Wednesday 28 April 2010

Blue and white room makeover

I think you all know by now that I'm a big fan of blue and white china and have gathered quite a collection over the years. It fills my cupboards and, as you can see, I even have it climbing the walls.

This is our breakfast room (next to the kitchen) and it's a room for all seasons. Cool and calming on hot summer days and toasty warm in winter when the wood burning stove is alight.
The old pine dresser in there holds even more blue and white

and the door knob matches too!
Sadly the pretty wallpaper that has served us well for a number of years is now looking quite 'tired' and there has been much discussion for a while about whether to choose more paper or simply paint the walls white..... We've chosen and paint option and so.....

 yesterday I removed all the china from the walls and mantle.
Emptied the dresser.
 And began peeling off the paper.
The job won't be an easy one as the paper has a vinyl coating.

Removing wallpaper is definitely one of my least favourite jobs, and clearing up afterwards is even worse, but hopefully the new room will be worth the effort.
Meanwhile, I thought you'd like to see the little twins that I made with the yarn I showed you last week

I've named them Jack and Jill although they are a little too young at the moment to venture up the hill to fetch a pail of water! As always the pattern is in my Etsy shop.
Back to paper stripping........

Monday 19 April 2010

Settle to Hawes

It's always nice to get out and about and visit other folk's towns and last Friday hubby and I did just that. A forty mile car journey eastwards took us to the pretty Yorkshire town of Settle.
It's an ancient market town nestling at the foothills of the Pennines.
Settle has a wonderful mix of limestone buildings dating back over many centuries.

The town hall dates from the 19th century
The Folly (large building on the left) was built by a wealthy merchant in 1679. Last time I visited Settle it was a splendid antique shop but is now a museum.
I love all things Georgian and could just imagine myself living in this pretty house that was built over 200 years ago.
Over the years I've made a small collection of Georgian silver. Nothing very fancy or expensive. These teaspoons date from 1740.
The owners of the spoons in Georgian times had their initials engraved on the end of each handle. The letter 'C' represents the surname and the 'R' and 'I' the initials of husband and wife.
We bought the spoons from a wonderful antique shop in Settle with the equally wonderful name of 'Mary Milnthorpe and Daughters'.
I was so thrilled to find such a lovely shop that I even kept the little bag that the spoons were wrapped in. There is a picture of the shop on the front of the bag.
And so hubby and I couldn't wait to call at this little shop again .......and here it is.
But much to our dismay we found the windows that were once so full of sparking silver and gold were now completely empty. Apparently the shop closed last year after being run by the same family for 120 years. I'm sure it will be very sadly missed by all who knew it.

Back in the car we journeyed across the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.
If you are familiar with 'All Creatures Great and Small', the TV programme about the Yorkshire vet James Herriot, then you'll probably be familiar with this lovely Yorkshire landscape.
Sheep graze happily beside the road ignoring passing cars. But when a car stops and someone tries to take a photograph of the woolly beasts they immediately take fright.
We passed the Ribblehead viaduct which was built in the 1890s to carry trains across the valley. Sadly a great many labourers lost their lives during the building of this massive 24 arch structure.
A few miles further on we reached the small market town of Hawes, home of the world famous Wensleydale cheese.
The railway came to Hawes in 1878 but the arrival of the motor car lead to its eventual closure in 1959. An old engine and carriages now forms a permanent exhibit and the station has become a museum and tourist information centre.
This sort of thing appeals to me! Its a life sized shepherd, collie dog and sheep all carved from wood and positioned on a grassy island in the middle of Hawes with traffic rushing by on all sides. What fun!
There are lots of little shops to enjoy in Hawes but when we saw this little fellow in a shop window advertising Yorkshire Tea we decided it was time to head for home. What an appealing picture he makes.
You might be wondering if I bought anything on my travels last Friday. No prizes for guessing correctly.
I found a small wool shop and purchased three balls of yarn in pretty pastel shades and, needles to say, this little knitted character is now taking shape.

Wednesday 14 April 2010

A Spot of Colour

April greetings from a sunny Flutter Patch. When the sun is shining I usually try to bring you some colourful pics of our pretty Lakeland scenery or flowering plants around the garden but as you can see from this post that isn't always the case.
Taking just a short drive from our home we reach the coast. I should love it to be a craggy place with huge Atlantic breakers, shiny pebbles and golden sands. In reality our nearest coastline is more of a muddy estuary but it does have its own stark beauty.

This is how it looked yesterday and at this time of year it can appear quite grey.
The village (Bardsea) sits on the hill overlooking this stretch of water.
We pass this way occasionally and always stop to enjoy the quiet contrast with our own Lakeland scenery which attracts so many millions of visitors each year.
Several rivers tumble their way from high Lake District hills and converge on this place bringing with them the grey Lakeland stone that is so familiar to those who live in our area.
Just a few green shoots are pushing their way through last year's tangled mat of old grass.
A patch of brambles is currently looking lethal.
but it will provide copious amounts of fruit in August though will no doubt puncture a great many fingers as well.
Eventually I find a small spot of colour to brighten the scene. Good old faithful dandelions....where would we be without their cheerful yellow flowers that always manage to bloom in the most inhospitable places?
Until next time when there should be more colour to show you,

Thursday 8 April 2010

Hopeful Signs of Spring

Here in England's north west corner the sun greets us today from a clear blue sky. The birds are singing and busily building their nests and you can almost hear the flowers opening in order to turn their faces to the sun.
Around the garden the daffodils are putting in a later appearance than usual due to the prolonged snow that lasted throughout January.
Winter flowering heathers create cheerful purple carpets.
Camellias are a great substitute for roses which won't be here for another six or eight weeks.
The early azaleas have been in flower for a couple of weeks and will soon be joined by their many later flowering companions.
This hellebore is 'Winter Moonbeam' which we planted last March when it was very small and had just two blooms. Just look at it now. I can definitely recommend this variety.

Peering around the old crab apple tree I see daughter and hubby having an in depth discussion....time to investigate.
The wheel barrow is loaded with tools which means there is a 'man at work!'
This little project was started last summer. The gateway will lead through to the area where hubby chops logs and stores wood of all shapes and sizes
The inspiration came from a wonderful garden we visited last July. We both loved how the owners had used cut logs to create this wall and arch.
I fear ours won't look anything like this but we will hopefully have a loggy sort of wall and a gate that will screen the log chopping area....I'll keep you posted on progress.
Hoping you all had an enjoyable Easter.
Until next time