Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Currently Loving.......

....Crochet and Cosy....

Bed socks. I realised I have never shown these before. I made these before Christmas. I was smitten with Yvestown's Christmas Stocking tutorial. I made a couple for my mantel but realised that with a few adjustments I could make a great pair of bed socks. So, voila. No pattern for this. It was just an adaptation of Yvonne's pattern.....a fiddle of adding an extra section to the foot and making a heel.

I do love these. Simple, yet effective. They are cotton so they are prone to stretching a little, but a hot wash brings them back again.

I think I would love to make more. I'll add them to my HUGE list of things to make.


....Latte's in my gardening cup....

A really useful cup I have had for a couple of years. I picked it up on the sale shelf at my local garden centre. I knew it was a gem waiting to be had. It has a neat little suction cover that sits on the top and keeps my coffee hot whilst i'm out in the garden working. The bright yellow sunshiny colour and the little seedling on the top make it a perfect outdoor cup for my latte. It makes gardening so much sweeter. I am not the best gardener. Actually i'm pants. A few weeds pulled and I start to moan at the exhaustion of it all!


.......Blue skies, warm days and gentle breezes.....

I'm loving being out and about and having doors and windows open again. Having so much rain these past few months, I appreciate it all the more.


....Making this.....

I love making this at the moment. I love eating this at the moment. It can be adapted to make it more suited to smaller children also. I love playing about with this recipe. Seriously currently loving this. Click here if you fancy the recipe too.



One of my favourite song lines.


.....New Television Series....

Image : Google

I am a sucker for these kind of things. Loved 'Angel' and 'Roswell' and liking this.


.....Lego art.....

A heart, a flower and an 'I LOVE YOU' made for me by Baby Bear. I just love these. They will eventually go in my 'forever' box, but for the next few years they are staying on display.


......Discovering something new, and not getting enough of it.....

Piano, violin, cello and a dreamy voice sells it to me every time.



Yes I know it may get boring, but seriously, having a room that is clean and fresh and tidy is really something for me to get excited about. I live with three VERY messy boys, it's chaos most of the time everywhere. It's a small little space, but it's my little space and it's working for me. I know that many of you have requested to see more of it. Well, actually there's not much more to show! It's hard to capture a small galley kitchen well, and I couldn't find my other lense for my camera so only had my macro lense, which was no help. I took pics on my phone, so they are not the best quality, but hey ho, there you go.....

I still have a wooden shelf to put up on this side below the wall cabinets. Just a thin one cut from the left over wooden worktops to keep my spice jars and oil bottles on.

Our kitchen is south facing so gets a huge amount of sunshine which I love. I chose the wall cabinets to go right up to the ceiling. Before, I had old units that stopped halfway up the wall, and then a whole heap of kitchen rubbish was shoved on top and it looked bitty and messy. It looks sleeker now all hidden away, although it does make me look even shorter than I normally am. Eeek! The base cabinets are mainly drawers as they proved to be easier to access stuff. I loathed having to get everything out of a cupboard to get something right at the back all the time. Drawers takes all this away.

To compensate for a big row of cabinets on one side, only one cabinet was put up on my sink side and shelving was used to open things up a bit. I'm happy about that. I get to faff about a lot with that and it gives me enormous pleasure. One week Rice DK brights, the next pastel hues.....I'm a little sad like that I know.

So, there it is. The units came from ikea. I am slightly Scandinavian obsessed. I enjoy being in my kitchen now. I even enjoy stacking and unstacking the dishwasher or washing in the sink! Not sure how long that will last but, for now, it's a joy.


What are YOU currently loving?


Monday, 14 April 2014

Glorious..... how I can only describe this last weekend.

The sun shone brightly. 

OH MY WORD.... I have longed for a lovely sun shiny bright warm weekend.

I'm like a butterfly. If the sun shines and I absorb the heat, it wakes me up, gives me energy and makes me raring to go. Give me cold and grey and I'm still and quiet. Warm sunny days are good for my house. I get a lot done. I always want to spring clean when I can have the doors and windows open.

This weekend, the sun shone, my wings warmed and fluttered and I JUST LOVED IT.

I got to do what I love to do.....and what I have waited soooooooooo long for. 

