Saturday, 28 December 2013

Looking ahead to the New Year .......

Can't believe how the days have whizzed by since the last blog, and before we knew it, - as happens most years, - Christmas Day has come and gone!  such a pity there were no guests in the cottage for Christmas, it would have been so cosy for them, - but I think most people had their Christmas's planned before we were able to advertise things....  hopefully next year there will be more of a reason for me to deck the halls with boughs of holly! :-)

The lack of guests however didn't stop us from walking down into town and calling in on Crafty Cottage every once in a while during the festive season!  ... even  my door wreath managed to stay "put" thankfully despite the heavy gusts of wind which have been whirling around the Cotswolds during the past few weeks, and we also placed a small Christmas Tree inside, on our new bookcase - (shabby chic style again thanks to Rob of course!).

My handmade wreath
Before - in garden
After ! - in situ

    Our new Private Parking signs have gone up, and looking good!  Specially made by Sue & Robin of Camgraphic in the Arts & Crafts font.  Very little left to get now for the inside of the cottage, - and looking forward to the spring when we can work more in the garden.


One of the highlights of our Christmas has been that my sister in law and her husband, - Rosanna and Maurice from Adelaide Australia have visited us.  Of course we had to introduce them to Crafty Cottage in person as they have been following its build  (& blog!) from the beginning:


And so we leave Christmas behind, and look forward to the New Year.
Guests due to arrive at the Cottage today ... and fingers crossed 2014 will be a good year for us all....

"Happy New Year from Crafty Cottage, Chipping Campden " !



Saturday, 30 November 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

At last ....  something to Blog about!   ... yes December's here and most people in Chipping Campden are starting to talk about Christmas.  It's great to see the wreaths appearing on the High Street, - whether for sale in the florists and greengrocers, - or decorating the doors of the beautiful cotswold houses and cottages in town.

There was an obvious "nip" in the air as I parked up at the cottage recently and walked up the High Street.  I couldn't help but get my trusty camera out,  it was reasonably quiet and I felt as though I was the only tourist in town !!

My task for the day is to gain inspiration and to choose what kind of wreath to decorate the door of Crafty Cottage.  -  I love the heart wreath at the Bay Tree, although not particularly "Christmassy" as it is adorned with dried geraniums -  it's heart shape would fit in perfectly at the cottage.  Infact there are so many hearts decorating Crafty Cottage - it could be described as "Hearts and Crafts"  !

Drinkwaters on the High Street,
a great place for fresh fruit and veg, (note the lovely sprouts!)
pickles & jams 

their wreaths look great too !!
(Drinkwaters is literally a 2 minute walk away from Crafty Cottage)

One of the door decorations on the High Street today.


Whilst walking through town it was nice to see the Market Hall being used for what it was made for!,....  
a guy seems to appear regularly these days filling the Hall with wicker baskets, mats and rugs etc...  

Behind the Market Hall, I noticed that our favourite restaurant Michaels (Mediterranean Cuisine) have changed their window display from a recent Halloween theme, to this year's Christmas White and very "glittery" Festive display which looks lovely, - but I can't help but think it would look a lot nicer from the inside, with a nice portion of  Meze for company!

.... and so the hunt continues for wreath inspiration!

The Christmas Wreath situation seems to have suddenly arrived in Chipping Campden BIG TIME! and I am surrounded!  -  all look lovely it is so difficult to decide on a style for the cottage,  ... infact I am beginning to wonder whether a "sprout wreath" might look quite good ?!

In the end I decided to opt for a quick visit back to Drinkwaters for a jar of Lemon Curd which is always very popular with my B&B guests!  .... and hot foot it back to the car.  Once at home, I started to design my own wreath for Crafty Cottage.  After all,  I am promoting the local Arts and Crafts of the town - what's stopping me having a go!

.......with the Crafty Cottage wreath imminent,
and the "Chipping Campden Enchanted Christmas" event due next weekend,
it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I will of course ....

be keeping you posted in time for Christmas!


Don't forget to visit our Facebook page !

Friday, 8 November 2013

Shutter up and drink coffee !

