Saturday, 29 December 2012


Hope you all had a great Christmas.  We did and I managed to cook a turkey and no one got ill from eating it!

Anyway with the influx of new toys and general chaos around the house I have started thinking about a major declutter. 

I haven't done much selling on Ebay since last summer but I think its time to get some things listed.  Our house feels full.  So my main aims:
  • Ebay - little L's hardly worn old clothes and toys.  Some of my clothes, bags and shoes.
  • Music Magpie - going to give this a try.  I think I could get rid of lots of CDs and DVDs without P even noticing Ha ha
  • Freecycle - Be a bit more ruthless, maybe 2 or 3 attempts on Ebay then Freecycle or charity shop
  • Wool - arghh must use up or give away some of my stash
  • Fabric - ditto I seem to have tons of the stuff everywhere, half of it I don't even like much.  
  • Work stuff - having spent most of the last 10 years or more studying and working in research I have a lot of papers, files, books etc.  Not sure what to do with it.  Even if I get back to all that one day when Little L is at school I probably wouldn't need it anyway. 
This list is making me feel ill.  Maybe just put the stuff in the loft/garage ... loft better because you can't see it! 

Bye for now x

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Happy Christmas

I will be taking a break from blogland for a few days but wanted to wish you all a Happy Christmas. 
And please spare a thought or even better a few pounds for those less fortunate over the festive period x

Friday, 21 December 2012

Knitted Humpty Dumpty

After a really busy morning of general jobs, making mince pies and a visit from our friendly builder who kindly went on the roof for me to remove our chimney cowl I managed to just make it to Knit and Natter this afternoon.
The lovely ladies are always very pleased to see Little L.  And she is usually very well behaved as we knit she plays with toys, looks at books and is a little charmer.  And today she came away with two Christmas presents, one which is a surprise for under the tree and the other is a beautiful knitted Humpty Dumpty.
The lady who knitted humpty is such a fast and skilled knitter.  She has really made some lovely things. 
So a big thank you to her I love my Humpty Dumpty er I mean little L does!

Happy 1 Year House Anniversary

It is one year today since we moved into our house (we moved over two days but slept in it for the first time on the 21st).  Where did the year go?  Our first year in this house and in a new area has been full of ups and downs. 
  • Relief and happiness to have finally got our old house sold  (after 18 mths) and be living in a different area a mere 25 miles from home and family. 
  • And the year, well last 18 months, has been full of constant worry about P losing his job.  So yes a mixed year and the job/recession situation seems to be worsening in his line of work so not sure what the New Year will bring. 
I don't really like to mention money etc on my blog because it is too depressing and I know we are very very lucky to be healthy and happy and have a beautiful daughter.
So we have achieved a lot in our first year with little money or time.  In no particular order we have:
  • Taken cupboards and units out of garage and shelved two walls, painted and put up a sheila maid.
  • Installed new consumer unit and started rewiring upstairs (Thanks Mick)
  • Decorated office (first and maybe last time I will ever do wallpapering)
  • Decorated Little L's bedroom  
  • Decorated bathroom
  • Insulated the loft
  • Shelved out the airing cupboard
  • Decorated the front room
  • Put wood burning stove in front room (Big thanks to Mum and Dad)
  • Drained part of the back garden
  • Major pruning of some trees (lots more to do)
All this done with the help? of a toddler. 
Next year we want to do a lot outside like re-flagging, sorting drainage issues, chopping down leylandii, plus inside hopefully fixing rotten floor in kitchen, more rewiring, maybe tackle the red!!! kitchen, green!! hallway .... that's plenty to think about for now.  Tonight we will certainly be having a glass of something nice and a mince pie to celebrate (I have only eaten about a dozen this week so far).
Hope you are all having a good week and are ready for Christmas

