Saturday, 26 January 2013

Updates at last!!

Hello again, I got the shock of my life when I came to update the blog and realised I hadn't been here since 22nd December!! The time has flown by that's for sure.  Christmas has been and gone so I'm not going to bother with any Christmas photos.

Firstly, I would just like to mention there is a hen rehoming coming up on the 30th March, so if any of you hen loving folk would like to add to your flock, please go to FRESHSTARTFORHENS  and fill out the reservation form. thank you. I am the St Leonards collection point for this rehoming I am pleased to say.

Daisy is now nearly fourteen weeks old. She has had both her innoculations now and has been microchipped. She is now allowed out for walks but we only brought her collar on Thursday and a lead, so she hasn't been out much yet.  The collar we had to  get her is a cat collar and it is still too big! It will do for the time being until she grows a bit bigger though.  We also brought her a little knitted coat in pink. I do not like dogs in clothes but a coat is a neccessity for a dog like Daisy. She doesn't like it very much as you would expect!

We have here in Hastings, a new Pets At Home store that has just opened on Friday. Kellie and I carried Daisy all the way there wrapped in a blacnket to get her the coat and  collar. I checked with the store first that they had what I wanted and they did. I stumbled across them on Twitter and have been in touch with them quite a bit this past week. So much in fact, that I found a Tweet on my phone from them to say they would like me to take Daisy up to their dog grooming salon for a treat. How lovely is that? She will be getting a make over LOL. The manager has given the groomer my name and I can take them up on their offer whenever I like :o)

WEAN I would like to say a very big thank you for the puppy heating pad, it took ages to arrive as you know but it got here in the end. I've just realised I haven't taken a photo of Daisy sat on it for you...I will do that tonight :o)

I have just had to take the crocheted blanket off the sofa in the conservatory as Daisy has just discovered she can use it as a ladder to climb up on the sofa!!! Gotta laugh though. She is grounded again now! ;o)

Here she is..

Walking back from Pets At Home with Daisy in her new coat and collar. This photo shows you how small she is..

A close up of Daisy in her coat...note the expression, doesn't like the coat!!

This morning I  have been walking Daisy around the garden on the lead to get her used to it. Also to start the outside toilet training...I hate this part! At the moment she goes on the puppy pad thing that you lay on the floor in the conservatory. She is pretty good at going on that. The conservatory is brilliant  for puppy training because it has the underfloor heating and of course easily washable tiles. I have to say, my conservatory floor has never been washed so much as it is now LOL.

After a few walks around the garden on the lead, I took her out without the lead and led her down to the hens. She barked a bit at them, but they came right up to the mesh to look at her, she was definitely more scared of them than they were of her!

Love these ones below. Look at those hens, don't they look healthy at the moment, tails bolt upright and red combs. The lighter hen in the background is an ex batt and is one of the three I took on a few months back. She was pale and generally looking washed out but she is slowly getting colour back in her face and comb.

This picture has to  be my favourite...

After a very long absence from sewing, which I just could not get in the mood for, despite my fantastic machines and more fabric than I can use in a lifetime! I finally got my mojo back. I have been randomly cutting up Kellies' old favourite clothes as they got too small and cutting fabric squares with my Big Shot fabric cutter to make a king size quilt for Kellie.  This type of mindless straight forward sewing is the only sewing I have done really and this was before Christmas. So with a king size patchwork quilt all ready to be appliqued, I got my big machine out last week and got to work. I searched through all my many, many, embroidery files and found these ones to just randomly put on the quilt. I love seeing applique on top of patchwork. So here it is in progress, the first one..

...and the finished design..its called raining love. Its so sweet isn't it, I want to use this again but I'm not sure what on...a cushion maybe?? Any ideas?

This one is a patchwork heart with pretty embroidered stitching

LOOK.....its Daisy hahahaha Love this one, just wish I'd had some tan coloured fabric instead of the brownie trousers brown!

How sweet is this design, I think its come out lovely. The only thing I would change about this quilt is the use of some of Kellies' old favourite tee shirts which made the squares not quite match up at the corners in places, due to the slight stretch in the tee shirt. I'm sure it won't be noticable once its all quilted and on the bed anyway.  The wadding arrived this morning, it is a better quality one than I normally buy and is 100% cotton rather than polyester, so I have no excuse not to get going on it now.

Until next time
bye xx

Saturday, 22 December 2012


I would like to introduce to you a new member of our family. She has only been here for three days but has brightened our lives up no end. I have been thinking for a long time about getting a little dog and a Chihuahua has always been my first choice.

