Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Fabrics, Fragrance and Floribunda!

Well I never, what's this? Roses growing in my apple tree? No, but the next best thing; three of Niki's gorgeous handmade bags! I'm sure you've heard the expression that a girl can never have too many bags, well if they're made by Niki, then that is certainly true! I was lucky enough to 'bag' (excuse the pun!) the patchwork of roses bag yesterday, when she updated her website. It arrived today, how's that for service?!

Here are some more wonderful things I have recently acquired! I spotted this pretty glass lamp on ebay and luckily for me it was on a Buy It Now - so I did just that! It has little glass droplets just visible under the lampshade. The very kind seller sent me a surprise gift too, this really pretty oil painting of roses, how lovely! When I saw Sue recently at the antiques fair, I couldn't resist her handmade lavender bags made from vintage fabric; they smell wonderful! The lavender bag tied with black lace was another surprise gift from another ebay seller; aren't there some very generous people out there?! The beautiful wisteria note paper was made for me by Bonnie; thank you so much Bonnie, I really adore it and don't want to use it!

Here's a photo of one of my Sweet Williams, which are growing in abundance in my borders this year!

Last year they were non-existent but have decided to appear everywhere this year! Do you have any surprises growing in your garden?


  1. Beautiful photos, as always!
    Oh, those rose bags are gorgeous! Now I want one! :)
    What lovely surprises you have received ~ love that rose painting!
    As for surprises in my garden, we have a columbine this year, that came from who-knows-where by our back faucet. We've never had them, so a present from a birdie, I imagine!

  2. thanks for showing me my paper-so weird to think it is so far away!!
    Beautiful bags you got!!take care.

  3. Those are beautiful rose bags, almost too pretty to use! I'd just hand them and admire them. What nice sellers you've dealt with! The little rose painting is so pretty.


  4. Lovely bags. I was out when Niki sent her latest update email. By te time I got home so much had been sold. She's a popular girl! Isn't lavender the most scrummy smell and yes I constantly am surprised at the generosity of strangers.

  5. Very pretty bags and I love the dianthus, is it? At the moment the surprises in my garden are trees chock full of citrus, like mandarins, lemons, oranges etc.

  6. The bags are wonderful! I especially like the rose one. Would love to see more of your garden...Sweet Williams are a favourite of mine!


  7. I also love roses on everything around me.
    Last year I also made a patchwork-bag with rose-fabric and it's my favorite.
    Kind regards from Germany,Monika

  8. Delightful rose bags. Isn't it nice to receive little surprises?

    Such a pretty lamp too - I never seem to find great items on eBay under 'Buy it now'

    Marie x

  9. Niki's bags are glorious! All of your treasures in fact are just lovely! As for surprises in my garden... we had a couple: a blackberry seed sprouted in my iris patch, now we have a briary blackberry bush growing amongst the iris. Also, two wild rose bushes have sprouted themselves... one in my garden under a birdbath, and the other in a flower pot of all places!

  10. A lovely post. The bags are just soooo pretty.

  11. Beautiful photos of very beautiful things. You have some generous friends and talented too.

  12. Hi Clare,
    That's so kind of you to post the photos of all of your bags - so glad that you like them and have fun using them!

    I was very lucky to receive a note from you written on the pretty Wisteria paper! I thought it was very you!

    As for surprises in the garden, I am always amazed where my Hollyhocks choose to seed themselves - they come up in the most unusual places! Right now I can barely pass through my garden gate, as they are growing right by the entrance - buy I am NOT about to dig them up! I shall continue to limbo!
    Niki x

  13. I've got a huge bunch of sweet william in my lillte living room at the moment. They just make me smile so much. I really need to reintroduce them into my garden - love Julia x

  14. The bags are gorgeous, and so is your Sweet William..!
    I have found eBay sellers to be generous too, and have often had a little extra tucked into a purchase.

