Sunday, 31 May 2009

Hottest day of the year so far

What a scorcher again .... this time last year it was piddling down and the year before too if my memory serves me correctly. The outdoor swimming pool in the next town to us opens its doors over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend and this week has been a wonderful start for them. In 2007 when it was my daughter's 21st her garden party was absolutely washed out ..... the first ever for her as she has had a party most years since she was little and always had a glorious day.

The sunshine brought out car booters by the hundred this weekend .... there was the usual rubbish but also some gems in amongst the tat .... I really wonder how some people have the nerve to stand behind piles of dirty looking clothes that I wouldn't even give to the jumble!

I did really well again this weekend and for a total outlay of £25 these are my treasures and bargains!
A pile of lovely craft books including crochet, knitting, quilting, country crafts for the home, Mrs Beeton's Christmas ...... a lovely table cover to embroider from Denmark .... three pretty floral tins ...... a sweet little preserve pot with strawberries from M & S .... some country cottage cards, a tiny Royal Albert Old Country Roses saucer (sadly the lady had broken the cup when she was packing for the boot) ..... an unopened bottle of Lancome make-up remover ..... a brand new pair of Clarks Air sandals ..... some floor tiles to give my bathroom a makeover ...... and a garden parasolThese lovely Art Deco and Art Nouveau reproduction prints I just have to find some frames for them!

After nearly 3 hours wandering around this morning we returned home and spent some time tidying the patio and garden ready for the return of the children I care for tomorrow. We have teacher training day so they will be with me all day. We have cleared an area for grown ups where I can sit and watch them while they play outside (you can just see the bargain parasol I bought today in the photo below). There were also some lovely plants for sale at the boots this weekend and I have potted up some Sage, Aqualegia, courgette and Lavender and also some more of the hanging bird cages I featured on my last post.

I'm now going to soak my plates of meat in one of my potions made from fresh rosemary and lavender from the garden along with a nice long G & T to finish the day off nicely.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Clutter clear out ....

We have had a dull, wet, grey day today so decided to have a clear out of my fabric stash .... I have accumulated far too much, as us crafty ladies do, so most of the day has been spent photographing and listing on Ebay. Here is a link should anyone be interested

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Freecycle, skip diving, thrifting and a new magazine

We have spent a lot of time in the garden over the past few days because of the glorious weather. It is lovely to see everything coming to life again after the winter months and we have been moving a few things around and planting out some shrubs that have been in pots. This area is in front of the bird shed and it was a little bare so was the ideal relocation spot. Just as we were finishing my daughter shouted to say that someone on Freecycle had just offered some garden rocks and she was only a few minutes away from us so within half and hour we had claimed them, collected and look how they finish it off perfectly. I am really getting into Freecycle .... it is a great way of passing on your unwanted items to someone who has a need instead of taking them up to the tip. We have offered quite a bit of stuff that has been collecting up the side of the house (it was looking like Steptoe's Yard but is clear now) and in return have collected some items that we were in need of ..... we have just returned from collecting 3 trees - a Salix, a Corkscrew Willow and Cytistus (Broom). On the way we passed a skip which had some terracotta planters dumped on top of it ..... so guess what I did my best Kirsty Allsopp impression and dived in to claim them!This little shabby chic planter is an old bird show cage ..... we have dozens of them from my OH bird breeding pastime and I have been meaning to do this for ages. I have planted some Ivy, a Fuchsia, Lobelia and Petunia which should grown and trail through the bars to make a lovely display and save these lovely old cages from going to waste. We do have lots more and if anybody would like to buy one I would be happy to sell. Please get in touch via my blogshop for details. The postman brought this today .... a brand new sewing magazine which I have subscribed to for the grand total of £1 a month for the first 3 issues. I have had a glance through and it looks good.
and yes she's even in here too ... as if she needs any more publicity !
And to end the day on a perfect note one of our girls laid our first egg this morning .... well done Ginger ...... a small but perfectly formed offering. If anyone is thinking of getting some chooks I highly recommend it .... they are so funny with lovely characters of their own and when I go down to them they scuttle out and we have a chicken chat and they are such fuss pots ..... love a tickle under the chin.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

My trolley overfloweth ....

