Crowland Abbey Flower Festival 2010

Playgroup were invited to take part in the Flower Festival this year. The standard is always high and so we approached it the only way we know how – full on with guns blazing!

This years’ theme was ‘Musicals’. We were given Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as our musical. Luckily earlier on in the year we were offered a go-kart and using great foresight (something I am not really known for) we had devised a cunning plan.

So, one Kettler go-kart, a Dell PC box (aka Miss Crayon’s tent), some foil, lots of kindly donated flowers, tissue paper and some enthusiastic flower arranging later, the result! Ta-dah.

Our main arrangement was designed, devised and executed courtesy of Cross Floral Displays Inc. Private commissions very welcome.

Radio silence

It’s been a bit quiet here at Crayons central due to a combination factors. Mainly to do with workload, playgroup commitments etc. so blogging as taken a back seat.

Quite a lot has happened this summer, the most exciting of which is that we have a veggie garden and the little Crayons have been enjoying the fruits of our labour. The most successful has been the sweet peas, although it has been hard explaining to a two year old that we should leave the peas as they are not quite ready yet. The parsley and mint has also taken a bit of a battering, at first I thought it was the slugs nibbling away at the leaves until I caught the guilty culprits in mid-picking mode. A quick look at their cheeky smiles confirmed that this activity had been going on for quite some time.

‘Miss Crayons’ is currently going through her transition from playgroup to big school. She is really ready for it, in fact she has probably been ready for the last year. I am bracing myself for the cycle of school term dates and holidays and planning any breaks well in advance.

I hope that all my blog friends are well and have been enjoying the summer. I promise to start back on the blog trail soon and will be visiting your blogs and catching up soon!

I shall finish this post with some shots of cakes which were taken at the last Crowland Show. Playgroup raised some much needed funds and we all had a wonderful time – even the weather was kind to us this year.

I’ve been ‘it’ed

Well, I have been tagged by the lovely MummyMad at TheMadHouse , this remarkable lady is a uber-busy mum who continues to inspire me and many others with her MadProjects and general creativity.

This tag requires that I list 10 of my favorite things that are free. Seriously, not sure I am ready to turn my brain on a such short notice, but here goes:

1. Sunday morning lie-ins. Mister Crayons takes over sprog-manning duties (yay!)
2. Cake (any type) at chez PinkMilk.
3. Sleepy snuggles from Master Crayons just before nap-times.
4. Late night chatting online to slugsandsnails when we should both be in bed and complaining about lack of sleep.
5. A hot cuppa on a cold day.
6. Snuggling up on sofa to watch trashy telly with Mister Crayons.
7. Conversations with Miss Crayons about life, the universe and everything.
8. Singing along to A-Ha’s Take on Me on youtube with backing vocals by mini crayons.
9. Seeing the collection of Miss Crayon’s artwork stuck to every wall surface in Mister Crayon’s office.
10. Cake.

Point 10 is not strictly free and is a repeat of 2, but I can’t not have cake on my list.

Passing this on to:
Pomona – lovely clever lady with an amazing way with words.
Slugsandsnails – super creative mum and teacher.
RubyWren – my fav Elliepoo girl (actually only elliepoo girl I know).
Veribagent – one of my best friends, even though I haven’t seen her for 8 years! (Hint-hint-nag-nag). There is no expiry date on friendship when you have the shared experience of coconut juice together.

Blessings and cake

I have just read the most heartfelt and touching new years’ resolution on slugsandsnail’s blog. I wish that I could write something equally moving, but this Christmas has been a odd one for me.

The whole household has come down with the lurgies and I have been really busy with work and other projects that I haven’t had time to sit back and reflect on the year gone by.

All I can say is that it has gone by so quickly that it seems like a blur. What I can say with conviction though, is that I am looking forward to the new year and what it brings for us all.

I count all my blessings, the most important to me being my family. The ever supportive ‘Mr. Crayons’ who doesn’t seem to batter an eyelid at my crazy schemes, our bright and sassy ‘Miss. Crayons’ and the troublemaker-in-training young ‘Master. Crayons’, who continues to amaze us each day with his cheeky antics. My long suffering Mum who the children just adore and my fabulous baby sister (even though she is no longer a baby, will always be one to me).

My wonderful creative and talented friends, who help keep me sane and who are not afraid to slap me down should I get above my station.

