Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Long time - No see!!!

Hello ladies, how are you all, well I hope. I know I haven't blogged for simply ages - 3 months to be exact. I really don't know where the time goes, hours turn into days which turn into weeks - maybe it's an age thing.

It's been very busy here, work is progressing well on the barn. Holly's bedroom is nearer the finish than the beginning which is great. I've had a brief trip back to the UK to visit some friends. My oldest has taken his BacS and (bear with me for a proud mother moment) done really exceptionally well, 15.50 which is a Mention Bien and in the top four of his year for the Science Bac. We've had some friends to visit which was great and we've all broken up for the summer hols, since the beginning of June in fact. It's been baking hot with the odd drop of rain in between.

I've made some enormous linen curtains for a french lady which looked stunning when hung, I was so relieved. I've made a baby changing bag for a friend along with her name embroidered on the front in amongst other things. I'm pursuing the jewellery making aspect, using fabric, lace, painted wood anything I fancy really, so I'll let you know how that goes. I really need to knuckle down and organise my days so that I can timetable in time for making things, tidying the mess which regularly occurs in the barn, at the moment plaster walked from one end to other and all the other motherly, house wifey duties.

Anyway I sincerely hope this finds you all well, and I will timetable in time for blogging too.
Take care and enjoy your summer holiday.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Quick Update!

Hi Ladies, sorry I haven't been on the blogging scene much lately, have had loads going on here hopefully things will be back to normal next week. Hope you all are enjoying a great Easter weekend.
Take care and I hope the Easter rabbit is kind to you all.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Pressie in the post and bits and bobs

Hi ladies hope you're all well. I've not been blogging for a couple of days felt a bit out of sorts over the weekend so thought I'd just do nothing.
The picture above is of my lovely giveaway pressie I received from Bex at Bexs Buttons . I was so chuffed to get this pretty purse, in the post on Friday. One of Bex's purses with button detail in a grey pin stripe and pretty pink fabric, this will go really well with my new grey handbag. Also some pretty pink button earrings , some other beautiful pearly buttons to add to my collection and a very pretty card, which I'm going to look for an old frame I can paint and put it in. Thanks so much Bex, this little parcel really cheered me up.

This is a little note for Mel at Country in the Town ....guess who forgot to get her washing in last night Mel? Luckily we had no rain so it was nice and dry when I got it in just now.

It is lovely and bright here today although there is a very cold wind. This picture is looking out of our gateway, I took this as I was leaving to take Holly to school this morning.

This is Holly going into school, you can just see her behind the grill I hope. It's a lovely school, a huge victorian ex-miliatry building. Holly loves school and always has. Some days she wants to go in early to go to the guarderie, this is like a school club where children can go before and after school.

These are some of my favourite mirrors. They are all old and made of carved wood with gesso and gilding. I love old mirrors and think they look great together on a wall, not necessarily for looking in but for decoration. Whenever I go to a vide grenier or antiques market I always keep a look out for a pretty mirror. These pictures are a bit dark and probably don't show them at their best.

I thought I'd show you this. I bought this at the antiques market in Limoges. I just loved it. It is an old black and white photo of two ladies sitting in an aeroplane, not a real one, probably from the 1930's. It is behind glass and the frame is although a little shabby very pretty, it is made up of coloured thread with a ribbon to hang it. I looked at it and wondered who these ladies were! Do you do this when you look at old photos, try and imagine who they were and their lifestyle. I do love the 1920's and 30's, the fashion, accessories etc. Do click on the photo to enlarge it.

Enjoy your day ladies.
Take care.

Friday, 27 March 2009


The little bear at the front is Holly's favourite 'sleepybear'. She's had him since she was a baby he's very loved and could probably do with a bit of re-stuffing. I have already patched his body once with one of her first babygrows and that's worn out too now.

This is just a quickie. I've finally been to the doctor today after having a cough for three weeks, he says it's viral and has given me stuff to take 4 times a day which will also make me sleep to kill the cough (as he put it). I really don't need to be going to sleep in the day so we'll see, also the blood pressure is a bit low and even lower when I stand up hence the dizziness today apparently something to do with said virus. Anyway I won't bore you with all my medical symptons, just to say I'm feeling a little light headed and a glass of wine hasn't passed my lips! - not since Wednesday anyway.

