Sunday, 16 November 2008

and the answer to the question is...

I didn't realise there were quite so many questions left for me to answer on that other post! Thankyou so much for all your lovely comments on 'silver linings'..I do hope you didn't think I was fishing for sympathy..this is just my life and how it is and how I tell it (giving too much information away sometimes if you caught a glimpse of that last post before it was edited...what was I thinking?!!!)

Anyway.. here are the answers to the questions as tagged by the lovely Viv at Hens Teeth and asked by the lovely 'you lot'. I have used some photos that you've seen before and I hope you don't get too bored!

Claire and Sharie asked; where do I get my home inspirations from?Well mostly from my 'little Granny's house' that I remember as a child, it was from the same era as ours, 1920s and a lot of my decorating tastes have evolved from my memories of that house. Although I've always loved old things with a history,blogging and seeing real people's fantastic homes,my favourite house magazines and shops also have influenced me a lot.

Sam asked What has been my best vintage/thrift shop purchase?
ooh that's a hard one as I have had a few.
My favourite vintage buy is my 1950s Stockman mannequin that is very tatty and rather curvy,no-one wanted her on eBay so I got her for about £40 including the postage! My best bargain buy has to be the painted Victorian airer in the back kitchen/laundry room..It has been an absolute godsend with all the rain we've had and with the cost of electricity prices currently going through the roof it will be used even more ..a stupendously bargainous 99 pence!! (and yes I did a little dance when got that)

Hen asked about my job as a window dresser, how I got into it,who I worked for,what I loved about it and why I left?I came into it by accident really,straight out of art college, I got a job as a cook for M&S to tie me over(hope I didn't poison too many people!)then moved to Birmingham where I applied at Boots for a catering assistant just to get a job really and they said "why do you want a job as a cook when you failed cookery and you have an A in art..we were going to look for a display person soon do you want the job?" as simple as that.A case of being in the right place at the right time. These were in the days when Boots used props and proper display people, I then went onto work at a place called Living and then onto Beatties (now House of Fraser)This one window won a competition from a prestigious pen company..oo-er!
I really loved the job,it is the best job in the world if you work for the right company.My absolute favourite part was designing and building the Christmas grotto's which we started planning around July-August.We had a Victorian children's bedroom with Peter Pan flying through the window and twinkling stars in the night sky,a castle ..all sorts of really was so much fun finding all the bits and bobs to dress them with. a corner of one of the grottos I hand painted..complete with a papier mache teapot also made by yours truly.(I think the kiddies visiting Santa took all the cakes!)
I like working behind the scenes, being the anonymous person who dismantled the hundreds of Christmas trees on Christmas eve and spent boxing day putting up sale banners! being given a whacking great budget and basically having free reign with it and getting paid to visit prop would LOVE them. why i left is a bit complicated really and there is far more to it but this is the short version.I was headhunted by the Birmingham store and offered the highest wage going for my position in the company group, so it was very tempting to leave my local branch in Worcester where I worked part-time.Unfortunately, what they didn't tell me was that the travelling would be an absolute nightmare and that my little boys were often left at school waiting for their mum to collect them. So I left,and couldn't go back to my old store, I was already doing some gardening on my days off so it became my job more permanently.I do miss it and have to fold things back properly when i pick them up to look at them in shops and Pete practically has to drag me away if I see a display in a shop that 'needs twiddling with!'

Deb asked what was i like at school?Ummm..goody two shoes... best reader,prizes for writing..that is until I hit puberty! My boys tell me I was the 1983 equivalent of an EMO, although I thought I was more Siouxie Soux crossed with Bananarama and David Sylvian from the band Japan.(I had my hair and make-up exactly the same as his!)(I've borrowed those 2 photos from google)
I was far too interested in boys, make -up, dying my hair ridiculous colours and being the class clown to work hard! I did go on to get an A'level and go to college where I studied Art & Design, hoping to be a period wardrobe mistress and costume designer.
And luckily for me and you I don't possess a photo of me in my delightful royal blue crimplene a-line High school pinafore and gingham school shirt! ..sorry Deb!

Krawuggl asked about my ongoing plans for the sitting room..mmmm that's all been put on the back burner,although when we can afford it we will be knocking through the kitchen and dining room,adding a conservatory as an extra sitting room(but with a solid roof) and making the wooden temporary part into a brick built downstairs loo and laundry room.and maybe I'll get to make my Kate Forman curtains after that for the original sitting room! Now where did I put that lottery ticket?

