Wednesday 30 April 2014

Introducing... Qalballah

I had no intention of ever doing this, and I'm still a bit puzzled by just what happened last week. One thing led to another and before I knew it... well, that's how the creative mind works, isn't it? It fires off in tangents and leads somewhere, you follow and by the time you've caught up there's a whole new world waiting for you.

Some of you have been following me around my various blog incarnations for years. Seriously, it has been years. When I first started blogging I had no idea what I was doing and the very first two blogs were deleted completely. Then there was a family blog, and thereafter a homeschool blog both of which I've kept, but made private - just for my own memories. I think there is too much personal information in them which I no longer feel comfortable sharing given that a) blogging has changed, and b) audiences are bigger and no longer just friends and family.

My creative blogs have undergone a few incarnations until I landed here and quite happily set about making myself my online home, and it feels like just that - a place I find I can relax in in the online world; facebook, twitter, instagram are all great places to connect, but they're not the same as a blog and I don't suppose they ever will be. I have no idea whether blogging is dead or dying or will ever stay the course, but for now it works for me.

But it felt disjointed having old blogs all over the place, and it just felt right to move on and try something new. So I did this - I collected everything into one home and have moved house, hopefully for good (time will tell).

So pop on over to my new space - update your bookmarks etc and come and say hi:

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Bluebell Nature Walk - Spotter Sheets

TEND issue 1 2014 OFFICIAL_page198_image160TEND

Pictures From 15th May 2013::


















Most years we try to mark something special about each season - something that lets us know where we are in this journey around the sun. For spring we usually take the time to visit a local wood famed for its carpet of bluebells - it's always a real treat and never fails to take our breath away, you could never get bored of just staring at it all.

Last year I was trialing the spotter sheets you see above, and plenty of people wondered if they'd become available at some point ... well, in a round about way they are - they are in the first issue of the magazine, and you can print it out as many times as you like for your babes (free for personal use). It is a simple tick sheet, or the child can colour the item once they've found it too. I like spotter sheets on hand just in case activity needs to be a bit focused. Free exploration is our usual gig, but when we're on topic then spotter sheets can keep them focused. Or (as the case here) they were prohibited from free play and exploring due to having to keep to the paths whilst the bluebells were out - almost a torture for them. Spotter sheets and a clip board are a pay off for that.

If you have used these sheets already - let us know how they went - and any photos would be appreciated to the flickr group - I really want to see TEND out foraging in the wild. How did these sheets (and the other content) work for you?

We hope you have as much fun out there exploring as we normally do. There is so much to keep little minds awed and forever asking questions!

Monday 28 April 2014

Creative Bug

It was probably the Great British Sewing Bee that whet my appetite. It's been a while since I've made a consistent effort to make clothes. There were a couple of tunics run up a month or so back, but to be fair, they're probably the easiest thing to make other than a tote bag. They're like tote bags with arms. Wearable totes! Whatever. Hardly that taxing.

In my defence, it was on sale...

my so called life blog

Then I spied this little course on offer over on Tilly's blog. And for that price what's not to love. I signed up immediately and awaited the first episode - how to take measurements. Wait - that's it?? Well, I can DO that! Yeah, I can DO that so maybe I can make my own clothes?? The next few lessons I learned things just by watching the way Cal worked - how to transfer a dart pattern onto cloth - so easy. How to change a neckline on a pattern. Simple! After four lessons I'd hardly call myself an expert, but I AM now confident and enthused, and really for the price of a couple of coffees I'd say that was pretty amazing.

springtime sewing

my so called life

I'm eying those patterns of mine up with a whole new look in my eye. I'm such a lousy student, as soon as a pattern starts talking Klingon I just ignore it and make it up as I go along. Not a great idea. But I actually think I have a clue now! Yes, really. And maybe an entire handmade wardrobe will never be in my future, but the ability to make a few more things with confidence? Well, I'm excited about that prospect.

Friday 25 April 2014

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Earn money with TEND







I am aware how annoying it is to go to peoples' blogs only to be met with a hard sell. Blogs, unless they are part of a selling website designed to give you insider peeks and company information, should, in my opinion be a lot more personal than that. So apologies for when I (have to) talk about the magazine. What can I say? It's very dear to me, I spend vasts amount of my time and energy on it, it's like a baby that I want to see grow and it makes up a huge chunk of my creative time. If I didn't talk about it, I'd be lying about what I do all day.

That said, I will try to keep my hard sell to a minimum.

But I'm not really selling today - you are! Or at least you could be if you join up to our Affiliate Program. Click to find out how you could help TEND and earn a little extra money for yourself at the same time! We need to get the word out about our magazine, and there are plenty of you who have written to say how much you love it - now we need to let others know too. So, get in touch!

Tuesday 22 April 2014


not orla kiely that's for damn sure

They removed Orla from the kitchen. I asked them not to, but they did anyway. Now, instead of fabulous walls I have bland magnolia walls. MAGNOLIA. Do I look like a magnolia type of person to you?

The shame.

Friday 18 April 2014

{Looking Back}

May 2008...

my so called life

my so called life

my so called life

my so called life

Again, marveling at how small they were. Looking back to remind myself of so many things; adventuring with my babes in the sun, squeezing their little bodies in bear hugs that swept them off their feet, how happiness could be found in a net and a lakeside, how handmade clothes were easier (and cheaper!) to make (and how I should make more effort to make them some more). Milk teeth grins, mispronounced words left uncorrected because it was just too cute, the enormity of the privilege to be allowed to be the one they call 'mama'; podgy arms and legs, boundless energy and enthusiasm, sucking thumbs.

Good grief I do miss these times. Even though at the time I was utterly convinced I never could.

Hugs now are boney, sucking thumbs are a long forgotten habit, I can no longer lift my babes off their feet or indeed have them on my lap. I should get the last of those sweet chubby cheek kisses before they grow boney. And hairy.

Enjoy the madness of your family this weekend, and if you have little people under four feet tall, sweep them off their feet, carry them on your back, sit them on your lap and eat them up. For all their littleness, just melt into it and inhale.

Wednesday 16 April 2014

The Makings of a Quilt (Top)

quilt with orla kiely fabric

1: Interview the fabrics.

quilt with orla kiely fabric

quilt with orla kiely fabric

2: Make a selection.

quilt with orla kiely fabric

quilt with orla kiely fabric

quilt with orla kiely fabric

3: Cut into the finalists.

quilt with orla kiely fabric

4: Decide who goes where.

quilt with orla kiely fabric

5: Add a little bit of this and that.

quilt with orla kiely fabric

quilt with orla kiely fabric

quilt with orla kiely fabric

6: Sit back and enjoy the view.

Now to decide - a quilt, or just a blanket...