Small but BIG changes

This post may not sound like a big deal but it really, really is to me. As you know our house is hideous a work in progress and we are renovating it by ourselves. It’s not a very comfortable house to live in.

(This is the only before photo I have, as you can see, there is manky grey carpet covered in nice quilts and the chair makes it a bit cramped.)

The carpet in TTB’s room is old, thin, shabby, grey, stained, cut in several places where we needed access to the floorboards. I can never get it looking clean and I was beginning to feel guilty that he had nowhere nice to play. I put quilts or blankets down for him to play on but it just wasn’t nice. Also he has the nickname “Fiddler Crab” because he fiddles with everything, particularly labels and the edges of things, for example the edges of cut carpet and the rag rugs put down to cover them. And then the fiddled things go into his mouth. We plan to alter the rooms upstairs at some point, so re-carpeting right now isn’t an option and it’s really expensive to carpet a room. But it also couldn’t stay like it was!

What we did on Saturday, was go to the local market and by an 8x5ft carpet offcut for that room. They are offcuts in standard sizes and bound properly around the edges so I suppose they are rugs. But made from carpet. It has TOTALLY transformed the room! It looks so new and beautiful. I moved the furniture around a bit and it’s really opened it up and he now has a lovely place to play in. I’m so happy. It’s made such tremendous difference and all for £30 and an hour’s work. Not only that, we bought two long thin ones for the upstairs landing to cover the exposed, splintery floorboards. So soft and luxurious to walk on! Particularly good now that I walk along there several times a night to see to him now I don’t share a room with him.

Moving the furniture around has not only made more floor space, it means I can finally use the book ends that Alice bought for TTB for Christmas. Aren’t they cute? I’m enjoying being able to personalise his room more now. I don’t think I blogged about it at the time as it was such a major source of stress for me (and really boring blog wise) but TTB’s room was our dumping ground for everything we owned and I spent most of my pregnancy trying to untangle it and make it liveable. To this day it still has boxes in half of it, but previously you couldn’t even see the floor. I donated so much stuff and was very ruthless (I loved it!).

I didn’t do much buying and decorating baby wise and now when I see my friends doing so I feel a bit like I missed out on the fun stuff. At the time though, I didn’t have any money, didn’t have any time and didn’t have anywhere to put anything! Besides, I was desperate not to be looked at by other people/friends and have them think “Waste of money, you’ll never use it” or “the nursery decorating is just for parents not for the baby.”. Now though, I am really enjoying doing it! It’s satisfying making a space functional and attractive looking and I think I’m benefiting from having lived with it being not-so-great as I know what will work better for me.


So yes, I know “putting down 3 rugs” doesn’t sound like much but it’s really really changed it so much for me. I long to have a lovely beautiful house that is cosy and soft and safe and warm and clean and pretty and comfortable, and that doesn’t have wonky walls/ceilings/stupid floors, holes, bits that bend when you push them, ugly paint and weird wallpaper but for the time being we just have to make do. We’ve been making do with this for a long time and when it was just us I didn’t really care too much but things change when you have a baby. And then again when said baby becomes mobile.

I haven’t shared any photos of TTB’s room with you up until now, but now it’s looking really nice I am happy to :-) In the interests of honesty and realism though, I must say that I have photographed it from a crafty angle so that you can’t see the huge mountain of boxes and the mess on top of the other chest of drawers.

I’m making more plans for small-but-big improvements that we can implement (I have to say, most of them revolve around “ooh let’s buy another expedit from Ikea!”) and it’s exciting. And about time! Initially we didn’t want to make temporary changes but now after two and a half years I am of the opinion that often a temporary change is very very worth it.

The beautiful cross stitch of the Owl and the Pussycat was made by The Girl for TTB

Big Elmer Blanket / Round Cushion 1 / Round Cushion 2 / Square Cushion / Granny Blanket / Ripple Blanket / Stripy Cushion

Stripy rabbit / Stacking Rings / Helicopter / Bookends are by Sass & Belle

52 Weeks of Happy (16/52)


Last week was so full of good things that I’m going to break the rules and put LOTS of things in this post, not just four. Because it’s my blog and I can!

TTB is starting to be able to entertain himself for a bit with his toys I was able to very quietly and speedily managed to hook a row on my very old WIP, the Rialto Stripe blanket. So that was nice. I had forgotten how much I love these colours and this yarn.

Monday as well was the first day that I have had all my ducks in a row enough for us all to eat together in the evening. I’ve actually managed this all week and it feels like such an accomplishment! It meant a slightly later bedtime for TTB and he had a proper angry fit about it to begin with because he wanted his BATH NOW not stupid highchair, but after he got over that he noticed there was a bowl with food in it, pulled it towards him, rummaged through and then sat and ate (properly, not just spitting out) three pieces of broccoli! I was so proud. Then he went to bed like a dream and I managed to go and enjoy a  lovely crochet evening at Tracy’s house.

On Tuesday I met work friends for lunch, L has recently come back from a 4 month trip to New Zealand/USA and H had a baby in January so it was good to catch up. TTB was a star and happily ate lunch too while leaning far back in his highchair to watch everyone else coming and going. On Tuesday evening we ate together again, and he ate so much that he slept from 8pm until 1am and then only woke up once more after that. Amazing! It was also a beautiful day and I “pegged out” for the first time this year. Washing line photos never get old, it’s so homey and makes me feel like a competent housewife rather than a tumble drying sloven.

On Thursday it poured with rain and was mega windy so we stayed in. We did a fun messy food lunch and then TTB had a bath with his new Octopals which he LOVES. He stayed in the bath for half an hour! And then I think I confused him as I put him down for a nap (bit like bedtime routine) and he slept for two hours!

I called my mum during bathtime and put her on speakerphone so that she could hear TTB splashing and shrieking with happiness.

Friday … actually I can’t remember what happened on Friday! Probably involved lots of babyfood though. Oh yes, I finished the Big Elmer Number 2 blanket! At about 11pm. TTB turned 30 weeks old (yeah I know, I count every week and take photos) and I took some lovely photos of him.

This week also saw awesome vests, including one of the first things that I ever bought him before he was born. It finally fits!

It was sunny and quite warm which was so appreciated.

I can’t resist a gratuitous baby-foot photo, sorry!

** Previous weeks of happy **

p.s I am most surprised that I am still keeping up with this, I had low expectations of myself!

p.p.s did you watch the Great British Sewing Bee? I was googling, and Lauren has a blog, yay! And an actual fabric and yarn shop that’s opening on Saturday. Although (and I know you will laugh) but I was more interested in reading about all the renovation work they had to do because a lot of it is similar to what we are doing in our house. On theirs hasn’t seemed to drag on for two and a half years. I showed Andy too, our interests coming together in one blog. Yarn, fabric, and celotex insulation boards lol. The shop is in Birmingham, I am going to suggest to my mum that she might like to drive go with me.