Monday, 30 November 2009

Back from France!

I was going to write a long post about our week in the cottage, but I have got something much better to write about! When we got home on the weekend, I found one of those red/white cards from the postman, telling me that he had tried to deliver a parcel. Guess what I did as soon as I could this morning? Went to collect it from the local sorting office, of course. I had an idea as to whom it might be from, and I was right, it was from Michela in Italy! She had told me a little while ago that she was sending me something, and I was sooooooooooo excited, because I had no idea what it could possibly be.

I was really glad that my son had driven me to the sorting office, because I could sit in the car with a silly grin on my face and fondle the package, trying to feel what could possibly be in there. He had that " oh, good grief, here we go again, she's gone doolally" look on his face all the way home. But come on, can you blame me? Just look at this, the package was even sealed with the prettiest tape, none of your common clear sellotape here, this was pretty and lacy looking!

And just have a look at what I found inside -

Now you can see from the photo that the prezzies remained unopened until I had read the card. In the card Michela expressed her doubts that I would read the card first, lol, HAH, you doubting Thomas, see? I did read the card first, and even after reading it, I still had no idea what I would find when I'd take the wrapping paper off. This is what I found -

Oh my, that tin is soooooooooo beautiful, I wish you could see it in real life. And best of all, it has a bit of history with it. Michela told me in her card that the tin was found by her grandmother, (correction, sorry, my mistake, its her mother, lol) in a Venetian attic. It was full of old coins apparently, which her mother kept, but she gave the tin to Michela. And that wonderful girl thought the tin would be perfect for me. Which of course it is. It will look just great in France. You are a pretty special person, Michela, thank you so much! The tin was filled with a selection of utterly yummy torroncino, and despite my best intentions of rationing myself, I have to confess that now there are only two left

Honestly, even ten minutes after eating one, your mouth is still watering just at the thought of them, perhaps you even have that teeny weeny little taste still left in your mouth. Dang, drooling again now.

One last photo of the beautiful tin, before I post a few pics of the cottage in France, just because I like it so much

The weather was pretty darned good when we arrived at the cottage on Saturday afternoon, 19C is not bad for late November, right? Blue sky, fluffety clouds, not much wind, it was great. Didn't last very long, lol, we did get some pretty wild storms during the week, but hey, when you are all snug in a stone cottage with an open fire making you feel all cosy and safe, who cares?

As soon as we open the garden gate, its this great big sigh, relax and be stunned by the view scenario. Every time. I can't ever get sick of this view -

The Fermette from the garden -

The Fermette from the gate -

And the back of the cottage seen from the little lane -

The dogs made themselves at home straight away, it seemed they remembered the place very well indeed.

Yep, we remember this place -

Ok, lets take a walk down the lane and snuffle about a bit, all those interesting French smells -

Gosh, travelling is exausting -

And while the dogs relax by, well, just relaxing, the men relax by................ drinking French beer!

I had plans for the week at the cottage, which involved, well, some work, lol, and although DH wasn't all that keen, he did admit it was a good idea. But more of that tomorrow. Until then, toodlepip xx

Friday, 20 November 2009

Another Christmas prezzie

for MEEEEEEEEEE, which I have squirrelled away for now. Actually, I am taking this one to France with me tonight and putting it on the mantlepiece. I think it will look just lovely there. Of course I am going to take pics so you will be able to see for yourselves when I get back in a week's time.

Annie from Birdcages and Butterflies makes these gorgeous wooden blocks. Perhaps its the kid in me which likes to mess around with wooden blocks, but I just had to have them. They arrived in this lovely little package tied up with white ric rac and a pretty little tag -

Yay, playtime!

I love them.

I also realised that I hadn't shown you these very beautiful sets. There were only two, but boy, are they lovely. and how sensible is that design! Not having to carry a cup of tea and a separate plate of biscuits around, because its all-in-one, makes life so much easier -

This is yet another very short post, I have so much to do before we go to France tonight, arrgghhh. Serves me right for leaving everything to the last minute. Well, if I get some time this evening, then I'll see what else I can find to show you.


