Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Dog days !

Well it's certainly raining Cats and Dogs, everything in the long thin house seems kind of at a go slow ! Things are going on but it all seems to be on the un hurried side, not in a bad way, just in a it'll get done eventually way.
I love days like this torrential rain is a good excuse to take stock, curl up with a book or favourite magazine, sit and crochet or sew, all seems cocooned by the appalling weather outside, the girls ( the chickens), Minerva, Pomona and Rowena , who are usually singing at the tops of their voices are quietly dust bathing in the farthest corner of their run, sheltering from raindrops, the Kittens ( they are actually fully grown Tom cats,but to us they are forever Kittens !), are curled up snugly on our bed, although they would say it's their bed! And even Floyd the Weimaraner, who is very rarely still, who jumps up and flomps around getting under your feet trying to be as near to you as possible, who's bark sounds as deep and menacing as the hound of the baskervilles, who terrifies Mr postman but is the biggest soppiest Weimaraner ever, is asleep in his basket, with his pal Ralph, who at the grand old age of 17 can usually be found sleeping, somewhere.



I can understand why they say animals are good for the soul, perhaps they are not so good for the soft furnishings, but I think a few hairs is a small price to pay for something that makes you smile.


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

By special request!

Hello again, this is much sooner than I expected, but I have had a very nice request to see more photos of the room I have been sprucing up, and due to my scant knowledge of all things blog,this is the only way I could do what I wanted to do. So here they are with a few of the other rooms in the long thin house that fit under the heading of shabby - navian !

Firstly the newly spruced sitting room. The vintage flower paintings are left over from a previous decorating scheme, and the I made the heart picture above the sofa from vintage French love letters and pages from an already broken French book from 1880 something,20120424-165402.jpghref="">;;20120424-165428.jpg20120424-165440.jpg20120424-165545.jpg20120424-165602.jpg20120424-165631.jpg20120424-165657.jpg
The next photos are of the piano room,which doubles as a computer room,I love using mirrors as decoration,and as this room can be dark they make good use of light from the window20120424-170628.jpg20120424-170641.jpg
The rest of the photos show the room at the back where we spend a lot of time, it has a wood burner and is home to my 'fledgling' collection of vintage birdcages, mostly French, also my collection of Emma Bridgewater ceramics, my homemade grainsack cushions and embroidered Jan Constantine cushions, so it is a very eclectic mix, but definitely erring towards shabby!20120424-171227.jpg20120424-171238.jpg20120424-171425.jpg
This last photo is of our front porch door and should be in with the first photos, but as I said scant knowledge and all that, the photos on the wall are actually my Dad when he was a nipper, I love them. />;;
I hope you enjoyed the photos, things tend to change quite regularly here, but the shabbiness is constant, I think it's in my blood, speak soon

Oops I did it again - again!

Hello, sorry it's been a few days,we have had some sad news at the long thin house. My mother- in-law passed away on Friday after a long illness, things here will be a little strange for a while, but I will try to write when I can. On a more cheery note I know I said I had done with getting more toy sewing machines and when I said it I really did mean it! Only I saw this ...

... And just couldn't resist!! In my defence it is rather spiffy,it looks as though it has hardly been used, it has the original cotton reel, it still sews and who wouldn't fall for the cutesy picture on the box, Little Betty Blue, I was smitten! I was so giddy with her that I was almost out of giddiness for the other package Mr postman had left, but as soon as I opened it it came flooding back, giddiness with a Capitol G!

I don't know if any of you read the Dottie Angel blog or visited her Etsy shop,but it is beautiful, full of 'peachy goodness' to coin a phrase, and her book isn't a let down either, I had to order it from America and now it's here and I have only allowed myself a very small peak, as I want to savour it! She just makes me want to crochet and sew all day long and it seems from her photos in the book that we have more than one pair of shoes / clogs/boots in common, very strange! While I have been quiet in the past few days I have not been idle. Folksy goodies are on hold at the mo, I can't seem to get back in the swing what with everything that's going on, but I'm sure I'll start again soon. But I have still been sprucing up our sitting room, all brown furniture has now been painted French grey, cushions have been covered,knickknacks have been re arranged, pictures have been replaced with ones more in keeping with the new shabby - navian ( shabby chic / scandinavian cross! )theme, and the rather hard rush mat we had on the floor has been replaced with this...

