Thursday, July 28, 2016

Decorating on a budget

When we moved into this house 15 months ago I really hated the hallway flooring.  It had a horribly stained blue carpet on the floor and stairs and I knew I wanted to get rid of it but as we don't have a lot of spare money I had to think about how to decorate it cheaply.

The first job was persuading OH to rip up the horrid carpet and see what we were dealing with underneath.  Actually the floorboards weren't too bad although they had been cut about when the new heating system was put in a while ago.

A bit of filler filled the worse gaps.

I wanted to do something about the handrails too as they had loads of paint covering them and looked really dirty.

OH stripped the paint off the handrails and sanded them back to the wood. Cost nothing but his time as we had the sandpaper and paint stripper in his shed.  After a coat of varnish they looked much better.  He refreshed the paintwork on the rails and at the edge of the stairs to clean them up whilst I thought about what to do with them. 

 I decided to keep the minty green walls as it looks clean and light but i wanted to move the coats into the under stairs cupboard as they look too messy on show.
I kept these lovely hooks up to hang something more decorative.
I moved about my pictures on the walls to make a pleasing display of mismatched items

I decided to paint the stairs and floorboards so brought undercoat, rollers and some varnish and there was an offer on B&Q's own brand paint so we chose a deep red for the floors and have enough to do the lounge at a later date.
I popped into Hobbycraft and chose some wrapping papers for £1 each. 
This is what I have done on the stairs...

I love them!  
The stairs are so wide that I had to patch every one as the papers weren't wide enough but we made a good team.  OH cut them to size and i glued them in place. A coat of varnish will protect them.
Total cost of this makeover altogether is under £80, well worth it and I will no longer be ashamed to let people in at my front door as it looks so bright and welcoming.
The floorboards will be finished at the weekend whilst I am away down south collecting the Grandchildren to bring them back to ours for a holiday.  Looking forward to a hectic but happy few weeks.

Terri X

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Cake, cake and more cake!

I've had a busy few weeks again preparing for another craft fair being held today as part of Gala week.  I was up till nearly midnight last night making a handbag and it turned out to be the first item sold today so was worth the effort.

The afternoon was a bit of a wash out though as we have strong winds and heavy rain today and as we were in a marque you can imagine what it was like.  My friend popped back home to get us a flask of coffee to warm up and returned with some homemade sponge cake which went down a treat.

The sides of the marque were being battered by the wind and water was pouring through the gaps in the roof.  Our stock was getting wet so we were constantly moving it about.  Not many people were about in such horrid conditions really and those that were, were really there for the children's entertainment.  There was also a raft race on the loch.  It was decided that it would go ahead and there were four rafts.  One immediately sunk and the team ended up being rescued from the water by the safety boats.  The others made it to the finish.  Brave people because they must have been frozen!

We packed up after a couple of hours but we had made a profit so it was worth the effort of going. 
A friend mentioned that there was a coffee and cake afternoon being held in a nearby village church with a local history display.  Another couple of our friends had been doing the baking so we decided to head there and support them. 

The  little church was built in the 1920's out of local stone and was situated in an area of lawn and trees.  We were welcomed in and sat in the beautifully soft greeny grey painted pews with their tartan seat pads and had our cakes ( I had three different slices!) and coffee.  It was lovely and relaxing having a natter whilst an elderly lady played the harp gently in the background. She was very good.  We wandered around the history displays but I didn't have my glasses with me to read much so I was just looking at the old photographs. We were asked to sign the visitors book on our way out. 

We drove home via little one track roads admiring some of the houses dotted about and the lovely scenery.  So all in all, despite the awful weather, I have really enjoyed my afternoon but I am craving something savoury now.  I couldn't eat any more cake!

Terri X

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Lampshade Transformation

I've finished transforming my standard lampshade and it cost me zilch as I used bits and pieces I already had in my stash of craft stuff.

First I tried crocheting the frame with wool but I didn't like it so I cut it all off.  Next attempt was crochet with ribbons but I decided I didn't like that either so I then decided to wrap the entire frame in red and white gingham cotton fabric.  I tore strips so I had frayed edges just because I liked the effect. It took ages though.

