Archive for the 'thrifting' Category

Dresser make over

April 14th, 2009

Back again after a break that ended up being far longer than I imagined. No real reason, just a general “meh” feeling I haven’t been able to shake off, combined with IT issues (something to do with blog surfing and then getting the blue screen of death…. RAM burning itself out…. do I sound like I know what I am going on about? If I do, I don’t…..)
Anyway, just cos I haven’t been active online (barely been able to check my emails each week let alone daily, so I really had disappeared off the radar) it doesn’t mean that I have been idle. Think I need to have a bit of a show and tell really.
I also recently started teaching 3 craft classes – 20 week hand embroidery course, a 15 week hand and machine embroidery course and a 20 week mixed crafts course, so I am happily settling into them. Have dates for 5 weekend courses through the summer school, and 3 evening classes starting in September. Craft fairs may have to take a back seat this year, although I have booked to do 5 in West Bridgford, which were consistently good/ at the least OK last year and I have new ideas for the stall. It’s also the time of year again when I am being made redundant – this time it’s the end of May, so job hunting time again. I love working in the Voluntary sector but the funding situation is starting to be a bit boring now – after 12 years of working I have never had longer than a 2 year contract. That’s getting a bit much as this is the 6th time I have been invited to “you’re being made redundant and we have no guarantees as to whether we’ll get more money in to continue with the project/ course/ service….” discussions. Moan over. I’ll find something else, I always do.

My plan is to be on my own domain soon, with the blog and shop all accessible and pretty. That’d mean me getting my act together, but watch this space!

Anyway, the first of the “show and tell”s for you – this dresser is solid pine, but had gone a really manky orange colour, but I can’t complain as it was free from a friend who was relocating from Nottingham to Sheffield, and simply didn‘t have the room in his small and incredibly minimalist flat…. David had suggested that I paint it dark brown, as we have a lot of dark wood furniture. Poor lad was given an “are you taking crazy pills” kind of look. I wanted cream and robins egg blue. So that’s what I got. Couple of coats of satin later and I am really happy with the result, especially as I think the colour helps show off the little nick nacks I have displayed.

I always wanted a dresser with loads of chickens on it, so although this is a small dresser at least I have 2 of my hens (anyone remember Bread?) and my 50′s cock- tail tray for starters.

Not to burn myself out too soon I will go, and now we have some decent light take some more pics of the other things I have been beavering away at recently behind the scenes, and be back soon xoxo

Thrifty finds

May 21st, 2008

Thanks for the craft fair love – muchio apprecio! There’s 2 main things I took form the weekend (apart from cash of course!) and that was 1) how nice crafters are and how talented – if you are shopping for handmade things nowadays you are spoiled for choice – and they’re great for having a natter to – bonus! And 2) I have some great mates! I sometimes feel like a Billy no mates, but this weekend proved me wrong – you know who you are!
I haven’t been capable of doing much since then, but I did pick up the “Millie” cardi by Alicia Paulson I started way back in February – felt it was time I did something for me for a change, so a little crochet with soft wool and a large hook was just the ticket this weekend.
Anyway, I haven’t shown you many thrifty finds recently, so I thought I would remedy that one. Rach scored me some beauties in the blue and white pottery line including the big coffee jug, so I thought I would show you the expanding collection of that. We’re only missing one jug that was a casualty of a cluttered worktop. I also picked these Jam/ Marmalade pots up last week for £1.25 each - I thought they were so cute. I washed them when I got home as they were in need of a clean, but some of the strawberry came away – I thought that they were glazed, but it turns out they are not, and the stawberries are painted on. Never mind… And I couldn’t resist this little cutie for 50p – Victoria Plum was one of my favourites as a child and I think she’s got such as sweet face.
To finish up here’s a gratuitous cat shot - Stella somehow managed to wedge her fat backside in the small space when I removed one of the sideboard drawers to clean it out. Mischief!
BTW I have an interview for the job I want on Friday – hopefully by the time I next post I could have some good news! xoxo

Thrifty finds, but no pictures of my studio…

January 28th, 2008

I know that this isn’t a proper update on the room tidying – well there has been a lot, but it’s not quite finished yet, and I don’t want to post pictures of it until it’s done. I am replacing some of the stack a crates that don’t stack. David is quite happy about that as he can then use them in the cellar for some of the scenery he has for his tiny fighting men. I am replacing them with more of the clear plastic storage boxes that I am in love with. And I need more of them considering what I managed to find on Saturday.

