Monday, 29 November 2010

Making gifts



Sweetie~pies, this is my first cone! What do you think? It's not bad, really, is it :-) I used some of that scrumptious cotton batting to wrap the cardboard cone and then tried to choose embellishments that I thought my friend would like. The cute little doggie is standing on a bed of dried lavender, so it smells nice too.



I just have to admit that I am very happy indeed with how this plaque turned out. It too is a gift for a friend; she is very ill (with cancer) and I am hoping that this quote will bring her some comfort. My loves, if you could spare a moment from time-to-time to pray for my friend, it would be very much appreciated (((hugs)))



I didn't, of course, make these little ladies but I thought you might like to see them sitting all cosy and snug in their very own chair. They have swapped places with Julia, who is now quite happily sitting on the sofa. They all seem perfectly content with the new arrangement ;-)

Sunday, 28 November 2010

The last of my dolly purchases.....



.....before The Challenge have finally arrived ~ along with some gifts from Joey :-) He sent me Marcia, who is a vintage 'Pink and Pretty' Barbie.....



.....and these clothes, too. He made the pretty blue blouse himself :-)



Louella and Priscilla are two of the dolls I bought from Joey. I especially like Louella as her face has a different look to the usual Barbie faces :-)



This is Rosalind, who I also bought from Joey's Ebay store. She is an Abigail Brahms doll and I loved the look of her as soon as I saw her. I am very glad that she has joined my dolly family ~ especially as there aren't likely to be any more new additions for quite some time ;-)

Prayer for World Peace


We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being.
We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma;
that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world;
that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life;
that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children;
that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within, knowing the power of each individual to change the world.
We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty that condemns millions of people around the world to lives of misery - hungry, sick, and utterly without hope.
We pray for the children who are starving, who are condemned to homelessness, slave labour, prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family.
We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind.
We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment.
We pray for suffering animals everywhere, for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation, intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping, training for entertainment, abusive pet owners, and all other forms of exploitation such as overloading and overworking pack animals, bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more.
We pray for an end to cruelty, whether to humans or other animals, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms.
We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving;
that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life;
that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts;
that we may learn to rejoice in our being.
We pray for these things with humility;
We pray because of the hope that is within us, and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit;
We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God.
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Our first snowfall.....



.....this winter. It snowed here during the night, sweetie~pies, and we woke to this :-) Not exactly a winter wonderland, I know, but there is still something a little magical about even a teeny sprinkling of snow.

I have to confess, though, that I do soon tire of it! Since my back went, I've been so very conscious of slipping that walking about in snow makes me rather nervous. Mind you, it's not just snow ~ mud has me stepping very cautiously too. Am I getting old, do you think ;-)



The Garden Angel looks lovely whatever the weather but snow brings out her beauty even more.....she doesn't seem to mind whatever the weather may be :-)


Poochie has the right idea on a day like this: stay indoors as close to the fire as you possibly can!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Guess where I've been today.....



.....oh yes indeedy, sweetie~pies ~ I've been to visit my dentist.

I already knew that I needed two more crowns ~ oh what joy, eh ~ but I didn't realise that Mr F (my lovely dentist ~ and yes, he is a very nice chap) would start the process there and then this morning! At least I didn't have to go home and worry about my next appointment LOL Since a crown is not exactly cheap at £440, we discussed which tooth was in the most need of said item and having got that decision out of the way, Mr F set to with the drill.....after he had jabbed copious amounts of numbing 'stuff' into my gum first, of course ;-)

As usual, my loves, it wasn't nearly as bad as my somewhat vivid imagination had feared it would be and I didn't feel anything at all around the area he was drilling. Funny thing was, though, that the icy cold water which sprays about when the drill is on the go was a teensy bit painful for my upper teeth! They can be a little sensitive at times with cold things. Still, I lived through the experience and didn't shed one single tiny tear ~ am I a brave little soldier or what ;-)

I now have a temporary filling to tide me over until I go back for the crown to be fitted on the 15th December. Then next year I shall be able to go through the whole lovely process yet again to have the third crown done ~ aren't I a lucky bunny!