So, here she is. I took this photo when Grant and I visited the litter to choose which puppy we would like. We had already seen lots of  photos and thought we were going to come away with a black female pup. Daisy had other ideas though and chose us, whereas the little black one wasn't interested in us at all. It took us an hour to choose which puppy we wanted. There were two females, Daisy and the black one and three males, one black and two beige.  I defintely wanted a female dog for sure and she had to be tiny so as not to freak the cats out. So far so good with the cats and Daisy.

I would like to add here, that after looking around online and contacting lots of rescue sheltrs to see if they had any Chihuahua dogs for rehoming...I drew a blank. They are quite rare at the shelters I have been told...all good news there really, but this is why I sought out the puppies.  I will not be breeding any pups from Daisy, she will be spayed as soon as the time is right. There are far too many dogs in shelters to add to the problem. In fact my numerous visits to Battersea Cats and Dogs Home was quite an eye opener. Virtually every other dog waiting for a new home is sadly a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. It seems these are very hard to rehome too due to their reputation. Not the dogs fault at all but the people on the other end of the lead!Bad press doesn't help either I suppose.

A few hours after she arrived. half asleep on my shoulder :o)

Look at small she is against the tennis ball

Her favourite toy so far. This little dog toy gets chucked around all over the conservatory.

Kellie, knackered from school and having a cuddle with a very tired pup.

Even the teenager is besotted with the new arrival

I know this photo is not very good quality but its one of my speaks for itself....totally smitten these two are, with this little tiny bundle of fun that is bringing so many smiles to our house.

I was up all night with her on the first night where she was crying for her Mum and siblings.  Last night she only woke once at 2am. I got her back to sleep again no problem and she slept through to 7.30am this morning so I am hoping  the worse night is over for her now.

This picture made me laugh. There's Timmy sulking at the door trying to ignore the Daisy who is asleep on a mini quilt I made her.

I brought myself this fabulous looking calor gas fire a few weeks back for the  dining room. I am hoping that this will cut back hugely on our heating bills as we can use the coal fire with wood in the lounge and the calour gas fire in the dining room which will also help heat the conservatory if the door is left open. It looks great I reckon and I'm very pleased with to be cheaper than paying for piped gas, as the bottle lasts for ages.

This Christmas is going to be a quiet affair for us but we are totally alright with that.  I somehow have managed to buy all the Christmas presents for the kids and Mum and Dad. Normally Mum and Dad would be down to stay for Christmas but because Mum has just had another operation on her foot and she can't go anywhere and has to keep the foot elevated.

We are going to have Christmas dinner at home and then going around to our neighbours for a drink for an hour afterwards. They did invite us around for dinner too but after we got Daisy nobody wanted to leave her at home for Christmas Day, so we decided to eat here.

Clint has buggered off  gone on holiday for five weeks to you know where, so Kellie won't see her Dad over Christmas or New Year. Are we bothered? No not  any more, we are getting along just fine now and I am looking forward to 2013. Its got to be better than 2012!!

I hope to blog again over Christmas but if I get side tracked by Daisy, wine and fantastic Christmas TV viewing (LOL) have a lovely Christmas and a great New Year and see you all again soon. Thank you followers for sticking around when I've been through bad times this year, for all your emails and just for being there. Thank you. xxx

Monday, 5 November 2012

I'm back

Hello again. It's taken a while but I'm back.

Well. once I'd finished painting the dining room, I decided to move the furniture back in. I planned to put the dresser on the chimney breast wall which wasn't an option before, as it was going to have a woodburner in the fireplace. Now it has  been bricked up again it was an ideal space for this dresser. I got it some time ago as old readers may remember. I brought it from my friends over the road when they cleared the Oast house out after her Dad died. I brought it to paint originally, but then it didn't happen. After I moved the first bits of furniture back in the room, I realised that more than ever I hated the honey pine colour of the dresser. I kept wondering about painting it white, but was put off by the sheer amount of hard work involved. Also I'd had a gutful of painting..especially with white paint!!  I thought on it for about a week...every time I looked at that dresser I got closer to the decision of painting it.  Finally I took the plunge. I painted the top half first after a quick sand down and removing the doors and hardware. I didn't want to buy anymore paint so I decided to use the matt emulsion that I used for the walls. Yes it took alot of coats to cover the honey pine colour...four to be exact!  Finally after a week it was done. Then the worst part...the base unit. This took another full week and by now I was hating every minute of it.  I looked online and found a tip for painting furniture, that eliminates the need for any sanding first. If you want a flat finish like you would get with chalk paint, you can add one part plaster of paris to three parts paint.  I did this for the base part and it worked brilliantly..much cheaper than buying expensive chalk paint too.  After two full weeks of painting this dresser every day to get the coverage I wanted, it was finished. Then the good part, sanding the edges to make it look distressed and old. I enjoyed this bit alot. I brought all random knobs for the dresser, all seven of them are totally different in shades of pink and blue.  Then I got some Briwaxand waxed the whole thing. I love the look its given the dresser and am definitely going to get more Briwax to wax some of my old furniture. I brought the clear one and checked first that it wouldn't change the colour of the white didn't.

