Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Two Wins

I've been away for a while, my apologies if I haven't visited you as often as usual but I've been having a mare with the internet.  After days of a sluggish connection, normal service was briefly resumed before my provider decided to 'work on the service'...and we're back to square one!  Reading posts takes an age and many photos are not uploading.  Plusnet, pull your socks up! 
Anyways, in other news,  it's finally finished!....the gargantuan decorating marathon that's been occupying my spare time for the last few weeks.  Granted, the hall, stairs and landing is probably the trickiest area in the whole house to redecorate but thank goodness it is looking smart again as I've just about run out of steam.  Note to self - next time, get a man in to wallpaper! 
  So busy have I been, that I've only ventured out a couple of times in recent weeks but once such occasion was a trip to The Weald of Kent Craft & Design Show set in the beautiful grounds of Penshurst Place.... as I'd won myself a couple of tickets.

Situated in the delightfully picturesque village of Penshurst in Kent, Penshurst Place is the ancestral home of the Sidney family and was the birthplace of the great Elizabethan poet, courtier and soldier, Sir Philip Sidney.  The original medieval house is one of the most complete examples of 14th-century domestic architecture in England surviving in its original location. 
The show itself was huge and craftspeople from across the UK showcased their talents... an almost never ending array of handmade gifts, ornaments, jewellery, glass and ceramics.

 In addition, there were plenty of artisan foodstuffs, woodwork and ironmongery galore...

 and a Birds and Beast Roadshow.

We sat and watched this talented duo Synergie, whilst eating our lunch

...even tots and teddy bears were digging the groove.

Most of the prices were too steep for my pocket, and as I didn't see anything sufficiently different, I came away from my day out with just a couple of pots of herbs.
Unfortunately after traipsing around the show for a few hours, time didn't allow us to visit the house but a visit back there before the summer's out is on the cards and if the queue outside the village tea rooms is anything to go by, I'll be stopping off there too.

My second recent win was a fabulous blog giveaway by Géraldine, an incredibly talented lady (she spins her own yarn from Alpaca fleece and crochets beautiful projects ) whose blog, Wool and Cats, I follow.  I was astonished at the size of the parcel when it arrived....look what was inside!

I was quite overwhelmed by Géraldine's generosity and reflected on the kindness and sharing nature of the blogging community.  There are a lot of lovely people out there in Blogland and I feel that my life has been all the richer for 'knowing' you. 

Righto, I'm away now to scrub off paint stains from my sandpaper-like hands...oh the glamour!


Monday, 4 May 2015

April Scavenger Hunt

After promises last month of a better performance in April, I fear the following snaps are somewhat ordinary but as usual, I left my photo taking until the eleventh hour.  I am also up to my eyes in emulsion and wallpaper, redecorating the hall, stairwell and landing (a mammoth and laborious task) so photography has taken a back seat.

April's List

Upside down

 This garden spider appears to be upside down in his web



Prudy snoozing in a sunny conservatory.... on a junk shop chair

Something sweet

A sweetie stall, I'm not keen on those blue bobbly Allsorts, are you ?


 new growth in the garden on Akebia Quintata


A recycled glass hanging bird thingy


 My bedroom is far too untidy to feature here at the moment, but lucky for me there was a staged bedroom at a craft fair I visited recently, showcasing local artisans work.


 Recent raindrops at the station




 My friend Deb gave me these beautiful flowers when she came for lunch.


 mine will look a treat in these new sandals

Whatever you want

Why should Dad get all the glory? ....he's not the only one to do a Bungee jump! 
That's me dangling from elastic, in Surfers Paradise circa 1991. 

As ever, thanks to Greenthumb for hosting, pop on over to her blog for May's list of subjects
and of course, to see April's entries.

