Thursday 28 February 2019

Simply blue and white

You can't really beat blue and white china for effect.

Love these frilly tulips - have no idea what their name is, but they are just so pretty and delicate.

Teamed this up with a vintage Bristol ware cup and saucer in a lovely shade of white.

Very calming, don't you think?

I thought that I would be stuck for a background for my bits and pieces without my dresser and all the stuff that was on it. But having a plain white backdrop in my new kitchen is making me see things in a totally different light and I love photographing them in a less "busy" environment.  Helps me appreciate the shapes and intricate details - especially on this pretty vintage cup and saucer.

Have a lovely Thursday.

Love, Liz

Tuesday 26 February 2019

Who was your favourite Beatle?

John, Paul, George or Ringo?

I didn't really have a favourite - loved them all!  Recently came across my Beatles Quiz Book from 1964.  It cost all of 2/6! 

Must have spent hours pouring over this with my friends, trying to learn as much about the Beatles as I possibly could.

Some great pictures and illustrations.

My very first LP - "Beatles for Sale" - got it for my Christmas all those years ago.  Cost 32/6 - a fortune in those days!

It is a wonder that it wasn't worn away as I played it so often on the record player.  Still play it occasionally - there's a very special sound when you play old records - takes you back!
Were you a Beatles fan?

Love, Liz

Monday 25 February 2019

Knit your man some pants!

Yes, you really could ... if you wanted to!  That is according to this wonderful vintage knitting and crochet magazine "Woolly Comforts".  I think it dates from the early 1930s and was an offshoot of Weldon's Practical Needlework magazine.

Don't they look very scratchy? 
If these knitted pants don't appeal, then how about knitting the man in your life some golf gloves!  Just the thing to impress his golfing buddies.

While the knitted garments might not appeal, there are some very glamorous models.

Even the advertisements are lovely.

My favourite picture of all is the cover girl!  She looks as if she might just be wearing knitted pants!

Love, Liz

Saturday 23 February 2019

Cross stitch, Lego and Dippy

I started a new cross stitch last weekend.  The colours are lovely and I'm sure it will look pretty when it is finished.

Haven't had much time to work on it though, as this happened -

No, a tornado did not sweep through Shortbread Towers, but my two little grandsons and their Mum and Dad came to visit!  The Lego room was well used, as you can see!  (Check out the "before" pictures here!)

It was lovely to have my family around, unfortunately I was not very well - a dreadful chest infection.  I wasn't able to do all the lovely things we had planned for the visit.  I was so disappointed.  I am rarely unwell (touch wood), and of course it did have to happen when the boys were here!

However, I did manage to join them on a visit to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow to see Dippy the dinosaur.  Dippy is on tour around the UK, his original home is the Natural History Museum in London (click on the link to find out tour dates).  What amazed me most was his tiny head!

The family returned home yesterday - I spend most of the day sleeping, I was shattered!  Today I'm taking things easy - catching up on your blogs and doing some gentle cross stitch.  Still don't feel great and have absolutely no energy.

Hubby is watching the rugby and contemplating where to start to get some sort of order back in the Lego room!  I'm sure he'll enjoy every minute of it.

Love, Liz

Thursday 14 February 2019

Cosy Catwalk

Lovely ladies welcome to the Shortbread & Ginger tea cosy catwalk show!  Cue music - "Everything stops for tea", as we welcome to the catwalk this winter's must have accessory - a warm knitted tea cosy!

First to appear is Rusty - cute in beige and warm red, Rusty would be a wonderful addition to any teapot and keep your second cuppa warm while you drink your first.

Next on the catwalk we have Bluey, in blue and grey midtones - an unusual combination that seems to work well.

Bluey and Rusty have joined together to create this stunning creation, which I suppose should be called Busty, but then again, perhaps not!

Cue music - "Tea For Two". 
Adding a touch of class to our show are Lord and Lady Grey, distant cousins of that name synonymous with special tea, the Earl.  Lady Grey is wearing a delicate shade of pink, while his Lordship is right on trend with a modern deep yellow mix.

And finally, to close our show we don't have a bride tea cosy (note to self - might be a good idea to try), but instead we have a gorgeous groom in all shades of grey.  He will add a touch of glamour to any teapot, no matter how homely.  He is a bit two-faced, but the different pattern on each of his sides just adds to his appeal.

This catwalk show would not be complete without an introduction to our wonderful model, Blanche, isn't she beautiful!

Ladies, I hope you have enjoyed the Shortbread & Ginger catwalk show.

Perhaps this blog post should have come with a pom-pom overload warning!
Love, Liz

Sunday 10 February 2019

Kitchen finished!

Yipee!  I have my kitchen back!  It is all white and I love it!

After three weeks of the makeshift kitchen (kettle, toaster and microwave), I can now do laundry and cooking - all appliances are back in place.  My hard work then commenced - working out where to put everything I had taken out of cupboards, and of course it all had to be washed before it could be put away.  I'm shattered, but happy.