I know that a couple of posts ago I was bleating on about the lack of decent craft materials in Nottingham (and judging from some of the comments, pretty much everywhere else for that matter..)but I really had to take it back on Saturday. I have been meeting up with my best mate Rach on Saturdays and doing a bit of charity shopping/thrifting. Where David and I have moved to is great for that as there’s about 7 decent charity shops on the main road. One of my favourites is the Nottinghamshire Hospice shop, a very worthy cause and the source of many bargains. I headed to the back where the bedding and doilies are kept and nearly screamed when I saw the pile of stuff I wanted. I got 4 packets of the Anchor soft embroidery cotton – they’re really old and none of them have been used. Included were some Anchor stranded cotton so they will go in with my stash. And underneath them in a basket were all these colours of crochet cotton and perle cotton (which I have also used for crochet) - 25p each…. My mate saw me with my arms full, asked the lady behind the counter for a bag for me and held my bags whilst I gathered… The bowl they are in is a large ceramic mixing bowl I got from the Scout shop for £2 (just to give you an idea of the scale). The poor lady behind the till is normally thinking I am crazy buying napkins and silk scarves and doilies reguarly. This kind of tipped her over the edge.

I then got some zips for 5p, and a lovely 70′s hen and chicks pre printed toy thing (there is a word for it but I’ll be blown if I can think of it after a day at work). And this box of cottons, complete with a thimble. Whilst I was paying for all my booty, I spotted another bag of stuff that had just been donated, and rummaged through to find yet more cotton, balls of 4ply cotton for facecloths and a kitsch knitting bag for 35p… I could have got more but felt I would then be greedy (like this isn’t…… Rach justified it by asking how much I would have paid for it in Hobbycraft, and what I will use them for, how many flowers and other bits I can get out of each ball of thread. She’s great like that bless her. Still thinking of going back later this week….. Apparantly when I came out of the shop I was looking quite flushed. I tell you, it was a beautiful thing….

I haven’t spent all my time/ money shoping -I have also spent quite a bit of time crafting, although I have yet to take pictures of them – I have managed to complete 5 embroideries for apron pockets and peg bags since Wednesday, so I am very pleased – will post pics of them later, when I have a bit more time to take nice pictures. And finish the room off for “unveiling” to the world…. Until then, xoxo

There’s no place like home…

December 28th, 2007

There’s no place like home… why, dear readers the heck do you think I would be quoting dear old Dorothy a few days after Christmas? Well, as you can probably see from the picture below – I am wearing a fabulous pair of red shoes. Not just any old red shoes though – the ones I will be wearing at my wedding. Not that I think I will be standing at the alter and clicking my heels together 3 times, of course, but I tell you, trying to find red round toe shoes with a kitten heel (I’m already a couple of inches taller than David and so I don’t want to tower above him…), preferably with a little bit of glitter on them, in a size 8, is near on impossible. Yes, I have huge feet. Yes, I find it very hard to get shoes in the sales.
My Nanna used to say to me that “at least I wouldn’t blow over in a wind” I think in an effort to make me feel better, although I did sometimes doubt her motivation for saying quite a few things. But I succeeded and found the ones I wanted for £15 – what a bargain! Good job really as I don’t have much money to put my outfit together on. Also another reason for making it.

I love these shoes! Anyone who knows me will know I develop obsessions with different things, and you may have noticed that I have a bit of a “thing” for bluebirds… I also have a bit of a “thing” for the Wizard of Oz, and red shoes.

