Thursday, 29 April 2010

Uncle Dan's Book about Trees

Whilst waiting for Dunster castle to open on Saturday, we went into a second hand bookshop whilst waiting for the castle to open.  Not your usual second hand bookshop as there were lots of rare and 1st editions - way out of my price league.  However I spotted this book

and fell in love with the cover.  It's very fragile and the pages are so thin, I daren't turn them!  Unfortunately there's no date on it so wouldn't like to guess at it's age.

It's basically a book about the trees you can find in England.  Each page is a delight and gives a lovely potted history of each tree.

Reading the back page it seems that Uncle Dan produced a number of books - 'An Uncle Dan book is always greeted with delight, because there is no doubt that Uncle Dan knows books - that children enjoy.  His books are full of colour and interest on every page'.  I might have to do some research into Uncle Dan - unless anyone can fill me in???

Moving on - whilst reading Vanessa's blog - Do you mind if I knit, I noticed she's written a pattern for Coats Craft's website - a knitted rosette, and there's a free pattern to download.  She showed some examples of one's she's made on her blog and she's added them to bags - they look great.  Take a look if you get a chance.  There's my next project lined up!

Bye for now!

Monday, 26 April 2010

Car boot finds and Dunster castle

Another weekend is over - wasn't the weather great on Saturday.  I'm actually going to do my post in reverse today, only because I was extremely excited about going to my first 2010 car boot sale yesterday so wanted to share my finds with you first!  We woke to slightly disappointing weather but thought we may as well go.

After spending the first half and hour finding goodies, it gradually fizzled out, but nevertheless I wasn't disappointed with my finds.

Already having a jug full of coloured knitting needles, hubby did wonder why I would want more, but heh, you can never have to much of anything!

Jack in his quest to find pretty china for me was rather disappointed there wasn't much that I liked, however he did find this -

how did he know I wanted one?  At only £3.00 I couldn't argue.  I've seen similar ones at antique centres for considerably more.  I think I'm going to paint the surround as it's looking slightly tired, but for now I'll leave it alone.

Don't ask me why I like this picture, but I do. You know when some things just jump out at you - this certainly did.  The boys and hubby didn't even think it was worth the £1 I paid for it........

My last buy were some pretty cowslips at 50p per pot so we've planted them under our trees in the garden.  I wish I had got more - maybe next time!

Now, back to the start of the weekend.  We went off on another National Trust day which seem to be a regular thing for us, and as we are members it makes a reasonably cheap day out.  Dunster Castle was our destination.  A bit of a journey for us, but we drove through some pretty villages on the way, and we stopped off at Dunster Village before heading to the Castle.

It's a piccie overload I'm afraid as the grounds were so pretty.

Hubby's away all week with work, so I'm hoping this week will whizz by ready for the 3 day weekend!


Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Pretty things to smile about

Another glorious day here, blue sky, birds singing and blossom blowing in the breeze.  To stay on the note of happiness, I thought I'd share some of the goodies making me smile today.

I have a love of badges at the moment and whilst in London, I couldn't resist some from Cath Kidston and some from the London Transport museum - and half the price compared to the Cath ones!  I love the little houses. Let's see if I can find some jackets to put them on!

Last Friday was one of those 'hump' days.  British Gas had to come out for a second time to sort the boiler out.  They hadn't done a good job the first time and it had been leaking onto my freshly painted ceiling in the hall.  The boys were snapping at each other and I was desperate to get out and enjoy the sunshine.

Once the boiler had been sorted, we ventured out to feed some ducks along the nearby river, which also happens to be next to an antiques centre (there was a calculated plan - something for them, something for me!).

I was in a 'purchase' mood and picked up this pretty framed flower which has been sewen.  Not sure of it's age but it jumped into my hands. 

We then took a drive to the garden centre which happens to sell, besides plants, lots of other goodies.  This jug and birdhouse also jumped into my hands.  I know I have a lot of jugs, but they are useful for flowers and you can also then have them on display.

Feeling satisfied that the day and been salvaged, we then trotted home.

Lastly, the other thing to make me smile is getting this award from Laura -  A Fennel Designer. Thank you so much.  I would like to pass it onto all those lovely blogs I follow - please feel free to accept this award from me!

What's making you smile at the moment?

Monday, 19 April 2010

Routine beckons

Well, back to it again after a fantastic 2 week Easter break all helped by great weather by and large.  The house is now quiet and as much as I miss not having the boys' here, I can get on without interruptions!

On Friday, whilst browsing through Country Living magazine I noticed a pair of pumps which had been customised slightly using Liberty fabric for laces - what a great idea I thought, and I set to, with making my own pair of unique laces.  It was quite awkward and I had to sew them by hand as the fabric got sucked into my sewing machine, but I do think they've turned out quite well - what do you reckon?

As the onset of Monday morning routine beckoned, we took ourselves off for the day on Saturday to Avebury. The boys' enjoyed having a good run around and I enjoyed spotting some bluebells!

