Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Spring for me

is being able to wake up in the morning, look out of my bedroom window and see an array of colourful blossom, hear the bees buzzing away, and listen to the wood pigeon's in the trees.
Walk downstairs to a colourful bunch of daffs and tulips.
Happily walk outside without a coat, wander around the garden and look at the buds coming out in the trees

see my primrose in our woody area getting bigger and bigger

watch Jack's seeds sprout through the earth

marvel at the delicacy of some of the flowers along our footpath

and best of all breath in the cool air and think how wonderful that it's Spring.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Decorating, knitting and sewing

Back to Monday again.........hope everyone had a good weekend? Mine was spent decorating, knitting and sewing and not in an order I would have liked but never mind!

Those who have read my earlier posts would have seen that I had decided on Farrow and Ball's Breakfast Room Green for our bedroom. It was that colour originally but I had decided to have a change, didn't really like it so went back to the original colour. Hubby of course said that if I had listened to him in the first place we wouldn't be re-decorating it again!! So what.......

As much as I like the result, I get bored painting edges, especially when we have 5 doors to paint round in the room! Hope you like it as I'm pleased to be back in green again.

In between decorating I had to knit a bunny for a customer which I've done quite a lot of recently so I was knitting quite furiously to get him/her finished to post in time for Easter. I always seem to be busy making things for everyone else, I don't have time to just sit and enjoy sewing or knitting things for me..........however I had some pretty retro fabric so played around with that and made a little toiletry bag. I sewed in some ribbon at the side to tie it up and all in all it came out quite well - what do you think?

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Cupcake heaven!

During the week I had made some pretty little cupcake flags, but not had a chance to make some cakes to display them.

This morning, before anything else hindered me I made some cakes and voila! done. Unfortunately I had an additional 2 pairs of hands to help/hinder me. They were rather over zealous with the toppings and a job which doesn't really take too long seemed to take forever. Never mind they look good enough to eat - ha ha which I'm going to do later today as a treat with a good book and a huge cup of coffee.

Alternatively I might sit and surf/read blogs. Hubby thinks I need the laptop surgically removed from my side......

Hope you get up to some fun things this weekend.

Friday, 27 March 2009

What's your thing...........??

I thought I'd share with you the last of my week's goodies, and realised that I have a thing about spots and dots or whatever you want to call them. I have lots of blouses which are spotted and I jumped on the sunglasses when I saw them. Toby is always highly embarrassed with my array of 'different' sunglasses, he's given up trying to persuade me not to wear them. All I need now is to find a spotty pair of shoes!!

The dark blue pencil set were on special offer in Tesco's - under a £1, the red pen was on special too, again under a £1. The other set - pencils, ruler, rubber and sharpener were £1. How fantastic is that.

I love dots and spots - what's your thing - dots, stripes, or checks???????????

Thursday, 26 March 2009

More patriotic goodies...............

I've decided to take stock for the next 30 mins with a very large cup of freshly brewed coffee.......You know how some mornings just don't go to plan despite doing the same routine day in day out - how that happens goodness knows.

Anyway, Jack's off again, he went back to school yesterday and then struggled with coughing and doing PE etc. Hubby is leaving later this week, so I don't think that helped this morning's proceedings. We got in the car, picked up Jack's friend (we car share) and off we went. Got to school, Toby got out, opened the boot and realised that there was no bag or lunchbox in there. Aagh I thought. Don't worry I said, let me get you into school, I'll drive home then come straight back again..............

Jack sat in the car, whilst Toby, Jack's friend and I went into the gates. In order to speed up the process, I asked one of the mum's to make sure they went into the classrooms so I could dash home. Unfortunately we have 2 mile each way trip to school (don't get me started on that one!) and the traffic is not great at the best of times.

On the way home I realised that I hadn't told Jack's teacher that he wasn't going to be in. Heh ho - they would have figured that one by now.

To cut a long story short, got the bag into school and all in all wasted 30 extra minutes. It doesn't sound a lot but time seems such a precious commodity when you don't have enough of it. Phew done!

