Saturday, 28 June 2008

Cabinet bargain

Gosh, what a busy week, topped this morning by a neighbour's tree shedding a heavy branch into our garden. I've been tagged by Lavender hearts to show the view from my kitchen window - happy to oblige, but when the tree has been dealt with! Fortunately we are on friendly terms with all our neighbours and it's going to get sorted soon. Hubs went to see this neighbour, and made out he was very very old (he's at the back, so not met him), making me worried we should sort it out ourselves - this neighbour appeared about 2 mins later and looked a very sprightly 60 year old to me and very switched on about his responsibility to sort it out. Hubs! Honestly!

Well, I was so thrilled this morning. I've wanted a storage solution for my fabric... found one on ebay. And it turned out it was two, not one (wasn't clear in the listing). I only have a very poor picture but am so excited, I wanted to share...

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Decorative china lids for kitchen and upholstery begins

Thank you all who left comments about my engagement ring disaster - how sad that it's happened to so many people. I felt really stupid about it, as if it was my fault. But it happens. We're going to look into the possibility of insurance - not sure whether it would be covered or not.

Anyway, a much happier post this time. I had a lovely time on Sunday, as I spent it with my middle daughter, who was off to the IOW this week with her school. We started off at a car boot fair and the most exciting find was these:

I saw them and thought, those would look so pretty on the kitchen wall. They're lids, from broken containers/teapots/pots/whatever. I got chatting to the woman selling them (you meet such nice people at car boot sales!), who said she also had used them for years on the wall and had too many to keep. So I bought them for 30 pence each. Now I've just got to sort out where to hang them - will post a pic as soon as they are up. I'm so pleased, because my kitchen is finally coming together.

Then we got a lovely selection of fabrics for a £1 (or less - it was pennies really), including two rather nice Laura Ashley bits...

I also got a patchwork picnic rug, which was a giveaway for a £1, but the pic didn't work of that, so will post some other time - perhaps when we are enjoying a picnic on it.

Then we went for a walk by the Thames, and watched some boats going through a lock. It was nice to be oggling for once instead of on the boat! But it made us eager to plan our next narrowboat holiday.
Then we had brunch in a lovely cafe near the river.
And then we explored a lovely fat quarter fabric bits and pieces shop. I could have spent a fortune, particularly as my daughter's also into fabric, but we satisfied ourselves with a tiny bit plus some yo-yo makers. We've been making yo-yos for some time, so it'll be interesting to see how easy the yo-yo makers are to use. I'll post soon with pics on that one.

I'm now going to struggle with this job...can you guess what I'm going to be doing. I love this Laura Ashley fabric - summer palace. Pictures of the result soon!

So that's all for now. Have a wonderful day. x

Ps. Lookee what's just arrived from Bloomin Myrtle. (Link to her online shop, though she has so many orders, you need to swoop like a hawk to get a cat!) I'm so thrilled. She sews so beautifully.

I have to include an Angel like shot, as Angel always shows them belly up...but you get to see the cute heart patch on her back:

And meeting my lifelong companions - wonder how she'll look in coughcough years' time?!

Friday, 20 June 2008

Disaster - engagement ring's stone gone AWOL

Sad post - sorry.

I've lost the stone from my engagement ring, and am distraught about it. We chose the ring together, in Thailand, in 1993. And I've worn it ever since. Stupid me. Having got the authenticity checked way back then (because we were worried after I fell in love with it that we'd been duped - we hadn't), I never got it checked for a loose stone. I just didn't want it off my finger for a moment. I know some people take them off, but I couldn't bear to.

Well, I'm so miserable. We're all hunting, but the chances of finding it are slim. Chances are it's on the road somewhere. That's even worse. I'd kind of be happier knowing somebody might find it and it would make somebody else happy. But just lying somewhere lost, that breaks my heart. It's not the money, it's the sentimental value I have wrapped up in it.

Going to go and have a sob.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

I love patterned floral bedding sheets

I absolutely love patterned sheets - there's something really feel good about making up a fresh bed anyway, and sleeping in crisp sheets. But there's something extra special about patterned sheets. When I was little, we had striped flannette sheets, and they were incredibly soft. So I blame my obsession on that. But I've now branched out into florals, and I've found some gorgeous vintage sheets recently. So I thought I'd share some of these... I always feel they bring some of the garden inside.