I am also having a bit of a “thing” for being at home at the minute – I have been rushed off my feet this year so much with work, and launching inky and Boo, moving and the rest that life has thrown my way this year, and now I don’t have to be back at work til 7th Jan, so at the minute, there is no place like home...I recorded the Red Shoes with Moira Shearer – one of my favourite films from childhood, so I may settle down later with some crochet and watch it, whilst wearing my new red shoes… Bliss!

Some other sale bargains I got were ( in charity shops) this Carlton Ware bowl filled with buttons for £2, and 3 silk type scarves for £1 each
- these I will be making into bags and cushions for Pinky and Boo – my original idea for Pinky and Boo was bags, as you can read about in my first few posts. However, I have so far not made or sold any bags for Pinky and Boo. I have a ton of them cut out, and some almost completed, so I will be making an effort to get these done as soon as possible to get them out there. I also got this fab book for £2

- it shoes you how to make kites, wigwams, embroidery hoops (why?) and all sorts of really random bits and bobs.

So that is what I shall do – get myself some Pinky and Boo stuff to do, settle myself on the sofa, and enjoy having the house to my self. Hope that whatever you are up to is fun and makes you happy xoxo

Catch up

October 5th, 2007

I do seem to be neglecting my blog of late. Actually it is one of many, many things I seem to be neglecting of late. I don’t honestly know where the time is going recently – think it’s all being spent at work. Thank you all so much for your positive comments – they are appreciated, and when I wrote I was having a bit of a rough week of things. I had made the decision when I started this that it would be purely about craty type things, but inevitably other bits, like life itself, get in the way (how inconvenient!).
Things have settled down to a slower yet at the same time frantic pace. David and I viewed a house last week which was woodchip hell – the owners/previous tenants had put woodchip EVERYWHERE – and I mean, they had even put a tasteful (?!) panel of it on the doors and painted them to match the room. What tipped me over the edge (literally – don’t think the estate agent was best pleased with me that day) was the ceiling fans in every room (we live in the UK for pity’s sake – it’s never THAT warm to warrant celing fans…) and the delightful 70′s dark green shag pile in the bathroom that had been use to create a “sunken bath” effect, complete with clashing wall tiles and polystyrene ceiling tiles which I am sure are illegal now as they are such a fire risk……………… Needlesss to say we despaired after that. I then called on the off chance a small ad and arranged to view last Friday, when we were viewing another property via an agency. The agency property was another disaster, and it was only nosiness that made me look upstairs! Can I just say, that all boy rooms smell if they are living on their own. Don’t know how they do it, but it smelt like a school changing room in that house!!
The 2nd property, however was lovely and we have put our deposit down for it. It’s a 1930′s semi in a nice leafy suburb – far better than anything I have ever lived in since leaving home! Neutral decor, wooden floors, and hug rooms – just the ticket. The nice thing is the smallest room, which isn’t by any standards small, has laminate flooring which is ideal since it will be my sewing room/ craft room/ place I can store all my junk. Then at least if I drop pins on the floor they will stay where they fall, rather than get stuck between the floor boards and stab me or the cats in the foot. The garden is lovely and the landlady is happy for me to grow veg in it (have always wanted a vegetable patch) and she was encouraging me when I said I wanted to have a composter. It even has a pond, which although isn’t any more than a foot or so deep, I am paranoid that the cats will fall into and drown. I am thinking of putting things up the sides, or raising the floor of it, as it has no fish in it to my knowledge, but is a haven for frogs.
The one downside to the house is the lack of original features. The kitchen is lovely and brand new, and you can see where the Aga would have been. The floors look nice as they are stained dark brown and have the original stairs and bannisters in, and that’s about it really. The fire is a really modern one, and the door has had the stained glass removed and replaces, and whoever has had the house for a while built in a porch thing that covers up the original doorway, which is a real shame, but since we are only renting it, I am OK with it all.
Not done much craft wise recently as I haven’t had the time or energy, but I did pick up some vintage postcards in London the other week from a stall in Islington, near the Angel tube station.I have another meeting down there before Christmas so I am hoping to go back there again. I bought these to use as bases for some stuff for Pinky and Boo – bags and aprons.
I have my first public sale in a few weeks – I am taking along a variety of things, and I have realised how much time I need to spend on the making up – aargh! May be a small stall at this rate, but I will let you know nearer the time – if anyone is in the area then drop by – Saturday 27th October, Brinsley, Nottinghamshire – it’s near Eastwood, which if anyone is into English literature, was the birthplace of D.H. Lawrence. If you want to drop by, I can email you directions. Then what isn’t sold, I will stick on Etsy for Christmas.