Onto more interesting things - last week a customer emailed me to say that she had seen my patriotic painted hearts and she would like a set for her husband. Normally I don't get to hear people's stories as to why they need particular items in a hurry, but she said that her husband is a soldier and was going away that weekend. They have 3 sons and she wanted each son to give him one of my patriotic hearts. How could I refuse. That was so sweet.

I got them made and sent in time and she was pleased. I wonder if he's taken them with him............I hope so, they'll remind him of his 3 sons.

Onwards and upwards

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Children will be Children

Jack was off school yesterday with a barking cough, inevitable really as Toby had it last week. Anyway, he does enjoy all his creative activities and being at home gave him the perfect opportunity to get on with it.

He made a table and chair out of paper and replicated what he thought our table looks like at meal times. He drew mats, plates, cutlery, a coffee pot?? and he sneaked some ice-cream on too. Our whole loft is filled with all of their creations and I find it really hard to separate those to keep and those to (shhhh 'bin')!

Later that evening they were both in the bath and got onto the subject of where babies come from. I remained out of sight as I didn't want to be drawn in on the conversation. Jack thought it would be great if men could have boy babies and ladies have girl babies! Toby then complicated things by saying that Jack had come out of my 'butt' (sorry ladies to be crude). Jack thought that was disgusting. Fortunately that ended the discussion.

I'm really not looking forward to the time when we have to discuss the birds and the bees. I'm more than happy to talk about most things with them, but not 'that'! As we have 2 boys, I'll leave it to hubby...........maybe not!


Bex from Bexs Buttons was kind enough to give me an award last week, and I've got to name 7 things I love along with sending the award to 7 other blogs, so here goes -

1. My husband

2. My children

3. My home

4. Beads and bangles

5. Old Enid Blyton books

6. Vintage children's toys


I would like to pass the award onto 1. Bertie Meadows
I'll be back later.......with more ramblings!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009


For Toby's birthday, my parents bought him a fab collection of all things to do with birds. The first was a beautiful birdhouse painted in white and blue and looks quite like the Cape Cod esq clapboard houses. That is now sitting very happily in a tree. When I work I can watch all the birds taking a look!

The second was a variety of bird seeds and each mix is designed to attract different birds. Unfortunately the photo didn't show them.

Then there was a pair of binoculars, and 2 fantastic bird books. We have been in our element. The binoculars are strategically placed ready to spy on the birds. We're fortunate enough to have such a collection of different birds anyway and now we've got a book to help us identify them. Jack especially has been enjoying the hunt for birds. He even put some fabric in the birdhouse to make the birds more comfortable!

Now Toby's '9' he doesn't want to appear getting too excited by bird watching! For the rest of us however, I think we've found a new family hobby!!

Monday, 23 March 2009

Easter treats

I promised to share with you some of my 'bargain' purchases this weekend. So many bloggers had been talking about CK being in TK Maxx so I couldn't resist taking a look. I don't tend to go in there as I can't be bothered rummaging through lots of clothes, but as I was looking at homeware it didn't really matter! I did see a CK bath mat at a snip of a price, but didn't get it - eh? Very silly of me.

However, I did purchase a lovely felt watering can filled with chocolates. They also had chocolate animals which I couldn't resist! It's a shame they're not made of tin as they look too nice to eat.

I thought the watering can went really well with the Easter felt basket I got in Paperchase, what do you reckon? I'll look forward to displaying them today.

In fact I can't believe that Easter is so near and the schools break up at the end of next week - I can't wait. Although it hasn't been too long a term, the boys are definately tired. I think it's end of winter syndrome.

Would love to get out in the garden this week in between work and domestic chores, but we'll see. Sometimes all good intentions don't quite go to plan as we all know.

Lots to chat about this week so may have to put 2 posts in at some stage - sorry!

Sunday, 22 March 2009

All came good in the end

I hope all you mummies had a lovely day and were suitably pampered?!

Mine was such a busy one and started at 4.45am this morning when Toby woke up (it's his 9th birthday today) and wanted to open his presents. We weren't forthcoming as you could imagine, however Jack woke up 30 minutes later so that's when we started the day!

