Monday, 29 April 2013

Monday's Musing

The sun is shining, the washing is on the line, my mind is set to spring-clean mode. Maybe later I will do this...

Giveaway here.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Tracks of my Years - 1966

We have now reached the times for which I have ACTUAL memories.  Oh help!  I will try and restrain myself from unending tales of my childhood, but there will probably be a few.  

Camberwick Green first aired.  Windy Miller was my favourite and I'm pretty sure I had this toy.

Photo courtesy of

(What I did not remember was that Windy had a drink problem...


The Radio Caroline ship ran aground  on the beach at Frinton.

The FIFA World Cup trophy was stolen from an exhibition in London, only to be found wrapped in newspaper by a dog called Pickles in a South London garden.

Longleat Safari Park opened.

England won the World Cup!

The play 'Cathy Come Home' was shown.

Hits included

Spanish Flea - Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
Homeward Bound - Simon and Garfunkel
Visions - Cliff Richard 
Bus Stop - The Hollies
God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
When a Man Loves a Woman - Percy Sledge
Monday, Monday - The Mamas and The Papas
Eleanor Rigby - The Beatles
Paint It Black - The Rolling Stones
You Don't Have To Say You Love Me - Dusty Springfield

At the cinema you could see...

In our house, you might have heard The Seekers on the record player on a Sunday morning.

My sister and I had a memorable trip to London Zoo with the 'big girls' down the road, Joan and Linda.  We travelled by bus from our Winchmore Hill home, which must have been quite an adventure.  At the zoo, we had a ride on a camel and a pony, and petted the goats.  I think I loved watching the penguins best, in their Art Deco Penguin Pool.

My sister, Linda and I having our picnic at London Zoo

I remember the rickety pushchairs you could borrow at the zoo, and being piled into it with my sister once our little legs were jaded.

Thanks for all the lovely comments on these posts up to now!  They feel like a bit of an indulgence, but it is great to read other people's memories too!

In case you didn't know, I am running a little giveaway.  Look here for details.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Rag Bag Rescue - Liberty and linen bunting

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may remember that around this time last year, Mr U-t-B and I had the pleasure of attending a very lovely, stylish and friendly wedding up in Yorkshire.

Well, we were delighted to hear just last week that the happy couple had just welcomed a bouncing baby boy into their lives.

Bunting was called for...

(Which necessitated a trip to the actual shop of one of my favourite online fabric stores - The Eternal Maker down in Chichester.  Talk about kiddie-in-a-sweet-shop excited!  It was definitely worth the trip (about an hour) but so hard to choose what to buy!  I got some sweet boy-ish print fat-quarters, as well as a couple of longer lengths of fabric for upcoming dress-making projects.)

Having enjoyed making the bunting for little Charlie, I then decided to make some for another newish baby in our midst which I hadn't made when she was born in January for one reason or another.

In contrast to the busy prints for Charlie's, I decided to cut the pennants from salvaged pieces of white linen and cotton, some embroidered or embellished with lace - old dressing table mats, anti-macassars and pieces of tablecloth that were too damaged to use as they were.  The letters were cut from Liberty 'Pepper' in pink.

You get a hint of the rose print seersucker I used for the back with this slightly sheer cotton guest towel...

I don't sew my pennants right side to right side and turn them out, as I like to pink the edges after sewing a double row of top-stitching using a double needle instead.

I deliberately didn't cut the pennants on the straight grain of the salvaged fabrics, as I wanted to see if they would hang okay that way.  Luckily they hang fine, and it means that you can choose the 'good' bits of the rescued fabrics(ie prettiest, or undamaged).

I'm happy with my salvaged bunting - in fact I've got some more on the go, ready to seek commissions at upcoming markets.  

Before I finish, a bit more applique.  AGES ago I appliqued a VW van notebook cover for my Secret Santa present, and some of you lovely blog-readers were interested in similar.  Then Christmas got in the way and so it has taken me till now to finish some more notebook covers.  They fit WH Smith A5 notebooks and I have these 4 available at the moment.

A Liberty print one...

Then three made with fabric from TheVintage Sheet Addict.


Purple and turquoise...

Purple, yellow and turquoise...

