Friday, 30 November 2012

a sticky sweaty mess

Weather blah blah hot blah humid blurg.
I was fine most of yesterday as, although we topped 38º, it was for the main part 'dry heat' and I can function very well in that. Now it feels like 110% humidity and I am sweaty and grumpy. I was made for Perth dry and hot not Brisbane sweaty, sticky and hot. Enough of the weather.
I worked all day yesterday on the scarf dresses and they are slowly coming together, a few more facings and then I will have to tackle the hem trimming and binding. A journalist popped in to the studio yesterday to pick up samples I made for a feature and I think she was both fascinated and horrified about the state of the studio. I've got 6 projects happening, no time to clean and a pile of stuff waiting to be picked up by Graham the Garbo...... I'm feeling the Xmas clock starting to tick and I need to make haste! Chop chop sew sew.
By the way, as of this weekend we will be going into 7 day a week trading, the Cottage is now open on Sundays from noon until 4pm. We are still waiting on stock to arrive (like satchels...) and hopefully by early next week I will be complaining about where in hell we have room to stack stuff. I still have the big stock re-arrange to do as I just didn't have the energy to do it last Sunday after painting the window.
I'm waiting to hear whether I need to run up country for a couple of hours or go to the studio and try to get some work done. Ideally I would just like to spend the day with the fan and a cooling beverage.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

i'm your greatest fan

A perfect day to sit very still on a stool with a fan directed full in the face. 
You can expect all us Melbourne bloggers to be talking about the whether today. 
I'm hoping these stinker days mean that we end up with a Summer thermometer set at about 28º, that would do me nicely.
I don't expect that anyone will venture out today unless they are scurrying from an air-con house to an air-con car but if you do we have some lovely embroidered 'Dahlia' top in the shop that would be perfect for a day like today. I'm sitting here in a cheesecloth dress that was still wet from the washing line this morning. I'm not sure whether its dampness is keeping me cool or just making me, well, damper. I have painted the toenails on my rather Wintery feet as the Birkenstocks have come out today. I've ticked off a few season first in the last 24 hours- cherries, apricots, toenails. 
We headed south of the river for the TDF-OH last night which was a grand affair. We left when the temperature inside began to rise and we kept missing the food round... oh that goat's curd on toasted fruit bread and the baguette with slices of ham and dollops of runny cheese... we should have snaffled more... 
I want to get to the studio to shut all the windows and attempt to keep the temperature down (it's going to be foul in there) otherwise I would list all our lovely design/art/craft friends who were there, you know who they are though! 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

click thunk

I spent today in the studio going a little crazy. I'm putting it down to a mixture of stress over the last week, the rain, the humidity and playing with the camera trying to take product shots for the on-line store. I would have loved to have stayed in bed and listened to the rain and the thunder this morning. It reminded me of Novembers past.
I set up a corner of the studio and had to wait for the afternoon light to change before mucking about with choosing and setting up stock. I don't think the photos are the greatest but they seem to show things ok for now. I've got more things to go up so stay tuned and if there is anything you would like featured then just drop me an email. We can even set up special orders if you are after something specific.
I'm not sure where to start in the studio (I know, you've heard it all before...). The scarf dresses are not to be worked on with a fuzzy head! Tomorrow I'll run out and get things I need and then see what I can focus on. Tomorrow night is going to be exciting though as it is the preview of the TDF-OH, a night for all us designers and contributors. I'll let you know how it all looks!
Time for bed now I think.

Monday, 26 November 2012

a gum blossom xmas

This year's Xmas window has gone through a few developments in my head, it seemed that gum leaves were always going to be a component. I even sent Dell out to keep her eyes open for branches of the ones I was after. Somehow though it morphed into something else- still with leaves- and there I was on Sunday morning painting the window.

