Monday, 8 April 2013

On the road again...

Well it now looks like we'll be moving before the new Muddle makes an appearance! Our landlady kindly gave us the minimum possible notice of a whopping 8% rent increase. She then negotiated slightly lower but we suspect her reasons may have been less than truthful (well, I've not heard from anyone else who's mortgage has gone up due to interest rates recently...) and as we were paying top whack for this place anyway we've decided to look for something more affordable.

On Friday we put in an application on a house very near us, with very similar proportions to the one we're in now, just with a much smaller garden. Hopefully we should hear back in the next couple of days but I'm on total tenterhooks. It would leave us a lot better off financially, while still being a relatively future-proof option for us (that is as long as this landlord doesn't start paying more attention to his bank balance than the actual market values!)

Friday, 29 March 2013

Ridiculously AWOL!

Poor, poor neglected blog! It has been so manic here at Muddle HQ. We had our 20 week scan and saw Teeny Muddle wriggling away, Big Muddle was totally entranced!

Mainly though I've been focussing on the jewellery. This Monday I have my first craft fair, in a converted church in Matlock Bath. It took me a long time to get up the courage to go for it, and it'll take even more courage to walk in there Monday morning, but fingers crossed! I've been amassing a range of items for it, including some very new designs (below) and I'm hoping they'll be a hit! To be honest, if I cover my table fee and train fare I'll be a happy bunny!

They run these markets every weekend between Easter & October so if it does go well I'm hoping to book with them again. Just hoping for a low amount of cake stalls, or at least that they're the opposite end from my table, or that'll really erode my profits!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

New Designs Up!

Well OK, I maybe haven't got too far with getting the house in order, but at least I'm on top of the jewellery stuff at the moment! The Etsy shop is pretty well stocked, I have a Facebook page up and running and have a nice back supply of items ready for the next Spiritual Eyes event, which isn't even until the end of the month!

Next step is potentially booking a few craft fairs, but I'm not entirely sure whether I'll be doing this yet. As I'd have to take out public liability insurance and I'd only be doing two or three to take me to July (can't feasibly see me being physically able once I'm about 8 months), and I'm not sure when I'd be able to do more after baby is born I'm not sure it would be worth it for now...but its something to think about.

Right now though, its lovely having something that is just 'mine', and some me time to go with it (thank you Daddy Muddle!). As much as I love being a Stay at Home Mum, having some creative time has given me back some missing energy, and right now I need that more than ever!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Growing Your Own

This is our second full year at this house, and I really want to work some veggies into the borders, and grow more in containers on the patio.

Last year we bought a small polytunnel which was great, but really we got it too late on so I'd like to make the most of that. Today we got some great value pots for the patio from Wilkinsons, and I'll be going back for more of them!

Currently the plan is:

  • Runner beans up canes in the border
  • Dwarf beans up a smaller wigwam, also in the border
  • Peas in a trough planter on the patio with chicken wire support
  • Chatenay carrots in a trough planter
  • Herbs and salad leaves in pots on the patio
  • Strawberries on the patio (got an extra planter for this year, so some of the produce might actually reach the kitchen!)
  • Tomatoes and chillis in the polytunnel
  • Radishes and sunflowers in Big Muddle's patio pots
We also have a space at the back which I want something low-growing in, but not sure what yet. I was thinking maybe squash, but I'm not sure if the soil is rich enough. May try and wing it anyway!

Will be having a look around for more plants suited for pot-growing, perhaps some new potatoes, or spring onions. Oh it is nice to have Spring here!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Is there Room on the Broom for a Bird like me?

Friday is World Book Day and Big Muddle wants to dress up for nursery as the witch from Room on the Broom. We found a dog, a frog and a cat to attach to the broom, but we couldn't find a bird...and really it should be a green bird like in the book.

A little leftover felt and stuffing and some swear words later, and voila!

OK, so it looks more like a duck, but for my first attempt at a stuffed animal I'm pretty pleased with it!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Getting Back on Track...

After Butlins, half term and a family wedding last weekend, we have been quite busy lately! As a result, pretty much everything has gone to pot. Both girls have been ill, the house looks like everything inside it has exploded and my 'to do' list is threatening to take over the world.

Thankfully this weekend is currently looking clear, so I'm hoping that by Monday I'll be able to be back on track with everything...hmmm...

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Our Big 30 Weekend!

