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7.1.13

60 From here to there ...

A few rays of recycled sunshine ...

So you liked the grubby old brass buttons then? She types, smiling. Actually, a couple of your comments had me howling with laughter. And your observations on the pros and cons of restoration certainly got me thinking, thank you. Maybe the best place for Ida's button collection - left grimy, and in situ on its card - is behind glass in a box frame on the wall of my new studio?

Not that the studio's even close to being finished yet, in fact we've barely begun. I pondered a 'before' picture, but a heap of tatty cardboard boxes is about as uninteresting as it gets! It's been a storeroom, so mega boring, as is redistributing everything that was stored in there. Although I have recovered a few useful things I'd forgotten we had! And found plenty to take to a 'boot' sale, which will be a first for us!

Every spare moment this past week has been spent sorting through our possessions*. Not that we have that much stuff, but it's amazing what accrues when you've raised four children and have had as varied a career as mine. Questions I've asked ... Did two little girls really need so much Sylvanian Families**? Did two little boys really need so many Warhammer figures? Does Mr. K really need to keep four broken hairdryers "for parts"? And do I really need so much yarn? (The answer to the last is, of course, yes!)

I also came across a box full of '90s issues of Embroidery Magazine which I've not a clue what to do with ... they connect me to happy memories but it seems daft to keep them when I haven't looked at them in years. Clearly I form emotional attachments to magazines ... which might explain all the copies of Country Living I've stowed away. All 200 of them! Methinks they'll have to go.

Oops, talking of magazines, you're waiting - patiently, I'm sure - to discover who won the mini giveaways ...
Hand/Eye goes to Gina of Fan my Flame. And The Fine Colour of Rust moves on to Claire of Thriftwood, who must agree to similarly pass it on when she is done with it and - a new condition - to add her name to the attached list of previous readers when she does. Happy reading ladies! If you could let me have your postal addresses I'll mail your winnings to you asap.
It's like a bloggy version of the circulating libraries that were common in the eighteenth century! Of course novels were not deemed to be 'a good thing' back then. No, novels were concerned with the history of lovers ... [and] the melting sensations of what is called ... 'the tender passion' (oo'er!) and they were not to be encouraged! Or so bluestocking Catherine Macaulay (who you can read about here) insisted. I wonder what she'd have made of Fifty Shades of Grey?! Which I haven't read, by the way ... no, it's salt sugar smoke which has been exciting me. I guess that's middle age ... you take a cookery book to bed with you! Which reminds me, I have an Amazon voucher to spend ... any recommendations?

... to brighten another grey day!

*So no time for knitting. For which I feel I must apologise to the folk directed here by Knit Now magazine ... there will be more knitty content soon, I promise.

**I'm going to be listing this on eBay, but if anyone would be interested in purchasing it from me directly just drop me a line. Amongst other things we seem to have the earliest version of the Gypsy Caravan, plus horse ... now that has made me feel old!

60 comments :

  1. Wow - SUCH an uncanny coincidence - I have just made my first Diana Henry recipe from a copy of 'Roast Figs and Sugar Snow' loaned to me by a friend last week. I had never heard of her before, and it's just a sublimely beautiful book (all about winter food). 'Salt Sugar Smoke' looks divine too - I wonder if my library would order it for me...
    Happy New Year x

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  2. A nice book for your voucher, Annie? http://www.amazon.co.uk/Forgotten-Skills-Cooking-time-honoured-recipes/dp/1856267881/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357600282&sr=8-1

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    1. Why thank you Mise, I fear I might have been tempted ;D

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  3. Oh I loved the Sylvanian family days probably as much as my daughter. :)
    I tidied the top of our wardrobe today and took out a pile of Country Homes & Interiors magazine and....put them all back again, I don't know why because they'll most likely stay there until the next time I tidy up there!!?,
    Vivienne x

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  4. I just loved the great blast of colour that popped up on my screen when your blog opened. Yet another beautiful picture.
    I would normally bring my old knitting magazines into the charity shop. Somebody will always like to buy and use them and the charity gets some money. So two good deeds in one.
    Rosie xx

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  5. I'm not so good at the sorting through things, I have to fight my hoarding mentality! I did manage to part with a magazine hoard last year by tearing out parts and throwing the rest.... it's a start! xx

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  6. Gorgeous flowers! It can be hard to chuck things out that have sentimental value...even if you never think about that particular item.
    Happy sorting!
    xx

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  7. I note a common theme in my blog reading today...de-cluttering...or not :) Second to that theme is the need for the bright and light for those in dark and cold winters. Thanks for the bright and beautiful flower photos, Annie, and for the smiles your account of preparing for your new crafting space brought me. Wishing you and yours joy,
    Gracie

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  8. I've just read the third book written by Chris Cleave "Gold"..... from the same author I've read even "Incendiary" and "Little Bee".... I like his plots and the way he writes and describes the little things!
    xxx Ale

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  9. Thank you for that sunny orange loveliness! We have sunshine but no flowers, so yours were a most welcome sight.

