Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Tots100 Film Club - Looney Tunes Big Faces


This month for the Tots100 Film Club in collaboration with Warner Bros we were sent the DVD box set of Loony Tunes Big Faces. Oh my goodness these cartoons are perfect family fun and get top marks from me. Firstly the box is very enticing, with its cheery colours and fun characters all over it....

 
There are 10 DVD's in all....Porky Pig, Bugs Bunny, Tweety Pie, Daffy Duck, Taz, 2 Tom & Jerry's, Wile E Coyote, Speedy Gonzales, and Road Runner. I was pleased to see there were many episodes on each DVD and boy we had fun watching them. The children especially giggled away whilst watching "What's Up Doc?" Bugs Bunny and I chuckled to myself watching Tom & Jerry, one of my favourites's as a child. Being an old fashioned, sentimental gal these Loony tunes DVD's are just the funniest cartoons and in my opinion a lovely, light hearted relief from some of the modern and not so funny films/cartoons being released these days. It was also lovely that each episode wasn't to long and so perfect for little ones and their sometimes short attention spans. Of course we all have different senses of humour, and this style of cartoon may not be for everyone but I think you would find it hard not to giggle at watching some of these old cartoons. The familiar music brings back many happy memories....

 

DVD's come and go in our household but these are definitely ones to stay and watch over and over. So, 10 out of 10 from the Poppins household, and a definite thumbs up for superb family fun and entertainment. Just make sure you have plenty of popcorn in, as there are so many cartoon capers to get through in this fantastic box set. 

X

Disclosure: I was sent one DVD box set to review for the purposes of this blog post.      

Monday, 28 May 2012

Handmade Heart Swap - Partners....



Thank you so, so much for the lovely feedback for this swap, I am really touched, and in fact I am as nervous as anything to be honest, I so want everything to run smoothly and you all be happy. My main aim from this is to spread a little love and I really hope you all enjoy this swap. When wrapping up your pretties for someone else please know that you are indeed spreading the joy and shall certainly be bringing a smile to someone's face. Hey, you may even make a pen friend out of this too. So anyway, myself and Miss. Poppins had fun picking names out of a hat to pair you up and pairings have mostly been chosen randomly. I kept in mind those that were happy to post internationally and I thought it easiest to keep as many as I could of those that are twitter/email only together. I have linked to your blogs if you have one and twitter accounts if you don't. For those on email only I have popped your name down so hopefully you shall know who you are. 

So, drum roll, here are your swap partners....

SoStacySews and Sarah W

MrsShilts and Beautiful Things By Caire

The Gingerbread House and Team Rigby

Home To Roost and A World Of Imagination

Baileysbear and Stitching Carol

KezzieAG and Depth Of Field

Dottie May and Daisy Daydreams

Love To Craft  and Undomesticated Scientist

Polkadot-Pretties and House Of Pinheiro

Nanny Nora and Vixen

A Pocket Full Of Daisys and Rosalily

Cerejeira Studio and Rachel's Homespun Hideaway

The Vintage Hobbyhouse and Life On A Cupcake

ema_flutterby and joanneinwales

Mummy Adventures and Purple Proby  ( International Swap )

Louise's West Oxon World and Cupcake Mumma

Tabitha Stitchit and FunkyFairy

Monkey Makes Three and Sweet Birdy Love   ( International Swap )

Tangled Sweetpea and Tales from Mount Pleasant

Julie (email) and My Red Wellies

Sharon ( email ) and Pinkstardesigns ( email ) ( International swap )



Please, please get in touch if I have made any boo-boo's which is more than likely, for instance if I have you down as an international swap and you would rather be U.K., or I have paired you up twice or even that you should be on this list and you are not. Please do let me know asap and I shall do my very best to sort it out. Thanks also to the last one or two swappers who joined in last minute so I would have a nice even number :)  Also I am really excited that you have joined up and for making myself and Clare not feel so lonely in this swap of hearts and love. So, we have until the 27th June to get crafty and of course your parcel can be sent before that date. Please get in touch with your swap partner and exchange some niceties, address details etc and I would also suggest letting each other know your likes, perhaps favourite colour/s, whether you prefer the floral look, or maybe gingham, or indeed both like me ;) If you are doing an international swap maybe think about little things to send to keep costs low. As mentioned all 5 items need not be handmade, and a thrifted trinket or two can of course be included in that 5. If you only have an email as your contact please do look at the original post and search for your swappers email address which you shall find in the comments section. When you get in touch, find out as much as you can about each other and perhaps aim to keep in contact with your partner every so often. There has been  times when I have been lagging behind for one reason or another and I think it is just courteous to let you partner know. Life stuff does happen, so please no stress getting this swap out exactly on the date I want everyone to feel relaxed and enjoy it :) And also if you feel you dont think shall be able to send your swap out, just let me know. Things happen, we all know that.  

