31 August 2006


Last year it was cold in our sitting room....and the year before that....so this year we're ahead of the game & we've got a new friend....a Morso Badger to be exact. When we moved in there was an old disconnected gas fire which we skipped and then ended up sticking a chest of drawers in front of the fireplace to make it look nicer. But nicer isn't warmer and a plug in radiator didn't look too great so this year Ciaran was on a mission to get us a wood burner instead.

We took out the old frame around the fireplace....swept up a lot of bird poo....and today a nice man came and fitted the stove (bought online) for us.

As you can see we lit a fire tonight just to give it a trial run (apologies for poor pic but I was determined to get the glowiness rather than use a flash). Heat wasn't really called for on a mild August evening but we were too excited not to try! Very pleased with it and looking forward to getting cosy & toasty once the cold sets in.

Other stuff from today....I did some baking inspired by a lovely Gigibird post. There's just something so nice about cake making (this was Nigella's cherry & almond loaf)....especially when you can share it. My Grandma C came round so we both had a warm-from-the-oven-piece with a cup of tea. My Grandad C was at the doctors and he came by to pick her up after his appointment. He'd been to get some test results which I'm immensely happy to say are good....so now he definitely needs tlc & I see more cakes to come & lots of love and time to spend with them both.

29 August 2006


Music makes me happy....so do cats....

so here's a mini-post with a photo of our lovely Bosco....

and I'm counting down the days until Charlotte Gainsbourg's new album 5.55 is released on Monday. Collaborations with Jarvis Cocker, Air & Neil Hannon so I know it can only be wonderful! She has the loveliest voice....have a little listen to her single, The Songs That We Sing, on the website.

Inspiration today too from the new Selvedge....nice article on Saltwater (their clothes are forever on my wishlist) I'm off to put my feet up with it now for 1/2 hour and dream. x

28 August 2006


Day after flowers & some retail therapy was in order....me & Mum forced ourselves (hee hee!) to go into Norwich for a look round the shops. Our 1st port of call was Primark (aka Prida) for some bargains & as usual we managed to find a few amongst the v untidy piles/racks....joined an enormous queue to pay....then skipped with our bags out on to the street for an ice cream :)

I stretched the usual budget by paying £8 for this lovely print blouse which is so vintagey....has pretty puff sleeves, pleated front & gathered back....oh & nice new smell! I'm going to wear it with a tank top when it gets a bit cooler in the autumn or maybe over a long sleeved tee?

To counterbalance the overspend I picked up a v sweet jacket at £3....yes £3!! I've already worn this & am thinking of putting a little trim around the hem & some ties at the front. Last of all I got the dress....palest mint green polka on brown, the scrummiest of colour combinations....shame it's not the greatest fit on (didn't try it on in the shop) but all's not lost....I'm thinking of reincarnation....maybe appliqued on a tee or used as a bag lining.

Always a gem to be found there & on the verge of being jobless I don't feel too guilty with my total spend at £16. Back with more news on what I'm doing next soon. I now know my finish date (8 September) so not long to go.

Nice to be back & catch up on all my favourite blog reads. I've converted to Blogger Beta now & seem to be getting on ok (?!) so hope to make a few developments to NESTY in the next few days. x

27 August 2006


Apologies to my neglected blog....I have been away for a few days to stay in Norfolk & take part in a Flower Festival at a local church along with my Mum & Aunt Rosemary. My Mum has been flower arranging for years & is involved with the club who organised the event to raise funds for the church. I had said yes to doing an arrangement (my FIRST ever) back at the end of June....as the date neared though I got v nervous & began to wonder why I'd ever said I'd do it! Anyways I now smile over why I got so worked up at the prospect....I had a really lovely day, met such sweet people & it was a great learning experience watching those who know what they're doing :)

The theme was Rose Names....mine was Cleopatra. Mum did a couple & was super-organised in her preparations....pics here of her Charles Rennie Mackintosh arrangement which was fab (all props made too)....she also did a stunning Christian Dior & Princess Diana. There's obviously rules to this arranging malarkey....whereas mine was the "just bung it in & see" approach, I learned a lot from seeing how Mum & Rosemary put theirs together....so next time I'll hopefully tackle it in a new way.

Rosemary's theme was Laura Ashley & it worked out really well. Very English Country Garden with lovely props including a blackbird, trug and a dainty cup & saucer with a little bit of tea in the bottom which someone cleared away by accident :) but then replaced with a chuckle when we realised what had happened! (I actually think it'd gone awol when I took this photo!)

There were about 30 arrangements all in all & the church was full of flowers. Over the Bank Holiday Weekend they'll hopefully have had lots of visitors & raised some money to carry on with renovations. A variety of people sponsored arrangements in memory of loved ones which enabled the cost of the flowers to be covered.

So to sum up, it was an enriching experience both creatively and socially & so nice as always to spend girlie time with Mum and Rosemary too!

21 August 2006


Having a little go at uploading a photo for my profile!

....hmmm....not sure if this works on such a small scale....

May try another one!

This is my next option....my favourite peonies....with a kind of nesty theme!


I watched a lovely French film called A Common Thread (Brodeuses) - which I'd recommend to any fan of foreign films & even those who don't do subtitles....it really is a visual feast.

One of those nice slow & gentle films (though not long) and the main actress is a joy to behold....for one thing she has the most amazing red hair & wears lots of green :)

Beautiful embroidery plays a big part in the storyline & it's a real inspiration. So if you're stuck for something to rent I don't think you can be disappointed with this dvd!