He loved his presents and by 7am we were done and dusted. I had a lovely card and was treated to a pot of coffee in bed. I then proceeded to moan (a little!) about the day ahead - football match, then mad dash back to have a hasty lunch then back out for Toby's go-karting treat with some friends. On top of that I had to get some work done. When I got up and heard the news about poor Jade Goody, I did feel extremely guilty. What right did I have to moan??

To cut a long story short, all the boys enjoyed the karting which was the main thing. We then decided to have a drink in a pub garden. The 4 boys played in the park and us 4 adults sat and chatted. It was lovely having a glass of wine at 3.30 in the afternoon!

I'm now going to indulge in another glass of wine along with bar of chocolate with my name on! Yipee!

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Happy Mothers Day

More lovely weather beckons, let's hope it stays fine tomorrow for us Mummy's.

Got some great bargains in TK Maxx, Tesco's and Paperchase which I'll share with you next week. I'm going to have to stop spending everything I'm earning! But the odd £1 here and there isn't a crime I guess (well, that's what I say).

Thought I'd share with you my Mother's Day card which Jack did at school yesterday. It's so sweet and definately another creation to add to my ever growing collection!

Have a great day tomorrow ladies, and will catch up with you again next week.

Friday, 20 March 2009

End of another week

How quickly has this week gone. Thank you all for thoughts and wishes yesterday for poor old Toby. He had a good night last night and has gone back to school today in earnest for his sticker and certificate. Still a bit spluttery and I think he'll have problems playing his trumpet in lesson today.

I really love blogging and all you bloggers get me positively fired up with ideas on thrifting and all sorts of great things. I spotted some dishcloths on
Little Gem's blog which she had been sent and they looked great so hopped over to Sarah Smith's website and promptly bought some. Cleaning will never be quite such a chore again!

Then, on Flossie and Tom's blog there was a piece about cheap dotty oil cloth fabric from Dunelm which looks just like CK's but half the price (£6.99 a metre). So what did I do, I've bought some! They have an online shop and if you have a Dunelm near you, it can be delivered to the store for you to pick up without having to pay for delivery. I love days like that.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Oh what a night.........!

Well, I'm quite glad yesterday is out of the way. I hate wishing time on, but there are some days better than others. Toby's still off poorly, the cold has now gone onto his chest, bless him. He wants to go back to school tomorrow as he gets a birthday sticker in assembly and he's supposed to be getting his silver certificate. We'll have to see how the day goes.
I went out last night as it was one of my friends birthdays. We all met at the pub and there was a collection of different people, some she works with, mums from the playground and some from her old baby group.

In true style Belinda always thinks of everyone else, so what she had done was to 'persuade' members of our families to give her photo's of us in our youth. She then scanned them in and stuck them on card. On the other side she printed pictures of animals which she thought represented us. As you can see mine is a DODO!!! as I'm unusual and based on all the stories and things that have happened to us - I should be extinct!

Tra la la

We all then had party bags - how fab is that. In the fabric one is a little jeweled notebook, pen and box. Love it.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Bunnies and strawberries

I know it's not the most obvious mix! but I had bought the sweet little bunny and heart bowl and the weekend and thought the strawberries looked so good in it, I just had to photograph it. I've also had to make some wooden bunnies for a customer and couldn't resist adding them to the photo!

Was going to have quite a productive day today, but Toby is off school today with a stinking cold. He's playing on the playstation at the moment and all I can hear is racing cars in between coughing and nose blowing! I think it'll be lots of TLC and hot honey and lemon. I told him he'd better be well for his birthday on Sunday (assuming Jack doesn't catch it or indeed us!).

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Things to make you smile

There are are 2 things this morning which are making me smile - the first is some really pretty paisley doilies I bought, aren't the colours great. I almost don't want to use them. Isn't it funny that doilies are so kitsch at the moment. Love it!
The other item are pins, not quite the humble pin but pretty pins. Again, another purchase and these ones are quite long which are always useful and 1 set have pretty coloured hearts on and the other has flowers. It doesn't get much better than that!
PS - I know this is probably a simple question, but how do you insert images in between your text, my images all keep being added at the top of the page????!!! any advice would be welcome. Thx!

