Tuesday, 30 March 2010


Good news, our darling No. 3 son got his car back after the repairs and it passed the MOT, which means, we don't have to be here anymore and can toddle off to FRANCE for a bit! So my DH and I and the two doggies are heading off tomorrow night for ten days. It does mean that I won't be able to blog, because we don't have internet access at the cottage, and I am going to miss you all. But I'll try and make up for it when we get back on the 10th or 11th.

Now, this is what I should have posted about on Sunday, but didn't have time, and couldn't yesterday, because something more important had come up. The boot fair on Sunday turned out to be great! It was tiny of course, the season hasn't started yet, but somehow or other we usually find one or two things of interest. I found another stoneware hot water bottle for my collection, as well as a flat oval proper water bottle in the old stoneware. A few old books, quite charming really, but the best was a little box of linens. I didn't really look at it properly before I asked the seller what he wanted for the individual pieces. When he told me I could have the box for x amount, I didn't hesitate too long, paid the man, and put the box in the car.

It wasn't until I got home that I had a look at what I had bought, and for the first time in god knows how long, I was literally speechless. Let me tease you with a few photos, which I took on Sunday, just little snippets of some of the pieces in the cardboard box. I would show you more, but I have soaked these pieces and carefully washed them by hand, hung them up to dry and haven't had time to iron them yet -

Item No. 1

Item No. 2

Item No. 2

Isn't all that just absolutely exquisite?

There were also some serviettes/napkins with incredibly ornate monograms, and lots of little doilies and bits and pieces. I have laundered everything, it was quite whiffy, but haven't ironed anything yet. So those photos will have to wait also. Probably until I get back from France now.

I have also finally finished my giveaway prize for Gerry, and it is on the way to her now. Of course I can't show photos of it until she receives it, so once again, those pics will have to wait until we get back from France.

If I have time tomorrow, I'll try and squeeze in one more post before we go. Until then, toodlepip, xxx

Monday, 29 March 2010

Blogger is being horrid!


I am sitting here with a half finished post, desperately trying to upload some more pics, and blogger is being very pig headed and won't let me. Some very strange things are going on with photos. I was looking at a couple of my favourite blogs earlier, older posts, and I KNEW the photos on there, but instead of the expected pics there were just huge empty spaces on the posts!

Then my troubles started, every time I tried to upload a photo, it would take ages and then tell me it was done, but there was no pic! I have given up for now and will try again tomorrow. I so wanted to show you the lovely lovely package I had received from Judy today. Ah well, patience is a virtue, I suppose. But I am not a patient person at all, grrrr. I might try again in a couple of hours, if I can stay awake.

I just looked at my own blog, and most of my photos seem to have disappeared. Waaaahhh, sob sob sob, I hope they come back soon!!!


What to post about first???

Instead of having nothing to say and show at all, I have too much, lol! I was going to post about yesterday's boot fair, and the rather nice treasures I found. But something much more important has cropped up - my eagerly awaited package from Judy has arrived!

Judy has a blog called Tapestries of Nature , which I much admire. You just have to go and see what she does with crocheted doilies and laces, you'll be amazed! And her pillows, well, they are just exquisite. Anyway, a little while ago, Judy had a giveaway to celebrate her 150th post. It was a wonderful giveaway, and of course I entered. And of course, I didn't win, lol. So I cried my little heart out. In public ( comment, lol ). And this wonderful woman took pity on me and told me she would send me a little something. Boy, did I feel guilty for making such a silly comment! But not quite guilty enough to refuse her gift ( I felt sure she knew by then that I like to joke around ). And today my " little something" arrived. The postman had left the package in the porch in the afternoon without knocking, and my DH found it on his way out. He came back in, grinned at me and asked me whether I was waiting for........ thats as far as he got, lol, I squeeled and just shouted - is it from the US? Woohooo, its from Judy, isn't it? Of course he thought I was completely bonkers. Nothing new there really.

I was in the middle of finishing off some sewing, but I just couldn't wait, I had to unwrap immediately. So the photos are straight foward, no nice arrangements, but then with something as gorgeous as this, it wasn't necessary anyway.

Look, could a confirmed tea drinker get a better gift than this? The most fabulous felted and embellished tea cosy -

Isn't it just utterly charming and brillant? I am sure it will make my cup of tea taste even better!

