Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Chilled Out Country

Ah yes, that's what we've been for the last few days.  Spending four and a half hours getting to the country in mile after mile of traffic did not exactly help but once we arrived at our little country idyll, large breaths of fresh air were taken in and the wind-down from the stresses of city living commenced...

It's that time of year again.  I just had to make the couple of miles trip along the lanes to my favourite flower seller.  None other than an elderly gentleman who never fails to thrill me with his display of stunning dahlias at the end of his driveway, all on beautifully long cut stems, holding their perfect pompom or spectacularly spiky heads aloft (for the record, the Munchkin's favourites are the spiky ones, mummy's are definitely the pompoms).  I just adore them and at 25p per stem, I could easily buy the whole lot!  Steady on, Hen.

I find them fascinating in their painterly perfection...

Oooh, my fave!

Elsewhere in the cottage, the recently thrifted Horlick's Mixer has found a fitting home on the kitchen shelves, next to Mr HH's fabby "England's Gold" beer which I've sort of borrowed. (Brewed by the great, local Dorset-based "Badger" beer company, actually Hall & Woodhouse.)

So, after a busy but fruitful trip to Totnes on Saturday and a lovely chat in one of the many tea rooms with fellow blogger and Vintage & Handmade Fair gal, Sal, Mr HH ventured off into Devon on Sunday to play cricket.  Ah, peace!  The Munchkin was happily playing with his farm in his bedroom (ever seen a farm with meerkats alongside the friesians?) and for once, I was not unhappy to tackle the washing up.  Not when it meant the chance to play with all my recently acquired (hoarded?) vintage china. Some of it was so dirty I was a bit unsure it would ever come clean but my new/old pals did not disappoint and it was lovely to scrub all the decades of grime away and watch the true beauty unfold...

I packed it all away in my new (old) basket.  I paid £15 for the basket at one of the specialist stalls at the 40's weekend.  At the time, I slightly baulked at the thought of spending £15 on a vintage item (I'm always dreaming I'll pick them up at the car boot for mere pence!) but it really is such a large, flat-based useful size, I'm so pleased I bought it. Perfect to protect all my goodies until I can make use of them.

Golly, still peaceful, everyone occupied happily doing their own crickety or meerkatty things, so I retired to the sofa to finish off my recent crafting project, some pretty lavender bags from patchworked vintage fabrics.  Having stuffed them all with gloriously fragrant lavender, I needed to blindstitch all the little openings closed.  I get a bit bothered when I see this sloppily done on a machine but each to their own, I suppose!

These ones combine a vintage printed tablecloth, gorgeous vintage fabric from Donna Flower (oh my, it took guts to cut into that one) and some more lovely vintage fabric from the Bridport rag market...

Whilst these ones combine a vintage embroidered tablecloth and more pretty vintage fabrics from the Bridport rag market (and possibly elsewhere - well, you've seen the size of my stash!)...

They can take a back stage seat now, waiting for their moment in the spotlight in November!

Mr HH very kindly got up at an unearthly hour to catch the train back to the city on Monday morning, leaving the Munchkin and I slumbering away.  This meant we were able to set off in the car somewhat later on and we just happened to do a bit of charity shop visiting on the way! Thrifty finds tomorrow...


  1. Good morning!
    Your lavender bags look fantastic!
    Is your CK sofa one of your crafts?
    It's incredible!

  2. Sounds like the perfect weekend! I still have loads of lavender to rub off the stems - not my favourite task. Your lavender bags look beautiful!

    Pomona x

  3. You look like you are already unwinding, you lavender bags are lovely.At work we have quite a lot of lavender shrubs which I will be raiding in a couple of weeks time.

  4. Those green teacups with the pattern insidere just gorgeous - a great find!
    I love the way you put together different fabrics - they always sit so well beside each other.
    P x

  5. Sounds wonderful, I love just pottering about. I wish I could do the same at the moment, I've taken a last minute day off today because I have palpitations through sheer exhaustion at all the work I've been doing. Think I might take a leaf out of your book! :-)

    Love the basket and the china!

  6. What a lovely weekend you all had!
    Those dahlias are so pretty, aren't they?
    The lavender bags look great, and your choice of materials go so well, you have such a good eye for mixing.
    Love the basket of china, almost look to good to use!!!
    Linda O xx

  7. Well,when you got on to the train, I hope they had room in the luggage compartment for all your 'finds' in Totty..is all I can say really! ;-)

  8. I think even I wouldn't have minded washing up so many pretties!

    Victoria xx

  9. We also have a local Dahlia grower - conveniently on the way to the post office so it's easy to stop & buy. It's amazing how many different varieties there are.

    The lavender bags are very pretty & I do agree - I always hand sew closings - so much neater!