So, I think that is about it, remember there is our Flickr group and I think it is a super place to pop our photographs ( with wrapping on and all ;) of our swaps. If you haven't joined I would have look at joining that group if you want to. This isn't MY swap it is OUR swap and I hope it comes across that I really want to share the love and truly hope that you squeeze in as much love in that parcel you send. Have fun and I am more than happy to help out with any questions along the way, so please feel free to stay in contact. 

Have fun in this swap all about hearts....

X    

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Sunshine And Happiness....

The sun is shining, hearts are lifted and I really think this weather puts people in much better mood's don't you. I for one love digging out lovely summery outfits in this weather ( I don't do winter very well, cover myself up head to toe in drab attire ) and so the sight of the sun just makes me want to do a happy dance all day. We started off the day with breakfast in the garden....


Then I needed to finish off a couple of little sewing projects for presents....


And now hopefully we are off to the beach. I chose to wear my favourite summer-y sandals from primark....


And I can't wait to go have some family fun and I look forward to popping back here tomorrow to let you know who your swap partners are for the Handmade Heart Swap I ( and with help from Miss. Poppins ) have had fun pairing you up, which I have to say has mostly been done randomly and am excited to have one or two international folks signing up too. The swap signing up is open for one more day so please feel free to comment on that post if you would like to join in.

Happy Sunshine-y day to you all....

X


Friday, 25 May 2012

Keep Smiling And Love Life....

Whatever life throws at me I take great comfort and always feel blessed when I spy this pretty note card on my pin board. It seems to sum up in words how I am feeling and reminds me how precious life is, and to indeed keep smiling. I am not going to feel ashamed or embarrassed to admit that having lost our very precious premature baby Joshua in 2005, I shall always carry a little sadness inside me. I can't help it. I feel I totally failed on that one, producing my son that didn't live makes me feel like myself and my pathetic body totally let him down. I've done the bereavement counselling, I understand the thought process one goes through when suffering loss, I know these things happen. But I guess it just doesn't seem fair that my little baby boy didn't even get a go at life, not even for a day or so....   


It is coming up to his 7th anniversary on the 12th June and I am aware of my emotions leading up to it, always a little wobbly, tearful, thoughtful and then the day itself is actually a lovely day where we simply take time to remember him. We have a special tea with cake and is a happy day with lots of cuddles and love. The thoughtful cards that arrived helped my tears, though I more than anyone understand that life goes on, and although that date is etched in my memory, it is not in everyone else's and I wouldn't expect it to be. I have one friend who has also suffered loss similar to mine, and no matter what is going on in our lives that card she sends every year lifts my spirits and does wonders. The power of people thinking about you when you are in need is a great healer and when ever any of my friends are going through the mill, I know from experience how a little thought sent their way can do so much....


Life can throw many a hurdle at us to get over and I think it is how we handle these hurdles that makes us the person we are. I truly stick to my belief that loosing my son is not a hurdle I want to get over, but a hurdle to accept, for it to become a part of me, making me the person I am today. I doubt very much if I hadn't gone through loss of this kind I would be so appreciative and grateful of those around me. I am not perfect and occasionally I forget this, but mostly I don't and can see the true value of thinking of others and being thought about. If like sometimes happens in life, I have silly fall outs with people I try my best to sort it out, to be friends again, as life is just too short. I realise how lucky we are, that even though I didn't get to keep one child I have been blessed with two others and who I probably hug just a little tighter for having them in my life. In reality I am a better person for having had Joshua in my life, perhaps it was just as many say, meant to be....


Maybe having him was a message sent from above to help me learn to be grateful, to love, to face challenging times. Having had Joshua has taught me precious things and even though he was with us for such a short time, he has touched so many hearts. Tears have come so easily writing this post though they are not all sad tears for I am so proud of my little baby boy and how clever he is teaching me valuable lessons in life. Although I wish I could have held him for just a little bit longer, to have had just a glimpse of his beautiful  eyes wide open, I know his memory shall live on and he shall be remembered forever.... 


X

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Super Sewing Competition....

Being somewhat of a sewing fan here at Mary Poppins, when I get time, I love to browse the internet looking for crafty websites. One website which I stumbled on quite a while ago was The Sewing Directory which is a wonderfully inspiring place for lovers of craft, sewing and is really worth a visit. Amongst other things it offers up news on sewing courses, craft supplies, and hosts some fantastic competitions. Forget the X Factor, the Dress Factor competition is where it is at....


