Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Huntin' & a Gatherin'

The daffodilly's are bursting out and perfectly match the sunshine cruet set I bought in the boot field this morning. The bunnies that were on Little Bun's birthday tea table have stayed out to welcome the wee deer who came home too.  Quite a few events still to come with Mother's Day on Sunday, then next week 10 whole years of this marriage lark to be celebrated and best of all Easter with good food and egg hunts.

 

I have three finds that have excited me today. Cute Bambi is one, then there are these amazing Racey Helps dominoes all intact and immaculate.

Last lovely find were three cotton floral sheets which are now spinning around and around in the washing machine. I bought one and then raced back for the others before anyone else spotted them. 


I'm just having a wee break from all the stitching and making I'm finishing up for Saturday's Little Vintage Lover in Dragon Hall. I stayed up far too late last night knitting some more egg cosies. Cosying up with coffee and needles on the sofa to add all the tiny flowers and leaves sounds a perfect place to be. I also have my super posh glasses case that was one of my leaving presents from my lovely work friends. They're too used to me losing my glasses all the time, so now problem sorted.


I must add that Millie loved having birthday wishes sent from you all. I think she felt quite famous.

Monday, 28 March 2011

My Wee One is 9

Our Little Bun is nine today. So grown up to her, still so little to us. She was born at home at 2pm on a sunny birdsong filled day. I remember it being a day of peace, laughter and easter eggs as the next day was Good Friday. When she arrived she was sucking her thumb as chilled as could be. Then the midwives weighed her and she was a whopping 11lbs. I thought they were kidding. 

Millie Berry Araby joined our family and has given us so much love and cheeky fun every since she arrived. She is eccentric, loved by all who meet her, thoughtful and has an incredible calm about her.

 

Her heroine of the moment is Amy Pond, so cool and the adventures she goes on with the Dr are to be envied. Now Little Bun has her own Tardis who knows what might happen. 


On Saturday we took our girls and a few friends out to a farm for the day as a party celebration. We had a fabulous time and came home ravenous, ready for chocolate cake. Today I'm baking a vanilla and raspberry filled one for the family birthday tea party.
There were so many gorgeous sheep and lambs to see at the farm. They're one of Little Bun's most beloved creatures. Since reading a Shirley Hughes poem to her about an elderly sheep called Betty she's called them this ever since. Her dream is to have her own wool flock and sell paintings of them too. By her bed is a jam jar labelled Millie's Farm Money. 


I have been so excited about this present and had to wait until today to see it properly. When I first saw Vanessa's amazing papier mache models I was blown away by how wonderful and whimsical they were. Vanessa and I had a few chats and she kindly agreed to make a Millie and Betty so we could give Little Bun a sheep of her own.


From the photos and information I sent Vanessa she used Millie's favourite colour purple, her favourite t-shirt and captured her magical always ready to laugh smile perfectly. When I first saw photos of this work I was speechless at how much Vanessa had caught the essence of my little girl without actually meeting her. Betty I wish was real as she looks so kind and beautiful, especially with her gentle blue rinse.



Now Millie being Millie likes to check things out. When she opened up Polly Dolly she checked her knickers straight away and then hooted when she realised I'd made them from some of hers. So no real surprise then that she wanted to see if she had some on too. Vanessa had given her beautiful red knicks to match the cheery stripy socks.


She is stunned to have herself made and thinks it the most beautiful thing in the world. Thanks to Vanessa and her amazing talent in making this dream come true for an awestruck little girl. 

Thankyou all for the early birthday wishes, it's always lovely hearing from you and your kind words.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Never too much Cake

I was seduced by the beauty of a pineapple yesterday and as it was only a £1 I brought it home. After a bit of serious thought about what to do with it (my choice being a prawn, asparagus and pineapple curry) we settled on a bit of nostalgia. Little Bun, with a wee bit of help, knocked up a mean Pineapple Upside Down Cake. That's her there oven gloved up to show you her make before it got demolished.


Today I'm racing around like a loon, so why I'm on here is nuts really.  I just fancied a bit of distraction before a dash around the supermarket and baking again. You see my wee girl will be 9 on Monday so there are birthday preparations afoot. Tommorow we're taking the Buns and a few friends to have fun on a farm for the day so more cakes are needed for party people.


Then there's the presents I'm still trying to finish making. A couple of slices of Battenburg helped me stitch up a dollies picnic blanket. My best mate who's now in Oz laughed about the amount of cake on here, so I thought a little bit more to make her tum rumble would be a fine thing.


Blanket nearly ready just the binding to go.


Then Polly Dolly can get comfy while I whip her up a stretchy pair of nicks.


Fingers crossed I'll finish her other dress, shoes and eldest Bun's elephant before Monday. I guess we all get a bit over-ambitious sometimes. Now off I go to fill my basket with party food.

Have a lovely weekend. Hope the sun keeps shining for you. It's been lovely to hear from so many different people recently. I'll pop over soon and say hello too.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

March of the Dollies

My first Wednesday Car Bootin morning of the year. Sun shining and I'm in a field searching through boxes of stuff. Absolute Bliss. I walked in full of the anticipation of not knowing what I might find and came home with all sorts of goodies. 


