A giveaway and other things...

It seems from your comments to my last post that My Grandmother's Flower Garden isn't easily available in any country...which only makes me more happy to be able to share a small bit of it with someone. I have cut a 4.5" charm square from each design, to give you 16 squares, hopefully enough to make a patchwork cushion with...or anything else that's small and patchworky that you might dream up.

I've tried to centralise any patterns for you so that they'll look good and be easy to use.

So here it is: a very tiny giveaway, but one that will be light to post, so I'm happy to post it anywhere, and hopefully it can be made into something bigger and more lovely once it's reached its destination.

I've snipped into the fabrics myself last night and came up with this pincushion. I've been thinking about Dresden plates ever since seeing this flower here - it's virtually impossible not to be inspired and propelled towards your own sewing machine immediately after looking at Louise's work...if only in the vain hope of creating something half as lovely as her stitchery. I find that almost everything she sews I wish I'd made myself.

Dresden plates are thought to have taken their name from quilters who were inspired by the beautiful floral porcelain that had come out of Dresden, Germany (which during the 19th century was at the centre of the romantic art movement) although it's thought that the fabric Dresden plate didn't emerge until around 1920. I researched this simply because I found the sound of the name 'Dresden' most unfitting for something so lovely looking, and felt desperate to know how this incompatible naming took place...but I do like things to have history, and now that I know the name sits more comfortably in my head.

So last night I created the actual plate and this morning I turned it into a rather obese pin cushion. The maths involved in creating the pattern pieces to make the petals hurt my head quite horribly...but this is so good for me, because while maths was something that I had no interest in at school, I can now see the importance of understanding angles and so I'm relearning it with rather more enthusiasm than I had for it the first time around. I try not to ask Mr Teacakes, who is something of a maths wizard, to do all these things for me, as it feels so important that I can work them out for myself.

I somehow found the construction stage more pretty than the finished item with this project...I loved how all the pins looked splaying out in a circle around the petals.

Let me know if this is something you like the look of making and I'll try and whip up a (free - yippee!) tutorial for it at some point...although I think in future I would make this pin cushion quite a lot smaller as it looks as though it may have been genetically modified at its current size. It has little pleats toward the bottom so that the lower circle fits in easily.

Anyway, as per my other giveaways I was hoping that you'd contribute a little of yourself in entering. I'd love to know about odd family words that you have for things as this fascinates me as my own family had so many that as a child I had no awareness of what was an actual word and what was a figment of my family's self-created vocabulary. The ones that have remained with me and that I still use today are as follows:
  • belcones - this term refers to a cat's front legs and would be used as such: 'my, my, what fine belcones you have, Tabitha'.
  • scumping / to scump - a term that refers moving from one place to another in a laborious manner, such as 'I was scumping up the hill on the way home'
  • gubbins, crottle and clotrifodes - all refer to excessive amounts of clutter, whether it be in a room or about your person: such as 'mother, you've come in and put all your clotrifodes on the kitchen table again, please do leave it in the hall!'
  • wackering and cornerish - to feel apprehensive and worried about doing something.
  • nim-nim - this refers to things that are little twee or overly fussy...rather uncharitably this can be applied to both people and objects
  • trotters, paws and chops - all references to body parts - feet, hands and cheeks respectively.
  • winneting, winnet - if one is 'winneting about' it means that they are being frustratingly indecisive...thus a person being unable to make up their mind about which restaurant they'd like to eat in later may be told to 'stop being such a winnet!'.
  • mimmy-moking - to mimic and imitate in an irritating way
  • joshing - to joke about something
There are others that I'd thought were family words, but have since realised that they are not...just very rarely used phrases. I already knew that I had found a kindred spirit in Joanne from the moment I chanced upon her blog a couple of years ago, but when she once uttered the words 'oh, lawks!' I knew that she truly was from the same pod.

Anyway, lurkers, newbies and old lovelies (that means long-time commenters, not old ladies...although they're really welcome too) are all welcome.

