Mojo?

I started writing a couple of posts recently, but quite frankly on re-reading them they sounded so whiny and glum I’ve decided to scrap them and start again.  Basically, I’m still trying to hunt down my mojo.  Lots of bad things keep happening to good people I know and I’m struggling a bit with the whole life isn’t very fair thing.  Still, for my immediate family, life is good, we have no complaints and on the sewing front, I’ve decided that part of my slump is that dreaded sense of ‘the list’ not reducing, in that I’ve got things I know I need to make but just don’t feel like it, so I sit in my studio and half heartedly stare at them, not really making progress but feeling that I can’t go and work on something more fun.

DSC_0029

Sod that.  Today I decided to work on things that I’m actually interested in, which means beaded spiders, sequined black silk and getting the acorns finished.  At least this way, I might miss Easter (again!…heck I managed new Flower Brooches and Lavender Birds in time for Mother’s Day, so it’s not all a disaster) but I will be waaaaaaay ahead come next autumn.

DSC_0023

On the subject of Mother’s Day, this arrived today and it contains…

DSC_0025

a little sweet gift from me, to me, because I’m worth it.  M is away so I’ll be begging the boys for a lie in past 6am, come Sunday, and I’m hoping with a little xbox bribery I might get to at least sit in bed drinking coffee and scoffing chocolates, whilst pretending I can’t hear them argue.

DSC_0039

I other news, I’ve had a birthday since I last blogged and in the new tradition I got frocked up for a day in London, courtesy of my generous sister; browsing shops, eating lunch in Liberty’s and then going to the Opera.  It was great.  Also, a new tradition of recent birthdays, I took a photo, as I pretty much never take photos of myself as I don’t like having my photo taken but think the once-a-year shot is a good record of me getting older time passing.  In this case I asked M to do it…..where? no not here, the sun is too bright and there’s a wheelbarrow of garden rubbish in the background?  Sorry, it’s fine?  It wont show in the photo?  Ok husband-of-mine who is a MUCH better photographer than me…..that he might well be but he’s crap at choosing backdrops.  I love this skirt, it’s from Viviene of Holloway and the shoes are Chie Mihara (of course!).

DSC_0018

Oh and I also took a glitzy bag by Orla Kiely that I’m in love with.  I don’t get out much, so when I do I really enjoy dressing up.  Sad, I know.

Right, I will attempt to catch up on replying to comments, reading my blog list and proper regular sewings posts again soon 🙂

You Win Some…

And sadly, some you lose 😦DSC_0149

I buy a lot of my vintage clothing from the US and I’m lucky in that it mostly works out.  This 1950’s dress cost a pretty penny and was described as ‘excellent’ in its (vintage) condition but sadly it’s not.  I had already left positive feedback for the seller, one I’ve used many times, but when I came to give it a good iron and decided if it needs a dry clean, I noticed loads of badly mended holes, including some patched that actually rather ruin the dress.  Shame.  We’ll just have to chalk that one down to experience.

DSC_0157

On a happier note, whilst perusing the net for Chie Mihara shoes (I do this often, I’m afraid) I found these beauties on one of those aggregated shopping sites, one last pair left, in my size for a silly low price (for Chie Mihara shoes) and I went for it.  They came from Saks NY and were bought using the Borderfree system where all taxes are pre-paid in advance.  It was  a thoroughly pleasant shopping experience and they arrived in record time.

DSC_0154

Another lovely bit of shopping, these cosmetic bags using vintage tapestry bought from the Etsy shop EllaOsix.  I saw them on the fabulous blog modflowers and couldn’t resist buying a couple (one is for a gift and has been squirreled away).  How did I manage before internet shopping existed – ha ha!  I joke, but I pretty much never go clothes shopping for myself in actual shops, I have no patience for it and know what I like and tend to wait for bargains on-line. 
DSC_0035

What else?  Oh World Book Day.  This year we had to provide a hat with an Alice in Wonderland theme, I’ll be honest and say we cobbled this together at the weekend, really very quickly using some cheap hats bought on Amazon.  Half the kids in school were wearing top hats with card decorations.