And they just look so nice hanging...

Outside or in...

They look nice stacked on top of the wardrobe with some of my other fabrics...

And they look lovely on the bed at night...

So that's my post today.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Posted now all about the table and chairs and dresser...

and how wonderful it's been being Debbie, but how I need to stop now and spend 4 months doing nothing again!

So, read on below!

The table and chairs and the Welsh dresser revealed!

Well, this has been a real back-breaking task. But hugely satisfying. And Debbie is right, it does start to get addictive. I never thought I'd stick at it for four days, though. I ache all over.

Okay, the dresser now looks like this:

It has primer and undercoat, and two coats of Laura Ashley Pale Linen, which is a fab colour. But it will need waxing as it's water based. The top was sanded with the power sander and waxed.

The table started life like this (not shown this before...)

and now, with the six chairs, it looks like this:

This was originally from Debenhams, and it really is a lovely set.

The kids got so excited, they had to do some boxing...

But back to what you wanted to see...

It isn't finished. The top took a while to sand, and now needs waxing. I'll probably wax it the same way as the dresser top, with Briwax and mild grade wire wool.

I obviously need to paint the two carvers - I left them as wanted to have a think about what colour. I was going to paint them Dimity to match the under table bit, but I think I'd prefer a F&B blue now. Or I'll use the Laura Ashley Eau de Nil. The chairs will need waxing, as I've used water based emulsion and it's not durable, whatever the paint makers try to say. But the colours are gorgeous and I'm really pleased, and I know the waxing will protect it well.

I'm toying with the idea of using different fabrics on each chair, to match the theme of the patchwork table and chairs. The children love it, and though the idea was to sell it, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to part with it.

So whaddya think?

Friday, 13 June 2008

Ok, finished for the day. I'm glad I'm off out, is all I can say! I wonder if Debbie goes out, or just paints late into the evening! I've painted the first coat on three of them now. To be honest, this part is great fun. I've so far done a green, blue, and pink. The green (well, it's meant to be a green but looks it in real life and not in a pic! - centre one) is a F&B, the others are Homebase own (matt) as I couldn't find suitable in the F&B range. Left hand is Iris, right hand is Vintage pink.
I'm debating lilac or yellow for the fourth. Not sure about the two carvers yet. More to come.

Scrummy yummy!
Update on the chairs. I've sanded and primed undercoated all six now.

Ta dah...

I've painted two and am trying to find a suitable blue for the third. I've tried Laura Ashley's Eau de Nil, but it's too pale (I think, I've done a bit and am leaving it to dry). I've tried a F&B (can't remember which now) but it is also too pale. So I'm trying a Homebase matt colour, Iris.

'nother update later. Phew. I'm zonked.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Tackling the welsh dresser and chairs with Laura Ashley

Okay, decided to be superhero Debbie today. If you visit the Shabbychic forum, you'll know what I am on about. Debbie is incredible. She has, like, 65 kids, all under 10, and set up the forum with her husband just as they were moving house and while she decorated she did up 16 dressers to slot around the house, 5 butchers blocks, and umpteen cupboards and stuff. I don't know how she does it, but I am inspired by her. A lot.
So, today was my Be Debbie day.

So I started small, with a dresser we picked up on Tuesday. Here it is before.

I started at 9.30 am, which was probably a bit late, but I did have the school run. Well, 9. 35 am probably. After I'd had a coffee and eyed it up.
I took off the drawer handles and the doors and their hinges and handles. Then I rubbed it down, and gave it a primer/undercoat all in one.
It was now 12.30, and I felt I wasn't achieving as much as I should. But boy this being Debbie lark makes you hungry. So I hate 16 burgers and swilled it down with 5 cans of red bull.
Raring to go, I got back to work...
And by 2.30 I had the first coat of Laura Ashley (Water based eggshell) Pale Linen on. I love that paint. It reminds me of Cornwall and cream teas, and clotted cream, and it's yummy. Yummy to look at and yummy to work with.
Um. What next.
Ok, this is what it looks like and I'm not doing more on it today, as I want to leave it overnight for the paint to fully dry before the second coat. I will try and sand down the top of the base unit though, as I want to leave that plain waxed wood.

