Thursday, 31 May 2007


Well, in my excitement for New York I've been looking at lots of blogs and trying to compile a list of places that we absolutely have to go.... I think that louie might just shoot me if I go to all of them and frankly, my head is spinning from the choices!!!!

What I do need to know is a great place to go and have some cocktails!!!! This occupation will be second only to hunting for fabric and trimmings to help clutter up my already fully full house (my English is getting worse with every post I write... )

So anyone out there suggestions please!!! I'd be more than happy to suggest places in Liverpool to visit should anyone ever decide to visit on a Beatles tour!!!!

I leave you tonight with this lovely photo of an Iris from Long suffering mother's garden, pretty ain't it!

Wednesday, 30 May 2007


I've always wanted to live in the countryside. There are some beautiful places all over the UK and one of my favourite places is where my Grandparents used to Live in Mid Wales. They lived in a very small place called Dolanog. They have both died now, but about 5-6 years ago after my Grandfather came to live in a nursing home about 10 mins away from us (rather than an old house unsuitable for his needs about 80 miles away) it was entirely apparent that he was never going to live there again and we spent all our holiday entitlement and most bank hols/weekends there filling skips and sorting out not only a house full of generations worth of stuff, but a small business and post office. (My grandfather was known in the village as "Newton the post office"!) There was lots to clear out. Regardless of lovely incidents such as hunting for and finding an old rusty service revolver (we had asked him where it was... he told us "its in the Hampshire"... helpful? - not really!) wrapped in newspaper in my grandmothers sewing box and assuming because we knew what my Grampy was like, it was loaded (it wasn't) ringing the police and asking how we should dispose of it and them turning up to collect it! oh and a suspicious substance (I shan't tell you what) which necesitated my father getting a police escort to the nearest small town! (oh the fun! - and it was!) Well about 10 skips, a ripped out kitchen, bathroom, shop, store, two garages, a large garden, a piano, three piece suite and sooo much rubbish later we sold the house. We did however save this as a momento, it is a picture of the house when it was two houses and a blacksmiths many years before my grandparents bought it.

I'd loved to have seen it then, I wish we'd kept it, but times change and I'll just have to keep my fab memories of clearing it out, taking mallets to piano's (to this day I'll never know how they got it in...) scrubbing old quarry tile floors, having baths with the window open whilst watching the cows and sheep in the field opposite, sewing and playing cards with the others by dodgy electric and sometimes candlelight, calling Dad to remove the MASSIVE spiders that sometimes chased you out of rooms and eating breakfast sitting on the wall outside the front door.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Rain, Rain go away

Why is it that as soon as the peonies come out (see this post) that the heavy rain starts?.... I'm not impressed, we've been waiting years for it to flower properly and what do we get... rain... still the garden is enjoying it for the most part even if we are not.

I must admit one of the things I like is pretty china. I'm coveting these from Royal Albert, they are designed by Zandra Rhodes and are my current favourite... I'm trying very hard to contain myself (am saving hard for New York), but can you imagine these at afternoon tea......!

Well.... I think I'd better put the kettle on!

Friday, 25 May 2007

Happy Birthday you old tart

Dear Bertie,
It has been brought to our attention that you have now been our brother for the last 24 years. I'd like to say in that time, you have driven us mad and made us laugh, tormented us and been tormented by us all in equal measure, just as a siblings should. Have a great day mate, see you later and the first round is on us. Your fabulous sisters Fern and Dawn xxx

Just a little note to all those who aren't Bertie, when he describes Sophers and I to people we have not met, he says we are like Fern Britton (Me) and Dawn French (Sophie).... We choose to take this as a complement, but are never really sure about the likeness (apart from Sophie who is and I'm sorry to tell you this Dawn, but she's funnier than you)

Thursday, 24 May 2007

LSM's Quilts - with a little help from her friends

LSM (now a nickname that seems to have stuck) is a quilter, not your usual type on the sewing machine, oh no, she does everything by hand (bar the edges.. which I do anywhay so she does do everything by hand)

Here is one she made for her friends daughter

And another as a wedding present for my cousin and her husband

See - she should get a blog of her own then she can post all about the process seeing as she is just about to start on her next. I say she is I get the job of cutting out templates, the fabric and helping tack!!!

