Saturday, 29 September 2012

You know that you have a problem when...

....your purse matches your kitchen....

This is some marvellouso Bernard Wardle fabric from the 1950s.  Could I please ask that if you should ever see me buying fabric  you remind me that I do not NEED any more.....

I love colour and I also love black and white....

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.....

Many thanks as always for your kind words - it is very much appreciated.  Just a note to ask Laurie-Jane to get in touch if possible - sorry that I cannot find a way to contact your good self -  your purse is waiting for you after winning the giveaway prize!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Coming out of my shell.....

I am confident and shy in equal measure - circumstances determining which attribute comes to the fore.  So whilst it was very nice to be in the 'BBC Homes and Antiques' magazine I felt too shy to post about it - but can now as that was back in August!

The orange bowl I bought from a charity shop a few years ago - it was for Maille for Christmas (!) - she loves oranges and this bowl is made to look like orange peel on the outside - I filled it will Clementines one Christmas Eve and placed it by her bed on her chair so that she woke to a bowl of oranges (some may understand!).  The mugs were also from a charity shop - I only wanted two (one for each daughter) but at 30p each the ladies in the shop 'forced' me to buy them all and then gave the extra fish one for free (do I look as though I am in need I wonder). The old Heals light was £1 from a car boot and it worked! Our Breathless poster is getting a bit faded now - when I worked for the casting director of the National Theatre I went along to Peter Hall's rehearsals for his Jean Seberg play and I think that I bought this poster around that time.  I used to go to many rehearsals and knew the 'secret' back route from the main lobby to the Green Room without having to go round the back (through an unmarked door and down some winding corridors - I wonder if you can still do that). When I started my nurse training I took some new colleagues to the National and 'showed off' by taking them backstage to the Green Room via my secret passage (!). How to win friends and influence people....

I very much liked the title of the article - it sums all my stuff up nicely

Several things have changed round in our dining room now - always shuffling stuff around. The yellow/orange bag that I made from some 50s barkcloth I gave to a niece to carry her university books in.

Bronte has 'hippified' her bedroom since and purloined lots of my purchases made in India many years ago - she is miffed that I no longer have some of the clothes that I bought there a few decades ago but I have kept all the lovely old Indian embroideries. As far as I am concerned India is the best place in the world for shopping - my kind of shopping (oh and I quite like that old market in Bangkok where they used to sell lots of ex-colonial 'stuff' -  one of my sisters was there recently and tells me that there are still plenty of old bits.  Oh and that place in Malacca....and perhaps that nice shop we went to in Dunedin a few years ago....oh and I remember my jaw dropping when a friend took me to the one behind the Sacre Coeur - pricey but goodness me and finally remembered that super duper market on the outskirts of Belgrade...and finally,finally I remember the souk in Sana'a (our brother lived there for many years) - a market that I can only describe as being a biblical scene).  More about travels one day

So here are some 'behind the scenes' photographs taken on that day...a long day it was.  Yes I did tidy up!  Cheek!  The only room that had to have a reshuffle was our living room because televisions are not allowed in photographs apparently.  The photographs were taken in July 2011 - a long time ago and some rooms have changed a great deal since then

This is a our spare bedroom and where the ironing is supposed to take place...

This is Maille's bedroom - all systems go!

On the screen is the photograph that ended up in the magazine

I showed everyone round the house but opened and shut some doors very quickly as they were not great - one was the spare bedroom which they took photographs of....
I did not show anyone my larder cupboard (a cupboard that is supposed to contain food produce I believe but instead......) but our rubbish bin is kept in there so I opened it to get rid of some rubbish.  There was a bit of jaw clanging....I keep one or two bits of china in there.....Here is a photograph that the lovely Rachel Whiting (her photography is wonderful and is frequently in that magazine of which I no longer speak!!!) took of inside my cupboard.  There are one or two shelves....going up to the ceiling...

Not sure where to place this photo so will plonk it here! Nothing to do with the article. This purse was my sisters as a child and then it was mine (I am sure that you gave it to me Trude).  This purse was an endless wonderment for us - it moved, it did something, it was cutting edge, it was just great!   For the past few years Bronte has used it for her dinner money - I am a great believer in using old stuff - she was devastated when she thought she had lost it recently.  It turned up eventually.  

Here's winking at you kid

PS Just found some of your lovely comments in my SPAM!! I have never checked spam before so had no idea - so sorry again.  The mysteries of blogger just got a little deeper...

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Stand away from the scissors.....

Ah.... I am pleased to read that my wistful nostalgic posts strike a chord with your good selves.  More colour montages to appear over time. Also glad to read that I am not alone with Enigma coding....

