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

7 Responses to “Serendipity”

  1. Vickyon 13 Aug 2007 at 6:24 pm

    Wow Claire that dolls house is absolutely amazing! It’ll be beautiful when you’ve worked on it.

    I just wanted to say too that the craft group has been really motivating, especially seeing all of the lovely things you make which makes me want to practice my craft stuff and get better. I’m so happy you taught me how to crochet, I don’t know how I lived without it before! :o ) he he

  2. Anna-Lisaon 13 Aug 2007 at 8:03 pm

    Its great that everything is now working out for you and you have a much nicer job.

    Your neighbour Edie must think a lot about you to give you some of her treasures. I bet that between you and David you will do a great job on completing the Dolls House.

    I practiced some crochet at the weekend and I think it has actually improved. See you on Wednesday x

  3. Pamelaon 14 Aug 2007 at 3:22 am

    You’re storming away with this blogging lark! The doll’s house is a real treasure. It’s lovely to see some pics of it, having heard you talk about it, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how you finish it! You’ve made great progress with your patchwork, completely put me to shame. I’ve done nothing with my decorations since last Wednesday – I’m really loving our craft group too.

  4. Samanthaon 14 Aug 2007 at 9:53 am

    Hi Claire,
    what a generous next door neighbour you have!

    Such beautiful items – you lucky thing.

  5. Faye 'Country Chic'on 14 Aug 2007 at 2:45 pm

    Hi Claire,

    You lucky lucky girl! I love all your finds, especially the buttons, having a bit of a vintage button obsession going on at the mo. I really do wish you were my sister also, I just love how creative you are. I’m really glad life is looking up for you now, and thanks for the kind comments on my blog when I was feeling blue. When I come to see Rach next you will have to show me all of your goodies :)

    Take care

    PS send my love to Rach

    PPS, Claire please could you show me how to crochet when I see you next.

  6. Miss Paulaon 14 Aug 2007 at 7:47 pm

    Claire, I saw you on Turkey Feathers and since you are new and I am kinda I am here to say Welcome! I love to embroider also! I am taking a little break because I am not motivated at the moment. Your work is pretty and I love the picture of your kitties!!

  7. sarahon 15 Aug 2007 at 9:50 am

    wow thats a nice dolls house, lucky you.

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply