Thursday, 30 July 2009

It's raining, it's pouring...

and we're off on a camping holiday in Cornwall in 2 days!!!
Now, I don't mind a bit of rain pitter pattering lightly on the tent roof to remind you that you're connected with nature but it is looking a bit intimidating!!
When my husband and I weren't married yet, we went on a month's tour of Europe in a tent. We pitched it in the dark up a mountain in Austria and woke up at 3 a.m. laying in a small lake. It is something that has stayed with both of us forever!!
The children are very excited about going camping, with my 15 year old saying 'I like camping in the rain!' - I wonder how many days will pass before they are asking to go home!!!!
Still, we are going - and we are hoping for the best.
(Picture us in a week's time, huddled on the beach, umbrellas and cagoules up and on!) I have a plan to put my wetsuit on when we get there and keep it on until we come home.

On the bright side, I found this:-
beautiful piece of embroidery done by my Grandma - it is so perfect, it's hard to tell which is the front and which is the back! It makes me sooo happy to know that there is definitely something in the genes that always loved sewing and creating something pretty....

I also found her collection of buttons. There is something very personal about finding a little tin filled with odd collected buttons. Not sure what to do with the above, which is a little table runner, maybe for a dressing table. I might frame it. I just need a bigger sewing room as I have totally run out of wall space!!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

The quest...

for a well-ordered home life continues apace....this is a little snapshot just to show the beautiful 'thrifted' green velvet curtains that a lovely friend of my Mum's gave me. She was moving from a quite grand house up North to a smaller one on the south coast so gave me a few pairs of curtains as my windows are awkwardly tall.
For two years, I had no use for these - but I fell in love with their sumptuousness, their glamour and the pure apple-green -ness of them and kept them safe, hoping one day they would 'come in'.
And 'come in' they have -after an evening of laying them on the floor, cutting, pinning and sewing them, they now adorn the living room window and I get to look at their green velvetiness every day!! and how sweet the feeling to get something for nothing and give it a new lease of life.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Yesterday I was busy .....

making flower brooches - I used the smaller of the giant buttons as the centre -and I'm pleased at how they turned out. I really like the boldness - of the colour and the size.
I enjoyed making them so much.....
that tonight I just had to make some more :-
Yes, these are a joy. There are some things that I make that I love when they're finished but that are not particularly enjoyable in the making, but these flowers are fun all the way through. Perfect. x

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Because I know..

you a little better now and because I've got a new sewing table and so have had a bit of a tidy-up, I thought I'd show you around the sewing room a little more.
When I read my favourite blogs there's nothing I like more than to take a peep into someone else's world of crafting. I love seeing where other people work and how it's all arranged - so here goes:-
we'll start with Albert - I know he's a male dummy butI can't help it if he likes wearing a bit of colour!!

The gold trolley that you can just see played a bit part in my childhood - it served 2 purposes - it brought in Sunday tea complete with my Mum's freshly made meringues with cream - but more importantly, the handle served as a 'banister', a glittery gold banister for me to 'enter' down a beautiful flight of stairs whilst singing some show-stopper from the musicals. (Oh, how I miss that 'staircase'!! and goodness, I had some imagination!)
And here, you can just about see a part of the new sewing table which is a bit longer than the old one. Am amazed at how green everything looks out of the window - even the lavender in the window box looks flourishing for once! Must be all this rain.
Then part of my button and fabric stash - not as tidy as I'd like but yummy all the same.
That gets you back to one I've shown you before and now you've come full circle.
Hope you enjoyed your little tour. See you again another time I've had a tidy-up! xx
P.S. must just say, I had a lovely inspirational visit from my gorgeous friend Lisa who as always, left me with loads of ideas and energy to start creating! You must check out her blog! really - you'd be mad not to! x

Monday, 13 July 2009

There's nothing like...

...a spot of shopping to brighten the day.

Especially when it is filled with colour!!!
Today I went out to post some parcels and look what jumped into my hands....
Okay - so I didn't actually go out looking for a necklace, a bag or a little gnome.....but tell me -
how was I supposed to see this
and then leave it behind? It was calling out to me - those colours, those shapes....
And this bag is exactly what I NEED to store my cushions,
How I ever managed before I'll never know - it's so cute - I LOVE this design and USEFUL too - perfect!
And as for Mr Gnome - well just look at his little face !!
He needed to come home with me and sit on my shelf whilst I sew. He told me he would help with inspiration. Really. He did. So I had to buy him. Really.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Colourful morning..

Had a really lovely morning with my friend Katie at the garden centre. First there were these beauties:
why is it that sunflowers always look as if they're smiling? There they were nodding away in the sunshine looking pretty pleased with themselves.
Then there were these:
now I know these have a 'real' name but we know them as SnapDragons. If you squeeze them in the right place, their little 'mouths' open. It's a real childhood memory, they grew in the long hot summers in a border at the side of our house.
More inspiration - I can just see these as felt flowers, with their lovely fringy petals,
And then...
couldn't resist taking a picture of these -

much easier to keep than the others and don't need much watering. xx

Thursday, 9 July 2009

a love of tins...

This is one of the tins I brought home from Grandad's house.
It perfectly combines my love of roses and my love of little tins to keep things in! I love the shape and the perfect cheerfulness of this little tin.
It was in Grandma's room - and it was such a surprise when I opened it after I got home - it contained about thirty little keys, some big, some tiny, some on keyrings, others loose. It makes me wonder where all the cabinets and clocks and cases are which are now keyless! Somewhere someone is probably sighing, 'if only we had the key....' Whoops!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

It's in the genes....

