Monday 28 February 2011

Fab Freebie

This weeks fab freebie
Courtesy of the "Freebies Forum" on MSE is a new "foam" hair dye to try and 2 vouchers for a further 2 bottles - worth at least £18. I shall let you know if its any good.
Some of you asked how to join up for freebies on the site - here is a link to the forum.
You have to read it on a regular basis, and you have to be quick sometimes but you can blag some amazing stuff. One year I got almost all of my Christmas Prezzies for free!
So I delved into the gorgeous bag of bits and made a cream and red heart.

To make the hearts, I draw a heart shape onto an oblong piece of fabric, then lay out the layers I want to use on top. Pinning the heart back on top, I sew around this to secure most of the layers. I then embellish it, before attaching to another piece of fabric, using the 1st lot of stitching as a guideline - leaving about 1.5 inches gap down one side. Once it is sewed together, I then cut it out.

I loved making the flowers - they look a bit like poppies. I cut 3 different size circles of chiffon - 2 of each size and layered them smallest at the front, largest at the back. Catch them together
with one stitch in the middle. They don't have to be perfect circles. Using a craft heating tool, and working around the edge of the circle staring with the small one, melt the chiffon - taking care not to burn it.

Once they are all crisp and twisted, bead the centre. I used one on the heart, and I made these two into corsages. I can't believe melting chiffon is such fun!

Sunday 27 February 2011

Recycle it to me.

On the crafting front, I have been dabbling, with a few ideas for Easter Cards. My lovely bloggy friend Rosie sent me a bag of ribbons and buttons (amongst other things) which are coming in very handy - thank you Rosie.

I got together with a crafting friend (and her box of "stuff"!). She had been inspired to have a go at the hearts that I have been making and she had made a fabulous "Flower Fairy" one - she left me some fabric so that I could have a go myself. This is my attempt which I love, but hers was much nicer.

And I have made a simple heart for the kitchen - here's the front....

..and here's the back.

You only need scraps to embellish the hearts, and I was running out of "lovely bits". I had a brain wave. I emailed a local dress maker who has a very high end bridal/evening wear shop. Did she have any scraps? She emailed me straight back saying she would fill me a bag. So I called in, and she had an enormous bag full of lovely silks, satins, lace, ribbon, velvets, brocade etc waiting for me. And the best bit was she didn't want anything for them!

And so I am now saving the planet - one heart at a time.
I'll show you what I made later.

Saturday 26 February 2011

My Teenage Bible

Whilst out browsing on Sharrow Vale Road today - I discovered 2 copies of my teenage bible - Jackie - just £1 each BARGAIN!!! and a great investment if you bought it at 7p and sold it for 100p!! (more maths Michela!). I let out such a cry that hubby thought I was having a heart attack!
I have known my friend Sue since we were 5 years old. She constantly reminds me of the teenage girls that we were - so much so that I still call her Pixie, and she calls me Chicken legs - our comprehensive school nicknames. We would read the print off Jackie every week. Both of these are from February 1977 - so a bit later than we would actually have been buying it, but I don't think it ever changed much. Come with me and re live your youth.
I liked the story's, obviously written by someones Mum. No boy in my class would have recommended talking any problem over with your parents - in real life he would have been saying " well just don't tell 'em!" (I love the "they'll probably be very reasonable" - of course they won't, they were parents - they would just say "no"!!!)

And the posters. I flirted only very briefly with the Bay City Rollers. I was only allowed 1 poster on my bedroom wall - I chose David Cassidy.

And this is for Janet and John - they know why.

Were camera's not invented in 1977??!! The fashion pages are drawn!!! But I still wanted everything.

There are very few adverts in the mags, but I really remember this one. I wanted to join the Queen Alexander Nursing Corps (I probably got the idea from this advert!). I sent off for the booklet and it really fired me up. But my mum - the dream squasher- told me to forget that daft idea. (You have to understand that my mums idea of the perfect job was that you had to be able to get to it on a "Yorkshire Traction " bus - just the one, no changing buses!)

