Sunday, 27 February 2011

And the Winner is..........

Good evening, how are we all? I am feeling very Sunday -ish, you know that feeling, the one that tells you school is just around the corner and half term is well and truly over, it's back to packed lunches, homework and early mornings. All good things must come to an end I suppose.

Anyway on to the winner of my 1st birthday giveaway. In true bloggy style, here are the pictures

Vintage jug with all the names folded up on strips of paper.

In goes the big hand of fortune, ready to pick out one lucky winner. I had to do it all myself tonight as my little helpers are tucked up in bed and Mr P is watching Top Gear!

And the winner is ..... Amy from Blighty Boutique. Well done Amy, send me your address and I will post out the goodies ASAP. I am afraid I didn't get to finish off my hand made item but I am hoping you will still be pleased with your bits and bobs.

Thank you to all of you who left a comment on Daisy's guest post, she was very pleased with all your kind words. She was adamant that she was going to write a post, I think she has got the taste for blogging. Here she is with the ginger pudding earlier this week. Pepe has that oh, blimey not another photo look about her - don't you think?

Half term has whizzed by in a flash, it was ok, but the weather really spoiled the week if I'm honest. We had one really nice day out in the sunshine, but I think the rest of the week was wet, grey and cold.
I am really suffering this Winter from the effects of the weather - not depressed but just really really fed up with all the greyness of the season. I feel the need for sunshine on my face more than ever before.
We had a nice afternoon on Monday with our friends Julie, Eve and Fern. The kids enjoyed their belated Valentines tea whilst Julia and I enjoyed lots of cuppas , chatting and crochet. I really can't think of a better way to spend and afternoon.
I made some of these white chocolate chip cookies this week. They were delicious a real family favourite. The only trouble was that I didn't read in the recipe that they made 56 cookies! Now I like a cookie of three but not 56 of the things. I made about 18 and popped the rest of the dough in the freezer. I baked some more today using the defrosted dough and they tasted fab.

I also made a coffee and walnut cake, this was inspired by a post from Ruby's mamma made it. I followed her recipe to the letter and was very pleased with the results even if it did sink just a little in the middle (I'm blaming that on my oven).

Mr P loves a slice of coffee and walnut so he was a happy man. Shame the little ones couldn't have any due to their nut allergies!
I have been a bit of a naughty girl again. I saw this Jan Constantine tea cosy half price at our local garden centre. A bit of an impulse buy I know but I do love her stuff. It has a red gingham cosy underneath it, so two cosies in one. Its made of linen as opposed to her usual felt. My union jack tea pot is hiding underneath it all cosy and warm.

At last a photo of my finished big ripple blanket. I managed to crochet the final six rows and sew in all of those pesky ends during half term, so I suppose rubbish weather does have some advantages after all. I am very pleased with it, it is so colourful and cosy. The little ones have snuggled under it, and even Mr P the hater of all things crocheted had it draped over his feet yesterday afternoon.

I have been plagued by toothache this weekend. I had a niggly tooth earlier this week but didn't think too much about it, on Friday however it got worse, so an emergency trip to the dentist was in order. She gave me a course of antibiotics and took an xray. Thankfully the antibiotics have started to work today. The annoying thing is that I am due to go to the dentist a week on Tuesday anyway, why couldn't it just wait for another week! I did feel very silly though. I told her that it was a bottom back tooth that hurt, she had a poke about and asked me if it hurt, to which I said no. She checked my top teeth on that side too which I thought was a bit odd. Anyway on Saturday morning I awoke and realised that it was the top tooth that was aching, by this point I couldn't touch the tooth as it was so painful. Apparently you have a nerve that runs from the top teeth right around to those on the bottom. How odd though, I was so sure it was my bottom tooth hurting when in fact it was the one directly above it! How odd our bodies are at times.
Right I am off to make a brew, and an early night. Toothache does not make for a good nights sleep I can tell you.
Till next time.

Friday, 25 February 2011

10 things about me - By Daisy

Hello I'm Daisy and I am Alison's daughter. Mum said I could write a post on her Blog. So I'm go to tell you 10 things about me.

1) I love horses and ride every weekend.

2) I am allergic to nuts, peanuts and horses. I also get bad hay fever.

3) I can crochet and have made a cushion cover.

4) I collect wade whimsies.

5) My favourite movie is Harry Potter and the goblet of fire.

