Friday, 18 December 2015

A Festive Flurry 

Hello readers and thank you for receiving my last post so enthusiastically.  I'm here again already!

So the boxes are down from the loft and the decorations are finding their way around the house.  There's a smattering here in the Den, in appropriate colours, of course.

I've still found the odd hour here and there to spend in my Den.  A little peg doll fairy has appeared (though I don't think I'm going to get many/any more done now!)

It's a busy time of year for us all, isn't it?  The problem, is I don't seem to have many helpers.  Just ones who sleep on the job.

There seems to be a lot planned between now and the big day, just one week to go!  We already have had a few events going on.  The Master finished school a week ago and we enjoyed a lovely carol concert in Sherborne Abbey and a more intimate and cute Christingle service in the village where the youngest visitor was just nine weeks old and the oldest...well I wouldn't say.

There's something lovely about being out and about at dusk at this time of year.  The best bit is coming home, of course.

I am still waiting on my dream kitchen which I thought would have been here by now but never mind, that gives us something to look forward to in the New Year and for now, we're good and cosy indoors.

In the evenings in front of the fire, there's been a little hand stitching going on.

As promised, a final stocking has squeezed out of the Den just in time.

If you have been a good girl or boy and need a stocking to hang by the fireside for Father Christmas to fill on Christmas night, you've still got time and shall find this one magically waiting in my Etsy shop!

I hope to be back and see you all again before the big day and show you the festive HenHouse.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Oh my, where has the time flown?  It's really December already?  Yes, it is!  We've begun to get into the swing of things round here.  Last year, having moved house a couple of months before Christmas, everything seemed a bit last minute so this year, we have got into the festive spirit a bit early.  Furry Frank has joined in with his marabou stole, ooh la la!

We went out for the tree at the first available opportunity and found a new Christmas tree "farm" nearby where we were spoiled for choice.  I always go for the biggest I can find!

With the change of the seasons, Mr HenHouse and I have managed more days out as in the Summer, we seem to be busy outdoors in the garden all the time.  Everywhere is awash with fallen leaves, that's life in the country for you (along with copious spiders) but it has still been very mild and looking quite pretty.  We've finished our decorating work indoors for this year (we'll be back at it in January), so we've taken the chance to catch up and have a few days out.  

We always enjoy a trip to the fairs at Shepton Mallet and in the Winter, it can be less busy which is always a bonus for us (not so for the stall holders, I expect).  We've picked up some lovely items, I never come away empty handed!

Finally, I have found more time to spend in my Den and a lot more craftiness has been going on which always makes me happy (if tired!)  First up was a project I'd been meaning to get round to for a few years.  Out came the vintage quilt pieces and bundles of the prettiest vintage fabrics.  It was time for some soothing hand paper piecing on a small scale.

I think I have been inspired by all things sparkly in the run up to the festive season and I have been hoarding gorgeous vintage and antique lace, trimmings and all sorts of pretty bits and pieces.  I decided I had to sort out my collection of vintage lace and that took a fair few hours, I can tell you.

More sorting out came along when I found some dinky little printer's trays on Bridport market, just perfect for what I term my "fripperies".  I am quite the magpie, it seems.

I have a furry helper who had taken a shine to a certain vintage quilt on top of my rack of wools in the Den.  There you are, Mr Peach, hiding behind the marabou trims!

After hiding away in my Den for the best part of a week, I began to see the fruits of my labours.  A fairy doll head adorned with feathers and a vintage frippery (there's that word again), protecting her modesty under layers of gorgeous vintage lace...

Can you guess what this little number is?  A pretty confection of old rose paisley quilt, vintage lace and that EPP I was enjoying each evening in front of the fire...

Talking of fires, we had a little move round in the sitting room to get the tree in and we're quite happy with the result.  Just in case you were wondering where he is, Charlie Boy is never far from the warmth of the roaring logs.

Upstairs, some finished goodies had emerged from the Den.  Pretty patchwork stockings waiting for Santa to fill on Christmas eve...

Cute-as-a-button fairy dolls all entirely handmade and handpainted by yours truly and making use of that hoarded collection of vintage pretties.

Meet Lily, named after the sprig of vintage lily of the valley flowers at the waist of her stunning lace skirt.

Silver is a bit of a favourite of mine, if that is allowed...

I didn't get a chance to name this little lady before she flew off to fill a lucky lady's stocking on Christmas Day this year...

I'm pleased to say that I've finally been able to put some new items into my little Etsy shop, so should you have been a very good girl or boy this year and fancy nipping over, you will as always, be most welcome there.  (The stockings have already sold but I am working on a couple more at the moment which will be in my shop as soon as my little hands can get them there!)

P.S.  A big thank you to those of you who sent me a little prompt to write another post.  It's obviously just what I needed! X

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Furry Friends

It's been too long, reader and there's so much to catch up on so without further ado...

