Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Big Man has FINALLY Learned

The Big Man and I have known each other for a fair few years and finally after all those years he has come up trumps with his present buying.

Lookey what he gave me yesterday.

It's a gorgeous Johnson Bros Rose Dawn Coffee Pot.  It's in perfect condition and will be proudly displayed on my dresser.

Not only is it gorgeous and perfect, it was also bought from a charity shop.  Double points for the Big Man.

The Big Man done good!

A Handbook for Christmas

Come December, the shops are choc full of guides and handbooks on how to have the best Christmas ever.  How to dress your tree, how to serve a Michelin starred dinner and how to make exceptional presents that will become heirlooms.

Not one to deviate from the bandwagon I found the best Christmas handbook ever published.  Bought for a meagre £1 from a charity shop last week, the book has given me a lot of  lightbulb moments and a few chuckles.

It covers everything you need to have a very merry Christmas for all the family with recipes, decorating ideas, craft ideas and even instructs you on how to take down and store your decorations for next year. 

By far my favourite section in the book is the "Choosing of Presents".  With a handy illustrated guide on which presents to give and not give each member of your family.  For example,  who knew giving Gran a corset for Christmas would elicit this response from her?  

And it is really not a good idea to give Mum toilet paper and a scrubbing brush?

The kids would take exception to receiving a school uniform or writing paper.  And poor baby should definitely not be reminded of his incontinence.

There's also a chapter on how to decorate your tree to a theme with great crafting ideas for ornaments.  There's the Children's tree.

With wool and stick stars.  I remember making these at school.

Sweetie garlands which will no doubt rapidly become an empty sweetie wrapper garland.

And fluffy woolen pom poms.  Did these at school too and hated it.  They are so monotonous to do.

There's also the Victorian tree with gravity defying doves at the top of the tree.

A Soft and Safe Tree for baby with cotton wool garlands and paper chains.

And my favourite tree is the Wildlife tree for your garden.

Who needs gawdy Blackpool lights in your garden when you could have this lovely creation?  It's so simple to make and the little birdies will be kept happy through the Christmas season.

The book also gives some handy tips on how to build with snow.  Who'd have thunk you could use a cardboard box to make snow squares or a wasing up liquid bottle to make towers?  Genius!

All I need now are four trees, two feet of snow and definitely not toilet paper or scrubbing brushes.  

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The Wee Man Pulls a Sicky

The Wee Man spent Sunday night with a raging temperature, 38.8C, and being sick.  So he had a day off school and instead of the obligatory sofa, duvet and telly watching, what did he want to do?  Well there was.....

...shortbread making straight after breakfast...

...followed by the making of disastrous cinder toffee or crunchie guts to you and me...

...making and decorating salt dough gingerbread men Christmas tree ornaments...

...making roast chicken and bacon wraps for lunch and...

...puffy paint snowmen pictures.  (These need some features added once the paint has dried.)

Today he demanded to go to school, "I WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL!".  Looks like I didn't keep him entertained enough yesterday(!)  Note to self: Must try harder.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Advent Swap 6,7,8,9

I've had a couple of tense days recently and the lovely daily gifts from Jill in our Advent Swap has really cheered me up.  Every day is like Christmas Day.

Here's what I got for days 6,7,8 and 9.

A beautifully knitted dishcloth which will never ever be used for washing dishes or washing anything of any kind, it's just too beautiful, and a gorgeous crocheted star garland.

Also another gorgeous Christmas bauble, a box of yummy chocs a delicious smelling bar of soap and a mind bending puzzle.  At first I thought the puzzle was easy despite the blurb on the box saying it was difficult and proceeded to prove myself well and truly wrong.  It's blinking difficult but luckily the answers inside the box. ;0)

Can't wait for tomorrows gift.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Advent 4, 5

I'm really enjoying my advent swap.  It's so lovely to have a little something every day to bring a smile to my face.

Here's what the lovely Jill gave me for the 4th...

