Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Catching Up

Hello readers, and how are things with you today?  Let's be English, and discuss the weather.  It's improved, hasn't it?  I for one, am very glad for that.  It's been good to be able to step out in skirts and pumps.  Today, I'm sharing (mainly) recent Instagram shots for all you non-IG'ers out there.

So it's been off with all the woollies and getting reacquainted with all those pretty Summery frocks, instead.

I missed three weeks of crafty Wednesday mornings whilst I was away so off I trotted on Wednesday, eager to catch up on all the news.  I wasn't very organised so I grabbed my trusty hexys to take.  It is really growing now, I say "it" because I'm not sure what I'm really making.  I think I will just keep going, it can be a long-term project.  So far, I've managed to keep all the hexys different and every time I get new vintage fabric, I chop a bit off for the hexy pile.

Stag and Bow ,where the open crafty morning is held, was looking lovely as always, and I was really pleased to see the new workshop timetable in print, with one of my 1940's style posies on the front cover.  Bookings are now being taken for all workshops, including those I'm teaching (which are Patchwork and Quilting, 1940's Posies and English Paper Piecing).  Come, come do, we'll have the best time together; crafting, munching and nattering!

Pascale always comes up with lovely window displays and I was particularly taken with this one, with its 1940's CC41 chair and giant biscuit cushions.  I think I'd be forever hungry!

In preparation for my posies course, I'm working hard on reproducing lots of 1940's posy designs, whether from original patterns or original pieces in my collection.  Last week, harebells.

Taking it rather more easy, have been the furry friends.  Charlie Boy is not yet too bothered by the increase in temperature and his new favourite spot is the thrifty vintage hearth rug.

Jacky Ginge has wanted company and squeezed himself onto the chair in my Den.

Oh yes, I sorted out my stack of English paper pieced star blocks and added those which I made on holiday.  This is a hand sewing project so I tend only to work on it when we're away.  As such, it's very slow progress.  I think I now have over twenty blocks.  Each one takes a day to make from start to finish.  Ooh, I do love a bit of fussy cutting.

It hasn't all been hard crafty slog (it's a hard job but somebody's got to do it!), there has been cake making (and eating) and lots of reading.

Cherry Menlove's new book is an absolute delight.

As is Sarah Moore's.  Serious eye candy.

I started re-reading through lots of my vintage magazines, too.  Mr HenHouse picked these up for me at a flea market.  Oh, weren't those ladies of 1944 so very glamorous, despite the hard times they were living through?  (A fave CC41 pinny in the background.)

One very exciting thing was the start of the car boot sale season, yipeeeee!  We didn't manage to get up very early (I blame jet lag) but there were still the odd thrifty treasures to be found.  Can't wait to make over this one, though I've given the paintwork a good clean and will be keeping the delightful primrose paint and cute transfers.  I can concentrate on the bedding, my favourite bit.

More china and bakelite.  How could I leave them behind?  The pink bakelite pot with the crinoline lady lid came full of the cutest pink and blue hair curlers.  All for £1.  I think my favourite find was the dinky green floral-painted egg cup, though.

On Friday, I had the arduous task of considering which of my quilts Pascale might like to borrow to go into the window at Stag and Bow to promote the upcoming Patchwork and Quilting course.  Hmmm...

I finally finished the scrappy tripalong by sewing on its name patch at crafty social Friday night (another fab free event at Stag and Bow).

And finally, the sun shone on Saturday, making the decision as regards what to wear for our outing, all the more difficult.  Vintage it needed to be...

We left the car at home and let the train take the strain as we headed for Brighton and a fair dedicated to these beauties...

We didn't need another jukebox but they were fabulous to look at.  We could, of course, consider all the other vintage delights on offer, from homewares to clothes to records.

Me?  I came home with a 1930's green biscuit barrel and a 1950's frock with blue roses and a fabby spiky neckline!  It is dead stock, I can't believe I am the first person to wear this beauty, sixty years on.  

After a few glasses of wine, the twirling commenced (I'm wearing a vintage '50s net petticoat underneath).  They don't make 'em like they used to!

