Thursday, 3 December 2009

Cushions & Candles

Over the last few days I have been busy sewing cushions and hearts from Hungarian grain sacks. These are now for sale on the website but I shall make some for myself as well as I love them (though I do feel guilty cutting them up!)

I've also been wrapping candles with old music as I had seen something similar and thought this a good idea. I shall keep these for my own decorations at Christmas.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Shirley Hughes

I have recently finished reading Susan Hill's 'Howards End is on the Landing'. I won't write a review as many other people have featured this book on their blogs. One of the chapters is about Picture Books and the pleasures of reading aloud to small children. This prompted me to venture up into the loft to find and revisit some of the books my daughter and I used to enjoy reading together. Amongst her favourites were any (or should I say all) by Shirley Hughes. Looking at these books again I am reminded of all the wonderful hours cuddled up together reading and looking at the amazing illustrations.

Alfie and Annie Rose were always favourites but Rosie's absolute favourite was 'Dogger'.

Oh, the relief every time we read it when Dogger was reunited with his rightful owner having been sold at the school fair! My son bought me Shirley's biography many years ago and I shall enjoy reading this again too.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

High Days, Holiday and a Birthday

Well, you may have noticed I haven't been blogging for AGES. But I am back!

High Days - a visit to the National Trust Hardwick Hall whilst visiting friends who live in Leicestershire. This is the new hall which Bess had built in 1590
having only lived in the old hall for a few years. This is now a ruin but you are still able to walk up to the top.

Holiday - We recently returned from a week's holiday in Madeira. What a wonderful place! Everyone we knew who had been there said how much they had enjoyed it. We did too! One day we took a minibus right to the top of the mountains.As you can imagine the views are spectacular. We were certainly a long way up!

The weather was perfect. It was lovely to be back into summer clothes. This was taken on the morning we left to come home, back to such dreadful weather.

Birthday - Yes, another birthday has been and gone. My daughter surprised me with a day out in London, lunch in a very nice restaurant, then tickets to the Royal Albert Hall to see Gilbert O'Sullivan who I have loved for many, many years and I didn't even know he still did tours. (For you younger readers, he sang 'Alone Again Naturally'). We had a fantastic view from one of the boxes.

I have always love the perfume 'Diorissimo' ever since someone gave me some 40 years ago!

With some birthday money I decided to buy some perfume but this time to have a change. However, having tried about 20 different ones in John Lewis I came away with my old favourite, I just love it more than any other. Do you have a favourite scent?

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

As I was going to Ikea.....

As my husband and I were driving to Ikea on Saturday I spied something very interesting beside a stall at a very small fruit and veg market. I shouted 'STOP' to husband who wasn't too keen to do so. Going to Ikea ( a four letter word in his vocabulary) was bad enough but he wanted to get there and home in the shortest time possible. A detour was not on the cards. Well I insisted so he parked and I walked back along the road. There were only three stalls, two selling greengrocery and the other selling guitars and the item I had spied. I hardly dare ask whether it was still for sale (it was lunchtime) and when the man said yes and told me the price I didn't bargain, said. 'Yes, I'll give you that' and carried her back to the car with a big grin on my face. I have named her Lily and she will accompany Loveday who already stands on my landing.

She was made by Kennett & Lindsell Ltd and is a size 14 (though I think her waist looks quite tiny to be this size).

If you hate shopping at Ikea this may make you laugh

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Books Old & New

Amazon have sent me two parcels this week. I just love receiving new books. The first, 'Howard's End is on the Landing' is by Susan Hill and I read about it on dovegreyreader's blog. Susan writes about her year-long voyage through her books, forsaking new purchases in order to get to know her own collection again.

Two of the next three books have been bought after reading about them on other people's blogs too. Several bloggers have raved about 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' and Overdue's comments about 'The Post Office Girl' inspired me to order this too.

One book I treasure is an 1896 edition of 'Pride and Prejudice' which my mother gave me many years ago. The illustrations are delightful and the pages have originally been 'uncut' - the reader would have had to cut them open before the book could be read.

On a completely different note, this sign has recently been erected near where my daughter lives. How could Southampton City Council not have noticed their mistake?!

Monday, 5 October 2009

Lavender Girl

I fell in love with this statue when I first saw her at a garden show earlier in the year but didn't buy her so imagine my delight when I emailed the seller and found out she was still for sale! We bought her at the weekend and here she is in the dining room which is where she will live. The walls are white so I will paint an alcove a darker colour to show her off. She is gently weathered and has lichen growing on her which I love! One day she may move to the garden but for now I want her indoors!

If you are interested in similar items or any gardenalia do visit the seller's website at as they have some lovely items at very reasonable prices.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Loving my....

I am loving my new paisley tights. I saw a lady wearing a pair in Chichester and asked her where she had bought them as I, too, wanted a pair.

Loving my new mug found in the local Oxfam shop.

and this mug I ordered from Susan Hill's website here. It says 'She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain', a quote from Louisa May Alcott. (£7.99 plus free p&p if you are interested).

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Painting & Stripping

This last week I have spent quite some time applying and removing paint from two cupboards. The first I painted in my favourite, Farrow & Ball's 'French Grey'.

I forgot to photograph it before I painted it but this is the before

and after I distressed it.

A while ago I bought this cupboard on ebay for £25 as I thought it had 'potential'.

It took me a whole day (and two large tins of stripper) to remove all the layers of paint to reveal.......

I absolutely love it now and want to put it in our new bathroom (which is the next room to be tackled). I don't know what wood it is. It's not pine but is very heavy and stands on tiny wooden castors.

Saturday, 12 September 2009


Last night's 'Red sky at night....' promised a lovely day today and it has just been gorgeous, so warm and sunny.

We had booked to have lunch at the Hotel du Vin in Winchester (where the Creme Brulee is to die for!) then spent the afternoon wandering round the shops and walking along the river.

First a prezzie for hubby in Jack Wills

then just a little one for me in here.
It's very pretty walking along the river

Then through the backstreets to the car.

Last weekend the weather was equally nice and we visited a National Trust property called The Vyne in Hampshire. It's an impressive 16th century house dating back to Henry VIII's reign. It's a real mis-match of styles as one owner of the house was a definite recycler taking bits of the house such as doors, wall hangings, fireplaces etc. from one area and utilising them somewhere else.

We've been thinking of having a summerhouse at the bottom of our garden. I'd like one like this!

After another lovely lunch in here we walked round the walled garden.