When my Grandad passed away a few months ago, my sister and I had to go and help our cousin sort out his house. It was a very strange feeling going through someone's personal belongings when we'd only really known both Grandma and Grandad at a distance. When Grandma was alive she wrote fairly often, but we didn't see them very much.
Our Grandad was not exactly a sociable person and although we spoke on the phone occasionally, it was a delicate relationship.
So it was really lovely to go through the photo albums that we hadn't really been allowed to touch before, and to try and piece together a little of what Grandma was like in younger days.
One of the things I brought home was the above tin, and it was with real delight when I opened it that I found these:
The cotton reels are quite old and it was like opening a bit of 'history'. I also found a box with Grandma's embroidery threads in beautiful colours and a selection of lovely old tea tins, some of which still had tea in, which I will show you later.
I knew Grandma like to embroider, but finding her actual cottons and needles, was quite moving. I thought I got all my love of sewing and making from my own mother but it's there on my Dad's side too. So it is all in the genes then....

Tuesday, 7 July 2009


Thought I'd continue to show you around a little - and thought it might be fun to see the progress because yes, there actually is some progress at last! I painted the bright pink wall and I must say it has really brightened things up.
This is our hall where I recklessly ripped up the carpet one day. (It was a violently patterned one and we hated it - even the boys said they hated it and they don't normally notice much in the way of furnishings!)
For a time I thought I would sand and paint the stairs - I kept a lot of magazine clippings with white painted stairs, but then we have been living with the bare stairs for about 6 weeks and they are not very comfortable. They are Victorian and have had much use, so there are little bits missing, and splinters galore! So now all 6 of us can't wait for some carpet and a little comfort, and quiet.
We have a lovely arched window:
this has been an awful cream for so long - it's about twenty feet high and a bit daunting so at long last some painter men have been in and done some painting! I am so excited. They haven't finished yet, and when they have I will show you the photos. They have undercoated, (a foreign word to me as I am of the change the colour, open the tin, splash it on - there you are! school of diy!) But even though it's only undercoated, it already looks miles better.
This is still the 'before' picture and you can see all the colours it has been. The woodwork has at various times been bright red and racing green. It is now going to be beautiful clean shiny white. Can't wait for it to be finished. Very exciting to actually have some progress.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Colour, colour everywhere..and a bit of nostalgia...

Another beauty from the garden - unfortunately these don't last very long as they are so heavy but they make me stop and smile on the way to the washing line.
Did some tidying today and was struck by how this scene could have been from years ago - there was something really 1940's about it -
That step really needs some attention! Only job number 968 then!
Anyway, back to brighter thoughts - I tidied my fabric stash today too - it doesn't last long when I'm busy choosing colours, but for a brief moment in time it looks like this:
I just love the yummy potential there - just looking at those colours gives me ideas - especially loving the polka dot. I must confess to a real weakness for polka dots.
Now I've shown you 2 parts of my little sewing room - if only the rest were as presentable, oh well, tomorrow is another day.... one section at a time. The early worm ....catches the monkey.... you know what I mean.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

a little bit of studio

Just thought I'd show you around a little :-this is one side of my little studio, about as tidy as it gets! I know I am very lucky to have a little studio - mind you, I've had to fight to get it, the little room that I now call my own has previously been the children's playstation den, a little tv room, and even the cats' room. Now though, it's mine all mine!
I will show you more when it's presentable but for now, here is one corner. The 70's telephone was another very lucky find in my favourite charity shop, the clock was my Grandad's and the painting was done by my late Grandma.Our house is a constant battle to tidy and de-clutter so the odd corner which looks 'sorted' is to be cherished. It doesn't last very long. I don't know where it comes from but 'stuff' tends to gather and move around inside our house a bit like flotsam, coming and going from room to room like the tide of an ocean.
Just had to show you this beautiful little blue flower - not sure what it is but I walked past it on the way to hang the washing out and went back to get the camera. Isn't it just gorgeous in all it's stripey blueness. Maybe some clever person out there will know the proper name.

Friday, 3 July 2009

relocation, relocation, relocation...

Today's work in progress:  making a new name banner for a gorgeous little girl called Eadie-Mae, was interrupted by the doorbell.

It was a very nice chap delivering this:

the long-awaited new hen house!!!! I was so excited that even though it was raining, I just had to start building it straight away. And after five months of research on the web, an hour of construction, and a lot of help from eldest son, it turned into this:
so our ladies have a brand new penthouse courtesy of flytesofancy and I LOVE it!!! And so does Jane Hen:

Jane, Anne and Charlotte don't really know what's happened, they must feel as if they've won the lottery and exchanged their smelly, leaking old coop for this beautiful spacious high rise cottage. And for the egg collector, no more kneeling down and banging your head, just open the collection door  and place in suitably rustic basket.
And the reason for this sudden relocation? 
sabotage! Our three ladies have been free ranging all through our plants and I want our garden back - I have visions of a beautiful cottage garden with lupins, delphiniums and roses, and so their free ranging has come to a temporary end. We feel too mean to shut them up permanently but their ranging will be on certain days only!  Now all I need is a bit of sunshine and the gardens plans will begin.......

Wednesday, 1 July 2009


Well, at last here I am joining in - after spending many happy hours (or should that be days!) following my favourite blogs, I am entering the blogosphere, eyes shut and just plunging straight in!!  
Hello everyone!! If anyone is actually reading this, which I've been warned there won't be for months!! Anyway, I'm still very happy to be with you all.
And I've got something to show you -

I have been looking for some of these beautiful floral pictures and at long last struck lucky in my local charity shop.  We are very lucky in the town where I live, there are four charity shops and every now and then they have some treasures!