Better go and do some work now – Thanks to Faye for passing on the Nice matters award – I hadn’t forgotten, and will get myself sorted out soon to nominate some more people!

Have a good weekend xoxo

Drawing breath

September 15th, 2007

It’s taken me ages to get the time to get round to writing something – this last 2 weeks have been crazy at work and I have only had time to check other people’s comments and blogs in what lunch time I have grabbed (I don’t call lunch at 3:30pm, lunch, but that’s probably me being a bit picky…) so as I have finished work again for this week (more 6 day working weeks, groan!!) I thought I would stop by for a quick one.
As I haven’t been doing anything much apart from work, I have little to report on. I was even so tired this week that I didn’t get as much out of our weekly craft group as I normally do – just sat quietly and made daisies for a blanket and sewed some felt roses together to make, dare I say it, more pincushions for Pinky and Boo. One of my friends suggested I specialise in pincushions, but I know that after the initial glut of making them I will get bored with them and move onto something else (mind like a magpie I have!). I know when I get really tired I start feeling really ratty and will argue with anyone, thenI get past that stage and justget tearful. Well after a week of arguments with people not doing their jobs properly, I could quite happily sit and have a good cry. Or I would if I wasn’t so tired! I’ll be OK with a bit of rest and some chilling out…
One thing I did manage to squeeze in for myself this week was a trip to pick up some lovely pottery from Gerry on Realcycle. I know I have battered on about Realcycle before, and at the risk of going overboard I will go on about it again. These were offered a while ago – my eyes lit up when I saw the offer, and shockingly I was the only person to reply to it! I love these, and had wanted to start picking them up when I saw them, planning for mine and David’s new house (where and when it appears) and squirreling things away. Trouble is, I don’t see them very often.

I am totally in love with the vingegar/oil pourer. Symonds Yat – fantastic name. I hadn’t got a clue where it was, so good old Google came to my assistance (in case you are interested, it’s near Monmouth. If you need to know where Monmouth is, Google it yourself!). I got particularly excited about it with the thought of using them regularly, as in “fancy some Symonds Yat for your chips, dear” kind of way. I do need to get out more!!
I actually emailed for them as I was excited at the thought of a Filey egg cup. Growing up in Hull it was very easy to jump on a train and go to the seaside for the day as it was never that far away, and I have some lovely memories of days there. When I was in my final years at school I volunteered with Arthiritis Care, and we used to help on the day trips to Filey. All the ladies we were helping wanted to either be pushed to the sea front, or more likely, Bingo and left to it, as we were happy as anything being left to their own devices without well meaning teenagers hanging around.
Anyway, from what I think will be the shortest post I have managed yet, I will leave you and get back to the chaos! x

Work in progress

August 22nd, 2007

It feels like ages since I have posted – after my initial glut of (very long) posts, sampling the delights of blogging, I kinda dried up a bit. That’s more due to having a lot on, and not having my camera around with me to be able to take pictures of the stuff I have acquired. And that has been particularly fruitful recently. How is it that when you are skint, you see some real bargains? I cannot resist a charity shop, and luckily I know a few really good ones. I also seem to have “urges”(not those kind!) to go into shops, and when I have I have managed to find some real bargains. Take this for example -

This vintage peach cut glass dressing table tray was bought for the princely sum of 10p. I am not kidding. Now, although I have a dressing table my set is green, with lots of mismatching trinket boxes and dishes. The peach will not be making an appreance on my dressing table, but I will use it to display some of the things I have made, andwill be nice for sorting beads on, as it has a small lip all the way round to stop them rolling off. I will find some use for it – even standing a plant on it – for 10p I could not resist.

