Thursday, 1 April 2010

Sewing Love

I must surely have written many posts with this title (in fact, I'm getting a bit short of titles), but it's true, after a week of activities away from the Den last week, I am loving being reunited with my stash again. A timely email reminded me that we are now one month away from the next Vintage and Handmade Fair - as they say,"the original and the best".

It's a busy time for us stall holders but a happy one too. So I thought I'd better pull my finger out with only about ten days remaining until the Fair after the Easter break.

I've been a busy Hen! I thought I'd take some snaps to show you what I had been making, and would take them in our guest room on the back of the house which was getting all the lovely sunshine this morning. I open the door, (doors are usually kept shut to keep the furry friends out,) ah yes, it's nice and bright in here, and head back to my Den to pick up my camera and goodies to photograph. Who would have guessed?

Ah, marvellous, says Charlie Boy, what could be nicer than a sunbathe whilst nestling on this cosy eidy? Perfect.

The last time I visited the Bicester Outlet Village, I was chuffed to pick up a gorgeous Cath rosey sprig bedding set. The only one they had was a double but it was a good buy, too good to resist, so I bought it for the guest room. I bought the gorgeous vintage embroidered pillowcases from Marti at the Country Living Fair last week. Oooh, I could move into that room myself!

Another lovely goody I have been wanting to show you was a present from my friend and swap pal, Vanessa: this divine Fair Isle hot water bottle cover. Isn't she clever, she knitted this for me herself. The colours go beautifully in this room.

Ummm, well I like it. Purrrrrrr.

Sewing then? One of my super customers was so pleased with her first vintage fabric patchworked cushion that she asked me straight away to make her another. I confess it has taken me a while to get round to as they are quite a labour of love, these cushions. I like to face all my sewing projects fresh and full of enthusiasm for the task in hand, all it sometimes takes is a little break away doing something else and then I am raring to go and loving it once more.

As I had to cut out hundreds of squares to make Louise's cushion, to get the necessary eclectic mix of fabrics, I had lots left over. More cushions then.

These two are a very generous 20" each and so are patchworked with love and care from 100 little 2.5" squares on each front panel!

With some smaller sets of squares, I've made this little trio of cute patchworked cushions, the centre panels are all gorgeous vintage fabrics from about 1930-1950, as with the larger cushions above. I've edged them with a cute polka dot fabric and they make lovely little scatter pillows or maybe brooch cushions. Loving the colours - so Spring-like.

Hmm, they do look nice together...

These goodies will all be accompanying me to the Vintage and Handmade Fair on 1st May (except Charlie Boy!)

I thought while we were in this room, I'd show you my little collection of thrifty treasures which have found a home in here.

A while back I saw a lovely Lloyd Loom-style bookcase on Clare's gorgeous Vintage Home website but it was already reserved. I had not seen one before so imagine my delight when I then go to eBay and find the very same thing - only this one was pink! Many dealings and much snowy weather later, the pink bookcase lands in the HenHouse and has waited patiently for a bit of love. Was I going to put it in our ever-waiting-to-be-decorated bedroom or maybe I'd take it to the cottage instead? In the end, it lived in the hall getting in the way then I shoved it in the guest room and thought - a ha, it actually looks quite good in here! We have a reclaimed Victorian fireplace to put in here but until we do, the bookcase is cheering up the space.

It has become a little landing place for treasured bits 'n' pieces. It isn't full as I want to add to it when I see things I really love rather than just filling it for the sake of it. Now I do really love all those 1950's toiletry sets and have collected a few over the last year or so. This is my latest acquisition; it is missing some of the contents but I don't mind about that. The gorgeous crocheted mat was a present from my thoughtful friend and customer, Barbara, (along with some of the other items on the shelves). I like that my shelves also remind me of special people.

Another divine toiletry set is on the top shelf along with some shoe stretchers and a little booklet from Niki's shop, a lovely vintage Vernon Ward print given to me by Vanessa, a cup and saucer from my sister and a posy from my mum. Hmm, I'm doing quite well for gifts!

Underneath, is a cute set of "sugar mice" soaps from my lovely friend and customer Louise, a fan I found in a charity shop in Shepton Mallet (when I was buying the teacup and saucer from Niki's shop), another thrifted bath cubes set, another unusually and prettily shaped posy from my mum (Christmas present) and some dinky bath bombs from Cologne and Cotton. Oh and the Beswick greenfinch caught my eye in an antiques and collectables shop near to the cottage.

