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Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Kitchen Planning!

I am the most impatient person I know!!! I'm even annoying myself so I feel very sorry for Scott!

We had an email from our solicitor last week saying that all the searches are back, we are on track for completing before Christmas and a provisional completion date of 31st January.. Was not a bit happy about this whatsoever! We knew it would probably be into January because of Christmas but that's just stupid! So currently negotiations are happening to put this right!

In the meantime I have spent a fortune on stuff in my head, the most recent obsession being our kitchen! When we first brought the house we said 'yeah the kitchens okay but were change it at some point'; but now we have to buy ALL our appliances (including a cooker), I have designed the whole thing!

The Homebase website has a kitchen planner where you can put the dimensions of your room in and then plan the kitchen, it's a bit fiddly but a great time killer!

I wouldn't have a stainless steel sink but otherwise that's quite a close comparison to what I would like! I think it looks pretty smart really!I would quite like a breakfast bar too but I don't think the rooms big enough really. I wish you could do with with all the rooms in the house, that would certainly keep me occupied until we can decorate for real!

We keep having the debate about built in appliances or stand alone or a range, I think Scott's coming round to the idea of a range, I just think they look really good and we can take it with us when we move again if we want to! We will probably keep the fridge/freezer and washing machine stand alone too but integrate the dishwasher.

I am loving Next Homeware too! The rest of my house will be a Next show room at this rate! I have asked for gift vouchers for Christmas so I can fuel my obsession! I am seriously hoping that the January sales are good as I have lots to buy!

We also went to ikea yesterday to have a look around. Much of their stuff is (not so) cheap and tacky but there are also some options there, like their fitted wardrobes, they are quite smart. You can more or less put any combination of drawers/hanging space/shelves etc. that you wish! I also saw the table that I has picked out for my sewing room; it MUCH bigger than I realised which might be a problem with the size of the room! Would be a good space though!

I need to hang fire really, but I just wan't to get on with it!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013


I thought it was about time I explained my choice of name for the blog. I'm sure you would have already worked out that it is latin; and with the (sort of) recent developments of the shop, it stands for 'garden, crafty, love'. The reason I didn't use horti astutia amoris for the shop is I didn't think anyone would get it... or remember it in terms of googling and spelling it.

I started to like latin phrases from reading the 'Series of Unfortunate Events' books. Lemony Snicket mentions a few. The first one being

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori
Which means "It is sweet and fitting to die for your country". But I don't remember it meaning that. I can't remember what I thought it meant but it wasn't that! Aha! Another one is
Memento Mori
which mean "remember you will die". This one comes from the 'The Austere Academy' which describes a schools architecture as looking like grave stones. If you have read the books your understand that they are all about as optimistic as this. I used momento mori as a user name for an online game (neopets hahaha!) I used to play as a kid.

Some other good ones are (not from A Series of Unfortunate Events)
Credo quia absurdum est
I believe it because it is absurd

Conscientia mille testes
 Conscience is as good as good as a thousand witnesses
Aut viam inveniam autfaciam
Ill either find a way for make one

Anyway enough of the quotes. That is why I went for a latin name. I hate thinking of names for things, so I thought one what people wouldn't understand might not be quite as embarrassing, but seeings though I translated it for the shop thats kinda out... nevermind haha. As the blog is themed around my crafty bits and my garden I literally sat on my laptop typing random words of that sort of theme into google translate until it came out with something i like... and there we go.

horti astutia amoris.

Thats enough rambling, I'm a Celeb is on now! Night night x

Free Motion?

One of the main reasons I chose the sewing machine that I did was the ability to free motion sew! Something I have not yet got round to doing. To be honest I actually found it really difficult to get hold of the special foot and lots of websites don't make it clear and I did manage to order completely the wrong thing first time round.

So for a while I really couldn't be bothered so just carried on with my usual makes. However, I received a money off voucher via email and managed to get the foot for a fraction of the price... 