DSC_0017

The addition of some Linen Cat bits was purely because they were to hand, F wanted some red roses on his and C needed a ‘doormouse’ for his teapot (which is a sneak peek of a design for next winter).   Job done.  Only ‘Tudor Day’ and school play costumes to go.
DSC_0018

Lastly this little lady is giving me a run for my money.  She’s been back and forth to the vets due to weight loss and sickness.  So far they can’t find what’s wrong with her and as she finds going there traumatic there is a limit to what I’ll expose her to.  I can feel her time is coming an end, she’s 16 and I’m slightly dreading her leaving, for now she just follows me around all day sitting as closely as she can.

DSC_0018

Since I wrote this (a couple of days ago) Smelly has perked right up!  I think it’s the sunshine, perhaps she was just suffering from SAD and needed to roll in dust baths and stalk around the garden in the long grass 🙂

Too many ideas…

I have never hopped between so many projects before.  As I promised myself, I have been trying to finish some open projects for next winter as well as start some well needed re-stocking and some new bits, but I can’t seem to work on just one thing.

DSC_0134

My desk shows just how out of control things are getting.

DSC_0135

I’m also still using both machines as I want to get to know the new one, but sometimes it’s easier to use what’s familiar, plus I have an insanely large stock of pre-wound bobbins in all colours for the old machine and I’m a bit lazy about winding on new ones (even if the new fancy-pants Bernina makes is sooooo much easier).

DSC_0138

New patterns have arrived.  A nice vintage dressing gown as I’ve been hankering for some time for a more glamorous but also still comfortable version than my existing one.  I think I might try to make it in brushed cotton, so it’s structured but cosy.  There’s also a ‘new’ vintage Vogue pattern and guess who forgot that even in these re-prints, the sizing is similarly small to the originals, so I should have sized up – doh – still, I’m slowly shrinking (in a good way) so maybe it will be my size, soon.

DSC_0139

Finally, look at this FABULOUS hand knitted sweater and corsage.  Both are based on vintage patterns and were bought from the Etsy shop 1940s Style For You.  I’m not sure how I stumbled upon this shop, I was probably looking for original vintage jumpers….anyhow, I couldn’t resist this lovely little number.  Oh how I wish I could knit.
DSC_0143

The brooch is a typical situation where I think it shouts out to buy hand made.  It really is rather special, I make felt flower brooches and I’m sure many in my position might think they would just make something similar for themselves, but I know that a. I wont ever get around to it and b. it’s just a personal thing, I will copy commercial things (like mass made clothing) but I never copy other handmade artist’s work (please don’t think I’m judging anyone else here, it’s just my personal mantra I attempt to stick to) and c. I’m happy to pay for something so beautifully made and reasonably priced; so it’s a win, win for me 🙂

The rain stopped today, for a moment and then the sun came out – happy days!

Vintage Tree…

I really got over-excited this morning, when putting the vintage decorations on the tree on my studio.  I’m not sure why it made me so happy, I know in the scale of ‘life’ putting baubles on a tree really shouldn’t have such an impact but I really did enjoy myself.

DSC_0033

One of the first things I did was quickly photograph the boxes open, so I can put the baubles away ‘in the right place’ when the tree comes down.  I know.  I’m weird like that.  I also found myself leaving everything ‘exactly as it is’ in terms of crappy bits of string etc dangling down, I like the imperfections, it’s what makes these beauties so special.

DSC_0040

One of my favourites to open, was an old plastic Jacob’s crackers box that contained a very eclectic mix of trinkets folded in old bubble wrap.  I remember bidding for this but it arrived after Mum became quite ill and was shoved away untouched,  so opening it today was the first time I’d see the contents.  It was quite a large lot of decorations that went reasonably cheaply (oh my goodness, I’ve noticed the Ebay prices this year are through the roof for these things!!) perhaps because it contained some ‘tat’ and wasn’t as perfectly presented as some items.

DSC_0038

It has to be said, I do like a bit of tat and it’s usually here that the real gems lay.  Take the fairy, she is quite knackered, but was sitting at the very top of the box and I was so pleased to remember I’d managed to get a tree fairy in the mix.  Check out her dodgy eye!

DSC_0044

The same box contained tree more clip on birds (I’d already collected a few) which I really do love as Gran had similar on her tree, when we were kids.DSC_0026
DSC_0042

and bunnies…so cute!

