Saturday, 30 July 2011

Ephemera and other randomness

ephemeraplural of e·phem·er·a (Noun)
1. Things that exist or are used or enjoyed for only a short time.
2. Items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity.

I rather like this word, "ephemera" , for it conjures up thoughts of potentially fascinating bygone miscellanea, and an insight into another time, another place and a different way of life.

It's another one of those intruiging "e" words,  like "ethereal", "enigmatic" and "eclectic" , "euphemism", "equivocal" , "epiphany", "epitome" , "epoch"!

They are somehow words that evoke (you see, there's another one) a little mystery, of things unknown and untold, vagueness, secrecy, intrigue, of other worldliness.

Hmmm. Yes. I think Little Lambs expression says it all.
Moving on..........
Getting back down to earth again, whilst searching online in that great World Shop for some genuine vintage labels, I came across these rather pretty matchbox covers, under the heading of "ephemera".

They are of Hungarian origin
"24 vintage matchbox labels from Hungary, with fun, childlike folk art illustrations of phrases. From around the 1950s.
In great condition, lightly attached to the paper with stamp hinges."

The simple black and white designs on that lovely dark turquoise background caught my eye, and for the princely sum of £1.80 (inc p/p!) they are mine.

They are already mounted, so I could simply place them in a frame then hang them as an interesting piece of "art" on the wall.

And I may use the artwork as inspiration for a future project - that is really what I had in mind when I purchased them.

It is fascinating wandering through the "ephemera" section!

Also purchased off eBay this last week or so

a large quantity of vintage large blue checked woven cotton for 99p

and it matches the colour of the Toile that came earlier this week beautifully

Nearly 3m of vintage white handmade cotton lace, either crochet or tatting (sold as crocheted), 99p

and a small vintage damask hand towel with a beautiful monogram

Yes, 99p again!

So some good bargains still to be had online - I have better luck online than in our local charity shops where there is nothing much older than 80's things these days, including china, and very little under £2.

But I know from viewing other blogs that luckily others still manage to find some fantastic stuff in their local CSs - maybe I need to find some different ones. 

And finally, a little peek at a handsome young man who has recently returned from a two hour grooming and pamper session

A Spoilt Prince? Who, moi?!

Hope the sun shines for you wherever you are this weekend - its actually shining here at the moment, hooray!!!

And don't forget this is the final chance to enter my Giveaway (see 11th July post or my Giveaway button on sidebar) which ends tomorrow at midnight - the bewitching hour, an enigmatic hour, quite entrancing and ethereal.......................

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Inspiring Books, French Fabrics and a bit of Baking

Today I have set up a new page on my Blog featuring Books that I have come across, enjoyed, and that I think you might like too.

 I hope (ha!) to add new books to this page regularly, to keep it updated (yes, probably as updated as I've kept my Flowers page and Made page, and my BlogShop - which is hardly at all! ) with books that are inspiring me now and which may inspire you also.


The french vintage fabrics mentioned in my last post arrived this morning.

a pretty Indienne type of fabric

taupe and off white ticking

a pretty country floral

and from a different seller, and from good old England, a new piece of traditional blue ticking

This cooler, almost autumnal weather we've been having this week has seen me eager to spend a little more time in the kitchen cooking.

So far this week I've made a vegetarian Green Thai curry with brown rice (Monday), vegetable soup (Tuesday) vegetable Parmigiana (yesterday, my version of Eggplant Parmigiana inspired by yummy photos at My Farmhouse Kitchen but I didn't have any aubergines!)

and also yesterday I rather excelled myself by baking a moist Banana and Walnut Loaf
(a variation on a recipe I shared here a few months ago)

and wholemeal Irish Soda Bread

So I've now made myself hungry and I'm off to have some of that bread for lunch!

Hope you all have  a great weekend!

PS  Don't forget to enter my Giveaway (on 11th July post, Its Giveaway Time finally...) if you haven't already, as it ends this weekend (Sunday)!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Vintage French Labels, Giveaways and other things

Just a short post to let you know of a couple of Giveaways taking place here in the Land of Blog, as well as a couple of blogs worth visiting for vintage french labels etc.

Country Rose is having a Giveaway of some wonderful Cath Kidston goodies, together with some beautiful crocheted items of her own

and Bee Happy has a great ribbon giveaway, a generous assortment of ribbons and trims!

Do go visit their creative and pretty blogs to enter  -  you can click on the buttons on my sidebar or on their blog names above.

And of course my own Giveaway which ends on 31 July - if you would like to enter, please go to my post of the 11th July and just leave a comment.

After receiving many comments on the vintage French labels I showed here a few posts ago, I have done a little quick research and found a couple of blogs well worth checking out if you are interested in finding that sort of thing to use for your creative works.

Firstly, a website that many will already be familiar with - The Graphics Fairy

Lots of free Vintage printable downloads here!

