Wednesday, 19 November 2014

My first DIY project with my daughter...

My daughter is mad about Littlest Pet Shop animals. Whilst in a junk shop we found an IKEA BOALT knick knack shelf, brand new in it's wrapper for a few quid. We decided it would be perfect to display her figures and set about decorating it.

I don't have a picture of the before. I can't even find one online. I don't think they make these any more. It was pale wood with a hardboard back.

Anyway, here's the after.

The wood was bare so I primed and painted it, then we went through my sheets of vintage wallpaper and cut pieces to size. She did the cutting which is great because she doesn't normally like scissors. I guess straight lines are nice and easy. We glued the pieces in with wallpaper paste. (Hence wallpaper paste disposal disaster...)

She loves it.

I love it.

And Bad Bobby loves it.

He's just making sure I'm aware it's tea time in two hours. Or, you know, whenever I'm ready and have given up taking photos...

My daughter now wants to write a book, no wait, a SERIES of books, make 2 little films and make a wooden deer to sell on ebay! That's my girl...

Oh, and you chazzing, car booting brigade out there? Some of these LPS animals (particularly cats and dogs) fetch over £30 EACH on ebay so keep 'em peeled! 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Thank you... and Secondhand scores...

Firstly, Freddy and I would like to thank you all for your kind comments. He's doing MUCH better, still walking with a limp but he seems much happier. He's no longer hiding in a darkened room when his pain relief wears off. We let him out of his collar under strict supervision so he can wash himself. (He STINKS!) He's stopped sleeping on my bed, his choice, and a good thing too as he wanted to be nose to nose with me and a smelly cat is not something I want under my nose as I sleep.

Freddy doesn't kiss. Whereas Bad Bobby will knock a person over with his violent bulldozing kisses, Freddy is more timid. He'll cautiously get really really close as though he wants to kiss you but he really only does air kisses. We've had a few special air kiss moments and I think he's appreciated the TLC. If not the collar.

Here's the man himself with a message of thanks in his own words...


Bad Bobby is still freaked out by Freddy. He spends as much time as he can outside. He sometimes walks in slow motion past Freddy which is quite comical. He's also been nervous of coming downstairs if he thinks he might run into Freddy...

We would be finding his antics hilarious if it weren't for this; the vet says he has a psychiatric disorder. He's been pulling the hair out of his tail which we thought was just a bit stupid. The vet calls it 'self harm' and makes it sound deadly serious.
Apparently, despite sleeping for 16 hours a day, and not having to actually do anything, cats get stressed.

He's going to look like a poodle before long. So we have to be sensitive to Bobby and allow him to escape from Freddy. I do wonder what Freddy thinks about Bobby treating him like a leper though.

Anyhow, this is not a blog about cats and their health issues, psychiatric or otherwise. Let's get on to the fun stuff...

I painted my pantry door so it's gone from this...

to this...

Still need to add the new architrave.

Onto recent secondhand finds... (Warning - C word coming up...)

A lovely carpet bag...

Some unused pieces of tweed. God, I love tweed. I want to make a long flowy tweed skirt. I shall live in a make-believe world of misty highland scenery as I swish along the high street in my tweed maxi skirt. I will look like an ethereal tweed clad goddess from a Brora catalogue.

Skirts can totally do that.

A beautiful Aynsley bon bon dish for £1.50...

I can put that to use over Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, I found this in my favourite junk shop...

A small wooden sledge painted a horrific pink. Apparently, these were for Nexts Xmas shop window last year. The junk shop was full of them, all painted in un-Christmassy pastel colours. Badly painted. The shop owner must have got them at auction. The one I chose was smaller than the rest. I thought I could rectify the paint job and use it as a Christmas decoration. Watch this space...

On a day out to Stevenage with my daughter, I found these...

and she found this...

This was actually new from H&M but she's had a rough time at school the last few weeks and I wanted to treat her.
Eight year olds like a sequin or two.

She's getting so fussy about clothes now, I find it harder to shop secondhand for her. She's entirely comfort driven. No trousers, hoods, 3/4 sleeves, high necks etc...

Also bought new was this from Poundland...

So as you can see, we're well ahead in our Christmas planning!

The day that Freddy got knocked down, I went to my local hardware store and stacked in with the 'Oops' paints were these...

A lifetimes supply of varnish reduced to £1 a can for no reason whatsoever other than they had a new delivery in. I was delirious with joy. I think the larger cans sell for £20.

