A Not So Quick Catch Up

I thought I'd better pop on because I've been absent for a while. 
We've been busy here since my last post with school holidays, new shed for the garden, sorting the living room out (still) and a few birthday celebrations. We went for a meal last week for Caleb's girlfriends birthday and to meet her family. Now to me it felt a bit odd because I will always think of him as my little boy who loved cuddles, not the 18 year old with a girlfriend. She is a very nice girl though.
We still aren't finished with the living room. The decorating side of it was completed ages ago but Anders seems to keep on adding work for himself. I'll show what has been done so far.

This old cabinet has gone

and has been replaced with these bookcases that Anders made.

The opposite corner is pretty much the same as before. The bookcase is one that Anders made a few years ago.

The fire surround is the old one that has had a coat of paint. Anders made a new hearth and replaced the back on the fire (this was something he added on as we went along). The mirror is from Exclusive Mirrors

This is what the fire place looked like before.

We ordered the table and chairs on line and when they arrived the table had been damaged. On one of the corners the wood had split so this had been sent from the manufacturers like this and not happened in transit. The company told us to dispose of the table and a replacement would be send. After waiting in for I don't know how many days I got back in touch with them only to be told they didn't have any more and they would arrange a refund. So I'm stuck with chairs and no table. Anders took the table top in work to see what could be done to it.

 After a lot of glue, being clamped and waxed, I had a table. It's a good job that we hadn't thrown it on the tip straight away.

These were the old lights which were originally from my in laws

and these are the new ones. The lights we bought were on sale, half price from Debenhams. The curtains and rug were also on sale from Dunhelm Mill.

The sofa looks a bit bigger than our last one but they are the same size. The old one had chunky arms and as this one hasn't it has more seating area instead. The sofa is the Fellini model from Sofology. The wall behind the sofa does look very bare but that is where Anders hangs his guitars. (as much as I hate them being in here, there is nowhere else to store them and he doesn't even have room for them all here so I don't know what his plan is)

The cabinet is from Ikea. Even though Anders wanted to make as much in this room as he could, to buy the glass doors worked out too expensive. It looks pretty empty from a distance but it is full of nik naks that we're bought on our travels.

This was the corner where the cabinet is now. We've bought some small speakers to replace those in the photo.
Still to go in this room is a coffee table (which is almost done), more bookcases in the other alcove next to the chimney breast and a new TV unit. Anders was going to make a sliding shelf to house the turn table but he says that the unit has faded too much in the sun and it is quicker for him to make a new unit from scratch instead of sanding and re staining the one we already have .. see, he makes more work.

Craft wise I got around to finishing an embroidery that I started a little over four years ago. I only found it while having a sort out.

The pattern was purchased from greenbeanbaby on Etsy.

I also made this crocheted cushion for Caleb's girlfriend.
Something else that may be happening in our house is that we might be getting a puppy. This subject has been talked about for years here with Anders adamant that it wasn't happening. I don't know what's up with him (maybe softening with age) but he changed his mind. The kids are delighted. First I looked on line at dog rescue centres where I live plus surrounding counties. After looking at the descriptions of many available dogs it was clear that I wasn't going to find one that fit our requirements as a family. We need a child friendly dog, one that doesn't shed a lot because of my allergies and my eldest boys asthma and is relatively easy to train. After looking at many different breeds and have settled on a Boston Terrier. I've been in touch with a breeder who has a litter but they won't be ready for some time yet as they are only 4 weeks old. I've done this instead of going to pick a pup that I can take there and then because I've heard so much about puppy farms. We have been in touch via email and they have answered any questions I've had so far. As we have no intention of breeding dogs ourselves we have chosen a dog rather than a bitch.

This is pup. We will be going to view him next week. Hopefully all goes well with the visit and his health checks are fine.

Boho Style Shawl

This is something that I began making a while ago to use up some of my wool stash. I underestimated the amount I would need, had to buy more so I've probably got a bigger wool stash than when I started.

I used a free pattern for the shawl which can be found here. Mine is slighter larger than the pattern and is made up with 42 full motifs and 10 half motifs. 