Think gum blossom and wiggly leaves. Think an Australian country Xmas. Ironing board and Hill's Hoist, kids dumping their bags on the table on the last day of school, the pots of tea and the CWA recipe book ready to make sponge cake and slices and preserve Summer in a bottle.
It's corny and idealised beyond belief but I rather like it. All it needs is a soundtrack of cicadas and the cricket turned down low on the radio, a sleepy and endless Summer.

Miss Ramona says I never do real Xmas windows (I did point out the year before last we did actually have a tree) but there are fairy lights behind the leaves so to me that qualifies it as one. I've said before, the Australian light makes tinsel a bit to garish and when you've done the Northern Xmas in snow and cold and darkness then you understand the need for lights and glitter.
We've used one of our silk scarves as backdrop, it really needs an iron but I was too exhausted from all the painting and faffing about yesterday to get the iron out. This scarf also appeared in yesterday's Sunday Age and now we are waiting on our production to arrive. As of this weekend we will be open 7 days a week and I am still slowly popping our festivus stock out. I feel like I have already done Xmas but it is all still to come.

artist at work

Jethro contemplating the design for our Xmas window.

Checking paintbrushes and water.

Making sure paint colours are OK.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

all will be well

If I'd ever got around to finishing this embroidery it would read 'all will be well' but the Design Files project it was started for got cancelled way back in about 2009 and it's been kicking about since then taunting me with it's un-finished-ness. Its sentiment is about right though, I've just got to hold in there and all will be fine. I really hate this time of the year, the lead up to the start of the Xmas rush. I've spent months hunting and gathering and making product, we've had things slip from our grasp and other things we had given up on suddenly happen. To mix my metaphors it's been a roller coaster of a few months.
I had another very late night on Thursday setting up the online store and was so delirious on Friday morning that I forgot to take everything I wanted to photograph to the studio, I could have banged my head against the wall in frustration. Instead of photographing I set to work on the scarf dresses, not the best things to work on when you are weary. They are fiddly and choosing which scarves go together to become all a bit OCD. The huge vintage wooden storage box some of the scarves live in is full to the brim and gravity compacts them down so once you start pulling scarves out it is like an erupting volcano. The studio by the end of the day was awash with the damn things. So far there is one dress that just needs its hem bound, one dress that needs neck facing and hem, a pile of bodices ready to do, a pile of bodies stitched together and another pile not together but ironed and ready to go. Bias cut dresses, what a pain in the patootie, they shouldn't be done when one is tired, I came home late in the afternoon and just wanted to have a good cry.
Here is my plan. Whilst we have slowly been filtering Xmas into the shop, tomorrow I plan to do the Xmas window and move stuff around in the shop. I need to make that step into the final month of the year. I'm going to race of to Deans this morning to get what I need for the morning and, fingers crossed, it works as I can't afford this week to blow any money, this week's budget has been stitched together so tightly it's going to be hard to breathe. A nerve wracking week coming up, big things happening. It's probably lucky that we aren't doing Markit tomorrow just for the sheer energy it would have drained.
I've put out all the enamelware and we've had our missing kangaroo salt and pepper shakers arrive. It's going to be hot today and our lovely Dahlia embroidered tops are hanging up on the rack. I'm sorry that we so much wool based stuff in the shop but we never seem to stop selling gloves and sock even on 40ºC days. Oh and wool reminds me, we've had a huge shipment of spotty knitting needles come in too, Dell loves the smell of the wax Jim uses on them so I always leave it up to her to unpack them- she knew the parcel had arrived by the scent when she arrived for the day!
There are probably other things to chew your ear off about but I need to get off to the art shop.
I'm Saturday shopgirl today as usual, pop in for a visit!

