Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Bristol Hot Air Balloon Beauty

I am behind on my blogging due to recent holiday and time away from the internet!!  As part of the reason I do this blog is to use this as a journal for future reference, I'm going to get up to date gradually, but blog in chronological order.  Please bear with me - in a couple of weeks I'll be back to my normal nonsense ;0)

On 6th August (before the  Hot Air Balloon Fiesta commenced in Bristol on the Friday) we were meandering along Bristol Harbourside accompanying my husband in to his Office, when we were treated to a visual display beyond all expectation.

It was a gorgeously still morning, and at 7:30 am Bristol was fairly quiet compared to its normally buzzing environment.  We were walking alongside the river and enjoying a different perpective to our normal rural view.  The children had wanted to see where daddy worked all day.  We agreed, as they have such curiosity in where he goes to and comes home from each working day. 

The skies were clear and crisp.  The air tingled your cheeks due to the slight chill remaining, the air still needing the warmth of the sun once it had risen fully above the skyline.

Then suddenly we turned a corner .....

My eyes were automatically drawn upwards as we saw the hot air balloons floating through the sky.

But the spectacle was made even more beautiful by the serene reflections in the water.

It was truly breathtaking to hear the roar of the burners amidst the otherwise quiet harbourside. To take in the contrast between the yachts, warehouse buildings, river and the sky with all it contained. 

To catch a brief moment in time where Bristol Harbourside life was completely reflected in nature - as if in a mirror.

Adding to this glorious scene was the SS Great Britain .  It was a glorious sight to behold and the littlies were beyond excited.  What a rare treat! 
What a beautiful start to the day.  We enjoyed our early morning visit to Bristol.  I'm not sure that this can be matched on the next occasion we visit!!
J9 x

Friday, 24 August 2012

Back to my Cornish roots

We're unpacked and rested, having tackled over a week down in my home county!  I really can't believe how the time has flown.  We stayed with my mum in my childhood home and did "holiday" things and visited family and friends.  The weather was mostly on our side and we caught up with my family down at seaside locations...

I love Cornwall and I got my much needed fix of blue seas and rock pools.... beach combing for drift wood, sea glass and unusual shells and generally enjoying time with my little family.

Hubby is off for two whole weeks so we enjoyed a super excited start to our family time down by the beautiful Cornish coast.  Since we've been back I've been in a whirlwind of catching up on some boring jobs at home followed by family visits from the other side of the family so have barely had a minute to draw breath. 

I'm aiming to start blogging about my time away at some point next week and will catch up on all the missed blog updates on all I follow then!!  Thanks for the comments Penny and Trills - I look forward to catching up on your blogs later next week when I don't have to skulk off (like I am now with Ben's parents visiting!!)  ;o)

I have lots of things to share and have made progress on my granny squares so watch this space!!

J9 x

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Cath Kidston Style Chair Makeover?!

As a lover of most things vintage and 'those' french looking furniture legs, when I spied these at the charity shop I was helpless to resist.  I could instantly envisage a lovely shabby chic upcycling... I was with a friend at the time who didn't share my enthusiasm but I was not to be deterred!

These are 1940's beauties (it says so underneath the seats!):

I bought the set with a table and a sideboard for a very reasonable price - plus, with the added bonus that funds go to the hospice and the environment benefits in my recycling I can easily convince myself that the purchase was completely and utterly necessary.....

I LoVE painted furniture - I LoVED it before it was classed as vintage cool.  It's just my personal preference.  So despite these being nice walnut and in relatively good condition for their age, I'm not a fan of dark wood so with a couple coats of paint and a cath kidston style seat replacement the following can be revealed in my first blog - ta da!!

I painted each chair in eggshells of varying pastel blues and greens - they're not as differing shades as I might have liked, but I used the paint we had in the shed so can't complain!!  The idea was to create a mis matched tonal upcycle (sorry about the quality of the photo below - I was interrupting some serious hot wheels play and couldn't clear the area properly!!). 

I was inspired to paint them different colours from a previous Cath Kidston photoshoot in a magazine, although the red and yellow would stand out ridiculously in my house so opted for the more muted ice cream shades. Original image found here.

The old chair fabric was removed and I stapled some lovely Cath Kidston oilcloth over the seats and reinserted the newly prettified bases.

