Saturday, 28 February 2009

Vintage Love


So, here's what I have been up to today.  








I have taken two gorgeous vintage embroidered panels featuring a traditional crinoline lady in her cottage garden and paired them up with some pretty floral/spotty/gingham fabrics to make these cushions.  Oh how I wish I could be lounging with one in a pretty cottage garden of my own, in blazing sunshine, of course!  Should you wish to recreate your own romantic vision, you can find the cushions looking for new bedfellows here.  My other blog site where I post my goodies is not playing ball today, I'm afraid.  Ah well, you can't have everything!

Well, the boys are out in the garden at the moment and me?  Well, I'm slouched on the sofa (in the best seat, for once), fire roaring away, hot chocolate drunk, homemade choccy cookies (Lucy's recipe)  baked (and a fair few eaten it has to be said), watching Doris Day and Frank Sinatra in "Young at Heart" on the DVD. After re-reading Jane Brocket's The Gentle Art of Domesticity last week, she inspired me to get some old movies on DVD (she has a list of her favourites in the book).  It's the first time I've watched Young at Heart and it won't be the last; it is just marvellous, the frocks are to-die-for, as are all the roomsets too, not to mention Frank's velvet tones.  Doris has just said to Frank, "I'm the girl who brought chintz curtains into your life".  Ah, bliss...

Happy Saturday!

Friday, 27 February 2009

Colour Unlimited

Today is simply the most glorious day, here in London.  I haven't doctored this photo in any way, the sun is simply streaming through the living room windows at 3pm... 




Yes, the sun is shining, it is WARM and to mark the event, I have a skirt on.  Trust me, this is newsflash city!  I think I am quite a girly girl and I do love dresses, and skirts, but it's been so cold and so Wintery for sooooo long, my legs haven't seen the light of day for a looooong time. I've been quite a hermit this week.  Other than the obligatory trip to the supermarket for esssentials on Monday (and school runs), I have been holed up in my den all week.  No excuses today, off to the hairdresser I go.

Now, I know some women love going to the hairdresser but I am not one of them.  I find it boring (no offence to the hairdresser who is very pleasant and also, very good) but I just can't bear sitting there for hours, thinking of all the things I could be doing at home, but needs must. Anyway, I thought I'd better make a bit of an effort as another thing I'm really not too chuffed about at the hairdressers, is the fact that you are forced to sit in front of a mirror for ages, not only that but with your hair looking all horrendous plastered to your head!  So, today =  skirt, (spotty, homemade); cardi (turquoisey, Boden fave, shrunk by Mr HenHouse, grrrr); corsage (crocheted, homemade, pink); proper shoes, not Crocs (pink, shiny); jacket, not even a real coat (spotty...again); scarf, not really cold enough (but stripey and bright); homemade bag (bright, v. bright, and flowery); Cath K bag for shopping (flowery, pink, turquoise, bright again); make-up (crikey)!  The Munchkin is always very suspicious when he sees me in make-up and always correctly assesses that I am either "going somewhere nice" or "someone is coming to visit".  So, get your sunglasses at the ready...






(Yes, I have indeed tried to keep myself out of those photos as much as possible.)






How did that Ginger Furball sneak in there? Now Jacky is never one to shy away from a photographic opportunity.

Inside the bag is pretty jolly, too.  Have crochet, will travel.




Clearly, I am feeling in a rather colourful mood!  The main good thing about the hairdressers (because I also cannot deny I look better when I come out of there than I did when I went in) is that it is situated in East Dulwich.  What does East Dulwich mean?  Yes: SHOPS.  Really very lovely yummy shops, too.  A few weeks ago, I went a-mooching there with my parents and drooled over some very lovely candlesticks.  I resisted (well, ok, I bought something else and thought both would be too extravagant.)  However, they have played on my mind ever since. Now that is a sure sign that they are meant to be mine, I mean ours.  Isn't it?  ISN'T IT.










