Sunshine on a Rainy Day…

It’s truly miserable out there.  I have mentioned before, that I quite like rain and wintry weather, but scrap that, right now I’d be extremely happy to see some sunshine.  I’m bored with wet, cold, bleurgh weather.

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In contrast to outside, my workbench has a much more summery feel.  Whilst attempting to use up existing fabrics, I came across some cute Cosmo Cricket fabric – Girl Friday, Flowers, in green.  I bought it last year, with a specific project in mind,  that has since been abandoned and it’s been sitting in my stash since, getting lonely.  I kind of fell in love all over again, especially with the sweet little buttercups and bees and as I was re-stocking linen mice, I couldn’t resist making a few extra.

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The boys have sunny yellow shorts….and upside down petals! Doh!  The pattern runs in all directions and I have no idea how I managed to end up with mostly upside down blooms and insects on the boys ‘top’ but I did.  Never mind, still cute, I think.

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For the girls, I made a slight change to the collars, in that I scalloped them, ideally I’d have also added a little ribbon bow in the middle, but then they would be less suitable for younger children (possible choke hazard), so sadly it can’t be.

DSC_0035It’s only a mini batch, but they are tagged and listed on my own site and girl Folksy.  I still need to finish making up some of the other, regular, linen boys and maybe another new colour girl, but I’m happier that this section of the shop is looking a bit healthier now.

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I also completed the buttercup brooches.  Always a favourite, they spend most of the time ‘out of stock’ so it’s nice to have a batch of those done as well, although it’s taken me a few days to write this post so some are already gone.

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I remembered to photograph the new Spring labels I had made last year from Moo.  These go onto the back of the packages of brooches and little birds, and I’m happy with their cheery colours, they seem very apt for Spring/Summer products.

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I had a great weekend, hanging out a my sister’s, eating lovely food and being spoilt for my birthday.  I decided to dress up a bit and wore another ‘new’ vintage dress, this time the lovely green cotton number below, which came from Simplicity is Bliss Vintage (Etsy, US – I’ve used their photo).  I’m a bit in love with this frock, especially the colour, green with pink roses, it’s also great for throwing into the wash and hanging dry without the need for ironing.  I do like easy care vintage.
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Let’s hope we get a change in the weather soon, I’d like to get out into the garden and tidy up, but right now I’d just sink into the mud.  The plus side is, it keeps me in the mood to work in winter products, so I’m getting ahead nicely there and I’m currently planning some sewing for myself that involves original 1940’s patterns and lots of tweed.  I do love a bit of tweed 🙂

In the Pink…

I started this post last week.  Since then, I have had a birthday and I’m now sick with the boys’ most recent colds.  Now, you have probably got to know me quite well and so understand that I don’t really do sick, unless pneumonia or really bad vertigo are involved, but today I’ve decided to indulge myself (as a kind if delayed b-day pressi) and I’m sitting on the sofa, in my pj’s, under a fetching crochet Toast blanket (bargain sale buy) watching the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice on Netflix (only five hours worth, if I watch it back to back I’ll get it all in by school pick-up!).  M will be pleased when he comes back from school run (which he offered to do – quite a rare happening) and sees me here 😉  Anyway, I thought I’d get this post finished, so here goes:

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I have mixed feelings about the colour pink.  I used to hate it, after Mum decorated my room (then shared with my Sister) in all over Laura Ashley pastel pinks whilst I was away on a school trip.  My Sister (who I assume helped choose said decor) then bailed and moved into a room of her own, leaving me surrounded by pastel princess colours until I persuaded my Brother (a fan of pink) to swap rooms.  We were quite young, but it scarred me and pink was very off the list for many years. I still struggle with baby pink tones, they really don’t rock my boat, but over the years bolder shades of the colour, especially deep berry red versions, feature often in my wardrobe and my work, I’d even go so far as to say, they feature the most.

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I was married in (Ben De Lisi) coral pink, not a choice I expected to make (although I did know I was planning an evening, not wedding dress, they cost a fraction of the price), but it worked well,

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and most recently, as a Birthday present from me to me, I added to my Chie Mihara obsession collection with a lovely pair of ice cream coloured shoes featuring pink.

I’ve also been adding to my vintage wardrobe, which I notice has a definite pink thing going on.  Added over past moths are:

il_fullxfull.414263521_rb84this beauty from the US Etsy shop Dear Golden Vintage

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and this lovely cotton frock from the UK Etsy shop Dottys Vintage.

