Sunday, 17 February 2008

A Frosty Reception...

These past few mornings have been sublime... watching the steady glow on the horizon herald the start of another beautiful day with lapis skies and a dazzling sun. Yesterday, and today, as I have just discovered on waking and venturing out from duvet.. is crisp and bitter with a thick icing of frost on the rooftops and cars. I think even the birds must be having a lie-in this morning as it is strangely quiet outside even though the hint of dawn is in the sky.
Enough of this typically British pre-occupation with the weather..

My quest today is to plant out two hellebores that we bought yesterday... belated Valentine's for each other..they are to live under our Cotinus Tree which will provide a bit of shade for them once the leaves arrive on the tree.

Yesterday was a wonderful day holiday mood we went from the plant sale.. to Clifton in Bristol one of my favourite Saturday outings. Clifton is a part of Bristol not dissimilar to Bath with the elegant architecture but there is a different buzz there and it has a slightly gutsier feel than my home town. There are some very tempting and varied shops ...
I wanted to go to the arcade that has an interesting and eclectic selection of little shop units.. my all time favourite being... Hollyer's... a delightful emporium of vintage kitchenalia, homewares and one off items that I never seem to see elsewhere.

I am very fond of the rabbits that this shop sells... of course if you are familiar with my weird and wonderful tastes you will know by now that I love rabbits..
This photo is for you Joanna .... Captain Rupert would feel very much at home here..

The flowers in the greengrocers were as always in every season... abundant and vibrant.
And bulbs too....

I have not forgotten that I have a giveaway to perform..
Having cast your votes.. The Childhood Ephemera ... won the vote.. (sorry vintage household. I will hold another giveaway at a future date for you.)
I found something on my travels yesterday that I thought ideal for the prize.. as I know that some of you are a big fan of this artist...
This Mabel Lucie Attwell Annual is an early edition.. not dated but I can tell by the paper that is is probably late 50's early 60's.
It is full of her charming little characters and will hopefully delight the winner. I have added some other bits and pieces to this giveaway, a bisque doll holding a cat and a vintage toffee box (without toffees alas) in the shape of a cottage. I will draw this giveaway on Friday 22nd February at so you will all have a chance to enter if the urge grabs you!

You will not have to jump through hoops to enter.. just leave a comment and tell me what your favourite or most treasured childhood toy was. From teddies to Lego I would love to know..

Bon Chance!

Enjoy this day wherever you are. xxx


Pretty Practicals said...

Hi Michele, I lived and worked in Clifton when I first left home, it was 'the' place to be back in 1980 and I enjoyed 2 years of being young, free and single there (so many stories, but none of them should be told on a blog!). It sounds like you had a lovely day. Chat soon, Liz

Ragged Roses said...

Hello Michele
I've just come back from the car boot and my hands are still so cold that I can't hardly type this comment! Lots of ice on my car this morning and it's a bitter wind but bright and beautiful. We too have hellebores to plant today and a couple of cakes to bake. I love Clifton and haven't been there for years and years. Hope you're having a wonderful day to day as well.
My teddy was my fav toy, he's upstairs with my daughters now.

Gill at Lucy Locket said...

Hi Michele, yes isn't the weather lovely, I think the British are so obsessed with it because our weather is very unpredictable, when we have fine weather we always wonder how long before the rain comes along again!
Nice pictures, I'm a fan of Mabel Lucie Attwell, her illustrations are so whimsical.
My favourite toys (growing up in the 60s) were Sindy dolls, Spirograph & paper dressing dolls, but we also played very imaginative games such as making "tents" to play house in, dressing up and using Mum's high-heeled shoes (I called them "clackers"). I was a bookworm...I had hundreds of books (I used to buy them at jumble sales) and remember setting up a library and allowing my friends to borrow books!

happy@home said...

Hi Michele,
I have been reading your blog for awhile now and really enjoy it.
I live in the states but did visit England once with my husband's English business partner and his wife. I loved it there and hope to get back again someday.
My favorite childhood toy was my big Raggedy Ann doll. I still have her in my attic.
Have a wonderful day.

Mamma Millan said...

Hello, what a happy and sweet blogg you have!! Happy Valentine to you to!!Velcome to me..have some home baked cupcakes left!!

Hugs Millan

A Saucerful Of Secrets said...

Hi Michele!Thanks for coming to visit, I feel I have been neglecting my blogging duties, both posting and commenting, although I have been popping by to see what your up to( love your boys by the way! )
My best and most adored toy was Ted who came to me Christmas when I was five. I took him to bed with me every night until I was twelve!He was the one I told all my worries to and he has a bald patch on his head where I kissed him goodnight.I still cherish him, and he sits with Andys teddy in Poppy's bedroom.
Hope your Hellebores and yourselves are perky :) Annie x

sal said...