After a long wait, the shutters were finally delivered this week and the "make do" Venetian blinds were unceremoniously taken down to make way for perhaps one of the last things on our list to do before we can look back at Crafty Cottage - sigh and whisper - "OK - finished now!"


Loving the end result!


Once the table and chairs were back in place, the room looked complete again, 

That was Tuesday, - and today was Campden Market day in the Town Hall,
Judith (soap woman extraordinaire) met me for coffee afterwards - it was pouring with rain - a very miserable day infact - but this didn't deter us in our mission for sourcing good strong coffee & cake :-) ... well, what else can you do on a day like today ?!

 Campden Coffee Company in the Old Silk Mill hit the spot! 

With two huge buckets of lovely (award winning!) coffee 
a slice of "chocolate fridge cake" and an extra large portion of carrot cake!  ....  yum yum :-)


The view from the coffee shop window was actually the back of Crafty Cottage !

With guests staying there at the moment,  - Judith had to be content with the promise of an inside tour of the cottage next week (bookings permitting of course!)  in the meantime we discussed soap again and as we said goodbye to one another beside her lavender smelling car on the High Street, - I had acquired lovely Almond, orange and Calendula soaps, and Rose soap medallions  -  it just has to be done :-)

With life returning to normal (relatively!) and Crafty Cottage settling into a routine of enquiries & general interest - autumn/winter definitely appears to have arrived in Chipping Campden over the past few days.

Hoping to add a little more to the garden despite the time of year ......
......  will of course be keeping you posted


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Daisy's chairs ....

The last few days spent at Crafty Cottage pre-guests I was confidently hammering tacks into fabric, foam and chair seat panels thinking, - is there anything I can't do :-)..!

....It didn't take me very long to realize I am absolutely rubbish at upholstery !  Our 4 beautiful oak dining chairs for the cottage, which were inherited earlier this year from Paul's lovely mum, deserved much better than my feeble attempt, and last week I plucked up the courage to visit Robin to show him what I had tried to do! (thought he might like a laugh !!)  - I passed over some Strawberry Thief for him to do a proper job !

and "Hey Presto ...."

Yesterday afternoon I got the call I was waiting for, and hot footed it over to Blackminster Business Park this morning, to collect the finished item.

We will be taking them over to the cottage later, - (weather permitting as it's pouring with rain at the moment) and looking forward to getting my kitchen chairs back which have been on holiday at Crafty Cottage for the past 3 weeks as a temporary measure!

Absolutely thrilled with the chairs,  - we had them stripped, sealed, and now the seats finish them off to what are perfect additions to Crafty Cottage.

I'm sure Daisy would have loved them

Friday, 18 October 2013

Introducing ....

Today,  - and by my complete surprise my great friend Judith appeared!  -  a few knocks on the door, - and hey presto lots of hugs and  compliments to one another!

Judith,  -( if you have been following the blog?) - is my magical wonderful soap making friend extraordinaire ! and today she called into me at home purely by chance (excuse the pun again) to announce that she would be becoming a weekly feature at the Campden Market every Friday, - based in the Town Hall untill 11am.

A bar of her wonderful soap for every guest at Crafty Cottage complimentary, - and of course if your stay coincides with a Friday Market day - then you can stock up and probably meet the good lady herself !!

I was able to pick up the lovely little bar of soap from her today for the next guests, - but there is a strong possibility it may be used beforehand as it smells so delicious !!

Today marked another occasion too,  -  the Crafty Cottage pencil !  A quick visit to the wonderful world of Sue & Robin locally, and the deed was done!

Such a great place with lots of personalised stuff on offer!  it was so tempting to just "go for it" and order everything available with "crafty cottage" written on it !!!

Things seem very quiet on the Blog now!  -  guest are comfortably settled in the Cottage and dare I say it Paul and I are starting to lead a "normal life" !!!  -  but the soap and pencils are a very import part of the Cottage and its success!

Will be keeping you posted!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Not exactly twiddling my thumbs .....

I suppose things have never been so quiet on my blog !!  -  for over a week now we have had our first guests staying in the cottage and alongside that being wonderful of course - it's weird as both Paul and I miss spending most evenings with either a screwdriver or a broom in our hands!

