Welcome to my blog. I am 'The Bunny Maker' - aka Anna, confuzzled mother of three boys, maker of sock bunnies for Widget and Friends, owner of The Warren Bunny Boarding and artist behind Half an Acre. Come on in and join the madness!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

December Merry Go Round

WOOT WOOT! I'm here! I've remembered - like it's THAT hard to do something once a month - but, that is probably the very reason that I do forget! Today I'm writing my post for the blog Merry Go Round - a group of us who write once a month.
December's topical topic is ..... of course ..

How do you celebrate Christmas/holidays? What traditions do you have?

Hmmmm - how do we celebrate Christmas here at Half an Acre? er ..... *puts brain into gear*. We've not really established many traditions so far but this year I've decided that we need some. So .... we've done two cheesy Christmas jigsaws so far - 1000 pieces each - and due to the wonders of Google Images I can actually show you the one we've just finished! How much do you wish that that was the scene outside your home? We've always done jigsaws - an internal need to sort things and the lack of a tv induces such activities. I'm itchy to start another.

We always put the tree up on December 10th - which is my Father's birthday. Just seems like the right sort of time to do it. Any sooner and the tree would be a heap of needles and sad branches - any later and the kids would have exploded with anticipation. I've always decorated it up until the boys arrived but now I have to grit my teeth whilst they hang everything on the same branch. When they are all in bed I rearrange it all. This year I've invested in a load of festive DVDs which I'm going to put away again until next year after Christmas is over. Scrooge, Oliver, The Snowman, The Sound of Music - all the ones that meant 'Christmas' to me as a child. One thing I do miss, though, are films that used to be on tv when I was young - Ben Hur, Spartacus (I'm Spartacus! No, I'm Spartacus), Jesus of Nazareth - are they still on? Somewhere tucked away on an absure channel hiding behind more 'contemporary' rubbish. Now I'm talking like a true parent!

We sprinkle Reindeer food all round the garden before bed and then the stockings go on the end of the boys' beds (tonight!!!). When they wake up and wiggle their toes they can hear crunchy wrappings and see sparkly bits poking out of the top. I loved that when I was young. All the things in the stockings are wrapped to prolong the excitement. The eldest is always awake first - we then have to wake up the other two! The only kids in the country needing to be roused on Christmas morning. They stagger into our room and open the stockings on our bed. After we've staggered past the paper pile we hare downstairs to see what's under the tree. The boys then have to wait until we've made some coffee. They take turns to hand the presents out. One for each person to open at a time. I refuse to do the mad 'grab and rip' approach - it seems rude and greedy to me. We don't have a Christmas lunch - as that would mean I'm chasing the gravy round the kitchen when the others are 'doing presents'. This year we're going to my parents after lunch and we'll do the turkey thing in the evening. Boxing Day is a quiet one this year - just at 'granny's' - we'll have turkey sandwiches and flop around with the dog infront of the fire. Some year's we go to either of my brothers' families for a big get together but this year it's not working out that way - they all have their own families and sets of grannies etc to go and see. I'm ready for a quiet one.
One Christmas Day I shall also raise a glass to myself (tee hee) because I've made exactly 100 online sales since I started in June of this year. I am thrilled. It's been bloomin' hard work - and I'm sure my eyesight is the worse for it.

My New Years Resolution is to stop using so many !!!s and ----s and ......s when I type, to do all my paperwork up to date ready for the next tax return, to try to get back to that size 8 I used to be (hahahahhaaaaaaaaaaa dream on girile) and get rid of that tub trug of slop which has sat in my kitchen for the last 5 weeks waiting to be made into paper - it doesn't even smell yet - I thought it would grow mould. Oh yes, and to finish The Fish - I just need a bathymetric map to cover it.

All done!

More Merry Go Round posts to read:

Saturday, 20 December 2008

The house looks great but the fridge is empty!

