Thursday, 29 January 2009

Bonkers Brownies

I need to get the photos off in the next week as I'm applying for a pitch at a good market in North Norfolk in the summer. All the work gets vetted in February and then they decide who gets selected. As it had finally stopped raining, and the sun was actually shining, I thought I'd better get on with taking the photos. Fingers crossed they like my work as it will be a good one to do.

I'm really pleased with this photo, in fact I think it's the best one I have ever taken so the heart has taken a backseat for me. I've never been particularly good with a camera. Even though one of the modules at art college was photography, I got confused by all the details and so prefered messing about with the negatives for effects rather than trying to take a good picture. I have a friend who is a professional photographer and he told me to forget all the technical stuff and just get on with it. I still think it's more luck than anything as I'm just as likely to take a blurred picture as a good one. Never mind - I like this picture and that's all that matters.
I thought I'd show you a couple of the other shots I'm sending off. Henry, Holly and Harriet Horse are pleased to meet you. The hand is my friend's who happened to pop round for coffee and ended up being a hobby-horse stand.
Some sweet sugary coloured mary-jane's.

Some more hearts all lined up ready for Valentine's. Here in Norfolk we have a lovely tradition called Jack Valentine. In our home he has been raised to the same mystical status as the Easter Bunny, Father Christmas and the Fairies. On Valentine's Eve you hear a knock at the door and when you go to open it there is no one there, although Mr Bun has convinced the bun's he has seen a flash of red cape leaping over hedges as Jack races away. On the doorstep Jack Valentine leaves you a box full of goodies - usually sweets, pencils and jewels. He normally leaves me an odd shaped vegetable or two. Such is Mr Bun's romantic humour. Oh no, I've given the game away haven't I? I originally grew up here so this was part of my childhood, for Mr Bun, who comes from Brighton, it seems a lot more fun than buying a dozen red roses. For me both would be ok. So think of us in Norfolk on the 13th of February all sneaking about leaving parcels on loved ones doorsteps.

I also finished painting the kitchen cupboards today. After first painting them the wrong shade of blue, I'm now really happy with the colour I have chosen. I'm only showing you the cover over the Rayburn as the other side of the kitchen is a messy disaster and I only want pleasant pictures today. This is blog world after all where I can make it summer if I want and remove mess at will.





I can't control the freezer in the same way though. Tonight the bun's chose icecream and strawberries for pudding. Somehow the freezer had gone onto superfreeze and so the icecream was as hard as wood. They were disappointed for about a second and then eldest bun asked, "can we still have all the sprinkles and gloop?". So off they went to create E number merriment. The bowl at the back is little bun's and overflowing with Barbie's finest sprinkles. After tea I took them to Brownies to bounce it off there.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Sweet Maggie

As I was rushing off to the bank this morning the postman was coming up the path with a package for me. I always seem to forget that I have ordered anything, so each time it is a complete surprise. Then I had a decision to make, be late for the appointment or see what was in the box. Of course I was late. When I unwrapped the brown paper this was who I found.


As you can see, her name is Maggie and she is absolutely adorable. For those of you not familiar with the extremely talented Nicky's work she comes from Vintage Magpie. I chose her for little bun's upcoming seventh birthday in March. I thought I would order early in case of any problems. Now I do have a problem. She is so sweet that I will feel mean hiding her away and how can I not have a little friend for eldest bun too. I have had a look at Nicky's other bunny girls and chosen one to be made.





As per instructions I settled her in with a cherry cake to eat while her hot chocolate was being made. I think she will be adored by all.
After the bank I had a peek in the charity shop. First I found these lovely printed pillowcases and then hidden at the back of the shop were these four glass bowls. They will be perfect to add to my stall at Vintage Soul.

At the front are some very shiny heart buttons that I found when I got back home and was finding all the buttons the buns have been collecting up. I really like the green ones against the pillowcases.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Cats and Dogs and a parcel

We have just had the most perfect weekend. Before I tell you about that I just want to show you what the postman has brought me. I ordered some twine and toadstool pegs from the very talented Tracy . It was wrapped so beautifully I didn't really want to open the parcel. I love the feeling of anticipation, even when you know what is in there, and as it turned out I didn't. There were a couple of surprises in there too.