The Thursday Poem


Young Woman Reading by a Window by Delphin Enjolras


Simple Gifts

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.

Elder Joseph Brackett Jr
(6th May 1797 – 4th July 1882)

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Uh-Oh!



Sweetie~pies, I seem to have 'lost' my dining-table again! This photo looks very familier, don't you think ~ rather like the 'before' picture in this post!

I do have a good excuse though ;-) In keeping with the spirit of The Challenge, I came to the conclusion that I really, really need to get to work using up that absolutely humungous stash of craft stuff which is currently piled up in The Shed. I know you will find it very hard to believe, my loves, but it's now so bad out there that I can't even get to my work-bench let alone do any actual crafting on it *eeek* Hence the delightful scene you are now witnessing in this photo *sigh*

The poor table will be able to breathe an admittedly muffled sigh of relief once I have sorted out the hall, as that is where the dolls' house is destined to live. So at least a little weight will be lifted from it's four chunky pine legs before too much longer ;-)



And this, my sweets, is my first attempt at scaling that craft stash mountain :-) This is the very first time that I've made anything like this, and to start with I actually found the experience surprisingly stressful! It was harder than I had imagined to decide what images to use, how many, where they should be placed.....I rather think I was 'thinking' a teensy wee bit too much about the whole process ;-)

Anyhoo, this is what I finally ended up with and I'm quite happy with how it eventually turned out. I have sent it to a friend as a little gift, so I hope she will be pleased with it too :-)



Stash busting of a different sort here.

Now that I have finished the project-which-I-can't-show-you-yet, I thought I would make myself a giant granny triangle shawl for myself. It's crocheting up pretty quickly, which is always gratifying don't you think ;-) Plus, of course, the sooner I get it made the sooner I can start wearing it :-)

Monday, 22 November 2010

So here it is, folks.....



.....purple mashed potatoes! Adrian made a shepherd's pie for dinner on Saturday and, of course, he used those purple potatoes ;-) The pale flecks are pieces of grated cheese, by the way.



It was very tasty but I'm still trying to get used to the purple tatties! To make it even more colourful, Adrian added a layer of mashed sweet potatoes as well :-)

Mashed, baked, roasted.....I really like sweet potatoes. I sometimes give one a blast in the 'ole microwave for lunch ~ it makes a nice change from sandwiches!



Whilst we are here in the kitchen, I thought I would show you these two poor little geraniums. I brought them in from the garden last weekend, after I turfed them out of their pot so I could plant some pansies. They looked terribly sad but were still green, despite the cold weather and frosts we've been having. So I took pity and brought them in to share the kitchen windowsill with their friend in the photo below :-) I know they don't look like much but they are definitely growing, so I'm hoping they will thrive now that they are indoors.



This is the geranium I brought in a little while back. Those buds are developing pretty fast! One day they were tucked in right down beneath the leaves, and the next (or so it seemed) they had shot up. Hopefully the two little plants I brought in last week will thrive like this sweet little geranium :-)

My Mum told me that her Grandma had a mass of geraniums right across her living room windowsill. They must have looked so pretty when they were in flower :-)

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Amber likes to put her feet up.....


.....after a hard day of sleeping and napping ;-)

Prayer for World Peace


We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being.
We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma;
that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world;
that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life;
that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children;
that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within, knowing the power of each individual to change the world.
We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty that condemns millions of people around the world to lives of misery - hungry, sick, and utterly without hope.
We pray for the children who are starving, who are condemned to homelessness, slave labour, prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family.
We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind.
We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment.
We pray for suffering animals everywhere, for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation, intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping, training for entertainment, abusive pet owners, and all other forms of exploitation such as overloading and overworking pack animals, bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more.
We pray for an end to cruelty, whether to humans or other animals, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms.
We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving;
that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life;
that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts;
that we may learn to rejoice in our being.
We pray for these things with humility;
We pray because of the hope that is within us, and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit;
We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God.
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.

