Sunday, 31 October 2010

Car Boot Finds & Unsettling News

It's been a whole week since my last post. I did intend to post about my car boot finds the same evening as we went to the boot sale, but on my return I recieved a telephone call from my boss with the news that I am being made redundant from the end of December - a casualty of the local authority cuts.

As you can imagine I have been wandering round in a bit of a state of shock and disbelief, but I am coming to terms with the reality of it all now. I am trying to stay positive, the local authority have assured me that they will make every attempt to find me alternative employment, but this is in no way guaranteed. I have decided that I just need to:

So with this in mind and a promise that I will remain positive, I am finally posting my car boot finds.
A pretty vintage Royal Staffordshire bowl with violets on it 30p, a Grindley England small oval plate with a windmill & tulips at the top, a sailing boat on the right and a fishing scene on the left also 30p, and a pretty little leaf shaped dish and mint sauce boat £1.50. I've been hankering after one of these "mint sauce" boats for ages - as you do!
A pewter tankard with decorative celtic bands around it. This is to replace my hubbie's old celtic tankard which lost it's bottom recently! at only £2 a positive bargain as it didn't look at all used. A box of pastry forks in a lovely art deco design and in a pretty art deco style box £1. A lovely decorative glass sugar shaker £1.

 A large Alfred Meakin "Russette" meat plate, 20p and a pretty brown Ironstone dinner plate also 20p.

A Peter Rabbit soft toy 50p and a pretty little mother and baby rabbit £1, both to go in my granddaughter's bedroom. The pocket watch £2 and the DVD of the television series Narnia £1 were the purchases of my eldest daughter Ellie.

Last but not least two remnants of fabric each about 1.5m, for only £1each. I have plans to utilise these for some Christmas pressie makes.

At least the first part of that day had a positive outcome, now to practice some positive thinking!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Bouncing My Way To 53

Tomorrow I shall be 53 and yesterday I had my first experience on a "bouncy castle" type inflatable!

These things were just not around when I was a child, and of once they began to put in an appearance when my son was young, we adults never seemed to be allowed on them.

I have always stood wistfully by as first my son followed by my three daughters gleefully bounced around on various inflatables and wondered if it was as much fun as it looked.

Then yesterday...

we took my dear granddaughter to an activity farm,
and there were two inflatables which adults could accompany their children on.

At last...
I am no longer deprived I have "bounced"  

with lots of mirth and giggles together with my favourite little person.
Then today we took the family out to our local for Sunday lunch.
We are so lucky to have The Black Bull Inn in Frosterley.
This pub is the perfect autumn retreat with roaring open fires and wonderful and hearty traditional food, prepared from good quality local ingredients. The beer served at the bar is real ale from local small breweries. The decor is an eclectic mix of old and vintage furniture with a generous scattering of vintage cushions. 
The owner is a photographer and as well as a selection of his own contemporary work there are also photographs of his families ancestors.

A shot of the interior from the pub's website.
Everyone had a wonderful meal, it was so nice to be able to celebrate this way with the people close to me.


off home for a snooze by the fire...

This is our male cat Mortimer - never far from the fireside!!

What a lovely weekend. xxx

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Anniversary Flowers

Today is our 14th wedding anniversary!

Those years have truly flown over, I can't believe it's already 14 years.

We decided early on in our marriage that we wouldn't bother with cards or pressies, but that we would treat ourselves to a meal out for our anniversary.

But this year Dave suprised me;

Aren't they so autumnal and pretty?

They go so well in the Art Deco pressed glass vase we bought from a flea market a couple of weeks ago.

We have also just returned from our anniversary meal. We have often tried new places for our meal, but after some dissappointments we decided to go with our favourite Indian restaurant - we know we always have a good meal there. Just to make things even better, because it's a weeknight there was an offer on of 25% off all menu prices.

All in all a very happy day. xxx

Friday, 15 October 2010


I love books. 

I have far too many of them, and one day (maybe) I just might have a clear out. 

I did promise myself that I would limit my book buying but then those naughty folk at the Book People keep sending my their little catalogues and of course there is always so many things to tempt me.

