Tuesday, 29 September 2009

I have to tell you this....

My husband has started his Christmas shopping. What?!

Tea Towel Tuesday!

Not just any old tea towel of course! This gorgeous tea towel is being sold to help fund a trip back to Scotland for some dear friends of mine!

Brad & Colleen Franklin are such a lovely couple! I met them while I was on a discipleship training course in Scotland in 2004. Brad was he caretaker of the Seamill Centre, we never appreciated how much work he did until his post was finished and we were left to tidy after ourselves! His gorgeous wonderful wife Colleen kept the gardens, she planted so many beautiful things. My favorite flower in the Seamill garden was this checkered flower, I thought it only existed in the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, but there it was in real life thanks to Colleen!
Besides helping to give us beautiful surroundings Brad & Colleen gave us so much warmth, love and encouragement and we shared lots and lots of laughs! Colleen was our resident knitting instructor as well, I can't count how many berets and stocking caps she helped create!
Originally from California, keen on vintage, and extremely creative both Brad & Colleen are cooler than cool!
They introduced me to the craziest film I'd ever seen - The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. !
I have so much admiration for this kind couple. Just before the end of our course in Scotland B&C announced that they were gonna be parents! Oh the joy! Gracie joined the family in 2005 followed by baby brother Henry earlier this year. Talk about some absolutely adoreable kids!!!!
They do such wonderful creative things with the kids {I secretly wish they were my parents}. I believe Gracie has been learning to play the ukulele just like her dad :)

Scotland is a very special place to the group of us who lived in West Kilbride for that short time. More than half of the class has returned. I spent three years in Scotland after my DTS and I loved it, you and I have a unique opportunity to help support and encourage the Franklin's return to West Kilbride {and get a really pretty tea towel in the process!}.

They are returning to Scotland with friends and a purpose in the summer of 2010.
A group from Vintage Faith Church going to West Kilbride, Scotland in June 2010. Will spend 2 weeks partnering with YWAM working with a local group dedicated to rejuvenating the town through various gardening projects. This trip is for people who want to share the love of Jesus in a practical , creative and unusual way with the people of West Kilbride.

As of this morning the tea towels are available!!!!

Can't join us in Scotland? Now you can buy one of these beautiful 2010 calendar tea towels via Paypal. Our business name is "Vintage Gardeners go to Scotland 2010." In addition to funding our food and lodging while we're there, th...ey make excellent calendars. And they dry things!! $10 apiece! Perfect Christmas gifts! It's like a telethon. 10 more orders and I'll put the movie back on!

I'm gonna order one or two for myself {one to use and one to keep}, one for my mom & one for my mother in law! I can hardly wait!
Trust me when I say beautiful tea towels of Scotland are few and far between! I guess that is unless you think bright red tartan and cartoons of highland cows and Nessie are beautiful.

This one is a cracker!

Please support the Franklins I love them to bits!

If you would like more information or wanna hear more of their story you can email Brad at: vfcscotland@gmail.com

Monday, 28 September 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas???

Well, maybe not exactly...but I need it to! I've got to get my head into Christmas craft mode! I've got an order for Christmas cards needing to be done!

I LOVE * LOVE * LOVE Christmas! I've been asking Mr Woo if I can put the tree up. He just shakes his head {but I'm serious!}!
I am desperate to start baking Christmas cookies, cakes, gingerbread & mince pies. I want to make chocolates too this year. I'm so far planning to make all of my gifts. Partly out of necessity, and partly to keep to the handmade pledge.
I'm so excited about the open air Christmas markets & decorations going up! By the time Christmas actually arrives I'm ready to burst! Last year I got married a month before Christmas so it sort of sneaked up on me!

I loved Christmas music and decorations as a child. In fact I listened to the Bing Crosby White Christmas 8 track tape allllll year! My dad gave me an old 8 track stereo and a few tapes for my 10th birthday. Among those tapes were White Christmas and the South Pacific soundtrack. I don't know if I actually ever listened to any of the other tapes. Bizarre isn't it!?! Other kids were discovering Tiffany and Gun n Roses. NOT ME! All I wanted was to sing along to Christmas in Killarney & Mele Kalikimaka at the top of my lungs in April!
I would pull out my grand parent's Christmas decorations in the summer to set up around the basement {i had to put them right back away to avoid a cross Grandma}. I seem to remember having garland up in my bed room long after Christmas was over. The 12 days of Christmas my foot! I wanted the 12 months of Christmas!

