Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Creating my blog book

I have my blog diary books, I love looking at them
 Every post since I started this blog
I have been working on my 2016 book, earlier in the year I was not sure if I would finish this book.
I always publish with a company called Blurb, when I produced my 1st book in 2012, I researched all printers on line, Blurb I felt was the best for me. Now I use them so all the books look the same.
For each book I was able to import all my words and photo's in one action, which I then had to edit to a page per post, thus keeping the books to between 130 and 160 pages and keeping the cost down.
I never pay full price for my books, they would cost about £100, I always wait until they send me 60% off, which allow me to use nice glossy paper, making the feel of the book good.
Last year Blurb changed and stopped the importing from blogs, which stopped me, as to add each post I thought would be too much.
I have started adding each post by hand, I copy all the words and drop them into the page text box, I then have to copy each picture to my desktop and then import through the function on blurb. When I edit I can leave my words in one box, or as shown below spread the word boxes over the page. The import is really done quite quickly, I have found a routine which works for me.
The whole process is not much more work than before and doing the process post by post, I am finding less stressful. I sort and finish each page before starting the next.
 Using the template as seen above, 
I can tidy and sort each photo and my words to make the page look neat.
Using photo boxes and text boxes, adjusting their size to suit.
you can have as few or as many as you require on each page. 
My first book was hard work, but the more I create the easier it gets, I understand how Blurb works, and I love the template with all the grids, I do like things to be neat and in straight lines.
2016 will be completed and waiting for any discounts due, I am not in a hurry to print, and the details sit waiting for me to press the publish button.
I have made a couple of other books, I had a dolls house and a blog to go with it, when I got rid of my house I created this book to remind me of all I achieved.  
 After our daughter got married 
I printed a wedding book for us, much cheaper than through the photographer. 
I have used other companies, we made a photo book for Logan for his first holiday with us and without mummy and daddy, which due to the cost (much cheaper), not as nice as my books. We used Photbucket on a Groupon deal. 
We tried to make our girls a childhood book each, but our photo's were poor quality,  typical 80's and 90's standard.
I did another post here, back in 2012, shows my 1st book I made, it shows more pages of the completed book.

Have you printed any books ?

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Getting back to normal

One lonely rose from the garden
 My Orchid still doing very well
These are so cost effective, the blooms last for a couple of months.
 Hubby being soppy on holiday
he's a romantic at heart
 Almost me, on holiday
The above, 2 cot sheets, baby towel, pack of 5 muslin squares and a nice bib, just £7.50 from the local Co-op, the cot sheets are for daughter, with winter coming the extra 2 will help. The other items are for our house, Will already has the same bib for use at his home, we keep nappies and wipes here as well, saves bringing loads when Will comes for a visit. We also got loads of reduced food stuff for the coming week, nice way to start shopping.
Hubby got a good deal on renewing our house and contents insurance, our policy is due to go up by £42, hubby went on line, found the cheapest for us without loosing any benefits, it was with Halifax, who are our providers, so on the phone they matched the new policy and we got a £50 cash back (due in January) and saved £20 on last years prices.
It a cool sunny day here, but I am inside, a huge pile of ironing needs to be sorted. Later Will is coming for a visit, whilst mummy visits the dentist, we have missed not seeing him each day.
My garden and greenhouse was OK whilst we were away. We have a tree surgeon coming on Monday, and with the weekend fore caste being good, I hope to tidy my garden, move plants into the greenhouse and plants spring plants and bulbs, which I already have, so no extra spend.

Monday, 18 September 2017

France in photo's

Our accommodation looked like a starter home on a small estate
a 2 bedroom house, perfect for the 5 of us. 
The site was not too big, had pools inside and out.
Just 10 minutes walk to the shore. 
 In the edge of a small old town St Pol de Leon
 Trip to Morlaix
 This structure dominated the sky line
Perfect place for lunch
 Stunning inside
 Lovely old churches
 Various sea views along the coast

Most mornings we went swimming with mummy, daddy and Will, 
Will loves being in the water, and was a joy to watch.
We did not go out every day, the holiday was to relax, we visited one local food market at Roscof, the fruit and veg, plus sea food was so fresh.
As you can see the weather was mixed, the rain was light and almost always gone by lunch time.
We had a couple of evening meals out, the second being in Roscof in a seafood restaurant, I had a seafood salad, which has to be the best fish dish I have had in ages, everything was so fresh.
Very little shopping, we have stocked up on wines for the coming Christmas period, we brought loads of euro's home, which we can use when we are in Spain in November.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Brr, back home

