Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Normal Service Resumed - Giveaway Winner

I'm sorry I havent been around for a week - lots of excuses - most of them really boring ones !!!!

It was my annual weekend away with my friends - we go every year - normally to the West End to see a show but this year we went away for TWO nights !!!!!

We are slowly building up each year - we might even manage three nights next year .....

This year we did a Christmas Markets tour to Cardiff and Bath - I loved Bath so much - I'd never been before and wish I could have stayed much longer.

Cardiff is nice but to be honest it felt a lot like Birmingham, I think I prefer places that look more historical - I realise that we only did the shopping areas and Cardiff has much more to offer - the Castle looked amazing so it may be revisited next year.

I did bump into JLS in WH Smith but unless your under 14 I guess its not that exciting !!!

Right my Giveaway Winner ..............

I used random number generator...........................

I put in the numbers ..........................

It churned.............

Numer 26 .........................

I counted carefully down the comments ..........

Bobo Bun


Sorry there couldnt be more winners but I will be having another giveaway very soon - I've had 9819 visitors to my blog and will be doing another giveaway when it hits the magical 10,000 (I'm sure lots of these visits were accidental but never mind :) "

Will be back tomorrow with some pictures - thats if I find the camera !!!!!!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Presents and a finished project (yes really !!!)

I was very lucky to win the giveaway at Amandas lovely blog - it arrived on Saturday and I was thrilled.

It is so beautiful, thank you so much Amanda - I will treasure it - I'm still trying to decide where it will be shown off to its fullest potential - I love the colours, how homely it looks and of course the beautiful message.

She was also very naughty and included some fabulous fabric, ribbon and buttons.

At last my crochet blanket is finished - I did a different edging to the pattern as I love the flower squares and I was worried that it would be "too frilly" - I think I like the red stripe, though I do keep looking at it and wondering if I should add something else.

Its quite a small blanket - almost cot size but Miss T and I have both used it over the weekend and as its so heavy it really does help keep the chill out.

We've lit the coal fire for the first time on Friday - I love how relaxed it makes me feel, I don't want to go out at all when the lounge looks so snuggly.

I probably wont be back now until Wednesday with my giveaway winner so if you haven't already entered there's still time

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Dont forget to enter my giveaway

Hello - just another post to say dont forget to enter my giveaway - Can't wait to find out who wins it XX

See post below for details

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

100th Follower Giveaway

Here is my 100 followers giveaway celebration. A feast of red, white and blue sewing items all packed in a lovely vintage sewing box.

I think the Royal Wedding must be rubbing off on me with my patriotic colour scheme. I know I promised to be back on Sunday with my giveaway but I've felt so grotty with this bloomin lurgy that all I wanted to do was curl up on the sofa.

It gave me chance to think about what to giveaway and as I havent been out the house for over a week to the shops it involved a bit of creative thinking.

I didnt want you all to think I was just getting rid of some of my "junk" !

I decided on this vintage sewing box that I have had for a while - I do really like it but would love one of my bloggy friends to have it - I then decided to fill it with little treats.

Some are vintage bits and bobs from my collection including this toadstool darning mushroom, ric rac and embroidery stitches booklet.

Some wooden cotton reels, vintage pins, scissors and thimble.

Some lovely vintage buttons still on their cards.

I thought it would seem a bit impersonal without a little bit of "me" - I made these Union Jack sewing accessories a while back - pin cushion and needle case (with needles).

There are also a few little appliques - hearts, anchors and a few more.

I am in the process of setting up a little haberdashery business so have included some ribbons and buttons that I will be selling.

I hope you like everything that I've put together and I wish you all the best of luck.

You have until Tuesday 30th November to enter by leaving a commenton this post. I'm sorry but the sewing box is quite heavy so I will have to limit the main prize to UK only - however if you live overseas and would like to take part in the celebrations - leave me a post mentioning which country you are in and if you win I will send you lots of sewing items - ribbons buttons etc. I will still pick a UK winner for the sewing box kit.

Good Luck everyone and thanks for being a follower XX

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Woop Woop

Just checked in and noticed I have 100 followers - I'm so excited - I can't believe my musings are of interest at all so to reward all of you martyrs who read it I am off to sort out a wicked giveaway. I shall be back to post details and piccys tomorrow so pop round at some point.

