Saturday, 30 October 2010

Halloween Parties

From as early as I can remember I wanted to be a good witch who could fly and do magic.

Growing up watching Bewitched and Bedknobs and Broomsticks - Bedknobs and Broomsticks made me want a brass bed with round finials that would come off, just like the movie.  Well, I eventually got such a bed, although sadly it’s yet to fly ;)

I mostly loved the idea of being able to fly, preferably by broomstick.  As a very small girl I used to have a recurring dream of flying down the stairs of our house.  In fact, I’m convinced I did once, I'm not mad - I like to think I did, although sadly it was probably that we used to jump off the stairs onto a matress at the bottom – sooo not a good idea :)

Anyway, EVERY Halloween I wanted to dress up as a witch & Mum would let me.  I only got to Trick or Treat once though, at a friend’s house, however we did throw the odd party for our school friends when we were little. 

This is my brother and me before one such party – so cute (if I do say so myself)…

I'm actually wearing a crepe tunic with gold & silver embroidery that my Mum used to wear with trousers in the 60's - wish I still had it!

In the 1993 my Dad took me to a Halloween party as my Mum couldn’t go.  We had so much fun, dressing up (him as a gangster, sort of, bless him). We had some fun games – including "guess the baby photo".  No-one guessed me correctly, they all thought my photo was of the blonde man who was there!  

still got this outfit - made from two gauzy nightgowns & some trim; and my Mum's fab cape

Back in 2001 (gosh what a long time ago) I decided to throw a Halloween party for our friends.  We had pumpkins and squash’s in all the windows, we all dressed up (witch again, naturally) and we made Halloween themed food.  We made a pumpkin shaped chocolate cake, witches fingers, cemetery spikes, ghost lollies, Halloween-shaped pastries and so much more.  

I learned heavily on Martha Stewart's Halloween book for the following inspiration - and these are still available on her website via the links below the photos:

the great pumpkin cake
white chocolate ghosts

I also made some pumpkin sweetie pouches

pumpkin pouches
Not sure who had more fun, our friends’ girls, or us!  For some bizarre reason we didn't take ANY photos - BIG mistake!

Hope you have a fabulously spooky Halloween whatever you're doing. x 

Friday, 29 October 2010


Next month we’re off to Chicago for a few days, then down to the Florida Keys for a week.

Although we’ve been to Chicago several times previously I’m asking you for any suggestions on things to do and see whilst we’re there.  That includes restuarants you love, any good vintage/thrift shops, or basically anything you enjoyed and could recommend please?

We’ve been to most (I think) of the tourist places including the Art Institute (altho we’ll go again as we love it & always visit), the Adler planetarium, navy pier, natural history museum, etc. 

Being a big fan of Frank Lloyd Wright we’re planning on finally going to Oak Park for the Studio & Home tours.  Also an Architecture River cruise & the Mexican Museum of Art which will still have a fab DOTD exhibition.

Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio

We then fly to Miami to drive down to the Keys to meet up with my parents.  So, again, if you have any suggestions – as we’ve never been to the Keys before – they would be gratefully received.

Oh and does anyone know where I can get bubble tea in either location?   I’ve read so much about it, I really want to try some whilst we’re there!

Thanks for any help ladies, I can't wait to go. x

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Black & White

Oh no! According to the Alan Titchmarsh show (and the RSPCA)  no-one wants black and white cats!  How can this be true???

Alan had two adult cats and about 5 kittens on the show, soooo cute!  How could anyone say no to them?

bella & jacob - need a home

fern & holly - also need a home

I LOVE black and white cats, as a child my favourite animals were pandas – mainly because they were black and white - and my first cat was a black & white called "Panda", after which the majority of my (many, many, MANY) cats over the years have been black and white - one giant black & white cat family basically.

Who wouldn't want these cuties! x

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Tickets galore with cute tin

From an early age I’ve kept all the theatre, movie and concert tickets I’ve been too, along with other "entry" tickets for museums, etc.  For about 20 years they've been housed in a small Harrods biscuit tin, but of late it's been bursting at the seams...

