101st post?!! Blog Anniversary Giveaway…

Ha, ha, so I wanted to do a Giveaway for my 100th post but I have somehow got myself muddled so this is in fact the 101th post Giveaway…oh, well, the best laid plans and all that 😉

I guess I should really write about how much I love blogging (which I do) and how I enjoy the on-line community it has brought (which is also true) but instead I’m going to waffle on about my favourite product, the Linen Cats & Bunnies.

OK, so the first shop item I ever made was a Linen Bunny, which I created for my oldest son (now about to turn 5!) followed by a Cat version and that’s how The Linen Cat was born, as simple as that.  They remain one of my favourite things to make, not least because I don’t make any two alike, I will often make more than one dress or set of trousers in the same fabric but they will always have different trimmings.

(I have just checked my blog for a link to the full bunny story only to realise that this is a double celebration as The Linen Bunny itself is now 2 years old!!)

It’s been a while since I made any, as they sell in flits, nothing for a while then I’ll sell quite a few, usually to the same family or group of friends, so it appears that they sell better in ‘the flesh’ as it where.  I think the price might put people off as compared to many homemade looking, but mass produced softies they cost more but they take quite a long time to make and the material costs are one of the highest, I also think the attention to detail doesn’t come over very well in the photos and the restriction on MrSite to 1 photo is a bit of an issue (I could pay to upgrade, allowing me 3, but I am a little unhappy with some bugs on MrSite right now).

Finally, the ‘not suitable for children under 36 months due to small parts’ I know puts people off.  Quite a few Linen Cats & Bunnies have been given as Christening presents and I guess most sensible parents would not be daft enough to put an item with buttons and beads in bed with a chewing baby, or allow them to play unsupervised….I could loose all the beads/buttons but I so love the detail of the back button on the boys tweed trousers, I’m not sure I could part with that.

So, for giveaway, we have either the Oatmeal Girl Linen Cat in Flower Dress with Red Buttons (as above) OR an Oatmeal Boy Linen Cat in Tweed Trousers with Red Trim (also as above).  The winner can choose which of the two they want.  To enter, please simply leave a comment on this post.  That’s all, nothing fancy just say ‘hi’.  I will close the giveaway on Friday 14th May (midnight BST) and I’m happy to post worldwide so anyone can enter (but the package will be sent by Airmail so might take a while).

Finally, I know you know this, but I really enjoy reading everyones comments on my blog and I totally appreciate anyone who takes the time to write.  I do try to reply and rest assured that anyone I know about I do also read your blogs, some as a lurker and some ‘out in the open’, I am just quite bad at leaving comments sometimes, for which, I do apologise 🙂

Oopsy…

Hello!  I have been given the Beautiful Blogger award by the very talented Monica over at quilt while you’re ahead or, ‘she who gives me crochet and house envy’ as Monica is known in my head.  It made me smile and so I am making a point of passing this along before I  get distracted as I know my track record for passing along awards isn’t great, sorry.  I am therefore required to reveal 7 random things about myself, and then pass the award along to another 2 bloggers.

1. Despite eating like a horse, I used to be naturally very, very slim and I hated it.  At around 30 I had a bit of a metabolism change which, followed by having 2 children has left me a bit on the podgy side (I’m being polite here).  As most of you know, I am now running which is helping to get me back into shape, hurrah!

2. I like dyeing my hair.  I grew up with a bob and a 1920’s fixation but started hair modeling for  Vidal Sassoon (= free haircuts) during my Art College days where they gave me a very short, very blonde crop.  I have been dyeing it on and off since and for the past few years it has been red and short.  I also yo-yo between long and short hair.  I get bored quite easily.

One of the few photos of me during my Degree days, but blonde and slim I am!

3. I love cooking.  My Father was a superb cook, a Yorkshire farmer who cooked 10 course dinner parties for his friends during the early 80’s and who introduced me to eating all sorts of exciting and exotic food at a young age.  My sister and brother are also keen cooks so his influence has lasted.  Oh, my Mum is pretty good as well!

4. My Father died on my 13th Birthday in a road accident.  I have never known it any differently, this has been the way my life has gone and I don’t think about it too much to be honest.  I miss him more for my Mother’s sake than I do for myself, I think it just made my brother, sister and me more independent.  It would, of course, be lovely if he hadn’t died, I would like to able to have a conversation with him now I’m a ‘grown up’.

We have very few photos of my Father as he was always taking them. So many in fact that years of scanning on I am not even halfway through all his slides...oh and check out the length of my skirt, doesn't even cover my knickers!

5. I hate raw tomatoes.  I grow loads in the garden and cook with them all the time but raw they turn my stomach, if someone is eating a raw tomato like it’s an apple I have to turn away.  In fact even thinking about that makes me a little queasy!