  15. Gorgeous! I just love the bags Niki made! SO pretty! Love that lamp too! I never find things like that on EBay!! Lucky girl!


  16. Those bags are beautiful! I usually have seedlings appearing over the garden that I guess the birds have planted! The most unusual thing I have hanging from my apple tree is one of my cats who always legs it up there when I go out there, showing off just how agile she is (not)!
    Kim x

  17. Oh Clare, so lovely they are, all three of them :) You shure like roses, so do i :)And what a fun way to show them off!
    The painting is beautiful too, i like your taste :)
    So how are you doing? I hope everything is going fine, i could really picture your garden now in front of me, with all the colours and the smells. I have the pleasure to enjoy some plants too, and some of them are blooming right now. I take pictures all day long, and my cat is running in the grass and wants to play with me.
    It is quite hot here now, around 25 degrees. Tonight the air was pretty moist, i feel the bad weather is coming.
    But it doesn`t matter. I make it cosy inside. I just got a gift from a Norwegian blogfriend, a Norwegian Interior magazine. I was thrilled!! Lots of inspirations :)

    I am soon going to bed, but want to wish you a very nice weekend with your loveones. Greetings from Aina and Holland :)

  18. Love those bags! The fabrics are amazing.
    And the glass lamp... Oh I would love to have a simular one. So cute! But these finds are very rare here in Holland. Just like the gorgeous vintage fabrics you always seem to find! Makes me wonder why I live overhere...
    Have a nice weekend!

  19. Hi Clare, oh the bags are so pretty and eyecatching too... especially up in your tree, ha!
    Your pics look yummy with all the flowers. The wisteria notepaper is superb, how lovely to receive that!
    Your cottage muct be full to the brim with visual loveliness!! IO love coming to your blog, makes me a bit homesick, ha.
    Bye for now from Debra in NZ

  20. I love the bags:-).
    The Sweet William is just wonderful!
    Have a great weekend:-)

  21. Hi Clare

    Niki's bags look fabulous any time, but on your tree they surpass themselves. What a clever idea - but then your photo-shoots are always a sight to behold.

    Thanks for showing the lavender bags, too!

    Sue xx

  22. I do so enjoy your blog and the great photography, I like your rose bags

  23. Beautiful purses. Your 'sweet william' is a lovely shade. As for "garden surprises" we have a little toad that often surprises us as he moves around the garden and is quite camoflauged :-}

  24. Hi Clare,
    Thanks for the lovely comments.
    It is typical Bank holiday weather.
    Hope youir enjoying the break anyway:-)
    Alison x

  25. I love the bags!! They are so cute. I wouldn't mind having one or two:)

  26. So many beautiful things!!!!!!

  27. Oh I love Sweet Williams and never remember to plant any, I think they are biannuals aren't they and is it true that the Scots call them STinking Billies?

  28. Such LOVELY bags!
    I thought I recognized that fabric. I must have seen it on Niki's site when she posted about them.

    And the Sweet Williams are beautiful. I haven't had them for a while...I miss them.

    Kimberly :)

  29. Hi Clare

    Will try and set up hotmail again and be in touch!

    Sue xx

  30. Lovely pics. Those sweet williams are my favourite. Mary

  31. What a beautiful rose painting! And the bags are lovely!

    We have had some very sweet surprises in our garden this year. I hope to take pics soon!

  32. hi clare,i have just finished reading all about your beautiful cottage!
    its amazing the amount of gorgeous goodies you have,every room has something to drool over!
    congratulations to you and mike in having this lovely spread in 25 Beautiful Homes,i just love your kitchen! and the armoire in box 3 is really lovely,oh i could go on and on! best wishes clare, ann.

  33. Such lovely photos as always- your site is full of inspiration, and thanks again visiting my new site!!

  34. Yes a spring phox that is huge....see post from must have seeded itself

  35. Lovely treasures. I also think that a girl can never have too many roses.