just an old-fashioned girl

Hello and welcome. I'm glad you dropped by. If you´re looking for something a little nostalgic of bygone eras with a timeless elegance and a little modern twist – in other words, something slightly “retro” – then you should feel right at home here in my shabby chic room. Month by month, there will always be something new to see so I hope you´ll enjoy your stay and come back again soon.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


For years Dora´s little dachshund friend, Tessa, has been trying to learn Dora´s 3-ball trick but so far the best she can do is to pick up 2 and practically choke herself by holding one behind the other. At least in her Christmas costume she´s outdone her best friend.
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Strange Pet Presents

This version of The Twelve Days Of Christmas “sung” by various pets made me laugh. I doubt very much that any of these things would be high up on most pets´ Christmas wish list – the guinea pig certainly doesn´t look too sure about his gift - but I think you´ll agree that they all deserve a visit from Santa next week...if he can squeeze down the chimney with all that stuff in his sack!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pets´ Christmas Wish List

I think that, if Dora could write, high on her wish list would be a sandpit to dig her ball in and out of, a pair of thumbs so that she could catch more than one ball at a time and a mouth big enough to hold four balls instead of "just" three. Unlike the pets in this video I don´t think she´d include either a can opener or a pogo stick.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Pets´ Christmas Auditions....woof, meow!

This video which I found at YouTube is so cute and funny I simply had to download it and share it with you.
If you enjoyed this - and you´d have to be Scrooge if you didn´t - come back again soon to see the finalists.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Stars Freebie

Here´s a little early Christmas present.

If you´d like these festive jewelled accents, you´ll find them HERE all zipped up and ready to go.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Filling The Silence

This year I´ve been finding the hiatus between my Christmas preparations and the big day itself rather depressing. As long as I was busy doing something positive – and I DO NOT mean laundry! - I felt quite cheerful. But now that the Christmas tree´s in place and decorated, my house looks festive, my cards have been posted and my presents are wrapped, I think Now what?...and start to brood on my health problems and doctors´ appointments and the kind of doomy gloomy stuff that I´ll have to face in January. There seems to be a sudden silence that comes between the sad tinkling sound of Christmas baubles shattering on a tiled floor and church bells joyfully heralding Christmas Day. 

Enough of this! I´ve found my own personal solution. It may not be everyone´s way of banishing the blues on a cold, rainy December day but it certainly works for me. I simply click on BBC Radio 4 Extra´s Listen Again feature - http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4extra/programmes/a-z/player - where I have an entire week´s worth of my favourite comedy programmes. In the past few days I´ve been cheered immensely by various funny folk such as David Sedaris, the cast of the vintage Dad´s Army / Steptoe And Son series and the hilarious members of the panel in I´m Sorry I Haven´t A Clue. I always particularly enjoy the daffy definitions of the ISIHAC comedians. Here´s a small sample of those which have kept me laughing today: 

pensive – something you can write with while draining the potatoes.
dogmatic – a dog without a clutch
aperitif – dentures
cherish – rather like a chair
bumbling – jewellery for the buttocks (May only be understood by the British!)
lackadaisical – a bicycle made for one. ( Ditto by those acquainted with old songs.)
menacing - male voice choir
gear – alcoholic drink for ventriloquists
Gandhi - a bow-legged ventriloquist
gateau – a French ventriloquist´s boat

Got a touch of the winter blues? Don´t despair. A smile may only be a couple of mouse clicks away.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Rudolph And Roses

After an unexpected snowfall yesterday I awoke this morning to a miserable drizzling rain. In this kind of dreary weary winter weather there´s nothing as welcoming as a splash of colour at the front door but in December the choice of flowering plants is limited. Red cyclamen with its fragile drooping blossoms is quite beautiful as is the more flamboyant poinsettia but neither of these will tolerate a sudden drop in temperature so this year I decided on a less conventional display on my doorstep in the form of 3 small rose bushes which I found at a local market stall. No sooner had I bought them than I spotted a dear – pardon the pun – little basketwork reindeer looking at me beseechingly and just begging me to take him home. I fell for him instantly and the fact that he was carrying a tiny shrub with red berries just added to his appeal.

With such a cheerful welcoming group on the front doorstep all I can say is who needs poinsettias!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Preparing For Christmas

Since I got back from Scotland I´ve hardly had time to draw breath! For a while I got totally bogged down in idiot work like washing, ironing, cleaning, dusting and scrubbing. After that it was setting up and trimming the tree and generally making the house look festive, something which seems to take longer every year though maybe not quite as long as it used to take when Dora was a puppy and insisted on helping me. I can do without that kind of help! I remember once taking her for a walk the following day and suddenly noticing something silvery dangling from her rear end. It turned out to be a mangled string of tinsel. I won´t go into details of how it got there. You can probably work that out for yourselves.

But I digress. One thing I really do enjoy is making Christmas cards, something which Dora has never taken any interest in, thank goodness. In most cases this means a lot of preparation in advance. For example the following cards have to be printed on both sides, the motif on one side and the pattern of pin holes on the other. Then I prick out the pin hole pattern, cut out the motif and paste it onto a plain card along with a Christmas greeting. Here are just a couple I´ve made which aren´t really that difficult as the edges of the motif are straight, unlike some which have a lacy edging.
Then there are the cross stitch cards which I only send to my very best friends because they´re quite complicated to make. I´ve already described that process in an earlier post so I´ll just show a couple of the finished cards.

This year I´ve also sent some printed cards. Here´s just one in which I´ve used a few elements from A Christmas Carol, one of my Christmas kits.
Which reminds me, included in the above design is a very tiny version of one of a set of three elements which I´ll soon be offering as a festive freebie. So, if you´re also designing your own cards or would like a sparkly accent for a Christmas layout, watch this space....