Sunday, 4 March 2012

New trinkets, pretty flowers and a fab weekend

Having seen the pretty tea towels from Primark on various blogs, I felt the rare urge this weekend to visit said shop and bring some cheap goodies home.  This meant a trip to Bedford.  

We never shop in Bedford.  I've always thought it was a bit of a scruffy town with old-fashioned shops.  Sorry if you live there but whilst it has the potential to be super-pretty, you have to admit it's kind of scruffy.  This put us off to begin with - we hit Primark pretty quickly (lots of little treasures and I spent £14!), had a wander round the market with a bag of hot dinky doughnuts and were ready to leave.  I'd spied a lovely looking florist on our drive into the town and, as it was a nice day, suggested we take a walk to try to find it.  

Man, am I glad we did.  We found a fantastic little row of homeware shops in the Arcade and the florist was even lovelier than I'd expected.  We spent ages in there, with me oohing and ahhing.  It's called Fleurette and if you're ever in the area I'd definitely recommend a visit.  It's a new favourite of mine.  I finally made my choice, but it wasn't easy: 

A gorgeous bunch of flowers and a distressed chunky candle holder.  L♥ve!  Even better, the husband surprised me by whipping out his card to pay for them.  I know, I'm lucky - he's dishy, funny and spoils me rotten :-)

I am so pleased with the flowers.  Don't they look pretty on my sideboard!  I make a little squeal of joy every time I see them.  They are exactly the kind that I hope to grow in the cutting patch that I am starting this year, with the help of Belinda's cutting garden series and a Sarah Raven book.  If you haven't been over to the Wild Acre Flowers blog before, pop over and have a look.  If I lived near Belinda I would treat myself to a posy a week.  Lush. 

Now, I know that the dark pink flowers are ranunculus and the white are anemones but can anyone remind me what the little pink flowers are called please?  The lady in the shop did tell me but I can't remember.  I want to grow this - it smells nice too!  And the little white ones?  I need to scribble their names in my cutting patch notebook.  

I managed to pick up some tea towels in Primark.   I went in for the floral, Pip Studio style but liked this bright check when I got to the shop:

I'm also keeping my fingers crossed to win LaaLaa's gorgeous blog anniversary giveaway which includes more pretty tea towels!  

£1.20 each. Bargainous.  I also bought a few cheap faux pearls which I really like.

These will do until I can afford the real thing!  I love the look of lots of strands of pearls at different lengths with chunky silver necklaces interspersed so that's how I'll be fancying up my frocks this spring.


I've got loads more to waffle on about - I've been very crafty this weekend and have made some sweet little envelopes.  There is also some crochet goodness to share.  I will save all of that for another day and finish up with my rocking chair reveal:

I am so chuffed with my favourite little chair.  I loved it before but the dark wood in such close proximity to the oak cabinet just bothered me a bit.  I used Annie Sloan chalk paint in Country Grey (needed a couple of coats) and sanded down in places to make the chair look worn.  I then gave it a good coat of soft clear wax.  

I have to admit that I didn't enjoy doing it; I got really bored halfway through, my back was aching, it was messy and I hated trying to coax the paint into all the awkward little nooks and crannies.  As a result, there are two little half-painted stools in my conservatory that I didn't have the stamina for.  I'm glad I did it though and considering the chair cost just £40 in the charity shop I think I've had a bit of a result.  Thanks again to Shabby Chic Sarah (the master of paint jobs!) for all of the advice on text and email!   Thanks espesh for the moral support when things were looking rubbish and drippy!  

So here we are - Sunday evening and I've got a bit of ironing to do and some crochet flowers to finish off.  There is also a small bag of dolly mixtures with my name on it.  It has been the most fab weekend and I'm not even going to let the prospect of Evil Monday dampen my spirits! 

Have a great week and thanks for reading, you gorgeous girls, you.



PS Other news in brief:  I've had a clumsy kind of a week. I fell out of bed in my sleep last weekend (ouch) and a particular low point was when I fell up the stairs the other morning wearing nothing but a towel (after a shower).  I found myself in an undignified naked heap on the floor with a sore ankle.  Thank heaven I was home alone.  

It's raining so much that we gave tonight's walk a swerve.  Someone isn't happy.


  1. The flowers you bought are really pretty, sorry I can't help with the names though. I meant to try and get to Primark this weekend to get some of the tea towels but didn't quite make it. Love your rocking chair, the crochet blanket is gorgeous.
    Ann x

  2. Beautiful post, Nicki - love the rocking chair - how very satisfying to have finished such a fiddly job!
    I've sorted my welly dilemma and gone for Hunters with a gusset (shudder at that word!) - fingers crossed for no leakage/rubbing!
    Fingers crossed for evil Monday
    Emily x

  3. omygoodness i love it all. Your chair is lovely, and that blanket!
    The flowers are so pretty, much better than supermarket bought ones.
    Your story reminds me of years ago my hubs was getting out the bath when the doorbell went, he went to answer it, fell down the stairs from top to bottom, lost his towel and was gretted by his mum calling through the letter box if he was ok haha!