DSC_0031

I remembered that a main attraction of this Ebay lot, apart from the fairy, was that it contained a load of clip-on candles, which really did make me a happy bunny.  Our primary school tree had these and they used to light them on the last day of school and we’d each get a present from underneath.  I’m obviously not planning to light these, that would be a bad idea.DSC_0059I also treated myself to a new set of lights, in the form of these little coloured lanterns.  The cable is a bit clunky but the colours are so nice and I think it really works with the old decorations.  I’d love to have an original set, but would be afraid of burning the house down, plus the idea of a bulb blowing and spending hours trying to work out which one doesn’t really appeal.
DSC_0049

Even the scary clown made it up there.

DSC_0045

I found it really difficult to get decent photos, especially of the whole tree so you get one minus the top.  It’s sitting by my work bench, in the middle of the window area, I’m quite nervous of the boys (or cat) knocking it and the misery of a pile of broken glass, I’m sure there’ll be at least one casualty but that’s life.

DSC_0026As it is, I’m happy to take the risk, on order to have something that makes me smile each time I see it.

Back to work, I have the bathrooms and hallway to clean today.  I’m going to put a festive movie on whilst I work, oh yes folks, I really am getting in the mood!

Cute Critters…

My obsession with collecting books that Gran used to read to us, and specifically ones with animals in clothing continues.  I am currently working through the older Racey Helps.

DSC_0034

Although I always love his work, and have now collected all those from the Medici publishers, these earlier ones by Collins have such beautiful illustrations, they are crisp coloured and beautifully detailed, despite the sometimes yellowing pages and battered covers (I am not attempting to collect pristine books here, although I do like them to be readable).

DSC_0036

DSC_0037

The reason I’m mentioning this, is because I was browsing through Etsy the other day, when I came across some amazing felted animals by the very talented ‘Miss Bumbles‘.

DSC_0043

They reminded me so much of the vintage illustrations I love (I’ve been adding to my Molly Brett collection as well!),

DSC_0049

and so I couldn’t resist buying this little guinea pig, complete with tree, to hang in my studio for the festive period (and beyond, I doubt he will me moving, come January).

DSC_0033

I’ve noticed that Miss Bumbles’ stock sells very quickly, so I have been happily stalking keeping an eye on her shop for any updates, and oh my, I really did fall in love with this little group.  Perhaps it’s because I have been sewing deers again this week?  Whatever reason, they have come to live with me 🙂  There is clearly so much work involved; it makes me want to learn to needle felt, but it would take some years to reach this level of skill and I’d much rather support another artist by buying their fabulous work.  There was a note in the parcel suggesting that the scarves be removed and eggs be added in place of the christmas package so they could be used as Easter decorations as well – great idea!
DSC_0029

And look, even the packaging details are cute 🙂

Birthdays…

I keep planning posts, taking the necessary photos but not finding the time to actually write them.  I have also been sewing and hoped to get some product pictures taken today, but somehow ended up doing housework and, in-between, obsessively ordering my iPhotos albums.  It took all day as I have thousands of images; still it’s done now and I really enjoyed looking through the last 10 years of my life in photos, just a few more years to sort, when my wrist has recovered!

DSC_0018

DSC_0041

DSC_0024

DSC_0017

We had a Birthday last month, complete with breakfast in bed and bought cake.  I normally bake one, but this way I wasn’t tempted to eat any of it, bought cakes are too sweet for me and the boys couldn’t care less if it’s home made or not.DSC_0086

Then there was another birthday, awe, ain’t he sweet, Birthday Boy no2!

DSC_0042

DSC_0037

We spent F’s birthday at Center Parcs, our first time and it was AWESOME!!!!  I plan to book again next year (just did that and it costs a whopping £500 more to go in the half term!!!!).  The ducks that camped out permanently on our patio were very comical, they did the rounds with begging looks on their faces, we were so tempted but M (quite rightly) wouldn’t let us feed them.DSC_0068

We stayed in one of the new Woodland Lodges and I can highly recommend them.  The design was genius, they really do have everything you might need.  Our lodge was clean, well equipped, stylish and I paid extra (it has to be said, a weekend at CP does not come cheap and EVERYTHING is extra) to choose our villa location, booking one in the ‘central area’, but also on the very outside edge, meaning we had a wonderful view of only woodland from the living room window and apart from nosey ducks, we had deer, rabbits and a general wealth of wildlife wondering past.DSC_0074

Best of all we brought our bikes (which is totally encouraged and is the best way to get around, no cars being allowed after the initial unpacking) and I finally got to play on my new Pashley.  This was a belated Christmas present from M, the waiting list after ordering is some weeks and please don’t think we are this generous with our gifts normally, it was a very special and lucky treat for me to get such a fabulous bike!

