Monday, June 2, 2014

Happy Dances All Round!

Happy Monday!

It's a bank holiday here in Ireland today: no idea why today and not last week like the rest of the world, but there you go.

I am filled with the joys of summer because son has broken up from school for the summer! Yay, he survived and indeed thrived in his first ever year at high school..and for my son, his first ever year at school!

Comments from his teachers during parents evening were that although he is in the worst behaved class in the school (and by worst behaved they mean kids not doing homework, nothing like the schools I worked in the UK)  he is the only one not to have had a detention and so has learned not to be a sheep and be swayed by peer pressure!  Good lad.  Also, they said he seems to have a bigger awareness of what is going on in the world around him than any other child in his year!  Well his success in school is because of three things.

The first, home educated children get a more holistic education: we talk to the children, they have some freedom in what they learn and can follow their own interests rather than follow a narrow minded and uninspiring national curriculum.

The second is that home ed children learn true socialisation: they mix with children of all ages, from little bitty babies to tall, gangly teenagers and of course their parents.  So my son knows there is much more to life than school which is all the other kids have ever known.

The third is discipline and I don't mean beating him with belts and whips.  I can honestly say I have never, ever raised a hand to my son. There is no need to hit a child, not ever.  There is however a need to teach children that actions have consequences.  So if I say something I mean it...if he is naughty and I say no play station, then there is no play station and of course, it works the other way around, there is a lot to be said for positive reinforcement and to be honest, I don't think I have ever even had to say to him, no playstation.  We tend to work on positives rather than negatives and we praise and sit and explain what would be consequences both ways so he gets to make a decision regarding what direction he goes in.

And because he has learned to work out what the consequences are of either doing something good or doing something that could turn out bad, he has learned not to be swayed by his peers.

And very pleased there is no school now until September because I just love it when all my family is around me...and one son out of three children is better than none ;-)

I have lots of other reasons to be happy dancing all over the place too.

First, Sharon (Shebafudge) sent me a parcel for the birthday thread exchange that I am part of.  It arrived after my birthday but I hadn't noticed and so it was a lovely, surprise.  And even lovelier was the reason why it was late.

She sent me one of my favourite books ever, 'The Little Gray Men'.  I can remember I chose it in the school library when I was in infant school and  one of the volunteer mums made me put it back because she said it was to old for me.  I had been reading since the age of three!  I was really offended but kids in those days weren't taught to be assertive or confident.  I was 7 when I bought it out of my birthday money ( I loved books so much that people gave up buying me dolls...all I ever wanted to do was read!) and I was 10ish when my mother gave all my books away while I was at school.  Over 200 of them.  I have never forgiven her and am slowly buying they all back.  I had nearly all the Enid Blytons.  Gutted.  And I have mentioned this before so Sharon sent me it and Sharon, I finished reading it this morning!

So lovely threads, pretty lavender tissues, gorgeous threads, lables that say 'handmade', a reel of ribbon and a book.  Life just doesn't get much better does it?  Thank you Sharon xx


I've had a busy two days since the retreat.
I discovered fabric canvas art..quilting on canvas.  And I love it!

Excuse the photos, I was balancing on a bed and wobbling quite a lot.  I emailed a friend with these and she bought them there and then!  Wow...and they were so much fun to make!

Then I figured I should make some for me.

This was made for the victorian living room.

I used mixed media for this one.  Acrylic paint to age the flower bowl, some ric rac and a button. I used vintage fabrics.

Then for the bedroom, I used the fabric that has been sitting there quietly and patiently, waiting for me to get the confidence to cut it and quilt it.  Well, the peacock is so big and so beautiful that I couldnt bring myself to do I came up with a compromise!


The peacock print is huge though you can't really tell here. It is on the biggest sized canvas you can get and because we have tall, tall walls and very high ceilings, they look stunning.  I'm very pleased with them and I have to get on with the quilt now or the bed won't match the walls!

I also have a stitchy finish! Yay!

This was what we stitched at the Irish stitching retreat...and thanks to the wonderful personalisation one of ladies did, I have a great idea for the next stitching retreats chart!

And talking about next years stitching retreat!

Drum roll please!!!!!!!
Ok the 2015 Irish Stitching Retreat has been organised! Yay!!!!!

I have two dates available, and it will again take place at the wonderful, amazing, truly magical Mount Falcon Hotel in County Mayo.

They have given us an Amazing price yet again! A six bedroom lodge by the lake, three nights b and b, 600 euros. Each three night stay is restricted to five people. Price is 100 euros per person sharing or if you would like a room to yourself, 200 euros.