Friday, 23 November 2012

shop in your pyjamas

Midnight and I have managed to get the new online store up and running. Not that it has many products in it yet and I am still fine tuning stuff so my apologies if it is a bit clunky. We've swapped over to Shopify and I am still getting used to things. I need to get photos sorted and load it all but I think it will be OK. Like always, my photos are all over the place, different styles and filters but then it wouldn't be me if it was all uniform.If you are ordering anything please remember that the shipping costs won't appear until the end. You'll need to enter all your details and then it should calculate it.
I had a little play with setting up somewhere to photograph in the studio. I'm liking one of the walls over by the windows and although it breaks all the product shot rules the light is lovely and I think it will work. I might need to repaint a bit as there are marks all over the wall and move some shelves but then the studio needs a big sort anyway (I started it but no where near finished yet).
All that is up in the virtual shop at the moment is a few satchels but I'm going to try and get a few more photos done tomorrow. I must go to bed NOW though........

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


Yesterday was a long and frustrating day- appointments ran hours late, I got stuck in a traffic jam on the South Eastern, I forgot to eat lunch. It was a very weird day and the conversation at the op shop in Oakleigh took the cake.
Two volunteers talking about the Second World War. Lady #1: The only story my father ever told about the war was that the Germans gave him a vasectomy with no anaesthetic. He committed suicide you know.... how old was I? Oh, thirty. Lady #2: Well my father was a violent alcoholic and beat the crap out of us all. I suppose we are all victims of the war you know. Lady #1 taking my money: God bless you and take care of yourself dear.
I felt I was in a strange game of op-shop-one-upmanship. It was both macabre and faintly absurd.
I did spend the morning getting some of our new enamelware out into the shop and this evening hanging our beautiful embroidered Mexican tops. The shop is starting to feel very full and there are more things on the way. I've gone from feeling the shop was lacking to wondering where in hell we are going to stash stock. I'm also wondering whether we will sell it all and whether I have been too frenzied in my stockpiling.
I think I should spend a bit of time getting the online shop up and working again. What do you think? Another couple of days in front of the computer for me? The photo issue has been plaguing me for months, I always have trouble with the whole white background product shot look and think I should just go with the photos I often do, product in an environment. I think I am even leaning towards using my iPhone to do them. Which speaks to you more?
It is now 10 to one and really need to go to bed. I have a lot of stuff to do in the morning. A mountain of annoying things to think about and face. It really is a most stressful time of year for a poor little retailer.

Monday, 19 November 2012

handsome is

We have things afoot here at the Cottage.
Jethro spent the early hours of this morning on a moth safari which meant no sleep for me at 5am. I listened to the dawn chorus and finally dropped back to sleep just when I should have been considering getting up. The rest of the day has involved driving around Melbourne getting things done and picking stock up and meeting with people, this seems to be the routine for a Monday these days.
I now have boxes of stock I need to find space for! Stay tuned! Sorry if this post is short but I think an early night is in order.

Saturday, 17 November 2012


I delivered to TDF-OH yesterday which means that is all done and now I can concentrate on other things. I planned when I was south of the river to have a stickybeak around but the traffic was dreadful and I only managed to pop in on my old friend Geoffrey in his beautiful antiques shop, to check out one shop I used to like (disappointing) and then decide to head back north. I didn't even get out of the car for Marrimeko.
I dropped back into the shop and then to the studio to do some work. We've had some more vintage linens arrive this week and I've made up more floral cushions and discovered late that I was out of inserts for them- this always happens late on a Friday, unprepared as always! As I left the studio I stopped and looked at the pile of beautiful vintage scarves I'd tipped out of a bag earlier in the week. It definitely is high time I started work on the bias cut scarf dresses. It's been way too long but I think I am at the apex of procrastination and am ready to roll with them. They really are suited to the 'holiday season'. OK I'm convinced, I'll pull it all out next week and start on them. I promise.
In between the two paragraphs above I jumped in my car and raced over to Beatrix. I've just eaten an apricot crumble tart and it was a fabulous breakfast let me tell you! It was a grand way to start the day after dragging myself off the bed at 9.30 last night and then being woken by a mouse hunt in the bedroom this morning. Mouse is MIA, Jethro is hiding under the bunk in the shop.
I seem to have managed to get a bit done this morning but I need to finish the rest of the shop vacuum (polystyrene crumbs are a bugger to clean up, like glitter they keep appearing) and I have new stock to price. A box full of little ceramic animals and the most hilarious salt and pepper shakers arrived on Thursday and need to get them out on the shelves, I'll post photos over on I-gram and F-book later I think.
I think I better sign off otherwise I will lose that little window of time I seem to have gained this morning. I'm shopgirl, you know where to find me.


