Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas everyone! Here is our Christmas tree - bulbuls from John Lewis vintage range. Enjoy, see you in the new year.

Christmas party gifts! Home-made...

So this year for our Christmas party I gave all the guest a small gift I had made. I used the ceramic cups left over from our wedding 4 years ago (which I still have over a 100 of) but they were 25p from Ikea at the time. I then placed a small bulbul inside and then filled with chocolate coins (£1 a bag) I then wrapped the cups in gold mesh from John Lewis (£9 for 3 metres) and then finished off with red ribbon from Tiger (15 metres approx £3-£5). This made 20; and here is the result:

Friday, 8 November 2013

Making a house a home

We don't own a TV - We haven't done since we got married, and prior to that we lived with landlords as lodgers and so didn't watch TV. So all in no TV since Early 2007. I'm not a fan of TV, a lot of people tend to have it on in the background all of the time and to them it's just background noise, to me it is a complete distraction. I also believe TV is the one of the biggest reasons that people don't communicate at home as it's much easier to watch TV than it is to have a conversation with your partner.

Having said all of that, my husband is a complete film fanatic and this year bought a projector for which he could watch all the films he purchase on iTunes! And so has set about creating a space to hang the projector and sound system to go with it. This is my husband sorting out the wires!

My husband is a techie geeky person though and through.

So whilst adding a cinema room we also needed to change the taps in the kitchen as turning taps I can no longer do thanks to RSI from my day job (designer). So we got this beauty from Ikea and my friend Norman who is a plumber fitted it! Yay

And just for fun this is the beautiful place we live (view from one of the windows):

Bring out the flowers!

During August we managed to wallpaper the long wall between the kitchen and the lounge - all nine and half metres of it! We used Laura Ashley's Summer Palace Eau De Nil Floral and although it looks lovely when finished it was a nightmare to line up - definitely paying some one to do wall papering in the future! The result:

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Making a clasp purse!

So after a short trip to Spain to recover.

I decided to make some purses with the clasps I bought there. I learned how to draw my own pattern from this blog and watched a couple of you tube videos. And this is my first attempt:

So I have drawn my pattern and chosen my inner and outer fabric and the clasp.

Cut out your pattern

Then cut out two inners and two outers using your pattern

Place the inner right side facing on to the outer like so

Stitch all around the edge leaving a gap so you can pull the fabric right side round.

I have left my gap on the right edge near the top. Once you have pulled the fabric around the right way place the other fabric back to back and stitch together making sure not to stitch past the clasp area!

Once the two pieces are together you can stitch in your clasp:

I used large pins to hold the fabric in place whilst I hand stitched around. And hopefully you will have something like this:

New fabric! Eek!

All the way from New York's Purl Soho Shop. Love. Check out their blog Purl Bee.
What will I make!?

Friday, 9 August 2013

Mum's-in-waiting part 2

Ok so since I last wrote about this a lot has happened. We were in the process of waiting for fertility tests, and the day my husband was to have his test he asked me to do a pregnancy test, just to be sure we needed to do the tests (he wasn't keen on doing them) and so I did, to discover I was pregnant!! How amazing was that after 19 months of trying when we least expected it we were pregnant and saved from the dreaded fertility tests!

Our shock and excitement only lasted 10 days before we discovered I was losing the baby at 6 weeks, which is the most awful tragedy I think possible. To have waited for what felt like a long time to find out you can finally conceive! To discover your body getting rid of the one thing you wanted. We had to say goodbye before we ever got to say hello and it was devastating. And now we are back to square one. The doctors only start doing tests after 3 miscarriages. So we have no tests coming up and no baby to look forward to.

We hadn't told anyone were pregnant, not even my parents (which is a shock if you know me). So it was a hard situation to go through on our own. Next time we will tell someone sooner. Having said that when we did tell people what had happened we got some very mixed responses, one person said I "must be feeling guilty" and another person said "well at least you know it's you who is the problem and not your husband". I think they thought these were comforting words??! At least I had a few sensible empathetic friends on hand, who cried with us and felt our pain, and encouraged us in this time. Death, such a hard thing, if you're not sure what to say best to not say anything and just let the person know you're there for them.

Some people said to us 'well at least now you know you can get pregnant'... this is rather bitter sweet. Whilst I see their point the truth is I'm not pregnant.

I read somewhere that a lot of women want to wait a while after a miscarriage - not me I just want to be pregnant again. Maybe because I want to fill the void this loss has created. Who knows but I hope to report back here in part 3 with better news. Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

The Sun has got his hat on hip hip hooray!

So I came across this sun hat pattern in one of the craft magazines and I thought it would be good to make and sell. It is for babies new born - 12 months. The fabric I got when I was in New York last year from the Purl Soho Shop. For this hat as it is a reversible hat I will be using to different fabrics. I love red as it is bold, bright and passionate!

