Monday, 31 May 2010

RHS Chelsea & Car Bootie Treasures

What a busy but lovely weekend I've had. Saturday I was up with the lark and off to RHS Chelsea whilst Mr P packed the little ones into the car and headed off to Legoland for the day.

Chelsea did not disappoint this year at all - well apart from the damp and dreary weather. We managed to avoid the one heavy down pour by heading into the main marquee.

I loved the floral displays by the very talented florists. This years theme " hats" looked fabulous all decked out with the little furry rabbits ears leaves and beautiful orchid flowers, here are a few of my favourites.

The large show gardens were as usual brilliant but this year for the first time I preferred them to the small gardens. The small gardens which are normally my favourite didn't work for me. I did however like the rhubarb and custard garden

An interesting inscription, we had better take good care of our little bees, the work they do is invaluable to human life.

I have created a couple of collages of the other Chelsea highlights.

The orchids were breathtaking, I particularly love the auriculas. My Mother in law bought me two packets of seeds which she has promised to grow for me. She is very green fingered so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

The displays of delphiniums and lupins were as fab as ever, also the hostas were pretty spectacular. I loved the displays of vegetables, they wow me every single year. I found my perfect hen house too, if I ever have the room or inclination to keep hens.

We enjoyed wandering around the gardens and spent ages mooching in the grand marquee and also spent a fair bit of time and money looking around all of the stands. I noticed this year that there was plenty of vintage bits to be had. I found a stand that sold odd bits of china and handmade cushions made from vintage fabrics. These two had to come home with me.

I bought this pretty floral tea cup and saucer along with two matching cake plates. They odd thing is my mother in law has a matching teapot in this design but nothing else. I reckoned it was fate so felt I just had to have them.
I managed to get a free fennel plant at the end of the show but decided this year not to bother with the four o'clock mad rush to buy up plants.
A lovely but very busy day was finished off nicely by meeting up with Mr P and the kiddlies at the local Italian restaurant. The perfect way to end a lovely day.
Sunday was spent recovering from Saturday but we did manage to find time to squeeze in a cinema trip to see Street dance 3D. I loved the dancing even if the story line was a bit cheesy.
I had an early night on Sunday and was up with the lark this morning. It was a tough decision either do the ironing or go to the car boot sale, no guessing which one I choose.
I left the little ones and Mr P snoozing in bed and headed off to the bank holiday Monday boot sale. It was a bit sparse, not up to its normal standard but that in itself didn't stop me from sniffing out some fab bargains.
I found these two lovelies for the grand price of £7.00. I already have a fair bit of cornish ware and have paid substantially more for my existing pieces.

I got this Royal Worcester tea pot for £2.00 and also a very pretty cup and saucer and little jug for another £2.00.

I also got some lego for Alex, a gorgeous wicket basket which Daisy has bagged for her bedroom, a large round crochet blanket in pinks and purples, again bagged by Daisy, a very pretty duck egg blue small embroidered table cloth and a couple of wade animals. So all in all a pretty good bag.
I returned home at about 9 ish to find them still snoozing!
We have spent some of the day in the garden, and tonight braved the slight chill in the air and had a barbecue.
We are all very excited this week, apart from it being half term, its the Britain's got talent simi-finals week. We all love it apart from Mr P.
I am looking forward to a restful week (ish). Out for the day tomorrow and on Friday we are having a vintage tea party for the little ones and my good friend Julia and her little girls. Daisy is very excited and is going to write out their invitation tomorrow. I am hoping for a dry day on Friday.
Have a good week whatever you do.
Alison x

Friday, 28 May 2010

Two updates in one day!

Just a quicky, I forgot to add this picture to my earlier post.

This is where I found the daft ginger mog this afternoon. She was very happy just lounging in the sink. Pepe is by far the daftest cat we have ever had.

Anyway enjoying a rather pleasant evening sat in bed, reading blogs, updating and generally having a bit of a surf whilst listening to a very tired Mr P snoring gently next to me and indulging in a bit of retro 80's music currently being shown on BBC2. It's featuring Duran Duran on top of the pops from the glorious 80's.

