Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Colours Colours all Around

Oh Lordy blogger is being a big pain. I've got the smallest bit of patience that could ever be handed out to one person so I gave up after it took me what felt like a week to upload just four photos. Right - rant over back to nice stuff.

Once the working week was over last week I gave in to the urge to paint furniture bright colours. Friday morning saw me slapping green paint on the shelf I'd dragged back home a couple of weeks ago on the ferry. 


It's just not the right shade of green though, far too arsenic for me, so the shelf hides in shame waiting for more paint to be mixed. To save expensive mistakes I've just found out that Dulux mix tester pots too, so I think I'll stop racing in next time.
The pink is being tried out on some of Eldest Bun's furniture. I've still not made up my mind if I like it or not yet. 



So much still to finish in her room (and it's only a wee room too). I made up a string of that old failsafe - bunting to give her bedroom that colourful zing now I've whitened it out.


The colours work perfectly and Eldest is really pleased with it all so far.


Now after a busy and fun filled weekend it's the last week of the summer holidays and two days to go before her birthday. Cocktail umbrella's are ready for party drinks, but no presents are wrapped or handmade pressies finished. 

This weekend we visited Voewood, which is a stunning arts & crafts house in Norfolk. A friend was responsible for the PR for a literary and music festival they had up there so we popped in with the press passes she sorted out for us. Not the first time we've been press. We had fun with a very rude and uppity French Maitre D when we convinced him we were food and wine journalists. We got great service in that hotel after that. Wonder why?

I'll be back to show and tell more of my weekend when I can actually post photos at speed. Just to say it's to do with the 1940's and some lovely vintage buys.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Sunshine on the Right days

Here I am, just in the nick of time for a mid week catch up before we hurtle into the joys of a long bank holiday weekend. 

Every weekend's been a long one for us though as Mr Bun's taken off Friday and Monday each week. Got to have some perks for all the hard slog of being self-employed. Mind you as we race off for adventures with me chauffering he usually sorts business stuff out with phone calls here and there.


This Monday we ended up with a picnic further down the coast in Suffolk. Now this is a real beach Mr Sussex Bun declares, none of that sandy stuff here. I agree. I love the look of sand, building sandcastles and all, but I've always hated feeling gritty.


Once we'd munched our lunch I even managed a few peaceful minutes with my eyes shut just enjoying the wind on my face and listening to the sea.

Then it was down to the serious job of Best in class pebble, Ugliest pebble and strangest pebble. 


After watching this boat glide along the shoreline we headed off for a spot of serious sailing ourselves.


We sat on our other yacht so no racing today. The little boy at the other end had a great sailing technique. He threw his boat in, yelled plop in delight and then grabbed it again. Pure pleasure.


After a long walk along the shore and back down the high street we couldn't resist the temptations of a cream tea lazing on a hotel terrace. Reminded me in such a tiny way of the days when I was pregnant with Eldest and we spent most weekends in hotels generally indulging after a long week teaching. This time there was no lazing around before being served dinner. Instead a long drive home and then giving in and saying yes to a bike ride.


I did plan a car boot rummage today, but it just didn't happen so we hit the charity shops instead. Sixteen videos in one haul (the Bun's are working through the best of the 80's and 90's and went a bit mad). Little Bun spied Shirlee lamb and I knew I couldn't leave her behind.


We also popped into my friend Ruth's shop Glory Days for a catch up and I couldn't resist this small jug. Ruth is changing her business and so September 3rd will be her last day in the shop. If you're out and about pop in and see what she has for sale as this might be your last chance for a while.

The rest of today was spent with a lovely friend who had me drooling over her amazing vintage finds, fabric stash and makes of late. I wanted to steal her formica rose printed table badly.

Before I go a hello to my new followers too, thankyou for stopping by. 

Saturday, 20 August 2011

This week I've mostly been ...

I had that can't quite put my finger on it things are coming to an end kind of feeling at the beginning of the week. Summer just seems to be melting too easily into autumn and we haven't even got to run through sprays of water from this little fella yet. It was back to work for me too which meant the end of days just blurring into the next with the Bun's which I just love in the summer. My head had to stop being all dreamy and get quick witted again which was a real shock to the system.

Last Sunday I decided that the week I was going back to work would also be the best time to start decorating Eldest Bun's room! The Buns bunked up together and Eldest Bun's room spilled over any space we had left upstairs so I wanted it done pretty quickly to get back to normal. Problem is I'm fussy and decided years ago that Mr Bun's painting skills weren't nearly as good as mine. I do it all which is fine as he hates doing it and I like it, but it just takes longer with only one. Daft aren't I.  All week I seemed to be planning work, doing it or painting and so no time to even think about blogging or visiting anyone.

