Sunday, 29 July 2012

The Big Reveal

If you cast your collective minds back you will remember the Rowan pattern that made me conceive the plan to knit an owl door stop for a lovely work friend of mine as a birthday gift.

I've changed the colours of mine because I think my choices work better, but also because I have used yarn that I already have, odds and ends left over from various knitting projects. I'm nothing if not thrifty remember.

My owl is made from 100% Shetland 4 ply wool, it is stuffed with some synthetic stuffing from a Poundland cushion pad, and it's weighty bottom is made from a scrape of fabric and some beads that I bought from a charity shop, the whole tub cost me £1.00.

Isn't it funny how things can turn up in charity shops just when you need them?

It's very beautiful eyes are in fact vintage French buttons, they have been idling in my big button tin for quite a while and have finally been liberated.

This owl hasn't cost me much in the way of pennies, but I think the time spent hand making a gift makes it a much more worthwhile present. 

It's not all about designer labels in my world, I'm very pleased to say.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Be nice.

I am as you know dear reader generally a positive kind of person. The things that make me feel depressed about this old planet of ours usually relate to acts of unkindness and selfishness. The greater the acts the deeper the melancholy.

The daily drive to work can at times be enough to change my sunny outlook, it all depends on how many selfish chumps I come across en route.

But I'm not going to dwell on the nasty folk in the world,  I would rather share a couple of news items that made me feel there is hope for us all yet.

For three decades, families in one of the poorest states in the USA have been receiving gifts of cake and money from anonymous strangers.

Now the benefactors in West Tennessee have been identified. 

The self styled "Nine Nanas", a group of women aged between 54 and 72, have revealed that they began saving 35 years ago to help struggling families, picking their recipients by eavesdropping in hair salons and shops, they have since given away $900,000 in clothes, food and cash to help pay bills always accompanied by a freshly baked cake.

This aerial picture shows a farmer's secret tribute to his dead wife - a heart shaped meadow.

The lady in question died suddenly 17 years ago, aged 50.

In the following months, her devoted husband of 33 years, planted thousands of oak saplings, leaving a perfect heart shape in the centre, the tail of which points towards the childhood home of his wife.

both these stories and the bottom image were found in 'The Week' magazine.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Most Loved Owl in the World.

I think this must win the prize for the cutest owl ever, in the whole owl wearing hat category.

But I'm hoping my knitted owl door stop, which I have to say has been much admired at my knitting group  this morning, will be the most loved.

As usual what started out as a 'quick' project has taken much longer than I thought. But I'm still on course to give it to the birthday girl next week.

I've been very good and blocked it all out, which has helped with the front being slightly smaller because of the Fair Isle work.

The second image is the inner and outer wings, and the 'bow tie' is actually the beak.

This morning I finished sewing up the main body, the square flap hanging down isn't a medical problem , it's the base of the door stop which will be sewn under once I have all the stuffing inside.

I'll show you some pictures of the finished creature before the weekend.


Friday, 20 July 2012

Be a Well Woman

I love buying what I need locally and I love local small independent sellers and makers. Amanda is very local to me and makes the most amazing ultra pure skin nourishing products.

She distills the essences for her products using an Alembic still. It looks very Eastern and feels very pagan and witchy in a funny kind of a way, a way I'm liking very much indeed.

It's truly a home made product, and she has to guard against a certain member of her family drinking/eating the natural ingredients. This did make me laugh.

Let's hope he doesn't read my blog !

The products are glorious, I'm really loving the Lily body butter. 

If you pop over to her site you can find all the answers to your questions, and maybe some answers to your skin problems, if you have some obvs.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Accentuate the Positive

Just went into town to pick up a wedding anniversary card for my husband (11 years next weekend), and a card to send to our lovely boy who has just received some good exam results.

The quote on this card made me laugh so I thought I would share, although I'm not sure what occasion might merit you sending it.

            "Due to the current economic climate, the light at the end of the tunnel has been switched off ".

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Glynde Food and English Wine Festival

Well Mr.S&P and I took a short break from our weekend chores today and popped out to stretch our legs. We bimbled along to the Glynde Food and English Wine Festival. And we are oh so glad we did.

We drank ale, fizz and cider, ate sausage rolls, tried some Italian cheese and toffee vodka. Listened to some damn good music, and caught a bit of sun. It felt like the first day of Summer.