I do love 80's music and Duran Duran were a particular favourite of mine. Mr LeBon is very pleasing on both the ear and the eye! Anyway back to the Wild Boys.


Its the Weekend - hooray!!

It's the weekend again, how did that happen so quickly. It's been another busy busy week, and once again very little time for updating my blog.

Its been a rather sociable week, I have enjoyed a nice lunch and catch up with my friend Rachel, a leisurely coffee and mooch around the charity shop with Julia and a couple of nights out with the mums from school as well.

Talking of school, we are now on half term holiday for a week. I do love half term, its a chance to catch up with friends and chill out with the little ones. I fear we will be having lots of pyjama mornings next week.

We are off to Whipsnade Zoo on Tuesday, which is always a fun but very tiring day out. I am meeting up with an old friend and her two children. I am looking forward to it and am keeping my fingers crossed for good weather.

I am having a day out tomorrow with the in laws including my lovely sister-in-law. We are all off to Chelsea flower show for the madness that is the last day. We went last year and had a fabulous child free day out and went a bit mad at the 4pm plant sell off.

Mr P is being very brave and is taking the little ones plus two of their friends (both very well behaved I hasten to add) to Legoland for the day. Rather him than me!

Last weekend the great garden tart up continued and it was the turn of the play house. Here is the before picture:-

I agree it looks rather tatty and unloved. Can you see a little Alex face peeking through the window!
And here is the new taa -daa version, much smarter don't you think.
It had a couple of coats of paint, one cream and the other sea moss green. New Cath Kidston curtains, made from a bargain piece of fabric I bought ages ago from a scraps/seconds basket. Bunting and a tea light lantern. Also planted up the window boxes with geraniums, marigolds and a windmill!

Here's a front on shot with a rather strange looking Daisy smiling away and a sulky Alex having the hump about something or other.
I am all in garden mode at the moment so I thought I would add a poppy picture. I love poppies and have several types in the garden. The big oriental ones are just starting to flower, they look gorgeous but unfortunately each year the seem to get badly hit by the rain and never really recover. I think rain is forecast for tomorrow!

Mr P spent most of Sunday sorting out the garden lights. He installed them last Summer but whenever we have rain they seem to trip out our electric. He spent ages sealing each light up making sure it was water tight but after rain yesterday the electric tripped out again tonight. I think it might be a case of buying some better quality lights that are actually water tight. Anyway, here is a picture taken when the lights were working.
I am still working on my items for the fairy tale swap and just have a hand made item to finish off. I haven't really done much crafting this week but hopefully will have a bit more time next week to catch up and make a bit of progress.
I am planning on taking my camera to Chelsea tomorrow so all being well with do a Chelsea post over the weekend.
Hoping you all have a great weekend.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Thursday Update

I have been a bit lapse with my blog this week to say the least. The time has just gone and I haven't had a spare moment to update. What have I been doing with all my time I hear you ask and the answer is simple - gardening.

I normally love to garden, enjoy getting my hands dirty but for some unknown reason this year my gardening bug has left home. It has been a real effort to do anything out in the garden, weeding and pottering has not really been happening. Mr P has been doing lots but with very little help from me. This weekend I thought to myself enough is enough, time to get my act together and get that bloody garden sorted out.

We started on Saturday and had a general tidy up, planted up all the hanging baskets, tubs and pots. I also bought some more perennials and the plan was to weed all the boarders and then find suitable positions for the new plants. I intended to start the great weedathon on Sunday but we awoke to very grey skies and torrential downpours.

Monday was spent out having a rather nice lunch with my friend Julia, so it was Tuesday before the weeding commenced in earnest. It was a struggle if I'm totally honest and my heart wasn't really in it but once I had broken the back of it I started to feel that old pride in the garden feeling return.

When Mr P came in he power washed the patio, lugged pots to new positions and helped finish of the mini garden revamp. The little ones were very keen to help, Alex in particular with the power washer. He was absolutely filthy by the end of it all.

Anyway the garden is up to scratch again, and I am keen once again to potter and tweak and generally take pride in our lovely garden.

