Thursday, 28 February 2008

walk time!

There's nothing like a bit of fresh air to make you feel better.

Red and I are off to the common,It's only two minutes away from home...

up the alleyway...

under the railway line...

...and there's the common! I think Red's spotted a squirrel.

The hills look very brown and oppressive at this time of year.The views are amazing from the top,but that's another walk for another day!

I love these little 1920's triangular houses..what a lovely spot to live...

These lovely old ladies face the hills,they're Victorian and made of Malvern stone, each one is slightly different along the road. I'd love to see the view from those attic rooms!

Back down the alleyway( it's next to the little house)...

...and home to tell the girls all about it!

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

remembering Josie

Today is a sad day.

It will have been one year since my beautiful niece died at the age of 16.

She was a gorgeous girl with the most wonderful soul.The kind of person that touches your heart with their unselfishness and love and an amazing zest for life.

Josie died of leukaemia.

She fought until the end, having had 2 bone marrow transplants, but when there was no treatment left to have and she new she wasn't going to see another year, she decided that instead of spending her last few months in and out of hospitals, she wanted to spend time with her family, giving them happy memories and trying to take their minds off the inevitable. Their minds.

Saying goodbye to this darling girl was the hardest thing Ive ever had to do in my life. I wanted to hug her tiny fragile body so hard that I would absorb her into mine.What do you say when you leave someone knowing that it would be the last time you would see them? what words do you use..take care? see you soon? hope you feel better soon? there is nothing you can say its so hard. Josie would get upset if you cried, she felt bad that she was making people unhappy. Endlessly, she thought of others.

The day she died, strangely my mantlepiece clock stopped at the the exact time of her death.(it took me months to pick up the courage to alter the time) My other sister had a red mark appear on her chest in the most perfect shape of a heart and a few weeks later I had a beautiful dragonfly land on my arm whilst in the garden, totally out of season..I froze before bursting into tears. .

They played puff daddy's 'I'll be missing you' at her funeral and each of us laid a single sunflower by her tiny white woven casket. I didn't think it was possible to cry that much.

Darling Josie, our hearts broke that day but we know you're around trying to help us fix them back together... we miss your funny tales and that beautiful face, but we think of you everyday. xx

Give your son/daughter/ loved one a hug today. A big hug.

Josies charity

Dragonfly song written for josie by Jane armstrong (YouTube);

Josie talking on the BBC News;

Saturday, 23 February 2008

pretty little picture frames

I found these little picture frames in a shop called Instore (cheap and not-so-nice store but good for the odd household thing) for the bargain price of £2 each......£2! and that wasn't even in the sale..
They remind me of Barbola mirrors but they are made of resin. The detail is really good and they have a velvety back and stand.
I wasn't sure if I liked them at first, they're not something old and genuine with a history.
I didn't know whether to paint them or not, so I thought for £2 its worth a go painting one of them just to see...

so here's one I painted!

hmmmmmm, I'm still not sure...

you just can't beat the real thing!
What do you reckon?

Friday, 22 February 2008

meet my bunny

I've been inspired to show you my sad little vintage bunny. Michele at cowboys and custard (don't you just love that blog name!) is having a favourite toy giveaway..not her favourite toy or anything like that, you just have to leave a message on her blog by 8pm tonight and you could be entered into a draw to win some lovely goodies! She has a lovely blog too so you may be there a while!

This little chap belonged to my dad but I aquired him as a baby and he hasn't left me since. His lovely lilac fur has gone and you can only just see the remains of it where his arms and legs join onto his body, his fluffly tail is now more like a bald bobble! He looks very forlorn and most people pick him up and cuddle him when they see him with a very sympathetic aaaaah..I think he's cottoned on to this as he's had a very jolly life really with school trips and visits far afield and he's survived a world war to boot!
Anyway, this is my bunny, his name is Bunnyrednose but his nose is pink and I love him!
PS. I've also just linked this post to one at country cottage chic as Jayne is having a bit of an old toy convention there!

