Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Will the real Rudolf please step forward

Couldn't resist taking a photo of the gang before they are distributed to their new homes. Just a little bit more sewing to do this week - crochet hook roll and a Union Jack cushion - and I can give my machine a rest until after Christmas.

So on the agenda this week we have a gingerbread house to bake and construct, childrens' gifts to be wrapped and cards to be posted. Aside from this, I need to get the staircase painted so that it can be beautifully adorned with sparkly lights, balls and chrimbo cards.

Can't wait for Friday when we 'get this party started'...birthday breakfast at Claire's!!! what a treat!!! and end of term drinky poos at Lorraines. Enjoy! x

Thursday, 2 December 2010


Well, the kids finally got their wish as West Leigh was closed today. (This hasn't happened since 2003 apparently!) We were invited out to meet the masses on Marine Parade for a spot of sledging and some snowball throwing. However, 20 minutes outside in the cold and it was all too much for Mimi, who was by now in tears. Cakes was also keen to return home to get his Black Ops fix. I can't believe an 'outdoorsy' girl like me has produced such wimpy kids. Dr Green has a lot to answer for.....oh yeah!!

Back indoors, warmed up and telly on, I had an opportunity to tuck into some sewing. Muchos cushion making at the mo to fulfil some orders that came in at the Vintage Fair last Saturday. I've attached some photos and would appreciate any comments. Ta.

Mimi baked a lovely lemon cake this afternoon, as well as home made pizza for tea. We made a (unicorn?!) snowman in the front garden, followed by the lighting of candles and dancing around the living room to cheesy Christmas hits. Just waiting for Dr Green to return home now with a bottle of fizz.

School closed again tomorrow. Oh joy of joys. Brrrrr!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Off to the sewing room

Right, need to get making some Christmas bits for the Vintage Fair on 27th November. Am all fired up now after playing shop at Roses and Rue this morning. Just look at the beautiful Christmas window.

Surely this will inspire you all to visit the shop and stock up on lovely crafting goods. There are some fab kits for making Christmas stockings and hearts etc. Tonnes of fabric, ribbon and buttons.

OK. Tea made. Radio in hand. Off to the sewing room. Bye bye.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

A Victorian school boy here for breakfast....

... then trots off to Victorian school for the day. He's got a 'Victorian' lunch: bread and cheese, pasty and home made biscuits with a glass of water.

Let's hope he avoids sitting in the corner with the dunces hat on!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Christmas crafting

For all my clever crafting friends.... check out this blog for an on-line Christmas crafting magazine. Loving the felt mittens and the Christmas tree apron. A feast for the eyes!

Click here to access link to Inspired Ideas on inspireco.blogspot.com

Hee hee hee

Mabel in specs!!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Hoorah for the holidays!

It's the school holidays and the kids are having a great time with their cousins (well, Dr Green's cousins) Tom and Flora who have come to stay for a couple of days.

Us girls have been out for tea and cake at Stop the World. Followed by a bit of shopping and home to do some sewing. Flora's gingerbread man is the one with green buttons, Esme's is a gingerbread lady.

Meanwhile, the boys have played on the Wii, popped out for a quick round of par 3 golf, back home for some lunch and PlayStation, and are off in a bit to kick a football around with Dr Green.

On the agenda tonight we have home made pizza, a movie for the boys, a movie for the girls, and Aunty Rachel will be turning up early evening. It doesn't get much better than this.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Our Mabel....

... is turning into a beautiful dog. Just look at this photo, she's changed so much over the past 2 weeks. Her nose is elongated and she's starting to have a really elegant look about her. She's got those wonderfully long eyelashes that curl up at the ends.

"Mrs Miggins's pie shop" has been busy

Today's offerings are a gruyere and leek tart and a chicken, leek, bacon and creamy sauce pie.

Have been bitten by the baking bug.... I'll blame the Great British Bake Off. I'm quite sad it's finished.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Extreme makeover for Mimi and Cakes....

... website, that is. Have added loads of goodies and a shopping facility. Ooh err, get me!

Please have a browse and let me know what you think!! (Just click on the icon for the website on the right of this post). Ta xxx

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Roses & Rue at Village Green

Had a fabulous time at Village Green yesterday. Roses & Rue had a beautifully presented stall full of wonderful knitted and crocheted goodies. Spent the day there speaking to lots of very friendly local ladies. Hopefully Sharon will see some of these lovely ladies in the shop soon for a bit of knit and natter or to take up a course.

