Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Dartmoor Wildlife

 Some of my 'arty farty' photos from our Dartmoor visit yesterday. Hope you enjoy!
( for more of my photography have a look at www.flickr.com/photos/kittybecs )

Autumnal Walk on the Moors

That is Burrator Reservoir in the background
Me & The Boy looking windswept!

Bronwyn posing on the top of the Tor
We went for a lovely walk on Dartmoor yesterday - one of the perks of being at Mum's house is having the moors on your doorstep! It was a cold & blustery day, perfect for blowing away the cobwebs - Halloween pun intended! The autumn colours were well & truely out, with the heather glowing a burnished copper against the grey granite rocks. We walked up to one of the tors with Bronwyn making good use of her hand knitted jumper and snuggly coat!

My coat is - rather unbelieveably - my first ever parka coat. I've always liked them, but never founds quite the right one for me. This beauty came from Matalan, and it's beautifully warm with it's furry lining. The green fabric is lovely and soft, I just adore the furry hood, and it's just the right amount of slouchy - heaven in a coat!
Hood up against the wind!

Bronwyn rocking her tartan coat - it's all about the co-ordination you know!

Sunday, 28 October 2012


At the weekend I went to Berkley with my friend Daz and his two gorgeous children, and officially my two favourite people in the universe, William and Josie. We had a nose around the church and graveyard, the children spotting evidence of "egyptian mummies" apparently! Berkley castle is usually the big attraction in the village, but the church is beautiful too. The doors have axe marks and bullet holes from when the building was under seige and while it might seem morbid I think a hunt around a graveyard is always interesting.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Do Do Denim!

 This denim shirt arrived in the post today - I'd almost forgotten I'd ordered it on ebay all those weeks ago! It's a H&M fitted shirt in a lovely soft denim. I have a feeling it's going to be a favourite this autumn, I can see this shade of blue going with lots of items already in my wardrobe. 

The trousers are silk and vintage - I got them from a stall at Larmer Tree Festival this year. 

(Bronwyn insisted on being in the photos. But then I figure any photo with Bronwyn in is a better pic!)
Shirt/ H&M via ebay, glasses/ Glasses Direct, scarf/ vinatge

This is my living room - complete with far too many books! Welcome to my house!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Apple Chutney

My friend Rachel found this recipe in a National Trust cookbook, so it's good old fashioned English food! I was given a huge bag of windfall cooking apples by a colleague at work, a great perk of living in the countryside! I love that people around here tend to share their surplus fruit and veg they've grown, and the jams, jellies and chutneys they make with the autumn produce. It all feels very 'Good Life'!

Cliveden Apple Chutney

225g onions, peeled & finely chopped
700g cooking apples, peeled, cored & roughly chopped
600ml malt vinegar
350g soft brown sugar
100g saltanas
15g mixed spice
15g sea salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Cook the onions in boiling water for 5 minutes to soften them, then drain. Place all the other ingredients in a large pan, and add the drained onions. Bring to the boil very slowly, stirring continuously until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, until thick, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. 
Pour into warm, sterilized jars, seal and store for at least one month before using. 

Thursday, 25 October 2012


 Feeling kinda French today! I love this skirt I got in Zara, grey just goes with everything, and I love the midi length. Zara clothes are beautiful, but are often a weird fit for my curvy body shape. Plus I find a lot of their clothing too expensive for what it is. But this skirt I've worn loads of times to work, so working on a 'price per wear' basis that makes it a bargain!

The top is a charity shop find that I then customised with lace. All the girls at school kept asking me where I got it from - hope I inspired them to try some making & customising at home!

Oh, and I've gone super dark brunette. Apparently it's 'Rich Chocolate'.... Hmmmm, I'm not sure if it's too dark! Opinions?

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Banana Loaf

I made this at the weekend, it's the perfect way to use up bananas that are past their best, and it also stays lovely & moist for quite a while. Perfect with a cup of coffee & a good book on a rainy weekend!

Banana Loaf
140g butter , softened, plus extra for the tin
140g caster sugar
2 large eggs , beaten
140g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 very ripe bananas , mashed
50g icing sugar
handful dried banana chips, for decoration

1.Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter a 2lb loaf tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment.
2.Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then slowly add the eggs with a little flour. Fold in the remaining flour, baking powder and bananas. Pour into the tin and bake for about 30 mins until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then remove to a wire rack.
3.Mix the icing sugar with 2-3 tsp water to make a runny icing. Drizzle the icing across the top of the cake and decorate with banana chips.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Oh you beautiful thing you!

Here it finally is, in all its vinatge glory, the gorgeous bag I bought in Glastonbury from The Vintage Hideaway. I absolutely love it, and at only £15 I think it's rather a bargain!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Maroon Moment

An entirely homemade outfit today... Well, clothing-wise at least! I'm not making my own shoes... that would be truely dangerous! But this top & pencil skirt were both made from very cheap offcuts. I got the maroon tweed on ebay for a few pounds and the floral cotton came from Totnes market for £3 - and I managed to make a skirt from it too! Absolute bargain!
I'm not properly dressed if I don't have an oversized ring on... Preferably a tacky one!

How fabulous are these shoes?! The Boy gave them to me for my birthday last year. They're perfect for winter and really comfy to walk in, despite the killer heel!

