Friday, 30 May 2014

Two Halves




















Friday evening.  I do love a Friday evening.  Well, if I am honest, I love certain Friday evenings.  The ones where I am sat in queues on the M25, M3 and A303 as we head West are not that thrilling; it is the thought of what lies ahead the following day that keeps me going.  Waking up in that dinky little thatched cottage, Gertrude Jekyll roses blooming round the eyebrow window, the promise of a day vintage treasure seeking in Bridders.  That's what it is.

Friday evenings like todays,  I'm rather fond of: a lazy slide into the weekend, maybe Mr HenHouse will get home on time, gentle sunshine on the lawn outside, the birds singing in the trees and the promise of a glass of something chilled.  Monty Don on BBC 2 and I'm happy.

It's been a busy old time of late.  Splitting our time between life in the city and life in the country.  One is filled with crafty times, lots of lovely fabric, rippling yarn and Liberty lawn on tiles or on patchwork bags.  I'm glossing over all the mundane chores that tend to get in the way from time to time.  The rooms are large, the ceilings high.  The stairs with their 140 year old treads exposed while waiting new carpet a lot more vertiginous than their country counterparts which wind their way up, hidden behind a centuries old oak-planked door with its iron latch.  One hundred and forty miles away, there are country pubs high on hills in country parks to be discovered, beautiful old china and textiles to be rescued and rooms with centuries old wooden beams and doorways of decidedly dinky proportions to navigate.  Not forgetting lots and lots of delicious clean fresh air to breathe deeply in.

Life is not always that clear cut though, and I am very glad of it.  There's a definite cross-over between the two rather different styles of our lives.  Here in the city, I have surrounded myself with constant reminders of the country: my roses are blooming oh so early and I am happy to bring little bouquets indoors where I watch their petals open then fall.  They might grace the table I set for a quaint afternoon tea with friends met through the marvellous world of t'internet.  How very old meets modern.  My city sitting room is home to two  stunning wing chairs; bought at a West Country car boot sale for ten pounds and reupholstered by a clever lady in Dorset.  From Somerset to Dorset to London, they have a tale to tell.

In my crafting, I am reminded of my Somerset cottage garden: in the vintage-inspired fabrics that make up my patchwork quilts strewn with daisies and roses; the Liberty Tana lawn tiles I make for my bathroom, a riot of 1930's flowers; and my beloved posies crafted from felt just like they did in the 1940s. Charlie Boy reclines on cushions made with fabric bursting with blooms, squirrelled away on foraging trips in the West. I think he's dreaming of all those green fields, of doormice and birds in the trees.  I think I'll join him, along with my glass of something chilled.

Enjoy the weekend (as Monty says). Xxx


35 comments:

  1. Lovely photos. Those roses are delicious what are they called? Love those felt flowers too
    Julie xxxxxxxxxx

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  2. I love to read about your dual life, Hen. I think both of your homes are beautiful and you and your family seem to truly know how to enjoy and appreciate your lovely things and the time you spend together.

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  3. It all sounds blissful, Henhouse!
    We all have our own Friday and weekend joys.
    Hope you enjoy yours.

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  4. I liked every photo, nice views, nice shots, nice cat!

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  5. Of all the blogs I read, yours is always the most inspirational! I want to go clean, sew, and clip some flowers! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. A visual delight of images that has just lifted me from the gloom that has settled over me for the last two or three days. I find myself yearning to sit in those chairs and just drink in the gorgeous patterns and shapes of the wonderful work that you do. Your cottage in Somerset sounds so amazing, I admit to being incredibly envious of you (in a good way of course) as I live in a modern house, but would much prefer to live somewhere with character and age. Do you take Charlie with you to Somerset?

    Those Liberty patterned tiles are amazing. You said you make them for your bathroom. How are they made?

    Thank you for making life happy and interesting again.

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  7. Pretty pretties!! I love the photo of the staircase and your black cat! I have always wanted a black cat, instead I have a white one!

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  8. Good to hear from you! Lovely pictures!

