Wednesday, 29 April 2015

A Birthday and Emmetts

Hello everyone and thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post.

I've been busy out and about these last couple of weeks and the highlight was my daughters 20th Birthday and a day out which included a trip to Emmetts, a National Trust garden high up in the  Weald of Kent near Chartwell, Churchill's former home.

It was a gloriously sunny day with blue sky, and even though the bluebells were barely out there were plenty of colourful blooms. The magnolias and camellias were beautiful and in full flower, and other blossom trees were flowering as were a few early rhodedendrons and azaleas.

The Birthday Girl!

Since our sunny day out the bluebells have come on and are now almost fully out in the woods nearby.

I've been very busy with The Loft Room since I last posted, and have been making a few new things for my space there.

I've made some vintage floral linen bags which I've lined with red polka dot fabric.

 I've hand embroidered some little key fobs

And I've hand stitched some little lavender sachets..... this one from vintage feedsacks

This one hand embroidered with a little Kensitas silk flower on it sent to me by a lovely FB friend Jayne. Between 1933 and 1934 Kensitas included a silk flower with each pack of cigarettes and they are now very collectable. Jayne thought of me as she had one with a Gillyflower on it, the old fashioned name for pinks, which is where I got my name from (as well as being a Gilly!) and she very kindly sent me that flower along with some others. I made this for her as a thankyou.

Vintage barkcloth lavender sachet....

And another vintage feedsack lavender filled sachet.

 I've also set up a Blog for The Loft Room where we can post about our courses, fairs, events and new makes, so do pop over and check it out here and if you'd like to follow what we're up to then you can follow us on Bloglovin' or by email notification.

We are also on Facebook here, so please come and check out our page and give us a like!

It's in its infancy at the moment so a bit short on photos and a bit rough around the edges, but it would be lovely to have some familiar and friendly faces as followers!

I still haven't got round to catching up with you all on your blogs so please forgive me for my absence.

Hope this horrible weather clears up for the Bank Holiday weekend, its pouring with rain here as I type, and dark, cold and miserable.

 Have a great weekend whatever the weather!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

A Spring Outing and other stuff

Thankyou for all your comments and best wishes on my last post, it's good to be back even though I am still far, far behind with catching up with you all.

Hope you're all enjoying this gorgeous Spring weather! 

There's lots happening in the garden now, and today I've had a great day out with my daughter who is fresh back from a long weekend in Paris! Paris in the Springtime, how wonderful!! Next time she visits her friend there I think I shall tag along ;)

Today we visited Scotney Castle in Lamberhurst, Kent, a National Trust property and only 10 minutes away from us. Rather than tour the house on such a sunny day,  we wandered around the gardens and grounds and down to the old, ruined original building. 

My daughter took all of these photos on her iPhone and has taken some lovely shots with the ancient buildings reflected in the moat.

we loved this colour blue on the garden door with the red camellia!

steps up from the sunken quarry garden, made where they quarried out the stone to build the new and much large Scotney Castle in the 1830s.

camellias in bloom

the original medieval castle, mostly in ruins, but partly intact and there are still a few rooms to explore, and a story of a priest who hid undiscovered in the Priests hole whilst the house was searched!

Years ago, way before our daughter was born, we saw a Shakespeare play here one summers evening with the backdrop of the ruined atmospheric!

Such a great place to visit!

Back to the Loft Room tomorrow all day, and hoping to finish a glass cabinet that I started painting on Tuesday in Annie Sloan "Provence", a gorgeous turquoisy teal colour! Just sanding, distressing and waxing tomorrow so should have some photos to share in my next post.

I have a few items of vintage furniture already in the shop that I've painted recently, including this oak wheelback chair that had seen better days, but with a bit of glueing and a coat or two of my own colour mixed from Annie Sloan Original, Duck Egg and Louis Blue its looking much better.

Enjoy the rest of the Easter holidays and hopefully lots more sunny days!

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Some exciting news.....

........and its about time I posted again!!!

Well, I really don't know how we can be near the end of March already, the year is flying by at such a pace.

If I have any followers and online friends left, hello again!!!!

And a huge welcome to all my new followers via Bloglovin' !!!!!

I hope you are all well, and if you've been kind enough to wonder where I was, I'm sorry for not posting for so long without announcing some sort of blogging break, although it was unplanned.

I must confess to having lost my blogging mojo during the long, dark and dreary days of January and February, and then suddenly found myself thrown into a frenzy of activity throughout March (not that I was idle during Jan and Feb, busy but just not in a blogging frame of mind!)

So here we are.

One of the things that has kept me busy these last few months is the designing and planning of a new vegetable and potager area to the garden. The old vegetable area had a few raised beds that had rotted away, and with straggly grass paths in between that couldn't be mown as they were too narrow, it was a sad and messy part of the garden. Our occasional gardener Nick, a landscape gardener, is responsible for all the hard work and making my design a reality.

But now it looks like this!!

Am so pleased with it, and now just comes the challenge of finding the time to fill the beds as I'd planned back in the dark days of winter!

I have three established rhubarbs waiting to go back in, and then I have plans for raspberry canes, a dedicated cut flower bed, and the rest over to vegetables and salad crops. The first few years of living here we had fruitful veggie beds but last year nothing happened and this year I've even been too busy to sow any seeds in the greenhouse. Luckily its about time to sow many crops direct so I'm hoping for a dry day this week to do just that.

We've been seeing changes in the fields and orchards where we walk daily, and some days have even been warm enough to go without coats....not these last few days though

Two lovely pieces of fabrics arrived this week. The left hand fabric below is a beautiful vintage piece of French Art Deco fabric, and the right hand piece is a 19th century piece of French Linen Cretonne circa 1870.

I'm hoping to make some cushions from these.

Now for the exciting bit!!!!

On the creative front things have got very exciting!

I took a big step and am now sharing some workshop and showroom space with a new friend who organised the Christmas Fair last year, so am currently getting settled at The Loft Room Vintage Workshop and Showroom in Brenchley, Kent.

Please visit our Facebook page here and give us a new like!

Even better, if you live within driving distance it would be lovely to see you!!! We're only 5 minutes from the A21 near Tunbridge Wells in Kent, and there's a coffee shop on site.

I am beyond excited to be sharing this space with Helen from The Crackled Horse Company, who paints furniture and makes beautiful painted and crafted accessories for the home, and Emma, who creates wonderful crochet and felted items. Two very creative and enthusiastic people!

It's given me the opportunity to bring together my handmade vintage and recycled fabric cushions and accessories, Annie Sloan chalk painted furniture, and vintage finds.

I have a Facebook page also here, Gillyflower Handmade in Kent,  so please click on the link and have a look and add a like too! You can also find me these days posting regularly on Instagram as Pinkgillyflower, so it would be lovely to keep up with you on there too!

Here's a few photos of my handmade items and vintage goodies on display at The Loft Room ......

cushions, pincushions and lavender hearts

vintage fabric lavender sachets and framed vintage fabric

vintage linens, lavender sachets, bunting, cushions, vintage china and cards

more vintage fabric, patchwork, quilted and hand embroidered cushions

vintage fabric cushions, bags and painted wheelback chair

vintage china, silver plated candelabra, bunting and cards

....and some of Emma's lovely felted easter eggs, hearts and mushrooms, and the view looking out of the Loft

Well, now that I'm back in the saddle again I shall attempt to get back into the routine of regular postings, and, more importantly, try to visit all my blogging friends and catch up on your news.

It's so good to be back!!!!