Monday, 30 November 2009

Eventful day!

In the lane that I live in, there is a bridge about 100 yards away from our house. Underneath it, the road has been flooded for the past 2 weeks! No one can get through except for tractors. Luckily we can access the rest of the lane by turning left. It is frequently flooded when it rains heavily.

At around 10am this morning, I looked out of my workroom window as I could hear someone calling out. A lady was calling her 2 dogs. I looked out as I thought they might be chasing after my cats. It turns out that her car was stuck in water under the railway bridge. Poor woman (named M), she was wet and cold. I invited her in and called for help to have the car pulled out of the water. It took quite sometime before anyone arrived on the scene!

She was very concerned that she would be imposing on us. After reassuring her that she wasn't, I said that if something like that happened to me, I would hope that someone would help me.

In the meantime, I put the kettle on, leant M some clothes as hers were soaked and lit the fire to warm up the room. As we waited for help, we chatted about this and that including interior design. She is a lovely person who has it happens used to work for a well known textile company in London and loves textiles!

After lunch, the recovery vehicle turned up and drove M back home.

The car stuck under the railway bridge in our lane today

Sign put up when help finally arrived

This is the 5th or 6th time this has happened in that same spot, this year alone!

Miss P was at home today as she was unwell but it didn't stop her from doing her bit to help.

By the way, the two dogs are safe and well too!

A bientôt!

Isabelle X

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Sweet Sewing Book

I recently spotted this book on Ginny's blog Sweet Myrtle. Home Sweet Sewn is co written by Ginny and her friend Alice. Just the cover alone made me want to buy it! When I received it, it was just as I had hoped, full of lovely projects and beautifully presented.

Here is a taster.

Lovely, don't you agree...

For now, I'll just have to enjoy the photos as I cannot/won't do any sewing or crafting until the decorating has progressed further. Unfortunately, I am one of those people who has to have the "ideal" conditions in order to feel creative and work better. This means that I cannot stand making things with lots of boxes around me in a half decorated room. I just don't like it and don't feel inspired...

Time hasn't really allowed it either, I am self employed and work from home. When my working day has finished, I spend time with Miss P, do the usual housework chores, then work on the house again (clearing/decorating).

Once everything is in it's right place again and the room looks pretty and peaceful, then my creative juices will start flowing again. Until then, I must be patient.

The decorating has taken a lot longer than we had expected. We didn't realise that the first lot of de-clutter would not be enough. A second round was required and I had to be a lot more ruthless this time.. Not easy for me as I am a hoarder. Having said that, I have found the experience quite satisfying. We are also replacing various pieces of furniture throughout the house and it's taking time finding the pieces we are looking for. We are slowly getting there though. It will all be worth it in the end...

By the way, as it happens, Ginny is a having a giveaway. Two author signed copies of the new book. Check out her blog.

I've been meaning to say, thank you for all your lovely emails and comments about the 3d photos! We've had a wonderful response from far and wide.

A bientôt!

Isabelle X

Monday, 23 November 2009


Vintage beret (Bought from a boot fair)

I have liked the Fair Isle design ever since I can remember. Over the years I have owned many Fair Isle jumpers, cardigans, hats, scarves and blankets. I never tire of it and like having touches of it here and there at home.

Fair Isle blankets bought from Cath Kidston
(On left, is this season's and on the right a previous season)

I love the colours!

I cannot knit (yet), I am still trying to master and find the time to do crochet! As soon as I feel I am competent enough with crochet, I shall be attending a knitting course at Marmalade Yarns.

My English Grandmother, Maud was very skilled when it came to knitting. She knitted many beautiful things. I remember how she would knit at a speedy pace whilst watching TV at the same time. I often wondered how she could do that without making any mistakes. That always impressed me as a child.
I wish I had asked her to teach me how to knit.

I recently went online to find websites selling Fair Isle knitted items. Here are some of the things that I spotted and like.




Pattern from Book Special Family Knits by Debbie Bliss

Vintage Fair Isle knitting patterns from The Retro Knitting Company

Fair Isle bunting from Designed in Shetland by Mary Fraser
(Making it's way to me soon...)

Fair Isle Album from Designed in Shetland made by Mary Fraser

Medium Fair Isle notebook from Designed in Shetland by Mary Fraser
Hopefully will make it's way to me soon, they are out of stock at the moment though....
(UPDATE: 24/11/09 Advised more coming in at the end of this week!)

Fair Isle Album from Designed in Shetland made by Mary Fraser

Little baby bunting from Designed in Shetland made by Mary Fraser

Fair Isle Address Book from Designed in Shetland made by Mary Fraser
On my wish list, still deciding on which one I prefer the most, this colour of the one below...