Here's to another good week for one and all.  Xxx


  1. Hi There,I really,really love your quilts!!! The hexagons are so perfect!!! I wish I could make quilts like that!!! Love your blue dress!!! Don't fret, it's all coming back into fashion again!!!

  2. How lovely to have you back in good old blighty!!!And you bought the lovely sun back with you!!

    Wish I lived in London so that I could attend your classes-a treat indeed!!

    Loved all your thrifty bits and your tripalong quilt and your new dress is gorgeous!!!
    You have such a good eye!!
    Keep it going Hen!! XX

  3. Argh there's so much to comment on I need a notebook!
    1 Yes warmer weather means gardening.
    2 Found my floral skirts which didnt make it out last year at all
    3 I'm going to start a slow burner epp project
    4 scrolling back up to your post
    5 love the pic where you're peeking over your quilt!
    6 Cherry Manlove..now there's a name!!
    7 I have bought some delphiniums wish me luck!

  4. Wonderful quilts!I can remember in the early sixties having net petticoats and having to stiffen them,with(?) gelatine !I had a 24" waist then!I wonder where that went.

  5. Hello Hen - thanks for another lovely post. I love reading about your sewing projects and your vintage finds... You have a nice week too.

  6. Fun post, fun life you have.. tell me you didn't pass up that Jadeite set of salt and pepper shakers!! We had a nice time at the Oregon coast, we found almost a gallon jar of agates on the beach.. I posted photos on my blog.. you look very cute in the dress! Teresa :-)

  7. Please take a photo of the window display! You've had a right crafty time! :) x

  8. Oh Hen, I am completely coveting that blue rose dress. If you happen to discover a second do let me know! Although it may gave to be a maternity one as baby number three is due this autumn! Wish I lived nearer for your courses, you'll have to do some down in the West Country too!
    Love Rachael The Blue Lady x

  9. What a fabulous froth of frocks - I love 'em! Although at the moment 'I'm strictly at the 'frock 'n' boot' stage - the weather's going to have to get a bit warmer before I get these old pasty pins out x Jane

  10. Amazing photographs and some seriously lovely quilts. I love the blue dress. Your English Patchwork is amazing, slow work but so worthwhile. It is so nice to be able to sit and read through your blog with a cup of tea, a bar of my favourite white chocolate and strawberry fairtrade divine.

  11. Everything in this post makes me happy and a little bit jealous. :) Thank you for sharing all the beautiful things in your corner of the world.

  12. Well, where to start? Brilliant you are teaching some classes, awesome fussy cutting and hand stitching, likewise dresses and as for the Juke Boxes...though I do love the big dome on ours that makes it look like Robbie the Robot...tomorrow you can see the little sewing-related beauty that arrived on my doorstep unexpectedly this evening- might be some things in it for your collection!

  13. What a beautiful post full of pretty inspiration Hen!! I adore your posies, and only wish I lived closer!! Your new blue rose dress is stunning!! I always love seeing your gorgeous creations and works in progress!! Have a lovely and sunny week! xo Heather

  14. Fabby dress and lovely buys.
    Looks like you had a great time at the fair.
    Julie xxxxxx

  15. Wow, just love that dress - stunning! Great thrifty finds too - well done you.
    Ellie x

  16. Hen this post is fabulous! I love, love, love all of our quilts. The goodies at the shop are wonderful and the dress is gorgeous. I love the color and the happiness here. (And your kitties look very content too).

  17. Lovely post, Hen and love the colour. I think you should drape several quilts together in the window, they all blend marvellously. (I LOVE LOVE LOVE your quilt shop house!) and those harebells are beautiful, I don't know how you manage such fiddly little things. Lx

  18. Visiting your lovely blog always brightens my day

  19. Best wishes to you on the upcoming workshops, Hen. That lovely shop's owner is very clever to have enlisted you. So many folks will not be able to have the benefit of your fabulous sewing skills and design sense. Greater London will soon be even more lovely.

