Finally Off The Hook…

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How are you all? 

I know my posts have been erratic recently (I shall get the missing poems onto the screen in the next week or so) but hopefully you know that I have been thinking of you?!

The last few weeks of the Summer term always seem to be particularly frantic, and this year’s has been no exception 😉 but today was the last day…Yippeeeeeeeee!!

Can you BELIEVE that Eldest has finished primary 2 already, or that Youngest will be a preschooler come August?! What the flaming Nora happened there…?!

I have been very busy trying to complete the teacher gifts that I had negotiated with the boys.  I found this free crochet pattern on Ravelry for a pirate.  Eldest and I agreed that it was perfect, because his teacher this year had dressed as ‘Where’s Wally?’ for World Book Day, and then had adapted his outfit to fit with the Pirates vs Mermaids theme of their school Summer production 😉  I did not, however, fully appreciate how much time it would take me to make, nor how badly the kids would want extra cuddles this past week and use up most of my ‘free’ time…

I dutifully started crocheting on Saturday (the 24th) and worked on Eldest’s choice until Wednesday, when I decided to whip up Youngest’s gift (because I needed a change of project, and I knew it would only take me a couple of hours!)


Youngest had picked this pattern from the same blog as Rab the Rabbit, so I made sure that neither of the boys saw where the Toothfairy had got her inspiration…


Youngest was very taken with the monkey, and he enthusiastically helped me to squish the stuffing in, too.

His nursery Keyworker was chuffed with it, and I wrote in the card that Youngest wanted me to make a ‘mumma monkey’  because his Keyworker “works so hard and she’s kind to all the children” (bless him!) 😀

By bedtime last night, the pirate was legless (!) but getting there.  All the pieces had been crocheted, but I had had to tweak the wooden leg instructions, as it at first ended up too long.  Eldest had stuffed the finished piece nicely for me, however.

By about 11pm all was sewn up, and I am rather pleased with how he came out, given my need to quell the (usually rampant) perfectionism in order to meet my deadline! 

Both boys loved cradling him before they went in for their last day, and Eldest was quite sad that he had to say goodbye to his cuddly pal so I could wrap the figure in tissue paper!

Unfortunately I didn’t witness the unveiling of the pirate, but Eldest says that his teacher said “Thanks, I love it!” and remarked that the toy must have taken a while to make! It did take me a good 90 minutes to clear the coffee table of the crafting rubble that had been adorning it all week, whip the house back into some semblance of order; and vacuum up all those pesky fluffy bits of stray stuffing before my parents were due to visit us this afternoon… 😉

The fab thing about making Amigurumi toys is that each one comes out with its own wee character, and recipients know that you are also handing over time spent thinking about them.  The kids chose and helped to mould their gifts too, and I love that!

Even better, though, is the fact that it is officially the Summer Holidays now!!  7 weeks of no schoolrun madness, or having to stick to others’ routines 🙂

Happy, happy, happy!

I’ll leave you with the pictures that the boys drew for their teachers’ cards, I hope you have a great weekend lined up 😉

Youngest’s “Me dancing with poppies, on a rock”

Eldest’s “Pirate on a Beach, With Sand”



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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!


Toothfairy Tales Chapter 2: Rab

Things I Made This Week 2 Comments »


This post follows on from this one, and documents Eldest’s fourth tooth…celebration 😉

As outlined yesterday, the boys were messing about on Sunday morning, and ended up facilitating his right top front tooth’s departure.  Luckily they didn’t lose it under my bed (!) and we were able to wrap it up in toilet paper and stash it.

Eldest decided that he did want a toy from the tooth fairy this time (he had asked for ‘just money’ for his third tooth, last month) and plumped for ‘a bunny’.  His favourite colour is orange, so we settled on one reminiscent of Irn Bru.  As this is a Scottish drink, Hubby quipped that we should call the toy ‘Rab’ – which is a touch of genius on so many levels!!

I made Eldest voice his request loudly a few times, so that the fairy could hear,  both when we’d hit upon the idea in the car, and at home in his bedroom.  I also warned him that it was very short notice for a fairy to make him a bunny to his exacting specifications, and she may take a few days to get it to him and write him a note for the morning – or might just substitute with a brown bunny that she had in stock; so he wasn’t to be too disappointed if this was the case.  He nodded solemnly and I hugged him.  I needed some breathing room should the make go horribly wrong – plus I knew he’d be extra delighted if I managed to get it to him that night!!

So I set to work.  I have made the pattern before when Eldest was two, just with thicker yarn and a larger hook.  The designer is very good at setting out everything you need, so I was pretty sure I could make a decent attempt.  I picked out a nice yellow bit of scrap yarn as a stitch marker, too; which you may be able to see in some of the pics!