Lastly, I have another toiletry set (it should have 2 soaps instead of one of the talcs), a set of little Penhaligon's floral perfumes (a present ages ago from my sister Mandy), the pretty little china pin dish and vintage-style lip balm from kind Barbara, and finally, a little birdy bought in the sale from Cologne & Cotton.

I thought I would also show you a couple of favourite photographs which sit on the mantelpiece. They are of my mum as a little girl, I'm guessing she is about 7 or 8 here (early 1950's then , mum!) Look at that wonderful pram and the lupins growing in the background, a proper old-fashioned cottage garden. Sadly, we have neither the pram nor the doll now. My mum was such a cutie and immaculately turned out, she always had lovely ringlets; I expect the apple of my grandparents' eye being the only daughter of 5 children.

Well my friends, I really must get some sewing done, cushions to finish! Then I'll be able to snap them along with all my other makes this week and hopefully show you those before I sign off for a lovely looong Easter break somewhere exotic, ooh la la!


  1. You do lovely work Hen!!! Charlie looks a bit content. When I woke up this morning the smallest of my dogs ( the Boston Terrier) lay asleep tucked under the blankets, in husbands spot, with her head on the pillow. Can you say spoiled!
    Have a great Easter.

  2. Have i told you i am so excited about the fair?? maybe once or twice...well i am ;)

  3. What a fabby display of vintage toiletries you have!
    Have a very happy Easter and a fantastic exotic holiday!

  4. I love the pretty pink shelf.
    Happyt Easter

  5. Hen, what a beautiful spring like post!
    I love the photos, sweet of you to share them......good luck with making things for the fair, I'm sure whoever buys your lovely wares will be super pleased with them!xxxx

  6. Hi Hen, oooooh how I dream about a beautiful floral bedroom to myself........

  7. Firstly you've reminded me I must book the hotel for the fair!

    Secondly I wish you wouldn't keep showing your Loom bookcase it makes me very envious!

    And thirdly have a wonderful Easter weekend!

    Victoria xx

  8. Hen, I NEEEEEED that bookcase! xxx

  9. You guest room is lovely!! I adore all the cushions!! Sadly I remember those toiletries sets!!! Bath cubes, soap and talc!!!
    Happy Easter to you.

  10. Lovely, lovely cushions my sweet. I look forward to seeing them in the flesh (if they last that long!)

    I have some vintage doll's prams like your Mum's ones, they are gorgeous aren't they?


  12. I laughed when I saw the snap of Charlie!! We have 2 cats and they are so nosy that you can't "sneak" about to do anything without them checking it out first...LOL My SIL has a little plaque hanging on her wall that says, "If you want the best seat in the house...move the cat." So true :)

    Love, love, love all your handmades and collectibles :)

  13. Love the cushions, the smaller ones are too cute. The bookcase looks lovely. Happy Easter.
    twiggy x

  14. Hi Hen! Loving all your 'makes'...what a busy girl you've been! Just wanted to say that sadly I will not be at Totnes Fleamarket either tomorrow, Friday or Saturday as planned :-( Unfortunately the weather is not playing very fair at the moment, giving heavy rainstorms and I can't risk my stock getting a soaking! I will be at Homespun, inside thank goodness, on Monday though!
    Wishing you a very Happy Easter and will see at V&H if not before!
    Love Amanda (Shabby Chick) x

  15. Love the patchwork cushions, especially the smaller ones. Just the sort of strip patchwork I like to do. My last effort was a king size quilt all in shades of blue and I love it so.
    Happy Easter :)

  16. Lovely bedding. I made some teddy bears from the same CK fabric :)

  17. If Charlie's not going to the fair then I won't!!!
    Just found out I've got a lift!!! You're right it is the best but soooo far away :( I've been trying to set up the Exeter fair for 3 years ...finally I've done something for people in the Southwest who can never get to all these wonderfull things.
    Love the cushions....they look really fiddly. Enjoy your Easter break....where are you going this year? :) x

  18. Beautiful cushions Hen,little works of art!
    Your guest room is so pretty and cozy, wouldn't mind a few nights booked in there myself!
    Happy Easter to you!
    Rachel x

  19. Hello Hen, I just want to say how much I've enjoyed your blog. I've been lurking in your lovely blog for some time now and you've encouraged me to start my own blog, to showcase all the yarny and stitchy goodness that I love to make. Thank you for the inspiration.

  20. Oh, I have died and gone to cushion heaven. My eyes are feasting on your vintage patchwork. Is it possible that one might appear in your shop any time? I have a birthday approaching fast


  21. Love your patchwork cushions - you choose such beautiful fabrics!


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