Monday, 17 December 2012

Mini Christmas Sock

After an early start (P has been getting up at 5am for the last week or so for work and so this morning I just got up too as I never manage to get back to sleep until about 15 mins before I have to get up) me and little L were going for a walk down the canal. But despite what the forecast said today it has rained none stop !!!
I decided to do a bit of crafting this afternoon (it was either that or cleaning up).  So I have a Christmas sock from when I was little that my mum made (it even still has my name on it). 
Little L has a Christmas sock which my Mum made her last year.
So I thought I could make a little sock to hang up,   I was going to knit one but thought felt would be much quicker.  I haven't used my sewing machine or done any sewing for a few months and it didn't quite go to plan.
I didn't flip my stencil over so I had two identical pieces .......... dohhh.
Anyway in the end despite contending with some very busy fingers trying to press the buttons on my sewing machine it looks quite good.
Must go as baby is still not asleep.  Hope to pop back soon x 

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Knitting progress

Hope you are all managing to keep warm!  It is pretty chilly here and has been all week.  But at least it is nice and warm in the front room.  I did feel a bit guilty putting Little L to bed as it's cold up there but she has lots of blankets, a sleeping bag, sleepsuit and a cardigan so she will be fine.  Wish I could go to bed with all that on.
Knitting wise progress has been slow.  The last couple of weeks have been busy with time visiting family, days out, a few birthdays and just normal life.  But the thought of going to knit and natter tomorrow made me speed up a bit. 
On Tuesday the postie delivered not one but two lovely parcels from Hong Kong yes my round needles had arrived.  Very impressed it only took two weeks for postage and they were a bargain.
So I couldn't resist casting on the Gap tastic Cowl (or towel as I call it) from Ravelry. 
I got the wool (silver grey chunky)at the knit and stitch show two weeks ago and with the weather I am definitely in need of a scarf (at the rate I knit it should be finished by spring!).  I am still going with the Provence Baby Cardigan. 
The lace leaves pattern was a bit tricky and I had to pull it back a couple of times but I mastered it so I am nearly finished.  I just have another front to do and the button bands.  Nothing else crafty at the moment, I can't face getting my sewing machine out as it is too cold in the dining room..... but at weekend I may be making a little Lamb costume for a certain somebody who might be in a Nativity next week ( not sure if there is room in the cast for another sheep!!). 
Anyway a bit more knitting whilst watching Kirstie on TV ......... Rock n roll
Bye for now

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Time flies on Ravelry and Ebay

Still looking through endless patterns on Ravelry.  I kind of love and hate Ravelry.  I am very indecisive and think I have become a lot worse with my constant indecision since leaving work.  I fear my brain is being turned to mush through too much Mega blocks and Cbeebies.  Anyhow Ravelry has just endless patterns and I think I am going to have to try knitting in the round as all the decent modern patterns seem to be in the round and top down (another thing I've not done).  So cue Ebay and some searching and i have two sets  (40cm and 80cm) of 18 sizes of circular knitting needles.  Much cheapness and they are only coming half way round the world from Hong Kong
Watch this space I might be knitting in the round by Christmas   


All I talk about is teeth and gums!  Well it seems that way.  I have officially the most affected baby by teeth ever.  She started with red angry checks when she was four months old.  She really started to suffer a couple of months after that and so has been teething for a year now!!!
(Can I have that shoe back)
Last night she wouldn't even have her dummy (never happened before) as I think maybe her front teeth/gums were hurting.  So she wouldn't sleep.  My plans of picking out knitting patterns ready for Fridays jaunt was scuppered and so me and little L went to bed early in our bed (poor other half on sofa) and she kept waking up over night.  Tired house this morning.
So much to do as we are going up North tomorrow for a night out (for other half's birthday (thank you baby sitters) and then some visiting etc before our grand day out on Friday.  Have to sort out clothes/ food/ blankets/ nappies/ knitting/dog etc for tomorrow morning ... oh and try to whip up a birthday cake. 
Anyway cup of tea and breakfast first.  Hope you are all having fun

Monday, 19 November 2012

This and That

Where have I been?  Sorry I haven't posted for a while.  I can't say I've been away on some exciting holiday or been doing anything much out of the ordinary but time just passes so quickly.

