Friday, 30 October 2009

Happy Halloween

Oh, I really wanted to take part in Tablescape Thursday hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch this week, but for some reason I can't access the site to make the links. Every other blog I try is no problem, but that one... I don't know what's wrong and I'm sad I won't be able to see everyone else's wonderful tablescapes. If I manage to make the link sometime soon, I will. Until then, here's my Halloween offering:

The fabric I bought at John Lewis about five years ago.

This is a jar of pickled people. To me it looks like a normal morning on public transport:

The cobwebs are from Wilkinsons - £1 a packet. The dust is genuine:

The wonderful ghost candle was a Christmas pressie about ten years ago. I'd never burn it, I like it too much:

This adorable creature was purchased at a charity shop just the other week - 99p:

I just wanted to show off some of my Halloween collection. Have a wonderfully spooky evening tomorrow folks.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

China Cupboard

We have lived in our house for ten years now, and all that time there has been a floor-to-ceiling cupboard in the breakfast room which has needed some TLC. It's been used as an 'art' cupboard, where the kids have kept their colouring equipment, craft things, doodle books etc. The inside of the cupboard was an eyesore, with ugly pipework everywhere, a bit like this:

The wooden shelves had been very badly cut (not by us) to fit around this pipework:

They were warped and the old lead paint was smelly, thick and peeling. It was time to do something about it.

Having been envious of Susan's china cupboard at Between Naps on the Porch, (actually, I'm envious of her whole house, but there you go) I decided that this cupboard could be re designated as my china cupboard, so I arranged for a carpenter friend to come round while we were away and get the cupboard into shape. New pine shelving was installed and all the ugly pipes were boxed in.

My cupboard now looks like this:

I have plans to paint the pine white, but that can wait until after Christmas now. For the time being I'm more than delighted at how things are looking, and a fine excuse to expand my china collection a little bit!

This is a lovely cup and saucer I got in a charity shop a little while ago. It's Queen's China and the pattern surprise, surprise is 'Victoria Plums':

Below is my wedding china. It's ''Osborne' by Wedgewood, and unfortunately now discontinued. I saw a mountain of it for sale at an antiques market a few years back and I'm kicking myself that I didn't buy more then:

Four salad plates that come in their own little matching box:

The very popular but sometimes sneered at, 'Botanic Gardens' by Portmeirion:

and 'Sweet Violets' by Royal Stafford. If I'm going to begin using different china for different seasons, then this will be my spring china. I have a fondness for violets as it was my nan's name. I'm slowly (oh, so slowly) adding to my coffee pot and one cup and saucer:

So this is just one of the projects I've been inspired to get underway thanks to someone else's blog. If you read this Susan, thank you so very much. I do believe the cupboard would have remained smelly and unloved for a while yet if it hadn't been for your post.



Saturday, 17 October 2009

Dawn Raid

6.30am is an unholy hour to start a car boot sale, especially in England in the autumn. However, we die-hards disregard the cold and the dark because our obsession with buying other people's junk is stronger than the desire to snuggle further under the sheets and go back to sleep.

This morning I made sure I wore my cozy long socks:

and my comfy and warm Celtic sheepskin boots:

When I got to the sale it was dark. I mean, we were in the middle of a field which, of course, had no lighting - it may as well have been the middle of the night. Some canny buyers had bought torches. Not me. I might have missed some real treasures, who knows? The first stall I bought from had mostly clothing. Fortunately the dawn light was just beginning to appear and I found six or seven items - a pair of Joseph trousers, a Karen Millen top and a couple of Speedway tops amongst them. Then I found this for £2.50:

A cup of tea for one with a matching teapot that sits on top of the cup until the cup is needed. I love the purple pansy pattern. I'm sure this little item is going to turn up in a Tablescape Thursday very soon:

I also found a large Cornish Blue jug (£1) to add to my collection:

I have quite a nice little family now:

And this mirror for £1.50:

The pots of sunflowers are minatures standing behind glass. Sweet, eh? Now I know my big head is in the reflection, but with the sunflower border, I half expect to see one of those babies from the Anne Geddes photos - you know the ones I mean?
I bought a few other items but I'm sure you don't want to see photos of things like my new tape measure, do you?
Until next time,

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Making a mess to clear the mess

As you can see, this site is only just being born. At the moment I have four rooms in my house that have been cleared while the plasterers and builders move in. We are finally having the very top attic insulated and floored so that all the junk that was taking over the house can be stored up there (can you see the plaster and lathe* walls that were done over 100 years ago? Many a visitor has been impressed by the workmanship)

*Thanks Kate!

The hatch is quite small because it had to be worked around the joists, but I will get all my junk up there, never fear.

We also have two attic rooms on a lower level. These were always dark, cold and creepy. We are also having them insulated, plastered and then I'm going to decorate them. I'm hoping this one is going to be a walk-in wardrobe.

And this one will be where I store all my gift-wrapping etc. along with the fold-away beds and anything else that needs to be close at hand.

I'm looking forward to posting my after shots. Please call in to see the progress, because many of you have inspired the work.


Andi x