OOOOh yes! I've actually got clips of White Christmas playing in the background on amazon! It's wonderful! Good ole Bing is getting the Christmas juices flowing! I can almost hear the weird sound effect of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer's glowing nose! If only A Christmas Story & Christmas Vacation were on!!!!! It's already cold here so that helps too.
I could do with an egg nog or hot apple cider {maybe even a Bailey's!} for my card making venture.

Do tell, What do you do to get in the Christmas mood?

Sunday, 27 September 2009


Why oh why must I torture myself! I don't know what got me started thinking about home, maybe I was hungry, but when I thought of home today I thought of all of the fabulous restaurants in Charleston. MMmmmm.
Jestine's Kitchen has the best fried chicken & iced tea & coca cola cake- hands down. Boulevard Diner has the best burgers and deep fried pickles. Andolini's has the best NY style pizza fo sho.
Oriental Garden - best japanese. Best fish tacos goes to Juanita Greenbergs in my opinion. It doesn't hurt that you can wash those tasty fresh tacos down with a raspberry margarita! Yum!

I have been a very busy bee this weekend. I've made a bunch of jewelry and one key chain, does that count as jewelry? I dunno.
We had homemade pizza last night and I'm making a chocolate cake this evening per Mr Woo's request. But first, I think I shall take a bubble bath!


Thursday, 24 September 2009

Cozy Blog Love

As new people might pop in from time to time I thought I should reiterate my story from time to time {in brief of course}. I found this wonderful Cozy Homemaking blog this morning and as part of a giveaway {i told you, i am obsessed} I gave a brief introduction of myself, so I thought it might be nice to repeat here ♥

I'm following you Christy! In fact, I followed you to this wonderful blog!
I love it here! I plan on visiting very often!

I'm just going to make my cup of tea so I can settle in and tell stories....

I'm an American Lass {from the beautiful Charleston, South Carolina} living in North West England with my Country Gentleman. The longer I live in the English countryside the more I love doing things by hand & from scratch. I feel as though I'm becoming a women of the country from a past generation. I love it.
It was creating my own wedding favors a year ago that started me back on the path of creativity. Life is blissful.
I have a great deal to be thankful for. And I am thankful.

Look what my sweet hus brought home for me yesterday! He said he's learned "how to tick my boxes"! Oh my! He went to a museum with work and came home with vintage style treasures! Hmmm...."Traditional ways to a Man's Heart" hey? I wonder if that's a hint?!

p.s. don't forget to check out Christy's blog Sweet Tidings for your daily dose of handmade!
My giveaway will take place in November....just letting you planners know ahead of time!
Don't worry fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pantsers I'll let you know when it starts :)

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Lovliness Strikes Again!

It was about a week ago I think that I was telling you about my sweet friend who sent a wonderful handmade gift. Well, another sweet friend, who I also haven't met in person yet, also sent a wonderful handmade gift! This is Mrs Woo! She is a Boogerelli {I can't bring myself to say what a Boogerelli is! You'll have to find out yourself}! Mrs Woo likes to spend time in the kitchen with the other Mrs Woo {me!}, although little Mrs Woo is too pretty to get ruined by spills and splashes! She even came with her own little cookie!!!! HOW CUTE IS THAT?!

Thank you so much Shannon for your encouragement, thoughtfulness & creativity. Mini Mrs Woo came to cheer me up while I waited for my visa application to go through! She is pink! She is fab! And she really makes me smile!!!! So I would say, mission accomplished.
What a treasure!


in the kitchen.

these from my in-law's garden and became:

this gooey, spicey wonderfulness!

but sometimes....things don't go so smoothly....

I guess that yeast was really active. the bread is still yummy though.

My reward for scrubbing the kitchen clean for 2 hours yesterday was to use my clean kitchen today! Hopefully Mr Woo will help me keep the kitchen sparkling with our new keep the counters clear routine!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Tutorial Tuesday!


