Happy Families

A vision of messy spaces & faces, trips to the park and untied laces. Bedtime stories, hugs to delight, a happy family both day and night.

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Behind Closed Doors

She sits tapping her perfectly manicured nails on the worksurface. The sound of her husbands keys can be heard rattling as he opens the front door of their North Yorkshire home, following yet another long day at the office.

“Something smells nice” he shouts as he makes his way into the kitchen to greet his wife.

“Nice day at work honey ” she asks in her sarky tone.

“Please love, I don’t need to come home to yet another argument” he pleads.

She stares long and hard at him as if she is trying to see through his soul. She reaches for the kitchen drawer, opens it to produce a handful of shiny business cards.

“Do you not work enough hours? Now you want to offer your services in whats meant to be our family time” she snaps.

He shakes his head while stating “We have Laura now, we need the money!”

Sarah, David’s wife had given birth to their first child Laura some 6 months ago. She had previously been a high flying career woman who struggled to settle into her new role as a mother. Deep down she had began to resent David and his “Work”.

Sarah raised her hand into the air, releasing the shiny cards into a heap on the kitchen floor!

David, now looks a shadow of his strong confident self as he kneels down and hurriedly scoops up the cards within his reach. Suddenly as if from nowhere the sharp point of a glossy red stiletto comes crashing down onto his trembling fingers. He yelps out in agony as she twists her heel as if stomping out a Smouldering cigarette.

“Useless” she sniggers in her usual callous tone, as she leaves the room to reluctantly attend to her daughters cries.

David, sat unable to move! His whole body overtaken by fear of what would come next. He knew from experience that there was more to come. Broken fingers were sadly not a first… These outbursts of rage, many leading to physical violence had become a nightly occurrence, so much so David started to dread coming home instead opting to stay later at the office! Only this only fuelled Sarah’s rage making things much worse when he later returned home.

Suddenly, he hears the sound of his wife’s heels the ones she made her weapon, clomping back down the stairs. David quickly try’s to pull himself to his feet only to feel the most excruciating pain shoot through his back! His kicked with such force he collapses back into a withering heap.

“Pathetic excuse for a man” she snaps

“Get up, clean yourself up, our guest are due soon”

He wants to leave, of course he does! But his scared! His scared of what she’ll do, how she’ll look after Laura and what he’ll do without her. Yes, despite the abuse, the physically pain this man endures, he just can’t help but love this woman! The same woman who becomes so angry she once drew blood with her teeth! But then she can also be sweet, loving and sorry… Yes, she’s always sorry!

An hour or more lapses, David leaves the bathroom now ready for a night of entertaining. Just then Sarah appears, first aid box in hand.

“David, you know I love you don’t you?” She whispers while kissing his bruises fingers

She then atentatively wraps her husbands wounds in a bandage, and continues… “I’m sorry, I don’t know what’s wrong with me darling… I promise it will never, never happen again”

He nods, she takes him by the hand and leads him back downstairs! Together they both lay the dinner table.

A few hours later the scene now taking place at 64 Coombe lane, North Yorkshire, is a somewhat different one from that of a few hours before. A laughing smiling couple, enjoying the company of their friends over a glass of white wine and a plate of minted lamb chops. Laura soundly asleep in her cot unwoken by her fathers nightly cries. Its the scene of a somewhat happy family, though behind closed doors the story is a somewhat different one.

I wrote this short story to impress Solopress and possibly bag myself a pretty awesome prize.

Kitty Christmas

Anybody who reads the blog or follows me on twitter knows I love a good competition. Lately I’ve become a little hooked… But hay, that’s for another time, another blog post.

Recently I heard about a fabulous competition by G.J.W. Titmuss, that overs those entering the possibly to win a £200 Christmas wish list for their pet.

Well, this was a competition I couldn’t afford to miss and here’s why.

I’m a cat owner and lover… However, we currently house more cats than I’d ever bargained for.

I’m not no irresponsible cat owner but I am one i’m who not so long ago found herself with a house full of kittens which was a tad Bizarre given at the time I actually owned only one TOM cat.

Bella, mother to a litter of 4 kittens was a stray cat who I used to feed in my garden. I remember when I first saw her sat out on the garden fence. Then she was very young, I’m guessing no more than three or four months. Over time she began trusting me, letting me pet her and so fourth. Admittedly I grew quite close to her in this time.

Then back at the beginning of last year she disappeared. I didn’t see her for at least a few months. I actually thought, god forbid, that she may have been hit by a car given we live on a main road.

