Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Tuesday Baking Session

Today I felt in the mood for baking.

I made a batch of sweet shortcrust pastry.
Made some tiny jam tarts - some raspberry, some strawberry.
An egg custard flavoured with vanilla seeds.......
...and something I haven't made in a long time - treacle tart.
Delicious served slightly warm with fresh cream.
I love being in the kitchen at this time of year. I usually put on a cd, make a pot of tea and just enjoy the soothing activity.
My lovely doggie is usually somewhere close - i.e. right behind me or next to the cooker, keeping me company.
Until next time,
Bye for now,
Sandi x

Sunday, 28 September 2008

It's Sunday ~

Sunday afternoon, the weather is grey and dreary. There's only one thing to do- play!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The ball is glass - very heavy and bought as a Christmas decoration years ago. I leave it out all year round though. I threw it onto the bed and Dante had to investigate. He was disappointed that it isn't soft and squishy - no chance of sinking his sizeable fangs into this.

The necklaces are usually hidden away in a drawer so I thought I would get a few out and display them for a change. I love the blingy clasps.
Ah well, there's a roast in the oven and I think I will make a steamed syrup sponge - we all need something to cheer us up and my family lurve their puddings.
Until next time,
Bye for now,
Sandi x

Friday, 26 September 2008

Autumn Colours

Today the weather has been warm, the sunshine dazzling...a stunningly beautiful Autumn day. I love the rich, warm colours of this season, I even love the word itself. Autumn.

The glossy brown of conkers, fallen acorns, ripe berries and fruits all in deep, dark colours.
Russet and gold, rust and burgundy. Mmmm.......delightful colours. Each and every one belonging to this season of change.
Until next time,
Bye for now,
Sandi x

Thursday, 25 September 2008

A Quick Project

I am always pleased when I unearth something that can be re-used following a quick make-over. This pair of curtain tie-backs were a tad boring.

So I stuck on some crocheted lace, a scrap of net and a vintage flower.
They are now holding back my bedroom curtains.
I love quick and easy little projects.
Until next time,
Sandi x

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Cosy Evenings

As the dark evenings draw in I like to dip into the bookshelves, choose a book that I haven't read in a while and settle down. Immersed in another world I have the ability to ignore anything going on around me. I do like to read just before I go to sleep too in the more restful atmosphere of the bedroom.

I love books and have been an avid reader since childhood. I'm off now to select a volume for tonight. Mmm. what shall I choose? I think 'Winter Solstice' by Rosamunde Pilcher.
Until next time,
Bye for now,
Sandi x

Monday, 22 September 2008

A Coat or Two of Paint

When I was a child most people that I knew had one of these cabinets to house the best and more delicate pieces of china and glass. As with all things they eventually fell out of favour and 'storage units' replaced them. These units were usually made from some type of veneered wood and had absolutely no character whatsoever. My mum was no exception to this fashion fad and so the trusty old china cabinet was slung out. A few years ago I found one of these cabinets in an antique shop for a ridiculously low price and promptly bought it. I needed somewhere to house my ever growing collection of bits and pieces that would keep them all reasonably safe from the antics of two cats and a dog with a very large wafty tail.

I bought very fine grade wire wool used by furniture restorers and a can of wax remover. The colour of the wood shone through again and I was quite pleased with it. Earlier this year I decided that the interior needed cheering up so I removed the mirror from the back and painted the inside with this soft duck egg blue. It shows up everything inside to better advantage now and blends with the room too.
I have blogged about this dresser previously but included it again as another example of how even the most tired piece of furniture can be improved with a coat or two of paint.
This is the wallpaper at the back of the cabinet and as you can see it all blends really well.
This print was a bargain from an antiques centre but the frame was in really poor condition. I sanded it down and gave it a couple of coats of a slightly different green to blend in with the colours in the picture.
How easy it is to revitalise things with little more than a can of paint and is an inexpensive alternative to buying new in these cash strapped times.
I am now eying up my kitchen dining table as the next project for my trusty paintbrush. I need to decide the colour I shall use for it so I'm off to study paint charts.
Until next time.
Bye for now.
Sandi x
P.S. The photo below is how the cabinet used to look.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Happy Birthday

My son turned twenty four today so naturally we had a celebration meal and I made him a cake.We all had a lovely time and here is the birthday boy about to blow out the candles. His lovely girlfriend reminded him not to forget to make a wish.

Ahhhhh, where did the years go to?
Happy Birthday Son,
from all your family (not forgetting Dante your fur buddy)
Hugs and good wishes for the future.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Vintage Style Bedroom

I have been sooooo busy today.