AND it's the right one!! OK I still haven't tried it yet but I haven't been overly organised and motivated since the craft fair. My plan is to get Christmas presents sorted and then start packing for the move and then maybe try it out once I have more time for myself... So it may be a while yet! Maybe in the new year ill even take a beginner free motion sewing course!

Hopefully this will spark reason for another review!

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Craft Fair Flop!

For a while I have been keen on doing a craft fair and have had a few booked but for one reason or another, couldn't do them. So finally I booked to do one in what will be our new town, Yate; I've spent several weeks cramming in lots of sewing time so that I had something to sell, I made lots of signage and business cards - took it really seriously.

Thought about how to decorate my table, went to the bank and annoyed them by asking for lots of change for a float. I even had a friend and her family come along to give me a hand. Got there, set up... and sold... ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! It wasn't just me though, all the stall holders were really annoyed as no one came through the door!? There was no prior advertisements or any signage outside on the day so no wonder no one turned up!

However, it was fun, I enjoyed myself and it was nice chatting so the other stall holders, even if it was to bitch about the bad organisation of the thing. We won't get our money back, some of the people tried but they claimed it wasn't their fault! A few people took my cards and will hopefully contact me in the future about any craft fairs going on.

Here's to better luck next time!!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Bodge Job

As we are moving, we thought it about time we got on with sorting the front of the garden...

Mud isn't a good look for showing prospective tenants round! The original plan was to turf it but with all the rain we have had recently, the local suppliers have stopped cutting this year. Since we are meant to be completing before Christmas, we can't wait too long.

Chief project manager overseeing proceedings!

So.... we went for a cheap quick fix....

Bark chippings! Replacing brown with brown! But actually I don't mind it and it literally took a few hours to do. Should be nice and easy to look after for whoever lives here next. All we will have to worry about is moving the chicken when it comes to actually moving.

Moving onto the chickens; I never mentioned the (now not so) recent change... A few weeks ago Silver developed a respiratory problem (I suspect Chronic Respiratory Disease) and within 24hrs deteriorated very quickly so we (by we I mean Scott) put her out of her misery. Once she had gone I then worried about how Ginger would cope... She has been a star, not really batted an eye lid! Still laying everyday and going about her daily business like nothing has happened!

Sleep tight! x

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Offer Accepted!

We have done it! Decided on a house and had an offer accepted! I'm soooo EXCITED!!!

We have gone for Yate. A nice little end of terrace with a garden and very short walking distance to a nature reserve for dog walking! It's three bedrooms so we can have people to stay and room for all our hobbies and crafts (yes, Scott can keep his drums!).

It's also very scary! They want to exhange by the 16th December, only 6 weeks away!! Aaaahhhhhh!!! Though we have decided that we will probably pay rent on our cottage into January so we don't have to rush over Christmas if we don't want to. I'm going to miss it here, it's been a lovely little home for the last two years... lots a good times and happy memories xxxx

Monday, 21 October 2013

Motivation needed now; or just a large glass of wine.

It's been ages since I have blogged, and unfortunately all I am going to do is moan.

Head full of ideas, nothing to do with them.

I mainly haven't posted because I have very much been working on the same stuff, and wouldn't want to bore you all stupid.

Sewing sewing, sewing! I am supposed to be doing a craft fair next month so have been busy making 'stock' to sell. So far I have phone cases, a cupcake tote bag, some keyrings, a wallet, bibs, a knitting needle case and some zip pouches! It sounds like a lot but really it isn't, and I probably need to get on with more. I have plenty of fabric and plans but no get up and go! Doesn't help that I accidentally agreed to change a shift at work then realised after it was the day of the craft fair! Now I need to work out how to change it again. I'm not sure it's going to be very easy.

The Facebook page and Shop are doing pretty poorly too. They take time to update and but I'm not selling anything so I don't know why I bother. I even paid facebook money to advertise the other day; and to be fair I did get quite a few new likes and traffic to the website, but not a single sale. Which is what I need - not for the money (far from it, i'm miles away from making money out of it), but for the motivation!