Yesterday was Toby's last football match of the season - phew....Just before we went I touched his face and it felt like he had added a layer of transparent cream on it, so I asked him what was on his face to which he replied 'I've put some roll-on deodrant on it to stop my face from sweating'  I did have to contain my laughter to explain it wasn't really the place to put it.  That quote's definately one to remember!

Right, onwards and upwards.  Have a good day.

Thursday, 15 April 2010


Now, this is the sort of stuff I don't mind blowing past the window!  Without my lenses in this morning, I did briefly think it was snowing but to my relief it was only the glorious blossom blowing off the tree.

There is something so pretty and fresh about blossom., maybe, it's because it's the beginning of Spring.

I hope everyone has enjoyed the Easter holiday's, I feel slightly sad that it's coming to the end of the break, and next week will be routine, packed lunches, school run and after school clubs......but the weather is getting better and there's another 2 bank holiday's coming up next month.

We recently popped to Ikea for a curtain pole, and whilst there this somehow popped into the trolley (yes I know you don't need a trolley for a pole, but....).

I love the colours, and on closer inspection, I noticed that each triangle hadn't been stitched individually.  The whole quilt is infact 1 piece of fabric.  They've then stitched down each triangle giving the impression that they are individual pieces of fabric.  I wish I could have done that with my patchwork curtain!!

I'm hankering after another project now, which makes hubby slightly nervous with the fear that it might involve him!  I think it'll involve fabric so he needn't worry!  I'll let you know when I'm underway!

Enjoy the rest of the week.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Walking round London

Hope everyone had a good weekend - ours was spent walking round London, being tourists!  My brother had treated me (us) to a weekend away (a birthday present for my impending ssshhhh 40th....).

We stayed in Westminster and managed to park on the road for free which was fortunate - a bonus at the weekend.  It was a great location as we were obviously near Big Ben, Houses of Parliment etc.  Our first stop was to walk across into Lamberth to visit the Imperial War Museum.

I remember going there as a child as my brother was interested in 'all of that' and I found it incredibly tedious.  My view now, as an adult is completely different.  The boys were in their element and they took lots of photo's.  My photo's were all of the 'impact the war had on children' exhibition.  The exhibits were wonderful.  It really makes you realise how difficult it was for children to be sent away - maybe to never see their parents' again. Here's a snapshot.

Next was a trip on the tube - a first for the boys, to Covent Garden and the Transport Museum.  Again, my love for nostalgia is reflected in my photo's.

Then, a hop on the bus, back to the hotel to freshen up, then onto Tate Britain which was 5 minutes walk from the hotel.  It's great that there are so many free admission places to visit, you then don't feel you have to stay for too long.

Yesterday saw us up nice and early, back on foot to walk along the Embankment, past the London Eye to catch another form of transport - a boat called the Clipper, to take us to The Tower of London.  It's a great form of transport as it was quick, spacious and you get to see lots of landmarks.  As we had travel cards for the tube and bus, it also entitled us to discount on the boat too!  One to remember.

The Tower of London was wonderful, but extremely busy even at 10.30 on a Sunday morning.  You really felt like you were walking back in time walking through the towers.  The vault where the crown jewels are kept was a real priviledge to see.  I can understand why it's one of London's most popular attractions.

Another walk, towards the City where we saw 'Spooks' being filmed down a side street. We weren't allowed to hang around unfortunately due to some burly men looking rather imposing.

A spot of shopping, then back to Westminster, in the car to come home.  Worn out, but what a great time we had.  It was lovely being tourists just for the weekend!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

One of those never ending jobs....

Hello all - isn't it great to have such wonderful weather (for now!).  To have a little warmth has seen us getting out and about as much as possible since Easter.  I hope everyone had a good one and didn't do too much over indulging - we've still got a chocolate mountain to get through!

One thing I have been doing is the patchwork front door curtain.  The project length was apparently 4 hours - em - somewhat optimistic.

Here's the fabrics all washed and ironed ready to be cut - a selection of 1930's reproduction fabrics from Tikki.

I got a little goggle-eyed sewing endless triangles and then lining them all up.  The first mistake then crept in when hubby said 'those triangles are the wrong way round'  Unfortunately it was in the middle, so a lot of swearing and unpicking then followed.

Work in progress -

What I didn't realise is that the patchwork was actually the easy bit.  I then had to line it up with the wadding for the middle and then the backing fabric.  For smaller items, this is fine but because the curtain was so big it was rather difficult so I did have hubby standing on the bed spread eagled holding it up as high as he could whilst I pinned it!

I then added some tabs using a couple of the fabrics from the patchwork.  Job done, 4 days, not 4 hours!

It's our anniversary today - 15 years!  I am ashamed to say that I had forgotten and only realised it was today when my mum, yesterday, wished us well.  I had also planned to go out with a friend today will be spent postponing, and making amends for my 'doh' moment, especially when I was bought flowers and chocolates.  Oh dear.