As you may know I  possess only  one pair of shoes (last time I wrote about this I had two pairs but since then one set have met their demise...). I am not overly fond of 'proper' shopping and have extra aversion to shoe shopping.  I do have lots and lots of bags (and purses....). . I have only shown a flavour of them here (!!!).  I am sure that if I could make my own shoes I would also own lots and lots of shoes...
I have also mentioned previously my 'bird' bag of which I am very fond ("I wish that she would get to the point...").  A few years ago I made this bag above out of an old tapestry and I have been making them ever since - these are my robust daily shopping type bags.

A few years ago I also made this bag....sorry that the photograph is not brilliant - this is my 'Deer Bag' used intermittently but extra focus around Christmas time when 'Deers' are in (seasonal bags, seasonal tablecloths, seasonal purses.....). Twinned with some deliciouso fabrico from the ?1930s (rich linen and wonderful rich pattern) ("We are still waiting...")

Dug out an old photo of some car boot purchases from September 2010 (that precise only because the photographs are dated automatically!).  A lovely soft tapestry with an equally lovely rose fabric bag (from the 1930s again perhaps?) and a complete roll of rose fabric (from the 1950s the seller told me...I have it  logged that it cost £5 for the entire roll!).

The one below is a travelling bag - suitable for longer journeys to Bath for example...("Do you think that she is ok?")

Also a few years ago I made the bag below - if I remember correctly this tapestry cost about a pound (as they usually are) - this is known as my 'Green and Pleasant Land' bag.  ("What! You name your bags"!!!)

A robust and sturdy number and just right for milk and cheese purchases

I have been watching this tapestry for sale on ebay and it sold for £ I am unpicking ALL tapestry bags...what the blazes have I been thinking of.....ho ho
"Now we understand...."

PS Due to kind words I am quite determined to make an extra, extra nice embroidered purse and sell it!!! Once I have figured how much that would be...I will not be on Dragon's Den any time soon....
'I'm OUT' 

Monday, 17 September 2012

Orange for starters....

Thank you to Juliab for asking about other vintage bits in our home.  Sadly not enough hours in the day to blog about all the things in our house so uploading an old montage of some of the orange and yellowy things in our house.  A mix of china and fabrics and bits and bobs as usual.  Let me know if you would like to know more about any of them  - some have appeared on this blog in the past but I like the overall look of a montagey type thingy!

Also sorry about blogger being a bit bloggy - I have lost track of how many comments that I have left that never appear or blogs that I thought that I was following but fall off the track.  Does anyone know why/how that happens?  Sorry if I have seemed rude in any way by not commenting but I am there - similarly the Enigma code that you have to break in order to post a comment drives my ku-ra-zy sometimes.  I will keeping trying but often collapse after the tenth attempt (the other day the Enigma code did not change each time it refreshed - goodness knows how many combos I tried!!)

PPS - Am now 'getting on' - got a small mountain of work to complete!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

For Lemonade Kitty - purse thingy sympathy!!!

Just dug out a photo from last year - NO I am not getting ready for Christmas!!!! Just showing Lemonade Kitty my purse misshapenness (my design ended up being too flat for my liking) using the freebie from Mollie Makes - it was soooo tiny so it was very difficult to sew into the nooks and crannies.  I cannot remember now if it came with a template but my top tip is to make your own and experiment - so I think that this was my own pattern and allowed for extra roominess (well a little bit!).  I think that Bronte used this for dinner money for school!!!

It is only big enough for a few pennies if I remember rightly. The trim used was leftover from a dressing gown that my mum made for me back in the early 1970s (do you remember when kaftan style dressing gowns were the THING to wear - our mum made one for each of us (except our brother!!), all with a different trim around the neck and sleeves).  The vintage holly fabric on the reverse is some that I had when  my  niece Holly was born and I made her a patchwork quilt from all my little bits of vintage holly fabricos.  I think that Holly might be a bit fed up of  holly things each and every year...year in...year out....

Inside I used some lovely old silk polka dot fabric - I have used this for lots of things and now down to my last little bits....sniff, sniff.  The good thing about making small things is that it does not use very much fabricos so you can 'afford' to waste it perhaps.

Give purse making a go - they can turn out really lovely

Many thanks as always for kind words and deeds
Best wishes
PS Purse making workshop in the initial planning stages....
PPS Don't be daft we would just all tra la la all day
PPPS Yes we would!!

Mind games at the car boot...

I regaled  wendz at 15 Coast Road (could someone please tell me how you do that link thing with the right name on it?) regarding CB protocol and etiquette.  The sun was shining so the CB was maaahooosive - nevertheless I have to put my purchasing blinkers on so ignored the huge collection of West German ceramics, the three different garden sun loungers (circa 1970),  the vast array of china tea sets.

