Friday 23 August 2013

Southbank Village Fair - Online Craft Tutorials

A few weeks ago I got an email that made my day from Davina Drummond. I've been following Davina on instagram for a while (you know - to the point where I feel like I kind of know her already... confirming my suspicions that instagram is actually turning me into a stalker).

She asked me if I'd like to contribute to a craft stall that she is curating as part of the Village Fair at the Southbank Centre which is happening this weekend (24th and 25th August).

Of course I said yes, even though I actually hardly ever do tutorials as such here on the blog and I'm actually going to be away this weekend and I was in the midst of school summer holidays chaos with not a moment to myself. But you know, I'm glad I did because as is often the case with me a bit of a deadline kicks me into actually doing something where I could very easily have just made a cup of tea and purused the wonders of other peoples blogs instead.

I've made a very simple tutorial to make a book - which can be found here.
And below is the rest of the Village Fair Virtual Stall - with all of the tutorials that people have made - please have a look and maybe enjoy making something new this weekend? Or if you're in London go along and take a look at what is going on (and please instagram it so I don't feel like I'm totally missing out).

1. DIY Plastic Taxidermy by Pointless Pretty Things

2. DIY Dip dyed Shoes by Trends with Benefits

3. DIY Rubber Stamp Printed Handkerchief by Davina Drummond at The Making Home

4. Crochet pin cushion by Crafting Fingers

5. Woven ribbon lavender by Tales From Mountpleasant

6. Flower Fabric Badges by The New Craft Society

7. Felt Streamers by This is Wiss

8. Little Paper Book by Me (!)

9. Teacup Embroidery by Ailie Williams

10. Booboxes by Emily Quinton at the Start Up Wife

11. DIY Curve Bead Cord Bracelet by Claireabellemakes

12. Bunting Notebook by Papermash

Find out about everything that is going on here.

Enjoy the bank holiday weekend - I love the August bank holiday; but it always feels a little bitter sweet as it marks the beginning of the end of summer. It's been a good one; I'll be sad when it's over.

Sunday 18 August 2013

Welsh Escape (part 3) Show Time

The timing of our visit to Wales was partly dictated by the Llanffylin Annual Show.
My sister really wanted us to go up and experience the show - over the last few years she has become a pretty dedicated exhibitor in the horticultural tent and last year she won THE CUP (and £46) for her veg.

The wonder that is the horticultural tent...

I had no clue how it all worked - and am still a little mystified by it all; but basically it's all about points - so you have to strategically enter your best produce into the correct categories (ie - the least popular ones) to rack up the points and the most points overall gets the cup.

So that Coco felt a bit more included in the whole affair Zarena suggested that she also entered some art or crafts into some of the children's competitions... she chose to make a 'garden in a tray' - we let her pretty much get on with it herself - well actually, we did try to give her some direction, but she wasn't accepting any outside creative input.
The competition was pretty stiff and she didn't get a prize, but I think she has got the bug and she came away with intentions for next year...

Outside of the horticultural tent there was a lot going on. But we mainly watched the sheep shearing. Yep - we were all converted - Coco especially.
It's very competitive and seriously fast - the fastest guy sheared a lamb (and these were not teeny tiny lambs, I would have definitely referred to them as 'sheep' wrongly of course) in 22 seconds! Speed is important but quality counts too and Coco was enthralled by watching the finished lambs come off the truck and get inspected for wounds - some of which were pretty brutal.

Shearing in progress - this guy was fast - but he also gave one of the lambs quite a cut.

Hanging out backstage at the shearing stage.

Shearers - towards the end of the day there was quite a lot of wool to sink into

We also saw tractors and horses, a donkey derby and dog shows and more tractors and a lot of very different sheep and goats, we ate burgers (lamb, natch) and ice cream and fudge, listened to the silver band, watched an acrobatic display, lost and found each other numerous times and generally exhausted ourselves.


The Silver Band

Donkey derby



Behind the rope


Prize winning sheep - this little boy was so thrilled to win first prize for his 'other British breed' sheep.

Zarena may not have got the cup this year (Mr Evans won with his freakishly long carrots and blousy dahlia's) but she got a fair number of prizes and pocketed £38 in prize money and also won for her chutney for the first time.
All's fair in love and veg growing.

And at the end of the day we got to take it all home again...

Thursday 15 August 2013

Welsh Escape (part 2)

Hills, lush green valleys, streams and waterfalls. A walk in Wales.

We could hear something for a little while before we could see it...

We walked along the river to find a suitable picnic spot... somewhere ideal for a bit of paddling was required.

Just the spot.

My sister patiently spent a lot of time in the water with Henry

He did not want to get out...

Meanwhile Coco was busy giving me a live demonstration of how to get water in your wellies.

Playing pooh-sticks

Coco in all her sartorial wisdom insisted on wearing her white ballet tights...

The water was a bit cold.

We packed up to head back thinking it was about to pour with rain and suddenly the sun appeared - and there was only a smidgin* of whingeing on the way back.

* That might not be strictly true.

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Welsh Escape (Part 1)

Hugh sent me a text this morning: "You need to get a new jolly post up before too long"

So being the dutiful wife *ahem* I am - here goes…

Things have been on the up since my slight meltdown post last week.
1. I got the some of the best and most cheering comments on my moany post, thank you everyone, it seems every cloud does have a silver lining…and it's good to know I'm not alone in my summer holiday frustrations too.
2. Hugh took over for a morning so I could have a break from the children and I went and had a coffee with a friend and we talked about dreams and plans and ideas and I came away feeling empowered and positive.
3. And then I packed the car and Coco, Henry and I escaped to Wales to visit my sister and have a little taste of the country life.

Most of the time we were in the garden... (which my sister has a lot of)

Very busy exploring.

Henry was pretty quick to find the hose and soak himself... before trying to get everyone else.

There is the perfect hill for scooter racing

Coco showing Henry her new pet.

Making a camp inside a tree

The view from the hammock.

There was lots of prep to be done for the Llanfyllin Annual Show - onions, bean, beets and peas had to be harvested and sorted. We went to the show on Saturday and it deserves a post of it's very own...

Lucky for my sister she had some willing (if not particularly able) helpers.

Coco making her 'garden in a tray' for the show.

A lot of time was spent pestering the chickens.

Going up to let the chickens out each morning became a competitive sport.

Bronzy the chicken trying to join us for lunch much to Henry's amusement... Coco on the other hand knows what it feels like to have a chicken try to take a sandwich from your hand.

We are pretty lucky that Coco and Henry can experience country life like this - they are city kids already, used to getting around on tubes and buses, negotiating busy roads to get to busy playgrounds. We love our life in London, but it's good to see the other side too sometimes.