Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Memento Mori

Good day to you, yet cheerful reader on this day of All Hallows' Eve. (If you could read that greeting in a Vincent Price voice for those of you old enough to know who the hell he was, that would really help you get the feel of this post).

The topic today is suitably morbid, but essentially artistic. The work of Jo Smith. 

Small deaths in the domestic environment.

The loss of beloved pets, in this case two rabbits , Twitch and Stripe. Killed by a mystery illness that saw them waste away, nothing could be done to save them.

The poor poor sisterly kitties, killed by fleas before they even found their way into the bosom of Jo's family home. Dying needlessly from neglect at the hands of their 'breeder'.

And the last in this deathly trilogy, dear sweet mousey, attacked and murdered by the house cat.

I'm totally fascinated and drawn to Jo's work. It has a dark Victorian fairy tale vibe that I find unsettling yet engaging.

Jo Smith is a textile artist, BA hons Fine and Applied Art, Embroiderers Guild Scholar 2012.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Guest Post on Thriftiness

Ooooh 'ello it's me again. Just a line or two to let you know that I have written a piece about my thrifty ways for another blog.

Alison Bayne writes a very down-to-earth uplifting blog mainly for her fellow mums. Her blog is all about positivity and I'm dead chuffed she asked me to write a piece. If you want to read it, pop over and take a squiz.

Country Christmas Give Away

I've been musing on the fact that it is just over a year since my first Shrimpton and Perfect blog post.
And it is customary I feel to celebrate the occasion with a giveaway for my readers and followers.

In true thrifty fashion, this beautiful Country Living book was given to me last week in a goodie bag at a readers day event. 
Well obviously I don't need any help in the Christmas department, ha ha, so best to pass it on methinks to inspire some other lovely soul.

It's a large soft back book with 128 pages of top tips and sensational colour photos, covering all the essentials for a truly memorable festive season. 

To enter just leave a comment on any of my posts or become a follower of my site, anyone doing both will be entered twice. The giveaway is open to all my readers worldwide. Good luck Latvia, yay.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Thrifty Present Update

These are the other two things I added to the birthday package, before giving it to my friend on Friday.

He was super pleased, apparently his old teapot dribbles :)

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

There's No Place Like Home

Does everybody know about the Hollywood Costume exhibition at the V&A? It looks AMAZING, I gotta go and soon. 

Over 3 galleries filled to busting with iconic cinema costumes. Costumes that have never before left their private and archival collections in California. So that means never been publicly displayed before, and who knows when they will be again?

I have heard a rumour that the O_R_I_G_I_N_A_L ruby slippers will be reunited with the gingham dress, you know which one, for the first time since the film was made. 
But, and you heard it here first (hopefully), the original slippers will be replaced by replicas after November 18th. Get thee hence if you know what is good for you.

Fabulous purchasing opportunities as well, look at these adorables.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Thrifty Presents

Not all my chums and family are fans of the chazza shop. In fact I do know one or two people who would probably feel down right insulted if I gave them something pre-owned.

I think that is such a shame, after all even her Maj admits to having someone else 'break' her shoes in for her. And let's face it every time we stay at a hotel, yes even the posh ones, we are using bed linen, towels, china and glass ware that has been used a LOT by persons unknown.

Of course it's a given that anything purchased from the beloved chazza emporium should either be totally unused or in tip top condition. The secret is to always be on the lookout for things and to snaffle them up speedily once spied.

Today whilst out and about getting the food shopping I checked out a couple of shops and found something I didn't even know I was looking for, who'd have thunk?

Such a bargain..........................

Very plain I know and not really vintage, but absolutely perfect little side plates which will look ok with any colour dinner plates, and smaller than the mismatched ones I already have, what a bonus. Perfect for Christmas when we will probably be having a good few people round for some festive munchettes.

The price £1.00 for twelve plates. It would have been rude not to buy them. 

