Friday, 24 April 2015

Funny Friday

Funny Friday, April 2015

Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.

Funny Friday  150 X 150.jpg

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by he Bergham’s Life Chronicles     http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com/

15 - Bergham's Life Chronicles.jpg

1. It was always the fungi that got to complain about there not being mushroom though Gourdy resentfully - nobody seemed to care that he was REALLY squashed!

2. Q. What's the difference between a squash and an earthworm?  
A. Most children will at some point in their lives at least attempt to eat an earthworm.

3. Gourdy thought he'd done a pretty good job at blending in not realising that what she'd ACTUALLY said was that she wanted to blend HIM!

4. Q. What's the ratio of a pumpkin's circumference to it's diameter?
A. Pumpkin Pi (I confess to having pinched that one!)

5. The very best thing about Halloween thought Gourdy is that suddenly all the cobwebs in your house become decorations!

Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:

Baking In A Tornado (http://www.BakingInATornado.com)
Someone Else’s Genius (http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com)
Confessions of a part-time working mom (http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/)
The Momisodes (http://themomisodes.com)
Sanity Waiting to Happen (http://www.angelaweight.com)
Juicebox Confession  (http://www.JuiceboxConfession.com)
Stacy Sews and Schools (http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com)
People Don’t Eat Enough Fudge (http://peopledonteatenoughfudge.blogspot.co.uk)
The Bergham’s Life Chronicles (http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com/)
Measurements of Merriment (http://measurementsofmerriment.blogspot.com)

Thursday, 23 April 2015

How To Make A Firefly Jar

Apologies Joe - this IS another (crappy) crafting post ...

As I mentioned before, it's Miss Mac's Birthday next week and she will be 16.

It's a big day, it's a BIG year.  This year marks the culmination of 11 years at school and the end of her childhood as she, as I know it.

Soon she will be knee deep in exams.   The preparation for them has been going on for months now with before and after school revision session and lots of time spent in her bedroom surrounded by books.

I want her Birthday to be a day away from all of that.  She will have to go to school on the day but I plan on asking some of her friends around after for a small party and obviously cake (still working on the design for that shoe box cake!).

She's already had her main present from me as seen here but in addition to that there are lots of little gifts that I've been gathering together over the last few months.

But I wanted to make her something special!

So, combining the ideas of a couple of posts I've read recently and I thought I'd try my hand at making her a Firefly Jar for her bedside table.

The first thing I needed was the right jar.

I settled on an empty  Douwe Egberts coffee jar:

I like the shape of the jar so I soaked off the label (removing any sticky leftovers with nail varnish remover) and removed the plastic seal from the lid.

Then I fixed on some heart shaped foam stickers I had left over from another crafting project many years ago when Miss Mac was into all things pink and glittery:

Then, using the empty cardboard inner tube from a roll of kitchen towel to give me something to hold onto and so that I could hold the jar away from myself and turn it to ensure even coverage I sprayed the whole thing with glass etching spray (you can pick this up in any good craft shop for about £5).

And then I left it on the mantelpiece to dry still resting on the kitchen roll tube (it only takes a few minutes).

When it was dry I carefully peeled the stickers off leaving a clear glass heart pattern all around the jar:

I decided to leave the lid clear as it has grooves in it which the spray would probably settle in giving an uneven finish.

All I needed to do then was to fill it with some battery operated fairy lights with the battery case blue tacked to the bottom of the jar to keep it upright and remembering to make sure the switch was at the top.

I've added some decoration around the top with a few of those teardrop beads threaded on the silver wire but I'm not sure if I will keep them, it might be a bit too much.

And behold!

A bedside Firefly Jar!
Again, I've chosen something that's really hard to photograph - in the flesh this looks far prettier.

It was SO simple to make.  Really inexpensive.  The lights cost me £2.99 from Primark.  The jar I had anyway as well as the beads and wire and the glass etching spray will do several other jars/things (I have plans ...).

I'm really pleased with the way it's turned out :-).

I'm hoping Miss Mac loves it as much as I do.

