Monthly Archives: June 2013

Saturday in Skipton.


When I found out one of my favourite crafty bloggers was holding her first ‘open studio’ in a town not too far from where I live I just couldn’t resist going along…


Anyone who reads crafty/crochet blogs will no doubt have come across the rather lovely Attic 24 , Lucy who writes it shares a studio with Tracy from Patchwork Chickens another lovely blog, anyway these two very talented ladies held an open studio today in the wonderful town of Skipton.

Their studio is above Coopers Cafe Bar which sells nice strong black coffee and a whole range of very tasty treats! So we stopped for a refuel before heading upstairs to investigate the studio.

Once we got upstairs all I can say is Wow! The whole place is a riot of colour and creativity…it was also a bit strange seeing all the wonderful projects I’ve followed Lucy’s progress on in ‘real life’ if you know what I mean! 


Sadly we didn’t get to chat with Tracy, but Lucy was incredibly welcoming and friendly, she chatted about her projects and her yarn and her gorgeous baby cashmerino ripple blanket…which I have to admit I wanted to grab, wrap around me and run away with! 


After we left the studio we decided to investigate Skipton, the weather was nice and we were in a town we didn’t know so there was no other option but to explore! 

We bought ice cream from a boat on the canal! 


We wandered through the market looking at stalls and in shop windows.


We had a delicious lunch at a brilliant little vegetarian restaurant called ‘Wild Oats Cafe’.

Then we wandered slowly back through the town, promising each other we’d be back soon to explore further.

Two trains later and we were back in Barnsley.

Em xx 

Stitch ‘n’ Bitch


Friday has always been our weekly Stitch ‘n’ Bitch day, we’ve had loads of different venues but almost always managed to get to get together for coffee and crochet! 

Today’s big difference was that Evie is now part of the group, she brought along a new craft project to work on and only put it down when she had some toast.

I’m working on a poncho for a baby, I sometimes have a craft stall at a local coffee morning and I need some new things to sell on it.


My Blue Poncho.


DKia is crocheting a pink striped blanket that we’ve christened ’50 Shades of Pink’ because she’s used at least 50 different pink yarns on it so far.


50 Shades of Pink.


Evie started embroidering a design from one of her endless computer games, she drew it freehand first, then started to fill it in with colourful stitches.


Evie’s Embroidery.


We also drank lots of the delicious coffee that they serve at Corner Cafe! 

That’s all for today, a short and sweet post, we are going to visit a fellow blogger tomorrow at her open studio! 

Em xx  

Making History.


Today a super new museum opened in Barnsley, ‘Experience Barnsley’ is about Barnsley, for Barnsley.

The opening ceremony was performed by the people of Barnsley, everyone cut their own bit of a huge ribbon to declare it open! 

We helped with the ribbon cutting and then went inside for our first look around, it was brilliant and we’ll be back very soon.


Evie Getting Ready to Cut The Ribbon.


Hermione About to Cut The Ribbon.


Yay it’s Cut!


Souvenir Pieces of Ribbon.





Evie and Hermione Getting Involved in Women’s Suffrage.


The Amazing Reference Library.


Hermione in a Roman Soldier Costume.


Leaving Messages.




The Tallest Cricket Players Ever?


Em xx 

Lunch Time Laughs.


Our middle daughter Mica lives and works in Cheltenham so we don’t see anywhere near enough of her, but she’s been home for a visit this week.

As she was leaving to go home this afternoon we decided to go for lunch at the cafe in our village. Corner Cafe is the little cafe just a few minutes walk from our home, the owners Bev and Dean are really friendly and always willing to accommodate the endless strange requests we make with our orders! 


Corner Cafe in Darton.


And we are a fussy bunch, in our extended family we are almost all vegetarian, some are vegan and one is a raw vegan! Then we’ve got a coeliac and a couple who want milk in their drinks, but only non dairy milk and as I had a gastric bypass last year, I only eat teeny tiny meals, which again they are happy to make for me.

Luckily for us Corner Cafe sell great food, salads, soup, panninis, breakfasts in both meat eating and meat free varieties, the most delicious ice cream ever and loads of lovely looking cakes. But most importantly of all they sell bloody good coffee, I hate to eat anywhere where the coffee is rubbish, ( there is a notable exception to this that I’ll write about another time).

Anyway what was going to be a quiet lunch for the five of us turned into a riotous lunch for 12 of us! 

Kia and Lola.

We had to put two tables together and squeeze around them, we were loud and there was lots of laughter and shouting up and down the table, for some reason everyone was showing off their whistling skills or lack of them in some cases…like erm…me! 


I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet I’m an avid hooker and managed to fit a few rounds of my latest project in whilst I was waiting for everyone to arrive! 

Yay! Crochet.

Mica left just after half past 2 with me promising to go to Cheltenham as soon as I can to visit her there, so hopefully I’ll get a couple of nice sunny days down there with her.

Em x 

Off to a Great Start.


