Sunday, June 21, 2009


I have not been able to do a blog all week as Mr Crow has been on a little holiday on his own and took the camera.  This is my 50th post so I thought I would have a bit of a giveaway.  Routing round my studio I have put together a little collection of bits of my work, scroll on down to find out more. 
I have been taking a trip down memory lane, as a child my whole being revolved around holidays.  We lived in Finchley, North London and I can never remember a time I did not hate living in the city.  My dad was in the police force and worked damned hard for his family, having seven children was not easy and he moonlighted as a decorator too!  Working lots of late turns dad always managed to get a good number of weeks off in the year and we would pack up our caravan, stick a couple of canoes on the roofrack squeeze us all into the car and off we would go to some wild place in the countryside. We used to go to certificate location caravan sites that only took five caravans usually on a farm and always by water, be it sea, lake or river. It must have seemed to the other campers that the circus had arrived when we pitched up!  Within half an hour there would be caravan with awning, tent up and ready and us lot running about probably squealing with delight and of course mum cooking Caravan Stew, a delightful concoction of tinned mince and tinned potatoes and sometimes baked beans, a recipe that would never have reached the table at home!  I can hardly ever remember it raining, they are always golden days in my memory and the delight of having dad on tap so to speak was always grand!    

This was in Cornwall in about 1966 thats me in the red cardigan with my twin brothers and elder sister, my eldest brother is lying on the camp bed behind us reading, thats all I remember him doing!  My sister thought she was so cool in those sunglasses. How did we all fit in that caravan for dinners?!

I never liked having my photo taken!  Me with my little sister Lesley looking so cute in that hat, sitting in one of our 'boats'  traveling who knows where, we did have some amazing journeys in them.

On a rock at Loch Tummel in Scotland, another favourite holiday destination.

Back to Cornwall (the pics got muddled up).  I loved my Jakaree!  Is that how you spelt it?

We were never happier than when we were jumping in and out of a hole!  And that blue jumper, I loved it so much it got all baggy and saggy with holes in but it was oh so comfy.  This was on Bedruthan Steps,  when we went there there were no steps or national trust cafe or anything.  We stayed at the farm and walked along the cliffs to the beach, the farmhouse is now a national trust holiday house, well I suppose it was 40 years ago, yipes!

Well this brings me onto my giveaway, if you would like to win it leave me a comment with a little holiday memory and I will choose my favourite one to win!

Here is my giveaway,  two paintings, three blank cards of my paintings for you to use and also two mugs with my paintings on.  Well as you can see you will have to like my work to bother  leaving a comment, hope you will.  I will choose the winer next Monday 29th. 

My next post will be the list of exhibitors taking part at the Home Spun Fair.  All the spaces are taken now and we have a great line up so I hope you will come if you can it will be A Grand Day Out!


Alexandra said...

Hi Jane! I love your work and your holiday photos were fab! My fondest holiday memory is of a family caravan holiday in Brampton, Cumbria. The campsite was basically a field but it had a little stream running through lots of dam builing and water related adventures. From the campsite was a little road (that glittered like diamonds in the sunlight)that led to a little church and graveyard. Suited me to a T as I have always loved old buildings etc. So my mum always knew where to find me at tea time!

Carolee said...

Oooooh - what a wonderful giveaway!!

My fondest memory of a childhood holiday - or vacation as we called it here - was spending a week at a cabin on a lake somewhere in central Oregon. My parents would rent one cabin, our neighbors would rent another, and the parents would drink beer and play board games while we children pretty much ran amok, lol...Swimming, boating, playing badmitton, and drinking copious quantities of coca cola in the lodge as we played The Doors on the jukebox over and over and over....haven't thought of that in years - Thanks for jogging my memory. :)

~ Carolee

Cowboys and Custard said...

Hi Jane
Your holiday snaps could so easily have been mine... a girl in a blue jumper running around in the sand on a Cornish beach.
One of my fondest memories was a day spent with my brother and parents.. walking along the cliffs nr St Keverne on the Lizard peninsula.. and finding a track down to a secluded beach.. we spent the day rock pooling and collecting driftwood to make a fire and hear our Cornish pasties on..It was all so Famous Five and I loved it!
Michele x

Micki Wilde said...

Great photos!
My holidays were the same every year,we lived in the midlands and our family was very low budget so every year we stayed with our relatives in Bognor Regis and had the best time ever, we loved Bognor so much despite the huge pebble beach, Bognor was our second home and I still love it now, infact next year I have plans to take my husband and kids so that I can remember all those good times. I'm hoping they will love it as much as I do!

Micki x

Simone said...

