Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Flowers & Stripping

My flower arranging book that I brought earlier this year and blogged about here has been very handy over the past few weeks as the garden's flowers start to bloom. I don't know what's happened, as my past attempts at gardening haven't paid off as much as this year's early start has. Perhaps its the chicken manure that I generously scattered over the flower patch back in March, starting to do its thing!

I had a sudden burst of DIY activity last week and on a whim decided to strip the paint off our front room door. It took longer than I thought and more paint-stripper than I had budgeted for too!

I counted two coats of paint that I had previously painted, a dark cream colour and then drab shades. As the house hadn't been properly decorated for a least a few decades when we moved in 15 years ago, I reckon that these were layers from the 1950s if not earlier. The final layer was the original grained wood paint effect that was applied to the doors when the house was built. Our neighbour's house still has the original paint effect on their doors and it looks really old fashioned - in a nice way of course!

So after numerous litres of paint-stripper, zooming around with the hand-sander (I loved that part after the tedium of stripping) and wire wooling it all down to a baby-bottom softness, both sides were finally finished - after three days work.

So here they are in their unadorned glory, apart from a few layers of beeswax. We're going to replace the manky old hinges with new brass ones and the original rim lock and handle needs overhauling, but I'm really happy with how its turned out. Only one more door to go now...

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Stacking Up

I brought yet another Pyrex snowflake pattern dish to add to the collection last week.

Call me sad, but I was really excited when I found it on the charity shop's kitchenware shelf especially as its in one of my favourite colours: turquoise. It had the added bonus of an intact glass lid too and all for a bargainous £2.00 - sound!

Another buy was this stoneware ink bottle that's ideal for displaying some of the garden's finest blooms so far. When I used to be a frequenter of Victorian bottle-dumps many years ago, these always used to crop up. There is definitely a stoneware theme here as a few days later along came another piece of stoneware - a jelly mould with a grape design...

... I've decided to use it as a candle stand in the kitchen. It was from the same charity shop as the ink bottle, so I wonder if they were donated by the same person?

Sewing-wise, I'm trying to finish a 1970s maxi dress as part of #VintagePledge2016

I can't share any details with you yet, as the dress is going to be featured on Kestrel Makes' blog at the end of this month - no panic!!! 

Finally, I've uploaded another three 1940s knitting patterns for you. Just click onto the 'Vintage Patterns' page at the top of the blog and they'll be listed there with a link to download a pdf file.


Thursday, 16 June 2016

Cinderella Syndrome

Cinderella Syndrome: that sinking feeling you have when you find the most gorgeous pair of shoes and the blighters don't fit.

Yes, I had to leave these platform beauties on the shelf last week. I crammed my size 6 hooves in these size 5 shoes and had to take a sharp reality check. Okay they 'fitted' (albeit after a significant amount of squeezing), but there was absolutely no way that I could comfortably wear them without ending up with blisters, corns and hammer toes.

Feast upon their lost beauty dear friends...

...I hope their new owner gets as much pleasure wearing them as I would have done *sob*.

But on a brighter note, I did end buying a 1970s Jeff Banks peasant-style blouse for £2.50. I could do with a few more buys like this please! As Husband wasn't around to take some photos, I've had to make do with a few selfies:

Its got the most amazing collar detail, with a cut-out button band neck that reminds me of a choker.

So what else did I buy on my charity shop travels? 

A modern cuff, which suits me fine as I like chunky, bold jewellery - accessorised below with a bespoke loom band bracelet courtesy of Haus of Monkeychild Designs... 

...and a Pyrex covered dish and enamel measuring jug.

The Pyrex dish must have been given away as a promotional item for Blue Band margarine back in the '70s. I can remember Mum using the original plastic containers with the same daisy pattern on them, to hold her cactus plants in. They were all aligned in a row on our porch shelf.

Its funny how the smallest thing can jog your memory.

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