Saturday, 13 September 2014

Hoarding and sorting

I've been up at dad's house today sorting out the kitchen cupboards, going through them shelf by shelf, cleaning and dividing up into various piles. Charity shop, things that I am able to use myself (lots of mum's cookery things), stuff for the bin and 'treasures' that have had to go back in the cupboards. 'Treasures' being items that were collected over the years but that neither mum nor dad could bear to part with as they acquired new. My dad is convinced that my brothers and myself will be forced to decide by fisticuffs who will eventually become new owners of these treasures! Since we all have our own homes furnished and equipped to our own tastes I hadn't the heart to tell him that most probably they will end up in some 'vintage style' emporium.
Mum had a large collection of Hornsea pottery, Fleur design.....most of which was bought in the 1980's when they had a caravan at the seaside.
Apologies for the quality of the photo, I couldn't upload one from my iphone so this is courtesy of the internet.
And this Arcopal pyrex dinner service (again sourced from internet, I really must learn how to upload photos from my iphone!), my dad reckons he got a piece each time he filled up with petrol in the 70's or 80's. I have no reason to doubt him and do remember him acquiring it proudly although it was never used.
Not only does he have 8 place settings but there are four large storage jars too.
It did bring back lovely memories though, all the leg pulling we did over the years about its origins!

My mum taught herself 'tatting' and I have found some lovely things she worked.This particular one is my favourite. I think it's really Christmassy so it might find it's way onto our christmas table this year.

Can there be a mother or grandmother in the land who isn't sentimental about their children's/grandchildren's own handmade presents and cards? I know I am and have kept lots of my boys early 'works of art' but I was really touched to find this in the bottom of mum's drawer. It has to be over 25 years old since it was done by my eldest son who is 33.
I couldn't bear to throw it in the bin so naturally it had to come home with me.

Dad is a hoarder by nature but I think he has come to realise that it is better to go through things methodically while he is still with us.He and mum had obviously never heard the old saying attributed to William Morris, 'have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful'. Come to think of it how many of us actually do?

Possessions mean nothing in the scheme of things really. Collections of objects are fun to source but once we have them what then?  When he goes, Tony wants his Sinatra memorabilia collection to go, lock, stock and barrel to the Hoboken Historical Museum in  New Jersey, the town where Frank was born. Since it's rather a large collection we are probably going to have to leave a fortune to our kids just to ship it over there!! And my stuff? Since I spend so much time browsing in Charity Shops I guess they can just take everything back there!!
Well, I've had a busy few hours so I think I deserve a nice cuppa while I catch up on a bit of blog reading.
What are your plans for the weekend?

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Our weekend

Well, it's been a busy weekend here so far.
There has been a lot of  socialising,some crafting and a bit of housework thrown into the mix too. The socialising aspect has left me feeling a bit piggy though if I'm being honest and somewhere deep inside me is a voice screaming 'Weight Watchers'. I am a little over my target weight so I know I should try and tighten the reins a little especially as we have 3 upcoming weddings and my outfit which I thought would do for all 3 (well there will be different people at each one!)was bought to fit perfectly earlier in the year (could be time to get the 'fat pants' out!!!!). Friday night was a pizza and pasta night with some of the girls I work with and of course it would have been rude (not to mention impossible when faced with such delights) not to have tucked in.Last night was a couples get together, we meet up for curry several times a year and put the world to rights. Oh, and while I am confessing to being a little overindulgent, I'd better tell you we went out for lunch yesterday too! And I suppose I ought to mention we have been invited to Sunday lunch (at teatime since Tony is working today) ........Ah well, there's always tomorrow to start the WW plan.

A friend told me about a place that she said would be 'just up your street-you'd love it!' (and yes I did Moira, thank you very much, you know me so well! It was about 15 miles from where we live in a little village called Hepworth, not far from Last of the Summer Wine country. Anyway,it was part of an old mill, which has been converted and now houses various retail and leisure facilities called 'The Carding Shed'.
Let me show you the photos which give you a flavour of it all.There were vintage cars on display and a variety of motoring memorabilia. Some lovely shops and a lovely cafe called The Oil Can, which serves up lovely food and drink on delicate mismatched china.


The toilets had lots of vintage mirrors everywhere

This part new/part vintage shop was fascinating and some things were very reasonable.

All these knitting accessories were in a box and sold for £2. I paid 99p a pair for needles in charity shops before now.

And this Mabel Lucie Attwell figurine was £2 too.It's entitled 'When I grow up I want to be a teacher'
I thought it was so cute.

