Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Mercedes saves the day!

In my last post I mentioned that Mr. P said if the girls didn't lay before Saturday, then they were for the pot.

Well on that very day of my last posting, I got my first egg. A teeny, tiny perfect little egg.

That's a 10p next to it, so you can see just how tiny it is.

I knew something was up, as Margery and Millicent kept going in and out of the henhouse and Mercedes was nowhere to be seen. This is the first time I've seen the girls use the henhouse during the day, even in the pouring rain they don't go inside. I sat watching them and waited for Mercedes to emerge and then went tearing up the garden and there it was, in all it's teeny wonderfulness.

In my case it certainly was a case of 'tiny things please tiny minds'. I was so excited.

Thursday saw another, just as perfect as the first, but ever so slightly bigger.

So Thursday's lunch

Mr. P enquired as to why I didn't have boiled eggs as he knows that they are my favourites. My response being, that I didn't know how long to boil them for as I don't like snotty or hard eggs and I didn't want my first eggs to be ruined. Mr. P always having a witty reply - "well given their very smallness, you could of just run them under the hot tap"!

So, including today, Mercedes has now given me 7 eggs and I feel the same excitement every time I see an egg waiting for me. Each day they get bigger, so boiled eggs are on the lunch menu today.

Well done Mercedes. Millicent and Margery best hurry up before Mr. P starts to get on their case.

Jak x

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

A Ta-Dah!

I finally finished my summer blanket and the rain stopped for the first time in days so that I could photograph it, in the sunshine, no less.

It's made up of 271 squares, each square measuring 3 1/4 " x 3 1/4" . So quite large. I used acrylic DK yarn which I find really washes up well and is snuggly soft, whether line dried or put in the dryer.

Madam here (Sophie Shadow),

thought it was for her benefit and sneaked on when I went to answer the door to the postman. After, of course, she had finished terrorizing him through the window! Looking a tad guilty, don't you think?

I only wanted the blanket to drape over the back of the sofa, as it was never meant to be a sofa cover up. Besides, having lived with dust sheets dyed to cover up a secondhand sofa in the past, all that tucking in and straightening used to drive me mad!

This cushion inspired me as far as the colour choices were concerned.

But, I still have all these left and I'm not sure what I will do with them yet.

And what of my girls?

Well they have given me hours of entertainment and I just absolutely adore them. Still no eggs yet and Mr. P told me to tell them that if they don't lay before Saturday, then they are for the pot. Now you know why I call him Mr. P!

Well I'm off to ignore the housework and find something more meaningful to do.

Jak x


Tuesday, 21 September 2010

It Felt Like Christmas Morning!

I went to bed on Saturday night with that well-known feeling of excitement in the pit of my belly. The feeling you get as a child on Christmas Eve and then again when you have children of your own.

When I awoke on Sunday morning, it was already light, oh no, I thought I had overslept, but it was only (!) 6 a.m. I threw on my thickest, warmest dressing gown (which really has seen much better days), rushed downstairs,

'You haven't done it have you?', I said worryingly to Mr. P. He shook his head.

I swapped my slippers for these

and marched purposefully up the garden, unbolted the gate and fastened it carefully behind me. I then gently opened the door to the house, but it's occupants just didn't want to come out to play! After much coaxing, all 3 emerged.

Meet the girls

Margery - a Speckledy

Mercedes - a Bovans Nera (with very impressive black and golden ginger plummage)

Millicent - a Light Sussex (White with lovely markings around the neck and tail)

I only bought them on Saturday afternoon from a farm called Churchmans in Faversham, Kent (just up the road from Brogdale Farm).

As they had to be shut in their new house straightaway and left there overnight, I didn't have chance to get acquainted. The lovely man at Churchmans said that it might take them a couple of days to emerge, so I was really pleased that it only took a couple of hours before they were doing chicken things, like grubbing around in their new pen.

The twin cleared the ground for me, Mr. P and no. 1 son put the run together and, of course, I was the bossy forewoman.

