Saturday, 27 August 2011

Pinned from Etsy

I have been feeding my Pinterest habit today with delights found on Etsy. I thought I'd share a few of these with those of you who may have yet to discover the visual feast that is Pinterest [warning: it can prove addictive]

*I bought a couple of Merritt Hyde items for Christmas last year - a dragonfly for my mum and a fabulous Christmas decoration for George (I try to buy him a new decoration every year) - they were a big hit.


PS if anyone fancies joining pinterest, I am able to invite friends!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Sunday night

George, my 8 year old son, decided that he would really rather like to make some money for himself by selling off his old our front garden. so, George's Marvellous Book Sale was born...
The sale went really well and, not only has he managed to pay off the cost of his new scooter helmet, he also has enough to buy some new fab and groovy grip tape! Lost? Me too! All we really need to know is that he is one happy boy and I've successfully rid the house of 2 more piles of 'stuff'. You know, 'stuff', the infection that spreads through any ordinary household filling up cupboards, drawers and shelves. I am waging war on our 'stuff' and it's starting to work - I can spot actual gaps on shelves and can even see the floor of the spare room now. Result.

What with putting all the photos of the books of Facebook for friends to view and reserve, pricing them all up, painting banners, stringing up bunting & balloons and setting up the tables with the books...oh and 3 hours in the park whilst G tackled the ramps (I wouldn't look - didn't dare)'s been a busy and full weekend.

But tonight, this lovely Sunday night, G is bed...the OH is fast alseep on the sofa due to an afternoon with pals watching I'm having a 'me' night. Heaven. I've plucked my eyebrows, filed my toenails, filed and painted my finger nails, eaten a Cornetto, caught up on Sky+'d programmes, changed the bedding (clean sheets rock my world) and now I'm messing about on my laptop. Like I said...Heaven.

Happy Sunday night folks

Friday, 12 August 2011


This little bird is one very proud, puffed-out-chest little bird - on account of having her first ever bricks and mortar stockist...oh yes.
You can now find Ditsy Bird stitchery goodness at The Stalls in Harrogate, thanks to the lovely Natasha (and she really is lovely).

photo from The Stalls, Facebook page

If this is the first you have heard of The Stalls, my friends, then you are missing a treat. I think Curator, rather than Shopkeeper would be a better way to describe what Natasha does...there is a wonderfully varied, carefully chosen array of handmade delights to be found...and in a fantastically airy space. I have visited twice and still found new products on my whirl around today, and am sure I will spot more next time. 

photo from The Stalls, Facebook page

Not only are the designers varied but so are the products...jewellery, art, greetings cards, dolls, scarves, bags, pinnies...textiles, woodwork, printed work, shrink plastic, paper goods...I could go on but instead, I'm going to let you explore for yourself. Wander around listening to the music playing in the background, and admire the work that has gone into each and every is truly a treasure trove! And better still, there's a little cafe* next door where you can sit outside and have a coffee whilst gazing at the products in the window and relishing in the purchase you have made :) 

[As Natasha deals personally with each designer/maker, she is the perfect person to chat to if you are looking for something a little bit different, or maybe something bespoke for a special occasion.]

3 Bower Street,

Opening times are:
Tues 11-5
Thurs&Fri 11-5
Sat 10:30-6

* I have yet to try this cafe but I'm hoping to give it a whirl next time...

Friday, 5 August 2011


I sat in the garden this evening, reading blogs and reflecting on the lovely day we'd had.

Nothing ground breaking (and maybe that was the charm of it all), just the ticking off of chores and the relaxing with good friends, listening to children's giggles and supping loose leaf Darjeeling tea brewed for precisely 3 minutes, black, with one sugar*.

It's the simple things that can often make the biggest impact on your day.

[*as recommended to me by the lovely @mysecrettearoom on Twitter and brewed perfectly, for my first ever taste by Rachelle - the lovely, kind hearted Rachelle - of the Secret Teacup @secretteacup

follow the Flickr trail

Someone added me as a contact this week so I thought I'd take a look at their photostream, and that's where the trail started...

where will the Flickr trail lead you to today?

**edit: links now added to the photos Sx

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Hebden Bridge - a hidden gem

how picturesque!
[well, hidden to me anyway - down in the valley, tucked away...what a wonderful place]

I had a lovely day out in Hebden Bridge with my equally lovely and smashing friend, Nina, of Little Blue Elephant was the last Friday before the school holidays kicked in, and the PERFECT way to refresh ourselves before the onslaught of picnics, parks, days out, 'clean your bedroom!' and so on and so forth.

It's also far easier (and quicker) to get to than I've ever realised....we never seem to travel in that direction. Funny that. When I think about it, we always 'head off for the day' on particular roads and in certain directions. Usually towards Clitheroe, Harrogate, Ilkley or up t'Dale. I think there may be lesson here in taking the road less traveled. 

Down we dropped into a beautiful scene of stones houses, shops, cafes with a river running through, and very easy parking. And cheap! 40p an hour! You don't get much for 40p in Skipton these days, not for parking anyway.

knitted cupcake bunting

Then is was simply a matter of where to begin - it all looked so inviting and cheery and, well, welcoming. There's a really artistic vibe about the place what with buskers striking up as we were's also fairly bustling but never seemed busy...just lots of people going about their business.