Most importantly I want to congratulate one of my bestfriends and one of my breath-taking bride's maids on the arrival of her 3rd little boy! Congratulations my Love! What a magnificent chapter that has begun to unfold! I love you so!



{you've got to look down the right side for my etsy shop logo, but keep your eyes on Sweet Tidings blog because I'm doing a giveaway!!!!!}

Monday, 21 September 2009

i just love this

"True friendship starts the moment one person says, 'What? You too? I thought I was the only one!'" C.S. Lewis

Sunday, 20 September 2009

It is a Laaaazzzzeeeeyyy Day

I declared today: Allowed To Be Lazy Day!

I'm gonna chit chat online to friends far away and eat an oreo (or 4) and I will not feel guilty.
I am not going to do any housework and I will not feel guilty.
I am not going to make cards or jewelry....and you guessed it I will not feel guilty!

I did have a bath and got dressed....but if i hadn't that would have been ok because today is Allowed To Be Lazy Day!!!!

So if you will excuse me please,
I have nothing to do.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Isn't She Lovely!

The thoughtfulness and kindness of people will never cease to amaze me. A new friend {that I haven't even met in person yet!} took the time to hand make a card and keepsake for me to celebrate my visa approval. I am just so touched by her thoughtfulness. She did a beautiful job, the pin cushion and card are gorgeous!
I just wanted to take a moment to say Thank You so much. I will always treasure these gifts.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Ok....so now I am pretty much addicted to Blog Giveaways!

Lookie at this beauty!

"Lucky In Love Charm Bracelet" Gorgeousness!

Mrs Woo's Makes

Ok. I think as this is my blog I can shamelessly plug my own Etsy shop right?
Won't you give my treasures a home?

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Gotta Love some Otis Redding

I don't know about you, but I don't feel sad listening to some Otis. He seems to sing a lot about longing and yearning...but I associate his music with the best times in my life. I'm listening to Otis right now.

I took the bus then the train to Liverpool yesterday, Liverpool means "Pool of Life". I love taking the train and I love Liverpool. There is something so familiar and warm about the city to me. I feel at home there. It would stand to reason that the opposite should be true as the vast majority of my trips to Liverpool have been trips to do with visa applications or application for permission to marry and so on...

{fyi: my gorgeous little Poppy hedgehog is curled up in my cardigan, i might burst from the cuteness}

But yesterday was my last trip to Liverpool for official purposes until August 2011. I have my Spouse Visa biometric work permit sitting here on my desk. A lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into the journey to this point. This card is very precious.
Mr Woo and I have gone to dinner to celebrate the approval of the visa. Mr Woo's brother Larry gave me a train ticket to Manchester to go out and celebrate my visa. Yesterday I was on my own. I sat in a restaurant going through the large stack of personal papers that had been returned to me. Included were the cards Mr Woo and I had exchanged on our wedding day, the engagement congratulations, wedding photos and other letters. I felt like ME. I haven't felt like me in a very long time. I felt a glimmer of me sitting there in a large city drinking lemonade.
I sort of forgot what it feels like to be me, but I felt a surge of whatever it is that has been smooshed down for so long. Maybe it was a glimpse of the elusive FREEDOM. Financial freedom. Freedom of movement. Freedom of choice. I have missed being free. I've been caged by circumstances for several years now. I know I am about to enter a chapter of tremendous freedom. How very exciting!

Monday, 14 September 2009

template tuesday!

Mr Woo and I saw this hilarious ad in a shop window in Tarvin.

{I've got news for ya buddy - if you feed a pigeon, it will stay!}

I thought I might spice things up a little bit {i am easily bored!}. Thus far we've only had embroidery templates, so I thought I might explore a bit and see what else is out there. I hope you like it x

That should keep us busy for a while.
I'll be back later today to share about GETTING MY VISA YESTERDAY!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

some things what i like.

Organising things.
If organisation had a fan club, I would be president. I have those plastic pockets coming out of my ears! If it'll fit in a protective cover, it's goin in. My magazines are all in file boxes, I have ring binders for recipes, bills, patterns, Christmas and more. I had a wedding planner AND ring binder. I believe in the saying "A Place for everything and everything has it's place". Watch out! I will organise you.

