Sunday, 27 May 2012

Tweseldown Artisan Market - Yippee!

Tweseldown Racecourse, 7am Saturday 26th May 2012.

A clear blue sky and the promise of an exciting day ahead!

In racecourse terms, I guess you'd describe it as 'bijou', making it such a sweet venue for what was taking place - the first ever Tweseldown Artisan Market.

Here's the press release...

'Nestled between Fleet and Farnham , amongst the charming countryside and quaint red brick Victorian buildings of Tweseldown Racecourse, you will discover an exciting new Artisan and Vintage Market, created to support independent designer makers, artisan food producers and vintage and antique sellers. You will find vintage and retro treasures, expertly sourced by quality dealers such as Pret-A-Vintage with their beautiful garments and accessories; a wide range of local designer made products, from Used-To- Bees and The Vintage Studio’s lovingly handmade items to Bare Innocence’s organic beauty products and a wonderful selection of locally grown or produced artisan food and specialist plants.'

(Golly! Got a mention there!  Thanks Sally!)

The place was already looking lively when we arrived.

 All the rooms round the square were buzzing with a great variety of sellers setting up their stalls...

The verandahs were packed with vintage goodies, plants and curios...

 And the marquee was a hive of industry...

Outside food, coffee and ice-creams sellers were making mouths water...

 And  the owners of this beautiful bowtop caravan were setting out their wares...

 (That deckchair and the dog-cart had me drooling!)

Mr U-t-B, with me briefly for unpacking and setting up, had a guided tour before events kicked off, and came back very impressed!  Built on a caravan chassis for easy towing, the caravan is an interior designer's dream, with every comfort thought of...

I have always thought that if I won the lottery I'd be buying myself a shepherd's hut, but now I'd be torn! One of each perhaps?

The room I was in was light and airy, and I had a great spot in the corner, with a bar to prop things on.

One of my 'neighbours' from The Maltings was down at the end of the room...

And there was a gorgeous selection of antiques, Greengate items, jewellery, handmade pottery and vintage haberdashery close-by.

This was me by the time I'd set up...

I had a great day, talking to interesting people and even selling a few bits!  I got invited to have some of my 'pieces' in a new gallery that is being set up, and to a summer fete which I think might be interesting.

Next month's Artisan Market (Saturday 30th June) will have even more stalls (including a Pimms bar!) and I am already looking forward to it. (Not just for the Pimms!)

Well done to the fantastic organisers, who had the idea and the vision to create this event (and even invited me!) I hope, and believe, it will be a great success!

Friday, 25 May 2012

It's that time of year again...

Oh the joys to be had in May!

Morris men and maypoles...

blossom and sunshine...

asparagus, Jersey Royals and watercress...

warm evenings and dewy mornings...

and this...

Ah yes!  Eurovision!

I remember the days when Eurovision night was one of just three nights in the year when we were allowed to stay up beyond our normal bedtime (the others being Christmas Eve (for Midnight Mass) and Christmas Day (probably for 'The Morecambe and Wise Show').  I think the first one I ever watched was the 1972 contest.  Our entry (ie the United Kingdom's) was 'Beg, Steal or Borrow' by The New Seekers...

Clever of them to come up with the idea of matching hairdos for the lead singers.

Those were the days when you watched 'It's Cliff Richard' on a Saturday evening (after boiled egg and soldiers for tea and a short time hiding behind the sofa whilst 'Dr Who' was on) and sent in a postal vote for the song you wanted to represent the country.  This system seemed to work quite well - we used to consistently come in the top places.  I liked this song and was probably quite aggrieved that in spite of my staying up to watch, we 'only' came second.

1972 may have been the first contest I watched, but earlier songs still whirr around my head given a quick musical nudge.

There was the sweet Dana, with 'All Kinds of Everything' which took first place in 1970, for Ireland...

...beating Mary Hopkins' 'Knock, Knock, Who's There?' into second place.

A year earlier, Lulu had been one of four equal winners...

The United Kingdom had also won in 1967 with the memorable 'Puppet on a String'.

1973 saw the first of the non-English song I can remember.

1974 was, of course, the all-time peak of Eurovision success, as it was the contest that introduced Abba to most of us.  I love Abba, but at the time I was decidedly miffed that Olivia Newton-John (who used to be on Cliff Richard's Saturday evening show and was very pretty!) had been pushed into 4th place!

