Saturday, 23 December 2017

Drivin' home for Christmas. 2017 Edition

Not really driving this car - I wouldn't be able to see out of the front (as it is I am not safe to drive at night anymore!)

Well hello again - another year over...and a new one just about to have you been?

Let us raise a glass to old friendships from across our amazing planet

I have had a busy year - not too much making - but knuckling under with paid work as both children are now at university.

It has been odd

...and taken some getting used to

The children though have been extra excited about coming home for Christmas and seeing our home all full with decorations.

Some things never change

These are pictures from Christmas 2016 - as always I am a year behind

We will raise another glass to friends old and new

Or tea, if you prefer

Same old tins being trotted out

This year I made lots and lots of these paper stars

A simple and lovely idea

A year ago baby Esme was born - my third great niece.

Some things I have done and made and bought over the past year.....

I bought an old cheese cover and am currently using it to cover up my mince pies (not a euphemism)

What a lovely thing - for £2.50 -  bargains are still out there

It went nicely with my old tea set - all hand painted beautifully and delicato

We put some cheap brick wallpaper up in Maille's bedroom and it made a world of difference I think

It was a surprise for her when she came home from university

Bringing you up to date with some of my decorations from THIS year!

Those of you reading this blog over the years might remember me buying these delicate glass deer in an old shoe box and me cycling home with them on my bike, from the May Day Fayre.  How they did not break I do not know

Little clip on glass birds - smaller than the 'regular' Christmas tree glass birds

I started making some sewn 3D shapes thingies - this  one below I started with some old Chinese silks and teeny bells - got fed up part way and still not complete

The idea was that they would catch the light...that was the idea

Adding in my old small Christmas trees

Bought this glass mushroom for 10p from the local charity shop - how these things survive is a miracle I think

Some of the cards above I have had since I was 18 - many years then....

Bought this game from a charity shop

And acted it out in real life too.

The garden has been lovely this past year

Dom made me - I will write that again - MADE me a garden table for 'seed work'

By some miracle someone was selling FOUR OLD TABLE LEGS at the car boot - Dom made the rest from some old skirting board that we had in the cellar (I knew that wood would come in handy) and some sanded floor boards for the top. Cost: less than £10.  At the same stall the woman was selling an old dolly tub that had a rusted bottom (in the pictures here I was trying out some paint that Dom had mixed up from leftovers (in the cellar again!).

It all came together perfectly

My car boot roses have all been fantastic this year

I changed things around most weeks......

Roses have been wonderful

I have once again sown lots and lots of foxgloves

This is a delicate texensis clematis

View through the door as I sit and have my morning tea

A lovely standard hawthorn which I bought from the car boot last year

Table - again

I don't think that these photos are in order but this must be early Spring

Look at those legs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I may have added to my pots - I bought a fantastic huge one from a local plant fayre - it was donations only for a charity.  I did give ample donation (I am not that mean!)

This rose has been extraordinarily floriferous

Brugmansia, bought from Lidl, has been fantastic

My home grown flowers

I haven't  bought too much china but thought this plate was so pretty

And some old postcards from poor Mr Langfords..............

More roses from the garden

This rose  didn't stop flowering all summer.

This is Dom making the bottom for the dolly tub (it is now where we keep the compost and the bottom had rusted)

I can tra la la while he works (not really)

Tea and old pots - a great combination

My very old lead (very heavy) bird bath - bought years ago from poor old Mr Langfords

You know what this is now....

Throw those doors open wide

I call this my immersive seat.....

This is another car boot rose which is lovely

This is James Galway (I think) - complete with aphids

Beautifully scented orange blossom

My dear old rose from childhood

Car boot clematis

Stop it Jenny...

Lots of Pots

Lady Marmalade rose - from the car boot again

Dom, immersed in the flowers

Hanging out some old washing - ha ha

This is the apron which I wore when I went to the Hampton Court Flower show this year

Ha ha again

Painted the immersive seat

I painted the chairs and bench with the green paint Dom, 'made'.

