Wednesday, 26 May 2010


Well, time has almost come for us to pack our cases and head off for a week's jaunt down to Sussex.  We're staying in a lovely converted barn surrounded by countryside and only 15 minutes from the sea - and I can't wait.....

The amount of 'stuff' we're taking, I'm not sure that it'll fit in the car and no doubt hubby will try and off load as much as he can.  My philosophy is that you have to take what you've got to take - simple really.

Hopefully, the weather will be kind so we can do lots of this

and plenty of this

picnics on the beach

and generally a good old fashioned time

I'll see you all on our return - have a great half term!

Friday, 21 May 2010

What happens when..........

you go out one evening to meet a friend and come back to this -

yes, 1 big hole in the middle of the wall where the old fireplace is was.  Grrrrrr.  Wasn't quite what I had in mind - especially when we haven't got a quote to fit the woodburner, when we haven't chosen the fireplace surround or granite or when we haven't even got a

So, now I have a great big gaping hole which is going to be like that for goodness knows how long.  How lucky is it then, that I have my pretty firescreen.  Mind you, not even that hides the hole.

C'est la vie I guess.

Needless to say, I won't be spending any time in that room this weekend, but shall indulge myself with a bit of this

some more of this (yes I know it's pink, but I can pretend it's a beach hut especially when I get some bunting hung from it).  Who cares if it's got compost, pots, bikes and a lawnmower in it!!

and a spot of this

Have a great weekend and don't forget the suncream!!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Strawberry loaf

To get us all in the mood now the temperatures are warming up, and in preparation for those strawberry picking days, I thought I'd share my recipe for Strawberry Loaf.  I can't claim it as my own, it's off one of those Sainsbury cards you pick up. we go

Place 300g of strawberries, quartered and with green tops chopped off, in a bowl and microwave for 2 minutes.  Mash with a fork and set aside.  In a medium bowl, combine 300g self raising flour with 1/4 teaspoon salt then set aside.  In a separate bowl, whisk 75g unsalted butter, 225g sugar, 1 tsp vanilla essence and 2 large eggs until fluffy.  Gradually add the flour mixture and 80ml cold water (which I forgot to add, but mine didn't seem to need it), stirring continuously, then fold in the mashed strawberries.  Scrape the batter into a greased loaf tin, smooth the top and bake in a preheated oven at 180c, fan 160c, gas 4 for 50mins.

Leave to cool, then turn out.  Cut into slices, spread with clotted cream and top with slices of fresh strawberry for a delightful taste of summer!!

Here's mine (despite looking like mice have been at it) and the verdict was 10/10.

Lastly, I just thought I'd show you a photo of our azalea which is thriving at the moment. We've had it 8 years and it hasn't flowered since we got it and now look at it.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Copycat, Copycat!

Yes, that's what I am!  A couple of weeks ago I saw a brilliant idea at one of the National Trust properties we were at.  It was an old wooden shelf type thing with a 'roof', and on each shelf were lots of terracotta pots lined up and planted with pansies.  I commented to hubby what a lovely idea it was and then didn't think anything of it...........

A few days later, my own set was born.  Hubby had busily been beavering away using his many pieces of scrap wood and made me one.

Tra la............

I'm not sure if I should have painted it pink though, but I think once the bedding plants have flowered, it'll look fine.

Back to the weekend - all went well and was jammed packed.  It was hubby's birthday on Friday so we spent a nice evening in - my parents came round and we had fish and chips, birthday cake and a couple of bottles of wine.  Saturday saw us doing lots of lovely jobs in the garden, including planting up my new shelving, and then yesterday we went to Shepton Mallet as they had the giant flea and collector's fair on.

The weather was dismal and I felt sorry for a lot of the stallholders who had stands outside and had to keep covering, putting away, and bringing back out all their wares. Nevertheless we managed to pick up some sweet pieces including this clock -

It dates between 1930's and 50's.  When we bought it, the man explained that the ballerina did go round but not brilliantly, the switch was dodgy and there were a few other minor problems.  Hubby came up trumps again, took it to pieces and has repaired everything.  When the ballerina goes round a sweet tune comes on.  The clock keeps perfect time and the switch now works.

My shelves will now be groaning with yet more china, but reasonably priced.

This 1930's maid is an egg cup and at one time she would have been holding little salt and pepper pots, but they have long since gone.

All in all, a jolly good weekend.  I hope everyone else enjoyed their's too?

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Tranquility in the garden

The house, this morning is full of men, well 3.....nothing interesting I'm afraid.  British Gas is here, yet again trying to fix the cooker. I personally think it's a bit of square peg in a round hole but what do I know?  Part of me hopes they can't fix it, as apparently they contribute to a new one if they can't sort it...I already have my eye on a new one, ha ha.  Hubby is working from home today, and the chimney sweep is here in preparation for getting our wood burning stove later this year............