What's more, my head is full of HOUSE BUYING. A very frustrating subject. Since my last rant about this, we have now decided to stay closer to Bristol because of my job. Yate has become our preferred area as it it takes 10 miles off Scott's journey but is still close enough to work for me that I can get myself a little scooter. Ideally I would prefer to go to somewhere like Downend or Winterbourne but they are well out of our price league. There are some interesting houses in Yate, but were still just a little off what we really need money wise.

Having said that we offered on our first house today, but it wont be accepted as its a popular house and the agent had already had a higher offer than ours. That's fine though, the place needed quite a lot of work which we only were prepared to do if we got it for the right price. There's another on the market which is much more appealing and we will go see it next week. I kind of don't want to though as it's on for more money again. If we end up buying we could be stretching ourselves pretty thin with all the extra costs which is poo.

Patience is a virtue, a trait I do not possess!

But on a more positive note, this is my 100th post!

That's an achievement. All be it a very small one!


Sunday, 8 September 2013

Roman Blinds

A friend of work asked me to make some roman blinds for her. And what a project and a half that was! I have only made them once before which didn't seem too much of a task but these ones certainly did! I made three in total all of which were at least double the size of my first attempt. As you have to be very very accurate with roman blinds I was terrified come the end that they would be good enough for her. They are not cheap things to make and she had invested a lot in me to get them right!

I only have a picture of the largest one up and finished - I'm pretty darn impressed with myself and my friend seemed pretty happy with them also! They certainly wouldn't be worth making on a regular basis for people though; far too time consuming and not enough money in it. I think I worked out that I made £1.22 an hour on this job!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

I think I'll take him to the groomers next time..

I met my friend Jayne at the park today who owns Charlie's big sister from the previous litter. She was telling me how she trims Fudge herself rather than using a groomer. This is something I was also planning to do but hadn't had the guts up until now...

This is Charlie last weekend after having a bath, look at his long locks!

Part way through the attack...
Post attack... 
He looks a little better here.
What WAS I thinking!!!! The poor dog, it's a good job he doesn't care what he looks like and I'm just thankful that it'll grow back! He looks like a rat... and I bet he's now lost half his body weight as he looks tiny.

Next time I definitely think i'll just pay for a professional to do it!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home

I think we have a plan.

A moving house plan that is!

Scott is now rid of university and working back in Swindon again with Intel which he is really enjoying. But does mean he is commuting 4-5 days a week which is putting a lot of miles on our new car! First of all I wanted to stay in Bristol but now we have decided to buy in Chippenham; more or less half way between Bristol and Swindon. We are literally a few grand off of our deposit now so we are going to see a mortgage adviser on Friday (SCARY!) so see where we stand (and probably find out that were being unrealistic).

Living in Chippenham seems to be popular. Houses in our price range seem to to go fast! For example, I really liked one in Oaklands but the agent tells me it's already sold (not that this has been updated on Rightmove yet..)

It needs some work (like central heating) but that was reflected in the price, hence why it sold I suppose! There so many choices when it comes to houses and we are all a bit confused by it all. How much work do we want to do or can afford to do, semi-detatched/end of terrace or terrace? (can't afford the luxury of detatched)... a house or bungalow with the prospect of putting a second floor on in years to come? Who knows!

I quite like this place too but I am not convinced on the size of the garden but it does have a garage... and the second bedroom seems small too, but I'm not sure we can be that picky to be honest!

But then this one is like an already finished version of the first with a drive, and an already finished price. I think were go to see some of these places the weekend after next so that we have more of an idea of what it all means!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Puppy Cuddles

We have only had him 11 days but it seems like a lifetime and wouldn't be with out him!

On the whole we seem to have cracked bedtime, he's not always keen to go for a wee before bed but we haven't had an accident for... well for a while anyway! Yesterday was his first time alone for the day. Well i say that, the bestie, Clare popped in for cuddles at lunchtime then Scott got home early so he wasn't alone that long really. Still no accidents and nothing was broken or eaten.. so far so good!

