29.6.11

San Franscisco

Dear Laura,




I have just got back from San Francisco and I suggest reading this post whilst listening to "I left my heart in San Francisco". I want to show you it all at once and tell you all about it. Instead I will show you a few of my favourite things. We went for a wedding and extended the trip to include a couple of days playing in Berkley and San Francisco. First stop was the mission:




The shop in the bottom left corner sells curiosities, jars of turkeys claws greet you as you walk in, a case of glass taxidermy mice dressed as pilots, brides and grooms stares at you from the back of the room. The walls are covered with stuffed exotic animals. test tubes, fossils, moss, bones, bundles of hemlock all wait patiently to be bought in small bowls. It is dark and strange and really really fun. 


Just down the road from the curiosity shop there is the pirate supply shop, which sells everything that a pirate might need. Bags for gold, cutlases, wooden peg legs.



Of course it isn't all just bizarre shops, it is hills and beaches and palm trees and sunshine.





I wish I had had more time to find lots of awesome thrifted goodness, just a dress and a jumper from a consignment shop. Next time, next time....

Lots of love

Annie





27.6.11

cushions

Dear Annie,


The other night, D was out. I'd finished all chores and had a quiet evening ahead of me. The TV and a bar of Green and Blacks was beckoning, but instead, I headed up to the loft to find my sewing machine.


I made some envelope cushion covers using the fabric that I showed you in this post, and some plain Irish linen. I can't believe I've never made envelope cushion covers before! I watched this video and they were a total doddle. I shall definitely be trawling my stash for more potential fabric. It was so satisfying to have created something in one evening, too. A real quick-fix craft project.

Love from,

Laura



25.6.11

An Ode to A Fig

Dear Laura,


Figgy figgy fig, 
You are a giant fig,
Figgy figgy fig, 
I can't believe you grew on my tree
and the squirrels didn't get you.

Now strictly speaking I am pretty sure that isn't an ode in fact I am not sure it could be classed as a poem or a song either, but I am terribly proud of the largest fig a tree has ever grown.








Lots of love


Annie

24.6.11

the kindness of friends

Dear Annie,

A couple of weeks ago, in this post I had a little Blanche DuBois moment, reflecting on the kindness of strangers- or to be more precise, the kindness of bloggers. This week, it's been the kindness of friends that I've been touched by.


My lovely friend A (Mummy to little G and my Godson J) and I are real kindred spirits, and even before we met we lived strange parallel lives for years. One of our many shared interests is seeking out bargains in charity or junk shops. On one of her recent shopping trips, A came across this pretty little blue jug, she said that it reminded her of me and so she sweetly bought it for me. Of course she was right, I love it, and all the more so because it was an unexpected gift.



D's kind parents also thought of me whilst out charity shopping this week, they rang yesterday to say that they had bought me a set of cups and saucers to match my beloved Midwinter mugs. I can't wait to see them! 

The only thing better than finding your own vintage bargains is other people knowing you so well that they can hunt them down on your behalf.


Finally, I mustn't forget the kindness of my husband, look at the beautiful hydrangea bloom that he bought me from the market last week. It's so pretty and striking. (Yes, he has bought me flowers twice in a week -the sweetie! Not the norm, I can assure you, but definitely to be encouraged...)

Wishing you kindness and surprises in your week, too.

Love from,

Laura



22.6.11

Gadget Cosy

Dear Laura,


I would first like to thank Lindsay at back and forth for the title. She commented a while back saying, to paraphrase, that one could never have enough gadget cosys. I have been taken with that phrase ever since and look at all my gadget cosys and remember that good advice. And so a new gadget cosy has come into being. My previous iTouch case didn't really fit my iPhone and when a friend asked if she could have it whilst I was on my trip in the UK I gave it away gladly. After all this meant I could make a whole new one, this means getting to chose the fabric all over again as well as the prefect button. A lovely treat. So on Saturday morning I found myself with a spare hour and whipped it up. 