Life chez Ma and Pa's house

Today I went to Mr & Mrs Long Suffering Mother's house after work. I'm being allowed to post from LSM's laptop (am behaving myself) Sopher's went to make a drink and walked towards the kitchen to be greeted by the following sight...

Yup, that's right, all three of them (from front to back Dougal, Lucy and Hamish) with their best "oooh we are ever so good please feed us" faces I couldn't resist taking a few snaps!

I had another nice surprise, the peonies that were transplanted from my Grandparents garden 5 years ago have started to bloom and as requested by the lovely Sara here is a picture of the first opening bloom!

As this is my second post of the day I've not a lot more to add really! (makes a change doesn't it!!!)

Still we are now waiting for the festivities that will fall tomorrow when a certain baby brother has his birthday!!!

No luck just yet..

I've still not had any luck in persuading Mum, but one of her oldest friends (and i actually mean longest standing here - no offence to anyone!!) Jenny has started a blog of her own as has her daughter Rowena. Jenny makes fab quilts and Rowena has recently become a Mum and will in her way be very brutally honest about everything from what I know of Row! So go and have a visit! Jenny is coming over to visit us in August so I'm expecting some proper hard quilting lessons!

It is definitely the month for birthday's, as it is Bertie BB's tomorrow.... he's going to be 24 bless him I just hope that he isn't to down in the dumps after the result of last nights match..... glossing over that, I must get him the rest of his pressie... looks like a little shopping expedition for me later!

I've been reading the posts over at Tree Fall Design about Manda's New York trip, to say I'm excited for Louie and my 30th birthday adventure in October is vastly understating it, I'm so excited I might just pass out on the floor. Just think all those magazines and fabrics and notions and ITS NEW YORK PEOPLE... the museums, the galleries, the restaurants, central park, the Chrysler building....... the Library with those Lions... do you think they'd let me have a job swap.....?

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

A certain persons birthday....

Today I have to make sure everyone knows is Angel Jem's birthday. She may have mentioned it once... or twice, just in passing....!! So pop over there and say hi!

I'm having camera issues... actually scrap that the camera is fine, its me I'm having issues with. I'm trying to take a decent picture of a cup and saucer or a teapot for my banner and it just ain't happening. Any tips anyone before I go stark raving bonkers???

This is as good as I have managed so far.....

ahh well - perhaps I'll have to go bannerless (ooh er missus!)

So Mrs Jem Lady - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!! I hope you get some lovely surprises!!!

Monday, 21 May 2007

Just for fun

I've just discovered a new (to me) blog My gentle retreat has a great post of the following choices so I'm going to choose mine! Pick your favorite of each one and print it in bold.

Lace or Ribbon
Mountain or Beach
Reading or Writing
Cookie or Cake
Baked or Mashed Potato
Side or Back
Shrimp or Steak
Scrambled or Fried
Orange or Apple
Spring or Fall
Roller Skating or Bowling
DVD or Theater Movies BOTH!!!!
Wood or Glass
Blue or Green
Chocolate or Vanilla
Quilt or Knit
Early Morning or Late Night
Coffee or Tea (well obviously!)
Watermelon or Strawberry
Lunch or Dinner
Cold Cereal or Oatmeal
Song or Dance BOTH!
Carpet or Hardwood Floor
Red or Pink
Cat or Dog
Pretzels or Crisps
Iced Tea or Lemonade
Non-fiction or Fiction
Rose or Daisy
Sunrise or Sunset
Comb or Brush
Pottery or Basket
Bracelet or Necklace
Pen or Pencil
Couch or Chair
Country or Victorian
Farm or Ranch
Braid or Ponytail
Cash or Check
Chocolate bar or Jelly Beans
Coke or Pepsi
Hot dog or Cheeseburger
Blinds or Curtains
Dress or Pants
Sun or Moon
Adventure or Comedy
Cloud or Star
Lake or River
Half full or Half empty
Truck or Car (don't drive although I want a renault 4 van!)
Bath or Shower
Clothesline or Dryer
New or Second Hand
Gum or Lifesaver
Email or Handwritten
July or October
Barefoot or Shoes

I'm not going to use it as a tag, but please if you want to do it go ahead I had fun and surprised myself with some of the answers!

