Sunday, 31 August 2008

Oh silly silly me.

Well, Grandma took the beautiful boy off to his favourite part of the coast for their annual seaside holiday together ... (this is one of our old photos of the boating pond ) ...
...leaving me to spend time in my workroom; sewing and developing ideas. Or so I thought!
Oh the best laid plans of mums... First a friend had a childcare crisis so I had two lovely little visitors who were much happier in the garden; so I set them to work on the crab apple harvest!
They were delighted to be doing such an important job and we filled a huge bucket! That'll be next weeks work cut out then; cooking, straining, bottling! (Lottie some of these are heading your way!)
Work over, there were sack barrow rides - never has the rusty old sack barrow seen such glamorous shoesies!
The only time I made it into the workroom I decided to re-frame the tiny hearts sampler. I have removed the rick-rack trim and added a cream mount. Somehow the dark border was killing all the colours and I hadn't been happy about it. The alterations worked and I'm far happier with it now. Whilst re-stretching and framing, I was reminded how I love the back of a piece of work, so many hidden stitches!
Before I knew it, the beautiful boy was home (hurrah!) and I had spent the week cleaning, shopping, cooking and making up guest beds for a suddenly expanding celebration!
You know how it goes; one minute you're having Grandpa over for a birthday tea, the next the weather promises to be fair and extended family are gathering to celebrate something rather special! There was cake...
and lots of yummy favourites to eat as well as a monster barbecue.
As grandpa is a renowned Aviation Historian, the beautiful boy wore his aeroplanes shirt in honour of the occasion!
The sun was remarkably beautiful, shining well into the evening. Cousins of all ages played, aunts and uncles caught up on news, big cousins shared family gossip, and how many little ones are hiding in the laurel den?
Once the neighbours' children decided to join in I rather lost count... and whilst I don't usually share pictures of our darling little man, this sleepy little chap is testament to a lovely day, I'm off to join him!
Somewhere in the midst of all this I did manage to make my first Etsy listings. New things are in the pipeline, but as we are into the last week of the holidays it may all have to wait a little bit longer. Somehow the homework is not all done, the scrapbook has become an epic and hubby is home for the week so we can all enjoy the last days of summer together. Thank-you all for stopping by. I love to read your comments and I'll be back soon! t.x

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Seasonal oddities

It is amusing to have city visitors to fine tune your eye to things which might otherwise be taken as everyday normality. Whilst out for a walk our visitors were fascinated to see our darling friend from the farm out for a stroll with her pet. This little girl is such a dear with all her animals. We thought nothing of seeing her coming down the lane with her pram and the latest orphaned baby! Our visitors were as disturbed and perplexed as the beautiful boy might be if he were ever to watch an episode of Dr Who!
We also visited a very fine art exhibition in a farm yard down another lane. Outstanding and challenging pieces of art are always more fun with children. They comment in such a loud and unguarded way...!
We have a new biscuits cutter which had to be tried out. It's actually a PlayDoh cutter but we liked it very much!
And imagine the dust this vehicle kicks up as it passes the bedroom window! As this is the guest room it was sad that our visitors had returned home, they would have loved to see the harvest in the back field! I wish you could smell this photo. There is nothing so delicious as the smell of sun soaked, fresh cut straw to make you realise summer is nearly over and autumn is just around the corner! The straw dust all over the bed linen I had just hung out is an extra reminder I could do without!
As part of my 12 month project (see it on my Flickr) I took my August 'View from Here' just this morning.
It took the Combine Harvester just 50 minutes to cut the whole 10 acre field.
So we decided to join in and finally get the top lawn under control ready for September revels.
Fresh cut straw and fresh mown grass. MMmmm. Shine on Harvest Moon.
There has been a little crazy sewing too. Can you guess what?
I'll post later in the week when I have some quiet time and have recovered from the weekend's labours!! The sun is supposed to be shining again tomorrow so I shall be in the kitchen garden! t.x

