Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Happy Days....

Today has turned out to be a happy day. Although at first it was a day I was building myself up to with fret and worry. It was the day of Master Poppins' check up heart scan to see all was well after his cardiac ballooning when he was three months old and, as he was a very premature baby, a little over 7lbs in weight. I was so proud of how good he was during the scan....

 And happily all is well. Although his cardiologist would have like to have discharged him, there is a little leakage which is common with the procedure he had when he was a baby, so he shall be keeping his eye on him until he is 18. So, we shall be back again in 3 years for his next check up, but I have been assured he is as fit as any 5 year old, can do competitive sports, has a lovely, healthy colour to his skin, and I know I need not fret or worry. But hey us parents, it is par for the course I guess. I am just so very grateful that clever cardiologist man, whose arm you can see there fixed my son and I can never ever thank him enough.

So as we were all in happy spirits we trundled off to Manchester...We were all going to go on The Wheel though two of us backed out ;)


So we mooched around the Christmas Markets The Poppins children loved this sparkly little stall....( and I did ;)


 I had to have a little spend of my pocket money here....


Of course I am sure you would just be bored silly with my sharing what I bought....;)

Hope you all had happy days too....

X

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Memory Foam Pillow....Could It Be The Answer?

I am somewhat of a poor sleeper, actually although I say that, I can sleep for England when I want to. On trains, comfy sofa's etc....But when it comes to my own bed I often struggle to get comfy and my neck often aches a little on waking. I have tried hard pillows, soft pillows, 1, 2, and sometimes even 3 pillows ( wouldn't recommend the 3 by the way) but just never seem to feel I have found the perfect pillow. Sleep is so important,  so what we sleep on must be just as important. When Bedstar sent me a couple of their memory foam pillows I was very eager to try them out....


Well the models on the packaging certainly look comfy enough. On opening you do get this in my opinion quite strong plastic-y smell, I don't know if this is the packaging or normal for memory foam but after a quick spray of my lavender pillow mist it did seem to get better. The first thing I wanted to do was pretty them up and so popped one of my rosali pillowcases on....that's better.


So, a couple or so night's sleep later what did I think? To be honest I did find the memory foam a little on the hard side for my liking and although I slept well, was aware of it being harder that my normal pillow. I may get used to it of course and I did find it perfect for propping up and having a good read. Quite possibly it is the best pillow I have used for sitting up comfortably in bed. So, all in all quite a nice pillow and as memory foam is quite new to me it has been interesting trying it out and it has certainly got me looking at other memory foam options that are out there. So I shall keep with it and soon maybe all those little aches on waking may be a thing of the past. Or, perhaps I shall wake up to the realisation that those little aches are just me getting dare I say it....getting old ;)

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

X

Monday, 28 November 2011

Pretty Little Press Release....

It was really lovely and very flattering to see this little blog of mine mentioned in Popular Crafts magazine that I picked up from the newsagent over the weekend....


I always maintain this blog has always been a creative outlet for me in many ways, I love writing, crafting, taking pretty photographs, talking about my family, and of course I love to shop. So this blog is kind of like a documented journey of all things I enjoy. So very lovely that others have enjoyed it enough to spread the word.....Thank you

X

    

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Jingle Bells....

 I think making these pretty christmas hearts for my Folksy shop is getting me all festive....



 I even took my merry self off to hunt out the christmas decorations, ( doesn't it just seem like yesterday that they were all being packed away ) and yes I know is verrrry early but one or two decorations have even gone up, like this giant polka dot christmas bell....


Having quite a traditional husband who likes the decorations to go up on Christmas Eve, I just can't wait that long, and bit by bit they go up until I have taken up almost every space in the house with either a christmas candle, bauble, fabric heart or some kind of christmas decoration ;) I do it subtly, each day just a little something here, something there, and so on.... By Christmas Eve they are all up looking all shiny and beautifully christmas like.

Is it far too early for you, or, like me, is there a sneaky little christmas decoration hiding in a corner of your home?

X

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Cute Soaps....