I've started a Halloween wreath based on much the same principle as the Autumn Wreath I showed last week. Here it is....
It just needs a few knitted spiders now.....
And speaking of spiders, I have noticed lots of them about outside. As yet though, none inside.I'm hoping it's because of this.....
made from conker oil which spiders are supposed to hate. You spray it round your doors and windows and any other potential entry points to your home every 2 weeks or so and it supposedly deters them. So far, so good.
I'm avoiding spending much time in the garden for now, even though it could do with a good tidy up, simply because of these 8 legged critters.I know we are all God's creatures but why did He make me so scared of them?!!
Well, that's all for now folks, I'm off to pop by and say hello. What have you got planned for the week ahead?

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Recent crafty makes

Thank you everyone who left comments on my last post, as usual I am rubbish at replying but I do read them all and appreciate them. I have been really busy this week so haven't been reading many of your blog posts either. I expect I will get into some sort of routine again soon.
I thought I would do a quick post and show you some of the crafty things I have been working on.Some are still in progress and lots of things are in the pipeline but more of those as and when they are completed.
I am really pleased with this Attic 24 inspired Autumn Wreath which I found on Lucy's fabulous blog. I do love her crocheting and acknowledge my crocheting is pretty basic, but her tutorials are fab.(I have bought her a coffee via paypal--cheers Lucy!).
I treated myself to a copy of this book as she recommended it.....
and found a lot of inspiration.I used a mix of knitted and crocheted flowers and leaves for my wreath and it was great for using up odds and ends of wool.
Please excuse the door handle! (not its final place)



I enjoyed doing every last leaf, acorn and toadstool, time consuming though it was! It did originally have a hedgehog critter and a mouse on it but my granddaughter E fell in love with them and I ended up giving her them.

I've also been busy knitting baby things.In particular I love this gorgeous heart pattern, which is easy to do but looks really pretty.

I enjoyed it so much I did a jumper and a cardigan!
And I am busy with another crocheted blanket....
I have found knitting and crochet very therapeutic and relaxing. My mum was the one who taught me both from a young age, maybe 7 or 8 and I am so pleased she did. The only thing I was never interested in was learning tatting in later life. I came across her tatting shuttle and an instruction book when we were going through some of her things. Maybe I will just give it a go myself, mum was self taught and made some lovely things.
I'm off now to pop by a few of you and say hello! What have you been knitting/sewing/crocheting recently?

Monday, 25 August 2014

Big Thank You!

Hello everyone. It's been a while hasn't it? I'd like to thank you all for taking the time and trouble to leave such lovely comments on my last post and to those who sent cards through the post.Special thanks to Julie whose lovely words and prayers continue to be a comfort.
When you lose someone close, it's hard to put into words how you feel.Losing your mum, when you have had a close relationship is beyond words. I take comfort from the fact she is no longer suffering and is at peace and the surety I feel that we will eventually be together again one day.
Life still goes on and I am sure my mum would want us to carry on as we always did, to be thankful that she lived and gave us life but not to be too sad she is no longer with us.

Tony and I managed to get away for a week's break in a beautiful little cottage in Kent that we had booked earlier in the year. It was a lovely week, with glorious sunshine and warm temperatures and it was a time for reflection and remembering.
Our cottage was originally a stable and hayloft and apart from the owners house next door, was the only property for a mile or two.

These photos are courtesy of the internet since I forgot my camera and don't know how to upload photos from my iphone.
There was no light pollution and for several nights Tony and I sat out on the patio marvelling at the wonderful navy blue sky dotted with a million sparkling stars. I had only once before seen the Milky Way but it was so clear and we were treated to the most amazing show of shooting stars from the Perseid Meteor shower.
We could hear owls and other nocturnal creatures and one of the highlights of my week was looking out of our bedroom window to see a hare yards from our door just peering up at me.
It's a wonderful world out there and I'm going to try and stop and appreciate things more.

We managed to have several day trips out, to Canterbury (including the stunning cathedral), Whitstable, Broadstairs, Rye, Tenterden and Camber Sands.Sadly no piccies but we enjoyed it all.
I took plenty of wool and inspired by Lucy's blog decided my evenings would be about making an Autumn Wreath.I will show you that at a later date.

Since we got back I have been busy finishing off the practicalities with my dad and am now back at work. I am still enjoying Instagram as it is so easy.Snap a photo, click a couple of times and bob's your uncle!! If you can get on it you can see more of what I am up to (still at Marmalade and catmint) if you want to of course!
That's it for now folks, I just wanted to pop by and say hello for now, I'm back!!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Sad times

My dad said my mum looked like Ingrid Bergman when he met her. He said he couldn't believe his luck!

