The life changing magic of…

Firstly, this weekly blog is going well isn’t it?  Maybe once a month is a more realistic schedule especially when nothing much exciting is going on at the house. More on that later.

Secondly, I downloaded a book today. It’s called “The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving A F****”.  by Sarah Knight.  Why did I download it you ask? I’ll tell you. It’s because I’ve seemingly run out of F****s to give.

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With everything that has happened in the last year or so, it’s made me re-evaluate my priorities and since I’m a self-confessed 20-something grandma anyway, I’ve now come full circle and I’ve decided that as I head into my thirties, it’s about time I let go of the things that don’t bring me joy.

The book is actually based off another book – something about decluttering your house. The idea here is that you hold your possessions and if they do not bring you joy you throw them away.

Ok, so I’m actually a bit of a hoarder. Forever keeping clothes that I’ll “slim into” – I won’t.  or keeping things incase they “come in handy” – they never do, and keeping things I’ll never use but that are “memories” – ok these ones are nice to keep but perhaps a selective memory might be more useful.

Now I’ve finally decided to let go of the house – not that I didn’t give a f*** about it, it was just all the joy had gone – it was time to deal with the contents. I’ve held a lot of things in my hands, just to see, over the past couple of weeks and the number of things which brought me joy was actually a lot less than I thought.

Out went the clothes I was slimming in to – because let’s face it, I’ve not been a size 10 since I was 10 and 18 years later it’s not going to happen again is it?

Let’s dwell on this for a moment -because here is a F***  I no longer give. Yes I’d like to be a bit slimmer – mainly in my face because when I carry all my weight there I look like Kim Jong Un a bit, and then when I get a tan it’s like he’s actually had that love child with Donald Trump. So there is still some vanity left in me but I’ve come to accept that I’m never going to be skinny skinny – Fine. And why? Because Kate Moss was wrong; lots of things taste better than skinny feels…like lasagne and garlic bread and dairy milk…and mayonnaise.

Out went lots of the household objects I didn’t need, decorations and boxes and candles – I kept some new vases that I had bought because when I held them, they really did bring me joy – smoked grey glass and gold ….ooooooh. But then there was a lot I just got rid of – bye clutter, in the words of Dua Lipa…IDGAF.

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The hardest thing to get rid of was the memories – mainly because most of them were my Dad’s and there’s still an awful lot to go through of his – clearly I still care way too much about his material possessions but it’s  a connection, ya know? I did manage to get rid of a lot of the kitchen stuff though, plates and glasses and so on – I just don’t need them, sorry Dad. I did however keep a couple of frying pans and a gravy boat (I used to play with it when I was little and imagine it was Aladdin’s magic lamp – how tragic). I think I’m always going to be the girl that saves ticket stubs and cinema tickets and trinkets and, books even though I’ve read them 40 times. Can’t help it.

Now I’ve started to declutter my house a little, I’m moving on to the rest of my life. On the TV the other day, they were asking what little things annoy you. I tried to think and appeared to have some kind of brainstorm and gave myself a headache. From this you’d think that I was all sunshine and light and nothing annoys me. WRONG. There are just too many things that irritate me, I couldn’t get them in any kind of order.

I’ve started to compile a list:

  • loud music
  • grime music (Sorry about it)
  • people that close their eyes when they eat to convey how delicious it is
  • crop tops
  • wasps
  • People that eat loudly
  • people that steal your jokes
  • people that interrupt you mid-sentence
  • people

The list goes on…

Things I do like however:

  • my dog
  • BBQ’s
  • sunshine
  • Smoked glass and gold vases.

See, there are some things.

So I’m having an overhaul. I’ve stopped drinking pretty much because hangovers are not worth it, I absolutely refuse to get Tinder because, I hate dating – I hate small talk and I hate strangers. I’m not off to go find “the one”, they can come and find me.

I’m going to leave the group chats I don’t care about and I’m going to stop pretending I’m interested in things I’m just not. Whilst this all sounds particularly selfish, I do have to wonder what is the point? Is anyone else as bothered? Instead I’m going to read the books I want to, listen to the music I like at the volume I like, swap clubs and bars for great restaurants and not worry that I’m not a size 10.  I have friends that support me  and I support them equally, because we are equally as great as each other. I have a hilarious and loving family, I have opportunities to build myself a truly super life, thanks to my Dad. I can do it here, and fill a new house with beautiful things or If I want to go live in Italy I can do it, and eat pasta and wine and be thankful my Dad gave me that option too. I can keep working and being creative and I have my gorgeous, iggle piggle puppy. These are the things that bring me joy.

So what else does a girl need?

