Sunday, 28 February 2010


Once a year the spouses of the people who work for Big Man's company gather together at a local pottery painting place. We chat, relax and get creative. I thought I'd post the results of my efforts this year. The design was really easy to do, I just stuck my thumb in the red paint and splodged it all over the dish, then I got a paint brush, stuck it in the black paint and added the detail.
I can't wait to make an apple crumble, and reveal the ladybirds bit by bit!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

A tweet tweet moment

I thought of calling this post a 'ta da' moment, but birds don't say 'ta da'! Thanks to the 20 Minuters, as you can see, I finished my bird! He's stuffed with lavender and smells divine (as Little Miss, aged 4, would say!). I think he's gorgeous, but then I am biased!

We went to London to see...

My two little things have grown up listening to Big Ben dong, at 6 o'clock on Radio 4, every night since they were babies. So during half term last week, when I suggested going to London for the day, Little Man was desperate to see the source of the dongs. Big Man was in Houston on business, so we took photographs of our trip for him. I thought I'd post them here too.
We went on the train, and took the tube (spot the toothless wonder!)

We saw Big Ben...

...and Horse Guards in Whitehall...

...and finally got to the British Museum.
It was a long day and we didn't get to see the Queen, but I'd do it again (I'm a glutton for punishment!)

Friday, 12 February 2010

Watch the birdy

Recently, I have been truly grateful for my twenty minutes of craftiness a day. Work has been very stressful, so it's been lovely to escape my troubles by getting out my hook, wooden spoon or felt tips (I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I have bought my own pack, which Little People have been banned from using, they have their own!).
This week, I decided to take a (short) break from my granny squares and do something else. I went over to Attic 24 and was inspired by this cute little bird tutorial. I sort of followed it, and I'm almost there. I couldn't figure out the instructions for the beak or wings, so I made up my own version. I'm planning to stuff my birdy with lavender, I have my eye on some from Provence. I'll post a picture of him again when he's finished. In the meantime, here's his better side!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Going bananas...

Yesterday was a bit manic.
Friday is, technically, my 'day off', but it's probably one of the busiest days of the week. It starts with getting the kids up, Big Man takes Little Man off to school. Little Lady and I then run around getting ready for the day. We do some drawing, a bit of reading and then she pleads, pitifully, to watch 'the telly'.
This time I gave in, she loves Cbeebies, but she is usually consigned to watching anything that appeals to her older brother, otherwise known as King of the Remote Control (adults outrank him, does that make us Dictators, Emperors or Gods?)
Then I scrubbed, polished and hoovered the downstairs of the house, while Little Lady's eyes became a little square. Eventually the lure of the 'telly' wore off, and I ended up with a little helper so we made this:

We always have a few blackening bananas in the house so this recipes comes in handy once a week. It makes a lightish, moist, delicious banana bread, and it's really quick. It's very loosely based on a bread in 'Making Fresh Bread' by Paragon.

Banana Bread
Line a 2lb loaf tin (I have those non-stick liners, so I don't grease the tin).
Preheat the oven to 180C.
215g self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
125g demerara sugar
2 mashed bananas
55g mixed peel
50g raisins or sultanas or mixture of both
5-6 tbsp orange or apple juice
2 eggs
150ml vegetable oil
1. Put, or sift, the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the sugar, bananas, mixed peel and raisins and stir in.
2. Whisk the fruit juice, oil and eggs together, with a fork, in a jug.
3. Pour into the flour and bananas and mix with a wooden spoon, until you have a smoothish batter.
4. Pour the mixture into the tin, and put it in the oven. Cook for 1 hour.

While this was cooking, I got a phone call from a desperate friend asking if I could pick her two Little Things up from school - she was stuck in traffic. I took four children to Little Man's swimming lesson... After two hours trying to get home, my friend was really grateful for a slice of banana bread and a cup of tea.
This morning the banana bread is no more, and after the four children enjoyed themselves, the house needs scrubbing, hoovering...