Saturday, 27 February 2010

Tag - you're it! Seven things about me on my baby boy's birthday.

Today, 28th February, 24 years ago my husband and I went on our first date.

not our first date but the very early days
(brown faces with white necks were all the rage in Wales in the early 90's along with hideous clothes and matching colours at weddings!!)
Today 12 years ago we had our first child.

I cannot believe that I gave birth to this little man 12 years ago today.

It only feels like it was a few months ago.

I almost burst into tears every time I think he could be off to University in 6 years.

My plan is to mother him so much he never wants to leave home!

In just a couple of years I'm going to have girls knocking on the door for him - I'm stocking up my ammunition now - keep away - he's mine!

Mummy's handsome boy!

Now for the seven things about me:

Tina from Rubies Place has tagged me and I now have to reveal seven things about me.

1. As you can see I'm a very posessive and overprotective Mummy - I love my babies to the point where I feel sick if they go off on a school trip or I don't know where they are. Silly, I know but I worked hard to make them and intend keeping them for as long as I can before they go off into the big wide world without Mummy by their side! (And no, before you ask I'm not on medication!)


2. I did a parachute jump when I was 22. I was petrified and when it was my turn to jump I had to be 'helped' to the edge of the open door as my heels were digging in trying to push me back. I screamed and swore until my parachute opened and then enjoyed every minute of it.

This photo always cracks me up - you can see the absolute terror in my face!


3. When we were younger everywhere we went my husband was told he looked like Paul Newman. I mean everywhere - we would be in pubs, restaurants, weddings... at the time it meant nothing to me but now I thinks it's pretty cool that a plain jane like me could pull a Paul Newman lookalike!


4. I love the Twilight books - I defy anyone to read them and not fall absolutely in love with Edward's character. These books are so different to anything I normally read and just blew me away! Thank you Stephanie Meyer!


5. I don't drink a lot of alcohol. It's not deliberate. I'm not against alcohol. I wish I liked wine - I'd love to have a wine glass in my hand when I'm out and look all ladylike and sophisticated but I can't stand the taste of it. I also don't like the feeling of being really drunk. If I do drink anything it's beer so there goes any attempt at looking ladylike! I probably only drink alcohol two or three times a year - I'm honestly not as boring as I sound!


6. I wish I had more money to travel. There are so many places I want to go and I really want my children to see the world but no matter how hard I try I just can't seem to save enough to get very far!


7. I love that I have met so many like minded and really interesting and talented people through blogging. I consider so many of you my 'friends' as we have so much in common and hope we all keep this up and remain good friends.


Thanks for tagging me Tina - it was fun.


Now I want to pass this on to everyone who reads my post as I don't want to offend anyone by leaving them out. It's over to you to reveal 7 things about you.

Tag - you're it!!


PS. not sure what I've done but I posted this today and it's come up with yesterdays date and I can't change it - 8th thing about me - I'm hopeless with computers!

My bedroom

Here are some more photo's of my bedroom

We've had the bed for about 15 years and I would love to change it but don't feel I can as my children have grown up in this bed too. I actually prefer the bed in my spare/guest bedroom and may switch them over one day but for now this one stays.

We've had our bedroom furniture for over 20 years and it's really solid and well made but the colour has 'oranged' over the years so I have big plans for this piece. Ana from Knock off Wood has really inspired me and I'm about to make a slightly altered version of her version of the Pottery Barn Cameron TV stand for my kids TV room. If I manage to do a reasonable job of this I plan on making an open cubby hole shelving unit to sit on top of this dresser in my bedroom. I just love the bedroom furniture in the film "What Lies Beneath" (see second photo below) so would like my bedroom furniture to resemble the unit in their bedroom. I plan on painting the whole thing white eggshell like the panelling behind my bed (by the way the inspiration for the panelling behind my bed was from the film "The Last Mimzy" and the secret service agent had similar panelling in his bedroom). I fantasised about that for months until my husband recreated it for me about 2 years ago. I love it!

image courtesy of hooked on houses

by the way is it me or can anyone else see a spaniel's face in the mirror in this room?

some little silver votives on each end of the small shelf on top of the panelling - plus a little silver giraffe - they are my favourite animals

a twig heart and a little linen embroidered heart from a holiday in France
(you can't have too much love in a bedroom!)

Before you all go I would like your opinions please - what colour should I paint my bedside cabinets?:

white - the same as my dresser and shelving unit

blue - like this gorgeous dresser over at Just Beachy

or black like the furniture in Layla and Kevin Palmer's guest bedroom at The Lettered Cottage?

I'm really stuck here so would welcome any thoughts!

Sam xx

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Sneak peek of my newly painted bedroom

I had a few days off last week due to children's birthday parties and half term and had a 'free' day on Saturday (no birthdays and no parties) so on impluse decided to paint my bedroom using the paint that was left over from my study/kids tv room. I had already used some to repaint my bathroom so this paint has gone a long way!
I love this colour and my guest bedroom was the first room I used this paint colour in - not the same tin though - it's not magic paint!