Thursday, 15 November 2012


I'm running a bit late today. I slept in after yesterday's early rise to see the eclipse, which I didn't end up seeing as I got the time wrong and when it happened I was staring at the light on a wall. Oh well. It did mean I got to the studio about an hour earlier than I usually manage.
I think I am about ready with stock to go to TDF-OH, I just need to tag the stock, print a list and load the car in the morning. Today I've promised myself that I can finish off a few things and start to cut out some more Summer clothing.The thought of Xmas stock is still making me queasy. Dell is sick of my fidgety moaning- as am I. Stupid stupid stupid.
New things if you come into the Cottage today- orange bound felt and blanket oven mitts and vintage Italian cotton hankies... oh and some new Welshies and afghan throws (they went in yesterday morning). I hope some parcels arrive today.
Studio bound!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

always look on the bright side

Thanks for all the messages about last night's post (via blog, facebook, email), it's nice to know that people understand the conundrums of staying true to what you do and not getting sidetracked by bright and shiny things swirling about. I went to the studio, worked on stuff, came home to this fabulous afghan that arrived in the post from Ann our Northern Queen of Crocheted Craft. By golly her work is freaking amazing. I have to admit the colours are a bit off as I put it through an Instagram filter but it is still pretty spectacular, just use your imagination to turn the fluoro down a little.
I've been pestering her to do some mixed colour afghans and she is using up all her odd bits of wool. I think we might have to photograph one of these and turn it into a digital print silk scarf. On the subject of scarves, we are now waiting for our tapestry ones to arrive, still weeks off but fingers crossed we get them before Xmas.....
It's the eclipse tomorrow morning! I must get up early enough to see the sun go dark. I've seen a total eclipse (and I did actually look at the sun, crazy accident, didn't go blind) and a couple (I think) partial eclipses but it is always the birdsong I remember most. Phenomena are always a whirl! Even more exciting is that we are in the peak of the 12 year cycle for the Aurora Australis so I have subscribed to the Radio and Space Weather Service and am excitedly hoping that if I can get to Tasmania (again) that I will get to see it.
I am an aurora nerd.

Monday, 12 November 2012

patching and fretting

After all the excitement/frustration (mailing list/mail out/computer stuff) of last week I felt a bit tired by Sunday. The sale went well and thanks to everyone who popped in and picked up a satchel or three! Then reality crashed in and I've had a tiny private pre-Xmas meltdown. I had spent a lot of time over the last few months hunting out a pile of fabulous things for Xmas stock but for one reason or another not all of them have come to fruition (insert sad emoticon here) and I have been feeling a bit low because of that. I also had an attack of 'retailer's envy' or perhaps it 'maker's regret', seeing the bright and on-trend things that were starting to appear on blogs/facebook/instagram and knowing that whilst I have no desire to create work like that I can still feel a jolt of envy. I am human after all. I have to admit it isn't my style and I should just focus on the work that makes me happiest, deep down I am an archeologist of skill and a tinkerer of nostalgia.
So after feeling dreadfully stressed and worked up about Shop Stuff and Money Stuff and Getting Stuff Done I suddenly decided this afternoon that I should just do what I could do and stop fretting. Once I relaxed things just seemed to relax too. Stressing one's self out results in nothing except a headache and feeling of tightening angst. We are going to have some lovely stuff for Xmas, it's just not quite here yet, we will just keep our fingers crossed it arrives in time. The Cottage is known for producing product slow and steady so that should be how I continue on, we aren't 'fashion driven' around here!
Perhaps I will produce some patchwork tops and Dell has been telling me to get cracking on the Summer tops and dresses. We need peg bags and oven mitts and suddenly the Welsh Cushion Mountain has shrunk so there is lots for me to do. The Satchel Black Hole will resolve itself and Papua New Guinea will get a better internet service. Stock will arrive and I will work out a strange Xmas window display. Then come Xmas Day I will sleep in and relax.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

