Thursday, 30 June 2011


I decided to take inspiration from my fellow bloggers and do a couple of mosaics. One of completed projects and one just because:

Gosh, I was busy making things this month!!

June is always a busy, expensive, emotional month. We have Father's Day; H's birthday; the anniversary of my Dad's death; W's birthday and then what would have been Dad's birthday - phew!!

S x

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Versatile Blogger Award - So More Facts About Me!!

The lovely Ashley over at Jellybean's Odds and Ends has given me a Versatile Blogger Award!!

Thanks so much Ashley - I am thrilled to bits!! I just had to laugh as I looked up (can't touch type!!) and I had typed "trilled to bots"!!

I've been blogging six months now (where does the time go?) and I cannot tell you how much it means to me each day to receive your comments. I really don't know what I did with my internet time before I did my daily blog visits and I really feel as though I am making some friends - so thank you all, so much.

Now, I am charged with sharing seven facts about me and passing this award onto seven other bloggers - so here goes:

  • Mr G and I have never been to America. These days it seems everyone has been but not us. We hope to remedy that next year before the boys are too old to appreciate Disney!!
  • My sister jokes that the refuse tip is our furniture shop - she only buys new. Her loss I reckon, lol!!
  • I am 1/4 Polish. I have often been told by Poles that they can see the eastern European blood in me.
  • Although we have both, I am allergic to cats and horses. If I cuddle my horses or TC gives me a kiss (he loves a smooch and I can't resist) I come up in a red, itchy rash.
  • I love musicals (and so does Mr G!!) Particularly Phantom, Chicago and Sweeney Todd.
  • I detest fish, unless it is in fingers or battered from the chip shop. Any other fish is just too fishy.
  • I wear my late Dad's wedding ring on my right thumb.

Gosh, that was hard!!

Now to pass it on to some of my favourites:

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Another Mini Makeover, Crochet and Washing-Up!!

Did you have a nice weekend? 

Our dishwasher is indeed, on the blink so yesterday for the first time the boys did the washing-up. I couldn't resist sneaking up with the camera to get photographic evidence:


Then they saw me so H posed with his rubber gloves!!

I've brokered a deal with them that if they wash up every evening without complaint they will get extra pocket money - I didn't tell them that it'll probably be a couple of months before we can afford a new dishwasher!!

I've been making over some picture frames I got from the car boot sale - they were dated white and gold but only 50p each so I painted them with emulsion tester pots, gave them a coat of varnish and made a mount from scrapbooking paper:

Look how little they were, bless!!

I also crocheted a case for my phone:

Ignore the stray thread!!

The pattern is from a crochet pattern in a  free eBook from Julia Crossland.

Lastly, Ashley over at  Jellybean's Odds and Ends has very kindly given me a Versatile Blogger award, so I will have to think of seven facts and seven blogs to pass it on to and tell you tomorrow....

S x

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Weekend Makeovers and More Birthday Pics....

I hope you are all enjoying this scorching weather? It makes a change after all the rain we've been having. Why is it the weather in this country goes from the sublime to the ridiculous? We have an unseasonably dry April & May and then it tips it down for the majority of June. Not good for the hay which means I'll be forking out a fortune again to feed my ponies this winter.

Anyway, let me show you what we've been up to this weekend.

Firstly, a couple of pics from W birthday tea at Grandma's on Thursday:

Mr G, Grandma, Granddad, W & H - look at at the size of those fish & chip suppers!!

Although the cake looks rather like a cowpat in those pics it was, in fact, a hedgehog (as requested by W):

A bit of a scruffy hedgehog

Yesterday we all the way up to Basingstoke to get a funny little dresser that I got off eBay. I wanted it to house the xBox/Virgin box/media PC/Wii etc as the sideboard we had lost a door when H hauled himself up off the floor by hanging onto it and Mr G couldn't fix it as the wood had split.

Apart from a car boot sale this morning we have spent the rest of the time giving the cupboard a makeover and performing the mammoth task of moving all the electronics and miles of wires from one cupboard to another.



I just love painted furniture, I love how you can take a really ordinary, dull or dated piece and with a few coats of paint turn it into something beautiful.

I'm really pleased with how it turned out, I think it's as nice as anything from Laura Ashley and it only cost £40. Not only that it's eco friendly to reuse!!

