Pin Up

Wow I have neglected this blog haven’t I? Let’s just move swiftly along and pretend it didn’t happen shall we? Fab. 🙂

Okay so I’m going to start back with a crafty post. I am slowly starting to sort out my craft things in the attic and whilst doing so I found an unused canvas. I’m not really one to paint or draw so I decided to use it to make a notice board for Little Lady’s bedroom. I had some pink fabric in my stash and some ribbon so I had a go while she was at school.

Hubby was a bit wary of allowing me to use the staple gun unsupervised after last time when I pinched my thumb in the handle lol! You’ll be glad to know I came away unscathed this time yay!

I roughly measured the fabric by folding it around the canvas.

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I then cut it to size, folded the corners neatly and stapled it to the frame. Of course you could finish the edges of the fabric but to be honest I didn’t bother.

I didn’t have enough of the ribbon I wanted to use so I had to space the strips very carefully. Once I was happy with their position I stapled those to the frame too.IMG_0950

The process was repeated with the ribbon going the opposite way.IMG_0951

And as easily as that it was done.IMG_0952

Little Lady loves it and has it hanging above her desk for her “important papers”. She is also pinning her dance rosettes to it which are looking good.

If I did another one of these I would use more ribbon to make the criss- crosses closer together but as I made this with only things I already had, I am quite pleased.

Have you ever made a noticeboard like this?

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Tea for two?

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Can you believe I found this post in my drafts folder, unfinished? This post is actually from last October!
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Item number 21 on my Day Zero List is to raise £500 for charity and this ties in nicely with number 78 – Organise a Charity Coffee morning at home.
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I chose a date and sent out invites to everyone I knew. I cleaned the house from top to bottom. I made some cakes, and bought some cakes, and then I cleaned the house again! Having people round makes me very nervous. I feel that they are judging me and the house. I feel that the house has to be magazine perfect. I get myself worked up and so stressed that I hardly invite anyone around to the house. And this time I had invited a lot of people. :/
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In reality I had no need to worry as people were coming for tea and cake not to see the house (although I’m sure some did come for that reason 😉 ) I decided to keep the “coffee morning” theme going and arranged flowers in tea pots despite the eyebrow raising from hubby. I thought it all came together pretty well and I managed to raise quite a bit towards my £500 target.
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Home Truths

It embarrasses me to admit that my house is constantly untidy. In fact if I were to take a photo of the front room floor at this moment you would see what I mean. Actually wait right there and I will…..

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If you were to visit me, you would need to squeeze past the pushchair in the hallway, negotiate shoes that have just been flung rather than put tidy and then clamber over the train tracks in the front room before you even get to sit down!

I always thought that when I grew up and had a house of my own that it would look like something out of the magazines. Perfectly decorated, accessorised beautifully and – more importantly – tidy! Maybe I’m not grown up enough yet???

Our main problem (if you don’t count the kids 😉 ) is clutter. Basically we have too much stuff! No amount of organisation or storage is going to give us a tidy home. One of the items on my Day Zero list is to declutter 100 items. So far I have decluttered 78 items and I still have a long way to go!! To clarify, I haven’t been counting individual items but boxes or bags of items that have been donated or sold on, ie a box of toys so a lot more than 100 individual items have left the house already!

A bag of toys that was rehomed

A bag of toys that was rehomed

So far we have been through the play room and Little Lady’s toys and books. I have also made a start on my wardrobe and have so far removed 36 items, although according to my rule that will only count as 1 as it fitted in one bag.

Paperwork that was years out of date

Paperwork that was years out of date

I made a good start on old paperwork too and shredded two boxes full of bank statements that went back to year dot, well near enough anyway!!

In January I decluttered 31 items. There was a few individual items in that count as they were big things like my running buggy and D’s baby carrier and isofix base but mostly that was boxes of toys. I must admit here that the attic is chock full of pretty much every toy they have ever owned! I have serious hoarding issues 😮 I am doing my very best to conquer this though. I have given away pretty much all the kids’ baby clothes I had held onto and most of their baby toys.

There aren't even any "Nan's " in our family!

There aren’t even any “Nan’s ” in our family!

