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“I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream!”

12 Jun

Howdy

Today my Lakeland order was fulfilled so I thought I would share with you all.

Firstly practical stuff…

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Poachets; Mr S’s new favourite cooking gadget and well worth it as I actually got breakfast in bed made for me the other weekend with the aid of these fellas. Easiest way by far for a perfect poached egg.

I brought a cake carrier, with my new Clandestine Cake Club Ventures I need a good solid carrier. I haven’t tested it yet but it certainly feels like it will do a good job.

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It seems very well balanced, a nice carrying handle and the clip locks look very secure; so hopefully no accidents.

Now the third item I ordered was a mug.

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Are you thinking that doesn’t look like a mug – no your right its not it is a “Sanderson biscuit barrel”. Someone -‘Richard’ – my packer got it wrong.
No fear, as normal Lakeland Customer Services were on the case, dispatching the item I actually ordered and this impressed me I was told as it was the summer and there are lots of fetes and charity fund raisers instead of the time & cost to send it back to donate the item to a good cause. I’m impressed what a sensible & kind thing for a big company to do. Well Done Lakeland .

Lakeland are a favourite company of mine in fact our whole family. My 86 year old Grandmother loves them and they are always excellent to her when she rings up to order.

What I actually ordered turned up today.

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My Walls Ice Cream tin mug. This was totally an impulse buy while browsing.

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I am not sure what it will be used for yet but I do know I was just drawn to it.
They have a range of Walls merchandise at Lakeland at the moment, If your drawn by kitsch impulse like I was.

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I will leave you with this image of The Princess & The Dog cuddling in bed this morning. It makes me smile their relationship. He looks after and protects his little sister. So Cute.

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S

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Catching Up

21 May

There has been a lack of blogging around here recently. Things have been a bit sporadic and intermittent.

For one I’ve been busy but also the WordPress app keeps loosing things I write when I update- grrr (it’s just done it again even though I’ve previewed the updated post!)

The positive side is though I’ve been a bit quiet with blogging, I’ve been doing little bits and bobs at home. Getting on despite picking up yet another blinking bug last week.

So another brief recap blog and then hopefully I will get back into the swing of things.

Tuesday

Tuesday I recovered from going out on Monday.
Painted my toes to match my hands.

Sewed the lining back into the sewing basket mentioned in my other posts.

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It also gave me a chance to check out a few new blogs and odds and ends I’ve been interested in.

Read my Homemaker & Mollie Makes magazines cover to cover in between small chores.

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I brought the last couple but I’ve now subscribed to Homemaker magazine & Mollie Makes which I’ve wanted to do for a while but thought it an extravagance, it still is but Im trying to give myself a little oomph back at the moment.

If your a crafter of general origins these 2 magazines cover a wide range of makes rather than one particular craft, plus have useful reviews etc.
Check them out if you haven’t already, their websites have nice crafty blogs too.

Then something I’ve come across on some blogs recently: Crafty Creatives and I’ve taken the plunge and signed up.
The concept is each month you receive a box of crafty goodies with a theme. With these goodies you receive you can craft your own ideas, follow some of the online suggestions and follow others in the make and do’s.
The last box 11 was Glamour for May.

I think it’s a great idea to try new crafts something mini each month. Especially as I am a habitual multi crafter.

Wednesday

Mr S had an early start and we were all up early. I managed to sneak a couple more hours in bed before getting up and taking the Parrot Cat to the vets for a weight & post op check.

The Parrot Cat is fine and nicely gaining weight though still grounded for a while let those pesky hormones of his calm down.

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The dog couldn’t quite work out how to get down the stairs in this picture as he didn’t want to tread on the cat so he resorted to giving me his paw to indicate he would like me to stop taking photos & help.

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I had a quick cuppa and some internet time. Before heading off to drop The Dog at the in-laws and pop into town.

I was naughty in town when getting Mr S’s brother-in-laws jokey birthday pressie, a few other things slipped into my basket as well.

In Marks & Spencer’s picking up the essentials, this tin of biscuits proved ESSENTIAL. Disregarding non gf biscuits. But love the tin!

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*Teapot Island
*The Pineapple House *Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch

Now if your imagination is like mine Do Not click the links below because curiosity really did kill the cat and the reality of some of these are not as good as the images in my head.

Tea Pot Island; I had a “Willy Wonker” meets “Alice in Wonderland” esk island whose owner was Hesten Blumenthal in my head.
Giant dunking biscuits and a stream of tea … With a White Rabbit running late and Mad Hatter tea parties.
All hosted by The Mad Hatter, the ultimate marmite chef; Hesten Blumenthal (I happen to Love both Heston & Marmite).

Pineapple House;
Queue song … ” who lives in a pineapple under the sea ”
Who could not think of Sponge Bob Square Pants.

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch – I’ve been there!

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I also brought a wooden box container for storing loose bottles in the kitchen. I think it was meant to be a plant pot holder but its perfect to tidy up the loose bottles behind the chair and was much cheaper than the bottle boxes I’ve had my eye; the blue goes nicely.

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Another jar for more pebbles & shells.

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This bright gorgeous plate which I intend for the craft room.

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And I think that was it apart from Mr S’s brother-in-laws pressie.

The explanation is that S likes nails according to his daughters, who oh so sweetly giggling about it.
He is a maker doer and does have one of those sheds full of hundreds of oddments and nails and everything you could ever need etc, so as a jokey gift we have brought him more nails & screws.

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I’ve put them in the traditional style jam jar to mimic those found in your Grandfathers shed and Mr S came up with the idea of trying to stripe them in layers like coloured sand. (His turning crafty)
We had issues with this though as they kept falling through and blending. But this is the finished product.

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Wednesday night was my first night back at my pottery class, my items have been fired so are ready for glazing, though someone had glazed a piece for me before I was ready.
So my little soap dish should have had a different body of colour with its oxide glaze.

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This piece was meant to be shades of blue on the main body but the the slip obviously wasn’t what the bottle said, it is extremely light blue. Next it needs its glass adding to give the watery effect in the main body, then a glaze to make it all shiny and finished. The glaze will also change the slip colour a bit.

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This is my next piece …

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Under this bag is a Lilly pad and Lilly Flower bowl to match the froggie one, I’m going to use them as a serving set there are a few more pieces I want to do to make a complete set.

Thursday/Friday

I plodded with washing and chores.
Read another Mollie Makes

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I have an idea for these freebie buttons – but I need to finish up some other outstanding makes first!

Thursday Evening I got an email from a lady who runs the local Clandestine Cake Club.
I had previously contacted her about joining the meet but the next venue/group was full so I was put on a waiting list and completely forgot about it this month. Until Thursday evening I got a message saying there was now a space would I like it – YES!
So this left me planning what one should bake!
The theme was celebration/birthday cakes for the 1st Birthday.

Friday I baked & did my decoration for my cake.

Saturday

Was my first Clandestine Cake Club meet.

You can see how I got on and what I came up with in my next post.

Here is a sneak peak…

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I had a great time, but the night before it looked like an icing sugar bomb had exploded in the kitchen and I was having technical issues with the oven.

Sunday

Was a lazy day. I did some paper work drunk lots of tea.

Then Mr S and I did some of the garden. This has left me a little worse for ware.

However the bunnies had a great time munching at the unmown lawn with dandelions galore. Our boy bun though is still a house bunny at heart and after a while he snuck in to cool off in his favourite spot on the kitchen floor.

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Phew and that is the end of this catch up.

S

This * That * The Other

13 May

Its Monday once again people, I am hoping all had a wonderful weekend but for those who may not have, as life is like that, remember always look for the good in every day how ever hard it seems.

Over the weekend Mr S & I didn’t do a lot, I had a lot of ‘plans’ but nothing really got off the ground.

Friday I had been to the hospital for some blood tests and seen my Mother & Grandparents which was nice. The Dog loves a family outing.

Saturday was a duvet day. I unpacked some bits I had brought back with me Friday. One of which being a sewing basket given to me by my Grandmother.

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This sewing basket has bits and bobs from my Grandmother, mostly my Great Great Aunt and my Great Great Great Grandmother.

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It was interesting opening the little tins and discovering what was inside. Mostly buttons, but I like buttons, I have a teapot full of buttons.

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Wooden sewing thread reals. Pre-Decimalisation monetary values marked on packs of binding, needles and such like, novel to me being a Post-Decimalisation child.

