Thursday, 26 September 2013

Crafty and Chatham

Hello readers, how are you?  Hope you're all really well.   The Munchkin has gone back to school of course, and I've been making the most of some free time.  Last week, I headed to Chelsea to the first Decorative Living Fair to be held there (rather than in Kent).  I picked up some pretty goodies, of the vintage variety, of course.  There was definitely room for more stalls so I hope they will persevere with this event and it will go from strength to strength, I'm sure, just like the fabulous fair in Eridge.

There has still been lots of family time, of course.  For us,  it's been a case of another weekend, another Forties do.  Still, as the season starts to draw to a close, we're making the most of it.  I took the opportunity to wear my favourite '40s ensemble in Autumnal colours.

We were fortunate in that this event is relatively nearby, held just over the border in Kent,  at the former Royal Naval Dockyard in Chatham.  If you are a fan of "Call the Midwife" on tv, you will recognise this place as the backdrop.

The vintage village was a sight to behold, always my favourite as a fan of home front history, and one lady always makes a brilliant effort and this time had a Ministry of Food display.  So many covetable kitchen items!

Mr HenHouse fancied going to the theatre...

... predictably, the Munchkin was to be found in the sweet shop!

That evening, we quickly changed outfits, something more suitable for jiving of course, and headed off to see a favourite singer perform at the fantastic Rivoli Ballroom, which is Grade II listed and a perfectly preserved example of a 1950's ballroom.  What a night!

So I was quite happy to have a little quiet time and sit down to craft on Monday morning.  I had a date with lots of felty anemones.

I've recently been very lucky (and eagle eyed) and picked up quite a bit of authentic make do and mend jewellery for my collection.  It has now branched out from felt; it seems I cannot resist leather, bell wire or nuts, either!!

On a similar vintagey note, my Spy in the North (aka my wonderful Mum), has been thrifting on my behalf and has recently had a run of luck with the embroidered cloths, culminating in this beauty.

I wasted no time in using it as a prop for photographing my latest makes.  Inspired by my collection of original wartime jewellery, a new posy brooch has been born.  Anyone can follow a pattern but I like to come up with something different every now and then.  Ok, so actually a few posies have been born!  I can never stop at one, not when there are all those delicious Autumnal colours to play with.

I picked up this yummy hand knitted top at the '40s event on Saturday.  It looks pretty nice accessorised with a posy, I think.

This black crepe dress I bought at the event at Crich Tramway looks less "like you're going to a funeral" (the Munchkin's words!) with a bit of colour from the felty buttercups.

I've just been doctoring this tweed jacket with some vintage buttons, now a posy.

Ok, I got carried away with the photos!

I'll leave you with a pic of my furry friend, Jacky Ginge, who is never sad to see a little photo session underway, not when it means he can sneak into the otherwise locked guest room behind me. (The light is good in here.)  Cosy!

Should you be feeling in need of a pretty posy, you will find a veritable plethora of the same in my little Etsy shop.

Thanks for reading.  Something different next time, promise! Xxx


  1. Hello jacky G....missing you recently...I love your mums pretty overall/housecoat and that tweed jacket looks spiffy with its felted posy...bestest
    daisy j x

    1. Why thank you, Miss Daisy I am very much looking forward to seeing your rust-coloured cord jacket, it was looking fab the other day. Xxx

  2. Your new flowers are very pretty. And it looks like you had a grand time
    Julie xxxxxxx

  3. Lovely posies and kitty - your forties outfit is pretty, what fun - I once went to Imperial War Museum and saw the 1940s house, that was fun. Betty

  4. Lovely post Hen! I adore your dress and hair ... Lovely colours on the flowers ....

    What a fab weekend! They don't seem to do that type of thing up north ... We have lots of vintage fairs, but not full blown vintageness of the type you enjoy!

    Have a fabulous weekend this week too!

    Love Claire xx

  5. What a fabulous place the Rivoli Ballroom looks. What better way to round off what sounds like a fun day out. I have just treated myself to a tweed jacket. Tweeds are probably my favourite autumn and winter fabric. One of your felt posies would be the perfect accessory to it. I am away this weekend but must head over to your shop next week to make the difficult decision of deciding which one to go for.

