Saturday, 26 September 2009

Just lovely stuff!

There's a lot to be said for snail mail. While modern technology provides instant access you can't beat getting home and finding some great mail! On Friday I arrived home to find a package containing all these stamps from the lovely Carolyn at Love Stitching Red. - Thank you so much Carolyn - I look forward to using them!

Also in the same post was a French stamp from Floss at Troc Broc and Recup - thanks Floss! Unfortunately I couldn't get a good photo of it but it was the shape of a piece of chocolate , the colour of a piece of chocolate and amazingly if you ran your finger over it - it smelt of chocolate! Both Floss and Carolyn had offered these stamps following my earlier posts about "things I do with stamps". Links to both of them are in my sidebar - they have great blogs!

In the same post I also received my Moo cards. I'm thrilled with these little cards. Where else can you get 100 cards with a different picture on each for little more than 10p per card? Brilliant.

This picture shows them at just about actual size. I hope I haven't breached any copyright with the Famous Five picture - that was a photo of a picture I have framed - it was the front and back end papers from a book which had seen better days so I rescued what I could and kept the end papers! (I love the end papers in lots of old books but that could be a separate post in its own right!)

The evening meal was delayed that night as I had to set out all the cards and have a good look at them. I'm really pleased with them.

As if that wasn't enough my 94 year old uncle had dropped off a package for me from his sister which contained a bundle of family letters from the 40s to the 80s including one she had written to my father 2 days before his wedding, reassuring him that he was only suffering from "wedding strain" and that everything would be absolutely fine after the ceremony! This was fantastic as I've been working on my family history for a few years now and anything which puts some flesh on the bones of the facts is great.

Yesterday there was a new craft market locally and I was pleased to see some good quality crafts. The weather was great and the market was buzzing. The craft market ran alongside the normal food and clothing market so the stallholders were assured of a good footfall.

I loved the vintage fabrics used on these bags and cushions and

the colours on the fairtrade stall

One lady had a distinct cat obsession...

Loving the cushions with the strips of Liberty fabrics...

Lovely stuff.

And last but not least - the lady who puts animal and bird heads onto people's bodies - strange but true and somehow weirdly attractive!

Hope you've had a good weekend!

Love Wend

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Where can I find a mustard leaf?

Hi everyone - hope your week's going well.

I must just thank Simone of Linden Grove for her lovely giveaway of cat cards. It was lovely to receive these last week after a bad day at the office! So "Thank you so much", Simone.

Sunday saw a great car boot haul. Nothing major but lots of bits. I didn't think it was going very well initially having been at the boot by 7am. I got home at 8.45 but felt that there was more out there and that there wouldn't be that many more Sunday mornings before they stop over the winter months. So I quickly buttered a slice of toast, hopped back in the car to go to another which had only just started. (I hate turning up late - I always wonder what I've missed!)

I'm really sad and always have to set everything out on the kitchen table when I get home to admire what I've bought and closely scrutinise everything for blemishes, check for important labels , stamps etc - why don't I do that before I buy? I suppose I very much go on instinct - if I like it and its in my price range I'll buy. So tucked to the side is a framed Kaffe Fassett tapestry. Now Ive been sewing these for the last 25 years and know how much they cost just to buy the kit so when I saw this and remembered it as a design from the 80s had to check the price. £2! And it has been professionally framed with non reflective glass. Would it be sacrilege to take it out and make it into a cushion cover?

So, what else? Lovely fine tea cup and saucer, 4 silk hankies, couple of art deco bowls, a globe (difficult to find without electric wires trailing from them), couple of books - (don't you just just love the cover of "The Deans Watch"), lovely wooden candlestick, the little wooden shelf and the vintage 60s tablecloth. How do I know its 60s - because my mother had one which I call the "quarter of ham and a quarter of tongue" cloth. Before every weekend the two quarters of cooked meat were bought ready for Sunday tea (and there were 6 of us!) and were set out on a cloth which had exactly the same texture as this with checks in pink and green. Isn't it funny what prompts old memories for us?

But one of the best bits was the vintage "C" word decorations - I love the old decos-some of these are hand painted. (I know its too early to talk about C but they were part of Sunday's haul).

The Saint John's ambulance book is amazing - it was 30 pence and gives some classic advice - I love these instructions for hysteria:-

1 - avoid sympathy with the patient, and speak firmly to her - (obviously this would never happen to a man!)
2- Threaten her with a cold water douche, and if she persists sprinkle her with cold water.
3 - Apply a mustard leaf at the back of the neck. ( No idea what this is for or what effect it would have - any ideas?)

So I'm wondering, to be prepared, just in case the gorgeous girl gets one of these attacks, is whether any of you have a mustard leaf to spare or know where I can get one so that my medicince chest is complete?

