Thursday, 2 July 2015

Calendula in July

I am a new convert to the joy of Calendulas. I only started growing them last Summer & fell in love straight away. They are one of the hardest working plants in the garden. As long as you deadhead them, they flower all Summer long from about June onwards. They have the sunniest flowers you're likely to find, the ones in my garden range from egg-yolk yellow through to sunset orange.

On top of all that, they have amazing medicinal properties. Calendula oil is used as an anti-inflammatory and a remedy for healing wounds. It can be used for burns, cuts and infections due to it's natural anti-septic and anti-fungal properties. It's well worth keeping a tube of Calendula Cream in your medicine cabinet.

The Calendulas growing in my garden are from seeds I saved from last year. They've been drying in a cup all through the Winter and I planted them in March. I'm really pleased with how vibrant they are this year. The only thing I've noticed is the seed heads from this year's plants have hardly got any seeds on them. I'm not sure if second generation Calendulas lose the ability to produce an abundance of seeds.

I'm linking up with the wonderful How Does Your Garden Grow #HDYGG over on mammasaurus.co.uk

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Vintage Love: floral pattern fabric midi skirt from St Michael

I'm currently selling this beautiful vintage skirt from St Michael. It features a pretty surface pattern design that wouldn't look out of place on a modern skirt. It has a graphic floral pattern in shades of green, pink & grey. The flowers sit on top of inky black curved lines. The whole pattern is reminiscent of an artists sketchpad, it's hard to take photos that do justice to this skirt. In amazing condition for a vintage piece of clothing. This would be ideal for a Summer wedding, perfect with flats or heels, you wont find anything like this on the high street. Head on over to my online auction for this vintage skirt.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Vintage Love: Sanderson Cobweb curtain fabric

I'm currently selling two large curtains made with vintage Sanderson Cobweb fabric. Hurry over to my online auction as there are only a few hours left...

This stunning vintage 1960s cotton fabric by Sanderson is entitled "Cobweb" and features an intricate design of nymphs and flowers.

A truly beautiful fabric design featuring shades of pale terracotta, golden yellow, peach, taupe and with a brown outline on a cream background.

Each curtain is very large so there is plenty of fabric to repurpose if you didn't want to use them as curtains.

This vintage fabric could be used for many crafty projects. Such as an upholstery job, covering a dining chair or handmade cushion covers. Alternatively it could used in its original state as a fabric wall hanging or framed as a picture.I have also seen images of this Cobweb fabric used to make a drum-lampshade. It looks amazing with the light shining through it.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Walking on Wavering Down on the Mendips in Somerset

Last Sunday was the first truly warm day of the Summer. Magoo went to a birthday party at midday. After a couple of hours of running around with her friends she wanted to get the paddling pool out on our return to the house. It was so warm that we decided to eat an early evening meal and then take a walk up on the Mendips, a group of hills a short drive from our house.

When you've been working in the week, sometimes you just get the urge to climb somewhere high and drink in the air and the surroundings. It's good for the soul.

I took my husband for a walk on Crook Peak about six months ago and he was totally blown away with the views. I think he instantly fell in love with the high ridge of hills. It is a special place. When I was a child growing up in Somerset, Wavering Down and Crook Peak were places I often walked with my own Mum and Dad. It's not any easy walk, steep in parts, it climbs to one of the highest points of the Mendips. But the views are reward enough for all your hard effort.

With that in mind, I half thought Magoo might struggle. How wrong I was. She took to the walk with gusto and set the pace walking out ahead, stick in hand.

You first enter King's Wood, a dense area of trees, regularly used by mountain bikers who have worn a roller coaster track through the undergrowth. Amongst the trees are dens constructed possibly by walkers, other families or maybe even the Gruffalo. Whoever made them, they are a great place to play.

It is a beautiful, ancient woodland with masses of old, twisted trees. All we could hear was the sound of birds singing and calling to each other. Such a magical place.

As you walk out through the woodland you emerge out onto Wavering Down and catch your first glimpse of the stunning view. In the near distance is Cheddar Reservoir with the grey limestone rock faces of Cheddar Gorge peeking around the corner of the hills. Off in the distance lie the Somerset Levels and Glastonbury Tor.

One more steep push up Wavering Down leads you to the trig point at the top. At 692 feet, the trig point makes you feel like you are on top of the world. This feeling is helped by the flatness of the surrounding levels. The view takes in Exmoor, the Quantocks, Wales, the Bristol Channel and the Dorset hills way off in the distance.