Then one day I came downstairs to discover she had returned, let herself in though the back door and from the looks of it, she wasn’t intending on leaving anytime soon. Bella looked a lot fuller so I guessed she was being feed someplace else. It was only once I found her in my bedroom panting and pacing did I then realise we were about to be presented with kittens…. 4 in fact (two black and 2 tabby).

I already had the one cat, Bella had moved herself in and was now presenting me with a bundle of 4 more. I love cats but as a mum of three children, one registered disabled how on earth would I cope with 6.

When the kittens were ready to leave their mother, I managed to rehome two of them (both tabbies) however clover (the all black female) was discovered to be a cat suffering Epilepsy which I until then had no idea affected cats. I later also discovered that the all black male kitten was mostly blind, his sight was extremely poor. With this nobody wanted to give them a home.

Everything was a struggle! When Bella had let herself into our home she had brought with her a huge number of jumping butting little beasts… The cat flea, and Oh My God how much work and money I put into getting them nasty pest out from our home. Seriously it was absolute craziness.

After a long chat with the RSPCC we agreed to let all three cats remain with us and the RSPCC arranged for them all to be nurtured and injected for free.

Our Tom cat is slowly getting used to having them roam around the place… He is a beautiful loving cat who we have had for two years… He was born on Christmas Day 2010 so if anything this doubles as a Christmas and birthday wish list on his part.

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Anyway… Here’s the wish list for our four kitties… Bella, beau, & kittens clover and billy

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Ancol mouse box Toy £1 x 2, Cosmic catnip mouse £3.99, Cosmic catnip sack £3.99, Cosmic dispensing high top 5.99 x 2, Ancol dispensing dice £5.99, Ancol dotty pink collar £2.69, Ancol dotty blue collar £2.69, Ancol glitter pink collar £2.99, Ancol blue softweave collar £2.49,

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Ferplast 5 tunnel cat flap £24.99, Cancac cat cradle wide £14.99, Bedhead Shampoo £9.99, Johnson litter tray disinfectant £3.39, Rebellion litter mate mat brown £9.99, Van Ness large cat liners £3.49 x 2, Van Ness extra large enclosed littler tray £24.99, Steetley sophistical cat litter £10.99

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Felix canned cat food 12 pack £5.99 x 3, Canac cat cradle standard £14.99, Ferplast deluxe cat carrier £24.99

Total wish list amount… £197.08

All of the above would be a fantastic help for us and a fabulous treat for our furry felines.

For you to find all the products on the wish-list I’ve linked up to each section, these are listed in on the G.J.W. Titmuss online store Just click any of the below…

Collars & Accessories
Cat Toys
Cat Beds
Litter products
Cat Carriers
Cat Grooming
Cat Flaps

This is my entry into the G.J.W Titmuss pet wish-list competition

A Postcard From Santa

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My Daughter Alice-Sara Is one creative little lady. At age 9 she loves to engage herself in arts and crafts, So, is always on the lookout for any creative competitions.

When we discovered the latest competition from TravelSupermarket.com Alice just couldn’t contain her excitement as she sat down to jog down a couple of ideas for her creation.

Once she had decided what she wanted to do she raided the craft cupboard for her desired materials and got to work.

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However, This was no easy task! Her masterpiece needed to be created over the space of a couple of days due to all the different materials she chose to use. These both requiring a mixture of acrylic paints and gloopy glue as well as added addition of Decopatch meant there was many drying periods to the timetable.

This was a collage of various materials that together formed a great picture of Santa enjoying his well earned Holidays in sunny Hawaii.

When asked about her design she gave some unsuspecting information such as Santas enjoying his holiday with his new girlfriend who just happens to be a mermaid lol.

I’m really proud of her creation as I always am. My creative daughter never fails to make a statement, has a wonderful imagination and is a dab hand with a paint brush.

I’ve uploaded a video of Alice working on her creation. The video explains her idea and she talks us through some of the stages of her creation.

She used many different materials to create a 3D effect made up of numerous textures. some being tissue paper, Self adhesive foam, embellishments, cotton pads, card and glitter. She also layered tissue paper with both Decopatch glossy glue and Metallic Turquoise acrylic paint that she mixed with ultra fine blue glitter.This was appiled using a sponging technique to give added texture to her dark blue tissue paper sea.

I love how she made Santa almost completely from Self adhesive foam. She very cleverly created his famous white beard with a cotton pad, gave him wiggly eyes and added flower embellishments to create a traditional Hawaiian necklace.

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Her imagination was on top form as she also created a funky surf board with glittered patterned card to replace his traditional sleigh. Hand drawn Dolphins were cut from foam to create his Reindeer replacements. She then added some brightly coloured string to help the dolphins pull santa along the coastline.