I got to wake up before everyone else, the sun was rising in the clear blue skies. I tip toed into a bright kitchen, put the kettle on and had my first cup of morning tea in the garden. I always sit and listen to 'Cumulus' by Imogen Heap. I hear the pigeons with their lovely call and watch the honey and bumble bees as they start their day buzzing from one flower to another in search of their elixir. I close my eyes, gaze up at the sky and smell the fresh dewy air. 

It's heaven. 

This is MY elixir. 


I did a few rows on my ripple blanket. This blanket has been put to one side whilst a) the kitchen was being done.....and b) I found a ball of yarn I had run out of the proved rather elusive. I am enjoying working on this blanket. I have had to find my rhythm again. I don't know if anyone else finds this, but if you put a project away for a while, when you get back to it, your colour pattern shifts. I found that my colour combinations were different even using the same shades. I guess that's what happens when you are random colour matching, but I guess I like that. It's telling a story and making it individual to me.

So...happy colourful rows on my hook.

Then the garden........ poor neglected garden.

Feeling happy at giving it some love.

 Feeling happy at seeing five Peony buds coming up. The first year really anything has happened since I planted it 4 years ago from a root.

Feeling happy at seeing TWO Bumble Bee nests in my patch. We had just one last year, and it was so lovely as they are quite rare to come across. Bumble Bees have small nests and don't swarm. Their nests aren't active for that long either. It was lovely seeing them take off and land last year. They were HUGE, and they sounded like vintage planes. 

Feeling happy seeing the bluebells in full bloom. I ADORE these. I ADORE taking pictures of these.

Not happy at seeing a queen wasp hanging around on the garden fence. Whenever I see her I know she is starting the nest building process in our shed. It seems a good spot for them every year. They swiftly get removed in the early stages of construction before they become a problem. Fascinating things though. I could stare at them for hours. The workmanship is next to none. Simply amazing.

I scattered wild flower seeds this year in view of helping the bees and butterflies next year. My patch is only small but I want to do my bit.

As a massive fan of  BBC's 'Countryfile', I loved their idea of giving away 230,000 wildflower seed packets from the RHS to help people do their bit.

It was scary to hear that in the last 100 years, we have lost 90% of our wild meadows in the UK. YIKES. 

So, I hope my little wild flower patches take.

I made an Easter cake. Yummy. It lasted moments. The Bears devour this cake quickly every time, they love it so much. Soft, moist vanilla-y sponge with creamy butter frosting. Sometimes the simplest things are the best.

Feeling happy at getting a few more bits done in the kitchen. I still have a bit more painting to do and a few other little bits, but it's almost done so I feel happy.

Feeling happy at lazy coffee guzzling this weekend. Yeap, still loving the cafetiere. It's awesome.

Loving the glow of the morning rising sun. You can't beat it.

Feeling happy with washing on the line. You can't beat that either. The smell of fresh laundry flapping in the gentle breeze. Ahhhhh just lovely.

Just happy being in my little sunny space this weekend.

So.....all in all.....a glorious weekend was had.

I hope that you had a glorious one too.

The sun is shining bright this morning too. On the agenda is more garden tidying, morning cups of tea in the sun and spray painting 'Primrose'

Have a super week all...


Thursday, 10 April 2014

A Happy Little Ta-dah..... beloved Francis Francis has come out of storage. 

I have missed her.

It's good to have her back.

I love this coffee machine. I love how, to make a coffee with her, it takes time. You enjoy the process as much as the drinking.

In truth though, she is mainly saved for weekend lazing, when I actually want to savour the art of making a coffee from her.

During the week when I want my coffee fix, I have a little filter coffee machine that can cope with coffee on the go. I love the sound of the coffee percolating through the filter, and the aroma of fresh coffee wafting through the house.

Sadly, my little filter coffee machine was ready to retire. It wasn't very happy at all. I had a dilemma. Do I get another one for my weekday fix? In truth, I actually didn't want a second coffee machine in my kitchen. My aim was to have a more streamlined kitchen with less clutter. 

Very hard for me I know.

So, I took the decision that I would make do with a cafetiere. The trouble was, that the one I had, well, he wasn't a happy little soul either. He didn't want to pour where I wanted him to pour. 

