Friday, 28 May 2010

Beautiful, bountiful, buttony buttons

The Gloucester Square market on Thursday in Oxford is a real vintage-lover's treat. There's all sorts of bric-a-brac and bits and bobs to browse through, including a stall dedicated to old letter press equipment and another for vintage tools (!). But my personal favourite is the button stall - Ah, how I love a good button particularly a vintage one! So, here in all their round and bobbly glory are my new old-button friends from yesterday's market trip.

I've had a bag idea in mind for a while now that would be perfect for some of these....

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Okay, so we have the smallest 'garden' ever, but we have the best pansies and I love gazing at them first thing in the morning.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The fruits of my morning's labour...

Freya and I trekked into town bright and early this morning to take back some clothes that didn't fit her. On the way back we 'accidentally' popped into a charity shop and - whoops - I now seem to have a Hornsea tea jar, a batch of vintage fabric and a crochet cardi....

Friday, 21 May 2010

Craft adventures #4... and some Craft Fair news

A quick update on today's Crafty Friday session: the brooch necklace is now a nearly finished work in progress - this beading palava is brilliant fun but takes a lot longer than you'd thing - probably not helped by my over-enthusiasm which meant I nearly had a necklace that would reach my knees.

Here's a taster... I really hope it turns out okay and doesn't just end up look like a few bits and bobs on a string!I also have some news - I've managed to book some spots at the weekly craft fair at Woodstock Town Hall near Oxford. I'll be there on the following dates:

Saturday 5th June
Sunday 1st August
Sunday 7th November

It's been a while since my last craft fair - just over a year in fact! A teeny tiny Freya came with me too - I remember feeling like it was massively obvious I was pregnant, but looking back at the photos, you can't see any sign of bump yet!

Anyway, I'm a bit scared about how close the first date is, so, while Freya is napping I'd best stop blogging and start sewing!!

And the winner is...

Thanks so much to all who entered my first ever giveaway - to be honest, I was pretty nervous about it, but it's been good fun - your comments all made me smile (Frangipani - I hope you have recovered after your peanut butter in the suitcase disaster) and I now have a whole load of new blogs to add to my ever expanding reading list.

So anyway, I've thought long and hard and visited every blog that was suggested, and have decided that the winner of the Hobo bag is Homo minutus. She suggested True Up which is a fab blog I'd not previously come across dedicated to fabric and it looks as though it's got a particular focus on the vintage/vintage inspired aspect - exactly the kind of blog I love.

Thanks so much to all of you for making my first giveway so much fun!

Monday, 17 May 2010


Look who's come to join us...

My first attempt at a monkey. It's a gift for Nephew Number 2 - a monkey for a monkey (although the original isn't quite so turquoise!) It went down pretty well I think - who knew you could knit a banana!

If you want to try making your own, the pattern is from Knitted Wild Animals by Sarah Keen.

Here's a quick roundup of my favourite knitted toys currently dwelling in folksy and etsy land:

[clockwise from top left]

Little Olive Knitted Owl from Love LOttie Knits
Squiggle - the hand knitted Monkey from Boo Biloo
Sydney Hedgehog Plush Lambswool Toy from Sara Carr
Gnomes hand knitted in Australian Merino Wool from tidabellamonkey
Tiny fox plush by adorablykawaii
Where the Wild Things Are Carol Inspired Amigurumi PATTERN aka Moishe from CraftyisCool

Craft adventures #3

Many thanks to all those who have entered the giveaway so far - there's still plenty of time (the closing date for entries is the 20th May), so if you haven't done so already, then give the giveaway a go!!!

Anyway, better late than never, I thought I'd quickly update you on my latest Crafty Friday adventure. This time we were right in my comfort zone with a fabric brooch and necklace combo. I loved this project - the brooch took no time at all but the necklace is a bit more fiddly so I'll be finishing it at next week's class.

I went for a romantic feel with a nude peach coloured chiffon and used a vintage button that I had in my stash.

It was super easy - you can probably guess what we did just from looking at the picture, but I think it was pretty effective. I thought I'd include some really basic instructions here, as it would make a really quick last-minute gift. When the necklace is finished I'll post instructions for that, as I think they are going to look really lovely together.

Step 1: Cut circles of fabric. I cut 15 10cm circles as the chiffon is so delicate, but for thicker fabrics you would need fewer layers. I used the same fabric for all the layers of my flower, but some of the other girls used a combination of fabrics - using layers of net worked really well for a fuller flower.

