Monday, 18 August 2014

Making a house a welcoming home .x

Well hello , how are we all ?
I am just about surviving the summer school holidays !
But the advantage of spending many many hours at this time of year in our house is that I can tackle some of the jobs that have been niggling me in the busier months .

Last night I finished a job I started a few weeks ago on the 23 rd July and if any of you pop by my facebook page for Handmade Over yonder, you may recall me posting  about stripping my hall and stairs carpet.  Some of you on facebook noted an interest in seeing it when it was done  .

I remember it was on an unbelievably hot day and my husband kept texting me , checking I wasn't over doing it in the very hot temperature as I'd been unwell previously to that . But he knows when I get an idea in my head there is no stopping me . Well what was the idea that had made me start ripping  carpets up?? The fact that they were done in and I was fed up of looking at our tired old ( slightly bald in areas ) carpet  was the reason . Particularly as this was the first thing you saw as you entered the house and I do like to have a nice home for us to live in and as handmade and done by us as possible .We had no money for new carpets so I had the idea of painting the hall floor and stairs , I thought the idea was both practical (no need to use the carpet cleaner every time the kids trample muck into the carpet or spill something ) and it may also be financially do able . I did also have a secret motive as well , in that if it worked and it looked nice I wanted to do the same with our living room floor . The hall way and stairs was the first part of my strategy to get |Mr P. to agree to the idea  and once he saw how nice it looked in the hall and on  the stairs surely my plan would be achievable .So I did a bit of research on the Internet  for nice floor paints suitable for wooden floors . I settled on a Farrow and Ball floor paint and I have used their paints in the past very successfully, the next job was to decide on a colour as they have 132 colours to choose from  (  ). It didn't take me long and I decided on a colour called 'Dimity' which I would describe as warm creamy off white . So I've spent many evening preparing the wooden floor and stairs and skirting boards and filling oh so many gaps , then I  primed the areas with the Farrow & ball floor primer ( 2 coats) and then applied 2 coats of Dimity  We are soooooo very pleased with the result . I also had plenty of the wall paint left so they got a fresh coat too . So for those who wanted to have a peek I've taken a few shots .
First coat of primer going on .

Mr P . is so pleased with the hall and stairs  that he is eager to start our living room ,  we think we have enough of both paints left to do this and even though the paint is quite expensive ( Mr P. nearly fainted when he was at the till ! ) it is well worth the money and as they say " you get what you pay for ! " . It has definitely worked out drastically cheaper than carpet and on the plus side I don't have to drag a hoover up n down the stairs , I just sweep it which in turn means I'm cutting down on my use of electricity . In fact now all of the down stairs of the house is swept rather than hoovered  that will make a small saving on our electricity bill . Additionally if there are any accidents and spillages which result in a damaged surface we just repaint the area .
I am quite conscious that we do need a little protection for the floor as well as  comfort and warmth under our feet in strategic places , so for this reason I am going to put some rugs about the place. Some we already have and some I am going to make as we don't want to or have the means to go out splashing cash on new rugs . With painting the floor it has reignited my enthusiasm for a project I started some time ago , a crochet rag rug. Now I have somewhere for it to live  I'm going to finish it  . But in my head I am also planning one for the living room too !

It's nice when you have an idea that works and I am finding  that  I am loving areas of our home I'd fallen out of love with , as they were looking very tiered .
There is one room  I never fail to be happy in and that  is the Kitchen , today has been no exception . I was in charge of two extra children today for a dear friend  and I know both her girls love to do baking so I hatched a plan for today ( I seem to be hatching a lot of plans at the moment !  ) . I fancied doing a no bake cake/ bars that would be an enjoyable experience and tick the box as baking for the kids but with as little mess for me to wash and clear away . So I had a wander on the Internet and saw a white chocolate toottie fruity  rocky road recipe on pintrest that inspired me . So I adapted the recipe I found to our families own palate and changed a lot of the ingredients for U.K alternatives as the recipe that  inspired me was from America .

So here is my own  version of a toottie fruity white chocolate rocky road bar .

Ingredients you will need :
4 x 150 g bars of good quality white chocolate .
1 x 42 g bag of Jelly Tots ( cut each Jelly in half )
2 1/2 cups of small marshmallows ( I used the little ones usually used for on the top of hot chocolate drinks )
85 g Orange & Lemon Jelly slices  ( I used a mixed tube bought from Morrisons on their baking isle )
100 g Natural glace cherries ( Rinsed and dried then cut into quarters )
30 g packet of Cranberries 
70 g Hazelnuts roughly chopped ( you could substitute this for a nut your family like or leave out if allergies are an issue ) 

Prepare a tray that measures 10 " x 7  1/2 " by lining it with grease proof paper , make sure you have a good amount over lapping the edges of the tray as you will need it to help you lift the mixture once it has set in the fridge .
First start by  preparing & chopping  the glace cherries , jelly slices , jelly tots, cranberries and nuts and place them in a large mixing bowl with the marshmallows and give them a good mix. 
Next beak each bar of chocolate into pieces in  a heat proof  bowl and place over a slightly simmering pan of water . 
Once the chocolate has melted pour over your fruit, nut, marshmallow & jelly  mixture in the mixing bowl and mix thoroughly and quickly . Then pour this mixture into your prepared tray and spread evenly .
Put this in the fridge for about 1 hour 20 mins . 
Once the mixture has hardened remove from the fridge and lift the mixture out by lifting the excess paper . 
Now you can divide into appropriately sized bars . I have done mine into dinky 1 inch square sized bars .
Then enjoy , nom nom !!

