Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Looking back to Spring and Summer in France

It is probably a bit boring for you, looking back over the last six months to Spring and Summer, when we are hurtling towards Christmas, but I would like to keep the blog going as a bit of a diary for myself. And some of you may even enjoy the photos of life in France :-).

Lets start with Spring then and a little drive in the countryside. I think we were on our way back from lunch at a little restaurant in Poil and decided to drive to Luzy for some shopping. That took us past a little village called Larochemillay. I had always been fascinated by the beautiful large house high up above the road and so we decided to drive up to the hilltop and have a look -

Most of the actual house was hidden behind tall walls and very large trees though, so we couldn't really get a proper look at it, just the gatehouse

The little village had some lovely old properties

A statue to the men of the village who lost their lives during WW1

Wisteria clad houses of course

Love this large double fronted house

The GR13 is one of the major pilgrim walk routes to Santiago de Compostela, and it goes right past our cottage. We get pilgrims coming past, sometimes with their donkey, and have often fed them, even sheltered them overnight. To do the whole route takes quite a few months.

On the way to Luzy we came across a couple of interesting properties, one below the road

and this beauty next to the road

The French countryside is full of surprises.

And to finish off the post, a couple of pics of Poppy and Hector of course, enjoying the Spring sunshine

Toodlepip xxx

Friday, 29 September 2017


Yep, its me, and it seems I have almost forgotten how to blog, lol, couldn't even remember how to do a post. 4 months. Bit of a long dry spell. Well, I blame it all on France :-). Seriously though, I never feel the urge to crank up the computer when I am at the cottage. Somehow cottage, countryside, peace and quiet, friends and good neighbours don't go together with computers.  But that doesn't mean I don't think of my dear dear internet friends all the time. You are always with me. Plus, the internet is slow at the best of times, and the last few weeks there, it was so excruciatingly slow, I gave up trying to upload photos to Artyah altogether.

Artyah. Well there you have something new. A fairly new marketplace I have opened a shop on. Two actually, one for my beloved eclectic French antique and vintage finds collected over many years ( ) and one just for lace, trims, buttons, fabrics etc ( ). Now that I am back in the UK, I will be listing more regularly, and as always, if there is anything you are looking for which you can't see listed, just ask, I might have it stashed away somewhere :-). I am transferring stock from my closed Etsy shop at the moment as well as listing new items.

This was the last Friday morning just before we left the cottage to return to the UK -

I did bring back a whole lot of things which I had been hoarding at the cottage, I'll be listing them over the next few weeks on Artyah and start showing them on my lululizinvintageland blog like I used to do. But I have to confess, these days I find it so much quicker and easier to take photos with the phone, post them on instagram, which also sticks them onto my Facebook page straight away. Works a treat, lol, and saves lots of time. ( I am under lacroixrosion on Instagram btw, in case you would like to follow me there :-) ).

I am having France withdrawal symptons at the moment. I miss being at the cottage so much. Our dogs do as well, they are so much happier there. And I miss the doggies at the shelter where we go twice a week. A few in particular, which we love so dearly. These are two very special dogs Andy and I work with -



They are problem dogs, and we have taken a special interest in them. Boulet is a great big shaggy dog, the most loving dog you can imagine, but so used to the life in the shelter, that he thinks of it as his proper home. Adopted twice, once returned and once he returned himself, just turned up at the shelter gate one day. He is very scared of cars and therefore was almost impossible to take out for walks. People just didn't bother to take him out in the end. It took Andy a long time to built up the trust so that most of the time now he can get him to go out on walks and once he is out, he is soooo happy.

Bumbotte is my special case. She is incredibly shy, has never been walked as she won't budge, and it is impossible to touch her. Again, she is the sweetest dog, not a bad bone in her body, and I just can't bear to think what must have happened to her before she came to the shelter to make her so afraid and shy of humans. She and Boulet share a large run and get on so well. Nobody ever seemed to spend time with Bumbotte as she couldn't be walked, so I started spending time in her run, just being there. Eventually, she would take little tidbits occasionally, before hiding in her cubbyhole again. She spends most of her time in the cubbyhole, pressed into a corner. So I took the plunge and just sat in the cubbyhole with her. And slowly, she would let me touch her, and then cuddle her, and now, we snuggle up together in her corner, she eats from my hand and sometimes purrs like a cat when I stroke her and tickle her. I miss her so much, and I am so upset that she might think I have deserted her. We will be back in France in a month's time, and hopefully, we can pick up where we left of.

I brought back lots of butternut squash from our veggie batch, and just had a fabulous butternut squash, chick pea and carrot soup for lunch. Delicious. My DH has also found some great sounding butternut squash curry recipes, so that will be next.

I took tons of photos with the phone of course over the summer, of the 'fete de voisins', of the family visiting, of the veggie garden, our furbabies etc. and I want to put these on my blog and treat it like a diary again. Might take me a while though :-). 

Enough for one day though. I hope that some of my dear friends are still around in blogland. I will make some time to visit their blogs as well.
Take care and have a great weekend,
toodlepip xxx

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The End of an Era

I feel quite sad right now. Tonight, my Etsy shop, which has given me so much pleasure over the last 6 years, will be suspended by Etsy for non compliance with their demands to change from a Paypal Only shop ( which still accepts all credit cards through PP without a PP account ) to one which accepts the Etsy Payments system. I really don't want to go into the whole story again, but I have my good reasons for not wanting to to accept an Etsy Payments system which had and still has many problems and security issues.

