Thursday, 18 September 2014

Two weeks? TWO WEEKS???

Good grief, we have been back in the UK for two weeks already and I am only just getting around to doing a blog post? The days have just flown by. First, there was all the unpacking, and let me tell ya, there was A LOT to unpack, lol, all the brocante finds from the summer! Then the hospital appointments, family visiting us, us visiting friends, trying to get some sort of order into my craft room after unpacking my craftavan suitcase, tons of laundry, and keeping up with my Etsy shop. I have done very little in the way of crafting, I regret to say, just a couple of Tag Tuesday tags and some more customer tags. 

Shame on me, I have also neglected the Our Beautiful World blog, so before I miss the deadline again, I am going to post a photo for this week's theme, which is SMILE. I took the photo of our neighbours' son the day after the big party, he has the biggest, sweetest smile, don't you think? - 


Handsome lad, he will break a few hearts when he grows up!

The Tag Tuesday tags I haven't shown you yet are FAIRY TALES from last week, and STENCILS from this week.

For Fairy Tales I picked the story of THE SNOW QUEEN, which I have loved ever since reading it when I was a little girl. -



And this is my STENCILS tag -



This was a difficult one. I have two stencils, snowflakes and clock faces. Which one to go with? I really didn't want to do another wintry kind of tag, so I decided to go with the clock faces. Just the clock faces didn't look all that good, far too little showing on the tag, so I made a stencil for the word TIME, hand cut out of some thick card. The red ink makes it stand out nicely. But I still wasn't happy, it still looked too empty to me, so I raided my watch parts box and stuck a few bits on :-).

The weekend is going to be really busy as well, so I have no idea when I will be able to do some of the projects I would so dearly like to get on with. Might have to pull a few midnight sessions, lol.

You gals are so patient with me, thanks for hanging in there!

Toodlepip xxx

Monday, 1 September 2014

Awww, my poor craftavan!

Stripped bare, devoid of all the beautiful creations from bloggy friends I had on display, and without all my bowls and boxes full of craft stuff, it looks so empty and sad!

It is that time of the year again, when I have to pack up all my stuff ready to go back to the UK. But I did get a couple of hours of crafting in before I locked the craftavan for the very last time this summer - I made the Tag Tuesday tag for tomorrow and a bunch of customer tags as well -

The Tag Tuesday theme is SILHOUETTE, which presented me with a bit of a problem, I didn't have a single bit of black paper anywhere in the craftavan or the house! Nor did I have any punches or dies suitable for silhouettes, lol, so I had to draw a silhouette and you can probably tell that drawing is not my forte -



I coloured some card with my black pen for the silhouette and tried the same on a butterfly I had, but not very successfully, as you can still see the print underneath. I used a piece of gorgeous black beaded trim, which was one of many my darling friend and neighbour Annick had gifted me with.

These are the customer tags I made for any orders going out this week -




Tomorrow I have to face the daunting task of trying to pack up as many beautiful French brocantes finds as I can fit into the car on top of all our other stuff AND all my craft stuff. Yikes! So much stuff and so little space, lol. Wish me luck!

Oh, ooh, before I go, I have to tell you about one absolutely wonderful brocante find - a STANHOPE rosary! 

They are so rare and this one is a beauty, it has a micro photograph of a young girl and a young boy in their Holy Communion outfits in the tiny lens in the cross. I'll try and post more pics of the rosary on the vintageland blog later on tonight, but of course I can't show you the teeny tiny photo seen through the lens.

Toodlepip xxx


Friday, 29 August 2014

This n That

Will I ever make anything else in my craftavan apart from tags?? Hmm, my time in there has been severely limited this summer. When the weather was good, the veggie garden needed attending, when the weather was bad, I couldn't use the sewing machine in my sewing room, which is the field outside the craftavan, lol, and having kept my Etsy shop open and shipping stuff from France has also taken up quite a bit of time. Imagine, all those brocantes I was forced to go to to find lovely new treasures ;-) !

