Monday, 30 April 2012

Portrait of a lady

Its been a while since I blogged about my finds, mainly because there hasn't been many; however, this post will fix that - starting with this...

Isn't she a winsome looking thing?

...a chalk figurine and quite tall, about 15 inches from the tip of her bonnet to the hem of her dress. I've never seen one like this, although I'm familiar with the child figures and the Alsatian dog chalk statues. Actually, it was the colour of her dress that drew my attention and it's a near perfect match to my kitchen walls! What I do like about her though, is the contrast between the 'butter wouldn't melt' expression on her face and the rather saucy low necklace exposing her chalky decolletage.

Changing the subject, I've brought some more dress patterns; they were 40p each so I couldn't quibble about that. I like the very vintage looking pinnys and the nighties look like a sewing possibility too:

A couple of years ago, I found a 1939 copy of the Girl's Own Annual at a boot sale; well, it's got a companion now: Volume 57 dating from 1936:

I love those gauntlets!

These are very weighty books; this copy has a total of 624 pages crammed full of stories of derring do led by plucky heroines with names like Nora, Nancy,  Daphne and Peggy. Here's a glimpse of their escapades:

Peggy had been reading 'The Well of Loneliness' too...

It also includes craft ideas such as Toy Animals are Always Popular and these natty make-overs:

I bet even Kirsty hasn't thought of this!

And don't forget about those sporting tips: Lacrosse Stickwork Practice and how to perfect that double dive...

I don't think Husband and I will be attempting the 'double dive' at the local Lido!

...etiquette: Please Play Fair - "When you are invited to tea by your friend I am quite sure you will wipe your shoes before entering" [the usual good manners you'd expect] "....You wouldn't dream of chipping and damaging your friend's furniture and woodwork with a pocket knife or carving your initials on the bookcase..." [what! these 'naice' girls carried knives?!] and finally those all important cookery recipes; Camilla's Cooking - Home-made Ginger Beer. Wizard!

All stirring stuff indeed for the young lady of the Thirties and enough of the printed word to keep a schoolgirl bookworm occupied throughout the year.

Finally, I'll leave you with this snippet of information from the Girls Own annual, which still rings true for knitters some seventy-five years later:

Saturday, 28 April 2012

A bird in the hand...

When I found out that super stitcherette Kathleen from Murgatroyd Hoots was going to hold a workshop about making a felt bird brooch I knew I had to sign up....and did I regret it? No way Jose.

Held yesterday within the vintage heaven of a cafe, Cafe Salvation near Ledbury, Kathleen's workshop turned out to be a wonderful and relaxing way to spend a Friday morning, doubly so being in the company of like-minded crafty folk. 

After running through some needlework stitches as a warm up, we were let loose on Kathleen's enviable stashes of felt and needlework silks so that we could choose our birds' colour combos. True to the saying, time did fly when we were having fun and before I knew it, the morning was over and we had over-run into lunchtime. So, I took my bird brooch home to finish off and here he is:

Why not pop over to Murgatroyd Hoots to see us all in action (and concentrating on trying to thread needles!). 

As for me, I can't wait until the next installment!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Ways with Wrapping Paper No. 2: it's not just for presents

Can you remember a while ago I mentioned that I was thinking of pasting up a paper patchwork design in Monkeychild's bedroom? Well, here's the fruits of my labour so to speak:

I had the idea from seeing the below photo in Selina Lake's recent book Homespun Style and thought that it would translate well onto the chimney breast in Monkeychild's room.

When it came to choosing the paper I decided to use sheets of wrapping paper as I thought that this would be cheaper and more economical than buying co-ordinating rolls of wallpaper, and I could achieve a really good mix of patterns and colours from the ranges available.

I found some lovely patterned wrapping paper in a local shop and choose the designs that I thought would complement each other and suit the existing walls, as well as appealing to a five year old's taste in decoration (thankfully she hasn't hit the dreaded Justin Beiber phase, so posters aren't an issue...yet!). If you're interested, I used designs by Petra Boase and Roger la Borde.

This was my first attempt at wallpapering and as I was using small sheets instead of manipulating a long roll, I found it easy to do. I choose to repeat the patterns in a traditional patchwork block design and overlapped them in places to hide the bar codes etc. One thing I will say though, is choose a quality weight of wrapping paper as this will tear less than using a paper sheet that's very thin.

So, for less than the price of a roll a designer wallpaper I've managed to give Monkeychild a bright and colourful feature wall, which has cheaply jazzed up her bedroom and appeals to my design sensibilities too.

Now that can't be bad!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Pass it on

Yes, this is how I felt today after giving my wardrobes a good clear out!

This was long over due and after deciding to be ruthless, I filled four bin bags with clothes, shoes and bags to take to the charity shop and two bags full up with stuff that was too tatty to pass on, which went into the clothes recycling bin.


  • tidy wardrobes with everything in its place;
  • plenty of room on the rails to see what I've got;
  • shoes and boots all stacked away in their boxes; and (most importantly)
  • space for future purchases!
One thing that I have yet to tackle though are the bags of yarn that I've got squirrelled away in my craft room. I did make an effort to tidy up the stash earlier this year with a box for each type of yarn: 4ply, dk, aran and so on. But I soon got fed up and resulted to storing everything in bags again and pushing them under the table. It was a recent purchase of some multi-coloured yarn for a summer top for Monkeychild that made me think about tackling the stash, however after today's efforts, I think that I deserve a break!


Monday, 2 April 2012

Hello kitty

Here I am back in the blogosphere after having a bit of a break, which explains my lack of comments on all of your lovely blogs. I've got plenty of reading now to catch up on everyone's exploits.

I'm not a cat person, but the green shiny eyes on this little chalk cat caught my attention; it's a vintage holiday souvenir from Barton-on-Sea. Now, I'd never heard of Barton-on-Sea before, so I had to look it up and found that its in Hampshire. A new thing learned!

Brought for a pound the week before my stall at the Bath Road Market, I reckon that this little kitty must have brought me luck on the day at the Market, as my first attempt at a craft fair went better than I had expected. It was quite busy in the morning, but the numbers of shoppers noticeably decreased in the afternoon; in all likelihood due to the unseasonably sunny and warm weather which lured people to the local pubs and street cafes instead of the market. But in all honesty I can't say I blame them for topping up their vitamin D levels!

Also, it was great to meet many of you who follow this blog, so a big THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to drop by to say 'Hello' and wish me luck for the day. That was very much appreciated.

I'll definitely book another stall later on in the year (the preparation for this one was a bit manic, even though I thought I'd planned everything down to the last detail), but I have to admit that its nice to be knitting again without having any time restrictions and have started on a waterfall collar cardie for Monkeychild.

We had a nifty bit of recycling happen last week. Monkeychild's school were giving away some unwanted plan chests, so Husband put his name down for one, but when he went to pick it up he was offered another  as no one had wanted it and it was going to the tip otherwise. So - we've ended up with his n' hers chests!

Ready and waiting

I gave mine a clean and lined the drawers with oddments of wallpaper that I had lying about*.

Nice and colourful
I've stashed away all my fabrics, haberdashery and tapestry wools and also have a decent flat surface to work off as a bonus.

Tidy - but for how long?

* P.S. Here's a VK thrifty tip: Many chain-store d.i.y shops are happy to let you tear off free wallpaper samples from rolls already opened for this purpose, if you ask them first - useful for those little crafty projects!
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