Friday, 25 February 2011

Bring on the sewing!

I've been wanting one for a while but kept asking myself if it was going to be worth it. I mean, they're not cheap and I worried that I wouldn't use it enough to justify the price, but yesterday I decided to go for it and today my new sewing machine was delivered :)

It's lovely! I tried it straight away and it's so easy to use. It's going to make short work of my first patchwork quilt that I've been hand sewing for the past couple of weeks.

Ella seems just as impressed with it as I am! She sat with me, passing me pins when I was pinning the fabric together then pulling them out again as I was sewing.

I can't wait to finish my first patchwork quilt tomorrow, with help from my little Ella!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Bleak outside

The weather is starting to get me down a little now. It's bleak outside and I really can't wait for spring.
I want to be able to open all the windows and let the fresh air wash away the gloomy feeling that seems to have settled over the house.
We usually have windows open all year round but at the start of last winter, we decided to try and keep our fuel bills down as much as possible, so the windows were closed, central heating used very sparingly and layers of clothes were added!
We want to save money of course but we're very aware of our impact on the environment and this was a major factor when deciding how much we actually needed to use the central heating.
I also stopped using the tumble dryer and bought a clothes horse. It's more work but it's not like I don't have time to do these things now I'm at home full time.
Because the windows have been closed for so long now, it seems that winter is lasting forever. I'm ready for it to be over now so come on sunshine, poke your way through!

The children are away in Derbyshire until tomorrow and Ant's at work so it could just be that I'm feeling a little lonely and out of sorts today.
Maybe I should get out in the garden for a while. The fresh air will do me good and even though I'm not really a gardener, I do know it needs a good clean up.

I am looking forward to this evening though.
I'm going to cook Ant and I a lovely meal and we're having a bottle of wine with it. We very rarely drink but there was a great offer on at Tesco so I figured it was time we treated ourselves. It's going to be a late Valentine's dinner.
We didn't really celebrate it last week what with one thing and another, so I thought it would be nice to celebrate today before we're back to the chaos that is children when they come home tomorrow!

I'm now going to see what we can have for lunch then I think I'll make a start on one of the pieces of furniture in the hall.
I worked for most of the day yesterday, on the first patchwork quilt that I'm making but all that sewing gave me a very sore arm and wrist so I'm resting it today.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Inspired

I came across a wonderful website called www.cherrymenlove.com and the author of the site has inspired me to cut my addiction to Facebook and actually do things that needed doing around the house.
Here's what I've done since finding Cherry's site a few weeks ago:

I finally got all of Aiden's baby pictures out from under the bed and onto the wall, going up the stairs. They've been waiting to see the light for over 5 years!

At the bottom of the stairs, next to the front door, was a big white bookcase that stored loads of VHS tapes (yes, I do realise the world has moved onto dvds but we just can't seem to rid ourselves of all those tapes....!) and it wasn't a very pretty first impression when people came through the front door.
At the top of the stairs, was a small, brown bookcase (holding more VHS tapes I'm afraid!) that I knew would look better in the place of the white one so I swapped them over.
This also opened up wall space and I was able to put pictures of the girls on the wall.
The hall looks so much nicer now although I haven't quite finished.

There's a set of drawers at the bottom of the stairs where Ant stores tools, nails, screws etc and it's quite old. I'm thinking it's in need of a loving makeover (I haven't discussed it with Ant yet but he usually tends to just let me get on with things around the house and only steps in when I ask for help!) but I'm not sure what I want to do with it yet.
I'm thinking it would be nice to change both the bookcase and the drawers in some way that will make them match and brighten up the space.

I wish I'd have thought to take pictures before I started but I wasn't planning on blogging any of this (and yet again, Cherry is the reason I remembered this blog and decided it was high time I got it up to date!) so didn't think until it was too late. I decided to move onto the kitchen while I think about what to do with the bookcase and the set of drawers.

Every time I went in the kitchen, my eyes would be drawn to the unit where we make drinks and I never liked what I saw.
No matter how many times I re-arranged things, it never looked tidy.


Before:


I was browsing www.very.co.uk and came across some great storage boxes and the prices were quite good.
I snapped them up and ordered them for next day delivery.
I had the rest of the day to fill while the children were at school so I set too and made some curtains out of an old tablecloth to hang under the shelf and hide the shoe box, bucket, clear plastic drawers etc.
I don't have a sewing machine so had to sew by hand but it wasn't a chore. I enjoyed making them, especially as I was recycling something that I would normally throw away.
Ant hung them for me when he got in from work and I was very pleased with how they turned out.


I eagerly awaited my delivery the next day and was so excited when it arrived!
I went straight in the kitchen, emptied the shelves and packed everything away in my new, lovely boxes.


