Things I Have Bought From Other Handmade Sellers

This was meant to be a post about things I like from my own shop (a bit of blowing my own trumpet), then I got distracted.

I opened this box (looking for my own tweed purses) and realised how many lovely goodies I own that have come from other handmade sellers, often people I’ve got to know through blogworld (now mostly Instagram and Facebook as no-one seems to bother blogging anymore). I will have missed loads but will try to write another post another time, and the ‘blurb’ will be short and sweet as I have a million jobs to do today. (The name links will be clickable where the sellers are still in action).

First, these beauties from Mia (HandmadebyMia). Mia actually sent me the pouch as a gift, full of edible goodies and other beautiful bits when I was quite ill some years ago, it was such a lovely surprise and was very gratefully received. The snowmen coasters I bought, along with others that I gave away as gifts.

Zombie coaster from fiona t. I bought them for the boys (well for my oldest) and they both got lovely notebooks with covers from Fiona for Christmas that year too (sorry, I daren’t enter their lairs to find them to photograph, I may never return!).

A felt flower brooch based on a vintage pattern made by 1940sStyleForYou. I also bought a beautiful hand-knitted jumper (made from a vintage pattern) at the same time which is equally fabulous.

I had to go a looooong way back in my Etsy purchases to find this one. It’s a ‘Rosette Facinator’ by giantdwarf. Sadly, the Etsy shop looks closed at the moment. I remember that the seller went on to sell these through Anthropologie.

I love these pouches and quite a few people got them as gifts, it’s one of those designs I wish I’d come up with myself (and I am planning a weekend bag for me with a tapestry panel but obviously nothing like the above, more inspired by a Mary Poppins carpet bag!). They are from Ella Osix.

I will always have time for the giant poppy – I wear it most years for remembrance (I make sure I put money in the collections). I bought loads of berry brooches the same year and the strawberry brooch, and used them on wrapped Christmas gifts as decorations; they are made by jurooma.

I’m sorry about the quality of this photo, but these live on a bookcase that’s over my stairs and I’d have to get a ladder to get them down so I’ve gone for the in situ blurry and with crappy lighting shot! The print is by Dee Beal and the gorgeous papercut card (which is far too nice to give away so I kept it!) is by Saffa Barkhordar whose amazing ink drawings you can see on Instagram. I see these every time I walk downstairs.

And finally (for today, anyway) Miss Bumbles and her little felt critters, which ALWAYS remind me of Racey Helps and Molly Brett animal illustrations. Love them.

Well, that was a bit of a rabbit hole, it took much longer than anticipated to find the sources and it led me into an interesting look at my own Etsy shopping history and the various phases I’ve been through (Scand, felt brooches, purses and then more purses). It’s funny that I used to have money to spend in this way too, these days I tend to focus on food buying and paying the bills and I rarely buy myself these kinds of treats. I do still prefer to support small businesses, though, and Etsy (which weirdly I don’t sell on; I, perhaps stupidly, stuck to Folksy) is still my go-to most times.

I will try to write more posts like this, spread the joy a little. I think jewellery will get a post all to itself šŸ˜‚

Right, off to do some sewing and give the chickens a quick clean-out. Where did the day go to?

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Pink & Teal Silk Christmas Mice

This post has been a long time coming and I know some lovely folk are waiting on it. Sorry.

I did buy new silk for the second batch of mice last year, but COVID kind of got in the way at the stage where I’d cut and stitched the skirts but hadn’t chosen the felt colours yet, cue this year and some ‘research’ which mainly involved trying not to eat the inspiration.

The pink girls were easy; mid pink silk and a darker pink cloak (looking very matchy with a tapestry in the background which is waiting to be stitched into a new chair cushion).

I then stumbled when choosing the cloak colour for the teal girls. I work in wool felt only (I’m really funny about fabrics, I prefer natural fibres for sewing and wearing) and it’s interesting to me that the colour pallet of different suppliers often don’t quite match, even though they appear to be the same colours at first glance; I assume it’s the dye particles used which then creates a cohesive set? The mint on the right comes from a different supplier but the teal, which matched the other felts used, was closer to the silk skirt colour than I’d like. In the end, I went with the teal, as the mint just felt slightly ‘off’. Looking back I find myself re-thinking the decision yet again, which is just me being a perfectionist. In the words of Frozen lady, “Let It Go.”

