Sunday, 23 December 2012

A Christmas message..................x

Wishing all Florence and Rose readers........old and new.........a most wonderfully special sparkly time. Thankyou so much for all you comments, emails and support the past year.  I think I may bow out over the festivities, to take a breath, relax, giggle and eat with my beautiful family. And look forward to re connecting with you all in the new year.

May your Christmas be everything you hope it will be, spent with the important people you love, enjoying their company over a glass of something sweet.

I always feel so grateful at this time of year, for my lovely lot. And you guys are part of that, so thankyou again.................and.....

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

A little chatter..................x

The chances of actually getting a decent photo on here for you guys, is becoming sooo tricky.....though I do love these cold, dark, wintery nights.
As I type today, the bumblebee's are on their way to the Grandparents with the Q. They are all having a sleepover, 'cos it's ladies night here tonight.....ooooooh I, giggles, wine, snowballs, secret Santa's....I am ridiculously excited. I did a little dance and a clap. 

But while the house is still and quiet ( saaaaay whaaaaaat?! I know! It's quiet! ) I thought we should have a little catch up.
How far are you all with your Christmas prep? Apart from having mini seizures every day trying to find little bumblebee a perfect- but- within- budget- rocking horse.....I'm nearly there...really? Naaaahhhhhh.

So a slightly delayed reaction in showing you piccies from the School Christmas Fair Cake Stall........we did ever so well, nearly sold the lot. But I can honestly say don't ever stand by a speaker blaring Christmas music, if I hear Cliff Richard again........well.........I may crawl under the nearerst table and rock myself.

I did a little cheat. Top tip coming up ladies. Any mummies out there that need to bake something Christmassy for a fundraiser soon? I used an Ikea pre-made gingerbread kit ( think you can get smaller ones in the supermarkets too ).......whizzed up some royal icing ( icing sugar, egg white, lemon juice ) grabbed bags and bags of sweeties ( not all made it on the house...hehe ).....and decorated the gingerbread house. I feel like, more is more......go wild.

Add cellophane and ribbon..........mine sold for a whopping £10. 

I also definately want to talk Christmas table decorations with you. But, my nails must be painted, the ham needs to go in the oven........and I simply must have a bop to Buble. 

Lets chat again in the week? Happy weekend.............xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Preperations a go-go...............x

Like every other super mummy out there, I'm not content with juggling my work/home/social balls in the air.....I have to add some more.
I do like being busy, planning, especially now, my favourite time of year.
We've had a few crazy months here at the cottage I don't mind telling you, I'm looking forward to the pop my slipper clad feet up.
One of my lovely super duper friends and I decidied we would man the cake stall at the school Christmas Fair........we don't do normal. Or things by halves.
We may have discussed candy stripes, gingham table clothes, twinkly lights, perfect home baked goods. We may also be having a "special" meeting, to plan..........that's just how we do it......
Big bumblebee is on the lucky dip. This is a big deal. She is uber excited. Frantic with anticipation. She invited a little pal over for supper tonight, so they could wrap up the prizes....giggle, put the prizes in the box, take them out again and count them. Put them in the box again, then take them out again to count....and so on.
( I may have given the dip box a makeover......ermmmm I was told to add a bit of tinsel, and got carried away covering the whole thing in stripes...........sorry bout that, ladies. )
An exhausting evening for some...........
B.T.W...........I should have warned you, this is a Christmassy post. Too late? Too bad Grinches........go and get on with your Christmas shopping!

Monday, 19 November 2012

I love it when a project comes together.........x

Is it a year.....really.......a year ago? That I began my favourite fabrics blanket? 
Gosh, I had such high hopes, thinking the beauty of the fabric would carry me through it. As well as buying a few quilting books...." I can do this I CAN. " 
Turns out I really couldn' all.

I started because I wanted a snuggly quilt on our bed. Our bedroom is so super cold in the winter, I thought, in my madness....that if I created a blanket, picking out all my favourite fabrics, that not only would \I be warmer, but warmer with a smug smile on my face. Basking in the glorious colourful  loveliness that would be the bed quilt.

Oh I hand stitched the whole of the patchwork.....oh yes I really did. So that does make me feel proud, though.....I'm not sure I can even bear to tell you I shall have to whisper........

When it came to cutting it into shape ready to attach wadding, backing, and edging.....I got...errr....very scissor happy ......what should have been a double duvet sized blanket........became....somewhat smaller. humpfffff.....The patchwork brick effect was popped in the sewing table.........for a year, or perhaps more. The shame kept it there.

Then the realisation of another cold winter urged me to make a call. To my Mummy.
You know the rest, don't you?
I fed-exed her the bodged patchwork, wadding, edging, backing........