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Cath kidston pretties!

OOOOO look what I found when I was sorting through one of my many piles of "stuff"....a really old Cath Kidston mail order catalogue! This was when she had just one shop in Clarendon Cross and things like eiderdowns were handmade to order, so I think it may be one of her first ones. It says on the inside cover" We are delighted to be able to offer you our products by mail a small (!)company we try to give you a helpful, friendly and informative service. Do please call if you have any questions or special requests".... Special requests!! There are so many of the lovely old prints I dont know which to 'show and tell' first! . I've got the Rose Bouquet in duck egg for my bathroom curtains and the green paisley in the kitchen so I suppose I am a bit biased but they are two of my all time favourite patterns.

I so wish Cath ( "Cath"... like shes my pal! lol ) hadn't discontinued them, I noticed that the pretty white sprig fabric called summer blossom has gone from this years catalogue too, so there go my plans for covering a chair!

As much as I try to move away from my three favourite shops,Cath Kidston,Laura Ashley and Greengate, I always get seduced back by their latest offerings,I cant help it! I just love pretty flowers in simple vintage colours (it doesn't help when you have boys and two rooms where flowers are out of bounds..spoil sports!)

I talk about Greengate and Kidston like everyone knows who or what they are.... I even said to a lady I met whilst on the park " aaaaah, you've got a Cath Kidston Stanley dog" whilst her Lakeland terrier tore around with Red our Labrador ...she looked at me a little perplexed and I had to explain what I meant! I forget that not everyone knows 'She that is the queen of vintage chic!'

There are no stockists near us, well one who has some smaller Cath Kidston bits 10 miles away,but no Greengate, so I have to buy everything by mail order, which is a shame. The one and only time I went into a real CK shop I nearlly passed out and had to go and sit on the pavement with my head between my knees like some old bag lady, whilst my sister went and got me some mugs I'd been harping on about...a very early start to get to the Chelsea flower show and the most hideous headache ever, didn't help matters. So, my only ever experience in a Cath Kidston shop is a nauseas blur.

By the way does anyone know where you can buy plain cardboard box files that you cover yourself? I'm dying to have a go but can't find the right sort. Covered ones are soooooo expensive and I've got a roll of the old yellow Bouquet wallpaper to use was going to be for a downstairs loo but that's yet to materialise!

Right enough flowers for one day...I need to get on with repairing yet another hole in a pair of school trousers. Have a great Sunday! or whats left of it! x

Friday, 15 February 2008

Happy Valentines day!

Happy Valentines day hubs,
Thanks for putting up with my bad moods, stretch marks and nagging, my never ending piles of "stuff "that get moved from room to room, my menagerie of animals that find their way into our home and often poop where they shouldn't, the fact I'm incredibly stubborn,always late(this was meant to be posted yesterday!!) and will always find surprises much to your annoyance, the fact the boys and I put banana skins on your head and crisps over your eyes when you're asleep on the sofa (you have to admit that was funny)and tease you relentlessly,that I refused to marry you for so long but am so glad I did even though we did it the wrong way round (sprogs first!)'re my best buddy and even though we have had some really tough times, you make me laugh..... lots .....and thats what counts.
Big kisses xx

Monday, 11 February 2008

Cowboys,Tequila and Gingerbread Houses

Yesterday we went to Newnam-on-Severn in Gloucestershire, a really pretty village by the river Severn where the houses on the high street are in painted pastel colours. One of my sisters lives there in an old ramshackled Georgian farmhouse on the outskirts of the village, held together mostly by the mass of ivy covering the front! They had had a cowboy themed party the night before and my brother-in-law had converted one of the old (very delapidated!) outbuildings into a Victorian syle wild west saloon complete with a bar and red chandelier!! it was amazing..there were "wanted" posters on the of which made me laugh as it was a poster with a sultry photo of Tom Cruises ex, it said;

.....just because

There were old black and white framed photographs of families and cowboys,an old woodburner in the corner and blow up cactus plants ...they all dressed up and got incredibly drunk! Looks like a good party was had by all judging by the amount of empty tequila bottles! Needless to say they were a bit hungover when we got there...