Thanks for a great day girls. x

More puppy photos

Mimi's new play mate.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Really enjoyed the Great British Bake Off

Dr Green and I really got into this competition which ended this week with Edd winning the final. We absolutely loved Ruth's style, organisation and overall coolness over the last few weeks so gutted she didn't win. However, I have visited her blog www.thepinkwhisk.co.uk and it's full of wonderful cake recipes and Ruth's ramblings. I highly recommend it.

Have been a bit of a domestic goddess this afternoon myself! (Am stuck indoors puppy training so might as well get on with a bit of cooking.) Knocked up a chocolate cake with vanilla and choc butter icing (Mimi, Evie and I have already tucked into it) and a beef stroganoff for Dr Green's supper.

Fancy making Ruth's minced beef and onion pie tomorrow. Simple but apparently very yummy.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Not much time for blogging...

... not much time for doing anything but looking after the nipping, pooing and weeing machine that is masquerading as our new puppy! Spent the last few days peeling the puppy, Mabel, off of my shoes and clearing up little puddles and packages.

Off to the vets this evening to get her first set of jabs and some puppy advice. Dr Green will be there for moral support - I'm useless when it comes to needles and kids/small animals.

The kids have been fighting over puppy holding time. Something else for me to referee. Cakes has suggested that Mimi gets her own puppy for Christmas to stop hogging this one. No chance!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Dr Green, the puppy magnet

Oh, I know this is going to get boring..... more puppy photos. Dr Green and Mimi with muchos puppies and Cakes with little Mabel.

And they call it Puppy Love

Here she is, looking a bit bedraggled after a huge saucer of milk, our puppy Mabel. We had a visit yesterday and are counting the days until she arrives home in two weeks time.

There's also a photo of Mimi with four of Mabel's siblings.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

New school apron for Mimi

Have made this out of a bit of scrap fabric left over from a teepee order. It's got a pocket and a little hoop to hang a wooden spoon. Modelled beautifully by Mimi.

That's it now. School stationery bought, new lunch boxes purchased, we have new school shoes/trainers and homework is a couple of paragraphs short of completion. Phew!

Stop Press: Cakes enjoys non football related activity

Here's my boy doing a bit of art and craft and loving it. Don't think this is going to be a regular occurrence but I'm chuffed to have lured him away from the Play Station, football cards and his football for half an hour.

Mimi on the other hand will need to have the felt tip pens surgically removed from her paws. She has decorated a small rain forest's worth of A4 paper. Trouble is, I don't like to throw any of it away. I love the fact that she has her own little take on things in an abstract/border line weird kind of way.

Have got some friends visiting tomorrow, so will get the kids to help bake a lemon cake later.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Yippee for family holidays with friends

Let's get some comments about the weather out of the way. Yes, the Clifton curse struck again. It's August for goodness sake, where was the sun!!!

Anyway, the Cliftons and the Warrens managed a fun break in Weymouth. The kids had a ball racing from one caravan to the other and really enjoyed having their best mates around. David and Lorraine were perfect company, as per usual, however we now know that Nick and Lorraine should not compete against each other competitively!!!!

The rain held off for most of the day when we had a large gathering of Bossoms, Cliftons and Warrens on beautiful Sandbank beach. The kids braved the sea, body boarding and jumping waves and we all enjoyed a fabulous game of cricket on the sand.

Thanks to Uncle Martin for recommending Tyenham - what a wonderful little village that was - and what an exciting drive through MOD territory to get there. Blown up tanks and all.

Dr Green is hooked on fossil hunting. The kids enjoyed it too. Well done to Daniel Spaniel for finding the most amazing intact amonite on Charmouth beach. The hubby is green with envy.

Had some lovely meals out - we did the obligatory trip to the Smugglers Inn, always a fave. Had a few nice evenings in the Mash and Barrell terrace and a real giggle most nights in the caravan with the gang.

Thanks everyone for a really enjoyable holiday. x

Monday, 26 July 2010

Day trippin'

We took a lovely drive down to the Kent/Sussex borders yesterday to visit the wonderfully preserved Bodiam Castle. Just Mimi, Dr Green and I, as Cakes is at Cub Camp, enjoyed a sunny day climbing castle walls and picnicing by a river bank. Next stop was a quick visit to Rye and then on to Hastings and St Leonards by the sea for a little foray onto the beach.

Enjoyed the obligatory cream tea at Battle on the way home. Can't wait to get to Dorset now for a whole week of this.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Her ladyship

Relaxing in her Molton Brown bath bubbles.

Christmas gifts

No, I haven't gone completely bonkers. Whilst the kids were happily watching Harry Potter (just to clarify, we had been out for a walk, been to the library, baked cakes and played in the garden) I cracked on with making a make-up bag and accessory roll. Hope to give this to one of my mates for Christmas. Am loving this Michael Miller fabric. It's one I picked up in Brighton.