Do they still force the acts to goof around for the camera as they introduce the song, I wonder?

I think my interest in Eurovision took a bad knock that year, though the flame was briefly re-ignited when Brotherhood of Man came along with the so-bound-to-win-with-its-killer-punchline 'Save your Kisses for Me'.  And this one had a dance routine even I could manage (well, sort of...)

Since then we might have won twice more (with Bucks Fizz's 'Making your Mind Up' and Katrina and the Waves's 'Love Shine a Light') but in general it's been a dismal story.  Some of the song title don't help...

1983 'I'm Never Giving Up' (Well maybe you should) - 6th place
2000 'Don't Play that Song Again' (Don't worry - we won't) - 16th place
2001 'No Dream Impossible' (The Eurovision-winning one was) - 15th place
2003 'Cry Baby' (Scoring 'Nul points' probably did bring on the tears) -Last!
2010 'That Sounds Good to Me' (But not to everyone else) - 25th place
2011 'I Can' - Positive thinking is all very well, but it only got us 11th place

Will  'The Hump' do it for us this year?

I'll leave you with this - (possibly) my favourite Eurovision winner...

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Oh where oh where has my needle gone?

Is it somewhere on my new work table (aka the dining room table)?

Is it somewhere on, or near, the cutting mat?

Is it stabbed somewhere in the ironing board?

Or stuck in the half-done cottages I thought I'd get finished this morning (if it weren't for the lost needle)?

Maybe the post box gobbled it up?

Perhaps it's stitching away industriously, under its own steam, doing the hem of this tablecloth smock?

Maybe one of the nine new needlecases has claimed it for its own?
(After all, what is a needlecase without needles?)

Or maybe my bottom will find it when I next sit down on the chair where I was stitching before I lost it?

I DO have more than one needle (obviously) but there is something so disconcerting about a lost one in the hub of the home!  I wonder whose foot will find it first?

Monday, 21 May 2012

And breathe...

Ahhh - it's a lovely feeling when a few of the things that have been hanging over you are finally done and dusted, and you can slide into a slightly more sedate pace of life and have a bit of 'what-I-want-to-do' time, rather than 'what-I-need-to-do'.

Last week, aside from actual work and a longer than usual stint at the charity shop I now volunteer at, I needed to clear out my sewing room, in preparation for our visitor, who arrived yesterday and thankfully was able to lay her head to rest somewhere other than on a possibly pin-infested pile of fabric and trimmings!  The attic study now looks like a bomb has hit it, but it has been a useful way of having a bit of a sort through, getting rid of a few bits and pieces that realistically I know I will never use.

In the midst of tidying, I was overcome with a need to improve the look of the rather lack-lustre chest-of-drawers in the sewing/spare room.

The first major problem was finding somewhere to put all the 'stuff' that had accumulated on its top!  

Next came a bit of sample-pot painting - Craig and Rose 1829 paints in Swedish Blue and Morris Blue, and  Crown Le Petit Palais paint in Lavender (though it actually is a pink, which is what I wanted), and some new drawer pulls from a sweet local shop, Unique Chique...

Then the top, which had some damage that wouldn't sand down and re-appeared whenever painted over, was given a hotch-potch of Tilda 'Flower Garden' papers...

(Trimmed with lines of washi tape.  Nothing at all to do with the patchworked paper edges not quite meeting up!)

All that was then required was to varnish it all, and find new things to put on top!

Needs a bit more, I think!

At least this way, I can't put half my ongoing projects, assorted tins, screw top lids and plastic containers awaiting transformation on top!

In the midst of all that, the new patio doors arrived for the eldest Miss U-t-B's flat, and in spite of my having said I would not be helping with this job, I ended up doing so.  We needed to get it done pretty quickly - Miss U-t-B's baby is due next Wednesday, and as she is planning on having the baby at home (birthing pool picked up from the nearby village of Hurtmore (oh dear!) a week or so ago), I was concerned that the moment we took the old doors out, she would go into labour and they'd be having a rather draughty time of it!

Fortunately, Mr U-t-B seems to have missed his vocation as window fitter extraordinaire, as he whipped out the old doors quicker than you could say 'Jack Robinson'...

