Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Jolly Jaunts..

Well it's been a little while since I had anything much to say and in my defence m'lord.. I have been busy.. busy getting my head around the fact that our Vintage & Handmade fair is getting closer and closer.. 59 days to be precise.. and I have got oodles of things to do still!
It has not gone unnoticed that many of our stall holders have been slaving over steaming sewing machines for the last few months .. and this has pricked my conscience ... so I have not exactly been slaving.. more scavenging and collecting, lots of scrummy vintage goods to offer the unsuspecting public.. ( strong sense of deja vu reading this back)
I shall be specialising in vintage toys and assorted childhood nostalgia...amongst the usual C & C products..
I will just give you a little sneak at one of my latest finds.... Neddy the Donkey... well who else!He is rather gorgeous and I will have a hard job offering him up for adoption...

As the saying goes... all work and no play makes Michèle a very dull girl... so Mr Custard and I wrapped up against the elements and took off for a little jaunt to our local NT property last weekend....The Courts Gardens in the pretty Wiltshire village of Holt.. not a many miles from Bath and one of our favourite haunts.. in all seasons.
The day was dull and surprisingly cold after the tantalising taste of summer weather we had last week...
At the main entrance we were greeted by these very pretty little Anemone Blanda flowers that lit up the ground ... sparkling jewels shining out of the gloom..Every time we visit this garden we comment on how well it is tended.. not a weed in sight and always something of interest..
My favourite Hellebores..A winning combination of primroses, peony shoots and Muscari....the little blue bobbled flowers that reminded me of Liquorice Allsorts sweets.. the blue ones with the tiny bobbles on..
These yew trees always make us smile... they have a life and character all of their own and remind me of those Weebles toys (that wobbled but didn't fall down) .. as they wobble along the path... You can tell I need to get out more!There are a multitude of little paths and secret nooks and crannies in this delightful garden and it would be the perfect place to film The Secret Garden... Though not so secret.. as it does attract many visitors each year.. but we were lucky to have the place to ourselves for a while..After the cold wind had sufficiently numbed my digits.. we made a hasty bee-line for the cosy little tea room and thawed out with a lovely cup of coffee There is as you know a recession going on in this country....or hadn't you heard..? Well I do tend to switch off when the news comes on the radio or t.v... there is only so much gloom one can take..
Aaaaanyway..... I have been fortunate enough to win some fabulous new outlets for my greeting cards this month and one such place took us on another jolly jaunt to the newly opened.. utterly charming shop called The Laundry and belonging to Gloria Nicols.. nr Lydney Gloucestershire.I have long been an admirer of The Laundry's fine emporium which can also be viewed on-line and so I was like a dog with two tails when asked to supply some cards for the new shop...Gloria has a fine eye for vintage finds and contemporary home-wares and combines these with harmony and charm in her new shop... I urge you to visit if you find yourself in the neighbourhood.. or just click on to the site and shop from your armchair!
Another cause for celebre.. was becoming a stockist for another of my favourite shops..Re:Found Objects up in the wilds of Northumberland.. I have drooled over their site many a time as it is a little too far for us to visit on one of our outings.
So in true style... I celebrated with a cup of tea and the delectable Custard Creams.. with a friend..
Reasons to be cheerful ...

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Remembering Mum....

I came across this photograph yesterday.. it was taken over 20 years ago.. on a beautiful summer's day .. under the apple tree in my parent's garden..
This sudden discovery.. brought back a flood of memories.. of moments shared with my beloved mother.. a day of laughter and smiles as we played Trivial Pursuit under the shade of the tree..
I have many precious memories of my mother... she left me with a wonderful legacy.. a happy childhood filled with a constant, unconditional love ...I would give anything to return to that summer's day to share some more ..

To all mums on their special day...

Happy Mother's Day Mum...xx

Monday, 16 March 2009

Just a little green....

Today was a day to embrace the elements, the warmth and friendliness of the sun and indulge oneself with a bit of grubbing in the dirt..
The first to show their pretty faces are these tete a tetes....
Lenten roses...so delicate and shy...with their heads turned towards the ground..

Rabbits are a bit of a theme in my life as you can tell...
It did me the world of good to be out .. out in the air.. the elements.. the birdsong amongst the first colours of Spring..
Happiness is ...dirt under the fingernails and an aching back!

So if feeling blue... get out in the green!

Friday, 13 March 2009

In London's Fair city....

Yesterday was a landmark day for me..