I just had to succumb to these lovely delights:

 This has some lovely projects in to add to my ever increasing list of things I want to make!

Some gorgeous cakes and bakes in here, won't do the diet much good if I don't make sure they are given as gifts though!

Some brilliant fast and easy patterns in this book, I like the way that it tells you approximately how long each project will take to make.

 A new set of books from the author of the True Blood Series, these are for my daughter Rae.

 Another cook book to add to my already huge collection, but I just couldn't resist another Jamie book - I do like his recipes.

 A set of four Milly-Molly-Mandy books, I remember my teacher in primary school reading these to us and I just loved them, pure nostalgia and this set looks so pretty too. I've bought these to display in the spare room that I decorated for my granddaughter, they will be read to her at bedtime.

Another with lots of yummy projects to add to that ever growing list.

Do NOT look at the Book People Website!!!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

An autumnal bracelet.

Whilst out shopping with my daughters near the end of the summer holidays I came upon these necklaces at just 25p each in Internacional's sale:

I bought two; one to dismantle and add the beads and charms to my stash and one to keep just as it is.

The beautiful beads that I got from Jenny as part of the Pumpkin Patch swap motivated me to get out the jewellery making supplies again.

When I saw those lovely beads I just knew what I wanted to do with them, and that they would pair beautifully with some of the beads and charms from the dismantled necklace.

Jenny had sent me some lovely beads in various shades of autumn which I thought would make lovely focal beads amongst the autumn shaded small beads from the dismantled bargain.

I decided to make myself a memory wire bracelet.

TaDa !!!

I absolutely love how it has turned out, and think this will be worn loads over the coming months.

Monday, 11 October 2010

The post rally shower – one of life's truly simple pleasures.

We have been off on one of our motorbike rallies again this weekend. This one was entitled “The Kamikaze Cave Run” and was organised by Mobile Chaos MCC.  The rally took place at a beautiful scenic site on the edge of a lovely village near Morcambe Bay.

Now we had a great weekend, the weather stayed fine, the company was good and the scenery wonderful.

We went for a ride out on Saturday to the Lakeland Motor Museum, where I drooled over some of the most gorgeous vintage vehicles.

I could just see myself off for a weekend jaunt in this beauty!


No matter how good the rally, the facilities are always very basic, and after a weekend spent camping in a field with only chemical toilets and wet wipes to use for ablutions one of the first things that I always do when I get home is head straight for the shower.

That shower after a weekend rally is the best, it just feels sooo good. Other showers never come close to that lovely feeling as the hot water flows over you and the soap begins to wash away the grimy feeling that has accumulated over the weekend.

Truly a simple pleasure.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Nana Barrow's Quilt and Some of her Crochet Too

You may remember that in this post I told you about how the Durham quilt made by my paternal grandmother sparked off my obsession love of Durham quilts. I was asked to post piccies of that first quilt,

So... it is:

Nana Barrow's Quilt

The whole quilt is in quite a fragile state now and is worn around the edges. It also has a small hole in it and on the other side of the quilt it has an old ink stain. This side of the quilt is in better condition, as you can see in the picture below the other side, once a vibrant green colour is now very, very faded.

what really amazes me with these quilts though is that those lovely rich swirling patterns on them are all hand  stitched. I have tried to give a close up of the hand stitching in the photo below.

Quite a while after acquiring the quilt I also acquired another of my Nana Barrow's handicrafts. My maiden aunt discovered that I liked to sometimes crochet and so she gave me a small velvet bag containing my Nana Barrow's unused balls of crochet cotton. In among the balls of cotton was the following pieces of crochet. I have to admit I am intrigued by these as no one seems to know when she made them, or for what purpose. Her youngest son did serve in the RAF just after the war, so we have speculated that she may have made these at that point in time. The pieces are fillet crochet and feature a bi-plane motif.

I have two of these triangular shaped pieces with the long sides measuring 34" and the short sides measuring 22"
There is this piece which is clearly unfinished at the top edge so only shows half a plane. This measures 23" at the bottom and 17" at the top.

This piece looks as if it is meant as a border for something, the plane motif is much smaller and less detailed than that in the above pieces. This piece has also been cut off just above where the border turns the corner so to speak. This piece measures 15" long and the border is 8" deep at the widest point.