.... and failed again with my Shopping List Saturday feature - so sorry FancyPicnic! Can I have the 'it is Christmas' excuse, please?
We've been getting back to basics here in the Half an Acre household - picture right is my middle son doing the stamping for our paperchains. We started off with Christmassy stars but have graduted to hearts, dragonflies and fish. Basically the sum total of my rubber stamp collection. It's a good job we never bought that nice, new kitchen table. The other picture shows the constant state of the table - and I'm not kidding - even though I have a workroom in the house things usually graduate to the kitchen. My eldest son had to make a working toy with a CAM mechanism for school and most of that heap on the table is balsa wood and paper instructions, tools and dust. All mixed in with some very safe scalpels, sharp bits and lethal glue. I like to expose the kids to an element of danger during tea - alert the services - sloppy mother alert! The kiddies are in their usuall postition - squashed at one end trying to eat something cobbled together - no wonder they are all so skinny! Certain things have priority in our house - 'making a wooden toy and christmas paper chains' takes the lead over 'food shopping' - therefore our house looks great but we are all starving! When my husband came home 'famished' and opened the fridge to see er ... nothing .... I quickly wafted him into the hallway "LOOK! the boys made paperchains!" as if that would go some way to easing his hunger. Sometimes I use the "Look! I hoovered" approach as though this quickly de-crumbing explains my inability to get in the car and go to Sainsbuys. I hate food shopping almost as much as I hate selotape. But selotape hates me more than the food shopping hates me. I am so sick of getting it suck in my hair, stuck to bits it shouldn't be and then looking all unprofessional that I've come to realise I am in need of a bulk order of jiffy bags. Having used up all my recycled ones I'm onto the 'traditional brownpaper looks nice idea - but it needs too much selotape. I hate selotape almost as much as I hate coathangers ... but don't get me started on them!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Waffle, waffle, waffle... and not the Belgian kind...

Gah! I've missed my Shopping List Saturday feature by a day AGAIN!!!!! Obviously Sunday is the new Saturday. Or, obviously, it isn't as you will see that there is no feature in this post!

It's been an eventful and expensive week. On Thursday I, and the three boys, hit a big, hard, bumpy thing on the road and destroyed the tyre on my car. Luckily a friend could come and pick the boys up as I then sat, freezing my butt off in the ditch the 2 1/2 hours waiting for the AA man to come. Yes! I will say it again! Two and a half long, freezing hours in the dark on a busy, busy road felling all female and on my ownsome! My car carries no spare tyre as the space is compromised by the back seats which lay down flat into the space it would have taken up. So, I needed to be towed. AND ... AND.... I broke down in the only spot on the road where there is next to no mobile reception. I could only just call the AA - four tries it took. Then I could only sporadically text a friend to get them to chase the AA up. When the AA man arrived he said he'd only got the call 20 mins prior!!! NOT HAPPY WITH THE AA! The man, by the way, was fantastic - just like the adverts!

I've done my last sale event for the year - it was disasterous! Only 7 people came in through the door! But I did sell six sock bunnies. The bunnies have been keeping me going over the last few weeks big time! Something about them is deeply appealing to everyone ...... Do you need one? You can find them all here at The Warren on Folksy. Folksy has really come up trumps over the last two weeks - I've had 9 sales now - two of them today and the same item but in different colours. I've even had three sales through my ill-fated website. If I knew then what I do now I wouldn't have paid out all that money for the site - which, incidentally, I am still paying off. I hadn't discovered all these Etsy, Folksy things back then and everyone kept saying those haunting words "Do you have a website?".
I'm thinking that this might be my last post before Christmas - I kinda want to have a break and just make paperchains with the boys ..... but, we shall see ...... I'll have more time now the events are all done and dusted.
Actually - i've got an idea .. okay, this isn't my last post ........

Monday, 8 December 2008

Something's wrong with the world today .....

