13 Aug 2016

It's beginning to look like...

A garden instead of a shit pit.

I'll make no apologies for swearing, just calling it out for what it was.

There literally is no other description for it.  

That's the shitty shed after I took a crowbar and sledge hammer to it. 
The garden has taken a lot of hard graft, done weekends and evenings.

Literally getting home from work; seeing the kiddos to bed before burning as much of the shed as I could.  
What was too much to burn went to recycling.

The fencing was pressure washed then given 2 coats of stain, new and old look the same and it is just so much tidier!

The hubby put up the little shed on the pallet base I created and will you just look at the difference now!

A retaining wall needs putting up then I can get the pebbles in there and the pallet seating to finish it off.

Already the garden has new life

It makes me so happy because...

it makes the kiddos happy

We all spend time there now, chilling in our own little ways. 

The largest of the cable reels is now a pretty pink, I'm not a pretty pink person but this works just right for me

And as I'm no longer embarrassed by the state of it all we've had a few lovely lil family BBQs 

Which have lasted till the stars came out

All done so far on the tightest budget!

I have waited literally years for the garden to get to this point, it's not finished by a long shot, it quite probably will take till next summer to do the bones of it.  
There will definitely be a lot more hard work, 
(doing the cruddy labouring saves a fortune!)

So while I get to saving for the next stage...


turns Cava with strawberries is one of the nicest drinks 

3 Jul 2016

I want it now...

The whole, instant gratification that this modern life gives makes me a bit "I want 'it' now"
It can be anything, from the weather forecast to a 17sq mtr deck!
I'd like to have my wish fulfilled NOW!

I had little faith but even less money when I bought my 2 tiny lavender plants. I wanted a big hit of a lavender bush and I wanted it NOW.
Thankfully I was on a budget and bought the 2 tiny plants.  
They have grown so much since I planted them in the tatty old basket.
I LOVE how when I walk up and down the steps I have to brush against them and how that let's their beautiful scent loose.

I am really not THAT impatient, I just have a picture in my mind or an idea and I can't wait to turn into a reality.

They say you've got to break a few eggs to make the omelette and it seems that my entire garden needs to get trashed before the decking can be laid.

More materials arrived this week, the decking boards being the most exciting.
Who knew I'd get excited about planks of wood eh?
It's been a challenge to get the underside of the boards painted in between rotten wet weather and a shitty cold.

The old fencing that's staying is getting a blast with the pressure washer, courtesy of one of my older kiddos.  This one never did like playing with dolls...

Time is slipping by though. 
The fencing contractors will be here in 11 days (not that I'm counting) and the shed HAS to come down before they get here and the decking really needs to be finished before I can do that as there's just simply not enough room for anything else.

As I said I just want it done NOW!

Again very little crafting occurring but a tiny amount of DIY.

25 Jun 2016

And so finally it's beginning.
The Base for the deck has been started and it is going be be amaze balls!!

The weather has been wet, wet, wet.
It's slowed the man that can down a bit but he has done the hard digging.

The rain has been good for the plants though. 
Everything is almost running away with itself. 
The 2 tiny lavenders I planted in the pink wicker basket are almost bursting out.  Id been worried that they wouldn't grow but I think next spring they'll need to go into the ground.

The old bucket I popped a few tiny plugs in is also fit to burst....its just lush

And the sweet peas that went into an old coal scuttle are still just gorgeous.  Next year I'll have faith and not over plant them as I did this year. I didn't realise they would bush out as much.

Between work and rain we've not spent a huge amount of time in the garden, but given the state of it that's not a bad thing.

Decking arrives next week and I'm hoping it's dry enough that I can give it a couple of coats of wood stain after work in the evenings, before it gets laid, followed by one final coat once it's done. 

There's been so little crafting done in these parts.
Work is all time consuming, it's taking time to get a groove we can all jam to.  

12 Jun 2016

Garden plans...

Every year I look in envy on many pretty garden blog posts and now I'm on Instagram that envy has grown.
My garden is in all honesty pretty shot.  I've tried over the years to patch it but between 6 children and 4 chickens it has taken a battering. 

However that could all be about to change...

Take a look at it as it is this evening

The shitty shed is literally falling down,  but it can't just yet as it's holding the even shittier fence behind it up.  

Fencing contractor is booked for the middle of July to replace or repair the old fence. Pots of wood stain are sitting patiently waiting for that job.
I've got a smaller shed on the patio waiting to be put up as soon as the fencing is done and the old one comes down.
If this was a design blog I would be referring to this area as a 'sunken terrace'.  Looking at it as it stands, terrace is just too grand a description so we'll settle with area!
The long term plan here is to create a chill zone for the teens, I'm starting to gather pallets to create a pallette seating area with a fire pit. The floor is pretty uneven with a mix of paving slabs and various concrete hard standings. Too expensive to replace, turf or deck I'm going for a jumbo sack of pebbles to cover it all.

On the floor down the bottom you might have spotted the big blue plastic sheet?  It's covering up the pitted crumbling ground where once the chickens lived. That is to be decked. The decking been ordered and we have a man that can coming in at the end of this month to lay a large deck to cover a multitude of crap. 
 Long term (next summer hopefully) I'll be putting my workshop on this deck.  But I have champagne taste on a lemonade budget and finding the right workshop that ticks all boxes including price will take some research and even more saving.

