The last few days of Tinsel

The last few days Tinsel has been relatively quiet, watching the children intently. We’ve had a couple of letters from him about behaviour that have struck a chord with my middle child. The older one is still in need of some reminding. Now it’s Christmas Eve it’s time for Tinsel to leave us for another year. Before he leaves he brought a present. Our christmas sack. The children we told not to open it until after dinner tonight. But I can tell you it contains everyone’s christmas pjs pop corn and hot chocolate sachets for everyone. Their is also a DVD from mum mum for us to watch before bed.
I’ll leave you with a couple more pics of Tinsel.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Love magpie jojo





Tinsel update

Sorry I haven’t kept up with this but we have all been under the weather with lots of viruses, coughs, colds and other delights.
Our elf Tinsel has been up to all sorts so I have popped on some pics of all his adventures. Excitement is rising in our house, my middle child is bouncing all over the house a bit more with each day that passes. I’m pretty much wrapped and sorted and have a food shop booked. So feeling good.

This morning we got up to find, Tinsel had been taken hostage by the Dr Who baddies from the Mr’s advent Calendar! Tied up and everything! 🙂

How are you lot doing?

Merry christmas!

Tinsel has a joyride!A bath in the play kitchen sink and a kebab!Xmas movie marathon!Story time.Got to love a bit of colouring!Midnight feast!!Cheeky nap under the Xmas tree!Hugging the Xmas tree I think tinsel might be homesick.Consulting Santa and Rudolph about the christmas radio times!Dr who bad guy hostage situation!!!

Tinsel the Elf returns!

Last year we gained a festive family member. Tinsel the Elf came to our house to keep an eye on the children during advent.

The children took naming him very seriously and a huge list was prepared and Tinsel selected.

This year during the night of December 1st Tinsel arrived back in the Magpie house.
He arrived quietly with a note greeting the children and reminding them why he was here.


The following night mischief was made and this morning my middle child discovered Tinsel having had a chocolate feast! The naughty Elf that he is, he didn’t even tidy up the wrappers!


Much Excitement is fizzing in the house hold now Tinsel is back at what he will get up to this year.

Even the adults can’t wait!

Do you have an Elf on your shelf?
What sort of christmas magic do you have in the build up?

Let me know!

Magpie jojo


The final count down!

So we have reached that exciting part of the year where the children get to officially think about christmas and start… The final count down!

We usually have a whole shelf of chocolate advent calendars, several for each child. This year I didn’t want to do that, they were losing the real point of it all in a frantic morning chocolate feast. So I came up with a couple of ideas, to make it a little more calm and introduce a couple of things we could make a tradition (I do love a good tradition!)

The first is aimed at my youngest baby, I got together 24 books. Some of our favorites, some christmas themed books we had and some new ones bought at our local charity shop. image



I wrapped the covers with christmas paper and set them out in order on a shelf.

Each night we get the correctly numbered book, settle on the sofa and have a lovely story.

This is perfect for her age, and the others quite like it too!

I tried to have our Christmassy books during the last few nights of advent to build the atmosphere a bit more.

The second one is a fabric calendar. I found a wooden christmas tree you build up and hang lots of tiny decorations on. So I put each piece of the tree and base into the pockets of the fabric calendar and the bigger two are taking it in turns to take each bit out on the right day and build the tree. imageimageimage

They are really enjoying figuring out how the pieces fit together each day, and are looking forward to getting to the tiny decorations! image

This is something I hope will become a tradition that we can do for years. The bonus to our little tree that I didn’t know when I bought it is that the base winds up and turns gently and plays christmas music!

I bought the tree from a charity shop for £4.95 and the fabric calendar from a charity shop for £1.99!

The advent books cost me £1.98 for two rolls of paper for wrapping, and six books from the charity shop at 49p each! The rest we already had.

So I haven’t spent much and hope to use a lot of this for a few years to come.

The kids have reacted really well to these new ideas. I am really happy this has gone down well and has created a little more fun around christmas that we can do as a family, rather than a snatched chocolate at breakfast.

Something I enjoy doing as a grown up is an advent candle. Each evening I light our candle, I love candle light is warm cosy and romantic. My mum has sent me one in a lovely glass candle stick holder.
We always had them when I was a child, they got a little harder to find for a few years but they seem to be more popular so you can find them in a lot more places.image

So that’s what advent in our house looks like in our house this year.
What do you do for advent? Chocolate? Picture? Candles? Or maybe something unique to your family?

Let me know!

Mrs Magpie

Baby patchwork VICTORY!!!

So quite a lot has happened with the blanket! I am very proud of myself. I have managed to sew together A LOT of squares into twos, and then into fours, eights and beyond!

Gives self a gold sticker for achievement!

I was told by my friend Sarah, to sew two together and then iron the seam down to one side. For every set I do. So I put together as many two’s as I could and then ironed them all. Doing it bulk saves time and sanity!

Two sewn & ironed

I had also come up with a folding method for cutting the squares. To get as many squares as you can and save time, fold each piece of fabric that you have in half and then size up your template or a square you already have cut. Figure out if you can fold again to the size you need and do as many times as possible. Then trim around the square. Then you can cut along the folds and you should end up with a stack of squares.

Folded fabric with square templateTrimmed square

Once I had a few sets if four I ironed them again making sure all the seams sat flat. Then started to sew the fours together to make eights.

Completed ironed four

I put together all the squares I had, and have made some pretty impressive progress with the blanket. I laid out what I have done so far on the dinning room table and was really pleased with how it’s turned out.

I now need to carry on with the rest of the cut squares and add them to the blanket. Then I’ll be able to see just how big it’s going to end up being!

It’s already a bit of a beast! To give you and idea, in one of the pictures I had spread it out over our sofa which is a three seater!

I’ll keep posting about how I get on. As I know the harder bits are coming and I’ll be looking up advice from all over the place about wadding and edging! Eeeeeeppp!

On the table


I’ll come back soon with some more progress and pictures.


Finding me time…

Some thing I find as a mum of three lovely but energetic children is a lack of time for me. I adore my kids don’t get me wrong, but I think it’s important to have something that you can do for your self, wether its reading, writing, drawing or other craft, jogging or other sports, gardening, baking. Going for coffee with friends.
Everyone needs to do things for themselves just because.

For me it’s crafts. I love messing with bits and pieces and seeing what I can come up with. I have all sorts of things that I have stashed away for a rainy (me) day. My lovely husband bought me a sewing machine a couple of years ago and I’m ashamed to admit I’ve barely touched it!

The one and only proper project I made with it was a Molly monkey doll for my friends daughter for her birthday. I loved making it, even when I was finding bits tough.
I have lots of bag and doll projects sitting in a folder begging to be made. Plus a family blanket from favorite baby/kids clothes.

So I decided this year I’m going to “make” some time for myself. Even if its only a little each week, I want to do things even if it’s only 1/2 an hour cutting a pattern ready to pin.

Organisation is the key and not one of my strong points. So I will have to take this slowly and see how it goes. Because if I don’t try it will never happen right?

I just got my first ever “Molly makes” magazine and fell in love! I made the little coin purse that came free, and realised how just a few minutes of crafting makes me very happy and calm. It may be a little misshaped but to me it’s perfect and shows its not about huge complicated things. But just a little something often.

So here goes, I’m saying it out loud so I have to stick to it!

How do you make “me time” work for you?
How do you fit in around the family?

I’d love to hear from you and find out what you do just for you.

Drop me a line.