Sunday, 30 June 2013

I will share with you my lil secret ...

Firstly ... yay for this week and yay for me winning a competition ~ whoop whoop, hop, skip and jump!

I totally love reading Lobster and Swan blog. It's one of my fav's and I love hankering down with a cuppa and devour every word and beautiful photo published on each post. When a 'giveaway' was announced and that the prize was to have your instagram photos made into magnets by an ace company Stickygram I was soooooo excited. This competition was made for me, it's right up my street. I entered and did that whole thing of chanting "oh please, please, please let me win, I'll be really good forever, I don't win anything, please let me win this"

Someone was listening .... I WON!!!

So here are some of my instagram photos that I am hoping to be made into magnets ...

I am oh so very happy to not only win a competition but also to win such a lovely prize that is perfect for me. 
 Thank you, thank you, thank you Jeska and Andy xx
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I have treated myself to this full price, non charity shop, not even reduced in the sale lovely thing ...
I don't usually do things with writing on but this brought a smile to my face and a lil flutter in my heart. The words evoke memories of family holidays where at least one of us has a pocket full of shells (usually me) and sandy socks/toes.
It's going to live in Hermie our caravan and lets hope this lil saying comes true for us.
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Yep, I've been at it again! Pottering about with stuff in an attempt to make our patio beautiful.  This time I have an old wooden step ladder that I am using for displaying pots and pretty things ...
What do you think?
I'm really pleased with it :)
All of the pots and flowers have been re-shuffled around and this is the other area I am busy beautifying ...

My husband has gone all practical on me and has expressed concerns over the fact we are rapidly running out of space on the patio. "Space for what" I asked shocked and wounded. "To walk around" was his reply. Hump ... walking around on patios is sooooo over rated anyways now'a'days!!!
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After much persuasion I have decided to dip my toe in the water and have a go at selling my photos. Well, a photo to be more precise. I am terrible at self promotion and 'putting myself out there'.  Blogging can make me really embarrassed at times, especially when a large group of friends start to discuss my posts. Eek! Hands over the ears, deep breath and "la la la la la" time.
So ... to sell a photograph I have taken doesn't sit naturally with me but ... in the interest of taking advice from a friend I am willing to give it a go.
The thing is I'm personally not a big fan of canvases and sometimes photos of landscapes, etc behind glass can look a bit 'flat' (if you get what I mean). My most fav way to present a photo is onto acrylic. It's a modern, clean lined, chunky, different way to show a photograph and once on a wall it can look stunning. This is the route I have decided to take,  however as it is one of the most expensive I have only had one made up.
I've now found myself in that whole pricing maze of wanting to present something at its very best but then not being in a position to sell it at an easily affordable price. Grrrr! Anyways, if it doesn't sell I won't be sad because that means I can keep it all for my very self ;)
Here is said photo come picture ...
So, what do you think??
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 When we first bought our property 8 years ago the lovely couple we bought it from asked if we could like to buy the very expensive Laura Ashley curtains they had adorning the windows?
 "Cor, yes please. How much are you asking for them"?
 "£1000.00" was their reply.
Flipping heck!!!!
"erm, no thank you" was our reply.
Que moving day and the lovely couple left them for us anyways ~ for free ~ as they didn't fit their new home.
I love our curtains and I appreciate their quality and craftsmanship. However, what I don't love is the very frilly frill going along the top. It's just not me.
After 8 years I have finally got around to doing something about it ~ yay, go me!
They have been unpicked, washed and re-sewn to resemble something much more contemporary (well as contemporary as a pelmet can be).
Ta dah ....
A lovely friend and neighbour, who is a sewing goddess, has bought our living room out of the 80's and into less frilly, more understated times. Ah, much easier on the eye :) 
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I have somewhere lush to share with you.
Somewhere so lovely that once you visit you'll want to return again and again.
It's a gorgeous tea room located along the river Evenlode.
It's situated right along the waters edge and has the most perfect setting for children to roam and play while adults nom on cake, drink tea and take in the most amazing scenery and calming atmosphere.


I can recommend a slice of the most delish homemade cake ...
But, if cakes not your thing (really? Loon!) you can also have lunch there as well ...


Where is this most beautiful place I hear you cry?
OK, OK ... I will share with you my lil secret.
You can find this perfect lil eatery at Combe Mill which is just outside of Long Hanborough.
It's current opening times are Tuesday and Friday lunchtimes from 12.00 ~ 2.00pm with a view to opening more days and weekends after September.
I can't recommend it enough and they also have the most lovely photograph mounted on acrylic of frosted barbed wire to buy!! ;)
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Well, until next Sunday ... Bye folks xx

Sunday, 23 June 2013

This quintessential English summer's day ...