    Jo x

  6. Well Hen, as always, I am delighted to see how much effort goes into these retro-themed events, and what fun results from the work of the organizers, and the pleasure that folks have in joining in with the spirit of the events. (That self portrait photo of you is truly lovely.) The photos of those HH fellows also look rather good and definitely in the period spirit.

    Your Mum is indeed a wonderful seeker of beautiful embroidery. I would imagine that the more distance one puts between oneself and London, the more treasures might be available. I've been living in NYC for many decades now (maybe I am retro) but remember when flea markets and charity thrift shops actually did contain treasures. Nowadays, there are too many interested eyes searching in these spots. I sometimes laugh a bit when walking through a neighborhood flea market when I discover items, that I would not have bought when I saw them on their original sales shelves, being offered for outrageous prices.. The age of discovery is a bit retro in NYC.

    Now...on to you beautiful adaptations of those vintage anemone brooches.Your colorways really are lovely, and each trio of blooms is a beaut. I particularly admire the subtle darker combinations. Each brooch that you've photographed shows how a brilliant stylist like yourself can show others where elegance lives.

    Best wishes you, the HH fellows and those furry friends. xo


  8. Love the dress you're wearing Hen. You look beautiful. As for that ballroom, I'd love to dance in there - to actually be able to dance first might be handy too.
    Have a great week.

    Lisa X

  9. love your outfit and hair~ beautiful ;0)...those vintage style flowers are lovely x

  10. Lovely post Hen. You look very glamorous in your favourite 1940's ensemble - like a proper pin up gal!!! As usual I am amazed at your levels of energy - so many exciting outings and so much sewing room productivity. Please bottle up your evergy and send some my way! Jacky Ginge is glowing in the sunshine and looks very autumnal! x

  11. Loving the tweedy pic and that ballroom!

  12. I would be going for it too if I could create such things! They really are beautiful Hen :) As was your Autumnal dress ;) *inspired*

  13. I enjoy your photos so much. Great content from such a pretty lady.

    : )

  14. A lovely, nostalgic post. Something different next time? More of the same please :)

  15. Hi Hen I always adore your posts and your work as you know. The little kitchen was to die for, I would love something like that. Your flowers are heavenly and I think I need to get some more from you soon. Am hoping to catch one of your workshops soon so I can actually say hello. Have a fabulous weekend Hen, lots of love from me as always

  16. Great embroidered cloth and the tweed jacket is lovely- likewise the dress- loving the colours, that orange/green combo again! I can never stop at one when I'm making brooches, always another colour variation that you want to try out.x

  17. Those cats! They always think they are missing out and the minute a door is left cracked open in they whisk. My dog never does that, but you can bet kitty doesn't miss chance. She can be sound asleep in the living room, but if I open a closet door there she is trying to get in! I don't know how many times I've accidentally shut her up in the closet, or a cupboard or in the basement. We always have to come inside the house with a foot in the door to "hold back the cat". Still they are such loves aren't they? Your brooches are quite pretty.

  18. Lovely new little posies! And I love all the nice things you found at the fair.

  19. Never too many pictures. And that hankie it really is gorgeous!. Thanks for sharing.

  20. your posies are gorgeous and that cloth is an amazing find......i am a bit addicted to these at the moment! Wish i could've made the fair.....trouble is i want to go to ALL of them everywhere!!! lovely pics - have a great week x

  21. Your posies are always so beautiful and sweet!! Your dress and pretty apron are gorgeous!! Happy sweet day Hen! xo Heather

  22. hey beautiful girl, i am super happy to find you in blogworld! Loving those posies and the new adventures into new media...and so varied! it's good for the soul and older media always comes along for the ride as well! your vintage style is gorgeous!!!!! love from another UK artist making in the midlands xxxxxxx

  23. Glad to hear that you found some goodies at the Chelsea fair, hope to get there with my stock (!) next year. xxx


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