Clifton is lovely! I have not been there for a long time and am due a visit!
I had many fave childhood toys, so this is really difficult.But it has to be my dolls house.It was nothing grand but I loved it.I think my mum bought it,second hand,from a neighbour,whose child had grown too old for it.
I've often said recently,that I'd love to make a dolls house.So maybe,one day, when time allows!;-)

Lucy Bloom said...

Hi Michele, what a lovely Giveaway, I'm not entering, of course, but just wanted to tell you that. The shop in Clifton look gorgeous, I worked in Bristol for several years but never got up to Clifton for shopping, how sad it that!
Hope your weekend was good,
Lucy x

Sea Angels said...

Hello Michele...I appreciate your interest in the weather, I like the photos, and that one is quite magical.I just adore hellebores and Aricula's the more crazy the colours the more I like them especially the green ones...yum.
Oh and I will get that film, I havn't see that yet thankyou.
My favorite toy was my slide projector,it meant I could cheat the lights out rule, and when I grew bored I could read my precious Enid Blytons by the light it gave out. Lovely

Two Crofters said...

just catching up with all your posts....
love, love the gift for your beloved - he must have been over the moon x

the bunnies you adore are wonderful - i used to stock them in my shop and plan to possibly stock them again on my website - great products but a rather slow company that sells them!
i have to confess to owning a few that i sneaked home from the shop!!

funnily enough my childhood toy that i would not go anywhere without was a bunny - i still have him and am looking forward to seeing his slightly chewed face when we move and unpack!!

speak soon and congrats on completing that almighty wholesale order!!

t x

Nonnie said...

Your day out yesterday sounds lovely. I've only been to Bristol once and didn't go to Clifton but it's always somewhere I've wanted to get to. Love the new hellebores. They're one of my favourites. I have many favourite childhood toys but my absolute fav has got to be Ted Hornby, my trusty old Teddy Bear. He's been with me through everything and poor thing, has had to soak up a few tears along the way. But lots of love too as his many bald and patched bits will show. He still sits on my bed now. I must do a blog post about him come to think of it.

Artsy-Craftsy Merchant said...

Loved the photo of the store!!! Wanted to go with you.

Favorite toy: I LOVED Barbie....and lots and lots of books!

Jenn said...

lovely photos Michele!! Those tulips are spectacular.

Your giveaway is fabulous. I would love to enter of course:)
One of my favorite childhood toys (I had so many favorites) was my Holly Hobbie doll. I slept with her every nite!! xoxoxo...jenn

Curlew Country said...

The frost as been magical hasn't it. Love your picture of it adn the npicture of Hollyers! I've never been but I've got a picture of the shop front and the owner in one of my scrapbooks because its looks such a fabulous place. Lucky you being able to pop in.


Hi Michele. Another cold but sunny day today, outside looks beautiful, must get out there in a minute? Your hellebores are lovely, I took a photo of my purple one yesterday, may eventually post it on the garden blog. I hope you took your purse with you shopping, what great shops you have in Bath and you have taken some very colourful photos. Sweet little rabbits, I think everyone must love rabbits, that is if they are not nibbling at their much loved plants! I couldn't believe my eyes when I read about yet another very generous giveaway from you, and yes I do love the MLA book, I do have some, not sure if I have this one? In answering your question about having a favourite toy, not really a toy, but the first thing that came to mind was swingball. I remember me and my brother battling it out, seeing who could whack the ball the hardest, and so great it being portable, we used to take it around to our granny and grandads to play around there too. Please enter me into your draw for a chance of winning all those fabulous goodies, will Pickles be sniffing out the winner? x

bj said...

Sounds as if you had a delightful day.
My favorite toy was a doll named LUCY. I have her to this day. She is a bit beraggled and, since I am 70, that makes her about 66 years old. WOW...
hugs, bj

Tracy said...

Such festive post, Michele! Lovely hellibores. I've not had those plants before, I should try some in the garden sometime. Wonderful window shopping! :o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

Elizabeth said...

Hi - Loved your photos of Clifton. I haven't been to Clifton Village in ages, perhaps I'll visit in a couple of weeks time when I'm staying with my Mum in Bristol. My favourite childhood toy has to be my very battered soft toy cat - imaginatively called Kitten. He was given to me on my first Christmas when I would have been six months old, and he still sits on my bedside table now - nearly half a century later. He is a little worse for wear (aren't we all!) but I still love him very much.

daffy said...