I have had an absolutely wonderful morning at the car boot ..... there were loads of sellers but not as many buyers as usual which meant there was more left for me ...... yippee !!
I had filled the trolley after the first row with framed bird print for OH, two gorgeous shabby chic Caroline Charles single duvet covers in Watercolour Rose and 5 pretty Dorma pillowcases all unoped in their packets.Next came these lovely M & S cabbage rose curtains with tie backs and pelmet
A set of four French Toile de Jouy cushion covers which were handmadeA vintage glass Pyrex rolling pin with its original box, a cute little book about Quilting with a darling little thimble hanging from it as a bookmark and a St Michael Asquith Rose scented coat hangerThe latest Annabel Karmel Baby & Toddler Meal PlannerAn Estee Lauder gift with purchase pack All these for the grand total of £28 that's what I call a bargain!! Can't wait to be off again tomorrow but you just never know what will happen and it may be the complete opposite. I'll let you know tomorrow. Have a good Bank Holiday all.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Dizzy Busy Bee

I have been a busy little Bee for the past couple of weeks going round and round in circles to make some crochet cushion covers for my friends at SCC ..... here are just a few ..... I can make in any size, yarn or colourway .... if anyone is interested please get in touch via the Blogshop

This is also available via the shop .... a brightly coloured crochet Tea Cosy in Rowan Cotton which is lined with vintage cotton fabric.

Unfinished business ......

Look what I found tucked away in a pile of old magazines ....... to think that somebody started to work on this back in 1947 and didn't get very far ..... what happened to make them stop? I must admit I have a tendency to start different things and then not finish them till a later date. Perhaps this just got hidden and forgotten about. The Woman's Own Magazine it came from is dated Friday November 21st 1947 .... the day after Princess Elizabeth married Philip Mountbatten.
I am not sure what to do with it ..... to keep it, finish it or find a collector of Royal Memorabilia .... does anyone else have a suggestion - clean ones please :-)

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Uptown girl

As the weather seemed to be holding out for us this morning we decided to have a wander round Harpenden in Hertfordshire ..... a rather posh and expensive town just a short drive away ...... they have a better class of charity shop and also today was preview day at the monthly auction. Nothing really caught my eye but I am regretting not leaving a bid on a couple of items ..... one was a gorgeous vintage Christening Gown in its original box and beside it was another small unassuming box ...... as with all boxes I have to open them coz you just never know what's inside. Inside this one was some tiny pieces of crochet work with some patterns cut out of newspapers which were dated 1912 (the year the Titanic went down) .... the crochet work was somewhat discoloured after all those years but it is the thought that this has been tucked away unfinished in someone's house for almost 100 years that grabs me .... may be I will pop over again tomorrow.
The charity shops didn't yield much today either but I did find this lovely Ladybird book from 1972
There was also a book sale in the Church Hall where I picked up a gorgeous book called Comfortable Country by Enrica Stabile ..... here are a couple of pages just to wet your appetite ...

Monday, 18 May 2009

Grand Designs

I have always wanted a doll's house and a couple of years ago I purchased this one at a local auction house ..... it's not an antique but I fell in love with it just the same. It's quite a big one and measures around 36" across and high. It came with some furniture and some teeny tiny pieces in the shop section and this is how it looked in the original state ..... in need of some TLC.

I am gradually re-decorating and re-furnishing and the small people can't resist a peek when they visit. Will be posting some 'after' pictures shortly.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Bored so I thought I'd do this .....

