Thursday, 28 June 2012

French Linen Sheet and Cupboard Doors. A Quandary...

Hello it's me again. Twice in two days, blige, I must have too much time on my hands! Thanks as always for your comments on my last post and hello to a couple of new followers. Welcome to the land of drivel and bad photography!
Anyway, today I have a question, well two questions actually.
Right, first question is about a French linen sheet. I will make it more interesting by telling you where I bought it.
A couple of years ago we went to France for our summer holiday. An idea had been bandied about at various times about a group of us, family and friends, renting a chateau for a week. A real life French one. In France. So we looked into it and my mate who is super duper efficient produced a little brochure with a shortlist. My stipulation was that it had to look like the chateau I live in in my head, tall windows and just  generally chateauish, preferably white and with the odd French door and shutter thrown in. I didn't want any of these turreted castles or ones that didn't look right. Anyway the decision was made and we went here.
This is the back view but I will post the link where you will find loads of photos that, if you are anything like me, will have you drooling and possibly crying a little bit because you live in a bungalow near Southend that has subsidence and not in this magnificent house.
The link...Chateau De La Place
This is not an advert and I'm not being paid for it, nor do I know the owners but if you want to do this type of thing then I would highly recommend this place.
So anyway, eighteen of us made our way there. We all went our own ways. Mr EF, me and The EF Girls hired an eight seater van and drove down with another family.  Actually I drove all the way there from here, yes all the way, me, a fact I still boast about loudly to this day. Big van, wrong side of the road, foreign country, manual motor, six people moaning behind me, absolutely knackered and first time I ever used a sat nav and it took hours, lots of hours and we did an overnight stay at a farmhouse in Normandy, you'd be boasting too.
So the first morning a little gang of us go out to score some croissants and bread. I take one step out of the street door into the square (La Place) and blige me what do I see... flea markets. In the plural. Two. After texting my mate back in England and doing a few little jumps and possibly a little bit of wee and not being able to speak properly with excitement I have to decide which way to run first. And that's where the sheet comes in. For weeks I'd had this thing about a French linen sheet, preferably monogrammed, and had been bidding on ebay for any that seemed reasonable money. These babies go for cash, I tell you. I only wanted one because I wanted one, you know how you get that longing for something that seems a little bit out of reach, well it was that.
And in one of these flea markets on the first morning of my holiday I got one! Well actually two, although the other one isn't linen but cotton. It's huge and very heavy and thick and when I've put it on the bed, the old man says it's like sleeping under a lump of cardboard.
Right, so here's the sheet. (Not ironed, what a surprise, but dragged out of my linen cupboard.)
The monogramms. H and R. Not my initials but I could make them fit. Ropey Hair. Relaxed Home.Raving Harlot. (Maybe not.) Red Hair. (Once in the 80s.) Happy Reader. Hot Raver. The possibilities are endless.
This is my quandary. Do I cut this up? (I whispered that in case it heard.)
I think it's quite old because it has a seam down the middle which apparently means it has some age. Something about not being able to weave the widths in those days, or something I wouldn't understand.
Down the middle it has some wear.

Can you see there's a little hole and in the second photo the linen has worn quite thin? The problem being that when I've used it on my bed, feet tend to get caught up in the worn bits and I think eventually a foot will go right through it leaving a huge hole. The outside edges are fine as you would expect and lovely and sturdy and I keep wondering if I could make cushions (cushion, I will get bored after one) from it or at least do something with it rather than leaving it languishing in the airing cupboard.
So what would you do? Leave it in all its glory or put it to some use?
Oh yes but the way did I mention I paid 8 euros for both sheets. Not 8 euros each, 8 euros all together...
So I had to get on my hands and knees and scrabble around in a suitcase on the floor but who wouldn't?
That's my first quandary- the cutting up or not of the French sheet.
Second quandary is kitchen cupboard door. There is a cupboard in my kitchen that I can't stand. I'll do a photo first so you can see and then I'll tell you what it is I don't like about it.
It's the one with the glass door. The smeary glass door. My question is this, why have a glass door if you can't flipping well see through it? Why? Why? They (the people we bought the house from) even had a light put inside it. Again,why? Why? Whatever you put in it appears like a blurry image through this horrible glass that is impossible to get smear free. I did ask my mate's husband, a kitchen fitter, to take the glass out for me. A simple job you may think, one that a normal husband ought to be able to tackle... if you've been here before you may remember that anything requiring tools and manual labour is not Mr EF's thang. So, my idea was to take the glass out, put a piece of fabric in there instead and then I could put all manners of things in there and they would be hidden. But yesterday I had a little brainwave. What if I took the door off and made this cupboard into Pretend Open Shelves. (Another idea I had and have had six shelves living in the boot of my car since last August to prove it.) What do you think? I'll give you a chance to judge by presenting you with a photo of each way. Door on and door off, well door open anyway.
Obviously I'd take the Chinese Takeaway menu out and the old cups that I use for putting tea bags in and I did think that what if I lined the back and sides or painted them?
My main opposition will be the old man who likes things to stay how they are forever. I have thought about taking the door off while he is in work,a fait accompli so to speak but if he really hates it and puts the door back on I know it will never open or close properly again. And with that and the cardboard sheet comment it would mean I would probably have to kill him to death. The thing is I want it to look like open shelves not just a cupboard with door taken off. Any ideas or opinions most welcome please thank you!
So, two quandaries, sheets and cupboards, I really do have too much time on my hands don't I?
Laters, ladies!
PS I think you can make these photos large by clicking on them. I only used large today instead of Xlarge.O the last post the photos were so big they looked a bit mutant. Like they were trying to take over the words.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Fings What I Have Bought.

