Sunday, 31 May 2009

We've ...


We've had a birthday. A grandma's birthday, with a cake decorated by the buns.
We discovered a magical, peaceful place, just on our doorstep that we didn't know existed.

We found long walks by the water, ruins, animals, paddling places and a flint barn to eat cake and icecream in.
We've finally scrubbed the winter off the table and chairs and moved outside again.
We' ve all had the best few days ever in the sun. Little Bun set up camp by the ladies and in her own words said "This is the Life".

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Half way through ...


On Friday I set up my pitch for the week in Southwold. Less on it than normal as trying to spread my wares over two more fairs in the next couple of weeks. The weekend heat seems a lifetime away.

BBBrrrrr - I now have a winter cardigan on and the heating has had a quick blast to take the chill off my shaky legs. On Sunday, like the rest of the you it seems, we were basking in this lovely sparkling blue sky day. Knowing it might be our one and only hot day for a while, we raced to the coast by nine to get there before everyone else.



We chose a fabulous beach at Walberswick, just over the estuary from Southwold (which is behind me in this shot). At the furthest end of the headland is Sizewell B. Hard to make out the big white dome today.



We paddled, collected stones and shells and then rushed back to lay in the dunes and eat our elevenses of apples, jam sandwiches and tons of cake. Amazingly when Mr Bun and I lay back to enjoy the heat of the sun, both buns lay back onto our tummies too. For well over half an hour they lay still chatting to us. No demands for rushing around or moving on. I can't remember the last time we just laid still on a beach. Perhaps seven and eight years ago.

By midday, we were ready for a walk into the village as I had spotted an antiques fair sign. This is the fantastic view with the dunes behind us. Just out of shot are all the little bridges where people collect to go crabbing.




There were lots of other fabulous sights to show you, but I was munching on an icecream and too caught up in the moment to remember. Sorry.
Inside the antiques fair it was mostly brown furniture and pictures, but I did find this beautiful tablecloth and fabulous embroidered cushion cover.


Well we are already half way through half term and my head is spinning trying to strike a balance between being with the buns, working and not being too shouty. The first real day was yesterday and as it rained and rained the big plan was cancelled. So four adults and ten kids hit the delights of Sea Life, followed by icecreams and hot doughnuts under umbrellas.

Today has been catch up day for me. Parcels of orders quickly wrapped and dropped off at our local post office on the way to the Car Boot. The buns bought some more Whimsy's so they were happy, but it was slim pickings for me today. Just a few glasses and a couple of dishes which are all being Miltoned at the moment. Then a race to meet a cafe owner in Norwich to discuss my crochet workshops with. I sold her my idea with the offer to order a cake each week for the group as an incentive. Luckily she thought it was a great idea and would fit the atmosphere very well. Phheeww. Bundled the buns back in the car with a feeling of excitement. As we drove round the next corner it hit me that I now needed to get people on board. Bit further down the road and I was wondering if anyone will come and if they do will they enjoy it. Oh the roller coaster of delight and self-doubt, what a ride.

I'm a qualified FE lecturer and have taught knitting for fun before, but I'm still nervous about this next challenge I've set myself. Anyway got back home and have sent off copy for three publications and already put some posters up. Just wait for that phone to ring now. Just hope it's not in the middle of Hanna Montana tommorow as eldest bun will not be happy with me.

Hope you're all having a great week whatever you're doing. Me - I'm now off to join some more of these squares together if peace prevails.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Treasure Found and Stuff


Oh the treasures brought back from the carboot today - so many lovely things. I now have blue hands (from painting) and dirty hands (from scrubbing and cleaning up silver). Amongst the nine ladybirds that I found were these very clean, tidy and obviously perfectly behaved children. I don't think children come in this model anymore, they definately belong to the 1970's.




On Friday, after going to a website design course, I am setting up my stall for the Buddha Market. We all have smaller pitches for this week and so I desperately needed a small shelf unit to put on my card table to make the most of the room I have. For weeks I've searched and in the end thought I would have to be buying something I didn't really want from DIY World. Finally this week, for the grand knocked down price of £3 I found the perfect thing (well after a lick of imaginary paint). When I got back (after clearing up after a dog who had a bit of an accident while I was out) I laid my booty out on the new shelves to see if they would do the job. I think they do and so at last another small problem is solved.






