Thursday, 28 April 2011

...a visit to the Shambles in York.

One day during our week away, the boys and the girls split up to do gender specific tasks i.e. the girls went shopping and the boys went to stare at some trains.

My mother in law and I spent a lovely afternoon mooching around the Shambles in York.  It was truly lovely.  The streets were all ye olde worlde cobbley charm and the shops were a delight.

One of the shops we stumbled upon was "The Antique Centre York".  My mother in law was very patient as I browsed two floors crammed full of antiques and lovelies.  My heart racing at every step.  I was determined to buy a souvenir of our visit to York and of course what better than a vintage tea cup for my collection and what better place to find one.  After an extensive search I narrowed it down to three possibilities.  But after some soul searching I decided upon this gorgeous trio.

 It's marked "Foley China" and I have a few other Foley bits in my collection.  I love the delicate flowers and of course the gorgeous pink.  It really is stunning and better still my mother in law bought it for me as a present.  Ain't she lovely.

After some tea and refreshments we stumbled upon a delicious little shop called "Scentiments".  It sold the most divine cakes I have ever seen.  I had to stare at them a bit before I realised they were in fact candles.  Look, can you tell they're not actually cakes?

Unfortunately I didn't buy anything from the shop.  Candles and a four year old do not mix.  But they have an online shop and I forsee a lot of cake candle presents in my friends' futures.

York as a whole was a gorgeous and wonderful place to visit.  I would whole heartedly recommend making a visit there.  Be sure to bring lots of pennies because there is so much temptation.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

...Easter nests

I think this post may be a wee bit late for anyone wanting to do something similar.  But I've been away and this is my first day back and since today is Easter Sunday I thought I would share with you the Easter nests the Wee Man made.

So simple to make and a lot of messy fun.

The Wee Man and I tore up a Primark shopping bag, but any brown paper will do.  The Wee Man then squeezed a lot of PVA into a plastic food tub and mixed in some water, to make a watered down PVA solution.

Whist he did that I hunted down some little bowls and wrapped them in cling film.  Then came the messy bit.  It's best to work on a plastic tray or a cling film covered tray.  We threw handfuls of torn paper into the PVA solution and basically smushed them on top of the upturned bowls.  The messier the better so you get a more "natural" nest look.

It took a couple of days for the nests to dry out completely.  When they were dry I gently prised them off the bowls.  They came easily off the cling film.

We've put some chocolate eggs into them and will be taking them round to his little friend and a lovley neighbour later today.

Happy Easter.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

...a confession.

I'm going through withdrawl, bad withdrawl.  Sunday, was the first Sunday in a very, very long time, I didn't go to a car boot sale.  Since then all I can think about is finding a bargain to give me a fix until my next car boot.  We're going on hols this weekend so realistically it will be three Sundays from now before I get my next fix.  It's driving me mad.  I've even googled to find a car boot anywhere near to where we've booked the cottage.  I need a fix!

Today I dragged the Wee Man round the the charity shops in our town and found nothing.  Nowt!  The Wee Man did get three Thomas books but how about me?  No pretty china, no pretty fabrics, nothing.  I did find a delightful crochet blanket in the first charity shop I went to but the Big Man decided to call at that precise moment and duly talked me out of buying it.  His reasoning was that I should make one to make it more special. Argh!  Emotional blackmail.  

So here I am, stroking all my previous car boot finds to relive those moments when they came into my life.  Oh car boot sales, how I love thee and thy bounty.  

I'm going to stop now before I start pacing the floor.  Off to distract myself from that knawing need.  I'll leave you with a couple of photos of pretty things I found a couple of weeks ago from a charity shop.  

A Royal Albert "Old Country Roses" bud vase.  I did my usual google and was pleasantly surprised to find it is the world's most popular china pattern.  Spawning it's own fakes and everything.  Whether that makes it desirable and coveted or just a mass produced piece of china I'm undecided.  I haven't been able to find a monetary value for it yet.  But I got it for a measly 99p.  

Royal Albert "Old Country Roses" bud vase 99p

An Old Foley James Kent Ltd china planter.  I have some muscari growing in it right now and it's found a temporary home on the living room side table.  The Big Man keeps admiring it, so must be a winner(!)

Old Foley James Kent ltd china planter £3

Off to distract myself.  Thinking of all the lovely charity shops I can wander into on holiday.  

Hello, my name is Madison and I am a Car Boot Addict.  

...more pretty blossom pictures

They've blossomed!  The trees I've been watching closely have finally blossomed.  And it's been so worth the wait.  The blossoms are gorgeous and are making a simple trip to the shops a delight.  There's blossom everywhere.  Beautiful pinks and whites are decorating the streets of our little town.