16 August 2006


Jon, the hunt is over!

I'm pleased to report that today I found these for sale at our village shop....for a while now they've been on my radar since a family discussion about sweets on a road trip (with my Mum, aunt Rosemary, uncle Jon & cousin Vicky). Of course as soon as we reminisced about the delights of the Caramac we couldn't seem to find the famous red & yellow bars....until today :)

Anyways, I am pleased to report that I've just enjoyed one with a lovely cup of Earl Grey....delicious....and I don't feel too guilty because I'm off to my Salsa class tonight! For future confectionery searches I'll probably head for the aquarterof website which has all kinds of old sweets for sale & even explains what happened to those ones that seem to have disappeared! (e.g. Pacers - such a great colour scheme)

15 August 2006


Today was going to be strange....that's how I felt as I set off for work this morning knowing that I'd be meeting up with my boss to discuss my redundancy & sort out the final terms as to my finish date and pay. It's about 125 miles down to where I make my weekly Tuesday visit to our pattern cutter & machinists so I have to leave the house extra early :( and eat my breakfast in the car!

Anyways, I kind of went about my usual routine of collecting in the work/checking it over/allocating the new work but I'm already feeling detached from the company "family"....it's weird because I've worked with these lovely people for a long time (some of them for 6+ years) and today I felt like an outsider which makes me sad. I ended up making my way home without having sorted things out with my boss as he didn't have the official paperwork with him from his accountant & so I'm still in that limbo stage (what an anti-climax!) but I have resolved to make sure I get things finalized by the end of the week with him even if it's over the phone....grrrrr!

So back to the title of today's post....and I cannot go to my bed tonight feeling glum because there were nice happenings too & that's what I want to make the focus....

:: One of our machinists, Halimat, returned to work from her holiday today & brought me an unexpected gift....a 4 piece traditional Nigerian outfit....see my funny self portrait! What a lovely suprise. There's a kaftan with trousers or skirt to wear underneath & a headscarf too. Not sure if I can carry off the whole "look" but I'm going to use them as individual pieces....such cute fabric!

:: Ciaran's boss's boss brought him some jam back from his Jersey holiday....yum!

:: I had the new Toast catalogue waiting for me when I got home....if I was to live in catalogue world there couldn't be much more of a divine existence than on the Toast pages....check out their website & drool/dream along with me!

:: Last of all I got a text message from Abi to say that Vanessa (our friend from school days) had her baby at 01:15 today....7lb 3oz & a full head of hair....welcome to the world little Margot! I just LOVE that name :)

Off to bed now. x

14 August 2006


Time to get my invitation brain in gear again....our lovely friends Joe & Claire are getting married next year and I'm thrilled to say that they've asked me to do their stationery! We are going to spend this weekend with them up North, it's been ages since we last got together & I'm really looking forward to it. Lots to catch up on & I love wedding chatter which I'm sure there'll be plenty of!

So once I know a bit more information I can get going with ideas to run by them. I made the invitations for our wedding & also my sister-in-law's do last year. It's such a wonderful thing to do & I'm full of inspiration....particularly after indulging in the latest Martha Stewart Wedding magazine! I'll be reporting on the process here in the months to come :)

07 August 2006


As promised here are some of the sights I saw & sketched whilst in Norfolk at the end of July.

And here's me with said sketch book!

What a blissful week it was. I have some unfinished work (no change there then!) but who knows maybe this year I'll revisit things & maybe develop them? Or maybe I'll just look back at them to remind me of a really happy time :) I also took LOADS of photos....there were so many subjects & wonderful things at the locations we visited....so I've got plenty to keep me going until I get my next Norfolk-fix (I am officially addicted!!)


Fresh coffee & banana bread this morning....I thought I'd start the week with a treat. There's been a lot of rain in the night, it's a bit cooler & for the first time in ages I'm wearing socks! Great for the garden and it's lovely & fresh outside....

I made this cake over the weekend and it is delicious, if I do say so myself....actually it's had the thumbs up from all who've eaten it which is a better taste-test altogether! It's from the River Cottage Family Cookbook. I've actually had a successful time of making over the past few days which has been uplifting....starting with my Eiffel Tower dress with some fabric I bought on Ebay a while back.

I wanted to whip up something quickish for a birthday barbeque we were invited to and so I used a pattern from the new Martha Stewart magazine Blueprint for the Easy and Elegant Dress....and it worked pretty well. Kind of like a cute sack but it's all in the way you wear it methinks!! Perfect for my over-trousers-obsession too as I didn't have enough fabric to make it any longer. Apologies for the poor pic....it was taken rather late (post-barbeque) by the hubby, who let's just say wasn't really directorable (is this a word?!) in the realms of photo compositions!! So it doesn't really do it justice! The nice thing about it is that I'll be able to change the colour of the ribbon tie to go with what I wear it with, might be good for layering too with a tshirt underneath? I was interested to read some feedback from other dress devotees on A Dress A Day blog....and it seems like the magazine is going to be a must have quarterly treat!

My next offering is the Birthday Cushion that I made for Ruth which took me a couple of hours on Sunday morning. I had all the materials here & it was a kind of impulse make....I was really happy with the result and even better Ruth loved it too. Vintage lace from my stash with a lovely Sonja Nuttall rose patch and a sprinkling of Swarovski rhinestones. It has a deep envelope back and nice feather pad inside....I'm wondering if I could make & sell some on Etsy?

Here's to a good week ahead....