On Saturday my cousin's wife, aged 39, was unexpectedly rushed into hospital. She died 4 hours later from a suspected virus. She is a mother to one year old twins.
There are no words.

This post is dedicated to them ...... my heart goes out to them all.

Thank you MidnightOrange

Sunday, 7 December 2008

We Make London Saturday shopping!

My Shopping List Saturday feature this week is going to centre about WeMake as that is where I was on Saturday with my stall! I didn't sell any wooden stuff but sold 17 sock bunnies! The Warren is in full production to keep up with the demand. I bought one of these Ninja fluff balls from Flurogoddess for my son. He loves it beyond belief -he's sitting with it next to him right now. I knew he'd adore it. It's been given it's own personality now. I think I might have to get some more for the other two boys now as they have 'ball envy'.
I REALLY wanted to buy the things picture below - but didn't due to lack of funds! They are all made by Fur Will Fly who has the best quirky humour I've come across the years - ties right in with mine .... anyone who makes a plush red blood cell is a genius in my book.

From left to right: A red blood cell, white blood cells and a stake. A stake! It's still making me chuckle.

I had the wonderful pleasure of having a table next to Jan from ChichiMoi who, amongst things, makes these gorgeous goodies. I don't have any more pictures but she had a range of lovely hand-knitted headbands, hair grips, corsages and the cutest Christmas decorations. She also sells on Not On The High Street.
On the other side of me was the lovely ArtyAllsorts who takes beautiful, beautiful photographs. I've put some of her flower pictures over there on the right as I think they are stunning - simply and of outstanding print quality.

I have to give a special mention to the cakes! Oh the cakes! Simply Scrumbalicious did the cakes ...... *sigh* those cakes .. those cakes were the best damn cakes I have EVER tasted ... EVER! And the nicest coffee I've ever been served at an event! The Scrumbalicious blog is here and they should absolutely, definately go into mail order cakes, or a shop, or .... or..... anything really that means I can get more cakes! They even used Oreos on a cheesecakey thing - Oreos are my favourite biscuits EVER and anything involving then is pure genius. You have no idea how yummy their popcorny, cranberry thingy was either...... I need these cakes in my life and so do you.......... *collapses*

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Launch of Uk Handmade winter issue .... and a whole load of bunnies....

Today sees the launch of the UK Handmade magazine! Click on the homepage picture to download 87 pages of brilliance! To celebrate the launch of the first issue we have a fantastic prize draw - five goodie bags up for grabs full of handmade thingies from a range of UK makers and artists - me included *cough*. To qualify just sign up for our newsetter on the homepage. Entry closes on Thursday 11 December at midnight (GMT). There will be five winners! I am totally thrilled to be part of this - not least because if you look on page 3 of the downloadable magazine you will see me listed as 'Marketing Assistant'!! I know I'm meant to be all grown-up and all but it still makes me un-necessarily excited to see my name listed in print! We hope that soon the magazine will be a paper one - properly for sale ..... it's an awesome thought! So all I can say to you all is SUBSCRIBE!!! Go on ......... we love subscribers and you'll make me ever so happy!

Today (or rather Tuesday) also sees the launch of my new shop 'The Warren" on Folksy. It's bunny madness here again. I sold 17 at a sale on Friday night - sold 5 today to my neighbour - loads of people have asked if they can buy more online SO... due to this mad fervour I have opened this bunnified place. Each comes it it's own sleeping bag and style-able ears! Its amazing what you can do with a sock and I'm not keen on monkeys (sock ones are more of a US thing, I think) and everyone here knows how bunny mad my eldest son is ...... the result is The Warren! I don't have that many in the shop yet but a basket of 28 of them are staring at me right now - with another 20 not yet stitched up -all waiting to have their photo taken and be uploaded. I feel a little mean, though, selling them but comfort myself with thoughts that they will be going to good homes to be loved. Don't burst this bubble with nasty jokes about boiling, shooting or making a nice pair of gloves okay?