Friday, 19 November 2010

What a hectic life.....

.....my pretty poochie leads ;-)

"And for my next trick I will place myself into a deep sleep ~ and at the very same time, I will balance puppy on my nose. Am I clever or what!"

"At last Mum has lit the wood-burner ~ now I can toast my little doggy botty. Well, until she makes me move, anyway ~ she seems to think that it's too hot for me!"

Oh, by the way, I found a use for those nightdress straps ~ hair ties ;-)

Thursday, 18 November 2010

The Thursday Poem


Young Woman Reading by a Window by Delphin Enjolras


What Almost Every Woman Knows Sooner Or Later

Husbands are things that wives have to get used to putting up with.
And with whom they breakfast with and sup with.
They interfere with the discipline of nurseries,
And forget anniversaries,
And when they have been particularly remiss
They think they can cure everything with a great big kiss,
And when you tell them about something awful they have done they just
look unbearably patient and smile a superior smile,
And think, Oh she'll get over it after a while.
And they always drink cocktails faster than they can assimilate them,
And if you look in their direction they act as if they were martyrs and
you were trying to sacrifice, or immolate them,
And when it's a question of walking five miles to play golf they are very
energetic but if it's doing anything useful around the house they are
very lethargic,
And then they tell you that women are unreasonable and don't knowanything about logic,
And they never want to get up or go to bed at the same time as you do,
And when you perform some simple common or garden rite like putting
cold cream on your face or applying a touch of lipstick they seem to
think that you are up to some kind of black magic like a priestess of Voodoo.
And they are brave and calm and cool and collected about the ailments
of the person they have promised to honor and cherish,
But the minute they get a sniffle or a stomachache of their own,
why you'd think they were about to perish,
And when you are alone with them they ignore all the minor courtesies
and as for airs and graces, they uttlerly lack them,
But when there are a lot of people around they hand you so many chairs
and ashtrays and sandwiches and butter you with such bowings and
scrapings that you want to smack them.
Husbands are indeed an irritating form of life,
And yet through some quirk of Providence most of them are really very
deeply ensconced in the affection of their wife.

Ogden Nash
(19th August 1902 - 19th May 1971)

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A little tweaking and primping


Well, sweetie pies, you may have noticed that I've been doing a teensy wee bit of housekeeping ~ here on my blog, that is ;-) I've been thinking about rearranging things for a little while now and I finally girded my reluctant ~ and when I say "reluctant" what I really mean is lazy, of course! ~ loins and got the job done. (By the way, isn't "loins" a funny sort of word ~ or is it just me who thinks that.....)

Anyhoo, back to what I started rambling about in the first place.....

Yes indeedy, a spring clean of sorts for the 'ole blog has taken place before your very eyes! You see, my sidebar has bothered me for quite some time mostly because it was just too darn long ~ it seemed to stretch waaay, waaay too far down the page. I expect that was because it was stuffed full-to-bursting with such a humungous amount of.....interesting stuff *giggle* I had a list of the most beautiful blogs there (which seems to grow at a rather alarming rate!), links which I find useful/interesting (also growing *eeek*) and as for the list of categories (previously known as 'labels') ~ well, I quite clearly had to take myself in hand and set forth to do a little pruning!

Now this won't, I'm sure, come as a shock or even a surprise to you but I'm really not what you might call terribly 'blog savvy'. Oh yes, I can certainly find my way round the basics but I do rather tend to take a somewhat rambling (which is quite apt, really, don't you think LOL) path to the other wonderful gizmos, gadgets and stuff. And this, my sweetie pies, is the reason why I have only just discovered that I could have standalone pages ~ how utterly marvelous is that! And those very same pages can contain links to other places! I was very excited by this discovery, I can tell you, as it rather beautifully solved that somewhat irksome problem of my running-out-of-control sidebar ~ and prompted me to do the aforementioned bloggy housework :-)

Sweetie pies, should you so desire you can now click on those buttons to read about me.....or pay a call on those wonderful blogs that I do so love to visit.....or take a virtual stroll to the links I've gathered together in my travels. And all you have to do now is click on one of those oh-so-very-useful pages at the top of the blog instead of trundling down that seemingly never ending sidebar!

