Shed fixtures and fittings.

I'm at my folks'. And it's nice to have outside space, even if it is freezing. I've been digging around, shifting boxes from place to place, getting a red nose. Also had to do a good clear out of my car in time for it's service, turns out I had two bottles of emergency ketchup in there: you never do know when chips might happen. 
Anyway, I like busy gardens in winter: they're scraped back to just the basic workings, the handsome weathered wood and canes and tools. All lovely and utilitarian with none of them showy flowers making a mess. Here are some photos of splendid shabby shedness. (you might remember these particular sheds from Five Sheds).
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When you go into the veg garden there's a big ball-bearing to hold the gate open - it's made itself two little hollows in the mud: one for holding the gate open, one for letting it close and you plop it between the two with your boot. What a nice simple thing!
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Door held shut with a broken fork . . . upcycling.
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Nice colours.
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After this shed slumped it had to have a new latch fitted.
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A handy poking place.
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Improvisation with a twig.
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Nice poly-tunnel wires, all hung up and waiting.
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Plenty of forks. 
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The crow scarer pinned to the ceiling with a screw right through it's heart. A revenge killing maybe?
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And a splendid welly stand made of two bamboo poles.
There you go. This blog got a nice mention from Oh Comely magazine today! So that's good - hello to anyone that came from there.


Some nice prints from the boot fair. Which is your favourite animal? I like the Senegal Gulago photo P2200178_zps99ad44f2.jpg  photo P2200176_zps510ee874.jpg  photo P2200177_zpsc4d70d45.jpg  photo P2200175_zps5ea0f875.jpg  photo P2200174_zpsff290e4d.jpg  photo P2200171_zps41ff1bd7.jpg  photo P2200170_zpse3595329.jpg  photo P2200169_zps97ec5989.jpg  photo P2200168_zps574c80f5.jpg  photo P2200163_zps0607be86.jpg  photo P2200159_zps9bbb5936.jpg

Toot for tomorrow

Off to market tomorrow with some nice little bits. It's all quite French farmhouse feeling this week.
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A hanky case full of hankies.
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A glass necklace with birds and flowers and berries - so sweet.
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And even sweeter in it's box with jenyoowine vintage cotton wool.
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A pair of these nice brass pots, good for making plants look all grand. The person I bought them from always gives me the old 'hello darling, it's all cheap for you my pretty' treatment and I try to steer clear. I was looking at these pots then felt like 'aw crap!' when I realised who's they were. Anyway, I persevered and it all went off surprisingly civil until it came to getting my change. Then it was all the funnies! 'Oh I'll give you your change next week, don't you trust me? Don't I look trustworthy? You can come get it from my house' Jeez, some people don't got a head for business.
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A basket bag - to buy this bag I asked the price then payed it and they put it in a bag for me. No funny business at all - it was wonderful.
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A soap-dish; hand carved from soapstone. Fancy that, what an effort.
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Nice old coat hooks. Very nice old coat hooks. My favourite sort of old coat hooks.
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A basket - very good for fish display
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An army rucksack which someone (maybe a teenager) has painted with a bit of gloss white. I really like how it looks, painted fabric is a good thing. Hanging on another set of nice old coat hooks.
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Little tiny coffee cups. Victorian.
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Also - my lifetime supply of pencils - here are some of the prettier ones.
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And lastly some very small Indian sandals. How small? About 10cm long. Cute!
Well, there you have it, hope you're all doing good this week. It's One Billion Rising tomorrow as well as Spitalfields Antiques and I've put my bike in the van in case I want to sneak off and holler with the femidoms. Will you do something for it?
I will also have two Tunnocks tea cakes in my handbag: it's going to be a good one.

The trials and tribulations of a house plant.

