Tuesday, 29 September 2009


The ability to buy pretty garden-type flowers has disappeared from London. Not a dahlia nor an aster in sight. Anywhere. I'd probably fare better in the West Country but until then, I'm brightening up the house with some potted plants. Shock horror, how very grannyish! Well, maybe not...

Do you think my "hot pink plant" is grannyish?

Or what about my little kalanchoe (crocheted jar cover courtesy of Lucy).

Ok, there's probably a hint of granny about the little cloth and the flowery china but I LIKE granny! In fact, never mind "Bazaar Style" and "Flea Market Style", when is someone bringing out "Granny Style"?!

There's been a spot of making, of course. The lovely Mrs Bobo Bun had whipped up a pretty trivet following the pattern in the super "Quilting in No Time" and with a spare hour yesterday evening, I thought I'd follow her lead.

I think this is not the correct size. The annoying thing about the book is that all the pattern templates need to be enlarged (which I think is pretty unforgivable given they are quite small anyway). Lacking a photocopier on hand as the average household does, I decided to enlarge the triangle myself and unsurprisingly, my rudimentary maths led me to a not-quite-large-enough triangle. No matter, still useful and jolly. It's an easy pattern though hand stitching the binding is quite time consuming but nothing an hour in front of the telly after dinner can't sort out.

Outside, there's more potty stuff after I attacked the patio on Sunday in a clearing and tidying frenzy. My dahlia which I bought from Perch Hill is flowering once more and looking rather eye-catchingly pretty.

So, it was out with all the half dead annuals and in with the Autumnal pansies and violas with their sweet little faces.

Shame the resident squirrel seems to be so fond of digging in my newly planted pots and unearthing all my carefully planted bulbs. Thanks for that, Mr Nutkin! I have a couple of these cute little "orange trees" as I like to call them which my clever mum has grown from little cuttings but I'm keeping those to go in the pots once the geraniums have finished. These really signal the change of the season to me, I invariably have them either side of our front door by Christmas time.

And I'm still picking. We've had lots of lovely sunshine and the late tomatoes are ripening nicely.

Meanwhile, one sign that it really is sunny and pleasant outdoors is that Charlie Boy has roused himself from his slumber (on the woollen Witney blanket I found at the car boot which was not actually meant to be for him) to venture outdoors. Crikey!

Not another photo, mum.

Hmm, I sense I am not the only kitty here. Who's that big ginge trying to hide under the table? He's nabbed a cushion too.

Whack! You can't hide from me!

Seemingly, Jacky Ginge was not up for a scrap today so Charles headed back off to his beloved Witney.

In the living room, there's something new to show you. Whilst staying with my folks in Chester, I found this groovy sheet of wrapping paper and decided to give it a whirl in this frame. I think it looks rather good.

Of course, there's been more stitchy action in the den. I came across a couple of lovely fabrics I'd ordered from America a while back and wanted to make something with them. What does a girl need? Funky shopping bags, that's what. Off to the shops then...



  1. Hi Hen
    Now why haven't they brought out that Granny Style book out yet?! Looks like you've spotted a gap in the market there Hen, you could be on to something there. You could be just the person to supply us with that book ;-)) Bring on the granny look a la HenHouse! The look works..I like it.

    The cat pictures are funny!

    Isabelle x

  2. Framed wrapping paper?? It looks FABULOUS!! Best idea I have seen in ages.

  3. It's all very scrumptious indeed!

  4. Hi! I think I saw granny style called "granny chic" on someone's blog; dottie angel, I think. So much more hip, don't you think? I like things my granny had so it definitely suits me!

  5. Hen, just how do you take such clear photos with no bleaching in dull light? this is the question hammering away in my head yet again now we are back to no light. Sighs in deepest envy! x

  6. Ohooo Hen the plants look loverly :) I love Caroline Gardner and display many of her pretty cards, beautiful designs and Mr. Poppins is always brilliant at choosing me some lovely ones :)


  7. Your hot pink plant looks lovely as well as the sweet Pansies!
    Your furry friends seem to love the camera more than my dogs do!

  8. Wonderfully colourful plants and fabrics, there, Hen! Potted plants are WAY more envorinmentally friendly than shop-bought cut flowers, so give yourself an eco-pat on the back and tell yourself it was all part of the plan, is my advice!

    The cats are looking great. So good to see them together.

  9. gorgeous flowers and am extremely jealous of your ripened tomatoes!!

    we have had loads of sunny days during september its been gorgeous but very few red tom's - better luck next year?

    i am very shocked to find you have been buying wrapping paper as well ;-) looks fab in the frame though and can I ask if there is a link for where you got the fabric from as its scrummy :-)

  10. I love, love, love the new polka dot shopping bag.

  11. Everyone seems to be putting wrapping paper in frames at the moment, my SIL has been doing it for years.

    I agree with you re templates, thankfully I can do a lot of this in work (shussshhh don't tell me boss!)

    Victoria xxx

  12. I really enjoy your blog and adore your tea cup candles .. i have so many tea cups ! and would love to make use of them for christmas presents to my seven sisters/sisterinlaws how do i get going and where to buy i just want the simplist way to make them maybe you could give me some tips/advice
    your pot mum in that pot is fabulous .and mumsy is good ...Kieren x

  13. Love love love the wrapping paper in the frame

    Gail x

  14. Hi Hen

    I'm LOVING the wrapping paper in the photo frame!!!!!

