Friday, 19 December 2008

Crochet Blisters

Image by madelinetosh

For the last few weeks I've been feeling really good about the fact that I've chosen to handmake most Christmas presents this year, and planned to crochet up a storm!

Now, after three days of crocheting, I have become the Grinch. This is approximately what my entire study looks like. I long to drive to Asda and buy everyone an incredibly generic present. Perhaps a bottle of bleach.

(I wish I could show you the various things I'm making, but it's secret!)

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Antonio Citterio Chairs for B&B Italia

Images via ebaylisting

On ebay now

A set of 4 of these chairs, Buy it Now £160. Eek! I wish I had room for these (and the spare cash). The more I look at them, the more I love them.

And to make things worse, there are also two chairs available with blue seat cushion. aarg! And if I wasn't already tormented enough: they are Local Pick Up Only, from a shop which happens to be literally just round the corner from my Grandparent's house.

PS: For Sale! Only £160, Anythingyouwantfrommyhouse.

Mini Gift Guide - Neutral Tones

Set of 3 Lavender Sachets £ 12.50 by LAMDesigns

White Swarovski Necklace, £11.50 by Mia Belle Jewellery

Star sterling silver Earrings, £12.00 by Magpie Nest

Vintage Lace Lavender Bags, £2.50, by from Rags to Bags

Cath Kidston Tiny Star Umbrella, £14.68, from

All images via the respective sellers.

Chestnuts roasting on the open fire...

Image by Elstruthio

We now have a fully functioning open fire in our Living Room. It took two visits from the chimney sweep, who spent hours clearing out the chimney. There were two crow's nests in there, and the second one was almost impossible to dislodge.

Mr Chimney Sweep cleared out several bags of twigs and stuffing, and other 'nest-building' materials such as metal pipes and steel rods (they must have been some mighty muscular birds!)

When he finally managed to dislodge the second nest, he called me from the kitchen (where I was test-baking cupcakes - for a change) and told me to come outside to see the birds. They were rioting! According to the chimney sweep, when the crows saw his brush break through their nest, they (correctly) assumed it was a predator, and called out a warning cry. This summoned a huge flock of crows, who circled above our house, making a huge racket. It was a grey, overcast day, and the whole thing felt very Hitchcock.

Image by deadeyebart

After extensive testing the chimney was declared safe to use, and we have been enjoying our open fire ever since. The fireplace itself is quite small (a lot smaller than the one in the first picture), and the chimney sweep informs me that this would have once been a bedroom fireplace, for example in a nursery. Some clever clogs must have replaced the original one, which would have been a lot bigger. Fortunately, this bedroom fireplace is lovely to look at, and still big enough to have a cosy fire.

We live in a little town that is set within a National Park and World Heritage Site. The town was granted World Heritage status in 2000, to recognise the importance of its Ironworks and Coalmine. (Which are no longer in operation, but played a significant part in the development of the modern world; certain processes used in the creation of steel were discovered here.)
They recently filmed a BBC Series here which you may have seen - Coal House.

It's really nice to look at our little fire, and think of all the history behind the pieces of coal, and about the town with its terraced Miner's Cottages and the local landscape, characterised by huge slagheaps. (I'm getting carried away with these romantic notions! Next I'll be dressing in period costume!) We've lit the fire, had the Christmas tree lights on, and sipped mulled wine whilst wrapping presents and watching Nigella's Christmas cooking on TV. Bliss!

I would love to take a photo of our actual fire for you, but it takes a while to start up, and looks less attractive in the daylight. Perhaps I'll persuade my other half to build one this evening, and post a picture for you later.

****NB Big thanks to my Mother, who advance-gifted the chimney sweep to us for Christmas.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008


This made me laugh. (This Tshirt would make a great gift for my youngest brother. ) (I can't stop myself from posting things for sale on Etsy - somehow the novelty just isn't wearing off for me)
Available from timberps here.

(image via timberps)
I have been absent from here for a little while (sorry!). All the Christmas crafting and baking is taking up my time. Additionally we have had some small home improvements done, and now are lucky enough to have a fully functioning, open fire place in our Living Room. (This development involved a bird riot. More on that later!)

To get me back in the flow of things, Here's an item (available on Etsy) which I am currently coveting.

These bracelets are by Unique Art Pendants, and are made up of vintage charms. It's great to see someone make something so lovely out of something used. The bracelets cost only $10, which includes free international shipping! Bargain.

Images via uniqueartpendants