The long awaited robot

I know I said I would post this yesterday, but I managed to get completely sidetracked (no surprises there) and I do get there in the end. Hopefully you'll forgive me.

Anyway, here's a little photo of the long awaited robot from last week. He was, quite obviously, chucked together in about half an hour but Chloe loves him and so did all of her friends. He spent a long weekend in school and came home again on Tuesday.

He's quite cute, though is it just me, or maybe the way he's standing, but doesn't he look like he's bursting for a wee. Kind of like he's really having to squeeze his legs together for some reason.....

So it is only me then, fair enough.

And the reason for my sidetrack...ed....ness can be blamed on Jenn of Frugal Upstate. She posted a link on twitter a couple of days ago to The Idea Room and a great tutorial on making those glass tile necklaces. Lovely though the necklaces are, they weren't what caught my eye.

What caught my eye was a big felt sandwich, and a plan developed. I now know what to make Chloe for her birthday. She has a play kitchen in her bedroom, though admittedly it mostly goes unused because, and I quote "the food is wick", and it really is wick. The food that came with the kitchen was a handful of miniature empty cardboard food boxes, a plastic chicken drumstick, a plastic egg and a purple plastic aubergine. I'm pretty sure even Cooking by Numbers would have trouble coming up with a recipe to use that lot.

So I've started making felt food.

I know her birthday isn't until the start of April, but I want to get a wiggle on and try and make loads of food for her. Ideally a want to be able to fill a picnic basket, but not a regular boring picnic basket, I want a pic-a-nic basket like Yogi Bear would want and I want a red and white check blanket to go over the top of everything.

Surely that isn't asking too much.

These are the types of things I really enjoy making for Chloe. Most of the templates for making the food are intuitive and more often than not, unnecessary. They're the perfect mindless, half concentrating, half watching tv, type of sewing that fits perfectly into the last half hour of a day.

Plus they're really, really quick and really cheap to make. I mean a square of good quality felt will run you about 50p in the UK and you'll easily get a dozen strawbs from that one piece of felt, probably more like 15 if you're very economical when cutting and they take a grand total of about four minutes to make, the orange slices take more like two!

Now I'm back off to my little corner for some more sewing. I've three tomatoes in need of their tops, another slice of white needs stuffing and I feel a rumbly in my tummy for some bacon and eggs.

I should also mention that felt food is highly addictive and should only be taken in moderation and in conjunction with a healthy and balanced diet.

Bullet Points

Thanks everyone for the suggestions last week for Chloe's homework. In the end we went for the robot, I read out a list of the suggestions (apart from the rhino and the red wine because she might have just have picked one of those and even I couldn't figure how to make a rhino) and she chose the robot, luckily for me because what's easier than a bunch of cubes. I'll post a photo of him tomorrow, its dark at the minute and my camera doesn't play the game unless there's some form of daylight.

I still haven't got around to making the light box that I've been talking about since last year!

It's snowing, again, and in bucketfuls. At the minute I'm enjoying it because I didn't really get to appreciate the snow after Christmas. We'll see how long my appreciation lasts, probably until I fall on my bum, again.

Chloe is back to loving school again today, having hated it for the last two days. She lost her sweatshirt in school on Wednesday and too much of a big deal was made of it. Sometimes Chloe loves being the centre of attention, this was not one of those times and she broke her heart all Wednesday evening. The slightest thing set her off crying and she was tearful for the remainder of the day, evening carrying through to Thursday morning. Then in school yesterday she was running too fast through one of the classrooms during playtime with one of her friends and they were told off, due to her already "delicate" state, she decided she hated school. Luckily a visit from the dentist today and the gift of a new pink toothbrush, blue sparkly toothpaste and a gold star sticker have changed her mind about school. She is very easily swayed.

And last, but by no means least;

Craft Blog UK has now launched. It's a showcase (big bundling together) of UK craft blogs and it has been painstakingly put together by the very wonderful Haptree. If that isn't enough to get you over there for a look at the loveliness, yours truly is very proud to be the first featured blog. You can stop over and have a read and don't forget to subscribe while you're there. There are already some great tutorials with much more to come and a blog list over flowing with great crafty goodness.


We're properly back into the swing of the school term again around here. That morning routine comes back all too easily and all the little joys and pleasures that go with it. For instance my little darling who will inhale full loaves of toasted bread during the holiday, almost needs to be force fed three cornflakes during the school term. Go figure.

I have to say though, it has been a very slow grind getting back into the habit of completing homeworks. I'm not sure how it works everywhere else or even at other schools in the UK, but basically every Monday Chloe brings home a homework schedule listing four tasks, each to be done on a different night in whatever order happens to take your fancy.

Four nights of homework sounds like a lot, but it really isn't. They're quite small things and are designed to fit around that week's homework theme, phonics, math, story, learn through play etc, so more often than not they're things like bringing something to school which is blue or reminds them of the story or starts with the letter 'M'.

Anyway, way back before Halloween (you know, a couple of months ago) I thought it would be a great idea to suggest that if Chloe needed to take anything into school as part of her homework, we would make it and not only that but we would try our best to make them using as many recycled things as possible. We started off well making a pumpkin and some leaves and dandelion clocks from scavenger fabric and yarn for her Autumn table.

