Friday, 28 September 2007

Swap Goodies & Sunshine Soup

I've finally got some time to sit down and put pen to paper, or rather fingers to keyboard, and say a big thank you to Jo my Back 2 School Swap partner, because on wednesday morning I recieved this beautifully wrapped parcel of goodies all the way from Mexico.

inside was some cute folders with a matching notebook, a length of twine with lots of mini wooden pegs for me to make a little washing line of inspiration, some metallic gel pens, some lovely polka dot pocket tissues, and three cute little badges, which Ella has got her eye on! Thank you so much for all my lovely presents Jo, it was definately worth the wait, and lovely to meet you too!

This week I got a bee in my bonnet about the state of the garden (I started off this year with good intentions, and just before all that awful weather we had, every thing was looking beautiful but with all the rain, both the flowers, and me gave up). On monday afternoon things got a bit ugly, as I cut everything back to within an inch of it's life, and now the garden is looking a bit naked.

So I went off to the local nursery and bought some cyclamen and pansies for my window boxes, as the geraniums are going for their winter break at my grandmothers greenhouse (where they will be fed and watered and meet lots of other geraniums, and fushias belonging to various members of the family, who are all cared for by my grandmother over the winter months, I wish I could go!).
Now I have something pretty to look at when I gaze out of the window, while I'm reading all your lovely blogs, look!

I have to say that I have finally succumbed to putting the heating on, I have been good up to now, and last week was saying to my mother 'why have you got the heating on, just put on a jumper and some slippers' but this week the temperature has really dropped, and the other night it felt freezing, I think it's time to get the 9 tog duvet out and add it to the 4.5 tog one (I have to boast because I am the proud owner of an all seasons, goose down duvet, courtesy of my mother-in-law for our wedding present, and two 100% goose down pillows, so being in bed is like being enveloped in a marshmallow, so cosy!)

Unfortunately the boiler packed up last year (it's about 15 yrs old, and we really need a new one, because as soon as you fix one thing, another thing goes wrong) it still heats the water, but the central heating won't work, so last year we resorted to electric radiators, and I think we will have to do the same this year, until we can afford to stump up the £2000 we where quoted to install a new one!

Anyway keeping with the cosy theme, today I made Sunshine Soup, so called because it's made mostly from carrots, potatoes and butternut squash, and maybe some sweet potato if I've got any, and when all those lovely root vegetables are whizzed up in the blender it makes such a lovely yellowy-orange - hence the name.

I love homemade soup, chunky or smooth, there is just something really comforting, and warming about it, made with good healthy ingredients and love, you can just feel it doing you good, and it's always surprisingly filling. I was watching 'Rachel's favourite food at home' last weekend, a she did a chorizo and chickpea soup, and since I've got a tin of chickpeas and and some chorizo in the cupboard, I thought maybe I'd give it a bash over the weekend!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

'So tired, tired of waiting, tied of waiting for youuuu...'

I'm listening to The Kinks, and this song is quite apt, because today I have to wait in for a courier, which I'm sure you've all had to do at some point, thankfully I have been given a time slot of 1pm-5pm but that co-incides with Ella's nursery drop-off and pick up time which is the same 1pm and 5pm, I managed to make it back from the drop-off without missing them, but I hope they don't leave it till 5pm on the dot to try and deliver, because I have to leave at 4.50.

It also means that I can't really do that much this afternoon, which could be nice, but means I feel a bit naughty, and the reason for this is (I don't know if anyone else has had this happen to them?) that several times, when I've been upstairs working, I have come downstairs to find that a 'phantom' courier has been and gone and left me a card saying 'we have tried to deliver, but you weren't in' which was a blatant lie, because I've been in all bloodly day waiting for them!!!!!!! Why does that happen, I'm not deaf, I have a doorbell, and a knocker, do they just not bother??? It is not even like a have a big house where I can't here the knocker, it's only a little 3 bed terrace.

This whole courier thing is because of my mobile phone, because in the last couple of days, it started to switch itself off randomly, which is annoying, because I don't realise that it's off till I go to look at the time, or make a call. So Orange are sending out a new one costing my £15 for delivery, but If I miss the delivery, then they charge me another £13 to re-deliver!

Anyway, I've finished ranting now, so while I'm waiting, doing nothing, I thought it might be a good opportunity to write a post, which I've had trouble fitting in my schedule recently. I have also sort of been waiting for my back 2 school swap to arrive so I can post a picture of what I sent Jo, which she recieved last weekend, and I what I got from her, but my parcel hasn't arrived yet (god-bless royal mail) But it is coming all the way from Mexico, so I haven't given up just yet.
So this is the photo that she took of the contents of her parcel.....

and I will post a pic of what I get soon.

I managed to get round to doing something on my ever-increasing list of 'things to do' yesterday, I re-covered two out of three cushions (yes, I know, more cushions) for our sofa in some fabric off cuts that Phillippa (Boss and sister-in-law) gave me, because they match my living room, and because she's so generous and kind...(are you reading this???)

The one in front is made from Kensington velvet flock in Duck Egg, with a Duck Egg Blue colour cotton velvet on the back and edged in pom poms, and the other one is in Rossini Stripe in Duck Egg made into a 'Oxford' style cover.

Shameless Plug: Both fabrics are available to be made up into curtains or blinds on Phillippa's soft furnishings website Zia Koko, along with a large selection of other fabrics, including Cath Kidston, Vannessa Arbuthnott, and Voyage.

While I'm mentioning the 'Things to do' list, last week I got to tick off no.109) Make Lily a new bed cushion. I had bought some denim a few months ago to make what I thought would be a durable, not show the dirt too much, cushion for the lovely dog bed that Mum made to fit the un-used fireplace in the dining room. So here are some shots of Lily enjoying the new cushion......

and here is what I caught her doing the day after I made it..........

