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Thursday, 16 November 2017

OUT AND ABOUT WITH MY SHOPPING BASKET

Good Morning to you,


Do you know something, I cannot believe that the time has arrived for 'Out and and About with my Shopping Basket'. The weeks seem to be flying by and before we know it we will be saying hello to the month of December and once again, Christmas will be with us.

Nothing heralds Christmas, like a visit to the town. All the shops are overflowing with everything associated with Christmas. Each shop visited has Christmas decorations hung, and its own style of Christmas music playing in the background. 

As you know I love Christmas time, but I do try hard not to get carried away with the season. I decide which gifts I want to buy each member of the family, I make a list, then George and I head to town to do our Christmas shopping. Hopefully, if we are successful, everything will be bought in one visit.

But before that day arrives, I thought I would  go in to town, because there was a little something I wanted to buy for myself, and to be truthful, I missed out on buying the 'little something' last year, because I left it too late.  You know what it is like at Christmas time, you have to buy before you need it, or  it will be sold out, which is so disappointing.

I'll give you a little hint of what I went in to town to buy. Something for my feet..... something which is so comfortable, that they fit like a glove.

Any thoughts? Have you guessed?  Take a look at this photograph and you will know exactly what I wanted to buy.


If you have been reading Ivy, Phyllis and Me! for a while, you will know that I am a great fan of 'Hotter' shoes.

Shall I open the box and let you take a peek inside? 




Oops, I couldn't wait to try them on. To be honest, they were unwrapped and out of the box and on my feet in moments.  

Do you know something, I am not a flamboyant person, but I do like a snazzy shoe and not only are these Hotter shoes snazzy, they are as comfy as you like.


The 2 1/4" heel is just perfect for me.  Oh and I forgot to tell you the name of the shoe. The shoe  is called Donna. They come in a variety of colours and this is my third pair.... I know extravagant, but it has been over a period of 3 or 4 years, so I feel the cost is justified.  Actually, I am sorting through the rest of my shoes, to donate them to charity, as I tend to only wear the Hotter brand now. I have a black pair of loafers which I wear all the time and a lace up pair of brogues which are perfect worn with jeans. I cannot recommend them highly enough.  If comfort is what your after, then take a look at 'hotter' on line and as an added bonus, at the moment, there is 25% off the normal price.  

I have to be honest and say, some of the styles are not for me, but, I adore the shoes which I already own.

.... oh and just a thought, you may have noticed that my leggings are a little ruched around the ankle, that is intentional, as I am wearing my Indian leggings. I thought I would mention it, just in case you thought I looked like Nora Batty from Last of the Summer Wine.

So what else was on my list,


As you can see my Hotter shoes were right at the top of the list. The next item I wanted to buy was a new mascara.


I really don't wear very much makeup, but there are two very important things which I always use, lipstick and mascara.... oh yes and a Benefits eyebrow brush.  Well that isn't a very good start is it, because that makes 3 items.... alright I had better come clean and tell you I also wear blusher and eye shadow when I go out.  I think that is all. I'll let you know if I remember anything else.

Anyway back to the mascara. I wanted a change from my usual mascara so I decided to visit Boots. The young assistant I spoke to was so helpful and she suggested that I try the Roller Lash, apparently it is so popular it has even out sold Chanel mascara.  The hook 'n' roll brush, promised to lift and curl my eye lashes.  I was a little sceptical at first, but I was told if I was not happy with the product, then I was welcome to return the mascara.

So the next day, out came the hook 'n' roll brush and it coated my eye lashes brilliantly.  I put the mascara down and double checked in the mirror.... think of this as a drum roll..... rat a tat tat.... yes, my eye lashes were curled.  

So I thought I would recommend this mascara to you. I love it when my friends recommend products as you know first hand what does and doesn't work.


My next visit was to Marks and Spencer.  I do love their bedding, cushions and candles.  So I popped in to see what they had on offer and discovered this brilliant Christmas cushion. It took me a moment to decide, and in that moment, I had decided, that  not 1 but 2 cushions would adorn my chairs at home.

