Thursday, 2 February 2012

My latest purchase ~ A Santos Cage Doll

I always look forward to getting out at the weekend and one of my favourite places is the Station Mill Antiques Centre in Chipping Norton. My husband and I popped out for a visit there a couple of weekends ago and I couldn’t believe it when I came across one of my favourite stalls selling, not just one, but two Santos wooden cage dolls. I know some people find them scary but I think they have a particular charm. Sadly, my house is bursting at the seams and against my better judgement I foolishly decided not to buy them.  They had a lovely old shabby time worn look about them although I know they probably weren’t original.

Throughout the following week, I couldn't stop thinking about them and knew in my heart that I should have followed my instinct.  I could picture them standing either side of my fireplace looking gorgeous. Anyway, by Friday my urge to drive all the way to Chipping Norton (it takes me nearly an hour) was getting the better of me and I said to my husband that we would have to go early on Saturday morning.  Bless him, he’s so used to just going wherever I want to go that he didn’t even complain. We got up bright and early and when we got to Station Mill, my underlying niggle was confirmed ~ one had already been sold. Still, I mustn’t complain, as I managed to get the other one and she is settling nicely into her new home, just waiting for me to make her an outfit.  Her right arm needs a bit of attention but otherwise she's in good condition. Now I will have to keep my eyes open for another one to match.

The Santos dolls take their name from the Spanish word for Saint, and are also known as Santons (French) and Santibelli (Italian). Often found in Portugese or Spanish communities they were originally created to use as personal altars at home, particularly in small villages that did not have a priest, or where it was not possible to travel to church, such as during times of war. Their development flourished in Europe in the 1700’s and 1800’s, and they were often elaborately dressed and adorned with crowns. A variety of different items often religious were placed in the cage. For further information see They also have a lovely range of cage dolls and accessories for sale.

Warm hugs ~ at this particularly cold time ~ x Haizi

Sunday, 29 January 2012

A Crochet Challenge at Christmas

I was given a lovely supply of different coloured wool from my daughter and my mum at Christmas along with a challenge to create something from scratch, and to also finish it! After a recent visit to Malvern Flea market where I purchased a cute little vintage bedroom stool with a furry bright red cover, I thought it would be fun to crochet a cushion to compliment it.  On my travels around the many scrumptious crochet blogs before Christmas, I had come across a gorgeous daisy square pillow tutorial that had kindly been put together by the very talented Annette from  To find the instructions just look under her tutorial section. I knew that this was the perfect choice for the stool.
My eighty year old mother was staying with me at the time and although she usually uses a very tiny crochet hook as she likes working with very fine thread, I invited her to join me in the challenge.  We had such a fun time putting the colours together and deciding how we were going to go about creating what was to become ‘our’ masterpiece ~ lol! It's was also lovely to engage my mum in something that I knew would stimulate her and to be able to do something together.  Mind you, I notice I had to sew it up, but she did a few squares so I must not complain.

The cushion is made up of twenty eight squares. It was quite a challenge to try and get a different coloured centre with a contrasting outer row. The simple bit was doing the second row all in white. The squares were joined by using single crochet and putting two wrong sides together. I need to practice this a bit more but I'm sure I will improve over time ~ hahaha! I joined four at a time which gave me seven squares across. With hindsight I think I chose the wrong wool to do this as I thought it looked a bit flimsy although the overall effect looks ok.  

For the back of the cushion, I chose a few of the main colours and did four rows each of double crochet, with seven buttonholes (marked with thread). 

 I have to say that crochet is totally and utterly addictive and I have so many things that I want to do that retirement sounds more and more attractive as time passes.  My preference has always been to knit and although my mum taught me to crochet when I was younger, it has only been in recent weeks that I have come to understand why she loves it so much.   I’m still at the stage of getting to grips with a range of techniques and stitches but as my confidence grows I am looking forward to starting a blanket .......... or two!
When the back and front were finished I decided to join them on the inside (putting right sides together). If I were to do another one, I would do a single crochet on the outside as I think this gives a much neater finish.

I bought some lovely yellow spotty buttons to finish it off and hey presto! I'm really pleased with the result.

Sunny smiles ~ Haizi D x

Monday, 16 January 2012

Costa Condordia Tragedy

My thoughts and prayers are with the passengers, crew and families of those involved in this very sad disaster.   I have been a happy cruiser for the last seventeen years and I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like to deal with the trauma and aftermath of something which is almost to big to contemplate. May they find the courage and strength to deal with, and get through the difficult days, weeks and months ahead.

♥ lavender heart hugs 

♥  Haizi   

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

I've become totally hooked ......... on crochet!

It feels like it's been a long time since I did a proper post and I apologise for not leaving any comments over the last couple of weeks.

I have been determined to at least make a start on some of the things I've been promising myself that I will do over the last few months and after being inspired by several blogs to include ~

I have managed to make a start and have done some crochet and sewing which is wonderfully relaxing after a long day at work. These two cushions are the first things that I've actually completed.  Using Rico creative cotton Aran, the blue, red and green one just started off as a small single square (well a circle really) and I continued to crochet around until it measured sixteen inches. I loved doing the back as I not only used up my scraps of wool but I did my first ever set of buttonholes. My friend gave me a lovely tin of vintage buttons when I last visited her and I used some of them to complete the cushion. I have decided that my house is going to be filled with bright colours (hopefully matching) rather than the beige and creams I've tended to opt for in the past.