Thank you very much for your lovely feedback on my little makes, I think you can guess rather than dreaming of a white christmas, it is quite a pink christmas I dream of here in the Poppins household ;) So, having mentioned the book I am really enjoying in my last post, I had to get on with just a ickle something inspired from it. We have somewhat of a poorly household here and so need to do something pretty whilst playing nurse and also getting myself better. I couldn't help but just wrap one or too really cute little presents for christmas....

I was inspired by this photograph in the book of soaps wrapped up as little gifts....


Cute huh? And not many pennies would need to be spent I am sure. Good quality packs of soaps can be picked up cheaply from the supermarkets, and when I spied these pretty and very inexpensive soaps at a local craft fair, well, I couldn't leave the poor things behind could I?

  
Of course I couldn't, and I just thought they would look the prettiest little things all wrapped up in their Christmas coats....


Oh yum!! I love the velvet ribbon and am not sure I could bear to unwrap them. Wouldn't they look so cute on a little vintage dish. However much I love these they are not for keepsies and I shall be wrapping lots more to go to lovely friends and family this christmas, I may even make up special little christmas bags packed with delicious little pretties. Here is one I made a start on....


I am sure it is normally well into the christmas month before I start getting all festive, and think about presents etc etc. Maybe my organisational head is taking over, maybe it is the pretty christmas paper I use that just makes me yearn to wrap presents. The realisation that my dear mother in law, who loved christmas, being around people she loved and who loved her shall be missing this christmas makes me sad, but also makes me realise how very much we need to enjoy life, live for the day. I am so grateful and blessed to have my family around me, and for me christmas time is not just about pretty presents, but a time of quiet reflection too....

Are you feeling any christmas flutters yet?

X

Friday, 18 November 2011

Homemade Christmas....

At this time of year, one can often find me beavering away at the craft table making pretty decorations for christmas. I don't really go in for the traditional in the sense when it come to christmas fabrics, but I like more of the quirky, unusual and in my opinion quite girly fabrics....


I have to have some pink in there....


And I really enjoy making christmas stockings for special little ( and sometimes big ) people....




I love this christmas tree fabric, so pretty....


So many peeps are handmaking these days rather than going and buying the factory produced stuff and I really think this is brilliant, giving a handmade gift just can't be beaten. I have to say I am really enjoying my new book Homemade Gifts Vintage Style



So many different and lovely handmade ideas in there, all I need now is the time to make them ;)

X

Sunday, 13 November 2011

It's A Tea Towel Thing....

We all know I have a thing for tea towels so when I was asked by the team at All Tea Towels if I would like to choose a couple of tea towels from their delicious website to try out, of course I couldn't resist. They have such a big range on there, and found it very hard to choose. So I got little Miss. Poppins to help me out and I let her choose one for herself. As we are a family who don't own a dishwasher, and all washing dishes duties are done by hand, I think it may encourage her to help out with drying the dishes a little more if she has her very own tea towel. Of course I knew she would want to choose something animal related, and wasn't at all surprised when she opted for this cute white terrier tea towel....


I have to say it has done the trick and she happily helps out when I call her to help me with the dishes. These are really good, high quality tea towels, I have been very impressed, and they wash really well too. When it came to me having a little choose for my very own tea towel, being the old romantic I am, and having honeymooned in wonderful Paris, I went for this pretty number....


Oh my, I just love it and whilst drying my pretty dishes am taken back to happy memories of a snow covered Paris, and walking hand in hand with my new husband along the Champs Elysées.... So if you are thinking of bringing a touch of tea towel magic into your kitchen , I would say this lovely website is well worth a visit.

X

Friday, 11 November 2011

I Did It!....

No, I haven't swum the channel, or baked a 10 tiered cake. I have managed to bring this little beauty back to life....


My orchid, my very lovely orchid that was given to me as a lovely birthday gift, over 15 months ago from a lovely lady and I treasure it. When I first received it, it was blooming, and beautiful and everything pretty orchids should be, though I am rubbish, quite rubbish at looking after house plants ( obviously I do something wrong ) so I knew my time with the orchid was going to be short and sweet. It was all too soon, after I had enjoyed all those beautiful flowers, that she withered and started to look pale and I knew the time was near. I tried in vain to have this orchid, this one I loved so very much stay with me, and not end up where all the others end up. I knew they could last for years and years, and so I did what I hope all lovers of house plants do....