Linking up with Anne at Domesblissity

Tuesday, 21 April 2015


At Birthdays!!

Well, technically only his own, he does pretty well when it comes to mine and other peoples but he would rather just let his own pass by without a mention.

Like that's ever going to happen with me around!

I woke him up this morning crooning in his ear:

'Happy Birthday tew yew - Happy Biiiiirthday TEEEEW YEEEEW - Hap ...'

'Be quite fool' (he said in his best Mr T voice) -' I don't have time for your nonsense in the mornings!'

I was completely deflated until I remembered that downstairs there were PRESENTS!!

SD faffed around doing boring morning stuff like having a shower, making sure he had his stuff for work, getting dressed.  The kind of stuff you can do ANY day whereas you only get to have a birthday once a year!

While he was in the shower I pulled out the presents I'd wrapped last night before hiding them in the cupboard under the stairs because I'm fairly sure that even people who PRETEND not to be bothered about Birthdays secretly go poking around looking for presents don't they ...?

I couldn't find one of his presents anywhere.  I remembered wrapping it last night in this really cool Route 66 paper I'd found.  SD always seems more enamoured of the wrapping paper I find than the actual presents.  Next year I might just buy him a roll of the stuff and wrap it in brown paper or something ...

Anyway, I'd hunted down a copy of the film Solomon Kane for him which he'd been wanting to see for a while but it had disappeared!  Couldn't find it anywhere!  So I put the others on the table ready for him to open

After lots of huffing and grumbling that he didn't have time and would be just as happy to do presents after work (seriously???) SD eventually gave into the pressure and opened his presents but I was still completely bemused by the disappearance of that DVD until:

Miss Mac and friends have been raising money for the Prom again.  This week they are selling ice pops which is going really well given the unseasonably hot weather we have been having.

She came home with 4 boxes last night which involved some re-arranging of my freezer to fit them in.

Just before she left for school I got them out for her and, nestled in between last years blackberry and apple and 500g of mince was SD's loving wrapped DVD ...

I said nothing!  He already thinks I'm a fool! he doesn't need to know about my home grown attempt at cryogenics ...

I wonder if DVDs still play after they are thawed ...

SD also called me pretentious the other day.


How VERY dare he ...

I actually can't remember why but I suspect it might have been something to do with Chinoiserie ...


Remember that post when I told you about a film SD was telling me about.  He was convinced I watched it with him and he went through the plot in great detail finishing up with:

'You MUST remember THAT one, it's the one where they escape on speedgoats with buns!

Or when I accidentally called someone Garden Porker instead of Gordon Parker ...

Well, SD did it again this weekend.

It's been a hell of a week or so for Birthdays.  In fact, we've had a birthday almost every day for the last 10 days.  We spent Friday night at a BBQ with friends and then just the two of us spent a lovely day at West Bay sitting in the sun drinking coffee and eating cake, admiring the bikes on the sea front and reading our respective books.

We were a little late back and rushing to get ready for the evening when we were meeting more friends for more Birthday celebrations and the phone rang.  It was Mark wanting to know where we were.

SD said he was ready and was just waiting for me or, to be more precise he said:

'I'm ready but Hairers just sorting out her stare ...'

When we got home from the pub a little the worse for wear Miss Mac had already gone to bed leaving mayhem behind her as she often does.

All over the coffee table were little bit of waxed paper from plasters.

Obviously I assumed the worst and pictured scenes of carnage until SD pointed out the absence of blood all over the carpet.

But what the hell else could she have been doing with all those plasters I wondered?

SD's suggestion ranged from an attempt at home waxing her eyebrows, upper lip or even a full Brazilian (not unreasonable when you consider that she has been known to use masking tape to created the perfect flick with eyeliner ...).

In his opinion you just assume that everything she does is gross and then anything better is a bonus!

I needed to know!

I turns out that she has formed the conviction that two of her toes are crooked (they aren't!) and was using the plasters to try to straighten them so not gross at all, just a little weird ...

Hey, have you got a famous doppelganger???

SD has!!

Look at this guy.
And then look at THIS one!

