Making Little Monsters

little MonstersIn the spirit of The adoption Social #SummerSandpit, I introduced Tink to Pinterest this week. I’ve made him his own little board which can see here. I was determined after his refusal to do leaf painting last week that I was going to get him involved this time. He delighted at all the marvelous projects that came up when we searched “children’s sewing projects”. When the little felt monsters appeared things were settled, that would be our project.

You will find the original post for making these little monsters on MollyMoo Crafts. We have slightly altered ours and not yet got around to making the beds.

I cut the felt shapes for the bodies and the boys did near enough everything else. I am very proud that they are both very capable in their sewing ability, especial as fine motor skills have at times been a problem for them. As we sat on the sofa, with both of them sewing and myself crocheting, there was an air of peace. Both have said that they find sewing very relaxing which makes a sewing, crafting mum very happy to hear.

Today I took the little monsters out in the garden for a photoshoot. The blue one is called Bob, the other remains nameless at present. We had a lovely time in the sun, I think they quite enjoyed the attention.

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Leaf Painting


I love a bit of crafting but I really haven’t been channeling my inner creative crafter recently. Now I know this weeks Summer Sandpit theme is “nature” but I thought I could sort of combine the two. I also wanted to do something that I could entice the outdoors and nature resistant Tink into participating in. He loves to paint, I thought, so why don’t we paint nature, simple as that I came up with the idea of leaf painting. Strangely though, no matter how hard I tried, he still wouldn’t join in, so I had all the fun. Happily, Stig has said (now he’s back from camp) that he would love to leaf paint with me, bless him. So here goes, it’s really not difficult but I’ll give you a few hints.


Large Leaves

Acrylic Paint ( I buy the cheap ones from The Works)

Paint Brushes


Find some large leaves in your garden, those that seem sturdier and less floppy are best

Paint them with lovely patterns.

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As you see we turn ours into bunting for our outside seating area, by threading them onto a length of wool using a tapestry needle.

Other Ideas for painted leaves

A picture

A headdress

A mobile

Let me know if you have any other suggestions of things we could do with these decorative items.

I’ve linked this post with #SummerSandpit

The Adoption Social



A Favourite Activity – Walking with Friends.

We have some of, what I think, is the most amazingly beautiful countryside right on our doorstep. A corner, or central bit of England that is sometimes overlooked.The Peak District in Derbyshire. I think it’s because there are not so many boutique hotels, chic pubs and trendy wine bars in the area although look hard and you will find a few. Anyway, it’s unlike me to digress, but I have, our little part of the world is great for getting out and about in. Nothing fancy, nothing expensive just good old fashioned, fresh air and comely surroundings. We can go from the front door on foot, but by car a couple of miles and there is even more on offer.
Having boys the requirement to eject them from the sofa every now and again is a necessity.Activity calms them. One will come willingly the other requires tempting. Recently we’ve been gallivanting with one of Tink’s class chums, chum’s mum, their dog and sometimes a smaller brother. This tends to tempt Tink along, the friend and mostly definitely the dog are a big draw. We walk around a local beauty spot called The Goyt Valley, there is, to coin a phrase, something for everyone. Streams, woodland walk ways, hills, a reservoir and even some amazing old ruins. Join us here on our latest escapades.

A picnic and a flask of tea….essential

A Harry Potter gowned musketeer is a bit chilly.

Bubbling brook.


The Ruins, Errwood Hall.

The backdrop, the reservoir.

Mum and son.

Who’s walking who?

A Favourite Place

This weekend we had a  much needed very good Sunday, we’ve had a couple of stinkers recently. We went out to one of our favourite family places, Chatsworth House. We are lucky enough to live within a shortish drive to this glorious estate. My husband and I fell in love with the place before the children came to us but during our plans to adopt we would imagine bringing them to this magical place. We’ve since had many a happy day out here  and a Christmas visit has become part of our seasonal traditions.

The gardens are stunning with something for everyone. Today we had a visit to the Maze, the Rockery, the Cascade water feature,the Grotto pond and played frisbee on the manicured expanse of lawn. Not even half of the delights of the garden were covered. For me on an adult only visit I like to amble amongst the vegetable and flower growing gardens,marveling at the size of the cabbages and the array of dahlias.

The bonus for todays visit and a complete surprise, was the start of the much celebrated Beyond Limits sculpture exhibition in the gardens. This year all the sculptures are by one artist, Barry Flanagan, RA OBE (1941-2009), his bronze hares and  the occasional elephant are posted throughout these beguiling gardens. Turn a corner and out they leap capturing the imagination of young and old, making art accessible to all and enjoyed by the masses.

After an ice cream we headed over to the farmyard and adventure playground. We always pay a quick visit to the guinea pig pen as this is where the children would excitedly head to at handling time before we had our own. Then along to the sty to see  if there were any piglets in the pig pens, two litters of varying size all suckling away.We found a new baby donkey in the farm shed all fluffy and cute looking but no chicks in the poultry house unfortunately.

Then the children head up the secret tunnel to the adventure playground and this is a monster of a playground. Having recently added even more items to this already very impressive play area, there is hours and hours of fun here for the children. There are plenty of picnic tables and benches for the the adults and a coffee and ice cream stall. The sand and water play area where water can be collected from the stream and channeled into some of the sand play area, has always been a particular favourite of my two. At one point  I would bring a spare set of clothing for this part of the day, now to I hope that their more senior years will create more caution, wishful thinking. This therefore always brings us to the end point of our day, and the kids with soggy bottoms and sand filled shoes,  wonder when we can return, before we’ve even reached the gate.

For us returning and partaking in any part of the Chatsworth experience, large or small is simple as we have a “friendship card” having paid an annual sum we have access to the house garden and farmyard and play area free of charge. The current on-line price for a family ticket (2adults & 3children) with a current special  offer of a half price return visit within six months is £45. It’s worth bringing food if you come all day as food onsite although delicious, is a little pricey.

So there you have it a favourite place for us and highly recommended to you all and I’ve literally only touched the tip of the iceberg which is the glorious Chatsworth Estate. To find out more click here.