Veering off in a somewhat different direction, something else I have been pondering for what seems like ages is the question of using my blog to perhaps bring in a little pin-money. Should I or shouldn't I?? That's the tricky question which has been tumbling around in my poor little head. In the end I decided that, yes, I would indeed show a tiny handful of advertisements here ~ but only those which I myself choose, and there will only ever be a strictly limited number of them. That's why I very quickly decided against the programmes where the advertisements are linked to blog posts ~ I want to be in control of my own blog content.

My blog is first and foremost my personal home-sweet-home-on-the-web, the place where I come to share what I've been doing, or making, and to gently ramble on about this 'n' that. And that, sweetie pies, is how it will remain :-)

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Early morning sky


The sky was so pretty here first thing this morning, that I just had to take a photo :-)

Monday, 15 November 2010

Buds, blooms and bunting!


Absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with buds, blooms or even bunting, but I just had to show you how to make the most easiest-peasiest petticoat in the whole wide world ~ and the only sewing equipment you need is a pair of scissors ;-)

In a previous life with my Mum, dear readers, my 'new' petticoat was a nightdress. It has to be said that I very rarely sleep in any nightclothes, since our lovely wool duvet makes it totally unnecessary, and the nightdresses which I own are all cotton ones. Frankly, I couldn't possibly sleep in this satiny little number because a) it would make me waaaay too hot (and as you already know, my dears, I'm having quite enough trouble on that score as it is!) and b) the static this sort of fabric seems to produce would drive me crazy. (I am a rather static-y sort of person for some reason!).

But during my recent endeavours to wear skirts more often, it dawned on me that I what I could really do with was some petticoats ~ and hence my nightdress-turned-into-petticoat was born. It's an utter and total 'cheat', I know, since all I had to do was cut off the shoestring straps :-) I've kept the straps, by the way, because you just never know ~ they may come in useful for.....well, something at some time ;-D

I'm quite pleased, actually, because I made good use of something that would otherwise have been trundled off to the charity shop ~ plus, of course, this little project is in total keeping with the sentiments of The Challenge ;-)

Do you remember how relieved I was to find that this houseplant was sending out new shoots, after I had been a teensy wee bit too gung-ho with the 'ole cutting back? Well, just look at the little love now ~ it's really coming along nicely and seems to have forgiven me for my somewhat reckless behaviour!

This is the little geranium I brought in from the garden last month, which is sitting on my kitchen windowsill. I noticed today that it's sending out buds! Which just goes to show that it's always a jolly good idea to give one's plants a second chance to bloom and blossom :-)

My sweet little African violet is full of such beautiful little flowers, and there are still more buds yet to open beneath those little pretties :-)

Ta~daa ~ an itty little bit of granny bunting!

I've just learnt how to make 'granny triangles' so I thought I'd make a wee bit of bunting for the mirror in our living room ~ good practice, don't you think, dear readers?? I must admit that I rather made it up as I went along ~ which is nothing new for me, although I have to say that there are a couple of things I will do a little differently next time.
I'm still very pleased with my first piece of granny bunting though!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

See.....


.....purple all-the-way-through!

No doubt purple mash will be on the menu before too much longer, if hubby has his way ;-)

Drumroll please.....


I decided to use a pretty glass and silver dish instead of the more traditional hat for the giveaway draw :-)

Adrian was persuaded to let me take photos of him doing the honours ~ anything for a quiet life, methinks ;-)

He stirred the little rolled up pieces of paper around in the dish and.....

.....pulled out the name of the lucky winner: Irvo!

