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Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Get Creative.....Now!!

Just a quick word because Mrs V and I are very excited by the new "Get Creative" packs that we have been putting together at Handmade & Vintage.

We wanted to put some collage/sewing/scrapbooking type packs together for ages but it took a while to find the right containers to put them in. In keeping with the Handmade & Vintage ethos we wanted something that was either recycled or could be re-used in the future and then it hit us...jam jars! (Luckily they didn't hit us literally)

Anyway pop over and look at our gorgeous jam jars with their perky red and white spotted lids all filled with equally gorgeous vintage bits and bobs...

The cushion covers are progressing well and some lovely new fabrics arrived today that I'll try and photograph if the sun comes out tomorrow. I'm thinking of turning them into covers for the heat packs. I've also got some lovely vintage feedsack pieces coming from America which I'm looking forward to arriving.

I have now managed to list the first 12 or so original classroom prints in the shop. They are from the 1940's and these ones are filled with beautiful, detailed images of a variety of british fauna and flora. My personal favourites are "Birds of Doubtful Character" and "Poisonous Plants" but that may be a bit too gothic as a combination. Wander over to the prints and Pictures area of the shop if you have a moment, they are worth a look.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Bimbo the Fawn Lives!

I have finished making Bimbo the Woodland Fawn from one of my 1950's copies of Needlework Illustrated. I'm quite fond of him now although he was very fiddly to make and I think the original looks rather rounder... Still he's got that fifties vibe I think... I've made him rather more Christmassy than the original too. 
I think I'll enlarge the pattern and make some more - I was thinking that a little family in vintage fabrics might be the thing...

Mrs Vintage has been cracking the whip this week so I have also made some cushion covers using vintage damask tablecloths and doilies.

I'm so pleased to have found a way to put the doilies to good use. I always admire the workmanship on them but could never think of a way of transforming them into something for my house - until now! They look lovely with all the textures working together.

I have also been combining vintage hand embroidered tray and tablecloths that were marked or torn. I started this one with the intention of turning it into a cushion cover but as I was finishing it I thought it might make a centre for a quilt or throw instead. Whichever way it goes it will appear in the Handmade section of the shop.

Once I finish this I've got two sacks of cherry stones to decant into the calico bags that form the basis of my thermal pillows. There's 10 kilos worth - that's a lot of cherry eating - although not by me I would like to add. They are all professionally cleaned and dried.  They are brilliant though - not only do they retain the heat and keep you cosy like a hot water bottle, but you can add essential oils to them and throw them in the washing machine to refresh them. A perfect gift surely!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Loading up the Website...

 I have spent most of my waking hours sorting vintage stock, photographing it, measuring it and working to get it all onto the new website. It's slow progress but it'll be worth it in the end.
Mrs Vintage, who's always propped up somewhere nearby, is shown here with part of a glorious Sadler tea set which is one of the many items that I have been photographing and trying to list over the last week or so. The set is a riot of gilding and yellow roses - perfect. Amongst the other treasures added that I am particularly fond of is the sixties magazine rack with it's perfect retro credentials.
I've been having a look through my recently acquired copies of Needlework Illustrated, most of which are from the 1940's and 50's.

 Theres a sweet reindeer pattern that I'm going to try to make at the weekend. They recommend moleskin so that it won't be damaged by babies teeth but I think I'll go with felt! I'll post a picture when it's done - 'tis the season after all.
There are some great projects in these magazines which I will try out over the coming weeks. I'll share any that turn out to be good. The magazines are full of brilliant adverts too. This one summed up my life perfectly I thought - capturing my daily elegance especially with the washing up!

I am badly behind with all my handmade projects. There's a quilt that is waiting to be embroidered, about 10 of the heat packs to be finished and an enormous amount of vintage trimmings to be sorted through for use.
I did manage to finish one thing though. I started a course back in September to learn more about free machine embroidery. It's brilliant and run by a very inspiring textile artist called Wendy Dolan. Our last project was to make a small purse - here's mine .

It's a long way from being perfect but I'm pleased with the way it turned out. I added bits of vintage trimmings and some embroidery butterflies that I found at an auction. My plan is to sort through my piles of vintage habedashery and lace and put them into small packs that would be perfect for sewing and collage projects.
In which case I'd best get back to it!

Did I mention the shop? Mrs Vintage is always in at

It's a Start...

Finally... after months in the making...
It would be fair to say that I rather underestimated the amount of work involved in creating an online shop so my planned summer launch is somewhat delayed. But still, here we are at last.
 I was giddy with the thought of blogging too, imagining the colourful pages of creativity, lavishly illustrated with photographs, filled with projects and patterns made, by me, in my colour supplement home.
The reality of course, is a table on the upstairs landing, surrounded by overflowing baskets of half finished projects and lovely fabrics. A camera that needs more light than a rainy Sussex afternoon generates to produce half decent pictures, and the constant interuptions of real life.
No matter, given that each of life's journeys starts with a single step, this small beginning is no barrier to where the adventure may end.
I hope that over the coming months lots of ideas will flow through this blog and that a sharing of creative thought might lead to houses filled with lovliness.
In the meantime please feel free to wander over to the shop. It's at