Then this:

for 30p. Yes, charity shops do still have those kind of prices – you just need to know where to look and go when you are being called! It’s a daisy maker, and I have been looking for one for ages, after buying a Golden Hands book for 10p on holiday, that showed a lovely quilt made up of nothing but daisies crocheted together – so pretty.

I do love the instructions – how to be creative. It should be serialised and put into one of the part work magazines that no one manages to collect because newsagents stop stocking it. Like you can learn how to be creative. I feel everyone is creative, just lacking in confidence in their abilities. I also love this woman’s expresison – she’s shocked that her top has daisies on it. Either that or she has really bad wind….
Daisy makers were big in the 70′s when there was a lot of interest in crafts, and then all of a sudden you couldn’t find them anywhere. This was in the middle of a load of knitting patterns, and had the sheet from the magazine, and the daisy maker hadn’t even been made up. Made a few to practice, and I will make these into a baby blanket to sell in my Pinky and Boo shop (when it is eventually set up).

Speaking of Pinky and Boo,I thought I would show you some of the things I have been making for the shop – pincushions galore. Not all of them are finished, but I have made quite a few. Well, about 50 or so….

I think they look better like this though

- much nicer. Some of them are nice and squishy, some have lavender in them so when you push your pins in it releases the smell. They are made either from vintage fabrics, or new fabrics that are vintage inspired, and all have wool felt leaves and crocheted flowers, often made from vintage threads, such as some lovely smocking threads Susan gave me – they are quite hard to use as the fine hook (1mm) splits the threads, but when they are done they look really lovely with a soft sheen, and curl up on themselves like they are just opening up. They are all finished on the bottom with a mother of pearl button.

One of the other things I have been doing is working on other things to sell, and have been making some “rosebud slippers” from a pattern in Essential Crochet” by Erika Knight – a gorgeous book that Pamela gave me – these will have ribbon ties on them, almost like ballet shoes and are really pretty.

So far I have made a pink pair and half of a pair in a lovely eau de nile colour. The purse I have my crochet hooks in was 50p from the same charity shop I got the daisy maker in. I keep my really fine ones that I make the Irish crochet flowers with in an old wooden pencil box I have had since I was a child – keeps them from sliding around too much and getting damaged. I have also been crocheting some dishcloths for a gift pack I am going to make up for the shop, although I may use the experiments pictured here at home myself.

Another long post, so I will go now and get on with some work! xoxo

Karma, and a corner of my nest

August 15th, 2007

Do any of you out there watch “My name is Earl”? I do – love the programme – Randy is my favourite – would like to go out drinking with him, but that is by the by. Reading everyone’s lovely comments, and thinking about how lucky I have been got me thinking about Karma. I try to do good things for people, and live my life by reasonable standards, and I really think it has been paying off with the kindness and opportunities I have been given. It must be the weather or my hormones at the minute but I am feeling very loved -up, and reading your comments has been a lovely boost to my days – thank you x

As I was ranting in an earlier post about living in rented accomodation, I thought I would share the one corner of my home I don’t mind people seeing. It’s one of the only areas myself and my housemate can control what it looks like, and we are very different. My old room in the other house was the attic, and was huge and kinda odd shaped, which I liked. This room is about half the size of my other one, in fact is the same size as the one I used to have as a sewing room. I decided to cover up the grey walls (why – WHY would anyone paint a bedroom mid grey?) with a lovely turquoise colour, and teamed it with a curtain panel made from an old cutwork tablecloth, and some 50′s curtains I adapted. With all my furniture either being vintage dark wood or painted Lloyd Loom stuff, it looks lovely. Apart from the mess. The photo’s are carefully taken to not show the mess, but we won’t go into that …

If you don’t like clutter, look away now. You can still see some!