I will get the little bits 'n' bobs in the post to you shortly, sweetie :-)

Thank you to everyone who took time to take part, I really appreciate it (((hugs))) ~ I'm just sorry that you couldn't all be winners. I've been thinking of perhaps having regular little giveaways in future to celebrate nothing-in-particular.....simply to spread a little love around :-)

Prayer for World Peace


Dove of Peace ~ Giclee print


We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being.
We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma;
that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world;
that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life;
that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children;
that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within, knowing the power of each individual to change the world.

We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty that condemns millions of people around the world to lives of misery - hungry, sick, and utterly without hope.
We pray for the children who are starving, who are condemned to homelessness, slave labour, prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family.
We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind.
We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment.

We pray for suffering animals everywhere, for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation, intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping, training for entertainment, abusive pet owners, and all other forms of exploitation such as overloading and overworking pack animals, bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more.

We pray for an end to cruelty, whether to humans or other animals, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms.
We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving;
that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life;
that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts;
that we may learn to rejoice in our being.We pray for these things with humility;

We pray because of the hope that is within us, and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit;
We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God.
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.

prayer for world peace ~ dr jane goodall

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Roll up, roll up.....


.....for a chance to win this sweet little decorated roosting pouch, along with the vintage beaded jug cover and four vintage crocheted coasters.

All you have to do is to simply leave a comment here ~ the giveaway closes at midnight tonight (GMT) and the draw will take place tomorrow :-)

Friday, 12 November 2010

I like potatoes.....


.....really I do, and I have nothing against the colour purple but, dear readers, I simply cannot get my head round the two put together.

Adrian saw these in the supermarket the other day and thought they looked interesting ~ which is how they ended up in my kitchen LOL They cook and taste just the same as regular tatties but I can't seem to get past the colour ~ it rather put me off the roasties we had with lunch last Sunday. I was sort of hoping they would revert to the more normal potato colour but they are purple all the way through ~ and when I par-boiled them, the water turned green and they stayed purple! And can you imagine purple mash???

It sounds quite mad, I know, but I couldn't bring myself to use them when I made potato wedges for dinner last night. Adrian thinks it's funny, this aversion I have to purple potatoes. I must confess, dear readers, that I would never have imagined that purple potatoes would make me feel so peculier. They just don't look right and it certainly doesn't feel right to be eating PURPLE POTATOES!

We still have five of the weird little blighters sitting forlornly in the larder, waiting for someone to do something with them ~ and let's face it, quite obviously it's not going to be your's truly ;-) Oh well, I expect they will only have to wait 'til the weekend when the 'master of the house' (snigger, snigger) does Sunday lunch. He certainly doesn't have any problems with purple potatoes!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

In Remembrance...


Poppy ~ photograph by Dan


For The Fallen



With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.


Solemn the drums thrill;
Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.


They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.


They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.


But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;


As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.



Laurence Binyon
(10th August 1869 - 10th March 1943)

The Thursday Poem


Young Woman Reading by Window ~ Delphin Enjolras


The Sugar-Plum Tree

Have you ever heard of the Sugar-Plum Tree?
'T is a marvel of great renown!
It blooms on the shore of the Lollipop sea
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town;
The fruit that it bears is so wondrously sweet
(As those who have tasted it say)
That good little children have only to eat
Of that fruit to be happy next day.
When you 've got to the tree, you would have a hard time
To capture the fruit which I sing;
The tree is so tall that no person could climb
To the boughs where the sugar-plums swing!
But up in that tree sits a chocolate cat,
And a gingerbread dog prowls below---
And this is the way you contrive to get at
Those sugar-plums tempting you so:
You say but the word to that gingerbread dog
And he barks with such terrible zest
That the chocolate cat is at once all agog,
As her swelling proportions attest.
And the chocolate cat goes cavorting around
From this leafy limb unto that,
And the sugar-plums tumble, of course, to the ground---
Hurrah for that chocolate cat!
There are marshmallows, gumdrops, and peppermint canes,
With stripings of scarlet or gold,
And you carry away of the treasure that rains
As much as your apron can hold!
So come, little child, cuddle closer to me
In your dainty white nightcap and gown,
And I 'll rock you away to that Sugar-Plum Tree
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town.