Then came the arduous task of choosing the felt colour for the boys. I was thinking I’d go with the same yellow as the original girl capes (to tie them all in together) and bright bubble gum pink was mooted too, but I got a bit obsessed by the fact purple would be like a mini mouse ‘Willy Wonka’ (I can’t put the boys’ photos up anywhere any more but this is an old one that’s already been on the blog, back from when they were cute and could stand next to each other without arguing…and when they allowed me to take their photo!) and so purple won. (As a separate project I’m tempted to make a set of ‘character’ hanging mice including a Mr Wonka with a little top hat etc).

Then the production line begins. I do love a little production line. I have mostly stopped taking these kinds of photos, partly because I am less enthusiastic about remembering that I should take photos and write a blog post and also because I got fed-up of the photos appearing in people’s ‘what I’m going to make for my next craft fair’ Pinterest album. I do know people copy, but it tends to feel a bit blatant when they’ve pinned all of my making photos so they can work out how best to go about it and for me, half the fun/battle of my work is finding clever processes that allow me to make things in a really neat and tidy way because that’s how my brain works.

The next decision was the dickie bow colour. I ordered the caramel felt in especially, stitched half of them then decided it was wrong! It toned too much with the waistcoat beads and the tails and meant that there was no pop of colour when all three mice were together as a set.

The original mice have contrasting green ties, so this seemed to fit better and the golden yellow matches the capes on the original girls, so for lovely people who buy both sets, they are all matchy, matchy (and if I could go back in time, I’d probably give the original boys teal dickie bows).

I had forgotten just how much hand sewing is involved in these mice and it took a lot longer than I’d expected to get them stitched. We did all get COVID a few weeks back too, and for the record, it’s a myth that children and people double jabbed don’t get ill. It was very satisfying to see the little ‘army’ of them grow on my desk and right now, I only have three left to finish

along with one set of the originals which I found in my project box, half-completed (and now rather aptly hanging out in a Robert Thompson the ‘Mouseman’ wooden bowl that lives in my studio).

I got annoyed trying to take and edit the photos, the light wasn’t really cooperating plus, after over twelve years of doing this I still haven’t learnt how to use my camera properly, that and I’m refusing to buy Adobe Photoshop, my version being on my old laptop (now donated to the oldest teen) and out of date to run with newer operating systems anyway.

I really enjoyed stitching the teal ones as the silk rustles a lot (in a good way) and I love the bright pink nose with the colour of the skirt.

I am going to have to re-take the shop front photo and the one of the little boy as his colour is very off and I can’t correct it, but as I know people are waiting, they are listed here for now.

Admiring Zelda Spellman’s Wardrobe

I realise that being bored of the whole COVID thing is a luxury; I am lucky I don’t work in frontline services and have to face the draining and constant horror of it all and for us, it’s just about surviving in our own little world of the ‘house’. I also feel lucky the boys are older and can (mostly) get on with school work on their own, and I am pleased I’m not currently doing the hideous double school run that was really stressing me out; but, (along with half the planet) I am fed-up of it all now and this is definitely more difficult then the first lockdown. Also, who knew that teenagers, just like toddlers, can pick the exact moment you nip to the loo to BOTH suddenly urgently need you…surely they grow out of this!….At least I can just tell them to bugger off when they come knocking on the bathroom door these days. I want my quiet, sometimes clean and tidy house back.

I keep myself positive with little ‘treats’ which can range from eating a bit of cake (yep, I am a comfort eater and I’m happily adding to the COVID 15 tally) to evenings watching some utter silly rubbish on Netflix.

I’ve done Bridgerton, The Queen’s Gambit and Cobra Kai and I’m currently on Snowpiercer, The Great (Channel 4) and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Actually, I’ve just finished Sabrina and I’m at that moment of loss you feel when you’ve got really involved in a (somewhat silly teen but fun) world and all it’s inhabitants and then it’s over, never to return in this case. I am a sucker for comic based stuff, sci-fi and also period drama so this really filled the spot, especially as it’s just daft at the same time so not too taxing on the brain or draining; since watching, I’ve developed a crush on Zelda Spellman’s wardrobe – see above for why!

Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows that I do love dressing up but that I don’t get to do it very often as I don’t get out much, boo hoo. I also love clothes but I’m not interested in current fashion, I collect vintage clothing (and have done since I was a teenager) and if buying new I’ll often go for things that are a bit more expensive and timeless; I don’t buy clothes often so I need them to last.

