Wednesday, 28 May 2008

I'm off to set up my stall ay Magnolia Square today - the market runs from tomorrow through to Saturday. Please pop in and say Hi to Angela and I if you are in Melbourne!

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

On My Desk Today...

A new parcel of Japanese fabrics and a super-cute Japanese embroidery book from Retro Mummy . The postcard is from Georgieworld, where I recently snapped up a couple of S Britt t-shirts for my little guys - how cool are they? Thanks to the Junior Society for telling me about these.

Don't forget to visit Kirsty for more 'On My Desk' weekly fun!

Monday, 19 May 2008

Lovely friends came over for lunch today, and we chatted for hours about our plans, things to be made, travels to be had, books to be published ... visit again soon, guys!

And here is the promised recipe...

Nigella's Courgette Cake

A large handful of sultanas
2 medium - large courgettes, grated using course side of box grater

2 large eggs

125ml vegetable oil

150g caster sugar

225g self-raising flour

1/2 teaspoon bicarb

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 sandwich tins, greased & lined

Filling - good quality lemon curd with some lime juice to taste

Icing - 200g tub organic cream cheese, 
100g icing sugar, sieved 
juice of 1 lime

Preheat oven to 180 C
. Grate courgettes.
Combine eggs, oil and sugar in bowl.
Sieve in flour, bicarb and baking powder and beat until well combined. 
Stir in courgette and sultanas.
 Pour into tins and bake for 30 minutes until slightly browned and firm to touch.
 Once cool, sandwich with lemon curd in middle.
 Cream cheese limey icing on top - firm in fridge if preferred. Too easy!

Thursday, 15 May 2008


Angela and I have decided to do another Magnolia Square market together. It's going to be on from 29-31 May at Malvern Town Hall. I'm getting quite excited, I know quite a few of the other girls who'll be selling there, and Angela and I always have a good giggle whenever we work together.

I'm planning to sell some of my new knitted baby toys, my organic soaps and iron-on patches, knitted baby clothes, Keep Calm stuff, vintage girl's comic coasters and the latest Rosie Flo colouring books. I also have some gorgeous Decole products - sewing boxes, rubber stamps, play food sets and more. I bought these last year from Japan for my web shop but I ended up not having time to sell them when Lark became so busy, and they have since been living in a huge, very tempting box in our garage.

This is a once-only opportunity to buy these cool Japanese goodies, so please put 29-31 May in your diary and come over to Magnolia Square as early as you can to avoid missing out. Angela is also going to be bringing something very special to the market as well as Miss Buttons, but I can't say any more, my lips are sealed!

Wednesday, 14 May 2008


Thanks to those of you who enquired about Woolly yesterday. I can now confirm that Woolly has been freed from his 50-year-old packaging (and he is very happy about it too)!

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

What a treat! Mr. Lark and I recently had our first night on our own, sans enfants, in nearly seven years. We headed off to Melbourne, not quite knowing what to do with ourselves at first, but we soon got into the swing of things. A movie (Brick Lane, it was totally excellent), book shopping in Carlton, dinner with friends, more book shopping, a night in a lovely hotel ... on the Sunday morning, after a huge breakfast, we went to Camberwell Market, which was ace. We hardly ever go there anymore but it is such a great place to find treasure. I found this cute lambie toy, ballerina playing cards, tea towels and this fab 1960's children's bed sheet, I just love the design!

I want to make something for Jules' room from this, any suggestions?

After the market we had a lovely brunch with Angela and Frank, then headed back home through the forest. The kids had run rings around their babysitter and managed to get her to give them everything we usually say no to, but we didn't mind, they were happy and so were we!

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Special day - a lie-in, cuddles, some home-baked 'mum' bread and a whole bunch of cards, drawings and love from my boys. Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, 6 May 2008


It's been a while... I haven't been doing much thrift-shopping this year. I sort of got out of the habit over the summer, and also I had a run of bad oppy luck, finding my favourite shops barren and stripped of anything remotely interesting.

But after taking a whole bootload of our family possessions to the Salvo's a couple of weeks ago I started to get the urge to rummage again, and I have since had a few lucky encounters, proving that there is such a thing as 'Op Shop Karma'. Most of the things here were found in four places - my two favourite thrift shops deep in the countryside, the CFA stall at the Clunes Bookfest last week, and a sorry-looking garage sale spotted on holiday in Tasmania that turned up some real treasure. Here's what I found...

A vintage squeaky toy and children's embroidery frame complete with yarns (above).

A pair of vintage Laconia blankets in sage green.

Old china and a Bambi mug.

Two old pictures in shadow frames (it was the frames I wanted but the pictures are growing on me).

Set of old Pyrex ramekin dishes.

A set of Laura Ingalls Wilder books that I used to have as a girl.

T G Green Cornishware dinner plates and a green stripey plate too.

Big box of 1960s/1970s Mills & Boon.

Vintage teaching clock.

Old cream and blue china.

Vintage children's knitting patterns.

Lots and lots and lots of lovely old children's books, which makes me very happy!

Some lovely Figgjo pieces. This was my best find. It was my birthday, and we were driving along the highway through a small country town in Northern Tasmania. I saw an unpromising sign for a garage sale and we debated whether to stop - in the end I'm glad we did as it was a goldmine. The lady in charge runs it every week for the local hospital and she had received some great donations. The Figgjo set includes a teapot, set of eggcups, plate and salt and pepper pots, all in pristine condition. I wasn't aware of these lovely Norwegian designs until a little while ago when I came across some cups at a sale and Pip told me all about them. It was so amazing to find these on my the day that I did, like a special birthday gift from the thrift fairy!

I also found a vintage swap card album.

And lotsa nice linen!

I think I have had my share of good oppy karma for the next little while!

Monday, 5 May 2008


I came across this old quilt top eight years ago at a car boot sale in Cambridge. It wasn't for sale - it was on the (muddy) ground covered with shoes and bric-a-brac. The owner seemed very surprised when I expressed an interest in it, and she sold it to me for £2.

The quilt top is huge and it has been beautifully hand made, with the tiniest stitches I have seen. It is made from old cotton prints, including plains, florals, novelty prints and checks. I think it dates from the 1950s or perhaps earlier. It is one of my favourite things that I own. However...

It has been mistreated over the years and has suffered a lot of damage. Although there are no stains or marks, quite a few of the hexagons and some of the side pieces are completely worn through, and others look fragile.

I've carefully stored the quilt top for years, but I would love to bring it back to life in some way. I'd love to hear if anyone has any ideas on what I could do with it? I thought about maybe cutting it up to make some cushions but it seems a shame. What should I do?