DSC_0087

I was useless and didn’t take any other photos.  As predicted we spent every morning in the Tropical Swimming Pool, F had a ball on the various slides and rapids and we had a few spins in the Cyclone.  We only booked in for an Archery session, I figured we’d be happy just mostly hanging out, which was the case.

newutility_large_1Due to our having minimal packing space, it was a necessary to take as little clothing as possible.  Apart from my lovely vintage frock and wedge heels (which weren’t as impractical to cycle in as they look and I did have my walking boots as well) I mostly wore some Freddie of Pinewoods repro Utility Jeans – love these, the high waist are great for my *ahem* roundish figure.

3390e76ca41cefc93d91d420316c73fd

I also took a couple of Brora’s cropped cardigans.  I must say, I am really enjoying wearing things with accentuated waists at the moment, I am considering throwing out all my modern jeans and only wearing Freddie’s from now onwards, this particular style aren’t exactly slimming on the thighs but they do give a wonderful curve and it’s so nice not to have a modern, low waist, digging into my belly whenever I sit down.

il_570xN.357113078_n9eu

I have to do a quick shout out here for my Ruffle Bag (mentioned many times before) which I bought forever ago from Etsy (seller Kinies) it is one of the most used things I’ve bought, it goes on every walk we do, all our days out to country houses and castles, when I don’t want to carry a heavy bag.  It’s just brilliant and I’ve given many of them as gifts.

DSC_0002

Also, and I know I’ve also mentioned these many times, but the boys messenger bags are proving invaluable, the wipeable linings mean they make great swimming bags and I’m so pleased they get so much use.

I have sewing for the next post, promise!

Not Such A Bag Lady…

Thanks for all your lovely comments and enthusiasm for the 1940’s suit.  I am quite excited to get making but I’m going to wait for that pivotal half-stone weight loss (around this point, I tend to lose quite a bit of my general figure, rather than just all that nice internal fat I’ve built up around my belly)

dsc_0233

In contrast to my bag lady dress confessions in the last post, I thought I’d share a bit more about how my brain works re clothing plus add some of my favourite shop links (they should all be clickable).

I am taking the boys away tomorrow, on my own, on a train.  Basically, I had put this school holiday into the calendar as a one week break and it was only when F pointed out that this one is a ‘longer one’ that I realised my mistake.  I really feel the need to get away, to breathe fresh(er) air, do some walking, see some green rolling hills and give the boys a change of scenery, so I checked out the train times and booked us some tickets.  M will join is with the car later in the week.  That means I have to take everything we need, including most of the food (as we will be car-less and there are no shops near by) in my medium-sized Orla K suitcase.

I am good at this, I am a planner and can pack well into small spaces, I like the challenge (I lead a simple life, you know).  M laughed at me once, when pre-kids I made him stop at the big supermarket next to Inverness airport so we could buy lots of food, we were on our way to a remote National Trust cottage.  He laughed less when he realised we had to drive for 40 mins over pretty scary roads just to buy a pint of milk.

DSC_0021

To travel, I shall be wearing some fabulous Toast wide leg wool trouser that I bought for next to nothing in the archive sale (I have just noticed, they are having an archive sale RIGHT NOW, so go grab a bargain), a Brora silk blouse that I’ve owned for years, my very favourite wardrobe staple (again, only ever bought in the sale) cashmere t-shirt from Pure…looking a bobbly there under the arms, on which note Brora verses Pure, I have ‘T-shirt’ style sweaters from both, Brora wins as the cashmere seems to wear a lot better and all of mine goes in the machine on a wool wash, I am too lazy to hand wash, oh and the trousers were bought extra long then also wool washed to shrink them before taking them up to the final length, as I can’t cope with dry cleaning costs.  Finally a pair of Chie Mihara shoes.  I’ve spared you to site of my suck-em-in knickers.  When I am slimmer, I plan to buy myself the Glamour Underbust Panty Girdle from What Katie Did, I stalk this site regularly drooling over the lovely vintage style undies.