Not much really

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xx

 

the times are a’changing

IMG_6296Ooh lots of change this week. Mainly, the sun is out! Huzzah! I’m going to a bbq this afternoon in celebration of the temperature increase however, I have a bad feeling the rain is coming (because the weather report tells me so) and if it does I’m going to be quite heartbroken. I’ve made an executive decision though, that I will not be deterred from sitting outside in a camp chair with a beer and a burger. The only way I’m off inside is if Noah shows up with his Ark. 

The puppy is doing well, we’ve had a week at my pal’s house in which he has bonded with her border collie Crash. They’re BFFs. Despite the fact that Crash is 800% bigger than the puppy, they get along famously. The pup jumps up at the big dog, the big dog lays on his head. I mean, I’ve already got a dog with prospective breathing difficulties, I’m not sure a face full of border collie fur is quite appropriate but the gremlin doesn’t seem to mind. He’s just pleased to have a pal – aren’t we all.

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In terms of Papilow, expect lots of changes. I have really been enjoying the work I’ve been doing so far but I was made to think about what I actually wanted to do this week and it turns out I want to get into wedding stationery. I don’t know what it is about weddings. I mean I’m not even crazy about the idea of marriage, and quite frankly if Noah did show up with his Ark, my plus one to the ‘two by two’ theme would be the dog. But I just love wedding things – I think it’s the flowers and the beautiful rooms and the gorgeous dresses – I think what it is, is that I want to be a Disney princess. Since I’m now too old (and too many dress sizes up) to be a princess at Disney world, I think brides are the closest thing. I can’t really explain it – but I love the idea of being able to have a part in creating that beautiful wedding decor and what better way to set the theme of a wedding than with the invites you send out? So I’m working on some designs, and I had a super meeting where I was given a giant book of paper and I find myself flicking through every page and not in a long time has a book brought me such joy. I feel quite emotional. 

 

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So that, as with just about everything, is a work in progress. Keep posted to see how that one turns out.

Finally, my wonderful decorators have been in this week. Ryan and his dad Russell, have been super and the house looks amazing. Initially they were told magnolia paint for downstairs. Mainly because we just thought neutral. Then Russ rang me up and suggested a beautiful pale grey – just a whisper of colour. And it seemed to whisper to me that I needed to come to my senses and who even uses magnolia anymore? I know I’m too old to be a princess but I’m not that bloody old I need to paint my house magnolia. It’s quite an old fashioned colour isn’t it (apologies if all you magnolia house lovers are sat out there).

So you get the idea, the house is not magnolia. In fact I’m slightly amazed that the decorators haven’t run away screaming. They probably should have got the warning signs that I was a bit mental when I accosted Ryan outside his house, but they came and did the job, despite my indecisiveness about paint, my inability to purchase actual skirting board (that isn’t architrave, or the wrong size, or too short) and just my general turning up talking rubbish to them when they’re trying to get on with work.

Here’s a picture of Ryan, looking as happy as larry. He’s smiling but I think theres some internal screaming going on. He’s probably desperate to get on with the job, so he can leave, never see me again and not have to pose for ridiculous pictures for the 8 people that read my blog. Little does he know I’ll be calling them up for my next house. mwahahaa.

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Right I think that’s all I have to tell you. I’m off to enjoy the sun

 Until next time!

 

xx

 

Groundhog day

Oooh I’m sorry. I’ve been a bit useless haven’t I? 

In all honesty not that much has been happening with the house hence, the lack of blogging. I also seem to have had a bit of writers block and not entirely sure where to start this one. But I’ll start at the very beginning – here’s a quick update.

Cast your mind back to the summer – yes I know, we did have one last year, I’m not too optimistic for 2018 – and you’ll remember me almost pulling my hair out over stripping wallpaper. My wonderful, DIY Dad had somehow stuck this to the wall, covered it with paint  and sealed with super glue. 

Fast forward a few months, and I accosted a plumber in ToolStation,

I was also followed around everywhere by a rather large dog,

I was running around B&Q like a lunatic.

Life was plodding along nicely, then it all went a bit wonky.

And I appear to have trapped myself in a time loop, in which I seem to be doing it all over again, with a few minor differences.

The house is looking pretty glum at the moment as we’ve hired another skip and cleared everything out of the downstairs ready to decorate. It’s dark and cold and miserable. I then decided I needed to strip the wallpaper from the stairs and landing so that could also be ready to decorate. Without going into too much detail the existing wallpaper I think was put up when Dad first bought the house in 1995 – I don’t know how to describe the pattern other than ‘spongy shells’, so make of that what you will. However, once again it had been painted over and sealed with superglue several times. Obviously I couldn’t find the wallpaper stripper/steamer thing so it was back to wet water and effectively a chisel. My super mum came to help me and my actual DIY expert Stepdad came too. Whilst he filled the holes in the walls and the ceilings, mum and I got to work on the wallpaper. We managed to scrape a bit off, it took us all day and I think Royal Mail sell bigger postage stamps.  

