Friday, 24 May 2013

Exciting News - Developments on the Home Front

It's no secret on this blog that I had an accident over 5 years ago which severely impacted my mobility and left me with long term disability, acute and chronic pain and early onset rheumatoid arthritus due to the trauma.  Since that time and during my associated recovery, we've sought to create a downstairs toilet for practical reasons - something which we currently lack.

After a year or so it we accepted that my condition wasn't going to drastically improve and we went through the appropriate channels to apply for development grants from the local Council.  In turn, we were assessed by the NHS Occupational Health department and whilst we were found to fit the criteria and be in need, as my husband was working we didn't qualify for any help.  It was hard to hear that if he gave up his job, the council would pay for all the building work necessary.  This wasn't an option for us anyway so things came to a standstill.  We've struggled along through potty training two children, my varying degrees of mobility, commodes in the converted garage.... you get the idea.

I'm proud to say that after recovering from the initial set back in our grant application we carried on trying to look to the future in a positive way.  I adjusted the way I live to - sometimes this meant that I often lived the majority of the day upstairs - just so I could avoid the stairs.

Anyhow, against that background you can imagine my absolute delight to finally be pursuing building work to enable a downstairs cloakroom to be created!!  We are so happy (and a bit scared) to be doing this.  We've had to remortgage to fund the work but we are finally moving forward - we have been given planning permission for an extension!! 

This will enable us to have a shower and toilet downstairs and give us a slightly bigger kitchen which should be able to fit a small table in.  Our dining table is currently in the lounge so this will save my legs in carrying food, dishes etc extra distances which will make a big difference to my pain levels in itself.  We have to do the work on a really tight budget but have been researching kitchens and showers etc over the past few months, which has given me a great excuse to peruse lots of magazines and decor books for ideas! 

My dream other than to have a toilet downstairs (simple but oh so vital) is to have a dresser in my kitchen for my china.  I've been on the look out for one for a while - of course it will be second hand, and wooden but other than that I had no particular style in mind.  I've seen a few in the charity shop over the past few weeks but when I saw this specific item my heart skipped a bit - it was definately the 'One'.

Bonus was it was £45 and has some deep scratches so I won't feel bad about painting the wood (oak I think!).  I'll share the update once it's done (it's on a very long list of my Pretty Filter project!)
So it will stay in my conservatory for a bit.  It will be painted and will be made MiNE.  Oh yes.  This is a very exciting and promising time.  It will undoubtably be stressful and messy but my home is a big passion for me and I cannot wait to see it transform into a more practical and useable space for us in the future.

Thank you for reading,
J9 x
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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

A Simple Sunny & Sandy Sunday

During a weekend visit to my mum's home in Cornwall last weekend, we took a trip to Polkerris near Par.  It's not a typical beautiful white sandy beach but it is easilly accessible (my mum's progress on recovering from her knee replacement is very slow) and is in a lovely cove with a small harbour and a pub on the shoreline (for hot chocolates when needed of course). 

The sun was shining so we packed a lunch hamper (or rather hessian sack) and made for the beach still early in the morning.  The children were SO keen to get into the sea.  Even with their wetsuits the water is very cold but they were adament that it wasn't 'too' cold.

R found a piece of drift wood, which served fantastically as a surf board for her werewolf. 

Yep, not girly at all but it kept them happy for HoURS!  Little B had a margarine tub and his pirates sailed happily in that. 
It was wonderful to see them so content in a completely timeless fascination with the waves and different object's ability to float!  Apparently, Granny has a couple of toy boats in her cupboard at home so the werewolf's 'boat' will be upgraded!!  We have had to keep the piece of drift wood though - R wouldn't leave it behind so it now is part of our essential beach equipment!!

It is a fabulously active water way.  There is a sailing school and many water sports focus around the harbour - gig rowing, wind surfing etc means there is always plenty to watch!

The sun shone (thank you Lord!) as it's not done that much in England recently.  The wind was still keen but this helped the flags to fly magnificently and also enabled the water sports to be enjoyable for all!

We found a patch of shells to search amongst and found some cowlries and sea glass - both treasure in my and R's eyes!  The former was always a challenge set by my mum to find when I was a child and classed as our meal tickets - when we found one we were guaranteed a good tea!!  We found two on this visit so us girls were alright ;0)

These things combined made for a glorious day by the sea.  With our household budget not allowing a summer holiday I am so thankful that we can enjoy such beautifully relaxed days with my favourite people. 

What's not to LoVE?  We're hoping to spend some more quality time by the sea if the weather allows!
I hope the sun is shining where you are and you get to enjoy a Simple Sunday this weekend - what do you love doing best on such days?

Thanks for reading,
J9 x

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Crochet Goodiness: Ta Dah!