Love Wend

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

D H Lawrence

So having urged you to do something for Heritage Open Day what did I do? Well I'm ashamed to say despite being a Nottinghamshire lass I had never visited the home of D H Lawrence although I've loved his writing since my school days, partly because of their evocation of the local area. So off to Eastwood to visit the humble dwelling of David Herbert (called Bert to his nearest and dearest.) While out I realised that at the car boot earlier on Sunday I'd seen a very old Penguin copy of Lady Chatterleys Lover with the original illustration and marked 3/6 and had left it on the grass under the table where it lay - wiothout even asking the price! I could kick myself as I shall probably never see one again and the fact it had just been tossed on the ground meant it would probably not have cost much. At the DHL museum it was in a glass case!!

I suppose the place is a bit of a con really as although he was born there, there's very little that was actually owned by the family. (I did like this old cupboard with its pretty lining.)

You were allowed in all the rooms and I loved the screen in the room in which they think he was born!

The attic bedroom was sparsely furnished as it would have been in Victorian times and the rag rugs had certainly seem better days!

This picture shows a vignette in the "front room" which would only have been used "when the vicar came or when a family member was lying in state in their coffin"

The room had a window sill on which were displayed linens as DHL's mother had, in the window, as she tried to sell them. She didn't have much luck as the Eastwood folk were an insular lot and wouldn't buy from her as she was a newcomer to the area! The guide said the local folk are still very much like that and it took a long time before he was accepted!

It's a shame thae front room was so little used as these were pit houses built for the miners families and there were often 10 people housed in them - what a waste of a quarter of the living space...

Apparently the house is decorated with far more items in it than the family would have owned but is to give an idea of what might have been in there. Much the same as many of us use for decor now - embroidered pictures, cabinets full of lovely bits and pretty floral wallpaper.

This picture believe it or not shows the sink in the back corner of the kitchen - the grey slab with a one inch lip to hold the water (which would have had to have been brought inside). Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the old range.

Opposite the range was the sewing machine and it was good to see an old bottle full of mother of pearl and linen buttons and a stone bottle with a (very old) hydrangea head. I don't think it would have hurt to have brought a fresh one in this year!

Then outside to the wash house - anyone who saw my post a couple back might wonder whether I coveted the old copper and the dolly tub but I have to say I managed to contain myself.

The outside wash tub looked entirely at home hanging on the wall but what a shame that Health and Safety has to be everywhere and spoil the image with one of its intrusive stickers!

I had to smile at the mangle which brought back an old memory of my mothers old mangle - not quite as archaic as this but just as vicious. I remembered trying to see whether the rollers really could trap your fingers. I found that they could indeed be incredibly vicious and still bear the scar on my finger today where it was crushed!

Have a good week,


A confession

I have to confess - I've always loved stamps. As a child I collected them and spent hours going through my dad's albums. As an adult I still collected the first day covers until I realsied that there was no point to this exercise other than the fact that I loved them as miniature works of art. Whenever I can get access to them for next to nothing I do so. When I was in Oxford a couple of months back I was thrilled to see packets of assoerted stamps still attached to the original paper in a charity shop in Oxford. This was great - I could buy the stamps and not feel I was wasting my money as it was going to a good cause.

These packs were great and I particularly liked this miniature sheet of lighthouses (another of my obsessions)

I can spend ages sorting my stamps depending on what I'm going to do with them. Last year I saved hundreds of royalty themed stamps for my sister who is mad about the queen. I sorted them, soaked them, arranged them and stuck them all onto an old rectangular tray, covered it in in decoupage medium and gave it to her. I couldn't believe how thrilled she was!

So a couple of nights ago I found myself sifting and sorting stamps again. This time I was looking for Christmas stamps (above) and definitives (below). I haven't worked out what I'm going to do with the definitives yet - any ideas please let me know.

Once sorted I soak them off in a bowl of water overnight and by the next morning they are ready to be peeled off their backing and laid out to dry while I'm at work. Gosh my life is thrilling.

I try to concentrate on a few stamp designs at once so that I have a selection to play with. With the Christmas ones I decided to try out some card designs for this year. The card on the right is one I made last year and begged it back for the purposes of this post but it was well received so I decided to do some more. Still playing with ideas at the moment...

One of my earlier projects was to use all the lovely monotone stamps from the early part of the last century to cover a disney wastepaper bin thrifted for 10P. My original idea came after reading one of Kaffe Fassetts books where he had covered a lampshade with stamps. That man has a lot to answer for and I for one am thrilled at the impact he's had on my life over the last 30 years with his knitting, patchwork, books painting and general inspiration. If it hadn't been for him there might have been far less colour in our lives! I digress. I love the shades on this and the only thing stopping me making another is that I need more stamps!

I'm saddened that we use so few stamps these days and always like to pick up new designs when they come out hoping that by using those on my letters I can make somebody else's day in the way that unusual stamps on a leter makes mine!

