Monday, 30 April 2012

Photo Scavenger Hunt - April 2012

Good evening

Another month has almost ended - what a difference to last April. Then we spent the almost the whole of the month searching for April Showers photos - I think it rained just one day at the beginning of that month! I've seen our local forecast and apparently we've had rain every day this month except the 1st! I quite believe it - its been tricky to get this months photos as the light has been awful and outdoors often to soggy.

Anyhow I completed the list yesterday and after a bit of tweaking - here are my offerings for April;

Rock - Aldeburgh seaside rock - the models have since been eaten by the teenagers ;)

In/Out - the needle of my sewing machine has worked overtime this month.

Amazing - the amount of rain we've had here in the drought areas!!

Can't live without - my weekend glass or two of wine!

On the move - one of the model steam engines at the Long Shop opening event.

Smile - one birthday girl and her cake (made by me).

 Spring - cherry blossom (all gone now after the storms of the weekend).

Multi-coloured - the dress I made for my sister hanging against the fabric for one of my new dresses.

Sticky - Hot Cross Bun dough

Tangle - my embroidery threads.

Indulgence - 2 new magazines in the same week - actually in the same month - I try hard not to buy many magazines these days - blogs are far better reading :)

Direction - my neighbours weather vane - I think its supposed to be a traditional farmer rather than the Grim Reaper!!
Thanks as ever to Kathy for coming up with the list and for you lot for looking and commenting.

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Monthly Mosiac and Monthly Makes - April 2012

Hello again

Blimey the end of the month has rather snuck up on me. I've still got 2 photos to find for the Scavenger Hunt - I had plans for these 2 but the weather has rather spoilt those so PlanB will be implemented later - hoping for slightly better light!

My body clock won this morning - it was hoping for a miracle and it to be dry and not windy so we could head to the car boot sale - its completely the opposite and to be honest I'm not even sure the boot sale will happen today - the site is easily waterlogged after a small shower - let alone what we've had this month!

Anyhow - photos - seemed easier to combine the Monthly Makes and the Monthly Mosaic this time - here goes;

 From top left -Beginning of the month and blossom buds waiting to open, Easter Cake, Easter Tree, Mini Eggs, more Mini Eggs, Hot Cross Buns, a puddle (well there's been loads of those recently), my nieces birthday cake and finally blossom buds burst open - so pretty.

I opted for the cheerful pics - I've left out the giant puddles, piles of wet washing, flattened spring flowers and the grey skies which seem an almost permanent feature at the moment ;)

Monthly Makes for April - The Little Blue House picture for a sister, a tissue case and felted purse - final birthday pressies for S&B group friends, and 3 frocks - 2 for me and 1 for a sister :)

Right that's all for today folks - see you tomorrow with (hopefully) my Scavenger Hunt photos.

BTW if you get a chance - tune into Countryfile tonight - its coming from Suffolk and I know some was filmed in Southwold :)

xxx Vicki xxx

Thursday, 26 April 2012

It's a charity thing

Good evening

Firstly - thank you for all the lovely comments on the frocks in my last post. However trust me I'm not talented - I was put off sewing at school by a very fierce teacher - whilst I've finally got to grips with my lovely basic sewing machine, there is much more I'd love to learn. Put it down to lots of practise and a determination not to pay high street prices for stuff when I can buy pretty fabric for a fraction of the price locally.

What a week - like most of the country Suffolk has been soggy - rain showers - some very heavy, claps of thunder and today the bonus of high winds. I've managed to avoid some showers but have also got soaked through several times. I didn't get wet today but got blown around by a head-wind which tried so hard to unseat me from my bicycle - I won (just).

Another shift in the charity shop today - am loving working there at the moment. My new boss is brilliant and has been training me in all sorts of new things. I love being on the till and meeting people but also still love the back-room stuff too. Contrary to popular belief we don't get first dibs at stuff - our shop is pretty strict and goods have to be out on the shop floor for 24 hours before staff are allowed to buy. Some nail biting moments sometimes if you've seen something you like and someone picks it up!! One item I loved was out this week and luckily no-one else picked it up;

Whilst the colourful needles look lovely in their jug (see this post ) - the boring grey ones needed somewhere all together - this vintage Bakelite box is perfect in every way.

