Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Colour in the garden

With the mix of rain and sunshine we've had recently, some of the garden is finally coming to life...

this one reminds me of a sweetie

Now we just need some more sunshine please for the fruit and veg. x

Monday, 23 May 2011

A slice of Victoriana - part 1

My cousins were down from Cumbria this weekend, and kindly brought with them some of my Nan's photos, and also scans of some glass negatives.  Most of these were paternal family photos I've never seen before and hopefully they're going to send me some more scans as apparently they have ALOT more (yay).

Some of the most fascinating pictures are ones from the Victorian era, I just love to look at their clothes, jewellery and hair styles - fascinating - here are a few for you...

Great grandmother Violet

Violet & William - don't they look dashing

what a smart gent

such beautiful detailing on her lace collar, beautiful beading on her sleeves, & the folds in the skirt, I would think this dress is taffeta, and stunning

more gorgeous dress detailing around the decolletage

and my personal favourite - a Great Great Grandmother, and a truly 'typical' Victorian (very Queen Victoria)

I'm lucky enough to have some Victorian clothing, including the cape she's wearing here, which is covered in beading & brocade (now I just have to find them as my Mum kept them for me!)

For me it's so exciting to see new photos of relatives; next stage is to go through them all with my Dad and name them all. x

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Funky Tea Towels

Following on from my last "things I like" post, as I'm rather partial to tea towels, here are a few more cool & funky ones I'd love to 'adorn' my kitchen...

Dear Colleen

  these two are good enough to eat...
Charlotte Farmer

Charlotte Farmer


a great game & a great tea towel (hee haw?)

Unity Peg

I wish I had such a great collection of snowglobes as this...
Charlotte Farmer

Does anyone else share my passion for tea towels? x

Friday, 20 May 2011

Things I'm liking right now - Part 4

Oh my, there's so many lovely things out there at the moment, here are just a few that I love...

from the wonderful designer gift site Lasso the Moon:

what a happy apron...
 How cute are these owls!

Petra Boase
and beautiful bird stationery

Dear Prudence
I'd also really like this fabulous pincushion ring for my crafting...

from Wychbury, available from both etsy and folksy.

And what about these great sentiments from giftedpenguin...

and finally these fab tea towels from ToDryFor


Thursday, 19 May 2011

French Art Deco

Whilst in Chicago last year I visited one of my most favourite shops in the city, Poster Plus, who sell a variety of wonderful posters, both vintage & reproduction, alongside fab stationery. In addition to some fab vintage-style postcards I also bought a pack of French art deco stickers - of savon (soap) and cologne - produced by Laughing Elephant ...

they're all so colourful and beautiful, but here are some of my favourites

You can buy some lovely glass bottles and jars with vintage-style labels on them from places such as the fabulous Cologne and Cotton,

who also sell wonderful linen & amazing soaps, including my personal favourites from Claus Porto...

However, the wonderful thing about these stickers is that you can also make your own.  I've already done one for my bathroom...

and I love it.  If you have some plain jars and bottles these stickers are a perfect way to make your own 'vintage' containers. x

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Party fun

Yes, it was a fun weekend.

Our friend's surprise 40th was a fab night - he was sooo shocked, went bright red & swore (naughty boy) - it was fantastic to catch up with old friends and it really was like stepping back 17 years! Gosh, that's a long time isn't it!!!

Saturday's Eurovision was also hilarious.  As usual the four of us laughed alot and screamed at the tv often.  Blue certainly did ok for the UK (we came 11th out of 24 - that's pretty good for the UK).  I'm possibly one of the few people who'd never heard Jedward (Ireland's entry) perform before, but I don't watch X-Factor etc, so...

source: BBC
Well, I have to say, Jedward WERE Eurovision - the OTT outfits, the geeky dance moves, and the song - were all classic Eurovision - you can watch it HERE!  They actually finished 8th - and good for them, I loved it and I hope they are there again next year.

There were quite a few catchy tunes this year, including boy-bands from both Sweden and Denmark and a group of lads from Iceland. I particularly liked Serbia's song - very retro 60's with the outfits.

We had to laugh, every time someone said, that "definitely, yes, definitely, this year the voting will not be political" - you have to understand that this is said EVERY year, but still, EVERY year, countries vote for their neighbours - and you know, once again, that makes it all even more amusing.  However, you can never guess who'll win, and this year was no different. 

Azerbaijan won with a catchy tune and you can watch the Winners' Song here.

source: BBC
Oh yes, Moldova, all I'm going to say is, insane garden knomes! x

Eurovision weekend

Tomorrow we're off to a friend's surprise birthday party which should be fun as I've got the opportunity to catch up with some girlfriends I haven't seen for ages!

Saturday is Eurovision - always a fun night.  I think since Hubby and I first started living together way back in 1996 we've pretty much had a Eurovision Party every year (except twice I believe).  Just us and a few friends, it often turns out to be on the same day as the FA Cup Final, which means we start in the afternoon with a BBQ (weather permitting), then move inside for Eurovision in the evening.

For those of you who've never heard of Eurovision, it's basically a singing contest between many European countries, and each of those countries (& a few others) get to vote for the winner, it's been running since 1956. 

The singers/bands are usually hilarious to watch - with some interesting outfits, bizarre lyrics (esp cool when they sing in their own language & you put subtitles on, ha ha) & some great UK commentary from Graham Norton (though I still think Terry Wogan was the best - no one can quite do a put-down like Terry). 

