Monday, 20 February 2012

Digging for treasure

Morning all!  What a beautiful morning it is too!  The sun is shining in that clear, bright way it does early in the year and the house is cosy and warm.
I'm just stopping by after a hectic half term break to show you my latest treasure trove of charity shop finds.

I have grown up scouring charity shops - long before the word "Vintage" and mostly in the days when it was distinctly Uncool to find your latest outfit amongst the things other people no longer needed.  I am so glad it has become not just acceptable now, but actually quite fashionable to shop in these shops.

Donating clothes to charity shops is such a great way of supporting them - and buying there too - well, it's an obligation, isn't it?!  I heard on the news the other day that private companies are collecting clothes much more now and charities are losing out.  The traditional "Rag and Bone" has turned into businesses that will buy your unwanted clothing by the kilo and then sell it on for profit.  The charity worker on the news pointed out that this trade was costing charities millions of pounds in much needed revenue.  It's just a thought, but I reckon I will be delivering my clothes to my local shop door next time.

Anyway - I had the rare treat of visiting some shops without any children in tow the other day.  Bliss!  And this is what I found.....

A lovely drawer tray in a beautiful shade of teal....I think I may fill one of the compartments with a little pincushion and use it to take on shows with all my essentials in. Oh, and the curtains underneath - a gorgeous rose pattern in the dusky pinks, browns and greens I love.  And - if you look closely at the top of the post - the pink and cream crochet blanket was another find - to add to my growing collection of Snuggle on the Sofa blankets.

Some Anchor embroidery thread, which I have been looking for ever since I saw this tutorial for miniature crochet bunting.

A whole load of needlework and crochet books....should keep me going for a while - it's amazing what inspiration you can find in these dated pages.....

Love this frog pattern...

Not sure any man I know would appreciate this, but it's fun!

This looks more useful though!
What a lovely lot of bargains, eh?! I knew you'd like them too. (well, some of you!)

Oh, and while we're on the subject of giving things a new lease of life - One of our chests of drawers finally gave up the other day - the runners just wouldn't stand any more fixing.

The drawers however were firmly intact - so they have now become part of my new office.  The blackboard is a place to remind me of all the things I have to do and the other has a hanging space for me to pin up my commission briefs.  I love them!

By the way - I've been getting into Pinterest recently - if you haven't come across this site yet, be warned, it's seriously addictive.  You can follow me there too if you like, on my very own pinboards! 


Thursday, 2 February 2012

A Legacy of Posies

When I was growing up, we always had little posies of flowers round the house.  My Dad took great pleasure in picking his first Fuchsia or sweet pea of the year for my mum.   My mum loved to find tiny flowers to fill a little jug for the table or windowsill.

When I returned from University on one of my weekend visits, there would always be a pretty little vessel of flowers on my bedside table to welcome me home.  Always.  Depending on the time of year, it would either be a colourful display of roses, petals scattered on the surrounding surface and scent filling the air, or in the leaner months of winter, a little bunch of seed heads and greenery. It was a message - "Welcome home.  We've missed you and we think you're wonderful." 

I think my parents were of the opinion that even a splash of green was better than no living thing present in a room to remind you of the vast world outside.
Flowers have always played such an important and special part of my life, from these every day memories, to the bouquet of homegrown flowers from Dad's garden I carried on my wedding day - picked by myself and my bridesmaids that morning.

I wasn't as scared as I look, honest!
The flower filled marquee we got married in - and I mean filled to the brim!  I think the whole town emptied their gardens!

The dress I decorated with hand painted vows and flowers.

And from the field of flowers that filled our house when our eldest son was born, to the simple bunch of first of Spring daffs that kept us company in some of the most difficult hours, reminding us that life goes on.

I so wanted our garden here to offer opportunities for year round picking - nothing fancy - I can be creative, even with the scantest of blooms.  So, I crept outside this morning in the absolute chill - the ground crunching under my feet, and found just a few little things to fill my new jug - bought on our last trip to Bath.
It's a tiny thing, but in so many ways, I feel like it's part of my heritage.  I feel like I am carrying on an important family tradition.  And very time I do it, it reminds me that life goes on and we are surrounded by such beauty, if we just stoop to notice it.

One day, I hope my boys will likewise gather tiny posies to bring into their homes to admire and bring cheer.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Reasons to be cheerful

It's been a sleepless couple of weeks here - our little Reu has a nasty chest infection, so lots of cough cough cough at night!  This always makes for a fuzzy head and a bit of feeling sorry for myself in the daytime, so I've been making a conscious effort to look around me at the things that make me smile today - simple things, but smile-worthy non the less!

Tulips in bright, sunny yellow.  Something so cheerful about having their company at the dining table as I work my way through the daily paperwork.  Smile....

Beautiful new fairy lights from my wonderful friend Sally for my birthday.  My cheap old Christmas lights that I loved on the dresser finally gave up after their extensive Christmas run and the merest mention of my sadness at their loss was grasped with both hands by this lady who knows me so well - "Please let me get you some more!"....oh, go on then!  I had a lovely time arranging them this morning amongst my china and clearing the decks of clutter so they can do their shiny thing.  I actually can't wait till this evening now so I can enjoy their full effect.  Smile......

A set of green flowered curtains picked up yesterday in our local charity shop whilst waiting for antibiotics.  Yep - I love them.  I wish we had a curtain kind of home though - all blinds here to let in as much light as possible.  but I am sure they will live a new life as something, perhaps cushions for the sofa?  Or a patchwork quilt for the bed.  Adding to that long list of One Day Projects again! 

And how about these lovely embroidered tray cloths? 

Aren't the windmills pretty?  Smile.....

My little by little progress to learn to crochet a ripple blanket, which is proving tricky for me, I'm not usually good at extreme accuracy....but I'm getting there slowly and last night, I think I cracked it!  Smile.....

And lastly, a cup of tea and a slice of banana and chocolate chip cake (even though Reu is now wailing at my feet!.....better go, bed time for little man I think.)

I hope you're having a cheery day too.