Thursday, 24 November 2011

Spice up your baubles

I absolutely adore this blog at teawagontales. Super vintage fabrics and cute but very cool handmade goodies.

And the clever lady who writes this blog has posted a tutorial to 'pimp up your Christmas baubles'. Take a look.... off to order some vintage floral decals.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Mince pies in November....

... but we do have a good excuse. Dr Green's birthday tomorrow and he's promised the gang at work some home made mince pies.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011!

Well, I have FINALLY updated my website There's now information on sewing tuition as well as the goodies I make for the vintage fair. Phew.

Now need to blog more regularly. Laters x

Saturday, 6 August 2011

More sewing course news

Am so excited think I might damage something! Yep, the sewing courses are finalised and Sharon at Roses and Rue is booking places. There's some cracking courses on offer. I'm particularly excited about the quilt course, appliqued pictures and the Christmas gifts: tea cosies, peg bag and laundry sack, toy sacks, Christmas bunting, Union Jack cushions, door stops, hearts, aprons, tote bags, Christmas stockings and lots, lots more.

If any of you guys fancy joining in, then please take a look at Sharon's website - for all the details and how to book.

Love to see you there.

Thursday, 4 August 2011


At the weekend we took the kids and the dog over to Two Tree Island for a bit of blackberry picking. Managed to get a huge bucket of them and there are plenty more unripe berries for a revisit.

Last night, Mimi and I cooked up a delicious blackberry and apple crumble (served warm with vanilla ice cream). And today, by chance, I was sent a link from the BBC Good Food website with some great blackberry recipes. Have made this amazingly moist blackberry and apple loaf cake. YUM!

Lara popped by with a couple of recipes too - blackberry and apple crumble cake (sounds similar to the one above) and a scrumptious blackberry fool - one to try tomorrow.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Kids away so mum gets busy busy busy

Wow! Haven't I been productive.

But before I go waffling on about what I have been up to, I need to say thank you to my lovely family who have entertained Mimi and Cakes since the weekend through to early this evening. They are very lucky bunnies and have had a fabulous start to their school holiday. Thank you and big love to mum and dad, Aunty Rachel and the Kingston Cliftons x.

In the kids' absence, I've sewn like a mad woman! Have managed to make four more floral satchels, a couple of grey linen elephants and some sleepover rag dolls (complete with little sleeping bags).

Sharon and I have also prepared a sewing course programme for the autumn months. Take a look at Roses and Rue's website to see what we are up to.

So, whilst I'm on a roll there will be more mad sewing for the two vintage fairs in September and December. We will also be selling our fabric, knitted and crocheted goodies at Christmas parties hosted by friends in early November. Busy busy busy....

Thursday, 14 July 2011

A nice bit of baking

As it's just Mimi and I this evening, we decided to do a bit of baking.

Mimi whipped up this lovely meringue, filled with fat free fromage frais (a tiny bit of caster sugar and vanilla) and topped with strawberries. Yum!

We've had homemade pizza for tea - tomato, basil and pine nut for me, pepperoni for my little friend.

Next in the oven was the red onion, cheddar and pancetta tart for Dr Green's lunch tomorrow. And later, there will be a Nigella lemon cake too.

Right, off to drag Cakes out of Max's pool..... later.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Vintage fabric satchel!!!

Have just made this bag with lovely vintage fabrics and I'm VERY EXCITED with the end result. (It's not quite finished as I've run out of thread but I was really keen to post it.) There's going to be many more!!!!!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Loving these...

... cute little strawberry pin cushions. Saw this pattern in the last edition of the fabulous Mollie Makes and had to have a go. As you can see, I've also made a needle case to match. Be interested to hear what you think.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Puerto Pollensa revisited

Just back from a relaxing week in Majorca. This is the second time The Cliftons have visited Pollensa and it didn't disappoint. Beautiful scenery - the craggy mountains, a backdrop to the beautiful coast line, lovely dining in The Square and Pine Walk and gorgeous weather.

Spent our days mostly lounging around and in the pool and I even managed to finish a book - one of the highlights of my holiday - The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal. Mimi has a monster tan (despite the factor 50 sun protection!!) and Dr Green and Cakes are off white.