.... and whilst in Marks and Spencer's I decided to look at the candles.  They were very easy to find, I just had to follow my nose, as the perfume would tell me where to go.


I discovered these little beauties.  The lids are so pretty and I love the Christmas fragrance. So I popped them into my shopping basket.... well after paying that is.

I was wanting some pot pourri, but not the one with small bits and bobs in it.  I wanted the pot pourri to be substantial,


with lots of pine cones and I found just what I wanted in Next.  I think the red painted nuts are pecan nuts and when I rattle them, I can hear the nut inside.

The tangerines take me back as I used to make my own dried tangerines for Christmas time.  They are so easy to do, I really must make a note and show you how easy it is.

Now the following items were not on my list, but they never tend to be, 


as I always stop to visit second hand book shops, as they are such good value for money. It is amazing how many books are donated by people in aid of charity. 

I was thrilled to find this gardening book written by Monty Don, as I love watching him present Gardeners World on a Friday evening.  It was the colourful Alliums which first attracted my attention and upon opening the book, I discovered, it was a fascinating account of Monty and his wife Sarah, buying a derelict house with a 2 acre field. Further down the first page Monty talks about 'Finding evidence of at least three buildings on the site, with Saxon remains, the footings of a medieval hall house and the existing building, which is, itself an amalgam of two separate timber framed Tudor houses'. The diary begins  on 1st January 1998 and ends on 31st December 2001.  I have a feeling I am going to thoroughly enjoy Monty's book.


.... and my second find was The Button Box by Lynn Knight, I just had to pick up this book,


not only for the content, but look at the inside of the book.  Isn't it beautiful. I'm sure your grandmother and mother were just like my grandmother Ivy and my mother Phyllis, they always had a button tin, which as a child I loved playing with. Even when I was older and had children of my own, I would often rummage through Phyllis' button tin.

When I discover a book I have not read before, I tend to read the first page,  to get a feel for the style of writing. When I read the first page of The Button Box

'I used to love the rattle and whoosh of my grandma's buttons as they scattered from their Quality Street tin.'

.... I was smitten. I cannot wait to read the rest of the book.


.... and my third and final book is one I thought I already owned, but had not been able to find.  A lot of our books are still in boxes stored in the loft, but I really don't remember packing it.  We sent a lot of our books to the Charity shop, so I am wondering if this book went with all the other donated books.  It would be funny if I had bought the original book I already owned.

I love old cookery books, because they give us an insight into how our mother's and grandmother's cooked and the ingredients which were available to them. I love the title, 'Tested Recipes in Plain Cookery' by Miss Mason.  'Add the Chef touch to all your dishes - cook by gas'!

I was browsing through the book and discovered a recipe for jam sauce, the recipe itself was simple, but on reading the Method, I reached the final sentence where it advised serving the jam sauce with Canary pudding, Cornflour Mould, or other farinaceous puddings.... what on earth is farinaceous?  I had no idea, because Canary pudding is a steamed pudding and a Cornflour mould, I take to mean blancmange.  I couldn't make the connection, so I had to look the word up.

Well I never, farinaceous means 'consisting of or containing starch'.... well that is certainly a new word for me. I wonder if Jamie or Nigella would ever use the word 'farinaceous'..... I very much doubt it, but on second thoughts,  Nigella might.

I was really pleased with all my purchases.  The red Hotter shoes have been worn, because George's niece recently became engaged, so I wore them to the engagement party.  I danced the night away, without the merest hint of sore feet.

The Christmas cushions have been put away until December, but I couldn't resist leaving out the candles and the pot pourri as they fill the house with an exquisite aroma.

I told you I love Christmas, so the merest hint of Christmas, is just fine.... for now.

Take care I will catch up with you next Thursday.

As Always,







Thursday, 9 November 2017

APPLE CAKE WITH WALNUTS AND DATES

Good Morning to you,


Have you ever had a conversation with your mother, which is not as straight forward as you thought it would be. When the conversation begins, you think you know what your mother is talking about, but as the conversation progresses you become a little confused. 

