Monday, 13 December 2010

Getting on with life

Well its several weeks now since Dad died and I can't say life is any easier without him but I have stopped walking round in a daze so much and started to move forward.

Mam is doing so well, she is taking charge of her life and her future, she breaks down a lot but she picks herself up and carries on, I am so proud of her.

This Christmas will be difficult but we will still have each other and we will be remembering Dad with us all together as a family and probably laughing as we remember how he hated Xmas and its trivia. Dad will be watching us I know and I hope he is free from pain wherever he is.

The threat of redundancy hangs over so many of us in Local Authorities and we are waiting at the moment for news of the latest restructure. Then if our department comes through it unscathed or reduced we then have to go through another possible restructure as we move elsewhere as a unit. It is never ending and this will be our 5th restructure in the same number of years. Alan is counting the days to his retirement and has been told that his post will not be replaced but his job will be spread around five others to take on!! I told him they would miss him when had gone. He is ready to go and he is not one of these people who wants to carry on after 65. He is planning his retirement with enthusiasm and finsihing in July is going to be revitalising for him. Lets just hope that my income isnt lost as well, though as Dad would sat - you cut your cloth!!

We have been doing a few Vintage and Retro Fairs through seeing Julie ( at them and being encouraged to give it a go. We have been selling the extra stuff we do not need! and also selling some of my lavender bags and hearts made from old linens as well as cushions. I like making things and its my way of enjoying creativity. Its especially heartening when people want to buy what you have made. You meet some lovely people they are particularly friendly up in Durham and Northumberland.

I have just been ordering BBC comedy audio books from Amazon and ebay for Alan now he is in bed.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Our dearest Dad has gone from our lives

On Monday my Dad decided he did not want any more treatment and wanted to come home, he was deteriorating and we agreed with his wishes as did the very kind, doctors. He came home and my Mam, myself, our family, some very kind carers and district nurses all made his last few days as comfortable as possible. He passed away with us sat with him talking about old times on Saturday evening at 7.15pm. Our hearts are broken and will always have a gap even when they have healed a little. He was the kindest, caring, generous Dad my brother Peter and I could ever have had as well as a loving husband for my Mam.

A friend of Mam's said that she thought it was a privelege we had had to nurse him through his last days with us all around him and do you know she is right.

Goodbye Dad we will always love you

PS we could not have done this without the help of the excellent NHS employees around us, they were magnificent and so were the carers, I felt very fortunate to have a system that just kicked in straight away to provide him with the care he needed.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Update on life!

Hi since the last blog my Dad caught the 'C Difficile' infection and had to return to James Cook and be barrier nursed (and us). He has gone back such a long way and now he has had to start getitng better again, it took them a week to decide he had the infection and in the meantime he was a very weak man of 84 getting up sometimes every 10 mins to go to the loo, with a catheter in and hardly able get up. We were happy when they finally moved him back to James Cook. He was a lot better today, we asked them to give him an anti depressant to help raise his spirits and hopefully that will kick in soon as he has some bad days. We have a stair lift in place at Dads and a bath thing(!) and Mam will hopefully get some help with Dad when he gets home.

IN the meantime between hospital visits! we have had a stand at the New College Durham Vintage and Retro Fair which we did well at again. We have decided to try our luck at Hexham and I am currently making pictures and cushions out of old fabric. We have also been to the auction and bought a few bits to piant like mirrors for Hexham as apparently visitors there like painted furniture.

I also bought at the auction a huge load of boxes of buttons! Where do I start there are thousands of them in boxes, huge, tiny, coloured, cream, grey, horn, you name it we have them. I am thinking of putting them on ebay in lots of say 10, any ideas??

In the two boxes of linen and china were some wonderful pieces including several pairs of beautiful ladies evening gloves and a pair of the finest kid leather gloves I have ever seen.

Better go to bed now long day aheas tomorrow at work and the 20th October draws nearer as I am a public sector worker and Wednesday is the day we know a little more about our future. There have been plans made all over the Council for redundancies behind closed doors and I guess they will surface in the next few weeks.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

We are still around after some grim weeks..............

