Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Our hedgehog is such a fussy eater ….

My regular visitors will already be acquainted with the numerous wildlife that pass through our Shropshire garden, particularly the random hedgehogs mentioned here and here ….

Recent reports of the decline in their numbers has spurred me on to making sure that I feed them regularly - they need all the help (and food) they can get.

This past month has seen our front hedgehog house being well used as a feeding station each night.  I have been very good about putting out food each night - mealworms are a firm favourite, and they have been gone by the morning.

Our recently installed outdoor cameras have caught the hedgehog making its way around the garden - taking his time, ambling along, sometimes spending 15-20 minutes in the garden close to midnight.

The hedgehog sign on the top of the house as I have been asked what it is for ….

Last night I was down to the last of the mealworms (the baby blue tits like them too) so I decided to try the Waitrose cat biscuits again. They were not liked last time around but another try is always good?

So I mixed them  up with the mealworms, smug in the illusion that they were Waitrose ones that might be marginally better than other ones but no ……

A decisive NO from our spoilt hedgehog.

I lifted the lid & it was like a kid throwing food around - the container was tipped over - strewn about the house & only the mealworms eaten!  He even pooped by the container … oh dear - I think that means NO!

So I cleaned it out with a brush - aired the house by leaving the roof raised & then went to buy more mealworms.

 I even looked in at our garden centre & bought a bag of hedgehog biscuits!

I hope this will satisfy our noisy hedgehog & stop him from stropping about his food. Do you have any hedgehog advice for me? I will let you know how it goes - please stop back again for an update!

Dee ~♥~

Saturday, 23 May 2015

The interesting ceramic history of my Apple Blossom platter …

Does your curiosity get the better of you when you find unusual items?

I found this love green Apple Blossom Festival platter by chance on a visit to Dorset & loved its bright colours & raised relief details. I showed it on my sideboard & am pleased with the raised, majolica like detail.

My regular followers know that I have a great love for interesting crockery designs & my curiosity soon got the better of me & I had to do a little research on the details listed on the reverse ….

The platter was made by Donald S Nelson for the Armagh Apple Blossom Festival of the 10-17 May 1975 & it is no130 of 200 made.

It was made by D.S Nelson of Little Orchard Pottery.

I wondered more about Little Orchard Potteries & Donald S Nelson. In these instances,  it is good to do some internet searching …

I found some fascinating background information which linked him to the popular Wade figurines

Little Orchard Pottery

Donald S. Nelson was one of the designers in the Wade factory.
He worked for in the Wade factory from July 1966 to June 1969.
He created Nelson's Coffeware - which came in three separate colours - green, brown or blue.
He modified the Irish Song Figure Molly Malone.
For a short period of time after this he worked for another former employee who ran his own company in the name of Irish Ceramics and Crafts. Unfortunately this company was not successful and closed after two years.
Nelson decided to set up on his own - producing pottery called "Little Orchard Pottery". He worked near his home at Cranagill, Portadown, County Armagh.
I also found out some more about Nelson's time at Wade (page 15)

Lovely embossed designs with earthy colours ….

A chance find has produced an interesting background history,  when I now look at my Apple Blossom Festival platter,  I will be mindful of the history of the potter & his links to the famous Wade ceramics & whimsies. Their long & varied history including the popular NatWest piggy banks makes interesting reading ….

I hope you have enjoyed the background history too. Do you own a few wade whimsies or some of the promotional goodies? Which are your favourites?

Have you been inspired to look behind the labels or marks of things you have bought?

Thanks for stopping by - I always appreciate your visits
Dee ~♥~

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Apple blossom time ….

Hi everyone

Do you watch the changing seasons with a sense of wonder?  I love our British seasonal changes - there is always something to look forward to.

May is traditionally apple blossom time & they are some of the loveliest times about.

This is the old apple trees at the Dorset family home -  they are truly spectacular this year!

 Lilac & apple blossoms blooming next to each other …

While out browsing with Ms M in Dorset, I spied a lovely green plate & with its raised details & crest, I just knew it was going back to Shropshire with me.  I also knew exactly where it would be going …

You have probably guessed too - my sideboard in our conservatory is changed very regularly because it is the space we use the most for meals & relaxing. The conservatory links the lounge & the dining room & is a space we really love because it is light, bright & warm with lovely views of the garden.

I wish I had an apple tree to cut some blossoms from, however, this old apple bowl was gifted by my mother in law some years back & it always look right piled high with tempting apples …

I love mixing old & new & so the green apple platter was my starting point ...

It is the right shade of apple green to sit with the pink Ikea Ideel plates …

I love my eclectic collection of silver candlesticks that we use around the house & have mixed candles to add interest too. - a reminder that they are well used. We always keep candles in them because they are on hand to be used at the table or even in the garden ….