* This site is a goodie for getting your household organised!

Not just vintage items, but my romanticized ideas of a lifetime before mine. When I look at
photos from the past I feel a longing, as though I missed out on something special. I sometimes feel like I was born at the wrong time. Do you know what I mean? I love the fashion and housewares from before the 1960s. I fantasize about having a victory garden and making all of my clothes by hand. Don't get me wrong - I am very happy with the advances we enjoy in modern life. But wouldn't you much rather correspond through letters than email? I do. I prefer listening to old fashioned radio shows to watching television.

The Beach.
I was pretty much raised at the beach, in or near water. I can remember having to be pulled from the water because I was completely pruned. I don't remember learning to swim, I just remember always swimming. I don't have a memory of my first time on a boat, only being on boats through out my childhood. When my mother would brave taking the 4 of us to the beach on her own the rule was we could not enter the water until she reached the beach. I would take off running and wait at the edge of the water until I could see her appear over the sand dunes - if I had her within eyeshot and her feet touched sand then I was obeying, technically. I love the smell of salt water and pluff mud. The sound of the surf will instantly relax every fiber of my being. You can keep the mountains and the moors, give me the beach any day.


I don't consider myself a risk taker. I'm probably not going to bungee jump or leave home without painkillers or IBS tablets. I like to have a plan. But my heart soars at the idea of embarking on something new! I love taking the train. I didn't grow up around L trains or subways. We certainly didn't have the great public transport that is available over here in Britain. So boarding a train, whether I'm headed to work or to visit someone or just for a day out, feels like I am about to leave on safari! I love train tickets, I love the sound of the cars on the tracks, I LOVE IT! I enjoy the journey and looking at the land as we pass by. Scotland has the best views from the train if you ask me.

Going on a walk through the forest counts as an adventure to me. It's exploring! There is so much to discover. I like to take my time and take it all in. I will make sure no nook or cranny goes unsearched.

Adventures are best when it's sunny.

Friday, 11 September 2009

i won!

I am so excited! I enter contests and giveaways allll the time. Once I won a book and I just won this super cute fun ring thanks to SugarRainDrops!!!!
She has the CUTEST sparkly wonderful stuff! Def. check out her blog and etsy shop!

September 11

I was going to post a beautiful email that my Aunt Linda wrote shortly after the attacks in 2001...but it appears I've lost it. She passed away in April 2008 of cancer. I really wanted to pay tribute to her and to NY after September 11, 2001. But it's gone.

I will be far from alone in posting about what happened in my home country 8 years ago today. There will be others who were affected in much greater ways than myself. Yet, as an American and as someone who witnessed the 2nd plane enter the World Trade Center on the Today Show while I was getting ready for work, I was affected. Life became different.

It was the most surreal day I've ever experienced. I wasn't that long back from Kenya. I thought that I must have accidently put my TV on a movie channel rather than the news. Once I finally did realize what was happening I had to go to work. Somehow it didn't seem appropriate to just go to work but we hadn't been told anything different so off I went. At the time I was the only staff Graphic Designer at Seacoast Church. It was quiet, but busy when I arrived at work. All of the TV monitors through out the campus were turned on. The sanctuary was open for people to come and pray or cry or think or all of the above.
I had deadlines, so I had work to do, but it all felt a bit irreverent. I was also worrying about my Aunt Linda, I wasn't sure where her offices were or if she was anywhere near the Twin Towers. I didn't actually hear from her for days -but in that case no news was good news.
Loads of friends and church members were stopping by all day. Everyone seemed to be in shock.
My friend and roommate Jessica Hamilton and I went for lunch at Wild Wing Cafe on Coleman Blvd. All of their TVs were on too. They were serving and we needed lunch, but again the feeling was surreal. I think we tried to talk about something else.

By that night Jessica & I were thinking of the people stranded at the airport. The pair of us and another friend borrowed a big cooler filled it with ice and drinks and drove out to the airport. We got there a bit late, all of the passengers had been taken to local hotels - no one was going to be traveling in the air. In fact, my mother was supposed to be returning home from visiting my brother on the Marine base in Japan, but they were on lock down and there was a complete ban on all flights. My mom wasn't coming home, and we didn't know for how long.