The Pattern! Increase by 50% - did this by scanning in and enlarging

Cut out 6 petal shapes for each piece of fabric (12 in total)

Cut out two semi circles for the rim. Fold fabric in half and place shape on the edge of the fold and cut

Sew your petals together - 3 at a time, iron seams and then stitch together to create your crowns.

Sew your rim to your crown and then sew both hats together along the rim. Remember to do inside out leaving a gap to turn the hat back the right way.

The finished article! One reversible hat! My first attempt.

Sunday, 23 June 2013


I have decided to use my blog to journal my current life situation. I read somewhere this is suppose to help when you are going through what we are going through.

Children are lovingly made by us so I don't think it is too out of context with the site!

So we have been trying (I really don't like that word) for a baby for 18 months so far. Which I realise isn't long for some people but for us each month that passes and I am not pregnant is a disappointing month. I have tried looking online for encouragement and support from various sites, and to my amazement there isn't much out there in the way of support. Just a lot of forums for worried mums-in-waiting.

There are a lot of forums on 'the two week wait' but a lack of encouragement. And for me it is not a two week wait (as this only depends on when you ovulate, so if you ovulate early then your wait is longer and shorter if you ovulate late) I wont go into cycles - not always helpful. Any way, I have a three week wait every month to see if we have been successful (32 day cycle). And this can seem like a life time. When we first started, the first 6-9 months were ok, I was managing it all fine but after nine months and packets of ovulation sticks and a fertility kit later I was at my end. We hit a year and I thought - what is wrong with us! At 14 months we went to doctors who referred us to an infertility clinic, I have an appointment in August (which will be month 20). So 18 months in and no sign of pregnancy and some rather scary looking appointments up ahead and no one to lean on.

A lot of our friends got pregnant quite quickly (within the first 6-8 months) all of a similar age to us. Only two couples needed a helping hand. One of which has left the country.

So what to do, talking about it doesn't seem to alleviate it as there appears no solutions (just keep trying). I did read somewhere that you should plan in some fun things to do during your 'two week wait'. But when your 'two week wait' has been going on for 18 months you wonder when is it going to be my turn. Perhaps I am worrying prematurely and I just need to give it more time. They tell you to think about something else and it will happen in no time - how do you change your brain to think about something else?

I never use to like shopping, but I have taken to shopping as a way of therapy - if I just focus on buying enough things for the house I wont be thinking about babies and children. Which results in endless trips to ikea, john lewis and next. Which is not good for my bank account.

I have tried to see the appreciation in waiting - I can learn from others, read and educate myself ready for when it does happen, make the most of my marriage and enjoy the time we have, plan in plenty of date nights and sleep in late, go on holidays all over the world. And all of that is great I would just love to do it as a family, with our children.

My husband loves holidays he is always planning the next one. He loves working hard and then taking time out to do nothing for a while. I'm grateful for all the time we have now together alone, because I know having a child can turn your world upside down. Am I ready for the challenges that lay ahead? WE had been married 2 and a half years before we started trying, we allowed ourselves a year. As I believe most couples do. I am aware that for some couples it is years and years of trying and for some it never happens at all. 

I think I have written enough for today.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Our local area

Just at the end of our new road.


Gift ideas

So Christmas just gone I gave all of my female relatives the same gift (we just bought a house and so money was tight) I looked around for affordable presents but ended up making baileys and chocolate portions. Approximately £2.50 a gift. I'm sure the gifts could be used as presents for a birthday also.

House warming presents

So I got a few lovely house warming presents. We received a Noritake porcelain 6 piece tea set. Which is not only lovely but is in my favourite colour. It is a china company made in Sri Lanka (my husband is Sri Lankan) and so I was very touched by it.

Lovely lilies from friends have pride of place in our hallway in our floor to ceiling window:

Living it and loving it

Right, so I have been gone for a while. This was due to buying a house (see below) which is no easy task as those of you who are homeowners will know. Plus my design business has been going through a busy period. I can only describe the last few months as 'living it and loving it'. Living the dream I have for myself and loving it all at the same time. I can honestly say life is in a good place.

Things to remember when buying a house:

1. Do your research - you cannot research enough. Into the background of the land, the history of the area, whats local and what not, what are the schools like, what are the crime stats (compare this to a similar sized area).

2. Don't be afraid to ask questions - no matter how silly you think they are. We bought a new build and so had a lot of questions for the builders sales team - who gave nothing away.

3. Use your own solicitor not the builders recommended one - this was a mistake we made and we had to do a lot of work ourselves.

4. Have reserve funds for the extras you don't account for. Probably about 2% of the asking price.

5. Visit the area a lot to get a feel for it, talk to neighbours and people locally.

So because we bought a new build we got a blank canvas. So we needed to buy everything from curtain tracks to carpets to flooring. I'll share with you some of the things we bought so far and the mood boards I have been creating for each room. Would love to know your thoughts.

New house - we moved in the weekend it snowed real bad:

And here are the curtains and sofas:

 Laura Ashley - Josette Dove Grey Curtains.

DFS - Country Living range