Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Dreadful, Dreadful News I'm Afraid!

Yes, I'm afraid its the worst! It was bound to happen I know, but its still so awfully sad! The cat Charlie got Geoffrey, there was nothing we could do.
Hubby P is so upset, and angry with Charlie Cat - but he knows really that its just nature taking its course. If Charlie Cat had brought us a nasty dead rat - really what we keep him for, we would be patting him and saying what a good boy he was!
Its us humans that are fickle!
But like I said so sad, I just hope he has left a little family behind, and we may have more Geoffrey's in the garden.

So the Allsorts household is a sad little place today - missing our little friend. Hubby P buried him under a pot of daffs.
We'd had such a good day, Hubby P had the morning off work and came with me to the Car Boot Sale, we got a few nice bits and pieces.

Some nice Shabby Chic pieces.
And this wonderful, delightful musical box - for £3 I couldn't resist.

Just look at the delightful ballerina, she twirls in the most alluring way to the tinkly music of The Blue Danube.

Its mirror had come unstuck,and some of the original manicure tools are missing (replaced with oddments) - I shall look for matching pink ones, everything turns up at the carboot sale eventually!

I simply stuck the mirror back in place with good old PVA glue.

Found this little green boot too - I just thought it sweet.

And laced it up with some pretty pink ribbon - a bit 'Shabby' too perhaps?

An unusual find at the weekend was this plant trough, its part of the vintage 'Better Maid' ware. Its something else I collect, the old blue and green ware reminds me of my Grandparents house, and their overflowing collection of Geraniums.
I think I shall have to find some colourful Geraniums to put in the new trough.

Part of my other collection sits on a shelf in the conservatory, I particularly like the little watering can.

Its awfully cold and wet here today - as I think it is everywhere. Just the sort of day to drink lots of hot tea and get the crafting stuff out.

We have a younger friend staying with us this week - college holidays and all that, so its nice to have someone to share the crafting with. Hubby P still doesn't 'get it' - the crafting stuff - even after all these years - I fear he is a lost cause!
Just as well he's happy trawling ebay for obscure and unusual things!

Zoe's busy covering one of the old vintage cardboard folders I found with a montage'/collage of images with a modern celebrity twist.
I've been lining this little basket with some pretty floral fabric, and of course a few buttons!

This is a bit of an upside down image - the glue sticking the buttons is drying.

And this is the culprit - the cause of much distress to the household.

Of course he's not a bit concerned !
That's all for now folks - back to the crafting!
xxx Take care xx

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Geoffrey Update!

Geoffrey would just like to say 'Good Evening'!!

Here he is playing 'Peek - a - Boo' with Hubby P!
He runs from one 'window' of the treehouse/bird table to the other, peeking out!

Cutie or what!
Hope you are having a good weekend x

Friday, 26 March 2010

Yummy Bread, Flowers, Finds and Romance!!!

Great excitement at the Allsorts household, and lots of scoffing!
I've been looking for a breadmaker for a couple of weeks, I've been inspired by Frugal Queen
( - do visit for a good read!) - she is a dab hand at creating frugal, tasty meals and she makes all her own bread. The bread she bakes in a bread maker, and she has calculated it costs a fraction of the shop price, around 17p a loaf I think she said - sounds good to me! And of course homemade bread always tastes so much better, and you know what goes into it etc etc. I did use to make my own, but I felt it was costing a lot in electricity if I put the oven on for just bread - and I didn't always want, or have time to spend in the kitchen 'filling the oven' with other things. With this new breadmaker it takes no time at all to put the ingredients in, and then it just gets on with it!
As I said I have been looking for a couple of weeks - checking ebay, always my first port of call, but with the postage costs they were all out of my price range. 'Not to worry, thought I' - I am very much a 'Everything comes to she who waits' kinda girl, and low - at the carboot on Tuesday there was a breadmaker. I bought it from a lady who always stands, she just sells kitchen utensils/equipment, it is always very clean, and you can take things back if you are not happy - ideal!

