Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Anyone for Tea...or Something?

Recently, there have been a few thrifty treasures found by yours truly which I'm finally getting round to showing you. Firstly, a leisurely Saturday mooch in Crystal Palace (where many junk/vintage shops have sprung up) yielded this little lovely...

Yes, it's traditionally a cake stand. The sides fold up so it's a useful piece. And no, I didn't pay £15 for it, a bit of a haggle is all part of the fun!

Secondly, as I was scrunching up the local newspaper for use in lighting the fire (the 'paper is generally too depressing to read), I did have a look at the ads page which lists the local car boot sales. Oh how I am missing the car boots in this dismal weather. However, an ad caught my eye that there was a new boot sale starting up at a local school so on the Saturday, before lunch in Crystal Palace, off we went.

Well, it was a bit of a sorry boot sale, on a bitterly cold day, there were very few cars and at first, I thought there was going to be nothing to interest us but oh no my dear readers, I did not come away empty handed. In retrospect, I think I did quite well.

I picked up all of this china pretty much for a song. I bought this gorgeous pink and gold teacup (with a few other matching bits) from a lovely old gentleman who was so desperate for me to buy it, he kept lowering the price until I said yes! I'm now so glad I did buy them!

He told me he had broken one of the other cups (the handle had come off) but he would throw it in for free (I kind of wish he'd held back on the china throwing!) and it is now a cute little receptacle in our bathroom.

I also bought this plate from him which has an old Royal Doulton backstamp. It might make it into a cake stand but then again, I'm rather fond of it...

The china has been sat on the cutting table in my room, waiting for me to put it away. One day in the course of my crafty endeavours, I was using these little paper flowers (all shall be revealed) and once I'd taken the bunches apart, I popped them into the cup, which happened to be next to me, to keep them tidy as I used them. It struck me how pretty they looked!

I wasn't keen on the wooden finish on the cake stand so it's had a little makeover.

Better, I think.

Now I could have fun using it for afternoon tea...


My little £1 plant that I potted into a pretty teacup and saucer looks cute upon it...

Then again, I really bought it to use for something entirely different.

I bought it to put on my stall at craft fairs, as an interesting way to display my goodies.

In particular, I think these lavender sacks I've been making from my vintage European fabrics shall look pretty.

They smell divine and are filled with lavender from that bloggy lavender expert Sue.

Some are in bundles of three while some are going solo! In advance of the fairs, they can be found in the usual place.

But until it's craft fair time, my eyes are on that cake!

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Hanging in There

Well, my friends, thank you SO SO much for all your kind words about Tilly. My parents have read the blog and all your comments and we're all very touched. You're a lovely bunch, thanks again for your support. I'm sure Tilly is happy at rest now in kitty heaven.

What have I been up to recently with that scrumptious stash of fabrics of mine, then?

I'm finding it impossible to choose between those gorgeous fabrics at the moment so I've been patchworking again.

And yes, you will have worked out that I've given a vintage, patchworky twist to the ever-popular covered coathanger.

That's the back you can see up there which is in a jolly modern polka dot fabric which adds a nice fresh touch, I think, to the gorgeous vintage fabrics.

Of course, not only are these hangers rather pretty but they're properly practical, too.

I'm betting you wouldn't want to keep them hidden away in your cupboard. They've been posing rather delightfully with some of my best frocks in the guest room. Lovely girly fun!

If you have just the perfect outfit to hang on this patchworky loveliness, you can make one your own here. I will be sorry to see them go, though! And of course, if you don't have the perfect outfit, what better excuse to get one!

Friday, 19 February 2010

R.I.P. Tilly Friend

This week we had some sad news when my Mum rang to say they'd had to have their cat Tilly put to sleep. She hadn't looked well for a while, in fact seeing this photo of her which I've just dug out, it reminds me how much weight she'd lost. The vet was very kind and explained poor Tilly had succumbed to cancer but she lived a very happy life, having been rescued from an animal shelter as a kitten, and doted upon by my folks for 16 darned fine years.

The Munchkin very much liked Tilly. In fact, here in the photo he seems to have decided to share his Lego with her! An honour indeed.

So he was sad to hear that Tilly Friend had died. A long discussion ensued about what "putting to sleep meant" at the end of which he concluded, very matter of factly as only an eight year old can, that it is "a nicer way of saying kill". Ahem.

He agreed that he could make a nice card to send to cheer up the folks.

There is Tilly, amongst the flowers as the Munchkin remembers her...

