30 July 2013

Paper quilling...

Arita Makiko

Quilling or paper filigree, is where strips of paper are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs. Paper is wound around a quill to create a basic coil shape then glued at the tip and arranged to form flowers, leaves, and ornamental patterns.

28 July 2013

symbol of rebirth...

Egyptian revival winged scarab brooch of 1900, set with emeralds, sapphires, pearls, rubies and rose cut diamonds in yellow gold

25 July 2013

Father and son...

"When you're happy, you enjoy the music,
but when you're sad, you understand the lyrics".
- Frank Ocean

23 July 2013

The last days of July 2013... mood board


Foxgloves - davesgarden.com / fabric - Donna aran / rose - David Austin rose Darcey by Clive Nichols / blue leaved potatorum - unknown / washing illustration - unknown / flowers - unknown / pink foxgloves - www.waysidegardens.com / lavender -  / elephant - unknown / embroidered butterflies - mothtales.tumblr.com / purse - Lorna Bateman on folksy  / mint http://www.alanbenson.com/  / daisies - / book - unknown / flowers - easternbreezes.tumblr.com / sculpture - Nora Naranjo Morse / pine bark - unknown / deckchairs - prettyunpretentious.blogspot.co.uk  1930's girls on beach - unknown / pink peony - Nicole W. / dyes - www.flickr.com/photos/alastairhumphreys / boy with coca cola - Vladimir Zotov / fruit - thereluctantrawfoodist.tumblr.com / orange slices - unknown / peeling paint - intriguingsmelloflife.tumblr.com / fabric - Yoshihiro Kimura / elephant - m-e-r-m-a-i-d-c-h-i-l-d.tumblr.com / flower mosaic - www.majormosaics.com

19 July 2013

Our haunted bedroom...

illustration - Yelena Bryksenkova

Ok mad as this sounds I think our bedroom might be haunted. It's either that or I really am unable to distinguish between being asleep and being awake. But after three weird things happening so far this year, I don't think it's that, and no, I hadn't been watching horror films or eating cheese before going to bed!

I brought the subject up one evening with friends and had two reactions, either 'you were dreaming just waking up' or real interest and sensible questions. I have to say mr. man was a lot quieter and less dismissive than he'd normally be, maybe it was because he'd been there the night I screamed.

"The Haunted and The Haunters" lithograph - Odilon Redon 1896

The first 'happening' was sometime in the early morning when I woke for no apparent reason. I was lying on my side facing the wardrobes and opened my eyes, in front of me were two figures one behind the other, I say figures because they were human shaped; head, shoulders, body, but there were no features and I could see through them. It was just like the after image you get when you look at a light bulb then turn off the light. (This bit takes longer to read than the actual experience it happened very quickly) - I screamed and pulled myself up onto my elbow, mr man woke turned and asked 'what's wrong?' we were now both fully awake... 'a ghost' I shouted looking at them, at this point the nearer of the two figures moved towards me and I screamed again, then they both disappeared, 'it's only a dream' he said, if so it was a dream with my eyes open.

The second occurrence happened early one morning, mr man had gone downstairs as he usually wakes up about 6.30. I'd just turned over in bed to face the windows and standing there, (thankfully on the other side of the bed) was a man quite solid looking, holding a box camera, just as I was wondering what was going on he disappeared.

The third one was a bit more unsettling as I was alone in the house, mr man was away working and my son was away at university. This time I knew someone was there even before I woke and opened my eyes. Over dramatic as this sounds, there's no other way to describe her than as an old crone, those were the words that came into my head, but I suppose really she probably just looked like my old paternal Granny who was into her late 90's when she died. I didn't get the feeling she was very friendly and it was a bit frightening, so I basically said out loud b****r this, closed my eyes, pulled the duvet over my head and went back to sleep.

photo - Jan Banning

If I don't sound too impressed with these three occurrences,  it's because over about the last twenty five years or so I've seen the same man at least once in each of the four houses we've lived in. I say man because that's what my brain tells me, but it's a solid dark figure that gives the impression of wearing a suit and what appears to be a bowler hat. I sit up with a start and cry out because I know some ones standing by the bed watching me, he's not really frightening, more unnerving. This same figure appeared so often I wondered if he was a precursor of something and worked out it was either illness or moving house but couldn't decide which, now I think I know! Our house went on the market Monday, (Thursday morning we received an offer for the asking price - fast or what?) and I haven't seen hide nor hair of him in this house, therefore I think he might be a warning of illness. The last time I saw him was just before I ended up in hospital for three weeks, (but as we also put our house up for sale that year I wasn't sure) the time before that he had appeared just before a bad bout of bronchitis and we didn't move house for a couple of years after. So... not a scientific study but enough to make me think.

apologies to Magritte

   And it seems I'm not the only mad woman in the family...
In the 30's my mother lived in the middle of nowhere in the countryside in a place called Pilning, she was about 14 and was delivering a paper to an old lady in Awkley nearby. It was a bright sunny day and she was talking with the lady by the gate of her cottage, the only sounds were birds, there was no one around and no other nearby houses. All of a sudden  she heard the thundering of horses hooves and the sound of wooden wheels. She turned and saw an empty funeral carriage with no driver hurtling down the hill towards her pulled by two black horses with plumes of black feathers on their heads. They were so close she saw the sweat on their bodies and heard their heavy breathing as they galloped passed and turned the corner at the end of the road. My mother says she just stood there open mouthed. The old lady asked "whatever's the matter you've gone as white as a sheet? you've seen the horses haven't you, oh, you're one of the lucky ones" The old lady hadn't seen or heard anything herself but knew all the local legends and it was something to do with a suicide.

I'd started writing this post some time ago but was unsure how it would go down so held it back, but was encouraged to finish after having recently read a post by hettie brown which among other things contained her experiences with a much more exotic ghost, read here A Little Siesta  thank you hettie.

16 July 2013


also called Korean patchwork. It looks beautifully delicate and transparent as if made from muslin or very fine cotton. I'd love to make something like this to hang in an open window. Imagine it blowing gently with a cool breeze in this hot weather, the sun shining through it like stained glass.  

11 July 2013


sculpture - Elena Kirilenko


Life is made of the little moments

painting - Patrick William Adam 1912

6 July 2013

In the Summertime...

Well it's certainly taken it's time in arriving, it's come in with a heatwave and is predicted to be here for the next two weeks, so I'm sure we'll all understand if everyone's posts are a bit sporadic, I think we'll have better things to do than blog for a while don't you? at least now I can play this one!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend and enjoy the weather.

4 July 2013

The little tea shop...

                                    Am I a sad case? 
                                                       several years ago I had the idea it would be lovely to have a little tea shop somewhere, sometime in the future, and although it was pointed out to me by mr man that it would never make any money, I still harbour the thought in the back of my mind. A very small little place set somewhere in the 40's and 50's, the kind of place Agatha Christie's Miss Marple would have visited. I even imagined it could have been named Miss Marple's tea shop. There would have been photographs of Margaret Rutherford on the walls (my favourite Miss Marple, though I'm sure she probably wasn't what Agatha Christie had in mind when she wrote the character). I could even have added  a few photos of my mother who, it's worrying to say, is the image of her, (after all, we end up looking like our mothers). In fact she looked so much like Margaret Rutherford that when my son was younger and we watched her films he was convinced it was his granny.

There would have been no mothers or nannies with screaming children and buggies cluttering up the aisles, a sign on the door would have barred them, there are plenty of coffee shops out there for them to sit in and annoy people.

Inside it would have been slightly nostalgic, with little tables covered in crisp white tablecloths, just big enough for one or two people. All the vintage teacups and saucers would have been different, and it would have served the most wonderful Victoria sponge cake. Although It couldn't have supported the trio of lovely ladies playing in the clip below, the music wouldn't have drowned out the clicking of knitting needles and conversation.
                                                                  A clip from one of my favourite films - The Green Man

With this idea in my head I became rather addicted to buying  tablecloths and tea sets from ebay, particularly if they were decorated with violets, and never paying more than a couple of pounds at most. That's why there are several boxes marked fragile cluttering up the garage, here are some of  them...


You can almost see the sunlight through this one.

I love this set, it reminds me of Alfred Bestall's illustrations for his Rupert Bear books.

Over the years I sold off a few of the tea sets and turned some of the more damaged tablecloths into lavender bags like this...

How can anyone fail to make something pretty out of such beautiful hand embroidery? 

But there are still some nice things boxed up. I've considered opening a second etsy shop, just to sell the vintage bits and bobs hanging around that mr man keeps coming across and mumbling about... "what's this, what are you going to do with this?" as he holds up a big old toy Citroen van...

I don't know...

But as the frightening prospect of a move from my little village in the big smoke to Dorset seems to be definitely on the cards, perhaps all the lovely bloggers out there who go to some amazing looking fairs will let me join them. I've only been doing one a year, the Christmas one at my son's old school. Somebody took this terrible photo for the 'friends of the school' website, if you look closely you can just see mr man sitting on the left behind my table (playing on his phone by the look of it) while I've obviously gone off to the loo, in other words, having a nose round to see what there is.

But until I do part with my little hoard, I'd like to think there's still the possibility of Miss Marple's tea shop, with it's mismatched tea cups, embroidered tablecloths and Victoria sponge cake, if I did open it, would you come and visit me, would you join me for a cup of tea?

photo - baking joy

OK, by now



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