Summer Bucket List


Summer-Fun-20111It’s officially the summer holidays. For the next seven weeks, there will be no school, so I have to find ways to keep the boys (well, I say “the boys,” but I actually mean Tadpole – Choochie is happy with the label on a muslin for the best part of an hour!). I thought the best way to make sure we had many fun and exciting adventures would be to make a summer “bucket list” – a list of activities and places to go that can be checked off as the summer days pass. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

THINGS TO DO:

  • Build sandcastles
  • Paddle in the sea
  • Go rock-pool dipping
  • Go swimming
  • Bake cookies
  • Bake cupcakes
  • Make a colour wheel spinner
  • Make a God’s Eye
  • Make lollipop stick picture frames
  • Plant cress
  • Have a picnic
  • Read James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  • Read some books on Bug Club
  • Go for a walk by the golf course to see how far the path goes
  • Go blackberry picking
  • Do some pavement art with chalks
  • Go on a mini beast safari
  • Take Tadpole out on his bike
  • Have a play date with friends
  • Watch a family movie together

PLACES TO GO:

LOCAL EVENTS:

52 things in 52 weeks – January update


52 things in 52 weeksSo, here is my first full monthly update on this year’s 52 things in 52 weeks challenge. You may remember I did weekly updates last year, but this year I know I’ll be much busier, so I opted for monthly updates instead – something far more achievable.

Here’s how January has fared:

COMPLETED:
Food challenges (one week each):
1. Two fruits and/or vegetables per meal – Eat a minimum of two different fruits or vegetables (preferably organic) with every breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal.
2. “Real” beverages – Beverages will be limited to coffee, tea, water, and milk (only naturally sweetened with a little honey or 100% pure maple syrup). One cup of juice will be allowed throughout the week, and wine (preferably red) will be allowed in moderation (an average of one drink per day).
3. Meat – All meat consumed this week will be locally raised (within 100-miles of your hometown). Meat consumption will also be limited to 3 – 4 servings this week, and when it is eaten meat will not be presented as the “focal point” of the meal. Instead meat will be treated as a side item or simply used to help flavor a dish.
4. No fast food or deep-fried foods – No fast food or any foods that have been deep-fried in oil.

Food challenges (30 days each):
15. 30 days of green smoothies – January (24 / 30)
I didn’t quite complete all 30 days because, as part of the crappiest run of luck during one week, my blender packed in. The new one I bought at the start of the month to replace the old one that died. It sucked anyway – it never once made a completely smooth smoothie. Either way, as I would have completed it, I consider this one completed in spirit.

Other food challenges:
21. Apply for an allotment
The application form has been sent off! My brother-in-law has expressed an interest in getting on board with this so we’ll hopefully be sharing a plot so it’s half the work and half the price for both of us, but still all the benefits of organic, home-grown produce! There’s a waiting list of 17 people, but there are 50-60 new plots being developed at my first-choice site, and I have been assured that everyone on the waiting list will be offered a plot as soon as they’re ready, so this one is definitely getting off the ground (ahem – sorry, for the bad pun!) sooner, rather than later!

IN PROGRESS:
Food challenges (one week each):
5. Try two new whole foods – Try a minimum of two new whole foods that you’ve never had before.

Financial challenges:
23. Put £20 into Tadpole’s savings every month (£20 / £240)
24. Put £20 into Button’s savings every month (£20 / £240)
25. Split all my coppers between Tadpole’s and Button’s piggy banks each week (5/52)
26. Put £1 for each day of every month into savings (£31 / £365)
27. Put £1 for each challenge completed into the Xmas fund (£6 / £52)
28. Save all £2 coins into the Xmas fund each week (5/52)
29. Save all silver up to the value of 20p into the Xmas fund each week (5/52)

Entertainment challenges:
30. Read 52 books in 52 weeks (2/52)
Check them out HERE.
31. Watch 52 films in 52 weeks (28/52)
Check them out HERE.
32. Take part in three author book blog tours (1 / 3)
The Tudor Conspiracy by Christopher Gortner – Book review / Author interview

Family-related challenges:
34. Continue breastfeeding Button to the age of 6 months (10 April)
38. Share a photo of my kids and me each month (1/ 12)

Tadpole and Button
My lovely boys having a cuddle
Kell
My fringe is in serious need of a trim,
but I’m holding off on a haircut
till my cousin’s wedding next month…

41. Take the kids to the library once a month (1 / 12)
We LOVE going to the library, so this one should be pretty easy to keep up. 🙂

Personal challenges:
42. Lose 14lbs (4.75 / 14)
46. Write twelve letters to my pen-pal (1 / 12)
I have written my January letter to my buddy, Louise. We’ve been writing a couple of years now. One of these days we might even meet!
48.  Use FlyLady.net to get into a regular routine with the housework
I’ve allocated a room to focus on each week of the month to work in rotation. There are things in each room that will be daily or weekly anyway, but once a month I’ll give each room a detailed going over. Not quite on top of things yet, but I’ll get there!
49. Make twelve Xmas gifts /decorations (1 / 12)
Obviously I’m not going into any detail at all, in case the intended recipient sees it, but I’ve started on the Xmas gifts already and completed one so far, and am working on several more…
50. Release twelve new cross stitch charts (2 / 12)
My annual band sampler was released on New Year’s Day. Download it free HERE. I also released my Hope Sampler for sale. Buy it HERE.
51. Post a monthly update (1 / 12)
Here it is!

Stash sampler


Now that my Patriotic Hearts series is completed (for now, at least!), it’s time for a new cross stitch sampler that will strike a chord with all crafters. Why? Because it equates acquisition of stash with happiness! As any crafter can tell you, when you have some new stash in your hands, your smile will split your face in two.