Will we ever be safe again.....

Well I've created a monster.... a blog cruising monster! My mum! She is as mad as a bag of badgers so look out for funny comments on a blog near you soon!!! Actually I'm trying to pursuade her to do her own blog so she can show some of her fab quilts - but she's shy bless her, so please help me try!!

We had much fun at the weekend buying plants and wedging them into poor Sophers car and a trip to the camping shop to get Sophers some bits for her big adventure to Africa in July! There was lots of planting, tea and coffee drinking and lots of chilling out and sewing. I finished the bunting I've made for a certain papoosue - all bespoke and ready to wrap up!! and some for Mum's little office for over the window in very pale muted colours.

I also took some snaps of the bags I've made for her that she hangs up for decoration when she isn't using them
This is the front of the polka dot one...

It looks like the lovely Nonnie had fun at her first craft fair, have a trip over there and have a look she certainly is a talented lady, whilst another one Cherry had an exciting house move, I can't wait for the photo tour!

Enjoy the rest of the day - it isn't raining!!!

Friday, 18 May 2007

It's Friday!!!!!!!!!!

Oh I'm so glad its the weekend (nearly) It seems like it has been a long week, especially as the weather here in Liverpool has been so bad. Its dark and miserable and I'm longing for the sunshine to reappear.

I went to Mum and Dad's last night, I usually do on a Thursday as we all go shopping together (I don't drive so I can get my "heavy" shopping) She has just retired so is taking the opportunity whilst the weather is bad to sort out all her quilting fabric before she embarks on one for my brother. In this tidying effort, she found some old sheets and some hankies which she has given to me (Thanks Mum) I'm going to have to find something exciting to do with them now! Any ideas anyone?

The buttons were in the bottom of the box mum gave me, I suspect that she'll want those back but I thought I'd photo them anyhow!!!

I do love an unexpected find!!!! Here's hoping that everyone has a fab weekend and that the weather gets much better and we transfer the rain to those that want it! Don't do anything I wouldn't!!!

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Does it do what it says on the tin???

It has occurred to me after reading the fabulous posts over at the winemakers wife that I have not, despite what I have named my blog, not actually posted anything about tea (well one post early on but that doesn't count really) I feel therefore I must explain. To me afternoon tea is a philosophy. I like to stop everyday at about 4 (even/especially at work if I can) to have some tea. I think it is important to stop, refresh and give yourself 5 mins or longer if you can manage it, I've known afternoon tea sessions last over an hour at my Mum and Dad's. I like to go the whole hog at the weekend too and have little sandwiches and perhaps a scone or a cake or a biscuit (I'm really into Sainsbury's organic oat biscuits at the moment...mmmmm) a pot of my fave Royal Blend (from Fortnum's so a bit of a treat) or Glengettie tea, a book and the radio or a nice film, usually in the chair in this photo! In that way, this blog also provides me with a little break, a chance to chat about my day, what I'm up to, what is making me angry/happy/sad/excited so that's why there really isn't that much about tea.... although its got me thinking for my next post!!!!!

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Scenes from a dining room table....

Like most people who have serious fabric obsessions and like to sew/knit/read etc.... my dining room table has been pressed into service as my sewing table! I have promised myself that this year I will transfer everything to the top bedroom..... I will use the perfectly adequate desk I have up there.... So to that end, last night I started the dining room table clear up. I must sound like a terrible woman but I knew with everthing that's on there it was going to take a while....
(I've decided not to show before and after pics it would scare me too much and make it too much of a barrier to get it sorted!)

Whilst doing it and putting some fabric away in the wire baskety drawer thing I have for it, I came across one of my favourite finds from a French brocante. A beautiful damask monogrammed tablecloth and twelve napkins. I say napkins but to be honest they could make small tablecloths themselves as they are about 75cm square! I haven't measured the tablecloth but I would estimate at least 3-3.5 metres....