 
People are asked to submit their designs for a summer inspired garment, bag, or accessory using fabrics from here and the designers of their favourite designs will then be sent their choice of fabrics free of charge to make up their garment. Two top sewing peeps shall then choose a final winner. The prize for the winner is this fantastic Janome ( my favourite make of sewing machine btw ) Memory Craft 5900QC sewing machine, at an  RRP £799. Runners up all receive £50 of vouchers for Abakhan. 


It's competitions like this that I think need to be shouted out about, I really do think this crafty competition a wonderful opportunity for someone to win a fantastic high end sewing machine, and a good excuse to get those creative juices working. Another reason why I like to shout out the Sewing Directory, who also have a blog is that for me, personally, stumbling on it has brought me many an opportunity. My UJ bunting was featured here I wrote an article about cross stitch for them here and also if it wasn't for the article I saw on their website I wouldn't now be eagerly awaiting a book due to be published in September that a couple of my little projects are in. Fiona Pullen who runs the website is indeed a very encouraging lady who is always offering up advice and tips for people within the sewing world. It is these encouraging people in life I think that make you want to take that tentative step forward, progress and challenge yourself and of course this doesn't just apply to sewing, but in everything you do....

X

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Buy Cheap Get Cheap?....

It has been such a lovely sunny day here, and I really hope it has shone brightly for you too. The day started with me thinking I would dig out one of my pretty summer dresses to wear, after a change of mind I decided I would go for my shorts ( which meant the leg first leg shave of the season ;) and I began my little make-up routine which isn't much these days but I do try. I then realised I had run out of this....


My YSL Touch Eclat concealer. I use it for my under eye bags mostly, but I also use it as a concealer and I personally think a super product. It is of course super expensive ( in my eyes ) and I did a little sigh when I pressed the magic button on the end and nothing came out. I would have to fork out quite some pennies to replace it. I was then told by a friend today that a very similar product is available from Aldi's for just two pounds. "Two pounds" I screeched, ( in a cyber way as this was on facebook ) I think I shall have to try and get me one of those. So what I was wondering, is do you think the more you pay for something the better the product? I am more than happy to use a £2 concealer if it does the job adequately for me. Master Poppins has been left with one or two chicken pox scars on his face and I knew that Bio Oil may help with this, at approximately £8 I thought I would try the home Bargains version ( Re-Gen oil ) at £2.50 and it seems to work a treat. It made me wonder why so much money is spent on products when you can ( practically get the same one ) at a much cheaper price. Is it purely the name we are paying for? Or if you buy cheap do you actually get cheap and end up paying more in the long run.  

So anyway if you have tried the Aldi concealer I would love to know what you think, and I don't think I shall be running out to get my YSL replacement just yet. I was however pleased that I hadn't run out of my M&S nail varnish as weather like this just makes me want to have those nails of mine painted. And what colour do you think I opted for....


Yes it had to be pink....

X

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Handmade Heart Swap....

After nearly four years of writing this home/family/craft/all sorts blog I thought it was high time I hosted my very first handmade swap. I myself have taken part in many swaps in the past ( it has been way too long ) and if you have never taken part in one before, you should perhaps consider this being your first one. I have been moved so much with some of the most thoughtful things that have been sent my way and I myself love to send things made with a whole heap of love.

So this is how it works....   
The theme for this swap is all things HEART related, be it colour, shape, love, I think you get the idea. A heart theme is one very close to my own heart as some of you may already know Master Poppins had a cardiac ballooning at only 3 months old and weighing less than a newborn due to his prematurity. I shall be forever grateful to his cardiologist and his team at Alder Hey who performed the procedure. Like many of you, perhaps you have a fondness for hearts around the home and I think you can never have enough ;) A total of five items should be included in your parcel and postage costs should ideally be kept as low as can be, the best things come in small packages lets remember ;) Sign up shall close in one weeks time, the 27th of May and then anyone who has signed to take part I shall pair up. Over the next day or so after sign up closes I shall publish a blog post letting you all know who your swap partners are ( it may be a good idea to keep your eyes peeled around then ) and I shall include blog links so you can get in touch and learn a little more about each other. If you don't have a blog you can still join in and I shall include your twitter/facebook page link if you have one when it comes to the pairing up post. I would like everyone to be able to take part, so international readers are welcome to get involved too, though please confirm when signing up by commenting on this post if you are happy to post internationally or UK only. Obviously this makes things easier when pairing you up. I think a month is a fair time to get those crafty hands working so swaps should be sent out on or before the 27th June to your swap partner. Although this is called a handmade, so sewn, knitted, painted, crafted, crocheted you name it swap, you of course may pop in a thrifted ( not expensive) heart related item or two if you wish in your parcel as part of the 5 items and chocolate MAY be an added extra ;) You could chat about this with your partner when I have paired you up. 