I do love a frosty morning... as long as I can look at it from the toasty warmth of my bedroom window. :o)
The early evening skies have been wonderful these past few nights, they have a look of storminess about them but a peaceful beauty too. I must try and capture one with my trusty camera soon!

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Hi Michele,
Lovely to read your post - I haven't been to Clifton for ages - I thought about it the other day when I read that CK had opened a new shop there!
'Hollyers' looks wonderful - we've been promising ourselves days out at the weekends - working for yourself, its so easy to carry on 7 days a week, isn't it? So Clifton will be on my list now!

Love your hellibores - hope they will be happy in their new home.

My favourite childhhod toy was my dolly Lisa - I used to make her little dresses from fabric (I havn't changed a bit!) and would cut her hair and wonder why it didn't grow back!

Enjoy the half term!
Love Niki x

Country Cottage Chic said...

Clifton is a great place to shop....did you perchance happen upon the new Cath Kidston shop on Park street while you were in Bristol? I haven't been yet but think I will this week as it's half term.

What a super give away! My favourite childhood toy is of course "Teddy" who was a 2nd birthday present from my parents & he still sits faithfully in my bedroom. I also have my baby dolls, Sindy & Julip horses, all of which gave me many hours of playing pleasure.

love, Jayne

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

Hello Michele,

I once again was swept off vicariously through your post to my favorite spot on earth other than home! =)

My favorite toy? I still have it! It was a pink plush bunny (known as "Pinkie" of course) which my father won for my mother at a fair of all things BEFORE I was born. After I arrived, it was given to me. I wasn't able to sleep or go anywhere without it for years!!! Now Pinkie is rather crunchy to the touch (the old foam stuffing inside hardened) and he is a pinkish gray, but I still have him!

Kari & Kijsa said...

You are invited to a SURPRISE BLOGGY BIRTHDAY PARTY for kari this Wednesday, Feb 20.
She is turning 40!!!

I would love for you to stop by the party on Wednesday to surprise (hopefully!) the birthday girl, enjoy a bite of cake, sprinkle a little of your magic birthday dust, and check out the party favor giveaway!


ChelleBez said...

Oh you are sooo lucky to have such beautiful flowers blooming all around you. I am completely envious. We're still very much in the throes of winter here. One thing I do remember fondly about my trip to the UK was the fresh flowers everywhere.

Your Valentines day plants are very pretty. I think they will make a wonderful addition to your garden. Do they smell good?


Joanna said...

We love the picture, Captain Rupert would love to be with all those bunnies. I have been eyeing up some purply pink helebores, what lovely valentine gifts. I had been admiring Lucie Attwell and vintage toffee boxes in the V and A the other week. They had some lovely ones with rabbits on. As for a most reasured childhood toy, its hard I was rather fortunate andhad alot. All loved and all cared for. Best of all was an empty cardboard box and a packet of tissues, from which I would make all my other toys houses!

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

Hi Michele! Can you feel the earth moving? It is from me jumping up and down over the cute giveaways you have!!!! How sweet it all is!!

Ok, I had a few favs as a kid. One was my 45RPM record player - red - and I'd listen to my Beatles records over and over again! Then there was my Penny Brite doll, which I still have. I made her clothes along with my mom and Nanny. My Chatty Kathy was a favorite until I "killed" her by pulling her string too hard to the point that she stopped chatting. I cried and cried......snif, sob.

Hope that you are staying nice and bundled up in the cold weather. Tis raining here much for our sunshine - he slipped behind the clouds for a few.


Anonymous said...

Hi Michele,
The frost is amazing isn't it? it look like we are in Narnia up here in Yorkshire i haven't seen frost like this since the 70's.ooh how old lol.
Your Hellebores are beautiful..are they hard to grow?
The spring flowers in the shops now are just yummy and your pic has made me want some... Hollyer's looks like a fantastic place to shop no wonder its your favourite.
Love Kristina xXx

Deb said...

Hi Michele
Beautiful picture of the frosty window! The patterns are amazing.
What a wonderful shop in Clifton to visit! Your giveaway is fantastic - please enter me. My favourite childhood toy was "Monkey" ~ he was given to me the day I was born and came with me on the plane when we emigrated from England to Canada. I still have him (should really do a post as this is a lovely idea) :-}

amy said...

lovely photos. and i love the giveaway! it is hard to pick my favorite toy from childhood as i still have several of them. but, i dearly love the pink and white gingham check doll i have that now lucy gets to play with

Denise said...

