Sunday, 25 November 2012

~To Cath or not to Cath Part 2~

Back in May 2011, I wrote about looky-likey Cath Kidston floral wallpaper and how after much deliberation I decided to spend the extra pounds on the real thing. 
So here is 'To Cath or not to Cath'  dilemma no.2 ; I absolutely love Cath Kidston pyjamas... 
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...and would dearly love to own a pair if money were no object. Gorgeous they may be, but I would feel poorly spending £50 on some PJs, it just wouldn't seem right to me- a bit too self-indulgent (and I'd probably spill red wine down them or wash them accidentally with a black sock or something)

I've spotted these looky-likey floral PJs in Sainsburys Christmas magazine...
 ...for the reasonable price of £14.  Pleased to say the OH took the (heavy) hint and has bought me them for Christmas!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

~Lovely Shop Bespoke Country~

In the Summer when we were caravanning in 'Chateau H' at Filey, I discovered a gorgeous shop in Scarborough called Bespoke Country. I love finding a shop that is filled with things I like, and just that bit different to other shops.  They do mail order too, and have a lovely website where you can buy online and pay by card or Paypal here

Image from
I bought a lovely handmade sign for the caravan and also a pack of 16 10cmx10cm Tilda fabric patchwork squares (I think I paid £4.50) which I'm just machine sewing now to make a cushion cover. I join mine in numbered strips once I've laid them out into a pleasing arrangement.  Here it is in progress...

Lots and lots to look at in this shop - vintage style interiors, handmade shaker-style signs customised while you wait, fabrics, Emma Bridgewater pottery, handknitted tea cosies, giftware, fabric, ribbons and buttons...I'll definitely call in again when we're next at the coast. They also have a blog too called 'Red House' which can be found at

Bespoke Country
18 Bar Street
North Yorkshire
YO11 2HT
Tel: 01723 378728
Open: Mon-Sat, 10-5

...have a lovely weekend, we are lucky tonight, having been invited to a friend's house who is a fab cook so I'm looking forward to some gorgeous Indian food. Not sure how I am going to squeeze in my party dress this festive season but never mind...

Monday, 19 November 2012

~It's a Cracker!~

I can't abide spending my money on things like Christmas Crackers, though the kids would fall out with me if I *bah humbug* didn't buy any.  Frugal solution follows...
Buy Tesco Value Crackers - 10 for the sum of 96p.  I couldn't buy the cardboard for that, so I thought I would use them as a starting point.
I bought 2 packs of cute chocolate Christmas puds from Co Op for £2  (I had more than enough so ate these ones that were left)
I carefully dismantled the cracker - they'd glued the cracker-snappy thing to the card so I snipped it and reglued it after generously filling the cracker with choccies...
I dispensed with the nasty plastic toy...
Added some vintage eiderdown fabric scraps, gingham ribbon and hearts...

Thrify crackers total cost £2.96

Sunday, 18 November 2012

~Simple Pleasures~

We caught up with the gardening and did some tidying and 'putting the garden to bed' at half-term. I love watching and understanding how different weather and temperatures affects the plants in the garden. The ivy has gone mad this year, the damson yield was poor and the tomatoes didn't ripen.
My simple pleasure this week has been looking at this plant in my garden which I can see from the kitchen... 8 year old Fatsia japonica.  It's an easygoing evergreen but not completely hardy, in fact 2 Winters ago it was very poorly after being frozen for such a long period.  Anyway, it recovered, and this Autumn it has been covered with flowers; these perfect little globes (or compound umbels as it says in my gardening book) which older plants tend to produce. I think it's a gorgeous statement plant with its large glossy leaves and flowers, followed by purply black seedheads.
Hope everyone has had a lovely Autumnal weekend x

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

~Forthcoming Event~

Please forgive me if you live nowhere near me, but I just wanted to publicise this local event next week where I will be having a Lavender Attic stall of Christmas handmade lovelies, chutneys, Zesty Soaps and St Eval candles.  It is a fantastic oppotunity to do a bit of Christmas shopping or treating yourself.  My friend Donna at Sugar Pie Lemon Drop will also have a stall.    Christmas Shopping Fair
Thursday 22nd November 6-8pm at:
South Milford Community Primary School,
Sand Lane,
South Milford,
LS25 5AU

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

~Busy making and crafting~

In amongst all the usual family stuff this half-term, I've made a few things to sell and also to give as Christmas presents.  I'm having a stall at J's school Christmas Fair, as well as a shopping evening in the next couple of weeks.
These brooches were made using Homemade Gifts Vintage Style by Sarah Moore . I used loads of felt, wool blankets, velvet, vintage fabric, doilies and vintage buttons.  I'm a bit too safe and precise with crafting, but I did try to be random with my fabric choices, which worked out better than over-thinking it. These will be lovely gifts along with some wristwarmers!
Some stockings made from wool felt - and I'm going to make some larger versions from a cream Early's blanket...
A hot water bottle cover made from a felted fairisle jumper (accidentally felted I have to say, but never mind)...
I love the velvet ribbon on this.  Remember to keep a look out in charity shops for jumpers suitable for felting. 
Is anyone else making their own Christmas gifts this year?
ooh and by the way, I have started work on the Lavender Attic shop, but being a technophobe it's taking me a while to plod through the process, but I'm getting there...

Saturday, 3 November 2012

~Cosy & Thrifty Door Curtain~

Yesterday I managed to get my door curtain up with the intention of saving energy through the colder months. Apparently draught-proofing your home is a very efficient way of saving appoximately £55 per year, as well as then being able (hopefully)to turn your central heating thermostat down, which could save an additional £60 per year.  See the Energy Saving Trust website for tips here
We live at the top of the street, in a slightly elevated position and get the cold air whistling through the keyhole and letterbox, despite having a modern solid front door. Our thermostat is in the hallway too, so hopefully it won't kick in as often as it usually does in winter.
So here is my thrifty version of a door curtain...
Rather than spend on a posh 'portiere' curtain pole that lifts the curtain out of the way, we used a wooden batten (local woodyard £1) fixed to the wall above the door, painted to match the wall...
...and fixed the curtail rail (simple rail approx £5 from Wilkinson) to the wooden batten - a good idea as door curtains are so heavy.
 I'd kept a look-out in charity shops for a suitable sized curtain (approx twice the width of your door) and found this one a couple of months ago for £4. The curtain is a heavy brocade, yellow/gold striped, fully-lined, and already had suitable header-tape.  As the drop was only 170cm, I added a border and additional lining at the bottom.  I already had the Laura Ashley striped linen fabric and lining. Make sure the curtain 'puddles' on the floor a bit so it acts as a draught-excluder.
Here's the snug hallway now; I promise you it's instantly warmer and looks cosy too...

 During the day it can be kept out of the way and it's easy to pull to the side if you need to open the door.
Altering an existing curtain is a good way to learn how curtains are made too, for future reference.
Keep warm and have a lovely weekend x