Here’s my dressing table – with all my pictures, trinkets and bits that I have built up over the years.I have hooks at the side raided from an old wardrobe to hand my necklaces on. The picture in the middle in the wooden frame is one my dad took at a day out at Swanland, a village outside Hull, where I grew up. It was a favourite day out for us for years, and was one of my dad’s favourite pictures. I will take post the picture itself at another time, when I get my head around using the scanner.
This is a picture I took when I was 13 at Brimham Rocks in North Yorkshire – gorgeous place. After my dad died I put the photo in this frame for my mam, and it used to sit on her bedside cabinet. I love it as it has such happy memories for me. The doily it is sat on is one from a set that my housemate’s mum, Madelaine bought me – so pretty with Irish crochet roses on it. Next to it is my Wishing Troll, waiting to be picked up and wished on.

This mirror sits above the fireplace – it was my parents, and my dad got it from a mate of his in the 60′s. We had it painted gold, and it weighs a ton as it’s plaster. Managed to get the same one slightly smaller for £3 once in a charity shop, and I painted them both silver and highlighted with silver leaf. Much better.The fireplace in mine and Rach’s rooms were boarded up, and hadn’t been cleaned in about 50 years. The carpet was also covering up the lovely green tiles that form the hearth, which we cut away – such a shame to cover them up when they are so pretty. The fans are ones I collected years ago – have some really lovely and very old ones. They are sitting in some cups that were given to me by a family friend when I was little, to use with my dolls – they have cherry blossom stems painted on them.

This tapestry hangs above my bed – my mam did it years ago, and my dad made the frame for it. I have another much larger tapestry that my mam made and dad framed but as yet I have nowhere to put it. I will find a place for it soon though.

Anyway, I realised just how long my posts have been and so I will keep this for me, a relatively short one, and leave you with a picture of the riple baby blanket I finished the other day, on my bargain wicker chair (£5 including home delivery! I have seen these for £40, so I was very lucky, and glad I snapped it up when I did). This picture was taken just before it started raining, so it was a quick dash inside with chair, blanket and cats!


August 13th, 2007

Thank you all for the really positive coments you have given me – don’t know why the heck I was as worried as I was about starting blogging, but then I worry about most things. Then worry that I am worrying too much….

I really don’t know why I get anxious – I have been so lucky over the last few months that it’s only when you sit back and take stock (writing a blog entry really helps you do that) that I realise how lucky I have been. This year has overall been good so far.
Last year was terrible – moved house because my landlord, lovely guy bless his heart died, so we ended up moving into a mate’s house. If Rach and I had been given the opportunity to have cleaned and decorated the house before we moved in it would have been OK. Instead we are still living with a lot of our landlord’s stuff, old and very tired decorations etc. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great chance when we needed it, and our landlord is a mate, and he’s lovely and puts up with no end of nagging from us to get things done. But because he’s a mate of ours, to a certain extent we put up with more than we would have done if it was someone we simply had a tenant/ landlord relationship with. Then there was my job…. Not even going into THAT one – suffice to say I was bullied and undermined every day by my egotistical manager. David found out he was being made redundant, and on New Years Day was told by his mate that he shared a house with that he needed to move out, as his room would become his girlfriends’ extended wardrobe…

Then 2008 seems be panning out a bit better – I started my new job, which I love, and I work with a great team – all slightly crazy, but I can handle that better than if they were “normal”. David proposed to me the night before he moved to London to extend his contract, which was hard for us, but we are through it now and he is now back in Nottingham , which is great. Now trying to plan a wedding and lose weight for it too – aargh!
I think that changing jobs has been a turning point for me. I learned quite a few lessons from my former employers, and learned a lot about myself, and it’s only now with disance that I can see that. I also, as daft as it sounds became so much more creative, and with more vision of what I want Pinky and Boo to be like etc.
I am a member of the local Realcycle network, and through this have met some wonderful people, and have been given some beautiful things, both for myself, and to pass on to others. If you are reading this, Susan and Pamela, then a huge thank you for all you have given me and the support you have shown. Realcycle, and freecycle aim to keep things that still have uses out of landfill, and is a great way of meeting like minded people, getting rid of things and getting new things. (Bit of shameless promotion there, sorry!)