I think your work is lovely and I would be proud to possess any of your pieces. That said, I have a vivid holiday memory of a holiday in Spain many moons ago. We had a fire one night in the hotel and I remember standing outside the pool watching the waiters in nothing but their pants retriving buckets of water from the swimming pool to put the fire out. The guests were standing outside in their night clothes and one man was actually wearing a nightgown and cap!!! It was truly a surreal experience! I know it is not the most romantic, nostalgic trip down memory lane but it made a big impression on me!

Sarah said...

We spent a lot of holidays in our caravan with awning down in beautiful Cornwall. I always remember my mum getting slightly stressed having to get everything ready, but every trip we went on she made chocolate butterfly cakes to take with us on our trip. We always used to go to our favourite fudge shop in Polperro and it was the one time my brother and I were allowed to have coconut ice and fudge for breakfast!

Mandy said...

Oh your old photographs are wonderful x Like you say how did you all fit into that caravan! LOL
I would be thrilled to be entered into your giveaway please include me xx
Thank you xxx

Anonymous said...

Those lovely innocent pictures of your childhood holidays evoked similar memories in me. Like many families in the 60's and 70's we never went abroad, but explored beautiful English coastlines, castles and gardens, all wrapped round a 99 ice cream cone or a 'cream tea', Ah happy days!
Sadly all our family photos were lost when my father died and my mother moved house, we have searched and searched but nothing was found, the earlier picture I have of myself is about 17yrs when I started taking my own photos.
Your post jogged some deep memories in my and made me realise that I still have those pictures in my heart and head and like you I still am that little girl in the red cardy!

salty pebble said...

dear jane,your caravan holidays sound so exciting!! how grand! lovely memories-- we were not lucky enough to have caravan holidays though i dreamed of being in a caravan when my mum and dads old family tent was leaking from the rain -hee hee ;0)
Though one year, when i was about 8 i remember a beautiful, magical trip to a place called Devon, at that time i did not know this place as i grew up on an island off the east anglian coast.
It was an old woodland house up a small rocky dads old friend asked to house sit while he was away.
It was a surprise holiday as even my mum and dad had not visited their before...we arrived in the dark up the rocky track. The morning was like waking up as a fairy...the house and its setting was like a dream...a beautiful wild secret garden with hammock and thousands of butterlies and wildlife.
The woodland that sat around the house was an adventure playground to myself and my twin sister...their was a beach not far from the house too...The Sea water in Devon and Cornwall i never forgot...sooo clear, sooo blue i could see my toes!! funny the things u keep with u as a child...before tea one night my father took us for a walk through the woods and we saw a family of badgers!...i never forgot this dream was to move to Devon oneday...and i did. Such a beautiful place x

happy childhood memories last a life time dont they? xxxx kazzy xxxx

Vintage to Victorian said...

Congratulations on your 50th post Jane, and what a super giveaway you've put together.

I was an only child (still am, come to that!) but wherever we went on holiday I seemed to end up finding a friend to play with.

The holidays I remember most were the 3 consecutive years we spent on the Lleyn Peninsula in North Wales. I think we first went in 1958 when I was 8. We met a family of mother, father, the sister of one of them and their daughter. Jane was 6 or 7 years older than me so I was allowed to go for walks with her to buy ice-creams, or go further along the beach than I would have otherwise been allowed!

It transpired that they lived not far from where we had lived near Solihull before we moved to Northampton a couple of years earlier. In those days the last 2 letters of a car number plate denoted the town or county and our 3 cars in the car park were POC, WOC and SOC. Each year when we returned (the same 2 weeks) I'd look to see if their cars were in the beach carpark. Mum continued to write to Mr & Mrs until they died not so many years ago.

I wonder what Jane is doing now ...

Sue x

Jess said...

Oooo what lovely giveaways! When I was a child we used to go to Butlins Minehead and my most vivid memory of it is the light blue curtains with pictures of boats on them that we would have at the windows in our 'chalet'. I wish I could find fabric like that today! It made it magical for me. :o)

A time to dance said...

Hello lovely ...I had a dream about you last night, we were in cornwall in the van visiting....but you were two busy on a potters wheel to talk to me, all very strange...your mugs are wonderful, you are so clever...I dont know where any of our old photos went, which is a shame as they are so lovely to look back on, Alfie is in the dog house BIG you want a rag doll?

Country Cottage Chic said...

What fabulous photos!

I lived in South Africa as a child so my most memorable holidays when we came back to England for Christmases & spent it with our family - it was so lovely to go to parties where there were grandparents, aunts, uncles & cousins whom we didn't see very often. And of course we were spoilt with piles of presents too!


sarah-jane down the lane said...

Happy 50th Blog!!!

