Sunday, 20 September 2009


but for a good reason. We've been on holiday to the Scottish borders and had a wonderful time. The kids were a bit scrappy with each other but I tried to ignore it and my hubby and I just felt so chilled out by the end of it. Was really what we both needed. The sea was just across a very quiet road, lots of rock pools and nature. Lovely.

I managed to avoid the Cath Kidston shop in Edinburgh but only as it was in the wrong end of town to where we were. Hmmm. Next time maybe!

Unfortunately I'm going to be off line for the next week as well as we're having a 1940's week at home with ration foods and not tv or computers. I'm hoping it will give me plenty of time to get back into being creative with the sewing machine and catch up on what I still need to do at home.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Well it seems I have one victim for my PIF. I think I may try and do a giveaway with 2 prizes if no-one else fancies it? I'll try and get going with my gift soon.

I've had a serious lack of mojo going on here. I have a whole host of things still to do. Thinking that if I blog I'll remotivate myself. Maybe I need to do some lists or something.

So what have we been up to lately? Lots of visiting friends and going out and about. We went to a fab historical reenactment last weekend. I adore WW2 and the forties so we hung round those bits lots! I've been buying some new books about the period too

and these 2 fab books

Such an amazing feast for the eyes and lots of history to discover. My favourite :O)

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Pay It Forward

Last week I had the pleasure of receiving a Pay It Forward gift from Lorraine at The Balancing Kiwi. It was this most gorgeous owly

She is wonderful! And puts my sewing efforts to shame, have been studying closely to get some tips!! My daughter has named her Brenda :O) Thank you so much Lorraine!!

Now to fulfill the conditions I have to offer to make something to 3 of my readers. So if anyone would like a little handmade something from me then put a comment at the bottom and I will get cracking. You do have to promise to do the same and make for 3 more people each. I think that's right anyway. I'll keep the comments hidden like Lorraine did aswell until I have 3 victims, er I mean friends ;o)

Monday, 17 August 2009

It's been a week already!!

Where did the week go??

We've been doing a bit of zipping about now that we have a car again. Nice to be mobile again. We went to Past Times on Friday having seen the website (Dh was after a union jack cushion) and although we didn't find one, we picked up some of those packs with replica war ephemera in it. Got a car one for my DS and a childrens war one for my DD. This is what is in the Childrens War pack (not the shoes!!) which I thought was loads!

Hubby picked up a guinness mug. He really loves guinness memorabilia and especially the Toucan stuff, so it goes well with what I'm trying to achieve everywhere. You can see it here (just!)with a Johnson Bros green dawn coffee pot I got at a new charity shop last weekend for £1 and a Tala measuring cone I'd been eyeing up and found for a quite reasonable £4 something in Dunelm.

Also managed to pick up some new crochet hooks in Dunelm as I keep losing mine. Think I need to make myself a crochet holder like I did for the swap, so little time though!! One day. So I've been getting on with my granny square cushion which has been ignored for ages as I couldn't find the hook. It'll be down the side of the sofa or something!

The library came up trumps with some good books

I really like this sewing book, lots of nice projects.

And I've been pouring over this book - love the forties, my fave era at the moment. I'm hoping my Lovefilm subscription will send me the dvd of it soon.

Some thanks are due from some lovely ladies on the Shabby Chic Cafe (or the sugababes cafe as my dd calls it!). First I had bought some fabric at auction from Lacey and she so very kindly sent some extra bubbles fabric and a lovely brooch too.

Then Dimity sent me this fab knitting booklet which I have loved looking through. Planning on knitting a golly at some point. Thanks so much ladies!!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Hallway makeover

I finished the hallway the other day. I hadn't intended to do anything here at all, but when I did up the chest of drawers and decided to put it at the bottom of the stairs instead of at the top as I had originally thought, it seemed the next logical step to give it a quick tart up!

It's only a small space, and I have a husband who has lots of shoes and jackets (ahould be the other way round surely?) so it gets cluttered really quickly. I also didn't have anywhere for scarves and gloves so every winter I'd have to buy new ones again. Not good.

Anyway, some pics.