Rest of house now has to be put to rights - I'm sure I'll be finding bits and pieces of kitchen "stuff" all over the place, but I've loads of cupboard space now.  I've gone very modern - well, for me.  The Welsh dresser will find a new home in the dining room and I'm going to have much less clutter around the worktops.  Well, that's the theory anyway - we'll see if I stick to that one!

While I couldn't cook I discovered that it was the simple things that I craved - a boiled egg, or cheese on toast all hot and bubbly as it came from under the grill.  My first meal cooked in the new kitchen on Friday was a tasty chicken pot pie with ... well it was supposed to be with mash, but I couldn't locate my masher!  It didn't matter, the pie was yummy and so were the ordinary spuds!

Thanks for all your lovely comments on my recent posts - it is so good to hear from you and I appreciate them all.
Love, Liz

Tuesday 5 February 2019

I blame my Granny!

I adore vintage china!  My collection started with a few pieces of my Granny's china which no one else wanted after she died.  I took them to display on my Welsh dresser and of course to remind me of her.  But there were gaps on the dresser and they needed to be filled!  Visiting charity shops soon opened my eyes to the wonderful assortment of vintage china available.  In those days, around 2011, whole tea sets could be bought for two or three pounds.  I don’t remember there being any vintage tea rooms or cafes around in this area, and certainly nowhere offering traditional afternoon tea (although without the added Prosecco that is popular now).  So, I was able to indulge my passion without having to spend too much money.

Royal Albert Greenwood Tree
Before I knew it, I needed more storage!  What better than a vintage china cabinet like my Granny used to have – perfect for showing off my growing collection.  I bought one for about five pounds and set about painting it white to make it a bit more acceptable.  Then I had the joyous task of arranging my lovely tea sets to their best advantage in the cabinet.  The addition of gorgeous little fairy lights made it perfect, well in my eyes anyway.  Needless to say, a few years later, I had to buy another cabinet to show off my later bargains. 

It is almost impossible for me to say what my favourites are.  The great thing is that I can look back at my blog and see when and where I bought each piece.  Some are more special because, once friends and relatives knew that I was collecting china, I was offered sets that they did not want.  These mean something to me.

Royal Cauldon
Tea tastes extra special when drunk from a gorgeous cup.  Some are just so pretty – the soft colours and interesting patterns make each of them special in different ways.  I love to mix and match the patterns, putting cups with different saucers.  Cake most definitely looks better on a vintage plate.

Tea break!
Of course over the years there have been a few mishaps.  One evening I heard a terrific crash which sounded as if it came from the dining room.  One of the glass shelves in my china cabinet had mysteriously tilted, shuffling all the china to one end.  Miraculously nothing had broken, but my heart was in my mouth as I carefully extracted each piece trying my best not to make the whole thing collapse!

Royal Winton
I no longer collect.  A few years ago, at the height of the vintage tea room trend, the price of vintage china rose dramatically which  was great for charity shops of course, but not so good for me.  I’ve also run out of room!  At the moment many of my treasures are packed away as we redo some of the rooms in our house.  But I have plans!  They’ll be back!

Granny, those hours spent helping you clean out your china cabinet when I was a little girl, made a big impression!

Love, Liz

Monday 4 February 2019

Sunbonnet Girls

I got this book at the weekend because I wanted to try something different now that I've (mostly) finished off the projects which were lying around waiting for some TLC!  It is a book of vintage hand embroidery patterns "More Sunbonnet Girls" by Vicki Becker.

I wanted to try my hand at embroidery and learn some new stitches.  I love cross stitch, but wanted a challenge.  Think the patterns in this book fit the bill.

They are so pretty and each pattern comes in three sizes so that you can adapt it to whatever project you are doing.  There are instructions for transferring the pattern to fabric and the simple stitches required for this embroidery and I think that this would also be great for applique.  It also gives instructions for putting together several small projects.  I'm looking forward to starting one of these little sunbonnet girls - the difficulty will be deciding which one to do first!  They are all so cute.

Reminded me of a lovely vintage embroidered tablecloth and teapot I have - except they have a crinoline lady on them ... slightly similar?!?!  See more of these here.

Love, Liz

Saturday 2 February 2019

Will they grow?

Can't believe we are into February - doesn't time fly!
I've been so distracted by new kitchen installation and knitting, that I failed to notice my poor houseplant in the corner had dramatically seeded or is this its flower?!  This plant is 5' high and about 30 years old!

I usually cut these seed thingies off the minute I realise that they are not new leaves, but apart from watering the poor thing, it and it's daughter plant in the next room, have really been neglected recently.  So, it has a pletora of what I presume are seeds?!

Can any of you lovely fellow bloggers please enlighten me?  What is this plant called (I call it the palm plant thingy)?  Are these seeds?  Will they grow if I plant them?  Should I cut them off when I see that they are not new leaves?  What can I do to hide the long stem?

So many questions!

Love, Liz