Sunday, 28 February 2010

Happy Birthday Andrea!

It's my big sister's birthday today. The absolute best BEST thing about me moving to England almost four years ago is the fact that we've become such good friends! We went from living together in our parents' home where we fought like cat and dog daily, to her moving to the UK and just not really having that time to bond as older sisters. So now, even though we see each lots, we chat for hours on the phone a few times a week, our kids play together and we are friends!

Holly and I went shopping with her yesterday, took her to lunch, and had a fabulous girly day together. I took up her gifts, one was a pretty metal plant holder for her outside patio area with red and yellow primulas in, a sweet little metal heart, and this, an envelope book.

I bought a Martha Stewart magazine years ago (we're talking pre-1995) and it had a tutorial to make envelope books. What a clever concept - I made myself one as a budget book, it had all the cash payments I needed in a month, so I'd take out the cash, pop each one into it's envelope and never had to worry about spending money that was earmarked for something else! Of course, direct debit and stop orders means I no longer need it, but there are so many other uses for one.

My sister, who is self employed, has to do her taxes and keep track of her her expenditures through the year. So, I made her one with twelve envelopes, one for each month of the year (and it starts with April and runs through to March because of our tax year) so she can keep all her receipts in one organised place.

I covered it in a Cath Kidston tea towel, and using their website, designed the labels to look "Cath Kidston-y", and because my book-binding tape was red, I went for the blue and red combo for the envelopes and inside covers. I hope she likes it { ;-) } and has a very Happy Birthday!

Saturday, 27 February 2010

I'm not sure I'm looking forward to the next step...

...glueing all those interior window frame bits in place, filling the odd gaps and carefully painting them white, without getting any on the wallpaper. You can see all the bits in the bedroom - I need to find the best lengths to go with each other (they're not all exactly the same width or length) and once they're glued in place, the acetate windows will be in position which means there's no room for error with the touch up paint! But, you can see how excited Holly is getting for it's completion...she brought the box of furniture down this morning and we played with how it will look. The rug in the lounge is her father's mouse rug, which feels very uncomfortable under the computer mouse so he's not using it, but he was adamant she couldn't have it for the dollhouse. Well, it's been over a week and he hasn't taken it back ;-)

I found this paper on Ebay, it's real wallpaper that the seller sourced for its tiny print, and she sells lots of different paper. I love it, it was exactly what I was looking for! I also need to stick the brick paper on the exposed wood... and fix the gaps in the roof colour... and paint the gingerbread trim and shutters... and whitewash the bathroom floor... and paint the ceilings... and sort out the base of the house on it's swivel... and then tackle the garden... shall I set a date and try stick to it?!

Friday, 26 February 2010

Scary Hair Day!

My kids have Scary Hair Day at school today as part of their fundraising. For 50p, they could come to school with mad, scary hair! I wish I could have taken photos of all the kids, there were some awesome looking hair-do's, I tell ya!

Liam went for a neon orange 'mohorn' as he calls it (and I don't want to correct him just yet!), I won't be surprised if it still looks like that when I pick him up - the amount of hair gel, hairspray and hair colour that went in to that hair could sink a ship!

Planet Holly! I used to do my hair like this at night (minus the alien eyes, of course!) and in the morning, when you take the horns out, you're left with pretty ringlets. Holly has ballet this afternoon... what will Miss Marshall make of that? We had to wait until we got to school for the blue spray for the 'planet', which is why only the 'alien houses' are sprayed in the top pic. The eyes are stuck on cocktail sticks, with the points cut off. I do hope the scary hair doesn't make for scary behaviour, they were a bit hyper dropping them off this morning!

Next week is Book Day - dress up as your favourite book character, then the following week has Pyjama Day, and thank goodness the rest of the fundraisers are bake sales and toy sales!

By the way, pop over to my photo blog (link up top) to see the sweetest picture of my neighbour's son ;-)

Friday, 19 February 2010

The Sparky is done!

Thank you Mercedes, for reminding me that a porch light really can make the difference! I found this little gem on Ebay, so after a week's wait it became mine, and it arrived in the mail at the same time as my puppy - what a great day for post that was! So, the electrician has done with the Arthur, they might call him back for some garden lighting, but that won't be for ages yet. The wallpaperer can come back on site to finish the bathroom and kitchen, and the carpenter will start fitting interior window frames pretty soon too. It really is all the little finishing touches that take ages, and Holly is getting impatient about getting the furniture back in, but I think the end is in sight.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Blogger Love

This cute little puppy arrived in the mail on Saturday all the way from the Emerald Isle. His little brother lives with Carol's little peg girls, and when I commented on how cute he was and asked Carol where she'd found him (as I really really wanted to get one for myself!) she did one better ... she offered to send me a second little puppy she happened to have! Isn't he darling? And so I made him a little girl to love him and look after him, and I think they both look very happy to have each other.

