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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Trollbead Bracelet

When I was a girl I used to think having a charm bracelet would be so grown up. I loved the idea of collecting the charms on special occasions and for them to represent special things. I never had a charm bracelet and I think as I got older they fell out of fashion really.

For my 40th birthday I wanted something special to mark the occasion, that's when I discovered Trollbeads. I loved the story behind them and the idea of being able to build it up over time with beads that had a personal meaning for me.

'Trollbeads jewellery is made from 18-carat gold, sterling silver, Italian glass, freshwater pearls and precious stones, and is created from a blend of traditional and modern techniques.





You can choose gold or silver or of course both. I went with silver, I have to say partly because of the enormous price difference, but I like silver too.This is what it says on the Trollbead site about the beads

'Trollbeads is an exquisite set of interchangeable jewellery pieces which let you create your own look. At the heart of the collection are the beads themselves. Each piece in the Trollbeads collection has its own little history, taking its inspiration from mythology, astrology, fairy tales, fauna, flora, cultural diversity, and last but certainly not least, the familiar things of everyday living.'


I like the idea that no 2 beads are ever truly the same. While they may be more expensive than similar beads that have come on to the market, it's because they aren't mass produced, each has it's story from it's design on paper to reaching you, I love where the inspiration is taken from.

'The gold and silver Trollbeads are modelled using the so called ‘cire perdu’ or ‘lost wax’ method. This 3,000 year old technique allows for fine details to be reproduced from wax to precious metals. Each glass bead is handmade from red-hot glass in the open flame and no two Trollbeads are ever completely alike.'



Here are some of the beads I've collected over the years

When Andrew bought me the hearts, they were to represent the 4 of us and our love for each other.

Four hearts close together. Hearts of fire, hearts for Christmas, hearts for the one you hold dear


A mermaid. When she was small, Imogen was desperate to be a mermaid, she was my little mermaid.
The little mermaid from Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale. This mythical sea-creature symbolises female mystique and magnetism, which is sometimes fatal to men.



This bead is called Wisdom, something we all hope to grow in
Five precious stones, which together symbolize wisdom. An opal for loyalty, an amethyst for peace of mind, a garnet for devotion and grace, a turquoise for courage and success, and a lapis lazuli for competence.

Teacup... my favourite drink is a cup of Earl grey tea, good for what ails you.

Tea is a good drink. A symbol of care that keeps us warm. This cup is for you - for all the wonderful times we've shared.


A lucky knot
A lucky knot for fortune and happiness.

Kitten, I need a puppy too!

Few creatures are as adorable and playful as kittens, jumping at anything they can get a hold of, their eyes full of eagerness. This is quite the little troublemaker.


Lotus flower. Imogen chose this charm for a birthday present quite a few years ago.

The lotus flower appears in the legends of India and ancient Egypt. It is a symbol of light and enlightenment, forged where the rays of the sun meet the pull of the moon.

Three flowers

Three beautiful flowers, each with its own dichroic glass orb. A new, bold and beautiful combination.

Fairy. I love fairies, who doesn't!

At dawn the fairies sprinkle morning dew on every blade of grass and cornflower, vanishing well before we wake up to the sight of their fairy masterpiece gleaming in the sun.


I have glass beads too between the silver ones and a couple of silver ones recently that aren't actually trollbeads (though still rather lovely)








I'm very lucky and my troll bracelet means an awful lot to me. It's full now really, so I'm not adding any more to it... perhaps I could start a new one for my 50th?



If you're interested in trollbeads you can look them up here, and just to add that I'm not affiliated with them in any way, I just like them!

Take care
xxx


Thursday, 18 June 2015

A Good Read and a New Friend

The beautiful sunshine didn't last very long here, I'm hoping it will come back soon, it's been more like early Autumn than Summer.

I did get a chance to finish my book though, 'The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August' by Claire North.




It was a bit different from my usual reads, but it's good to try something different! Harry August lives his life over and over, always born in the same year to the same parents, each life is different though depending on the choices he makes. The intrigue comes when a message is passed back from young child to elderly dying person until it reaches Harry when a child tells him the end of the world is getting nearer.

There's intrigue, suspension and mystery, a thoroughly engrossing read!

Now to introduce my new friend, my beautiful, darling Delores. She's wrapped up tightly and safely as she's had a long journey from the California in the States.



Delores is my first customised Blythe doll.



Look at that gorgeous hair, it's so soft, I'm quire taken with her.




As a Blythe doll she has pull strings that when pulled change the colour of her eyes and direction of her gaze.



