Yesterday I popped into the local charity shop and found this lovely duvet cover for just £2. This will be pyjamas for me, and probably a couple of little dresses and matching bloomers for the Etsy store.
Today, I nipped quickly into a charity shop that's not so local, and found this beautiful pink day dress. Initially I thought I'd give it to India, as pink really isn't a colour I'd normally wear.
India though didn't like it, and it fits me like a glove, so I'm keeping it.
I think it's original 1950's or early 1960's.
The label is very old Marks and Spencer "St Micheals", and says size 16, 40" hip, but it's much more like a modern size 12.
I absolutely love it, and can't wait for the weather to get warmer so I can wear it.
The only thing it's missing are pockets.
With Easter crafts all complete, we turned our attention to messy play for the last day of this term.
Usually we have messy play at the dining table. I use lots of plastic sheets, and bowls, trays etc. The boys always enjoy it, but not as much as when we can spread out a bit.
Outdoor messy play is fun, but barely possible in the horrible cold weather we've been having lately.
So, I decided to improvise with the space we do have indoors, as I have before I covered my new sofas in old sheets, rolled back the lounge rug and covered the floor in plastic sheets and old towels.
Then I used a large cardboard box to pour paint in, gave the boys a few wooden balls and some cars, (after stripping them off down to t shirts and popping on aprons.)
Luckily I had a couple of willing teenage helpers, who actually I think enjoyed the experience as much as the toddlers!
The wires had been cut by the shop, but Woody managed to add new ones, a bit of machine oil, and a bit of minor tinkering from me and Eden now has a working sewing machine.
She seems very pleased with it, and the humm of the machine has been a welcome background noise here today.
Now that Woody has proved himself with this machine, I think it's time to dig out my old machine for him to fix.
It would be nice (and rather indulgent I guess) to have a spare machine out ready to use.
These are the fabby retro style goodies I bought today from Matalan of all places.
Thanks to Mary for pinning them and bringing them to my attention.
Canisters only £5 each and tray £4, total bargain. They have others in blue designs too.
Also, this week I bought a vintage Singer 327k from one of the local charity shops. Or rather I sent Eden off with my shopping trolley to buy it, as it is for her.
Unfortunately the charity shop had cut the wires, which now need replacing, but I thought we could take a gamble for the £20 the shop was asking.
It's certainly a very pretty machine.
I've been very glad of my beautiful plaid coat from The Frockery this week.The weather here has been cold, cold and more cold, with biting winds and snow flurries.
This coat was part of my prize for winning the February Frockery Challenge. I love it! The colours are gorgeous.
I do think the buttons may have been moved at some point, and it's a little loose, so I'm probably going to move the buttons back into their original position, I also need a lovely new scarf to go with it, I've tried several of mine, and none of them seem to be quite right.
Maybe I'll knit one in time for next winter.
Wow, this week went by quickly!
Monday was the anniversary of my Dad's death. He's been gone now for 26 years, something I find hard to understand, it's such a long time.
Monday was also day trip day for Angus, he had a school outing to the local air raid shelters and had to dress like a 1940's child for the day. Poor boy was freezing, Monday was so cold, with blustery snow, and they had to walk there and back. (He was fortunately allowed to wear his modern coat.)
I was really dissapointed not to be going too. The grown up helpers all got to dress up. I would've liked that!
I could've worn my new land girl sweater.
Instead, I stayed home and admired my Mothers Day flowers.
Sadly, despite being a size 12 it was too small for me. India tried it on, but it was way too long for her so I agreed to take it up so that she could wear it, which I did.
The skirt was so long though that I also managed to make myself and Eden skirts from the leftovers.
Mine is simple side zip A line with some trim for decoration.
Edens, has a front and back pleat, and side zip fastening.
Not bad going really I don't think. Apologies to anyone wincing at the idea of me cutting up a vintage skirt. It's not the first time I've done this and it wont be the last.
Today I decided to tackle it, and I'm glad to say I've made a jolly good dent. There are still some sheets to hem for Ernest's bed and some school trousers that need taking up for Sid, but mostly I'm glad to have got through most of it.
Hoping that tomorrow I can get through the rest and do some more interesting stitching too.
