Friday, 7 November 2014

Grand Plans

Phew it's Friday already, I can't believe it.   I had such grand plans this week, hubby was at work and the children back to school.  I was going to get loads done.  Well none of it happened.  I don't seem to have had 5 minutes this week to do what I wanted to do.   I am usually in the house everyday apart from school run and grocery shopping.  I was out everyday this week with school trips, hospital appointments, driving lessons and reading with children at school.  I seem to have kept on top of the basics but always being in a rush throws me out of sorts a bit.  
 
I started a quilt top Sunday night and I was hoping to get it finished, basted and ready for quilting this weekend but it just never happened.   We are all in this new routine with my husbands new job.  When he was in the military I was very lucky that he was here to help get the boys ready in the morning and help with breakfast.  He also got home from work at 4.40pm.  Now he is out of the house 7 - 7 and I'm finding I need to be a lot more organised.  This isn't a bad thing it's just taking a bit of getting used too.   
 
I have also started driving lessons again.  I have stopped and started over the years, I would have a few and then something would go wrong in the house and my driving money would be used to fix it. As I am now having to catch the bus to pick the boys up from school and the bus journeys are taking 3 hours of my day, it has become quite a necessity.  The boys go to school 3 miles from where we live and we can't get transport as we are out of the catchment area.  I NEED to drive!
 

Anyway enough of my rambling, I wanted to show you some quilt blocks I have been making.  I have made 3 quilts before but they have been very basic just using squares.  There is a quilt-a-long over on instagram and I thought I would join in.  I haven't squared my blocks up yet and they are completely not straight but I am enjoying the process which I suppose is all that matters. 
 
Above is my first block and below is my second. 
 



I am not convinced on the above block I think it needs a bit more white but I will see what it looks like when they are all completed. 
 
Below is the fabric I am using, it's very retro and vintage looking which suits me perfectly. 
 
I am running a bit behind and everyone is on block 8 already.  I have up to block 7 cut out ready and I have promised myself that after the housework is completed tomorrow morning I am going to sew them all up.   If you fancy looking at what everyone else has done it is #SIMPLESIXINCHSAMPLER
 



Well thank you for visiting and if you read this far well done.   I will hopefully have a crochet finish to show you next week.
 
Have a fabulous weekend whatever you are doing.
 
Laura 

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Happy Sunday

 
 
Well it's certainly been a while since I was last here.  It has been a hard and busy last few months.  Dh has a job and starts tomorrow.  I have been trying my best to be as frugal as possible.  There are still many areas I need to work on but I can't imagine just spending money frivolously anymore.   I am continuing to be frugal as we need to build the savings back up. 
 
I am having another year where I make as many of my Christmas gifts as I can.  I have wrote a list and I am slowly plodding my way through.  I have 3 quilts to make so when the boys go back to school tomorrow I am going to make a start on those. 
 
 This is a bag with a set of cards I made for my Auntie.  I have so much stash I need to start using some of it up. I used to sell papercraft supplies so I have a fair bit of it here. 
 

 
I thought a bit about this blog in the last few months, I was going to start another one as I never really got this one started but I have just decided to keep this one going and I aim to blog at least once a week.
 
 
Thank you so much for visiting.  I have taken lots of photos the last few months so I certainly have a lot to show you.
 
 
xx

Monday, 16 June 2014

This weeks frugal ways

Good morning and thank you for your comments on the cookies, if you made them I hope you enjoy.
 
I have been reading a blog for a long time now called The Prudent Homemaker Here.  This lady is so inspiring,  each week she does a post with her frugal accomplishments of the week.  They are not your usual ways to save money and really make you think about the little things we do. 
 
My husband is out of work at the moment.  He finished his military career last Monday.  He is actively seeking work and fingers crossed will find a position soon.  I wont go in to details as my Mother taught me it wasn't polite to discuss budgets but we are okay for the rest of this year thankfully.  Because of our situation I have been thinking about the things we have done this week to save money.
 
 
I cut my husbands hair this week - I am not a qualified hairdresser but he just has the clippers all over so it was very easy to do.
 
I dyed my own hair.
 
I made a dishcloth with some 100% cotton wool that I was given.  I have been given 8 balls so I plan to make as many as this one only took an evening.
 
 


I made strawberry jam with strawberries reduced to 25p a punnet in the local shop.  I managed to make 6 jars.
 
I cooked all of our meals from scratch.
 
I made my fathers day cards and posted them last Monday so I only needed a 2nd class stamp.
 
I started some crochet bunting to decorate the dining room.
 
 


 
I was given 4 mens shirts which I have taken the buttons off to go in to my button jar and will use the fabric (cotton) for sewing projects.  There is a lot of fabric in a mens shirt.
 
I picked flowers from my garden to make a posie for the side of my bed.
 