Later we went to see one of my sisters' friends who is an interior designer, also hung over from the night before! She has the most incredible house and we got a tour!

I've seen this house in 25 beautiful homes and recognised it in the there (I'd bought that issue a couple of years ago to have a nosy at Nikis lovely house from Nostalgia at the stonehouse!) It's been in a few other magazines too as she loves changing everything on a regular basis.From the outside it looks almost like a gingerbread house,stained glass windows and fancy bargeboarding all painted in farrow and ball colours,the inside is like an Aladins cave,its really quirky with lovely features,some quite unexpected, like the internal stained glass window they found in a skip! The house was on 3 levels and although the rooms were small it seemed to go on and on, up a step through another door,down a coridoor...a rabbit warren of beautiful rooms.

The garden was gorgeous too, only little...but I love gardens that are like rooms and this was one of them. Walled areas with archways and steps that lead to another part,lots of topiary box bushes in wonderful pots.It had the most beautiful shabby old garden furniture and fantastic salvage finds..oooh wonderful! I bet it looks even more gorgeous in the summer when all the plants are out and the huge fig tree is in leaf. I hadn't taken my camera as I thought it was a bit rude but I still have the magazine so I've scanned some pictures to show you!..its quite different now, but you'll get the idea.

Now I have my blog on the go, I must remember to take my camera with me more often, or rather, take more photos that are in focus! There were so many lovely pictures to take, its a pretty place, the river is lovely and it was a glorious sunny day..I'll have start to become the mad auntie armed with a camera from now on!

Friday, 8 February 2008

A cheeky sparrow and a lovely lady

This little fellow arrived in the post today..he's so cute! I just adore him!
A lovely lady sent him to me but frustratingly she isn't receiving any of my e-mails unless they go through a restricted ebay messaging system and neither of us can work out why!
I have made a few cushions and lampshade covers for this lady,we have never met and I have no idea what she looks like, nor she I but she sends the most wonderful laugh out loud e-mails and we gossip via the internet like old chums. She is the kind of customer every seller would want and because you may have not got my last e-mail, Deborah..I'd just like to say a HUUUUUUGE thank-you for my parcel and what a lovely surprise ( I will get to work on those lampshades!). The internet is a wonderful place to find delightful people like you...
On another note, I'm in the process of opening an etsy store and will be having a little give-away when I finally get round to stocking my keep popping back!

Saturday, 2 February 2008

TGI February

Ah at last a new month..January seems to go on forever and ever and pay day seems further away in this month than any inbetween month, not quite Spring and not really Winter but jolly chilly! Well the flu has departed our house..hooray and now we can get on with 2008 good and proper!..Thanks to those who left a message on my blog and hope everyone's feeling better..I always click your name to see who you are and where you're from and often get lost in someone else's world reading your amazes me how we all find each other but it is fascinating getting these little glimpses of other peoples lives don't you agree?

I'm hoping to get motivated now..The diet, the sewing,visiting my oldest and bestest friend, going back to work, getting another job that actually pays during winter..all things I need to set my mind to as they have been on the backburner for way to long. A new job is the most important but I have a strange CV with jobs from a kennel maid to a anyone who knows me, knows I really cannot cook..burn water sort of cooking is my style (Anyone remember the series in the 1980s called 'Butterflies' with Rhea and her 2 sons?.. yup that's me)and yet my first job straight out of art college was a cook for Marks and Spencer..what ever possessed them is beyond me..I obtained an A grade for art and an E for cooking and yet that's where they decided to plonk me. Did get me into window dressing though, in a roundabout way,so I can't knock it. I really don't know where to start,I feel quite rusty when it comes to applying for jobs and dont know what I want to do...I feel old even though I'm not!..(I could have sworn I saw a child of 8 driving a car the other day, now its things like that that make me feel old )
I'm sure there's a job out there for me...I just have to find it first.
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