Interview with yours truly

Just a quick post to give a little toot on my own trumpet and let you know that I’ve been interviewed by UK Handmade. This brilliant online magazine is a great resource for everything that’s going on in the handmade scene and I am now an official member of the editorial team!
So if you’d like to find out a bit more about my career and why I love handmade among other things, please go and have a read here
PS Dont forget my gorgeous giveaway featuring From the Wilde. You can still enter here


Cheapskate flowers #2

Forget-me-nots are sooo pretty aren’t they? That perfect delicate shade of blue and the tiny contrasting dot of yellow at the centre. But they are in fact, shock horror, a weed! This brings to mind that scene from the cartoon version of Alice in Wonderland when the bitchy flowers are sniping at the Dandelion. Who cares, a weed is just a flower by any other name really!
Anyway I came across a load of Forget-me-nots growing wildly across the wasteland of a car park at the weekend and decided to pull up a couple of good handfuls by the root to re-plant in our garden. They’re really good self-seeders you see and I want to introduce some nice spring-like wild flowers. I saved a couple of stems to bring indoors and cheer up my bedside table. 
What do you think?


A Week in the Life

So that was the week we went to Whitby. Okay technically it was last week (but we were still there on Monday so that’s why I’m blogging about it now – that, and the fact that I really wish we had been there all this week.) 
I’ve officially fallen in love with Whitby all over again. My mum and dad used to have a caravan permanently stationed on a site near Whitby and so I spent many a long weekend there. At the time I probably didn’t appreciate peering in shops at jewellery made from Jet or making the pilgrimage to the kipper shop. I was far more keen on securing my next ice cream and trying to drag my ageing parents up the 199 steps to see if this might be the time I could spot Dracula’s grave.
The photo above could have been taken about thirty years ago, save for the fact that the cars are a bit different and the blond haired kid isn’t me, it’s my son Charlie. But everything else seemed so familiar and evocative of my childhood holidays, I had quite a flood of nostalgia I don’t mind telling you.
Whitby is even better than I remember. I’m not sure how it’s changed (maybe a little more eclectic or cultured slightly) or is it just me that’s grown to appreciate these things more? Let’s be honest, I don’t need much persuading to dawdle up and down cobbled streets looking in lovely shops and scoffing fish & chips these days. And, oh how I did!
Ho ho ho!
And then we did a coastal walk, to blow the cobwebs away and breathe in that sea air! Is it just me, or does a wild and rugged coastline bring out the inner Enid Blyton character in you? Not even a little bit?
The mister wore his weather t-shirt. Most of the time it was an accurate reflection, although Sunday was a scorcher so we headed down to Sand’s End to play at the beach.
As I am one to do, I also spent a lot of time supping the drink that cheers but does not inebriate.

One of the best places to do this is Marie Antoinette’s tea room, where the family left me in peace for a blissful half hour and ‘let me eat cake’ (geddit).

 It has to be said, it was the BEST lemon drizzle cake I have ever tasted (and I’ve had a few in my time). The place is also decked out in a cute, chintzy fashion spread across several floors. Look what I found on the first floor – a lovely little collection of teapots, which rounded off things nicely!
What are your favourite things to see and do in Whitby? I am already planning my next visit so please let me know if I’ve missed anything essential.


Retro holiday

For me, part of a good holiday is staying in a nice hotel or B&B that offers a real experience in the way that it has been designed and furnished. Obviously comfy beds and mod cons (or as Blackadder would have it ‘soft tucker, tasty beds’) are very important too. But it’s lovely to have a break from the same four walls of your own place and be inspired by the decor around you (at least until the kids wake up).

A friend of mine recently suggested somewhere to me that definitely ticks these boxes. The Garden House Studio is a small, self-contained holiday let based in Lyme Regis on the Dorset coast, which has been lovingly furnished in the mid-century style, beloved of the owners. In fact they love seeking out design classics so much, they operate a ‘try and buy’ service where you can purchase some pieces for yourself! See anything you fancy?


Finders Keepers

Last weekend we went to Whitby for a little last minute break (I will be boring you all with cheesy snaps in a follow-up post soon).Why is it that things are so much more exciting when they’re a bit spur of the moment? Anyway, this was definitely impromptu as the mister booked it on Thursday and we set off for the coast on Saturday morning, bound for our little caravan with a sea view. And why is it that purchases made on holiday are even more special? And justified for that matter – “I’m on holiday, it is my duty to buy stuff!
So it is a truth universally acknowledged that charity shop finds on holiday are even more exciting than most!
As a few other wiley thrifters have previously commented, it pays to extend one’s hunting ground and Whitby certainly does a lovely line in charity shops. In fact, I think I found my favourite ever charity shop. The Save the Children branch in Whitby is amazing, not least because it has received the Mary Portas treatment. Fans of the one woman show will remember the series where she tackled charity shops and the new and funked up store design she developed for her chosen charity Save the Children. The London store was so successful that the scheme was to be rolled out gradually nationwide. But I’ve never seen hide nor hair of it until now.
Well the Whitby shop was rocking that new look with magazines and books laid out on tables Borders-style, shoes interspersed artfully with cool crockery and fab wall mounted bric-a-brac. Sadly I wasn’t able to take any photos but if you get the chance you should check it out. I even managed to pick up a great Duffer of St. George jumper for the mister.
In all the excitement of posing with the new glasses in my last post, I forgot to mention that I was wearing my new charity shop find (en vacation). It’s from Gap and was clearly unworn and a bit of a snip at £3.50. I teamed it with my little denim shorts (I’m going through a bit of a shorts phase), which also happen to be a charity shop purchase from last summer (George at Asda, 50p).
Oh and I know it’s not second-hand or from a charity shop but I also found this cute little coaster in a gift shop, which ‘spoke’ to me. It now resides comfortably on my desk, usually under a mug of tea.