With this in mind, at the same time as my Sabrina watching I was searching for something nice to buy with Christmas money I’d been given and I was drawn to the LK Bennett sale. Full price their clothes are way out of my reach but in the sale, it’s doable and it hits my usual vintage vibe and my new Zelda adoration. Their clothes are really well made, I think, although I have a hatred of dry clean only things (I can’t afford to have things dry cleaned). I didn’t buy all the above, obviously, but they are all dresses I’d happy own if money were no option and I ever actually left the house and so needed to put proper clothes on.

Other discoveries from my recent online browsing are Lola Ramona shoes of Copenhagen, some awesome vintage vibes there.

and if I were robbing a bank, these beauties from Freya Rose, London. I mean, check out those heels! A girl can dream.

Anyhow, back to reality and pyjamas every day (this isn’t actually true, I do dress but it tends to be on the ‘comfy’ side of things at the moment!), another thing currently bringing me joy are gel nails. Bloody awful photo here, but I am too lazy to take a better one. I bought a Mylee gel nail set, again with Christmas money and I’m really enjoying it! As a rule, I normally only paint my nails a handful of times a year as I can’t keep standard polish on, it chips in an instant and I’ve only had gel nails done twice at a salon but this I am loving, especially in the dark colours. Glitter dark blue next!

As for the rest of life, I am still revamping my studio with new cupboards and shelves (an Ikea Billy hack) on either side. I will fully photograph it soon but it’s proving really difficult to finish, especially with the new lockdown. I closed the shop up as I didn’t want to keep making unnecessary trips to the post office but I need to get back to selling so I may reopen Folksy and sell small items only that can go into the local post box. On the shop sewing front I am attempting to stash bust to make more space so there will be lots of smaller, quick to sew items coming up.

Right, back to the endless grind of tidying up after teenage boys. Ooh and Marcella is back so that’s another thing to add to the TV list!

Catching Up

This post is really for me so I can see what was missed in my blogging hiatus. Sorry it’s a bit dull!

I have surprisingly few photos from the past year.

I’ve been working away but mostly sewing curtains and when I have been doing more interesting work I’ve not taken many photos (lovely choice of curtain fabric above).

There has been the constant ploughing through open work (will these purses EVER be finished!) as well as some new things,

and we’ve also had our fair share of drama, starting with Birdie attempting near death.

She burst a lung falling from a height, basically, and I was told she was moments away from dying when I found her and rushed her to the vets who were amazing, and with emergency surgery, saved her life.

She’s fine now, although she rarely leaves the house these days, I think there are too many male cats around with 5 boys living on the short terrace who like to kick off a bit, she prefers a quieter life sleeping indoors.

We had lucky timing and bought some new chickens just before COVID as mine were all quite old and not really laying any more and then in a rather devastating moment lost the lot overnight when a fox in and ate them all.

I was gutted, we’d had some of the chickens for many years and we treat them all as pets, including a few I’d hatched from eggs. We managed to replace them eventually and we currently have 9 hens; a mixture of pure breeds, and two hybrids (who never lay any eggs!) who live separately and with my remaining cockerel.

Next came a bit of a shocker. Pre-COVID we found out that my youngest son’s long term back ache wasn’t from carrying heavy school bags (as the doctor – and to be fair, I – had thought) but rather he had spinal tumours. It was originally diagnosed as Fibrous Dysplasia (VERY rare in that part of the spine) but a later CT scan to monitor the FD showed it to be ABC (Aneurysmal Bone Cysts) that needed to be removed as they are aggressive growing.

C had the ABC removed over the summer and his spine re-enforced with a graft from his hip. It involved a stay at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, whose specialist care he is under (during Lockdown). It went really well and although he can’t carry heavy bags or do sport, all is good at the moment. The children’s wing of the hospital is full of beautiful murals taken from The Book of Lost Words by Jackie Morris.

Some of the sewing I’ve been doing has inevitably been masks, above a bundle for me and the boys.

I will add these to the shop in the next week or so, although I don’t plan to stay open too much longer, I’d like a proper break for Christmas.

I’ve also been doing a lot of DIY. We were in isolation most of Summer, as we had to isolate before C’s surgery, which got cancelled two days before, then isolate again for the next operation date so it’s been Lockdown, isolation, isolation again, Lockdown 2 and now Tier 3 for us! One great thing is I’ve finally tackled the studio with an Ikea Billy Bookcase hack so that’s one to photograph and share when I have some time.

