Friday, 26 February 2010

Is it the end of the week already?

Don't you find that some weeks just flash past without you even blinking?  Fantastic.  I just can't believe it's Friday again!

How was your week?  It was a busy old week for me and I feel pleased that I achieved everything I wanted to, and even squeezed in an hour and half power walk with a friend which quite literally was a breath of fresh air!  I don't know about you, but because we've been stuck indoors so much lately, it really does feel great when you have the opportunity to be outside enjoying just 'being out'.

I've probably posted about this before, but we're lucky to be surrounded by lots of fields and trees and I'm always spotting a variety of different birds, normally I don't have the camera to hand but earlier this week I managed to get a snap of a Bullfinch.  Having then got my son's bird book out, I read that Bullfinches are "often seen in couples, and are thought to pair for life.  They are shy and secretive birds, and like to stay close to cover".  To acutally get a snap of one, I was obviously quite lucky - I have circled where the bird was - I know, I know it's not clear but it is there I promise!

My great achievement this week is this -

It's a start, don't you think?  Probably full of errors and I won't even tell you how many attempts I made to get to this point.  Can I actually say that I can crochet now?  Might have to put some spin on that one!

I also made these dolls this week, a kit which came from Clothkits.  I bought it last year and forgot about it, so thought this was was the perfect opportunity to get on with them. Take a look at the website, lots of lovely goodies.

We're off to London tomorrow, museums a beckoning.  Jack being the 'artist' wants to go to the V & A museum, Toby being the 'car enthusiast' wants to visit the lamborghini showroom - yawn, yawn.....

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Another week, another half term

Wow, that half term seemed to vanish didn't it? In typical fashion, we woke yesterday morning to snow so made the drive to school interesting. Come on Spring, where are you, we've seen glimmers of you.........

Thank you all so much for your lovely comments about my shoes.  You'll never guess where I got them from, well some of you might - Primark, yes that's right Primark and I had such a struggle choosing a colour as there were a few different ones including a dreamy dusky pink, and they were such a bargain price too.

Our half term ended on a high with a jaunt to Lewes.  I did take the camera, but only remembered at the last moment, so here is one snapshot of Lewes! Both boys decided to run down the hill which was rather steep and I did have visions of a trip to A & E, but all was OK.

We had intended to go to Anne of Cleves house which is in Lewes as we had done the castle on a previous trip, but unfortnately it was closed.  Another reason to go back again!

I did however, find some bargain buys, including some pretty Easter goodes.  I'm tempted to keep them out on display just to brighten up the place!  This weather's making the house seem very dreary!

I also managed to find 2 great fabric shops - 1 was actually overwhelming, I just couldn't decide what fabric to buy as there was so much choice.  I don't think I did too badly with my choices.....

These were my finds, I'm looking forward to putting them out, when time permits.  My favourite one is the little china girl and the look on her face.

That's it for now, have a great day!

Friday, 19 February 2010

A spot of allsorts

The remaining few days of half term have been spent doing a bit of -

baking this:-

buying these (naughty, naughty...):-

making these:-

 and utilising some old plastic and metal hangers to do this:-

Tomorrow we're off to my favourite place - Lewes.  I wonder what goodies I'll come back with!

Hope you've all had fun this week.


Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Childhood Annual's - what was yours?

In typical fashion, the weather has let us down this half term, and if the weather reports are true, it will remain wet and dull for the rest of February.....

Despite this, we've remained upbeat - Jack thoroughly enjoyed his birthday with lots of exciting presents including Guitar Hero.  I always find it difficult buying presents for birthdays in Jan and Feb as I've lost the momentum from Christmas.  As he plays the guitar anyway, I thought Guitar Hero might be fun - and it is!  The 'tunes' are rock but you can really get into character with them - even I had a go!  The day was rounded off by a hearty, healthy (not) meal from McDonalds, then pancakes!!

Whilst we've enjoying time indoors, I've taken the opportunity to flick through some of my annuals and comics.  Unfortuantely most of my original annuals 'disappeared' so I'm having to start the collection again.  Aside from Enid Blyton, I was a great fan of Mandy, Bunty and Twinkle.  I always remember being bought Twinkle and a packet of sweets as a treat.  Heaven!  I always wanted to look like Twinkle as I thought she was so pretty!!

As I got older I moved onto Mandy and Bunty.  Not only did I collect the annuals but I always had the comics along with the picture story 'books' they did.  I can't remember how often these came out but they were only 10p - you can't even buy a pack of sweets for that now!