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  9. i cant even describe how beautiful that quilt is! and i cant believe how tidy your knitting basket is! !
    frankie
    www.knitwits-owls.blogspot.com

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  10. Lovely Hen I always wait in anticipation for your posts as I am one of your biggest fans and I know you have many. I always love to hear your stories and this one was no different, absolutely fabulous. I love your beautiful homes and can see the divide between them which must be so refreshing as it helps you to make a break from one part of your life to another. I really enjoyed your post Hen, sending you lots of hugs and loves as always, Dorothyxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  11. Crumbs, Hen, I drool over every one of your lovely photo's - and your two homes are just gorgeous! Have a lovely, relaxing weekend. Chris x

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  12. Hello, I love your fun sense of style and your crafting ideas. We have so many common interests, it's like we're kindred spirits. I was wondering if you were willing to share how you make those adorable Liberty tiles for your bathroom? Do you make them for others? Have you ever thought of making them for others? Thank you!

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  13. What lovely images. It makes me want to take a peek inside your world some more. Have a great weekend.

    xo Danielle

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  14. Lovely pics & wonderful words. Thank you for sharing your amazing double life ! X

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  15. Thank you for sharing your double life with us. You make me yearn for the West Country. Pottering round birders, country pubs and walks. Blissful. My iPad wasn't loading all your pictures so I'm going back for a proper look. I've not been in blog land for a while so I'm also going to catch up. Hug those lovely boys from me. I have Polly at my feet tonight. That naughty dougal's had his treats and headed downstairs xxx

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  16. Wonderful photos! Your stairs look like ours. What are you going to carpet them with? I'm scared to choose for fear of the cats wrecking it like they did when we lived in London! 🙀

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  17. Hen, I've enjoyed seeing this catch up post from you. I like the way that you describe the balance that you and your family find between the time spent in city and country. Each surely has its charms, and you all surely appreciate those charms.

    As always, your photos are grand, and encourage me to new projects, and...to wishing I had access to a garden.

    Best wishes. xo

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  18. Wonderful post, love reading about your duel life, and seeing your beautiful homes!!! and fabulous crafts!!
    I love the photo of your cottage sitting room looking into the kitchen, and your London chairs are gorgeous.
    Hope you all have a great weekend xxx

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  19. Your home is beautiful, you make cottage life sound idyllic. Enjoy your weekend too.

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  20. I've often wondered....do the cats travel back and forth with you? We had a huge odd-eyed whilte when I was young. His name was Enoch. (My father had odd taste in names, thank goodness mother put her foot down when it came to the naming of offspring.) Enoch liked to travel and went between farm and city every week but I can't imagine our current two moggies going far from home.

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  21. Really enjoyed reading your post and looking at all the gorgeous photo's. You lucky girl !
    Love your homely style.

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  22. We lead a similar life. We have a large house on an 2.5 acres in town and a little cottage on a lake 2 hours away by car. At home we have oh so many chores to keep up the house and property but at the lake we have lots of sleep and relaxing. Our hearts are always longing for our long weekends away at the lake.

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  23. I am a new reader and already you have filled my soul with the images that I yearn for! Thank you.

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  24. Love your tiles. Are they hard to make?

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  25. A delightful read! I have a cottage in the Cotswolds in my dreams!

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  26. What a feast for the eyes! Love the patchwork bag and floral tiles ♥

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  27. So beautiful!! and homey.

    Blessings,
    Amy Jo

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  28. How wonderful to read of and be inviting into your beautiful little cottage again it seems so long since you were there. I hope you were refreshed and enjoyed fine weather. We are again back at our bolt hole, it's our sanctuary too away from the hussle and bustle of life near a town and the everyday stresses. The weather hasn't promised to behave but that doesn't matter, Mr B will read his kindle, use his commi and get reacquainted with the inside of his eyelids whilst I shall occupy myself with some quilting and crochet.
    I love the new chairs and their beautiful fabric, it's surprising what we can find if we take time to look and of course the quilts adorning them are beautiful as always.
    Xx

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  29. Can I come and live at your house and laze around under/on quilts eating cake....I would even dress as a cat....yep, mad Open Studio preparation has turned my brain...

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  30. What a lovely blog and gorgeous pictures. I am also a keen patchworker and crochet freak - and as for Liberty lawn! :)
    www.thequietstitcher.com

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  31. Just discovering your blog, it's lovely, and fresh, and sunny!

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  32. Your site is like a breath of fresh air. Thanks

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  33. I love you're embordery quilt may I ask what patten you used its beautiful.

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