Sunday, 29 September 2013

I Had A Birthday....

Hello my lovelies!!

On Tuesday this week it was my birthday. I was 41 years old (however that happened so quick I don't know!!) And despite being of an age where I shouldn't I still get stupidly excited.

Here I am having high tea in the high street!!

I was awoken with a pile of goodies that H and W had chosen for me from Cath Kidston:

I got soaps; a pin tin; cowboy ribbon and a mini sewing kit....

Mr G got me a Sensationail Gel Polish kit; a fat quarter bundle which he sneakily bought after I admired it when we were out last week and a Miss Maggie bunny kit from Posie Gets Cozy.

Of course I couldn't wait to try the gel polish on my nails straight away and I was very pleased with the results:

As it's a gel polish and has to to be cured under an LED light that comes in the starter kit. Nail polish usually lasts 24hrs max on me before chipping and I'm on day 6 now and have just chipped my thumb with the bread knife so it's pretty good going. The kit costs £60 and does ten manicures and when you think gel nails at a salon are £20-£30 a time it's pretty good value.

After the boys went to school Mr G and I headed off for a slightly-grubby-night-away (not as long, you see, as a dirty weekend!!) We were booked for the night into a hotel in Weymouth but first we stopped at Bridport for a mooch around the vintage/antique shops:

On the way back towards Weymouth we stopped at West Bay to have a look at the beach where Broadchurch was filmed:

We were very lucky with the weather as the sun shone and it was glorious.

The hotel was on the seafront at Weymouth and a quirky place. We were shown to our room by the owner who advised us the cocktail bar would be open 6.00pm-10.00pm and that was the last we saw of anyone until the morning!! When we went out about 8.00pm the bar was shut and in darkness and not a soul was to be seen in the place!!

The room however, had airy, high ceilings and a lovely sea view:

The curtain rails were more shabby than chic!!

The fresh flowers were a nice touch....

View from the bed - it was lovely to lay and listen to the sea....

My Mr G on the balcony....

We ate in an Italian restaurant close to the hotel that had good reviews but we found our main courses nothing to write home about although my chocolate fondant with gelato was delicious.

The following morning after a tasty (but rather small!!) breakfast we headed for a mooch around the harbour:

As it was before 10.00am we were a little early for the shops and so we stopped for a coffee (and a slice of Dorset Apple Cake!!):

After a look around Brewers Quay which was filled with lovely but overpriced vintage/retro/antique goodies we headed round the coast to see if we could find Durdle Door - we didn't but we had a walk up the cliff and stopped for silly selflies:

We headed home via Swanage where we stopped for a look around the shops (I bought some lovely yarn) and some lunch.

I did make a few other purchases while we were away:

Pretty bird glass for my sherry....

So I had a really lovely birthday, the best part getting Mr G all to myself for 36hrs - it really was wonderful to have his undivided attention!!

I'll do another post soon with log cabin news - which really is that there isn't any news yet!! The base is not yet complete and the cabin is due to be delivered Tues or Weds and it's forecast rain all week, eeeek!!

Thanks for reading....


S x


Friday, 20 September 2013

Log Cabin Tales - Part Two....

So after what seems like an a-g-e of inaction (which has in fact only been about ten days) today things started to move with the cabin in that we had the tree surgeons out today to remove the dead trees at the bottom of the garden.

It's sad really, this tree was about three times that tall and had two friends, but sadly they have died of (ash dieback we think) - one of the things that "sold" this house to us was the mature trees. However, they would just have become dangerous and so needed to be removed before work starts on the base for the cabin.

Our friends R and O share the horses and my field and as O works for a tree surgeon we naturally had the company he works for in to remove them - Adam Gibson Tree Care.

They did a fantastic job and ably assisted by Mr G (who I thought looked rather sexy in his hard hat and steel toe-capped boots!!) within a few hours had the trees gone.

And so the area is clear for the base to be started (which is supposed to be happening today).

These two areas of existing hard standing are going to have to be broken up, a retaining wall built and back filled and then the concrete laid.

Whilst waiting for work to start I have been busy collecting pictures on Pinterest:



I got my Annie Sloan Chalk Paint out this week and made a sign for the cabin:

Before I sign off I must just show you this I came across - it did make me chuckle (particularly as Mr G is called John!!):

Just change "gazebo" for "cabin" and that'll be it....


S x


Monday, 16 September 2013

Home Tour - Part III

And so today in part 3 if our home tour we venture upstairs. To your left you have my sewing room:

This table belonged to my Dad so I'm glad to reuse it, but if course it had to be prettied up with some Cath Kidston oilcloth and a skirt to hide all the crap that's hidden underneath!!

The chair was £3.50 (eBay!!) and I covered it with Ikea's Rosali fabric. The high shelf is a DVD shelf painted with chalk paint (what else?!!) and turned in it's side.

The pin board is made with a sheet of polystyrene insulation board which cost £6 from Wickes which was covered in some CK fabric and then stuck to the wall with No More Nails. Baskets from Ikea.

Not pictured are an assortment of mismatched pieces of furniture on the other sides of the room that house my stash and other goodies - I don't actually have any decent photos though I do have an Instagram shot of Dolly - my duct tape dress form!!

Next to the sewing room is the room that started it all. Mr G first consented to allow me to shabby chic up our bedroom and since then it has gradually spilled out around the rest of the house.

