Thursday, 29 November 2012

Cosied Up

As a reaction to all the tasteful plain vintage linens, tickings and vintage pastel florals that have been a feature of my recent makes for upcoming Xmas Fairs, when it was time to knuckle down to sewing again this week I found myself being drawn to a bit of colour.

Still with a vaguely French feel about them ( I hope), I am having great fun making tea cosies (yes I know, hardly very French but hey, who makes the rules here? Moi! ......and I do have plans for some Cafetiere covers.... )

Made with scrap-bag fabrics pieced together for the front, mainly in reds, blues and creams, and with toile de jouy (the French bit) backs, they are padded and lined.

They are trimmed with cheerful red or cream bobbles and East of India ribbon, and will hopefully add a pop of colour to my stall.

pale blues and creams, with a lining in a vintage French fabric in pale blue and white stripes

with pale blue toile back and cream bobbles (or pom poms) - just loving the bobbles!

reds and browns with a brown gingham lining

with a red toile back and some gorgeous red bobbles


East of India ribbons




and my current favourite cosy, reds and pale blues..........


with the same red toile back and blue and white striped lining

And below, the latest tea cosy in the making - pinks, greens and blues this time........

........and with a wonderful retro Michael Miller Parisienne fabric for the back, which I've had in my stash a while now, just waiting for the right time.....



I have some other makes to share soon, including some bright vintage floral fabric birds, some hessian tree decorations, some new journal covers and some covered coat-hangers.


Everywhere I look I see Christmas preparations in hand, which seems a rather vague and distant event to me at the moment, even though Saturday will be the 1st December.

All the US blogs I've visited this week came as a bit of a shock - they all seem to show perfectly trimmed trees, tidy rooms with loads of tasteful and often handmade decorations, wreaths and vignettes, and all the final twiddly bits that I never ever get around to doing even on Christmas Eve are ALREADY DONE!!!!!


I guess maybe they have the incentive of Thanksgiving to get them motivated, but even so... I am totally in awe of these ladies!  I havent even clarified my thoughts yet on decorating for Halloween.......

But Christmas? At the moment it feels like something that happens to other people, but not me.....I havent yet started planning, or making lists, have only done a vague bit of online shopping, and won't get into the swing of things until I have to - and that seems to get later and later every year.

I do resent having to buy Xmas decorations in November, yet if I don't, when I go into the shops they have already moved the Xmas stuff to the back of the shop and have wheeled out all the "January" sale stuff into prime position - I remember taking Bella last year to a well-known DIY store to choose a few new decs at the beginning of December only to find the store filled with sale furniture. Mind you, once we'd tracked down the few things left at the back of the shop they were at rock bottom prices so we got some good deals!

So are YOU ready for Christmas yet?

Are you one of these super-organised people who have it all wrapped up (literally)?

Or are you like me, still waiting to get that last minute panicky feeling that finally galvanises you into action?

That moment when you realise it is actually something that affects you, that the 12 people you've invited for lunch on Christmas Day will actually be expecting some sort of feast, a warm and tidy house with a tree and some decs, and of course even a few presents? It is not going to go away..........

I just have to feel a bit of pressure to get me going!!!

Share your Christmas preparation thoughts with us!!!!

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Wednesday, 14 November 2012

A Fair to Remember

Well, one Xmas Fair down and one to go (or maybe two as I've just had another invite to have a stall at a Fair in a couple of weeks time!) so I have a bit of breathing space for a week or two, and time to catch up with your blogs and share about the Fair!


It was pouring with rain when we arrived on Saturday (my lovely daughter made a special effort to get up early to come with me) at the lovely large and modern Village Hall at Rolvenden in Kent ( I never got around to sharing the venue, sorry!) and so we had to unpack the car in the rain which was a pain.

We met the lovely organiser Frances, looked for our stall and found we had a prime spot immediately opposite the doors - how good was that!

These photos I'm sharing are sadly pics of the mock up at home nearly week before the Fair, so not all is shown - lots more Xmas "25" linen hearts were there, as were many more covered journals - next Fair I will be better organised and take photos on the day of the Fair in action as I know that's what you all want to see - sorry!

There was only room for a few cushions on the table, but I took a shelf unit along with me which I placed at the end of the stall and was able to fill with other cushions.


On the day the green mini bunting was fastened properly along the edge of the table, and I had a sign with my name pinned to the front. I also had spent a day or two playing with Microsoft Publisher and printed off some pretty labels which I attached with linen string - and it all looked better than I'd hoped on the day.

So the stall looked pretty good, and the organiser seemed to love it all, so we just got on and enjoyed the bustle of the Fair - it was far busier than I'd expected, about 30 stalls in all set around the edge of the hall with an inner circle of stalls.

There were cake stalls and a bread stall, a cookery shop stall, toys, painted furniture, handmade soaps, jewellery, baby goods, home-cured cooked meats, cheeses and homemade preserves and all manner of other stalls - the atmosphere was very festive with live music, face painting and Minnie Mouse and Hello Kitty characters with their huge, rather scary heads!