Despite is all sounding a bit bleak, we have no complaints. We are healthy and happy and just getting on with it, like everyone else. Onwards and upwards!

O (fake plastic) Christmas Tree, O (fake plastic ) Christmas Tree!

I know how long it has been. What can I say? No excuses really except COVID!!!! Yep, let’s blame it for EVERYTHING including my inability to write blog posts (seems fair…right?!).

Anyhow, (pathetic) excuses made, on with the post.

Due to dreariness of Lockdown (and now Tier 3) like the rest of the county we were game for some early Festive cheer to bring a bit of sparkle to our lives, starting with a tree.

I love a real tree and in truth, I’ve always been a bit of a Christmas tree snob and I NEVER thought I’d go for plastic but the fact is, even when looked after carefully (bottom cut off and kept in water) real trees just don’t last all that long, especially with our underfloor heating so this year I decided to delve into plastic.

This is how I understand it to be. Trees are made entirely from PVE or they have PE tips. PVE is like the above – flat bits of even coloured green twisted plastic, like a bottle brush.

PE is moulded plastic (in some cases with a mould taken directly from a real tree) and, it’s said, feels like a real tree (I’m not sure about that bit!).

For trees with PE, only the tips are PE, with the main inside body of the tree still being PVE.

After a bit of research the tree make getting a lot of positive reviews seems to be the Kaemingk brand, specifically the Everlands Grandis Fir, which is what we went for as I found it quite cheap (Ā£130 for a 6ft tree from Tong Garden Centre, which was a good price in comparison to other places). I liked the fact it appeared to have a more natural shape, I’m not really interested in perfect triangles.

When you first start putting the tree up it looks really crap, basically; you really do have to ‘fluff’ up the branches.

And then it looks pretty decent.

by the time it’s decorated you can’t really see it’s ‘fake’.

As always, we went with ‘Tat’ theme – all plastic and glitter from the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s.

I’m not sure it’s the very best tree out there, I did fancy John Lewis’s ‘Peruvian Pine’ as above (too expensive and I wasn’t sure it’d be better) and we should have gone for 7 ft (I forgot that when I buy our usual 6 ft real tree it goes in a pot, off the ground by quite a bit so adding false height).

All our other usual decorations have come out, including the ‘evil’ fairies (as my kids call them).

And the vintage mini tree with all my mercury glass and another ‘evil’ fairy on top!

It has really cheered me having the decorations up and we were lucky to buy our tree just ahead of the curve, as I see many places are now sold out. I’ve made a sterling effort with getting gifts ordered early and we just need to make it though the final weeks of school (if the boys actually get to go to school and aren’t permanently at home isolating!), mock GCSE’s and us all being cooped up together for even longer then roll on 2021 and let’s hope it’s better then 2020!

Bright Silk Christmas Mice

Quite some time ago, I made little mice for Christmas, based on a vintage pattern that I had made when I was a kid.DSC_0139They were very typical of my taste at the time and of how my Christmas tree looked.DSC_0172But as happens, my taste has changed slightly and we’ve gone a bit more gaudy these days with ‘trash tree’ and it’s odd assortment of broken plastic deer, santas and 1980’s foil decorations.IMG_20181202_170900It seemed like a great opportunity to make new mice, something I’d always planned to do, but more fitting to our ‘new’ (to us!) decorations (well I say that, quite a few came from a trash bag Mum once started in the attic and I rescued them, like the sad little hoarder I am šŸ™‚ ).

I had an image in my mind of white linen mice (the original ones were tweed) in bright silk skirts, no boys this time and I was quite fixed on blue and orange colours with something else for the third (hot pink?), channeling a tin of Quality Street for colour inspiration or maybe my newer love, Lindt truffles.DSC_0103Then I remembered my promise not to buy new fabric when I have plenty to use up. Boring. Oh well, orange and purple is not so bad and still fitted the brief. TheĀ  orange silk is lush, itĀ  has a gold and hot pink crossweave, I will be very sad when it is all used as you can no longer buy it.

The first two girls were looking good, I was very pleased. I swapped out the bright white linen (as it looked wrong) for some oatmeal linen and added gold ric-rac for extra bling.