Hi I haven't posted for a long time - first we were busy then my Dad was very very ill in hospital and almost lost him to pancreatitis. We were warned we were probably going to lose him very shortly but remarkably he pulled round and is still with us. Ironically the pancreatitis is nothing to do with his cancer but it has left him exhausted and he seems to have aged very much over a short time. He was in high dependency for a long time and then another ward, now he has been transferred to a local GP run hospital onlty a few mins from my Mam's house but she doesnt drive so is reliant on lifts. Dad had his 84th birthday in hospital but he is so depressed and down. He keeps telling Mam he is so sad, it's awful she just wants him home and thats where he wants to be, he isnt going to get much better till he gets there.

We now await the care package they will put in place and Mam is having a stairlift fitted as soon as possible.

We had a fortnight off and planned to venture down South again to find some of these wonderful places we see on the blogs. However we ended up spending the fortnight going back and forth to the hospital. Then we went back to work and carried on with the trips, trying to support Mam however we could.

On a more cheery note we spent the August Bank Holiday Mnoday having a lovely day on New College Durham Vintage and REtro Fair. Thanks to Julie at for encouraging us to try a stall and being so friendly.

We had a very fruitful day and were very good and didn't buy anything. We are venturing forth again on 10th October for another Fair. We sold lots of things from around the house and loft etc and can do a few more stalls before we need to start looking for stuff! how bad is that!

I also took some of my lavender sachets, pictures and cushions etc. I have made some more of them for next time out of some lovely vintage fabrics. It was so nice when people complimented me on what I had made, it feels good doesn't it.

We did manage one day out when we very kindly offered some free folding shelves from a lovely lady called Tracy at . We went up to Blackhill nr Consett to meet her and her lovely family who were so friendly but then County Durham people are known for that.

We went on to Corbridge and the famous shop called RE - wow I loved it but was very restrained.

Will try and post some pics of some of my makes and some of my recent finds after I have to replace the stuff that has gone and will go to the Fair !

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

We are off 'down South'

We are leaving early tomorrow morning to visit Alan's son and family in Tunbridge Wells. They moved from East Dulwich last year and love it so they are putting their house in London on the market and looking for somewhere permanent in TW. Neither of us have been there before so I am looking forward to it.

I meant to ask on blogs if anyone can recommend places to see but forgot and now its too late.

Paul and Sue Mee are taking us to to Lewes on Friday whilst the children are at school for a grown up day! and I know some people have put on blogs about it but I'll be blowed if I can find them. Still I am assured by others that it is very nice and full of my kinds of shops.

I see the temperature is going to be good this weekend so it should be nice though I dont like the heat with my own hot flushes being so rampant at the moment.
We are staying in a B&B in TW as they only have 2 bedrooms where they are renting, the B&B is just a few mins awayfrom the Pantiles whihc looks fabulous.

Anyway I will have lots of blogs to read when we return - I will try and remember to take pictures.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Time moves on..........

This is me on the left and my friend Norma on the stall I had at Masham!

Last week my son moved back into his house and his lovely wife Vicky moved into a rented house. We are going to see her tomorrow night - it will be awkward but we want to see how she is after several traumatice weeks. Adam is settled as well and feels calm and content.

ON a more cheery note I had a stall at a spring fair in Masham which is about 25 mins from home. There was only one other lady with handmade goods, the rest were fairtrade, bags, jewellery etc. I did very well and sold quite a few things. The best thing one was that Vintage Heart came from Richmond to visit me and it was fantastic to meet her - she is lovely and she bought some bunting and a pot off me. It was an experience - there was tea and coffee and cakes etc and in the morning all the locals came in for their regular Saturday chat and five ladies moved their chairs around the table next to my stall and then proceeded to make a cuppa each last for almost an hour - during that time noone could get near to see my stuff!! They then all got up and came over and started to 'look ' at my stall.
I had a canvas over which I had stretched some lovely 'scottie dog' fabric - one lady said she liked it to her friend and then said I want a pinboard - I said it isn't a pin board - her reply was "so it's not useful then?" I said " Well not particularly" I explained it was fabric over canvas and her reply was " So what is it then?" I said "it's a picture" to which her friend replied " Come on , you can make one of those yourself"!!! As we say in Yorkshire - There's nowt as queer as folk!

I am pleased to say that later on a lady from Solihull (on a coach trip) loved my 'useless picture' and bought it for her daughter she restored my confidence and faith in humanity.
I have packed it all away now but it is ready to transport and I will look out for another 'do' and in the meantime I will make more bunting and some of the pictures I made with vintage fabric and frames and wadding.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Changes afoot

My son and his recently married wife Vicky have seperated - he came home and told us that he did not love her anymore and did not want to be with her. We are devastated for Vicky as Adam was her life and everything she had ever wanted but it is not to be. I just wish he had called it a day before he promised his life to her by getting married. She is lovely and she is totally broken by his decision I just do not know what to say to her. I am not taking sides but cannot help but feel desperately sorry for her. We keep in touch by email and text and have talked a lot about how she feels, she is a broken person and has been very brave.