So what now after 1230 sales on Etsy? Eventually, when I get back to the UK, I will grovel, bribe and charm my boys to help me set up my own website. A new adventure, yay! In the meantime, I will try my very best to be much more active on here. I had prepared some new listings to be sent from France, a couple of days before Etsy sprung their 1 month notice of suspension on me, and I will post them on here within the next few days.

I am also going to have stern words with myself every day and make sure that I post every day - yikes! - on instagram ( lacroixrosion ) and on facebook ( Liz La Croix Rosion ), gulp. Well, I will try, thats for sure, however, the mind is willing but the flesh is weak, sigh. I hope that some of my lovely customers will start following me on IG and FB and keep in touch, hopefully they will get diverted to my About Page on Etsy which has all the relevant info on it, when they try to go to my (now suspended and showing empty ) shop.

It is not the end of the world, just the end of a lovely period in my life. But hey, I am in France, in our beautiful cottage on the hill, with my DH and our doggies, growing veggies, having aperos with friends, volunteering at the animal shelter and soaking up the beautiful atmosphere and wonderful views, thats what really matters to me.

Toodlepip xxx 

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Learned something new today!

As most of you know, our home in France is on a hilltop, in the middle of nowhere really, right in the heart of Charolais cow country. The region is famous for their Charolais beef, and our property is surrounded by fields usually full of those gorgeous white Charolais cows which belong to our closest neighbour, farmer Thierry. But a little while ago, a brown and white cow appeared amongst one of the herds, and I was pretty sure it was a milch cow. 

This afternoon, Thierry and his son Corentin came to the gate with a lidded bucket for me. My first thought was, omg, they have been collecting big juicy snails after the rains and are going to offer some to me.......... You can imagine my relief when they told me that it was milk fresh from their new milch cow! I had to chuckle, he was practically supplying the whole neighbourhood because his cow was giving sooo much milk ( thats the fabulous fresh grass she nibbles on all day long :-) ). OK....... raw milk.......... what do I do? I knew it had to be pasteurised, but how? Thank goodness for the internet! I read a large number of articles and it turns out that making milk safe by pasteurising is not at all difficult. I didn't have a double boiler, so a smaller saucepan inside a larger one did the trick, and apart from that I just needed a thermometer, and the wine and beer making thermometer was fine for that. 

I wanted to take pictures doing it, but didn't have enough hands, lolol, had to keep stirring with one hand and keeping the thermometer in the milk with the other hand, but somehow managed to take one with my phone, lol -

Bottled it after rapid cooling in icecold water in the sink, and just had some. OMG, it is so deliciously rich and creamy and shoobydoobydoo!

I love living in the countryside.

Toodlepip xxx

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Has it been a whole month again?

Is it because I am getting older that time seems to fly by so much quicker, is it the much more relaxed French lifestyle which keeps me away from the computer and blogging? How can it possibly be over a month again since I put up a blog post?

I should have posted the following photos ages ago, sigh. I received the swap ATCs from Kimberly's Springtime In Paris swap, and they left me speechless. All three of them are stunning, and the bookmark which Kimberly sent along as a gift from her is simply gorgeous ( and already in use in a 1859 French Magasin Pittoresque :-).

In no particular order, the first ATC is from Kimberly (ArtJoyStuff) herself - 

The second one was made by Sylvia -

The third ATC is from Sherry -

I was blown away, not just by the ATCs themselves, but also the gorgeous packaging -

Kimberly really is a most thoughtful swap hostess and always sends along a beautiful, thoughful, theme related gift. This altered paper clip bookmark is so lovely! -

Thank you ladies, for making this swap such a joy to take part in!

Toodlepip xxx

Monday, 3 April 2017

Spring at the cottage

I love all the seasons, but Spring is really special. Seeing everything coming back to life, the first hints of green in the hedgerows, the little wildflowers eagerly opening up in the first warm rays of sunshine, the wonderful clouds of white blossoms on the wild cherry trees and the hawthorns, thats magical.

We have been quite busy these first couple of weeks. The 'garden' was covered in what seemed like a million branches and bits from the trees surrounding the cottage. Apparently there had been some rather severe storms just before we came out to the cottage. It took my DH days to clear them up. Then the warmer weather arrived for a few days and you know what happens then...... the grass goes mad and you can almost see it growing while you watch. Not the best time for the mower to break down, lol, but my wonderful DH is Mister Fixit :-). Planted the First Early Potatoes, got the greenhouse put up again and planted lots of veggie seeds, stocked up my herb pots by the front door and started clearing out weeds.

We were so happy to get back to the Refuge ( ) again and walk the doggies twice a week. We have missed them, they are our babies as well. I try not to think too much about how long some of these beautiful dogs have been in the shelter, it breaks my heart that some of them have spent almost their entire life there. Little Sam, for example, came to the Refuge when just a year old, such a wonderful little dog, absolutely loves to play with toys, is obedient, walks nicely on the lead, and loves to be loved, yet nobody has ever shown interest in him in, what, eight years! I would so love for him to go to a wonderful loving home, even though I would miss him.

Anyway, enough ramblings, I'll just show you a few random pics from the last couple of weeks :-) -

My precious box full of my treasured gifts from friends. They travel with me between the UK and France all the time 

Rain day sorting through an old button box

Morning walks

Spring flowers inside and out

Seeds planted

Loving this vintage bust of a young woman

Sorting out some small religious pieces to list on Etsy

My little herb 'garden'

A freshly laundered, beautifully delicate lacy bedspread drying in the soft Spring air

And of course plenty of time spent with our dogs

Toodlepip xxx