I started talking to her....


  Gently and softly at first, so she wouldn't be startled. I asked her to grow big and strong as I so wanted to see her beautiful flowers again one day. I watered her, not too much, not too little, and I talked....


Not everyday, but when I glanced at her in the kitchen I gave her a knowing look, and said hello and occassionally we would have a chat. Yes, yes I know, you all think I am as daft as a brush! Well, slowly but surely she grew stronger and stronger, and the leaves grew, and then I saw one...her first little re-birth of a bud, and then there were more and more and more....I tried not to get too excited, and when I saw that first flower after a year of her being flower-less, I smiled the biggest smile. I can't believe I have done it, after years of trying, but not being able to grow anything, and I mean anything, it really made me well, a little proud.




So, do you think it was the talking....should I carry on with our little chats?

X

Monday, 7 November 2011

Shabby Chic Tricks....Living Room/Bedroom

In the second part of her shabby chic posts, guest blogger Jo-ann Fortune from Vintage Brighton.com offers up cheap and easy tricks to help introduce a sprinkling of shabby chic style into your living room and bedroom. In conjunction with this post you also have the opportunity to win a beautiful Jan Constantine Love cushion from John Lewis worth £58. All you have to do is leave a comment, answering a little question I have at the bottom of this post. So Jo-ann, over to you again.... 


BED BEAUTIFUL.... Bedspreads can help make or break a bedroom. For shabby chic style, choose floral print or plain pastel bedding - duck egg blue is big right now - or mix patterns and prints with a collection of vintage cushions, blankets and throws. And nothing says shabby chic quite like a quilted wicker blanket box at the bottom of the bed

SCATTER STYLE.... Scatter cushions offer one of the simplest ways to update the look and feel of a room, and there are thousands of delightful designs to choose from. The current craft revival has seen designers get ever more ambitious with cushion canvases, creating paper cut prints, patchwork pouffes and kitsch stitch designs - mini art works for your sofas and retro slogan cushions always make a statement.

FEATURE WALL.... Made famous back in the Changing Rooms days, the good old feature wall remains an interior design hero. Perfect for adding a slice of style fun, without going LLBOTT ( that's Laurence Llewelyn Bowen in case you were wondering ) A feature wall can take many forms, accommodating everything from statement wallpaper to an eclectic collection of mirrors and frames.



LIGHT UP A ROOM.... Novelty lighting seems to be everywhere at the minute, but forget fairy lights- it's all about pendant and table lamps this season. Look out for hanging teapots and glowing rabbits.
      
HANG-UP A HERO.... If you're a shabby chic girl at heart, you may well have a wardrobe full of vintage gems. Show them off by putting up vintage-style hooks - be it a white iron or 1950's' atomic piece - on one wall and hanging that fabulous frock for all to admire. Screw-on patterned door handles also offer nice display details.

SHOW & TELL.... If you're a bric-a-brac hunter or flea market fiend, look for cheap as chips pieces that could make perfect interior props. Old perfume bottles, hand held mirrors and combs look great on a dressing table. Pill boxes and pretty side plates are great for keeping bits and bobs together and glass bell jars help show off special finds and help reduce fiddly dusting jobs.

Thanks again Jo-ann for your informative tips on shabby chic style. And in conjunction with this post you have the fantastic opportunity to win this adorably shabby chic Jan Constantine Love cushion.




What I would like to know is ( as am of the nosy sort ) What is your favourite room in your home and why? Leave your comment on this post and a winner shall be drawn at random on November 14th. I shall then send the gorgeous cushion out to the winner. I have to say I myself have fallen in love with this cushion, and I know whoever wins it shall love it! Apologies but on this occasion the giveaway is open to UK residents only.


Good luck....

Thank you so much for sharing with me your lovely and very special spaces in your home, I really enjoyed reading your comments. On this occasion there can be only one winner pulled out of the hat and that winner was Dinki Dots Craft a lovely blog highlighting many scumptious crafty ideas and is a lovely colourful place to visit. Well done and enjoy your cushion.     