This is another similar corner piece which again looks like a border, but this is not as deep as the one above, it being only 6 1/2" at the widest point. This piece is cut at both ends and is 23" in length.

Another piece of "border" - a straight piece this time but with both ends cut just beyond the picture. This is the same depth as the piece in the last picture and measures 23".

I wish I knew more about these pieces, why my Nana had crocheted them and what she had intended to do with them, but I suppose this is a mystery that cannot be solved.

I would love to do something with these pieces, incorporate them into something so that they can be put on show rather than just kept in a box as they have been now for at least the last 48 years since my Nana passed away. Unfortunately I have never been able to really think of anything that I could do with them, any suggestions would be most welcome.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Hurrah!!!! My Pumpkin Patch swap has arrived.

I was feeling very sorry for myself this morning as I've been laid low with a 'flu bug for the last couple of days.

Then the postman arrived and delivered a padded envelope which when opened I discovered this...

A beautifully wrapped bundle of pressies and a card from Jenny writer of the fab blog Buttons, Ribbons & Other Things. Jenny is my swap partner for the Pumpkin Patch swap arranged by the lovely Helen from . The parcel couldn't have arrived at a better time and it so cheered me up.

And what lovely things it contained:

There was a gorgeous scarf in a vintage retro style print of lovely autumny colours;
An absolutely amazing necklace with a red beaded tree design in the centre;
Four beautiful handcrafted autumn leaves;
A gorgeous keyring with two lovely felt oak leaves on it;
A little hessian sack which when I opened it contained some pretty felted acorns and the most delightful little felt pumpkin;
A bag of pretty autumn toned beads and buttons;
A bar of my absolute favourite Chocolate - Green & Black's Organic mmm.

Thank you so much Jenny, I absolutely love everything.

I have already found the perfect place for those lovely leaves.

In my hall I have a twiggy heart hanging on the wall, quite nice but somewhat bare looking if you see what I mean:

Now it is no longer bare:

 It looks so much better, it's just what it needed!

Your parcel is on it's way to you Jenny, I hope you like it as much as I like mine xxx  

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Finally!! The Bedroom is Finished!!!

I know I've already given you a few tasters along the journey of decorating our spare bedroom for when my granddaughter Flic comes to stay. Now admittedly it hasn't been the fastest bedroom makeover. (I started it back in July!!)
But ...
it's done.
The curtains were made from one of two duvet sets that I got half price from Tesco's (Only £4.50 each).

The chest of drawers is one we have had for ages and was painted in Farrow's cream by Farrow & Ball and given new handles purchased from EBay.

The Peter Rabbit cup, saucer and plates belonged to my eldest daughter. She used to collect all things Beatrix Potter and kindly donated these for the new bedroom. The white dog, the monkey and the dark brown bear were also legacies from when my girls were young. The bear with scarf I found in a charity shop yesterday he was only £2.39 and I fell in love with him! The Ladybird shops were also from a charity shop and were only 10p each.

The second duvet set from Tesco was used for it's original purpose. The cushion was made from a panel on a baby quilt that I bought for £1.99 in a charity shop and the background was some of the leftover fabric from the cover I used to make the curtains.

Two framed Beatrix Potter pictures added above the bed.

These were also bought from a charity shop ...

...only £3.50 for the two.

One wall is papered in Cloudywing by Laura Ashley - reduced from £22 a roll to £4.85 a roll. The clock was once again a legacy from one of my daughters.

The desk was given to us by a friend when our girls were young. The chair was left over from a set we used to have in the dining room and was given the Farrow's cream treatment and the seat recovered in some of the fabric left over from the duvet cover used to make the curtains. The blackboard was from the poundshop and the frame is covered with Cath Kidson napkins.

Flic ordered pink glow in the dark stars for her ceiling, so these were duly sourced via EBay. The lampshade was a cheap one from Wilkinsons with some of the butterflies cut out from the wallpaper pasted on the outside and some of the small glow in the dark stars stuck on the outside.

The whole project came in at just under £280, and that included the Edwardian bed (a purchase from EBay) and a new mattress.

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