it's looking a lot like

I didn't bother getting in the car to do the Saturday morning essentials shop today, I just wandered down the street. It's quiet at 9 on a weekend morning, just the way I like it. I noticed that it's starting to look a lot like Xmas... sigh. I think tomorrow will have to involve a big shop re-jig although I have no idea how I will manage it, perhaps it will make me feel a little perkier.
I'm feeling a little worn down but perhaps that is the two days on the computer sucking the life out of me. It was an exhausting process getting the mailing list up and running but it has been well worth it seeing all the feedback we are getting from people. I like to think it is not just that the satchels are on sale but more to do with reminding people that we are here. That is something I seem to forget that we need to do.
We've got a few things coming up over the next few weeks and things I forgot to tell you about. There is TDF Open House (but you all know about that) and we've had stock go out for Xmas guides and a pile of our digitally printed goodies is being photographed today too. Now I think I forgot to tell you where that 110 metres of bunting was destined for.... it's now draping a marquee down at Werribee Mansion where they are filming the Australian version of the Great British Bake Off (luckily they are not calling it the 'Great Aussie Bake Off' but going the full 'Australian' in the title), you can check it out on the Tube. The original is hosted by the fab Sue Perkins and the rather dishy Paul Hollywood (OK I like a man who can bake) and I wonder who they will pick for their double in this local version. Not being a fan of reality TV I'll probably watch 2 minutes to see the bunting and that will be it.

Remember the 20% OFF SATCHEL SALE finishes at 5pm today! We've still got a great selection and they are an absolute bargain. I've posted the list of sale prices here if you would like to check. If you miss out this time there is still the new shipment coming in soon (full price of course!).
OK I better get moving. There is a huge suck of vacuuming to do and stock to move about, Jethro to wrangle, birds to price..... the usual Saturday chores!

Friday, 9 November 2012

cabin fever

What a backbreaker the last two days have been, sitting on my arse in front of the computer... exhausting!
The mailing list is done though which is monumental and I sent out the first newsletter (about the satchel sale of course). Sorry if I missed sending it to anyone but people in my inbox sometimes don't end up in my address book. If you didn't get it but want to just click on the link above and then subscribe... equally if you want to unsubscribe you can do that too. I won't be hurt... no really... I won't be.... I also promise that I won't bombard you with annoying emails... just occasionally...
I have been home too much this week and once I have this post written I will put my shoes on and hit the road for the studio. The upside of being home is falling in love with how this cushion looks on my Axminster rug. This was a lone little odd sized cushion that I just had to keep. It doesn't happen often that I keep a cushion, not because I don't love them all but if I did succumb to cushion-love too often, upstairs would be even more chockers than it is. So I control myself and delight in their being adopted out to good homes.
OK I've stared at this screen far too much in the last few days. I'm outta here. 
Have a lovely day and if you want a satchel for 20% off then drop in or give the shop a call.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

