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Monday, 17 September 2012

Home is where the heart is ...

A Thrifty Tale ...

Summer's Last Hurrah

Even though Autumn isn't officially here this year until 22 September, Summer seems to have run out of the door long ago, and Autumn has elbowed her way in.  As a childminder, I am lucky to work from home, and at the moment, only mind children before and after school, so I have all day to potter about at home.  (I have been doing the school run to the same school for 22 years non-stop!)


 I have noticed subtle hints around my home that it's getting to the time of year when we start to snuggle up and batten down the hatches ... I have at last found some blackberries, a bit late this year, and they're soaking ready to be turned into blackberry vodka (more about this later), and bramble jelly.


Bit of siege mentality going on in my pantry I think ... getting ready for the Big Freeze! ...


Note to self: Must organise Pantry!!


Spring bulbs, waiting to be planted (courtesy of Poundland!)


My secondhand new from car boot sale Autumn curtains ... fully lined 110" long, and all for £10 (and they'd just been dry-cleaned)


Cosy corner ...


Lots of lovely reading matter, to curl up on the sofa with ...


And a picture of H to remind us of summer days long ago ...


More lovely reads ... the Sophie Dahl hardback is in Tesco at the moment for a funny price, I think it's £4.82.


and the new Autumn magazines ... can I just say, I don't read magazines nearly as much as I used to ... I get all my lovely ideas from Blogland!


Wellies and scarves waiting by the door ... and my favourite chair left to me by the lovely lady who I got the faux leopard coat from ...


My favourite bag of all time, which I bought from lovely Sophie at fading grace, such gorgeous Autumnal colours!


The fireplace in my back room ... there is a thrifty story behind this! I spied the woodburning stove at a car boot sale for the princely sum of £15 but before I'd even had the chance to reply, the stallholder said "but you can have it for £12".  Well, you have to act fast, as there were other people hovering, so home it came with me.  It is actually a fake electric one, but we couldn't afford a real one and didn't want the fuss and mess of having one installed.  I just wanted  'the look'.


Our focal point in the back room at that point was an orange pine shelf in the middle of the chimney breast, with 4 terracotta pipes embedded into the wall below, I believe to be used to store wine bottles.  Not attractive at all, and I hasten to add, I do not wish to take the credit for this, it was our home's previous occupants who added this touch of class.  Well, I took the fire home and it just didn't look right against the wall, under the orange pine shelf (but luckily hiding the wine cellar).  So I bought a dirty, sticky, black fire surround for £15 and transformed with a slap of Farrow and Ball (I hadn't discovered Annie then!), sandpaper and wax.

It still didn't look right, so one day when I was out, Steve (bless him!) removed the plaster, and took out several bricks to make the space for the stove, and created a hearth with some old bricks.  I nearly cried when I saw it, because he had got it just right! And all for £27!!


Not a very good picture of these roses, but they are red with hints of gold underneath, they'll be lovely when they open ... from my favourite florists, Aldi!


 Vintage knitting bag with my Royal Wedding/Jubilee/Olympic/Paralympic patriotic WIP blanket poking out (what's the next Great British event? I promise I'll finish it by then!)


  Autumn asters and my little CK Stanley lookalike ...


and lovely pale pink cyclamens in my favourite Emma Bridgewater cup and saucer.

I hope you've enjoyed your little tour of my home, and if you're preparing to cosy up for the long, cold months ahead, I'd love to see!

Oh! and don't forget, my Giveaway is still open to Followers, old and new, home and away ... please click on the link on my sidebar and add your name to the list to be in with a chance to win a lovely vintage, crafty book.



Have a fabulous week ...

Love, Claire xxx

94 comments:

  1. Thank you for your lovely cosy comment on my blog. I love all your books and your cosy corner. Have a nice day xxx

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    1. Thank you, and you're very welcome! Lovely to have you pop in xx

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  2. Fabulous post - so many gorgeous bits and pieces to look at! I really must get my house more organised!!!!!!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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    1. Hello Liz, don't be fooled, the rest of the house is a mess! xx

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  3. Loving your blog Claire - just started reading recently but really enjoying reading about your life and interests!