The hen house has been painted in a rather posh shade of Farrow & Ball paint (as I've said before, Mr. P was a professional decorator, so we have a very good supply of very posh paint) and I really had to contain myself and not paint roses around the door, haha!

This is something I've wanted to do for the last 30 years and I am so happy. Certainly up there with swimming with dolphins, which I did in Cuba last October. I am loving my 50s, lots of dreams and ambitions are coming true.

Well it's another glorious sunny day here in Kent and I am just off to chill out with my girls.

Jak x


Thursday, 29 July 2010

Blimey, where have I been?

Did I hide in a Kibbutz all summer because Mr. P decorated my kitchen?
Did I go on a world cruise?
Did I win the lottery and spend all my free time buying shoes and handbags?
Did I have extreme plastic surgery so that I couldn't use my computer?
Did Mr. Big whisk me off to the Maldives?

Nope to all.

I've been in misery-ville for a while when even getting out of bed has been the biggest decision of the day. But now I'm feeling somewhat better. So what have I been trying to do.

Well I got a veggie garden - onions, garlic, runner beans, radishes, spring onions, lettuce, cucumbers, courgettes, toms and chillies, carrots, french beans, herbs, which due to the odd weather, has been a little hit and miss really.

I've dug my breadmaker out of the cupboard and have been trying out the recipes. Again a little hit and miss, although a fruit loaf has been really successful and has even induced me to eat breakfast.

I've been trying out Aldi to save some money on food shopping and so far this has been pretty good. I reckon a saving of £25 per week.

Mr. P has been homebrewing, so we will be trying the fruits of his labour this weekend - now I'm pretty excited about that!

I've also read loads of books, which I have enjoyed immensely.

On the craft front, I've not done much at all. Just some crochet in the evenings whilst watching TV, but I think I got a little carried away!

I haven't counted how many squares I've made, but each pile contains six of that particular colourway, so there are hundreds. I was going to make a summer blanket for the living room, but I think that I've got enough to possibly make a new house!

Thanks to everyone for dropping by, apart from the above explanation, my computer gave up the ghost too and I'm hoping that a very nice man called Ray from Freecycle is going to fix it for me. In the meantime, I'm using a teeny weeny little 9" netbook which, although very fast, is best suited to someone who has eyes like a hawk and fingers the size of matchsticks.

I just have to show you this last picture. I've been lucky enough to have had 2 pairs of doves nesting in my garden this year, with 2 babies each. The picture below shows a stand-off between a marauding wood pidgeon and one of my doves - the dove dive bombed the pidgeon just after this picture was taken. It was so funny.

Well I'm off to catch up on some of your lovely blogs and then to make some more yummy fruit loaf.

Jak x

Thursday, 13 May 2010

A Big Fat Ta-Dah!

What can I say, but I am over the moon excited as my living/dining room is finally finished. It only took 3 1/2 months! Now it wasn't as if we had to knock down walls, wallpaper or put down new floors or anything major, although Mr. P did have to fit a curved skirting board around the bay window (which had been missing for 10 years and was so very draughty, the skirting board that is, not the window, ha ha!).

It took forever to clean the dust out and then put anything back. It seemed to take ages, mainly as I am still coming to terms with only being able to do a little at a time.

So here are a few piccies................

The colour of the paint is Farrow & Ball's 'String'. Such a great colour, goes with everthing. I have in fact got this colour in my hall, stairs and landing and although I am not a snob as far as 'designer' products are concerned, this paint was very expensive, but it really can be scrubbed. With 3 GSDs and a grubby teenage son + mates, it really takes some punishment.

I have still not finished faffing though. Samplers to frame and some cushions to finish, I've also got to repair a set of topiary trees that sit on the heath which Mr. P broke.

So this has been the reason for my absence - also I had to finally sort out the dreaded cupboard under the stairs as I had to have a new gas meter fitted and my, even I was impressed at how much stuff was actually in there.

Mr P is now talking about decorating the kitchen. I think I might go and work on a Kibbutz for the summer.

