Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Atlas flowers

Flowers... made from a very out-of-date road atlas. Stems yet to be attached.

I love making these - it's repetitive and absorbing and therapeutic. I made some last year from book pages but I have a thing for maps and atlases. There's a big printed map of Nantucket propped against the bedroom wall which I bought as a memento from the Whaling Museum and is now beautifully framed. And the other day I was at a friend's house and spotted a very covetable geological map of the British Isles.

I stash more atlas/globe projects on one of my Pinterest pages - for future reference. I suspect no map which now comes into my possession will be safe.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Nature study

Linking in with Lou's Nature in the Home series... This week's theme: green. I went and had a look around the florist's shop today as I'm partial to eucalyptus and most grey/blue-toned foliage. But I also love acid and lime greens too, and the euphorbia in the shady bed catches my eye each time I walk past it.

Just one little stem, carefully snipped and handled (apparently it can irritate the skin). I popped it in an old bottle I once used for mixing flower remedies - quite apt really.

It puts some zing into an otherwise gloomy day.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

1940s weekend

A hot, sunny day meant a jaunt to Ramsbottom where things were very '40s: vintage clothes...

And shoes...

And houses...

Then a walk through the woods.

Where we found some unexpected allotments in a little clearing.

There were bluebells in abundance...

Steep, craggy drops...

And ferns unfurling.

Wild garlic is everywhere in these parts.

In Irwell Vale, preparations had been made for a Forties tea dance later in the afternoon.

We stopped for a snack and were surrounded by women in fur stoles and red lipstick, and little pillbox hats. They looked quite formidable actually. Like members of some committee or other.

Meanwhile, the chickens on the village green were taking a dust bath.

We met some friendly ponies - sadly, I didn't have any mints about my person. So they soon lost interest and went back to dozing in the sun.

I think the whole thing really gets going tomorrow - steam trains, a wartime-themed wedding, the usual unintentionally funny battle re-enactment. We just took a long walk instead and spotted a few details here and there. I'm not really a crowds type of person.

Tomorrow: a day of pottering. Perfect.

Thursday, 23 May 2013


For someone who doesn't class themselves as a 'pink person', I sure do seem to have a lot of it in the house lately - like this fabric (on the line after being washed to avoid shrinkage issues later on).

I'm not sure what I'm going to make with it yet but it was a bargain and I like the colours. The piece is only about 85x85cm though, so I'll have to have a think...

Jay bought me a bunch of alstromeria. When I was a florist (a very long time ago) we used to buy it in from a man who grew it locally, in Cheshire.

I like the markings. And alstro always last for ages too.

The yarn was another bargain. I'm going to try and make Christmas gifts this year rather than buying them. It's a bit of an undertaking but I'm up for a challenge. The colours in this made me think of someone in particular so I've started knitting (I know it's only May but making things takes time).

Pink, red and green seem to be my favourite colour combination at the moment. Who'd have thought?

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

On the farm...

At weekend we made a little trip to Kenyon Hall Farm to buy a few provisions. We also had a wander around...

They're probably best known locally for their pick-your-own strawberries, but right now the plants are a bit small. No fruit yet.

We saw some free-range chickens with their own orchard. And I can vouch for the eggs - the yolks are very yellow.

You can buy all kinds of plants: bedding, wild flowers and perennials...

And vegetables and herbs.

The sweet rocket appealed - I love the colours (ditto the geranium with the deep purple flowers).

And I can't wait to take a certain someone strawberry picking next month.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Birthday in Yorkshire

On Saturday (after opening my cards and presents in bed, much to Joe's delight) we went over to West Yorkshire to one of my very favourite places: Hebden Bridge. The drive across the moors was very... atmospheric.

Wuthering, even. And the water from the reservoir came right up to the road. It looked a bit choppy.

We were dressed for the drizzle though. And even in the murky weather Hebden's still lovely.

It's a very arty place - lots of independent shops and community things going on. I liked the new wall art depicting the South Pennines - and my hometown.

We went to Mooch - one of the quirky cafes. And seeing as it was my birthday I had scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and a bagel...

And a big cup of Earl Grey.

I love going in there. You can sit and watch people going past the windows.

And that shop opposite is where I spent my birthday money. Talk about in one hand and straight out of the other.

We wandered around the shops, browsed here and there and checked out the windows at the estate agents. I've always fancied moving to Hebden - or one of the villages nearby. Lots of hills and moors and fresh air. We'll ignore the fact that there are also lots of floods...

When you live in the North West, precipitation is just a fact of life.

Just ask him.

Anyway, later on we headed home back across the moors to recharge for an evening meal out (just Jay and me this time). It was a lovely birthday: time spent with my two boys, my first card from Joe...

 And quite possibly the most optimistic ice cream vendor ever.

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