I used old necklaces, some kept complete and others I mixed and rethreaded onto clear fishing line.  I added ribbons and floral fabric strips and glued buttons and bows onto them and then sewed more buttons to the top and little red heart buttons to the bottom joints of the frame.

I added four little pictures pinned with multi coloured paperclips just because i liked them and I thought that when I want a change, I could renew them perhaps by pinning on some black & white photos.

I might change the bulb to one that changes colours but for now I like the shadow patterns it makes on the wall.  I think it fits into my home much better now too.  What do you think?

Terri X

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Screen Machine

The mobile cinema has been to the village again and I went to see

What a lovely film this is and an amazing story.  It was both funny and moving so if you get the chance do watch it.  

I walked home as its not far and look at the fabulous sky.  Luckily I had my phone on me to take these photos but they dont really show how amazing it was.  
I just had to stand still awhile and look.

Terri X

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Did I Show You My ....

Charity shop buys.

I don't think i have shown you a pic of the standard lamp I managed to get for £20.  It is in the process of being transformed and as you can see, the base is pink, it was originally dark wood and I am doing something with the shade, not planned what so just going with the flow!  I have ripped off the material back to the frame so far.  I will show it when finished.

I also found these two rose pictures for £3 each.

I am so pleased with how they look on the wall, definately a bargain and they fit in my lounge alongside the Cath Kidson material of the tablecloth and curtains.

Two lovely books, the baking one has every cake recipe imaginable and the pictures are lovely inside the Country Living Christmas book.
A great ball of wool for £1 which has already been used up making more little knitted cottages.
A lovely enamel bowl for 50p

The first two seasons of this series.  I have already watched the first.
I went along to the library and they were selling some of their books for £1 each so I was lucky to get these four.

You can never have enough craft books to give inspiration can you :-)

Terri X

Clearing out the Fridge

I decided this week to become vegetarian as i have been thinking of giving up meat for a while now.  I have never been a huge meat eater anyway and absolutely love vegetables, whenever I go out for a meal I usually choose the veggy option. After going to three barbecues recently, I really had had enough meat!
Yesterday my friend popped round with some veg from her fridge as she has gone away for a week.  Added to what was in my own fridge, I decided to spend the morning cooking.  I chopped everything up first and put into separate bowls, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, onions, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, white cabbage, peas, quite a lot altogether.  I set about making some pastry, one lot for today and another for the freezer.
I put together a quiche using up a bit of double cream left over and picking some chives from the garden.  Cheese, chives & caramelised onion, an opened jar in the fridge. Enough pastry was left to make a little lemon curd turnover which will do for OH's pudding today.  Next up was Tuscan Bean Soup and while it cooked I set about making a quorn and veg lasagne.  I wizzed up the veg even smaller in my mini blender as my Son is a bit fussy about what vegetables he will eat so if its small it hides whats in it.  It can't taste too bad as he helped himself as soon as i got it out of the oven!  Hense the gap in the dish below.
There was enough filling left from the lasagne to convert it into a shepherds pie by boiling the last two potatoes along with some sweet potatoes and then adding some grated mature cheese to the topping.  Two portions of pasta sauce were made and this freezes well and defrosts quickly in the microwave so is a handy standby when I'm working, just topped with a bit of grated cheese. 
I also made OH a thick beef stew for today and tomorrows dinner as he hasn't given up meat.  I much prefer stew with lots of gravy but he likes it virtually boiled away so the spoon stands up in it!

My dinner is a little prawn cocktail using up half a pack of prawns from the freezer and making my own cocktail sauce which is so easy, just mixing some low fat mayonaise with a dollop of tomato ketchup and a sprinkle of paprika.  I picked a bowl full of mixed salad leaves from the garden and chopped a bit of cucumber.  I have enough prawns left for a nice sandwich later.  I've put a container of the chopped veg back in the fridge ready for making a rice dish tomorrow and put a tub full of the chopped cabbage in the freezer.
Phew!  After all that cooking i am going to have a sit down once the washing up is done, there is so much!!

Terri X