In case you're interested the paint colour is Off White Estate Emulsion by Farrow and Ball - it's quite a pale green shade of cream.


more pics to follow when I can manage to take some good ones!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Inspiration from A Country Farmhouse

I am reluctant to post photo's of my house at the moment until I can either beg, steal or borrow a better camera.
Instead, today I am posting photo's of a house I wish I lived in. They are all photos from A Country Farmhouse which is owned by Trina and her husband. They are doing up a beautiful old house and it's outbuildings in the Northwest and have done such a spectacular job that I wanted to share it with others who may not have found them yet.
simple and stunning

so tasteful

My favourite combination - hex tiles and beadboard - I would give anything to get my hands on those tiles - you just cannot get them in the UK - WHY NOT!!


MAJOR closet envy!

And finally their porch - look at that view!!!
I would never leave this spot with a view like that.

SO jealous!

Go have a visit to A Country Farmhouse to see even more inspirational photos.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Fantastic Giveaway

For some time I have been noticing these graphic prints on peoples blogs showing place names. I am really drawn to them but had no idea what they were called. I've been googling all sorts of things to try and trace one as I would absolutely LOVE one. I have been toying with the idea of making one but there would be a lot of stencils to cut (by hand as I don't have a cricut) and I would be so worried about making a mistake and ruining it.
Anyway Mel at Mel's Rose Place is having a giveaway and she is going to give one lucky person one of the tea towels she used to make this Australian bus route picture.

Have a wander over to her blog. Her home is lovely.
I say good luck to you all with total insincerity as I want this so much!
(Just kidding, I'm not that horrible - good luck!)

Friday, 19 February 2010

Explaining my absence and map project finally finished

I am not the best blogger in the world and would love to be able to manage to post at least 3 times a week but with two children and a full-time job it's hard to find the time. February is the month where I have the least spare time as both my babies and my husband have their birthdays within 10 days of each other. Also my brother's girlfriend has a little boy whose birthday also falls in the same week as my three so even more tail chasing for me as I now have to post presents to Spain on top of planning parties, buying presents, making party bags...

Anyway these two are the reason I have been absent for the last week!
Lily was 8 yesterday and had a little tea party for some friends and neighbours. Her 'real' party is on Sunday when we are going to Build a Bear with 7 of her best friends. This is why she only had profiteroles with candles yesterday - I'm not buying two birthday cakes!
Seth will be 12 next week but we had his party this week as it's half term here and he wanted to see Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief so if we waited til his birthday chances are most of his friends would have already seen it. We went for pizza afterwards and unbelievably 9 12 years old boys behaved really well!


Anyway, ages ago I started giving Seth's bedroom a quick paint job but ended up doing a bit more than I had planned. I had accidentally ripped his world map so had decided to split it into 3 and frame the pieces over cork so that we could 'map out' where he has been. I had to put each section of the map on a slight angle or I wouldn't have been able to frame it properly but I can live with this! I've been a bit slack on finishing this project partly due to time and partly due to the fact that I had to wait til the frames I wanted in TKMaxx were in stock and at a good price. I've finally finished and all three frames are made by the same company but are slightly different which I love.
I made map pins showing the year he visited (or first went to) everywhere he has been. No pins on the Asia/Australia map just yet!
I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

On another note, my photos are terrible and getting worse - my camera is definitely on it's way out and I can't afford to replace it with the kind that I would like to. Can anyone recommend a cheap but decent DSLR camera?

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Every home has a story

photo from Danielson Designs

I came across a lovely sign recently but it was made by a company in the States. By the time we in the UK pay for international shipping, if it's even offered at all, this usually bumps the price up beyond a reasonable amount. Which is why if I ever see anything I like I try to jot it down or make a sketch so that one day, when I have time, I can have a go at making my own version.

Here is my version of that sign, which I have just made for my sister.

Close up detail

She is really pleased with it and is going to hang it by her kitchen sink.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Bedroom Furniture revamp

For the last week I have been helping a friend makeover her tired, dated, orange pine bedroom furniture. I forgot to take a before picture (this is where it shows that I'm not a truly dedicated blogger yet). You can use your imagination though - orange pine with a light varnish. This look has been and gone. My friend had mentioned that she was thinking of replacing her furniture with some painted furniture and had seen a single set of drawers on sale in Laura Ashley for £400! I hate to see things go to waste when they can clearly be re-purposed so suggested she paint her funiture which in turn led to me offering to tell her how to do it, then show her how to do it, then help her do it, then do it all myself cos I was scared she would make a mess of it! It's taken a week of evenings after work and the weekend to transform her furniture and we are both really pleased with how it turned out.

Firstly I removed the drawer fronts to make it easier to paint them. The fronts are actually separate to the drawers so came off nicely. Big lesson learnt here - we forgot to number the drawers and drawer fronts and we later learnt that the screw holes were in different places on every drawer so when we finished it took my husband over two hours of trial and error to match them all!! He was very amused by this - NOT!

