Thursday, November 30, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006
Guessing the diptychs reminds me of that awful 80's show, 'Catchphrase' with the incredibly annoying Irish host who kept shouting 'just SAY what you SEE' at hapless contestants. I was such a fan. It's a good thing I wasn't married to Andy way back then. We have always been really competitive with TV quiz shows - keeping a personal tally for University Challenge - looser washes up. He'd be at the sink permanently if we did it with Catchphrase - intelligent he is, lateral thinker he definitely isn't.
I've been thinking a lot these past few days about the ways our minds work. Specifically Mark's. His teacher came to me last Friday concerned that he wasn't grasping 'number bonds' or many mathematical concepts for that matter. She says he isn't listening in class, which I'm sure is true, but I'm not sure it's the root of the problem. He can do Maths with real-world examples and with props to help him, but when faced with just numbers you can see him starting to flap and he gets so flustered he can't figure out what he's meant to be doing. Then he makes a wild guess. Already at 6 he has decided Maths is not for him and I think his teacher's attitude is likely to re-enforce this.
It makes me sad, doubly sad because I was EXACTLY the same as a child. I have always struggled with maths - I can do it, but I am not confident about it and find myself easily flustered. Geometry and statistics are fine - I have something concrete to visualize, but plain numbers are scary. I know some of you who read this do homeschooling - any advice for me? How can I help this poor child before he gets totally turned off.
He needed some cheering up, so I freezer paper stencilled a dinosaur on his vest. Maths I can't do, prehistoric creatures I can.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
Then a Capello thank you special. Very handy seam ripper there - been used already. And chocolate - oh yes, and lovely fabric choices for the pincushion.
And a give-away from Michelle - a micro mini Santa hat which will be adorning my tree this year and some gorgeous handmade Christmas cards. This may be the start of a whole paper crafting obsession for me - I am very afraid.Thank you so much. Partly for the lovely things you sent, but even more for the warm feeling that I get when one of these amazing parcels appears, put together with care, wrapped with panache and sent off to someone who would be a stranger if it wasn't for this crazy experience that is blogging. Sent for no reason other than knowing it will put a smile on their face. That's special - thank you.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
While we were away I scooped some irresistible cookware items - the snowflake cutter got it's first outing tonight with some puff pastry snowflakes. My boys are puff pastry addicts. In fact, I don't think I have ever met a child who doesn't like it. We don't even need to make a pie, they're happy to have it cut into shapes, brushed with milk and baked. Easy peasy.
The cake stand has yet to be christened, but it's my friend Sarah's birthday this weekend so you never know. I'll let you peek at her present too, but no telling OK?
It's a galvanized bucket, filled with goodies for the perfect fireside experience. A couple of logs in the bottom, some bundled kindling (ribbons obligatory), pine cones scented with cinnamon oil, herb bundles for burning and some fancy pants matches for lighting.
I read somewhere that pine cones are nature's own firelighters, being packed with resin which burns very hot. With some cinnamon essential oil, they smell incredible. The herb bundles are thyme, rosemary and bay, all from our garden and bound with stripy string. Yes, THE stripy string - do you think its sacrilege to consign some of it to be burned? I'm viewing it as a sacrifice at the altar of the Gods of Good Packaging.
Happy Thanksgiving to all you celebrators over the pond, may your turkeys be tender.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
My kids are so lucky to have a playroom, but at times it depresses the hell out of me. I turfed an entire bin bag full of stuff and STILL the room is groaning. And the silly season is about to start where we all rush about buying each other even more stuff, when actually what we all really want is extra time to enjoy the stuff we already have, which of course we would have if we didn't spend so much time shopping for more stuff for everyone else.
I'm sorry, I'll stop ranting now. But I do think that this year we might try some gifts of experience - some new food to try, a trip to the cinema - ideas folks?
Thursday, November 09, 2006
You can pile grandma, her parcels and her cats into some pretty amazing structures I can tell you. The game is officially called Matoudematata and we got it last Christmas at an amazing toyshop in Bath whose name has slipped my memory.
Oh yes, Bath. Andy and I are heading off there, sans children, for a couple of days next week. Grandparents are being shipped in, copious notes on routines, swimming lessons and lunchbox contents need to be written, the fridge will be fully stocked and then we are hitting the highway to freedom! A hotel, grown up meals, the possibility of a lie-in - oh yes, it's going to be good. So if anyone has recommendations of not-to-be-missed places, tell me quick.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
I thought about it long and wistfully and then it came to me - without stripy string my Christmas will never be perfect. And I've found some!! From a butcher's supply place on the Internet - yes, stripy string is for trussing joints of beef - at least red is, blue is for pork and green for lamb. I learnt a lot from the butchery supply site - very educational.
Monday, November 06, 2006
I've also got a lot of stuff to play with at home, since a parcel came from Laura at the end of last week. The boys are busy with their new books. I am the proud owner of some original stamps and stamped stationary and the funkiest post-it's known to man.
We made a batch of leaf biscuits this evening for dessert and I'm cooking up some plans for this fabric.