goodbye to May

Last day of May.  Cold again in Blighty.

Tilly went to the vets yesterday, she has had gammy, gummy eyes for a few days and my usual homemade black tea eyewash wasn't working.

We got there and the vet put some dye in her eyes to check for cuts and scratches and two seconds later her nose went luminous green!!

Ha, she looks so funny - apparently this is completely normal and it went away after a few minutes.

I've had a horribly busy month and haven't blogged nearly enough about the things I love the most;  crochet and crafty stuff.  The good news is that my uni schedule is easing off now, in fact I finish in October :o), so I should be able to finish all my outstanding crafty projects and get my crochet on again.

Hope you all had a wonderful May, here's to a sunny and warm June (I just jinxed it didn't I???).

ps. Tilly has conjunctivitis - who knew dogs got that!!!

a new puppy in the family

Don't worry, she's not ours, although after meeting her yesterday I kind of wish she was.

This is Delta.  She is my parent's brand, spanking new long-haired German Shepherd puppy.  She is almost eight weeks old, her paws are already bigger than Tilly's, she has lots of fur and is very, VERY, cute indeed.

She is so little and snuffly, all she wants to do is sleep, I don't think she really appreciated me picking her up and squeezing her so much yesterday, bet she was glad to get home, not least to get away from Tilly who of course went crazy over her.

Those ears, that tongue, those paws. Oh my!

My Mum and Dad are over the moon; she is apparently very good, she didn't cry all through her first night like our Tilster did, she eats raw meat (ewwwww), she is peeing and pooping fine (not always in the garden though) and Misty, my folks other dog (a Sheltie, also very hairy), is coping okay.

I think Misty will cope until Delta outgrows her, she is only small and Tilly already tramples all over her when they are playing.  Apparently both of Delta's parents were massive so it looks as though she may grow up to be a big old puppy, I think Misty will just have to put her foot down early on and establish her position in the house pecking order.  Bless her.

My favourite things about Delta (I'm sure this list will grow as she does) are her tan coloured eyebrows - so cute, her giant paws and her very lovely lopsided ears, I hope that never goes away.


kitchen extension project begins

Could you be...the most hideous tiles in the world?

And so it begins.

Twelve whole weeks of work to transform our kitchen, and the whole back of our house in fact, from tatty, tired and a bit hideous in places, to something well, something a whole lot better we hope.

We are very excited about the work starting but also nervous too because neither of us has ever experienced this level of disruption (no kitchen for weeks!!!) or spent this much money...gulp....on a house before.

Here is what we currently have.  Our house is a traditional Victorian semi-detached cottage and the kitchen is at the back with a door to the side.

We are extending to the side of the house - all the way to where the window on the left is and also coming out about four metres to the back to about where the garden table currently is (see top left picture, ignore the crap everywhere, we had to empty and move the shed!).  The kitchen will be wider but not longer, we'll have a downstairs toilet and then the extension will be a relaxed seating area with a table, sofa and television with folding doors out onto a decked patio area.

We are getting rid of the horrible wood kitchen - the cupboard doors are actually painted and used to be dark green - can you imagine a dark green kitchen...heavens!

Also going is the old, menacing green cooker which actually stopped working last week, probably in protest because it knows that its on its way out :o) and whilst our back door is quite nice, it goes out to the side of the house, not the back so we don't get the benefit from having a stable door as it is never left open - so that is off to my brother's house instead.

The only thing we like about our current kitchen is the floor, nice proper slate tiles but very, very cold and so we are getting underfloor heating and oak floors instead.

The kitchen we will probably go for is cream or white gloss (haven't decided which) with very dark grey worktops.  I'd like an electric double oven and a gas hob but that is about as far as we have gone with the kitchen planning because we meet a kitchen designer on Saturday so hoping she can give us a better idea.

I've written to all the neighbours to apologise in advance for the noise and disruption (I think they might end up hating us), I've asked my folks if they would do our washing for us on a weekly basis, we've notified all the relevant authorities so....here we go. 

Wish us luck.

ps. if anyone fancies those lovely green tiles, we can save them for you, no problem.  Maybe just the ones with cherries on perhaps ;o)


lucky lipstick love

I'm a very lucky lady.

The lovely Mr P was working in New York all last week.

He had miserable weather (it rained the whole time he was there whilst we baked in glorious Blighty sunshine), he worked very hard, ate lots of meat (he has to get in his meat quotas whilst away from me and my vegetarian cooking), and had horrible return flight times but he still came home on Friday afternoon laden with gifts for everyone but himself.

I was treated to some of my favourite lipsticks.  Oh Joy!

