Thursday, 27 May 2010

The Twenties, Flappers and bedknobs and broomsticks!

Good day to you all!

I hope you have all had the lovely weather we have been having here in Lancashire, although some of it was  sooo hot, It rendered me quite useless at times!

 I just adore this print of an illustration by Charles Robinson... Indian Summer.

I love the 1920's , absolutely adore the furniture, fashions, dances, haircuts... everything about the roaring 20's brings a smile to my simple face!

George and I live in a 1920's home - it was built in 1923, and luckily still holds many of it's original features.

Oh doodle of mine....

A number of years ago I treated myself, or should I say my Mum treated me to this coat. I spotted it in a local shop and thought it had a certain 20's air about it. I just fell head over heels with it! It still looks just as good as it did back then, shame I can't say the same for me!!!

What do you think? (please note, it has artificial fur!) I adore it, and when George nearly passed out at how much it was, I reminded him, that I would wear it forever, and when I come to the end of my road, hey, he can bury me in it too!  It is not at all trendy, it is timeless, so it will see me out! The drawing above is based on it.

I have popped this video on again for all you flappers out there!

Talking of clothes, we are going to a christening this Sunday and so I have been throwing my outfit together ( literally!)...Here is the recipe.....

Take one old long skirt and  ruthlessly take a pair of scissors to it....

One plain long jacket ....

Several wooden and coconut buttons....

The final result.....

 Sorry for the poor quality, it is hard trying to take your own photo! The first pic shows the colours much better!

Well, I think it looks ok.....Or have I lost my marbles completely???!!! Too late! That's what I shall be wearing, rain or shine, good or bad!

This week I would like to thank the very lovely Mrs. P For this award! Thank you so, so much for thinking of me! Please go and pay her a visit, If you already haven't.. she has a very interesting blog, and is such a sweetie!
Now, I am to tell you 10 things about myself  ( I don't think I can think of anything else, not anything that I can tell anyway... Blush!) and 5 things I just don't like!  So here we go!

1. I can't swim... yup, just flail about and then sink.
2. I once did an Open University course in Social welfare (or something like that!) I love writing essays!
3. I loathed and detested school.
4. I have bent little fingers.
5. As a child I was a tom-boy and girlie, depending on how I felt at the time. Up a tree one minute and gazing at my shiny shoes the next. I am still the same! I can be dressed beautifully one minute and like a scruff the next! A bit like my musical tastes, all the extremes and the bits in the middle too.
6. I am still 10! (In my head anyway!)
7. I believe in spirits, ghosts and all things unseen.
8. And she shall have music wherever she goes, I have 6 stereos.
9. I am useless at all sports.
10. The words economy and anatomy very often get said as economonomy and anatomonomy... I find it hard to say them!

Five things I dislike immensely.....

1. Rudeness and bad manners.
2, Bigotry, ignorance, predjudice and closed-mindedness.
3. Lack of humour and unfriendliness.
4. Injustice
and   drumroll here......
5. Porridge.

I am so excited this week, as the Sroka household  has had a delivery! I have wanted one for a long time, and the price was slashed, and we really need one as the one we have is about 12 years old now. Also as I said to George, this will see us out, we won't ever need to buy another (now, where have we heard this before, hmmmmm!!!)

Tis this bed....

This is the pic on the Laura Ashley site, as we haven't got it put together, or even in the bedroom as yet, ... we need to decorate the bedroom first!

I can not wait to snuggle up in my new cosy bed, and hopefully get some much needed sleep too! Like Bedknobs and Broomsticks, I hope to be engaged in many exciting adventures in Dreamland! Oh and enjoy my early morning pots of tea too!

Anyway peeps! I hope you all enjoy a jolly good weekend!

Lots of love to all of you!  Suie Juan tit! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx :)))) Tryed to keep it shorter! You don't know how hard it was! Did I fail? Duh yeah... miserably!  I kept adding to it...sorry!  He he! x

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Hello All You Silly Sausages! Silly Sad!