This is pretty much it!! Haha, it is *very* small! We got a new doormat at the weekend. My hubby spotted it in Matalan and wanted it so I 'let' him!! Lolol, he does like the UJ thing. This isn't a great pic due to the light that comes into the door, but I also made some bunting for the door out of some stray Sarah Smith cloths, nice and easy. Unfortunately hubby doesn't like the bunting so not sure if it will stay or not. You can just see the drawers in the foreground and I've put the decoupaged Ikea drawers on it too to hold mail that comes in. To the right you can see some shelves that were a general dumping ground and every time I opened the door things fell off. Something needed to be done.

I decided to line the shelves with the Focus wallpaper and I painted up an old cork noticeboard. I realised that I actually don't have that many pretties to put on shelves, never been a thing I've bought much of. But I found one of my many camper van models which looks ok! I could still see the dark wood shelf underneath the paper though so decided to attach a bit of gingham ribbon to finish it off. Not sure if it will stay on though. We'll see. I laminated some of the wallpaper for the bottom shelf which has the shoes on so I won't need to worry about it all getting dirty.

I think that although it's not perfect, it's a huge improvement. If it helps me keep it tidy it's worth it too!

Note to self - buy more pretties!!!

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Adorable Vintage Kids Books

I love books. There I said it. I have way too many, especially for our little house. I need a bigger house just to keep the books in!

I have started to collect Enid Blyton books, I'd actually got a couple in my collection already. My absolute favourite is the one without the dust jacket.

It's called Enid Blyton's Book of the Year. I can't remember who recommended it to me first but as soon as I got it I loved it, it felt twee and old fashioned but I actually liked that. It has stories, poems, music, a part work story all based around each month and the nature around us then. I've read bits lots to my kids and they really like it too.

I was looking at it the other day and realised that it is over 60 years old! That is just mind blowing.

Here's the inscription

It was given at Christmas 1948.

I don't know if you can see but it has a bit on the bottom about it being printed in the authorized economy standars which is to do with the rationing that was still around. I only spotted this as I was reading a book about wartime britain and wondered if this book had it printed in and it did.

The book that was on the top of the pile was my latest book and a very special one as it had been kindly sent to me by Simone at Little Pink Lady. It's a lovely book and just right for my youngest to read, she's just getting fluency and I think she'll love it. Simone was overly kind and sent me some lovely Sarah Smith cloths too - I love these cloths and shall add to my growing collection (might have to clean at this rate!). Thank you so much!

I thought I'd share a couple of other old fashioned type books that we love in this house.

First off are these Little Bear books

There's a cartoon based on the books, not sure if it is still on NickJr. It was when mine were much littler and I used to love watching them with the kids. Most cartoons are awful, and this was too to some extent, but I loved the old fashionedness of it all. Always sucks me in!

And these are my favourites. I think they were originally published in the 30's but are still in print now. They are american, but really I have some lovely picture books from America. I could list so many more, but I won't I'll just share these by the same author. If you like scotty dogs as much as I do then you'll adore the Angus one. I have another, called Angus and Wagtail Bess (with an Airedale terrier) but couldn't find it in time to take a picture

If you ever come across books by this author they are just lovely, timeless books. Here's a picture from inside the Angus Lost book:

How cute??

All I can say is it's a shame children have to grow up, I could buy kids books forever!!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Cupcake swap - sent

I'm still very new to this swapping lark, but here's what I sent Louise at SnuggleShack for the cupcake swap at the ShabbyChic Cafe. I know she's recieved it now so I can show you all. I only took one picture, and well you're lucky you got that as I'm good at forgetting!

This was also the first time I'd sent any of my sewing for use by anyone other than me (oh except my mum's cushions, but she's my mum, she'll not think bad of me!!). I made a crochet hook roll out of some cupcake fabric, and a tissue holder out of the same stuff with some nice CK tissues inside.

I knitted a dishcloth with a cupcake on and crocheted a little cupcake. Now I was gonna stuff this but my daughter thought it looked better open so you could put little bits inside so I went with what the boss said ;o)

There was some pretty cupcake cases and sprinkles, a cupcake coaster I picked up in York and finally I tried my hand at making some little cupcake buttons out of Fimo. I think they turned out ok, although not sure how strong they would be.

I struggled a bit with this swap, I searched and searched loads for nice stuff to add but couldn't find much and my crafting is only so so (and I'm very slow at it too!). Of course going round TKMaxx yesterday I saw loads!! It never seems very much when I send stuff, I look at other swaps sometimes and think - oh that looks lovely, and then there's another 5 photos of more stuff!!