Hello chaps!  Gorgeous day isn't it? I wonder how long this will last. I'm trying not to notice it too much in case it goes away. Thanks for all your lovely comments on the garden and hello to any new followers!

Anyway, today I thought I'd do a quick run down on Fings What I Have Bought. Well actually Some of The Fings What I Have Bought. As well as these charity shop and boot sale purchases I have also had a little tiny bash of the Cath Kidston website and a few books have found their way into my possession.  I need to get back to work before I skint myself with all this shopping. I've just been signed off for another month but have also had my medication doubled so I'll probably be too off my face to see the screen properly let alone order stuff.
Anyway, back to the Fings.
Firstly this little tea set. I bought this to sell. Honestly and truly, I had no intention of keeping it and still haven't. It's going in the vintage fair... (about 2039 then...) I actually do really like it and even more so because it's plastic, Gaydon Something Or Other. But I have nowhere really for it to go and it will end up in a cupboard somewhere and I like the thought of someone having it in their camper van and being all vintagey with it.

Great colour isn't it? And the saucers are oval! I loved them even more when I noticed that. And I really like the shape of the handle. (I'm talking myself into keeping these babies...)
The saucer, not sure if the shape comes out very well in a photo.
Please note the rust spots on the garden table. Not rusty enough to look French but just rusty enough to look crap.

Next up a little bowl. I don't normally go for these colours but the pattern is so delicate and I like it when you get a bit of decoration on the inside. A bit more for your money.
I have it on the dresser in the dining room. I have foofed that one up a bit after raiding it for the Mum dresser. I will show that in another post.

And this little pink pot. I love it. The rose on it, the sort of faded pink and the gold bits.

It's probably supposed to be on a dressing table but at the moment almost everything I buy is going on that new dresser. You know when you get something new and it's your best thing for a little while? Well that's what that dresser is to me.  I've just got past the stage of going out in the hall purposely to look at it but I do walk a little bit slower when I'm going past it and sometimes I light a scented candle so it looks nice in the evenings. Even though I can't see it, I still know. Daft mare.

Right, a vase. Bought to sell, but is a lodger on the dresser for the moment. I'm starting to like it on there so it might stay.
It's bright and it does look quite sweet. It's not washed up that well and I don't want to put it in the dishwasher in case the pattern comes off!

Little shaker, bought in the charity shop while waiting to meet my mate for lunch. He was standing outside the pub opposite the charity shop waving to me while I was paying. Busted!
There were actually three there and I forced myself to leave the other two but I sort of regret it now. This lives in French corner. (The Ikea bookcase nicked from daughter No2's room.)

Now all you buttony, vintagy people get ready. Found these in my mum's button tin. I bought a white linen shirt on ebay (BNWT, I got the lingo,) and thought the buttons looked a bit boring so I was hunting through mine and my mum's buttons to see if I could find any more interesting ones and came across these.
How blimming great are they? They are obviously now living on the New Dresser Of Lovely Things. I was all excited thinking that they had been in this button tin all the time and started digging through to see if there were any more but sadly not. Plenty not on cards but only these all on the card. I see my mum has used one. She used to knit all our jumpers and cardis so it was probably on one of those.

