Thursday, 28 May 2009

Half Term Fun.

The week is flying by and has been full of many things: the beach - of course - on one of the few absolutely gorgeous days. A day of eating an absolutely enormous picnic made by Dave, feeding appetites sharpened by running in and out of the sparkling blue sea...

and body-boarding in the gentle ripples.

A day where my Sam decided to join us as he was leaving for Belgium to stay with his sister the next day. He had only been back from New Zealand for a week after a stay of several months, so it was lovely to have him all to ourselves before he disappeared once more. He will probably have the shock of his life if he sees himself here, though he is an incredibly laid back chap and I can't get hold of him to ask anyway!

The wekk has also consisted of frantic cleaning of the house ready for a visit from Ginny of Sweet Myrtle and her lovely girls, and Diana of Pebbledash accompanied by Walter who behaved impeccably (despite being terrified of our two cats!). I cannot show any pictures as we made a pact, though there is a lovely one of us comparing noses which I was tempted to put here! Such a lovely, perfect day of eating and chatting and laughing, where Mr Davey fed us with homemade bread, tortilla, pasta, scones, pasties...oh the list was endless and lunch drifted into dinner. Diana and Ginny brought heaps of goodies too: delicious homemade hoummus (not sure of spelling) and egg mayonnaise and peppers; again, the list was pretty extensive and so we all did it justice, particularly Lucy!

Quick photo of the scarlet poppies in place of us! It truly was a very special day and the first time I had met Ginny who was just as gorgeous as I had thought she would be, arriving with the most beautiful gifts for us all (whereas my plans had all gone completely awry to my utter mortification. It will be rectified girls, I promise!). Lucy has lived in her strawberry tee shirt, even wearing it to a writing workshop the very next day, so thank you Ginny. The children all got on so well and were glimpsed screeching their way up and down the corridor from time to time with great smiles on their pretty faces. Lucy really loved it and Isabella was the quietest I have EVER known her!

Yesterday, Tom showed us one of the shell pictures he has been working on. He wanted to bring out the subtle colours of mussels, the mauves and blues and charcoals with the pearly insides reflecting the shimmer of light. Unfortunately the light was very flat yesterday and so these photos do not do it justice, but he is going to take more on the seashore when the weather improves.

Such a beautiful pattern which highlights the swirls we associate subconciously with the ocean: the swirl of ever-moving currents and waves

of rippling sands moved by the shushing waters dancing on the shore

the swirl at the centre of shells of many colours, shapes and sizes, all having that tactile quality that makes us run a finger over the surface

I think it is beautiful and foresee a new business starting here ...well done Tom x

That's me for today. Have a lovely Thursday x

Thursday, 21 May 2009

A busy but lovely week.

I don't seem to have found much time for blogging this week. I hate saying how busy I have been all the time because almost everyone I know is busy too and I certainly don't think I am the busiest of busy people BUT I do seem to have been fairly up to my eyes in it just lately. I am lucky though as I really, absolutely, honestly love having lots of different things to do. Even so, it was good to stop yesterday morning for tea and cakes with a friend I haven't seen for a long, long time and her lovely husband. Actually, the photo is a bit of a farce as I completely forgot to use our tea cosy! There were cakes aplenty though and scones, jam and cream to help them along (all freshly baked before the school run I might add, just prior to a frantic cleaning session as the reality of our hovel hit me...groan).

Such a lovely morning of catching up and next week brings the chance for a meet up with another couple of dear friends: Gorgeous Ginny and Dear Diana - hurray! We are planning a picnic (hopefully) with children and Walter Dog who no doubt will be spoiled rotten. Oh, and Mr Davey is planning to join us (be warned). Can't wait.

The garden is also being squeezed in where I can. I raced out to mow lawns after a sewing of orders session yesterday afternoon to find this...

How beautiful are these scarlet poppies? I have been waiting, waiting for them to start the dance, but they have stayed in the wings, not quite ready to spread their skirts in the cruel winds blustering the rest of the garden to pieces. The sun shone for a little while and suddenly the scarlet silk shimmered and rustled and lit the garden with its beauty. Wouldn't you just love to own a dress like this?

