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

National upcycling day

Hello! I bet you didn’t know that it’s the second ever National Upcycling Day coming up this Friday 24th June did you? Or that it even existed? I only came across it last year. It was started by Gumtree I believe, with the help of the upcycling king himself, Max McMurdo. If you haven’t heard of him, you may well know his face. He’s appeared on various TV programs including one of my fave’s, Kirsties Fill Your House For Free and George Clarkes amazing spaces. What this man can do with a load of old junk is just incredible. Up Cycling, reloving, repurposing, doing up old stuff, whatever you want to call it, it’s everywhere these days and I for one, love it. I think my first ever project was probably an old chunky pine chest of drawers that once belonged to my grandad. He used to use it for keeping all his tools in when I was a little girl, then it got passed to my mum who used it in the cellar for storage. Then I got hold of it and gave it some TLC. I lovingly sanded it and waxed it and used it in my bedroom. Over the years it ended up back with my mum and due to downsizing it’s sadly left the family. In more recent years, I’ve acquired lots of pieces which I’ve renovated. Here’s a few pics of previous projects. As it was pre-blog I didn’t take many photos, especially the before and during ones.

This was a standard lamp I bought at auction a few years ago. I painted the stand in a grey eggshell, then with my mums help, covered the old shade with new fabric, trimming and my favourite purple dangly beads. It’s not a great photo.

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This piano stool was another auction buy, I think I paid about £5 for it.

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I stripped the old paint off.

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Then repainted it and covered it in new fabric with more dangly beads!

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This chair was waiting to be loved for so many years. There were originally four chairs which me and my hubby bought from a market in Kent before we got married. They lived under the carport for a while then moved house with us 3 times until I finally got round to starting them. On closer inspection, three of them were just too badly eaten by woodworm and beyond repair which was a huge shame. I’d always hoped they’d end up around my dining table. Anyway, one survived, so I cleaned, sanded and repainted it. I gave it a couple of coats of wax, then got my father in law to cut a piece of mdf to size to fit the chair base.

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I bought some foam, covered it in wadding then covered it in fabric. Ta-dah!

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And here it lives in our bathroom. I’d always wanted a chair in the bathroom.

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This dresser used to live in a garden centre for displaying merchandise. When they were selling it off we snapped it up. It was a dark wood, and didn’t really go with the look I wanted for the dining room. It was a big job but I sanded, primed and painted it all up.

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The bottom cupboards were open and looked a bit messy so I made these little curtains and also the bunting for the top. Since then, I’ve lined the back of each of the top spaces with Cath Kidston wallpaper which looks lovely.

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This dressing table was about to be taken to the tip. I couldn’t let that happen now could I?

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Ever since I was a little girl I’d imagined brushing my hair and putting on my makeup sitting at a beautiful dressing table. Space had always been tight before but in this house we’re lucky to have a good sized room. It took many coats of Laura Ashley eggshell, but eventually it was finished. I especially like the big round mirror.


I love this picture of my friends little girl sitting up at it, so cute. 

This chair was just £3 at auction and was crying out for a makeover.
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I painted it pale blue.

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Then I decided to make it unique and deco patch the seat. I was really pleased with the result.

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I’ve done various other bits of furniture too but there’s no photos of those. 

The three elements that attract me to upcycling are

a) I love that it’s so unique, nobody else has one the same.

b) Knowing that you’ve given a perfectly good piece of furniture a new lease of life and saved it from landfill.

c) That it’s so cost effective, you know how much I love a bargain.

What makes it even better is all the paint I’ve used for all of these projects is also recycled. We have an amazing place locally called Recipro. It used to be called RePaint but joined forces a couple of years ago with Recipro to bring a whole collection of building materials and paint under one roof that have all been donated either by companies or individuals. Most of the paint has been used, so they’re marked up with how much paint is left, usually at least half a tin but it’s all perfectly good to use. They charge just £1.20 per litre, how good is that? There are all kinds of paint and all different brands. I’ve bought Farrow & Ball and Laura Ashley stuff many times. Obviously you can’t pick and choose your exact shades like you can in the diy stores but that’s the only downside. Also you have to make sure you have enough to finish the job otherwise you might not be able to get your hands on any more. 

My most recent project is these 2 cute chairs.


They were rescued by my father in law from an old school and used by my hubby and his brother when they were kids. They’ve been in their garage ever since and now they’re ours to love and care for. My hubby took the boards off the backs as we think they look better without them. As Jude’s room and his playhouse in the garden are both pale blue and I conveniently had a tin of pale blue eggshell, that’s what I did.


But I wasn’t content just leaving them plain.  I decided to grab some masking tape and some white paint and cover them in random stripes.


