Sunday, 15 June 2008

A new chapter & a new friend...

I was sorely tempted to delete my last post. It played heavily on my mind for several hours .. 'Should I have written such an indulgent post'?.. I enquired to Mr Custard..
"Well he said.. what is done is done and wait and see how people react".... That was my principal worry... what would you think about my rather desperate chapter in the life of Cowboys & Custard. Well I should have known that my dear and empathic blog friends would offer words of support and sympathy... but it is tempting to hit the delete button of life sometimes and in blogdom it is possible to do this and try and erase some of life's more challenging moments....

Having written my post yesterday we promptly went out to try and find an antidote to the woes of the last week and we succeeded in having a brief, but wonderful time and putting the worries of the last 48 hours behind us for a while.

Dear Annie from Saucerful of Secrets had sent me an invite to the Stroud Valley Open Studios.. an event that spans many artistic households and venues in the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside in and around the pretty town of Stroud. Very similar to the Brighton Open House event that I visited a few weeks ago where I met my dear friend Kim from Ragged Roses.

It was a perfect distraction and the journey to Stroud was awash with rural splendour... fields of ripening corn and poppies, quaint little Cotswold villages of mellow stone houses and leafy lanes cloaked our journey to meet this lovely lady who I had spoken to on the phone on two occasions and had promised that we would attend her open house exhibition.

I knew it was the right house the minute we drew up outside... a pretty Cotswold stone cottage with flowers abundant in the front garden and the very handsome Rufus to greet us at the gate..Rufus being a cat of Abyssinian less!
On reaching the back of the house I had a sense of deja vu... here was the 'oh so pretty' balconied house and winding cottage garden that I had seen on Annie's blog.. and it was such a charming sight bedecked with knitted bunting and flowers..
There were four artists displaying their fine crafts in the small converted 'Little Wren House" that Annie had written about recently on her blog.

Stepping inside her tiny but perfect emporium made my heart swell with a mixture of admiration, awe and envy.. it was absolutely delightful inside and crammed full of the most wonderful felted pictures, jewellery and Annie's very special trademark vintage textile dolls...(see photo of doll above) and why oh why did I not take a photograph of all this!!! I must have been mad to miss this opportunity..Lovely knitware and bunting

We stepped inside the kitchen to chat to Annie and my eyes were on stalks.. spanning the small but bijou room that was testament to another era.. one of a Victorian doll's house full of decorative arts and crafts... To have an idea you must go and read Saucerful of Secrets and see for yourself... It truly was a sight for sore, tired eyes and an absolute delight to see.
Mr Custard and I sipped coffee from pretty chintz china tea cups in the sun soaked garden and chatted briefly to the lovely ladies who were also exhibiting there.. The moment was perfect.

Thank you dear Annie for your friendly hospitality.. it was such a pleasure to meet last!

I am so glad that we made this journey and we came away with much happier hearts having shared some lovely moments with Annie and fellow friends and artists her enchanting home and garden...
I look forward to seeing her again one day and am more convinced than ever that a collective Blog Bonanza is long overdue .. something I would like to organise one day to bring all you lovely people together to chat and share the friendships that bind our blogs together..

This visit taught me a valuable lesson... not to sit on my backside this week feeling sorry for myself.. but to make the most of every moment and use the experiences of late to inspire some more craft projects..
It remains to be seen what I come up with but I will be sure to share it with you if it is worthy!


Sal said...

Well you deserved such a lovely surprise,that's for sure!
Hope you have a less stressful week,this week!
Take care..Sal ;-)

Ragged Roses said...

Oh I'm so glad you were able to get out and have a good day together. I wish I could have visited that Open House it looks lovely with so many wonderful things to see. Take care

LiLi M. said...

When I started reading your post I scrolled down immediately to read the post before. Well, I think you should write about whatever comes in your mind, its your blog and besides that; Lately I have been reading in a couple of dutch blogs that women were becoming very insecure about their own homes and lives because they were reading about other fantastic adventurous lifes and looking in other peoples always cleaned up and colored in this season's right color homes.
I can show them your way now ;-).
I like a real life blog, especially when there is a happy ending.
Have a nice week, a little more quiet than last week, wouldn't harm anybody at your place. And don't forget to smell a Lime tree, or have they stopped blossoming at your place, which is more southern than mine.

