Living the simple life

Wednesday, 26 December 2012


I sold my vintage sewing box and 3 vintage shopping baskets of Fleabay last month and netted £25 for the lot, so much space now its quite addictive. However boxing them was another matter. Luckily Hubby is quite gifted in that area and created some sturdy if slightly deformed boxes. Im now popping upstairs to the 'bedroom of doom' and hunting out more things to de-clutter. having to do 10 minutes at a time as I have run out of painkillers - idiot I am.

I also have a box full of video's to dispose of, we came to the momentous decision they should go when we discovered we didnt even have a video player to watch them on. 

Christmas came and went quietly with a quick visit to see little man and give out gifts there. 

Christmas lunch was low key and served up when I felt like it, turkey and the trimmings, pud and cream with a rather nice beer shandy for 3 came to £4.70 and there were leftovers for Boxing day fry up tea and turkey wraps for lunch - that pleased me. OH has just returned from searching for painkillers for me, Mr T didnt ope n the pharmacy today but he found a local chemist open thank goodness. He also scored 2 bottles of milk for 49p each and double cream for 79p - thats destined for the freezer in tubs to enrich quiches or currys.

Thursday, 15 November 2012


Michael decided grandads funny hat and baggy jumper were just the thing for a chilly day! 

Further to my No-spend-vember I decided to put lots of the goodies we found whilst clearing the loft out to E bay. Usually I dont do very well with it and stuff remains unsold. Seems I have found my niche now, I really only hoped to make minimum price for stuff which would have slowly filled our money pot but amazingly things have done really well. 

1. knitting patterns on Amazon sold for £11

2. OH's old Dinky toys have sold for £10 - !6 which was a shock as they are very well played with, no boxes and some have no wheels.

3. Lace making bobbins that Mum picked up for me ages ago in a charity shop sold from 99p a bundle to £8

Have boxes of things that I would have liked to keep but really are filling the house to bursting so am popping a few things on E bay every few days so in about 4 months will have lots of room and be able to pay off a couple of small debts thus saving us money every month. there are some pieces of Speedway memorabilia and Games belonging to Son that could potentially make (to me) a lot of money. Son has agreed to split the money with me so onwards and upwards!


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Thursday, 1 November 2012


Have decided after managing to complete Stop-tober challenge of saving every penny to attempt No-spend -vember. Am going to use up freezer contents so I can re-organise with more homemade ready meals instead of odds and sods. Although I make big meals now we have son living here for a while I only get 1 portion left over so want to make bigger batches and have 6 portions instead of 4.

Have been inspired by   Froogs at  http://frugalincornwall.blogspot.co.uk/ fab photos of her big batches. So each week after freezer is depleted I will be making a different batch ie. chilli and spag bol one week, quiches and cakes the next then by December I should have a range of meals in individual portions.

Have done very well and managed to buy some Christmas presents or rather ingredients for hampers without breaking the bank. Most of the gifts otherwise will be homemade as usual but want to get my Grandson some toy animals from the early learning centre and get Grandad to make him a little zoo to keep them in.

Have had to empty the loft of 30 years of junk/memorabilia and a few treasures. the landlord needs it empty by the 23rd of November to re-insulate the loft, we were hoping to do it gradually over the next 6 months as we had planned but I wont miss the chance of more insulation.  So am attempting to become Queen of E bay. I dont think I will get more than £1 per item but there are a lot of items hopefully this will keep the wolf from the door for a while longer.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Here is a preview of the pillowcase dress that I made for a charity working in the Gambia. the lovely fabric was gifted to me by my dear friend Chalky and so far I have made 10 dresses and 4 of the little bags. I am putting each little dress in a bag so its new owner gets 2 gifts in one. Some friends and I collect lots of useful stuff during the yea then my friend Annie delivers it all to the charities head quarters.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Michael loves his new hat and carries my handbag round so he can pretend to be Mr Tumbles. Also decided the best place to eat lunch is sat on manma's hatbox on the fireplace, much better than a custom made table (courtesy of Grandad) and a vintage chair.

Knitted these little fella's for a dear friend as an advert for her mouseworks soap company on facebook. 


