Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Remembering White Wednesdays

I do miss the regular White Wednesday linky parties. Without them, I am not very good at remembering to post. But.......... one of my recent brocante finds reminded me!

I found this gorgeous turn of the Century lace and silk top and totally fell in love with it. The very fine silk lining is breaking up in places, but the lace top itself is in such great condition. Can you imagine this on an antique Mademoiselle dress form? I didn't have the energy to drag mine downstairs and into the garden to take pics, and it isn't light enough upstairs in the cottage. So my newly acquired old wicker laundry basket had to do -













We saw the end of the wet and grey weather today, it was back to normal summer sunshine, yay! Perhaps now my tomatoes will finally turn red :-).


Still struggling with all the problems the constant testing on Etsy is throwing up. I only managed to list a handful of new items the other day before I got dumped into another test. AGAIN. Etsy is making life so difficult. I have no idea which one of the many shop versions my customers are seeing, and now that the shipping test has started again, I have no idea whether they can see my shipping charges or not. Maybe I should just stick with my vintageblog, sigh. 

Toodlepip xxx

Monday, 21 July 2014

Our Beautiful Word - Vegetable

Our little 'potager', French vegetable garden, is producing lots of vegetables at the moment. There is nothing to beat the taste of just picked veggies, so incredibly fresh, full of flavour and crisp.

When we want potatoes for dinner, we go and dig up a plant ( enough for three dinners for the two of us, really :-) ). Fancy green beans for dinner? Just womble down to the veggie patch and pick haricots verts. MangeTout? Peas? No problem. The beetroot look about ready. Both the actual beetroot and the leaves are soooo good. The leaves cook like spinach. Totally delicious. The toms are not quite there yet, a few are just turning red, but boy, they are big! I love the Andine Cornu variety, they are so solid, not at all watery like most of the toms. Oh, and cherry toms, love love love those as well.

And then there are the different courgetty type veggies. OMG, we are almost drowning in huge round courgetty things! Dark green, light green, white round, white long, we got the lot, lol. My darling neighbour Annick gave me some seeds in the Spring, so I have to thank her for our fantastic harvest. They make a really gorgeous soup ( with onions, leeks, garlic and a couple of potatoes ) and they are so delicious with a variety of stuffings as well. We are getting quite imaginative with our stuffings, lol.

Here are some of them -

Picked just after the rain-

In the sunshine -

In the kitchen -

Gotta dream up a new stuffing for tonight ;-)

I have such a lot of catching up to do. Haven't posted anything in far too long. I've been to a few brocantes and found some lovely items and I have made a couple of tags for the Tag Tuesday challenge as well, which I still need to photograph. Somehow we are always busy here, you wouldn't think so, would ya, in the middle of nowhere?

I'll be posting pics of some things I am putting in the shop, on the vintageland blog later on today, so I'll be busy with that for a while.

Have a wonderful week wherever you are, toodlepip xxx

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Nests and Birds and Garden Stuff - A Nature Post

Until a few days ago, we had the loveliest weather. We spent most of our time in the garden, tending the veggies, sitting under the trees with friends, just making the most of the sunshine and beautiful views all round. We had a few wonderfully relaxed, chatty dinners as well.
It had been quite dry for weeks, and our local farmer was getting a little worried that he might have to start using the winter feed for his cows, as the grass wasn't regrowing in the fields which had been cut a couple of weeks ago. Well, I don't think he needs to be worried any longer. It has been raining for days now. We had thunderstorms and very high winds and the ground is thoroughly soaked. Great for our well. But now we could do with some sunshine again. Doesn't look like that is going to happen for a while though.

But while the weather was still good, I took a few photos. A beautiful dragonfly obliged and remained still for me -


The wings are so incredibly delicate!

Butterflies don't often settle down in the garden for long enough to be photographed, but this little chappy did -

Is this a butterfly or a moth? It is quite small -

When my youngest son, the tree surgeon was here last, he cut down a few trees for us, and in one of them he found an abandoned nest, very firmly stuck on a branch. It was so beautifully made and I didn't want to ruin it by trying to get it off the branch, so we left it just as we had found it -




A little while ago, we found the most unusual nest, which had fallen out of a tree. It was made almost entirely with cows' hairs! The fields surrounding our cottage are home to the beautiful white Charolais cows, but I had never come across a nest made from their hair before. Isn't it just gorgeous? -


I wish I knew which birdie it was that took such care building this beautiful little home.