And now my new obsession. All Selina Lake's fault. I bought her book The Romantic Home and amongst all the lovely things in there (I had to ration myself, I kept getting the vapours at all the gorgeousness) was a picture of a group of glass candlesticks with pink candles. 'That's the very Billy for me,' I thought and set about hunting and gathering said glass candlesticks. The first day I set forth to my village and thought 'I'm going to get me a glass candlestick,' and I did. First charity shop, one sitting there, bought and in the bag. 'This is easy,' I thought. Since then I have scoured chazzas in Leigh on Sea, Rayleigh, my village again and couldn't find any. Then last Friday when I met my mate, I found one in the shop with the shaker and after lunch went in this dodgy furniture shop (melamine, New York skyline canvases and crappy silk flowers, we've all been there) and spied some on a table. After knocking over a topiary tree whilst climbing into the window to grab four of these candlesticks before anyone else got them (because there were hundreds of people fighting me to get them, you know how it is) the lady informed me she had some out the back and I needn't have clambered all over her window display. So, bought four and ordered two more from Simply Scandinavian along with three grey candles. Now I need four more grey candles or seven of a different colour or I might have three grey and three white or pink. It's these things my kids hate me for. I've been obsessing over these candlesticks for about a week now. Now I've talked about them for half hour I'll show you the photo.

I'm not sure if they are going to stay on this table but at the moment I am spending so much time on the armchair you can just see in the background that I am leaving them there because I like looking at them! They sparkle a bit and catch the light coming in through the French doors. I won't be able to stop buying them for a while if I see any more. They are a bit of an illness at the moment.

Last thing, the new border on the Garden Blanket. I'm doing a little bit at a time and I've had to modify it a bit (get me.. ) it looked a bit wrong, but I much prefer it to that bright pink. It fits in nicely and I like the laciness of the pattern. This was one of the easier edgings in the book. I'm taking a run up to the others.
So that's me this week, linking up to Lovely Lakota at Faith Hope and Charity Shopping with her felt brooch and her very funny indeed post. Do hop over and have a butchers, you won't regret it!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Ta-Dah Tuesday In The Garden

Well hello! How the devil are you? On this sunny Tuesday morning, I once again find myself linking up with the Lovely Lakota at Faith, Hope and Charity Shopping for Ta, Dah Tuesday.
This week, it's not actually a Ta Dah of my own doing. I had to Get A Man In for this one. Getting A Man In is something we have to do quite often in Edith Florence Towers, due to Mr EF's reluctance and quite frankly pantsness at anything to do with DIY. Or in this case gardening. Cutting the grass is fine, but anything beyond that, unless he sees me heading off out there with a saw and decides he wants a piece of the action, is not his bag.
On the whole, I keep on top of the the garden. I don't mean I float above it like the Heavenly Host, I mean I keep it under control. Almost. Up to a point. This year, however, due to the Nasty Neck of Badness and The Hurty Arm of Pain, it had gone a bit wild. I will tell you a bit about my garden. It is about 100 foot long and about 42 foot wide. (I still remember this from the Estate Agent's blurb Next time I move shout the word COURTYARD  to me at the top of your voices please.) There is a fairly large garage near the back door, a tumbledown greenhouse behind that and a wall, which I pretend looks French about 50 odd foot down, which separates it into two parts. Behind the wall is a summerhouse that I blogged about here. Since then, surprise, surprise, not been touched. Also behind this French wall and sort of next to the summerhouse is another little outbuilding that I have never set foot into. Behind that and on the back of the summerhouse is a log store thingy that is full of branches and rubbish that we have cut down in previous years. There are about twelve or so trees out there (I'm guessing this) and just lately they had started to resemble a rain forest canopy. Also the borders (and I use that term loosely) had started to look a right old mess. So, as I can't even pick up a crochet hook without squealing in pain and we already know that Mr EF doesn't care much for gardening, I decided it was time to Get In The Man.
They came on Saturday and I very much regret now only thinking of before and after pictures and not actually getting any durings. The tools alone were worthy of a mention. They actually lined them up on the grass (I hesitate to call it a lawn) and set down petrol cans next to them. Very impressive array of cutting down instruments I can tell you.
Anyway, I will do some photos of before and after.

This is a sort of mini patio. Not that you can actually see it...