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The basket it’s self is a little flimsy and the fabric needed a wash.
So carefully I unpicked it hand washed and ironed it it ready to be sewn back in and used for another generation to add to it.
I didn’t want to replace the fabric yet I like the blue gingham, plus I didn’t want to loose that part of its history.

Sunday Mr S had studying to do and I tidied and prepared for the week ahead ironing shirts and such like.

Afterwards we sat down and I finished my crochet granny squares practice piece.

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Which I was quite chuffed about and has spurred me on to finishing my WIP blanket which I have shown you in past posts.

In a Random subject change:

Our Dog; The Dog is a rescue and on Sunday evening I made the mistake of looking at the website of the place we got him from Norfolk & Suffolk Boxer Rescue. .

I REALLY REALLY shouldn’t look!
I’m a sucker Mr S is a sucker we know this, it is how one Saturday we ended up taking the plunge and went from one day we will have a dog to looking at dogs and the next weekend owning one!

Currently on there is a 6month old little boy & 3 1/2 year old little girl.
Though the little boy caught my eye, I am sure he will find a good home quickly ppl like young puppies. But it’s the 3 1/2 year old little girl… I really have had to have a we can’t discussion with myself and Mr S. As age and personality wise she would be perfect, when we got The Dog we always had full intentions of getting a pair male & female.
There is just something niggling at me, there are lots of dogs that crop up but there is just something about her.
Any way NO!!

Monday came around again.

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A caramel hot chocolate with cream and caramel drizzle was in order before I had a nail appointment, thankfully. My nails were in a bit of a state and due a pamper.
I’ve got fat hands with funny knuckles in my eyes and I hate having terrible nails as I feel they draw attention to them.

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I am a red polish kinda gal normally but today I went for a pink with a purplish hue.
I brought some L’oreal (503 Addictive Plum) nail varnish which was the closet match to my nail varnish to paint my tootsies with tomorrow.

Afterwards I popped to stock up on pet food which seems to always be on our shopping list.
Then L meet me for coffee and we had a look around some shops.

I picked up bargains in Dunelm Mill a fux fur throw reduced from £40 to £10, the cats love faux fur.

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It co-ordinates with The Parrot Cat very well.

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Curtains reduced from £70 to £8.25 for a temporary fix in the lounge; it currently looks like we live in a squat with an old duvet cover over the broken blinds. Got to love our pets luckily they have now all grown out of the destruction phase.
A little job for papa when the parents next stay.

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L & I couldn’t resist a quick look in Hobbycraft they have just got in a favourite of ours Smash Pad.
I brought some Smash Pad quotation notelets, discounted yellow ribbon and some multi coloured card. I intend to start my recipe cards I posted about a while back on the card. I’m just on the look out for a suitable receptacle for the recipe cards now.

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I picked up a copy of Mollie Makes and last months Homemaker magazine to peruse while I’m painting my tootsies and having a tea break tomorrow.

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Now Time for bed me thinks as its been a long day.

S

Sun…Sun…Sunday

14 Apr

Good Evening and my what a lovely day it’s been.

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The Parrot cat came in for his breakfast then had a lay in and a cup of tea with me, while Mr S studied.

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Then I got up flung open the windows and did more spring cleaning. This time cleaning and hoovering the bed and airing.

Before making crumpets for Mr S’s lunch.

I weighed up sitting in the sun reading for the afternoon. But the bunnies needed a good clean out and wash down of their cage so I set to work on this instead while we had a fine day (only problem was the wind blowing straw everywhere).

They enjoyed nibbling all the spring flowers not eating just nibbling all the leaves off my precious flowers. But oh well I love my buns and they were so happy hoping around, binkying in the garden.

Look at them…
(The Fluff Ball is a little camera shy)

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Here is the garden before they had a munch. They didn’t do to much damage.
Look! The tulips are out.

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The pictures of the garden made me think it looked a bit sad. So after I had done the rabbits I prinked the borders up. I’m really looking forward to ordering some plants now the weather hopefully is getting milder.

The Princess also spent some time in the garden with us she and our male rabbit get on very well but she’s more wary of the female rabbit as she chases the cats.

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Tonight’s dinner was Pork Belly & Vegetables.
I also knocked up some more flap jacks but they aren’t as yummy as before, I am a sugar addict and I cut the syrup down and didn’t add chocolate. They are more breakfast granola bars.
Again I used dried fruits from graze box left overs plus more.