This is just to let you know I have FINALLY finished my first ever crochet project - the blanket which became a cushion for Holly.

I used the fabric I bought at the antiques market for the back and added a pretty dark pink button to finish off. I made the inner myself, ideally it could do with a bit more stuffing but I think Holly will like it because it's all soft and squishy.

I also added a few little crochet flowers (my first attempts also) to the middle of four of the squares just for a bit more prettiness. I've put it on her bed for her to find when she comes home from school. I hope she's pleased with it.

Enjoy your weekend. I'll have to do a post about the fab giveaway I received today from Bex at Bexs Buttons over the weekend when I'm feeling a bit more with it.
Take care all.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Bloggers' Block!!!

Hi ladies, hope you're all well and enjoyed a great Mother's Day. It's not on the same day here in France, but nonetheless I was taken out for a lovely meal on Saturday evening. On Sunday we went over to my mother-in-laws and took her some daffodils and a card, where we had tea and lovely homemade cake. Chocolate victoria sandwich with chocolate butter cream filling - my favourite.

I thought I'd share some photos with you of what will be our bedroom. This will be the top floor, up in the eaves, there will be our bedroom, another room probably for sewing and my other half's fitness stuff, the light is great up here. There will also be a shower room for us. I think this room will be lovely with the old beams showing, the cupboard you can see on the left is the wardrobe Mr. H. has built in under the beam, we bought some old doors from a depot vente, but it will all be painted as you can see. We have painted the walls with Ringwold Ground from Farrow & Ball and the wardrobe will be the same.

I am looking forward to being able to move into this room, it's such a long process also because Mr. H has to work as well, so things have slowed down a lot. We have to put the stairs in to this level, at the moment we use a tall step-ladder to get up there.

Above is looking out through the bedroom door to the rest of this level. Mr.H. has to make a door. The windows have leaded glass in them. We have a few internal windows for borrowed light.

Do any of you ever get bloggers' block. This week has passed very quickly and I have done lots of stuff, but can't think what to write about. I think it's probably because I'm thinking about lots of things at the same time, I have started an Etsy shop so I'm trying to organise that, I've decided that this year I'm going to get my little business off the ground. I'm still making things for my friends' living room, doing the final dog bed cover this morning, and trying to find time to make things for me as well. On Thursday I'm going up to Limoges with a friend and a french friend who would like me to make some curtains for her, so we going to look at fabric. I have to go and measure up for that tomorrow. The weather has been lovely here for the last week probably, so you then feel you need to go outdoors and do things too, I put some seeds into trays the other day so am now waiting patiently for them to pop up.

Do any of you ever have times where you feel so dis-organised, perhaps it's trying to juggle too many things at once, what do you think?
Take care.

Monday, 16 March 2009

A Pouffe!

I went up to the city with Lucy on Friday to buy some more material for the bits and pieces I've been doing for her sitting room. I'll take some photos of the window seat and curtain but every time I go round I forget my camera. This is howI spent Sunday. She asked me to cover a pouffe for her and this is how it came out. I'm pretty pleased with it. Before it had a very frilly floral cover. I should have taken a before and after photo, but wasn't that organised.
I did this yesterday as Lucy has her elderly mum-in-law coming to stay today and wanted it for her to put her feet on.

We had a fun day out at the shops, looking at fabric, trying on clothes, lunch was very nice - great homemade quiche and salad with a bread roll in a boulangerie/café , with an expresso to finish off. I have to say I was very good and only window shopped.

It's been a lovely day here today warm, sun shining, birds singing, daffodils out in flower - all very springlike. By the way we're forecast snow next week apparently, so I won't put my winter woollies away just yet. I've hung the washing on the line and it's dried, how satisfying is that. I really do need to get out more, getting excited because the washing has dried outside - I don't know! I've just baked a cake ready for when Holly and Olly get home from school, it was going to be chocolate but turned into lemon, fancied a change.

Right, I'm off to get the washing in.
Take care.