Monday, 16 March 2009

Purchases, purchases and more purchases

I don't know what got into me this weekend (I'll blame it on the nice weather!) but we had a few trips out to the shops and I couldn't stop spending my pennies. Along with many things, I found these 2 what looks like ladybird books, but in fact they are actually notebooks. I pounced on them obviously. I'm a bit of a list maker so to have 2 fantastic notebooks really pleased me.

I also got a repro vintage bucket. There were 3 to choose from so went for the more girly one. I'm not sure what I'm going to store in it, but no doubt there will be something.

I noticed, reading a few blogs this morning that the car boot sales have started and some of you went along. I wish some of ours had got going, this weekend would have been perfect for it. Can't wait!

It's Toby's birthday this coming Sunday and we'd booked to go Go-Karting, he's just found out that it coincides with a 'crucial' football match which is being filmed to raise some money for the team and he's not a happy boy. Now I've got to see if we can move the Go-Karting, then tell his friends blah blah blah - all for a game of football. Roll on April when the matches stop!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Gardening weekend

Morning all!

What another lovely day it is. This is what we've been waiting for - the birds singing, blue sky and sunshine.

I decided yesterday that enough was enough and it was time to get out into the garden. It was looking so sorry for itself. The primroses had just started to flower again and the bulbs are coming up so I started picking up twigs, leaves and other debris. The edging tiles were falling over so they needed some attention. I also planted some bulbs which I had flowering inside the house. So.......after no more than 1/2 an hour it now resembles a slightly more cared for garden!

As I've said before, because 2 sides of our garden is hedgerow it's difficult to have formal beds and structure, but I've got used to it now - especially after 9 years!

It's surprising what a bit of gardening can do. Hopefully today, I'll be able to get on with it - that's in between football matches, Sunday lunch, finishing off some orders and helping the boys with their homework. Tra la la.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Fabric Give-away

Visit this blog as there is a fantastic fabric give-away. Choose from a selection of fabrics on her Etsy shop, leave a comment etc and be entered in for it - fab! MandMstudios blog


I thought I'd jump on the Union Jack band wagon! Everyone is going mad for Union Jack's at the moment and quite rightly so. In the States they are so patriotic and have the stars and stripes flags up everywhere you go. In the UK, up to quite recently it seemed to signify football supporters and cheap and nasty souvenirs. Now, probably due to Emma Bridgewater - everyone is into them, including me!

I wanted to do a slight twist to the usual Union Jack so have used 3 different background fabrics. I've then added a vintage button to the middle of each one. Voila, they are ready to hang.

Hope you like them. Enjoy the fine weather this weekend.

Friday, 13 March 2009

The Head

Now, I know a lot of you will be wondering - "what on earth is that" but believe it or not it was one of my brilliant buys at the CL fair in London earlier this week.

I've called her 'the head' which is a bit unfair I guess, but she's a 1950's gal, made of china and I loved her as soon as I saw her. Hubby disliked her completely, my practical 9yr old son wanted to know what I was going to use her for, and my aspiring artist (his words) 7yr old liked it. At least she'll be a conversation piece I suppose.

My one regret is an item I saw and I didn't buy it - it was an original 1940's free standing broom cupboard, standing no more than 6ft tall. Painted in it's original colour - yellow. It had a cupboard at the top which I suppose housed cleaning stuff and the brooms went in the cupboard below, and guess what..................it was £36. What a bargain. I wasn't too concerned about where I'd put in, but I'd have completely wrecked their stand as it was used to display items and then I'd have to carry it - doh. Never mind.
Onwards and upwards.......

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Learning to Sew

Did anyone used to have the Ladybird book 'Learning to Sew' - I did, and it proved to be the grounding for me, in being able to sew a button on, making a simple pin cushion etc etc. My favourite and I'm sure everyone did this - was to make a simple table mat using coloured canvas. You then had some embroidery wool, a tapestry needle and you weaved in and out of the holes. When you had mastered a straight line you could then do zig zags and then even cross-stitch!

I wonder how many primary schools still have 'sewing' time. I knows ours does through it's once a week creative hour, and I know it's not a traditional boys thing to do, but my two really enjoyed it, and were proud of their finished articles.

Bring back sewing classes that's what I say!!