Both Bunty and Mandy seemed to have a great sense of fun and adventure, bordering on being tomboys - I aspired to being like that, but was quite content just reading about the adventures.

Interestingly enough, the game of table tennis in 1977 was one of the world's most widely played games, how times have changed!

The rhyme out of the Mandy annual I have for February is:

F is for February, now it is here, E for an Extra day every fourth year, B for the Baby lambs frisking at play, R for Remember St Valentine's Day, U for Umbrella Up! - here comes the rain! A for Appearance of snowdrops again, R for the Rushing of babbling streams singing, Y for the Yellow catkins a-swinging.  Three cheers for February, month number tow, Heralding springtime for me and for you!

I hope you enjoyed that bit of nostalgia. Toodle pip!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Satisfaction guaranteed

Thank you so much for all your kind words on my last post.  There were lots of helpful hints so I'll be doing my best (really, I will) to take them on board.  You might not think so as you read this post!

I hope everyone enjoyed Valentine's Day - ours in true form was spent watching Toby play football, then spending the rest of the day finishing the bathroom!  We'll make up for it tomorrow as it's Jack's birthday.  Saturday was spent entertaining 10 little boys at the nearest bowling alley and a good time was had by all.  Despite not having to clear up or cook, I felt absolutely shattered after it!

The bathroom is now complete - drum roll please, tra la la - like it?  It's amazing, that for such a small room, it still took a week to get done - I think that's it for DIY projects..........

I've also finished my knitted blanket, well a lap cover really.  It's beautifully soft and knits up quickly. I used Rowan's All Seasons Cotton yarn to make it. 

This little creation went slightly wonky - I wanted to put some hankies to good use, so decided to make a little mat for the console unit.  My problem was a) made it in too much of a hurry and b) didn't use the rotary cutter and mat to cut out the triangles.  It still came out reasonably well, and with a vase of tulips on top you can't see the lack of accuracy!

I also braved the bitter winds to get some primroses potted up in my galvanised container.  There's nothing more cheery than a splash of colour on a grey day, don't you think?

Right, I'm now off to wrap some presents for the birthday boy.  I'll be back later on in the week once I've recovered!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Mixed Bag

Cor, is it the end of the week yet?  Thankfully it's Thursday so almost there.  I knew this week would be 'awkward' due to having some tiling done but didn't really envisage quite how stressful it was!

The plan was to start on Monday taking existing tiles off, then Tuesday, Wednesday putting new ones on then grouting - simple eh?  Well, due to unforseen circumstances, the work didn't get going till Tuesday, then, as old tiles were being taken off it was leaving huge holes in the plasterboard.  Quick decision was made to tile over.  In the middle of this, the tiler slipped with his tool and gashed his hand - blood everywhere, splattered everywhere, dripped everywhere - and I, yes I had to give emergency first aid AND I don't 'do' blood.  It did eventually stop, thankfully........

Here's a sneak at work in progress

Wednesday should have been a good day - finally I was going to see good progress in the bathroom - and yes I have but not quite at the pace I would have liked.  You see, I'm a little impatient to say the least!  He was also running late and I had a doctor's appointment to go to.  I was determined not to get in the car as I wanted to enjoy a nice walk - I ended up jogging all the way there.  Not that great as I was going to have my blood pressure taken - ha ha.  Well, you can imagine what it was can't you?

Something I haven't shared as if I don't mention it, I can pretend it doesn't exist - I'm suffering from high blood pressure at the moment and it's far to high.  The doctor says there's not many options for me as there's no weight for me to shed, I don't smoke, I don't drink to excess etc etc.  My problem is my lifestyle - too stressy, work too hard and don't have any time off.  Changing it would be like telling a smoker to give up I guess.  But I must - the doctor is insisting I do 'good' quality exercise, such that my heart rate goes up, that in turn will reduce stress and blood pressure.

I've got to have some 24hr monitoring, then he'll decide whether I need tablets.  Wish me luck over the next couple of weeks as I'm determined not to go down the 'pill route'.

Gosh, that was a bit dreary wasn't it?  Didn't mean to spill that out to you all.  I do try and keep my posts upbeat, but life's full of blips.

Today should see the tiling finished and then it'll be Jack's birthday with half term so at least all of the yucky stuff will be out of the way.

