Monday, 29 July 2013

And the Winners Are....

I apologise for the length of time it has taken me to blog about the names that got pulled out of our fateful hat...  the winners were chosen in that very simple way.  Names written on pieces of paper, folded into four and then one pulled out by each of my children.

As you may know, here I posted about my Giveaway (in homage to the anniversary of my first ever blog post) and my Carry it Forward (due to being fantastically fortunate to win goodies from Hen back in February).

And the Winners are:
Giveaway Goodies were won by Jann
Jennifer from Thistlebear
The Carry it Forward Goodies were won by Jennifer!
Well done to both of you!! 

A big thank you to the other two of you that entered.  If I'm completely honest, I was a little disappointed by the number of entries - but it was good for those of you who did enter to have fewer numbers to compete with!!  My little blog is only read by a select and highly valued few (yes... YOU!).  I think I'll finally be sharing it with my friends and family later this year - it's funny how I started blogging to strangers before making my wider family aware.  Although I would say I feel like some of you have become friends over this year - one of the best things about my blogging journey.

I really would like to thank you ALL for entering - and indeed for being my regular 'bloggy friends' here at Simple Things.

Happy Monday Friends,
J9 x

Friday, 26 July 2013

English Country Garden's At their Best

We've passed some lovely time as a family recently in different country gardens - especially during this hot weather we've been having.

My mum's village annual fete took place and is a must for us.  We always see old school friends, extended family and have a lovely time enjoying the traditional stalls. 

The sun shone, the brass band played

and Billy won an enormous reindeer.  Oh goody.  Another cuddly to join our home. 

He was made up though!

Chloe the clown had an eager assistant too ;0)

Do you remember this post about Grandpa's garden?  It's looking as lovely as ever - such floral abundance.


This hot weather we've been having has resulted in Lots of water play!!
Meditation in a mini pool:

Sprinklers.... enough said:

Chilled chatting in a tiny pool to cool down after school before the holidays started:

 Birthday super soakers were met with approval and have hardly been put down since:
Plus frantic fun sliding & splashing action:

After all that play, snuggles under blankets to warm up is a real must...
The winner of my giveaway and carry it forward will be announced next week!  I'll be contacting the winners directly shortly!!!

Happy days playing in the sunshine.

J9 x

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Pretty Filter - To 'Girlify' A Bike!

Our bargain last month was little Lady's bike from the charity shop.  It felt like the universe was working in our favour and the purchase was completely meant to be.  It was the right size, right price and right time - so it came home with us.

Little lady was delighted. 

A little later she came to me and said "Mummy, can we girly it up a bit?"  Of course we can.  Bless her.  She was so accepting that the bike was a sensible purchase - but it was a dull grey and she had visions of a prettier specimen.

We added some spoke decorations and a basket from Halfords - bought with some money she had been saving for her new bike.  Some holographic stickers from the craft cupboard added extra colour to the paintwork.... and then for some crochet LoVe.

Just what could these be?

Any ideas?

How about if I photograph them like this?!

I found a few inspirational images here and here.  That evening I had a good look on the internet for 'research' and also pinned more homemade bicycle accessory ideas to my newest Pinterest Board!  Then a girly discussion ensued, colours were chosen and I set to work. 

A colourful seat cover was created:

...and some funky handlebar streamers finished the makeover - plaited long ends with beads added in complementing colours finished the covers...

Crochet cheeriness!

A happy, colourful bike - perfect to suit a happy, colourful little lady.

The reward I felt on this little project was priceless.  Life is good when you're 7 and your mummy prettified your bike!

Thanks for reading,
J9 x
Today I'm sharing in these fab parties!
The Inspiration Exchange
Share your Cup Thursday

Monday, 8 July 2013

My Big Boy's Birthday

On 25th June our little man turned 6.  It left me musing on just where time goes.

He's a joyful character full of love, adventure and mischief.  Currently, his favourite things to do are:
  • to play knights and castles,
  • to play batman,
  • play with cars,
  • Top Trumps and
  • rough and tumble with Daddy.
Otherwise, it's outside...  playing football, swingball, basket ball, tennis, chase, on the trampoline, scooting, bike riding, catch...  You name it, if it's outdoors he loves it.

He requested a dinosaur cake - again I looked to Pinterest for inspiration.  I made 4 round sandwich cakes (8in tins).  Cut one round in half to form the hump back of the body and then continued to cut the remaining parts of the body from the remaining cakes.  I used the curves of the outside of the cake rounds to sculpt the shape of the tail, neck etc.

After butter creaming and laying over the fondant I started adding detail.  I vaguely wanted the dinosaur to have a stegosaurus features and little man did state that that's what type of dinosaur it was - so it wasn't too far off.

I really enjoyed making this cake.  I mixed the fondant colours and made the cakes the day before I cut, shaped it and put it all together the following day - and that approach seemed to work well.  It seemed more relaxed to do it that way - which is always good in my book!

Our family tradition for birthdays is that the cake is a big part - almost as big as the presents themselves... so it felt good to see his eyes light up as I brought it in to the dining room to the usual chorus of 'Happy Birthday'.  He knew for months that he wanted a dinosaur cake.  I wonder what the next requests will be!

Happy Birthday darling boy.

Remember - there's still time to enter my Owl themed giveaway.  Just go ahead and leave me a comment under the original post here and winners will be drawn from a hat after 19th July!!

Good Luck!

J9 x
This post is joining in with these lovely parties:

Friday, 5 July 2013

Blogiversary and Carry It Forward

My first blog post was a little over a year ago.  It somehow feels like I've been blogging for much longer - strange but I guess that this is because I've followed so many blogs for a good few years, so my own little bit of cyber space feels like a natural extension of this.

By way of celebration I'm offering an Owl themed giveaway.  There are two sets of goodies on offer.  One to celebrate the anniversary of my blog...
Blog Anniversary Giveaway Goodies
...and the do my bit in the Carry It Forward (CIF) - I apologise immensely for it taking 5 months for me to get around to doing this!  My goodness, time just flies.  If you don't remember my excitement at winning handmade goodies made by the very talented Hen of Henhouse you can see her original post showing the fabulous things she crafted here.

I've crocheted the owls myself using Bunny Mummy's fantastic tutorial and there are a couple of crochet flower brooches I've made too using Lucy's May Roses pattern which can be found here.  Plus I've added these cute wooden owls to the parcel, two white cotton scented tea lights and some pretty little pegs! 

Craft it Forward Goodies to be won!
All you have to do to enter is to leave me a comment below saying what your favourite Simple Thing is.  You can get a second entry if you mention the CIF on your blog and link it back to this post (just drop me another comment letting me know that you've done this!).

If you like my blog I'd love it if you'd consider following along for the journey - it'd be great to meet more of the lovely people that are reading Simple Things.

Finally, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to read my bit of cyber space and to those of you who leave such lovely comments - a sincere THANK YOU for your support and encouragement over the past few months.  I've met some lovely people due to those comments and visited a variety of 'new to me' blogs as a result - meeting some likeminded people is an unexpected pleasure of blogging.

This giveaway is open internationally and the closing date is 19th July.  Anyone can enter the anniversary giveaway but you will need a blog and be willing to craft something to do your bit in the "Carry it Forward" concept.  I will announce the winners shortly after the closing date and request further details at that point from the lucky winners so I can get posting off your goodies!!

Good luck!
J9 x
Today I'm sharing in these fab parties!