Scalped, I tells ya

Garage before and after. At least this bench is clear enough to sit on now! They took the rose bush right down to give it a chance to come back and went at the winter jasmine with a chain saw thingy that looked like it belonged in a horror movie!
When we moved here, I was quite relieved in a way that it was a 'mature garden.' In our previous two houses we  (for that read I) have done the garden from scratch. Had it turfed then put every single plant in. Although I enjoyed that, it's hard work and costs a lot of money. The difference in this garden is that there is hardly room to shoehorn a plant in, which sounds stupid given the size of it, but believe me, I've tried. Every year I've trotted happily back from the nursery with pots of lupins, foxgloves, acquiligas and other cottagey loveliness and have found places to put them in. Do they ever grow? Nah. Do they come up the next year? Nah. Am I bothering again. Yeah, course.
Anyway back to the men with the power tools. I gave them free reign to a degree. I said I wanted a very brutal haircut of everything they could manage to get to in one day. They got as far as French wall and then had to be convinced by Mr EF to just do the little path behind it. Fair play, they did loads and had the cuts and sweat to prove it.  By the time they'd done there was a mountain (oh why didn't I go out with my camera?) in the middle of the grass and another Man had to be called to dispose of it all in his truck.
Some more photos.

As you can see, they were a tad gung ho with their chain saws and have left this side a bit bare looking.  A lot of what was there was half dead or being strangled by ivy anway and I'm telling myself that this is a good thing as it gives me space to put a few flowering shrubs in. Problem being that it needs digging over, lots of bits of old root taking out, and planted up. And we know that Mr EF isn't up for much of that. I may be Getting The Man In again before long. (When I have saved up, or sold one of my kids on Ebay to pay for it.)
All in all, I'm happy with it. I would still like a chunk taken off some of the trees down behind the wall and behind the garage as I think this will let in more light, but the rain forest canopy effect isn't so bad now and I can see some space to play with. I do miss that romantic, overgrown look, I don't like a garden to look too tidy but at least now I can see the sky, I don't have to turn lights on in the day time and there are different areas to sit other than directly outside the back doors.
So that's my ta da for today. Carried out by someone else but enjoyed by me! Do hop over to Lakota's to see her lovely recipe, it's very retro! Her post made me laugh out loud!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Normal Service Resumed

Phew. I don't know how I did but I sorted the blog disaster. I shall stick with this grey now. (Probably for ever, too dangerous to try and change it...)

What a shambles!

State of this blog. Too much time on my hands I reckon. I can't make it go normal now. Blimming thing.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Ta -Dah Tuesday Again!

Hello, chaps!  Has a week really gone by already? How fast was that? Just want to say thanks for all your lovely comments on my last post. I'm still faffing a bit with that dresser and have re-foofed the other one, (the one just in the background of the picture below) and might make that another post. By the way, I don't have a dresser in every room. Just some of them. And I don't live in a mansion. If I buy any more furniture I will have to use a shoe horn and a packet of butter to oil it in with.
 Anyway, today I am linking up with Lakota at Faith, Hope and Charity Shopping for Ta- Dah Tuesday. Do pop over and say hello and have a look at her fab picture.

Right, I am unvieling the new blanket, tantalising glimpses of which could be seen on the shelf of the table in my last post!
Rubbish picture, but hey, what's new?
It was hard to take photos today as the light is so bad, (yeah right...) but you get the gist of it anyway. I made this from mainly wool I had knocking about with just a couple of extra balls thrown in. I have tons left and really would have liked to make this bigger but I ran out of that duck egg bluey green that I used to edge and join with and couldn't get any more. As it was I had to do the edging (I'll come back to that,) in a different colour. It's all double knit, mainly acrylic, picked up from here there and everywhere based on colour. I wanted this one to be a bit girlier and prettier than the last one and to feature a few more pinks and greens. In real life, it reminds of a garden. (That's my attempt at being arty farty.)

From the other end of the table.

Foldy Uppiness
I've spread it out on the dining room table, mainly because the bed isn't made. It's 2.21pm and I have unmade beds. What a slob! My excuse is that I returned to work today. The hurty arm of pain has made a bit of improvement, probably not enough to be back at work but I feel guilty. And I want to see the year 6s before they leave. I'm doing a phased return so it's gently does it.
As I'm doing this, the photos are all coming out in the wrong places and any minute now I am going to throw the laptop across the room.
In the wrong place but hey ho!
Right, trying again...

