Wednesday, 28 April 2010

House at Pooch Corner ...

It is that time again..
well.. almost..
In 3 days time.. I will be packing the old jalopy with this motley lot...and heading for the town of Chipping Sodbury, where the 4th Vintage & Handmade Fair is taking place in the town hall.
My faithful family of vintage pooches will all be up for adoption.. and even the throne they are sitting on.
There is a breed to suit all tastes.. Terriers, Spaniels, hounds of all shape and size..and a few feline friends too.. even a horse on wheels.. much cuter than the Trojan Horse.Luckily they all get on famously..Otherwise fur really would fly!
Thanks to this excellent local site Family Soup and several others.. the fair is firmly on the map now and I do hope that you will be able to come along and join the happy throng..
Just bring a purse and a smile.
Look forward to seeing you there..!!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Notes from the sky ...

The kisses in the sky are back.. drawing back the curtains this morning, I saw the familiar criss cross patterns that have evaded our unblemished skies for the last week.
I know for some of you.. it has been a week of frustrations, being stranded at various destinations across the globe, but I for one, I have loved the peace of a plane-less word, hearing nothing but birdsong in the morning and not the usual roar and down shifting of engines as the planes start their descent to Bristol airport. Doesn't it feel good to reclaim the world as it was before air travel became the prerogative of society? I know that B.A would certainly not agree with me!
After the long wasteland of winter.. my blogging spirit seems to have returned along with the longer days and that bright thing in the sky... I have woken up to the fact that there is much to do this next week, with preparations for the 4th Vintage & Handmade Fair looming and a small matter of a photo-shoot days after.. Panic is the order of the day!
Whilst still in holiday mode..Mr Custard and I stepped out to a local open garden last weekend.. a real gem of a place..tucked betwixt Bath and Bristol and never before discovered.. by me at least. So it was... last Saturday that we took the short journey to Hanham Court..and boy was I excited about seeing this place having picked up a brochure in the local garden centre the week before.
It was a perfect day for seeing this special place for the first time.. the sun was warm..almost too warm... and the skies lapis blue..a perfect backdrop for some of the plants you are about to see.
So take my hand and I will lead you through the gates in to this enchanted world....

Turning through the gates we were met by the most beautiful sight.. a display of Snakes Head Fritillaries..

A whole field of them nestling under a large walnut tree..

Down in the valley below lives a Gypsy caravan.. perfect for that weekend in the country.. even if it is in your own back garden..

Now this is what I call high rise living...the dearest little tree house tucked away in branches of an old Yew tree.. I almost expected Hansel & Gretel to appear at the windows..

Far from grotty.. the pretty grotto framing the pond area...

... rich with pots of cheery tulips..

I loved this little lonesome tin caravan..

Sitting on the edge of the gardens and looking so pretty with it's Magnolia neighbours...

Striking a pose against the deep blue sky..

Criss crossing paths.. with surprises around every corner..

Like this beautiful Auricula Theatre which is currently housing pots of Pansies and Violas..

This one leading back to the house...

.... and oh.. what a house....

Part medieval court house and dripping in the largest Wisteria I think I have ever seen..
We have vowed to return throughout the summer to see the latest blooms and have been told that the roses and tree Peonies are something to behold....
So if you are ever in this neck of the woods on a Friday - Sunday... then I urge you to take the time to visit this magical garden.. you will not be disappointed !

There is plenty of floribunda to be seen elsewhere too...
For example in Milly & Dottie's Dovecote where you will find delightful floral puzzles..

...and all manner of garden ephemera.. or in the Library where there is plenty of summer-time reading to brush up your knowledge of flora and fauna..

Before I pick up my trowel for the day and venture out in to my ' not so grand garden' .. I will leave you with this charming Oilette floral still-life By Henri Cheppy a well known 19th century artist ..

One of the Raphael Tuck series of "Jewels from Nature's Garden' series.. This will be coming to the Vintage & Handmade Fair with me on May 1st...if I can bear to part with it!

More about the fair in the next blog post...

Meanwhile I hope you have a wonderful day cultivating your freckles and gardens in this beautiful Spring weather..

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Wot i did in my hols .....