We had come prepared with juice and victoria sponge cake, the perfect reward after all the climbing. It was an unusually calm and warm evening. Usually there is a biting wind blowing across the Mendips. The last time we were there in November it felt like the wind was going to peel the skin off my face. But on this night it was beautifully warm with only a gentle breeze. It really is one of the best places for a picnic.

There was even a lone-cow chewing the cud and taking in the view a few feet away from us. She seemed incredibly chilled, which is understandable on such a balmy, tranquil evening.

I'm really proud of Magoo, she faced the walk head-on and made it to the top without losing any enthusiasm. In fact, she said she loved it and wanted to do it again...soon. I couldn't agree more.

This week I'm linking up with these lovely blogs:

#countrykids over on www.coombemill.com

#ordinarymoments on www.mummydaddyandmemakesthree.co.uk

My Best Post of the Week #MBPW over on www.britmums.com

Point + Shoot over on youbabymemummy.com

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Vintage Love: 1970s GALT wooden wobbly head tortoise toy

I've had this little GALT wooden tortoise toy for about as long as I can remember. He's such a cute little thing and he sits on my hand painted dresser.

Once upon a time I played with him all the time. I used to push him across our living room or the kitchen floor and watch his little head bobble about.

Made by GALT, he dates from the 1970s.

The beauty of this toy is in its simplcity. If you turn him over you can see the mechanism. Four wooden wheels drive him along, but the front two wheels are joined to a slightly bent metal bar to which his head is attached. The motion of pushing him forwards makes the bent bar go up & down and this in turn makes his head wobble about. So simple, yet so effective & really engaging for young children.

He measures about 12 cms (including his head) by 7 cms by 5 cms tall. He is varnished and has hand painted details on the face.

At nearly forty years old, he's wearing well. I think he's adorable and have no intentions of parting with him.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Fun on our handmade upcycled wooden garden swing

My husband made this child's swing from upcycled wood for Magoo last Summer. It's been a firm favourite with our daughter and her friends ever since. I thought it was about time I wrote about it & shared some photos of the project. We bought the wood from Somerset Wood Recycling for a bargain price of £10. They also threw in the two large bolts we needed to attach the swing ropes to the frame.

Somerset Wood Recycling is one of our favourite places to visit on a Saturday morning. They have a large warehouse full of wood waiting to be repurposed into new things. Much of the wood is donated and we like walking around looking at the crates, pallets, railway sleepers, old doors and piles of floorboards. Somerset Wood Recycling also sell a range of products made by volunteers and adults with learning disabilities. They have a fantastic selection of wooden benches, deckchairs, tables, chopping boards, garden planters and even upcycled wooden coffins.

Once my husband had chosen the pieces of wood he wanted to use, he started to put the swing frame together. Magoo helped with making holes to put the screws through. She loved being involved with the making-process.

Once the frame was complete, we attached the swing ropes and seat. Magoo couldn't wait to try it out and it was given the thumbs up.

Once the swing was in place we gave it a coat of cornflower blue wood paint.

This swing is made with upcycled wood which would have otherwise gone to waste. It also really solid and much firmer than mass-produced plastic or metal counterparts. Magoo loves her swing and has been playing on it in all weathers ever since it was finished...

I'm linking up with the lovely Country Kids #countrykids over on the Coombe Mill blog, Let Kids be Kids over on letkidsbekids.co.uk, #ordinarymoments over on www.mummydaddyandmemakesthree.co.uk, Image of the Week #IOTW over on www.trulymadlykids.co.uk, Point + Shoot over on youbabymemummy.com

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Vintage Love: Hornsea Pottery school of fish mug

I love a bit of Hornsea Pottery. I blogged about my Hornsea Saffron Pottery a little while ago.

This lovely little mug was designed in the 1970s by John Clappison. He was an incredibly successful designer working for Hornsea, Ravenhead glass, Royal Doulton and Coryfo ceramics. Sadly his name doesn't appear on many pieces, so he's unfamiliar to many, but his work sold in the millions.

This particular mug features a school of fish swimming around the edge. These mugs come in quite a few colourways, mine is made up of a beautiful olive green and bright pink. In all honesty, I would love to get my hands on more of these. They also come with patterns of dolphins, owls, chickens, elephants and even the whole zodiac. I covet them all!

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