Thursday, 16 July 2015

April ~ Pretty Me Challenge: Ta Dah!!!

Just a quick pop by to say "Hello" and to share with you the progress that I have made on my Pretty Me project for April.  This was a quick and easy makeover actually.  All that was required were some wooden struts cut to the right length to create a base (to hold the mattress) and a paint job on the frame itself - to help breathe new life back into it.

I used Annie Sloan paint leftover from the makeover of my Kitchen Dresser.  After a couple of coats of paint and a quick brush over with wax (to create a protective seal over the paint) the project was complete.  I ordered a new queen size sheet and simple used the double duvet cover Little Lady already used on her previous bed (my girl likes a snugly bed!)

So without further delay....

Ta Dah!

I am happy to report that the bed has resulted in more fondness for her bedroom and more importantly vastly improved sleep!  Hooray!  

I kept all the other furniture and the Hubby simply moved the desk (from the before picture on the left) to the opposite wall and her IKEA chest of drawers (on the right of the bed in the before picture) now sits next to her bed (serving as a bedside table).

Her bookcase has relocated under the eaves (returning to its original place) although my childhood dolls house has been squeezed in on a tiny coffee table between that and the foot of the bed!

We need to have a big de-clutter of the kids bedrooms over the summer holidays but I am really happy with the makeover of this vintage bed frame.  I'm even more content that Little Lady will grow with this bed.  Even though she needs less sleep than I do (she takes after her father in this respect) at least she has a comfortable space to enjoy, read and rest.

My planned Make Me project (a part crochet, part applique cushion) has taken a back seat as I've not been well enough to sit and use the sewing machine.  However, the crochet element has been completed and is simply awaiting an improvement in my health so that I can finish the planned cushions off.  I'm looking forward to completing these but have relaxed on the time frame element!!!  Needs must.

Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed seeing this beautiful vintage bed frame being given a new lease of life.  I'm delighted how a couple coats of off white paint have softened its look.  I think it's gorgeous and gladly Little Lady is very happy with it too.  

I have so many things to share at present.  I also have a giveaway planned for this month as it's come round to my blog-iversary again!!!  I will be posting again soon I promise!

Take care until next time,
J9 x

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Five on Friday ~ A Girls trip to Wells

Hello Bloggy Folks!  I hope you are well and enjoying some relaxing time in the sunshine.

My week has been consumed with visits to Doctors, blood tests, visits to hospital, steroid injections and lots of bed rest so I thought I would share with you a few photos that I took during a visit to Wells with Little Lady a couple of weeks ago.

Amongst my favourite moments were:

#1  Quaint Stone Houses

There are various quaint stone, terraced cottages leading in to the centre of this city.  They are so cute with low front doors and smaller than average sash windows.  There are no straight lines and in my view this adds to their charm.  There are a number of Alms Houses too that remain simply stunning now.

According to the Wells Tourist Information:

"The history of Wells goes right back to Roman times when we know that there was a settlement, probably because of the springs that bubble up here. Wells gets its name from these springs which can today be found in the gardens of the Bishop's Palace".

Such English heritage in these walls.., if only they could speak and tell us their stories.

#2  This Wall did speak to me

As my daughter voiced her frustration "Please Mummy; can you just stop taking photos now?"  I noticed this stone laid into the masonry of a corner store.  I love that historically being a dealer in 'Pepper and Snuff' was important enough to be flagged on a stone plaque.  A moment in history captured.

#3  St.Cuthberts Church


Apparently, this is the largest parish church building in Somerset.  As we passed on the Sunday morning, the choir and congregation were singing and could be heard from the street.  It was so lovely and uplifting.  The stone work in this church is very detailed and the original building dates from the 13th century.  It states in the information leaflet that the church often gets confused as Wells Cathedral by tourists because it is so decorative and ornate - a real visual treat.  

#4  This Door!

I fell in love with this wonderful little original door with its stone carved frame and carefully shaped oak front.  I tried to get Little Lady to stand in the doorway for scale but due to the aforementioned comment and the whole fact that Mummy's can be soooo embarrassing with their cameras... I failed.

However, the door reminded me of a Hobbit home.  So cute and short in stature.  Even myself at 5ft 2 would have to stoop to get through (another reason to love it from my perspective!)

Wells Cathedral and Castle are enormous in stature and very impressive!  In the fore ground you can see a traffic warden - he had already given two cars tickets when we arrived.  This is normally the marketplace for the city and usually bustles with thriving stalls and people.  I was surprised but secretly happy that many of the shops were closed on a Sunday.  Many are small independent shops which remained closed - only larger chain stores were open.  Whilst there is a discussion ongoing in England concerning longer opening hours on a Sunday I was happy to see that most of these independent stores had their day of rest.