It's the most gorgeous hand knitted coat hanger.  I am at odds to use it as I won't then be able to see it.  How can I display a coat hanger?  Hm, I feel a Google search coming up.  There are a few more coat hanger shaped parcels from Jill and I am very,.very tempted to rip open the parcels.

And for today's parcel, I got a great quilting book.  I see so many gorgeous quilts on blogland and I dream of having the ability and patience to make one.  Hopefully this book will inspire me to take the plunge.

Parcel number 6 tomorrow.  I can't wait.

Car Boot Loot #12

Has it really been three months since my last Car Boot Loot post?  Whoa!  Where did the time go?  Needless to say in that time I have snaffled me one or two bargainous lovelies.  I must take some photos of them and post about them.

The car boot season has sadly come to an end in my town.  The Big Man, Wee Man and I have been feeling a great loss to our weekends.  Luckily on a jaunt to a neighbouring town yesterday we drove past a sign for a car boot sale and we followed the signs expectantly.  When we got there most of the sellers had either packed and left or were in the process of packing up to go.

Luckily I was able to snag me some goodies.  I found a great stall selling all manner of vintage china and I pretty much screamed at the seller to stop packing his stuff away.  He did give me a "Let's humour the loon" kinda look and gave me this lot of pretty saucers and tea plates for £2.

My eyes were then drawn to another stall where I found all these gorgeous Minton dishes.  They were stickered 50p each but I got the lot for £1.  I know the little round dishes are pin dishes but I'm not sure what the rectangular dishes are.  Anyone know?  Maybe for jewelery or something?   

And of course you all know of my little addiction and I got this beauty to help feed it.  20p and I got me a fix.

That was my lot from yesterday and now that we've found this new car boot sale, we'll be heading there every Sunday.  Yippee!

This post is shared on Time Travel Thursday Thrifty Things Friday  Magpie Monday

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Advent Swap (1,2,3)

This year I decided to take part in the Advent Swap that's organised by the lovely LaaLaa .  I was partnered up with the ever gorgeous Jill who has a fabulous internet shop called Stockton Crafts.  She sells the most gorgeous cotton yarn and accessories.  Go have a look see.  She has lovely sewing kits and toys for the little ones and the most delicious buttons any button-aholic would love.

We were both slightly late with our swap parcels, so we're both as naughty as each other, which meant when I got the parcel this morning I got to open three of the goodies.

Lookey what I got.  A beautiful advent candle which will be lit tonight once the Wee Man is safely tucked up in bed.  I've never seen an advent candle before.  It's so cool.  A bar of very lovely chocolate, which I may have consumed for breakfast (oops!), a beautiful Christmas bauble which will be hung on our tree this afternoon when it gets put up and a beautiful framed photo of a tea cup.  I LOVE teacups.  Jill has got me down to a tee.

Thank you so much Jill and I hope your parcel has arrived safe and sound.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Have yourself a Merry BIG Christmas

I was in London yesterday and I was struck by how huge-mungous all the Christmas Decorations were.  I never really noticed before but I had the Wee Man with me and he was in awe by the size of everything.

We'd gone to London to see the Lego Christmas Tree at St.Pancras station and I had expected a six or maybe eight foot tree but instead....

It's a whopping 33 feet (10metre high tree) is made with  600,000 Lego bricks, has 1,200 Lego baubles, 172 Lego branches and it took two months to build.  It is by far THE best Christmas tree I have ever seen.

Onto Covent Garden and we were met with a mahoosive reindeer and ginormous baubles.

Image credit 

I remember several years ago the Big Man and I were in awe of the decorations on Carnaby Street.  They were giant fairy light bulbs and we, being young with plenty of time on our hands, followed the cables to a giant plug on the side of a building.  It was hilarious and very, very memorable.

Unfortunately we didn't take any photos of the decs and I can't seem to find any on t'internet.  I have however found more Carnaby Street Christmas Decoration delights.

Big really is beautiful...enjoy.