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Trees and Teas

Well the clouds seem to be blowing over at last, we may even have a sunny Bank Holiday weekend. I spoke to a farmer yesterday who still has 30 acres of hay to bring in and he is confident he'll be doing that in the next few days. I think that's more reliable information than listening to a TV forecast!
I am going to have to pick our John Downie Crab Apples this weekend. They ripen to a beautiful rosy pink and then overnight they all drop. The tree is so tall now that I can always leave plenty of apples at the top for the birds. It was a planted a decade ago, a gift from my mother-in-law. I love that we have a tree to remember her by. She was a keen gardener and an excellent cook ... and she loved Crabapple Jelly!
These are a few of the jars I made from last year's harvest! I'm hoping Lottie will take some of this years apples as I so hate to waste them and it looks to be a bumper crop!
One of our Oak trees is far less healthy looking. Given the recent scares, especially for Oak and Horse Chestnuts, I sent photoes to the Forestry Commision. I didn't want any nasties spreading to our more mature trees. They very kindly sent us information and reassurance.
The odd acorns are being parasitised by tiny gall wasps and the resulting oddities are called Knopper Galls. Whilst I have never seen them before it is possible in some years for 95% of a tree's acorns to be affected! I think, on this tree we are close to 60% of acorns. Thankfully this is of no concern to the long-term health of the tree - PHEW! We are relieved as it creates a particularly lovely shady spot in which to sit with a cuppa and view the kitchen garden!
Today the beautiful boy and I treated ourselves and visited our favourite tea shop. There was recently a small debate on Dulwich Mum's excellent blog, about the relative merits of a city coffee shop. So far I remain loyal to our tea shop where the waiter and waitresses are so friendly, especially to little folk, and where I can see fresh flowers and vintage embroideries on all the tables....
The beautiful boy gets to enjoy his favourite home made Lemon Drizzle Cake with a large glass of milk...
and from the colour of these cakes you just know the eggs were fresh and from happy hens!
On the way home I took a detour to my favourite honesty stall for a bunch of dahlias for the kitchen table. I just love bunches of dahlias! So much colour and flowers so completely lacking in discretion or subtlety!
So now to important business! As I mentioned already, kind Emily over at Sugar and Meringue has sent me my first two awards! Thank-you Emily!

In accepting these awards I agree to
1) Display the logo and a link to who gave it.
2) Nominate 7 blogs.
3) Add links to those blogs.
4) Leave nominees a message that they received the award.

Here are my nominees, in no particular order!

Since I had so much trouble choosing only 7 of my most favourite blogs, I have decided to initiate some awards of my own to spread more praise where it is due! More on that another day, I'm working on some pretty badges. Of course I'll be sending one straight back to Emily as her blog is so inspiring!
A busy few days ahead here, with lots more children around than usual - but I love it when the house and garden are filled with screams (sometimes mine!), laughter and all the chaos that goes with it!
Hope you're enjoying the week and that the sun has his hat on for the weekend! t.x

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Time between the busy-ness

In between play dates and day trips the beautiful boy and I have enjoyed some time together being quiet - or at least only the two of us making the noise! We've been to church....
No, I'm not a churchgoer in the usual sense, but somehow I am on the rota which means that around 6 times a year I go along to this lovely old building full of history ...
.. and have a good clean through! It seems quite irreverent but at the same time such a privilege; bashing around with a broom, flicking cobwebs, and all sorts of animal evidence - bat poo, and the droppings left by the ubiquitous church mice! The beautiful boy loves when our rota falls in the holidays. He is always Head Polisher.
He's rather generous with the polish which makes it a much smellier experience than when I go alone!
But he does a fine job on the pews and particularly likes that he gets to go up into the pulpit!
The kneeler collection is growing, some are stitched to commemorate events, others to remember loved ones.
This one is ours - I let the beautiful boy choose the pattern and did regret it when it came to long evenings working all that green !! But he's very proud of his tractor kneeler!
I had a great day out at the annual crafts street fair here with my lovely neighbour. We bought more bric-a-brac than crafts and both came home happy with our bargains! I particularly like this pot stand.
A bag full of lovely embroidered linens; crinoline ladies, lucky heather, geometrics like a formal garden and gentleman's buttonhole flowers. The bagful for just 40p!
Lots of colourful old wooden jigsaw puzzles for 25p each (you get that I'm a real bargain lover don't you?!) - all of them on transport themes from horse and cart to trains and cars, the beautiful boy will love doing them. The previous owner had obviously treasured them. Where they are not in their original boxes they are in carefully labelled cigar boxes...
or others in boxes covered in the most beautiful vintage wallpaper - oh to have a full roll of this one!
We already have a good collection of wooden puzzles. This is one of our favourites.
There has been crafting. The beautiful boy took it upon himself to make his own button necklace from his own collection of vintage buttons.
He even came up with this clasp on his own. I was so impressed!