Viv asked 'question?'what are my 3 pet hates?
in a very Beyonce manner..I couldn't stop singing that tune all day Viv after you said that! well..

1.'pda's' or public displays of affection. Most of all pdas in the you really need to have a snog by the cheese counter and walk with your arms wrapped round each other pushing the trolley? ..stop it immediately and MOVE OUT THE WAY or you will feel the wrath of my trolley rage.

2.I absolutely freak out if anyone touches my face with their bare hands.I hate it ,don't know why but I think it's a germ thing.. you know, people not washing their hands after the loo and all that.My kids now know it's my weakness and they use it!

3.Men that talk to your chest.
Yes i am a lady in possession of larger boobies and one of these days I'll just flash those puppies right at them totally out the blue, maybe that will get their attention that my eyes are up HERE.

Sian asked.Why don't I sew more of my pretties?basically because I'm very lazy when it comes to sewing,unorganised and easily distracted!! I do intend to update my blog shop with some new items before Christmas though.

Steph asked if I could recommend a pretty old fashioned hardy perennial for summer long colour
well, Campanula Lactiflora 'Blue Cross'(sold in aid of the charity of the same name) or the one called 'Pritchards variety' which is slightly darker it also comes in a soft pink called 'Loddon Anna'.
'Blue cross' is one of my favourites,flowering from early summer to late autumn. a 4' tall bushy plant that will need staking with some canes and string or a hoop.
It is the most gorgeous shade of pale purple that looks fantastic with pink or apricot roses and hardy geraniums..a good bushy pink rose by the way is Bonica 82.....mine is still covered in blooms in November. Don't forget when the flowers are over on your Campanula,to cut it back by half and feed it with some miracle grow and you'll get another flush! Then cut the stems right down in winter.

Emma asked what would be the one item I would rescue is my house was on fire apart from loved ones?
Oh,I cant imagine anything worse, I think I would be frantically throwing all I could grab out the windows, I'm very sentimental so I think it would be my box of old photographs.

Niki asked where I got my sense of humor from and who are my favourite comedians?
I was always in trouble at school for being silly,so I'm more silly than funny I think.My sense of humor hasn't changed since I was about 5! I used to mimic family members and do different accents, humor got me into trouble but it also got me out of it a few times! I love a good comedian,I like visual comedians like Harold Lloyd and Norman Wisdom and I like to watch the stand up comedy show on a Friday night (Chanel 4 ,10.30pm), Lee Mack was really funny last week.

Mel asked how many 'Stanleys' do I have in my house?

I only have one official Cath Kidston Stanleyand one felt one that I made, but I have a few Stanley lookalikes which are wire-haired fox or Airdale terriers as opposed to a Lakeland terrier like Stanley..
So there's this from my lovely pal Lynn (gigibird)..He's waiting to be made into a very special cushion, I really love him..This little vintage needlepoint one...
This one..who I think must have lived most of his life up a chimney..
This hand carved tiny wooden one... these two... this chap ...these fellows...
and these two..who you have already met..Red even has Stanleys on his lead they are all known as 'Mums Stanleys' though....even Buster!..
ummm quite a few Mel!!

Jane asked when I feel like a bit of retail therapy to cheer myself up which online shop do I hit first?
thoroughly boring, but it's good old eBay...every time! Followed by,Berry red, Not on the high street, Lily blue,Cath Kidston,Lark, cox & cox...I could go on..and on...!!

and lastly Clare..who sent the craziest question of many ears do I have? lol!!

errrrr one big rabbit shaped one that looks like that crazy blue bird thing that SJP wore on her head for her wedding in sex and the city.I'm presuming that was because of the 'whooshing in my one ear' comment I had made!!! you nutter Clare!

If you've got this far..give yourself a slap on the back and have a cup of tea!
I have entered you all into my giveaway,thankyou, It's taken me forever but it was such fun doing this and I'll announce the winner in my next post.

Now everybody.. its your turn... !


  1. I love your blog!!

    Thanks for answering my question!


  2. That was great, Sairer. I love your Stanleys, what a Stanley hoarder you are! I wish you lived near me 'cos you could be my gardener in a shot!
    Hen x

  3. What a fab post!!! So enjoyed do have so many Stanleys in your it...
    dress makers dummy is fabaroony!
    I just love all of your you feeling today...?

