20 March 2012

Lucky Me ...

Have you come across Fee's wooden blocks yet?  Oh my, they're completely charming.  A little while ago, I ordered a block from her NOTHS shop for a friend's new baby and was absolutely delighted with it (and truth be known a little reluctant to give it away which was silly since it was personalised with baby's details!).

Imagine how thrilled I was when I won my choice of a yellow block with the word 'sunshine' on it in Knitsofacto's recent giveaway.

I so love it!  And the spooky thing?  Pretty much since it arrived, the sun HAS been shining!

Look, she's even personalised it for me ...

Thank you so much Fee and Annie.

I'm obviously on a bit of a roll because I also won Country Rose's giveaway.  I know!  I had to pinch myself.  Just look at this little lot ...

They were an absolute joy to unwrap.

I shall sew the buttons onto a plain yellow cardigan I have ...

... the little floral pouch is now housing embroidery silks while I dabble a little with cross stitch (Ashley, did you make it yourself?) ...

I've worn the crocheted flower on numerous occasions ...

and the little strawberry cruet set is sitting oh-so-proudly on my kitchen table.

I know everybody always says the same but, seriously, I never win things.

Before I go ... D has been invited to a corporate golf weekend in Portugal in a fortnight.  Having not that long returned from a boys' skiing trip, he was a little sheepish when he mentioned it.  "Would you mind?" he asked.  Girls, you would have been proud of me.  "No, I suppose not ..." I said "but a new Cath Kidston duvet cover would make me feel a little bit better" ...

... *sigh*.

Right, just off to pick some lottery numbers ...


7 March 2012

Art Class

So I've just given the downstairs floors a good going-over with a cinnamon-fragranced disinfectant and the house smells like Christmas.  It's heady and horrid but I'd run out of the normal stuff.

It's proper 'curly hair' weather today - moist and very windy (no jokes please!) - and not conducive to going out so I've escaped upstairs to my craft room for, what I consider, a well-deserved fiddle with my paints.

It's art class again tonight.  Do you remember me mentioning it here?  Well, I went every week for a term and then signed up for another.

It's quite hard motivating myself to turn out in the dark, particularly if the weather is grotty, but I thoroughly enjoy it when I'm actually there.  Of course, my motivation would be far worse if it weren't for the fact that I go with my friend Peter.

We're currently a class of about twelve and there is a reasonable range of ability.

To be honest, I don't feel that 'my skills' have improved at all.  I seem to have a pad full of wishy-washy quickies.  I've certainly not produced 'a finished painting' but I must admit that my technical knowledge is definitely better.

We've covered colour, tone, positive and negative spaces and composition (loved that).  I've used masking fluid for the first time (which I really enjoyed) and charcoal (which I didn't) ...

We seem to have done a lot of work from pictures which I'm not so keen on and the occasional still life, which I much prefer.

We've touched on landscapes using 'layers' (never done that before either!) ...

So, as I say, I've definitely been dithering around outside my comfort zone, trying things I never have.  That's probably why my confidence in my own ability is a bit trembly at the moment.  I'm wondering if I preferred it when I just sat down and painted what I wanted?  No thoughts of the technicalities, simply letting my instinct take over.  It's not just me, Peter's been feeling the same.

I've been a bit frustrated about not being able to get my teeth into anything.  By the time we stop faffing and Sam (the tutor) has done her demonstration, and we actually get our pencils or paints out, there isn't much more than an hour of the lesson left.

For the next couple of weeks, however, Sam is re-covering some of the subjects from last term for the newbies so a few of us are able to embark on our own projects.

My original thoughts of painting a portrait have been shelved for now.  I don't think I'm good enough yet.  Twee or not, I think I've decided to concentrate on painting flowers in watercolours.


So, I've had a bit of a play and tonight I'll be taking a jam jar of blooms.  (Greengate jug will stay safely at home, don't worry!!!)

Look Cathy, your candlesticks!
Look Ashley, your salt and pepper pots!!

I'll let you know how I get on!

Ooh, is that a bit of blue sky I can see?


PS.  Thank you SOOO much for your wonderfully supportive comments about the grumpy school mum.  She did get in touch with me again to say that she didn't want to fall out with me and that, yes, we should let the girls sort it out themselves.  Which, of course, they did!

4 March 2012

Photo Scavenger Hunt - February 2012

Better a little late than never, I have finally completed my Scavenger Hunt photos for February.  I must admit I did struggle a bit this month so one or two maybe a little tenuous!

5 inches!

(Couldn't resist including this photo - Bertie is SO not supposed to be on the sofa!)

The Champs Elysees.

TENUOUS ALERT ... Bellini's Madonna And Child featuring three cherubs.  The very nearest to Cupid I could get I'm afraid!!  I took this photo at The Louvre in December.

Our local park last Wednesday ... TENUOUS ALERT ... which also happened to be 29th February of this Leap Year!

The 'leaping' part of Leap Year!!  My son looking like Billy Elliot!

Fried egg on toast - yum!

Corfe Castle in Dorset.

Another view from our lounge window.  The sun was sinking in the sky and it's glow was catching the edges of the heavy clouds - stunning!

Gorgeous card!

My son's keyboard.

One of the treasured trains my son inherited from my late Father In Law, his grandfather.

Roll on March ...


1 March 2012

Missing Page In The Parenting Handbook?


Me : Me
Blondie Daughter : Blondie Daughter
Rose : Blondie Daughter's Best Friend
Rose's Mum : Blondie Daughter's Best Friend's Mum
Buttercup : Blondie Daughter's Friend Who Came To Tea Today


Rose's little brother was poorly Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week so Me has been picking Rose up from school and taking her home each night.

Rose's Mum sent home a pretty pansy for Me by way of thanks.

Tonight, Blondie Daughter had Buttercup around for tea.


Me :  Aah, thanks for the lovely little pansy - very sweet of you, you minx! x

Rose's Mum : You're very welcome. Don't want to bother u because I know u have Buttercup round, but Rose has come home very upset today because she said Blondie Daughter has been telling her she's not her friend and ignoring her and she is confused why. xx

Me : I've had a chat with Blondie Daughter and she was very surprised that Rose was upset. Her words were "why would I say that to my best friend?" I wonder if Blondie Daughter and Buttercup were excited about this eve and Rose felt a little left out? Please assure her that, as far as Blondie Daughter is concerned, she is her BFF (best friend forever)!!  Hope helps. x

Rose's Mum : Rose isn't jealous at all, she has a very full life and lots of other friends.  She just isn't a nasty girl and doesn't understand why people turn on her for no reason.  Oh well we all believe our own don't we. xx

... stunned silence ...

Me : Gosh, Rose's Mum, I'm very shocked and saddened by the tone of your response.  May I suggest we let the girls sort it out themselves?


Blondie Daughter is in bits.  She is worried that Rose's Mum is going to shout at her in the playground tomorrow and she has no idea what she has done wrong.  I have assured her that won't happen.  Between you and me, if Rose's Mum so much as raises her eyebrows at my daughter, she'll rue the bloody day.

My daughter isn't perfect but I know when she is telling me the truth.

Am I missing something here?  It seems to me that the chips on the shoulders of the parents are weighing heavy on the children.

And I thought, at 40 years old, my playground days were well behind me ...