Dec 31, 2008


Happy New Year and the best for 2009!

My daughter, Jayne, a friend Judy and I spent the last day of 2008 meandering through our midlands, gentle valleys and rolling hills with beautiful places and shops to see and delightful spots to replenish the body.

Above is a photo of Culamoya Chimes, a magical place to fill the mind and soul with its beauty and sounds.

If you would like to enjoy with us some of the lovely places we visited here is the link to our meandering.

Dec 30, 2008

Thirty Two years back...............

Yesterday my daughter and I went off to our marine world, USharka Land, at the beach front.

It was a beautiful day full of memories. We were both very emotional at the Dolphin show as Gambit , a 36 year old dolphin was the first to entertain us. This very same dolphin, together with his late partner, Purdey, took my daughter around the pool in a boat as a treat for her 4th birthday, 32 years ago. It was just so emotional to see this beautiful creature as we had both not been to the show again since that day. To add to this wonderful day, one could have a photo taken with the dolphins and I asked, after telling the organizers our story if we could have Gambit out but they were apologetic and said it would be the younger dolphins. Anyhow my daughter went along to be photographed and low and behold it was Gambit who came out. My daughter just burst into tears. Gambit is now a proud grandfather and father of five.

Dec 26, 2008

Dreams Do Come True

"If you can dream it, you can do it."

Walt Disney

"Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning."

Gloria Steinem

"Nothing happens unless first a dream."

Carl Sandburg

I am always dreaming of things - things to do, things to create, things to acquire, things to say.

My mind is a constant buzz of ideas, I know many of the things I dream of will never come true, but many do and so I dream on.

Here is a little sampler I created a while back and would like to share with you. Done in basic stitches, add a star charm, its easy to make up, frame and give to a friend as a gift.

Dec 24, 2008

Berry Smoothie -Christmas Morn

This is how we started our Christmas morning, with a berry smoothie served in tall long glasses.
I love smoothies and make them up nearly every day.
I never follow recipes, normally made up of whatever fruit I have at hand, but thought I would share how I made this one.
In the blender jug throw in
a handful of fresh or frozen blackberries
a handful of strawberries
half a papaya,
two bananas
a cup of clear apple juice
six or so ice cubes and little cold water.
blend until well mixed and pour into tall glasses. .... mmmm .... delicious.
Here is our Christmas menu:
Hot smoked salmon with lemon dressing served with rocket and shredded beets
Roast honey and mustard gammon
Roast cranberry/port glazed chicken with cranberry stuffing
Mixed platter of roasted veggies - sweet potatoes, butternut, red, yellow and red sweet peppers, mushrooms, baby marrows, french beans and julienne carrots in fresh rosemary and olive oil.
Hot Christmas Pudding with brandy sauce
Lemon swirl cheesecake
All served with a good wine.

Merry Christmas everyone and the winner ..............

of my Great Christmas Give-Away is ..............Heather from WillowLakeScents. Heather I need your postal address.

Thank you everyone for entering my give-away, I loved reading your comments.

I will have many more give-aways in 2009 so come back for a visit again.

Dec 22, 2008

Snowing in the heat.

Thanks to Lea from Farmhouse Blessings for the link to add snow to one's blog.

It has been soooo hot here that just looking at the snow falling makes me feel so much cooler.

After days of rain and so much moisture around, when the sun is out it is so humid. Today promises to be cooler and thank goodness for that as I know we are going to be busy with customers for their last minute shopping.

I am thankful for so many things,

for the health and happiness of my family and friends,

for the wonderful friendships of many years,

for waking up every morning to a new day,

for the continous support of my customers in these difficult times.

Wishing you all a blessed Christmas.

Dec 18, 2008

Only six days to .................

Christmas for my Great Christmas give-away and wow 52 folks have left a comment, I'm thrilled!! If you would like to enter my Great Christmas give-Away, you still have six days left so just click on the link and read all about it.

Dec 11, 2008

New Clothes for Santa's Helpers

Every year I hang up a line of new clothes for Santa's helpers, just incase they get theirs dirty coming down the chimney.

Tiny little knitted jumpers and suits, smoking jackets and shoes, sometimes even a carpet-bag or two - these little outfits are added every year to my Christmas fireside decor.

Dec 7, 2008

Its open ... do come in!