I don't know if it is one of the 'best' kinds or whatever - it was £8, well she asked £10 but it being a carboot - and haggling being all part and parcel, and a lot of the fun, I got it for £8!
It seems just fine to me, I still have to get the yeast amounts right - I've had varying results, some quite dramatic! I think I am use to baking by the 'chuck it in and give it a mix' method, and the breadmaker demands a bit more caution - still, the bread tastes yummy!
(I need to read the instructions properly!)

And its come to that time of year - the bunnies have come out of the cupboard.

I bought some yummy chocolate and filled these tonight, all ready for Easter treats!
No one is ever too old for a little bit of chocolate!

We had a bit of sunshine today, after the rain, so the garden was looking quite lush. Things are greening up quite nicely.

Pretty - sunshiny yellow by the door.

A trug full of bobbing baby daffs.

And remember my old wood basket and the manky old bulbs I planted in it - well its done really well - a riot of colour!

A little something for all you Thrifting carboot addicts, amongst this last weeks finds -

these pretty chocolate brown enamelled kettle/teapots - they are huge.
A real case of 'More Tea Vicar'!!!
I've just stood them next to Chicken Lickin and Henny Pen for - well - you know, artistic 'Country Livin' photo's. My little chickens live in the house over winter and sun themselves in the garden in summer, they were a lovely present from my little sister! How well does she know me!
The problem with the kettles is that they are so big, I don't know where to display them. They are too big for a shelf - stick over the edge, if I hang them from the ceiling you just see the underside, I don't want to leave them outside, they are to good for that. So I don't know - they may end up on ebay yet, I had them in the inglenook, near the woodburner, until Hubby P - busily bringing in wood managed to fall over them and bang his shin! - the air was a bit blue!
So I thought I had better move them - the last thing I want is for them to get damaged by these big hulking men!
So keep a lookout on ebay for shin bashing teapots! lol!
There is a link to my ebay on the side bar - I am forever listing bits and bobs, the house being so small - as I find treasures I'm afraid some things have to move on!

Hubby P wanted these! They are some sort of fuel containers - I quite like the soft muted colours, and the fact that they can stay in the garden - lots more room in the garden! Just waiting for him to fall over these - he will have them right by the door!
I hope it doesn't look too much like an old garage or scrap yard!

And just to leave you in the mood......

Toady romance - I think there is a Lady somewhere underneath the pond weed!
Have a good weekend - happy thrifting!
xxx Take care xxxx

Monday, 22 March 2010

Everyday Stuff - But Evenings - Well! Just One Big Love-in!!!

Hello Lovelies!!
Well! At last! A few pretty Daffodils out at the front of the cottage. I seem to have been waiting for ages. They are so welcome!
Maybe - dare we hope warmer weather is on its way!
A bit of a post of allsorts today.

The Gangs all Here!
All ready and eager to be on their way to their new homes, bringing Easter Greetings to the younger people.

Flushed with the success of the Vintage fabric tea towels I made last week (I know its soooo sad!), I riffled through my fabric boxes looking for similar. I thought to myself 'why have plain boring white linen (that always gets stained and discoloured) - when I could use my nice vintage-y retro stuff everyday - its only sitting in boxes - just need to run it up into tea towels'.
So that's what I did - I found this rather jazzy, bright brown-y/orange-y fabric. There was a pair of curtains and an odd funny shaped curtain (that I cut up). I vaguely remember my friends mother giving me this - she helped run Jumble Sales and brought me loads of stuff at one time, I would just give her an idea of the projects I was working on - sorts of things she could look out for, I just gave a good donation ot the funds.
But then again that's how I end up with huge stashes of fabric - and it get a bit out of hand!

The fabric is like new, the curtains look as if they have never been used. It has that starchy stiffness of new fabric.