We already had the paint, I used cream as a base then I watered down some duck egg blue paint and applied it with a brush around the mouldings and edges and immediately wiped off. Then I had a go at it with the sandpaper to create the distressed edges. I'll wax it too, but I have to get some.

I have car boot finds to show off too, but they are in the dishwasher and the bloomin' thing keeps washing for 5 mins and then telling me it's done and so I just hope it's not on the blink!! Will have to show them to you tomorrow....

S x

Friday, 24 June 2011

Kitchen Favourites....

Sarah over at Modern Country Style is having a Kitchen Favourites Link Party so I thought I would join in.

We're supposed to show a favourite part of our kitchen and tell you why.

Well, my kitchen is so dinky that the whole thing is my favourite:

When we moved in the kitchen was a hideous 1970's brown and beige formica affair and in an attempt to cultivate a Mediterranean look I painted the walls orange (over the wallpaper!!) and the cupboard doors dark blue which chipped spectacularly. Where you see the opening into the conservatory was a window and next to it the back door. 

After a couple of years we were able to afford new cupboard doors & worktop on the old carcasses and new floor & wall tiles. But it was still all a bit cheap and orange and I never really felt the love for it....

Then three years ago we had the conservatory/garden room (it has solid ends, with a glass front and peaked conservatory roof) across the back of the house. We really wanted the kitchen wall knocked out and the kitchen into the new room but due to money and regulations we had to make do with taking the door & window out.

We then got a brand new kitchen in my dream country style complete with butler sink and painted the walls my favourite duck egg blue:

Mr G's mum and dad treated us to the hoooooge fridge freezer

The only thing that is not quite right now (and in fact looks worse in these pics than in real life) is the cooker hood and splashback. A few months ago our stainless steel cooker door finally fell of completely (it had been hanging by a thread for years!!) and when I saw the above Aga style baby on eBay for a bargain price I bought it matching splashback or not!!

So that is our dinky little kitchen, small but perfectly formed.

S x

PS Ooooh and the side effect of this link party is the kitchen has had a good clean so I could take pics for you!!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Another Birthday Boy....

Today our youngest W is 11:

A birthday portrait -check out those dimples!!

We've been naughty and let him have the day off school and he has been busy playing with all his new XBox games and supervising the creation of his hedgehog birthday cake (pics to follow tomorrow!!)

Grandma lives about 25 minutes away in a local seaside town and so tonight we are off to the fair near to hers (which, incidentally is where Mr G and I first met 23 years ago) and we are also going to partake in a fish and chip supper.

S x

BTW Many thanks for all the kind words  - I have managed to add the pics I wanted to show of my Dad to yesterday's post, so do have a look if you've time....

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


(For some reason Blogger won't let me upload photos, I've tried though Picasa, from my laptop and with a direct URL to no avail. I am not happy).

Two years ago today I lost my Dad for what felt like the second time when he lost his battle with lung cancer.

On my wedding day....

The first time I lost him was when he and Mum separated when I was 15 and he changed from what I would have described as a perfect father to someone we did not even recognise.

He had gone from a father we were both (my sister and I) very close to to the complete opposite.

We would see him once every couple of months or so, but the affectionate, tactile Dad I had known was gone. Even so I loved him very much.

Just after Christmas 2007 Dad, my Stepmum (who is just 4yrs older than me) and my little brother (who at the time was just 3) came to visit and it was then that Dad told us that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

Fishing - W with J (my little brother) and Dad
Summer 2007

He endured months of chemotherapy and luckily was not made too ill by it. He kept his hair, was just a bit nauseous and would still potter around doing the things he loved gardening, cooking, fishing. 

I would make the 120 mile round trip to visit once a week or so to help fetch my little brother from school and so on and in summer 2008 we all enjoyed a holiday together in France.

On holiday together 2008 - still quite well

In the Autumn Dad started radiotherapy and it was only then that he seemed ill, it took it out of him and he lost his hair. He needed a stick to walk and we visited more often.

In some ways the way he died was best as there was no long drawn out ending but at the same time it was so sudden it came as a shock to us all.

On the Thursday we had gone over as we had arranged to take Dad fishing in the afternoon, but when we arrived Dad said that he had been told at the hospital that morning that he could not have any more chemo and "that was it".

We had a meal together and things we very subdued. On the Sunday it was Father's Day and we had planned a BBQ but Dad wasn't up to it and instead my sister and I visited for a couple of hours. Dad was in bed and had a little bit of a rattly chest.