So with our will to live well and truly lost, I decided to employ a decorator. Now most people would harness the useful powers of Google, or I don’t know, the yellow pages. Not me. I find workmen the only way I know how…I run at them when they least expect it.

As I was leaving my good pal Jasmine’s house (Hi mate) I saw one, a decorator – he had a van that said DECORATOR on the side. I should mention that at this point I was driving up the street and had mum on handsfree in the car. Sorry mum, don’t have time to hang up, I need to get this man! So I skidded to a halt, yanked the handbrake up and legged it – leaving mum on the phone stood in the middle of the supermarket wondering where her daughter had just so urgently gone to. The poor decorator had clearly just got home for his dinner, with his lovely toddler in his arms and desperate to get off the door step, yet here was this madwoman coming up his drive with clearly no boundaries at all. No wonder he looked nervous. He looked only marginally less relieved when I explained what I needed, nevertheless he gave me a card and now I have a decorator coming on Friday.

So the decorator is doing all of the stripping, and filling and painting which I could do but if I’m honest, I’ve kind of lost my enthusiasm. I KNOW, it’s not an appropriate time to lose enthusiasm but I’d rather just get someone else to deal with all the DIY, and as usual I’ll come in at the end and put “the look” together.  Today it really hit me how much I dislike DIY at the moment, I went to Homebase. I used to love Homebase and B&Q and all of them, but walking round today I just felt a bit deflated. I felt like my house wasn’t my home anymore and I didn’t have much to be excited about. I’ve kind of let go of the house in my mind, it was a previous chapter of a book that is well and truly closed. The first time I went to B&Q after the break up, I felt so sad at the loss of what we were doing I sobbed hysterically. Today, I felt sad about it so I just snaffled my emergency chocolate bar, that I keep in my car, before I even turned the engine on. I think that’s called progress though. 

Maybe just maybe, once it’s all painted through I’ll feel even better and fingers crossed it sells quickly on the market. Will I feel sad once it sells? Honestly, I don’t know but I’m going to do it anyway. 

In other news the puppy is doing well, and he’s following me around even in the shower. Apparently it’s a dog thing. He’s honestly such a babe though, he’s my favourite person in the world and the light of my life and I don’t even care what you think, he is my child and I love my son. To prove it, here are some gratuitous puppy pics.

 

Until next time

xx

Snow far Snow good

In case you missed it, it’s been snowing.

As I write this, I’m sat looking at my snow covered garden in my pyjamas at 12.43 on a Thursday afternoon.  Due to yet another unwelcome snow storm this morning, I am working from home again, obviously the main benefit of which, is being able to wear my pyjamas at 12.43. Other benefits include…well I’m not sure because I’m getting a bit cabin fevery now.

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yassss pyjama day

Yes, this past week we have been subjected to the terrifying BEAST FROM THE EAST.  Or in other words a snow storm from Siberia. Oooh it was bad though. Last week nearly every school in the area closed  – in my day (good God I’m old) there was no such thing as a snow day. A bit of snow was  not to get in the way of the proper education of proper Northern children. Though we might have been subjected more to “a bit of a chill from Scarborough” than an actual Beast from the East.

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for your information…

 

Of course it’s not just schools that were affected but just about everyone else – including the pub. The actual pub was shut for snow.  I knew then that we were in real trouble, we never shut the pub.

Cars were slipping down the roads like an olympic curling match, supermarket shelves were empty, and my house was not being decorated.

Because quite frankly no one wants to go get paint supplies or plaster for the ceiling in the snow. No the snow is for curling up in front of the fire and waiting for it to stop. I’m aware that some people like to play in the snow. I do not. I don’t like to make snowmen or sledge or throw solid spheres of compacted wetness at each other. Give me a hot chocolate and a fire any day.

In fact it really got me thinking, that it is quite a problem for me that my house doesn’t have  fire. What are you meant to get cosy by? I’ve put it on my list of “Things I will look for in my new house”.

Speaking of “Things I will look for in my new house”, I must keep this list nice and safe firstly, to give to the estate agent but also, because  in my Cabin fevered snow clogged brain, I decided to apply for a TV show. I might be famous yet.

Other stupid things I’ve done in the snow include, but are not limited to, almost travelling for an hour to get to a craft fair that I was selling at. In the end I decided against it. Thankfully. It might have been a lovely day but I didn’t fancy getting stuck in the snow, or worse no one turning up because everyone else got stuck in the snow.

And then today I decide to make a snow whale. ‘Whats a snow whale?” I hear you ask.

Well, I’ll tell you.

A snow whale is when you decide to unsuccessfully try get to work in the snow and go to clear the snow off your car with a broom. As you carry the broom back into the house you drop your scarf on the drive. As you pick up your scarf you then realise that you have both hands full and are in no way prepared for falling right over in a large patch of snow, with no hands to put out for support. A true snow whale will leave an ambiguous freeform shape in the snow, that flattens down to just ice and looks like a large blob has painfully fallen upon it. Which in fact it had.  I estimate that the bruising will come out tomorrow.

