Sunday, 30 June 2013

confused about google reader....

....are you as confused as I am about google reader disappearing tomorrow???

I've read lots of different blog posts, articles and more about what I should or shouldn't do before tomorrow and I'm still none the wiser.

I use the blogger dashboard on my mac to read your posts and I use the feeddler app on my iPhone and iPad to read them when I'm away from the computer.

From what I had read the loss of google reader wouldn't affect me but when I opened feedler this morning I received a warning notice.

I've read some more articles and seen some more blogposts and have decided to use feedly to read your blog posts on my mac, iPhone and iPad.

I'm still not sure how it is all going to affect us tomorrow but at least I will be able to see what you are all up to.

Joining Feedly and transferring all my blogs over was super easy - just a click of a button and there you all were.

As for following me well that is something I'm not sure about, I have heard rumours that Google Friends Connect either doesn't work or will being heading the same way as google reader very shortly but it appears that you if you too transfer your blog list over to feedly or bloglovin you should still be able to see my posts, alternatively you can subscribe by email.

Thanks for reading this slightly confusing post by a very confused blogger........

Friday, 28 June 2013

Pay It Forward - better late than never!

Back in April last year I posted about a pay it forward, I had a year in which to make a gift for three lucky readers of my blog. I fairly quickly made an apron for Claire and then ummed and arhhed over what to make Jille. I just couldn't find quite the right project or fabric so like most of these things it got put on the back burner with me every so often stalking Jille's Pinterest page and blog! Then suddenly at the beginning of the month after seeing Jille's doll pins I decided to make a Tilda doll and dress her in traditional welsh clothes to make it personal to Jille.

I've never made a Tilda doll before and have sometimes been put off anything too fiddly but I have to say I can completely understand how addictive these dolls are. She isn't perfect as a first attempt but never am I!
They have a way of taking on a personality all of their own especially if the evolve like my doll did.

I made the doll itself using the pattern from a Tone Finnegar book but made up the patterns for the clothes and accessories as I went along. And here she is

I'm pleased to say that Jille loves her as much as I loved making her which is the icing on the cake as far as I'm concerned.
I've just realised the photo above is before I stitched her a mouth so here she is mouth and all.

I have one for pay it forward gift to make - for Callie - so if you're reading this Callie would you leave a comment so I can contact you as I can't find your address!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Out to lunch....

Paul and I popped out this morning to run a few errands and visit a couple of charity shops. As there were no bargains to be had we decided to go to our local pub for lunch.

The Crown at Sandon dates back to the 18th century so is steeped in history. It sits on the village green and has suffered several fires in its lifetime with the last one almost destroying the building in 2004. It lay empty for some time and was then rebuilt it has had several landlords since then so hasn't quite re-established itself. But if our warm welcome and lunch today was anything to go by its on the right path.
Paul decided to have the ploughmans and what a ploughmans it was.

How tasty does that look?
And I decided to have the goats cheese and red onion tart with onion rings which I have to say was delicious!

The onion rings were so tasty Paul kept pinching them so it was a good job we had some fries to share.
I have a feeling we will be back to sample some more of what The Crown has to offer.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Bagel with jam or jam with bagel?

For breakfast the other day Paul asked me if I would like a bagel, "yes please" I said "with jam".
This is what I got!

Even after scraping off some jam I still couldn't decide if it was a bagel with jam or jam with bagel.

What do you think?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Charity shop buys

Last week I met up with a friend and we headed off to Brentwood high street to see what the charity shops had to offer. Brentwood has become synonymous with the glitz and glamour of TOWIE but we did not venture into any of those shops or salons. The high street is a traditional long street which still has traffic driving up and down but the paths are nice and wide so you don't feel to close to the cars and buses. We parked behind the high street and walked through one of the alleyways and headed off to find the shops. After finding one charity shop and buying a few bargains we decided that a coffee was in order and found a Cafe Nero.

I don't normally drink coffee but my daughter is always going on about frappacinos and chocha mochas so i decided to try one. I also couldn't resist a pecan danish too nom! nom!
After our short coffee break we hit the charity shops again picking up a bargain or two. Here is what I bought.

A diet plate for £1.50 I'm hoping this will help me cut down on my portion size, although Tomas seems to think it's his plate!

A summery plastic jug for those summer BBQ 's (If we get a summer that is). This was £2.75

A picture frame for 75p

And a few Christmas stocking fillers a rugby book for 50p, a DVD and book for £2.50 and some sanctuary goodies for £5.99
Please excuse this next photo I like to keep behind the camera but its very difficult to take a picture of the dress you are wearing without showing your face (I could have smiled though I suppose) and please excuse my daughters bedroom!

This is a monsoon dress which I picked up for £4.50 I'm thinking of taking it up so its more of a tunic top so I can wear it with jeans or trousers.