After


I must say, it felt so good seeing it looking 100% tidier!
My next kitchen project is to brighten up the cupboard doors until such time as we can afford a brand new shiny kitchen!!


While looking for material to make the curtains, I came across some old bedding and curtains that we no longer use.
They're an assortment of purple and lilacs and would match the girls bedroom decor so I decided to make them each a patchwork quilt for the summer.
I know it's going to take quite a while having to sew it all by hand but I made a start that afternoon and I'm enjoying it!
I'll add a post and pictures when I'm done.


So, thanks to Cherry, I feel better about my kitchen and hall and I have projects on the go and in the pipeline.
It's much more satisfying than playing games on Facebook!


Thanks Cherry :) xx

Wow...where did 2010 go??!!

I totally missed 2010 on my blog!!!
I did say I probably wouldn't keep it up and guess what....I know myself well!!


So here I am, in February 2011 trying to think of any significant events of 2010 that I need to add here for the children to read about when they're older.

Hmmm it seems that it was a pretty uneventful year in our family, which isn't a bad thing.
The 2 previous years had seen Ant admitted to hospital with a heart attack and me admitted to hospital with a blood clot in my leg and multiple clots in my lungs.


We're both quite well now, although Ant has to keep taking the tablets.

On to the children.

The biggest thing to happen in little Ella's life was starting nursery.
She started in September with KayCee who was starting year one.




Ella goes on a Monday and Tuesday from 8:45am to 2:45pm while KayCee goes from 9am to 3:15pm.
The time difference is a little annoying but we only have a few more months to go and then she'll be going into Reception which is the same start and end times as KayCee.


Ella still goes to Papermoon Day Nursery on a Friday. She loves it there and we'll be quite sad when she finishes for good in the summer.
KayCee started there in 2006 when she was around one year old and we've always felt extremely happy and comfortable with the level of service they provide. You get a feeling from the staff that your child is very special and important to them. As a parent, this is exactly what you need, especially when you're feeling overwhelming guilt for leaving them there in the first place while you go to work.


Our little Ella brings laughter and happiness into our lives on a daily basis.
Her smile is contagious. It doesn't matter what kind of day you're having, she only has to smile and you find yourself smiling back!


So, on to KayCee.



She's fallen in love with reading! She had started to learn to read in Reception but it wasn't until she started in Year One that she really grasped how to do it . Now, she's constantly reading, writing and asking how you spell different words.
She does gymnastics after school on a Thursday and working towards her level 5 certificate.  She complains about having to go but when the time comes to renew at the end of each term, she always wants to carry on going, even when we tell her that it's her choice and she doesn't have to go if she doesn't want to! I suspect she's going to be one of those people who like to finish what they start and I think she'll carry on with gymnastics next year so she can get to her level 1 certificate and badge.


She's very grown up for her age and we are often amazed at the things she knows and understands.
She's always been older than her years and in some ways, that's not such a good thing! We often expect things from her that she's not yet capable of and we have to remind ourself that she's only 5 and not 15!
She's an absolute treasure and we're very proud of her.


Last but not least, we move on to Aiden.



He was 10 last year and had a pizza and movie party for his birthday. He invited some friends from school and Ant sorted the food out while I watched a dvd with the girls upstairs. I'd been ill for a few days and was too ill to go downstairs so missed his party.

He had a great time and I'm sure he preferred time alone with his friends without his  mum hanging around!

He's doing brilliantly in school and got an excellent report last year. We were very proud of him.

He'll be starting secondary school in September and I truly can't believe how fast time is going.
I watched a home video of him from when he was about 3 and it brought tears to my eyes. He was so cute and even though I'm loving seeing him grow and mature, I miss my cute little boy.


We went to Haven at Skegness for a week during October half term and stayed in a lovely caravan.
The kids had a great time going swimming and playing in the indoor play area.
They also loved the arcades, just as I did when I was young!


And so, onto Christmas.

Aiden was at his Dad's for Christmas and we fetched him back on Boxing Day.
Christmas is my favourite time of year and I loved it. I'm cherishing Christmases while my children are young because it's such a magical time for them. I love seeing Ella jumping up and down with excitement and hearing KayCee saying that it's the best Christmas ever!
I look forward to visiting family for tea on Boxing Day and having family round to ours on Christmas Day.
I love getting the trolley out that used to belong to my Grandmother then to my Mum and now to me, and filling it with goodies.
I think that the only thing I don't look forward to is taking the decorations down because that means I've got to wait another year to put them back up!


So, that was 2010 in a nutshell.

We're all one year older, one year wiser and still happy and content with our wonderful family.

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