Friday, 27 April 2007

Corners of my home

Being as nosey as I am I have really enjoyed seeing bloggers homes in 'corners of my home' posts, so I thought it only right that I did one myself. This is the plate rack in my dining room, it was made for me by a young local man. I am not sure about the black and green teacups and saucers being on there but they were left to my mil by an elderly aunt of hers. She has passed them on to me now and for the time being they ought to be on display - if you know what I mean! I have already posted about the pretty little lamp. There is a brass utility lamp on there as well, made during WWII, it is designed to not topple over and cause a fire - there were toys like that weren't there? Wibble wobble men or something.

The plate top left with the 'frill' round it was made by yours truly. I used to belong to a ceramics club on a military base and made soooo much stuff (most of which is packed away in the attic - including a full tea set with pink roses which I shall never use).

It's my birthday today, am I spending it in a lovely way? No, work all day, and this evening I am taking my daughter to the fair to meet her beau (14 - first boyfriend - both so innocent and very sweet) It's too far to come home so I shall be sauntering the street, chips perhaps, and some candyfloss definitely if I can go to the fair without her spotting me! Then back to the car to sew crochet hexagons together till it's too dark to see (would I look daft with a lamp? mmm......)

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

How's This?

I grew up in a farmhouse, one day my brother came in, having spent some time poking around by the old muck heaps, (as little boys will given half the chance) with this little gem of a lamp. Of course we didn't know it was a gem because it was covered in yuck. After a thorough clean we presented it to our mum for Mothers Day. She has given it back to me and I treasure it. The wonder of the thing is how it survived in a muck heap intact - including the glass.

How's this? Many thanks for the tips, I really appreciate the help (and will get better at this one day!)

Tuesday, 24 April 2007


Could anyone tell me if these photo is big enough, and if they can click on it to enlarge? And if the answer is 'no' let me know how to post bigger ones?

I grew up in a farmhouse, one day my brother came in, having spent some time poking around by the old muck heaps, (as little boys will given half the chance) with this little gem of a lamp. Of course we didn't know it was a gem because it was covered in yuck. After a thorough clean we presented it to our mum for Mothers Day. She has given it back to me and I treasure it. The wonder of the thing is how it survived in a muck heap intact - including the glass.

Monday, 23 April 2007

A Good Weekend

Well our first local dance out happened on Saturday. It was not very good as one of us (not me thank goodness!) had stage fright and completely blanked out on all the moves. However, inspite of that (or perhaps because of it) we had a lovely applause and a good laugh. I may get some photos later this week and if I feel very brave I shall post one. Our next appearance is next Sunday for a 70th birthday party and then the week after at Upton On Severn for a Morris Dancing Festival.

Sunday dawned damp and I nearly decided not to attend the first Car Boot here. But by 1.30pm it was a bit brighter and so off I went and very pleased I am that I did. I got a beautiful embroidered tablecloth which I will boil up and see what happens. Some paperweights to re-do, a sweet cottage picture (I offered a pound for this one but the lady said no, have it for 50p because the frame is tatty! Didn't need to be told twice!). I also got this little embroidered picture because she looked lonely in a box under a table. A lot of work went into this, does anyone know a 'U' who would appreciate it?

I came home to attend the tommy toes, yes they are growing in buckets this year. Gardeners Delight and Ailsa Craig, 9 in all. I haven't grown Ailsa Craig before so don't know what to expect from them. Finally, thought I would post a piccy of the local free range eggs, they are double yockers at the moment. The farmers wife keeps an honesty box at the farmgate, £1.70 per dozen, utterly yummy.

Friday, 20 April 2007


I like blue, in fact I love blue. It's blue for me in home and garden, and this is the best time of year for blues. Pansies are adorable with their little faces so hopeful. Bluebells and Pulmonaria in the woodland patch go well together, and clematis climbing over the arbour look - friendly! The boldest blue soon is the Ceonothus, just about to break out, it will be a mass of vibrant blue over the oil tank.
Of course I like pink and white as well ~

Ian likes orange, but I do the gardening - so this is the only orange he gets

More blue, edging this time on my hexagon blanket-to-be. I'm about 1/4 of the way through I think, and then sewing it all together will be reserved for afternoons in front of a good film!

Tomorrow I am dancing in front of our Market Hall, what possessed me to do this I do not know. I just hope I don't make a complete idiot of myself in front of LOTS of people I know! Wish me luck! Have a lovely weekend.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Happy Sunday

I have finished the lacing in blue and can pass it on tomorrow at practise. The photo above is of my waistcoat which shows you how it is used. We each have a different colour which is picked up in the skirts, sticks and hankies. Mine is a lilac but is looking a little washed out in this photo.
Below is a photo of my car boot finds last week. The two cushions were £1.50, Mrs Beeton £1.00, two lovely tins for 60p (one old, the other not - but will be one day, and in the meantime ideal for storing ribbons). My bargain though was the two pillowcases and a bolster, really yucky for £1.00. I thought that I could salvage enough material out of them for doll making, but after a really good boil they turned out like this! Does anyone know what age they would be? They are made of really thick good quality cotton, as is the bolster (not shown)

Today is beautiful here in Shropshire, I intend to get out and plant some lupins and poppies, and we need to extract a rampant bullrush from the pond. If any energy left we will take a walk on the Clee Hill and then roast beef for later.
On a final note, can I thank everyone who has been so kind to stop by and leave such encouraging comments. I have been blogging for nearly a month now and I must say I have found it so very enjoyable - thank you!

