Saturday, 28 March 2015

It's just emulsion that's taken me over

Apologies to the Bee Gees for misquoting their words, but I really have been taken over by matchpots this week! 

The windows on the cottage are all white uPVC, and the cottage is white render, so we either have to paint the cottage a different colour, or the windows and doors.  As the windows are almost useless they will be replaced and I have found a local company who do coloured UPVC in all Farrow and Ball colours, so I need to find a colour, no, the colour green.  We will also have traditional style windows while we are at it!  Like these;

Anyway, enough boring house stuff and on to lovely charity shop bargains.  I've passed over so many wonderful bits and pieces this week, things I would have just bought and squirrelled away previously, but now, with all the impending work on the cottage, cannot justify the spend or the space.  So not for me the Italian leather handbag for £9.99, or the Faith wedges for £1, the 50p denim handbag or the 99p gold colour hinged cuff.  Oh no, I'm being frugal .

However, one visit to the charity shops and I'm £8.50 lighter, but I have all these lovely usable things to show for it!

First to catch my eye were these ladies pyjama bottoms, new and size 22 to 24, they will make great sleep shorts for OH when I've cut a bit of the bottoms, only 50p each.

Next,  I've been looking on ebay for old rock t shirts, but happened to spot this in a PDSA shop, on the men's rail for just £2.50.  It is size small, but gold and glittery lettering, I think it's a ladies.  I'm coming over all nostalgic about this as I had a lovely Motorhead sweatshirt when I was 11, which I bought from a shop in the old Birmingham Bullring, when I was first allowed to go into town on my own.

I then had a bit of a mad spend up in an independent charity shop, and for a fiver got the following;

Those fab velvet trousers at the top are Autograph, and were a pound.  I think they are a little too big around the waist but I might just take the whole sides in and wear them as skinny fit velvet flares for the summer! 

The creased-to-hell jeans are Levi's, and I got them for £2, again they look unworn, it must be spring clearout time. Unbelievably, they are marked as size 8, but they look so generous I'm hoping to squeeze myself into them.

The sixties style pinafore at the bottom is a Monsoon piece and as you can see, jumbo cord.  Again it looks unworn, but is covered in light fluff.  It will look great with a bright orange top underneath and tights and boots, it was £2

We are no further forward with any house works this week, architect has been instructed and we await his visit and dimensional drawings. The garden is coming along and the shed has been weatherproofed and had shelving fitted and is being filled.  

Hopefully, even though it is now the Easter holidays for schools, we might venture out for a day next week.  If I manage to twist his arm, OH might take me to one of the local car boot sales tomorrow morning, now he is no longer working on a Sunday!  

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Fifty shades of Spring

It's been another hectic week over here at Pennypincher cottage.  I bagged some charity shop bargains, we've had a visit from an architect, a new shed has been installed in the garden, and the chicken run is almost finished.  We watched an eclipse on Friday morning and popped over to our favourite National Trust properties, Baddesley Clinton and Packwood House afterwards.

First, the bargains, managed to grab this full length Scottish made pure wool ladies kilt for just £1.99, the lovely Jocasi bright Spring green leather bag was a pound, as was the tie dye Gringo bag, and the pretty and solid glass pendant was just 99p. 

OH and I planned a well needed day out on Friday but we hung around at home long enough to watch the eclipse and take a couple of photos.  It wasn't total, but the chance to see anything at all with England's unpredictable weather was a bonus!

The sun was indeed smiling on us!

Off we went to Baddesley Clinton, with packed lunch.  A lovely young National Trust guide took our photo in front of the house.

 I'm wearing old grey check coat from Debenhams sale years ago, Fatface grey leather boots - ebay, grey leather gloves - Christmas gift (but were from Lidl), old Primark dark denim jeggings, silk tie dye scarf - charity shopped and my new green leather charity shopped bag.

We had a wander around Baddesley's lovely gardens and the pretty little church on the estate, St Michaels, where I found this headstone

I know it is inevitable but still slightly creepy!

Anyway, back to Baddesley, here's a few pics for you

Those ducks in front of the main house are actually asleep, they soon woke up when we got the duck food out!

In an attempt to get at the food we had, one duck circumvented the crowd and walked along the bridge,she was thwarted!

