Monday, 15 December 2008

Christmas come early..... and a surprise in the post!

Hiya, how lovely for you to pop over to see me, I have been a bit busy lately and haven't had time for chatting but I am taking an afternoon off to catch up and see what you are all up to, Its been a bit of a hectic couple of weeks and it would appear that Christmas has come early to our household.....My tree is nearly finished, but I seem to have lost a box of baubles but its a good excuse to go out and buy a few more.....

Jamie's last day of school should have been Friday and it would appear to have begun a week early.....

Queen Camel, near Yeovil
Aerial view from Church Tower
(Photos by Dr Micheal Perry, Vicar at St Barnabas Church)

Flash floods give pupils in Somerset villages an early Christmas
School Playground with Hall in background

The school flooded on Saturday morning, just behind the school is the River Cam which burst it banks and flooded the school, bridge and surrounding houses, apparently the area was under 2 - 3 ft of water, luckily some local villagers managed to get into the school and start raising everything and anything off the floor but I think it will definitely be closed till the New Year at least.

Santa's Grotto will not be happening now on the last day of term and I imagine all the gifts in the PTA store cupboard are lost.... Oh well never mind.

The year 1 and 2 children haven't done their nativity yet, and it just seems like an abrupt end to school prior to Christmas, hopefully plenty of locals will attend the Christmas concert on Thursday, which will be at the church across the road.

I don't think the water got that far......

As I am currently without a car I was unable to get over there to help clear but as I understand it a lot of people turned out to help.

This is the 2nd time in recent years that the school has flooded it last happened in 2000.

Daniel was unwell on Saturday morning, and Jamie went to Football with her Nanny and then had a Football club supporters Christmas Party on Sunday so all in all its been a manic weekend.

I have finished all my Christmas shopping for family and friends and all I have to do now is make sure I have some bits and pieces for the children's stockings,
and a big bone for the Smudge the dog!

April (cake makes the world a better place)
has sent me a lovely Christmas card with a hidden surprise, I now have my very own cross stitch bell which looks lovely hanging in amongst my garland which is hanging on my door into the kitchen. It is absolutely beautiful and I am so pleased that April thought of me. I very rarely receive nice surprises in the post (mostly bills) and it does your soul good to receive something so lovingly made.

Thank you April..... and merry Christmas to you and all your family!

A few years ago I made a papier mache snowman and I thought I would share him with you.... I really enjoyed making him with the usual balloon system, he did take a while but packed away each year in amongst the tinsel he seems to be lasting well....

Thank you for visiting and I will put some more posts on as we get closer to Christmas, I have so many plans of things I would like to do but we will have to wait and see...
take care and warm wishes


Alex added......
The Head Mistress suggested that the nativity was done at the beginning of our Town Band Christmas Concert on Thursday, but I have been informed that the nativity would be to difficult to organise at this late stage so it won't be happening....I had better get on and print the programmes but it has been really difficult to sell tickets. Not knowing how many are coming makes it very tricky to cater for Mulled wine and mince pies but I am looking forward to the event as I think it could kick start my lack of Christmas cheer!

Friday, 5 December 2008

Long time no blog!

Hello everybody I hope you are all well and keeping warm and dry,
sorry for the lack of blogging but I have been very busy organising a school Christmas Fayre, I am glad to say it is over and we raised £405 after costs so all in all it was a very successful 2 hours.

There were several road blocks thrown at me on the day but I am proud to say I kept my cool and worked around them, I did have to utilize the walk away tactic otherwise I would have exploded.

Unfortunately as I was racing around like a blue arsed fly I forgot to whip out my camera and take a picture, and by the time I remembered the hall was packed to capacity and I wasn't sure if I should infringe on peoples privacy by plastering them all over the

I have the Christmas concert coming up in the village church on the 18
th, but all the tickets are out there so hopefully all of my input into that is complete, apart from turning up on the night to set up and help Helen make mulled wine.

I have asked a parent governor to sort out the Hamper!

I am learning the great art of "delegation" it is not something that comes easy to me as I was brought up with the phrase
"if you want something done right, do it yourself"

but I am getting there!

I will try to photograph
Santa's grotto on the 19th once Elizabeth and I have built it.

Now onto a tag I have received...

