Friday, 30 November 2012

My new Tassimo T20 courtesy of Costa

My new coffee machine arrived this morning.

This was a bargain offer from Costa instead of paying £100 I got it for £30.00 plus in the box I got a £20 voucher for the tassimo website for the coffees and also 300 points to my Costa Club Card, so in my reckoning it has only cost me £7.00 - not bad, thank you Costa.

I have put my order in for Costa Latte, Costa Americano, Costa Capuccino, Suchard Hot Chocolate, Cadburys Hot Chocolate, Milka Hot Chocolate, Caramel Latte Machiatto, Kenco Medium Roast, Creme Brulee Latte Machiatto and also a selection of flavourings from my local Costa Cafe.

Tesco also had the Tassimo Costa Americano, Capuccino and Latte's on offer so I got topped up there as well.

It will be nice to be able to have a Costa when I haven't got access to a car and also in the comfort of my own home when the weather is cold and horrible.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Danny Nightingale Appeal - Free at Last

I am really pleased to hear that Danny Nightingale has been freed by the Court Of Appeal.  At last some sense on this situation, he should never have been in there, but this is great news.  Good luck to him and his family, I hope they enjoy their Christmas now.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Seven day challenge

I have quite a few UFO's lying around as we have been busy decorating the whole of the house and tidying the garden (as well as my health being sorted out a bit at a time).  With this in mind I decided it is now time to catch up with all my unfinished bits and pieces and get a move on.  So each day I am going to do a post and show one finished item for each day starting from Monday with the hope that by the end of the week I will have made my way through lots of stash, done lots of stitching and quilting and caught up, along with providing a little inspiration to anybody who also feels a little (or a lot) behind with their work.

Some tips to help your weekly challenge work for you ;)

A box of these will get you through the week :)

A couple of bottles of wine or in my case a Baileys over ice for when you are quilting so that you are nice and relaxed and don't get tense shoulders ;)

A very comfy pair of pyjamas and slippers so you can sew until late (or early), maybe an audio book on in the background.

I will put my first post on Tuesday morning to show what I did on Monday, anybody wants to join in, let me know if you have any tips for making sure you get your projects finished and share any pictures of work you do.  See you soon. xx

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Merlin at five weeks old

Merlin at five weeks old :)

Isn't he gorgeous and growing up.


Shattered, ready for his tea and bed :)

Friday, 21 September 2012

National Cupcake Week 2012

To celebrate National Cupcake Week 2012 I made these for Borge to take to work, Butterscotch and Vanilla Cupcakes.

Butterscotch sponge with white chocolate ganache.

White chocolate and vanilla buttercream on top of the ganache.

Orange glitter and large pieces of Cadbury's Fudge.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Table Tote

Rotating Table Tote that cost £30.00 decorated with damask paper on all sides and on the drawers and blinged with crystals and flowers.

My Bling Box, this has all my adhesive and non-adhesive crystals, jewels and rhinestones, glue, Bazzill jewels, tweezers and bejeweller.  Decorated with Basic Grey Black Tie, chipboard letters and more bling.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Merlin at nearly four weeks old

This is my boy Merlin at nearly four weeks old.  He has now been officially registered with the Kennel Club as Merlin Ambrose of Carmarthen.  I would like to think at some point in the future we will get a chance to show him.  We are taking him to training classes but I haven't decided whether I want to show him or let him do agility which I think could be fun with Rachael.  Will have to wait and see.  He is so cute though.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Newton Rigg before and after

Rachael moved into her new room at Newton Rigg College on Sunday.  I thought I would share the before and after photos.

I know, not a very good one but you can make out the wardrobe and the fact that there isn't that much space.

She has her own sink and was quite pleased that she had privet growing outside the window for privacy!!

Waiting for the makeover, we gave it a good clean before we adding Rachael's stash to the room.

Lotso Bear had to go with her although he looked a bit cross (he always does!)  One of Rachael's favourite films is the Toy Story film from Disney so she has a collection of toys. (Some of which she has pinched from me!)

The Body Shop Satsuma range, it smells lovely and is quite strong, one of Rachael's favourites.

Kept the green and orange theme going, with her pots and bath stuff.

