Sunday, 23 December 2012

Christmas is coming....

The cards are written and posted, decorations are up, last orders despatched, gifts for friends made, wrapped and under the tree.  It just remains to say a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to my blog friends.  I leave you with a few Christmassy (is that a word?) images.

gift wrapping
red and white Christmas tree lights with simple wooden decorations
cream metal cutwork lanters
duck egg and grey tones atop my wicker hamper
cutwork lanterns and funky bauble lights
beautiful Christmas cards
 fairy lights in a glass hurricane lamp
candles and crystal droplets
 french linen postal sack gets the fairy light treatment
 little pixie waiting for Santa to arrive....
just the turkey to collect tomorrow.....   until next time Jayne x




Monday, 26 November 2012

Bittersweet Memories - The Letters

I must apologise for the delay in posting, I have just been so busy and did not want to rush this post.
It has taken me a while to sit and write this.  A slight hesitation on my part, I do not know why.  I am still in a very reflective mood looking to the past perhaps too much.  I think, in part, it is that I have been clearing and emptying my parent's house.  Finding lots of documents, photographs and tiny reminders of a family's life.  My younger brother and I never lived in the house as a family home, having both left years before my parents moved. 

I mentioned my father's letters to my mother and asked if she would like to see them.  I told her I was looking for photographs to show her when I came upon the leather bag that held those precious letters.  I have known for a number of years that my father had written many letters to my mother in the months before their marriage in October 1946. 

lovely grained leather shoulder bag

I visited my mother and took the bag with me.  I gave my mother the bag and asked if she had remembered that I had found them.  She looked inside and took out a few of the letters and a smile spread across her face.  I asked if she would like me to read them to her, she said she would like to read them herself.  The writing was very faded and some of them were written in green ink so they proved to be a challenge as my mother's eyesight is fading.  She handed me the letters and I chose a short letter to read.  It was a letter about their meeting the previous night and how my father had enjoyed seeing my mother.  It was so funny as when I finished the letter it had a funny postscript reminding my mother to water the leek plants!  She laughed and explained that she was in charge of the plants but couldn't recall why. 

my father's beautiful handwritten envelope
All of the letters were delivered by hand and this was a puzzle to me as they lived about five miles apart and my father did not own a car then.  When I asked my mother how she received the letters she mentioned that the Co-operative Society had a delivery boy who would take groceries to the customers on his trusty bicycle.  He obviously incorporated many visits to my mother's address on his travels!!


letters written on order forms, invoices and scrap paper
A lot of the letters were very long, several pages written outlining their meetings and their hopes for the future.  I read my mother a couple of the shorter notes and the twenty first birthday telegram she received from my father.  She said she would like to see the letters again and for me to read some to her on another occasion.  Her concentration wavers a lot.  She did enjoy hearing my father's words. It definitely made her smile and I am sure she was remembering that time and they obviously meant a lot to her as she had kept them for over sixty five years.

I have always had a photograph of my parent's wedding framed in my home.  My mother always asked me why, she obviously thought it strange.  I just love this photograph, they look so young, my father was 23years old and my mother 21years old.  I love their outfits, I have the corsage my mother is wearing, it is made of wax and I was told it was edelweiss.

the happy couple 7th October 1946
I am sure my mother enjoyed seeing and hearing some of the letters.  I do think it is so lovely that my father wrote these sentiments to my mother, sometimes within hours of leaving her and when he was to see her the next day.  My mother's recollection is that she never replied to any of the letters.
I particularly love the way my father signed off every letter in his beautiful handwriting -
                                                          yours till your mine - Jacky x
Bittersweet memories indeed.........  Jayne x

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Exhausted but happy.... Living North

What is it about attending a fair that is so exhausting? Is it getting up early, staying chatty and cheerful all day, long periods without a cup of tea - or perhaps the anticipation of the whole event.  Whatever it is, after four long days we are all looking forward to a day of doing very little.

Setting up went really well although it did take all day, a tweak here, a tweak there, moving and swopping of props to achieve the look we were happy with. Three of us sharing a table required a considerable amount of planning.  Having a stand in the corner of a room we were able to utilise every single inch - and that we did.  We used shelving, suitcases, vintage cake stands, driftwood, contorted willow branches and even a what not to display our wares.  Betty and Violet put in an appearance although Betty had to don a vintage garment to preserve her modesty as she was sporting only a necklace!

Violet was adorned with Gill's lovely nuno felted shawls and scarves.

Gill Pinkney's colourful quirky felt accessories
Gill Wilds driftwood fish and bird hangings
my vintage inspired cuffs and corsages nestling in a tiny tattered suitcase with dried hydrangea heads to compliment the colour palette
Four busy days followed, lots of people shopping for Christmas gifts for friends and family.  We all were supported by visits from friends and family making it an enjoyable experience all round.  The hard work preparing, setting up and taking down was all worth it.  Lots of cake, mince pies (warmed on the radiator behind us!) tea and sweeties helped us get through the event.
The Letters have been read......... coming soon   Jayne x 

Monday, 15 October 2012

Happy Days!

