For The Love Of Crochet

For The Love Of Crochet

| February 22, 2014 | 15 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a crochet course at my local wool shop – BaaYarn with Gail Dixon from Woolleymead, an expert in all things crochet and knitted. We all gathered as she took us through step by step beginners class in crochet.  We had hooks, yarn, coffee and biscuits, what’s not to love about a morning spent learning a new skill with other local people.  I don’t really knit, so I did wonder if it was going to all be beyond me, but I felt like I picked it up fairly quickly. I’m a leftie, so I have tried to follow youtube instructions before, but to no avail.

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A Simple Homemade Christmas Card Using a Cricut Mini

A Simple Homemade Christmas Card Using a Cricut Mini

| December 3, 2013 | 5 Comments

What’s a Cricut Mini I hear you say… well, it’s very clever machine, that looks a little like a small printer.  It cuts shapes, and wording out of card, material even icing.  The version I am reviewing(the mini) needs to be hooked up to your computer, and the internet.  You are sent the machine, cables and information on how to get started.  Even access to the Cricut Craft Room.  The instructions to do this are really simple, but comprehensive. Continue Reading

Making you own Gift Tags : Homemade Ideas

Making you own Gift Tags : Homemade Ideas

| May 8, 2013 | 13 Comments


Simple homemade Gift tags, Handmade and thrifty

Honestly, in around half an hour, you can have enough gift tags, to last you all year. I use whatever I have in my craft things, so there is no cost at all.  I think they more personal and individual than buying gift tags. All you need is to buy either brown paper, or plain coloured wrapping paper to wrap the gifts in and you are sorted! If you are feeling extra thrifty though, how about using newspaper, or magazines made into gift bags.

My first idea, is the bunting gift tag. I can’t remember where I saw this idea first.  It is so simple, and you can get your children to make them with you.  You simply use a pencil with an eraser on the end, using a sharp knife *adults only this stage though* make the eraser into the shape of the triangular bunting.  Then using different coloured inks get stamping! Drawing a line to finish the bunting.

Home made gift tags

The second homemade gift tag idea, is the much-loved washi tape gift tag.  For this I cut up coloured card, with a hole punch for the ribbon, and simply added a line of washi tape.  The beauty of this one, is you can make them lots of different sizes, so if you have awkward  small or large gifts, you can make very different sizes.


Ruffles gift tags, I really enjoyed making these.  Again, I made my own tags from coloured card, but for this I added scraps of fabric that I had left from another project. Choosing a simple zig-zag or straight stitch I found worked best.  I pleated the fabric, by hand as I fed the tag through the machine. I love the 3D effect of this one.


And finally….

Because any handmade post I write, wouldn’t be complete without the addition of my favourite buttons. I have also made some button gift tags.  Attach the buttons, you can either sew them, which looks really effective, or use double-sided tape, if you don’t have the time.  Adding some decoration around them if needed.


I hope you enjoyed this homemade gift tag post.  If you have any other ideas, that you use for gift tags, I would love to hear from you.

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Making Memories : Sherwood Pines Nottinghamshire

Making Memories : Sherwood Pines Nottinghamshire

| April 15, 2013 | 9 Comments

We all want the best for our children, and strive to give them everything that we can.  I think the thing in my heart I realise is the most important thing to give a child is happy memories.

This Easter Holiday we were given the chance to make memories with our children, as we went on an adventure to Sherwood Pines, in Sherwood Forest. Its probably only 20 miles from where we live but we have never been until now.  Sherwood Pines has a website which had lots of information, including facilities available, to help you plan your visit.  You could also follow them on Facebook, to hear news of events which I would highly recommend.

You can even sign up for a Forestry Commision Discovery Pass to support your local forest, which gives you lots of extra benefits.


We were met by a couple of the rangers, it was great to see how excited the children were. I captured this shot as Ranger Kev, asked the children who wanted to make a Den.

Making Memories, Den, Sherwood Pines


All of the younger adventurers (Miss A included) set about making a den for each of Kev (the rangers) friends – a badger, fox and a hedgehog.  Whilst the adults and my eldest daughter Miss N made a larger den, big enough to fit all of the younger children in. Sherwood Pines Den Building

It was fantastic watching the children at work building the dens.  They built three different types, one supported by a tree, a free-standing one, and then one to cover a badger, in his sett.  They even made, and edged with sticks, a road connecting the three together.

Sherwood Pines, dens

The children were very excited to try out the adult den, and the rangers decided to test out whether the den was waterproof…It worked, each of the children did a twirl as they excitedly proved it!! When the adults tried it it wasn’t quite so successful ;)

Den building : Sherwood Pines

It was soon time for lunch, and we tucked into lots of treats from the Sherwood Pines Cafe. The apricot flapjack was very yummy!

Once we had refuelled, we went on a nature trail, one of the two ‘all weather’ trails.  We had already been given a piece of card each, so as we walked, and we saw anything interesting we could stick it to the card.  We stopped and chatted as we found things.  The children took great delight in the task, and it seemed to make us all so much more observant of our surroundings. The ranger pointed things out to us, and answered questions.  Here are the great trail pictures we made, with our card:

Collecting Cards, Nature Trail

Once we had finished our walk, we then started an art project where we made a fox out of things we could find on the forest floor. The children worked brilliantly as a team, coming up with ideas of what materials would make the Harry the Fox picture. With sticks for claws, and sharp stone teeth, even some of the green foliage, to make his tail extra bushy.


Making Art in the Forest, Sherwood Pines

Next up was making a Boggart.

Never heard of a Boggart? Well neither had we!  They are the very strange creatures, that live on the floor of the forest, in puddles. Remember that time when your wellington boot was stuck in the puddle, the sound of the squelching, as your wellington stays in the puddle, leaving you bootless. Well that’s those mischievous Boggarts!

Clay Boggart, Sherwood Pines

I really hope this post, conveys the fun that we all had at Sherwood Pines. Its fun, that is free, and the only thing you need really is imagination.  I think I’ve fallen a little bit in love with Sherwood Pines, and there was so much more that we didn’t even get time to do. I think next time we will make sure we have enough time to try out the amazing park areas, and if the weather was warmer, a lovely picnic too after a long walk or bike ride would have been perfect.

Here is the video made by my eldest daughter Miss N of the day through her eyes :

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making memories, children and nature, craft projects to make outside