On a cheery note!  I've bought some lovely fabrics lately, including this great trim.

Hopefully my next post won't be full of drama's!


Monday, 8 February 2010


Hello all, back to the start of another week and as I type, it's snowing, eek!  Having seen the snowdrops emerge at the weekend and seeing the primroses begin to flower, I had high hope that snow was behind us, obviously not!

On Saturday I had the urge to thrift so we spent a pleasant morning trawling our favourite thrifty shops.  The boys even enjoyed it as they like to look out for books and cars! I managed to pick up a couple of great little buys including this teapot.  It was sitting on the shelf covered in dirt and the lid had been pushed inside the teapot, and as it was only a £1 I thought it need rescuing.

After much fiddling, hubby managed to get the lid out.  It's a little precarious as there's a chip out of the rim so probably why the lid fell in, but it looks good on display.

I also picked up this tray which has some beautiful tapestry work under the glass.  I've decided to paint the wooden surround as I'm not a big fan of dark wood, so hopefully I won't ruin it!

The day was then finished off with some friends' round for a meal and a bottle of wine, so all in all not bad.

This week sees the bathroom being re-tilled, then a new sink and shower.  I hope most of it will be done by Friday as our 'little' baby turns 8 on Shrove Tuesday! He's having a party on Saturday so I'll be frantically wrapping presents, buying (sorry making!) a cake and general birthday preparations.

Hopefully, I'll be able to pop back later on in the week, but have a good one in the meantime!

PS - If you're reading this Pea Green Kitty - I tried to leave a comment on your lovely blog, but was unable to............

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Cabbages and Roses inspiration

Remember last week I had just bought the Cabbages and Roses Guide to Natural Housekeeping book?  Well, I had a quick flick through and thought I'd share some of my favourite ideas - ready?

Bouquet Garni Herbs - I used to use a lot of these in casseroles etc, but they are so expensive and hard to find.  C & R have come up with making your own.(let me know if you have problems reading it).  I love the idea of attaching a label to each 'type' of one you make so depending on what you are cooking, you can use the right Bouquet Garni.  Muslin is so cheap and how many of us have a glut of herbs in the garden which rarely get used? - I know I have.

Rosebud Potpourri.  Picking rosebuds off your rose bushes (great in theory) and then adding orange and lemon peel along with cinnamon sticks, cardamon pods or whole nutmegs.  It would be a great gift for someone if you could also find a pretty CS bowl to put it in - especially with Mother's Day approaching. I love the idea but not about picking the buds off the roses! 

On a number of posts recently there's been lots of talk about scraps of fabric.  C & R suggest binding those yucky metal wire coat hangers with fabric.  They mention the white waste selvedges from fabric, but equally our fabric scraps would also work.

I think the book is great as it's practical and it utilises by and large what we all have in our own home.  There's no unnecessary purchases needed, just some re-thinking about everyday items.

On a completely different note, I made a random purchase the other day after the school run - a polka dot raincoat, do you like it?  I thought it would be great for Spring and it had £5 off so the perfect excuse in my book. It's navy and with polka dots so had my name on. I have pondered about taking it back but seeing as I've now shared my purchase with you all, I'd better keep it!

Bye for now!

Monday, 1 February 2010

The Ladybird Lady

Morning all - and it's February at last!  Hope everyone had great weekends.

Fortunately for us, we had another football free weekend due to the weather again!  There are some benefits to it being frosty/wet/or snowy.  On Saturday we took the boys roller skating with some friends.  Off the 4 boys went, and us 4 adults sat and had coffee and cake for 2 whole childen free hours!  Boy, was it liberating.  No demands, requests, moans or groans, just solid adult conversation.  Completely unheard of for a Saturday afternoon!

I also popped into a local charity shop.  The ladies kindly phone me when they get Ladybird books in.  I then pop in and have a look to see which ones I want.  The ones I don't, they put out on the shelves, which I think is so lovely of them.  2 were Ladybird ones, and the third one was Jack and Jill and the Old Castle, published in 1962.  It's not a Ladybird one and not one I've ever seen before although there are several in the series.  The pictures are so sweet, I couldn't help but get it.  So, I am now known as the Ladybird Lady.  Not a bad name really!

I also managed to pick up a pretty plate and a little tray for not very much, so all in all I was quite pleased with my haul.

Last but not least a little tease and snapshot of my next project.......I bet you'll never guess what it is....

Have a good Monday!