Monday, 18 August 2014

vintage ...... a conversation piece

vintage stool with old varnish and wobbly legs

On Saturday I popped to Maidstone Fremlin Walk to do some shopping with Jack, have a coffee and generally a no work kind of day. We walked along the old part of Maidstone High Street and wandered into a couple of charity shops and I came across this little stool that dates to about the 1950's. It immediately reminded me of my nana Mary and the stools she had in her flat in London that I would sit on to watch her bake. My Jewish grandmother would always be baking and making chicken soup; that is where my love of food comes from! I just had to have this little vintage stool, and the price, wait for it ..... £5. Yes just £5 and it all went to the British Heart Foundation, so a little good dead and made me feel happy to be swept back to my childhood and happy happy times.

Walking back along the busy high street people gave Jack and me some odd glances to be walking around with a little old stool. I even sat it on whilst he paid for the parking! We struck up a lovely conversation with some ladies in the Oxfam Shop in Rose Yard, a pretty little side street. The Oxfam shop is beautifully colour coordinated and I plan to pop back for a better rummage next time I'm in Maidstone.

Here are some pictures taken on Saturday afternoon of the work in progress on this little vintage conversation piece (as I now like to call it) She will be my new sewing stool once she's had another coat of bees wax and her new Cath Kidston seat pad. I'm off to Canterbury on Friday to choose some new fabric, something ditsy and pretty. I've decided to keep the old seat cover and re-cover it carefully to keep the original should I want to revert back. Ian found my old staple gun with staples in the garage in an old Adams kids shopping bag, well done Ian for finding it, hasn't that shop closed down now? I will post some more pictures next week when she is finished.

mustard coloured cushion pad

the underside with the detailed removable cushion

a light sanding, looking lovely

our odd solution to glue the legs!

I've also been picking courgettes (or marrows if I forget!) summer squash and runner beans. My tomato crop is a disaster, some have fallen over and broken the stems in the storms we had. We are going to hate the runners by the end of the year!

summer squash

home grown runner beans

the longest ones are 33cm !

and last but not least a new granny blanket

Monday, 11 August 2014

Cinema, popcorn and brick lane bagels

It was Jack's birthday on Friday 8 August and he requested a cinema family night out so I booked for the Imax at Greenwich 02. I wasn't that impressed with the seats and the price but it was a good evening and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a good choice. It wasn't suitable for young kids or babies so I was surprised people had taken kids to see it. We rounded it off with hot salt beef beigels in the good old Beigel Bake in Brick Lane. I've been going there since I was a year old, well my dad is a London cabbie :-)

Here are some photos I took. I hope you had a good weekend despite the heavy downpours.

hot beigels in Brick Lane, London
Jack in the queue
hot salt beef, yummy
Costa Coffee bar in Greenwich 02 Odeon complex

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Granny stripe blanket is finished

On Monday night during Lights Out I finished my granny stripe blanket and I love it! And so does Ian when I asked him to model it, its a huge snuggly blanket and I need some cold weather to be able to use it! I started it back in October, it was neglected for about 3 months then the border completed this week. I'm now working on blanket no. 3, a blanket for my sister for Christmas plus a baby knitted blanket that's more portable. The lighting was poor by the time I'd finished at 11pm so I need to take more photos in daylight this week so you can see the colours and stripes. I opted for two rows or granny stripe for the edging plus the final row of DC in Pomegranate and I think it finishes it off well without being too fussy or frilly. Its a blanket that the boys can use too (if I let them!)

I've added some photos taken on Saturday morning in Canterbury at Brunch, a nice little cosy restaurant with free wifi and they serve locally produced sausages that are yummy. The mocha was lovely too and served in a warmed glass, a nice touch. We then did a spot of shopping and visited my parents for lunch.

granny stripe blanket ta da moment!

its finished
and another in progress

Ian modelling the new granny stripe blanket

Saturday morning breakfast in Canterbury
vintage decor in Brunch
mmm breakfast
lovely vintage decor
Jack took me to Brunch Canterbury for breakfast

Debbie Bliss Rialto DK baby blanket in progress

Thursday, 31 July 2014

summer giveaway - Crabtree and Evelyn Gardeners set


Summer is here and we've been so lucky with the weather in the UK haven't we? To celebrate the summer and with gardening in mind I have a fab giveaway of Crabtree and Evelyn Gardeners Hand Recovery Scrub 100g and two 25g handbag size hand therapy cream. I use it all the time and love it so thought I'd share in something I know that works and smells wonderful. Keep it by the kitchen sink for when you've been working in the garden or allotment.

to enter ....

1. leave a comment with your name and Blog if you have one
2. share on your blog for an extra chance

That's it, nice and simple to win a lovely Crabtree and Evelyn package.  I'll keep this open until the end of August. I will post Worldwide. Good luck - Amanda x

disclaimer: this competition is not supported in any way by Crabtree and Evelyn

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Baby Beanie (free knitting pattern)

My hairdresser Abbie is pregnant with her first baby (girl) and I was looking for a cute Baby Beanie knitting pattern when I came across this at Knit-O-Matic. It's really cute and I have the wool so that's another weekend project! You can find the pattern link here. It states to knit in Debbie Bliss Rialto DK (and Prints) but I guess you could match the gauge and use another similar yarn although you only need 2 balls so its not too expensive. And the pattern gives 3 sizes.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

cables without the cables

Earlier this year I came across this lovely Birch Trees Scarf knitting pattern over at Hand Knitted Things. Its one of those patterns that you just have to try because its so pretty and very practical and looks far more intricate and complicated than the 4 row pattern suggests. I like to call it cables without the cables, such a clever pattern thank you Julia Marsh.

 I'm knitting mine on vintage no. 7 needles (kindly given to me by my mother-in-law) and using Debbie Bliss Cashmerino charcoal out of my yarn stash that was meant to be for Ian's scarf! shh don't tell him! I use DB yarn all the time, picking up bargains in John Lewis and eBay but its the first time I've knitted with Cashmerino, and it isn't going to be the last. It gives you great stitch definition and the softest yarn ever, I love it. So here is my scarf in progress. It has been sitting in my car waiting to be loved again after I accidentally knitted the moss stitch border wrong. I know how can you get something so simple wrong when the pattern was more difficult to keep track of, I keep asking myself the same question. But today was the right time to unpick 8 rows and carry on, and I managed it so I'm good to go now (phew)

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Pretty in pink

I seem to be having a pink phase at the moment. It all started on Monday with my new kindle Fire HD cover, Wednesday my new shellac nail colour, lovely pink post from The Pigeons Nest with my toadstool magents (they are so cute) flowers in my front and back gardens, a new baby blanket pattern, pink knitted wash cloths and flowers at my sisters villa rental in Spain.

The baby blanket is an easy pattern, not really a pattern, just cast on 130 stitches and knit until each ball of yarn is finished a join a new one, seven in total hopefully. But because I am using Debbie Bliss Rialto DK (soft merino) it will be a squidy blanket to use from baby to toddler, a lovely hand made gift for a November baby.
I'm not normally a pink person but this week I am surrounded by pink! I hope you enjoy the photos and pattern links
hand knitted waffle wash cloth

toadstool magnets
pink Shellac nail varnish and matching Debbie Bliss wool
pots of fuscia in my garden
geranium in a hanging basket
pots of colour by the front door
pink and red fuscia in a hanging basket

granny blanket : safron border