Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Floral On Floral: The New Patchwork

Winter sunlight is so precious, 
most especially streaming through the old plum tree...
  bright & early one May morning...
 (well as bright & early as I can manage)

 Somehow or other we so quickly forget the endless days of heat & sunshine & are soon sent scurrying to fossick in the wardrobe for jerseys & scarves & corduroy pants to ward off the icy chill of winter winds. Quite abruptly, we are pressed into the tight corners of winter confines & soon struggle to recall those languorous, sweaty days that we thought would suck the life out of us in their incessant repetitious drought waves.
The light through Lucy's window is so pretty & so precious.
 The pink family seem to wander around the garden day by day, unfazed, impervious to the changing seasons.
 The leaves have drenched the lawns & paths, been raked up & then strewn around the garden, to slowly compost into their destined humous state.
 The sweet persimmons are racing against time & the quick beak of a thirsty blackbird.
An inspired combination...the very last of the strawberries combined with early tamarillos, laced with coconut sugar & gently simmered together...heavenly flavours!
My favourite little camelia Quintessence has returned.
 Her little sister just around the corner in a pot: camelia sinensis, the very plant that tea is made from..& such a pretty flower.
Happily, the mandarins have arrived right on schedule.
 I am astonished at the stretch..roses out to the edge of winter & yet the snowdrops & jonquils have already begun, & now, deceptively delicate camelias too.
 Yesterday was such a fun fruit selling day. A car pulled up in the afternoon & the lady hopped out to buy mandarins. She mentioned how much she loved our vintage caravan...she'd followed us somewhere recently & was admiring Lucy from behind. Inviting her to come in & visit Lucy, she turned off her car & out popped the two kids to come & see too, one a girl & the other a young man named Samuel. When I mentioned that Rob worked down at Gracelands the lady said oh yes she remembered him well from the Children's Ward days, as Samuel, who has Down's Syndrome was in & out of the ward often as a small child.
Now the intriguing thing was that Samuel (now a teen ) went missing from home one afternoon late last year. He took himself off for a walk down the road & was gone by three hours before anyone picked up on his absence (he's a self-possessed & happy chap) . Somehow, he managed to find his way round the corner to Gracelands & he let himself in the door. After he'd been waiting in the foyer a while the girls asked Rob if he belonged to one seemed to know. So they sat him down for dinner with all the oldies, happily kept an eye on him & called the Police. All was well in the end & he was retrieved & taken home by his very relieved mother (who just happens to love vintage too!)
And now, here was the same Samuel carefully wiping his feet & saying hello so nicely & having a lovely time visiting in Lucy with his mum & sister..ooh my heart melted.
 I saw an inspiring idea on facebook this week & came up with my own version of a patchwork, vintage blanket cushion..rather large, but useful.
I also made this one from a divine vintage barkcloth.
It takes a while to build up a stock pile of Lucy cushions!
 While I was rummaging in the fabric stash I came across the middle cushion, also a barkcloth.
 It's a funny size, but I think we need a good mix...I loved the embroidered name on the reverse side..I left it there & added a two button close.
Peculiar as it may seem, it is indeed an interesting state of affairs when one's own husband decides that he loves all things Cath Kidston just as much as you do, is it not!? I blame Lucy!
Egged on by the man..WE sent for a few bits & pieces..

What will we do with it? Who knows, but this wallpaper is divine!

People donate the loveliest things down at the Hospice shop. Aren't these crysanthemums so bright & daffodilly cheerful!
 I have continued my quest to trim down my fabric stash & tidy out cupboards & draws. I had at least colour gathered some of my suitcases of fabric treasures. This one had all my pretty romantic florals (well some then!) in it. I had forgotten about relining the inside a few years back. What a joy to re-discover it!
 It reminded me of this picture from an old British Country Living magazine "The New Patchwork: Floral on Floral". So pretty!
 I had a little look through this book out at Poppy's bookshop the other day. Anyone got it by any chance or come across it & do you love it?
We stopped our busy leaf raking & gutter clearing yesterday & shared a pot of tea at half past three.
I am thrilled with this little trio I found in the antique Centre in Napier last week for $20.
The tea tasted delicious & the company was perfect.
And your company has been such a delight too.
Thank you so much for popping in!!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

For the Joy of Books..

 And books are such a joy aren't they!!
They are real treasure.
I love children's books the most.
Maybe because they almost always have pictures & I like pictures a lot. They always help to tell the's how we remember them so well.
 Barbara passed on an Inspiring Blogger Award to me quite recently which was so very sweet of her. I have decided to be innovative with the honour & use it as a catalyst (like tag) to tell you about one of my favourite places in Hastings. The Little Red Book Shop.
 Siobhan & Adrian are two terribly talented & very interesting people..
  so it is not at all surprising that..
 their book shop feels such an inviting & inspiring place to be.
 It's very easy to find yourself drawn in the door..
 and made to feel so welcome & at home amongst the shelves & shelves of friendly books & carefully collected memorabilia.
 You could be forgiven for shuffling over here & sitting right down for a nice long browse.

 And after a time, perhaps, hoping for a nice cuppa too.

Nosey little monkey!
 In fact, The Little Red Bookshop is a little like a unique & special blend of tea..quite distinctive & like no other. Being here necessitates a different pace, a surrender of hurry & rush. Inquisitiveness & wonder awaken & your neck soon becomes slightly strained by the inconvenient sideways hobble of the true book shop browser.
 There is a fine blend of the old & the new, the ancient & the contemporary. Around every corner & in every nook & cranny you may be greeted by a startling find, a book that catches your eye or a small collection of kiwiana: vintage, perennial.

There is constant state of ebb & flow going on here: gathering in, sending off, titivating.
 Siobhan & Adrian have recently extended the bookshop space to include a reading room with coffee machine out the back. It is still a work in progress, but should be available very soon.
I feel quite sure that Siobhan & I share a love of vintage children's books, as, a world away at March House Books does Barbara, whom I mentioned back at the beginning of this post. She has a lovely blog highlighting children's books & illustrations & other bits & bobs. Barbara also has a wonderful website:
 "March House Books is an online book shop specialising in the sale of gently used children’s and illustrated books. Every item in our store is accompanied by a picture or pictures so that you can see exactly what you are buying. We also provide comprehensive condition reports."
I first came across Barbara on Pinterest which is where I love to gather together all my favourite book titles & children's illustrations.
Visit my board Lovely Children's Books & Illustrations here.
And Favourite Children's Artists here.
This is one of my favourite little videos...about the joy of books of course!!!
Thank you so much for visiting!!
I'd love to know..what were your own favourite childhood books?

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