I thought the colours would go well with the kitchen cupboards. I've just given them a lick of paint to freshen them up - they are a kind of gentle green colour.

Years ago when we first got the little tumbly cottage - we had not a bean to our name, and 'Made Do and Mended' in every way possible. Hubby P built my kitchen cupboards from old heavy wooden packing chests we bought at the Sale. They are large, sturdy and rustic looking cupboards - a bit like us really!

I painted them in a 'distressed' fashion, and over the years they have indeed taken on a nice old, worn, distressed look and feel. I paint them to freshen them up, but I try and keep that battered rustic look.

And of course - just inside one of the doors I have a gentle reminder!

Je T'aime - Je T'aime
Well! - what can I say - its all happening here - and with warts on!!

This is the House of Luurrrvvvveeee!!
Just step outside the door and the path is littered with Toads - all in a romantic mood!
This little chap wearing the headdress of pond weed is clinging on like mad, he's just ousted another male and has won his prize - for now!
(If you don't know anything about Toads - the males are smaller, and all climb on the back of the female, pushing and shoving to get the best position and cling on. Sometimes you can see the poor female with three or four males atop her back!)
They all show up at this time of year, and we will end up with a pond full of baby toads!
Its a nice introduction to spring and summer.

I will leave you with the gallant loser - the spurned lover! Off he goes to lick his wounds, and gather strength enough to try and win the next lady that comes along!

Update on Geoffrey the mouse - Hubby P saw him a few nights ago with what we think is Mrs Geoffrey ( a rather plump, glowing little lady) He has since been seen taking vast quantities of food down to his/their nest.
We are inclined to think that they are 'anticipating a happy event', and there may well be little iddy biddy Geoffreys soon! Keep you posted!

xxx Take care for now xxx

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Hubby P's Gifts and Carboot Treasure Finds!

Mid week - not long to weekend! thank goodness! lets hope its sunny!
Carboot sale finds on Tuesday, I thought I would share this rather lovely retro print fabric with you. I found it wrapped in this old Tesco bag - who remembers Tesco selling or rather packaging things in these paper bags - I know I don't. But there it is, proof that paper was used - if only now they could see it as the way forward, I hate all this plastic tray nonsense - how on earth are we supposed to recycle it?
Anyway enough of the 'Save the Earth' soap box stuff - the fabric is a delight, its a kind of heavy-ish cotton. There wasn't too much of it so I thought if I simply cut it into four, it would make lovely teatowels, and I would have the pleasure of looking at it daily.
So that's what I did - they turned out well.

(note to Gary - 'new' Vintage kettle - no - it does'nt switch its self off!)

As I looked in my teatowel drawer - well, to be honest - its a bit full, so I thought I will keep two and maybe put two on ebay - share the loveliness around a bit! And if I can sell them it pays for the fabric, so my two will cost me nothing - a thrifty thought!

What a week for Hubby P's thrifting activities - I swear that man was a woman in another life! he puts us Girls to shame the was he scours the Charity Shops in his lunch hour!

Home he comes bearing gifts of all sorts of shapes, sizes, and wonderment!

This week he brought me a lovely little book, it is a Welsh Children's book - sadly I don't speak or read much Welsh - I have tried - honestly, so its difficult for me to tell you exactly what its about. However the pictures are just so lovely - I just had to share some of them with you.

She is such a lovely little dot! Busily looking at the flowers!

And how about this lovely bathtime pic!

I think this is my favorite - feeding the chickens, this could have been me and my Uncle (we grew up almost as brother and sister) - He wore the same short trousers!
What a delightful book - I must find something nice to do with the pictures, the book is almost falling apart. The old Ladies in the shop gave it to Hubby P (no charge - its falling apart) they said 'for your wife' - they know I like sewing and crafting, and save many a bag of fabric/wool for me.
Another delightful surprise yesterday - just look at this lovely box that Hubby P found - and it was full of Vintage gloves - how wonderful!