Whilst we didn't explore the Cathedral and Castle on this occasion, they dominate the skyline of the main street.  Wells is "the smallest city in England with about 12,000 inhabitants. It can call itself a city because of the famous 13th century Cathedral".  It has a lovely market town feel - not at all like the larger cities I've visited and was perfect for some quality chatty time with Little Lady.

We have one week left of school here before the Summer holidays start.  We are all on count down and simply cannot wait for this valuable time to come!  I have another course of 3 weeks of steroids so am hopeful that my health will be at its optimum for managing this time too.  I do so hope you are all enjoying whatever makes you happy!!!  

Today I'm delighted to be joining in with Amy's Five on Friday Linky party!

Take care until next time, 
J9 x

Thursday, 9 July 2015

An English Country Garden in June

Earlier this month we visited with family.  It is always a pleasure to tour the in-laws garden.  Grandpa is a very keen gardener and volunteers for the National Trust at Waddesdon Manor.  His garden is a huge passion and this is evident in his visual display.

He has an efficient, functional yet pretty allotment area...

Beautiful cottage borders...

...intermixed with willow sculptures...

...and sheltered seating...

The pond is delightful and you can pass many happy moments just staring into space, watching the fish or just crocheting in the sunshine...

The wisteria was in full floral display and was absolutely stunning.

Set against the backdrop of the weathered wood it looked glorious - a complete contrast.

I really enjoy spending time in this garden as do the children.  They think it is enormous and THE best place to play hide and seek.  On this visit they also enjoyed making birds homes - weaving reeds and eucalyptus leaves into circular shapes before adding a few seeds and nuts for the birds to encourage them to visit their birdie hotels.  I've written a post previously about this lovely garden so please do check this out if you're interested.

Happy times indeed.  And this was where I sat for most of one day, relaxing, crocheting, chatting and taking in the general splendour.

I have so many bloggy updates to share - I always seem to run behind at this time of year but I do so hope to catch up with a few soon.  I have my Coastal Target Square Ta Dah post, April Pretty Me challenge Ta Dah plus the sand sculpture festival to share and so much more so please do watch this space during my endeavour to catch up before the Summer Holidays strike (I can't wait!!!)

Health wise things are a bit tough at present.  I'm back on the steroids (having only managed two weeks off them).  My Lupus is really active at present and the Sjrogren's Syndrome has been affecting my sight which has been quite frightening.  I had a steroid injection into my left shoulder joint yesterday and am restricted to bed again today.  I confess the downturn so quickly after a slight improvement has me feeling a little downcast.  However, it's nearly the weekend and after a good 10 days not logging on to my cronky laptop I'm looking forward to catching up on some of your lovely Blogs!!!  I apologise if I'm a silent reader at present.  I take such pleasure from sharing snippets of your world and crafty endeavours so thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind comments of support here and for your warm posts on your bit of Cyberland.

Take care for now, 
J9 x 

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Look Up - A Mantra I Live By

I find it fascinating to people watch, to wonder where people are rushing to or what they are doing.  I also find it fascinating to look skyward.  Whether it be the colours in the sky, the shape of clouds, wildlife fluttering by or even architectural interest... it all inspires me.  Ever since childhood I've enjoyed a good view and historical shapes in buildings.

Increasingly, largely due to portable technology the mantra of "Looking Up" applies ever more in all situations.  I find this spoken word by Gary Turk so powerful - if you haven't heard it before, please do have a listen...

Whilst I was observing a whole number of things in London, I noticed how much people were looking down.  Especially from a wheelchair this was a real issue - people walking would only notice that they were about to walk into me in the chair once they were literally on top of me - largely because they wore earphones and were looking at devices whilst walking down a busy London pavement!  

Whilst we were looking up though we could enjoy the amazingly beautiful architecture on the fronts of many of the shop facades.  Glorious.

One thing I would like to encourage in my children as they grow is the joy to be found in Looking Up.  To appreciate all the beauty in the world and engage with our environment.  Having experienced post natal depression and pain related anxiety, I have become more mindful of what helps to have a positive impact on my mental health.  Looking up, being grateful & appreciating the simple things and crafting to find that 'flow' state of mind are the most powerful lessons I have learnt.  Do you have any lessons you have learnt to help with your happiness?  What do you want your lasting message to your children or loved ones to be?  Please share - I'm always happy to learn more!

Take care until next time,
J9 x