Sunday, 29 April 2012

Weekend Washout....

Hello my lovely ladies!!

Hasn't this weekend been a wash out? There are all sorts of things we wanted to do but haven't because of the rain - my sweet peas and dahlias need to go out; the field and fencing at the stables needs sorting and there are car boot sales on that are no fun in the rain.

On Friday I popped to the market for more fresh flowers - this time I got bluebells, I didn't know you could buy them!! I remember picking them as a little girl but I don't think you're allowed now so it was lovely to find some I could bring into the house:





Here you can also see my current favourite beverage - cinnamon latte with half fat squirty cream!!


Yesterday, we just nipped up to the stables fed the ponies and dropped off a load of free garden furniture we got from my Stepdad - we often have BBQ's at the yard in the summer and have been lacking a table but now we're all kitted out - there are even two sun loungers. We just have to hope we get a half decent summer so we can enjoy them.

Crafty-wise, I started embroidering a cardigan with Cath Kidston birds and flowers copied from inspired by the lovely Cuckoo from Tales From Cuckoo Land - the pattern is out of Cath Kidstons "Make" book.

I didn't have high hopes to be honest as my satin stitch is very poor, but I bought some proper DMC embroidery thread (I usually use the the cheap multipack stuff) and the difference is incredible. I *can* do satin stitch, who knew?!!:






Being influenced by Cuckoo has been something of a theme this week as I also bought some lovely cotton yarn and a pattern following posts from Cuckoo on IG and Pinterest (thinking about it, it makes me look a bit like Jennifer Jason Leigh's character in "Single White Female"!!):



Isn't the pinny lovely? I want to have it as a pinafore over another top of some sort - not sure what though as being rather voluptuous I can't wear anything too fitted, but with the dress over it can't be too voluminous either *scratcheschinthoughtfully*

Today we had an extra long lay in as listening to the rain hammering down gave us no incentive to get up and then this afternoon Mr G and I popped over to Chesapeake Mill for a mooch and found an antique fair too.

I bought some vintage buttons and found this bag full of Anchor embroidery thread for just £3.00:



I must confess Mr G and I did have a chuckle at some of the patrons of Chesapeake Mill as they really brought to mind Harry Enfield's sketch with the posh Chelsea "antique" shop called I Saw You Coming.

So, nothing much else to report for now - I hope you're all having good weekends and have managed to stay dry....

hugs,

S x



Friday, 27 April 2012

And Now For Something A Little Different....

I am delighted to welcome Hunters At Home who are guest blogging today and have a special offer for my lovely readers:

Gorgeous Shabby Chic Furniture


Shabby Chic has grown in popularity exponentially in recent years and is one of the most desired furnishing styles around due to the homely, cottage-like feel it radiates.

In essence shabby chic furniture is a form of design whereby furnishings show the sign of age, with new furniture items given a distressed look to make them appear as an antique. Shabby Chic furniture oozes charm with its elegant yet rustic feel.


Some wonderful examples of shabby chic furniture can be found at Hunters at Home, a UK-based home interiors store with a love for all things shabby chic! Hunters range of shabby chic furniture serves as a reminder of the wonderful craftsmanship and intricate design work of times gone by, with the entire shabby chic range fitting effortlessly into any older home or can provide a delightful twist to modern properties.

A gorgeous range of shabby chic furniture for anywhere in the home is available from Hunters at Home; so whether you want a cute dresser for your bedroom, a bookcase for your living room or an alluring wall shelf rack for your kitchen or dining room - you are sure to find shabby chic furniture that makes your heart melt at Hunters!

Shabby chic furniture is the embodiment of poetry, enchantment and nostalgia.


We are currently offering readers of Shabby Chic Sarah a 10% discount on any purchase, valid until the end of May. Click the advert on the sidebar to visit the site and use discount code : MAY2012 at checkout.

I do urge you to pop along over to Hunters, not only do they have a lots of furniture but they also sell lovely cushions, pretty baskets, candles and other items....

Hope you have a lovely weekend!!

hugs

S x





Monday, 23 April 2012

Monday Mutterings (with a Ta Dah!!)....

Hello my lovelies!! Are you all wet and windswept?

It's very soggy indeed here in Hampshire this morning, the showers have set in and become a permanent torrential downpour. I have a little set of nested tables waiting to be sanded but its a no go this weather!!

So, what have I been up to? On Friday I stopped by the market to treat myself to some fresh flowers:


My Nanna used to buy herself flowers every Friday from Doncaster market, she'd shop the old-fashioned way going to one stall for cheese, one for bread, another for eggs - *sigh* I absolutely l-o-v-e-d staying with her and my beloved Granddad....