It was just packed with gloves - someones collection of loveliness. Hubby spotted it in the C Shop, snapped it up and brought it home.

What fun I had pulling out the gloves and Oooooing and Ahhhhhhing!
All a kinds of gloves, all colours, all fabrics - wonderful.
I had a session playing about - trying them on and whatnot. Unfortunately I do not have the hands of Elizabeth Bennett, or Dorcas Lane - mine are somewhat heftier and roughened with gardening and whatnot - sad but true!
So I shall keep the ones that fit - and maybe ebay the smaller more daintier ones - a shame but I am trying to be realistic, they would only sit in a drawer, it would be nice if they could be worn and enjoyed.

I am luckily enough to be able to wear these - Gloriously Pink Pair! Ideally suited to go with my Easter bonnet!
Better go now Hubby P is busy switching off lights, he's brought me tea and toast (with lashings of butter - a la' Dorcas lane) for my supper - it must be nearly bedtime.
xxx Take care for now xxx

Monday, 15 March 2010

And the Winner is!! Welsh Shawls and A new Hat!

Hi all! Hope you all had a good weekend.
Well I promised you a little Giveaway - so here it is, just a little bundle of allsorts, sewing/crafting goodies and the like.
All tied up with a pretty bow!

So I made a rough sort of 'names in a hat' - and The Winner Is !!!!!!
Jak from the lovely blog Winter Tells (do have a visit!)

So Jak, look out for this little parcel winging its way to you shortly!
We had a wonderful day on Thursday - Hubby P booked a day off work and we went to the Household Auctions for the day. I find the whole thing fascinating - what there is to bid on (amazing what Great Aunt Such and Such collected during her lifetime!), who bids for what - and How much! Household linen (lace trimmed sheets, lacy bits etc) was going for a fortune, the lady Dealer has a market for it in Spain, apparently they go mad for English linen over there.
We had a nice day - bit cold stood in a draughty concrete building, but great fun.
Of course we bought a van full of stuff - the cheaper boxes we just love to rummage through, Hubby P bought one or two select bits - strange things that somehow he knew what they were/are, collectable kinds of things. He will have a play on Ebay with them.
I know you're thinking - 'well what - what strange things??' - well would you know what a Game Strap is? - Be relieved to know it is something to do with Game shooting/hunting.
This is the intricate mind of Hubby P - one must not be mistaken and think this strange intelligence has anything to do with remembering Birthdays, or noticing the hoover needs running round, or even that it can be applied to the mundane everyday - but he knows a strange object when he sees it, and researches the subject to death - just for the fun of it!
Last night he found an odd bunch of people who collect Primus stoves - of all things, so now he will become expert on the Primus stove! Well at least its a harmless hobby - I collect 'things' he collects 'information or facts' - strange couple!!
There again I suppose I'm as strange, I bought a collection of old dusty and rusty Tilly lamps - no one wanted them (well no wonder really!) I think I got them for an opening bid of £1. I just like anything that looks like its had a life - a bit sad and battered - is that why I ended up with Hubby P? lol!
I hung them in the garden, along the beams in front of the summer house along with all the other 'treasures' - there they can live out their life and rust and moulder away, giving a cosy home to all the spiders and whatnot.

Sometimes you can see similar purpose made things in these fancy Garden Centres, and Homestyle shops - they cost a fortune! - Designer rust I call it!

At least my rust is the real thing! I think they look good - even better when everything starts growing. I have planted some climbing roses at the bottom of these poles - should look really pretty.

Another exciting event this week - Postie brought me my real Welsh Wool Shawl - the real thing! just like the Welsh Ladies in their tall black hats use to wear - just like in the photo's you see of typical Welsh ladies!

