Monday, 24 May 2010

Peachy Perfick

Hello once more, my friends, how does this very fine Monday in May find you? Well, I hope. Pretty hot and sticky here in the old smoke, I must say. It's been longer than I intended since I attended to my lil' ole blog. The HenHouse parents have been in residence for the week and there has been such a lot going on. I am sure everyone is feeling that there aren't enough hours in the day? So what have we been up to...

Munchkin-sitters in situ, Mr HH and I were able last Thursday to set off on a trip we have long anticipated; it was time to get steamy once more, vintage style.

We spent a very long but wonderful day travelling up the East coast mainline then across the scenic Settle and Carlisle line behind this marvellous A4 class steam engine (Bittern).

It was a seven hour trip each way but it was really no hardship travelling in the luxurious Pullman class and I was well armed with goodies to keep me amused (other than Mr HH!)

It was a little misty on our trip up North but there was no denying that the fells flying by were scenically very beautiful.

We had a quick mooch around the pleasant little town of Carlisle and found a really good crafting shop ("Fun2Do"), from which I was loathe to be dragged away, resulting in a very hot and hurried rush back to the train. Luckily, a few refreshments were waiting before dinner.

The journey home was accompanied by splendid sunshine and spectacular views.

Menawhile, back in the Den, Vorey had decided he would help me along with blocking my latest crochet project: by sitting on it! Hmm, this foam and woolly stuff is very comfy!

Of course, all this beautiful weather has meant there was no excuse to stay cooped up indoors sewing or Lego-ing. The Munchkin was tasked with settling some fresh straw around the strawberries, a task he undertook on the understanding that some juicy fruit would be just reward!

The patio has been cleaned down, the table dusted off, and what is hopefully the first of many meals has been eaten in the warm, fresh air.

On Sunday, we were expecting more visitors to join us for lunch so much of my Saturday was spent baking in the kitchen. Who needs a dishwasher?

Fast forward to Sunday and the weather was certainly not going to disappoint us. We were up early for the car boot sale and what a corker it was, so huge that we didn't actually get round the whole thing. Finally, I was able to fuss and faff and decorate outdoors with the results of my recent hard work.

So there is pretty bunting strung up here and there. I got a bit carried away and to be precise, there are 82 double-sided flags in total and there must be at least 50' of bunting, a mix of vintage and modern fabrics, and vintage embroidery, too.

Some lucky folks, were not chained to the stove and were able to relax outside.

It's a hard life!

And do you remember a few weeks ago, that I was outside painting something? Well, I had been hankering after a bench for the garden and lo and behold, Mr HH just happened to have a pair of Victorian cast iron bench ends hiding behind the shed, complete with slats, purchased a fair few years ago at the Dorset Steam Fair. Just waiting me and my paint brush! Serendipity.

In all its duck egg glory, it now enjoys a cool, shady spot under the big old apple tree and was much appreciated by our visitors.

But it's not just going to stay like that you know. I mean, it's a non-moving object, so it is just ripe for the Hen treatment!

Oooooooh. This little scene, which I set out each sunny day, makes my little Hen Heart squeal with delight!

Shall we have a look at my goodies in more detail? You did spot my treasure? My vintage handmade hexagon quilt nestling cosily on the bench? Eagle-eyed Hen that I am, I pounced on it at the street market in Bridport a couple of weeks ago. It's love, pure and simple.

You can imagine how a die-hard vintage fabric-aholic like me felt when they found this? Just as I did the deal, another shopper came up to enquire after it. Ah no, lady, this one is mine! Every time I sit with it, I can lose myself for ages in all the gorgeous fabrics.

Ah yes.

I certainly do appreciate all the hours of hard work that went into hand making this beauty and all those lovely rare fabrics.

I crocheted these two cushion covers whilst on holiday (finishing them off at home).

The ripple cushion is backed with a charity shop stripey Monsoon jumper and the other with a gorgeous vintage floral fabric from Donna.

Oh yes, some folks were very fond of my little benchy set-up. A little grandad to grandson chat went on for some time.

The only time the bench was vacated was in time for tea!

Meanwhile, it all proved just too much for the furball that is Charlie Boy who was missing in (in)action and found cuddling up to the bow-tie patchwork cushion in its new spot in the dining room.

Jacky-Ginge is made of sterner stuff and is a real sun worshipper. My £2 eiderdown buy from the car boot sale was pure heaven to his furry paws, it seems!

Finally, yes finally, roast dinner cooked in 80 degree heat, afternoon tea served (my lovely Mum doing all the washing up), I was finally able to grace the bench; the bench I dusted down, painstakingly painted three times over, adorned with those laborious (but enjoyable) to make crocheted cushions...and put my feet up.

And look at the sky.