I still haven't dared to use them, they have been sitting wrapped in acid free paper since I got them.... imagine getting gravy on them, I'd cry.

I think though one of my best bargains ever was the Wedgewood set I got from a charity shop for £5. I love it! It says Wedgewood on the bottom.... I strongly suspect it isn't, but the colour is fab and the shape beautiful! Plus it looks so right on my dresser!

I also have one of my favourite "vases" on there too. I say vase it's a old (from Nana and Grampy's) TG Green Sugar pot with a cracked lip that looks amazing with tulips in! Again sitting next to some of my favourite pressed green glass!

I face all these delights when I'm sewing... I bet you can guess now why I'm reluctant to move.....

Some other pretty things I could not
resist showing! my "scrap-pots"

A cute little 10p tin from a car boot
and some fabric bought last bank holiday on a lovely horse given to me by Mum and Dad!

Here's hoping the weather is better today all!!!!

Monday, 14 May 2007

New York

I have recovered my composure now and normal blogging service shall be resumed.

I spent Saturday night with my mate Louie. We are both 30 this year (she's slightly younger and takes every opportunity to remind me!) and to celebrate we are taking ourselves to New York. As you can imagine we are both rather excited having never ventured out of Europe before! OBVIOUSLY we shall be frequenting the garment district, but what I want to know is, does anyone have any tips on places we HAVE to visit? Favourite restaurants, button shops, clothes shops, museums, galleries.....etc We'd be very glad to hear any advice!!!!!
To leave you with a great photo I found of me as a punk for a charity "dublin dash" weekend. 7 of us went in costume from the year we were born - 1977 seemed a great opportunity to have a chain from nose to ear, black lipstick, a studded dogcollar and a backcombed, greenhighlighted mohawk!!!

Would you take Library books from this woman?????!!!!!

It really is an ugly world at times

This morning in the car on the way to work, my Father and I heard a news item about a 21 year old who had been killed in what the police suspect is a racially motivated attack. What really brought this home was the fact it had seeming happened just a few streets away from me. One of the things I like about Liverpool is the fact that we are so multicultural so to have this happen on my doorstep virtually is shocking just I suppose as any murder is, but what shocked me more is that it happened yesterday and I'd heard nothing about it. What is it in today's society that its not attracted the huge local outrage it should, really despite why it happened? Is everyone just keeping their heads down? OR is it that they just don't know, or worse shrug their shoulders, remark upon the "modern" world and ultimately don't care? In a city that was rightfully outraged by the murder of another young man Anthony Walker, why haven't we heard more?

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Daniel Craig...

Last night I went to see the "new" James Bond film. Yes I know its out on DVD now, but I didn't get to see it the first time round at the cinema so last night I went to the Philharmonic Hall here in Liverpool to see it on their cinema screen. It is a great experience, the screen rises from the stage whilst a man (in a kilt) plays an organ for your entertainment, apparently its the last one in the world where this happens (I'm sure someone will come up with somewhere else!) and during the first few minutes the picture moves around whilst the projectionist gets it centred!!! This is the first time I've been where it has worked first time! Usually they show classic films, I've seen A Hard Day's Night, Breakfast at Tiffany's and Calamity Jane there. BRILLIANT. Well Mr Daniel Craig, you have usurped Sean, you are now officially my favourite Bond, if only you were a bit hairier (sorry did I type that outloud...?)

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

missing weirdness

My lovely sister Sophers wishes me to add an 8th to my list of things......

She wishes you all to know about my ability to "switch my ears off".... (not nearly as odd as it sounds) Ever since I was a little girl I've been able to "switch off" and not take any notice of the world around me. I can go off into my little world not hearing a thing or seeing anything other than the internal machinations of my tiny mind. This has been infuriating to lots of people and is partially one of the reasons I was not allowed a bike as a child and why I don't drive now. In short when I switch off I'm a liability. It happens in meetings, on the bus when I "come round" in the wilds of Speke or Runcorn, at home, in the car when I'm supposed to be giving directions. Once many years ago whilst doing the washing up, Sophie came into the kitchen, took her boots off by the back door, had a conversation (one sided granted) with me, I turned round, saw her and screamed as I didn't realise she was there..... not good. I was left not once but twice as a child at school (there was a minibus as we lived in Hale just outside Liverpool) in the corner reading, not having realised ALL the other children and most of the teachers had gone half an hour ago.... I don't do it deliberately... honest....