Florence x


  1. I thinking "joshing" is pretty wide spread. I can't think of any made up words, but my grandmother would always tell us to act "pretty" meaning to behave.

  2. Here in the States mothers often use a pacifier to quiet a baby's crying. Many call this a binkie. In my house it was a "nit-nit." No idea why--but when I ask someone if they're using a nit-nit for their baby they look at me as though I have lobsters crawling out of my ears.

  3. Oh yes we josh here too, I am happy to josh about not being an old lady

  4. All of the family word we're using now are my daughter's delightful mispronunciations. She's almost 3.
    epalant = elephant
    hangabers = hamburgers
    and when you ask her if it's bedtime, she'll tell you "almost about!"

  5. A few of ours spring to mind:
    My mother always referred to small childrens' hands as puddies which has lovely echoes of chubbiness and slightly sticky and grubby to my mind.
    We use a 'raymond' to indicate some unspecified family member doing something silly, as in 'some raymond left the back door open and the next door cat came in'
    Since husband and I looked after two small arabic boys aged 4&5 who learnt English at a rapid pace we have retained their confused use of 'pencils' to mean men's underpants.
    To scrombulate - a general purpose verb used by husband in default of thinking of the correct word and used mainly to cause confusion in all around.
    Anyone twee and rather annoying is referred to as being rather patent, and people are often also said to be using their 'telephone voice' when being patronising.
    What larks, Pip, as a friend of ours says frequently!

  6. My sister used to use the word 'stermest' of people, meaning a sort of cross between stern and earnest. Bananas were damadas (from childhood mispronunciation), and the end or outside piece of a loaf, cake or pudding, ie the slightly dry and unappetising bit, was the 'Jack Mackett', after some dim and distant character from the past who always volunteered to take such ends. And baby muslins are cubbies, don't ask me why, probably something to do with 'cuddly', as there is a genetic tendency in this family to use them as comforters. 'Munty' means grumpy, but maybe that is more widely used?

    Love that fabric - all cottagey and wonderful!

    Pomona x

  7. LOL, I had to giggle at some of the words, we do a lot of word making up here also.

    Ewwwk - gross, grody, yucky

    Snarky - a gentle word for when my daughter is on the verge of being not gentle with her words or attitude.

    Poinky - similar to pointy, but more fun to say.

    I don't want to participate in the giveaway, even though that is beautiful fabric Florence :) Thanks.

  8. I am worried now - I can't think of any family words! We must be missing out. However I do love the fabric and the pin cushion

  9. We used to have to wash our "puds" (pronounced to rhyme with "muds") before supper. My mother-in-law regularly goes "tats", which is actually shopping. Without wishing to lower the tone, I would also like to contribute "frood numbs". My grandparents always used to insist we tucked our vests into our pants to "keep our frood numbs warm". To this day I'm not sure if that meant kidneys or somewhere lower down the body.

  10. I'm not sure I have any of my own, but I wonder if my kids will - phellysone (for cell phone) and bunnymoon.

  11. wishwhoppers and wavy wishwhoppers ... now, that would be windshield wipers and the wavy wishwhoppers would be windshield wipers that are going ... just ask the kids ... and their kids ... LOL ... would love to win the fabric; it's darling and would make a very cutie tote ....

  12. Cute, cute, cute! I love the fussy cutting.

    Hmm, it's hard to think of what our peculiar family vocab is, just because it's such a part of our everyday use that we probably don't even notice it anymore. In our house, "nast" is an adjective to describe something that's *very* nasty. But that's about all I can think of right now. :)

  13. I just love that fabric! My mother-in-law says "doo dah" for an object she can't think of the proper name for. As in "now where did I put that doo dah?"

  14. My partner calls lemon curds "lemony goo" whenever I make it, and as I am of Chinese descent and my partner a Caucasian, he often lovingly refer me as the "Azn" in the family.