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Lark Rise to Candleford

I have been asked about my Lark Rise To Candleford collection so thought I would do a post on my favourite book.

Flora Thompson was born in 1874 and Lark Rise tells of life in a small Oxfordshire hamlet in the 1880's. The book she wrote about rural life in the 1880's is so special on a number of levels. It describes social history for the agricultural class, by someone who was a keen observer of the little things. It is written in a wistful, but not sentimental fashion, and is VERY readable. The turn of the seasons and the traditions (including the slaughter of the pig every year) are very well documented also.

Flora is 'Laura' in the book (I named my eldest Laura - I wanted Flora but husband said she was not to be called after a spread!) Her beloved brother Edwin became Edmund. Flora I believe had a somewhat melancholy life, Edwin was lost during WW1 and her son Peter in WW2, she never got over Peters death and her heart failed in 1947.

My collections consists of the Royal Grafton commerative plates, various books (here is a sample) and the Lark Rise Portfolio of 12 prints. Caverswall did various thimbles and china pieces which I am on the look out for, and there is also a series of houses (The End House, The Post Office) which are a bit like Lilliput Lane houses - haven't got any of those either (yet).

Here is an extract. I read Lark Rise for the first time at around 14 years of age, and being an old fashioned country girl myself this inspired me to be one of those skillful women!

In nearly all the cottages there was but one room downstairs, and many of these were poor and bare, with only a table and a few chairs and stools for furniture and a superannuated potato-sack thrown down by way of heathrug. Other rooms were bright and cosy, with dressers of crockery, cushioned chairs, pictures on the walls and brightly coloured hand-made rugs on the floor. In these there would be pots of geraniums, fuchsias, and old fashioned sweet-smelling musk on the windowsills.
The interiors varied, according to the number of mouths to be fed and the thrift and skill of the housewife, or the lack of those qualities, but the income in all was precisely the same, for ten shillings a week was the standard wage of the farm labourer at that time in that district.

And just to leave you with a crafty finish - I am still Trollen, it's getting longer, I don't know exactly how long she needs it, so will just carry on till the end of the skeins!

Tuesday, 10 April 2007


I had a wonderful Easter break with visits to garden centres, farm shops and car boots - I managed to find time to get in the garden, and I finished painting my shelves as you can see.

I have had some time to think as well and I have decided that I must stop trying to be a superwoman and accept that I can no longer do as much as I could. Two years ago this May I had major surgery (and a dreadful few months). The energy has not come back as I had hoped it would, so somethings have got to give. I have reduced my working hours, (by changing my job) and I have come to the reluctant decision to give up my allotment and also grass over my vegetable garden at home. Hopefully one day I will feel better, who knows? In the meantime I must be kinder to myself rather than beat myself up about it all.

On a more cheerful note, here are two photos of all the things I have bought from my local hospice charity shop in the last month. I boiled the pillowcase which was very grubby and yellow, it came up snowy white but as you can see I had not ironed it yet! (20p), likewise I boiled the table cloth, it is so pretty (50p), a paperweight which I altered (50p), a lovely 'scoop' (what are they called??) for sweeping the table (£2). The picture was £2. I will take photos of this weekends car boot finds for the next post.

Friday, 6 April 2007

Bluebells & Hearts

My bluebell collection is in its infancy but I thought I would show you a few pictures of my favourite flower after Posy posted about them the other day. (lovely photos Posy) . The plate is from my Lark Rise To Candleford stuff (another collection!) The picture behind is a recent purchase from Niki at Nostaglia at the Stone House. I love it Niki thank you! This gorgeous cup and saucer was a lucky find in a junky type shop, it's Aynsley from the 1930's

Blue and yellow are the colours of spring for me, so just to continue the theme here is a french knot heart recently completed. I used DMC embroidery silks on calico and then framed it in a pretty blue frame. I love doing French knots so this will not be the last project. Sorry that the photos ae quite dull, will have to experiment a bit more.

Have a peaceful and joyful Easter one and all.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Just Trollen along

All other work suspended today while I make lacings for our 'kits'. You see at the tender age of 43 I joined a newly formed Morris Dancing side. Question - why does everyone crack up when I tell them this? The usual reaction is 'Morris Dancing!!!??? Ha Ha Ha splutter splutter' I don't care though, it's keep fit, a laugh and a good excuse to visit hostelries! (which probably cancels out the keep fit bit)

The lacings are for our waistcoats, each one of us has a different colour - (we look very pretty but I will post a photo only when I know you better!! ) As I have a Trollen Wheel this task has fallen on me. I believe the first Trollen Wheels were scandanavian (viking) and made of bone, but that's only what I have found on the internet. It is a very easy task, quick, and can be done whilst watching TV. I use embroidery threads and wind them onto clothes pegs which make them very easy to handle. Once they are all wound on I weigh them down with a little padlock and then start the weave. Simple!

Monday, 2 April 2007


Another beautiful spring day here in Shropshire, our Easter daffodil Cross is looking splendid, although the photo is a little hazy and does not do it justice. On Saturday I bought the collected works of John Clare for 50p. I love his poetry and a school friend of mine married a descendent of his. Whilst browsing through the book I found these few lines.

The Sunshine bathes in clouds of many hues

And mornings feet are gemmed with early dews

Warm Daffodils about the garden beds

Peep thro their pale slim leaves their golden heads

He was writing in the first part of the 19th Century, and this poem is entitled 'MAY' !!! How the seasons have changed, poor John Clare would not recognise our weather patterns now.