I went to the Country Living fair yesterday and it was brill as always. It was busy but not as busy as I've seen it, which meant all the more goodies for me to buy! I did buy some nice vintage pieces which I will photograph and show you shortly. It's been so busy since I've been back, all my goodies are sitting in a big pile in the lounge waiting for me to unpack. That's the bit I love as I'm sure there will be things I've forgotten about!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

In a flash

Gordon bennett............was I frightened out of my wits earlier on. Minding my own business, getting on with work upstairs. Domestic chores had been done. Dinner was cooking in the oven in preparation for when we come home from after school stuff. Low and behold a cat appeared from nowhere. It scared me half to death.
I apologise to all those cat lovers out there, but I'm not fond of them and to find one in my house filled me with horror. I chased it downstairs and it climbed onto my kitchen workspace (aagh) and out the (open) window. I've been cleaning ever since..............(for those who don't know - I'm a bit obsessed with cleanliness). I was not a happy lady!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 9 March 2009

Food glorious food

Well, the school run has been done for yet another Monday. As much as I love my children and by and large enjoy taking them to school, I'm not fond of doing the school run. Playground politics is like nothing else I've experienced. Forget the office politics, this is far worse! Don't get me wrong, it's not everybody, but the little groups of women which form do amuse me somewhat.

Anyway onto more interesting things - we had some friends round for dinner on Saturday which was nice. They are bang on the same wave length and all 4 of us tend to 'fight' for air space as we chatter about absoutely everything, normally about children! I love cooking for them as they are great foodies and enjoy what I cook.

I made a red Thai turkey curry for mains, I then did 2 puddings - a Spiced Apple bread pudding and Treacle Sponge and Caramel sauce which all went down really well. I photographed the sponge after I made it.

Fortuately there was some sponge left over so the boys scoffed it down yesterday!
I really do enjoy cooking but time is so limiting especially when there's after school stuff to do so I tend to get a meal cooked during the day which I can then heat up later.


Sunday, 8 March 2009

Fabric, fabric, glorious fabric

Yet another passion of mine is pretty fabrics. These are 2 which arrived in the post yesterday and I love them. I think I have an idea of what to make with them, but for the moment they are going to sit on the shelf so I can drool over them.

I've got some more which should be arriving soon, but it's coming from Japan so will take a while, and I'm not very patient!

Lovely fabric is definately a mood enhancer..............

Saturday, 7 March 2009


I hate decorating with a passion, but do like the finished article (obviously). We always decorate ourselves as we're too tight to pay for someone to do it for us. As it's me who wants to change the colours, I normally end up doing the bulk of it.

I love wallpaper but find that once you have wallpaper, you end up having to have wallpaper ever after unless you have it re-plastered. Although I have painted over wallpaper before now.

Anyway, I've decided to go back the F + B's breakfast room green in our bedroom. We did originally have that colour, but I fancied a change, Unfortunately the make and type of paint we had chosen was 'flat' and you only need to breath on it and it marks........that for me is a disaster!

Hubby didn't want to change the colour in the first place so he feels rather smug now - huh.

I've now got to muster up the enthusiasm to get everything out and start.

My focus at the moment is not painting, but the Country Living fair which is on next week in London. I go every year, not to have a stand, but to get lots of ideas and spend lots of money! Can't wait as it's a day off - is anyone else going??

Friday, 6 March 2009

The tidy Mrs Tittlemouse

The Tale of Mrs Tittlemouse is the only book (I think) that I've kept from childhood. It was bought for my 1st birthday and always enjoyed having it read to me.

As an adult I can now relate to Mrs Tittlemouse as she "was a most terribly tidy particular little mouse, always sweeping and dusting the soft sandy floors" to the point where she could tidy no more and promptly fell asleep in her chair muttering "Will it ever be tidy again?"

Who'd have thought all these years on, I'd have the same thoughts as Mrs Tittlemouse. Having 3 males in the house is always asking for trouble, and combined with my extreme desire to having everything tidy and precise is a difficult job.

I know when I worked conventionally and went out of the house each day, I didn't notice a bit of dust or a mark on the wall which might need touching up, but now working from home I see everything!