I've been bringing more dollies home this week to live with the ones already here. I found these three this morning. We've all agreed that the googly eyed doll is a bit creepy and that we love the other two.


William and George have been here a while now. They came from Daniella of Acorn & Will.  Hopefully she'll bring a few more cuties to the June Pick 'n' Mix

On Monday I found a sweet girl doll who's now called Daisy. The Buns rustled up a dress for her to cover her modesty before meeting the boys. I think she's absolutely gorgeous. Small enough to fit in a pocket and be carried around all day.

I know some people find these dolls horrible and creepy. Looking at the ones in the committee I'm inclined to agree.


The rest of my haul was just as exciting. I'm really lucky that Mr Bun has the same taste as me. He loved this Midwinter dinner set and asked me especially not to sell it before christening it with a scone and a dollop of jam.


Then there's the vase I bought to sell, but found just the spot for. The cheeky elephant is right at home here so he's definately for keeping. So home I came with plants, veg and birdseed as well as my mixed haul of stuff and found I'll be keeping it all. Better get busy finding some new bits that I can bear to part with before Little Vintage Lover on the 2nd of April.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Sunny and Simple

I'm boinging about with the joys of Spring this morning. Dappled sunlight crept into all of the rooms first thing and it's the weekend - yay. I'm hoping to get in a bit of secret stitching time as there's an Easter Mister Bunny to make for Eldest Bun and a birthday dolly to finish. Let's not gloss over this, there's lots of things I've started that need finishing. I get too excited about the new thing and then watch my pile grow.

 

I've wanted to make him for an age, ever since I first saw him in Childhood Treasures. All the pieces are cut out waiting to get given a personality.

Little Bun will have a beautiful Bun of her own for Easter too. Not made by me, but by the incredibly talented Sasha who will be at the June Pick 'n' Mix Makers Market. Little Bun has yearned for this Bun in her bed for an age, so I've hidden her away for Easter time. She has her 9th birthday just before Easter and I've got some wonderful surprises for her then. One which I'm dying to show here, but if you visit Vanessa over at Do you mind if I knit? you might already know what I'm talking about.



I've had a play with the goodies I found in the Charity Shops yesterday this morning already. Rose coloured glass sherbet dishes were my first find.


Then my excitement grew when I found a soft lemon blanket in another shop, along with a worn piece of linen. Straight away I was thinking of different coloured embroidery threads and felt applique being stitched on these. That meant a quick visit to the wool and haberdashery shop. Red ric rac, felt and spotty ribbons and I was feeling very content.

Which comes back round to my happiness today. Simple pleasures are the order of the day. Before breakfast I collected the eggs and then took Pixie and Dottie (hiding) out to go in their run.


Alfie took to sunbathing and keeping an eye on the ladies. They refuse to drink in their run and love a bowl outside the back door. Alfie's not daft, he knows they get bread and pasta there too. Just need to be patient.

The simplest pleasure of all is looking at a line of washing. Don't know why, but it always makes me feel good, especially as we've run out of heating oil again, so thank goodness for the sun.


Before I came back in I saw a funny little lad sitting at the bottom of the garden. I haven't shown him to you for a while now. I think he was wee and cute last time. 

Now look at the bruiser he's become. He's a big daft boy this Olly, he yowls to come in and use the litter tray and then goes back out again.  I think I'd better show him what's what.


Must get going now, we're off to see a fabulous exhibition and take part in a WW2 family day. Tell you all about it soon.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

One, Two, Three ...

Thursday already and this is the first chance I've had to stop by and say hello.
  
Yesterday was a brilliant and extraordinary day. It was a day that good things came in threes. It was the usual stuff to start with, school run and then paperwork to look forward to when I got back. On the way home I got a call. My CV had been passed around after I'd been accepted on a sessional teaching pool a couple of weeks ago. This lady was calling to see if I was interested in joining a team to teach in a secure mental health unit. Sounds really interesting so I'm off to meet them next week. 

Then I got home and did loads of boring, but need to do stuff. A while later I got a call about another job teaching 16 - 19 yr olds. I'm telling you all this because the relief and joy that I feel is huge. I stop working on the project I'm on in two weeks and I've been worried sick to be honest about how we'll manage. Now I'm content and really excited about new things to come.


Now that's two fabulous things isn't it. The third thing is to do with my friend Ruth. I popped into her shop Glory Days, after lunch with my mum yesterday. We chatted over coffee and nibbled on easter eggs. I couldn't resist another rose ring for me and I bought a gift for my lovely man.


A while back Ruth asked me if I'd be interested in sitting making in her shop. Then we got thinking about holding crochet workshops. Yesterday she told me she's already got a few people really keen to get going so we needed to plan and set a date. I've been planning in my head today and I think we can get started pretty much straight away. With the teaching, workshops, selling at markets and running the Pick 'n' Mix I think I'm going to be pretty busy, but I feel really excited about mixing together all the things I love doing.
 

The gift I got for Mr Bun was this wee bear. He's been called Tango Tim. Once he joined the others by the bed he settled in pretty well.  Now it seems the man who makes these gorgeous bears and beautiful rabbits wants to learn to crochet too.

