Tuesday, 28 August 2012

A bit of Danish....well Scandinavian!

A bit tricky to photograph this framed linen - this resides in our hall and greets us as we walk through the door. Cheery people always smiling.  I will have to acknowledge that it was one of my sisters who first picked this up in the charity shop and asked if I might like it.  It cost £8 and I first thought is was a print but it is a lovely long piece of fabric beautifully framed, so it must have been greatly appreciated in its time

This is by Bibbi Swahn - a mid century designer from Sweden whose works pops up now and again

This tablecloth was a car boot purchase a couple of years ago - jolly figures again

All this china is used  every day and is ideal for the task as it is tough as old boots and withstands the dishwasher

Cheery colours 

This Egersund china  (from Norway) was all bought at different times from local charity shops

I think that these curtains are a Danish design - Scandinavian at least I think - does anyone know?

Simple figures but very effective for all that

I have some other curtains that have a similar design so possibly all by the same person

I haven't really got round to posting more 'modern' designs in our home - I have far ranging/reaching tastes (my undoing) so all peccadilloes are catered for! I have never stuck to a particular decade style or one design type...oh dear perhaps I should have because now our house looks like a minimalist nightmare!! As I kept a lot of stuff from childhood (and beyond) our house reflects a real mix of 'styles' (aka jumble).  Bronte is very keen on asking: 'Mum would you happen to have....' and joy of joys if I can ferret around for five minutes and find the very thing that is now 'in fashion' that I have hung on to from several decades ago!

I like bold, strong graphics and I like little, tiny, intricate patterns, I like striking colours and I like ice creams ranges, I like simple but effective and I like complicated and puzzling, I like handmade, homemade and I like mass produced.  
Oh dearie, dearie me.....

Monday, 27 August 2012

Cathedral window revisited

Made this on a whim late last night.....22.38 to be precise

 (I haven't finished one side....)

 (I used 'that' blue rose fabric for the main bit and some lovely vintage polka dot raw silk with odd scraps of embroidery for the other bits).

......I  decided to upload my old photos of some of the other cathedral window quilts that I made years ago. Have I posted these before?  I cannot remember anything any more.  Anyway I can always delete.  The blue one is the first that I ever made - all done by hand (I had not discovered the sewing machine technique) as I was a bit obsessed with things not being made by a machine at the time. I gaily chopped up a 1950s dress to make it....gulp....when I realised I was a bit short of the required fabric I wrote to M&S (it being an M&S dress) with the registration number (as seen on the label that I had carefully kept).  They took it in their stride and carefully searched their archives (would love to have a rummage) but could not find that particular design sadly.  Still this turned out to be big enough for the children's bed so served its purpose.

The other one (with little lambs on) I also made by hand (we can tell Jenny....) and I clearly got a bit fed up with it but carried on regardless - also big enough for a bed for a little one.

I would not have the patience to make these now so glad that I 'put the hours in' when young!

Every so often I look at them and think that I should chop them up for cushions or something a bit more useable for today

This is me still making it by hand (we can still tell Jenny....) and used old embroidery thread for the top stitching - I made this into a little bag.

This is one from the 'Drawer of Shame' - here I tried to take short cuts and it was one short cut too far.  This was after it went into the washing machine - it was a disaster dahhhhhling

A pair of little pincushions - machine sewn by now! A fiddly technique but worth doing for the final effect I think.

As my ego knows no bounds I am RE-posting two favourite pictures of mine - one of a bag that I made for my sister last Christmas..
The buttons hide a multitude...

And this one which I cannot for the life of my remember what I did with it!   If you look very, very carefully you can see a tiny spot of blood where I pricked my finger sewing this!

My windows all in one nice space.

All done!

PS Thank you to you all for putting up with my eccentricities...I get carried away by my own velocity a great deal of the time....

PS  re: embroideries - fear not dearies, it is rare for me to cut into an embroidery (as far as I remember it would only be to removed damaged bits) and those embroidered panels are perfecto for bag making just as they are.  Edges are folded under and I 'frame' them with fabric or sometimes I line them and they then become a front pocket on a bag..  Each one can be unpicked and framed if needed and some of my embroidered bags are on their third reincarnation (due to changing of mind on frame fabric or length of bag handle!!)

Friday, 24 August 2012


Thank you all as always for kind words and encouragement - admiration as always for those who  pursue ambitions and aspirations.  I will plough my furrow and see what direction it goes! Need to stop moaning and do a bit more doing I think.
Anyway - 
I like a nice bit of embroidery...

The bag above is my 'new' favourite bag - I have finished it with a nice buckle on the handle, lined it with    the finest Irish double damask and fastened with a little vintage hand painted button - I wore it (worn - rather than used - as an adornment!!)  on my first day in my new job yesterday.  Chuffed that in the staff room a woman asked me where I got my bag from as a group had been admiring it from afar. So a new job and compliments too!!
Big headedness is not an endearing trait Jenny...

