Friday, 23 June 2017

Unconventional money saving

Hello. While most girly girls have a collection of makeup to pretty themselves up, I have a collection of useful bits and bobs which may come in handy when I am playing with wood and building things. I have the normal hammers and nails, screwdrivers and screws, drill, spirit level, stanley knife, sand paper, tape measure, and suchlike, and bits of hardware recovered from things I have taken apart. You never know when you might need these things. 
I have a cardboard carry box to contain things I might need in the garden, found last week at a small garden centre I sometimes pop into, it was free. Their prices are a whole lot cheaper than the huge garden centres which sell everything you don't need. It's sturdy and just the right size. For the screws and other bits I have cut down juice drinks cartons which fit nicely, leaving room at the side for drill and screwdrivers. No need to buy a tool box, there are plenty of free ones out there. 
Yesterday I was looking for a piece of wood suitable for mounting the plaque onto. I didn't have one exactly the right shape and size and I didn't fancy spending time with a saw and making one. Then I thought of an idea. Why does it have to be a couple of inches larger than the plaque, and oblong, it could be any shape. My friend Bob made some large flowers to advertise the Summer Fair, and he gave me the ply offcuts.

The result, I used the same paint that I used to decorate the sponsors name. Haven't painted any flowers on it, I don't think it needs it. I like it, it's quirky, different, and fun. It has a wire across the back to hang it up.



A few more jobs to do today, nearly there. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Thursday, 22 June 2017

One happy kitty.

Hello. I know you like fuzzywuzzy happy ending kittykat stories, and as I am busy, Janet has kindly written this report on our latest re homing. 
This is the story of Marmalade/Millie.
Marmalade, who is about eighteen months old, came into rescue having been discovered straying in a very small village in Lincolnshire.  A family who had been feeding her (and named her Marmalade) unfortunately were unable to keep her as they were in rented accommodation where regulations stipulated pets were not allowed.  
She was not micro-chipped and despite efforts to trace her owners, including a message on the local radio, no-one came forward. The family were very sad at the need to re-home her as they had become very attached to her. 
We took Marmalade to the vets to ascertain whether or not she was spayed and as no scar could be found it was assumed that she had not been done.  A couple of days later when she was operated upon it was revealed that she had indeed already been spayed.  Marmalade soon recovered from the operation and was put up for adoption.  There was a lot of interest in her but for one reason or another, mainly close proximity to busy roads, we were not entirely happy that the right home had come along. 
Eventually she was homed to a wonderful family who had recently lost their elderly cat and who are at home most of the day.  She has a garden to enjoy in a peaceful safe location.  Marmalade (now Millie) is a very special girl with a wonderful temperament.  She is so placid and enjoys lots of affection and has instantly settled in her new home. Her new family adore her and she is being thoroughly spoilt. The picture shown is Millie in her new home.

Aaaah, what a pretty cat, a bit like my Mayze, though by the sound of it, completely different temperaments.

I'm getting there with the garden, have extended the slabbed/paved area, painting all done. I was hoping to get the grass cut this afternoon but it is raining. Maybe later, or tomorrow. Couldn't find the Shed of the Year plaque, I remember putting it away thinking I wouldn't need it again. Found it at last in the office under some paperwork.Now I'm making a wooden back for it so I can hang it, I don't want to drill into the front of it, so I'll screw it on from the back. I keep thinking everything is ready, then find something else that needs doing.

Thanks for the story, Janet.

Thankyou all for your lovely comments about my art.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Adventures in needle felting

Hello. Here it is, my new artwork. I've taken the photo's without glass in the frame to eliminate reflections. The frame was 50p from a car boot sale, I have painted it with Crown silk emulsion shade apple tree, a very pale green. It suits the picture perfectly. I haven't used a mount because I don't think it needs one. Overall measurements are 23" x 12".  


This is where the background stitches have been changed, they now go up and down instead of across. Much better.