I would like to thank
Taz at

The Rules:

1) Link to your tagger and list all these rules in your blog.

2) Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.

3) Tag 7 people at the end of your post by including links to their blogs

4) Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

1. I am 5ft 10" tall
( I wish I had made 6ft but I never quite got there)

2. I am Clinically Obese
(Jamie came home from school once and said " someone at school said that you were fat", Jamie was a little worried and upset by this! So I told her to go back to school and tell said child "My mum is not fat she is clinically obese, please get your facts right before you say nasty things")

3. I wish I could spend as much time and effort looking after myself as I do family and friends
(but I don't see the point as I know I won't appreciate it, and I always feel guilty)

4. I can roller skate
( I used to skate to college with my art box and portfolio, on a windy day my portfolio could be a help but mostly it was a hindrance)

5. I can ride a horse
(unfortunately I am too lardy to ride, you do not want to see my arse in a pair of jodphurs, the sun would be obliterated)

6. I am useless at baking cakes
(Joanne can you teach me one day!)

7. I would love to move to Scotland or Canada
(We have investigated both options, maybe one day!)

well thank you for visiting my blog,
I really appreciate you popping by, take care and warm wishes.

I haven't sent this onto anyone as I know that everyone is really busy getting Christmas underway, if you would like to do this tag, please do and leave a comment and I will pop over to visit you.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Off to the Post Office

Well its all done and after giving it a good while to dry the October giveaway painting has been packed and wrapped.

I couldn't post a photo even if I wanted to as I had almost completely wrapped it before I realised I hadn't taken one

It will be winging its way to

Cake makes the world a better place

today via special delivery and I hope it is everything you wished for April

Cheers for now gotta get off to the post office now

Cheers Alex

Sunday, 23 November 2008

A place to call my own......

Mr P has absolutly stunned me, he came back from walking the dog yesterday to anounce that the house was not big enough for me to do everything in (PTA, Art, Sewing, glass painting,etc etc)
I wondered to myself
"Oh dear, where is this going!"
I am seriously in the dog house now!

With me looking glum he suddenly announced

"you need a studio!"
Do you want to rent one or build a cabin in the garden?

After picking myself up off the floor and dusting myself off
I agreed that a studio would be a fantastic idea.

If I could find something to rent locally I could go there while Daniel is at playgroup, but the easiness of having something at home would be good!

But would it be nice to get away from home and go to my studio, would I be less likely to seep arty stuff into the house?

A studio somewhere else would be usable as soon as I have located it,
A log cabin would be a while being built.......

What would you choose?

Better go and try and light the fire, it is quite chilly today!

I look forward to hearing your thoughts

x Alex

Friday, 21 November 2008

An award and a tag.....

Thank you Notes from my days for this award and the 7 things tag that came with it, ......

7 Things to do before I die

Loose weight (lots)
Get Married to Mr P
Grow old with Mr P and watch our Children grow up
Win the Lottery
Buy an old farm with a quadrant of buildings
Set up a Crafters workshop center with a salesroom in the quadrant
Become a recognised Artist

7 things I do now

Clear up after Children, Partner and dog
Christmas shopping including my own gifts
Clean out Jamie's guinea pigs and feed them
Drawing and painting....and day dreaming!

7 things I can't do

Keep my mouth shut, I am always dropping myself in it!
Help being helpful, even if it means me going without....
Eat snotty eggs... you know when the white around the yolk hasn't been cooked properly
Handle heights... I even feel queesy playing tomb raider when Lara has to look down...
Put a book down when I start reading it....
Save money!

7 things that I find attractive in the opposite sex

Being spontaneous
Smelling gorgeous (musky aftershave)
Broad shoulders
Making me laugh
Being a considerate lover, my soul mate and my friend!

7 things I say most often

Jamie are you up yet?
Get a move on or your going to miss the bus...
Please pick that up and put it away
Teas ready
I am sooo tired.....yyaaaawn!
Juice or moo...?
Night night, love you!

7 celebrities that I admire (in no particular order)

Jamie Oliver
Ray Mears
Nigella Lawson
Jackie Chan
Jason Statham
Jean Kelly
Angelina Jolie

7 favourite foods

Chinese take-away
Roast Dinners
Beef Casserole with dumplings
Mums liver and onions
Ice cream
Rice pudding

7 People to join in this fun:

Joannes little patch of heaven
Karens play time
Buffys charms
cake makes the world a better place

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Christmas Fayre preparations.... Oh My!