Please note, that in both cases, the photos are those of the sellers, as they’d done such a good job it seemed pointless to re-photograph them, I do hope they don’t mind.  I also have a lovely 1950’s coat dress in hot pink to show you, but it’s just come back from the specialist cleaners and I’m too lazy to go and set it up for a photograph.  Sorry.  I’m ill, don’t you know?

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As we are singing the praises of pink, how about this?  I rescued this little vintage hat some months ago from the bottom of a box, it was very screwed up and anyone else would have probably thrown it in the bin, but after a steam and an attempt to re-block it where I can, it’s looking rather good again.  It is rather sweet, I think.

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I know we’re getting a bit random with this post, it’s really just a way to share some of the photos that are sitting in my album, (and please don’t think I’ve been on a huge spending spree, apart from the new shoes, most of this has been bought over many, many months) but, have you noticed all those lovely bound books turning up at the moment?  It feels to me, like the reaction to kindles etc is to make ‘proper’ books even more beautiful.  I am happily collecting some of the Virgo Modern Classics Designer Collection at the moment (bound in fabrics by various well known designers) and I couldn’t resist this leather bound Lewis Carroll collection from Barnes & Noble.  It’s a door stopper of a book, both Alice stories together only taken up about a fifth of the pages, so that gives you some idea of the size but it is, oh so beautiful, and I had an Amazon voucher to spend from Christmas.

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even the end papers are lovely, and it contains the original illustrations, where appropriate.  I love my kindle, and I am happy to buy lots of quick reading books there, but for classics, I do like a proper, fancy, hardback.

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My last pink pretty, is this parcel from Fizroy & Cole (yet another UK Etsy shop),

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containing a linen embroidered table cloth which fits perfectly in our kitchen.  Makes me smile each time I see it.

OK.  So sorry this has been a bit of a ramble, but sometimes I collect images and shop links that I want to share and they don’t always fit neatly together in a post.  I’m off to make a Lemsip now and watch more Pride and Prejudice whilst slowly filling a bin with used tissues – nice!

Back in stock – Lilac Linen Mice..!

I mentioned, in a recent post, all the half-finished projects that are presently living in stackable IKEA boxes (the best things ever BTW) waiting patiently to be completed.  I have made it my goal to try to empty those boxes in coming weeks, even though, what I really want to do is fiddle with new designs.

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First up are linen mice.  I think I cut these out last Spring, when Country Living showed and interest in them (along with other things that they did go on to use in the Emporium pages and for shoots) and I thought I’d better do a re-stock.  They are a slow burner, the linen mice, I tend to sell one to a person, often then followed by a few repeat orders, which makes me believe they are nicer in real life than they appear on the web; or, and I do know this to be true, they are fantastic for younger children, as the ears are brilliantly ‘suckable’ and they can be popped in the washing machine (wool wash only) which is a winner.  Either way, they are a steady plodder, from a sale point of view, but I really, really like them so I intend to keep them, for a while, at least.

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Now, I like strong colours and I’m hankering to make one in a navy dress with white spots, but I know they wont sell, people (understandably) like the pinks and purples, the more girly tones, so my priority was to make some more of the lilac version.  They are rather cute.

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So, they are finished and have been listed here.

Hope your weekend is off to a great start, I’ve just come back from swimming lessons (C’s) and I’m about to enjoy my first glass of wine, knowing that Friday night is Thai takeaway night – hurrah!

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Tudor Boy Revisited…(and other costumes)

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Back in January 2011, I made a Tudor boy’s costume for F, for school.  I blogged about it here and it is one of the most visited posts on my blog.  I remember grumbling quite a bit at the time about the idea of providing an outfit to be worn for just one day (and to be absolutely fair, there were lots of suggestions from the school about cobbling one together from jogging bottoms tucked into long socks etc) before deciding to just get on with it, which has more than proved it’s worth, as I had hoped, and the outfit comes out at every possible opportunity.

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Both my boys tend to be quite tall for their ages (due to a 6′ 5″ husband, probably) and I  made the original costume quite long (but slim fitted, in keeping with the time), knowing I would need it again a year later – here F is in 2012, for his second Tudor Day at school.