So the plan for this weekend is to get that ceiling patched, and the wall paper removed from the hall and maybe finally grout the bathroom (God, aren’t you sick of hearing about that) and then we can paint it and then I’ll be able to show you some lovely after pictures and thennnn you can come with me on a house buying journey. Wow what a year this is going to be.

If only the bloody snow would stop.

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*Not actual Siberia

 

xx

 

An apology of sorts.

I would like to apologise to whoever it is up there that has given me my life’s path over the last few months.

You see I believe a lot in fate, and I believe that everything that happens is for a reason and challenges and gifts are given to you in equal measure (although not always evenly spread out). So I have the house and we were doing it up – I realise now that it was definitely a gift. I’m sorry that I wasn’t more grateful, I’m sorry that I complained that the bathroom wasn’t finished and that I didn’t like the wall paper and that I didn’t work harder to get further along with renovating it before now.

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Remember it? I’m not loving it.

It now seems as though all the grumblings were heard and our great Lord and Saviour decided that I was not accepting of my gift. He changed my life plan again and put it in my heart that I was going to get a little tiny puppy. And I did.

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I haven’t slept in a week.

I long for the days when my biggest problem was the fact that I hated the bedroom wall paper and the bathroom floor wasn’t grouted – because that is still the case, except now I haven’t got time to think about it since I’m forever trying to stop this monster/ gremlin hybrid from eating everything in sight, including me.

I feel very conscious that I need to patch my ceiling up and repaint the kitchen, I feel conscious that I need to perhaps get it on the market and time is ticking – how are we in March already? However, I am so unbelievably exhausted that all I want to do is nap.

Nobody told me, not one of you buggers warned me, that it is just like having an actual child, but worse because at least you can put a nappy on a baby. Late nights and early mornings making sure the puppy has been fed and watered and has a wee. I know I’m probably being a bit mad and pandering to him a little bit but how can you just ignore them? My little baby and his tiny bladder can’t wait that long. So I guess I’ll just not sleep.

Anytime he’s asleep in the day, I generally try to get some work done but usually by the time I’ve got my laptop out, GUESS WHAT HES AWAKE AGAIN! (just for information, this has just this moment happened and I’ve now to make sure he has a wee in the correct location and doesn’t chew the curtain on the way past).

*Update – he managed it just next to the puppy pad. Not on it, next to it.*

Anyway – once again my grumblings were heard and I’d like to apologise again. Sorry, he’s fine, really, he’s absolutely beautiful and I don’t need to sleep. I’d therefore now rather he wasn’t constipated anymore. I’ve been challenged enough.

Aww, the poor little mite is trying so hard and I feel so sorry for him that I didn’t even mind when a whole puppy poo flew out his bum with such force it nearly took my nose off and splatted on the kitchen cupboard. Honestly, I’ve never seen anything like it. It had sound effects, I’ll let you imagine what they were.

Then as I was on all fours trying to clean up the mess, he climbed onto the back of my legs and fell asleep.

Little babe.

Don’t worry he’s been to the vet about him taking off like Apollo 13 and am assured he’s ok – this too shall pass. Literally.

As if to further berate me, I left him with my mum for the morning yesterday and upon my return I found that he now prefers her lap, and her cuddles and her playtime. The ultimate betrayal. I’m going to win him back.

So dear God/Dad/master of the universe, I’m sorry that I ever complained about anything and please know that I love my little gremlin man so much that my heart might burst I promise…

but please, please, let me sleep.

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xx

 

Breaking up is hard to do.

Hi Everyone!

 

I’ve put off writing this blog entry for a little while, because quite frankly it’s a little bit depressing.

I’ll try keep it light and jolly but here’s the tea…

The other half and I are no more. I’m just a single half although, technically I guess that just makes me one whole now? I’m not half of anything, I’m just me. I think that’s ok though.

It’s kind of thrown everything up in the air especially with regards to the house, but now since I am my own whole – I can make decisions that just suit me, which whilst being incredibly scary, it’s also quite exciting.

The ex other half has moved out and taken his dog back to London with him – so no more boxer trying to get in the shower with me. As much as I moaned, I’m pretty devastated about that – but it’s not all bad!

My go to, knee jerk reaction to all traumatic events has been to get a dog. When I was 19 and broke up with my first real boyfriend, I wanted a dog. When my Dad died, I wanted a dog. When I had a hangover once, I briefly considered getting a rabbit but I knew that was just a substitute for wanting a dog. Now here I am again, at a crossroads, at heartbreak and guess what I want…

But now I’m older, I’m independent, I’m out of excuses so I’m going to bloody well get a dog. I mean, it’s a better solution than Tinder isn’t it.

