Thursday, 17 December 2009

New House

We are in our new house now, it has been two long weeks of packing and moving, but we are nearly there, a few more things to move at the weekend, like the sofa, and then we are all done.

I have been trying to sort some stuff, particularly the items we had in storage, but there is so much to do. I made some progress yesterday by putting all the utility room items in the utility room and finding plenty of shelves to put them all on.

I made up some of my new Ikea purchases, a table for my craft room and a bookcase for the kitchen. We still need to make our new bedside tables and I have one of our existing bookcases to put back together.

We are not having a real tree afterall, just my tiny artificial one so all the decorations I have made are now hanging on the kitchen cupboard doors.

I am looking forward to getting things sorted and being able to start making some things for the new house.

Friday, 27 November 2009

More Christmas Decorations

I made some more Christmas decorations last weekend. My mum sent me some pieces of Christmas fabric, I now have loads of lovely patterns to play with, I should really do something patchwork to make best use of them.

I have made some padded felt hearts with Christmas fabric on one side. They looks really lovely, especially the ones where I have embroidered the fabric with gold thread. I love playing around with some hand sewing making small things like these hearts, but I should really get back to making some Christmas presents or I will run out of time, especially as we should be completing on our house on the 2nd December.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Christmas Wrapping and Decorations

I have been wrapping Christmas presents. I think that they are looking lovely considering they are wrapped in a random selection of used wrapping paper and tags made from old cards.

I have made some more Christmas Decorations today, a yellow bauble edged with gold beads, not quite as round as it should be!

These square decorations are made from some printed fabirc, I have stitched some of the gold lines with gold thread.

I have had time to do a little baking as well, some tea cakes, a chocolate cake with cherries on top, and some chocolate muffins.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Christmas Decorations

These are the first Christmas decorations I have made this year. I thought I would start with some felt ones, I had a look on Folksy to see what other people were doing, (I have no intention of selling these) there are some lovely things being made, I especially like some of the ceramic decoration I have seen.

We should be in our new house by Christmas so it would be lovely to fill it with homemade decorations. I have a lovely advent calendar wall hanging I made last year, and my husband said he would make some paper chains, I thought we could use magazines for these.

I really want to have a recycled Christmas, I dont think we will need to buy and wrapping paper or gift tags, I saved loads of paper from last Christmas and used last years cards for tags. I am going to look out in charity shops for some nice baubles (I am hoping for a big tree this year, I normally use my 3 foot tall artificial tree, it wont be big enough for the new house). Unfortunately with buying the house we haven't had enough money to buy presents that are as ethical as I would have liked, one year it will all come together and I will have my idea of the perfect 'green' Christmas. 

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Postcards From Penguin

I just had to buy this when I saw it. A book shaped box of 100 postcards featuring Penguin covers. The perfect companion to my Penguin Donkey and a must for a book lover who loves anything book related.,,9780141044668,00.html?id=email&link=postcards

Tuesday, 3 November 2009


We are buying a house! While that does mean lots of boring things like mortgages, solicitors, packing and actually moving, it also means looking at wallpaper, reading lots of Elle Decoration and planning where all the furniture should go. So far I have picked out the following things for the living room.

Sandersons Dandelion Clock wallpaper

Ella sofa from Habitat, the fabric colours go very well with the wallpaper and will create a lovely retro look.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Knitted Kokeshi Doll

I knitted this lovely Kokeshi style doll as a present for my sister who loves Japanese things. I found the pattern on Flutterby Patch's blog. It is basically a simple tube, but with clever embroidery and the cute little hands it looks like a much more complicated pattern.

I made a tiny flower to add to her head to give her a bit more detail, rather than the top knot in the original pattern.

She is so cute I will have to make myself one now!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Habitat Hen

I bought myself a retro hen from Habitat today. This object is ceramic with a matt white finish, it is a reproduction of an original 1970s design.

The hen looks really good with our other retro and vintage items, it is shown here with (L-R) our Holmegaard Gul Vase, a handmade vase from Ikea and a Hannah Turner ceramic bird.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Penguin Donkey

For my 30th Birthday my husband has given me a very special present. It is a Penguin Donkey, this little bookcase combines my love of mid-century design and books.