He got me a couple of lipsticks from MAC.  My favourite Cremesheen lipstick, Creme Cup - so pretty, so pink, so right for summer - this one I will NOT destroy by leaving it on a boiling hot windowsill.

He also got me a Satin Lipstick in the colour Myth, which I haven't tried before but it's part of MAC's new Fashion Sets range which picks the most popular colours in different countries - Myth is apparently the number one selling MAC lipstick in Russia!!  It looks a bit orangey in the picture (too orangey for crows!), but it's a really pale nude colour in real life, quite nice and again a very good colour for summer especially when I normally go all out for pinks.

He also got me a Revlon lipstick that you can't get here in the UK (well I couldn't find it anyway so please let me know if I'm wrong), it's called Love That Pink and I'd heard great things about it whilst on my daily blog round-up.

It is a proper good pink colour, really deep and lovely, not too bright, not too brash but pitched just right for probably anyone.  I think this one is going to end up on the favourite lipstick list, I might even have to campaign with Revlon to bring it to the UK lipstick wearing population.

I also got a lovely coral-pink MAC nail polish in the colour Impassioned. Cor, it looks right lovely doesn't it but I'm currently wearing Barry M nail paint in Coral (No. 296), which is so bright and sunny, so it will have to wait to be tried out. 

Tilly was also treated.  She got a new collar in pink - makes me smile to think of our pretty girl in pink but unfortunately it's too big for her so she won't be the most stylish dog on the block for a while yet - well until Mr P takes the collar to the menders and gets a new hole punched anyway.

Source for the a.mazing Brooklyn Bridge image at the top of this post, brilliant shot from Michael Klement available on Etsy.


sixteen shades of grey

Having read (and not finished) the notorious Fifty Shades of Grey, in my despair (it really is that bad) I went searching for some cool grey stuff.

Considering grey is the colour of concrete and cloudy days, this lovely stuff is quite pleasing to the eye. Ce n'est pas???

Laters baby.
















Treasury tool by Red Row Studio

All images taken from Etsy, click on images to go straight to the seller's lovely Esty page.


new Burt's Bees tinted lip balm

So I was pottering around Waitrose yesterday and this little beauty caught my eye.

Burt's Bees do lovely lip balm so of course (of course!) I wouldn't be able to walk past the display without picking one up.  Just to, you know, have a look.  The packaging is really cute, the lip balm comes in a cardboard tube, like a little parcel of lip balm loveliness...yes, you know it.  I bought one.

There are six colours to choose from on their website, only three available in Waitrose.  I chose Pink Blossom but there was a peachy one and a reddish one there too, all looked scrumptious!

Pink Blossom is a lovely pinky colour which looks quite bright (and a bit scary) in the tube but goes on really smooth and makes my lips look a pretty pink gloss colour.

I like it, it stays on for ages, looks pretty and is good for you - yes that's why I got it, it's good for me, knew I'd find a good reason for buying it eventually :o)

The only downside is that it doesn't have a nice smell, in fact it doesn't really smell of anything and I like a nice smelly lip balm.  Also, remember that it's tinted!! I tend to get a bit happy with my lip balm application and definitely do NOT keep inside the lines!!

Once (not that long ago) I bought the tinted pink Vaseline that comes in the cute tin and smeared it all over my lips straight after buying it.  Only when I got back to my car (after spending quite a while in town) did I realise that I had pink smeared all around the outside of my lips and I looked somewhat like a crazy lady clown!!  Be warned, this one is a little bit like that too, as I found out yesterday.

Pretty though isn't it?  It goes straight on to the definitely recommend list, tinted lip balm is such an ace idea, a way to fulfil total lip balm addiction whilst looking a bit more polished than usual. Win!

I've spent all day today on my essay so feeling stressed I walked Tilly, in the sunshine and everything, and then came straight upstairs to listen to some classical music and write this (Mr P's excellent Calm CD has pretty much been on repeat for weeks now)!  Feeling a bit more relaxed now.  Bliss.


new kitchen is on the way

Soon.  I hope.

We have been planning our new kitchen for months and as it will also mean an extension out to the side and the back of our existing kitchen, the planning stages (and headaches and excitement) have been quite huge!

We think that we are almost there.  We have planning permission - hurrah! We have structural drawings done and submitted to the council - hurrah! And the final piece of the puzzle, our builder (the most important piece, non?), well we think we will have him chosen this week....this week!!!! Argh scary exciting!!!!

So now all the decisions have been made about the building, we realised that we had to sit down and think about what we wanted our new kitchen to look like.