Hi Michelle - I originally come from Bristol and my mum and sister still live there, though I live in Essex now. My daughter is actually at university in Bath so I do get to visit the west country quite often. It's a long time since I've been to Clifton - maybe next time I visit I should take a look at some of those lovely arcades and shops.
My favourite toy when I was little was a set of Britain's flower garden, lots of little flowers, pots, lawns, sheds etc (I have a horrible feeling that when I was little they might still have been made of lead!). I think nowadays they are made of plastic. I remember the Mable Lucie Attwell books from when I was little, though it's a very long time since I've seen one

thevintagemagie said...

Another fantastic giveaway.. I can't resist, I just love Mabel Lucie Atwell. Well, my favourite toy was a little ted, aptly named Little Ted, and a little cream coloured rabbit called Bow Wow :0 !! Oh I loved them so, couldn't go anywhere without them, and they are still with me now, God love 'em.!!

LiLi M. said...

I have missed this post (being off line probably). My favourite toys were dolls. And I guess dolls combined with...a blackboard. Of course I was the teacher and all my dolls were sitting in front of me, starting with the biggest. At real life school they always started with the smallest (not in my advantage) so it would be honoust to change that once. I was teaching them to read and to write. We never did maths. Another favorite game was making things. We would't leave the country for a small vacation without coloured paper, glue and scissors and I still love that. I always tell people that those 3 years in kindergarten turned out to be the most profitable form of education in my life. Last will be: Barbiedolls and making clothes for them, as those clothes Mattel sold were beautifull but far too expensive. I still like all those!

Alchamillamolly said...

Here I am sneaking in at work - still no broadband I am bereft. well my favourite toy now theres a question. Jennifer my baby doll with a sculpted curl on her head - was loved very much and sat on my Nanna's bed after I grew up until she died when I was 47. She had hand kntted clothes made by my Mam and Nanna and how she was loved. I spent hours and hours playing with my 'Miniature Garden' by Britains. I still have it in a 'Bri nylon' shirt box of my Dads all carefully wrapped and so cherished. My sindy was then the loveo f my life as I grew older - I can remember when she came on Christmas morning with a 'Tam o Shanter' and a scarf - I thought I had the world. My most vivid memory of her thought is going to Redcar one Saturday morning with my Nanna and her buying me a black and white dog tooth check cape for Sindy - I can remember running in off the bus to my Mam and she was crying - watching the tele - it was Winston Churchill's funeral - she shouted at me to be quiet because it was such a serious occasion and that I wouldn't have a Sindy it it wasn't for him! I can still remember being heartbroken at what she said and my Nanna being cross with her. I still have lots of clothes for Sindy as well as my original doll. My Mam bought soem ready cut clothes for her and we made them up and Nanna knitted tint clothes as well. When I am unpacked (!!! - 43 boxes to go!!) I shall find them and take some photos.

prettyshabby said...

Hi Michele, Ive been lurking but love the idea of old teddy tales so thought i would leave a bunny belonged to my dad,he wears a crochet 1930s romper suit and his beautiful lilac fur can only be seen in the joins, everyone always picks him up and says aaarh and gives him a hug..but he still looks so sad and forlorn with his little pink stitched nose..I'll put a picture on my blog for you to see him!I love him to bits and have had him since I was a baby.
best wishes,Sairer

Anonymous said...

Hi Michele just found your blog again and I had a Mabel Lucie atwell annual as a child I used to love those sweet pictures, My eldest son always had round red rosie cheeks like her pictures. My favourite toy as a child was a pink rabbit i had with soft inside ears. I think they were made of satin i used to stroke them they were so soft. I lost him in a b and b in Gloucester and the lady sent him back! dottydesigns x

dottydesigns said...

Hi Michele just found your blog again and I had a Mabel Lucie atwell annual as a child I used to love those sweet pictures, My eldest son always had round red rosie cheeks like her pictures. My favourite toy as a child was a pink rabbit i had with soft inside ears. I think they were made of satin i used to stroke them they were so soft. I lost him in a b and b in Gloucester and the lady sent him back! dottydesigns x

Vintage to Victorian said...

Hi Michele

I know your giveaway is finished, but I'm only just catching up and thought I'd tell you about Janet, my first doll, received in 1953. She enjoyed many a seaside holiday in the '50s and early '60s, to the extent that I felt guilty the year we left her at home!! She then sat on a chair in my bedroom until her head fell off about 30 years ago! She lived in a carrier bag until last year when I finally got round to getting her made whole again. Her home is now the bookshelf in our bedroom, although she's testing a doll's cot for me at the moment before I offer it for sale! The enforced rest in the bag has meant that she now has plenty of energy at the age of 55!!