He’s called Gaetan and I’m only going to explain this once so listen carefully.

Gaetan is a french boy’s name, the Italian of which is Gaetano and means “From Gaeta”. I chose the name because I liked it and then decided to look up what it means. Gaeta is an Italian town not far from Naples – where Dad is from. This may be a tenuous link but any link to my Dad is good enough for me. I’m going to call him Guy (and spell it Gae) for short. Are you keeping up? Anyway here he is…

 

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LOOK AT HIS FACE, WHAT AN ABSOLUTE BABE, LOOK AT HIS FACE AGAIN.OMG HIS EARS.

I love him already.

So now to the house.

It’s about half way through construction but what do I do? I want the perfect home for me and Gae. BECAUSE LOOK AT HIS FACE HE DESERVES THE WHOLE WORLD. Sorry.

So here’s my choices, I carry on and live a life I’d planned with someone else on my own.

Or I move on and do my own thing. Maybe I”ll do that. I could start all over again, finish what I started then start again. Maybe in the next few months you’ll be on a new house journey with me? I’ve realised I was holding on to the house to hold on to my Dad, but at the end of the day I can do that wherever I am. Just because he’s not physically here, it doesn’t mean I don’t have my Dad anymore. I have everything he’s ever taught me and every piece of advice and every bit of love he’s ever given me. So I’ve got all I need, just me, my own whole – and of course my doggo.

 

My Dad would have loved him.

Ikea:Make it or break it.

As part of my New Years Resolutions, I aimed to blog more but so far I’ve been to the gym more frequently than I have blogged.

Yes, 14 days into 2018 and I have been to the gym a grand total of 1 times.  Which means my blogging needs some serious TLC. Fortunately today, I can put a little tick under the blogging section of my Bullet Journal. I’m so on trend with my resolutions this year aren’t I?

Today’s topic is  something that I have been thinking about a lot lately and wondering if it’s really as a contentious issue as I imagine.

In my household we mainly argue about the following; the washing up, the Playstation (other consoles are available, preferably ones that don’t live in my house)  and our music preferences.

But since the other half has gone to get a tyre and I am happily and uninteruptedly listening to a bouncy mix of the Fratellis and Arctic Monkeys, I wonder if there is a bigger issue in our household. As if I needed further confirmation I woke up this morning to this Instagram post sent from the boyfriend himself…

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That’s right folks – Ikea, Sweden’s answer to Jeremy Kyle – otherwise known as The Destroyer of Relationships. No need to take a lie detector sweetie, take a stroll into the practical, yet modern range of homeware and let the guided floors guide your partner into telling you everything he resents about you most. Spoiler Alert – the thing he hates most, is that you dragged him to Ikea in the first place (Although judging by some of the folks on Jezza Kyle, you probably should have dragged him to a dentist).

Now I just don’t get it. I love Ikea. I love that they rarely change their furniture ranges, I love that they actually put those stupid arrows on the floor, I love the promise of a plate of meatballs half way through. Every time I go to Ikea it looks exactly the same as the first time I ever went, but somehow, those arrows mean you have to look at absolutely everything just so that you can say “I still like that bookcase”. Good old dependable Billy.

But some people seem to hate it with every fibre of their being, unfortunately those are the people you often need to help you with the heavy flatpack lifting at the end.

When I went to get the wardrobe for the spare room, I stupidly went alone. Upon reaching self service at the very end, I was confronted with three enormous boxes, each of which weighed more than me – and let’s be clear about this, I eat, what is probably above the UK average amount of consumed pasta.

But in the age of modern feminism and I Don’t Need No Man mentality, I was going to get this wardrobe home. I carefully pushed my trolley right up to the boxes and with all my strength lifted the first box on. So far so good.

Unfortunately by the third box, I’d developed a hernia and my foray into independence was becoming increasingly less exciting. I therefore paid for my boxes and decided to enlist some help from Ikea staff. I asked the nice woman at the till and she said if I asked on the way out someone would come help me. So off I toddled only to find no bugger around.

Literally the place had suddenly emptied of yellow uniforms. I waited a while, contemplated going to get a hot dog, waited a bit longer. No one there. So I went outside hoping to see someone by the loading bay. There was still no one. By this point I was getting a bit upset and my hernia was hurting so I thought I’d just check once more inside. I couldn’t go in through the entrance as I’d get trapped in the yellow arrows again so I tried to go back in through the exit. Rookie mistake. Predictably the doors don’t open for people coming the wrong way – it was a bit like trying to get onto platform 9 and 3/4 and finding the wall was blocked up as the trolley, the wardrobes and myself crashed into the door and reverberated backwards.

Embarrassed, I decided just to suck it up and go to my car. With the strength of the Hulk I  somehow got the three boxes into the car. A task of herculean effort. Sweaty and breathless I drove home, vowing never to go to Ikea alone again.