They began to open and revealed the daffs to be gorgeous frilly affairs:



I then made a trip to Hobbycraft as I was inspired by a lady I am following on Instagram (she has a blog - My Three Of Heartsto buy some of these smashing markers:


They are currently half price so a bargain too!! 

I couldn't resist this Kilner type jar to hold my modest collection of vintage threads, when I got home I added the rose decal:


Friday afternoon was spent playing with my new pens, I'm rubbish at drawing but had seen someone do some lovely childlike sketches of houses so had a go doing our house:

I'd like to turn it into a free motion embroidery....

Over the weekend I finished Little E's birthday present, so this is the official Ta Dah!!:


 I painted this vintage crib for her and made the bedding....

Mum crocheted a blanket for it and I made the quilt using this pattern - although I ended up making the squares a bit bigger as I just couldn't get the tiny ones to line up!!:

The pillow is a funny square "doily" that I put a backing on and stuffed, the sheet is a vintage traycloth....

The quilt has little sleepy animals embroidered on it:


It's Little E's birthday on Wednesday - she'll be 6, so I hope she likes it....

For the first time in ages I have nothing to sew for anybody and can make something for myself - recently I've been sewing for Mother's Day, Mum's b'day and Little E's - I've cut out a pattern I have for a dress but I'm not too confident with clothes as I've too often spent ages on things only to try them on and discover they make me look like a "bag of sh*t tied up" as my lovely Yorkshire Mum would say!!

Until next time....

hugs,

S x

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Fugly-To-Fabulous Ta Dah's and Other Wafflings....

Morning all!!

I have a couple of Fugly-To-Fabulous pics to share with you as last week I was busy painting. 


First of all a lovely little chest of drawers which I did in Annie Sloan's "Original" which is a warm off white:

I was umming and ahhing about the knobs but I think they actually look really nice with the creamy white.

We also picked up a pair of retro bedside tables - I painted the insides "Duck Egg", the exterior got a couple of coats of "Original and I decoupaged the knobs with Cath Kidston paper:

We're hoping that they sell soon as the car failed her MOT and needs £250 worth of work which we are having to borrow out of the holiday fund (Mum - don't panic we'll have it by the time in needs paying!!)

We've been trying to decide what to do with the cars, whether to go back down to one - we have an ancient Corsa (named Fungus as he is green like Fungus the Bogeyman) which will probably need some work come the MOT and a gorgeous red PT Cruiser. She is called Tallulah (because she looks like a Bugsy Malone car).

It took me six months to persuade Mr G a PT Cruiser was a good idea as he wasn't keen on the looks, but you got a lot of car for your money and her back seats come out completely making her like a little van which is really handy.

Tallulah is 10 years old, but that's pretty new for us!! We recently saw an advert on TV for a company who will come and scrap your car for you and as they winched a Y reg onto the truck Mr G exclaimed "But that's practically brand new!!" Mr G would love a newer car but I don't think we'd buy brand new even if we could afford it.

With Mr G working from home and the boys now walking home from school, we don't really need two cars, but the uncertainty with Mr G's job is making it ha to know what to do in case the role they (hopefully) find for him is not home based as much.

I've finally finished W's patriotic quilt (no pics yet though), it was a bit of a drag having just done one the same for H, but W was so delighted with it yesterday when he came home from school to find it completed that it was well worth it.

I'm now doing a doll quilt for a vintage crib that I've refurbished for Little E's birthday next week.

Hope you're all well....
Hugs,

S x

PS do you name your cars?....

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Mum's Birthday Day Out....

It's our tradition for my Sis and I to take our Mum out for the day on her birthday - we always keep it as a surprise and high points have been West End shows and a punt ride in Oxford and low points a day trip to the Isle of Wight on a Sunday when everything was shut!!

Yesterday we had booked afternoon tea at a Michelin starred hotel in the New Forest and before that we had a pootle around Lymington - the skies threatened as we drove over that way from my sisters house near Southampton but I think the fact we had umbrellas stopped a huge deluge (on the basis if we hadn't had brollies it'd have chucked it down!!)

This year was particularly special as my Mum's sister, our Auntie Betty was able to join us as she and our Uncle Tom are staying with Mum on a long weekend from Yorkshire where they live (and Mum and I originate from - Sis is a Nottingham lass):


Little E; my Sis; Mum and Auntie Betty

When my Mum was born she was adopted - she and Auntie Betty grew up thinking they were cousins. It wasn't until many years later they became close and are now as inseparable as they can be with the distance between Hampshire and Yorkshire.

Lymington was lovely, I took some pics on my phone as I didn't want to take my fancy camera round the shops but Blogger refuses to let them be rotated the correct way!!:

Can't remember what Sis said to make us all giggle!!