I always found it difficult to keep the earphones both untangled and with the gadget they were supposed to attach to. I first found this issue with a walkman, a walkman, can you imagine how we used to walk around with those clumpy things, it would have been a good gadget to make a cosy for though. All the pockets for the tapes and the holes for the buttons, ooo lots of fun. Anyway back to the present... to hold the earphones I made a little pocket inside. I love it. So now my gadget is all snug and warm and I am one happy bunny as one cracked screen is enough for me. 

Lots of love

Annie

20.6.11

sun day

Dear Annie,

A sunny Sunday. A family picnic at Tyntesfield for Fathers' Day. 







I loved... 

~the beautiful rose garden and all the other gorgeous flowers everywhere
~the greeny-blue tiles in the summerhouse- more quilt ideas
~the lawn full of daisies
~the farm animals who accompanied us
~the lacy cover on the milk jug- how National Trust!
~the chocolate macaroons which D bought back from the market
~the pretty cornflowers- they remind me of my bridal bouquet, and what a glorious shade of blue!

I hope that the sun shone for you too.

Love from,

Laura

18.6.11

snippets

Dear Annie,

A few snippets from my week:




 
I've been...

~ enjoying some knitting after all that hand-quilting. I'm working on my Star-Sign Shawl and it's just the right sort of pattern for my current knitting needs.

wondering whether my latest charity shop find is granny chic, or just plain granny

~ choosing some fabric from my stash ready to make some cushion covers.  These pieces came from a flea market in Paris years ago and I've been wondering what to do with them. This post was a real inspiration.

~ admiring these pretty stocks which sweet D brought home for me to cheer me up after a rather trying week

Love from,

Laura 

Watch Out Ladies

Dear Laura,


Once upon a time I was trying to impress a boy and he was trying to impress me. Now I love giving sewn or knitted presents to people, but it is actually quite hard to think of ideas for boys. Once you have knitted them a scarf the ideas start to dry up. I can't very well give him a tea cosy or an iPhone case, I needed to think manly and then I found this.



Well you can't get much more manly than these fine gentlemen. Shall we have a look inside...









 Er hold on, can we have a closer look at those three dashing men in their summer wear.

Well I have many favourites but these chaps might be top of the list.

As entertaining as this magazine / book is, and it really is, it is also actually quite useful. It shows you how to tie various ties including a bow tie and how to make sure clothes fit. As well as how to sew giant 70s collars and such like. For only 50p (Australia $1.20, New Zealand $1.00, South Africa R1.25) I think this was an absolute bargin. So normally I wouldn't put photos up from a book or magazine, I appreciate how hard people work to get them published in the first place, however, these are over 35 years old, I am fairly sure this magazine is not for sale anymore and I have cited my source. And on that note I'll leave you with this.


Lots of love
Annie





15.6.11

Mugs and Tea Towels

Dear Laura,




Having got back from holiday and finding a mountain of work to get on with I haven't been left with much crafting time. So apart from the odd granny square I haven't been very productive. I do however have an obsession with mugs, and thanks to your introduction to the world of tea towels, also those lovely rectangles of colourful patterny fabric. It happens that on our travels I picked up one or two of said items and would like to show them to you.



A beautiful tea towel courtesy of the V&A.




My fox mug which I love and was designed and maybe made by Lisa Jones studio

And I couldn't very well leave out the National Trust shop now could I. This is the mug from Berrington Hall in Hereford. 


Well I think I should show you them in their new home.




Well as you can spot there is a little bit of Bridgewater here, and Cath Kideston there, good old habitat in the corner as well and my favourite Susie Watson Designs up on the shelf as well as a good assortment of memories and gifts, one offs and love. I love this part of the kitchen the very best.

Well that is enough rummaging in the cupboards and banging on about my holiday and my kitchen obsessions. Next time I will actually show you something I have made, my things to do list is growing ever longer.

Lots of love 

Annie

p.s The quilt you made is absolutely stunning. 







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