Thursday, 31 March 2011

Cheery Delights.....

I have been feeling a little glum of late and a bit out of sorts, the house and its lack of moving forward with the refurbishment is beginning to wind me up. I know I am very lucky, I have hot food, a roof over my head, a happy healthy family to cuddle up to every night, but we just seem to have run out of time, inclination and if honest the pennies to get on with the decoration and finishing off it requires. We are kind of at the last hurdle...although there is one more wall to knock down and a room to be built, but that can be saved for a rainy day. It is this last plastering, boarding, plumbing, painting that just needs doing and somehow feel I have lost my steam a little. I want to feel calm and relaxed with on the spur of it visitors, rather than frantically do my best to hide the bare plaster, the holes in the walls blah blah. Though as people close to me say, people do not come to see my house, they come to see me and my family, and yes it helps, but we all want a pretty little house to entertain in don't we. As I have said to myself so many times, we shall get there, we may even get into the Guinness book of records, as the longest house refurbishment in history ;0)

So I thought to cheer me up a little I would go find the little box of treasures I received from someone and share with you. It was kind of sent in exchange for some pretties I handmade, and I couldn't have been more cheered up by what was in this parcel. Alright the contents won't get the house finished but certainly helps with the olde grumps....





Pretty buttons....



Gorgeous silk scarf in very me colours....




Pretty Dots And Spots tape and notecards....






Sweet jar that came with some beautiful and quirky buttons....






Adorable ric rac....




Pretty ribbon....






The most wonderful necklace....





Colourful ribbons....





Girly treats....





Home is where the heart is....





Lovely words....





And Miss. Poppins' pretty treats....




Isn't it a lovely parcel :0) So cheery and thank you so much if you happen to read upon this, was very generous, lovely and thoughtful of you and hope the pretties I sent went down well :0)

Also not long also I won a very lovely and special giveaway.... the most beautiful earrings from KayJay Gems who made them up with me in mind, she certainly knows my likes, they are so pretty.



So I think looking and playing with these cheery delights, kind of makes up a little for the lack of paint on the walls, don't you ;0)

X

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Getting Nervous....

In 2006 Master Poppins, who you may know was born prematurely was having a routine heart scan due to a PDA  He was three months old. The PDA which can be quite common in premature babies, looked like it was closing on its own and we were all thinking this would just be a quick scan, all is well, special tea to celebrate. Even though he was three months old he weighed less than a newborn, was so very little and of course I crossed my fingers all would be well. The expert cardiologist began his ultra sound of his heart and I did my very best to work out what I could see on the screen. It was pitch black in the room, although there were lovely twinkling lights above Master Poppins who was very well behaved. It was quiet, the cardiologist  was concentrating. Then I noticed him frown, the mood changed, he called one or two other specialists in, with me not knowing what was going on. Luckliy I had both my husband and my mum with me. The specialists talked, confirming with each other what were seeing on the screen and then looked to me. They had found a completely incidental, and unrelated to his prematurity, heart defect in my son....

I have to be honest and the rest of the day was bit of a blur....we were ushered into a room where a BHF nurse chatted to us, explained what the heart condition was, handed us leaflets and explained that it was imperative my son was treated if not that day, then very very soon. They had found a severe case of Pulmonary Stenosis and we were told it could be treated by a relatively simple procedure explained here So no open heart surgery. We were given a date to come back, was the same week, and he would be admitted onto the cardiac ward at the children's hospital, I could of course stay with him.

So here he is, at three and a half months, not looking very happy at all in his hospital gown about to go down to theatre. Daddy was doing his very best to calm his crying....







He soon calmed a little.... I was actually quite calm, considering, and just like most parents would feel I imagine when their own children go into theatre, you can't wait for the time they wake up, safe, well, and you are told everything went to plan. We were allowed to carry him into the room where the lovely anesthetist met us, and by then Master Poppins had fallen asleep anyway so we just left him sleeping naturally and before they put the mask on....alright one or two tears were shed from both of us as we made our way back upto his room to watch rubbish daytime television to almost take our mind off what was going on downstairs. About 2 hours later were were told he was alright, bit groggy but all had indeed gone well, big relief all round.