An Award - thanks Pixiedust

Hi all, just would like to say huge thank you to Pixiedust at Faerienuff for my award. I have to list 7 things I love and pass it on to 7 other bloggers .... so here goes - not in any particular order...

1. I love chocolate victoria sandwich with chocolate butter cream (on the top and in the middle).
2. I love lilies and their smell.
3. I love the self satisfied feeling you get when you're making something and it all comes together well in the end.
4. I love fairy lights.
5. I love getting up in the morning when the sky is blue and the sun is warm and shining.
6. I love the wonder of a huge full moon.
7. I love my children and family.

I'm going to pass this on to:-

Mel at Country in the Town
Rosey at Agapanthas and Goldsworthy
Bex at Bexs Buttons
Isabelle at Suzy's Vintage Attic
Ali at Message in a teacup tales from Betty & Violet
Gemma at Deravelled
Sam at SilkieSue

Enjoy your day.
Take care.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Just a few pics!!

Daffodils are so jolly and look like they're smiling.

My vintage curtain pole ends, I love gilded things like old mirrors and these, they're so pretty particularly when they're worn a little.

A piece of vintage toile de jouy I have hanging on my wall because I can't bring myself to cut it up.

This is the card my sister gave me when Holly was born, it is now framed and hangs in her bedroom, I love the words.

Finally, Holly's first pair of shoes, they're so cute. It helps you not to forget how tiny they were.
Enjoy your day, I'm off to get ready now as I'm going fabric shopping with Lucy.
Take care.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Catching up!!!....

Hi, thought I'd better catch up as it's been a week since my last post. It seems to have gone by so quickly. I don't know whether it's because it was Holly's last week of the half term holidays or not but it flew by. I went to visit my sister Tuesday morning with Holly to catch up as they'd just got back from their hoiday in Australia. Wednesday afternoon was at Lucy's with her french neighbour, Marie, for our weekly french/english session which of course includes cups of tea and homemade cakes. I spent Thursday tidying up the room where we keep all our stuff. There is still stuff in boxes up there from when we moved over here along with 'stock' for our antiques business. Spent a few hours trying to get some sort of order, but I'm sure the other half will shortly go up there looking for something and it will be a total mess again. Friday went to do the food shopping and Lucy and her husband came round in the evening as it was her birthday, a bottle of champagne and some wine later finally fell into bed.

You ladies are so productive on the blogging front, I've had two days where I haven't had a chance to catch up and boy is there a lot to catch up on. I shall sit and have a read this evening I think.

I'm making brooches at the moment. Here are three I made last week, my own little bits of textile art. The one above and below (same one just different coloured backgrounds) is made using all vintage fabrics. A little fine cotton with embroidery on it for the base, then some old broderie anglaise, a heart of provencal print cotton and on top of that a heart of vintage linen and finally some black silk velvet ribbon. Then I stitched on some little beads. All hand stitched and finished with a piece of felt on the back to make it all neat. If you click on the photos they enlarge so you can see the detail.

The brooch above is again mostly vintage fabric, the cream fabric is very fine with some very pretty embroidery on it, this fabric is so fine and pretty I wonder if it was for a wedding dress, as the pieces I have are sleeve shaped and the embroidery fits the shape, rather than be embroidered all over and the sleeve just cut from the fabric. I have hand stitched a hem at the bottom and pulled it up to make a little ruffled skirt effect. Again I have teamed this with some of the provencal print and the black silk velvet ribbon. My other half said he thought it had a 30's feel to it. I then added the little bits of black ribbon with the hearts and some pretty little beads to catch the light.

In case any of you were wondering what had happened about the crochet blanket which turned into a floor cushion for Holly I thought I'd give you an update. I've been looking for some fabric to back it with and hooray! on Sunday we went to the antiques market and I found this rather pretty floral fabric which picks up the colours of the crochet really well, I thought. So hey ho... Holly will very soon have her cushion. I think I'll have to make my own pad for this one.

Well Holly's just got back from school and I'd better go and get her some tea as it's the violin lesson tonight.

Take care...

Monday, 2 March 2009

Old tie-back, beads and a brooch!