Anyhoo, here is the Tag Tuesday tag for this week. The theme was INDIA. I used an Indian pattern paper for the background and stamped some Indian motifs. Because I adore saris, I had to have a lady dressed in sari on there. I also love using recycled sari ribbons and Suzy's recent post showing off here gorgeous sari ribbon roses inspired me to make some tiny ones for the tag -


Most of the time I forget to photograph the gift tags I make to go with customers' orders, but I did remember the last three I made yesterday -




I have been busy in the kitchen as well. Made lots of tomato, apple and green pepper chutney, just finished another batch of onion marmalade and also pickled some chilli peppers from the garden -



Kirsty had posted a fabulous recipe on her blog HERE, towards the end of the post. Thank you so much, Kirsty!

My poor DH had a really bad case of tonsillitis recently, so bad that he had to go and see a French doctor. It was our first experience with the French health service in 11 years and it was a really good one. Very nice doc, and the medication he prescribed worked very well indeed. However, DH firmly believes that it was our Poppygirl who was mostly responsible for his recovery, as she cuddled and snuggled with him for the whole week he was really poorly! -



Aaah, doggy cuddles work wonders!

It has been pretty miserable for a while now, cold and grey and almost autumnal. Lots of rain, which is good for the well, of course, but also high winds, especially last night as we found out this morning when we found our lane blocked -


And of course our beautiful view disappears on days like this, to be replaced with a thick layer of cloud. Apparently half way down the hill it was all clear, but up here we couldn't see much at all -


We are slowly getting ready to go back to the UK for a little while. We'll see how long we'll last there, lol, before we miss our cottage here in Bourgogne too much. I am hoping to get one last brocante in before we leave though, fingers crossed for good weather this weekend.

Toodlepip xxx

Sunday, 24 August 2014

The Gate

.... and a couple of Tag Tuesday tags I haven't shown yet.

The theme over at the Our Beautiful World blog today is GATE, and I immediately thought of a photograph I took a couple of years ago. Probably because the scene was very much like it today when I took the dogs out for their morning walk ( not quite as early as in the photo though, lol ). We were in the clouds again, everything was misty and eerie and looking a little unreal. There was a little sunlight filtering through so you knew blue skies weren't far away and the day would be glorious once the clouds had lifted -


These are the Tag Tuesday tags for the last couple of weeks -

Two weeks ago the theme was SONG TITLE. The theme did give me a lot of headaches as well. Crumbs, there are soooooo many fabulous songs out there, and I have been around for a while, lol, so it really wasn't easy. I don't know why, but a few days ago, an old Cat Stevens song popped into my head, FATHER AND SON. Great song, but for me the best ever version of it was done by Peter Henn and Robert Steyl ( with Richard de Bastion and Hannjoerg Merklin ), friends during my days in Berlin 1973-1975 ), on the album 'To our friends in prison'. Oh my, that released a flood of memories, but thats a story for another day.

So, a Father and Son tag it had to be :-) -



This is my much treasured album -

Last week, the theme for the tag was FRUIT. I decided to fill a beautiful bowl with all kinds of fruit, and my mouth was watering while I was cutting out all those apples, peaches, grapes, pineapple, strawberries, lemons, errr, and whatever else I could find -



No brocantes for me today :-( , my poor darling husband has severe tonsillitis so we are staying home. I might get a little time in my crafacan though, yay!

Have a wonderful Sunday wherever you are, toodlepip xxx

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

A French chateau and a sign which makes my heart beat faster

Over at the Our Beautiful World blog, the prompt this week is SIGNAGE. Aaaah, there is one sign which always makes my heart beat faster. Want to know what that could possibly be? LOL, if you know me and have been following for some time, then you can probably guess -


Of course you got it right, it is a brocante sign! Whether it is a sign to a brick and mortar shop or a handwritten note pointing the way to a brocante held in the street or a field, doesn't matter, it makes my heart beat faster.

