Sunday, 29 July 2007

Pink china and green enamel

It's been a week since I last posted and it feels like forever. Back to work this week and life has returned to "normal", i.e. not enough hours in the day.

On my day off on Friday we visited Church Stretton, a gorgeous place and made even more attractive to me as there is a large antiques centre. David (husband) and I spent a very pleasurable couple of hours browsing and of course made a few purchases. Unfortunately I didn't take the camera, I will try and remember for next time. Church Stretton is stunningly beautiful and for once the sun shone. After completing our purchases we had a restoring cuppa at the tea room and returned home satisfied with our few hours out. The pink china in the first picture was spotted by David so of course I felt obliged to give it a home, soooo pretty. The old chemists bottle is now on top of my bathroom cabinet.
The little collection of pretties in the second picture are just some bits and pieces collected from various places recently. The little basket is a childs sewing box from the 1950's and is so cute and I just love the colour of the enamel bucket. The blue glass item is a candle holder and it's really heavy. I had to have the glittery balls as they were only £1.00 and will be used at Christmas. The assorted linen was all found in one of my local charity shops.
Back to the things we got from Church Stretton. This lot is slightly more, erm, useful. O.K. the nutmeg grater is the only really useful thing here. The item in the box is a French sugar tong, I haven't seen one before. It works like a spring-loaded grab. The two glass things are also sugar related. Apparently they are sugar crushers. In all my years of browsing I have never seen one of these so as they were both on the same stand I thought I may as well buy them both. Now where are my sugar lumps?
This last little lot is just SOME of the china that I bought at auction the other week. I was born in the "Potteries", (Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire) and when I lived there china and pottery held no interest for me. My only excuse is that I was too young to appreciate it. Now when I look at the name stamps on the back of all of these pieces I feel sad. Most of the "Pot Banks" have closed and all those famous names are history, so when I see a beautiful piece of old china I appreciate the skill that went into producing it and feel proud of my heritage. I feel pleased that I am also preserving a little piece of history by collecting this lovely old ware and of course recycling, so important these days. Ah, I feel all nostalgic for home now.... sigh.
Ah well, domesticity beckons so enough of my rambling for today. Enjoy the rest of your weekend whatever you may be doing. Bye for now and I look forward to catching up on some favourite blogs.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Shabby pink mini projects

Just thought I would show you a couple of quick projects that I have completed in the last few days. The linen bag was really simple to do, just a brief session with the sewing machine, it took no time at all. The dusky pink decoration is a vintage brooch which can be removed if the bag needs laundering. The little set of drawers were dark brown wood and showed up every speck of dust. So I gave it a makeover much more to my taste. I love the shabby effect now. Thought I would display a few of my crystals on it. The sweet little fairy hovering in front of the mirror was a birthday pressie from my husband. He chose it himself without any input from me. I was really impressed especially when it came in a pretty flowery gift box complete with bow!

Still washing the stuff I bought from the auction. Have almost finished a crochet bedcover too. Maybe it hasn't been such an unproductive break from "work" after all.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Rainy day blues and auction surprises