The pop up beer tent.

The Ouse Valley Three. 

I did try and film them but my lack of phone video expertise and a plethora of old ladies criss crossing across my line of vision put paid to that. But that's what You Tube is for, no?
They were brilliant, a bit 'brother where for art thou?'

Just before we left we bought some 'cheaty' chilli plants to put in the green house, nobody needs to know we didn't grow them from seed do they? 
We will just lovingly raise them and munch them instead.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

A Right Royal Mystery

Just purchased this beautiful hand made hessian backed rug/wall hanging, and am quite intrigued to find out a bit more about it's pedigree.

Labelled as Hand Made in Greece Athens, by or for Their Majesties Fund. 
The fund apparently was set up by Queen Frederika after the second world war, with the objective of supporting and promoting Greek handicrafts.

In the early 1960s some cool dudes opened a shop in Manhattan that used to stock this folksy work and it had quite a celebrity following. Jackie Kennedy bought JFK a cushion that now sits on a chair in the Boston Library. Katherine Hepburn was also a regular customer but always asked the staff to turn the Greek music down so she could concentrate on her shopping.

There is very little information on line other than these little snippets, I wondered if anyone else out there knows anymore?

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Good Champagne and New Friends

Well I can't tell you how much we enjoyed ourselves at the Village Vintage event yesterday. 

Oh all right then I'll try.

Lucy and Darcy made a great job of organising the event and it was totally stress free because of that, all the stall holders were very friendly and jolly despite the rain, we made a few pennies and I only purchased one thing for myself.

And here she is.

She is a totally adorable Holiday Fair doll made in Japan in 1965, for the American market I believe. The lovely lass who I purchased her from, Fiona, was like me, selling at her first big vintage event. I'm so glad she was. Here are some pics of her beautifully styled stall.

And some of mine, which frankly could have looked better. Especially if we had managed to secure a stronger table without a lilt in it.

The more experienced sellers had made such a beautiful job of their presentation. The Washerwoman was there and her stand was a case in point, always lovely with lots of vintage temptations.

I expect the next stop for her will be the Ardingly event on the 17th July.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Bargain Summer Chairs

Now dear reader I'm not really a camping/glamping sort of girl, did way too much of that as a child, mostly in Wales as I remember, and unsurprisingly mostly in the rain.

So I haven't had much cause to frequent Millets before. After all why would I want to wear a hat like that again?

Until now.

For in the window of my local store recently I spied a nice big comfy looking folding Union Jack chair. Just the sort of item that could prove invaluable in many situations. For instance when we have extra guests round, the weather is nice and we all want to eat in the garden.

When Mr.S&P and I decide to have yet another clear out and go to sell unwanted stuff at a boot fair, it would be great not to have to sit in the car when we want a little rest and a cup of tea.
When occasionally we attend outdoor events, fold away chairs would improve the comfort level no end. 
But most pertinently when I'm about to have a stall at a big Vintage event and we are going to be there from 7.30am til late, (no chairs provided).

The only sticking point with these lovely chairs I found is that they retail at £22.00 a pop. And you know me I really struggle to pay full price for things, so £22.00 per chair seems like an awful lot of money.

But Tuesday morning I reasoned with myself, they would be an investment and would get a lot of use, so were in fact value for money. 
Right says I to myself go into town this morning and buy two, ready for the week end when we do have a lot of guests for lunch and an outdoor event.

Just before I left though I thought I would check on line, and lo and behold the Millets web site has a sale on and I bagged two of the lovely flag chairs for £25.00. Yes two chairs for £25.00 instead of £44.00.

I did have to pay postage but I still made a massive saving, and got exactly what I wanted. 
I thought I best pass on the good news, just in case you are looking for something patriotic to park your bottom on this Summer.
If you're not a royalist but like the chairs,worry ye not, they are available in other colours.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Sunday, 1 July 2012

One Week To Go

Don't forget I will be at the Village Vintage event at Cuckfield Recreation ground West Sussex next Saturday July 7th, 11.00am-5.00pm. 

Oodles of collectables and vintage lovelies to purchase. Tea and cake and even a hay bale Champagne bar. 

Do come along. Go on indulge yourself, just this once.