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Cherries
Plums
Figs
Dates
Apple
Hazelnuts
Walnuts
GF Oats
Light Brown Sugar
Butter
Golden Syrup
Maple Syrup

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They are in a tin rather than the cake stand as I intend to bake cakes this week also so I’m saving that and my pretty tins have been a bit forgotten recently.

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Now I’m shattered and have an early start so its bed time.

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S

Sunny Saturday vs Saturated Saturday

13 Apr

I hope you have all enjoyed some sunshine today. It started off such a lovely mild blue sky day but alas it failed to stay all day and by the late afternoon we got wet.

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Mr S has been working hard again lately; he always works hard but at the moment his working over time so extra hard. It was nice to spend some time together, I feel like I haven’t seen him all week.

I needed to restock the cupboard with some Gluten Free cupboard stables so we headed off to the Daily Bread Cooperative, if you live Cambridge way I would recommend you pop in and take a look (I think they have one in Northampton too).
The Daily Bread have a nice little selection of gluten free products as well as organic produce, paraben free etc toiletries and environmentally friendly household products amongst other things.
I found my favourite GF cereal by Doves Farm and Doves Farm Strong Bread Flour.

The Bread Flour is for a recipe I was inspired to try. I’ve really fancied making Hot Cross buns as I missed out at Easter but didn’t really know how … Until I read Lucy at A Small Insights post on Hot Cross Buns. She uses Paul Hollywoods recipe, which I did watch on TV but actually seeing someone try it means its do able and works in a home kitchen ~ I know that sounds odd but sometimes I look at chefs on TV and think hmmm I know how mine would turn out! Especially as I have to convert to GF.
Anyway Lucy’s Buns Look Yum check them out!

Next stop was Car Hunting.
We need to replace our car at the moment so went on a hunt for something more suitable like an estate.
~Touch Wood~
We have found something, For Us, The Dog, and Hopefully a Family, which is reliable.
I don’t think the car sales man had ever been asked “Can we try our dog in the boot for size”.
I will tell you in true Female style (according to L) what I told L when she asked, “it’s Silver and an Estate!”

We got home exhausted. Its very emotional, second hand car buying lots of money being spent on something you just pray is not going to be a waste.
I know emotional sounds so exaggerated and flamboyant but having to make the right choice, will it be right for us, will it be reliable, will it need lots doing, if it needs stuff replacing how much, the list is endless and you have to trust your own judgement.

We arrived home and Crashed out on the sofa in front of Dr Who and some Idiots Guide. Having a rare sofa dinner.
(We are people that eat up the dinner table and discuss the day normally)

I then from no where felt some inspiration so went to the craft room to grab my note pad.
While there I remember stashing some of my latest Zulily purchases in there.

So I thought I would take a few snaps and show you.

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This LSA ceramic candle is for the new craft room I loved the vibrant green. It has a herb? fragrance that’s all I am saying on that.

The box is also quite nice, I might use the pattern as inspiration for something ???

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I brought these tins for my craft stuff BUT they don’t really go with the colour theme.

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So I think I will use them in the kitchen.

I Love the Bunny!
I first saw these bunnies on a gorgeous blog Silje-Sin .

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Firstly to rabbit on about this ladies blog oh my is all I can say I Love her Style, Her Home and Her.
.THE END.

This range is by a Danish company called Maileg they do cute Bunnies and Mice mostly.
I have a soft spot for bunnies and when I saw these Maileg bunnies on Silje-Sin blog I really wanted one but didn’t know anything about the make at the time so couldn’t trace them.

Anyhow a few days later on Zulily what should appear but the very same bunnies!
Obviously this was a sign and I purchased one.

And that’s about it I am a Zulily addict.

But I will warn you of something on sites like this…
I informed you my card details were stolen recently and then to update this actually it was my whole identity and the place they got them from my Zulily account.

This is not the companies fault but a slip up on my part.

1) Firstly I NEVER use my real date of birth on sites but for some reason I did on Zulily mistake number 1.

2) It stores my card details. As I use it so much I have my card details stored. I NEVER do this on any other site. Goodness knows why I did this here.

3) I leave my account open I didn’t really realise it wasn’t logged out.
As I look daily on the email I am sent I didn’t think about it being logged in.