Jak x

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Blog Award

I'd really like to say thank you to Penny over at The Hen House for my very first blog award.

Now 7 things you didn't know about me.

1. I'm a twin. I have a twin brother who is 3 hours 20 minutes older than me. My dad was a twin too.

2. My 'baby' brother is 14 years younger than me.

3. I have ultra-sensitive feet and just cannot bear anyone touching them. The mere thought of a foot massage makes me feel sick.

4. I once got caught playing the 'air' drums on the South Circular in London at Midnight whilst sitting at the traffic lights (I was actually playing Phil Collins - In the Air Tonight) - I was so embarrassed!

5. I have 33 cousins, only 9 of which are girls.

6. I once went out to the pub with my best friend and only noticed the next morning that I had worn odd shoes!

7. Like Penny, I'm afraid of heights too. Whilst on holiday, driving down a mountain, I completely freaked out thinking we were going to fall off. I ended up sitting in the back seat, crying, with a towel over my head (so I couldn't see the drop), between my (then) small crying kids who I had totally frightened.

I've got to rush off now to pick up Mr. P from a training course (shame it was not 'how to decorate a living room in less than 3 months') ha, ha! I'll be back tomorrow to pass the award on to 10 of my favourite blogs.

Jak x

Friday, 9 April 2010

A Slight Wobble

Blimey, I can't believe that it is 2 weeks since I last posted. As you can see I have been redocorating my blog. This happened one Saturday evening when I was banished to the kitchen because some sport or other was on telly and I was pretty much at a loss what to do.

Because there is nothing to be done about my back except traction/physio again, the unfinished decorating of my living/dining room and now some pretty serious leaks in our kitchen roof, not to mention locking myself out and the drains being blocked up (now that was a pretty yucky job), I had a slight wobble about my life in general and wondered just why I had a dog, and barked myself! Now a serious rethink is taking place on how to achieve a satisfying different kind of life.

But, when the going gets tough, the tough bugger off to their craft room. So this is what I have been making this week ..............

This was based on a traditional folk art design which has always filled me with hope. This has been put in my Folksy shop and is featured today on Tanya's blog, which I was very excited about.

Also this ...................

This design was based on one of my own paintings

You'll have to excuse the quality of the photo, artwork is quite difficut to photograph and the layering of the paints and heavy texture cannot really be seen or the metallic 'glowing' effect. I'm still not sure whether I have a problem with my camera, a Finepix E510 or I just have a problem, lol!

Why am I making bags (and there are lots more designs in my book awaiting flight)? My doctor told me off about the weight of my handbag! I still carry a bag with my life ensconced in its depths - all the things that I might possibly want/need in a normal 10 hour working day, so I'm having a rethink of one of my essential commodities, my handbag, now I don't have a paid job anymore. Ok, maybe a silly 'change' to my life, but it's a start!

Well I hope you all have a great weekend and I understand that the weather is going to be positively balmy.

Jak x

Friday, 26 March 2010

Another Ta-Dah

Well I finally finished my pink 'we are friends again' blanket, although I had to crochet another 60 squares so that it was the right length which, of course, was no hardship. I used double-knitting yarn, a 3mm hook, 3 rounds of trebles and the final round I used a half treble (the pale pink) so that when the squares are sewn together the edging is the same height as the trebles - err if you see what I mean!

I worked out that if you use 5 different shades of pink (not including the edging colour) you can attain 60 different combinations (ha ha, such mind-blowing information).

So now its in my sewing/crafting room covering my rather scruffy old nursing chair, which is really comfy and ideal for the back problem.

So until I get round to doing a full upholstery jobbie on my lovely little chair, this will do nicely.

I don't know if its the drugs (painkillers) but, although not a very productive week in what I've made (mainly a mess) and attaining my First Class Honours Degree in Procrastination, I've designed my little head off this week and I am in 'bag' mode - more on that next week.

Before going, I would just like to show you these

are they not just lovely. I found these at hmsdesign on Folksy do pop over and have a look at all the wonderful flowers.