DSC_0018

I am packing a tweed kick-pleat skirt, some wool tights, this cute vintage sweater (another favourite, came from Etsy seller Frida Larsen, which I do hand wash, very carefully, incidentally), some tops to wear under the sweaters and all the obvious stuff like knickers and a nightie.  I’ve also made room for my walking shoes and a waterproof jacket.  Yes, yes, it would be a lot simpler if I just wore the shoes and waterproof to travel in but a lot less fun and yes I do also often just wear jeans etc, but I am feeling all wool and tweedy at the moment, I think it’s this dismal weather.

DSC_0019

I plan to wear a watch, not something I do much these days but carrying a car booster seat, a suitcase and bag, plus trying to get the boys up and down all the stairs will be enough without trying to fish out my phone to check the time, and I do have the worlds largest collection of vintage watches.  Seriously, take a look.  The fob watches are all courtesy of Grandad, via Mum.  Long story and perhaps too boring for you really so I’ll skip it.

DSC_0035

The 1950’s boys military watch was a recent buy.  The boys and M took me to a vintage fair in London for Mother’s Day and gave me some spending money.  There were some lovely clothes there, but in all honestly, there is a wider selection available on-line these days, so I opted for the watch, which I fell in love with.  I would wear it for this journey but it ticks SO LOUDLY that I fear my fellow passengers might not be pleased, so I’m going for the mens one just next to it instead.

DSC_0040

I did buy this cheap and cheerful bracelet whilst we were at the fair as well.  The trip was a surprise, but the boys are so rubbish at surprises, they kept asking me if I liked, “old stuff, like clothes and things” and “would I enjoy a fashion show, of old things?” so they kind of gave the game away.  Lovely idea though.

DSC_0020

Charlie has packed.  All he has to fit in are toys (I’m taking the rest of their stuff) and I’m making them use the messenger bags I made instead of their usual Trunkis.  I meant to say, these bags have been brilliant, especially with the laminate lining, we use them for swimming each week.

So wish me luck, I’ve never travelled on my own with the boys but it will be fine.  Oh and we are travelling first class for the main bit, there were Advance tickets left that cost a tiny bit more than economy but there is free food, drink, wi-fi and plug sockets (for the boys, I plan to plug them into laptops and movies and put then in headphones) and more importantly, free wine for me, should be fun 🙂

1940’s Suit: The Pattern…

I think that most people who read my blog, know that I have a bit of a thing about vintage.  I used to wear lots of vintage clothing when I was quite young and much of my normal wardrobe is vintage inspired, with quite a few original pieces thrown in.  On a daily basis I have become very lazy with my appearance, which is something I’d like to rectify.  I think I keep waiting to lose the weight I put on when I had the boys, and in doing so, to be able to wear the 80% of my wardrobe that I currently can’t fit into.  Although I am working on this (the weight loss), I have been making an effort to increase that 20% that I can wear by adding some new pretty pieces, ie. not just Chie Mihara shoes, but actual clothes.

DSC_0019

On of my recent buys is this vintage suit.  I love it, but it does have a few problems.  Although it fits me on the skirt and waist, the shoulders are HUGE.  Basically, it has already been messed about with, the skirt has been taken in and there have been changes to the jacket, although these alterations are also ‘original’ I can’t wear it well as it is.  I plan to do some alterations of my own, if it was ‘pure’ vintage and had never been touched I would probably feel very guilty about this, but as is, I am happy to do so.

DSC_0021

In the meantime, it got me thinking that I might like to make myself a nice 40’s suit that fits me perfectly.  I have a quite specific idea of the fabric and shape of my ideal version, this, of course, has lead to many hours of trawling the internet, trying to find a good original pattern and the perfect tweed.

A5399

I’m in love with this pattern (Advance 5399), how fabulous is that collar, the turned cuff and the scallop hem on the jacket?   Sadly, it is not meant to be as none exist even remotely near my size.