  4. Ooo, your pics are gorgeous! Don't worry about the commenting. It is hard keeping up with all the blogs and the comment weird words that you have to type in is soooo annoying.
    I will look up the Grimm thingmmy, is it a tv series? I will give you the verdict on the book when I have read it.
    You would have loved that shop. I need to go in it soon. I need a windfall too. I want all the white crockery.
    I like the look of the shop in this post too. Just gorgeous. Lovely flowers and candlestick. Your bloke sounds perfect.
    I live in the Moravian region of the Czech Republic, quite a way from Prague, which is a shame. There are lovely places here but I reckon if you ever visit this country, Prague or Cesky Krumlov are the best. Prague is beautiful and Cesky Krumlov is a fairytale medieval town that is like being in a film set. I bet you would love it.
    I wish I did live round the corner. Our village is a bit too far back in time in a bad way. No trendy knitting clubs. The city centre is much better. Love my house and some great stuff here, but not many like minded folk or maybe I haven't found them yet!
    I often get told I am like a fairy, funny you said that!
    Hope you are better after yor fall. xxx

  5. Heyy, Nicki - thanks for the very lovely mention! I'm very excited about your cutting patch, and if you bung in a load of bulbs in september by march next year you will have jugs full of gorgous tulips, narcissi etc - whooooop!!

    The pink flowers look like a kind of broom and the white looks rather like buddlia but I'm not 100% (feels like "phone a friend"!) Just the act of choosing some lovely flowers and bringing them into your house is such a happy-maker isn't it? Candle stick is gorgeous too, just my kind of chunky rough if that doesn't sound too dubious!;) Bxx

  6. Beautiful flowers. I bought lots of "Pip Studio Style" goodies in Primark. I love them so bright and cheery. I like the colours of the tea towels you bought too.

  7. Beautiful flowers. I bought lots of "Pip Studio Style" goodies in Primark. I love them so bright and cheery. I like the colours of the tea towels you bought too.

  8. hi, your rocking chair looks lovely and has insired me to think about doing mine had it years but could do with a revamp, like you i get bored and annoyed with the fiddly bits i did a table before christmas i am just to look lovely i come up to bedford in the summer with the other half for tug of war as the there is bedford ladies tow and they hold the comp once or twice a year .Sorry did giggle thinking of you falling upstairs it always frightens you when you do it and bloody hurts but i do laugh if someone falls over (not if they hurt themselves thou )ha x take care and poor dog that little face :) x

  9. Everything you have that you post about leaves me with my mouth open every time.
    Those flowers! I had no idea that a bunch that gorgeous could exist, sooo pretty.
    I sooooo love the rocking chair too, you made a great job of it! xxx

  10. Firstly, how gorgeous is the rocking chair? Beautiful! I've got tons of furniture waiting to be painted, & recently blogged about a mirror & a chair I painted/prettified. Yay for Primark! I keep forgetting theres one in Bedford, must visit it soon. Theres going to be the first 'out of town' Primark opening in MK in the summer. Hope the clumsiness stops

  11. Beautiful post, beautiful flowers, love the chair!!
    Your bit about getting bored halfway through made me laugh, as it reminded me of myself, I have a very short attention span sometimes!!!
    Take care

  12. Aw, lovey, there's nothing worse than falling up or down stairs wearing nothing but a towel- alone or in a house-ful! Hope your ankle's ok!
    LOvE your rocking chair- so gorgeous. And I'm with you on the painting- furniture-thing- I get a bit bored with all the fiddly stuff too and then, when you round the corner and see it finished, it's just the best feeling in the world, isn't it?!
    Have a fab week

  13. Ooohhh the flowers are gorgeous, love fresh flowers in the house. You've done a great job on the rocking chair, well worth the effort, it looks

  14. Ahhh Nicki.....GORGEOUS post! Love, LOVE your photos muchly. Your flowers are just gorgeous, love the combination of floral treats :) Gorgeous rocking chair make over (and I can't see any wires!! Lol) I bet you feel right contented rocking in it.

    Hope you enjoyed your dolly mixtures :) boo hiss to evil Mondays!!