Well its that time of year again and I am sourcing and buying prizes for the raffles, Santa's grotto and all the other stalls that require a prize........

I realise that PTA is considered a dirty word by many but the amount of work involved to organise one of these events is horrendous...... I am paying for everything out of my own pocket and I hope I will eventually get the money back when I hand in the receipts.

For santas grotto I am trying to get prizes for the value of 75p, we will only charge £1 a visit and if we get 200 visits we will make £50, which is not a huge amount but evey little helps, we are however struggling to find a santa!

Childrens Raffle - We have asked parents for gift/prize donations but obviously you cannot risk sitting back thinking that it will all be donated so you have to have a fairly good display and any donations are a bonus....

I have asked several shops and companies for donations and the only one happy to donate a prize (the spider man web blaster) was the Entertainer... THANK YOU! I could hug and cuddle them for being so wonderfully generous!

The school only has just over 100 students, and I would imagine half will attend, so we are struggling to begin with really.

I have bid on several items on ebay in the job lot section, bubble blowing sets, clicky cameras and girls body art kit bags I have been succesful in getting them for good prices and one was a little too dear so I bartered with him and secured the price I am willing to pay.... yeah for persistent cheek!

I have also bought a very large inflatable snow dome, its only 6ft tall and I will use outside the hall to try and entice children and their parents in.... this is however mine and I will get Mr P to install it on our drive.... I am a sad lady indeed, and in all its tacky gaudyness it will do what it is designed to do and entertain the kiddy winks, it blows polystrene balls around and has 3 snowmen inside it and lights up!

Oh well onward and upward!
Tata for now....

Monday, 17 November 2008

Busy weekend and a kitchen makeover

Mr P foolishly came home Friday and asked me "is their anything you would like me to do this weekend" and I laughingly asked him to fit a breakfast bar 2 cupboards and a work station for my painting gear (I don't have room for a work room or studio) and love him to bits he slogged his guts out and did it for me!

He even fitted a glass fronted cupboard and wine rack....
It has to be said that I have never seen 6 bottles of red wine last this long in our house, he doesn't want to drink any as it will ruin the display.....

The original kitchen was the brown doors and the previous owner fitted black worktops and tiles, now I am not a great lover of black tiles and worktops but I realise that we cannot afford new everything so I decided to stick with the same colour worktop and I am going to purchase replacement doors from now until Christmas and turn the whole kitchen white, it looks so much bigger with lighter colour doors. I have been promised an Aga in the spring so next winter my kitchen will be warm and inviting too! Its surprising how cold the tiled floor makes it plus apart from the open fire in the lounge we have no heating in the house whatsoever....

I am also going to recolour the tiles with some tile paint, but Mr P is not too keen on this idea...

My workstation is very compact, but I am so chuffed that I now have an area that I can call my own. Once I have sorted out the lounge I will take some snaps of that too, and you will have visited our whole downstairs..... apart from the bathroom but that is a nasty little hole and needs gutting and complete refit.... I am not sure if the previous owner was plastering the walls with his fingers or icing a Christmas cake, it is seriously nasty!

I have to finish of the edge of the worktop but I didn't have time today as I took my mum to Haskins at Shepton Mallet so that she could buy a new 3 piece suite I have never been to a shop with so many stairs and with little nooks and corridors everywhere how Daniel lasted the day bless him...I will never know, he did get a new nee neer (fire engine) for his wonderful behaviour, I would have taken a picture but he had to take it to bed with him. I also need to buy 2 bar stools but I am really struggling to decide which ones to get...

So for all his hard work I have gotten the coffee ready and shoved a chicken in the rotisserie and the spuds are baking in the oven, Mr P won't be home till gone 8pm as he is trying to cram in as many hours as possible to cover the time off he'll be taking over Christmas as he won't get paid holiday being a contractor!

I must admit I love my rotisserie, I can cook a chicken in 90 minutes and I don't have to baste it once, and it is so moist and tender....

