Sunday, 31 May 2009

A Good Day Out In All Respects

Sonata :

Yesterday Friend and I went off to Deventer , where they have a Brocante now and then during the summer . We'd both walk over burning coals if we thought there was a bit of vintage textile loveliness at the other end !

The Saturday market was in full swing with stalls , full of gorgeous fruit

but , as it wasn't supposed to be that sort of day , we only admired . Going round town with paper bags full of soft fruit , gently turning to jam in the heat , isn't a good idea ... and I had my best jacket on .

So we wandered on , through narrow streets , full of impressive buildings ,some strangely French looking

while others in their lopsidedness could only be found here

and this is a town where it pays to look up ....a lot of the old front doors have beautifully decorated windows above them

A small Brocante this time , but some very pretty stalls , with surprisingly reasonable prices , round a big old church . We were very restrained but did acquire the odd thing , telling ourselves that we'd probably never get the chance to buy anything like that again . ( Have I mentioned that Deventer only holds five of these events a year ? Plus a giant Book Fair , quilt shows and assorted Flea markets and is pleasantly full of Antique/Curiosa shops ) .
Feeling rather hungry , we found a table in the sun , which we promptly abandoned for one with a parasol in the interests of drinking our beer cold , not boiling .The Artichoke salad was said to be delicious and my Mozarella and tomato roll had all the right trimmings . Rocket , Balsamico and a smidgeon of good pesto . A lady-like lunch , bearing in mind that one was wearing one's best .
Then we strolled round the old shops , admiring all the prettiness on display . And found even more vintage buttons

Friend is such a good companion on these occasions . Like a truffle hound in haberdashery hunts and every bit as keen as me , but less greedy and less tempted to scoop all on offer into a bag and run off with it ! Careful choices were made and only these came home with me . So if you find the right antique shop near the Square in Deventer , ask to see their buttons and the owner will unearth a couple of big tins and tip the contents onto a huge tray for you .
I think we left some .....

A most satisfactory day . Home to greet husband who'd just spent 24 hours travelling back from France via bus and a train service with built-in hiccups and was in need of a meal and lo-o-ong stretch .Why does he do it that way instead of by TGV ( sort of bullet train ) ? He's beginning to wonder himself .
Now back to some sewing . But what ?

Friday, 29 May 2009

A Very Dapper Giraffe

Sonata :
Another day , another random photo

I rescued this chap once , when no one else could be bothered to give him a home . He now lends a certain tone to our workplace . Not that he's grateful or anything .

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Holding The Fort

Sonata :
Smitonius is very , very busy at the moment ..... blogging is a luxury that she can't allow herself for a week or so.
So I'm left holding the fort . Do any of you remember those rather odd little documentaries they used to put on television if ever the scheduled programme conked out for some reason ? It always seemed to be " The Potter's Wheel " . Though there might have been one about the Mail train to Scotland , as well .
Anyway , this is my version'll get the odd totally random photo from me till Normal Service Is Resumed .

Not having any of a potter's wheel , I thought you'd like to see our local museum's shutters .

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Lots Of Of Blue Lately ....In A Good Way

Sonata :

Just wanted to share this with you .....

Everywhere I looked the last few days , I saw beautiful blues . So I've made a collage from some of this weekend's photos

And then thought you'd like to see this too ..the bluest button I think I've ever seen !

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Art Deco For Miners


Another day off ..... the Public holidays come thick and fast at this time of year ......... and in theory , I was supposed to be tidying up . Well , it started off reasonably enough . Then I kept finding things I'd forgotten about .
Like a bound collection of Steenkool for 1947 . It was the official magazine for the Dutch coal industry , with not only dry production statistics but also articles about Saint Barbara , the patron saint of mineworkers , stories for children , recipes for camping holidays , sport , gardening , chess . And , of course , advertisements

For the ladies of the house

For the houseproud

And for the miners themselves

It's a fascinating mixture But the one at the top is my favourite .

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Another Lazy Weekend


Saturday night was devoted to Eurovision , of course . Unmissable , you'll never see that much glitter anywhere else . The songs are not what it's about really .....and I say that as the only member of the school choir who mimed most of the time . Well , I couldn't cope with the descant bits and the nun in charge , Madame Alexander , a lovely woman , but deaf to opposition , brushed off my pleas for release with her usual "Nonsense , just Concentrate ! " Well , they concentrated last night , most of them . But I think I've seen enough people giving it their all for a while .

