Saturday, 26 May 2012

Last Chance!


Don't forget it's your last chance to enter my Diamond Jubilee Giveaway this weekend - closes tomorrow Sunday 27th May at midnight.

Go to my post here to enter






Hope you are all enjoying some fabulous weather - sorry I haven't posted this week but have been too busy doing just that!

Will have lots of flower and garden photos to show soon though.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Posted by Picasa

Friday, 18 May 2012

White lace


Just a few of the beautiful pieces of crochet lace, tatting, lace and embroidered linen I came away with from the local Antique and Flea market today.

Just a flying visit today, so I didn't get a chance to look at any of the other stalls of vintage china, jewellery, bric a brac, ephemera etc that are there.

But for me the magnet is always Heather's stall, with her beautiful vintage laces and linens, threads, buttons, cashmere jumpers, tapestries and all manner of other wonderful sewing bits and pieces from the past.

She is such a generous soul too, and now that she knows I make cushions and accessories from vintage linens and laces I rarely come away without a few lovely things that she gives me, damaged linens and lace that she otherwise couldn't sell, as she knows I can salvage the undamaged bits to use as fragments on a lavender bag, or a trim on a cushion.

Thank you Heather!


Hello and welcome to all my new followers over the last week - so nice of you to visit and follow me! If I haven't already done so, I will be over to visit your blog soon.

I shall leave you with a few photos of the current addiction - making cathedral window pincushions!
I have put some in my online shop Gillyflower's Vintage and Handmade Shop  and shall add a few more as I make them. It's good to have a break from making full-sized vintage fabric cushions!

Wishing both my old and new followers a very Happy Weekend - may the sun shine on you!!

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Pretty in pink.....





...........and blue

.....and with yesterdays.......


.....these cathedral window pincushions are fun to make on a wet Spring day!

The Pink and Blue pincushions are now for sale here.
I will be making more and adding to the shop over the next week.


You can have a chance to win the red, blue and white pincushion, along with a celebratory Diamond Jubilee tea towel,  if you enter my Diamond Jubilee Giveaway - see this post or click on the button in my sidebar!

Ends Sunday 27th may 2012

Posted by Picasa

Monday, 14 May 2012

Cathedral Windows and a Woodpecker

I have long admired the beautiful cathedral window pincushions made by the talented Debbie at happy little cottage blog, and learning how to make one has been on my long long list of things to make for a while now.

So imagine my excitement last week when I came across this well written and illustrated tutorial showing you how to make one!
Ever since then, I have been waiting for a chance to have a go, and whilst making the most of a dry sunny spell this morning gardening in the vegetable garden, I was not that dismayed when it started to rain. Rather gleefully I put away my muddy gardening gloves, kicked off my clogs and rushed off to my sewing room - well what else was a girl to do?


An hour or so later I had managed my first one, the blue and funky floral pincushion in the first and second photo, and then I thought what a perfect thing it would be to make one in patriotic red, white and blue for the "made by me" part of my Jubilee Giveaway!

So here it is - a Cathedral window pincushion in red, white and blue, now part of the Diamond Jubilee Giveaway!!!


I am loving the cuteness of these pincushions!
After making so many full sized cushions it is so much fun to make a teeny thing like this!


To enter my Giveaway for a chance to win this Cathedral window pincushion, together with the winner's choice of commemorative Diamond Jubilee tea towels, please go to my Diamond Jubilee post dated 9th May and leave a comment - just follow the instructions in the post.

The Giveaway is open to everyone, wherever they live - I am happy to post abroad.


Early one morning at the weekend as I filled the kettle at the sink, I looked out and spotted this bird on my lawn. You can just see it in the centre of the photo behind the pink honesty.

(Ignore the messy border behind where I have recently taken out several overgrown hebes, and damaged the log roll in the process! Also the dead pond grass still needs clearing away by the looks of it !  And you thought I had a nice garden - as I've said before, I only show you the selected highlights not the grim reality!!)

I grabbed the camera and took some rather poor photos through the window, as I thought I would scare Woody Woodpecker away if I opened the back door.

Isn't he wonderful? Look at that red head!


And the greeny yellow feathers and tail.

We hear woodpeckers every day from early spring as they love the tall oak trees at the end of our garden and in the neighbouring gardens, and occasionally one will come and peck at the lawn. Usually its the Green Woodpecker, but occasionally we see a Greater spotted woodpecker.


