Monday, 30 April 2012

Living Creatively

Good Morning Lovely Readers and here in Suffolk the sun is shining - hurrah!!! A warm welcome to new follower bcarillo54.

Creative Living means two things today:
First of all, thinking outside of the box in terms of food - following our dear friend's heart attack last week, I have made yet another resolution to be more healthy and so this morning starts with a wonderful smoothie:

Take a selection of gorgeous fresh fruits:
black grapes
pomegranate juice
baby carrots (okay I know this isn't a fruit!)
These were just what I happened to have in the house.

Add a generous helping of superfoods:
he shou wu
suma (Thank you The Smiths)
bee pollen
purple corn flour


Drink and enjoy!

If you would like to know more about any of the superfoods I use, have a look at Rob from Funky Raw's site:

My second creative outpouring is my new crocheted cardigan and I am so pleased with it - all you amazing crocheters out there, just to let you know - I LOVE CROCHET!!!!  I am hooked .... no pun intended! And I also love Nicki Trench's books - they are easy to follow and the items turn out as expected. That reminds me, don't forget my give-away at the top of one of Nicki's lovely books!

This is the pattern I chose:

And here is the end result. You work this cardigan from the neck down and I must admit it took a few goes to get the hang of the instructions from the yoke down, but once I did the cardigan was finished very quickly. At the end of the yoke section, you do a row of double crochet including some single chains - these chains later become the arm holes. You then continue with a shell pattern ignoring the chains, which are picked up and crocheted later, making the sleeves. Simples!

Add little flowers......

I am off to find three little buttons.............

I used 100% cotton instead of the recommended Rooster Almerino Baby and a 3.5 hook. The garment took 2 100g balls at £3.99 each, so under £8 to complete. I used Wendy Supreme luxury cotton double knit. Knowing that using the cotton, the cardi would turn out bigger, I followed the instructions for the first size and ended with a garment age 6-12 months which was what I wanted.

Have a splendid day

Love Mrs Thrifty

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Lazy Sundays

Good Evening Lovely Readers and a huge, warm welcome to new followers Mary Jane's Tearoom, Marina, Emma (the log cabin), Petro Neagu, thegreygirl, Patti and Morgan's Mother. I have just realised that if a follower doesn't have an icon they get put right at the end of the follower's list - so if you are there and I haven't noticed, please accept my apologies. 

Today we enjoyed a lazy kind of day, not least because of the incessant rain. After blitzing the house with Mr Thrifty's help, we did a quick shop for essentials and then settled down to watch this film. 

I loved the film, but then I am a hopeless romantic. THE LADY is an epic love story about how an extraordinary couple and family sacrifice their happiness at great human cost for a higher cause. This is the story of Aung San Suu Kyi and her husband, Michael Aris. Despite distance, long separations, and a dangerously hostile regime, their love endures until the very end. A story of devotion and human understanding set against a background of political turmoil which continues today. THE LADY also is the story of the peaceful quest of the woman who is at the core of Burma's democracy movement. The Guardian film critic evidently didn't enjoy the film and you can read their  critique here:

On another note, I received some really upsetting news from a very old friend yesterday. My friend's husband had had a heart attack during the week but is now thankfully recovering in hospital. He had a blocked artery and needed immediate surgery. These friends are my age and date back to university days when we all studied in Sheffield. They are wonderful people and having stayed in Sheffield, they are keeping an eye on #3 for us, who is now also at university in the steel city. This man, a talented artist, is just 50. He is fit and healthy, swims a mile most days, doesn't smoke, eats well and is not over-weight. This dreadful news really made me think about my own mortality and more specifically, my need to shift my excess weight given that my own father died at the age of 52, when I was 21, of a massive heart attack. So, back to healthy smoothies tomorrow. Do we need wake-up calls every now and again?

Hope your week is good

Love Mrs Thrifty

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Blogging etiquette

Good Morning Lovely Readers

Here in not so sunny Suffolk, England it is still raining (reminds me of "It was raining in the 100 acre wood" - can you tell me where that comes from?).... I think it has rained for days and days. My sister sent me a text about the rain yesterday and I replied that I was worried about the hose pipe ban because I couldn't water the garden!!! Not that I ever water my garden, but how can there possibly be a hose pipe ban and talk of drought?

Anyway, I wanted to talk today about something that has been on my mind for a while; blogging etiquette. Is there such a thing?

How do you feel when someone leaves a blunt/nasty comment on your blog? Don't get me wrong.... I have wonderful followers who leave me fabulous comments. A while ago, I blogged about coffee and one follower left a very strongly worded comment about her love of coffee. My perception was that she was inferring that I should not have blogged about anything controversial.  The blog was merely raising something that I had found useful in my own life. Incidentally, she mentions on her own blog that she suffers from depression - but far be it from me to question others defences. I blog about my life - crafty stuff, food, thrifty living and other things that I think are interesting. The follower then removed herself from my list - fine, I have no problem with that, but it did leave me thinking and I would love your thoughts.......