I don't think there can be anything more important than introducing you to the new members of the family.  As you know, we are pretty potty about furry friends around here.  Our beloved Charlie Boy is still going strong at eighteen and a half years old.

There has definitely been a void in the HenHouse though, since Jacky Ginge and Vorey died last year.  We always said we would not get new, younger cats while Charlie was still with us as we didn't think he would like it or it would be fair on him.  We'd had a year however, for Charlie Boy to settle in here in his new home and to observe how he was getting on.  As you might expect of such a senior citizen, he is very much set in his ways.  He goes outside a little bit but he is otherwise very happy sleeping on the sofa and getting up for the occasional munch.  He's a very laid back cat and of all our boys, he was always the boss, albeit in a non-confrontational way.  We got to thinking that we really missed having some more company around the house, poor Charlie boy had to put up with the attentions of all three of us, after all.  We thought that he maybe might not mind a bit of company after all.

So there we were one Tuesday morning, late in the Summer holidays and I tentatively voiced that maybe we could consider some new furry friends to add to the household which met with enthusiasm from Mr HenHouse.  The Master in particular had really missed Jacky Ginge and we felt it would be nice for him to have more company.  We had a look at a few of our local animal shelters online as we were mindful that we would need to find a new kitty who was likely to get on with Charlie Boy, he was our top priority, of course.  We decided a kitten might be too much for him and we liked the idea of rehoming an older friend.

Two days later, we found ourselves at Little Valley Animal Shelter in Exeter.  Predictably, the Master was very excited at the thought of a new furry friend and we all fell in love with one chubby little chap who immediately seemed friendly and to take to the Master in particular.

What do you know, furry face there had a friend.

We decided this was perfect.  We would rehome both kittys, they had lived together and were friends, after all, so it was only right they stay together.  They were both gorgeous little characters though our little ginger friend was a little shyer than his mate.  Home we went, excited and eagerly waiting to hear from the RSPCA as they carry out a home check before rehoming any animals.  We live quite a distance from their shelter so we thought it might take a while for them to visit us.  The Master was very impatient to get the new boys home before he went back to school at the beginning of September.

In the end, it all happened very quickly, they were very professional and organised at Little Valley and before we knew it, on the Saturday morning we had a call; when would we like to collect our new friends?  One visit to the pet shop and a speedy trip to Exeter later and our little furry dream had come true!

We had to keep the new boys confined to one room for a few days whilst they got used to their new home and before they met their big ginger brother.  Let me please introduce you to Oscar, our peachy coloured boy cat who is probably around three years old.

His brother (non-related) is the rather cuddly and very placid Frank, around six years old.  Purr!

Well, they started to settle in no problem.  We had forgotten what it was like to have young cats in the household.  Oscar in particular, has been very active.  He was soon jumping up on every surface so I had to get out some cardboard boxes and pack my ornaments away!

After a few days, we introduced Charlie Boy and the new boys.  They were a little wary at first but we were pleased that the new boys were not at all confrontational and have respected Charlie Boy's position as head honcho of the furry brethren.  We are lucky in that there is plenty of space here at the HenHouse, both inside and out, and they can all find their own space and do their own thing.  They get on fine though and there's the occasional hiss but all is much better than we might have dreamed.

Oscar, as I say, is a very agile cat and wasted no time in exploring every inch of the house.  He is quite fond of my Den, obviously a very discerning feline, and here he is, checking out the stash!

Frank has a very laid back approach to life.  He is really not that bothered about going outside and is very fond of his home comforts.  He soon found the best seat in the house.

They've settled in really well, having been home about eight weeks now.  Oscar has discovered that he is very fond of eidys.

We had to keep the boys in for the first four weeks so they could get used to their new home.  They actually did not seem to mind this too much until the end when Oscar was quite keen to get out and explore.  There was a lot of impatient sitting on windowsills!

Frank's favourite spot is on my chair next to the woodburner in the kitchen.

They remain good friends and Oscar is often to be found cuddling up next to Frank for a bit of extra warmth.

Frank and the Master have formed a close bond so we are really happy to see the void left by Jacky Ginge has been filled as we hoped.  Here is Furry Frank waiting to wish the Master a happy birthday recently!

Oscar also seems happy in his new home, he is a little more independent than Frank and likes to go out and explore but he's a really good cat and also rather special. We don't really know much of the new cats' history but Oscar has amazing fur, it is so so soft like a rabbit, and we have taken to nicknaming him Peach, both for the colour and softness of his incredible coat.

Charlie Boy?  He is as adorable as ever.  Such a good boy, always his mummy's darling and the best cat you could ever wish for.  As you can see, he's getting along just fine.

All is well once more in the HenHouse. Xxx