It was a lot of stitching but I think it's worth it. I find hand sewing very therapeutic, it's something I can pick up at odd times and play with it.

Preparations are coming along nicely in the garden. Hedge cutting yesterday, grass mowing and weeding today. A bit more paint on the back of the garage, a door to paint, flower beds to top up with compost. Three days and it will be ready.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Monday, 19 June 2017

The heat is on

Hello. Boy oh boy has it been hot again today. I have not been able to do as much in the garden as I would have liked, I felt like I was roasting within about ten minutes of being out there. The morning is best for working on the Summer House, up until midday when the sun is behind the trees, but it was Crafty Club this morning so I was sat in the Village Hall, which wasn't too bad. I re did the stitching on the felty picture and it looks much better. This afternoon I went to the vet to pick up Heidi's tablets, thank goodness for air con in the car. 
I am eating yellow sticker mushrooms till they come out of my ear 'oles. That's four days of salad, mushrooms and a scrambled egg. Good job I like them. Potato salad, iceberg lettuce, rocket, cucumber, and tomato. Same every day, same again tomorrow. Dinner tonight was steamed vegetables, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, and mushy peas. 
Erm excuse me Heidi, I would like to use the toilet. It's a good job I have another one downstairs. I don't like to disturb her. It's a wonder she doesn't fall off.

I did manage to get outside tonight, still hot but the sun had gone down behind the houses. I re potted some plants which had grown too big. I've moved the two spare doors round the corner between the garage and fence and covered them in tarpaulin, may find a use for them at some point later. For now I need to make the place look tidy. The beach view is slowly being painted over. I'm just picking random colours and slapping it on, no particular pattern to it. It's like an upside down rainbow.

I think it's going to be hot again tomorrow, I have the morning free so I will be able to get a bit more done before it gets unbearable. Four more days and everything has to be ready for the opening. I won't put my art inside until the Sunday morning before people arrive.

The kids are in so I'm off to bed. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip


Sunday, 18 June 2017

A stitch gone wrong does not save nine.

Hello. Phew what a scorcher today. I had to give up outside and come into the cool house. The cats are still out, I think I'm going to have trouble getting them in. Mayze loves it when I chase her round the garden. Heidi is easier, she lets me pick her up. 
The woman from the Open gardens came round this morning to take a few details. She was impressed with the Summer House. She gave me a wooden flower sign to stick in the front garden on the morning of the Open Day. 
I thought I was almost coming to the end of this felt picture, then I looked at it and thought something isn't quite right. I started filling in the background between the shapes with dark blue and white running stitches. These are where I started, on the right of the picture. I don't like it, it isn't right. 
The stitches here are fine, can you see the difference? In the first picture I have some stitches going horizontally left to right, on the rest of it they are all going from top to bottom vertically. Those rogue stitches are going to have to come out. Oh fiddlesticks.

I see that some readers have mentioned they would like to donate to our Cat Rescue. Thank you for your kind offers, I am chuffed. Please don't be disappointed, but we are a small rescue and have enough money in the kitty, ha ha, to keep us ticking over nicely. We ask for a donation when we take in a cat, and if we rehome one. People are usually very generous because we are able to help them. One lady had a cat from us and regularly donates every few weeks. Janet and Sue do car boot sales, we get lots of donations of stuff to sell. This local fair will bring in a good amount, we get a free pitch. We have a big show to do in August which also brings us lots of customers, and the Christmas Fair is a good earner.

So thank you very much for your kind offers, we have no need to accumulate lots of cash, we have enough to cover the food and vets fees. The vet gives us a discount for spaying and neutering. With the donation of cat litter which will last a year, there is nothing else to pay for.