When you join a blog, do you expect (hope) that the person will join your blog?
If you comment on a blog, do you expect (hope) that the person will reciprocate? 
How do you feel when they don't?
Does it matter?
Do you feel that it is okay to leave negative comments on blogs?
(Like Thumper I was raised with 'If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all').
Is it weird that the words of strangers can impact on us?

Enjoy your day
Love Mrs Thrifty

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Pay it Forward - craft give-away

Good Evening Lovely Readers and a warm welcome to Michelle

If you pop over to look at Emma's blog at  you will find the most wonderful give-away. 

Over at Carla and Debbie's blogs there are more exciting goings-on..... intrigued? Read on.....

I just know you are going to love this. This is an idea close to my heart that I talk to kids about in school and try to practise in my own life since seeing this film: 

So, imagine my delight when I saw that Carla was having a pay it forward - handmade (have you seen Carla's amazing handicrafts?) -  Carla had joined in with the Pay it Forward from   

Unfortunately I was pipped to the post at Carla's but this evening another lovely blogging friend, the wonderful Debby at  posted up the pay it forward and I have joined hers (hopefully). Debbie is incredibly talented and makes the most precious quilts and dresses.... 

Thank you Debbie and Carla for passing this on.........

Before you post & decide to jump on the bandwagon as well, you have to follow these simple rules!

1. I will send a little "something special" to the first 3 people who comment (nicely) on my blog. (It's supposed to be sent within 365 days, but I will do this within the next month. I don't like to have projects sitting around for a long time)
2. You must play along. You'll need to post the PIF button on your blog and promising to send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who comment on your blog as well.
3. You must have a blog & it must be regularly updated. I need to be able to stalk read all about you and figure out a gift that you'd like to receive!
4. You must link me up AND have your handmade PIF post on your blog within 48 hours. After you've done that, come back, link me up to your post and i'll confirm that you're my 'top 3'! If you haven't posted within 48 hours I choose the next person to have commented........

So, who wants to play? 

Love Mrs Thrifty

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Duvet to dress

Good Evening Lovely Readers 

.... and a huge welcome to new followers Kayaker Katie and Nearly Martha - I am thrilled that you decided to follow my ramblings. 

I have been carrying on with my up-cycling and turned another duvet cover into a dress. I saw this duvet cover in a charity shop about a month ago and fell in love with the pattern - it's M&S too, so good quality fabric. I just knew it would make a pretty dress and here is the first one:

I had such problems with the last dress, so I thought I'd start with one and see how it went, but this pattern is lovely and I have enough material to make another 2 maybe 3. I can think of several little princesses in my life who would look sweet in this dress...........

I made one a while ago for my niece, Pumpkin, with a slightly different pattern...

I am still waiting to see her in it - it has been so cold in England! I think using duvet covers is such a great idea. You get loads of material  and if you buy them in charity (thrift) shops they are really well priced. I paid £3 for each of these. The fabric is often of a good quality too - check that there is a high percentage of cotton and you won't get bobbly fabric. I look for 100% cotton. The only other cost was a pack of bias binding which cost me £2, but there is some left on the card. The dress did need 9 buttons and I couldn't find 9 matching ones and then I remembered an old duvet cover that was way past its best - sure enough - 9 pretty see-through buttons - perfect!  So, the cost of the dress was probably about £1.75 plus time and love.

What are you up-cycling? Do you think it's worth the trouble?

Love Mrs Thrifty

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Cats don't blog!

Good Morning Lovely Readers

As you can see, my attempts to do some work are being curtailed by a certain family member......

"Oh, did you need this hand to move the mouse?"

"Oh, a string on the camera......."

"Alright, I'll settle down, but I didn't say I'd be happy about it!"

"I'll just keep half an eye on proceedings shall I?"

Back later, when I am allowed to blog in peace.

Mrs Thrifty

Monday, 23 April 2012

Secret Sister Swap

Hello Lovely Readers - just a quickie to let you know that.........

Carla is organising a Secret Sister Swap - it sounds so exciting .... I am in - are you?

Mrs Thrifty

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Free clothes for kids

Good Evening Lovely Readers

Today we have had sunshine and rain and hail. This afternoon it was hailing one minute and the sun was shining again the next. This weather is very strange.

Welcome to my new followers, Amasmi20, Tales from toadstool house, Suzym, Jane and Lance Hattatt, Mrs Bent and FourHappyBunnies - I can't tell you how thrilling it is to know that there are people out there who actually want to read my ramblings - bless you all!