About 7 coats later (!!!) it was time to peel off the tape. Oops!


I must invest in some low tack tape! I carried on peeling off all the tape and though it wasn’t quite what I’d envisaged, I decided to touch up the very worst bits and embrace the whole distressed/shabby chic look.


After a good wax, here they are.

And in their respective homes..

I have had this chair on my to do list for about 3 years, if not more.


It lives on our landing and needs some attention. I’m not quite sure if my talents are at this level yet. I’d love to be able to do this myself and it needs to be a proper statement piece but I’ve not been inspired by anything yet. I’ll be sure to let you know when the time comes.

Now, if upcycling is your kinda thing, then why not use Friday #nationalupcyclingday as the perfect excuse to get creative and give something you already own a new reason for living?

Painted Kilner jars

Some time ago while browsing through Pinterest, I stumbled upon a photo of mason jars painted in pretty colours. They looked so gorgeous. And of course my immediate thought was, ooh! I could do that! These ideas often take a while to come to fruition, but I finally got round to it. Helped by the fact my friend wanted me to do some for her new kitchen.

I did my research into chalk paints and found these gorgeous natural powder pigments that you mix at home to make up small quantities of chalk paint. 

After doing some sample tester jars and agreeing colours, I set to with the first of many coats.

  
After many, many coats and a bit of sanding in between, I ended up with these…

   
I do think they look lovely as they are but the plan was to slightly distress them.

 
As these are for a kitchen and will need wiping occasionally, they really needed to be sealed. I used some Annie Sloan wax to just protect them a bit.

  
So here’s the completed jars..

  
I’m really happy with the result and I showed my friend today who said she loves them too, hurrah! These ones are going to be used for tea, coffee & sugar but you could also use them for storing pasta or rice. Actually you could store anything in them, buttons, ribbons, colouring pencils, or it would also make a really pretty vase. Think I’m going to have to make some more soon for selling 😊

Thanks for stopping by xx

Leaf loving

I’m fully embracing the autumn and loving all the rich colours out there. Baby J and I went for a walk a couple of days ago with the sole intention of visiting the park. On the way home there were so many beautiful leaves on the ground, I was inspired to start picking some up to take home. Our village is often described as ‘leafy ‘ and they’re not wrong. The paths are covered with an autumnal colour palette right now and it looks stunning. Here’s my little haul of leafy loveliness…

   
   
Now I didn’t just decide to randomly collect a load of leaves for no particular reason, although they do look rather pretty just sitting there. No, I had a little crafty project in mind. It was quite funny when my hubby saw them. He asked what they were for and as I started to explain by saying, “well… ” he just saw the look on my face, rolled his eyes and said “some arty shit?” Ha ha, I’ve become so predictable!! I think he’ll just stop asking all together soon.

So, yesterday, I decided that that evening I would put my crafty idea into practice. I prepared the dining table ready for when I’d put Baby J to bed and it was MY time.

   
 
I knew keeping a load of baby food jars was a good idea!

By 7.30pm, I was sat at the table and ready to make. I started out by spreading a thin layer of mod podge around the jar.

   
 
It’s best to leave it for a minute or two until it’s a bit tacky, then start applying leaves. I had to hold them down for a little while to make them stick. Some of the leaves were a bit too crunchy and thick. The best ones were the waxy type, they were a bit more flexible. I kept sticking leaves all the way around and then finished them off with a bit of raffia tied around and popped a tea light in each of them.

What do you think?

  
    
 
   
 
   
 
I’m quite happy with how they turned out, the colours are amazing and they look really pretty all lit up. Can’t wait to light them up again tonight and get all cosy under a blanket .

Happy autumn lovelies xx

Today

Today, I started off full of good intentions to be healthy. 

 
I’m yet to have the green tea but I have drunk about 4 glasses of lemon water.

Today, I saved this fabulous little chair from landfill. Baby J is made up with it. Just need to wash the cover as its a bit grubby.

  
Today, I blitzed the dining room and bought it these pretty little flowers for £1. Yes, one whole pound!! 

 
Today, I cleaned out the chickens. Not easy when they’re pecking at your toes I can tell you. Especially Natasha here, she’s the worst for it.

 
Today, I spent a few minutes with a cup of tea in the garden, chilling with one of the dogs. She’s a proper sun worshipper. 

 
Today, I couldn’t resist capturing some of the growing gorgeousness in our back garden. 

    
    
 
Do you love my heart shaped tomatoes growing there? My hubby bought them knowing I’m mad for anything heart shaped.

Today, I had a nice healthy dinner.

  
Huge mistake though, to try and eat it while baby J was still awake. Silly Vicki.

