Love of Winter

I could get used to these long dark days.

I’ve always preferred winter to any other season.

There’s something more familiar and cosy about winter that I just don’t get from any other time of the year. I can throw on a jumper and a huge woolly scarf and a decent pair of walking boots, happy in the knowledge that if I tried to rock my four inch heels 12 months of the year I would look like the village idiot. I don’t have to worry about the perfect beach body or shifting that last few pounds, trying to buy something to wear when the shops are filled with clothes that would be more expensive than gold if they were sold by weight.

I love to curl up in front of the fire with a book or some work, a glass of wine or even a big mug of hot chocolate. A blanket wrapped around me even though it isn’t cold inside. Call it my snugly if you like but I just love to have a blanket handy.

I’ve spent the last few nights like this and I’m definitely enjoying the laziness of it all. Yesterday I left work a little early (due to lack of anything interesting to do). I arrived home probably about an hour before sunset. I lit the fire, switched on the laptop and settled down with a big mug of coffee and started to order my groceries online. I was a lot more sensible this year, I didn’t get caught up buying silly things, I just stuck to my list and made sure to order all of my heavy items which will save me having to cart those home be myself.

It took around an hour and by the time I’d finished it was almost completely dark outside. I hadn’t closed the curtains yet and the lights from the Christmas tree were reflected in the glass. The laptop shut down for the evening, the only noise left to listen to was the sound of the fire crackling.

I walked to the kitchen and almost without thinking, lifted the lasagne from the fridge and put it into the oven before switching it on. I went back to the fireplace, added some more peat and upstairs I hung some towels near the radiator for Toot’s bath time.

After checking everything was secured, I pulled on a jumper, lifted my coat and big woolly scarf and headed back out into the cold to collect Toots.

We walked back up the hill together towards home, with the constant sound of traffic no match for the volume of her giggle as we slid on the already frosty ground and she tried to “catch” me with the steam she blew from her mouth.

We arrived home and got rid of the coats and boats, heading straight for the sofa and all those lovely cushions. She immediately grabbed a blanket and curled up with it draped across her knee. Her eyes shone and sparkled and the faintest hint of red could still be seen on the tip of her nose and her cheeks, but still completely happy her smile shone brightest of all.

She asks eagerly if it will snow before Christmas and I hope for her (and me) that it does.

My little apple never fell far from the tree.

And so it begins

Well, actually its been in full swing for a couple of weeks now.

Yes I've been faffing with Photoshop again. Just because I'm not very good with it, doesn't mean its any less addictive.

For some reason every year around the end of November I start to behave like the world will end on 31 December. I have to finish everything I've left to one side the entire year, try every recipe I've been meaning to, have a crack at any new hobby or craft that's caught my eye.

All I wind up doing is maybe finishing one or two projects I've had on the go and create another ten which ill sit until next November.

I've started to make a dinosaur play mat thingy which I found here. I've been at It a couple of weeks now and considering my little sewing machine can't cope with quilting felt I've been doing everything the old fashioned way. I've managed to get the mat finished and the zips pinned in place along with a cave and a couple of trees made, still a fair bit to do though.

I've still working on finishing the last couple of Christmas presents and for some reason they're taking a lot longer than I planned. At this rate mum's getting one glove for Christmas and the Jacko look isn't quite as "in" as it used to be.

The husband was on call yesterday and Toots was happily occupying herself at the kitchen table with a bucket of PVA and enough tissue and crepe paper to make the Woodland Trust cry, so I decided to get a couple of wee DIY bits and pieces done around the house.

I've been putting them off for months, little things. I've been meaning to change the light switches upstairs and had to change a couple of the low voltage bulbs in the bathroom.

I grabbed the husband's tool box and the bits and pieces I needed from the garage and got stuck in.

Well the husband arrived home a couple of hours later. Imagine my surprise when he wasn't grateful that I'd done some things it would save him the bother of having to do. Nope instead he was huffy. A huffy bugger because, again, I'd used his tools.

Apparently I have this.

I've had it for four years and stepped over and around it every day for four years because he put it in the larder.

He told me about it four years ago as well, and if I really strain hard I can almost see a fuzzy black and white picture of it in my head. Almost.

The problem. Four years ago I was pregnant.

I turned into a bit of village idiot when I was pregnant. I was clumsy and forgot almost everything instantly. I'd enough trouble remembering how to do my job and remembering to get dressed before I went there everyday without having to deal with excess information.

So Husband, when you showed me a big silver box and mentioned tools four years ago, I zoned you out and didn't hear anything else.


Do you like the addition of the two packs of sand and glass paper. The reason behind those is that he thinks if I have my own sand paper, I'll stop using his belt and orbital sanders.

Sorry again Husband. Not happening.

WFMW - When being cheap doesn't work

Just putting it out there, but this is one of those times when being cheap really doesn't work.

I decided that I needed to reorganise Toots toys. She has a large wooden toy box downstairs which is a pain in the backside to get anything in and out of and two pop up storage bags in her room filled with toys. Obviously, she only ever plays with the two or three things sitting at the top of each of these boxes and bags.

So the plan was simple. Smaller, lighter boxes which could be brought out one at a time, easily packed up again and another box brought out to keep the toys in even rotation.

Rather than buy made for purpose toy boxes like
Trofast I thought I could make my own using some of the dozens of boxes my office throw out every day and some pretty wrapping paper.

So I bought the paper

And got to work wrapping some of the boxes I brought home from the office.

They look good don't they?

Yeah. Well they don't work. They're flimsy for a start. I should have known they'd never stand a chance against Toots. They've been taped together again more times than I can count in the last couple of weeks and I've finally given up. They may have done a better job if I'd used sturdier, heavier boxes.

Anyway, guess who's saving for

For more WFMW posts, check out Rocks in my Dryer. And if you see or have any great ideas for organising kids toys, please let me know.

Bless her little cotton socks

Doesn't she look so calm and peaceful.

Believe it or not, she snores like a bear.

Just like her dad.

Adventures in digiscrapping

I finally fell in. Head first.

My name is Leanne and I am a hobby addict (without a hope in hell of ever being presented with a chip).

I love new hobbies, especially the creative, crafty hobbies and even more so if there's an "Idiot's Guide to being Crafty and Creative" to go along with the new hobby, because I'm anything but. I can copy things easily but don't ask me to come up with a new idea all by my lonesome, because you'll be waiting a long time.

Anyway, I've been seeing a lot around about digiscrapping and I love me a hobby where I can get my hands on everything I need online and for the novice scrapper you can even get a ton of stuff for free.

Now I happen to be lucky enough to have Photo Shop Elements, but you can download some software perfect for the job online and again you can some free stuff. Also I've heard mention that you can use the photo editing software on Flickr.

I've been nosy about digiscrapping for a while now but decided it was far to addictive for me. I only see the the family from the shoulders up at the best of times, but I decided to have a go for a Christmas present for a friend. She loves to bake and always when its my turn to bake she always asks for the same few recipes over and over so I figured I could try and make some recipe cards.

This is what I came up with

Packages by Marie Stones and June Hill

Packages by Marie Stones and June Hill

And I know, I know there isn't a photo included, but I picked up a bundle of offcuts of mounting boards and card at my local framers and I thought I could have this on one side of the card with a photo of the recipe on the other side, laminate them and hold all the cards together with a keyring I found in a birthday card shop with a huge plastic piece of cake attached.

Cutesy, I know, but I'm really starting to like cutesy. Sometimes I even picture myself in a nice apron.