Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Our Christmas home and a parcel in the post.

Yesterday morning I received my giveaway from Julia at Vintage Heaven now I knew that this parcel was on it's way to me as as Julia had pre warned me to look out for Mr Postie. So when he knocked at the door I knew that the parcel was for me! I was so excited that I ripped off the lovely gold tissue paper and red ribbon that my goodies were wrapped in before remembering to take a photo and look what was inside! Christmas has come early for lucky old me thank you so much Julia I absolutely love all your handmade goodies. Here's what I got 3 white and red spotty Christmas tree decs , 2 of the cutest miniature stockings filled with chocolates for Emily and Elliott, a gorgeous lavender filled heart made with vintage fabric, a fantastic stocking handmade with lovely lovely fabrics, a Christmas card all handmade by Julia, and the American December issue of Country Living yippee!

Missing from the photo is a really sweet lavender filled bird with dankly legs which I've just spent half an hour looking for grrrrrr I think what has happened Emily ( my 3 year old) has this annoying habit of moving things around the house I have lots of hanging hearts and I find that she moves them around onto different door knobs, hooks, drawer handles I suppose she's just playing house like mummy but it does drive me mad and I think she was quite fond of little birdie and has probably claimed it for her bedroom so I will photo it when it turns up. Anyway thank you Julia I am overwhelmed with your kindness and had a spring in my step all day yesterday because of your parcel.

Anyway I haven't forgotten to show you lot's of photo's of the inside of my cottage and all my Christmas decorations here is our much loved snowman who the children adore we've had him for 3 yrs now and it causes much excitement when we get him out his dusty box each year!

Not many words now as times a ticking by and I've got a few jobs to get done tonight with only 1 day to go! Hope you enjoy the pics! Love my new stocking on the wall! Can you spot my dove garland I bought from the CL fair?!

This is a shop bought stocking which I've personalised with some embroidery and applique for Emily.

Don't Julia's trees look good on my dresser just the right colours!

And the miniature stockings so cute on my mantelpiece.

Christmas is extra special for us as Elliott's birthday is on Boxing day he will be two so there will be double the present opening and excitement! Hope all you fellow bloggers have a wonderful time and I look forward to catching up with you all what you've been up to over Christmas will probably be a bit quiet on here till the New Year, going to pour my self a glass of Baileys now so cheers 'Merry Christmas!' Sarahx

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Christmas houses

Well I can't believe Christmas is nearly here, I feel quite organised this year all the presents are finished and wrapped and I've posted my Christmas cards today, do you like them I love these house designs.

It's been a busy day today Elliot has had two Christmas parties at different playgroups and has another in the morning. Then Emily had a party at pre school this morning and afterwards she went to see the pantomime 'Snow White' with Grandma and Grandad which she loved.

Over the last week we've had lot's of exciting car journeys the kid's love spotting the Christmas lights decorating peoples houses screaming LIGHTS! LIGHTS! LIGHTS! We don't really go mad on lights but we always have a wreath on the front door next to the bay tree which we decorate both with fairy lights. The picture doesn't capture the lights well at all, just imagine them covered in lots of twinkling lights and you get the picture!

I have a running joke at Christmas I always take the mickey out of Steven calling him the light man (he does the lights and I do the decorating) he always spends a ridiculous amount of time faffing with the lights they have to look just right or he's not a happy chappy!

Mmm I can see a house theme forming in this post I even have house Christmas decorations! I did have another house to show you but it got eaten before I got chance to photograph it. I had a kit to make a gingerbread house which I made last week. Emily and Elliot had lot's of fun decorating it with Smarties. I left it sitting pretty on the sideboard amongst my Christmas display then came down one morning only to catch them red handed both standing on chairs picking off and eating all the Smarties! After that I let them demolish it, I should of known better and known it would be to tempting for them.

I also spent some time one evening baking biscuits for the tree I had to try out my new snowflake cutter didn't I!

I know, I know, there's no pics of my garden room in this post and I did promise it didn't I? I had all good intentions of moving the Christmas presents and photographing it. But there really is ALOT of Christmas presents in my little Santa's Grotto! So I'm going to leave it till the New Year ohh I am sorry feel like I've led you all up the garden path a bit hope it's worth the wait!

Tomorrow were off to Chatsworth for a festive family day out which I'm really looking forward to .

Now you've seen the outside of my house I'd like to invite you inside so you can see my decorations. Strange I've never really shown my house much on my blog probably because it never seems tidy enough, two under fours you see, toys everywhere it's rarely tidy though I'm forever picking things up. But my home does mean the world to me and I love all things house related so it's about time I blogged about it so back very soon with lots of housey pic's and that's a promise!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Let it Snow!