I got the chance to wear one of new frocks last night - a girls evening at my Mum's for yet another sisters birthday. My Dad sensibly headed off to spend the evening with one of my BIL's - he's learnt its quieter that way. When said sister was visiting last she took a shine to my birthday pressie from Dawn - the first picture in this post. I decided to make her something similar - based loosely on her house which we all refer to as the Little Blue House;

Lastly for tonight - something I forget to tell you the other day - a cause for a big smile on my face. I heard on our local radio station the other day that one of my favourite groups were playing in a small theatre not far away later this summer. The tickets were due to go on pre-sale last Friday. After a battle to register for the sale I managed to get sorted and waited poised to strike when the tickets were released. A decision to pay via paypal meant I got lucky and on the Jubilee weekend, MrVV & I are off to see Mumford & Sons :) 

BTW - we've got seats - no dancing will be attempted ;)

See you soon - here's hoping for a dry day or two this weekend - well we can all dream can't we ;)

xxx Vicki xxx

Monday, 23 April 2012

The Tale of 3 Frocks

Good evening

Can't believe its been 7 days since my last post. No exciting excuses - just life getting in the way. 

I've been continuing with the ongoing spring cleaning, doing extra shifts in the charity shop and just doing everyday family stuff too - oh and avoiding the rain. We've had rather a lot of that this past week and this week looks set to be another of rain shower dodging.

However back to the post title - in the last week or so there's been lots of this too;

Frock making :)

Firstly one for a sister - part of her not-so-secret-santa pressie was a voucher which for for a dress for her - she just needed to choose the fabric (I'd pay and make it up for her). It took a while to get the fabric bought and given to me but it got finished the other week, in time for her holidays;

I've had 2 lengths of fabric to make frocks for me, hanging around my sewing room for a while - this weekend whilst the menfolk were busy working/revising/marching I spent time creating 2 new frocks for me - one is the standard 3 tier design I've made before;

The other is slightly different - I'd seen a dress in the CK shop in Cambridge I liked - a simple vest style top with a gathered drapey skirt - it was £90 so it stayed on the rails. However the other week I was lucky enough to find some gorgeous drapey fabric in the CS - and there was enough for a frock - the CS gods were shining down on me that day. This got turned into my version of the CK dress this weekend and I love it - the fabric is just lovely;

Each dress has ties at the back so it can be more fitted - the ties get hand sewn on and as an extra pretty buttons get sewn on too;

I used 2 of the gorgeous buttons free in the last Molliemakes magazine on this dress.

and 2 cheerful polka-dot ones of this one - I think I used these buttons also on my sisters dress.

This just leaves the bargain £1 tea dress to alter - I just keep forgetting to get someone to mark where I need to cut when I have visitors I trust - if I don't remember soon, I may have to ask one of the males to help!

The record from the last post has been handed over and my sister was thrilled - I'll tell you more once she's had a chance to blog about it ;)

Right - off for a wander around blogland - I've been very slack in this in the past week and when I have visited blogger seems to not want to let me comment :(

See you soon 

xxx Vicki xxx

Monday, 16 April 2012

Sorting out the nursery & other weekend stuff!

Good evening

Oh blimey is it Monday again? Where did the weekend go?

Saturday was spent sorting out the nursery & the garden - no not that sort of nursery, those days are long gone. The nursery aka the conservatory - home during the non-winter months to plants & seedlings. Less seed planting than other years - we've come to the conclusion that as much as having a veggie patch is lovely - the time spent looking after it properly isn't always there and the current space isn't right - soil to clay like and not enough light. Ideally raised beds in a different part of the garden would be better but not this year. Instead just things in pots - so far just tomatoes, chillis, basil and for some colour - sweet peas.

Little son helped me during the wetter bits of Saturday to give the space a big spring clean - he was on body removal - amazing how many insects have chosen there to end their days!! When the rain stopped we all decamped to the garden. Operation garden tidy commenced - oops our poor garden - it got rather neglected at the end of last summer (can't think why!!) - the weeds were winning but after many hours we are starting to fight back. Certainly the birds were grateful and there were many happily following us around as we uncovered soil and worms - just a shame they are all so camera shy!