And like Mummies seem to do, came up trumps.

I am one warm, snuggly, happy, smug-ish.......nattie.

There was no colour theme. I simply chose fabrics I loved, Cath kidston, Liberty, Clarke and Clarke, vintage, french.......they all went in. I suppose I wanted that granny look. The one where, when they made a patchwork, it wasn't to colour co -ordinate, it was to just use what fabrics they had to hand.

The wadding is all natural, the edging came from a friends shop, and the backing was the biggest bargain of £ old duvet cover from a charity shop.

What do you think? 

I think it's perfect for feet up, cup of hot chocolate ( with cream AND marshmallows ) and a film.


P.S If you have not done so already, please hop over to the lovely Jools at SEW SWEET VIOLET she is having THE.BEST.GIVEAWAY..............EVER!!! xxx

Saturday, 10 November 2012

And by the way...........x

I suppose picture taking in the dark is not the best idea...........BUT I just knew I would forget to take them during the day ( which I did ) so I had not choice I tell you. I HAD NO CHOICE.

Today has been one of those gorgeous Autumn days, a splash of Christmas decoration shopping, and a wander round Stourhead gardens. A brisk walk, ooohing and aaaahing at the changing colours of the leaves, finding cutesy little cottages we want to live in, giggling at daft swans bobbing bottoms up in the lakes......mittens on, red noses. Perfect.

Sorry, back to dark pictures.

I love my home, I truly do, but just sometime I have a freak out. With two growing girls, space is a huge issue.

As parents we compromise all the this house we go a little further. The bumblebee's have the big bedroom of a 2 bedroomed cottage.
It makes sense. They have more "stuff " than we do. They make more mess than we do.
( though I will hanker after their bedroom until I get day...........sigh )

So we are tucked snuggly into a teeny tiny bedroom..............whilst they can play at starfish on their bedroom floor. Tis what we do innit? Anyway...their room...ahhhhhhhhh their room, is ever so lovely if I do say so myself. Though, we still struggle with storage, and always will. That's the choice we made in buying this house, so don't feel bad for us, it's fine, we are happy!!!

Desk storage was needed. Hours go by when those crazy girls sit there playing schools, writing storys, doodling............but they needed MORE space ( what's new? )

x   wine case used for knitting needles and wool   x

Wine cases.

I love them, cheap easy affordable.

The bumblebee's chose their paint colours........pom pom trim, ....ready......set.....go.

Such a cute little space. I can't tell you how grown up they feel, and how much better is that, than going to Ikea ( I'm not knocking it, I'm it's biggest fan.....Example. Popped in to LOOK at Christmas wrapping paper.....spent £70  )  and having a shelf like everyone else?
And by the way....who dosnt like a pom pom trim? ( If you just put your hand up, seriously? What are you doing here at florenceandrose?????? )

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

She travelled from afar......x

A birthday has been and gone at the cottage. did big bumblebee grow to be 9?
Of course every little girl deserves a special present. A friend, a pal, to share their most secret secrets with, to whisper long into the night, to cuddle and preen, to gaze at and love....forever.

So along came Talulla doll.
Made perfectly, sprinkled with love, she came from a magical kingdom far far away. She crossed seas and countries she had never seen before.

To get here, her home. To her 9 year old Talulla, to be loved and looked after, and played with and snuggled up with in bed, every. single. day.

After such a long and exhausting journey, Talulla dolly needed to stretch her legs, find herself in her new home.......

She drank green tea from ditsy teacups, ate shortbread and flicked the crumbs to the floor for Sethy dog. She even applied more rouge to her lips, and smartened her hair, ready for the grande meeting with her new best friend.

On 27th October, in a hotel in the Cotswolds, an eager new 9 year old awoke with hair danced in by the fairies, sleep filled eyes,  and a sweet smile upon her face.

There was one present sat on a chair, that she gazed at longingly, wondering what delights lay inside, for she knew this was a special present. Her parents had said so. 

So she slowly but deliberately undid the yellow satin ribbon. She forcefully but carefully opened up the floral wrapping paper at each end.........

Talulla and Talulla dolly have been inseparable ever since. That day though, that 9th birthday day, they skipped, held hands and cuddled their way along the pavements of Broadway, kicking yellow, brown and rusty fallen leaves. They marvelled  in astonishment together, at the beauty of the village Snowshill, and meandered round the country house we stumbled adventure...the first of many together.

Talulla dolly was made by the wonderfully talented and beautiful Tracey over at PIXIE if you are new to her blog, pop her in your favourites. Shes a good giggle, and perfectly poetic writer, has the most cutsie little girl, and a very pretty house. Plus, you might just spy a few of Talulla doll's friends over there.