Eugene Field
(2nd September 1850 - 4th November 1895)

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

What are the chances.....


.....that I will manage to get my laundry dry outside today, do you think, dear readers???

Today is one of those typical cold November days ~ very overcast and breezy but even as I type, the sun is trying to break through those grey clouds *hurrah!* And at least it's not raining! My goodness gracious me, have we had some rain these past few days *eeeek*

I confess that I really do dislike having to use the tumble-dryer *sigh* It's not just the cost of running the thing, and I do appreciate how useful it is, but don't you find that laundry seems to smell so much nicer when it's had a good 'ole blow out on the clothesline? I love that crisp, fresh scent of just-brought-in-from-the-clothesline laundry. Such a small pleasure but one I could never tire of :-)


What do you think of my 'new' vintage curtains, destined for our living room window? Aren't they just absolutely beautiful? They are handmade in a gorgeous glazed cotton fabric, triple-pleated and fully lined with weighted hemline ~ all for the princely sum of £20!

I bought them from pinkrosieposies on Ebay ~ she has some lovely linens in her little store :-) I also bought a very pretty pair of vintage pillowcases from her. Both items arrived beautifully presented ~ and smelling so fresh and clean. I admit that I've been rather taken aback at the, er, aroma of some items I've purchased in the past from other sellers on Ebay!

Anyhoo, these curtains will be going up at the living room window just as soon as I have sewn on brass rings to hang them by. My grand plan is to gradually work my way round all the windows in the house, fitting them out with 'winter' and 'summer' curtains. 'Tis a thought I've had simmering away for some little while, dear readers, and when I saw these curtains said thought burst forth once more ;-) At the moment, the living room windows are adorned with white lined voile curtains, which are perfectly lovely during the hotter months as they are lightweight and look suitably cool and breezy. When the weather gets cold, though, I just want to batten down the hatches and make the house warm and snuggly. These curtains will cosy up the living room admirably :-)

I really do think this houseplant should be renamed 'pre-Christmas cactus' ~ just look at all those pretty blooms! I hope there will still be some left for Christmas :-)

Monday, 8 November 2010

Kate Rusby

Wonderful, wonderful voice :-)

Another confession.....


.....I gave in to temptation again, dear readers!

I solemnly promise that I wasn't looking for another dolly ~ I was actually on the hunt for wooden beads to use as doll heads (for some projects in the pipeline) but I had one of those terribly annoying mind-going-blank moments ~ so I ended up typing in 'doll heads'. I found the beads I wanted.....and there was sweet little Dorelia in the very same search results too. You know how hard it is for me to resist a dolly in obvious need of some TLC and, well, the rest is history ;-)

Dorelia is an adorable little doll, about 10" tall and in absolutely dire need of a session in the dolly spa! She is made of fabric, as you can see, and has been very firmly stuffed indeed ~ so much so, that the seam on her poor little chest has given way at some point. Her head has been given a coat of something which makes it look and feel rather like ~ well, papier mache actually. I can see the stitching seams on either side though, so it is obviously fabric too :-) She has a mohair wig which is parting company from her head, so that will need attending to during the spa session. I may gently peel it off altogether and re-attach it. I really don't think that it will be very easy to do much by way of cleaning little Dorelia, to be honest, so I will just have to do the best I can for her. She has obviously been neglected for quite some time, poor little mite.

I am trying hard not to be tempted, dear readers, really I am, but it's just so very hard to ignore sweet little gems like Miss Dorelia when they catch my eye! I have such a soft spot for the poor little unloved, unwanted, discarded and neglected dolls. Even though I currently have quite a waiting list of little ladies waiting for an appointment in the dolly spa, I just know that they are happy now that they have become part of a much-loved dolly family and are content to wait for however long it takes for their turn to come around ;-)

Miss Dorelia and I are spending time getting to know one another; she seems to be settling down to the role of dolly companion (or DC, as the position is known round here!) very comfortably. As you may remember, Ethel~Maud was my DC for quite some time but since she and Gervaise the Gnome became friends ~ well, lately I just haven't seen very much of her at all. I'm very happy, of course, that they are best friends but it has felt a little lonely at times without my faithful DC by my side. Why yes, dear readers, you are quite correct that there certainly are a lot of members of my dolly family but the position of DC is rather special and not one that just any dolly can fill ;-)

I'm sure that you will be seeing much more of Miss Dorelia in the future, now that she has so kindly and graciously accepted my invitation to fulfil the role of Dolly Companion.....

