Tuesday, 10 February 2009

I've gone Decopatch Crazy!

A tired looking hall cabinet was given the Decopatch treatment! - Along with the lamp base and shade, picture frames...and telephone!

Over to the right is a picture of a small lamp where I have cut out some of images to decorate.

A rabbit and animals decorated for Easter..

A plain old boring white lamp and shade decorated with some shapes - for Valentines' night?!

Some wooden and real eggs decorated for Easter -

- Yes, the picture is of an original 1980's Philips Hostess Trolley, that sat sadly and shamefaced in the corner of my dining room...however, now that it has had the 'Decopatch' treatment she is now sitting proudly in centre stage!

Apologies for not blogging recently, but I can fairly and squarely place the blame on my new hobby -'Decopatch'. It is purely and utterly obsessional!
Firstly I must say an enormous thank you to some very special people without whom I wouldn't have come across Decopatch in the first place! - They are Lorna & Alex from my local supplier of Decopatch materials - a delightful shop called Artyfect (http://www.artyfect.com/) in the equally delightful and picturesque village of Lindfield. They have been so incredibly helpful, and I know that if anyone is thinking of taking up this so sooooooothing hobby they will be only be too pleased to assist. All the goodies in the shop are available online - so go and check them out!
Decopatch is a fabulous way to decorate virtually any item, easily and effectively - and what is particularly important at the moment - cheaply too! - Making it fantastic hobby. Decopatch paper comes in a huge range of colours and designs and looks just like an ordinary sheet of tissue paper. However, it has been made in such a way that the colour does not run and despite the sheets looking fairly delicate it is tough. - Not only that - but so easy to clear up and put away too!
To decorate an item you simply tear the paper (small pieces for a small item, larger for a bigger item..) then using the special Decopatch Glue you glue the surface before placing your torn piece of paper, then glue over the top. Then take the next piece and stick it, slightly overlapping the previous piece..and so on . It is so incredibly easy and effective!
Go and try some 'Decopatching' yourselves!
- Molly
Artyfect Limited details as follows:-
Telephone+44 (0) 1444 483849(U.K. time between 09:00 and 17:30 hrs)Fax+44 (0) 1444 483849
Postal Address
Artyfect Limited
43 High Street
West Sussex
RH16 2HN United Kingdom

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

88,059 Clicks & Counting...

Oh dear, this gorgeous vintage gal looks like she is every inch the winner here receiving her prize.. I think I too may be in line for an award, but possibly for the wrong reasons..

You may remember that a month ago I mentioned that I had installed an interesting little gadget on my computer called 'WhatPulse'? Well, my teenage son installed it, most probably to prove that I spend longer on the computer than he does. And before you ask, yes I do..

'WhatPulse' 'counts' how many times you click your mouse, how many key strikes you make - which in turn turns that number into how many 'miles' one has travelled around the world...Yeah, I know, a bit of a silly sort of idea, especially when one is having a full on relationship with their computer like I am..

So, I promised to return one month later with my 'WhatPulse' statistics. - So here goes

97,748 Keystrokes (but that's already out of date given that I am typing right now..) 88,059 Clicks and apparently, I have 'moved' 3.52 miles..

Given that this gadget is installed on my second computer and not the main one , one could possibly think of doubling this amount, Oh dear, that sounds like an awful amount of clicking and keystroking in a space of just one month, no wonder my fingers ache!

Come on, I've declared mine, anyone else out there brave/stupid enough to install WhatPulse and declare theirs?

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Tin Can Housewife

Thank you all so very much for your kind comments following my post about 'Everlasting Headaches'. Yes, it's been a bit of week or two with them, but am glad to say that they seem to have subsided for the time being. I will certainly take onboard some of your helpful suggestions - so for now I will enjoy life until they return.

Life is somewhat busy here...hence the silly piccy. Getting stuck into lots of craftwork (will post some photos in a week or so, but am so pleased with my results!).

Youngest daughter leaving home today :( - so must go and get on with helping to load the car and 'do my bit'.

Speak to you all soon, and thanks once again for all your lovely comments, I promise to catch up with you all very soon.


Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Everlasting Headaches...

Having a moan today. Justified though ,I think anyway... I've had a headache on and off for about five days now, and when I came across this photo, I thought it just about summed it up.

Yes, I know it will eventually pass/caused by hormones/age related - but arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh, just go away!

..and I reckon this photo is likely to make it worse...

-A Moaning Molly

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Family Dinner

I adore illustrations and pictures from children's books, especially old ones like this picture. It seems to conjure up an image of another time ...

- If only family dinner times could be as tranquil as this scene...one can dream!