So, if you’re a crafter who can relate to the sentiment, you’ll love this simple little sampler that says it loud and proud:

Stash = Happiness!

You can download this chart FREE of charge from my Kincavel Krosses blog HERE.

Stash stitch view

Patriotic Hearts – part 5


Over the last few weeks, I’ve shared with you part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4 of my Patriotic Hearts series of cross stitch designs. Well, it’s time for part 5, so I hope you’re all ready for another five hearts!

Each heart is the same size and features the flag of a different country. The idea is you can stitch two of them back to back to create an ornament, or string them all together as international bunting – whatever your heart desires!

These will be released Monday to Friday this week:

  • Monday – Macedonia
  • Tuesday – Switzerland
  • Wednesday – Turkey
  • Thursday – Norway
  • Friday – Iceland

You can download all the charts FREE of charge from my Kincavel Krosses blog HERE.

Check back every day for the new charts, and then next week, there’ll be more!

Patriotic Hearts - part 5

Patriotic Hearts – part 4


Over the last few weeks, I’ve shared with you part 1, part 2 and part 3 of my Patriotic Hearts series of cross stitch designs. Well, it’s time for part 4, so I hope you’re all ready for another five hearts!

Each heart is the same size and features the flag of a different country. The idea is you can stitch two of them back to back to create an ornament, or string them all together as international bunting – whatever your heart desires!

These will be released Monday to Friday this week:

  • Monday – England
  • Tuesday – Wales
  • Wednesday – Barbados
  • Thursday – Denmark
  • Friday – South Africa

You can download all the charts FREE of charge from my Kincavel Krosses blog HERE.

Check back every day for the new charts, and then next week, there’ll be more!

Patriotic hearts part 4

Patriotic Hearts – part 3


Over the last few weeks, I’ve shared with you part 1 and part 2 of my Patriotic Hearts series of cross stitch designs. Well, it’s time for part 3, so I hope you’re all ready for another five hearts!

Each heart is the same size and features the flag of a different country. The idea is you can stitch two of them back to back to create an ornament, or string them all together as international bunting – whatever your heart desires!

These will be released Monday to Friday this week:

  • Monday – Canada
  • Tuesday – Finland
  • Wednesday – Sweden
  • Thursday – Belgium
  • Friday – China

You can download all the charts FREE of charge from my Kincavel Krosses blog HERE.

Check back every day for the new charts, and then next week, there’ll be more!

Patriotic hearts part 3

Bright as a button


buttonsI got a lovely surprise in the post this week…

I enter a lot of online competitions, mostly to do with books or crafts, and half the time I forget which I’ve entered, but figure that if I’ve won something, I’ll be contacted about it, as my contact information is given in my entries.

Did I mention I often forget which competitions I’ve entered? Yeah, a combination of entering loads of them and having the world’s worst memory (I cal lit Mumnesia!).

Anyway, this week I received a lovely little package in the post containing a selection of beautiful buttons – all wooden and painted with different designs. There are at least two of each, with some sets containing five or even six matching buttons. I am absolutely over the moon and cannot wait to find just the right projects for these gorgeous buttons of varying size and shape.

Colour me chuffed!

Patriotic Hearts – part 2


Last Monday I showed you all the first five in my new series of cross stitch designs – Patriotic Hearts. Now I’m ready to reveal the next five!

Each heart is the same size and features the flag of a different country. The idea is you can stitch two of them back to back to create an ornament, or string them all together as international bunting – whatever your heart desires!

These will be released Monday to Friday this week:

  • Monday – Germany
  • Tuesday – Ireland
  • Wednesday – Italy
  • Thursday – Japan
  • Friday – Spain

You can download all the charts FREE of charge from my Kincavel Krosses blog HERE.

Check back every day for the new charts, and then next week, there’ll be more!

Patriotic Hearts - Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Spain

Stitch for pleasure, stitch for charity


KK Woodland Friends quiltLast year I was approached by a group called Stitch For Pleasure, Stitch For Charity, who make quilts for chronically and terminally ill children in an attempt to bring a little extra love and light into their lives. of course, I’m always happy for any of my designs to be used for charitable purposes, and I let them know that I was about to release a series of designs that night appeal to them as they all featured cute animals and birds. They were thrilled with the idea and immediately set about gathering their supplies to stitch my little rabbits, owls, birds, chickens, foxes and squirrels.

Of course, they have members all over the world, so it takes time to coordinate international efforts, but the quilt top is now finished – it just has to have the actual quilting done, so I thought you might like to see it (click picture to enlarge). I’m chuffed to ribbons with how it’s turned out and I’m sure that it will brighten the smile on the recipient’s face when it gets there.

I am especially pleased to see an inclusion of tartan on the quilt top, for an added splash of colour, as, of course, here I am in Scotland! Although I wasn’t actually born in Scotland, I’ve lived here most of my life, so I think by now I’m probably considered an honorary Scot, and my maiden name (Stewart), and my Mum’s maiden name (Andrew) are pretty much as Scottish as you can get!

If you would like to stitch any of these designs, you will find them all over at my Kincavel Krosses blog here:

Patriotic Hearts part 1


I’m releasing a new series of cross stitch charts – Patriotic Hearts.

Each heart is the same size and features the flag of a different country. The idea is you can stitch two of them back to back to create an ornament, or string them all together as international bunting – whatever your heart desires!

The first five will be released Monday to Friday this week:

  • Monday – Britain
  • Tuesday – Scotland
  • Wednesday – USA
  • Thursday – Austria
  • Friday – France

You can download all the charts FREE of charge from my Kincavel Krosses blog HERE.

Check back every day for the new charts, and then next week, there’ll be more!

Patriotic hearts - Britain, Scotland, USA, Austia, France