As you can imagine, I was not best pleased! I have since been spraying the corners with lavender oil, so it is not so tasty.

Edited at 5.45pm: Guess what, the courier never came!

Monday, 17 September 2007

Just a Quickie

Sorry I haven't posted for a while, been a bit busy, and I still haven't got time to write anything of any substance, but in the meantime, here is a song I really love from The Long Blondes, it's called 'Weekend Without Make-Up' x.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Cushy Galore!

Yesterday, I got round to making a couple of new cushions for my Etsy shop, and a new one for me, aswell as updating an old favourite that my mum made when I was little.

This is the old cushion, I took it apart and added some pom-pom trim to the sides ( you can never have too many pom-poms!) It's a bit old and faded, but I love the birds and butterflies, and on the back it has these gorgeous peonies

after finishing that I caught the bug a bit and pulled out some remnants from the shelf, This one is made from a pretty oatmeal linen printed with tiny blue rosebuds, and some Cath Kidston 'Rose Bloom Blue' cotton with a pale blue pom pom trim (yes, I know, it managed to sneak in again!)

The next one is made from a pretty white linen fabric embroidered with a leaf design in two shades of blue which I think is Jane Churchill, but I'm not completely sure (let me know if you recognise it) and a plain white linen, trimmed with blue grosgrain ribbon.

The above two are now in my Etsy Shop for £17 each ($32) including a feather or polyfibre cushion pad, which ever you prefer.

Finally I made this little cushion out of an embroidered linen cloth that my mother-in-law gave me, backed with some white linen, and I'm using it as a lumbar support for my sewing chair, which is a large Lloyd Loom armchair, not really ideal for sewing, but I haven't found a nice old solid office chair to cover in pretty fabric yet, they all seem to be made from black plastic, and I want a metal one!

After that I did the weekly shop at sainsbury's and decided to treat my self to this little beauty from the bakery counter, which I don't normally do, but it looked so pretty!

And imagine my joy when it was given to me in this surprising pretty box! I was debating on whether to keep it or not, but some of the strawberry cream from the cake had got on the inside, so it went reluctantly in the recycling.

Anyway it's friday, so roll on the weekend, I hope you all have a good one! xxx

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Are you a member of the Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of Eiderdowns?

Today is Ella's first afternoon back at nursery following the summer hols, and since I've got a day off today I imagined that I would be 'domestic goddess' making chicken soup this morning, and DIY diva, finishing the decorating in our bedroom this afternoon while Ella was out, but my plans have been foiled by evil call centres this morning, ahhhhhh!!!!! several long calls(mostly on 'hold') later, and knowhere closer to resolving the problem, I am feeling rather frazzled to say the least, and don't feel like doing anything much.

So with Ella shipped off to nursery, and pint sized mug of tea beside me, I have decided to write a post about nice things, cosy things, make you feel happy things!

I have been noticing a recent change in the air, fellow bloggers seem to be gearing up for autumn, especially in the UK, where we've given up on summer this year, and I'm feeling that change too, a longing for fresh clear days, with bracing winds, fallen leaves, wrapping up warm against the elements, fires lit, and snuggling on sofas with your favourite eiderdown, blanket or quilt!

After reading about Steph's and Sophie's recent acquisitions, I have decided to set up the Society for the Perservation and Appreciation of Eiderdowns and start the wheel turning for a 'show and tell' of your special eiderdowns, quilts or blankets. All you have to do to join the club is to write a post about your snuggly beauties, where and when you got them, where or how you like to display or use them, and any tips on caring for them, and encourage other bloggers to 'show and tell' too. Remember, this is not just for eiderdowns, but for quilts and blankets too!

It was about this time last year that I started looking on ebay for vintage eiderdowns (I've already started looking again), my grandmother always had some at home, and they where lovely and cosy to suggle up with in the evenings, and I wanted to replace the duvet that my husband always used on the sofa with something a bit more pretty and respectable. After a few mournful weeks of being outbid on several choices, I found this one in baby blue with little white polka dots and little posys of pinky red flowers, filled with down, and I fell in love with it, I hadn't seen one like it before, you don't tend to see a lots of blue ones, and I had to have it, I got into a bidding war with someone else and I think I paid about £70 for it! It's only small, made for a 3ft single bed I think, but it's very cute, and I love it.

Shortly after, just before christmas, my habit need to be fed again, and I came across this beauty, from one on my favourite ebay sellers, and again, the bidding war ensued, and I ending up paying about £60 for it. It's a lovely plump double sized one with a gorgeous pale pink ground and little pink posys of roses and daisys with touchs of pale blue, yellow and pistachio.

Finally under the two eiderdowns in the photo below is my Ivory silk handstiched bedspread which sits at the bottom of my bed, that my mum bought me as a present when Ella was born, it was so wonderful to get a lovely present like that just for me, when most people where buying clothes for the new baby, mum said I deserved a special treat since I did all the hard work!

I normally have my eiderdowns draped over the sofa in the winter for serious sofa snuggling, but during the summer I had them hung over the back of the day bed that I have in the spare bedroom/workroom for guests. I tend to just wash them in the machine on a gentle hand wash programme and then tumble dry them with a couple of tennis balls to fluff them up nicely. So if any of you reading this have a penchant for these cuddly wonders, dedicate your next post to them and join the S.P.A.E. today!

As for me, although the sun is shining here for once, my chicken soup is on the go, I've got my Uggs on, and going to snuggle up with my eiderdowns and another mug of tea, goodbye xxxx