Thursday, 23 February 2017

So long our special little Vivaldi ....

Hi all,

My regular visitors will be well acquainted with the antics of our house bunny Vivaldi or Aldi for short.  She is a regular feature on my instagram & flickr with a big fan club.

She was our first bunny and the story of Vivaldi & Fred was often featured on my blog too

bunnies-are-not-just-for-aster

and how we took leave of our Fred 3 years ago so-long-our-little-fred


Vivaldi has had a charmed life as a very much loved house rabbit - having the run of the double, integrated garage & the downstairs of the house when we were home. She came & went as she pleased - a free range house bunny who kicked up her heels, tossed things about & did laps around the living room then came for snuggles at night on my lap on a soft fleece.


Sit still Mamma ...


Always loving being in the garden ...



In a run sometimes at night so I could find her ....




Helping herself to fresh carrot tops this past week ...


Her favourite place was the carpet by the fridge where she positioned herself for greens, carrots, beans & bananas.

I came back today from a visit down south & her fabulous surrogate bunny Mum - my lovely neighbour who has 2 of her own bunnies - had been in & out to her.

She had messaged me to say Aldi had been a little quieter than normal so she had been in to her only a few minutes before I got home. I came home to find she had peacefully passed a few minutes previously.

She has now joined Fred in the garden. Vivaldi was a very special house rabbit who had a charmed, spoilt life with us the last 10 years from a tiny bunny.


Her sweet personality & mannerisms will be sorely missed, so different from the bunnies who live in too small hutches with little interaction.


This was her relaxing in my bedroom on Sunday morning x



Binky free our little Vivaldi - you were much loved & will be sorely missed.

Dee ~♥~

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Some mirrors need updating ...

Hi everyone,

Our weather has turned wet & at times wintery & after a really busy week's tutoring, I got in on Thursday afternoon & just needed to calm out.

As I popped my bags down, I passed the gold mirror in our inner hall way & I knew that was going to be my calming out project. It has been on my to-do list for ages & it just moved to the top of the list!

I keep this large roll of corrugated cardboard handy in the garage with the Annie Sloan Chalk Paints because it is a great size on the table in the conservatory.

I like to mask off the mirror to make it easier when painting & waxing ... How dated the gold looks!


First coast of Annie Sloan Old White & it looks so much better & I could paint & enjoy the garden at the same time - that is my calming mode ...


Two coats of Old White were needed to cover the gold paint, then left to dry & still time to wax it.


I clear waxed it all, then added some dark wax to the details to give it some interest, then buffed it.


Time to hang it back in the inner hallway, opposite the stairs. I always do a full length check from the bottom stair before leaving the house ...


Much better - it compliments the Natural Calico walls & looks more modern, a job well done!


Sometimes, 1 job leads to another & as I headed upstairs, I realised the two mirrors on the landing outside all the bedrooms needed to be done too ...

These two mirrors face each other & they are brilliant at giving an all round view of the daily outfit. However, the one was gold & the other was in need of a fresh coat of paint too.


So on a cold Shropshire morning, they came down to be prepared for painting.


It is nice to watch the odd snowflake drift past & the birds hungrily feeding in the garden ... 


All done,  they just need to be clear waxed then they will go back upstairs where they will blend in rather than scream out ...

Do you have a to do list that doesn't seem to get any shorter? However, it is satisfying to make simple changes that makes our space more pleasing to the eye & that we like living with.

What is on your to-do list? Does it involve paint? Thanks for stopping by & taking the time to comment,
Dee ~♥~

Monday, 6 February 2017

Love is what you do ...

Hi everyone

How soon things come around.  The shops are already full of hearts, roses & all the things associated with Valentine's Day.

I have shared my thoughts on this before

a-funny-little-thing-called-love

true-love-is-not-just-one-day

i-heart-valentine

what-is-love

roses-on-valentines-day


We don't celebrate love on just one day - the love in your relationships & life should be there all the time - in words & deeds.

I changed the conservatory sideboard for something pretty with just touches of love from favourite things at home - things that remind me of lovely, happy times that we have around us all the time. I use this favourite Rosenthal candle holder regularly - the battery IKEA candles are perfectly safe on the sideboard too ...


I have not had my beautiful cranberry / ruby glasswares out for a while - I have a few items that I have collected from various sources, including markets & charity shops, & I love the colour.  These green plates are too pretty & I think the reds need something to balance them ...


These two old cranberry custard cups were a birthday gift from Ms M last year - so lovely! The pretty little frame & cardboard hearts on the doors are from a favourite local shop - no 45


I love games cubes for lettering & these appear often (along with the glass candle sticks). The HOME blocks remind me that my home is the space where love thrives ...


