Sunday, 17 April 2011

Another room

It is always a surprise when spring appears and we start using the garden again, how great that space actually is.  Because in the depths of winter you kind of forget don't you?  For me, I only venture out to the garden in the winter to tiptoe to the freezer in the garage, and usually in bare feet (how lazy not to bother finding my shoes), so even making it onto the wet grass is out of the question.  The garden in the winter is just off my radar, barely acknowledged.

And as spring appears, and the weather warms up like last weekend it becomes another room in our house.  The neglectful attitude fostered over the winter is cast aside, and we care again.  There are keen discussions between The Queen of Clean and I on spring lawn care, compost bins and plans for our veg plot.  Whilst we are doing our best impressions of 'knowing about gardening', the kids treat the garden as another room.

This weekend Yoyo invented the treadmill above - bless her, she did make me chuckle when I saw that. I would pretend hours of fun were had there but it was more like minutes.............

And then there was painting.....there was an ambitious plan for a chicken puppet copied from an Easter crafts book.  I feel sad looking at this picture, because this little project was doomed as I gave the kids plastic coated plates to paint on.  I've promised to have another crack at this soon with them (once I've got the right materials!)

And of course bike riding practice for Littlest One, complete with jumble sale doggy rucksack (40p and already a firm favourite!)

And so it truly is another room for our family.  We are off tomorrow on holiday to Pembrokeshire for a week - so pardon my silence until then..........packing awaits!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Crochet - Show and Tell

My crochet course finished last Tuesday evening.  I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, and realised there is nothing like someone actually teaching you a skill in person.

Anyway I thought I'd show you the evidence.....above is a crochet flower, well three flowers really that I stitched together.  These were tricky at first - and my first attempt (the white one in the middle) had 6 petals instead of 5.  Not quite sure how that happened.  Not sure what I'll do with this now, it's almost a bit big for a corsage.  I might sew it onto a bag.  Or stick it on a wall - would that be odd?

This is a granny square of sorts.  I went for greys with a bit of jade and fuschia.  I declared it 'edgy' - if crochet can be edgy?  Well if it can be then this is most definitely at the frontier of all things 'edgy'.

This is more of a traditional Granny Square - and will eventually be a cushion cover.  I ran out of expensive Debbie Bliss Aran wool for this (bought under duress when I thought it was a good idea to take 3 children into the wool shop - big mistake).  What I've spent in wool though, I've saved in what will be the backing for this cushion.  A cashmere jumper found at a Jumble sale on Saturday for 20p!  I'm going to use this technique to assemble the cushion.

I promise I'll share my other jumble finds with you later this week when I'm organised enough to photograph.  They still need to be spruced up.  But this little crochet blanket you can see right away, although I now have the skills to make my own (albeit slowly) I had to bring this home with me for 50p.

What do you think of crochet?   I'm wondering if it's mainstream moment has passed?  My colleagues at work don't really get it I think.  I was like a little girl each Wednesday bringing in my items to show and tell.  So now I have 'shown and told' you, tell me the truth, do you get it?

Friday, 8 April 2011

Worth the wait

I don't think I shared with you that the hard drive on our PC broke about 6 weeks ago.  It was concerning how much we all missed it....nobody seemed to come into the playroom where the computer lives, except Littlest one on the hunt for lost bits of Lego.  This little room lost its identity entirely.

The Queen of Clean had wanted a Mac for ages, and we had introduced a new scheme at work where I could purchase apple products through salary sacrifice.  We kind of talked each other into it.  I'll be honest, it was the lack of wires that excited me - minimalist chic and all that.

So this is what we had before, a rather boring 10 year old Ikea desk, with an annoying drawer that was permanently getting stuck or coming off its sliders.  About 5 years ago I stopped opening it as it seemed an impossible task to get it closed again.

The Queen of Clean had liberated (all completely legal and above board) a piece of beech left over from a project at work, and it had been stuck in our garage for 6 months or so.  It was just too nice to be thrown into a skip (it's original fate)....and I knew he had serious plans for it.

He took the legs from the old desk and cut the beech block to fit.  And we got rid of the drawer and made the frame a little smaller.  The gap where the drawer was he replaced with a wooden strut.

Here is the painting stage.  White legs naturally, after a little debate with The Queen of Clean.   Ignore the's on the 'to do' list.

We thought perhaps we should use danish oil on the top, but only had some garden bench teak oil from a few years the spirit of thriftiness we used that to coat the top.  We (royal we as I didn't like the smell of this at all) put probably 6 coats on altogether spread out over several evenings.

Are you still with me.  Thanks,  I know this is a bit of a long old post.

Well we waited, and waited for the Mac to arrive........ patiently at times and then at other times went into the empty room and gave a dramatic sigh.  Well I did anyway.

Until we really were quite bored of waiting.........

and arrived on Monday.

I don't know how to use it,  none of us do,  we spent most of Monday night working out how to shut it down.  But we've found a little photo booth application and taken about a zillion stupid pictures of us all.

That's enough for now.

Oh, and we've worked out how to shut it down.

Simple when you know how really.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Three Beautiful Things

1. Seeds - can't recall if they are sunflowers or courgettes.  Either way I'm happy.  Windowsill space is at a premium as most of our windows are sash with no sill, so this little space in the kitchen will get a whole lot of sprouting action over the next few weeks.

2.  Decorating for Easter, or indeed any event.  Because it's so non-essential, if I find time to manage it I must be making headway.  This years hawthorn twig has got an upgrade with white spray paint.  Every visiting child thinks the eggs are made of chocolate, and I share their disappointment when I break the news they're not.

3.  Littlest one learns to ride his bike.  I can't avoid the fact he is growing up, am overwhelmingly proud but just a little bit sad at the same time.


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