Friday, 8 April 2011

... a date at the allergy clinic.

On Wednesday the Wee Man had his twice yearly appointment with the Consultant Pediatrician that's in charge of his case.  His doctor is an allergy specialist and is by far the best doctor we have seen.  She really is marvelous.  So often the doctors we have seen view us as just another name on a list to be ticked off and out their office asap.

Dr. H on the other hand takes her time and explains everything over and over again until she is sure we understand.  No question is too silly, no request is too much.  There have been many a time where we have spent well over an hour with her and we always leave to a roomful of annoyed, waiting patients who are anything but patient.  The Wee Man loves her and her allergy nurse K.  In fact he views them as his friends and insists that we give them a present every time we visit them.  This visit they each got a Wee Man made paper nest filled with chocolate eggs and a chocolate bunny.

The main objective of Wednesday's appointment was to see if he was still as allergic as he was 6 months ago and to check for any other allergies.  This was to be achieved by checking the blood test results from a few weeks ago and also performing his twice yearly skin prick test.  The main allergen we wanted to check was latex.  He is currently unable to have any vaccinations because of his latex allergy.  All vaccinations use a latex bung/ stopper on the vaccination bottle.  So basically the needle pierces the bung/ stopper to get to the vaccination and then the needle is inserted into your arm.  Not a very good scenario for someone with a latex allergy.

Anyway, this post seems to be getting a bit technical so will stop all that and give you a pic of my very brave, patient and good boy.  He had in all 26 allergens tested on his little arms.  Both of his forearms were covered and only because K ran out of space, she was unable to test anymore.

Within a few minutes his arms came out in hives.  He was dying to scratch them but resisted.  Such resolve and determination.

The results showed that he is still very allergic to the allergens we already know of but the good news is that we are having a latex challenge next month.  A challenge in simple terms is that we go into hospital and they test a little of the allergen on his arm, wait 30 mins for any reaction, then follow on with a bit on the Wee Man's cheek, wait 30 mins then some on his lip, wait 30 mins, then some on his tongue, wait 30 mins and then  he gets to swallow some.  At the sign of any reaction during the challenge, the challenge is stopped and he is given whatever medication is required be it Cetirizine or an epipen.  With the latex challenge he is going to be given a balloon to blow up.

Challenges are very arduous and hard going.  It's a lot of waiting around and stress for the Big Man and me.  The Wee Man loves them as he gets to play with his hospital bed and in the enormous hospital play room!

Again I think I've gone a bit too technical.  All in all, not much has changed for the Wee Man.  Hopefully his latex challenge will go well.  There are so many toys that have rubbery bits on it that may be latex that even playing with toys can be nerve wracking.

So I'll finish by saying how wonderful the Wee Man is.  He really is such a good patient.  Listens to Dr. H and Nurse K and performs any tasks they ask of him without a grumble.  He's brave, patient and just plain perfect.

I love you Wee Man.  xxx

...a Spring photo album (Part 2)

Just a quickie post with one beautiful photo for my Spring photo album I took this morning on my way back from dropping the Wee Man off at nursery.

All the trees along the streets of my little town are heavy with blossom.  It's so beautiful, especially with the sunshine and clear blue skies we've been having.

Closeup of a new flower blooming  There are several trees on my street that are just about to bloom into a full on display of their delicate flowers.  I took some photos of the blossom buds.  I think in a day or two all the buds will be open and our little street will be festooned with blossom.  I'm really rather excited about it.

Closeup of a new flower blooming

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

... a gorgeous handmade purchase.

The Wee Man has a very busy social life.  His world is a whirlwind of parties, parties, parties.  With some invitations being sent out a wee bit late e.g. the week of the party(!), I always like to keep a stash of presents for the birthday child.  That plus I always like to buy things on sale and stash them away.

I find it's rather easy to buy presents for boys.  I know boys, I have a boy.  They're easy.  The trouble always comes when I need to buy girl gifts.  I know I'm a girl of sorts, but I have not got a clue what 4 year old girls like.  

So when I saw the lovely goodies that Bloomin' Myrtle makes I knew they would be perfect.  I've bought some little rag dolls before and the little girls who received them, loved them.  She put some lovely geese and bunnies on her blogshop and I knew they would be perfect for the the little girls.

Well I'm sad to say that they weren't perfect for the Wee Man's little girl friends.  I decided that they were way to good for them!  Keepsy, keepsy, keepsy!  They were so delightful, so gorgeous and too, too good to be played with.

Let me introduce you to Gerty, Gladstone and Berty.  Utterly gorgeous.  They are so well made my description just won't do them justice.  Every single stitch is perfect, not one is out of place.  The techniques she has used are way beyond my skill and understanding.  Just how did she make those beaks?