drum roll....

gasp from the crowd.....

pause for effect....I finally finished and framed the Tiny Hearts Sampler! Hurrah!
It's going to look so cheerful on the wall in our bedroom - a real splash of colour to wake up to.
and I added a few of my favourite little vintage buttons- those tiny glass hearts.
Signed and dated and time to move onto the next thing! I do love a new start - I already have a lot of ideas I am working through but first I must concentrate on my Etsy launch. The ticker timer is moving very fast. Next week the beautiful boy is off on his annual seaside holiday with Grandma. Time for me in the workroom. I'll be in touch before then. I must pass on Emily's awards! Back soon. t.x

Friday, 15 August 2008

Sewing: 0 Landmarks: 4

Well, far from spending my week in the workroom, somehow time has whooshed past and the Tiny Hearts sampler is languishing in my sewing bag! Whilst the garden was wallowing in mud, hubby and I set off in biblical rain to hunt for a new barbecue. Very quickly we retired to a pub and ordered chips and somehow the barbecue was forgotten - as the rain has hardly stopped since, it is not much missed!
The beautiful boy finally came home after his long stay with Aunty. He had a lovely time and was spoiled in that way only grannies and aunties can get away with. I have been particularly amused by his sheepish admissions that he watched 'Big Brother', ate M&M's and drank Cola! Well if that's as bad as it gets.....! "Oh no!" I hear all you more experienced parents cry! "You have so much to learn".
Since being home he has finally got to grips with building his Playmobil! This is huge! I have spent whole days putting together pieces of plastic and all of a sudden he is doing it without me! Oh Joy!
In defiance against the wind and rain, the sunflowers have easily exceeded 2 metres such that I cannot photograph their tops without a large step ladder. The next problem is how to get an accurate height measurement! All suggestions welcome!
Also I have been given my first blog awards!

Lovely Emily over at Sugar and Meringue has very kindly nominated me and I have a list of things to do to accept the awards, including passing them on to some of my favourite blogs! I'll be doing that in another post soon, but for now, THANK-YOU sweet Emily I might just send them straight back to you at your lovely blog! I'm Tickled Kitschen Pink!!
As you can see there has been biscuit decorating with friends. The surfing teddies are a huge favourite of mine...
and I love that spangly pink pig!
but I miss the days when all the bowl licking was done by me! Now I hardly get a look in!
Of course there have been charity shops - I found these in a very unpromising little brown cigar tin. I just love those little clover buttons!
and I have increased my stash of candy stripe bed linen and also found this huge cloth with seasonal Sweet Peas - I need to have a tea-party very soon whilst it's still in season!
Yet another vintage pinny, contemporary to my old Aga. It's a lovely sunny yellow with two capacious pockets and an equally capacious waist!
But best of all it is in mint condition with the tag still intact! The back of the label reads "Guaranteed by the manufacturers to give satisfaction in wash and wear." I can't help but wonder how many textiles we buy now might assert the same level of quality!
But best of everything, and my happiest landmark this week, my blog passed it's two month birthday just as my visitor count passed 2000. Thank-you so much to all you lovely regulars and readers.
I love to read your comments and receive your mails. So whilst I feel I should apologise for the complete lack of sewing content and the infrequent posts during the holiday, I shall do my best to post again soon! Do pop back, and in the meantime, have a lovely weekend. t.x