Friday, 30 May 2014

Half-term smiles!

My smiles this week (as my entry to Annie's smiles) come from my little boy going off to stay in Castleton with my parents, all by himself.
He is so grown-up and was extremely happy.  They walked miles every day, exploring the countryside around
including Mam Tor,
Peveril castle,
watching the Garland ceremony and meeting the horses
polishing Blue John stone and exploring various caverns
and generally having a wonderful time.  It was strangely quiet here without him, and I missed saying Good night to him (there was no phone reception in their cottage).   I hope you enjoyed Alex's smiles and have a lovely weekend.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Happy 5th WOYWW Anniversary!

Wow!  We have reached 5 years of the WOYWW phenomenon.  I joined in with this fun blog hop around crafters desks just after the 1st anniversary and have been hooked ever since, so I want to thank Julia for hosting so wonderfully! (image courtesy of
My desk is looking pretty empty at the moment (apart from my trusty mug of tea and electronics) as the only creative thing I have done this week is finish off the ATCs (safely posted apart from the one you can see the back of), and to make this little Lego 'Mixel' - Tim bought it for me as he knows I love little cute things!  It will sit at the back of my desk and make me grin.
I had a wonderful weekend spent with lots of different people who are special to me and thought I would share this photograph of Alex with my parents walking down Padley Gorge on bank holiday Monday... it was such a special day.
Have a great week everyone. Enjoy the blog hop...I will try and visit as many desks as I can.
Happy 5th Anniversary WOYWW.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Science smiles!

My entry for Annie's smiles this week comes from the Festival of Life which was held at work, where Alex was able to extract DNA from strawberries among other things.  Smashing the strawberries was great,
but mixing them with soapy, salty water to break open the cells and then filter the contents was even better.
Best of all was watching the layer of ethanol on top reveal the strands of DNA and being allowed to keep made his day.
I was going to end my blog post there, but I had to laugh this morning when I had left the room to do some chores and came back in to find a 'dead body' on the floor and a crime scene investigation in progress...
this was the final crime scene.  Can you see the motive (gems), the murder weapon (gun complete with finger prints), the boot print of the murderer, and the blood as well as the outlined body?  I was both impressed and amused by the end result.  I hope Alex's antics this week made you smile.  Have great weekend everyone.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Making progress (WOYWW)

Well here is my desk as I continue the process of making the ATCs for the 5 year WOYWW swap next week.  I have cunningly hidden them under the kitchen roll that I have been using to mop up excess ink.  You can see a bit of some of them peeping out and yes, they do involve an element of Zentangle. The box of tissues is on my desk because I have an absolutely streaming cold which is getting in the way of everything.  I do have my trusty mug of hot tea to sustain me though.
I have also made a couple of quick and simple cards for my nephews this who is into Lego
and the other is into Minecraft.
To keep this short and sweet I thought I would finish with a picture of Alex enjoying a snowcone at the May fair last weekend.  Have a great week everyone.
P.S. There are still a few people who agreed to swap with me who haven't sent me their addresses.  Please can you do so (carostaton at gmail dot com) so I can get the swap into the post in time for next Wednesday.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Beaver camp smiles!

My smiles for this week (as my entry to Annie's smiles) had to come from our experiences at Beaver camp last weekend.  Despite the very mixed weather (dodging heavy rain showers) it was a fantastic time.  Alex was there from Saturday at 10am and had a wonderful time getting filthy on the mud slide (sadly I don't have a photo - but needless to say he was the muddiest). Parents arrived at 4.30 (I was the only Mum) to set up tents (I haven't camped since I was 16!), complete a scavenger hunt, and have dinner before going to the camp fire. 
We sang songs round the camp fire with other troupes lead by an enthusiastic, if somewhat tone deaf, camp manager (all in our rain gear, and still with some red Indian War paint on!) and then it was back to the hut for hot chocolate and stories before bed.
This is Alex all snug in the tent at 10pm saying goodnight to his Dad on the phone (I didn't manage to get the war paint off!).  As I said in my previous post, very little sleep was had that night!
In the morning we held a little church service and then made and flew kites (they flew incredibly well, although they are see-through so rather hard to see in this picture).
Finally we had a go in 'the cube' which is basically a pitch black chamber on three levels with low ceilings, blind ends, passageways to crawl through etc.  We needed helmets because the ceilings came down very low indeed. It is really not designed for adults - my hips got stuck a few too many times for comfort! It was an exhausting and hilarious hour (if somewhat claustrophobic) and boy was I stiff when we finished. We then struck the tents and headed home.  All in all it was a wonderful, if exhausting, weekend.
Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Messy and exhausted WOYWW

Well, it is Wednesday again so it is time to show you my desk in all its glorious messiness as part of WOYWW.  I have to confess that I haven’t got any further with the ATCs, and have only managed to make one card since last time.  The reason being that I took Alex to beaver scout camp last weekend (parents have to stay over with the boys), and that is also the excuse for the mess on my desk, as everything just got piled up while I tried to deal with camp lists etc.
Here is the card I made for my mother, from a background made with dylusion inks and water and stencils, and then drawing round the edge of a stencil and colouring in sections. I can’t decide what I think of the end result, but it was fun to do something completely different.
I thought I would finish with this photo of Alex and me in the tent at Beaver Scout Camp early on Sunday morning, after a night of next to no sleep (heavy rain drumming on the tent roof all night, Mummy is it 8 o’clock yet (at 2am), Mummy I need the loo (at 4.30am), and Mummy I can’t sleep any more (at 5.45am)) – despite the lack of sleep we had a wonderful time.
I now have a list of 9 people who wish to swap ATCs with me.  Please can you (and anyone else who would like to) email me your address (my email is carostaton (at) gmail dot com).
Have a great week everyone.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Bank holiday smiles!

 Don't you just love a sunny bank holiday?  Well my entry for Annie's Friday smiles this week come from last weekend's fun.  Alex and I scrambled all around the massive outcrop of rocks shown on the photo behind Alex.  It is in Derbyshire, not too far from us and is called Higger Tor.
It is a wonderful place for bouldering (climbing without ropes),
and weaselling (crawling through tight spaces - I didn't get stuck this time!).
I also took Alex to Chatsworth adventure playground where he had a wonderful time clambering round the fort,
sliding down the slides, damming the stream and playing in the sand with a friend
before eating the most enormous ice cream I have ever seen! Sadly, it doesn't look like the weather is going to be as kind this weekend, which is a shame as Alex and I are going camping for the first time... photos will follow next weekend.  In the meantime, have a good weekend.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Starting the WOYWW ATCs!

Here is my desk in all its creative glory, part way through creating my ATCs for the WOYWW 5 year anniversary swap.  So far I have made a wonderfully messy and bright background which I will cut into ATCs and then decorate appropriately.  I had fun making it using dylusions spray inks, water spray through stencils, distress ink through another stencil and then finally some stamping. Needless to say I am now covered in ink!  If anyone wants to swap who hasn't already let me know then please say so in the comments...thank you!
Although this is all I have done crafting wise this week, I couldn’t resist showing you this photo of Alex and I when we were weaselling on Higger Tor this weekend – he actively ‘encouraged’ me through holes I am really too old, tall, large and stiff to climb through (I am not a skinny, flexible 7 year old!) – this photo is of us at the other end of one those rock passageways with me still down the hole! That's all for now...have a great week everyone.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

A video smile!

I am late to the party with Annie's smiles this week, but couldn't resist sharing this video by Alex (assuming I can persuade Blogger to upload it!). I hope you are all having a great weekend and enjoying the sun.