Sunday, 24 June 2012

it never rains but it pours ................

I swear that one day I will meet myself coming back the other way!

Is it really almost four weeks since my last post?

Jubilee weekend was a damp squib in more ways than one ...... I came down with a cold which travelled to my chest so I spent half term coughing and spluttering and taking to my bed quite frequently.   It was just as well that I had no minded children that week - I have taken the decision to resign from the Early Years Register and just stick with my school drop offs and pick ups, mainly because I have the grandchildren to help out with during the day and also because the demands of Ofsted regarding paperwork is just way too much.   Apparently the number of registered childminders has halved since Mr Blair & Co came into power  and I am convinced it's because of all their bureaucratic demands. 

 Right off the soapbox now!

Thursday of that week was my husband's keyhole surgery day as part of ongoing investigations into the problems with his knee replacement ..... biopsy results and next consultant's appointment is on 26 July.   In the meantime his referral for the collapsed right knee came through with an appointment in Harpenden on 18th June with a different consultant, who didn't seem too impressed with the previous work on his left knee and immediately arranged for a total right knee replacement on 7th August.  So here we go again  ....... he was off work recovering for 6 months last time.

We had only been back from the hospital for an hour when Ellie came screaming down the stairs saying she could see a fox in with the chickens.  I charged down the garden in my best Moshulu slippers and to my dismay she was right .....  there were two of them and we were too late to save 5 of our 12 girls.  In the piddling rain sliding around in chicken poop and mud I found the survivors huddled together under a bush and got them locked in their shed as quickly as I could.  They were traumatised for a few days and egg production virtually stopped but as you can see now they have managed to brave the outside world again under a very watchful eye.

Arrangements are in hand to re-position and reduce the size of their run so that we can put a wire cover over it too and they will be closer to the house.

A lovely blogland friend was passing my way on the 17th and I was so excited about meeting her ...... Dancing was born in Luton and went to the very same school that Ellie attends now and we share many memories of the area.  Isn't it marvellous how blogland brings us together?

Well my old bod had other ideas and threw a water infection at me just to top things off!   I was so disappointed and our meeting just wasn't to be at this moment in time but we are both looking forward to the next opportunity.

Following a dose of anti-biotics I am now getting back to my busy old self.  My eldest has been visiting from Scotland .... yesterday he went with his sister and Ellie and Jack to the Lowestoft Air Festival.  They had a great day in the sunshine and we are a planning now to go next year with a stay over so that we can enjoy the whole weekend.  The children's parents were at Knebworth House for a Red Hot Chilli Peppers concert and I toddled off to Flitwick for the Originate Vintage & Craft Fayre.   It was a very quiet day with a slow stream of visitors in the early part of the day despite all the advertising ..... I did quite well though and wasn't too disappointed and I had met some new like minded people.

I've been working on another hexi patchwork in a pink colourway this time

Well I had a very early start this morning having dropped my son off at the Airport at 4.30 a.m. in the piddling rain yet again  (thankfully it's only 5 mins away) and  have an early start tomorrow as I have a new member in my after school possie and she will be arriving at 7.00 a.m.   I'd better get a jiggy on and tidy up before bedtime.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Mission Accomplished

Inspired by all the red, white & blue that is everywhere at the moment I decided to sort out my stash of hexagons

Whenever I work on a project I keep every incy wincy scrap (because you never know when they could come in useful!) ..... in odd moments I sit and cut out hexis and store them in a box for when the fancy takes me to sit and hand stitch some more together.

I wanted to keep a little bit of randomness to the design and based the central diamond shape on a layout in an old quilt book.

There is a mix of vintage and contemporary fabrics ..... the blues are from a Clothworks collection, the stripe is from a shirt that my friend had ruined while trying to remove a stain (her husband hasn't noticed yet), the red floral is from a vintage dress acquired at a car boot a couple of years back

The blue rose fabric at the top is vintage Laura Ashley and the plain cottons are new Klona

Some Laura Ashley toile de jouy and a few pieces of Chinese Willow pattern

Another recyled blue paisley shirt

I didn't bother with wadding for a more lightweight summer throw and used plain blue cotton on the back.  The outlines on the diamonds have been hand stitched with blue embroidery thread and some left over squares of the fabric machined together and cut to size to make the edge binding.

I do love it when a plan comes together ..... I've managed to reduce the stash again and make something out of nothing!

