Friday, 22 May 2015

Fun on our handmade upcycled wooden garden swing

My husband made this child's swing from upcycled wood for Magoo last Summer. It's been a firm favourite with our daughter and her friends ever since. I thought it was about time I wrote about it & shared some photos of the project. We bought the wood from Somerset Wood Recycling for a bargain price of £10. They also threw in the two large bolts we needed to attach the swing ropes to the frame.
handmade upcycled wooden child's garden swing
Somerset Wood Recycling is one of our favourite places to visit on a Saturday morning. They have a large warehouse full of wood waiting to be repurposed into new things. Much of the wood is donated and we like walking around looking at the crates, pallets, railway sleepers, old doors and piles of floorboards. Somerset Wood Recycling also sell a range of products made by volunteers and adults with learning disabilities. They have a fantastic selection of wooden benches, deckchairs, tables, chopping boards, garden planters and even upcycled wooden coffins.
handmade upcycled wooden child's garden swing
handmade upcycled wooden child's garden swing
Once my husband had chosen the pieces of wood he wanted to use, he started to put the swing frame together. Magoo helped with making holes to put the screws through. She loved being involved with the making-process.
Once the frame was complete, we attached the swing ropes and seat. Magoo couldn't wait to try it out and it was given the thumbs up.
Once the swing was in place we gave it a coat of cornflower blue wood paint.
This swing is made with upcycled wood which would have otherwise gone to waste. It also really solid and much firmer than mass-produced plastic or metal counterparts. Magoo loves her swing and has been playing on it in all weathers ever since it was finished...
handmade upcycled wooden child's garden swing
handmade upcycled wooden child's garden swing
I'm linking up with the lovely Country Kids #countrykids over on the Coombe Mill blog, Let Kids be Kids over on, #ordinarymoments over on, Image of the Week #IOTW over on, Point + Shoot over on, Trash to Treasure over on

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Vintage Love: Hornsea Pottery school of fish mug

I love a bit of Hornsea Pottery. I blogged about my Hornsea Saffron Pottery a little while ago.
This lovely little mug was designed in the 1970s by John Clappison. He was an incredibly successful designer working for Hornsea, Ravenhead glass, Royal Doulton and Coryfo ceramics. Sadly his name doesn't appear on many pieces, so he's unfamiliar to many, but his work sold in the millions.
vintage Hornsea Pottery school of fish ceramic mug
vintage Hornsea Pottery school of fish ceramic mug
This particular mug features a school of fish swimming around the edge. These mugs come in quite a few colourways, mine is made up of a beautiful olive green and bright pink. In all honesty, I would love to get my hands on more of these. They also come with patterns of dolphins, owls, chickens, elephants and even the whole zodiac. I covet them all!
vintage Hornsea Pottery school of fish ceramic mug
Hornsea Pottery school of fish ceramic mug base

If you'd like to see more retro goodies, head on over to my "Vintage Finds" board over on Pinterest...

Follow Pouch : blogging + craft's board My Vintage Finds on Pinterest.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Book Buddy Review: Doodle and Draw Spots, Stripes and Squiggles

"Doodle and Draw Spots, Stripes and Squiggles" couldn't have arrived at a better time for us. My daughter is obsessed with colouring books and drawing. Her output is pretty phenomenal & I'm running out of wall space to display her artwork. I've had to resort to storing her creations in folders dotted around the house...

"Doodle and Draw Spots, Stripes and Squiggles" taps into everything my daughter loves. The bold drawings appeal to her imagination. But this book is more than just a colouring book, it invites children to create their own patterns and 'complete' the work the illustrators have started for them. I love the way it inspires creativity and my daughter has enjoyed drawing a crowd of football fans, decorated a collection of gloves and brightened up the shells of a group of tortoises. Magoo is learning about patterns and 3-D shapes at school, so this book also ties in nicely with her curriculum.

The illustrations by Bella Bee and Mike Garton are endearing, clear and engaging. I would say this book is better suited to a child who has pretty good pen control, so either on the cusp of starting school or in already in reception. Although as someone in my late 30s, I could easily sit down and happily colour in one or two of these pages.

I think colouring books appeal to many ages & almost everyone loves them. In fact colouring books are having something of a moment in the spotlight (although advocates would say they never went out of fashion). Colouring has been reported to help adults cope with stress and practice 'mindfulness'. I think it also has beneficial affects on children too. Colouring books like "Doodle and Draw Spots, Stripes and Squiggles" help to reduce screen-time, foster creativity and help develop fine motor skills.

As a budding illustrator herself, Magoo's felt tip of choice are Crayola Pip-Squeaks. She uses them nearly everyday and they are still going strong. Crayola Pip-Squeaks are great for little hands and pack a colourful punch.

We really love this coloring book from Parragon and would recommend it for ages four and upwards. Perfect for a rainy day, long car journey or just as a way of relaxing before bedtime. I've got my fingers crossed that Parragon will bring out a sequel soon...

Disclaimer: A free copy of this book was sent to me as part of the Book Buddies Review program. All views are my own.

I'm linking up with My Best Post of the Week #MBPW over on Britmums, Let Kids be Kids over on, Brilliant Blog Posts over on

Friday, 1 May 2015

Simple tutorial for a handmade vintage trim bookmark or journal strap

Simple tutorial for a handmade vintage trim bookmark or journal strap
I've been selling vintage trim in my online shop for over four years now & I love hearing about how people use the trim they buy from me. I also love incorporating trim into my own sewing projects, so I'm always on the look-out for new ideas. I've been putting together a board of 'vintage trim projects & inspiration' over on Pinterest. I've found lots of things I want to try out. One of my favourites is for a handmade bookmark or strap to keep your journal/notebook closed. Really simple to create, but very useful & pretty to look at.
Simple tutorial for a handmade vintage trim bookmark or journal strap
You will need:
Trim or ribbon
Hairbands (I used Ouchless hairbands from Goody)
Large button
Needle & thread
vintage trim and vintage buttons
The tutorial I found on Pinterest uses modern ribbon, but I'm a vintage-loving girl, so I've used vintage trim and a vintage button. I've used a piece of my woven fabric trim in mustard yellow & sage green. I think a wider trim makes a better bookmark/strap.
First cut trim to the length you require. For my A5 notebook, I've used approximately 19 inches (allowing extra for small hems each end). Obviously if you are making a strap for a larger notebook, you will need to use a longer length.
Then fold one end of the trim around the hairband & pin in place.
Simple tutorial for a handmade vintage trim bookmark or journal strap
You can either machine-sew the end in place or hand sew. I chose to hand sew around the edges of the folded over section.
Once that is done, fold over the other end of the trim, pin and sew in the same way around edges to secure & neaten the end.
Finally sew your chosen button onto the front of the end without the hairband.
Once complete, wrap the trim around your book and hook the hairband around the button to secure in place.
Simple tutorial for a handmade vintage trim bookmark or journal strap
And there you go, your handmade creation is now ready to be used as a bookmark or a journal strap.
personalise your journal or diary with this simple tutorial for a handmade vintage trim bookmark or journal strap
Perfect for adding a personal touch to notebooks and journals.
And because they are so simple to make, you can whip up a few in your favourite trims & ribbons.
Simple tutorial for a handmade vintage trim bookmark or journal diary strap
Follow Pouch's board vintage trim projects & inspiration on Pinterest.
I'm linking up with #brilliantblogposts over on and with Vintage Bliss Tuesdays, also Flaunt it Friday on Chic on a Shoestring Decorating blog, Frugal Friday over on Shabby Nest and My Best Post of the Week #MBPW over on


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