Dearest Mr P thank you for being such a wonderful friend, partner and dad, I don't know what I would do without you!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend too!


Thursday, 13 November 2008

Ho Ho Ho.....

Thank you to everyone who pops in to visit, I do so enjoy reading all your comments and I hope I don't bore you too much with my average antics and boring life.......

The craft fayre on Wednesday was a successful evening in that they raised £150 for charity, but I would estimate that during the hole evening 12 people came in...... I and many others from the estimated 23 stalls didn't sell a jot!

It was however a fun evening meeting a lot of like minded people and a couple of friends I haven't seen in a while.....I think I need to get out more!

I have decided that I am never doing one again. I really don't have the time or energy to get into it and I absolutely hate selling my own art work and crafts. I find it incredibly uncomfortable selling items that I have created. Hence the reason I generally give them away!

I spent 12 hours painting a Christmas design with acrylics on a canvas I found on a shelf in the shed, I started it 5pm Tuesday evening and finished around 2:30 in the morning and then resumed finishing touches Wednesday morning and then dashed out the door to drop Daniel at Mums so that I could help Joanne pack cakes and wash up while she baked and then legged it home via mums to collect Danny man, to finish off the painting and pack the car for the craft fair!

what a pa lava!

I am glad I didn't sell the painting as I want to add some gold leaf to the star and sleigh bells so I have time to add finishing touches....... Mum wants me to get it copied and make it into Christmas Cards or a poster so that she can put it on her lounge door at Christmas so I will have to look into printing costs. I have to admit I am dubious about posting images of my Art work as I have been ripped off on numerous occasions, which is probably the main reason I have given up designing wallpapers and furnishing fabrics, it is soul destroying to have your ideas and designs stolen, I don't mind people borrowing it as long as my name is attached to it, and it is not being used for financial gain by others.

Unfortunately that is not the world we live in and greedy unscrupulous people will always rip off the trusting, kind people of the world.

I also love to draw fantasy pictures, I blame my brothers as most of my youth was spent listening to them play role playing games and I am a sucker for a good myth or legend. I have always drawn horses, I was mad on them as a child, I don't ride any more as I am way to fat and I would pity the poor horse that had me on their back, but the feeling of freedom and exhilaration as you cantered across fields and felt alive was amazing....

I found a picture of a horse in one of my many reference books and I made up the rest of the image from my imagination.... I love the sea and through many hours of life drawing at college I am not to bad at drawing a figure, but if you are ever in doubt cover as much as possible with cloaks and clothes....

I hope you enjoy looking at my images and by all means use them for our own personal pleasure but please do not use them for financial gain.

Bye for now and I will be starting my next painting which will be "Cakes make the world a better place" October give away prize!

XX Alex

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Oh dear...where is all the time going?

I am seriously running out of time, I was talked into doing a craft fayre on the 12th of November and I am progressing into panic mode as I start to doubt the quality of some items I have made and wonder if I will have anything finished for the evening in question.... Joanne from her little patch of heaven is sharing the stall with me so I am popping around tomorrow to draw up a battle plan.......

I have drawn up the layout for Cakes make the world a better place's painting and she has had a look and given me the go ahead with one alteration, well a painting wouldn't be complete with a cake stand, I think I will have to fill it with fairy cakes too........mmmm yummy! and I will be onto that project after the 12th is out of the way......

I have been crocheting a sampler blanket testing out all different types of crochet styles, I am not sure where I am going with it next as I have reached that self doubting stage, plus I could easily sit and crochet all day, but unfortunately my house pixies have not been taking on the slack of me not doing the housework, however I must thank my wonderful mum for doing a stack of washing up on Tuesday night when she baby sat so that Mr P and I could go to the PTA meeting, thank you Mum!

The PTA meeting was a scary event as I realised that the Christmas Fayre is only 4 weeks away and I have a ton of prizes to source...... (4th Decemeber)
the Christmas concert in the Church with Sherborne Town band is only 6 weeks away (18th December) and the Santa's Grotto is the following day (19th December), and I will need to get 200 presents for that and wrap them!

I also have a 4 page PTA newsletter to do and advertising for all of the above.....

Oh dear, Oh dear!

I think I am definitely going to arrange a wrapping evening and get a few parents to lend a hand!

Crochet and craft...arty things!

