14. the one with all the duvet win

i think Normal People take at least one day off a week? to do Normal Person things; nice things, going out things, or just nothing at all?

i am not Normal People.
if Husband and i aren’t doing work-work things at the weekend, we have a number of outdoors projects on the go, and an endless list of indoors DIY related stuff to tackle. we go to the dump like Normal People go to the shops. when we do go to the shops, it’s for everyday essentials like gripfill or sharp sand.
on the rare occasion we schedule “nothing”, we play catch up with stuff like cleaning, ironing, washing the car *cough*, mowing the lawn… the other things.

we never sprawl on the couch for 15+ hours on a saturday, for example.
but yesterday we did :D 
curtains shut, in our pyjamas, completely idle, under duvets, eating kit kats, & catching up with all the rubbish we’ve been video-ing off the telly but haven’t had time to watch.

i wasn’t entirely idle – i’d packed away my  harry potter game of thrones quilt before the last round of building work (it’s white)(apart from where i’ve spilt hot chocolate on it) so, snuggled beneath it, i carried on hand stitching.

in the future, i’ll now remember it as my one tree hill season 9 how i met your mother 2 broke girls quilt.

snuggly saturdays full of duvet-win are not just for humans…

now, for FOUR YEARS, i have been head-inventioning Curtain Duvets, the idea being to add a detachable, thick thermal lining to our budget curtains from you-know-where.

our little cottage is listed, which means that
1. the windows are single glazed = cold & draughty
2. the non-standard front door (which is damp, rotten, mouldy as well as cold & draughty) desperately needs replacing, but that requires lengthy permissions faff from the council, and anyway, b£$pok£ is not in our budget at the moment.

wrangling 2m x 2m pieces of fluffy blanket-y stuff and polycotton lining fabric upon my no-floorspace for the measuring and cutting was no mean feat, but i coped okayish (by walking all over it and kneeling under the table to pin stuff <— professional sewing tip).
i cut the blanket-y stuff to fit within the top & side seams of the curtains, layered the lining fabric on top of that, overlocked all the edges, then turned & stitched a narrow hem all round.

the curtains are 100% cotton & shrink every time i wash them, so i needed the 100% synthetic lining to be removable. i’d “considered” velco, or poppers, or neatly handstitching them in place… but seriously…

… i always knew laziness would win, so i went with a massive length (machine) straight stitch which i can easily rip apart on some vague future occasion when washing must occur.  these linings are for practical reasons only, and no one will ever see my horrible shortcuts.

i was afraid they’d end up MASSIVE and i’d never be able to open the door again, so i was pleasantly surprised when i hung them – despite the thickness they haven’t encroached on the general door-ular area, and they fold back all tidy…

like grown ups curtains! i declare them a success. *smug*

spurred on by my awesome 50’s housewife skillz, i thought i would turn my hand to baking next. my baking fails are legendary, so this should have come as no surprise…

*deflated*  <– like my scones


21 thoughts on “14. the one with all the duvet win

  1. you are so so so clever!! a tip (I know you love handy tips LOL) on inflating scones – fill with heavily whipped chantilly cream of course!! And please can you come and make my curtains all wonderous and snuggly? thanks very much 24p

  2. oh how i wish i had lots of handy advice for you but i reckon caroline has it covered! if your scones are “a little flat” simply inflate them with piles of cream and jam! oh ps – BUT WHERE ARE YOUR ZOMBIES

    • erm… recipe, eh?
      a bit from my gran’s be-ro book (60’s edition), a bit from a phone conversation with my mom (after my last attempt at fail-scones) and a bit of my own initiative? ;)

  3. Yay for duvet days!!
    House tip:- you can have secondary double glazing without having to get planning permission (it’s counted as temporary) (unless regulations about listed buildings vary from area to area??). We know this cos it’s what we did. You can also replace your door with one exactly the same without permission. But you might not want one the same and your curtain is a much cheaper solution. I also have plans for curtains for both the front and back doors… One day! I do wonder if other people actually bother following the planning restrictions for listed buildings. Does anyone go round checking?? I know you can be fined if you are caught :s

    • i did think about secondary glazing… but what do you do with it when the windows aren’t wearing it?? we don’t have a garage or anything, and our shed is tiny (listed reg.s again) … and rammed full of crap.
      highly recommend the curtain solution – i wish i hadn’t waited 4 years! – i got the fluffy stuff and the extra width lining cotton at dunelm mill for Very Affordable.

      our poor neighbours replaced a rickety fence in their back garden with panel fencing – because they have dogs – and someone complained to the council. after months of meetings / threat of legal action, they’ve had to remove it. i am fuming-by-proxy for them. :(
      i understand protecting the houses, and the “street scene”, but some of the rules are just MEAN and completely mental.

      • I agree. Its probably the only way they find out though… if your neighbours rat on you!!! Shall have to be extra nice to all mine ;)

        Our glazing is attached with hinges so just swing open inwards when necessary. They aren’t huge so they don’t get in the way. Might be worth looking into??

  4. Scones: 8oz self-raising flour, 2oz butter, 2oz sugar, 5 fl oz milk. Mix. Make hot. Never fails me, and I am pretty rubbish. Oh, also, when you cut them out, never twist the cutter like you would when doing biskwits. It makes them all twisty and stops them rising. (How I don’t have a cookery show by now is beyond me).

      • When you make the scones, tip the dough out of the bowl onto a floury table-top (or whatever) and knead it just a little bit – only enough so it is dough, rather than sticky-stuff. Then don’t roll it out… press it down gently with your own fair paws. And push the cutter down straight – like Clever Mrs Lemur Lady says.
        Then hopefully you haven’t bashed out the air and they will rise… maybe…
        Anyway, cream and jam are always the best way to make scones look big and fat and gorgeous. Tastes good too!

        Anakin looks so lovely in her bed, having a dog-duvet-day. She is a great dog. I would like an “Anakin” too…

    • i can assure you they were most unawesome! the jam was delicious of course.

      since you can’t bake either (allegedly) i challenge you to try lemur lady’s recipe ^^
      i’m not sure how much Hot we should apply, so i’m going to go with 200 degrees for 12 minutes. baking challenge?

      • I *think* I do 12 minutes at 220, so Quite Hot. And Lizzie’s advice is most definitely right, you have to be everso gentle and not squish all the air out. Also if you chuck some cinnamon or mixed spice in too they’re even yummier and make the kitchen smell even more like Proper Baking.

  5. Oh, left a “scones” comment… forgot to say how amazingly impressive the curtains look, hung by the door. They look like Proper Curtains – all draped and folded and expensive-looking.
    And good insulation too…
    We have “double glazing”, but it’s not actually that fab. We use blinds under curtains as insulation. Works very well.
    but the front door is all glass, with a big glass panel next to it too. It’s bl***y cold in the hall. I thought we’d put up vertical blinds… door and window have metal frames. Can’t fix the blinds to them. Can’t work out what to do… well, that isn’t mega-expensive anyway. Maybe a big curtain would be the way to go. Just like Clever Fiona…

    • i think we bought our cheap extend-y poles from wilkos? i like, when you open the curtains, for them to be right out of the way for maximum light and those did the trick. if you don’t want to drill into metal frames, maybe you could hang the pole supports from the ceiling?
      i can’t wait to buy more blanket-stuff and do the rest of the curtains now – they hang so much better now they’re weighty :)
      plus, did you notice that as soon as i hung thermal curtains the weather turned to summer??!

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