Sunday, 24 May 2015

I Bought a Handbag

I can't believe I went out and bought a handbag.

I've previously blogged about the time I accidentally bought about twenty of the things, after slipping up with my friend eBay (again).  However father helped himself to a fair amount for his lady friends, I've worn out a few and now I need a bigger, sturdier bag to replace the current one where the stitching is going.

I can't believe how much I spent on the handbag.  It is the most I have ever spent, it cost more than the accidental twenty handbags from eBay and definitely more than the last time I bought a bag for wedding (before bear was born).  It was £24.99.

I had looked on ebay, but saw nothing.  I had sort of paused next to the handbag stands in the shopping centres as I was diving past, but never really wanted anything.  I can't think why I called in to TK Maxx as I don't think it is a safe place as I spend money.  I got this.

Apparently it originally cost £100 and is a Yoshi handbag.  It is a nice size, feels okay to lift and, very important, has a zipped space to protect my purse.  There is a website, and it is apparently leather and made in Leicester.

It should be fine when I am dragging bear out to his activities.  There is plenty of space for my purse, kindle, wipes, tissues, phone, bottle of water, snack, bus pass, rubbish, nail scissors, comb, etc, etc, etc.  I will see how long it lasts.

I suppose I mistrust TK Maxx because around two years ago I went in there with bear and ended up buying a pair of Bench jeans for him for £14.99 and found it incredibly traumatic spending that amount on a pair of child's jeans.  He is wearing the same pair today, they are still long enough as they had turn ups built in which have been turned down.  They are showing some signs of wear, but I haven't washed them separately or treated them with particular care and the fabric has been fine.  They will see bear out this summer, possibly drag along to Christmas, and have been solid, comfy and looked good all this time.  I suppose I'll get the same again next time he needs jeans.  Darn it.

Wean - thank you for your kind comment.  I am not sure I deserve it, but I do think there is a lot of fun around if you look.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Bear Has Looked in the Mirror

Sarah - thank you!  I meant to give you credit for inspiring me to look in the last post, but forgot as bear was happening.  I think I will have a bit of a rummage around that sort of seller - it makes things more fun and is a great idea!

Wean - you give me too much credit.  At the moment I am challenged by cutting out and pressing accurately.  I am confident I will get there with practice, but I have given up my sewing class as father needs more visits and bear disapproves of me sewing.  I'll have a chance after half term.

I was mulling over my friend eBay and the possibilities of handkerchiefs as bear was getting ready for bed.  We were all sat in his room for his story (currently reading 'Wings' by Terry Pratchett) when bear dashed back into the bathroom and came in with slicked down hair.  He announced it was his new hairstyle and it had only needed a bit of soap.
"Have you put soap in your hair?" DH asked suspiciously.
"No!" Bear said indignantly.
"Let me smell your hair." DH said.
"Yes." Bear said.  "But it was just a bit of soap."

Apparently lots of lads in bear's class use hair gel.  He is eight.  Since when did eight year old lads use gel?  I was holding out on this sort of thing until bear was old enough to buy his own hair product.  As bear gave me names of the eight year old boys in his class using hair gel, and I thought about it and as at least one of them has had gelled hair since Reception, I decided it wasn't the usual, 'but mum, everyone does [insert activity that no parent in their right mind would allow]'.

I still can't get over the hair gel.  I mean, he's eight.  I have never used gel in my life.  Still, if it was gel or liquid hand soap I thought I may as well bite the bullet and I added Tesco Everyday Value gel at 15p for a pot.

I am definitely holding out against Lynx until High School - I hope.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Harsh on Handkerchiefs

In my last post I talked about the hankies bedspread suggested by Cath Kidston (whose stuff calls to me even though I am completely non-flowery normally).  A king sized bedspread, not including the sheet that the hankies were attached to, cost £200 in hankies.

The hankies she used were lovely Cath Kidston flowered hankies, and they were 50cm square, around 19 inches.  That's a bit smaller than a fat quarter, which I have recently learned is 18 inches by 22 inches and quilting places sell them expensively.  I have seen fat quarters on posh websites, Amazon and eBay for some seriously silly prices, but while they are slightly bigger they are usually less than £3 each.  In fact, have four fat quarters, 50cm by 57 cm for £3.99 for four.

I had a quick word with my friend eBay.  At a quick glance I found a pack of a dozen handkerchiefs, striped borders, 41 cm square, for £7.87, including p&p.  I would need at least three packs, so £23.61.  However I am confident that the quality would be nowhere near the Cath Kidston hankies.  I thought I would have a further rummage.

I could get some satin hankies, designed for weddings, 99p each, inclusive of p&p.  However they are only 21cm square.  I would need around 169 of them, or £167.31.  However I did find the most amazing looking 100% cotton bandana type things, 54 cm square so I would need 25, and at £1.28 each (inclusive of p&p) it would cost £32.

I can't afford to make the Cath Kidston hankie quilt.  I'm a long way off from being able to make any quilt.  I need a lot of practice first!  It is gorgeous though, and it has opened my eyes to a different source of material.

I found this as a rummaged through Wiki Commons, and I think it is gorgeous.  I hope one day I can get this good.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Will I Ever Learn?

I think the short answer is 'NO!'  I ought to re-title this blog 'Epic Fails, Day to Day'.

I bought a book.  It is a nice book, and has pretty pictures.  It was £9 and is called 'Patch!' (the mini book) and is by Cath Kidston.  I bought it in the Cath Kidston Shop but you can get it on their online store.