We had to get quite close to this scarecrow before we realised he wasn't alive

These sheep near the church were particularly noisy

We saw very few Spring flowers out, a lot less than I thought, seeing as we have plenty of daffodils out at home.
After a sandwich and cup of tea with cake and biscuits, we drove over to Packwood House, which is just two miles down the road.  One of the things Packwood is famous for is sundials, I have no idea how many there are, but there are lots!  The writing reads "Septem Sine Horus" which I think means that there are seven hours where the sundial cannot tell the time because there is no sun (on the longest day), although there are only eight hours marked on this particular sundial anyway.  You can see I took the photo at almost 2pm.

This is my favourite corner of Packwood

The two storey outbuilding, gate in the wall, bench, wrought iron staircase and hidden oven (see pic below) this corner has everything!

I do love a good gate, and Packwood has plenty of them, these are particularly fine

Another lovely gateway, I do like the anticipation you feel when approaching a gate, where does it go to?  The water trough, half hidden behind foliage, is solid lead, huge and monogrammed.  You know you are someone when your water troughs have your initials on them!

Benches, ahh I love a good bench!

OH struggles with clearance on some of the doorways

Packwood is most famous for it's clipped yew trees, representing the Sermon on the Mount.

I was pleased to get the famous house-peeping-through-the-yew shot! Not a tourist in sight either, despite the place being really busy

We had a great day out in the glorious Spring sunshine, but it's back to work for OH, and I need to crack on with work on the house and garden.

Linking up with Patti's Visible Monday!!!


Monday, 16 March 2015

Is this the real life or is this just fantasy?

Just like Bohemian Rhapsody, I feel this post will be a bit, umm, long, apologies! 

I've adjusted to village life quite quickly, and am finding it odd that this time last year I was sitting in an office for eight hours a day, processing benefit claims for a living, and commuting from my Victorian terrace in a suburb of Birmingham.  Now I'm waking up in the countryside with field views from most rooms of the house and planning a transformation of this badly renovated early Victorian cottage.  How things change!  You can guess that I don't miss my job, and even though I'm without any income at all at present (save what I can glean from flogging my own bits and bobs on ebay as I'm not claiming benefits either), with a certain amount of pennypinching we are getting along just fine. Wealth is a state of mind, I feel.

So far on the house we have sorted the issue of no tv aerial, no working shower and no electric cooker point. This was all done within a few days of moving in as well as buying several matching kitchen units, the previous owners had removed fitted appliances and the kitchen was also badly configured.

This year we have already had three large trees removed which were swamping the garden.  Initially there were four large trees and we had planned to get rid of all of them. We decided that even though it is close to a road, with careful management by our friendly neighbourhood tree surgeon, we should keep the Oak tree.  An Ash which was too close to the house for comfort, and two conifers, all over 30 feet tall, were removed.  The stumps have now been ground out and a new garden fence has been put up. We have also had a hideous metal shed dismantled and the concrete base removed, and a new shed base laid in a more unobtrusive part of the garden.  I've painted the new fence and planted some slow growing climbers on the road side so they will eventually cover the fence.  We've also planted some small border plants on the road side to pretty it up a little. I received many compliments whilst painting, and even the landlord of the local pub had noticed and approved our little tidy up operation!

Anyway, back to bargains.  As you can imagine, time has been spent concentrating on making the cottage into a home, and this will be ongoing for the forseeable future. However, builders and architect visits are now arranged and we will soon be relying on professionals to move us forward with the home making side of things, so I'm back buying bits and bobs for myself.

I'm getting used to shopping in Bromsgrove now, our nearest town, and discovered a fantastic YMCA charity furniture shop.  We've been in several times and made a purchase each time but I was saddened to discover that it will close down soon to make way for a furniture shop!

My largest purchase was this fab blanket box (YMCA photo from their facebook page) for the princely sum of £25.  It now holds three large bin bags of bedding!

                                           Very country cottage, don't you think?

I have also had a bit of a dabble on ebay.  Now I've been selling on there for over ten years but have never bought much in the way of second hand clothing as I  prefer to feel the merchandise.  However, I impulse bought a lovely pair of Per Una pink suede sandals and noticed the seller was also selling a rather nice cardigan too, so I bid on both and got them for £6.70 the lot.  I did feel for the seller though as it cost more than this to send them to me.

The sandals are as new, and the cardi is just the right size despite the lack of measurements in the listing and me being too lazy to ask!

I do feel lost without my mannekin to display all my goodies though.  She is packed away in mum's old house awaiting the garage conversion into workroom, then she will have her own spot!

I've managed to squeeze in a few charity shop visits, and bargain purchases. in the past few days so look out for sneaky peeks on facebook when I get the photos taken! 

Sunday, 1 March 2015


Please ignore the following gobbledygook, just linking up with Bloglovin!!

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>