Will helping us choose wine to bring home
 French wool shop window
 I always bring back these tea bags, I got 3 boxes for 5 euro's
So why on the English site of this English blender are they £3 per pack. 
I read this book in France, it was the first book in the series, 
I read it last, but it was still  a great book, I have not yet found a book of her's which is not good.
Hubby purchased all the Sue Grafton A-Z books on my iPad, I'm not a fan of reading from the iPad, but the set was cheap and it saves me taking books on holiday. I read 3 of the titles whilst away and on the ferry home. 
 I asked Dawn if she could make me a pocket for a cushion I am making Will, she chose the colours and it looks brilliant, once added to a cushion front, plus a book inside it will go in his reading wig wam.
 This is a partial screen shot from my blog, I have just passed a big milestone.
I started my blog in 2009 not thinking in regard to where it would take me. I have always used it a my diary, each year I put all my post and photo's into a book. Therefore the blog has always been just as I like it, I had no thought's about followers, who would be interested in the thoughts of a middle aged woman. On the other hand I love all your blogs, you are all so interesting, you give me ideas, show me what is currant in your lives. So my milestone, I have now had 5001 comments through the years. I had decided to reward the 5000th comment with a small gift, I did not say anything before, I do not try to entice followers, I hope you are here because you want to be.  
So Tania, Frugal in Essex, please get in touch, I would like your address.   
We decided to try one of our bottles purchased in France
2.99 euro's each, and lovely glass of red.
I will blog some photo's of our break next time, we are having a lazy Sunday morning, laundry is being sorted. It's a sunny blowy day here, but cold, I checked and it's only 10c outside. Our weather in France was slightly better than here, we had rain 5 out of 7 days, but by lunch time it cleared, but it was much warmer.
PS I don't know why blogger is showing an old post from 2011, Christmas Tree cat, as the most viewed post, I does have the most views, but my list has been set to show post in the last 30 days.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Look at me now

Look who can stand himself up
 On Monday, just 4 days ago, 
I was marveling about how well Will was sitting on his knee's
 A little while ago I was given this black checked fabric
today I was given a role of the black cotton fabric
I can see a bag design here. 
My daughter has confirmed she loves the fabrics I have purchased
 for the cot quilt and floor of the reading wigwam
She does love shades of grey
 I could not resist this design, I got a larger piece to use.
 A new author to me
I have finished the book, but won't read her again. 
The past couple of days has flown by, I have not done too much, been feeling under the weather, I feel as if I have a cold coming, runny nose, which is typical as we are away to France at the weekend, not in the camper van, holidaying with daughter, her hubby and Will.
I have sorted all the fabrics for Will's winter cot quilt, plus when I sew his reading wigwam, I will make a quilted base, and loads of cushions. I now have everything ready to start sewing once we are back home.
When I made the cushions for my friends camper van she gifted me the black check fabric left over, stating I had saved more material in my cutting out. She used the black material for curtains, using the heavy cotton black out material, it does fell like suede, she said she would look out the leftovers and I could have it. I was surprised there must be 2 meters on the roll, she would not let me pay her, she has sold her sewing machine and won't do any more sewing.  I can't imagine anyone not loving sewing, it's been apart of me all my life.
Yesterday Will and mummy popped in to see us, he is everywhere, now preferring to be on his feet, our cats hid themselves behind the sofa, I turned their baskets so Will could not see them. Will loved standing at our patio doors and watching the garden, shouting at the big birds. Mummy said he got up three steps of the stairs yesterday, so no where is safe, they have gates and guards everywhere.
The next street to our had loads of vandals Wednesday night, vehicles and property were marked with marker pens, some of the things written not nice, they also damaged the house across the street from ours, but  did not mark our van parked nearby, which we are very pleased about. The local police officer asked us to check our CCTV, but it was dark and the settings do not cover too much of the pavements, so we could not see anyone. It seams a couple of the neighbours had words with lads in the evening and the police think they came back.
Later today we are packing, we are going in the car, so we can take loads with us, we are just 30 minutes drive from Portsmouth Ferry terminal.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Ready to roll