As I can't get any work done, I thought I'd take some photo's of the garden.  So peaceful compared to the mayhem in the house.  Fancy a stroll with me -

Sweetpeas - bliss
A few old and new signs
An old wall planter

Our woody area (as I now call it) is developing nicely.  I can't believe it's taken us 10 years to cut back all the trees, dig up bramble and ivy and plant new plants.  We've gained roughly 150 extra ft and it really has transformed the garden.

This is the last phase to do.

Hedgerow bramble

Right, I'm off back inside to see if peace has resumed!

Monday, 10 May 2010

Cath Kidston bags x 2

Another day, another weekend - where did it fly?!  Hope you've had a good one.
Despite the miserable weather we decided we were not going to be beaten by it and ventured out for another 'day out'  Our jolly days out incorporate National Trust and stopping off where we fancy along the way.

Whilst we were out I picked up Easy Living magazine to get the free Cath Kidston bag - what a useful size and shape.

I also spotted a 'reduced in price', yes that's right, a 'reduced in price' CK bag.  I picked it up, put it down and picked it up again......hubby kindly asked if I would like it??!!  As he took it from my hands to go and pay, he noticed a horrible mark on the handle so we decided to leave it.

Another town, another shop I spotted the same bag which again was reduced in price with a further £5 off.  This time, hubby picked it up, marched over to the till and bought it for me.  It was obviously meant to be for me - don't you think?

The shop had the most fantastic window display involving lots of coloured plastic flowers in planters, then a huge hoop hanging from the ceiling with plastic flowers wound round it.  Very kitsch but brilliant.  Wish I had taken a photo now (how many times do I say that!).

When we were in I pulled out from my 'shed' the baby Tri-ang ironing board.  I'd be meaning to do something with it for ages but not got round to it.  After giving it a good clean and polish I covered it with some floral fabric so it's now sitting proudly in the utility room.

My list of WIP's have increased considerably but all of that will have to be on hold as a mountain of orders have come in which is great so 'solid' work beckons this week.

Enjoy the day!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Weekend treats

Where has this week gone - I was intending to do this post yesterday but events dictated and all that!

We went off again at the weekend to another National Trust property and enroute we stopped off at Station Road Antiques Centre in Chipping Norton.  I'd see it signposted on previous trips out, but we had never stopped off before.  Oh, I was so glad we did.  What a feast for the eyes.  I'm sorry to say that I was a little shy and didn't take any photo's, but rest assured, most of you would have loved it. 

At the back they had a little tea room with homemade cake and mismatched tea-cups and saucers. There was even a sofa with the most gorgeous vintage patchwork throw to sit on

Split over 2 floors, I was in my element. Anyone who loves vintage should visit.  I was restrained with my purchases but couldn't resist these little chaps.  They were paired up, but I'm not sure if in a previous life they had another partner.

I can never resist vintage childrens' books so snapped this one up along with a cute armchair snack tray - ever heard of one?  I'm not sure of it's age and I probably won't use it for it's intended use!  Underneath there are a couple of spring action arms so it stays in place on the chair.

Other little thrifty treats over the weekend was this - don't ask why. 

The 3 male members of the house think I've gone slightly mad as my purchases are getting more and more kitsch, but I make no apologies!

These next 3 items are quite 'normal' I think!

Right, busy day ahead - hubby's birthday next week so better go and present buy. Toby has suddenly realised that it's 'OK' to be interested in clothes and shoes so I'm on a mission to get a certain type of top and a certain type of trainer - I hope I get it right for him!  I didn't think I needed to worry about fashion with boys - obviously not.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Didn't she do well!

Typically the weather this morning is beautiful - wasn't too great at the weekend was it?  Hope everyone enjoyed the extra day.  It's nice knowing that it's a 4 day week, then back to the weekend again!

In between showers we did manage to get out and about - more of which I'll tell you about in another post.

The time we were in, I managed to get some crafting done.  I'd been meaning to make some bunting for ages, so finally got round to it.  It's not quite as long as I would have liked as the intended place for it wasn't quite right.  Where it is now breaks up the wall a little.  I then thought I'd make some to put on the website but this bunting 'version' took quite a long time as it's a double layer of triangles and I fed the ribbon through it once turning the triangles the right way out.  I've got another, more simpler version on the go which I think I'll sell.

I know on a previous post I said I was 'cushioned' out - well, obviously not! as I set to work on another.  I already had the cushion pad - but I got carried away and ending up making it too big so had to buy a bigger pad - why I didn't check as I was going.......I've tried to be a little random with my fabric selection this time.

On top of all that I got a couple of dining chair cushion pads made too.  They haven't added any comfort factor to the chairs, but I made them 'because'!

I've got lots more to share, including some great thrifty finds so I'll be back sooner than later this week.  Have a good day!