That evening I rang to see how my Stepmum was as I hdan't spent any time with her that morning and she said Dad's chest had taken a turn for the worse and they were on the way to hospital.

Dad died the following morning with all the people who loved him best around him. 

Seeing my five year old little brother come to see Dad after he had gone nearly broke my heart....

It was 22nd June 2009, five days before his 61st birthday.

1973 with me in the park

Daffodils grow in heaven, Lord pick a bunch for me 
Place them in my Dad's arms & tell him they're from me 
Tell him that I love & miss him 
When he turns to smile, place a kiss upon his cheek & hold him for a while 
Because remembering him is easy, I do it every day 
There's an ache in my heart that will never go away.... 

S x
(Sorry for the doom & gloom, normal service resumes tomorrow....)

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Crafty, Crafty, Crafty....

I've been busy the last week or so making things, I kept forgetting to take pics to show you so now you have to have them all at once!!

My first attempt at piping:

I recovered the office chair I got off eBay for £3.20 to go in my sewing room:

A crocheted cover for a yucky brown lampshade (need a new base too, but that'll do for now):

A Tilda angel for the bathroom door:

And a pincushion, because I gave the other one I had to my Mum:

I'm also 3/4 through knitting a beanie hat for Mr Grumpy; have a quilt top done, just waiting for the elusive pay day to buy more fabric for the border and have a bag made but waiting poppers before I can show it to you.

Gosh, I've been productive (although Mr Grumpy might disagree, he keeps having to start dinner as I am "in the middle of something"!!)

What are you making at the moment?

S x

BTW don't know what's up with my camera, the pics look terrible - I think it's time to ring the manufacturer....

Sunday, 19 June 2011

The Birthday Boy....

I have a couple of pics from H's birthday tea to share - he had requested blue cupcakes as his cake and so I spent most of Friday afternoon baking and icing them:

You should have seen the mess I got myself into icing them!! This time I managed to get the buttercream beautifully stiff so it was pipeable and I now have a Tala icing bag so thought the icing would be straight forward.

It wasn't.

The piping bag is made of some sort of polyester fabric and as I squeezed, the icing started oozing out of the seam like little blue worms!! Then as I went on the outside of the bag became coated in greasy, buttery, icing that had oozed through the very fabric of the thing!! I was elbow deep in it!!

Still, despite all that they turned out ok and H was pleased with them:

As our boys get bigger I find myself hankering after another baby. Mr Grumpy is horrified by the idea and I had such a horrible time with my last pregnancy (severe sickness for 38 weeks, with 9 hospital admissions) that I was put right off - until then I had always said I wanted four children.

As my biological clock starts to tick much more loudly (I'm 38) though I find myself increasingly broody and I daydream about what it would be like to have another baby now. 

I know it would be a ridiculous thing to do, H and W are at such an age now that we feel comfortable leaving them at home for a couple of hours if we want to nip out during the day. It has been nice for Mr Grumpy and I to have a bit of daylight time to ourselves without having to get a babysitter and of course a baby would put a stop to all that.

But I still can't help feeling broody - if someone could guarantee I wouldn't have the bad sickness again I would really be nagging Mr Grumpy into submission.

I will confess here too, that although I would love another baby of either sex, I particularly would like a girl. I absolutely ADORE my boys but I am a little sad that I won't have that special mother-daughter relationship; going shopping together; doing girly things; helping to plan her wedding; being there when she becomes a mother.

I know maybe I can do some of those things with the boys (hopefully I will get lovely daughter-in-laws) but I do feel a funny sense of loss for the daughter I'll never have.

Gosh, that sounds melodramatic!!

Onto lighter things - car boot finds:

Two flowery plates and a bowl for £3. I want to start a collection of mismatched dinner plates and bowls - I already have a few tea sets but I want some china I can use every day.

BTW I know today is Fathers Day, but it's a bit of sore point here as in 2009 my Dad died the day after :0( - however, I hope you are all having a nice day - do remember to give your Dads an extra big hug and think of us who have lost ours....

S x

Friday, 17 June 2011

My First Baby Is 13 Today....

