Saturday, 25 September 2010

Where Did the Summer Go ?

It occurred to me today whilst flicking through my photos that I have yet to share my snaps of France with you. I went in August and have been back for nearly a month so with Autumn banging on the door thought I'd best get on with it !

You may be aware that my parents live there so I go quite frequently, they retired there 4 years ago and not long after my brother & his family joined them. They are all very settled with the kids (age 13, 11, 7 & 4) all fluent, my brother & sister in law sorted work wise & my parents enjoying their retirement in stunning chilled out surroundings. They live in the Languedoc region, about an hour south of Toulouse, an hour from the med and views of the Pyrennees from the house. Their nearest big towns are Carcassonne & Mirpoix, despite being to both of them probably 15 times in the last 4 years a visit wouldn't be a visit with out a trip to the famous Mirpoix Monday Market and the Medieval Cite of Carcassonne.

I took loads of pics this time but have just collaged my favourite ones for you.........

A day at the lake with the Pyrenees in the background !

The vines & melon fields that surround the house & are literally at the bottom of the garden. They pick the melons each night & we often popped to see the man (the village mayor in fact) to buy 4 for 5 euros freshly cut, bargain !
The wares on offer at the market, no I didn't try the mussels & yes I wish I had room for a basket in my suitcase x

Inside the Medieval Cite of Carcassonne.
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Sunday, 19 September 2010

Crafty Sunday

Happy Sunday everyone, got a bit of a change for you this week. Thought I'd give you a break form Muddy Puddle Crafts makes and present ..................
Muddy Puddle Mini's
(my children x)
This week they have been busy creating at home for the annual Stoke Bliss Flower Show & Ploughing Match. For all you un countrified people out there its what happens around here in by part of the world........... basically a bunch of farmers get together in a field & mess around in the mud to discover who ploughs the best furrows......mean while their wives bake and flower arrange to see who's the best home-maker.......the oldies present their home grown veggies in the form of the longest runner bean & biggest marrow........and the kids get creative !!!!! It may seem a little strange but its fun for all the family and a good old fashioned British tradition. As a child I loved our local Flower Show (minus the ploughing) and was always keen to compete under the guidance of my dear Nan, borrowing her vases & oasis to do wee flower arrangements. The thrill of winning a certificate and the 20p prise money was the best feeling ever !!!
Anyway onto the creating..........
Age 4's "A Collage of Outside Materials".......he got SECOND PLACE !!!!!!

Age 4's "Decorate 3 Digestive Biscuits".......he got HIGHLY COMMENDED !!!!!!

Age 6's "Decorate the first letter of your name"..........she got FIRST PLACE !!!!
Age 6's " Make an Animal from Fruit & Veg".......this cute bug won nothing :(
But hey ho didn't they do proud xxx

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Monday, 13 September 2010

Oohh Aahh Fresh Flowers (is back)

You may remember my quest some time ago to always keep fresh flowers in my newly refurbished kitchen.....I set myself a modest budget that wouldn't break the bank of around £3, decided to buy from random supermarkets and agreed to share them with you ! When I was a good blogger I would regulary share what was brightening up our home.....well our summer has been sooooo busy with so much time away we have had more jugs of "Uurr Dead Flowers" than "Oohh Aahh Fresh Flowers".

Well my quest is back on track as of this week....I have broken the rules already....but there is good reason.

My husband is currently working in America & has been away for nearly 3 weeks. I came home the other day to find this gorgeous bouquet had been delivered from him !!! It looked great then but as the days have gone by its got better & better, the smell is un believable and the pink lily's are really something. Hope you can smell them through your monitor ?

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Sunday, 12 September 2010

Crafty Sunday

Good evening bloggers ! Is it really Crafty Sunday again ? this will be a quicky for me as I have a sofa full of ironing, got to clear the decks so we can actually sit down !

Well this has been my first week as a full time mummy with no kids to look after, my little boy started school :( Its been a week of mixed emotions, still cant believe that it both my babies are at school, what will I do with out them.... but on the other hand I can now have privileged 'me' time. I'm sure I'll adjust and get into my own little routine but think I'll be a be a bit lonely, its been sooo quiet. Anyway to keep my mind off the situation this week I've thrown myself into Muddy Puddle World & what progress I've made............

12 Shabby Key Rings, 6 Flower Necklaces, 2 Bookmarks, 3 Dotty key Rings, 6 Brooches, 10 Chunky Hearts, A family Key Hook & a Double Heart Door Hanger ! Phew.

