Little house door stop tutorial – on the Daily Stitch

little house doorstop

Little house doorstop – image from The Village Haberdashery

I am delighted to have a quick and easy little house door stop tutorial over on The Village Haberdashery’s blog – The Daily Stitch.  I was surprised at how taken my children were with the door stop… really seemed to tickle their fancy.  It is a lovely wee project and I think would be a great house warming gift – you could have lots of fun personalising the house.  If you make one please do let me know, I’d love to see it!


Winter woodland birthday party


keeping warm winter woods partysticks and firelooking for animal cards matching woodland colours

winter woods party

woodland party

hunting cards

We held Islay’s winter woodland birthday party last weekend and – despite my nerves – everyone had fun.  An outdoor birthday party is most definitely our children’s preference and we’re well practised but this year I was very anxious – which, I think, was a combination of the weather in the week leading up to it and the fact that we didn’t really know any of the girls invited.  We’re still very much at the stage of getting to know the children’s friends and, since they go off to school on the bus, I am only beginning to know their parents.  I was unsure how the idea of an outdoor party in December would be received and worried that if the girls weren’t warmly enough dressed they wouldn’t enjoy themselves.

However, the day was still and dry and was the best we’d had for days.  I don’t think it rose above freezing point but the girls were warmly dressed.  All went well.  I heard several declarations that it was the best birthday party ever.  I know that 8 year old girls will bestow this sort of praise fairly readily…..but only if they really are having fun.

I had laminated some pictures of woodland animals which the boys and their friends hid around the woods.  We pointed the end of some sticks and the girls went hunting animals with their ‘spears’ – this worked really well and they were very keen to ensure that all the animals had been found, setting off a couple more times when I told them some were missing .  Next they split into groups and samples of nature to match paint colour chips……they enjoyed this but it didn’t hold their attention for very long.  Poking their spears in the fire, cooking sausages (actually just heating them up – I always feel it is safer to cook them in advance!) and toasting marshmallows kept them happily occupied for a very long time.  We had to tear them away from the fire when it was home time.


We held the party in Feddanhill Woods just a mile or so from our house.  The woods are privately owned by a very lovely man who spends his retirement pottering around looking after his trees and the paths he has put in.  He actively encourages locals to use the woods and the boys have spent very many happy Friday evenings there with Cubs and Scouts.  We left a large slab of birthday cake on Graham’s windscreen to say thank you!


Previous outdoor parties documented on the blog – Angus’ 6th, Islay’s 5th and Angus’ 9th


A brief health update – Angus’ cold deteriorated and he ended up with a perforated eardrum (but antibiotics and lots of warm clothes, especially to cover his poor ear, meant he was able to join in the party fun), Finn broke his toe almost three weeks ago and is beginning to hobble much less (but it is rather like living with a caged tiger as he can’t do anything other than walk until it is fully healed – hopefully only a few more days as he really isn’t made for inactivity) and Islay’s arm is healing well (she had her big heavy cast removed last week and now has a lighter below-the-elbow cast which also frees up her fingers a little more, we’re hoping that will come off early next week)

I’m hoping to make less use of our GP and hospital in the coming weeks!  But they have been wonderful and I am very grateful for their good work!

Winter colour


ben wyvis ben wyvis and stubble field boat birch bark susie stomping scots pine bark forest floor

hawthorn berries hawthorn decoration

I thought you might enjoy some winter colour from last Friday – it doesn’t look like that now!  This should have been posted a few days ago but this very busy time of year plus Islay’s birthday, and party, coming up before the end of term and horrible bugs (poor Angus is shivering in bed just now) prevented that.  We have had, and are having, such wild weather  – looking back at the pictures just now it is a little hard to remember what a lovely day it was, it feels like a long time ago!  We have had high winds and lots of sleety snow for several days now. Snow is lying all around us but since we’re right on the coast it isn’t sticking at the house.  I’m a little sad about being able to see but not reach the snow but as soon as we’re all well we can head a few fields inland and make the most of it.

I have my fingers crossed that the wind and sleet will stop by Saturday as we have an outdoor party planned for Islay – and that Angus is better and no one else succumbs.  I really would like to get a few hours outside in the fresh air………I’m beginning to get a bit of cabin fever and the poor dogs are wondering why their walks are so short!

I hope that you are tucked up safe and sound where you are and haven’t been blown around too much.  I’ll try and pop back before the holidays start as there’s a few projects I have been working on that I’d like to share.  In the meantime keep safe and warm!