Happy Friday!   PARF...... OOOOh Pardon me!  Sorry, I am feeling a bit silly this week, more than usual, so its one big silly fest here!  

 One of my stitcheries

No! I am not sorry actually... being silly is extremely good for the soul. Nothing makes me feel better than to have a mad half hour or two. I adore laughing and can be rendered completely helpless by just hearing someone else laughing, even if I don't know what they are laughing at.  I am perhaps a slightly split personality kind of character, as like all things in life, everything has a dark side and a light side. For all of my silly side that is, there is  also a very serious thinking side too. Sometimes I can get utterly lost in deep thoughts and examine everything in minute detail. Life to me is indeed a tragi-comedy, and so I seem to have the sometimes unfortunate ability to see both at once! 

  Ralphus Le Puff Mac Duff, being very silly indeed donning a hoodie!

Have you ever been truly crying and truly laughing at the same time. A slightly alarming feeling, but strangely illuminating too! To see the humour in a dark situation I feel is a blessing. To me it is anway. I had such an experience whilst in hospital just after having my masectomy. I had woken up in such pain which was radiating all through my body. there didn't seem to be one bit of me that wasn't left out! Also, I was desperate for a wee, but I couldn't seem to get up. Me being me, I didn't want to disturb a nurse, so eventually, I decided I had 3 choices... 1,  force myself to get up and know it was going to be agony,  2, wet the bed,  3 ring for a nurse, get some more pain killers, wait for the painkillers to work , and still wet the bed!   So I chose 1, and struggling I made it to the bathroom. At that moment in time I was feeling very sorry for myself. No sorry isn't the correct description, it doesn't even come close, I was is the darkest despair I had ever encountered. I had had many problems in my life leading up to that moment, and that was franlkly this was the  last straw, I was in the darkest dark night of the soul.  I was crying, no not crying.. weeping, sobbing.

 Ahhh, yes, I looked just like Robert Smith from the Cure, One of my all time favourites! I love Robert Smith!

 No, actually, probably more like this. Alice Cooper, I love him, very warped lyrics... I can't help it... I love them and him!  I also love classical music..go figure! Then again I love all music.. why? Because I am greedy thats why!

I lifted my head and spotted this strange creature in the mirror, wild and unkempt, face so pale the creature looked as if it had been buried for 6 weeks and dug up again! Red eyes, staring back at me, it's hair was so wild and was sticking up in the air like the scene from Something About Mary.  
 For a second everything was suspended in time, as still weeping I told my reflection in the mirror " you ARE pathetic!" . Next thing I knew I was shaking with laughter and weeping all at the same time, I could see the irony, the absolute funny side of the whole hideous affair!  Oh how the mighty have fallen I thought to myself! You would really have to know what else was going on in my life at the time of my diagnosis to truly understand how far I had fallen. But I'm not telling... Na Na, Na Na NA! 

 Yes just like that, but not that pretty! 

Isn't humour, after all, a way of trying to make sense of the world, helping us to see the other side of the coin, helping us to cope with the not so happy parts of life which we all face in life. Gawd knows there are enough tears, so certainly we should welcome laughter with out stretched arms whenever we get the chance! So, I do do!  I find that humour can appear in our darkest moments and we shouldn't be ashamed or frightened of it, it comes only as an aid to soften the situation and to bring understanding, strength of spirit, tolerance and humility.  It helps us to cope, and sometimes even to fight back with passion.   Humour is the reflection of sadness, I believe it is all connected. It is the other side of the coin.

Sometimes things just don't make any sense at all, but if you study it all hard and long enough, really give it all your full attention you can often,  if not always, see the funny side! 

This gate doesn't make any sense at all! Please keep this gate shut at all times! I laugh everytime I walk past it! No wonder I get odd looks around here. Walking on my own laughing at gates!