By the way, a huge "Welcome" to all my new followers!
In just a few days I have gone from under 200 to well into the 200s!

Thanks for joining!

Wishing you all a Happy Week!

Posted by Picasa

Friday, 11 May 2012

Fine China

Hi everyone, thanks for your lovely comments on my last couple of posts!

I'm having a break today and letting someone else do the hard work! 

A while ago I was asked whether my readers might be interested in reading a guest post about fine china, and knowing how discerning you all are, and how you all enjoy making the most of your homes, I thought it would be nice to share this guest post with you, written by Julie Shuford, Marketing Manager at Bering's, Houston Texas.


Fine China Must-Haves to Truly Unique Pieces

Paper plates and plastic containers might be great for a picnic, but when you are the host make your guests feel truly welcome with some beautiful fine china. Hosting friends and family, and even professional gatherings, provides a great time to share your style and eye for detail. From your choice of home décor and fashion, to your tabletop- it is all a reflection of you. While you might already own plates and serving pieces you really like, it is still nice to consider incorporating other pieces into the mix. From the must-have, to the nice-to-have and even the truly unique fine china pieces, we will share some options to ensure your next get-together is one your guests will be talking about!

To begin, we will briefly review some must-have fine china pieces. I always say the essential for dining is your 5 piece fine china set (dinner plate, salad plate, bread plate, cup and saucer). But please, do not write-off this article if your initial take-away is that you have to spend an incredible amount in order to properly host a get-together. While it is nice to have your 5 piece fine china set, even having a few full settings, or even some pieces, is a great foundation to start with. For example, if you are hosting a baby or wedding shower it would be lovely to use your salad or dessert plates for the hors d'oeuvres and/or cake. You might also opt to use your tea cups and saucers. It will make the friend you are hosting the shower for feel even more special. And you don't even have to set out your full 5 pieces!

Included below are some of our favorite must-have fine china settings:

Indigo Wave by Mottahedeh:

Arcades, by Philippe Deshoulieres

Here is a truly classic, but a bit more casual fine china option - Spode's Blue Italian.

You might be relieved to hear the heavy lifting is over! Yes, deciding on a formal 5 piece place setting can be quiet daunting, but so helpful in laying the foundation. Now that you have your formal china selected, we can move on to the nice-to-have fine china pieces.

As you are probably well aware, every fine china pattern includes equally beautiful serving pieces adorned with the same pattern. From china teapots to lustrous serving platters, they always add that little extra touch to your tabletop. Fine china serving pieces also make exquisite pieces to decorate with from mantle pieces to wall décor. Make the most out of your fine china by seeing it and enjoying it every day.

Here are some of our favorite nice-to-have serving pieces.

Spode Woodlands platter:

Yes, even pets have serving pieces! Here is the Spode Woodlands dog bowl:

Here are some serving pieces that go with the china set pictured above. Spode's Blue Italian:

I think most would agree that it is "nice to have" your must-have as well as your nice-to-have fine china pieces. However, some of the most expressive and fun pieces are the truly unique fine china pieces. These are the fine china pieces that might not serve a purpose other than looking nice, but add character and color.

The picture below includes all three examples from the must-have dinner plates to the nice-to-have serving bowls, and the truly unique fine china pieces. Rothschild Bird by Herend is such a timeless pattern!

Now that you have your fine china bases covered, maybe you should start inviting friends and family over to share in the pretty pieces! And in the meantime, it never hurts to admire and take notes on how your friends and family decorate and entertain with their fine china.

About the Author

Julie Shuford is the Marketing Manager for Bering's Hardware in Houston, TX.   Julie is a girl's girl who loves a good sale, a long run, and time with her husband and new baby boy. Bering's Hardware is a unique retail store that provides everything from hardware to fine china and housekeeping products to grilling products.


Many Thanks Julie for such an interesting  guest post - there are some great ideas here for beautiful china, some lovely photos of various different designs, and I just love the idea of fine china for dogs!

what a good boy!

 I'm sure Logan thinks he's a Prince anyway, the way we spoil him, and if I were to serve up his dinner in such a smart bowl instead of his plastic one then I'm sure he would be wondering why it's taken me so long to give him what he deserves!!!

What do you think your dog would think?
Or maybe he/she already dines off the finest china???

Wishing you all a Happy Weekend!

NB:     Don't forget!  My Giveaway ends Sunday May 27th, so still plenty of time to leave your comment here on the Diamond Jubilee Giveaway post!