I whizzed  round but stalled when I saw these two embroideries...poised in front of them was another CB'er - looked a novice to me but I could not be certain. 'How much?' she asked.  'The two for £3'.  My throat tightened a little bit..CB'er pondered and hummed.  I went a little blue around the edges and gripped my purse a little tighter.  CB'er was not actually holding the embroideries and no part of her body was touching the items.  How do we read this situation bloggers?  She has only asked the body part touching the item?  What would you do?

Did I :
A) Shrug and move on
B) Smile sweetly and wait
C) Barge in and purchase..........................

Shame on you for thinking C) - it was B)!!!!!! CB'er moved away but glanced over her shoulder....I moved in.  Possibly not quite as dramatic as I have painted...I then had a lovely long chat with the stallholders (please do leave a message if you find your way through the ether to here).

For one pound only I was able to purchase this delicious, marvellouso panel of fabric.  I think that this dates from the 1920s/1930s - what do you think? It has the feel/look and the fabric just feels that old.  Reminds me of  Chinoiserie designs of that time - I love the colours and the Turk's Cap lillies and beautiful roses.  

Oh bought a couple of lovely tapestries but did not buy all of them...

Rounded off with two huge lavender plants for four pounds each - perfecto.

Bathe in reflected glory.....

However....there were two marvellouso things that I did not buy and they are eating away....

One was one of those BEAUTIFUL 'proper' travelling suitcases - with original wooden hangers and fabric lined drawers (those ones that you stand up to put your clothes in)...I did not ask the price for fear of it being was so lovely.

The other was two BEAUTIFUL veranda chairs - I say veranda rather than garden because I think that they too also dated from the 1920s/1930s when verandas were de rigueur  - these were a little like steamer chairs but more delicate and painted a wonderful battered blue, the fabric was faded and torn but goodness me they were perfecto. I can see them on the front cover of CL (the magazine of which I no longer speak but will mention for effect!).  I did not ask the price for fear of them being cheap....they were so lovely.

So in fact in my short shopping trip I actually SAVED money!  Ho ho

Tra la la fiddle dee dee off I go to make some tea......

Friday, 14 September 2012

'Four Marys' school bag

My Tufty badge from long ago - a little rusty round the back...ooooo-eeeee-rrr missus! For a while I was known as Tufty at school due to a blunt scissor hair cut!

Simple enough to make - just cut a clear piece of plastic for the front bit (the sort that is used for keeping shirt collars in place) and then you can change your picture on a daily basis and thrill viewers!

A simple flap and just curve the outer edge for a school bag type effect

Pin on your old badges..tra la la

I like how the letter rubs it in that I actually didn't win!!!

Always the bridesmaid.....

PS Many, many, many years later I was in a well known store in London and I saw a woman who I recognised - I said hello and she looked a little puzzled....'You remember' I said 'I think I looked after you when you were a patient' I hadn' was Biddy Baxter (something again for the slightly older reader!!) You couldn't make it up.....

PPS Please see previous post regarding giveaway winners - sorry that I published the post and then decided to 'hold it back' and use it announce winners!
Many thanks as always
Best wishes

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Just another day in the office.....drawing giveaway winners

A working breakfast...(I hope that saucepan hasn't burnt the cloth!)

Weighing packages

Manning the 'phone as usual....

After I had dealt with a few helpline enquires I carried out the prize draw...Bronte copied out all names......put names in three vintage bowls.................and the winners a very particular order...............

1. Embroidered purse 


2. David Whitehead 

Green Orchid

3. 70s Scandinavian

 Rainbow Vintage Home

I did not blindfold Bronte but she was told to look away.  Bronte has questioned the morality of such a draw and that she could never do such a thing where some  might be disappointed....oh dear.  I think that Bronte read too much into the whole thing as she started to feel sorry for Number Three as it had the fewest entrants!!!

Many kind thanks again to everyone who not only entered but took time to offer such kind words.  I was very chuffed and ego nicely enlarged.  If those of you who won would kindly send name and address  I will try and post on either Saturday or failing that Monday.
Many thanks once again

Tra la la fiddle de dee  - off I go to make some tea.....

Vintage embroidery put to good use...

Welcome to new followers and kind words.  Still time to enter giveaway if wished.

So  busy with work so why then do I find myself being drawn to doing anything but that which I am supposed to be doing.......

This is an old photo of mine from defunct Flickr account.....  Sorry if it is old hat and you have seen it before .  I made these for a great niece but I find it very difficult to figure patterns out sometimes so the main bit of the embroidery ended up on the underneath bit - I was so cross they went into the 'Drawer of Shame' (said in an echoey voice - keep should know the format by now...).  I have a mind to dig them out and make another pair today - though my great niece is now far too old.

I thought that I had placed the pattern so a nice 'scrolly' bit went over the top.  It is a bit like cutting an angled piece of wood - I have to think really, really hard about it.  I cannot reverse a car into a tight parking spot for the same reason - I cannot for the life of me figure out what the mirror is trying to convey to me!

