Friday, 19 December 2008


Folksy finds Kawaii...

This week I'm featuring kawaii-inspired items from the talented makers on Folksy. Hope you can cope with the Cute-ness!

Look at all of these adorable cupcake bag charms from Treaclezoo! I love the fact the photo was taken in a muffin tray, a perfect shot for a perfect gift!

KitschenSink has a wonderful range of kitschy, kawaii and retro inspired jewellery. This Cherry Skull ring is encased in resin and is super glittery and funky!

I have to feature two cards from Asking for Trouble... it was impossible to pick a favourite between this adorable Happy Bread card and the Angel Bunny Forest card.

This Tear / Rain drop Plush Pin from Cute Designs is crafted from felt and has the sweetest happy face.

This Wizard of Oz chunky charm bracelet from FluffsStuffs is made from Japanese fabric and is so bright and colourful.
Another creative use of Kawaii Japanese fabric, I love this cheerful yellow frame purse from Yunisacs featuring smiling flowers and bees.

You couldn't help getting into the Christmas spirit with this smiling little gingerbread man necklace from Cute Creations.

Zoe Woods has a shop jammed packed with the most adorable collaged jewellery using plywood, paper and vinyl. I think this Super Cool Animals pendant is my favourite, I just love the expression on that dog's face!

Another kawaii-inspired item of jewellery, these California Roll Sushi Ear Studs from Petit a Porter are made from polymer clay and look delectable!

This cupcake dog collar from Very Vintage designs is both 'green' (being made from organic cotton and antique brass hardware) and completely adorable.

'Hey kids, it snowed last night, how about we get ready to play outside?'

As I've probably mentioned before, I need to give the kids a bit of autonomy to get them on side and do the things we want them to do. So telling them to get ready to play out in the snow (i.e. get your hats and shoes on), looks something like this:

1980's Jane Fonda-esque styling. Cross dressing in sister's tights. Hat... halloween costume. Shoes... Incredible Hulk foot.

Okay, maybe not... this is the corrected version.

We were trying out the new sled from LL Bean on the driveway. As you can see, it wasn't a hit with everyone.
Please note the continued 'non-cooperation' stance.

She came around in the end though, and tolerated a ride on my lap. Just.

When Jamie got knocked over by the dog, I rushed to his side full of concern... would I get a good picture?

Isn't having kids brilliant?

Wednesday, 17 December 2008


The bothering gene: a revision

Now that we are in Connecticut, I have revised my ideas on the bothering gene. I had previously postulated that the reason why my family pestered and wound each other up was a genetic condition, but several occurences have disproved this theory. Firstly, Steven has been trying to partake in the teasing. Yes, it is tentative and unsophisticated but he is not by nature a teaser. There is a case for "When in Rome, do as the Romans do..." but the second factor to consider is the behaviour of Ivy, the puppies' mommy. She likes to stand just outside the puppies' pen, wind them up into a milk frenzy, and then bugger off with the approximation of a doggy smile on her face. As the Cusicks are neither genetically related to either Steven or Ivy, other theories must be considered.

I remember when I was a child I loved to read about superstitions and unexplained phenomena. Bigfoot, Yeti, the Jersey Devil, chupacabra... and the Bermuda Triangle. Maybe there is a Bothering Triangle centred around my parents' house?

Don't worry, I'm not suggesting anything as fantastical as alien interference, although perhaps a study of my family bothering each other would be interesting from a psychological and anthropological point of view. One theory about the Bermuda Triangle is that there are specific natural conditions like water / gas composition, weather and magnetism that in combination create an environment that is different from surrounding areas.

I'm not sure how much you follow the scientific journals, so you might have missed the discovery of a new element in the periodic table. At position 106, you can see the element 'Bothering'.

I can only surmise that this element is in the ground water around my parent's house and has found its way into our well. Prolonged exposure can lead to excessive pestering, a tendency towards fanatacism and even nihilism. Pray for us.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008


At long last

We have finally made it to our destination, the house with the puppies! Oops... I mean, the house with my parents! After four days en route, power has been restored and we were able to stay over last night. In separate bedrooms (at least until 4:45 when the Wanderer joined us). At least it was just for a cuddle. The night before, spent at my cousins, Jamie woke us up in the dead of night pleading, "I go back to airport?! I go back to airport?!" I could see his point.

Here are some ice storm pics from around the house.

Yes, that downed wire / pole is smoking. Three days after the storm.

Monday, 15 December 2008


Close but no cigar...

We are now 95% to our destination, being 10 miles away at my cousin's house.  Having left a path of devastation and sleep disruption at my brother's house, we hit the road again yesterday and have at least made it to CT.We checked on the house yesterday, and the power lines were still down on the road (one still smoking 4 days after the storm!), so no electricity and no heat.   My cousin kindly put us up for the night in his lovely country house, fed us generously and copiously and capped the night with amazing homemade cinnamon ice cream. 

I have spoken to my mom this morning though, and the  power is finally on!  Whether or not we'll pass on the news to my cousin, who made us nutmeg ice cream pie for dessert tonight is yet to be seen....

Saturday, 13 December 2008


Folksy finds fairy tales

This week's Folksy finds is based on fairy tale inspired items.

The tiny face on the 'This little piggy went to market' pendant from Very Vintage is so stinking cute!

This beautiful print from Artquick is a series of three drawings from Little Red Riding Hood and has a beautiful use of colour.

Lost in the Forest has a whole shop inspired by fairy tales, and this 'Curiouser and curiouser' brooch is my favourite. It is collaged from pages from Alice in Wonderland and has a frill made from aged Collins Children's Annual.Another Alice-inspired item in this lovely purple charm bracelet from Cherished Trinkets.