The wallpaper is Cath Kidston Antique Rose; the gilt mirror was from the tip and the little floral pictures were from a car boot sale as was the crystal lampshade. My Stepdad made me the pelmet and I painted it in my own mix of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I made all the cushions, crocheted the lace trim around the pillows and covered the lampshades.

The drawers are yet another of my sister's cast offs as are the French style chair and the shelves. I keep meaning to recover that chair and have been making English paper pieced hexagons to reupholstered it in.

Next to our room is H and W's room - as this is the room of two teenagers I will discreetly avoid it as it's Not Pretty. Lol!!

A few years ago we splashed out and changed the beige bathroom suite for a roll top bath which we love. We are all bath people in our house and very rarely use the shower - this huge bath is just lovely to have a soak in.
The floor tiles are Cath Kidston and were a bit of an extravagance - but I figure when we are being so thrifty elsewhere we can afford a little indulgence now and again.

Here we have another of my patchwork walls - it's a cheap way to add colour and is especially good for the indecisive of us!!

My Stepdad made the shelves for me and these were the first thing I painted with ASCP - they are filled with an assortment of knack-knacks collected from boot sales. The dolphin doesn't really fit but Mr G bought it for his Grandma when he was a little boy and so it deserves pride of place.

The "vase" is a cat food tin with a crocheted cover!!

I've neatly skirted around the unattractive 1970's staircase that I don't know what to do with but I will share this Instagram shot of my vintage mirror collection which resides on the stair walls:

So that's our little cosy home. It's taken several years to get it how we want it and the turning point with it was when I learned to sew/crochet/paint furniture because it meant I could make all the finishing touches that can cost such a lot of money.

Today we visited my sister's lovely brand new home and she said to me "You like twee" - I wasn't quite sure that was a compliment and so I looked up the definition of the word - it means "sentimental, pretty and sweet" and so I think you can definitely say that I like twee. And I'm not ashamed to admit it....

Thanks for reading....


S x

All photos (except Instagram shots) courtesy from Brett Charles Photography....


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Home Tour - Part II

We continue our tour today with the kitchen and conservatory. Before we had the conservatory across the back of the house you would have been looking at the kitchen window above the sink and the back door to the left.

In 2007 we splashed out and had a large conservatory/sun room put along the back of the house.

We had wanted the peninsular knocking out and the kitchen to go out into the new extension but due to budget restrictions we kept the kitchen where it was.

What you may not know is along with the photographer magazines send a stylist and she "set up" the house for the shots. In actual fact she didn't make many changes at all but she did move the microwave out of the shot above - it usually sits to the right of the sink. I didn't want to put it back afterwards as it does look much better!!

As usual with us the kitchen was done on a budget - I designed the layout myself and ordered the cabinets online.

The cooker was an eBay bargain, I toyed with the idea of spraying it (duck egg?!!) but it fits in ok. I do detest the stainless splashback though and would one day like to tile it. Incidentally, we never use those Le Crueset pans, another "set up" by the stylist!!

We did have a hood above the cooker but as well as not working it was a grease magnet and also stainless steel so I persuaded Mr G to take it down and put up some open shelves for me (why do men detest putting up shelves so much?)

Now into one of my favourite rooms in the house - the conservatory:

This is the room we spend most of the day in. Mr G works at this end at the dining table - he's a Technical Project Manager and much of the day is spent at the laptop and on conference calls.

Some of the bargains here include the table which cost £10.50 and the chairs £40 (both from eBay). I painted the chairs in mismatched Annie Sloan ice-cream colours. The lamp was given to me out of a friends skip.

The tall cupboard houses the washing machine beneath and the "pantry" (oh how I'd love a real pantry!!) above. I painted the Coca-Cola sign myself.

The sofa is one of my sister's cast offs and came all the way from America - it's seen better days now but is very comfy. We have had three of my Sis's old sofas and now joke that we should go with her to buy to make sure we like it!! She has in fact just ordered the most gorgeous sofas from Laura Ashley so I'll be glad to rehome them for her in a few years!!

I made the cushions and the plates are an assortment from eBay and boot sales. The coffee table was from eBay - the legs are painted in Annie Sloan's Old Ochre.

My favourite spot is the right side of the sofa - it's called "Mummy's Corner" and where you'll find me if I'm not in the sewing room.

The conservatory is home to my dresser. This was one of my Mum's cast offs (I'm lucky in that I have relatives who change their furniture every five minutes!!) and came originally from BeWise of all places. I mixed some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to make the blue it's painted with and added knobs decoupaged with Cath Kidston.

We have a few heirlooms on here - the rose tea set belonged to Mr G's Grandma; the cutwork plate was my Nanna's and the cruet set belonged to my great Aunt.

The Cath Kidston mugs hung here are, in actual fact, all broken!! The first set I had were duff - developing hairline cracks and all broke within a few months. Cath Kidston replaced them after a bit of a tussle and I glued the salvageable ones as they are still pretty.

Despite the multiple chins I'll include these pics - I like the cats in this one:

And this one where I am chatting away!! I hate having my photo taken but photographer Brett made me feel very at ease.

So there we have the downstairs - small but perfectly formed? I must admit until I saw the photos all together in the pages of the magazine I didn't realise that the colour schemes were so similar in each room - I guess because as you walk around the house you don't see every room side by side as you do in the magazine!!

Next time we'll venture upstairs - but we'll skip the tatty stair carpet!!

Thanks for reading....


S x

(All photos courtesy of Brett Charles Photograpy)