When it was sunny on Saturday it was lovely. Blue skies and fluffy clouds - its just the rain laden ones that tried to scupper things!

More blossom - this time against the blue sky - so pretty.

No carbooting on Sunday - MrVV & the boys went off to work together. Oh those boys of mine worked hard - today they've struggled to lift their arms - must be something to do with the 100's of boxes they moved yesterday - not heavy just repetitive!

Today has been the last day of the Easter hols - once all the bags were packed and kit for the coming week sorted, I left the boys to their own devices - some online time and headed into town. Monday's are good days for charity shopping - lots of weekend donations. I visited a few of the shops and found a couple of things. 

I love old style maps - this one is of Essex and is destined for the walls of the summerhouse once that has had its spring clean - just need a dry & spare hour or two hopefully this week though having seen the forecast our little drought ridden county might be getting rather wet!! 

I also found something for one of my sisters - No3 aka Minibreakfast @ Car Boot Vinyl Diaries - I can't show you yet though as I want to give it to her first - let just say it is vinyl and something that reminded me of my teenage years ;) (Dawn if you guess don't say).

Talking of charity shops, I've signed up for Lakota's latest Faith,Hope & Charity Shopping Swap - this time a jubilee one. I hummed and harred to long on LaaLaa's one and missed that so signed up pretty quickly when this one came along;

Right, I think that's all - if I've handed over the record then I'll share that with you next time.

I think we're already for back-to-school tomorrow - just the dreaded alarm bit which we all hate.

One final thought - big son tomorrow enters his last term of compulsory education - he can leave school on June 30th - his last exam is just 10 weeks away - the first is next Wednesday!! Doesn't seem that long since he started school and was bringing home his first reading books - I feel old!!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Blossom, books & birthdays

Good evening

How has your week been? We're on week 2 of the Easter hols here and tbh its been far busier than I'd planned - actually I'd not planned anything but the days have filled up rather well. Probably a good idea as the weather hasn't been the sort for just lounging around in the garden which is what the boys did for these hols last year. Instead they've been to work with MrVV, cinema with friends, visited family and big son even went to school today for a GCSE Drama revision (final practise) day.

Easter weekend went rather quickly - there was lots of rain dodging, a few walks and for the boys plenty of eating chocolate. I managed to visit the Vintage Fair in Woodbridge with Dawn and also got to my first boot sale of the year (more on that later).

There's been a daily check on the progress of the blossom and this morning I managed to get some photos - of course it would look amazing with a blue sky background but they've been a bit scarce when I've the camera handy;

I think by the end of the month the whole tree will be out - just need a blue sky at the right time for the perfect photo.

Right back to the weekend - car boot sale on Sunday - lots of proper booters not just the traders. My radar was tuned to tatty enamel for planting in the garden - got a couple of pieces of that and I was as ever on the hunt for Ladybird books for my collection - I found 3 on 2 different stalls - grand spend 80p!!

Tuesday night was WI - I don't think I told you but I've joined up - a new group which is aimed at slightly younger, less traditional WI members. This was our 2nd proper meeting and it was amazing. We had a speaker - a wonderful lady from our local florists. She'd just started talking and demonstrating when it became apparent that the main hall was being used for opera practise - a huge chorus of 80 voices - all practising Verdi's Requiem. Well any other speaker might have struggled but ours was amazing and to be honest the two complemented each other well. 

I was lucky enough at the end of the evening to win one of the arrangements - those on Facebook might have seen this - my new addiction is Instagram - I discovered that it was now available for those of us with Android phones and have been muddling through with it rather too much this week - sorry Facebook and Twitter friends - the novelty will wear off soon!!

As part of getting the WI group together we've been all making letters to be turned into a banner - I handed my first one in the other night - quite pleased with myself for mastering some simple embroidery - its made me want to learn more stitches and improve my neatness;

Handing my homework in on time meant I was given another letter to create - this time I'm attempting it in crochet - results soon!!