Since that day he has had 2 further follow up scans, and so far so good. He is as fit as the next four year old, though of course deep down I am always aware. We were since told it was a severe case, and although is something I don't dwell on, I know that if my son hadn't been born so very early, with that PDA, that required a check up scan, his heart defect wouldn't have been found so very soon, and he may well not be with us now. All those who love and cherish him, his wonderful big sister, realise, although he is possibly one of the most cheekiest monkeys, he is a very special one. So the time has come in a few months and shall be 3 years without a scan, for him to have one, and I am getting nervous. I can feel it already. We have been told he may require another procedure in the future, but we shan't know more until this next scan. I am happy in the fact we have had no symptoms at all, and he really can run as well, if not faster than many of his little friends on the playing fields, but is natural to worry about ones children isn't it. So I can just be positive and pray everything is fine.

If like me you have been in the position of taking your child into theatre for an operation or procedure, that nervous wait during, the hopefully big relief afterwards when you are told all has gone well, then may I offer you a hug. Is quite an emotional experience.

X

Tshirt Weather....

Now that the days are getting warmer, it is time to bare my pasty arms and hopefully gain a little colour. In my younger days colour normally came out of a bottle, the smell always used to put me off, does fake tan still have that smell to it....

So when I was sent this personalised Tshirt from TShirt Printing.net I thought was a good excuse the bare those arms, whilst pottering in the garden.




It really is a rather cheeky monkey tshirt and quite cute, and I love the colours. The company can screen print your design onto just about any style you can think of. They have longsleeve, short sleeve, skinny fit, strappy, sleeveless, v neck, polo and if they don’t have just what you are looking for then they can almost certainly source it for you. They also offer T shirts in organic cotton for extra comfort whilst also helping the planet. They are generous sizes and the tshirt could even be worn with a little belt, leggings and flip flops....

Of course however, it is raining today, so shall be worn with my jims jams in bed ;0)

X

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Handmade Pretties....

Ah my poor neglected blog.....I think of you often but time just goes by so fast, you often get left abandoned, lonely and unloved on the shelf until I have time to give you some tlc and attention.

Well here I am, and guess what I haven't got much to say....so shall just post some pretty photographs of things I have made....sometimes I just don't have the words.....








































X

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Most Beautiful Dishcloth In The World....

My goodness, where has the time gone, it only seems like yesterday I was here telling you all about my pretty drawers ;0) Thank you so much for the lovely feedback, I was even approached to see if I would like to tart up future pieces of furniture and sell locally in a beautiful shop so have been very flattered. My next piece shall be an original Art Deco bureau, though am procrastinating on that one a little, just so much on my to do list.........

My gorgeous Miss. Poppins for a while had been telling me that she was working on something very special for me at school in a club she was in. I was very excited to know what it was and she gave me a hint or two, that I would be very proud and perhaps it had a craft element to it....she certainly got me very intrigued. Well I was indeed overwhelmed with proudness when this is what she brought home for me....the MOST BEAUTIFUL dish cloth in the world, hand knitted all by herself, with the superb guidance of a lovely knitting expert at the school.




Isn't it a beauty :0) Not only is my 9 year old daughter a better speller than me, she seemingly is also a better knitter too....I am so very proud of her achievement....




I just can't stop looking at it....




It is so soft and a beautiful oatmeal colour, and I just love it!! And shall it be used as its intended purpose, a dishcloth. No, not on your nelly. It shall be framed as a piece of fine art :0)

X

Thursday, 3 March 2011

The Chest Of Drawers Makeover....

If you remember my post here I was eagerly awaiting getting on with this makeover on a quite nice already chest of drawers that were heading off to the the skip by a lovely friend, and who then thought of me, and that I may have use for them. As I have so much *stuff* and LOTS of pretty fabric that need nice storage homes, I couldn't resist taking it of her hands and thanked her very much. Anyway I can be somewhat of a procrastinator when it comes to my shabby chic makeovers ( I have a garage filled with many an item awaiting some, tlc. ) Though, I seemed to really want to get on with this one, and I knew straight away how I was going to prettify them....

 Ingredients I used:

* Cath Kidston wallpaper in Antique Rose ( I used more than I wanted to, more about that later )
* Homebase own branded satin wood paint in Contemporary, I love my Farrow & Ball paints but wanted to keeps costs as low as possible
* Primer paint ( urrrr in my books that would be a bog standard white emulsion )
* A little sanding paper
* Watered down PVA glue ( Varnish can also be used but as I had PVA glue in the house and watered down it works in my opinion just as well as a matt varnish )
* Wallpaper paste and brush

So, I gave the drawers a little sand, and a quick coat of emulsion and I know I should have done the top coat too before the wallpaper, but I just couldn't wait to get the pretty floral wallpaper on, so thought I would paint the top coats after the wallpapering.