The anticipation of it had me in a state of flux for several days as it has been many, many moons since I embarked on a journey to the big smoke let alone a walk to the end of my own small city.. so I felt a little like Paddington bear.. needing a case of marmalade sandwiches and a big label tied around my neck in case I lost my way... It was to Paddington station that I was heading on the first leg of my epic outing.. as I had arranged to meet my dear friend Sal who would hold my hand and lead me to the place where nerves quicken and purses empty in equal measures..
Enough of this cryptic talk.... we were off to the fair.. the bright lights, lurid colours and predominantly female mecca of the Country Living Fair..
It must be a good 14 years since I last visited.. and my memories of the event were ones of great fun and a rather depleted bank account by the end of the day...
Sal and I hastily made our way to the Business Design Centre in Islington and were soon shuffling along with the throng.. my head on a swivel .. scanning each stall for anything that 'spoke' to me.... and there were many things that 'spoke' to me... but not necessarily in the right way!
I did however find a few treasures that I simply couldn't resist and swooped on these when I saw them...... it was love at first sight! Just as I was tearing myself away from this particular stall.. Acorn & Will..I heard this little chap whisper in my ear.."buy me" and like a smitten woman.. I did!!
Sal and I did the rounds.. twice ... and soaked up the atmosphere which was liberally draped in bunting and Union Jacks.... lots of it!
I also managed a brief hello with my friend Dee Puddy who has a stand there... Dee had a clutch of my Noddy magnets and mirrors and I was delighted to see that they were selling like hot cakes... Who can resist Noddy! If you are yet to visit the fair.. then go and say hello to Dee.. she is a lovely lady and has some scrumptious goods for sale..
These two little four legged friends very nearly came home with me.. I couldn't bear to split them up and couldn't afford both so they were left behind..
This fine hound also captured my heart... but he was well out of reach.. in more ways than one!I think this was possibly one of my favourite stalls... It was beautifully displayed and everything was most covetable!I did however resist..There was one moment in the day that left me dumbstruck.... on asking the lass who owned the stall below..if I could take a photo for my blog.. she said.."are you Michele?" ... how could she to know who I was..? "I have read your blog" she said.... I was amazed.... and just for a nano second.. felt like a celebrity.After a reviving bite to eat we then limped back to Paddington to catch our respective carriages home.. whereupon I found mine had been cancelled.. so I spent an hour people watching and hopping from one leg to another waiting for the next train to come in.
It was a grand day out and such a treat to meet up with Sal....though I am not sure I am cut out to be a city slicker... I was exhausted by my adventure and fell in to bed, dreaming of Union Jacks, Yorkshire tea, bunting and blue bunnies.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Identity Crisis...

I am certainly not a Historian.. as for the Armchair Critic.. well.... on occasions it could be said I have far too much of an opinion whilst watching Masterchef or Escape to the Country..
I fear that the role I fit most aptly these days...is the Blithering idiot!
I just don't seem to be able to get my act together.... hence a rather protracted absence from my blog.. Please don't tell me you didn't notice... or worse.. care!!
It has been a while since I last posted on my blog.... for reasons that I am not entirely sure about.
My absence could be due to the eternal struggle with finding enough hours in the day to achieve all my wishes and work.. or could be the fact that my old laptop finally died last week and left me high and dry again until my sugar plum fairy (sorry P) waved his magic wand ..and..
***!!! shazzam ***!!! magicked up a new shiny lap top for me...Lucky lucky me..
It is rather an essential part of my life.. we are joined at the hip..me and my pooter and without this wonderful box of wizardry I am left up the proverbial creek without a proverbial paddle!

I was in the throes of designing some new cards for the hungry beast that is the retail industry.. maybe not quite so ravenous these days.. but still with enough appetite to demand new products from me.
It has been a case of swimming against the tide... inspiration very thin on the ground.. and mind in neutral and full of stuff and nonsense.. and not.."Happy Birthday" designs..
I did however manage a brief spark of creativity before my old pooter gave up the ghost and created some new Mother's Day.. stroke... Birthday ... stroke.. whatever you wish day.. cards.Lilac or Lime..?

Each design comes with my trademark.. detachable badge.. to wear with pride!

Several variations on a theme... all cards can be personalised with a name or a greeting of your choice..

Believe it or not.. I am being asked for Christmas designs now.. so I can foresee a summer of snow and Santas again...

Before I disappear into the abyss again... I must apologise to all concerned for the complete lack of dedication on my part to the tags I have been given in the past.
I will try and be a more dedicated and diligent blogger from now on...
When I have stopped being a blithering idiot!