  1. Hello Hen! Bliss, indeed -- lovely post! Thank you for sharing!

  2. It all looks perfick! Thank you for sharing :) x

  3. How wonderful, and a good time had by all by the looks of it, especially the cats!!

  4. What a superbly peachy setting with some lovely booty finds.

  5. Looks like you had a tremendously wonderful weekend!
    Julie xxx

  6. What a lovely post that was, I feel quite chilled out just reading it, thank you !

  7. I just found your lovely blog and so enjoyed reading this post! Thankyou for taking me on the journey with you, I felt I could even feel the warming sun (so cold here at the moment!) Your treasures and creations are glorious! :)

  8. That quilt you found was gorgeous! Very jealous!

  9. Wow the bench looks lovely, you've done a fantastic job :) xo

  10. Hen that is one beautiful patchwork quilt! what a find, bet you were sooooo chuffed! love that bunting too and the kitty photos, especially the ones of Jacky-ginge..what a poser!xx

  11. I have been reading your blog for a few months now. Infact yours is one I had to start at the beginning. I check in every couple of days to see if you've added a post. I absolutely love you, everything about you and your blog is just so gorgeous and inspiring. So inspiring that I had to make my own blog too! You and a few other girls who I stalk will definately be at the top of my blog list in my sidebar. I just think you are great, so uplifting. Marvellous. This is my fledgling blog
    I hope we might become bloggy buddies! x

  12. Great newsy post!
    Love your hexagon blanket and the crochet cusions you made.
    They look so lovely on your bench
    Jacquie x

  13. Gorgeous in so many ways Hen. I love it.

  14. What a fabulous post - I enjoyed your train journey, but I loved your day in the garden even more. What a lovely place to sit!
    Love Kathy xxx

  15. What a beautiful post, I always look forwards to your posts! That patchwork, what a find! It must have taken forever to make! x

  16. Sounds like a wonderful weekend but you were very brave cooking a Sunday roast in that heat. I love your blue bench and the beautiful patchwork quilt.
    Ann x

  17. Ooh you know my feelings on hexagonal patchwork!
    Awesome find!!!!!

    Vintage patchwork have such great fabrics,
    something I've been trying to replicate.

    Great days

  18. I did the Settle/Carlisle's a magical journey isn't it? I had my head stuck out of the window for most of it!
    Another lovely colourful post Hen.Your garden looks the perfect place to sit and while away a few hours.

    Bellaboo ;0)

  19. Bliss is definitely the word, Hen!

    May I offer huge congrats to you on taking that true gem of a hexagon quilt home. It might make me sad to think that someone actually gave it up. And then that sun comes out to realize that it is now going to be so appreciated.


  20. Perfect summer days Hen! Love the quilt - great find!


  21. I do agree completely blissful I love your garden and the bench makeover that patchwork quilt is a work of art what a find

  22. I so enjoyed this post - there is nothing like a may day when even in the heat everything is fresh and green - glad you had a good time

  23. Absolute Bliss! Thank you for a truly lovely post. Kim :)

  24. It looks like you had a glorious weekend!

    Victoria x

  25. Oh's like something out of a magazine. My life and home are so different from yours. I'm jealous, but even more so inspired!

  26. Hello Hen
    Oh it all sounds and looks so totally wonderful - I feel as though we've all been to your little garden party too!
    The bench looks fab and the adornments just make for a most welcoming and delightful scene. Oh, and your steam trip - wow, it sounds great and lucky you to find a fabby craft shop along the way too!
    I'm loving your new blog header by the way,
    Happy days to you
    Denise x

  27. Wow Hen you have been busy.
    The train ride looked like soo much fun. The bunting is divine and as usual the best finds on show.
    Have a lovely sunny week.
    Luv Sophie xxx

  28. Hen, the train ride sounds wonderful, what a beauty the train looks.
    What do you think of Jane Brockets' new book?, I've reserved it at the library, its in, just need to get into town to pick it up!!!
    Your garden looks lovely, with the pretty bunting and the bench looks great, as does lunch and tea!!
    It all looks wonderful, a lovely relaxing post, thank you.
    Linda O xxx

  29. All very gorgeous Hen and a shame that today the sun has disappearewd. Hopefully it is only a blip. x

  30. oh hen your photos look like something from country living! is there room for one more on your bench! although your dad looks so sweet having his granddad to grandson chat! really sweet! fliss xx

  31. Your cats are all so incredibly adorable - I could just eat them! Actually that wouldn't be so nice would it, but you know what I mean. Just so cute - especially the picture with the Munchkin. I have been looking at your gorgeous blog still but have been having a very busy time of it, so haven't been commenting. Looking at your posts is a sight for sore eyes and goes a long way to make up for the lack of time for myself I've had lately. So many wonderful things as ever. Totally love both the crochet cushions - they go perfectly together, beautiful colours and designs. I wouldn't mind that lovely blue bench either. Lucky you to have found such a gorgeous quilt!
    Siobhan x

  32. I love the last photo and the patchwork cushion! The idea is great!


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