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

Thursday, 26 June 2014

A very domestic post

Here we are again, at the cottage in France. We got back on the weekend, but since then it has been a whirlwind of activity. I couldn't believe how much the veggies had grown in the ten days we were away! All thanks to my very dear friend Christine, who watered them for us. I got to post pics of the veggie patch, lol, I am so pleased with the progress of my little plants -

The potatoes on the right, an English variety, have gone crazy, the plants are huge!

Next to the potatoes, in front as you look at them in this pic, are the tomatoes -

Tiny toms are beginning to appear. This is my favourite variety, a very old one called Andine Cornue -

In front of the tomatoes, from right to left, are bush beans, red onions and the big plants on the left are round courgettes. The smaller ones at the bottom of the pic are another variety of courgettes-

The flowers on the round courgette plants -

See those little round things? Those will grow into big round things, lol-

Chili peppers -

My wonderful DH, who spent many hours digging the veggie patch, looking at the rainbow beetroot plants right in front of him -

From the left - broad beans, then peas, then climbing beans and right behind DH a small row of mange tout -

Peas are flowering-

Broad beans are flowering -

Even the potatoes are flowering, lol. The flowers are so pretty, darned shame though that they all got eaten by the crickets and grasshoppers -

We wanted to plant more things, so had to dig another small patch on the other side as well -

The two vines we have are already full of grapes, tiny still, but getting bigger every day -

A different variety of potatoes, planted just before we went back to England, coming along nicely -

And another view, towards the cottage of the bigger veggie patch -

Well, the veggies might not be ready for harvesting yet, but the soft fruit is! I picked whitecurrants, blackcurrants and raspberries. Didn't have any strawberries or cherries,with so I bought a few cherries in order to make a SUMMER PUDDING, yay! A very simple English dessert -

The last pic fits in with this domestic post as well. The theme over at the Our Beautiful World blog this week is MAIL. This is our little French mail box -

Tomorrow it will be back to crafty stuff. I have some wonderful ATCs to show you!

Toodlepip xxx

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

By the Seashore - Our Beautiful World

Racing around like a loonie trying to get everything done before going back to France, I almost forgot to post a pic for this week's theme over at the Our Beautiful World blog.

The theme is By the Seashore, and I knew straight away which photograph I wanted to use. I took it a few years ago when our lovely boy Harry was still with us. The photo is of my DH walking with Harry on the beach at Bexhill. The sun was so bright, my little camera didn't pick up any colours really, turned it into an almost black and white photo, but I loved the unintentional effect -

I used it on the cover of a calendar I made for my DH parents that year, and it is still one of my most favourite photographs.

Toodlepip xxx

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

I got to say that a week and a half back in the UK is definitely not enough to get everything on my list done. On top of it all, my main computer is dead! Yes, I have my laptop which I use in France, and I also have lots of things backed up onto an external drive, but, waahhh, a lot of my word docs were on the main computer, and some photos and, well you know, just stuff. Bought a new HDD today and hopefully my son will be able to install it for me tonight. And then I'll have to spend ages to transfer stuff from the external HDD onto the main computer etc etc, you all know what it entails - many hours of tedious work.

Another thing hit me when I was going to make tags for my son to include with Etsy purchases when he sends them out for me from the UK when we are in Frane - all my docs with the ready to print tag pages, which took me ages to prepare, were on the main computer! So, instead I gathered up all sorts of bits and pieces which I had printed out over time and kept, and made tags with what I had available, even the Tag Tuesday tag for this week.

Tag Tuesday tag first. The theme for this week is Tag on Tag, and somehow I ended up with tag on tag on tag, lol. The theme had suggested something hidden to me, hence the peek-a-boo, but then I had to hide the peek-a-boo as well and ended up with three tags -

And these are the other tags I made from bits and pieces -

I am feeling slightly tagged out now, lol.

Wish me luck with the computer.

We are going back to France on Saturday, still got tons to do before then, so I am not sure whether I'll be around in blogland for the next few days. Once we are back in the cottage and have got on top of all the chores there ( weeding, grass mowing etc etc ) then I'll be back to visit all your lovely blogs.