Been fixing up my hallway today and adding some pretty bits to it, I'll take some photos tomorrow and show you once it's done.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

And another!

makeover that is :O)

This chest of drawers has been sat in our garage for so long now, it was falling apart and I was going to freecycle it, but then didn't. I have so much furniture that doesn't really have a place in this house. We've been here 3 years nearly but it's still got furniture from a much bigger house in it. I want to move again so don't want to spend lots on getting smaller bits that fit better, only to move as soon as I bought it. But maybe I should have done it ages ago! Oh well.

Anyway, I have no before pic, but I'm sure you can imagine what it would be like before! Really this is an inbetween picture as I still need to sand the top properly and I need to wax it all. I didn't distress the paint as I have a feeling it won't take long to get naturally distressed in this house!

I also need to find some nice handles for it. Or I may paint these if I can't find anything I like soon enough. I'm going to add some hooks on one side so that the kids can hang their coats on it (it's in the hallway). Hopefully it will hold all our scarves and gumpf that lands in the hallway and makes it look a mess.

I need to get making some pretty things to hang off the drawers don't I? Argh! Need more time!!!!

I've also lined the drawers with some gorgeous wallpaper I picked up from Focus today which lots of bloggers have been raving about. It's reduced to £5 a roll and very CK'ish. I foresee lots of rooms being decked out in it. Not ours sadly though :O( Hate renting houses!! Although I know I should be grateful I have one :O)

Monday, 3 August 2009

Makeover madness

Been getting the paintbrushes out here lots :O)

We've had a little side table that sits at the side of our couch for years. I think it's supposed to be a plant stand but we cought it ages ago from Ikea when we got our first (and only brand new) sofa, which was a really low futon, so it was ok that it was so little. Now we live in a shoebox and it's useful in that it just fits this tiny space. However, as usual, it was getting a little grubby. I only just remembered the before pic!

A couple of coats of a nice bright blue (get your sunglasses on!!) and it's looking much fresher!

I've already made a start on 2 other things which I'll get photos of once I'm done. It's a bit addictive this painting furniture isn't it?

I completely nabbed Little Gem's idea of covering a boiler with some nice retro stuff. I need some more nice magnets and a few more bits to cover it, but hubby really liked it when he saw it, so must have been a good idea!! Pity I didn't think of it myself!!

And a couple of more pretties to add:

I can't say I made this, although I had though of making one for a while. I had nothing suitable at home to make it with and I figured that by the time I 'd faffed around and bought stuff, left it hanging round for a while and eventually got round to it it would be next year before I got onto it! And this one was really reasonable from Ebay so I went for it. It's CK Rosali as far as I'm aware and is a perfect place to put all my nice little cards I've been lucky enough to get recently :O)

And finally my first 2 bits in my new collection of Utility China. I'd seen this stuff on various blogs and really liked the pastel shades so decided I'd like to collect it. I got the green Beryl Woods Ware plate from a car boot a couple of weeks ago now and saw the blue Johnson Bros teapot at the charity shop last weekend. Oh well, you've got to start a collection off somewhere!

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Serviette decoupage and Union Jack love

I've been trying out a new craft these past couple of nights, serviette decoupage which someone on the Shabby Chic Cafe had been talking about. I'd bought some serviettes and tissues from Cath Kidston specifically to do this, but the thread on SCC gave me the push to get on with it.

Here's what I started with:

As you can see it was just a basic Ikea storage drawer thing that has been hanging around for years and has held crud for a while!! It was looking really scabby so I would have been pleased with any improvement really. Here's what it ended up like:

I just painted the main bit with a sample of paint I got from Wilkinsons and decoupaged the front of the drawers. I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

I wasn't so pleased with a picture frame I decorated, it turned out a bit wrinkly. It might look better once it's on the wall!

In other news, my son was busy yesterday morning with making some paper chains. They were from East of India and I had been drooling over them for a bit, and eventually succumbed as they'll look so good in my son's vintage aeroplane room won't they?

And here they are in situ - this is half a pack btw, my daughter has the rest in her room. Even the teddies are saluting it ;o)

Monday, 27 July 2009

Go Granny Go

Been for a walk down to the supermarket today with my granny trolley *grin*. Managed to dodge the showers pretty much and the kids were happy enough too which was a bonus. Trying to time it right is hard when you don't have a car but are used to having one (ours is broken, looking for a newer one soon).