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Prayer for World Peace


Dove of Peace ~ Giclee print


We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being.
We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma;
that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world;
that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life;
that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children;
that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within, knowing the power of each individual to change the world.

We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty that condemns millions of people around the world to lives of misery - hungry, sick, and utterly without hope.
We pray for the children who are starving, who are condemned to homelessness, slave labour, prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family.
We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind.
We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment.

We pray for suffering animals everywhere, for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation, intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping, training for entertainment, abusive pet owners, and all other forms of exploitation such as overloading and overworking pack animals, bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more.

We pray for an end to cruelty, whether to humans or other animals, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms.
We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving;
that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life;
that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts;
that we may learn to rejoice in our being.

We pray for these things with humility;
We pray because of the hope that is within us, and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit;
We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God.
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.

prayer for world peace ~ dr jane goodall

Saturday, 6 November 2010

500th Post ~ and a Giveaway to celebrate!


My goodness, dear readers, your's truly has hit the dizzying hits of 500 posts would you believe! (Mind you, with the way I ramble on you probably do believe it LOL) Still, I have to confess that it did take me just a little by surprise to find that I had blathered on quite so much.

The only reason I checked was because it dawned on me t'other day that I could 'treat' the first-out-of-the-hat (name of course ,you silly billies, not actual person ;-) ) to a little pressie to celebrate my.....wait for it.....250th post. The clogs in my brain turned this way and that for a few minutes before the next thought landed that I may well have passed post number 250 already. I duly mulled this over until my razor-sharp intelligence decided that I needn't wait until my 500th post (although these post celebrations always seem better in multiples of 250 for some reason, don't you think??) ~ pah, I would just celebrate my 350th post instead! So off I trundled to my trusty computer and logged into my blog.....only to discover that I wasn't a million miles away from 500 posts after all! I was shocked, I can tell you!

But, dear readers, I simply must tell you that this giveaway isn't only because I have reached my 500th post. It is also a way for me to say a heartfelt "thank you" to all who drop by to read my little ramblings; I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate that you take time to visit me here at Lavender and Pearls. So, my dears, in order that I may both say "thank you" and mark the grand occasion of my 500th Lavender and Pearls post, it would make me a very happy bunny indeed to send the little celebratory gift shown at the top of this post to the person whose name is first out of the hat :-)

The winner will receive a sweet little hanging roosting pouch, which Mama and Papa Bird have decorated with cream flowers around the entrance; inside they have made a soft and cosy nest ready for when their babies hatch from the three pretty eggs which Mama has recently laid :-) I took a photo of the inside of Mama and Papa's little home but it wasn't very easy ~ and I didn't want to disturb them too much ;-) Still, if you look closely you may just be able to see the three sweet little eggs nestled amongst the feathers:

Along with Mama and Papa Bird's sweet home, the winner will also receive a little something from my own collection ~ namely, a vintage beaded jug cover and a set of four vintage crocheted coasters :-)

If you would like to take part in the giveaway ~ and I really hope you will! ~ then all you have to do is leave a comment to this post. The closing date will be midnight (GMT) next Saturday the 13th November 2010 and I will draw out a name with all due pomp and ceremony the next day ;-) And just in case you were wondering, the draw is open to you wherever you live :-) Oooooh, unless you are an alien of course ~ because I don't think that Royal Mail deliver to outer space yet *hehehehe*

So, dear readers, get those fingers a tap, tap, tapping in the comment box.....good luck, my lovelies!