It was a lovely afternoon on Saturday, so we went out for a drive, look what I found. A beautiful old tie back VERY shabby but still very chic. I loved the way it had faded to a soft golden colour. I love old tie backs and after having spent a night in the freezer I hung it on the end of the curtain pole in the bedroom where I think it looks very lovely.

I found the old tape too, only €1 and a little glass bottle of beads all different shapes and sizes, I couldn't really leave those behind, they're sure to come in for one project of another.
Finally, this is the brooch I started making the other day. I finished it off with some lace and a little hand stitching. I stitched a piece of felt on the back to stiffen it slightly and to attach the brooch pin to. I'm pretty pleased with it and it looks nice on my woolly jacket. What do you think?

Enjoy your Monday.
Take care.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

I painted my linen basket!!!

You wouldn't believe how pleased I am to get this post on. Three times this morning I've managed to delete the photos by accident.
Anyway, I've painted my linen basket in the same pale blue I painted my hairdryer basket and I'm pretty pleased with how it has turned out. Much prettier than before.

This is a little hanging heart I made to add a little extra prettiness. It's made from some old french linen, with a little heart in the fabric I lined the hairdryer basket with. A few pearly beads and some pretty white ribbon. I pulled it through in a few places around the edge, like you see on mattresses to give a quilty effect, hope you like it.

These super monograms are on an old linen dowry sheet. I'm going to do something with these maybe a cushion, I'm not sure yet, any ideas? The rest of the sheet I use to make hearts and things as it has a seem up the middle and a few repairs in places.

I love these old sheets, they're so tactile and beautiful with their wonderful embroided initials. I have one on our bed which I use like a throw with the top turned back so you can see the oh so pretty embroidery.
Enjoy your weekend.
Take care

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Signs of Spring????

Here are a few pics of the sheep and lambs in the walnut grove and some other signs that maybe spring is not too far around the corner. You can just see a couple of little lambs in the background.

Pink primroses growing in the grass, what a joy! I've made this picture my screen saver I thought it was really pretty and you can see the sunlight.

These are new buds on the Lilac bushes.

This is our walnut grove. The little chemin (road) you can see goes down to the millhouse, a beautiful double fronted house down in the valley next to the river.

These grow freely, but I don't know what they're called, they're very pretty though as the flowers go through shades of pink to lilac and blue all on the same plant. Nature is a wonderful thing!

Of course, daffs, Spring wouldn't be Spring without them. Just coming into bud.

Can you see this little lamb hiding behind the hurdle, I couldn't get any closer to him, he was very nervous. Not used to the paparazzi me thinks!

Again the sheep and their lambs in our field. You can just see the fence which is our border with our neighbour. If you look really closely there is a little one lying down in the sunshine.

Thank you Hen at Henhouse who left a comment on my last post saying perhaps I could post some pics of the sheep. I'd like to say thank you because when I went out in the garden yesterday afternoon to take the piccies, the sun was warm and bright, and it made me realise again what a lucky thing I am to live where I do. When we first came to live here in France it was like being on holiday for quite a long time, things were all very new and exciting. But then, as with anything or anywhere, you settle into your normal daily life and lose sight of the plus points when you get weighed down by the minuses. It isn't always easy, even when you speak the language there is still a language barrier, what they say about french bureaucracy is very true, loads of bits of paper and all in a foreign language. The people however have always been kind and helpful, we couldn't wish for better french neighbours and we have all this lovely scenery.

One thing though is that we are very much in the french countryside, unfortunately unless I travel to one of the cities I don't have the access to all the shopping opportunities I would like, but maybe I will have to just get in the car and have some days out.

I think it's the old thing of "is your cup half full or half empty?" - I think mine is definitely half full, the thing is not losing sight of that fact!!

Take care and enjoy your day
Love Nickyx

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

I got lots done yesterday...................

HI, hope you're all well and happy today. I had a pretty productive day yesterday I have to say.
The weather has brightened up a bit and feels somewhat springlike, although still cold and frosty this morning. We have new baby lambs in the orchard, our neighbour puts his sheep in there to keep the grass down. It's more a walnut grove really as we have 27 walnut trees.
The little bits and bobs above were done whilst sitting in front of late night tv, the two tiny hearts I thought might look pretty attached to something like a purse or wallet. and the little bow is the beginning of a prototype corsage. We'll see how it comes out, still needs some tweeking.

