2016 Roundup

Wow! Can you believe it’s 2017 already? Little Lady will reach her double figures this year! Time really does fly as you get older. Last year has gone in a flash. I think I have achieved quite a bit in 2016.

I did quite a bit of running

We did quite a few things as a family

I made a number of things from fabric and wool

And food featured a lot in 2016 too

I love looking back at highlights of the year and can’t wait to start making “highlights” in 2017 too. 

What was the best bit of your 2016? Can you pick one?

Pin Up

Wow I have neglected this blog haven’t I? Let’s just move swiftly along and pretend it didn’t happen shall we? Fab. 🙂

Okay so I’m going to start back with a crafty post. I am slowly starting to sort out my craft things in the attic and whilst doing so I found an unused canvas. I’m not really one to paint or draw so I decided to use it to make a notice board for Little Lady’s bedroom. I had some pink fabric in my stash and some ribbon so I had a go while she was at school.

Hubby was a bit wary of allowing me to use the staple gun unsupervised after last time when I pinched my thumb in the handle lol! You’ll be glad to know I came away unscathed this time yay!

I roughly measured the fabric by folding it around the canvas.


I then cut it to size, folded the corners neatly and stapled it to the frame. Of course you could finish the edges of the fabric but to be honest I didn’t bother.

I didn’t have enough of the ribbon I wanted to use so I had to space the strips very carefully. Once I was happy with their position I stapled those to the frame too.IMG_0950

The process was repeated with the ribbon going the opposite way.IMG_0951

And as easily as that it was done.IMG_0952

Little Lady loves it and has it hanging above her desk for her “important papers”. She is also pinning her dance rosettes to it which are looking good.

If I did another one of these I would use more ribbon to make the criss- crosses closer together but as I made this with only things I already had, I am quite pleased.

Have you ever made a noticeboard like this?

ZWW – my pledge

On Wednesday I told you about Zero Waste Week and it’s theme for this year. The theme is Re-use and I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can use that theme in our family life. We re-use a lot of things already.

We re-use glass jars to store food in the fridge. Very handy to write the “use by” date on using a wipe off marker too. We re-use shopping bags and I always have one in handbag, plus a few in the boot of the car for bigger shops too. We re-use the backs of Christmas/birthday cards to use for notepaper and re-use printing mistakes as drawing paper for the kids.

I wanted ZWW to stretch me, like last year, but I also wanted to make sure that it wasn’t a gimmick, that it was something that would be useful in our everyday lives. After a lot of thinking we (hubby and I) came up with our pledge:

We will re-use and re-purpose items that we already have, or can get second hand, to have a handmade Christmas (as far as we can)

As many gifts as possible from us at Christmas will be handmade. This includes upcycling and repurposing as well as making from scratch. We will try not to buy anything new and either use what we can or buy second hand.

During ZWW (7-13th September) I will be offering tutorials on handmade gifts so please do come back to have a look. I won’t be able to list all planned presents as I know my sister reads this blog periodically and I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise. 😀 I also plan to end the week with a giveaway so be sure you don’t miss out on that.

Are you planning to take part in ZWW? What’s your pledge?

Handmade parties

We are fast approaching the busiest time of year for parties in the lifetimeofdiy household. Here in Wales (not sure if it’s the same elsewhere?) the children who will be he oldest in the school year start school part time at 3. In little lady’s case it was those with birthdays between September and December. There were 10 that started and these 10 have become very close friends. As you can imagine little lady gets a number of party invites during this time. Plus we have 4 family birthdays before Christmas. It could be very expensive but we try to be sensible and limit our spending. Within the family a handmade card is the best present ever. We love all things handmade and would rather a homemade cake with fingerprints in the icing (baby D I am looking at you!) than a shop bought one.

The first birthday is my sister’s. Little lady calls her Anti. She has never added her name to the end like with the other aunties. She is just Anti. As a side note my brother is called Uncle 🙂 he doesn’t have a name attached to the end either 😉

So Anti’s birthday. Little lady and I made a cake. A pink cake.

