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Friday, 30 March 2012

The April issue

Hooray, the new issue of the magazine arrived today, looking very spring-like. It has the vintage fashion feature inside which I blogged about a few weeks ago.  Here is a little taster, although it's best viewed at in e-magazine format. My shots are photos of photos so not the best quality. All pics are by Lesley Anne Churchill, and she did an amazing job. I can't believe my cake ended up on the front cover. I'd have put a few more eggs in if I'd known!

Here is Poppy in the 1950s dress I've been hoarding for a couple of years. Knew it would be useful one day!
And Meli:

A 1953 Country Life, which is something else I've had by me for ages....

I think my favourite shot of all is the two girls with the bunting and those tea dresses. 

The girls did brilliantly. It was the first modelling assignment they'd ever done....

Easter Holidays now. My boys finished school today. Not much a break for the eldest, as he's revising for his AS levels and there is a mountain of work for him to get through...lots of pressure, things were simpler in my time...

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Out and about

I've been closeted away in my study writing and writing over the last few days, so it was brilliant to get out today for an editorial meeting in a local coffee shop. I've heard that this is the last day of sunshine, so I really wanted to make the most of it. After my meeting, I popped into Oxfam and was thrilled to find this unworn Saltwater tunic for a few pounds. Came home and couldn't bear to go back into the study, so I took myself off for a short walk. It's so strange to feel such heat in the sun at this time of year.

I lay by the river reading the paper feeling really self indulgent. I didn't see a soul. Except for this one:

I think that's what you'd call an inscrutable expression!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Fabric tales

One of the things that came home with me from Peterborough Antiques Fair was an old patchwork piece. It's not an especially complicated or special one. It doesn't even have batting or a backing so I can't even call it a proper quilt. It was obviously cobbled together with worn out shirts, sheets and little pieces of this and that and every snippet is washed and faded, just the way I like them.

 There are patches on patches....

I'm sure some of these fabrics are French. But I don't know anything else about this piece. If only it could talk....

It was in a pretty poor state when I found it, crumpled, very dirty and unloved, but a long soak and a brisk hand wash, followed by hours blowing on the line in the sun has made it crisp and fragrant again.

A worn and faded treasure.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

A walk in a spring garden

I often drive past this amazing garden, but it belongs to a private house, with locked gates, barely visible from the road. When I saw that it was going to be open today, I had to go. I was completely knocked out by its beauty. The  day was completely still, not a breath of wind, and all I could hear was the buzzing of bees and the scent of spring flowers was in the air. 
The sight that made everyone stop in their tracks were these hyacinths, growing in the grass. Pink, blue and white.

Masses of daffodils and narcissi everywhere.

You can just see a small stone bridge at the top of this shot. I drive over that a lot, and had no idea that this was behind it. There is a beautiful church, too.

Some hidden gems in the grass...
And the house is pretty impressive, too.

But this little stone boat house would suit me just fine...

The day, the peace, and the place, reminds me of this poem, by WB Yeats (The Isle of Innisfree):

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade...

Friday, 23 March 2012

Making the most of it

I know it probably sounds as if I've been on one long shopping spree lately, but that's not quite the truth. It just happens that while I've been feeling well, I have to grab the moment, as that isn't always the case, so I tend to pack quite a lot in while I have the chance. Today was Peterborough Festival of Antiques. It's six miles away from our house, so very easy to get to. This event gets better and better, and with the wonderful forecast today, the whole showground was choc a bloc with stalls. One dealer told me that every single space was booked! I arrived at 6.45am in the foggy dawn. 

Peterborough really doesn't attract many events like this, so it's lovely to go to something on the doorstep. 
I've been a regular here for so long that I have got to know quite a few of the stallholders. I love the chat and the cameraderie (and the fact that they are happy for me to take photos!). Let's have a wander.....

This was a pretty stall. Lots of vintage and retro, kitchenalia, stools, fabrics and kitsch.

Rather liked those green drawers...but had a strict 'no furniture' rule today (on account of fact that our house is full)..

Gorgeous old stool, too. But no, I was just looking.

The smell of bacon and coffee drifts over the showground. The sun comes out and dealers are in full sales mode. I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be.

Garden furniture and pots are on sale...

By 10.30am, my car boot looked like this and the crowds had swelled. It was heaving! Time to head home. 

Fabric scrap

Cushion cover


Lots for my sale. I shall revamp the stool completely, and the printers trays need a good clean and paint. My favourite buys are the little white horse on wheels. He was £12. And the 1960s blue vegetable rack is to hold my fabrics. I was so pleased I got this, because the Cath Kidston buyer arrived at the stall just after me, and she was buying all the other ones. Off to do some work now. And get myself ready for a house full of teenagers tonight.... 

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Spring thrift

Every six months or so, a chapel in a nearby village has a pop up thrift shop. It is held over two days, and I went along on the first morning to see what I could find. Quite a few people had the same idea, but I managed to find a few pretty things to bring home. 

I wasn't feeling very feisty, so I missed some lovely things, but that's the way it goes with rummage sales. 

I'm very happy with my little selection.

It is a stupendous day here, so sunny, and there are so many flowers popping open at the moment.

A violet.
And this plant, from a cutting which my mum gave me last year (I love its spotty leaves). Anemones are another favourite, so low to the ground, and four different shades of blue next to each other.

Enjoy your day.