And another great blog, Vintage Feedsacks, which has free vintage clip art, including wonderful labels and backgrounds.

Click on the blog names to visit their sites - they are both well worth a visit if you love vintage labels, posters etc!

And on the subject of vintage french things, I was excited to unpack this lovely vintage Toile which arrived this morning - about a metre and a half of beautiful blue and off white toile.

No idea whether it is French or not, and it wasn't sold as such, but you can tell its old by the look and feel of it, and by the rust marks along the selvedge - and a bargain at £1.99 from eBay!


It has the most wonderful rural scenes printed on it.

Can't wait to use it!

But I do have three pieces of vintage french fabric on the way from France as we speak, and am looking forward to receiving those!


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Random Tuesday

Thanks for all your comments on my last post, and a huge welcome to yet more new followers!

Well, I did manage to spend some time in my sewing room and I made this cushion cover from two different vintage floral linens, a homespun and a vintage red check tablecloth, very soft and worn and washed.

Logan likes the new cushion I think

Sweet peas from the garden - I am guilty of having totally neglected these yet they still flower in spite of this, albeit with fairly short stems - I put them in late, and then apart from the occasional watering they have been left to fend for themselves

They smell glorious

I also managed to stitch a cross stitch monogram

and then stitcthed some corner borders

Not sure how I will use it yet though, but I have a few ideas bubbling away 

The blue floral fabric above is some lovely new thick floral cotton that arrived this morning - very Cath Kidston, very pretty - I usually avoid making things from these pretty fabrics as there are already so many similar things out there but this was such good value I could not resist.

Bella made refreshing iced coffee yesterday afternoon - we are having a few "at home" days after a busy week last week being out every day for some reason or other ( including a trip to London for Bella with a friend to see the latest Harry Potter ) and so once I got back from the vets and the farm shop yesterday we holed up for the rest of the day.

A shabby chic bird I made a few years ago from ticking that I tea-dyed - I made a few of this sort of thing which I sold at fairs a few years ago.

Rhubarb from the garden, the marrow still waiting to be eaten, and a few more french beans

Pretty Polish pottery I picked up from a craft fair a while back - they have a wonderful stall at the Country Living Fair selling blue and white Polish pottery, it is hard to leave without buying some.

And some of my fav cookbooks in the kitchen close to hand

Have been buying on DVD some old  favourite films that I had recorded on video years ago and hence terrible quality - I love anything with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in, likewise Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.

The lemon tree is finally doing well outside now that I have moved it to a shadier spot - new leaves that came through in May and June got sun scorched, and few flowers appeared - now it has lots of new foliage and flower buds, so hopefully we will get some more lemons after all.

The courgettes are flourishing still - picking one or two nearly every day

The sweetcorn seems to be doing OK - many of the plants have two cobs forming now

The largest of the outdoor cucumbers

New peg bag from the local charity shop last week - yes I actually bought one even though I have several "in stock" but I'm hoping to sell those rather than use them for myself!  At £2.99 I felt this was a bargain!

And I am as excited as a child as I have just booked a holiday for us all in a farmhouse in Pembrokeshire, Wales

We haven't managed to have a holiday for two years now, what with moving house last summer and then Bellas mock exams etc, so it will be lovely to have a change of scenery and head back to a favourite area of ours.

We have had many brilliant holidays all over Wales over the last few years, but one of my favourite areas is Pembrokeshire, with lovely coastal places like Laugharne, Amroth, Saundersfoot, Pendine, and then further west there is Manorbier, Stackpole (NT), Dale, Broadhaven and Little Haven to visit, as well as the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path.

We are taking both pets - Bessie is a seasoned traveller and has already been to Wales before, but it will be a first for Logan, and as he moans and howls all the way to wherever we are going in the car, it might be his last!

Actually, its usually only when I'm driving and once we've stopped somewhere and he's had a walk he's usually fine. So we may stop at the village green, give him a turn about and then hopefully (!!) he will be quiet for the rest of our journey to Wales, with plenty of stops enroute!

Start 'em travelling young I think is the answer if you want a good traveller!

Bella has always been a brilliant traveller, as we first took her by car to both Cornwall and the Norfolk Broads (when she went on a boating holiday) when she was only 3 months old! They are so portable and easy at that age in retrospect, especially if breastfeeding!

Then at 11 months she had her first trip to France by ferry (a nightmare 9 hour ferry crossing with a fidgety child who couldnt yet walk - I luckily found a long, deserted corridor on board leading to closed restaurants and she crawled up and down it for hours!) and car, and for the next 7 or 8 years we did a car journey to Europe, by ferry or eurotunnel, often twice a year, and she was always fine as long as we kept her amused with plenty of food and drinks, CDs, books, colouring and car games.

So something to look forward to in a few weeks time! The last holiday we had in Wales it rained solidly for two weeks - fingers crossed for a bit of sun this time!

If you are lucky enough to be going away too, where are you off to on your hols?