We also made jelly that not only refused to come out of the mould but when it eventually did, it sagged and looked a bit pathetic 😦

And let’s not forget the handmade card

Anti loved her tea party and little lady was happy it was over with as that means that the next family birthday is hers!! 😀

End of summer

Well we are nearly at the end of summer. Where has it gone? Although Little lady is ready to go back to school, this summer has seemed to fly by.

So what have we been up to? Here is our summer round up Lucy style.

We visited a local fairy princess castle.


We took part in a family fun day in a local park.


Little lady climbed a ginormous wall.


We made robots out of cardboard boxes.


    We celebrated my lovely mum’s birthday with a family tea party.


    We rode a canal boat down part of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal


    And little lady made her very first dress (dolly sized)


    What did you do over the holidays?

End of term

Well it’s mid July and that can only mean one thing – end of school for the summer. And guess what? It is actually feeling like summer. The sun has been out for about 2 weeks now I think. End of term is very busy for teachers and pupils and while I am neither this last week has been so busy with sports day, summer fair and last day sadness for little lady.

These days it seems to be the norm to give a gift to your child’s teacher as a thank you. I am not really sure why, it was never done when I was in school (oh dear I think I just turned into my mother!!). Last year, little lady had one teacher and 2 teaching assistants in the nursery class. I bought inexpensive (read cheap) mugs from a supermarket, prettied them up with hand knitted mug cosies, added 2 sachets of hot chocolate and a mini whisk. They seemed to go down very well but I didn’t feel like I could do the same again this year. I don’t really want to be *that* mum at school so I needed a new idea. A quick search on the Internet turned up quite a lot of (American) blogs telling me that teachers do not want mugs, chocolate or sweets! WHAT??? Really?? A frantic text to my teacher friend revealed that she loves being given any (or all 😉 ) of those three, as do the other teachers in her school. Still I was feeling slightly unnerved.

I eventually decided (using my fantastic knowledge of teachers haha!) that little lady’s teacher and TA would love a nice notebook. Teachers use them all the time. Don’t they?? I bought 2 inexpensive notebooks and a pack of spotty pens. Wouldn’t have minded them myself if I’m honest. I covered the notebooks with fabric and little lady wrote a little thank you note on the first page of each. Once done though, I felt it looked a bit cheap – it was only a notebook and pen after all – so I made a little bag for the notebooks to go in.

The result:

(Picture taken about 11.45pm the night before they had to go into school)

I am pleased to say I had a very lovely message on Facebook thanking me for the gifts so I think it’s fair to say they liked them. Next year however, I will be more organised. I promise.

Rag Wreath

So it’s December and we are officially on the countdown to Christmas. We’ll skip over the fact that I’ve been counting down since….ooh well since about the summer!! Following on from my last post I am going to show you how to make this:

Rag wreath

I’m sure you’ve all guessed that it’s a rag wreath.

They are really easy to make they just takes time. And I think mine looks stunning. Yes I’m biased as I made it but I think it looks fab hanging on the back of our door. It is kind of a shame that we live on a main road and I can’t hang it on the front door but at least this way I get to see it all the time. Here’s how to make your own.

*Please note that the pictures showing how to make it were taken after this one was finished so the pictures show different fabrics. Hope you don’t mind my disorganisation.*

First off you’ll need a circle.

Wire circle

I bought this one but you can easily make one out of a wire coat hanger or similar.

Chose your fabric (this may be the hardest part) and cut out your strips. Hubby worked out that I needed just over 450 strips of this size to fill the wreath and that’s a LOT of cutting out.

Fabric strips

Once you have all your strips cut out, start tying them to the circle in whatever pattern you want. I put all my strips in a bowl and pulled them out randomly but it’s up to you.

Tied to circle

Keep going til you fill the circle. Hint: the more strips you tie the fuller the wreath looks so keep squashing them up and adding a few more when you get to the end of a section.

Once complete tie a ribbon to the top and make a loop big enough to hang the wreath. Hang your wreath and stand back to admire it.

Rag wreath

Simple when you know how isn’t it?

Making what you need

This was a topic covered by the lovely Jenni over at A Cheerful Living Adventure. She talked about making things you would otherwise buy and thought it would be nice to share with you the things that I have made.

Today I would like to talk underwear. Ooh err! I feel slightly embarrassed already.

Underwear as the name suggests is worn (by me anyway!) under the clothes and is therefore not regularly seen by your average joe public (unless you are a builder or a plumber in which case it may be in the job description 😉 ). So why spend a lot of money on something that is only going to be seen by:

  • yourself,
  • (possibly) your immediate family and
  • (God forbid) the emergency services (in which case you probably won’t be in a state to care)

So why then do some places think they can charge the earth for a decent set of underwear?

And by “decent” I mean knickers that cover your bum.

However, mass production’s version of “knickers that cover your bum” mainly consist of so-called “granny knickers” and having only just slid kicking and screaming into my *shhh* 30’s I am not quite ready to go down that road just yet.

If I can’t have a nice, comfortable, reasonably priced set of underwear then I will make my own. Which I did.

Want to see??


This was my actually my second attempt at making a bra. The first attempt fitted but was a bit more “sensible”.

These were also made using the same pattern although they look much bigger due to the colour of the fabric.


Okay they look massive. I’m not actually that big in that area. Am I???*scurries off to check rear end in the mirror*

What have you made recently?

Cake or Death?

Please excuse me for stealing a quote directly from Eddie Izzard for my title, but that’s exactly how I’ve felt this week. You see, on Friday it was my little lady’s 5th birthday and I wanted to make her a special cake.

Last year she had a HUGE Peppa Pig cake made by a friend of my mum’s.

This year I have been baking a lot more and decided that I wanted to be the one to make her cake. And I knew the exact cake I wanted to make her.

Now this cake was not an ordinary cake. This was a Rainbow Cake.

Yes I was definitely stretching myself.

As I have mentioned before I am now back at work so had to bake them in the evening. I made 3 (2 cakes and a practice one just in case) Tuesday evening and a further 4 Wednesday evening. I was caked out! Or should that be baked out?? And very stressed.

6 cakes in the freezer with a spare one to practice icing. (Oops we “kind of” ate that one!)

I am definitely more of a “leave it til the last minute” kind of girl so I only remembered to get them out of the freezer Friday night! That meant I couldn’t ice them unitl Saturday morning, along with cooking party food, fighting a losing battle trying to calm a very excited just-turned-5-year-old, cleaning the house ready for the in-laws to arrive, decorating the hall and organising the set-up of a bouncy castle! Phew I’m tired just thinking about it!

So how did it turn out?

The cakes stacked nicely but the icing left a lot to be desired. After the 3rd time of re-doing the icing I was running out of time so a bit of improvisation was called for. Using the spare icing and some food colouring I cut out stars and stuck them to the cake to hide the icing flaws.

Some spare stars were stuck to the top and using writing icing I spelt out “Seren 5” She loved it!

But the moment of truth came at the party after singing “Happy Birthday”. Hubby cut a slice from the cake to see if it had worked.

And IT HAD!!!!!!! YEEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!!! Okay it’s not exactly like the Martha Stewart one but I didn’t use the same recipe so that’s to be expected I suppose.

Although I must say………..I am never baking that cake EVER AGAIN!

Crocheted Flowers

So here it is. My first ever crocheted flower:

Okay I admit you can’t see the flower shape very well due to the wool I used but I can assure you it is a flower.

How about another look in a different colour?

They are much clearer in pink aren’t they?

I made these using a “Crochet for idiots” book. Okay so it wasn’t called that but it was written in very simple steps. Simple enough even for me to understand!

And it worked! I mastered a flower. I made some simple hair clips with them by attaching a hair grip to the back and here it is attached to a very simple stocking stitch rectangle.

It makes a lovely blanket for Barbie don’t you think?