Hoping maybe you will enjoy some 'peaceful' dinner times yourselves over the weekend!


Thursday, 22 January 2009

'Perhaps I Am A Bear'..

"Perhaps I am a bear,or some hibernating animal underneath,for the instinct to be half asleep all winter is so strong in me."~~By Anne Morrow Lindbergh.~~
Just imagine being able to sleeeeeep all the way through until March under a nice thick warm duvet... Doesn't winter seem long this year?
A very sleeeepy -


Tuesday, 20 January 2009

New Beginnings..

As Barack Obama is sworn in later today as the first black president of the United States of America, two words popped into my mind. 'New Beginnings'...
A very special day indeed for us all - worldwide.
I found a couple of poems by Australian poet - James Allen, which I felt were appropriate for this day in history..

Mind is the master power that molds and makes, And we are Mind, and evermore we take The tool of thought, and shaping what we will,Bring forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills,We think in secret, and it comes to pass -Our world is but our looking glass.- James Allen

The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.-- James Allen


Monday, 19 January 2009

"Too much Bling, Give Us a Ring"

Had to have a giggle when us Sussex residents heard this news this morning on BBC Southern Counties Radio.

'A police campaign targeting people living lavish lifestyles on the proceeds of crime and money laundering has begun in Sussex.
Crimestoppers and Sussex Police joined forces for the campaign called "Too Much Bling, Give Us a Ring".
People are urged to report their suspicions about apparently wealthy people with no legitimate income.
Criminal assets worth £1.5m were forfeited and confiscated by Sussex Police between April and December 2008.
A police spokesperson said the government had returned £167,000 to the force in the last quarter.
It's incredibly disheartening for people to see others living affluent lives off the back of crime
Det Sgt Mick Richards, Sussex Police
The money will be used to fight crime and fund the training of more financial investigators.
Det Sgt Mick Richards, from Sussex Police's money laundering investigation team, said: "Members of the public are sick and tired of seeing people with no legitimate income living a lavish lifestyle and this is their opportunity to do something about it.
"It's incredibly disheartening for people to see others living affluent lives off the back of crime when they are leading honest lives and working hard, particularly in the current climate.
"Some criminals view a period in prison as an occupational hazard, but the Economic Crime Unit of Sussex Police will seek to strip them of their criminal gained assets as well - and this is where it will hit them hardest."
A two-week advertising campaign includes a website, bus posters and pub coasters.
Last year the force emblazoned the logo Operation Payback on a convicted drug dealer's BMW convertible to highlight the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
People can report suspicions by calling the police or Crimestoppers or by visiting the Too Much Bling '

- We're not going to get paranoid or anything, but our new Smart car shouldn't be too difficult to hide should it? ..but what about the new necklace I bought from Sainsburys on Saturday?! - Somehow I don't think Sussex Police would be interested eh?!

Saturday, 17 January 2009

How Many Kisses Can A Cavalier King Charles Ever Have?

Answer...One can never give these angels enough kisses!

- Hollie and Sophie awaiting the arrival of some tea party guests in the first photo! - Little, Sweet Sophie curled up in one of our suitcases on our arrival back from holiday! And finally, Hollie taking a nap!

Love to our darling Hollie - and Rest In Peace sweet Sophie, who, since last April left us to live pain free and to chase rabbits to her hearts delight over at Rainbow Bridge ... "Go get 'em Soph" .. xx http://www.rainbowbridge.com/
- Molly

Thursday, 15 January 2009

All Things Pretty!

Flora Thompson, a heart-warming scene from BBC's 'Lark Rise to Candleford' ...and a photo of a pair of cosy pink wrist warmers made by the talented Maggie from http://magpiescollectables.blogspot.com/. -Sure, one can see the link between the first two in that the delightful English novelist Flora Thompson (and doesn't she look just so lovely too?) wrote Lark Rise to Candleford. But where on earth do Maggie's fabulous wrist warmers fit into the picture?

For anyone having missed the wonderful adaptation of 'Lark Rise to Candleford' or more recently 'Cranford' on the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/larkrise/) then do try and catch an episode, or get hold of the DVD. It is quite utterly charming and just so quaint, I can guarantee you will be transported into another, so much gentler era of lacy frocks where everyone spoke 'just -so'. I have to admit to the occasional daydream of living in those times, as one of the 'ladies' in her finery where life was just so utterly charming (well of course it would be in a BBC period drama!). There's something so endearing about the style and use of the English language in those days... wouldn't it be just fantastic if we could just slip back in time for day?
You can imagine my delight when I literally stumbled upon Maggie's' gorgeous hand knitted wrist warmers! Aren't they just so pretty and eccentric looking (in a nice way of course!)? When I spotted these I couldn't help imagining having a pair to match different outfits - those of us who are clever with a needle (that's me out) could embellish them with pretty little pearls,( or, and I realise this would be very unlike Larkrise, put some sequins on them!) Be still my overactive imagination!

