Thursday, 23 October 2014

Hallway makeover

It must be something about the autumn that draws me back to my rather quiet blog, since my last post was September last year, I have a lot to add, whether I do or not remains to be seen, I suppose. Anyway, I have been busy round here, and the new house is starting to feel more like our place rather than like a holiday home now! I thought I should record our progress, before we forget the effort we put in.

Before I start giving you a tour of our hall though, I should explain that this makeover is not finished! There are still pictures to put up, and furniture to find and flooring to replace. But I'm starting to realise that houses are never done, so I thought I'd blog anyway, but remember: I have not staged any of these shots ( think you might notice the realism as you go through...

I don't have any proper 'before' pictures, only really this one:


It wasn't just the coral and peach wallpaper combination that cause me problems. It was the very busy texture in the wallpaper and the 7 large brass picture lights - now, I could understand one or two, but seven, really?!
It took Tall Man and I took a week off and worked solidly, stripping wallpaper, cleaning the walls, trying to smooth them and prep them for painting. After 7 days, we admitted defeat. The plaster was cracked everywhere, the walls were bumpy and no matter how much 'Smooth Over' we used, they would only get worse. At that point our hall looked like this (it was quite dingy, it's not just that my photographic skills have failed me again):




and this (we had Christmas like this, can you see the wreath on the door?):


We decided that it was time to call in the professionals, and I started testing paint colours (who knew there were some many 'neutral' paint colours?):


Finally, we settled on Dulux Elderflower Tea, which seems to manage to be neutral and a colour at the same time:
And then, one day we came home to this:





Phew, the Elderflower Tea calmed us down no end. We had all the picture lights removed and replaced them with cheap glass lights from B&Q. I did try lots of different, expensive wall lights from John Lewis, but they all looked cheap and nasty, whereas these cheap ones look rather elegant, I hope!

Now, I'm spending far too long on Ebay dreaming of one of these:


I'd really like to replace the cream carpet with a nice oak floor, just like the picture, but funds need to recover before that ever happens!



Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Rosehip and apple jelly

I've gone from the sublime to the ridiculous, I post nothing much for over 18 months, and then two posts in one night! I suppose it's all about time, when you've got it, you should use it, which brings me to rosehip and apple jelly (neat huh?!). We have rosehips in the garden, there they are in front for the moobours:


and we have cooking apples from the tree that hangs over the fence from our other lovely neighbours, so I thought I should do something with them. It also gave me the excuse for getting yet another kitchen gadget!

I followed this chap's instructions. He explains things very simply, so simply in fact, that I was feeling confident!

I topped and tailed the rosehips, chopped up the whole apples, put them in the pot covered them with water and boiled the whole messy mixture up, just like that:


Then I used the newest addition to my kitchen gadgetry (is that even a word?!), a jelly sieve:
 
I put all the mush into the bag and let it drip through all day and all night:

 
It was a long, slow process, and I was very careful not to touch the bag, as it seems that squeezing the bag will make the jelly cloudy. All the juices had to be boiled up again,
 
 
with  sugar:
 
 
The recipe called for 1kg of sugar for every litre of juice. Luckily, I had exactly 1 litre of juice and 1kg of sugar in the cupboard. I am now the proud owner of four jars and one small pot of very set jelly:
 
 
 I can't quite believe I made this:


 

New neighbours, or should that be moobours?

We moved house in June, and we've gone from being townies to finding ourselves out in a tiny village (with only 300 inhabitants!). I can't lie, it's lovely. We are still finding our feet and the house doesn't feel like home yet, but we all seem more relaxed. The highlight of this week was meeting our new neighbours, who just moved into the field behind us. The Little People love running out to say hello to them as they peer over the hedge:






Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Old blog, new look...

A lot has happened since my last post, and I now have more time to go back to blogging (famous last words...), I really did miss it.

In an effort to get started I thought I'd start with the decor, gone are the kitsch cup cakes that I loved so much, but welcome to the far more tasteful (I think!) shapes and circles. More posts coming soon - really, really...

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Is it really 2012?

At the beginning of 2011 I had high hopes for blogging - I was going to post a photo every week, blog regularly and create a record that I could look back on, but as always life took over - what with ferrying two little people around, working, helping in school and starting an MA the blogging the cobwebs have taken over! Free time has taken a back seat, funny that!

I won't make any promises about blogging in 2012, let's just see how it goes. I have promised myself that I'll post some shots of 2011 soon - in May or June or maybe November, though I may surprise myself, you never know!