Toodlepip xxx

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Well, the last week or so has been pretty manic. Getting ready to return to the UK meant doing lots of work in the veggie patch, frantically planting out the last few seedlings ( 6am on morning of leaving ), sorting out what to take back, meeting up with friends, packing a tiny bag with a few craft supplies I might need while in the UK, cleaning, tidying, etc etc. We got back to the UK on Monday evening, and it is great being back in the same home with our youngest son, and having the others visiting. Gonna see two of my granddaughters in a couple of hours, yay!!! I miss my family so much when we are in France, but I tell ya, I am ready to go back tomorrow! I find it really difficult to cope with all the noise, especially at night, the masses of cars and people, and I crave the peace and quiet of our cottage in France. I have already turned into a hermit again, and apart from the hospital appointment, haven't been out. We are planning to go back to France in a week or ten days, thereabouts, still got to visit family and friends.

Haven't had much time for anything crafty, but did manage to make this week's Tag Tuesday tag. The theme was THE 1950s, not an easy one for me as I am not really a retro girl -

I found some pretty 1950s wallpaper, a gorgeous car which I would love to drive, rock n roll records and a lovely young lady in a fabulous 1950s dress.
Couldn't decide which background it looked best on, so you got all three, lol. The last one is a 1950s issue of a French magazine called Le Petit Echo de la Mode.

Toodlepip  xxx

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

A day of two halves

Both Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon were rather exciting, although in very different ways.

You know by now that our cottage in France is in the middle of nowhere, on top of a hill, and of course that brings all kind of wildlife to the doorstep. Every morning I walk the dogs along our lane and they love snuffling at all the animal tracks left overnight.

 Saturday morning, about 7am, I went out of the gate and onto the lane, and after a few metres the dogs stopped of course, and started sniffing around. I looked down the lane while I waited with them, and thought, oh no, there are two deer on the lane, half hidden in the tall grass, I hope they disappear before the dogs see them, and, oh, they are a very dark colour............  At that moment, the 'deer' started grunting and snorting, and I realised they were two great big wild boars! OMG, of course, the dogs immediately reacted and started racing towards the boars and I nearly fainted. I was so scared for my dogs, I screamed and whistled for them to come back, but of course once on the hunt, there is no stopping Poppy, but at least Hector came back pretty quickly. Poppy disappeared so quickly chasing the boars, and I eventually managed to raise my DH with my whistling and screaming and we both tried to find her. I had terrible visions of finding her mauled to death by the boars, they are extremely dangerous animals. But after 20 minutes or so the little b.tch suddenly turned up behind us no worse for her adventure. I, on the other hand, was much worse, lol, it took me hours to calm down. Not an experience I want to repeat in a hurry! And no, I didn't get any photos of the sangliers ( wild boars) , lol!

So that was the morning. The afternoon at least promised excitement of a different sort. A few days earlier, a lovely gentleman came to our house and explained that the Annual Charolais Brionnais cycle race would come along the road at the top of our lane, and could we ( and of course all the neighbours along the same route ) not use our cars between certain times, because the roads are so steep and narrow with very dangerous bends. Once a year, for a couple of hours? Of course, no problem.

We thought we would make a bit of an afternoon of it, so we invited a couple of friends to come over. We set up our garden table on the corner of our top field, brought out the nibbles and the drinkies, and watched the whole thing unfold from there. 

DH on the right, our lovely friends on the left

Typical apero in our area, rose wine with creme de pamplemousse -

One of the marshalls was also stationed at our corner, so we had a good chat with him as well. First, there were the promo cars, loads of them, all honking their horns and waving and shouting greetings -

Then came the security motor bikes, loads of them -

and finally the start car with the flashing lights, which meant the 115 cyclists were right behind! -

Yep, woohoo, the first ones were coming round the corner! -


I loved how the cyclists were colour coordinated with their support cars -

and being so close to them, was interesting to see their facial expressions-

We did watch the Tour de France a couple of years ago when it came through a town not far from us, but of course you can't get close, there are thousands of spectators, so taking photographs was far too difficult. Not here though ;-) -

After most of the 115 cyclists had come through in large groups, there was a long line of support vehicles -

and a few single ones trailing a little behind, peddling like crazy to try and catch up-

We had a lovely couple of hours spent with our friends and watching it all, and you know what? WE EVEN MADE THE PAPERS! Yep, out of all the shots they must have taken along the very long route, in the towns etc, they picked US for their newspaper spread. We thought that was hilarious.

So, the day ended well after all. And Sunday was brocante day. Found a few things, nothing too exciting, but you know, lol, a few things are better than no things.

More about that later. 

For now, thank you all so much for stopping by and visiting, a big hello and welcome to the new followers, and a toodlepip to you all. xxx