Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Feeling festive twice over

Hooray! I'm actually looking forward to Christmas, now that makes a change doesn't it?
Probably because I'm actually seeing some of my spread-all-over-the-world  family this year. My not so little Canadian based brother is coming to stay, (he's nothing like me.. tall,dark and sporty as opposed to short, fat and blonde) but with the same stupid sense of  humor, we laugh soooo much when we're together
The oldies are trundling over from France and hopefully I'll even see my sister from Thailand too.Yay!
 We are having 2 Christmasses, a family one and a gifty one..mainly because pay day falls 4 days later than the big day and someone forgot to save any money up because of urgent plumbing repair jobs and a getting carried away with a certain room being
 Oh well, it will be fun having two festive days.We'll be like the Queen and celebrate things twice.

We even have two trees this year, the big fake one we bought in the sale last year and a little frosty larch one. I found some blue baubles in the loft from about 15 years ago and decided to go a bit patriotic and a bit kitsch in the dining room....

behold the Kitschmas Twee;

you can't see the bottom as I ran out of red spotty ribbon!

I sooo love these 1950's paper balls

some decorations get sneaked on the tree every year
and are looking a bit worse for wear 'well loved' these days

you can't beat a blue flocked reindeer
meanwhile, in t'other room, grey stag head has his headlights on ready...
  and it's all a bit sensible and frosty looking (still no blinds...)
don't tell the chickens!!!

...and it was all a bit frosty looking last week here too...loverley

 We are training Belle to wear her jingly Christmas antlers but she spends most of the time thinking someone is behind her. When they do fall off, she tears round the house with them in her mouth making sounds more like of a herd of Santa's reindeer.
Butter wouldn't melt hey?
 Old man Red, being very nearly 14 very deaf and almost blind will sit for ages in them but really is more bothered about getting his tea on time. My first ever post was about Red in his flashing Christmas hat, must be 5 years ago now...crikey!

it wasn't me...
 He has the delightful aroma of cabbage about him lately, lets hope humans don't end up stinking of cabbage when they reach 13 and a half in dog years... maybe it'll be sprouts after next week. Just for a change.

 Hopefully I'll pop back a bit more often next year but just for now ...
Happy Christmas to you...have fun! xx

Monday, 3 December 2012

49 and a half shades of grey

Before you ask....nope this isn't about THAT shade of Grey!

It's not very exciting stuff I'm afraid, what we've been up to really, something and nothing.
 I'd love to tell you we'd won the lottery and had buggered off to see the Grand Canyon in a convertible dining on nothing but sticky buns but alas, it's just been the normal boring stuff. Although, saying that....

Stinky littlest boy joined the Royal Air Force.He looks soooo grown up in his uniform, it's quite scary.

We went away 'oop North' and got to see the seaside on a stunningly beautiful but chillllllllly day where Bella unfortunately got poked in the eye with a stick (she's ok by the way) and Red got wooshed over by a big wave. We've also been doing a spot of decorating which has taken FOREVER but for no reason other than I can't be bothered with it all... oh and lack of funds to do it all in one go.Yep it's still not quite finished but I'll show you some sneaky peeks..

Cyril..who smells like old socks. Nice.
One job always ends up turning into 5 million more in this house,which I may have said already before.
The simple task of decorating the lounge, just a lick of paint so we thought but bigger cupboards had to be made either side of the fireplace and that in turn made the plaster fall know how it goes in old houses..urgh.
One.  Big.  Money.  Pit.
 I must admit I ended up sneaking off and making cups of tea or getting sidetracked by a magazine instead of getting on with stuff like the hideous chore of sanding.

 I'm turning into a right lazy tart in my old age.
paint;F&B Downpipe, Pavillion gray

Our 10 year old sofa had split at the seams and was becoming more than a bit uncomfortable, It was embarrassingly bad. Unable to afford the feather filled sofa of our dreams just yet, a trip to the 'Dodgy Furniture Store' surprisingly came up trumps with a simple grey velvet number (the never ending sale price and interest free credit for 400 years not surprisingly swung it). The evil twins Olive and Flo decided to pee on the our other one too, right through all the scatter cushions, seat cushions and base, not once but twice. 
 Library sign from 3potato4, a pressie from my little brother.
  They also did it on me when I was asleep in bed.Yuk! Now that was a seriously eeeeeevil thing to do at 3am I can tell you! I believe it was my punishment for having them spayed and keeping them holed up at home with a litter tray. It made the 'requiring of a new sofa' decision much easier though.
The not-so-little kitty gits will be banished from the lounge unsupervised from now on though.Grrrr.

