I am very excited to announce that I am now the proud owner of a brand new Lumix Digital Camera. It is an early Christmas present that I am enjoying playing with this Autumn, so I thought I would show you! I have no real idea of what I’m doing, but I’m hoping that 2011’s Resolution will be to learn properly. In the meantime, I hope you will forgive my amateur efforts…


Southminster Flower Show is an event, held in the village I grew up in, that provides an annual opportunity to be transported to my ten-year old self.  Re-visiting it this July after many years of not attending made me realise that no matter how old I am I will always feel the same about the event that meant so much to me as a child. The  year that is most prominent in my memory was the occasion  when I was given the honour of being the Flower Princess’s Attendant  (achieved by entering a ‘draw the flower princess’ competition). This meant that on the big day in July I got to wear a dress with red strawberries printed on it and a straw boater hat and ride in a horse-drawn carriage up the high street followed by a marching band and of course I had to wave to everyone. AND my photograph was in the Essex Chronicle. Clearly a momentous occasion in my life. Other significant Shows were when I entered items into the handicraft competition, although those occasions seem to be less prominent in my memory, perhaps because my handicrafts never won a prize. And of course there was the country dancing, which was excruciatingly embarrassing because the whole village watched as you held hands with boys. Gross.

This year I returned with a feeling of nostalgia and curiosity. This time I was there exhibiting and selling my tea for two stock, and the evening before I was feeling quite intimidated about presenting my handicrafts in front of the well-established handicrafters and W.Iers. I had that feeling in the pit of my stomach once more,  as I did when I was ten; wanting to rush into the handicraft tent as soon as it opened to see if my gift box made of newspaper and ribbon had been awarded a prize, but resisting the urge and somehow managing to keep cool and walk rather than run over to the  right corner if the tent. Usually a swift glance would confirm  that the box had not even won highly commended and  I would need to exit promptly and pretend I had never even entered whilst hunting for the  candy floss stand. Re-entering the handicraft tent this year I had no newspaper box to check on, but I was considering how I might pretend that my button hearts, purses and bags were actually made by someone else, should I feel inadequate compared to the W.I.

It turned out that my worries were not needed. In fact, it would seem that the standard of crafts in the handicraft tent was lower than I remembered. Or perhaps this was a self-created memory to convince myself that I always came second to such skilled crafts-people?! Or perhaps today people have less time to enter handicraft competitions and they have lost their popularity. This made me feel quite sad, as I overheard some of the ladies on the handicraft committee discussing how few entries they had had this year. (The ladies appeared to be exactly the same as when I was ten, so I guess they have a good point of comparison.)

I was cheered somewhat though, by the popularity of my mum’s big knitting stand, where she showed many interested show-goers the thrills of knitting on a giant scale. There is hope for the homemade yet.

It was interesting visiting the show with a whole new appreciation for all things floral and homemade. These elements must have passed me by as a child, but I certainly smiled at their presence this time around. It was particularly apparent in our cake purchasing. After a speedy browse before our handicraft-tent duties, mum and I established that there was a very on-trend  pretty cupcake stand, and also the WI selling cakes – comfortably established with tables and chairs in the Scout Hut. On our way to the Scout Hut it was only polite to stop and inspect said pretty cupcakes, and as anticipated they were very overpriced. Not so anticipated was the fact that the owners of the stall were our old neighbours, and after buying 3 cakes mum confided in me that she ‘felt obliged’ to buy cakes from the people that recognised her. Hmm. This impulse purchase meant we arrived in the Scout Hut clutching our box of pretty cupcakes. Well. The looks we received from the WI as they glanced at our pretty box of on-trend cupcakes were enough to convince us to buy two MORE slices of cake and cups of tea from them, made even worse when the nice lady who works in the doctor’s surgery said ‘Oh. I see you already HAVE some cakes’ in a most disapproving tone. After much assuring that these were simply ‘take home cakes’ and that of course we would have some ‘eat now’ Victoria sponge, I think we were forgiven. And I was happy to get to eat lots of cake with the excuse that we were simply being good Flower Show friends.

Some of my favourite entries…

A Decorated Rubber Glove












Decorate A Wooden Spoon as A Lollipop Lady



Victoria Sandwich Made By A Man (!)