  So, as I start to type this weeks post I am doing so sat in the garden listening to the birds chirp away with the sun bearing down ~ utter bliss. This quintessential English summer's day has been building all week with hazy, muggy days at the start of the week. I know only too well that today is the pinnacle of the week weather wise and that tomorrow rain and thunder storms are forecast ~ urgh!

So, as I sit here catching rays I'm surrounded by the scent of pretty flowers that have started to take root and flourish. Our hard work during the last 3 months is starting to really show now and we are being rewarded with pretty leaves and petals everywhere. My fav of all the flowers that are growing? Sweet peas! The scent they give is beautiful.


I'm really rather liking this 'make your garden pretty' malarkey. Fresh cut flowers in every room, delicious scent all around and a feast for the eyes from both indoors and out. Bliss.

Then, at the end of the day when the sun went down the most beautiful spectacle filled the sky ...

I can not tell you how much looking out over this stunning view makes my heart sing. It's definately on my top 5 all time hang out lists.

Then from heavenly to heavens open ...
the very next day ...

Good ol' Blighty weather ~ you've just gotta love it!!

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This weekend just gone I discovered a new auction ~ yay for me and yay for auctions. It's local, like nearer than any of the others I have been to. How did this escape my notice? How has this never bleeped up on my bargain radar? For some bizarre reason (that probably stems from my husband telling me porkies to try and put me off) I thought this particular auction sold agricultural things only.
Damn, how wrong could I be?
Just look at what was up for grabs ...

A spot of punting anyone?

Oh how I loved these ...
Some lovely persons collection of honey jars ...

Now these two draws were very tempting and I had plans whizzing through my mind about where I could put them and what I could use them for. I resisted the temptation though ~ hurah!

This was also on my hit list, it was love at first sight. The thing that stopped me from bidding was the ends! They are open meaning the magazines could fall out. Now, looking back this is a bonkers reason and I wish I had bid for it. Grrr! 
When I first attended auctions I was told that it's always the things you didn't buy that stick in your mind and not the ones you did ~ how very true those words are.

Bits and bobs ...

Pretty bedding ...

This was what I left a commission bid on ...
 Sadly my bid wasn't the highest and I lost out by £5.00 but I'm not too disappointed. Something is only worth what your willing to pay for it and with commission added to the final selling price, this garden plant stand was just more than I wanted to spend.

See ... I can show restraint and discipline
(well, sometimes)!! ;)

While I was waiting to see if I was the highest bidder and if I would need to travel back to the auction house and pay and collect I called into Fired Earth.

Dreamy sigh, perfection under one roof ...

This photo doesn't do this justice but here my friends is one of the most beautiful marble worktops I've seen in a longtime. The natural colours and patternation are amazing ...

I was so taken with this piece of marble that when I mooched around the discounted section I stumbled across a marble slab. I snapped it up for the reduced price of £10.50.
What a bargain!

We are currently using it as an extra piece of worktop ... 

Or for keeping food covered and cool when eating alfresco ...
 And finally as a chopping board.

That was £10.00 very well spent!!

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I have once again been raiding the charity shop hoard of donated CDs and this week I spent a whole 50P on a 'various hits' CD. These are always a guaranteed winner, firstly as they are usually double or even triple CDs and there is always at least one hit that's a blast from the past and we all erupt in song to. This CD choice is no exception ...

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Friday we spent a really lovely evening watching the sunset for the summer solstice at the Rollright Stones. We were amongst a host of people from hippies, grungy teenagers, groups of friends having picnics, couples to a few Druid's here and there.
We hankered down with a picnic blanket, plenty of cups of tea and my camera ~ took a deep breath and relaxed ready to watch the spectacle of the longest day of the year draw to a close.  The children had a great time and even Bessie Bear puppy dog hankered down with us and took in the view ...
There was a real buzz upon the heath, from guitar playing to bubble blowing there was a great sense of unity amongst us all.
Some were even sleeping there and camper vans and tents were set up. These lucky people got to watch the morning sunrise right through to watching it set again in the evening ~ fab.
As the sun moved across the sky it lite up the stones as it went.
As the evening came to a close and the sun went down on the day here is a snippet of the most beautiful view we were privileged to watch unfold in front of us ...
The most beautiful, stunning, special and perfect evening.
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Until next week, bye y'all xx