Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Brooching the Subject

Time flies, dear reader! Before we know it, it's going to be the "big day". I think I can safely mention the 25 December now? Indeed, we were presented with a whole loads of gifts at the weekend and it rather took me aback that someone could be that organised!

Meanwhile, I am not doing well on the Christmas shopping front, unless you count buying early gifts for myself? Oh yes, I'm pretty good at that.

This morning, I was super excited to open the front door of the HenHouse and find a couple of boxes waiting for me in the porch, left at some ungodly hour by our friendly postie. One was full of lavender so that I may get stuffing some crazy hearts, the other was a rather delightful vintage goody for me that I'd just been unable to resist.

Fortuitously, it coincided with my having finished beavering away on a whole range of brooches to replenish my little shop. A perfect opportunity for a faffy photo session presented itself, along with a touch of sunshine, oh so welcome after recent deathly dreary days. As such, my gift-to-me could actually be seen as a legitimate business expense, wouldn't you say?

So I have had a lovely few days hand making. Lots of divine vintage fabrics, woolly felt and embroidery silks in mouth watering shades.

I always receive a flurry of compliments on my little clock brooch whenever I wear it so I have made a couple more which I am finding very hard to relinquish! Each of these has taken me over three hours to make as they are entirely hand cut and sewn. They even have their own little appliqued mouse (in lieu of Mr HenHouse's suggestion that I embroider GWR on the face!)

I enjoyed matching beautiful fussy cut patches of vintage fabric with plain cottons and hand cutting those dinky felt flowers.

I had a request for one of my felty heart brooches which sold out long ago and once I started, I couldn't stop! I loved thinking up the colour combinations for these.

An entirely different technique brought about these rather cute and pretty woolly flower brooches, inspired by the spirit of make do and mend, 1940's style.

More of my "cameo" style brooches, this time cutting into a treasured stash of Darlene Zimmerman reproduction 1930's cottons, paired with some pretty fussy cut patches of vintage hand embroidery. Can you make out the little carnations and tiny birds on the cottons?

I like my brooches to be just as pretty on the back and take care selecting ditsy print cottons or felts in co-ordinating colours for the reverse.

Haven't I been a busy bee! And my gift? How do you like my glorious 1930's toffee tin? I just LOVE it. Thank you, Clare, of Vintage Home, for finding the most sublime vintage treasures which I simply cannot resist. If ever I am in need of delightful vintage eye candy, your shop is where I always head.

All of the pretty brooches, and more besides, are waiting new owners here in my Etsy shop. Perfect as a Wintery pick-me-up gift for you, or maybe you can do better than me, and make inroads into your Christmas gift list!

What can I say? The cloth was another gift to myself at the Country Living Fair last week. A lost cause?!


  1. You have been very busy. Those brooches must take such a time to make each one. I like them all but have to admit to having a preference for the 'make do and mend' ones, the little wool bundles are just so pretty. I hope you manage to sell them all.

    I've not come across that make of toffee before, but I've just found out that they are from Leeds and I was born in Wales so we would not have met.

  2. My you have been busy - I love them all, can't wait to see them for real!
    Julie xxxxxxx

  3. They are all lovely Hen....my personal fave would be one of the little 4o's wool inspired brooches! Adorable.....


  4. We have a toffee factory just a few minutes walk away. Its called Walkers Nonsuch and is run by the grandson of the orignal founder and has been in the area over 100 years. We never got tins of toffee at Christmas but a slab that had a little hammer with it. Happy memories even if there were no beautiful tins to treasure years later.

  5. What a busy Mrs you have been!! These are all delightful!

  6. Lovely, lovely posts Hen :o)

    Divine brooches, and the fabrics are beautiful. I really do love your new tin and that tablecloth is so pretty too. There's no way I could have resisited that one either :o)

    Very happy belated birthday wishes to you Hen! Apologies for them being so late, I've been staying up at King College Hosp. with my eldest daughter. I hope you had a fabulous few days away.

    It's been lovely to come back and read several of your posts at once though. They do cheer me up tremendously, and the photos and colours are fabulous :o)

    Have a fantastic week lovely lady, and take care,
    Love and best wishes,
    Donna x

  7. You have been a very busy bee, those brooches are all so gorgeous! x

  8. Only THREE hours to make those clock brooches! It would take me three weeks!..no...on second thoughts..I don't think I would be able to make them full stop.
    Gorgeous goodies there Hen,you always produce such lovely things. :0)

  9. Gorgeous makes Hen, there must be weeks worth of work in that big tinful!
    love the cloth too.

  10. Hi Hen, I came back a few days back, which you will have read by know...lol!

    I missed it!

    Always read your blog....one of my all time faves, as well as Posy and a few others.....

    I love the 40's weekend at Pickering post......you so suit the clothes!

    Love Melx

  11. You've excelled yourself there, they're all gorgeous but my fav is the red pocket watch with the little mouse on, wish I could get to the fair, Lucey x

  12. The Gaythorne tin makes a lovely prop for your brooches. Of course you had to have it!!! x

  13. Your brooches are lovely. The backs so neat and perfectly stitched. Very pretty.

  14. Making brooches is addictive...just one more colour combination...that new cloth is lovely, well deserved gift to yourself, if you get fed up with it, you know where to send it!

  15. Oh, how I love your new batch of broaches each one is prettier than the one before! I adore the tin you've got them displayed in too, it's wonderful!

  16. really lovely - happy pretty colours - you are very patient to do stitches in such lovely detail

  17. I am loving your clock brooches - and my two 'steamie' mad sons would love the GWR version! They are beautiful and I would wear one on my lapel happily!

  18. Please can you tell me anything about the blue china rabbit in your photo? I recently lost some similar-looking china items (someone kindly took them to a charity shop for me - grrrrrr). I'd like to try to replace them, but I don't know what they're called. Thank you.


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