Friday, 25 April 2014

Back and ready to share some holiday goss...

Helloooo my lovelies, we are finally home after a glorious few weeks away. I hope you all enjoyed a bountiful Easter in the company of loved ones. We arrived home late Tuesday and to be honest this week has been a little surreal. It seems that a big part of my heart is still in South Africa, but I am equally embracing the comforts of our own home and spending time with our creatures whom are beyond happy that we are home. Today I just wanted to quickly share our pit stop in Amsterdam on our way to South Africa.

We didn't have a great deal of time, but we hoped to at least manage a visit to the house of Anne Frank and the Rijksmuseum. Sadly the cue to get into Ann Frank's house was beyond anything we could have endured with two small children and as it turned out the Rijksmuseum closed too early for a proper visit, hey ho, it certainly didn't stop us from enjoying our afternoon in Amsterdam.

We enjoyed a lovely trip along the canal and when we finally got off at the Rijksmuseum, the kids ran straight through to the park at the back of the museum and that is where we spent our last hour of the afternoon. It took the kids no time at all to get themselves pretty wet and the water fun didn't stop there! They also found this amazing fountain where they could dance in the middle without getting a great deal wetter and the most fun was had trying to synchronise their running with the water, lets just say there were quite a few excited screams. It certainly provided good entertainment for everyone around.


I could have spent hours in this pretty park, which seemed like the perfect place to soak up the ambiance whilst enjoying a good book, and maybe even a glass of bubbly, now one can but dream. Our brief visit to Amsterdam seemed like the perfect way to begin our holiday and definitely made the journey a little more tolerable.


I have spent the last couple of days starting to work through our jungle of a garden, I honestly couldn't believe how much things have grown in the time we were away. We also celebrated little Es's fifth birthday yesterday and I still have to pinch myself that my baby has turned five, where has the time gone???!! It really only feels like yesterday when I held her small body in my arms and looked at her beautiful face with complete love and adoration and how that love has grown, wow!
This of course means a birthday party to prepare for next Saturday. Now any of my friends will tell you that I am a girl who likes a good kiddies party and if I am honest I generally tend to get a little carried away with the whole affair, but hey who says we can't! I am however usually soooo organised by this point, but this year it seems that my more laid back approach and my 'no-lists' motto might be landing me in a pot of hot boiling water, or not, time will tell. Not that I am too bothered about it seems as I spent a few hours this morning cutting fabric (not for the party I will add), which is pretty constructive right?!
It seems I have hundreds of photos to work through from our holiday in SA and I promise to share a few posts about our trip. In the meantime though, I need to make a start on this mandala for the Monthly Mand-a-long project, for any of you who missed this post you can catch up here and for all of you lovely people who already joined in THANK YOU!!! you are amazing and I look forward to spending some time over the next week visiting all your blogs and catching up on these gorgeous mandala's you have created!
For now though
I have piles of washing awaiting a hot iron, parcels to post, letters to write, emails to deal with, not to mention blogs to read. I suspect that I will struggle to catch up with all your news from the last three+ weeks, but I promise to do my best to at least get to the most recent ones.
Wishing you all a fabulous weekend, lets hope this rain goes away for us folk here in the UK.
Warm Wishes

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Mothering Sunday

I just quickly wanted to drop in to share a few of my Mothers Day moments with you and also share my lovely little blog swap that I did with the gorgeous Penny behind L is for love.

Jo from Three Stories High organised a lovely little handmade Brooch swap and I was fortunate to be paired up with the very lovely Penny from L is for Love. She sent me two very beautiful brooches and a very beautiful beach pebble that she covered in a crochet jersey and then for a little love she also included a gorgeous little lavender bag, thank you Penny, I really love my gifts and I have my brooches pinned on my jacket that I am wearing in SA.

I am really not a brooch maker, but I quite enjoyed making Penny's brooches for her. So this is what I sent her, a little embroidered brooch and a lace and crochet brooch. Thanks Jo for organising.
So now on to Mothering Sunday, I didn't have the best starts to my day as it seems that my health has crashed again and some days this just seems a little too much if I am honest, but nothing that two small kids jumping on the bed can't put into perspective. It is times like this when you realise just what really matters and even though I would like good health, all that matters at the end of the day are the people around me and the love we share. It was so lovely to be pounced upon by two small creatures baring gifts and gorgeous cards and I was so very touched by the beautiful poem that little J wrote for me and the fact that little E couldn't just give Mummy one card, no it had to be three, all 'because mummy is special', oh how blessed I am to have two such perfect and beautiful children.

