Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Beside the Seaside

It was my birthday at the weekend and I decided I would like to go to the beach for the day. Luckily the weather was warmish but a little bit windy, so we packed buckets and spades and the kids enjoyed choosing pebbles and shells and making sandcastles, whilst we sat with cups of coffee, huddling for warmth behind the windbreak! It would have been warm if it weren't so windy.

We then went for lunch at the East Beach Cafe in Rustington, which was right on the edge of the beach, about a minute's walk away. This cafe is fantastic - we discovered it last summer and it is the ideal place to stop for lunch on a day trip down to the coast. For more details, check their website on www.eastbeachcafe.co.uk Above is a photo of the inside of the cafe - notice the sculpted shape of the walls - well look at the outside below.

It is an amazing structure and the chairs inside are fab too. The food was delicious - I had grilled seafood with chips and then lemon posset for pudding, which was to die for - I got the recipe and will be making it this coming Friday for a family get together. We had a fantastic day but we were all pooped by the time we got home - must be the sea air. It was a much needed break away from the building site which is our home - not for much longer though as the builders are finishing up today and then it is down to us to decorate, pull the carpet up, clean the floor and get the furniture back in. I get the feeling this weekend will be very busy...

Friday, 17 September 2010

Yet more DIY

And yet more photos of our work in progress. This is what the fireplace looked like this morning after lots of banging and bashing with a hammer and chisel yesterday (my husband worked very hard and decided that he didn't need to go to the gym for the next few days!).

I also stripped some wallpaper and found a glorious shade of caramel (that's putting it politely), which matches the carpet perfectly. I hope that wasn't planned by the previous owners. The ceiling has been skimmed and that is a very similar colour too - looking very tan-tastic in the lounge today!

These are our dining arrangements. The camping table folds away after breakfast.

My girls stripped the wallpaper for me. They did a fantastic job, not sure why they needed to wear wellies though.

As a complete surprise, the folding doors were fitted today - I only found out this morning that they were going to be fitted within the hour, rather than after this coming weekend. Will do another post soon with photos.

Thursday, 16 September 2010


Photo courtesy of Apres Systems

This is the inspiration for the pouffe I will (eventually) be making. Please bear in mind that I will not be using leather and it won't be on the same scale as this one, so my pouffe will pale in comparison. Nevertheless, I will be making a pouffe and it may or may not be appearing in the finished lounge. It may be appearing in the bin...

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Blank canvas

The contents of our lounge now clogging up our garage.

Look at that wallpaper! And the fireplace - why are the hearth tiles so big and chunky? They look like patio slabs.

Almost empty - it was a beautiful day on Sunday and we were stuck inside moving furniture around.

This is the view towards the dining end of our lounge/diner. You can just see our front door through the very dated wrought iron/window.

And this is how it looked yesterday lunchtime. It is now boarded up, awaiting the folding doors, which will hopefully be fitted in the next few days. The plasterer is coming to skim the ceiling next. I am now off to buy some sugar soap to get rid of the remainder of the wallpaper, and also some tester pots.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Packing material

Ok, so the packing up of the lounge has started and it is so depressing packing boxes that I only unpacked 9 months ago. Ho hum, it has to be done so that we can get the lounge looking just how we want it. So above is a photo of the fabrics I have been squirrelling away for a while. The brown/cream geometric fabric (which as you can see is reversible) was bought from a charity shop about a year ago. I honestly didn't know what I would use this for but now it will definitely be cushions - the big question is - cream on brown or brown on cream? Can't decide. The top left fabric is very textured and is a gorgeous champagne silver colour. It is a very thick sturdy fabric so I think this will be used for floor cushions. The middle two fabrics were bought from Ikea last week. These will be used to make tablecloths and hopefully some napkins if I have enough fabric left over. The two fabrics on the right were from the fabric offcuts section in John Lewis. These will be ideal for making plain cushions to go behind patterned ones on the sofas. I also need some of this fabric to make the cushion cover for the crocheted cushion I have been making - I know, still not finished that project yet.