Here are a few pics from the last week.

The veiw from half way down the garden looking towards the house.

Billy and Bobby the (horrible) lovely garden gnomes that the little ones have in their fairy garden by the play house. That's the only place in the garden where ornaments are allowed to go.

The view up the garden from the kitchen window.

The alliums that are just starting to come out. They are a much darker purple in real life.

Mr P's beloved tree ferns. This is the biggest one, he has another two which are much smaller.

Mr P and Alex potting up a flower trough.
I did manage a little browse at an antiques fair at the weekend. It's only a little event held ever month in a local hall. I bought a couple of Suzy Cooper cups and saucers and side plates. I love the gardenia on the cups. I am getting a little collection of pretty floral cups together now. I managed to find a very sweet lily of the valley cup, saucer and side plate in the charity shop last week. I will have to have some friends around for a tea party soon!

I was a very lucky girl this week. I entered a mini giveaway competition held by the lovely Heather at pink milk. I had to guess which Cath Kidston Ipod cover she had ordered. I was one of three winners! I never win anything, so I was over the moon. This morning the postman left me this lovely little parcel.

Which contained this fab little bits and bobs. Thank you so much Heather they are fab. I haven't shown Daisy or Alex as they will want to claim them for themselves. They have already managed to pinch nearly all my Cath Kidston note cards that I bought the other week.

My friend Julia and I went to our very first knitting and crochet meeting at the local pub and we had a lovely evening. We learnt how to do treble crochet and spent a very pleasant evening hooking away.
I finally finished my book club book "One day" and it was a fab read. Once I had got into it, I couldn't put it down. I stayed up until 1am reading last Saturday. I do miss all night reading. I used to do it often pre children.
A few mums from school have started a new book club this week, we had our first meeting yesterday and have decided to read The girl with the dragon tattoo. I'm not sure I can really fit in two book clubs, crocheting and making/crafting into my already busy life but hey I'll do my best. I don't think I could ever find time to do a full time real job anymore. I was an accountant for sixteen years, worked right up until Daisy started school but now all I do are a few cleaning jobs during term time just to earn a bit of pocket money and also to fill a few spare hours. Oh how the mighty have fallen!
I do wish I could find a proper job that would fit in around the family and still give me enough time to craft, read etc. I could do accounts/book keeping from home, but its is so very dull and we don't really have any spare room which I would need to use as a study. If anyone has any great ideas/careers advice then feel free to send them my way.
I am hoping the weekend is going to be warm and sunny. I have bought some paint for the playhouse and intend to make a start on revamping the tired little house. Mr P has to work on Saturday so its just me and the kiddies. Well actually me and Alex as Daisy is off to a brownie sleepover on Saturday afternoon.
I am hoping to have our first bbq on Sunday and have invited my sister around for tea. Fingers crossed for warn, sunny out in the garden sort of weather then.
Till next time.
PS I have been trying to get bits and pieces together for Vanessa at happi-ness fairy tale swap, its proving trickier than first anticipated!

Monday, 10 May 2010

Bears, Fairs & Millionaires

What a chilly old days its been here in Bucks, it's been sunny but very chilly. Had a fairly domesticated day today, catching up on washing and housework, all rather boring but necessary I suppose.

We have been to the fair tonight, each year on the 10th of May Beaconsfield hold its annual charter fair. The fair people take over Beaconsfield old town and set up their rides on the roads. We have always gone and its a date the kids really look forward to. I did plan to take my camera but silly old me left it at home.

I love going to the fair, like the atmosphere, the candy floss etc but you will not ever in a million years get me to go on any ride that goes faster than the carousel horses. I am a real scaredy cat at heart. Daisy and her friend went on a hideously fast ride that threw them side to side and up and down and I couldn't even bear to watch. I did have a go on the dodgems, which was fun. I went on with Alex and boy, he has an awful lot to learn about driving a car, he was a maniac! It was very cold by the time we left and I was glad to come home to a nice warm house and put the kettle on for a warming cuppa.