The trick to conversations with my mother Phyllis, is to pick up little clues along the way, which hopefully will point me in the right direction.  And with a little luck I finally reach the point, where I am in tune with Phyllis and I know exactly what she is talking about.

.... and I had one such conversation with Phyllis on Sunday morning.

We talked about how she was feeling and what she had been up to during the weekend.

She mentioned that she had met her friend Jean and they had decided to go out for lunch.  During lunch, Jean told Phyllis about a new taxi company which had arrived in their area

.... and this is where the funny story begins.

Phyllis:  Jean was telling me that there is a new taxi company starting up here in town. You'll never guess its name. The company is called Hoover Taxis.

Daphne:  Oh said I, that is a strange name for a taxi company.  Are you sure the name is Hoover.

Phyllis:  Oh yes, said Phyllis.  I remember it because it made me think of my hoover (vacuum cleaner).

Daphne:  Funny you should say that, because that is exactly what I was thinking.   The name certainly doesn't make me think of a taxi service. 

I then said with a smile on my face, maybe the name implies that they hope to 'suck up' all the competition in the local area. At this we both laughed.  I then asked Phyllis, how do you spell the name?

Phyllis:  The same way you spell Hoover.

Daphne:  Or maybe it's spelt with a 'u' instead of double 'o'.... Huver.  Even so, I can't say that I've ever heard of the company.

Phyllis:  Maybe it hasn't arrived in Newcastle.  Maybe they will be in your area sometime next year. 

Phyllis went on to say. I think it is disgraceful that Hoover employ people on zero hours contracts.  How on earth are people able to support themselves and their families when they don't know how much they will earn from week to week.  No wonder so many people are struggling financially.

Daphne:  Then the penny dropped, I don't know if Phyllis was correct about zero hours contracts, because I thought the drivers were self employed, but I suddenly realised,  Phyllis was saying Hoover, when she must mean Uber.  So I said 'Oh I know which taxi company you are talking about.... the name is Uber mum, not Hoover.

Phyllis:  Yes, that's what I said, Hoover.

Daphne:  No mum, the taxi company is called Uber and I spelt the name out for her.... U.B.E.R.

Phyllis:  I'm sure Jean said Hoover.  Anyway that is a silly name for a taxi company.  I can easily remember Hoover, but Uber just doesn't sound right.  I feel sure there should be an 'H' in front of the 'U'.

Daphne:  That maybe so, but mum, the company is still called Uber.

Phyllis:  Well they didn't think that through, did they? If they had asked me, I would have told them that Hoover is  a much easier name to remember.

At this point I felt the conversation was rapidly going down hill and I really wasn't making any headway with Phyllis, so I decided to leave well alone and not correct Phyllis when she called the taxi company Hoover instead of Uber.

.... after all, it really makes no odds to Phyllis, as she will not be using the Uber taxi service anytime soon.

So after all the confusion with the pronunciation of Uber, or is it Hoover.... there is no confusion about today's cake, because we are baking,


an Apple cake with a difference, we are adding grated apple along with dates and walnuts.... and it is divine.

But first, if you have been reading Ivy, Phyllis and Me! for a while, then you will know how much I love listening to music.  I do not have a favourite style, I am open to all types of music, but the music I am listening to today, for me, is timeless,


The Good Life sung by the fabulous Tony Bennett.  I love this song, but it also reminds me of my recent visit to see Phyllis.  


In the evening we would settle down to watch an episode of the 1970s comedy series 'The Good Life' and I remember George and I watching this series, when it was originally aired by the BBC in the 1970s. Back then, it was such a popular series and do you know something, it still made us smile the second time around.


So it's on with the pinnie and time to gather my ingredients.