However,  we're not exactly twiddling our thumbs and a few days ago I was able to take the very first picture of Crafty Cottage from across the road - the finished thing - without a car or a van on the drive - as things were so busy there right up to the last minute it had been an impossible thing to do !

Despite the weather forecast, - the past couple of days have been quite sunny and I took advantage of this to get as many outside photos as possible, - particularly for the website etc...


We're now registered on TripAdvisor and looking at the Blog stats this morning only need another 9 viewings of the blog to reach 3,000 since it all began :-)

With it being October now and things starting to quieten down at home, the B&B is just ticking over nicely - at last i'm able to sit down and get on with all the 'admin' stuff for the cottage.  Finally i've started on the Guest Information Folder - which will probably be ready just as our first guests are about to leave !!!  .....  we have caught up with them a couple of times and feedback is good, - they are enjoying their stay and have already booked to return next year !!!

It may not be quite as often as in the past,  but will be keeping you posted!
(3,000 viewings of blog now passed!)


Saturday, 28 September 2013

Our first guests arrive!

Phew ..... writing this at the end of the day, - and what a day :-) !! our very first guests at Crafty Cottage due to arrive at 2.30pm.

We left the cottage at 11pm last night,  - both totally knackered, - cleaning this and that, - moving around furniture, - .... not necessary "tweaking" things,  - just making major changes at the last minute!   tweaking to follow :-)  ...  and today - we "tweaked" !  all very very last minute and a mad panic before our very first guests arrived (on the understanding that it may not be necessarily perfect :-) !

1pm found me yet again at Barn Antiques looking for furniture !  - (not forgetting guests due 2.30!), - came back to a much cleaner and organised space - garden looking good, - all appliances suitably installed & just figuring out now how to set the clocks on all of them :)

At last I was able to take some photos for our website, & marketing etc...

"The Bedroom"
6ft super king bed

The ensuite
(Sink, WC, Shower)

The kitchen

The Lounge

The Loo !

"Crafty Cottage"

The very first guests arriving at Crafty Cottage !
x we hope you enjoy your stay x


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Count down to guests arriving !

Such a busy week again,  and missing my blogging! .....  as an update and to summarize,  the week started by ....

the TV going up in the lounge!  

....  All the evenings we have spent down at the cottage  not missing the "telly" and as soon as it was up and running Paul and I couldn't help ourselves, we did what seemed natural and sat infront of the log burner to watch Downtown Abbey :-) !!

Famished too !  we were able to sit at the table for the first time and have a romantic meal!!!!!

courtesy of the Maharaja take away! 
...and after chucking the packets & containers in the bin, - the actual curry was wonderful :-)
...  we were almost too tired to enjoy the whole meal, - but at least it made me realise that a towel and washing up cloth don't necessarily make the best table mats !!  * note to diary : buy table mats !

Trude's curtains are wonderful !
we now are fully  "curtained out" and each window at Crafty Cottage is suitably dressed!
-thanks Trude - youre a star :-)

Having spent most of the day with my friends Denise and Catherine, coffee had developed into another trip to Barn Antiques (bedside cabinet now off the to-do list!)  ... then 3 ploughman's lunches in the garden at the Red Lion (across the road from Crafty Cottage) Lunch at the Red Lion  .. it was a lovely sunny afternoon, and after our lunch we headed back across the road to the corner of Sheep Street, to the Robert Welch Studio in search of cutlery for the cottage.

We had a good "mooch" around the shop, and I opted for the Ammonite cutlery

later on, and back at the Crafty Cottage garden,  somehow ...  I had acquired "Lola" for a while, - who was getting a real feel for the place !  ......  It was nice to find a bit of space away from the blokes who were busy trying to get the wardrobe upstairs !!  .....  unfortunately, the wardrobe refused to go up the conventional route, - and desperate measures were taken.   Paul and Max eventually helped it through the bedroom window off the top of Paul's van, - with Rob inside to guide it through safely!  ....  what a shame my camera wasn't around, but for the sake of dignity - probably a blessing :-) !!!
- if you want to imagine the process, - just think of Faulty Towers and you won't be far wrong !

Barry Roberts painted me a lovely painting of sheep street, and Paul's added it to the kitchen wall at the cottage,  Barry is a lovely local character who also provides Cotswold Tours & private hire services - taxis etc..  - 

and finally, .....

things are being put in place for the very first guests arriving Saturday, ....