Last weekend, the Muddles and I went to Butlins to meet up with some of my most favouritist people in the whole world, my friends from college.

As we're all turning...whisper it...30 this year, we thought we should honour the occasion properly. Not to mention I wasn't sure I'd make it to the end of any Big Nights Out in my current state!

Hard to get my head around the fact that I met these lovely folks nearly 14 years ago, and a lot has changed in that time. However, when we're all back together its like nothing has changed. They really are an awesome bunch of people!

The excitement of Butlins took its toll though and not one of us managed a 'Big Night', but we did get some much needed catching up done which was fabulous.

Off this weekend to a family wedding in Essex, so its a very busy half term all in all for us!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Big Plunge!

Well today I officially registered as self-employed. I've been thinking about starting to sell my jewellery designs for a good long while, and have a couple of potential outlets, so today all the paperwork (can it be called that now its all online??) went through.

It'll never be a huge money maker, but it will be lovely to have something that is just 'mine', and a little sideline money while my main focus is the children. Given that its something with relatively little set-up cost and nothing really to lose it shouldn't be that scary, but I'm not a person who deals with 'opening myself up' easily (ironic that I'm writing that on a blog, no?) so I am finding it quite frightening!

But the Etsy shop is open for business (here in case you're interested!), I have more materials on the way and my first 'in person' selling event in just a few weeks. Exciting times!

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Artistic Temperament

Now Baby Muddle has stopped eating every wax crayon in sight, she's starting to turn into a bit of an artist. The above was from last weekend. I drew a smiley face and let her colour it in...which she actually did pretty well, and in different colours too!

However, like every good artist, there is a dark side. When I tried to put the crayons that weren't being used back into their pot all hell broke loose! A proper, full on, body-rigid, vein-in-neck-pulsing, screamy-shouty tantrum. She's going to be an interesting one! 

Monday, 28 January 2013

Yup, Its Official!

There's another wee Muddle on the way! I had my scan last week and I am now 14 weeks pregnant, and firmly in the "blooming" (yeah, right) second trimester.

I have to admit that we were not particularly 'planning' a third baby. However having said that, both Big Muddle and Baby Muddle were surprise additions, so we have pretty bad form when it comes to family "planning", haha.

So far, compared to the girls, this has actually been a pretty easy pregnancy. I've had a little nausea, but nowhere near the total food aversion (bar Coco Pops and Haribo!) that I've had previously. The difficult thing was being in early pregnancy over Christmas. This meant we had to 'fess up to pretty much anyone we were going to see, which made the first scan very, very nerve wracking indeed. You know how sometimes you don't realise how stressed you are until you feel the pressure lift off you? Yep, that's how I felt seeing the flicker in the chest of the wriggly baby on that screen.

We've already had to make some space for the baby. Baby Muddle has moved in with her sister, a change which is going remarkably well in fairness. Its been about three weeks so far, but I think we are all sleeping a lot better, which is great, and she's needing less and less settling through the night as the time passes. I think sharing with her beloved big sister has been the key, she's always been her most favourite person.

I'm really looking forward to being able to blog these next six months, as a nice keepsake of what will, definitely, be my last pregnancy. I hope to not bore you too much!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Monday, 14 January 2013

My New Craft Room

We've had a bit of a New Year move around here at Chez Muddle. We have a three bedroom house with the main bedroom (ours) being a loft conversion. Up until this weekend Baby Muddle was up there with us, with Big Muddle in the smallest, but still double-ish size, bedroom. The front bedroom was a craft room/playroom/guest room (sofa bed). What this meant, in practice, was a massive dumping ground which never, ever got around to getting tidied, let alone properly sorted.

We decided that when the time came for Baby Muddle to edge ever so slightly further from us that the girls would share, and spent a while debating which bedroom this would happen in. Eventually we decided that it'd be the larger bedroom, with this doubling as a play space too.

This left the smaller bedroom as craft room with sofa bed. Much better! The big change around was done on New Years Day (what better use of the day when you're thoroughly sleep-deprived?) but obviously the girls' room was sorted first, leaving the craft room until this weekend. Its still not perfect, and I desperately need to find a big focal artwork for the main wall, but at least my craft space is sorted, and I have a clear desk!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Christmas / Birthday Pic Spam!


Big Muddle's Big Birthday

Big Muddle's Birthday Bash