Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Chirp Chirp and Cheep Cheep

All over the garden, in the grass, in bushes, up high in the pergola there is a the sound of chirping and cheeping and that's without taking into account the nests in the thatch and the tree stump. It would seem that birds love making their home at our home.

We have Blackbirds in the bay and a family of Mistle Thrush in a nest by our barbecue. Poor Mrs Thrush had a very unhappy afternoon as we sat in the garden on Sunday invading her space and really putting her off returning to the nest until we left her in peace again. 

We also have two chicks, which considering the amount of eggs two hens were sitting on was a bit pathetic really, but apparently it's a very bad year for hatching so perhaps we are lucky. We're not sure who's the Mum as both chickens seem to be clucking around them and so I guess they will just share them! Fingers crossed they survive and let's hope they are little girls.

In the garden it feels like summer is really on it's way with beautiful colours everywhere.

Wasn't it just the most glorious weekend. I sat in the garden on Sunday reading the papers and listening to all the chirps and cheeps and relaxing in the sunshine ... perfect.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Will You Marry Me?

I've waited a long time for a customer to pop the question but last week I finally had an order of Bespoke Personalised Bunting that asked that important question.

I was beside myself with glee, desperate to get the order out to the customer so he could start to prepare his knee bending, champagne glass filling, ring producing day. I sent it off with a good luck and best wishes and I also popped in a little extra bunting .....

I do hope I haven't jinxed it by adding the YES. I wrapped it up and wrote a special little note on it so they would only open it if the answer was the one he wanted.

Then blow me a couple of hours later I got ANOTHER Will You Marry Me order. Do you think it's the sunshine that has got these males thinking romantically? Whatever it is I've decided that for any Will You Marry Me bunting I will always throw in a free YES, call me an old romantic but I just love the idea of Daisyley playing a part in someone's engagement.

I have asked the customers to let me know the answer and 
if they do I will tell you the outcome. Of course they may just be too busy planning their future lives together - I hope!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Slamseys Drinks - A Taste of the Hedgerow

I was very proud of my niece on Sunday when she had her very first stand at a local show to let the general public taste and buy her fruit gins. As her website states:
We make every bottle of Slamseys Fruit Gin with fruits handpicked from the fields and hedgerows around our family farm. The precious berries are infused in London Dry Gin to create an exceptional liqeur that has been a countryside favourite for generations.
The feedback that she got was great, people "oohd" and "ahhhd" about her packaging and more to the point "mmmmd" and "ohhhhd" about the taste of her Blackberry and Raspberry Gin.

I loved the little touches on her stand such as the hessian table cloth, the hand made aprons we got to wear and the "specimen" box.

I went along to help her and really enjoyed myself. 
 {You'll note I only offered to help with the selling not the picking of copious amounts of fruit.} It is always so much easier to sell someone else's work and of course it was relatively easy to get people to taste it and once they had tasted it even easier to sell them a bottle.

Beth has put in a lot of hard work to get to this point in her business and it was a pleasure and an honour to be involved in her first show.

If you would like any further information on Slamseys Drinks please look at the website, Facebook and Twitter

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

No New Clothes Challenge Month 4

Gosh you see I'm getting so used to the whole idea of not buying any new clothes that I even forgot to do an update for Month 4!

I've even managed to do a shopping trip in Cambridge with a group of friends and not buy anything. I discovered that I was quite happy to help my lovely friend Katherine try and buy a dress rather than look for myself. It probably helped that she is a perfect size 10/12 and everything we picked out for her she was willing to try and everything looked gorgeous on her so it was fun.

We had a lovely day out. We decided to return to Cambridge for our day out as we'd had such a lovely time just before Christmas and decided that we would pretty much just repeat that day as the formula worked so well! Starting off with a coffee to get the chatting started and then a little meander round a couple of shops then off to Browns for lunch. Not too much lunch though, mainly Prosecco and nibbly bits.

Then a little bit more light shopping, more laughing and a lot more chatting before dinner at Jamies. Kate and I were the first to arrive at Jamies and they were fully booked but we thought that we would just sit and wait for the others.

