Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rainbow Swap, an Evening Without Electricity and the Utmost Challenge

My Rainbow Swap blue parcel from Kate made it through the English and French Postal services to get to me this weekend! As the internet had been down for a week, I'd managed to mislay my under-used camera, so I got no photos of Son 2 helping me to open the delightful parcels. Now that everything is up, running and re-found, I thought I'd take you on a tour of the house to see where some of my lovely blue gifts have found homes...

The over-loaded hooks in the kitchen now hold this great little vintage apron, which I wore on Sunday to cook for friends - I felt so good!
The cake stand has some blue embroidery silks at its base, and smells great thanks to the Laura Ashley spice bag with that sweet little blue button!
More clutter, this time on my bedside table, but look at the lovely blue polka-dot notebook!
In the vintage sewing box, look at the buttons and that amazing, large rickrack...
I realise now that I forgot to snap the pretty scarf hanging over my wardrobe, but here is the lovely Cath Kidston card which Kate sent with all her super blue gifts - thanks so much, Kate! What a great swap.
The candle-lit image above sets the tone for yesterday evening, because we had a very unexpected powercut of almost two hours at tea time.
Everyone responded in their own unique way. I had fun lighting a lot of candles, and congratulated myself on having matches and candles ready to find for just such an event.
Son 2 decided to get crafting by candlelight.
I took photos of lovely candlelit effects!
Ben got out the camping stove to heat his supper.
Son 1 took out his telescope and took advantage of the night sky without its usual light pollution.
'Muuuummm, will you STOP flashing the camera?'
Here are the moon and Jupiter, without the aid of the telescope.
And now to the 'How is the Challenge of the Utmost Kind Going?' question...
I found a second hand filing cabinet! We had a mega-spend weekend when the internet was down, so now I need to tell you about it. Some friends had a garage sale and we bought a good DVD player/recorder from them to replace our broken one. Score one on the Challenge. On the Sunday I went to visit their Vide Greniers stall and mentioned my quest for a filing cabinet. They had one in their utility room! I went to pick it up and it is now full (too full?) of our files. I may need another... Anyway, Score two.Do you like the thrifty decorations? Doilies from Veti'Relais plus IKEA magnets from years ago... Score three.

Plus an embroidered cloth I already had, on which the old printer, newly fixed, sits. Scores four and five, perhaps...
See my lovely red gingham portrait by Sarah, there? But now, hmmmm... The new computer. Ben bought it, honest! And now everything works again!!! However, Score zero, or possibly negative one hundred, on the Challenge.
We also had a successful time buying second hand ski gear for the boys, as well as trading in Son 2's old ski boots. Decathlon, the huge sports retailer, runs 'Trocathlon' events twice a year, where people can sell their old sports stuff and recieve the profits in Decathlon vouchers. A huge Score for Reduce, Reuse and Recycle from a major retailer - what a pity that stores around the world don't do the same! Maybe it will catch on... We used our vouchers this weekend to part-pay for winter trainers for the boys. I also picked up the box above, which is wonderfully Quirky-meets-Arts-and-Crafts-Movement, and this charming lace collar, over the last week and a bit.So tomorrow it's off to Edinburgh for a few days, where, as many of you have already observed, I will not be visiting the CK shop! Frankly, I won't really be shopping at all, because it's a visit with the boys and I think we will mainly be having bracing walks in the Botanic Gardens and trips to museums. Son 1 thinks he may do a post for you whilst there...


Kate said...

Hi Floss
how wierd that my yellow swap parcel arrived this morning, and you blog about your parcel today, all my yellow bits look lovely and I'll blog about it later.
Thanks again for the swap.
Have a great week

Lululiz said...

Oh I am so relieved that another swap parcel has arrived safely. My goodness, just look at the wonderful things Kate has included in her parcel, love that apron!

Great use of doilies on the filing cabinet, very clever.

Have a wonderful time in Edinburgh, and I keep my fingers crossed for you, hopefully you will get a chance to visit a least a couple of charity shops.

VintageVicki said...

Have a lovely family time away in Edinburgh. Haven't been there for years - last time son1 was just a 6 month pregnancy bump - remember him jumping when the cannon went off!

Michela said...

Lovely blue parcel! I'm seeing lots of swap parcels in Blogland...I feel so ashamed about mine!
I love the pragmatism of your family!
Have a lovely time in Edinburgh, hope your mum is fine now!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Have a fun and safe trip! I really need to get a filing cabinet, but keep putting it off as it will take up so much room in the closet.

Lola Nova said...

Wow, a wonderful post full of lovely things! Your swap parcel was great and I love all your second hand finds. That box is very interesting. Have a great time with your family!

Mami said...

what a nice blue parcels!
and Lovely things you found out! Lovely !

