Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Mr Marvel and the bog blog.......

Still with me after that title???!!! Well I'm impressed so I will explain.

Remember when I took you on a little adventure to our wood? Well since moving back from Oxfordshire our little woodland is one thing that we are loving having access to again. We have always had big plans for our little haven, having bred pigs, sheep, chickens, camped, swung through the trees and enjoyed the peace and quiet for a pondering type moment. We are slowly putting all these things back into place.

We met a fantastic family in Oxforshire who have become firm friends which didn't make our move back easy but thankfully they (well nearly all of them!) share a passion for the outdoors and camping, they will be known as Mr & Mrs Marvel (payback for Mr Marvel for laughing at Mr Magic!!!) and of course there is Mini Marvel.

Mr Marvel has rather a talent for making incredible things with wood. Some time ago he was subjected to a rant of mine about what I wanted for our wood and without us Magics having any idea he went off and made the most perfect gift (if you're a little strange of course!)

Isn't it amazing! My very own toilet seat! I know it takes a certain type of person to get excited about this but I have long dreamed about having a compost loo at the wood. I have read so much about them and read up on all the ways of making one but it always seemed like a pipe dream - I confess to having squealed with delight on seeing this and even did a little dance in my clogs!

So a plan was hatched to spend a weekend at the wood to build the tree bog. We had a wonderful weekend full of laughter, food and conversation, occasionally interrupted by hard work. We also managed to discover a few additional uses for a brand new toilet seat......

Although I think this use is a one off!

All hands on deck!
Work is well underway for the grand unveiling of my woodland loo, with the site selected and digging already commenced

It will be our very own "Room with a View"! So now all we need are a few hours and we will be ready to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony!

I will pop back later to explain the dirty feet, it was a very busy weekend you know........

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

A huge TA DAH moment!

Can another whole month have slipped past, incredible.

I just thought that I had better pop by and let you know that I am not sat idly twiddling my thumbs, neither have Dr Hook and I been spending endless hours together creating lovelies.

No this time I have been tearing around like a complete mad women, frantically gathering, decorating, sewing (a shock I know but the sewing machine and I are very nearly good friends), prettying (not sure that's a real word but I like it), to get Rose Cottage ready for holiday lets.

I am so very excited and incredibly nervous as our very first guests arrive this Saturday, OMG, really I am quite unnecessary, jittery and all over the place.

You have all been dragged along this roller coaster of a year with me, your kindness and unending support have really helped me through some lows, so now I would love to share this exciting moment with you all.

Here is my TA DAH! moment.

Rose Cottage is ready, we have reached the top of what seemed to be an insurmountable obstacle. And I am so very pleased and excited, she has become what I had dreamt of. It has been be no means a solo project, we would never be in a position to open her door to guests without huge amounts of help and support that we have received. But we are there - YIIIPPPEEEEE!!!!!!

So make a cuppa and take a look around and please let me know what you think. xx

Friday, 11 June 2010

Yummy Things

Hello, I hope you're all having a fab week so far.

I feel quite chirpy today as the sun has come out from behind those grumpy grey clouds and made everything look quite delightful. So I thought I would share with you some things that have made me smile this past week.

Firstly is this special package

For whom? This little goody is for Flapjack, which is the name given to a dear friends "bump", this friend is looking far too lovely for a lady who is nearly two weeks late with her second baby, but clearly "Flapjack" is far too comfy and is showing little intention of making an appearance.

Finishing this tiny little blanket made me smile and smile, it was so much fun to make. The ripple pattern can be found over in the attic, it was lovely and rhythmic and the yarn was a joy. I used Sidar Baby Bamboo in cream and pale blue, it has a lovely sheen and feels so soft - perfect.

Then there are my thrifty finds at last weekends car boot sale. It was great fun and we spent lots of time catching up with Mrs Bun & Mr Bun.

This perfect portable picnic set was ideal for a spot of tea in the garden with Miss Magic! I am so excited with my stash of enamel bake ware ideal for camping which we plan to do much more of this year.

I have also finally finished this cushion cover, no longer sure where it is going due to house changes but I might use the colours as inspiration for the guest bedroom, another little project waiting in the wings.

And then there is my bunting! I had a few plates spinning this past week so I have needed my time with Mr Hook or Dr Hook as a friend referred to it, she sadly knows me far too well! When life gets a little wobbly I spend lots of time hooking and creating a storm in the kitchen which results in us drowning in a sea of cakes and other home baked treats - I'm sure there are worse ways of dealing with the odd blip of stress.....

Uummmmm, woodland hooky, the ultimate thearapy.

I had some baby bamboo yarn to use and was enjoying my memories of the seaside and bunting just seemed to fit the bill. It also took me on a lovely little outing to Frome where I spent a fab half hour in Millie Moon searching for the perfect buttons. I was not disappointed and now have lots more reasons to go back.

I have plenty of WIP's to keep the stress levels down, string is my choice of hooking material at the moment, I'm loving crocheted boxes and I'm particularly enjoying a cushion cover made with string, lots more to share soon. But right now I am supposed to be making blinds for the utility room at Rose Cottage as we are getting her ready for holiday's very exciting. You are all well aware of my sewing skills (or rather lack of them) so I must really stop procrastinating, but on a final note of things making me smile it has to be Bumble who wins hands down.

After our seaside visit I was so fed up trying to remove sand from her beautiful curls that I decided to give her a hair cut. I found Mr Magic's hair clippers and went about giving Bumble a new style.