So kind of Tracy, she has sent me this beautiful heart ribbon and a packet of alpine strawberries as well. What a lovely start to my day.




On Saturday we had promised the buns we would see Disney's Beverley Hills Chihuahua before anything else. We all thoroughly enjoyed it, had a good laugh and I even got a bit emotional at the end I have to admit. Happy endings are killers for me. When I was six I remember watching Lassie with my dad. As soon as Lassie was reunited with his owner, I broke into such chest heaving sobs, that showed no sign of stopping, my dad didn't know how to stop me. I can clearly remember being taken to the village sweet shop, run by Mrs Leeder. It was dark, so it felt really late to me. I chose a bag of mixed coloured sherbet, a copy of Twinkle and a blue rubber ball. Dad's distraction worked, but I avoided Lassie from then on.

After lunch we went to an animal sanctuary to look at cats. Since losing Ruby we've been waiting for eldest bun to feel ready for another cat. Sara, who runs the sanctuary, chose Suzannah as the ideal cat for us. We wanted a cat who would pretty much fit in with Molly and Alfie and she seemed perfect. She is so pretty with a little grey heart print on her nose. We collected her on Sunday after we had been home checked.




She seems to be fitting in pretty well.





Even taking over Alfie's bed in front of the Rayburn.





The buns have renamed her Pip. At the moment Molly and Pip are sizing each other up, she has walloped Alfie so he keeps away. She is also refusing food. She's a pretty well padded cat so I hope she's just settling in, not being fussy. Signs are she has been looked after pretty well as she looks as if she has never even dirtied a paw.

We all had a great time at the sanctuary. Me chatting and searching through the boxes set aside for a bootsale. I'm going back to buy some bits in the week. Mr Bun and the buns played outside with the four dogs and fed the horses. I didn't think they would want to come home.

On the way back home we needed food so I quickly popped into the wool shop as I have had a huge urge to start crocheting squares for a blanket for eldest bun. I thought it was something I could quickly pick up around the rest of life. They didn't have all the colours I was after, but I've made a start.

I also spotted these chunky buttons. I have plans for these to be turned into brooches.



A perfect day ended for the buns with Dad's Army and tea in front of the fire.

On Sunday, after collecting Pip there were a million and one things to do as usual. I'd forgotten my parents Sapphire Anniversary on Friday so we invited them to lunch. It was a great afternoon. Any Sunday lunch that starts with bubbly shows signs of potential. Once we had eaten we had eldest buns games and crafts invite to attend. We played charades, cards and then painted the plaster fairies we had made in the week.


We voted that the best was painted by grandma.



Paint was now out so the buns got out their new brushes and palettes. Oh dear someone's shrunk Pip.






Friday, 23 January 2009

I have officially made it summer

The runner beans and the radish are coming along nicely. As you can see I've done a bit of re-organising around here and got rid of winter.


I couldn't take it any more. Mud is everywhere. It's on our clothes, the floor, the animals, the buns, everywhere. I had enough, so I spoke with the organiser of weather and they said nothing they could do at present, therefore I've taken it into my own hands. So for today it is officially British Summertime in my burrow.

Mr Bun and Mr Blue are enjoying a lazy chat in the garden.

The little buns are eating icecreams in their jammies.



Hilda and Hennypenny are scratching in the lovely dry earth




And me - oh I'm swanning around in my bare feet. Might make a jug of Pimms up in a minute and join everyone outside.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Trying to find colour amongst the greyness

Today was beyond wet. It was so dark this morning that we slept on late, then it all became a mad rush to get to school on time. Little Bun was back to square one after a great day at school and she was exhausted. So I took Eldest Bun only to school and then Mr Bun went to work. Really we all wanted to snuggle down together and not go anywhere. It was one of those days where you want to lay by the fire watching Whisky Galore or Passport to Pimlico with a large box of maltesers, maybe play cluedo and then have a snooze. But no, it was Thursday and Mr Bun has his own business now so sick days are a distant memory. We took a wonderful sick day together not long after we were soon to be three. Fortunately we worked at the same college so it seemed plausible that we both had food poisoning. We went to Bosham and took a fantastic picnic. It was February, freezing cold with bright blue skies and clouds rolling across it. We walked across the dry harbour floor and around the inland harbour for a bit, before strolling back to the tea shop for hot chocolate and teacakes. We visited King Canute's daughters grave in the church and then we ate our picnic in the car before ambling back home to Brighton. My strongest memory of that day is the blue sky and feeling really content. Stolen time.