This morning I baked and made play dough all before leaving for school...just call me supermum! (I'm kidding!)
I had help with the baking, it was really a joint effort. There was a pan of uneaten porridge on the table, and rather than waste it I pondered aloud if we could bake it into a kind of flapjack if we added dried fruit.
Eden thought we should try and stirred in some dates,apricots and raisins before spreading it onto a baking sheet.
Woody suggested cooking at a lowish setting (160 deg), and then both he and Eden went off to school and work.
Once browned and obviously cooked through (less wobbly) I took them out of the oven sliced and left them to cool while I took the boys to school.
We came home to fruity, not too sweet little treats. There was a little sugar in the porridge, but only a couple of teaspoons.
I'm not sure they were nice enough to make deliberately, but they were nice with a cup of tea and I hate wasted food.
While the "flapjacks" were baking I decided to whip up another batch of bubble dough for the littlies to play with. This time I was a little more haphazard with my mixing and mixed in too much liquid soap. This made a lovely frothy, squidgy gloop and for a moment I considered leaving it like that, and I probably will make it like that again, but I decided to add more flour. This time though plain flour because I'd run out of cornflour.
The resulting dough was firmer than our last lot of bubble dough, and as it was played with it became more stretchy...maybe the gluten in the plain flour?
The little ones had a great time playing with it. I gave them combs, cotton reels and dolly pegs to press into the dough to make patterns.
This kept them both busy for a good hour.
Over the years Mothers Day has been celebrated, forgotten, ignored. I learned long ago not to expect anything much unless I orchestrated the arrangements from a distance or just bought myself something. This goes for birthdays too. I don't mind, not one bit...I might have slight control issues.
Today, I received breakfast in bed, flowers, cards and a gift. My not so subtle hinting, and having teenage daughters who will chivvy things along how I like them helped.
This morning sat in bed sharing two croissants amongst six of us, children sprawled across my clean sheets dropping buttery crumbs, I couldn't help but think of the one that wasn't there. The difference is, that this year I didn't cry. Actually the difference is that this year I wanted to celebrate today.
I can't remember the first Mothers Day after Florence died, I know that on the second I just wanted it all to go away. Last year, India made me a video of Ernest set to music and I sobbed. This year though, I'm ok.
Honestly I didn't manage every day. I was poorly for a few days and decorating for others.
I didn't realise when I took part that there would be prizes for the best frockers, so I was really surprised and excited to find out earlier this week that I'd won!
Thank you so much to the fabby Alison at The Frockery. I can't wait to receive my parcel full of vintage goodies.
Check out the gorgeous runner up too. Cassy has such a great style.
I thought we'd try apple printing. I thought the prints might be a good starting point for a Mother's Day card.
Things started out ok.
The top half of the apples were the boys favourite because the stalk made them easy to handle.
I should have known though, that despite my plans for nicely printed shapes, toddlers generally have their own ideas, and pretty quickly the printing became splodging and splashing and squidging.
We also tried using various combs in paint. I cut out some heart shapes in card (second attempt at a Mothers Day card), dribbled paint on each shape and gave the boys combs to move the paint about.
This worked pretty well.
Ernest experimented with laying paper over each of his shapes and printing with the excess paint.
We had done this a week or so ago when he had poured paint onto the plastic tablecloth.
He'd obviously remembered and had a great time today doing the same thing.
Unfortunately the paint on these may take a few days to dry, so Mothers Day cards will be late.
We've also experimented this week with bubble dough, a mixture of liquid soap and cornflour.
We used bubble bath, and just mixed it gradually with cornflour until we could mould it into a doughy consistency.
The resulting dough is soft and silky to touch, and has an unusual texture.
Ernest played happily with it all morning, and then again this evening.
Ernest wanted to use his cookie cutters, but I'd say this kind of dough isn't ideally suited to that kind of play, it's much more of a sensory experience, though Ernest was very happy to roll it out and cut into it making patterns.
My favourite thing about this dough is that it's mostly soap, so it's easy to clean off your hands and off any utensils, making a bubbly lather.
Washing up after any activity is probably Ernest's favourite way to keep busy. So even if things don't go to plan there's always the washing up!