I am feeling like I need to add a splash of colour as everything is looking very muted. I was thinking a nice green/mustard colour. Still looking for something perfect (ebay has some good stuff at the mo but the budget is miniscule as I know how much all the paint is going to cost).

In an ideal world, I would love to have a couple of lobster pot stools as additional seating but these are becoming very expensive. I have decided I will have a go at making a pouffe. I have found a tutorial online and I have a couple of old duvets which could be used

Look who I found sleeping in the last suitcase to be packed with books (we ran out of boxes and the suitcases were still out from our holiday - needs must). Jack has been to the V E T this morning for a blood pressure check and blood tests. I think he was glad to be home and decided to have a nap in what he now believes is his new and very special bed. The receptionist at the vets has grown to love Jack as he has been having quite a few visits over the past few months. I heard her talking to him when I went to collect him (so sweet) and she told me how much he enjoyed a cuddle with her earlier. Obviously it has been a quiet day at the vets! Anyway, he is happy, I am not so happy after paying the three figure bill but at least he is looking well. Anyway, off to do more packing.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Relaxing in the garden

Well, not exactly relaxing, but we did carry out some much needed jobs in the garden this weekend. Firstly, my lovely husband dug up the remains of the shrubs where our decking is going. I started on the pruning (my all time favourite gardening job - I love a bit of destruction!) and this is the pile that appeared within the space of half an hour...

The shrubs are no more - there was no point trying to save them in the end as they were so woody and old.

All the conifers that I started pruning were hacked down with the help of a saw and axe. There's now just a bit of superficial weeding to do and the site will be cleared and ready for the builders, who are coming on Monday to make a start.

Look at this little fellow. We found him along with his Mum and brother/sister underneath one of the conifers. Don't worry, they have set up camp further along the fence.

This is a shot of our gigantic hedge in our front garden. Just think how big the pile will be when we dig all of those up. I think we will be doing it in stages and we are very lucky that some relatives with a digger and trailer have offered to help. Just as well.

I have already made a start on plans for decorating the lounge. Will let you know soon.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

La Belle France

Yes, we are back from a beautiful holiday in France and we are feeling so much more relaxed, even though we didn't have the most peaceful of holidays (the campsite was very noisy at night time, but on the whole it was a lovely place to stay). We went to the beach which was gorgeous and so clean. My youngest did some fishing with her little net and we generally just sat enjoying the view and trying not to get burnt.

Of course I had to do some crochet whilst we were away (with a bottle of beer on the go obviously!) and I am halfway through my Attic 24 granny stripe blanket, which is for my youngest daughter's bed. I am so pleased with how it is coming along - very quick and easy to do, although I haven't touched it since we got back so must do a few rows tonight in front of the tv.

Notice the bag in the photo - I had to make a bag to take it on holiday with as I didn't have a bad big enough to carry 16 100g balls of wool. I took a pattern off a Tesco Cath Kidston tote bag and just made it a few inches taller. Job done.

On our only rainy day on holiday, we decided to go to the town of Saintes which has a Roman amphitheatre. We were very impressed with what we saw as we only expected to find a grass mound. It was very cheap to get in too. Our eldest was very interested in it as she has been studying Romans at school, but our youngest only took an interest in the lizards that now live there.

All in all, we had a fantastic holiday with so many delicious meals. I ate seafood virtually every night, which suited me perfectly. We are home bodies though so we were so pleased to get back and sleep in our own comfortable bed. The girls are back at school and settling in well with their new classes. I have done all the washing and ironing and now I am on a big packing mission - I need to completely clear the lounge/diner as the builders are coming on Monday to start work. I am really hoping we get a indian summer so we can appreciate the new folding doors/decking before it gets too cold. Will post again soon with updates of the garden.