Penelope’s Blossoms & ‘How Do You Do It’

April 1, 2014 at 1:57 am 8 comments

photo 1-14

Morning. Today I have the sad news that I’m giving up blogging forever.




Did you believe me? April Fool’s!

Yeah- a poor one really ,but the best I could do under the circumstances!!

Today’s flowery fusion is using the ever lovely ‘Penelope’s Blossoms’ (click to take you to the Make The Day Special store page)

I wanted to make the whole panel one complete piece- which required some fussy masking. I trimmed out one of the tiny leaf sprigs and the banner onto post-it notes & stamped the leaves, covered one over with the post-it mask & went to stamp the banner then realised that I needed two sprig masks. Because it was so finicky, I couldn’t be bothered to cut out another one, so thought I’d stamp half the banner, move the mask over & restamp the other half. This was the result

photo 2-14You can see both the mistake & the leafy stamping. Once I’d stamped the initial two springs I just masked over the banner and got stampingphoto 3-6

It looks a mess, but once stamped & cut out, I stamped the flowers in bright and vibrant Hero Arts inks, trimmed those out & added to the card. A little flower goes a long way to being a coverup!photo 1-14a

People often seem generally surprised when I tell them how many children we have. There is one usual comment/question that follows that..

‘How do you do it?’

I usually have one of two (& possibly both at the same time) stock responses. when I say stock, they’re no less true, just often repeated..


“with God’s help’.

Most people, were they a fly upon my wall, would never then ask that question. They’d be too busy laughing that they’d probably fall off the wall seeing the family antics.

Take the other morning.

The backstory.. (Steve in very tired mum & several unsettled children.)

‘Mum, mum, mum, I think my plaster has fallen off’. That’s how I awoke at about 6:45 with a plasterless child peering at me.

“WILL YOU TURN OFF THAT RADIO’..silence… more pleading…increasing decibel level as two sisters get into a fracas over a radio alarm that neither intended to get out of bed and turn off.



Someone had lost their shirt. It was there the night before. It had now magically disappeared under a pile of teddybears.

Running..Running. Running from two different directions.


‘Why did you run when you knew I was going to the bathroom?’ The slower child stands crossly outside the door. Amidst pleadings of calm from me, there is now a noisy ‘shush’ ‘shush’ ‘stop it’ as the rabbit is remonstrated for doing something forbidden.

Littlie has now found the shirt but I clock he’s not wearing new socks, so send him back for a clean pair.

Another child has run downstairs and you can hear a ‘beep, beep,beep’.

“oh, no” comes the response. The house alarm is switched off in the nick of time.

By this point I’m nearly dressed, during which time I’ve had a letter thrust at me, a conversation about ‘I’m not going to school today’ as they had had a ‘D&V’ bug the day before.

Someone helpfully shouts downstairs ‘there’s no 48 hour sick rule in our school’ (unlike the primary school). Said child is cross and folorn as they realise that they have to go back to school. This is news to me- although welcome, as I can visit hubby in hospital more easily. Then comes panic as they realise that this new information means that they will be having Food Technology & therefore need all the cooking ingredients.

Downstairs, there is an animated conversation about who had more cereal than the other yesterday and whose fault it is that there is no favoured cereal left. One child resigns themselves to toast as I run top speed downstairs to measure & bag up 10 cooking ingredients.

The ‘cooking child’ is upstairs panicking about having to go to school & meanwhile there are three of us in the kitchen emptying lunchboxes and decanting the sandwiches in the fridge into the boxes. One child decides they have gone off a certain fruit & another is trying to hide the evidence of the fact they’ve eaten two miniscule bites out of their apple yesterday. I clock them. They’re not happy.

Cooking child now flies into the kitchen & despite me having sorted the ingredients out, now panics over the fact that she hasn’t a sick note. We have a protracted discussion over how the form tutor will be sympathetic because her Dad is in hospital & her mother is not superwoman & cannot possibly do everything.

Some kids have had breakfast. Others haven’t managed.

I am now expected to cough up a sizeable amount of cash to pay for something I was unaware of & tell the child I don’t have it. One sister pleads with moneybags daughter to lend it to her, & after some debate, the money is handed over.

