Friday, 23 September 2011

Swish and shine: a giveaway

Having read about the transformative power of Lucy's engagement with the Fly Lady I felt quite inspired to take control of my own domestic situation. Unfortunately the Fly Lady does not do charitable home visits to those in need, so this is not a task that can be contracted out.

I am sure all of you domestic goddesses out there are sitting in neat and tidy kitchens and sitting rooms, uncluttered and totally up to date with your chores, which is why you can sit guilt-free wandering the hills and vales of Blogland.

Alas and alack, the same does not apply to poor Pomona, sitting in Clutter Cottage in a state of some misery and confusion. I was brought up in the cleanest and tidiest household you could imagine, and my dear mamma and sister are domestic paragons both; I love cleanliness and order, and everything spick and span, but somehow by the time I have achieved that in the B&B wing of the house, there seems to be somewhat of a falling off in our own personal domestic space, compounded by the fact that I would rather be knitting or stitching or writing or doing almost anything but housework. (And of course I do live with the messiest bunch of codependants in the known universe, bless their grubby cotton socks, she says in an effort to shift the blame onto someone else.)

Please avert your eyes from the messy bits - I couldn't crop them all out

So dear Readers I have signed up to the promise of domestic bliss, and at this very moment (Baby Step No 1) my sink is full of hot water and bleach, and I am about to start constructing a 'Control Journal' - Control (with a capital letter) is what I need in my life right now, it has a reassuringly firm ring to it. I am also sitting at my computer in an apron to emphasize the all-encompassing domestic routine which I am determined will Solve Everything.


And just in the nick of time, a very generous chap called Al McCavery asked me to choose two tea towels (or dish towels, or drying-up cloths, depending which language you speak) from his website to review. Well, you may say, how can you get excited about a tea towel? And I might have said the same thing, only the Fly Lady sets great store by them for imbuing your sink with the best sort of shine, and also when I visited the All Tea Towels website I was quite overcome with the impossibility of only choosing two. This is Tea Towel City (not to be confused with Smack Bottom City, just off whichever motorway you happen to be travelling on, and to be used as a threat for small children squabbling in the back of the car. Works a treat - no physical punishment necessary, just threaten to drop them off there if they carry on misbehaving. Remember to speak in an earnest but sorrowful voice, and elaborate with stories about government regulations if required).


Where was I? Oh yes, Tea Towel heaven: I have never seen so many tea towels gathered in one shop, and there is something for everyone from the traditional cats and botanicals to the retro, edgy, and absolutely hilarious (go on click that link and you will have a good laugh!) - in fact, this year I am going to do tea towels as stocking fillers for the men and boys as a gentle, but oh so amusing hint. Ha ha! And for those of you not from these shores, just go and look at the Rules of Cricket - it still makes me laugh even though that tea towel has been around for years. Those are exactly the rules of cricket, and it is the only team sport where I have the vaguest idea of what is happening.

I also think that these would make fun presents when you go to stay with someone - chocolate is so midriff-enhancing, and flowers so ephemeral; a nice jolly tea towel would certainly be something I would like to receive, and there is such a choice here that you could really tailor the gift to the person. (I'll have this one and this one please! Or if you are feeling more mature, then this would be very acceptable.)


Princess Bunchy was most taken with Keep Calm and Carry On, and I bowed to her judgement here, although I did insist that it stays in the kitchen rather than migrating upstairs to her bedroom wall. And I could not resist Where There's A Woman There's A Way (my capitals are very deliberate and assertive) and how could the chaps in my house disagree with that one? The latter is a large, good quality Ulster Weavers cloth, and the Keep Calm is also a real heavy duty cotton, large size - and I am pleased to note made in the UK.


Anyway I couldn't torture you with the joys of the tea towel without giving you a chance to experience them for yourself. Jolly old Al will send out two tea towels of choice to the winner of the giveaway - and I might even get the Head Chef to do the picking this time, as he is the biggest destroyer of kitchen cloths I have ever met, having the pro's habit of using them in lieu of oven gloves, pot holders and heatproof stands, and walking round with one draped over his shoulder at all times. (He is certainly not going to get his mitts on my new ones.)

So this is what you have to do:

1. Be a Follower.

2. Visit All Tea Towels here and tell me which two you would like if you win, then come back and tell me in your comment.