Originally keeping all our baby items was a good thing. They were all saved for “the next one” and poor D has lived with his sister’s hand-me-downs throughout his 3 years on this planet (toys not clothes I hasten to add!). But alas, there will not be another “next one” so it all needs to go. The items are being donated to various charity shops or to friends and other items are being sold on selling pages etc with the money going to Little Lady’s Disneyland fund! Well she did do a very good job of her bedroom. The box below is one of 4 boxes she decluttered! Like mother like daughter I’m afraid!

Books and toys

Books and toys

No wonder my house is never tidy! How on earth can it be with all this stuff?? I am a woman on a mission this year and I will get the clutter down to a managable level. We will never live in a minimalist house I know that but if I can reduce our level of “stuff” to a half then the house should look a lot better.

I hope! 😮

Progress

As I mentioned in this post we have finally made progress with the fireplace. Last week the plaster had finally dried enough for us to paint it. To be honest it only took 2 coats of watered down paint to cover the new plaster as it was so close to the paint colour anyway. It would probably only have taken one coat of paint if we hadn’t been advised to water it down by the plasterer.

So drum roll please…… Ta-da

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Okay it wasn’t the open fire I had imagined but this is as close as I can get and I think it’s lovely. It does need a bit of colour on the mantlepiece I think but I need a little bit of time to decide how I’m going to achieve that. We have also decided on the hearth but we couldn’t get the size we needed so that will also have to wait. Apart from that I am so pleased with how it has turned out. I think it is quite lovely.

Oh and before I go I’ve got another ta-da to show you. Yes I have finally finished the curtains. Here they are – one of a kind, inexpensive, hand embroidered curtains:

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Getting somewhere

Wow! It’s been over a year since I mentioned the fireplace last. You can read the first two posts here and here if you missed them the first time around. I’m sure you are all dying to know what’s happened to the fireplace in the last 12 months aren’t you??

First off hubby made the hole bigger. If you remember the hole wasn’t central to the breast so that was rectified. Then he boarded it out. Here it is looking festive (ish) at Christmas.

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Then it pretty much stayed like that til last month. I was getting pretty fed up with hubby promising to fill the hole at the bottom and plaster it all and then not doing it so I took matters into my own hands. (No I didn’t do it myself I’m afraid!)

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The house across the road is being completely renovated, so last month, after being challenged to Just Do It – finish a project that has been lingering for a while – I went over and asked the plasterer working there to come and give me a quote.

The quote was reasonable so the following week he came and plastered the fireplace.

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At the moment we are waiting for the plaster to dry so that we can paint it and put the fire surround back. I have to say its looking pretty good and now it’s starting to dry the plaster almost matches the colour of the paint already there!!

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Exciting times. I’m hoping to do a proper “ta-da” post by the end of the month. I can’t wait 🙂

Squeaky clean

Saturday evening we ran out of washing up liquid. Now we should have seen this coming as the bottle by the sink was getting lower and lower. However the last time we bought washing up liquid we bought a HUGE bottle and had been decanting into a smaller one, so we were a bit surprised that we had actually run out! Luckily I remembered reading how the lovely Team Pugh had made some and after a quick inventory turns out we had all the ingredients except the lavender oil which we just decided to omit.

The recipe (which we halved as our bottle wasn’t big enough to hold the volume made by Team Pugh) is as follows:

850ml of boiling water

1 tablespoon of soda crystals

1 tablespoon of grated soap

1 tablespoon of vinegar

2 drops of lavender oil

A squeeze of lemon juice

Here are our lovely ingredients all lined up in anticipation

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The grater is an old one which is not used for food, and the wine in the background was confiscated from my mum after I found out a boy younger than me had given it to her!!!**

So soap grated

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Then all the ingredients were thrown together lovingly mixed in a big bowl.

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We left it to cool down overnight and were a bit worried that we had ruined it when it looked almost set (like a jelly) on Sunday morning. Thankfully a bit of a whisk with a fork and it was fine. Next time however we wont leave it quite as long before decanting it.

Hubby has done the washing up with it quite a few times now and he is pretty impressed. No more shop bought washing up liquid for us here at a lifetime of DIY – homebrew all the way 🙂

**don’t worry about the wine. My mum doesn’t actually drink wine and it was a thank you for giving the boy in question a lift home, saving him a bus trip while on crutches. I am not really that mean! 😉