So pleased with it as it really warms the room up.Cosy is good right now!
Hopefully it won't be too long until I get back to you.

Friday, 20 April 2012

No sew!

Hello, this morning I woke up thinking it would be a good day to make something completely different, I have been a bit busy making some more things for Folksy and the bicycle bazaar, and since it hasn't stopped raining all week ,  I haven't even had a chance to venture into the shed and look at my bicycle let alone take photos of it I thought I would do something else today .

First things first I needed to wait for a visit from Mr Postman with my new replacement laptop ( a long and boring story ! ), so I settled into our long thin little houses' front room, to await said delivery. Now we have a sunny back room that we normally use, but as Mr Postman has been known not to hang around too long after he has very quietly knocked the knocker, and we then have to traipse to the post office to collect our parcel, (normally 24 hours later!) I thought I wouldn't miss him if I stationed myself near the front door, and that is where making something completely different turned into painting a book case,buying new curtains,and recovering an armchair and six cushions !

Now I must admit that of the above only the book case and a standard lamp base have been painted, in Farrow and Ball French grey, a favourite of mine at the moment, and that a victorian slate topped washstand (where the goldfish tank lives), and tv unit still need a lick of paint, but after a swift trip to ikea (their plain white linen curtains are really quite useful), and a spot of lunch , I have managed to turn a dark room full of non descript brown furniture into the beginnings of a Scandinavian light filled haven .... Well it looks a lot brighter anyway!

Having taken delivery of my laptop I  second coated the book case and lamp and now I am thinking of cushion covers ,Who knows when I find my camera and work out how to put pictures onto new laptop there may even be photos!! but for now it's just words.

Thank you for reading them, see you soon !

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Material world!

Well, it seems so long since we caught up! I have been out and about trying to add to my fabric stash,when we last spoke I was off to buy some fabric to make the vintage style aprons I had just designed. No luck, I don't know about you but local area is thin on interesting fabric shops, we have a huge warehouse place full of quite nice but uninteresting curtain / upholstery fabric and a hobby craft, which is on the expensive side and again very limited in it's choice. So I have resorted to the Internet so things have slowed a little until my goodies arrive,I have all sorts of vintage, off cuts, and bits and pieces, but you know what it is like when you have something specific in mind,so I just had to add to the stash. I have also added iPhone cosies to 'made' list, but have yet to start on the iPhone 4 covers, and have decided to use mainly red, white and blue fabrics- well it is Jubilee year!
I'm also planning some headscarfs, very 50's retro, to add to the 'Blighty' collection, so I do apologise for lack of apron photos but hopefully they will appear soon. Off to the dentist now, passing hobby craft on the way, I might just have to call in to see if they have anything new, or something I missed last time I was there, or just to soak up a bit of 'crafty' atmosphere.

There isn't enough room to swing a cat in my sewing Teddy thought he'd have a lay down instead!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Busy busy busy !

First day back at school after the Easter holiday, and Pumpkin chose 6.45 this morning to mention that she need a piece of material to make a cushion cover with for her textiles class, oh and also some trimmings and small pieces of fabric to make a design with! Having thought we were fully prepared for this morning - I had already sewn all her name tapes into her new school uniform, sorted out the next payment for her German trip and packed her school books last night ! I was a bit miffed to say the least. Lucky for her I have a sewing room full of the very things she needed , and so instead of a leisurely cup of coffee and a croissant, this morning found me ferreting around piles of fabric to find something suitable for a cushion! But as I was already busy I thought I might as well just keep going. So by 8.30 this morning I had prepared two brioche bread and butter puddings, with chocolate chips, and left them soaking up the milky vanilla - ery goodness, a firm favourite , then it was back to the sewing room where I have made four glasses cases for my madebymim folksy shop,

And designed a pattern for a vintage style half apron, with a heart pocket, and frilly edging, which I am now off to the shops to buy fabric for, I would love to stay and chat for longer but I am keeping up the momentum, so hopefully photos of the aprons will follow shortly !... Who needs tea !

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Oops I did it again!