IMPORTANT: There is NO skill level required in this swap, and it is not a competition or about who made this that or the other better than anyone else. This is about sending the love, and all skill levels may apply within, believe me, even with my wonky sewing lines at times the love is well and truly there. Receiving a handmade gift is just the loveliest thing ever and hopefully if you join in this swap you shall see what I mean. If for any reason you are unable to send your swap partner their swap please let me know asap and then I can perhaps pair them up again. I hope that explains it all and of course it would be lovely if you do sign up to share your love by posting this little badge on your blog sidebar with a link to this swap for others to see if they want to join in too. I thought this one I made up was rather pretty for your blogs. I have posted a photograph of it on my Twitter as think I have set up a copyright link on here, anyway feel free to grab it ;) 

I shall be back with a post about who is paired up with who, and so I don't look a total billy no mates and no one wants to join in, luckily myself and Clare who I got chatting with on Instagram about doing a little swap are already signed up. So, at least two of us shall get a pretty parcel through the post ;) Don't forget to take photographs too when your parcel arrives and I have also set up a little Flickr Group in the hope ( fingers crossed) that many join in to share their heart photographs. All I ask is that you put in as much love in your swap as you would like to receive yourself and everyone involved shall have the bestest time ever :)

X

Friday, 18 May 2012

Milk Bottles And Straws....

There has been mucho chatter on twitter this week about my love of these sweet little milk bottles I purchased from dotcomgiftshop They had been out of stock for a while and I couldn't wait to get my hands on them, they reminded me so much of my time at infant school, where I was given out a daily dose of milk in what I can only describe as ickle milk bottles. As soon as they came back in stock I grabbed 'em, don't you think they are just the cutest.... 


They come with their very own milk bottle crate and I think they have many uses, little teeny vases, perfect for wedding displays and parties, I would even drink champagne from them ;) For me, for now, I love the idea of them being used for good old fashioned milk, and the sentimental attachment I have with them makes it extra special. Of course you need straws, and not just any old straws but the coolest, retro, stripe, paper ones.... 


I did alot of research in purchasing said straws, sad but true. I found they can vary in price and quality a bit and although I really fancied the pink stripe I couldn't find them anywhere or had sold out in many places. I think retro red is pretty cool though. These were from Papermash a lovely little website. I wondered what Master Poppins would think of having his daily milk ( albeit at home ) in an ickle milk bottle, and at the same age I remember having my own at school. Well he loves it....


And I am sure the milk tastes extra good being drunk from one of these don't you ;)

X

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Craft Challenge With Abakhan....

When I heard Abakhan were looking for some crafty bloggers to take on a craft challenge, I couldn't wait to get in touch with them and hear more about it. The idea was for crafters to showcase what items can be made on a reasonably low budget, and lets face it, not many of us have mucho extra cash floating about in this current climate. I am one who also likes to get as much as I can out of my hard earned pennies. Abakhan kindly signed me up and I found myself heading over to their website with a £15 credit to spend....

I love shopping for haberdashery, fabrics and trimmings etc and it is never a chore for me so I had great fun choosing what items I would get with my £15, and also what I would make. I first decided on a theme for my makes and of course it had to be the Queen's Jubilee. After some very careful planning and choosing, all in all for my £15 I purchased 27, yes 27 separate items. I made sure I spent every single penny and was delighted at what arrived....

    
I chose....
1 metre UJ fabric
3 squares of felt ( red, white, blue )
4 UJ buttons
3 plain buttons ( red,white,blue)
UJ ribbon
Stripe ribbon (red,white,blue)
Ric rac (red,white,blue)
White elastic
Pom pom trim ( red)
Jubilee lacing cord ( red,white,blue)
White cotton tape
Spun paper balls (8)
Cotton thread (white)

A really inspiring selection I thought for the Jubilee celebrations, and I wanted to make some little items for all my family to enjoy on Jubilee day. Many of the items were purchased within Abakhan's Great Britain section and being the thrifty gal I am, one or two items were at clearance prices too. Firstly I made some traditional Union Jack bunting and as the print in the UJ fabric I purchased was quite large I cut out some rectangles and sewed them along the white cotton tape. I was really pleased with it and I have to say is already up in my home, helping us get in the jubilee mood....