I haven't done a post for a few days now for a number of reasons. I have been questioning my reasons for starting this blog and have paused for a while to mull it over. I must confess that I am probably the only person in the entire world who had heard of "blogging" but never really knew much more than that they are online diaries. I stumbled upon my first blog in March this year purely by chance and I was just blown away by the sheer diversity and gorgeousness of so many of them. I set up my own blog account only so that I could leave a comment on a blog that I was really taken with. Interior magazines suddenly seemed stale and unoriginal compared to the real homes featured on blogs. I pondered a while before starting my own. I am by my own admission a self contained, rather private person but felt that blogging about my life online was somehow anonymous yet intimate. Oh dear, I am going on rather aren't I. Anyway, this past few days I have been wondering why I am so concerned about whether anyone out there is actually reading my blog. I do get some lovely comments and it is very nice to know that some people get pleasure from my posts but I do confess to getting easily disillusioned with anything that I undertake. I doubt my abilities constantly, compare myself unfavourably with others and generally care much too much about what others think of me. Now I have had a few days away from my blog I feel much better and raring to go again. I started this for me, I get a kick out of seeing my photo's and for a real technophobe I feel a huge sense of achievement.So this little Miffy is sent from this temporarily "miffed" blogger to anyone who reads this. On a more upbeat note, this item below is my next project and one of the reasons I have been a bit down. You know the scenario I'm sure. You buy a pine dresser to house all of your lovely china and a few years down the line that orangy pine starts to look really awful, so very 70's. So, I had great plans to give this a revamp. Took everything off it,
a marathon task in itself and intended to start painting it. But yesterday we had an almighty storm, thunder, lightning and a power cut thrown in and it hasn't stopped raining since. I wanted to paint outdoors as I really hate the smell of paint but my plans have been delayed. Gnashing of teeth. So back to work looms for me with not as much done as I would have liked. I did however go to an auction on Wednesday evening and came back with a lot more than I bargained for. I needed a few of those little tea plates so bid on a box which contained an assortment of things including lots of pretty floral tea plates. When my husband paid for them and went to collect them there was also in the lot three more boxes of stuff. I am now steadily washing a whole stash of pretty tea cups, saucers, plates, dishes and goodness knows what else. I will post some photo's when it is all lovely and clean. I think I know which newly painted dresser they will go on. Question is, what to do with the stuff that I have just taken off the dresser? My husband thinks we should get another dresser.
Incidentally, the little Miffy rabbit was among the stuff in one of the boxes. She still has the original label attatched to her. Ahhhh!!Enough now of my rambling, I feel I have said much too much, but hey, this is my blog, I'm doing this for me. Must keep reminding myself of that. And if it does give the odd visitor some pleasure then I am glad.
More than glad, I am thrilled when I get kind comments. Until the next time then, sorry if I have bored you rigid, but I will be back to posting some pretty pictures. Have a great week-end. xxx

P.S. This was taken last Christmas so is a little unseasonal, but if QVC can have Christmas in July, why not me?

Monday, 16 July 2007

Dreamcatcher and other frivolities

I thought I would do a very self indulgent post today. The sun is shining for once and I have just taken delivery of a brand new cooker. But hey, guess what? The supplier is not able to connect it up 'cause it's gas and they aren't a registered installer. My husband rang around and the soonest we can get it fitted is Wednesday, so I am one frustrated cook. To cheer myself up I picked up the camera and went walkabout through my bedroom. Took lots of photo's of pretty, frivolous things that I enjoy looking at.

Through the looking glass. Don't you just think that mirrors are magical?
This little collection has kind of settled on top of the wardrobe and I think it looks nice. The cardboard candle was made by one of my young nieces and I really treasure it.A pretty cushion, I love anything embroidered. It doesn't have to be old.
A hand painted silk scarf I won on ebay for a pittance. It came in the original box, hence it's a bit creased.
My shabby chic dressing table stool, a sparkly piece of Indian fabric and two sweet vintage purses. I bought the gold mesh one last week on a trip to Shrewsbury.
More stuff accumulated on the dressing table, really must sort it out but I quite like the way things look when they haven't been "arranged". O.K. that's my feeble excuse for chaos. I suppose I could call it the bohemian look, sounds better than er... undusted.
Flowery work bag. I snapped this up a couple of weeks ago from a charity shop.
Some cute shoes. Purely to look at.
A shelf full of boxes- mostly pink now I come to study it.
Not forgetting a photo of my lovely doggie, can't leave him out!
I hope you have enjoyed this little collection of bits and pieces. Come back soon for another visit.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Decoupage and memories