But it was worth all the effort.
I have been re-arranging our bedroom.
I quite like the new look.
Pared it down a little too.Left space for things to 'breathe'.
There is very little here that has been bought from new.
But I have been collecting for a long time.
I love cherubs.....
and embroidered flowers.
Old mirrors in gilt frames.
Padded coat hangers, silk flowers and glittery shawls.
In fact I love anything old and pretty.
This is hand made soap and it smells delicious - much too lovely to use though!
Phew I am really tired now - I think I will go downstairs and put the kettle on.
Bye for now,
Sandi x

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Witch's Kitchen

I was pottering around in the kitchen daydreaming whilst washing down surfaces and arranging some late blooms from the garden.

I got to wondering what a witch would wear over her black clothes when she was going about her daily duties. Ok, just stay with me on this one - I have a vivid imagination!!!!
I decided that it would need to be a glamorous apron.
Something like this..........
For now one of my kitchen chairs is modelling it.
Bring on Halloween!!!!!!
Bye for now,
From the witch's kitchen.
P.S. from my previous post - there are cobwebs on the light shade but no eye of newt and bats blood bubbling away on the stove. Just crystallized rose petals and edible glitter standing on the worktop ready for a cake making session. I also released that lovely butterfly back to the freedom of the Buddleia.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Butterfly Reward

Outside our kitchen window is a magnificent Butterfly Bush.
Throughout the summer we have seen hundreds of winged visitors alighting onto the flowers and sipping the nectar but have been unable to capture any on camera.
But tonight I was rewarded with something very special. Oh what a privilege to have this beautiful creature fly in through the open window. This is my arm that it has settled daintily on. Where are the rest of the family when you need them to take a few pics? Nowhere around of course, so I took these myself.

Here it is settled on the rather gothicky looking light shade - please forgive the cobwebs. I will get around to taking it down and cleaning it now that I have seen the appalling state it is in.
But I am so thrilled to have finally captured shots of these fairies of nature and I wanted to share them.
Bye for now,
Sandi x

Saturday, 13 September 2008


I love dishes filled with things.

Old pearly buttons make a lovely display. This little doll looks like she would like to dive right into the dish and play - or make a mess!

Friday, 12 September 2008

A Fairy Story ~

Mmmmm - I wonder what this demure little miss is contemplating?

Ah - I think I know. Such an inviting little bed. All made up with deliciously soft cotton sheets, the most divine cover and look at those lace trimmed pillows.
Shabby pink metal too....how can a fairy resist such temptation?
She couldn't,of course. I can't say that I blame her in the slightest! It's such a grey and dismal day yet again. Raining just for a change and very lowering to the spirits. The only thing to do on days such as these is play!!!! Or maybe climb back into a cosy bed but it's a little too early for that. So I instead of sleeping I think I will put the kettle on and make a nice pot of tea.
Anyone care to join me?
Bye for now,
Sandi x

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Mostly Vintage

Some of the things that please me......pink fairy shoes - a gift from my daughter.

Flowers and chippy paint.
Silk flower wreath hanging on my wardrobe door. This was the head-dress worn by my daughter when she was bridesmaid to my sister.
My bag made from mostly vintage bits and pieces.
I collect old necklaces - this is one of my favourites.
Old pine table which I got from an auction for £2.00 and painted myself. I stamped on the pattern using a heart shaped cookie cutter and stencilled the dots through a doiley.
Roses from a friend and a lovely gilt mirror. This was from the auction and was a gift from my husband. Heavy bidding was needed to secure this but it was still a lot less money than if it had been bought from an antique shop.
Tiny stool which used to be plain brown until I spruced it up. The angel wings were white and really battered so I did some refurbishment on them too.
Lots and lots of books. I really love interiors books - a trawl through the shelves in charity shops is always worthwhile although most of the books in this photo I bought from Amazon.
A necklace I made from mother of pearl buttons and some silk flowers. The linen shirt was from TK Maxx.
A collage I created from a vintage piece of embroidered silk.
I also love bead curtains.
These are the things that I choose to surround myself with. None of them cost very much but all of them are treasured. I try and repurpose things as much as possible, have bought clothes and other stuff from charity shops for years now and love to bag a bargain from the local auctions.
I think that now, more than ever it is important to try and consume less and perhaps rediscover the pleasure of making something from unwanted stuff. I think we are all capable of creativity and for me it is a vital part of my life.
I'm off now to make a chicken curry for our meal tonight.
I hope you enjoy your day,
Take care,
Sandi x