This is how it looked before I painted it when I first moved it into the newly painted dining room.

Just look at that iron burn on my carpet, not to mention the white paint.....sigh! Can't afford to replace it so a bit of disguising is in order.

Here is the base of the dresser, all ready to be painted.  I was so sick of painting it that I never even thought to take any progress photos..sorry

Here's the top part all finished and just waiting for the bottom to catch up!

Yay!!! The finished dresser...just crying out for things to be put on it now...I'm still working on that one. Alot of the plates and things I want to display on it are up in the loft so I need to go through boxes up there to find them.

So glad its finished.

Disguising the carpet...I had this brainwave that I could make a large rug for the dining room floor. My first thought was a rag rug, then I thought it would be 'different' to make a rug for the floor like a quilt.  After all, I have a huge selection of fabric and had no need to buy anything as I already had everything for quilting..including the wadding for the middle of the quilt.

When I subscribed to SEW magazine they sent me a free gift of Tilda fabric squares. Quite large ones, i think they are just over 6" square. As the colours were pinks, blues, turquoise, all colours I was thinking about using in the dining room I thought these would be perfect.  I thoroughly enjoyed making this rug. Everything was basically scrap fabric, old duvet covers from the charity shop and even the complicated pin wheel squares that I made many moons ago...thinking I was going to make a king size quilt of them! Yeah right!! So they got chucked into the rug too. I'm glad they are finally being used for something as they took quite a while to make.

Here are the squares, minutes after laying them out to get the colour order right....courtesy of Jessie the cat!

...laid out again

Quilting 'in the ditch' with another cat getting involved...Millie this time!

Finished!!! Laid out on the floor for a photo. Very pleased with how colourful it all looks.

What is it with cats and quilts? Jessie again!

Finally on the floor, under the table where I wanted it to go and no paint marks or iron burns showing! Mission accomplished until I can afford to replace the carpet. I can live with this it looks feminine :o)

My boiler broke last week and we had no heating, just when it was starting to get cold too. I stocked up on coal last month so at least I had something to keep us warm with the coal fire. I ran out of wood a while back which was a bummer because burning just coal on an open fire can work out pretty expensive. After five years of living in this house I tried the immersion heater out for the first worked :o)  So we had hot water anyway.

I have applied for a grant for a new boiler hopefully from Warm Front last week. I'm still waiting to hear back from them..I wonder how long they are going to take as its pretty urgent with a child in the house.  Yesterday though, the boiler lit and stayed on all day. I tried it again this morning and it was still okay. I've switched it off now and a using the coal fire as I want to save as much on my utility bills as possible.

The toaster broke yesterday too. I am looking around for a new one, its going to be pink!! Yes really, its going to be a feminine pretty house by the time I've finished :o)

On the 27th October it was my Mum & Dads' 50th Wedding Anniversary.  They were actually away with y Dads' side of the family on the actual day, so my brother and I decided we would all get together the following week to celebrate it.

Unfortunately it was only a flying visit for us as I have the cats and hens to look after. We travelled on the train to Winchester. It took four hours! Train delays, an unexpected train termination, missing our connecting train at Brighton due to the delays was not good. It was freezing cold. But we finally got went...a lift to the station by a friend, four trains and a taxi and we were there.

We had a special present for Mum and Dad. It was being delivered to their house that morning, but we told them not to open it as we wanted them to open it at the pub we were going to for a meal. We had flowers sent to the pub for when they arrived. Unbelieveably I never took a photo of them...don't ask!'s Mum and Dad opening their present from us.

Looks like they like it......:o)

Mum looks speechless....for once!! Love you really Mum x

They can't stop looking at it..

and I just know wverybody that is reading this post is wondering what the hell they are looking at that was so good...

Here it is, our present to them and drawn by the very talented MARK CRETNEY His work is mindblowing, what a talent. Take a look at his facebook page you won't be disappointed.

Fantastic drawing, I think you'll agree. What a truly amazing talent to have and such a lovely helpful man, nothing was too much trouble for him. Mark even giftwrapped the present for me before posting it. So, if youre looking for a very special gift for somebody, maybe he's your man :o)

I apolgise for the grainy photos I took in the pub, I used my phone and kick myself now for not taking the SLR camera with me but I had so much to carry already on the train journey, that it just wasn't possible.

Hope you've enjoyed the update. I'm getting back into my sewing again slowly and am feeling alot happier now than I was in the summer. I have alot of blog reading to catch up on...I will get there eventually.