For the past few years I’ve held a giveaway on St Patrick’s Day in honour of my Irish grandmother.  But this year I’m afraid I haven’t had chance to arrange one – not only am I busy with Rosie’s wedding, but – and I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before – she and Dan are moving into their first home of their own this week, and I have been nominated as decorator-in-chief.  So lots to do!  However … all is not lost!

My friend Jacqui, of Flapdoodledesigns, is hosting a wonderfully generous giveaway over on her Facebook page.  She’s offering the chance to win one of her beautiful patchwork fairies – created especially for you and handpainted in the colours of your choice.  To enter please just pop across to her page and leave a comment.   



Happy Birthday to Me!

by Helen on December 16, 2013

Today is my birthday – a date I share with Jane Austen who (contrary to Rosie’s belief) is CONSIDERABLY older than me!!  This year I have been super-lucky as I’ve received what must be one of the cutest cards of all time ….. 

My Birthday Card

 Ahhhhh.  And here at Coombe Leigh we’re great believers in tradition, so no birthday tea is complete without jelly and blancmange – made in rabbit shape of course, with the very same mould my mum used when I was only little!  Here it is ready to be turned out …

Birthday Tea

The fire is lit, and we’re waiting for our guests to arrive…. 

Fire's Lit!Growing older might mean creaky knees and grey hairs – but birthdays are still lots of fun!

PS If you’d like to commission your own Flapdoodledesigns birthday – or any other occasion – card then you can contact Jacqui over on her Facebook page.


Daisy & Ben

by Helen on August 7, 2013

My furry friends perfectly captured by Jacqui.  

Keep up with all her news and new illustrations too over on her Flapdoodledesigns blog. xx


One Summer Saturday

by Helen on June 29, 2013

At this time of year, especially when the weather’s warm, the Newfies and I like to walk early in the morning and then again in the evening when it’s cool.  Today dawned bright and sunny so I decided that we’d go on one of our favourite – and slightly longer walks around Coleridge Farm and back through Stokenham.  We headed up through the woods at the back of the village, where the foxgloves are blooming in profusion – 2013 seems to be a really good year for them, I don’t remember seeing as many as this before …. 

June Walk

Then out of the cool shady woods and along the footpath down towards the sea …. 

June Walk

 before turning for home past the hay meadow. …

June Walk

 Even though we left early, it was very warm by the time we returned so I decided to work in the summer house.  You might think there’s nobody keeping me company ….

Saturday Afternoon

 But that’s not so – look a little closer ……

Saturday Afternoon

 One large black furry shape – that’s Ben.  And all the clutter on the table – evidence of my grasshopper tendencies – unable to concentrate on any single task for too long I tend to jump from activity to activity.  But where’s the second, slightly smaller black shape?  If I lift up the tablecloth you’ll see ….

Saturday Afternoon

 a most uncharacteristically dozy-looking Daisy!  I think she’s hoping I’ll go away so she can concentrate on her snoozing!  Amongst all the mess on my table did you spot my new softie – a little stripey dog called Sidney?   He’s not quite ready for his photoshoot yet, I’m still stitching on patches and claws – but he’d love to  say “Hello!”

Saturday Afternoon

 He’ll be in the August issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine, and I’m hoping to create a video tutorial for magazine subscribers – Sidney’s legs have some simple wiring, and I thought you might find a tutorial useful?  But back to saying “Hello”….  If you have a moment to spare, please pop over to my friend Jacqui’s Facebook page   

Where she’s having a brilliant like and share giveaway ….. one of her original water colour illustrations personalised with the initial and name of your choice – a great gift for a specially lucky small person perhaps?