Friday, 27 August 2010

Thank You!

Good morning!

I do hope that your morning is as good as it can be, and it started with a cup of tea in the prettiest cup you own! It is still raining here, so I am getting plenty of use out of my new brolly!

I had a few spare minutes just now so I thought I would take just the tiniest of peeks at my blog before going to work, and I have to say that to find comments and such kind and lovely ones, not to mention inspirational, has put a real spring in my step! Thank you so much.

And as an aside, I also love owls and mushrooms, although I prefer red-and-white-polka-dot toadstools even more, and acorns and oak leaves, pumpkins and many gorgeous things to think about at this time of year!

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Lovely Labels

When I first started blogging, I didn't know about Labels. I suppose it could be argued, that I still don't. I vaguely knew that if I used labels, people searching the internet might find me. So, when I wrote about a lovely snowdrop walk at The Gardens of Easton Lodge, I knew to put that in the labels to help people find me. But...I had not realised how messy it makes the word cloud on my blog, to be too detailed in my labelling. So I have sat down with a pen and paper and made a list of labels I shall use going forth. And going backwards, I am going to slooowly edit my old posts to reflect my new lables. I am rather looking forward to it, as it will be rather special to read through the last 5 years of my life!

Talking of labels, when I dropped into Waterstones on my way home from work, I found that Cath Kidston has published a little book of sticky lables. So pretty! Also, Lakeland are selling pretty labels to stick on jars of homemade jam. There is something rather lovely about a well written label.

It is that back-t0-school thing again! Some of the labels I will be using are fairly self explanatory, such as 'fabulous friday' or 'rainy days'. Here are some of the others:

Table For Two to cover posts about dining out and culinary adventures away from home.

Ripping Yarns in which I will talk about my adventures in knitting and crocheting.

Cooking Up A Storm is where I will share recipes with you.

Delightful Days Out will cover all my little adventures out in the big wide world.

In My Shopping Basket is where I will share lovely purchases, and hope my husband does not read this bit too often!

The Dressing Room is where you will find my 'what I wore today posts'.

At My Dressing Table for hair and makeup talk.

High Days and Holidays for birthdays, weddings, all those lovely red letter days.

On My Bookshelf for what I have been reading and book reviews.

Mimi Makes for my crafting adventures.

Beautiful Blogs and Lovely Corners of the Internet

I had an email from the lovely Alison at Brocante Home this week, letting me know about the Seasonal Scrub starting in September. I do love a good clear out every now and again! I have decided it is time to do the same with the blogs I read and websites I visit. It is a source of anxiety to me that some of my favourite blogs and websites have been stumbled upon by happy accident, which makes me fret that there may be so many more out there, unknown to me!

I have been missing some favourite bloggers too, who have lost their blogging mojo, or are taking a break. Even worse than this, some blogs have disappeared altogether! So I have decided to update my blogroll and the list of blogs I have saved in igoogle. I hope you will find some new treasures amongst my list, and if you have any suggestions for me, I would love to hear them.

Some favourite bloggers have started new blogs...I have to say that it is something that I serioulsy considered after not blogging here so long, but this is 'home' to me. This is where I want to be. I feel like it still 'fits' me. So here I am, back again!

Interestingly, I have removed one or two because I realised that the writing just brings me down, that when I first found them, the aesthetic really pleased me, but is no longer my taste. It feels strange to let them go, because although I know they are still there and I can find them again, it seems final somehow, deciding to stop reading them.