DSC_0016

In the end, I bought a Hollywood pattern (1145) in a size 18 and a Mc Call in a size 40.  I would like to point out, just in case you don’t know this, that vintage pattern sizing is teeny tiny in comparison to modern dress sizes.  I am a 14.  I was a size 8 when I got married  – boo hoo!  I had assumed I’d return to nearer that size after kids (which is when I gained most of the weight), now I hope to land near a neat 12 if I keep up my current, very slow, weight loss up, maybe even a 10 if I’m lucky.  Oh and dress size is relative to each person, I am in no way suggesting that a 14 is large, it isn’t, but for me and my personal frame, I’d prefer to be a bit smaller.

DSC_0017

Anyhow, if you want to know more about vintage patterns and sizing, plus learn some great sewing techniques I would suggest Gertie’s book ‘New Book For Better Sewing‘ it’s brilliant and also contains some great patterns.  I hesitated about buying this, as I tend to think I know quite a lot about sewing but in reality, I know about drafting patterns and historical design and construction, but reading this I realised there is so much I don’t know, especially about the kind of sewing I’m about to do.  A perfect example is Gertie’s (I write this like she’s my new BF – ha ha!) way to work out your vintage size.  She suggests you actually measure your upper bust measurement (directly under your arms) and use this for old pattern sizing, as the actual bust measurement (ie around the widest point) is all about  how busty you are and not about your actual frame size.  This way, the shoulders and arm of the pattern will fit and you should only need to make a simple bust adjustment, if needed.  So I’m between a vintage 18 and 20.  Whichever pattern I choose to use I’ll have to adjust it up or down, but this I am comfortable with.
DSC_0017

Next came the trawl for fabric.  My initial choice being the dog-tooth check above, but it’s too heavy and a much bigger design than I’d realised.  I am not disheartened as it’s lovely fabric and will be fabulous for bags and purses, but that’ll teach me to get samples in future.  Oh and the other small check is for a skirt.  No idea why the new Donna Wilson catalogue is there, I think I just took the photo as, at the time, it made a neat little pile on my desk.

DSC_0016


I decided on the Hollywood pattern, against my better judgement, the McCall was much easier to follow and the pieces were fully marked, but I fell in love with the peplum on the Hollywood one, so the Ginny Simms suit it is.  Also, my second order of fabric, this beautiful green/grey/blue/brown tweed is perfect for the job….and looks surprisingly like the image on the packet cover, I hadn’t noticed that until now.

DSC_0024

I had ordered 4 meters of fabric, as the width is wider than those given on the pattern back (which I didn’t actually have at the point of ordering the fabric as it was coming back from the US with my husband), so the first thing I did was carefully lay out the pieces to make sure I had enough.  I did and actually 3 meters would have been perfect.  When I was at college, we used to lay our patterns pieces on the large cutting table so see how much fabric to order.  Always a good trick.

DSC_0028

Next, I very carefully ironed the pattern pieces and copied them onto brown paper which I buy in long rolls (another old habit, I always use it for pattern cutting, even for my Linen Cat work).

DSC_0016

I then spent the rest of yesterday obsessively marking up the brown paper versions so they made easy sense to me, marking in grain lines, darts etc and even the stitch lines – I pretty much only ever work from patterns that are drafted without seams included so I’m bound to forget if I re-visit this in the future.

I’ve stopped there, as I need to make a few decisions.  Do I wait to lose more weight before altering the pattern and making it up?  Or do I make it to fit me now.  I’m going to wait a while at least.  There is no hurry and I want this to be a keeper, after all 4 meters of tweed, lining and a vintage pattern don’t come cheap.

DSC_0080

And now for a little eye candy.  I wanted to show you this fabulous purse I bought last Autumn from Sarah Culleton.  I’m sorry if I’ve shown it before, but don’t think I have and the image has been sitting on my laptop waiting to be mentioned.  It has had so many lovely compliments, I’m always a good girl and point out it isn’t one of mine.  The detail of adding a vintage brooch (which comes with the purse) is one I particularly like.

DSC_0082

I couldn’t resist this as well.

