Happy New Year

New year's Eve Dance 2014
New year’s Eve Dance 2014

Happy New Year to you all, may it be filled with health, wealth and happiness! I hope you had fun celebrating! this year we went to a Vintage Swing Dance just outside Brighton.

The music is mainly from the 1930’s right through to the 1950’s with all the fun of dressing up! I made this dress specifically for the evening, it is a oriental satin fabric and had a fabulous drape, so that it swirls out when I spin. (More about the making of this dress later). I had just popped out for a breather which is why my petticoat is all over the place!

We are very fortunate there are so many wonderful dance events on in West Sussex, there is a very active Vintage community with regular events including the famous Goodwood Revival in September. I love the upbeat music and the opportunity to dress up with flowers in my hair without people looking at me sideways! Its great that the guys dress up too, shirt, ties, braces and trilby’s are the order of the day! We had a brilliant time – spending it with lovely dancers. Everyone goes all out to dress up so it becomes a joy to see so many lovely clothes!

NYE swing dance poster

If you aren’t sure what swing dancing is here’s a little taste 

We had an interesting discussion on the way home, how the English mostly celebrate New Year’s Eve, versus the Scotts New Year celebrations. Here in the Uk we go out early, usually until the clock chimes! Then we are off home, even though the music went well on to 1am it had thinned out considerably!

The Scotts do it differently, staying home quiet until the midnight chimes strike and then its time to go out and celebrate. They visit friends and neighbours – with allocated times organised so that everyone can go from house to house together, with whisky and food, usually lasting well into the next day. Its why the 2nd January is also a bank holiday in Scotland! Lucky them!

Dancing just after midnight
Dancing just after midnight 

 

The Hall was bedecked with bunting and flags just as if it were the 1940’s! Here we are in the centre of the floor dancing just after the midnight chimes had rung out. (you can just about make me out in my pink dress)

May the New Year be Happy, Healthy and full of blessings  xx ttfn xx

Movember felting fun

Movember
Getting ready for workshops

My partner is participating in Movember – a great way to raise money for cancer research and while I cannot grow my own moustache, I thought I would create some needle felting ones to inspire him and for me to wear to support the charity.

Barvaria here I come
Barvaria here I come

It was fun coming up with various shapes – I think this one gives him a bavarian air!

Mr Wong!
Mr Wong!

This one was terrific fun to make, the long thin strands seemed to go on forever!

Now this looks very slavic to me !
Now this looks very slavic to me !

Austria’s border patrol are missing one of their guards..! oh err!

Russian spy?
Russian spy?

I think he would make a great double agent!

I’ll update you on his own moustache at the end of the month!

ttfn xx

Falling in love with shiny!

 

I am not a Bree Van-de-Kamp, the Desperate Housewife with the perfect home, but there are times when I realise that I need to do something about the layers of dust and the kitchen floor appears to be changing colour!
 Housework is something that I seem to avoid – yet oddly enough when I spend time cleaning I actually find I enjoy it. (yes you did read that correctly, the word enjoy and housework in the same sentence!)
I have fallen in love with sparkly, and it is very easy to achieve, takes no elbow grease and is not hazardous to health. It is a simple mix of vinegar and bicarbonate of soda.

 

This is not my kitchen but one that is set up in the grounds of the Weald and Down Museum in nearby West Dean, I thought it illustrates to me just how much simpler and easier housework has become. Hot water at the turn of a tap – washing machines and electric kettles, it has never been an easier time to be a housewife. I believe that simple household products that have seen years of use. This little kitchen set up goes back to early in the 1900s.

 

Looking at the simple ingredients that were at the disposal of the housewife in her struggle to keep the house free from infection – it  made me ponder just how far we have come to rely on the ‘selling power of science’ We trust the cleaning products that abound on the supermarket shelf are safe and effective to use.These companies are in business to make money, they use enough science to convince us that their product will be the best, and easiest to use.
There are no restrictions on cleaning products for the home it may surprise you they are able to sell these above what would be considered a health risk if it were sold commercially. There have been links with air fresheners and cancer risks, and I believe that if our bodies cough to expel something that has been sprayed into an aerosol into our smallest room then it is pretty likely the substance we are ingesting might not be in good health.
Its easy to get everything sparkly, just spray with vinegar and sprinkle over bicarbonate! You can scrub a little, then wash down with water. Buff and sit back and admire a lovely shine! It lasts for a few days too. No coughing, no nasty chemicals, gentle on the purse too!

ttfn x