This morning we woke up to no power in the house it was hard work getting 2 under 4's ready in the darkness! There is no leisurely lie in bed and waking up slowly in this house it doesn't exist! We are woken by two wide awake little people, first thing that comes into Emily's head is 'cereal mummy' and Elliott's first words are 'downstairs' so off we trotted for Weatabix in darkness lighted by tea lights! Then it started to snow really heavily outside which caused much excitement as they rushed up to the window and pressed their noses up to the glass to watch the wintry scene creating before us.

The above picture is the lane that we live on, I love to watch the changing of the seasons on our little lane unfortunately this isn't the best pic as I've had to cut off the left side as every ones bins was out. I'd of loved to of stayed in all morning in the cosiness of the house and enjoy the view from our window but I did have to venture out in it to take Emily to pre school and then take Elliott to playgroup I was absolutely freeeeeezing. It was nice to see some snow especially with all the candles lit in the house it really did feel quite festive.

Here is my collection of festive house magazines my addiction to house magazines goes stupid at this time of year I can't resist those Christmas front covers there's more than this pile I have a few other ones put away too.
I bought them all last month in hast so I'm looking forward to sitting down and having a proper read through them all this month.

I love this time of year especially the run up to Christmas I have just finished all my Christmas shopping so this month will be spent doing nice festive activity's we always go to Chatsworth for the day everywhere is decorated so beautifully there they even decorate the farmyard. We'll be taking the children to see Santa and this weekend I'm going to bake some snowflake biscuits for the tree.
I love decorating the house in fact I'm a bit obsessed with Christmas decorations having worked selling Christmas decorations in a wonderful old fashioned department store I have built up quite a stash of Victorian style decs. But this year I've bought all new in Scandinavian style better suited to our decor so I can't wait to put them all up.
I'm sorry all there's no pics of the garden room I will be doing a post with lot's of pics soon I promise! It's turning into a bit of a Santa's workshop in there it's a great place to hide all the Christmas presents! But to give you a taste of something that's in there this is my comfy chair that I have covered in lovely Greengate fabric.

Underneath is a yellow tub chair bought for £10 from the junk shop. This picture was taken half way through making the cover for it, it's finished now. I'd never covered a chair before so it was quite a challenge but I'd got a great book a making loose chair covers from the charity shop which really helped me and I'm really pleased with how it turned out.
Back soon with a garden room post have a good week all whatever your up to!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

A trip to London...................

On Saturday the day arrived that I had really been looking forward to for months I went to London for a day trip of shopping and visiting The Christmas Country Living Fair. I was up bright and early to catch the 7.00am train to London I packed my sleepy little family into the car still in their pj's and I kissed them goodbye. I remember many fond farewells like this, when I was 18 ( 15 years ago I lived in London for 3 years whilst at stage school that's another story I'll tell you another day, I was seeing Steven at the time my now husband) so it felt quite surreal visiting London again after all these years. I arrive in London at 9.00am to find that Kings Cross has changed very much no longer is there just one grotty cafe now there's posh glass fronted shops and cafes including a Paperchase and a mini Hamley's.

I hop on the tube and head for Portobello Road market I really enjoy the hustle and the bustle of the market exploring the quirky stalls selling a vast array of clothes antiques and bric a brac I hover over a Bakerlite phone I've been wanting one for ages but decide to save my pennies for something else. I'm excited about the rest of the day and there's so much I want to pack in to my day it feels wonderful to have a break from my day to day routine and do something different that's just for me. Next stop I head for Stanley Street to the Cabbages and Roses shop how I love this wonderful company as I make my way there I have a pleasant walk through South Kensington admiring the wonderful white 4 storey houses nosing through their windows and admiring the perfectly trimmed topiary trees placed outside every door and the pretty wrought iron railings how the other half live eh! I arrive at Stanley Street to find a perfectly formed immaculate but very little shop this was not what I had imagined I was expecting I large shop with beautiful rooms adorned with Cabbages and Roses covered furniture and wallpaper like this so I'm a little disappointed I browse through the shop ohhing and arr hing at the small but perfectly displayed items.
Next stop Cath Kidston a short walk away on King Road I'm spoilt for choice in there I have to buy something I spend ages looking at every item I can't decide what to buy eventually I buy this sticker book which contains over 200 adorable stickers for home , office and everywhere in between.
Times a ticking by but I love the Kings Road I've never been here before the shops are great Graham And Green, Designers Guild and lot's of gorgeous individual shops I keep thinking I must be on my way to the Country Living Fair but I cant walk past these shops every one is tempting me inside with their beautiful window displays. After tearing myself away from Kings Road I eventually arrive at the fair at 2.00pm, I am shattered but oh so eager to explore I get some rest bite in the cafe and then head for the stalls I circle each level not to miss out on anything I marvel at it all. All my kind shops under one roof I'm excited to look at the stalls Caroline Zoob, Jan Constantine and Susie Watson whose Internet shops I love to browse and do pretend shops at! I spend a stupid amount of time staring at the Suzie Watson stall but again I don't buy the trouble is if I had bottomless pockets I would go mad but I don't.
From Caroline Zoob I buy one of these a kind of vintage looking mail holders I love it it's going to end up by the front door no more post and paperwork will be cluttering up my dresser! From Dot Com Gift Shop I buy these,