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Friday, 10 September 2010

Back by Popular Demand.....

For those of you who have followed me from the start on here & on facebook my profile picture has remained the same 'dotty chunky hearts'. Despite all the progress I've made and all the new products I create I dont think I will never change it. You see these cute little things are dear to my heart............

Way back when when I started Muddy Puddle Crafts I had quite a small product range and was always on the look out for new ideas and new blanks to paint. On a trip to Hobby Craft I found 2 bags of blank papier mache hearts stuck in the back of a bargain bin so I bought them. After a bit of paint, some dotting, some varnish and some ribbon they were transformed into 'chunky hearts'. For weeks on end they travelled around with me from craft fair to craft fair and always cheered up my stall ! They sat in baskets, hung across my stall on a washing line and were dotted here there & everywhere. Gradually I sold them all and was gutted when I only had one left and couldn't get any more.

Then last month on holiday in France I went to the French version of Hobby Craft & found some very similar ones but in wooden !!! They were the same size, just perfect. But I had the same quantity problem, they only had 10. Of course I bought the lot and with a lot of thinking I've chosen my 10 favorite colour combinations............

Lime & Fuchsia because its so me, and the best combination EVER !
Red & Fuchsia because I just love the cheery clash it creates !

Baby Pink & White because its as pure as a new born baby !
Fuchsia & White because every little girl is just MAD about pink !

Baby Pink & Brown because it makes pink grown up & Sophisticatd !
Duck Blue & Brown because it reminds me of the seaside - sea, sand & driftwood !

Fuchsia & Aqua as its become my little girls favorite colours !
Aqua & Red because its just soooo Cath Kidston !

Purple & Pink because purple lovers do exist & I hate purple & lilac !
Yellow & Purple because they are the wackiest combination of complimentary colours !

These 10 limited edition little hearts are available to buy for £4.50 each plus 75p p&
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Monday, 6 September 2010

Crafty Sunday on Monday !

As far as Muddy Puddle goes I am rushed off my feet at the moment, catching up, making orders, re stocking the shop, playing with new ideas & thinking Christmas. I am bit all over the place with a lot of half finished products that I hope will eventually come together so I can resume some sort of order ! There's nothing really of any substance to share this week so thought I'd share a more personal project with you......'scrap booking'

Cant remember if I've mentioned in the past I have been asked to compile a scrap book about my time (the last 6 years) as a mum at the local family centre I attend. The HOPE Family centre is where me & the kids have hung out for the last 6 years at various toddler groups, both my 2 went through pre school there and I have done many courses. Its a great place where both me & the kids have made some great friendships & I too have learnt new skills. Over the years while the kids were in creche I have done courses in sign language, spanish, gardening & web design to name but a few. The centre really impacts on family's lives and of course recently with The HOPE Emporium craft shop opening it has helped launch my craft business.

So I was given an old hardback book, told to rip out some pages, get out the glue & go for it !

I love the faded burgundy cover so much I have left most of it visible and personalised it with of course polka dots ! As the pages area bit battered I needed a way the strengthen the book for page turning so I have gone ribbon mad !

I have stuck, torn, written, drawn, collaged, painted, printed, its just great fun !

Align Centre

I have also been lent the cutest box of stamps which I am going mad with ! I am so excited by them I'm off on Amazon later to treat myself to my own set !

Its great fun and as well as my creative brain working overtime my writing brain has kicked in and there's no stopping me. Jotting down thoughts on such busy colourful pages is really helping me put pen to paper.
I am already thinking about doing another one when I have finished this one and would recommend all you creative types to try it !!!

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Saturday, 4 September 2010

Wedding Commission...Job Done !

Firstly hello & welcome to my new followers, thanks for choosing to join me ! Secondly sorry to you all for not being around lately but the summer holidays have been manic ! During the last 6 weeks we have managed to pack in a weekend in Yorkshire at a family wedding, a week in Spain, numerous play dates & sleepovers and 10 days at my parents in France. Just keeping on top of life in general & the odd order has been time consuming enough so blogging had to go out the window. With only a day left til the kids go back to school thought I'd best make the time for a quick post.

Remember the sample letter I did for a wedding commission ? well I got the order and 11 letters later the order is complete. The brief was 'free standing letters spelling out Just Married in lilac, white, purple & Scottish heather'. I have mixed decoupage with my signature polka dots and I couldn't let an order go out without a heart on it so snuck a little one on the J and M. When laid out it is about 2 metres long so it should make a real statement at the reception

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