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Saturday, 29 June 2013

West Watch

We have just spent a couple of days down in West Sussex at one of our favourite places, West Watch. WW is a trust which owns some properties on beautiful land on the edge of the Ashdown Forest. WW is a Christian retreat and we usually make a couple of trips a year down there. The retreat is run by our dear friends Doug & Joy. We are related through marriage, one of their sons and one of ours are married to 2 sisters. We are blessed to have them as part of our family and we always have a great time when we visit returning home fully refreshed! 

The trust has a centre which is used by church youth groups etc and there are also a couple of cottages which are for full time ministers to use. We always stay in the cottage at the left of this building...our bedroom window overlooks this beautiful garden, the woodland and fields which are also owned by the trust.

There is a fire pit and great walks to be had in the surrounding forests

Our very special friends.

Monday, 24 June 2013

jumper finished

I have just mailed this jumper to my daughter in SA together with a lovely vintage tea towel which I didnt photograph with my camera only my ipad :) I still havent figured out how to get my ipad photo's in focus for my blog...most frustrating. 

Anyway I put this photo on intagram for my daughter to see and got messages from my other daughter and daughter in law saying they would like one too! I said they will have to wait and see what Father Christmas brings them. (at least I now have an idea of what to give them)

I actually really like this jumper too...I'm not usually a jumper person and prefer cardigans but this is so light and roomy and quick to make I think I may just make myself one :)

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Ercol Daybed designed by Lucian Ercolani

Well its been a long time coming but the Ercol Daybed is finally finished. The top left photo is how the sofa looked when we bought it, the wood was dark and the cushions old and flat with the foam crumbling inside. So hubby set to and rubbed the dark varnish off, oiled and matt varnished the light wood and added new rubber webbing to the seat. This week we ordered foam cushions ready cut to size, we already had the fabric which is heavy duty upholstery fabric in a brown tweed and only cost me £20 from ebay :)
  Yesterday and today I spent time making the pattern by drawing around the cushions. I took the zips out of the old covers and found a great you tube clip showing a really quick and easy way of inserting zips. The longest one is 64", the other three about 20" each and all three took me less than half an hour to sew into the fabric...that's how easy it was. Here's the video.


 The back panel unscrews at the bottom of each post and lifts off to enable the sofa to be used as a single bed

I am really pleased with the finished daybed. 

For anyone interested on the life and work of Lucian Ercolani, carry on reading :)
Lucian Randolph Ercolani (8 May 1888 – 9 June 1976),[1] furniture designer, was born in St AngeloTuscany, Italy. His father, Abdon Ercolani, a pictureframe maker, migrated toLondon, England, in search of work, and in 1898 was joined by his family. Lucian Ercolani attended a Salvation Army school in London, which he left in 1902, aged 14, to take up a job as a Salvation Army messenger boy. Encouraged by his parents to continue his education, Ercolani enrolled for night school at Shoreditch Technical Institute, where he studied drawing, design, and the theory and construction of furniture. In the early 1900s, Shoreditch was a thriving centre of furniture-making.
By 1906, Ercolani was working in the Salvation Army joinery department, producing staircases and handrails. In 1910, Frederick Parker (later of Parker-Knoll fame) invited him to join his firm, which made furniture at workshops in High Wycombe, the 'furniture capital' of England. In 1912, Ercolani took up a part-time appointment at High Wycombe Technical School, teaching furniture design to evening classes which were attended by High Wycombe’s furniture makers. It was here that he met Edward Gomme, son of a High Wycombe chair-maker. At the outbreak of World War I, Ercolani joined E Gomme Ltd., chair-makers (whose G-Plan range of furniture enjoyed considerable success in the 1950s and 1960s). As Ercolani recorded in his biography: “At Gomme’s … it seemed to me … that the simple chair was the outcome of very good and precise workmanship.”
Ercolani was married in 1915, to Eva Brett, and they had three children. He took British citizenship in 1923.
In 1920, Ercolani had joined a furniture-making consortium in High Wycombe, trading as Furniture Industries. The business expanded through acquisition, and government orders during World War II for wooden tent pegs and bentwood chairs ensured its success. In the late-1940s, Ercolani developed his range of mass-produced Ercol furniture, which became a household name in post-war Britain, and which continues today. He played an active part in the Furniture Industry, being a founder member of the industry's guild, the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers and its Master for 1957-58.
In 2010 the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers awarded a Design Guild Mark for Lucian's Originals collection, as they are now know. The Originals collection reflected a break from the heavy, ornate pre-war styles towards a new clean lined, simple elegance. They were first launched in the late 1950s and were relaunched by Ercol in 2003.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

mohair jumper

My daughter found the pattern below on pinterest and asked me to make it for her. I bought the needles and said I would get the yarn soon. While she was in Devon she managed to find 12 balls of mohair/wool/acrylic mix yarn for £4 in a charity shop....bargain!!

I have begun knitting the jumper

I am sure I wont finish it before she flies back to SA on Sunday but it is light weight so I will mail it when its done.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

we said 'goodbye'

I expect for some it may seem a little strange taking photo's at a funeral but when you are a family of many photographers it would seem the right thing to do. It is also a rare occasion to get us all together. So I wanted to share with you the highly emotional but very beautiful day that we shared for my Mothers funeral. The service in the morning took place at my Mothers church, we then gathered at one of her favourite places for lunch together with friends and family. This was at tea rooms down by a river estuary and dam. The sun shone and we shared memories together. After this my Mother was taken to Cornwall to be buried with my Father and Nana, her mother, at the church that they attended and where we were married. her Grandson's carried her to the graveside where my husband did the committal service. I cant explain just how beautiful a spot this is, a pretty little 15th century church surrounded by a small graveyard and open fields.
After this peaceful and emotional time we all went to Charlestown Harbour to eat supper together.
I couldn't have imagined just how perfect this day would be and am thankful to God for His presence and love.
My brother and I wrote the eulogy below, I will add at the bottom to explain the bit about my sister :)

One twin and our daughter, our eldest son and my sister, my sister and her family, Gilby and his second cousin.