The birthday girl had a fantastic weekend away for her birthday. I think the child's face must have ached from all the smiling she did that day.

Happy Wednesday to you all xxxx 

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Show and Tell at the Cottage....................x

Do all women struggle with what to buy a man? I have a rule, unless you have hundreds, perhaps a thousand to spend ( gadgets, technology ) you will struggle. BIG TIME. Though every now and then, a little gem will show itself to you.

My Dad's birthday is fast approaching. The bumblebee's will always make something from them, little fingers busy busy fiddling over a creation. This year? Hama bead brooches. Done!

There's a company, a fantastic beautiful collection of printed images they sell. Wallpapers, napkins, t-shirts, and hankies!!!! "That's it" I cried, my fishing fanatic of a Father shall have some posh hankies wot have pink fish on 'em.

Now I'm no fisherman, but even I had a moment of thinking "could I keep these for myself ????"..........I'm thrilled with them, how super cute, and could you possibly think of anything fancier to blow your nose on?

It's birthday season at the cottage. Dad has been crossed off the list. Then it's my Q, then Nanny, then Talulla ( and a few of her friends too ) has to be super organised.
This is how I roll.
*A wicker basket sits on a shelf full of various birthday cards and wrap at all times.
*Next to the card basket is a larger multi coloured basket, containing an assortment of gifts ( I buy all year round for Christmas, Birthdays, Easter, it's the only way! )
*If  I see something at the shops......I buy. Simple. So I never run out of presents, there's always something for someone.
*Clear out. When one of the bumblebee's has a birthday coming up, we have a sort out, disguised usually in a room change around. Toys are given to charity shops, if they have not played with it in the last month, it's a goner. ( Unless it has meaning, or is very special ).

The latest bedroom clear out went like this.
Me -  " bumblebee's, your bedroom is like a pig sty, lets sort it out"
Bumblebees - * big sighs * " ok, can we dance too? "
Me - " Of course."

First they danced to Olly Murs and One Direction whilst making fairy decorations for their door, I know, I know, I will cry if the blue tac makes any marks.

Then the Q and I had enough, and decided some proper music was needed.

( Our lovely Matilda loves that she has a song.....tidying could resume )

Are you shocked the beds are not perfectly made? Well, I ask the girls to make their own beds. ( the real reason is, I am RUBBISH at making beds. Does that make me less of a domestic goddess/housewife/mother? So be it . )

This wasn't the post I intended to do today. I had something else up my sleeve to show you. But lets go with it.
Happy Wednesday!!!!! xxxx

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Wellies, berries, an armchair and a nest ............x

Hold on to your cup of tea ( Green? Grey? Builders? Coffee????? ) ....this could be a long one. There's so much to catch up on,
Where to start?
Ok, thoughts gathered. Laptop on ...errrrr lap, feet snuggly curled to the side, cushions in comfy positions ( too many and I start wiggling uncomfortably like a bored child, not enough and my bottom goes numb. )
Tis the season for wellies and warm cardigans, it's amazing just a few weeks ago we went on the same walk, though this time, even the bumblebee's noticed all the changes. Those slight little things that move us on into Autumn. The chill in the air, the fields being harvested, dappled fading sunlight, berries ripening, wild flowers drying.
Ooooooooooh it's so nice to kick off the wellies, pop the kettle on and snuggled down on returning.
So, dog owners. I was literally driving myself crazy...crazy ... crazy ....crazy, Our lovely, but smelly and hairy ( P.S whatever happened to seasonal hair shedding in dogs? You know the summer coat, then the winter coat???? It's all frigging year round in this house ) dog dog Seth is such a tinker. You've all seen Marley and Me? THAT is our dog. It really is. These days though he's more chilled and enjoys constant Nanna naps in the sunshine.....IN OUR ARMCHAIRS!!!!!!!
I'm not a freaky house cleaner, but I do like a clean house. And one that does not smell. Of dog. At.All.
The armchairs smelt, they were gross and I felt humiliated everytime friends came round. I would wince when they sat in the chair.....light a scented candle and give them biscuit after biscuit.......
Am I boring you? I'm sure you imagined a far more interesting catch up.......ok look at this beauty...
My bargain, Laura Ashley armchair, yup just the one ( you know sometimes in teeny tiny houses, we can obsess over storage and space and not having enough of it, and think we have to fill every inch of each room. And actually we have a lovely huge vintage sofa fit for four bottoms, and so one beautiful armchair was needed. ) was an ex display, has a few little scrapes but nothing dreadful...."whooppeeeeeeeeee " I said to the Q, " I love youuuuuuu " I said to the Q......she came home and happy as larry we've been ever since.
But what of the dog I hear you ask................well, my Cath Kidston sewing box sits neatly on top of the cushion ( The white one in picture, you know, so the armchair dosnt get scratched....I may be a little neurotic about the chair...I admit. ) extreme to the other.
Am I weird?
We have done more than walks and buying chairs. We have frogs in the pond, and are still painting and restoring the sash windows. We have settle back into school life ever so swiftly, and making a roaring trade selling the chicken eggs out in the lane........
What else? well there's plenty. I have a lovely little project up my sleeve. One that I've been working on for a few weeks now. When the time is right, I promise to share. Pinky promise.
Guess what? It's FRIDAY tomorrow. Happy Friday to you all xxxxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, 8 September 2012