As you may know, I taught myself to crochet earlier this year via YouTube.  I also blogged earlier this year about the joyful news of multiple babies joining our wider family during 2013.

Well, two of these births have now happened - I am now the devoted Aunty to a new baby girl and boy.  We travelled to Bucks where Ben's side of the family live in late April and met the gorgeous new additions to the family.  Babies of two of Ben's brothers.  I adore both of them - oh I do so love being an Aunty!  My brother is expecting his addition in late July so there will be yet more wonderful cuddles to be had with newborns then!

Anyhow, enough of me cooeing over babies ;0).  I posted in March about the imminent birth of the babies and what I was considering to make for them by way of welcoming gifts.  Despite the choices I made and the planning at that stage, I lulled myself into a false sense of security and time simply flew by.  Suddenly, both babies had been born and I was still to start crafting anything!

This lack of time management coincided with a rheumatoid arthritus flare and as I was fairly immobile I decided to seize the opportunity and crochet baby blankets instead.  I managed to pick up some fantastic baby wool at a shop called 'B & M' - large balls of baby soft wool were £1.69 which is just fantastic value.  Hence, a pink and a blue version were made.

I used Lucy's Joining Granny Squares tutorial...

... and her Granny Blanket Edging pattern (such fantastically easy tutorials to follow considering I'd never joined or edged anything before).  The results of which I was really pleased with. 

I snapped a few more pictures before I gave them away - I'm a tad bit proud of my first crocheted blankets ;0)

For the blue blanket I left the edge more basic in design - a series of chain stitches anchored as in the first step of the above edging tutorial.  I think this worked well and was less full on than the girly blanket which the full edging was more suited to.

To complete them I added some lengths of ribbon to the top edge.  An additional silky texture for each baby to feel and an extra sentiment 'handmade with love' or 'hope, love, joy'.  Both new mum's seemed delighted with the blankets and I was especially delighted to gift something personal, homemade and useful.

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be posting about my plans for the Craft it Forward (you may remember I was lucky to receive Hen's wonderful CIF), a giveaway to celebrate my first 'blogaversary', share some of our family exploits over the bank holiday weekend and I will update you on our Tasty Tuesdays and recent baking.

Thanks for reading!
J9 x
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Friday, 10 May 2013

Pretty Filter: Little Lady's Bedroom Ta Dah!

As promised, I'm back to share the completed redecoration of my little lady's room - a little later than I'd hoped due to my laptop power pack giving me rather a nasty electric shock before falling apart!!  If you remember I blogged about it way back in March.  It has been mainly finished for a couple of weeks but just needed the odd bit (hate those niggly bits) to be completed.  So here it is:

R's Bedroom Ta Dah!

The room really has had a complete clear out.  It's been re-painted and the pale pinkiness removed!  The furniture has been repositioned (and some excess pieces removed) and I'm really pleased with the end result.  R is completely delighted - which is the best reward ever.

I picked up this mirror last month at the charity shop for £6 - I think that was a bargain. 

I'm honestly not loving the colour of it so may well change that at some point but it is pretty and adds a more grown up element to her room.

The canopy is a basic IKEA number which I've prettified - the original bunting clashed with the bedroom colours so I replaced them with material from my stash and added a teal felt cut out border to the top edge to hide my workings and help it stand out a bit more. 

R loves this and plays with her cuddlies in the canopy on her bed which is just lovely.

One of my favourite parts is the owl tree stickers that we got for her wall from here.  We really love it and it really adds something to the feel of the room.  This is the wall opposite her bed so she lays in bed and 'looks at her owls'.

I also recovered the top of her desk with an owl oilcloth from Dunelm (the desk was mine as a child and has a gorgeous natural oak top). 

The oilcloth adds a bit of protection for the wood and also funks it up a bit as otherwise it would seem too traditional amongst her other furniture which is mainly functional (and cheaper) IKEA stuff!

It's nearly there and I'm really pleased with the result.  I think the decor works well for the in between young, girly age and teenage years.  I do still need to complete her new blackout blind as it is currently pale pink.  I have bought the fabric for this though so plan to do it later this week and I need to get a new duvet cover for her.  As the bed has moved to the middle of the room she's struggled to keep her duvet on during the night.  So to mitigate this she's swapped to having a double duvet and the weight of it hanging over the bed resolves that issue.  Once that's done the room will be completely finished. 

Little man has already been asking when his room will be decorated.  His had a major update early last year when his room was repainted and he moved into a cabin bed.  However, it was a quick job so I've vowed to go back and prettify it (in a boy way of course!) so watch this space.  The pretty filter is definately making me look at each room in turn with a more critical eye and I'm really enjoying the progress I'm making - even if it is slower than I would like!!

Next time I plan to share some crochet goodiness so please do pop back when you have a mo!
Thanks for reading,
J9 x

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