Sunday, 30 March 2014

Mothering Sunday Papercraft

 After a luxurious  long lie in this morning and being woken with breakfast in bed, I found myself in a crafting mood. So once I'd been showered with cards, gifts and kisses from my two little ladies (so incredibly grateful for two cards this year!) I busted out the crafting stash.

 I took me about half an hour to whip up this lovely string of music sheet bunting but I had everything on hand and a lovely patch of sunshine to sit and craft in.
 For the rest of the day I barely lifted a finger except to start a new knitting project (pink tunic top for Baby), and sip from my regular supply of drinks. It's been the most wonderful calm day, Happy Mothering Sunday to all!!!

x x x

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Post lunch upcycling

 We had a rather tasty tin of Chicken Soup for our lunch today. These tins are just 99p in Lidl and a great addition to your stockpile as a back up lunch/dinner or in our case a nice change from sandwiches.
 Looking at the tin sat on Side I had a sudden brainwave. I scurried off to grab a page of sheet music,  scissors and sellotape.

I wrapped a sheet of paper around the cleaned out tin and feathered the open end to give me a neater top edge. Plus protect your fingers from a potential sharp edge.

I added two left over cut outs from my German music book to add some interest.  And voila one rather splendid and frugaltastic pen pot. Everything I needed was on hand and the whole thing took less time than heating and eating the contents. Plus it's perfectly on theme for my book page hallway.

What have you all been crafting lately?

X x X

Friday, 28 March 2014

Baby D update - Good News.

Baby D was transferred back to QA hospital in Cosham (our local) after 48 hours on PICU. The journey back was a lot less scary though we still journeyed with a PICU nurse and specially trained paediatric paramedic driver. She slept peacefully for most of the journey and I'm pleased to say the whole thing was uneventful.

At QA they started Baby D on a few gentle sessions of play therapy. Trying to encourage her to show reactions and responses to stimulus. The concern for a long few days was that although she was awake and reasonably alert, Baby D was lacking any form of personality. We were warned that it may be a symptom of brain damage and there was a very dark few days of thinking that we had both saved and lost of Baby D at the same time.

But then.... after 3 long days of praying and hoping, Baby D just appeared again! Literally woke up from one of her naps and beamed at me, reached out to me and mouthed "mum mum mum mum". I completely broke down in tears and know from that moment that at least part of our D had survived in tact.
 With in 24 hours she was sat in a high chair eating her first food in over a week! Apple slices and baked beans disappeared slowly and awkwardly one by one  into that tiny tummy. The neurologists stopped being mentioned in regular conversations and were happy to step back and see how she progressed.

Another 48 hours in and  D was her giggling, smiling, Peppa Pig loving self again. Slowly wires disappeared, more and more independence was being given back, and Baby D handled it all in style. It has been breathtaking see her appear more and more with each passing day.

And best of all she is back home again! Above is her homecoming meal sat pride of place next to her big sister. She is still very much in recovery, everyday she is a little bit stronger and naps a little bit less. She has no medication now just supplements for vitamins and Iron due to some anaemia.
 Her hand eye coordination is still a little off, and when she walks her balance is quite poor. We are told it may improve on its own or it maybe a sign of damage. It's just a case of waiting for now and seeing how things progress. But I already have so much more than I dreamed I couldn't care less at this point.

 I would also like to add  a big thank you to everyone who left comments, and sent emails and messages throughout the whole ordeal. Every single one helped us be that little bit stronger and cope that little bit more. I can honestly say we couldn't have endured this half so well without you all. I love you all completely.


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Poor Poorly D

IT'S been a hell of a 48 hours for the Randoms

What started out midweek with a common tummy bug ended with an ambulance to hospital on Sunday and 18 hours on life support in intensive care. It has been such a scary journey but she is now off all machinery except monitoring and a drip for her medication. 
Results are still coming back but the diagnosis is Encephalitis from her tummy bug spreading to her brain.
 She has had several fits but they seem to have stopped now shes recovering.  We just have to wait and see if there is any damage to her brain though anything extremely debilitating  would already be apparent so we are into mild damage territory. 48 hours ago I thought I might have lost my baby girl and now she is throwing soft toys at nurses, watching peppa pig and giggling at her toes again. Its been a roller coaster! 

The staff at Southampton Pediatric Intensive Care have been incredible.  I could never thank them enough for saving my D from something unspeakable. 

I will post an update shortly but for now the immediate danger has passed and we can all breath again and process the most intense 48 hours of my life! 

X x

Friday, 14 March 2014

Kindness of Strangers

So here in the Frugal Handmade Home we are fish people. We have two tanks set up at the moment, one with some little bright coloured Molly fish, and one for a big albino frog named Mr.Frog.
  The Mollies though are getting jiggy and as a result I have several expectant mothers. Planning on raising the fry and exchanging them for credit at the local fish shop means we would need another little tank. So I sent out an appeal for unwanted fish tanks on several Freegle sites. The idea was that hopefully someone would be willing to give us a small breeding tank, perhaps shoebox size.