I'll admit though, what started out as an innocent enough idea is becoming more and more complicated with each week. So far we're sticking to it but at this rate Chloe will have a pretty substantial collection of little bitsy things lying around school, all destined to arrive back home again at the end of term.

This week's homework is based on phonics or more specifically 'M' and 'R'.

I'd like for you all to meet Morris.

A bit of string a few tiny scraps of leftover felt and the most ill conceived jumper I've ever bought (white on a 4 year old, I never said I was clever). He's pretty cute I think and he's only a couple of inches long so he fits in her pocket.

Now we just have to think of something for 'R' bearing in mind that it's already Wednesday night and they need to be ready on Friday morning. Of course, the obvious choice is a rabbit, a little finger puppet variety, but she was bitten by her cousin's pet rabbit at the weekend and has gone right off rabbits, though I'm sure that will only last a week.

If it wasn't for the fact that Chloe's sock creatures have now ascended to "collectible" status and reside on a special shelf all of their own in her bedroom (seriously, they get one hug per day because she says they're "precious") she would have taken theothermousie's Itty Bitty Pirate Kitty in to school. I mentioned the idea, because seriously how many bonus points is the kid going to get for bringing in something that doesn't start with 'r' but instead says "Arrrrrr" but she was having none of it. Apparently, her teacher might lose her kitty and that would never do!

So any ideas? Because I can't think of another (simple, two days people) thing to make that begins with 'R'.

Do you think we'd get away with sending in a raft?


I think I've just realised how truly grateful I am to have a handy husband. I'm pretty handy myself, though I'll admit to a much lesser extent than him.

I've just watched about 20 painful minutes of Britain's Worst DIYer and I'm over come with pity for the poor unfortunate wives of the men on that show.

These guys are woefully bad at DIY but what makes it so much worse is that they really do think they're brilliant at it. DIY Rock Stars if you will. Although how the guy who has just patched a hole in a ceiling with cellotape and painted over the top or the one filling holes in the walls with blue tack think that they have this mastered is beyond me.

Imagine living with the man who flooded his entire street trying to unblock a drain or who, when asked to block off an old window, used different coloured bricks to spell out his initials. Now that's taking pride in your work!

I'm left sitting here very grateful, but at the same time a little confused. Can someone please explain to me who had the genius idea to award the best of the worst with £1000 worth of power tools?

Today is as good a day as any,

I hadn't really realised we are halfway through January already. It's surprising how easily time gets away from me.

I haven't been around much the last couple of weeks because my friend's husband passed away last Monday. He was young and its been hard, really hard but I'll leave it at that. I know this is the type of subject that can send some people into a well of worry, myself included, so I won't go on about it.

Chloe is fast asleep having ran herself ragged in school today and I'm just catching up, trying to get back into my routine.

Anyway, this is really just an attempt at an explanation for why I haven't been posting, haven't been commenting, haven't been doing much of much really but I'm back again now. Bear with me though while I get back up to full speed again.


Is how I plan to be this year with my time.

The run up to Christmas was mad. Keeping an eye on three shops, three blogs, filling orders locally and a handful of items sold through a local shop didn't leave as much time as I would have liked for my family.

Don't get me wrong I'm very grateful for the work, but following a re-evaluation over the last few days I've realised that I've been spending time on things that simply don't work. At least not for me, they were simply time sucky wastes of time.

So they're gone.

See the Woods Designs Blog - Gone
Project 365 - Gone
See the Woods on Misi - Gone
See the Woods on Coriandr - Gone

I try not to be the type of person that will talk about something, but wuss out of actually doing it in the end so the second I made my mind up about what was and wasn't working. I deleted them, cut the fat so to speak.

I never finished the project 365 and honestly I'm not really sure what possessed me to think I could do it in the first place. That little half finished endeavour was just depressing sitting there.

The Designs blog was dull and not what I had intended it to be so it didn't make the cut either.

Go handmade was good with some brilliant articles but there are so many more brilliant zines promoting handmade that I don't think another one is necessary. It was a huge amount of work putting it together and to be honest I think my time will be better spent elsewhere.

And views and favourites aren't the same thing as sales. It'll sound particularly cut throat but spending time on a shop that doesn't sell anything is nothing more than a waste of time. Bye bye Misi and Coriandr.

So now I'm left with my Folksy shop, this little haven of mine and of course my foody endeavours. I can't survive without food and it might as well be good food that I enjoy:)

So yes, I'm being more than a little bit selfish where my time is concerned but I really want and need to concentrate more on my family and this year I'm going to be incredibly harsh on the things that take my time away from them. Basically if I don't think it's worth it (and it will really need to be pulling it's weight for me to think it's worth it) I just won't be doing it.

Basically I'll only be spending my time on things that make me happy and where it's appreciated. Selfish? Yes, but very much worth it.

From here on in, my top priorities are my family, my friends both in real life and online and my home. This rest can argue amongst themselves and find a slot in behind those somewhere.

I'm normally not a fan of resolutions but somehow I see this one sticking around for the long haul.