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….. We make
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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.

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Just a thought….

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



Thank you….

  • Kate Thanks for sharing your tips. Put cream on the strawbs and you will be fine 26 Jul
  • Musings of a tired mummy...zzz... I love experimenting with filters on Instagram and then just put it back to normal when I post! I do like black and white pics... 25 Jul
  • Helena Love the colour of the material and the fish. I also think it's great that you've taken something and put your own twist on it.... 25 Jul
  • Craft Mother That is inspirational. Gives me hope that I can do it. Interesting about flexibility. I hadn't thought of that. Possibly I need to look into... 25 Jul
  • Craft Mother Yes very relaxed. 25 Jul
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Time to smile

"God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles."

- J B S Haldane

Debs Random Writings


The Ordinary Moments

playing badminton in the gardenWe have another full week before the school term starts and I intend to enjoy it. All the back-to-school shopping has been ticked off. The last school shoes and trousers were sourced yesterday. I still have name tapes to sew into new clothes, but that’s no hardship as I like sewing.

playing badminton in the garden 2It will be so quiet when my noisy crew go back to school. We are the only house with school aged children, so I’m sure our neighbours can tell when term starts again, with no difficulty. They usually are kind and reassure me that they like to hear the children in the garden, as it means that they are outside and not cooped up watching a screen. I really hope they mean it.

I know I will miss the three of them. I’ll miss the ordinary moments probably more than the days out. The moments when I find them reading or drawing. Plotting and making. When I discover that once again my study chair has been raised up to an improbable height, which is always accompanied by the sound of giggles from around the corner. Even that I will miss.

playing badminton in the garden 3A huge hit with the children is badminton. It always is a favourite. Eldest used to play it at a couple of after school clubs, so she’s coached the other two.

It’s something all three of them can play, on a fairly equal basis. As soon as one of them spots that the wind has dropped, they stop everything, grab their rackets and shuttlecocks, and head for the garden.

In an effort to play when its windy, I sometimes find them playing rallies, sheltering by a wall. Only to lose the shuttlecock into a tree or over the fence to our long-suffering, aforementioned neighbours.

T playing badminton in the garden 2I have noticed that the Boy has to do a lot more work than his sisters. He will whizz around, determined not to lose a single point. His sisters  have the advantage that they can stretch out more often, and easily tap the shuttlecock over the net with great ease. He is getting a lot more exercise.

T playing badminton in the gardenHe really does throw himself into it.

table tennis bats Table tennis is a new favourite, this year. I’m not sure if they were inspired by watching the Olympics, but the house seems to be filled by the steady sound of per-tonk, per-tonk. They call it their indoor badminton.

playing table tennis on the kitchen table

The best table is the kitchen table. Adds that little extra fun when I’m trying to lay the table for supper. I’ve taken to putting things on the table, and they carry on playing. Gaining points if they miss the salad bowl or jug of juice.

I will  miss it.

cleaning out chickens

Before you get the impression that it has been all play and no work, I’ll share another ordinary moment. Eldest is in charge of cleaning out the hens. We only have two, at the moment. It would be nice to have more eggs, but I think the two hens are getting on so well, that I’m not keen to change it. Any more chickens and factions are established. Leading to hens being ganged up on. We had nine at one stage, and that was a good number too. Every hen seemed to have at least one buddy to peck around with.

cleaning out chickens 2Eldest does love her hens. Cleaning them out is not the most pleasant job, but she likes to look after them.

Blue and cleaning out the chickensWhile she cleans, the Pup keeps her company. Just in case one of those pesky hens should escape.

I’m not going to claim that they have played harmoniously all the time, nor that they didn’t spend longer on screens than I would have liked, this summer, but they have spent lots of time outside. They have played together. It is a balance.

My problem now is that I’m not sure how I’m going to get my wild children back into school shoes and uniforms, in a week’s time. Hmm. That will be fun.