    Those charm squares are lovely, such pretty colours! Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. I have been lurking here for a while after making your make up bag,(which I love) so I thought it was time I contributed something. I always used to call my mum Moomin, (she is not a large white hippopotamus as this name might suggest.)My children now use the name 'Moonin' instead of nana or grandma. So the they introduce her: "this is my Moomin". We also have 'hallway hippo', which is for when you are sitting in the living room in the early morning and can hear that someone else has got out of bed, this is the 'hallway hippo' (I am now starting to worry about our families somewhat bizarre facination with hippos?!
    Another more normal one is 'crevine', which is the name for any large crack, so somewhere between crevice and ravine.
    Anyhow that was rather a long ramble...

  16. "Fixy", meaning fussy, prim, proper, or twee. My great-grandmother was a fixy lady.

  17. growing up my mum could not stand naming 'passing wind' so she always called it a 'dirty bopbop'. She still does to this day! With the girls we call going to bed 'nighnighs'

  18. a wim wam for a goose's bridle - something with no obvious use or application

  19. We used to have two family words we would use, and I still do;
    Bingle - means to sulk
    Sarterry - I think it's actually a very old-fashioned Fijiaan word as my grandfather served with the Royal New Zealand airforce over there in the 1960's. It's not used anymore, but to us it always meant that somebody was having an 'off' day. They were being 'sarterry'.

    By-the-way, for those who were wanting to find Rosalie Quinlan's fabrics, she actually has a blog
    and I think she has links to where you can get her stuff.

  20. I can't think of any words other than "gadgee" which we use to refer to an older lady - not rudely but probably not overly polite so I shouldn't admit to it....but I love those fabrics!

  21. Tump - to upset something ("Don't tump over the water glass.")

    Tookie - a "particular" person [derogatory] ("She's too tookie to wear jeans.")


    pewcon (coupon)
    rinch (rinse)

  22. Sorry - left off my name from the "anonymous" post above.


  23. Love the fabrics, want some.........

    Funny words usually come from the kids, bottom-burps are the usual ones and produce lots of giggles!

  24. My husband, son (7 years old) and I use the word "shinky." It started when my son referred to my husband as a shinky, old man a few years ago! It refers to how adults feel and look when they are tired, stiff, and altogether not as energetic as kids. An example would be, "I can't get down on the floor and play Legos with you right now; I'm feeling too shinky." I'm glad to hear we're not the only family that makes up words!

  25. Lovely fabric, I'd love to enter.

    Can't think of any strange words we used growing up although that's probably because I still think they are normal!

    I offered my daughter (2) some Cinnamon Grahams once by asking 'do you want to try these'? She now calls them 'tridees' and thinks I'm being silly when I use the real name for them!


  26. I enjoy hearing all of these fun words! We have a few family words too:

    "woobie": a child's favorite toy, also the name given to our dog's favorite stuffed koala.

    "honkin'": adjective used to describe anything good or overly large.

    "dohickey": my father's favorite term for anything he forgot the name of, usually accompanied by a point & whistle at the object.

    "crick": what we called a creek growing up - my husband laughed when he heard me use this word.

    By the way, love the pincushion - you can never have too big of a pincushion :)

  27. We do have a few I must admit but all borne of childhood mispronounciations (not sure if thats even a word actually).
    Thumps = thumbs
    eyebrowns =eyebrows
    cumbercue =cucumber
    elbels = elbows
    turkoid, my personal favourite. This is what my daughter pronounced that colour that is blue and green.
    One person in my house says they feel `funky` when they feel a bit off colour.

    I like overweight pincusions btw as I have loads of pins

  28. In our house we say Meekers instead of fingers, pigs instead of toes.

    Also for us, snuck is not bad grammar for sneaked, it means sniffing really hard when you have a stuffy nose (Or a full one).

    Also Bug Nugget is the swear word of choice around here! It's actually quite gratifying to say when frustrated LOL

    And dooflinky for any little odd and end we can't think of the name of.