She happens to be able to balance on her tippy toes, but I kind of like the idea I saw on Etsy of painting over-sized Mary-Janes on the stand, so she looks like she's wearing shoes when she's on her stand, and slippers when she's not.

Thank you for my sweet little puppy Carol, it was so generous of you, and it just makes me so happy to know that this wonderful community of bloggers I've found myself in is so friendly and generous, and true friends are made in the blink of an eye!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Flickr Fun

If you're bored or have loads of time on your hands, or if you're just plain procrastinating and want to avoid your mile-long-list of things-to-do, have some fun with Flickr, and make a mosaic to describe you!

1. Jo Anne's School of Dance, 2. Sushi, 3. The Steeple, 4. My Fugitive Fish!, 5. Salve, sono Hugh Laurie!, 6. Cookie Splash II, 7. Chimères de Notre Dame, 8. Lemon Sorbet Diptych, 9. Love is in the air, 10. Valentine05, 11. Calm photographer's agitated mind, 12. Magpie in the moonlight

Created with Big Huge Labs Mosaic Maker

The method:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into the Mosaic Maker.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your Flickr name (if you don't have a Flickr account, use your blog name)

My answers, in case you can't work them out, were Jo-Anne, Sushi, Fairmont, Duck Egg Blue, Hugh Laurie, Coffee, Paris, Lemon Sorbet, Content, My Kids, Creative, Magpie Jo.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

The ideas for holiday card photos on Two Peas are amazing. I love how we all share our thoughts and ideas, and all put our own stamp on it. I can't take credit for this idea, but I love how the pictures turned out and the suckers fitted in perfectly once we'd made the cards!

Liam had two versions - one for the boys and one for the girls - and Holly just made the one for (mostly) girl friends and teachers. I cleaned the Old Sweet Shop in Godalming out on whirly pops, so we used the old fashioned raspberry lollipops for a few. All the teachers got them, and they were chuffed because they all said they hadn't had one of those for years!

I hope you have a lovely Valentine's Day, and mom and dad, Happy Anniversary - you know I hold your marriage and relationship in the highest regard, I hope you continue to have many wonderful years together.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Cupcake, Anyone?

We're hosting a coffee afternoon for the Reception Year mums at school this afternoon. It's good to get together every now and then to meet your kid's friends' parents properly. Liam has been begging to have one particular friend after school, but I can't even tell you what his mum looks like, so hopefully I get to meet her today and arrange something for Liam! I baked these Devil's Food cupcakes, piped pale blue icing and used some pastel blue glitter! Don't they look pretty?

And this tea towel is one Mercedes sent me at Christmas time, I just never blogged about her wonderful surprise parcel back then and I'm playing catch up now! I'll be using it to serve the cakes on ;-) She also sent me the most exquisite little quilt for the dollhouse, so now that Carol has shown how cute her little bed is, I'm going to try making one too, and then I'll show you the quilt in place on the bed.
The kids went off with their Valentine's cards this morning, I can't wait to show you how cute they turned out. Pop back on Sunday to see ;-)

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Bedroom Paper

This is the bedroom so far. I've used my Antique Pine varnish on the floor, and a pretty pink floral paper on the wall. The skirting is not stuck down yet so excuse the big gaps between it and the floor. Now, I've reached another dilemma. What do I do with the ceilings? Paper? Paint? Paper and paint? I need to hide the wire of the lights, and the wood isn't smooth so I'm guessing a lining paper and then paint it white. Can you paint lining paper or will it warp? I guess there's only one way to find out!

Friday, 5 February 2010

I Got Wire!

I had to laugh, in my previous post I neglected to say that the wire I needed was for my dollhouse. So when my sister read my post, she thought I was going mad, after all, her husband is an electrical contractor, why don't I just ask him for the wire? LOL!

I had a few offers of wire, but none that would have done the trick. I love Ebay's function of "Sorry, you didn't win this item, find something similar". It came up with a roll of wire for £3.90 including postage, but it was called cable, not wire, which was why I didn't find it on my first search. So, the Arthur is all wired up, and ready for wallpaper upstairs.

When I was buying my lights, I looked at a porch light and hummed and hawed about buying one. In the end, I decided not to get one, as I didn't know if the porch was big enough for one. But now, having had an email from Mercedes where she said how the houses with porch lights really stand out, I'm beginning to think I should get one. I can still run the wire through the kitchen, if I leave papering it til last.

But, what colour do I do the floors upstairs? I thought of painting the bathroom floor either whitewashed, or the same stone colour as the exterior. It's getting blue and white stripe wallpaper. The bedroom is getting white wallpaper with a delicate pink floral pattern. What colour do I do it's floors?

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Mother, wife, photographer, crafter, scrapbooker, painter of murals, dabbler. Sometimes in that order, sometimes reversed! Trying to juggle all of them and having a ball in the process.

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