Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A little bit of everything...

Denise and then Pomona have shown us their darning mushrooms, and used them as a symbol of their 'Make Do and Mend' approach to dottie angel's Utmost Challenge. I thought I should show you what must surely be a French equivalent - do you not think this must be a darning egg? Alternative suggestions are welcome... I bought it as part of a job lot of sewing notions at a Vide Grenier earlier this year. Now, temptations for those of us doing the Utmost Challenge come in all shapes and sizes. Mine was so small it could fit inside a napkin ring...
Look at that - I had forgotten - Ben's credit card offers us a half price subscription to a magazine for six months, starting every September! I already get Avantages, the French version of Easy Living, at a permanently reduced rate - it helps me improve my French, honest, so it's not an indulgence (much). However, la Journal de la Maison and (swoon) Campagne Decoration??? Folks, I resisted. This was my first real trial, I have to admit. On a brighter note, Seranata has just come to my rescue in an extraordinary way, over a bit of trouble finding a second hand guitar tuner! More info to come...
Now to my Rentré Resolutions, which are listed accusingly to your left... As you can see, I'm cycling to school with my boys every morning and it's not usually hard to go on a cycle ride after leaving them behind their bars(!). You saw photographic evidence of a cycle ride yesterday, so that one is going fine...
Watching the French news is just not working out. It's either at 8pm (too early, too busy) or 10.30 (OK if I'm home alone, but annoying if Ben's at home and we're chatting, eating, drinking, working etc). Thus, except when Ben's been working abroad, that resolution isn't happening yet, and I'm feeling the lack of a nightly news update.
j
Isn't the photo above just too wonderful? Or wouldn't it have been wonderful, if I'd had the foresight to take a floral mug, instead of the tacky one Ben won at the fair?
These rather scrummy photos kill two birds with one stone. They show you the very charming quilted throw that I bought second hand this weekend (the VG was off, for unpublished reasons, but there was a Braderie in the next village, so I survived).
j
They also lead us on to my next resolution, which is about keeping up with my spiritual journal. That's the pretty notebook - Paperchase's recycled range, bought before I started the Challenge! Basically, that's going well, although I need to remember to make time earlier in the day whenever I can (hence the rocking chair under the grape vine), rather than trying to write in it when I'm going to bed, and just too tired to think.
The final challenge is about not taking on too much. It helped me when I saw this great swap (still time to sign up), and I actually took a few days to think about what I would make, and how I would make it all work out, before I signed up. That was a helpful discipline - wish I could do it more often! I'm trying to apply the same principle to Bekimarie's Christmas Stocking Swap; just giving it a few days to plan what I would do and reflect on if I have the time.
It's been a really useful resolution at work, too. I've started some exciting, but challenging, work for a very exclusive Language School. All my training is being done by the boss, and it's a great opportunity, but the school basically has more work available than it has teachers to do it. I've taken on some slots, and some one-offs, but have remembered that I am a mum before I am an earner, and said 'no' when I've needed to. A timely resolution, then!
j
Finally, at the Braderie, Father Christmas and his elves (Pere Noel et ses lutins) got involved in the Utmost Challenge in a big way, if you get my meaning. I also bought a Swatch watch for 15 euros - not cheap but much needed and 'as new'. I then waltzed up to the very cheerful ladies at the cash desk with this:
'Ah, une chemise de nuit ancienne!' they exclaimed (with looks of 'How on earth did I miss that one myself?' etched across their faces - he-he!)
j
'C'est pas ancienne,' I disagreed, looking at the plastic buttons, the machine stitching, the '70s label inside...
j
'Si, elle a peut-etre 30 ans!' they replied... Ooh, 30 years old is ancienne, now... I feel so old...

But it disn't stop me from wearing it as a dress today. Son 2 said I looked like a cross between a ghost and a housemaid. Thanks, Son.

12 comments:

Florence and Mary said...

What a lovely new top

Victoria x

Serenata said...

Beautiful! You are doing quite well with your resolutions... Hmmm, not sure I should admit to how I'm doing with mine!

I love the sewing notions - I've also got a darning mushroom :-)

Well done on resisting the magazine!

Pomona said...

Well, sometimes being a mother is like being a housemaid (actually, nearly always!) and I feel like a ghost often enough! It is a very pretty top, and never take any notice of what sons say about your sartorial choices! I think you are an example to us all, Floss, you are doing so well with all your resolutions. I am debating whether I am allowed to renew my Country Living sub with Tesco points (which my husband gets for petrol) as I never shop there on principle. Decisions, decisions!

Pomona x

Chandra said...

ahhh! I love the rocker, cozy quilt, rustic table and journal. What a perfect mixutre of texture, color, and pattern! I wish I were sitting there now...

Sarah said...

I love your new house coat/nightie. You won't have to get changed in the evening on the days you wear it! Time saving too aye, I like it very much.

I cannot believe you gave up your mag sub!!! Oh that must have really hurt. I too will be giving up mine but I don't really like what I get anymore anyway. I've found some really good UK ones at the library that I've been oogling over, Christmas copies.

That quilt is so pretty! Love the fabric. Well done with your resolutions. At least you are trying to follow them all. Have a lovely evening over there.

Angela said...

So much in this post that's lovely - great vintage darning egg. My daughter is going to Paris in December, so has suggested she gets me a copy of Marie Claire Idees in FNAC. I love your magazines! Thanks for your comment on my post - actually I have been thinking of you a lot [mostly in a positive way] today - something we often do in the church here is have some simple daily Bible readings for advent[ written by yours truly]. Last year we used a book produced by the Baptist Union of GB so I wasn't asked to do any - but YOUR post got me all inspired to start writing some for this year - so thanks for the prompting!! [nb will send you a copy if I DO get them written!!]

Lululiz said...

I love your new old quilt, but even more than the quilt I love that gorgeous cushion, those delicate blue flowers are so delicious! Great little side table, too! Son No 3 made a few things like that when he was at college doing his tree surgery course.

I am in the Hand Made Christmas Swap as well, and keep thinking about what to make, but then, so much depends on who one's partner is going to be....

Itch2stitch.com said...

I am really liking the notebook, Floss. And the quilt too. I love reading your resolutions,and you sound like you are doing a good job of them too!
That did make me laugh, what your Son said! Aren't they great, they just know how to make you feel good about yourself! Well I think it is a splendid buy, and so pretty! Suzie. xxx

Elizabethd said...

What a find! The embroidery is beautiful, and not in the least what a housemaid would be wearing! Or a ghost.

Did your book 2 arrive?

juanitatortilla said...

Your mornings do sound peaceful, with time to yourself for some reflection. Sorry to hear that tuning in to the French news is not working out. (My little 'do German homework' resolution isn't quite working out either. There are just not enough hours in a day.)

Right, what is a darning egg, by the way?

Josie-Mary said...

I love your new top, very pretty. I have to keep saying no to things, this time last year I was running around like a mad thing, now I take time for myself :) however with the fairs coming up I think I better start moving :)

Jeannette said...

I just love, love the new dress! How gypsy! ;)
And the new quilted blanket....gorgeous.
I´ve just been reading all the posts in your blog that I´ve missed. I always love the style of your writing
Have a wonderful week,
♥ Jeannette