Hubby stayed near the boys downstairs while they had a bit of screentime with the tablet and played with their toys. I moved a basket for our dirty laundry in front of my bedroom door as an extra measure. That sucker is always full and heavy, so would give me time to hide all the crafty evidence before one of the boys got to me… 😉

The ears were a bit fiddly, and as I crochet with my right hand instead of my left I had to really think about where my stitches were going on the next round so I didn’t trap the ears inside my work (!), but everything went pretty much ok until I got to the feet. 

I had a flashback at this point, remembering that I managed to end up with the wrong number of stitches and made the back feet of Eldest’s bigger bunny rather squint!  Sure enough, after the popcorn stitches for the front feet, I somehow lost my way again, and (being a lazy soul) I decided to just position the back feet ‘by eye’ which did not turn out too badly. It’s to do with my maths over the popcorn stitches, I can’t seem to look at them and realise that the amount of stitches they are made over should stay the same in the next round.  Or something.  Anyway, the fault is not with the pattern 😉

I managed to get the rabbit to the stuffing stage before dinner (so in under an hour from where I started) but then had the bright idea of putting in the tiny orangey-red safety eyes that had been kicking about my crafty pencil case, because I hate sewing and was scared I’d mess the bunny up.  Cue lots of internal expletives as I tried to position them, work my fingers through a tiny bunny body to turn it part way inside out, then pop metal backs on the carefully positioned eyes without unintentionally pinging them across the room, which took ten minutes by itself…I never make crafting easy!!

After dinner I made the tail and sewed on the teeth.  Then cut them off, and sewed some more teeth! I also carefully attached the tail and managed to hide most of the stitches, which is not easy for me when I am sewing two such contrasting colours together!

Finally, wee ‘Rab’ was finished! Even with my damn faffing, it must have taken me under two hours to make?

I wrapped him in toilet paper, along with one pound in change, and tucked the resulting parcel into the opening of Eldest’s pillow later on Sunday evening; being careful to remember to take the tooth out of there, first!

Eldest woke me up on Monday morning, and unravelled his spoils before my eyes.  “I LOVE IT!!” he exclaimed, and suddenly all was right with my (rather bleary) world 😉 

Youngest stumbled through for his morning cuddle, took a long look at the rabbit, and said “Oh! He looks like Skeeky Mouse!  He da same s’ape!” (Squeaky Mouse was what Youngest asked for from Santa…).  This prompted Eldest to try and squeak his rabbit, and Youngest to go off to get his mouse to compare. It was decided that although they looked similar, Rab was smaller and was probably too small so have a squeaker in him (he was, I tried!).  Both boys agreed that they were going to ask for a version of each other’s toy from Santa this year, however.  I think I’m going to be busy in December…

The toys joined them for breakfast, and the money made its way into Eldest’s tin afterwards.  Eldest took Rab back upstairs and introduced him to the huge bunny (called ‘Bunny’) that Hubby was given by his workmates when Eldest was born.  Bunny is now Rab’s mummy.  Bunny looks pretty happy about this, it must be said.

Eldest cuddled Rab all through the chapter of the Famous Five that I read the kids on Monday night, too.  He put Rab in his PJs’ top pocket, and was still cuddling an assortment of toys when I went to check on him around 9.30pm, so I took a picture before it got too dark.

I am so pleased that Eldest gets so much pleasure from the wee Toothfairy gifts he is ‘brought’.  I just hope we can keep the magic going until Youngest starts losing his teeth…



[Squeaky Mouse’s pattern is from here, apparently put up on Eldest’s fourth birthday!]


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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!


Caked in Chocolate

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Hi there 🙂

Today we got around to making Eldest his birthday cake!  We used this recipe, and I never hear a complaint from those who try it (I have had a few abstain as they don’t like chocolate, however (!!!) )

Eldest’s fourth birthday cake was made by doubling the quantities of everything and then having fun cutting up bits and positioning them before splopping the icing all over it with abandon.  He loved it, and so did his party guests!

Yum yum!


Today we went for a tame version of the cake, but it was still fun to watch it come together.

Nigella states in the recipe that you can use a food processor, but mine has only successfully made a few smoothies and lolly mixtures…so I use a bowl and a wooden spoon.  The children also help a lot 🙂


Flour being measured Flour into the bowl Sugar in Bicarb and Baking Powder measured Give it a stir... Give it a stronger stir! Sour cream

So, after the ingredients were all in their respective bowls, I got to work stirring up the messy stuff and adding it to the dry stuff (very technical).  I did not wear an apron, so I got snapped by the boys happily sporting some of the flour 😉

Youngest's view of mumEldest's view of mum!