If you should be unfamiliar with the work of Flora Thompson, you can check out her books here

Oh! If only I could knit! I've tried, honest I have, many a time I've sat there wincing and muttering naughty words, but, alas I just don't seem to have the patience for either knitting -or sewing . I blame my dear Mum of course (come on, don't us Mums get the blame for everything in life?!) who, in her working life was a gifted needlework teacher. Therefore with such wonderful creations in my little world - courtesy of Mum, I never had the need (or inclination!) to knit or sew. - That's my excuse anyway!

So, if you fancy prancing about like a real 'lady' in the style of Larkrise, then get your needles out guys and girls and get knitting! - For the rest of us 'needle-challenged' folk, maybe we can settle for just reading one of Flora Thompson's books or catching the series on TV!

For those interested in more delectable knitted items, similar to Maggie's lovely creations, take a look at Maggie's inspiration - Bella McBride at http://bellamcbride.blogspot.com/ Oh! happy knitted dreams!

Happy knitting/sewing/reading or TV watching ...and don't forget to check out those wrist warmers! Gone on, tell me how you would embelish yours ...and what colour!


Sunday, 11 January 2009

Where Do You Go?

So, where do YOU go to? - Now that reminds me of the lovely 60's song by someone who, incidentally, lives not far away from me- Peter Sarstedt - 'Where do you go to, my lovely'. Remember it?
What I mean is this - Where do you go when you want to take your thoughts off to somewhere else just to get away from the days turmoil? Don't we all have 'that' place we head off to for a bit of 'thought retreat' from time to time?
Above is a couple of photos of where I take my muddled thoughts from time to time.. . It's an achingly beautiful little cottage miles from anywhere called Pwll Pendre. Not only can I recommend it as somewhere beautiful to take your mind whilst travelling on the 6.30am to Victoria but this is a place one can actually go to for your holiday - in real life folks!
Pwll Pendre is a picture book Victorian cottage which sits prettily by the edge of a small pool (yes, with ducks!) on the beautiful Hafod estate near Cwmystwyth, mid Wales. It is most certainly one of the one most dramatic and beautiful landscapes we have visited during our trips to Wales over the years. This cottage is just so perfect for the ultimate ‘get away from it all’ break or holiday and is accessible only by quiet forest tracks – how rural is that?! We regularly entertained ducks for breakfast, and enjoyed feeding the woodpecker in the tree outside - and of course woke to the sound of bleating sheep each morning! Like all 'Under the Thatch' properties Pwll Pendre is expertly 'looked after' by a local housekeeper - thus keeping employment opportunities in the locality.
We enjoyed a fantastic peaceful week here last summer..miles away from a mobile/TV signal -thus no Internet..which is utterly perfect if one is seeking to truly 'get away from it all, enjoy the beautiful scenery and, well, and just get to know each other again (that’s if you want to of course!).
Pwll Pendre is one of several stunningly beautiful properties on the books of a thoroughly nice Welsh company called ‘Under the Thatch. Headed up by the talented, and so-very-nice Dr Greg Stevenson who has made it his life’s mission (well, one of 'em, he's talented remember) to remain green and ethical whilst renovating and sustaining old traditional Welsh properties. As well as knowing one is staying in an ethically managed and sustained property is is great to know it comes at a sensible price too - so refreshing these days. Having personally booked holidays over the years with Under the Thatch , it is a joy to see Greg and his devoted team receive the accolades their hard work so deserves. The Sunday Times place Under the Thatch as No. in the Top 50 Fabulous Places to Stay in The World! - The Observer goes on to say 'A gorgeous collection of places to stay in Wales' . Greg says,"We're delighted that our work has been recognised - particularly when we were presented the 2007 Ethical Travel award in the prestigious Guardian/Observer awards (and named again in their 2008 awards). We were also presented with an award in the Wales Sustainability Awards and also won the Best Tourism Business in Ceredigion and the Best Environmental Business in Ceredigion for 2007 (Ceredigion Business Awards).

Greg and his team offer a wonderful array of unusual properties to stay - From the traditional rustic cottages, a 'Showman's Wagon' to Romany caravans (more on staying in one of those in a few weeks time!) - even a renovated train carriage could be your holiday home on a spectacular cliff top setting, or try the delights of staying in a Yurt in a sleepy glade. Under the Thatch are never short of ideas to tempt.