Anyway, I've done a complete turn around in my ideas for this room, I'm not sure whether it works or not but we'll see. After about 10 pots of  tester paint we decided to go with the warm grey walls that stinky George's room was painted with. It was just right with the grey sofa and some charcoal roman blinds which will eventually be made from some bargain £25 linen-look curtains purchased from Ikea.(the shutters I long for are also on hold due to lack of funds).
shop letter via ebay from France

For someone that suffers with bouts of depression like me, it could be a dangerous step to go grey all the way, not to worry though, there's a bit of frivolous nonsense Cyril, the stuffed finch, a large French metal shop letter, a painted pigeon hole cupboard and some kitsch 60s stuff thrown in for good measure.

Cyril came from ebay, glass dome £4 (bargain!)Homesense,

 I was amazed to read in Homes and Antiques last month about vintage taxidermy as I had purchased the exact same butterfly on the cover and 'Cyril' only days before its publication. Fancy that hey?!

We bought some picture frames too from Ikea, a whole bunch of them half price for £4 each and filled them with some lovely butterfly prints from the wonderful emporium named Rockett St.George  (one of my very favourite online haunts)
 The lacy-but-industrial-looking rusty metal lampshade came from there too. It makes a lovely pattern around the room when you use the right kind of lightbulb!
 I usually hate any sort of change, become a grumpy mare and have sleepless nights worrying if it looks right or not but this time it was nice to go for something a bit trendier or colours I like but wouldn't normally consider. Luckily at this time of year you get lots of discounts, free postage and offers to tempt you, so lots was done quite cheaply.
Wooden stag Rocket&Rye, they sent the lovely snowflakes in my parcel as a pressie!
It's all looking appropriately wintery and festive now that we've begun 'Christmassing' up the house too.
One thing I do like is that by having plainer basic stuff, we can ring the seasonal changes with cushions
( yay for CUSHIONS!!!)
Velvet cushions cox &cox, vintage barkcloth cushion, ebay.
And if I do find it all too depressing and grey, there's always plenty more paint in the garage...

Cheerio for now. x

Monday, 27 August 2012

Pensioner's day out

  Now and again Bald bloke and I, like to go out on little trips which we refer to as our 'Pensioner days out'.
We like to live the high life, going out for tea and cake don't you know...
 Well, after lots of debating on our half an hours drive limit (gawd forbid I get a blinking headache if we dare to venture further) we decided on Burford House Garden Store.  
The interiors shop
 It's not far from Ludlow, in Tenbury Wells (there's also a Burford near Oxford) and it was far more than just a 'garden store', much to our delight.
I could have spent a small fortune there, quite easily.

the reclamation yard
We were traveling behind a horrendous thunder storm and when we arrived it looked like they had had the worst of it already. There was a lot of mopping and sweeping water out of the shop and cafe going on.
 The garden centre was lovely and quite reasonable,there were lots of plants that I had been looking for locally and everything had been reduced but what we didn't expect was finding a fabulous Georgian house that was an interiors outlet store, selling wonderful Newgate clocks, mirrors, candles and vintage-looking homewear, A children's wear shop with the most gorgeous clothes and toys I've ever seen, a wonderful reclamation yard (we both LOVE having a mooch in those) and a pretty riverside garden to stroll around attached to the house.

  There's no charge to enter the gardens and they were shabby but lovely.
 Old English country house style which is just what I love. I used to maintain a garden like this and they are super-high maintenance, by the time you'd taken a month to get round the whole thing, the weeds in the first part you did were two foot high and it was time to do it all again.

  If I hadn't of got my most un-sensible flip-flops on (considering the thundery weather!) I'd have got stuck in with the weeding. I love a challenge like that.
 Pete spotted this great hand painted vintage tin sign attached to a door in the reclamation part. It's about 30" high. Knowing how much I love old graphics and tatty stuff he made the lethal mistake of pointing it out to me...

 A little bit of cheeky bartering later and it came home with us for probably a quarter of the price you'd have got it on eBay for.

It was a bit bent,covered in grease and filthy but very 'us'.He spent the afternoon gently cleaning it up with petrol of all things. An insanely cheap Victorian terracotta flower pot came too.

In the main house, I also spotted a mirror that I'd been hunting for. I have the little version but really wanted the big wall version for the bathroom. (You'll have to imagine the big one as it's still all wrapped up safely)
the little version
Ages and ages and ages that's been on my wishlist, so when we found it there for half price it was too good an opportunity to miss. Bald bloke just gives me that knowing look when I start whining on about 'wish lists' and the like. I promised to live off beans on toast for a week and it came home with us aswell.

