Sunday, 19 October 2014

The official nana cardi photo shoot

nana cardi ...thrifty makeover by hettie brown
Dear readers today the Autumn sun has shone, and what better time to show you the nana cardi in all its nana glory.
See this Post if you missed it
and also 

the famous gate shot!

out take.... 1

out take..... 2 
wooly hat...Gap

blouse Asos

Official photographer
little note...
No Cornish Pixies were harmed during the making of this photo shoot... x

Tin Can Alley

I've always had a passion for making things from the things we all ready have.
There comes a sense of fulfillment at having spent time turning a piece of rubbish that was destined for landfill, into something useful and beautiful.

So my thrifty makeover this week is 
Tin Can Planters.

At work we use a lot of tuna, it comes in these nice big tins
So my mind got to thinking.

This is my Hangy Tin Planter, the paper's from Paperchase, they have some gorgeous papers.

The hangy bits are recycled saris, that I bought at a carboot.

Mark how wide your can is,
Cut a strip of paper
glue on can
I used wood glue
it dries clear, 
PVA would also do the job,
then do a final coat over the paper too
wait to dry.
It will dry hard and shiny.

here are two large tuna tins, a baked bean tin, and a chopped tomato tin.

The Macrame shelf was a charity shop find.

The Jesus candle came from a chapel in Brittany.


Next time... Dorset Apple cake
and the return of the Granny Cardi...

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


Late last night, sitting crocheting, (I've picked up the Autumn blanket again).

Curled up in the arm chair all cosy, when a small field mouse darted across from under the old corner cupboard, straight into the jaws of a waiting May.  This I might add could be classed as a stroke of good luck for Mr Mouse, as May is not a hunter, she is a slightly fat cat and easily outwitted by a mouse.  

Not knowing quite what to do with her catch, she let him go, patted him with her paw, & thus Mr Mouse made his escape, running for his life underneath the church pew.  I  quickly shut May into the front room, then tried to save him from 2 other devilish cats who would of quite happily of made him their dinner.

Eventually, some time later, sofa up on end, Mr Mouse cornered & safely captured under a tupperware box.

He was a sprightly little fellow, with a twinkle in his eye, none the worst for ware for his near death experience.  We conversed for a while, Mr Mouse & I, then, Moon shining down on us, I took him out into the back yard,  'Off you go little mouse' I said, 'Take good care, run on home', 
& I set him free.
& Do you know, I could of sworn that little field Mouse turned, paused, a little nod of the head and a wink of his bright shiny eye, before he headed off into the night.

'You're quite welcome Mr Mouse' I said

A little sketch of Mr Field-Mouse

'In fields, hedgerows and gardens the house-mouse is replaced by the long tailed field-mouse, an active graceful little creature.  It is a pretty mouse far more dainty and elegant than the house mouse, and is easily recognized by its fawn brown coat and white under parts.  Its large ears, prominent black eyes dainty whitish-grey paws and long, slender tail are other features by which the long- tailed field or wood mouse may be identified.'

At home about hedgerows


Little note,
I think one of the other two cats had bought him in from the fields earlier, Daily we are being bought home "presents", as the the corn is being cut across the fields now. He must of escaped and hidden under the old corner cupboard,
you could say he was a very lucky mouse 

Sunday, 12 October 2014

The thrifted nana cardi ... Part 2

I'd like you to meet my thrifted nana cardi
Its not as lovely as the other
Of course its not
for it only cost me 4 quid

Neither is it Toffee coloured.
But, as you know Dear Readers we can't always have everything we want in life.
It is however handknitted
it also fits me
it is also a little bit nan.

So with this in mind I set too giving it a touch of....
 hettie brown~ness.
First I needed to know where my elbows were.
It is very important to know where ones elbows are, as you know.
I put my cardi on and pinned a saftey pin exactly where my elbow happened to be.

I drew a patch template on paper, pinned it to my
Toffee coloured...oh yes no less! Toffee coloured, vintage, ditsy floral fabric.

Then carefully hand stitched round the patches on each elbow, twice round, without a hem,

I chose some vintage buttons, all in different shades of brown
and some Toffee coloured thread.

Final finishing touch a little name tag
just incase I should mis-place my thrifted nana cardi.

I will show me wearing it, when a certain white blouse, with a Peter Pan collar arrives via Mr Postie, I figured the chances of finding one in the charity shops, were about 3 million to one.
So I have treated myself & purchased one online.
I am thinking a handmade Black Pinny to finish my thrifty outfit?
Oh, and maybe a wooly hat?

Watch this space


Saturday, 11 October 2014

The thrifted nana cardigan..... possibly not hand knitted in Cornwall.

So I have 5 whole days off work.  Yep 5 whole days, 
of no uniform wearing. 
I think if you have not worn a uniform since you were at school you will have forgotten how lovely it is not to wear a uniform.
My Uniform at work is a burgundy shirt and black trousers.
For quite the while I had a Mans shirt because they had run out of ladies shirts.  My Mans shirt was a bit manly, but it did have quite a handy pocket.
It was very useful in many ways, my mans pocket, for holding all sorts of important things.
Now finally I do have a Ladies shirt,
but alas no pocket.
 I miss my pocket.
Do they not know that ladies need pockets too?......
these work shirt making people?
Are Men more important that they need a pocket and we don't?
Errr I don't think so....
I feel there will never be a solution to my work shirt wearing quandary,
which makes me jolly thankful of non uniform days,
 as you can imagine.

