the morning! Sarah xo

  9. what a wonderful start to my Monday morning having read all that! you have done loads and sound so jolly! I feel I can take on this gloomy ok day now? absolutely love your makes! your owl crochet blanket is superb!!!!

  10. Wow, that's one big fat round-up! Fab to read. You've had a super summer. Isn't it lovely to see it all laid before you to remember. It reminds me what it is to love about having a blog!

    Have a super week my lovely


  11. And WHAT a wonderful round-up it was! I smiled all the way through it! :-)

  12. your blog is so lovely! what a joy to read :) thank you so much for the kind mention :) xo

  13. Wow you have been a busy bee! Loved reading this bloggy post and could see my little blocks there which I love so much - thanks for them. I will have to steal that photo I think and add it to my fb page to add to my 'buys' page so I can point people in your direction - that is if you want to make more and more blocks :-) ? x

  14. Hello Fee
    This is the first time I've popped in and I have really enjoyed having a good look at all your lovely posts. How beautiful are your blocks !!!!! What a very clever bean you are, I also am completely in love with your glass jars. You have a new follower x
    Kate x
    Kate x

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Thanks for stopping by.
I LOVE reading your comments!
fee x