    I can't give up magazines either. There are boxes of them stashed away here and there which will have to go sometime, I suppose. And it sounds as though Mr. K is a firm adherent of what I call the farmer's motto: "It might come in handy sometime."

    Salt Sugar Smoke looks very interesting - and I read cookery books in bed too. :)

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  10. Hi Annie,

    Can see how your pretty flowers would brighten up a grey day, they are lovely.
    Congratulations to the winners of your giveaways.
    Love the old buttons and they would look lovely displayed behind a little glass display case.
    Happy new year and best wishes for 2013
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  11. Beautiful photos Annie, really lovely. I often take a cookery book to bed with me (that and sewing/knitting books) but all mine are in storage at the moment :(

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  12. Ummmm, I am or rather have been a bit of a magazine hoarder, like my yarn I guess, but my yarn I will never give up. I see I missed commenting on your buttons, how I love buttons. I roared out loud with the gift of dog poo bags, hehe so funny.
    xx Sandi

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  13. Gorgeous glowing orange flowers to cheer up a January day! I'm a magazine hoarder too, especially ones with crochet, cross stitch, cooking and health articles!

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  14. Sylvanian Families were a firm favourite here too many years ago. Our collection was sold on, but its the 31 year old Tonka tip up truck that I just can't seem to part with ........ it lurks in a corner of the garage. "Salt, Sugar, Smoke" came into our house after reading about it on "The Quince Tree" and I can honestly say it is one of my favourite cookbooks.

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  15. Lovely cheerful flowers to start the day...

    Mustn't think declutter. Have deadline. Mind you, deadline would have been helped if I hadn't lost early notebook with thoughts and refs somewhere in the clutter. Hm.

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  16. Thank you for the recycled sunshine - much needed here in Sweden too, so I must remember to get myself some flowers too!

    I used to be a magazine hoarder myself, but after my dad died and we had to empty the house and decide what to do with everything I have become much more restricted about hoarding things. (This does not apply to yarn, of course!)

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  17. You still have Warhammer? My son has taken his with him and still revamps it now and then with a new paint job. It seemed expensive at the time, but on £/hour of pleasure it's given, it was probably very good value!

    My clutter rule of thumb is this: if there is not enough room to keep it out of sight, then it's got to go. (Unfortunately - or not- we have a cellar.)

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    1. Ah, well you see we also still have one of the sons ... couldn't agree more about the 'play' value of the stuff!

      Oh to have a cellar, or even a loft or an attic of a half way decent size!

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  18. Gorgeous flowers... Just perfect to brighten up this misty morning. I have decided that this is the year that I'll read my mags, tear out what I want, file that and then pop the leftovers in the recycling bin! Up til now they have just accumulated in an unruly pile in my craft room ... so new year, new rules ;-)
    Have fun sorting!
    Xx

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    1. I like the sound of your magazine wrangling ... although I think I'd need an amnesty on the 200 copies of Country Living!

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  19. A lot in that post I could have written myself! As regards Sylvanian Families, back in vogue and popular with collectors hence the high prices. My eldest daughter has reclaimed the whole collection and they are now being played with by her four year old son, so might be an idea to hang on to them!

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  20. I've got lots of sorting of my own to do, plenty of Warhammer and Sylvanian Families here too. I thought I might hang on to them though, it seems that every little girl loves Sylvanian Families and it would cost a fortune to replace everything we have. Grandchildren may be years away for me yet, but I bet Sylvanians won't be out of fashion.

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  21. We live in a very hard water area and I go through irons at the rate of about one a year - in our garage, hidden amongst the other junk, you can probably find ten old irons - all broken - and probably seriously dangerous. I'm still trying to work out why the other half keeps them...

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  22. Magazines are my downfall too... about once a year I trawl through them for an idea for something or other, the rest of the time they clutter up the place. But I can't bear to throw them away..

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  23. What a lovely surprise to win. Thank you Annie. I'm a real magazine hoarder too. I have Embroidery dating back to the 1990s and a huge stack of Country Living too.

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  24. Salt Sugar Smoke was on my Christmas wish list, as was The Kitchen Diaries volume 2. I was most amused to find in the introduction that Nigel almost expects to be on the bedside table!