Monday, 19 July 2010

I love my chooks

Here's a photo of the chooks enjoying the garden. They love scratching around in the flower beds and dust bathing in this heat. They're such good company when I'm pottering around outside..... wouldn't be without them.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Took the Wednesday Club on tour last Friday and ventured off to a very sunny Brighton! Had a great big fry up en route, ready for a day mooching around the lanes and all of the other glorious shops Brighton has to offer. We refuelled around 3 for a cream tea - very naughty but we needed the sugar boost - and continued our shop fest in the North Lanes.

Claire treated herself to a Pandora bracelet and a couple of charms, she was quite restrained really as there were sooooo many gorgeous charm temptations. Lorraine took home a Ollie and Nic bag and purse which was a late birthday treat. Lynda bought a couple of funky housie bits and Sarah purchased a tea towel! Julie informed us half way through the day that she doesn't really do shopping....... can't say the same for me. Finally bought the Cath Kidston satchel that I've been drooling over, purchased some Molton Brown goodies and found a wonderful fabric shop - Ditto - to add some American fabrics to my stash.

Finished off with dinner at Carluccios and a walk along the beach. I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Can I go to bed yet?

This is turning out to be yet ANOTHER manically busy week. The Clifton family is just about holding it together and limping through to the school hols.

On the plus side, Mimi has been offered a modelling contract for a fab and funky kids' agency who have lots of big name clients. She's extremely excited. I've sold some handmade goodies this week so have some extra cash to spend in Brighton with the girls on Friday. I'm off to see a friend of mine tread the boards on Thursday evening in a production of Absent Friends (my second trip to the theatre in 2 weeks, yippee!!).

Tomorrow is a mad one - school trip for Cakes, Mimi has a musicial production, play dates and finally both kids are at Cubs. I'll enjoy that glass of wine at Ugo's with Dr Green whilst they are both down at the Coal Hole.

Dr Green is looking forward to a day of golf on Friday whilst I'm swanning around in Brighton. Just hope he remembers to collect the kids from school. YIKES!!

As the World Cup draws to an end, the Clifton sweepstake is hotting up. Jake has Germany and Uruguay, Esme has Holland and I have Spain. Viva Espanol!!!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Caravan envy!!

I absolutely adore this funky little retro caravan. There are more photos on the Happy Loves Rosie blog. You can pick up a very basic small caravan for a few hundred pounds. Problem is getting it into the garden through the side gate. That's not going happen! I might just see how much it would cost to hire a crane and drop it in the garden over the house!!! That would amuse the neighbours.

What a lovely little den it would make at the bottom of the garden. The kids could have sleepovers with their mates and I could hide in it when it all gets a bit manic!! Could fill it with lovely fabric things....

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Footballs coming home...

... not! It seems to have packed its bags and moved permanently away from these shores. Shocking result last night but great evening of football at the Bossoms. Loved the football pitch that Alex had painted onto the lawn for the pre big match footie tournament. And well done to Jake's team - Jake, Neil and Alex - for winning the trophy. Scrummy bbq food and, as always, the best company ever. Thanks everyone. (Photo of Jake in action and with his treasured trophy.)

Monday, 7 June 2010

Lovely North Norfolk

We have just returned from a really relaxing break in gorgeous North Norfolk. The Clifton curse gave us only two days of poor weather. For the latter part of the week, we were basking in sunshine. Cakes is no longer translucent, Mimi has topped up her tan and Dr Green is off-white, dare I say sun-kissed!

With thanks to mum and dad, we stayed in Fiddlers Barn a wonderful barn conversion in Binham. The village itself has everything you need - as the other half mentioned frequently. This includes a well stocked shop and a great little pub, The Chequers, which brews its own beer and provides take-outs! Dr Green was in his element. A few minutes walk from the barn and we were walking around the stunning remains of Binham Priory.

The beaches are vast with a natural landscape - Brancaster, Holkham, Wells next the sea. The kids enjoyed paddling in the sea at Brancaster on a particularly warm Wednesday, collecting treasure (shells) and sliding down sandbanks.

On the not so good days weatherwise, we managed trips to Norwich and an animal sanctuary (surprisingly enjoyable for the grown ups too). Blickling Hall was also a highlight, as was the visit to the National Trust shop. The Blakeney seal trip was a memorable occasion. Thanks to Captain Roy and his patience we managed to see some otherwise elusive seals basking in their natural habitat. Had a successful Joules shopping trip in Holt too.