Ooh forgot to say that the paper pieces for backing the hexis were all ready cut .... I found a big bag of them at a vintage fair last year .... somebody had precisely cut them from 1970s greetings cards, reader's digest letters and envelopes so there was some interesting reading as I went along too.

Now for the next mission ..... watch this space x

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Phew it was even too hot for these folks .....

Passed this little gathering while driving around this morning ..... poor things in their wooly coats were huddled under the tree and bleating rather loudly.

Well what a contrast ..... we wanted some hot weather and boy have we had it this weekend!

On sunny days like these there is only one thing a gal and her trusty partner can do ..... head for the hills and the car boot sales of course!

Just look at that blue sky ..... the fields around our way are brilliant yellow with oil seed rape in full bloom (very sneeze inducing too) and against the lush greenery and clear blue sky the English countryside was at its best.

We picked up a few bargains yesterday morning but were disappointed when we discovered the road to our second CB venue was closed for re-surfacing .... quelle horreur ..... it is in a semi rural location with several businesses along the road so they must have been extremely pleased with the local authority deciding to shut off the road for the whole of a busy Saturday .... in times of economic meltdown what are they thinking of????

This morning my little apprentice couldn't come so off I went with my trusty trolley all on my own ....... OH is still unable to walk far and he got a slap on the legs today when I discovered he'd tried to walk the dogs at 5 a.m. this morning .... thankfully he didn't get far and try as I do I just cannot get him to accept that if he fell who would find him (the dinosaur refuses to carry a mobile phone) ..... men !!!

There were lots of sellers today brought out by the sunshine no doubt and I was soon filling up the car

A little hall table just calling for a makeover, a Ringtons teapot, Sylvac Lily Vase


A Coronation glass plate, Tuscan Bone China Coffee set, pair of Victorian spill vases, a tiny Cutex Nail Whitener (on the plate next to a £1 coin to give an idea of the size)

A pair of kitsch Strev prints and a similar one by R. Julio

A bouncy chair for baby Harry when he visits, a vintage lampshade, 5 fabric sample books, unopened pair of Horrockses curtains, a brand new Next top pour moi!

Wanna know how much I spent ?????


Now that's what I call a bargain !

On the way home I made a little detour to visit Hexton and on the way passed this chocolate box cottage and couldn't resist taking a picture ..... as much as I would love to live in such a beautiful house but with a husband of 6' 2" it just wouldn't be practical ..... the doors only look about 5' high!!

Hope the sun has been shining where you are x

Monday, 21 May 2012

I need another weekend to get over the weekend !

A busy weekend here with a house full of small people ..... the two resident grands of course plus the others on Saturday afternoon while their parents went off to look for a new bed and yesterday just the two small ones while they went off to Wembley for the play off finals.

I can't believe Harry is 4 weeks old this Wednesday .... he is focusing and starting to take in what is around him and he had his eldest cousin watching over him.

My little bargain hunting friend and I did manage to pop to the charity shop and a church Bazarre on Saturday morning and a car boot yesterday morning before they arrived ..... well a girl has to fit in a little bargain hunting doesn't she!

We were one of the first into the church hall and while Ellie sat with some lovely ladies and made a key ring I wandered off to the bric a brac.  Sitting all on her own at the back of the tables was this just begging me to take her home.

She belonged to one of the elder ladies of the church who had recently passed away and when I went back to show Ellie a voice from behind said that used to belong to my sister.  When I turned around it was my sons' old scout master and he continued to tell me his sister was born in 1955 and she'd had the doll since very young.  She is dressed in 1950s knickers, dress and a soft fleece jacket and apart from a little wobble to the head where the stringing is a bit slack she is in lovely condition.  She is sitting in the little Lloyd loom chair I got a while back and poor Millie couldn't make out why someone else was sitting in her chair.

In the charity shop standing by the door were these ...... the wotnot will be given a coat of Annie Sloan paint and used for display at the Vintage Fairs and I'm sure I can find a corner for the pot stand

On Sunday at the car boot I spied another pot to add to my growing Michel Caugant collection of game pate pots

and I couldn't resist this cheeky little number

They are all Soulet prints from the 1960s

One more little treasure to add to the doll's china collection too .... a little cup standing just 2" tall and dating to 1890

It reads .... The Fairy appeared to Cinderella and shows the fairy godmother standing beside a grandfather clock while Cinderella sits in front of the fire with a lovely dresser laden with china behind her.  Such detail on such a tiny cup.