I then managed to make some lovely biscuits: a lovely recipe - 8oz flora, 8oz demerara sugar, 8oz s.r. flour, 2 teaspoons spices (mixed spice, cinammon). Throw it all together and mix well...

Then - aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, it was meant to have an egg in it, but no eggs left. We don't yet have chickens. So, dollops on baking sheet and into the oven for 10 minutes and hope for the best...

Ar fel a beet seeck. ar'v 'ad 6 an' they r delishous.
But, superheros need their sugar rush!
So, not one to be daunted I made bread (no pic of that as I've bored you with pics of my bread before).
Made the children's tea.
Hung up the washing.
Then rubbed down 3 chairs...

I hate doing chairs. I have another 3 to do to keep to this being Debbie for the day. They are soooooo fiddley. Any tips appreciated.

So that's me so far. I am shattered, but I have to say, I feel incredibly motivated. Thank you Debbie. I really mean that. Thank you! x

Our wedding anniversary

It was our 14th wedding anniversay yesterday. We both had to work, but hubs cooked me a lovely meal in the evening. And bought me a necklace. And sent me a gorgeous bunch of flowers.
I gave him a flower hook, and a pink themos. Now, I felt a little guilty as these were kind of for me as well, and I was hoping the 14th was metal, but I was informed, as he opened the 'hmmm, a pink flask' that it was gold (hence the gold necklace ('but it's not real gold', I weakly pointed out).
But I was saved. I won two tickets for Dickens Unloved up in London, so that went down well. How lovely is that, to win tickets to a London theatre on your Wedding Anniversary. It's meant to be.

Anyway, some pictures. First the table with the flowers he sent me:

The controversial flask:

(He did like the flower hook, so that was okay.)

My meal, cooked by him:

I love my hubs. Thank you for a fabulous evening. x

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Hubby and crochet skirts and LK Bennett and Panda and Rabbit

I thought it was about time I said a huge thank you to my lovely hubbie. I'd been moaning about the ceiling of the toilet under the stairs - it was a sort of polystyrene push up make and put up with affair and I hated it. I've found some stunning paper to go in there, but didn't want to do anything until the ceiling was sorted. Well, lovely lovely hubbie has done a new ceiling. But one of the lights fell inside the new one. Don't ask me how! But this meant that this was what hubs had to do first thing this morning:

This was on a Sunday before 9 am. He'd taken up the landing carpet, the floorboards, and then had to get past the new pipes and bash a hole to get to the light from above.

Pushing my luck, I then mentioned the bathroom sink, which has had a hole in it patched with tape (I kid not, I'm too embarrassed to post a pic) for about 4 months since our eldest dropped the toothbrush mug in it. We have a sink waiting, rescued from a neighbour's skip. Darling hubs duly headed for the bathroom, started disconnecting, got up too quick and bashed and gashed his head on the glass shelf above. I have to admit that when I first heard about this (I was out finding some lovely goodies - more about those later - at the time) my first thought was "oh, -£$£er, that means the sink won't get done today". Anyway, hubs is lovely and a star to put up with me, so thank you.

So what else? I had to take eldest shopping for last minute things, as she's off to France tomorrow and very excited. I found some cute LK Bennett flip flops for £2 in a charity shop - brand new and really nice, but probably a freebie with some magazine. But I'm really pleased with them.

Do I admit to this...
Well, I guess I only have a couple of readers...

Last night a friend of my 10 yr old stayed, and I loved her skirt. I mean, loved it. Really - it was crochet and sequins, and lacey and everything I like. So,


cough cough


There, said it.

I'm not going to wear it on the school run. I'm going to wear it on the beach. And in case any of you are thinking, cow, how can she get into a child's skirt. No! Can't! It's an adult size 16 and has an adjustable waist. It was the last one in the shop. Isn't crochet wonderful. My daughter wants to share it. Hee hee.

Here you go, I know a picture is wanted.