Happy Days indeed.  We received a lovely piece of news last week, we are to be grandparents for the first time!  Our one and only Emily is expecting a baby in April next year.  What exciting news for us all.  It has sent me into a dither (doesn't take much) and I am finding it hard to concentrate on anything! 

mum to be
Very strange how I am now noticing every baby, buggy, outfit, knitting patterns for babies, yarn!  Think I am about to turn into one of those doting grandparents before the baby even arrives!!! Congratulations Emily and Lee.
The Letters.......
I have been unable to read my mother's letters to her as on my last few visits other people have been there.  It was also her birthday so we had a tea party at our house so lots of people were here.  I am intending to read them to her sometime this week... will let you all know.
Until then...   grandma-in-waiting Jayne x

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Imogen's Wedding Revisited........

Today I received some lovely images from Imogen's wedding.  She kindly sent me four pictures showcasing the accessories she commissioned.  Here they are........

the happy couple - love the groom's funky tie
close up of hair corsage
love this photograph - so relaxed
Imogen's beautiful vintage wedding dress
I love the informality of modern wedding photographs, they seem to capture special little moments of the day.  They seem such a lovely couple don't they?
p.s I spoke to my mother about my father's letters, she would love me to read them to her.........
until next time .. Jayne xx

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Bittersweet Memories.....

I have been in a very reflective mood of late.  I am in the process of sorting my mother's house.  I have discovered lots of photographs and little treasures that have been kept for years by my mother.....

my brother and I taken by my uncle who was a keen amateur photographer
do you like my petticoat?
a lovely old leather bag - what did it contain?
my mother's 21st birthday telegram sent by my father in 1946, four days before they married
lots of sheets of paper carefully folded, some in envelopes
a tiny handwritten card which perhaps accompanied flowers
As I leafed through these papers, some on writing paper, order forms, invoices and scraps of paper, it became obvious to me that they were love letters written by my father.  I had mixed feelings about reading them as I felt they were not meant for my eyes so I read only one.  I told one of my closest friends about my discovery and she suggested I take them to my mother and read them aloud to her.  I am thinking about it, but whatever happens I shall treasure them as a little piece of family history.
My aunt Margaret remembers my father wrote to my mother often in the weeks before their marriage.   They were together for over fifty years....

I shall leave you with my favourite ted x
Jayne x



Saturday, 15 September 2012

Flea Market finds - a 'prop' or two!

I do love a 'prop' an item for display purposes. I am always on the look out for the tattered, interesting and unusual.  My usual flea market meander last weekend proved very successful on that mission.
An old and very battered suitcase bought for a song because of the poor condition......

I did say it was battered!
decided to leave all the imperfections untouched
I also bought a lovely little old wooden box, perfect to display my tags in, just the right size.  It has a lovely little paper trim around the front and the back of the inside.
wonder what it used to hold - any ideas?
a cute tin container masquerading as an envelope
I took a couple of images of the venue of the flea market, a beautiful Victorian railway station that has just been renovated to return it to its' former glory. Local people campaigned long and hard to restore what is now a metro station.

exquisite metalwork newly restored and painted
the market is on both platforms - you cross to the other side via a lovely curved bridge
the crowds rummage for a bargain
Forgot to mention, last but not least, a tin I bought at the Hexham Antiques Fair on Tuesday for the bargain price of a pound - a rusty tin, ideal for holding????? think about that later, just loved it though.

the lady who sold it to me said she remembered using it.
some things do improve with age.......
That concluded the 'prop' purchases, just busy making, making, making items to be displayed in them for Living North.  Until next time, the sun was shining today, a clear blue sky. Jayne x

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Oh I do love to be beside the seaside, beside the sea!

I am very fortunate to live literally five minutes from the seaside.  Four gorgeous beaches to choose from!  On Sunday I found myself sitting on a wall eating a cherry and almond scone in the sunshine, swinging my legs and taking in the view that is King Edward's Bay.....

It is a small sandy beach enclosed by cliffs and grassy banks nestling at the foot of The Priory ruins. In the late 18th century sea-bathing became very popular here.

it is a long way down - lots and lots of steps, not for the faint hearted!
such a lovely day, such a deserted beach!
As I was sitting two teenage boys sat down on the grass in front of me.  I was fascinated as they were identical twins with the most incredible long red hair.  It was the most vibrant and unusual shade and I thought it would make a great blog image, however, I could see the headline (woman caught taking photos of young boys!!!) so decided against it!  I did consider asking their permission but then thought what would they think of me asking "would you mind if I took a photograph of your hair"!!!
Swiftly moving on - to my favourite flea market, I meandered my way there going through the back lanes where I saw this door.....

A sun bleached door, gorgeous shades
a lovely burnt umber peeking through
the windows showed lace literally falling apart with age it reminded me of Miss Havisham
I always wonder about the story of how a home came to be so negelcted, but I did notice that renovations were under way in what I presume was the main room and it will soon be loved again.

multicoloured beer barrels, never seen pink ones before!
purple wheelie bins - yes please.
Next post will show my lovely flea market finds, a few props for Living North which is only eight weeks away - excuse me while I leave you to go into panic mode!!!  until next time hope the sun shines on you. Jayne x

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A trip to the Post Office .........

Today I finally posted my final order received at Harrogate Home & Gift.  It was an order for twenty corsages to be made in autumn and winter shades using velvet, lace, trims, buttons and beads.  The colours were quite specific and not the usual palette I work with (although a little grey and ashes of roses did somehow slip themselves into the mix!!).

a snapshot of the new rich colours

hand printed and dyed tags, labels and doilly

packed and ready to go
It is very satisfying when it is all parceled up ready just to make a trip to the Post Office, just hope she likes them!  
until next time ............ Jayne xxxxxx