I have been crocheting with metallic thread which is quite stiff and I made a panel box, I think I will embellish it with some dangly beads...... the first thing I crochet which wasn't planned it just ended up being a weird bag, and a pair of granny gloves, I have 3 panels for another box.

I have 16 hours of 12 days of Christmas to do based on the fact that I got 15 pictures done yesterday in 5 hours, I have just realised that I am a swan short so I will knock up another one this afternoon......My friend (the Brownie pack leader) is so pleased with them that she is colouring them in herself, I think the brownies will be adding glitter and sparkly things and then using them for a parent production.

The maids a milking were fun and when I put them all together I realise that some of them look familiar and some are quite buxom.

I like the one below she looks like Britney Spears!

I have completed 3 of the ladies dancing they are quite fun too.....

Well I had better get a wriggle on I have the village cafe this morning and I had better get the little man ready, I think I might take some crochet with me.... I am so hooked it is untrue and I have 3 bags of wool from the Scrapstore, which a local shop donated, some are half balls others are new and I feel so much more alive with all these lovely colours around me.....

must go toodle loo!

* Alex *

Friday, 31 October 2008

Happy Halloween!

For everyone not holding or attending a Halloween party,

The car became a ghost car,
I ran out of time but I was going to cover it all with tormented souls!

The wheelie bin was covered and the giant pumpkin my cousin grew was duly carved and displayed at the feet of the bin bag spiders perch....

The bin bag made up the body and I had strips of netting for the legs!

The bat from last night was stuck to the door and the hanging witch flew beneath.....

OOOOOOooohhhhhhh Happy Halloween to all !!!!!!

Halloween craft party......

I was up to 1am Wednesday night preparing templates cut out of lino squares and getting the bags of scraps into cardboard bins and plastic tubs ready for the big event........and sorting out my crafting paraphernalia, I managed to get plastic table coverings from the Scrapstore.

I decided to make witches out of old Costa coffee cups from the Scrapstore, I made a template to cover the cup and photocopied a reflected witches head that could be coloured in and stuck on top... I then drew witches arms and photo copied them ready to be coloured....
once she was assembled a blob of glue gun on the top of the cup and her cape could be attached.

A black flappy bat made out of card was my next creation, I also cut the templates out of lino squares (they are easy to draw around and are almost indestructible) and stuck on eyes using sticky back plastic, the wings were cut out of another piece of card and they can be stuck to the wall, or hung on a piece of string from the end of a bamboo stick.....
The whizzy witch was coloured in and stuck onto a circle of card that I then glue gunned onto a silver dish, I cut out a couple of stars.....
Unfortunately I completely forgot to take a photo of the hall after I had set up, and before I knew it people were arriving, children clamouring to make and do, and Danny man seemed to have this inane habit of not looking where he was going and walking into tables.....

we started at 3pm and (some arrived at 2:30) and everyone had snacks and drinks at 4pm and then we carried on making till 5pm, which really became 5:30 as the children did not want to leave and the 5 parents that stayed seemed to be having tons of fun too.......

The witches were very popular, a couple of the boys made daleks, and some of the girls made pots and pumpkins and their were even a couple of finger puppets, the bats were very popular.

I was astounded by how many of the children that wanted everything done for them and looked at me with disbelief when I said they needed to go and cut it out or draw round something or even colour something in.... is this due to to many gadgets to play with and they have never learnt how to make and do things?

All the children were year 5 and above, apart from one little sister that came, and they all had a wonderful evening and even though it cost me to hire the hall and to purchase the scrap it was well worth it. I would do it differently next time in the fact that I would ask for a donation to go towards the cost of the hall. One of the parents that stayed to help did ask parents collecting children for a donation but most had no money on them but some had a pound so I did get £7 towards the £25 cost.

All in all it was a lot of preparation and hard work but the end result was worth it, they all had a great time and made some thing for Halloween and hopefully learnt something new.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

School Gardens reborn!

The garden areas at school have been completed as much as can be at the moment.... and as we had no budget to pay for it we have done really well. The head had given me a letter for £50 worth of supplies from Wickes and we used it to purchase gravel, weed suppressant and wood for border edging. Personally Mr P and I have spent approximately £80-£100, which with any luck we might get back from the school or the PTA but if we don't I am sure it won't kill us to donate it to the school, we are by no means rolling in cash but at the end of the day its only money!

