Welcome to our blog.

….. Making pretty things
….. Simple living
….. Growing a family

Three children (17, 15, 13)*** Two parents *** one dog *** 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.

Just a thought….

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


HIBS100 Index of Home and Interior Blogs


Recent Comments


Subscribe to Time To Craft

Please follow & like us :)

Halloween party for tweens and teens

Happy Halloween

There was apple bobbing, pumpkin carving and a feast to devour. Floating candles. Shrunken heads, and a themed movie, of course. It had to be done. We couldn’t let Halloween just slip on by unnoticed.

The evening was filled with fun. The children are now sound asleep in bed. Goodness knows what they will dream about. I hope it’s good.

There is no doubt, and certainly no surprise, that my little family is growing up. I used to wait until they were in bed, before I carved the pumpkin, and it was only one in those days. Surprising them in the morning. Over the years, they’ve gradually taken over. This year, all three children carved the pumpkins with me occupied on another table. No need for me.

They even sorted out the floating candles for me this year, which almost had me in tears, last time. Almost.

We had our usual trip to the pumpkin farm shop near my parents. The children carved a pumpkin to leave with their grandparents, so they didn’t miss out. We bought pumpkins home, even though we grew enough of our own. It is part of the tradition.

For Halloween, we ate shrunken head stew and mandrake pudding. Followed by biscuits made by middle teen.

I mean, you’d eat biscuits made by this one, wouldn’t you?

The house was decorated. Eric the skeleton behaved. I did have to move the (fake) black crow slightly out of sight, as the Hero the hound wouldn’t stop barking at it. He is a dog with strong opinions about where everything belongs. We have crows in our garden. Not in the house.


We watched Beetlejuice. They spent weeks trying to find out which film I’d chosen. Guesses told to each other and discussed. Casual questions to cross another off their list in the hope of being the one to guess right.

Did they enjoy it? Yes. Verdict was that it was the strangest film they had watched. I win then!

As I write this, all is quiet. Only the pumpkins’ candles left flickering and time for me to blow them out. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, as wonderful as coming together for family tradition. I joked with them at bedtime, saying I’d be sending a box through the post to them in years to come, if they weren’t home for Halloween, with a floating candle, pumpkin and ghoulish cookies. They laughed, but deep down they know I will. I couldn’t bear for any of them to miss out.

Tomorrow, we will make pumpkin soup and bake bread. With the bowls of pumpkin flesh in the fridge, what else would we do?

Blessings to all.


Floating candles and fruit eyeballs

“This is so much better than trick or treating.”

“Yes!!!!” (punches sky)

What can I say? The sweetest music to my ears.

It’s true. The evening I planned worked out just right. Happy people. Don’t quote me, but I think they have finally forgiven me for ruling out their usual trick or treating trip around the village. This Halloween reminded me how much I love planning a party. How much I love finding an excuse to celebrate. How I love to delight others in the detail. Oh how I love to do that!

I was creating a moment of wonder. More challenging now they are no longer young children, but just as important to achieve.

I hadn’t told them about the theme. They knew there would be a movie. They’d spent weeks trying to trick the name of it out of me. Oh, so close, so many times, but amazingly, they never quite landed on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them.

I thought they might guess Harry Potter when they came home to find spiders exiting the house. No.

The sign on the downstairs loo. No.

For goodness sake, the winged keys. Where else do you find winged keys? Come on. But still not a mention. Although by this stage, maybe they had and were just enjoying the ride. Probably as much as I’d enjoyed making these teeny keys.

There were special requests to keep them up all year. Winged keys are not just for Halloween.

Admittedly, supper gave no clues away. I may be wrong, but I don’t remember carved turnips in stews among the meals described in any of the Harry Potter books.

There was a little dance of joy once I saw that our homegrown, carved turnips had kept their smiles through the cooking experience. Phew! (I know. It’s just a vegetable, but it was the effect I was after.)

I set up pumpkins and candles on the table, and clockwork Halloween characters to hop and shuffle round the table while we ate. Like pixies and sprites. Adding slightly to the chaos. They were contained in a glass cake dome to begin with, but soon escaped once an inquisitive hand tentatively lifted the top.

It wasn’t until the pudding that they finally clicked. The eyeballs were lychees, stuffed with raspberry and blueberry, and really tasty too. The pot was made up of homemade mousse with a layer of chocolate cake crumbled on top. Buried inside the crumb layer was a jelly baby. I couldn’t quite attach the lemon verbena sprig to the top of the baby, so I did have to cover my ears and give a quiet scream to get the point over to them. Mandrake pudding.

The penny dropped.

(Floating candles in the background. One candle, that would not float, in Teen’s bun!)

It was then through to the sitting room, where I’d set up floating candles (never underestimate how hard this is to manage – it took four goes), and we watched the film. Stopped half way through for butterbeer (need to work on the recipe some more, apparently), chocolate frogs and popping candies.

Strangely, I only have photos of the frogs being made. Next time, I’ll give the chocolate frogs a non-chocolate middle, like rice crispies. It is a lot of chocolate to bite through.

As I sat back to watch the film, sipping a glass of cider left over from the cooking, I knew it had all been worth it. I had fun putting it together. No doubting that, but my aim was to give the children  an evening to step out of reality and into a world of wonder. Even for just a moment. A task that is harder to achieve with teens and tweens.

I could see the faces of the children in the flickering candle light, watching the magic on the screen. I hope that they look back on Halloween 2017 and see it as a vintage year. The year their mother created eyeballs out of fruit, persuaded candles to levitate and made keys with wings. It has to be memorable. Right?

Feet up, there was just one thing missing. A wand in my hand. A Marauder’s map. Mischief managed.

Mother of Teenagers



There have been cases when people lifted my photos and words, and used them without credit to me or asking permission first. Using them for their own commercial gain. I have now added a level of security to deter people from doing this. Apologies to people who do play nicely. If you would like to use any of my photos, please contact me.

Copyright notice:

All my words and photos are copyrighted to me. They cannot be used for commercial benefit by anyone else. If you would like to use any of them, then please ask me first and don’t just take. Written permission only. Don’t pass my words, photos or ideas off as your own. It’s not nice.

Cookie Policy

Our web pages do not use cookies however this website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. Google Analytics uses cookies to help us analyse how people use our site. The use of cookies by Google Analytics is subject to change.