Take this for example – some beautiful vintage suitcases I will use to store my treasured tablecloths and doilies in before the cats have chance to shed fur all over them, from Armorel on Realcycle.

I aired them outside as they smelled a tad of moth balls. Now they have been cleaned and Febreezed, and smell of lavender. One of them still has an old label attached to it. I must be odd as I get really excited by this – probably moreso than about the thing itself….
From meeting Vicky in my new job, and people on Freecycle/Realcycle we have started up a weekly craft group, which has been a lot of fun (only been going 3 weeks, and I look forward to Wednesday evenings so much).
And then there has been one of my elderly neighbours, Edie, who has given me SO, SO much stuff over the last few months, for myself and to pass on to others that may find it useful. Edie used to own a nightwear and children’s clothing factory in Nottingham, and when she closed the factory, she kept a lot of bits. Trouble is, all the years spent doing and making, meant that she is crippled in pain with arthiritis and cannot do very much now. Edie is moving, and wanted a big clear out and I think she liked being able to offload some of her stuff onto someone who would make use of things and appreciate them. Here’s some of the things she gave me this weekend:

Vintage boxes of buttons
Is it me, or do you also find things like this appealing? As soon as I saw them I had a mental list of projects that I would use them on, although I think there’s something really exciting about seeing them all together like this – kind of the waking up on Christmas morning feeling, when you saw your presents sat there, ready to be opened.

Or do I simply need to get out more?

Edie also gave me a ton of patterns, including all the ones she had for her own designs of nightwear, and some industrial threads etc, which I am going to pass on to the local University Fashion school – I feel they deserve to be recognised as part of Nottingham’s heritage, rather than me enjoying them, but not really gaining anything from keeping. She also gave me wool, and an old and rather battered sewing box, that I will do up – she told me to throw it. That’s like asking me to chop a limb off. We don’t throw away! If I can’t use it, I am certain that I know someone who can!

However, the piece de resistance has to be the dolls house she gave me.

The story behind it is her daughter, Christine, loved all things minature. Her son in law decided to make her this dolls house for her birthday, but sadly died 2 weeks before her birthday, which is why it isn’t complete. Edie got it when shortly after her daughter died from MS. Now this has been sat for years, being a very painful reminder of her loss, and she wanted to give it to someone who would finish it.

I forever regret giving away my dolls house to a cousin when I was little – my dad had spent hours wiring it up with lights, my mother making things for the house, and a family friend giving me a porcelain bathroom suite and handmade wooden bedroom furniture (I still have those, I am glad to say) and even though I don’t have children yet, I would love this for myself and any future children I have. It will be a real labour of love and will probably take a goo while to finish it, but I will keep you updated with the progress. David, my other half is fantastic at modelling things, and painting things, as his hobby is Warhammer stuff (leaves me cold, but whatever floats your boat and all that..) so I will rope in him with his skills to make sure I don’t wreck it.

And as it was so sunny, I spent some time outside trying to work on a patchwork quilt I am making
- I am making 4 actually. There is one already pinned together that will be a present from all of us at work to one of our collegues who has just had a baby – Chloe Hope, and 3 others to sell in my shop. The patches are either vintage fabric, including old sheets and some dresses of mine from the late 50′s (cut up years ago – WHY? I ask myself) and some modern fabric, but vintage style. The quilts will be backed in vintage candy striped cotton and machine quilted and hand embroidered.
The panels are of sleeping girls and boys, and are embroidered onto vintage cotton/linen mix sheeting. This will be personalised with the child’s name and applique’d onto the front of the quilt. Will post more with progress.

I had better go, otherwise I will end up gibbering for ages and you will be bored. Will save it for next time! xoxo