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  25. Gosh! I really must have a big sort out too.
    My Mister sounds a bit like yours- we have old telephones just in case...drives me mad!
    Right, off to find a big bin bag and get sorting!
    Have a great week.
    Xx

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  26. I have dreadful dilemmas over magazines but rarely refer back to them, and they do take up so much room (strangely (!) I have no such dilemmas about John's magazines or any other such stuff which 'belongs' to him.....I'm a shocking wife).
    Sylvanian Families are lovely, I hope they all find good homes.
    I have always had the feeling that you have had a fascinating career, I have the impression you have done lots of interesting things. Juliex

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  27. you have your camera back!!!!! and what a lovely job they did in fixing it! stunning photos (compliments of photographer....not 'fixer'!)
    looks like you are well into your 25-thing-a-day purge!!! and what incentive with the studio at the end....can't wait to see!

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  28. What a sunshiney, happy photo to brighten a dull day, Annie - thank you.

    I already feel that we have quite enough Sylvanian Families kit for one household and since our house is tiny and storage is at a premium I will NOT be tempted by the offer of a vintage SF Gypsy Caravan, tempting though that is...

    I have heard good things about Salt, Sugar, Smoke. I can highly recommend Kitchenella by Rose Prince - a book to read as much as it is one to cook from.

    Gillian x

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  29. Isn't clearing out Stuff a great feeling? I have never heard of Sylvanian Families. I am assuming it is some sort of British doll.

    I just bought a book from the UK Amazon store called River Cottage Veg Every Day. I had read some great reviews about it - good enough I was willing to pay the shipping to have it sent to Canada. And no, I haven't read Shades of Grey either. :-)

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    1. The Sylvanian's are a slightly larger than doll's house doll sized assortment of animals, dollified. A wonderful marketing ploy as every little girl needs (insert sounds of childish pleading) to build her families of bunnies, or bears, or whatever, and of course they all need houses to live in, and shops to shop at, and beds to sleep in, and play food to eat ... the list is endless! They're probably propping up the plastics industry!

      A taster: http://www.sylvanianfamilies.com/

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  30. I LOVE clearing stuff out!!! We decided over Christmas to do a car-boot-sake with my parents when we visit the UK again in the summer, and we've already got several boxes full of stuff to take with us!!! The only problem is, now we have to find homes for all the boxes..... :-)
    Carly
    x

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  31. Your flower photos have certainly brightened this drearily-overcast day for me, Annie.

    The real hoarder in this household is DH, who can't bear to throw away anything that might one day come in useful. Luckily we have a barn he can fill up to his heart's content..... I'm becoming much more ruthless about clutter as the years go on and can feel another sorting-out session coming on before the spring arrives. :D

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  32. Hello Annie, looking forward to receiving the book ... Thank you so much!

    Love Claire xxx

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  33. What beautiful flowers Annie. I love a good clear out, especially if it gets coupled with a lovely trip down memory lane as well... As you know I also love a good cook book to read and Nigel's kitchen diaries are keeping me entertained at he moment. That and a bit of bedroom crochet makes me very happy and rather enjoying the slide into a glamourousl middle age!

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  34. I have a terrible time chucking magazines out too. It's recycling bin day tomorrow and I sat down to sort through the magazine mountain and couldn't find *any* I could bear to part with. My own fault, should have done it when the kids were at school and I wasn't distracted by their 20-minute debate on what DVD they're going to watch (just this minute settled in favour of It's A Very Merry Muppet Christmas.. maybe I should have another go).

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  35. Those flowers are so colourful ,they have brightened my day. I was sorting out magazines too yesterday including Country Living although I haven't got the numbers that you have! Why do I always want to have a final look through them and then I never give all of them away!
    Sarah x

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  36. Keep the Sylvanian and Warhammer things for future grandchildren!our grandchildren love playing with toys and games their parents had.Lego,dolls,Staying Alive etc.We even still have one of those orange bucket chairs that Mothercare made.Does anyone remember them?

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  37. I am a novice hoarder compared to my DH - I hang on to things that have sentimental value but DH drives me mad by hoarding broken things that 'might be useful' but so far, in 17 years, never have been. And now our children are showing similar tendencies...sigh...and we have the Warhammer but Playmobil, not Sylvanian Families. We'll have to look for a very big house. Axxx

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  38. Hi Annie..I love most of the magazines I read and keep them for the treasures they contain too. But I've found that inevitably they lose their charm over the year. I have found that if I offer some to the local cafe, they give me a free mug of coffee and I think I will pass most of them on to friends as well...especially the friends that can't afford to buy them.