Item of Crochet in Cotton








Enjoyable knits!

If I thought anyone was actually following my blog then I would begin this post with apologies for my summer absence. However, I fear that my readership may be mainly some kind friends and my mum, and therefore apologising to my ‘many readers’ may be both vain and in vain.

Despite this, it has caused me much frustration that I haven’t been able to write. Which has allowed me to realise a few things – firstly how much I have enjoyed having this space to talk about my favourite things, and also that perhaps it doesn’t matter if lots of people are not reading. Much philosophical thinking has led me to conclude that if I stop writing they most certainly will not be reading, but if I keep going, there seems to be a much better chance that they will.

I have also decided that I will allow this tea for two blog to expand slightly on tea for two activities. This is also because my new manic way of life has limited my tea for two time and this has led to a very silent blog. So if it is okay with you, I will allow other thoughts to appear that I usually just keep in my head.

In a last, desperate attempt to achieve my creative resolutions in the final months of 2010 I am back – and determined to post regularly!

It would take far too long to explain where I have been and what I have been doing, so I thought I would show you …

Mainly I have been campaigning, planning, baking, travelling, sewing, more campaigning, worrying, dancing, hen-planning, hen-baking, hen-sewing, festival-going, Oxfaming, LBLing, bridesmaiding, children’s-literature-reading, button-hearting and wondering.

Please accept my apologies for this self-indulgent new design from tea for two. I cannot pretend that it is anything more than an exciting creation that I have been dreaming of for a while…the simplicity of combining two of my favourite things, buttons and Penguin books, was too tempting not to pursue. 

As much as I love it.. I could be persuaded to sell it to you.

To celebrate my first tea for two stall of the season, and to continue my feeling of smugness that I actually had more than 6 customers, (and they were all very lovely) I would like to share with you some photographs of the joyous occasion.

Look out for many unsold items – coming soon to Folksy! Thank you to everyone who was kind enough to compliment tea for two at Redland Fair, it made my day.

As I am a very big fan of Easter, Spring and the opportunity to make egg-related puns, I thought I would simply decorate today’s post with spring photographs from the day to celebrate an eggstremely lovely Easter day. Although I try to avoid sounding twee, I cannot help but admit that daffodils, tulips and spring-themed cakes have provided me with some much-needed inspiration! I must confide that I have been worrying about the future of tea for two; I think chilly months have given me low morale and my determination seems to have fizzled away. Lack of time, and lack of interest from others, had led to doubts. Perhaps it is too easy when beginning new projects to look at the set-backs, when in fact, maybe any new idea that has been developed into even the smallest of projects is something to be proud of?   So I have decided to make like the spring and start afresh, with new determination and positive spring thoughts. It is only this time of year that seems to be able to inspire this sense of renewal, so I have decided to document this moment of focus in the hope that it will act as further creative ammunition! I apologise, as ordinarily I would not bore you with my self-depreciatory ramblings, but now you know that it was almost over for tea for two…and it has been saved at the last! Thank goodness for tulips and lemon cupcakes.

you snood you lose

I just read through my last post and felt quite heartbroken at my hope and grand plans for my circular knitting needles. Sadly, my spring plans are not flourishing as I hoped they would. Time is against me, and so it would seem, are circular knitting needles. Somehow, I managed to knit almost a whole ball of wool (this is a lot for me, I’m very slow)  to create a twisted confusion of what a snood should be like. I think a bit of muddlement  in my very first row meant that it was never going to be solved, however I was determined that once I removed the needles it would all be fiiiiine. Alas not. A trip home and into the Knitting Rescue Centre provided by my mum ensured me that the snood was doomed. I watched in despair as she unravelled my work of art and proceeded to re-knit it to the stage I was at. The circular knitting needles were punished and plunged into boiling water, so that they could then be straightened out to prevent curling twirls of knitting needle causing another twirltastic snood. Now that I am doing it properly I can appreciate how wrong I was! How embarrassing. In the name of nostalgia, I have included a photograph of the disaster, because I did feel quite proud of it once. Fingers crossed that the new and improved snood will be completed before summer. Although I’m so determined, I’m just going to wear it whatever the weather. Flip flops paired with snoods will be the next big thing. Dharlings.