This would be an ideal recipe for edible presents or as a party/ celebration treat as it isn't cheap to make .

But its been great popping by and sharing and thank you for popping by .
So ta ta for now . Tracy xx


  1. Hi there, your hall looks absolutely beautiful! It ticks all the boxes, fresh and clean, traditional, quirky, stylish, and VERY VERY pretty! I love it! Quite fancy making the rocky road bars too, how yummy they look, full of goodies (any calories? no... didn't think so!!!)
    Lovely to read what you are up to, keep blogging,
    J x

  2. What a transformation, quite spectacular! I really like the idea of a crochet rug but that looks like some sized hook!!

  3. Stunning - love the entry way and stairs! I also love the rug you are crocheting! I am new to your blog, have you published details on this before?

  4. Great hall and stairs makeover and very nice cake too. I once pulled up my hall and stair carpet, we had to live like that for two years , no money and no paint solutions in those days.

  5. What a beautiful job you've made of your hall, it looks really lovely now. And as you say, so much cheaper than carpet, and very practical too. I had an incident with a big muslin bag of blackcurrants not long ago, and our hall carpet now has more than a few purple splashes on it (I learned about the importance of closing doors that day...), so I'm wishing my hall floor was painted as well. Love the look of the rocky road, I bet it was popular with everyone. CJ xsx

  6. Wow, what a difference! Your hall and stairs could certainly appear in an interiors magazine - perhaps you need to get on to Country Living! :-) xx

  7. I think that your floors look wonderful. That chocolate confection would be heavenly for me made with dark chocolate, this weekend maybe.....possibly...........probably.......................oh definitely.

  8. Hi Tracey,
    Your hall looks fabulous! I am very inspired by your creativity and thriftiness. I seem to remember that ages ago you blogged about making your own laundry powder. I would love to know how this worked out as I am considering it, but most of the information that I am finding is American. Any tips? Is it worth it?
    Thanks and very best wishes Jo.

  9. Hi Tracy, Your hall looks fabulous! I am very inspired by your creativity and thriftiness. I seem to remember that ages ago you made your own washing powder. I would love to know how you found it long term and whether you would consider it worth doing again - as I am considering this as a money saving option myself, but most of the information I can find is American! Many thanks and very best wishes, Jo.

  10. WOW!!!! Isn't it just amazing what a difference a little lick of paint can make!!!! It looks fresh and stylish!!!! Love the rug too!!!! Have a happy week!!!
    AMarie xxx

  11. Your home looks beautiful. I'm tempted to do something similar to our stairs and entrance hall! Thanks for the inspiration. x

  12. Just beautiful :) Kudos to you for tackling such a project :) The hallway looks lovely...I really like the decorative touches you have there too & the rag rug will be perfect.
    Yummy treat too....white chocolate with anything is my fave <3
    Smiles, DianeM

  13. Your hallway looks stunning and matches your rocky roads! Can't wait to see the living room :-) .. getting ingredients tomorrow for rocky roads! Xx lots of love Joy Xx

  14. Your house sounds Beautiful,and boy have you worked hard.The hall and stairs are amazing,how did you get those stairs sooooo accurate,WELL DONE.LOVE that recipe and although I do not have kiddi winks I sure will be making it for the kids in my road.Happy creating.xx

  15. Your stairs and hallway look great. I really liked - don't hate me! - the way the stairs looked sans carpet and before painting!! I love that you left the bit on each tread unpainted in the middle, it will mean that there is no wear on the paint and make your beautiful work last even longer, but I love love love the look that it gives too! xx

  16. That looks super good. Your hallway makeover looks terrific.

  17. Your hallway looks lovely and most welcoming.

  18. How did you manage the practicality of painting the hall way? ie wet paint and needing to get in and out of the house? Just asking as we are wanting to do same thing and the thing holding me back is how to do it when we need to get in and out of house and through the hall to stairs and to kitchen?
    Thanks for sharing

  19. This is just beautiful. The white makes the hall look so nice and bright and clean. I really like that you left the center of the stair treads unpainted----it has the look of a runner but no installation and no vacuuming (yea!).

  20. Love seeing your posts. Thanks so much.

  21. Your hall and stairs look great. I have varnished floors in the living room/dining room and if you have enough crawl space underneath you can insulate by stapling it under the floor boards. It is silver and comes on a roll, it stops the drafts. xx