Surprisingly the photo of moon and Venus-which i took the same photo this evening!!

LissyLou said...

Great swap - i love the pinny!!!

Elizabethd said...

What a nice swap that was! you had some lovely blue things....as did I!
I dont know if you received my e mail as your connection has been down, could you let me know please?

A Bun Can Dance said...

Hello Floss
What a lot of news! Your swap items look wonderful - it sounds as though it was a really successful swap. Power cuts? Blige, I hope we don't have any... but I guess we could just go outside and cook in Ruby campervan, if it does happen! You've been very successful with the Utmost Challenge and fab news to hear that you have your filing cabinet!! Great!
Wishing you a wonderful trip to Edinburgh - can't wait to hear about it! Maybe you'll find your way into some charity shops whilst there.....??
Happy days
Denise x

Sarah said...

Your challenge is going very well! Good job with all those pre-loved purchases and repairs. Love that floral cloth on the filing cabinet.

Keep forgetting to tell you that daughter No.2 made your ginger biscuits in the weekend and they are a bit hit. They look just like the real thing but taste better because they are homemade. Thanks for the recipe.

Have another lovely holiday with your parents this week. We'll miss you again but this time we know you'll be having a good time. Enjoy!

Serenata said...

I hope you have a lovely time in Edinburgh!

A lovely post with some beautiful blue items you received from Kate for the Rainbow swap. I love the way you have shown them in situ throughout the house - gorgeous!

The candlelight pictures are very evocative, what a lovely way to cope with a powercut.

Glad you are doing well with the Utmost Challenge.

Elise said...

ah, Marmite....

Dragonfly said...

Your candelight pics are lovely. I actually enjoy power cuts as candles make such a lovely atmosphere, and everyone seems more peaceful! Great pic of the night sky too (I was referred by Mami)! Enjoying reading your blog - Karen

Cally's Cottage said...

Hello Floss,Lovely to meet you - via Dottie Angel- your blog is very interesting! I wonder if the challenge will be easier or harder in France?We will have to keep each other informed of how we do.
Happy Halloween!
Warm Wishes,

Elyse said...

greetings floss,

what a great read! i so enjoyed reading about everyone's resourcefulness during the power outage. love that your little guy was getting crafty by candlelight.

wow - so you will be within distance of a CK and resist!? eeek! LOL


Ticking stripes said...

Well done with the challenge so far - so resourceful!

Jackie said...

Floss ~ that was long post! I love all your Blue gifts ~ they are lovely and you have done really well with your challenge so far too. I hope you have a lovely time in Edinburgh ~ I haven't been to the Botanics for ages so I must put it on my places to go list. We went to Dynamic Earth last weekend though and it was great ~ kids really enjoyed it. Hope you have a good weekend :O)

dicope said...

Hello ! I love your blog !!

I want to invite you to participate in my Giveaway !!


Kisses ^^


Pomona said...

Hope you have a good time in Edinburgh. You swap parcel looks fantastic - lots of lovely blues. And you have been doing amazingly on the challenge - I think computers are difficult to buy secondhand, so I think that is excusable! And it would count under work supplies, too!

Pomona x

Olga said...

The blues on the first picture are very lovely, great apron! I was wearing the one I have got from you in a giveaway - today while cooking and was remembering about you :) - I just love it (thanks so much!), I think I see similar motifs on your blog quite often. And I need to say again how beautiful your jeans suit case turned out...

Hope you are doing well and please say hello to the family! I'm planning another work trip - this time Sweden...and am still going to post about the previous one when we were on holidays in Spain - a matter of choosing from many many pictures and can't get myself down to it :)

Take care,


The White Bench said...

Hi Floss,
I absolutely ADORE your blue goodies!
And I love Edinburgh too (I've been there so many times!!)! I'm soo envious you'll be strolling down the Botanic Gardens in this blessed Season!
Have fun,

Luisa @ Dance in my garden said...

Hi Floss,

The rainbow swap sounds like fun, and yes, I do really like the dinky blue apron you scored!
I like the idea of swaps in blogger land, as it makes what blogging is all about: fun and friendship....I hope to participate in a few more this year...your mag swap is the first one I have 'enrolled' in.
Also, just incase yourself or any readers are interested in an Aussie swap, FatMumSlim has a Happy Mail Exchange swap going on at her blog, you have until the 13th of Feb, plenty of time, here is the link if anyone is interested;


You really had some fab finds, the filing cabinet is a great resource, I love it when we can thrift something we REALLY need! I must say tho, I do like the old suitcase sitting next to it...
and it sounds like your boys made the most of the lights out too...it's always fun to make the most of these times. I'm with you though, candles abound!

Have a great time in Edinburgh!