A Penguin Donkey is a small bookcase that was first designed to hold the new paperback books in 1939. My one is the second version designed in 1963 by Ernest Race. In contrast to the original design this bookcase is white and features a flat top so it can be used as a table as well. The bookcase became known as the Penguin Donkey because it has panniers and four legs.

The bookcases were and still are, made by Isokon. Mine is an original example, but reproductions are available. 

I will enjoy finding vintage Penguin books to fill it up, although I do have quite a few already. It is also a good excuse to collect other Penguin books related items.


Monday, 14 September 2009

Successful Shopping

I had a very successful charity shopping trip last week. It was nearly my birthday and being about to turn 30 I felt I needed some treats. First I found some lovely yellow Debbie Bliss merino aran yarn.

Next I found a silk Prada shirt, I really liked it and thought I could wear it for my birthday outing, however it was a really warm day so it hasn't been worn yet. I think I will wear it out to dinner tonight.

Finally, and this is my favourite, I found a Radley bag. It is just the right size to use for work and has loads of useful pockets. It doesn't photograph very well though.

I hope my luck continues for some post birthday treats this week.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Viners Party Dishes

We went to an Art Deco Fair yesterday, we went mainly to look at all the pretty things, we know we can't afford to buy anything. However, we did find something we could afford, this wonderful boxed set of Viners party dishes.

I love the box 'for daytime and gaytime'

The serving suggestions all look very 70s and not very appetising.

The pattern on the glass matches our Viners Studio cutlery and this set came with some tiny forks, like our cake forks. We had to have it.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Festival of Quilts - The Shopping

I was rather excited by all the wonderful stands, there was so much fabric to choose from I didn't know what to do with myself. I was very good and decided not to look at books or other items that I could easily get online or in craft shops. I was there to see the fabric and was not dissappointed. I had a really good look around and decided on the most expensive items that I wanted to buy first then I was able to get lots of other little bits as well and should be able to make some really interesting projects. 

I have six red fat quarters that all go together, I am planning to use these to make some cushions for the bedroom, I want to try some different patchwork techniques.

I have a gorgeous square of red batik fabric with black elephants on it. I have always loved elephants and couldn't resist this fabric. I will probably use it to make a cushion and keep the piece whole.
I have some lovely fabric designed by Paula Ozier, all her ranges come in sets of five patterns, I was tempted to get a whole set, however some of the patterns are quite large and wouldn't work with the smaller items I like to make. In the end I went for two patterns from one range and three from another. I love the hearts and stripes designs, these were the ones that attracted me to her stand in the first place, I then noticed the gorgeous elephant designs and had to have both, good job she had a special offer on when you bought five fat quarters, I didn't bad feel buying so many.

There was a stall selling half metres of Japanese fabrics for £3, it costs about that to get some of them as fat quarters. I bought two pieces, one with little snails designed by Heather Ross, that I had seen in Sew Hip and one with lovely owls on it. I really wish now that I had bought more, they were such good value for money and there were so many other designs I wanted. I only had enough money for a couple which was probably a good thing.

I bought four pink and brown fat quarters, they were very good value at £4, I am not sure what I am going to do with them yet. I also got two rolls of four fabric squares, one has some deep red and gold fabrics, the other has some sewing themed ones. I will use these for small projects, perhaps pin cushions and needle cases. The other items I bought were all scrap bags including some Amy Butler, Japanese fabrics, and Kaffe Fassett. I am looking forward to using these little pieces in my projects, and getting insipration from them.

I think I did very well with my money, I could easily have spent ten times the amount I did, it would have been so easy to buy everything I loved, I am glad I had something to limit my spending as I don't have room for too much more fabric.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Pretty Things from Plumo

I have discovered a wonderful new shop Plumo all the items I have looked at are gorgeous and the items I have selected would fit very well in my craft room.

I love this box, so cute and full of lovely things I also love these crochet stools.

These dolls are so cute, I especially like the doll pattern in the knitting.

There are many other lovely things including clothes and jewellery.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Festival of Quilts - The Quilts

I went to the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham on the 20th August. My mum paid for my ticket and gave me some spending money as my birthday present (the big 30 is in three weeks). I had a fantastic day out. This post is about the quilts, I will write another post about my shopping.

