Sunday, 29 April 2012

Plants and Cats

  Today is a completely miserable and wet Sunday down this way. We needed to pop out to run an errand so we did it first thing to get it out the way. My good friend and ex colleague Alice mentioned on Face Book a few days ago that she was over run with vegetable seedlings and did anyone want some. I asked it could have a sweet pepper plant and a cherry tomato plant for DD, and she kindly said we could if we could pick them up from her work.
 So OH and I had a lovely hot chocolate each this morning and came home with the plants above. For now they are living on my dining table to take full advantage of the sunlight, and keep them away from curious little fingers. I shall keep you posted on their progress.

 Angela from Chasing Rainbows asked about my little brown cat in the corner of one of my photos yesterday. He is actually a carved gourd jewellery box. My parents gave him to me one Christmas a few years ago, and I believe he came from a Tradecraft shop in Shirley. I had a quick look on their website but they only do gourd birdhouses at the moment but several other fair trade websites seem to have them in various designs.

My plans for the rest of the afternoon is to knit my hubby some nice warm socks as he recently destroyed a pair walking home in leaking trainers. They rubbed straight through and he had some horrible sore blisters from having damp feet the whole way. Poor thing.

x x x

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Bedroom corner

  I couldn't think of what to blog about today so I've been reading some other blogs for inspiration. A lot of people seem to be doing little tours of their homes, so I thought why not.
This is the first place I visit thanks to it homing the alarm clock. The alarm was my husbands from years before he'd met me and is still going strong. I really like waking up to various morning chat shows rather than some horrible electronic beeping.
The book is the complete works of Austen. It was given to me on my 21st birthday by my MIL. The pages are all silver edged and it is full of beautiful illustrations. I have read from it a few times but it is enormously heavy. I'm looking forward to reading it with DD when she is older.

 This is my little jewellery chest. I love the way the wood match's the dressing table's wood.OH brought it for me a few years ago as a birthday present. I'd been cooing over it in a charity shop window for about a week prior so I was so pleased when I unwrapped it. In the mirror section I collect up all those little packets of Silica gel I seem to accumulate. I like to pop them in with knitted gifts etc if I am posting them, to keep them safe. I don't keep anything else in here as I stand things on top of it and can't be doing with moving everything all the time.
 The two drawers contain my DS games and accessories. I am a huge Nintendo fan and love to curl in bed with a game to play in the evenings. OH hates lights when it comes to sleeping so this solves the argument about me having a small light on to read a book. Every few months I clear them all out and OH puts them into his shop for sale, as interesting games come in to his store on trade I pick out any I fancy trying and the whole process starts over again. Making it an extremely low cost form of entertainment to enjoy.
  On top of my treasure chest lives the London Dragon. For my 21st birthday OH whisked me away for a romantic weekend to London. One our first evening he proposed over a lovely dinner, and on the second day we went shopping in Covent Garden. OH fell in love with the dragon in a shop that was closing down, I think it cost us £10 or there abouts. Every so often I give him a good dust down with a clean dry paintbrush or make up brush, and occasionally a new home elsewhere on a windowsill or bookcase when we rearrange everything. He tends to be one of those love it or hate it items though to most people.
 The little box came from a charity shop in Lee on Solent. It's made from old vintage Christmas cards and wallpaper and sewn together with the most dainty little stitches. I picked it up with the idea of copying the idea for a craft stall one day but I haven't got round to it yet. It should really be in with our box of Xmas decorations but I love the shape and I feel like it fits in really well with my other vintage bits on the dresser.

 So there you have it, a corner of my home and a few memories shared with you guys. I've actually really enjoyed remembering the story's behind some of the pieces. Who else fancies sharing a corner of their home on their blog?

x x x

Friday, 27 April 2012

Crochet hair slides.

 Aren't these sweet? While hunting for some knitting needles earlier in the depths of my craft cupboard I found a huge pack of hair clips. I think I picked them up in the 99p shop a little while before Christmas. Its a pack of 50 plain coloured ones so they definitely needed jazzing up.
 A quick google led me to Little Birdie Secrets and her sweet and simple crochet heart pattern. I whipped these up while waiting for our dinner to cook. A well spent 30 minutes if you ask me.

x x x

Week one of Finding Fun

 Week 1 of the Finding Fun challenge is here at last. Carolyn has made a cracking list for week one at Mess, Muddle and Fun. Pop on over and have a looksie.

It's yet another bad day weather wise here on the south coast so we are confined to the indoor ideas today. So we chose to do number 5, taking our pencil for a walk. DD was really in the mood for colouring in and I must admit it was a nice change to join her rather than use the "quiet" time to do some housework. I hadn't noticed before how DD's scribbles have changed from random marks and accidental contact with the paper, to much more controlled lines and circle shapes. She even made a straight line of scribbles and told me what it "said" which was pretty amazing as I thought she was miles away from reading and writing. Yet here she is trying already to make sense of it and copy it. Something I really want to encourage now I've seen the first signs.
 I've popped our 2 pictures on the fridge for everyone to enjoy, and to remind myself that I need to spend more playtime with DD, and more fun time for myself.
Thank you for opening my eyes Carolyn.
x x x x

The fridge and it's new art display.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Free Pom pon jumper pattern and reveal

2x 200gm balls of Rico Pom-pon in Spearmint. Fits age 2-3

 Here it is, my experimental Pom-pon jumper for DD. Sadly I finished sewing to late this evening to try it on her, but no way am I waking a sleeping toddler lol. All in all I am pretty happy with the result although my sewing skills leave a lot to be desired.
 It's made of 4 separate pieces.
2x 28 pom-pon by 24 rows.
2x 28 pom-pon by 32 rows.