INGREDIENTS
YOU WILL NEED
TO MAKE
APPLE CAKE WITH WALNUTS AND DATES


225g self raising wholemeal flour
5ml baking powder
10ml ground mixed spice
175g chopped dates
75g dark brown sugar
120ml apple juice
2 large eggs 
90ml sunflower oil
2 eating apples


TOPPING


15ml chopped walnuts


YOU WILL ALSO NEED


1 kg loaf tin
1 teaspoon of butter
piece of parchment paper

Pre-heat oven 180C/160C Fan


HOW TO MAKE
APPLE CAKE
WITH WALNUTS AND DATES




Butter and line the loaf tin with parchment paper.




Using a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and mixed spices.




Add the dark brown sugar and chopped dates. 
Using the side of a fork, break up any dates which clump together.
Set aside for the moment.




Using a small bowl, beat the eggs,
add the apple juice
and
oil 
and mix together.




Core and grate the apples.
add to the wet ingredients.
Stir

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients
and 
stir well to incorporate all the ingredients.




Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin
and
sprinkle with the chopped walnuts.

Bake for 55-60 minutes. Test using a cake skewer.  I find this is the easiest way to check that a cake is baked.




Leave to cool for 10 minutes on a cake rack



Remove the cake from the loaf tin and leave to completely cool on the cake rack.

Actually, this cake is nice eaten warm.

Then find yourself a cake plate, cut yourself a slice of cake
and
enjoy.


You will find that this is not an ultra sweet cake, but when you bite into one of the chopped dates, you will have a lovely sweet explosion in your mouth.

Also I do not bother to peel the apples, I did once and found it did not make any difference to the texture of the cake.

.... and George, my taste tester,  what did he think of the cake.  

When I asked him, a lovely smile spread across his face and he carried on eating. 

I took it to mean, he enjoyed the cake.

Oh and by the way, today's featured recipe is a Dorset Apple Cake which I wrote in June 2012.... My goodness, I have just noticed how much I have learnt since my early posts.  Hence the photograph of Ivy's cooker appearing first, instead of the photograph of the Dorset Apple Cake. I am still very proud of what I achieved back then, because I really knew absolutely nothing about blogging, but as they say, 'It's onwards and upwards'.

Take care and I will catch up with you next Thursday.


As Always,








Thursday, 2 November 2017

100 YEARS OLD ~ BIRTHDAY CARD FROM QUEEN ELIZABETH II

Good Afternoon to you,


I am so sorry that I did not write to you last week, but I really did not have the time to let you know, that I travelled south to visit my mother, Phyllis.

Phyllis is well, if a little shaken, as sadly a member of our family suffered a severe heart attack at the age of 59 years.  As you can imagine, on receiving the phone call, we were shocked and our immediate thought was to be with Phyllis. George, in his military fashion, decided the best approach would be to organise ourselves and decide what we needed to take. So we sprang into action and started making lists for what we needed to take to Phyllis to make the visit easier for her.

I did not want Phyllis fretting about cooking and buying extra food, so before I left, I did some grocery shopping. I also cooked some meals to take with me, because at times like these, cooking and shopping is the last thing we want to think about. So I loaded my rice cooker, slow cooker, my cooked meals and 3 bags of food, into the car and at 5.00 am, we left Newcastle to travel to the south of England.

We made good time, but if you have ever travelled the M1 and M25, then you know how horrendous it can be.  Traffic can be bumper to bumper, especially during rush hour and there can be many holdups along the motorways.  But because we had left Newcastle so early, apart from a couple of small holdups on the M25, we sailed through to the south of England.

Once there, as you can imagine there was a lot of running around to do.  We visited our family member and I was so relieved to discover, the operation he underwent, had been a success and for that I say a huge thank you to our National Health Service.  

There was a lot of driving around to do, but during quieter moments, Phyllis talked to me about her sister, my Aunt Molly, who had recently passed away  at the grand old age of 101 years.

Phyllis said, for her, the loss was immense as Aunt Molly had played such an important role in her life. Aunt Molly was born on 6th January 1916 and was the eldest of all the daughters, with Phyllis being the youngest daughter.