3. You get an extra entry for putting a button on your blog which links back to here - you are welcome to use one of my pictures for that purpose (right click and save to your computer to do that). Just remember to tell me that you have done so.

Open to all - anyone, anywhere with a postal service can enter, and I will do the draw next week - have fun choosing!

73 comments:

AstaD said...

I'm a follower for some time now. I love them equally so 'surprise me!'.

Elizabethd said...

Aren't they lovely? I would like all of them please..... Seriously, I'd love to win the Love hearts or the Anniversary designs.
What a super giveaway. I'm going back to the site now.
I have been a follower here for a long time!

Fading Grace said...

My house is a mess also I only take select pictures of small clean bits!
I'd love to enter your give away, I like the scandinavian folk art one and the nice cuppa tea one xx
Sophie

driftwood said...

gosh what a lot of choices! I like the keep calm and carry on, and Tea Revives You. xxx

Fading Grace said...

I just put a button on my side bar too...Yey! x
Sophie

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Well my house was clean yesterday (and I know that sounds like something off a tea towel) but today my machine washing machine is having a strop and my kitchen is full of water, sodden washing, buckets, sponges and a husband trying to fix it because no one can come out to look at it until Tuesday!!! So no domestic bliss here!!
Just love those tea towels but if I had to pick two they would be animal ones, I love the wild rabbit and the black and white cat with lemons (at the minute there is a black and white cat outside my back door wrestling a piece of carpet that my husband was using to lay the machine on)!!!
I think the motto of today is 'Keep calm and carry on'!
Vivienne x

KC'sCourt! said...

Well it just has to be the "Where There's a Woman......." and the seaside scene of "Punch and Judy"
I have linked you to my blog and I have been a follower for a while too.
Julie xxxxxxxxx

Simply H said...

How cool, a whole website of tea towels! Having had a good look through my favourites are the Portofino Bistro Wallpaper pattern tea towel and the Lighthouses and Yachts Linen tea towel - just lovely (but don't tell me son as I just saw there is one of the Titanic - he is a little bit crazy about the Titanic!!)

KOcanQuilt said...

I probably don't qualify for this since I am in the States, but I had a great time looking anyway. I only looked at 3 categories and found so many I would love to have. If they ever ship internationally, my top 2 would be London Tourist Attractions (to remind me of my trip there) and A Dictionary of Tea.

KOcanQuilt said...

I have been a follower for quite some time. Love your blog and the glimpse of rural British life that I covet.

Sam said...

Such lovely tea towels! How did you ever choose? I love the Santa with Champagne and the red squirrel best, Maybe. I've never ordered anything from Europe before, are there extra charges for customs or shipping when I order all my Christmas gifts from them? thanks for the giveaway. Sam

Amy said...

Oh fun! At the moment, I would say "You Wash, I'll Dry" and the "Scandinavian Folk Art" but if Lily looked over my shoulder as I was choosing, I might be convinced to get the horse towel.

Annie said...

Ooh, whoever thought I'd be apoilt for choice when it came to teatowels. Loving the A Dictionary of Tea. But thereafter either of the Tunnocks ones or Grow your Own Vegetables ... decisions, decisions! I think the veg might win, but only just!

I'm already a follower :D

Julia said...

I just love the Tunnocks Tea Cake one and the Scottish Pride Bread one! They are lovely, simple design, just like I am trying to make my life!

gill said...

I'm a follower!
What a great site - but almost impossible to choose just two!
Possibly the chrysanthemums and Emma Ball's puffins!!

memmens said...

You know I'm a follower! one in need of a new tea towel or two, my husband managed to set light to one recently, and believe it or not it was a sentimental value - my dad (now deceased) bought it for me!

memmens said...

oops sorry I was supposed to tell you which ones I'd like...1948 Olympics in memory of my dad and the Alphabet Dry one. They are all amazing, never thought I'd get excited about a tea towel!

Jean said...

I am happy to follow such an excellent blog. My choice of teatowels would be "Keep Calm" and "Dippy Egg".

marigold jam said...

I love the idea of the Fly Lady and I should follow her instructions as even after all my years of housewifery I can never seem to get my house all clean and tidy at the same time! I run out of steam before I'm done!! Those teacloths are great and should I be lucky enough to win the giveaway I love the Paris and London Town ones.