As the cupboards were bare today we had no choice but to go and buy some food. I also needed some more blue paint as the one I had picked before was too dark for the kitchen cupboards, but not for Mr Blue who lived up to his name and managed a dashing stripe along his side. At the market we got distracted by these fantastic paintbrushes and palettes for a £1 each. I think this means we will be painting some pictures here at the weekend.

The best bit and the highlight of our day was this tiny daffodil bringing a bit of colour into this grey day.


Little Bun held her daffodil carefully on her lap all the way home trying to decide what to call her. She finally settled on Dancer the Dancing Daffodil. I don't know if she will be here long though as she has already been watered twice and has had a few walks around the house.


After the Bun's went to bed I heard footsteps. I went to see who it was who couldn't sleep and found this gorgeous invitation from Eldest Bun. Inside is a choice of things for us to do on Sunday, my favourite is monster making. I'd better go and write an acceptance note right away.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

All Change

Spring must be on it's way because I have started painting walls and moving furniture about. Well to be truthful the furniture has been moved in my head at the moment. I know where I want it to go and how it's all going to look, just got to get it there. Most of it is really heavy. Last time I moved something heavy the legs fell off as I dragged it through to another room. Unfortunately it's my lovely elderly kitchen cabinet. Now I have decided it looks just as nice. Must mend it one day soon though.



Little Bun was off school for five days. She was shattered, with dark eyes and just wanted to be with me and cuddle her friends Willa, Charlie and Pom all day. I let Eldest Bun stay off school on Monday aswell. It was howling a gale, so it seemed mean to say off you go, we're staying here in the warm. So they both had a lovely day together in jammies, watching TV and eating biscuits.

Yesterday I was feeling a bit cooped up so we popped out for a while to get blue paint for the kitchen cupboards. It's one of those rooms that I would completely change, but funds aren't there so I've decided to change it the best way I can. I need colour in there. We already have our gorgeous pink fridge, so I've painted two walls pale pink to match and the one behind the fridge white. The fridge was a lot of occasions present from my parents to us. My Nanny had a lovely old 50's pink fridge, which was then passed on to auntie Betty. So here I am carrying on the tradition.


Wish we had spare funds to put in a ceramic sink and room for shelves too. I loved our old kitchen as we had room for the table in there. I really miss that, buns painting at the table while I cooked lunch and Mr Bun busy with the lego. After the paint shop we went to the wool shop as I wanted to get handles to finish my knitting bag. We chose these gorgeous Rowan ones.



I also had a quick look at the bargain basket and picked these three balls of wool. They were the grand price of 50p each in a wool and cotton mix so it's really soft. My favourite colours are blue and green. I'm starting a crocheted cushion cover with these and might put a flower on too.

Oh and of course I couldn't resist these cute buttons.



I adore toadstool imagery. It all started from Mabel Lucie Atwell annuals. I had one, which sadly I can't find anymore, which had that squashy yellowish type of paper. If I get a whiff of that paper now I'm back curled up in a corner somewhere head in another book. The fairies in her world used acorns as bowls, sat on shiny conkers and had toadstools for tables. I wished so hard to walk into that world and believed if I stood in the middle of a fairy ring I might find the way there. Now the buns are asking me the same sort of questions. What do wishes look like and why don't the fairies come to tea? They each have a fairy that they write to, Little Bun's is called Flora and Eldest Bun's is called Lily. Sometimes they write every night and the naughty fairies forget to reply!

It's quiet around here. Little Bun has gone back to school today. I know she should, but I like her being at home.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

A peek inside

I bought this ironing board at a car boot in the summer. I had planned to sell it on, but I didn't hide it very well. Once the buns spy something then it ends up staying here. Mr Bun is just as bad, he wishes I sold something dull then he wouldn't keep stealing the stock. So, this morning I finally got round to recovering the board with some pretty repro fabric covered in kittens, ducks and teddies. I'd also wanted a vintage toy iron for the buns to use, but in the end gave up and settled on this elderly travel iron which came in it's original tin. The only problem is that it's pretty heavy, so hopefully they won't drop it. They also have a child sized clothes horse to hang all the ironing on. When they saw it this morning they got loads of the dolls ironing done and neatly folded up in the egg basket. Why can't someone make it this fun for me?