4) I left the link open and the account logged in on safari on my iPhone when I went to Starbucks at the BeeHive Centre. Then I connected to Starbucks Internet. Bingo. Thank you horrid information thief – I hope you enjoyed your coffee on me!

Just a warning. As I was complacent with my Mac products being tougher than Microsoft. But when online shopping remember not all these sights have amazing uncrackable security.
Some of you will say my own stupid fault and yes it was as normally I’m up on protecting my details but 1 lapse and I got caught out. Don’t let it happen to you.

S

Midweek Mission

10 Apr

I’ve cleaned the house top to bottom today, blinds, kitchen cupboards, paint work, windows …. You name it its clean.

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I made a Concoction Soup with the left overs and the second half of the Ham Hock and Liquid Stock from the cooking of the Ham Hock yesterday.

In went:
Soaked dry mixed beans
Pasta
Spinach
Carrots
Sweet Potato
Broccoli
Chestnut Mushrooms
Baby Tomatoes
Garlic Purée
Mustard Seeds
Black Pepper
Ham Hock Cider Stock
Vegetable Stock
Shredded Ham Hock

And though it looks a mess it was tasty even if I do say so myself.

Sketching

Today while tidying I found this Years – Last Years – 2012 anyway, Christmas Card I designed.
It started as a sketch and then Mr S wanted it as our Family & Friends Christmas Card.

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The Christmas Sketch was based on the theme of an earlier sketch I did for Mr S’s Office.

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I drew this at a time when things weren’t as harmonious between all of our pets and this was a bit of a dream.
Now nearly 6months since The Dog joined our family the Cats and Rabbits dare I say have excepted him as a kind of clumsy loud sibling.

My latest and unfinished sketch of this theme is a house crest …

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I’m exhausted after my cleaning antics today so zzzzz time.

S

Window Shopping Wednesday 1

13 Mar

After an appalling nights sleep well there was no night time sleep about it, possibly an hour if that before the dog woke me up needing to go out, followed by I’m so loanly cry’s.

From 2-4am I was awake on the sofa with 2 kittens and The Dog.
Parrot Cat wrapped round my head, The Princess snuggled right up under my chin and The Dog as close to her as he could get and though there was no chance of sleeping like this it made me smile as we have been waiting weeks for moments like this with all the pets in harmony.

At some points we wondered if it would ever happen. We had reached a bit of a plateau with The Dog and Kittens establishing their boundaries and limits but this last week further developments have been made.

Kisses have been exchanged, The Princess has been making the effort to play with The Dog and The Parrot Cat has been eating out of the same bowl at the same time as The Dog.

To be fair the problem hasn’t really been The Dogs fault more they were speaking in different languages at first and now each has learnt a bit of ‘pigeon dog’ and ‘pigeon cat’ and things are progressing nicely. The Dog bless him has always been good with the Cats his just a little unpredictable for them.

This picture was taken the other day of them cleaning out the left overs

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So back to bed I went at 4am with a cup of tea and managed to grab some Zzzz’s and wish Mr S a good day at work in my sleep.

But come 6am all pets were hungry and needed their breakfast so I obliged did my chores and then went to get a little more sleep.

When I woke up the day was not as I expected.

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We had lots of lovely sunshine. So I sat doing my normal Wednesday Virtual Window Shopping enjoying the rays in the kitchen.

Today as well as home inspiration I got pottery inspiration.

I thought these ceramic butterflies from Retro Villa are sweet and could be used for home or gift decoration.

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And also the same goes for these ceramic letters

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Then I facing some more ironing. As I was ironing there was a tremendous noise and we were having a hail storm! Sun still shining.

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The cloud formations were amazing afterwards unfortunately all I had was my phone camera as the proper camera had given up the ghost – time to replace. I could have snapped away all day with a proper camera. This picture doesn’t do it justice.

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Mr S said that in the city once again they were having proper snow.

It’s Wednesday so Pottery tonight so this is where I leave you.

S

Window Shopping Wednesday 2

13 Mar

THE HALL

GPO Retro & Nostalgic Telephones

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So I am starting to think about the hallway and its a blank canvas ~ fantastic hey!
My inspiration at the moment is a retro 1930’s deco feel.
Now I said inspiration. The phone above is 1970’s I just like these retro phones, but I’m not sure I could be bothered with the faff of a 1930’s style phone. I did find this on the same website.