Screenshot 2019-11-12 at 10.13.29

Then I realised what the little mice really reminded me off – Cinderella mice!DSC_0106And I decided a little boy was needed after all, leading to a total inability to chose what colour he would be which went on for some days (as I carried on stitching the girls).IMG_20191122_145353Until I had a little girl mouse army going on.DSC_0107Then I bit the bullet and went for pink for the boys (I tried green and blue but that didn’t look right).IMG_20191129_121756After which followed more looooonnnng days of hand sewing. These mice take a really, really long time to make. Much longer than it appears.IMG_20191129_122027But I managed to binge watch all of Stranger Things (or re-watch, actually, as I’ve seen it all once) ready for a fantastic day out at Secret Cinema whilst drinking lots of peppermint tea from my new festive mug. Wild days. I know how to live.IMG_20191129_141710The final little touches!DSC_0140 2And a day of trying to photograph, edit and list them and they are finally done – hurrah!LindtMiceBoyI bought a box of Quality Street especially for photographing them with but they looked better with LindtĀ  chocolates…I think it’s the round shape, itĀ  just seemed to work better…I may have eaten a few.LindtMice6 3You can find them here.IMG_20191204_132025For packaging the mice I had bought some cupcake boxes about 5 years ago (when I made the first batch of these!) and I decided to go ahead and use them, depsite the plastic I would never buy these days. I feel terribly guilty, the same way I do when using bags for flower brooches or sending things in jiffy packaging, but these things were bought in bulk in the early days of The Linen Cat (I have been selling and making since 2009 now) and I will use up the plastic I already have but won’t buy more. The alternative is to throw it away and that seems more wasteful.IMG_20191204_133913

Right, back to sewing something less jolly, probably back to the black spider purses as I’d like to get them finished too šŸ™‚ I’m on a roll – ha ha!

Random thingĀ  but my laptop is stuck on often doing two spaces….I think I might have got some food crumbs under the keyboard, that’ll teach me to show more respect. It’s driving me nuts, though!

Vampire Purses (again!)

This will be the third outing for the Vampire Purses and they have evolved a bit.DSC_0093The originals were made as a big Halloween themed bunch of designs back in 2014 (see here for the post about them – wow, even I can’t believe that was back in 2014!).DSC_0062The applique pieces came already beaded and wereĀ  slightly 3D in style; the whole purse was based on Victorian mourning dress, specifically inspired by an antique dress I own.DSC_0170By the time I made the second batch in 2015 I couldn’t get the same applique, so I bought a new design and beaded them myself (this made sense as I had to double stitch the beading on all of the first ones anyway, I was paranoid they might come off otherwise).DSC_0175I was always a bit sad that they had an orange red lining as in my mind they needed blood red, hence the ‘Vampire’ purse name, but I had quite a bit of the silk to use up. I still love them though and I kept one for myself, it is by far the most used item from the shop.IMG_20191015_132514This time, I got to indulge in my need for that blood red lining.IMG_20191016_142943Yum. I love it!…..I may need to keep another for myself.IMG_20191026_132848Gluing in the frames nearly killed me – I’d forgotten how much I hate that job.DSC_0072But they are done and are listed here.DSC_0091Gosh, they went quickly! Some have already sold as I was writing this post.IMG_20191008_113812Another re-make but one that’s always popular are the red rose brooches,IMG_20191008_125102they are back too.DSC_0204The witch mice from the original Halloween makes never sold well šŸ˜¦ and the last couple have gone into the sale section. Makes me a bit sad as so much work went into them but I also understand why they missed the mark. I love them, but then I have slightly quirky taste.DSC_0231There’s a single vampire boy left too.IMG_20191027_111722Whilst I’m in the mood, I’ve started on new spider purses for next year. I’m just re-drafting the pattern and annoyingly I will need to polish up the acrylic bodies of the spiders as they’ve turned up a bit scratched, which just won’t do.

Right, off to cook Sunday lunch, happy weekend everyone!