I'd also lost my phone charger last week Then we found it in the skipping ropes pile. Until then I couldn't even call friends with my dead phone holding all my numbers. Thankfully some people I know go for the wonderful traditional posty service to say hello. I got this lovely card that had been all prettied up by a friend this morning. She doesn't do emails and I couldn't do texts. What's the world coming too hey?


The stuff I enjoy best about life has been taking over in the last couple of days again. We've had a seaside fun evening again. Then today we drove past a fete and just had to stop for a bag or two of candyfloss. I found a stall selling some lovely bits and bobs and fell in love with this Victory play tray. Some things are just needed for the pure delight of looking at them again and again.


I have managed a small bit of making this week too, but it's been more off than on. I fiddled with colour ideas with Jane Brockett's crochet squares, worked teeny tiny stitches along hexies for a cushion cover and had a think about what to make Eldest Bun for her birthday. Clean out of ideas as yet - did wonder whether to applique her name on a pillowslip.


I've also been training the Bun's for the day when I collapse in a heap on the floor refusing to cook or clean anymore. Lessons are going well so far because they still think it's fun to do - little do they know!


Then there is always the down with the up. The week started with me feeling odd and ended with sadness. Yesterday morning I went to let the hens out and saw only Hennypenny out with the youngsters. When I looked I could see Betty's white head through the henhouse door.


She had obviously died in the night poor old love. She hadn't been eating well for a couple of weeks and no longer followed me everywhere so I knew she wasn't herself, but I hoped she'd get better. Out of our original four each had a real personality of their own and hers was being the matriarch. She made me laugh with her bossiness and white feather knickers.

I really hope Henny is as daft as they say hens are as I hate to think she misses her mate who she followed everywhere. I found her this afternoon tucked up in the dining room having a nap and wanted to tell her it would be alright.


Meanwhile this lot seem to be doing fine apart from being bossed about by Hennypenny who is taking over from Betty to let them know she won't stand any funny business either.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

North folks & South folks

I can't believe another week has whizzed by. An extra stolen whole week with the Bun's filled with so many lovely things. 

The feathery ladies are settling down into strict divides of eldery and youngster gang culture. On the second night they just wouldn't go to bed. In the end Betty clambered off her perch, got on the top of the henhouse and yelled at Olive, Maggie and Bluebell. I helped her out by grabbing them all with a shove up the bum through their door.


In the middle of the week we went to Walberswick with friends. We parked the other side of the river and then walked over and round to get there. We didn't even make it to the sea as we had such a lovely time just mucking about in the village. I even brought home a big shelf that I couldn't stop looking at and knew I'd really kick myself later on if it didn't come home. We gave the shelf a ferry ride across the water on the way back to save my weary shoulder, much more fun than walking.


In betweens swimming, rounders and playing at  camping with friends I finally made up those kitchen curtains that have been waiting to be made.


I'd guess the fabric is 1950's and is pretty well worn, but far too gorgeous not to save somehow. I cut off the ripped sides, patched up holes here and there and added a smidge of flowery blue to lengthen.


They're real quick cheats. I didn't bother to edge the frayed sides, just strung up some hooks, threaded them on a wire and off we go jolly kitchen curtains.

On Friday we had a Seaside Special treat with the end of the pier summer show. Apparently it's the only one left in England so it's a special one indeed.


We zig-zagged down to the Edwardian pier to collect our tickets before climbing all the way back up for a fish and chips pre-show tea.


The whole experience of being on the end of the pier in a tiny theatre was perfect. The show felt like being taken back to my 1970's childhood with all the variety shows on TV, just better. Singing, dancing, glitter, glam and tons of laughter. The Bun's loved it as much as us, maybe even more as they offered their pocket money on the way out so I could get tickets for the next show.


Walking out onto the wooden promenade, twinkling lights all around and the sound of the sea on pebbles ended the evening perfectly for me. Many moons ago in Brighton Mr Bun and I would go down to the beach at night for a walk. We'd sit and talk about what life would be like when our baby was born. Never could have imagined it would be this lovely and content. 

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Three Hens in a Box

I dithered over writing tonight. I have so many blissful things to show and share, but the simple easy things my family's enjoyed seem self-indulgent luxuries when I compare them to what's happening out there in the world and parts of our small island. As my blog is about me finding the happy in the everyday and celebrating that I decided to chat away.

Hens are on our minds this week. Our ladies are getting older and haven't laid an egg for a few weeks now. They seemed a wee bit run down so I fed them a dollop of scambled egg with garlic to perk them up a bit. Now we've gone for shock tactics.