Another dramatic story for you (since the last).
This Mother of Millions is my most handsome one - all big and luscious. It's a real over-reacher, a growe: just the other day it toppled clean out of it's pot because it got so top-heavy. Then yesterday it managed to snapped itself in half. It's top leaves were so big it's neck just couldn't support them any more.
And the moral of this story is . . . don't try to achieve too much, or your head might fall off. Good, let's all eat a biscuit and stare at something. photo P2069987_zps9e89a111.jpgBut on a serious note; this plant grew up in my parents' greenhouse which I think might be part of the problem. The best, happiest plants are the ones that come from cuttings; that you grow yourself. I think a lot of people get disillusioned because they buy plants that have been force-grown in greenhouses - then feel distraught when they die. In the future I will have a shop full of beautiful big plants where people can buy precious small cuttings to take home and nurture.


Hello you mucky worms. I've been to a proper boot fair again after what feels like such a long break. It made me very happy. Here's what I bought.
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A copy of The Old Man and the Sea - the one with the beautiful illustrations.
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Some lovely buttons that look just like peas. num.
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Another one of those nice slings - to go with that other one that's in the shop. This one's slightly different.
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This one has an image of how to treat a normal thigh fracture and then another image of how to treat a (woman) thigh fracture . . . both ways are remarkably similar.
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Nice Victorian plates with lily of the valley.
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Masonic letter plates. I think I've said it before but those masons know how to do dress-up.
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And a whole load of hand-knitted jumpers and cardis. This time from a knitter who didn't smoke, so that's nice. A selection of neutrals.
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And some jazzy ones. The central jumper ha a zip at the nape of the neck which I think is a nice design feature on a woollen. And also a woven scarf from the same person.
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Nice pattern on the scarf.
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A clunky little pot, in an ancient style - but just tourist stuff. One day maybe I will have an interesting study that looks like Freud's at a glance - but on closer inspection will just be naff souvenirs.
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Tiles - made by some clever thing in their pottery class.
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And a gaggle of dub-dubs, very sweet.
I also got a nice thing for a secret collection I'm working on - I'll show you when I have enough to be satisfying. That's all, now I will eat sausages with housemates and do some writing at my new desk. 
I hope you're well! Keep warm. Unless you're some jammy sod who lives in a hot country - then you should keep cool.

Generous, common and universal.

I am reading this book at the moment. I sit and read it at the desk in my studio, it makes me feel invigorated and inspired for a number of reasons.
Like: Cardew only came to pottery late in life, that's reassuring isn't it? We don't got to rush.
Like: the observations in the book are gentle and generous.
Like: all the mistakes and meanderings are mentioned. It doesn't read like an amped-up show off; just plots a humble journey by one person.
And I thought I would share with you a long quote: I like it because the voice is kind and authoritative and generous, it also embraces amateurism in the nicest way. photo Scan_zpsbc5eaa12.jpeg"When you first begin to learn to use the potter's wheel . . . your first efforts are taken up with trying to control it, to contain it, to possess it." photo Scan1_zpsbb89b3bc.jpeg"At the next stage when you begin to get some control, two things happen concurrently; first you begin to explore what the clay can do, how far you can go with it, where the limits are. And then you try to turn it into something like what's in your mind. What is in your mind is perhaps some pot you have seen and liked, and you think you are trying to reproduce this form; and so you are, but also you are in fact making something of your own. The effort to reproduce what you saw has already involved you in something else . . . something which is both you and not you.
During the effort to imitate or reproduce , you come up against the limitations of your own technical control. You find you can't quite succeed in creating the exact form you had in mind, but you do the best you can with the rudimentary skill that you have so far acquired. You stretch your technical resources to their limits and the result usually is a new realisation, a re-creation (successful or unsuccessful) of the form you saw." photo Scan2_zpsb3cffd23.jpegThen, once you've mastered the wheel you try to be innovative . . . "Having mentally proposed to oneself that what one hopes to produce is a 'new' shape, one proceeds by conscious control to make just that. But even at best, that will only be a projection of your intellectual way of looking at things. Such pots are shrines dedicated to your own ego; they come from a conscious act of will, not from the compulsion of love. They will be sterile, ego-bound and esoteric instead of being as all true pots are, generous, common and universal."
Hear - hear. photo Scan3_zps20ea70c7.jpegBut which is my favourite pot? Well, seeing as you ask, I like these two . . .  photo Scan5_zpsd336a7be.jpeg photo Scan4_zps5485d5f0.jpeg