Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Starting the Big Sort Out

I've been busy the last few days and have decided to have rest and put my feet up today.  Might even catch up with Downton Abbey that I haven't had chance to watch yet!

Hubby managed to squeeze everything in his car and went down to Bournemouth on Saturday.  I went on Sunday to help clean the flat a bit and put some of the stuff away as it was all a bit daunting.  Hopefully she'll stay in this place for a couple of years as I don't think we'd have the energy to move it all again next summer!

Back home I've made a start on sorting out the upstairs which is somewhere I don't go very much when the girls are here!  Part of the problem is the lack of an attic, as it was converted to make their rooms, so the landing area gets used as storage for all the boxes and bags and random stuff that hasn't got a home.  I should have taken a picture, but you can imagine the mess.  Now that most of it has gone I had a thorough clean and moved the chest of drawers up there.  Yesterday I went out and bought a cheap bookshelf which I managed to put together myself and Hey Presto! the space is transformed

What you can't see hidden to the right of the dolls house is the boxes that I haven't sorted out yet.  Old computers, out-dated cd players, even a huge crate of Lego that seemed too good to give to the charity shop. Given that the girls are 22 and 20 it's about time it all went.  It does feel good to have one area sorted. Tomorrow I'm going to start on the bedrooms.  Of course they'll still be back in the holidays for a while, but if either of them want to move back,  I'm thinking a caravan in the garden might be a good idea!   

Friday, 23 September 2011

Empty Nest (again!)

So,  this is what has been going on for the last week or so.  An awful lot of sorting, packing, re-packing and  quite a few cross words :( while Youngest Girl got ready to go back to uni.  We've been bringing the boxes down from her room ready to load into the cars and the dining room was beginning to burst at the seams.

There's still a desk, chair, computer, printer and some other stuff to come! but that can wait 'till tomorrow when hubby's going with most of it.  To be fair, she has a lot of art materials and crafty stuff,  which take up a lot of room, but it does seem to multiply each year! 
 She's taken some stuff and gone now, so the house seems very quiet, and I'm on my own again all day for the first time in over a year.  

I've decided it's about time the house had a bit of a sort out.  Now that there's a bit more space upstairs I'm going to move the chest of drawers there from the sitting room and I'm getting a big dresser unit I found on e-bay on that wall that will take all my books and bits and pieces.  Hopefully it will be here soon and I can start re-organizing  and de-cluttering, yippeee!

I'm off to put my feet up for a while
Hoping you all have a lovely weekend

Thursday, 15 September 2011

My Dolls House

I always wanted a proper doll's house and having two girls was a good excuse to indulge.  The first one I did was a simple kit from The Dolls House Emporium that I put together for eldest girl's 3rd Christmas. As it had to be done in secret in the garage when she had gone to bed it wasn't painted very well, but she loved it anyway!
Several years later I got the bug again and did a bigger one for youngest girl, followed by a better one for eldest girl with a tea shop on the ground floor.  I then decided that what I really wanted was one of my own so I had a double fronted one made with a shop that (one day) will be an interiors/ vintage/ quilts type emporium.  Here it is after the first undercoat.

After painting, sanding and re-painting all those walls and Georgian windows I sort of lost the will to live! and there it sat in my workroom for a few years while I got on with sewing and Other Things.
Anyway, last year I decided to have another go and made the chimney breasts, did all the flooring, skirting, cornicing and painted the rooms pretty colours.  I took out the stairs and put dummy doors at the back which give the illusion of more rooms.

The outside has been painted pale pink and blue, but I still need to do the roofing and think of a name for the shop!

There's still a lot left to do, like fitting lots of lights and "glazing" the windows, but then I can do the fun stuff, like making curtains and painting furniture.  One day, when I get bored of sewing, crochet, gardening and everything else, I'll pick it up again.  Be warned, don't get hooked on the miniatures hobby unless you've got lots of time, patience, space and deep pockets!!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Grime Busting and some crochet

One of my favourite things to do in the garden is jet washing the paths, furniture, whatever. There's something very therapeutic about blasting away months of grime in a few minutes.  As it was a nice sunny day I decided to do the bench and white table and chairs that have been getting greener all year!

Plugged in and ready to go


Good as new, apart from the missing paint.  I'll get round to re-painting them one year.