I am very fond of the 'background' fabric and I have made many bags and purses from it - the fabric dates from the late 1940s and is an unused bolt with that smell of new cotton. The colours of the flowers in the design always seem to perfectly match the colours in the embroidery - it will be a sad day when I use the last little piece

The one of the left (corner showing) is one of a framed pair that I bought at the car boot recently - the other one of the pair is a very pretty cottage (£5 the pair so thought that was ok)

Most/all of these embroideries were kits - dating mainly from the late 1930s/1940s - so the same patterns often appear again and again.  Each one is appealing in its infinite variety

Jenny - do you think that you possibly might have enough bags......

Had a pleasant tax refund recently - for the second year running (must check my tax code I think).  Decided that it is a nice way to save money without realising it so have bought some vintage treats as an indulgence....Also have 'twinned' our toilet - it is good to share unexpected windfalls if possible - http://www.toilettwinning.org/serious-stuff/the-need/ 

Also decided that as there are 24 hours in each day there should be ample time to cram everything in! I will stop moaning!

Looking forward to the Paralympics starting  - hurrah!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

I do have decent suitcases too!

A warm welcome to new followers - I hope that this blog is interesting for you.  When I get myself organised I will have a 'giveaway do dah' (keep changing my mind as to what it should be!)

I fear that I convey the impression of living in a junk shop so here in an attempt to redress that I am showing my nice 'new to me, even though I have had it a few years' suitcase - all shiny like a conker!  I took the children to visit one of my sisters for a couple of days so I was hoping that this suitcase would take on the appearance of Grace Kelly's suitcase in 'Rear Window' (I marvel at how her clothes puff out of that case in the film)

If you can identify and remember using the article top left you can join my gang (the password code will be the usual 'Your name is Chalkie White and I claim my prize' - no code, no entry!)

So a Pakawa suitcase still being used many years after being produced - a perfect size, no wobbliness (mind you we like and need wobbliness don't we. If this was perfect I would not dare smother it with fabricos!).

A bit dusty here I notice!

All shiney!

Now this is my sister's house - my sister who pretends that she does not collect anything....this is a very, very small sample of her china.....

And her china brooches...

PS - I have just got another job on top of my current one (my first day today!).  This will mean that (in theory...cough, cough) I will have less time here but more time being  'productive' in an financial sense!! Shop never did get under way...Etsy shelves remain empty...Folksy remains an aspiration...closing the suitcases....switching off  the sewing machine.....burning the embroideries    (What do you think I am  - crazy!!!!).  Will still sell things on ebay from time to time but to be honest selling the bags and purses that I have made was never going to be a money spinner was it - often at  4.99 and still unsold I am not exactly a main competitor! Also Jenny perhaps you should 'fess up to withdrawing things from sale because you feel that they are not very good - confidence always wafer thin. I do marvel at the success of others and how all items are 'sold out' - magico.

Back to teaching my dear human biology amongst other thing. My work ethic means that I never like to turn down an opportunity.  Realise that I am very lucky to have a job in the first place in these current climes.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Another shop extension - ho ho - empire growing

 I have been forced to launch another new 'shop' - in an even more battered suitcase than before!!!!

This was done whilst keeping one ear (listening) on the Olympics - yes I know it shows....

Top tip - keep all scraps, no matter how teeny tiny.  These were all gleaned from my basket of 'teeny scraps' (as opposed to the baskets of 'bigger scraps' and the one of 'bigger than before scraps').  So the usual hotch potch of randomness - best not think about too hard don't you think?

A mix of embroideries and lace and fabrics and buttons and trim

The outer perimeter has a mix of vintage Sanderson and a bit of David Whitehead!  Who knew! It all looks wobbly because the suitcase is wobbly...
Inside is festooned with some old Ladybird illustrations (at this stage in the proceedings I had not finished it).

Ideal for storing Ladybird books!!!

So now I can tell you the 'before' story.  At approximately 16.10 I decided that I would very much like to adorn a suitcase with some vintage Beatrix Potter fabric that I have.  I searched for little case that I thought I still had...blast I remembered that I had given it away.  Mmmmm.  Left the house at 16.19....walked for five minutes in a north-easterly direction to arrive at 'The shop that opens more than it used to' just before closing time.  Little chat and 'would you happen to have an old little suitcase...it does not matter how beaten up it is'. A short rummage and there it was - and it would cost one of our British pounds.  Mmmmm - probably worth 50p....16.35 arrive back home triumphant with a battered suitcase.

I used tape to mend all the corners

Smothered it all with PVA glue and applied random snippets

I am going to fashion an embroidered 'belt' with vintage buckle to keep it all together.

What I lurrrrrvvvvreeee about making things yourself is that this is the only one in the widey world - unique, one of a kind, one off, one and only, never to be repeated.  Please let us start a club for re-covered and recovered suitcases!

Oh and recovered/re-covered knitting boxes whilst we are at it!

Keeps me happy!