 By sewing the smaller panels and the larger panels together in the way pictured below and folding the piece in half, you will make a very simple modular jumper.

I overlapped the smaller pieces onto the larger by 10 pom-pons. This gave me a nice even square neck with plenty of room for a toddler to pop their head in and out. The edges are really easy to sew up evenly and neatly as each row is nice a chunky, and the sewing stitches are hiding between the pom-pons.

 I realise this pattern is badly written up but I will review it tomorrow once I have had some much needed sleep. If you don't understand something just pop me a comment and I will get back to you ASAP.

x x x

An afternoon by the sea

  OH had an afternoon off from our shop today, so we decided not to waste it and have a lovely family trip to a local beach. The rain held off while we were there but it was far to windy for DD on the front. I managed to snap a few photos while OH distracted her. You can see from all the seaweed in the surf how rough it was. The smell of the sea air was wonderful though, I wish you could bottle it.

  I love beach combing usually so I was disappointed that we couldn't find all manner of treasures today. Just on the walk to get the photo above I spotted half a dozen cuttlefish bones. There used to be a local pet shop that would buy them off you for 50p a pop, but sadly it hasn't survived the recession and changing high street. I could have made enough to cover our lunch at the arcade cafe easy peasy. Before we had DD we used to collect the bones after a stormy night and use it as our takeaway money. It  was a lovely excuse to have a romantic stroll together and free tea afterwards.

  DD has been off her food for a few days so it was really nice to watch her enjoying her sausage, beans and toast. She soon polished most of off and even added a few mushrooms and tomatoes from Daddy's jumbo fried breakfast. 
  Mummy and DD
  After our slap up meal DD had a quick ride on the fun bus, before we hit the amusement arcades. Using the change from our lunch, we stocked up on 2p's and went to try our luck on the penny machines.

 And here are our winnings.
  17  toffees
 2 Fizzy sherbets
 1 Mr Chew
2 Mini packs of Lovehearts
1 pack of Fizzers
2 Double lollipops
2 England whistles
1 World cup keyring
1 Shoe keyring
1 toy car
1 Nici phone hanger
1 Novelty beaded bracelet.

 All in all a wonderful afternoon out for the grand price of £10. Sure we could have taken a packed lunch and avoided the arcade, but the reason we live the frugal lifestyle that we do is in order to have these types of days and afternoons out. It gives us a wonderful chance to bond as a family and gives us all a little something to look forward to each month. In fact OH enjoyed it so much he is organising a mystery day out for us all on Monday. So far I haven't been able to squeeze anything out of him about where we are going, but he assures me it will be worth taking my camera to blog about it afterwards. Sounds exciting don't you think?

x x x

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Merry Christmas for the bump

 Taggie book £1

 I know it's only April but already my thoughts are turning towards Christmas. With our baby due to arrive late August/Early September getting organised for Christmas is a high priority. So I am starting my present stockpile today with this little Taggie book. I picked it up for a meagre £1 in my favourite charity shop, I almost squealed when I spotted the Taggie label. I have been able to find it here on Amazon. It seems that I have nabbed myself a nice bargain.
 I'm putting it aside for bump as s/he will be about 4/5 months when the festivities take place, and this soft light cloth book is just perfect for cuddling, stroking, tugging and chewing. 

 In other news I have finished knitting the arms for my pom pon project and have almost finished the back panel. Hopefully I can reveal my experiments results on Friday or Saturday and get  pattern written up for anyone who is interested.

 x x x x

Monday, 23 April 2012

 My wonderful friend over at Tracing Rainbows, has pointed me in the direction of Carolyn's blog (Mess Muddles and Fun). From the 27th Carolyn will be setting weekly tasks for 6 weeks to encourage blog readers to relive the joy of childlike fun. There is supposed to be several options of things to do each week so there will certainly be something for everyone to have a try at. So why not pop over and have a look using the link above.

 DD and I can't wait Carolyn!!! 

x x x x

Sunday, 22 April 2012

DD's dress reveal.

 Ta dah! Forgive the lateness of the post, I finished sewing it up and promptly nodded off lol. All I need to do is press it into shape tomorrow and it ready for DD to enjoy. I will try and take a snap of her in it shortly. I loved the pattern and sewing it together was easy as pie even for my shocking needlework skills. Can definitely see more of these being made in the future.
x x x

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Shopping bargain in April

 3 Retro (?) wooden puzzles 50p each.

Oh dear, I haven't been a very good blogger have I? Will you forgive me if I post about my latest charity shop bargains? 
 First I discovered these wonderful wooden puzzles, I say I discovered them, it was actually DD. My DD can spot something remotely duck shaped from a mile away. Behind the duck puzzle were the sheep and polar bear puzzles at the same price. I'm not sure how old they are but they needed a hefty clean when I got them home. The style of the animals is making me think late 70's perhaps. Anyone recognise them?