The lodges consist of three twin rooms, two upstairs and one downstairs. Each room has ensuite facilities. There is a living room, a fully functioning kitchen with dishwasher and fridge and a room with a washing machine/dryer. They are luxury lodges and are beautiful inside to match the beauty of the lake and ground outside.

Included in the price is Breakfast, where you can enjoy a full Irish, organic porridge, Egg Benedicts, Vegetarian cooked breakfast and of course partake in the cold buffet breakfast: croissants, pain au chocolate, cereals, fruits, natural yogurts with home pureed fruit sauces...and sooooo many more things. This is included in the price.

In Uk terms, this equatest to three nights bed and breakfast for around 80.00 pounds. Seriously, you couldn't get that price even in a family run B and B!! Mount Falcon are being incredibly generous.
I ask for a donation which will go towards food and petrol nearer the time. Menus will be sent out for approval to you and I can cater for most diatery needs.

I will pick you up from Knock airport or Boyle train station and we will have at least one day out to explore Ireland.
You will have free access to all of Mount Falcon's grounds, the luxury swimming pool, sauna and jacuzzie.
You may also wish to book a session fly fishing, a walk with the falcons or a beauty treatment in the spa (these must be booked by yourselfs and pay through the hotel).
There is a bar and a place to enjoy coffees and teas with the hotels hand made cookies and biscuits and cakes and there is a Five Star restaurant for evening meals should you wish to enjoy the amazing food there.
You will be issued with a retreat cross stitch chart which will NOT be available for sale and which will have an Irish/Friendship/Stitching theme and which we will stitch as a group.
It is expected that we all muck in with preparing anything which needs preparing for the evening meal and washing up etc as we are all paying to stay at the same rate. We go with majority votes should there be decisions to be made.
I know there is a lot of interest in these retreats so places must be booked and paid for in full. Normally Mount Falcon doesnt let people book 'provisionally' but one of the owners is passionate about stitching and sewing and understands. So to be fair to them, places must be paid for in full asap.
I have two dates:
Week One: May 18th, 19th and 20th.
Week Two: 25th, 26th and 27th. (This is usually a half term week)
These retreats are all about having fun, Irish craic and lots of stitching!! Pm me privately to book your place! Because I am not a business, just a liason between stitchers and hotel, it is up to you to organise your own insurance. We get this great rate because of my history as a client on a Casting for Recovery weekend.

Right, thats me done.  I think I've achieved a lot in two days!  Now to see what I can achieve by Friday.  I will be popping by a little later to read your posts. If you are knew to my blog, please feel free to leave a comment and I will pop by and say hi!  Have a great week everyone xxxxx


  1. Wow dear such a sweet post
    Everything is just so great...
    Big hugs x

  2. Congrats to your son for getting through his first year of 'school'! You and hubby did a great job, to get him to that point! As usual, you have been extra busy with new crafts and they look great! Hugs!

  3. I personally understand just how proud you must be of your Son and his achievement in his first year of High School! Huge congratulations to him :) My Son begins High School in September and I'm really scared! I'm thinking of home schooling instead but I'll give him a chance as he may surprise me.

    Love the fabric art pieces! Amazing idea :)

    I would love to come to Ireland and spend time with you but I will need to win the lottery first ;) If I do then I am definitely going to keep the retreat in mind.

    Take care :)

  4. All gorgeous finishes. Wish I could go to the retreat.


  5. Your fabric canvases are gorgeous! I love them! :0)

  6. What a lovely post! Enjoy the summer with your son.

    Your fabric canvas art is beautiful. I love the peacock!

  7. What a great post! Congratulations to your son on having such a successful year, and congratulations to you too mama, well done!!

    So glad to hear you had a wonderful birthday!

  8. What books are you trying to collect Gaynor? We have lots of cheap book shops that I could check for you. We had some lovely meals and Gaynor can make a fab Yorkshire pudding lol

  9. Well done to your son! A fantastic achievement, all the more because of his Asperger's. Many of my friends' children struggle with the transistion into High School because their ASD is well-supported in Primary School and not in High School, the constant changing of class rooms and teachers throughout the day doesn't help.
    It sounds like home-schooling has equipped your son to deal with the outside world on his own terms much better than Primary School does.
    I'll keep a lookout for Blyton's too. But you're not having my Mallory Towers and St. Clares series LOL

  10. Well done to young son, that is wonderful comments from his teachers.

    A super parcel in the post, lots of lovely pretties.

    Great crafting!


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