Wednesday, 21 August 2013

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

Hello readers!  Back in the Ole' Smoke we are and it seems the mini heatwave has returned.  Most welcome it is, too. It's hard enough coping with the nights drawing in without cooling temperatures thank you very much.  Especially when last Winter's gas bill has just arrived, ouch.

I've realised that my posting is rather out of synch.  There I was, posting about trips to Crich and the like, and I've completely missed out the Festival of Quilts.  I will back peddle to there soon, I promise.  Too much inspiration there not to be shared.

Meanwhile, having uploaded some photos today, there are a few nice vintagey ones of our holiday to show you.  We found a shop in Matlock which had gone to a lot of trouble to display its wares rather prettily.  Some of the stuff was new, repro if you like, but there was some genuine vintage, too.

Loved this table setting and desperately lusted after the 1940's "Lusty" table, no less, but alas, nowhere to squeeze it in so in Derbyshire it stayed.

We ventured out one morning to a collectors' fair in Bakewell.  The stalls inside were not my cup of tea at all, but the weather was good which allowed for some outdoor stands which were right up my street, somewhat like a more expensive up market car boot sale!

One lady had a whole bevy of genuine 1940's make do and mend goodies. Oh how we lament not having bought the rag rug.  (Are you reading, oh rag-rug-selling-lady?  Please may we have it?!)

We made a nice little haul but I was disappointed to find only a couple of charity shops in Bakewell which seemed determined to focus on cheap modern or new stock.  The West Country it ain't!

While we were away, I was not idle, you know.  I am not an idler.  There was reading of the vintage variety to immerse myself in.  Yes, I imagined myself reclining on the moquette sofa looking rather like this.  

In my dreams!

There was quite a lot of crafty action and after Crich, I was in full-on 1940's mode.  You guessed it, it involved felty stuff at the kitchen table.  (Well here, it was breakfast, to be precise, I did let everybody eat.)

I worked on a new design based on a vintage posy I bought in Totnes.  Crikey, the Instagram filter has made this look a little crazy.

Back here in the Den, oh how I missed you, a new piece of painted utility style furniture is in situ.  Love, love, love its vanilla ice-creaminess and its £40 price tag.  Oh, and the vintage Rupert the Bear wallpaper lining the drawers.  Do you line your drawers?  It is something of which I am most fond, myself.

After an enquiry about the posy on my patchwork bag (see last post) from the lovely Christine this morning, I pulled my proverbial finger out and stocked up my Etsy shop with all the latest posies I have been making.  As always, they are based on original wartime patterns or original posies in my collection.  A lot of these are more time consuming to make, more fiddly, larger in size and so on.  I have found some fabulous pure wool felt which is more expensive but is giving stunning results.

Loving this giant marguerite, they liked their posies BIG back then!  It really makes a statement.  The suggestion in the original pattern is to wear it with a black frock but I've worn mine with anything but!  I actually really like it with my more 1950's style outfits.

The anemone posy is a modified version of the original I made for myself from a 1940's wartime pattern awhile ago. Love the fat bunched up centre!  Such a lovely and nostalgic flower, don't you think?  It often seems to evoke special memories in people. I grew the real thing for the first time last year and they came back this year in Spring good as gold.

This carnation design is an amalgam of two original patterns.  It invites you to tweak its ruffly centre.

I've also made some more felty pin cushions which are also in my Etsy shop.  (Coral one sold, thank you.)

I am always happy to make items to order in the customer's choice of colour, it's an easy matter of sending me a convo via Etsy or you can always get hold of me in the comments section here.  I've been asked a few times to make a whole co-ordinating set of pin cushion, needle case and tape measure and they do make a super gift.  Me, biased?

I came back from our trip raring to get going on a quilt commission, something I'd been asked to make before going away.  I had a lovely time shopping for some fabrics for it at the Festival and having worked like a crazy lady for the past week, I was happy to send it to my super lovely customer yesterday.  I look forward to sharing some more snaps with you soon.  It's something a little different for me and it has turned out really stunning.

The decks cleared, it was time to make the most of the sunshine and start on a little makeover programme today.  More of that soon, then.


Well, I must toddle off to the post office and then get back to my orders.

As always, thanks so much for reading, it is always my pleasure to have you here. X

(The designs shown in this blog post are copyright of HenHouse.)


  1. oooh i love you 'utility' item! You're right. Goregously creamy looking. That quilt looks really pretty! I look forward to seeing a full piccy. :-)

  2. That shop is fab isn't it...I could spend hours in there! Love all your posy brooches, you work little miracles with felt! And what a wonderful quilt! :) x

  3. hello hen, you always have so much to share, I feel quite lazy!
    You are the queen of pozies!
    Bakewell is on my list of must visit next year as well as David Austin, Chatsworth.....
    Did you eat any pudding?

  4. You have been busy and it all looks ... gorgeous!
    M x

  5. I am always inspired by your enthusiasm Hen and your ability to make things from the past fit into the future! I also like the fact that you use words like 'crikey'! I haven't heard that in years!!! Looking forward to seeing the chair makeover. x

  6. I wish I could spend a day with you.
    Does that tell you how much I loved this post?

  7. You are such a busy bee.. good for you! I love all your felt pins.. I have one in my pin box! Were you able to visit my blog and see my lake trip pix? I love all the vintage things you showed us.. I might need a trip to our local antique mall! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  8. Your posies, as usual, are beautiful. You must have been working like whirling dervish to have made that quilt in such a small space of time! I wish I had a quarter of your productivity ☆◇☆
    Looking forward to the Festival of Quilts post.

