Wednesday, 29 February 2012

A TIDY PLACE TO WORK

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I am a shocker at messing up my workspace until it gets to a point where I start to move to other areas around the house….spreading my mess as I go. Then I know it is time to get stuck in and spend a day tidying rather than sewing or snipping.

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I also took the chance to pop some storage at the end of my cutting table as there are always things I need close at hand and end up just putting them down where ever, obviously losing them & then spending ages hunting them out….usually my scissors! This mid century unit that did reside in the dining room full of cups fits just so….now I need to find something to house the homeless china.

So to remind myself of how lovely it is to have a tidy space to work in I would post a few pictures on here again and hope it works this time…..

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

HOMESPUN STYLE by SELINA LAKE

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I have been looking forward to seeing Selina’s new book for some time now and although a fan of her other publications they weren’t quite my thing but her take on the Homespun Style certainly doesn’t disappoint…

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There are some lovely homes featured and I am quite honestly smitten by ceramics designer Jette Arendal Winther and adding some her beautiful ceramics to my collection is tip top of my list of things for this year..

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For those of us already rather partial to this style there is page after page of beautiful photographs taken by the lovely Debi Treloar…complete eye candy to soothe the soul & make your heart skip… for those wanting to bring more of the ‘homely’ feel through their front door there are style tips to get you started, where to shop & what to keep you eye out for…

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There is even a mention of this little blog as somewhere inspiring….and the other exciting news is Selina has come up with a fantastic idea of combining the official launch party with a little homespun style market which yours truly will be selling her wares at…so mark April 13th off in your diary and pop along as I would love to meet some of you in the flesh…..

A FEW BITS & BOBS

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Had a bit of a tip out this Sunday for a wander round Bygone Times in Chorley…although reading this post wishing I had gone to Bolton.

To be honest I have steered clear of boot fairs for a while, really because where we live its a trek to get to any and most seem to be full of odd rogue traders, sweet stalls, broken plastic toys, argos cast offs & other such wares that quite frankly I am not interested in purchasing but after such a fine review a Sunday in Bolton is definitely on my list

Although I am very pleased at my haul as I have added this lovely teapot to my collection not a Meakin I know I know but it was a Midwinter Stylecraft Teapot and to be honest I couldn’t resist.

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I also found a few other bits & bobs including a few more pomanders, I seem to be gathering quite a few of these now & I’m not sure why…and how could I resist these 3 fellas all at costly price of 50p.

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So tell me folks of your thrifty finds this weekend, did you find something that made your heart skip.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

A MOST FAVOURITE DRESS

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I was never really a dress wearer mainly I think due to my height everything was an unflattering length and not the most practical for clambering about and getting up to various kinds of mischief but as the grey hairs have started to arrive I have found myself wanting a plain and simple dress to wear on days when I am just floating about the house, teamed with a ropey old cardigan it feels most comfortable.
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Obviously I was never going to be able to buy a suitable garment.... this being the continuing story of my life and many of the shops/designs I rather like don’t see fit to make their clothes above a small size 16. Especially if you are tall….anyway no point harping about that something's will never change so it was time to get stitching. I found the original pattern from a burda magazine and blogged about it here….I have made it many times now, adding changes & variations, using all manner of fabrics from denim to the lightest of liberty tana lawn. I made a brown tweed one which unfortunately sneaked its way into the wash & has never been the same since… Some are finished quite frayed & worn looking, others quite neatly….some have gathers others have pleats….short & long sleeves, some tied, some buttoned…..
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Its such a simple pattern I usually cut & make a couple at once and so I thought I would share a few of them here. If you have ever thought about making your own clothes I say yay…start with something simple, and go from there. Buy yourself a pattern, simplicity have a great beginners range at the moment & some cheap fabric if you are really worried about messing it up. Its more than likely that your first few attempts maybe a bit of a disaster…believe me I still make disasters when I take my eye off the ball & get lazy but you will soon get the hang of things, everything will become clear & then you will feel the utmost joy as you swish down the road in your fancy new skirt that NO ONE else has.
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A few of my stitchy tips……
1. I always sew with a french seam, for just a little more work the finish is so much nicer..
2. Pin & tack until you are confident about the characteristics of your particular fabric…it save a lot of unpicking.
3. PRESS PRESS PRESS at every single step this is the most important thing you can ever do when sewing you own clothes…don’t skip it otherwise whatever you make however perfect will look like a sack!
And remember if you want to make your own clothes just give it a go, don’t be overwhelmed by it because it really is a most satisfying of past times…..