House Renovation: The Bedroom – part 2

There is another alcove in my bedroom that I didn’t show in the last post, it’s quite a difficult space as it doesn’t get a lot of natural light and it’s an awkward shape due to it being where the chimney breast runs up the house. dsc_0098_1502728683After a lot of thought, I fell in love with the idea of a glass display cabinet, ideally full of rows of my shoes. Yes, shoes again. I have a lot of them. To be fair I’ve been collecting them for years and years it’s very rare these days that I spend any money on myself, but the joy of my liking retro style heals is they never go out of fashion (as they are rarely in fashion!).dsc_0096_1502728672-1I spent a lot of time hunting on eBay for the perfect piece at the right price. The big problem is obviously no-one is willing to deliver glass so I got very excited when I found a cabinet on a charity auction site with postage costs and at a very reasonable price. It was in a bit of a state so was going to be a gamble, but the low price meant it wouldn’t be disastrous if it didn’t work out.s-l1600 copyIt was delivered by Parcelforce (I’m not kidding!) wrapped in a lot of bubble wrap and cardboard but survived intact. The wrapping was genius, if I remember correctly.

DSC_0172The first job was to try and revive the very scratched woodwork. For this, I went old school, and rubbed it down with an oil and vinegar mix and wow! DSC_0031What a difference it made. It was an almost miraculous recovery. It was so long ago that I’m not fully sure, but I think I then gave it two coats of Danish Oil before hunting down some old lock escutcheons on eBay. They were very cheap and once they arrived, IĀ  liked the bakelite one best.DSC_0033As the door stayed shut nicely, IĀ  just added a modern brass rabbit knob instead of trying to find a replacement key for the lock….just look at how pretty the wood looks in comparison to the top eBay sale photos.DSC_0042There is a matching rabbit used as a knob on the eaves cover just to the left. I used up all my leftover brass furniture handles and knobs on the eaves doors, so it’s quite nice as they are mostly mismatched, which I like; it was coincidence these two ended up near each other.DSC_0025I love this piece of furniture. It cost very little and works really well to fill the dark space as it allows light to pass through, is quite shallow in depth and, most importantly, I get to put pretty things on display!DSC_0038DSC_0032The light on top came fromĀ Graham and GreenĀ and the gorgeous candle which smells amazing as well as being beautiful was a Christmas present (it’s by Fornasetti).IMG_20190222_111532These were the original pictures in the space, but I’d promised myself that one treat when the room was complete would be buying new images as pay off for all the hard work (these ones have gone somewhere else – the wedding photo was my 18th birthday gift from my Mum, she found it in an antique shop and knew I’d like it, the tapestry was stitched by my Gran and used to be in my bedroom when I was a kid).DSC_0036 2The two framed photos are from King and McGawĀ and I absolutely LOVE them. They are both vintage Vogue photos.Screenshot 2019-06-28 at 14.06.40Vogue Early September 1960 by Don HoneymanScreenshot 2019-06-28 at 14.05.04and Felt and velvet mandarin hat by John French.Ā They would really be nicer as larger images but I had to stay smaller to fit in the space.DSC_0056The final thing to go on the wall is a little frame with some of my vintage brooches on.DSC_0065It’s just a cheap photo frame from Sainsbury’s taken apart and a chunk of cork board covered with white linen put back in where the glass should be. It allows me to display my brooches but also take them down easily to wear and the sparkle from the stones is really nice in the darkened corner.

House Renovations: The Bedroom part 1

This is going to be a very photo heavy post and slightly for my own records really, so, sorry.