So we have been loving the new stove in the front room and there was much excitement on Friday morning (just from me) when the coal man came and delivered 3 bags of coal!  So much warmer than just burning wood.

Christmas is creeping into my thoughts and home.  And I ventured into the kitchen and made some mince pies.  Hhhhm the smell and you can't beat mince pies.  I think you are allowed to eat mince pies from Nov to Feb by then after consuming 100's of them you stop and start the New Year diet (ahem)!  I was impressed as the pastry worked quite well and didn't crack.

Also some Daffodil bulb planting and winter pansies.  I'm never quite sure how deep to put bulbs in so fingers crossed these will come up.
And some knitting of course.  Done the back and one sleeve of little L's next cardy and I also started a cowl.  No pattern just knit mainly as I wanted to test out the jumbo 9mm needles I bought on Saturday. 
Just wish I could knit a bit faster, one of the ladies at knit and natter finished a cardy the other day, in a toddler size, and it only took her 3 days!!! I'd be lucky to get it done in 3 weeks.  I am off to Harrogate Knit and Stitch Show on Friday (can't wait) so no doubt my things to knit list will get a lot longer.
Bye for now x 

Monday, 5 November 2012


Had lots of visitors over the weekend.  I think it is because our house is usually soooo cold.  Not that its boiling now but probably the living room is normal temperature for people who put there heating on. 
Friday night whilst others were out having fun me, the other half and little L were loading wood into our car in the dark and the rain.  Well it was a bargain we didn't want to miss and as he had finished work a bit early we went straight away.  So now our garage is full of two ton bags worth of wood not bad.

A cute spinning owl from York, a lovely pressie from sister J who visited us on Friday (wish we had been to York)!
Some knitting which I did at knit and natter on Friday whilst little L looked at books and tried to grab my needles. 
Saturday more visitors and much amusement watching Little L's new dance move combo.
Sunday more visitors and a little walk down the canal. 
And then home to a lovely warm house
Anyway bye for now, off to watch Homeland and do some knitting.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Feeling hot, hot, hot!

Today we got our stove fit.  We didn't need a flue liner as the smoke test passed and so that saved us some money and meant that we could get it fit today and its now done. 
It is really warm now and its only been lit a couple of hours. 
Bye for now

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween

Carved my pumpkin this morning and its not one of my best.  It was supposed to have three teeth but I was a little heavy handed with the knife and so it just has one!
Just about to cast on a cardigan (Provence baby cardigan) for little L.  At the rate I knit it should be finished for chistmas!
Bye for now x 

Friday, 26 October 2012

Halloween Pumpkin Hat

Happy Halloween for next week people.  In preparation for Halloween (which I confess I don't really like especially the cheeky children who live streets away and are intent on getting as much stuff as possible) anyway I cast on a spooky hat for litttle L a couple of weeks ago. 
It was a basic pattern which I have knit several times before (baby hat)  and I used some tan coloured wool.  When I started doing the k2tog to shape the hat I added in some green.  I just made it up to create the top of the pumpkin.  I have never followed any colour patterns or fairisle type things so I was really pleased with myself.  The back wool (on the inside) is a bit messy and my wool was too tight at the back hence the green bit is a bit pointy.  But overall it looks good.
I had to give her a set off keys whilst I took the photo to keep her still.  So there you have it that is her full Halloween costume.  We will be going to one of our local farms this weekend to get us a pumpkin to carve (well that's just for me really) and we will get some sweets just in case we get any visitors.
Hope you all have a good weekend.  Bye for now X