We were very polite and accepting and so I think they must have taken pity on us (or perhaps they thought we just wouldn't move out of the reception area) because suddenly they had found us a table. The restaurant (see photo of the ceiling below) is just the most amazing room to eat in and even sitting in the bar drinking cocktails is quite fun too.

As always the day went far too quickly and as usual we declared we must do it more often. It's sometimes just great to spend the day with lovely friends doing nothing more than chatting, eating and drinking.

As for the taxi driver that took us home well she certainly entertained us all the way home and in the pub where we had to call in for "one last drink" before going home.

So you see this nonewclotes thing still continues to be easy. Yes, there were things I liked but really I was there for the company not to buy new things and honestly I didn't need to buy anything because we spent enough on Prosecco and cocktails to buy at least two new dresses!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Hanging Up The Bunting

If I could find an excuse I'd like to have a little visit to The White Horse in Blakeney before the Jubilee as they bought a little bit of bunting from me, actually quite a lot of bunting from me. 

Everyday I post off all this bunting to various parts of the country but don't often get to see it in situ so you can imagine I was thrilled to see that The White Horse in Blakeney had posted a picture on their Facebook page. I know it's only bunting but I thought it looked pretty good,I love the fact that it matches the staff uniforms and the bar stools, I just love a bit of colour co-ordination.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Just pay me in Slamseys Fruit Gin

I made some bunting this week for Slamseys Drinks for their stand at The Essex Young Farmers Show which is happening on Sunday. I hadn't planned on charging at all but could hardly turn down the payment I received, a gorgeous bottle of Raspberry Gin.

It looks wonderful don't you think? After I've done the Scout run tonight I shall pop the cork and have a little taste. Love the idea of the Summer Cocktail recipe that came with the bottle but as I don't have all the ingredients that delight will have to wait for another day and so it will be Raspberry Gin over ice with elderflower presse tonight ....  mmmm ... perhaps I can get someone else to do the Scout run?

Please go over to Slamseys Drinks Facebook page and also follow them on twitter and enter your email address on their website to get further information. Even better if you happen to be near Chelmsford on Sunday then go to the Young Farmers Show and taste some for yourself.

Wishing Beth every success with her first show on Sunday - good luck and bottoms up!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Another weekend, another day out

This time just down the road to a Yellow Book NGS  garden which I have visited before and enjoyed so much that I wanted to show my Mum and big sister. As Sunday was such a lovely day we even walked there which I enjoyed because I'd never had any reason or need to walk along part of our route before.

The garden is a delight. To start with it is off the road down a narrow little lane and so you have no idea what is hidden out of sight and when you get there it is still a bit of a mystery as it is on lots of different levels.

There is so much to see in this garden that it is difficult to say what I liked best.

The natural swimming pool looked very inviting and so, so, so much nicer than a horrible glaring turquoise swimming pool.

I would love a little house in the garden with it's own bed, fireplace and cosy couch.

Or perhaps just a folly at the end of the garden?

We do have a hammock but not quite as restful as this one looked. 

I can remember the last time I went that I came back to our garden and just thought it was so boring, although lovely just a bit boring. So perhaps I really should start a collection of random stones and find some giant fruit to leave lying around! 

A lovely afternoon made even nicer by rounding it off with a yummy Sunday tea with thanks to Mum for the delivery of homemade quiche and chocolate cake!

A picture of the supports for you Annie.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Monthly Photo 2012

I'm starting to see real changes now in the five photos, but I just wish I could stand in the same position each month and be a bit more accurate on my positioning! I'm glad there is just a hint of yellow oilseed rape in this month's photo.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Pink Hair

I had the ends of my hair dyed pink yesterday. Why? Not sure really it could be because

  • it will wash out and so I won't have it for long;
  • my hair is soooooo boring I wanted to try something different;
  • I can't buy new clothes but wanted something "new";
  • I had pink hair for a bit years ago and wanted it again?;
  • the boys said don't do it;
  • it's good to do something different once in a while.

Of course, like all these things it all seemed like such a good idea at the time but faced with going to the post office I did think to myself "why".