That's the title of my first post on my new blog, Granny's Cottage Shoppe - a blog which will feature items for sale in my shoppe. As well as items for sale there will be pieces just for you to enjoy, so do take a look at my newest blog, Granny's Cottage Shoppe.

Nov 30, 2008

Christmas Cards

Over the many years I have collected greeting cards and amongst some of my favourites are the Christmas ones.
I thought I would share with you a few of these.

I love this one with Mr goose bringing the message.

The Toy Shop has a pop-up inside, its one of those you can look at over and over and see something different each time.
Santa's face is wonderful, this is a cut-out card.

This little sweeper looks so lost and cold, you want to take her home to a warm fire.

Ah now I love the angel choir, a 3 D pop up Victorian card, its sooo Christmas.
Of course one of my most favorites is the card on my blog header, the sides open to reveal a wonderful winter scene.

Nov 27, 2008

Paint Palette

Another wonderful addition to nature's paint palette! These little nasturtions are growing in abundance in our garden, but the wonderful thing about them is the different shades of flowers that appear along the stems. The colours are so rich and varied and make a lovely little bouquet for an arrangement that last for ages too.

Nov 25, 2008

From That to This............

I love taking something that one would normally throw away, and turning it into something one can use.

Here is my Santa Cone............. this is what i did.

I used the inside cone from an overlocker sewing thread, you know those ones one would normally throw away once the thread is finished. I took a page of vintage sheet music and covered the cone. Next I separated the layers of a serviette. I cut out the picture (in this case, Santa) from the top layer and carefully decoupaged this onto the music covered cone. While still wet I sprinkled a little vintage glass glitter. Once dry (and a hairdryer comes in handy here) I sanded any rough spots (joint of music sheet) with a fine sand paper. I then oiled the paper with Burnt umber and burnt sienna, gradually aging it by rubbing the oil paint in gently. I then covered the top and bottom openings of the cone with a round of burgundy felt and finished with a trim of jute (which I aged as well with the oil paints) I finally sprayed all with a matt sealer.

These decorations make great ornament to add to a corner, surrounded by some greenery, berries and a matchless tea-light or add a thread to hang on your tree or turn into a Christmas candlestick and add a matchless tea light on top.

Nov 22, 2008

Christmas bells a-ringing............

ding, dong , dell!

Well almost, but waiting fo them to dry then I can add the ding, dong.

These bells were made on an embroidery machine then hand sewn to form the bell shape.

I have added modge podge and covered in vintage glitter in gold and silver. Once dry I will add all the trims. I am sooooo happy to be crafting again even though in small doses, its wonderful theraphy.

Nov 21, 2008

Christmas Tags

I am working on my Christmas tags, -old fashioned girls and boys decked out for Christmas and sparkling with a little vintage glass glitter.

Although its our summer time here, I always think of Christmas as a time of snowy scenes and decorate our home as such. Christmas meal is a traditional hot meal of turkey, gammon and all the trimmings.

How do you celebrate your Christmas?

Nov 19, 2008

The Great Christmas Giveaway

Well here it is my part of The Great Christmas Giveaway, hosted by Angelina's Trinkets.

I have put together a few original creations made by me, Lynda of Whimsical Prims.

"A Christmas is for Families " hand made journal -a journal bound with string and blank craft pages for you to jot down notes for all your needs to help you through the busy festive season. The journal comes in a separate cover that also has a place to keep your pen handy and comes with a handmade aged Christmas tag.

A small fabric covered kraft page note book for reminders -great to carry in your bag.

A prim hand embroidered heart with jute bow and red berries -great to hang anywhere.

One of my mini chenille stem Christmas angel ornaments with Sing & Dance and gold filigree wings.

A mini red stripe pin cushion

An original design chenille stem gingerbread man pick.

But wait there needs to be a surprise or two so that's all I'm going to reveal.

If you would like to be the winner of this Christmas giveaway all you need to so is leave a comment to this post, make sure you leave your email so I can contact you if you win.

Draw will take place on 24th December and your parcel will be airmail posted to you on Monday 29th December.

T'is the Season!

The Great Christmas Giveaway hosted by Angelina's Trinkets is a wonderful start to the Christmas season. A number of bloggers have joined Angelina in celebrating the true spirit of Christmas and I will be posting here soon all about my Christmas Giveaway, so watch this spot.

Nov 13, 2008

Have you ever.................

seen such a beautiful flower.