Today I wore my, new to me, thrifted charity shop ditsy floral blouse.

It is a little bit nan
which I rather like,
but I'm not sure my man does.

I also wore my cardy with the vintage green buttons

and my hand made hettie brown Pinny, which I made last year.
All in all it was much nicer than wearing a Burgundy work shirt (with no pocket) and black trousers.

This is me and little Spanish Luna
she is a fruitcake,
truth be told.
But it makes me love her even more.

I was up with the lark this morning.
My body clock is stuck on 5.30,
because this is the time I normally have to get up for work.
This is pants but I made the most of things and went for a run.

the fog was lying low across the fields and the sun was just coming up
and the world was truly beautiful.
So Im glad I didn't miss that.
I am going to try and run every morning for the next 5 days.
Usually I have to run when I finish work, as I start so early,
but I get real tired at the end of the day and it takes a lot of willpower.
Its worth it in the end because I have so much more energy if I run, its just convincing my butt to get up of the sofa, or better still convincing it to not to sit on the sofa in the first place.
I really like running in the mornings.

This afternoon I went around the charity shops in town.
I never do this any more

1. because I am trying to empty my house of junk and not fill it
2. I dont get the chance.

 I did find some useful things which I think is ok, and does not class as junk.

a hand knitted nana cardy 
that I am very much 
excited about.
It is not 
but neither was it £370
I'm not sure if the person who knitted it lived in Cornwall, or even if she went on her holidays there, but
it is the next best thing, in my book, to

it was £3.99
and beige.
I can most definitely live with that though.
I think it might need Nan tweeking.
So I will show you tomorrow.


Friday, 10 October 2014

Foraging...Sloes & the Blackthorn

The Blackthorn it seems has be-gotten itself quite a bad name over the years, and in doing a bit of research I found out some interesting stuff about this humble hedgerow shrub.

During the burning times approx 1550 - 1650 when witchcraft was at its height and mass hysteria was spreading across the land, witches were being burned at the stake and it was Blackthorn that was thrown upon the pyres.  It is believed that  Blackthorn wood was used by witches in their magic and sorcery.  The grounding for this may be that Blackthorn is a particularly tough wood but is also light weight, so therefore making the perfect walking stick. There were, no doubt, a fair few innocent little old ladies burnt as witches at this time, as we know.  If you lived in the woods and happened to own a cat, for example, and your neighbours cow keeled over and died, or their milk went sour, there is little doubt you would of been burned as a witch, And if, god forbid, you happened to have about your person, a Blackthorn walking stick.... Well I'm sorry to say that your fate was fairly well sealed.

It is said to be very unlucky to bring blackthorn into the house when it is in flower, it blossoms early, on Old Christmas day, which was actually the 6th January, (until Mr Ceasar came along and changed the calender, to what we know it as now.).

'A Blackthorn winter' is an old country saying that says a spell of cold and angry weather will come along just as this hardy little tree is in bloom.

If you ever watched sleeping beauty as a child, the impenetrable forest was said to have been a blackthorn thicket. Their long thorns are incredibly hard and vicious and can cause a lot of bleeding, causing wounds that will often turn septic.  Lets just say the poor old Prince had quite a job on his hands.

On a more positive note (if you are a fairy that is) the tree itself is protected by fairy folk, they will not allow any mortal to cut it on the 11th May or the 11 November, these dates said to be the original Beltane (May Day)  and Samhain (All Hallows Eve) (before Mr Ceasar came along, that is...) So I'm not going to risk it.   But I'm happy to say that these fairy folk seem fine about me collecting some sloes around about this time of year, as long as I leave some for the birds and small creatures that might happen to live in the hedgerow.

There are a lot of Blackthorn trees scattered about the hedgerows near here, and I'm lucky enough to be able to walk across the fields and find them growing along the hedgerows. Its a really good feeling to forage and bring back your own harvest from the wild.

We're using the Sloe berries to make Sloe gin, some of which last year we bottled, decorated with handmade labels, and gave as presents at  Christmas time.
Some of which .....we drank....!

The Sloes themselves are not great to eat, but pop them in a bottle with some Gin and sugar and you have yourself a mighty fine tipple.


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Finders, Keepers

On the shelf 

are the things that I bought home from the Flea on Sunday.

I am having a small love crush on Yellow and Grey at the moment.

I kind of had in mind small things in Yellow and Grey to put upon this shelf, and the thrifting gods they gifted me with small things in both Grey and Yellow.

My French Ellie mag is my favourite find, I had the frame already.

then there was Mary and the Penguin book

The little Cafe Rose

and the dinky little tiles.

Lastly but not leastly

this is Sid
who seems to be having a small identity crisis....

Not that it much matters
cause I love him
no matter