Here's a picture of the tea cosy that I mentioned in my last post and thank you to Lala for telling me that it would have been put on top of a thicker padded cosy and so would be interchangeable. It's so pretty, I wondered at first if it would have been machine done as it is so well embroidered but I don't think so. I think I'll try and make a mini cushion with it :O)

Also been crocheting some more of the granny squares that I started ages ago. I wasn't quite sure about how the colours were turning out but friends said that it looked fine. I kept thinking it needed another colour, maybe a yellow or something. Anyway I'd left it for a while because of that and then decided to have another go last night. I decided I definitely didn't like it, but didn't want to waste what I'd done already so I decided to make it up into a cushion cover. It's not all done yet, I still need to do the back but I am going to do just one big granny on the back and take out the dark pink as I think that is what I'm not liking. We'll see how it goes anyway. So, not the blanket I was hoping for, but I'll get there one day!

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Just a quick post

bought not too much in the CS's today - just a little box of vintage dominoes for my kids and a hand embroidered crinoline lady tea cosy. I think it's a tea cosy anyway, it's a little thin, just like a tray cloth so I've no idea how it would keep the said tea warm. Oh well. It is very pretty and I will try and take a picture tomorrow. No plans for any car booting tomorrow and as the weather is supposed to be dire, maybe I'll actually do some decluttering? I think I should and now that I've mentioned it, shall report back tomorrow.

Just a quick mention that Shabby Chick over at Country in the Town is doing a giveaway so please go and have a look. She has a lovely blog :O)

Friday, 24 July 2009

buying and making

seems to be pretty much what I'm doing lately. I really need to be adding decluttering to that list and maybe deep cleaning the house but hey.

Anyway, some pics to brighten the blog!

First the 2 pics that I got last week from Mitty are now hung in the kids rooms - they look fab:

This is my 7yo dd's bed - another high sleeper so a git to take a photo of. She has some Laura Ashley bedding that I got at a CS the other week and forgot to blog. It makes such a lovely difference to her room having some pretty florals in there. Lots of dogs too you'll notice!!

Looking good!

And a complete bargain of a find last weekend at the CB was this, for my son's room. It was 50p!! It does have a tear in it, and if it gets much worse I'll recover it (maybe with a RAF roundel??). Don't point out the heart shape too much to my son ;O)

From the same boot sale I got this oil painting for £1.

and these gingham elephant bookends, also £1 (sorry for rubbish pic)

and some vintage books

I found some new storage for my ribbon stash

And did some making - mostly sewing. Still trying to be a bit better at it.

A fabric hanger - need more practise with this. Made with Cath Kidston's posy which is my favourite at the moment.

My cushion cover made from a CK duster - really love this. I just did a white fabric envelope back so I still have one duster left. Not bad for £4 really.

And a little owl softie I made up as I went along. Been admiring other people's owls and made this for my DS who loves it. Helps that we are all Sheffield Wednesday fans so owls are big in this house!!

And finally a new craft. Been mucking around with some fimo with my DD. She helped me make the rose which I'll hopefully add a brooch back too and she made the daisy all by herself :O)

Friday, 17 July 2009

Cupcake swap

I recieved my cupcake swap this morning from Mitmot and oh my it was like Christmas! Here's what she sent me:
And inside this scrumptious packaging was some lovely handmade goodies:

a pin cushion (much needed in this house, been meaning to make one!) and a lovely brooch

a very clever tape measure!
2 lovely pictures. The aeroplane one was so thoughtfully sent due to my sons love of vintage aeroplanes and us trying to deck his room out with that as a bit of a theme.

yup - the real cupcakes are gone already!!

and a lovely cup, already has my tea in it, cake cases and a cupcake hook.

I feel so very lucky today, and everything has a home already. Thank you so much!

Now I need to get my butt in gear and finish my swap :O)

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

It's not what you know but who you know.

Been doing a bit of sewing lately. It's coming along but I'm not briliant still. These cushions were for my mums birthday. She hit a big number this year, with a nought (as I did too - sob), so wanted to do something nice.

The fabric was just cheapy stuff from the market, and yes a bit pink, but I quite like them! They go nicer in her house as her couch is dark so it suits it better if you see what I mean.