This time 13 years ago I was in hour eighteen of labour and still had 6 3/4 hours to go!! It was all worth it though when I was rewarded with baby H:

Today he turns 13 - I made him come off the computer for a bit to pose for a photo with me:

I've spent the afternoon making cupcakes, but I will take a picture of them and post later as I am sitting down for five minutes before family arrives. H and W both have friends sleeping over (W is 11 next week) so I'm sure chaos will ensue.

S x - who doesn't half feel old today, especially in view of the crows feet in the above photo (and more so the ones in pics she vetoed!!)

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

WOYWW - My Desk....

I thought I would join in the fun over at Stamping Ground where every week they do What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday to show you what is on my desk today:

I must confess I was tempted to cheat and have a bit of a tidy up but I resisted (except for moving a bit of litter) and this is genuinely how it is today.

From L to R you can see the long needles I used yesterday to put buttons on cushions (will show you them another day as camera is nearly flat); my button jar; CK fabric; crochet cushion waiting to be sewn up; bag of embroidery threads (used in aforementioned cushion buttoning) and my sewing machine.

Today, I plan to cover my office chair (which I got off eBay for the princely sum of £3.20) so will hopefully have before/after to show you soon....

What are you doing at the moment?

S x

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

I got an award!! :0) So, Ten Facts About Me....

"Lost In Blue" over at has very kindly given me a Kreativ Blogger award - my first ever award and I am trilled to bits!!

I now have to list 10 random facts about me and then pass the award on - so here goes:

1. I have had long hair for almost 34 years. The one and only time I had short hair was in 1977 - I was five and wanted it cut like "Purdy" from the Avengers

Then the next morning when I saw my little sister having her hair put in bunches I cried!! I grew my hair and it has been long ever since - it's currently to my waist.

2. I sleep a lot. I love napping and need a minimum 10 hours a night to feel human.

3. I am emetophobic (have a fear of vomiting) - this is a result of my last pregnancy when I was sick for the whole 38 weeks and needed 9 admissions to hospital for rehydration. My phobia is so bad I have been in The Priory to try and tackle it. It didn't work.

4. I have one tattoo, on my foot:

The stargazer lilies and ivy were part of my wedding flowers and the stamens in the tattoo form "H" and "W" for my boys. The orchid was my Dad's favourite flower. I got the tattoo in 2009, a couple of months after Dad died :0(

5. I'm not very good at swimming. I was 11 before I learnt. I DETEST going underwater or even getting my face wet and I can only do breast stroke.

6. I have webbed feet (which makes fact 5 seem even dafter!!)

7. I am very anxious, particularly about health. I struggle with worries about getting ill everyday and have to try and remember to live in the moment and not worry about "what if". It's easier said than done.

8. I love cupcakes but my only attempt at making them was a disaster, I just couldn't get the icing stiff enough despite adding a whole box of icing sugar. However, it's H's birthday on Friday and he has requested cupcakes so I want to make something like this:

(from Pinterest)

9. I fall over a lot. In fact I fell over today at the stables and have skinned my knee, my elbow and broken my Croc. Mr Grumpy says it's because my feet are too small for my body!! 

10. I don't do high heels. Not since I gave up work. I love the look of them and wish I could be like my sister who is never seen in anything less than 3" but they cripple me before I leave the house and if my feet hurt I am very grumpy. I wear Crocs/flip flops in summer and Uggs in winter.

Phew!! That was trickier than I thought!!

I'd like to pass this award onto:

The above blogs are some of my favourites and well worth checking out!!

S x

Monday, 13 June 2011

25 Things That Are Good For The Soul....

1. A happy, healthy family

2. Cupcakes

(from Pinterest)

3. A hot bath and a good book

4. A purring cat


5. The smell of baking

6. A whole day with nothing much to do

7. The laughter of your children

8. Flowers - especially those cut from your own garden

9. Bluebell woods

10. Laughing until you cry

11. Crochet

12. Chocolate (naturally)

13. Doing a good deed

14. Horse kisses

Me and TC

15. Random acts of kindness

16. Weepy movies

One of my fave weepy movies

17. Cuddles

18. A glass of something cold on a hot day

19. A fabulous view 

20. Seeing your best friend for the first time in 10 years

21. Riding your horse on a sunny day

22. Seeing your niece as obsessed with horses as you

23. A good meal cooked by someone else

24. Dancing

25. The love of your life

Mr Grumpy - we've been together since we were 15

Tell me, what's good for your soul?

S x