I will do a bit of writing to see if the next photos come out right!
Could do bettererer
Right, the edging. Not happy with it and will be ripping it out and starting again. I can't yet because I have had to step away from the crochet again for a bit as it wasn't doing the arm much good at all. I sort of wanted something a little bit fancy on this but whenever I try to do that the edges and corners curl up. I thought I'd be satisfied to leave it but I won't. I bought a book last week chock full of the prettiest edgings ever so I will use one of those when I get round to changing it.
Kurly Korners

Blimey, these photos are going where they fancy, so this post is all over the shop. I might try one more just before the end. I might sneak it in while Blogger isn't looking.
So, The Garden Blanket, I might call it that. Happy with it, apart from the edging and wish it was a row or two bigger!
I had plans and made three squares of the next one but I've left it now and will go back to it another time.
Last week I bought the Cath Kidston, Stitch! book. It's ages since I've done cross stitch but I might have another little bash at that.
Hope you're not getting too fed up with all this rain. I may write to The Queen soon and request some sunshine.
Happy Tuesday!
Ha ha- foiled you, Blogger!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Ta... Da...Tuesday!

Well hello! How have your Jubilee celebrations been? We met some friends down the pub on Sunday and had a thoroughly good old catch up. I was the designated driver because I'm still rattling with tablets, which was good because it meant yesterday I was up bright and early and had an afternoon mooching round Leigh Broadway with Miss Edith Florence The Younger. We had a lovely lunch and made a few purchases. and we both came home smiling.
Anyway, today I am linking up with Lakota over at Faith Hope and Charity Shopping to take part in Ta.. Da.. Tuesday.
Here is my Ta...Da...
I am going to apologise in advance for the photos. Regular readers will be aware that photography is not my strong point (an understatement, believe me...) but these are taken in my hallway where this photographer is relying solely on artificial light. One lightbulb in fact. That's my excuse anyway.
I give to you... My Mum's Dresser...

Bought from Argos about 17 years ago and made of pine. There are a couple of photos of it in an earlier post, it has been in my garage for a while waiting to be tarted up.

Bit of a close up. This is after I foofed and faffed with it for about an hour. I 'shopped my own house,' which is good fun. Found stuff I had, in the garage, nicked from the other dresser (which now looks rather carnagy and needs re-foofing) and had a little play. There are also a fair few bits of my mum's on there which seems quite fitting although I'm not making it into a shrine!
Right, about the paint. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for the first time. I liked it. I reserved judgement after the first coat. I was expecting some sort of miracle to occur but it looked rather patchy and very, very chalky. After the second coat I liked it and after waxing I liked it even more. It is easy to use because there is no prep whatsover. I did give the dresser a good old wash down with fairy liquid before I started but apart from that zilch. The paint goes on well and I would use it again. The only problem for me is that I had to pay about seven nicker postage and packing because I can't get it anywhere near here. It hasn't quite reached my bit of Essex yet! The colour is Old White.
Just to give an idea on how the distressing looks. I don't like things toooooo distressed because I know it's a fake effect anyway but I think if it's overdone it looks too fake. (I know what I mean!) Whatever I paint, my first rule of distessing is Look For The Drips. Anywhere the paint has dripped I rub it off, or even pick it off. On this piece and with this paint it looks ok I think. After that I sort of look at the corners and edges and just rub a bit of paint off and try not to overdo it. This was easy to distress. I waxed first, not with Annie Sloan wax but with what I had in the garage. On with one old t-shirt and then buffed up with another. After that I rubbed paint off. I did go over some of the rubbed off bits with a spot more wax just to darken them a bit.
All in all I liked this paint and found it easy to use. I might try using two colours next time. (After I have taken out a mortgage for postage and packing.) It's worth it not to do all that boring rubbing down and priming. I have bored my kids to death by keep asking them if it looks good enough to sell and if I'm good enough at painting stuff to do it for a living. I have to say I'm happier than that geezer Larry when I have a paintbrush in my grubby little mitt.

A plethora of china!

Great home for the Ladybird books!
I'm still debating whether to put another row of hooks on that bottom shelf and I am also going to change the knobs when I see some I like. I tried to get Miss EF The Younger to come in B&Q with me yesterday but she had had enough, she was tired. Fifteen years old and gets tired going round a few shops. I fear for that girl where shopping's concerned I really do. No stamina.
More photos...
Please note that the contents of this dresser keep changing. It is getting fuller and fuller where I keep on finding things to put on it!
Another good thing is it is a handy bit of storage in the hall. It will soon be full of junk!
Anyway chaps, that's my Ta.. Da...
Do hop over to Lakota's for a butchers if you get a chance!

Oh yes, a tantalising glimpse of another Ta Da.. one of the crochet kind...

Check out the pink edging!

I will save it for another post!
Enjoy the holiday today, chaps.