Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I would like to thank all my customers, family, friends and fellow bloggers for following my little blog this year and to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Instagram photos/Facebook

Instagram have posted on their blog a statement to reassure anyone worried about photos on Facebook.

Don't know if this worries or reassures, but there it is.

Friday, 23 November 2012


I'm sure many of you will already know this, but for my daily giggle - and as a dog lover - I log on to:

I defy you NOT to laugh!


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Jack Daniels

Beautiful gentle giant - Jack Daniels.

A dreadful day - my son's dog, Jack Daniels, went missing early Monday morning, and has now been found dead in the ditch - hit by a car.  Son is devastated of course, and we feel not only sad for Jack, but guilty we can't physically comfort our son - he's in England, we're in France.

Jack was a huge dog, both in size and in heart.  Loyal, with a sense of fun, he was half Rhodesian Ridgeback, half French hunting dog - and boy, could he hunt - once my chickens....  He stayed with us as a puppy while son worked away - my daughter wheeled him round the garden in her dolly's pushchair, Jack's paws getting bigger and bigger each day until they were almost as big as a human hand but still he squeezed himself into that pram.  He loved nothing better than loping around the woods near our home and splashing around in the local lakes.

Jack had a large fan following; everyone who met him loved him - even most of the old French ladies in our village, once they realised he was so gentle.  He  was a well-travelled dog, living in various areas in France, visiting Spain, and then moving to England with our son a couple of years ago - he was never happier than when he was in the car, window open, tongue lolling out in the wind - doing a canine laugh...   

He would tip-toe away at a moment's notice as soon as your back was turned, making short work of leaping over our bread oven wall - you'd dash to the gate yelling 'Jack, come back here at once' and he would be a brown streak in the distance - he might turn and grin at you, then dash off again, returning at 3am or something silly, banging or quietly gruffing at the door to be let in.

He used to lull you into a false sense of security - we always had him on a lead outside of course (then it would be him taking you for a walk) but more than once, he jumped out of the open window and was away..

Ultimately, Jack 'doing a runner' as we called it, led to his death - so very sad.

 Lovely Jack - he will be sadly missed by many but to our son, Jack was his 'boy'.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Remember the Forgotten

Please, don't forget the forgotten - the allied troops sent to Hiroshima and Nagasaki to sort out the mess left by the worst weapon man inflicted on man.

Many did not die until years later - of cancers, known to be a result of exposure to radio-activity.

These are the forgotten - but not in my household.

RIP Dad.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Chicken soup

I have been suffering from the after-effects of antibiotics for a dental problem.  Shall we just say that I don't need any fibre in my diet?

Leaving the pharmacy with a carrier-bag of pills and potions (SO French!) I thought instead of yet another paracetemol for my dehydration headache, I would try some chicken soup.  Now I am not Jewish, but worked with someone who is and swore by his mother's receipe for chicken soup and its curative effects for not only emotional problems, but also headache/tummy ailments.

Well, not only was it delicious, but wow!  I  really do feel better - headache gone and stomach settled.  Of course, I am eating pro-biotic yohurt like it was going out of fashion, but I will definitely make the soup - more like a broth - again.

In the meantime, I guess I had also better start the course of official treatments, but incidentally, one of the pills is, yes you've guessed it, yet another antibiotic to kill the bad bacteria, which are now running rampant because of the antibiotic which killed off the good bacteria.  And one of the contra-indications is the possibility of here we go again....

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Bi-annual roof repair

Well, we have been busy this week - the roof has had its bi-annual repair which entails OH and a couple of good friends lugging buckets of cement up to the roof via the loft ladder and out through the roof window.  It took a couple of days to replace one spine and re-do the chimneys, removing the old split and crumbling chimney pots, and capping with more modern slab-on-bricks.

It did mean two lunches and two evenings meals for the helpers, but it was fun and last night, much wine was consumed to wet the work - hoping that the wet won't work its way down onto our bedroom ceiling again! (sorry about the pun!?!)

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Remember this?

Remember the wedding dress and accessories I mentioned a week or two ago? Well, it sold for a measley £550. I feel almost ashamed that I didn't leave a huge bid on it but I expect I'm like a lot of people right now - generous gestures are a thing of my past.

Hope it went to a good home...

You know when you're getting old when...

the dentist is aged about 17...

Big Teeth

My dentist and her assistant are rather spooky as neither of them speak - they work together perfectly, without any conversation, discussion or instruction. Literally, the only words spoken were 'Bonjour, open, close, open, close, open, goodbye...'

Still, the cracked tooth has been filled and doesn't hurt anymore when I eat something cold...but I have to go back next week for more silent treatment...

Saturday, 8 September 2012

That's it - summer 2012 is now over...

So, that 's the summer over then - the Last Night Of The Proms has just finished...I really enjoyed it but it does mean that autumn is here...

