Thursday, 16 June 2011

A few things you didn't know............and some sewing

Thank you all for your wonderful comments on my last post!

They made me a happy blogger!

Have been busy the last few days with sewing. Partly getting ready for the giveaway, and partly working out some new things that I am making that I hope to put in my blogshop and in an Etsy or Folksy shop, and eventually on my website. I may start doing a few fairs again later in the year too.

This new "range" will have a lot more hand embroidery and use of vintage fabrics and has a definite French influence to it.

Hand embroidered Peg Apron made from vintage linens

If you read my last post you will know that I have been fortunate in being awarded a couple of Blog Awards recently, and  a part of accepting awards is to reveal a few things about yourself that others might not know. I have elected to avoid this in my last few awards, but felt that in the spirit of things I should have another go!


So here we go.........

My first "job" at the age of 15/16 was working in a theatre, firstly as an usherette selling programmes and ice-creams, and later as a spot light operator for pantomimes, plays etc! I had to follow the script with the lighting cues marked on it, wearing headphones ready to be cued! It was great fun!
I once sat next to Adam Faith in this theatre during a show - he was near the end of the back row, and we were allowed to sit down there during the show - I didn't realise until after I'd sat down, then I thought he looked familiar but wasn't sure it was him until someone confirmed it later!

I bumped into Freddie Mercury (literally!) backstage at the same theatre. No mistaking him! Boy he was tall and thin!

I very rarely watch TV - its usually on in the background in the evenings as Mr G likes to watch (fall asleep to) all those gory forensic cop programmes that seem to be on all evening every evening, but if I'm in the room I will either be sewing, reading, crocheting and listening to some classical music whilst he has the headphones on so I cannot hear the TV, and without my glasses I cannot see it either!

I went to my first pop concert in London at the age of 14, wearing a black crepe dress with long wide sleeves, bought for a few pence from a jumble sale then adapted, black nail varnish and heavy make-up - it was to see Black Sabbath!!!! How my mother let me go I'll never know (although it was in the company of my elder brother and his friends!).

I used to work opposite Madame Tussauds and the Planetarium for several years, yet I never visited them until years later!
I worked as a Surveyor just off Oxford Street for a year whilst doing a degree in Estate Management, but graduated during the property crash, couldn't get a job and ended up training as a Chartered Accountant (Public Sector) instead of a Chartered Surveyor which is what I set out to be!
I took my final Accountancy exams incuding writing a 10,000 word thesis and giving a presentation on it, whilst 6 months pregnant! Not much fun!


I used to make and sell handmade silk underwear (camisoles and french knickers and petticoats,  made with french seams and trimmed with lace) whilst working full time, only in a small way but they were quite popular, and I supplied a small shop for a while. This was before the days of M & S silk underwear, when it was hard to find!


Gardening is in my blood - both my maternal Grandfather and my Great Grandfather were both gardeners by trade, and both worked at Chartwell, Winston Churchill's home - my Great Grandfather was Head Gardener there when Churchill bought the house, and stayed on working for Churchill for a year or two before he retired - during this time my Great Grandfather, my Grandfather and my Great Uncle all worked there together, and they lived in the gardeners cottage on the estate.


I think that's enough revealing for now!

Oh. Except I was just going to reveal a little glimpse of something else I've been making, but the photos are so poor with this old camera, so apologies for the bad photos - am hoping to get a new camera soon.
(our digital cameras were stolen when we were burgled earlier this year and I have been borrowing one for the last few months, but now thats gone back to my very kind sister- in- law)

It is a journal cover, with journal included, made from a vintage french style faded red and natural striped cotton fabric, lined with cream cotton, with East of India ribbon on the front and an East of India ribbon bookmark with a vintage tassle.

The top picture in this post shows a Peg Apron, made from vintage natural linen and vintage floral linen,with a scrap of very old tablelinen hand embroidered with the word "Pegs" in scarlet thread. There is a white cotton tape hook to hang up the apron when not in use.