And here is what we've been given! Bigger than the original Molly tank! We have decided to swap them over once the new (to us) tank is up and running properly. So the new tank will become our main Molly tank and old one will be used for breeding the tiny fish babies.

Work has already started to settle in the first layer of gravel and plants. It will take a few days to set this huge tank up properly, and then a few weeks to cycle.

But thanks to the donated plants it already has it's first tiny resident. A tiny bladder snail who hitched a lift on the plants. A free tank and a free snail - Some people are just so incredibly generous.

x x x

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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Part 3 of the Frugal Home tour.

 Welcome! Welcome! Apologies about the delay between our first two parts and this one. Things have been somewhat busy and difficult lately, but hurrah the day of the final tour is here at last!
 We will begin at the base of the world's widest stairs! Seriously, finding stair gates for this beast was a nightmare.

Beware of the captured beast as we pass through the top gate. If you are frightened please feel free to bribe the beast with some Custard Cremes, she should let you pass unmolested after around two or three.

We will be heading through the left door first into the spare bedroom.

Currently it is full of boxes and things that still haven't quite been organized. This room is directly above the main lounge and is the same size with windows in the same places. By Christmas it will be set up as a room for friends to stay in, later it will be a shared bedroom for our girls.

Coming out and heading straight into the room next door is the bathroom. Out of all the rooms in the house this one is probably the most shabby. I'm looking forward to getting stuck into decorating it once that floor is fixed properly. 

There is also a scary faced monster that resides in here. Master of the house is working on an elaborate trapping scheme as we speak.

Have you ever heard of painting over tiles in the bath room? It completely doesn't work as the steam from using the bath and shower makes it fall off in huge sheets.

The small people seem to really enjoy peeling the paint off when they are in the bath, and I must admit the candyfloss pink tiles that are emerging slowly are quite pretty. I will let everyone keep peeling for now and see how things develop.

Special mention to the kind freegler who gave us this gorgeous canvas last week. It's just perfect for this space!
 The room on the left is DD's bedroom.

 DD's room has been featured before I will just give you a peek.Just work around Baby D making a blanket nest on the floor.

Next to DD's room is a huge airing cupboard! It is making laundry so much easier to organise now I have somewhere out the way to store dried washing before popping it away.

And finally! Yes finally is the master bedroom. Let's go in!

 The little alcove area on the right is just perfect for Baby D's cot. All her clothes and things live in her chest of drawers on the left of the picture.

The other end of the room has our bed, complete with a billion blankets. The headboard was rescued just recently from a bin shed and re-varnished. Not a bad freebie at all! The white doors on the left of the bed is the built in wardrobe. 

And finally my sideboard cum dresser, which currently houses my knitting and sewing stashes quite nicely. As you have probably guessed from the tour we are fans of vintage wooden furniture, particularly dark wood.

So there we have it, the tour is complete! But don't stray to far will you dears because the decorating is about to begin starting with the down stairs hallway and DD's bedroom. I'd hate for you to miss out on our frugal creativity!

 X X X

Sunday, 2 March 2014

The grand tour continues - Part 2

 Welcome back to part two of the Frugal room tour. It was lovely to see so many people popping in yesterday for a peek. Some 247 of you in fact! Incredible! However did you all fit?
 Today will view the rest of the downstairs area and weather permitting the outside areas to. Aren't you all a lucky lot? We begin at the entrance to the playroom from the hallway, this doorway features a small DD type person pretending to be a cat, please stroke her on the head and mutter "Good kitty" as we pass.

To the left of doorway is the wall that is between us and the stairway. The patchy yellow paintwork will be replaced shortly. The play room is nearly always untidy due to almost constant use. However that being the main point of a playroom we don't care.

Over to the right hand side is another horrid yellow wall, a small child called Baby D, the arm of Kitty DD, and the arts and crafts sideboard. It houses all the paints, papers, drawing things, and also puzzles, board games and anything with tiny pieces. The fabric on the top is a pair of curtains from Ebay soon to be hung at the front and back doors.

 Right again brings us to the other side of the playroom. They lady of the house detests the wallpaper and it will be meeting a painful end very soon. The fireplace we are informed is functional and can be used if the chimney swept regularly. Above the fireplace are the fishes and a collection of Baby D safe books. The raised shelfy bits either side of the fire are hollow and will be investigated shortly for use as storage.

To the right again and facing the front of the house, a big sunny window, the children's sofa which came from the previous tenants, the toy chest that was painted by the Master of the house, and a small veggie garden nursery on the sunny windowsill.

Turning 180 degrees we will now enter the kitchen. The heart of the home.

The kitchen is pretty standard, but has lots of storage and space for baking. The oven is a recent addition after the Lady of the house complained about the old one shortly after moving in. The lettings agents had someone out to replace it with a new model within 24 hours! Now that's service!