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Vintage Crochet

This last week little L has not been sleeping well at all, well she has slept once tucked up in Mummy's bed whilst poor Mr P has slept on the sofa.  I think it is her teeth as she is getting the big ones at the back.  Friday night she slept in her own bed (after 2 1/2 hours of crying etc) and the Saturday night she slept like an angel 7 - 7 bliss.  Anyway my Mum suggested that she might have been waking up cold so Mum said she would dig out some blankets for her.  And I just had to show you one of the blankets she found.  It so explains where I get my love of crochet.
This blanket was made by my Grandma (Dads mum) when my Mum was expecting my eldest sister so that makes it about 41 years old (omg my sister is so old).  Don't know where this was cos I don't remember ever seeing it at home.  But just look at the colours I just love it bright hexagons all edged in cream.  
And you'd never guess it was so old, its not bobbly or anything.
Sadly I don't remember my Grandma very much as she died when I was 7.  I always knew she was very crafty and made all sorts of things but I didn't know she crocheted.  It just shows how we inherit so much of what and who we are.  I hope one day little L will want to make things.
Bye for now

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

New stove

After much hunting and research we found the stove we wanted weeks ago.  The only problem was the £700 price tag which we really didn't want to pay.  So I searched and searched for a second hand one on Ebay or a similar one even but even the second hand ones were going for about 500 which still I didn't really want to pay.  But my hunt paid off as I found one on Ebay almost identical to the one I wanted.    We picked it up at weekend from North Wales and we also collected a bargain fireguard.  Another Ebay purchase.  The stove is in great condition and has been looked after well. (This is the stove, ours is just like it but it was so dark in the garage that I couldn't get a decent photo)
I left little L in the kitchen whilst I was cleaning the new stove in the garage and when I peeped around the door she was busy doing a stock take of the potatoes!
Need to move and do some tidying up whilst little L is asleep. 
Bye for now

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

I hate putting shelves up

Sunday evening was spent drilling and measuring and cursing.  I decided to quickly put some shelves up after tea like you do.  But the brackets didn't line up so well and my ladders weren't long enough and I didn't have the right screws and the tops kept threading, I could go on but I am losing the will to live myself!

Anyway here is the finished article we now have lots of shelves in the garage, so no excuse for it being a tip anymore.
We do have another full wall of shelves in there but they were so messy I couldn't show you.  We really need to get rid of the old fire and mantel as that is taking up lots of space in the garage but nobody on Ebay seems to want it.  Maybe we will end up sawing it up and burning on our new stove.  More progress soon to come.
Bye for now

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Getting there

A bit more progress has been made.  Sides rendered yesterday and then today we had the gas isolator tap taken out.  This proved a bigger job as a floor board had to be taken up but this did mean I got to have a sneaky look under the floor into the cavity (the saga of the damp and dropping floor is another can of worms we have yet to tackle!).

Next step more rendering and plastering.  Then onto getting the flags cut and laid.  I can't wait.  It has felt colder this week and we are waking up to windows fully condensed.  I hate winter (I know its hardly even autumn yet).  Given the chance I think I would sleep through winter and just emerge for Christmas. 
Hope you are all having a good week. 
Pop back at weekend because all being well we are off on a jaunt on Sunday to part with some hard earned cash!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Fireplace progress

A bit more progress was made today.  We have a steel plate in situ at the bottom of the chimney, the lintel is cemented in place and the hearth has been built up.
Next we need to render and plaster over the lintel and down the insides of the hole.  And we need to lay the stone flags for the hearth.  Still no stove yet I am struggling with parting with the cash (story of my life).  I just need to find a second hand one on ebay.  
Bye for now 

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Look what we did today

Today my Mum and Dad came down to visit but no not a mere jolly they were on a mission.  Me, Mum and Little L headed off for a walk down the canal and left Dad and Mr P with hammers chisels and a grinder arghh!
We saw an unusual floating shed on the canal.  The man who has it is going to open it up as a floating health food shop.
We also saw some nice ivy flowers and red berries, very autumnal
We came back a few hours later to a houseful of red brick dust.  It was a bigger job than first thought perhaps and it turns out our house is very solidly built, always a good thing.  So an afternoon of further banging, grinding etc (which little L slept through yes she is a star) and we have a bigger hole with a lintel resting in place.