On my own this weekend so lunch at the computer

Today it's my version of the Low Fat Oat Scones that Smitonius bakes . No , I haven't burnt them . I used wholemeal flour and replaced honey with molasses because that's what I had ... then ate them with butter and cheese . Delicious ! With Tregothan Earl Grey tea ( their website is and they grow lovely tea in Cornwall , which they then blend with Indian tea . They're descended from the Earl Grey the blend is named after . )

I spent the rest of the day pottering about and sewing ..I even managed to sew something round ! I found a small piece of gold cotton sateen and made another pincushion , trimmed with some old French ribbon that I'd had for ages . What with that and enjoying " Châles de Russie " , a beautiful book on 18th and 19th century shawls , published in 1985 by Editions d'art Aurora in Leningrad , I haven't minded the driving rain outside

But next weekend I'd like to sit here and bask a bit if I can ..... it's not mine, unfortunately, but I'll just pretend for a while and watch the boats go by .

By the way , re. the last post from Smitonius , that was just the tip of the iceberg . We are , as a family , given to hoarding .

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Unpacking Red Riding Hood again!


Finally, after almost a year of saving our pennies, sorting out a lot of junk, changing our minds about the design, and redecorating the spare room... it is becoming the study again! On Tuesday two very nice men from Neville Johnson rolled up and fitted two matching desks and shelves. This is my desk:

Before it becomes heaped with piles of books and paper, I thought I would unpack some of my collection of Red Riding Hood and personalise this study area.

Now I have no excuse to get cracking on with writing up my research!
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Wednesday, 13 May 2009



Guess what I wasn't doing today .....

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Button Mania ?


I strongly refute any suggestion that I am in the grip of button-mania

I also sew ..................... with the occasional button , it's true

Now and then , there's a miniature quilt ..........

But I do have to admit a certain concentration on them of late . As I cycled past a field yesterday , I was reminded that I really must go to the hairdresser

And is there a Flickr site for Surprisingly Large Domestic Cobwebs ?

Friday, 8 May 2009

Let me eat cake!


I have been on a low-fat diet for a couple of months, due to suspected gallstones (now confirmed, so into the operating room at some point).... although I mostly miss cheese and eating out in restaurants, it has been a great way of loosing weight and finding new recipes. I do not normally crave for cakes or puddings, but the other day I surfed the net to find a recipe for a low-fat scone or a muffin. What I found instead was this tasty recipe: low fat honey oat scones.

The only extra ingredient I have used is a spoonful of 'mixed spice', and did not use 'egg substitute' but 2 eggs. It is very tasty indeed and so quick and easy to make!

Sonata, currently gripped by button-mania (I am envious, as she seems to find some really nice ones over in Holland!), sent me a little button parcel this week (thanks!). One of the buttons inspired me to make a bracelet or two using some indigo hand-dyed beads from my stash. That white glass Art Deco polka dot one in the middle was in the package, don't they look summery?:

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

I Want A Bit Of Colour Today .


I want some colour and pizazz today . The sun's not shining and it's grey and cold . Perhaps I should have bought these chairs I saw last week at a flea market ?

Or I could perhaps ask the artist responsible for this beautiful piece of grafitti in town to paint something on the walls of our hall ?

But , meanwhile , I'll make do with making cheerful pincushions ( soon to appear in our Etsy shop ) .... and admiring my buttons .

Friday, 1 May 2009

Painting? Hatching? Eating!


On Sunday we went up to the Alexandra Palace market to have coffee, people-watch and buy vegetables and other goodies. The sun was shining and everybody and their dog was out:

This market does not only sell food, as the odd creative stalls can be found too - such as this one which sells wooden animals and seats:

And a yarn seller is regularly there as well, Silkwood yarns. This time I couldn't resist a skein of handspun silk:Aren't the colours pretty? We also bought the large goose egg, which the seller packs up for you in a plastic carton with straw (for some reason). As we sat and had coffee a woman asked me, 'are you going to paint it?'... and I said 'no'. A little later on, the venison seller asked me 'are you going to hatch it?'... I said 'no. We are going to eat it'. And, dear readers, we did... very tasty it was too.

Oh, and on the way home, we stopped off at a little antique shop... and found these cute vintage salt and peppers...