The first one is Henry Cole the CEO of Gladstone Motorcycles and a TV presenter. The second one is SD.

I'm gobsmacked at how similar they are both in looks and personality.

Henry Cole is entertaining, doesn't take himself too seriously and knows his stuff when it comes to bikes.

SO like SD apart from the voice which is actually a little disconcerting as apart from that they could almost be the same person.

I wonder if I'VE got a doppelganger out there somewhere ...

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Chinoiserie (kind of ...)

A few days ago Emma Kate at Paint and Style wrote a post about how inspiring she had found the new Disney film Cinderella.

Being (as she says) a frustrated set designer the thing that had Emma Kate most exited were the beautifully hand painted sets.

They are STUNNING and worth going to see the film for alone!

I haven't been to see it (yet) but Emma Kate's post inspired me too as they often do.  They also make me have dangerous thoughts.  Mostly in the style of, 'I could do that!'

Whether I could or not is up for debate as I rarely finish anything but I DO have good intentions!!

Anyway, Emma Kate's post includes a video on Chinoiserie if you want to take a look and I'm including the Wiki description of Chinoiserie here to save my probably very poor explanation of it:

Chinoiserie (pronounced [ʃinwazʁi]French for "Chinese-esque") is a recurring theme in European artistic styles since the seventeenth century, which reflectChinese artistic influences.[1] It is characterized by the use of fanciful imagery of an imaginary China, by asymmetry in format and whimsical contrasts of scale, and by the attempts to imitate Chinese porcelain and the use of lacquerlike materials and decoration.
Chinoiserie in a broader scope refers to a mixture of Eastern and Western stylistic elements for both the decoration and shape.[2] The style held particular favour during the Rococo period and the court of Louis XV,[3] with which its fanciful, ornate and idyllic imagery is commonly associated.

Chinoiserie however can also be used on walls and this is what had caught Emma Kate's (and subsequently my) eye.

Of course I thought I could do it!

I've even drawn up a few designs for painting some on the pale grey tongue and groove in my bathroom (when I finish it ...).

Meanwhile I was doing some gardening yesterday.  Digging up weeds - bloody dandelions are the bane of my life. Sweeping the decking. Scraping the moss from the path and finally tackling a shrub that had died and I want to replace.

First of all I cut all the branches off ready to dig it up.

As I laid them on the table I was struck by how they reminded me of the Chinoiserie trees in the tutorial and I though, why not have my OWN take on it.

I gathered together a few things from my crafting supplies:

I had a real find at Dunelm a few weeks ago and those heart were down to 25p each and the tear drop bead garlands were 50p - so I bought them all!

The bead garland was on very thin silver wire so I untwisted the beads and removed them and kept the wire to re-use.

The hearts were a combination of pearl beads and fabric roses which I removed.

I then used the silver wire from the tear drop garland to attach the pearl beads, the roses and some of the tear drops to the dead branch.

And then put the branch in a bubble glass vase that I'd picked up in a Charity shop for 99p a few weeks ago (I LOVE bubble glass!):

It may not be Chinoiserie in the true sense of the word but I think it has the same kind of feel to it and it makes me happy.

The whole thing took about half an hour to put together and cost probably less than £2.

I wish the photo's were better, it would probably have worked better on a darker background but in real life I liked the rustic look with the fence behind it.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

A Little Bit Of Randomness ...

So the other day some woman asked SD if he was my support worker ...

I'm just going to let you have a couple of seconds to let that sink in ....

She said it in all seriousness ...

I was speechless!!

SD was a little torn I think.  Torn between trying not to laugh at the outraged expression on my face.  Torn between the shock that someone had seriously asked him that and torn between actually confessing that much of the time that's exactly what he thought he might be!

I remained speechless ...

SD steered me gently in the direction of my favourite cafe by the river.  Sat me down in a chair outside in the sunshine.  Enquired solicitously if I would like a rug for my knees (which they provide for those chilly days when you still want to sit in the fresh air) and left me while he went in search of restorative coffee and cake all the while glancing over his shoulder to check that I was still where he left me.

He returned bearing coffee and the little shot glasses of smarties that they serve with hot drinks and carefully picked out the orange smarties from his glass (which I love the most) and swapped them with the pink smarties in my glass (which I have for some reason a peculiar aversion to).

He contemplated me for a while before asking that age old question:

'Sarah, WTF are you doing???'

It was a warm day and I was wearing a little summer dress but, in deference to the fact that it IS only April I'd teamed it with my favourite long line cable knit cream cardigan rather than a jacket.

I WAS a little agitated.  I'd taken the cardigan off and was turning it over and over, up side down and inside out and beginning to get a little frustrated.

'I can't find the pocket' I wailed ...  'I can't find the pocket and I need my tissue ....'

'And that bloody woman thought you were my SUPPORT WORKER!!!' - 'WHY would she think that???'

SD looked at me manically pawing at my cardie before glancing at my rejected pink smarties and his mouth twitched, and he coughed, and his eyes crinkled slightly as he cleared his throat and he said:

'I have absolutely NO idea!'

Which was the RIGHT answer because neither did I!

In other news ...

They say the things that make you different make you the same - or stronger - or something, I'm not quite sure what it is they say to be honest and SD and I agree on many things but there are some ways in which we differ greatly.

One of those things is in regard to towels!

In my head a towel is either used or dirty.

SD has a three fold system for towels.

Clean - in use - dirty.

I have a real problem with this 'in use' thing - just exactly how many times do you use a towel before it's dirty?

As far as I'm concerned, I used it, it's dirty - SIMPLE!

I don't get where you draw the line.  I don't want to use the same towel that some one has used to dry their 'personal area' - I don't care if they have just washed said 'area' - what if I used the same bit to dry my face??

My method is far more simple - you use the towel and then you stick it in the wash.

But apart from that, and lists, and eating lemon cake (even though he doesn't like it and I love it so I want to eat it all!!) and a few other things far to mundane to mention SD and I agree on most things.

Miss Mac sent me a text the other evening when she was in bed.  This is her preferred means of communication once she has retired because she is far too lazy to get up and actually tell me what it is she wants to say.

Usually the text will be something along the lines of:

'My hottie is cold - this makes me sad' - translation - can you re fill my hot water bottle or:

'There is a bug in my room' - translation - please bring a magnifying glass so that you can see and remove this microscopic bug on the far wall of my bedroom or I will end up in your bed for the night.

Last night I simply got one that said:

'Don't be alarmed, I'm in my pants'

I wasn't unduly alarmed as it happened but I was a little confused that she had felt the need to tell me and also unsure what the correct response should be to that message.  I just nodded wisely to myself and carried on reading my book.

Then a couple of minutes later she sent me another one:

'So could you get me a glass of water please?'


Actually it was quite refreshing not to have that thought directed towards me for a change.

I went to investigate.

It turned out that she had sent me a text asking for a glass of water BEFORE sending the pants message but I didn't get it for some reason.  The pants message was apparently so I didn't make the mistake of either thinking she was naked or, as was more likely, jumping into bed with her for a cuddle when I went up and thus creating a slightly awkward situation for us both.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Coming Of Age

Miss Mac is going to be 16 at the end of this month.

Wow ...

It's hard to believe that my youngest will soon be embarking on her GCSE's, the final stage of school and, in just a few short months she will have left it forever.

She's excited and scared.

I'M excited and scared ...

Her Birthday falls the day before her very first exam and I'm hoping the worry and stress of it doesn't spoil the day.

I'm planning a small surprise party with just a few friends after school on the actual day and, if I don't totally cock it up I'm going to make her a Birthday cake in the shape of a shoe box with a pair of these on top:

I know!!

All KINDS of ways THAT'S going to go wrong!! But I've watched a tutorial over and over and it LOOKS easy enough ...

I've also been hiding away lots of little presents which I can't show you right now just in case she decides to take a look here (I'm sure she never reads my blog but you never know!).

One thing I CAN share with you is her main present.

