Sunday, 30 September 2012

lampshade makeover

It's that time of the year again - time to empty my summerhouse of all soft furnishings to save them from becoming damp and mildewy.  I have made a start and brought a few things in (in between the many showers we have had recently) and noticed the shade on this little lamp had little brown spots all over it - I think it may be the start of mildew.  It wasn't all green and yukky so maybe I just caught it in time. 

Anyway, rather than buying a new lampshade I decided that I'd give it a makeover using my stash of coloured buttons. 

I'm really pleased with it.  Although it looks very amateurish (and something a child could do) during the day, at night the buttons light up and it looks really funky.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

mirror makeovers

Many months ago I bought a couple of old mirrors from Age Concern and finally got round to giving them a makeover.  I used the same paper to cover them both (I think it's a Cath Kidston design) but painted one white to go in my craft room and left the other one gold as it was in better condition.  Anyhoo this how they turned out.  It's quite tricky to photograph a mirror when you're camera-shy!

craft room mirror - before
... and after
and the Hall mirror - before

... and after
The hall bookcase (pictured above) and my kitchen dresser (pictured below) are next in line for a make-over.

I have always used Farrow and Ball paints as I love the colours but have decided to try out Annie Sloan paints this time.  I have read a few blogs that have raved about Annie Sloan paints.  The fact that this paint covers virtually anything without the need for sanding or undercoating is a huge bonus when tackling a big project like my dresser.  I googled Annie Sloan paints but then checked images to see real results rather than just looking at the paint chart - I think it helps to see an item painted in the colour rather than just a small swatch of paint.  MrG and I have chosen quite a strong blue - Aubusson and now have to decide which bits to paint and which bits to leave unpainted.  Again I checked out images of painted dressers and I think I am going to leave the top and the back panel unpainted and then paint the rest.  What do you think?

Friday, 28 September 2012

therapy - acupuncture and retail

Recently I have had a few acupuncture sessions at a local acupuncture clinic.  I had not tried  acupuncture before but have always been intrigued by it - what would it feel like having needles stuck in me?  What effect would it have, if any?  Could it help with my anxiety issues?  I have always been a bit of a worrier but I've been feeling over-anxious over the last month or so and it has made me feel so tense, irritable and weepy!  I decided to 'give it a go' a few weeks ago and have just been for my 4th session.  I find it so relaxing - I can honestly say that I leave the clinic with a spring in my step.

Today I followed my appointment with a quick dash into town to do some admin jobs - post office, bank and stationery supplier.  I decided that I should also try some retail therapy.  A trip into Boots for some chemisty things and a browse around the gifts.  They have a lot of Christmas stock in now and although I don't want to start thinking about Christmas just yet I found myself drawn to have a leisurely browse because the aisles were so quiet - they won't be like that in December!

I found this pretty trio of tins - I bought one for myself and one for a gift

and a rubber stamp set - I'll be able to use these on my hand-made gifts I'm planning to make for Christmas

I haven't started making anything yet as we are just into October but there are a few ideas buzzing around in my head.  I have been squirreling away fabric, ribbons, buttons and some lovely decoupage paper.  My sewing machine is poised for action - just waiting for me to get my act together!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

my birthday

It's my birthday today!  WooHoo!

No, I'm not going to tell you how old I am.  It's not a sore point. I'm not being over-sensitive!  I'd just like to enjoy my birthday today and not dwell on the fact that I'm approaching a BIG birthday.  I say approaching but it isn't that close - I still have a few years to go.

Anyway, I had a very nice day today.  I awoke to a huge pile of pressies and cards.  I saved those that arrived early (no peeking) to open on my Birthday - because I'm a good girl!

MrG took the day off work and we went out for the day. 

We couldn't go too far afield because we had to be back to do the school run so we headed over to Skipton and spent a lovely day browsing round the shops.  There's a lovely shop in a little arcade and I always buy myself a little something there.

this time I bought pretty fabric and ribbon

and these little wooden birds to decoupage

We stopped off on the way home to pick the children up from school and MrG popped into the shop to pick up a Birthday cake.  It was quite a special birthday cake because not only was it very scrummy, it was made up of four different flavours.  Quarter vanilla, quarter chocolate, quarter lemon, quarter and quarter coffee - mmm!  Yummy.

Who put those candles there!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

I like a bargain

While out searching for a birthday present for Emma (my son's girlfriend) I popped into The Works (a discount book store) and spotted this book.

It has some really lovely ideas with beautiful photographs

and inspiration for making Christmas presents

it was a bargain price too.

