Monday, 25 October 2010

A very successful weekend

 Well, my sister has been and gone in a bit of a whirlwind. It was a fantastic weekend but it ended far too quickly. She arrived on Friday morning wearing sandals, as she had just flown in from a business trip in Mumbai. Her big winter coat was only just managing to keep her warm - she has not felt these chilly temperatures for quite some time. We went straight over to our Mum's house for cups of tea and a catch up before we decided to make the most of the rest of the day and go view one of the potential wedding venues. We didn't bother viewing any more as she completely fell in love with this place (as I did when I viewed it with my future brother in law a few weeks ago). The photo above was taken whilst the venue was being used for filming - some kind of 1950s drama.
 This is the fireplace in the main hall. The building is full to the brim with oak panelling - so much character therefore not much decorating is required. It looks like it will be a winter wedding so I think a Christmas tree will be nestling in next to this fireplace. I'm really pleased that they have now found the venue - lots more to organise though, which may prove to be fairly tricky when you live on the other side of the world. On Saturday, I packed my youngest daughter off for a day with my Dad, who is just recovering from a knee replacement operation. He really enjoyed her company and they spent most of the day snuggling on the sofa whilst reading books/watching DVDs whilst my eldest daughter, my sister and Mum and I went shopping. My husband spent the day in bed, still trying to recover from his flu last weekend. We had a good look round the shops, in between stopping for coffee and lunch, and discovered a few new charity shops that have recently opened up. Here's what I found.
 It's a skirt suit, still with tags attached, that looks like it was made in the late 70's or early 80's. It is a beautiful wool mix fabric with a bit of stretch to it so very comfortable. I will wear the jacket with jeans rather than with the matching skirt.
 The skirt is a good 2 inches below the knee, which is unusual for me to find as I am tall and struggle to find skirts that are the right length. A fine knit jumper and knee high boots will go perfectly with this.
I also bought this ring from House of Fraser in the sale. Beautiful.

Saturday night was spent watching X Factor, which is becoming more and more disappointing as the weeks go by. We returned to my Mum and Dad's house on Sunday for a roast beef and yorkshire pudding lunch, finished off by a homemade trifle. Heaven. My sister left for the airport late in the afternoon, but we will see her again at Christmas, so not too long to wait.

We have half term this week and my husband has the week off work too. We have been fitting the new blinds today, although we are not completely finished as we discovered we had picked up a couple of wrong pieces - trip to Ikea tomorrow to rectify the mistake. We also went to the local pumpkin barn this afternoon to choose one each for the kids and one to make some soup/pumpkin pie. I get the feeling we will be doing a fair amount of baking this week, along with DIY and mooching around the house. I think an afternoon nap may be in order! Hope you have a good week too. x

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Trip to Ikea

 OK, It's not beginning to look a lot like Christmas but unfortunately I am forcing you to look at the above photo because I found these candlesticks in Ikea and thought they would look fab on the table at Christmas. Very festive, even though I am trying not to think of that time of year as it always sends me into a panic pre-November. I love Xmas but I don't love the shopping/preparing/build up to it. I will not mention Xmas again until December, I promise.
 The real reason we went to Ikea was to buy some blinds for the folding doors. We still don't have any blinds or curtains up in the lounge. Just as well we are not overlooked. The blinds are still in their packaging as my husband is still not feeling 100% so they will be put up once he feels better. I have also ordered a light fitting for the lounge, which is being delivered this week, so that will be another job for him to do. Poor love.
And yet another job is fitting these very minimal (and very cheap at £3.99 each) DVD storage racks. We needed something to fit to the wall as we had no more floor space by the tv and I love the fact that these are so simple (and soooo cheap - gotta love a bargain!).

My sister is coming over this weekend. She lives abroad so I don't get to see her that often. I am so excited I can't wait!! We are going to look at wedding venues as she is getting married next year. I just know we are going to have the best time. Hope everyone else has some fun plans for the weekend, even if it is just to veg out with a takeaway and bottle of wine. Wow, can't believe I am already talking about the weekend - it's only Tuesday. And it's half term next week - double excitement! x

Saturday, 16 October 2010


 Here are some of the things I bought from the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace last week. I found some bargain merino wool for £2 per 50g ball, and some green mohair at £2 per 25g ball. I think I will be making scarves ready for the cold weather, which really is upon us now. I'd better get a move on! I also bought a bag of leather scraps as I have been meaning to have a go at sewing with leather for a while now. Not entirely sure what I will make - maybe some jewellery or to decorate a cushion? The cute balloon buttons will be used to decorate a bag, and the ergonomic crochet hook was purchased out of curiosity. I am please to confirm that it is ultra comfortable to use and I definitely need to buy more in different sizes.