Fabric stash is coming along nicely as I got a couple of meters of the flowery one, still a bit of gingham left and another pink/white fabric which is utterly gorgeous. No pic at the moment, as it's too dark to take a good one.

I was after a pair of pinking shears the other month and was quite surprised at the cost of them, £20 plus was what I was seeing. I wasn't sure if I'd use them much so wasn't really wanting to pay much for any anyway. I asked my FIL if he maybe had some kicking around from before my husbands mum died. Unfortunately he didn't but what he did have were some dressmaking scissors, 3 pairs and being from Sheffield, he went into great length about scissors and stuff about them... Anyway. I was so pleased to be able to get some decent scissors to cut fabric with as I was just using bog standard household ones before that and obviously not doing a good job. You may remember I won a sewing box with lots of goodies in it from ebay? Well what I didn't put in was that it had a pair of pinking shears in it. But unfortunately they were completely blunt and couldn't cut anything. So off I go to FIL again and ask if he can do anything with them. He gave them back to me tonight all sharpened and apparantly they are a very decent pair of pinking shears and him and his mate had a good time with the challenge of sharpening them. So it really is not what you know but who you know!

here they are, have already tested them and they work fab. I love the box, and they even have a price on the back of 5 shillings. I'm so pleased we've been able to bring them back to life.

Oh and Mitmot has posted about what I sent her in the spots and stripes swap here so go and have a looky if you like. I wasn't organised enough to take a pic before I sent it. It's my first ever swap :O) I'll try and remember before I send my cupcake swap which I'm doing well at and not too much more to go till I can send I don't think :O)

Friday, 10 July 2009

Swap and goodies a plenty!

today is my sons 9th birthday and so we planned a lovely day out in York visiting the National railway Museum. Had a fab time, I oohed and ahhed over lots of old fashioned railway adverts and bits about days gone by. I came away with some fab postcards...

and then my son bought a train set and as we spent over 10 pounds we got another load of postcards free!
As we were in York I fancied visiting the Cath Kidston shop. I try not to be overly enthusiastic about her stuff as I do think most is vastly overpriced but I just wanted to see what a shop was like and so off we toddled. My dd who is 7 was oh so excited to go and was squealing with delight when we arrived. If I didn't look so shabby I'd have probably been mistaken for a yummy mummy who only buys her daughter CK or other designer stuff. But really my appearance probably discounts that thought!

It was a lovely shop, much bigger than I imagined too and had some lovely displays and goodies. I was very good and restrained and got myself the following:

I'm hoping to make a cushion cover out of the dusters as I have seen other people do and I wanted to try a bit of decoupage type stuff with the tissues and napkins.

Came out of the shop and my DH told me there was some other fab looking shops so I had a quick look, trying to remember we were out for my ds's birthday!! Almost directly opposite the CK shop was a fab shop with postcards, coasters, metal signs and other bits and bobs all with old fashioned adverts and stuff like that. So I got...

more postcards (!) and a couple of coasters. One for my DS and one for my dd. Can you guess which one is which? Lol, dd is getting all the dog stuff and ds all the war type stuff!

We were all really flagging by the time we set off for home so after a long journey home you can imagine how excited I was to find a parcel bearing the postcode of a lady who I knew was doing my swap. I desperately wanted my dh and his dad to go so I could open in peace and squeal with delight when I opened it, but that would probably have been rude of me to chuck em out ;) So I retreated quietly into the kitchen to open it and I was so pleased to see what I was sent. Viv was my swap partner and she spoiled me rotten by making me a fantastic bag, similar I think to the one's she's been making for herself and pictured on her blog.

I adore it. I have been so in need of a new bag for a while now and kept putting off buying one thinking I'd keep my old one a little longer. Now I don't need to do that. It's just great, and so well sewed. i'd never have done such a good job. My father in law said it was very me so high praise indeed coming from him.

Also included in the swap was a fab little roll that will go nicely in my bag to keep all my stuff secure and organised (how did Viv know I was a messy pup??)

and the most gorgeous fabric bucket in the most gorgeous bright spots and stripes (goes well with my ironing board :) ). I love bright rainbow type colours so this is just perfect.

Thank you so much Viv, I love it all and feel really lucky to have recieved such a fab swap that obviously had a lot of time and effort involved in making it.