Al @ All Tea Towels said...

Hi KOcanQuilt, I am happy to Airmail to the States, Canada, Australia, and all other countries. Thanks for your valid entry.

Hi Sam, there would be no custom charges. Airmail within Europe is GBPounds £1 per tea towel. Airmail outside of Europe to the USA etc is GBPounds £2 per tea towel.

I must say a big thanks to Pomona for a fantastic review. You have a wonderful way with words! Have a nice weekend everyone. Thanks from Al @ All Tea Towels.

Daisie said...

I already follow and I love them all but especially the tree of life ones on the four seasons page, will be keeping my fingers crossed and adding them to my Christmas wish list :)

Serenata said...

Must be the season, instead of Spring Cleaning, Autumn Harvest Cleaning :-) I'm on mission as well!

Today: Four loads of washing, plus the covers for the all the Sofa Cushions...just hoping I will remember which ones go back in where when it comes to putting it all back together when they are dry tomorrow. Hallway and Kitchen cleaned and vacuumed.

Well if I am lucky to win, and I do hope so as I could do with some new tea towels, one would have to be 'Make yourself at home! Clean my kitchen' the other the blue 'China Teapots and Tea Blends' tea towel :-)

JaneM said...

Hi lots of lovely tea towels. I like the Honeysuckle, Buttercup, Pansy and Red Clover and the University Of Oxford Bell flower!
I follow your blog through GFC

@sophiejanem

Grateful4Crochet said...

HI, I'm a follower, and I would love the British Cats and the Rabbit Linen tea towel if I were so lucky as to win

Florence and Mary said...

I'm finally getting to grips with some sort of routine but it's been a struggle and by no means domestic bliss just yet!

Have a great weekend

Victoria xx

laurawilson25 said...

I go through those periods where I'm going to start being a grown up and cleaning. Here is a link to a cartoon about it.that cracks me up!
http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/06/this-is-why-ill-never-be-adult.html

Prairie Rose said...

You kitchen is darling, I dont see a mess at all!
I am so very jealous of your stove!
Its stunning.
The tea towels are so cute, but I am here in the states so I dont think I qualify.
But what a fun giveaway!!

Debra said...

I'm a follower!

Debra said...

I like the Master Chef and The License to Grill Cats!

Frances said...

Well, Pomona, I do have a few treasured tea towels from various parts of the world...those other parts seem to do it better than what our own country do...perhaps it's because there's an assumption of everyone having a dishwasher appliance.

None of those here.

And so, I have been to that link and would claim as my favorites the Keep Calm (something I cannot be reminded quite enough) and those lovely Ducks.

Best wishes, every time I read about your B&B, I become more convinced that I would love to visit there...some day.

xo

Mrs. Micawber said...

I would very much like to be entered, but I can't get the link to work. I've tried Firefox, and I've tried Comodo Dragon, and I've tried Internet Explorer, but these browsers! There's no pleasing them (she said with a kind of sob). Perhaps the site is down?

I will try the link again later; meanwhile I hope I can still participate.

Blogging does interfere with housework, doesn't it? And delightfully so.

Jak said...

I had to laugh when I started to read your post, thinking that I shouldn't enter your lovely giveaway because my head chef does exactly the same as yours, but mine also sets fire to my teatowels on a regular basis. I am very ashamed to peg them out on the washing line.
Also, I don't know if 6.30 a.m. on a Saturday is a busy teatowel shopping time, but the website is down.
It is just not meant to be!
Jak x

carrad said...

Couldn't get onto the website, but will keep trying. In the meantime I love both the tea towels you show.
ps: my kitchen is always a mess, even when it's tidy! xxx

faith76 said...

Thank you for doing the giveaway. I would like the Merry Christms linen tea towel and the Keep Calm and carry on tea towel.

I have also added your button to my side bar.

Leah x

Little Blue Mouse said...

Take heart from the fact that I'm no Domestic Goddess either! I don't know why, but I don't seem to notice dust and clutter until my husband points it out.

What a lovely giveaway; I love the 'Summer season tree of life' and the 'Make yourself at home ..' tea towels.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Aren't they lovely? I may well do some of my Christmas shopping on that site. I particularly like the Merry Christmas one and the boiled egg one and can think of several friends I could give them to.

andrea creates said...