    And I love the pin cushion but the construction looks complicated LOL

  29. Everyone's answers are SO interesting! We use "grood" - which is better than good but not quite great. We also say "pressure" for anything that is humorous, it's a LONG story!

    shannoncarman at yahoo

  30. Hello Florence,
    Since English is not my first language, your request is rather difficult for me. Instead I will tell you that in the region I live, we tend to repeat the adjective twice, like a "small small bird" or "cold cold morning", unconciously, and not to emphasize the meanings. I haven't realized I repeated the words until I left home for collage and was told it was "cute cute way to speak" :) Chloe Patricia

  31. my eldest daughter had trouble saying granddad when she was little. Hence we now use the word ganga to mean grandfathr.


  32. I was born and brought up in Australia before coming to the UK some 30 odd years ago. I still unkowingly use "Aussie" words now and then. For example: I call an iced lolly an "icy pole" and get curious looks. But the most embarrasing has to be "Durex" which in Australia means sticky tape "Cellotape".
    I met an American a few years ago who had a new baby. We chatted for a while and I asked her if I could "nurse" her baby. She was very surprised. Apparently in the US this means breastfeed. In my world it just means hold or cuddle.

  33. Hello Florence,

    I am not a native English speaker but I will try to contribute anyway... (I just picture a patchwork cushion from your charmpack on my sofa ;-)

    In Germany a lot of people use the word "dings-bums" to describe something the name of which you just can't remember. One of my English friends really liked it and I think it has now become part of his regular vocabulary.

    It is really strange hearing a familiar funny word spoken in another country by an English guy.

  34. What a delightfully quirky giveaway! We live in Ireland & here are some of our equally quirky expressions (which I have no idea how to spell):
    furnenst = beside
    shough (pronounced ssh-ugh) = ditch, wee stream
    fadge = potato bread
    fadgey = the family name for my younger brother
    fugdies = tray bakes I make with condensed milk & crushed digestives
    McGinty = the name of our dog which always seems to make people smile
    Kirkgunzeon (pronounced kirk-gun-onion)= the name of the wee village in Scotland where we used to live
    I could keep going here all day!!
    Before I go, just to tantalise your interest, have you heard of these sayings:
    "Deep to the heel like a Mulingar heifer" or "As lazy as shough water"
    I will stop rambling now
    Hope you have a great day

  35. What a wonderful giveaway!
    A tutorial for that pincushion would be very welcome. Maybe it could become less 'overweight' with a flat bottom?
    Family words are a bit difficult since our family doesn't speak english. The only one I could think of which is 'translatable' is "doing hee-haa" for brushing teeth. It was the sound we asked the kids to make while brushing their teeth.

  36. We have been using the term "ne-nen", pronounced nay-nan, for years and years to mean, to latch on or to suckle or to milk. I find it interesting that Priscilla Dunstan - the lady who identified meanings of baby cries - identified this same/similar sound a baby makes when baby is hungry :-)

  37. Mardy is a favourite - in the East Midlands of the UK it means that someone is, well mardy - no better way to describe it. Well, ok, it means that you are a bit narky, moody, in a bad temper kind of thing.

    One thing I remember vividly is being told as a child not to broggle my ears. Its a Lincolnshire expression for poking around...


  38. Oh I love thinking about things like this:

    if you're daft in our family, you are a 'dobbin'
    Stars are called 'how I wonders'
    Grandma is 'marna'
    If something is a bit tatty, it's 'pousey'
    And if someone has done something wrong, we will of course get their 'fogarters' (as in i'll have your guts for garters)

  39. Hi, I'd just like to let you know how greatful I am to such a lovely blog that really cheers me. ( Can you tell I've had an awful week). My family words are
    Poggie - this refers to an all-in one baby coat with arms, legs and hood.
    Nadges - this is when you stay in the bath too long and get ridges or nadges on your fingers.
    Grible - This is a child who has made a mess or not put their toys away ( I have two of these and this word is the most used made up word in our house)

    I think that is enough insight into our family as any more would be overload and your brain may become slightly frazzled in the process.