  Gorgeous sequin sundress with matching bolero and hat. Ages 3-4. £1.50

 Next up this wonderful dress for DD.  It is so light and summery, I'm putting it to one side to take on holiday with us soon. At only £1.50 I'm not worried if it doesn't survive the sand and beach based abuse holiday clothes can get. I'm tempted to take a snap of DD wearing it before we go.

 10 balls of Rico Pom pon in spearmint - £10.99   New Cath Kidston catalogue.

 And finally a sneaky peek in HobbyCraft led me to a bargain pack of wool. I'd been eyeing this wool up at a show I went to in London recently. Sadly they only had pinks and blues left and I wanted a neutral colour so I could make a little something for impending arrival. At £1.10 a ball this wool is better than the show price I saw of £1.25 and miles better than the £3 a ball the local wool shop is charging. I've almost finished my current knitting project (a dress for DD) so expect a post about my spearmint coloured creations soon.
  And after all this shopping I was delighted to find the new Cath Kidston catalogue waiting on my doormat. It will be the perfect read while I'm soaking in the bath this evening.

 Have you found any bargains lately?
x x x

Monday, 9 April 2012

Rain rain go away...

What a horrible rainy day we are having here in the South. Though I must admit when I popped some rubbish in the bin shed earlier the air smelled amazing and fresh. The plants are probably welcoming it quite happily and as long as its only for one day I don't really mind.
On Sunday our lovely kind neighbour knocked on the door and gave DD an Easter egg. She always pops in a little something for DD and our other neighbours children throughout the year. Be it Halloween, Christmas or even St.Patrick's day there will be little gift waiting by our door or popped through the letterbox.
So today our main job to do was making a Thank you card in return for her kindness. I popped Cats and Dogs on the telly to keep us company while Daddy had a much deserved lie in, and we busted out the craft supplies. After 20 minutes of cutting, sticking and coloring later our masterpiece was ready. DD is now covered in pen and watching the end of her movie after we delivered her paper creation into the neighbours letterbox.
All in all a successful and worthy use for a morning.

x x x

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Easter Cooking with DD

First take your DD, a large pile of rubbish chocolate they were giving away in IKEA on Valentines Day, a big bowl, spoon and microwave. Clear several miles of space around all of the above items in case of accidents because they will happen.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave gently, getting DD to stir furiously each time you take it out. Once it is a lovely gooey mess go onto step 2.

Stir in as many cornflakes as you can physically fit into the bowl. At this stage you may add any other nummy treats you happen to have to hand, like raisins or marshmallows ect. Beware that your little helper with probably pick them out during the rest of the process as a small cooking time snack.

Take great care to avoid chocolaty hugs at this stage.

Once stirred to death, spoon into cake cases and arrange artfully on a tray. Take a lovely photo of DD making a silly face and looking proudly over her handiwork as you weep for your poor kitchen.

And finally leave them randomly in the middle of the kitchen floor for Daddy to find when he comes home from work.

Happy cooking everyone
x x x

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Nail art that doesn't.

That isn't a photo of my nails above. All my photos came out a blurry mess, so I had a quick google and found this one. My nails do look almost exactly like that though. They were supposed to be Nail art Pikachu's, but the yellow nail varnish I picked up today is pants!
After two coats it looked streaky and uneven. You could also still make out the line of the whites of my nail underneath. Needless to say an email of complaint will be sent off very shortly to the company who made this particular nail polish.
The crackle effect top coat from Miss Sixty however saved the day!!! It's so amazing to watch as it dries and splits over your nail creating beautiful almost bark like patterns.
Do any of my blog readers like to paint their nails?
x x x

Monday, 2 April 2012

This little outfit was one of DD's birthday presents. The camera hasn't caught how beautiful the fabric really is, but if you've ever seen Chinese silk fabrics then you can guess how stunning this looks. But why, I hear you ask, haven't you shown us a picture of your DD wearing it? Well, because every time I put clothes on her and the moment...............
.... this happens. I've been assured it is just a stage most kids go through, but I'm praying its a short one. You don't half get some funny looks in Asda pushing a nude baby around in a trolley.

This photo is of another birthday present. This time from my mum, every year she makes DD a new quilt, and this is her quilt for this year. I love the spring colors and fringed edges. It's backed with fleece so it isn't to heavy for the warm weather at nap time. As you can see DD is in complete love with her new blankie and your lucky I managed to get a snap of it at all.
A close up at some of the detail on DD's quilt. The flower and the leaf boarder are just lovely. The quilt also has hearts, stars and DD's initials. I wish fabric wouldn't run from me screaming and I could soak up some of Mum's talent.
Oh well I best run off an make DD and me some lunch before I cause a tantrum. Seeing as she's still in the nude I'm going to whip up some beans on toast. If she gets to messy I can pop in the bath for a cool down and a clean up.