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You’d think that would be the end of my wardrobe worries. Nope, then we had to build it.

We didn’t have a lot of space to build the three door wardrobe in, nor did we have a lot of patience. The major trauma occurred when we realised we needed to turn the wardrobe around. There wasn’t room to swing a cat, never mind a wardrobe. Nevertheless I had one job. To hold the side panel still.

In my defence I thought I was holding it still but the loud splintering sound suggested otherwise. I’d actually managed to rip the screws out of the chipboard effectively breaking it.

Well that was it. The yelling, the crying, whilst the boyfriend looked on in horror. I went to bed 4 times that night in a strop. The sad realisation that we’d had to buy the wardrobe on a budget and then were now going to have to buy another one was just too much. Fortunately a bit of wood glue and we now had a functioning wardrobe, albeit not with the ease that the Swedes intended.

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I know there is a recurrent theme in these blogs that I seem to cry a lot, but at least this time it was more warranted than over a sausage roll.

So yes Ikea I love you, but I love my relationship more therefore I’ll limit my visits to you this year and will not be attempting any more flatpack. Sorry.

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60 Minute Makeover

Phew!

I’ve just realised I haven’t blogged in nearly a month. That’s outrageous. I can tell by the influx of messages I’ve had, that you’re all wondering where on earth I have gone!?*

Well let me tell you.

Papilow home is in full swing, I’ve been doing a few christmas markets, and several custom orders which has been lovely. It’s so pleasant making gifts and cards for you all that I got completely carried away and haven’t so much as picked up a paintbrush for the house.

The last time I blogged I talked about our four legged friend and his foray into decorating a house, so as much as I’d love to tell you about all the Christmas markets – and I’m sure I will soon – first, let’s pick up where we left off, in the guest bedroom.

The guest bedroom used to be my room. As I would still come see my dad on weekends, that’s where I would stay. It hadn’t been decorated since Dad first moved into the house in 1995. Now my dad had asked me many times if we should decorate and even when I was 26 and coming to visit my dad once a month or so, I would still request that my childhood bedroom be left as it was. From this, you may understand the enormity of renovating this house for me now. I absolutely hate change. It makes me nostalgic and actually just feel a bit sad when I change things – probably not very healthy I know (My mum once got a new kitchen door and it threw me – for about a week, I still remember the old red one that I didn’t even know I liked until it went.) So yes, not only do I hate change but so much so, that I clung on to my childhood bedroom fiercely. Until now.

For me, this house has to change. I’ve lost my dad but just because I’m changing the house, I’ve come to realise that actually it doesn’t make a difference if I change it. I won’t feel his loss any less and keeping it all the same like some kind of twisted Miss Haversham won’t bring him back into it. At the risk of sounding all cliché, I know he’s here anyway and I hope he likes the changes I am finally making.

As I peeled off the yellow wallpaper, I studied it as if it were a test, trying to commit it to memory so I could remember exactly how it was and all the feeling and emotion around it.

The other half, meanwhile, just took a photo so we knew how it used to look. Probably easier and less dramatic don’t you think?

We were attempting to keep the old wardrobe but it kind of fell apart as we dismantled it and ended up chucking it anyway.

Then to add to the chaos, we knocked the wall down. I may have already mentioned, we knocked through into the box room about half a metre and wowzers it opened the space right up! This room looked huge! I was so excited I forgot all about my yellow haven because just look at all this space!

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Over the next few days it was a combined effort, to painstakingly plaster the walls and cover over the artex ceiling. The other half did the majority of the work if I’m honest but I did help out where I could! As we were both working, it had to be an evening job over the course of a week, the room would be plastered on a night and left to dry. As it was dark by the time we started plastering, we had to invest in a halogen lamp. Not only was it brighter than the sun but sooooo warm. Tropical. In fact so warm that one day I left my pizza dough to prove in there and it did a marvellous job.

Then a couple of days later, once the plaster had dried, I would scrape it down and put a first layer of paint on it. I’ve learnt from this that I don’t like painting ceilings and quite frankly, I won’t be doing it again.

All too soon it was Friday night, and I had the in-laws coming on Saturday morning. Yikes! The final wall had only just dried and it was full steam ahead.

We gave the room 2 coats of Dulux Soft Walnut – a lovely shade of cream. Saying that, It nearly went back to home base because a test patch made it look purple. Turns out it was just bad lighting and the effects of the green patch of wall we painted it on (under the yellow, lurked a mucky mint green, yuk). The skirting was painted in “Rich black”, again Dulux, and we had it mixed in Satinwood. We also had a giant hole in the wall that we had used as an access panel to fit the shower. In case we ever needed to get back into it, rather than filling the hole we just screwed some plasterboard up and decided to hide it behind the new wardrobe.