To be honest there has only been one major event.. The other evening we had a nice long walk (well for Charlie anyway, it wasn't that long!). Right at the end I called him to put him on the lead, as I went to he heard a dog bark which must have scared him and he bolted.... towards the busy main road. We were quite far away from it but he obviously knew which way was home; I pegged it after him but he was FAR to fast, I left soo sick and god was the adrenaline going. Luckily instead of going under the gate he tried to jump the wall (where the human's have to get over) which gave me enough time to catch up and (unfortunately for him) pin him against the wall. Panic over. He got a bit squashed but I wasn't taking any chances of him getting away! No harm done...

Also! I never realised boy pups learnt how to hump so early on too!! I don't remember blue being horny at only 13 weeks old? It's been a long time since he was a pup though so... Charlie's poor cow has been raped so many times the poor thing! Roll on 6 months when he will be... ahem.. yeah.

Aunty Clare

What has she done to you!


Monday, 29 July 2013


I hereby introduce our new puppy, Charlie!

What have we let ourselves in for!!!

He is a Lhasa Apso crossed with a Miniature Poodle, so a small dog. I never thought I would have a small dog but he is just adorable! We got him on Saturday at exactly 12 weeks of age and he is settling in pretty well.

Not that it hasn't been with it's ups and downs. We picked him up at 11am Saturday morning and the day seemed to go pretty well, he settled in over lunchtime then in the afternoon we popped to Pets at Home to stock up on supplies and book him in to get his microchip done. He met lots of other pups and dogs which i think overwhelmed him a bit but he did well. Unfortunately while we were there, his breeder turned up with his sister to see the vet. They are lovely people but he then wanted to stay with them so it didn't do much for the transition to new life for him; he was so tired after all the excitement he soon got over it.

The night was an interesting experience. We haven't gone for the whole caging idea which is recommended but we didn't think it would be worth it in our little house. We shut him in the kitchen which he did not like what so ever! He whined for about an hour then settled for a couple then whined again. So it was a long long night! Scott did all the getting up to him but I still didn't sleep so working the next day on very little sleep wasn't much fun.

Last night however wasn't so bad at all! We decided to let him have run of the lounge as that's where is bed is during the day. It didn't seem right shutting him elsewhere when he has got used to being in the lounge... he whined for about 10mins then HE SLEPT ALL NIGHT!!! We also gave him a hot water bottle for comfort which he seemed happy with. I got up to him 3 times but only to let him out, not because he asked. We haven't quite got the bedtime wee sorted yet, both nights I stood out there with him encoraging him to go but no luck yet! The first night he weed and poohed overnight (luckily on his puppy inco's), but last night he went all night! YAY!

Today I swapped his hot water bottle for a heat bag in the form of a cuddly toy, I think it's gone down pretty well.

Walking has been an interesting concept so far. He's not used to being on a lead and just tends to sit down and look at you. Though we did manage a half ok walk Saturday evening, in the pouring rain but that hasn't really continued, he fought with me when I tried to put his harness on today but to be honest it is pretty rubbish, we have ordered him another one which will hopefully be better! 

Anyway I have rabbited on far too long already! And Charlie is now very much awake and wanting attention!

Updates to follow! x

Wednesday, 24 July 2013


procrastination refers to the act of replacing more urgent actions with tasks less urgent, or doing something from which one derives enjoyment, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time. In accordance with Freud, the pleasure principle may be responsible for procrastination; humans prefer avoiding negative emotions, and delaying a stressful task. The concept that humans work best under pressure provides additional enjoyment and motivation to postponing a task.

I seem to be incredibly good at procrastinating. Above, for example, I am meant to be preparing for a job interview I have on Friday, instead, I rearranged all the pins on my pin cushion so they were grouped according to their colour. With the exception of 3 purple ones, which are grouped with the pink, because it didn't seem right leaving just 3 on their own... see I am still doing it! 

I have so many other things I would rather do but I am running out of time now, the i'm working tomorrow and the interview is in the morning on Friday so today is my only chance really.

I also need to finish making a beach bag and have two more chickens to make! Which reminds me, have my blogger friends met my chickens? I just love them!