Last of all, I want a new sofa. Badly. I've looked on ebay and can't find the right thing. They go for quite a lot and it's not often practical to test drive them before you buy so you could make an expensive, smelly and uncomfortable mistake. I've decided to buy a NEW one. The only new things we have are 3 mattresses and one bed. I don't choose new without serious consideration. I don't want my husband to pay because he doesn't think we need a new sofa. (We do!)
So, in keeping with my shopping code of practise, I've decided I will raise the money through selling some of my treasures. Once the money is there, I'll order the sofa.
And hopefully, the sofa will last for ever and ever.

It's going well. We've done a few car boot sales and I've sold things on ebay that I really love.
But I love the new sofa more. If I have that sofa, I'll never need to shop again.

I sold my two best eiderdowns and it made me a little sad. But the other day, as I was mourning their loss, I realised that there was a good chance that I'd come across another one some day. I mean, I go to every car boot sale, flea market and charity shop I possibly can, so the chances are good right?

Well, no sooner than I'd had this thought, I popped into a charity shop and found this eiderdown...

...for £3! I think I need to read about Cosmic Ordering... I think I'm doing it unwittingly.

Thanks once again, you lovely bunch. xxx

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Horrible times...

A few weeks ago we noticed that Fat Freddy was getting reckless with his road crossing. We've had the boys just under three years and up until recently they've stayed on our side of the road.
Unfortunately, Freddy made his way over there one day, found the field opposite was full of mice and never looked back.
Or indeed, left and right.

The lure of the mice clearly outweighed the fear he once had for the road. A few weeks ago I started following him when he was let out. Every time, he headed for the road and three times I saw cars having to slow for him. I decided he was an idiot and must be kept in.

My husband wasn't in agreement.  I kept him in for a week and then we had the boys annual check at the vets. I mentioned our disagreement, thinking she would side with me, having to fix up squashed cats all day. She didn't. I said he wouldn't last more than a few weeks.
At half term, Connie and I were away and Jason couldn't take the crying at the door. (He's the pushover parent.)

Freddles was allowed out, not during rush hour and not in the dark. We came home, Jason went away and I continued letting him out. I really wasn't happy about it but felt a bit outvoted. And bless him, he seemed so overjoyed when he was allowed out.

On Wednesday I got a knock on the door from a neighbour saying he thought my cat had been hit by a car. I saw him stagger out of the road and collapse. I couldn't find my keys and we have the kind of door that locks you out so I had a complete meltdown. Eventually I got the neighbour to stand in the doorway, so I could retrieve Freddy.

He howled as I picked him up and was bleeding from the mouth. All the cars had stopped on the road and two of the drivers came to see how he was. A lady walked up the path quite gingerly and I asked if she was the one who had hit him. She said she was and I apologised profusely for his stupidity. I don't think she was expecting that.

Everyone was very kind and offered to take me to the vets. I declined as I thought I'd manage. I laid Freddy in his bed, gave myself a mental slap round the face and made arrangements for my daughter to be collected, for the vet to be expecting us and I got the cat basket.

Freddy had staggered a few feet into the dining room and lay there. Despite his apparent injuries he did put up a little fight as I got him into his basket. I took this as a good sign.

Once at the vets, it looked very much like he'd broken three legs and his jaw. The vet managed to x ray his chest that day, as this is the most important area but not his limbs as he wouldn't be positioned.

I left him and had time to collect Connie after all, but I was very upset and she burst into tears when I told her. I also had to tell Jason who was in Berlin.

The next day Freddy was anaesthetised and had his limbs, pelvis and skull x-rayed. His lower jaw was the only thing broken so he had that wired up. (It doesn't stop him eating!) We couldn't believe that nothing else was broken and thanked our lucky stars. He was due to come home the next day.

But then the vet noticed he still wasn't walking properly and did some more x-rays just to see if they'd missed anything. No breaks. We brought him home late yesterday and he went a bit beserk. On getting out of his carrier he ran/staggered up the stairs, tried to run down and so almost tumbled. He's wearing a lampshade collar to stop him scratching his wired jaw so he crashes into every doorframe and obstacle. His mobility is like that of a rabbit, a lollopy gait for a few feet and then he has to lie down. His back legs splay and his front legs cross over and trip him up. His head bobs up and down when he walks. Just like a rabbit.

This must be because of the head injury he received. By all accounts he ran into the wheel of the car head first. Head injuries are an unknown quantity. We hope he'll improve as time goes on. He's continent and purrs but is clearly in some pain. He laid down for a rest in his litter tray. Sometimes he can jump onto a chair, sometimes he misses and needs help.

I wish I'd trusted my gut and kept him in. I wish we'd renewed his insurance.

I'm grateful  for the following:
The car didn't go over him.
He didn't cause a car crash.
My neighbour alerted me immediately and I could reach him.

My biggest fear was him causing a crash, finding him squashed and stiff as a board or just having him missing, suspecting the worst but not really knowing.

