16/05/2015 § 2 Comments
to spend a late Spring afternoon …
If I said “Say the first things that come into your head when I say … English Village Fete. What would you say?”
village green or manor house lawns
oodles of sunshine
stalls – plants, bric-a-brac, toys, bottle stall, raffle
lots of laughter
games for the children – coconut shy, bowling, face painting
tea stall with homemade cakes
What about teas served in the stable block with a huge choice of delicious homemade cakes and cookies, wheelbarrows full of goodies being raffled, amazing bric-a-brac and acres of orderly gardens to wander through and admire?
Here you have one of the best from a local village in Hampshire …
This is the third village fete I’ve been to this year. The first two were really disappointing, despite some valiant locals turning out and rallying support. Today’s village fete more than made up for it – the entire village had turned out and judging from the car park, many had travelled to visit. The cake stall was groaning with freshly baked cakes, people were turning up with cakes almost still warm from the oven! I found a Le Creuset kettle, a little china horse, a marble clock and a cast iron blini pan on the bric-a-brac stall and wished I hadn’t so much to carry as I wandered up through the gates at the top of the lawn, into the biggest walled garden ever! Espalier fruit trees trained up the walls, ornamental hedges, orderly rows of bean poles, rhubarb larger then I’ve ever seen – oh it was glorious. After exploring in wonder, I discovered the avenue leading up to a clock tower and then wound my way back through the wild garden full of bluebells to the sanctity of the tea stall, in the stable block. Never have I enjoyed a good strong cuppa and lemon drizzle cake so much! Then a final wander around to buy some raffle tickets and home again with my treasures to sit on the patio and enjoy another large cuppa with boiling water straight from my new kettle!
Do you enjoy village fetes? They’re right up there at the top of the things I love most about living in England.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
10/05/2015 § 5 Comments
April’s arrived in May, with a blast of heavy showers, high winds and chilly evenings. Just a month ago, it was incredibly sunny and warm – I was even sewing in the garden! I’m not complaining – the garden was so dry and I feared for my newly sown grass. Here are some catch-up photos of the garden, wonderful wisteria, Dorset cottage gems and last week’s mooch around the glorious bluebell woods here in Hampshire …
and yesterday, in Alton’s Makers’ Market …
Back soon …
27/04/2015 § 3 Comments
and a-jaunting we will go …
My great friend and I spent the weekend jaunting around Dorset, exploring all around from our base at Swanage Bay. After what seems like weeks of unbroken sunshine here in the south of England, the high pressure decided to desert us for the weekend, but the sea mists and occasional shower didn’t affect our trip one bit. We visited some favourite west country towns – Shaftesbury, Sherborne and Bridport – before meandering along the coast with stops at pretty villages that took our fancy. Much cake was consumed on these frequent breaks in our day!!!! At Lulworth Cove, we enjoyed a simple but quite delicious early evening meal at the Lulworth Cove Inn – we both had small portions as we were still quite full of cake – and the little home-cooked steak and ale pies with veg were outstandingly good. If you’re visiting the area, make sure you book a table – we just happened to be very lucky and were fitted in as we were quite early.
So many fabric treats came home with me – and another chair! When my daughter phoned to make sure we were back I said “Guess what?” and she said, straightaway “You’ve bought another chair!” I’m obviously boringly predictable.
More photos of the prettiest little cottages in Sprintime, and a Scandinavian design rocking chair next time – and apple blossom in the garden!
What did you get up to at the weekend – what’s in bloom in your garden? Do join in and leave a comment – it’s so interesting to hear about your adventures.
23/04/2015 § 6 Comments
every day will be rose-coloured …
La Vie en Rose Patchwork Quilt – a bespoke commission
Edited to add some lovely words from the fabulous lady who commissioned this quilt:
‘I bought my lovely quilt as a commission. It will be a family heirloom. I asked for roses and pink base with pastel colours. We called it La Vie En Rose because that is also one of my favourite songs too (Louis Armstrong or Billie Holliday) and the name fits the roses theme. It fits perfectly with cushions and accessories I already had for my bedroom. We’re changing it back to pink, you see. Adaliza kindly incorporated two fabrics I chose so that the quilt would match my existing cushions and dressing table curtains. It looks lovely on my Laura Ashley cream iron bedstead. I now just have to change the wallpaper, move the table lamps, put the right curtains up. I am very pleased. It is very well-made and high-quality.’
and a photo …
19/04/2015 § 2 Comments
earlier on this evening, my friend and I wandered along The Itchen Way, near Itchen Abbas …
and a postcard, for Flora – “Isn’t he a handsome chap?” …
The girls are benefitting from some interesting walks. Son J2 is good company and usually takes his camera. I’ve treated myself to a little pocket camera – Canon SX600 – I’m really pleased with it so far though there are lots of effects that I haven’t played with yet.
Here’s another countryside walk a day or so ago, in glorious sunshine …
Did you know that the easiest way to tell whether blossom is from Hawthorn or Blackthorn bushes is apparently quite simple: Blackthorn blossom appears on the branches before the leaves, unlike Hawthorn. Blackthorn also appears a bit earlier. Both are members of the rose family.
In Wales, the Hawthorn is often called Bara Caws (bread and cheese) as the young leaves are meant to taste similar. I’ve used the red berries in Hedgerow Jelly along with other wild foraging fruits. I’ll have to come back in the Autumn and see whether these bushes bear the fruits of the Blackthorn (sloes) or the red berries of Hawthorn, then next year I’ll be able to test the blossom theory! Yeah – as if!!!
This evening I’ve stewed the first rhubarb from the garden – always a treat. I’ve made some shortbread to go with it for after our supper. This afternoon J2 made some wooden raised beds for the veg patch and then we laid some gravel – it’s looking good. I’ll be back with some photos in the week. Oh, and there’s another quilt order to finish too! Busy days! Enjoy your week.
~~~ please leave a comment and let me know what you’re up to ~~~
15/04/2015 § 7 Comments
What do you think of my beautiful table cover? Ultra pretty colours and oh so practical. I’ve got 4 of them! One’s round – for the patio table; all the others are rectangular – to fit the larger garden tables. Have I been busy or what???????
Well no, I haven’t been busy with my crochet hook !!!! They’re from our local discount supermarket and cost under £4 each – ultimate bargain – and they’re huge. When I popped in there yesterday another lady saw mine at the till and whizzed off to buy a couple for herself – they really are pretty and machine washable. The crochet stitches are so lifelike. It’s Aldi, if you want one – but I think you’ll have to be quick!
Here’s my garden sewing studio – can’t believe I’m sewing in the garden in April …
Misty and Mrs Quacky say Hello – Belle was too busy to be photographed. She was ‘helping’ J2 with his latest artwork. She lays there and gazes at him all day.
All the photos are with my new little pocket camera – a Canon SX600. Zoom x18, video recorder and so much more – I’m very pleased with the photos too.
Now, I’ve another quilt on my big machine upstairs so I’ll do my sewing indoors in the morning, and set up some tasks for outside for the sunny afternoons – long may they last.