The cafe was quite nice too..the cup of tea was pants but the cake was lovely!
(In my best Homer Simpson voice Mmmm Caaaaaake!)
The cafe with it's lovely Lloyd loom chairs
   I'd thoroughly recommend having a mooch if you're over that way anytime!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The HQ incident...

I was asked up to White Stuff  Headquarters recently.
Very exciting stuff but also a bit scary.
Its been donkeys years since I went up to London on my own (probably about 25 years!) and I seem to be the worlds worst traveler.
If I dont manage to get myself lost, I'll get a migraine or throw up which in itself creates a viscous circle of worrying that I will.... so I inevitably do.
Well anyway, the journey there was surprisingly straight forward, I had forgotten quite what a fabulous thing the Tube is.Winding, breezy tunnels of gorgeous green, black and cream deco tiles lead you to those clunking screeching, rushing trains and your destination. I wanted to take photos of their colourful retro looking seat fabric but a fear of being clocked as a tourist (instant pickpocket target!) stopped me.

White Stuff HQ is in the Oval area of south east London. It's like entering someone's retro decorated home, not a company headquarters and you are greeted by a bunch of  lovely smiley ladies who treat you like an old friend. Vintage 30s cupboards filled with awards, comfy sofas and old fashioned kiddy rides with a backdrop of whirly 1970s wallpaper makes you feel like you are stepping into one of their clothing catalogues.
I love White Stuff clothes and shop online with them often (always with a discount though!) When I go into their shops the assistants are lovely and dont make you feel awkward or too old or too fat to be in there, It's one of a very few shops I don't mind shopping in and even though they are more expensive than some others, I do feel it's worth it. This, apparently, has made me one of their 'super-shoppers'.... hence the invite.

The day started with me being missed off the list as they hadn't received my email to say I'd be coming. Oops. No problem, a name badge was quickly rustled up. Then the15 of us had a tour of the offices. We met the now infamous, Ivy and Lil stitching away in their little room, there's a 'street' with 3 mocked up shops, all as they would be outside in the real world, with windows displays and  proper doors and signs and there are offices decorated in their quirky style, one themed as a Royal room (vintage royal portraits, red flock wallpaper, swags, velvet and tassels and a gold crest on the wall) a log cabin room (wood wallpaper, huge fake moose head) and the 50s kitchen with not one but three 1950s kitchenette cupboards and a formica table around which to talk business.
All in all a rather fabulous place to work (even your dog is allowed to come to work).

We were there to have our brains picked, eat a fabulous lunch (and afternoon tea) and see the new collections, giving our opinions on things like customer service, fit and quality.
Knowing that I'm prone to migraines and having been up since 5.30am I started on the water straight away.
I think I must have polished off about 4 litres before the queasiness and 'fizzy eye' thing happened.
 Urgh I know those signs all too well. After a rather scrumptious lunch, the queasy thing took hold and I had to be excused to sit in the garden.
 The offices are on the second floor and all face onto a glass walled garden that sits bang in the middle. So there I sat huffing and puffing, fanning my face trying to look jollier than I felt (which was bloody awful) like an over weight, nearly-middle-aged goldfish!
When it rained I snuck back inside, started drinking yet more water and the queasiness became the sweating, face draining sickness I dread.
The loos at white stuff have large portholes where you can see out but (un-beknown to me) no-one can see in.
Projectile vomiting 200 litres of water whilst on your toilet paper covered knees thinking that everyone outside can see you is not a good feeling. Nor is trying to wash the ends of your hair in one of those teeny tiny hand basins.
 Drying your hair in a Dyson air blade is neither a good idea nor a good look!  Dont try it.
Candy floss and sheep's wool come to mind.Thank goodness I had a pony-tail band with me.
 My make-up now looked like that bloke from Kiss.
As you can imagine, by this point all I wanted to do was be transported home by time machine, but alas, alone, bar a handful of strangers and a long way from the big hills I was going to have to rely on my good old British stiff upper lip.
 Keep calm ( sort your face out ) and carry on....
So the day came and went, we were thanked by The Lovely People and given a fabulous goody bag.. a scarf, belt , pretty necklace...vouchers and discount cards..whoopee!
I hopped back on the tube, took my super-strength knock-out pills at Paddington and away we went.

The train journey was slow. A sweaty man smelling badly of  B.O was in my reserved seat and was most irritated to be moved, the lady behind me (well dressed,well spoken older lady, traveling alone) gave me a great running commentary on everything she ate, saw and drank, interspersed with the odd 'F' word.(actually it was more like every other word was the F word)
A posh student gave the whole train a loud phone commentary on his part in the Olympics, much to the groans of the passengers. I think a hundred hushed voices said 'it was the Mary Rose' when he described to 'mummy', Annie Lennox riding Noah's Ark.
It makes me laugh how no-one would ever dare to say can you please be quiet. Oh no, us British, we just tut and mutter. Sweary lady had a field day when posh teenager started up.