    Your newest floral frock is delightful. I was a teenager in the late fifties, and definitely remember that silhouette, and the "crinnollne' petticoats we wore to keep those skirts afloat.

    You look so beautiful in that dress! Mr H is a lucky man to be your dance partner. xo


  21. You have absolutely one of the best blogs of all!! I just love visiting...I read your posts again and again..so much inspiration!! I think You are the one who should do a book!!!!

  22. What a great post....so newsy and colourful. what caught my eye was that I had a little doll cot almost EXACTLY like that....the only difference, mine was pale blue!
    Cath @ Bits 'n Bobs

  23. We loved your post two, lots of fabulous colour and twirls. Thanks for sharing Hen, you made our boring week more fun.

    Julie and Poppy Q

  24. Lovely lovely lovely! Good luck with the teaching! S x

  25. Hen as always a wonderful post, thank you. I love your dress, it is so divine and suits you perfectly. The 1940s is such an interesting time for women in particular as their roles changed so much and I am always seriously in awe of how they managed in such horrible circumstances. I think we all have a lot to learn from them and thankfully the old time crafts are now back with a vengence with all of us. Long may they reign. Hope the sun continues to shine for you.
    Love as always
    :) xx

  26. I literally think I want everything for sale on that table! I need to new tea, coffee, sugar canisters and still kicking myself for some I saw in Brighton last year.. cannot get them out of my mind!


  27. That frock was a great find, especially being in your size. It's beautiful,

  28. You have such a Happy blog. I love your style and colors. Happy, Happy!

  29. I don't know where to begin. I definitely should have been taking notes. What a lovely busy week. I was checking out the vintage Brighton website looking for events, because Tills and I couldn't make the fair last Sunday, and saw there had been a jukebox fair. I wondered if that was the one you'd been to. I must get more organised! I'd have loved to have bumped into you. I'm definitely going to get Cherrys book now that you've given it the thumbs up. You look fabulous in that dress. Isn't it amazing that you are the first person to wear it? Can't get my head around things like that sometimes. Loved this post. It's really lifted my spirits. Love to the boys! Sarah with Dougal at her feet xxx

  30. What a wonderful collection of photographs; so many pretty things! I love your rail of vintage dresses, so many to choose from. How exciting to be running your own workshop. Oh how I wish I lived closer so I could come along!! Can't wait to see what you make for that cot. We bought Caitlin one at a car boot sale last month. Hers is white with a little donkey on it, so sweet. Hope you have a brilliant bank holiday weekend - fingers crossed it's a sunny one :-) xx

  31. The weather certainly is lovely at the moment, your summer frocks (such a great word!!) are so pretty, and you have quite a few to choose from, I guess they are all CB/Ebay finds??
    Crafty Wednesdays look fun and well done on the workshops, wish they was something like that round my way!!
    Charlieboy and JackyGinge are looking gorgeous, as ever xx
    Cherry Menlove looks good, its on my Amazon list of books to buy!!!
    How can you choose just one of those quilts to display, they all need to be seen, they are all so beautiful.
    The Brighton fair looked good, and what an amazing find, that dress is wonderful and looks lovely on you, a great find, well done.
    Lovely blog post, Hen.
    Hope you all have a good week
    Love to all
    Linda O xxx

  32. I think you sent that cold weather across the pond to the USA where it just will not warm up!

  33. Your post is filled with everything I love! What fun and beauty!


  35. Oh my goodness I'm super envious if your fabulous dress collection. Perfect for the lovely weather we're starting to experience :)

  36. Love your new dress! I think they should highlight one of your quilts, then put that stack, just as it is, on a shelf by it. Seeing a stack of quilts always makes me want to make one... Love your tripalong quilt.

  37. I love your site! You will be in our prayers and thoughts! Nice and informative post
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  38. Lovely eye candy, you got some nice finds

  39. So many inspiring photos! Love Love Love....
    Have you ever posted a photo of that little bunny sitting close to your Jacky Ginge?
    (I can't see it very well).
    Love those Posie Gets Cozy bunnies....


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