Friday, 24 August 2012

One Lovely Blog award

I have been nominated for the 'One Lovely Blog Award' by my sweet friend  Victoria at  http://www.nannynora.co.uk/. How exciting! Thank you so much Victoria, you have made my day xx


The Rules are:-
The Rules for accepting this Award is as follows:
1. Add the award to your blog.
2. Thank the blogger(s) who gave it to you.
3. Mention 7 random things about yourself.
4. List the rules.
5. Award up to 15 bloggers.
6. Inform each of those 15 by leaving a comment on their blog.  


I have to list 7random things about myself...hmmm

1. I trained as a photographer in the days when you had to use liquid to develop pictures and have only recently got to grips with digital photo's.

2. I once chased David Bailey across Manchester airport till a policeman with a BIG gun stopped me, do I look like a terrorist?

3. I love crime novels, James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell and Val McDermid especially.

4. Val Mcdermid once came in the charity shop I managed and I didnt realise it was her till she had gone!

5. I run a little rescue centre for Guinea pigs and rabbits, they just arrive somehow.

6. I wanted to study forensics before it was fashionable.

7. I once applied for a job as a housekeeper to the Countess of Swinton and only missed out because my children were little.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

I took part in a blog swop and my partner was nanny Nora. I received a parcel full of loveliness and so enjoyed my little parcels, well one was not so small - this beautifully stitched cushion is now my pride and joy  and my little grandson thinks its really comfy! 

I also got 4 more packages , one with a funky lavender bag to pop in  my knitting bag so everything smells sweet, a pretty dish complete with recipe for pudding, a good bookmark beautifully stitched and some tiny heart bunting which I will drape artistically over my printers box displaying my favourite tiny things. thank you so much for my gifts and I am pleased you liked yours Victoria ! dontcha just love blog land.

Thursday, 5 July 2012




My lovely gifts from Laa Laaa at http://hookinwithlaalaa.blogspot.com/ from the Jubilee swop. Beautiful handmade pin cushio, shopping bag,badges and paper to amke garland but think that may well go on the cards for the hospice. Have decided to make 100 cards for my friend Roz's sister to take to the hospice to raise funds. last time I sent 25 and they were all bought by one woman who said she wouldnt have to buy a card all year.

John is struggling with his health and is due for more tests on the 16th of July. Cancer wears you out, especially when you are to ill with other things to have treatment. I cannot thank our friends and Gareth and Jenni enough for all the support they have given us lately. Also a big hug to all those on Money saving expert who are so generous of spirit and give me encouragement and unconditional love.
Snapped a quick pic of John and the little man bit blurry but so  sweet. I am guessing they are watching Pingu .


Jenni's birthday card an bouquet that I made her - will straighten the flowers when I am taking them over later.
I made a turtle suit for some pics of Lissy and Claire's little girl. Not bad since I copied it from a photo.
Got lots of lowers this week, from John , Gaz and Lissy/Claire. My mantel is full with them and all the thankyou cards from Mrs Twins and friends plus a beautiful Get Well card for John from one of the cricket teams. I love it when it looks like this.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Michael drove us to Wales on Sunday

He decided the sea wasn't for him until.....


...his Manma took him in!

Then he drove us home again. He was quite taken with the windscreen wipers and giggled everytime he turned them on!

Joyous day, picnic good company and my bliss - Michael !  

Friday, 18 May 2012

I am in love with my new camera and have been making a conscious effort to take pots of pictures now that cost doesnt figure in taking them and having films developed.

Its been a hard month with lots of bad things happening but we are soldiering on. John is struggling with his health much more and trying to deal with it all , although he doesnt seem to realise he is doing very well.

Pennypinching is always on my mind and I really cannot see where to chip away any more but have to keep trying. there seems to be a lot of cheap pork on the markets around Manchester and I am not too sure if I want to know where it is from??? Still it does help make a good meal, tend not to do a roast dinner too often now as the meat goes further in something rather than as the star on the plate.

Had to put at least one picture of Michael on here, he is such a good eater and loves corn on the cob. We made a promise to our selves with his Mummy and Daddy that he would get to try lots of different things and very few sweets. His cheffy Daddy and Mummy save him some of their evening meal every night for his lunch next day and he really likes couscous (so good they named it twice his Daddy says ). He is my bliss!

May again!

