Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Tulips from Amsterdam

After all that I said about he lack of "knick knacks" in the house, I brought one home. Courtesy of the charity shop. She looked so appealing, how could I leave her on the shelf?

What really clinched it for me is her face - it was so pretty, that straightaway I could see the perfect spot on my dresser for her. Plus I just has enough money left in my purse for her and a rather natty striped cardigan. I was determined not to spend any more money than was in my purse - so no dash out to the cashpoint.

So here she is in the spot that I envisaged for her - between a vintage china jug and 1960s eggcup. And guess what, there's still some more room for more objets trouves!

One of the perks of living in a small village is that you get to chat to people. Popping into the shop last week, the owner gave me a slip of paper with the telephone number of the lady that used to work in the Post Office. She had been given some fabric from a friend's Mum's attic and wondered whether I could use it. How could I resist? I collected the bag of fabric yesterday - the label gives a glimpse of what's inside.

Inside there was a jumble of fabrics that had previously been made up into dresses. They have either been cut up or there are tears in them that make them unusable. Perfect for scrap and small projects. All they need is a good wash and then I can have fun re-using them.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Faking it

I needed to buy some hollowfibre at the weekend and popped in to Dunelm which is where I usually buy it from. They had a sale on, so before I bought the stuffing, I had a look round the shop.

As a person who isn't into knick knacks. I came out with my basket full. They had beautiful silk flowers, which were realistic as well as reasonably priced. I bought several. Here's the first. A silk magonolia which is now in the bathroom in a corner where an orchid failed to thrive.

I spent ages debating whether to get the red or cream - but in the end the cream won. I must have had such a look of concentration on my face (not to mention being stood there for such a long time) that another customer came up to ask my advice about silk flowers and their arrangements. She said I looked as though I knew all about silk flowers!

I also succumned and bought this charming ceramic rose - the perfect size to sit next to the magnolia.

And yes, there is more. I bought two silk orchids. To combat the fact that the orchids always look very bare when the flowers have died. I usually pop them on a windowsil out of sight until they flower again - but not more.

No more looking dowm my nose at silk flowers for me. In fact I keep popping into the bathroom to have a look at the magolia. I am now a covert and they really do add some much needed colour to the house.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Shabby yet chic

During Christmas and New Year and with some Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket, I spent an afternoon trawling Etsy. Not looking for anything specific, but I wanted a drawing/painting or a print.

Sometime later, I found what I was looking for and a minute or two later, she was mine.

How could I resist? Even befor the painting arrived, I started thinking about what frame would be the best. And luckily I already had the frame. It was bought from the car boot sale (where else?) in the summer. In a strange coincidence I bought this one and a smaller frame from our old health visitor. She said that she had found them in her attic. I bought them both, brought them home and gave them a lick of paint.

So as soon as the painting arrived, I knew that this would be the perfect frame for it. The very same day I was in the framers choosing a mount. I was in the shop for about half an hour, umming and aahing. Cream was too bland, as was white. The cobalt blue that the lady suggested was lovely, but a bit too bright. Finally I settled on grey - but did I want a white stripe cut around the mount. Decisions decisions. After deciding I left the shop, not too sure whether I made the right choice.

I collected the painting yesterday and thankfully the grey was the right colour. I tried to keep the arrival as low key as possible and just placed it casually (!) on the plinth in the place of the painting that used to be there before. Only difference this is about three times the size of the old one. I don't think Stephen was too impressed as he said it was too big. Too big - are these objets d'art ever TOO big?

Anyway, she's here to stay now. I think this calls for more knitting, so that I can sit on the sofa and gaze lovingly over at her.

Due Care and Attention

The knitting has started - and finished - and started again. This is a whole new area to me, which means inevitably mistakes happen. As I was knitting the capelet I kept looking at the photograph in the book and wondering why mine wasn't looking the same.

After putting it to one side and looking through another pattern, it dawned on me what I had done wrong. It was the stitches. I had knitted garter stitch when is should have been stocking stitch! It has all been inravelled and I have cast on again. Thank goodness this is an "easy" knit. I think I may have given up by now otherwise.

Still, I am going to perservere, if only for the fact that the wool was so damned expensive. So watch this space as hopefully there will be a finished photograph posted soon.

Yesterday I met up for a coffee with a friend to celebate her birthday. She she is someone who sews and appreciates handmade, her birthday gift was one of my corsages : in a fairisle pattern.

She is also possibly my only friend who would appreciate magazines that were thrifted (and which I have read before parcelling them up for her)! After all, you can't leave Elle Decoration and Country Living behind in the charity shop can you?

And really going the whole hog with the handmade, a birthday card featuring a removeable badge with a vintage image of a cat (for when Jo gets her own cat one day). Thankfully she was thrilled with the gift.
No rest for the wicked though. It's back to the knitting for me!

Monday, 5 January 2009

New Year - New Skills

I have been wanting to try my hand at knitting for some time now. In fact I have owned the Rowan book for about two years. A lack of confidence and the fact that the balls of wool were £6.50 each (!) had made me reluctant to buy the wool and have a go. But I bit the bullet and bought the two balls of wool needed and huge 20mm knitting needles.

The plan is for me to knit a collar /capelt type thing. Well, that's the plan anyway. I have made a start and found that the needles are very large and quite unwieldy, but I am perservering. If for no other reason that the wool was so expensive!

I did have a photo of the book and the wool etc all ready to go, but Blogger is playing up and won't let me upload them - sorry! I'll try another day.

The only photo it will let me upload is that of some books I bought on my charity shop trawls. Fluffy chick lit for 30p each. And they are sitting on a polka dot scarf that I couldn't resist.

No doubt I will be back with my knitting saga and asking for some help along the way! Wish me luck ............

Thursday, 1 January 2009

New Year Bargains

Although I am not what you would call a big consumer of material items, there is one shop that is guaranteed to lure me in: Laura Ashley. Only when they have a sale of course. So it's no surprise that I succumbed and came out with a few purchases. Only small purchases though.

I was very good and looked through all the sale fabrics, but none caught my eye. Only this jacquard fabric which wasn't in the sale - but I knew that it would be perfect for the study chair. I was very mean and only bought half a metre. Thankfully it was JUST enough. And I do mean just. I may be lucky to squeeze a fabric lavender heart out of what's left. But I am pleased, it brightens the chair up fits in with my other Laura Ashley purchase which was wallpaper.

I am not a wallpaper person and all the walls in the house are painted off white and cream shades. I prefer to add colour with my vintage bits and pieces. The idea of papering a feature wall appealed to me, and this was the reason behind my visit to Laura Ashley.

After spending about 30minutes in the shop looking through the wallpapers, I decided against paying £25 for one roll and just as I was waiting for the fabric to be cut, spotted a batch end roll in the remnants box. It was reduced from £1.50 to 50p. Well how could I resist?

Now please bear with me as it is VERY difficult to photograph paper which has a pearlised sheen in our bad winter light.
You may not be able to see it, but the wallpaper is gold and has a prealised finish with a floral and bird pattern. It was my very first attempt at wallpapering and although it isn't perfect I am pleased with the end result. The walls and woodwork were also painted and with the addition of some new plants, voila. A "new" study.

On that note, I will with you all a belated Happy New Year!