see you in spring …


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Dear readers, I will see you again in six months’ time on the first day of spring/autumn.


There is much happening behind the pale blue door, starting with the removal of every last scrap of asbestos from the garden and house (a little in the kitchen and bathroom,  mainly the fence) – strange things make the owners of old homes happy!  Then I can safely put up the adorable kitchen wallpaper …


I also plan to make the tiny back garden somewhere lovely to sit, eat and talk …


And truth to tell losing my dog and my Mum in one year has bruised my heart and soul and made me more fragile than I really knew till this past week, so I need some quiet and gentle days


much love, Barbara x


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it’s been more than six years

painting, wallpaper, garden, squeaky floors and the masking tape that didn’t mask

it might take forever!


have decided to just enjoy this journey one day at a time

no stand for the tv?  maybe a lifetime’s stash of magazines will be perfect …

and a jugful of roses makes everything look way better


soundtrack this sunny Sunday is:

wishing you much happiness today and in the week to come


love from Barbara x


summertime photos: outside the pale blue door


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taken last weekend on a really warm Sunday afternoon …

the English lavender grown from cuttings and happy with very little water


my garden is very much a work-in-progress, we’ll see what happens!


wishing you all good things this week

Barbara x

long weekend and a pale green dress

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from my favorite japanese pattern book

left off most of the ribbon trim to keep it from looking too fussy

I know Stylish Dress Book is hugely popular and has even now been published in English, but this book is even better I think

the linen (it feels amazing), thread and ribbon are from Tessuti in Flinders Lane (staff there are so lovely and helpful; they also sell online)

all my attempts at photos today are not great, sorry!


thank you for visiting my blog

hope this week ahead goes really well for you

love from Barbara x

saturday: in the country



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you’re going where this weekend??


just somewhere nothing much happens

except coffee, lunch and lots of talking

dear friends, fresh air and plants which survived the hottest week



I especially love to see old buildings brought back to life with energy and care

and a front door painted red :)

thank you, Merrin for the first photo


hoping your weekend is turning out peaceful and happy


love, Barbara x



wallpaper in my kitchen


the wallpaper arrived this morning via Sweden, Washington and Newcastle upon Tyne, good grief

only two days of holiday left, so best get back to it :)


wishing you good luck with your projects too

and a happy week ahead

love, Barbara x


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just two days

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and I was enchanted …

at Christmas with my sister’s husband’s family


photos unedited, taken on my phone till the battery ran out :)



and I have just two hopes/plans for this new year about to begin:



to treasure each special moment the day brings (while gently  forgiving myself the ones I’ve mangled in the past)


to plant a frangipani tree!



wishing you much happiness and all good things in 2014

Barbara x

good things near Christmas

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an indoor barbeque in a hospital on a forty degree day (yes, really!)  It was fun :)

very different Christmas plans in another beautiful city

chocolates every single day at work, or so it seems this month

swapping emails with a friend who’s making a texas star quilt as well (how on earth do you join the stars?)

looking at these gorgeous stockings

being almost caught up with my orders

a bit more time to read your blogs (at last!)

and tame the unruly garden


wishing the happiest Christmas for you, dear readers

see you in the fresh new year …


love from Barbara x






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dear readers of my blog thank you for your kind words in person and email, you are so kind



my head feels full of cotton wool (at a time when decisions should be made)

travelling by tram for some strange reason makes me cry, thank goodness for big sunglasses!

my job has been crazily busy, but that’s a good thing

have seen two wonderful movies, too


and at home I enjoy the peaceful things, candles each night, beautiful sunlight  through the workroom window (still unwashed!)

and some liberty cushions, hand finished, no zip or buttons, better photos soon I promise!

the red rose was a gift from my nephew when he stayed with us a while ago, this spring it’s tripled in size


wishing you a very good week ahead

much love, Barbara x


things my Mother taught me

flowers for Mum

how to make a cake

how to be a mother to two little boys under two; never mind the dishes, play them music, read to them and love them

how to sew pajamas, curtains and anything else that might be needed

how to write a covering letter for a job application and a proper thank you note after a party

how to knit very very neatly, exactly the way she did!

how to speak my mind

how to respect every person I meet


how to know when you’ve met a good man and how to let him love you his way …


We lost our Mum this week, aged ninety-one;  she didn’t want us to be sad, her life was long and very happy

but I miss her a lot already, she was very special …

thank goodness for my sons, cousins and friends: have never had so many hugs in a row!


this was one of Mum’s favorite songs from the sixties:


thank you for reading, take care

love, Barbara x