We sort of thought just saying "white cabinets, wood floors, dark grey granite worksurfaces" would keep getting us through these discussions (it has so far) but this week realised that serious planning had to be undertaken.

We also really like the idea of having a fairly large island in the middle of the kitchen - probably more square than the one above - so we can all gather around it and lean...I quite like having a lean in a kitchen, do you??  But apart from that we have no further clues.  I sat and did a plan yesterday and I'm hoping we can talk to the builder and go from there - fingers crossed.

So along with all this kitchen chaos we have also split our open plan living/dining room back into the two rooms it originally was - some mindless crazy person pulled the original wall down (with the original fireplaces...argh), years ago. 

You know, we thought "hey, we haven't got enough to think about right now, lets get a new wall in"! and promptly arranged to have it put back.  Sadly no fireplaces for us but we have put lovely glass double doors in the middle and they look lush - although they have been primed today in readiness for painting hence me sitting upstairs blogging on a Sunday night to escape the smell .  I would much rather be downstairs watching Khloe and Lamar, seriously, that Khloe chick has lovely hair doesn't she?

And...and...as if I didn't have enough to do (time for a moan now), I'm in the middle of a final assignment for part of the degree I'm doing, which has all gone horribly wrong.  Won't bore you with the details but essentially I've had to start all over again from the very beginning.  Yes I cried, yes I pouted and sulked and everything (maybe even stamped my foot a little bit) but in the end I have spent all last week and will spend all of the next two weeks doing it....not something that is filling me with joy right now, I can tell you that for sure.

So busy times.  As soon as we have a start date for the building work I'll take some before shots of the kitchen, including the natty green tiles, so you can see before, during and after shots!!

I hope you had a nice Sunday.  The sun actually shone in Blighty today, I know, really, it actually did and to make up for my moan, here is a gratuitous shot of some bluebells I picked.  Ahhh a happy Sunday ending.


simple but lovely crochet flowers

To be frank with you, I flipping love these little crochet flowers from Donna's Crochet Designs.

I made my first one ages ago, loved it, put it to one side, got distracted, one project led to another, got carried away, forgot about it, found it in a drawer this week and pulled my finger out to make some more.  Hurrah!

I'm glad I did, are they not the prettiest things?

I'm using the RICO Design Essentials Cotton DK to make them.  It's ever so smooth and silky and perfect for this pattern...Mmmmm.

Using this thinner cotton seems to show off the design of the flower a bit better, plus they seem to have a sheen to them (not Charlie) that I love.  I might try the pattern out in a wool mix, see how they turn out.

The other thing I love about them is that they're kinda 3D...and stackable too :o)

I'm not finished with this project yet, I'm going to do one in each colourway and then (and only then), I'm going to sit down and have a think about what to do with them.  My first thoughts are for a pretty garland.  Watch this space.

Anyway, one more gratuitous shot of this extreme crochet loveliness.

Pop over to Donna's website if you want to try your hand at making these, it's free!! Hurrah!

You can also find the pattern on Ravelry.


the best thing about having a dog

Really, proper, bestist thing ever about having a dog is getting out there and having a walk every day. 

Every single day, without fail, this huge, bouncy canine of ours has to be walked.  So there are no excuses, there is no getting out of it, rain or shine (and lets face it, it's been rain, rain, rain here for the past month), Tilly must be walked.  It is such a privilege.

And such a pleasure to watch her bounding around with joy, she LOVES it.  In particular she loves (in order of preference of course):

1. chasing squirrels
2. rolling around in grass - she hasn't rolled in fox poo yet but we fear the time is coming
3. jumping in and drinking from puddles, the bigger the better
4. chasing pine cones - we are fazing this out as she is so OBSESSED with them!
5. chasing the ball and then not bringing it back because she's gotten distracted
6. chasing birds - birds are the devil man!
7. digging
8. sniffing stuff (usually wee and poo)
9. getting treats
10. going home (nah not really, she pulls a face and everything when the lead goes back on).

Would YOU be able to resist this face??

I have just had a period of not being able to walk her every day and I hated it.  I missed her so much (she went off me a bit and everything) and also missed flowers.

These flowers look so tropical, very impressed.  The bluebells still haven't come out in incredible numbers anywhere, I think because it's been so wet and we've had zero sun - maybe if May is a bit sunnier we'll see carpets of blue everywhere - I hope so.

Don't get me wrong, there are other great things about having a dog, too many to mention really but her full body wag when she sees you for the first time in a while (sometimes just after an hour of being apart), ranks up there at the top - she is the best thing ever, she really properly is.

Right then, off out for a walk with Tilly and my good old Dad today.  Have a great day.