So I mixed my wallpaper paste following the instuctions on the packet ( kind of ) let it settle a little in its bucket, and then began working out my pattern layout for the drawers. Hmmmm, I think out of everything this was the hardest part...I actually had to think....I knew I wanted the sides of the drawers doing and also the front of the drawers, though as there is a little bevel edge to the drawers, I didn't want to get fussed about wrapping paper over, mitres and sticking and all that, so thought the wallpaper would look pretty enough on just the front and sides. Being somewhat of a fussy lady and perfectionist, I wanted the paper to hang correctly at the front as it would on a wall and that the pattern would follow suit....So I used a sharp craft knife to cut out my pieces of wallpaper and then pasted them onto the two sides and the drawers, going vertically, as if wallpapering a wall....

Wrong move....I do not like joins showing in things, it really bugs me, and although I love wallpaper, and we are aiming to have at least one wall papered in every room, I do fuss over these butt joins and do my best not to make them be seen. Ohooo my goodness ( apologies don't have a photograph ) but by the time I had done all four drawers and had a good look...the join where I had pasted the two lengths of wallpaper did not make me smile. I was not happy. Luckily I didn't have to think too long as along came someone ( the husband ). He basically explained that rather than running the paper top to bottom, I should have pasted the wallpaper on the drawers horizontally, going left to right. *Clever Clogs* So all my hard work in joing the wallpaper up and pasting went in the bin....Mr. Poppins kindly did all the measurements and cutting out this second time and then was left with four long pieces that when placed together did actually from a pattern, albeit horizontally, left to right. Clever husband I have.

So on I got pasting the wallpaper ( again) and the drawer fronts ( again ) and was much happier, no join, and even the pattern follows on each drawer. I than waited a day or so and with the use of masking tape, painted the top coat, and popped some very watered down pva glue all over the chest of drawers, and am very, very happy with my new shabby chic drawers. I may re touch the top coat here and there but for now I think they look just fine....

I gave the lovely followers of my Facebook page a little peeky and my little makeover seems to have gone down really well,  hopefully I may have inspired others to have a go which is lovely and makes me very happy. Very flatteringly I was also asked "How much" ;0)  Please excuse the flooring etc, photographs taken in a room we are busy decorating.
















Hope I may have inspired you to get your furniture awaiting a makeover out, and give it a little TLC....

X

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Lisa Childs Piano Book....

A while ago we were very fortunate as a family to have been kindly given a beautiful and treasured piano by some dear relatives. She really is very sweet, and occassionally, as well as Miss. Poppins and Master P, who also loves playing it, I myself have a little tinker and play some of the olde tunes I learnt from school. Well alright, they can't really be called tunes, and I am a VERY basic player it has to be said, though my daughter does seem to have a natural flair for playing. We had toyed with the idea of piano lessons ( which can be very pricey ) so when I was emailed to see if I would find any use for reveiwing a piano book I jumped at the chance.

Now, this is no ordinary piano book, Oh no. Firstly it is pink, a sure fire winner in my book :0) It is a Lisa Child's Piano Book which are available to buy here and had me drawn in just by the pretty cover.




There are four books in total in the programe, and we were sent the beginner book, book 1. Each of the four piano books takes pupils through a logical learning process. It is great fun and very easy. It is a quick, fun, teaching guide and enables children as young as 3 years of age, or even up to people in their 80s to learn to play the piano. Yay! That is my whole family then, and there is never a wrong time to start learning with the Lisa Childs method and you can enjoy making music straight away. It is very easy to follow and stickers are involved, which made my children very happy.








As music is for all of us to enjoy, I like that this method can also be taught by parents and children as young as Master P ( 4) and who are very eager to learn to try out new things, and aim to please. This idea of teaching has seen many children taken their Associated Board Grade 1 examination by the age of 6 or 7, so is obviously doing something right. The book we have been sent normally takes an average of 6-8 weeks  before progression onto book 2. We have been learning with this book for about 3/4 weeks, so a little time to go but I have been amazed at the results, especially from Miss. Poppins ( age 9 ) who seems to have really grasped it, and is now teaching me all about staves and clefs.....

You never know she may make a pianist out of me yet....

X