Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Coming Together

Our house build is really coming together. Here is a little gallery update of our hard work for the last few months. Apart from carpet and the shower, we are nearly finished inside. Later in the year we hope to be ready for some hardcore outdoor landscaping.


Tiling and grouting the bathroom: 9 hours of grouting, my finger was so sore! Andy used some oak planks from the shed sanded down to make the bath panel - isn't it amazing? We decided we wanted it to look less like a hospital sluice room and painted the end wall fern green. Eventually, the wire rack I re purposed and the macrame hangers with plants in will bring the whole 'greeness' thing together.

The kitchen is technically finished but we still use old garden chairs and have building stuff in there all the time. All the worktops are covered in cardboard or plastic sheets. So much so that I have forgotten how beautiful the oak tops actually are.

The utility is finished and ready for our washing machine and freezer when we move.


The stairs have taken a lot of time. I papered it, then added treads and Andy fitted the balustrade which I waxed. It is the builders equivalent of a buying a bikini - not much to it but very expensive.

The office is finished and it turns out to be the warmest room in the house but generally the whole house is lovely and warm especially compared to our drafty Georgian one.

The girls have been chipping in with painting since being at home. Painting the cubby hole under the stairs was a job for the smallest member of our family. Well done Meg!

I bought an amazing antique barristers bookcase to spur me on in February. Our new build is really starting to come together. 

Stay safe folks and thanks for checking in. Jo xxxx

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Good Vibes

I thought I would post what we have been getting up to. Seeing the outdoors might perk up anyone inside. 

On Saturday we went to the house build and did some outside tidying up. I had to try and think of the long game and not push myself physically as much as I normally would because at present I can't see the Osteopath. We all moved old tiles, breeze blocks and broken bricks into piles which the original builders had not used or thrown down from the scaffolding. There is a reason for putting them in piles - more on that later this year.

On Sunday we went to the cabin. We have a log cabin in the field and in all honesty I have not been in there for about 18 months and we knew it needed airing especially the beds. We changed all the furniture around, emptied the cupboards then swept out all of the spiders. 

We used to focus around a low coffee table in the middle of the room which was great went the girls were little but now we have bigger chairs and a round table in the centre. 

The girls made their beds into dens and unbeknown to me had filled their bags with things they wanted to have in their 'dens'. Their favourite books were displayed for all to see.

We went to the pond to do some pond dipping. We saw baby water boatmen, nymphs and huge lumps of frogspawn. I thought I had lost my 12 year olds interest in pond dipping and then she caught a large adult smooth newt and her childhood enthusiasm returned immediately.

We played cards, stoked up the fire, wrote in our nature diary and read it all the way back to the start laughing at the little pictures with funny spellings from when they were little. It was delightful.

I managed a few rows of little boy knitting. My current project on the go, a boys tank top in gifted/thrifted yarn.

The girls and I had decided to sleep there because they wanted to do some star gazing and knew that it was going to be a clear night. We did not know at that point that we would have restricted movement coming for the following week so it felt good to do something special. 

It was a truly amazing experience. We wrapped ourselves in blankets, lay in the field and saw 32 shooting stars!!!! A memory I will hold forever.

We woke at 6am and the thermometer in the cabin said 3 degrees. Brr! We lit the fire again to get dressed and have breakfast. We were home by 9am ready for home learning but it felt such a great way to start the week. 

I know we are lucky, very lucky to have another place off grid to go to - we were well and truly isolated. I hope the photos cheer a few of you up. I have of course done some crafting this week too along with going to work in school but more on the crafting next week.

Stay Safe. Love Jo xxx

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Being Good

We were hoping to go to Wonderwool again this year again in April (but alas I think not) so I thought it was time to clear the basket of small quantities of wool and make room for some new purchases in the future.

This is the last of my Drops yarn from the basket and luckily they were very harmonious together. The last bit of each ball made a pom pom. This hat will wait patiently in the present box probably until December.

Whoops! I seem to have worn it with the join right in full view!

The pattern is free. It is an easy colourwork pattern from ravely here

I work as a TA and also a teacher in a Primary school three days a week so I am in work for the next few days with a class of children numbering around 10 who are children of Key workers. Both of my girls are coming to school with me, one goes to the same school anyway but my Year 8 girl will come in to Primary so that I don't have to transport her to a different location on a limited bus service. It will be a different term this one but all teachers are looking forward to working with children and making it a good experience for them. Andy works for a company that make paper roll, mediwipes and toilet roll for commercial, medical and domestic sales so you can imagine how flat out they are. He has also been classed as a Key Worker.

How is it going for you folks?
Jo xxxxx 

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Madalynne Bra set

There are not any sewing deadlines at the moment either in terms of gifting or in my blogging world which means I can allow some time to revise my bra making skills. I blogged last year how I had left it too long between making them and some of the skills I had learnt started to drift into the mists of time. 

I had a new pattern to try: the Simplicity Madalynne 8229. It is always a good idea to make a toile of a new bra pattern. They are all sized differently and each pattern has its own foibles. 

I have a set of straps that are salvaged from an old bra which I use to make toiles. I get to the cup and band stage and then just safety pin on the straps so that I can try it on. It was sods law but my toile was fine in every way, typical! At least I knew I could cut my good fabric with confidence. I even used up odd bits of wire casing.

I had a crazy few nights where I got all of my lingerie sewing stuff out and just had a great time messing about.

I can't tell you how pleased I am with this set. Each set gets better and better (over the 3 years I have been trying) however this one is the most luxurious but totally wearable for everyday.

I get my lingerie supplies from an online company called The sewing chest. It is not a snazzy website at all but everything I have ever had arrive in the post has always been excellent and very fast - don't judge a book by its cover is the message.

The bra is lined and this time I found it very useful to overlock the edges of some parts of the bra to give it a professional finish while hopefully giving it a longer life

The knicker pattern is an evolution of patterns which have been tried and tested over time - I can't attribute it to anyone in particular because really it has become my own pattern.

After getting all my stuff out, I have cut another set in a navy fabric because I think need to embed it all in my mind while the pattern is still fresh.

Super pleased with this set. 
As my friend said to me today "Wow! what skills" 

Love Jo xxx