  4. Great fun learning so much more about you.

  5. I don’t know when I have enjoyed reading a post more.

    Being a miserable bitch my nature I always enjoy your upbeat spirit that always shines through your writing.

    And of course you have very good taste….. We share a desire of wanting to recreate our respective Granny’s houses; although I have to confess you seem to be making a better job of it than me.

  6. Awww I just adore all of your Stanley's! And I enjoy your blog very much too!It was fun to read your answers to all those questions!

  7. What brilliant answers to the questions, I feel I know you a little better :) Ohooo how i wished I had seen that post, I would have loved to have asked
    "Do you believe in love at first sight"

    I do :)

    Mary X

  8. This was such a fun to read, a wonderful inspiration before I start my boring house routine. Now I could think about whether I shall start my own Stanley collection, yours is such a wonderful lot, and which perennials are still to be cutted down before the winter arrives - not today, of course, because today I have to have in any case a look at your wonderful therapy-links, too.
    Enjoy the day and thanks for answering my question,
    best wishes, Suzi

  9. Brilliant...everybody should do a tag that way!
    Why am I not surprised on hearing about your schooldays? Just as I thought! And thanks for that pic of David Sylvian..yum. Although I was in luurve with him I was actually a Durannie...ahhh, the 80's!
    Deb x
    (I still don't believe there isn't a St.Trinians type pic of you though!)

  10. Wow, now I know a lot about you. Thanks for all the pics. You really have a lovely home.

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. Hi there,
    Hope your feeling as comfortable as possible...?
    Poor you......:>(

    I do type super fast, i did word star in college!...old word processing!
    We also have 2 i get to pop on both, i'm also blessed with a wonderful child to mind, who adores her routine and asks to go for her nap....lucky me!
    So i ansa comments b4 work and blog during naps!

    I'm sure this will all change once i'm in work..whenever that will be!

    Have a relaxed take it easy!
    Hugs Melxxxxx

  13. I'm so jealous of all your Stanleys! They remind me of the Airedales we used to have when I was a child.

  14. Wow, first time I have found your blog and I love it. Of for a read through now xx

  15. Lovely well thought out answers - I couldn't come up with a question so just read everyone else’s! Although I have one for you now …. Does your Stockman have a name? I have one too, I got it out of mum & dads barn - no idea where he had got it from but I do remember it being in their last house under a costume or two so maybe they bought it for work. I have called her “Amelia” well, she 'told' me that was what her name was - some how! Now she is enjoying life in my sewing room & she likes it much better than being shat on by the swallows on the farm!
    Do really like your blog, and if it wasn't for the after effects of flu and energy conserving so that I can get to the Country Living Fair in Glasgow tomorrow, I would be off to my little room and stitching away, having been enthused by your various projects.

  16. What a great post. It must have took you absolutely ages to prepare it!
    Thank you for answering my question, how lovely that you took inspiration from your grannys house. Oddly enough I always wanted my grannys house and now I'm living in it!!

    Ummm, I think you could have some form of Stanley fetish going on LOL. But beautiful collection nonetheless :-)

  17. Fabulous post! Your home just makes me sigh and smile. :)

  18. Happy weekend!
    How are you feeling today?xx

  19. Lol, again a brilliant post. What a great idea! Great answers from you. I have exactly the same trouble as your number 3 in your pet hates, their the bane of my life!!! How are you feeling now after your hospital visit?
    I saw the wonderful letter your sister wrote to the mum of the girl with heart trouble....I'm sure she will take great comfort in it!
    Claire xx

  20. just incase you're wondering...please dont think I was being mean to Hen removing her comment! it was just to tell me I had won her giveaway and she'd left her email on there!

  21. WOW Sairer! This post must have taken you forever! Thanks for finding the time to entertain us all and I appreciate you answering my question - your silly sense of humour is a gift, treasure it!
    I trained as a window dresser, but struggled to get a lucky break...I ended up doing internal displays for John Lewis for a while...I think you were lucky to have had the chance to do it.

    Loved all of your Stanley photos - what an amazing collection!
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend,

  22. I love your scotty dogs, gorgeous blog, my hens are ex battery, now very spoilt hens too!


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