I would like to share with you one of my most cherished things. This is the top of a set of drawers that I decorated many years ago with decoupage. It is chipped and worn but I just love it. This is the top of a set of drawers that I decorated many years ago with decoupage. It has been part of my life since childhood.
It started life as a pale blonde coloured wood with gilt handles set into oval plastic surrounds. When I married it came to our new home and pretty much settled into the surroundings. When I was expecting our first born the drawers had makeover number one. Just a coat of pale green paint. My daughter's moses basket sat on top of the drawers by my bedside for the first few months of her life. Makeover number two came a couple of years later.
The bottom part of the drawers that you can just see is how the whole thing looked after I had refurbished it again. It took me a long time to do it using lots of leftover paint.
The way it looks now was done during one summer many years ago. I had loads and loads of magazines that I wanted to throw out. I went through them and cut out all my favourite images. I then got my children to choose some for themselves that appealed to them. This is the result.
The top drawer was decorated by my son.The middle drawer is my own.
The bottom drawer features all of my daughters favourite things at the time. My husband replaced the old handles with these brass ones. It was used to keep video tapes in. This little piece of furniture has no monetary value but to me it is priceless.
Until next time,
Sandi x

Friday, 13 July 2007

Eight Random Facts

I have been tagged for the first time by Sophie from Sophie Honeysuckle's English Decor to give eight random facts about myself. The cards shown below link to one of the facts.

This card is special, it is from my son for my 50th Birthday. I have a lot of poppy images. I adore them as they are a memorium for my sweet collie dog Poppy who I lost when she was only 5 years old. A fragile and short-lived beauty.
One of my favourite 3D cards. From my mum & dad for my 40th Birthday.
A hand-made card from my aunt for my 50th Birthday. Even more special when something is so personal.
One of my favourite authors, I am reading this at the moment for the umpteenth time.

Here goes with the facts.

1. I have always loved to read. Started off with Enid Blyton, Mills & Boon in my early teens (cringe), Agatha Christie (love anything of hers). I just love Winter Solstice by Rosamund Pilcher, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, all of the Miss Read country stories and too many more to mention. The walls could come tumbling down around my ears but if I have my nose stuck in a good book, I wouldn't even notice.

2. I absolutely HATE egg white. Ever since I was a child I have never been able to eat the stuff. It makes me heave. Love egg yolk, can eat scrambled egg because it's mixed in, but a BOILED EGG yuuuuk.

3. I guess I have always been a hoarder. I have in my loft a huge box of greetings cards from the 1st 25 years of my life. Come to think of it they go back even further because I also have the congrats on the birth etc.. which were sent to my mum and dad when moi arrived. The 2nd 25 years worth are stored in a huge, bulging folder and I have stacks of them in drawers under our bed. Er... does that make me a bit strange or what? I just can't bear to throw them out, and of course I have the ones belonging to my husband and children too. Oh dear.....

4. I drink tea by the pot, and am never satisfied until I have had every last drop. I'm ruthless when it comes to tea. Pity the person who tries to beat me to the last cup left. I don't like sugar in tea but I have to have it in coffee, otherwise I just can't drink it.

5. If I am going to eat a snack it is more likely to be something savoury rather than sweet. I do like nice choccies though but only occasionally.

6. I HATE clothes shopping. What is it about changing room mirrors that make me look huuuuge? I always come home with a complex and a depression so keep my clothes buying trips to a minimum. I do like clothes, especially vintage stuff but always stick to black for work.

7. I really, really don't like sport. I have been married for 30 years to a football crazy man who watches Match of the Day religiously and I still don't understand the rules. I just couldn't care less. Yawn.

8. A few years ago I had an operation on my right foot to have the big toe straightened and was meant to have the left one done to match.. Wasn't allowed to have them both done together for practical reasons. I was so traumatized by the whole experience I never had the second op. I foolishly chose to have local anasthetic so that I could return home on the same day but hearing all that was going on in that theatre just freaked me out. So now I have odd feet! Might pluck up the courage one day to get it done.