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Other great ideas included the addition of real yellow sand to great her Hawaiian Beachfront and cotton pad clouds that she slightly pulled apart and glued upon her Metallic blue painted sky that again she added a few dashes of glitter too.

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Her Mermaid who is Santa’s special friend (seriously the video explains) was again hand drew onto card, cut out and stuck to some Self adhesive foam rocks… Of course she glittered her tale to give it that girly touch.

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So there you have it… Our entry into the Postcard from Santa competition hosted by TravelSupermarket.com

As the rules state I must nominate 5 others to take part even though they only have a day to create… Sorry (busy week)

I nominate Mummybird
Tiredmummyoftwo
Mummyvswork
This mummy loves
Kneesupmotherbrown

Check out TravelSupermarket for some fabulous holiday days if you fancy a break like Santas.

New Look Denim Competition – #denimcomp

Jeans… I love um! With so many hot new pairs hitting the market this AW12, I really can’t wait to get my hands on a few pairs.

If you need an excuse to go out and get yourself a new pair of skinny’s then what better time then now. Today is Jeans for Genes day. Wear your Jeans with pride, join in one of the many fundraising events taking taking place up and down your country.

It’s guilt free jean shopping for me today.

While checking out the latest AW12 jeans online, I came across this wonderful gem of a site called The Sparkle Fashion Blog. They are running an awesome bloggers only competition in conjunction with New Look as a celebration of their newly launched collection of jeans. The prize… One winner will receive £200 + pair of jeans! And an additional 9 runners will also win a pair of New Looks newest sexiest jeans!

The competition closes at mid-day so i’m rushing like made here but still trying to impress you with my fashion “know how” so please bear with me.

Basically all I had to do was express my inner fashion sense by going wild and creating an outfit centred around one of their newest denim arrivals… The jeans.

It actually wasn’t hard to find a pair I loved as I quite simply loved them all. Decisions… Decisions what is a girl meant to do?

Ok here it is… My chosen jeans and the over all look I’ve chosen.

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The Jeans.

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Seriously… You can’t go wrong with a pair of Skinny Jeans. This black pair is super chic with a rock chick edge.The studded side detail really sets them apart from the rest.The cut looks great and I could see myself dressing them up and down for both night and day.

I was also drawn in by the very reasonable price tag of just £24.99! Super stylish and sexy with a super price tag to match… You just can’t fail to get it right. These jeans will be a winner every time you put them on and I’m now looking for my credit card. 🙂

Now, although the Jeans are the centre piece for my design inspiration I can’t go out and about sporting these and these alone.

The Jumper & Jacket

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I love red and with the evenings turning from warm to very nippy, what better then a cosy knit to warm your cockles!

This ‘Red Label Red & White Stripe Mesh Knit’ looks warm cosy and above all very comfortable. This would give my dark jeans the injection of colour it desires. At £17.99 I’d call that a bargain buy.

Now… the biker jacket, what more can I say than WOW. This is black in colour with front zip fastening and at £59.99 for real leather it would seem that New Look have brought us stylish leather of a budget.

Boots and Bag

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These are Silver Chelsea Boots and I want them. For just under £60 they are very reasonably priced. I love that they are Metallic, It gives them that certain edginess!

As for the bag, I’ve just got to have it! It’s got me written all over it! The blond hair the makeup and even the wine… yep this tote is definitely for this Blondie. The tote is by Scruffy little cat and sold at the New Look UK online store.

Accessories:

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OK, OK… These Probably are a bit out of my price range. But it doesn’t stop me lusting after them. The red and grey matches so well with the rest of the outfit… So I’m just going to dream a little! Here’s the link to the Beret (note all pieces sold separately).

So there you have it. My perfect New Look AW12 jeans! What do you think?

How To Create A Room In A Shoe Box (Cath Kidston Style)

last month I heard about a really exciting competition. Not only was it a fabulous skill based competition that required plenty of creativity, but it was also run by the fabulous Cath Kidston.

Given how much I love both a creative competition & everything Cath Kidston when the two elements are combined I just have to grab a piece of the action. This latest competition was extra special! You gad to create a ‘Cath Kidston’ inspired room in a shoe box with the use of everyday items you would find in and around the home. You could design any room in the house you wanted and the winner would receive Cath Kidston gift vouchers to create their designer room for real. Hearing this it was my plan to design my daughter Alice-Sara a bedroom fit for a girly princess. Excited, I found myself eager to get started on the project and here’s what I produced.

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So, this is it! A bedroom fit for a princess. Filled with pretty fixtures and fittings with lots of inspiration taken from Cath Kidston.