After finding a perfect hen lady on Monday and making plans to visit her this week, eggy things were all around. When we went to the sweetie shop yesterday Little Bun spotted these 50's eggcups in the window next door. She knows me so well that girl.


All ready for breakfast nestled up with our other treasures. Definately need to finish up that paint job I slapped on a year ago don't I.

Somehow my needles ended up working a few more stripy egg hats last night too. The colours of our new eggcups inspired me to make some new ones to sit on top.


Yesterday the girls showed they know a mean thing about a flat pack DIY project. Four years ago I bought a chicken coop off ebay, then a friend just gave me one all made up and even put it in my run for me. For four years it's nestled up with the logs in the woodstore pleading to be made and not burnt. Yesterday I finally dragged it out and we got going with the Alun keys, a faded plan and tons of patience.


It's like Barratt Homes meets Cold Comfort Farm dilapidation. Plan is old house for old ladies, new house for new girls. When they all fall madly in love, they'll move in together and have a paint party (colour still to be agreed).

As it happened the project I run has been put back a week, so not earning, but then more time with my lovelies. As we're so impatient it meant we could go pullet shopping this afternoon. I got hopelessly lost trying to find the farm, so Eldest was on the phone being talked in by farmer Jen and yelling directions to me. We arrived at an idyll of goats, three week old kittens, more hens and ducks than you can shake a stick at, the most nutty eccentric seven year old I've ever met who gave the Tour and Jen sat calmly straining honey slowly into jars in the middle of it all.


After chatting for an age - knitting, bee-keeping and animals we went off to pick our hens. From the top are Olive a Red Rock (she nearly was called Cabbage - Eldest couldn't stop laughing and said she loved it as a name even though it made her laugh, could she please call her that? I thought it would be mean calling her a cabbage, now I just think of Olive from On the Buses), next up is Bluebell who is a Bluebell (after Little's now no more and beloved Guinea Pig. Mr Bun's cousin was briefly a Bluebell girl many moons ago in Paris so I like that too) lastly we have a Magpie Ranger who we've simply named Maggie.


We finally got home about 8pm (I got lost on the way home too!). They are so lovely and used to handling so liked a cuddle before bedtime. We had to quickly push them in as Hennypenny came out to see what all the noise was about. Thought a surprise in the morning was soon enough to find her world's changed.


Before I pop off I'll add a couple of pics of our other dreams. Wandering down peaceful paths and having a small ramshackle meadow with a sheep or two for Little Bun to love.

Fingers crossed our Ladies think the newcomers have always been here and just let them be part of the gang. Think that's just wishful thinking don't you?

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Endings before Beginnings

In the blink of an eye our short break was over and the Bun's and I descended on Mr Bun with tales to tell late on Friday. I've been fiddle faddling getting our cottage just how I like it ever since.


On Saturday's food hunt I visited a wonderful roadside hut where you can buy the most spectacular dahlias ever. Can you believe I filled two jugs with these fat beauties for only 80p.


After we played Piggy in the Middle, we tickled the greengages and decided they needed plucking. They taste gorgeous, I need to find a few things to do with them before they go all squishy.


See that bright splodgy green and blue flower print underneath my plums? Well I spied that in a very high up cupboard that I don't normally go in at my parents. I got all excited about the look of that lovely fabric and wondered out loud if it could be mine for chopping up and sewing with. Well it turns out it was my bedspread in the house we lived in until I was seven. I can't remember it at all, but I really like the idea of using it to make a quilt to cover up the grown-up me's bed. 

My mum also bought this wonderful book to help get more making ideas going in my head.


I'm totally passionate about colour, so much so that sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the choices and then I just can't decide which to use when I start any new thing. What I loved about this book more than anything are the projects in it and the tips on knitting with different textures, playing with colour to achieve different effects. Like working cables in a different colour to the background. Stuff I wouldn't have thought of at all. 


Somehow my food finding trip ended up at the yarn shop. I had no choice really as I found that however big my stash I just didn't have any magenta. I love this colour mix and thought it would be a perfect start for the ripple effect bag I'd started first thing.


I also want to get my head around fairisle and the book gives some really quick helpful tips rather than go on and on which bores the pants off me. The bottom wavy one is called entrelac and for that reason alone sounds something good to try.
Starting all back to front - I've finally got to where this week all started. 
All my flowery knick knacks laid out in my childhood bedroom and now we're ready to go off for some girlie fun. On the way to our tacky seaside evening we visited my mum's friends restaurant. It's on the Norfolk Broads and has a repro Edwardian launch that we went on. All calm on a hot summers evening.