Phyllis then opened an envelope and showed me a birthday card which Aunt Molly had received from our Queen, Elizabeth II. The card read,


You will notice in the bottom left hand corner the name Mrs Frances Farmer.  Francis was Aunt Molly's first name, but Phyllis had only known her sister as Molly.  I really did not know that Aunt Molly's real name was Francis, until quite recently, when my cousin Sue told me and she didn't have a clue as to the origin of Molly. It was one of those questions I kept meaning to ask, but never got around to.


Molly is usually a nick name for Margaret or Mary, but Aunt Molly was neither a Margaret or a Mary.  It is curious that we don't know why she was called Molly, if only we had asked.


Like me, one of Aunt Molly's passions was gardening and I like to think this is where my love of gardening came from.  Aunt Molly's garden was huge, with the top half being planted with flowers, as you can see from this photograph, taken during Spring time. The garden was a riot of Daffodils, Stocks and Grape Hyacinths, with a beautiful flowering Cherry tree in the centre of the oval flower bed.

This was just the centre of the garden, as the boarders,


were filled to bursting point.  Aunt Molly tended the flower garden whilst Uncle Reg looked after the huge vegetable plot and neither interfered with the other, although I do remember Uncle Reg telling me that Aunt Molly would try to give him advice, but he was such a seasoned gardener, he really did not need any advice..... but that did not stop Aunt Molly from trying.

Talking of vegetables, I remember Phyllis and I went to a family wedding and we visited Aunt Molly, who  at the time, owned and ran a fruit and vegetable shop. She loved working in the shop as she enjoyed meeting and talking to people. She would greet everyone with 'How are you today Me Duck'. 'Me Duck' is a term of affection in Worcester, as 'Pet or Hinny' is here in Newcastle.

Now when you own a shop, you expect to turn a profit, but the problem was, Aunt Molly was not making any money and the family could not understand why. There didn't appear to be any reason, as the shop was in a good location with lots of passing shoppers. Later the family discovered that  when the older generation came to buy their fruit and vegetables, Aunt Molly would not charge them.  She felt, at the time, that the vast majority of senior citizens, were living on small pensions and could do with a little extra help, which of course, she provided.  Consequently, after a few years, Aunt Molly had to close the shop, because it was running at a loss. Even so, she continued to refuse to charge the senior citizens and gave them free produce up until the shop closed.... what a kind heart she had.

Then from another envelope, Phyllis showed me a sheet a paper showing me the cost of living in 1916.

I was fascinated to discover.


A loaf of bread cost  cost 3 1/2d

Remember, this was when there were 12d to the shilling.

By comparison a pound of butter cost 2s 8d which was a lot of money when you consider the working wage was £2 6d a week. No wonder when my Nan Ivy was a child, she could have a slice of bread, with either butter or jam spread on the bread, but certainly not both.

A 3 bedroom house cost £330, which seems cheap by today's standards, but when an average wage was £2 6d a week, £330 must have seemed like a vast amount of money.


The price of a newspaper was 1 1/2d

Whilst a new car would cost £200


The reigning Monarch was King George V


and the


President of the United States was Woodrow Wilson


Our Prime Minister was David Lloyd George


and the most popular song was,




Ireland Must be Heaven, For my Mother Came From There 
by Charles Harrison.

I was so pleased to discover this song on YouTube.... it is a little crackly, but then it is over 100 years old.

I was thinking also about the vast changes which occurred during Aunt Molly's life.  I really think it is time I started to record the changes which have occurred since I have been alive. I think I will be surprised when I make my list.

For instance, I never imagined I would be able to speak to my daughters via Skype.  I remember seeing a similar thing happening in a 1990s film,  thinking, it would be amazing to be able to speak to each other, face to face, rather than via the telephone.

.... and here we are doing it.... who would have thought it.

So after a few more visits to our family member, it was time to say goodbye and return home to Newcastle.

We left Phyllis stocked with food, so that she did not need to worry about shopping for a while. I popped food I had made into her freezer, again to make things a little easier for her.