Right, that's me done, it's 10pm and I will try and get the cats in. I can't go to bed until I know they are inside the house and safe. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Party time

Hello. Who's coming to the party? It's next Sunday at mine. The Summer House will be open for viewing as part of the Open Gardens, and it will be filled with my artworks. There will be bricabrac for sale, money for our cat rescue, Janet will be in charge of  the stall. 
Free drinks for our visitors, choice of red or white wine, beer, sherry, and nibbles, sweets for the kids. All we need now is fine weather. Mind you, we do have the newly extended porch to shelter in if it does rain.

I shall be at it all week getting things ready. The Summer Fair is on the Village Green on Saturday, so a busy weekend ahead. Getting excited, looking forward to it.

Very hot here today, had to come inside to cool off. enjoy your Sunday, thanks for popping in.
Toodle pip.

Choose your own title

Hello. Started to write a blog post about things whats going on, decided not to, better to stay quiet, don't need the aggravation. Head buried in the sand, will watch and see what happens next. Life's too short to pick a fight. Waste of time.

Sunny day, things to do. Lots of love xxx
Ilona

PS. Suggestions for a title for this post please. Thank you

Friday, 16 June 2017

Cat on a plastic roof

Hello. It's funny how cats like to be high up, watching the world go by. Heidi has claimed the new viewing platform as her own. 
More painting done today, two doors inside with two coats on each. I've filled up a gap with two pieces of wood, luckily I had the right size in the garage so no sawing was necessary.

I was going to paint the whole of that door, but it takes several coats to cover the glass. Luckily I had a piece of green heavy duty plastic like a shiny tarpaulin, so I screwed that to the bottom to hide the pallet behind it, and just painted the wooden frame. Looks quite good and saved me a lot of faffing about.

Some of the doors inside look a bit grubby so I am going to try wiping them with a damp cloth first. If they come up looking clean then that's fine, if they don't I will have to paint over them. I've had the Dyson in there today, removing the cobwebs and getting the dust out of the carpet. Jobs left to do are painting the back of the garage, washing the paving slabs and laying them out. It must all be ready by Friday because I am busy all day next Saturday.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip.

Awful

Hello. A big FAIL on this erm bargain yellow sticker. Reduced from £2 to 50p, worth a try I thought. What on earth 'Barrel Aged' means I do not know. It tastes as if it has been in a barrel dragged up from the bottom of the sea from a sunken ship. 
You know that nasty taste you get in your mouth when you have been sick, it's like that. Mind you, I can only just remember, I haven't been sick for many years. In fact it was nine years ago when I was rushed to hospital with severe abdominal pains. So if you really like the taste of sick, get this, otherwise don't bother wasting your money. You know what my thoughts are about wasting food,  sorry, this had to be binned, even the smell made me feel sick.
Lunch finished, back outside for some more painting.
Catch you later.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Plenty of food in the house now

Hello. As you can see, I went shopping. YAY, I now have some food. Some lovely yellow stickers, and quite a lot of other stuff as well. I easily reached the £40 to use the £6 off voucher, in fact I went more than  £10 over, the bill was £52. I started off writing it down as I went along, but once the yellow stickers came out I had to act quickly and get my share, so I gave up at that point and just guessed.  
Mushrooms, potatoes, and cauliflowers.  
Bread, pancakes, and scones.

Fruit. Grapes, strawberries, bananas, kiwi fruit, mixed fruit salad, and avocado's.

Potato salad, cucumber, couscous salad, rocket.

These juices were on offer, two for £1.30. Their Value label is 65p each so I thought I might as well have these instead. Not sure why there are two different sizes for the same price. 
And just for a change, I thought I would have Guinness instead of cider.

I've stocked up on soya milk, cat food, frozen Quorn, veggie burgers and sausages, a few tins, and other bits and bobs. There's enough to last a while and my fridge is full for now.