I did manage to pop out for a quick scout around the Charity shops this morning. I went into Beaconsfield to pay cheques in at the bank but I new deep down the pull of a charity shop would be too much to resist.

I found these two little lovelies which just had to come home with me

Also found this kitsch little box

Which contained these pretty little hankies. Daisy has a new fondness for proper hankies since her cold, so was very pleased with these. They washed up a treat.

I found another little Stratton compact for my collection on Saturday when I was out an about, another great charity shop find. Apparently a little old lady had donated about five of them. There were some lovely ones but they wanted £20 for the some of them! I love the cornflowers on this one, cornflowers are one of my favourite flowers.

Bought this little hand held mirror too, I think it looks pretty sat on my dressing table.

After enduring a very long 17 hour day on Thursday on election duty, I decided to have a little treat (yes another one) paid for from my earnings. I found this little bear and fell in love with her ever so slightly grumpy face, she just had to come home and join the other teds.

The millionaires part of my post is that I have won the lottery - no only kidding!! I finally got round to making the millionaires shortbread. Daisy helped make them and they were a huge success. Very tasty, particularly if eaten for breakfast! Sorry there are no photographs, they were gobbled up in less than 24 hours. I think we will be making some more very soon.
Very exciting news, my friend Julia and I are off to our very first knitting and crochet evening at a local pub tomorrow. Julia managed to find out about the evening and we have been invited along. Now our ambition on the crochet front has always been to learn to crochet and make a granny square blanket. Mr P thinks its hilarious and is convinced it will be full of grannies and people named Daphne, sipping bitter lemon drinks and knitting socks.
I will leave you with a picture of the daft ginger pudding chasing a plastic string around the kitchen. She spent ages playing with it this afternoon. She kept on batting it under the fridge and then just looked very confused as to where it had gone. She was last in the queue when they were handing out brains was our Pepe.

Till next time.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

My Apron is Done!!! Alex please don't peek

Alex please don't look if you want a surprise. I am just so pleased the apron is finished that I just had to tell someone.

My apron is made!! I started it yesterday evening and worked on it until midnight, I know, how silly am I when I have to get up at 6.45am. I then spent a very pleasant afternoon finishing it off today. I am really really pleased with it, even though it was very labour intensive.
So here it is... tad da

For anyone who is remotely interested I used some plain white cotton ticking fabric for the body, sewed blue bias binding around the edges. I used a coral pink gingham check fabric for the pocket and added a vintage look floral fabric to the top of the pocket. I used the gingham fabric to make the neck strap and the floral to make the side ties. I added fabric covered buttons to the end of each strap (where they fix to the apron) which I covered with the contrasting fabric.

I found a lovely cotton tea towel covered with teacups and teapots and pinking sheared around a few of them and then sewed these onto the apron using embroidery thread in chain stitch.

I have also added three little heart shaped ceramic buttons.

So there you go one finished apron about to be shipped off to the other side of the world (I think the address is Australia).

I love doing these creative swaps, they are a bit like reading a good back that sort of gets you back into reading. I am now all ready for more making and might even get to finish off some of my work in progress.

Poor old Daisy has been off school today with a dreadful cold, her new Cath Kidston hankie has been washed twice already! We have had a very lazy afternoon, she watched Harry Potter for the 100 th time (well it feels like that) and I sat sewing.

I had the joy of going to a training session this morning for the elections on Thursday. I used to work for the Council so have always helped on election day. I have the joy of a fifteen hour day to look forward to on Thursday. I will make sure I take plenty of nice things to eat and some magazines to read. Saying that a General Election is always very busy, so I'm guessing there won't be much time to read.

Daisy spent the morning at Nanny and Grampy's house and she was feeling so under the weather she didn't even bother to get dressed, she sat in the car in her pj's and dressing gown.

Whilst I remember, we made some marshmallow cupcakes using the Hummingbird recipe book. They were a bit fiddly. If someone could please tell me how you melt marshmallows and then spoon it into the middle of a cupcake then I would be really grateful. I just about managed the melting part but it stuck to the spoon and the bowl and me. I added a tiny drop of molten marshmallow to about three cakes and then gave up. We just added lots of them to the butter icing. They did look, if I'm honest, a bit like a dogs breakfast but boy did they taste nice Mmmmm.

