Wednesday, 6 February 2019

A snowy week in France

We got back Friday night from spending a week at the cottage. We had gone to check up on the cottage to make sure there was no winter damage, no critters had taken up residence etc. and all was fine. And snowy :-). How we all love the snow in the countryside! Untouched, fields glistening all around us, looking so pristine ..... until our dogs start going bonkers in the snow. They love it. 

 It was very cold in the cottage when we first arrived, but once the heating was cranked up, a fire built and blankets distributed, it was so cosy. It was great catching up with friends, eating freshly prepared pizza at the tiny village bistrot/bar/shop/bakery, sitting by the fire after being out in the snow and just enjoying the peace and quiet.

We had some really beautiful sunsets and sunrises as well when we were not in the middle of horizontal snow storms or thick mist

A week of course was nowhere near long enough, but we had some important appointments to come back for, among them a masterclass in macaron making! But more about that in the next post :-).

Toodlepip xxx

Wednesday, 23 January 2019


I finished the little needlekeep with the vintage quilt scrap, avocado dyed fabric and lace a little while ago. It is very plain inside, just a couple of felt pages and in the middle a little vintage wool scrap with blanket stitch surround. I think I got it in a button box in France, but I am not sure. Arrgghh, old age is a bummer. The quilt scrap is really thick, so I couldn't really do too much with it. I used the avocado dyed fabric for binding the top and bottom, but used a lovely old net fragment for the sides so that you can still see the thick layers of wadding inside the quilt. It ties shut with a little bit of sari silk ribbon. It was such a pleasure doing it all by hand.

Toodlepip xxx

Friday, 18 January 2019

A little bit of progress

Well, that horrid lurgy which seems to have floored lots and lots of people I know floored me as well, and for the last couple of weeks I did not do much more than coughing coughing, coughing and feeling like death warmed up. The last few days have been much better and although the cough persists, I am feeling human again, yay. So I picked up the avocado dyed stuff again, and searched through some antique and vintage quilt pieces to match it. Found one! It is really thick, but I didn't want to mess with it. Decided to make a little needlekeep with it. Nowhere near finished yet, but I thought a little progress report was in order :-) - 

I am enjoying the slow progress of hand stitching, it is quite relaxing and somehow comforting. I might get this finished in a few days, lol. When I say slow, I really mean SLOW :-).

Almost weekend, have a great one wherever you are! Toodlepip xxx

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Baby Steps

As a first tiny little step towards making crafting part of my life again, I decided to do a little bit of avocado dyeing again. I had tried it once before, a long time ago, and the results were, errmm, not all that brilliant. But having made guacamole, I had skins and stones and didn't want to just throw them away ( no composting here, unlike at the cottage in France where we compost everything ). And this time, I was quite pleased with the result. It wasn't an earthshatteringly fabulous deep pink colour like some I have seen, but the cotton laces and the cotton/linen mix fabric turned a rather lovely blush pink. In the photographs, I have put a proper beige trim and the white laces/fabric next to the dyed ones to show that the colour really is blush pink. Yay! 

Until the next time, toodlepip xxx

Tuesday, 1 January 2019


I hope everybody had a fabulous Christmas and was able to celebrate the arrival of the new year in style. I wish you all good health and happiness for 2019 and beyond.

One of my New Year's resolutions - to start blogging again :-) ! I do love Instagram, how convenient and fast it is, but I am not that keen on writing on the phone, arrgghhh, I am pretty useless actually. So I don't usually say very much, lol, just a few sentences. Facebook I don't like at all anymore, I spend very little time on there. Instagram very conveniently posts my photos straight to FB without me having to go there, yay. If you have been following my currently sadly neglected blog in the past, when I was rather more active, you'll remember that I was somewhat of a chatterbox, lol. I do miss that, hence my determination to revive the blog and chatter away. 

I am hoping that blogging will also help me to rekindle my love of crafting. I haven't been able to create for such a very long time, and it really saddens me. My head is full of things I want to make, but when it comes to actually doing it, I stare at all those beautiful supplies I have and thats as far as it goes. I need a little challenge!

On a positive kind of crafty note, my DH and I gave each other vouchers for a macarons making class, woohoo! I am really looking forward to that. I do love handmade French macarons, not the factory churned out ones you get in the supermarket. Hopefully there will be some classes towards the end of January. Watch this space for pics, lol!