Then came a good bit: the final spooning out of the mixture into the tins!  I am very lazy and try to get out of the buttering faff if at all possible…I just put baking paper in and around the tins, and hope the mixture spreads ok.  Does anyone else do this?!  They turn out fine.  If fact, they come out very easily, because I just remove them by the paper edges, and leave them to cool!

Swirly, yummy goodness Splop! More splop! More splop! You can almost smell them...Cooling down

The boys played cards (Jack Changes) while I tidied up the diningroom, did the dishes and started melting the butter and chocolate for the icing.

Jack changes card game Chocolate for the icing Buttery chocolate! Mmmm...The kids thought this looked like tiger stripes

And finally, after dinner, Eldest had his cake!  It is nowhere near perfectly presented, and the icing sugar is all lumpy, but it tastes good, and made our big boy grin.  Youngest even enjoyed his portion after dinner, declaring that the cocoa in it “doesn’t smell like poo any more” – which is high praise, don’t you think?

Candly cake :) Splodgey, but delicious!Nom nomMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm





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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!


Bunny Tail Pattern

Childhood, Parenting, Things I Made This Week 2 Comments »


For World Book Day this year, our youngest wanted to dress up as Peter Rabbit.  I ‘hopped’ on to Ebay and bought him a costume that came with brown rabbit ears on a headband, and a wee polyester blue jacket. 

I already had a bag that would do (modern-day Peter has a satchel) to hold the small board book and carrot that are (naturally) bunny essentials – so our boy just needed a tail. 

Cue mummy me giving in to the crafty cravings that bubble up around Spring!

I did not have a lot of time to dedicate to the task (blog to write, housework to procrastinate over, blah blah) so I thought I’d just throw together a crocheted round that increased, then tapered and closed.  Easy.

Made a hash of my first attempt. I didn’t keep track of the stitches, used too small a hook, and tried to parent while crocheting.  Not good.

I bound it off and gave it to our son as a hat for his toys…

Around about 8pm on the night before we needed it, I started over while waiting for my husband to return with my chippie tea. This time I doubled up the yarn and used a bigger hook!


Pattern for a bunny’s tail



6mm crochet hook

Double Knitting yarn in white.  I used two strands held together throughout. 

A scrap piece of brightly coloured yarn as a marker

Washable toy stuffing


I used single crochet for all of the tail, see here for how you do that. I worked in continuous rounds, so no turning chain is needed.



Rnd – round

St(s) – stitch(es)

Inc – increase (two stiches worked into one stitch. See here.)

Dec – decrease (work two stitches as one. See here.)



To start:

6st in a magic ring or chain 2 and work 6st into the second chain from the hook.

1st rnd:  Work a st, place a marker underneath this stitch, so you know where to stop your round (I usually use a brightly coloured piece of yarn.  See picture) remember to move the marker up every time you work that first stitch. Work a second stitch into the same stitch you just worked from (so you are inc 1 st).  Inc into each st around. (12sts)

You are adding 6sts to each inc round:

2nd rnd: Work first stitch, inc into second stitch.  Repeat around.  (18 sts)

3rd rnd: Work first 2sts, inc into third st.  Repeat around.  (24 sts)

4th rnd: Work first 3sts, inc into fourth st.  Repeat around. (30 sts)

5th rnd: Work first 4sts, inc into fifth st.  Repeat around. (36 sts)


6th rnd: Work every st just once, around. (36 sts)


Start Decreasing by 6sts in each round:

7th rnd: Work first 4sts, dec in fifth st.  Repeat around. (30sts)

8th rnd: Work first 3sts, dec in fourth st. Repeat around. (24 sts)

9th rnd: Work first 2sts, dec in third st.  Repeat around.  (18 sts)

10th rnd: Work first st, dec in second st.  Repeat around (12 sts)

[At this point, you need to start stuffing with washable toy stuffing.  Put enough in so that it looks nice and round, but not too much that you can’t work the next row with it annoying your hook!]

11th rnd: Dec in every st around. (6 sts)

[Finish stuffing, try and make it nice and tight.  I always use the non-hook end of my crochet hook to help pack it in.]

Final rnd: Dec around.

Finish off.


One bunny tail!  I put a large safety pin through the bound off bit, and attached it to our youngest’s tracksuit bottoms.


I hope you like this pattern, and get to bounce off happy 🙂


[You could even make two of these and attach them to a hairband somehow, as earmuffs!

Or sew/attach safety eyes to one, and call it a blob monster. 

Crochet different colours, stuff them really well, and have them as juggling balls. 

Leave a long tail on them and hang them as decorations

…they’re a pretty versatile product 😉

Please link back to my blog if someone asks for the pattern, thank you.]



Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!