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I chose to wallpapered my box in this pretty pink rose craft paper.The floor has been painted in a antique white acrylic paint. Once dry I gave it a couple of coats of clear glossy vanish to give it that shiny finish. however, it still didn’t feel girly enough. My solution was to then cut some glittery baby pink card into small squares and then stick them to the painted floor as to create a sparkly mosaic effect.

The bed has been created with scraps of cardboard and then covered in a layer of paper mâché to make it strong and durable. I later painted the bed in the same colour as the floor and once dry I dressed it up to give it a super girly chic feel.

Blue hole punched paper has been used to create a pretty valence sheet, while odd scraps of Cath Kidston material were used to create the bedding set. The pillow has been stuffed and sewed and I’ve added some red ribbon and a bow to give it a pretty finishing touch. The last thing added was the cute little heart cushion which is a little wooden embellishment I hand painted red.

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My blind for my window has been created with the use of some crinkled cardboard that I took from the inner box of a packet of micro chips. I cut it down to the required size then jazzed it up by painting it in a really pretty pinkish red colour. I finally finished by adding some Pic-Tixx red glitter.

To create the rest of my window dressing, I made a curtain pole by wrapping a small thin straw in hot pink ribbon then adding two clear beads at either end as to create curtain pole finals. I then used some more odd scraps of Cath Kidston material for the curtains which I fitted to the pole with the use of double sided tap before tying each one with pretty pink ribbon to finish.

Both my wardrobe and chest of draws were created from empty small boxes that I covered in paper mâché to give them durability. To get the panel effect on the wardrobe door I used a small thin straw cut up into four small pieces. I taped these in place on the door before adding the paper mâché mix. Once dry I painted them both, adding detail with a black deco maker. To finish them off and give them a certain edge I added some pretty touches as to create a French inspired shappy chic look. This was done by using scarp book embellishments and sticky gems.

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One of my favourite items in my ‘Room In A Shoe Box’ is that of the dressing table.This was so simple to make, yet extremely effective. I started with the oval lid from an empty liquid detergent bottle.This was then painted with a few coats of paint. I then used strong cardboard to create the top of the dresser. This was painted in the same colour as the lid. Once both we’re fully dry I added some silver cooking foil to the top section as to create a mirror. I then used a sharp craft knife to make a slit at the top back of the lid so that I could slot and fit the two sections together. Marker pen and lots of embellishments were used to give it that same shabby chic feel as the rest of the furniture.

Of course my dresser needed a stool to make it complete! I used white clay to mould the shape of a stool before baking it in the oven for around 15 minutes at 160’c. Once cooled I glued some Cath Kidston material to the seat of my stool.

I got really creative when it came to the floor lamp. For this I used a small piece of white clay, one small straw, one empty metal cake tin, gem stones and some paint.

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I made lots of little accessories to give my room a girly but comfortable feel. These included…

Rugs made with Cath Kidston material off cuts.

canvas and hanging pictures made with pretty craft paper mounted on cardboard and decorated with gems and glitter.

Curtain tie backs made from pretty pink ribbon.

Bunting made with yarn and various Cath Kidston material off cuts.

Decorative items like hearts and vases made from clay and later placed on both my dresser and draws.

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Admittedly I made some mess in the process…

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… But I love my creation and even if I don’t win then at least I can say I had lots of fun creating my Cath Kidston inspired entry.

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To check out the Cath Kidston store click here also check out the Facebook page for up coming competitions

THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST IM AM JUST SHARING MY ENTRY WITH PRIDE!

KIDS CRAFTS – MAKE PERSONALISED BIRTHDAY CARDS

Boden UK ran a competition recently to celebrate their 21st Birthday. You had to design a birthday card and then email it to them. I’m unsure if the competition winners have yet been drawn so I can’t point you in their direction but I can share with you all Alice-Sara’s entry which I thought was fantastically creative.

Her design consists of two models dressed in their party focks. Alice started by drawing the outline of her two models onto white folded card. She then used scraps of material and sparkly gems for one of their outfits and a number of flower embellishments for the other.

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She then covered some large card in some birthday paper before mounting the white folded card on top. She decorated with different embellishments, glitter and stick on sparkly gems.

Alice then painted her models in ELC glow in the dark paint (just so her entry couldn’t be missed)

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Having waited for her design to dry she finished it off like all cards… With a big happy birthday message inside.

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I’m pretty sure the winners have been notified already and although Alice-Sara wasn’t one of them, her card is a winning design in my eyes and i’m very proud of her artistic flair.

What we used

Craft Papers: (free with a crafting magazine but available at all good craft shops)
Sparkly Gems: PoundLand
Scrapbook embellishments: TK Maxx
Glitter (can’t remember I have so much of the stuff)
Glow In The Dark Paint: Early Learning Centre (ELC)