This fuschia plant is growing in a large tub and has over seventy flowers/buds. Its just so amazing to see nature at its best.

Do you know what its name is, would love to know??

Nov 3, 2008

Cluck-Cluck Everywhere

I love chickens, there is just something so fascinating about their simple habits.
We always had chickens of some sort around us, right from my childhood days to the days when our children were growing up.
Now I surround myself with chickens of a different sort, from trays to jugs and ornaments. These new items have just arrived in Granny's Cottage Shoppe. Now i need to finish my hand applique dish cloths -with chickens of course.

Nov 2, 2008

Spring Tea Cosies & Jam Preserves

Some of the many new items added to Granny's Cottage Shoppe -Hand Knitted spring tea cosies in a lovely turquoise shade with roses in dusty pink, light pink, cream and added leaves in moss and lime green.
The large tea cosy will fit an eight-cup teapot and the smaller two fit a two-cup teapot.
The tea cup is from the Maxwell Williams floral range. I have a set of these tea-cups in all the different florals and my club ladies get to choose their cup at tea-time.

Another range in my new additions are the delicious Hillcrest Berry Farm Jams and Preserves.
From Strawberry, Blackcurrant and Raspberry, Marmalade with Whiskey, Morella Cherry, and Cape Fig, all delicious -no preservatives or additives, its hard to choose which one is my favourite.

Oct 30, 2008

Happy Halloween Pop-Up

Have a Happy Halloween

Now you see him, now you don't.

Oct 26, 2008

Christmas Pudding Tea Cosy

I wanted to make something different this year and came up with my Christmas Pudding teacosy. Knitted in double ply brown wool, which has a lovely fleck in it, topped with cream and decorated with pinecones, berries and leaves, it looks good enough to eat.I had four of these in two sizes to fit six cup and two cup tea pots, and am now down to this one two-cup cosy, so I had better get knitting again.

Oct 25, 2008


Yesterday we celebrated our 11th year reunion of our club,Hugbeary Den.
I had started Hugbeary Den as a teddy bear club and after about four years or more of teaching members "how to make a bear", from designing a bear to full assembling of bear, we branched out to include crafts of all kinds.
We have learnt about needle felting, wet felting, embroidering, decoupage, tatting, lace making, quilting and patchwork, cross stitch, spinning, clay sculpting, knitting, scrap booking, beading, cloisonne work, and so much more. Most members have been with me from the start and yesterday was a wonderful day spent with these special friends,where we enjoyed a luncheon, photographic session for our 2009 calender, workshop and shopping.
A group photo.

Oct 19, 2008

Spring - A Feast of Flowers

"And in green Underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins"

The garden is bursting with colour, azaleas are blooming, Petra is a-buzz with bees and flowers, hanging baskets are a picture; its a wonderful time of the year to see how nature has coped with our dry winter.

" I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods,
Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook"
Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882

Oct 13, 2008

Spring/Summer Dries -Potpourri -part 3

A useful way to use your flowers for potpourri. Today I picked some spring/summer flowers from the garden. I placed these in a vase without water and there they will remain until the flowers and leaves are dry to make a new batch of potpourri. Some flowers will dry beautifully this way, without tying in a bunch and hanging upside down. I now have an arrangement of fresh flowers for quite a while and at the same time adding to my dries for potpourri.
In this batch I picked bougainvillea, green foliage which has a tiny flower and sprigs of rosemary to add a lovely scent.

Oct 10, 2008

How to make Potpourri -Part 2

Mixing your oils for Potpourri.
Your flowers/leaves are now ready. You can break the flowers/leaves up if you have not already done so, leave some buds whole as they add to the look. Lavender stems should be broken up small, again leave some small lavender sprays to add to the look.
Place your flowers/leaves into a large bowl, I love to use my large old enamel bowls for this. You will also need a wooden spoon to mix, but hands do best.
Choose your oils depending on the scents you want. Remember if you have essential oils, it is concentrated so you will need about 2 drops per cup of dried flowers.
If you use fragrance oils, it is not as concentrated so you will need more drops of oils per cup, about double. When choosing your oil, try and match the flowers natural scents as far as possible. The oils will enhance the flowers natural scents.
You need a fixative, that is something you can use to add the oils to so that it disperses better amongst the flowers. Orris root is probably the best fixative, but if I make a spicy potpourri, I have used ground citrus peels.
Mix your chosen oil into the orris root.
Gradually add the oil mix to your flowers/leaves, mixing well in between each addition. You can add drops of oil straight onto flowers/leaves but this needs to be mixed very well between each drop.
Once your flowers/leaves/oils have been well blended, place all inside an airtight container and leave to "mature" for a about six weeks. I like to open my container every few days and toss mixture around so its all well blended.
Mature potpourri displayed in an open bowl or bowl with some opening, gives a room a wonderful natural scent.
How/where to use your Potpourri.- part 3 to follow soon.
Some of last years dries.