X


Disclosure: In return for publishing Jo-ann's guest posts, I received a shopping voucher for John Lewis  

Sunday, 6 November 2011

12 Years Ago Today....

I woke up this morning to this by the side of my bed....


Is it my birthday? No....and then I remembered. Today is our wedding anniversary. With Miss. Poppins' birthday yesterday, I find it easy to forget our special day. I can often be found last minute on her birthday in a card shop getting something suitable for Mr. Poppins. Of course I had to have a little peak whilst drinking my cup of tea in bed....


He knows me so well and I adore the pink floral cuff. So very me, and the card "Love On a Mountain Top" was very romantic. The children brought me in their special card, which is just so pretty....



So 12 years ago today there was quite a lot of this going on....


Happy Anniversary my beloved....

X

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Why I Always Remember The 5th Of November....

Happy 10th birthday to my most wonderful, and precious Miss. Poppins. You inspire me each and every day to be a better person, and I am so proud of you....


It makes me so happy that you love learning, reading and indeed school so very much, in fact you hate to miss a day off school. You have a real passion for writing and I know you shall go on to follow your heart and achieve all your dreams, whatever they may be. You are so much braver than your mummy, and even as ex cabin crew, you would never find me going up in one of these little ones.... Whereas you just love every second of it! Perhaps you shall encourage me to go up one day....




Like me, you love to sit on the beach, read a book and take in all your surroundings....


If I was your little brother I would feel so lucky to have you as my big sister, and I know there is your other very special little brother looking down on you today, smiling and sending you floaty kisses. More than anything I am so proud of your wonderful ability to empathise with others and take into account their feelings.... Happy Birthday sweetheart, we all love you so very, very much....

X

Friday, 4 November 2011

Shabby Chic Tricks....Kitchen/Dining Area

Please welcome guest blogger Jo-ann Fortune from Vintage Brighton.com who shall be writing two posts for my blog on a subject and style I love. In her first post for my blog Jo-ann shall be offering up cheap and easy tricks to help introduce a sprinkling of shabby chic style into your kitchen and dining area. Keep an eye out for Jo-ann's second post, which covers idea's for your living room and bedroom, and where also there shall be the fantastic opportunity to win a Jan Constantine Love cushion from John Lewis. So Jo-ann, over to you....

TABLE DRESSING....Wipe clean vinyl table cloths are not only practical but can help transform your kitchen or dining area at low cost. Look out for cute dog prints, vintage-feel floral fancies and Fifties' polka dots. And if you need a change of scene, simply swap the skin on your tables 

KITSCH 'N CAKE.... Whether you're queen of the home bake tea party, or just love a shop bought cupcake and cuppa, kitsch crockery is key to the shabby chic look. Collect old and new single colour pieces for a clean look - you can't go wrong with country-cottage white - or go eclectic with mix and match vintage style patterns and prints. Cake stands make the perfect showpiece in your kitchen, and when you're not entertaining can be used to hold sweets, keys or anything else lying around! They also make great jewellery stands.

GROW YOUR OWN.... Even the smallest flat can accommodate a herb box, and the introduction of live greenery in your kitchen will instantly soften a modern-day interior. As a general rule with shabby chic style, think vintage or re-worked rather than new, so dig out distressed plant pots with chipped paint, up-cycle pots with pastel paint testers or drill holes in old tins. You can also use taller retro receptacles as flower vases.



SCREW-ON STYLE.... Add fun shabby chic touches to tired chest of drawers, kitchen units or any old furniture with screw-on door handles. At only a few pounds each, you can try out different designs to help decide which one shall work for you.

 PAINT-BOX PRETTY.... Take a leaf out of Cath Kidston's book and update beaten-up chairs with paint tester pots. Sand down, paint the wood or metal supports in bright colour paints or pretty pastels and use these to inform the colour scheme of your room.            


Thanks Jo-ann for these useful tips and shall look forward to your second post highlighting shabby chic tricks for in the bedroom and living room.


X


Disclosure: In return for publishing Jo-ann's  guest posts, I received a shopping voucher for John Lewis.