As usual, we had a few disasters - lost our holiday money, left an ipod touch on the bus, broke the apartment key IN the lock AND(we could struggle to top this!) got stuck way up high on the side of a mountain behind a private locked gate(don't ask - but maybe Dr Green will listen to me next time?).

Now back in the UK and thinking about next year's summer hols. Not sure if anyone caught Three Men in a Boat this week but Croatia looks stunning. Or maybe we'll take a cruise in the Med. Bring it on.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Bye bye girls

This trio of lovelies has been packed off to Roses & Rue and hopefully will be re-homed soon.

On a separate note, found a great bit of burlap printed bunting on Etsy. May have to try this out very soon. How exciting!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Mini cheesecake heaven

Check out these little beauties over on the Pink Whisk Blog. She's a clever girl that Ruth. Think I'll try this recipe very soon (using my brand spanking new Kenwood food processor!).

Rainbow cake....

... a little something to make you smile.

Monday, 9 May 2011

It's been a while...

... since I last blogged so I think a quick update is in order.

The kids are finally doing their first full week at school for sometime (HOORAH!). Am so looking forward to a week of getting organised and whipping the house into shape.

The new kitchen breakfast room works a treat and is very near to completion. We just need to drum up some enthusiasm/energy to sand off and paint a few bits - I hear a groan from Dr Green.

Mimi enjoyed her birthday weekend immensely!! In fact, she cried and cried last night and this morning because she'd had such a fab time and didn't want it to be over. Think it may have had something to do with the fact that she was exhausted after the 2.30 am bedtime at Friday night's sleepover. Note to self: 6 girls for a sleepover - NOT to be repeated.

I've being doing a bit of sewing tuition at Roses & Rue. So far we've covered bunting, cushion covers and zips. Thank you to all who've come along so far - I've been sooo impressed with everyone's efforts. Next on the sewing course schedule is lined bags, aprons, seasonal gifts (ooohhh!!) and maybe a bit of quilting.

Mabel is settling down nicely. We've had some amazing walks over at Two Tree and in Belfairs Woods. I'm embarrassed to say there's so many great walks I've discovered during the past few months, even though we've lived in Leigh for 12+ years, I had no idea how picturesque it is by the marshland.

Right, will close now but promise to blog more often. Later.

Sunday, 13 March 2011


Here's the last of the rag dollies. I have LOVED making these so there could be more later in the year. As per usual, profile designed by Mimi:

Name: Violet
Age: 7 and a half
Hobby: Sports, sports and more sports (and annoying her brother)
Fave School Subjects: PE and swimming
Best Friends: Alice and Lulu
Current Project: Ultimate pranking with baked beans
Fave Colour: Green
Fave Sweets: Haribos and sherbet
Fave Teacher: Mrs Marathon the PE teacher

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Noisy kids

It's noisy in my house!! The kids are on half term and they have friends here to play. Unfortunately, the boys and girls are playing with each other - it's going to end in tears or me shouting very loudly.

I'm taking it easy in the kitchen with the dawg. Just need a pair of ear muffs.

I wanted to post a photo of my latest project. It's a crocheted, yes crocheted, really crocheted, granny stripe blanket and I am making it. This is a huge breakthrough for me as up until now I have been a crochet thicky. However, thanks to my very patient friends at Roses and Rue, Sharon and Sue, I seem to have got the hang of it.

It's got a long way to go before it adorns the back of the sofa in the living room. But its keeping me out of trouble and it'll make its way back and forth to knit and natter sessions at the shop.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Meet Alice

A friend for Lulu. Profile, again, designed by Mimi:

Name: Alice
Age: 8 and a half
Hobbies: Nature and detecting things (like Nancy Drew)
Fave School Subjects: Science stuff and being kind to the environment
Best Friends: Lulu and Violet
Current Project: Planting summer bulbs and building little houses for bees
Fave Colour: Sunshine yellow
Fave Sweets: Dolly Mixtures
Fave Teacher: Professor Greene, Nature Expert and Eco-warrior

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Meet Lulu

I used to make lots of rag dolls and stuffed animals as a kid so this takes me right back to those early 'making' days.