Today is resting today because tomorrow my OH has to go for his pre-op checks in preparation for an exploratory op in a couple of weeks to see what is going on with the left knee replacement he had in August 2009.  Then the whole referral procedure has to start again as his right knee has now given up on him and he can barely walk.  The daft brush sat there this morning and said he would go back to work next week .... doh .... he can just about get to the loo without being in agony so I have no idea what makes him think he can do a half hour walk to work, an 8 hour shift and then walk home again!  What is it with men that they can't give in and admit they cannot achieve what they did in their 20s and 30s?  Quite honestly I cannot see him returning to work at all and the prospect looms of him being on the scrap heap at 55 because he will be unable to work because of his health and age.  Oh well will face that when and if it arises.

Time for a cuppa and a cake I think

Hope you all had a good weekend x

Saturday, 12 May 2012

I'm just wild about Harry.....

Ahhhh ..... I fall in love again every time ..... with the sad news in the press today about innocent young children's lives being snuffed out I really cannot understand how people can be so cruel even in the most dire circumstances :-(

Our new little man is thriving and if he can sleep through the din in our house he can sleep through anything.  Nanny will be babysitting him and his sister next Sunday whilst the rest of the family head for Wembley.

Quelle surprise this morning to awake to blue skies and dryness so there was only one thing to be done ..... head for the hills and the car boots of course!

We weren't particularly early (I had two of the other grands in tow) but we all enjoyed the wander around and the littlies were on their best behaviour.  A few bargains were bagged and Jack was happy when he found yet another fire engine to add to his collection and Ellie found some gardening gloves for when she is in the garden with her grandad.

Nanny found a pretty Beswick toast rack and a pair of carved wooden Scottie Dog bookends

Now I can't wait till tomorrow morning to go off bargain hunting again this time just with Ellie who is becoming a seasoned professional and can spot a bargain quicker than me sometimes.  We had just said this morning that a basketball hoop would be nice to put up in the garden and lo and behold she found one and it was just a pound .... just have to get someone to fix it on the wall now.

I did manage to get to our bigger CS last weekend and ended up blitzing their bric-a-brac shelf ..... I was in vintage heaven

Yesterday afternoon was spent doing a few hours on the desk at Country Matters in Hexton ..... it's lovely to sit in the middle of a wonderful Aladdin's Cave of goodies with a cafetier of fresh coffee and chat to the visitors ..... even better when I am selling them some of my handmades!

I found a couple of bargains there too for myself

This lovely old wooden box is going to be used for display at the vintage fairs ..... haven't quite decided what for yet :-)

This afternoon I have been finishing some cushion covers ...... I saw the cuckoo clock design in Mollie Makes magazine and decided to design my own grandfather clock and mantle clock to compliment it.  Some old Aida and linen was dug out of the stash and teamed with some blue ticking fabric.

This week we have also welcome some more new additions to the family .... as if we didn't have enough mouths to feed my OH has acquired six Chinese Quail .... yet more eggs!


Well best be off to bed now if I am to be up bright eyed and bushy tailed tomorrow!

Have a good weekend whatever you are doing x

Sunday, 29 April 2012

A wet welcome .......

If anybody mentions a hosepipe ban or drought I am liable to slap them ;-)

We now have an unplanned water feature in the centre of the garden ..... we are on clay soil so it will take ages for it to soak away properly.  It was such a shame because the children had just started playing down on the grass now we'll have to wait until it dries out.

Wednesday was wet welcome day to my 5th grandchild ..... Harry Lewis arrived at 11.50 am weighing a healthy 8lb 4oz and he is a little beauty even if I do say so myself !

with his proud cousin who has been a very clever girl today in her first streetdance competition ..... she came 3rd out of 100 children in her age group .... well done Ellie xx

This afternoon they have visited so that he could meet his great nanny and he was wide awake

All this wetness has put paid to car booting ..... if I don't get out next weekend there are going to be some serious withdrawal symptoms round here

Time has been spent sorting out the fabric stash and yesterday I sat cutting up scraps into hexagons for future quilt projects and I've been on a red, white and blue theme with the Jubilee in mind ..... I do have a correction to make here as my menobrain made me think that the Jubilee Garden Party on 26th May isn't in Kettering but is in Northampton on the Kettering Road ..... must get to Specsavers !!   Apologies if I confused anyone .... I seem to have confused myself.

Country Matters at Hexton have a Jubilee themed table display at the moment .... the colours are very eye catching as you walk in the door.

Now I am looking forward to a relaxing Sunday evening in front of the box with a nice glass of red.

Hope you've all had a good weekend x