Friday, 18 April 2014

Windsor - Mum's Birthday....

Last Sunday, as is traditional, we took Mum out for the day to celebrate her birthday. This year we decided on Windsor.

My Sis, Mum, Mum's Bestie and my niece Little E....

We arrived late morning and the first order of business was a little bit of shopping....

Windsor is so very British, very steeped in history....

We posed for the traditional photos....

And then it was time for afternoon tea....
This years trip was a wee bit poignant as last years day out had to be cancelled as Mum was recovering from a triple heart bypass following her heart attack - she was only up to a quiet meal out.
So this year we were thankful in more ways than one to have our lovely Mum....
S x


Thursday, 10 April 2014

Building Raised Decking - A Ta Dah!!

Since we had the conservatory along the back of the house we have been without a patio and really missed sitting out in the summer to eat. After the cabin was built decided decking was the way forward as the space in front of it was perfect:

Aside from building the cabin last autumn we had not done much building/carpentry and first of all decided to get someone in to do the decking for us but after a review of the budget decided that was not going to be possible - we would have to Do It Ourselves.

I did a bit of Googling and watched a couple of videos on YouTube and set about designing the frame, making calculations and then spent just over £500 on materials.

I found a place that did long lengths of decking as well as the beams to support it and so ordered them exactly the size we wanted to ensure minimum cutting was needed. We did hire a circular saw for 48hrs (£22) to do the cuts for the bearers which were placed between the joists to add strength.

Mr G has had this week off work and he and W (at the rate of £1 per hour for his labour!!) have been hard at it the last two and half days:

Of course I "project managed" with a bit of stitching to keep me occupied between "instructions":

After the first day the frame had taken shape and the supporting posts were concreted in - that was a lot easier than it sounds as we used Postmix - you dig your hole (a minimum 30cms deep for raised decking), fill it 1/3 with water, set in your post and then scoop in the Postmix powder until no water remains. It "goes off" in ten minutes so the post is going nowhere:

Yesterday, the decking itself was laid - we decided we didn't want railings for a couple of reasons, firstly (and a bit embarrassingly) we didn't realise quite how high it was going to be!! The garden slopes both back to front and side to side and so that left corner is pretty tall. Secondly, I thought railings would make the whole thing look closed in and detract from the cabin and thirdly, railings are expensive and so they would have doubled the cost:

And today, we finished off by boarding the front and making some steps - the deck is a fraction smaller than the cabin itself 4.8m x 3m:

Doesn't it look fab? To the right of the cabin we are awaiting a new fence and a gate so the dogs can't get behind the cabin as the fence belonging to the house that backs onto us is not secure and in front of that (where you can see the railway sleepers) we will fill with bark chippings.

We need to reseed the grass where it's got compacted with all the to'ing and fro'ing and I intend to put a standard rose in each of the planters (built for me by my lovely StepDad) along with the ashes of my two ponies lost last year.

So if you think you can't manage to build a deck of your own I'd urge you to think again, with just a couple of days (enjoyable) work and a small budget look at the lovely finish Mr G has achieved - (and at this point I will confess his nickname is "Bodge It Bennett" and so if he can do it anyone can, lol!!)

One last thing (before I shop for a table and chairs of course) I'd like to paint all the fences a paleish, sage green - Mr G currently DIY'ed out and refuses but I reckon I'll get my own way before long....

Many thanks for reading....


S x


Monday, 7 April 2014


Hello my lovelies!! I hope you have all had a fab weekend?

Mr G has this week off as we are laying some decking in front of the cabin (or Shedquarters as I have taken to calling it lately) and so we have had a pretty lazy weekend before getting stuck in this week.

So what have I been up to lately?

Last weekend was Mothers Day and so I put my feet up while Mr G cooked one of his mean roasts (he really is a very good cook these days):

My Mum and Sis joined us for lunch - Mr G's parents would usually have come too but they were away on holiday.

The boys got me a couple of lovely cards, despite them being teenagers I still insist upon being called "Mummy" - that's what I started as and I don't see why I should change my name!! Although I do let them call me "Mum" around their friends:

They also bought me a super cute bag:

How fab is that?

I made my Mum and little niece a Tilda elephant each:

I've made five of these now and I'm particularly pleased with how these two turned out - the fabric is a kind of single sided micro fleece and it worked really well.

I've tried dressmaking again, I actually took it up the week before it started but The Great British Sewing Bee has kept me inspired.

As I love to wear jersey most I've stuck to knits so far and signed up to a class - "Plus Size Pattern Fitting And Design" over on Craftsy and am at last beginning to understand how to adjust commercial patterns to fit me better.

A heads up - if you join Craftsy they will offer you a choice of discounted classes, mine was less than half price!!

This is Butterick 5794 - next time I make it I'll add a bit more width to the skirt I think:

I used clear elastic tape and my twin needle on the neckline and it turned out lovely and flat:

I've got a couple more patterns and jersey to make up so will keep you posted.

Finally, last week I went to visit my dear friend Gem from Treasures From The Cherry Tree, we were joined by Sarah from Annaboo's House and we had a lovely girly day of nattering, baby cuddles and gorgeous food.

Naturally, there was the obligatory selfie!!:

So, that's all I have to report for now - hopefully I'll be back later in the week with photos of the decking!!


S x