I don't really know where to begin with holiday memories, you start with one and that triggers another and before you know it you catch yourself daydreaming for 20 minutes!
Mine always start with a favourite item of clothing
-Isle of Wight - Terry towelling 2 piece, white with multi coloured spots
- Devon - Navy and white stripe swimsuit with crossover back, red trim and applique daisy on front
- Scotland - hand knitted fairisle cardi,Hand me down mustard coloured dress
- London - Home made tank top, again mustard with brown edging, Checcky shirt with enormous collar! brilliant flares with a pear patch on the bum!
very "Barbara from the good Life" Anyway you have probably fallen asleep by now!
Lovely memories x

Sarah said...

Lovely memories. I remember holidays in Cornwall, driving from Birmingham with us three children in the back of the mini, and Mom with the cool box in the front. Parking up in the lay-by above Watergate Bay to watch the sun go down - now do that with my family, but stood on the beach at Mawgan Porth. And going to "the pub" which we only ever knew as that, but now know is The Falcon at St Mawgan. And yes, the sun always shone for us, still does!

Lyn said...

Never mind how you all ate in the caravan-how did you all squeeze into the car!
Talking about squeezing into the car, when I was little and we went away the car was jammed packed with 'stuff' my brother and I installed on the back seat, more stuff piled around us, in between us then the door shut and even more stuff pushed in. We each had a square of window to watch the world go by on that long,long journey. Imagine the fun as we arrive at a campsite and the doors opened and us and ALL the stuff tumbling out!

Diane said...

Hi Jane, We didnt have a car and we were not very well off, but Mum and Dad saved all year to take us to Blackpool for a week every year. In those days the sea in blackpool was blue and the sands were golden - at least thats how I remembered it. Our B&B did Bed, Breakfast, Lunch and evening meal, so we seemed to be forever packing up and heading back to the B&B for a meal!! I remember mostly the little flags that we used to stick in the sandcastles and the evil looking clown at the Pleasure Beach and Jimmy Clitheroe and Cilla Black at the end of the Pier show!!

Tracy x said...

wonderful pictures :)
growing up i lived in Germany as my dad was in the Army, so every holiday i had i would beg to come home to my Grandparents house.... in my eyes there was no better place for a holiday.... constant cuddles, feather eiderdowns and a bed that was completely sunk in the middle so it felt as if i was being hugged as i slept!
thank you for making me remember x
t x

Clare Wassermann said...

I used to live in Muswell Hill - just near you in Finchley! We always had our holidays in Cornwall and now as a parent I find myself taking my kids back to Portscatho year after year. We're off there again at the end of August! I was an only child - so different to you but I loved going to the beach so much because it was always an opportunity to make new friends for damming the stream at Porthcurnick Beach! I have now taken on the role of my Mum and Dad, nodding in a deck chair whilst my brood do the same as I did 40 years ago!

Jamie said...

I so enjoy reading your blog and love the post about your childhood. I, too, spend many summers camping with my family - at the beach, in the mountains. My very fondest memories, catching fish, chasing butterflies and spending time by the water! Thank you for sharing! Jamie V in MT

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Enjoyed the holiday reminiscences Jane - happy days! I like your giveaway too, so count me in! Best wishes.


Charlotte said...

Dear Jane

Hello, we haven't met before but I discovered your blog through Emma at Little Brown Rabbit and have just had a lovely ten minutes reminiscing about childhood hols - see below. Thank you! I love your blog and your things. I'm a retailer (lovely toys and things) and am always in awe of you guys who actually create stuff!

Love Charlotte

Here are some of my childhood holiday memories... like snapshots really:

We had one holiday a year, always by the sea somewhere, in a caravan. Just mum, dad and me. I loved it. I'd count it down for weeks ahead and keep watching that scene in 'Some Like It Hot' where Marilyn Monroe runs into the sea in Florida - that's how I always imagined it would be in Devon or Wales too!
Driving down in the car, playing the game 'who will be first to see the sea'...
A lovely little caravan, everything in miniature! Feeling so safe at night, tucked up in such a small space, with mum and dad nearby.
Dad getting up early in the mornings to have a walk along the beach - so lovely for him, he worked so very hard the rest of the year.
Bacon sandwiches for breakfast!
Mum looking pretty in her swimming costume and sundresses.
Playing with dad in the sea, rock pooling, sandcastles and picnic lunches.
Sitting in the caravan with the raindrops on the roof - safe and warm inside, playing Patience.
And finally, when it's all over, the excitement of getting the holiday photos through the post a week or two later - in a yellow paper Kodak envelope.

Lovely memories.

Thanks again Jane,


Tracy said...

You have sparked my childhood holiday memories, very much the same as yours. We would be woken up at 3am for the 8 hr journey in our camper down to devon or cornwall for our one and only fortnight vacation. The sun always shined too and everyday would be spent on the beach, sand in the sandwiches, lots of sandcastles, rockpools,crab for tea........good times. Happy 50th post xxx

Lalabibaby @ Dreaming of The Simple Life said...