More painting on the Summer House tomorrow. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Here's the back - front later

Hello. Before I switch off and go outside, here is a teaser. The back of the felted picture. As you can see I have been stitching away. I'm up early every morning and while I drink my coffee, I add a bit more. I must say, the front looks pretty darn good. 
Catch you later. Toodle pip

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

No time to go shopping

Hello. Sorry, but it's another Summerhouse post, bet you are getting fed up with them now. I have to press on with this, I want it ready for my visitors. All the nails removed from the long pieces of wood, and painted white. I only did one side and the edges, the other side won't be seen. Two tables and a step ladder make the job easy. I found half a tub of white emulsion in the garage, it had been there ages, I remember Helen gave it to me after one of her house renovations. It was a bit thin so I had to give them several coats. 
There we are, the roof supports are up and the plastic roof is screwed into position. All looking solidly fixed, that won't fall down.

There is an overlap with the main roof, I didn't join them together. The porch roof is slightly lower so sits underneath the main one.

Just one gap needs filling with a piece of wood, then it can all be painted.

The man from up the road doing the house renovation said there would be more paving slabs if I went back today. He was right, I now have a total of 26. I will be able to lay them out at the front of the Summerhouse. I was dead lucky to get these. They all need a good scrub, free ants were included  :o)

I did my three miles tonight, and now I feel tired. Still haven't had time to go shopping so another day with cobbled together meals. I might get to Tesco tomorrow night.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Skip diving for free materials

Hello. I thought I would do my walk a bit earlier this morning, but I only got half way round and was distracted by a skip. I've been keeping an eye out for a few more bricks, and some long lengths of wood. It seems it is the season for house renovations, we have several going on at the moment. 
I had a nosy in a skip and told the man what I was looking for. He didn't have any long pieces of wood, but I could have the pallets if I wanted them. I have just used two of mine so I picked two of the best ones out, they will go in the garage for future use. I went home to get my car. When I got back the man said he has some paving slabs if I want them, they were going in the skip. Yes please, just the job, better than bricks. He got five out and said there are ten more and he would put them by the gate and I can collect them. I'll go back tomorrow for them. Whoopee, my lucky day.
Then I had a nosy in another skip and saw some long lengths of wood. I asked the man if he had a tape measure because I wanted some 9 feet long. Lucky me again, two at 9 feet and one at 10 feet. These were easy to carry home, it wasn't far. They were full of nails, took me a few minutes to get them all out.

Beginning to look like a builders yard now, ha ha.

The second door is on, and I have built up the height by adding more wood to the tops. Two of the long lengths will go across between them to support the polycarbonate roof panel. I should get that job done tomorrow.

 A friend was chopping back some of the bushes in his front garden and putting the bits in the wheelie bin. The flowers were very pretty, it was a shame to throw them away. He said they were weeds, but I rescued some of them. I love these colours.

I still haven't been shopping, it's amazing what you can find in the freezer and cupboards when you think you have no food left. For lunch I had beans on toast with grated cheese. Dinner was the last two Quorn sausages, last bit of cauliflower, three potatoes and a handful of frozen peas. I might get to Tesco tomorrow night, if I have time.

It's late and I am ready for bed, so I'll say goodnight. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Monday, 12 June 2017

It's coming together, slowly.

Hello. Crafty Club was busy this morning, full house, we had to get another table out. Lots of chattering going on, it's all too much for me, I sit quietly and do my thing and wait till the chatter dies down, then I can speak. It's very difficult to hear what's being said in a noisy environment, that's why I don't go out socializing very often. I need to be reasonably close to the person I am speaking to, but if there is background noise my hearing aid picks it all up and drowns out the voice of the person I want to hear. My felting picture is coming along nicely. 
I did a bit more on the Summer House this afternoon, but it is still windy, not ideal for working outside. I had a pallet with slats missing so I added wood to fill the gaps. I've screwed it to the corner opposite the other one. I stopped at this point because time was getting on, and the wind was making it quite difficult to hold the heavy door in position while I screwed it into place. That pallet doesn't look very stable but I have secured it with screws on the one side, and there is a metal pole hammered into the ground on the other side. Work will resume tomorrow if it isn't too windy. Once I have the second door on I need to find a piece of wood to go across the top of the doors to join them together, I think I have one in the garage. 
Mayze was outside with me, snoozing in the kitty shelter.

