Sunday, 25 November 2012

The first cuttings ...

                         Sunday 25th November
Welcome to the first of my weekly Sunday blog posts.
This week brought the delivery of, not one but two very, very lovely Cabbages and Roses cushions ~ eeeek. The excitement of finally receiving my most coveted item has been off the scale. They give me that happy feeling every time I look at them. Both our Cat Dib's and I can vouch that they are not only perfect in looks and beauty but also in size and comfort. So comfortable in fact that the cat and I frequently have a tussle over them which usually ends in me getting hissed at forcing me to back off holding both up hands in submission.
I've bought that cat up well, such impeccable taste.
November = virus~r~us
Fresh Orange juice is what I've decided we need to banish the November virus blues. I have spent, to be fair way too much time investigating the best way to extract the juice (saddo, I know). I've had demonstrations on posh expensive juicers and listened intently to suggestions from friends. It seams the three most recommended methods are:
  1. A simple citrus juicer will do the job, possibly a Braun one for around £20.00
  2. A simple metal juicer that you use by hand with a lever and a strong arm.
  3. A simple Edwardian glass juicer.
I was really pleased to see the word 'simple' appear in all three recommendations above. I decided to go for the cheapest option first and work my way up from there. The cheapest was the glass juicer, purchased for the grand total of £3.00 and I'm chuffed to bits (orange juicy bits) with it. Juicing has never been easier, non messy and with such little washing up ~ yippee.  
The down side if there is one? Over doing it with the internet Orange buying ~ ooops!
♫ It's starting to look a lot like Christmas,
everywhere you go
Even in our house! We've had the first Christmas offering brought home from school, the first gaggle of Christmas decs and the first charity shop Christmas purchase ~ a string of shiny teeny tiny disco balls for 20p.
Ho Ho Ho is a'coming !!!

Here are a few of this weeks Autumnal pics for your delight ...
and, my favourite photo of the week. Our Bert boy ♥ ...

There is nothing like a pretty table decoration during the long, dark November days to create a cosy, warm glow. I scuttled down the garden this week and plucked moss from the wall, brushed off an old terracotta pot & scuttled back into the warm.
Add a candle and red gingham ribbon to the mix and an instant cosy glow ~ ahhhh.

I (who can not cook) have been thanking the Lord that Nigel Slater has been introduced into my lil world. I love him! For some reason he is the only person who has ignited any kind of enthusiasm in me to produce food worthy of bringing to the table.
After rushing off and treating myself to his latest book, below is the first recipe I attempted. Lemon Curd. Now to most this is probably a really easy lil thing to whip up but to me it's real preparing and cooking. I tried really hard to follow Nigel to the letter and I was rewarded with the most delish Lemon Curd I think I have ever tasted.
This has been spread on toasted crumpets, dolloped into breakfast along with fruit and yogurt, spread on my daughters cakes and even appeared in lunch boxes inbetween two slices or bread.
Nigel's bestest Lemon Curd recipe ever is featured in his book entitled 'The Kitchen Diaries II'
And lastly, the
'really? Have we just done that? OMG, is it too good to be true?'
moment came this week when my lovely friend and I had our absolutely best ever buy at auction. After momentous, comical bordering on insane purchases, finally we have come up trumps (pharp).
We purchased a Regency Mahogany Sofa table worth over £7,000 for £30.00. Yep, that's right! £30.00. An example of said table is here
The question this joyous situation brings? ... to sell or not to sell, that is the question?

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Hi all, I'm back !

Hi all, I'm back!
I've had soooo many lovely, positive comments about my blog and that it will be missed so I have decided to give my West Oxon World a bit of a face lift and return to blogging once more. 
I will publish one post a week, on a Sunday, and the post will resemble a scrapbook with snippets showing crafts, photos, inspiration and other cuttings taken from the last 7 days.
I hope you enjoy my new look blog.  I don't feel like I'm a natural blogger as blogging makes me feel very 'shy' due to the fact I'm putting myself out there on tut web for all to see when I am usually a very private person. The fact I have received so many positive comments lifts my heart and makes me confident in picking up my blogging pen once more.
The first 'new' post will be this Sunday ~ I really hope you enjoy my new look posts and thank you to all who read my ramblings and support me in my ventures XX
~ ~ ~

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Full circle ... thats all folks x

Well, folks we've come full circle! On the 13th November last year I typed my very first blog post (here) which read:

My very own blog.