On the top shelf are two great games - Bingo is one of our favourites. We have a plastic spinny ball version from Woolies. We all take in turns being the caller and yell out different rhymes for the numbers picked. I love the design on the teacup, I've never seen honeysuckle on one before. My parents verandah and part of the garage are covered in exactly the same honeysuckle each summer. They have lived in the same bungalow, built in 1922, for 34 years now so that's a lot of years memories of this gorgeous plant. I've never managed to successfully grow it so now I can have my own all year round.



Next shelf down and a perfect pink tin with two small children playing, buttons and a few pairs of coloured needles from a lovely elderly gentleman who called me "my duck". Not from these parts then as I would have been called Gel by a local. Apparently his wife told him to get rid of the lot, not sell just some. I hope he doesn't get in trouble as I only took the ones I wanted. Also found a sherbet pink utility ware plate and the lace fabric top of a cotton camisole.



The Cat's and Kitten's book is for Little Bun. I love the Dean children's books, they transport you back to a gentle way of life that we can only daydream about now. Inside the front cover it says "for our little Susan" which is such a beautiful endearment from her grandparents.


Peter Pan and Wendy was one of the larger books I bought for the buns today. The fairies remind me of Mabel Lucie Atwell's drawings. It all looks very cosy up there indeed.



After all this sorting I thought I'd better get on with painting the first coat on my new display stand. I also threw some paint at last weeks 20p stool. I might oilcloth the top, but I'm not sure yet. For the next few weeks it will have a cloth over it anyway as it will be part of my stall. Not sure if I would have chosen this blue, but it's the first thing I found in the garage and I was in a hurry. Still got tommorow to choose which stock to take for Friday and then label it all up, not forgetting finishing making stuff. Oh dear - why aren't days longer? I'm on my website course until early afternoon on Friday and then rush home, load up the car and off to Southwold to make my stall look loverly. None of this is simple, however. Tommorow little bun has a party in one direction and eldest bun has Brownies in the other at different times. Various solutions and now all sorted. Then Friday's arrangements - ask favours to take them to swimming lesson where Mr Bun will be on hand to sort them out all in time to meet me at home and we can collapse for a few days before the next hurly burly. I don't think the word mummy is enough - I think family PA hits the mark more.

All washed and clean now. Spot the silver sugar and cream set doesn't it look lovely and shiny since you last saw it up above all black and smeary?

Then with sticky blue hands I had just enough time to sort out a few other things before rushing to get the buns. I sat at my slowly overflowing desk trying to decide what to do first.



I printed off the poster I've made to advertise crochet classes I'm going to run. Fingers crossed they're popular as funds in rather than out would be a very good idea at the moment.



Next I finished off setting in the ribbons and pinning up for sewing the small bags I've been working on. That left me half an hour to finish off a brooch I was fiddling about with last night. I have a few ideas for this little bird from the doodles I did in my sketchbook recently. Still need to tweak the colours to make her stand out more and then I'll be happy with her.




After school Alfie Blue made it clear he really needed a good run around. We all gave in and set off. Just outside the village is a quiet lane that cuts through the fields. The sort of lane that a naughty and easily distracted Pug can be trusted on without his lead. In the end he trailed along beside the buns.





So little bun put his lead back on again ...








... and marched him all the way back home.




Monday, 18 May 2009

Cosy is another word for Sunday


While the humans in the house played Polly Pocket - Alfie and Molly decided not to be too busy today.

Molly's a tiny cat - not sitting in a huge Dolls House. Alfie did manage to drag himself out on to the landing later. Well done Mr Blue. Pip meanwhile was out and about being a busy day cat.
Before starting our really cosy part of Sunday we took the Buns up to the old US airfield in our village. I must remember to take a picture of the control tower which has been done up and now is open on some Sundays. There is some really interesting memorabilia and photographs of the short time it was an airbase. WWII fascinates me so having this bit of history on our doorstep makes it all the more real. Anyway I'm wandering off the point - the reason we went there when it was shut was to do a spot of bike riding and as luck would have it there were tons of fairy rings there, so we did a spot of wishing too.