Tuesday, 17 November 2009

A Yay and a WIP

I hope I am not going to throw Sarah's schedule again by writing another short post. Tis not my fault this time, though, honest, the battery on my camera died just as I had lined up a few things to photograph.

One very important thing which I did manage to photograph though, was my eagerly awaited giveaway package from the very lovely Lissylou. I went out shopping after 4pm yesterday, got back about 5ish, and found this precious little parcel on the doorstep! I am a complete romantic at heart, love fantasy books, fairy stories and all things mythical, so her prize was tailor made for me really. Look, look, look! A fairy mug and an Autumn Flower Fairy book, wrapped in the prettiest rose paper, accompanied by a sweet Tinkerbell card and some rather nice smellysticks. I am thrilled to bits, thank you so much.

I just managed to get a couple of pictures of my Work In Progress before the camera conked out. You remember the bag full of knitted squares I got from a charity shop? You can refresh your memory here, oh yes, and the first mention of them was here . Or you could just ignore those, of course, lolol.

Anyway, I finally managed to crochet all the square together, and sew in all the ends. Millions of them, it seemed. Errmm, all of them except for the outside ones, because I still need to crochet a border round the whole lot, and I can tuck the little end bits into that as I crochet along. I just laid a few of the flowers onto the squares to see what it would look like, and I am quite pleased with the effect. I wanted something with a bit of a raised texture, hence the crochet ridge and the 3d flowers, and it seems to be working quite well. Now is definitely the time for lanky projects, it keeps me nice and snug in the evenings when I am working on it.

I won't take it to France with me to work on, I have a lanky on the go there already. Hopefully I'll be able to finish it before Christmas though.


Monday, 16 November 2009

Nice and short

Keeping it short today, because I am trying to clear up at least enough for me to be able to get onto my sewing machine.

After the outdoor bootfair yesterday morning, we went to an indoor one. Boy was I glad it was indoors, because, as we were driving along, huge black clouds were rushing towards us and within a couple of minutes it grew dark and the heavens opened. It was like Niagara Falls rushing down over the windscreen, the wipers could hardly cope.

Anyway, the indoor bootfair was quite busy, and I did find a couple of things. I was really chuffed to bits with these trios, anything with roses makes me smile and get my purse out -

This is yet another rosy treasure, a gorgeous Royal Albert Moss Rose tray, perfect for my dressing table in France -

I might have shown you a few bits of carnival glass before. I love that stuff, the way the colours shimmer and change, like oil slicks on water. Can you imagine how excited I was when I found this stunning vase? The beautifully flowing, sensuous Art Nouveau style shape, the incredible shimmering colours, I was smitten as soon as I saw it. Snapped it up, didn't haggle, just put it in my bag with a huge grin on my face. Darned thing is very difficult to photograph though, especially as the light is so very bad during this horrible weather

Thats all for today, I am going to be a good girl and clear another square metre or two of mess.


Sunday, 15 November 2009

Lots to tell and show

I might bore you to tears of course with this long post, but because I haven't posted every day, things have kinda piled up.

Well, Saturday was probably my last Fair, and it didn't go very well. The weather was absolutely awful, at one point we could see horizontal rain! I can't really blame people for not wanting to come out in such horrid condition. However, it turned out to be a really fab day anyway, because one very special person braved the horrendous conditions and paid me a surprise visit! I first "met" Charlie on the Fresholi soap forum a couple of years ago ( she is a fantastic soapmaker ), and I also read her great blog, all about her life in Italy. She comes over to the UK occasionally to visit her dad, and she suggested that we meet up. I had told her I was doing a Fair in TW, but I never expected her to turn up there out of the blue ( well, out of the very grey and black really, lol ). But turn up she did and I had such a fun time chatting with her. It seemed as if I had known her forever. Here we are, Charlie is the gorgeous, tall, willowy one on the right, I am the short little dumpling on the left, lol
Just as well there weren't very many customers about, we didn't really want to be interrupted by people wanting to buy stuff!