Anyway if you like playing with stamps/maps and other bits of paper check out the work of "BOMBUS" on etsy. I think he/she is as obsessed as I am!

Hope you're having a good week!

Love Wend

Friday, 11 September 2009

Reasons to be cheerful - 1,2,3, 4 and 5


Well, another week has ended and I'm pleased it's Friday with a (hopefully) sunny weekend stretching out in front of us.

Reasons to be cheerful -1,2, 3, and 4

1 - An opportunity to do some gardening - actually I'm in the naughty corner as I've got some overgrown boundaries at the allotment and have had a "sort it or else" letter. So, named and shamed, I need to spend more time weeding and less time planting and harvesting - (I think they're missing something here but perhaps its just me!) So I shall don my hair shirt and a smile and do battle with the nettles suitably armed and protected probably with a white forensic suit (if I can find one) and green wellies. I'll post a picture! Has anyone actually tasted nettle soup - is it worth the effort as I shall have a bumper harvest?

2 - today I found that I have passed the 1000 mark in terms of different visitors to this blog. Not a lot compared with some who have hundreds of thousands of visitors and hits but enough to make me happy. When I started blogging in April I really had no idea how much I would get out of this fabulous community and how much I would enjoy posting.

This photo of warm newly laid eggs being given to me by my special friend M represents "the hand of friendship" that I have found is held out in blogland. Blogging has also made me get out and about with my camera something I'd neglected for years - so thanks to everyone who visits - I appreciate your visits and your comments so much.

3 - Oooh I've just won a giveaway from "Linden Grove" - (I really must sort out the hyperlink thing). Thank you so much Simone!

4 - Beautiful fern picture - because I love them. Simple. Looking lovely at the moment - not long before they turn from green into lovely autumnal shades

5 - Its Heritage Open Weekend here in the UK - 10th to 13th September

This "celebrates England’s fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to properties usually closed to the public or normally charging for admission. Every year on four days in September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors, ranging from castles to factories, town halls to tithe barns, parish churches to Buddhist temples. It's a once-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities which bring to life local history and culture." Check out the website to see what's going on in your area and make the most of it!

Hope you're inspired to find something in your area!

Enjoy your weekend

Love Wend

Friday, 4 September 2009

A bit of yesteryear...

Guess what I had to buy when I saw it...

It was covered with "Ticking stripes" - (so the dealer was half way there given my penchant for almost anything made from ticking!)

A wooden end bit...

A flat iron

Yes you've got it! A brand new old ironing board. I had one of these when I left my parents home 30 years ago but over the years had been persuaded to dispense with it with a view to accepting that I was part of the twentieth century. But I've pined and pined for my old board and finally I decided that next time I saw one I liked I'd have it. I had hoped to get one and cover it myself but when I saw this I caved in. It's worried me slightly as I have just realised that I have recently bought an old wooden clothes airer, and that I have several of the old wooden advertising coat hangers and a peg beg made from mangle cloth. When I visited my special friend M yesterday and told her what I had done she presented me with these! I remember my mum having these too for removing hot washing from the tub.

I also have a wooden airer to hang from the ceiling waiting. I'm ok as long as I don't fall for an old mangle or a dolly tub! I'm not so old fashioned I want to give up my washing machine! (Although a house with a utility room would be good)

Enjoy your ironing - in the late summer sunshine?

Love Wend

Dare to be different!

Earlier this week the gorgeous girl and I decided to catch the end of summer and go for a drive and a picnic. I packed the picnic and put it my my recently thrifted 60s basket, gathered up the rug and set off. I had to buy the basket when I saw it as I was identical to one my mother had when I was a girl in the 60s. It has to be said the gorgeous girl's not a fan of my taste in clothes, decor etc, etc (but she is 16 so I forgive her!) She becomes quite traumatized when I wear certain cardigans (not cool) or when I use any of my baskets (of which I have at least - oh several!)

We spotted this field of cows and they were so wonderfully black and glossy and lovely that I had to stop to take photos. What intrigued me was the way in which they seemed to stand in almost exactly the same position as they chewed the grass,

not just those three but all of these and the rest of the cows in the field ...

except this one who steadfastly continued, almost in defiance of the rest, to chew in the opposite direction. "There you are" I said "he's ok - doing his own thing - its no big deal. In fact which one do you notice - all those who look the same or the one who dares to be different?" Is he a leader? He certainly wasn't a follower.
I don't think she was convinced by my argument...!

We continued walking and watched the tractor trailing across the fields now brown and turning their back on summer.

We came upon this lovely spot where I saw the trees framing the scene as if I was glimpsing,through a keyhole, the sure signs of autumn with the leaves just starting to change colour.

Hope you manage to catch a last bit of summer this weekend

Love Wend