As the light was good today, I took a few pictures of our home to show you. Mr Blue wanted to be in the first one as he thinks he's the star turn. When we moved here two years ago all the walls were a pale apricot and the doors and woodwork varnished to a nasty shade of orange. So there's been lots of painting going on and still tons more to do.





This is the first room you come into after the porch. It had the brightest red carpet to match the red tiles on the fireplace. It was one of those rooms we rushed through, but now it's painted and has reclaimed victorian floorboards laid on the concrete floor we love being in here. I'm probably going to take a bit of it over for me to work in as I'm getting fed up with the dining table.



The stairs are in this room. We can't agree about these. Me, I want to paint the treads white and put down a runner, Mr Bun likes them all black paint and patchy pine. One is a really easy option though so it's a bit tempting.




This is Mabel Angel. I first made angels for the buns last christmas and now I make them by commission. As they are more mature angels they have big handbags to keep their musical bells in.


Mr Bun has a thing for robots and Golly's. Mabel keeps some of the boys in line though as she's incredibly bossy, actually all the girls here are.


I love pinhead dolls. These three sit on our bedroom chest of drawers with the beautiful dancing lady behind.


My favourite one is in the sitting room and has a black bob like me. Hopefully more pennies will be saved and I can get some more one day soon.


At the end of a lovely weekend I made this cake for tea, decorated by the buns and now missing quite a few slices. The plates are really special to us. They belonged to my auntie Betty who was more of a grandmother to me. She would always serve traditional teas with salmon sandwiches and cream buns. On my last visit to her with the buns we ate pink iced buns off these plates, so they are now part of our important memories.


Saturday, 17 January 2009

Florence has a smile to share

Snuggling up for cuddles after bedtime stories, little bun asked me "what is the nicest thing in the whole world?" I replied "being happy" and she said "and together ........ oh and love." She is a very wise and content girl that one. Enjoy your weekend everyone.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Nostalgia

On Monday our one and only laptop went kerboom. I think it did it louder than that actually -KEEERRBBOOOOOOOOM is more precise as the hard drive died. Sigh. Then my lovely mum said she had wanted to buy one for my fledgling business anyway as a birthday present. So now we won't have to share around here anymore. I thought this picture of our Rayburn was better to look at than a laptop blowing up. So that' s the only reason why it's here.

I also wanted to show you Bobo who inspired the name I sell under and now this blog. For 39 years she has been very well loved. I have to keep re-stuffing her and patching her up, but well worn toys show how much they've been loved. I'm too much of a softie really, we have The Velveteen Rabbit, but I've never been able to face reading it as just knowing he gets lost and forgotten is enough heartache for me.

My Nanny gave Bobo to me when I was one, knitted by Great Aunt Elsie. Apparently she had the most beautiful felted outift on, but I ripped that off and lept on the sofa with her shouting Bobo. My nan made the trouser suit she's wearing now. She was my best friend all through my childhood and went everywhere with me. I took her to school every day and held her bobbing under my arm, even when the teachers told me to put her down. At night she laid across my neck keeping me safe and warm. Littlest bun cuddles her now at night, even though she is angry with me for not doing it more as she says she is mine after all. So when it came to choosing a name that summed up everything I wanted my work to be about Bobo Bun was the only choice.

The other thing I loved when I was little were tins. I remember tins with toffees in them, covered in kittens and hidden at the bottom of my stocking at christmas. I used to keep all my secret messages, buttons, ideas anything in them. Somehow I haven't lost this. Now I have so many I forget what I've put in each one, so it's always fun when I do have a peek inside and find something I'd forgotten about.

This one was from louise loves couple of years ago. It's really bright and cheery and so I love it.


I got this one for my husband as it's from Dubarry of Hove. He grew up near the factory so it was a bit of home we could bring with us. It still has the original contents in, but we can't open it so don't know what it smells like now.




These ones remind me how whimsical and fun tins used to be and just make me happy. The buns are getting a bit of a tin thing now too. In fact they're getting a bit of a collecting habit like their mummy and daddy and now want these tins for themselves.