My week in pictures 

My first harvest of delicious sweet peas. They smell divine. I’m looking forward to having a constant supply of these beauties for a good while.

A tired toddler after lots of jumping in muddy puddles.

A spot of baking….. Oreo cake. Find the recipe here.

I got my colouring books out for the first time in yonks, anything’s better than watching the boxing.

Trying to vacuum with this lazy pooch. She was budging for nothing or no-one.

Birthday celebrations for our littlest of the bigger kids. Lovely teppanyaki restaurant near China town in Liverpool.

The youngest is becoming a teenager way before his time. He’s pinched my spot in the dining room with my cushions and my phone. So many videos of Thomas the tank engine on YouTube to watch!

I’ve re-covered the chair in the bathroom. No more wet towels on here kids, please??

Now this coaster was made about a month ago. I fully intended to make a whole set of them in different colours. They were to be gifted to a very lovely lady. Unfortunately, I ran out of time so instead she received just the one coaster, along with a couple of eggs from our girls wearing my Egg Cosies and one of my Lavender bags too. I hope she likes them 😊

The weather has been awful here. Rain, rain go away….


There’s been more pretty bunting being made. Not for me this time, for an order. Yes you heard that right, a paying customer 😊 !!


Some more baking, it’s hungry work sewing you know. Although these are quite healthy cookies, full of oats, seeds and fruit. The idea is that when I’m peckish I can grab one of these instead of chocolate.


And finally this…


I couldn’t resist lighting a fire last night while sewing. It was so cold, it felt like winter. Where’s our summer gone?

Vicki xx

Ooh, new bunting!

If you know me by now, then you’ll know I Love bunting with a capital L! Well I decided that the tatty old stuff in the garden had well and truly had its day and as we’re due to open our garden again soon for The Oxton Secret Gardens event, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to go fabric shopping.

I came back with this lovely lot.


Well all except the green polka dot one which my mum gave me a couple of years ago. I knew I’d find a use for it one day. I was hoping to find some nice oilcloth fabric to use as I thought it’d last a bit better outdoors but the only stuff in the shop was horrid. Not bunting worthy at all.

I got myself all set up in my freshly painted dining room (yay, I finally finished all the decorating!)


With pinking shears at the ready, I started to cut out my flags. It was a perfectly peaceful hour spent. Complete silence apart from the pitter patter sound of the rain coming down outside. This is a very rare occurance in this house and it was bliss!

My poor bunting template has more holes in it than a dartboard. It’s done me for years though, I’m sure it can manage a few more.


The sight of all these pretty triangles makes me very happy indeed.


In amongst my piles of fabric which has grown over the years, I had these pretty lace panels. 


I’d had no clue what I’d use them for but they were too nice to get rid off. I thought I’d add a few to some of the polka dot flags to make them a bit more special.


It didn’t take long at all to sew these together.  A quick press with an iron and I couldn’t wait to get them outdoors.

One set for the chickens… (And why not?!)


And one set for the top end of the garden..


I’m rather pleased with it. I love the fact that sewing is such a quick craft as opposed to crochet. I’m still hooking away at the cosy Kermit blanket.

If I had my way then I’d have bunting everywhere but I think my hubby would have one or two things to say about that! You can’t get away from the fact though that bunting makes everything better!

Vicki xxx

Lavender bags

A couple of months ago I happened on the idea of making crocheted lavender bags. I had an idea in my head of what I wanted them to look like. I couldn’t find a pattern anywhere so I decided to make one up as I went. The tulip stitch here is from a you tube tutorial by the brilliant Bella Coco.  
    

I did a couple of rows of the flowers, I could’ve easily carried on though, I love doing these. They look so pretty. I finished with a scalloped top.

Once I’d blocked it, I sewed it together and was desperate to see it complete with a ribbon through it. Even if it wasn’t the right shade of purple!   

  
  

I think these colours go so well together.

Next job was to make some little lavender pouches to go inside. Accompanied by a glass of vino and a roaring fire, it was very relaxing indeed. Especially with the strong aroma of the lavender flowers!

  
  

So, here’s the finished product, with a better colour of ribbon!

  
 

I’ve decided to try and sell a few over on my Facebook page, just in time for Mother’s Day.

While we’re talking crochet, I’ve decided to start up my own crochet group. The first one is this Wednesday, eek! It’s going to be very relaxed and a chance to sit and have a drink and hook away the evening with likeminded crafters. If any of you local ladies would like to join me, it’s in The Shrewsbury Arms in Oxton Village, Wirral from 8pm. It’d be lovely to see you, I’ll bring my crochet books for inspiration and I’m happy to show you the basics. Just bring a hook and some yarn. I’m slightly worried that I’ll end up sitting there on my own looking a bit silly!