  9. I would like pretty much everything in the first two photos!
    Just love the daisies.
    Lisa x

  10. What a lovely post.Makes me feel very lazy and so uncreative.I am so jealous1

  11. Love looking at all the lovelies and am full of admiration for all that you do - busy bee you surely are!
    And you look every bit as pretty as the lady in the photograph - so there!

  12. Oooo, I went to a 1940's weekend held in Spalding and saw exactly the same Make Do and Mend book. It was lovely to see all this fantastic vintage on your post as well as seeing some for real. Fantastic era and I love the way you are crafting to keep this going. Beautiful post as always. xx

  13. Oh Hen - what a great post - now you got me all inspired - have to paint something tomorrow! And I spotted "my" beautiful "gay daisies" brooch in your pics! Cant wait to see it in real - and to wear it!I love the fact it is real wool felt - much nicer colours and much more true to the vintage ones from the forties.
    Lovely little bunch of narcissus on the pretty green shelves - were they fake ones - must have been this time of year?? Your blog will always be my best place to be inspired!
    Christine xxx

  14. A feast of prettiness Hen! The shop in Matlock looks absolutely my cup of tea, what a lot of treasure ...

    Love your posy brooches, I'm going to nip over to Etsy and have a nosy in your shop ...

    Lots of love, Claire xx

  15. Hi Hen,my family and i are up in Derbyshire on holiday this week,we went in that vintage shop this afternoon,i bought a Butlins vintage tin,really liked the half mannequin she had in the second love love reading your blog,you are such a talented lady,look forward to seeing the upcycled chair,regards amanda x

  16. Oh my what a busy woman you've been. I'm knackered just reading about it! Where do you find the time or the energy? I really enjoyed reading this post. Your pictures were so captivating.

  17. I do so love reading your posts, they always make me determined to get cracking with all of the projects that I have sitting around waiting to be done. Love the posies, they would make such lovely hair ornaments as well.

  18. What a great post!!!
    The shop in Matlock looks fab, some great stuff in there, I remember my Aunt had a unit in her kitchen, like the green one in the first photo.
    You managed to find some nice treasures!!!
    Your vanilla unit looks great, can't say I've ever lined my drawers!!, maybe its something to think about!!, love the tamborine on the wall, oh and the cottons and pictures, lol x
    Your posies, as always are beautiful, so intricate and delicate, you must have such patience to be able to get them so perfect, love them.
    And as for your quilt, just amazing.
    Love to all
    Linda O xxx

  19. Oh lovely busy post with lots of things to lust after! The posies are beautiful and can't wait to see that chair x

  20. Lovely post as usual. Yes I line my drawers! Surprised Cath Kidston doesn't sell drawer liners so when we moved house I bought some sheets of her wrapping paper instead - no smell but still pretty. Sue x

  21. Wonderful post with lots of interesting pics. I don't know how you resisted emptying the shop in Bakewell as just everything was lovely. I don't remember it being there when I went years ago. I do remember a patchwork & quilting shop. Is it still there? As always your posies are beautiful. I can't wait to see the quilt. Philippa xx

  22. Lined drawers- oh yes indeedy. I am assuming you have not slept since the Quilt festival? Great felt flowers, looking forward to seeing the quilt made from the festival fabric. I'm still at the stroking my purchases stage! Found myself dreaming of tana lawn the other night. Hopeless.

  23. Lovely post and so many gorgeous photographs of lovely things!

  24. Hen such a gorgeous post as always thank you. I wear your lovely brooch almost daily and now I am tempted with more, your brooches are like a chocolate addiction, must have more!
    Lots of love

  25. Wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and all the goodies you share with the world! Such fun and inspiration!

    Your doily blocks have inspired me to take out my "lovelies" and use them in a similar way...

    It is the sincerest form of flattery! Thank you!

  26. Love the green vintage kitchen cupboard, and lining draws is definitely the thing to do ! we need an inside shot of the Rupert wallpaper :) I am smitten with the margeurite brooch, it looks so happy, lovely post as always,x

  27. Your quilt label is so very special. I would be most appreciative if you could share with us how you made the lettering. Yours is one of my top 5 quilting blogs! Carry on.....

  28. Lovely to read about your visit to my neck of the woods! There are some great vintage shops around, if you visit Derbyshire again i can point you in the direction of some good places worth a visit! Did you go to the antiques center in Matlock, they have some lovely things?

    Sara x

  29. The flowers are just so pretty (and so is that quilt!)

  30. Oh how I loved this post. The felt posies that you make are stunning and I adore the marguerite one especially.

    You make me want to fill my house with pretty handmade things and, although you have an uber-busy life you make it all sound so slow, relaxing and thoroughly charming.


  31. This is such a lovely post and the photos are so pretty. You have such good taste :-)

  32. A great interesting post.
    The posies...just gorgeous.


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