See! Even the Sun was happy for me.

And ancient Panda and ancient Rabbit were watching with bemusement. Will blog about them some other time. Needless to say, they have shared my life.

Blessings all and thank you so much for reading. xxx

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Creating Vintage Style + Blackboard & buttons!

I found such a fabulous book in the library.

Creating Vintage Style by Lucinda Ganderton. It's packed with gorgeous photographs and ideas for things to do, and separated into sections that look at each room around the home. There are also 12 projects, plus some templates for them. It's got fabulous fabrics pictured, and I love it.

My fave pic is one I've seen on Vintage Pleasure's blog, which I think inspired her to patchwork wallpaper a wall, and that inspired me to do my patchwork wall (see post in May 2008).

I think VP pointed me in the direction of this book some time ago and I couldn't find it. Well, I'm glad I finally stumbled on it. It has really simple ideas and everything seems easily achievable.

And it has loads of pics on each page. So if you want an inspirational book for shabby vintage style on a budget, look out for it!

I thought I'd also give you a peek at my blackboard. I painted this cupboard door with blackboard paint, and then felt it needed something more. I'd been sorting through my lovely button stash, and had a glut of black buttons and nothing to do with them. So they found a natural home.

I want to add stencilling at the top, to say Menu and a rope to hang it, but it's nearly there. It's been a fun project to do. And a good one for the kids.

I'm doing my best to post every day, so see you tomorrow. Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed it.

Friday, 6 June 2008

An exciting swap package for June

Look what I got in the post at midday today! Just after my horrid blood test, so it was so lovely in terms of timing.

It's from the lovely Trish for a themed strawberries and cream swap, and it's such a lovely parcel to get. There's a bag, which she's made rather special with fabric and lace and a button (I love buttons and lace with a passion. How did she guess!)
There's a cute strawberry pincushion. I don't have a clue how she made this. It's incredibly professional. And a number of buttons (yummy) including the most perfect flower button you could ever wish for. Don't know how you parted with that! And, as if that's not enough, two long lengths of lace. Thank you Trish, heaps.

Morning cuppa at last

Anybody for a cuppa?!

I've had to fast since my meal last night for a blood test at 11.25. I know it's not long, just 14 hours. But I really find it hard to go without my morning cuppa. It's pitiful, really, how addicted I am. So I am now indulging myself.
Will try and do a more sensible post later on!

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Bedroom blinds and a lovely curtain designer

About four weeks ago I was lucky enough to stumble on a lovely woman at a car boot fair (one I rarely go to, and she rarely sells at, so it was kind of meant to be). She was selling off her fabric, as she's a curtain/blind maker and she has to shift it or it drowns her. So I went a little bit mad (you have to remember, these were fabrics that sell at £48 a metre and up, so I did have a good reason).

I've already talked about this, but I'm now trying to decide between just two of the fabrics for my bedroom, in which I have a bay window. This is the first:

This is the second:

Both are stunning Jane Churchill fabrics and I want to make blinds for my bedroom window, as we've lived with the awful curtains the previous owner left for some 9 years now (you can see them peeping out behind the fabric below - very dark and sombre).

I think I've opted for the first, the flowery/butterfly fabric as it goes better with our lilac walls, but I don't quite have enough. Searching on ebay for more to pad out what I have, I was shocked to see a metre of the other fabric, a jacquard print, reaching £57. For ONE METRE! Gulp. So I'll have to try and find another way to stretch the fabric. Perhaps add a panel?

Anyway, my saving grace is the previous fabric owner, bless her, gave me her number. I've rung her today, and she's going to come round and give me some tips next week. How lovely is that. I told her she can have a good laugh at my first blind (see my blog about that), but she sounds really interested to see it.

There are such nice people around, aren't there! She gave my daughter some fabric, and my daughter's made a lovely little fabric heart for her, so I'll give her that.

I thought as I was taking pics in my bedroom, I'd let you all see my bedside table. Kind of a mini corner of my home. I always like taking peeks, so it's about time I contributed. I kind of feel that everybody else makes their corners look prettier, though. How do you do that?! Tips would be appreciated.

Right, back to real life. Off to sort out my fridge!