Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Last weekend I went to stay with my mum and dad is South Wales for a few days to get a bit of a break and a rest with my boys.
We visited one of my favourite beaches in South Wales; Port Eynon.  It's a beautiful beach in the Gower made more interesting by the fact that a lot of the sand is washing away (no one really knows why) which is revealing the stumps of trees and other flora that has been preserved on the sea floor for thousands of years!  Amazing!
But also quite sad because the beach is totally different to how it looked as I was growing up.  It used to be a very sandy beach but is now very stony and muddy.  Another major feature that this beach has adopted since I was a child is masses and masses of little pieces of plastic, all different colours, shapes and sized, all different types of plastic, stringy, spongy, hard, soft and all of it floats.  I never remember there being so much plastic on the beach when I was a child and it breaks my heart that in just 25 years or so the coast of the UK has been littered with these little pieces of plastic which cause so much damage to sea life.  These pieces of plastic will be on these beaches FOREVER.  They will eventually degrade into smaller and smaller pieces so we won't be able to see them but the will choke micro organisms which try to eat them.  I feel so ashamed for what humankind has done to this beautiful planet.

Some of the flotsam can my quite visually attractive.  

Boris found a starfish or "Star crab" as he prefers to call them, which he duly rescued and placed gently into a tock pool.

 Here you can see the remains of preserved flora which is thousands of years old amazing to think we are seeing this again since such a long time.  Also equally amazing to think that this land used to be forest! 

 Picking his way through the pieces of plastic.

In this small section of sand I found over 13 pieces of plastic.

Every time I visit the beach I make a point of collecting 3 pieces of littler and putting them in the bin.  It's not much but if all of us picked up 3 pieces of plastic every time we visited the beach we might make at least a small dent in the massive problem.  Find out some more information here: http://www.take3.org.au/main/page_blog.html

Saturday, 19 April 2014

60th Birthday Present

Finally I am writing a blog post about a craft project I have done, Hurrah!  (It's only taken 9 months!)
So a couple of months ago my mum and dad had a joint birthday party to celebrate them turning 60 (here's hoping I am lucky enough to make it to 60 and beyond), it was a great weekend with lots of family friends, work friends, old friends and new. As I have given up alcohol for let it is possibly I was the only person there sober enough to photograph every single person attending the party as well as getting them to write a little note to my mum and dad with a message to them for their birthday,
At the end of the party I gathered in all the cards and edited the photos on Instagram to make them pop a bit and printed them as 5" x 5" squares. And here is what I did with them:

The frame was originally a mirror I bought from The Range.  I took out the mirror then string string in a zig zag across the back.

I bought some decorated mini pegs, red and white paper clips with tags, washi tape and paper from Hobby Craft.

I used the pegs to peg the photos (which I stuck back to back because I had to many) to the string and decorated the photos and cards with the washi tape and paper clips.

I cut a "60" out of the coloured paper block I bought as well as some little triangles which I stuck along the top of some of the photos for bunting.

I also cut some larger triangles and stuck them along the inside top of the frame to look like bunting.

I was pretty chuffed with it and I think my mum and dad loved it too. At least I hope so, I was up till 2 in the morning finishing it!  I had to really not be a perfectionist on this project because I had so little time, which was hard for me as I will normally agonise for ages over which colour paper to use, where to put the embellishments etc, and will carefully measure each cut of paper to make sure it's all symmetrical and even. However in spite of my somewhat slap-dash approach I think it turned out pretty well.  
Are you crafty?  How do you fit in time for crafting with young children?  

Monday, 31 March 2014

Hen Do Fun

Its becoming a rarer and rarer thing to go out with my girlfriends and just have fun, but a Hen Do is one totally legitimate reason to pilfer my toddler off onto my husband and spend the day laughing and being silly! Which is what I did a couple of weekends ago.
I travelled with Biscuit up to Birmingham to for the Hen Do of my best friend's sister, we all grew up together and are all good friends now, I have two younger sisters who are a similar age to my best friend's younger sisters so we all played together and our mums were friends.  My friend has a toddler now too, she is Boris's God Mother and I am her toddlers God Mother.

It was a beautiful sunny day so we took a picnic and walked to some nearby playing fields in the village where we all grew up and where her parents still live.   We had a great time telling funny stories and reminiscing about old times.  We also played some games including an egg and spoon race and a three legged race and by far the most hilarious game of all where we dressed the bride and another hen up in toilet paper wedding dresses.

We divided into teams. The younger (child-free) girls amongst us began carefully planning what style of wedding dresses they would make with their toilet paper - should it be strapless, off the shoulder, princess style, or mermaid?  My friend and I on the other hand, like two silly school girls began running round and round our poor "bride" wrapping her like a mummy in reams and reams of toilet paper!  I was in absolute tears with laughter,(which I mopped up on the living toilet paper dispenser that was our bride-to-be!)

So I am sure you might be wondering why I am telling you this story (she had a fun day, so what?)  Well I am writing it on the off chance that you are reading this and are currently child-free and thinking what a great idea it would be to have babies.  Of course, by all means have babies, but first there is something really important that you need to do... PARTY!!!!  And I am talking like literally every day.  Well maybe not every day, that might make you ill, but as often as you can, dress up, go out, go to the cinema, go to clubs, have weekends away, travel, because I am not kidding, the end is nigh! Once you have kids its over.  There will be no more partying, there will be no more spontaneous trips to the cinema, there will be no more dressing up, those days will be gone.  So party while you can because one day soon you too will be running round a field with a roll of toilet paper like it is the funnest thing EVER, like you are on day release from an institute, and you too will look back and wish you had partied more, I know I do. Mark my words folks, the end is nigh!