Thursday 30 May 2013

Mrs Malaprop has been missing in action

I see I have been missing in action for quite some time. Deary me. Where does the time go?

I have no idea. I can tell you that I have been busy, but I can't necessarily specify how. We have certainly been working hard on the garden, because when I thought to look at my recent photos, they are all of flowers.
We did a pop up Steptoe and Son for a day with the contents of the shed. A couple of pieces came out to be chucked, but most of it went straight back in. Excellent. Guess we'll be doing another one soon.
 I bought this dress a while ago, but when it arrived, it really honked. I stuck it out on the line to air for about a month. It's been hanging around like the protagonist from Don't Look Now at the top of the garden. I think it has now finally been rid of its anti-social tendencies. Now I just need to do a bit of jiggery pokery on the sewing machine and it can be unveiled. It's crimplene. I'm not a mad fan of synthetic fabrics: they have a tendency to make my hair look like this dandelion, but I'm going to give it a whirl.
I thought you might like to view my world-famous cellulite fish. I have a friend who has entertained us for years with her malapropisms. When she gets cold, her teeth clatter, and, for the record, she is electric to meat.
I'm a bit of a vocabulary geek. I love a juicy word, and I love to know the provenance, particularly if it is foreign. Did you know that the word parlor started off as a parley room, which in itself comes from the french 'parler' to talk or speak. Or that the word 'shufti' meaning have a quick look, comes from arabic and was brought into common parlance by soldiers returning from North Africa during WWII?

No? Well, you do now. So endeth the lesson for today.

In other news, I am still awaiting action in my bedroom. The wardrobes, I mean. We'll have less of your sauce. When the man finally turns up, this is what I want it to look like.

This post feels rather as though I am grasping at straws. But good news this way comes. Over the next few days I am going to escape the garden and see Actual Real People, so hopefully there will be something blogworthy to report. I just wanted to say hello...

Saturday 11 May 2013

Lovely link up

I like nothing better than a peek around other people's homes to see how they have decorated them. The perfect opportunity has come my way!

Kylie and Donna are doing a 'Show us a retro/vintage corner of your home' link up.

I'm in! Are you?

Go on, you know you want to...

Friday 10 May 2013

Sherwood calling!

A posy from the garden.

We live in the city of Nottingham in an area called Sherwood. Here are some characters you might recognise, who lived not far from here. They were left here by the people before us. I need to find somewhere for them to continue their reign. 

This was supper out on the patio on a sunny bank holiday. It's a puff pastry tart topped with leeks from our garden.

In this area, '50p, ducky!' is one of my favourite sentences to hear on a Sunday morning. For non-Notts-natives, it rhymes with cooky and is a term of affection widely used by slightly older people, particularly at the car boot sale which I frequent, which is in the shire rather than the city.

A Noddy eggcup, various brooches, Bulgarian treenware, a cellulite fish, 8 rolls of brightly coloured cotton thread, a German chalet weather house, all prompting that magic phrase.

But the thing that set my heart racing when I saw it was this ballet print. It is from a painting of the ballet Giselle, by an artist called Carlotta Edwards. When I was small, my dream was to be a ballerina. But not just any ballerina, the corps de ballet was not for me, I wanted to be a prima ballerina like my heroine, Dame Margot Fonteyn. This was well worth a bit more. Two British Pounds to you ducky.

I've been making a dress out of an old tablecloth. It's a bit Institution Chic at this stage in the proceedings, and that expression on my face fits the bill, but once it is dyed and a bit of trim added, I am sure (!) that I will look as casually elegant as these ladies on the right. I'm going for the version with sleeves.

Here's someone I have recently come across and admire very much, Jack Munroe of the blog a girl called Jack.

Questions: what local colloquialisms do you have to share? What did you want to be when you were little?

Friday 3 May 2013

Pick yourself up, dust yourself down, start all over again

If I had to describe my 2013 so far, I would say positive but totally frenzied. And none more so than these last few weeks.

Three weeks ago, for various reasons, I decided to move my Mum from 200 miles away to just up the road from me, so now I have a new playmate close by. That was quite a momentous project. On a lovely sunny day yesterday we went to nearby Wollaton Park for a wander round the lake. They filmed the latest Batman film here in 2011. The 16th century Elizabethan mansion was used as Wayne Manor.
In the meantime our neighbours went away so we have been frantically trying to do some big outside jobs before their return to avoid as much friction as possible. Voila! A massive brown fence. I know you're going to be both fascinated and impressed. How can you help it?
And finally, I got a phone call one day to tell me that the warehouse which housed my entire stock from the greeting card and gift business I ran for seven years from 2004-11 and which I had put on hold whilst I was busy with family stuff, had gone bankrupt. I had just over an hour to go in and sort out all my stock. Needless to say, thousands of pounds worth of stock ended up in the skip and that is the end of the business.

But I have no regrets. It was a good business. I achieved so many ambitions, I exported my product across three continents via my distributors, I supplied the shops I specifically wanted to at the outset such as Selfridges and Paperchase as well as several hundreds of other brilliant galleries, giftshops and department stores across the world, I ran a team of sales agents across the UK, my designs were featured on design blogs and in design publications, I exhibited at trade fairs, had good working relationships with my customers, had lovely fans and most of all I made some great friends. And all of this from a business I started and ran single-handedly from my spare bedroom. So I raised a toast to freckleface and thought of all the good things that have been, and most importantly, got excited about whatever may happen next.
Here are some of my hundreds of designs!