Friday, 24 May 2013

50s fabric, nice pots and the kindliness of shops!

Thank you for kind words regarding My Darling.  I did have a 'gardening' post lined up as it is Chelsea week but this one has muscled in ahead of time.

You may recall the: 'Shop that never opens - which now opens more often than it used to' shop?  



Well, that shop was not open again the other week but the shop keepers were busy loading their lorry and I spotted  a nice glass lampshade in their window and they kindly said that I could buy it.  I did not have any money so said that I would walk to the Co-op, get some money out, come back and pay in about ten minutes.  

Ten minutes later when I returned they and the lorry were....... gone!

Crikey again!!


Two weeks later I was walking past again and again the couple were loading their lorry.  We repeated the previous conversation and again I scuttled to the Co-op (I usually only have small change on me - a bit like the Queen!).  

I went a bit faster than last time....

Quick march back

Phew - they were still there.

An hour later........

We had had a very long chat.  

I find it amazing what complete strangers tell me and they shared great deal of poignant stuff.  People have the most interesting lives.


I bought some old curtains.....

'Hang on - we thought she was buying a lampshade.  What happened there?'

'Hang on these aren't  curtains either!!!!'

More of this in a minute...

If you thought Mr Langford's was packed....

This is a place that always has a wonderful shop display and seldom anything for sale

This shop knocks spots off CK any day of the week in my opinion. This is my sort of shop

So, back to the curtain fabric that I bought - £15 so a bit pricey but lots of fabric and I wanted it for a specific something.....

I don't have much in the way of fabric....

Here it is drying on the line

Perfect colours I think

When I made the cushions for the front I didn't have quite the right fabric for the sixth cushion.  If you wait long enough the right stuff will appear.

Like magico

 After our long chat I was given this lovely dish - just because.  Isn't that kind.  Isn't the dish super

Handle close up

And it goes nicely with the fabric

More handle photos....!

Made in Norway in the 60s I think

 Fair exchange is no robbery so, by way of thanks, I made this zipped purse and popped it in the shop's letter box the next day (it was not open of course!)

 Pleased with zip insertion (using No.2 Vintage sewing machine with zipper foot) !

I still haven't used this original 1950s day....  thought that it matches this purse nicely!

And this is the last (showing a few stray threads)

And plenty of fabric left for lots of other things.

Also just adding in this little purse that someone might recognise - a 'just because present' from me ...Nice to meet up with you Shelley.

I wonder which island Shelley lives on.....

 Whilst we are chatting about shops giving things away....

I was walking home a while ago and there was a local house clearance van parked in the road - in the back was a plastic bag full of old hangers all in a range of ice cream colours.  When I got home I rang their shop and asked if the hangers were for sale (in great need of painted hangers that particular day...). 

 I was told that I could hop in the back of the van and take them! 

 "Take them!!! I can't do that someone will think I am stealing!"  

"Don't worry then madam - we will delivery them to you".  

An hour later they arrived!

They would not accept any money (they told me that they have HUNDREDS of hangers every year....) so I made a donation to charity. 

 Everyone's a winner!

I am not fond of plastic hangers (unless they are those nice old children's ones)  or indeed wire ones - I like a nice old robust wooden one so this is what we have always used.  Here are Bronte's dresses again all lined up on nice wooden hangers

I realise that wire and plastic hangers hang nice and flat but wooden ones are the best for me - especially if they have a nice bit of  advertising writing on them or a painting is even better (when the children were little they had little images painted on them - not sure where they are now).  I also like ones that 'do' something, fold up in half for example or have an extra hanger bit to them or ones especially for trousers. We also have plenty of vintage fabric covered ones, crocheted ones (so you didn't really need those painted ones did you Jenny....) and of course I have used them for many a peg bag in the past. Oh and some nice hanger/clothes embroidered covers.  Can a plastic hanger do all of that?  I don't think so.

Any hanger collectors out there?

Smiley, happy people

In a world where such vile things are happening let each of us do an act of kindness

PS: Interview this afternoon and this morning I am writing an essay utilising thematic sewing

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Tiptoeing back with My Darling.....

Tiptoeing back into the ether.....not reinvented in the slightest.....just the same....old......stuff.... leopard.....spots.  

Sorry....been very busy....not been sunbathing in an exotic local...I have never my entire life...

Please tap me on my shoulder if you feel that repetition, deviation, hesitation is moving into this blog and I will rectify it in just a minute (see what I did there.....).  I never wish to be boring...

Thank you greatly for comments......the sole reason for being here....and the soul reason for being here...the fact that you spend time reading this means a huge amount to me.

I am making some bits and bobs for a giveaway that I will LAUNCH (grand!) once bits and bobs are complete and I feel that they are up to standard....

In the meantime I will show you My Darling - who is rather shy and would rather stay here than be moved to  Pinterest...thank you

My Darling purrs as it sews

My Darling  does not answer back...

My Darling does not mind being altered!

My Darling does not mind a close up

My Darling never drops a stitch

My Darling looks good from all angles

Excuse my seat...darling

My Darling looks good in close up....again

My Darling takes on a different night

My Darling is mysterious (please excuse bananas..... far right!)

All-in-all it is simply.......

Back story:  Bought at a car boot two/three years ago - man threatening to take it to the dump...he spotted my weakness I think.  Modern sewing machine = USELESS + packed up... so.... fetched out....  'My Darling'.