It has been an uneventful week hence a gap of a whole week since my last post .... the flipping weather has put paid to any car booting this weekend so I am just taking some time out to have a cuppa and thought I would add some music to my blog. I have started with a playlist of some of my favourites from the 50s. This was the sort of music my uncle used to play when we visited my nan's when I was little .... I love these old classics that just don't seem to age, unlike me!!
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and I have placed the jukebox at the top of the blog so you don't have to scroll down too far to turn it off if it isn't your cup of tea.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Show off Sunday again .........

It has been a glorious day here in Bedfordshire .... perfect for my favourite pastime (I know how sad) .... there is nothing I like more than wandering round a field in the middle of open English countryside and rummaging around in other people's junk!!!!
Here are today's finds:
A set of cross stitch books, a knitting books and the Knitter's Bible
A fantastic DMC holdall complete with embroidery threads, hoops and cross stitch projects ..... a Laura Ashley light switch cover, a set of table mats & coasters with views of Cornwall, a Debbie Bliss Knitting for Children book and two books about knitting squares for throws and Afghans, a print from one of my favourite artists Jack Vettriano

Molly with her new toy ... she has been very enthusiastic about this as my shin bones will testify !!

Ellie chose this green felt bag for herself (along with several other things that she has taken home with her), a lovely set of Ice Cream Sundae spoons and a collection of red buttons

A hand embroidered table cover

Friday, 8 May 2009

A parcel from overseas .............

Today I received my lovely giveaway gift from Marianne at ...... they are just perfect as I am a collector of blue & white antique china (you would never guess after looking at my header photo would you!)... some lovely coasters with blue and white Dutch houses and a pretty notebook with flower illustrations by Marjolein Bastin. Thanks so much Marianne.
Last year I had a box of cups and saucers with little blue forget-me-nots by Marjolein which I purchased at a local auction house .... I only managed to sell a few and donated the rest to our Hospice Charity Shop .... I wish I had held onto some of them now as she is so talented and they were so pretty.

Here come the girls ............

We finally did it ..... after years of procrastinating (on my husband's part I must add - he could dither for England) we have some hens.
May I introduce at the back Miss Hermione (Speckledy), Miss Babs (Silver Nick), Miss Ginger (Goldline) and Miss Dorcas (Maran Cuvree). We visited a local poultry centre and were helped immensely in choosing these lovely ladies .... they are hybrids and will provide us with a plentiful supply of free range eggs and be friends to the small people that visit our home.
They are now installed in their temporary house till we get the proper one finished this weekend together with a lovely long run for them.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

This weekend's booty

Yesterday we went to our first Saturday morning car boot and I was so surprised to get this lovely jug .... I thought the dealers would have spotted it .... it dates to around 1830 and is called Village Church ... if you take a peek at my header photo you can see a platter I have in this design in the centre of the top shelf ... it is a lovely English country scene of a village church, thatched cottage and two countrymen chatting over a gate. It sat on a pile of cheap old china and I recognised it instantly ... the seller only wanted a pound! Although there is some damage it is still worth around £30/40 but it is staying in my collection and now sits in front of my matching platter (which I also got at a car boot a couple of years ago for the princely sum of a fiver - it's worth around £200)

I also found these two Suffolk Pottery storage jars for onions and garlic, a book on curtain making for doll's houses, a Rowan pattern book and a Quilting Book.

Today I found this lovely Royal Albert Old Country Roses cake stand for £3.00 and a pair of Laura Ashley Charlotte (Sweet Pea) curtains and tie-backs in the cornflower blue/pink colourway. The children did well too with a set of Thomas Tank Engine Books, Brio Thomas The Tank train track set, a Megasketcher, new wellies & crocs. Today's boot was very large but somehow there seemed to be an awful lot of overpriced tat .... nevertheless I am delighted with this week's finds.
On the way home the grandchildren conked out (they were on sleepover with me last night and Ellie decided she was going to get everyone up at 6.15 ... Charlie usually stays in bed till around 8.00)

The view from the car boot, we seem to have bright yellow fields of oilseed rape all around us this year ... so glad I don't suffer with hay fever.