If anyone is still interested, 'bags' one now, for tomorrow they will be accompanying me to Tweseldown Artisan Market. Cover £14 including post and packing, or £17 with a notebook.

Last, but by no means least, my giveaway is still up and running - take a look here.

Here's to a sunny weekend!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Ooh la la! My French Giveaway is finally here!

I'm sorry this has been such a long while in arriving, but you know how it is when you get back from a holiday - piles of washing, then ironing, then tidying everything away (and dealing with the layer of dust and grime that has settled everywhere in your absence)  plus a general 'settling back down' time till you finally feel back in the swing of things and in a more normal groove...On top of that, having been largely deprived of sewing for the duration of the holiday, I was itching to get stitching last week, and was acting like a whirling dervish in my sewing room - not really finding the idea of sitting down at a computer very appealing...

Anyhow, here it is, a little taste of France.  I have two 'prizes' - one for the sewing enthusiasts....

... and one for the less needle-and-thread minded...

For the stitchers (or would be stitchers?) there is a copy of that sweet little red embroidery book I found in the lovely haberdashery in Morzine.

Sweet designs 

Crisp white linens and bright red thread 

Ideas for embellishing all manner of things around the house

Along with that there will be a copy of 'Il etait un fil' (There was a thread) which is filled with cross-stitch and embroidery ideas and patterns.

What's new pussycat?

A different take on baby bunting - love the little pram


Transfers (I think!)

Plenty of inspiration to keep you busy, or just to admire!

The other giveaway is a copy of 'Maison et Deco - Shabby Style' magazine, oozing with pretty pictures of shabby chic decor...

Pretty furniture

Gorgeous fabrics and soft furnishings

Oodles of vases filled with pretty blooms

What a stove!

And with that, a selection of repro postcards...

Each of the prizes will come with a little something extra (because magazine reading requires a little sustenance, doesn't it?)

All you need to do is leave a comment at the end of the post, saying which of the prizes you'd like - sewing or non-sewing.  I will leave this open till next Wednesday (that's May 1st)  when I will have a small helper around to draw a name out of a hat (Should that be a beret?)

Bonne chance mes amies!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Tracks of my Years - 1965

Finally we arrive at a year for which I do have a favourite song, one that I loved as a two year old and still sing along to now.  I think it fostered in me a  love of felines which back then showed itself in my sister and I pretending to be cats under the dining room table, pawing at people's feet and rubbing our flanks against their legs, all the while meowing softly.  Nowadays, I confine myself to going 'Awwww!' at cute kitty pictures (as there are too many fur allegies in this family for the real thing to reside with us).  So here's the song...

And here's me and my sometime-feline sister, all dressed up by the looks of it...

In other news, Winston Churchill died and was buried after three days of 
lying-in-state during which time 321,000 people filed past the catafalque.

Circular 10 from the Department of Schools and Science was published, requesting local authorities to convert to the comprehensive system of secondary education, a system of which I, for better or worse, am a product!

Gerry Anderson's 'Thunderbirds' aired for the first time...

Mary Quant introduced the miniskirt into her Kings Road boutique 'Bazaar'...

Image from

The CSE was introduced.  (I have three of these, all in subjects that weren't offered as 'O' levels:  Dance and Drama;  Parentcraft; and Personal and Community Relationships  I will say no more!

Corgi toys introduced their best-selling model. James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger.  I think my brother had one of these.

Sir Stanley Matthews retired from 1st Division football, aged 50. 

'The Sound of Music' was released, won the Oscar for best picture and made us all look at curtains in a completely new light.

Omar Sharif and Julie Christie set hearts a-quivering in 'Dr Zhivago'

Cat titles were in vogue at the flicks with 'Cat Balou', 'That Darn Cat!' and 'What's New Pussycat?' all doing the rounds.

Which brings us back where we came in, but to finish off, some other hits from 1965

Trains and Boats and Planes

Mr Tambourine Man

Positively 4th Street 
(which, in primary school, we learnt in Hymn Practice with the ever-so-trendy Mr Waterhouse. Made a change from'All Things Bright and Beautiful!) 

A Walk in the Black Forest

What will you be humming this evening?

(PS:  Have been a terrible blogger this week.  Made promises I haven't yet delivered but will do as soon as I crawl out from the washing and ironing and unintended spring-cleaning and decorating...)