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A bit marmite’esk love or hate – I don’t think I could have one though as we don’t have a butler to answer it and I’d have to put on a terribly posh English squeak of an accent to speak to anybody… But that’s just me.

By 1930s inspired I mean gold hues introduced with some mono chrome. It’s looking better in my head than it sounds on here at the moment. Watch this space anyway.

MORE FOR THE CRAFT ROOM

LIV Furniture & Things

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Depending on the shelf type I settle on (I’m swaying towards Ikea Expedit) I thought these might look nice with a few colourful ‘things’ filling them on it and the small one perhaps resting on the window ledge.

Retro Villa

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These display shelves seem to be all the rage at the moment. I would like a little one in the craft room and to make it myself.

Cox & Cox

I LOVE this wooden wall panel what more can I say.

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Obviously in the craft room I need to think about storage and Im trying to find original storage ideas.
I think the use of wire storage isn’t to heavy on the eye and to filling for the room, solving the problem of making it look over crowded with solid storage boxes.

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This Hooked Wall Rack could be good to hang all sorts of useful things on and for displaying fabric swatches or thing-a-me-bobs.

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CRAFTY JOURNALLING

LIV Furniture & Things

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I am just getting into journalling and I very much like these Destination and Number & Alphabet stickers.

THE KITCHEN

LIV Furniture & Things

Now after saying about to much contrived stuff in the house yardayarda in yesterdays post.I might have to squeeze these into the kitchen in a glass fruit bowl.

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I’m not one for fake. But recently my love of flowers and my money saving attempts caused me to buy some fake blooms and now I’ve spotted these Apples I could be a convert. As long as they are quality pieces (no obvious glued bits and unfinished plastic edge glaring at me) then I can appreciate them for a good imitation when the real thing is absent.
The only problem with the Internet is the photo looks great I wonder what the real thing will be like.

Fake again! But I think these Artichokes (quality dependent) would make nice table decorations for a summery dinner party. Greens and white crisp table linen and reusable.


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GARDEN

Cox & Cox

Holding on to the sunshine, the thought of summer days and doing the garden this spring. My 2 Garden wants from last year were a comfy garden chair and a fire pit and today when browsing on Cox & Cox what should I spy!

This double deck chair room for us and the dog!

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And this fire pit I like the bronze colour and the shape.

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Time for a cup of tea virtual window shopping is thirsty work.

S

Ps. I’ve no idea why the end part of this post is all in bold, I checked the text and deleted it and wrote it again as it annoyed me but WordPress just seem to want to highlight how brilliant the Deck Chair and Fire Pit are!

Wash Day Tuesdays The New Monday

12 Mar

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold; when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”
Charles Dickens – Great Expectations

And hasn’t it just been like that here today.

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The poor bunnies bottles were frozen this morning.
And the daffodils outside had keeled over retracting with cold. But yet the sun has been shinning, the sky blue, and the clouds white & fluffy.

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I woke up still fighting with this virus thing. So had to cancelling meeting L for Coffee & Shopping I am rather disappointed at that. (I have cake saved with your name on L)

My box of tissues and I have spent the day mostly answering the door to the postpeoples.
As my books arrived and so did the cutlery trays.

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I did the basic tidying chores but after that I got back under the warm duvet with a cup or 3 of tea and my books till I got up at Lunch time.

My New Books ~

As my treat for World Book Day you may remember I ordered 4 books one of which arrived Saturday and the other 3 today…

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Tales of Greek Heroes By Roger Green, the second of my Greek Mythology books to arrive. Not only has a great hardback cover which will go with my growing ‘pretty’ book collection, but has a good content too.

Obviously aimed at the younger reader, the print is larger than your average adult read, though I wasn’t expecting anything other as this is clearly a child’s book. One good thing about the larger print makes it feel like you have accomplished reading lots in one morning.

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The book has not only got the Tales of Greek Mythology but also some good subsequent text including A Glossary, Whose Who and Further Learning Projects.
Im still perplexed at why I have very little knowledge of this topic, it seems everybody did this at school excluding me? but soon I will be able to challenge any 8 year olds knowledge!