I wish you all a healthy and happy new year full of laughter and cake.

cake

Teacher’s gift

We had our playgroup Christmas party last wednesday. The teachers did a wonderful job and organised a trip out to a soft play centre along with lunch. Playgroup paid for the coach trip and also a gift for each child. The teachers did an amazing job and also managed to organise a raffle (of which I won quite a few things) which helped towards paying for the trip.

The previous years the Committee had purchased hampers for the teachers, but this year we heard back from the grapevine that something other than a hamper would be appreciated. So the Committee members racked our brains and and came up with tickets to a show or something they could do as a group. In the end we opted for a day spa voucher at a luxury hotel, which included lunch, tea and nibbles and use of all the facilities.

I think it is well deserved, I can’t think of a better treat than a day (child-free) being pampered and looked after. Sometimes ‘me’ time is good. I think they were pleased with the gift.

spavouchers0

New year, new colour palette

I have decided to go minimalist for my website, well, not too minimalist as I am still a lover of bright colours (see i-dent graphic above).

The compromise was a move away from a dark background and keeping the colour palette simple and clean. I have managed to incorporate my most favourite colour of the moment though, teal.

I have always admired strong use of typography in design and would like to explore this in more detail in the coming new year. I have found myself drawn towards illustrations and graphics and have been enjoying reading Smashing Magazine, an online resource for designers. They held a Typographic Layout Design Contest with one of the prizes being a copy of The Typographic Desk Reference “a quick reference guide of typographic terms and classification with definitions of form and usage for Latin based writing systems”.

I really really want one. Does this make me a book-spotter?

tdr

St Nic Christmas Fair

Back in the summer it seemed like such a good idea to take part in the annual St. Nicholas fair at Crowland Abbey. Our intention was to raise huge amounts of money for our local community playgroup by making our own things to sell. Considering the committee members met on the Monday before the fair, I don’t think we did too badly.

In the end we managed to come up with folding (Danish) paper stars, teacup candles (inspired by MadMummy at The MadHouse), dough decorations, jam-jar tealight holders and create your own greeting cards. We also had a huge fishbowl of brussel sprouts for the ‘guess the number of brussels’ competition. Like marmite it was a love or hate thing for the visitors, but 9 out of 10 times people stopped to have a go.

Our teacup candles were the best seller of the day. It was a really enjoyable day, I got to spend it with friends and got to see what it was like on the other side of the table for a change! Needless to say we had the prettiest table.

st-nic-fair-1

Photography courtesy of Pink Milk Photography.

Tiaras and sherpas

Christmas has come to the Crayons household yesterday. We went on our annual trip to Santa’s Grotto (aka garden centre) with our good friends and their children.

As usual it was a freezing day, but we planned it well this year as we didn’t have to wait 1+ hours in the queue. As it was still very early in the season we went straight onto the train ride (three times around an indoor track) and then straight into see Santa complete with pixie helpers.

A very well organised Grotto, for our ticket we got a baby Christmas tree, age appropriate present and train ride (the ride being the most fun apparently). The train ride staggered the Santa visits which was housed in 4 wooden cabins at the end of an indoor winter wonderland display.

robin

‘Miss Crayons’ had been thinking about what she wanted to ask Santa and in the end instead of opting for the pink pony she requested a jewellery box in pink naturally. Imagine my relief, Santa’s little elf would have really struggled to make a pink pony no matter how much duck tape and tissue paper she used.

tiara

Christmas, charity, playgroup

This year I have volunteered to help raise some funds for our little village playgroup.

We have two Christmas markets on the same day and they are for two very different audiences. The first market is to be held in the historic Croyland Abbey, the second is at the town’s light switching ceremony (which is much fancier than it sounds because it’s probably going to involve a string of lights across the road).

Mrs Pink Milk has been roped into helping too. We have decided to try and make as much as we can ourselves to sell for a huge profit. We are going to attempt some soyawax teacup candles a la The Madhouse style, can’t say it will work, but we are prepared to give it a go. Other ideas for the Abbey fair include paper decorations, tealight jam-jar holders, cards and probably something involving glitter.

I am struggling to find ideas for the light switching ceremony. Think lots of children, cold, parents not wanting to spend too much. I can only think of food related items (surprise surprise), cakes, brownies, toffee apples….dentists look away!

Any other suggestions?