Gerty, Gladstone and Berty arrives at their new home in a tissue filled box.

I think their new home will be on my dresser (once I finally finish revamping it!).  This is them sitting on the dresser that's been painted and awaiting a coat of wax.

Gladstone Goose and Gerty Goose
Berty will live right next door to them on the same shelf.  Though the Wee Man may commandeer him for his room(!)  Berty has a gorgeous little felt flower in his paw and again, have not a clue how she's made it.

Berty Bunny 

And if that wasn't enough there was a little extra surprise for me in the box.  A sunny little gift just for me.

The most beautifully handmade heart ever!  It smells delish.  I'm not sure what the smell is but it reminds me of sunny afternoons in the garden.  This is now hanging on my wardrobe and making me smile every time I see it.

Not only that, I also got some lovely notecards featuring Gerty, Gladstone, Berty and their friends.

I'm so happy with my purchase.  I would highly, highly recommend Bloomin' Myrtle's makes.  They are perfect and so, so reasonably priced.  I figure to buy the equivalent mass produced, not so well made versions from the high street it would have cost at least double what she charged.

Please do have a look on her blog shop and maybe one day you can be the proud owner of a Bloomin' Myrtle Lovely.  

Monday, 4 April 2011

...a Spring photo album (Part 1)

I love Spring.  It brings the promise of new, fresh and wonderful things.  This year I want to capture all those things that make me love Spring and as you know I've already taken one or two blossom photos.  I found this great Spring Photo Checklist on a lovely blog and I'm going to see how many of the 50 photos I can tick off.

I'll post the pics I take on me blog in the hopes it brings some Spring time loveliness to it.

Thus far I can tick the following off:

A tree in bloom  One of the gorgeous trees that line the streets of our little town.

A tree in bloom 

The outside of my house   We've turned our front garden into a veg garden because it gets full sun all day.  This photo can also double up as garden preparations.  The ground has been turned and is awaiting all the new seedlings.  That's Sam Scarecrow in the background.  The Wee Man and I made him last year using some of his old clothes.  He's in need of a wee bit of repair.
The outside of my house, soil turned and ready for vegetables.

Doing yardwork  The Big Man gave our patio a spring clean with his jetwash.  Oh the muck that came off it was disgusting.  Check out the before and after!

Doing yardwork.  Clean and mucky patio.

Oh, quick a lovely picture needed to offset the yucky patio... How about the most gorgeous flowers ever?

Fresh bouquet of spring flowers  These are the gorgeous daffodils the Wee Man gave me yesterday for Mothers' Day.  Beautiful.

Fresh bouquet of Spring flowers.  Mothers' Day daffs from the Wee Man.

That's me so far.  Looking at the list, some of them will require some lateral thinking. e.g. "bare feet in the green grass"  will have to be something other than actual feet on grass.  I can't stand the feeling of grass under my feet and neither can the Big or Wee Man.  Thinking cap will definitely need to be pulled on.

More to follow.

...a start to the Car Boot season.

I'm lucky in that there is a car boot sale near me all year round.  But yesterday was the start of the biggie car boot sale that's held in a local leisure centre playing field.  It's been featured in the Cath Kidston mag and is always full of very interesting vintage finds.  That plus the usual tat you get at car boot sales.

Yesterday was Mothers' Day and unfortunately the Wee Man has been poorly and I woke with a surprise vomit present.  Such love!  So my surprise steam train ride with cream tea was cancelled for a trip to the out of hours GP and a bottle of anti biotics.  By the afternoon the Wee Man was well enough for a trip to the car boot sale.  He's been stuck indoors for five days and was climbing the walls as I was.

What a treasure trove there was yesterday!  It was heaving!  There must have been over 100 sellers and the sun brought out a huge crowd.

I got so many gorgeous, lovely bargains.

Royal Albert cake plate for £1
A pair of Windsor coffee cups, saucers and side plates for 80p.

A pair of cake plates, no marks

J & G Meakin milk jug

Royal Vale milk jug

Paragon sugar bowl 10p
I got the two milk jugs and the two cake plates for 50p.  So in all I spent a grand total of £2.40 for my haul.  What a bargain!  It really amazes me what people sell things for.  I do wonder whether they actually know what it is they are selling or whether they are just getting rid of things to gain space.  I'd love to think that if I were to sell my treasures on I would make a very tidy profit.  But that isn't going to happen because these treasures are destined for my dresser (if I ever get to finish revamping it).

Linking to Thrift Share Monday and Magpie Monday  and Newbies Party 
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