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    1. Hello Anne, I'm glad you like it, and it's lovely to have you here!
      xx

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  4. I really admire you thrifty finds and the way you put them together! Just lovely! Ada :)

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    1. Thanks Ada, you make my day with your lovely comments!
      xx

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  5. Oooh, lovely post Claire! I'd love to come and have a cuppa at your house. It looks so cosy and lovely. xxx

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    1. You're welcome any time ... the kettles always on! xx

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  6. What a lovely post!! Really enjoyed that, and what a bargain your £27.00 fireplace turned out to be! :) I have many of those books in your collection too, and yes, perfect Autumn reads! Marina xx

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    1. Hi Marine, glad you enjoyed it ... we all seem to have the same books, don't we? xx

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  7. I love this post! So many lovely images - those sunflowers are amazing.
    Claire

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    1. Thank you very much ... they were from my bespoke florists too - Aldi!

      xx

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  8. Hello Mrs Thriftwood.
    You have made us all feel cosy and warm and ready to squirrel down for 'Fall' and I loved this post Claire!
    Love your Larder too!
    Love Maria x

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  9. Hi Claire,

    What a beautiful autumnal post! Love the curtains you found in the car boot sale. They look just perfect.

    I see lots of familiar books in your cupboard, like the cookbooks by Sophie Dahl, Homespun style and Vintage flowers. Such lovely books!

    Happy new week!

    Madelief x

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    1. Thanks for your lvely comments Madelief , and we do see the same books time and time again on everyone's blogs ... We all like the same things, don't we? xxx

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  10. Oh My goodness a fire for 12 quid!!! thats a bargain, my friend has one and it is so cosy they do the job just right. So many lovely things to comment on, I don't know where to start! Love to have a pantry, had one in the old house it was so lovely to walk in, not room in our house now though. I have been busy making cosy corners too and I know you said you don't much like September so I hope you are ok, and not sad. I have photos everywhere they make me feel better, happy memories :-) thank you for all your lovely comments, and glad the bag is is still in one piece! this is turning into an essay, but such a lovely post...thank you
    Love Sophie xx

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    1. Aw thanks Sophie, it's always nice to have you drop in! Have a lovely week xxx

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    1. Thank you! I was very lucky that day, and nearly didn't go, so glad I did xxx

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  12. Hello Claire
    Your home is beautiful, all warm and cosy, Your fire looks "real" you had me fooled, It sounds like a great makeover between you and hubby well done.
    Wishing you a cosy evening
    Thea x

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    1. Aw thank you Thea, hype you have a nice evening too xx

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  13. Hi Claire,I so enjoyed my tour of your home,we seem to have similar tastes,I spotted quite a few things that you have that I also love,Kirsty Allsop,Cath Kidston,Pretty Nostalgic,country living etc etc! Your curtains were such a bargain and I can see why you were sooo pleased with your wood burner.i too would love a woodburner but living in a modern house,not sure if it would be possible.Have a cosy week. Warm Regards Pam.P.S are you a Downton fan?

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    1. Hi Pam, reply is below ... I put it in wrong place! X

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  14. Oh your home looks so cosy ... just perfect for autumn ... I love autumn and love getting all the snuggly bits out again ... have a good week ... Bee xx

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    1. Hi Bee, thank you very much, hope you have a good week too! xx

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  15. Hi Pam, you could have one of these wood burners as it's electric, you don't need a chimney. It's funny thinking about all our friends in blog land sitting in their homes reading the same books and looking at the same magazines. Great minds think alike! I quite like Downton, but am not usually a fan of period drama ... Love,love, love The Great British Bake Off though!

    Have a lovely week xxx

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  16. What a fabulous post of utter gorgeousness! lots of lovely things to ponder about autumn and enjoy.

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  17. Hello Anne, what a lovely comment! Thank you xxx

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  18. A lovely post full of so many good things. Your pantry looked brilliant! Very well stocked. I love this time of year. x

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    1. Hello Gillian, thank you, you're very kind ... the pantry is a real mess! I edited the photos carefully! You can't see the coats, ironing board, hoover and random items, lurking in there! xx

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  19. Hello Claire
    What a lovely cosy post. I think we should all be following close behind you in hope of getting some bargains. I love your cosy corner with the books, a perfect place to curl up. Your fireplace looks lovely, what a great team you and your hubby make. Have a lovely week.
    Ali x

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  20. Hi Clare,I LOVED the tour of your home,its so cosy and what great bargaining skills to make such a lovely home. I'm the same I dont buy many magazines at all with blogland to keep me more than occupied,theyre so expensive too.Love the look of the Sophie Dahl book and what a good price ,I'll be off to Tescos later :) Hope you have a great week and enjoy the quiet days before the kids Xxxlove JulieXxx

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    1. Hi Julie, thanks for your lovely comments, you're very kind! I only get magazines when there's a cheap subscription to be had (Country Living via Tesco Clubcard vouchers!). Hope you enjoy Sophie Dahl, it's a lovely book xxx

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  21. A thrifty home indeed, and a lovely home too. One where the heart most definitely is. Great post Claire :D

    PS Any tips for the most hopeless bargain hunter on the planet?