    Keep up the loveiness


  40. my dads girlfriends mum always says "lets go tatters" to our dog,meaning lets go for a walk :P I never understood what she ment until my dad told me :P

  41. I can think of two off the top of my head: "butcept" can be used in place of except, this is what one of my kids used to say when she was little.

    "Thanks Cathy" is what you say to someone who answers a question that was directed at someone else, or says something glaringly obvious. This was invented when my sister-in-law, Cathy, pointed out the pickle on the Christmas tree after I explained the game which was meant for children.

  42. We use a mix of words as my Dad was American and my mUm is from England. I especially like knackered (not sure if you spell it like that). Having three young girls I am often knackered!

  43. If I can't remember the name of something I call it a 'thingy-ma-jiver'. And I am always forgetting what I am trying to say! I am not sure if I have made that word up or not. Other than that, one that I have spent alot of time trying to find someone else who uses the term is 'let down' when referring to orange/blackcurrant concentrate drink. I always call it let down orange but people give me a very strange look when I do. It doesn't stop me though :)

  44. We use the word 'ponkie' to describe someone who isn't happy about something or put out.

    I do love your pin cushion! What a great use for that lovely fabric. Now you can look at it all the time. :)

  45. OOOh those fabrics are just gorgeous. Been trying to get some here.
    We use 'joshing' here too but I cannot really think of any other made up words. My daughter does call her blanket a blanit so that has kinda stuck with us.

  46. Since English is not my first language, it's a little difficult for me. in our family, we use some expressions that if translated i don't think you understand the real meaning....

    well, i can tell you that we often use the word: "curtes?" becau se i've 2 teenagers at home and the most likely english word is :"cool?"

    Kisses from Portugal

  47. Absolutely love your blog and the fabric is to die for.

    In Bristol we say "the snow is pitching" meaning the snow is settling - don't know if that is anywhere else in the country?

  48. This is the first time I have felt the need to join in and comment on a post, even though I've been reading the blog for close to a year now.
    In our family we use 'Flanney' meaning a feather (or now a synthetic) duster. 'Teggies' are teeth and 'Dannies' are hands. Possibly the strangest is the 'Guzrunder' which is a TV remote control, which when I asked was explained to me as..."well it makes the channels 'go round' so its a 'guzrunder' of course!"
    How did I not see that before?!

  49. I am a huge fan of thingamajig.

    We also have "cheebie". It's code name for cheeseburger!

    Thanks for the chance to win such lovely fabric!

  50. I'm actually a little bit gutted. I honestly thought that my dad had made up the word 'breenging' just for my benefit (as this seems to be the only time he uses it), but I've just looked it up on google and it actually exists! It's a Scottish word that means to rush forwards clumsily.

    So how about:
    'icky scrudge' for ice cream
    'sticky goo' for Millionaires shortbread
    'wooshies' for sweets of any variety
    ...why do they all seem to be about sweet things?

    And last but not least 'dipfers' are the little bars that tell you how much reception you have on your mobile phone

  51. Finally I get to comment! I've been much busier this week than usual! All I wanted to say was how much I loved your totally unique and creative words. They made me really laugh - they are so inventive. I'm not even going to try and give you any of ours because for some weird reason I don't think I really have any which makes me feel quite ashamed! (maybe we have, but for the life of me I can't think and I've tried). You have lots of brilliant and lovely ones from your commenters though. Very entertaining!

  52. Beautiful range of fabrics - I haven't spotted them anywhere in the UK (and goodness knows I spend a lot of time window shopping!). I've been admiring dresden plates too - have you seen the quilt in imagingermonkey's flickr stream?

    We seem to have a lot of funny words in my family, some of which may be south walian dialect. I say 'lamp' for punch - as in 'I'm going to lamp you if you don't stop that' (to husband rather than children, before you get on the phone to social services!). Also 'flag' or 'duck egg' meaning daft person. The children are also busy coining their own words - latest are 'cauliflowerage' for 'collage' and 'Papierstan' for 'Pakistan' (via 'papier mache', I suspect!).