And it was pretty busy the whole day, although it took a while to make the first sale which caused me a bit of angst to begin with!  Talking with some other stall holders an hour into the fair, we agreed that it was more of a social event for the villagers, as everyone seemed to know everyone else but they weren't taking out their purses, and at this early stage we were all worried we wouldnt even cover our stall costs!

But then they did (take out their purses!) and by the end of what seemed like a VERY long day it was well worth all the time and effort I'd put in - and I think it helped that I dropped my prices a little in the first hour after panicking that I wouldnt sell anything! Just a few "twofers" and a pound knocked off things seemed to help!

The fabric-covered Diaries and Notebooks seemed to be the best sellers of the day (one lady bought 3!), followed closely by the Lavender stacks, various Heart hangers from vintage linens and mangle cloth, and the little Cathedral Window pin-cushions I'd made recently (not shown here).

I made lots more journals than the ones shown here - I was still waiting for the 2013 Diaries and lined notebooks to come when I took these photos - it was a close run thing as they only arrived a couple of days before the fair.

Luckily I had partially made them up so could finish them off quite quickly, although I was still hand-stitching name labels on the back whilst I was at the Fair!


I thought it might be nice to add labels which told a little about the cloth used.

And I made new business cards and smaller simple labels to match.






(you can see this was still a work in progress as you can see pins in the heart where it still had to be stitched up!)

So taking a breather this week, catching up with friends real and virtual, learning from my experiences,  planning what additional goodies to make for the next Fair and what needs topping up.

Thanks to you all for your wonderful supportive comments these last few weeks!

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Rustic Country Giveaway Win

A few weeks ago I was the lucky winner of a Giveaway by Suzy at Rustic Vintage Country blog but have only just had a chance to say "Thankyou Suzy!" and to show you all the beautiful and diverse handmade goodies she made.

Can you see that wonderful paper butterfly perched on the lavender bags?

Suzy is very talented at making unusual decorative items from paper, so do check out her blog and on-line shops.


There were some wonderful chunky painted wood tags stamped with Christmas messages and perfect for adding to presents under the tree...........

......a beautiful fluffy ice blue and white crochet brooch.......

....some gorgeous lavender scented sachets printed with lavender.....

....the cutest little birdy ........

.....and a beautifully made crochet bag - the flowers are amazing!



Thankyou Suzy!

There is something so special about handmade gifts and items that far outweigh mass produced and poor quality, carelessly made goods. Give me "handmade" any day!

On the subject of which there is another post coming up very shortly about the Xmas Fair I attended at the weekend, so stay tuned!

I also have several weeks worth of your posts to catch up on, so apologies for not having visited for an age - I'm looking forward to enjoying an evening or two of blog-hopping around the world!

Just off to pour a glass of cold wine first though  ;)

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Thursday, 1 November 2012

Time's ticking away






and I'm still sewing like crazy everyday, every moment I can, until  I can't sew anymore.

Lots of  large vintage linen hearts, backed in navy ticking, and printed with French style graphics - am in love with this Paris one, hence the abundance of them!

There are a few holly wreath Ticking ones with "Joy" on them for festive tree hangers or to hang anywhere in the house during Christmas - I must make some more of these.

And then there are more cushions........these ones below are from a wonderfully soft vintage French floral fabric, backed in a vintage French metis, and tied with East if India striped ribbon.





and more book covers - as I'm loving the combination of this smart navy Ticking with black graphics, I have rather gone to town and and am in the process of making lots of journal covers.

for Recipes.....

and Gardening....

more Recipes.....


and some 2013 hard backed dairies have just arrived in the nick of time for making some Diary covers.

but what has disappointed me a little is that no A5 sized notebook or diary seems to be exactly the same as the next, and therefore my idea of having a selection of different book covers designs that could be interchanged with three different types of notebook (plain, lined and diaries) now won't work.

So my planned a "choose your cover then choose a notebook"  won't work, and instead I have to make sure I have enough choice of covers to fit each type of book.

Ah well, such is life.

Such a teeny tiny inconsequential matter compared with the reality the Americans are facing in the east coast of the US as they struggle to clear up the damage and fall out caused by  Hurrricane Sandy - when thinking of the suffering over there it kind of puts things into perspective. The loss of those basic things we take for granted - food, a home, power and water to drink and flush the loo - without these life is suddenly hard, and my heart goes out to those having to deal with these discomforts.

Back to my little life, with only just over a week to go before the first Fair I am taking stock of what I have made and what I still hope to make.

A few more journals to finish........


a few more lavender stacks, stuffed full of lavender,  to stitch up and tie into pretty bundles.....

and a few more cushions to make.


Sorry it's been another post about what I've made, but that seems to be all I am doing at the moment!

Thank you all for bearing with me as you view yet another load of things I have made!
But please know that I really appreciate your positive comments, they are so welcome, giving me the drive and encouragement to keep going with all this!

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