Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Deja Vu and a giveaway

July is turning into a bit of a damp squib up here. This time last year we were coming home from a sodden (but beautiful) week in Cornwall and then I was almost washed away on the way home from work as the Sheffield Flood 2007 hit. Things don't look quite so bad yet and the garden is blissful thanks to all the water, but with sports day cancelled today and the holidays approaching I've got horrid visions of damp children, flattened flowers and a chilly old summer ahead.


So the only antidote until things cheer up is to escape to France - every night! I am addicted to the Tour de France. Not that I really know a thing about it or have any sort of grasp on the tactics but it is a glorious thing to watch on a dreary summer's night.

Woody has followed it religiously for years and patiently reminds me of the riders, teams, mountains, speed trial intricacies and technical details every year. The joy for me is the wonderful French TV footage that Sky screen; soaring aerial shots of chateaux, mountain villages with terracotta rooves, acres of rolling corn and lavender fields racing by and vast dark forests at the foot of glowering mountains. (If only I had some pictures, these floral ones are cheering me up no-end though!)

I'm not a great traveller - (I love the journey but feel so typically English and constantly embarrassed about having no clue what to say and not understanding the social niceties abroad) - but the Tour lets me experience France from afar for three weeks and makes me a little braver every year to pull myself together and go back.

It's also a year - around about now - that I started my blog and what a wonderful year it's been. I've made smashing online friendships, discovered the lure of vintage via ebay (ouch!) and learnt to appreciate and see the world around me with wider eyes. I can't express in a few sentences how much I appreciate all the wonderfully supportive, sweet and often really funny comments people have left. Thank you, sharing my little world with such lovely ladies has changed everything for me so much for the better and I will treasure every one.

So, by way of a proper thank you I've got a bit of something to give away.


Does anyone like crinoline ladies? This lovely pair of chair backs have been beautifully embroidered and if not used to decorate your arm chairs would make lovely panels for cushion covers or any craft project people, so much more talented than me, could produce.

One of them has a few tiny missing stitches on one of the hollyhocks but it's hardly noticeable (and I promise I'll give it a quick press too before I send it to the winner!). Everyone who leaves comment will have their name put in the hat to be drawn out by B next week. Thanks again and good luck!

And I've been meaning to pass on the fab, "You make my day" award onto some of my favourite blogs:

Anna at All Things Lovely - for one of the most entertaining blogs I read. I love her jolly style and and she's opening a cafe soon and will be the perfect hostess I'm sure.

Michele at Cowboys & Custard - a favourite of many, always fun and so creative and the leaver of some wonderfully special comments.

Pipany - the sewer of beautiful things, with the sort of home life I crave and all in wonderful Cornwall.

Dev at The Fairy Glade - great minds think alike I think and Dev's post always strike a special chord with me.

Cathy at Pink Green - the allotment queen with a very busy life who's beautiful posts really inspire me and my allotment dreams.

44 comments:

quitecontrary1977 said...

these are so unusual! they'd be perfect for my little house. i'm going to blog about this!

Summer by the sea said...

Hi Steph, we were only saying yesterday, that it is like Deja vu - We live in Filey which was badly flooded exactly this time last year, and like you, my sons sports day was cancelled last week- Oh well, at least there are lots of pretty pictures on your blog to cheer me up! - Natalie x

Leisa said...

Beautiful pictures and a very Happy Blog Anniversary! I would love to be in on you giveaway. Pop on over and visit me and you will be in on my giveaway too!

katmandhu2u said...

hello Steph, thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures on your post today, the flowers on your table are so pretty, the embroideries are lovely, I love the hollyhocks, they are my favourites, I would love to join in your giveaway x

twiggypeasticks said...

Lovely photos, the crinoline ladies are so pretty. Know what you mean about the damp squib weather, we're up in the Pennines and can see a camping site across the valley, those poor people in soggy tents :( Here's hoping the sun will soon return.
Twiggy

Sandra Ree said...

Love the Crinoline Ladies! Your blog is beautiful! :)

Andrea said...