I do love it but also like that it will fade and go away quite soon, I wouldn't want to have pink hair forever. Just long enough to humiliate the boys as it is apparently very uncool to have a mother with pink hair!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

An Afternoon of Sculpture, Rain and Lunch

So the weather wasn't that great on Bank Holiday Monday but we didn't let a little bit of rain put us off as we set off for a family outing to the Henry Moore Foundation at Perry Green

It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon, wandering around looking at sculptures, having a chat and lunch out with family. So it rained a bit but it didn't matter. It's an amazing place to visit and you get to see all sorts of unexpected things including a giant elephant skull.

Monday, 7 May 2012

A long walk

On Saturday both the boys did a Mini Jailbreak with scouts. The idea is that they set off at Point A and have to get to Point B whilst avoiding capture. Oscar is an old hand at these challenges but this was the first time that Archie had taken part. It was tough going by all accounts as it was very muddy everywhere but at least the rain stayed away on the day.

It's an exhausting challenge and one that Archie found quite tough but he completed it and I think it is a real achievement at age 10. For the first time they had a team of local guides with them and .... the girls won. Personally I was excited to see the girls stomping home as I know quite a few of them really well and was thrilled for them but the boys weren't quite so impressed at seeing them when they got back some fifteen minutes later. Obviously the excuses started immediately and my boys reckoned that the only reason they won was because their adult helper was a local farmer's son who knew part of the route pretty well. They couldn't actually bring themselves to admit they were just beaten by a better team!

It is a long way but as the title implies only the mini one, they do an overnighter later in the year. I won't ask Archie just yet if he'll want to take part in the next one as I think his feet still hurt a bit but I bet he'll be up for it nearer the time. Oscar says he'd like to complete 100 miles walking with scouts so will definitely want to add a few more miles.

It's doing these sorts of challenges that really makes Scouts worthwhile and even though I sometimes moan when I have to go and pick them up from their weekly meetings on a Friday night at 9pm I'm so glad they have the opportunity to do it and that it is run by such an enthusiastic group of people.

From: Felsted, Essex To: Hempstead, Essex
Felsted to Hempstead

Friday, 4 May 2012

Union Jack Paper Bags

When I was ordering some tissue paper the other day I noticed that the company also sold these lovely Union Jack paper bags and I couldn't resist getting some. They are available on my notonthehighstreet shop here. They are only little but just perfect for a few sweets or perhaps a biscuit if you are having a Jubilee party? They are just like the sort of paper bag you get in an old fashioned sweet shop so can be folded or twisted easily.

I plan to use some to put sweets in for prizes at our village Jubilee celebrations when we have the fancy dress competition.

I just love them. I must sub-consciously have plans to get more because I had this weird dream last night about where I would store them ... I do sometimes have the strangest dreams :-)

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

My Name is Jo and I'm a Font Addict

There I've said it.

I've always had a bit of thing for fonts but then my sister gave me this book for my birthday 
Just My Type  and now my addiction has also got factual information to go with it. 


The other members of the family were pretty glad when I finished reading it. As Oscar said to me one day "Mum we're just not as interested in typography as you are". He may have had a point as perhaps I did go on about it a bit. I loved this book so much I even suggested it as a future read to my Book Club {don't think they will be taking me up on it although they did politely show an interest}. I think some fellow book club members will read it and even if you are only a little bit interested in typography/fonts you should read this book, honestly it is so interesting.

These are my favourite fonts this week ... yes it changes on a weekly basis.

Cheboygan    Quicksand    Light Chartrand

Aren't they lovely?

I've also started to recognise various fonts as I drive along, for instance there is a local guest house that I've driven past thousands of times and always admired their sign but now look at it and think Poor Richard (as in the font name not some random person on the side of the road). I now know the difference between serif and sans serif and could play this game for hours. Then notonthehighstreet sent through an email this week about new trends and ampersands, oh how I'd love a giant ampersand! Really it is an addiction that I won't be able to lose as we are surrounded by fonts all day every day.

However as addictions go I don't think it's too awful and I do have it under control as I try hard not to download more than one font a week. If my font habit rises any more I'll have to block the font sites. You want to know what they are don't you? Font Squirrel and Dafont are my fix favourites!