Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Wonderful Wessex

Hello everyone.  Hope you all enjoyed a lovely, restful Bank Holiday weekend?  But is it really over already?  Ah, yes, I suppose it is.  Never long enough, are they?  Anyway, not complaining as we had a really lovely weekend in Somerset and Dorset.  

When we arrived back from our holidays a few weeks ago, a very exciting package was awaiting us.  A certain small person in the HenHouse has been begging for a while to have some fun with it in the garden.  We bundled it into the back of the car and set off Westwards with it.  

What is that Munchkin up to?

Well, he's a Red Indian, of course!  And where do Red Indians live?  In a tipi, oh yes indeed.  And with Hen as your mummy, it happens to be a rather flowery one!

(Goodness knows what he's on about there!)

We had a great time, dragging every cushion and blanket we could find into the tipi to make our den.  I made the scrappy cushion in this month's issue of Sew Hip magazine (although I haven't taken a proper photo of it for you yet), and thought it was hysterical when I finished it, it is so enormous, about 30" square.  It was only when I realised how big the tipi is (ably put up by Mr HenHouse, all those boy scout skills coming in useful), that even the gigantic cushion seemed dwarfed.  Off we went to the car booty on Sunday, adding a lovely Witney pure wool blanket and a patchwork cushion to our cosy collection (oh, and a fab vintage deckchair and tray table, more of that later on).

Come early evening and with the light fading, there was still no dragging the Munchkin back indoors! 

I apparently, was not a very good Red Indian.  Bit difficult when your aim is to spend as much time as possible horizontal on the blankets, head propped up on a cushion, reading the Ladybird Knitting book!  I did have a rather nice view though.

Can you just see the little deckchair in that photo above?  We bought this from the Yeovil car boot sale on Sunday.  We had one of those rare, much dreamed about moments when you come across a stall full of items from a house clearance.  I get very excited at this point, pulse starts racing; you know the feeling!  In this instance, a lady was selling all of her mother's things.  We bought that little stripey, metal framed deckchair, the aforementioned cushion and blanket, a load of stripey pillowcases and sheets, other bits and bobs, and then, this beauty...

Well, the photos don't really do it justice but I just LOVE this!  It made a very cute and handy little table in our tipi.  It has little metal legs which fold out underneath.  Honestly, this made my booting year so far!

The peonies you can see on the little table are from our garden here in London.  The garden looks a spectacular mess at the moment for several reasons (won't bore you with those) but these, my favourite flower (well, except roses, lupins and so on!) are flowering their little heads off.  I couldn't bear to leave them behind last Friday, knowing they'd probably have finished flowering by the time we were back home last night, so there I was, scissors in hand like a mad woman, when I really should already have been on the road with the many other weekend escapees!

Now, something else from the boot fair to show you.  I saw this on one of the first stalls but upon asking, felt it was rather out of my price range.  The lady selling it did invite me to come back later on and make an offer.  Well, several hours later (it is a BIG boot fair), it was still calling to me so a bit of haggling had to be done and a few minutes later, it was in the boot of our car, destined for a new home with us!

Ta dah!!!

Yes, it is a fabby picnic set.  The leather strap to the lid needs a little repair so that it can hold in the plates once more, but otherwise, it is full of its original, now vintage, goodies:  4 flowery china plates, saucers and tea cups, plastic beakers, more plates, cruet, flask, glass bottles and jars, proper metal cutlery and so on.

Loving this too!  I lovingly washed it all and packed it with a picnic for Monday, thinking of all the lovely photos I'd be able to take of us having lunch, to show you.  Ah, but the weather had other ideas!

On to Monday now and a few photos for you.  Despite having to eat the picnic in the boot of the car(!), we enjoyed ourselves at the Abbey Hill Steam Rally in Yeovil.  I won't bore you with photos of tractors, but how about these lovely Moggies?

And a few traction engines, they are vintage tractors after all.

Plenty of the promised steam going on!

The traction engine in action, sawing logs the old fashioned way.

And finally, another vintage find for you now. Not from a car boot sale this one (I wish!) but still a very good buy on eBay. It arrived all bundled up this morning and so before going out to several very dull appointments, I sat in my den mending a little rip in the eiderdown so that I'd be able to safely wash it later on. And what did I find upon my return?