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

THRIFTING TO FOCUS THE MIND….

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There is some really exciting stuff going on here at the moment and there is quite a lot of waiting which I really don’t have a talent for….When I have to wait for things I become unfocused, jittery & tend to wander round in a bit of a muddle getting absolutely nothing done.

So to cure the impossible situation I decided to have a trip with my favourite girl to town and the Age UK warehouse to see what we could see….

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I find that scouring the shelves of stacked up bits & bobs helps to calm me & focuses my thoughts on finding something lovely to take home….today I was like enough to find a couple of pieces of Meakin ‘night club’ including this rather fine coffee pot which had obviously been used for tea as it had the stains to tell…

A quick soak & scrub and it was back to all its floral finery and looking rather smart on my china cabinet….I also found a perfectly picture frame which has taken pride of place on my cup shelves.

An excellent result I should say but know I’m back to fidgeting & I have a frock to make as being featured in the Sunday Times can only mean a dress in the finest of Liberty prints!

Monday, 20 February 2012

A PAIR OF TEAPOTS

I decided to take a break from my large crochet blanket project this weekend for a quick tea cosy fix. Although I have a fine mix of cosies for my teapots I wanted one that shouted granny from the rooftops & as I have been fiddling with stitches to crochet a granny straight line rather than a square I thought I would have a go at a tea cosy using this method.

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Pretty simple really just crocheted a chain until it reached round the base of my pot & then got trebling…breaking the thread 1/2 way to leave a gap for the spout, decreased a few at the top, a bit of fancy picot edging & done & dusted.
The teal one I used a alternate rows of trebles & cluster stitches until I reached the top of the pot then continued with plain trebles to make the decreasing easier….
I am rather chuffed with my new additions and my teapots are too

Friday, 17 February 2012

FRIDAY FLORALS

The mornings are getting lighter, buds are starting to emerge, hens are back in lay & soon the bees will be flying….so a few floral treats to give a nod to this most welcome time of year…..

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend & treat yourself to a bunch of daffodils for a bit of springtime joy….x

Thursday, 16 February 2012

PAINTING THE FLOOR

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One thing I have learnt living in an old farmhouse that is prone to a bit of damp & mould here & there is that carpets, lino or anything else on the floor just doesn’t work….so after I had given the painted floors in the hallway & dining room a lick of paint decided that it was high time to rip up the lino in the kitchen & hall.

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The various holes that Stanley had chewed in it were indeed playing on my mind and there was a musty smell in the kitchen.

On further investigation the underside of the lino had started to mottle with the green mouldy damp pattern so I knew my decision had been the right one

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Now don't get me wrong bare floors are cold & maybe not the most comfortable on a cold winter morning but some fluffy slippers do the trick & the house is indeed much happier when it is able to breathe.

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SO just in case you are interested I use Leyland acrylic eggshell which can be mixed in all manor of colours. It dries very quickly & is pretty hardwearing. Plus they mix up Farrow & Ball equivalents which means I can use the colours to compliment the walls. The big plus about this paint is that I didn’t need to empty the room of furniture, just moved it all to one half, when that side had had a couple of coats move it over & paint the other side. It is not unchip or unscrapeable but I usually fill a couple of small jars with paint before I start so that I have some touch up for chips…& don’t forget to store your jars upside down.

FLOOR – Manor House Grey

WALLS – Cornforth White

PAINTWORK – Strong White