Purred into action first time - hums along at the speed of light and is GREAT.  60 or so years old and as good as new.  Only problem is that there is no zipper foot so might have to mix and match with another old sewing machine that I have that does have a zipper foot....oh dear....

Works by using your knee so I could actually sew here even though not a table.

I love my DARLING.

 Totted up the price of everything you see in the second photo - all the  furniture, mugs, light, sewing machine etc - came to a grand total of £44!!!  That - ladies and gentlemen - is why I love second hand!

You do not need a huge amount of money to be stylish.....

'Are you going to tell her or shall I................?'

Rediscovered this photo of a purse I made ages ago...that I no longer as I like this fabric muchly............ I am going to make another one....... with My Darling !!!!

Tra La La 
Fiddle de dee
Off I go
Sewing with my knee

Tra La La
Fiddle de dee
Off I go
Just My Darling and me....

It take all sorts.....

Thursday, 2 May 2013

My name is Jenny and I am a minimalist....with cheap firewood

Starting off with my usual no Pinterest request - please - not everyone feels the same.......perhaps don't pin this to show that you do read blogs too

Inside there really is a minimalist trying to get out.  I love it when I have a clear out and there is SPACE.  I like SPACE.  Problem is SPACE is also whispering to me: 'Fill me with something'  in that naughty way SPACE does.

Just after Christmas we had a radiator moved - it was a long horrible looking thing that offended my sensibilities greatly.
Moving the radiator created a lovely bit of SPACE.
The other day I popped round to my favourite junk shop (a proper old junk shop which is full of junk...the one where I got my old trunk from...yes, that one).
Outside was a chair....
I do not need a chair....
I had only just created a bit of SPACE.
Chair was £2.
I went home.
I do not need a chair.
Saw the SPACE at home.
Oh,  a chair might fill that bit of space nicely.......

Chair just needed a little bit of freshening up (I don't think that this is the  pastel shade from that book is it  Hen ?)

I managed to add a few bits in....Clock bought from Greenwich Market circa 1989....was one of a pair but at 14.99 I could only afford the one at the time....used my bus money to pay for it...kept perfect time ever since.

I have also managed to go back in time...!

I am rather partial to a nice bit of crochet...

Vintage crochet post coming up.....

Artful display.....................

  There is still SPACE....just not so much of it.
We shall call this colour 'Bird Cage Blue'  - ha ha

 I am trying hard to be a minimalist

Sadly junk shop had two of these chairs.....and I wouldn't wish one of them to be lonely.....

 £2 for an Ercol chair -  it was cheaper than firewood!

I know that I have gone about this before but my NUMBER ONE reason over the decades for buying vintage/aka (and better known as) 'second hand/used/damaajed/shop soiled' goods is that they are either  CHEAP or CHEAPER than new. There is no doubt that DIY and second hand has resulted in us savings thousands of pounds over the years.  Whilst we/I can now afford to relax the grip on the household budget old habits die hard (I STILL have only the one pair of shoes....but I have a few tablecloths...).    Second reason being is it usually well made.  Third reason is that it is often unusual...I like to be different. Fourth reason is that it just makes sense.

 My sister Gail tells me that car boots and junk shops in my area are much cheaper than in her neck of the woods - that of course is my undoing.....but, as I have consistently spouted here, saving money on X means that I can spend money on Y.

Let us to the maths here - simple schoolboy stuff - where 'V' is vintage and 'mc' equals money/change, square that and of course it results in : V = mc2 

Please apply the 'Theory of Spending Thriftily' - V = mc2 (Pat. Pending) whenever and wherever you can **!!

 My name is Jenny and I am trying to be a minimalist......

PS:** Unless you see something really lovely.... that you know you might never see again..... in which case you can merrily justify the expense to yourself in that convoluted way of thinking that we/I have....."Well I only spent £2 on a chair so surely I can spend X on tablecloths Y"....

PPS: Writing book as we speak.......

PPPS: TV series in progress...

PPPPS: Holding off blogging for a while as I feel I am getting a bit boring: 'Oh here is another beep, beep bag', 'This is a tablecloth', 'Here is car boot treasure'. YAWN. A bit like the SWAMP of magazines and books on making stuff and 'crafting' - talk about cashing in...leaping onto a band wagon...  I don't buy magazines much anymore but recently decided to splash out a hard earned 4.99 (could have bought two and half chairs with that money - momentary lapse in the THEORY OF SPENDING THRIFTILY!!!) on what seemed like a nice one the other day.  It was wrapped up so that I could not scan insides - I stupidly thought that would indicate NEW ideas beyond my imagination.  WHAT A WASTE OF MONEY THAT WAS.   It is all getting very samey, some ideas are just plain DAFT and in fact very similar to all that stuff I was making back in the 70s !!!!  I will direct you back to this post here to illuminate you further on my thoughts about such matters.   If I am boring myself then I must be boring the pants off you too.  Thinking of re-inventing myself and coming back with an entirely new theme. Also don't like the fact that I have not got the time to visit your blog  and that then becomes too one-sided and expecting everyone to LOOK AT ME....I don't like that either..if you are kind enough to read this then I should be kind enough to read yours....reciprocity Timothy!

PPPPPS: 'We did not realise that you were so sour Jenny...'

PPPPPPS - got that off my chest

PPPPPPPS - we are all different....

PPPPPPPS - I may delete this......

PPPPPPPPPPPS - I will calm down shortly

PPPPPPPPPPPPPPS - Need my breakfast............

A mountain of other things in the world to worry about