Wednesday, 23 February 2011


The faux-fox stole is coming along nicely now - he just needs some back legs, his belly sewing up and a fastener.  Considering this began as one of those 'I could do better than that' moments after a glass of wine one evening, it's not come out too bad!  I have even written down the pattern as I went along just in case this needs repeating.  I'm in two minds now as to whether to put this one on Etsy and repeat it for the original gift (not until May) or to just keep it for the gift and make another one at a later date.  If you'd like one made for you, get in touch!

Ever since my parents died, over  fifteen years ago, I have been trying to get my hands on the family photograph albums as I had no pictures from my early childhood other than a couple of battered black & white baby photos.  One of my brothers had various boxes of memorabilia after their flat was cleared, one of which was brought to me a couple of years ago but it only contained the really old pictures of when my mother was a child - fascinating, but not what I was after.  This month my brother discovered another box stored in his loft and delivered it to me yesterday - jackpot!

This is the house I grew up in on the Isle of Wight - Debourne Manor, which dates back tothe 12th century and is mentioned in the Domesday Book.  We lived in half of it, but owned all the grounds which consisted of an orchard, vegetable garden, walled front garden, massive driveway & lawn, a pond and a couple of acres of woodland.  No, we weren't rich but my dad was a canny estate agent and I think this was either a bargain or some sort of deal!  It was a wonderful place to grow up and I spent most of my time outside wandering, making dens, fashioning my own bows and arrows, bothering wildlife, collecting flower petals for making paint or perfumes, collecting acorns and chestnuts for fairy meals, just returning home for meals.  On rainy days the house was big enough to explore, particularly the attic where I had a dolls house and could cut myself off from the outside world altogether. Do I need to say that the Narnia books were my favourites and I was always searching for that magic doorway!

It would seem that even then I enjoyed sitting in the sun with a good book and a dog at my feet - not much has changed in the past 40 years!

A cup of tea in the garden - nope, my tastes haven't changed there either.  Thankfully I don't have to wear tartan pinafores or get my hair cut by my scissor-happy mother any more, but I wouldn't mind a pair of those red Clarks sandals.

Now I face the gargantuan task of scanning 6 albums of photos and cataloging them all - that could take a while.

My tomatoes have finally poked their noses out of the soil - I was beginning to wonder if they were duff ones, but it has only been a week.

Cucmbers too.  On the other hand, marigolds, cosmos and a few of the other flower seeds are racing away.


soggibottom said...

Fantastic Mr Fox.
Looking at the young you. You still have the same smile :-)
Loved to see the manor house too.
As for your seeds.... can see I really do have competition :-) x x x

fhiona galloway said...

wow what great family pics Caroline-you old house looks fab-like a house in a story!
Great foxy!
Yum toms coming up-can't beat home grown ones :D

Magpie Magic said...

Love your Fox! I think you should make more of them. Maybe one in black or an 'arctic' fox?

Love the house you grew up in. No wonder you were always looking for that special door. LOL

I agree with soggibottom, your smile hasn't changed one bit. :-)

Great to see little plants growing. Have to start mine soon... xoxo

soggibottom said...

Magpie Magic is right, smile is still there :-) Going to show a pic of my toms in a few days .... :-) AS IF... I will let yours catch up a bit first :-) x x x

Sallie said...

Great photos! I love seeing vintage photos. The house where you grew up is lovely.

Mr. Fox is very cute. I bet you get lots of requests for him.

My daughter has not planted her tomatoes yet, but her carrots are coming up.

Gretel said...

Oh I am so happy for you, finding your precious photos - it must be a very special feeling! Oh dear, memories of knee high white socks and how much I loathed them!