 These Liberty fabrics were £1 each but they are tiny - just long strips which are supposed to be used to make fabric necklaces with beads threaded on, but I think I will use them to edge some tote bags I am planning to make.
 I got these giant 25mm knitting needles from the charity shop a while ago. I knew they would come in handy.  I have had a quick go at knitting with them - they are quite a challenge as I kept dropping one because they're quite heavy, even though they are hollow. Just as well I am only making a scarf. Do you recognise that cushion?
Yes, after finishing the crochet ages ago, I finally got round to making it into a cushion cover. I need to make some more cushions to go with it on that sofa. It is looking rather lonely at present.

We are having a lazy day today as my husband is feeling very poorly - he is bunged up with a cold and is currently having an afternoon nap. The kids have been crafting, playing cards and are currently watching Shrek. The tortoises have also been let out today for a little wander around the lounge - they quite enjoyed climbing in and around the Littlest Pet Shop toys. We will be having a quiet night in watching X Factor and having an early night. Tomorrow we are off into town as my youngest has a party to go to so my eldest and I will be having a girly shopping trip. Oh to be 9 years old again... Hope you all have lovely weekends. x

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Rainbow Blanket

 You may remember seeing a bit of this blanket in my holiday photos - well it is finally finished! I am really pleased with the end result. The wool is so soft and snuggly (as my youngest will testify - she was sat on my lap this weekend with the blanket wrapped around her whilst I was still crocheting it) and the colours are so bright. It is perfect in her bedroom.
 I get the feeling this blanket won't stay neat and tidy on that bed for long.
 Here is a close up of those vibrant colours. I tried to match the colours to the rest of the colours in her room but a few more snuck in for good measure.
The size of the blanket is not quite a square - wide enough to go over her duvet but not long enough to cover the whole bed. It is just the right size to wrap herself in when she is watching tv or reading a book. Perfect. I have plenty of wool left over so I am about to start on a blanket as a Xmas present (hope that gets finished in time) and I am sure I will have some more wool left over to make something else aswell. I also bought some wool, and lots of other bits and pieces, at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace on Friday. This means there are loads of projects on the go at the moment. I will post about them soon.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

We're getting there

 It's a beautifully bright and sunny day here so I thought I would get the camera out and take a few shots of where we are at this given moment. The decorating has been completed (it only took us all of last week - so glad it's finished as I was exhausted on Friday evening) and we are now at the finishing touches stage. This could turn into a long process, going from past experiences. The above shot is of our decking, with the tired looking patio furniture in place. Another job to add to the long list - sand and oil the table. Apparently the weather is going to be good this weekend so I think a BBQ may be in order.

 These are my tortoises - you may have spotted them in the previous picture. Yes they really are that tiny!

This is a photo of the lounge when I had just completed the painting. I was just having a mini break before tackling the underlay. Boy, did that kick up some dust.

 The floor is in okay condition - it just needed a sweep and clean with parquet floor cleaner. Then we had to clean it again as we could see the imprint of the underlay left behind. It was kind of a tacky residue which was left and not lifted by the first clean. This meant lots of elbow grease with a damp microfibre cloth. The residue disappeared but there is still a slight pattern which you can see from certain angles. There are also a few scratches here and there but we have kids and we are not going to get precious about the state of the floor for the time being.
   We still have some gaps in the floor, as you can see in the above photo, where the wall was knocked out to create the opening. We need to buy some more but that can wait, as we want to get the blinds bought and fitted first. Trying to find a blind for the front window is becoming a serious problem - the window is just over 3.5m wide. Not many places sell blinds that wide and the ones that do charge way too much for our miniscule budget. Luckily we have the giant hedge at the front of our house so we have enough privacy for the time being. Right, must go but I will post again soon.