One of the Brandywine Tomatoes I grew last year.

6. I had private singing lessons throughout secondary school and loved it.  No, you will NEVER see me on X-Factor as I don’t do singing in public and I have no illusions that I can sing for more than my own pleasure.

7. I’m addicted to Bendicks Bittermints.  If you’re remembering random fact 1, I will point out I only eat one a day but I do like that one, usually after my Tea (that’s Dinner to all none Northern folk) and if it’s missing or the boys/men of the house have eaten them all I get a bit grumpy so I have to hide them in unusual spots.

OK, not so much random as just things you don’t know about me.

I would like to pass this along to:

Julie of Forest Poppy

Justine of Sew Justine Sew

Both lovely ladies whose blogs I very much enjoy to read.

The Oopsy in the title refers to my blogging still not being back on track, I thought maybe if I just distract you with the blog award post you might not notice, but I am home alone with the boys at the moment a little sleep deprived.  Next post is number 100 (whoop, whoop!) so the Linen Cat/Bunny giveaway is on, I have taken the photos and hope to write it over the weekend, where I will be on a fly by visit to Yorkshire for a School reunion (mine, obviously, I don’t just gatecrash other peoples), MINUS KIDS!!!  I assume with no children around I will be stuck for things to do 😉

I’m back….sort of…

After the blog lull of the Easter Holidays everyone else seems to be back in the swing of things and I am feeling suitably guilty at my lack of posts.  We had a nice break, once we got over the flu/cold/eye infections, we made the most of the beautiful weather with lots of trips to our local parks, zoos and woods and there was a daily ‘picnic’ in the garden for the boys lunch.  I have to admit though, I was ready for them to go back to school, they had become a little bored towards the end and I was starting to feel like one of those stressed entertainers you see at some kids party, all smiles and jolly faces, frantically trying to keep the kids entertained but inside screaming, “get me out of here!”.

I was holding off blogging in the hope of showing you all my lovely new makes but I am finding myself distracted by the house which I want to Spring clean and decorate (and tidy first!) and there just aren’t enough hours in the day.  I have found time to made a start on some new Linen Cats and Bunnies,

there is a bit of a boy shortage in the shop plus it will soon be my 100th post so I am planning to give one away (I will hopefully be blogging the giveaway shortly, once the girls are completed).  As you can see I am enjoying the bright colours of Spring flowers in our garden and this is reflected in my fabric and trimmings choice.

That is, of course, the final distraction, April is rather a busy time in the garden but things are getting under control now so I should be able to spend some proper time in the studio soon and finally finish some of the projects in process, now wont that be nice!

I’ve been ILL!!!!!!!

Oh yes, all Easter weekend and even today I am not feeling all that bright.  We went to Yorkshire the weekend before Easter (more about that in another post) and although we had a lovely time seeing family the boys and I were rather suffering from coughs still hanging on from the last colds we have had (which has relayed on since September, part of the joy of both boys starting at school/pre-school I guess is bringing every bug they can find back home with them!).  Along with my cough I also had a persistent sore throat, which went on to become a throat infection over Easter Weekend and then turned into flu.  I was a bit fed-up as I’m used to ‘getting on with it’ even when I do feel under the weather but I was pretty useless and just moped around in my dressing gown.

Still, enough, don’t want to bore you with all the details, I’m a lot better today and feel the need to start cleaning the house to get rid of all the germs and bring in some fresh air, I started with the bedroom and even managed to put some Spring flowers by the bed after removing all the tissues and medicine bottles.

I had hoped to treat myself to something yummy from the box of goodies we received for Easter from M’s relatives in Germany, sadly the boys and M have eaten the lot, well except for a couple of tiny animal biscuits left in the bottom amongst the wrappings – thanks boys 😉

I did have some new goodies to show you, Caroline McGrath were having a 50% off all Anorak products so I took the opportunity to grab a Picnic Rug from their ‘Kissing Animals Collection’ in eggshell blue with red rabbits.

I also bought a children’s cotton sleeping bag with a ‘Kissing Deer’ print but F is snuggled up in it on the sofa right now as he’s getting sick so no photo I’m afraid.

Whilst placing the order, I took the opportunity to buy a couple of new boxed ‘cups’ from the Isak range, we already have some in other designs, they are quite small but make perfect pots to hold snacks or for presenting dips and sauces (I put C’s ketchup in one when it’s homemade and sometimes a bit runny) and the bonus is I get a nice box for thread storage – perfect!

Right, that’s the lot, sorry for a slightly disjointed post but I wanted to say a quick ‘hello’ and explain my absence, hopefully everything will be back to normal this week and I will get into the studio at some point.

I hope you all enjoyed Easter and the Bunny stopped by your door 🙂