Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Let Loose

I dislike starting posts with an apology (my old boss told me never to apologise, that's lawyers for you!) but I am apologising for the quality of today's photos.  It seems the sun is either ultra radiant and bleaching everything out one minute or gone in and all dull the next.  Add into this my poor photography skills and I haven't done justice to today's subject matter.  That's today's self-flagellation over with; shall we move on?  Mustn't complain about the sunshine, oh no, that can hang around as long as it likes.

My sister (the one of the three who likes all the fabric, sewing, crafting and stuff just like I do) and I often write to each other and we usually do so in a pretty card which we're always looking out for on our travels.  We also have a penchant for decorating the envelope rather gaily; the post room at my old office used to think this was hysterical (especially when she stuck a photo of my head atop a wonderbra model!  A girl can dream.)  Here is this week's particularly lovely card.  We usually include some interesting magazine clippings and bits 'n' pieces.  As you can see, flowers and particularly roses, play a big part.

She had included this cutting for me on all things flowery.

Talking of all things flowery, whilst I was uploading photographs from my mobile 'phone today, this one popped up and I want to share it with you because it's sooooo gorgeous.  On our usual rambling to the cider farm in Somerset, some time ago now, we happened across a sign for home grown asparagus at a little farm.  We pulled in to purchase some and found that the farmer has a love for peonies (what a man!)  Aren't they just beautiful and where else have you seen 7 stunning peony stems for sale at just £3?  For those of you who attended the V&H Fair (and have good memories) the peonies I bought (after much anguished choosing between the various divine bunches) were on my table there.

Now, onto the "let loose" element of this post.  Today, I was let loose in...

Oh no, I can hear Mr HenHouse slapping his forehead in anguish and wondering why he didn't confiscate my purse this morning!

Want to come along to Liberty with me?

Tweet tweet!  I'm going to be making myself one of those, oh yes indeedy.

Beautiful millinery flowers and ribbons galore.

Cute little birdies.  I imagine they are papier mache inside but they have fabric on the outside. (£75 each.)

My purchases eventually made, I always venture downstairs to the chocolate shop because that Mr HH of mine is in love with the Chocolate Society's Hokey Pokey (the chocolate coated honeycomb) they sell there and I do find that presenting him with a bag of the same tends to deflect attention from the other purchases in the infamous purple bag.

Anyone for (choccy) cake?

Maybe Mr Cath K will buy his missus a choccy Stanley?!

Back in the cool airy safety of the HenHouse and the den, want to look inside the bag?

Ooooh, eeeek, it's tooooo exciting.  Today, I enjoyed myself in the Liberty fabric section, amongst the totally tantalising tana lawns.  To be fair, I have hardly any Liberty fabric so I bought a little selection, so I would have some choice you understand, when I actually come to cutting into it and making something.  Some flower-shaped buttons jumped in too, to keep them company.

I love getting home and "playing" with my fabric purchases.  I know you share this love, dear readers!

As I heaved rolls of tana around like a demented woman, I realised there was a fair bit of pink going on.  Ok, it was all pink.  So, I was very good and chose a few blues, purples and a few other shades.  I know: selfless.

I only made it to one other shop which was John Lewis.  There I treated myself to a new cookery book, just couldn't help it once I'd looked inside.  It is from the famous Hummingbird Bakery and is full of the most delicious looking cakes, muffins and cookies.  The Munchkin whiled away a good half hour looking at this when he got home from school.  Let's just say, the list of requests is long!

Not only do the recipes look great, but all the other pages do too.  I could almost eat them!

I'll let you know how I'm getting on with the recipes soon (the diet starts next week - AGAIN)!


  1. I love what you and your sister do!! How exciting for you, whenever you recieve one of her cards!

  2. Loved the virtual shopping trip x

  3. Looks like a delightfully wonderful day to me! Liberty - can't by it here in MO. Sad face. ~Kelly

  4. You lucky girl - all shopped out. A little too hot for shopping for me though.

    I have that scrummy looking book on my wish list at Amazon - I may now go and put it in my basket. It is one of the problems of living in a foreign country, you don't get to look inside the books you purchase you just have to go off the cover, when you use Amazon. Hey-ho - thanks for the recommendation. Now off to sit in front of the fan!

  5. Liberty is fantastic isn't it..but so pricey! i always go for a snoop when I'm in London. They used to have a small but beautifully formed millinery section there years ago but it's now gone....the flower shop outside is lovely too. Great purchases!

  6. Oh fantastic - so lucky to buy all that fabric at Liberty! I love their buttons too! Looking forward to seeing how you get on with your new book - you always make such amazing goodies! G

  7. How lovely to get such pretty things through the post. Email is great, but a letter is something special.
    Lisa x

  8. Hi Hen, how lovely to do that with your sister! Loving your gorgeous fabrics! can you believe I have never been to Liberty! It's on my 'to do' list!
    Rachel x

  9. what a lovely day, the liberty fabrics are so gorgeous. Will be watching out to see what you turn them into! I love reading your happy posts. thanks

  10. No apology necessary! All your things are always so lovely. I envy your exchanges with your sister. My mother and her sister wrote to each other at least once a week for more than 60 years (until my mother died).

  11. I am having palpitations just looking at all that beautiful Liberty fabric Hen. And my diets and exercise routines always start "next week" too!!!

  12. what a fab day, love love love your fabric choice!