Saturday, 20 October 2012


So I've finally got around to posting the interior photos I took at Dyrham Park all those weeks ago! The house is beautiful, and at the moment they are exhibiting the work of modern artists in the house, alongside the original antique pieces. The juxtaposition is perfect, although of course being a vintage gal I prefer the antiques!
This is my favourite shot from the day. I'm just a sucker for a sweeping staircase!

I just love the simplicity of this china. Elegant & understated.... not my usual style! But gorgeous.


Thursday, 18 October 2012

Knit, knit, knit

I first learned to knit when I was a little girl. My Nana taught me. Then I just fell out of the habit, and as a teen it wasn't cool etc etc, so I forgot how to do it. Recently I re-taught myself using a craft book (Queen of Crafts) and with a little help from my friend Sally when I get stuck, I'm away again!
This dog jumper has taken me two weeks to knit, as I'm still quite slow and the needles are tiny! I can never find dog jumpers long enough for Bronwyn as they never cover her all the way to her bum, so I found this pattern specifically for whippets and greyhounds online. I'm thrilled with the result & stupidly proud of it! Bronwyn is definately not impressed, but as I pointed out to her, It's not like I've knitted her the matching leg warmers so I can pretend she's from the film Fame... And yes, I REALLY want to do that! It would be hilarious & I have just enough wool left... It's fate!

Here is the pattern I used; I used size 4 needles & the size thickness of wool to go with them. I bought my wool online at Black Sheep Wool, they have a great selection & always good offers on.

Cast on 76 stitches K1 P1 ribbing for 2 inches
Then stocking stitch to 18 inches including the ribbing.
Decrease 1 stitch each side each knit row, to 56 stitches, then work in ribbing K1 P1 for 5 inches which makes the collar.
Underpiece - Cast on 30 stitches and work in ribbing K1 P1 for 4 inches. Increase evenly to 36 stitches and still ribbing continue until 9 inches.
Decrease 1 stitch begining and end of each row to 1 stitch. Cast off.
Sew together leaving a hole on either side for your whippet's front legs to go through. 
The collar folds back like a turtleneck sweater.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Comic Book Capers!

These are my boyfriend's pyjama bottoms I made him after months & months of not-so-subtle hints from him! He said he wanted some pyjama style bottoms that he wouldn't be embarressed to lounge around the house in, and he'd picked out several Manga style fabrics and comic book prints. Unfortunately, Marvel printed fabric is pretty pricey per meter to buy, so this is the main reason I put off making them for so long. 

However, ebay once again came to the rescue! I found a kids duvet cover set with this fab Marvel print on it which, even though it was brand new, was still loads cheaper than buying the fabric alone. Plus I got loads of fabric once I'd cut up the duvet cover and the pillowcases were in a contrasting fabric - two prints for the price of one! Now I use this money saving idea all the time and regularly bid on duvet sets, particularly kids ones, as you usually get a really cute fabric, and lots of it, really cheap. Next, I plan to make some pyjamas for myself from a lovely pink ballerina print duvet I bought for £2 - bargain!
With some of the remaining fabric I made this bag for my friend Bekah. Just because she's that fabulous!

Monday, 15 October 2012

The Perfect Place to Lay My Head...

This is Bronwyn, my beautiful blue whippet. Having destroyed nearly every bed I've bought for her except an ugly blue plastic one (which she is working on!) I had almost given up hope of finding a bed that was Bronwyn-proof. Plus all the ones available to buy seem to either be really boring plain colours, or else far too bright & garish & would look totally out of place in my country cottage style interior...

Then I hit on the (rather obvious really!) idea of making her bed myself. This way I have the perfect size for my living room, in a fabric that I love. All for pennies! The fabric on this is a curtain that I bought at a flea market in Dorset years ago, and had forgotten I had stashed away. The stuffing is an old duvet inner that Bronwyn had (yet again!) destroyed and I was going to throw out. Literally minutes of sewing later & one perfect dog bed! And a happy Brownyn lying on it in front of the fire, as you can see!

The Vintage Hideaway

The Vintage Hideaway, 17b High Street, Glastonbury, tel: 07805736162

As promised, here are the details of the lovely vintage store I visit whenever I'm in Glastonbury. The Vinatge Hideaway is exactly that - tucked away just off the High Street, it is a small but perfectly formed treasure trove of vontage goodies. Clothing, shoes, jewelley and homewares are all stacked to the ceiling in this tiny store, but for me it's really all about the handbags! 

 Each time I have visited this lovely shop I have come away with a bag of some sort - and I'm usually much more of a shoe obsessive! A have a few handbags from here, plus the lovely blue suitcase featured in my very first post was a bargain purchase from The Vintage Hideaway. Beautiful items, reasonably priced - what more could a vintage gal want?!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Coffee & Cake & All Things Nice!

If you ask me, coffee is one of life's necessities as well as a wonderful luxury! The boy & I spent Saturday in Glastonbury, exploring the shops, having a nose around a craft fair and stopping off for a well earned coffee & slice of cake. The dark chocolate & Guinness cake I had (pictured) goes straight into the top 10 cakes of all time! If you've never been to Glastonbury (the town, not the festival!) I highly recommend it - lots of one off shops & boutiques, and even a really lovely little vintage shop, which is so special it gets it's own post tomorrow!