A post about a girl........x

I think I may have said before, but I do, really truly, honestly have THE bestest pal in the whole entire world..........
What makes for a bestest friend?
Hummm ok , well I'm sure you all have your own ideas, but let me just share a few of mine with you ( feel free to add to these )....
You know he/she is your best friend when......
* They ask how your day went, and they really actually mean it. Theyre not just making conversation.
* They can finish your sentance, or give you a look, and in that one look, you KNOW you are both thinking the same exact thing.
* That bitch has your back.
* You can tell them your most precious secrets, and that's what they stay as.....secrets.
* Good, bad, ugly...........they might not agree with you, or any decision you make, but they will always be there, with a cup of tea and packet of chocolate biscuits.
* If you look back, over the years........all those memories shared. They will always have a little piece of you in their heart, and vice versa.
* You would literally stand infront of a bus for question.
* There is no nonsense, no agenda, no bitching, no point scoring, just friendship.
* Your kiddies love them as much as you do.
My bestest has it all. Can I give you one example?
Ok, the bestest knows I've a bit under the weather. Firstly can I say she always calls ( though we live miles and miles apart, sorry again, because I'm guesing I've told you that before too ) just for a check in.............Secondly the lady knows of my new jobbie ( which I think she is more excited about that me hehe ) Thirdly....I recieve a message...." Keep your twinkly eye out for the postie "......hummmmmmmmmmm thought I, what is she up too?
She only went a got a Rob Ryan Nattie Noodle bag all for me..........perfect for work she tells me. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh don't you love a bestest?
I am blessed with the bestest best........hehe.
So you know I filled that baby up right away, just to go and do the food shop.
Happy weekend all xxxxxxx

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

There's a bee in my bonnet...............x

What do you do with two bumblebee's, a daddy, a pile of wood , a snoozy dog, and a handful of gardener's twine?
WHY, make a woodland den of course!!!
A few weeks ago, I had a LIGHTBULB ( said in the style of despicable me ) poor old Q groaned. Every now and then, I get a bee in my bonnet about something.....and I go on and on and on and on, and then I start what ever the bee in my bonnet is, with all the good intentions of doing it all myself. The Q knows, he just knows, that there is no waaaaaaay I'll ever finish the bee in my bonnet. He knows, that he will finish it. Every time, always.
I do love him.
Well, quite often after having a bee in my bonnet, I'll change my mind. And decide on something else. Another bee in my bonnet.
One sunny afternoon, Q heard me hacking and sawing at the lilac tree in the garden, I had decided it had got far too big, and I had grand ideas of making a rustic cottagey fence out of all the wonky branches.
Hummmmmmm.........the Q had to finish off the sawing, my arm started to ache, and I needed a cup of tea.....
Anyway the fence idea was far too silly even for me, after all that sawing and hacking, there STILL wasnt enough wood. know what it's like....that bloomin wood was piled in a corner of the garden for yonks and yonks.......UNTIL.......
One sunny weekend..........I started a began with three branches and some twine.....

Both bumblebee's couldnt resisit a day being Peter Pan's lost boys, building their own hideout, just for them and their secret adventures in whatever magical land they wandered to.....

You'd better believe it that the Q muscled in and got involved. We are ever so lucky to have girls that love to get their hands dirty. They love digging, and climbing, and wearing their wellingtons. But you know, this was one bee in my bonnet that Q relished getting involved in, ooooooh I don't think I've ever seen him have such a good day.


So you guessed it, supper was served in the woodland den. The bumblebee's had to kick the Q out. hehe xxxxxxxxx

1. You don't need to spend a fortune in the holidays to have a good day.
2. The lilac tree still lives, it's just a little bit smaller.
3. Girls can give boys a run for their money with bushcrafts.