... and with only a modicum of help from me, got the new ones in.

Maybe I shouldn't mention the fact that once in, they took ages to adjust so the darned things would close and lock!

But after fish and chip supper and the onset of darkness, it was finally done!

If you were around here last autumn, you will,of course, remember the shed we built.  Well, that Mr U-t-B built whilst I tried to act the part of builder's mate.


And now...

(The climbers survived!  Now I think of it though, I can't see any signs of the vine. Maybe we pruned it a bit too hard...)

I couldn't stop myself from entering it in the 'Shed of the Year' competition at  If you want to take a look at it and all manner of other sheddy creations, do hop over to our entry, vote for us, then take a look at the others...In that order...

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Hello little blog...

I am sorry that I have left you abandoned and alone for so long!
I have been busy.

There has been a little bit of helping some of the youngsters (including the youngest and cutest member of the family)...

... move into their new house, which strangely and completely coincidentally you have already seen as I took a snap of it when I was looking at nice front doors, gates and paths.  It is number thirteen.  They have named it 'Lucky'.  It is a lovely house and we hope they will all be enormously happy there!

There has been 'Vintage' at Farnham Maltings.
We - that's me and my new assistant, Miss U-t-B - had a great day, though we were right by a door and it was a wee bit nippy that day! 

I wore the dress I'd made, and those sandals I was waxing lyrical about a few weeks back.  

I can now declare them the most comfy, presentable looking footwear I have ever owned!  

I had bought a 1940s hat on ebay to try and complete the look, but once it arrived, it became clear that it and my head/face were not a match made in heaven, so I tried to sell it instead!
Failed though!

Since then, there has been a bit more work on the garden next door (the fence now being complete and another area cleared, ready to plant up); several days in school having fun with the Year 3s and 4s (which continue this week too) being amazed by their ability to soak up new language; and a couple of car boot sales, one helping my Mum sell stuff, one buying.

And look what I found!

A fabulous old typewriter, with a little inkiness left in its ribbon.  I nearly died lugging this across the muddy fields of Guildford!  But it was worth it, even if I do seem to have bruised my hand with its enormous weight...

It was rather grubby, but some TLC and WD40 worked wonders.

The rest of the haul was pretty good too.

There was a book of retro knitting patterns.

Dare I knit these trousers for Sophia?  

Perhaps not!

But I do rather like this sweet dress (though maybe made a little longer)...

I won't be going the trouble of knitting this ensemble either, though I do admire the way the cream, brown and orange of the outfit complements the colours of the roll-along duck.

My Mum gave me this unusual necklace, as she thought it would go rather well with my 'vintage' dress on its next outing.

There were more bargain, damaged Ladybird books, to turn into bunting (Mrs Cheese - I haven't forgotten!)...

This cute little chap is a pepper pot.  I think his rather forlorn look may well be because he has lost his young lady.  Awww!  And he has flowers for her too!

In a similar Dutch vein, I couldn't resist this guy, with his voluminous bloomers.

Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase 'thunder thighs'!

From my Mum's stall was this frosted glass dish, whilst the glass jug with sweet flower transfers and gilt edge was a bargain at 30p from a different stall.

I have one of these tins already, which I thought was old.  But this one is in such good condition, I think they must have been reproduced, and the one I already have just had a tough life.

Some more frosted glass found its way home...

And a sweet little rosy teaset, along with a basket that has lost its handle...

Another thing I couldn't resist from my Mum's stall...

And a set of shot glasses from the stall where I stumbled upon the typewriter.

Last, but not least,  a little wooden tray with fold-up legs.  The peculiar corn decoration is on its way out already, and a coat of Annie Sloan paint, plus a revamped top surface is planned.

We have a French university student coming to stay for a month-and-a-half on Sunday, so my sewing room, which is really the spare bedroom, needs quite a bit of packing up and re-siting, to allow her somewhere reasonable to rest her weary head.  It will take a bit of doing (especially as I need to be able to sew somewhere in the meantime), but it will be a useful opportunity to re-organise and tidy.  If you do not hear from me again, just picture me buried under a heap of fabric, lace, ribbon and other notions, and you'll probably be right...

I do so hope I can be more attentive to your needs very soon, little blog, and more importantly, that time will appear in my days to visit my bloggy friends, who I have been missing...