Friday, 19 March 2010

Kitchen update and award

Before I do anything else I would like to acknowledge an award I have been given by two people: Funkymonkey and Annie over at Vintage at the Corner House . Thank you so much for passing this award on to me (my first) and I plan to devote a post very soon to five things I enjoy doing.

I am supposed to pass this award on to five other bloggers but I know many of you have received it already, so I'm going to invite any of my readers who would like to receive this award and tell us about five things they enjoy doing, to please help themselves to the button.

Now for a quick update on the kitchen. My very, very dear friend (as Pioneer Woman would say 'my womb-to-tomb friend') has been giving me advice on how to paint the kitchen cupboards. Now this friend and her husband have built their own house, and when I say 'built their own house' I mean exactly that. They've done the whole thing themselves: walls, floor, roof, windows - everything. No professionals involved except for the electric which they were not allowed to install themselves even though they're quite capable. So I trust her advice, which was:

After two coats of emulsion - yes, EMULSION - apply some of this:

Apply it with wire wool and wait for it to dry. Then apply a second coat of wax, this time with a lint-free cloth. It buffs up really good and feels so smooth. Can you see how the wax has deepened the colour?

It's slow progress as I still have to do all those things we mums have to do every day, but the lower cupboards are now finished and I'm hoping to start on the top ones this weekend.

Just thought I'd pop in and let you know how I'm doing.


Andi xx

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

You know you've turned into your dad when...

You know you've turned into your dad when you keep a stick in the shed to stir paint with.

Can't remember which comedian said this but I know it made me laugh. Unfortunately, I don't have a special stick for this purpose so I had to use a chopstick!

The kitchen cupboards have been started and I'm progressing slowly. I'd already started painting when I realised I hadn't taken any 'before' pics (still getting into the swing of this 'before and after' lark). Here's what most of the kitchen still looks like:

I like the cream and I'm still a bit worried that the blue is going to overpower the room:

My husband liked the colour. Daughter likes the colour 'but in a bathroom, not a kitchen' and son says 'it looks like a country kitchen - but not in a good way'!

However, as I was painting the first coat, the original cream colour was peeping through the blue and I decided I liked the effect. It lost that anonymous blue paint look and became interesting. So, armed with a fine sandpaper, I might start experimenting tomorrow. I'll let you know what happens.


Andi xx

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Happy Day

Yesterday I had a very happy day. My son was feeling better and back at school after a dose of the 'flu (human, not swine). I took a deep breath and began the job I hadn't been looking forward to - painting my kitchen cupboards. They're going from cream to duck egg blue and for a couple of weeks now I've been standing at the kitchen door looking at them and thinking 'do I HAVE too?'.

But you know, once I got started I really quite enjoyed it. I've only done one cupboard and drawer so far as I wanted to see what the blue looked like, but the transformation from dingy, unmovable grease-marked cream to clean, springtime blue is such an encouragement. Hoping to get much more done this weekend.

I also had a very enjoyable time cooking. I made fish pie from a recipe in this very helpful book:

(Oh dear, how can you tell I lifted the picture from Amazon?). Full of great ideas for cost-cutting cooking, my family have liked most of the recipes I've tried from here, and getting them to eat fish pie is a triumph in itself. However, as I tipped the last of the frozen peas into the dish, I glanced at the wrapper before I threw it away...

Those tiny little words to the right of 'Garden Peas' say 'serving suggestion':

Now I don't know about you, but I don't believe putting a few peas in a bowl and tipping the rest out of the sieve and onto the table top an ideal way of serving them. I think my family would complain just a tad. How about yours? I wonder who at the 'Tesco wrapper design department' got paid to think that one up?

Yesterday I felt very content and happy with my lot. Then this morning I came downstairs to find this guy just outside my back door:

After my usual visitors of blue tits, robins and blackbirds, he was quite a spectacular sight.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Andi xx

Monday, 1 March 2010

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Dedwydd!


Being only a quarter Welsh I have no idea whether that translation in the title is correct. I can only hope I've got it right and that it isn't really something rude.

Did you all remember to say 'White Rabbits' this morning when you woke? My daughter and I keep up this tradition. It's supposed to be the first thing you say upon awakening on 1st March, but we try to remember to do it the first morning of every month. I put our white rabbits on the breakfast table the night before, to remind us.

I thought I'd show you a few treasures I bought recently in the charity shops, both at home and at Lyme Regis (can't wait for the car boot season to begin, can you?):

I liked the picture on this little tray. I think it's from a Pears soap advert as the bar of soap in the bottom left of the picture looks very much like a Pears bar. Hands up all those who think the puppy is going to get a dunk!

And still on the bath theme, this little cutie came home with me and now resides on my bathroom window ledge.

Can anyone tell me what this little pot is for? I bought it to add to my violet china collection, but can't think what it might be for. It's too tall for toothpicks or matches. The plates at the back I bought in Lyme. They are Royal Doulton 'Viola' and were £4 for a set of six:

This cute juice set was purchased locally. The woman was just pricing it up when I spotted it. I'm guessing early 70's Woolworth but I could be wrong. I just love the birds:

We've been trying to feed the birds in our garden. Fat balls, seeds, fat-filled coconut halves. I thought the squirrels were bad enough for stealing the food, but now we have a crow Mafia that swoop down and just fly off with everything!

This little book was 49p and is SO sweet. We girls in the family have a fondness for frogs and toads so this book leaped (geddit?) out at me.

Around here there are no daffodils to be had for St. David's Day. I think the snow has kept them hibernating longer than usual. Even so, with the coming of March, I do believe I feel spring in the air, so...

Have a wonderful St. David's Day, Welsh or no.


Andi xx