I'll spend the next few days, while I am still feeling poorly, catching up on the posts of the wonderful people I admire so much on here. I must have missed so many beautiful creations, and god knows what personal stories I have missed and failed to react to.

So, here is hoping that 2019 will be a year of renewal for me, of friendships, of contacts, of creativity and of energy.

Have a wonderful year! Toodlepip xxx

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Simply Neutrals No. 35

Wen's lovely post about textures for Simply Neutrals No. 35 last week prompted me to post this photo. I took it a couple of days ago here at our cottage in France. We are quite snug and warm with the central heating and the fire going as well, but the radiator in the kitchen area is bust and for the last few days we got ice flowers on the inside of the window! Just little patches in the corners of the small window panes, so not a huge deal. The textures of ice on glass are endlessly fascinating, and although the ice was melting, it still provided some lovely textures. It was pretty dark outside, so the reflection of the kitchen light added a little bit of warm colour.

Please hop over to Wen's blog to see the beautiful neutrals photographs posted this week for Simply Neutrals Tuesday No. 35.

Toodlepip xxx

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Simply Neutrals No. 34

I am so happy that Wen from the AppleApricot blog is hosting the Simply Neutrals Tuesday linky party again, I adore all the beautiful creations and images shared by the participants.

We arrived back in France again last week, and I have finally unpacked my craftacase, sadly not in the craftavan but upstairs in our cottage. And I also have to confess to paying a quick visit to a French charity shop, Emmaus, and coming home with a little bit of lace and ..................

Tada, this gorgeous wax flower and bud couronne de mariee, a wedding crown/tiara 

Please hop over to Wen's blog and take a look at all the gorgeous neutrals HERE

Toodlepip xxx

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Looking back to Spring and Summer in France Part 3 ( June )

June started with a beautiful misty morning

June was also the month when all the hard work on the veggie patches started to pay off. The veggies were growing like crazy, you could almost watch them grow. I had a huge amount of parsley, so I made a potato and parsley soup sprinkled with lardons ( small pieces of bacon )

The caulis were coming along nicely, as were the potatoes, and we started harvesting cavolo nero

Of course, the weeds and wildflowers grew like crazy as well :-)

Early June I also found a girlfriend for Gizmo, my son's family's dog, which they had adopted through Paws2Rescue. She came from Romania as well through Paws2Rescue. It was love at first sight, lol, they are inseparable

By the middle of June, there were so many beautiful butterflies and moths around, the lettuces were ready for harvesting, the main crop spuds started flowering, the first cauliflower was ready, and we dug up the first First Earlies, :-)

We went back to the UK for a brief break for some appointments and of course to see the family. Mum was so happy to see us

The dogs are incedibly good in the car. Sometimes they snuggle up together, sometimes Poppy has to watch the world go by while Hector needs a cuddle from me, so he slides his head inbetween the front seats

What a difference ten days make, lol, we came back to many more veggies ready for eating, yellow and green courgettes, radishes, yellow and green climbing beans, potatoes and lettuces, so we were back to our favourite foods, veggies straight from the garden

Of course the flowers had also grown in that time

my dear friend Christine gave me this seed pod, which she had been given by a friend, weird thing, full of huge amounts of fluffy stuff and lots of small seeds, but I failed miserably, they didn't grow, sob sob

Can't remember whether I ever showed you this fabulous old sharpening stone wheel, such an amazing thing

Towards the end of the month, some of the yellow and white patissons were ready as well

And finally, we were able to dig up some beetroot as well. Btw, the beetroot leaves are sooo delicious, I treat them like spinach, so chop them finely and add nutmeg and cream. Baked beetroot, beetroot greens, home grown potatoes ( with pork steaks )

I was very strict with myself and didn't allow myself to go to many vide greniers / brocante, but this one at the end of the month was set in the amazing Roman amphitheater in Autun, and it called me :-). There was one massive stall which must have sourced their stuff from a science department at a school or something like that, there were so many weird and wonderful things to look at, I got totally stuck there

And the month ended with the most stunning view over the valley, a beautiful rainbow way below our cottage

July next :-)
Toodlepip xxx