Heidi was out for a while but doesn't like wind, so she came back in. This is where I found her. There are lots of comfortable places she could get comfortable in, but no, she likes to have her back leg dangling over the edge of a windowsill, or this stool in the bathroom. I sometimes find her curled up in the bath, when there is no water in it, or in the wash basin.

I thought I might go shopping tonight as I have very little left in the fridge, and I'm running out of other things as well. A £6 off voucher arrived this morning from Tesco so that will be used, but I can't be bothered to go tonight, maybe tomorrow night.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Sunday, 11 June 2017

A new porch for the Summerhouse

Hello. It's been a nice day, sunny but a tad windy, so I've been out in the garden. The Summerhouse is getting a new look. I have four spare doors, someone offered them to me last year, they will come in handy I thought. So, I have a pallet, haven't I always got a pallet, I can't resist picking them up when I see them lying around. 
I've screwed the pallet to the side of building, and screwed a door onto that. I had to remove some of the brick patio and the bricks from the corner of the raised bed, to squeeze it into the gap. I could do with another pair of hands to keep things steady as I screw them together, but the bungee elastic will have to do instead. 
The back view. I don't paint this side because it's close to the hedge and can't be seen. It's also a hidey hole for tubs and plastic boxes. That hard wood door was difficult to drill into with a hand drill.

On the other side there are three more spare doors to use. I am repainting that side, and repainting the back of the garage. I shall paint over the beach scene, I'm not doing that again.

 That's all fixed together nicely, it's pretty solid. The gap is closed with a piece of wood. I have a spare piece of polycarbonate roof which I would like to use to cover the porch, but I have to find a way to support it on the other end. I might add another door like this one so the roof can be attached at both ends. I'll have a think about it. I have another pallet but it is not really big enough.

I am thinking of opening it up for the Open Gardens event in two weeks time. I missed the deadline for getting on the list, through my dithering about, but I have plenty of time to tell everyone it will be open.

I am now going to lounge in the bath for half an hour. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Fantasy or real?

Hello. What do you reckon? Does long hair suit me? I have always wanted long hair, and now I have. You can get anything you want from a car boot sale. New hair, only £2. 
Or should I stick to the real me. Speccy, home cut and dyed hair. Silk blouse, ex charity, shop has been in my wardrobe for 25 years, I love it.

Hope you are enjoying your Saturday, I'm bopping away with Owain on BBC Radio York. The rain has stopped so it's out into the garden for me. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Busy in the garden

Hello. That's all done and dusted then, now we know who is going to run the country. Seems all a bit confusing if you ask me, but no matter, the mess will get sorted one way or another. In the meantime we carry on as normal. 
The weather has got better as the day went on, it's been quite warm this afternoon. I started off by doing some sewing, then went outside to carry on with the painting of the Summerhouse. I tarted it up a bit with some old cd's. Looking good so far. 
The flowers are doing well though the tall ones have taken a battering in the wind and have collapsed on top of the smaller plants. I have put some stakes in to support them.


I'm really pleased that this little tree is growing. I've got four of them, all rescued from the bins in the churchyard. Silly people for throwing them away, lucky me that I found them.

I've mowed the front and back lawns. I love to see it when it's tidy like this. The garden looks so much bigger after the grass has been cut and the hedges trimmed. View from my upstairs window. The lumpy bit in the middle is where there used to be a paved path. I took up the slabs but didn't cut the grass. It is the cats playground, they like making a nest in there and snoozing in the sunshine. A frog also lives in there, so I leave it rough.

I keep adding a bit more stitching on the felted picture. Looking good so far. A lot more to do.


I'm just off out now to do the second half of my walk. I started it earlier today and got waylaid with chatting to people and had to cut it short because my belly was groaning that it was lunch time.

Thanks for popping in, enjoy your weekend, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip