Friday, 24 December 2010
So, today is Christmas Eve and I've still got presents to wrap and food to sort out - but I'm not really stressing about any of it. Christmas for me is about relaxing and enjoying yourself. We've got a very quiet day planned, just me and my husband, our gorgeous girl and my Mum. We're sure to raise a glass to my late Father, he's always in our thoughts, especially at this time of year.
I've had a fantastic 2010 watching my daughter grow and finding my crafting feet again after the initial shock of early-motherhood! The past few weeks have been pretty hectic sales wise after being featured in an Etsy finds email - there are lots of lavender owls and rabbits winging their way around the globe - hopefully all of them will be in their new homes by Christmas!
So, I just want to wish all my blog readers, customers and twitter followers a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
My Etsy and Folksy stores will be closed until 1st January whilst I take a break over the festive period - see you in 2011!!
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
I'm a huge fan of nostalgia. If there's one time of year where people feel nostalgic, it's Christmas. These decorations were bought out of the loft every single year when I was growing up. The pom pom robins were made by my Mum before I was born, so they are at least 35 years old. They still look in good condition considering their age. It probably has something to do with the fact that we were under strict instructions as kids to never to touch them!
The cardboard gift boxes are also a Christmas decoration from my childhood, they are at least 30 years old. Mum would put them under the tree with gifts in. Somehow they managed to survive years of manhandling by me and my brother, eager to get at the presents inside them.
I now have the pom pom robins on display in my house in the living room and the festive boxes take pride of place on the dresser in the dining room - I think they are too delicate to put under the tree. I think it's lovely for my own daughter to see decorations from my childhood - hopefully she will love them as much as I do and maybe in a couple of years we'll have a go at making our own pom pom robins...
If you'd like to see more of my vintage finds, head on over to my Pinterest board...sharing images of my fabric collection, ceramics, childhood toys and much more...
Thursday, 2 December 2010
We were staying at my Mum's house a couple of weeks ago and I happened to spot the dressing up bag she keeps for my seven year old niece to play with. I had a quick rummage to see if there was anything that would amuse my little girl and I spotted this Clothkits dolls dress. It took me straight back to my childhood and I had to take some photos and blog about it!
I remember my Mum making Clothkits clothes for herself and for me on many occasions in the early 1980s. A parcel would arrive and Mum would unpack the fabric which was pre-printed with the pattern. Looking back, this was probably one of the reasons (apart from the lovely designs) why the company was so popular. It meant you didn't have to faff about with paper and pins and could just get on with the cutting and sewing. I always find shop bought paper patterns a bit intimidating, so Clothkits found a gap in the market for homemade clothes, and very popular they were too.
What I used to love about Clothkits was the fact that not only did I get a new dress, but so did one of my dolls! I remember I used to dress one of my favourite rag dolls in this little number. You can't really tell from these photos, but this dress is only 10 inches long. Yet, it still packs in alot of detail for such a small dress: a sweet little pocket; lining inside the yoke; and a pretty pattern on the needlecord which is different back and front.
My Mum kindly tracked down a photo of me wearing the full size version - I loved that dress! this photo was taken at Christmas time in 1980, I was four years old.
My Mum's also had some amazing Clothkits puppets at her place, I have taken some photos and will blog about them soon!
Monday, 29 November 2010
I wanted to give my blog readers a heads up on my Cyber Monday discount code!!
Add code CYBER15 during checkout on Etsy for 15% discount - now til 30th Nov
Plus, I'm offering free worldwide shipping on all Vintage Fabric Totes and Clutch Purses from 25th October until Christmas Day on December 25th in my Etsy store!
In other news...
I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who took part in the November blog giveaway. I loved reading about your favourite childhood Christmas gifts!
The winner generated at random was comment number 15:
my favorite gift was a quiz whiz - so high tech back in the early 80s!
A Lavender Rabbit will be winging it's way to her shortly!
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
I love finding pieces on vintage cotton, especially double duvet covers like these. There's so much fabric to work with because of the double layer! I bought these a couple of weeks ago, they are in pristine condition and I love both patterns, even though they are both very different.
I always get excited about thinking what I can make with newly thrifted fabric, I think the brown swirls will be sewn into market totes and the purple and lilac floral fabric will become peg bags, but I change my mind all the time, I wont properly decide until I'm stood over it with a pair of scissors in my hand!
Monday, 8 November 2010
I blogged a little while ago about my new vintage fabric lavender rabbits and how they reminded me of my childhood spirograph toy. It kept me amused for hours - who needs a Wii when you can play with a pencil and some plastic cogs to make hundreds of geeky patterns?!
I think my all time favourite childhood Christmas present was my Sindy house. I loved it the minute I set eyes on it that Christmas morning, probably around 1983. My dedicated Father stayed up most of the night putting it together on Christmas Eve!
So in the spirit of nostalgia and with the festive gift-giving season around the corner, I'm going to run a blog giveaway where you tell me your favourite childhood Christmas present!
How to enter
Leave a comment below telling me your favourite childhood Christmas present. The winner will be picked at random on November 22nd.
**If you enter this giveaway, please state clearly your email address, OR your Facebook/Twitter/Etsy username, so I can contact you in case you win**
Up for grabs is a Spirograph lavender rabbit in orange and yellow.
This giveaway is open to worldwide entries, but I am afraid I cannot post this rabbit to Australia due to strict custom restrictions on dried lavender.
This giveaway runs from the 8th November 2010 to Midnight (GMT) 22nd November 2010.
I am also currently offering free worldwide shipping on all Vintage Fabric Totes and Clutch Purses from 25th October until Christmas Day on December 25th in my Etsy store
Thursday, 4 November 2010
I blogged a little while ago about the Birthday Bunting I was sewing for my baby girl's first birthday. I wanted to do a follow-up post with some photos of the finished project, so here they are! I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. It was a joint effort between me and my Mum, we both used different stitches, but I think that adds to the handmade effect.
As I mentioned in the previous post, I wanted to make something that would last for years and become something of an annual tradition. I will stop hanging the bunting out when she's about 23 and can't stand it any longer! Maybe she will love it so much, she will use it for her own children, who knows.
We had such a lovely day on her birthday, we had cakes...
It felt like a huge milestone and I was very proud of her on the day as she soaked up the attention and took the whole day in her stride. This past year has been amazing, a real rollercoaster of emotions, highs and lows. I feel like I have packed more into the past 365 days than I have ever done. I'm looking forward to the coming years, her personality is really starting to emerge...and I think she's going to be quite a character!
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
I submitted a "Reversible Recycled Denim Handbag". It is 100 percent recycled; even the straps are made from an upcycled denim waistband. The bag also has no visible seams, so it is completely reversible, making this two totes in one!
The challenge is designed to showcase innovative recycling ideas using denim fabric. I am so excited to be selected for the final vote! There are some great ideas featured, so take a look at all the finalists here
Monday, 25 October 2010
I'm offering free worldwide shipping on all Vintage Fabric Totes and Clutch Purses from 25th October until Christmas Day on December 25th in my Etsy store!
So that's two whole months of free shipping, perfect for grabbing a Christmas gift (or perhaps a treat for yourself!)
To see my full range, please click here
I am based in the United Kingdom, so if you are buying something as a gift and would like to receive it before Christmas, please take note of the Royal Mail postal dates listed below:
6TH DECEMBER (Airmail) - South & Central America, Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, Asia, Far East (including Japan), Australia and New Zealand
10TH DECEMBER (Airmail) - USA and Canada, Eastern Europe
13TH DECEMBER (Airmail) - Western Europe
18th DECEMBER (2nd class) - UK
21ST DECEMBER (1st Class) - UK
Monday, 18 October 2010
I remember as a child my Mum whipping up many Clothkits outfits on her trusty Singer machine (which incidentally, I now own). Whilst my Mum was busy sewing, she would let me look through her sewing box.
This usually involved me emptying everything out onto the floor and searching for my favourite things: her handmade needlecase; the silver bullet-shaped object that held her pins; the thimbles. Above all I loved to tip out this Bandaid tin which was filled with buttons, mainly red ones as I recall. I never seemed to tire of doing this, funny the things that amuse a four year old!
A few weeks ago I was moaning about never having enough safety pins. A few days later my Mum gave me the Bandaid tin filled to bursting with pins. I'm really grateful she parted with it as it now sits on my shelf and reminds me of my childhood. Is it possible to be sentimental about a tin? Yes, I think in this case, it is...
Sunday, 10 October 2010
I have spent the past couple of days doing a bit of reorganisation in our house. I have always wanted a space where I could leave my sewing machine out permanently. I'm a bit fed up of perching the machine on the side of the kitchen table. So I decided to empty a bureau in my office and move it to the downstairs hallway. I sorted through five years worth of paperwork, old photos, a teapot (yes teapot) and even a teddy bear. And boy was it cathartic! Our recycling bag is breaking at the seams now and I have a huge pile of shredding to do at some point.
I then installed a lovely table thrifted for £5 at a local 'save the church roof' type of affair. I remember the struggle we had to get it in the back of the car. But, I was *not* leaving without it!
Now, I know in the grand scheme of workspaces, mine is right down there at the bottom of the scale, but hey, just having a sewing table is luxury for me! Hopefully some shelves to display my vintage finds will soon follow, few more pictures on the wall and I will have my own little crafting haven...
Sunday, 3 October 2010
My baby girl has had gastroenteritis for the past couple of days, it's not been easy for all of us. We've had broken nights and a growing pile of messed-up sheets and pyjamas to contend with. This is the first 'proper' illness she's had, so I count myself lucky. Plus it will help with her immunity, little babies are bound to pick up the odd bug along the way.
So the past couple of days have been craft-free, but I did start working on a new bag at the start of last week. It's a variation on an old design, I'm hoping it will be something of an improvement design-wise. I also don't need much of an excuse to work with some of my favourite vintage fabric - a piece of Moygashel Pinto in lovely shades of blue, green and purple. I will blog more photos of the end product as soon as I get a chance!
Thursday, 30 September 2010
I have been listing a number of totes, belts and owls in my Etsy store over the past few days. They all have a distinctly Autumnal feel to them (love the word Autumnal, almost as much as I love the word haberdashery).
There are lots of shades of burnt orange, russet red and mustard yellow. I love vintage fabric, but I have a particular weakness for brown and orange hues, which is lucky as nearly everything was brown and orange in the 1970s!
Click here to find out more about the new additions to my Etsy store
Sunday, 26 September 2010
This is my latest clutch purse. It is made using striking and collectable vintage fabric dating from the 1940s. Its hard to capture the fabulous raised detail on this fabric. I hope my photos do justice to the texture and complexity of the falling leaves motif woven through the red background. For full details, please view the listing here