At this point, we probably could have assembled the bed and left it as it was – because as long as the in-laws have room to sleep that’s ok yes?

No.

So at about midnight we set about with the fine design details. I painted some strips of  wide beading in the same colour as the wall. This was to make a frame for the wallpaper.

The wallpaper had been given to me by mum and I really wanted to use it, but we only had one roll. Therefore in the early hours of the morning, out the wallpaper table came and we filled the beaded frame.

By about 2am the other half had had enough, and rightly so. I stayed up til 3, assembling a bedside table.

At 6am the next day, we got up and bleary eyed and grumpy had several arguments over assembling the bed. We also put up the customary wooden pelmet to match the one in our bedroom and some curtains, you know, for consistency.

We put a picture shelf above the bed to house a mirror and many frames, including the happily ever after one, soon to be available on my Etsy shop – just saying and I thew a yellow cushion on the bed, which I made from some beautiful linen fabric.

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Next up went a rather large picture of a bird, that I had painted myself. I saw one similar in TK Maxx but I didn’t like the frame and didn’t want to spend 50 quid on it – so in true  “I can do that” style I dug out a canvas and some paint and off I went. I quite like how it turned out but I think it was a fluke. I couldn’t do it again if I tried.

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Also some small hanging metal frames from Matalan, I just love these. In one, I have a small heart, which I kind of drew on a whim and then I liked it so much I turned it into a fabric for some cushions. In the other one I found some old art paper of my Nanna’s that she had done some colour testing on and I loved it, so I framed it.

The room at this point had come together quite nicely, but to me it felt cold. It almost felt like it had a bit of a Japanese style to it. Which sometimes I quite like, but it wasn’t fitting in with my house. It needed warming up.

The next week we bought a wardrobe, and had an almighty problem building it (wait for the blog post on this) and got some carpets fitted.

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Finally I added a big black and gold lamp shade, a soft velvety throw from Asda(!) and some sparkly twigs in the corner.

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I like it much better now, but not as much as the dog who thinks it’s his room.

obviously.

until next time

xx

*That was a joke, not one of you has messaged me to ask where my blog has gone. Thanks.

 

 

 

A snout to the elbow.

It’s been a busy busy busy few weeks over at Papilow HQ. The other half’s parents were coming for a weekend and getting the guest bedroom ready was a succession of late nights.

On top of this, I started an internship for a company that sells art and homeware based around the art. Therefore, I was given a small space at their most recent event to showcase my homeware, cue more late nights pattern designing, sewing and disentangling myself from threads that somehow just get everywhere.

So yes, it’s been busy, but it has also been a lot of fun. There has been one major distraction however. This distraction has 4 legs and flatulence that would make a skunk blush. It also has an incredibly powerful whippy tail and many wrinkles on it’s smooshy face.

Meet Kilo. Our 4 year old boxer.

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All I really ever wanted was to work from home, with a dog running around being loveable and cute and keeping me company. But this, it appears, was a completely unrealistic expectation.

If you’re living in the UK, you will probably have seen the advert in which a man repeatedly tries to check his credit score (how often does one man need to do that? Like, not that often that he can’t wait till he gets out the bath to check it) and he is followed around by his loveable boxer Moose. Moose has been given a voice.

The voice says “What doooing?”

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My God, it’s like they got some kind of boxer whisperer. If boxers could talk – that is what they would say. All the damn time.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this dog, he’s my baby. I like to smoosh my face into his and kiss his little wrinkly snout. I like it when he puts his paw on my lap or when he fits his whole self on to my knee. I like this all on my own time.

I do not like it, when I’m frantically sewing my socks off, or writing a blog or creating new prints and all of a sudden, I have a stitch out of place or a letter mistyped or a black smudgy line across my page. I look down and there it is, that snout, tucked under my arm. ” What dooing?” the snout says.

I do not like it, when I have to use the little girls room and the paw appears on my knee. “What dooing?” the paw says.

When I’m actually in the shower and I hear the lapping sounds of water being caught in his ginormous mouth as he’s got in there with me. When I’m sat working and I have two paws around my neck for a cuddle. When I’m sleeping and I have a snout in my face at 5am.  When I just put a new throw on the guest bed and he goes and sleeps on it until he’s caught. “What dooooing?” He says.

It doesn’t end there.

There are scratch marks on the window sill in our bedroom because he likes to look out the window (he can’t even see through the blinds) to try find out where we’ve gone. The jumping up at the window extended to the guest room once we cleared it – and this time he could actually see out! We thought it was so cute.

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Until I left my phone next to the open window, resting on a tin of paint, on the window sill.

The dog jumped up, the paint tin rocked, the world went into slow motion. The phone flew through the window, in a perfect curve. Through the air, out the second floor window, missing a bucket of water by centimetres, and landing on the decking below.