Adam is living here with us until Vicky finds somewhere to rent ( we think she is fixed up now with a house) and then he will move back. He was already in the process of buying his little house when they got together so it is in his name and he doesnt want to sell yet because of the fixed rate penalty and alomost negative equity at the moment. As he is still married they are both signing a document saying how they split things up and that when he sells the house he will split the profit with her as they have both paid equal money into since moving in together - though he put down the deposit etc. They were only married in August but had been together 3 years. It is so sad, he told my parents tonight - we have been putting off telling them cos of Dad but they were really ok about it.

I am in the meantime sewing lots of things amd making things to sell on a stall at the end of the month in Masham - there is thread everywhere and my head is full of ideas with not enough time to make all the things I want to. There are 12 different types of cushions cut out, gift tags printed, fabric pictures made and bunting to sew up as well as hearts and lavender sachets made of vintage linens.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Little Red Stove

This is the shlef we used the dresser base brackets for because of the weight of all the stuff we actually used the l shaped metal brackets on the top of the shelf and the thick wooden ones for show but only you know..................
We have recently removed a non-working living flame gas fire and had the chimney sealed etc as Bob the Bodger who has caused us so much work since we bought his house had in fact had the fire people round a couple of years before and they warned him not to use the fire as the chimney wasnt sealed etc - but he 'forgot' to tell us obviously - he just elft a note on the day we moved in saying the fire wouldnt stay lit. Anyway the last of our downsizing profit later we have a beautiful red Franco Belge multi fuel stove which is nearly as lovely as the dresser top!!
The heat it puts out is amazing and as we spend a lot of our time on our own as the adults kids living with us are always out it means we only need to heat that room and save some energy money.

This is the surround we took out and they cleaned out the cavity and bricked it up.

Where did February and nearly March go..........

I am just going to get on with writing and hide the lack of presence on the blogging front as usual I am avidly reading them all but then too tired to post one of my own!

These are some beautiful ribbons I have bought from a French website after finding some lovely French ladies' blogs. The picture does not do them justice and the service from the Stephanie was fantastic, each ribbon was wrapped individually in red tissue paper it was such a pleasure opening them all.

I have aso been buying some fabrics lately - the top pink one is an old Laura Ashley it was a single gathered valance and has given me yards of material in a very usable strip for £1.25!
The middle left is finally a purchase from Cath Kidston in Harrogate on Sunday as well as the piece on the bottom right. The shop is a dream isn't it -especially the lovely old quilts used as changing room curtains.

Bottom left and top right were vintage fabrics bought on Sunday from the Vintage and Reto Fair in Harrogate - quite small as the lady had had several cancellations 'cos it was Mother's Day.

All the rest have been bought of that emporium known as ebay - another reason why posting time on the blog is never enough as I love to search.

Below is the wonderful dresser top my Husband has made me for the bargain dresser base we bought a few months ago. This was originally a base cupboard with a an extra deep solid oak worktop and the other side was panelled with big brackets under the worktop to make a breakfast bar. We took the brackets off and cut the worktop back (we used this piece for a bedroom hearth and a shelf) We got the shade of paint of the people who made the base and off we went - I was foreman and Alan the joiner! I am so pleased with the result and very proud of my clever husband. This is a picture of it before I packed it with vintage china with a close up of my favourite three pieces (off ebay of course) It is not glossy its the sun!

Spot the Lillipeg girls from Lucy Bloom and my Nana's sugar shaker and the bowl I found to match it.

I came down on Sunday morning and the sun was streaming in through the velux window above the dresser and I was in my element finally achieving the look I have wanted for so long we would never have been able to afford the top from the people who made the bottom.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Thanks to Sal's Snippets

Just a quick note to say thank you to Sal for her lovely giveaway. These were photographed when I came in from work last week but first chance to post.

Have been to a lovely felting day today - really enjoyed it. Will take a photo later of my effort which I am so pleased with..........

Have picked up a few bargains before Xmas and read some lovely blogs lately - there are so many clever people out there - also bought my first purchase off Etsy successfully.