Yes, yes, they are without candles. But at the cottage, I have wonderful Cath K spotty candles, blue ones and pink ones, too, just perfect. I wandered along the street in East Dulwich musing to myself: I shouldn't blog about these yet because I should wait until I can get my candles from the cottage as the finishing touch. But you know me too well. Of course, I couldn't wait! Of course, I'll just be showing you them again once the candles are in place!

Yesterday was a pretty nice day here, too.  An email from Simone about her garden and pond reminded me that I was meant to be out in the garden too. The crochet rolls sort of got in the way, oops.  So, outside I went to attend to the polyanthus and tete-a-tetes which had been patiently awaiting me...






Inside, the sunshine streaming in is creating its own colourful display...




Taking photos of the mantle has reminded me to show you something else. A week or so before Christmas, the Munchkin came home and put something under the tree, something in handmade wrapping paper, with a handmade tag. He solemnly informed me it was not to be touched, not until Christmas day. It was something very special; something he had made himself; for mummy. Each day, I was asked "Are you very excited about your present?" Oh yes, most definitely.

May I present the Family HenHouse, a la Munchkin:




Well, I think I've come off rather well, the same cannot be said of Daddy's tummy, I'm afraid. So sweet. I'm going to love looking at this for years to come.

You can take your sunnies off now...

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Sweet!

For the last few weeks, I've been taking a little girl to and from school, along with Master Munchkin, of course.  I know her mum a little, she buys preserves from me, and the mum had a baby in January.  I first saw the baby a few weeks later when the poor mum was struggling to push a pram up the hill in the snow.  I offered to take the little girl to and from school and that's what I have been doing ever since.  Today, she ran out to meet us, already waiting at the bottom of the steps (they live on the first floor) and handed me these, saying "Helen, these are for you".  




I was really touched.

Well, what else have I been up to? Following a request from a fellow blogger, I've been making crochet hook rolls. I made myself one a while ago, based on the pencil roll in the book Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. I've since improved the design, having road tested the one I made for myself. I've added a little flap at the top as sometimes, my hooks fell out if the roll wasn't rolled up really tight, changed the dimensions slightly, stitched the ribbons on extra securely and so on. So, I've passed a pleasant few hours (well, quite a lot, actually), selecting and patchworking the fabrics for the inside, choosing the exterior fabrics (they all had to be different, I am never able to choose the easy option and make them all the same!) and choosing the little ribbons too. They look so jolly, I'm really proud of these. And I want one - but I feel I can't justify having one as I still have my original one - even if it is not as perfect as these ones!





















They are here for the time being.  

The postman delivered a few goodies today which might just merit me sneaking a little rest on the sofa...




"Best of British" looks a little boyish from the cover but does promise a feature inside on "50 Years of Thrifty Knitting".   It is a good magazine and we all read it,  including the Munchkin, and I can't say that about any other magazine that enters this house.  I've been flicking idly through Sew Hip (I think the cover on this one is even worse, looks so dated!) whilst loading up the photos and this advert caught my eye...




Oooh, exciting. All the more reason to get that crochet roll ready!


Wednesday, 25 February 2009

A Lot Less Wordy Wednesday

Hen's Den today...

New stash...




New bits 'n' pieces...




New (old) embroidery...





Stash Love...










Catching my eye...
















Next new (old) project?


Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Sweet Dreams...

Despite the nasty dull 'n' drizzly weather here, I've tried to take some photos to show you my dreamcatchers.






I mentioned dreamcatchers and the history behind them in my post a few days ago.




They have been enjoyable to make but Mr HenHouse and I lost count of the number of dinky beads we dropped on the floor last night whilst making the little dangly bead chains. I'm considering paying the Munchkin a bit of pocket money to retrieve all the stray ones! The dreamcatchers are residing here and here for the time being (but well away from Jacky-Ginge).




CALLING ALL KNITTERS

Hope that got your attention!  On a completely different note, please could I request some assistance from all you knitters out there.  How many pairs of knitting needles do you tend to use/have in your possession?  What I am getting at is, if you were to have a little roll (a bit like my crochet roll) to keep them in, how many sets would you want to keep in there - so how many spaces/pockets must I make??  Clear as mud?  Many thanks if you can help me out.