I spent most of the morning in the bathroom, tidying and painting. With a project like ours there are always unfinished bits that can't be finished until something else is done - if you follow me. The bathroom is mostly all painted tongue and groove on the walls. I wanted to sand the wood around the cupboard and paint it white. I have a curtain hanging there at the moment but my other half tells me that one day it will have doors, although I quite like the curtain. The pipework will be boxed in one day, but I'm very tempted to paint it the colour of the walls in the meantime, just to make it look better. I think this may be a girl thing as my other half says it's a waste of energy as it's going to be boxed in. I think I may paint it though, as I don't know when it's going to get boxed in. (Sorry if I'm rambling)

This is another thing I did last night in front of the the TV (the other half was away yesterday and overnight so I took advantage). I painted the basket I keep my hairdryer in and then made a pretty fabric lining for it. This has brightened it up no end - don't you think?

Back to the bathroom. The wall below is the first coat of lime render, so do excuse it. To the right you can just see the cupboard I was talking about and the curtain. I'm showing you this picture as I'm thinking of painting this linen basket too - what do you think? I'd probably do it the colour of the basket above as they're all in the same room. You can also see I painted the toilet brush holder too, thought I'd share that with you! If it didn't move I painted it yesterday

Oh, I nearly forgot, I also made two more cushions for my friend. Just the pelmet to do now, when it's all done and in place I'll post some photos.
Holly has been enjoying the her first couple of days holiday and the luckily the weather is bright and dry so she has been playing with the little ones who live in the converted barn just up the road from us.
Well I'm off to do some more bits and bobs.
Take care.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

More tulips, Country Living and a bit of fabric!!

Well I went shopping the other day with Lucy, we went up to the city looking for a fabric shop another friend had told me about. We found it, despite my appalling sense of direction and after parking the car walking in the wrong direction, asking in a shop and then walking back the way we'd come. But hey we got there eventually. When we did find it I was quite surprised it was pretty big and on three floors, dress fabric and trimmings on the ground, furnishing and trimmings on the top and some remnants, cushion inners and paint in the basement. I saw some lovely furnishing fabrics some beautiful red and cream linen toile de jouy which I fell in love with. The paint was Farrow & Ball, which was great BUT it was €59 for 2.5 litres and €99 for 5 litres. I think I'll wait until we visit the UK for that.

We'd already bought the red and cream toile de jouy and we were looking for something to co-ordinate with it. The toile de jouy is for the curtains, and some of the cushion covers, the red and cream ticking is for the window seat and I think I'm going to use it with the toile on some of the cushions. Also this little window is going to have a simple flat pelmet with toile on one side and the ticking on the other, tabs for hanging and I thought we'd alternate the toile and ticking for those, so hopefully it will look very pretty, country chic. I'll take some photos when I'm finished.

The beige and cream stripe was a remnant for me to go in the basket and the quilted fabric is to make a baby's changing bag.

This morning the sun came out and I had the urge for a mad tidy and dust around, including the cobwebs, which we get loads of. Always feel very self-satisfied afterwards I have to say. I even painted the window sill in the kitchen and touched up the walls a bit. Well it may be the temporary kitchen but I want it to be nice. The cushion above I've also made this morning for the chair at Holly's desk in her bedroom. The beige linen was a curtain I bought in the sale for the fabric last year, the paisley/floral fabric was the off-cut from the curtain in the bathroom and the pretty little pink bit in the middle was from a piece Sesga at Sesgaloves1950s sent me in the valentine swap, I've just used a little as I want to use some of it in one of my purses. I hope Holly will be chuffed when she comes home from school as it will be a surprise.

Also when we went shopping on Tuesday I treated myself to the new Country Living mag and some pink tulips. I just love tulips in the house they make me cheery and remind that spring is on its way. I've had a quick flick through, but will have to sit down with a cup of tea to enjoy if properly.

Well I'm off to hang out some washing as its quite bright today.
Take care and enjoy your day.