Wednesday, 23 January 2013


This was the view this afternoon from my bedroom window, very pretty and very cold! I wonder how long this snowy spell will last?

Finally, a new post!

It's been ages since I blogged about anything so it's time to do a bit of updating. I've dropped the doll's house mini's for the time being - I just seem to have lost the enthusiasm somehow. I might get it back but it's pointless carrying on with it when I don't really feel like it. Nigel and I have an allotment now, we got it last Summer and spent a lot of time digging it and getting it in some sort of shape to grow a few things. We weren't all that successful, we started late in the year for planting and the weather wasn't great, and we were inundated by a vast army of slugs. We did manage to grow some courgettes, peas, sprouts, strawberries, beetroots, radishes and spinach, so we did okay. Oh, and my leeks are doing quite well, they are still in the ground and almost ready now. Hopefully this year we'll be able to grow more. One thing that was hugely successful was our crop of raspberries, not on the allotment but in our garden - we still had raspberries appearing in December! We didn't do a lot of foraging last year because we were so busy with the allotment, but we did go out one day to gather bilberries, which was backbreaking because they grow so low down and they're so tiny! We persevered though and brought back a big tub of them. I made bilberry pancakes, they were delicious and they freeze well, too. I'll definitely be gathering them again this year. So here we are in 2013, the year has got off to a slow start, not much work around and my car has to be taxed at the end of this month so I'm not exactly loaded at the moment but things will pick up soon I hope. I'm planning to find another job, something a bit different this year, even if it's just a few hours a week to start with. I feel as though I've got stuck in a bit of a rut and I need to branch out. I also plan to have a holiday this year - haven't been anywhere for ages!! A change of scenery is definitely needed! Things to buy this year... a new sofa, ours is very tatty now and I don't think it will stay in one piece for much longer. When I say a 'new' sofa, I actually mean a second-hand one, probably from FRAME. I don't see the point of spending hundreds of pounds when I can get on for around fifty/sixty quid! New stuff doesn't really interest me, I'm quite happy to buy second-hand stuff as long as it's in reasonable condition and clean. Besides, Neo, our cat, will claw whatever sofa we get anyway - even if we spent a zillion quid on it he'd start to wreck it as soon as it arrived, so what's the point? I'd also like to buy a pushbike, even though the incredibly steep hills that surround our village would render it practically impossible for me to go anywhere! I could cycle down to the beach though, that would be do-able and it would be fun, that's if we get any decent weather this year. I had a walk through the woods the other day, I was looking for cleavers, those long, clingy weeds that stick to everything - they make a brilliant tonic. I found some, they are still small at the minute but I managed to collect about half a carrier bag full and I drank the juice with fresh orange juice, it was lovely. It snowed heavily today so I couldn't go to work. Nigel came home early and said the road outside the village was very slippy so I stayed home and built a snowman :o) Well that's it for now, I have a sink full of washing-up to tackle so I'd better crack on!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

I've been completely taken over by the shabby chic bug! I've always liked the style but I found a blog online which has absolutely and totaly inspired me to create a shabby chic house. I've started with the bedroom - it seemed the obvious place to begin because of all the lovely soft colours and textures that make a bedroom wonderful! Not that it can't be done elsewhere in the house (and it definitely will be!) but anyway, that's the room I've started on. Nigel made the actual shell of the room for me because he's much better with awkward shapes, and it is an unusual shape, but that's what gives it its appeal - it's so different! I'm really bored with boxy dolls houses!! I'm not even thinking of this new project as a dolls house, it's a miniature setting- a place I would be comfortable to live in if it was real size :o)

I'm having a great time making all the stuff to go into the room, and something I've never done before - making mini clothes to hang in the wardrobe, and I'm loving it! I've actually discovered that I'm quite good at it, which is a nice surprise :o)

I've found out how to drape fabric so that it looks real which is brilliant! it makes a huge difference to the overall look of the scene. I've also learned how to make little shabby chic pitchers - they're made out of paper but they look like enamel, amazingly realistic even in close-up and so easy that even my very first attempt, which I thought would be a bit wonky, is perfect! (they're quite strong, too) You can see my first pitcher in the pic above - I've made lots more since then, but this one seems to 'fit'. Today I made the negligee which you can see on the bed, I bought some pretty lace that I found in the market and used that, it took about fifteen minutes to make, then a couple of minutes to condition it to fall nicely onto the bed. The photo on the bedside table is a pic of my grandmother - somehow the place looks warmer with her in it :o)
The cat was also bought at the market but a few weeks ago - I would prefer a cat with fur.... but we'll see.