Now here’s the dilemma. My hubby is away with work tonight, do I take the opportunity to have control of the TV? Do I dust off the sewing machine and see what I can run up? Do I finally get my crochet hooks out of semi-retirement and watch the TV too? Or do I have a pamper evening? Think I’ll put the baby to bed, pour a little glass of wine and decide while watering the garden.

Hope you’ve all had a good day today xxx

Mod Podge project No.1

We had a bit of a poorly house earlier this week so I decided to make the most of being stuck indoors and do a project that’s been patiently waiting for me for oh, about a year. Not too long then! I bought these name letters to put in Baby J’s room when he was still teeny weeny. I wasn’t sure wether to paint them or decoupage them.

  

His bedroom has a nautical theme. When I was expecting him, I went on a lampshade making workshop and made a shade for his room. 

  

I had some similar fabric in my little stash under my bed & thought it’d go nicely. I started off by pressing the fabric so it was crease free.

  

Then marked out all the letters and cut lengths for the sides of the letters.

   

 

Cutting out the letters was quite nerve wracking as one little mistake would really show up.

  

I managed it, even with my little pair of scissors that I use for paper, card and everything else. If my mum knew she’d tell me off. As every seamstress knows, it’s a cardinal sin to use dressmaking scissors for anything other than material. So here I was, ready to get the mod podge out. I was a little nervous really as I’d not used it before. I think it’s quite similar to deco patch glue.

  

I started with the edges first. I used the sponge applicator to spread the glue all around the edges, it was absorbed quite quickly so u have to work fast.

  

Quite painless really! On with the front. I put the fabric upside down on the table and placed the letter down to it.

  

One down, three to go.

  

There they are, just need a coat all over with the mod podge to finish off. This sets to a hard finish after a few hours. Although this fabric is a lovely thick, quality one, it does tend to fray quite a bit which isn’t good when these just have a raw edge. Once this set though I found it easy to trim with the scissors. 

Time to get them on the wall. I used the little sticky backed pads, a couple on each letter.

   

 

I was quite happy with how these turned out. Will definitely be mod podging again in the not too distant future. Have a little idea already…. x

Prettifying

After finishing my blanket, I had one night with no crafting. That was tough going and with no yarn to start my next project I decided to move onto another therapeutic pastime, deco patch.

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I rescued this magazine rack from the boys bedroom last year with the plan of doing it up & using it myself. As usual it’s taken me a looong time to get round to it. I got my collection of deco patch papers and glue out ready to start transforming.

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It’s really easy to use, just tear up your chosen paper into smallish pieces, put a thin layer of glue onto the wood, stick the paper then put another layer of glue on top of the paper. Just keep sticking and building it up until you get the desired look.

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I wanted a kind of mis matched look so I used a different paper on each side. Once you’ve covered everything, give it a final layer of glue all over. This will dry to a hardened finish. Et voila, one far prettier magazine rack. Only trouble is, I kept all my deco patch papers in here so now I need to find them a new home.

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It fits perfectly next to my enormous stack of ideal home magazines. There’s no magazine rack big enough to house those!
While I was doing this I realised my dresser had gotten extremely cluttered and messy, it needed sorting.
This was the before….

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And this was the after…..

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There’s still quite a lot of stuff on here but it’s a definite improvement on before. I mustn’t let it get that bad again!

Marvel-lous Upcycling

Yesterday afternoon, completely on a whim, I decided to pay a visit to a local furniture recycling centre. I’ve had some absolute bargains from them in the past, you have to be quick though to get the good stuff. I was on the hunt for an ugly bedside cabinet. Sure enough, I found this.

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Not pretty is it? Perfect though for what I wanted and at just £5 you can’t complain.
This is going into one of the kids bedrooms. The one who’s a huge marvel fan. I marvelised these drawers just a few weeks ago.

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I’m giving this sorry, sad cabinet the same treatment. It’s such a simple, cost effective project but such a transformation. The paper was £1.00 I think from Primark and the deco patch glue I already had (as any true crafter should!) I think it’s about £8.00 for this size bottle but lasts for ages.

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After giving all the surfaces a good clean with soapy water, I started cutting the paper to size. I was then set to start sticking. Just apply a layer of the glue to one of the surfaces. You have to be quite careful when putting the paper on as it’s not easy to move once touching the glue so go slow! Fold any overlaps neatly on the corners and glue them down. Repeat until every surface is done, then apply a good coat of the glue over the whole surface. Once dry this gives it a more durable finish and seals it.

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I left this to dry properly overnight. It needs at least a few hours before you can start using it.

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Once my nice, blue glass knobs arrive from eBay to match the other drawers, this will be complete! I love projects that just happen, completely unplanned and really quick results too.