Right, that's about it for me. Hope I don't come across as weird, after all we all have our little quirks. I haven't been blogging for long enough to be able to find more people to tag that haven't been already, so excuse me for that. Now then, I think I'll go and put the kettle on and make a lovely pot of tea.
Bye for now.
Sandi x

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Lavender and Lace

Don't you just love the smell of lavender? I remember when I was in Primary school an enterprising friend and myself made lots of very simple lavender bags from scraps of fabric sewn together with very bad stitches. We sold them for pennies and shared the profit. In our haste to keep up with demand the bags were getting smaller and smaller until one girl complained that she wasn't getting her monies worth! I'm smiling now just remembering those days.

Since then my skills have improved but I still enjoy making these simple little pretties. The smell is so fresh and once it has worn off you simply replace with more flowers. Some of these were made years ago and others last week.
They look really nice piled into a dish and my taste does rather run to Barbie pink glass. I shall put this on the dresser in my living room.

I have been tagged by Sophie - see the link to her delightful blog to the right. I shall go and think of eight random facts about myself and post them next time. Bye for now.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Caterpillar and other things

This little fella is the only sort of caterpillar you really want to see amidst your prize plants. He has been peeping out of this spot for a long time now and is beginning to look a little weather worn. I still love him to bits though. He is the opium smoking character from Alice in Wonderland and my dad carved him for me many years ago.

The eagle is another of my dads creations. A talented man methinks.

I had to capture this little collection purely because I love the texture of the old fence in the background. It needs replacing as it's rotting away but I love the flaky paint colour. Strange person that I am. Also love old aluminium watering cans even if they are quite heavy to carry around. Much more pleasing to the eye than plastic ones.
The pine cone and shell mobile hang off a very old rose tree that grows underneath the kitchen window. The birds just love to visit and we get really close-up glimpses of them.
This little collection was hidden in the undergrowth. Just some bits and pieces that appeal to me. The ducks were a pressie from my mum.
This plant is actually growing through the hole in the bottom of an upturned plant pot. Love how nature always finds a way!
The chicken is one of those things that protects your eyes from being poked out by stick supports. It sits among the raspberry canes and currant bushes. I think we need a scarecrow too. I've just noticed that the birds have enjoyed our currants already. Greedy things. We have red, white and blackcurrrants. Very tasty if you beat the birds to them. Lol. We don't use bamboo in our garden, just twigs cut from a hazel tree. They will even start growing too if they are reasonably fresh.
The colour of these leaves is just delicious. It is a heuchera called creme brulee. Well that's all from the garden for now. We have had so much rain here recently that I had to grab the opportunity to capture these pictures. Hope that you like them as much as I do. I promise I won't be peering into the undergrowth again for a while!

Monday, 9 July 2007

Garden Whimsy

Garden Whimsy.
A few more views
from my garden.
It's not all fruit and veggies.
The fairies need somewhere to play!

Love my garden. The bottle was a gift from my dad. The rusty lantern has been around for ever. Love big old pine cones. All of the stones are either painted gold or have a layer of fairy dust on them....naturally.
Love roses and ferns - all lush and cool and mysterious. Love my old lilac trees. Adore my pixie damson tree - judging by the fruit we are going to have a bumper crop this year. Love all of my toadstools, dazzling pink fuchsias, the lacy effect of chewed leaves; garden chimes, my enchanted garden sign. Love the contrast between sunshine and shade, the sculptural quality of those artichokes, the pale green of the baby lettuce that my son planted. Love the fact that my husband takes care of it all but above all I love everything that Mother Nature bestows on us.

Hope that you have enjoyed this little tour around my garden. It isn't perfect by a long way, it is a constant battle and I must confess I prefer to allow nature to win. I love the slightly overgrown feel to it all and eventually will add a little pool to encourage the frogs, so good for the organic garden. We do have a resident frog that appears every now and then and very welcome he is too. Would love to see a hedgehog like we did at our previous house. One evening we heard rustling in the undergrowth and suddenly a mother and her baby appeared. They move surprisingly fast and very soon vanished but I will always cherish the sight of Mrs Tiggywinkle and junior. Bye for now, until next time.