Those of you who have cats might understand what this feels like. You might think I've been irresponsible. Stupid even. You can tell me. Trust me, I can't feel much worse. 

Deciding to keep a pet indoors is not an easy decision to make. He might remain brain damaged so that decision might be made for us now. 

We're back at the vets next week. Until then Freddy has painkillers, peace and quiet and lots of sleep. When he tries to scratch his head I gently rub the area inside his lampshade. He loves that.

Bad Bobby is completely freaked out by him. He won't go near him. Won't be on the same floor as him. He slept on my bed last night with one eye on the bedroom door in case Freddy came in. He's terrified. I think he wants to run away from home. That doesn't help matters. I hope he'll come around, after all Freddy will be in his lampshade for four weeks.
And a bit of brotherly love might just help the healing process.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

My daughters bedroom update...

Sooo... we finally agreed on a colour! We both like the white walls so we've decided to paint the furniture a pink colour. We went into a shop where they had Annie Sloan tester pots and she chose a pale pink called Antoinette. I don't want to use Annie Sloan paint as it's not really my thing but I managed to find an 'Oops' paint in our DIY store which is very similar so we'll go with that.

I need to paint her her chest of drawers...

bedside table, (hate this Wedgewood look!) 

and her dressing table and stool...

 I got this a while ago for a really great price on a local facebook selling page. I have a matching triple mirror but at the moment she just likes to use it as a desk for writing and playing.

Before I paint these three pieces, I need to get glass tops cut for them. I'm yet to find out if that will involve driving each piece to a nearby town or whether I can just take in a template.

And it's not going to be cheap.

So I'm not rushing this. Still need to get that kitchen sorted!

But what I have done is I made a new valance/dust ruffle to embrace our new colour direction.

I've had this fabric in my stash for decades, having picked it up at Boyes in York.

It's sweet, girly and hopefully a little 'vintage farmhousey' too!

Connies bed is taller than most and as it's iron I have to make valances for it with split corners. The last one I did was tailored as I didn't have much fabric. The blue toile de juoy matched the old curtain.

This time we've gone for full on ruffles. I hope it doesn't look too eighties!

Jason says we need a few more cushions on the bed. He's a comedian.

That's 'Cat' on the bed. The predecessor of Bad Bobby and Fat Freddy. Connie picked him out from a toy shop when she was 7 months old and she spoke her first word, also 'cat' at the same time. (This might be Cat mark 15. We've had a few and I still have a few brand new ones stashed away! Thank you ebay. I think she could actually live without him now she's eight.)

So anyway, shortly after we'd decided on this pale dusky pink, I recieved the most BEAUTIFUL gift from our VIX.  Perfect synchronicity! She's got special powers that girl!

It's a rectangular shape so I've folded it in half here. The other side... a bit more pink.

Isn't it divine?

It needs some mends where the fabric has worn out, but as luck would have it, I have a pile of the correct vintage patches to applique some over the worn parts.

And what to make with it? It's not big enough for a quilt. More cushions to annoy my husband?

I LOVE these...

...but what a shame to only see them at Christmas.

This? Maybe Connie and I could make one of these together...


I adore this! It looks sooo old and grungy. It's actually stained to look that way! Clever. Connie might not agree...

 Or I could even frame it with a vintage window. Got a few of those lying around!


Oh the possibilities! A huge thank you to Vix! xxx

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Secondhand scores...

Er, thank you for your lovely comments on my last post. (sniff.) One day someone somewhere will be googling the correct way to use T hinges and it will all be very useful for them, so there.

Later than promised, here are my recent secondhand scores... (I know you're only here for the secondhand tat.)

From the flea market, this cool rusty card filing cabinet. My husband got a little bit complainy at this one and asked what on earth I was going to do with it. Once I'd cleaned it and sealed the rust with a coat of matt varnish, it mysteriously found it's way into his office. Funnily enough, it's the perfect size for DVDs.

I like rust but I don't want it shedding everywhere and marking things...

Bad Bobby approves...

On the same day I got this vintage wire shopping basket...

It's a very old one...

I'm tempted to remove the handle.

On the Internet I found a lovely vintage English Lady dress which was cheap as chips...

It'll be perfect for next summer with its groovy print.

Oh, and this little cutie came from the car boot sale...

Isn't it sweet?

When I eventually build shelves in the living room, this will be on them. I don't know if I like the sewing machine best or the box it comes in!

I think it'll be great for teaching Connie to sew but I can't imagine such a gleeful expression on her face as the girl on the box.

That's all folks. Next time I need to show you the most amazing gift I was sent. Vintage of course. And an update on Connies room and the colour we've agreed on.