Hi, welcome to my blog.  Due to living in a small West Oxfordshire village I am always looking for ways to keep myself busy and these include attempting to make all kinds of crafts, constantly re-vamping my home with bits and bobs and visiting lovely Oxfordshire countryside - all of which is done on the strictest of budgets.  A friend suggested I start a blog posting snippets of what I get up to whilst trying to create a world full of lovely things on a shoe-string.  So here goes ..... 
170 posts later with daily visitors from far away places such as the United States, Canada, Sweden and Ukraine I'm surprised how far me and my lil blog have come.
I have always seen this as a 12 month venture.  An insight into a year of a West Oxforshire girls comings and goings, ramblings, chatterings and randomness. 
This for me has never been about anything other than putting things out there for peoples pure enjoyment. Something to read whilst having a cuppa, a world to dip in and out of when possible. 
I've really enjoyed the whole process of this lil venture, from taking photos to chatting away to you all and you have been a wonderful audience who have gained momentum along the way.
Surprisingly I am in two minds was to whether to hang up my blogging hat? As much as this has been a 12 month thing for me, I've become fond of my lil blog, have made lovely new friends along the way, and surprisingly my figures tell me I've gained quite a following. If I close it all down and walk away will I ever be able to return in the same way again?
Humm, I'm not sure if you've heard the last of me but for now I want to say a mahousive heart felt 'thank you' dear friends for your time, support and for joining me whilst I tried to create a world full of lovely things on a shoe-string. X

Friday, 9 November 2012

Hallelujah! Cabbages & Roses all the way ...

A decision is having to be made with regards to the lil unit Lisa and I have been renting for the last 5 months. Sadly, it hasn't been as profitable as we'd hoped and, looking to the future, the start of next year will inevitably be slow meaning hardly any sales to counter act rent costs. We have spoken to other people selling in similar places to us around West Oxfordshire and they all say business is slow for them too with footfall considerably down. Some of them are carrying eye watering losses which make us seam positively minted!!!
When we set up our lil venture, my sights were set firmly on spending my first profits on my most coveted item ever ...
Cabbages and Roses cushions.
Instead of £ signs in my eyes I had beautiful floral linen fabric in a variety of colourways clouding my vision. When profit started to 'trickle' in I had a battle with my way too sensible conscience over whether to use it to pay back my set up costs or splurge on my hearts desire ~ cushions. Boring won the day and has kept on winning and at the end of every month my profits have been divided between replacing sold stock and paying back what I owe. This = no cushions.
This evening whilst going on line and ogling at the most beautiful cushions in the world and dreaming of what I will buy one day with my earnings panic started to set in, 'what if I never raise enough money to completely pay off my set up costs?' Will I ever get to buy Cabbages and Roses cushions? Before I knew it, a couple of clicks and backwards glances to see if my husband was watching was all that it took. I've done it! I've ordered two cushion covers! Hallelujah! FINALLY, after all of these years of dreaming of my very own cushions I am the proud owner of not one but two.
This is what I decided on ...

I can not wait to get them in my mits, eeeek.
 Sadly I couldn't stretch to buying the cushions pads as well (boo hoo) so I can't quite adorn our sofa with loveliness yet
... but I'm well on the way

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Moonlighting ...

For a while now I have had my heart set on a string of twinkly fairy lights which I have envisaged adorning Hermie our caravan making him look beautiful both inside and out. I have mused over the perfect lights and decided upon a crystal droplet effect, these have now been on my 'seek out and buy' list for a while.
During a recent trip to IKEA I came across such lights, they were all I had hoped they would be and I could immediately see them strung up illuminating our Hermie to perfection. A quick check of the price whilst tossing them in my basket got me fishing them back out again faster than they'd gone in. What! £18.00? In IKEA? And the bulbs can not be replaced when needed? Huh, don't think so! 
Next to the 'expensive for IKEA' set were the 'thats more like it' set for £6.00. They were hearts, not what I'd envisaged but they were £6.00 and with the words my husband keeps chanting at me "it's only a caravan, why are you buying all of this stuff?" lodged in my mind I bought the cheap and cheerful set.
Last night (after finally finding the very rare correct sized batteries to fit the cheep and cheerful set of lights) I set about stringing them up, the exciting part ~ yippee.
Annoyingly, the caravan battery ran flat so I was in the dark, torch held in mouth, sellotaping lights up to Hermies windows. When they were all strung up and in place I called the family out to watch the grand switch on of Hermie illuminations. 3, 2, 1 ..... Ta dahhhhhh! Gasp! Oh no ...
Hermie had been turned into a knocking shop with the flick of a switch ...
 The hearts have bright red flashing bulbs in that when switched on shriek 'Caravan of ill repute, when the caravans a rocking don't come a knocking'
Whilst fumbling around with the smutty lights trying to work out if the bulbs could be change for any other colour our neighbour (who also happens to be high up in the Police Force)came down our drive to pick up his children. I shouted from the caravan "wow, that was quick, you didn't take long to come home"
He stopped mid step on the drive, thank goodness it was dark (other than the smutty red glow) so I couldn't see him agog staring at such a damn spectacle parked on our drive.
Top of my 'seek out and buy' list ... more appropriate lighting :/

Sunday, 4 November 2012

We grabbed coats, wellies, leads & headed for the woods ...

Heavy rain has turned our Sunday into one long day of lounging. Sounds bliss until you factor in one hyper boy and two pent up dogs! When a break in the rain finally came we grabbed coats, wellies and leads and all headed off for the woods. This is what I have whipped up with bits and pieces that found their way into my pockets along the way ...
Fern and twine
Placed in a cup packed with kitchen roll to keep it up-right
Yay, bring on the decorations
I know, I know ... it's way too early to bring out the Christmas decs but they are just soooooo pretty and make brown things sparkle.