Judy also sent me a really pretty flower brooch. Have you ever tried to take a photograph of yourself wearing a brooch, lol? I had to take about 20 pics before I got one usable one. Where are all my men when I need them? I think this brooch will look really good on a white t-shirt in the summer -

And these two gorgeous gifts, which were most definitely rather more than " a little something ", were accompanied by this very English tag. It made a chuckle, it was so perfect, the crown for the Queen, the London stamp, so well thought out and beautifully done, on both sides!

Thank you so much, Judy, it was such a pleasure opening your package and such a wonderful surprise. It was a very lovely thing to do. Blogger friends are the best! xxx

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Tom Brown's School Days

That is the title of a very tatty book which I found this afternoon whilst out looking for some second hand furniture for Chris' new home. It was in a dreadful state really, falling to pieces, but it was a 1892 edition with really nice illustrations. Some very annoying little brat had obviously gotten hold of it at some stage and taken great delight in defacing lots of the pages and illustrations, but even so there were still a lot which were worth saving.

But the best thing about the whole book was the beautifully handwritten inscription on the first page of the book. I didn't look at it too closely in the shop because I wasn't supposed to be looking for treasures for me, lol, and was in a bit of a hurry, but it looked like a poem to me at first glance.

When I got it home, however, it turned out that it was not really a poem as such, although some of it rhymed, it was, well, have a read for yourself, lol -

I found that really quite amusing. What do you think of the handwriting? Isn't it absolutely exquisite? How I wish I could write like that.

The other day, I was looking through some of the images I had collected over the months for some projects I had in mind. Most of them were shared by some very generous bloggers. I am really amazed at the generosity of these wonderful people. Without them I wouldn't be able to do any of the things I am enjoying so much at the moment, ie making tags. I found some beautiful images of some young girls, which I thought would make rather nice tags. They had been shared by the quite wonderful Blanca from the Magic Moonlight Studio . I thoroughly enjoyed turning those sweet images into tags. Here they are -

Aren't they the sweetest little darlings? Such adorable faces. Its a shame that the stamped background doesn't show up properly in the photos.

Fingers crossed for good weather tomorrow. I'd really like to go boot fair wombling. It is only a titchy little boot fair, but still, better than no boot sale at all.

Enjoy your weekend, wherever you are, xxx

Thursday, 25 March 2010

A swap, a gift and a thank you

Today was another odd day. It was grey, misty, rainy and pretty dismal for most of the time, but for about half an hour this afternoon, the sun appeared on and off and we got a few glorious rays of sunshine. Oh the excitement! I had been waiting all day for it to brighten up a bit so that I could take some photographs, and here was my chance. I thought. That was before I couldn't find my camera. Panic! No. 3 son came to the rescue and located the camera for me, exactly where I had left it a couple of days ago when I took a few pics of our gorgeous granddaughter Grace. Hmm. No, its not a sign of getting old, just a sign of having been very poorly, so don't you get any ideas JJ, Sarah etc.

Here you are then, photos of the lovely goodies I received from Beki in the Pamper Swap organised by Michela -

The gorgeous Moroccan shower tonic is coming with me to France next week, as is the potpourri, which smells sooooooooo delicious. I will really appreciate the fabulous shower treat after a hard day's work digging a piece of the lower field to make a vegetable garden.

The tea, well, that ain't going anywhere, lol, I'll be drinking that right here, at the computer, and thinking of Beki every time I take a sip.

The goodies were accompanied by a lovely card, which looked good enough to eat, as you can see. Thank you Beki! I love my swap goodies. I must have a little think about some sort of swap soon, I do love swaps so much.

I also received a package from the lovely Deb from the Linens lace and lattes blog. She had a giveaway recently and I won not one but TWO gorgeous vintage aprons! How very generous is that!

Just look at this gorgeous one in perfect Spring colours -

And this one, in a sweet vintage flower print, so delicately trimmed with narrow ric rac -

And look, look, in the last photo, there is a tiny little spot of glorious sunshine! Didn't last long, lol, but it was there, for a fleeting moment.


Thats it for today. I have been doing a bit of crafting today, and I might show you the results tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your day, wherever you are. xx

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Almost human again

A nasty cold crept up behind me last week, wrestled me to the floor and left me there, coughing my lungs out and sneezing my pounding head off. I was poorly! That cold really hit me hard and put me out of action for a few days. I tried to look at the lovely blogs I follow but my brain wasn't functioning and I'm afraid I wasn't even able to comment on them, somehow my brain just couldn't translate the wonderful thoughts I had into any sort of action. Sorry gals! But I am getting better and feeling almost human again, so I should think that as from tomorrow things will be back to normal.