Carnaby Street 2011

Carnaby Street 2007
Carnaby Street 2009 

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The Wee, Wee Man

In November the Wee Man turned a whopping five years old.  How and when did that happen?  It seems only yesterday he was an angelic (NOT) little newborn baby.

With hands the size of my thumb...

... little scrunched up feet..

...and hairy little ears.

I was a dedicated mum who documented milestones with photographic evidence.  Happy in the knowledge that I would one day proudly show the photos to the Wee Man's future partner.

Everything was photographed, his first bath...

...his first real outfit...

...even his first poo.

Yes that is his first poo, unless you count the meconium.  In my defence, the photo was taken to show a doctor.

We went through a rough time of it in the beginning.  In his first seven days the Wee Man lost a whopping 13lbs (800g).  We had daily midwife and breast feeding counsellor visits with concerns that my boobs weren't producing any milk.  After lots of sleep deprivation, four hourly boobie pumping and a good dose of domperidone my boobs finally started to do what they were suppose to do and the Wee Man began to thrive.

It's been a hell of a ride these past five years and I look forward to many, may more.


Wow!  It's been ages since I've written anything in my blog.  Poor little neglected thing.  I turn my back and I'm up to 100 followers!  How and when did that happen?

Lots has happened, some good, some bad, but I'm here and we're all well.

I promise I shall be a better blogger and write more posts.  First up a birthday party post to follow.

Monday, 12 September 2011

How to display tea cups

I've got so many tea cups, they spend more time in storage than they do on display.  There is only so much space on my dresser.  My tea cups are stashed here there and everywhere.  It's got so bad that I've forgotten what I've got.  A few weeks ago the Big Man found a bag full to the brim with a gorgeous Limoges tea set.  It  had been thrown into the corner of the spare room.  Thankfully nothing was broken inside.  But I could not for the life of me remember where or when I had bought it.  I may have been the one who threw the bag into the corner in a bid to hide it from the Big Man.  But you can't prove that!

I think it's time to admit I have teacuphoardingitis.  My name is Madison and I am a tea cup addict.  If only there was some way I could display more of my tea cups, then they would be more of an interior-design-decor-type-thing rather than evidence of my out of control hoarding.

A Google search beckoned and there's so many clever ideas on t'internet.  I've decided to do some redecorating.

First up my dining room.  Well my dresser lives there and it's already kinda full of tea cups so how about the table itself?  I came across this fabulous idea from a wonderful blog Sweetology.  It's so gorgeous.  I can imagine all my lovely tea cups on display in the middle of the dining table.  I'm not sure the tea cups could withstand the table kicking the Wee Man likes to do during dinner though.  Hm!  We'll eat on the sofa in front the telly from now.

Image from "Sweetology"
There's also my side board which has all my cake stands on it.  I'll just have to put the cake stands into storage and have these lovelies instead.  Column upon column of tea cups beckon.   Thanks to  "Something Special" for that idea.

Image from "Something Special"

So that's the table, dresser and sideboard sorted.  How about the dining room walls or the Wee Man's art gallery as it is is known.  The Wee Man's at school now so surely he's old enough to not have to put his "artwork" on my lovely walls.  Do we really need to stare at his juvenile scrawls and splodges during dinner?  Well since we're eating on the sofa from now on - no.  How about some tea cups on the walls instead?

Image from "Teacup Gallery"

Look how lonely those tea cups look.  The racks would be so much happier if they lived at my house.  They'd fulfill their life's purpose and be ever so pretty.   

That's the dining room sorted, now onto the hall where the coat rack will be removed and replaced with this rack.  The boys will just have to take their coats upstairs and hang them in their wardrobes and if they're too lazy to go upstairs they can just keep them on. 