Finally plucked up the courage to try this from Attic 24' fab blog. It was actually easier than it looks. Its the front for a cushion. Not sure about the colours but will be trying some others. the top pic is my squares for my BIG blanket - upto 92 squares already!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Scrimping is getting harder...

The little man is 2 next week and had to pop my usual piccy of him in.

 We are having problems stretching the pennies at the moment and not dipping into our precious savings. Very few whoopsies to be found despite trawling the shops. Hoping for some great successes in the veggie garden to help out. The greenhouse was the best investment ever, much better success rate with seeds. So now I have 1 small greenhouse full and the walk in too. Have planted flowers too hoping it will cheer me up as well as saving the pennies. Have just read Greyqueens advice on MSE and she says soaking bean seeds for 24/48 hours definately helps them on their way so will be trying that with my next sewing. Actually grown mustard and cress - I must have tried 20 times before and totally failed. Goodness knows how much a punnet is nowadays but it all helps. So egg and cress butties for lunch.

March makes...

These are the squares I have posted off for the swop so far, still got a few to do. Hope everyone is happy with their colours.
 This is SIBOL blanket number 2 already to post to dear Mrs Twins
A few of my makes this month, cupcakes, bowls, cushion covers, a pair of bootsys and Oscar mark 2 - who is naked and needs his clothes, though he may change into a lady rabbit.  
This is my pride and joy this month, I loved the colours and it came out nicely faded looking - very shabby chic so I started some more squares to do another much bigger one,

Friday, 23 March 2012

Busy Friday...

Been thinking about our holiday to Northumbria and wishing we could return, found a lovely village called Craster but think it may be too far for John to drive yet.



Have managed to almost fill the new greenhouse with seed trays full of seeds! There is room for 2 gro-bags on the floor and bigger pots on the right hand side but those will wait. Have all manner of pretty flowers in for John and lots of veggies. Must do courgettes tomorrow as I rely on them for my breakfast in the summer. Lots of crochet projects nearing completion and a few knitted ones too.

Thursday, 22 March 2012


Actually did a cross stitch for myself, and it cost me £1.80 to do. Frame from CS and bargain threads, which are ok as I wont need to wash it as its framed. The rabbit is Baby, a rescue whom I adore, the softest boy in the world. He was about to have a manicure which is no problem as he just lies there quietly while I snip away.



March.


My lovely Mothers day flowers and card. And a picture of Michael in the back ground. Have finally got my new greenhouse up after a lot of work from John,its great and I have got it started already.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

3 blankets I made whilst waiting around the hospital for John to be let out. I didnt waste my time there.

Have been particularly frugal in January as we were short of funds. Made lots of cakes to fill us up. Love the yoghurt cake from MSE - no weighing just empty a pot of yoghurt in bowl then use the pot to add ingredients. 
new de-hydrator courtesy of the kids for Christmas has been great, no more fading veg in the basket, all dried and bagged off ready to add to stews and casseroles. Bran muffins and scones have gone down very fast as has the HM raspberry jam - whoopsied and frozen months ago - made it in 17 minutes in the microwave. Just fruit and sugar, no chemicals, additives and certainly no need for preservatives. Have just taken some strawberries out to make more, must remember to add lemon juice as they don't have much pectin in

Its February again!

michael has been busy in my office, answering phones and inputting stuff.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012


Little man came to see Grandad when he got home from hospital and was full of fun. Daddy is supposed to be holding the door shut but little monkey decided to turn it into a game!

On the pennypinching front have been very busy with my new dehydrator and am planning the garden ready for spring - if we get one.

Crochet coming on in leaps and bounds, bags full of finished projects and WIPs. Just had a delivery from Kemps, 600 gms dk and 2 balls of mini pompom wool all for £12 including postage. Very pleased with it all. Shound keep me busy for a couple of weeks, though I have used up about 500gms this week.



This is what I have been doing whilst sitting in hospital waiting rooms while john was having his recent op - kept me sane! Am planning on making 50 of the balls for Christmas craft fair and the snake is for Annabel.

Keeping up a notebook of projects on the go and plans for the rest of the year but then it is only 10 days into the year!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012



My hardest creation to date - a tea cosy, looks simple but you really have to concentrate.

So far the year is going ok, am making lots of things and getting sorted!Had to add a little pic of Michael - he is a big boy now .