I also bought some beautiful cream lace today (a headband from peacocks for £2.00) and I might use it to replace the curtains, as I'm not too sure about them....

Thursday, 4 November 2010

The time seems to be going very fast lately - the Summer's gone and Christmas is just around the corner! Last night I made some little hearts out of Fimo (my favourite) clay. I did them in Duck egg blue, which I love, being a shabby chic fanatic! My attention is turning to Christmas goodies - I bought a brilliant little book from the market last weekend, it's got loads of ideas in it for simple gifts, decorations and wrapping.

The other day I bought a little cabinet from a second-hand store, they wanted £15 for it but the top was damaged so I got it down to £10 - it's lovely, just right for practising my shabby chic painting technique. Nigel's going to take the top off and repair it for me, then I can get down to business with my paints!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Flower shop :o)

My latest project is a little flower shop. During a recent visit to a charity shop I found a little box shaped like a house, the front opens outward to reveal two little rooms inside. It only cost 50p and I was going to furnish it in the usual way with a living room downstairs and a bedroom upstairs but the front of it is nicely painted with two little topiary trees, so I decided to make a little shop downstairs and a living area over it. I painted the inside soon after I got it home, and last night I built some little fixtures and fittings. I made a shelf unit which covers the whole of the side wall, a counter, a small shelf for the wall behind the counter, and a door on the back wall (to access an imaginary staircase leading to the living area). I'm pleased with the way it looks even thought it's still very bare - there's still a lot to do, I need vases and flowers, seed packets, ribbons, wrapping paper, paper bags, etc, etc, etc. - oh, and a little cash register, of course! Then there's the upstairs to do!

Meanwhile, back at the 24th scale house, I now have a bed! Hooray! I wasn't too impressed with the bedding so I decided to make my own. I wanted to try to make a patchwork quilt, so I gave it a go, but I'd never done any patchwork before and it took three attempts to get it right. The first one was totally wrong, I had no idea how to do it and completely bodged it! I persevered and had a look online and found out how it should be done, so I started patchwork number two - which was much better but I wasn'thappy with it because I made it far too small, I wanted a cosy, snuggly looking quilt with plenty of drop at the sides, so I started again. Patchwork number three was a success, thankfully - it took six hours to make but it turned out well and I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself. I even made two little matching pillows.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Old-fashioned light bulbs and a dolls house!

On Monday we went out shopping and bought a load of lightbulbs - not the 'energy-saving' ones, but good, old-fashioned, 'normal' ones. The ones that do not give me headaches, make my eyes sting or make me feel tired and weak after sitting under them for an hour or so. I felt the difference the same night, I didn't get so tired, my eyes didn't hurt and when I did go to bed, I slept well and felt refreshed when I woke up. I will never use 'energy-saving' ones again - I'd use candles first! Actually, someone told me that 40 tea lights placed in a room would not only light it but also heat the room, even in Winter - so I think I might try it, sounds nice and cosy!

I gave into temptation last week and bought myself another dolls house - this time a half-scale one. I've never worked with that scale before but I'm really enjoying it. It doesn't take up much room, which is a good thing because space is at a premium in our little cottage! I've made a dresser for the dolls house and I'm very pleased with the way it turned out - I didn't expect it to look so good! I made it out of a little cardboard box and some other bits that I had lying around. I prefer to make my own stuff and put some of my character into it. I've seen some lovely houses with beautiful furniture in them, but they have no life in them, no surprises. and the same furniture can be seen, laid out in a similar way, in a hundred other houses. It gets boring and predictable - I love to see home-made furniture, with all it's little quirks, it's much nicer and much more fun.

I love this picture, the room is starting to look cosy and lived-in. I made the dresser, the little circular rug, the door on the far wall (it doesn't lead anywhere but it gives the impression of more rooms, lol) the 'carpet' is a piece of wallpaper. The 'blanket' on the armchair looks very comfortable, I could just snuggle up in it! There are a few bought pieces, which I'll probably remove later and replace with my own hand-made stuff, but for now I'm really happy with it - there's still loads more to do yet though! I haven't even started the bedroom yet!

Friday, 20 August 2010

Where's the time gone???

Good grief - I just realised that it's been ages since I created this blog and I haven't writen anything for over a month! I really must put more effort into this, lol! It's quite late at night... oh, actually, it's quite early morning now.. (blimey, there's another example of time going quickly!), so I'm not going to launch into a big post right now as have to be up fairly early for my Saturday caretaking job. I'll probably settle down and write something later in the day when I get back home. Nighty night!! :o)