So if you are looking for a 'real' short break or holiday I can guarantee that once you've stayed in one of these delightful properties, you too will be taking yourself off on a 'thought retreat'!
I wonder where Peter Sarstedt goes to? - Where do YOU go ?


Thursday, 8 January 2009

A Bird By The Fire..

No, not this sort of bird. Although Marilyn Monroe was rather gorgeous wasn't she? Imagine looking that good in thermal underwear eh? I just wish I could look that good in my outer clothes let alone underwear. Oh well, a girl can dream can't she?
I'm talking the feathered variety - Starlings. Actually, two of them in my living room flying about like poor crazy frightened things.. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a bird hater or anything like that. I love birds...outside and flying about doing all the things that birds should do..but not as unwelcome (and badly behaved) house guests.

There I was enjoying a reasonably industrious morning in the study,not studying exactly, but then who actually does study in a study?.. when Hollie Dog stopped snorring...Now if a Cavalier King Charles (specially an old and dreamy one like Hol) actually stops snoring - life comes to an abupt halt due to the fact one can hear yourself think for once. I am convinced that Hollie's snoring must reach ten on the Official Snoring Scale For Dogs - Her (okay...our) whole bed literally shakes - Even on the remote occasion where she will steep herself low enough to sleep on the floor (remember we are talking Cavalier King Charles Spaniels here who are convinced that Royal blood flows through their viens) -the floor vibrates! Therefore when she does actually cease this magnificent noise just for a few seconds we tend to think she has suddenly taken a turn for the worse and go rushing to her side in a panic, or we realise that we can actually hear ourselves think. Either way, a fluttery moment. - Therefore when I did have a few moments to actually 'think' this morning I was suddenly made aware of a right old racket going on downstairs. A noise similar to what could only be described as the sort of noise large plastic sheets would make if they were being flapped about.. Just for a second I wondered if we had Plastic Sheet Flapping Burglars - after all, you never know these days..

Not only could I hear what sounded like plastic sheets being flapped about, but I could detect the clatter of items being knocked over and, well, just chaos really.. I gingerly make my way downstairs . Ever helpful to her Mistress in mortal danger, Hollie had gone back to sleep with her head firmly jammed under the pillow , it was evident that she too didn't much care for the sound of Plastic Sheet Flapping Burglars either. Nervously I stuck my head 'round the living room door and quickly found myself ducking as two crazed and frightened birds flew manically around the room desperate in their attempt to find a way out. Poor things! - My foot. Talking of feet, that was when one of them left something nasty and slimey running down my new Christmas slipper...

Resisting the urge to flap my arms in the air and scream and run around like something out of 'The Birds' I managed to open the windows wide. Just as these two poor crazed creatures made their swift escape to freedom, a neighbour chose that very moment to walk past the house...giving me a wave and wishing me a Happy New Year. "Oh Yes! Thank you!" I said, "Happy New Year to You too!". It's now going to take me all of this year to convince my neighbour that I am not some weird person who keeps wild birds locked up in her living room..

I just hope the Starling Darlings enjoyed their visit - I feel sure they did, for they left me several little 'gifts' strewn across the furniture, walls and windows. No only that, but in their excitement at arriving down my chimney they brought with them a significant amount of black soot from inside the chimney that was now clinging to the carpet.. Try getting that off your pink fluffy thermals Marilyn.

How these poor creatures actually got down my chimney I cannot imagine. Hubby says they must have 'just fallen down' which I think is a bit daft, 'cos surely birds don't just slip and fall? Youngest son suggested they both flew down the chimney deliberately 'for something to do'. Older City Son wisely said 'It happens'. Middle Seaside Son gave me a lecture on the dangers of bringing wild birds into the house and the diseases one can catch... Whilst Both Brave Daughters said that if the Starling Darlings had flown in when they had been at home on their own they would have run out of the house screaming. Great girls , I know I can count on you both in a crisis then..

Considering the living room had only just received its post Christmas 'BIG' clean a couple of days ago when everyone had returned to work after Christmas I was none too pleased at having to start again. So much so, that when hubby went back to work after lunch my parting shot was something along the lines of him having to climb up on the roof (tonight..and yes, it is dark and cold) and put some wire over the chimney to prevent these Starling Darlings from paying us another visit anytime soon. "Yes love" he said with that tone of 'sometime in the future I might get on to it , but there's the big chance that it will never happen'. - A tone many a wife will recognise- Let's say that after thirty odd years together it only takes a look as a response.. And HIS parting comment was "What's for dinner tonight love?" ...to which I will not share my response...or maybe I should have said 'Starling, darling'.

Birds eh?


Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Are You 'The One in Four'?