Do you remember those obligatory essays that would always follow a school holiday? I can think of no other way to bring you up to date with my adventures than to write an account of what I did in my Easter hols which are sadly drawing to a close when my boys return to their suits and studies tomorrow.
The start of our holidays was spent consuming chocolate with relish and gay abandon as I had miraculously managed to give it up for Lent.. the double chin had receded and I was feeling positively virtuous.. but two weeks on.. the excess baggage has returned and I am a fallen woman.. eating Oreo's, Kettle Crisps and Brie toasted sandwiches without remorse or conscience.
Easter Monday we set off at the crack of dawn, leaving a note and can opener for our cat to help himself to any tin he could reach in the cupboard (would I?.. cat was fed and watered by neighbours before you call the R.S.P.C.A) and we headed for the beautiful Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall for the second Homespun Fair hosted by Jane and Christine. It was strange to be a visitor this time as I was fortunate to attend their first successful fair in August last year.
Arriving bang on time to see a queue forming outside.. we filtered in to the pretty hall and I set eyes first on Nicky's fine family of bunnies ...

.. before working my way around the hall to be greeted so warmly by dear Viv and her husband... Jane was busy putting the finishing touches to her delicious stall, Amanda from Shabby Chick was sitting amongst an impressive display of vintage finery.

Lizzie, Leonore and Clare were also familiar faces and were soon lost in the rapidly filling hall by a sea of people eagerly parting with their pennies..
I failed to take more photos as I was too busy soaking up the friendly buzz in the hall and spending some precious time catching up with old friends..
Mr Custard meanwhile had wandered off as he still isn't sure he 'gets' the vintage concept .. so I caught up with him down in the pretty village of Portscatho where we ate our hot, scrummy pasties sitting in the harbour trying to avoid the opportunist seagulls.
No visit to this pretty corner of Cornwall would be complete without stepping in to the delightfully bijou and pretty emporium of the Sea Garden owned by Christine...

.. Such a delightful shop crammed with wall to wall loveliness.. vintage finds, desirable jewellery made by Christine herself and so much more ...

It was not long before we had to turn our car around and leave the happy throng behind..but we will be returning in August for the next Homespun Fair.. with a laden car full of Cowboys & Custard clobber as I will be attending the next fair.. can't wait!!
With the arrival of good weather I have virtually taken root in the garden for the last week and have completely fallen in love again with my lofty plot, in my usual fickle way! The winter seemed endless and left the garden looking sad and bereft.. A few days of welcome warm weather have worked wonders for the plants and now the gaps are closing up and the bare brown earth is gradually being carpeted with perennials and Spring bulbs..
It is our intention one day to up sticks and move to the country where Mr Custard is keen to keep chickens, grow his own veg and own a bee hive.With this in mind.. I suggested we dig over our embarrassingly overgrown veg patch and start this idyll by planting our first bed of broad beans etc.. Well.. Mr C's idea of gardening is to sit and strum the guitar sipping something cool... whilst I sweat and toil over the soil...

SO.. one sweaty afternoon later... this presentable patch emerged and now I have a family of broad beans, two rows of shallots (under the soil)one artichoke, rhubarb and some giant garlic (under the soil) sitting happily alongside each other...

Last weekend Jayne and I trundled off to the Dairy House Textile Fair in Semley ... a very successful event organised by Sue. A very enjoyable visit and once again many friendly and familiar faces were there.. Lizzie who was a blur of activity, Niki from Nostalgia, Donna Flower, Helen Roskell... were all there with their beautiful stalls enticing a happy crowd of buyers and visitors. Sadly I forgot to take my camera so you will have to visit Sue's blog to see the wonderful photos of the day.
I am sure this event will be one of many and has put Semley firmly on the map!!
So.. This has been an eventful and very happy hols... with even a touch of decorating thrown in.. a bathroom that was crying out for a lick of paint ..

Wonders will never cease... I even picked up a needle and thread for the first time since my clumsy efforts in needlework lessons at school... and created this..

Using my own badges, cowboy charms and buttons.. Not sure this was for my own amusement or whether it will sell... but I did enjoy this late foray in to the world of sewing...

Last but not least.. we discovered a small pocket of paradise only a hop and a skip from our home and I look forward to sharing this jewel of a garden with you in my next blog post..
I will leave you with an appetiser.. The gateway to this beautiful place..

So.. Miss.. this is wot I done in my hols...
Do I get a gold star?

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Easter Greetings

Wishing all my lovely blogging friends and followers a fine festive Easter weekend.. may it bring you happy times and some sunshine to ice the occasion..

Happy Easter from The Custard