Now for the really cosy part. Feeling really very cold it was perfect to come home to a trayful of these and a snuggle up with a game of Happy Families bought at the village Jumble Sale on Saturday.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Floral Friday

Due to a severe shortage of funds for extras these days, I only ever buy flowers when they are heavily reduced or by the roadside (luckily a lady in our village will soon put out bunches of sweetpeas and cornflowers to buy). This isn't an easy thing to go without as I absolutely love flowers - from the colours you can mix, the memories they evoke to their scent. Now, suddenly there seem to be flowers all over the Bun household.


After lunch yesterday mum took me to the market where I chose freesias, stocks, irises and tulips. The freesias smell heavenly, so I've put a small posy in these bottles I got from the car boot to go into the buns bedrooms.




One of the many floral pictures around the house is echoing the colours of the iris and tulips.

I put some more freesias here to scent the kitchen - handy as the bin and dogs food bowl is just below. No more nasty niffs for a while.

Getting back after school we took Alfie for a long walk over the fields as he had been on his own all day. Little Bun picked these as a present for daddy. Eldest bun held Buttercups under our chins to see if we liked butter. Guess what - we do. Very yellow necks in our family.

Next up is a handmade posy made for me for Mother's Day. I keep the china floral brooches there as they are now quite chipped. I didn't realise I'd laid them on a tea towel and so they went flying across the room one day. Now they just sit there looking pretty in front of the buns tissue paper flowers.

Finally are the flowers I'd bought for myself earlier in the week. Ironically I would always avoid carnations - they are old lady flowers in my opinion. Funny how shortages can make you appreciate things anew. Being bought flowers yesterday was really the biggest treat ever. Followed later by the buns and I devouring quite a lot of maltesers after our walk. Not floral, but just as lovely.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Threads, Felt, Yarns and a Couple of Gifts


Before I get going I wanted to show you this little fellow found this morning at the car boot. He was on his own, but just as gorgeous. Now doing a grand job propping up some Enid Blyton's. There are some things as simple as this fawn that make you smile each time you pass by. There were lots of other lovely things there today all with the non-haggling extortionate price tag that is sadly becoming so common. Funnily enough I left them there. Thrify Mrs wrote an amusing post along these lines a few days ago.

This week I'm trying hard to be more focused. To write a list and do at least some of it. At the moment I seem to be getting more of the boring most necessary things done and not leaving enough time for the essential, important and downright fun things. I try writing shorter lists, still have the same problem as I flit from thing to thing. I love working with thread, felt and yarn. I can't decide which I prefer as I get caught up in the pleasure of whichever I'm working with.


I have a week sale coming up for half term, followed by two more weekend ones, so I need to be getting more things made and quickly. As little bun was off school on Monday with a high temperature, I kept her company by doing the embroidery on some more button and trinket bags. I've cut out quite a few and have been working through them before I get to make them up (which will probably be Friday as I'm being realistic here). I have a birthday tommorow so will be having lunch with my mum. I actually have two birthdays, a christmas one and then this late spring one. As I'm adopted, tommorow is the day that aged 5 months I was officially born to mum and dad. For those months before anything could have happened. I hope other people have this tradition as it feels so right and it also means lunch at a lovely restaurant and a natter with my mum. Dad is in his 80's, so lunch in the city would be quite unappealing to him before you think we're leaving him out. So back to embroidery.


Alongside these, I'm also working on some crochet squares to make up into a cushion cover. I saw the ones Vanessa was working on and then searched through my books until I found a similar one to try out. As it turns out I needn't have been so impatient as she put an amazing tutorial online. The ripple has been put to one side for a while along with the granny squares while I get distracted by these. I figure these will be finished far more quickly as there are only five more to do. I just can't decide whether to put a flower in the middle or not.