We started a general mooch that last until pick up time, involving shops, a gallery, a spot of lunch and ribbons!!!!


Honestly I could have spent a whole lot more than I did, but I was being very careful with my pennies. Stepping inside the Heart Gallery was the surest test of my willpower,! It is truly beautiful. A fabulous space for displaying some of the most wonderful handmade work around at the moment...many names you will have heard of, and many more you will want to know. There is a general sense of ooh & aah about the place, and the credit must lie with Alison the owner...sadly not there on the day we visited but you can tell that Alison loves her place and is passionate about what she does, just by the way everything was presented...and the feeling of calm that falls over you as you walk through the door. I could have spent a good deal longer in there just admiring the workmanship and design of the pieces on display.

I came out with my pennies intact and a firm 'note to self' of... this is where to come for Christmas pressies...for me ;)

cracking window display

Nina and I also stumbled across haberdashery heaven and a brilliantly chatty shop owner at Ribbon Circus...great fun and very knowledgeable to boot! We'd have been hard pressed to have found a cheerier shop keeper that day.

A leisurely lunch, sat outdoors in true cafe culture style, finished everything of perfectly...then we sauntered back to the car, promising ourselves that we'd be back again to do the other half of town another day.


please excuse the pics - I forgot my camera so had to make do with my trusting iPhone

♥♥♥Little Blue Elephant Cuteness♥♥♥

•••new in at the Ditsy Bird shop•••

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

a trip to Masham

a lovely Masham house
so there I was on Saturday morning, frantically taking product photos whilst the sun shone (blazed actually but that's just being picky) and my other half says, fancy a night away?
I was fairly non-committal in that 'we haven't been getting on well this week and actually can't you see I'm really very busy?!' kind of way, and kept on with my snapping.
About an hour later he was back suggesting a trip to Masham, by which time I'd warmed to the idea a little more (the picture taking was going great guns) and had actually warmed through myself - there's nothing like the warmth of sunshine on your skin to raise a girl's spirits.
beautiful gateway in Masham
Next thing I know, he's found a bargain B&B deal on late rooms and I now realise that it would, frankly, be churlish to say no and pass up a trip out on a day like that, to be, instead, sat indoors editing photos!
So that was it, night booked, stuff quickly chucked in an overnight bag, shades on, tunes blasting, roof down and away we went.

tree tunnel!
It was perfect! Just what we needed to shrug off the nowtiness of the previous week.
We stopped off on the way at a pub with one of the most fabulous beer gardens I have ever had the pleasure to sit in...a tiered affair down to a river view. Gorgeous!

what a glorious view
Next stop, Fearby...home of our, erm, home for the night and The Black Swan pub. Now if you happen to go there and then drive round the back to find a g't field full of caravans, fear not! They are very pleasant caravaners☼ creating a lovely, happy atmosphere in the beer garden and pub as you sup and scoff.
We got shown to Room 1 which was luverly and new and clean and biiiiig!

huge bed
We then oohed and aahed a bit before dumping our stuff and heading back out for a quick hour or so mosey around Masham.

What a delight!

Such a pretty, pretty village with beautiful homes and buildings, good pubs, a sweet shop, wine shop, butchers oh and, erm, a brewery or two.

The first visit was paid to The Gallery - with a fabulous exhibition currently showing called Impression: "An exhibition of work from 5 printmakers. Impression showcases extraordinary talent in different areas of printmaking as well as a range of striking images. Artists are: Hester Cox, Janis Goodman, Helen Peyton, Angie Rogers*, Catherine Sutcliffe Fuller"
*I was really very taken with Angie's work. Really.

The Gallery
The Gallery also have a regular stock of pieces, some of which by lovelies you may have heard of...Leigh Shepherd and Helen Russell (Mercury Arts) to name but two.

After perusing and drifting away into creative nirvana, I was quickly snapped back by the need for cash...the Co-op is the place to go!
full to bursting window box of joy
which quickly lead to us wandering down a snicket and ending up at Theakston's Brewery, with half a Lightfoot. Well, it would have been rude not to.

rusty old barrels

More wandering was the order of the afternoon along with another sunshiney beer garden and then it was back to The Black Swan for us.

There we sat in their beautifully scenic beer garden, reading (him the papers and me Mollie Makes), chatting and plotting & planning for our future before disappearing inside for a slap up meal before bed.

view from our spot in the Black Swan beer garden
A leisurely drive back the morning after, passing many vintage cars all out for the day, stopping off a Pateley Bridge & calling in to see rellies finished it off perfectly.

the market square, Masham, looking skyward

And then it was back to the photo editing, feeling happy and content and loved. I am a lucky bird.

PS ☼I have nothing against caravans or caravaners at's just that, when you've booked a night in a remote pub and you tip up and find a (big) field full of caravans and motorhomes and not just the 12 en-suite rooms you'd heard of,'s a shock!