Welcome to our blog.

….. We make
….. We explore
….. We nuture

Three children *** One big, grey dog *** Two parents *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010, about everyday happenings that bring us joy.

You can find me here

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Just a thought….

“A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe.”


Thank you….

  • Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs Oh Cheryl, I am so sorry to hear about Blue. Being a family that has always had a dog, I totally understand how upsetting it... 17 Mar
  • Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) Oh no, poor Blue! So sorry to hear this. I do hope that she has been recovering over the past week and is now back... 15 Mar
  • Susan Mann Aww what a sweet photo. That is lovely and such a fun capture xx 12 Mar
  • Kim Carberry Ohh! The new tumble dryer does sound good... Aww! Your poor dog. I hope she makes a full recovery soon. Sending love and hugs x... 12 Mar
  • Louisa I love his outfit, especially the beard and pipe, they are so clever. Do you know that as much as I love sewing, I hate... 12 Mar
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Almost World Book Day – Planning

World Book Day is next Thursday. Hurray!  Are you excited? I know not everyone likes it, but I love making costumes.

We’ve had the notice for a while, but I always leave the costume for the last week. Apart from the fact I work better under pressure, it allows time for them to change their minds. I’ve learnt. One year, I had a definite a Golden Compass Lyra who proceeded to change her mind a day before, and was transformed into an Arietty from The Borrowers. It’s OK. I’m good at short notice.

(Can’t find a  photo of Arrietty, but this is Hobbit’s Kili from two years ago)

This year is our last year.

(silent sob)

Youngest will be at Secondary school next time, where it is major uncool to dress up. (Probably not cool to say “uncool” either, but I’m old school) This is our grand finale. Time to go out with a bang.

(Klaus-Baudelaire from A Series of Unfortunate Events – last year)

Given the choice*, we always make the costumes. It’s half the fun. Trying to use what we already have in the house. It’s always their choice when it comes to World Book Day. I have a capsule costume wardrobe (tips and tricks here) that pretty much covers it, with a few accessories thrown in. Other costumes are even simpler and just use their normal clothes with props.

(Astrid and dragon from How to Train a Dragon – two years ago)

Except…not this time.

He has decided to go as Gandalf. He loves the Hobbit, so I’m happy with his choice. My challenge is that it’s all grey apart from the beard. I’m not big on grey and my craft stash echoes this sentiment. Give me bright colours any day.

I’m excited about making the hat. A pointed, slightly crumpled, wide brimmed, wizard’s hat is required. I’ve been longing for an excuse to make a felted hat. It may end up being more cream coloured than grey, due to the fleece I have at hand, but maybe I can slightly spray it afterwards to give it a travelled look.

I have a choice with the beard and hair. Either white fluffy fabric or untwisting lengths of a ball of icelandic wool that I’ve had for eons and not used. Maybe a mixture of the two.

I found an old grey storage blanket. The sort house movers use to protect goods in transit in their vans. No idea why we have this as we’ve always moved house by ourselves. Anyway, it has a couple or so holes but I reckon I can make it into a cloak. I’ve made a few cloaks (instructions here if you’re interested) in the past, so no problem. It is a quick project.

The only parts I’ve not solved yet are the footwear and the grey gown underneath. I could adapt the cloak, so no gown is needed, if all else fails.

That’s my weekend sorted. I’m looking forward to it. Might even start tomorrow if I can wrangle it. I’ll share photos of the resulting costume once I’m done.

How about you? Are you making a costume this year? If you need a costume, do you usually make or buy? Do you love the call for a costume or do you dread the request?

Our last year. Can I come round and make costumes for anyone else next year?

(costume from 3 years ago)

*We love making our costumes for dressing up days and plays. Not always possible. One year, we were sent a link to the desired costume to buy for a play. I could have bucked the trend and made my own, but then he wouldn’t have matched the rest of the class in the line up, so I reluctantly bought instead. Not a happy costume maker.

Yarn Along – January

I’m thrilled to see that Ginny’s Yarn Along is back. I’ve genuinely missed all the book recommendations and knitting inspiration from everyone.  Being a monthly link up this time, I’ll have more chance of showing something new each time too. No more “look I’m reading the same book” or “I managed two lines of knitting this week“. I hope.

So, without further ado, what am I up to?


I have one knitting project on the go. It is the adult hoodie that should have been finished for Christmas. It’s taking longer than I planned. I lost the wool for a while. Then I lengthened the first sleeve too much, which dented my enthusiasm. I still haven’t resolved the problem, but am ploughing on with the second. Hopefully it will act as a guide to the right length. I’m guessing that we’ve all seen the cartoons of people receiving grandma’s homemade jumper where one sleeve is longer than the other.  I’m hoping to avoid this look.

Pattern is Hayfield 7256, using Hayfield with wool dk yarn no 701 Blackberry. I made a version for my 10 year old son, back in the summer. He loves it and we blinged it for his Christmas jumper day at school. It’s back to normal now. No cars or trees. Or lights! I think he found his one day of being lit up by fairy lights, more than enough. Although, he was quietly pleased to be the only one called up, to the front, in school assembly. He reckons that his was the only homemade jumper in the school. (I obviously didn’t get that memo)

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Gingerbread men. Child’s play.

As I scoured my list for an easy win item to cross off, a voice piped up.

“I know what I want to make.”

Whoosh! I’ll be honest. There are few sentences that catch my attention quite so quickly. Especially when uttered by one of my offspring. It’s neck to neck with the urgent injury announcements that pepper my life as a mother. Craft opportunities are more welcome, naturally. So, ears pricked, my list absent mindedly put to one side, I was ready to assist.

“I know what I want to make my sisters for Christmas.”

He’d found the book I’d been sent. The gifts in jars had caught his eye. He liked the ones suggested but he wanted to do something a little bit different. That was good. We talked it through. Aspiration reluctantly met reality. A do-able project was agreed. One vital ingredient was put on the shopping list.

In the meantime, we decided to try the book’s idea for gingerbread in a jar. Might work well as another gift idea. To be on the safe side, we’d better check the recipe worked. Plus, I’d get to spend time with one of my favourite people.

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