The country was galvanized. Unified by fear and loss. Life changed. People became afraid to travel. Security became the obsession. People became afraid of people who looked "like muslims". People were losing jobs because of the economic crisis that followed. Home became a priority. Comfort food replaced trendy cuisine. The late night comedy shows were taken off of the air until it was deemed appropriate.

In a state that had no physical reminders of the attacks of 9/11 thing seemed to carry on quickly. Around the world magazines, websites and news shows took advantage of the horrific images and videos. People toured ground zero. It was a spectacle rather then catastrophe.

I do not look at photos, watch videos or buy souvenirs. I think it is disrespectful and calloused to do so. I do wear a tshirt that pays tribute to the Twin Towers, I wear it because it belonged to my Auntie. I watched Flight 93 and now I will not watch any other film about September 11th.
Not because I want to forget. But because I want to remember.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

I'm a wreck but I have redeeming qualities...

I've had a kinda rough week. After nearly two years I had my Implanon removed. I have been a bit of a mess as my body has been struggling to readjust to being without extra hormones.
I've been crying, eating lots of brownies and feeling very sorry for myself.

listening to Michael Trent, his lovely bride & Shovels & Rope
drinking cups of tea, lots.
eating anything chocolaty and salty.

I'm starting to feel a bit more like me. It won't be long now.

I missed the template on Tuesday so here is a tiny one x

Monday, 7 September 2009

Saturday, 5 September 2009

i am too excited!

I am about as excited as this woman is to have sparkling pans! However my excitement has nothing to do with housework {it rarely does}.
  1. I have gotten into doing trades with people on Etsy. It is brilliant! I have gotten a few really wonderful things but for some reason I am SUPER EXCITED about today's trade! I'm trading some of my precious vintage buttons for a handmade zipper pouch with Mrs Woo embroidered on! eeeeeeeeee!

  2. When I went to email the person I am doing a trade with I found another message in my inbox....SOMEONE WHO LOVES MY WORK AND WOULD LIKE TO FEATURE ME ON THEIR BLOG! "Would I be interested" she said...whaaaaaaaaaat? What do you think sister?!

  3. This week has been a bit up and down, rollercoastery if you will. We found out my visa application was approved, but then Mr Woo's father left to work abroad for six months...so we've had lots of emotions going on in the family.
    But tonight Mr Woo is taking me to town to celebrate my visa! It has been such a hard and long process it doesn't seem real that this leg of the journey is finally over!
    We opened a bottle of champagne last night...but tonight we're gonna paint the town hot pink! I think I should have some sort of union jack accessory to celebrate my new status!
Today's letter is E - for Excited!

Friday, 4 September 2009

good stuff.

I saw this fun literature map on Ponder & Stitch's blog.
{You really must go see her blog, I promise you'll be addicted from the get go! And just wait til you see her Etsy shop. Holy Moly.}

Looks like I'll be scrounging around the library for some Jack Kerouac, Federico Garcia Lorca &
Enrique Vila-Matas. This is exciting!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Et Vous?

Has anyone else struggled with the french knot? Whenever I actually get 1 - yes 1. I want to jump for joy only to have my excitement dashed my the second attempt....

I think Jenny Hart wins a prize {maybe a cupcake} for this brilliant tutorial AND she's even giving away this template! Get practicing y'all!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Well! Ya don't say!

3 Agencies visited.
5 Appointments.
6 trips to Liverpool.
2 Visa application forms filled in.
4 breakfasts at Starbucks.
4 years worth of very detailed information gathered.
4,000 dollars & 1 inheritance spent.
2 or 3 set backs.
3 diazepam taken.
3 different advisors.
1 extremely clever lawyer from Glasgow.
3 appointments with Connexions.
9 months of preparation.
1.5 years in limbo.
lots of tears.
lots of sleepless nights.
lots of prayers whispered.
lots of stress, worry and anxiety.

1 phone call made it allllll worth it.

"Mrs Woodhouse, I'd like to inform you that your visa application has been successful."

and suddenly my heart has wings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How infinite and sweet
This love so rescuing
Oh how infinitely sweet
This great love that has redeemed
As one, we sing...
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

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