They seem popular too! I have sold 5 so far which in my books is a great achievement!!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Finished the quilt!

Five months later and it's done! Ok to be fair I have done lots of other projects in between but this one really did seem like a marathon. I have really enjoyed it though and look forward to the next! Not for a while though!

Saturday, 29 June 2013

I struggled today (day six)

Today was hard work. I couldn't be a full time labourer. It's too much hard work! I am a sole worker now too as the rest of the garden is mine to do what I like. Scott did mention about helping put in the slabs as we need a path to the gate but he decided to dismantle the lounge instead. We had the wall replastered back in January and only now have we got round to repainting it.

But anyway back to the garden...

My main aim for today was to plant the clematises along the trellis. One of which made it's way there, but there was a change of plan with the other... In order to remove it from its old home I had to dismantle my trellis box. I was a little sad about this but it was falling apart.

It's new home

Last years flowers

Notice on the trellis the bottom holes have been made half the size to stop those naughty chickens escaping!

The box the other clematis was in is in much better condition so I didn't really want to sacrifice it. I am also not sure I want to mix the clematis and passion flower but at least the passion flower has some growing to do before I have to make up my mind. I think this one will be pretty enough on it's own.

The other clematis got has a new home down next to my strawberries.

spot it in the background there

Note the chicken defenses have gone! Taking that down was a special moment for me! I never want to see that horrible green netting again. The above picture is pretty rubbish really but there is so much crap on the patio at the moment it was difficult to get a better one. The pinky purple of the flowers look really pretty against the white of the wall. What I would really like to do is attach trellis to that back wall and grow the passion flower along the wall. Scott doesn't reckon it's a good idea drilling into that wall though, specially as it's the outside wall of next doors bathroom. They might not appreciate it! 

My major job of the day though was getting those pesky stepping stones in.

From this angle they look pretty good. I can imagine once I have grown grass around them how good it will look. However, I think I may have to move them out a bit as they seem too close to the hedge. I had to trim it back quite far to be able to use them properly. Scott's a bit of a perfectionist too and isn't overly happy with them. Well he can help me move them! Not today though as my back hurts after all that digging and I have to work tomorrow!

One thing I am very happy with though is my SIGN!

Friday, 28 June 2013

Days Four and Five!

The last few days have been heavy work! But it's finally starting to come together now!

The partition is fully up now and the stones have been moved!!

It looks a bit odd really but I do really like it! The old gravel went much further than I expected. We brought 8 bags of cheapo gravel from Homebase at £2.50 a pop (bargain!). It was just about enough to give it a thin covering but I think were get some more at a later date. We didn't want to risk the weight of any more in the car this time round!

It's a bit yellow at the moment but in every other way it is virtually identical to the old stuff. I'm sure it only looks so different now because its brand new. With a good mix in and a few months to weather you wont be able to tell the difference!

The chickens have briefly been let out to play, to begin with then didn't really know what to but then they soon got upto no good...

Scott and I had a long discussion regarding the size of trellis to go for. we didnt want anything too small as we still wanted to see through it but at the same time we didn't want the chickens to get through it... I was convinced they would be too fat to fit through this one.... appears I was WRONG!

So... things left to do:
  • Chicken proof the back planted border.
  • Chicken proof down the side of the shed (at the moment they can get to the front of the garden down the other side).
  • Dig the mud at the front, replace the stepping stone on the other side and decide how I am going to have my planted boarders.
  • Have another attempt at growing some grass!
  • Find homes for my fruit trees.
  • Plant my climbers so they can claim the trellis!

And on that note, when we were at Homebase the other day I wanted to invest in a new passion flower (the one I moved didn't survive). They wanted £20 for one! It was quite big and had flowers on already but I still didn't really want to spend that much! So as you do I went to Morrisons today instead and picked up a little one for £2!

I love it! My two clematises came from them for the same price a few years ago and they are big strong plants now so I am sure with a little love and patience this one will be lovely too!

The last little job, the most exciting job, it putting my new sign on the gate... It's just awesome!