DSC_0016

Finally, as I just mentioned vintage jewellery, the brooch in the tweed shot above and this cute earring/brooch set (which I bought because I owned a similar one for dressing up with when I was a child) are from the UK Etsy shop Pearls Scarlet Vintage.  I’m really enjoying vintage brooches at the moment, it’s quite a nice and affordable way to cheer up an outfit. Our kitchen table needs some TLC doesn’t it!

Right, back to housework and refereeing the kids.

Vintage Decorations…

I wont go on about it, as I know many are in the same position, but we’ve all been sick again and I have spent my second year running trying not to cough all the way through the boys’ school nativity.  I feel a little better today, I realised last week that I have mild vertigo on the back of the recent flu, which explains the dizzy sick feeling I permanently have, hopefully this will go as my body repairs itself.

DSC_0015

Enough.  Back to the title.

I loved this question over at Lyn’s blog – if things as old as you are vintage, then are you vintage as well?  It has pushed me to write a post (sorry, blogging has gone by the way side as of late) about my most recent collecting obsession – vintage baubles.

DSC_0028

When I was little, every year that we bought our tree, we would also buy one for my Gran.

DSC_0026

She had a ‘mini’ tree, that sat on a table, in front of a window, in the corner of her room and it was covered in beautiful vintage decorations.  If we were lucky (and when we were a bit older and more trust worthy) we were allowed to put them on the tree and I have very fond memories of the mercury glass fish, birds and baubles that adorned  it. I decided this year, to obessively hunt vintage decorations buy a few vintage decorations from ebay so I could have my own little special tree in the studio.

DSC_0033

Apparently, vintage being very in fashion and all, everyone else had the same idea. Still, I started early enough so managed to get some good deals.  I’m also quite relaxed, things don’t need to be perfect for me, chipped paint and mixed quality are all the appeal.  I tell you, I was amazed at some of the ‘buy it now’ prices, I mean, I know vintage is all the rage but there was some wishful thinking from many sellers.

DSC_0036

I got some beautiful decorations, I even managed to collect some clip on birds, a fish and a rolling pin! The plan was to buy a little tree in a pot, which I could then try and keep alive in the garden for next year, and to pop it in the studio in front of the window, for the world to see from the road and to make me smile.

DSC_0020

Sadly, at the weekend, when I bought the tree for our living room from the local garden shop there were no small trees, in fact we bought their very last one (six foot and now in the living room), so I’m now debating leaving my stunning, cunning plan until next year.  That and the fact that the boys have already broken two of the modern glass baubles off the big tree, maybe they need to be a bit older before I can expect them to be careful around pretty, breakable, vintage goodness (I share the studio with the boys as a play room these days, they are SOOOOOO messy, I keep joking about taping a line down the middle of the room so they know which half is theirs – ha ha).

I’m happy though, the decorations have been collected over a number of weeks, during which time they have sat on my desk, where I’ve spent happy times looking through them and wondering whose house they used to decorate, plus I’ll have a fantastic ‘Gran’ tree next year 🙂

Pretty things…

There have been quite a few pretty things arriving in this house over past weeks:

My new (to me) Crown Devon ‘Stockholm’ pattern cup + tv plate and jug, both gifts for my 40th.  I have long been a fan but get regularly frustrated by attempting to bid for pieces on Ebay, lucky me that someone (thanks A & J!) did it for me 🙂

The jug is now hanging out on our new shelves in the living room, next to some critters by Chico Bicalho that I once brought back for the boys from a trip to the Design Museum in London.  As you’ll understand when I do get around to posting about our house renovations, I am more excited than I can say to be able to display things on shelves, it’s been a long time coming.

Beautiful laser cut cards by Skinny Laminx, now living on the freshly painted mantelpiece.

And finally, a necklace, also bought for my 40th, but this time with money I was given.  I fell in love with this on a recent blogpost  over at Silverpebbles and dashed over to Emma’s shop to buy it.  I have been holding on to my money since March, waiting for something suitable to spend it on and this is just perfect.

This last photo is Emma’s, so much better than the one I’ve taken and lets you see all the detail.  I especially love that Emma gave all the history she’d found out about the vintage locket on her Etsy shop listing and the beautiful little flower Emma has made plus the peridot and vintage pearl make it a great addition to my (small, but beautifully formed) jewellery collection.

That is all, just a few things I wanted to share whilst I remember.