Next stop crazy pirate golf, deep fried doughnuts, candyfloss and glitz.


I managed to get the Bun's to ride the snails at the fair. I adored them when I was little. They slowly trundle along and roll down gentle hills and through tunnels. I've tried sitting clamped to a fast scary ride with my eyeballs turned inside out and have come to the realisation that the snail ride through nursery rhyme land hits the spot for me for thrills and spills.



We managed to fit in a day at the beach on the day that the whole world seemed to end up on it. After two hours I couldn't take it any more as the next load of people plopped down beside us so we trundled back to the little train to go into the town.


Icecream and cockles on the harbour wall before a wander and then scones in a calm walled garden. Mum and I felt better already.
Rainy days were spent lunching, shopping and playing games. It was pretty darned good to be looked after by my lovely mum who made sure we had a wonderful few days with her.

Now I'm off to start catching up with blogland again. See you soon.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Ticking off Lists

Glad you liked the quilt, it's being loved a lot around here too. Before I finished stitching it all together we had a few days out - just me and the Bun's. Eldest was booked in for a couple of days basketball and then they cancelled it all at the last minute. Little Bun and I had an outing planned with friends and they had to cancel too so I thought something good was needed to cheer them both up. 

I packed up a picnic and took them on a Mystery tour.


We ended up at a water garden (which was once a huge private estate). After a wander along wooded paths, over bridges, along riversides and shaking a cute bum we ended up at a mooring on the broads.


I'd booked for a boat trip around the broad to see a bit of this and that. There were quite a few birdies, which I do like, but I don't get this whole bird watching thing so I was more interested in the waterside cottages with their boathouses. We argued for a bit about which home we wanted to buy - Eldest went for hugely grand mock old thatch pile, I went for the one that looked like it should be condemned and Little Bun preferred the small cosy cottage.

We had a great day mucking about together and just being. The next day the sun actually shone and it was hot. Eldest had a friend over for the day, so I took them all to a stately pile for a wander and to go around the maze for the 100th time since we've lived here. 


On the way back we stopped to pick raspberries for tea and ooh and aah over the baby Bantams there.  Felt like summer was properly here after that.


Today we bought summer toe nail paint. That was after the saga of the blocked loo and me putting all the wrong numbers in my online banking so now it's blocked. Great timing just when I need to transfer money to pay all the bills. Wondering if the lime will glow in the dark?


I managed to fit in a spot of crochet in the garden later on with the ladies dashing circles around me. I had a quick flick through the new library books and am itching to get started on this bag.


Mind you the kitchen curtains are still waiting in a basket to be sewn up and I've also added another thing to the wants to be made pile. I've decided to try out hexie making with a cushion first. 


I was making up a wallet for my Dad  (he was really impressed with the teachers gifts and asked if he could have one too for all his stuff when he goes to the Dr's) I thought the boat, spot and star with a few others thrown in would make a perfect hexie cushion for the bathroom. We have a lovely Lloyd Loom chair in there which Alfie thinks is his while we end up sitting on the floor. Plans are to get him a mini Lloyd chair of his own and then I can be bothered to make a lovely cushion if I we win our chair back.


While I was at it I made myself a wallet so I can take making stuff out and about with me.


Aswell as all that I've been getting all sorts of stuff sorted so I can properly have a few days off starting tommorow. Written a to do list for Mr Bun, reminded him he needs to squeeze plums daily as they're nearly good and soft and to change the bed if he lets Alfie sleep in it (I bet all rules go out of the window with that spoilt Pug when I'm not around to be stern and scary. I'eve uploaded a huge ebay listing to pay the garage bill, finally done my tax return (albeit hideously late, but done all the same), booked trips for my new students for the next few weeks and started the Pick 'n' Mix Makers Market ball rolling again for christmas. Phew - been putting all of this off for last two weeks and then done it all in two days. I'm always last minute.

The girls and me are having a few days with my mum staying at hers. Normally we go away, but with my dad's health not so good it's better that we'll be around a bit for him. First trip planned is tacky seaside funfair, hot doughnuts and candyfloss. Can't wait.

Before I head off I thought these books might be helpful for all quilty novices like me. Cuckoo asked if I could let her know a good one. Well the Emma Hardy is great as it has loads of small learn how to do it things inside. The other one is the Jane Brockett book which is just fabulous to look at and how she writes she could make reading about loo rolls interesting. I'd say just jump in though and work it out as you go along, make up your own rules and have fun. 

Righty o - see you all in a few days or so.