  My blasted internet connection is playing up, it is currently slower than an arthritic slug. Please bear with me if I'm absent for a while.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

A Card, Car Booty and Une Belle Histoire

It's been a busy old time of late but I found time this morning to knock up a quick card for the latest challenge at Less Is More, the theme is Up Up and Away.  I have shamelessly stolen an idea that I saw being demonstrated on Create and Craft this week and adapted it slightly.  Here it is.

foliage and bird by Inkylicious, sentiment a magazine freebie.

So what have I been busy with you may ask?  I caught up with Dad for a pub lunch last week and afterwards finally viewed the photos from his recent trip to the Antipodes. I don't think I told you that he did a bungee jump whilst in NZ...not bad for an old geezer!  Whilst being briefed, a staff member asked how old he was and when he replied 'seventy five' he got to jump for free, thus saving himself $200!  Result!

I've also had several lunches with friends and been to the local theatre to see The Illegal Eagles, also with Dad.  Thanks to the fine weather the garden has seen some action (not that sort Curtise!) and it's great to see new shoots emerging.  There's also been some crocheting.  As the forecast for today was good, I hauled my backside out of bed just after 7 a.m. and got myself down to the local car boot sale.

Here's what I bought

two brand new, bone china Morris Minor mugs 50p each, Country Living mags 10p each
filing tray £1, picture for child £1, tray of nicotianas £2, 'Tippex' 50p.   

I'm really pleased with the filing tray which has restored a little more order in my craft room, the 'Tippex' is needed for my homework.  I have been having tuition in French for over a year now to improve my command of the language and homework is set by my tutor after every lesson. It is usually accompanied by much swearing and crossings out, so Tippex will improve the appearance of my work, if not the content.
  Recently I was asked to try to translate the lyrics to this song as it was being sung!
 Trés difficile....but I loved the 70's fashions of the French version of our Young Generation and les pantalons of Monsieur Fugain. 

Unfortunately, I am unable to upload the video as the embedding has been disabled but you can watch it by clicking the link below...it's worth a look for the dance moves alone!


Bonne Semaine.


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Hooky Heart

A number of things have made me happy during the past week.  Not an ecstatic, joyous or blissful kind of happy,  just a quietly content with some of the small happenings around me kind of happy.   
You know the feeling.


The first thing that lifted my spirits was finding my gloves.  I 'lost' them before xmas and had convinced myself that I'd left them in a public loo, but no, they were lurking in my gym bag all along.  Hoorah!

Another thing I felt good about was finally feeling well enough to return to the gym. (hence glove discovery)  A winter of coughing and spluttering accompanied by pulled intercostal muscles which took months to repair, halted my gym attendance abruptly.

But boy did I know about it after 30 minutes back on the treadmill!

The local ice-cream van made an appearance over the Easter weekend and hearing the tinkling notes 
of O Sole Mio for the first time this year signalled the start of spring, if not yet summer.
  Another good reason to feel glad I think.

Lastly but in no way least, I finished my latest crochet project....a little bit of nonsense that is the Hooky Heart.  A lovely way to use odds and ends and cheer yourself up in a jiffy, for it took no time at all to hook up the flowers and leaves. If you fancy a crack at this yourself you can find it here at Attic 24.   The seemingly interminable grey skies of winter left me feeling in need of some cheerful colours so I used five shades from King Cole's Dolly Mix....all acrylic, (no need for decent yarn here) but they hooked up very nicely. 

 Prudy was a tad curious, so naturally made it her business to supervise the photo shoot.

 After sewing in the ends and stitching on the buttons, I glue gunned the lot onto a heart fashioned from pipe cleaners or chenille sticks..... as they are apparently now known!

Et voila!

The vibrant colours please me very much indeed.
What's made you happy lately?

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

March Scavenger Hunt

I've been incredibly remiss this month as nearly all of these snaps have come from my archives and I know that isn't really the name of the game.  I'm hoping you'll forgive me just this once and will return at the end of April when I promise I will do better.

March's List


Porthole design feature seen in a seafront wall on my recent trip to West Wittering


 A handbag shaped birthday card I made for my niece a few years ago


So glad I had my camera at the ready when I spotted this darling puss... halfway out of an upstairs window!