It is now too close for comfort. I have to get 3 kids to one school & 2 kids to another. I bundle them out & the everyday ‘who is going to sit in the front seat’ hustings begins. That matter decided upon, we get into the car & whilst I play soothing Classic Fm on the radio, others stick in their headphones & sing along to their preferred music much to the annoyance of the person sitting next to them who has a cacophony of clashing sounds entering their ears. After the usual discussions/debates, the 3 girls get out for school & the boys heave a sigh of relief.

We have a 15 minute drive across the city where one child wants to read me his story book & insists I sign it whilst driving despite me explaining (again) that I can’t use a pen whilst driving. Once stopped, and book signed, we check spellings– oh dear, we haven’t done them. In the mishap of hospital, the spellings haven’t been done. The boy becomes distressed & I tell him it will be fine & his teacher won’t mind.

They get out, run into school & I exchange brief chats with the school mums.

I hurry back to the car, forgetting I’m driving Steve’s car & so walk straight past it.

I get in & exhale.

The time is 8:50. I’m just beginning the day!!


I suspect the answer to the original question on a morning like that is ‘badly’. Having 5 kids is brilliant …& exhausting. Next time someone asks me how I do it, I shall direct them to this blog post!

Better go- I’ve typed for way too long. See you when I’ve written the ‘absent from school’ explanation. I got a text and an email today telling me to send it in!





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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mara  |  April 1, 2014 at 8:12 am

    You do an amazing job. You children are great, your home is welcoming and you are an inspiration to me. I thank God for having you in my life. Big hug. M&J.


  • 2. massofhair  |  April 1, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Exhausted both mentally and physically just reading your post! Never a dull moment in your house.

    Sorry to read Hubby in hosp, thought you were being quiet. Hope he’s home very soon and on the mend!

    Don’t know how u find time to craft such stunning cards. This one is a corker:-) xxx


  • 3. Bev  |  April 1, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Keren, your creations always make me smile! This is another in a long list of wonderful cards you’ve made. Your floral arranging is perfect, and I love that masked banner. It’s also nice to hear about your family life. (hope DH is out of hospital and doing well by now) The noise, the “crises”, the last-minute scrambles, the running thither and yon, and all the while you manage to mange it all well! I know exactly how you do it — you just do what needs to be done, and don’t stop and think about how you’re going to do it. You’ve got a handle on things, even if at times it doesn’t feel like it. Someday, your children will be impressed and quite thankful they had you for a mum! Take it from this mom/grandma.


    • 4. kerenbaker  |  April 1, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      Bev- that’s one of the nicest things anyone has said to me in ages. Really appreciate your encouragement- thank you xx


  • 5. Virginia Lu  |  April 2, 2014 at 4:56 am

    Gorgeous card! I love your masking and it is just lovely in every way, Keren! All I can say is that you are a WONDER WOMAN! A woman who stamps like a genius and keeps a happy (busy) home while hubby was unwell…You. are. amazing!


  • 6. Mandy Johnson  |  April 2, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Must admit to chuckling a bit as I read about your manic morning. Certainly puts mine of getting up to discover the British Gas engineer wants to come this morning instead of this afternoon, the coffee machine has leaked all over the kitchen, and I need to drop some paperwork off urgently at church. Thanks Keren! And hope Steve gets better soon x


  • 7. Miriam Prantner  |  April 3, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Oh my goodness! Your story made me tired! I have two and there’s a fair amount of that going on, but to have five, ah the cacophany! Makes life wonderfully exciting though, doesn’t it? I really adore this card BTW. The way you stamped all the greenery and fussy cut around it. I love that you added the blueish shade to it, so beautiful and love the height. Hope you are able to relax a bit before the natives return!


  • 8. Ros Crawford  |  April 4, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    I’m so exhausted after reading this (can’t imagine how you must feel) That I nearly forgot about your card … It’s stunning Keren! I do hope Steve makes a speedy recovery … one day the kids will all be grown adults and you wont know what to do with yourself … or maybe you will … Lol!



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Welcome to this space, my little place of creative refuge away from the busy-ness of life!
I'm a wife, Mum to 6, crafter, Christian and fortunate to be doing a job that I love!

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