Anyway off to make the tea, its fish tonight with some saute potatoes and good old frozen peas.

Till next time.

Alison x

Monday, 3 May 2010

Sring cleaning and shopping sprees

I hope you are all having a great weekend, its been good here so far. The weather today has been rubbish though, very wet most of the day. We haven't ventured very far at all and have spent a large proportion of the day have a mini spring clean.

Mr P occasionally starts off these tidy up marathons and usually ropes us all in. Today it started in Alex's bedroom and spread very quickly to the rest of the house. We have sorted out lots of junk, put stuff in the loft and have three very large bags to take to the Charity shop on Tuesday. The little girl over the road acquired some games and a lovely dolly with its very own potty. She was very pleased with her newly acquired toys. We just seem to amass such a lot of things and our house is small and can't cope with it all. It feels a bit better after the tidy up and at least there is a bit more space - for now!

Yesterday we spent the whole day out and about. The little ones wanted to go swimming and I had a burning desire to have a mooch around the shops. We decided to head off to Windsor where I could shop and Mr P and the kiddies could swim. I would normally swim with them but after my night out on Friday, I was feeling a little worse for wear and swimming was definitely not on my agenda.

I dropped them off at the pool, parked the car and then headed for my first stop a much needed coffee and pastry at Carluccios. There is something about an cappuccino and a pastry that just hits the spot and sets a girl up for a bit of retail therapy.

After wolfing it down, I headed up to the Castle and spent far to long in Cath Kidston's. The shop in Windsor is fabulous. It is bang opposite the Castle, situated in a two storey listed building and is the perfect back drop for all CK lovely things.

I went a bit mad to be honest. I bought Alex a cowboy T shirt and some racing car shorty pyjamas, bought this lovely necklace and earrings which are a lovely jade green and looks perfect with a top I have in exactly the shame shade of green. Sorry the photo's a bit dark, but Mr P is snoring away next to me and I didn't want to put on the light!

I also bought some hankies, one for me, one for Alex and a strawberry one for Daisy. She has a stinking cold which started yesterday after swimming so hers has been well and truly used already!

Bought this lovely flowery flask too, a bit of Cath will cheer up a picnic I reckon.

Treated myself to some stationery. I haven't shown these to the little ones as they would pinch them and I would never see them again.

And my final Cath purchase was my Summer bag, bit of a spur of the moment purchase but I'm rather pleased with it. Its a canvas tote, just need to pop all my bits and pieces in it.

After my excesses in Cath's I decided to pop into Daniels which is a lovely department store. I headed straight for the clothes and found this lovely new range called Palace. Its all very feminine easy to wear clothes. I fell in love with this floaty top, it looks fab with jeans, I think it has a vintage feel to it. I also bought a lovely soft grey flowy cardigan and little camisole top, no photos as I wore it today. I am well and truly skint now.

I met Mr P and the littlies for lunch in Gourmet Burger which was delicious. Poor Alex was literally crying with hunger after swimming. He ate every last piece of his burger and downed two (they were small) Oreo cookie milk shakes too.
Afterwards we had a very quick mooch around the rest of Windsor and the lovely Mr P popped off and came back with this little pink flying saucer sweetie charm for my sweetie bracelet. It was a real surprise. I have been collecting charms for about two years now and have quite a collection. I usually get them for birthdays, Christmas etc. My favourite is the little yellow duck, he is just so sweet.
I sent Mr P out this morning to grab a bit of shopping and he came back with the longest straightest bananas I have ever seen. What do your think? How did they get past the EEC regulations? They are so long that they touch the bottom of the banana stand - now that's a first.

Not sure what we are doing tomorrow, I have been planning on making my swap apron all weekend, so maybe that's a possibility. I am not doing any housework of any description tomorrow that's for certain.
Anyway it stupidly late, and my bed and the land of nod is beckoning.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend whatever you do.
Alison xx