Monday, 30 April 2012

First cut is the deepest.....

Or I could have called this "Fear is my best motivation".

I have a nice black coat that is a good fit and very useful in-between weight and has deep pockets and a hood, perfect.....except for one of those two-way zips that is a nightmare and has completely trapped me inside more than once, I have even been in a posh restaurant and had to push my coat downwards to step out of it, then had to go home freezing because I couldn't get back into it (actually very funny when I look back but not at the time). Having survived this winter just using the press-studs I'd decided that I need to make it into a button up coat. The four decorative buttons on the pockets are of course perfect for down the front.

So the project is to cut out the zip, reposition the buttons, cut and stitch four button holes and shorten the back of the hood (it comes right over my face). Yesterday, I carefully cut out the zip (not too bad as I hadn't used it for some time) and stitched the back of the hood. This morning I hunted the house for where I'd put the forth button when it fell off, somewhere safe to sew on again, somewhere very safe as it took me ages to find!

I measured and pinned where the button holes should go.......then I brought down the dirty washing and put the first load in the washing machine, then moved the coat along the sofa and checked my email and social networking sites again, unloaded the dishwasher and reloaded and ran it, then I cleaned all the kitchen paying special attention to the stainless steel sink, put a second load of washing on and hung the first lot upstairs on the clothes horse, went into the bathroom and washed my hair and brushed my teeth, then cleaned the bathroom, downstairs to make a coffee and took one out to hubby who is erecting a shed, sat with my coffee, looked at my coat, then heard the washing machine spin to a stop, so on with the third load and upstairs with the second, then out to check on hubby and see what time he wants lunch "now will do", so made lunch. After that I cleaned the dinning room, wrote out a birthday card and phoned a restaurant to book a table (for June), then it was 2:30 and my nail technician arrived so I sat for an hour being manicured and of course I can't do anything for a little while afterwards............then it's 4:30 so I cut four holes and sewed them around! Phew!!!

Really pleased with my rejuvenated coat, and my clean house  :o)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


In a local church hall every Wednesday afternoon ladies get together to craft, and of course they call it Crafternoon :o)
A neighbour mentioned it to me at my first coffee morning and what with one thing and another it took till today for me to make it there. I was welcomed and made coffee and spent my time doing a little sewing and a lot of chatting which was lovely. Think I may become a regular there.

So glad that my day turned out with something enjoyable as I have to confess that due to my very forgetful brain I managed to miss a lunch date. It was organised some time ago by emails going between 5 of us and when the date was finally agreed I must have been distracted and totally forgot to add it to my online calender or my phone calender or even the big paper calender on the wall in the kitchen!!! Got a phone call at 12:30pm asking "Are you on the way?" but already being half hour late and knowing it would take me another half hour to get there (would have to wash my hair first) so I told them to go ahead without me - gutted  :o(
Emailed the gang afterwards and they've promised to arrange another lunch soon.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Made with love....

3am this morning I finally finished making this jacket and went to's a late birthday present for my darling Daughter and I gave it to her when they came over for lunch.

She thought I'd bought it and was surprised when I took photos when she tried it on! Then she realised that I'd made it specially and was even more thrilled.

So, now they have declared us in drought and it hasn't stopped raining, by that rule and the fact that Daughter now has the warmest knitted jacket we are bound to have a heatwave in the next few days!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Can't forget today...

You'll be relieved to hear that one of the 'choosing' dilemmas is over. Saturday morning I shook hands on a car deal, I had finally made a choice and signed my name to the deal, although I have to admit that after two weeks of hubby and I trawling the internet for specs (making sure it will fit in the garage) and reviews (always good to get lots of driver's opinions) and traipsing round all the local dealers (have to spend time giving them a good poke around in all the right places) and test driving lots of cars (has to be done) and haggling with dealers lots and lots (has to be done too), that by Saturday morning I was so punch-drunk I would have bought just about anything just to make this recurring nightmare go away!

So today was the day for handing over my lovely and reliable red Peugeot that has done me very well for just over 10 years. I'd even got used to the very squeaky windscreen wipers! And in the pouring rain and wild wind I drove home my year old Citroen C3 Picasso. So far so good, even though the seat still needs a bit of fine adjustment and of course I need to get used to the extra controls that a newer car has directly on the steering column but hey all new things need to be played with!

Today is also special as it's little O's third birthday and they were all here this morning so he could unwrap all his presents, which he seemed to love (thank goodness). I made lunch of sandwiches with the crusts cut off and cut into small triangles and R set the table with the best plates and my fancy dishes and plates for the crackers, cheese, crisps and various dips and relishes. We followed that with birthday cake (made one last night) and O helped me put the candles on then sat back down quickly so I could carry it over lit for him to blow out. He so loves all the celebration of it :o)

And in the future, because of both events, I won't have to drag out the paperwork when someone needs to know "When did you buy this car?" Because it was on O's 3rd birthday of course!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Pretending it was Sunday...

Yesterday was Thursday of course, but for us it was Easter Sunday.

R & E were away last weekend so we had delayed our usual Easter stuff until yesterday. All the paints were out to decorate the 30 hard boiled eggs and 30 polystyrene egg shapes I had ready and I'd brought back some little kits I'd found in Florida that were for dye dipping eggs and sponge painting and they were moderately successful. The girls also asked for my coloured permanent marker pens so they could draw freehand on the eggs too. I then added to those with the sparkly polystyrene eggs from previous years (about 8 of them left) plus the two egg shapes that Daughter had felted and the 6 fabric eggs I had made and sent Hubby and M out with a carrier bag each to hide them all around the was raining by then!!!