Debbie, over at Nanny's Place -  - has been prolific lately in her output of gorgeous little girls' dresses. They are so cute. I, on the other hand,  have been struggling with a pattern for a simple (mmm) pinafore dress for several weeks now. I made two of them and I unpicked the bodice seams 4 times grrrrrrr!!!! I have no idea what went wrong, but I finally re-cut the bodices and then it worked. Not sure if I would use this pattern again though as it was quite fiddly and I don't usually have problems. This morning I finally completed both dresses. I added pockets to give a bit of detail and now there are 2 little dresses for 2 little girls, complete with matching cardigan/coat.......

Take two little pinafores............

add a crocheted coat....

or maybe a little knitted cardigan with crocheted flowers sewn on...

 = two gorgeous outfits for two gorgeous girls - handmade with love ......

Now, to choose .... which one for Willow May and which for Rose Evangeline? 

The dresses cost me almost nothing at all (except a ridiculous amount of time!) as they were upcycled from other items. The floral cotton was from a skirt I bought about 10 years ago and never wore, but I liked the print, so I stashed it in my fabric store. The bodice lining was a cotton pillowcase that I would never use (wrong colour). The buttons were from my button box and I had thread already. 

The crocheted coat took 3 100g balls of 100% cotton yarn plus some remnants for the flowers. I had the buttons in my store. I did buy the yarn new, but this yarn is good value at £3.99 per 100g ball, so the total cost was just under £12. The lilac cardigan came out at a similar price, with its crocheted flowers from oddments I had. I am hoping the Mummies will let me post a photograph of the little angels wearing their outfits.

What do you enjoy upcycling? I get such a thrill when I make something and it costs me nothing except my time.

Love Mrs Thrifty

Friday, 20 April 2012

The Sunshine Award

Hurrah! I have been given another award. how exciting. The lovely Debbie over at Nanny's Place:  has awarded me a sunshine award and I can tell you with the weather we have been having here lately, it is much needed. It is chucking it down outside as I write! If you haven't been to Nanny's Place yet, I can thoroughly recommend a visit: 

I have to share answers to the following questions:

1.) What is your favourite colour? It used to be blue but I have morphed towards green as I have got older. I think this also reflects my love of nature. In furnishings I love reds and white though.

2.) What is your favourite animal? Gotta be dogs because of my faithful friend Zena, but I love animals and got a thrill out of swimming with dolphins a few years ago.

3.) What is your favourite number? 15. My birthday is the Ides (15th) March and Julius Caesar was told to beware, but was murdered by his friends. I love it though. It is half way through the month - neither the beginning nor the end.  

4.) What is your favourite non-alcoholic drink? For cold drinks elderflower pressé. For hot drinks I can't have caffeine so Redbush tea or if I am feeling very flush - rose pouchong tea from Fortnum and Mason, preferably in a lovely old vintage china tea cup and saucer.

5.) Which do you prefer - Facebook or Twitter? Facebook. I have twitter but hardly ever use it. I don't spend much time on Facebook either but it is a good place to catch up with people.

6.) What is your passion? Easy. My beautiful, amazing and wondrous children. I love them more than my own life as other mothers will understand. I rarely share personal photos, but as these are quite old, I don't think they would mind. Here is my gang of 4:

7.) Do you prefer giving or receiving presents? Ha ha - I do like giving and enjoy seeing someone smile when I give them something they love, but I'd be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy receiving too.

8.) What's your favourite pattern? Spots. I just adore them. I think they are cute and fun. I adore Cath Kidston fabrics which often have spots.

9.) What is your favourite day of the week? Saturday. Paid work stops and there is still another day before it starts again.

10.) What is your favourite flower? Lily if the Valley

Next I need to pass this award on to others. These blogs warm my day and are so inspirational - you will not regret visiting!

Sue at an wonderfully inspirational blog 

The Maple Syrup Mob (Jane and Chris) at

and finally, someone who has thousands of followers but following the birth of my wonderful niece last October who has Down Syndrome, I found this blog and have cried and laughed and cried again. I have just read Kelle's new book and ........ cried and laughed and cried: Go meet Kelle and her blog 'Enjoying the small things' at

Have a great day

Love Mrs Thrifty 

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Beautiful Suffolk

Good Morning Lovely Readers,

Today I feel grateful for my little part of our beautiful earth. We are so blessed to live where we do.

These are photos taken when I have time to stand and stare.

The view out front...

The local beach.....

Can you make out the woodpecker on the rails? (The walk around the local river)

Well I am off to work.  Hope you enjoyed my snapshot of our little corner of Suffolk.  What do you love about where you love?

Enjoy your day

Mrs Thrifty