and this

Some polka dot paper napkins, a snowflake cookie cutter, a dotty beaker which I'm using as a desk tidy and a wonderful dove shaped paper garland which a noticed in cl magazines Christmas issue last year which I'm so pleased I got my hands on , see the smallest things make me happy! From two other stalls I also buy this twig heart for my garden room

and this Greengate table cloth which I've folded to use as a runner for the bargain price of £10 I absolutely love it it matches my colours perfectly in my through room it's my favourite purchase of the day.
Another purchase were these two candle votives sorry for the dodgy photo there so pretty when their lit. I also buy a Christmas present for Emily a pretty dress for a dolly. I stay till the end 6.00pm I am dead on my feet I browse the posh shop's at the station and head home on the 7.00 train I am so grateful for the sit down on the train and I'm eager to get home to my home and family who I'm starting to miss it has been such a fab day and I can't help feeling that it is something I would love to repeat year after year.

Ps The garden room is finished so my next post I'll give you a tour!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Sew Fabulous Fabric

A few weeks ago I received this gorgeous book I won from http://theflourloft.blogspot.com/ the girls had recently had this book published and were giving away 3 books to celebrate their book being hot off the press which they co wrote together. Ginny and Alice had their own company making all sorts of items using vintage and found fabrics they were approached at the Country Living Fair and asked if they would like to write a book and that's how Fabulous Fabric came about. Guess who was the lucky winner of one of their books? Me that's who!! It felt like winning Willy Wonka's golden ticket out of over 50 comments I was one of the lucky 3! Yes I am feeling very smug about it how lucky I am I? I was completely delighted and could not wait for it to arrive. When it did land on my doorstep I was not disappointed not only did they send me their book I got a beautifully wrapped parcel which inside contained this starter kit containing 8 different beautifully patterned fabrics, felt, denim, some tweedy woolly type fabric, some cards and envelopes for making handmade cards and some corsage pins.

They have written a little message inside the book for me and also sent a stunning handmade card sorry there's no photo I have misplaced where I have put it this morning (what a narna!) I've put it a little too safely away as I want to frame it for my summerhouse, den, studio, office oh dear I don't know what to call it now autumns here summerhouse just doesn't sound right!

The book is separated into 4 sections Home Making, Out and About, Let's Celebrate and Lasting Memories at the back of the book there are patterns for the 20 projects in the book. It also has a fabric focus tip for each project recommending what fabrics work well .

What I love about the book is that it focuses on using recycled fabrics it has a really good section of sourcing fabrics. I love the idea of reusing fabric I have saved a lot of Emily and Elliotts baby clothes so that I can use the pretty patterns again in a cushion or picture so that I can keep them and enjoy them everyday. I now have something new to hunt for in the charity shops usually I head straight for the bric a brac but reading this book has inspired me to take a closer look at the clothes so I can add to my growing collection of fabrics.
The 20 projects in the book are all ones I'd like to have a go at, there are ideas for using every last scrap of fabric and scope for putting your own personal take on each project. Here are a few of the pages I have photographed. The photographs really are beautiful it is a really pretty book that would make a lovely gift for someone who is creative or maybe a treat for one self ?

Above a cosy draft excluder using found tweed, woollens and boucles.

A patchwork floral fairy cushion

Child's artwork made into a picture

Flower Corsages

Handmade Cards

I'm really looking forward to rummaging through my fabrics and having ago at one of the projects but what to start first I like them all? I have some nice tweedy fabric in my stash from a pair of Emily's old trousers think I'm going to have a go at a winter style corsage for myself. A special thankyou goes out to Ginny and Alice for sending me your book I am going to get lot's of enjoyment from it and it's just the inspiration I need to get sewing again.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Embracing Autumn

Hi all yes I'm still here, I know I'm a useless blogger I'm just finding it really difficult at the moment to find time to blog which really annoys me. Smack my hands must try harder to update my blog and I have lots of catching up to do with everyone apoligies all!!