In case you wondered where I had gotten to I just wanted to do a quick update. I lost my beloved mum just over a week ago. She spent the last five years struggling with her health and mercifully she passed away peacefully and quickly with her family around her.I feel so blessed that she was my mum. A lovely lady, wise and caring, whose life was centred around her family.
I need some time away but I will be back soon.
RIP Mum.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Busy doing nothing day!

I don't often have a day to myself, to do just what I want and not be anywhere at a certain time, but today was one such. A leisurely breakfast, waved tony off to work then got my newly washed bedding pegged out. Such a gorgeous start to the day, blue skies, sunshine and a bit of a breeze. It's back on the bed now,ironed and ready to snuggle down into tonight.Mmn I can almost smell it....sweet dreams tonight!

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while know I am researching my family history and
I popped along to the Leeds archives to see if I could get any information about my dad's aunt but had forgotten about the 100 year rule. Still, they did suggest a way around this so I am hopeful of getting the information we need.

My great grandad played for our local rugby league team in the 1890's and I decided that I would head to Wakefield One, our posh new council HQ, which houses the library and the museum. None of my family has ever seen a photo of him and I was hoping that there just might be one of him with the team. I got a pic of the 1892 team but there are no names so I'm hoping my dad might be able to pick him out if he is there as he does have a vague recollection of him.

Check out the team strip!
I popped into the museum too which was the building next door. I loved this room set of a Victorian kitchen. My mum and dad's house in the 1960's had a similar range until dad ripped it out and they had a lovely tiled 60's fireplace and gas fire (sacriledge) put in.
Don't remember the bloomers though......
Afterwards I nipped into the Create cafe also in the same building.Very nice it was too...
Nice bright decor.....
And they do a fab bakewell slice and latte.
I popped into this place too.....
not for another coffee and cake but for some Annie Sloan paint.
For this.....
I started to paint it out in the garden, but typically it began to rain and I ended up having to bring it back indoors.
It just needs a coat of wax and it will be ready for use. It'll look lovely in our spare bedroom.
Annie Sloan isn't the easiest paint to master. Shock, horror! What have I said? I have found using a brush it's difficult to get an even finish, maybe it's just me, but I find that I can take paint off if I go over a bit I have already done before it's properly dry. Anyway, I got out our little radiator roller to do most of it and hey presto! It worked really well. I suppose the more you use it probably the easier it gets.
I've also got a bit further with the little hooded cardigan I started, hopefully I'll be able to finish it by the weekend. A really lovely me day! Do I feel guilty? Yes, a little, but I do get a bit frazzled sometimes with our hectic lives.
I picked Tony up from work this evening and commented 'why do days like this go by so quickly and some days at work seem to go on forever?'. Anyway, only 2 weeks to work before we go on our holidays.

Thanks to everyone for the comments on my last post and to the lovely people who liked my new blog header. It was taken on a Cape Cod beach last year, virtually deserted, just us and a few seagulls. Sadly, not Cape Cod again this time, we are off to Kent, but hey, the seaside is the seaside, can't wait!
See you all at the weekend.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Cottage ware

I thought I would do a post today about my mum's Cottage ware collection. It has always fascinated me since I was little. I think you probably either love it or hate it. It's a bit kitsch really but I have always had an affection for it. Always kept in a variety of china cabinets ( the glass doors were forever getting broken, hardly surprising given that my younger brothers were like whirling dervishes) these few pieces are the only ones left from a large collection. My parents were married in 1952 and my dad used to buy my mum a piece every couple of weeks until they had the complete set. These are all that's left....part of my inheritance they tell me!!!!
This is for sugar

I think this is for cheese

Obviously a teapot, very cute though!

My favourite, biscuit barrel, with a wicker handle
Theirs was made by Keele Street pottery, Stoke and the firm started producing this style after the second World War. I have seen lots of this type of thing in the antique/secondhand shops and assumed it was all by the same maker but I recently acquired an odd teacup in the cottage style which is stamped Price brothers. There are differences in design and if you look in the last photo you can just make out another item which I think is a butter dish but my dad said that he couldn't get the same make so he got the nearest lookalike.
I have to say I don't think it was the most practical of china to use and that is probably why so much of it survives today.It probably was a 'china cabinet' display tea service rather than a functional every day one. One day it will grace my china cabinet, not sure Tony will be too keen on it though.
Just had a thought though, I wonder if this is why I am obsessed with( one day) living in a little cottage???

Still loving Instagram. It's so easy, you just upload piccies and add a few words if you want.

Tomorrow we are going off to Lincoln for the day to Tony's twin great nieces' 4th birthday party. The theme is Disney's 'Frozen'. Should be fun!
I'm off out into the garden now to plant some carrots for later in the year (Monty said it was still okay when I watched Gardeners World last week so that is good enough for me).
What are you all up to this weekend?