From all that I can choose to make and do I am absolutely caught up with crochet. At first it seemed quite limited, now I love the versatility of it all, the speed (apart from blankets) and the way the colours of the yarn work with the different stitches. Next to that I've always loved working with felt. There are no edges to turn - it's immediate and I like that. The other craft I really enjoy is embroidery. It has all the possibility of painting. Like choosing different media the stitches can create so many different effects. Now there are so many modern twists on the vintage style of embroidery to really make so many otherwise ordinary objects come alive.
On Tuesday little bun was still off school, but feeling much better, so we had a trip to a plant centre, that has all sorts of other stuff. We hurried along to the craft section where ittle bun chose some sparkly purple paper and I found this wonderful book.
I've not heard of this before, but I'm so glad I found it and reduced too, even better. Inside are some fabulous ideas, but also it's just a great source of inspiration as they don't have to be used literally. I'm only going to give you a sneak of one page as if you find this book I would hate to spoil it for you. I loved every minute of looking through and getting lots of ideas for yet more things to add to the growing list.
There is a pattern to make these beautiful linen slippers aswell as the embroidery designs. I could be tempted to make these for the dolls as my girls feet have definately got bigger than this.
The next lovely surprise in the day was getting these flowers from a friends garden. The buns went there for tea and a play with their friends and then I was given these all tied up with string. I love posies like this picked as a gift. They mean so much.
My second gift of the day was from Mr Bun. He had been at Duxford museum all day for an awards ceremony and came back with a book about Wartime Propaganda for me and this postcard of Eileen Dunne - aged three. It was taken by Cecil Beaton in 1940 to record victims of the Blitz. I look at this little girl hugging her toy tightly to her chest, clean and safe for now and hope she still had her parents to protect her. She is simply everything motherhood is about. The desire to protect to the best of your ability. When eldest bun saw these gifts today it lead to her wanting to know more about the war. This image of the little girl made it more real for her. I love that she now wants to know so many things - from how clouds are made (ask daddy, don't know that one) to social history and so much more in between (which I can answer).

Monday, 11 May 2009

I've done it Wrong

I've put my newest and shiniest post underneath Painting Like Pooter and I can't move it. So if you fancy reading it, it's down there.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Painting like Pooter

When I was pregnant with Eldest Bun, and feeling shattered after a day on my swollen feet at work, Mr Bun read a short story to me each night. It was George and Weedon Grosssmith's Diary of a Nobody. Written in the C19th, it is Mr Pooter's first person narrative about his life. He is a clerk, living in a modest house, lower middle class, married to Carrie (who clearly thinks she's married an idiot) and has a son called Lupin of all things. It is absolutely hilarious and not dated at all. Poor Mr Pooter endlessly tries to keep up with all the latest rages and keep his wife happy, but always ends up in another disaster.

Our favourite tale is when he discovers red enamel paint. He's so excited by this new thing that he paints literally everything in sight, including the bath. It all ends with him bright red after his bath of molten enamel paint.
'April 27 "Painted the bath red, and was delighted with the result. Sorry to say Carrie was not, in fact we had a few words about it. She said I ought to have consulted her, and had never heard of such a thing as a bath being painted red. I replied: 'It's merely a matter of taste.' "

Well to get to the point of this post - I have the same problem as Mr Pooter and Mr Bun doesn't always understand it. I like painting everything too. In the kitchen is a victorian pine dresser which was lovingly stripped of it's paint by friends before giving it to us. I find it very hard to keep my paint itchy fingers away from it, but Mr Bun likes it and I guess he does live here too.



Then there is this sideboard, which was my aunts. It wouldn't be fitting for a 30's sideboard to be painted palest blue or cream would it?





Today though I couldn't restrain myself. After seeing Vanessa's cupboard painted pink inside I felt inspired to copy her. I had a pot of bright pink wallpaint never used that I had bought to paint the buns rooms and it was still there waiting to be used.







I've only done the one shelf so far while I decide - after all it takes about 70 coats of white to recover the dark paint and only one to add a bright pink zing.