The Lady of the house is extremely happy to finally have a window to look out of while washing up! It has been many many years of staring at a blank wall as she scrubs the pans. Soon the fence outside will be repaired and the beautification of the area can begin.

The far end of the kitchen is heavily used. The clothes finish off drying here after standing outside during the day. The doorway to the left is the space beneath the stairs currently a coat, shoe and vacuum storage area. It is also used as a fantastic place to hide during an epic game of hide and seek.  Just to the right of DD is the back door. If you'd all like to follow me and we'll head through the door into the courtyard area.

The courtyard area leaves a lot to be desired at the moment. As soon as the weather improves this area will see some big changes! Raised beds are planned for veggies, trellis on the fences and walls for peas and beans, plus a few bins for potatoes.

The other end of the courtyard features a metal shed type thing. The doors are missing presumed broken, and it's future remains undecided. Lady of the house has ideas of a greenhouse, Master of the house is worried about loosing a hiding space during the epic games mentioned earlier.
 To the left of the shed is a little brick walkway, if you'd just follow me through that would be grand.

This is the garden at the side of the house, note the Physallis to the left of the picture. There is soon to be fencing erected on the top of the brick wall to enclose the area. The junk at the far end is mostly broken fence panels and debris from the former tenants.  This areas future plans are as a child friendly play area, with a few planters and hanging baskets for flowers.

Looking now behind us is the other end of the side garden. This part features a birch tree, and the two daffodils which are the only non weed thing we could find in any of the gardens. It's nice to discover something pretty has survived here. On the right is the brick corridor leading back to the courtyard area.

And here we end the tour today. Thank you once again for visiting, I hope you enjoyed looking around. Tomorrow should be the final day of the tour where we will investigate the upstairs of the property. Until then take care and please leave any comments below.

x x x

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Touring the Madhouse - Part 1

 Welcome Welcome! Have you popped in for the tour? Lovely! Now do try and stick together and try not to get distracted and wander off.
 Behind you is the front door. Currently only part of this hallway has been decorated , the rest is going to be completed shortly.  It's completion date depends mainly on many naps the children take in the day time and how free the evenings are.

Here we are to the left of the front door. That cracked window is due to be replaced next week so we can ignore that. The netting from the window is currently in some cold tea to change it from stark white to a nicer creamy shade. So far no lampshades have been found by the lady of the house that catch her eye.

What's that? Yes the walls are unusual aren't they? Due to a lack of decorating funds and an overstock of creative flair the walls are actually papered with book pages from a vintage German music encyclopedia. So far two sections of wall have been completed with a book of etiquette earmarked to cover the remaining walls. Here take a close look.

To left again we have the door to a small downstairs toilet. This area will be the next to be decorated with pages, although suggestions for sprucing up the doorway are welcome.

A quick glance at the loo now, we all know what one looks like so lets not linger. Lady of the House assures us that disgusting slate grey colour will not be staying!

Moving on again to the left is the telephone/Internet area. The previous occupants of the house used to store their router on the radiator, they also casually mention it broke often. New shelving was errected shortly after moving in to avoid this problem. The bottom shelf hold some flowers and wedding photos. The top shelf holds the telephone, a notepad and pen and Internet router. The scrabble tile picture was a Christmas gift from the parents of the Lady.
 So far the shelves have been jazzed up with some lace edging but soon they will also be painted.

Left again brings you to the stairway and entrance to the playroom. Ignore the quilt drying over the door, currently there is no where strong enough outside to hang wet quilts.

Once more to the left and we are just next to front door again and facing the entrance to the lounge. We will now continue our tour with a visit into this room.

 To the right of the door is the main window facing the front of the house. The children are allowed a few small toys in this room while they watch TV and films, anything messy or loud is used in the playroom.

To the right again. Here you can drool over the vintage bureau  inherited from the Lady of the House's late Grandmother. The ceremic chicken by the way has been named Clive for some reason and hides the remote control from tiny fingers. Through the patio window you can just spot a huge Physalis plant that was kindly passed on from someone on Freegle.

Right again to the back of the room. A third window. The home of Mr Legs the frog, the footstool and the welsh dresser. The welsh dresser houses the Royal Doulton collection. In the bottom corner beneath the dresser is a mystery switch. No one can work out what it controls and investigations are continuing.

Right again to the side of the room.  Complete with DD almost having an afternoon nap on the sofa. Note one of several quilts in the back of the sofa made by the good Ladies very talented Mum.

One more shuffle right and we are back to the hallway entrance. The nesting tables on the left are shortly to be painted in some creative way to match in with the room better.

 This concludes our tour today ladies and gentlemen, please feel free to pop by tomorrow to view the second part of the house. And don't forget to tip your tour guide on the way out by leaving a comment below this post telling us how you found today's tour.
 We'd love to hear from you all, ideas, suggestions and praise all welcome. Lol

x x x