Monday, 30 July 2007

Dreeeeaaaams, dreams, dreams dreeeams........

Hey, I know this looks bad ( but oooh so good in that glass goblet! ) it's all the fault of George Dylan and the play scheme organisers. Every year they insist on taking the kids to CADBURY WORLD!It's amazing how much chocolate he brings home for a few quid. Needless to say, all the lovely dreams are over, it was nice while it lasted.Maybe I should stick to making sweet stuff, but things I can't eat like my ' Angel Cake ' using vintage material and buttons, Far more satisfying at the end of the day.TTFN, Annie x

Friday, 27 July 2007

Ye Old Speckled Hen

This is our old range in the kitchen, affectionately known as " old Speckled Hen". When we moved into our house ten years ago alot of the old features of our 1850 cottage had either been ripped out or covered up i.e. with hard board, but we could see there was a jewel underneath.
Our house sits on a hill, so the front of the house has two floors while the back has three floors. Our kitchen and bathroom sit in the basement. Where our kitchen is now, used to be the bathroom, where the bathroom is used to be the coal cellar, are you following this?
Anyway, alot of jiggery pokery went on . We wanted to find a lovely old black range to fit where the original once took pride of place so we went on the hunt. We came across the old hen in a reclamation yard in Cirencester, it was love at first sight, she is a lovely 1920's range, all brown with cream speckles, and amazingly she had been taken from a house down the road from our house, she had to be ours!
Andy put hen in, money was tight so I came up with the idea of using a piece of marble that I used to prepare my clay, this went above the range. We then used the old outside toilet doors for the surround, complete with carved graffiti from years ago and the handle to tie the airer onto. The range works a treat, but our table sits quite close to it, so it doesn't get used that much.I love it, it makes our kitchen , and I seem to have a thing for overmantels, plenty of space to put all our china and bits on. I shall do a post on the other mantels in my life at a later date, I think you can tell alot by the objects people display on their mantels, what's on yours?

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Rufus Rhinehorn

This is photo of my boy Rufus, he's half
Abyssinian ( is that how it's spelt ? ) but very Abyssinian in look and personality.
He is fourteen months old and the place would'nt be the same without him or his sister Mildred, can't show you a photo of her yet, she doesn't like the sound of my camera, so i'll have to catch her when she's relaxing.
Anyhow, just a quick preview, shall tell you their story another day.
A quick P.S. from my earlier blog, sorry JANE from "posy" spelt your name wrong xxx

What A Difference A Day Makes

Yesterday we woke to find the sun shining and not a drop of rain to be seen. Things seem so much better in the sunshine don't they?While having breakfast we listened to the local radio station to find out if we are losing water-reality check, but no, not yet.
Andy went off to work in Gloucester carrying his lunch and eight pints of water, myself and the children planned our day together.Before anything else I needed to do our laundry, normally not something i'm desperate to do but hey, it's amazing what the threat of no water for two weeks does, and what a lovely day for pegging it on the line. I love washing on the line especially all Pop's little dresses, and you can't beat the smell you get on the clothes from dancing in the breeze.
It's ironic , today we had two deliveries, one being a new hammock with a stand, mmmm , the parcel man seemed to think this would be a good omen, summer had arrived.
The second delivery was our ' The Big Chill' tickets for next week. The festival is held in Worcestershire, currently under water, so dont know what 's gonna happen there
Later myself and the two lovelies decided to take "Doris" into town to collect a few groceries. We love "Doris " there seems to be a big debate in blogland about trollies i.e. cool or not very cool , apart from being a necessity with the hills round here, they've become the thing to have and " Doris" is not alone. The picture is especially for Jayne at ' Posy ' who would love one but I think is a bit unsure how it will be received, Look , how can you resist ?
TTFN, Annie x

Friday, 20 July 2007

The end of term Festival with an indoor BBQ :(

' The Shieling School ' Festival has come around once more, this is G.D.'s seventh at the school. I look forward to and dread them all at the same time. I love seeing how much effort the children , co - workers and staff have put in to the Festival for the pleasure of all us parents, but I always cry when we say goodbye to the senior students. There are only seventeen pupils in this fabulous school, it's a very close knit community so when we lose a couple you feel like your losing part of the family.
The up side is that these young adults have been given the perfect grounding to help them through the everyday challenges they will encounter - Not too many we hope.
Anyway, the majority of the festival was to be spent in the hot summer sun, well, we all know what happened next, the most rain in July i've ever seen!So, it was spent indoors, the students taught us some folk dancing moves and each class performed a small piece. G.D.'s class did 'The Blind Men And The Elephant' by John Godfrey, it was lovely.
We later went and had our BBQ in the gym hall while the rain came down in torrents outside. We then collected all G.D.'s work from his classroom before saying our goodbye's to everyone, especially the lovely co - workers who had shared the past year with the children 24/7. Most were going back to their countries to carry on with their studies and their lives.
It took us two hours to get home, a journey that normally takes us half an hour. The floods were incredible! and we kept having to turn round and try another route, but hey, we made it and are comfortably cacooned in our little house, thinking of all the poor people who have not been so fortunate tonight. Hoping you are safe and warm this dreadful night.


Thursday, 19 July 2007

' The Angel Cafe'

Thought I would write about ' The Angel Cafe ' today. This is where a small group of us meet on Friday mornings, there's a small market where the W.I. have a stall selling cheap plants and cut flowers and a lovely lady called Mary shiner sells bric - a - brac and some real gems can be found on her stall. There is always a lovely atmosphere in town on Friday's , maybe it's the thought of the weekend stretched ahead of us?
Anyhow, we meet in ' the Angel ', we drink our favourite bevvies while the children are offered sugar free lollies and have the run of the cafe and small courtyard garden.

Angie and Joy run the cafe and are mad about angels. There are a few of us in the group who are artists but have found that motherhood has taken priority of late, we saw an opportunity that ourselves and the ladies could benefit from.We asked if we could set up an exhibition based on "Angels", they loved the idea.
This was great for me, because I had'nt exhibited or sold any work for three years!
I loved getting back into my art work, but it was quite difficult at times with looking after Pops and keeping everything together around here, but i enjoyed the challenge .
The result was rediscovering my love for printmaking and incorporating vintage finds into my fabric collage pictures. As far as I was concerned, the exhibition was a success even before the opening day because i'd managed to get enough work together and proved to myself it can be done even under difficult situations.
Poppy starts school, part time , in September ( oohh! my aching heart...) so i'll be able to concentrate on the direction i want to take with my work, wheather it's ceramics, feltmaking, printmaking or china restoration, it could be all of the above, why not? It'll be fun trying. TTFN, Annie x

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Busy Hands Make Hours Fly??!!

I've spent the whole of today avoiding something, CLEANING. I'm not talking about the usual type of cleaning that we do on a day to day basis, but the sort you do after a phone call from relatives saying their coming to visit, oooh poo! It's not that I dont want to see them, but my mother is very house proud and would give up the opportunity of a trip out so she can wash her windows, this is not me i'm afraid.

To say our house is eclectic would be a bit of an understatement, but we love being surrounded by all our "things". So, the place only really gets a good going over when we get such a phone call.

It's probably quite funny to the fly on the wall, we're usually quite layed back and do things at a leisurely pace, but on the morning of the visit both myself and Andy run around doing anything that catches our eye (we have been known to put dirty dishes in the cooker before now when the Estate Agent wanted to show someone around, how bad was that! ).

By the time the visitors arrive the house looks glorious, well, we think so, but we could sleep for a week!

I think that i'm trying to say that our house is not a show home, it's somewhere where we can all relax and play and sleep and dream surrounded by all the things that make it "home".

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

About A Boy

Today I would like to introduce you to a very special person, this is George Dylan, my boy.On seeing the few blogs I have written, George asked me why there was nothing about him on there, the truth of the matter is that I could write a novel on the twelve years we've shared with this boy, and I've been building up to it, so here goes.
George is the kindest, gentlest person you could wish to meet, yes, I say this as his proud mother, but truthfully, if you met him you would agree.
You see, George has not had an easy time of it, complications were noticed at the age of fourteen months, and it was'nt until he was four that a diagnosis was made. Basically, George was hearing too much, Hyperacusis, the consequence of this being that he could'nt talk and carried alot of autistic tendancies.
To cut a long story short, we got George in to a 'Steiner' camp hill school called ' The Sheiling School' as a day pupil, and he has'nt looked back ever since. He has such an enthusiasm for life and loves meeting all sorts of people. He amazes everyone with his ability to remember dates and can tell you what happened on a particular day, years previously!
It has to be said that he is hypersensative emotionally, add that to premature puberty( George looks sixteen ) some days can be a bit challenging, but we would'nt change him for the world and his little sister adores him, they make such a funny pair!

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

A bit confused? I should say!

Well I dont know about you, but we're gettin a little bit fed up with the state of the weather. We wonder each day, is it going to be sandals or boots?, sun glasses or woolly hats? Poppy has given up and taken to wearing both because her mother invariably gets it wrong.
We are getting a little bit concerned that summertime as has been is not going to show itself this year. This would be just our luck as we have purchased tickets for 'The Big Chill' a three day music festival at Eastnor Castle at the beginning of August, a family orientated event that should cater for all our needs and wishes - BUT NOT IN THE RAIN! I'm not an experienced camper, not with children anyway, and my mind is rapidly switching from romantic notions of little brown berry children skipping around dressed in very little, and us lazing in the sunshine drinking wine listening to great music to grey skies, miserable children ,wellies and wet bin liners. I must say, I love our climate, I love the fact we have four seasons, but I definately think our summer has gone on holiday.

Elizabeth Price 1909 - 2007

Today, I would like to do a post about someone who has been very special to myself and my family. This photograph was taken in 1927 and it's of my great auntie Bett, when she was eighteen. The story goes that her older brother Howell had, whilst walking along the river bank one day, discovered a sack in the water. on closer inspection he found four little ducklings in the tied sack. Without hesitation, he took the ducklings home to be cared for by the family. My auntie was one of six, two boys and four girls. The eldest girl being Gwynneth, my grandmother.
Now, it has to be said, the bond between the sisters lasted more than ninety years. With the exception of Gwynneth, all lived a wonderfully long life ( Gwynneth died aged 38 ). Ronwen died first aged 89, then Ceinwen aged 90, and lastly, on the 2nd of July my dear auntie Bett, bless her, left us to rejoin the sisterhood aged 98.
Now I know you will be all thinking this is a good age, innings etc. but when someone like Bett is in your life, you never want to believe it will ever end. There is so much I could tell you about this simple, funny lady, and one day I will tell you some of the little treasures she has left with me and my sisters deeply inbedded in our hearts. I just want to pay her tribute right now for being the strong matriach, who was there for my mother when things were grim, and making her home one that I shall always aspire to, my love of all things old with history has come from auntie Bett and her sisters, they have played a major part in who I am today.
Though I didnt get to see her very often, I have come to realise these last few weeks how much my thoughts return to her house, Maes -Yr - Onen, in my day to day life.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Happy Birthday Dear Poppy

Today is the greatest day, it's Poppy's fourth birthday. We had a really nice day, not earth shatteringly exciting, but lovely all the same. Andy took the day off work and after opening cards and presents we made our way into town. It's market day on Fridays and we like to go and buy some flowers off the W.I. before meeting friends for a drink in a favourite cafe. Poppy loved it, it's great meeting up like this every Friday, it's amazing how we feel enpowered to put the world to rights over hot chocolate and cake!
Later we had a birthday tea with george, Grandma and Grandad. Poppy loved the dolly cake we managed to pull together, Andy baking and me decorating,Phew! Happy Birthday sweet girl x x

Sunday, 1 July 2007

At Last....We're off !!!

Well hello there everyone, welcome to my first ever blog. I must say, it's been a bit like pulling teeth, what with not really having a clue as to how I set up a blog and the day to day running of this place, well, anyway I think I've cracked it, and here I am. My blog sat there with just it's name for company for four days while I tip toed around it, but I proudly announced to Andy that five people had visited my blog, he gleefully proclaimed that the five persons were beyond any reasonable doubt just one person, that being, ME. I think I'm in trouble.I think I need a lie down now, but shall try harder next time.
Annie x