I want to say a very big thank you to all you really great people for your birthday wishes, and a huge thank you ( and a big cyber slap for being horrid to little me ) to JJ for writing me such a, errrmmm, long poem. Boy, that gal can talk some, going on and on and on and on............. I wasn't in any fit state for birthday celebrations and even worse, the next day was our 29th wedding anniversary and we had planned to go to our favourite Thai restaurant, but that had to be cancelled as well. But there is nothing to stop us from going out to dinner sometime this week, hurrah!

I had two lovely packages arrive in the last couple of days - from Beki the lushious goodies from Michela's pamper swap and from the very generous Deb of the linenslaceandlattes blog I received two pretty vintage aprons, which I had won in her giveaway. I haven't taken any photos yet, but I'll promise pics for tomorrow!

Wow, short post this, and no photos either! Hmm, thats not good, lets have a quick looksie whether I can find a couple of pics which I haven't shown before.
Oooh yes yes yes, photos of my most favourite dessert, Whisky Trifle made by my darling husband. His is the bestest trifle ever!

Droooooooooooooool! I have to ask my sweetheart to make me one tomorrow, I think. Its bound to be good for me, recovering from that nasty cold.

I'll try and visit all your blogs properly tomorrow. Until then, toodlepip! xx

Thursday, 18 March 2010

JJ - Happy Birthday Lizzie for the 19th

I don't often write much
But I'm a co-author here
I don't seem to get time
(But it's more out of fear)

For this is the realm
Of Her Ladyship Lizzie
Who's short, German and bossy
And really quite dizzy

She's got a hubby, 3 sons
And 2 very mad dogs
And up in her eyrie
A collection of frogs

Her broomstick's a beauty
Which she polishes at night
So it gleams and it twinkles
For when she takes flight

If a shadow goes past you
At a really great speed
Don't panic, dear friends
But you need to take heed!

It'll be Lizzie, you see
With the wind in her hair
Trolley loaded on broomstick
On her way to a fair

Where she bargains and haggles
And the stallholders wail
For she barters them down
Until they really go pale

At the prices she pays
For the treasures she's found
She has an eye for a bargain
(And a nose like a hound)

She'll take them back to her eyrie
Where she'll preen and she'll gloat
And she'll pull up the drawbridge
On her very deep moat

She'll post pics on her blog
Of her latest new treasure
She loves them, you see
And it gives her great pleasure

She does all sorts of crafting
While she's up in her eyrie
And she's so good at it all
That it makes me quite teary

She has a real flair
For the things that she does
And the gifts that she makes
Give the new owner a buzz

See, she's kind and she's caring
And she's really quite sweet
(It took guts to say that
And my heart's missed a beat)

Well, I think I'm in trouble
And my time's at an end
So I'll finish by saying

JJ xx

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Feeling Easter-y

The gorgeous sunshine we had yesterday did put me in the mood for Easter decorations. On a very small scale though. Son No. 1 is moving this weekend so there will be much upheaval in the house over the weekend and probably a lot of time spent at his new place helping him sort out bits and pieces next week. Hence no time for massive Easter projects. But, I have been hankering after some little bird nests and eggs for ages now, ever since seeing them on some of my favourite blogs.

It seems to be just about impossible to get fake or blown quails eggs in this country, arrgghhh, and birds nests? Pfft, no such luck. I would have thought that at least some local shops or garden centres would have Easter decorations of some sort. But again, I drew a complete blank in our town. So whats a girl to do? Well, a girl goes out and buys Cadbury's Mini Eggs and a small bag of hay for rabbits, thats what a girl does, of course.

The idea of tiny little bird nests where you wouldn't normally expect a bird nest, really appealed to me. I had this small, quite ornate candle holder on the shelf right next to my computer and it seemed a good piece to start with. Now, if anybody tells you making birds nest is quick and easy, don't believe it, lolol, the one thing it really IS, is messy. There I was with my bag of hay ( because even with a couple of days' worth of sunshine, things in the garden are still soggy ), and odd bits of green threads and wool, trying to make a nest. Hmmm. Birds are obviously way cleverer than me. How do they get it so lovely and round and with a solid enough bottom so that the eggs don't fall out? Let me tell you, dried grass is evil stuff, lol. It got stuck in my hair, it was kind of woven into my jumper, bits were all over the floor, poking out of my keyboard ....... but with grim determination, a few strong words and a cup of tea I finally made something vaguely resembling birds nests. It sure would be a desperate bird who'd want to move into one of those, lol.