I was browsing Ebay - as you do! and spotted this shawl for sale. The lady selling said it was found in an old Welsh cottage, still wrapped in its brown paper packaging - unused, unworn (it does have one or two moth holes - but they are its life, its history, makes it real for me). Well - I mentioned it to Hubby P, and said how I thought it should come and live with us, should remain in Wales, live its life out in a similar tumbly old Welsh cottage! So being the kind, soppy lump he is he went all out to bid and win it for me.
Its lovely and warm, I'm sat with it accross my shoulders as I write this.
(just need the big, tall, black bonnet now - well , maybe that's a step too far!)

But speaking of HATS!!!!!!!

Just look what I found at the carboot sale over the weekend!
You know how I just love a nice hat.

Just don't take any notice of the scary looking, manic woman wearing it - its so hard to take your own photo!
I call it my Easter Bonnet - its really not the best pic of it, but its the best I could do.
- How Glam is this for a hat!
All I need now is a Church Fete, or Lady Such and Such's Garden Party!!

So what have you been doing today?
This morning saw be trying - again - to use up all the apples that I was given the other day. I have put as many as I can fit into the freezer, so today I made apple pies
- here they are waiting to go into the oven!

This evening I dispatched Hubby P - bearing pies to all the 'Apple Pie Appreciating Males' of our friends and family. And still I have 4 apples left in the bag! I think they are breeding in there!
So that will be apple crumble again this weekend.

Off to eat some apple pie - well someones got to do it!

xxx Take care for now xxx

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Super-Heroes and Pretty Robes!

Hello lovelies!
Hope your week is going well.
I was just having a bit of a tidy in the bedroom this morning - thinking about dusting, although it didn't get that far - but I did give the photo at the side of my bed a bit of a wipe over.
Its the loveliest photo ever - its one of my own little Super-Heroes!

Those were special days, and 'for always' my boys will remain my little Super-Heroes - even though they are both in their twenties and head and shoulders above me!
This photo was taken one sunny morning on the way to Playgroup, it was Fancy Dress party of some kind - maybe end of the summer term. I was living on my own with the boys, money was - well - was very little, so I improvised and sewed a couple of felt Bats on their t-shirts and made a little Bat cape from some cheap lining fabric. They thought they were the 'bees knees' so that was okay. As I remember we had a great time.
We rumbled along, the three of us, for a time. Then I met the unique Hubby P - he too all alone, with two equally cheeky, funfilled little boys.
So the two became four, four bundles of high energy, racing. climbing, stress inducing little boys! I'm sure we spent a good percentage of our lives at the Accident and Emergency Dept of the local hospital!

But they were good days - I wouldn't swap them for the world!
I suppose I've been thinking about babies quite a lot the last couple of days (not that I'm Broody - Ohh Nooooooo! Gone are those days - I'm a realist now!).
I found these beautiful robes at the carboot sale. They were inn need of a good launder, but in such good order, and all for the princely sum of £2 each! ( after a bit of eyelash batting and haggling!)
It was a man selling them, and he mainly had rather nice vintage china, ornaments and whatnot on his stall, the robes were kind of bundled to one corner - not really his thing. He said they were from the fifties, but I think maybe the first one is from a little earlier, but then I'm no expert. I'm just thinking this because this first one is completely hand stitched - all of it, and its made from a simple fine plain cotton. Any ideas?

This bottom pic, shows the back neck, the neckline just has a edging of lace and is a draw string to adjust the size/fit and to close the garment.

I have tried here to show you the tiny dainty stitches used to attach the lace to the sleeve edging. ( don't look at my paint stained fingers! - so unlady like, as my Mother would say!)

It fastens around the waist with the long ties - makes babe all snug!

Just amazing the amount of work in one little garment.
Now this other robe is very decorative, possibly used as a Christening robe, really very lovely.

Made from a very fine lawn cotton, in excellent condition.

You can see the beautiful deep lacy border.

And its very long! I've hung it here - its hanging from a hook in my bedroom ceiling, its so long- I'm not sure where's best to display it. I'll have to play about with it a bit.
xx Anyway enough for now xx take care xx