31 March 2013

Treasure Hunting Road Trip

On Saturday Mark and I went on a little road trip adventure.  He purchased an antique cast iron fire surround for his house he is renovating from Ebay so we had to go and collect it, a couple of hours drive away! Mark likes buying things on Ebay and we have been on a few little adventures to collect purchases now, but it is always fun, as generally these little adventures take you to new places, and Saturday was no exception.
So we set off around 11 ish, stopping at Morrisons first, of course, for essential road trip supplies, cookies and flying saucers etc.  Our destination, somewhere in County Durham, not a place either of us is very familiar with us so it was all new.  As we got further and further down the road it was apparent it had been quite snowy up there!
These pictures were actually from the way back, we sort of got lost, ish on purpose and came back on a different road but we are so glad we did as it was amazing! Little country road deep in the middle of nowhere and all you could see for miles was snow, was so so pretty we had to get out and take photos. I don't think I have ever seen so much snow, there were 5 ft walls of the stuff piled up along the road side! The road was deserted too, these photos do not do it justice at all, was very pretty.
We found our destination relatively easily then went back down the road to Barnard Castle, a little town we passed along the way, to have a little explore. Mark's fire surround thing cost him £60 and we coincidentally found the exact same one in a little antique shop for £450! So quite the bargain, they must have come out of an Edwardian terrace in the area somewhere. Mark's is covered in white paint but once stripped and sprayed black will look exactly like this, he has done the same with original fire places in his house already, so clever! :-)
Barnard castle is such a pretty little place, it describes itself as a historic market town, little streets full of very old quirky looking buildings and of course a castle! Well worth a visit if you are in the area.  I couldn't help taking photos of quaint little houses, squeeal!
And look at this teeny little door! aw!
Barnard Castle seems to be the place to come antiquing, so many quaint little antique shops.  We went in a fair few, but one of them was amazing, like a little treasure cave, so many little rooms and full of stuff, but very neatly organised.  I love shops like this, you have no idea from the front what treasures they hold.  I loved these beautiful old quilts, but they were £200 each for a small one! yikes!
Wouldn't you just love to have one of these old shop display cabinets?  Think of all the little crafty bits and bobs you could fill each drawer with, sigh...
Oh and this kitchen cupboard, counter thingy, oh how this would be perfect in my little flat.  I have just the place for it too.  I think it must be 30s/40s??? It would go perfect with my little vintage sink unit. (See post here).
Mark and I do love our little treasure hunting trips... next time we will have to bring a big van... oh and not forgetting to visit that money tree on the way! boo! :-(

25 March 2013

Rippley Crochet Cushion

A while back my sister Jen pinned a picture of a chevron crochet cushion onto our shared Pinterest folder.  You can check out our Pinterest folder here, it is a little place where we pin pics we think each other will like.
This pic (yellow and white one) is the pic Jen pinned.  (Picture credit: http://martacostastudio.bigcartel.com/category/pillows) So I thought 'Challenge Accepted!' and set about finding a pattern for a pretty cushion. But finding a pattern for the perfect chevron cushion proved quite difficult, so of course I turned to Attic 24 and found Lucy's Neat Ripple pattern and fell in love.  I much prefer the gentle wavy ripples to the chevrons on the above pic plus Lucy's pattern was very easy to follow.
I pretty much just made this cushion pattern up as I went along.  I purchased a cushion pad and produced my first line of ripples, measuring it against the pad to judge how wide it needed to be, then I simply kept crocheting until my work was long enough to wrap round the cushion pad twice with enough for a little flap.
I of course went for yellow and grey as this is Jen's favourite colour combination.  You may remember her yellow and grey bunting I made last year. 
Once I had the length correct I simply joined the edges of my cushion together using double crochet down each side.  I put a little edge round the top of the flap and then sewed on some little grey buttons, with yellow stitching (I do like these little details).  I kept the buttons small so that I was able to use the holes within the pattern as the button hole.
I'm rather pleased with this little cushion.  The ripple pattern is really nice to do, once you get into the rhythm of it you can just happily crochet away the evenings whilst watching trashy television of course.

