The Brambly Hedge house

storestump Do you know about the Brambly Hedge stories by Jill Barklem? I think they’re practically canonical in the UK, but rather unknown here in the US. When my parents went to England in 1985, my mother wanted to bring back “English” presents for me, and her answer to “what’s English?” was old-fashioned floral bath cubes (I found the exact bath cubes on the internet a year ago and ordered some–they’re wrapped in gold paper and have watercolor illustrations of the flowers on the labels), and the first four Brambly Hedge stories in four tiny volumes.

Brambly Hedge is a community of mice. They live inside hollowed-out trees, and spend their days picnicking and gathering nuts and berries and doing wonderfully tactile things like spinning and baking and patchwork. The girls wear pinafores and the boys wear overalls. I have wonderfully–strongly–miraculously influenced by these stories. Much of what I put in my house is taken from these books. My happy chunky Burleigh crockery–my scrappy patchwork quilts–my stripedy scarves–my earthenware pie plates–the soup tureen. All because I saw them in these illustrations.

I don’t want to tread on Jill Barklem’s copyrights too-too much, so I’m hesitant to post many pictures here. But the patchwork quilt in my bedroom, all green and pink and red, was inspired by the one in Poppy’s bedroom in Summer Story. I then decided on the furniture for my bedroom because it looked so exactly like the furniture in those books–I even chose a bed with a tall, solid headboard because it’s what Poppy had.

This weekend, I’m going to order new dining furniture:

The Extension Dining Table because of its wonderfully fat turned legs, and their sensible placement at the actual corners of the table

Six Windsor Chairs to go around it, because there are Windsor chairs in the Brambly Hedge illustrations, and also because I love the wonderfully bizarre curve of them

And last but certainly not least, the China Door Hutch and Base. Just look at the picture at the beginning of this post and you’ll understand why I want it. Look at all of those tiny drawers! Of course, it’s not actually six tiny drawers but rather three medium sized ones, but it still looks wonderful.

I’m so excited. I really like to have furniture–I really really like it. And I will be definitively finished buying it, after this lot. What a relief!

7 thoughts on “The Brambly Hedge house

  1. I just love the Brambly Hedge mice and the picture is adorable. I too love things just like this so I enjoyed reading all about them.

    Hey, and what about stopping by my blog once in awhile….I’d love to hear your comments.

  2. I was so delighted to see this charming picture again; I had it on my kitchen wall in a dreadful, semi-derelict student house in the ’80s. It was the only cheerful thing around at the time! Thanks for a happy moment. Luv DEE

  3. I love seeing that picture on your blog, and I would love to see your quilt, if you could share, even off blog if you feel better. I am in the US where it is difficult to find Brambly Hedge items. I did buy all the Brambly Hedge fabrics from someone, to make a quilt. Strange how I love drawn mice, just not real ones (that come in and eat all my food since I am a bit rural). I love your idea of decorating to match the scenes in the book.

    In the same vein, I have discovered the wonderful House Mouse website, with their rubber stamps, and their sister sites with all sorts of goodies with the wee mice on them – even cross-stitch. For those who love making their own greeting cards, there is even a House Mouse Monday Challenge on blogger. I am in the midst of a move but once I get to my new home, I am going to get busy making cards with the HM stamps, and then may just read the Brambly Hedge books to glean decorating ideas since it has worked so successfully for you.

    Another theme I have a hard time finding here in the US is anything related to “Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady”. I love her prints, and the book.

    When I made my first Winnie the Pooh quilt, there was no Pooh fabric in the US so a friend sent me a cotton sheet, and I used it for the center panel of the Pooh quilt.

    I have had the good fortune to visit England once. My friends in Nottingham asked me to accompany them on their vacation in Northumbria, in the town of Haltwhistle. I saw so many beautiful sites, and still treasure the memories of that trip. Now that I have full blown fibromyalgia, I think my days of long-distance trips are over.

    I much enjoyed your blog! Thanks. Nancy

  4. I had to look up the House Mouse website, but yes, I have seen their stamps at craft stores and even bought one of a wee pair of mousie footprints. Absolutely adorable!

    I had also not heard of the Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady. It seems to be right up my alley, and went right onto my Amazon wish list. Thanks for the heads up!

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