Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Oh,to be in England

Come on  jump in the car it's time to go for a drive around the English countryside at dusk....
Seat belts on we don't have long before the sun begins to set...It's magic hour.

Beautiful views are everywhere and none of us have a care,This is our time to just be......

Lets stop at the old priory with heavenly light shining through it's door and imagine how it might have looked....

Gaze at its stone arches and then up at the sky and that beautiful window...

With it's views across lush green fields....

We walk past lime green hedgerows on our way back to the car...Spring has sprung!

Driving on past fields of Spring babies....

Stopping  a while and saying 'Hello'

The peacock and the hare? 

You never know what you will see at dusk in the countryside ...

But it wouldn't be Spring without bundles of snowy white cotton wool bleeting here and there now would it?

They were singing a song as the sun began to set....Press play and hear them and see the little one skipping.... 

The sun is dropping and the air is turning cold,Time to get back in the car and head for Shingle Cottage...

Home Thoughts From Abroad

Oh,to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
See's,Some morning,unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm tree bole are tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England.....Now

And after April,when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds.and all the swallows
Hark,where my blossom'd pear tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops-at the bent spray's edge-
That's the wise thrush;he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And thought the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups,the children's dower
-Far brighter than this gaudy melon flower!

Robert Browning

I hope you enjoyed joining us on our dusk drive :)

Join me next time for more tales and goings on from Shingle Cottage...


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Pretty In The Kitchen

 I had a lovely time by the sea at the weekend with my stash of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and the new colours i tried this time... Empire Red & Old English Yellow...

I mixed Antoinette with Empire Red and it made a lovely rose pink :) 

That's how i mix mine below in an old butter tub so i have plenty of room to blend the colours together and i always add just a drop of water to help...I will be getting an Annie Sloan paint brush  soon as my friends tell me they are amazing to work with.

What was i going to paint with this new rose pink i had created???

Oh look the butchers block is shouting 'Me,Me!'..............Oh ok it didn't but it doesn't seem to mind does it? ;)

I left it drying so a light sand and a wax to come this weekend.....Won't it look lovely once the floor is painted white? 

I had a little left so i started my salt and pepper mill,I think i might paint the bottoms Old English Yellow or maybe Old white....

Saturday morning i was outside in the garden blasting down the butchers block below that we had been given with an electric sander to clean it up and then i mixed Old White,Old Ochre & Old English Yellow which came out a lovely lemon yellow......All to be waxed this weekend.

Spring has arrived and daffodils are everywhere and what a joy to see them,So cheery and bright!

Talking of flowers it is time to start emptying all your used tea bags and mulching around your hydrangea shrubs...It's amazing how much you can get out of a few tea bags and they make your hydrangea flower like crazy!
Last year i emptied them while out in the garden and my hands were covered in tea leaves and so was the door handle so i do it in the sink now and then take a cup out....It's much easier to clean up after.

You just sprinkle them on top and water them in...See the black pot in the top right hand corner?

It  keeps the bunnies from nibbling our delphiniums,Just an up turned plant pot with the bottom  out.. 

The view from the kitchen door...Everything we planted last year has come back apart from one delphinium plant so that's not bad is it especially after such a long Winter.

The concrete path ran right across the garden when we came and i broke up a lot of it last Summer and started to dig over the soil and make some flower borders this year i need to do the rest of the path...The picket fence will be getting a lick of paint soon and then when Summer arrives i will be out here pottering about and making more flower borders .

My mum packed us  a battenburg which i just love,the cake and the colours....

And our neighbor brought us a homemade banana and date loaf which was so,so nice! 

In between emptying tea bags,eating cake and painting butchers blocks in the kitchen we also finally put cut glass knobs on out kitchen cupboards..

I painted these in Old White and Antoinette over the top and then sanded back,they look so lovely and time worn.....Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is wonderful to work and as you know i use it a lot.

While on the subject of cut glass.....what do you think to this little cut glass decanter that my friend Niki of Nostalgia At The Stone House   sent me for a house  cottage  warming present?

Oh no that isn't red wine girls...

It's washing up liquid ;)

I had seen one that Niki had in her shop and asked after it but it had been decorated in  beautiful lace and flowers which i told Niki was a shame as it would get ruined,i wanted to decant my washing up liquid,So while out on a shopping trip she found this pretty one and sent it to me as a house  cottage warming gift,How nice was that?

Thank you again Niki i  love it and as you can see it fits perfectly on my sink :)

Then Steve had been working in a ladies house last week who was seventy four  and she has very bad arthritis in her hands,She told him she knits to stop her fingers seizing up and it eases the pain and would his girl like some hand knitted dish cloths?

Well bless her heart she sent me two and they are so soft and pretty i'm not sure i can use them to wash dishes.

