Wednesday, 29 February 2012

In the throes of an obsession...

Oh dear, I seem to be a little obsessed at the moment.  

Inspired by this pattern...

...and this purchase...

...with a little detour caused by this pattern...

...I now have all these:

Exhibit One - antimacassar trimmed with ribbon and supplemented with gingham.

Exhibit Two - pretty fabric, but a little floppy and flimsy.  For decorative purposes, when you want to pose as ideal 1960s housewife!

Exhibit Three - 1930s style fabric plus polka dots.  A proper cover-up, perfect for messy cooks like me!

Exhibit Four -half a damaged linen tablecloth, with contrasting 1930s waistband.  Very girly!

Exhibit Five - the other half of the tablecloth, with a pink waistband this time.

Patch pockets from the only remaining bits when the skirts and ties were cut out. The hem-stitched edges and all the embroidery from the tablecloth were salvaged.  Luckily, most of the damaged bits were able to be excluded from the actual aprons.

Exhibit Six - another 1930s style print, trimmed with bias like the real vintage one.

Anyway, all this apron-making is for a very good reason - namely that I have been invited to a 'Vintage' event at Basingstoke's Milestones Museum later this year.  

Milestones Museum is set-up as a series of Victorian and 1930s streets.  It's well-worth a visit any time, but will be fabulous as a venue for the Vintage Fair I have been invited to!  

I'm even getting my head round the idea of dressing up properly for it!  And Miss U-t-B is keen to join me too (if dancing commitments  allow her to), though she's torn about which decade (40s, 50s, 60s or even 70s) she wants to emulate in her costume!

I want to make sure my stall focuses even more on the vintage for this, with lots more 'make-do-and-mend' items.  Hence all the aprons!

It's the Maltings Market this weekend but I'm not certain I'll get there.  Mr U-t-B has succumbed to the flu.  Proper aching-all-over, barely-able-to-summon-the-energy-to-leave-the-bed flu.  I don't normally succumb to anything, but I have a horrible feeling with all the coughs and sneezes that this ones going to be hard to avoid, and that if it gets me, the Maltings will be out.  We'll see.

Hope you're managing to avoid all the bugs that seem to have proliferated with the warmer weather!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Monday's Words of Wisdom from Mrs Beeton

A Judicious Choice of Friends

is most essential to the happiness of a household.  An acquaintance who indulges in scandal about her neighbours should be avoided like a pestilence.  While ever attending to the paramount claims of a home, a lady should not altogether neglect social duties.  The daily round of work is much  more pleasant if cheered by intercourse with friends, who are often able to give, or pleased to receive, help in the little difficulties that may occur in everyday life.  Another point of view is that most women look forward to some day guiding their daughters in society, and in this cherished hope have a motive for not abstaining too much from social intercourse.  One is apt to become too narrow-minded by living too much in the home circle; it is not well to get out of the way of meeting fresh people.  It is important also that children should have the advantage of mixing with other young people, though of course parents should exercise every precaution against the evils of bad company.

Take from that what you will!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Apron Love

Oh my goodness!  I think I have fallen in love!

You may remember this...

The 'Marilyn' apron.
 I had not forgotten it (though it was sometime ago that I bought it, all from the lovely 'Tikki Patchwork') but was somewhat daunted when I got out the 'pattern' and found that it was a series of instructions for the pieces to cut, and decided to put it away until I was feeling in the right frame of mind for concentration. (Which doesn't happen too often, you understand!)

This morning, awake early and up browsing blogs at silly-o'clock, I read Miss Ginger's post about the lovely aprons she is considering making and decided I should grasp the bull by the horns and get on with it.  With luck, it was going to be ready before Mr U-t-B was awake and ready to do the Saturday morning shopping with me.

Anyway, that's not quite how it turned out, as I've only just finished it, at lunchtime.  But I'm pleased with it all the same, even if I was mightily frustrated along the way.

Cheery colours...

Ric-rac trimmed pockets, of the capacious kind (not the little ones the pattern showed)...

Sweet crossover...

Bow at the back...

I am so taken with it that I even decided to try to take a picture of me in it!  But the camera ran out of battery, just as I put on my very best Marilyn Monroe pose...

The pattern was from 'Threaded Pear'.  They have several other gorgeous patterns...

Pretty in Pleats

{But a word of warning - whilst the cutting out was really quite simple in the end, I did find the instructions a little difficult to follow at times.}

I will make this again now that I have it all figured out.
But in the meantime, I have some housework to do!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Make It and Makes

So, after a false start involving a missing mobile phone ( I so rarely use mine, it's easy to lose track of it) and a handbag that had been tidied (helpfully - not) away by Mr U-t-B, I ventured forth in the direction of Farnborough Airfield for the 'Make it Craft and Make it Homemade - the total Craft Event.

With a wallet lighter by a staggering £9.50, I wandered around, gradually finding the stalls I'd made a mental note of yesterday. (I was too tight to pay an additional £1 to get a map of the layout)

The place was really busy, which is good to see in a way, but that did make me begrudge the high entrance fee even more.  

As predicted, I came home with some ribbon...

 ...some washi tape...

 ...and some wooden blanks ...

...and the only unplanned purchases were a few bargain buttons...