Back to the drawing board as usual

Oh - I did manage to make a little blanket from vintage embroideries - as she is half Irish I placed a shamrock within it as well as a blue bird of happiness for good fortune all of her life.

I started this little dress the other day because one of my sisters rang to say that my nephew and young family are going to come and stay at the end of September  - just cut a bodice pattern from paper (the back two bits need to overlap for button purposes) and will gather a ruffle of vintage fabricos for the skirt

Should it be lace?

Found that red ric rac - might change the skirt fabric altogether to match the red or might do something completely different - the joy of homemade things!

I am a bit slow on the uptake and only just realised that the lining of the shoes, some patches on the blanket and the skirt of the dress are all made from the same fabric - yet all made over a long'ish time period! I must have been subliminally drawn to it - in reality a pair of large old curtain but soft, soft cotton so nice for small people to wear.

General Pearls of Wisdom when using old embroideries:
1.  I have never chopped up a perfectly decent embroidered tablecloth (my bulging cupboards can bear testament to that...cough... is has been a while since I counted them...this wretched cough...but I think that there are one or two........................).
2. Endeavour to use originals for intended purpose wherever possible: table runners for tables, antimacassars for anti-grease warfare, embroidered placemats for place settings etc, etc
3.  Consider wisely before launching into a chopping up session - THINK FIRST - can this burn be neatly concealed by discreet overstitching/embroidery, could a light peppering of bootons save the day, would a generous overnight soak get rid of this mark........what would Mother have done?
4. Always think very, very carefully before you snippity snip - there is no going back you know!
5. If your mind is resolved and you are very, very sure then consider reinforcing the reverse first - especially if the underlying fabricos is a little on the delicarto side!
6.  Think backwards from your end 'design' (grand - I have never had one of those in my life but sounds good!) -  how much embroidery can you save and create your 'design' on the basis of maximum embroidery salvage
7.Check again - are you really sure?????????
8. Do not - I repeat - do not - make that first snip and then retract - IT IS TOO LATE NOW!!
9. Commit and go..
10.  Tra la la down the High Street swinging your latest tra la la

Using my flickr photographs I have figured that if I do a post every day I should have cleared the decks IN about three years!  Sorry that that is a bit dull and 'oh not the old stuff again...'

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Full frontal for Angela and a bit of 50s china

Thank you to all entrants in the giveaway and thank you so much for kind words and coronets.  Decided that I will 'do the draw' (and get the children to write all the names out!) on Thursday evening as I am busy, busy until then.  Edge of the seat drama!!

 Just a little post showing a full frontal picture of the bag (you didn't think that I meant anything else did you!!) that I mentioned the other day as Angela had asked about ways of using buckles. So here you need to make the handles of your bag the right fit for the buckle

In the photo I think that the buckle looks out of kilter but I feel that it works in 'real life' (though it looked like a bandolier the other day when I wore it to work!).  I made a 'Four Marys' bag the other day that if I can take better photos I will do a little post theory it was all a good idea....

The one below I think went to live with you Anne-Sophie!

Buckle of no practical purpose but I do find them reassuring to fiddle with!

Yodel hey hey hoo!

This is another little embroidered bag that I made earlier this year (I try not to bore with photos of every single that I make.... 'not that old stuff again Jenny!')

Took a bit of tin searching to find the right button to match the buckle...

In the past I have also made a fabric mini 'belt' thingy, threaded a small buckle through and used as brooches (with extra adornment for extra lilly gilding purposes) and hair clips (smaller ones are good for these).  Does anyone else have some ideas for Angela ?

Phew - after that sit down and have a nice cup of tea....

The cups that match the jug are a favourite (isn't everything a favourite Jenny....) 

I have a few other bits of this design - do look out for it in your travels, I think it is delicious.

When the children were little I would set up a mini version of this for them (in truth I would set up mini versions of all sorts of things - it is the delight of 'smallness' again)

Not sure that you can gauge the scale of the teapot and cups here but it is all small - I love those child sized teapots - it comes as a complete set with a similar coffee pot and jug etc. The teapot chrome cover has a beautiful felt liner just as the large adult version has.  The children would have orange juice in their teapot....

...I would be having the real McCoy!

And something for your carrots!!!

What I like about 50s china is the upliftingness (?) of it all - and of course I love my garden so a double whammy.

Also just adding a few more pictures from my sister's home that I visited earlier this summer

The larger figure in this photo is one that I remember from my own childhood - as a child I would cycle over to my big sister's home in a village a few miles away (I cannot imagine allowing my children to do the same)  and gaze at this figure in wonderment even then. It has got a bit damaged over the years but so beautifully made

Tatty bye for now