Thanks peeps


Thursday, 18 November 2010

French Christmas Crafting

We are all very grotty in this house (apart from hubby) - bad throats, heavy colds. Yesterday Miss T was on one sofa under blankets, Master T on the other sofa all snuggled up, didnt leave much room for me unfortunately.

Late afternoon the children went back up to their bedrooms so I managed to nab a place on the sofa and though I was feeling really sorry for myself I did manage to carry on with my crochet blanket.

I've finished all the squares now I just have to join them sll together - (I much prefer just making the squares)

As I havent got a "reveal" for you yet I thought I'd share another of my foreign crafting books.

This one is called "Noel Au Coin Du Feu" and is french. I do understand much more french than german so love buying french books.

The designs are a bit vintage in style and I love red and white colour schemes.

I know that this sack is designed for games but I think I would turn it into a Christmas Sack.

I love these little drawers - the structure is made up from cardboard and all the instructions are included - another project to add to the list.

This Noel sign is so simple but looks so beautiful - I was thinking to get it done quicker you could just do the letters and put them onto some coordinating fabric.

Well sorry its not a longer post but I dont want you to catch the dreaded lurgy . I'm hoping we will all feel much better tomorrow - I've got so much I want to get done.

There is some good news - I've won 2 giveaways this week and I really dont enter many at all !! Cant wait to share with you when they arrive. The dishwasher (touch wood) has started working again - the boiler that I told you was fixed on Saturdays post - started spurting water out just as I had finished telling you all that it was fixed, but the plumber came back out at 9am on Sunday and finally sorted it and the bedroom renovation project is still moving forward - my built in wardrobe is all constructed just ready for painting.

I'm still not sure it will be fully finished for Christmas but at least its getting there.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Christmas Craft Book

Here is my new Christmas crafting book (one of them ssshhhhh).

I love foreign crafting books - I'm not bothered if I can't understand them as long as the pictures are inspirational.

If there is part of the project that I need to understand I just type it into Google translate.

This one is German. I use Amazon Germany and look in there craft section - once you have managed to find one craft book - it recommends others underneath (fatal !!!!)

I love this image - I just need to get hubby to build me a porch.

This wreath with its buttons on is amazing - it looks really easy to attempt so I may have a go.

This table setting is beautiful especially with my current toadstool addiction - I love red and white polka dots and normally use a red colour scheme at Christmas, so i may have a go.
There are loads more wonderful projects in it and if I don't make anything from it (which is more than likely with my 300 current projects on the go) I shall enjoy looking through it and feeling Christmassy.

On the home front - the boiler has just been fixed (yeah), we just paid the plumber (boo), the dishwasher that we thought had packed up this morning now seems to be ok (fingers crossed) and tonight I've got Chilli, crochet, Strictly, X factor and Take That to look forward to so all is good. XXX

Have a great Saturday night everyone

Thought I'd mention that if you did want to buy this book you can go onto Amazon UK and put the title in the search box and it then finds it for you- you can then order and still get super saver free delivery !!! I just go onto Amazon Germany to look through the German books to see which one I might like to order but if you order through that site you pay delivery.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Crochet Blanket

I have almost completed enough squares for my blanket - I can't remember when I started it but I think it was around March - I was going to have it done in a month or at least by September to take on holiday with us - Holland in a caravan can be a little chilly in the mornings.

I have loved doing my little flowery squares - the hardest bit has been choosing the colour combinations and trying to make them look completely random. I suppose I wont really know if I have succeeded until they are all joined together.

There are two types of flower square - the rose ...........

and the daisy .........

The daisy squares have been quicker to do but I think I prefer the roses.

The pattern is in this brilliant book by Melody Griffiths - Crocheted Throws & Wraps.

There are 25 amazing designs and I am itching to get started on the next one.

I quite fancy doing this gingham blanket - I thought maybe red and white would make it a bit Christmassy (who am I kidding - it wont be finished until July !!!)

I really love the colours in this flower garden throw - though I do find it a little bit wierd to have uneven edges.

Well, I had better go and carry on - need to decide what to cook for tea, probably need to go out and buy what I need to cook for tea !!!, have a load of washing to put in, want to take some photos of our bedroom which we are in the process of renovating (we have been for 3 years) and then hopefully I'll get to do some crochet tonight in front of the TV - I have 18 squares left to complete but the first two rounds are completed on all of them so it shouldnt take too long.