I follow:-)

andrea creates said...

I love tea towels.I try and buy touristy ones when we travel,so if I won I'd choose"London a-z" or aerial landmarks.

Liz said...

What a fabulous site *bookmarks*

It is difficult to choose, but I think I would go for Honeysuckle, buttercup, pansy and red clover, and the Dictionary of Tea.

Caroline Lovis (Redneedle) said...

Am feeling a tad pleased with myself as knowing nothing of Lucy's endeavours with the Fly Lady I had set myself the task of slowly decluttering a room a week. Unfortunately I have only got as far as setting the task and not actually achieving it yet.

Claire said...

Oh my, what a wonderful giveaway. I do love a good teatowel with a lovely pic on it.

Sooooo many wonderful designs to choose from but it was easy, my faves are the Robin Red Breast and the Woodland Creatures.

Now I shall just have to go and reorganise the tea towel drawer and make room just in case ............

Enjoy your tea towels Pomona and good luck with the Domestic Goddess transformation.

Claire :}

momof3girls said...

I love visiting you here because you always make me smile. :) If I won, I'd like the Chateau La Gaffeliere Wine bottle label. Btw, I've been a follower for a while. Happy cleaning!

Jennifer Gail said...

I'm a follower and I love Cake and desserts. Yum

JCnNC said...

Wonderful opportunity for some whimpsy - thank you, thank you. Since I live with my Englishman, my selections would be Union Jack Tea Pot and British Telecom Red. A devoted follower am I. Judy C

Mousy Brown said...

I would love "Eat your greens" and the sight test "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" - I already follow your every word! Have a good weekend - I am organizing a swap if you have any spare time and fancy joining in?? Em xx

livelover3 said...

I'm a happy follower!!!
KERIHAG at YAHOO dot COM

livelover3 said...

"Colorful Christmas Penguins" Tea Towel is my FAVORITE!!! Thank you for this chance to win! I've never had a tea towel! That site is great btw....KERIHAG at YAHOO dot COM

Twiggy said...

What a lovely giveaway, I've looked at the Flylady website and think this might be just the thing for Twiggy Towers!!
My favourite tea towels are the folk art one and the Eat Your Greens one.
I'm already a follower.
twiggy x

Peet said...

I've been folowing you for a while now and loads of things are so recognizable. I rather sew, garden, cook/bake, make crafts or any other creativaty than cleaning the house (I can't understand the people that clean their windows every week...).
I love the Iris Flowers Linen Tea Towel and the Angel people And Christmas Angels Linen Tea Towel.
There are lots more that I like, choosing was soo hard!
Go on with your lovely blog, I'll keep following!
Petra.

Jewel said...

Wow what a fantastic giveaway! I have seen lots of people review these fantastic tea towels and am very jealous!

I am a follower and would love to enter! If I was lucky enough to win I would love the 'London Tea Towel' and the red 'Keep Calm & Carry On' towel that you chose as both would go in our lovely flat kitchen!

xx

Mrs. Micawber said...

Hooray, the website is back up!

Oh dear, too many wonderful designs to choose just two.

But if I HAD to narrow it down, I'd go with the William Morris Chrysanthemum and Golden Lily.

Gina said...

Following the theme of your blog post I think I would choose "We can't both look gorgeous - it's me or the house" and "make yourself at home... clean my kitchen". Very apt for me I think (not that I look the least bit gorgeous!!!)

My word verification is "messibly"!

byrney said...

Already a follower :)
Omg....I love love love minis so I would pick 2 mini tea towels...unless I really must pick different ones in which case mini and the vw one!
Byrney3@yahoo.co.uk.....with my mini fingers firmly crossed.

Katy Cameron said...

ROFL, think I've found the stocking fillers for mum and dad this year!

I'd take Tottering By Gently: http://www.all-tea-towels.co.uk/tottering-gently-wine-tasting-towel-p-592.html
and The Male And Female Characters:
http://www.all-tea-towels.co.uk/male-female-characters-towel-p-645.html

Thanks for the chance to win (and if I don't, I'll be back to buy them!)

Katy Cameron said...