Also this, which is top of my wish list at the moment

from Folksy too, Claire Rose Designs

Well I'm off now for lots more mess-making-procrastination, but I wanted to say thank you for your well wishes and hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Jak x

Monday, 22 March 2010

'Trollied' in ASDA

Yes I was involved in a pretty nasty accident in ASDA on Saturday afternoon. Now I don't usually do the weekly shop as I have a troublesome disc and the trolley pushing and loading the car just makes it (my back) and me as miserable as hell. Why don't you and Mr. P going shopping together, you may ask? Well I would rather slit my wrists with a rusty knife then go shopping with Mr. P as he absolutely hates it and does not waste one second explaining, in the tiniest detail, why this is so. I can count on one hand the amount of times we have been shopping together in the last 20 years - yes he really is that bad!

Anyway, I digress. I was standing admiring the tulips and daffs trying to decide what to treat myself to, when I was almost knocked off my feet by a speeding trolley driven by a young girl (about 9 years old I would guess) hitting me square in the back with the handle end of the trolley (she was pushing the trolley from the other end). She did not apologise or say a word, just went speeding off again. I knew my disc had gone again and I suppose, given the pain and the shock, I just wanted to get out of there and go home.

So now I suppose its back to the doctors, who will refer me back to the hospital for months of physio and all because I stopped to smell the flowers!

But hey, I'm not dead and it has been gloriously sunny here today, so on to the yummy things that have happened this week.

Firstly, ahem, I am rather pink with embarrassment, as I won another blog giveaway. Now I don't sit all day scanning blogland to see what lovelies I could win, no, no, no, I just seem to have been incredibly lucky lately.

I won Vicky's giveaway on Anglesey Allsorts. Now Vicky must be the queen of the boot fair/charity shop bargain hunting genre, please pop over and have a look-see at all her wonderful finds.

So thank you very much Vicky. I'm thinking that I might use the tweedy fabric to make some inside pockets on my winter coats (like men have - when they are not stashing all their stuff in our handbags). Not being blessed with any bosom of note, I don't think these will cause 'bulk' problems, but an inside pocket might be useful for stashing my tissues, killing 2 birds with one stone, so to speak, lol!

Now speaking of tissues, I spent quite a while designing and making this and photographed it today to put in my Folksy shop

again out of my lovely Anna Griffin vintage style papers, only to find that tissue box cover is too small by about 3/4" (in height) for a standard square box of tissues. It never occurred to me to check the measurements, but the worse thing of all is I've got about 50 of these boxes which I bought off eBay as a job lot about 2 years ago. So if anyone has any suggestions what I can do with them (please be clean), please let me know, bearing in mind that the thickness of the wood is only 1/4".

Please pop back later in the week as I have a ta-dah, my pink 'we are friends again' blanket is just about done.

Jak x

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Man Flu + Nointernetitis

Lots of these this week as laid low by the dreaded man flu, one of the most virulent viruses known to man (but, strangely enough, not woman, haha!). Mr. P brought it home last weekend, he sneezed three times and sniffed insufferably for a day and that was that, but me and number 1 son were hit pretty bad.

Then to add to my misery, our internet buggered off on Wednesday night and we didn't get it back until Sunday morning. Now I am worried how much my computer + internet mean to me. I was totally bereft without any contact with the outside world, not catching up with blogland, no emails and no Russel Grant giving me my 'stars' for the day in his camp, good humoured way. OK, I could do without the telly and I could do without the phone, but my computer, I could not do without.

It wasn't a totally unproductive week though. I made these for my Folksy shop,

some cute new baby gift sets. Also, I sold two items on my very first day of opening, how exciting was that?

Some Mother's day cards for our mums

and I won another blog giveaway from the lovely Sarah at Paper-and-String Thank you very much, not only pretty, but practical too (drawing pins covered in lovely bright flowers). Do go and have a look at her very colourful and inspirational blog.

Which I am thrilled with and they look great on my pin board, which is something else awaiting a makeover.

Now to catch up on all your lovely blogs and see what the email postie has brought me.

Jak x