In those first few years of trying to come to terms with it all, I used to get very depressed sometimes, and actually used to say to George that I felt that I could cry and cry and never be done with it. It was a deep and sorrowful mourning, but it was tangled up with twenty odd years (No!, make that 30!) of other sorrows, that all seemed to be coming flooding back to the surface demanding for me to face them. Don't believe for one minute, that if you ignore/bury your feelings that they go away... They don't! They will come back out one way or another!  My buried and ignored emotions, hurts, etc. marched right in and sat down facing me full on and demanded some much needed attention. They had escaped  in a weak moment, when my strength was low, and my door was wide open.  The flood gates had literally opened! So I reflected daily during the long months I sat undergoing the chemotherapy....

 A drawing of mine, how I felt at the time!

If I needed to cry.. I finally gave my self permission, instead of thinking that it is my job in life to keep going and look cheerful! I cryed buckets and buckets. Totally indulgent!  How can that many tears come out of one person, have I got a damn ocean in there?! I came to the conclusion that keeping things bottled up was useless and probably the reason I was sat there in that state, with only one boob!  Of course, when I got so deep in the mire that I didn't even want to get out of bed, or go outside, I knew it was time to give myself a large kick up the....So I developed a technique.... I would force myself ( very hard some days!) to stand up and wave my arms wildly around in the air. Well actually one arm wildly, I couldn't move the other one much due to my lacerated armpit!  I defy anyone not to start to at least smile at how silly they look! The first time I tryed it, I cryed laughing. George! This works! Poor George, he used to have to put up with my silly cheer myself up routine quite often! I gave myself a nick-name.... Juanita Juan-tit .... to call myself when I got too serious about it all. Hey Juan-tit, get up, pull yourself together,  and go wave those arms, err that arm! He he!

I think that what I am trying to say here, is that I just refuse point blank to lose my humour, and spend nearly everyday, polishing it, crafting it, and displaying it with love! When life throws S**t, humour is always hiding in the corner somewhere! It just needs spotting.  Humour is the child within.

One of my favourite songs! Tis wonderful sung by the great Judy Garland!

Before I trot off to my vegetable patch,  I have another thank you! Thank you Jaqueline for this lovely, lovely  tag and ever so cute fairyland stickers!  They certainly are gorgeous and in your wonderful words Jaqueline... groovey! , and how kind is this magical lady, who you can visit here, this is the nicest surprise Jacqueline!  The inside of the envelope had polka dots!  I shall go a merry sticker stickering!

Go forth and giggle, it is our duty to spread mirth! Ta ta old beans (hey less of the old!) Sorry for waffling again, I just can't seem to say anything in one sentence! I will try harder next week. Short post, short post......
But then I  do only post once a week.. I don't say boo or a moo all week and then I get on here and I just can't a shuta me trap!

Much love Suzie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Vintage stitchery, a bit of Cath and a helping of kindness!

Hello you lovelies!

How is life treating you all... very well I hope!

I love this time of the year, don't you? All changes.... buds bursting forth and gardens and widlife springing to life. You just can't help but to feel brighter on a spring day pregnant with hope and promise! That is the spring day being pregnant... not me! Now that would be a blooming miracle!!!!

This is one of my cross stitch designs ... my take on spring, and my own verse too I may add. Yes I know, I will never make it as a poet! Ha ha ha!

Even the country is standing at the starting line of new beginnings, changes are afoot, and no matter what our individual views on it all are, it is a very interesting time to come. A little scary perhaps, and unsure, but this last week has been a historical one in politics! I am finding all a little scary I must say! I wait with baited breath to see the future unfold..... People have been getting bees in their bonnets about it all, and we will wait and see now what is to come!

One of my stitchery designs... Think I may have put this one on before, so sorry if I have! Losing track!

I seem to have been drifting away from stitching lately and filling my blog with my drawing. There is good reason for this of course, and that is that all my stitcheries originate from my drawings and paintings, so they are close cousins!  So here are some charity shop finds for all you lovers of vintage stitching! These are not my designs, I found them in my local CS s.

Lovely spring inspiring beauties.....

I love this one, it is a table cloth, but it is badly marked in places, so it may be a job for the scissors maybe!I quite fancy using the pieces in a patchwork quilt for the bed , maybe!

