Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Just Call Me Vanessa Kensington

The lovely Karen from All About The Boys/The White Approach found herself with an extra (and very sought after) ticket for this year's CyberMummy event and decided to offer up the opportunity for one lucky blogger to purchase said ticket from her, all you had to do was link up and let her know why you wanted the ticket and she'd pick a winner at random.

I flippantly commented that I was unashamedly doing it for the social and freebies and that I would love the opportunity but found out about CyberMummy too late what with being new to this blogging lark and all that, not believing I'd have a snowball in hell's chance of being picked.

Well the winner was announced this evening and lo and behold it was only lil' old me!  This kind of thing never happens to the likes of me and to know that lots of other bloggers would love to be going in my place makes me appreciate the opportunity all the more.

When I informed Mr Right of my success he bought me crashing back down to terra firma in his unique way inferring that CyberMummy sounds like we'll all be dressed in BacoFoil like Fembots or Cheesecloth like Stepford Wives, which begs my next question; what to wear???

Or this?
Any hints and tips from bloggers that attended last year's event (wardrobe related or otherwise) would be greatly received as I'm a bit clueless as to how to get the best out of the day and hopefully I'll see some of you there!

Y Frontin'

Buster's school took part in this year's World Book Day and for the first time the children were able to participate by wearing the costume of a favourite literary character.  

Buster's initial requests to attend as various Star Wars characters or Ben 10 were swiftly vetoed by myself as they're not strictly literary characters, I was thinking more of classic children's books so he went off and looked through his book shelves for some inspiration.  

He came back to me and said he'd like to go as Long John Silver from Treasure Island but I politely asked him how he thought I was going to make a 17th Century quartermaster's outfit not to mention the peg leg, parrot and crutch with only four days to go?!  I'm good, but I'm not that good!
In the end we came to a compromise and he went as Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants 
Thankfully it was a really simple costume to put together, I purchased some massive white Y fronts which I tacked onto some jogging bottoms, I scrawled Captain Underpants across a white t-shirt and fashioned a cape from some red material, here's the end result; tra-la-la!

Monday, 30 May 2011

This Week's Junk Shop Jewels

It's been an OCD friendly week for me as far as the tat goes, I have managed to get a couple of items which either complete tea sets or add to them.

Remember this tea set I got a while back for £6 that was missing a milk jug and a cup?
Well I spotted this little collection that completes my set for £4.50
Unfortunately I'd already sourced a milk jug recently on eBay so only required it for the missing cup but at £4.50 for the lot it was cheaper to get the set than wait for an unlikely single cup on eBay for which I probably would have ended up paying more in postage.  

Although now I have a spare teapot and milk jug, so any suggestions as to what to do with those items would be most welcome!

Also a while back I purchased this little lot for a couple of quid but as you can see it was severely lacking in the cake plate department
Imagine my excitement at seeing these 6 matching side plates for £1.50
Now onto the rest of the purchases, a glass bonbon dish £1.50
A little potion bottle £1.50
A bag of wool oddments for £1.00, I'm hoping that when my crochet bug returns I can use these for granny squares or flowers
Pirateology book for Buster for 99p
And finally this pretty little purple and white cup and saucer for £3.00
Linking up with Magpie Monday over on Me And My Shadow

Me and My Shadow

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Cakey, Cakey! - Hummingbird Bakery Lemon Bars

I'd purchased some lemons a while back and managed to make the Lemon Meringue Cupcakes and some steamed salmon using them but there were still two knocking about in the fridge getting a little squishy so I simply had to do something with them as I really hate wasting food.  

It was then that I remembered that on a number of occasions I had flicked through the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and had wanted to make the Lemon Bars but always seemed to be without the required lemons to do so, so it was on.

The bars consist of a pastry base with a lemon curd-esque topping, rather like a lemon tart in bar form.  I make an Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Tart using a pre-bought (I know how slummy) sweet pastry case and fill it with a egg/lemon/cream/sugar mix and bake for 20 mins, serve cold with a blob of whipped cream.

The recipe for the Lemon Bars called for a large tray (23cm x 33cm x 5cm) and in retrospect I would have gone for a slightly smaller one as the mixture seemed to spread a little too thinly for my liking but all in all they are super yummy, here they are

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

I'm A Tiger

A new shop has opened in my local shopping centre, it's called Tiger and it's far too nice to survive for long in my town so I'll rave about it now whilst it's still there.

It sells EVERYTHING, it reminds me of a cross between Ikea and Muji with the rock bottom prices of the former and the kooky odds and sods of the latter.

Here are just some of my purchases (believe me I purchased a whole lot more!)
The two tier cake plate was a steal at £4 and the plate face was £3
I have been after some Catholic style candle votives for ages (even resorting to church supplies websites but I didn't want to purchase enough for a whole congregation), I'm not in the least bit religious but I love the imagery and I was so pleased to spot these in Tiger for 50p each, that's one hell of a bargain!
Anyway, if you have a Tiger anywhere near you make sure you give it your patronage, use it or lose it!

