Sunday, 29 November 2009

It's raining, it's pouring...

Will it ever stop?
If you enlarge the photo above you'll see all the farm chickens huddling up to the barn trying to get out of the rain. It's quite amusing to watch because as soon as the rain starts again they all run as quick as they can for shelter.

Our chickens are on strike and not laying - they say this weather is only fit for ducks!

Over flowing gutters, rain washed windows, sodden fields & flooded roads are all the order of the day today. Poor Dylan had to stay in his stable all day as the fields are just too wet to turn the horses out.

It looks like this weather is set to carry on next week too. Don't we deserve a break?

Photos taken by Mr Cottage.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Mmmmm....mince pies...

I've just made my first batch of mince pies - I spotted cream laced with Bailey's at the supermarket & it was a wonderful addition - the two in the photo below are now history!

Friday, 27 November 2009

How much is that doggy in the window?


The Country Cottage Chic Dog House has a few little scamps looking for new homes this Christmas....a china dog is for life, not just for Christmas!
They are all house trained & very well behaved, don't bark, bite the postman, chew your slippers or even need a walk!





Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Daft Dog!

I haven't posted a picture of my lovely Lucy for a while & I just had to show you this one. I can't believe that she is almost 10 - you'd think she was barely 2 with the amount of energy & speed she has & she shows no signs of slowing down, but she definitely has the intelligence & brains of an older dog....the cleverest dog I've ever had.

Each of the dogs have their own baskets - a big one for Lucy & a small one for Toby.
Most of the time they cuddle up together in Lucy's basket but now & again Lucy decides she prefers Toby's & squeezes herself into his little basket!

They also have a habit of rearranging their baskets by moving them around & taking their blankets out as well - they are silly pups sometimes!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Stocking Fillers

The elves have just returned from their tea break so now the "Stocking Filler" area of the Christmas Shop has been filled up with some delightful & fun vintage treats for young & old, crafters & bakers & doll collectors!

Friday, 20 November 2009

Christmas Shop Now Open!

Just a note to let you know that the elves have been working busily this week stocking the shelves of the Country Cottage Chic Christmas Shop.

The doors have just opened so why not pop in to browse amongst the festive delights on offer?
Mostly vintage with a few vintage inspired items, there is everything from Christmas trees, baubles, gift tags, tins, festive pictures, reindeer & more.

We will be filling up the "Stocking Filler" corner this weekend as the elves are insisting on a break (they've been like this ever since they set up the 'Festive Worker's Union'!)

It's starting to feel like Christmas!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Fun fun fun!

Saturday morning saw the Cottage household waking up at the crack of dawn to get ready for the Christmas Vintage & Handmade Fair. Luckily for us it isn't very far so we arrived there early together with a few other early birds which gave us a few minutes for hugs, kisses & catching up before the doors opened for everyone to set up.

We had two hours to prepare & much bustling around & arranging later, the doors opened to an eager crowd who had braved the downpours & the howling gales to attend the event.

It was all go for almost the entire day with much shopping & chatting & drinking of tea.

We had some wonderful comments from many people & in our guest book, so I thought I'd quote a few from the book to give you a flavour of how much everyone enjoyed it.

"The best day out we've had in a long time - we came from Oxfordshire. Better than Country Living"

"Popped in - what a surprise! The quality & choice was fabulous. Love it! Will come again."

"Brilliant as always!"

"Absolutely divine! Been counting down the weeks - definitely worth the wait - can't wait until the next one!"

"Wonderful! Can't wait for May!!! Super cup of tea!"

"Another wonderful event! Well worth the 220 mile round trip."

"Brilliant show!"

"So many beautiful things to see & buy! Very inspiring! Thank you. PS: Lovely spot of tea!"

"I drove all the way from London & it was lovely! Just a suggestion - more stuff for boys so I could do all my shopping in one place!"

All the photos here are from my stall, but Mr Cottage took lots of others & has posted them on Flickr for you to enjoy, or you can see a slideshow on the Vintage & Handmade website.

Thanks to all the stallholders & all the visitors who make this such a special event.
Also the fabulous tea room helpers who worked non-stop all day to provide refreshments for everyone.