At teatime tonight we made some Red Nose Critters to get us in the mood for tommorow. I've been volunteered as a cook in the morning to help bake cakes to sell after school. I guess I'd better wear my Red Nose if I'm to dress properly and be taken seriously.

 

Sunday, 13 March 2011

A Smiley long Weekend

A mixture of seriously having to watch the pennies, taking part in Dottie Angel's challenge and genuinely liking all things handmade, vintage and thrifty have all changed the way I shop and see things. Pleasure comes from the small things as much as it does from the very occassional big treat.  When Mr Bun told me where he was going for a meeting on Friday, I offered to drive. We get such little time together just the two of us, so that was one reason for going. The other was a wonderful market town to wander around. Lots and lots of charity shops and vintage dealers to tempt me in and great cafes too. The sun was shining and a couple of happy hours were whiled away chatting to shop owners and buying a thing or two.
 

I have a long mental shopping list and over the years things get found and ticked off. I was thrilled when I found these kiddy coathangers and could put a big tick by them. I had some as a child and adored the clowns and carousel ride. We'll be keeping a couple and the rest will go on my next stall for someone else to enjoy. 

 

In another shop filled to the brim with goodies I found these delightful Norwegian egg cups and a thingy for icing cakes. It must have a name, but you know what I mean I'm sure. Sadly I ran out of time to get to the chapel where all things vintage can be found. They didn't open until 11am and I had a date with my man for coffee and cake and I'd much rather do that. 


When I got home I had a few hours sewing time before my date with the mortgage man. Time spent running stitches along each of the patches on the Zesty Colours cushion made a perfect end to my day off.


First thing Saturday morning I sat down and sewed my cushion cover up ready to make our dreary looking bedroom a bit jollier. I also ended up making some curtains.  I found the carnation fabric stored away in a bag all forgotten about. I can't even remember when I bought it.


A closer peek at these lovely squares. Something about these fabrics all together lifts my heart each time I look at them. They are very happy inducing indeed.


Finally the cushion is finished and perched ready on our bed to cosy my head for weekend morning reading and knitting time. Mr Bun rises early to run miles with Alfie Blue, I opt for lazing in bed and making. The Bun's added Sunshine Golly (one of many from Mr Bun's collection) and Lily the fairy and suddenly our bedroom looked better already.


Next I hung new to us curtains, but probably dating from the 1930's or 40's. The fabric is so soft from years of use and there are lots of worn holes along the egdes where hands have pulled the curtains shut. Now these were fabulous curtains to make as they already had the original header tape sewn on. They just needed patching over the holes, a lining added and a good length cut from the bottom. Now we have beautiful curtains to replace the filthy old Laura Ashley ones and I have a bit more gorgeous fabric to use in my stash. 

Next up will be painting and then it will be a room to really enjoy being in. Now the horrors of a wobbly ironing pile beckon for the rest of the morning. Hope you're all having a great weekend too.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

A day of Lemons


Thoughts of Lemons and Spring have been inspiring a lot of my making lately. Our home looks like it needs a lick of paint, a change of colours and really a good old bit of oooompaaah. I've been flicking through my folder of pictures for ideas and it's the zesty colours that make me feel most joyful.


Our bedroom is the room that's bothering me the most. It's the only room we've never touched in the four years we've been here. I've ideas for it, but no time at the moment apart from some quick fixes.


First quick fix I've gone for is cushion making. With thoughts of zesty colours and a spring freshen up I knew exactly which fabrics I wanted to use from my stash. After a large choccy Brownie and a mocha coffee I was ready to start cutting a few patchy squares.


It's a very big cushion I'm covering so lots of squares were needed. It took a bit of jigging back and forth until they were in a pattern that was just right.


I was in a hurry to get them all stitched together neatly in their rows as I have ideas for much more for this cushion. Once I have a plan I get impatient to get to the end to see how it all works out. Sometimes (well generally most of the time) real life means I have to stop working. School ends and I need to be there to collect the Bun's, work days come around, a Bun is ill or just the usual stuff of our days interrupts and I have to wait to start my making again. That's how it was with this cushion cover. Suddenly it was 3pm and I had to put my needle down for a while. That's how it's been with the skirt I started a while back and have been getting on with slowly around this and that. I can show you one of the pockets and I promise to show you the rest once it's all properly finished.

The same goes for my cushion. I'm all excited to get going again, but today was Pancake Day and I was needed to stand by a hot pan for what seemed an age when we got home. The Bun's were very happy that teatime was just tons of chocclately and lemon sugar pancakes. It turned into a sociable tea too as a friend stopped by with her daughter. Just as well I'd made a bucket full of batter. By the time the Bun's were finally in bed I was too zonked out to get my stitching head on again. So another day very soon my cushion will be finished. Along with the jumper, scarf, Polly Dolly, Elsie Elephant, Mister Rabbit, skirt and all the other stuff I seem to have started and then get interrupted from finishing.

When we curled up much later by the fire the only thing we had the energy for was to attack the Quality Street I'd bought yesterday.