NB: This is not a sponsored post

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Hat's A Football Cake?

Some friends of ours are huge Luton Town fans and as such hosted a party for like-minded Hatters to watch the Luton V Wimbledon Playoff Final this weekend.  

We were invited along so I thought I'd make a suitable celebration/commiseration cake in the shape of a straw boater (Luton's famous for them don'tcha know) to take along and here it is...
Sadly I had to sacrifice a Microplane to get the straw plait look but it was an old one that had been mistakenly lazily put in the dishwasher a couple of times so it was on its way out anyway but I think it gives quite a good effect, even though I almost severed my fingers on a few occasions trying to create the illusion and what's a few drops of blood between friends?!

Monday, 23 May 2011

This Week's Junk Shop Jewels

I've been snapping up dead people's stuff again
Firstly this diddy cut glass bon bon jar £1.50

Oriental dolly outfit £1.50
Simple little cake slice with mother of pearl style handle 25p
I love white and gold together and couldn't resist this pretty bangle for 25p, although Missy thinks it's hers
And finally this charming floral tea set, a snip at £7.90
Linking up with Magpie Monday over at Me And My Shadow

Me and My Shadow

Sunday, 22 May 2011

FlaminGo-od Friend

Mrs D invited me to a vintage fair a couple of weeks ago and when she arrived at my house to collect me she came bearing gifts.  She said she saw these two items and remembered my love of all things flamingo and just had to get them for me (and a similar set for herself of course).  
A FlaminGo-od Idea
She explained that I could slip them into my bag and when an idea for a blog post struck me whilst I was out and about then I would be armed and ready.

I just wanted to say a little thank you to Mrs D for such a thoughtful gift. x

Friday, 20 May 2011

Kimo-No Go

You might remember that I attended a vintage sale with Mrs Z a couple of months ago and during that particular shopping trip I purchased a beautiful second hand kimono.  
At the time I envisaged myself wafting airily around the house in it with my marabou kitten heeled slippers on my feet and a cocktail in my hand.  I imagined that it had previously belonged to an actress who wore it in her dressing room after her stage performances whilst being terribly debauched.  

I fear that I haven't lived up to the kimono's expectations and it must be bored rigid being owned by me as the reality of its new life is that I have washed it, ironed it and hung it back on the hanger in my dressing room and that's where it has stayed ever since.

I'm sadly not going to get a lot of wear out of it so I have decided I am going to appreciate it for its beauty and therefore did a spot of research on how to display such an item.  I found a few display units online but they were huge stand alone things and I was thinking of it more as a wall hanging, so I asked Mr Right to make me a modified coat hanger out of a long piece of dowel with a coat hanger hook and here's the result.
That's not to say I haven't had any wear out of it at all, I went to a fancy dress party last weekend and managed to factor it into my costume, not sure how appropriate/politically correct it was to attend a kids' birthday party dressed as a Giesha Japanese prostitute but here I am in my costume looking like the bastard child of The Joker and Dr Petrenko from Holby City
Missy went as a ballerina in an outfit that my sister purchased for her for her birthday along with the addition of some hilarious little leg warmers that I made for her out of the sleeves of an old pink jumper I had knocking about, too cute if slightly precocious.

A Hearty Lunch Box Snack

Ever on the 'keeping things interesting in Buster's school lunch box' quest I once again found myself in the snacking fruit section of the supermarket, you may remember a while back that I happened upon these whilst on the same quest.

Well, true to form, Buster is now bored of them so I had another nose round the shelves and spied these little babies

They're strawberry flavoured heart shaped fruit made by Humdinger Foods and I had intended them to be solely for Buster's lunch but I'm going to steal them for myself for snacking cake decorating purposes.

NB - This is not a sponsored post

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Gallery - Mustachioed

I haven't linked up with the Gallery over on Sticky Fingers for ages but the advent of the Blogger Year Book brought it once again to the forefront of my mind, that and this week's subject matter, which is Mustachioed.  

I was transported back to when Buster was a toddler and he used to love playing in a bubble bath and his toy of choice without fail was 'Mr Mustachio' and he would even insist that I draw him a matching mustache with a black eyeliner pencil.

Anyway, just this week I had a clear out of some of the many bath toys we own as Buster now has a shower every morning before school (with his 'man smell' shower gel) and Missy prefers her bubble machine and I was a little fearful that I had inadvertently turfed him out but thankfully he was still there in his little purple rubber ring.  He's getting on a bit now and has suffered a bit with limescale build-up (it happens to us all eventually) but he's not looking bad after almost a decade of bathtime fun.
Mr Mustachio
Anyway, at least you didn't have to suffer a picture of my hormonal/age related facial hair (every cloud and all that).  Why not take a peek at the other entries in this week's Gallery whilst I have a shave.