Oh, I've been a follower since, err, your second to last giveaway lol

Cheryl said...

I'm a Fly Lady follower too. Control journal is building nicely, but I'm just not good with the sensible shoe part. Or the hot stop.

Love the tea towel site. I'd go for "I'll wash and you dry" and the Nautical Flags, because you never know when they may be just what you need!

I'm a new follower as well.

quinn said...

Just found your blog for the first time, and look! A contest!! Wheeee!

The oak leaves and the Bovril are my favorites.

Looking forward to lots of good reading on your blog :)

Brand-new follower, Quinn

Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

gfc follower! lovely choices ~ here are my selections~
Pink Flowers Cassandra Rose and
Linen Glass Cloth with a woven blue stripe {unless the red is actually the pink it appeared on my screen ")}
many thanks! ton of fun browsing too

Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

happy to have your button on my sidebar ~ do you want it to advertise the giveaway ?

tpott said...

I'm a follower. I love all of the funny retro tea towels. My first choice would be " where there's a woman there's a way", my second would be "I only have a kitchen because it came with the house". I have to go back to this site my mother and sister would just love these. Thanks!!! ;->

Thistle Cove Farm said...

I'm a follower, for quite some time now, and like the Keep Calm best.
Although, convivial clutter has a LOT to recommend it!

Catherine said...

Hello Pomona..I can't seem to open the link for some reason, but no matter. I love vintage tea towels particulary..they dry so much better for one thing. We just picked up some more old prisms & added them to our very old hanging kero lamp & 0 ) the greasy dust.deary me. At least that's one thing in my house that is now clean. I thought it would get better when our children flew but not so. Oh well. Golly you'll be spending half your day just reading all your comments soon! Love Catherine x

Menopausalmusing said...

I would love to own the Sergeant Pepper teatowel and the Tunnocks one - red is such a cheery colour!

Beth said...

I am a long time follower! I love the wine tasting ones!

Angela said...

HP sauce, good with bacon, and Tea Revives You are the ones that caught my eye!

Jo said...

What a brilliant giveaway, there are so many wonderful teatowels that it's hard to choose just two, but my hubby sounds just like your's, he uses all my teatowels as oven gloves and ruins them, so if I'm so lucky as to win, they would be for my use only. I'm a follower of your blog. If I win I would like the 1899 Rose Catalogue tea towel and the Grow Your Own tea towel, I have to choose that one seeing as I grow my own on my allotment. I have added your button to my sidebar. I'm slowly trawling my way through your past posts and enjoying reading them immensely.

katherinesara said...

I follow with GFC

red keep calm and carry on

and

ahhh bisto

@norrisluvsmary

Helen Philipps said...

What a lovely idea for a giveaway! It was hard to choose but I really liked the Greengate Plum Tea Towel with White Polka Dots and the Tunnocks Teacake Wrapper both of which would look adorable in my kitchen! Your kitchen looks so lovely and cosy, Pomona.
Have a happy week. Helen x

Katie Fisher said...

I'm a follower, I'd love to win the Cakes and Desserts and the Days of the Week tea-towels!

Great blog x

Prairie Rose said...

Well! How fun! Thank you for allowing us from far away to join in on the fun as well!
I like so many of them its hard to choose, but I love the one with the colorful little scottie dogs on it:)
But any of them would be so fun!
Thanks for such a fun giveaway and I have been a follower of you for a bit now!
Have a good week!

Denise said...

I'm a follower and I love the lavender one and easy as pie one. By the way no one is going to remember your house clean or dirty in 50 years but they will remember your quilting and crafty things that you hand down...

Sue said...

I love having nice teatowels, they do make life more fun, and to the amusement of my family I have to hang them on the rail to display them nicely. There are so many lovely ones on this site it makes it difficult to choose, but I think 'Lounge cats' as they are just so typical of my cats preferring comfy seats, and the 'Dictionary of Tea'. They both look such fun, I shall keep my fingers crossed!

Jodi said...

I love a nice tea towel and there are sooooo many that I like. Choosing 2 was almost impossible.

Silver Plated Antique Teapots
&
You Wash, I'll Dry (because that is the way I like it)

If I could Have 3 more I would have the Keep Calm and Carry on in Red Blue and Black and White as I really need a daily reminder of that Idea.

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