Good luck balloon and cards along with biscuit barrell (no biscuits, Rachael's Special K stash that she loves!), alarm clock and tonnes of stationery.

She has had a great first day yesterday.  Had her first assignment and also been notified of the trips that she will be on this week already.  They seem very organised.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Wooden Ink Pad Storage

I have seen numerous ink pad storage racks but never at the right price or in the UK so I decided it was time to have a go at making my own.  I hope I have put enough information below for anybody else to have a go but if not you can email me for more information.

You will need two large sheets of 4mm MDF which cost a couple of pounds each, some edging with a curve on one side and right angle on the other, I used four and a half strips. Cut the edging into 4.5 " strips and glue them in rows down a 5" x length of board strip of MDF with the curved edge facing down.  Make sure you have left enough room for ink pads to fit in the space.  You will need two edge pieces and then two middle pieces with the curved edging on both sides of the MDF strips.

Place your second sheet of MDF on a cutting/gluing area and put the first piece on, marking with a pencil, place an ink pad in the top slot and one in the bottom slot.  I decided on 16 ink pads in each row and then a drawer at the bottom, place the second piece in and mark with the pencil, add another ink pad to the top and bottom, making sure you can remove them easily but that they do not have room to fall through.  Place the third piece in and mark again, repeating with another two ink pads and then add the far edge in, marking again.  Remove all the ink pads and MDF pieces so that you are left with the pencil markings.  Add on extra if you would like a drawer and as you can see from above the middle two pieces are shorter than the outer sides to allow for the drawer.  Cut the MDF to size.  This can be done with a sharp blade and metal edged ruler for accuracy.  Lightly sand the cut edges so that they are smooth, on all sides.  Use a good strong glue, I used Club Scrap Book Binding glue, which dries very fast and clear but is runny so it stays where you put it.  Place each piece in place and put the ink pads back into the slots so you are doubly sure they fit.  Allow each section to dry, use heavy objects such as books/candle jars to keep the pieces in place and weighed down to give a good strong finish.  Repeat the above process for all the MDF strips.  I left each strip overnight just to be sure but it could be started and finished in a couple of days.

Once the strips have been glued on and have dried thoroughly use a spray paint to cover the whole area, I used a total of two cans to give a good even coverage over the whole of the ink pad stand.  Place an ink pad in the top and bottom rows again and measure for the middle shelf and cut a piece of MDF to fit remembering to sand the edges, glue in place while the rack is laid down.  Once dry, measure two pieces of MDF for the top and bottom of the rack and glue in place, remembering to leave the ink pads ink to make sure they still fit properly.  Glue the top and bottom pieces by standing the unit up on the bottom piece first, then place the top piece on, check the back of the unit and sides to make sure they fit well and then place candle jars or books on the unit and leave overnight to dry.  Take measurements of the gap for the drawer and begin with the base, then the back measurements and then the sides, glue and leave to dry overnight.  

Once you have completed the shelving layout and it is all glued and dried, you can decorate it how you like.  I used black spray paint because I didn't want brush marks on any part.  I used one piece of 12 x 12 with a black/white damask pattern and cut three pieces for the bottom part of shelves and the front of the drawer.

Measure the middle of the drawer and use a piecing tool to make a hole for the screw to go through.  I used a door knob from a stores kitchen range but you could use Tim Holtz embellishments.  I used the door knob because I didn't want the end of screw poking through, I have covered the inside so that nothing can be caught on it.

Once complete fill the storage rack with your ink pads and enjoy.  

Friday, 7 September 2012


I am going to need a new companion soon with everybody going off to do their own thing and only having the youngest of our children at home, losing our dog and Bruar going to my Sister-in-laws, so for mine and my daughter's birthday we decided to get a black Cocker Spaniel puppy and call him Merlin.  He is only three weeks old at the moment and not ready until October which gives me time to get over losing our lovely Dane.

Merlin at one week old

Merlin at two weeks old with his eyes open for the first time

Less than one week old

Showing his white beard

and one white toe.  He is adorable and will hopefully be a wonderful companion for me.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Life in the fast lane!

For the month of August it has been absolutely manic, I hope that now we are in September it will begin to slow down.

Kristian got his University results and had a great finish to his first year and a good start to his second year at Teesside University.