  13. Lovely fabric, the cakes look great too, I love Stanley!
    How nice to write to your sister, so much better then emails. :)

  14. Gorgeous, gorgeous Tana Lawn. Sounds like a heavenly afternoon to me. When we moved from London to the country I had to have a special clause written into the agreement with Mr.Lane that I could have a monthly fix at Liberty! He is a lovely boy!

    Loving the Hummingbird cookery book, I just bought Sophie Dahl's new book, well worth a look too!

    Love S x

  15. Adele have been so kind to send you that lovely magazine page with all those dresses...hope you'll find some inspirations for your new fabrics, they are very pretty especially the white one printed with hibiscus!
    And hope to see soon of those yummy cakes...But I don't think you need that book..your so good at baking!

  16. Liberty fabrics are such fabulous quality aren't they?

    Diet? What's that?????


  17. Oh yummy wonderful Liberty fabrics, I haven't been let loose in there for years. Anyway I thought you might like to know that the fabric bird houses and probably those £75 fabric birds are made by an artist called Tamar Mogendorff :)

  18. Don't know what you mean about your photos, they look fab to me, and very colourful! We're so harsh on ourselves aren't we! This post is so exciting hen, you've given us so many visual treats!
    I LOVE the idea of the post you and your sister send to each other............... can I be cheeky, and ask to join in sending you stuff? I love using the post, rather than virtual post, love receiving it too!
    I was rather excited to see your fabric choices! I've got some of those patterns too. The quality of that fabric is heavenly, isn't it? And the patterns are just exquisite! I must admit, I didn't have your selflessness, I just stuck to the pink fabrics! Whether I'll use it is a different matter, because when I think about cutting it up, I feel I'd be committing some sort of bizarre crime. Then again, you cutting it up for one of your gorgeous creations would be a different matter entirely!
    Maybe you should be submitting your work to liberty's to sell hey?
    And the man with the Peonies! Now that is a man I could secretly fall in love with, platonically of course! Those buckets of Peonies actually got my heart RACING! Yes racing with excitement. Stopped myself from drooling over the key board luckily.
    Hen, I don't know if I've ever said how much I love your posts have I? Well I do, they're always brilliant, funny, and visually exciting. Just had to say that!
    Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

  19. OHHH.... Ilove the day soon, I'll be there!

    The fabric is wonderful, such great colours!x

  20. What lovely fabric, I adore Liberty. Possibly the nicest shop in Britain.

    Anyway, it seems the perfect time to invite you to join my VQB:

    Take a look and then see if you're in! Have a lovely day. Claire

  21. Hi Hen,

    I think you were very restrained!
    I spent I fortune in between Liberty's, Lewis's and Selfridges this week!

    I don't get up there V often so felt it was ok to treat myself... lol

    Love the purchases!

    Rose XXX

  22. Liberty has been very popular with us bloggers this week! I was there only Tuesday.

    I've borrowed the Hummingbird Bakery from the library and reluctantly return it and put it straight on my Amazon wish list. The writers are doing a signing at Selfridges in a few weeks so I'm going to pop down and get my book then I think!

    Victoria xx

    PS My mum and I leave newspaper and magazine clippings on each other's bed to read like your sister and you do.

  23. ooo is it expensive to buy fabric from Liberty? I want some...

  24. I got this book out of the book people for £5.99 a few weeks ago - have just made the choc chip cookies this morning - yummy! Emma Bridgewater sale started online this morning and there is a whisper that the boden sale might start tomorrow - thought you'd like a heads up!

  25. I love your blog so, so much..... (Just needed to get that out of the way!)

    Fabrics are bee-yoo-ti-ful - is it strange that I desperately want to sniff them?!?

  26. Beautiful post Hen. Your posts always inspire me. I must get my hands on one of those cook books at some stage. x

  27. Hi Hen,
    Just doing a spot of catching-up on how the time flies...I've been somewhat snowed-under with things...
    Anyway, lovely to read your post, which sparked a few memories for me. I did my college work experience in the display dept. of Libertys, MANY years ago...such a wondeful place...but I haven't been back since :(
    The fabric dept. is the best, isn't it? - I love the pretty selection that you came home with.
    Happy Crafting,

  28. What gorgeous peonies and the fabric is lovely, thanks for the virtual shopping trip.

  29. Gorgeous photos, as usual, however, I have a question. How do you upload photos from your phone???? I have some nice photos of my lovely boy on my phone, and don't know how to get them off. Any suggestions will be gratefully received.

    Thanks, Jacqueline

  30. What lovely material and the cakes in the book look scrumptious.

    How lovely you and your sister keep in touch that way. I wish my sister would want to keep in touch with me, but sadly despite my efforts it is not to be. YOu are very lucky,

  31. Everything I've made from the Hummingbird book has been delicious if I say so myself. I ignore the instructions and kind of do my own thing using the ingredients they suggest. Life's too short to clean a food processor. Enjoy whatever you make.

    Lisa x

  32. How lovely that you and your sister still correspond through the post, there is nothing nicer than getting something lovely through the letter box - well maybe a trip to Liberty comes close!

  33. I LOVE Liberty! my fave shop ever...
    and what a great selection of fabrics you picked up! x

  34. This post brought back sweet memories for me..
    My mother would often take me to Liberty's and Hamleys when I was a child.. and she made me the most beautiful Liberty Lawn dress edged with Belgian lace when I was 13 years old..
    I love more than anything to stand at the top ..or bottom of the stairwell and look down through all the different departments.... Really is time I paid a has been years.

    Thanks for bringing the store to me...

    Michele x


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