A poem for Mum
Gifts for my Mum
I will give you
a beautiful rose that smells
of love
a bowful of cheesy yummy lasagne
a stirring cheetah on the African planes
hearing the ocean splashing around
in a hermit shell
and a cuddly hug from me
What a gorgeous poem and it is clear that this six year old already has some insight into reverse psychology as he attempted to order his favourite food, lasagne! It sure made me giggle.
I was so spoilt with a gorgeous plate that I have wanted for quite a while. I spotted this on Etsy quite a while back and just thought that it was the perfect Mothers day gift and fortunately for me hubby was quick to act. I am not normally a Wedgwood fan, but this gorgeous plate has my birth year on so I just felt really drawn to it the minute I saw it. Now that I have it, I am really beyond delighted with it. I also received a beautiful dress that I can't wait to put to good use during our holidays.


Dad and little J baked me a vegan and gluten free chocolate cake, which was beyond delicious and I am not sure who loved it more the kids or me. They would have eaten the entire cake if they were allowed and what is great about this cake is that it is also free from refined sugar. Definitely worth a try.

Fresh bread was baked by the darling other half, the picnic basket was packed

the most idyllic spot by the brook secured (not that we had anyone else to compete with)


and lots of fun was had by all. The kids just ran around for hours on end laughing and having fun. They enjoyed endless downhill races where the fall at the bottom seemed the biggest hit (pardon the pun). They crossed streams not always too successfully and little E got absolutely sopping wet, but fortunately for Mamma this called for lovely cuddles under the picnic blanket. It was a perfect Mothers Day, I couldn't have asked for anything more. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband and two such gorgeous and funny children, thank you for making my day so special.
I hope you all enjoyed your Mothers Day in the UK, I know that my Mum and those in Oz & NZ and America will be celebrating it in May, so we look forward to sharing it with you then.
Warm Wishes

Monthly Mand-a-long - A Project

Hello my lovelies. I have something exciting to share with you today, no April fools pranks I am afraid. All my recent Mandala making has got me thinking that I would quite enjoy trying out a few other Mandala patterns and it suddenly occurred to me that a Monthly Mandala project might just be the thing to do. Anyone fancy joining in??

So the plan is to report in on the first day of the month with your newly made Mandala simply by adding your link to the link-up below my post. For anyone interested in grabbing my button, you can simply add it to your blog just by adding the text below my link on the right hand side of my blog. As for patterns, I will be sharing a few patterns here that I will be working on from time to time, so you can either join along with these or you can use your own pattern, the choice is entirely yours.

To kickstart it this month, I have yet again followed the gorgeous pattern by Wink that was published in the Simply Crochet Issue 7. In fact I have now officially made around ten of these mandalas and NO I am still not bored of this pattern. Each and everyone has turned out differently and that is what I so love about the concept of the Mandala, colour and mood plays such a pivotal role here. For those of you who want to learn a little more about Mandala's you can read this post I wrote a few weeks ago. Now don't worry, I know that none of you would be prepared for this months 'Monthly Mandala', if you like you can join in next month, or else you can add yours at any time this month.

My aim for this project is to try and make twelve mandalas, so yes I am going to run this project for twelve months, by far my longest crochet project yet, but I am actually quite excited about it. I love having these mandalas scattered around the house and in the garden and what I really like about this project is the fact that it might just, dare I say it, have me a little more prepared for Christmas! Yes, I can't quite believe that I have just uttered the Christmas word, but it seems that this gal has already got her Christmas-gifts thinking cap on. Last year I made a few of these for presents and they were a BIG hit amongst some friends, so I figured a few more might just be in order, so I am starting now. No time like the present and all that.

So on to the next month's Mandala project, yes you've guessed it, it's another Wink project, I mean this girl has oodles of talent and especially when it comes to making Mandalas. I have chosen this tutorial that I found on ravelry largely because it just looks like a fun project to work, so if anyone fancies joining in, lets get started. We can show and tell both here and on ravelry and get some colour inspiration for the next month.

Now when I typed this blog post up on Friday last week, I was completely unaware that the very lovely Chrissie and Mrs Daisy had been plotting and writing up a very similar post, dare I say great minds think alike! Fortunately it seems that their little project is a one off and will only be lasting for a week or so, so I figured I would go ahead and stick with my original plan and get the idea rolling so to speak. So if anyone fancies continuing in their mandala mode, then do pop over here once you have made the gorgeous Wink mandala on  Chrissie's blog to come and try another one of Wink's patterns over here. This lovely lady is happy for us to hook away and she is also happy for us to use a couple of her other patterns, thank you Wink!

 Now you don't have to commit to the entire twelve months, you can simply join in as and when you feel up to the challenge or in the mood to make a mandala. The beauty of the Mandala is that it works up so very quickly, so it is all in an evening or two's work and should hopefully not interfere with all our other crafty plans.

So that's it my dearies for now anyway, I am very soon jetting off, in fact only one more sleepy, and who knows by some minor miracle I might just have one more blog post to share with you, but don't hold your breath.

For now though totsiens!

Warm Wishes