 My sister, brother, myself and most of our families.

'Mum started life in 1928 as the last of 4 children christened Evelyn Myfanwy Griffiths and living in Swansea- her family suffered during the Depression with her elder brothers and father out of work at times. Mum lost her father through ill health when she was 11.

Having moved to Builth Wells with her mother (Nana) to escape the bombing they continued to live a Spartan life in a remote cottage without the mains services we enjoy today-

It was sometime in this period that a young Land Surveyor working for the Ordnance Survey arrived in the town with a team working on updating the maps of the area and Mum met the love of her life-

On the 12 June our parents would have been married for 60 years. They began their married life living in a caravan whilst travelling around the country for Dad’s work.

Mum kept detailed diaries of those early years, she loved the lifestyle, but it wasn’t always easy. No running water, fetching coal in a wheelbarrow, sometimes pushing it across fields of snow. Hand washing and drying their clothes and bedding, oil lamps because there was no electricity, bathing in a metal bath-tub after boiling pans of water.

Mum also wrote about the fun and laughter they had with their friends, sharing evenings in each others caravans, eating supper together, washing and setting each others hair and getting lifts in the Ordnance Survey vans to get their shopping.

Regular trips to the cinema, mum’s diaries record all the films that her and Dad went to see and which actors starred in them.

Both Lindsey and I started our lives in the caravan and whilst our parents were excited with their first house in Leighton Buzzard, mum also cried when she had to move out of the little caravan that she had loved so much.

 Mum didn’t get on too well with driving and we recall the regular family car journeys when mum was supposedly the map reader but required frequent stops for dad to point out yet again where we were on the map and yet again show her where we were supposed to be going-

Dad always seemed to know his way around and so I reckon he set mum up on the map reading for his own amusement.

However mum was an extremely good cook, homemaker and mother and they were often entertaining their many friends at home. We enjoyed good parents loving us whatever we were up to- good or bad-

Moving to Cornwall and life in Polgooth was perhaps their happiest times-

Of course when we lost Dad and Nana in 1981 in a car accident life changed for all of us but especially for Mum- it was a devastating time-

The highlight that soon afterwards lit up the darkness of this time for mum was the finding of her long lost daughter Margaret- or rather Margaret finding us!

The first Lindsey and I knew of it was a breathless excited mother on the other end of the phone announcing the news- not the normal kind of headline I hear when I switch on the evening’s spotlight!

This was soon followed by a trip into the depths of Wales to Newtown where we met Margaret, Dave and two lovely little girls Angharad and Non. What a great addition the Welsh arm of the family has been!!

Mum then moved from Polgooth to be closer to her family-

Mum enjoyed her time living in Buckland Monochorum- especially being part of the community here at St Andrew’s where she was so well looked after by Graham and the church family-

More latterly as Mum increasingly developed the symptoms of dementia she faced this challenge with her trademark determination, courage and humour, we often laughed together as we tried to have a sensible conversation.

It was then that some angels turned up initially just to clean through the house once a week, but soon developed into regular caring, looking after mum, her meals and medication four times a day. This enabled her to stay in her home much longer than otherwise would have been possible. We are so grateful to Barbara and her team for their care for mum-

It became more difficult when apparently having walked across the moors on a cold winter’s day Mum turned up in Yelverton having forgotten on the way how to get home-

Her last few weeks were spent in Mayflower House where, having developed Shingles she became more frail and weak, her last two days saw her family gathered around her. Mum peacefully passed away just before midnight on Ascension day and as Graham has reminded us it is the day when Jesus said ‘I go to prepare a place for you’

We firmly believe that mum is now in a better place where there is no suffering or sorrow-

As we look back we can see that Mum never recovered from the loss of her beloved Carl- but she drew her strength from her family and from God and that is where we will draw our strength from as we all come to terms with losing our dear Mum, Grandmother, Great Grandmother and friend.'

My sister was born to my Mother when she was only 19 and unmarried, this was in 1947 and at a time and place (Wales) when to bring up a child on her own was not acceptable.Margaret was adopted. Six years later my Mother met and married my Father. When Margaret's  adoptive mother died in 1984 she decided to trace her birth Mother and got a whole lot more than just a Mother :)

Monday, 3 June 2013

little bags

Our eldest daughter arrives from South Africa, on Wednesday we go to Devon and will be joined by the rest of our kids for my Mothers funeral on Friday. Primrose, Maggie and Gilby will be joining us after the church service, it will be a long day as the committal will be in Cornwall later in the day. I thought I would make the children a little draw stringed bag each and fill them with toys that I have collected, some new but mostly from the Oxfam shop (those have had a good clean in the dishwasher)
I am hoping these little treats will keep them occupied throughout the day :)

Saturday, 1 June 2013


Just posting a few happy snaps from my trip to Devon this week.
The sun didn't shine much until the last day but it didn't rain too much either so we managed to get out and about.....

 a trip to Shaldon Village

 fun on the beach and then we spotted a little passenger ferry and jumped on for a trip across the water to Teignmouth 

 a fair bit of scooting was done out on the deck

 a lovely play on the beach before bed time

 then lots of sunshine on my last day