I found a present for Emma.  The little shop I went into had a fantastic array of gifts.  One of those shops that you'd be happy to take home one of everything!  I spotted so many things that I'd like for myself. I ended up buying two silver bracelets and gave my son the choice of which one to give to Emma and then kept the other for myself.  Emma and I share a birthday so I thought it only fair!

I also popped into a new charity shop and bought myself this purple polka-dot scarf and heart necklace.

I rounded off my day with a visit to the cinema.  I met my sister and Aunt and we went to see Anna Karenina.  I really enjoyed the film and loved the story but would have preferred a different leading lady.  Have you seen it?  What did you think?

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


I did something this morning that I haven't done for over twenty years - I did some jogging!  Now don't laugh.

When I was at school many, many moons ago I was quite sporty, believe it or not.  I was in the netball team and was one of the fastest at running the 100 and 200 metres.  Cross-country running (jogging long distance) was not a strong point though and I was always one of the ones that walked whenever I was out of the teachers view, I always had to be chivvied along.

A couple of ladies I know took up jogging a few years ago (when they were quite rounded like me) and now they are one of those slim joggers that you pass while out driving your car and you wonder just where they find the time and energy to fit in a three mile jog!

Well, at a recent book club meeting we were discussing diet and exercise and I asked "do you think anyone can become a jogger?" and one of the ladies said to check out the website Couch to 5K running plan.  Over a 9 week period the plan helps you get from couch-potato-mode (no exercise) to jogger-mode (jogging for 30 minutes).

I haven't yet started my plan because you do need to be equipped with a decent pair of running trainers and more importantly (for me) a really decent sports bra!  I ordered a bra online and it is the most amazing thing - it doesn't look pretty but boy does it do the job.  

This morning as I said, I tried some jogging.  I didn't tell you that the jogging was in fact in my living room!  I wanted to check out my new purchase so I put on my gym kit and the music channel on my TV and jogged on the spot and around my living room for 15 minutes.  Now I know that doesn't sound too impressive but believe me it is.  It's a start, isn't it?  It has had a strange effect on me - I'm now looking forward to going for my next jog!

Monday, 24 September 2012


I spotted this freebie planner template and thought it would be a great way to keep a record of things I do, places I go, my makes and bakes and such like so that I have a record to remind me to add them to my blog.  

I also found these very pretty gift tags via Clare at Her blog is crammed full of inspiring ideas, with beautiful photos and links to free downloads.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

antique centre

It's been ages since I last had a trip to our local antiques centre.  I usually go for a browse but end up buying an item of furniture.  Last time I bought a huge 5-door pine wardrobe and had to redecorate my bedroom and move all of my furniture around to accommodate it.  I really don't have any more room in my house for any furniture no matter how nice it is!  

This antique centre is huge.  It can take a couple of hours to browse around all the stalls.  It doesn't just have 'proper' antiques, it has a great selection of vintage finds and a load of old junk!  

The photo's were taken on my phone so they are not the sharpest.

I bought this picture.  Not an antique but an original watercolour.  I re-framed it to hang in my living room.

I was on the lookout for an ornate mirror to hang on my bedroom wall.  I did see one I liked for £97 but wasn't convinced it was worth it so I carried on looking and found this one.

Again not antique, but with a price tag of £24 and a makeover with some eggshell paint, it fits the bill nicely!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

sewing station

Instead of the lovely colourful sewing I usually have on the go in my craft room I have been doing boring alterations to boring black school trousers!

My little lot are back to school today - all refreshed and raring to go.  I think starting back mid week is a lovely way to start the new term, a few days to gently get us all back into the routine then a weekend to relax.

In my constantly buzzing mind I have made a little mental note to schedule/allow myself a full day crafting in the hope that I manage to focus my energies and get a pile of stock ready for a Christmas Craft Fair.

I have lots and lots of ideas for cushions, bags, pictures, fabric cuddly/dangly things!  Today I have made a list of all the items I would like to make and will (hopefully?!) work my way steadily through the list and mark it with lots of ticks!

I made these stripey cushions and matching bunting last weekend - I think I am keeping them for myself though, for my camper van trips.

Monday, 3 September 2012

birthday boy

Happy Birthday to my 'first pride and joy'.

On a happy note - our eldest son celebrated his 20th birthday today. 
On a sad note (for me) - he headed off back to Uni today.  Uni doesn't start back until the beginning of October but he had chance to move into his new house a month early so off he happily trotted!  I love the summer holidays when I have all three of my 'babies' home.  Although I am happy that he is happy and I know that he has settled well and is enjoying his course, I can't help but feel a twinge of sadness.