Life would be so much easier if I relaxed a little, but I don't think I'll change, infact I'll always be a Mrs Tittlemouse.............

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Buttons, Buttons and more buttons

My earliest memories of buttons was rummaging through my grandmother's drawer where she kept a large tin of buttons, knitting needles, threads, and all things associated to them. I loved the drawer and used to play shop whenever I went to stay.

It's now not surprising that the love for haberdashery is now reflected in my adult life. I'm always on the hunt for old buttons. Many can be found quite cheaply in charity shops. A couple of years ago in Devon, I stumbled across an old coffee jar full of them. The ladies in the shop didn't quite know what to do when I asked to have the whole lot! but got them for £5.00 - bargain.

A lot of the blogs I come across seem to have an appreciation for the humble button. I would love to hear people's button stories, where you keep them, where you buy them etc. Maybe one day, they'll be a button fan club....

I've got an old Virol wooden box (see photo) I keep vintage threads and buttons in. I have a lot more but they're scattered all over the place, so should really keep them altogether.

Long-suffering husband

I have moaned (a little) about hubby, but this post is for him! He is the unfortunate soul who has to transfer all my ideas for wooden items into actual 'things'. Having never used a jigsaw, saw or anything like that in the garage, I'm never too sure if my paper ideas will work in wood.

He does his 'proper job', then he comes home faced with various things to cut out from the days orders, they range from hearts, chalkboards, stars, fish, starfish etc etc. My latest idea is a starfish made from reclaimed wood with a hole to place a tea-light in. Bless him, he bought a special 'bit' to do the hole in the middle without cutting all the way through and voila!

So, credit where credit's due, he's done a good job.
Got lots more to say today so will post another entry later on.........

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

I must control myself

I sometimes have occassional phases where I get addicted to spending my 'pocket money' on various Ebay items. My latest is 3 little tin Easter Eggs. They have seen better days, but I think this adds to the charm of them. The photo unfortunately doesn't do them justice. In these credit crunch times, I feel I can justify my purchases as they cost very little, and I look forward to the postman arriving with my goodies.

I'm supposed to be thinking about cars at the moment as we need to replace mine but I get bored after a while and go off the subject. Hubby and 9 yr old Toby think it's exciting but cars don't inspire me too much. On the flip side however, I do enjoy driving a nice car and I'm perhaps a bit more switched on about cars than most, but in true female style, colour does matter. I never thought I'd say it but it does. That's all I'm going to say on the car subject!

Back to work now. I'll make the most of today as after school I've got to sit through an hour's worth of Jack playing football, then it's all the usual stuff - tea, reading, spellings, trumpet practice, blah blah blah and the odd sibling argument thrown in for good measure.


Monday, 2 March 2009

What a lovely day

Normally I hate Mondays but today I'll make an exception because the sun is shining and the washing is on the line. I know it seems quite sad to actually enjoy having the washing out, but everyone has to admit that it always smells fantastic when you bring it in. My primroses are enjoying the nice weather too!

I know it won't last, but I can hope..............!

In another few months, I'll be moaning about having to keep cutting the grass - "you cut the grass" some of you may think, but if I don't do it it won't get done. Hubby will get the lawnmower out, but only if I ask and if I don't mention it we'll probably have 8ft long grass before he would notice. As I work from home and look at it every day, it's just easier to do it myself.

Our garden is quite wild (apart from the grass) as we have lots of trees, bushes and hedgerow and the grass is the only thing I can control. I've tried to accept that the garden is what it is and it is lovely most of the time, but at this time of year it doesn't 'sit' with my desire to having everything 'perfect' and 'exact'.

Heh Ho.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Another great purchase!

We all (well I) decided to go out yesterday afternoon as the weather was reasonable. Toby was really not happy as he was playing on the playstation and as it involved wandering round antique shops, he was definately not interested. Jack was OK as hubby promised to walk along the river and feed to ducks. It meant that I could browse to my heart's content.

I didn't spot much that interested me, apart from the old wooden egg cup which I've photographed. I literally jumped on her as soon as I found her. She was so cheap it would have been a crime not to have bought her! Hope you like her.