Today has been a hectic on in the VV household, MrVV left early this am for a day in his warehouse, Big Son headed to school and that left Little Son & I. We were joined to lunch by 3 of my sisters, 2 nieces and one nephew. As it is one nieces birthday this weekend, I decided the cake should be more girly than I normally get away with - she loved it;

Right, I think that's me up-to-date - I suppose I ought to go and see what I can find for dinner tonight - we're at the Old Mother Hubbard stage again - so perhaps I can claim its a Heston style meal tonight and come up with something 'different'!!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Product Review - and Prestige Cookware

Good afternoon

I was contacted a few weeks ago by Palmers and asked if I would be able to do a product review for this company. There was a list of items suggested and from this I chose a Prestige 3 piece non-stick saucepan set. New saucepans had been on my to-replace list for a long time and this seemed a ideal opportunity.

The parcel duly arrived and the saucepans after a quick pose for the camera were put to use in the VV household kitchen;

Now this wasn't a nicely nicely test - they were put to use cooking the sorts of things that make other saucepans quiver - including scrambled eggs made by little son. Normally despite our best efforts it would involve days of soaking so remove the burnt on bits - not with this set. No food has welded itself to the bottoms of the pans - in fact they clean so easily its amazing. The set of 3 pans is ideal for us - the sizes are slightly bigger than we've had in the past so there's been no complicated juggling of pans - perfect for a big family lunch :)

Now I ought to tell you a bit about Palmers- they are  relatively local to me with stores based in Great Yarmouth, Dereham, Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft. In fact I've probably during my lifetime been in each of them. There is more of the company history here. Rather nice to see a independent company in the high street than the usual run of the mill chain.

As well as the 4 high street stores they've a very good website with an excellent product range.

There is a host of top branded products including Cath Kidston and some gorgeous bedding by V&A bedding.

So if you are local then the stores are well worth a visit and if you aren't then there's the website which is well worth visiting.

I think its time I got married again and I've seen so many things I'd like for my house!!

Thanks for reading and until next time

xxx Vicki xxx

Friday, 6 April 2012

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to you all.

Hope you've got some sunshine and whatever you are doing this weekend - enjoy.

 The corner of the dresser has taken on a Easter theme.

The long weekend has started with hot cross buns - whilst not the prettiest - they were very tasty;

There is cake;

There was a bowl of leftover mini-eggs;

However all that is left now are photos - they were too tempting to some;

Possibly the last daffs of the season - such a shame, they are so cheerful;

xxx Vicki xxx

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Vintage Easter Swap - The Results

Good evening

Thought it about time I shared with you the lovely parcel that was waiting for me when I got back from Cambridge last weekend. It was my Vintage Easter Swap parcel - this was organised by LissyLou back at the beginning of the year. I was partnered with the lovely Twinkles, Tutorials and Twirls.

After exchanging emails and stalking each others blogs the time came to post parcels.

Here's what I received;

 Lots of pretty parcels in birdy paper

Inside were;

 2 Easter decorations which are now hanging on my dresser and the most gorgeous bird house with its one bird - I love this - it is so very me :)

 A vintage style tin with chocolate bunnies inside, mini eggs, a bunny egg cozy and an easter bunny of my own.

 And there more - some spring bunting and a pretty posy containing new sewing needles :)

 Last but not least - a lovely easter book and a pretty card too.

Thank you Twinkle very much for my parcel, I love it all and will think about you each easter when the items come out. My dresser is looking very seasonal at the moment, thanks to you :)

Here's what I sent;

 A Tilda easter bunny - just wish I'd had time to make more of these - I know my little nieces would have loved one each too - perhaps next year.

A jar with a crocheted cover containing mini eggs, a vintage Laura Ashley spring fabric heart, vintage spring themed napkins, spring buttons & brooch and a very Jemima Puddleduck egg cup.

I think that's me all swapped & PIF'd up-to-date :) I've even finished the birthday pressies I need for S&B group. I think the next items that come off my sewing machine will be for me - I've 2 lots of fabric waiting to be turned into dresses for me plus a great CS find frock which needs altering so its less Granny-chic and more veryVicki ;)

Right I'd best be off - my workers have just called to say they are on their way home from a busy day in the warehouse!!

xxx Vicki xxx