As you can see she is not only unimpressed but so embarrassed by her lack of fur that she wouldn't even pose for a photo, Miss Magic was equally cross and I have been told to leave her alone in future!! I will keep trying to get a front end picture before all the curls grow back, have a great week. xx

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Seaside Days

It already feels like an age since half term and most of us in this house are now counting down to the summer hols - I'm sure that's not a good thing but back to routine can be a bit of an effort.

So I have been sifting back through the camera to remind myself of my lovely week by the sea. Not only was I by the sea but I got to spend time with Mr Magic and no mini magics! The mini magics had been whisked off to the seaside on the other side of the country with their lovely Grandma & Pop - we were redundant parents!

Broadstairs is still a new and exciting corner of the world to me, I am ashamed to say that for a born and bred Somerset girl, London is east and Birmingham is north, so by my standards Broadstairs is simply off the scale! But wow what a lovely learning curve.

The little seaside towns are beautifully traditional and the beaches are just gorgeous. The only down side that I have found is that when the wind blows by golly take shelter, it reaches parts you didn't know you had and it's soooo very chilly.

These wonderful pictures are of a lovely shop in Margate. In fact there was a cluster of stunning vintage shops which had me oooooing and ahhhhing. Although Mr Magic had been very careful in his planning and we had arrived just after closing time, gggrrrrr - but I will go back!

This yummy green and white dress has my name on it, I just need the wasp waist, can you buy those here too??!!

Then I found this picnic hamper, oh the dreaming and "I needs", I can't wait to go back and I haven't even got close to talking about the yarn shop that I found in Broadstairs......

Although this did turn out to be an adventure of the most yummy kind, it wasn't all rosy. Mr Magic and his little brother had decided that we should cycle to Margate as the weather was lovely. Now not to put too fine a point on things but I DON'T cycle. Yuck awful past time, I have never got the hang of it. My bike is a lovely black, shiny (due to lack of use), sit up and beg bike with a basket on the front for my crochet and a cake or two. It has 3 gears which as far as I am concerned is two too many.

So I borrowed little brother's girlfriends bike, which not only had too many gears to count but also had a saddle that resembled an implement of torture and off we went. I don't want you to think that I am ungrateful, I know they showed me the most lovely of shops and I should have been very happy, but we must also remember that they only took me to this fab spot AFTER they had CLOSED and my derriere was not happy after riding this implement of torture so I had a mini hissy fit (no where near as good as Miss Magic, Nb. I must practice more) and absolutely refused to cycle back until I had a much needed chilled glass of wine and food.

They didn't let me down! Are they lovely - well most of the time! Sitting out in the evening sunshine with our bottle of wine and our fish and chips was quite perfect.

And on the cycle back I was distracted by this beautiful sunset. Maybe cycling isn't so bad, but don't tell anyone I said that.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

The beginning, the middle & almost the end!

Are you sitting comfortably? I feel compelled to warn you that this is a lengthy blog, but make a cup of tea, grab a biscuit and you'll be just fine, I promise not to waffle and use lots of pictures!

Way back last May I went to view Rose Cottage and there is no doubt that I fell in love instantly, there was no question about it, this had to be our home in Oxfordshire. It was not in the most perfect of states and had a terrifying colour scheme which included vast amounts of this blue.

And a slightly lighter version!

Then there was this red, which would be wonderful in a high ceiling dining room in an elegant georgian house not my dream little cottage in the Cotswolds.

But it gave us time to plan and dream

To take in what we had purchased and try to comprehend the enormous task that lay ahead.

Not even the garden had escaped the blue and this old lean to shed hid a large wall with windows! So many quirky nooks and crannies, and although we were a little daunted the mass operation began.

Then February arrived. Not a good month for us Magics, the news of Mr Magic's redundancy which was very closely followed by the tragic loss of Mr Magic's younger brother. Our house in Wiltshire was just about to exchange contracts and we had huge decisions to make - rock bottom sums up life in the Magic household.

Big decisions were made, we pulled out of the sale of our home in Wilts and decided that although we loved our little cottage we needed to move back to Wilts as Rose Cottage was just unaffordable as our family home. It was heartbreaking, friendships had been forged and our dream home was slipping away.

And to top it all off Rose Cottage was in no fit state for sale, so the troops were mobilised, some how we mustered energy and determination and Rose Cottage was turned around. Friends and family were invaluable, we only got through this because of their unending support.

Slowly, slowly the old colours were disappearing. Spanish villa tiles were removed.

And our dream for Rose Cottage started to become a reality.

A real Cotswold cottage with an inviting door, come inside and have a look around.

A quiet corner

A sitting room to relax in, cosied up in front of the fire with a good book and a cup of tea (or glass of sloe gin!)

My favourite room - the utility/boot room, I know it's not the most romantic
of rooms but it has my dream sink and the most beautiful york stone work surfaces.
The work surfaces were a bit of a curse, as they very nearly finished poor Mr Magic off! But a true friend appeared to help raise them into place, believe me this was not for the faint hearted!

My adored sink looks just perfect now!

And a kitchen! Wooohoooo, this was sooo very exciting 8 months with no kitchen,
then to have running water inside, I was very happy!

And instead of a dingy dining room we gained a bright and airy Kitchen/breakfast room

A comfy bedroom, uncluttered and clean - my dream!!!

A scrummy bathroom to soak away the day's stress

Finally we spent time on the garden, the old lean to's vanished and a pretty space
ready for coffee and croissants appeared.

Even the wisteria decided to make an appearance!

So we did it, the reason I was away from blogland for so very long, seemingly endless
days of lifting and shifting, sanding and painting and pruning and strimming!
Now my beloved Rose Cottage is for sale, ready for someone else to be enchanted
by her and enjoy her charms.

(although should the ideal person for my dream cottage
not appear then a holiday home she will become and I know I shouldn't hope that this
might happen, but.........)