These days I need to take more breaks due to my hands but otherwise it is a fast project to make.

Milky Way Cheesecake

Today I finished off making this Milky Way Cheesecake. (My chocolate drizzling leaves a lot to be desired as you can see)

I found the recipe while I was just idly looking through Pinterest. When I popped on over to the original site I was spoilt for choice on what to make first. There are lots of recipes which require using well known branded chocolate bars and not just cheesecakes ... there are cakes, ice cream, fudge, cupcakes, etc. As the cheesecake I was making calls for quite a few chocolate bars I purchased mine from a local pound shop. 
This recipe and many more can be found at Jane's Patisserie.

A Trip To Liverpool

Sunday was mine and Anders' 12th wedding anniversary and we chose to celebrate by having a day out. We decided on Liverpool through a recommendation by Little L. When she was learning about the Titanic last year in school she went on a school trip to the Maritime Museum and has been asking us to go ever since so off we went.

We arrived about 11am and the docks were already quite busy. We wandered along the docks as far as the Royal Liver building. 

The two birds named Bella and Bertie on the top of the building face opposite directions and one legend is that one faces inland to look after the people of Liverpool and the other keeps an eye on the port. Another legend is that if they were to face each other, they would mate, fly away and Liverpool would cease to exist. 

I don't know how often anyone would need to climb this ladder but they must be extremely brave.

On the walk back I snapped a couple of pics of some Superlambanana sculptures. (Caleb told me off when I got home because I didn't buy him a key ring with one on. I'd forgotten how much he likes these sculptures)

Spied some small jellyfish and a couple of crabs that ended up having what looked like a fight. I found out later that the docks are home to hundreds of conga eel.

We went to the Maritime Museum but we didn't walk around all of the exhibitions because it was just so hot in there.

From there we walked around the shops at the Albert Docks. Little L told us to keep our eyes open for a sweet shop because it had an amazing picture in the window of The Beatles made from thousands of jellybeans.

Another place we went to was The Piermaster's House. There were four houses built for the piermaster and this is the only one left standing after bombing during the Second World War. The house is now a museum depicting a working class family life during that time.

I'm glad we discovered this place as I think it was my favourite thing of the day. I could quite happily have moved in though I don't know how I could cope with a cooker that small. When I asked Little L what her favourite thing was she replied 'Watching the crabs have a fight. It's not something you see everyday'

Manchester Museum

Well we had typical Bank Holiday weather here for the weekend, rain. After being stuck in doors for most of it we wanted at least one day out and opted for a day at Manchester Museum. So back to Manchester, twice in less than a week. As long as the traffic isn't bad it only takes about 30 minutes to drive there.

The admission is free and we managed to find a car park near by which cost £2 for the full day (much better price than last time). The museum was quite busy and I expect most people like us wanted to find an indoor activity due to the weather.

Dinosaurs were what Little L was most looking forward to seeing.

The T Rex is named Stan.

She was also impressed by the mummies in the Ancient Egypt collection. I don't think she could have got any closer to them when she was peering in to the cases.

The zoology collection was massive and houses one of the largest shell collections in the UK. 

Another thing Little L wanted to see after we had been reading about the museum was Maude the Tigon. Her father was a tiger and her mother a lion. She lived at Belle Vue Zoo in Manchester until 1949. When she died the skin was preserved and given to the museum. The skin was only mounted and displayed in the museum in 2015. Until I read about Maude I'd never heard of a Tigon and thought they was called Ligers. I also never knew that there used to be a zoo in Manchester (it closed in 1977)

These are just a few of the collections that we saw. It was a great day out and I think we are quite lucky that Little L finds this kind of thing interesting. 
The journey home was a bit of a nightmare. There was a big game on at the Old Trafford football ground. It wasn't so much that the traffic was bad, it was that grown men think they can waltz out in to the road straight on front of your car all because of a bleedin football match.

Anyway on the drive I managed to snap a photo of this Art Deco cinema in Stretford. The traffic lights changed to red just as we approached it so I quickly wound the window down and took a snap.