And as if that wasn't enough to make the day a happy one, the very lovely Debbie, who organises the Fairs in the area, and who makes the most fabulous jewellery, gave me this beautiful necklace for Christmas -

The stall next to me was like a magnet for my DS Nick. Beautifully turned bowls, vases, candlesticks, and a very knowledgable gentleman, who didn't mind at all chatting with Nick and giving him lots of advice on which tools to use for his woodturning, where to get exotic woods etc. This fascinating little vase was turned from a Banksia Nut, and I just had to have it, parts of the vase are almost velvety, very very tactile indeed -

The journey home was almost scary, I mean, a Volvo Estate is a pretty heavy car, right? And ours was full of stuff, but we were still being chucked about in the galeforce winds. BUT, when I got home, I got to unpack a package which had arrived for me, all the way from New Zealand!!! I was sooooooooooo excited because I knew it had been sent by Sarah, from Red Gingham, who has become a wonderful friend over the last few months of blogging.

Just look what the gorgeous girl has made with her own fair hands for meeeeeeeee. I went from putting my needles in this stupid thing

to using this! Bit of an improvement, don't you think?

And another "before and after". This is how I used to store my crochet hooks, not surprising really that they used to get lost in the depth of the wool bag -

And this is where they live now, in this beautifully made crochet hook roll-

This pretty little heart is coming to France with me on Friday, and I know exactly where it is going to live ( not telling yet, I'll take pics though )-

And look at this bookmark, isn't it just the sweetest thing? Its already in use now -

This little birdie is going to join some other birdies on our Christmas Tree. Again, it is so beautifully made, Sarah really is a fabulous needlewoman -

And last, but definitely not least, I got this brilliant card, designed by no other than Molly, one of Sarah's daughters, and obviously just as talented as her mum-

The world is indeed a happy place when you have friends like Sarah. A huge THANK YOU to you, and a big big hug.

On to today then. Of course it was raining when we got up (6am-ish, the doggies let us have an extra hour today, woohoo ), so we snuggled down and watched "Twilight". Neat movie. By the time that had finished, it had stopped raining, so we went and checked whether the local bootfair might be on. Hmm, there were a few stalls, perhaps a dozen in all, all professional booters, sigh. Why don't professional booters ever want to haggle? Geez, haggling is half the fun of going to a bootfair after all, but most of them are such miserable gits, grrrr. A little smile wouldn't hurt once in a while, humph. Anyway, this is what I found -

A vintage Chen Yu Cloud Silk face powder, still completely sealed. I love the packaging -

At the same stall I found these three little brooches -

This little squirrel is so sweet! It is French, and I think it is made from Bakelite-

Next stall and some buttons !!! Some newish ones, some very old ones, and all of them pretty darned gorgeous

They were in this little inlaid box. It is such a shame that it is damaged, but I love it anyway, and it still has the little key, which is a bonus-

I expect you want to see close ups of the buttons, don't you?

Those large buttons with the kind of Greek or Roman looking woman are pretty impressive. The set of buttons also has a matching brooch. There are also two sequined and beaded large buttons and those very shiny shimmery little glass ones -

Fabulous faceted jet black glass buttons -

Ribbed glass toggles!

Some odd pretties -

Some more modern ones

And some of the most amazing mother of pearl buttons I have come across -

Look at these two beauties, huge, delicately carved and the most fabulous colours-

Some pretty ordinary brown ones, but then, I do love browns and beiges -

And right at the bottom of the box was this Victorian button card. The card is very badly damaged, and there are only 10 buttons left, but they are wonderful! Quite tiny, with the prettiest design inset in the middle -

I cleaned one of the buttons, you can probably tell which one without me pointing it out, lol
Such a pity that the beautiful design of the card has been ruined-

At another stall, I got a whole village with people n all for granddaughter Paige,

and this lovely stallholder was smiley and friendly and prepared to haggle, he threw in this dinky little pin cushion

I love the quizzical expression on its face-

We did go to another bootfair, an indoor one, but I'll leave that one til tomorrow, I am all blogged out now.