I was rooting about upstairs trying to find something, when I heard some giggling coming from a box in the cupboard. Guess what? It was these two impish little girls and their cat who have been stuffed in a box in a very undignified way since we moved. I had forgotten all about my attempts at making ragdolls!



The top girlie has been embellished with some of my stitchery and my handmade buttons!
While I am still in the sewing theme... I am thinking of making a throw for a very tatty embarassing chair out of these fabrics and some embroidery... what do you think hey?

Ok! I can hear you! "Where is the Cath Kidston bit?".....  Oh ok! Here it is. I spotted this tote on the front of a magazine a week or two ago. My eyes nearly stood out on stalks! I actually let out a little squeal of delight right there in the middle of a crowded supermarket, much to poor George's despair! A free, yes FREE Cath Kidston tote bag! Straight to the till with that!

So cheerful, it brightens up my hallway! Off to the shops I will go! 

Before I go again, I must tell you all about a parcel that landed on my porch floor on wednesday. My lovely friend Jen at Themadhouse sent me these lovely gifts. I sometimes just can not get over the kindness of you wonderful peeps! Jen thank you soooooo much! I really must get my finger out to repay these kindnesses, as I have had a few so far, and I am going to see to it that I give some kindness back! You know who you are! So! Thank you so much Jen, you are a very kind and special person! 

A beautiful pin cushion, such a lovely fabric and a little label which says sewing! A very interesting book, which I just know I will love! Also a lovely thoughtful note, which I have partly covered to hide the address, of course!

Right then folks! Cheery bye for another week. I am off to water my seedlings and veggies now!  
Suzie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx :)

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Kitchen makeover..............On a shoestring. Watch this space!

Gosh!! Is it really Friday again! Hello all.. happy Friday! Thank you for your kind wishes for George's poor back, It is much better now thank you!  Sorry to all of ny  bloggy friends  who I may have neglected a bit this week, but I have been so busy drawing and painting for my secret project, and when I get going hours can simply fly by, I get a headache from all the close work (must get new glasses!) and the housework and all else goes out of the window!  Here is another little glimpse of what I am up to! Maybe I should rename this blog Itch2draw!

Anyone for cake? Not quite finished yet!And not good reproduction as I took a photo instead of scanning!

Yes! As a matter of fact I forget to do housework, the dinner, to get dressed.... I become like some hermit creature busily engrossed in my little make believe world!  Then I remember all the other things that need doing and I have to whirl about like a whirling dervish trying to catch up! 

Archibald Peabody-Smythe, being the attention seeker of the Sroka household is not at all impressed with being ignored!

No! I am not talking to you!

It is no use hiding behind those flowers you know. We can see you! HELLO-O!

Now, on to something else! What is your dream kitchen? Country, modern and sleek, traditional.....? 

I love this kitchen... this is my dream kitchen.....

Come to think of it,....... that is my kitchen, or rather it WAS my kitchen in my last house. This picture does not do it justice, it was not orangey  at all. Made from reclaimed pine, with a belfast sink and granite tops and a chinese slate floor.....

This picture shows the colour of the cupboards much better! The top pic was the one taken by the Estate agent, and don't they take awful pics?!  If we had stayed, I was going to paint the cupboards cream.

Is it at all decent to miss a kitchen so much???  Well I do! I even left my range cooker behind... boo hoo! 

Anyway, We are soon to do a kitchen makeover. This is my kitchen here......

A single oven , with the grill in it! A fridge that literally fills up with water and a white cushion floor! I mean... white, and me with 3 dogs! Mopping doesn't work, you literally have to scrub, and life is toooooo short! 

So stay tuned, as I am about to shake this baby by the neck! On a very, very tight budget, I intend to make it look as good as I can. This is my challenge. A vert strict budget as all of our money was all spent up in the last house! We have the 'new' cupboards in the garage. My friend has just had her kitchen done, so we have bought her old cupboards, which look as good as new. How much? £200. That includes the sink too (and taps)  Yes, cheap! Not bad I think. You will have to wait to see them in to decide whether I have pulled off my hoped for transformation!  