I then sanded everything to remove the varnish and put on my first coat of primer then sanded again and applied a second coat of primer. More sanding and first coat of main colour - White Tie oil based eggshell by Farrow and Ball. I really love their paints as they are so easy to work with. I also prefer oil based paint for my top coats as it gives a more solid, long lasting finish and has a very nice subtle sheen. More sanding and then another coat of eggshell. I then sanded the corners and certain areas right back to the bare wood and applied a dark oak stained wax which I rubbed into the wood and then back off again.

Finally we changed the drawer pulls (which had been orange pine the same as the dressers) to some lovely pale green ceramic ones my friend found online. They had a pewter effect finish too and really changed the look of the furniture. They were a nightmare to fit as the previous ones had screwed in the back of the drawer front but these had longer screws and bolts so we had to drill big holes in the actuall drawers for the bolts to sit inside.

Still, not one to give up I persevered and think they look great now and have saved my friend a fortune.

Here are some up close detailed shots.

The paint, brushes, sandpaper and drawer pulls came to around £50 saving her £750 had she bought two new sets in the Laura Ashley sale!

The only thing now is I feel that my own bedroom furniture is looking a bit dated too - I may have to make a start on that soon!

Monday, 1 February 2010

Bathroom Makeover

We bought our house from new 12 and a half years ago. I think it's obvious from the photos below that I did not buy my house for the bathroom! I am the unproud owner of the worlds smallest and most hideous bathroom. It's really badly laid out with the toilet in the middle so you have no place within reach to hang a toilet roll holder. The bathroom is actually smaller than the bath! My husband made a tongue and groove bath panel a few years ago and when we removed the 'lovely' plastic one which came with the house we saw that the wall at the foot of the bath had been gouged out a bit for the end of the bath to fit just inside the wall!! The builders also left out tiles behind the toilet and when I asked the sales person why it was because it saved money!

Did you notice the hideous reggae coloured sign my brother brought back from Barbados for us! He is a yachtsman and always brings us something back - he laughed when he gave this to me but I felt I had to put it somewhere for a while - on top of the cabinet out of sight was the best place I could find.

We have an ensuite so originally decorated this bathroom for the children - we thought blue was nice and cheerful however, as my children have got older they prefer to shower in the en-suite so I am the only one who really has baths.

I have big plans for my little bathroom but it involves changing every single thing in there. I want to push the wall by the window back a foot so that we only have a small window sill and a few inches more room. I want to change the whole suite and have a traditional sink and a clawfoot bathtub. I want subway tiles and cladding on the wall. I have a gorgeous slate photo frame ready to go above the bath. I want white cladding on the ceiling with little spotlights. I want either slate on the floor or hex and dot tiles. Hex and dot tiles do not exist in the UK so I can only get this if I go on holiday to The States. I want the walls to be painted in a very pale shade of green like the lightest green in sea glass. Want, want, want.... Plus I want a holiday first so this bathroom is just a way off dream for now.

I tend to live with things I hate and prefer to wait until I can have things exactly the way I want them. The reason for this is that I would rather not waste money on an area I have no look on plus I tend to find that just making a little change tends to lead to another and another... so I end up spending loads of money to still not have things the way I want them.

Anyway!! I was browsing through blogland recently and notice Lemonade Makin Mama's bathroom makeover for just the cost of a tin of paint. I still had some paint left over from my kids room/study/craft room re-do (I have not posted photos of this yet as still a few bits left to do but I will do when it looks right). I was inspired. So decided to re-paint this horrid room and do nothing else. It's amazing what just a paint job can do. I'm much happier with this room now and am happy to leave the door open - it was always closed before to hide the hideousness. I still have a small horrible bathroom but it's one I can bear to live with for a bit longer now!

A heart shaped stone my kids found and wrote Mum and Dad on it
Some starfish my son bought on a holiday in the South of France

My precious sea glass and a piece of driftwood my husband and son found on the shores of Lake Ontario and insisted on bringing back with us

A vintage mirror we bought from a junk shop when we lived in London
A little bowl I bought recently reduced from £8 to £2. I didn't know what I was going to do with it but bought it because I thought it was cute. I filled it with little heart shaped soaps that had been sitting in a cupboard for ages.

A stool that was next to my daughter's bed which I have 'borrowed' to sit next to the bath. She does have three other stools in her room and only one bottom so I don't think she'll miss it!

A fisherman's knot door stop that I used to sell in my shop. I had the last one!

I still have to make a blind or some kind of window treatment - I'm thinking of just a short white linen or burlap panel held loosely in place with ribbon or string (this is, after all, just a temporary re-do). I also need to buy a white bathmat for the floor and am halfway through painting a mirror to go on the wall next to the sink. Even a small project takes time!

I apologise, once again, for the quality of my photo's. Unfortunately my finances cannot stretch to a DSLR camera just yet but it is on my list of wants (which as I've already pointed out, is a very long list!).