About Me

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I'm 57 years old, working full time, wife, mother and grand mother, wishing that I wasn't working full time! I love and enjoy our children and grandchildren, our dogs and cat, our garden and allotment. I love crafts - knitting, sewing, crocheting, patchwork and restoring old furniture. I love to go to country auctions and love thinking that I've got my self a bargain!

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Nothing but Cushions and Cupcakes!

Afternoon All,

Hope you are all fit and well - as weekends go it's not been so bad for the weather has it? Last weekend was my Grand Daughters 7th birthday (where have those years gone to?) and as pennies are tight now her party was arranged on a budget. She wanted a Hawaiian themed party with grass skirts and hula necklaces along with blow up palm trees   - all which were purchased thanks to ebay and a local warehouse.

As I had the Kenwood mixer last year, I said to my daughter that I thought that we could make the cupcakes far cheaper than buying them - so last Saturday saw me baking the cupcakes and then we transported them to my daughters, where my hubby piped them and my daughter decorated them - a joint family effort! (I couldn't pipe them due to the arthritis in my fingers but it appears that my hubby has a talent that he hadn't realised he'd got all these years!) They cost £6.00 to make 36  opposed to the price of a £1.00 per cupcake that my Daughter had been quoted!

The party was a great success with limbo dancing, a disco provided by their i.pod with disco lights and lots of party games

Not a bad job for amateurs!
This weekend has seen us out in the garden - re staining the decks has started - the top deck is done and we've started down by the summer house and I have made a start on painting the garden furniture - there was one bench that was a dull brown and I have spent most of this weekend repainting it white.
Plus last year I picked up a pair of curtains from the local charity shop which cost me £4.00 they were very 1980's but were really large - I've wondered what to do with them, so I unpicked one of them a couple of weeks ago - the lining is going to be used on a pair of curtains for the summer house along with the heading tape. At Wyvale's garden centre, a bench pad cost £36.00 so I picked up a sheet of foam, from Dunhelms - that cost me £12.00  and I have used one of the curtains to make a cover for it to sit on the bench in the summer - much more comfortable on the old derriere!

This was it before I sewed up the ends - very retro chic don't you think?

I started painting the old brown bench white yesterday and when it started to rain I went inside and used up the rest of the fabric from the one curtain and some old cushion inners  to make  3 cushion's to sit on the bench

I didn't have chance to go down the summer house and fetch the seat pad before the rain started again but for £14.00 all in, I reckon they will look very shabby chic retro cool on my white bench don't you? and I still have another curtain left to cut up and do something with - I shall probably do the same again as we have another 2 benches in the garden which are going to be painted.

I'm also going to order some oil cloth off ebay and make my own bunting to put up in the garden.

Oh well, tea's nearly ready ........ hope you all have a good week

Byeee xxx

Saturday, 13 April 2013

What's your era?........

Hello All,

Hope you are all fit and well - the T.V. just lately has been dire and we have taken to putting the radio on from about 8pm onwards most nights and the 2 radio stations that we listen to are Heart and Smooth radio

Carlos on Smooth plays all the old sounds and Heart on a Friday and Saturday play dance and disco classics.

I was born in the mid 50's and I must have been listening to the radio from a young age because when they play the 50's records in 'Call the Midwife' I know most of them........songs like Que Sera Sera by Doris Day (I used to love the Doris Day and Rock Hudson films) Catch a Falling Star by Perry Como and You are my Special Angel by Bobby Helms were played in the series and I knew the words and sung along.

Then there were the 60's - I liked the Beatles, the Who and the Stones when I was young, but wasn't mad about their records, so it's strange that it's now that I really enjoy their music - then later in the 60's I used to listen to radio 1, especially every Sunday night for Alan Freeman to play the charts to hear who was number 1, ( the show before was Sing Something Simple, with the Cliff Adam Singers and it always seemed to go on forever, because at that age, it seemed so boring).

Then as soon  as the charts were finished it was straight over to listen to Radio Luxembourg, in those days I was into the Monkees, the Mama's and Papa's , any Tamla Motown sounds and Reggae was starting to get really popular by then. Sounds like the  Onion Song by Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell, the Supremes, the Four Tops, were all my favourites then.

The early 70's were good, the Stylistics, and 3 Degrees, Mud, early Elton John and Barry White the late 70's and early 80's brought UB40, who I've seen (and sung along with)  probably half a dozen times at Birmingham NEC - they are a brilliant 'live' band - Fleetwood Mac is another favourite from that time frame.

Then the 90's another of my favourite time for music, the prat (first husband) had departed so I used to go out most weekends to pubs and clubs (the children were teenagers by then and out doing their own thing) and I loved the 90's dance sounds like  Ricky Martin, the Spice Girls, Will Smith, Culture Beat, Snap, Micheal Jackson, Mark Morrison, Madonna and Boyzone. Anything with a beat that I could get up and bop to was fine by me and that's why I love to listen to the dance and disco classics on a Friday and Saturday night on Heart.