....soooooo exciting !


Monday, 16 September 2013

A quick update to be updated !

... a manic weekend, lots happening and busy busy busy .....  luckily the weather was good enough to get the garden sorted - thanks to Max on Saturday - (photos to follow)

The Oak floor has been fitted to the bedroom, (bed being delivered on Wednesday!) and work is going well in the ensuite - continued tonight - and continuing tomorrow! (shower going in)

I havent had the opportunity to take many photos due to builders vans being parked on the drive - .... not being particularly photogenic!  and inside it's much the same, - we have moved furniture in now and it's looking great, but there are still bins and dust sheets etc... spread about -so am planning a mass tidy up over the next few days hopefully and will keep this blog post updated.

In the meantime,  as I left the cottage tonight - I was able to get a shot of the doorway - with more to come soon ............ promise :-)

at a later date ..
....  and as promised i'm updating the update,  it's now Thursday evening,  the bed was safely delivered yesterday (with no gas or air!) and I have left Paul tonight continuing with the ensuite - which is looking great.  -  infact the more we do to the place, - I feel like moving in myself :-) !

I called in on my lovely friend Trude today, - who is so so talented with a cotton and thread,  and she handed me over the curtains and blinds she has created from the William Morris Strawberry Thief fabric.  I think Paul was just as enthusiastic as I was, and in a matter of minutes the small window in the lounge was suitably attired !

The lounge area is really starting to come together, - quite comfy and cosy!

Steph and I visited Barn Antiques at Quinton yesterday :
Actually we were looking for a coffee table, and bedside cabinets.
...... and came home with a log basket and pine shelf !

And Finally, - before I rest my weary head tonight to dream about curtains and tie backs, - a special "Hello" to Paul and Tracey who we saw at the beginning of the week, - it was lovely to see you both again and thank you for all the positive comments about the cottage.

will be keeping you posted !

Sunday, 1 September 2013

More photos to flaunt !

A busy week again,  - lots going on, and lots planned to happen next week too ....  We now have a deadline with our very first guests arriving September 28th :-)  ..... "don't panic Mr Mainwaring!!"

The week started with Nick working on a lovely new front door to replace the old, tatty temporary door which had been splattered with plaster & bashed about in the build  ....

.. and assisted by the lovely "Maisie"  

We now have the look we were after !

Crafty Cottage front door !

In search of the perfect knocker !
Chipping Campden holds host to quite a variety......
we took a tour of the High Street to sample the options




In the end,  we decided on keeping things simple!

Not too decorative, but serves the purpose !

Crafty Cottage knocker !

The garden and off road parking area have now been separated by a wooden frame, with an archway which will hopefully in time become alive with flowers and decorate the "garden gate" accordingly.
Paul worked hard all over the bank holiday weekend, and his work paid off as it looks great :-)

Work is starting on Monday morning prompt, the trusty skip will disappear early, and work to lower the kerb & create the parking area will commence.
... photos to follow in time I am sure ..

We both spent most of the bank holiday down at the cottage,  - Paul doing all the ground works & fence building, - with me assisting whenever possible by handing him the spirit level at crucial moments!  - We must have looked a bit like Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee to the many tourists and passers by who stopped to see what all the fuss was about :-)

The weather over the weekend was once again lovely and sunny, -  which also proved to us what a "little sun trap" the Crafty Cottage garden will be !

We both felt totally "knackered" by the time Monday evening arrived so the only sensible thing to do after tidying up at the Cottage, was to head off towards the Lygon Arms on the High Street for 


a smoked fish platter, and cottage pie & chips !

Yummmmy :-)

One of the best things for me this week, has been our lovely light going up !

I have been so looking forward to seeing it hanging between the beams upstairs, - and am completely "chuffed to bits" with the end result :-)

We are still storing things at home, but have every intention of moving furniture into the cottage as soon as possible.  -  With a few items still on my wish list,  - I visited a couple of local antique barns & warehouses this week with my tape measure, and returned with Paul (the one on the left!) to pick up a few items!!  

Stratford Antique & Interiors

We will be keeping you posted of course !