Saturday, 27 December 2008


Well we all had a wonderful Christmas and so far we have managed to escape the terrible flu that is going around. We had Christmas dinner at home and invited my Mom & Dad (we usually go to theirs). It was great and everyone ate and drank too much. In the afternoon we popped across the road to my brothers where we had a great time trying out my Niece's Wii Fit.
Boxing Day lunch was at Mom's. We were all there as you can see from the photo. Today we have been Go Karting to Oswestry with our friends. Only the lads had a go, the ladies just watched and got very cold.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Saving the Pennies

Don't know if that how you spell pennies but it will have to do. A few weeks ago whilst buying presents on Amazon (you must think I'm addicted to this website) I came across this book.

The Thrift Book

Live well and spend less

by India Knight

It is full of great tips to save yourself money. Even my 17 year old Daughter sat and read up on how to save money on clothes and make up and was very impressed in what she had learnt.

There are tips from Holidays to Christmas, weddings and family get togethers I have found it so useful. There is a section on crafts and some of the blogs which I read are listed there.

I had a go at the veg curry recipe and we all enjoyed it and it cost hardly anything to make.

Who's A Lucky Girl Then!!

Last week I decided to have another go at making my own bread. I'm so sick of paying over £1 for a loaf of bread which is as hard as a rock the next day. I tried in the summer but my loaf was hard as soon as it came out of the oven! This time I decided to use my food processor (this is an ancient model bought when we got married in 1986 but still working ok). My mom was visiting when I got my loaf out of the oven and she said "well it smells like bread" but they all no my disasters when making bread.
John was the first person to cut it and he couldn't believe how light it was for a change. He loved it and so did everyone else. It didn't last long as I could only use 1lb 2oz of flour in my size processor. It was such a success that I made another one on Sunday and after this one worked also I decided to look at the Kitchen Aid Mixers on Amazon to see how much they were. They had one on offer fro £149, I thought I'd give it a go asking hubby for one for Christmas and Birthday pressie (my Birthday is on 18th Dec and he always moans to me that it's too near Christmas) I was sure he would say no, but to my delight he agreed. I pushed the add to basket button so quick just in case he had a change of mind.

Well it's arrived and I'm so chuffed. Thought I'd post a photo of it before I use it. I'll let you know how I get on in my next post.

On the sewing front I am trying to make a blouse for myself for Christmas but I don't know whether it the material my machine doesn't like or my machine that is playing up but I'm sick of the cotton breaking and the bobbin keep knotting up. I had to put it down yesterday and walk away before I flung the blouse in the bin.

Got a photo of the dressing gown I have made my Niece. It is a lovely lime green colour. I hope she like it.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

A Busy Time

I have been so busy the last week or so trying to get thing s made for Christmas and also I have found Facebook. I'm on there everyday and can't believe how many of my old school friends I have made contact with. Some of them it has been 25 years since I last saw them and the strange thing is we don't seem to have changed that much, well the lads have lost their hair and perhaps the girls have put a few pounds on but nothing major. Our kids will never loose touch with their school friends because they are always on Facebook, MSN, or myspace.

Back to the few things I have managed to make. A fleece dressing gown for my niece, an apron for my Sister-in-law out of Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter (this is a good book full of useful patterns). Haven't got photos of these yet, mind you the photos of the other things I have are not very good as I have had to have the lights on in the house most days. I made my brother an apron with Wife's Little Helper embroidered on it for a laugh as he doesn't do much cooking.

I have managed to embroider around 30 Christmas cards on my Janome machine. I had all the card apertures from Craft Creations last year and didn't get round to using them.

I kept all the cards we were sent last year and recycled them into new cards for this year. I think they have turned out quite well, just hope I don't send the same card back to last years sender.

(Got two of this photo as I don't know how to delete it. Perhaps someone else does)

This afternoon I have managed to make Sophie an elasticated waist skit. You use 2 inch wide elastic and sew the material onto this. She hasn't tied it on yet as she is getting ready to go out so I will probably know the verdict in the morning if she likes it or not. Have just cut her out another skirt from a pattern off the Burdastyle website but it is in black so will have to wait until tomorrow to sew it as I struggle sewing black in artificial light.

Hope to be back soon with a few more makes.