I’ve finally found something cute and big enough for to hold them all with some space for the next lot of tickets.  Marks & Spencer have various cute tins, but for value as well as cuteness, I liked this one by fabulous designer Sanna Annukka (love her designs) with its Swiss Miss & cows ...

M&S have so many gorgeous tins this year, I'd like them all, if I had the space!

Do you keep any ephemera? x

Christmas ornaments

I came across these gorgeous vintage-style glass OWL decorations at the V&A shop - had to share them, aren't they lovely...
There seems to be the trend this year for vintage-style glass ornaments, and I'm so happy there is! x

Monday, 25 October 2010

Autumn inspiration

We've had a frost every morning for the past 5 days.  I love the frosts (for me, the next best thing to snow), and I'm thoroughly embracing this wonderful weather of crisp, sunny days whilst they last.

Hubby cleaned out the log burner at the weekend all ready for the next bitterly cold evening, and it got me thinking of the cold, dark nights to come.

I love these various Autumnal bits & pieces …

... I'd like these firelighters for my burner

pine cone firelighters

 I have my own extendable brass and ebony antique toasting fork from my Mum

But this one's rather nice too...  hmmm, crumpets...

toasting fork

I love anything Pine Cone...

pine cone candles from Scotts of Stow

I'd love this apple rack (cute chickens too) - for the first year ever, we'd actually be able to fill most of it, so perhaps next year ...
apple rack

cute plant pot citronella candles

I am so in love with these Silver Birch candles, they're so pretty & would look fabulous on a mantle piece, especially at Christmas with a silver theme...

silver birch candle

This little guy keeps cropping up all over the place, I think he's very cute, as well as being helpful :)  Makes me want to make sure we always have a bowl of nuts about, not just at Christmas!


I adore these blackberry earrings (might just have to treat myself) - you can almost taste them


And these yummy soaps


Oh, and a pair of fingerless mittens ...



Hmmmm, bring on the cold weather! x

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Vintage Fair

Yesterday we went to a Vintage Fair held in Leicester.  The venue was The Auditorium, which many years ago was a bingo hall, and has been various clubs since, but had been closed for some time.  It has fabulously tacky mirrored walls, very 1970's disco.

The main room (& its incredibly sticky floor :) ) was full of stalls, ranging from clothing stalls to small craft tables, a fabulous Vintage Salon, and delicious cupcakes.  I found a gorgeous vintage owl brooch but it was far too expensive sadly.

I couldn't get any decent photos (not enough light with my phone) so am waiting for the site to post some; but here are a few of the goodies I brought home with me (mostly as pressies for my sister-in-law's upcoming birthday)...

cute teacup ring
upcycled bag from Shakti & Hope

map brooch from Kakesmakes

mint choc chip, lemon, strawberry cheesecake & white chocolate raspberry - YUM!

Shakti & Hope are "a UK registered Not for Profit Social Enterprise, working in urban slum communities in Goa, India. We are currently offering young women the chance to learn the trade of tailoring; a life skill that is creative and enjoyable and will help them gain employment in the future. " and sell fabulous upcycled bags - it's great to be able to support a women's "charity".

I had no idea that they'd be some crafts there and it was great to meet & support some local crafters.  I long to join them, and hope that one day I'll be brave enough to try a stall at a fair with all my crafts. 

What are you personal experiences of selling at fairs? x

Fab giveaway at Hiyaluv

Wanted to share the fantastic giveaway over at Hiyaluv right now - how'd you like to win a fabulous planner by muchadoaboutyou?  They have gorgeous 'personalised' planners, and the lovely Gina's giving one away.

My favourite is the "Zoey" - check out the cute owl!

Good luck to everyone who enters x

Friday, 22 October 2010

I LOVE my Radiator!