I may do a couple of rose squares again as I've used a really bright green in them and it seems to be sticking out like a sore thumb when I place them all together - think I must have chose the wool in the electric light - or in the dark !!!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Life, dogs, health

I have never had a dog before getting Scruffy in May. I had always wanted a dog when I was little but by the time I was born (14 years after my sister) I think my mom and dad had already had enough of pets and kids !!!

Then when we first got married we were both out at work full time, first baby takes up enough time, second baby within two years, moved house and so on ..........

Wanting a dog had got pushed so far back I had forgotten how much I wanted one - until February.

Its been a bit of a year, in February I found a lump - a huge lump, the GP rushed me through the system to a hospital appointment the next week. A week that felt like 6 months, the good news - the lump was a large cyst that was drained - the bad news was that during the mammogram and ultrasound they found another small lump that concerned them .

A biopsy was arranged, attended and 6 weeks after finding the lump the all clear was given - phew !!!

That six weeks was such an intense time of thoughts and fears, hope and strength. Most of the time I was confident that I would be fine but other times (especially in the dark in the early hours of the morning) the world seemed very very scary.

I've always had lots of plans and ideas for the future, things I want to do, places I want to go but none of these even crossed my mind when i thought of the future.

My biggest fear was obviously leaving hubby and not seeing the kids grow up - something I know a lot of people have to face but for me - too painful to even contemplate - but the only other thing that kept coming into my head was "I've always wanted a dog and I've never got to have one." I didnt realise how important to me it was, I must have buried the longing so deep that I had forgotten it.

I decided that "when" I was given the all clear it would be a priority. The kids were thrilled when we chose our puppy - a tibetan terrier. I'd met one at a cricket match and fell in love so I knew that if I did ever have a dog it would be one of these.

I love my doggy so much and cant believe he is nearly seven months old - when we contacted the breeder about the puppies we found out that they had been born on March 15th - the day before my birthday ! So we are both pisces (Do dogs have astological signs ???)

We have had our moments with him and we are still learning every day, but hes now such a big part of all our lives I wouldnt want to live without him.

I hope you dont mind me whittering on, I find it cathartic to write things down and I've been bottling things up - most of the family dont even know about it - I know I am so so lucky to have not had the dreaded C and I do feel blessed but I think that anything we experience thats so intense , even for such a short time, changes a part of us for ever.

I look at Scruffy and I see that we should all have and do what we want without delaying - we never know what is round the corner and we might be very very lucky like me or we might not ......

So today my bloggy buddies think of one thing that you have been putting off and take steps to make it happen - book that holiday, theatre tickets, flying lesson , cordon bleu cookery course . . .

I'm going to look for a holiday cottage to rent in the north east - I've always wanted to see Scarborough , Whitby etc so next March here we come (fingers crossed)


Friday, 5 November 2010

Winner - Forties Giveaway

November 5th already and the day to draw my giveaway. I stopped blogging for a year and seem to have lost a lot of my followers and lovely people that I used to share my comings and goings with.

Hopefully I will start to get my "friends" back soon and so decided to do a giveaway for you lovely people who are still around.

Miss T and I placed all the names into a little bowl .

With eyes closed she dipped in.

And pulled out a winner - Well Done Crafty Helen !!! I will parcel up the book and a few other bits and pieces and get them in the post for Monday. If you can get in touch please as I'm not sure how to get your details.

I will be sorting out another giveaway for Monday - so pop back - I really do need to create some space and I know lots of you love the same things as me so I cant think of better people to pass them on to.

Not sure what we are up tonight - think Miss and Master are off out with friends to bonfires, so looks like I'll be comforting the cats and dog whilst watching Emmerdale !! Might have a jacket potato - just so I feel like I'm joining in .


Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Skip Diving

I was reading the lovely Mels blog today and she was asking who had been skip diving ? The well known past time of rescuing someone elses rubbish and reusing.

We have so many things that others had thrown away - I do dread when hubby goes to the local tip because he has been known to come back with more than he took!!

One of our best bargains was from the scrap man - he was trundling down our crescent blowing his trumpet when Mr T looked out the window , turned to me and said "Quick !!! he has a great bed on there .