There was a market and lots of pretty shabby chic, charity & junk shops - I bought a lovely basket; some hanging hearts and some vintage thread:




Soon it was time to head to The Montagu Arms Hotel in Beaulieu for our afternoon tea, the car park is at the back of the hotel and you have to walk through the pretty cottage gardens, and there was time a few photos:


Looking cool in our shades (not!!)....


We had hoped to sit in the garden, but it was, alas, too chilly and so we had a table in the conservatory:



Our lovely Mum:


PrettyLittle E:

 First came the obligatory pot of tea along with this little beauty:


We didn't catch what the waiter said it was, but it was a palate cleanser and one of the nicest things we've ever tasted - the top was raspberry coulis that was both sweet and tart and underneath was a sabayon type custard that was like velvet. The spoons were too big to get into the very bottom of the glass and so we lowered the tone by upturning our spoons and getting to the last morsels with the narrower handle *blush*....


Next came sandwiches - smoked salmon (bleurgh, Sis had them); egg; roast ham & mustard and of course, cucumber and an assortment of cakes - chocolate ├ęclairs; rhubarb cheesecake (OMG, it was gorg!!) and carrot cake:



Then it was time for warm scones with clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam:



I love, love, love afternoon tea - it really has got to be one of my most favourite things....

It was a lovely leisurely tea, and after a couple of hours it was time to head home - first though one more photo:

Even discounting the fact I am (literally) twice Sis's size, we don't look alike do we?!!
It's been said Sis got the looks and I got the personality which I am not sure is a compliment to either of us, lol!!

So, I lovely day was had by all, we returned home tired, full and happy....

S x

PS Thanks loads for all the lovely comments following my previous post, you girls really do make blogging so worthwhile ((((hugs))))....






Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Easter....

Hello all - did you have a lovely Easter? Was your body weight in chocolate consumed (as is the law)?!!

We had a quiet one, a bit of pottering, sewing and painting - we saw my Mum, did the obligatory garden centre visit and had lunch at Mr G's parents.

On Monday while it rained I roped Mr G into painting our dining chairs mismatched colours:


I mixed my own colours for these using Annie Sloan Old White with a bit of Emperors Silk for the pink and some Aubusson to make the blue. The other two we did in Duck Egg and Paris Grey. 

I've been playing with my new camera and took a couple of pics of my gorgeous niece E:


This one really captures "her"....

As the mother of two boys who has done with have babies I do hanker after a girl terribly. I ADORE my two boys but I so wanted more (nasty pregnancy sickness which put me off and Mr G's reluctance put paid to that) and being a very girly girl I would have loved a daughter.

Luckily, I can "share" E but I do feel sad I won't have the close relationship that girls and their mums have, the choosing of the wedding dress, the girly days out and so on. I just hope I get a couple of lovely daughter-in-laws!!

E looks just like my gorgeous sister....

Yesterday, my friend came round for tea so I could help her with her first quilt and our other friend C called to say that her horse Bella had been struck by lightening and killer instantly while she was in her field :0( It was such a shock, our friend is devastated.

Bella was a classic BOGOF, having been found one morning in the stable with her mother whom C never knew was pregnant so it is a wee bit spooky that she was taken as unexpectedly as she arrived....

In all my years of having horses I have never even heard of such a thing, and must admit when we had another hailstorm complete with thunder and lightening this afternoon I did find myself fretting a little about my horses:

 


So, not much else to report (as usual) - am beginning to think I'm in a blogging dead end, are you all really interested in my wafflings? It is all a bit same old, same old.....

I love having my little space on the web, I just hope I am not boring you....

hugs,

S x

Friday, 6 April 2012

Unsettling News And A Couple Of Ta Dahs....

Hello, my dears - I've stolen Mr G's laptop to post as I find blogging on my iPad a bit "painful" - I can't figure out how to add links and it's all just a whole lot slower. My laptop was OK just for blogging until I dripped tea on the keyboard and now the "M" and "N" keys don't work *rollseyes*

We had a bit of unsettling news this week, Mr G has been working hard on a project for work which is now all coming to a head (he's normally so laidback he's horizontal but has been stressed and a bit snippy of late). 

Mr G was updating his boss on the phone and at the end of the conversation his boss said "BTW messaging will be operated out of Cairo or Paris only by the end of the year so your job will no longer exist. If you have other opportunities I advise you to explore them".

Mr G has worked for the company for ten years and is highly thought of, so the boss said he didn't want to lose him - he hopes a role can be found within the company. 

I asked Mr G if I should be worried, and he said no something would come up. Ironically, he was asked to apply for something else just after Christmas but it was then put on hold and Mr G hasn't chased it as he is happy in his job as it is.