 Next up I wanted to make a pretty UJ inspired necklace with the spun balls, so quickly wizzed up a fabric tube with a long piece of the UJ fabric, popped each spun ball in, tied a knot and so on and so on until I was left with this little number....


I love it, and it really does add a splash of colour to my outfit. Miss. Poppins decided she would like a special little bag to carry her things around in when she goes to her Jubilee party at school and was eager to make it herself. Using some of the UJ fabric, UJ ribbon for the handles and the red pom pom trim for some pretty detailing, I was very proud when she came up with this....


I wanted to make a pretty and colourful corsage for my mum, and so with some of the red, white and blue felt, and one of the UJ buttons, I made this generous sized one....


And what did Master P want, a little tooth pouch. He lost his first milk tooth not long ago and seems to have many wobbly ones right now and he wanted a little bag/pouch to put the next one in. So it rests on his bedside table awaiting the next tooth....


And for the man of the house, he simply asked for one of these....



Zzzzzzzz....

So with not a big budget at all, many crafty things can be made and I have yet to use up all the craft ingredients. I have more ideas of what to make and I really am a fan of Abakhan, in fact I remember going with my own mum when I was a little girl, so if you are indeed of a crafty nature you should head over and see what they have to offer in store and online. .

X

Disclosure: I was given a £15 credit to spend on Abakhan's website for the purposes of this blog post. 

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Pretty Fabric Covered Pin Board Tutorial....

Whilst I was feeling a little crafty I decided to make another fabric covered pin board. These are quite easy to make, don't take much time at all and I think make perfect gifts for friends and loved ones. This time I thought I would take photographs as I go to share with you how you yourself could whip one up....

Gather your ingredients:
Cheap pin board ( mine came from Tesco ) 
( Pretty ) Fabric to cover front of board with spare to fold over the back edge to staple 
Wadding to cover front of board with spare to fold over the back edge to staple
Ribbon
Drawing pins ( I used map pins )
Tacks/pins and string to hang ( optional )
Fabric glue and calico/similar ( If you want to cover the back ) 
Staple Gun 
Measurements of fabric and ribbon etc shall of course depend on what size pin board you have, mine measures approximately 16 x 24 inches. So, I think it is time for some photographs yes? 

One rather bland looking pin board....


Measure enough fabric ( I used my prettiest Greengate fabric ) and wadding to cover the front and also to fold over the edges....


 Then fold over an equal amount all the way around the pin board, pull quite taut and staple in place....


 You really don't have to make it look too neat and tidy as this shall be the back and like me you can always cover it up with some calico or similar fabric. Once you have finished stapling gather your ribbon....


As I was using my ribbon from a roll I just roughly measured and cut to size as I went. So measure out your first X mark with ribbon going from one corner to the other....


And then staple in place at the back....


Continue with the stapling of your ribbon. You can be super accurate and measure out even gaps in between each length but for me I just measured roughly as I went. I also found it worthwhile popping a pin at each cross point on the edges of the pin board to keep the ribbon safely in place and you don't notice them when you have finished....


You should then finish with something that resembles this. Pop your drawing pins/map pins carefully in place and be careful too as the sharp point can pop through to the back if you push to hard, I just flattened the backs with a hammer..... 


Pretty huh, you can then choose whether you want to cover the back for a tidy finish....


You can display your pretty things horizontally or vertically....


Oh hang on, we need some pretty things....


I would love to know if you make one, do come back and let me know if you do :)

X

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

One Unfinished Job Finished....

I wonder sometimes why I am absolutely fantastic at starting little makeovers/jobs etc around the home, yet am absolutely rubbish at finishing them. Please tell me I am not the only one who has this trait. Take Master Poppins' feature wall in his attic bedroom. I was brilliant at getting the Cath Kidston wallpaper out and started wallpapering with gusto and enthusiasm. As the room has a round window in it, it became quite a difficult task getting past that window, lots of workings out and careful cutting. If any of you have ever wallpapered around a round window, you shall understand. Anyway a couple of widths before the end of the wall I just flaked out and had had enough. Yes I know, why give up a job nearly done, daft isn't it. But there we are. Anyway he has had a big gap behind his bed for longer that I wish to admit, until today. As he was relaxing on the couch as he is off school under the weather with a bad cough I cracked on, mixed my paste, cut two lengths of wallpaper to size and did it. I actually finished the job I had set out to do yonks ago. It looks so much better and of course I am cross I didn't finish it sooner, as it really didn't take long at all....


Now to crack on with the other trillion things left unfinished ;)

X