To cut a long story short we tracked him down a few streets away and after parting with £5 left with our new double bed - currently in Miss T's bedroom.

Please excuse the photo - not taken from a great angle as our bedrooms are not massive - I stood on the window seat with my bottom pressed up against the window to try and get far enough away to get the whole bed in the shot ! (luckily the bedroom faces onto the back garden ).

If you look carefully you can see one of the little end pieces missing off the frame - I havent quite worked out what to do about it yet.

I would love to hear of any bargains that you've had - Hubby did once bring me a teddy back that he had found on a car park - it was dirty , had a torn tummy and its head was half hanging off (by the way I think its important that I mention it was Valentines Day and he said this could be my present) - so hes not always brilliant at spotting stuff.............................

I wont repeat what I said to him as the children read my blog sometimes


Monday, 1 November 2010

The Forties Giveaway

I bought this book a while ago and have really enjoyed looking through it - however I have been having a bit of a book buying frenzy lately and need some room on my groaning shelves.

I know a lot of my bloggy friends absolutely love this era so I have decided to give it away.

Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered into the drawer on Bonfire Night and I will be throwing in lots of lovely surprises - Overseas bloggy buddies are more than welcome to enter.

I've only added a few images so as not to spoil the surprise but it really is a picture heavy vintage feast.

Got butternut squash soup planned for tonight so better get a wriggle on - speak soon and good luck XX

Monday, 25 October 2010

Digging Deep

I've just been over at Coco Rose Textiles and she has a lovely post for today. Its a blog I visit often and always feel warmed by.
She has posted a list of questions for us all to have a play with and as I'm suffering with a bit of bloggers block since my return I thought it would be a fun thing to do - I find it sometimes helps with inspiration and direction to do a bit of soul searching - so here goes :

What age were you when you were at your most happiest?

I think I probably am at my happiest
right now, I didnt really enjoy my teenage years, three of my grandparents died, two of my friends (one who committed suicide) and two acquaintances- both teenagers died suddenly all when I was between 13 and 16. I think it made me very nervous and edgy about life. I married at 20 and though it was a happy time it was also stressful, my husband had his own garage which meant he worked loads of hours and I hardly saw him, then when the two children came along within 2 years it increased my isolation for a while. My grandma was very ill and living with my mom so she had her hands full and with hubby out at work all the time I found it hard. This is starting to sound like an answer to When were you the unhappiest !!!!!!
Now, I'm approaching 40 - very quickly, have been married for almost twenty years, the children are happy and healthy, I think I have a much better focus on w
hats important in life - we downsized so that we have very little mortgage and finsihed the garage business so that we have a lot of time together as a family.This means hubby only works part time and because of my illness (not going to bore you with this one) I can stay at home - we home educate our 12 and 14 year old, have a gorgeous new doggy and two cuddly cats, our parents are still going strong and so I feel really blessed.

What is your most played song?
This is a really tough one as I go through phases - I love Michael Buble, The Black Eyed Peas, Elgar, Wham.................................
Think it may be the theme from an Officer and a Gentleman - love lift us up, or Theme from Armageddon by Aerosmith.

What is your most favourite food and least favourite food?

Most favourite food is Steak and Pepper sauce with mushrooms, tomatoes and least favourite - my dad used to love sheep brains - the smell of them cooking was disgusting - I used to rush up to my bedroom and put towels at the bottom of the door to stop any of the smell getting in - I never wanted to even attempt to eat them - oh they looked pretty disgusting as well !!
One regret?

That I didnt work harder on my French in school - I love France so much and their craft books and magazines are amazing - I would love to be able to read them properly. each year I'm getting a bit better - I did enrol at the local college for an adult learning class - I know I sound a bit ageist but I was the youngest there by a good twenty five years and after three weeks we had only learnt - Je suis retraite - which means I am retired !!!!!

Favourite tv programme or film?

I often say I dont watch much TV but then thinking of this answer I realised its probably much more than I thought. I love Masterchef (all versions), The Apprentice, Emmerdale, Mastermind, X factor, University Challenge, Strictly Come Dancing, Antiques Roadshow, Lie To Me and at the moment I'm loving Downton Abbey.

Ideal job?