I have made the most of the glorious weather and dried all of my washing outside instead of using the tumble drier.
 
I used some birthday money from last year to buy some fabric to make my son a quilt for his birthday.  I got the fabric for £16 including postage.  In total I got 12 meters which is a massive bargain. 

 
 
So there you go.   I have been doing a lot of these things for years.  It's one of the reasons I get to be a SAHM.  One of my favourite sayings is that I have more time than I have money, so if I can make it I try to do that first before buying anything.
 
What little things have you done this week to save money?
 
Thank you for visiting. 


Friday, 13 June 2014

Cookies

Good afternoon I hope you are enjoying the glorious weather we are having at the moment.  I have been busy pottering in the garden which seems to have suddenly come to life. 
 
Last night my eldest son (12) told me he needed 24 cupcakes to take to school today.  He was just walking out of the door to scouts when he hit me with the news.   I explained that there was no way he was going to be able to take that amount of cupcakes to school.   He then told me to do what I thought best ;-)
 

 
I decided on cookies.  They are easy and easily transportable.  My only problem was that I had no Chocolate for the choc chip.  I begrudgingly decided to use my bag of Galaxy Minsterels that I had bought for myself. 
 
The cookies turned out wonderfully and were very moreish.  I sampled one or two - okay it was actually four!!   I used my own recipe and I thought I would share it here. 


 
These were the ones for my boys to have last night. 



Galaxy Minstrel Cookie - makes lots I think roughly about 55

340g Self Raising Flour
170g butter / stork
170g granulated sugar
170g soft brown sugar
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla essence
1 pinch salt
1 extra large bag of Galaxy minstrels - you could use choc chips, nuts, m&ms, etc

Preheat oven to 170c, gas mark 4

Grease two baking trays or use cookie liners (I get mine from poundland)

Cream the butter and the sugars until fluffy, add the vanilla and the eggs.

Mix in the flour and the salt and your minstrels.  - I pulsed the minstrels in the food processor for a few seconds as the rolling pin bashing was not working at all. 

Using a tablespoon drop the mixture onto your trays.

Bake for 13 - 15 minutes.

Do not try to remove them from the tray straight away or they will break and you will have to eat them - be warned.

 
 
I hope you enjoy the cookies if you make them. 
 
Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for visiting
 



Thursday, 10 April 2014

Mand-a-long

Hello and welcome.  Apologies for not posting the laptop completely broke and I couldn't seem to make a post from the ipad.  Dh bought me a sparkly new laptop this week so I will have no more problems.
 
I have been reading lots of blogs and I am inspired by all of the beautiful mandalas out there.  The lovely Chrissie has been running a Mand-a-long and I have been desperate to join in.  I have had a few other projects that I have needed to complete before I started but today is the day :-)
 
These are the colours I have chosen.  The picture doesn't do the colours justice at all.  The green is a more sage green and the blue is not as bright.  I am making my mandala to sew on some fabric to go in a embroidery hoop.  We are decorating the landing and I want some 'different' art work. 
 
 
 


If you would like to see other mandalas in progress please pop on over to Chrissie Crafts Here where she is hosting a link up.

Thank you for visiting

Laura x

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Stitch from stash update

You might want to get a cup of tea and come back, it's going to be a long one.....

Hello are you comfy? Apologies for the delay in posting February has been a hectic month. Dh has retired from the armed forces after 24 years service which has been emotional and we are busy looking for a new job for him. We have also been affected by the horrendous weather. Luckily we have not had any flooding like the south west.

Anyway I have been stitching quietly away in my own little world and have achieved quite a bit this month. I set myself quite a few goals but they weren't all achieved. It doesn't matter there is always next month.

Firstly there was a lot of valentines stitching going on. I didn't manage to get them 'made up' but I will have them already for next year now. (I will add the links in for all of the designers when I get on my laptop)

The top left hand corner is a free Lizzie*Kate design. Then we have eat, pray, love from The Sampler Girl. The heart I am not sure about I printed it off ages ago and didn't write who it was by - if anyone knows please can you let me know so I can credit the designer. The Halloween design is by The Stitcherhood. I am stitching a Halloween/autumn design each month to go on a mini black tree I bough last year in the sale for £1.50




Next is a Midsummer Night Musings freebie that has been in my stash for years. I personalised with our initials.



This is the start of another Halloween design. Again it's a freebie by Maryse.





I am itching to start a new design so I have kitted this Emily Bronte sampler that was in The Gift Of Stitching Magazine. It is designed by The Sampler Girl. I am hoping to start this over the weekend.



Another Project I am working on is CCN Daisy. I love CCN and LHN designs. This should be finished pretty soon.




I am doing another ornament which is the LHN design from the 2011 magazine. I should have this finished tonight.




Lastly here is a Lizzie*Kate design I stitched and managed to 'finish' this month.