Our van is back and looking tidy
 I have finished all the sewing for the inside
 New curtains, and fake throws
 Curtains at the door and front end
 And the cover for the bed extension. 
As promised photo's of the finished van, I have made all the curtains from a pair given to me by my sister, all I had to do was cut them to size, much better than the mismatched curtains, as seen here.
The new fake throws, came from material in my stash, I purchased it ages ago for another project which was then shelved. The throws we had before were getting hitched as we sat on them. plus they are in the overhead cupboard, should we require them. The two cushions I had in the house, much nicer in here.
I also cut down an old king size duvet cover into a single size, for my use, I can only sleep in 100% cotton, saving the cost of a new cover.
Under the table our new shoe boxes, we will keep walking shoes, flipflops and even a cheap pair of slippers, we have three sections each.
The bed extension foam block is now covered, I have made the section hanging down, it will hang between the frame and the cupboard door, just to ensure the door is not damaged. It sits on a raised frame, allowing my 6'2" hubby to have a nice bed each night.
I am really pleased with the inside look, I am not a fan of red, but the cushions are in perfect condition, and would be expensive to replace, this way I think it looks good.
Hubby has removed the sink unit in the toilet, the tiny sink leaked and the unit was in the way, we have changed the room around and made loads of space, plus more storage space, loads of things are packed in here when we are driving.
We have booked another trip the last weekend in September, and hope to have another trip in October, the van has a fan heater, which we have tried out, so providing it's not too wet or freezing, we should get loads of trips.
Today is our wedding anniversary, 31 years, I have a hair appointment this afternoon, later we are out for a meal, hubby found a discount voucher for our favorite local restaurant.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Woosh, there goes Will

Look at him, just six months old
he is crawling everywhere, so confident.
 Popped into our local shop, this is not quiet 2 meters
cost me £5.15, I have a project in mind
 Passion fruit plant, £1 at our local charity shop
I have never grown one before. 
Having Will again this weekend was fun, in a week he has gone from being on his hands and knees slowly getting around to being a baby with a mission, his confidence has grown, and is now very quick. Our cats watch him, Purdy keeps moving so Will can't get to her, but Grace my older cat is much more friendly, she will allow Will to touch her, moving only when he gets excited or grabs her fur. We will watch all three, it's not fair to either of them to allow anything hurtful to happen.
We took Will on Saturday to the village, Sunday we stayed in all day, the weather was wet the whole day, he was picked up early afternoon.
Sunday afternoon we read, and relaxed, we were woke by Will just after six, which is early for me, we had a Chinese takeaway later and enjoyed a lovely bottle of red wine, a day late for hubbies birthday.
I have to return books to the library today, and I want to do an hours ironing, so busy time
Later I will be sewing again, hubby built an extension for our camper van bed, I have a big piece of foam to cover, I will make it like a fitting sheet, so we can remove for washing. The material above will be perfect, our bed is packed away in the daytime, so the colours may not be perfect, but they do not clash. I have one curtain to measure and do the bottom hem, then I need to hang the last two made curtains, the throws are done, I will have photo's next time.
The van is back and looking smart on the outside,it was registered in 2002 so it will never be perfect, but it does now look better.
I have not added the cost of the fabric to my stash list as it was purchased for the camper van.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

More bargains,more spend

Wilko's had more garden stuff on sale
I have been looking at these tall plant supports for ages
They were reduced to 90p each, so I got six
they are already in use for my raspberries
 Our Wednesday market was almost a washout
but the plant stall was there, these two were 50p each
now in one of my chimney pots
 Couple of library books
 At the BBQ on Monday, I was recommended two books to read
Our local library did not have them, hubby ordered off Amazon,
both secondhand, so not too expensive.
I am thinking of adding books to my stash list, to keep an eye on cost. 
We popped to Wyevale garden center as I required some farmyard manure and they were selling 3 bags for £10, so 1 bag almost free, I also got a small bucket of daffodil bulbs for £5,  large flower blooms  for the side garden. I also got a large clay pot to use as a stand for my succulent pot,  the pot I have was knocked at our BBQ and had a huge crack in it, so now it will be used for crock. I passed all the plants, hubby had a good look around but decided the front garden was OK.
I spent about £30 in all which has been added to September on my stash list. Each year I tell hubby that's it I have everything I need, hopefully this year it might be true.
Hubby did get two recliners for the van in their sale, very light weight and comfortable, the seat are bright orange, which is not a colour I would have chosen, but they were cheep.
I have not finished the curtains for the van, each curtain I have needs to be cut down for two places, I have done half, but the van is away for a few days having some body work done and a partial respray.
I have also some blue material in my stash which I can cut into two, after edging I can use over the seats as throws  to reduce  the amount of red in the covers, I can then fold the throws and store making it easier to use the throws.
Now I'm doing housework, later Will is coming for another sleep over, it's hubbies birthday today, we are having a takeaway tonight. Tomorrow we have nothing planned, morning with Will, the afternoon weather will decide what we do.


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