In fact we have the whole house to do on a tight budget... as we want to move back to Poulton soon, we have found that we really miss our old town! SO! If you would like to share our journey, I will keep you up to date!  The challenge in our home is to make the house look as beautiful as possible, as cheaply as possible!

A thank you now before I go for another week. Thank you Angel for these lovely awards!

You are such a kind lady, and I am really so happy that you picked me!  I award these awards to all the lovely talented bloggers that I follow... thats why I follow you.... because you are all sooooo darn good! 

Now, at the risk of boring you, here are 7 things about me that you may not know.  I have decided to tell you funny things!

1:  I went through a spell of falling over.  Hey! I had a lot on my mind at the time!  Once, I fell at the feet of a very, very old lady. She bent down to pick me up and said " shouldn't this be the other way round?" Another time I slipped and fell into a very large puddle, which resembled a small pond! This would have been fine if I was the only one in the car park, but a man was stood watching me, and didn't have the decency to look the other way, or to stop smiling to himself! To make it worse, one of my shoes had flown off, and I was flailing about in the water trying to find it! He stayed for the whole show by the way!

2:  I hated sewing at school...I  loathed it!

Now anything involving a sewing needle is just heaven to me..This is one of my drawings which I made into a cross stitch! 

3:  At school I got in detention.. a lot... usually for laughing. One term I got in detention 22 times and some of the detentions were given to me while standing in detention,  for giggling!  The boys in physics used to knock me off those very high stools That they always have in those classrooms, and the teacher would stop writing on the blackboard, not even look around, and would say " Get off the floor Calderbank"... he just knew it would be me! Mum was not impressed... being a teacher!

4:   I was once a hoffman presser at a dry cleaners. Very hot and steamy! And very smelly too! Yuk! The dry cleaning does not remove BO, pee or other smells. the steam released them... straight into my face!
I once forgot to take my thumb out before closing the lid, and then actually pressed the steam jet... OUCH!

 5:  When I was 12/13/14 ish I used to make my Dad howl laughing by shouting at the top of my voice in a very silly accent.."WELL SLAP MY ASS"  and by shouting "CHARGE" as I ran down the stairs very fast, (inspired by the film with Cary Grant, Arsenic and Old Lace!)

6:   About the same age, I discovered a Rugby song book in my brother's bedroom... I had heard him singing them quietly in his room, but Mum didn't know he had them. So I snook into his room when he was out and swiped the offending item. Being aqauinted with the tunes.. I quickly put together a fine collection and memorised the songs. Then I hid the book. At first I sang them quietly, and then began to get a bit louder! When at last the melodic notes of Dinah, dinah show us your leg, (and others which are way too rude to be repeated here) finally reached my big brother's lugholes, he came flying in to try and retrieve the book. Ha ha what fun I had watching him trying to stop me!  I had to get him back somehow for constantly dead legging me, stuffing his dirty socks in my mouth and hanging me over the stairs! You would never believe it of him, he is a respectable member of society now.. a solicitor! He he!

7: Years ago I was walking my first Old English Sheepdog Dylan, when he decided that he wanted to go one way, while I wished to go another. Hey! He was bigger than me!  He had seen something so interesting that he actually knocked me over and proceeded to drag me along the ground and then to my dismay.. through a bush! At that point I let go of the lead, stood up and frustrated and rather sore shouted to him " you can go to hell and back". Then I noticed a woman and her very well behaved Chow dog stood across the road, both looking at me with disdain!

I often used to come home after taking him onto the fields with cowpats and dyke slime on me and him, after trying to.. a) stop him eating the pats, and b) having to jump in the dyke to get him out!  I have had 4 of these comical, loving, soft creatures!

Oooops I did it again! I meant to write only a short post today, and still have managed to waffle on and on! I hope I haven't bored you too much... can I hear someone snoring?!!!

Have a rather jolly weekend all! Lots of love  Suzie.xxxx