I feel quite virtuous in that I didn't overspend, but also strangely disappointed.  There was nothing new and irresistible, and actually very little in the way of things for stitchers, knitters and crocheters.  If I'd fancied perusing a rainbow coloured display of embroidery threads, stroking a pyramid of beautiful yarns or choosing from a fabulous range of bamboo needles, I'd have been really disappointed.  

So once again, I am being controversial!  Three times in one week, when I don't normally say boo to a goose.

Don't get me wrong, there was loads of stuff there.  If I'd wanted a rubber stamp of a head louse holding a peace sign, a peel-off of the Brazilian football team from 1966, or any other paper crafting supply, I could probably have found it.  So there were lots of happy customers, but I went home a little disappointed.


On a more positive note, you may have spotted a new header.  One of the lentil tins has undergone a transformation...

I also managed to finish the picture bit of this...

...which the eagle-eyed among you may notice has rather changed from this...

Turns out, when I looked carefully, the one in the magazine was not representing summer at all, which I'd fixed in my mind as what I was going to do next.  No, the one in the magazine is actually autumn - the half bare tree and the pumpkins (which I thought were some unusual French style of beehive) were the clues. 

 So I have changed the pumpkins into beehives and the bird-topped triffid into a sunflower, and given the lady a more summery dress, and I have summer!

I have planned my own version of spring to do next, and my fingers are kind of itching to get on with it!

After helping Mr U-t-B's son a little with his house move and an emergency trip to the dentist with Miss U-t-B who'd managed to chip one of her front teeth at school, we had a very late, sociable and wet lunch in a pub (Mr U-t-B's son knocked a glass of beer all over me!)  so I won't be needing to cook this evening - result!

That's a little bit more stitching time, to make up for the disappointment earlier in the day!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Bits and Bobs

Having begun to get back on track with all sorts around the house, I am treating myself tomorrow, to a visit to the  'Make It' exhibition at Farnborough.  This year it is really called 'Make It Craft and Make It Homemade' and claims...

This year Make it brings you not only the best in paper craft and card making but a whole array of new and traditional crafts that celebrate the increasingly popular “homemade” theme, including knitting, stitching, beading, patchwork, candle making, felting, ceramics, preserving and baking.

This makes it sound much more up my street than in previous years, for whilst I really love the amazing creations of so many talented card-makers, paper-crafters and scrap-bookers, and have even dabbled in this side of things myself, I do spend more of my time with things of a textile-y nature.

Looking at the list of exhibitors, it does still look to be dominated by paper-y suppliers, but I have found, I am sure, plenty to keep me happily browsing away the day, and hopefully not spending too much!

I will definitely be looking at the stands of

The Embroiderers' Guild
Fantastic Ribbons
Fin Taw Studio (felt and felt-making)
The Japanese Embroidery Guild
Juey ('Unique finger knitting' - wow!)
Lili Fabrics
Loving Hands Knitting Group (Knitting for charity projects)
Make, Thrift London (pop-up sewing and craft workshops with focus on make-do-and-mend)
Material Girls (Wool, fabrics and haberdashery)
The MDF Man (wooden blanks and templates
Mei Flower Crafts (embellishments and craft accesories)
Michaela Knits
Ribbon Box
Stitch in Time
Super Lovely (Washi Tape - Hold me back!)

I can't see myself coming home without a wooden blank of some sort...

The MDF Man

The MDF Man

The MDF Man

...some washi tape... add to the little collection I have begun...

 ...with a project in mind that I found on this gorgeous blog - Torie Jayne.

And there's bound to be some ribbon too, as I have just sorted mine out.  I was needing bits of ribbon in different colours for the needlecases I was making earlier...

...and certain colours were in short supply, or absent altogether.

Mind you, at least I could easily locate the colours I required, due to my new storage system.
The hall cupboard was heaving with a rainbow of gift bags, which I always save and rarely get round to using (we like wrapping in this house!)  So I seized them, chopped some of them down and then used them to colour-code the previous mess of tangled ribbons in  a hamper...

Pinks, reds, blues, yellows...

Patterned ribbons in patterned bags...

Thrifty organisation!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Want-to-Make Wednesday

Thank you for all the helpful and nice comments about yesterday's reveal -  I'm going to count up the votes soon and make a decision based on the results.  Sure beats trying to think about it myself...

Today's Want-to-Makes are from a couple of magazines that are on the shelves currently in the UK.  

One is the much trumpeted 'Mollie Makes' and the other is the maybe less well-known 'Making'.  

Now whilst I love both these magazines, with their ranges of crafty projects, scrummy styling and photography and oodles of suggestions  for places to look for supplies, I would just like to be a bit controversial again and say that, for me at least, 'Making' edges ahead.

Here, first, is what I want to make from Mollie Makes...

Those mice are completely adorable, and I WILL have to make a family sometime...

But look at the want-to-makes I have piled up from Making...

Would be perfect to take on holiday with a little project inside.

Because I WILL learn to crochet one day!

Because it sounds delicious, and unusual.

So simple, yet so effective.

Okay, this is for Mr U-t-B to make. His granddaughter would love it when she's a bit older!

I love this desk, and would probably leave it plain, but this technique would be great for a more boring piece of furniture, to give it a bit of oomph.  I even have such a piece of furniture in my workroom...

Vintage suitcase + pretty lining + sewing paraphernalia = my idea of heaven

So, if your in the market for a crafty magazine, do take a look at 'Making'.  I'm sure you won't be disappointed.