The Pantry

We are extremely lucky to have a really handy utility room on the end of our house.  We always call it The Pantry though as it’s where The Pamper Pantry used to call home. If you’ve just clicked on that link and found yourself reading my previous blog post called ‘Pamper Pantry Reminiscing’ then I’m a clever girl as I’ve been trying to work out how to do that for ages! If not, then it’s back to the drawing board for me.  I’m certainly not the most techno savvy of people and need all the help I can get.

It used to be painted Passion Pink which was a perfect palette for the Pamper Pantry.  But since I closed that down, I decided it should be a much calmer, pale blue. We decided some time ago that we really needed an extra loo in our house. One upstairs bathroom in a large four bedroom house with six people in really wasn’t enough. There were always queues for the loo and knocks on the door just as you’d settled into a nice warm bubble bath. The only place we could squeeze an extra loo in was the pantry.  It was do-able but not that easy.

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These pictures were taken while our kitchen was being done back in June so we’d been using this as a makeshift kitchen. It’s such a useful space as it houses our washing machine & tumble dryer.  Our rubbish bin is also in here as Amber our bullmastiff would eat the contents if it were in the kitchen! The boiler is in here too which makes it super warm and toastie.  But the best thing about this room is this…

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An old victorian clothes airer. It has one wooden rod missing which one day I hope to replace but it is THE best thing for drying laundry. It’s right above a boiling hot radiator so when the heating is on, the warm air rises right up to the airer. It’s in constant use as you can imagine with a family of six, I wish I had another of these, I’d be sorted then!

So, when the builders were here doing our kitchen, we got them to make a start on the new loo area.

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They boxed it all in, the plumber laid all new waste pipes and fitted the loo.  It has made a HUGE difference to us having this. So much more practical.  The builder was meant to be ordering some new worktop as the above was just a temporary solution. He said he’d be back early August.

We waited,                                                                                                                     And waited,                                                                                                                          And waited a bit more…..                                                                                                Then chased him up….                                                                                                     On about 3 separate occasions….

Eventually we gave up.  We finally managed to source some worktop ourselves and had to go begging cap in hand to my father-in-law to fit it for us. He did an absolutely amazing job. I don’t think it was the easiest of tasks at all but it’s really transformed the room. He also replaced a pane of glass with a frosted pane for privacy.

I touched up the walls with paint, my hubby put up a new light ( which has made it the lightest, brightest room in the house) and put up a new blind. I also made a little curtain with some matching fabric from IKEA to hide all the chicken and dog feed stored behind it. I was really happy with my little bit of sewing here, I actually did quite a decent job. So here’s the finished result.


  
  
  

I took this panoramic picture to try and give you an idea of the overall room. It’s not easy taking photos of little rooms!


There’s a lovely lot of worktop space for folding and sorting laundry. The handy cupboards store all our medicines, shoe cleaning kit, spare batteries and light bulbs. Also in the corner is our rubbish bin, recycling, vacuum cleaner and mop. All the things that are a pain to store. It’s so warm and toastie in there I find myself lingering in there longer than I need to. I think I’ve succeeded in making practical pretty. Although I have a couple of ideas to make it even prettier, but that’ll have to wait a while. There’s far too much else I must do first.

Thanks for stopping by to read me witter on, it means a lot 😊
 

 

 

Baby it’s cold outside

Hello! How are you all? Well I don’t know about you but the weather here today has just been dull, wet and freezing cold.

  
Actually it’s pretty much been this way for some time and I hate it. The only thing I like about it is feeling all snug and warm indoors.

These beauties are making me smile though everytime I walk past and get a whiff. I do love hyacinths, they make me believe spring is just around the corner.

  
I’ve been having urges to cook lately too, from scratch. I got a Mary Berry cookbook in the January sales and keep browsing through. The recipes aren’t too fancy, just good, wholesome family meals. I made this tandoori chicken the other night, it was lovely. I even made a little chutney to go with it which I’m definitely doing again. I was rather pleased with myself and the hubby said he enjoyed it too.

  
As for crafty goings on, my friend Jan the sewing machine has been let out of the basement for a bit of air.

  
I had a few repairs to do….

  
One of the cushions I made last year had come apart. I must have sewn it a wee bit close to the edge. It was a 60 second job. Sewing is all about quick results, not like crochet. But I still have my reservations, I think I’m very much daunted by it. My mum’s an expert on the sewing machine, but I’ve never had any confidence with it. I hope to change that this year. I’m leaving the machine out as I have a couple of other jobs that need doing. Watch this space! 