Oct 9, 2008

How to make Pot Pourri- Part 1

There are probably many ways to make Potpourri, but thought I would share with you how I make mine.
The first thing you need are dried flowers, petals and even the leaves,stems (lavender) are suitable.I like to do my dries during our winter as we hardly get a drop of rain and air is very drying.
If you are going to dry your flowers yourself, the best time to pick them is in the morning when the flowers are dry. If you don't have flowers in your garden but would like to dry your own, buy a bunch or two from the flower market. As soon as you get them home, tie into a bunch with some raffia or string and hang upside down in a cool, dry, airy spot. If you have flowers without stems, break the petals up,or leave buds whole (I like to add rose buds), place on a sieve of some sort, preferably a large flat one, spread your petals out and leave to dry in a suitable spot. Toss them around occasionally to make sure the petals dry out all over.
The most suitable flowers for potpourri are roses and lavender, but you can experiment with all types of flowers. Just a tip here is keep the different flowers apart while drying. Once you can see which ones will dry suitable for potpourri, then you can mix them up. I like to keep my different flowers apart until I make my potpourri, that way I can mix the colours together for whatever potpourri I am making.
Here is a picture of my autumn potpourri I made last year, where I used petals and berries of autumn shades.

Your flowers will be ready to make into potpourri when the petals are crisp to the touch.
Part 2- mixing the potpourri oils to follow soon.

Oct 7, 2008

Spring/Summer's Potpourri

Today I made my first batch of Spring/Summer Potpourri, a mixture of rose, rose geranium and lavender. The room is filled with the beautiful scent but it will take a few more days before its ready. This past winters dries were the best as we had a long dry winter and not too cold.

Oct 1, 2008

Christmas is coming..... and the stockings are hung!

Well not quite hung yet, but getting ready for my three day Christmas event this weekend. These burgundy and cream stripe stockings are hand knitted and each one has a winter gathering tag. I wanted to have something different this year for stockings and thought the old fashioned idea of a hand knitted stocking would just be what I was looking for. I am cuffed how they have turned to make some longer ones.

Sep 26, 2008

Gift in Autumn Hues

Here is another gift I have enjoyed wrapping for a friend's birthday. This firend enjoys gardening so I chose a garden theme in lovely autumn colours. I use gold, orange and dark green paper tear ribbon to make the bow, added a bow in a lovely tulle with gold spots, and made a tag from the same wrapping paper used to wrap the gift, accented it with a hand drawn bug and 3D ladybird.

Sep 20, 2008

Robin's Wreath

Last spring, our family of Cape Robin-Chats made their nest in a watering-can hanging up on my log cabin shop. This spring they have chosen the wreath that hangs by our front door. I made this wreath about two years ago and it has sat by the front alcove to welcome in our visitors. The robins have built their nest right in the middle, its a lovely deep nest and unless you step right up and look right down on it, you cannot see the mother with her two eggs.
Here are two pictures, one a close-up. We are so lucky to be able to once again enjoy their activies at such close quarters.

Sep 12, 2008

Looking Back

Looking back through photos of things I created, I found one of my favourites. Its not one item in particular but something about how these few items came together, that my heart skips a beat whenever I come across this picture. I sooo.. soo enjoyed making these little characters, born out of inspiration from my first discovery of all things prim.

Sep 11, 2008

Ode to Autumn

As a tribute to one of my favourite times of year, a sort of fairwell to this years' autumn season, I have put together a collage of pictures of items I made. Inspired by the wonderful rich colours of the season, the warmth and earthiness of nature, its always been a great time for me to create.

Sep 3, 2008

New and Old

Here are more things in Granny's Cottage Shoppe.

Mum had this crystal dressing set as far back as I can remember.
The roses are this years dries.

Some new, some old. The old steamer at the back is really old but still in great condition.

I love enamelware and wire things. I also love collecting moulds.