The train finally broke down at Worcester, having crawled home at a snails pace, It was dark and I'd missed my train link to Malvern. Urgh.
After some bribery I managed to persuade a friend of stinky boys to be my taxi.
 I got home at last. Phewwwwww
As you can imagine, I didn't take any photos. The day ended up being quite surreal in the end. Almost like a Mr.Bean sketch!

I think This little video will show you how lovely the people there are and give you a sneaky peek into the world that is......... White Stuff.

I'm off for a lie down!..... xx

Tuesday, 17 July 2012


Just a quick post to shout out the winners name .... KAT! KAT! lovely Kat Whelan, you have won the splendid swimsuit as you were the 9th person to leave a message (my random number generator named harry in the other room shouted out number 9 earlier this evening, so I guess that be you!)

You can send me a message via my profile page and I'll forward on an email address to Hepburn and Leigh. Congrats to you!  whit- woo someones gonna look a slinky minx in that blue beauty!

I've just discovered Kat's blog and I'm already hooked, being another lover of vintage crap and industrial stuff it's great to see what she's doing to her home and garden. Don't you just love the real-life blogs like that? I just want to read more and more. And much to my amusement her chap has an old Cortina.with a union jack roof. Love it!
Now that really brings back some 80s memories, snogging in one of those...(and a bright pink one at that!!)

cheerio for now x

Monday, 2 July 2012

Fantastic Freebie Giveaway! Kiss Me Deadly swimsuit!

Those lovely people at
have asked me, to ask you, if you'd like to partake in a giveaway.. 
Not just any old giveaway either one worth a 

Hepburn and Leigh are one of only 3 online stockists of the exclusive Kiss me Deadly range of retro inspired swimwear.
 Some of which is so exclusive, like the Jojo check playsuit, only 18  will ever be made!
Delores swimdress by Kiss Me Deadly
If you would like to win the gorgeous limited edition Delores, sexy, figure-fantastifying Kiss me Deadly swimsuit (or swimdress as it likes to be known) in the photo above, there are a few little things you need to do first..
Jojo check playsuit
Only 18 ever made!
 1.Take a look at the Hepburn & Leigh website
(not only do they sell gorgeous retro swimwear but Lingerie,clothing and stockings too.)
Gorgeous AND reversible swimwear!
 2.Tell me by posting in the comments form on this blog, which is your most favourite swimwear item on the whole site.
Ahoy Sailor swimwear by Frauline Annie

 3.The giveaway closes midnight GMT Monday 17th July 2012

Ahoy Sailor swimwear by Frauline Annie

The Delores swimdress comes in sizes 8-18 and usually costs £75 

One person will be picked at random on Tuesday 17th 2012 and will be informed via email and/or a post on this please leave a name... even if its a made up one!!

Your name and email address will be forwarded to Hepburn & Leigh who will post you out your fantastic prize in your chosen size.
 This giveaway is open to anyone and everyone...


Friday, 22 June 2012


Our house sometimes seems like an extension of a rescue centre.
 I've made some hasty decisions in the past (ducks and a turkey to name but two) which later turned out to be a bit of a disaster. Unfortunately  the words 'I'll have them/I'll do it'  fall a bit too freely from my lips some days and I then spend my days worrying about the hasty decision I've just made and its consequences.
Colin is now living as a pet on a small holding. Apparently he is in love with a pea hen and there will soon be lady turkeys for his entertainment too. Poor Colin, his very loud calling out for a lady turkey (every 5 minutes from dawn til dusk) was getting him nowhere.

These two little cuties are our latest rescue.
A farmer was going to drown them if nobody had them, so a friend of a friend of a stinky boy took them all and has been looking for homes for them ever since.
I seem to remember saying ' Okay, just one, not a black one (we've had 2 in the past and I fancied a change)and not a girl'
So here are Olive and Florence ( I know,she's not a caravan or a short-lived stripey hen but I do SO like that name...) both black and both girls..and just incase you didn't notice already, there are two of them.
  Ho hum.
 Kids are very good at persuading parents. They should take GCSE's in persuading, they'd all pass with an A*.
Olive and Florence spend their days climbing up inside the curtain linings, leaping across chairs and tables, eating plants and smashing ornaments often with an excited brown Labrador not far behind them.

 And there was me thinking how boring life was becoming...!

cheerio for now x

P.S thanks for your messages on the last post, I've been a bit down in the dumps lately and a bit lost for words too, so sorry if I didn't must think I'm being very rude indeed!  xx
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