The patio area is with selective vision not so terrible, put your blinkers on and it's bearable.

These old cable reels were picked from the bins of an electrical shop on the industrial estate I'm now working at.  They'll be handy little garden tables!

However I'm hoping we can afford this year to deck the patio and extend that deck over the crumbling weed ridden bank...

The man that can says it's an easy job to do but I just need to finalise my budget!

And there we have it.  It will take time and no small amount of effort and saving but this is the first year that I have an actual plan not just pie in the sky dreams.
Still without those dreams the plan may never have been made! 

1 Oct 2015

Dottie Frock, Part Two...

So I went down a size and Im much happier!

I left the pockets as per the pattern and think I prefer them there

The neck is a LOT less gapey and feels much comfier for it

The back feels good
(wish my hips looked a little less elephant like)

I shortened the strap in half with the intention of putting them on the sides of both front and back but didn't add anything of the back half for this.
Ive no idea how to do that so Im going to give it a go using the next size up back pattern piece.
I know im confusing you aren't I?  Might all be clear one day!

I did lower the tucks quite a bit, I put the dress on then marked out from there and Im happy with where they are.  If I had left them as per the pattern they would have been pulling across my boobs for sure.

Im still doing something wrong with the arms though.  In all honesty I did really rush this one as I had limited time, but they just dont feel right.
I know its me not the pattern, Im just not reading it right or translating what Im reading into what Im doing.

That was the last of the vintage sheet so I'll have to have a root around to find something for the next tester. 
Now I have the size and tuck heights Im a lot happier.

Wish I had the knowledge to make the changes I want just the once but practice should make perfect
(or at least wearable)

28 Sep 2015

Dottie Frock, Part One...

There is a frock doing the rounds of the tinternet, a band wagon if you will.
The marvelous Dottie Angel frock has most definately arrived.
I've had my pattern several weeks now but have only just been brave enough to face it and find space/time to tackle it.

It is one of those dresses which you just simply wish/hope will work for you.  It looks super comfy, casual & slightly crafty.

So straight in with the nitty gritty.

I am not a seamstress.
I am a regular Joe who owns a sewing machine, has made kids clothes and home accesories in the past and even a dress or two for myself but I haven't cut a pattern and followed instructions for 3/4 years.

Going against the grain for me I've been really sensible and made a muslin before hacking into any really pretty or expensive fabric.

I had a vintage bed sheet and it is perfect for this.
I think it shows just how much I want this to work for me, to get it right not just 'ok'

All photos are before it was hemmed, ironed or any tweeks made, literally straight off the sewing machine.

I made it in the largest size but it is too big.  

The neck is REALLY gapey and hangs lopsided on my shoulders.

I have re sewn this and it has helped, I just stitched closer to the edge on the inside to kind of hold it down as it was also rolling. 
A good press looks to have helped as well.

I struggled with the arms a bit, the pattern, to me, wasn't too clear and I didn't use bias binding as the instructions gave.  
They too feel slightly gapey BUT I quite like the extra room and I think in the smaller size this will rectify itself.

The tucks gave me a bit of a time, no idea why.  Whilst not a regular sewer I can sew but I'm not a big pattern fan but now I've done them once it's just bloody obvious what I need to do.
Next time they will be neater!

You can see below that the neck is big, the ties a tad too high but the arms are ok.

I moved the pockets down as I like them lower but I do feel that they now sit just below my belly and just draw attention to it, so I will leave them alone on the next tester.

I left the side ties in the postition given but think I may try them an inch or two down to sit a bit further below my boobs.
{I've seen others online do this who have bigger busts and it seems to sit more nicely}

The rear view shows how big it is, the neckline is nice but as the dress is too big it's not sitting straight.

I did do French Seams on the side and I quite like them, I don't have a serger so it does contain all the loose threads etc and keep it looking tidy.
I did not use any bias binding either on the arms or the neck.

So onto Part Two
a smaller size
move side ties down 1 or 2 inches
leave pockets alone
still not use bias binding
neaten front tucks
probably shorten ties as they are big enough to go around twice which I will never do!

I love the dress, even as wrong as it is!
It will probably never see life outside the house but it will get worn.  Truth be told I would probably wear it out if it wasn't pink/flowery...anyone who knows me will know that pastels are really not my thing!

I am determind to make it work for me as it is the comfy, slouchy style that I have come to love.

I hope this is of some help to someone!
It is a record for me as Im not known for keeping notes on things.


15 Jul 2015

Crochet, Gardening and Summer...

I have on my crochet hook a rather large blanket, being made for my eldest son who is 6' 4"...so it needed to be big but as always I may have made it EXTRA BIG!

 14 balls of wool in I'm just waiting for a wooly delivery so I can crack on and get it ready for the Autumn

In the meantime I've started a granny square blanket using up a few of the odds n bods that I've accrued recently...
pretty, bright and girly

In garden news I've finally started on the pallet planting

Sunny summer ahead, plenty of time to sit back and just enjoy it all