Children don't care if it's raining of course and they had a great time egg hunting. O had such fun that he even made E re-hide some eggs quite a few times so he could carry on searching!

Meanwhile I had the excuse of not to go out in the rain as I was cooking ;o)

When the children came in they found little cardboard nests for them on the table, each one filled with a home-made hollow egg of mini-eggs and two little golden chocolate rabbits and a knitted chicken that laid mini eggs too (that caused lots of excited giggles). Plus they each had a squishy, stretchy, rubber chick that lit up and flashed when bounced. They all seemed totally happy with their goodies.

Dinner was the full leg of lamb roast and it was really yummy, even if I say so myself.
Had to keep reminding myself it wasn't a Sunday!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Choosing choosing choosing....

Am I the only person on this planet who really hates shopping? I hate the choosing, especially for something expensive that I need to be happy with for a long time! At the moment we are shopping for a kitchen, a new(er) car for me and another shed for hubby.

For his shed I had to make the decisions of what size and where to put it, which thankfully wasn't too difficult. So now he's found the shed he wants to buy and is waiting for the supplier to give him exact measurements so he can make the concrete base for it.

Think I've mentioned the kitchen before. There are actually only a few things that need changing in our kitchen and I definitely need to keep the cupboards and features that work perfectly for what to choose and how do we get it all to match?

And now my car. I am only it's 2nd owner but I've had it about 10 years now and it's sounding really rough and will undoubtedly cost me money to keep it going so a good time to trade it in, it's a T reg Peugeot 306 which is a pretty shape and I'd love to just replace like for like but they stopped making it years ago. I'm definitely not buying a new car as I think one that is a couple of years old is much better value for money. Hubby always drives his 'toy' whereas I consider my car a 'tool'. So far we have been to Toyota and looked at the Yaris (too small) and test drove the Auris (quite nice but nothing special). At Marshall's we looked at the Kia Rio, C'eed and Soul and took the one year old Soul Silver for a test drive which was very nice, negatives were the price and it is a bit of a quirky shape! Then at Bristo's we were surprised at the Clio's internal space, the boot space was so much bigger than it used to be, the price was really good too, so out for a test drive in that and I actually pulled the car over half way back for the dealer to take over as the seat was just so uncomfortable! The dealer was really pissed off, didn't say just could tell by his body language and the way he drove the car back as there was nothing left to negotiate over, car was fine but the seat just wasn't a fit for me! I really hate all the detail giving and haggling and time wasting and sales-pitching but mainly the choosing! But the searching and choosing goes on.

Not sure I should even type this but this laptop has had to be turned off very quickly four times in the past week as the hard drive has made a most terrible noise..........please don't make me have to choose a new laptop just yet!!!!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Worth the wait.....

My lovely FriendKK and I became friends very nearly 30 years ago and we did lots together with our young children evenings, weekends and during school holidays. We also did lots together when the children were not around, we are both very arty-crafty types with FriendKK always having lots of "let's make, sell and make money" ideas which were always hard work but fun to do and rarely made enough money to cover the material costs let alone our labour. KK if you are reading this, remember the Christmas wreaths project where we were both covered in cuts and bruises from foraging for greenery and your poor dinning room carpet covered in squashed holly berries......there was also the "Clowns" project when we made from little brooches up to big rag dolls and even thought to dress as clowns to man the stall......and it might be best not to remind you of the "ginger beer" project that actually exploded all over your cellar!

Over the years we had less time to spare - she got an allotment and I got a factory job (yes it was easier than having to help her dig). About 10 years ago we decided it was getting daft buying each other birthday presents when what we really needed was time together so sometime between her birthday and mine we plan a whole day out, mainly to catch up with each other's lives. Unfortunately over the past 3 or 4 years it has been really hard to find the time that fitted in with us both so it was especially nice to manage a day together this year...yesterday in fact.

We started the day at Wimpole Hall (National Trust) and out of the car and into the tea shop :o)
A lovely walk around the hall, reading the info, asking the guides in each room and generally poking about a house that still feels very lived in. Then we stopped in their restaurant for a very late lunch and spent a very long time sitting in the warm just chatting, sharing all the news about our loved ones and having a real good whinge about the people that really piss us off (essential therapy right?). After that we drove back to Bury St Edmunds for an evening at the theatre. A quick meal in a pub before the theatre. Actually it had to be quick as the pub was hosting a Frank Sinatra evening and all the tables were booked from 7pm, but the curtain went up at 7:30pm so that was fine. We got the cheapest seats, thankfully, as the show was a bit of a disappointment. It was called "I'm An Aristocrat, Get Me Out Of Here" and was about the French Revolution and the imprisonment of the posh lot including King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette and their rescues by the underground group 'Les Petite Pois'. There were just three performers making lots of quick costume changes to play lots of different characters but the script was a bit daft and delivery wasn't good so just a few 'moments' that made me giggle but overall just a bit weird. Then home by 10pm making it a 12 hour day out almost to the minute.

Actually even doing naff stuff together is good because it makes us laugh and gives us plenty to talk about. So a really good day and hopefully it won't be 4 years before we get to do it again.