When we moved here the house was pretty much an empty shell, one of the bigger jobs was to convert the loft space and create a master bedroom, with en-suite bathroom.DSC_0285_2It was very exciting at the time (nearly 14Ā  years ago, I guess).DSC_0223.JPGAll the plaster in the house was sprayed white at the very beginning and that’s pretty much where it ended in the bedroom. Even the blind was one I’d removed from the old house and adjusted to fit. The room didn’t even get skirting boards.DSC_0023Come 4 years ago and it was very much on my hit list to be done. I’ve become quite handy with basic woodwork so I put on all the skirting, sanded and oiled the remaining flooring (most had been done but there were a few patches still to do) and then moved onto the painting.DSC_0027One of the joys of being single is I get to do whatever I like to the house. I love that. After 10 years of all white, I was getting a bit bored and was in the mood for some colour. I took a lead from this fabulous vintage barkcloth fabric which I had in my stash (and hoped to use for the blind) and a notion that I really wanted to introduce some green to the room.DSC_0025 2After lots of tester tins, I went withĀ Farrow & BallĀ Green Blue. It was only ever for the end wall and the alcoves, the other walls I intended to keep neutral.IMG_20170226_085538(1)The floating bookshelves are Umbra Concealed Floating Bookshelves (you can buy them on Amazon) and the watercolour is a vintage one by Yorkshire artist Angus Rands. I liked the colours in the painting (it’s one I inherited from Mum) and it’s propped there so I can use the colours as inspiration. I often do that, base a rooms colours on some fabric, or a painting.il_570xN.1084519279_sj9cThe problem was, IĀ  struggled with the new paint colour. It felt slightly cold (this was back in March 2017, I think, – oh yes, that’s how long it can take me to finish and blog a project!) and when I’d been searching for fabric for blinds, I’d fallen in love with this amazing original barkcloth on Etsy. It nearly killed me to buy a second tin of paint and re-paint the wall, partly due to the cost of Farrow & Ball paint, but IĀ  changed it to Breakfast Room Green and ordered the new fabric and then took that as my colour lead for the rest of the room. I am dying to use Arsenic somewhere in the house, but it didn’t go with the new fabric, sadly.DSC_0029The other walls were painted in Slipper Satin, which I love and use a lot.DSC_0007I had the added complication of needing to make a blind for the internal window that overlooks the studio (this was me creating the paper pattern). There wasn’t enough of the lovely floral fabric to use it on its ownDSC_0010so I paired it with some dark green linen and some amazingĀ  Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn dyed linen/cotton which has a gold metallic thread running through it in Dusty Rose.DSC_0022The blind is attached with gold hoops stitched on with gold thread and hooked over gold capped mirror screws. It’s hard to explain but it folds back on itself and then gets hooked up onto the wall to ‘open’ the blind. If I’m honest, I rarely open it as the room gets quite good light from the windows and velux and I’m too lazy, even though it only takes a moment.DSC_0017The gold thread in the top pink fabric makes it hard to photograph as it reflects the camera flash and yes, that is some of my extensive Chie Mihara shoe collection. I refer to it as my ‘shoe shop’ corner, complete with a seat ready for trying on – ha ha.DSC_0045I’ve owned the chest of drawers for years – it’s from Habitat, as is the light.DSC_0052The dressing table is also quite old now and originally came from Made (along with the stool). The silk bedspread is one of my favourite things and was bought for a fantastic clearance price from Soak and Sleep.DSC_0061The little vintage vanity case is another of my favourite things and I keep my makeup in it as well as the ‘B’ case which came from Anthropologie.DSC_0059I especially like having some sentimental pieces around and this one was Mum’s – she gave it to me when I was a teenager and I’ve had it ever since, I believe it’s from the 1960s.

You can’t see it (as I forgot to photograph it!) but there are a number of hatches in this room allowing access to the small eaves spaces. I took all the fussy architraving off these and painted them in Elephant’s Breath (also by F&B) which is a kind of pink/grey colour. I just wanted the room to have clean lines and blocks of colour and I think it works really well, I’m very happy with it.

There is a partĀ  2 to this post but I’ll keep it separate as it also contains a lot of photos šŸ™‚

House of Foxy…

DSC_0377I have certain things that I always intend to make (but never get around to) and for years I hunted for a pattern for vintageĀ  ‘gym’ style shorts until I found the one above. The size is actually a little big (I usually buy a pattern vintage 18, which is around a modern 14 but with a smaller waist) but I was willing to adapt it, I just couldn’t decide on the fabric.thirties_shorts2And then – hurrah! – I didn’t have to because House of Foxy introduced almost the exact replica shorts based on the pattern above.DSC_0004

(sorry, bad photo alert here – H of F watermark andĀ  copywrite all of their images so I couldn’t just post their shorts photo and I was too lazy to take my stand apart to put the shorts on properly!).

IĀ  bought them a couple of years ago in navy and beige, along with the green tie-neck shirt and I LOVE them. They are quite solid but with enough stretch to be comfortable and (importantly for me) they fit on the rise, which is good, as I have a very long body measurement and often trousers etc can be uncomfortable. I’m not normally a fan of man-made fabrics but in this instance, it absolutely wins, they wash well and the pleat creases stay in. The shirt blouse fabric I like a lot less, I find it feels a bit scratchy, sadly.IMG_20180924_125953They aren’t cheap but personally, I spend very little money on clothes and the ones I do buy last me for many years. I prefer quality over quantity. I wanted to mention this as they have just re-stocked and introduced some new colours and I bought a new pair in red with some Birthday I was given.

The above 40’s zip jacket is my other bit of House of Foxy clothing, again something I’ve owned for a while but that I really value and I know I’ll have for many years.