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Since then the costume has been used frequently, at least twice as a pirate costume for parties,  even once with the above mask (from the boys Halloween skeleton outfits) to make a ‘ghost pirate’,

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and most recently for C to wear for his first school Tudor Day.

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Although his favourite bit is the un-Tudor like bag, which he kept his tissues in.  Bless.

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Another bit to get regularly recycled are the capes from the boys vampire outfits

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Here being enthusiastically (he was a lot happier than he looks, I promise, he just doesn’t do posing in the same was as F) modeled by C, who had a magic party to go to last year.

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The only outfit that hasn’t been worn again, is F’s Messy Monster one (from Okido magazine), made for World Book Day in 2011.  Shame, as I like this the most.

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Which brings me neatly back to today, also World Book Day and two happy little boys in cobbled together Tom outfits from Beast Quest.  My boys are quite particular and F, especially, always wants very exact details….I may have myself to blame for this, from past years, but these days I have less enthusiasm I’m afraid, and I try to find the quickest efficient solution, so roll out Tudor boy again!  If you are looking at this photo and thinking – well they aren’t bad – wait, you can’t see the shields, which are rubbish, but hey, they are only for one day….or not, perhaps I can stretch out Beast Quest Tom for a second year?…maybe 😉

Green Auriculas and Giveaway Winner…

It’s a beautiful day today, sunny and a little warmer than it has been, so I am looking forward to a potter in the garden later.  I plan to hunt for signs of spring in the borders, see exactly what has survived the winter (and the pesky squirrels and chafer grubs, who keep eating my bulbs).

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My recent sewing work has been echoing my need for spring.  Ever since I made the green auriculas for my tweed messenger bag, I figured they’d be a good addition to this year’s flower brooches and I’ve been carrying a tray of relevant hand sewing around with me for weeks.

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I know these images have been popping up a lot in recent posts (sorry, there are other things on the go, not just new flower brooches) but with Mothers’ Day nearly upon us, I thought I’d better get a move on and get them completed and listed.

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So, after a couple of days of frantic sewing, here they are,

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and the backs

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Even though we have had some quite clear days, with good light, they were difficult to photograph and to get the colours correct.  Most annoying as today is perfect for taking photographs but sadly too late, they are mounted on card and bagged up, so I could finally list them, here.

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Whilst I was creating a new colour version of the auriculas, I also re-visited the original design of the burgundy ones.  When I made the recent brooches for tweed bags, I added a second yellow ring to the middle, I really like this as it adds a nice pop of colour to set off the mustard and dark red petals, so I decided to add this as a standard from now on.  There are a few of the original burgundy auriculas left, but I’ve popped these up on Folksy, with the new ones on my own site.  Please don’t think I’m treating Folksy as the poor cousin, it’s just easier for me to keep them separate, with the relevant photos in the right places this way.

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I still need to finish up the latest batch of buttercups, which are currently out of stock, then I’m done with flower brooches for a while, it’ll be nice to tick one of my re-stock items off the (rather long) list.


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Which brings me nicely to the buttercup bag winner – number 1 was picked by the random number generator, I don’t think I’ve ever had a ‘number 1’ picked before, so Fran of Patchy Rose, congratulations, I’ll email you for your address and get your purse into the post.  Thanks everyone that entered and for your lovely comments.  I hope to have another giveaway soon.

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Finally, I wanted to show you this lovely parcel, that arrived last week, how nice is the wrapping!

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It contains Claude the Cockerel, which I bought from Julie and Helen’s Folksy shop Haggiz.  I fell in love and as I’m about to start a week of solid house clearing and cleaning, I thought he’d brighten up the mantlepiece, along with some other birds I’ve collected over the years that come out to decorate the house near Easter (which I know is a bit away, but the boys like seasonal decorations so we tend to rather string them out).

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Julie was extremely kind and added in an extra, in the form of a notepad and cover in what happens to be one of my favourite fabrics, as I was the first Folksy customer to Haggiz.  Perfect, I plan to put it into action this next week when I get a grip on the house and it’s contents.  I wont be getting much sewing done, but I do have some half written posts and things to show, so hopefully I’ll find time for that, but I know taking a week out to tidy and, essentially spring clean will make me feel so much fresher and calmer, so it’ll be worth it.

I’m off to the garden now to hunt for green shoots before starting Sunday lunch, I hope you’re having a lovely weekend 🙂