Thank heavens for beautiful blogs such as yours - I am a Brit who has lived in Australia for the last 10 years and there are times when I SO, SO miss the quaintness of my homeland. Thank you for re-connecting me, and those lovely crinoline ladies have definitely taken me on a nostalgic trip back to my childhood :-)

Deb said...

Hello Steph
Happy blog anniversary. What a lovely giveaway! I adore your wire photo holder :-}. Thanks for your nice comments on my blog today. The collages are really easy to make - I do them using Picasa which is a free download from Google. You will have tons of fun with your photos!

Blake and Meichelle said...

I love them! They are so adorable!

Kelly H said...

beautiful!

JuicyFig said...

I am beggining to question my memory as to whether we have ever had a hot sunny summer in the uk???
I love you flower shots they really are bright and cheery, and make my own look a bit feeble!

Antimakasers! I love them!!!

Kath
x

Michele said...

Love the pics!!! Those flowers are beautiful!! I also love the crinoline ladies, and I just learned something new, too as I didn't know that's what they were called. Your blog looks lovely, and I've just added it to my favorites list!

Hugs,
Michele
luvkittysmeowmail@gmail.com

The Fairy Glade said...

Hi Steph and thanks for your lovely comments about the "secret Garden". I had that same feeling of deja vu reading your blog as I had just posted pics of the crinoline ladies at our church. How weird is that? Also worth a mention is that it has rained steadily here for nearly 24 hours! The garden is awash and all the petals on my Rambling Rector rose have been bashed off. The patio now looks like it is under a foot of snow! Dev X

claire said...

Those ladies are lovely:)
here on the east coast we have been quite fortunate with the weather so far - not as much rain as some parts of the country but....the school hols approach and the last 2 years have been a total wash out!!! I'm making a list of indoor activities!!

Linen & Roses said...

Congratulations on a year of blogging! And thanks for sharing those lovely flowery pretty images. This weather is so dreary isn't it that we need pretty pictures to cheer us up. Last night as I drove home from the station I felt like it was the autumn it was so miserable. I do love crinolin ladies so would love to be added to your giveaway draw.

periwinkle said...

I know what you mean about the weather, our sports day has been cancelled today. Those are some gorgeous flowers you have there too. As much as I like your ladies please don't enter me into your giveaway as I've won quite a bit lately and I don't think it would be fair.
lisa x

Kathy said...

Hi Steph...isn't the weather horrid...all the flowers in my garden look terrible they are just sodden. Kathy

jessica daisy said...

Happy blog birthday Steph, I've just realised that it has nearly been a year since you won my pay it forward giveaway, I really must crack on with making something to send you, and the other two winners.
Lovely crinoline ladies, what a nice giveaway prize!
Jessx

prettyshabby said...

Well done Steph for keeping on blogging for a whole year! Happy first blog birthday!
Your pictures get lovelier each time I visit..x

How can you bear to part with those lovely ladies? someone is going to be a very lucky blogger!

alice c said...

Congratulations! I am so glad that you let us share your lovely house through your blog. It is like a breath of fresh country air to visit you.

Jane W said...

Happy Blog Birthday! Thanks for listing your favourite blogs - they are great (I'm fast becoming a blog addict!).
The crinoline ladies are lovely.
Jane

mollycupcakes said...

Steph,
Happy blog anniversary hun.
Just looking at your beautiful photos washes away all the grey clouds and puts the sunshine back in my day.
Many hugs.

Catheirne x

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

The weather has been a bit sad hasn't it?......fingers crossed for a few golden rays during the school hols....

Congratulations to you on your blogs first Birthday! And thanks for sharing all of your beautiful photos.
Niki

julia said...

Ooooh, the arms of my sofa are calling out for those beauties!
Everytime it rains heavily here we dread the floods that happened last year, we've only just finished re-doing the basement.
Congratulations on you 1st anniversary, keep it up!
Julia x

This Vintage Life... said...

Well done Steph! I don't want to make everybody sick but it's lovely here!! (I've probably jinxed it now)

Garden girl said...

Oh, thankyou so much for my award! How perfectly fabulous, am tickled pink!(now need to start work on my 'perfect hostess' bit though...darn it!)I love your blog too, your photos are always incredibly beautiful, and your lovely country living sounds wonderful. I may turn up with my suitcase one day when I need a rest!(next week ok for you? I can bring the tent?)
Happy Anniversary too, sweetie!xxx

Lavender hearts said...