So next stage will be fitting a custom made steel plate over the bottom of the chimney and setting the lintel in place.  I can't wait, there is the small problem that we haven't got a stove yet but I am on the case.
Bye for now hope you had a good day x

Monday, 1 October 2012

Feature wall?

Sunday morning, before the rain set in, me and little L headed out for a little walk down the canal.  We left Mr P at home with a big hammer and a chisel to start knocking out the fire.
So this is the fire last week
This was the fire this morning
And then when we got back from our little jaunt, Daddy had been busy
It is a lot bigger but still a way to go! Next we will be cutting the fire place with the grinder hhhmm .... dusty.
Whilst he was knocking out the fire and little L was asleep I did a bit of planting as on our jaunt we popped into the supermarket and the cyclamens (my absolute favourite winter plant) were half price just £2 for 6 bargain.  And Ta-dah I have some on my kitchen and dining room window ledges and some at the front door.
Hope you all had a fun Sunday. 

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Sickness & a new car

So this week we have been busy getting a new car and being ill!  I started with a cold last weekend, by Tuesday my nose was just streaming and sore throat too.  Wednesday I felt much better and there was no sign of my partner getting a cold or little L ........ I was wrong.
Wednesday afternoon after a busy morning at playgroup little L kept sneezing and sure enough Wednesday night she didn't sleep as her nose was streaming.  She ended up in mummy's bed poor other half downstairs on the sofa and no sleep for me as she woke up every hour. 

So the end of the week has been full of sleepless nights.  Last night she was coughing a lot poor thing.  Anyway I'm sure by tomorrow she will be feeling better.
Aside from that I got a new car (well new to me!).  We have been struggling since having little L as we both have small cars and two adults, a baby, baby seat, pram and a large dog don't fit into a two door hatchback!?  So this week I waved a very sad goodbye to my honda civic (sadly it might end up going to car heaven (scrap yard)) and hello to a huge MPV definitely not fast or good for my street cred (ugh Catherine you don't have any). 
So goodbye youth hello practical.  It will be good for camping, days out, taking our bikes out, carting wood etc and it was a bargain.

This ......
to this omg!
Hope you are all having a good weekend x

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Simple pinafore dress

I bought this pattern ages ago at the Knitting and stitching show in Harrogate last November (If you've never been I'd definitely recommend it).  I kept meaning to have a go with it but you know concentration, sewing machine and small baby do not go well together.  And I just can't start a sewing project at night.  I can knit, crochet in the evening but not sewing.  So the other day I had a look at the pattern and managed to cut out my pieces whilst little L was awake.  The pattern is so easy just two pieces of material.  It is an Emma Garry pattern Reversible Pinny (there are some lovely things on her website have a look and get ready for the serious I wants I needs). 
 Ideally use two contrasting fabrics and then the dress is reversible.  But I didn't have two so I used plain white cotton for the lining.  I had bought a selection of outer fabrics - a bright red flowery, a cute vintage rose and a blue animals print.  I chose the animals as I thought it would go well with navy leggings or jeans which she seems to be wearing a lot and the others I will make in the bigger size.
I traced the pattern onto some greaseproof paper and then pinned it to my fabric and cut out the two pieces.  Then I pinned them together and stitched them.  Easy and it looked good.  I nearly went ahead and finished it that night but I had a little niggly feeling that I should try it on little L to check that it fit.  So the next day I tried it on a tired baby after we got back from playgroup.  And she really didn't like it but then I realised a pin was sticking in her neck (naughty mummy!).  It didn't fit at all.  So I turned it inside out and made the straps and neck opening bigger.  Still didn't fit so then I attached buttons and get me I used the fancy nancy automatic button hole foot on my machine!! 
It still doesn't fit hence no photo of it on.  The size was 2 and she is only 16 mths.  The armholes are just too tight.  Shame as it looks lovely.  I will make another as I have the pattern in size 3 but I'm not convinced that would be big enough. 
This would be nice in lightweight corduroy or a nice christmassy material? 
Bye for now x
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