And that brings me quite neatly to the next subject. We went to a brocante in Vandenesse on Sunday, and as we entered the town, I spotted this oh so pretty little chateau -

Couldn't stop to photograph it then, had to get to the brocante, lol, but we did stop on the way back. There was this huge long drive leading up to it, didn't seem private as lots of brocante visitors had parked there, so I took a little womble up to the chateau. This archway seemed to lead to the main part of the chateau, as it had a Propriete Privee notice on it -


In front of the archway, however, was a huge circular drive and to the left this enormous building which looked much more like the proper part of the chateau -

I just love the iron bands around the tower. Do you think there were really needed to hold the tower in shape :-) ?







How I love round towers! They are just fairy tale stuff -




Back to the archway to the private part of the property -

The studded doors are magnificent -

Of course I had to respect the privacy of the owners and couldn't just go through the archway, but I did have to take a quick pic, because I spotted a fabulous old zinc slipper bath by their door! -

Sometimes I wish I was a little braver and would dare to knock on the owners' doors and ask whether I could take photographs. Sigh. I am too timid.

Have a wonderful week wherever you are, toodlepip xxx

Saturday, 16 August 2014

A very French party - Neighbours Party 2014

Warning - photo heavy! Might bore those of you who were not at the party, to sleep as well, lol, as it is a record of our neighbours party and of course you don't know the people. Still, you might enjoy a few of the photos ;) !

The day had finally arrived. Andy had spent days emptying out the barn. Not the easiest task, lol, dealing with 11 years of accumulated bits and pieces, machinery, old wood, you name it, it was in there. But Wednesday saw it empty and cleaned up, and ready to be smartened up a bit. It would have been lovely to hold the party outside in the garden, but....... firstly, the weather forecast was pretty bad, and secondly, our garden is very slopey, there isn't a flat bit big enough to get enough table and chairs on. So, barn it had to be :-).

For those of you who haven't been longtime followers, I had better explain the background to the party - We bought our cottage, called La Croix Rozian, 11 years ago. One day, we were told that there had always been a cross on our land ( hence the name of the cottage ), but that the last cross had got struck by lightning and burned down many years ago. My DH decided to build a new cross and in 2007, we had a huge party to celebrate the raising of the cross. Approx. 70 local guests attended the blessing of the cross and of course the celebrations afterwards. Much food and wine was consumed, lol, and the party lasted from 1030 in the morning to 1030 at night! It was such a wonderful occasion, the neighbours here on the top of the hill decided to hold a neighbours party every year, and so it has been done ever since. Every year the getogether is at a different home, we all bring food and wine and have a jolly good time.

Anyhoo, this year, we hosted the party. Table and chairs were borrowed from the village. I kept the decorations fairly plain and simple, befitting the location, ie the barn, lol -



I took the above two photos through the open barn doors during a brief spell of dry weather. But shortly afterwards it started pouring down again, so the next pics were taken inside the barn with artificial lighting -










The long table was simply decorated with overgrown white round courgettes from the veggie garden, vintage jam jars with the sweetest pink roses and hawthorn berries from our hedges, gently scented candles in vintage jam jars and plates and cutlery from recent brocantes -






Well, that was the barn, almost ready for the party.

We also borrowed a marquee from one of our neighbours so that we could at least have the apero ( drinks and snackies before the meal ) in the garden. The weather was supposed to be a little better in the evening. Hmm. Well, the festivities started at 7pm-ish, and the rain did hold off for a while -















We have a very old swing set in the garden, left by the previous owners, and the children seemed to have great fun on it. By now the light was fading, it was 8.30pm-ish, so the 'action pics' are somewhat blurry, lol -








The French eat late, so it was probably around 8.45/9pm by the time we went inside to get stuck into the wonderful food everybody had brought along -







And look at the beautiful flowers I was given as well -




I was amazed that we got all 29 people and the food and drinks tables etc into the barn -



























And to finish off, something rather rare, pics of my wonderful husband and myself together -





We finally closed the barn doors behind us just before 1am in the morning.

We had the most wonderful evening with the loveliest neighbours you could ever find. What a great little community!

Well, blimey, this is probably the longest post I have ever done, lol, and if any of you who were not at the party have lasted this long, then you all deserve a huge gold star!

Hugs to you all, toodlepip xxx