Step 2: Sew a running stitch in a small circle in the centre of the flower and pull to bunch the fabric a little. Then sew a running stitch in a straight line from the centre of the flower out towards the edge and back again. Pull the thread to bunch the fabric and tie a knot to hold it in place. Do this 2 more times at even intervals around the circle to give the flower it's shape. I only went a little way out towards the outer edge of the flower, but you could go almost to the edge for a more "pansy" type shape.

Step 3: Sew buttons and beads into the centre of the flower to embellish.

Step 4: Sew onto a brooch plate.

and that's it!

I should really have been finishing the cake tin instead of moving on to new projects, but I decided to complete the tin at my leisure! After a week of thinking time, it looked a little sorry for itself so I'm going to start again and paint on the brown base colour before getting stuck into the fun decoupage part.

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway

Spring fever has got into me and I'm doing my first ever giveaway. This is part of the Sew Mama Sew May giveaway day - check out their blog for a full list of participating blogs:

I've decided to give away this Aztec Hobo bag:

Aztec has a relaxed and slightly slouchy air, perfect for day wear. Fastened with a strong magnetic snap, she has a large internal zip pocket and a partioned patch pocket designed to hold pens and a mobile phone. She has a 23" (59cm) shoulder strap which ties in a cute bow and can be easily adjusted. Dimensions: 12" (30.5cm) wide, 10" (25.5cm tall) excluding handle strap and 1 1/2" (4cm) deep.

(In case you were wondering, this style of purse is called a hobo bag because "it resembles the shape of the bundle on a stick that hobos are portrayed as carrying over their shoulder in drawings and cartoons" - amazing what you can find out on wikipedia!)

To enter my giveaway, please leave a comment at the end of this post recommending a new blog for me to read. I'll choose the winner randomly. I'm really sorry, but I will only be able to ship to the UK on this occasion.

Good Luck!

Friday, 7 May 2010

Craft adventures #2

So, I've just returned from the second of my crafty Friday sessions. My mosaic flowerpot was waiting for me on the windowsill with all it's little mosaic'ed friends:
I've now completed the grouting (VERY therapeutic - I shall be looking for things to grout in moments of stress from now on) and my mosaic "masterpeice" will be able to come home to roost in the bathroom next week. I think I'm pleased with it - maybe I should have put the ceramic peices closer together so there is less grout on show.
I was surprised at how easy the process was so I might keep an eye out for charity shop china and put this in my mental bank of Christmas present ideas.....

I also managed to make a start on the decoupage - I've decided to go for a design based on circles but the first stage was to create a plain background - this is as far as I got.... Let's hope it gets better (and a little less brown)!!!
Back to mosaic... here are some new and some vintage peices I've spotted on Etsy and Folksy that put my new found "skills" into perspective!

Clockwise (from top left):
  1. Mosaic Modern Mirror by memoriesinmosaics
  2. Mid Century Mosaic Tile Plate by domestikate
  3. Thesarus Mosaic Mirror by Garwerth
  4. G.E. Vintage Wall Clock by pinkbeeb0
  5. Mosaic Row of Beach Huts by The Mosaic Garden
  6. Retro Tile Trivet by Fuzzsicle

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

New craft adventures

Last week, on a bit of a whim, I signed up to a 10 session taster course of lots of different crafts. It was the creche that swayed me - 2 hours a week of dedicated, guilt-free craft time while Freya plays (or tries to eat) lots of other babies.

The first session was focused on mosaic and after I've finished the grouting Friday, our bathroom shall soon display my debut mosaic flowerpot - the first of a new series of crafted "heirlooms" as Paul rather cheekily put it.

This week we are looking at decoupage and I've been thinking about what I want to acheive. I've decided I would like to have a go at beautifying my make-shift... sorry, "up-cycled" cake tin which is actually a chocolate tin leftover from Christmas. Here's the Before photo, complete with chocolate cake:
I've been searching online for inspiration and have found some really cool vintage cake tins/carriers. Now I want them all!
  1. Vintage Art Deco Style Fruit Cake Tin by JollyPollyPickins
  2. Take the Cake in Style Vintage Cute Peach and Green Floral Tin Cake Carrier by jenscloset
  3. Mid Century Cake Tin by avantgarage
  4. Shabby Chic Yellow Plaid and Floral Vintage Cake Tin Pan Carry Box by thodge62
  5. Vintage Cake Carrier by claireferrante
  6. Cupcake Cake Carrier by theButterDish
  7. Cake Carrier by kitchencupboard
  8. Vintage Sunflower Cake Carrier by PatinaVintage
I'm hoping it won't look too odd to depart from the usual more Victorian inspired decoupage style and go 70s instead. So, fingers crossed it doesn't turn out as a complete disaster - I have promised myself that I will be honest about my new crafting skills and will post the results, however hideous the outcome!


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