But time is finite, and there is not enough time to do all the scrumptious things I want to, to read all the books and magazines I want to, so I am not going to waste time on blogs or websites that I don't love any more! Here is a little selection of some of my favourites...I do so hope I have not missed any off by mistake! is the new home of the lovely Annastasia who used to blog at Pretty Little Parcels (I say new, but it has been a year nearly, and I still had not updated my blog list!) so much more than just a blog...utterly scrumptious! Somehow, I discovered this while looking for instructions for homemade Christmas crackers! the very first blog I discovered. Not vintage, but great for crafts and seasonal activities. discovered via brocante home. Wonderful for sparkly flowery loveliness and I can never visit without wanting to start crocheting something! the lovely Alicia Paulson writes about her every day life and crafting in Portland, Oregon. She has a real way with words and takes wonderful photographs. one of the most lovely things for me was to discover that Vintage Pretty is even nicer than her blog! We share a lot of interests, and luckily for me, lovely chatty phone calls too! through Jane I discovered Persephone books, and have baked scrumptious rock cakes! the Vintage Kitten has not posted for a while, but I hope that she will be back soon. I love the kitsch look of her blog, and the life she posts about. Bliss! Fleur writes for The Chap magazine, which has been one of my happiest literary finds of late! On her blog she will show you how to set your hair in pin up girl curls, and shares her adventures drinking cocktails and taking tea in London. a tresure trove of heavenly novels by Dorothy Whipple and the like. Hot Water Bottle fiction at its very, very best. not updated for a while because she has been writing another book, but Nigella shares things like a favourite mascara or chocolate bar, alongside a cocktail recipe!

So there they are, my current favourite websites. Do tell me...what am I missing? Do share!

Jolly Brolly

Several months ago, I spent a happy sunny afternoon at a vintage fair at Cressing Temple. Many lovely things there caught my eye, but there was one thing beautiful above all: a vintage purple umbrella. It was elegant and frilly and flouncy, and I just knew that if I owned it, not only would I never mind when it rained, but I would skip down the street, avoiding the puddles and spreading cheer. Alas, when I enquired as to the cost, the lady replied 'I want £50 for it'. Firstly that was rude (I want doesn't get, as my Mother would say!) and secondly, it was too much for my purse.

So imagine how pleased I was when I popped into Miss Selfridge on my way home from work today, to discover an umbrella in the same shape and style, only cream with a black-and-cream polka dot frilly ruffle instead of purple, and more to the point, only £15! Even better, as I emerged from the shop, it began to rain. Just as I suspected, I didn't mind in the least, and practically floated home! A man driving an impossibly large truck even stopped and waved me across the road, so I like to think that I am spreading a little happiness with my frilly brolly!

La Rentree

The rain is drip, drip, dripping outside my window this afternoon. The air is perfumed with the freesias in the bouquet I carried at my sister's wedding on Monday, and the rain. It is cool but not yet chilly, and it is a good afternoon to be at home with a pot of tea.

Perhaps it is because we have not had a proper summer; perhaps it is the come-down after my dear sister's much anticipated wedding; perhaps it is just that I have not had a holiday in 2 years, or a week off work since I started my new job.

Whatever it is, I am feeling under the weather and slightly out of sorts.

You see, everything inside me is whispering urgently 'autumn, autumn, autumn!' Everything outside is whispering 'autumn, autumn, autumn' and the two combined are very loud indeed, and is August! Summer!

It is not that I am wishing time away, but I just feel ready for September and the new-term back-to-school feeling which accompanies it. At the same time, I feel slightly guilty, like I should be wringing every last drop from summer. But it is hard to be properly summery when every day brings showers!

I discovered that the French have a wonderful word for this time, the pre-autumn but back-to-school time, which is La Rentree. Quite literally, The Return. It fills me with excitement, and I think it is just the thing to cure my summer blues. I believe I have mentioned a lovely novel, Remedy by Anne Marsella before. In this, the main character develops a kind of 'uniform' to wear to work, and I feel like doing the same thing, almost as going to buy new school uniform. I find myself wanting to buy pencils and notebooks, and my eyes are drawn to the rich purple nail polishes in the shops.

I find myself thinking of 'school rules' for myself, and feeling betwixt and between as I don't want to give myself too much to live up to, but want some little challenges too. So far I have settled on eating an apple a day, as that feels suitably back-t0-school-ish and also autumn-ish for me, and of course has the benefits of being fabulous for the skin! I also want to walk to work more than I have been, although that will be much easier when it is not raining so much!

I will be thinking of other little things too, and will share them with you, as well as letting you know how I am getting on with the others!

So do put a pot of tea on, and drink with me to the coming cosiness of autumn, and a fresh new school year for us all, no matter how long ago it was that we last went to school! What would you like to learn this year?