Wednesday, 8 June 2011

A bit of This and That

At the weekend I received another belated Birthday present.

It is a gorgeous Gisela Graham gardening bag, made from strong brightly patterned cotton canvas, with lots of useful pockets round the outside for secateurs, string etc.

Thanks Sis!!

This lovely cheerful braid arrived a few days ago, to add to my stash - not sure what it will be for, but I couldnt resist that bright orangy red and green - vintage in style, and a very good price off eBay.


This last week has seen a few new book treasures arrive at the front door, courtesy of  Amazon and our kindly postman.

Firstly, last week, this little French gem appeared

Despite it being in French, and my French being pretty basic, its really about the beautiful pictures and the ideas. Each project is shown in a beautiful French shabby chic room setting. The instructions are quite minimal so it is more important to be able to sew than to speak French I would say.

Luckily, my sewing is better than my French, and there are a few basic construction sketches with each project, together with a few templates at the back, which are all you require for most of the projects should you wish to make them.

Which I do.
If I had all the time in the world.
Which I don't.

It will be read and admired and gloated over at bedtime, and then will drop from my sleepy clasp as I drift off dreaming of all the lovely things I shall make. If I had time. Which I don't. Hmm.

The next day, this arrived.

No camera, so book covers are all courtesy of Amazon where you can purchase it of course!

After writing a post about Painted Furniture a few weeks back, a kindly blogger recomended Annie Sloan paints as being "the biz" as no preparation is required, just paint and go.

So I thought I'd have a look at what Annie Sloan has been writing recently and I came across the above, which is both useful and inspiring. Well worth buying if you want to tackle some painting projects and aren't sure where to start, as it gives step by step illustrated instructions, tips and know how, and a finished picture to work towards. Shows you how to achieve wonderfully distressed pieces, and is inspirational to both the beginner and the more experienced distresser-of- furniture.

It also lists stockists of her paint.


On the basis that I have a friends 50th Birthday Party to give in the summer, just a small one for her close family and parents coming over from the US, I thought the following book might be inspirational. 

That is one of the events I was referring to a few posts ago when I was asking for entertaining ideas! So as well as all those wonderful ideas you all shared wth me in your comments (which I will be taking on board for sure), this should help too.

It arrived today, and I've had a quick peek!

It is indeed inspirational, it has some lovely French style ideas, simple and hopefully achievable, for both food and for decorating the table, and the garden.


And this beauty is still to come

I can hardly wait!


  1. What wonderfully inspiring books. I'm going to check out that paint transformations book as I have a welsh dresser which desperately needs its honey-pine updating.
    Beautiful gardening bag. I fancy making something like that but for my craft project bits and pieces that seem to occupy every given surface! Perhaps that's something you could make and sell in your Folksy shop! I reserve the first one though!
    Becky x
    Becky x

  2. Have no idea how my name ended up twice at the bottom of my comment! x

  3. Lol!
    Have often thought about making gardening aprons Becky - have seen them and thought what a good practical idea - this bag is great too, so might have a go at both? - too many things I want to make though Becky, just too many!!!And when I might be making, I spend my time blogging!!!!
    Oh well, I did make a large patchwork stool cover yesterday which I am pretty pleased about - very cheery in red, blues and green - must comandeer a camera and take a pic!
    Gill xx

  4. Lots of goodies here, I really like the look of that 'Handmade Soirees' book. Love the new banner too x

  5. Looks like your going to be a busy girl with all those lovely books and new ideas!!! Enjoy them!!!!
    Happy wishes for the week!!
    Chris :o)

  6. Belated Happy Birthday - are you a Gemini? I've also just had my Birthday! Love that gardeners bag with those cute birds on it. Hope you find lots of things to try out from those books from Amazon!

  7. You received inspiration by the bunches! so many treasures......LOVE the bag!

  8. I really like the look of the french one, looks like some really lovely ideas, so might have to treat myself. Love your gardening bag too xx

  9. Oh Gill what gorgeous treasures. Your little garden tool bag is so sweet and lovely and I think I would enjoy any of those books. It is frustrating that there aren't enough hours in the day to do all you want to!Love Linda x

  10. Oooh, lots of lovely books! THe AS one is great - I have that and use it a lot for ideas. I like the gardening bag too - I have a tea cosy in that material :) Abby x

  11. Happy Belated Birthday! xx I love your book choices. I've just bought and blogged about "The French Inspired Home" Love love love it. The shabby chic one looks fab too. Enjoy the big read and get inspired xxx

  12. I have that first book and didn't know about the second one! I love French General.
    I am your new follower. I love the name Gilly :)

  13. Thanks for the book suggestions. I'm going to have a look at the painting one. There's no Australian Amazon but it still usually works out cheaper to buy from Amazon UK and post.

  14. Wow, when I saw that gardening bag I thought you were going to tell us you made it! I'm sure you could, you're such an expert and gifted seamstress!

    Love all the books! I'll bet you can't wait to check them out. I haven't bought any really nice decorating books in years . . . I think you've inspired me! I have some French book too, and I haven't spoken French since sophomore year in high school! LOL!!!

    Have a wonderful day! It's hotter than Hades in New England, temps are supposed to reach 100 degrees! And we're not at the beach!

  15. Hi Gill, I love that gardening bag! And the gardening apron idea too - go for it! I keep thinking about doing some sewing again, but I hate the faff of getting the sewing machine out. What I love about crochet is that you just pick it up wherever you are and get on with it. But I've made a little Amazon order too, and I'm so excited waiting for the books to come... Have lots of fun curling up in a comfy chair with your books!
    Jane x

  16. I've heard that paint is brilliant and you can paint any surface without all the boring prep first.You're books look very exciting,bet you can't wait to get stuck in! Very useful...and pretty gardening bag.I need something like that to keep all my tools to hand. :0)

  17. I love your gardening bag, I could do with something similar as I'm always putting my bits and pieces down around the allotment and forgetting where I've put them. It's so nice to get belated presents extending the birthday celebrations. How I love receiving books through the post, I'm so excited when a parcel gets delivered from Amazon. I'm sure you won't be short on inspiration with all those wonderful books.

  18. Hello Gill:
    Your French may be poor as you say, although we are inclined to disbelieve this, but that is nothing compared with our sewing which is, frankly, a non starter. However, we love all things which may be described as 'shabby chic', and our lives are surrounded thus!!

    Your gardening bag is wonderful and could, of course, be used for all manner of different things, both inside and out. And the books you include here look to be most interesting.

    We have much enjoyed reading this and some of your previous posts - an eclectic and varied mix.

  19. I love your new gardening bag - I saw that exact one in the RHS Wisley shop yesterday and spent ages cooing over it!

  20. Hi Gill,
    I love it when people do posts about books like this as they are my biggest vice. I am always on the look out for new ones. I find it's so easy for your finger to slip on Amazon's one click ordering button!
    All four are books I would go for but the french one would probably be top of the list.
    I love the bag too but not sure if I could bear to put any dirty gardening tools in it!x

  21. Your late birthday pressie is fab, love the fabric and colours. I adore books and these look like some worth having! off to Amazon ....

    Bee happy x
    Have a delicious day!


Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to leave a comment - I love to read them!
Gill x