Back then in the 90's I used to go with a friend to learn tap dancing on Wednesday night, salsa on a Thursday and line dancing on Friday night - then out to a disco on a Saturday - I was working full time and in my 40's by then so it was no wonder that I was shattered by Sunday - tap was the hardest to learn it used to kill me, it was so energetic and such a good work out  - but we'd go from dancing to sounds from the 40's on a Wednesday to Ricky Martin on a Thursday! I used to love the music for line dancing because it was that little bit more slower than the other 2 nights so I would have enough breathe left in me to sing along to the country records, as I tried to follow the line in front of me!

Since the 90's I've quite lost it with what's in the charts now - half the time you can't hear what the words are - I like Adele but really give me the old sounds to listen to any day. Something I know the words to and can sing along to. Just like Carlos plays on his show each night.

So my favourite era.............well the 60's just comes a very close second to the 90's - so what's yours?

There won't be any dance and disco classics tonight - the American Masters (golf) is on all night and that's one sport that I will happily sit and watch

Have a good week


Sunday, 7 April 2013

How much wool, do you have?..........

Afternoon All,

Hasn't it been so nice to see the sun this weekend - still cold though, but at least it's been nice enough to dry the washing outside.

I went back to work this week and if I'm honest it was nice to be back - the lads are a good bunch on the whole, who you can have a laugh and a joke with and who you know will get the job done- there's just a couple who can be 'challenging' but then it wouldn't do if we were all the same.

So back into the swing - it did seem strange though cause when I was first taken poorly, I was doing the commute in the dark but now it's light and it's so nice to not have to go backwards and forwards in the dark, so even if it is still cold at least we don't have the dark mornings and early evenings.

Plus it looks like we're going to be having some volunteers coming into the service - to help them get back into 'work' and the encouragement for me is that I can do a recognised qualification  in 'mentoring'- something that I really would like to do - the majority of the volunteers were young woman who have been stay at home mums and who want to get out and earn their own money, never having had a job before in the past - so if they're up for having a go - then I'm up for helping them too.

Just to show that I didn't sit doing nothing whilst I was off - I finished off an UFO - my first double sized patchwork quilt (never again- it was so heavy to work with) - it's not brilliant but it does add some weight to the bed and will keep us warm. The first night I put it on the bed my Hubby said 'Good God - I need a can opener to turn over! (it's so heavy) I also made the sham pillow cases to match

Sorry but I'm no photographer! I'm no patchwork quilt maker neither!
I spent yesterday morning sorting out all the wool that I have stashed away - I didn't realise that I had so much. As I have two Granddaughters there's a lot of it, that's pink, that's been brought over the years and put away. I do have another Grandchild on the way, so I've been buying white, lemon and green wool recently - but I do seem to have acquired quite a lot and if this new Grandchild is a boy then I just know that the compulsion to knit with some blue wool for a change will take over so there could be more added to that pile..........er think I might need a bigger storage box! 

 Then I started to sort out all the fabrics, that I have that I want to use to make some 'shabby chic' cushion covers and again I filled a big storage box and this isn't all the fabric that I have - there's a cupboard full in the summer house

But eventually it was all sorted and I now know where everything is and I don't have to go searching when I need to find something.

Then I set to and put all the crocheting UFO's along with the different hooks into one bag and the 2 knitting UFO's in another bag......so all tidy and sorted but I do think I need to use up some of the wool and fabric I have before purchasing any more.

Just on a topical note for the moment - old backstabbing  big conk Milliband has been going on about how unfair the 'bedroom' tax is on benefit claimants,well on the other side of the coin, someone I know, turns into work everyday without fail, with a smile on his face...... his job?........... he drives a lorry and removes fly tipping, he mauls wet dirty filthy mattresses  and heavy dirty 3 piece suites on to his lorry and then takes them to the tip - then he'll go and clean a bin room out, moving bags of maggot infested rubbish that rats have run over, again putting them into his lorry before going to the tip - a really dirty job - but when that lad gets home, he has to see his teenage daughters, sharing a small bedroom - how can it be 'fair' for someone like him, to work as hard as he does and then not have enough bedrooms for his family and a benefit claimant (regardless of why they claim benefit)  have a spare bedroom and not have to pay for that luxury.

Then again, on another side of the coin (this coins got lots of sides hasn't it?) why should any British benefit claimant have to give up their homes because they can't afford a spare bedroom for an immigrant family, who have never paid into the system, to have that home.

Old 'lets jump on the band wagon' Clegg came up with his first and only good idea last week - lets charge immigrants to come into this country. At last! yes lets charge the idle buggers to come here - I think it should be around the £500,000 mark plus get them to sign an agreement that they won't claim for benefits, housing, or the NHS for a minimum of 20 years. That would stop the flow here overnight!  Just goes to prove that politicians can have good ideas sometimes - pity that it's only once every 20 years.

Oh well teas nearly cooked lets hope this weather continues and it just gets warmer and warmer - Cornwall 5 weeks on Saturday - not that I'm counting

Have a good week, all