  53. The fabric is so pretty. As is your pincushion.

    In our house we un-inside out things, whenever they are awry and feel discombobulated until they are fixed.

  54. Instead of saying "silly" or "nonsense" in a conversation we just say "that's a bunch of bologna juice". I grew up with that and now my kids say it. Lovely giveaway! I would love that as a tutorial.


  55. Since I am from the south...we have a lot of sayings and words that differ from much of America.

    such as "tumpover" for turn over...ya'll for you all...and often I see in the ads for sale "chester drawers" in stead of "chest of drawers"...I always use the words for furniture that my grandkids don't have any idea about what I speak...for refrig..I use "ice box"...for sofa.."divan"..and for a saying we use "how the cow ate the cabage" for telling someone what we think of something..
    I love your giveaway..beautiful..
    Sue Mc

  56. I count myself among the "old lovelies". For one I have been reading this blog for quite some time and for another I am 61 years old. And still to be a "lovely" at my age is quite a nice feeling! I am from Germany and our family expression might not be understood by many readers. The word for utility room in German is frightfully long: "Hauswirtschaftsraum". So the children shortened it to: "Hauschraum" and although all 4 of them are grown-ups by now and they are fully able to speak "Hauswirtschaftsraum" they still say "Hauschraum". And should I win those pretty fabrics I would never ever put them in the "Hauschraum".

  57. Flobbles. The slack, soft area on the lower side of a dogs mouth. You can tell we must be a family of dog lovers to have come up with that one. Bx

  58. That is a difficult one, not for me but for you..., I am Dutch and we have lots of "homewords" like Kopetasse, tantestepa but there is one you can understand and pronounce it is : floppie ( or in English floppy) meaning a babby's pacifier.

  59. We have a few silly words and phrases...

    Pooh Face- two opposite meanings, depending on context. Can be used affectionately, or as an insult. Pooh Face Mahonison is someone who is really horrible. Such as 'My boss is such a Pooh Face Mahonison'

    Sim Sim- meaning a bit boring. Like, 'Work was a bit Sim Sim today' Don't ask.

    Apple Pie dream. Ahh, the impossible dream. Going on a round the world trip is an apple pue dream!

    Gaspetti- Spaghetti!

    Gorgeous fabrics!!

  60. we still use 'cheese butter' when we want to say 'kiss better' thanks to my first born!

  61. My Grandma used to call a beat-up old car a "trumba-lumba" - I hadn't thought of it for years, but it makes me smile to remember that funny expression!

  62. Joshing is quite common, I think, as well as trotters, paws and chops.

    When my sister was very little she used to say "puckatee" instead of "cup of tea", so that was used in our household for many years!

  63. My hubby is from "up north"& he has brought with him some lovely sayings from his family.
    "Mustard with a lid off",refers to someone having a strop or angry.
    "Akkard as Dicks Hat band".This is the funniest & in case any of you dont understand the spelling translates, Awkward as Dicks Hat band!!We have always wondered who Dick was & why didnt his hat band behave!!
    My family just had pet names for people.My grandfather was Daa & my MIL is called Mamoo in stead of Grandma by our boys now 20 & 22 & still call her it.

  64. What pretty fabric, and thanks for the chance to win some! My favourite family word is "dimpsy" -meaning that time in the afternoon when the light is just starting to fade (dusk, technically). As kids, when we were out roaming around, my mum would always remind us to come home as soon as it started to get dimpsy!
    Rachel x

  65. i am not a sewer though have dabbled with a friends help. i love what you have on your blog you are very tallented. You should come over to our crafting blog and show some things off fiskarettes would love to see your work i'm sure.

  66. Courtesy of my son and his cousins:

    shida=problem (although a real word in Swahili)

    Love the fabrics!

  67. Oh how I loved your made-up words! My favorite from my own family is the word used to descibe a persons hair when it's sticking up rather ridiculously because of sleeping on it.(Especially used on my lovely Dad and his soft white hair.) It's his Towsey Pow! Of course. Lots of love, Amanda xxx


Post a Comment

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x