Thursday, 23 July 2009

Lavender fun and lovely gifts

We've had such a lovely day today, the first day of those fabulous summer holidays... precious time. And a baking hot day. This morning was a tidy up, lazy, bit of craft morning. This afternoon we finally visited our local organic lavender farm...

and what a treat it was, with the lavender just about ready for harvesting. It's full of visiting honeybees, and there's the odd treat of a wild flower thrown in.

The kids spent ages hunting down rosemary beetles, an invasive species apparently with no natural predators here, so the lavender field wants rid... but it all has to be done organically:

They also have a rather lovely little area you can buy a cup of tea and a lavender biscuit... or lavender cupcake. Yum. Plus of course lots of lavender... which we did. Well worth a couple of hours.

Now, just look at what I received today...

My wonderful swap package this lunchtime from Dollydollop on the fabulous shabbychic forum June swap. The theme was stripes and polka dots. Just look at what she made. I love the handbag... just look how it's been lined ...

A gorgeous roll...

...filled with cutlery... I've been meaning to make one of these, and it's so lovely to receive one instead. And look at that boat to hang, probably in our bathroom, as the colours will suit nicely.

And look at that pretty button decorated boat. And a really pretty brooch...

Now, whatever I do, I cannot get the next pics to sit the right way up. Odd. But you can see how clever Dollydollop is with her makes...

I love this butter dish, which was a lovely surprise, as I'd been looking for a prettier one to replace my plain white one.

There was even some pretty polka dot fabric, but the picture didn't load properly.
Thank you so much, Dollydollop.

Earlier this week, I received such a lovely gift from Floss and Troc, Broc and recup for my post about her fabulous birthday party...look!

A French vintage prize, with a selection of truly lovely buttons from French Vide Greniers, together with a delightful small calendar from 1925. It's full of very sweet images.
Each winner also received a cross stitch flower - I have an idea to make a little wall hanging from this, as I really love the colours in this.
Thank you Floss, and thank you for inviting lots of us to your garden party!

Bye for now!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

End of term gifts and boating fun

Phew, teacher's pressies done for another year. Yippee! Five handmade notebooks for my middle one to give to her teachers... she wanted to make something special as she's leaving the school to move on, and so I helped her make covered notebooks. Hopefully they will be appreciated. The plainer ones are for the male teachers... thought they'd not want pink and flowers!

All things considered, I've been having a pretty difficult time lately. We all do from time to time, and sometimes it just goes on too long. I think I've had more than my fair share over the past year. But I've had a chance to think this w/e about how lucky I am and count my blessings because we've had such a lovely w/e. It started with my middle one's play at school, called Ye-ha and hilarious. Then a drinks evening, which I actually enjoyed because I didn't think I would - isn't that odd how the world works! Then yesterday was one of my best friend's birthdays, for which she has an annual picnic, always great fun.
And today we were at a water activity day, organised by one of the clubs my kiddies belong too. Best of all, two of mine jumped in, after being highly nervous about the thought. Brill. Here goes the eight year old:

And kayaking...

And just sitting...

On to more frivilous things, a week or so ago, I was so lucky to pick up a gorgeous set of St Michael's linen, the sheet un-used and still packaged and the four pillowcases in pretty good condition. (Angel, this is when I texted you in great excitement, and got you out of the bath! LOL)

I just fell in love...

Now, my little fabric giveaway - Shabby chick, you were the only one to show any interest... honestly, guys, it's really nice fabric. Maybe I didn't do a good enough job of selling it. Anyways, that's great news for Shabby chick... please email me your address, and I'll get it off to you.

I also received a lovely package from Floss for taking part in her Birthday Bash, which was very special as I didn't expect a thing for simply attending. Floss - I'll be posting about it next time!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Pretty Fabrics and China Painting

Hello and thanks so much for popping by. In my quest to try and blog more regularly again, I'm back pretty soon! I was so lucky last week. I'd popped into the charity shop just as they were putting out these beauties. Two gorgeous fully lined curtains. I don't recognise the fabric, but it's a beautiful thick cotton duck, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's a Laura Ashley. Two people said they would have had them on the way to the till alone. But they are destined for my 11 year old's room.

I love the way someone has made them and trimmed them with a thick length of cotton lace at the base. They really are lush.

My dd loves them as well, even though her curtains are very pretty... these are the current curtains she has, roses under an arbour:

... but nothing like the lupin, or rather foxglove, ones.

I'm beginning to wonder if I have too many florals. A thread on the shabbychicforum had me remembering I used to paint and fire china, many eons ago. I have some on the walls, and I've got to unearth the boxes that are stored.

Not all, but much of it was florals. I used to love doing this. It is very labour intensive - the plate above took about four firings, but it is a lovely hobby.

I've now lent my kiln on a long term loan, and I miss it. Not too badly though, as the recipient is getting a lot of pleasure from it, which is lovely. And it was stored in our garage doing nothing. Here's another little dish that I use regularly and which I love to bits.

Now, spot that fabric in the background in the pic below - sorry about the pale pics this week, my camera is playing up badly. Remember that fabric!

I've been making a few more covered notebooks this week, with summery boat patterns, as they proved popular in the shop and on my stall. I'm hoping to have another stall soon, so I'm trying to build up stock.

Remember that fabric?

Does anybody want a metre? It's a Crowson rambling rose, and I have plenty, so if somebody likes it/would like to use it, please leave a comment and I'll pop any names in the hat and draw. The colours are a little brighter than they appear, and the cotton is good quality - rather thick.
Good luck.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

A belated catch up!

Well, I'm sorry. I've lost the plot a little with blogging lately, because of various things going on. I'm going to try and blog a little more frequently again, but I guess we all need a break sometimes. ;-)

I went to a terrific open air party last weekend at a friend's in Devon, near Totnes. Lots of space...this was the land around the cottage that we got to play in:

I'd not quite known what to expect, as it was billed as a silent disco! There was fantastic live music, but also headphones, with two channels to listen to. It was great fun.
Once it went dark, one of the many attractions was the setting off of a series of balloon lamps. They looked really pretty, though a couple came scarily close to the trees!

Very effective though.

This week, the fourth pillar at Trafalgar Square has been turned into an art platform. For a hundred days and nights, somebody is on there every hour.

Just my luck to get the statue!

He did zilch, as far as I could see.

Still no pigeons in the Square!

Oh, a little moan. Anybody remember Ethel? She's the rather snazzy pink tarten number waiting with her friends here...

I've been banned by my kids from using Ethel ever again! Outrageous, isn't it!

(Made them carry their own bags, though, last time we went to Chessington, as they wouldn't let her join in. He he.)

Crafting wise, I've been making a lot of coasters. I found these in a book recently from the library and was very struck by them. I've been waiting for a perfect use for my cupcake fabric!

Here are two coasters with the lovely two mugs I've been lucky enough to be given from my fabby mate Angel. Lubs you! xxx

Out of the blue, I received a beautifully wrapped package from my pal Melmel.

Just look what was inside... all handmade and so gorgeous. I was and am so touched. Love you, too. xxx

And I was also lucky enough to meet with Angel and Mitmot... for lunch. All too brief, but it was great fun. They spoilt me as well. Mitmot had bought me some gingham binding I needed for my quilt edging, and which I love. Apparently the shop are stopping doing it. Can't believe it - it's so lovely and very useful.

As well as paying for lunch. Thank you heaps. xxx

Angel spoilt me rotten as well:

another CK mug ... just delicious:

and a cute as a button cot set, with such pretty embroidery:

Speaking of buttons, she also gave me some long-awaited but much wanted buttons. Thank you. I love my blogging friends. xxx