  10. I love your lavender bags I know I will be looking out for them at the V&H fair. Your basket with the blue handle is lovely, I really like those old baskets, I have a red one and a green one. I use one to store all my folded tea towels in the kitchen and another to store my washing powders and bottles in my utility room .
    Ann x

  11. Hello Hen!
    Ohhh...lovely pictures of your cute cottage...I feel like a good rest, however got a bouncing 9mth old due any min now, also a carboot to prep for...My Sister is doing one tomorrow, so having a really good sort out!

    I have the thing I promised all ready to go...
    Thought I'd wait till you arrived home....

    Take care

  12. I love Dahlias - The spikey ones always remind me of th sunshine drawn by children, and I love the pompom ones too. One day I'm going to make the Dahlia Quilt! Have you ever seen it? I love the Lavender Bags.
    Munchkin - it is perfectly OK to have Meerkats alongside Freesians, some people have Ostrichs on farms!!

  13. The dahlias are so pretty, I can understand why you get them from there!
    I have to admit that my jealously has resurfaced upon seeing your gorgeous lamp again! x

  14. dahlias are wonderful aren't they? Totnes - everyone keeps telling me to go there - is it worth the trip? Someone said I'd love it - that I should perhaps even live there! xxx

  15. Beautiful fabrics...I love the little rose squares on beige..stunning!

  16. Hi Hen,
    the Dahlias are stunning,and such a bargain! Very pretty vintage china too!
    I'm working on some lavender sachets myself on this soggy day!
    Rachel x

  17. I love blindstitching, so satisfying to see it all come together neatly :) Your lavender bags look lovely.

    V envious of your china finds, they are all gorgeous!

    Mel xxx

  18. Loving those flowers, so full of happiness.

  19. Hi Hen,

    My you have been busy!
    You new/old teacups are wonderful!
    You are very lucky to have a house down there in the west country, I recently holiday'd in cornwall and was so sad to come home! Bridport in particular is so lovely...

    Your lavender bags look great :-)

    Rose XXX

  20. I love Dahlias. We never seem to see enough of them around. The patchwork lavender bags look delightful with such lovely fabric combinations. x

  21. The flowers are beautiful...such huge blooms! I love your vintage china and the little handkerchief idea is wonderful! I love everything you do...always so cheery!

  22. those flowers are stunning I love them :-)
    also loving the lavender bags they look so pretty and i bet smell delicious !
    hope your surviving the hols - i will give you a call later in the week to catch up :-)

  23. The dahlias are gorgeous and your weekend sounded perfect to me.

  24. Looks like a lovely chilled out weekend, how nice to meet up with Sal. Bags are lovely, looking forward to seeing your finds. How long are you at the cottage? :)x

  25. I love you're big basket with the blue handle. It was worth every penny.

  26. The dahlias are simply gorgeous! Love the white one with a hint of lavender on the edges.

    On a sewing note...when closing openings, I always blind stitch, much neater :)

  27. Oh wow your dahlias are amazing! Love the new crafts and that flat bottomed basket too! G

  28. Beautiful Lavender bags! I'm so impressed you could bring yourself to cut into your Donna Flower fabric, wow! Still, it was worth it, because they look fab.We used to have a little man selling Dahlias like that, but since his shop went to his son, that tradition no longer exists, such a shame.
    Love Vanessa xxx 9do you mind if i knit)

  29. Thanks for stopping by, it's been ages since I've blogged.
    Love the basket.
    I have some more of that ck fabric in my stash if you would like some, I could probably spare half a metre if you fancy it, maybe we could do a fabric swap?

  30. Hi Hen!

    The Dahlia's are amazing, no other word can describe!

    Lavender bags look extremely pretty too.

    I've just started a new business online, we have a nice selection of vintage fabric with more to come soon. The reason I thought I'd mention is we even have a vintage Dahlia piece.

    You have a lovely eye for design. Really enjoy your blog.



  31. Thanks Hen! It's definitely in the Do Not Touch category, that's why it's in my bedroom where there is more chance of survival ;)

    Mel xxx

  32. Oh, the dahlias are perfect! I love roadside flower stands, reminds me of one from our trip to Maine. And your teacup collection is so wonderful! I passed up a teacup lot at an auction (on the same trip) and I can't stop thinking about them!

  33. hi hen,
    i really like your lampshade and the couch of course. i can't get enough of sky blue with roses. the plates all lined up together make another lovely picture as well.
    ♥ Rebecca

  34. p.s. that pink dahlia is just absolutely perfect.

  35. Hi Hen,
    Your lavender bags look just adorable a so do your china plates and cups.

  36. Hi
    Ihave left you an e-mail I'D Love to have a chat I'm often in Somerset I meet up with Jennie from Buttercupand troses .


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