Sunday, 30 August 2009


1) My favourite sports: Shooting (target, NOT animals!) and fencing. I have enjoyed both hugely but fencing is probably my favourite.

2) When I was 11 years old, a French TV programme called 30 millions d'amis did a feature on me. It was about me horse riding since I was 4 years old & my love for cats. At the time, I was feeding stray cats & kittens. I ended up attracting and caring for over 20 stray and feral cats.

3) I am very interested in maritime archeology, shipwrecks & lost treasures, being my main interests.

4) I don't like soaps. I am not referring to scented soaps. I am talking about TV programmes such as Eastenders, Coronation Street, Home & Away etc..etc.... They always seem to be filled with a lot of mishaps and unhappiness for the characters. So many other things to do or watch instead!
This was a pleasant surprise for Alan when I met him. A woman who does not like soaps!

5) I am fascinated by the 17Th & 18Th century and love books and films set in those times (especially action/adventure, smuggling, pirates, swashbuckling, drama, romance & true events). Here are some of them..

Well, now you know a little bit more about me. I had better get on with some more work in the lounge. A third coat of paint is about to applied to the floorboards. I am pleased with it so far, the room already feels bigger and brighter.

We will be watching some of the Belgian Grand Prix at the same time as working. I always watch the Monaco Grand Prix and the Belgian Grand Prix.

Have a great weekend!

A bientôt!

Isabelle x

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Exciting postal delivery!

Yesterday the postman arrived with a parcel for me. Miss P said: Anything for me? I said sorry sweetie it's all for Mummy today.

This is what I found when I unwrapped the parcel:

All these gorgeous goodies come from Mary Poppins. I was lucky enough to win Mary's super giveaway. A lovely 1950's book, a pretty handmade CK fabric heart, coat hanger & a stunning brooch. AND...there was also a little pressie with Miss P's name on it!

Miss P's eyes lit up and said: For me? Inside, there was a pretty Cath Kidston egg cosy. Miss P was over the moon with her gift and really pleased and touched that someone she didn't know had sent her a gift. Mary's daughter had neatly wrapped it up for Miss P. The parcel arrived moments before Miss P left for a holiday with her Father in Cumbria. Miss P said she was looking forward to having a hard boiled egg on her return.

All so pretty!

Some of the illustrations to be found in the book

Thanks Mary, a great giveaway! Miss P's gift much appreciated too!


Whilst Miss P is away, we are working hard to get the lounge completely redecorated, we have started on the floorboards. Alan was up until 1.30am today painting them....We are also painting the walls, skirting boards, wood panels etc...plenty to do but already beginning to look fresher and lighter. More to follow....

Thank you to all of you who gave me advice on painting floorboards based on their own experiences. It has helped!

A bientôt!

Isabelle x

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Lilacs & Violets

I love the lilac, violet and purple. Here are a few lilac, violet and purple coloured items to be found around my home

One of my favourite items ewer & basin which used to belong to Alan's Aunt. The colours and the design are so beautiful.

A medley of lilac

Vintage floral hat lilac & pink flowers

One of my vintage blouses

This painting is currently in our bedroom

Vintage dressing gown & Heather painting

Vintage purple ric rac

Violet from Nostalgia at the Stone House

Vintage Violets fabric

You will also find violet soaps mixed in with my clothes. The scent is heavenly when you open the drawers. I associate the scent of violets with my Belgian Grandmother Gabrielle, her skin always smelt of violets. She used Yardley's violet soap and as her skin retained perfume well, it stayed on her all day long. Wonderful memories, it is so nice that a scent can take you right back to a specific moment or a person.

Isabelle x

Thursday, 20 August 2009

LOUNGE - Work in progress!

I have not been to a boot fair or any kind of fair for several weeks and why? Well, because apart from going away on holiday recently, our spare time has been spent working on the house. Yes, it is still ongoing! There is so much to be done (the entire house & garden) and with just Alan and I doing the work it's taking longer than we would like but it is gradually & slowly advancing.

Due to a 'happy' accident in our lounge, the carpet has gone and next week we begin the task of painting the floorboards white. The walls, tongue & groove and all wood work will also be painted. Above the fireplace will be wallpapered.
Miss P has already said: " I hope it's not all going to be white! Can we have purple floorboards?" At that point you can already imagine my face, purple...eeek!

We began some of the work at the weekend. Here is a sneak peek.

Work in progress...

This room (the lounge) was redecorated about 10 or 12 years ago before I moved in. When I moved in, which was about 5 years ago. I didn't make any changes as it was not necessary then. Over the past year we have started making various changes and have begun the process of redecorating the whole house. (I have really enjoyed choosing the colour scheme, fabrics, furniture, finishing touches etc... for each room, don't we all ladies!)

We have just emptied a dresser in the lounge, the contents of which is in the carrier bags which I am in the process of sorting out. At the weekend, we replaced the dresser with a bookcase as we desperately needed storage for our books, most of them being mine...
We have thrown out an armchair & temporarily replaced it with the pine settle shown in the picture, this used to be on the landing. Eventually, we will be getting a new armchair and sofa.

I absolutely love these curtains. Petronella by Liberty

The sofa, with plenty of cushions, you can never have too many!
My first crochet purchase (before I could crochet)

Lamp & bookcase next to the sofa.
Ooh I had fun arranging the books and decorative things in the bookcase!

Close up of one of the shelves in the bookcase.
Painting by Phillipa Stanton (5FT INF). I love the mix of oil paint and 1950's newspaper cuttings used to make this painting.

The evenings are cosy in the lounge

This barrel belonged to my Belgian Grandmother, I use it as a side table.

Will keep you posted on progress. Alan is taking some time off next week so we should get quite a bit done then.

To anyone who has painted their wooden floorboards and has cats & children: Do you have any useful advice & tips on how to get the job done well please?

Thank you

A bientôt!

Isabelle x

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

When I get a spare moment....

Whilst I was on holiday, I took the opportunity to do some crochet. I have found it very enjoyable and relaxing. I recently went on a 6 week course and only managed to attend 4 due to circumstances, one of them being a leak in our lounge ruining our carpet in the end. Things happen for a reason...Now it gives me the excuse to paint the floor boards white! :0))

I still have plenty to learn about crochet but am having a go at trying to make things from books.

I started making a circular cushion but had to go back to the beginning as I think my tension was wrong. It would not lay flat, my daughter complemented me of the lovely frilly circle....and sweetly said it looked great and not to start again.

Rowan Wool Colour: Pier

I don't think it's meant to look like that, is it? I think my tension was too tight somewhere along the line?..It should be as flat a pancake I think?... I will be popping in to Marmalade Yarns in Frome where my course was held for some advice.....Maxine and Catriona are wonderful, never too much trouble when it comes to help and advice!

I also made several blue, red & white cotton squares. These will go in the lounge.

I think that they will end up as a cushion

This is one of the very first things I began to make a few weeks ago and will end up as a blanket when I have made more squares. It is likely to end up in Miss P's bedroom.

I love pinks and yellow together

My very first jar cover in Patons Mercerized cotton

One of my stashes of yarn....More in my bedroom and workroom...

A bientôt!

Isabelle x