Sunday, 27 July 2008

Hearts and feets

Sometimes an unexpected invitation is so much nicer than one long awaited. Today our lovely neighbour (at the top of the garden this time!) had grandchildren to stay, so the beautiful boy was asked to spend a delightful day in the paddling pool with his adored friends whilst we were invited to an evening barbecue supper. Leaving us an unexpected afternoon to ourselves - all the while listening to the echo of joyous giggles and screams from up the lane!
I did some more work on my Etsy photoes ready for my store launch - I really must decide upon a launch date......
The Tiny Hearts Sampler has a few more french knots! I love working french knots, I get quite mesmerised. I also love working a sampler - the first time I work an embroidery design, just piecing and stitching to try out colours and threads. This one will go on the wall over our bed. I thought it would look wonderful once I finish the quilt throw.
When we wandered up the lane for supper we were greeted by 3 delightful little feets, soggy and tired after a day of running around in the pool and the sunshine.
..and a barbecue accompanied by delicious home-grown vegetables and salads. We felt so spoilt on a hot Sunday evening.
Good neighbours. Where would we be without them! Have a great week everyone. t.xx

Take a pile of old quilts and some clothes pegs...

... and this is what you get! Summer den building is in full sway and the willow tree seems to be this years favourite location!
Meanwhile I have spent this week's heat wave in the kitschen kitchen! Playing with dough..
making dozens of biscuits.. Love biscuits and Bug biscuits (of course!)...
Chocolate Brownies, Meme's Fudge Pieces. Some Sweetie Cupcakes...
... and some Spider Buns
... all packed up and ready to go
for the 'Sweets and Treats' fundraiser at Granny's Open Garden Day.

The garden was looking lovely. This little fellow used to sit in Great-Granny's garden - "The kiss of the sun for pardon. The song of the bird's for mirth, One is nearer God's heart in a garden, than anywhere else on earth". The inscription has long since worn away, but I remember it from so many recitals as a child!
The sun was glorious and there were beautiful roses.
More beautiful roses.
Pretty flowers everywhere.
And just for granny, some iced biscuit specials, 'Mill Biscuits'. Can you guess what is in the view from granny's garden?
Hope you're all having a lovely weekend. I need to go and rediscover the kitschen under the icing dust and sprinkles! t.x

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Time flying!

I have had a lovely morning enjoying the sunshine in my neighbours new vegetable garden - what a treat!
Whilst there I took the opportunity to take some puppy photographs.
I'm trying to get photographs for my Etsy store launch..
but somehow whenever I've had a moment for photography, the sunny weather is busy elsewhere!
I've also been doing a bit of sewing, just so I don't forget how! Mostly I do this in those hours after midnight when the house is quiet! I am quite sure I'm not the only nut-case, busy cutting and piecing in the wee small hours of the school holidays! The beautiful boy loves to sew but of course we always work on his projects! Quite right too - it is his holiday after all!
I'm pleased I managed to finish these two. They are for granny's new sofa, no prizes for guessing granny's favourite colour. We did have fun choosing from all the blue fabrics!
Hot on the tails of the fete, it's Granny's village Open Gardens Day on Saturday, so I am going to be busy baking and icing for our 'Sweets and Treats' stall to raise funds for local charities. You know me - any excuse to play with those cake decorations! Hope you're all having a lovely sunny week! t.x

Monday, 21 July 2008

Neighbourly booty!

After a long day in the garden yesterday, working to prepare new beds and finish the front path, look what we found sitting on our hall table!
Aren't we lucky to have such lovely neighbours! t.xx

