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.
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.