I love the beautiful art by Sinta's Fairytale, and this Tea with the Snow Queen limited edition print is a perfect choice for winter.

Salt of the Earth has lovely little Fairy doors made from salt dough, and my favourite is this sweet mushroom door with a dragonfly.

I love recycled items and stationary, so these envelopes from made from vintage childrens stories from The Smug Cat is perfect for me!

This unique and striking filigree ring from Yasmin Bochi and is called 'Mirror, mirror on the wall', from the scene from Snow White. A real statement piece!

Friday, 12 December 2008


Twirl dress winner revealed...

Randomiser chose the fifth person to comment as the winner... congratulations to Kris, dress will go in the post as soon as we ge back to CT!!

Loved all your Christmas present wishes, I assure you they've all been collated and sent to Santa. Or at least posted on a sewing blog that Santa follows (see follower list as proof). Your Christmas wishes are a lot more profound and lot less selfish than my own desire for a KAM snap press!

We've arrived! Ish...

After a nearly 4000 mile, 18 hr trip yesterday we've 75% arrived. Does that mean one of our party of four didn't make it? Nope, we'll all present and (mostly) correct.... Actually, we've not been able to get to our final destination. We were supposed to travel from Boston to CT when we got here but there was a major ice storm in CT and we had to stay over at my brother's in Boston. Dad is in CT, holding down the fort as a puppy single-parent, with no electricity. I'm not sure when we'll be able to get to our final destination, but it wasn't a barrel of laughs sharing a bedroom with both kids last night!

The trip itself, although incredibly long, wasn't too bad. We have always flown Continental direct from Edinburgh to Newark, as we figured that length of time door to door was the most important factor for international travel with toddlers. We've had such a miserable time with Continental the last couple of times though, that we went for price over duration and flew KLM to Amsterdam then Amsterdam to Boston. So much better. The staff were nice. And helpful. We were sat together instead of spread all over the plane. We had leg room. We had individual entertainment screens. The kids were 500% better behaved than when we fly with Continental.
Jamie's favourite bit was during turbulence, when he would gleeful shout, 'We're going down!' (although he meant 'We're descending'). Maia's favourite bit was cuddling up with her dad. Steven's favourite bit was getting those cuddles, as she is normally suctioned to me. My favourite bit was reading a book when everyone else was sleeping.

Extreme fatigue has driven us all a bit mad. Jamie got us all comfy for naps in his own special way, with a toy baby hat, toy baby bottle, blanket, bib and soft toy star.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008


Free giveaway of this hippo / frog twirl dress

I had a picture in my head for twirly christmas dresses for Maia and Isla using the red and green fabrics I have. Frogs and hippos aren't very Christmassy but the colours fit and I don't generally do what's expected of me.

Anyway, it imagined it with a spotty bodice and four tiers so very twirly. I ignored the fact I hate gathering and calcuated all the tiers. First three I gathered with clear elastic, then I ran out (final tier was more than four yards wide) and did dental floss / zig zag. Right near the end of gathering the final tier (and at 2AM) the floss snapped. Then I snapped. And I more or less just gathered with my fingers and pinned a lot.

It's a toss up as to who dislikes it more, me or dd. She's not into the Twirl. Maybe I would like it more if it wasn't so big on her. There's nothing wrong with it, I'm actually pretty pleased with my first constructed twirl dress, it just doesn't do for us!

So I'd like to give this dress away to someone who would appreciate it (does this person exist!?). It's a generous size 2T and she had it on for literally 45 (very clean) seconds.
All I'd like in return is a comment on this post, with... hmm... what you'd like for Christmas most (other than the hippo frog dress of course). I'll be taking it with me to the States tomorrow, so depending which side of the Atlantic you are on, the winner might not get it until after Christmas. But I will randomly pick a winner on Friday 12PM East Coast time. Please leave your email address if I can't get you through Blogger. I'll post it as soon as I have the winner's address.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008


A lesson in genetics

In my family, there is something called the 'bothering gene'. This is a lighthearted reference to our proclivity to wind each other up and push each other's buttons. Don't worry, we don't unleash it on the general populace, just within the family. It is mostly innocuous but occasionally sinister, mostly when we were children and bothering was muddled by hormones and the unfettered enthusiasm of youth. The gene originated on my father's side of the family and this is the track it has traced through our families.

As you can see, none of us carriers have married other botherers, but it has passed on to most of our children. The unborn baby has not been determined yet, as I don't believe they have isolated the bothering gene yet for genetic testing. If they have, the HMOs are keeping it quiet.

So what are the symptoms of this bothering gene? For one, an extraordinary talent in finding the things that annoy others. Secondly, the ability to creatively interpret this information into actual annoying behaviour. And lastly, steadfast dedication to the cause of bothering. Of course, all of this applies to the other botherers in my family. I am like the vampires in Twilight, I chose not to practice the dark art (although others might dispute this- see this post for example).

Jamie and Maia have recently discovered that I don't like my belly button messed with, and that sticking their little fingers in there makes me squeal. Consequently, they and have launched a campaign to do just that whenever the opportunity presents itself. They work with frightening synchronisation, one distracting, they other perpetrating.

Beyond that fact it just feels creepy, I think it originated with Evans family folklore. Alex Evans was my best friend growing up, and I remember being told by either her or her grandmother that if you messed around with your belly button and untwisted it that your arms and legs would fall off. I was also told that if I fell really hard on my bum-bone that spaghetti would fall out, but I'm not too worried about that one.


Quite possibly the cutest thing ever

Bold title, huh? I admit, I'm a bit biased... but, man alive, Maia looked so cute sporting her first set of pigtails. They are mullet pigtails (i.e. only the hair from the back of her head) but it's a start, right?
Bird's eye view
Rear view
Side view
Pay attention to me view