The shop I bought them from gets a lot of donations, so sells things off at really good prices, they keep their money flowing in and customers go back often.

But I digress, thrifty presents.

What can you get for a friend who is turning 60 and looking forward to his future retirement in the coming years by building a modest home in a local woodland. Said friend has worked all his life as a gardener and enjoys a simple rustic life. He lived for a long time in France and loves their food and wine, but methinks it's tea that he drinks everyday and plenty of it. So for him it has to be a teapot.

A large good & sturdy manly Denby stoneware one, which I think would look perfect in any log cabin, or woodland dwelling:) 
I picked this up months ago because it is good quality and is in great condition, it doesn't look like it has ever been used.

I'm gonna add some teas, one of which was actually a free sample form a very posh tea atelier.

Wrap it all up in some gingham fabric, (that I got from free cycle), and tie it with some suitably rustic string.

This present hasn't cost me a lot, but I know he will love it, and that pleases me greatly.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Service Resumed

Well mes petits choux have you missed me? Did you notice the thundering quiet?

Yep, no Internet service for a week. Bloggus interruptous.

But I'm back tonight to show you some inspirational delights from the Twisted Thread show of last week.

Zoe Williams

Sue Walton

I know this last image is not very sharp but I wanted to show you that some clever soul had even thought an old car door worthy of embellishment. The possibilities are endless.

All this innovation and skill gives me butterflies in my stomach and makes me want to make and create.

Which I aim to be doing in the coming weeks. I'll keep you posted. Are you making things?

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Stitch it. Eat it. Sing it.

Hello blog chums. 

Had a really bad headache since yesterday, caused by two days of meetings at work followed by budget writing for 2013, yuk, mucho dreary.

But nil desperandum, chin up and all that, as now I have a couple of days off and tomorrow I'll be heading up to the Twisted Thread Show at Ally Pally. 

Six of us will be going, we are rendezvousing in the morning at the Danish pastry section in Waitrose, yes I know what you're thinking, but how else we will have the stamina to stick our noses into just about everything that catches our collective eye, without a sugar fix, oh and some caffeine.

I'll be looking for some kit to help me with my latest idea. To sew and felt some super gorgeous Christmas gifts. I'll let you know how that works out, obvs.

Right now though I thought you might want to see how the greenhouse and garden are coming on. Then I shall leave you with a little song that I heard today that made me forget my headache for a while.

This Hollyhock has taken over a year to grow and flower, I so hope it comes back next year, and brings some mates.

Delicious peppers growing on what are now very tall plants, courtesy of our smashing neighbours Nick and Sally.

Hundreds of red hot chillies, we've given quite a few away, which is nice to do. But I'm thinking if they keep growing at the same rate maybe I could also do a swop with friends for other edibles, eggs or preserves perhaps?

These little beauties should eventually turn into this.

And we should be eating some fancy Italian cauliflowers this Winter if these bloomin peskies stop munching their way through my plants as they grow.

This blog post will be over once the fat man sings :)

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Feeling Groovy

We've had a bit of a leisurely one this weekend. We've both been working really hard, and the downtime has been most welcome. 

The house is in goodish order and the garden and the magnificent greenhouse are all ticking along nicely.

That all puts us in the right place for the busiest time of the year. 

I'm sure most of us are starting to feel the Christmas pull and push, at work and at home. I'm gonna try to be mega organised this year to get the best out of the season. Without spending a king's ransom.

Today though we popped along to look at just a few local artists open studios.

We didn't want to try and see them all. 

I need to keep an eye on local artistic talent as part of my work, but I also like to buy hand crafted presents for my friends and family, so a good opportunity to get ahead.

I didn't find anything gift wise, but in the first cottage found these extraordinary images by Linda Partrick.

They have a dark fairy tale quality that I find completely compelling.
Mr. S&P found the tea and cake equally compelling.

We had some company too.


And some sunshine, very nice indeed.

Please note Linda Partrick's images are copyright.