As beautiful inside as out, which is as clothes should be and yet so rarely are.

Other good things happening just now:

1. Davey was visited by Ofsted and got Outstanding...Again!!! How proud are we? VERY! x

2. We are going out on Saturday to a party...woohoo! Haven't been out for an age and will be required to get dressed up and wear lovely thing such as these dearly loved shoes which haven't had their chance to dance for far too long.

3. The sewing room has been working overtime - well, with a little help from me - as I have had orders flowing in...again, woohoo! pipany is now stocked in a number of stores throughout the country and orders from my website have been increasing too. This is all due to a huge amount of work on my part, but it is truly paying off now and I am so thrilled. So, on that note I think I will go make Lucy's packed lunch, get Isabella dressed and ....probably eat a brownie!

Have a lovely day x

Monday, 18 May 2009

A birthday weekend.

Isabella was three years old on Saturday, so the weekned consisted mostly of baking, cake and balloons.

Present opening took place with everyone piled onto our bed as usual and even big brother Tom arrived ludicrously early so as not to miss out. Note the 'Dr Feelgood' name tag from her doctor's set which we thought was hilarious. (The Duplo arrived the day before, Jane!).

Elias made fresh pasta for dinner with a delicious spinach pesto sauce. He really is great at making it using the pasta machine and can do the whole process on his own now, which is pretty cool for a twelve year old I think.

Food for the party on Sunday was started in the morning with Lucy kneading the dough for the pizzas and helping to make cheese and salami palmiers (flaky pastry bites which are best warm), pizza sauce, egg sandwhiches with lovely fresh eggs from our own hens, and more.

I decorated my lemon cake with lots of pretty spring flowers.

Mr Davey made scones, tortilla and the gorgeous chocolate birthday cake as tradition dictates. Jugs of beautiful aquilegia, campion and buttercups from the garden were placed throughout the house. I think we made enough!

I hung a net of balloons over the table and once the candles were blown out on the cake, we released them. Such an easy thing to do, but it looks so lovely. Shame I forgot to get a photo! Here's Isabella all excited about her cake and that gorgeous chap holding her is my lovely Sam (second eldest son!) who arrived back from New Zealand as a surprise about 7.45am that very morning after a 44 hour journey and little sleep. Isabella took one look at him, said in a sorrowful voice, "Sam I lost you," and raced to hug sweet! He's back for about a week, then off to Belgium to stay with his sister for a bit, so I am making the most of him.

Other than Isabella's birthday and Dave & I endlessly reminiscing about when she was born, the weekend had me sewing like a dervish to finish up the next batch of orders, and poor Dave also working his socks off as he has Ofsted visitng his school this week - just to add to an already overflowing workload. Hmm, sometimes life throws a dozen balls in one go and the result is sleepless nights. Soon be half term and a brief respite from all the stress...for a bit. At least someone was able to sleep!

So, Happy Birthday my gorgeous, feisty, stubborn, very cute and absolutely precious Isabella. We love you our little growing-up-girl'. x

(P.S. forgot to say on a totally practical note that today is the last day for the Lauren Tote Bag offer, so click on the link if you would like to order one.)

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

The Weekend & an Offer.

The weather has turned cold yet again, dull and windy but not raining so I guess I can't complain and I will be tucked away in my sewing room today where, no doubt, I won't notice whether what is happening outside. I have a clear roof in there and the light quality is amazing, but sometimes I find I emerge at the end of the day with no idea what has been going on in the world outside. I will work away, listen to Radio 4 and think of the weekend that has been with its bluebell walks written of in length in the last post.

I will think of the delicious food consumed in fairly large quanitities such as these stuffed butternut squash full of toasted pecan nuts, chopped salami and cheese with a generous sprinkling of mixed herbs fresh from the garden...mmm.

The birthday pasty made by Dave for a friend with a pasty obsession! A lovely evening of chat and much laughter.