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Pottery Books ~ Yay Yay Yay

The other 2 book purchases were on pottery; my newish hobby.
I’ve wanted for a while a general book on everything pottery, I’ve looked high and low read review after review then finally took the plunge and ordered 2 and I am very pleased with my choices.

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Techniques Using Slips By John Mathieson, is unsurprisingly on the use of slips in pottery. It covers the application of slips, the different techniques, designers examples and little how to guides, along with technical and firing information.
Some good inspiration, unfortunately I could be limited by the pottery class kiln and firing temperatures etc. But slip decoration does seem to be one of the main techniques we have access to the materials for, hence my purchasing this book.

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The Complete Potter By Steve Mattison, I hoped would be as it said on the tin and I was again not disappointed.

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From initial reading it answers topics relevant to my level of knowledge (little to none/refresher on what is known). Off the top of my head I can’t think of an area not covered, it’s got Techniques, Clay Types, Molds, Colouring, Glazing, Firing, Kiln Information the list is endless. I would recommend this for any budding evening class potter.

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I’m looking forward to putting more ideas into practice.

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Last night I took some in progress pictures of the Kitchen/Diner for record of before and after, though the Kitchen/Diner is nearly finished.

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There is a few more changes and additions which I’ve been voicing in my WSW (Window Shopping Wednesdays) and WHITE PAINT!! We have magnolia’esk walls which will do for now as things go with it, But by the end of summer ideally I would like the whole house painted.

I wonder if the next generations will cry “oh no not white” like ours does for magnolia.

We don’t want to add to many ‘staged’ impersonal items into our home, both Mr S and I like original pieces and things with meaning.
For example the red barn with little cows was a present brought for us by my Aunt & Uncle from Canada, we have pieces of slate we brought home from our first holiday together which are perfect coasters, the birdies on the window ledge we brought in Scotland at Christmas time when we were on a break with my cousin, brother and his girlfriend.

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I’m also finding our bargain eBay Chair and Table set not in keeping with my room dressing. They aren’t going anywhere for now and I don’t dislike them, we like a big table for so many reasons, for one we are great believers in eating our meals together at the table. I just have to incorporate them~ I think the key is in the table mats and dressing.
I’ve been using my Great Great Aunts and Various other relatives Filet Crochet edged tablecloths & dressings and the brown leather is a bit harsh against this. I feel perhaps the introduction of glass on the table or a light drift wood and candle feature would link the two and softer place mats.

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Lunch was cake; healthy as it has Apples and Blackberries in and lots of energy to face the laundry pile & ironing.
I swear I will keep on top of this chore every time and then I blink and its multiplied again to uncontrollable levels; invasively microbial like but it’s Log Phase never seeming to reach a Stationary Phase!

Mr S also took it upon him self to re-organise his wardrobe the other week. Completely randomly waffling on about his system; his system appears to be putting worn clothes back with washed clothes mixing them up and seeing if I can pick what’s what. Ive given it a few weeks trial but its really not working for the laundry lady aka moi, it adds to the dread of the task. Today I took a deep breath and faced putting it back to an organised system. Hoorah!!

And dutifully I ironed Mr S’s shirts tonight, don’t tell him but I actually quiet enjoy ironing. While doing it I listened to some podcasts and had a hissy fit at the sleeve of one particular joy to iron.

The RHS Gardening podcast the other week passed in the bed time listening stakes. It was a bit rooky’ish in some presenting aspects but matched my listening criteria regardless. So Ive downloaded the next and a few others such as BBC Radio 4 Inside Health, BBC Radio 4 Food Programme and a few other tried and tested BBC Four programmes mostly. We will see how they fair tonight.

Mr S and I caught up on a bit of our favourite TV. Before an early night called. Mr S has to be up at 3am! To fit his morning routine in before he starts work super early tomorrow *yawn*.