Ah well, its not the prettiest thing I have ever created, but then I am not a clever little birdie. For the time being, I am satisfied with it in the dining room and perhaps if I have a bit of time next week, I'll have another go. I'll have to try and incorporate some twiggy stuff to give it body.
Cadbury Mini Eggs work ok for these tiny nests, but for bigger ones, sigh, I covet quails eggs, the real thing.

Here are the pics of the bird nests candelabra -

I'll keep it on the mantlepiece in the dining room over Easter, I think. It looks quite sweet on there. I wonder how often I will have to refill the nests, lol, I bet those little chocolate eggs will disappear quite regularly.


Monday, 15 March 2010

Pssst.......... do you want to know who the winner is?

Well, its done. I gave myself writer's cramp this morning, putting all the names, and many of them twice, on little bits of paper, but........ I love the physical act of drawing a winner. All the excitement of filling the heart shaped box, shaking it lots of times, getting my hands in there and turning all the little pieces over and over........ so much more satisfying than an online random number generator.

I was bowled over by the response I had to this giveaway and all the really wonderful comments. New people found my blog, and I found new blogs to read and admire. Thank you all so much for visiting, taking part, commenting, and not just on the giveaway post, but on so many other posts as well.

Look at all these -

And the name which I finally drew out of the box, after much shaking and turning was -

Congratulations, Gerry, you have won the giveaway! I'll email you shortly. The 2 after her name was there because she had put the button on her blog, so she had a second slip of paper put in, and that was the one which won her the giveaway. Gerry is fairly new to blogging, so it would be really nice if some of you popped over there and said hello.

I was so chuffed with the response, and it was such a lovely morning with blue sky and sunshine, and I felt so happy, I decided to have a runner up prize as well. Just a little something to craft with, whatever the winner is into. And the name of that person is -

Yoohooooo, Kim! That would be you residing in the Sheep's Nest! I'll email you shortly as well.

Sorry all you other lovely people didn't win, but it won't be long before I'll get the urge to have another giveaway, I am sure. So stay tuned!

Have a lovely week,

Sunday, 14 March 2010

How much mess can one crafter make?

In my case, an awful lot! When I was making the two pillows and the tags, I must have turned my craft room upside down somehow. I can't believe the state it is in. Especially my lace boxes. For the pillows, I needed to find exactly the right lace of course, and I searched through the drawers and boxes for hours. I love fondling my antique and vintage laces. I love studying all their intricate details, and I get so terribly carried away. Hours pass and then I find myself surrounded by piles of possibles, piles of oh so delicious but not suitable lace, and big tangles of the prettiest pieces. How did that happen?

When I tried to look for a few little pieces yesterday for another project, I realised that I needed to do something to get those lacy tangles sorted. Lightbulb moment! What about all those dolly pegs I bought ages ago for a specific project which now I can't even remember? They looked very new though, so I soaked them in coffee for a goodly while. Much better. I have only done a fraction of the laces, but it is a good start I think -

I'll have to go shopping tomorrow for a few more. The amount I would need to do all the laces, well, lets just say I'd need a rather large shopping trolley.

However, I get bored with too much of the same thing. So this is what happened next. My darling No. 3 son wanted to know what I would like for Mothering Sunday, and we wombled off into town yesterday afternoon. I knew I wanted something crafty, which he thought was rather silly, but he ended up buying me a much wanted precision craft knife ( notice the pretty pink handle! ) and a corner punch which I had coveted for a long time. Woohoo!

He wouldn't let me have them until today, and some of you will know that I am not the most patient person in the world, but this was worth waiting for. Because I had already thought of a jolly good use for the corner punch. I could use it to pretty up some plain tags and use those for winding the wider laces onto!

And thats what I did earlier today, with a big grin on my face. I have only done a few so far, but the France/Italy rugby match is sooooooooooo exciting, I have to watch, can't prettify. Here are the few I have done so far -

It really doesn't take very long to make the tags look pretty. Punch out the corner, age the tags with a couple of brown inks, add a teeny scrap of old paper, and thats it really, get winding!