Yesterday, I had errands to run, and whilst I was out and about, I thought I would make a last ditch attempt to try and locate a specific colour and type of yarn in a department store. The upshot of it was, was that I managed to find it....yay.....but on my way out of the door I spied this.....

My eyes wide with delight I ran walked over to paw at it lovingly. Eyes even wider with delight when I saw that it was on sale for 70% off. Bargain, and it was coming home with me. I see these types of events happening as a REALLY meant to be kind of thing! A multi-coloured cafetiere, what more could a girl ask for?! Well, probably a lot, but we'll leave that there.

It did look bare though...and needed a little something..... guessed it...


It had to be done. A stripey little jacket to keep my coffee at the perfect temperature. Practical too, no?

So, in stripey heaven last night I was hooking away happily.

It fits in nicely, it makes the perfect weekday coffee so I am a happy little soul. A bargain of colourful stripey-ness. Woo Hoo.


p.s. The cafetiere is made by Boden and the pattern was from Nicki Trench's' Cute and Easy Crochet' (although I did modify the pattern to fit this particular cafetiere).

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Kitchen Bliss......

I inherited our old kitchen when we moved into our house 12 years ago. The cupboards were sound and ok, so a little makeover was done just to make it more 'us'. Cupboards were painted, new worktop was put in. Tiles we hated were replaced by tongue and groove we loved more. It worked well. It wasn't ALL us, but we didn't have the money to re-fit a whole kitchen, even if it was a small one. I managed to make it work for several years and be content with what changes were made. Every so often, the cupboards would get a sand down and a re-paint to freshen them up and make it look a bit more presentable again.

The last couple of years though saw our little kitchen start to struggle. One by one the drawers started to become stiff and not move. One by one the door hinges started to droop, become loose and, eventually become unfixable. Even a lick of paint couldn't disguise how tired my little kitchen had become.

In truth, it had become a daily battle. One which frustrated me. This was a place that, although small, needed to be hardworking. With the three Bears CONSTANTLY in the kitchen opening cupboards and fridges searching for food, it needed to work better.......and I was desperate to be able to get into a drawer without my arm almost falling off.

I didn't want fancy, I just wanted the basics. It was a small galley kitchen, all we were going to do was replace units like for like. Appliances were still sound so they could stay. It was going to be quick.....and easy. 

So, the thought was a good one. It was really not a whole kitchen re-furbishment, really just replacing units and keeping everything else.

Well, things never quite pan out the way you want them too, do they? Quite soon we realised that the units I had were made in old style kitchen measurements. The units I wanted had a whole different set of measurements which meant the whole 'easy peasy' like for like just wasn't going to work. It became the flowers on the window sill scenario. Bit by bit, all the things we were planning on keeping we had to change also.

We were working on a set budget too, trying to keep costs down to a minimum, so most of the work was done by myself and family members. That took the length of this kitchen re-fit to a few months.

It has been a long few months. I have had a house in a complete mess for such a long time, it's been a real struggle to keep on top of things, both physically and mentally. Whilst not being a neat freak, I just found staring at piles and piles of stuff week in week out completely draining. Tripping over everything too. Add to that the messy Bears and you get the picture right? Paying people to have the kitchen done in a few days, was certainly the easiest option, but I have to say, the sense of satisfaction of completing it (almost) is really rather nice. I still hate grouting. Actually I hate it with a passion. My fingers are still a little numb and sore, and my nails look very battered and sorry for themselves.

After 8 weeks of complete chaos, things started to get better, and I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

It's still not completely finished. I'd say it's 95% done. But all the little bits can be done as and when. I'm happy to take my time on the little things. I still have some excess worktop to chop up and make some butchers blocks with and a shelf. But I have a workable kitchen, and the rest of the house is slowly getting back to normal.

After 12 years of living with part of someone else's kitchen dream, I can walk into a room that is more me. It's's lovely. It's not grand, it's quirky with its non professional fitting, but I like that. Uneven walls and floors make for tricky work.

Trouble now shows me just how tired the rest of the house is! I'm not in any hurry to start up another project. I'll love the lived in battered look for now!