All my questions about periods, different size boobs, split ends and clicking knees (and I did once go to the doctors with clicking knees!) were answered by "Dear Doctor".

And problems about boyfriends (or lack of in my case) etc were delicately answered by Cathy and Claire.

But my favourite bit (as Pixie reminds me every time I see her) was the "Weekspot". I religiously followed their suggestions every day, every week.

These were a brilliant find and I shall be posting one of them off to Pixie (when I have read it cover to cover of course.) I won't even have to tell her who its from!

Friday 25 February 2011

Grindleford to Calver

I firmly believe that there is no such thing as bad weather - just the wrong clothes! So the misty murky Derbyshire morning didn't put us off our stride as we had taken walking boots and waterproofs. We set out to walk from Grindleford, alongside the river Derwent to Calver via Froggat Edge.
The woodland is owned by the national trust and had a decent path along the way.

You know I love a good information board! I had never heard of Brook Lamprey!! Hubby commented that since I now take hundreds of photos an hours walking now takes two hours! But we do see so much more!

Whilst the day was very dull and lacking in obvious colour,

this was not taken in black and white, even though it looks it!

there was plenty of lovely to colour to be found if you looked hard for it.

You can always rely on Post Office red to brighten up the day!

We eventually arrived at Calver and had a coffee stop. You may recognise Calver Mill. It was once a cotton mill, and is now luxury apartments, but it was used in the filming of Colditz for the 1970's TV series.
We crossed over one of the many fabulous bridges and walked back on the other side of the river.

There are some fab des res houses along the river bank, and lots of snowdrops too.

Once back at the car, we decided to have a quick drive into the market town of Bakewell.

Hubby always manages to get me here just as the shops are closing - its a skill he has perfected over the years.
And then back home. We thoroughly enjoyed our mini honeymoon.

Thursday 24 February 2011

The Mini Honeymoon

With the young man away on his skiing trip, and the Dancing Queen at Uni, hubby and I found ourselves on our own for the first time in almost 19 years!!!! We decided it was time for a mini honeymoon. In August, I had purchased a book of vouchers from Charity Unleashed. The idea is that local businesses donate goods and services for free (they usually have 2 for 1 offers etc) and the public pay £50 for the voucher book - with all the £50 going to Weston Park Cancer Hospital. Its great value as you only have to use 1 of the vouchers to recoup your £50 and the value of all the vouchers is around £1000. We had a voucher for a free night at the Maynard Arms in Grindleford (should have cost £80) - so off we went.
The Maynard has changed hands over the last few years and they have slowly been refurbishing it. It is a lovely comfortable hotel just 20 miles from home, on the edge of the Peak District. We finished work on Tuesday afternoon, and arrived at 4.30pm

We only had a standard room as part of the deal, but it was lovely and the bed was huge and exceptionally comfortable.
They have decorated the rooms with a mixture of very old and very new bits and bobs. Hubby was delighted to find Sky TV in our room as we don't have this at home. He was a bit grumpy when I asked him to see what was on the Culture Channel, but he was utterly delighted to find an artist painting one of his crushes - Julia Bradbury - in the nude!!! (I think he only fancies her because she walks UP hills enthusiastically, whereas I complain all the way up hills!)

We only got our room for free, we had to pay for our food. We decided to eat in the bar as I have got to that age where I can't sleep if I have a big meal at night!!

The food was delicious and reasonably priced too - we will definitely call back for a meal another time.

I loved the old stained glass windows on each floor.

The next morning, we had breakfast and then checked out. We didn't
talk about the kids as much as I thought we would, and we remembered what it was we loved about each other as this can often get lost in the whirlwind that is life, family and work.

We had both booked the next day off work, so we togged up, and set off into the mists of the Derbyshire morning for a long walk.

I'll show you where we went tomorrow.