I would love to be a buyer for a large store chain of all things Christmas - the thought of travelling the world looking for Christmas decorations would be amazing.

Favourite flower?

I love flowers that look happy - michelmas daisies, red geraniums, gerberas, daffodils, tulips - i think Chrysanths and some other flowers often look sad ( the men are here to take me back to the home and give me my medication now) My friends dont really get the happy / sad thing where flowers are concerned !!

I've really enjoyed doing this and it has certainly made me think - hope some of you do it too so i can be nosey.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Winter Cushions

I love looking through interior magazines and books and seeing sofas piled high with coordinating cushions looking fab . They get four or five different designs to just sit together so well - How do they do it?

I really want a warm cosy look for the winter and so I'm thinking reds and creams but what else ??? I have got the two following cushion designs but I am struggling to decide what to put with them !!

The embroidered cushions are on sale at B&Q for £3 each, though I did get them a couple of weeks ago so I'm not sure how many they have left - though they are still showing them on their website. The red velvet ones (also from B&Q) are NEW in and are £9.95 each though this weekend all cushions are buy one get one free !!

In my previous post when I was going to attempt some mushroom based crafts - I did but I am not happy with them at all so back to the drawing board !!

Maybe I'll just stick to shopping :)

Monday, 18 October 2010

Mushrooms and Toadstools

I have developed a bit of an addiction to mushrooms. Not to eat, just to look at. I think it started on our holidays back in September when we discovered these growing under a hedge.

They looked so beautiful, I was imagining little elves, pixies and fairies all dancing round.

I mentioned this to hubby who raised his eyes to the sky and said "yes dear" !!!

I've searched on google and found so many crafts using mushroom fabric, appliques, buttons and even crochet. I'm feeling really inspired so this afternoon I plan to make something - not quite sure what but I'm sure I'll figure it out.....

Looks like my 50 "on the go" projects may have to wait - again !!!!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Jamie Oliver - 30 minute meals

I love cookery shows but hardly ever cook what has been demonstrated.

I'm really looking forward to Jamies new series tonight at 5.30 - 30 minute meals.

Apparently they are going to be really simple and he will be cooking them in more or less real time !!

Tonight is Piri Piri Chicken - I've never tried it before so it might be tea one night this week - I'm going to watch a few programmes before deciding whether to get the recipe book and wow the family.

Bet it still takes me about three hours !! Watch this space.............................................

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Finished Project

I have had a huge break from blogging but I am slowly getting back "into the groove".

I posted this picture - ages and ages ago asking for ideas of what I was planning to turn it into.

I dont think anyone guessed correctly - it was a bit tricky.

I eventually finished in the Christmas holidays - framing it the day before it was to be given as a first birthday present for my little great nephew.

I always work best to a near impossible deadline - I do it to myself nearly every project..... Why ???????

Anyway here is the grand reveal

I loved making this - I tend to stick to quite traditional images but loved the train - the little boy is 18 months now and loves tractors !!!!!! Oh well

Need to do another birth picture now for my other new nephew - any ideas ???

Friday, 25 June 2010

New Cath Kidston Book

Just discovered this new book that comes out on 1st October. I used to do cross stitch and needlepoint years ago but think this may encourage me to revisit the old skills.

Tried to read what it says on the front cover and I think it announces that it comes with all the materials to make the purse featured on the cover.

I know we are having lovely weather at the moment but it does make me look forward to the autumn.

Hey ..... two posts in twelve months - think I am returning slowly.......

Scruffy the puppy is doing really well - cant believe how quick he is growing - our oldest cat seems to quite like him but the younger one is still a bit unsure.

We've never had a dog before so its a bit new to all of us - any advice on stopping him "mouthing" (polite term for biting gently) greatly received.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Hello again

I know it is common in blog world to get "blog block" but do you think its ok to sneak back in to blogging when you've had a whole year of "blog block".

Its been a funny year in lots of ways but I can't tell you the countless times that I've seen something on a website, charity shop, normal shop and thought "my bloggy friends would love to know about that !"

So I guess what I'm asking is - "Can I come out to play again, please?"

By the way B&Q are selling off all Cath Kidston emulsion for a fiver a tin !!! They only do four colours - apple green, cream, red and a turqoise colour but what a bargain !!!!!

Oh and heres a photo of our new puppy that arrives on Friday XXX