Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Dramatic Skies

There were some amazing skies this morning as I drove round the M42.  It put me in mind of this picture which I took during our October holiday in the Brecon Beacons.  There was some fantastically bright sunshine and interesting cloud.  I took this picture as the sun was setting behind the place where we were staying.  It was pure luck that it turned out this way... I don't have a fancy camera where you can tweak all the settings.  I'd love to learn how to take pictures properly and remove the element of chance!

I've spent a bit of time over the last few days trying to get my lovely husband to make some decisions about holidays next year.  The Brecon Beacons are practically on my doorstep but it's an area we've largely ignored until very recently.  I'd love to go back again and do some more walking.  I also have a fancy for going somewhere warm for a bit.  Husband says that he doesn't mind.... I always find him somewhere nice!  Grrrr... Talk about 'giving up all responsibility'!

Monday, 21 November 2011

More than a Cookbook

I found this fabulous Crabtree and Evelyn Cookbook from 1989 in a second hand bookshop in Pershore on Saturday. 
It's in fabulous condition and I couldn't resist the beautifully eclectic range of photos and images that are used to illustrate the text.  Every page is a surprise.  Here are a couple of examples -
I'm afraid my camera and artificial light don't really do the book justice.  It's orginal retail price was £15.95.  A lot of money in 1989, I think! 

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Glasses and other things

These are some wine glasses that I also found while we were poking around in an 'Antiques Centre' in Leominster.  Like my sweet little china bowl, they have no manufacturers mark so they didn't cost a fortune.  Now I have three pairs of cut glass wine glasses that are similar enough to work well together on the table, but retain that pleasantly "pulled together" feel of a vintage collection.  My old petrol glasses (c.1995) have gone to the local Blue Cross Shop. 

Since the summer I have a giftaid card for Blue Cross.  I'm a bit hazy about the maths and the processes, but it seems that they can claim tax back on my donations.  As part of the system they've already sent me one e-mail telling me how much my donations have raised.  Having spent my life with rescue cats, I like the fact that my tax can be claimed to provide animal welfare.

Monday, 14 November 2011

A real bargain

I found this for £1.99 in Hay on Wye on the same day that I found the bedside cabinet.  It doesn't have any manufacturer's mark - hence the really cheap price - but I thought it was too pretty to resist!  I'm using it as a tealight holder.  It's very fine china and the candlelight makes it glow.
Today was pretty grim at work - so it's nice to spend a bit of time thinking about the nicer things in life!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

A Sunny Sunday Walk

My little corner of Worcestershire has been looking particularly lovely this weekend.  I ended up in Pershore yesterday afternoon - just as the sun came out and warmed the mellow stone of the Abbey.  I was so cross with myself that I'd left my camera at home!  I wasn't going to make the same mistake twice so here are a few pics from our Sunday afternoon walk..
It was difficult to get the exposure right - but this is the walk across the fields to the garden centre where we had lunch.
Then we took the longer route home, via the canal bank and our peaceful country lanes....
Hopefully we've done enough to recharge our batteries for another week of motorway madness and urban chaos.  You can all tell where I'd rather be!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Kirstie Makes it Look So Easy

I was so pleased with the effect of the new little table in the back room that I decided to see if I could get something vintage/secondhand to bring order to part of my teddy bear collection in the front bedroom.  To be honest I haven't done a great deal to the house for several years (long and complicated story) and it was increasingly feeling like we were camping out in the space rather than living in it as grown ups.  Anyway, I naively thought that I'd be able to wander into another vintage shop and there my perfect peice of furniture would be - right size, right colour and right price!  Oh no...
Problem number one is that I'm creating my little haven of vintage in a smallish modern house.  Obviously most pieces are just too big.  Problem number two is that I'm not a very confident woman with a paintbrush and I was completely put off by things the wrong colour.  Problem number three was the sheer amount of time involved in travelling round my part of the West Midlands finding the kind of shops that might, remotely have what I was looking for.  I can't help feeling that Kirstie makes it look a bit easy in her 'Handmade Home' programmes!
Anyway, there is a happy ending to this rant.  I found the perfect bear 'house' at the back of a shop in Leominster.  The 20 year old IKEA bookcase that the bears sat on before has moved down the road to my sisters.  Nothing has been wasted.
All I need now is a nice little bedside cabinet for this room.....

Happy teddies in the corner of the bedroom!!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

A lovely vintage find

At the beginning of the halfterm holiday I took my parents and my Mum's cousin to Hay on Wye.  I found this cute little bedside table in the back of one of the antique/vintage/junk shops.  It's been recently repainted and looks fantastic in my back bedroom.  It's hard to see from the photo but pretty much everything in this pic is either second hand, clearance or a much loved object from a long time ago.  The lamp, for example, was a wedding present from BHS back in 1990.  I've still got a scatter cushion and duvet cover in the same pattern.  Unfortunately, after years and years of washing, the duvet has become rather faded and thin but I still use it in the summer because it all looks so pretty.  BHS did some really nice quality stuff.  Our local store became a Primark.  Not the same......!
The books under the lamp are two of my favourites ~ French Women Don't Get Fat and A French Women for All Seasons.  They are both hardback but only cost a couple of pounds each from a local charity shop.  Even if they didn't go so well with the colour scheme I'd still have them next to the bed.  They are books that I constantly dip into and re-read.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

If Only...

If only the picture behind my title was the view from my kitchen window...  In reality its a photo I took over the summer while we were enjoying the miles of beautiful pathways in the Welsh Marches.  We stayed in a studio by the river Teme in Ludlow and walked for miles along the Mortimer Trail and other linking tracks.  We came home feeling really healthy and relaxed - the perfect holiday.

This is another photo taken on the same day.  It's a view from the hills near a village called Lingen, looking towards mid-Wales.  A perfect walking day!

I tried blogging before but 'came unstuck' because I couldn't work out what I really wanted to blog about.  I've taken a break and come back with clearer ideas.  Hopefully the new title says it all!!!!