Oh please enter me! :-) Congrats on the year, I never did celebrate my year of blogging!

Schotzy said...

Steh, Did you notce on a previous post I commented that youw ere a recipient of the Arte y Pico award? YOu need to check my blog to know how to pass it on! Congrats!

Ragged Roses said...

Years ago when I was still at Royal Holloway I spent the summer in the Auvergne with some friends. We were staying in an old house up a hillside and the people in the village asked us to spend the day with them watching the Tour de France as it passed near the village, It was one of the most exciting and special days I can remember. In the evening the villagers had a party and built a massive bonfire and we all sat round drinking wine and my French got worse and worse!!!
Congrats on your blogging year and your lovely, lovely blog Steph
Kimx

Mama de Saga said...

Oh what a great day! You left a comment on my blog, and I was introduced to your beautiful blog. You take the most wonderful photos. I know I will spend awhile here looking at past posts.
Thank You!

Clover Yard said...

Hi Steph, Lovely photos and a pretty giveaway. We are gearing up here for the big birthday bash tomorrow. We postponed it til Sunday as the forecast was better. Fingers crossed we'll get some sunshine! Hope you're having a lovely weekend.
Carolx

Maddy said...

How luck of you to have so much rain, you can send some over here if you like. I don't mind the Tour either, it's such a beautiful sport to watch, all those lean men ... oh no I mean hills and fields ;)

Maddy
www.madelinedunster.com

VintageGirl said...

So pretty!! I am so enjoying your blog. My grandma was from Scotland (her family moved to Canada when she was 12) and I loved hearing all the tales of the land and looking at the beautiful pictures of her many trips back "home". Blessings, Heather

VintageGirl said...

ooops...part of my comments were deleted. I also was saying that Grandma's many trips to England were so exciting for her and she always came back with so many interesting goodies, shortbread, candies, little replicas of the double deckers, etc.....my most treasured is some heather (my name) Grandma framed it and kept it by her bedside. She gave it to me a few weeks before she passed away. Your blog...your words, photos, and the way you are living your life are very inspirational to me. Thanks, Heather

blueviolet said...

The crinoline ladies are so dainty and lovely. They bring back childhood memories for me of decorations in our family home.
doot65[at]comcast[dot]net

dolls123 said...

Wow !!!

luckydolls123[at]verizon[dot]net

Cowboys & Custard said...

Dear Steph.. I seem to arrive late these days but it was such a lovely surprise to be presented with an award when I did finally turn up!
You are so kind and I am so touched by your generosity of spirit.
I can only echo entirely your eloquent words about the influence that blogging has had on your life.. It has changed my own is so many ways..all for the better!
It is always a pleasure to visit Curlew Country and I hope there are many more years ahead of your inspiring and colourful posts..
Thank you!

Michelexxx

fitty's pinky rose cottage said...

You got nice post here.. and the flowers in the jug.. looks lovely.. I would love to join your giveaway.. and do count me in.. have a super week!.. :-)

Sal said...

Beautiful pics..I also love crinoline ladies and I have some to embroider..but think that will have to be a winter project!
;-)

hautemommy said...

Those are so cute!!! And oh how I wish we were having a rainy and chilly summer... California is just too hot and dry at this time of the year! :) xo!

Cathy said...

Thank you for the award and the lovely comments about (and on) my blog. You are a far more generous person that I am - I couldn't bear to part with those beauties. Please add my name to the list though - I do have a bit of a thing for crinoline ladies!
Cathy X

Miss sew n sew said...

Well done on your blogging birthay! Your blog is always a pleasure to read with such pretty pictures! Count me in please those embroidered ladies are gorgeous! The weather has been miserable the sunshine yesterday was a treat though!
Sarahx

zees5 said...

Oh my goodness - I LOVE Crinoline Ladies!!! And I also love vintage embroidery. I have two worn & torn pillowcases I am saving the swans from that my grandmother embroidered in the same style as Crinoline Ladies. I just found your blog and it is beautiful! Thanks!

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