If, by any chance you've been on another planet these past six months and missed this fabulous film do get to see it, it really is an hour or so of fun and a fabulous diversion from the New Year gloom.
Incredible as it may sound, latest figures suggest that one in four of every UK households have seen it. - That's an awful lot of singing and Abba mania going on!
Like thousands of 'women of a certain age' I too was given the dvd of Mamma Mia! The Movie for Christmas, and most probably, like millions of others around the country (the world?) sat down on Christmas Day afternoon to watch it. It transported hubby and I back to our Abba loving days of the 70's when at that time one it was considered a bit odd or old fashioned to own up to liking Abba! We sang along to our hearts content (much to the annoyance of the 'teens in the family!) - thoroughly enjoying ourselves!
I reckon it would be the perfect remedy if you're currently snuggled down under the duvet nursing a nasty cold or cough, I think it's that mixture of happy singalong songs and a sunny Greek island location....oooh! sounds perfect! - If you are one of those 'suffering', go and nag someone into getting you a copy and get better soon!


Friday, 2 January 2009

How many times have you clicked today?

I have to admit to slightly mocking my youngest son as he told me of his new download this morning... 'Whatpulse' - heard of it?

I mean who would want to know how many times you make a click on your mouse over a period of time - or indeed how many keystrokes one makes ...or how far one 'travels' the globe? Actually, the mockery must have lasted all of about five seconds before I was pleading for him to install this on my trusty steed.

Slightly hesitant maybe??-Thinking that it will be the final proof that you spend far too much time clicking and keystroking? Well, yes, I suppose so, but fun eh?

..Just one final thought. This download would be the perfect gadget for any therapist dealing with people suffering from obsessional computer usage. I'll disclose my number of clicks and miles..if you disclose yours... - One month from today remember! - To download Whatpulse go to Whatpulse.org -or more information go to wikipedia

-Molly x

Monday, 29 December 2008

The 2008 Hero - You!

Well, 2008 is nearly finished.. it's been a bit like a box of chocolates hasn't it?! - never quite knowing what's coming out of the box next. For many, it's been an incredibly difficult one - a year in which we have seen the misery inflicted on families worldwide as a result of the global recession. Job cuts, a major slump in industry and the housing market-deep uncertainty will be weighing very heavily on the minds of millions as we approach the New Year.

I wanted to just share something that I stumbled upon last week- Simply because I felt it might just throw a slightly different emphasis on this time of the year and the way in which we may be approaching 2009.

On Wednesday (New Years Eve) our usual group of patients will be meeting up for their Day Therapy Session at our local hospice. I am a volunteer and was desperately trying to think of something that would be a welcome diversion from their situation at this time of the year- trying to think of something a little upbeat along with a large dose of the 'feel-good factor'. Hmm..not easy.. Nothing immediately came to mind that would be appropriate for this very special group of people. I decided to 'sleep on it', hoping that inspiration would come from somewhere, and fortunately it did - just simply one word. Hero.

Why 'hero' and, more importantly what was I going to do with or about that word??! ..We are all familiar with the numerous 'award' type media events ...The Oscars..The Golden Globes..The Television Awards etc etc.. So, I thought, what fun it would be for us at the hospice to hold our very own 'Hero Awards' ceremony for each of the patients. - Each of the patients will receive their own 'certificate' with a little humorous comment or an 'in joke' along with a rosette. Okay, maybe we can't have too many glasses of bubbly like the celebs do, but with a glass of sherry who knows the heights of humour that will be reached! I just happen to believe that every single person who walks through those doors of the hospice are hero's - staff included, so everyone involved in our little unit will be receiving their very own 'Special Hero Award' too! Looks like Wednesday may be a busy one - If nothing else, if each of the patients return home with a renewed sense of themselves, and a smile on their faces, then it will be worth it.

So what has a 'Hero Award Service' really got to do with the rest of us facing the uncertainty of a New Year? Lots actually, or at least I think so. I believe that every person facing the possibility of redundancy,the loss of our savings/pensions and so forth, the reality of losing their home, the family desperately trying to hold it together in the midst of financial ruin, the mental and physical illness that can and does stem from being under tremendous pressure - each and every one of these people is a hero.

Okay, so maybe the answer isn't that we all all give each other simplistic 'awards' or rosettes - but what we can give is our time, our friendship, our patience and understanding.Of course we may be in a position to offer practical or financial help - but most importantly we can give our energy, our patience - and above everything else - respect.

My Best Wishes for 2009...and don't forget there's a hero standing not far from you right now! - Do tell me some of your 'hero stories' - It's good to share and I would love to hear from you.

Love Molly x