Friday, 7 September 2012

Back to Black

Veil now sold
1. A widow's veil, stitched into a pad at one end to be attached to the underside of a hat

with a long, trailing end that cn be placed over the face for privacy

and here it is, showing the almost triangular shape

2. A dramatic mass of chiffon..
chiffon now sold.
to wear on the head or round the neck

Hat now sold
3. A gorgeous hat - you can wind the veil around the rim

Or, place it over the face for privacy, or let it hang down the back.

The crown is made up of elegant pleated quarters, and the veil is attached at the back with a little matching silk trim.

I recently found a little cache of black items - mostly silk widow's veils, gloves etc, and have sorted out a few more to put up for sale. I also found the most delicious candle-stick and used it as a prop for my textiles.

If you want to see more click here.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Some new stock

Nice little Limoges scarf ring, now sold
Great jug from Ile d'Oleron - perfect for juice, wine or iced tea
jug now sold

Perfect for that celebratory bottle of bubbly - a champagne bucket
 now sold

Beautiful 1930s hat decoration in velvet now sold

Bag now sold
The perfect weekend bag - a Doctor's bag, or, as the French might say 'sac de Diligence'

A serence Madonna - in Limoges porcelain - now sold.

I thought I would show you a few items I have put up for sale - it has been a lazy summer, but now I have the urge to get to work!

They are all on my Etsy shop here or here; just email/leave a comment.

Have a great Friday - the weekend is nearly here...yay!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

This is now a child-free zone...

Well, for the first time in 30 years, this house is now a child-free zone...thanks to the education system.

The eldest lives in England and has for the last two years, the middle lad has just started Uni and moved into his own flat, and the baby, our gorgeous girl, has today started boarding at college to learn about ceramics. Our son has boarded for the last four years, so we have got used to him being away, but for our daughter to now be leaving home, I am amazed where the years have gone - it is a cliché I know, but it's true.

It does seem early to leave at sixteen years old, but it really is too far to travel each day ie up at 5am, out at 6am and not back until 7.45pm. It's too long a day.

We took her this morning, settled her into her dorm, made her bed (what on earth for - she's quite capable, but it's the least I can do) filled in yet more forms, tucked Bugs Bunny under her pillow - just in case. She has a few friends there already, and made a few new ones on her visit day, so she'll be fine.

So, it's a bit quiet this afternoon - no music blasting out, no lights blazing away, no crashing up the stairs, no teasing the dog until he barks his head off...

Still, we've got liver for supper (a no-no when the kids are here) and meeting some friends tomorrow for lunch. I can work on my computer when I choose, instead of listening to whingeing about 'I just wanna check my Facebook...' and we can lie in in the morning instead of up at 6.30am.

It only lasts until the weekend though - they are back on Friday night!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Edwardian wedding dress for sale

This gorgeous Edwardian wedding dress is for sale by auction in Dorset - you can read the article here courtesy of the Daily Mail.

I can't believe that the owner- the grandaughter of the original bride - offered it to museums but was turned down. I wish she had offered it to me!

The size is so petite - less than a UK size 4, with a waist of 18 inch, and comes with a wax blossom headress, veil, stockings, shoes, and copies of the invitation and newspaper cutting.

So, if you would like to own this beautiful gown, leave a bid - good luck, as I think it might cost a pretty penny...

Have a good week!

Friday, 31 August 2012

Stormy weather

Well, the hot weather has definitely broken - we had a fantastic day of storms on Wednesday while we were shopping in Limoges. The storm was right overhead; the lightning and thunder crashing at the same time - quite scary but thrilling too.

Then last night, we had a sneaky storm - I vaguely heard it, but it crept up on us, resulting in a power cut and something nasty to my 'pooter. All is now well as my resident computer consultant (OH) has spent the day swearing and fiddling - that's two days running now as he rescued a friend's computer yesterday morning in return for the promise of hauling up buckets of cement when the roof is done next month. If it were me, I'd rather buy a new computer than lug up buckets of cement, but there's no allowing for taste...

M'sieurs Little and Large

Well, it's that time of the year when M'sieurs Little and Large pay us a visit - the chimney sweeps. In French, a sweep is a 'ramoneur' and it is an important job as records have to be carefully kept by them in case our house burns down: their role in keeping our chimneys nice and clean has to be proved to the insurance company.

We have had them for 10 years now, except one awful year, when an imposter knocked on our door and implied that he was a nephew, sent to do the work instead of his uncle who was sick (and I could believe that as the boss, M'sieur Large, is fat, breathless and has diabetic ulcers which vary from year to year - he loves to show them to me ...yuk). How embarrassed was I, when M'sieur Little - the one who does all the work and is about a third of the other's size - knocked and asked when could he start, especially as I had believed the imposter's story, had the work done, and paid for it too...