I thought I would just look at the pictures, and while I probably will only look, there are some tempting ideas.  However I may sort of adapt them.

One of the ideas is to use hankies put together to make a bedspread.  The hankies look lovely.  You sew them all together and sew them to a sheet (I haven't checked the details and I'm sure there are more complicated steps) and it looks lovely.  It really does look amazing in the picture.  For a nice, large bedspread you need 25 hankies.  I checked on the website.  Each hankie on there is £8.  That is, eight pounds sterling - for one hankie - that you use to blow your nose.  I needed to do some sums.  Twenty five hankies at £8 each is £200 (which incidentally would buy over 300 boxes of Tesco Everyday Value Tissues).  The smallest version suggested uses 15 hankies, a mere £120.  That is, before you buy the backing sheet.  To be fair, the hankies from Cath Kidston are 50cm (or 22 inches) square, which is a lot of (really, really, really nice) fabric.

There is a tablecloth pieced together from tea towels.  It looks stunning.  All the tea towels are from Cath Kidston, £6 each.  There were twenty four in the example in the picture.

The ideas are gorgeous, though, and I think I will have a quick word with my friend eBay to see if there are substitutions available.  If I actually get around to doing any of these ideas I think it will be money well spent.


Last night I accidentally bought 108 rolls of toilet paper.  They cost £17.97.

When they arrive I will know whether it is a good deal, because I have to allow postage from Approved Food (£5.25) and they are only marginally cheaper than the really cheap ones from Tesco.

However I picked up some other bits in the same order which were absolute bargains (gluten free snacks, Special K bars for bear etc) so the cost of the delivery is spread out a little.  If they are half way decent quality I will consider it a good deal.  If they are not I will consider it a fail.  It could be worse.  I was tempted to get 180.

Yesterday I went to the Leeds Art Gallery.  They had a painting by Damien Hirst on loan from a private collector.  It was a picture with spaced out colours, nice circles of household gloss paint on canvas.  It looked very like this. though I think the circles were bigger and more spaced out.

It didn't speak to me.  There was also a picture that was a very, very large canvas painted entirely the one shade of indigo.  That picture did speak to me.  It said that someone got a special offer on dark blue paint.

I'm not sure I really appreciate art.  I'm sure that the spots and the blue painted canvas (which was huge) mean something to artists and people who understand art.  I was an epic fail at art, and could never successfully draw anything.  I have a sneaking suspicion that there is a point to them, but I also have a sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is sniggering.  I think I miss the point.  In the cold light of this morning I suppose I could create an installation piece of 108 toilet rolls entitled 'Bad Curry'.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Bear and Trousers

This weekend bear was asking whether he should wear shorts.  I was unimpressed by the idea.  The weather wasn't warm.  'What about the jeans in the drawer?' I asked.  'They don't fit.' bear said firmly.  So I got him to bring them down and try them on in front of me and DH.

Several were a bit big, though not as big as bear was trying to paint them.  He wanted me to magically get his bench jeans dry, which I couldn't do in the few minutes he wanted.  Then there was one pair that bear announced were too long.

'No they're not.' I said.  'If you held them up to your waist instead of the top of your legs they'd be fine.  Try them on.'
'They're too small.' bear announced.  'I can't get them over my hips.'
'Try unbuttoning them.' DH suggested.
'They're still too tight.' bear was getting fed up.
'Try unzipping them.' I said.
'These are amazing.' bear pulled up the very skinny jeans.  'I love them.'
'The bench jeans will be dry soon, Do you want to change then?' I asked.
'No, these are brilliant.  They would be perfect for climbing.'
'Why?' DH was baffled.
'Because they're really tight.' bear danced around the room.
'Why does tight jeans make it easier to climb?' DH persisted.
'Because it makes it easier.' and bear ran out of the room to carry on with his computer.  He is now wearing the skinny jeans at every possible opportunity.

I can't wait until he's a teenager and fashion conscious.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Busy Morning

It is the first week day of DH's holiday.  Quite reasonably he asked for a lie in.  I was happy with this, because although I had booked a Tesco order for between 9 and 10am I knew that I could get back from dropping bear off if I hurried.

Then I got an email.  My Approved Food order was being delivered between 8.56am and 9.56am.  This was not so good.  Bear's school day starts at 8.55 prompt but they hardly ever deliver early in the slot and I thought that, with a bit of luck and the driver knowing my routine, that I would be fine.

I got bear up, fed him, sat down at 8.10am and jumped out of my skin when the phone went.  It was the rat catcher, and he wanted to come this morning, in about twenty minutes time.  I had to wake DH as there was no way I could manage possible deliveries plus rat catcher and get bear to school on time.

DH was actually quite happy to take bear to school while I tried to straighten stuff.  The rat catcher arrived and listened and had a look.  While he was busy taking pictures of the flytipping over the other side of the road and explaining his position the Approved Food order came.  Apparently the rat catcher can do nothing because there isn't any trace of rats actually within the property.  All the empty houses may be a problem as the whole area is infested.  As there is a small stream just a few yards from the house, a lot of rough ground, some very suspect sewers and six places selling food within 500 yards I wasn't surprised, but I wasn't happy.

Then the Tesco order came and there was a problem.  The driver explained that there was a problem with the system.   I had to send back six loaves of bread and some rather interesting looking sauces.  He had no idea who they should belong to.

The courgettes are failing fast but on the bright side the herbs have gone from this

taken on the 30th April, to this taken today

And the morning after that wasn't too bad.  We called in to see father who is failing but wanted four more bottles of white wine to hand out.  Tomorrow should be easier.