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    1. Aw, thank you Annie! as for bargain hunting, I've had years of practice and my Mam was a natural at thriftiness, so I learnt it at her knee!

      xx

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  22. ooh I love autumn...... I have my cardigans at the ready! I love your fire, I've been thinking of buying an electric one as I don't want the fuss either! x

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  23. Hi Joe, they cost a lot to run, well this one does! My smart meter turns red as soon as I turn the heat on. I just have it lit like a kind of lamp, I suppose, makes you feel warm! It looks quite realistic if you don't look too closely and make sure you hide the wires and plugs! Thanks for popping in! xx

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  24. Hi Claire love the autumn snips of your home especially your larder, I love larders I have one under the stairs and my old aunt had one in her bathroom! Thanks for your comment on facebook just realised whom it is! your quite welcome to pinch the idea, I pinched it from somewhere, sold one on Saturday at Crewkerne, one that had a teacup and plate and saucer all in one, so I put a pastry fork as well as the teaspoon. Julie xxx

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  25. HiJulie, thanks for lending me your great idea! Hope you dowelling at the Fair!

    Love Claire xx

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  26. Oh I love Autumn - it looks as though you are well prepared - all those books look so inviting. Really pleased you found blackberries and looking forward to reading about the vodka ;) x

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    1. Hello Anna, thank you and will definitely share blackberry vodka making with you!

      Xx

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  27. How many beautiful things you show us, Claire,
    then the curtains are beautiful, I love them!
    Even here in Italy is coming autumn,
    but rightly so
    Love Susy x

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  28. Thank you Susy! Always lovely to see you ... my son is travelling round Europe and at the moment he is in Northern Italy ... I am very envious, he says it is very beautiful! Have a lovely day,

    Claire xxx

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  29. What a lovely post, I really enjoyed it.

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    1. Hello Fiona, really glad you enjoyed it ... you're always welcome here! xx

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  30. Oooooh you have me feeling all warm and cosy ..... you will never want to go out!
    love jooles x

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  31. Hello Jooles, you're right, I don't ... I could happily stay in until March and hibernate! Have a lovely Autumn xx

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  32. I'm so glad you found me, because that means that I've found you too! The vintage knitting bag is SPECTACULAR, I l'oeuf it. Your house is wonderful xx


    sittingonherbumbaleerie.blosgpot.co.uk

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  33. Hi Eilidhbelle! Welcome to Thriftwood ... thanks for following me too! The knitting bag was a lovely find in a charity shop ... the lady looked at me as though I was mad for wanting it ... and it had old knitting needles in it! She said "would 50p be ok?" ...

    Enjoy your day! xxx

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  34. What a lovely post, you did well with the curtains and the "woodburner", the fireplace looks gorgeous. And I'm the same, I seem to read a lot fewer magazines now I read blogs!

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  35. Hi Jay, thanks for popping in, you're always welcome! Xxx

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  36. well done you getting that "wood burning stove" ! looks great and the fireplace too. what a nice cosy post you have given us...makes the coming of winter not so daunting if you think of all the cosy things ...have a nice weekend...Gail x

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    1. Hello Gail, thanks for your lovely comments ... Going to pop over to you now!

      Have a lovely weekend xxx

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  37. I loved the tour of your home and I am particularly jealous of you pantry. I do have a pantry myself but sadly it has to house the fridge as my kitchen is sooooooo tiny!
    Have a great weekend
    : )

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    1. Hello mrs H, my kitchen is tiny too and the pantry holds the Hoover and ironing board, just not shown in photos! xxx

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  38. Great great minds, another book snap (Sophie's). Also love the curtains, absolute bargain xx

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  39. Hi Dawn, thanks for your lovely comments, and yes,another lovely book! xxx

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  40. What a lovely, snuggly post with plenty of ideas oh how to enjoy this new season.

    Stephanie

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  41. Hello Stephanie! It's lovely of you to dropping .... Always welcome! xxx

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  42. What a lovely Autumnal post! Your home is beautiful, it is full of such colourful, vintage loveliness xxx
    Thank you for the kind comment on my recent post, it's so nice to know you enjoy my blog :)
    Have a great weekend
    Louise xxx

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    1. Hello Louise, thanks for popping in and for your lovely comments .. Enjoy your Sunday, Claire xx

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  43. It is time to get cozy....I love this time of year...pure joy. Today I went to the pumpkin patch....so fun! xoxo Happy Autumn.