S

“Create A Life That Feels Good On The Inside”

7 Mar

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I can’t find the source of this quote but how true. This can be applied to lots of aspects of life. It’s easy to try and mask over cracks by surrounding ourselves in material effects, shinny pretty things that are there to disguise, hide behind clothes and make up, all because its what we see ‘the happy’ people doing so we follow the crowd. But really we know things are wrong.
“Keeping up with the Jones” entered a whole new level with the social pressures of media such as Facebook and Twitter, no longer was it just the neighbours but everyone you have met over the past 20years too.
It’s so sad to see this in people even close friends on a daily bases updating their profiles hourly “look at me!” And I have a certain friend that you don’t hear from, then you know they are planning something so that they can then say “oh didn’t I tell you” or put it all over Facebook in an oh we just did this way, the reason I’ve figured this friend does this is so they have something ‘BIG’ to tell people, because actually the saying above is very true to their life with out divulging and airing there linen. Over the years though I have learnt to accept this person and feel sorry for them and their highly critical jealous views on others and in doing this have found this friendship much easier. Why friends you ask ~ well why leave someone who needs help & friendship no matter what. I’m not all Peaches & Cream.
As for my comments on Facebook this is not to say I don’t have Facebook or like it. I just believe in doing things for the right reason and motives. Because you truly are happy and want to share it or you have worked darn hard to get where you are.

I’m happy to say though ~ my life feels very good and I’m thankful for that.
Now to make it look more aesthetically polished haha …

Today
Cladophora aegagropila!!
I have found some of the little fellas in the UK, it seems they are popular with aquarium lovers. It wasn’t as complicated as I thought, they are even on Amazon. But now I’m confused to whether or not they need complicated living environments. Some say yes others say just correct lighting levels.
Maybe I will just buy a couple and see how they go.

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On the subject of fishie wishies, I like aquariums. We have had a few gold fish over the years but I do quiet fancy a proper aquarium and a little while back now I did look into it, our main issue is curious fishing kittens! “Oh look they got us another toy”, Mr S isn’t convinced.
But while I was looking I found this really gifted and artistic Portuguese gentleman Filipe Oliveira

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Who designed this tank. I think this is great and very ‘zen’.
Apart from troublesome kittens my only other problem is the amount of work that goes into the up keep of fish on top of all the other animals. Perhaps one for after the house is done.

On another note today is World Book Day such a fantastic day!
Mr S will tell you all about my love of books and his horror at how many we have. I only keep reference books, ‘reading books’ I tend to pass on as they amount quickly and we just don’t have the space. There is an amazing hospice shop where my parents live and it’s dedicated to books – Ive managed to pick up the whole collection of Kathy Reichs books there for no more than a £1 a book then when I’m done back they go – Bargain! Cheaper than the library fine when I run late on returning them and than any new book store, they are all like new anyway.
Mr S’s issue is he thinks I just buy books for the bookshelf to look at! As they remain mint. The thing is I have been brought up to remove dust covers of hard backs when reading and to touch things with care – this way everything remains nice. A shameful confession I have though is I am not so careful with paperbacks and ‘readers’ as they can live in a bag, get treated to a bath or like the other night a whole cup of tea curtesy of The Princess, I feel bad for their treatment but its all about loving them.

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My little celebration of World Book Day is to treat myself to 4 New Books from my Amazon wish list. 2 from my craft list and 1 from my pretty books list and 1 education style book I guess I would call it.

The crafty books are pottery books.
“Techniques Using Slips – Ceramics Handbook By John Mathieson and “The Complete Potter: The Complete Reference to Tools, Materials and Techniques for All Potters and Ceramicists” By Mattison Steven.

And then the 2 other books are on a similar topic to each other Greek Mythology. Over Christmas I realised how shoddy my knowledge is on this topic thus I wanted to brush up. These books have been on my wish list since then.
The pretty one with cloth bound cover is one of the penguin hard back classics “Tales of the Greek Heroes” By Roger Green and the more in depth version is “Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes and Monsters”By Donna Napoli.

And to finish off tonight I will read either of the 2 books I have on the go at the moment.

Ian Rankin: Standing in Another Man’s Grave in true old school hardback for a true old school police officer John Rebus … Oh how I missed you Rebus. I Pre-ordered this and it’s remained a little neglected though I think psychologically I don’t want to get to the end incase it really is all over this time for Rankin & Rebus.

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Or

Handbags & Poo Bags~Tales of a Soho Boxer By Alice Wright on the Kindle App. Boxer dog owners need I say anymore. I had to download it when I saw it.

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On a personal note of finding something good in everyday we appear to now all be ill, 1 week today for me! But I do seem to be getting my voice back. I however have soldiered on and done chores and washing again today ~ go me!

I think a long hot bath to go with that reading is in order tonight.

S