There were so many quilts to look at I didn't really know where to start or what to look for, other than inspiration. I found it a little lonely looking at them by myself, it would have been more fun to look at them with someone else. I really liked the quilts that used a mixture of black and bright colours such as this one made up of tiny hexagons.

The amount of work that has gone into them all was amazing. I loved the miniature quilts, they were so detailed and really look like someone had srunk a normal sized quilt.

I was impressed by all the other items on display such as these flowers and there were some other amazing creations.

I loved these thin panels, there were lots of them, some in sets that all had a matching theme or colour scheme.

I especially liked this one with all these gorgeous flowers

This was my favourite of all the quilts I saw, I love the shape and the black outlines.

I came home feeling inspired to finish my purple patchwork quilt that I started eight years ago and to try to some new patchwork and embroidery techniques. I know I am capable of doing some more complicated projects, I just like doing easy things and finishing them quickly!

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Purple Jumper

I have finished my purple jumper that I have been knitting for about a month. The yarn is Rowan Silken Tweed, the pattern was from Rowan Vintage Style pattern book.

This picture shows the yarn I used for the jumper and some lovely Debbie Bliss yarn that I bought at the same time, not sure what to make with the alpaca silk yet, I want it to be something special.

Here is the finished jumper.

I think this jumper is going to be quite warm so I wont be wearing it for a while. I think I will make a new skirt to go with it in time for the autumn.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Busy Elephants

One of my elephants has been featured on Bliss Knits blog. The theme was florals and this elephant certainly has lots of flowers. 

My yellow elephant was featured on Blonde Design's blog recently, the theme was yellow.

I am very pleased my elephants seem to be enjoyed by other people, if you would like your own elephant visit my Folksy shop, if you would like a particular colour just get in touch and I will see what I can do.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

New Purses

I have made some little purses from a pattern I designed. This one actually worked first time! They look good and are easy to make. These ones are for presents, but I think I will make some for my Folksy shop.

The first purse is made from Freespirit fabric designed by Denyse Schmidt with a simple white cotton lining.

I have sewn my name labels into the lining of the purses. I love my labels, but most things I make are not suitable for using them. I think they look good on these purses.

The second purse is made from a remnant of corduroy fabric and yellow lining both of which I picked up in a charity shop. The colour of the lining is a perfect match for the pattern on the main fabric. I have added a yellow button to this one, mainly because I love buttons!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Summer Holiday

We went on holiday for two nights to Shropshire, we stayed in a hotel near Bridgnorth. The hotel was OK, but the amount we were paying was good and included breakfast which made the hotel seem much nicer.

On our first day we spent an afternoon in Bridgnorth visiting the charity shops, having lunch, walking around the old buildings, looking at the steam train at the Severn Valley Railway, and going on the little cliff railway. We spent the evening at the hotel having a big meal.

We spent the following day and a half at Ironbridge, there is so much to see and it was all very interesting. We saw the bridge, went to the iron museum, Darby Houses, Enginuity, Coalport China museum, and tile museum. Have a look at this website for more information about the Ironbridge Gorge Museums.

This is me dressed up in Quaker clothes at the Darby Houses. I enjoyed the house as it was full of samplers, tapestries and the craft box and all its bits and pieces of one of the Darby women. The final room was the dressing up room with men's, women's, and children's clothes for you to try on, it was good fun. 

On the afternoon of our final day we went to Sudbury Hall and the Museum of Childhood. We had a quick walk round the Hall, and enjoyed looking at all the toys in the Museum of Childhood.

Sudbury Hall have James May's 'Paradise in Plasticine' garden at the moment which was fun to see.

There was also an exhibition of art work by Takumasa Ono, he has painted a variety of National Trust properties. The pictures are lovely, unfortunately we had no money left or I would have bought a set of postcards.

When we were home again I baked a cake, chocolate and peanut butter as requested by my husband. I made a chocolate sponge cake then put peanut butter and chocolate butter icing in the middle, I melt some chocolate to go on top. It was very tasty.

We spent the rest of the week at home, my husband watched sports and I knitted, did a little sewing, and went shopping. I had a trip to Hobbycraft and managed to almost stick to my list and not get carried away. I didn't have any luck in charity shops unfortunately, I was hoping to have some exciting finds. I also went to Ikea and bought a tray with brightly coloured birds on it. I saw it in Elle Decoration and rather liked it.