Doing Up My Crib

A few months back whilst on one of my many charity shop jaunts I purchased this little toy crib for £5.00 with the intention of doing it up for Missy's dolly
As you can see it was a delightful shade of fuschia so I decided to give it a complete makeover which involved a three stage process.

Stage One - Paintwork

I painted the entire cot white, this was no mean feat as the original paint was quite a dark shade so it took about three coats before it actually looked white and I couldn't be faffed with sanding all those bars
Stage Two - Decoupage

I printed off a load of vintage paper dolly images, cut them out and arranged them on the two outer end panels of the cot, glued them down and then applied a top coat of PVA to seal them in.

Stage Three - Textiles

I purchased some 2.5cm thick foam and cut it to the size of the bottom of the cot to form a mattress and made a cover for it out of some pink fabric.  I then made a little duvet and pillow from some gorgeous vintage paper dolly fabric that I also used to cover Missy's revamped toy ironing board and hey presto the task was complete.  
Missy loves it, as you can see 
Missy loves looking at the paper dolly decoupage
and now has a cot for her dolly, Queenie, to sleep in, 
Missy kissing Queenie goodnight after tucking her in
my only remaining task is to stop the cat making it his new bed, he seemed to take rather a shine to her toy pram!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Sadly Not MAD Enough

Well the finalists in the MAD Blogging Awards 2011 were announced yesterday and sadly my name wasn't amongst the lucky few but I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who nominated/voted for me, it's been the highlight of my first year in blogging.

Although I wasn't a finalist two of my blogging friends are and it would please me greatly if you could vote for them in their respective categories.

First up there's Karen over at All About The Boys, she's up for Best MAD Business Blog and totally deserves to win, although I'm not sure the trophy will be white.

Then there's Elsie over at Babylon Lane Tales and I'm hoping she comes home with the Best New MAD Blog award, she can keep it in the oven along with her paperwork.

MAD Blog Awards 2011

Sticky Fingers Bloggers' Year Book

Tara Cain has been a busy bee over on Sticky Fingers, she's been collating a Bloggers' Year Book from the many pictures of her fellow parent bloggers who initially linked up with her Gallery under the subject Education.  

Most people seemed to post a school photo which I assume is where the idea initially came from, anyway, if you've a couple thirteen minutes to spare take a peek, it's lovely and I'm in there sporting a rather attractive bowl haircut (2m 6s).

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Little Litter Bugger

Whilst on the walk home from school with Buster on Friday a fellow pupil who was walking slightly ahead of us dropped a sweet wrapper on the floor.  As I passed it I picked it up and shouted rather loudly 'Excuse me, I think you dropped something!' and handed her the discarded packet, telling her in no uncertain terms that she might prefer to locate a bin and place her litter into it.

Unbeknown to me at the time of my comment to the girl, her guardian was walking a couple of paces behind me and didn't say a word to her!  If that had been Buster I would have been mortified and would have had to have had words with him immediately.  She just gave me a weird sort of grin as she walked past me a couple of minutes later.

I bet she wouldn't have dropped it if it was a £5 note, the irony that litter bugs don't see is that they are indirectly throwing money away as the council has to waste funds on tackling litter issues when that money could be better used elsewhere and this, as you can probably tell, makes me rather angry!

Don't be a tosser, keep Britain tidy!

Monday, 16 May 2011

This Week's Junk Shop Jewels

A bit of a mixed bag to share this week.

First up this funky scrap book for 25p for Buster, I bought it in the vain hope that it would provide a home for the millions of teeny bits of paper that litter every surface in his bedroom.  It was a bargain as it still had the original £1.10 WHSmith price sticker on it
Isn't coincidence a funny thing, just last week I blogged about the book 'They F*** You Up' and this week I find a copy of it in a charity shop for £1.50, it was fate, so I just had to buy it. although by the time I get round to reading it I will probably have already f***ed up my children!
Whilst at the till paying for the scrapbook and book I noticed a basket of old stamps so purchased a bumper bag for £1.50, I'm going to use them for craft projects
Later in the week I found this diddy little ceramic toast rack in pistachio green with gold detailing, it's a beaut and a steal at £3.99, I'm thinking about using it in my bureau for keeping notelets organised
I found these pretty pink and gold square shaped side plates, £1.99 for the set of six
These two translucent glass bowls with a gorgeous rose detail were £2.49 for the pair
And finally for the charity shops, this wonderful cream deco sugar bowl for £1.25
I went to another vintage sale and picked up a few items of note there

This Sunlight Flakes sack for £8 which I'm going to make into a cushion
This Bambi style brooch for £4
This dustpan and brush set, I loved the way the brush is the woman's skirt, £5
This set of fish cutlery with the bone-style handles for £5, I want to use the forks as cake forks, not sure what I'll do with the knives
And finally these lovely old buttons, £1 for 4
I bet you're wondering what all the other Magpies ended up with this week, if so take a peek here

Me and My Shadow
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