Nonnie said...

Sorry that you had such a stressful week last week but you shouldn't worry at all about sharing it with all us bloggers. We all need to have a moan from time to time. Really hope that Mr Custards Mum is soon on the mend.
Your trip to Annie's looks wonderful and just what you needed. I am going to pay her blog a visit straight away. I hope this week is less stressful and more creative. x

Dana and Daisy said...

I was so relieved when you wrote your last post that you have a real life with challenging days also. I didn't think you went on or whined too much. I love reading the expressions in your words which are so different than in my world, but clear with meaning anyway. I would have loved to visit that art show in Stroud as well. Your blog makes me want to visit your part of the world. We have a town of Stroud in Oklahoma, but I think it is not nearly as charming as yours. However, I have family there, so I should be careful of my words. They are probably quite fond of their town.

Country Cottage Chic said...

Michele, I hope that your lovely outing recharged your batteries & that your boy is feeling more like his old self. These exams really take it out of them doesn't it? We have the very last A level exam tomorrow & then The Girl can relax & enjoy the summer.

A Blog Bonanza is just what we need - what FUN it would be!

Love, Jayne

Simone said...

I think we all need a 'Little Wren House'. I am glad that you had some good moments yesterday and that you have many more good moments over the coming week!

Krafty Keely said...

I am so pleased you had a wonderful day.

It has already been said but this is your blog and you have every right to write what you please. I think it is refreshing to read when things are going wrong it reminds others they are not alone.

My husband's grandma was a very wise(if a little bombastic) woman and when we were married many, many years ago gave us a piece of advice which was "without the downs you can not recognised the ups"

How very true!


Just Original said...

I'm glad your mood has lifted, at the end of the day life is too short to waste a week been miserable!

I going over to read the her blog after leaving this comment as the pictures look fab.

Vanessa x

Unknown said...

Oh I'm with you, I would be so envious of that wonderful space, glad you had a lovely day.

Rosie x

julia said...

I was soooo excited to read this post. We went to the very house you've just shown and I was in love the minute we got through the gate. When we went into the kitchen I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! Annie was a joy, as were the other girls she was sharing her day with. I came away with the very earrings on the invite and a not so little bit of green eye! To hear she has a blog is music to my ears, I'm off there right now!
On a more sombre note, sorry to read about all your trials last week, sometimes life is a pain in the b"m, hope it's all settled down a bit and your son and mum-in-law are recovering.
Julia xx

Gill said...

We all live in the real world,with life's ups and downs, it's reassuring to hear that other poeple have c**p weeks too! (sorry!).I'd echo the earlier comment that when you get a glimpse into seemingly perfect homes and lives on other people's blogs it can make you feel a bit critical of your own home and life, so it's really refreshing that you've opened up a little bit ...just like you would to a friend.
That blog bonanza sounds a great idea :)

A Saucerful Of Secrets said...

Dearest Michele,I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit to us on sunday, as did I very much,all be it too brief...... you write such lovely things about me, my friends and home,I am very flattered.
Reading your previous blog, it is all too obvious that last week was very stressful for you,and it's ok to let off steam on your blog.Anyone who visits your blog on a regular basis would know that you enjoy life to the full and are passionate about the things and people around you,it hurts sometimes though doesn't it?Hope all is well for you all this week.LOVE AND BEST WISHES FROM ANNIE X

Louise said...

I'd love an emporium like this Michele, and to be called The Little Wren House, well that is just perfect. I am glad you had a de-stressing day. You must have had a marvellous time mooching through all the goodies, and so good of Mr Custard to mingle amongst the ladies too! x

prettyshabby said...

I've got some blog catching up to do!..what a lovely place you visited..looks intriguing.
I know what you mean by 'shall I post it posts' There are quite a few posts of mine where I've hovered over the delete button wondering whether its appropriate..I just think of it as waffling on to myself..warts and all!
ps I absolutely love your new creation in the post above..I have one of those little watering cans as a keyring!