Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Take 5

1) I think that, somehow, I have very happy Charity Shop karma (goodness knows how this could have come about!). On Sunday, after some hesitation, I cut into a really beautiful, embroidered, linen table cloth. Before you all gasp in horror, it did have quite a few teeny holes dotted around. The plan is, predictably, for it to become a beautiful quilt instead:

One large circle for the centre

And 4 large triangles for somewhere around the corners.

Hopefully by the time it's finished I might actually have ironed it along the way!
Then yesterday, I had a very quick visit to a Charity Shop we just happened to be passing, and what did I find - a beautiful, bargain tablecloth. Bright, bold and cheerily vintage rather than delicately embroidered, but definitely still beautiful:

2) One last present from Maria's birthday I haven't got round to showing you, another circle skirt:

This is fabric from a Charity Shop find too. It's quite sheer, floaty fabric, and when I bought it I really didn't have a clue what I would do with it, I just loved the design on it. But after making the last 2 skirts, I realised how perfect this would be for one - both in terms of it's floatiness and because, though it's impossible to see from these photos really, the design is very suited to the circular cutting required.

I also had the perfect blue polka dot fabric for the waistband, this was some of my Mum's old stash.

3) No photos, but I have to share our after school excitement yesterday. You know it's something bad when your teenage son comes and finds you in the garden with a very worried look on his face and says:

"Mum, I honestly don't know how this has happened, but..."

Nothing good is going to complete this sentence! What I actually got was:

"... my snake seems to have got out of the tank and I can't find him anywhere!"

Since we have no parseltongued, glass tank vanishing Harry Potters in the house, it was pretty clear to me that this had happened because someone had not closed up said tank completely when feeding said snake the night before. But that wasn't a lot of help. Upon going up to inspect the scene of the crime, I realised that losing a snake in Theo's room, even though it is quite a large snake (well over a metre in length) was a complete nightmare. There were countless nooks and crannies where it could have been hiding in amongst all the debris. Feeling a bit daunted by searching in there, I thought I'd have a quick check of the neighbouring rooms - Sam's and Venetia's - and it only took a glance in both of them to realise it would be even more of a nightmare if the snake had slithered off to explore in either of those. So, Theo and I tried to think like a snake on the loose, and happily, after about half an hour of tidying/searching in Theo's room we discovered the snake under his sofa, hiding beneath all the scrap paper etc that was also under there. It took probably another half an hour or so to chase it around the room before we finally caught it and got it safely back in the tank - that snake is fast and can squeeze into pretty tight spaces! So, really, in hindsight our snake on the loose adventure could have been a lot worse, particularly since it had obviously escaped the night before - although none of us are afraid of snakes (especially this one which is a completely harmless corn snake), I think it might have been a pretty terrifying experience to wake up in the middle of the night to find an unexpected snake slithering across your face in the dark!

4) Still no groove found with posting photos, so a catch up here of a recent expedition with Sam. A very, beautiful, tucked away cove. After a short walk through some woods, it was a hefty drop of 240 steps down to the beach (and yes, I did count them - on the way back up!)

Catching glimpses on the way down.

For anyone local, this is Broadsands, between Combe Martin and Ilfracombe. It was a really lovely place for a swim.

Not a baking hot, sunny day, but perfect water conditions to swim out to some of the rocks, surrounded by deep water, and safely jump in. And in fact it was our first swim in the rain for the year, which always feels a slightly magical thing to do. 

We had the beach to ourselves the whole time, apart from a few visitors who arrived, and then left, by canoe. I did feel, at the start of our trek back up the steps (many of them very steep and uneven - so not great for young children), that canoe was definitely the best way to reach this beach!

But, even going on foot, it was definitely worth the effort. And happily someone had positioned a bench conveniently at the top of the steps!

5) Creativity comes in all shapes and sizes, and many different forms. I think young children are often the best to explore these many, many forms. They don't have preconceived ideas of what is an acceptable expression of their creativity. And if we can embrace and encourage their creativity, without trying to impose our own preconceived ideas and boundaries upon it, I'm sure they can teach us a lot.   We were lucky enough to have a fresh, new art installation created in our house at the weekend...

It took quite a bit of thought and some careful positioning to get just the right effect. Happily, since although it was very impressive and I loved it there were some health and safety implications here, it turned out to be just a temporary art installation!


  1. I have to comment on the art installation first - it is lovely and I think part of the charm and beauty of it was in appreciating it and its temporary state. :) The linen table cloth looks great and I am so curious to see how you work with it!

  2. Although it was a harmless snake, I doubt that I would have remained cool, calm and collected like you. I'd love to visit that beach, though. Beautiful photos, especially the glimpse on the way down. Great finds at the Op Shops. The circle skirt fabric is gorgeous.

  3. I'm quite afraid of snakes, I don't think I would have coped at all well. and that cove is so beautiful I might not have bothered to climb back up those steps, I may have just stayed there forever ! x

  4. Oh goodness, the snake, yikes! Glad you found him, and that all was okay. It will be on those things you laugh about in years to come :)

    Love the skirt, the fabric is lovely. What luck you have in those charity shops. And goodness that art installation, love it!

    Gorgeous spot you visited, I think I could have spent hours there. Sounds like you enjoyed it :)

  5. Great art installation. Jealous of that beach too, in Derby I'm nearly as far from the sea as you can get here.

  6. Oh my god re the snake! I don't think have a fear of snakes, but I still wouldn't want one on the loose in my house! And this is why I'm glad we don't have neighbours with snakes ( none I'm aware of anyway) lol.
    Your undiscovered little beach is beautiful, and I live the staircase are !

  7. "love the staircase art" - can't type lol

  8. oh there is so much to love in this post :-)
    firstly i have to say that beach, so beautiful and wonderful and english.
    M's skirt is great - i can see why you fell in love with the fabric - its wonderful - also the hair! looks fab.
    I adore the delicate embroidery in that table cloth - its going to be a stunning quilt :-)
    And the art instillation - good that it was temporary but it looked greta while it was there - im glad that my madam isnt the only ones who lays out books!

    1. oh and the snake .... im just not thinking about that!

  9. 1 Yes you do have awesome charity shop karma - you find the loveliest things and make them even more gorgeous, I can't wait to see the finished quilt.
    2 Lucky Maria and see comment about your charity shop luck!
    3 Eeek - I can say with absolute certainty that I will never ever allow the children to keep a snake - it gives me shivers just thinking about it!
    4. Ah so pretty - I love that part of the coastline nearly as well as I love the south, the beauty of Devon is it's always worth the steps or the scramble to get there!
    5. Now that's an art installation after my own heart!

  10. OKay, first : What a find with that table cloth! Can't wait to see the quilt, I'm sure it will look lovely. Second, that skirt is adorable! 3rd, the Harry Potter reference made me giggle to no end. Glad you found the poor fella. 4 : THAT BEACH! My goodness you live in an amazing place. And last but not least, that staircase is amazing. My husband and I just sat here and stared for a few minutes with a smile on our faces. Clever little people you have there!


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