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    1. Hello Koralee, that sounds a lovely seasonal pastime! Have a lovely day xxx

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  44. oh I'm on my way up- your house looks much snugger than ours...we're in battle-mode about firing up the Rayburn at the moment; I'm freezing and Ted says with the price of oil we need to wait a tad longer. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!

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  45. Our heating is on the blink so we're thankful for the faux fire! Warm wishes to you xx

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  46. Ah - lovely and cosy Claire. You have some lovely bits and bobs and it all looks very inviting. Well done with your stove- that tops it all off very nicely indeed. It sure is getting chilly and I keep holding off with the heating but no where to dry the clothes....
    Snuggle up!
    Best wishes
    Jenny

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    1. Hello Jenny ... I'm feeling the cold this morning ... heating on the blink but against my religion to turn on until October anyway! Might turn my 'woodburner' on for 5 mins. I have a Sheila Maid rack at the top of the stairs ... as the heat is rushing to make its way out of the roof, it might as well dry the washing on its way past! Warm wishes, Claire xx

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    2. Ah Claire I see that you are a kindred spirit indeed - I always make a mental note as to the time of year I turn the heating off...I cannot bear to turn it back on until at least 7 months of no heating have passed. Some years that is tricky as I then can't get the washing dry. I am holding off as long as possible! Raining today of course!
      Best wishes
      Jenny

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  47. Great photos and post, Claire! Happy Fall to you!
    Hugs,
    Anne

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    1. Hello Anne, always lovely to have you drop in! Happy Autumn to you xxxx

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  48. Yes, Autumn is in the air for sure..it is starting to feel cooler now..defiantly a 'stay inside, cuddled in a comfy spot with a good book and a cup of tea' kind of weather. Thanks for the tour..your house looks lovely and cosy indeed! What a bargain on the electric style wood burner..it looks just perfect there :)
    I love the floral pattern on your vintage knitting bag..it is so pretty!
    Magie x

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  49. Hello Magie, it's really been the kind of day you mention today ... very wet and grey! Thanks for your lovely comments, it's always nice to have you drop in! xxx

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  50. What a lot of eye candy in this post, Claire!! I love autumn, everything about it makes me feel cosy xxx

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  51. Thank you Katie! Lovely comments ... enjoy your Autumn! xx

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  52. Is the Sophie Dahl book worth flying all the way over to NZ? Also I can't wait to hear more about bramble vodka! x

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  53. It's a lovely book Jus! I will have to make my blackberry vodka soon, the blackberries are waiting in the freezer, so I will do a post on it next time ... a bit busy this week, I've got my first vintage fair for months, so will show you that too! Am very envious that it is the beginning of Spring for you ... flooding, wind and grey skies here, I'm afraid!

    Love, Claire xxx

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  54. Hi there
    Hope you dont mind me stopping by. I stumbled across your blog via knitsofacto and so glad I did.
    What a wonderful blog!
    Best wishes
    Sophie

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  55. Thank you Sophie ... You're very welcome! Going to pop over to you now ... xxx

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  56. Hi Claire!
    I am following in Sophie's wake, as I found your blog through hers. I live near Portland, OR, and when we moved into this house my daughter set up our little electric stove in our fireplace [ that needs mending]. It gives me great pleasure and little mess for little cost. I am celebrating my first year of blogging and am having a giveaway in thanks to those who visit me and comment. I am drawing a name for the winner on September 30, 2012, as well :) I look forward to getting to know you better through your blog. Thanks for posting!
    Joy to you and yours,
    Gracie

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    1. Hi Gracie ... a big welcome to you, and glad you found me! Will pop over to you now and have a little nosey!

      Have a lovely day,

      Claire xxx

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  57. Hi, great to find you (via Tedandagnes) I have to tell you I have the exact same curtains at my kitchen doors! You have very good taste! I also live in the North west of England and look forward to reading your past posts with a cup of char!
    Sharon. x

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  58. Hello Sharon, you're very welcome and a north-westerner, so we're practically neighbours! Love those curtains, m so glad I found them! enjoy your weekend xxx

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  59. Just found your fabbytastic blog,look forward to more reading
    XX Manda XX

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  60. your home is so lovely and cosy! We are preparing..we have two open fires but we are in the middle of installing a woodburner in the dining room. just need to save up the 500.00 needed for the flu liner eeeeek!!

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    1. Thank you Claire ... not so cosy really, central heating not working so am thankful for my pretend stove! Your real stove will be lovely and well worth the wait xxx

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I love to hear what you think of my ramblings and value all your comments ... I will try and get back to you, but am sorry if I don't always manage this ... sometimes real life just gets in the way! Claire xxx