Inexplicable beach art in Wittering


Another Wittering pic

a favourite word 

'Sunshine'  -  taken recently at Hastings


 Outdoor dance session at La Tranche-sur-Mer - Summer 2014


Thought this was marginally more interesting than a shot of the bog !


1924 Buick belonging to and restored by my cousin Ian.


Never mind the plate, look at that tarte.

something you made

 My first ever Pavlova...not a brilliant success, but nevertheless tasty.

Whatever you want

 Memories of last summer.

 I've just booked the ferry for this year's holiday, again in Vendée
 ....it can't come soon enough.

Thanks to you lot for looking and to Greenthumb for hosting.  Pop over to her blog to see some great entries and next month's categories.  

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Two Cards and a Teabread

The card stash was getting low and I have a very brave and stoic friend who'll be undergoing a horrible operation next week.... time for more carding.   I themed them around a couple of current challenges.

  Panel coloured with dusters using Memento inks
Stamps - Hobby Art, Memory Box and magazine freebies (gift from friend Sue)
Dragonfly die cut - from Sue

Blossom - CASology
Whoops!  Looks like I missed the boat with this challenge which closed earlier today.

 All stamps - again from Sue
Vase - heat embossed and decoupaged onto cardstock panel
 Cherry blossom coloured with watercolour pencils, liquid pearls added for texture.

 I'm busy today just pootling around at home.  I had this tea bread in the oven shortly after nine this morning and later, after my weekly dash around Aldi I grabbed myself a slice and a cuppa.

Mmmm, not half bad for a Weight Watchers recipe.

After a miserable start the weather has turned bright so I'm planning to spend the afternoon in the garden tackling the weeds, unwanted deposits from the neighbour's cat and general detritus resulting from the effects of winter.  Wahey...I know how to live!

 What are you up to?

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Stash Busting Bunting

I'm feeling a bit below par at the moment. I woke up on Saturday (my first day off) with a streaming cold, I looked so frightful that even my own reflection scared me,  I've hardly left the house since.  Still, every cloud and all that..... it's given me the opportunity to finish my latest project.   A few weeks ago I had a fancy to crochet some bunting,  perfect for using all those odds and ends. There are oodles of patterns on the net and even a couple in my crochet books but, ooh,(sucks teeth) one of them required decreasing and I just knew that was a bad idea.  How could I become engrossed in Mr Selfridge & Indian Summers when concentrating on the complexities of decreasing double crochet?  Not. A. Chance.  Eventually I settled for a granny triangle bunting similar to this lovely one found here on Attic 24 and hooked them all together using the method found in my book.

It's far from perfect, my triangles are larger than they should be, because as crocheters go I think I'm a little on the loose side (!) and even after much blocking some of my triangles are slightly curly and more shield shaped than triangular.  I'm not gonna lose any sleep over it, but any suggestions ?

It is a great stash buster....

......and will pretty-up the garden in the summer time.

I'm not quite sure what I'll be hooking up next but I'm feeling the need for some loud colours, a reaction no doubt to all the gloomy greyness we've endured for months on end.

Since the start of the new year,  for some unknown reason I haven't really been in the mood for the chazzas, but recently I did venture out to my local salvage yard which I love to poke around in, periodically.  I spent a total of £2 and came home with this rusty wire basket.  I imagine most of you will think it was £2 wasted?

Some good news to finish with.  Prue seems to have made a full recovery from her recent illness.  Once again I am rudely awoken by meowing and a paw in the hair/face, she has also returned to her previous habit of sitting on my lap and trying to suck my crochet yarn...yucky I know, but I'm just thankful she's back to her old self.  I'm also delighted that despite being hit up the arse by a cantankerous pensioner a few days ago, my 13year old car passed it's MOT yesterday...Hallelujah!

Must dash, I've a lasagne in the oven and it smells like it's burning.