Hints of beautiful cranberry / ruby glass & some favourite plates that I mix up as I don't have enough of either set.  For those who always ask about the backstamps - the red ones are


and the creamy white ones are


Both sets have the same ribbed shape which complement each other perfectly - they remind me that sometimes unlike things actually go together quite well ...


This is when I used it previously, mixed up with the matching white plates for a supper for friends - love is enjoying special people ... 


 Don't you love this traditional pattern?  Things that are all different but which come together in a pleasing way - like our families & friends. I digress ...  The sideboard is almost done ...


Favourite items with just hints of hearts


I'm sure you are not surprised that some battery lights are there too? Love in the dark ...


Our inglenook fireplace gets two strands of favourite hearts & some bright faux flowers ...



Love is what you say & do, every day of the year.  People won't always remember the grand gestures on one day, they will remember the words, deeds & how you made them feel.  This seen in No 45


Have a good week & thanks for stopping by, have a blessed time however you celebrate it,
Dee ~♥~

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Enjoying the special teas ...

Hi everyone,

Do you buy things because they look good while you are away then they lurk in your cupboard?

I am a great tea drinker - my motto is: there is no crisis that I can't respond to with a cuppa.

You might remember this visit of mine to the lovely Atkinson-tea-coffee-merchants Lancaster.

I bought some stunning teas & they have been in my special tins that A Wondering Star daughter  gifted me.


I already have a loose tea pot so I decided to use it today while busy in the conservatory.  I mixed up the two teas - Pu Erh sweet chaiPu-Erh Wellness Guarana teas.  The chai tea has a really fragrant aroma  ...

Pu-Erh(min.79%) with cinnamon, licorice, ginger, aroma, sandalwood, cloves and thistle.
All the usual healthy benifits you would get from a regular Pu-Erh but with a spicy flavour.

I had also bought some fragrant rose buds so added one to the tea too


The tea mixtures I have


Don't you just love these pretty rosebuds which are perfectly good for adding to the teas


I really enjoyed the mix of teas - I preferred the mix of two teas because the taste was more to my liking (I am a black rather than a green tea drinker) & I even managed it without milk 


I will definitely be having this again - how do you take your tea? Black, white, green, black, white? Tell all. Thanks for stopping by & taking the time to read & comment. Please subscribe to the blog too ... 
Dee ~♥~

Friday, 27 January 2017

Learning how to felt ....

Hi everyone

Winter has hit us with biting cold winds & lots of frost & fog


but also amazingly beautiful sunsets ....


As my regular visitors to the blog know, I am a great advocate of life long learning skills, like hand sewing, learning to paint furniture the Annie Sloan way etc.   I love learning new skills that interest me & who better to learn it from, than tutors who are fantastic in their crafts. I love my tutoring job, but I also love having a Friday off so I can relax, unwind, do the things that interest me, then my job does not become a chore ... 

I did a course through this fabulous local craft shop before - learning how to decoupage & learning how to crochet, including a special crochet course to do a rose.... 

When Helen advertised a felting course, I signed up straight away, especially as Helen ran it on a Friday, my day off. 

I knew nothing of felting so was relieved that the 6 of us on our course were all in the same boat. 

The worktable was set up ready with our all we would need - foreign objects but once Maxine, the fabulous tutor for the course, had demystified them, we were ready to proceed ... 


Starting to layer up our woollen threads on our block. The picture in the frame shown is one of Maxine's


 Building up the colours I want to use - delicate strands layered across the base felt square then needled in with the large round felting tool (which has 5 felting needles in it) or with the single felting needles ...


Tea, coffee & cakes arrive - thanks Helen, we are all totally engrossed in the calming work ...


Gorgeous soft pure wools in beautiful colours just give so much choice ... 


Getting there - the background is looking good, I decided on delicate shades reminiscent of heather & the countryside. Time to make some sheep ....


Working my sheep shape in to the background felted image with a single needle. The room went very quiet as we all just concentrated on keeping our fingers away from the single needle ...


Adding some more details from the beautiful wooden yarns available ...


Woollen threads to add details with ....


I decided that I wanted some heather like plants in the foreground so I felted in some tiny flowers. I am really pleased with how well the image looks. However, my one sheep has a wonky leg - but that is how he is going to stay - lopsided! 


We all had exactly the same materials to choose from & yet everyone did something different. This one was the one next to me ...


Our finished works in their little frames ....


And another one with lovely yellow flowers balancing the image perfectly. 


Our six completed pictures - all perfectly beautiful, all reminiscent of water colour images, delicate, yet detailed, tiny yet powerful!


Pop over to the talented tutor, Maxine's website - Tilly Tea Dance  to see some more of her stunning work. 

I hope you are also inspired to step out of your comfort zones & learn knew skills & hobbies, whatever your interests are. 

Thanks for stopping by & taking the time to read & comment, 
Dee ~♥~