Thanks so much for popping by, you can see all my crochet makes and subscribe so you never miss one right here on Bloglovin 

13 March 2013

The Meg Outtakes

Anybody who has a cat, or indeed any pet, will no doubt constantly be taking photos of them.  They get into such cute poses and do such random things but just before you can reach for the camera they have moved! I take endless photos of Meg, my iPhone has been shouting at me this week telling me I haven't much room left (ugh) so I have been sorting out all my photos, the majority being of Meg!  But I just cannot bring myself to delete any, even the ones that didn't quite work, I can't delete Meg!
Anyway, this photo, above is NOT an outtake it is a perfect example of when cat photography actually worked! I was sitting on the sofa and she just peaked out of the curtains, and she stayed there long enough for me to snap a photo, yeah! Meg does rather like having her photo taken, such a poser!  But these photos, to follow are examples of when Meg photography goes badly wrong...
Trying to get a cute snuggly together shot... being cute and purry does not mean I am in a good mood, 'get out of my face... bat'.

Whoopsie, don't use flash directly in front of the face!



Look at the camera Meg, not that whatever it is that moved on the ceiling... eek (is anyone else convinced cats can see ghosts!?)

No Meg, you are not supposed to be in the fruit bowl (or on the kitchen worktop for that matter!).

Owl ears, yeah so that camera sound in my face is getting annoying now...

Got my pink ball... aw, this one is just cos it's cute!

Even though they are not perfect shots they do still capture the little scamp's personality, so I shall certainly not be deleting them anytime soon. Do you have a cat?  I never tire of looking at cute cat pics, if you have any cat posts on your blog leave me a link, I would love to see.

11 March 2013

Crochet Daffodils for Mother's Day

I have a few favourite flowers so it is hard to pick my very favourite but just lately I am thinking daffodils just may have made it into the number 1 spot.  I love this time of year when you can buy the £1 bunches in the supermarkets, I pick one up every week when I am shopping.  Having a cheery bunch of these little yellow faces in a pretty vase on the table brightens up my little loft flat. 
But having said all that me and Daffodils have had a little set back last week in our relationship... Meg (my cat) got ill, she got sick and I was very worried.  She has never been sick before and she is an inside cat so quite difficult for her to pick something up or eat something bad.  But I found out that Daffys are poisonous for cats! aaargh NO! Meg is a bit of a naughty little scamp and she knows just how to get my attention by doing naughty things and one of those things is nibbling at and pulling the daffodils out of their vase.  So I fear she may have got ill from the Daffys, I'm not sure of course what it was but I can't risk Meggy getting ill so no more pretty little yellow faces in my flat until I found THIS post....
I think I have probably mentioned my admiration for Atttic 24 blog before, everything Lucy crochets is so pretty but one of my absolute favourites has to be her little pattern for Daffodils.  So I went all excited to the local craft shop to purchase some Daffodil coloured wool.  The wool I chose was just cheap Teddy double knitting, just think of all the little Daffys I can make from these!!!
Last week I was also considering what to get my Mum for Mother's Day, I knew I wanted to make something, so settled on a handmade card.  I had an idea a while back to make a crochet card much like the one I made for Mark for Valentine's Day but instead of a heart I could do some flowers, then after seeing Lucy's Daffodils I thought perfect, as I know Mum likes these little yellow lovelies too. 

So here is the finished card in it's place on the mantel at Mum and Dad's house, I think she was happy with it?!  Oh and don't worry Meg is completley better, gulping down her food, charging round the flat like a mad thing, being cute and purry (sometimes) curled up on my lap and of course plotting new ways to be a naughty little rascal!

8 March 2013

This week's nails...

I tried something a little different with my nail stickers this week.  I love these lightening bolt nails, I will so have to try them in some other colour combinations.
I always reach for my Models Own pink when trying out nail stickers as it provides such a good base, it dries really quick and doesn't peel off with the sticker.  And of course I am still obsessed with my new Seche Vite, I fell for the hype about this product and it actually lived up to it (when does that ever happen!).
Done any cool nail posts recently? Would love to see your links...