one trick peony

I went for a walk this morning, down to get milk and bread and to try and blow the cobwebs away from being stuck here for the last three days. I spied these peonies. They make me happy. It's been a good season for peonies and the roses through areas like Coburg and Brunswick (I haven't ventured further into the middle and outer suburbs so have no idea how they are looking out in the Far Reaches) are looking fabulous. Amazing what a bit of rain can do, crazy that Victoria used to be known as the 'Garden State', then the drought hit and ended all that.
I was stuck to the computer most of yesterday trying to get the bulk SMS programme to work and stayed up late last night typing in 4 books of mailing list contacts. The bulldog clipped mailing list pages still to go are about the thickness of two books so there is a lot to get through. I am cursing people's bad handwriting..... This is what happens when you try to organise a item specific sale on the spur of the moment, frantic data input. If you would like to be on the mailing list just email me ( with 'mailing list' in the subject and I'll whack you on it as I work my way through them all. I'm viewing this as training for the mountains of paperwork I need to sort. Building up my typing muscles and getting psychologically prepared. Of course if I win Powerball tonight I'm paying someone to do it for me.

So don't forget 20% OFF SALE ON CAMBRIDGE SATCHELS until Saturday 10/11/12.
You can call and pay over the phone and we can either hold it here for you to pick up or we can mail it.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

**cambridge satchel sale**

As you know I hate having sales (except maybe the occasional studio sale) but overnight we got confirmation that the VBO* of satchels we placed in June (!) and which has been delayed 3 times (!!!) is almost ready. This has lead to panic stations this morning.... where the hell are we going  to put it all??

So we've decided to have a sale, 20% OFF our current stock of Cambridge Satchels.

Clearing the decks so to speak. Emptying boxes out to make room for more satchels. Giving you a chance to score our lovely satchels at a ridiculously cheap price. There is nothing wrong with them, we just have lack of space issues.

The rules are...

Please help us!
We can mail them at the usual postage rates if you are interstate!

And the sale ends this Saturday 10th of November!

I've listed the colours and sizes here.

*Very Big Order

pavlova experiment ✔

I'm still stuck on making pavlovas and the fridge is filling up with egg yolks. Now I've found the easiest pav recipe ever I am walking away from them- carrying a plate and a fork and a rather large slice topped with cream, strawberries and passionfruit.
Turn the oven on to 120ºC.
Take 6 egg whites and 1 1/2 cups of caster sugar, bung them in the bowl of a mixer with the whisk attachment, start mixing on low (the recipe says this, I just cranked it up to 11 straight away) and then turn up to high and beat until thick and glossy. It'll take about 15 minutes.
Turn mixer off, add 6 teaspoons of cornflour (this recipe was on the back on the White Wings cornflour pack) and 1 teaspoon of white vinegar and beat for 1 minute. I also like to add my yummy Bourbon vanilla bean paste here too.
Pile it all up on a tray lined with baking paper, a round of about 20cm in diameter and cook for 2 hours. Turn the oven off and let the pav cool in the oven for a couple of hours.
What do I like about this recipe?
Well I was brought up on the whole slow addition of sugar to make a good pavlova myth. I think it's just one of those techniques based squarely in the days of hand whisking, of course a tablespoon at a time would be easier in that case. I've done my time in cooking jobs hand whisking egg whites and mayo but now I have a KitchenAid and I'm jolly well going to use the thing. I multitasked doing this pavlova, hung the washing out, got the rubbish together, talked to the cat, drank tea, so that is another reason for my joy in this bunging it all together technique. Also the low temp cooking for a longer time means less chance of overcooking or too much browning. The crust on yesterday's pavlova was perfect, still in one and I just smashed the centre to create a crater for the cream. The marshmallow interior was thick and perfectly cooked through.
A perfect pavlova is a heavenly thing.
My work here is done.