Though don't get me started on the voting.... it's all VERY political.  Which of course means that we all start yelling (goodnaturedly) at the telly as the votes come in, ha ha.  England last won in 1997 & I can't see us winning it this year (sorry Blue), who knows, maybe Jedward will knowing Eurovision (eek) :D

It's always a really fun night, full of laughter & a fair bit of drinking. 
In the spirit of Eurovision I actually found an old Bucks Fizz LP last weekend...

...and was compelled to buy it, as when I was a little girl in 1981 I LOVED Bucks Fizz (trust me, 'Land of Make Believe' rocked!).  Bucks Fizz won Eurovision in 1981 with 'Making Your Mind Up' - which is mostly remembered for when the boys whip off the girls skirts part way through the song, ha ha.

Whatever you do this weekend, hope you have as much fun as hopefully we will. x

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Crafting Books

In addition to those lovely hardbacks I posted about last week from my in-laws, I also got to choose from a selection of cool, vintage craft books!

I chose the following which seemed to be the best...

the fab Big Book of Needlecraft, which I recently saw in a charity shop for £20!!

and yes, that is an owl on the front cover, though I'm still looking for it inside...

and the Book of Good Needlecraft has some fab things to make inside...

I can't wait for some time to sit and go through them to make a list of what to make first (and fingers crossed for the owl)! x

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Getting to Know Me & You

The wonderful O. at Secretly Loves Pink recently posted a great ABC list to get to know one better, so thanks O. and here's my list...

Age: 36
B. Bed size: King
C. Chore that you hate: Dusting
D. Dogs: None right now
E. Essential start to your day: A hug & kiss
F. Favourite color: Purple in all its shades
G. Gold or Silver: Silver
H. Height: 5’61/2" (yes, that 1/2 is very important)
I. Instruments you play: Piano
J. Job title: Standards Administration Officer
K. Kids: None
L. Live: Leicestershire, England
M. Mother's name: Glenda
N. Nicknames: Pudwell
O. Overnight hospital stays: 2 – wisdom teeth and operation
P. Pet peeve: Rude-ness
Q. Quote from a movie: “That’s no moon, that’s a space station!”
R. Right or left handed: Right
S. Siblings: one brother
T. Time you wake up: 7am workdays, 8ish non-workdays
U. Underwear: Always
V. Vegetable you hate: Anything green, but a special hatred for brussel sprouts (they taste of evil)!
W. What makes you run late:  Never late, always 5 mins early
X. X-Rays you've had: Jaws & scans
Y. Yummy food that you make: Chickpea curry, cakes, cheesecakes, biscuits...
Z. Zoo animal: Penguins

Perhaps some of you would like to do this too? x

Monday, 9 May 2011

Obsessed Audio?

Sometimes I'm not sure if I am a collector, or perhaps just obsessed with some things?

One of the things which you may have noticed before is my love of Agatha Christie books - in ALL their forms - in the last couple of years I've been buying audio books of them, mainly from Charity Shops or Ebay.  I'd never even considered audio books until I saw my first Agatha Christie ones, I'd always just walked past them in the shops.

They're a fab additional way to enjoy books, and can be very relaxing when you find a reader you like - some will even lull me to sleep if I'm having difficulty dropping off - ALWAYS helpful - for me that's Hugh Fraser (Hastings).

Most of mine are on cassette as they're so much cheaper, and I convert them using Audacity to mp3 so can listen on my ipod wherever I am - in the garden, cleaning the house. 

You'll also see from the photo that I have a couple of Harry Potter's too - read by the FABULOUS Steven Fry who does a fantastic copy of both Hagrid, and Kenneth Branagh's Gildroy Lockhart!

If you've never tried audio books before I seriously cannot recommend trying them enough - they're readily available online too as downloads. x

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Spools galore

How cool is this lot...

This huge lot of sewing and decorative threads came from Hubby's late aunt (along with my fab sewing machine); however I've only recently discovered them as we'd left them with my Mum.  Just looking at the colourful display makes me happy - ok, do I need to get out more?!

I also found this bag full of pretty Summery coloured threads which were my Mum's...

I think they'd look fab on a thread board, though Hubby's not too thrilled by that idea as my crafting supplies are constantly spreading, ha ha :)

I've already started to use the threads with that lovely vintage fabric I found last weekend too with some lavender bags

though that's one wonky small heart, doh. x

Friday, 6 May 2011

Creative Walls

I have a new book, and I LOVE it!  I'm a huge fan of beautiful interiors and any inspiration I can get.

'Creative Walls: How to display and enjoy your treasured collections' by Geraldine James is a fantastic book with some great ideas and fabulous photos...

I'll occasionally treat myself to something on my Wish List and this one was a huge success, definitely one for when I need inspiration.

What are your favourite inspiring books? Have a fab weekend lovelies. x

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Vintage Furniture Whoppee!

For over four years now we've been looking for furniture for our house.  Going from a modern house to a bigger, period property means that not only do you need additional furniture, but also, perhaps, and certainly in our case, period furniture.

We've never managed to find anything for our living room where we have recesses either side of the marble fireplace.  Well, amazingly in one weekend in Suffolk, we found both pieces we were looking for!

We found the unit, an old bookcase with glass sliding doors, that will house our stero and dvd equipment on Friday and while we were there paying for it, we also found a beautiful chest of drawers for the other recess.  We were sensible and agreed that we should wait until next month when we return and just hope it would still be there!

Well, of course, it was then all we could think of, so on Sunday afternoon we went back, and bought it!  Well.... how could we not?  So..... we'll struggle for a couple of months - it was sooo worth it...

Just got to collect the other unit now. x