It makes doing the dishes a whole lot prettier and i love cottage pretty!

Thank you all for your kind comments on my lamp shades in my last post by the way,

I hope your week has been a good one and that Spring is arriving in your corner of the world x

Join me next time for more tales and goings on from you know where.....


Thursday, 11 April 2013

Painting Shades of Spring

I have had a lovely time this week sewing and painting and even enjoying the sunshine!....The forecast says it's to warm up this weekend so maybe i should pack a bikini? ;) 

I have a pair of Frenchy lamp bases that have been waiting i think maybe four or five years for some matching shades,I know it's a long time isn't it?

 They have been used where we live now in different rooms with different shades...Anyhow i searched all over for the shape i wanted and eventually ended up on Ebay,They were covered in a beigey mustardy shiny fabric with a rope trim which was pretty grim but i looked past that and concentrated on the size and shape and the fact that they were a pair!

This is how they look now much prettier...The lamps and shades are big and stand about two feet tall now they are together,They have that lovely old world over sized glamour about them.

Here are the shades stripped i wish now i had taken a before picture...

I started of with my pink and white stripe rose fabric and yards of old lace but decided to use the lace on another project...I do that a lot :)

I added vintage insertion lace and threaded it with ivory satin ribbon...

Also a vintage broderie anglaise scalloped trim to the bottom...The insertion lace and broderie anglaise trim have been washed over and over and have that lovely soft brushed cotton feel and are lovely and matt against the sheen off the satin ribbon....I like contrasts it makes everything more interesting..

I designed the shade covers as slip covers so i can remove them for washing but also i am going to make a few different colours and designs so i can change up our bedroom along with the bedding.

I made wide belts to wrap around the middle of the slip cover and once tied in a bow it gathers all the fabric in nicely..

The top is elasticated for a snug ruffled fit...

Last weekend we took our big old pine bed with us and we bought a new mattress,It was heaven after sleeping on a blow up camping bed for two and a half years.

Our bed is going to be painted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint,Maybe in Old White or i just might paint it pink in Antoinette....Steve said 'If you want a pink then do it' 

The lamps will be towering on the little Frenchy bedside cabinets that i made over last year.

Pink chandelier glass to be fitted and cut glass knobs to be popped on the bedside cabinets.....Phew always something to do down at Shingle Cottage....

I had a lovely big order of chalk paint delivered this week too all thanks to my Steve,Thank you Steve xxx
You know it's love when he buys you Chalk Paint ;)

I have painted a wicker bedroom chair in Old English Yellow mixed with Old White and once it's dry and i am going to recover the seat so i will show you that next time,It's a lovely colour.

We sneaked out on our dusk drive again last weekend and we saw white barn owls,Hares, Squirrels and Wood pigeons...The daffodils were starting to open down the lane too and the sunlight was beautiful,It felt like we were chasing it as it shone lower and lower on the hedgerows on my side of the lane and every time we turned a corner you thought it would be there in all it's glory but no..It won't be long before the hedgerows and trees are turning green...Oh the promise of Spring!

We also bumped in to beautiful wild Roe Deer and i just love them,They are so pretty and they prance when they run...As we came around the corner there they were,Steve turned off the engine and the buck and his pretty girl stopped and gazed at us,It was one of those magical just us and them moments and then a car coming the other way startled them and off they danced into the woods....See you again this weekend my deer.....i hope?

We drove on as the sun began to set lighting up tiny daffodils sprinkled under tall sleeping trees...
By the time we get back to Shingle Cottage it is dark and we get ready and climb into bed...We lay and  talk about what we have seen on our magical dusk jaunt...It's heaven to me,Always the simple things in life and spending time with Steve....It's a shame the sun has to set on days like this.

In the morning furniture outside all over the garden and lashings of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White.....Ooooh look tiny yellow crocus waking up!

Inside it was  the same and the drawers for the bathroom i showed you last time got two pairs of lovely curvy legs... 

It was a beautiful weekend and the sky was the most perfect shade of blue over our little English cottage by the sea...

No smoke from the chimney and the heating was turned off..

A dresser top has a first coat of Old White and is left to dry until next week...

Crackled door knobs and pretty key covers were added to all the old original doors,They have chips and bumps all over them but that's why i love them so much,They give our cottage charm and character..

As the sun goes down it's time for bed and then another drive home back should i say...Shingle Cottage is home and i think i leave my heart there every Sunday...Lucky it's Friday tomorrow and We will be homeward bound.

It's late and Steve will be home any minute for his dinner,Well i best go lay the table...

Thank you for stopping by to catch up on what we have been up to...Don't forget to turn out the light will you?

Thank you and goodnight xxx

Join me next time for more tales and goings on from Shingle Cottage..