6 March 2013

The Bookcase Project Part 1

Way back in November Marky and I did a little treasure hunting and it was a BIG success.  I went looking for a bookcase for my hallway and I came back with the ideal thing! I was dying to 'upcycle' some furniture as a fun project (Kirstie's Vintage Home was on TV at the time) so this little sad, grubby looking bookcase has been sitting around awaiting since then for its pretty new look.
So Saturday was really sunny, perfect day for a little outside painting.  We paid B&Q a little visit first to purchase supplies, paint and gloss.  Luckily being a handy sort of a fellow, Marky already had paint brushes, dust sheets, sandpaper etc.
Step 1 Sanding - Ugh, I'm a super impatient person so any sort of preparation before getting onto fun things like painting annoys me, ugh.  But Marky insisted I should do it right, (suppose he has a point, groan!) so I sanded, like forever, until the little bookcase wasn't shiny anymore.  This provides a good surface for the paint to stick to, allegedly.
Step 2 Sponge - After sanding you need to wipe down the bookcase with a damp cloth to get all of the little bits of dust off, you don't want those in your paint!
Step 3 Painting - Wuhu the fun bit.  I like painting, especially painting interesting shapes in super pretty, bright colours! The green is Dulux in Dublin Bay 3 which is a colour you have to get mixed in the cool shakey machine.  I purchased a small tester pot from B&Q for around £3.60 but these mixed paint testers are a lot bigger than standard ones and plenty of paint for a few coats, bargain!
Ta da! The fully painted bookcase! Don't worry don't worry it is only the first coat, so yeah it's a little streaky. 
Step 4 Waiting & Drying - Ugh, another tedious part of the process is waiting for coats to dry... Mark suggested I leave it overnight, suppose he is right again, double ugh! So that is where we leave part 1.  My little green bookcase is waiting for further coats safely tooked away at Mark's house (if he remembered to bring it inside that is). This is only the first stage in the bookcase, more cool things will be happening before the makeover is complete, I can't wait!
So stay tuned for the next super exciting instalment of the Bookcase Project...
P.S. wondering what those weird green spoldges are in corner of the photos? Yeah me too, then I realised, ages later, it might have something to do with the bright green new iPhone case I purchased that slightly covers the lens, doh!

4 March 2013

Things that made me smile...

« New things to make my flat pretty « new blog designs « daffodils « early spring cleaning « seeing the first shoots of Spring « seeing Marky after 3 weeks apart « pancakes « valentine's day « a Carlisle blogger meet up « being inspired at work « Meg « sunny days « dinner with friends « and most excitingly of all, the news that I am going to be an aunty in August! screeeeam!

Cool things I have discovered this month...

I am the biggest fan of Attic 24 crochet blog and Lucy has done it again this month with another amazing blanket creation.  Her choice of colours and edging designs are simply perfect. (Picture credit: Attic 24)

I loved Fran's crafty laptop cover DIY on Skulls and Ponies.  She is so good with a sewing machine and always picks such interesting, pretty fabrics. I really want to make one too. (Picture credit: Skulls and Ponies)

Actually this is not cool, but it is a thing I discovered this month, the fact that this amazing museum and house is now no longer open to the public.  You may remember my post here  from October last year.  I made a visit to Shambellie House with my friend and her children and we had such a great day.  The house is simply beautiful and I am very sad that it is now closed, I just hope that the building itself is looked after and does not fall into dis-repair, that really would make me cry.

I discovered these amazing paper cut pictures from Folk Art Papercuts by Suzy Taylor.   I love paper cut art, it is so pretty, these artists have so much talent, not to mention patience! You can buy Suzy's art here and you can visit her blog here.  (Picture credit: Folk Art Papercuts, Suzy Taylor)

New movies/TV shows...

Game of Thrones - My Sister has been on at me forever to watch this and Mark and I finally got the box set to watch together. We do like a lot of the same TV shows, but always pick one series we only watch together.  Really enjoying it so far, I'm not the biggest fan usually of fantasy genre things but this is good!
Nashville - Really enjoying this new series about country music stars.  This series is so enjoyable, and actually a lot of the music is really good too.  Can certainly recommend if you looking for something new to watch.

New blog discoveries...
Beautiful Clutter - A super pretty blog full of beautiful vintagey things. Jem is a self confessed 'clutterbug' and blogs about her collections, but her collections consist of old books, photos and tea cups so looking at her photos is a delight.
Emma Lamb - Emma's blog is sooo colourful, I love the beautiful pictures she picks based on different bright colour palettes.  She also loves to crochet and displays her lovely creations here, just my perfect kind of blog!
Everyday Magic - This is the blog of founder and and Creative Director of Rice products.  If you love beautiful homewares, adore bright colours and have retro tastes and you have not checked out Rice, go to their website immediately, all their products are simply perfect, I would love my home to be filled with Rice!
Well this February post has gone up a little later than planned, but better late than never huh! February has been a good month, I love this time of year, watching all the little green shoots pop up and gardens bursting with colourful crocuses.  This month we got some amazing family news, my brother and sister in law are going to have a baby, we are all soo excited! I seem to have a really packed diary for March, I don't know how that happened, but looking forward to nicer weather, a few parties and spending time with friends.

Have you done a month in review post, I love reading these type of blog posts, please do leave me some links to yours...