I shall also be making Gardening Aprons and more Peg Aprons.

Watch this space for the Giveaway announcement - you have been given a few clues here as to what it might be!

I shall also be announcing soon the blogs to whom I shall pass on the awards - so sorry to be dragging this out over several posts but, as you all know, it is time consuming especially when there are so many other things to be doing!!!

Thank you for visiting me here, and for all your lovely comments, and if I haven't visited you in a little while I do apologise,  I shall be over very soon!

Have a great day!

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  1. My husband is such a fan Winston Churchill that he has taken me to Chartwell three times already. Not that I'm complaining - it's a beautiful house and the gardens are a absolute delight - and to think your family is partly responsible for that!! How fantastic and how proud you can be of them.

    Your vintage French-style creations sound thoroughly intriguing Gill - look forward to seeing them. Enjoy all the sewing and creating. I've also been glued to my sewing machine the last few days and loving it.

  2. Hi Gill, what interesting things you've done. Love the journal and peg bag. Your are a talented lady. Have a happy day. Lesley x

  3. Well I would never have taken you for a Black Sabbath fan Gilly! :)
    Lovely to find out a bit more about you and I love the Churchill connection.
    The French inspired makes are gorgeous, you know me I love all things French!
    Vivienne x

  4. Hello Gill:
    We think that your idea to focus on vintage fabrics and create products with a definite French style is an excellent one. There seems at present to be an unsatiable desire for all things French and, coupled with your clever designs and beautiful handmade touches, we are sure that your things will prove to be most covetable. The journal cover is lovely with its very pretty bookmark.

    We were fascinated by your theatre tales and first forays into fashion retailing. How strange are the twists and turns of life which take us into so many different directions from the ones which we plan.

  5. Wow, you have had some interesting experiences! I look forward to seeing the gardening aprons. I could really use one of those!! Have a nice day!

  6. Hi Gill, I love the photo of the Lupine flower, I have several in my garden. Your hand work is just beautiful, you're so talented. I've just finished reading a novel that you may like, it's called "A Vintage Affair" by Isabel Wolff ~ it's about an English woman who's passion is vintage clothing and some interesting things that happen in her life and related to the clothing.

    Here's the link ( should you like to read a little more about it.

    How fascinating that your family worked for Winston Churchill! Wait till I tell my husband, he's a historian and he'll just gobble up this information . . . oh no, he'll probably want to know all kinds of information! LOL!!! Have a wonderful day!

  7. A peg apron now that's just what I need. Looks like you've been having fun playing with new ideas. Love the notebook too

  8. I have a degree in Land Economy, which is much the same thing! Love the new things you have made.

    Pomona x

  9. Lovely to get to know you better ;) love the new makes, I adore French and linen! I am just about to have a go at making a notebook cover as there is one in my Tilda book :)

    Bee happy x
    Have a delicious day!

  10. You have revealed some very interesting things about yourself! My husband watches recorded American crime programmes most evenings! I do watch them too but am usually reading a craft mag at the smae time! You have made some lovely things. The peg apron is lovely but I adore the journal and its cover waiting to be filled!!! x

  11. Hi Gill,

    The journal and the peg apron look very pretty! I like the fact that you use vintage material. This makes them extra special.

    I enjoyed reading more about you....Black! You have a dark past :-)!

    Happy evening,

    Madelief x

  12. Great post, I loved reading more about you.

  13. Wow Gill you have a varied and interesting past, french knickers and Black Sabbath....imagine! Love your new look stuff, with the vintage fabric and I do love a really pretty journal to write ideas in, just lovely. I wish you every success in all your endeavours. Love Linda x

  14. Your journals are just lovely, I can tell, even with the blurry photos. Gorgeous colors, and sweet embroidery. And it was fun to read about you, too! But really, all I can think is this: Handmade Silk Underthings!!!! Oh my, I want that. :)

  15. What an interesting post! I loved reading all that. You really are a very multi talented person!
    Lisa x


Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to leave a comment - I love to read them!
Gill x