Monday, 3 April 2017

Spring at the cottage

I love all the seasons, but Spring is really special. Seeing everything coming back to life, the first hints of green in the hedgerows, the little wildflowers eagerly opening up in the first warm rays of sunshine, the wonderful clouds of white blossoms on the wild cherry trees and the hawthorns, thats magical.

We have been quite busy these first couple of weeks. The 'garden' was covered in what seemed like a million branches and bits from the trees surrounding the cottage. Apparently there had been some rather severe storms just before we came out to the cottage. It took my DH days to clear them up. Then the warmer weather arrived for a few days and you know what happens then...... the grass goes mad and you can almost see it growing while you watch. Not the best time for the mower to break down, lol, but my wonderful DH is Mister Fixit :-). Planted the First Early Potatoes, got the greenhouse put up again and planted lots of veggie seeds, stocked up my herb pots by the front door and started clearing out weeds.

We were so happy to get back to the Refuge ( ) again and walk the doggies twice a week. We have missed them, they are our babies as well. I try not to think too much about how long some of these beautiful dogs have been in the shelter, it breaks my heart that some of them have spent almost their entire life there. Little Sam, for example, came to the Refuge when just a year old, such a wonderful little dog, absolutely loves to play with toys, is obedient, walks nicely on the lead, and loves to be loved, yet nobody has ever shown interest in him in, what, eight years! I would so love for him to go to a wonderful loving home, even though I would miss him.

Anyway, enough ramblings, I'll just show you a few random pics from the last couple of weeks :-) -

My precious box full of my treasured gifts from friends. They travel with me between the UK and France all the time 

Rain day sorting through an old button box

Morning walks

Spring flowers inside and out

Seeds planted

Loving this vintage bust of a young woman

Sorting out some small religious pieces to list on Etsy

My little herb 'garden'

A freshly laundered, beautifully delicate lacy bedspread drying in the soft Spring air

And of course plenty of time spent with our dogs

Toodlepip xxx

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

A new ATC swap!

Kimberly from ArtJoyStuff is hosting another swap, yay! The theme is Springtime in Paris. I am enjoying Springtime in France right now, but not in Paris, lol, we are back at the cottage, and one of the first things I did was organise my craftavan again so that I could finish the ATCs I had started before we left the UK on Saturday night. And here they are, photographed amongst the gorgeous little wild violets which grow everywhere round here at this time of the year -

Wishing you all a lovely warm and beautiful Spring, toodlepip xxx

Monday, 27 February 2017

A bit of upcycling

I have used sooooooo much sellotape in the last few months, sending out items from the jewellery auctions I had been running for a an animal charity and of course posting orders from my Etsy shop, I ended up with a huge amount of empty sellotape rolls. Time for at least one more little tubby, lol! The others I made were very much Tim Holtz/steampunk inspired, this one is a bit more Spring-y, flowery, bird-y :-). With a teeny bit of bling, of course :-) -

Toodlepip xx

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

My ATC swap package has arrived!

Shipping from the States was really quick this time, wasn't expecting it today at all, so it was a really lovely surprise when the postman handed the envelope to me.

And as always, opening it and taking out the swap ATCs was such a pleasure! Everybody in the swap really did their best work, all the ATCs ( shown on Kim's ArtJoyStuff blog ) were awesome, and I would have been delighted with any one of them. As it happens, I received an ATC from Kimberly herself, from Lynn Stevens (trash to treasure art ) and from Terri Wilkerson ( junqueseeker ) -

From Kimberly -

love the wonderful details and layering

From Lynn - 

a blingy heart, what could be better 

From Terri -

the back is as pretty as the gorgeous front

Kimberly is a fabulous swap hostess, and always includes a sweet little gift. Love the lace on the peg she sent this time! Thank you, Kim, for yet again hosting a wonderful swap, you're the best! 

Toodlepip xxx

Sunday, 5 February 2017

About time!

It has taken me ages to list new things in my Etsy shop, life sometimes has a way of interfering with the best laid plans. But I have finally done it and filled at least one shelf again :-). Here is a little collage of some of the things which have recently gone into the shop -

And now I'll go and have a cuddle with my doggies. I love taking photos of them, this is a pic I took earlier today of Hector, looking all sweet and lovely -

and this is a pic my DH took of our darling Hector 5 mins ago, lol, what a tart - 

That is one relaxed doggie!

Toodlepip xxx

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Sometimes you just have to

I buy very little these days, after all I am trying to downsize, not add more things to the home, lol, but as the title says, sometimes you just have to. I was getting an Etsy order ready for posting and had a little browse through Etsy whilst getting the paperwork done, and found something I really really couldn't resist - a wonderful little book called Snipped Tales ( ). I love it! It is 'snipped' by Julie Kirk and I adore the whimsical, crafty, papery marvelousness of it :-). Have a quick look -

It arrived beautifully wrapped with a long handwritten note and a dinky tag. The snipped tales inside are just adorable, some made me chuckle, some are thought provoking, all are brilliantly put together. I have only read a few so far, I want to make it last, lol, but it is difficult, I want to read all the tales straight away. The ones I did read immediately set off all kinds of ideas in my head for collages to go with the stories etc. 

It is such a fun read, I am so glad I found this.

Toodlepip xxx

Friday, 6 January 2017

First ATC swap of 2017 !

I am so grateful to Kimberly, ArtJoyStuff, for hosting another one of her fabulous ATC swaps. They get me creating even when I think my creativity has deserted me. And because I know how unreliable the postal services are, I always try and get the ATCs done straight away.

This is it -

and if you would like to take part as well, click on the thumbnail on the right, it will take you straight to the sign up post.

Last night I started gathering a few things for this Valentine's Pretty & Pink swap and this morning I started selecting bits - 2 different doilies in pretty shades of pink, a pink floral background paper, pastel lace flowers, a darling little cupid, fabulous pink German glass glitter and of course some bling. Have to have bling, lol. This is what I turned those bits into -

While I have gluey fingers and bits of paper all over the place, I think I will make a couple of bookmarks to go into an animal charity auction ( as well as a bunch of other stuff as well, of course ).

Toodlepip xxx