Don't forget to add 1 May & 28 November 2010 to your diaries for next year's fairs!

Friday, 13 November 2009

Thursday, 12 November 2009

1 Day to go...

I'm getting excited! If you don't know why yet, well the wonderful Vintage & Handmade Fair is on Saturday & today I have been gathering goodies from all over the house - in bags & boxes, crates & plastic tubs, hoping I haven't forgotten anything & writing up "Do Not Forget" lists - well, we don't want to be without our sugar tongs for the sugar lumps, or the tablecloths for the tea tables do we? I have to remember the trays, teapots & the tea (coffee & hot chocolate too!), not to mention the bunting, banners & string.

I don't have any pretty pictures to show you of my stock as everything is packed - this pile is not even half of what I have to bring so I hope it will all fit on my stall! But you can probably spot a couple of pretty quilts, Christmas trees & baubles, games & toys, as well as a double basket filled with bags of vintage trinkets for stocking fillers.
I'll also be bringing vintage Christmas by the boxful, books, toys, tins, china, kitchenalia, vintage school pictures, linen, vintage calendars, ribbons, paper chains & more, all for your shopping pleasure!

Monday, 9 November 2009

Cake Trial

In our house only The Boy & I eat fruitcake, so every year I make a lovely Christmas cake which ends up half eaten & thrown away in February. This year I decided to do something different. Last year's Nigella's Christmas recipe book inspired me to find the tin to make this Christmas Tree shaped cake. I was a bit concerned about whether it would actually turn out in one piece so decided to give it a trial run and if it worked I would make one for the Vintage & Handmade Fair Tearoom - have I mentioned that it is THIS Saturday??? ;-)

Anyhow, Mr Cottage thought it would be fun to photograph it step by step & see what happened. So, here we have the batter - this mixture is very easy to make.

Here I am pouring the mixture very carefully into the tin to try & get it settled into the pointy bits.

Once all the mixture was in I gave it a few good taps on the kitchen floor (on the rug while keeping the dogs out of the way) to eradicate any air bubbles.

50 minutes later it is have to then leave it to stand for 10 minutes in the tin.

The moment of truth......


A quick sprinkling of snow......

I was so pleased at how well it turned out so I'll be making another one for Saturday - fancy a slice?

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Today we remember them

For The Fallen - Laurence Binyon

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

O Christmas Tree

The goose feather tree was the first artificial Christmas tree and they were originally made in Germany. These trees were produced as a cottage industry as an alternative to cutting a live tree. Metal wire or sticks were covered with goose feathers. The feather sticks were then attached to a larger one to resemble the branches on a tree & the feathers were then dyed green to imitate pine needles. The bases were usually simple wooden squares which were painted. Later on, little red berries were added the ends of the branches.

These early trees have become highly desirable & collectable, especially amongst collectors of vintage decorations & those with period homes where these table top sized trees look perfectly at home.

For quite some time now I have been trying to find one, but unfortunately they always sell for more than I want to pay, so I started looking for a modern alternative. I have bought a couple of trees over the years but they never quite had the right look.
Until now! I was lucky enough to find & buy a really nice reproduction that has the authentic look without the vintage price tag!

I was able to secure 6 of these little trees - they stand 1.2m tall, have red berries on the end of their branches & are on a green painted base which I think I might decorate with vintage Christmas scraps.

As I only need one tree I am offering the other 5 at a very special price of just £25.00.
I haven't put them in my shop as yet & if anyone wants one who is coming to the Fair next Saturday I could bring it along then to save postage.

I'm looking forward to decorating mine with vintage decorations this Christmas.

Only 1 week to go until the Vintage & Handmade Fair!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Who's been sleeping in MY bed?

I'd barely been out of bed for 5 minutes this morning when squatters moved in - one of whom burrows under the duvet - his philosophy is that if he can't see me then I can't see him!

"Uhoh! She's seen what?
Look down at the bottom of the bed - I'm not the only one"

"I'm a cat...I'll do what I like!"

"Now that I've had a nap I'll make a nuisance of myself until I get my breakfast...
or I'll eat her mouse or that little Twitter bird on the screen!"