Image from "Teacup Gallery"

The fireplace in the living room will be removed and a call will be made to Mark the Builder who will build me one of these.  (If you're reading this Mrs. Mark the Builder, I expect a neighbour discount for the building of this unit)  The unit will span one entire wall of my living room unless Mark the Builder does me a very good deal in which case the unit will go across two or maybe three of the walls.  Best get my Haggling Hat on.

image from Heart Handmade UK

The downstairs loo will also get the new interior-design-decor-type-thingie treatment with this lovely little stand which will be placed charmingly on top of the cistern.

Image from "Teacup Gallery"

Job done!  I am now an Interior-Design-Decor-Type Guru!  

The fantastic hanging racks and individual stand can be found at  Wonder if they'll give me a discount on all the racks I'll be buying?

Car Boot Loot #11

It's all gone "Pete Tong".  It's pee'ng it down outside and I had planned on taking pics of all my goodies today.  Tut!  No worries, I have some photos of goodies I haven't shown yet.  Today's Car Boot Loot will not have any vintage china at all.  Shock!  Instead I've got some gorgeous vintage cutlery to show you all.  Woo Hoo!

First up some silverware I bought at a car boot a couple of weeks ago.  Actually it was the day the Big Man's parents left and to celebrate we headed for the local car boot.  :0)

Hidden amongst some toot on a table, I spied this cute little silver plate sugar tongs.  I did my usual humming and hawwing and the lovely lady stall holder gave it me for a meagre 50p.

As I paid for it I also spied another very tarnished piece of silverware and as I picked it up the lady offered it to me for 50p also.  50p for a silver plated cake slice!  Of course I'll take it.  A lot of elbow grease and silver polish has brought it up a treat.  I love the detail on it.

Whilst the Big Man's parents were here we headed into London, to Greenwich.  The Wee Man "drove" us there on the DLR and whilst the boys headed for the Maritime museum, the girls headed to the flea market.  I must admit I had a lovely time with my Mum in Law.  We cooed at some lovelies and discussed some family politics i.e. gossiped.  Whilst at a stall I picked up a strange looking spoon to ask the stall holder what it was. 

Before I could stop her, my Mum in Law did her usual and whipped out her purse and paid the £5 the stall holder was asking for it.  I bit my tongue as I knew my Mum in Law had no use for such a thing and was merely buying it for the sake of buying it.  I knew this gorgeous vintage lovely would spend it's life in a plastic bag at the back of a drawer.  I knew that given some time I could have haggled the price down, but we were having such a lovely time I didn't want to spoil it with my moaning about her shopping habits.  

I'm really glad I did bite my tongue, cos my Mum in Law bought it as a present for me.   

I love the detail on it's handle.

Can you guess what the spoon is used for?   I'll tell you at the end of the post.  Go on, start guessing.  

Next up is a mystery "spoon" that I picked up ages ago at a car boot.  

It's kinda like a spoon shovel thingie.  I have not a clue what it's used for.  Does anyone have any ideas?  

And lastly another present my Mum in Law gave me.  She had a good rummage around in her overflowing cupboards before she came down and brought me loads of goodies.  You'll have to wait a bit longer to see them all but until then, here's a sneaky peek. 

A beautiful set of vintage sliver plated tea spoons.  She was given them over twenty years ago by an old lady she had befriended.  The spoons were the lady's grandmother's, so you can imagine how old they are.  My Mum in Law has a tendency to "pick" up little old ladies who seem to be drawn to her.  She spends every Tuesday afternoon with an old lady who lives round the corner and even though I have never met this lady, she always, always gives the Wee Man cards for his birthday, Christmas and Easter and always with a £10 note in it. A  couple of years ago the lady's brother started sending cards to the Wee Man with money in it too!  Again I have never met or spoken with this man or this lady.  It really is lovely and the Wee Man always, always sends a  handmade thank you card to both of them.

And the last picture...

It wouldn't be the same without some vintage china, would it?  Doesn't the spoon look pretty with the china?  

There will be more details of the vintage china when I get some proper photos taken.  

Oh and the spoon with the holes in it?  It's a spoon used to put sugar on strawberries.  Very ingenious don't you think?

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