Monthly Archives: May 2011

Therapy

*blush blush blush*

On Friday I posted about gorgeous French handwriting. I used an image that I found from Flickr by doing a Google search. The handwriting was gorgeous.

And I made a very amateur blogger (which I am!) mistake… I didn’t translate the writing before posting the picture.

I thought about it. But didn’t do it because I was in a baby-related hurry.

LOML is a French teacher. And he kind of freaked out (in a patient, my-wife-is-loony kind of way) when he saw my post.

They were not very nice words. Not very nice at all.

I’m so embarrassed.

It’s actually pretty funny, as long as nobody was offended, but I think I’m still smarting from the humiliation of doing something so stoooopid.

But I have certainly learnt my lesson.

And yesterday was a lovely bank holiday so I took a blogging break, licked my wounds and did some Pinterest therapy to make myself feel better.

So here are some real pretty things to soothe my bruised pride and hopefully smooth any feathers I may have ruffled {if any French literate readers noticed the rudies. Or indeed if anyone read my post at all! Never before have I so heartily wished that nobody read a post!}

Red Velvet Cupcakes » Annie's Eats

Green felt stamped muslin clip - Ciao

And with that, I bid you adieu. Au revoir?

Or should I say ciao?

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French Fancy

As you may already know, I’m kind of a Francophile. I love all most things French. Including the handwriting! [But not all of the cheeses. Heehee, writing ‘cheeses’ reminds me of the joke at Christmas with the little Babybel cheeses lying in a manger. Baby cheeses. 🙂 ]

I’ve had French student teachers helping out in my classroom a couple of times as part of their training, and I always ogle and drool over their perfect handwriting. I mean, we learnt cursive at school, but it’s an art form over there. They dedicate lots of lesson time to getting it right. And everybody gotta geddit it right. {I was saying that in a weird tough guy accent. Don’t know why. But read it that way anyway. Try it out loud 😉 }

aNyWaY… I’ve decided I’m going to work on my handwriting. I want it to be all purdy and curly and lovely like French writing.

These days so much is done on computer or texting, and I think handwritten things just add a nice personal touch to gifts and cards.

Wow, I’ve not tried cursive in about 15 years. It shows!

I’ve forgotten lots of the joins and capital letters.

Hope fully I’ll be able to show you an improved ‘After’ shot before too long.

If I can get it really pretty, I’d love to make something like this…

By Three Red Apples via Epheriell Designs

the tiny bird and co, Etsy

Excuse the hurried end to this post, and the very boring ‘Before’ shot of my handwriting… no time for editing – the Little Man is waking up.

That means I have some warm-sleepy-baby-cheek-kissing to do.

And maybe some tushie-squeezing and toe-eating too 😉

Have a lovely weekend, y’all!

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Embracing with brie

On Sunday we headed off after church to our biggest park, Central Park.

(Not to be confused with Central Park, NY. lol. Which we’d love to picnic in one day, too.)

I had packed in some Little Man-friendly food (roasted sweet potato wedge, blueberries, grapes, baby sweetcorn) but the star of the show for us was our absolute favourite, and oh-so-simple baguette and brie.  We didn’t take any cutlery or plates or anything, just tore into the bread and cheese, squeezing honey onto a bread and brie stack of deliciousness… our idea of bliss 🙂

So to emphasise my point of how much we love this ‘meal’, I just had to share these old photos with you before we get to our ETC picture for today:

This is in Nice, at the end of our honeymoon. We strolled along the beach after stopping in at a little grocery store for the supplies… baguettes, brie, ham.

We couldn’t think of a nicer way to end our time in France than to celebrate with this spread. Again, no cutlery (who takes cutlery on honeymoon??), just a hot evening… dipping sun… icy sea… and our favourite baguette & brie combo.

[I feel like I need to point out that the highway information sign at the bottom left is in Italy, taken while we were driving back to France. That’s why the date is ’24 maggio’ not ’24 mai’. Just in case there are overly critical very observant readers out there 😉  It’s there to show how gorgeously hot it was! ]

And here’s today’s actual ETC photo, taken on Sunday in the park:

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Busy busy busy

Today is turning into one of those I-thought-I-had-loads-of-time-but-suddenly-the-day-is-full-and-I’m-running-out-of-time kind of days.

So, as briefly as I can make this post, this is something I picked up at a charity shop yesterday:

  • Lace on the edges to be ‘repurposed’ –  on gifts instead of ribbon, and possibly another attempt at fabric flowers.
  • Floral fabric – as well as a bit of  ‘bleach & dye’ experimentation (a little bit like this), I intend making a teething/nursing necklace (like this)
And I stopped in at the greengrocer to see what looked good, and ended up walking away with some strawberries and this fruit box:
I know the photos don’t really show the box very well, but I just got so caught up in photographing the lettering and the cool red heart…

I was very chuffed with myself for asking him (Simon, the very friendly greengrocer) about what he does with the fruit boxes… usually I would just gaze longingly but chicken out of actually asking such a question in case he 1) thought it was a ridiculous question and that I was a loony, or 2) laughed at me because of course he re-uses them and would never think of giving them away, or 3) offered to sell it to me, which I would decline and therefore look like a cheapskate trying beg stuff off others for free [which I was].
Great news! He loved that I loved the box and happily emptied the oranges that were being displayed into a different box. He then proceeded to offer me others, even though he does re-use the boxes for home deliveries. I was walking with the pram so I could barely take the first box, let alone any others, but he’s keeping some for me. What a nice man 🙂

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Cinnamon Cookies for Kids

I have recently started helping out with the snacks for the toddler group that my church runs on a Thursday morning. I have mini-panics about how much food is needed, and if the other mums will somehow sniff out my lack of experience when it comes to choosing suitable fruit and baked goodies for their little ones. I envision having too little cake for the parents, un-toddler-friendly fruit, and some kind of allergic reaction to the cake I make for the little ones.

Last week I made cookie-cutter biscuits for the tots, which I had great fun decorating with the icing pens I bought to decorate my royal wedding biscuits… I have to add that ‘royal wedding biscuits’ may sound fancy, but they were not at all. The only fancy thing about them was that I iced them with cute patterns using the icing pens rather than slathering on piles of homemade icing. Rather like cement on bricks.

Anyway, back to the biscuits… they turned out fine: no allergic reactions, and no tantrums caused by a shortage of snack provisions. In fact, there were leftovers. Which were taken to snack on at my friend’s place that afternoon. So this recipe is for you, Helen 🙂

The recipe is from this book, and is called ‘Butterfly Biscuits’.

Baking With Tiny Tots

I cut them in the shape of gingerbread men, though, so I’m just calling them…

Cinnamon Cookies

Ingredients:

275g self-raising flour (+ extra for dusting)

10ml cinnamon (optional)

100g soft light brown sugar

75g butter, cut into pieces

1 egg, beaten

2 Tablespns golden syrup

Method:

1. Sift flour and cinnamon into a bowl, then stir in the sugar.

2. Rub in the butter pieces until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

3. In a separate bowl/jug, beat the egg and syrup together. Add to the flour mix and stir.

4. Form a ball of dough, wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for about an hour. (I’ve put this in bold because I didn’t notice this when checking the recipe and it kind of messed up my timings!)

5. After chilling the dough, preheat the oven to 170degC (sorry, I don’t know how to get a  degree symbol on here!!) This is Gas Mark 3 or 340degF. Line a baking sheet or two with baking paper.

6. Sprinkle some flour on the work surface and rolling pin. Roll out the dough to about 5mm thick and cut shapes with cookie cutters.

7. Bake for 10-15 mins (depending on your oven) – the edges should be golden brown. Remove from the tray to cool before decorating with icing.

*Please note the one hour chilling time before you plan your timings!

*10 minutes was plenty of baking time for my oven, and they get much darker brown very quickly, so keep an eye on them!

*This is meant to be child friendly, but I’ve skipped out a lot of ‘get your child involved’ detail in my version – a little common sense, some hand wash and a big apron is all you really need to get your little one baking 🙂

I’d love to hear about it if you try these…

Sorry about the lack of photos – Little Man was having a ‘there’s-no-way-I’m-napping’ morning, so it was rather chaotic trying to get them done in time. But hey, we all know what gingerbread shaped biscuits look like, right?

PS I made a very yummy lemon drizzle cake for the mums. [Oh, and dads. Yes, we have dads at our group too.]

But I’m not going to post the recipe for that – if you want it, you’ll have to buy our Big Fish Recipe Book 🙂 heehee

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Funny Words

In my search for gorgeous posters and prints, I’ve come across some pretty funny stuff.

I just had to share ’em:

Via Sherry @ Young House Love's Pinterest

Notebook Doodles

Via Kelly Thornburg's Pinterest

And these are probably my most favouritest. Hi-la-ri-ous!

Via Kelly Thornburg's Pinterest

Sign on Door

Via Kelly Thornburg’s Pinterest

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A Leaf From My Book

Last week Friday I posted about a use for those old books I bought at a car boot sale.

And here’s what else I’ve been doing with those old vintage pages… plus cereal boxes, doilies and vellum paper.

I used gift tags [that I bought a while back from here] as a rough guide to cut out rectangles from old cereal boxes (look at me repurposing all proper-like). I then glued the printed, colourful side of the cereal box onto suitable pages and cut out the tags. The brownish inside of the cereal box makes a nice neutral surface to write on.

On top of the page side of the tag, I glued a bit of paper doily (el cheapo) and hole-punched a message – birthday, in this case. I bought a pack of vellum and printed out a billion different messages – congrats, thank you’s, etc. to add to the ‘generic’ tag whenever I need them.

Lastly, I used rubber stamps to stamp out the recipient’s name in the doily bit. Then I strung the tag and birthday message on some twine and tied onto the gift.

While I was making this tag, I also used some scraps of Cath Kidston writing paper (leftover from this little project) to make another tag in the same way:

And here’s what I hope to still do one day with those old vintage book pages…

Via Kara Paslay Designs

A little ambitious perhaps? Especially considering my crafting skills don’t seem to go beyond gift tags!

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