Something I've been meaning to show you is my dolls house, but I need to look through the pictures as some of them aren't great.  I'll leave you with one of a couple of crochet blankets and a patchwork quilt that I bought for the bedrooms.  I've put them on a full size blanket so you can an idea of the scale and absolutely amazing skill that these ladies have.  The hexagon blanket I bought at "Miniatura" last year. All hand sewn, I'm afraid I can't remember who made it.  The crochet ones I found on Etsy (woodlandminiatures) and the mind boggles at the work involved in something that tiny. Even if you don't have a dollshouse I think they would look nice framed on the wall!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Blogger issues

Sorry if you've read my last post and think I'm going a bit mad!! but having looked at my followers blogs I noticed that they were still showing the previous one and hadn't updated yet.  As a fairly new blogger I'm not sure if this will resolve itself or do I need to do something to fix it?  I have re-posted a couple of times but to no effect.  Hoping it sorts itself out overnight!!

The last of the garden veggies

It is feeling very Autumnal now, with the veg garden looking very soggy and wind blown! I gave up picking the courgettes a while ago, but for various reasons haven't had the time to pull up the plants and tidy up yet, so there are some whoppers still on the plants.

The onions were pulled and left to dry for a couple of weeks and yesterday I trimmed them all and found a basket in the shed to store them in.  I was going to string them up but didn't get round to it this year.
I grew a few squashes that look very cheerful, and are nice and easy to bake in the oven.  Next year I'm going to try growing them up sturdy wigwams (like Monty Don on Gardener's World!) as they do take up a lot of room.

The Dahlias are still going strong, though they've taken a battering with all the wind. One of the plants broke off completely which was a shame.  I really should stake them, but never get round to it. Here's today's pickings.  Had to photograph them outside as it's so dark indoors. 

Took the chance yesterday to clean the greenhouse and move all my scented pelargoniums.  Hopefully we won't have any frosts yet, but I think they are happier in there anyway and I love opening the door and breathing in the wonderful scent.  It has to be one of my favourite places, especially in the evening, and I like to potter about in there after dinner.

One of Hubby's "things" is going mushrooming in the autumn.  He's found loads this year, especially porcini/ ceps which are the best apparently! So we've had the dryer going for the last couple of weekends as they are sliced and dried for using in casseroles/ pasta/ sauces etc for the rest of the year.  I have to say, I'm not a fan of the mouldy smell blowing round the house for days!! but once dried they are very useful (and expensive if bought in the shops).  I ought to use the dryer for other fruit and veg.  I might try some apple slices, and I think tomatoes would be good. 

I went to London to check out sofas at the weekend and decided on the Snowdrop one from in a neutral herringbone fabric.  It'll be a few weeks 'till it comes, but I can't wait and am busy looking for cushions and throws.  So exciting!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

New sofa

With the rubbish weather making it feel very autumnal, I've been thinking about the long months spent indoors and decided on a long overdue re-vamp of our living room for a start.  When you live with something   you tend not to notice how scruffy it's getting until you look at an old photo to remind yourself.  This was a few years ago, pre Lottie!

We've got two of these Laura Ashley sofas. The other one has had it and needs chucking out, so I'm going to move the cream one and replace it with a nice new sofa.  It needs to be fairly "Lottie proof" though as she spends a lot of time sprawled along the back, watching out of the window!  Or jumping about on it when she sees rabbit/cat/squirrel outside :(

I've got a few old blankets that I use as throws, but seem to spend all my time straightening the cushions, so I'm thinking something with a fixed back would be more practical.  Like this one from Sofas & Stuff

Or this from Sofa Workshop

Or this one from

Just wondering how comfy they are? but I guess with a few scatter cushions they would be fine.  Any comments would be welcome before I go trekking round the showrooms.  I can't wait to go and choose fabric and get some new cushions and throws!  

I'm off to sort the fire out for tonight. Definitely feels like winter's coming already.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Catching up

Hello,  Just a quick post to say I'm still here.
The ankle op' went well and is healing up nicely now.  It already feels more flexible without all that metal and it's always good to have an excuse to put your feet up and take it easy!
Hubby's had the week off and there's been lots of garden tidying and general family stuff, so not much time for blogging or crafting at the moment.

Loving my dahlias this year.  I ordered loads of cuttings back in the spring and had forgotten the varieties, so it's quite exciting when they start to flower.  They are such brilliant value for money, the more you cut them, the more they flower.

Pyracantha  berries.  The birds love them, but the bush is covered in lethally sharp thorns.

The apple tree is groaning under the weight this year.  Shame the apples aren't all that nice and often maggoty :(

And another pelargonium pic!