Saturday, 31 October 2009

This isn't just any old crap ..... it's mine !!!

I love auctions.  They are great places for rummaging around to seek out a bargain or two and for those of us who prefer to thrift rather than waste our money on the high street they make a perfect day out.  Today I went to Tring Market Auction for the first time in ages and I must say I got a little carried away!  The secret of buying at auction is to look carefully at the lots you are interested in and set yourself a limit because it is so easy to keep putting your hand up and also remember that fees and VAT have to be added to the hammer price.  I had a good rummage before the start of the sale and carefully marked down the lots that I was interested in and then took my place. 

My first purchase was this lovely black and white print by Arthur J Elsley called As Good As Ever ... he painted the original in 1912 as an advertisement for Bovril (the original oil painting sold in the USA for $419,200 in 1996).

The next lot on my list was four boxes of mixed china, glass and miscellaneous items ....

Then came a box of mixed silver plate and glass

then a box of mixed including a Royal Crown Derby Imari Serving Fork

and then this non-descript old suitcase which was tucked under a table

just look what was inside and nobody else wanted them so I had to bring them home  ...

and finally I couldn't resist this doll's cot and vintage baby high chair

I'll be back with another post tomorrow when I have had a good sort through and have finished cleaning everything.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Half term Halloween Party

It's half term week and we always like to have a little fun and have a Halloween Party.  The pumpkin is cut and the tealights are lit. 

The table is set and the party food is ready ...... we have ghostly meringues, witches fingers, snot cubes, spooky gingerbread biscuits, swamp slime jelly, eyeballs, bat sandwiches, witches brew

and of course our resident small spooky person all dolled up and ready to party

Now we are all partied out after lots of dancing and games

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

When Smokey sings ..........

I have had a perfect afternoon.  The minded children left early today leaving just me and my now 3 month old grandson Jack (where did that time go????) .... we settled down on the sofa on a grey afternoon for his 4 o'clock feed and I decided to watch the BBC Electric Proms programme from Sunday with Smokey Robinson.  For someone who hits 70 next year he was fantastic.  His voice is still so mellow and wow what hits from the Motown era .... my favourites My Girl, Tracks of My Tears, Going to a GoGo, Tears of a Clown, Baby Baby and loads more.  I remembered every word and so did the audience at the Round House .... what a night that must have been.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Country Living Christmas Fair London & a Senior Moment

I have been a right pudding !!   I have double booked myself for a Christmas Craft Fair on the same day that I've purchased tickets for the wonderful Country Living Christmas Fair in London on Saturday 14th November.

I therefore now have 2 adult and 1 child (5-16 years) tickets that I need to sell so that I can re-book for the Sunday.  Unfortunately the ticket agents will not exchange them.  So if there are any bloggers out there who would be able to help me out I would be very grateful ..... I could also do a swap as an alternative with anyone who has tickets for the Sunday but would prefer to go on the Saturday (hope that makes sense!)

Please e-mail me on if you are interested

Many thanks in advance from a silly semi senile old bat.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

The Pumpkin & Apple Gala

There aren't many lovely places to visit in my part of this green and pleasant land but we are privileged to have a stately pile called Luton Hoo and yesterday was the annual Pumpkin & Apple Gala in the walled garden.  It is a lovely traditional event with every pumpkin, squash and apple under the sun on display and for sale, craft displays, activities for the children, a hog roast, Morris dancers and loads more.

Displays of decorated pumpkins from local schools, the one above was the X Factor with Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh at the back!

My favourite was this yellow submarine

Ellie concentrated so hard and created a lovely bunny rabbit pumpkin but sadly her daft Auntie Lala put it on the roof of the car when we were packing up to go home and you guessed it ..... left it there and I drove off oblivious so poor bunny pumpkin lies squashed in a field.

Ellie and Charlie loved the story teller ..... she was so good and the children were mesmerised

The pumpkin field with the old greenhouses and conservatory in the background

and of course I couldn't come away empty handed could I !

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Another first for me .....