Would you like to see what he wrote inside? I wasn't sure if this was going to make my Mum laugh or cry! (Click the photo to enlarge it if you like.)

We decided it would also be nice to send a photo with the card. Sadly, the world's most annoying printer (that being my printer, by the way), decided it would not communicate, so here, Mum and Dad is the Munchkin in his bid to cheer you up this week...

Happy weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Delicious Dresden

Now where did we leave things yesterday? We were here, weren't we?

My sister and partner-in-crime has recently become rather obsessed with patchwork and quilting. I've always liked it myself, too, in fact I bought this book below at the International Festival of Quilts last year though I'd only lusted over its contents in a "maybe one day" sort of way. Know the sort? Hmm. So, our sisterly topic of conversation at the moment seems largely to be patchwork and all associated things. Time to get patchy then.

I've been hankering for a while after making a "Dresden Plate". In fact, the whole reason I bought the Material Obsession book (fab book, by the way, both in terms of projects and general sewing advice), was because of this quilt...

I didn't honestly fancy making a whole quilt though, not at the moment, let's face it, I still have the picnic blanket/quilty thingy on the go (quilt top finished by the way, the rest remaining!)

What I did fancy was making something with these simply tooooo divine for words vintage fabrics!

Oh Yummy!

So that is what brought me to yesterday's blog post and the photo at the top of this post. We have not a Dresden Plate quilt but...


...well, they are one of my most favourite things...

...a Dresden Plate cushion, of course!

I machine pieced the sixteen individual "blades" in that gorgeous fabric (vintage French/German from around the 1930s-'40s) and used a subtle machine blanket stitch to attach the blades to the cushion front (you would normally hand applique it but I honestly think this looks fine). I did hand applique the dotty circle to the centre and then hand quilted the centre in a star pattern and the edges of the fans with a simple running stitch using a vintage pink perle cotton. Whilst I liked the Dresden Plate on the white cotton background, I think the handmade dotty piping is just the ticket, picking up the colours in the plate and finishing things off nicely.

Did I make this intending to sell it? Am I going to sell it? Oh dear, not again!

Well, Jacky-Ginge likes it (though in truth, I think he is more interested in the eidy which is gracing today's freshly made bed!)


Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Contentedness is...

...watching the dullness and rain going on outdoors when you're safely tucked up inside...

...indulging in a spot of hand quilting...

...stopping mid-afternoon for essential refuelling...

...reflecting on a day well spent...

...looking forward to dinner out tonight with my two best boys and afterwards, settling down in front of the fire to enjoy the chat in my sister's card and my new book...

Hope today is a good day for you, too.

(More on the quilting soon, promise.)

Sunday, 14 February 2010

My Funny Valentine

Well hello my dear readers on this, the day of lurrrrve!

I wonder what is going on in your household today? Has there been a bit of this?

Well, I've had a very busy week. Making those pretty patchwork cushions, entertaining guests and... panicking! Yesterday, we went out for a spot of lunch and having parked in a conveniently situated well-known supermarket, ended up buying a few bits and pieces inside. A very loud stage whisper alerted me to the fact that the Munchkin wanted to get something for his!

So, about 5pm when we arrived back home, I thought, oh golly! Having already sorted out my train-loving other half for the big day, I had left out the Munchkin. I don't think I have ever made anything so quickly, from drafting the design to stitching the whole thing up and squishing it into some tissue paper ready for the next morning! My own surprise earlier that day, had occurred when I was informed that I didn't have to cook that evening because I was being taken out for dinner. Only a couple of hours to sew then...

Something for me? What can it be?


I really wanted one of these...

Look Daddy, look what I got on Valentine's Day!

The Munchkin said a while back that he would like a squishy bunny. I have had it in the back of my mind and had been thinking Easter would be the perfect moment to bring Bunny into the world.

But when I was up against it yesterday, the only thing which came into my head was "squishy bunny" and so instead of getting to it with my Spring-like fabrics which I'd always imagined making bunnies with, out came red, what other colour could there be for Valentine's Day?

I think the Munchy one will have fun with Squishy. She has whiskers sewn down but with the ends left free for twiddling by little hands. Not to mention what every self-respecting bunny must have (and another perfectly fiddly accessory) ...the cutest little bunny bob tail!

I think Squishy (I am informed she is actually called Audrey) is going to be a very well loved bunny indeed, even if she doesn't appreciate being carried by those irresistible ears!

Wishing you love, whatever you do today.