Oh, I forgot I also made a wheat bag each for my aunt and uncle.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Little Nan

Yesterday was my Nans 82nd Birthday. For her present I made her a cake, some of my plum jam and a couple of puzzle books to pass away her time. My Grandad died 15 years ago so she has been on her own quite some time. Apart from being a little forgetful she is still capable of looking after herself. It was my Nan who got me interested in sewing. She has an old singer treadle sewing machine and she can make anything with it. For about the last 12 months though she hasn't done any sewing but she always like to have a look at what I've made. We took her out for lunch to Gardenland, we managed to persuade her to go in a wheel chair so as she could have a look around all the Christmas decorations, I got some ideas for my own decorations form here. When we got home, about 3 O'clock she said she had had a lovely day and was ready for bed.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Remembrance Sunday Parade

Not much happening in our household this weekend, Jack came back from Uni so most of my time was spent doing washing and ironing. I don't mind though, it was just nice to have him home for a while. The Remembrance Sunday parade passes in front of our house each year. Mos t of the neighbours stand outside to watch it go by. Each year you notice the old soldiers getting less, this year there seemed to be a lot of younger people marching and there was one young lad in his Navy uniform who looked very smart. The Brownies, Guides, Cubs and Scout packs out of the Village all march too. I used to have walk with Sophie when she was in Brownies.

Whilst I was standing watching I noticed the Daffodil bulbs coming through in my pot in the front garden. Couldn't believe they were so high already.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

I Think I Got a Bargain

Whilst I was doing my shopping on Saturday I had a look on the local second hand shop and I saw this bird bath. I had wanted one for a while to go in our garden and for £12 I thought this was a bargain. Managed to take a photo but its a bit dark as it's not got light here for the last few days. I think November can be a depressing month, it always seems dark and damp. Hope the birds will like it.

Spent yesterday morning up the loft sorting out my stash. I have things I had forgotten I had bought. I am going to try and make quite a few Christmas presents again this year and hopefully use some of the material which is up there. I have made a start by recycling an old top into a teapot cosy (I'm sure aunt Val will love this).

This is the before.

This is the after.

Have also made a tea cosy for Mom in law too. Not quite so pleased with that one, could have been a bit bigger.

I have finished my coat also, I will try and get someone to take a photo of me wearing it so as I can post it soon. Saw Jack on Sunday, he's lost a bit of weight but says he's ok and enjoying himself. He raced at Grimley and managed to come second. We were all freezing all day long, I was so glad to get home in front of the fire.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Snow in October!!

Couldn't believe we had snow in October yesterday. It started about 4 O'clock and carried on for just over an hour. I took this photo at the start but later on there was a good covering (too busy getting tea ready then to go out an photograph it). I'll have to hurry up and get my coat finished, looks like I'm going to need it.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Keeping Busy

Can't believe how long it's been since my last post. We have a a bit of celebrating to do, Sophie past her driving test!! I was so glad she past first time like her brother, I was also a little sad too because it seemed like the end of an era, no more lifts to college and back or 'could you just drop me off there mom', I feel redundant but I'm sure she'll find something else for me to fill my time with.

Jack has settled into Uni life and we have got a little more used to him not being around. He has popped home for the weekend twice and brought loads of washing. My Rayburn worked overtime trying to dry it.

On the crafting front I have been busy sewing myself some tops for the winter and at the moment I have a wool jacket on the go. The pattern I'm using isn't lined so it should be quite quick to make. I made my Niece a bag, purse and a felt dog for her Birthday but I couldn't take any photos of it because Jacko took my camera off to Uni with him so I have had to get me a new one. I made another teddy out of Cath Kidston fabric so I have took some photos of this to try out the camera. Seems OK so far. I may try selling this teddy on Ebay first, if not my Nan fell in love with him when she came up last week and it is her Birthday soon so she may be the new owner.

Well got to go and do some paper work now, my office is in the cellar so I'm not going to see much of this lovely sunshine they promised us today.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The house feels so empty

On Sunday, Jack went to Warwick University. It was an exciting but also a sad day. I had never been to the uni befor as he went on his own to look around but I was quite surprised when we arrived, It was huge. He's got a really nice on suite room and all the people in his block seemed very friendly. We all helped unpack, littlle sis, Dad and me and then the time came for us to leave him. This was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, I made myself not cry as I didn't want to upset him but boy was it hard not to ( crying now just thinking about it). The drive home was a very quiet one and it seemed even quieter when we got in the house. Yesterday I couldn't stop crying every time I thought about him. I'm sure we will all get used to this but at the moment it seems so hard. We got a text off him last night, guess what he was doing? Out partying with all his new mates and having a great time by the sound of it.

Macmillan Coffee Morning

On Friday I held a coffee morning for Macmillan. I thought that I wouldn't get many people to turn up as I hadn't sent out all my invitations, I had a cold the week before and I just didn't feel like doing anything. I've past it on to John now so he's feeling tired and no energy now. I spent Thursday baking cakes wondering if anyone would turn up, then Friday I was so surprised quite a few friends and family arrived and a great morning was had by all. I raffled off my spot teddy, (still haven't drawn the winning ticket yet as i think I may be able to sell a few more on my travels) and people popped donations in the box for their coffee and cake and at the end of the day I had raised £126.00 which I thought was great.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Spot The Teddy

He's a few pictures of what I've been up to whilst it's been raining and Hubbies been watching the Olympics. He sat nearly all day Saturday watching it so I decided to make a few pressies for one of the new babies at the Stock car racing. It's the first time for a while that I have used my embroidery machine. I like using this has it turns ordinary items into something special quite quickly. Whilst we were away in Spain we saw these cute little shoes that we all thought would be just right for Ruby so I decided to make a little cotton bag with her name on to give them in. Next I bought a pack of bibs and embroidered her name and a little motif on. On one I embroidered her Dad's racing number. This went down a treat at the racing yesterday.

I still had some of the Amy Butler material left from making my blouse and top so I thought I would have ago at the Teddy pattern I had. I used this many times when the kids were little but hadn't used it for about 8 years. I am quite pleased with the outcome. Photos could be better but it never seems to get light these days! I think I may raffle this at my Macmillan coffee morning next month.

Off to see what I can make this week, I need to use up some of the material I have stashed in the loft. Think I may have ago at something out of Amy Butler Instiches. Has anyone tried the clutch bag? I like the look of this.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Well Done!

Well my little lad has done it, he got 2 A's & 2 B's and is now off to Warwick Uni to study Finance and Accounting. We are all so proud of him, he's the first one out of our families to go to university.

His little sister had good AS level results too and hopefully this time next year she'll being going off to uni. Think Dad and me better get earning the pennies. Perhaps I should open an Esty shop and try to sell some of the things I have made.

Will pop back later with some photos of what I have been up to the last couple of weeks.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Aunties Birthday

Just thought I'd show you what I made my Aunt for her Birthday. I used some left over fabric from a dress I made for the jewellery roll and I used some of my bargain fabrics from Dudley market for the tea cosy. I got the tea pot for £1 from a charity shop and my Aunt's kitchen is blue so it should all match. I made a lavender heart to match too. Sorry the pictures aren't that good but I was in a rush to deliver my present this morning and literally took them just before I wrapped it.

Going away next week so busy weekend trying to dry the washing. Jack gets back from holiday tonight, can't wait, the house has felt so empty with just one of them missing. I still have been laying the table for four at meal times though.
Hope you all have a good weekend.

Monday, 14 July 2008

A Busy Monday Morning

Don't know where the weekend went to, they seem to go by so fast these days. We were busy trying to paint the large window on the side of the house before it begins to rain again. We seem to have been doing this forever and there's one just as big to do on the front now. We also spent some of the weekend helping my bother an his family move house, to one just over the road from us. I keep being nosey now watching who's coming and going from there.
When I got up this morning the lilies in our garden had opened, they are such a lovely salmon pink colour.

I need to use up some veg I had bought last week so I made tomato and sweet pepper soup, and butternut squash and chili soup.

Next I used up the left over chicken from yesterday, for tonight's dinner I made chicken and broccoli bake, then I boiled the carcass and made chicken and veg soup. I have put the soups in containers to freeze. I have now got quite a few meals prepared in advance so perhaps I'll have more time for crafting.

We were running out of cakes so I made a few rock buns which I put strawberry jam in instead of currants as the kids don't like currants. Managed to take a few photos of these to show you with the old camera as Jack as taken my new one away with him.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

At Least These are Enjoying The Rain

Had to show you a picture of our grapes this year, they've gone wild. We put the vines in 4 years ago but this is the most grapes we have had. The white grapes seem to do better than the red ones for some reason, only a couple of bunches on them but about 15 on the two white ones. Looks like we'll have to have ago at wine making to use them up!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Back To It

Been back from holiday a week now but haven't got round to posting. We are trying to paint the outside of the house but the weather is not helping! Where as our summer gone? No time for sewing either because we go away again in three weeks time and Jack goes away Friday with his mates for the first time for a week. I'm a bit nervous about this but what can you do when they are 18? The picture is of us in Alicante on a Saturday evening. The beach was packed as there was some kind of fiesta on. 12 O'clock at night and they were still in the sea. Sophie's boyfriend took the photo for us as he came on holiday too. So as he doesn't feel left out here's a picture of the two of them taken at the bar down the road from our villa.