My style is to mix up various sets of plates so it is more casual. The fluted plates are by Gisela Graham & the coloured pink & green glass plates are from the Ikea Ideel range. These are all favourites which you might have spotted on my Spring sideboard too.

The green candlesticks are vintage milk glass which sit happily with the modern pinkIkea candle holders on the right. Do you like to mix things up & combine old & new?

I hope you are enjoying the brighter weather & the change of seasons in the garden.

Thanks for stopping by & taking the time to read the post.
Dee ~♥~

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Chand Baori in Abhaneri, near Jaipur, Rajasthan

Hi everyone, thank you for your company & comments.  I hope you are enjoying my Indian adventure with me & that it will inspire you to visit ….

If, like me, your introduction to life in India was via the The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel  you might just have spotted swimmers diving in to the Chand Baori stepwell - a brief glimpse but enough to whet the appetite.

I have seen the famous step wells on TV & never for a moment dreamt that I would actually visit one.

It was just a brief mention in our daily guide, as an optional extra, and when our driver, Baba recommended the short detour to it, Ms M & I had no idea quite how spectacular it would be.

We stopped in an unremarkable street in a small town, walked in an unremarkable door where restoration was clearly in progress and then ….

I admit to being totally & utterly in awe of the sight that unfolded before our eyes - it is hard to describe the awe at the precision & planning of something so truly beautiful & functional.

A lady keeper accompanied us as we made our way around the 3 sides that have steps cut in to them.  We estimated that to fetch a bucket of water would require you to transverse some 90-100 steps each way. There are no railings to hold on to, it shows the preciousness of water - that commodity that we take foregranted in our Western homes where it flows freely.

 It is hard to describe how precisely lovely it is ….

Perhaps if we had to fetch it with such effort, we might appreciate it more.

I wonder how many feet have trod those stairs for water? I wonder what tales they could tell ….

Sometimes a detour leads you to something unexpectedly wonderful.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have enjoyed this ….
Dee ~♥~

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Fabulous doors in Varanasi on the Ganges ….

Hi all - I hope you are enjoying the posts about India? Are you a fan of doors?

We are so used to seeing uniform, modern double glazed doors which are all similar - functional without necessarily being beautiful or unique.

Mine is such a door at home …

My door is like many others in the UK. However,  it is a real joy to see doors which are truly individual & lovely too.

We were with our guide, exploring the off-the-tourist-route streets above the Ganges in Veranasi, when I realised that I was taking lots of door photos because they were all so lovely.

I had a day out with a friend in Shropshire last year when we just took door photos & this reminded me of how much I had enjoyed it. Our Shropshire doors are blogged here ….

I love these details …

This door just invites you in with its beautiful painting …

I love the details on this set …

The details are simply lovely - this door reminds us of ages past …

The faded paint colours are so 'in vogue' in an Annie Sloan way …

Who would not want to use a door like that?

Doors with bars, hinting at life behind it …

Doors & shutters to his world & shop …

The yellow just lifts this opening …

Such beautiful colours & details ….

The carved details on the doors remind me of the sunburst images of Art Decor buildings

The details are really lovely - the frame the door perfectly & creating an imposing entrance …

Beautiful fan like details on the semi circle …

How lovely are these details with the colours & raised images?

Stunning paint work & pattern; yes, I do rather like deer too so was drawn to this  ….

A glimpse through the doors …

Functional, natural worn wooden door that is definitely solid ….

Lovely to get the odd glimpse of what is behind the doors …

A temple with its bright contrasts  & lovely door details …

The Swastika is a sign of peace - not what it was hijacked to represent & it is still seen all over India.

A purple door that I was photographing, then a glimpse beyond ….

… to some friendly faces who greeted with smiles … great karma

Painted details make this door special & individualistic …

Did I mention that I love the paint work? :)

Look at those corbels & details on the side with the details picked out in paint? Stunning ….

Fab-u-lous ….

 Beyond the door lies interesting lives …

Distressed complimentary colours looking worn & homely; the details are lovely.

This door has some age & it has seen some life pass through it …

Interesting details picked out in red on this temple … doors within doors

Ornate gates - I wonder what is behind it …

I love the carved details on the doors & surround - it has an elegance to it …

Beautiful carved details above the door frame; the colour is a favourite of mine too …

The faded charm speaks of a long history associated with this entrance …

A door within a door ….

A very elegant & ornate entrance on the Ganges …

These were just a few of the many beautiful & very individualistic gates seen in the back streets of Varanasi. I love the bold use of colour & the very decorative details. I hope you have enjoyed these with me. They make our uniform doors seem very boring …

Thanks for stopping by,
Dee ~♥~