Made this heart by accident!

Car boot buys


More pots

Roses squished by rain

Verbascum grown from seed

Garden visitors

Bought an old mirror for 4.99 and turned out to be silver, dated 1903

Has the 'green man' on the back

Lovely cheap and cheerful flowers.

All of these were grown from seed the previous year - get ahead!

More leg pictures!


Made some purses

Mainly gardening, though

A packet of seeds goes a very long way indeed

Made some bags

Okay - back to the table.................

Made a few of these:

Errrrrr - this is embarrassing....

Made for baby Esme (vintage Jonelle fabric, called Esme!)

Bronte using her loaf - ha  ha

One of the most extraordinary embroideries I have ever seen
I like to look at it most days!

A trip to Oxford:

I can't remember what we were looking at now

Back home again

This is draining some potatoes!

Made one of these and then found a quicker method so made some more

This was my quicker method

Made some more stars

Added some plants to Maille's room

Back round again to this Christmas

This week I went to see a musical called Hamilton in London and standing next to me in the queue for a T shirt was Cameron Mackintosh (he wasn't queuing for a T shirt - he was organising the queue- funny old world).

Also this week I found out that I have been given a national teaching award - getting big headed am I....

One day I might get a mobile telephone and join the world of Instagram but, in the interim, I wish you all a restful and peaceful Christmas.


  1. A wonderful year full of inspiration both inside and outside in your garden. You really should be involved in an advert for charity and car boot sales with advice from Dom of how to make something look so good. It will be good to have your daughters home again, wishing you a happy and peaceful Christmas. Sarah x

  2. Oh Lady custard, I love each and every one of those pictures especially as this year we have had a puppy which has destroyed my garden. I am going to pretend your garden is mine! Happy Christmas Jo xxx

  3. Greetings from frigid -18 C Chicago! Thank you so much for posting your yearly update. I adore them. Your lovely home and garden and fab kitschy collections are the bomb, and your studio is ������ Congrats on the teaching award. Wishing you a fantastic 2018!!

  4. And happy new year to you too! So pleased to see a Christmas Custards posting and have a snoop in your garden; your flowers bring back the scent of summer and the light in that new kitchen is to die for. Love the new potting table, which gives me ideas for my old floorboards. Many congratulations on the teaching award - much deserved! I speak from experience.

  5. Hi Jenny this message may never get to you because I keep being asked for a password!! I cannot remember passwords,I so enjoyed your lovely post so much Happy 2018 to you kind regardsPam,

  6. P.S between much and happy should be custardness!Pam

  7. February greetings to you from NYC. When I was still at university back in 1966, I made my second visit to New York, and went to see a Broadway musical called Auntie Name. Angela Lansbury was the star. The show featured a marvelous song called, "We Need a Little Christmas...right this very moment," and I truly believe that this afternoon I needed a "little" Christmas blog post from The Custards. I cannot thank you enough for the joy it has brought me. I send you and yours my very best wishes for 2018, and lots of love. xo

  8. You make my bones smile...sending 2018 good wishes xx

  9. I love your posts. Such a beautiful home and garden! That embroidery is stunning - I’ve never seen anything like it either. Well done on the award xx

  10. Hi Jenny, l live in Melbourne and have just finished reading your blog in its entirety. l found it via Tales from a Happy House, a blog l reread when l want cosiness and a feeling for the love of the domestic.What a pleasure it was to read your blog, and l will start rereading it today,savoring all youd fabulous photos,as you are a very generous blogger. You dont have junk, you are a Curator, as well as all the other impressive things you are. l adore the Englishness of yur blog, your astonishing, astounding garden and your phenomenal collection of textiles and china.What a great pleasure,thankyou!

  11. Well hello again Missus. Just popping in the door for a quick cuppa & mince pie, although if you've got the sherry out I'll have a tipple with you. Wishing you the Merriest of Christmas's, hoping that 2019 (golly can't believe its going to be 2019, where's the pause button!?) is everything you're hoping for. Nicky x