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  39. I'm afraid we are both hoarders, OH regularly gives homes to stray and lost pieces of wood, which in his words "may come in handy", and of course I'm totally obsessed with the collection and hoarding of fabrics and yarns......which of course do come in handy on a regular basis.

    Beautiful flowers. x

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  40. Piles of magazines my nemesis! one of Country Living, another of English Homes and a basket full of assorteds too which threatens to take over the sitting room - you should see the size of the basket. I hand some over to an elderly neighbour, this time she winced a bit when I offered and said "Erm not so many this time please" says it all really.

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  41. Oh the buttons, the buttons! Oh my giddy actual aunt.

    I love the idea of a moving library. A year or two ago I held a couple of 'Pass the Book' giveaways. It was a lovely experience: http://www.silverpebble.me.uk/2010/06/25/pass-the-book-ii-cranford/

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  42. Just the mention of "sorting out" gives me the shivers. I hate organizing, although I know the end result is so worth it!

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  43. Gorgeous colour today Annie!! And getting rid of hoarded magazines you say? That is soooo hard for me to do!
    Helen x

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  44. I hoard magazines too, we are obviously not such an unusual breed. I have stacks of needlework, crochet, cookery, lifestyle and art magazines, my hubby has lads of car magazines, but as you say if they've been untouched for years, would you miss them?

    I have a room allotted to e for all my hobbies, it is a dumping ground at the moment and some way off yet, but oh, the excitement of knowing I have a space all for me to make a huge, humbly mess in and then shut the door on....bliss!

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  45. I'm giving a second try to knitting Annie. I know the basics since childhood and I knitted scarves here and there during the years, but I don't have patience for the complicated patterns, the ones where you have to count stitches. I'm more of a crochet kind of girl and I follow no pattern. But I'm seeing so many beautiful knitted things that I'm tempted. So i'm really looking forward your next knotting post, I need inspiration to keep going.
    Magazine hoarding is totally my thing.

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    1. Can you read a chart, Bobbi? If you can learn to read charts you can learn to 'read' your knitting, at which point a lot of the counting will become redundant.

      More knitting posts soon, I promise :D

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  46. Hi Annie, do love the idea of the travelling novel, and each person adds there name, almost like the old library cards tucked into the back pocket.

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  47. ooh that photo was a breath of fresh air :)

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  48. Oh we loved sylvanian fanmilies! Still can't bring ourselves to part with my daughter's collection (she's 18 this year!)
    Our favs were the restaurant, and the barge - oh, and the dress shop!!!!!! Maybe they'll be appreciated by grandchilden one day.......
    Good for you for sorting and getting rid of "stuff"!
    Happy New Year to you Annie!
    Gill xx

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  49. A studio - how exciting - though I have to agree cardboard boxes are not so unless they are filled with...treasure!?

    I love the old buttons in your previous post and what wonderful story and collection.

    Happy New Year Annie and warm wishes for the new year.

    Nina x

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  50. Your camera is brillant! It caught the beautiful, vivid orange of the flowers.
    I like your idea about putting the buttons in a shadow box or frame. I think a few could be used for a hand knit cardi? Ooh, lucky you to get an Amazon voucher! I'd buy shoes, books, or good yarn.

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  51. I remember when we moved house, OMG i didn't realise how much could be stored in a loft, I think ours must have been rather like the tardis! it was so shocking.
    good luck with your sorting and .... Oh i love that photo
    love jooles x
    P.S HAPPY 2013 to you :o)

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  52. 200 magazines??? I thought I was bad!!! Maybe you could keep a couple of them for a recycling craft?

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  53. I get the attachment to magazines. I am trying to throw away, pass on and otherwise recycle. I dread the day we ever move from here, not because of my stuff which is (bar the odd pile of magazines and book stash) not too bad, but because of my husband. He keeps EVERYTHING. Here we manage because he has the workshop and barn which are wholly given over to his stuff. No idea where it would go if we were asked to live in a normal house!

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  54. My first MIL (b. 1904) would always remind us that , in her day , one wasn't allowed to read a novel before lunch ..... "too distracting , dear".
    I don't know what she would have made of Fifty Shades Of Grey .... and , no , I haven't read it , either .

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  55. That dreaded word, 'sorting'. I try, I really do. Like earlier this week, prompted by one of the charity shops dropping a bag through the letterbox with promises of collection on a named day. I went through a wardrobe, some drawers and a bookshelf and filled said bag to the brim, left it outside as requested and ......it's now back in the house because they didn't collect!

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