OOh another trip down memory lane .... we must be around the same age coz my mum has almost identical photos of us by grandad's caravan with the old Vauxhall Victor in the background ... my grandparents used to take us grandkids to the Essex coast when we were small. Firstly in a tent then in a caravan ..... carefree days of cockling, kite flying, fishing for sticklebacks, tripping across a dark field with a torch for the loo .... you can keep your holidays in the Med .... those were the bestever holidays and we did the same with our children and avoided resorts with arcades etc. Getting all nostalgic now and will have to hunt out some pics. x

noelle said...

just come across your blog and i love it. love your old holiday pics. We also spent many holidays in cornwall around Marazion and St. Ives ooh that lovely blue sea and sandy beaches. It all seems so long ago, but hey, guess where i live now.......St. Ives!!!! and i love it and so do my kids who get to holiday here all year round. :) x x

Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

Hi Jane
I enjoyed looking at your childhood holiday photos.It reminded me of some of my summer holidays spent with my parents and younger sister. Cornwall was a favourite destination. We would go to Polperro before it became as touristy as it is now and to Portloe. I lived in France then so Cornwall was very different to where we lived in the South of France. My sister and I would go to a hardware shop in Reigate where my English grandparents lived and spent some of our pocket money on ropes and 'adventure'supplies. We had read stories of smugglers and pirates in our story books and wanted to be prepared. Our aim was to go exploring around the coast in search of hidden or lost treasures. We had vivid imaginations! Despite our numerous adventures and searches we never found the pirates or their treasures... We had a great time though. Your photos took me back to those days..
Isabelle x

Julies Knit Stitch Corner said...

Lovely pictures, and a nice giveaway. Well my fondest memory will be the first camping holiday I had with my lovely partner John, we had nearly finished putting the tent up and noticed an ants nest and had to move it quickly. I could not help him much because i was quite ill at the time, but he was so understanding, he did everything for me on that holiday. We had a wonderful time. Julie.C

The Little Cloth Rabbit said...

Hi Jane
What an amazing Giveaway and thank you so much for sharing your holiday photos with us :)

I thought I would share a funny memory with you of when I went on holiday with my family to the New Forest. We finally reached our destination and as we drove past the sign saying "Sandy Balls" well that was it- my mother & I were in hysterics!
Very childish I know- but it still makes me laugh now!!

Em x

Rose&Bird said...

We didn't go on many holidays when I was little, (we were pretty poor), but if we did go, it was to Bournemouth for a week to see relatives and go to the beach. We went by national express coach from Pembroke Dock and always stayed self catering and usually we had fish & chips (a very rare treat) on the first night because mum was too tired to cook. It was just me and mum as dad doesn't do holidays and my brother hadn't been born yet (there's 8 years between us). I can remember picnics with sandy sandwiches and warm orange squash. The odd ice cream, marauding seagulls and building sandcastles. We ended up moving back to Bournemouth in 1995 and my family are still there!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jane,
Most of my childhood memories are of holidays in Cornwall staying with Grandma. She was a lovely cuddly Grandma that would make pasties and saffron buns and sew our names into face washing flannels which our little faces would be rubbed hard with! She also had a special way of folding socks so that they were easy to put on! My brother who is two years older than me used to get up to all sorts of high jinks which quite often ended up with setting fire to something! He used to beg me for my dolls to burn on the bonfire to watch them melt. Many a Sindy and Action Msn met their fate that way. (oh sorry are these ment to be fond memories) Any way I could go on and on but in conclusion the days were sunny and brother and I played happily together at least half of the time!

Serenata said...

Lovely memories. We used to go camping every holiday as well and I used to love it. Most of the holidays I remember were in NZ where we emigrated to in 1973, but a holiday I remember in the UK was one in the Isle of Wight - we stayed in a caravan and I remember sitting on a bed with a friend I made opening Easter eggs, one of which contained a wind up chick! Ah, fond memories.

tracey said...

hello jane. your giveaway looks amazing as do you holiday pictures. my first holiday was with my mum when i was 14 we wnt to blackpool. and in blackpool tower i fell in love with the turtles. i would love to go back and see if they are still there

Greedy Nan said...

Your holiday pics reminded me of when we used to go away as kids too. We never went very far because the car would overheat and ALWAYS it would break down and I remember it pouring smoke out whilst my dad tried to fix it. We usually went camping because it was cheap and guaranteed to pitch in the wrong place perhaps to get flooded or at one time I remember that a stray pig got into our tent and completely wrecked it! So exciting at the time too. It is a long way from what we expect from a holiday nowadays but those are the times that stay with you for ever.
Please enter me into your draw - I would love to win these goodies.

Greedy Nan said...

I just came back to see if my comment had appeared because I didn't think it had - and still hasn't but in any case, wanted to share the word veryfication with you on this one which is 'bless'. How cute is that?
Very warm and having trouble typing ...

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