I had a bit of a sort out of my cottons and it turns out I have a little collection of high quality reels. Get me!

  
All hand me downs from my mum! Well, all except the blue on the left. I bought that myself for a particular project..

  
Only trouble is its quite a few shades out.. Think I might be better off using the cream or pink for this one.

  
I’ve also discovered a new place to take the little man on a Monday. A very unique place near us called Port Sunlight (google it, it has tons of history) has a museum and art gallery called Lady Levers. They have a free session for under 5’s every week with loads of toys and crafts, it’s great. I think this will become a regular Monday morning thing. 

  
This afternoon, I decided to light a fire as I was so cold, even with the heating on. It makes things so cosy. And, my baking urges crept in. With the lack of much butter, I found a quick and easy recipe using sunflower oil instead and made some muffins. I have to say they are rather good!

  
Nice and light and fluffy, and a perfect accompaniment to a mug of hot tea.

  
Well that’s about it for now peeps, I have been quite busy crocheting, here’s a little teaser of just one thing I’m working on…

  

but will save that for another day. 

Keep warm, V xxx

Big boys bedroom 

We’ve made a few changes in Baby J’s bedroom, what with him officially becoming a toddler and everything. He has the littlest room in the house but it’s such a lovely, light room. It was always screaming out to be a gorgeous nursery. It has a nautical theme which I love (obviously as I chose it!) but I do hope he does too. 

  
The first thing we had to do was turn his cot into a toddler bed. I thought it would be really difficult coping with the change but he seems to be dealing with it very well. We put the bed guard on so he doesn’t roll out in his sleep. So far so good. 

  
This is his changing table/chest of drawers. It’s perfect for our needs especially with the handy shelf above to store all the essentials. The mirror was an auction buy a few years back, I think it looks rather like a porthole on a ship. The bunting I made before he was born. I still have some extra fabric left over, I must find something to make with it.

  
  
Here’s the mod podge project I did a blog post about a while back. I must do some more mod podging soon, it was great fun.

  
A few accessories to add that nautical feel!!

   
    
 
  
I had this idea a while ago of making a type of sail to hang across the ceiling. I imagined it with glow in the dark stars and moons shining through. When my mum visited last month, we were shopping for fabric and I finally found the perfect material for the sail. It needed to be really light, almost like parachute fabric. 

  
After cutting out and hemming, I had to thread cord along the two lengths.

  
Whatever you do, don’t lose it half way through..

  
I bought a load of glow in the dark stars, moons & planets from Amazon.

  
Once I finally got the sail up and the stars and moons sprinkled out, I must say, I was a little disappointed. You know how you get an image in your mind of how something will look, but it just doesn’t quite match up? It’s okay, just not exactly what I imagined it would be.

   
   
Overall, I love his little nautical room to bits. I hope it will do him for the next few years until he decides he wants something more grown up.

V xxx

Playhouse curtains 

After making the cushions for my living room, my mum and I got cracking straight away with a very special project, cute curtains for the playhouse. I had a small amount of fabric left over from when I did the letters for baby j’s bedroom wall back in March. I’ve tried & failed miserably at putting a link here to the post about it but if you want to look in the archives, it’s called Mod Podge Project No 1. I really must spend a bit of time learning how to use WordPress better! Anyway, the fabric was perfect for the nautical, beach hut theme going on in the playhouse but there was only enough for a border on the bottom of each curtain. Trying to find a coordinating plain colour was way harder than it should have been, but we got there in the end.

  
As we were tight for time before my mum had to leave, she did quite a bit of the work, making sure I’d done my fair share though so that I knew exactly what I was doing. There are 4 windows in the playhouse so we needed eight little curtains all together. Quite a lot of work!

  
After I’d dropped my mum at the train station, I got home, made myself a nice cup of green tea and got my head around finishing off the curtains.

  
   
    
 
We made the border section into a pocket then attached it to the bottom of the main fabric. The top was measured, pinned and a channel sewn across for the wire to go through.

   
 
They were then pressed and ready for hanging.

  
I was really pleased with them but felt they needed a little tweak. So I delved into the basement to find my stash of bakers twine.

  
Perfect! Easy-peasy tie backs in 3 minutes.

   
   
Ta-dah! What do you think? I absolutely love it! I think I might actually slip out here with a glass of wine and some crochet next time the kids are doing my head in!

  
Thanks for stopping by, lovely to see you.

Vicki xxx