The choosing of a suitable bowl...

to use as a base because Isabella wanted to make nests. Having collected 'dicks' (unfortunate that Isabella doesn't often pronounce the 's'!) and feathers from the duck pen, she then decided that a nest really needs buttercups and proceeded to pick handfuls of them. So pretty, but not long-lasting - tears followed; more tears followed when our papier-mache efforts dried too quickly and all the paper dropped off the bowl! Ah well, you can't win them all. As I can't show a picture of the finished work, I will show a picture of a dress I made many years ago for a niece instead... or not

The second the camera comes out Isabella sees a chance for a game. I'll try again while she is drinking; no, that still doesn't work as she fidgets constantly, this little never-still butterfly-girl. How dated and quaint the huge puff sleeves seem now and yet I rather like to see her wear it, her ringlet curls somehow suiting the style.

Another photo of bluebells I think...

before letting you know that I have decided to put an offer on my website for the Lauren Tote Bags as they were so popular in the feedback from my giveaway. From now until next Tuesday (19th May) anyone who wishes to order a tote bag will be able to do so for the offer price of £20.00 per bag instead of the usual £25 they sell for. I have removed all postage & packing costs from the website, so the total is as stated. Just click on the 'order now' button and the new price will show on the checkout and will apply however many you may choose to order - well, I don't know - you may have a run of birthdays coming up! Anyhoo, I hope it may be of use to some of you who didn't win the main prize.

Well, the sun is now shining brightly and it is a blissfully breezy day, so I will off to my sewing room.

Have a lovely day x

Monday, 11 May 2009

Giveaway result!

Well, here it is and I have to say I really enjoyed doing this - right up to the moment where Isabella picked the names out of the bag; suddenly I felt a meanie for not giving everyone kind enough to join in a present. Oh well, I think I may well do another giveaway very soon.

So, the result is.....

Preseli Mags - well done you and could you please email me your address so that I can post off your prize (though it may not be until early next week as I am still frantically working on orders!). Promise it will get there soon though x

Calico Kate

I also got Isabella to pick out 4 more names and will send these a little something - though probably not what you said was your favourite item, she said panicking that stocks will dwindle quicker than I can stitch!!!

Please email your address to:

Thank you all again for taking part and helping me out too x


This weekend was just lovely with a walk yesterday afternoon down through the woods to the place Dave takes the littles (and sometimes the bigs too) camping: Tremayne Quay. This wonderful place is situated on the Lizard peninsula, an area of Cornwall which has a magic of its own with hidden villages, leafy lanes and the most amazing beaches. And of course, it is bluebell time, so everywhere was covered with carpets of blue.

We set off through the gate and made our way at a very brisk pace down the track. Isabella never walks anywhere, but hurtles along at the most precarious rate ever, hence our need to keep up with her.

All the way down through the woods we could hear or see the river keeping us company, its calm waters glittering through the branches

and sometimes glimpsing the tree-lined bank on the opposite side. The river widens the closer to the quay you get, but always, always you are surrounded by that sensual perfume of bluebells.

Gorgeous, dainty, wonderful bluebells.

Past the beautiful boathouse built of granite and slate, and so pretty against the backdrop of trees.

Finally down to the quay itself. You can camp either here on in the woods for free and it is rarely busy as it can only be reached by either walking the long track through the woods carrying all your equipment or by river. This is proper camping with no shops or toilets, no fresh water supply or shower room. It is the best and the children absolutely love it. They spend their days exploring the dense woodland, playing by the water or swimming in the creek, but mostly building fires to read or play games by, or to just listen to the sounds of the river.. Of course, a fire is good for making hot chocolate and toasting marshmallows too, something we continue in our own garden by our campfire.

The view is wonderful

with even a swan or two

and that special feel of water neath gently bending boughs of freshly opened leaves

Then back through the woods once more

looking over rolling hills and patchwork fields.

Is there anything like...

too many...

bluebells? No, I didn't think so either.

I will be doing the giveaway draw at 12 noon as promised and will pop a brief post on to say who won. Still time to enter for those who haven't.
Happy Monday x