Monday, 5 November 2012


I have become slightly obsessed by pavlovas. I made one for a BBQ yesterday (the same BBQ that I managed to go to a week early last Sunday with cassata cake) and whilst it got damaged in a near miss on the way (#fuckingsundaydrivers) it was happily devoured by all. I think pavlovas are one of those cakes/desserts/foodgroups that just make people very happy. Which explains why a vegan at a certain Xmas party last year got very very grumpy when everyone else was smacking their lips in joy.
I can feel some pavlova experiments coming on.
The shop is open today if you are in the 'hood. I'm sort of hovering about doing things that didn't get done yesterday. Like trying to clean the stairs and heading into town to do the banking and look at magazines. And I better sort out some lingering emails as well. And mugs of tea for Dell.
Jethro spent a bit of time unwittingly taunting Peggy through the glass this morning. A small quivering dog and a slightly bemused cat.
Cup Day tomorrow so we won't be open. Sorry about that but I am sure you have other more relaxing things to do than shopping.... and your tomato plants need to be planted out as the tradition goes.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

cases, chores and cup day horses

Suddenly I can feel Santa's breath down the back of my neck, oh, how wrong that sounds. I mean that when the birds arrived I was starting to feel that Xmas was on it's way but that I could still hold it off for a bit longer. Yesterday though, the Trunk and Orderly stock arrived and that was the end of that, no more putting off the end of the year festivitus. Now I am getting a stockpile of stock that I have nowhere to pile and I will have to tear the shop apart and re-stack it all.
For a minute there the kitchen and hall were comparatively easy to move about in, then the hallway got a bit dangerous and the stairs (which are always a bit precarious) exploded with boxes and baskets and spinning equipment. Now the 'backyard' has been half taken over with yesterday's cardboard boxes and Garbage Eve isn't until Tuesday and I am feeling swamped. I also forgot to take the boxes of newspapers out to the recycling last week and the floor needs a damn good vacuum especially after I spilt a bag of Cob's Gourmet Caramel Popcorn on the carpet last night.... it's all a bit embarrassing at the moment.
I am trying to shame myself into doing a bit of re-organisation/cleaning.
So it's Saturday, I'll be in the shop and I have new stock to price and get out. There's the T+O cases, we've got the Lunch Case, the Kinder Case and the Weekender all back in stock and the new Xmas special the oh-so-cute 'Little Scout' has arrived (that's Janita posing with the black and purple one). "Little Scout' is a backpack for kids but if you are petite, like Janita, you'll be able to wear it. I want a big one!

We've also had more birds come in although I still haven't put all of them out yet, my current favourite is the chartreuse ones. And we've ordered in some Xmas lights, just couldn't help ourselves, tiny weeny little fairy lights in 3 battery powered lengths and in a 10metre long plug in version. The cool thing is you can use them inside or out and you could even use the little 1.5 metre one on an Xmas wreath on your front door.
Look at the time! Damn, I better dash. Have I told you that I have a mountain of tea towel cushions as well? There are some stunners! Lots of horse-y ones for Cup Day. Come visit! Remember- don't leave buying T+O cases and Cambridge Satchels until the last minute before Xmas...... and we can post.... and I am trying to get products photographed and into our online store..... and I better get cracking and get my Saturday morning chores done.

Thursday, 1 November 2012


Last night was a weird one and if I was a follower of the Halloween tradition I might think some gremlins were at play (I really can't get my head around Australia + Halloween). I ruined dinner- undercooked some ingredients, totally overcooked others, result horrible and inedible- and then tried to drown my sorrows in the new Connoisseur blueberry ice cream which ended up being was just plain revolting. By this time I was too scared to make a simple cup of tea in case I stuffed that up too and decided by about 8.45pm that the best place to be was in bed watching Horrible Histories on my iPad.
I am totally addicted to HH. You've got to love a series that teaches you about the Luddites in the form of a punk song, Greek philosophers a la The Monkees and RAF pilots as a boy band, I dare you not to sing along! (There is also Mary Tudor/Kate Bush, Emily Pankhurst and the Suffragettes/Spice Girls, William Shakespeare/lounge singer and many more.)I'm a total sucker for a mix of kid's TV show, history and very talented actors never performing down to their audience and still managing to keep a straight face while having buckets of 'poo' tipped over their heads. A good way to All Hallows Eve.