There had been talk of a laptop which she will need when she goes to college.  The one she had now works fine but it's a bit old, a bit heavy and, to be honest, not very cool and really, starting collage is NOT the time to have things like that to worry about!

We had also discussed a camera as she is taking photography A'level and at the moment only has my old point and shoot and use of my Pentax which, although it's not top of the range is pretty good and I love it but she very sensibly decided that she should start the course first where she will have use of the college cameras and then maybe we can look for something at Christmas.


Back to what I HAVE got for her.

She's already had it as it's not something that could be hidden in my wardrobe (and NO Miss Mac, if you DO read this then that's NOT where your presents are!).

Miss Mac surprised me by asking for a piece of furniture, a desk or some shelves or a dressing table, something for her room that totally belonged to her.  Something useful that she could take with her at some point (in the dim and distant future I hope) when she has a home of her own.

We spent some time looking at various things.  Most were way out of my price range.  Some would never fit through the rather low and narrow doorway to her room.  We also had to take into account that her bedroom has a sloping ceiling and so the height of the piece would determine where it could go.

Just down the road from us is a shop that used to be a dolls house shop.  The man who owns it crafted the most beautiful dolls houses and furniture but about a year ago he decided that he couldn't make it pay any longer.  I chatted to him and he told me that so much was sold online these days and while people still wanted his stuff due to severe dyslexia he just couldn't keep up with the demands.  He wanted a shop where people came in and actually spoke to him.

And so his new venture was born.  He calls it the Thrift Shop.  He buys all manner of old furniture and household items, repairs where necessary and sometimes paints them.  He sells them for about half the price of anywhere else I've seen.

This is what we bought:

At some point it was clearly a writing desk, you can still see the grooves on the wide shelf where the hinges would have been for the drop down flap.

I suspect the top bit is an addition at a later date but I love the tongue and groove and the sweet little heart cut out at in the middle.

It's been shabby chic'd (before we bought it) not perfectly but I think it has a lot of charm.  It's a very pretty feminine piece of furniture and I think Miss Mac will get a lot of pleasure from it for many years.

Meanwhile she has given it her own 15 going on 16 stamp by filling it with books, memento's and of course plenty of make up!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Here I Am!!

So, where have I been?

Where HAVEN'T I been??

Actually, scrap that, the list of where I have been is probably a little shorter ...

It's been a busy few weeks with Miss Mac and SD around for the Easter holidays and I'd say we've pretty much made the most of it.

The holiday started with a trip to Lyme Regis one evening to watch the sun go down and eat fish and chips on the sea wall.

Such a mellow evening with soft colours

But a little breezy

A trip to Burnham-On-Sea a to see 7th Son at the Ritz cinema, a proper old fashioned cinema with one screen and usherettes that come round with ice cream!

And another great sunset over the sea.

Time with Gus playing ball at the park.  It's SOOO good to see how he has perked up in the last couple of months.  Gus is starting to show his age a little and has slowed down over the winter but a course of fish oils seems to have given him a new lease of life and I'm so happy to see him running around like he used to.

Throw it again - you know you want to!

Oh god, waking up like THIS one morning!!

Looking like something from a horror film for several days (it got worse!) - thankfully no damage done and it's back to normal now!

A great day out at Blue Anchor walking Gus along the beach, trawling the car boot sale in the field and bagging some bargains.  Drinking coffee in the garden of the Driftwood cafe and driving back through the beautiful Quantock hills.

Sunbathing in the garden in the freakishly hot weather we are having with a trashy novel.

An amazing day wandering around the Antique and Charity shops of Honiton and sitting outside the Toast cafe drinking latte in the sun followed by a short drive to Sidmouth for my sun, sea and sand fix and yet MORE Antique and Charity shops and MORE bargains (a post on them soon!).

All of that and a meal out with friends in Minehead at a great pub followed by a band.  A couple of nights out at my local.  Time at the farm soaking up the sun and 'helping' SD with a few jobs.  Real quality time with Miss Mac and for some bizarre and unknown reason some manic Spring cleaning.

So , in short, that's where I've been and what I've been doing.

I hope you all had as good an Easter as I did!