Oh yep, can't forget lots of good eating out. We LOVED The Hosst Arms in Burnham Market. That was a huge cream tea and, yes mum, the ladies loos are amazing. Lunch at Byfords in Holt is highly recommended. Great wholesome food (and portions) and it's blinkin' reasonably priced. (The Victoria sponges are the largest I've seen at £8 a cake.)The Cliftons had a nice meal in the Jolly Sailor at Brancaster. But, best of all, we had many visits to The Kings Head in Letheringsett (that's the one in the photo). Mimi would have loved Kate Humble's autograph but she was hiding behind a large glass of white - Kate not Mimi that is. All in all... heaven. We will be back.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Dotty reindeer

Just a little something I knocked up this week - in an hour!! - to hang on Mimi's wall. Be interested to have some feedback as I may make more of these to sell. Ta.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Cakes is off to camp

OMG, cue the tears (from me), Cakes is venturing off to Cub Camp for the weekend. It's his first trip away with the cubs and I'm sure he will have a fabulous time. All the charging around in the woods and not washing - right up his street.

The rest of us Cliftons are going to enjoy some much needed time at home. Don't tell Dr Green, but we have a day of gardening planned for tomorrow. We've fence panels to erect, general garden tidying and chicken/guinea pig houses to clean. I'll butter him up with a big cooked breakfast first thing.

Let's hope tomorrow evening is a bit warmer for Alex's 'outdoors' party. Not sure how I'm going to incorporate woolly socks into my party outfit otherwise.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Mimi is 8 today!

Wow... how did that happen?! Must go and get ready and start the birthday celebrations. Just waiting for Auntie Rachel to arrive so that we can pop in to the school plant and cake fair. Then we are off to the zoooooooo!!!! After that it's take away and sleep-overs with Holski and Spaniel. Plus a bottle of sparkly in the fridge for Dr Green and I to chill out later.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Life is good....

... in Leigh on Sea. Went for a lovely power walk along the seafront with Mrs Holloway yesterday. Beautiful blue skies and not a whisper of movement in the Estuary. Perfect start to any day.

Have just returned from breakfast and lots of tea drinking at Claire's. Now what to tackle next? The much overdue make-over of Jake's bedroom or do I head out to the garden? Or perhaps I should just plonk myself on the sofa with a bit of knitting and Richard Bacon on Radio 5. Mmm.

Oh, and here's yet another teepee. This one I made for the Batchelor girls....

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Yippee for the school holidays

No more spellings and no more homework deadlines.
No more stroppy kids pretending to have a headache first thing.
No more scrubbing stains out of uniforms we've forgotten to wash.
No more preparing lunch boxes at 8:35 in the morning.

For two weeks we have no routine, structure or manic tear-your-hair out rushing about. H E A V E N!!!!!

Friday, 26 March 2010

Wow, what a beautiful morning...

... am sitting here writing this whilst the kids and hubby are tucked up nicely in bed enjoying some much needed kip. For some reason, I'm up far too early but am enjoying a lovely cup of tea and a relaxing flick through my life bible - Country Living magazine.

Watched The Delicious Miss Dahl on iplayer yesterday. My god that house is beautiful. Apparently, it's not her home but one that's up for sale in Crouch End for £1.5m. Found some stunning pics of the house on another blog....


What with all this inspiration, I'm fired up to get creative in our home - especially now that we are not moving. Maybe we can have a rummage at Battlesbridge today and lunch at The Hawk. Now that's a plan..

Thursday, 25 March 2010


Thought I'd post a photo on my blog of the latest teepee made for a friend, Sarah B. I'm loving this fabric and have bought extra to make one for Mimi. Roll on the summer...

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Mimi treads the boards!!

We have just watched Mimi in her first Outloud production - Evacuees! She was word perfect and a real superstar in the making. Very proud. For mum who missed out today with her poorly back, here's a lovely photo of the opening scene. The girls gathered around the radio as war is declared. As the play progresses, the girls tell us about their experiences in the air raid shelters and, subsequently, as evacuees. Wonderful!! Am looking forward to many many more.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Been a busy girl

Filled in holes, painted walls, tidied the garden and scrubbed the house clean on Tuesday. Went to bed at 9 ish and slept like a baby until 7:30 the next morning. Exhausting! Last night had a lovely catch up with Paulo in London. And this morning, met Kirsty and Justine for a girly chat over breakfast at the Grove. Followed this up with a spot of shopping with Claire. Heaven!

How did I ever fit in a part time job!!! (Oh and took a lovely photo of Mimi in her beanie.)