Phew if you are still with me well done!

I have spent no money at all this month which is fantastic. I have to say I haven't even looked at the new stuff that is coming out.

Thank you so much for visiting please come again.

Laura x



Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, 2 February 2014

So that was January


Good morning I can't believe we are in to February already! I managed to get quite a bit done.

I stitched 6 designs which I am very pleased with. I would have like to have done more but I received my late Christmas present which has kept me extremely busy.

Meet Bella and Bentley. We have had Bella for 2 1/2 years and were wanting a companion for her. The breeders we got her off had just had a new litter which was perfect. They share the same dad so are brother and sister. They get on so well.



He is very much the Andrex puppy and is a very loving dog.


I have been doing a bit of crochet too. I am doing a granny square a day. I am using up odd bits I wool and apart from the white wool for the border I am hoping to not spend any money on this blanket. This was it at the beginning of last month.


Ds1 will be 12 in April and asked me to make him a crochet blanket for his birthday. We looked on Pinterest for different designs and he chose a ripple blanket. The colours are navy, grey, red and white. I need to spend more time on this in February to get it finished for his birthday.



-

February goals

1, finish a few valentines designs

2, Christmas ornament for Needle Haven forum

3, continue working on sal piece

4, finish patchwork quilt

5, continue with granny square a day

6, make good progress on ds1 blanket

7, stitch monthly Halloween design

8, stitch Lizzie*Kate May design

As you can see I have a lot to keep me busy this month which I look forward to sharing with you.

Thank you for visiting

Laura x


Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, 24 January 2014

Stitch from stash


Well it's nearly the end of the month so I need to check in with my stitch from stash challenge. Mel over at Epic Stitching came up with the idea of us stitching from stash this year. There are 130 of us joining in and we have £25 a month to spend if we need it.

As soon as I saw this challenge I signed up as I have so much stash. I have so much fabric and charts not to mention the full DMC collection of threads and lots of hand dyed ones. I roughly have a plan of what I want to stitch this year but nothing set in stone yet.
I have managed 6 finishes so far this month. 5 of them were WIPs and the 6th was the NH forum challenge. I still have some WIPs to work on but I will be starting some new projects in the next few weeks too.

So this month all I spent was 90p on a DMC thread. I am very pleased with that considering all the sales that are on!

Please pop on over to Mels to see what the other stitchers have been up to.

Laura x x

Monday, 20 January 2014

IHSW

Good morning I hope you are all managing to keep warm in this freezing weather.

This weekend was IHSW - International Hermit Stitch Weekend (I will add a Link later). This was my first time taking part and I managed to get quite a bit done.

I stitched on this L*K design, it is April and I hope to have the full year completed in 2014. I have already done January, February and March.


I am a bit late with this design, you have probably seen them all over blog land completed. I started this when it first came out and here is where I left it.


It is now like this, I will finish part one tonight.


-
I also managed to stitch an ornament which is the challenge over at the Needle Haven forum but I can't show you that until reveal day.

I have had a few finishes this year already so I will be showing those this week.

Thank you for visiting.

Laura x


Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Christmas gifts and things

Well hello, apologies for the lack of blogging. One of my new year resolutions is to blog a couple of times a week. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and Santa bought you all you asked for.

I spent a lot of time making gifts for Christmas. I have come to the conclusion that I have a lot more time than I do money so I made quite a few homemade gifts.

For both sets of parents I made hampers. I included cookies in the tin, jam and chutney which I made in the summer, handmade fudge and peppermint bark, a box of candles, a small bottle of wine and a bottle of beer. The gift wrapped up in this one is a quilt that I made - I will show photos on my next post. Please excuse the decor the dining room is getting te plastered this month and is a mess!



This one was the same but the gift is a jigsaw puzzle with a picture of all the grandchildren. My mum had a pandora bead. These were so easy to make and they went down so so well.




This next photo is another quilt I made for my special girl Bella. As you can see she likes it a lot :-)




A random photo here but this is from a wreath making class I went to at the beginning of December. It is still on the door going strong.




One of my best friends and I decided to do complete handmade gifts for each other. Her birthday is New Year's Eve and I can't remember what I gave we for what so here is all of the gifts.

I made her these wrist warmers




I made the pattern up as I went along with some yarn my mum gave me. I need to make myself some soon.





Next are these earrings. I have a pair and she is always admiring them so now she has her own. The flowers were originally brads but I cut off the back and stuck them on to earrings.




She always likes a brooch and these two were so easy to make.





I am a list maker and have a list for everything. I am always encouraging Ali to make a list so I made her this notebook. The cross stitch pattern is from an old crafts beautiful magazine and is designed by Helen Philips.




All of the gifts went down very well but I think this year I will start a lot earlier!!

Thank you for visiting

Laura x