Daniel managed to survive the last 2 days with out his customary afternoon naps needless to say he is shattered, but after a quick snack of pringles he had enough energy to go puddle hunting and soak himself up to his knees!

Jamie was a real saviour and spent most of her time being Daniels shadow and steering him clear of most situations.... which is a lot to ask of a 10 year old when all her friends are racing around being children,
thank you Jamie... x!

Lily's Garden
Lily was a little girl that attended the school about 8 years ago, as I understand it she was waiting for a heart transplant and use to wear a back pack with oxygen to help her to breath. She passed away in 2000. The garden was planted in her memory but unfortunately it had become a little forgotten and needed a bit of tender loving care to remove bind weed and buttercups that were taking over the borders.

I have been collecting plants for weeks, but it isn't really the right time of year for lots of colour so I have planted mostly ever green shrubs. The soil is very cleggy as it is mostly clay.
The wall was given a coat of paint to brighten it up a little and I bought an evergreen honeysuckle and a pretty pink clematis to go on the trellis that we painted green. We rearranged the slabs and took out the planting that was in the middle of the patio as it is used by the children and the gaps tended to get trodden all over. The flower beds will be added to as the seasons change and they are filled with bulbs waiting to emerge in early spring.

Mr P went to Wickes Friday and again today (Sunday) and picked up 49 bags of pea shingle to be used on lily's garden and around the pond area.
He is a little worn out now, apparently he loaded up the trolley so high that he resembled Scrat from Ice Age trying to drag it down to the till, eventually a couple of hernias later he returned and the new gravel has really brightened everything up.

The little class room is used for music tuition, but we are hoping to be allowed to decorate it as Santa's grotto this Christmas and let the children visit Santa on their last day of term.

It has definitely been a long weekend but the parents who did turn out yesterday and today (especially today in the rain) were fantastic and I am so grateful for their generosity and for giving up a weekend for a school project.

The Pond
The pond area was a little over grown and I had an idea that it would be nice to have a slabbed border around the pond so that the children could investigate it safely when researching pond life and surrounding habitat. The liner leaked so needed replacing and the pond was wonky so it never filled properly before it leaked out over one side....I must admit I have never owned or taken care of a pond so therefore had no idea where to start so I was relieved when 2 dads took this area as their project, with the assistance of 3 mums they worked tirelessly from 10am till 4pm.

The end result was so fabulous that I almost cried. It was completely renewed using donated pond liner, donated slabs and gravel donated by Wickes Building Supplies. It is so satisfying to know that you have accomplished something so wonderful by reusing stuff that was no longer required, those people could so easily have thrown those items into land fill and instead we have renewed a valuable learning environment for our children.

It is wonderful, we still have to sort out the wooden safety frame to go over the pond, so that children can't fall in it but the slabbed and gravel area are more than I ever expected and I am so grateful to every ones hard work.

The surrounding is ready for marginal planting and I will be mooching around the local garden center this week to see what evergreen shrubs I can find to plant there. It would be nice to plant something with a berry that the birds like as it won't be accessible to the children on that side of the pond and they won't run the risk of eating the berries which always seems to be a concern for school health and safety policies.

There is a very healthy population of newts and frogs and hopefully they will appreciate their new habitat.

The fence panels could have done with a lick of paint but I will see if I can reach them without falling in the pond!

The area in the foreground to the right is very clay soil so I think half a dozen bags of mushroom compost will be thrown into it and some wood chippings and hopefully by the spring the worms will have done some soil maintenance and we can plant some raspberries or something similar.

This wasn't organised as a PTA event as Secretary I didn't even put it past the PTA as there are so few of us and it gets demoralising to keep asking the same few to do all the work...... as it turned out it was the chair (Mr P), secretary (me), 5 PTA committee members and 1 parent that turned out so it would appear that it will always be the same old faces that knuckle down and get dirty.

I am tired, dirty and can't wait to have a soak in the bath, Mr P and Jamie have taken Smudge the dog out for a walk as he has been a really good boy all weekend being left pretty much on his own.

I think we will all sleep well tonight.....

x Alex