I am pleased to say, although she seemed very tired when we arrived, by the time we were due to leave, her spirits had lifted.  This was mainly due to our family member recovering from his operation.... but also, because Danielle drove over to visit us.... and she is just like George, she always makes Phyllis laugh.

.... and as we all know, laughter is the best medicine.

Take care and I will catch up with you next Thursday.

As Always,







Thursday, 19 October 2017

ART WORK AROUND MY HOME

Good Morning to you,

Oh my, oh my.... this English weather of ours.


I had fully intended to update you on the progress we have made in our garden, but the weather interceded and I had to change my plans. The rain just keeps pouring from the sky and it seems to be never ending.

.... and on Monday we experienced some very strange weather.  At about 2.00 pm  an eerie haze appeared in the sky, it felt more like dusk than early afternoon. We watched for a while, thinking the haze would pass, but it stayed for an hour or more.  Later that evening we discovered the haze was due to sand from the Sahara Desert, travelling on the wind, mixed with debris from the dreadful fires raging in Portugal. It was certainly an odd thing to witness.

Although this is not the first time we have experienced this phenomenon, as a similar thing happened when we lived in Cyprus. During October, we would often wake to discover trees, shrubs and paths were covered in fine red dust and it was a devil to remove from the car, but interestingly the dust never effected the sky.

Then yesterday we endured the last throws of Hurricane Ophelia. I still went to my sewing group, but my goodness, it was difficult to walk, as the wind took my breath away.  Then today the rain has poured from the skies.  I was keeping my fingers crossed for a break in the weather, but it didn't appear.  So I had to have a re-think what I was going to do today.

I was sat on my settee, looking out at my garden, when the penny dropped.  I could not show you my garden, but I could show you the art work around my home.  It was the colours from the garden that gave me the inspiration.

Now art work is subjective.  You might love the pictures which hang on my walls, or you might not, but what I think you will agree is that our collection is very eclectic.

We are all very different when it comes to deciding what to hang on our walls. Some people, find that wallpaper provides the colour and interest they are looking for, whereas I  prefer adding pictures  and objet d'art, as each piece provides a memory of our years together. I can look at a piece and remember exactly where we were when it was bought.

Our art work is mostly inspired by our travels and sometimes from rummaging around junk shops. It is amazing what can be found. Sometimes the most perfect picture can be found in the most unexpected of places.... such as a charity shop. Maybe the frame is wrong, but the picture is perfect.  This can be easily remedied by replacing the frame to fit in with your decor. I genuinely never tire of each and every picture which hangs on our walls, each individual piece  is still loved, as much as it was the first moment it was brought into our home.  The pictures may change their placement, but to be honest that does not happen very often, once something has found its home, it tends to stay there.

For instance, I love hanging pictures in my kitchen, if there is a space, then it is filled. You can tell that I am not a minimalist. My current kitchen is not as large as my previous kitchen, but there is still plenty of wall space for me to cover,


and this vibrant Matisse print is perfectly placed in my new kitchen. I love this print because it reminds me of the days when we lived in Cyprus.  It really fills my heart with joy when I look at it, as the blue is the colour of the summer Mediterranean sky and the lemons remind me of when we grew our own lemons.  I remember the first time I made houmous (hummus), I picked the lemons from our tree, I squeezed them to release their juice, forgetting how juicy fresh Cypriot lemons were, yes you've guessed it,  I added far too much lemon juice and my houmous (hummus), well, it felt as if I was actually sucking on the lemon.


My new kitchen is an L shape kitchen, so I have plenty of space to enjoy these Cambodian dancers by Auguste Rodin. Whilst I  cook I can imagine the dancers swishing their sampots as they dance.


I love how they have been drawn, they are almost ethereal. As I love dancing around my kitchen these are the perfect prints to be hung on my kitchen wall.


This photograph makes me happy and sad at the same time.  If you have ever visited a Middle Eastern spice market, then you will know how vibrant the colours are, but there is a tinge of sadness to this photograph, because the market is almost empty, it makes me think of all the displaced families in the Middle East.  This should be a spice market which is filled with noise, with people busy buying their spices.