She went into the garden to check out the fairy houses






Sigh... my beautiful Delores. And as I was in the garden, another shot of our growing Sweetpeas



Take care
xxx

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Beautiful Summer Day

The sun has been shining today on my little piece of England. The most important job of the day was to sit in the garden and appreciate all the hard work that's been done in it recently!

I must have spent a good couple of hours breathing the fresh air, reading my book and just generally enjoying the garden while the washing dried on the line It was so quiet I could just sit back and listen to birds singing, which in turn made my heart sing.



We have a few hanging baskets dotted about, I love the bright splashes of colour from these Petunias and Pansies.



We built a raised planter with old railway sleepers earlier in the year and a little fairy garden too (a few weeks ago and now).





It's filled out so much in the last few weeks

a second bloom on the Lupin





I love the Dahlia, it's covered with flowers now, this photo really doesn't do it justice at all



Nice and cheerful around the dog's kennel too




The poor things don't enjoy the sun as much as we do, Alfie in particular doesn't cope very well and doesn't seem to grasp how staying in the shade can help cool you down, bless him.




Just outside the conservatory doors so we can see it from inside




A butterfly settled on the fence



My Sweetpeas have started flowering, though don't seem to have gown very tall



My gorgeous Daisies



Inside for now, but I can still appreciate my lovely Lilies that were in the bargain section in the supermarket, not bad for 99p!



Take care
xxx

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Bit of Refurbishing

We've lived in our house for over 12 years now and have finally decorated every room! It's not that we live in a big house, just life taking over and prioritising against the other never ending list of jobs that constantly seem to arise.

I suppose it isn't entirely true that we hadn't decorated our hallway before, as we had given it a coat of paint over the existing wallpaper years ago. It's been nagging at me though, and I wanted the house to have a lovely light and airy feel as you come into it.

So hubby has been very busy stripping off wallpaper, removing horrible polystyrene ceiling tiles and pulling off old dado rails that had been glued and nailed in ridiculous places (we loved into the house that Jack built).

Trying to do my bit, I scoured ebay and the like until I found this lovely old telephone seat. I've wanted something for the bottom of the stairs for awhile, and this was just the right size.




Somewhere to sit while pulling shoes and boots on and off




Somewhere to hide the everyday bits and pieces that need to be near the door, such as doggy bags!



I popped the seat out and gave it a couple of coats with Annie Sloan Original paint. It didn't take long to dry, so managed them in the same day. Next I used wax to help protect it, and lightly distressed it. I knew exactly what fabric I wanted to use to cover the seat, so covered it (isn't it pretty) and stapled it in place.




A couple of baskets underneath are perfect to hide shoes that are left downstairs




I love the fabric, and it works well with the wallpaper.




I couldn't resist the lovely Daschund, and it's always handy to have somewhere for small change and keys to be dropped





Time for Saturday evening family time watching a film together, then i shall come and read what everyone else's been up to.

Take care
xxx

Monday, 4 May 2015

Healthy Living Lasagne

It's been such a gorgeous day today. So sunny with a clear blue sky most of the day. We've been busy in the garden all day (I did find some time to sit and read my book in the sunshine too) until it became a bit chilly, then into the kitchen to do some cooking.

I'm really pleased with how I'm doing at Slimming World, so far I've lost 22lbs. Long way to go, but I'm really enjoying all the cooking (I've always enjoyed cooking much more than baking).

Lasagne didn't need much of a tweak from how I usually make it. We always use as lean mince as possible, and if there is any fat, it's always drained off.

So... browning the mince, added chopped tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, lots of herbs, garlic and a big spoonful of Marmite. For those of you frowning in horror at the Marmite... I really don't like Marmite... yuck, yuck, yuck, though hubby loves it. I often use it in cooking though, with mince, in stews, with gravy as I find I can't taste the Marmite as such, but it does enhance the flavour of the meat!



It's a nice easy meal, but so tasty. Into the dish



a layer of pasta sheets (I use dry rather than fresh as it's less fat and calories)



At this point I used to add either a cheese sauce or maybe ricotta (depending what we have in). I've swapped it for a low fat cottage cheese. I wasn't sure about doing this as even though I don't mind a little bit of cottage cheese, I wouldn't like too much (or the smell).



It keeps in the fridge and though I wasn't sure... yes, it freezes well too. Tastes very gorgeous with chips done in the actifry (a teaspoon of oil mixed with paprika) and peas.




Very yummy, very filling and all 'free' on the slimming world plan.

Take care
xxx