Fair Isle Address Book from Designed in Shetland made by Mary Fraser

Peerie Fair Isle Sock from Designed in Shetland made by Robyn Roberston



Fair Isle Crafts Ltd


Visit Shetland website

Over the years I have visited Scotland many times, especially when I was a child. During the summer holidays, we would get away from the heat of the South of France and all the tourists. Scotland was a great place to do that, no crowds, peaceful and beautiful scenery. . We had great holidays there, I loved it. However, I have never visited any of the islands. Something which I will eventually do, it is on my must do list!

The weather has been atrocious here, our lane is flooded at one end. However, I am not complaining, it is no where near as bad as in Cumbria. I feel so sorry for all those affected by it.

A bientôt!

Isabelle X

Thursday, 19 November 2009

MEETING dots and spots

This morning, I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Becky from dots and spots. I had ordered a couple of personalised cards and as I only live 3 miles away, I arranged to collect them from her house. Becky kindly invited me around for coffee (apple juice in my case as I don't drink tea or coffee).

The moment I walked in, I knew that I would like or should I say... LOVE the house. Lovely shades of blues, off whites and red and with some dots and spots here & there of course. There is also a mix of Greengate, Cath Kidston & several pieces of vintage furniture. It is beautifully furnished and decorated!

We sat at the table for a chat and although Becky & I had never met before, the conversation flowed easily. Becky showed me some photos of how the house used to look inside before they redecorated it. The transformation is amazing, a real labour of love. You wouldn't believe the difference!

Becky showed me around her studio where I saw some of her work. The design of her cards are really lovely, bright and colourful.
I was privileged to see some of her brand new cards not yet released!

I had a lovely time and ended up being there for 2 hours, time flew by!

Needless to say that I did not come back empty handed.

Personalised card

Personalised card

Brooch & ribbon

Robin on a cinnamon stick

If you would like to have a look at the full range, go to dots and spots website where they have an online shop.

A bientôt!

Isabelle X

Tuesday, 17 November 2009


As mentioned in my Previous post, The Vintage and Handmade Fair Christmas 2009 which was held in the Town Hall at Chipping Sodbury (S. Glos), was a fantastic event! I would not have missed it! The fair was mentioned in various blogs, magazines and newspapers including BBC Homes and Antiques Magazine and Sew Hip Magazine. Both Magazines had a stall there too.

As some of you know, Alan took some photos of the fair first thing just before the public was let in. The photos were taken using two digital cameras held side by side. Once back at home, Alan converted both sets of photos using his own anaglyph software. He has spent more than 14 hours so far over the past 3 days, working on them then uploading them on to his website.

If you couldn't make it to the fair, you can now experience it virtually!

I would like to mention that 3d is better suited to bright conditions, the lighting on Saturday was not ideal to obtain the best results but with a bit of work on the photos Alan ended up with an acceptable result. When outdoors, the success ratio for the final product is much higher than when photographing indoors.

Colours will be affected due to the nature of 3d photography, red in particular!


Make yourself comfy and don't forget the 3d glasses. Remember they have to be red & cyan to work! Sainsbury's 3d glasses will NOT work on these photos as they are meant for TV viewing only (they are amber and blue)
If you have children, they may have a pair. If not, you can email me on to order some. £1 per pair (includes p&p)


Once you have put your glasses on, with the red lens over the left eye, sit back from your screen a little (about half a metre) and keep still. The 3d image should appear quite quickly.

Some images, distant views for example, may take a little longer for the 3d effect to work. If you are having difficulty seeing the 3d try focusing on one object in the picture and, hopefully, the rest of the picture should appear in 3d too.

You may also find it's best to set your monitor to full screen by pressing F11 on your keyboard.

Don't worry if you are unable to see the 3d at all. It doesn't work for everyone. Unfortunately, if you are colour blind you will have problems.

I do advise regular breaks to give your eyes a rest. I suggest a break every 15 minutes.

There are 87 photos spread over 3 pages! In order to get these pictures to you as soon as possible, we have decided to spread the photos over the next 3 evenings. Page 1 is available now, Page 2 will be available tomorrow evening & Page 3 will be available on Wednesday evening.


I hope that you enjoy looking at the photos and would love to hear what you think of them! Thank you.

Here are a selection of 2d photos of the fair so no glasses needed for these!

Miss P and I admiring Clare's beautiful hats

You can see what I bought at the fair on my previous post.

A bientôt!

Isabelle X

P.S: UPDATE 17/11/09 - 3D PHOTOS - PAGES 1, 2 & 3 have all been uploaded. All 87 photos can now be viewed.