Sorry no blog yesterday,away visiting family,by the time we got home I couldn't think straight let alone blog.There has been a small development with my sewing projects.As you may well of guessed by now I have trouble focusing on one thing at a time,and my multi tasking sometimes leads to more tea less making! But being really determined to get on with things I have made enquirys into booking a pitch at a Bicycle Bazaar! Basically you load as many things as you can make or want to sell into the baskets on the back and front of your bicycle and sell them, it's a cross between a craft fair and vintage fair all in one,the only things that are new are things that are handmade! It looks like a lot of fun,this one will be for the Diamond Jubilee, so it should be a real occasion, and having a firm booking will give me something else to work too, I shall keep you posted on how it's progressing,look out for more photos, including my Dutchie bicycle which I will be loading with my wares! Before we set off yesterday Mr postman visited again with more goodies from Mr Ebay . If you remember a while ago I posted a photo of my vintage toy sewing machines... Well I did it again! I couldn't resist, it turns out the little blue 50's Vulcan machine had a baby sister and two big sisters! I just happened to find them whilst not really looking for them on eBay !

Meet the girls, Minor, Junior, Senior and the Countess, I think there might be others but I am not looking anymore!
While not looking ,I spotted a very cute little,Little Betty,

Already having the 60's / 70's version it seemed a shame to ignore her shabby little self ,so she is now another member of the family.
Then when it seemed that I just couldn't find another reason to buy anymore toy machines I found these,

Essex Girls! I just couldn't leave them could I! A miniature Essex machine which was actually made for the adult market, which became very popular for children because of it's size. The company made thousands of the mk1 until modern looking imports from America meant that they had to change the look to keep up , these little machines were extremely expensive to buy, but when the Japanese imports started after the war they couldn't compete and stopped making them.they really are all so very cute, I like to think of all the little things that were made with them, and they look so cool in my sewing room.
But I really really have stopped looking , I have enough vintage toy machines, I should be using my adult sewing machine, to make more things for Folksy and the Bazaar, so I am off now to be busy,I mean it, no tea and definitely no more toys!


Friday, 13 April 2012

Pinterest help !

Hello again, just a really quick question, I'm sure someone out-there will know, I've just started a Pinterest page and I want to put a pin it button on my blog, I've copied the link and followed the instructions, but it hasn't worked so far, does anyone know what to do, sorry it's such a boring post,I promise not to do it again. ( No Rabbits dress still isn't finished ! )


thank you  for your help. i have now found the pinterest button,and after only a small amount of stupidness on my part ( serves me right for thinking i was an expert of all things computery), i have after a lengthy and in depth process (dragging the pinterest button into my enabled services ! ) a pinterest button on my page ,Yay.

Work in progress

So today was going to be the day I finished my jubilee rabbit ... Wrong ! Today is the day I wake up full of ideas and determined to get stuck into my sewing room to make way for a sewing bonanza , I have a huge want to make list, stacks of fabric,plenty of patterns and lots of enthusiasm . So you might well be asking yourself what is the problem ! Me, that's the long and short of it! Enthusiasm has to be fuelled - in my case a nice cup of tea usually does the trick,so I sit and have tea whilst browsing the Internet and catching up on all your lovely interesting blogs,big mistake! Two cups of tea later I decide to have a look at the crochet yarn I bought yesterday while Husband went to the bank,just meaning to get the feel of it,to see if it will suit making a throw for our sitting room....four granny squares later I decide I really must start rabbits' clothes,perhaps after i have just a small cup of tea! Then Mr Postman brings goodies ,vintage pinking shears, two metres of the most beautiful royal blue needle cord ,to line my madebymim glasses cases,tea cosies etc for my folksy shop (part of the sewing bonanza) and some vintage wooden cotton reels too much of a bargain to resist ! Another distraction. Right this was it. This was the time to start sewing... Kettle on ! Now I really did mean to start,and meaning business I went to get my shoes from the wardrobe, I seem to sew better when wearing footwear ( is it just me ? or do you have to wear shoes to use a sewing machine!) guessed it,big mistake, I could only find one of the pair I wanted, so pulling most of the others out to find the missing one it then seemed silly to put them all back ,especially when I had been planning to get rid of at least six pairs ( I have a collection of Birkenstocks that I can't wear anymore ) but I couldn't bring myself to just get rid, some are still quite new, I know thinks I, I will eBay them ....three cups of tea and six descriptions / listings later and noticing it was well past lunchtime ( coffee this time, and a sandwich ) I finally started to sew ! And now it's dinner time and this is as far as I have got ,

Oh well, tomorrow is another day,time for a quick cup of tea before dinner !

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Huff and puff !

