Thursday, 26 May 2011

Look what my holiday dragged in...

Stop 1 - New York - for my friend's wedding

Anthropologie - Had to be done. But I managed to come out with just one item.

MoMA - cause last time I didn't even manage to see one third. This exhibition was truly amazing

M&J Trimmings - Could spend days in the place.

The City Quilter - So many lovely fat quarters! This one danced me all the way home.

Stop 2 - London - for my birthday

Present no.1 - Led to some lovely walks around old haunts and new favourites.

Present no.2 - Can't wait to start this

Friday, 1 October 2010

A Month of Little Surprises

I am definitely not one of those people that hate surprises. Quite the opposite in fact. So yesterday, when the postman delivered a soft wee package to my door I was rather excited. How could I not be when this is what it contained:

This lovely bag was made by the lovely Verity Wayne of  Made by Loulabelle and won by my lucky self on her first ever giveaway. This was back in May and my Greek adventures meant that I only recently got round to telling her where to post it to... I'm so happy I did!

And  last week, when Carmen turned up to our meeting with a bagful of jersey leftovers form me I was very highly enthused. I've been envious of the fabrics on her monsters for a while and asked her about them before so I was delighted to get my hands on them. 

Today I am looking forward to a whole other slew of surprises when these boxes are finally tidied due to the imminent arrival of the AL (who lives behind the door the boxes are piled in front of). 

They were all acquired a few weeks ago, when the Big Red Door on Lady Lawson Street shut, but it was a rushed job and I can scarcely remember what is in them. A few breakables escaped boxing and have been sitting on the kitchen counter to remind me that action needs to be taken...

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


I love my new pincushion made by the lovely, and bike loving, Penny.

Monday, 13 September 2010

A new addition

Through a series of fortuitous inheritances and ingenious purchases by my parents our family has found itself in possesion of a few pieces of lovely property in rural Greece. As children we took for granted the ability to escape to these places for three to four months a year while other city kids made do with a few weeks of summer camp. As adults we have become more aware of the work, and money, that goes into mantaining property and try to contribute our share, with varied success since we both now live abroad.

Now don't go thinking that we have half a dozen homes in idyllic holiday destinations, some are nowhere near fit for human habitation. Until recently the house my grandfather grew up in had been abandoned with the last inhabitant having left 50 years ago. Over the years it suffered cars driving into the roof , looting of most furniture and a slow but steady case of woodworm. Finally, in 2008 it was decided it was due a restoration. Which slowly turned into a bit of a reinterpretation... Land was sold, funds were raised, work began and slowly the transformation happened:

Once the building work was done by the mighty Parent & Contractor team it was time to prettify this new addition and give it some character. My brother and I decided to have more input and save some cash with this one. Both of us, while not professional, are quite handy so we left our northern european homes and arrived in Athens with tools and big plans in hand. After a few days of catching up with friends and family we arrived in Ithaki for two weeks worth of creative construction. Of course, accustomed as we have become to our city way of life we did not take into account the complexities and added expense of trying to purchase supplies and equipment in a remote village in a small Greek island. Despite the difficulties, delays and minor arguments things proggressed.

Neighbour's wooden windows (because everyone seems to be swapping aluminium these days) were recycled into a kitchen cupboard:

Bathroom furniture was built, though the delayed delivery of wood meant the sink table was not completed:

Old doors were restored:

And, finally, five lovely iron corners were placed above the door and windows where eventually the traditional grapevine will grow:

Although we did not do as much as we had hoped we did do some unplanned work while waiting for deliveries - one of which was a matress we needed to sleep on which arrived two days before we left. These were more functional rather than pretty. Like putting up shelves in the storeroom, tidying the yard from construction leftovers, fixing the attic steps in place and fitting new slats to the old iron beds.

So far I have mostly seen our homes finished due to living in another country or because I was to young when they were built to appreciate the joy of being part of the construction team. I always visit and add my enviromentally friendly touches, handcrafted decorations and strange garden plants but must confess I am now rather smitten with the idea of developing a property all by my little self. And surely there is one waiting. Though my part-time salary might not allow work to commence in the near future, it does give me plenty of time to make grand desings for this wee ruin...

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Cuteness on Wheels

A couple of days ago, after a rather exhausting cycle round Holyrood Park I arrived at home only to find that something was almost well hidden under the doormat, making putting the bike through the door even clumsier than usual. A few grumpy words later I got the bicycle and offending object into the house and discovered that all this frustration was caused by my lovely little Spin the Bottle win at Dorset Cereals. It was a copy of "My Cool Caravan" which I had completely forgotten about. So, I sat down to catch my breath with a good leaf through its pages and plans for my own little house on wheels.