The pink, green and yellow one below consists of four granny squares which I joined together and then I did several rows of double crochet to again make a sixteen inch square. I have to admit to being a bit odd as I loved sewing all the ends in which is usually the worst bit and joining the cushion together. Cause for concern I wonder ................ or therapy maybe!

I am very pleased with the result and intend to buy either a turquoise or bright red sofa so show them off. I have several others on the go as I am totally and utterly hooked ......!

x Haizi x

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Wishing everybody a very Happy New Year x

Apologies for no posts recently ~ in between suffering from a very bad back after somebody went into the back of my car, working more than full-time and christmas, I haven't had much time to play. Hopefully I will be back on track soon. During my restful periods I have been doing lots of sewing and crochet ~ oh joy of joys! Pictures to follow.

I hope this year brings lots of love, light and laughter to you all ~ lavender bag hugs xxx

x Haizi x

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Scrumptious things at the Chipping Sodbury Christmas Fair on Saturday

My husband and I set off reasonably early so that we could have something to eat and a little wander around the town before we went into the fair. We arrived at about 9.15am, the sun was shining which is always a good start to the day. We passed the Vicar to the local church who was very friendly and jolly, he encouraged us to go and have a look round the church when it opened at ten o'clock.

 I would love a pink house!

By the time we got to the town hall just before ten, a large queue had formed and we happily added ourselves to the end of it. Once inside it was difficult to know what to look at first as there were so many lovely things. It was very busy and and I was glad to have my trusty assistant with me (for carrying any purchases) as it was difficult to get to some of the stalls. It was very lively and good fun and we spent a couple of hours taking it all in.

My very own dancing queen! I bought this from Nostalgia at No 1.   The table was full of the most delightful things all beautifully displayed and it was difficult to choose which one to buy. She is made from vintage lace and and I particularly loved her wings which are made from an old tape measure.  Oh dear, I can feel another collection coming on ......! I also got some gorgeous vintage buttons and tags from the same lady who can be found at

These lovely jars were too tempting to walk past so it felt right for me to buy both of them. They are so bright and cheerful and will look rather gorgeous when they've been filled up with all sorts of goodies. The little doll who jumped into the picture at the last minute was bought at a local boot sale  for twenty five pence. She's rather cute and matches the jars perfectly so I've told her she can stay as long as she behaves herself!

This picture is mostly of the last few bits and pieces I've gathered together over the last few weeks as I can't find the Christmas tree since we moved. I don't really want to go out and buy another one so this little display will have to do (I can imagine the look on my daughter's face, if the presents are also small enough to fit under the tree at the back as it's only about ten inches tall ~ lol!). The two father christmas chalk cake decorations were also found at Chipping Sodbury along with some lovely blue baubles which I've put in a glass jar (forgot to take photo) on the dresser.

It's getting rather close to Christmas and there is much to be done. Ho hum ..................

Monday, 5 December 2011

Lucky me!

Phew! it seems an age since I was last on my blog. I seem to have had so many things to do and not enough time to do them in.

Recently I received a very welcome email from Abby at to say that I had won one of her gorgeous prizes that she was giving away. Do pop over and read her lovely blog which is always inspiring and heartwarming. Aren't I a lucky girl, I'm not sure what I am going to do with the fringe and buttons, but I think they would look lovely on some vintage pillows and lavender bags. The heart which is filled with lavender is hanging on my bedroom door looking gorgeous.

I have been busy making things for a charity craft fair that we held at work last week to raise funds for our local hospice and time has passed so quickly which is a scary thought, given that we are only three weeks away from Christmas ..............................!

x Thank you Abby ~ you're a star! x

Wishing everyone a peaceful and happy week ~ Haizi xxx

Friday, 28 October 2011

I can't believe I used to fit into these clothes!

My daughter Phoebe decided that it would be fun to have a dressing up day after she found some old clothes of mine that were lurking about in the garage from goodness knows when! We had a really good time digging through boxes and I was transported back to my earlier years, touching on long forgotten memories of days gone by.  I used to love getting dressed up and it was lovely when my daughter asked me if she could have the dresses that she had found. Quite honestly, I thought they were long gone. The dress she is wearing in the first picture is made from a gorgeous red silk fabric, that is as beautifully finished on the inside as it is outside. We took a couple of hats from my mannequins and she spent a couple of hours prancing about in the garden (poor thing was half frozen) so that I could take some pictures.  

Although this jacket is more eighties in style it goes well with the shirt and tie, and pencil skirt.

2011, this is how she dresses today ~ not a lot has changed ...........

Eighties look, she found an old pair of my sunnies which she has also added
to her collection. The dress in contrast is actually an original Mary Quant cross over dress from the sixties, made from crepe ~ very elegant. I always used to wear it on Christmas Day (I wish ....)

Her Princess Di look.

A touch of colour .........

Well, it's time for me to get myself off to work although I would
much rather continue playing about on Picnik.

Happy Friday ~ Haizi Daizi x