At best it probably means the working from home every day will be a thing of the past which will be a shame as it suits us very well - I guess I knew it wouldn't last forever though....

Anyway, onto more cheery things - I had a go at making some vintage style signs:




I thought I had originally seen the method I used on Pinterest, but a quick search of my boards and I can't find it to link for you so I shall tell you what I did.

First of all, I got a two scrap bits of wood and gave them a couple of coats of my Annie Sloan paint. The "Keep Calm" had Provence under my own Duck Egg mix (I find AS's duck egg a bit too green so I add a touch of white & blue to it) and the "Coca-Cola" had Paris Grey under Emperors Silk.

Now for the text, I used the Keep Calm app for my iPad (69p from the App Store) which allows you to create the iconic poster using whatever words you like. I then emailed the completed "poster" to myself so I could pick it up on my laptop.

I opened the poster (which comes over as a .jpg photo) in Photoshop and zoomed in until it was the size I wanted. I then placed some regular paper up to the screen and traced it off (the laptop screen acts as a lightbox). 

The Coca-Cola text was done the same, having Googled for the logo.

Of course, you could use your printer, but some of the words were bigger than A4 and I have to wait for Mr G to muck about with ours as it makes you jump through hoops before it works - have you seen this about Why Printers Are Sent From Hell To Make Us Miserable? It's hilarious because it is sooooo true....

I then positioned the paper on top of the painted wood and using a ballpoint pen and with quite heavy force traced around the lettering - this kind of etched the text into the wood and I was then able to fill in using AS's Old White and a small artists brush.

After it dried I began with a light sanding and then went a bit heavier to get the scratchy look and some of the under-colour showing through:


They took all afternoon but I so loved doing them, I am on the lookout for more wood so I can do some more!! 

What would you put on a sign if you were to make one? I thought a "Hovis" one might be nice....

I also finished my little stool:





I had been hankering after a wooden stool to crochet a top for and was doing a search of eBay when I came across the perfect one - I peered at the picture thinking the kitchen looked rather familiar and realised it was my Mum selling the stool!! Needless to say she gave it to me for nothing!!

That's all I have to report today, so I will love you and leave you with warm Easter wishes....

hugs,

S x







Tuesday, 3 April 2012

A Big Catch Up....

Hello all!!

What have you lovely ladies been up to? I've been quite a busy bee (which is why I havent blogged for a few days).

On Thursday we went to the stables in the evening to capture the sunset and take some pictures during "magic hour" - apparently the light an hour after sunrise and before sunset is called magic hour due to the nice light

On Friday I spent the afternoon cooking as we were having friends over on Saturday but I was going to be out for much of the day so needed to get ahead. So, I made three lasagnes (two meat, one of which was for the freezer and a veggie one), some tomato and basil soup and Nigella's chocolate peanut butter cheesecake.

On Saturday my friend Ashley and I attended a morning beginners digital photography workshop - I had been complaining that all the classes I could find were so expensive when I found one on Groupon for £15 (saving £65!!)

Although it was only 3 hours it was such a good taster, and it has really helped what I was reading in books and online about exposure, aperture, shutter speed and all the other technical bits make sense.

After the class Ashley and I went out for lunch and both ate a huge pizza AND pudding (it was a real Italian day for me food wise!!)

Our Best Man Steve and his wife Jo and our Usher Mike and his wife Jo came over for dinner in the evening, we take turns every three months or so to host dinner and usually laugh so much we end up with sore throats!!

Mr G; Jo & our usher Mike; Best Man Steve and his Jo
Mr G and Steve have been friends since they were 8!!

Incidentially, the above photo was taken with manual settings and no flash to capture the atmosphere!!

On Sunday, it was the end of an era because we took down the trampoline. H is 13 and W is 11 which I think is still young enough to enjoy it, but it was hardly used last summer because W developed a spider phobia!!

The trampoline sat under trees and so was often covered in leaves and numerous creepy crawlies which meant W refused to use it and it had fallen into a state of disrepair:


So - down it came and we hacked at the bushes to let some light in - we have reseeded the bald patch and are hoping to set up a gazebo with a seating area to have an indoors outdoors Space (lol, I hate it when interior design types say that!!):



The wire tunnel is to allow the cats to get from the house to their cat pen - bit of an eye sore really....

On Sunday Mr G also finally wired up my standard lamp - my Stepdad gave me a vintage lamp with no innards and so I worked the Annie Sloan magic and then had to beg for days for him to do the scary electrical bit and then I added my crochet lampshade:


The last couple of days have been spent painting bits and bobs - my Stepdad keeps giving me things to paint and sell and so far I have kept them all!! This post is already super long, so will save them for next time!!

Hugs,

S x