6) Sausages with mash, yorkshires and gravy is my favourite tea.

7) I like sewing and I have a mini sewing machine which is mint green.

8) I'm very like my mum , we both like the same sorts of things. My mum says I look exactly like she did when she was a little girl.

9) I like collecting vintage buttons.

10) My favourite book is called The elephant in the garden by Michael Morpurgo. I love to read.

Whats your favourite book?

Bye bye

Love from



Sunday, 20 February 2011

1st Bloggy Birthday & Giveaway

Evening all, so sorry it's been a while, I have been planning an update for over a week but I just haven't found the time to sit down and write it.

The past two weeks have flown by in a whirl of sorting, decorating and general everyday life things. I managed to make my roman blind for the bathroom, cleaned the bathroom tiles from floor to ceiling and Mr P painted the ceiling and replaced the rather yellowing down lighters for some nice new brushed chrome ones. The bathroom is now ticked of the to do list. Do you think the blind looks OK? It's a CK boat print, I think it looks nice and fresh and just adds a bit of colour to a rather bland creamy/beige tiled room. I found some wooden boat bunting and some little wooden boats on holiday in Cornwall last Summer to adorn the window sill.

The closed look followed by the open look!

I also shelved my bottom of the stairs cupboard as promised (well Mr P did) and I have finally got a dedicated space for my craft stuff and fabric. A trip to Ikea did the job, their storage solutions are fab and so reasonably priced. I now have some lidded storage boxes for all of my fabric. I have also dug out my sewing machine and placed that on the craft shelves. Its fab as everything is now so accessible. No more trying to sew things on Daisy's little mini sewing machine, I can use my own from now on!

Our front porch has also been repainted along with the lounge which is now a nice chalky cream colour as opposed to the very yellow cream it was previously. I was very silly a few months ago and left a teacup candle burning overnight in the lounge. I am normally very careful with candles, I am not really sure how or why I left it burning. Anyway, Mr P got up to find the flame on the candle burning at around four inches high. We were very lucky it never caused a fire. It did however turn the paintwork in the lounge very sooty in places. All the pictures had a very fetching black soot mark around them and there was a very odd shaped mark above the radiator that looked like a pair of breasts or a set of bum cheeks! Last weekend was spent redecorating and thankfully it's all looking nice and clean and bright once again.

We have decided that we are definitely putting our house up for sale in the Spring, so the plan is to get it ready over the next month or so. We have a lot of tidying up in the garden to do, Winter is never a good time for gardens is it? Ours look such a mess at the moment, I have however started to notice the signs that Spring is very much on its way. Lots of greenery poking through the ground with the promise of things to come. This is what I saw when I looked out of Alex's bedroom window the other afternoon! What a naughty girl, she really is a menace at times.

Tomorrow is my first blog anniversary and as promised I will be hosting a little giveaway to celebrate the end of the first year. I have gathered together a few bits and bobs, a few of my favourite sort of things to send to the winner. There may be a hand made item but it rather depends on whether I have time to finish it or not. If not then don't despair there are still lots of lovely bits and pieces for you to enjoy. Please leave a comment if you want to be included and I will draw the winner next Sunday evening. I have really enjoyed blogging this past year, it is such a lovely way to make a record of my every day life. I love reading the comments that you leave and its is so lovely to be part of the blogging community. Long may it continue.

This coming week is half term and I am really looking forward to a week of no school, lie ins and chilling out - well that's the plan anyway. We are hosting a belated Valentines tea tomorrow for my friend Julia and her girls, which should be fun. I need to make some heart shaped biscuits and some fairy cakes in the morning. Mr P came up trumps on Valentines Day and gave me this lovely tea cup and saucer. I bought Mr P some Hotel Chocolate hearts and some bubbly which we shared, the chocs were delicious.

I received this lovely bouquet on Friday from my neighbour. I always pass on Daisy and Alex's outgrown toys and books to her two little ones, so it was her way of saying thanks. Very unexpected but very much appreciated. Don't they look lovely, spring blooms of anemones, tulips, pale pink roses and blue hyacinths.

My quilted cushion cover is going well, I am now at the quilting stage and only have one quarter left to quilt. I will do a taa daa post once it's all finished. I have been rather neglectful of my crocheting at the moment. The decorating has taken up lots of time, so this week I want to concentrate on getting the big ripple finished off. I have decided to crochet three more double rows ending the blanket with the same three colours that I started with. I still have the joy of sewing in all of those end to look forward to.