Aaaarrrgghhhh! What is it that my cats seem to think I have good money to spend on very luxurious cat beds?!

Well, I must get on now, quite a few projects waiting for me.  Back soon...


  1. Hi there, that tipi is amazing...where did you get it from? My little one would love something like that in the garden. She is always making den's with my folding clothes airer. Lovely boot fair finds too, the picnic set in particular, well done you! Dev X

  2. Well you all had a great time. The picnic set look fab. Love the tipi.

  3. Beautiful photos of the tipi (with the light behind it - how lovely!) and of all your finds! That picnic set is just incredible. At one of my first ever Vide Greniers I came across one of the house clearance stands you mention, but I was too inexperienced to really realise that I was looking at the entire contents of a 1920s-50s French house. I still bought one lovely container, but I wish I could go back there with all I know now!

  4. What great finds - love the little folding tray and your peonies are fantastic - very jealous of that teepee too! Want one for myself right now!

  5. love the tipi.. what an amazing thing as a child to possess!!!

  6. Love those photos and the bootie bargains are just great. I've got a similar picnic hamper in green, but is much smaller than your's
    Roll on the weekend for a trip to the boot sale!

  7. The little tray is so cute :)


  8. What a great weekend you appear to have had! Love the tipi and the view from it! x

  9. Hi hen,love your loot from the boot,especially the little tray with the roses.How lovely to lie in the Tipi reading books.Love the view from it too1
    Rachel x

  10. Well what a busy time you all have had. Love the little folding table. My mum had one of those when I was little for our camping trips.

  11. Goodness we nearly went to that weekend do! our neighbours drove there on their 5 vintage fordson tractors,we waved them off cheering they looked so jolly!
    I love the picnic set,a lovely find :o)
    GTM x

  12. Looks like you had a lovely weekend, they do seem to fly by when you're enjoying them, don't they??
    Love the tipi, looks a lovely place to relax, and what fun your 'Munchkin' will have in it.
    I remember my Auntie had one of those trays, wonder what happened to it??
    Great finds at the boot sale, wish I was as lucky!!
    Linda O xx

  13. What a fab weekend!
    I had a wigwam when I was very young..I loved to take all my books... and a drink etc.. and spend the whole afternoon simply enjoying myself. Your son looks like he is loving every minute!

  14. Hi Hen always love your blog - have you as one of my faves. I particularly enjoy your booting and thrifting finds. Just started blogging myself and loving it. What a lovely community you all are!


  15. Far too many nice things to comment on... how lucky are you finding those lovely things!!
    The tipi is huge, what a great way to spend the afternoon. So you have the ladybird knitting book as well?? I've been looking for one for a long time but it never comes up. I'm going now as I turning a nasty shade of green...LOL!!!!
    Your cats are so naughty! :)x

  16. The photos of the tipi sure bring back memories of raising four sons! Love this post! Wonderful photos!

  17. Beautiful peonies! Glad you rescued them in their early bloom.

    Your car boot luck is fabulous.

    Just have the notion that all this traveling you've been doing is about to result in all sorts of creative stuff at your HenHouse.


  18. What a wonderful garden!

  19. What an absolutely fabulous weekend and what great car booty! Your peonies are gorgeous. I always dreamed of growing them in Australia but the climate was too harsh and now that I live in a milder climate we are too close to the sea and they suffer salt burn! Oh well I will just have to buy them at the flowers stalls and keep on dreaming.

  20. Cool tipi, where did you get it? Your munchkin looks great as a Native American. I know he's interested in Cowboys, but the history of the Native American tribes is really interesting - maybe in a few years!

  21. I love seeing photos of your Little Munchkin he is always so happy and having fun... who wouldn't in the lovely flowery tipi!!

    I have one of the trays like yours hidden amongst my gems.

    The picnic set is lovely

    Victoria x

  22. looks like you had a fab weekend!
    love your picnic basket, i want one like that! lol

    Rose XXX

  23. What a great weekend..super finds as well!Love the moggy pics, I used to have one called Cyril but he got so rusty I had to sell him...ooh how I'd love another! Have a great week.


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