I'm going to leave you with weekend piccies from Mum and Dad's to try and make up for my madness.....(if that's possible!)

Hamish, isn't he cute!!!

Lovely old school desk (£1 car boot sale!)

Fabulous Liliac!

I've been tagged... oh dear.....

The lovely angel jem has tagged me.....

I have to post seven weird/unusual things about me....

apart from the fact that I think I'm perfectly normal (ahem) I was quite surprised when this list took shape.....

1: I'm a great queuer... point me in the direction of a queue and I'm happy, I don't know why its no good asking me.

2: I once frightened myself with my own elbow, quite a feat I must say it really isn't that scary most of the time

3: I cannot name any object when I'm completely flapped, in fact my sister tries to make me which causes much hilarity for her and makes me even worse!

4: I will happily ask for train tickets in Italian, in Italy yet will not order a pizza from the takeaway in English in England (phoning for takeaway scares me, I have no idea why)

5: I have NO shame. I'll sing and dance anywhere my speciality being pubs, supermarkets, car parks.... (anywhere really) And mostly its only me who knows the songs in the first place

6: I still try to look after my "baby" brother and sister and organise them, when in reality its (probably) me that needs looking after and organising.

7: I didn't actually come up with any of these myself, I asked friends and relatives for their opinions, as I actually think I'm very normal!

Right I'm going to tag....

Vintage Pretty
Primrose Hill
French Toast Girl

I just hope that I haven't frightened too many of you away!!!!!

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Days in May


I won't bore you all with why, but I've been a very busy girl again! I'm now going for "as many days in May that I can humanly manage!

1st of all..... a thankyou, and that thankyou would be to Alison from Foxgloves... she knows why!!!

I had a lovely Trip to Leeds on Saturday with the glamour puss that is Steve... here he is looking very dapper outside Harvey nicks!

He likes shopping as much as I do, so we spent many happy hours trawling Leeds finding lots of lovely things (I did take photo's they just look terrible when I downloaded them - I'll have to take shots again!) I studied in Leeds so its always nice to go back, I wish I did it more often, I keep thinking that some of us bloggers should have an "away day" and meet up... Leeds would be a fab place.... anyhow....

We particularly enjoyed the Corn Exchange where I found the most fabulous stall selling handmade bags. Of course I spent some cash there.....We were very glad to sit down for some light refreshments....

and after....

He may just kill me for that!!!!!! (please don't!!!)

The Corn Exchange Clock

Present for our friend Bec who unfortunately couldn't come with us


and back....

Present for SophersThe website is they are well worth a look and the lady on the stall was lovely too!

(special mention to Mum's Armoire for providing background.... I have made it something to show my appreciation...)

I hope it likes them!!!!

I've also been working on a little something for the bloggers I couldn't get bookmarks to on time... (with lots of inspiration from Molly Chicken!) here is a little sneak preview!

That's all for now!

The winner is

Well, out of the suggestions (mostly multiple Jail/Lunatic assylum)!!! I've decided that the winner of the bunting is to be..... drumroll please...... Papoosue!!!!

I'm planning on a mega post later on with my day's in May actually on them... I've been soooo busy I've not had time.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Everyday in May

The lovely French Toast Girl has put forward the suggestion of "Everyday in May" The idea is to create something everyday and post it on your blog, it doesn't have to be brilliant, the idea is just to be creative. Go and visit her blog and have a read!

I'm sorry I can't link to the post directly - my poor technological skills will not allow it! so go to the post from 27th April et voila!

Still go and have a visit and admire what she does, even if you can't quite bring yourself to do something everyday!

Well here is my first do something everyday, a photograph .... Everyday we drive past this on the way to work.... I've often wondered what was once behind it...... any ideas? I'll send some bunting to the person who comes up with the most original suggestion!!!