The table I painted a cream called "buttermilk" and as I didn't have enough of the same oilcloth I chose another of Cath K's pattern from my stash.  The table does extend but I chose to staple the cloth to the underside as I really wanted to show off the Queen Anne style legs that are the look I soooo love.  I then added a couple applications of clear wax to finish them off.

It's been complete since July and each time I pass it my heart skips a little and I do like to stroke it!! It's my visual dream of how I'd like my whole house to be -  my own spot of Floral Utopia.

So, there we go - my first ta dah!! 

Now I've done this I'll be sharing some more of my creative goings on.  I'm addicted to granny squares now I've mastered them and am loving how portable they are - squares have been made in a number of parks, on a couple of beaches and by the side of a swimming pool so far this week.  Not sure what I'll do with them, but it's fun for now!

Have a good weekend,

J9 x

Friday, 10 August 2012

# Go Team GB

The London 2012 Olympics have completely overtaken TV viewing in our house as I'm sure it has done in many houses across the world.  The hubby is a complete sports fanatic and wanted to create Olympic memories for our kiddies and to inspire them by the achievements of others in a whole raft of competitive sport.

We'd had a number of discussions about how we would go about achieving this, given that like so many, we missed out on tickets to ANY events in the first and second rounds of ticket releases.  He had wanted to take littlies in to London to just enjoy the atmosphere.  I had felt that whilst the idea was nice, the reality would be bustling busy streets with kiddies at handbag height not enjoying an awful lot...  We were at a place of indecision.

Then, fate threw us a wild card.  Through a friend who was no longer able to attend, we acquired some tickets to see the semi-final football match at the Millenium Stadium, Cardiff.  Cardiff is only an hour journey from our home - much closer than a 4 hour trip to London.  Even better, later that week it was revealed that Great Britain had got through to the semi's so would be playing South Korea.  It was meant to be....

R was sooo excited and counted down the sleeps each night.  We arrived at our reserved blue badge space to a fantastically organised system of stewarding.  The volunteers were proactive in speaking to passers by - asking who they were supporting, where we'd travelled from - it was a fantastically friendly atmosphere.

Once we were inside the stadium (in our front row seats!) we all enjoyed the stadium, the kids were fascinated that the "roof" was on, and that they could appear automatically on the big screen, then directly onto the TV.   Then we enjoyed the football - flag waving, mexican waving and shouting galore!

It was FANTASTIC.  I was proud to be British.  Proud to be part of the crowd, completely family friendly; no violence, no swearing - just enjoyable memories in the making.  We could learn a lot from these matches.  It begs the question why this atmosphere can't be normal at pro football events rather than hostile or aggressive?

We left after full time as the children were shattered at a 1:1 score...  The match went on to extra time and GB lost on penalties. So we didn't miss a winning end - and we beat the mass traffic home.  The journey is just over an hour from our home and all but Ben (who was driving) were soundly asleep within minutes.  We've enjoyed many moments over the days on the TV but my favourite by far were in real life.

We saw the Olympic Flame in St. Stephens when it arrived in Cornwall, whilst staying with my mum way back in May.  Then joined in the spirit by cheering Great Britain on at the Semi's in August.

Happy Olympic times.  Well done Team GB and all that have collaborated to put on such an amazing spectacle.  Well done - and thank you!

J9 x

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Sunday Stars

I'm not really a superstitious character, but hubby passed me the mag section of a paper today and as I flicked through the pages I stumbled across my stars.

It read:
"It's prime time to start projects and believe in your creative talents"

With regards to love it said:

"Once you were neighbours, now it gets very romantic".

Well, my now husband and I lived in adjacent semi detached houses at University.  Needless to say our romance led to marriage, kids, happiness... due to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary later this month.

The former quote I'm choosing to take as a kick up the behind - a much needed push to be a bit more open with my friends and family about this blog and my creative exploits.  It's funny, my family tell me to believe in myself often and I dismiss it shyly.  Yet Mystic Meg writing it in this weeks stars struck a real chord with me!

How is it that some people exude such confidence and self belief, yet others need much reinforcement and support before gaining even a degree of that self esteem?  My confidence took a huge knock from the results of my accident anyway. Now five years on I'm rebuilding my inner self as well as accepting the changes to my physical self.  I've accepted the wheelchair and crutches as tools to help me live life and that's what I choose to do.  I need to live this life...

Well I'm taking a metaphorical pat on the back from dear Meg and looking onwards and upwards....
I'll take courage and follow my path.  My first ta dah will come this week.  I've declared it and therefore, it will happen.

J9 x