    Lucy xx

  15. Those Jane market bags are lovely - great colour combinations.
    P x

  16. Beautiful colors in all your photos (I agree with Pipany about the consistently great photography hereabouts) and those photos of the cats ... well, I really laughed. Something about ginge's refusal to dance is such a strong image.

    Your energy is infectious!


  17. I LOVE your granny plants...well I'm a granny I would!!

    Love the idea of framing the wrapping papaer, it's too good to fold around a pressie anyway!

    Sue xx

  18. Gorgeous makings, Hen. I love the shopper bags and I have problems with squirrels as well, digging my pots. Little cheeky things.
    By the way, your dahlia is just gorgeous. xx

  19. Your trivet and bags are great! The colors are super-duper.

  20. Hi Hen
    I know what you mean about the patterns not being full size that really pee's me off, I mean how much extra would it cost to put a pull out page at the back, not much I'm sure, I definately wouldn't mind paying a bit extra.
    Have a great day

  21. Granny style is a good thing! Tray cloths and the best floral china shows that a person has made an effort! Lovely plants, cats, shopper bags and well - everything really! x

  22. wow the wrapping paper looks really good!

    i am very jealous of your wicker shopping trolley too x

  23. A delightful post! I love your big beautiful shopping bags! I carry bags all the time...need to make some pretty ones!

  24. Love love your wicker shopping basket and your new shopping bags! G

  25. Hi Hen,

    The shopping bags are great :-)
    I think your potted plants are fab and not at all grannyish! At least potted plants last a bit longer than fresh cut, which seem to last all of 5 mins in my house!

    Have a great week :-)

    Rose XXX

  26. We have a photocopier at home and I still struggle with those little ones - I always manage to have the one I want half off the page. Even a few extra pages so they could at least be full size would help.

    Lovely pics, though, and always I am impressed with your industry. And granny style is definitely the way to go!

    Pomona x

  27. I love the colour of the pot plant and it s not at all grannyish! Love the wrapping paper, that has given me an idea! Those bags are wonderful!

  28. Love the wrapping paper picture.

    Agree with Floss, pot plants far more eco-friendly.

  29. Oh Hen, I just loved the inside scoop you had on Nigella!

    But aren't some of those recipes so scrummy?

    Lisa xo

  30. Scrumptious alright! Charles whacking Ginge, very funny! I thought that wrapping paper you framed was actually one of your creations Hen! Lovely! Now I'm a fan of granny style too, just the word granny makes me happy, makes me think of Miss Marple, which makes me very happy. Brilliant idea, a book on granny style, quick you do the book before someone pinches the idea!
    Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)
    P.s. Everything boxed and wrapped and ready to go in the post to you tomorrow!

  31. Hello Hen...such a lovely post!

    The bags are wonderful and the flowers so pretty!xxx

  32. Love the wrapping paper! I love grannie style better than any other!

  33. Wrapping paper in a frame! Brilliant, you'd think it was something really expensive! I'm going to go treat myself to some granny chic potted plants :)

  34. I love the wrapping paper, looks great! I have framed scrapbooking papers for my craft room they are just to pretty not to be seen!
    The pot plants look brilliant too!

    Lots of Love

    Kelly xxxx

  35. The trivet is lovely...and my eye caught the gorgeous fabric underneath.Is that a tablecloth I wonder? Very pretty.Lovely flower photos too.

  36. I'd love one of those basket trollies to go shopping with. Lucey.x

  37. Ohooo Hen I think Nigella may have been having one of those days at your book signing. At the one I went to, she was delight, a feast for the eyes, yes a little tired but the beauty was there :) We chatted for a little while I was interested in the name of one of her children and wondered if it any special meaning to her and we chatted about what I cook for the children. Seemed very happy to talk, also was there longer as a realllyyyyy long quue, but was happy to see everyone


  38. Loving those bags- and the pansys - they were my favourite flower as a child. Our next door neighbour who used to babysit me grew them...wonder where she is now? The kittycat photos are cute too - they are so playful! xxx

  39. I love the shocking pink flowers, not grannyish at all ! The wrapping paper in the frame looks great, very unusual and your shopping bags are so pretty. Let's hope we carry on getting some sunshine to ripen our remaining tomatoes.
    Ann x

  40. I just love your posts, they are always beautiful, eye catching and enteraining, and this one is just so too! suzie. x

  41. Hello granny Hen!
    Pink potted plants are the way forward in my book, perhaps I could contribute a few articles to Granny Style!
    I too am longing to update my tired pots, maybe at the weekend........

    Love Sarah x

  42. Yay, Liberty Wednesday!

    Thanks Hen, You're the best!

    Sarah x

  43. My goodness, Hen...what a pretty post. Cats, flowers, fabrics, and teacups. Beautiful!

  44. I've been wanting to make myself some lovely shopping bags, but I just never seem to get around to it...

    I love the trivet...lovely fabrics!

    Everyone needs a touch of granny style, don't you think?


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