I have managed to find another couple of Carltonware pieces to add to my collection. Two little pin dishes, one from Ebay and the other from a local magpies nest sale. I think they are very sweet and have a horrible feeling a small collection my be the end result. I can't wait to move to a bigger house where I can have a dresser to display all of my treasures!

Well I shall love you and leave you, please don't forget to leave a comment in order to be included in the giveaway.

Till next time.

Alison X
PS did anyone watch the Brits last week? I was blown away by Adele's performance, the way she sang actually made me cry which has never happened before. One talented lady.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Friday Catch Up

Hello, how is life treating you this windy Friday? Good I hope. Life is fine and dandy here in the gingercat house. I can't believe it's Friday again, the weeks just fly by at an alarming rate.
I haven't really been up to much this week, the first part of the week was spent trying to recover from the throaty thing that turned into a very hoarse throat and annoying cough. I was so tired with it too, which annoyed me the most. I hate having lots to do when I feel exhausted.

I did summons up the energy to go quilting on Monday, I have learnt how to applique and have sewn one of the two hearts onto my cushion. I need to sew the other heart on and join up the four squares before Monday's lesson.

I was very naughty on Monday evening, I popped to our local John Lewis to pick up a new saucepan handle that had been ordered but funnily enough I left JL's without the pan handle but with a very nice Cath Kitson craft bag, to take to quilting, a new cushion for the lounge and some cushion pads for our kitchen chairs. Well that's the last of my tax return earnings well and truly spent!
I have felt the need for a bit of a spruce up in general. Everything around the house seems a bit tired and in need of an uplift. My first mini project is to put a couple of really cheap shelves up in our boiler room cupboard, so that I can store my craft stuff and material stash in an orderly fashion. It is currently stuffed into carrier bags and boxes in all sorts of nooks and crannies around the house. Most of it is stuffed down beside the chair in the lounge, which I don't mind but it does look very messy. It's funny how most of the time you don't notice scruffy corners in your house but sometimes it's as though you look at things with fresh eyes and notice all the messy bits. That's been me this week - Mrs fresh eyes!

Do you like my new cushion. It has a little mustard coloured pom pom fringe.

My new craft bag, perfect size for taking all my stuff to quilting.
I also notice how grubby the bathroom looks, the blind is minging and the ceiling is in definite need of a lick of paint. So project two is to make a roman blind, give the bathroom tiles a massive clean and to paint the ceiling. I am also on the look out for a bathroom cabinet, I fancy something a bit shabby chic I think. We currently have an open shelving unit, which is great as it stores all sorts but blimey it gathers dust something chronic. I ordered a blind making kit today from Ebay and have bought some sailing boat fabric from CK, so that's the plan a bathroom spruce up.

Project 3 is to have three pieces of Daisy's bedroom furniture shabby chic'd. I have found a local guy who will do it all for £200, which I don't think is a bad price. The blanket box is being collected on Monday and is in most desperate need of tarting up. I was going to paint it white but last year I painted Daisy's bedside cabinet and it took an absolute age and didn't look that great when it was finished. The paint work is already badly knocked. I think a shabby chic paint job will freshen up the furniture and give it a new lease of life.

So there you go, three mini projects to get stuck into. I also am on a mission to sort out cupboards as I am so sick of them all being full up and totally disorganised. I am going to be a very busy girl by the sounds of it. All this freshening up and sorting out will hopefully be worth it as we still plan on selling at some point over the next year. Our house is nice but could do with a serious sort out of clutter and a quick freshen up.

I am off to a 40th birthday meal tonight, whilst poor old Mr P has to go and work. He probably won't get in until around 3am, so I guess that will mean tomorrow will be a non event sort of a day. My sister is babysitting tonight and staying over so maybe we will go out tomorrow with her whilst Mr P catches up on his ZZZ's. The downside of Mr P late night work is that I will have to stand on the cold football pitch tomorrow morning worst luck!.

One of the fish has died. We took a water sample down the to pet shop after school today and were told that we were over feeding them and that the ammonia levels and nitrates were too high. So, a 50% water change and no feeding for 4 days will hopefully get us back on track. I must admit I did have that slight smug "I told you so" face on with Mr P. So no more fish this week, that's for sure.
Have a great weekend whatever you get up to.

Till next time.