Linking up with the inspirational Fiona’s #CountryKids linky.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Sharing. Good idea.

The hens and the chocolate eggs

basket of easter egg hunt

Lilac the hen and eggs easter egg hunt treeLilac the hen and basket of eggs primula flowers

The hens laid the chocolate eggs around the garden again. We still don’t know how they wrap them in such pretty foil. Wings are built for flying, not wrapping. Everyone agreed they were very well camouflaged this year. In fact, two were so elusive that a second party had to be sent out to find them. Lots of eggs, which will last everyone for a very long time.

Good job the sun came out.

Happy Easter to everyone.

Sharing. Good idea.

A new handmade dress for me

Back of floating flowers dress

I started making this dress a few years ago, to wear to a friend’s wedding. Not wishing to turn up in the same outfit as another guest, I always make a dress for special events. I once made two dresses in a week running up to a best friend’s wedding. Same pattern, two fabrics. I just couldn’t decide which fabric I liked the most. I was tempted to take both dresses and change half way through. But that’s me.

Going back to the current dress, I missed the deadline. For a good reason. I used the time left to make a dress for one of my daughters to wear, and only had enough time left to add embellishments to an old dress of mine. Once the day had passed, the original dressmaking project just ran out of puff. Fizzle, fizzle, pop.

front of floating flower dress

I love the fabric. It’s a Kaffe Fassett fabric, called floating flowers. Just gorgeous. I bought it in our local fabric shop. There wasn’t quite enough fabric left on the roll. I bought green fabric to make a jacket to go with it, so it made sense to use some of the green to make the dress neckline.

The dress pattern is New Look 6799. Due to the lack of fabric, the straight skirt version was the only option. It’s shorter than I usually wear dresses and, in the ideal world, I would have added some length to make it well below the knee. Except for the lack of extra fabric, she laments. No chance of matching the print at the seams either. Ah. You see what happens when you fall in love with fabric. You make compromises.

Floating flower dress New Look 6799

The shoulder construction is a little different to anything I’ve done before. I re-read the instructions several times to make sure I’d not missed the step to join the shoulder seams. If you are reading this after googling the pattern, dear reader, then, rest assured, there is no instruction to join the shoulder seams. I have checked. The neckline makes the shoulder seam. The four points of the top of the bodice, attach to the neckline separately. Never meeting, as they usually do. Hope that helps.

lilac and fizzy appleI must give credit to Eldest for taking the photos. She was also the creative director on the photo shoot and suggested some of the props. We pondered whether I’d wear the dress to an event serving champagne or tea. Canapes or petit fours? Most definitely a garden setting. To cover all options, I cracked open a bottle of champagne – ha! no! As if! Who am I trying to fool? It’s fizzy water with a touch of apple juice to give it colour in the glass, but I can dream.

The hens, Foxglove and Georgina, must also be credited, I’m told. They did a stirling job creating a country garden feel. Although Foxglove did try to sabotage one shot by making a grab for the lilac I was holding, but I will forgive her. She does lay exceedingly fine eggs.

Foxglove hen and lilac

Next step is to make the jacket, as I think it will give this dress a bit more wear. I’m not overly keen on the neckline and it might just save it. I do want to wear it as I love the print.

Oh and the setting we finally came down on? For me to wear this dress? After consulting the calendar and discovering I have no suitable functions to go to, it will most likely be a case of standing in the playground, waiting for the children to come out. Hmm. And still no champagne involved.

Notes for New Look 6799

New Look 6799 shoulder seam

+ The pattern was straight forward to follow, once I knew about the shoulder seam.
+ The skirt is made up of seven panels, but don’t let that put you off, as they go together easily and add shape.
+ I used flat felled seams at the side, for extra strength and the rest were simple turned and stitched.
+ I didn’t line the dress, but I may go back and add a lining to the bodice. Might help the structure.
+ Used hooks instead of the loops to fasten above the zip, but will change these to poppers.

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