Well were well into autumn now and I'm really enjoying the new season. I'm enjoying the cosiness in the house, snuggling up under a throw on the sofa having the lamps on. Putting the heating on which feels like a real indulgence and lighting a few candles! I wish we had a real fire though I'd love that were going to convert ours when we have our extension I'm very jealous of those of you who have one I'll just have to be patient and wait. Also covering up my lilly white legs and wearing cosy clothes is a real bonus I really don't like getting my legs out and the more covered up I am the better!

So it was a beautiful warm day yesterday here in Derbyshire so off we went for a walk in the woods. We headed for Ambergate the village where I grew up and for shining cliff woods and off we went on our little adventure. We made our way through crunchy leaf paths and some very soggy muddy paths. We did a circular walk we just followed our noses I got a bit worried at some parts as there were different paths and we were just guessing at which direction to take and felt a bit lost, being stuck in the middle of the woods with a 1 and 3 yr old would not be a good situation to be in would it? But we did take the right route and was ok! We saw lots of squirrels, acorns and chestnuts and even a few mushrooms! The sun was creating a dappled effect shining rays through the towering trees just stunning. Every so often we would see a drift of leaves falling from the trees onto the wood floor which was covered in a carpet of orange red and gold leaves. Halfway through our walk we were rewarded with the sight and sounds of this brook running down through the wood and on our way back we stumbled upon about six houses that are actually in the woods what a fascinating and very private way to live it must be very spooky at night though. Not my cup of tea I've watched Blair Witch too many times!

Emily managed to walk most of the way and Elliott travelled in style in the backpack after doing a bit walking too. At one point Steven was carrying both of them with Emily on his shoulders! It was great to get out and enjoy the great outdoors hopefully depending on the weather we will do something similar this weekend. Sorry for the dodgy photo the next one is better I love the photo of the tree.

Looking towards the end of the month I'm starting to think about Halloween and giving the pumpkins a go in the CL magazine also I've got my ticket for the Country Living Christmas Fair next month how excited am I . I've never been to one before so I'm really looking forward to it.

Hopefully I will be here more often from now on, the summerhouse is coming on well and will hopefully be finished soon Steven and my dad have been working flat out on it so will be posting some pics of that. I've also been the very lucky winner of Ginny and Alice's book 'Fabulous fabric' which deserves a post of it's own so thanks girls I LOVE your book!

Have a good week all!


Thursday, 18 September 2008

Our girly treat!

I mentioned a couple of posts back that I was going to take my daughter somewhere special as I'm very aware that this will be my last year having her at home with me before she starts school full time and I just thought she deserved a nice treat. I also feel that she has very little one to one time with me as Elliott will have that when Emily starts school. She's just started at a new nursery too and has been doing very well and taking it in her stride I was worried we were going to have tears but she's excited every morning to go and her teachers are very pleased with her and say what a lovely little girl she is this week I collected her one morning to see her clutching this

The teacher had given her star pupil for sitting nicely at story time and gave her a ring and a wand how lovely is that? As you can imagine I'm so pleased that she seems to be settling in well it is a lovely little nursery attached to the school I think she will be fine there.

So her special treat was to go and see The English National Ballet perform Angelina Ballerina!

I love the embroidery on these shoes she wore I bought them for £5 Monsoon sale a year ago and I've been willing her feet to grow into them and they finally fit!

Before the show we has a little bit of girly shopping we went to all of Emily's favourite shops including this one her absolute favourite The Disney store so she's already shown me lots of things she wants from Santa which includes the entire Disney Store oh dear!!

Then we stopped off at the Thornton's Cafe for some delicious chocolate mouse cake and headed for the theatre.

This was Emily's first time to a theatre and didn't really know what a ballet was until last night. There were lots of other little girls all dressed up in pretty dresses chattering away in anticipation of seeing Angelina!
The Ballet was gorgeous it was an hour long with a 15 minute interval adapted from the Angelina Ballerina story books, Angelina is putting on her own show of Sleeping Beauty, act 1 is the rehearsals and act 2 is the actual performance. It was a cast of nine dancers the costumes and sets were amazing and it really brought the story to life I kept having a sneaky peek at Emily's face and she was smiling away and mesmerised by it all!

To round the night off we had a ride on this an enormous big wheel which was outside the theatre.

I was quite nervous as to whether Emily would be ok on it but she pestered the life out of me to go on it and insisted she was not scared so after checking that 3yr olds were allowed on it we hopped on. We has a lovely time cuddled up together staring out over the night sky and city lights Emily loved it it was one of those happy moments that I'll never forget.

I am so lucky to have a beautiful caring 3 year old and I'm really loving the little lady she's growing into. This morning we woke up to beautiful clear blue skies on our walk to nursery she nattered all the way about Angelina and hasn't shut up about it all day so I think she really enjoyed her treat and hope she will remember it I certainly enjoyed spending some mummy and daughter time one to one and doing some really girly stuff.