It took us at least 3 minutes of standing their in shock, discussing what just happened as if I’d just made a cup of tea rather than watch my hella expensive phone make like a bird and fly. The dog was still at the window.  Reality kicked in and we went to pick the phone off the floor. Somehow, it was unharmed, at least.

For a while we were unsure if Kilo had prematurely aged. No No, he’d just been laying in all the plasterboard dust as we ripped walls out. Laying against the newly painted wall. Laying all over the carpet fitter as he tried to measure up.

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Anywhere we are, he has to be. If we try to shut him out we can hear him just lurking waiting for us to call him back, which we inevitably do because we feel sorry for him.

He’s a total babe but why does he find the exact spot in the room which is most inconvenient to lay in? It makes us think he’s not clever. But he is. He has devised a plan.

He’s not technically allowed in the guest room but it has been brought to our attention that he leaves his blanket next to our bed when he thinks we’re asleep, spends the night in the guest room and then sneaks back to his blanket at 6am. Creeping around  Like we wouldn’t notice. Which we didn’t for a few nights to be fair.

Is this all dogs?

Or just ours?

Answers on a postcard.

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Next time I’ll stop showing your pictures of my dog and actually get back to telling you about our house progress which is coming on nicely…hurrah!

xx

On your marks, get set…go?

NB: Before we start, you should know that I hate running. It’s in my top three list of things that I hate, closely followed by hanging the washing out and only just behind drivers that don’t say thank you when you stop to let them past. I try to avoid running at all costs and if I do run, I normally need to follow it up with a Twix and half a tank of oxygen.

Ok so, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt about renovating a house it’s that there are lots of emergencies. Emergency leaks, emergency cuts and bumps and more often than not, emergency trips to the local DIY store. The level of emergency can be decided using this simple chart.

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So, on Sunday, we were installing a new bedroom wall having knocked down the old one to make the bedroom just a little bit bigger. I’d say it has added about half a metre to the width of the room which has actually made quite a lot of difference. At this point the existing wall was down, we’d taken all the plasterboard to the tip already and it was time to rebuild. We measured up, we looked at our supplies. There was not enough wood and we really needed some new plasterboard too. Ok, so it was another trip out but we haven’t got long before we have the other half’s parentals coming and we’d like them to have somewhere to stay that isn’t

A) a building site

 B) quite draughty, what with the missing wall and all.

The sooner this wall goes up the sooner we could start plastering, and with our time constraints on this room, it became a desperate case.

We looked at the time – 15:40. The shops shut at 4.00 on a Sunday. I referred back to my handy chart. Oh my god.

It was now officially an emergency.  .

15.40: We raced downstairs, threw some shoes on – no it doesn’t matter what your wearing, I realised, your dad’s suit socks and sliders are a perfectly fashionable and practical combination.

15.42:  We made an executive decision to take a short cut through the back roads. Emergencies are often reliant on the executive decisions you make.

15:43: The back roads were narrow, fortunately we were able to swerve out the way of oncoming vehicles – you don’t need alloys, you need plasterboard.

15.45: We adopted a tense look as we sat on a 30mph road with speed cameras.

15.47: Damn, why is there always traffic lights on red here.

15.48: I could see it!! B&Q was in sight, but wh- what is this?? More traffic? We couldn’t all be having an emergency, where was everyone going?

15.49: Oh, it was just the drive through queue for Macdonalds. On a Sunday? Heathens.

15.50: Oh crap the traffic was not moving, it was time for executive decision number two. I was going to have to run, the other half could park the car but I needed to get into the shop.

15.50 (still) : I got out the car, I pushed my socked feet firmly into my adidas sliders, regretting my fashion choices.

15.51: I started to run, the theme to Chariots of fire starts playing in my head. (I strongly suggest you play it in yours, it really adds to the dramatic effect)

15.52: It actually feels like I’m running in slow motion, the wind through my hair. I briefly think about taking up running.

15.53: I realise that the slow motion thing is just because I’m starting to get a stitch and am actually slowing down. I push through.

15.54: There are people oncoming, I barge past their horrified faces. There is a child in my path. I shove him out the way. (only joking… or am I?).

15.55: I hurdle over the man collecting the trolleys. (Ok, now I’m definitely lying but just go with it.)

15.56: I prise the automatic doors open as I hear the warning bing bongs: “Attention customers, the store will be closing in 5 minutes.”

15.57: I make it to the plasterboard section, out of puff, but victorious. The other half, having parked the car, saunters in to meet me about 5 seconds after me. I was actually a bit annoyed about it. I might as well have walked.

16.00: We’ve done it. we made it just in time, emergency averted.

You’ll be pleased to know the wall was built so we can crack on with the plastering this week, My heart rate eventually slowed down and I’ve located some trainers for emergency running. I will not be taking up running as a sport.

Fingers crossed by next week I’ll have a nice bedroom update for you…

Until then xx