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Show and Tell Sunday

Thank-you for stopping by for Show and Tell, and a huge THANK-YOU to Cerri over at Little Pink Studio for kindly hosting this week's fun - 'paper things'! I have had to think very hard about showing you my paper things - there are just so many!! Rather like a pond fills with fallen leaves, my home seems to fill with fallen bits of this and that and they seem to gradually come together in groups which make it seem as though there was some pattern or intent. I like it that way. So here are a few of the paper pieces I love!
Vintage Childrens' books, with their sweetshop colours and reflection of the idyllic, technicolour Mockney England of Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang are a great favourite of mine. These are the literature of my childhood. I love the perfect dollys I was supposed to take as my role models, when in fact I always warmed to the tom-boy naughty girls who seemed to have so much more fun!
We also have a large and ever growing collection of vintage Ladybird books. Many of them belonged to me as a child.
I am especially fond of the Ladybird cookery books which I can now share with the beautiful boy as they are so well written as to put some of the modern books for children to shame!
Then there are the cookery and kitchen papers; books, leaflets, and advertising brochures. Oh how I love the food styling of old cook books.
Pretty pictures of perfect trifles and tea-time treats. I have the latest BeRo book, the two in the picture belonged to mum and gran!
When I found a tatty little navy book called "Any One Can Bake" published in 1929, it gave no clues to the abundance of beautiful illustrations hiding within it's covers...


And of course we all have the time to whip up one of these for a children's party...
..from the Tala guide to cake decorating!
It's the glorious colours that make me smile.
And of course the marvellous concoctions of Good Housekeeping's psychedelic guides to every form of entertaining are always good for a laugh!
But I think the books on cake decorating have to be amongst my favourites! All that icing and gorgeousness!
There are also vintage gardening books with beautiful flower illustrations.
And stamps! Being a girly girl there was never any question of studying catalogues trying to decipher which definitives I was missing or whether I had every issue for a given currency. I just collected stamps with flowers on them! The more colourful the better!
I even extended my stamp book to include fruits too!
And that led to a new interest in vintage product labels and fruit wrappers.
At some point I discovered old cigarette cards could be prettier than the sets which came free with mum's Brooke Bond tea.
And so it goes on! But if I had to pick out a really special paper item it would be something which has, surprisingly, very little colour at all.
A very brown book which I was given as a 16th birthday gift. Inside it's cover lay pages and pages of indecipherable handwriting, much of it well over 100 years old when it was given to me. I gradually learned to read the text. Finding recipes for this and that; Lobster Jelly, Albert Pudding, Tipsy Cake and Rich Bride Cake.
Pieces glued in and receipts shared all interspersed with wifely wisdom. "It is a good horse that never stumbles, a good wife that never grumbles". "Without economy none can be rich. With economy few will be poor". "Let the ticking clocks guide the boiling crocks". "When poverty comes through the door, love flies out the window". Later in the book there is a large section all about brewing and ale. One can almost trace the course of a young girl growing into a worldly woman.
But the real substance of this book, for me, is at the back. Bits of paper tucked and glued, a pattern for a precious piece of lace edging, notes for swollen cattle, a recipe for cough medicine, another for glossy starch, a cure for neuralgia. The lady who wrote this book, probably a farmer's wife, had no pharmacy to turn to for sickness, she had to be frugal and resourceful with all that she owned. I came to admire her so much for her knowledge of so many things.
It is a window onto a time of 'make do and mend' and 'waste not want not' which is so different to how we live now. Just recently I have been reading 'Wood Smoke and Pigeon Pie' by Joan Kent. It is a wonderful, life-affirming book. I recommend it highly. I am quite sure Ms. Kent and her mother would have had just such a book as mine.
Now I must tidy away my papers and I am off to visit Cerri and all the other ladies taking part today! Have a good week everyone! t.x

Colour therapy!

Well the holiday continues with handsome hubby at home for a few more days! We have been back to one of our favourite spots, here. Of course there was birdwatching,
and some very hissy geese who wanted to join in with our picnic!
But what I really wanted to share was all of this! A garden about to burst into it's peak bloom!







It will continue to get better for a few weeks yet! I thoroughly recommend a visit for some colour therapy! If you can't get over here, I hope these pictures have made you smile!
For more smiles, I shall be joining in with Show and Tell Sunday this week by kind invitation of Cerri over at her gorgeous Little Pink Studio.
Just one more little isty bitsy thing! Some of you who visit often will have noticed the little orange Etsy logo up top. Am I completely barmy to have decided to finally try to get this off the ground in the midst of the school hols?! Oh I think so! More news on that soon!
Hope you are all enjoying the weekend. Do drop by for a visit tomorrow! There might even be cakes! t.x