So not a bad days shopping at all and it was lively to spend time with my friend too.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, 17 June 2013

Father's Day

Paul has to be one of the hardest people to buy for, he does have hobbies but not the kind that you can buy things for (he keeps canaries and has the dogs) and if he does want something he is usually straight on eBay and buys it himself, which leaves the rest of us scratching our heads for ideas. Initially this Father's Day was going to be no different but then on Friday Paul decided that he would quite like some Stella Artois Cidre ( he isn't a big drinker but does enjoy a refreshing cider in the summer). I then had the idea that he should have the appropriate glass to enjoy his beverage so a quick look on eBay and I found someone selling some Cidre glasses in Maldon a couple of emails later and I had made arrangements to collect to glasses for the princely sum of £3!

Now I don't know what your house is like but keeping secrets is nigh on impossible and although I thought I had done a good job of keeping the glasses a secret apparently Paul knew!
These weren't Paul's only gifts Rachel made him a lovely piece if subway art using the saying "anyone can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a Dad"
Jack wrote a wonderful message in Paul's card that was really appreciated and Tomas made a special Dad medal and card at school.

I also bought Paul a ice-cream/potato scoop and a potato masher (I know they're not very exciting but Paul does keep asking for school mash in rounds and our potato masher lost its handle and this new one has a soft grip which should be easier on his hands (he has arthritis).
We also decided on a last minute meal out to one if our local Indian restaurant where all had a delicious meal.

so all in all not bad considering Paul didn't want anything!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Secret Present Ta Dah!

I can now show you the secret present I was working on last week.

This was for one of my daughter Rachel's friends whose birthday it is today (Happy Birthday Roisin x)

I previously used this guitar fabric when I made a bag for Roisin last year so with the piece that was left over this is what I came up with.

There was just enough fabric for the letters and a small panel on the back which I teamed with a super soft velvety purple fabric.

I chose a fancy font and went BIG for the R

and used a less fancy font from the same font group for the lowercase letters.

It was Rachel's idea to use the guitar cutout as an exclamation mark!

I'm really pleased with how it turned out and I hope Roisin likes it too.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

A Block for all Seasons.....

Look what came through the post yesterday morning........

My gorgeous Four Seasons blocks from Annie over at Birdcages & Butterflies 

Summer (when it finally arrives!)


Winter (there is only 196 days to go)


Which still leaves two faces so we have 


Now I just need to hide them from Rachel otherwise they could end up in her room!!!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Busy Bee

Lack of blogging can only mean one thing - I've been a busy bee!
I can't quite believe a whole month has passed without me writing anything, I have been trying to read most of your posts so I haven't been out of the loop completely.

So what have I been up to..... Well on the crafting front I have made two HUGE beach bags and two matching drawstring wet bags.

A lovely bright summery paisley fabric.   

the inside with lots of pockets.

Beach huts fabric 

with a lovely co-ordinating stripe fabric for the lining.

These bags have waterproofed lined pockets on the sides for drinks bottles and the drawstring bags are lined with waterproof ripstop fabric too for wet swimwear.

Two personalised swim bags

and a cute messenger bag from fairy fabric

And over the past few days I have been making pirate outfits for Tomas and some of his friends for Treasure Island/Pirate day on Friday.

a green swashbuckling pirate

a pink girl pirate, the skirt is based on handkerchief/bandana style skirt that I found on Pinterest but adapted slightly, changing the wide elasticated waist band to a narrow covered waistband.

a black and red shiver me timbers pirate

and finally my very own Tongueless Tomas pirate.

There was lots of very excited pirates in school this morning and I picked up a very exhausted pirate this afternoon.

I also finished off a secret present today which I can't show you until next week when it has been received but I am rather pleased how it turned out!

We have also started working through our home decorating list starting with Tomas' room which hasn't been changed since he was a baby and really needed doing. So we emptied the room, selling any unwanted furniture on ebay to help pay for the new furniture which i had ordered to make the most of the special offer and had stacked in the garage waiting for me to put together. We then removed the old border, filled holes and rubbed down woodwork before going out to choose some paint. It seems that it has been some time since I bought any paint because I nearly fell over when having had my chosen paint made up I got to the check out and it was £40 odd for the emulsion and £20 odd pound for the gloss!!! I must be getting old! We also bought a huge tub of magnolia for the ceilings which was cheap in comparison. We live in an old Victorian house which is beautiful but has the drawback of single skinned wall (no insulation) and as Tomas has one of the only north facing external walls I lined it with polystyrene to add a little warmth. We also found some textured star paintable wallpaper which I used over the polystyrene. I'm just hoping that Tomas doesn't do what his older brother did and make lots of little marks in the wall with a tiger!! With all the prep work done, Paul painted the ceiling and I painted the walls and glossed the woodwork and the radiator. The next job was to order the carpet, just as we are leaving the house I realised I didn't have the room measurements so popped back in doors to get them. When I got back in the car I said to Paul "oh by the way I measured the hall stairs and landing carpet too." He just nodded and knew what was coming next, my logic was if the carpet fitter is here fitting one carpet then he might as well fit two!!! This did mean that I had to get two rooms finished before the carpet arrived and although it was tiring it was worth as the hall, stairs and landing definitely needed a freshen up and I needed a kick up the bum to do it!!
I haven't got any pictures to show you yet but I will take some as soon as the finishing touches are in place.
There is so much more to tell you but it seems I have rambled on long enough and It doesn't help that I have been writing this post over several days TTFN.

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