Evie has got off to a flying start with her home education. We decided that as there are only four weeks left until the end of the school year she could do a project a week for each of the next four weeks.

Fun Facts About Portugal.

Shes going to include research into each subject, facts and figures, art work and creative writing.


Saltaire and Sir Titus Salt

Nelson Mandela 

Computer games

As well as this she’s going to do some maths and read for at least half an hour a day.

To keep healthy we walk a lot and Evie has joined a karate class with her cousin Elliott.

We had a fun trip to The Range today to stock up on books, paper, pencils, pens and the ever elusive pencil sharpeners! After getting home and unpacking this lot Evie was dying to get down to some work using it all…she has never had correction fluid before until today, and she managed to make at least one mistake that needed correcting on each line of her work!

Hard at Work (Note The Correction Fluid).

After all Evie’s hard work we spent a pleasant hour painting at Les Cadeaux, the new ceramic painting studio that opened recently in our village.

Painting at Les Cadeaux.

Then we were back there again this evening as it’s the new venue for our weekly craft night. Lucky us…we had a trainee masseuse giving us ‘tester’ massages tonight! Almost everyone there had one and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Evie Getting a Hand Massage.

Until next time.

Em xx


De-registration Day


So today is the start of Evie’s home education.

We decided home education was the way forward for a number of reasons, the most important of these is my complete lack of confidence in the current UK education system.

I want Evie to grow up into a well rounded, free thinking, individual and independent person, I really don’t think any of these traits are encouraged in schools today.



Learning in schools seems to consist mostly of memorising facts for exams and learning to comply without question.

Aaaaarghhh it sounds horrible, I want my daughter to learn that there’s more to life than this and I don’t want to bring up another little robot to be ground down by which ever oppressive government we happen to have in power! (Mini rant over!).


Another reason we’ve decided to home educate is that my 12 year old sister Hermione has been educated at home since march of this year and I am very involved in her learning.



I really enjoy my time teaching Hermione and I’ve found it a huge learning curve for both of us.

Hermione Hard at Work


Hermione was consistently let down by the education system, she missed some school after our Dad died in 2009 and slipped behind in some of her lessons, sadly the school she was at didn’t do anything at all to help her catch up, making poor Hermione feel stupid and ultimately losing all her confidence in herself and her ability to learn.

Three months down the line with her home ed and she’s blossoming into the clever kid she always has been, she asks questions about what we’re studying, she’s genuinely interested in our lessons and most importantly she really enjoys learning! 

We’re Currently Studying Ancient Egypt.


The time I’ve spent with Hermione has boosted my confidence enough that I feel I’m well able to give Evie a fun and interesting education at home now.

And the final reason I’m going to home educate Evie is the amount of pressure I saw put upon her year at school recently during their year 6 SATs, from the beginning of January onwards her lessons at school consisted almost exclusively of preparation and revision for these useless exams.

Their French lessons stopped, arts and crafts, which was practically non existent beforehand stopped altogether in the run up to SATs.

I saw how worried my little girl was about doing well and getting level 5’s and I wondered how fair is it to put so much pressure and expectation on 10-11 year old children? 

Relaxed and Carefree, How Childhood Should Be!


So after much discussion as a family we’ve decided this is the way forward for us all.

We took the first step today and delivered a letter to Evie’s school advising them of our decision and asking them to remove her from the school register and confirm this in writing to us.

The school also have to let the local education authority know of our decision so that Evie’s progress at home can be monitored by the local assessor.

Em x 

Who, What, Where, Why…


Hello and welcome to my nice shiny new blog.

A new blog to keep a record of some of the huge changes I want to make in my life…starting tomorrow! 

Just a quick introduction, then I’ll get on with the changes.

Anyways I’m Emma, I live near to Barnsley in lovely South Yorkshire.



I live with my partner Scott and two of my three daughters, Kia and Evangeline as well as two cats, Coco and Deathwing and our little dog Indy.

I’m a world class procrastinator but am seriously trying to to actually ‘get things done’ now! 

Anyway, as I was saying before I’ve come to a point in my life where I want to make some pretty serious changes, these are…

1. Homeschooling my 11 year old Daughter Evie.

Evangeline ‘Evie’ Sheldon

2. Making mine and my family’s diet super healthy and getting us out and exercising more as.    a family.

Healthy Salad, Yummy!

3. Finding a way to earn money without getting a job, in other words get my crochet sold on Etsy, Folksy, EBay etc.

Crochet Bunting.

4. Learn to live frugally, we waste so much food by buying it and letting it go out of date etc, I buy loads of things that I really don’t need or even ever use! 

Upcycled Yarn Made From Old T-Shirts.

5. Get some actually money saved instead of just wishing we had savings and hoping we’ll win the lottery! 

6. (This is big one, the one I’m dreading the most) Get my super chaotic messy house organised into a thing of clockwork-like organisation and beauty EEEEK! 

I really hope you’ll join me on my journey of change, I’m hoping, tidying up aside it will be loads of fun! 

See you soon.

Em x