Friday, 20 June 2008

What A Bargain

Tried to post this last night but blogger was down so just a quickie to show you what I got from Dudley market on Wednesday. I was like a kid in a Sweet shop when I looked on the 2 fabric stalls and saw the price, £1 per metre! I even got the dark piece with the flowers on for 50p per metre. Haven't decided what to make with it all yet but will post pics when I have done.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

New Top & New Hair Colour

This is the only photo had time to take as yet of the clothes I have made ready for my holiday. I managed to get this top and the short sleeved cami top out of the Amy Butler fabric I had. This was another pattern out of my Prima magazine and it was so easy to do, just two pieces and the neck facing. It's dead comfy to wear too so I think I may be making a few more.

Sophie coloured my hair for me to hide the dreaded grey ones that keep appearing. It's a little darker than I normally have but I'm getting used to it.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Just to let you know I'm still here

It's been ages since I last posted, I don't know where all the time goes to. I have been busy sewing like mad for my holidays in 10 days time. I will post the pictures for you soon. Had a new camera so will have to get to grips with it first. The kids are always better at it than us and they never seem to read the instruction manuals, just press the buttons and away it goes. Our old digital camera was a too big to carry around with you all the time so I have had one of those nice little ones.

Went to the Contemporary Quilt Exhibition at Dudley Museum and Art Gallery yesterday. Some of the pieces looked so beautiful, they looked as if they had been painted, not stitched. Took a few photos but have copied this one from Duldey Mbc website it shows a few of the quilts on display.

Going to read the camera manual now so I can post a few of my own photos tomorrow.

Monday, 26 May 2008

I've Been Tagged For The First Time

I've been tagged by Joannbags so here goes.

So the rules …. I have to answer 6 questions about myself. At the end of the post, I then tag 6 people and post their names, then go to their blogs and leave them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read my blog. Then, I must let the person who tagged me know when I’ve posted my answers.

What was I doing ten years ago - 1998
Ten years ago I owned my own Post Office so was working 6 long days a week and had no time (or energy) for anything else.

5 things on my to do list for today

Do lots of muddy washing form yesterdays race meeting.
Change the beds.
Sort out something for tea.
Pop down into my office and catch up on some paper work.
Try to do at least one hours sewing!

Things I would do if I was a billionaire.
I wouldn't want to be a billionaire just have enough money to pay off my families mortgages and give the kids a good start in life. I think if you can keep your health you are a billionaire.

Places I have lived.
Compared to all the other tagged posts I have read this is going to sound very boring, I have only ever lived in the West Midlands, near to Dudley. We have got a Villa in Rojales In Spain, but I don't want to live there, only holiday there.

6 people I want to know more about


Country Cottage Chic

Primrose Hill

A Brit In Spain

Darling Petunia

Off to try and do those five thing for today now.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Flowers Everywhere

It seems I can't get enough of flowers this week, even though I suffer from hay fever. The Clematis I purchased last year and is still in the pot waiting for a suitable spot to be planted in as come into flower and looks wonderful. I need to get a trellis for it and once the side of the house has been painted (which we have been going to do for the last 3 years) it can be planted there. We live in an Edwardian house and the original bays were beginning to rot away at the top so at last Hubby has managed to have a go at fixing them. Work has been a little quiet of late so the lad who works for him has helped too. I think they have done a good job at replacing the top sections of wood and the guttering. I love these windows and would hate to have them replaced.

This is the dress I managed to make whilst I had the house to myself on Sunday. I am really pleased with it and it fits very well ( even though I didn't try it on until it was finished!). I love the colour of the roses, all I need now is a nice blue necklace to finish the outfit off.

Off to make my Daughters birthday cards now, she's 17 next Monday, will post pics once she's opened them as she has a peek at my blog now and again.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Another Post at Last

It seems so long since I had the time to sit down and post on this blog (think I have forgotten what to do). Since my last post we have been away to Spain for a week, just me and the hubby, we left the kids home alone and they seemed to manage quite well. Our friends Jayne & Mark came with us and we had a wonderful time and the weather was glorious.

Jack & John working on Jacks car ready for race.

Jack has done a few more meeting in his Stockrod and won a trophy, hubby also had a go at racing and won a trophy but after one race meeting he decided to put his car up for sale so he could buy a Westfield racing car and that is where Jack and him have gone off today and left me alone at home to do a few hours sewing. Its been heaven and I have managed to finish a few things off. I have made this matching set of a wheat warmer, neck pillow, lavender hearts, and a bookmark for my Mother-in-Laws Birthday this week. I also managed to make a couple of Birthday cards using the scraps of fabric that were left over. I was quite pleased with this, hope she likes it.

Here are the cards.

Have been busy this week baking, tried to make bread but again it was too heavy (any tips anyone), but had a bit more success with this chocolate cake.

Just going to finish the hem on a dress for myself before they get home. Hopefully will have a few photos of it by tomorrow so I will try and post again.