.... and in complete contrast, I did say I had an eclectic mix of pictures, are these two beauties,


which I bought in Italy. They are both hand painted and the frames are handmade in wood.   Because they were handmade, I love the thought that no two paintings are the same.  I adore the large frames because they make me feel as if I am looking through a window, actually, I would say I would be discreetly looking between the beautiful plants sitting on the windowsill.


Now this piece of art, you may love as I do, or you may dislike it, as members of my family do.  This was bought in New Dehli from a cooperative. Villagers would bring in their goods and the cooperative would sell them and make sure that each piece was priced fairly.  The brass has been hand beaten to create this beautiful design and I love the fact that the beauty of the brass is offset by the dark wood.

I loved visiting India, it is such a beautiful country with so much colour and vibrancy, but it is also a country with huge poverty levels. When I look at the picture it reminds me of the extreme poverty I witnessed and each day it reminds me to be thankful for the quality of my life.... it also reminds me to focus on what I have and not what I wish I had. 


Now these beautiful young ladies were bought on a visit to France.  I loved this print at first sight and knew exactly where I wanted to hang it.... but there was a problem.... there were two different prints which I loved as much as the other.  But as is always the way, money comes into the equation and I could not afford 2, so I had to choose which one to buy.  So after much consideration and a lot of mind changing, I chose these two lovely girls.

We brought the print home and the minute it was placed on the wall, we fell in love with it, all over again.

.... but I also had the perfect space for,


this beautiful girl who was left behind.  Now I was not the only one who loved these prints.... George did.  So a month or so later, George decided to go to France for a day trip,  in the hope that this young lady was still waiting for us.... and do you know she was still hung in the shop waiting to be bought.  It was destiny, she was meant to come and live with us.

.... and the final piece of work I want to show you is,


this 1960s inspired piece of applique and embroidery.... I absolutely love it.  I was a teenager during the late '60s and I vividly remember the use of oranges and golds.  In 1970 these colours were popular for the home as well as clothing. I remember having wallpaper with large orange and yellow flowers, I think this was the only time we had wallpaper on our walls. That was a feast for the eyes.... popular then, but nowadays I could not imagine living with such bright colours, although I do believe they are coming back into fashion.  Phyllis said when she visited our first home, the living room was so vibrant, it felt like she was visiting a discotheque.... do we even use such a word nowadays. 

.... and guess where I found it?

At a car boot sale a couple of years ago.  It was propped up against an old mangle.  Well of course the mangle caught my eye first, because I thought it would be the perfect garden ornament, but the vendor was asking far too much money for it. Which was a shame because George remembered, as a child, his grandmother using a mangle in their backyard and he had the same thought, as I did, that it would be lovely to have climbing roses scrambling through the mangle, but it was not meant to be. So I decided to walk over to look at this piece of embroidery which was propped up against the mangle and I loved it.  

At first glance it looked like a 'naive' piece, but in actual fact it is a well thought out piece.  When I looked on the back of the frame it came from the Grant Iveson Ltd Gallery in Whitley Bay. There is a lot of light and shade in the piece, which, disappointingly,  I have not been able to capture.

I am sorry that you can see the roof of my conservatory, but I tried every which way to take a good photograph.  I propped it up on the end of the sofa, whilst I lay down so that you would not see my reflection.... but that did not work.  I lay it on the floor, again that did not work.  I lent it against my unit, but the vibrant colours could not be seen, so I tried my trusty mannequin, my wicker chair, and whilst you can see the reflection of the conservatory roof, I feel it doesn't detract too much from the design and the colours are perfect.

Actually, each piece I have shown you, had to be removed from its usual home, because of the reflections which could be seen in the glass.  I really must change the glass to non-reflective glass.... maybe someday I will get around to it.

This is just a small proportion of art work I love and I wonder what you feel it says about me.

It is an eclectic mix, but each and every piece I absolutely love.

How about you, what sort of art work do you love? and have you changed your style over the years?

Take care and I will catch up with you next Thursday.

As Always




































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