And then there is THIS nest -

It has a bit of a story attached to it.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband started trimming the bushes and hedge at the front of the cottage, because they were growing like crazy. All went well until he trimmed the top and sides of the forsythia. He called me out and told me that he had found a nest in the forsythia, and had almost, ALMOST cut it in half with the hedge trimmer! He had cut within half an inch of the nest at the front and come very close on the top as well. YIKES!!! It was quite high up, so out came the ladders and DH climbed up to check out the nest. And............. there were some tiny little pink, featherless bird babies inside!! Talk about a narrow escape! Couldn't tell how many, but the important thing was, they were alive. 

We felt so terrible about exposing the nest. What to do? We couldn't undo the work, but we used lots of the cuttings to weave into the shrub again and covered the top as well. We anxiously watched from a distance for the next few days to see whether the parents would return to the nest despite all the upheaval. And to our huge relief, they did. Every heavy gust of wind, every rain shower made me go outside and check to make sure the nest was still ok. And finally, after a few days, we had confirmation that at least one baby bird was ok -



It was a windy day, and the little fella looked so cute with those fluffety feathers on top of his head being blown about. 

Amazing how quickly he had developed from a naked little pink thing into almost fully feathered baby. This was on the 4th.

On the 5th, I was the happiest bird mummy in town, lol, three babies alive and well -


Over the next two days, they were getting more and more adventurous, hopping out of the nest and onto a nearby branch. This mummy here was so worried that they might fall down, but of course they were perfectly fine. But us parents do worry, don't we :-)?

On the 7th, they had progressed to hopping everywhere through the bush. The bird parents were getting quite agitated, we could hear them calling for hours and they were staying very close -



The babies looked so grown up. This one was the most active -

The other ones took a little longer to get going-




And then, the most magical moment - our first bird baby flapped its wings and took off for his very first flight. And the parents came shooting down from the tree and accompanied it! What a truly amazing sight!

They kept calling for the other two, so we thought we had better leave them to it. We checked a while later, and they had all gone. Our babies had all flown their nest. It has been such an emotional time, crazy eh?  And the mother in me still worries about them, because the weather has turned so horrid. But I am sure their parents are keeping them safe and sheltered somewhere in one of our trees.

Long, long post, I know, so thank you for sticking with it!

Toodlepip xxx

Thursday, 3 July 2014

ATCs

Seems such a long time ago that I made the ATCs for Kimberly's True Blue Sweetheart swap. You might have seen the my ATCs on this post. When we got back to France a couple of weeks ago, Kimberly's package with the swap ATCs was already waiting for me in our little mailbox. It was such a pleasure to open the package. Kimberly always makes her packages extra special. Isn't this sparkly blue tiara absolutely gorgeous?

And then there are the ATCs. I felt so very lucky to be the recipient of such beautiful pieces. This one is from our hostess Kimberly herself -

Absolute perfection!

The next one had me completely gobsmacked. It came so beautifully presented, look at this -

And this is the fabulous ATC itself -

It was made by the wonderful Maggie. You can find her here.

The third ATC I took out of the package was made by Amy, and is so very pretty! She featured such a darling little sweetheart on her True Blue ATC, and it is beautifully put together -


Here they are, all together, my gorgeous True Blue Sweethearts -


Toodlepip xxx





Sunday, 29 June 2014

Jumping for Joy

We ignored the weather forecast, the big black clouds and the occasional rain drop and went to a brocante this morning. I am so glad we did! I might have gotten a bit damp round the edges but it was so worth it. Just for two things really. I got a couple of other little bits but these two things were majorly fantastic. First off, we found a big set of Sarreguemines dinnerware, perfect for the annual neighbours' getogether which we are hosting this year. Lots of different sized plates and in such a very pretty vintage design. I haven't taken any photos of the set yet, thought I do that this afternoon, but now we are in the middle of a thunderstorm, so it will have have to wait.

The thing which really got me jumping for joy though I did manage to photograph. You'll probably think me totally crackers to go doolally over this, but, it is going to look so awesome when I finally get my craft room here and I can hang all my treasured gifts from my friends on it.

Well, what is it? It is the most fabulous, huge, vintage French wine bottle drying rack, but not in the usual round form, this is a great big wall mountable piece! Look, look! -





Can you imagine this covered in beautiful collages, hearts, bags etc? I sure can.


A couple of other things to show you. How about this bowl full of the most gorgeous ivory coloured ribbons? Aren't they pretty? All different sizes -



Actually, that was just wishful thinking. Those gorgeous 'silk' ribbons are asparagus peelings! :-). But they did look so pretty in the bowl.

Got to show you the last Tag Tuesday tag as well. The theme was EPHEMERA, and this is the tag I came up with -




Dang, was going to post the ATCs I received as well, but got to get out into veggie patch, the rain has just stopped and the thunderstorm is quite distant now. Going to pick the first Mange Tout of the season, woohoo!!!

Toodlepip xxx