Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Reclaimed: In Different Ways

This post is going to have a reclaimed aspect to it, as some of my recent activities and buys have had a re-use and recycle theme to them.

Firstly though, is that I landed the exciting opportunity to write a feature about enamel signs for Reclaim Magazine. This magazine is relatively new and I came across the third issue of it last year and was instantly hooked. Each issue focuses on interiors that have a strong sense of style through using vintage and antique furniture and also features people within the reclamation trade; an aspect that's close to home as its an area my Dad used to be involved with.

Luckily I had some photos I had taken previously of enamel signs in-situ on my travels, including those in my collection such as this recent purchase that now lives on the bathroom wall.

But writing the feature also gave me the excuse to make a field trip to Ross-on-Wye to photograph the frontage of the amazing Gwalia shop with its enviable collection of signs. I particularly love the Palethorpes' sausages sign.

After writing and re-writing my drafts, the feature's copy was emailed off to Reclaim last month and now a few weeks later its included in the current issue of the magazine. 

So, what else have I been up to?

Well, it was fab to finally meet up with fellow blogger Emma aka Ivy Black Chat, last month. We met up in Stroud and naturally I had to show her some of the best bargain haunts after having a long gossip in one of the town's many cafes. Check out Emma's blog here for some pics of our day out together.

I've also been busy making Monkeychild's outfit for her school's World Book Day event. The sewing started off fine, but had me swearing like a trooper by the time I finished it. Monkey wanted to go as Violet Baudelaire from the Lemony Snickert books, 'A Series of Unfortunate Events', so to make the outfit I turned to my trusty 1970s Simplicity 9848 girls dress pattern that I originally used for last year's Alice in Wonderland dress.

I used the pattern to make both the grey dress and the laced-up bodice, and luckily found enough lengths of spare fabric in my stash to sew the majority of the outfit. Monkeychild was well chuffed with it, so all my efforts paid off even though its been the trickiest outfit to make.

When it comes to secondhand stuff, I haven't brought much recently apart from a Fair Isle cardigan during mine and Emma's charity shop trail in Stroud, and a pair of patent DMs and a Ghost jacket from eBay.

These were absolute bargains; the DMs have been broken in thank goodness, which makes it a lot easier for the backs of my heels! I used to wear a lot of Ghost stuff back in the early '90s and still have most of them tucked away. Their black dresses looked very gothic and were ideal for clubbing.

Finally, as I started off with a reclamation theme, I'll end with one too. 

I've been keeping my eyes on my neighbours' skip whilst their builders strip out next door. This has paid off as the other day I noticed a set of cupboard doors taken off and left outside, which were original to the house (1900) along with lengths of skirting, door frame architrave and metal door hooks. I asked the  builder if I could take them and he said "Take all you want mate" - so I did!

He even knocked on my door later to ask if I wanted another pair of cupboard doors - too right I did!

This morning I had another knock on the door, but this time it was from a friend, Pollie Math, who had spied the stoneware sink that the builders had also ripped out. She's setting up a local artists' studio and was on the look out for a studio sink and this matched the bill. So, cue her and me (wearing bright pink rubber gloves for grip and steel-toe boots) this morning in the rain and mud, attempting to roll said extremely heavy sink from next door's garden into mine. I think the parents on the school-run outside the house thought we were a total pair of nutters - and they'd be right!

Note polite notice to other skip scavengers in the locality!


  1. What a fabulous read. Isn't it wonderful meeting up with blog/Instagram friends. I met up with some last week.
    I can't wait for the nice newsagent man to deliver the latest copy of Reclaim so I can see your article. It's such a great magazine.
    Well done on your piece you must be thrilled to bits.
    Lynn - A Vintage Habit

  2. Well done on the article! I always think of you when I see old enamel signs. Gwalia is utterly fabulous.
    The Docs and the Ghost jacket are great finds and Monkeychild's costume is a triumph.
    I knew you and Em would get on a treat, you're two of my favourite bloggers. xxx

  3. I love enamel signs, and immediately recognized the shop in Ross-on-Wye, which I too photographed when I was there. Your article looks very interesting, and so does the magazine, which I'm going to track down. We have an internatinal magazine store here in Antwerp, which stocks a lot of UK magazines, so I'm going to try there. Love Monkeychild's costume! xxx

  4. Lovely post.Very interesting.My latest post ,done yesterday,is titled Vintage Knitwear.Not as old as your vintage but a Kaffe Fassett knitted tank top from the eighties.Barbara

  5. Excellent! I do love an old sign and how fabulous is Gwalia? The Docs and jacket are brilliant finds, and I was only thinking of that wondrous cardi you found. Made for you it was. Monkeychild's dress is bang on. Gotta love a neighbours skip and peoples chuck outs. I've recently carted a metal shelving unit left for a passing loon at the garages round the corner! Speaking as a H&S bod, I'm very pleased to hear you had your PPE on to lift that sink! See you again soon....can't believe that was last month.

  6. What a lovely post.. Love the dress you made. Hope the sink is still where you left it?

    Julie xxxxxxx


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