James has gone sailing for a week with the Ocean Youth Trust of Scotland, he will be back at the weekend, they are sailing all around Isle of Arran, Campbelltown and very possibly to Northern Ireland depending on the weather.

We had our holiday in Lincolnshire this year so that we could meet up with my hubby's family.

We had a great week but didn't manage to get into The Deep at Hull as it broke down and couldn't reopen.  We have no plans to go back as the management of the place were pretty appalling when it came to dealing with refunds and since it had happened three times in three weeks, you would think they would be better used to dealing with their problems but that was not the case and also no apology.  Bad customer service, such a shame, as it would probably have been good to see around the place.  Maybe if they get to read this they will think twice about how they treat customers.

My daughter got her place at Newton Rigg College at Penrith and has now started her work placement once a week at a local kennels.

The weather was really good all week, but I have to admit I was really stuck to the television for The Olympics, Team GB were absolutely brilliant, third place in the listings, great job and great opening ceremony (other than the weird goings on of the NHS bit!!!)  I hope the Paralympians do as well, I am sure they will.

As you can see from my other post we lost our much loved pet Brandy, this was such a shock to us, she had enjoyed a lovely week of lying on the sofa with our eldest son, but when I got of holiday, she looked like she hadn't eaten, I knew she had, so off to the vets and it was very bad news with losing her very shortly afterwards.  It is such a big miss, no wagging tail in the mornings when you come down and no barking at the   Postman, so quiet.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Our Gorgeous Great Dane

RIP Brandy 11.10.05 - 20.08.12 
Our beautiful Great Dane, 
forever in our hearts, 
never to be forgotten, 
wagging her tail on Rainbow Bridge xxxx

Enjoying a bit of tv.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Singer 66K

I have done it again, I couldn't resist, my family and I were out on a trip to Workington and spotted this little beauty begging to be taken home and looked after.

As you can see she wasn't in really bad condition just needed some tlc.

The treadle plate and the belt run were all complete but the belt was an old iron flex.

She even had the Singer rubber mat on the treadle and it is in excellent condition

A lovely water mark on the top, probably from a plant pot decorating the top

The drawers in working order, which held a variety of bits and pieces including an old belt, cotton, needles and old feet

The front drawer still working and when I opened it, a big surprise, the original key to both drawers

As you can see the wood is in pretty good nick really for its age

You can see how much dirt, grease and grime has built up on the machine over the years, the silverware was black in colour and the wood under the machine was also black 

The decals are all complete

The faceplate which I think is stained with nicotine

I have dated the machine as 1919, so it is nearly 100 years old.  It works brilliantly although it takes alot of practising to get it going in the right direction and continuous.

I am now in the process of restoring the wood having completed the machine restoration along with all the treadle parts.  She has a new belt and is lovely and shiny.  Once I have completed the wood restoration I will post the finished pictures.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


Hi all, sorry I haven't been about much lately, quite a few things to deal with, a four day migraine that landed me in bed, children finishing Uni and school.  Holidays to organise and babysitting duties to perform.  However I did manage to get myself a day off this week and went to Quiltessentials at Orton Grange with friends.

An absolutely beautiful quilt finished by one of the ladies in our group

Joy and Gay displaying Gay's completed quilt in Moda Rouennierres fabric from our first meeting,

Getting some work done inbetween chatting

Tea up - thanks Barbara

My first tea - fairtrade and not bad, I managed to drink half of it.  Thank you to you all for looking after me after managing to end up on the floor with Joy's sewing machine on my foot!!  The machine is absolutely fine, unfortunately, haha, a nice new Nina would have been great Joy.  I have a few bruises on my feet, arms and back, made a good job of it.  Dented my pride as well.  Still going back for more though, see you on the 5th September, 2012, with more projects.  I am going to do a small Christmas project that I will start and finish on the same day, honest, I will.

The sum of my work.  I learned to do easy circles and this one was completed, managed to get six others stitched and cut out, just need to press, then make another 19 to get the quilt top finished, along with backing two other quilts and binding them, a little girls dress, two dresses to make for Mum, two dresses to alter for a friend, teach my 12 year old niece to sew by making a pair of pyjamas, a pair of shorts and a matching top.    

I am sure I won't be the only one with a long to do list like this, hope you are getting plenty of work done.