We have two chimneys to be swept - we only have two working fireplaces out of a total of seven and thank goodness, as it would cost us a small fortune to have everything done - and they do a good job of pulling out the wood burner, showing me the pile of soot and debris to prove they've done something, then putting everything back again.

The thing is, the cost has never risen in 10 years; M'sieur Little just carefully copies what was written on last year's receipt, but it was only a year or two ago when we realised that neither can read or write properly. We have introduced them to several friends and neighbours as new clients, and I have to write the names and addresses out for M'sieur Little to copy out - he writes as though he were drawing a picture of the shapes of the letters. When I tried to verbally spell out a name, he was totally flummoxed, so now, we go through a pretext of my writing it out as he 'can't understand my accent'...

Still, times must be good in the chimney sweeping world - they have a brand new van, new vacuum cleaner and for the first time, both wore blue Marigold rubber gloves instead of using bare hands.

When they left, they cheerily said they would see me same time next year, then they shot off, probably to find a quiet country spot to dump the soot in the ditch...

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Some scarves, recent finds

Nice pastel colours in this Daniel Hechter scarf: mauve, turquoise blue on white
now sold.

Unusual silk scarf with tarot cards - in French - in glowing, jewel colours

Now sold
No label, but made for the French market as the titles are in French.

Another black silk crepe mourning scarf
Now sold
It has that wonderful 'scrunch' that good silk crepe has.

This large red and white scarf is a souvenir of Paris

and has the Eiffel Tower as the 'A' in sold

This is a 1950s/1960s mantilla - to be worn to cover the head when in church

Now sold
In black spotty net and a lacy style edging.

A silk Christian Dior square
Now sold
In lovely almost pastel colours, with a smart navy frame

and finally a long scarf from Pierre Balmain

Now sold
which always reminds me of the Peter Sarsted song 'Where Do You Go To My Lovely...'

Not that you would want to wear a scarf in 40 degrees C! We managed to get to two vide greniers today but didn't really find many treasures. All the stallholders were too hot - some had very little shade, and there was a lethalgic, languid feel to the proceedings.

Still, we should enjoy it while we can - sorry to anyone with rain - can we swap please!

Heatwave warning

The French Government has issued a warning of a 'canicule' - a heatwave. We are on orange alert - the last time in 2003, over 14,000 deaths were attributed to the heat. So, I expect we should take it seriously.

Well, this evening we did our best to cool down, and a bottle of chilled rosé started to do the trick. Tomorrow, I must nip out for some salad and fruit, but as early as possible to escape the heat.

Spare a thought for my sheep - there isn't a blade of grass in the field right now! So, please, can we have some rain tonight?

Monday, 13 August 2012

The official verdict: Happy and Glorious!

Well, the Olympic Games are now finished. I have never watched so much sport in my life - and loved every minute. Jacques Rogge said that the London games were 'happy and glorious' and I don't think you could ask for more.

The closing ceremony proved to be as spectacular as the opening, with just one or two wobbly bits that can be put down to the British sense of humour (goodness knows what the world will make of Eric Idle) but wow - what a light show!

Good luck to Rio - follow that!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Special Birthday xxx

Here she is at six...
And here ten years later...

Happy 16th birthday Sweetpea!

Monday, 6 August 2012

A few lacy finds

Gorgeous pair of mourning gloves, French, around 1900 - La Belle Epoque.

and here is the wrist - very pretty

Another pair, this time the pattern is slightly 'stripey'
and the wrist decoration is just lovely - a little lacy show button. I would say they are size 6 to 6.5, but I can just slip them on and I take a 7 - I suppose the stretchy lace gives a little.

Both pairs of gloves were made from quality materials, which is why they have lasted so well over the years although one does have an old repair which suggests they were worn on more than one occasion. The gloves came from the same source, tucked away with some black silk crepe scarves which I will show another time.

Perfectly lovely lace handkerchief, as fine and as delicate as you would wish
all hankies now sold

with detail of the hand-worked lace - little flowers and tendrils.

Another quite similar - I have three altogether, and all unused - you can still see the faint pencil marks where the lace-maker drew out the design

and this has butterflies on each corner, worked into the fabric of the hanky, and embellished with stitches.

and finally, the third, worked with a very pretty shaped edge, and sweet little flowers embroidered into the middle border.

I reckon hours and hours of work to make each hanky. Absolutely perfect for a wedding - add a little blue ribbon bow, lend it to the bride and it uses up three out of the four requirements for something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue...

Box of lace - sold
But, this was my favourite find - a collection of little lace samples.

Each sample has a price label, in old francs

and each lace has versions in wider widths, or shades of cream or salmon pink....just gorgeous! These came from an old French lady who was a seamstress, specialising in lingerie. These were her samples - the customer could pick the desired trim and check the price immediately. I would have loved to see some of her finished work...

Have a good week - and I hope that the weather is everything you wish for, wherever you are!


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