Mimi has designed a profile for 'Lulu':

Name: Lulu
Age: 8
Hobby: Skipping
Fave School Subjects: Art, PE and D&T
Best Friends: Alice and Violet
Current Project: Knitting a scarf for Grandma's birthday
Fave Colour: Shiny purple
Fave Sweets: Flying saucers
Fave Teacher: Madam Bon Bon (history of French art)

Monday, 3 January 2011

Boogie oogie oogie in to the New Year

The Hasan-Lichensteins throw a mean party. DJ Ad keeps us dancing until the small hours with his banging house music and laser light show.

This year was a smallish affair - a sprinkling of neighbours and a dozen or so of their close friends (but we do have an awful lot of kids between us!!) Jake disappeared upstairs with the lads to watch Karate Kid. Didn't see him at all until countdown to New Year. Think he was chuffed to catch up with the 'big boys' - Henry and David.

Mimi on the other hand danced her little socks off with Belle to hits from Now 77. She's one funky diva.

And mum, we arrived home sober!!!

The Kingston-upon-Thames Cliftons

Here are some photos of our beautiful Clifton kids....(and dogs).

More boozing and's Boxing Day!

Popped over to see mum and dad/grandma and grandad on Boxing Day afternoon. As per usual, Mum laid out a buffet large enough to feed a small army.....and that was followed up with a delicious home made banoffee pie. YUMMMM!!!!

Mimi instigated much Frustration and Charades playing for all for a large part of the afternoon and early evening!

Came home to a bit of Deadliest Catch on Sky Plus. And another very late night for the kids.

The Clifton Clan at Christmas

Ooh, festive frivolities with the in-laws and Aunty Rachel on Christmas Day. Many pressies were opened, much food consumed (the turkey cooked on time this year, phew), puzzles completed and that good old Game of Great Britain caused some family ructions. (I'll tell Dr Green where to stick his train signals!!).

Cakes was 'well sorted' with this new touch screen samsung toco lite (that's a mobile phone by the way). Mimi just squealed with excitement whilst opening ALL of her pressies.

Thank you to Martin, Vicky, Emily, Tom and Flora for a lovely day on the 30th. It was really nice to catch up with you guys and a treat for Mabel too!!

School's out, Chrimbo is on its way!!!

This is becoming a bit of a tradition...... Mrs Warrens is a glutton for punishment! Christmas supper for lots of very excited 'end of term' kids. See if I can remember them all: Mimi and Cakes (obviously), Nicks, Daniel Spaniel and Holski, Abbi and Joseph oops I mean Jacob!, The Batchelor Girls, Fleur and Livs, Lizzie and Jamie and Finn! Phew. Thanks Lorraine x

Oh dear, another birthday

45 years old! How did that happen!!!

Anyhow, I promised myself this year we would make a fuss of my birthday rather than squeeze it into the Christmas celebrations. Started with a birthday breakfast courtesy of the lovely Claire (Bear) Bright the week prior. Got a chance to catch up with some great mates and eat pastries/drink tea. Super. (Slightly marred by the fact that I'd lost my voice and had had a rather painful tooth extraction the day before).

On B'Day managed to pop in to Roses & Rue to say hi Sharon and Lara. This was followed by lunch at Stop the World with Dr Green and the kids - just love their welsh rarebit, superb. Next stop was Battlesbridge Antique Centre for a bit of a mooch, although it was bitterly cold and the kids couldn't wait to hot foot it home.

A big thanks to mum and dad for coming over to babysit in the evening. It was fab to catch up with The Warrens, The Bossoms, Julie and Pauline in Ugos. Got really squiffy (it felt like an out of body experience) and now know that copious amounts of Neurofen, paracetamol and wine is NOT a good mix.

Got lots of beautiful, thoughtful presents from my lovely friends and family. Thank you very much everyone. I would like to point out that Dr Green outdid himself with the present buying this year. My teapot is magnificent (see photo). He has set the bar high for next year!

Bye bye 2010

There's been very little time for blogging over the past few weeks. But, as I use this blog as a bit of a diary, I'm going to post a few notes of all the wonderful goings on over Christmas and the New Year.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2011 x