Yes, that's correct, I LOVE my radiator!!!  Odd perhaps, but we've been without heat since the cold weather started last month (and believe me, in a house with 10ft high ceilings, it's always cold in here) and today we finally had our bathroom raditor fitted, other issues resolved, and yay the heating is now on! 

We started decorating our bathroom a year & half ago, nothing was a simple job, and in typical fashion we've still got small bits and pieces to do (and the huge job of sanding & finishing the floor, yuk).

Each time we do a room we replace the cheap modern radiators with new, old-fashioned-looking ones.

I'm also still totally in love with the wallpaper too & can't stop looking at it ..... perhaps I need to get out more ;)

Speaking of which, tomorrow we're off to a Vintage Fair in town, hoping they've got some cool home/gift things as well as clothing, I hear they have cupcakes too!

Vintage fair

Enjoy your weekend. x

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Autumn leaves

Autumn is my favourite season hands down - the crispness in the air, the colours, the smell of wood-smoke, crunching through the leaves, acorns, conkers, I could go on.

There aren’t many lovely colours round here this year, instead the trees almost look scorched, with small patches of colour on the leaves (all that rain I guess).

So instead of some (not so) beautiful pics of my neighbourhood in Autumn, I’m going to share some of my photos from Tokyo in 2008.  Whilst it was the beginning of December when we were there, it was most definitely Autumn, with lots of leaves to cruch our way through, and some amazing colours and beautiful shapes, I loved it and definitely want to go back, preferably at the same time of year…

Asakusa temples

the Imperial Palace gardens

Did I mention that I love Autumn? x

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Beautiful skies & a Halloween table

We've had some very beautiful skies today.  It's very cold, but it's rained hard on and off all day.  I managed to get this picture as the sun was setting - it was a strange light, and the same as this morning, although the pic doesn't really do it justice.  I think it's beautiful...

On a completely different note, secretly loves pink's posted about her (amazing) Halloween decorations at work.  We have a Halloween table in our department at work, although it's not a patch on O.'s.

It's difficult to get a pic of it looking good as people are forever putting on the headbands, hats, etc. We also have a mat on the floor which cackles each time anyone steps on it (aaaaagh, drives you mad after a while) and our coat stand is dressed up as a witch - it fools me every morning when I get to the office!

Do you have any Halloween decorations at work? x

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Cool owl calendar

Owl Lover 2011 Calendar

I had to share this with you in case you don't know... My Owl Barn has a fabulous owl calendar you can download for free for 2011. 

You can choose each month's design or download their pre-made one.  The art work is truly fabulous, I've made mine already.

Thank you Shivani, I now have a beautiful owl calendar. x

Saturday, 16 October 2010


Hubby was very busy this morning, making a loaf of bread, a bolognese sauce for tomorrow, turkey burgers filled with thyme for the freezer, and two pizzas for tonight's dinner - Yes, I do know how lucky I am :)

Hubby's pizza is sooooo good (please excuse the rubbish phone pics, camera battery is dead) ...

ready for the oven

sooo good
Just tomato and cheese, with plenty of oregano and delicious pepperdews! x

More Owls

It's funny, I've always loved owls, but since blogging and reading all your lovely blogs, it seems we all share a love of owls.  Well, at the moment they seem to be everwhere, which is fabulous!

Here are some I encountered yesterday (although only from the couple of shops we visited)...

I couldn't resist snapping a photo of this cute guy, an owl candle - though I wouldn't want to light him - from John Lewis

John Lewis have a fantastic range of Christmas owls this year, here are a few of them...

bauble filled with chocolate!!

cute knitted decorations

tin decorations

Not sure these crackers have owls in them, but still...

Owl Christmas Cards - yay!
charity cards

wooden decoration
metal bell decoration
Wobble owl!

owl knickers!
even after eating these yummy chocolate coins there's still the cute owl moneybox

lavender bags - hmmm, will have to try doing these myself

sound like an owl!

Paperchase have also got an owl range, from stationery to tea towels...

So cute. x