    Have a great week x

    Jo x x x

  15. Yeah I'm avec les filles. That chair is awesome, for some reason I missed the part where you said you got it in a charity shop. It is a bargainous moment of wonder.
    I'd get bored painting it too. I have no staying power.
    I am really good at sitting through an entire bag of Peanut M&Ms though. Oh dear......need to walk it off tomorrow.
    Glad you had a great weekend.
    x x

  16. Sounds like a gorgeous weekend indeed....ahhhh those flowers are divine, and i have to say a HUG BIG thank you for the blog link to 'wild acre' blog as i too am creating a cutting patch this year. Have you ever visited sarah Ravens garden in east sussex? i try to go a couple of times a is stunning, i SO want to live there!
    Nice rocker ;o)
    happy new week
    love jooles x

  17. Oh dear hope you didn't bruise or hurt yourself to much. Those flowers are gorgeous and so pretty ;-) I have the same teatowel they really do have some pretty ones in there. Your rocking chair is lovely and i like your crochet cushion. Have a good week, dee x

  18. Your weekend sounds lovely! I haven't ever been to primark to look at homewares so will keep that in mind!

    Happy Monday : )


  19. Gorgeous flowers - they really brighten up a room, don't they! Love your crochet too - I've just become addicted to it, so love looking at all the colour combinations!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  20. Loving the flowers. I've heard and seen lots of lovely colours from Primark, so must venture in to see what they've got!!

  21. Hi Nikki - have recently come across your blog & LOVE it. Really lovely. Could you give me some tips on how to publicise my own blog, am new to this and not sure how to get my followers up. Link below have a read - would love your comments

  22. Don't forget you have knit club to cheer you up tonight.

    Oh how wonderful your chair turned out. it was worth persevering with the drippy bits. Is that cushion a Kate Foreman one in from of the C&R one or are they both C&R's? (or both KF?)

    Those flowers are suuuuuper. I think i might give up on veg and go for a cutting garden instead. Yes it's a plan.

    You must not buy yourself real pearls. It's terribly unlucky. Andrew will have to treat you.

    Gosh your taste is so my cup of tea.


  23. Love those flowers!!! They are beautiful & make the house look really fresh & springlike : ).
    I hadn't been to Bedford for a long, long time, but I was pleasantly surprises to see some beautiful little, unique shops! I missed the pretty tea towels though!!
    Congrats on the gorgeous blanket, and your refurb of the rocking chair!! I don't enjoy the painting, but make it more bearable by putting on my favourite music in the garage, & singing & dancing as I paint! ( Poor neighbours!!!)

    Sharon xx

  24. Hi Nicki. I actually need new tea towels and I think a trip to Primark is just the ticket. I am sitting in blogland trying to put off the enormous amount of cleaning my house needs. I really should just get started but ... may be one more coffee and a bit more blogging!

  25. OMG, those flowers are GORGEOUS!! I was going to just grow dahlias again this year (grew them for the first time last year and from June-Oct I had a vase full in the house) but I'll take a look at that website for more inspiration.

    The rocking chair looks fab!! Sooooo nice with the crochet blanket, you've done an excellent job.

    Don't let the chair put you off painting other things, I hate painting chairs and little tables with fancy legs as they are so fiddly. You can take a little paint and add a bit of water which does help it go into the twiddly bits.

    Painting a nice flat surface is a different matter entirely, it's much quicker and more fun!!


    S x

  26. Wowee, sooo many stunning pictures.

    The flowers are absolutely gorgeous. Did you select them individually? Perhaps the white conical ones are a type of lilac?

    Love your chair. I really, really want one now and think the paint job looks fab!

    Beautiful crochet too - that blue just blows my mind. Goooorgeous.


    PS. I seem to keep catching my big toe in the hem of my pyjama bottoms at the moment which whips them down and sends me A over T! Maybe it's our biorhythms!! :-) x

  27. The flowers are gorgeous,I would buy flowers every week if I could afford it,and have them in every room in the house!
    Your chair is lovely and worth all the effort.I want to paint my pine dresser,but it's such a big job,I keep putting it off.

    Enjoy the week...and TAKE CARE! :)

  28. What beautiful flowers! And oh, that little face in the last pic, irresistible.

    Sorry to hear you've had an ouchy week, hope you aren't too bruised x

  29. Your flowers, dish towels and crochet blanket are all very colorful and springlike. Great job on the rocker, its hard to stay with it when you have to do many coats.

  30. I wish we had Primark here in Singapore. I keep reading about all the pretty things on so many blogs :)
    Your rocking chair is lovely. I'm so impressed that you re-did it yourself.

  31. These pictures are absolutely amazing. I love it. I'm definetly pressing the follow button! I saw your comment on teen granny, I'm a 14 year old blogger. My blog is
    - Becky x

  32. Hi Nicki,Your blog header looks fab! I don't know how I missed this on Sunday,but Oh your rocking chair looks so lovely,well done! Worth the sore back,now,I bet.The flowers are lush,I'm popping over to those links now.Have a good week,hun,xxx

  33. Sorry forgot to mention the super crochet blanket on the back of the chair,well done,its gorge,love the colours x

  34. Gotta love those t-towels - I must get to Primark. Shabby Chic Sarah needs to start selling her tutorials for the Annie Sloan paint. She sent me lots of useful info about it the other day. Ha Ha. Hope your ankle feels better.