Sunday, 30 August 2009

Treasure Hunting

The holidays have been busy but I've been keeping my beady eyes out wherever we've been and I'm very delighted with this amazing haul of treasures that have found a new place in our home for just pennies. The colour of the jug I spied at the Collector's Market yesterday had my heart in palpitations; I can just see a few sprigs of berried holy looking very festive in there in a few months time. The book was a £1 bargain from the Friday Trestle Market and the same day I found another vintage mirror to add to my growing collection.
Bright early sunshine this morning (long gone!) saw Barney and I at the big car boot in town. We've never got along to that one before but goodness what a fab old car boot it is. We came home laden with dinosaurs, this lovely abacus, a few lovely old books and the most wonderful crochet blanket for 50p! I think our grand totoal spend was around £3.50; brillant - must get back along to it before it closes up for the winter.
These old Christmas tree candles were from the car boot too. The box is a bit grimy but I'm a sucker for vintage Christmas packaging. Don't think they'll be going on the tree though!

Oh I do love Granny Squares! I've still not mastered crochet myself, I promise not to pass this beauty off as my handiwork. The woman who sold it to me looked at me as if I must be a bit crackers to want it - clearly not discovered the vintage market which must be why she only asked for fifty pence.
And this was another £1 find from the flea market which I couldn't resist. My first job after graduating was at the Tower of London and this lovely worn old tin brought back some happy memories.

I think this painting came from the same place and reminds me of a beautiful picture in the old Ladybird weather book that I love.

So I'm feeling a rather lucky and pretty thrifty girl. Either that or I'm very easily pleased!

Enjoy the Bank Holiday everyone. Hope it stays

Monday, 24 August 2009

A Husband's Work Is Never Done

I am married to a domestic god. The laundry basket and washing line hold no fears for Woody and he keeps a watchful eye on the weather at all times. Even at the end of a balmy late summer afternoon he spies a chance to get another load aired and dried.
I am a lucky woman indeed.

I'm not just sitting here on my bench completely idling though (honestly), I have a birthday cake in the oven so all's fair on the domestic front.

But ok, I did do a little bit of gazing down the valley - just too lovely to resist!

(Do hope a bumper load of CK catalogues dropped through everyone's letterboxes this morning. This is the first time I've ever received one directly despite buying a few things and numerous phone calls to check I'm on the mailing list. Not the best customer service in the world!)

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Good Post

I think it was Eve Pollard on Grumpy Old Women who said that the only good sort of postal delivery is one that thuds onto the mat with the arrival of at least one decent catalogue.

And oh is she right and yesterday not one, but three (!) arrived for me, as well as a long-awaited new cookery book. There's never a more exciting post than when the autumn catalogues arrive if you ask me - yippee!

So I did what any self-respecting woman would do with the chance of a little bit of time to herself;
... curled up in my pyjamas with a cup of coffee and whiled away at least half an hour umming and ahhing over things I can't afford, turning over the corner of favourite gorgeous pages (do we all do this?) and savouring the delights of Autumn to come within, like...

*** chunky knitwear
*** a good bit of fair isle
*** log fires and a garden bonfire

*** fingerless mittens

*** hearty casseroles

*** cashmere socks (definitely can't afford those!)

*** homemade chutney

*** pumpkin soup

*** turning the lamps on earlier

*** harvest festival

*** enormous scarves and all that sort of deliciousness!

Saturday, 8 August 2009

The Summer So Far

(Home grown flowers and a few Cornish memories - the shells that is, not the bananas!)
Finally, finally the summer's returned to Staffordshire. It's been three weeks since we had a sunny break in the Moorlands. The allotment courgettes have turned to marrows, the broccoli's gone to seed and the river at the bottom of the road was just a few ominous inches off the bridge arches and threatening to flood.

To be honest I'd about given this August up for the ghost, just like the previous two, and have already started looking out the autumn curtains. Last week I even bought a couple of Christmas presents (only a couple though, in the sales - I'm nowhere near that organised really!)

So the past few days of blue skies and cotton wool clouds have got me back on track and I thought I'd have a little celebration of our summer so far; whatever the weather has been.
*** Baking brownies on a rainy day
*** Enjoying the rainbows and our view when the skies clear

*** Much birthdaying business has been going on, with another next Sunday for Little A who will be 3 - cripes!
*** Some lovely day-tripping, especially a very wet but exciting visit to an airshow in the Lakes, with a fabulous finale by the Red Arrows.

*** Good old fashioned gluing, painting and sticking sessions
Woody and I have been doing a bit of much needed reorganising and planning too. We're not the most organised of couples and with both of us working almost full-time, the occasional domestic unravelling is pretty par for the course at No.25

It feels amazingly good to take the reins again and impose a bit of order on affairs. The scary bank has been visited and miraculously things were quite a bit rosier than we'd thought, holiday plans for next year have been made (Cornwall again - yippee!), Christmas arrangements discussed and we've even managed to sort the rest of next week off for ourselves.

So a few worrying clouds have been blown away and let me tell you its a good feeling. So next week we'll be treating ourselves to a few day trips, plenty of relaxing with our precious little boys and some time in the garden and allotment. Happy days.

Show Day

Nothing sums up the summer more for me than a visit to the local agricultural show. Its a highlight of the season for our family and we're lucky that our local one day show is still going strong with 10,000 visitors this year - blimey.
There are so many bits of the day I love, from the show ring tension to the pride back at the pens, meeting up with old friends, scoffing plenty of ice cream and my absolute favourite - the horticultural tent.

The pride and competitiveness is absolutely fascinating and I love the quirkiness of the classes and the curious quality of that type of light you can only get inside a marquee on a muggy summer's afternoon.
A few goes in a colourful train and a whizz down the helter-skelter are compulsory for my two (honestly they were enjoying themselves a lot more than this photo shows!)

Fancy a spot of lunch? - plenty of room for a picnic here in this shire horse trailer.Just look a these dahlias, aren't they glorious. Wish my tomatoes looked like these - see what I mean about the light?
And it wouldn't be Leek Show without whopping onions!
Everyone's favourite - the tray garden class. I loved these little bunnies and the wobbly handwriting.

So a pretty super day, see - smiles all round!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Sweet Dreams - with any luck!

We've gone and bought the biggest bed in Britain.
On the website of the big blue and yellow shop the sizes of the bed we had our eyes on looked fine. And then when we actually stood there in the big blue and yellow shop and saw the one we wanted for half price, right by the tills, well we couldn't haul and shove all the bits and pieces into the car and whizz back up the motorway quickly enough to be honest.

But then after we'd put it together, popped the mattress on and realised that there are gaps either side of it in which the boys could very well go missing down, it dawned on us that we truly have bought the widest bed in the west.
It's huuuuuuuuuugggggggeeeee!
I'm completely in love with it though. The old wooden bed creaked and squeaked and had got so loud and rickety that poor Woody has taken to kipping on the living room floor being the light sleeper that he is. I can't believe that this gorgeous, immense new bed is ours!

Oh what thing of beauty it is! For years I've wanted a bed that I can drape an eiderdown over the end of and even though I'll have to spend the next few years shelling out for enormous sheets and a massive new mattress I don't really care. It's just lovely.
Sweet dreams to everyone, I might not get up tomorrow!