How does your yarden grow?

Mary Mary quite contrary how does your yarden grow?

Well, it’s coming along rather nicely!

Three new additions, the old stool came from my bedroom and I gave it a flash or red paint to brighten up this space.

The wooden planter I picked up in Aldi and filled with plants from our local greengrocer so I was pleased to have a couple of bargains this week!

First, a new collage I worked on this week!

Flower Collage Tropical Parrot

clockwork duck garden


yarden plant pots yarden plant pots OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Finally a garden bench finishes this off; I feel like we’ve achieved the yarden space that we’ve been working towards, and a place to sit just seemed all the more necessary now Joss wants to play out with her sandpit every day. Daddy and I have a spot to enjoy a cuppa (although as you can see in this last pic someone else quite likes this bench too!) and perhaps the odd glass of wine on the longer summer nights :)




A Blogger’s Critical Friend Linky

The best source of inspiration I have found is other bloggers. Whether sharing ideas on Pinterest, using Blog Support and Love All Blogs to champion each others posts or joining in with linkys and blog hops the direction my blog has taken has been supported by fellow blogging pals.

This linky is about taking this support further and asking for a critical friend to take a look at your blog.

Costa and Kallick (1993) define a critical friend as:

“a trusted person who asks provocative questions, provides data to be examined through another lens, and offers critique of a person’s work as a friend”

So the emphasis is on friend here, trusting other bloggers to cast a critical eye and give honest constructive but above all supportive feedback.

Linking up a fave post from the previous fortnight you will not be asking for comments on content per-se but on the look and feel of your site, design and posts.

You might want to build questions into your post, like how might I have improved this photo? or ask folks to pin one of your photos, you might ask for advice on ideas for similar posts.

This linky is super relaxed, the rules are here to help everyone along and I hope you’ll get out what you put in, insight, direction and inspiration!

1) Comment on the posts of the two people to link in infront of you

2) Be open and honest and constructive but above all be supportive!

3) Grab the blog linky button if you like, to help spread the word and the support!

My blog

Costa, A. and Kallick, B. (1993). “Through the Lens of a Critical Friend”. Educational Leadership, vol. 51 no 2, p 49–51.

Upcycling From Adult to Toddler Apron

Joss loves to help out in the kitchen and I looked for a little apron but didn’t like all the plastic ones we saw. Eventually I spotted an adult apron in Poundland and liked the sweet ditsy flowers so this was a cut and stitch job waiting to happen! Upcycling From adult to toddler size is easy, if you want to do the same just chop off the bottom and either use to make a pocket or save for a hairband or other project.

Then chop the sides saving the ties (I used a dress of hers for basic measurements for length and width) then I cut off the neck tie and repositioned a couple of inches closer together and stitched up all the hems finally repositioning the waist ties after she tried it on to give a comfy fit.

Cute and thrifty in less than an hour!
fabric toddler apron
fabric toddler apron

A toddler’s view

I recently started taking our camera on the walk that Joss and I take on our Mondays together. This is our latest selection and looking back I feel very lucky to a) have such a sweet companion and b) live in such a nice part of the North!






All of this is within two minutes walk despite living in quite an urban area!

Taking Baby for their First Haircut and Other Adventures

Real life

What a change in the weather, back to grey skies and rain but it’s been a lovely week nevertheless. Last weekend started with a child-free day to myself, a rare treat and time for a haircut and spot of shopping. The weekend saw the arrival of mr sunshine and the building of a garden bench, then we had a lovely Tuesday seeing Hannah and Reuben from Mumsdays in the morning and a first haircut for Jossy too.


At the Hancock

I was delighted to be handed her first curl for our tots memory book, it completes her book and though I feel sad that we’re drawing a close on the ‘baby’ months this little girl is a joy to be around!


The hairdresser was brilliant with Joss, I recommend going somewhere you go yourself, I love our stylists at my local salon, friendly and bubbly they really put Joss at ease, they asked her about her day and talked to her like she was a grown up which she loves, then when she was relaxed she had a quick trim to get her used to the experience, there were no tears, no need for distractions and a lot of smiles!

Blog life

In blogland I had a really popular post on making a summer garland this week, if you’d like to make one yourself details are here!



I also lost a few hours this week on a bit of a bloggy jaunt which started with this beautiful book, following some of the blogs it mentions somehow led me to find the blog Junkaholique for which I am very grateful, what a treasure-trove of inspiration and loveliness!


- See more at:

Toddler Stained Glass Windows


This was a great idea that our local museum sparked off, toddler stained glass made from acetate, glue and lots of little pieces of torn up tissue paper.

Help your tot to spread pva glue all over one side of the acetate, then pop different coloured pieces of tissue paper over the glue, it’s fine to layer them up, you just don’t want it to be too thick to see the light through!

Leave to dry, then fold a piece of card in two and cut out a heart shape to overlay on the clean side of the acetate. Stick in place on the card and leave to dry, then hang in a window to let the light through!

For older kids you can chat about how glass is made and look at pictures of more intricate stained glass as we did at our art class.

Here’s one to get you started, I think this one is a good one to chat about!

Pinecone, Pompom and Feather Summer Party Garland

Pinecones, Pompoms and Feathers

Gathering pinecones on our walks became a little obsession for Joss, so when I saw these huge cones on an evening walk I was quick to scoop them up.

Dipped in paint and hung from bakers twine with pompoms and feathers from her toddler craft kit this is a fun party garland for summer :)



I have linked this post to my new Critical Friend Linky as I’d like input on how to better present my craft posts! Should I be doing detailed tutorials or just brief notes like this one?