Still busily sewing away to build up stock for my Folksy shop, my Royal Bunny Rabbit is looking a bit forlorn without her party outfit !

Patterns are made and fabric chosen for her outfit but that's as far as I have got ! While searching through my fabric stash to see what would be suitable for a Royal Bunny I came across the last few circles of fabric I had cut out to make a Suffolk puff cushion for my bed. So any excuse to deviate from what I should be doing I thought I' d share it with you all.

Suffolk puffs are a traditional patchwork technique, and are very simple to make, here I have used them to cover a cushion , but they could also be used to make a brooch or to decorate hats, scarves, lampshades, blankets,etc, I have made this one into a brooch, but it could be pinned to lots of things,they can also be sewn together to make necklaces.


20120412-095418.jpgUsing different weights of fabric they can be used for lots of different occasions, Chiffony types of material make very romantic looking puffs, while using vintage fabric and buttons would give a funkier feel, the best way is just to experiment,why not use leftover fabrics from your sewing projects to make matching brooches or headbands!


Draw a circle onto some card slightly larger than you want the puff to be , it can be any size you want, use this template to draw around onto your chosen fabric, I use 3 graduating circles, to give 3 layers of fabric , but you can use more or less, one little puff and a button centre is cute !


Sew a row of running stitches slightly in from the edge all the way round.



Pull both ends of the thread until the circle is completely gathered, like a little shower cap ! Then secure the thread with a double knot or a little stitch to keep it from ungathering. Et voila ! A Suffolk puff , make 2 smaller puffs and sew together using a vintage button, you don' t have to use a button you can just leave it gathered. So hope you have fun making puffs , they really don't need a lot of huff !

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Presents in the post !

As I write the beautiful sunny morning has just turned very grey! I think more rain is on the way,but the Postman has just delivered a batch of goodies from Mr Ebay ! So I am very happy, I couldn't resist these when I saw them, I had no intentions of buying childrens' clothes patterns ,but they just looked so cool! I especially like the pictures on the French patterns, even French children look sophisticated, so now I am beginning to think perhaps a few funky retro little girls dresses for my Folksy shop, I do not know any little girls that these patterns would fit, ( my little girls are 12 years, 24 years and 27 years ! ) and it now seems a shame not to use them, although I think the French patterns are a little too difficult to follow, but will make awesome pictures for my sewing room .


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Who said string is evil !

Sorry I haven't blogged, Easter got the better of me , along with too much chocolate and a Star Wars film fest ! ( introducing Pumpkin to the delights of watching all the films in one day ! ). My time hasn't been spent entirely frivolously watching films and munching chocolate, I also managed to finished the bath mat I have been crocheting . I have used Nutscene sisal string in natural and blue colours? I have crocheted with other brands of sisal string but I find Nutscene to be the most consistent in thickness and without too many rough bits, they also make their string in funky colours, which are great for contrasting edging or stripes. I have become a bit addicted to crochet, I only learnt a couple of months ago, but I find it quite therapeutic, I use a 5mm crochet hook with the string which I think gives it a nice close weave, I' m really pleased how the baskets I have also crocheted using string have turned out, so much cheaper to make than buying similar from the shops, I use them for all sorts of things,

This cotton string basket I use for sewing bits.

This sisal basket I use for my string!

The smaller red edged basket we use for keys.

Finally the bath mat ! Not in situ, as the bath it will eventually reside in front of is still in our downstairs study, in front of the piano,waiting for Husband to lay the new floorboards in the bathroom!

I also used a slightly darker sisal for a contrasting stripe.
By the way for those of you that are wondering who did say string is evil it was the Goodies! ( a 1970's English comedy act, a bit like Monty Python, but not as good ! Easily findable on YouTube )

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Eggs is eggs !

Sorry no blog yesterday,but most of the day was spent swimming with Pumpkin and friends,then mundane house chores. Trying frantically to finish crochet bath mat as I have decided not to start anything else until I have finished it, hopefully I will be able to share it with you soon! This morning has so far been spent laying out Pumpkins' Easter egg hunt,which, although she is a mature young lady of twelve years, she emphatically denies being too old for !

The hunt begins,bunny mask is essential for a good hunt!

I spy something lurking in the wood shed!

Surely these eggs won't be chocolate?!

A quick detour down the garden,not all the clues are easy.

I think I've got it!

Hurrah , I found them !

Happy Easter .