On what started as a very wet dreary Friday morning I set off after the school run for a meet up with a fellow blogger and SCC forum member in St Albans.  This is the first time I have ever done anything like this and my phone was buzzing with messages from my daughters asking if I was OK as they were worried to death that I was going to meet a mad axe murderer !!  Nothing could be further from the truth, more or less exactly at the planned time (my fault as I over-estimated my fitness for the walk up the hill towards the cathedral) I met with Serenata at the Old Town Hall ..... there we both were clutching our hand made bags which we instantly recognised.  Cold and nervous we decided to first thaw out a bit in Starbucks with a steaming cuppa.  Two total strangers who had met online because of our mutual interests in crafting & thrifting then managed to spend fours together, which flew by very quickly, talking about our lives and family, our makes and finds and also fitting in a browse around the charity shops, two little antique shops and a few other pretty shops and lunch!  Neither of us had been to St Albans for shopping for a long time although it turns out that we both regularly visit Verulanium Park to walk dogs and I take my minded children to the splash zone in the summer months.  We were both somewhat disappointed with the shopping experience, the few charity shops that are left there now were a little expensive (yes I know it's for charity but some are taking the mick a little with their pricing) and there seemed to be nowhere to purchase crafting items such as fabric, yarn or haberdashery. 

We both had our cameras with us but totally forgot once we got chatting so the only pics I have are these taken on my walk back down the hill to the car park.  As you can see the skies had cleared and it turned out to be a beautiful autumn day.  This lovely diversion from the daily grind was much needed as far as I was concerned as the day before had been the funeral of my sister-in-law and with everything else that has been going on in our lives recently I really needed to get away from the house for a few hours.

Serenata brought this lovely present for me .... just look at the lovely warm autumnal colours

 I couldn't resist these two ..... they were in a little gift cum antique shop and were only £8.95 for the pair so not too extravagant and they are just like my Hermione.

If anyone else is thinking of taking the plunge and meeting a fellow blogger I would highly recommend it ..... we live in a world of doom and gloom and if we believed all the stories in the press that there is danger round every corner we may as well batten down the hatches and stay indoors permanently.  I am a firm believer that there are far more good people out there than bad and blogging is great way of bringing the good together to share their lives, experiences and interests.  I am so glad that I found it earlier on this year.

Go on take the plunge .... you will love it.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The giveaway winner is ...............

MissPink   .......... well done and thank you so much for visiting my little world and taking part in my 100th post giveaway.  Your parcel will be on it's way as soon as you let me have your name and address .... please e-mail to

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Making aprons and puppy socialising

The day started somewhat grey and dreary but we decided to trot along to the car boot in the next town which is held partially under cover in the market area.  We usually take Molly the labrador with us and today thought it would be a good socialisation exercise for Ruby puppy.  For a little scrap who has only ventured into the outside world three times she behaved impeccably .... just trotted beside me and sat whenever I stopped to browse a stall.  It is amazing how many total strangers will stop to chat when you have a puppy.  Sadly no bargains to be had today and even M & S had been ransacked in their £10 meal deal section. 

When we came home I prepared this evening's dinner and then knuckled down to some sewing ..... the yellow Laura Ashley Sweet Pea apron backed with blue gingham (it is totally reversible) is a commission that was requested earlier on in the week and once I got going I thought that some of the embroidered table cloths picked up at car boot sales earlier on in the year would be perfect for re-cycling or up-cycling which seems to be the fashionable wording at the moment.  Here are the results ..... I have backed the vintage fabric with a pale peach polycotton to compliment the shades of peach and orange thread.


I don't think I can handle another evening of the X-Factor so am settled down with a glass of wine, Emma on the TV, puppy on my feet and the PC to my side to catch up on some blogs.  Perfect Sunday evening!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

On a more positive note .....

I've been sorting through my hand made stash and have listed some new items here and thought I would share my thrifty finds from the past couple of weeks with you

Double bedspread  £2

Pair of old frames .... £2  .... was going to change pictures but the more I look at them the more I like them

To be prominently displayed !!!

Replica Bush radio ..... £4  .... lady said she got it in Habitat

A stack of craft papers ..... £1

A metal 3 tier stand which I am going to paint and add some plates to and use as display for smaller handmades when I do craft fairs .... 50p

Our new puppy Ruby finished her vaccination course and was allowed out into the big wide world this week .... she was so good.

We almost had a new addition to the menagerie this week too ...  we found this hen pheasant strutting up and down with our chooks (she's on the LHS under the blue frame)  ..... goodness knows where she came from as we are not next to open countryside.

and this wee chap always makes me smile

Don't forget my 100th post giveaway .... just leave a comment on the previous post for a chance to win .... take care all x