Wednesday 31 July 2013

The Charity Shopping Charter:

A couple of weeks ago something happened in my favourite charity shop that shocked me to the core.
It was one of those things that take a while to simmer under your skin, so that by the time you get home you're in a right old mardy.
So now I have to get it off my chest.
Are you ready to hear about this heinous crime against us hardy, belligerent and dedicated charity shoppers?
Well, then I shall begin.
As I was happily perusing the shelves of (possible) treasure and delight, a young whippersnapper sashayed up to the counter and said, (not even in hushed tones, may I add):
'Have you got any '50's stuff, you know, in the back?'
I am sure that there was a sharp intake of breath throughout the shop.
And needless to say, young Miss Whippersnapper- Cheeky Chops left said counter, treasure- less (yet shamelessly unawares of her insolence).
So I thought that a charter of charity shopping etiquette should be drawn up for the whole land to see.
(May I take this opportunity to apologise in advance, as I know that your thrifting manners will be impeccable, but humour me please, it's all part of my blogging therapy!)
1: Always check the window display, many a treasure can be lost in the initial rush of excitement as you walk through the door.
2: Always respect the ladies, (otherwise known as 'the sacred keepers of the treasure').
3: If charity shopping with a friend, never shop together. Continue your conversation from the other sides of the shop. (Yes, I know that shouting across the room may seem a tad impolite, and not befitting my list of right and proper behaviour,but seasoned thrifters will know and understand). There is nothing, I repeat nothing, worse than a simultaneous grab of a most delicious piece of vintage fabric. If you are close friends this will then lead to a never ending 'no, you take it', 'no, no, you' wrangle. This only leads to heart- ache and the 'winner' will forever look upon the treasure with guilt.
4: You have to donate.
5: You have to attend. Regularly.
6: You never give up the search.
7: You cannot ask for things 'from the back room'. That is the inner sanctum. Only the sacred keepers of the treasure can enter, or offer you treasure, from the back room.
Phew! That's better.
Thank you.

Tuesday 30 July 2013

Charity C-reasure Of The Month!

What's even better than finding this lovely old Avon jar?

Finding an Avon jar full of buttons of course!

Sunday 28 July 2013

Divine Decals!

This discovery is so exciting!
Seriously, when I received the package in the post, I came over all unnecessary!

There's this fantastic company that makes duplex self adhesive decals from original 1920's and '30's designs!
And they're really well priced!
And the people that run it are fab! (Thanks again Anne!)
And the postage is dirt cheap!
And they have a youtube video to show you how to apply the decals, and it's so quick and easy!

The only downside is that from then on you will prowl around your house searching for things to decal!

Have fun!

Wednesday 24 July 2013

The Big Smoke!

A couple of weeks ago, we journeyed out to the big city with our intrepid students to visit the National Gallery and to fill our boots with culture, (and shopping!)

Sorry, couldn't take any photos in the gallery, so let's fast forward to dinner time!
We treated ourselves to some gorgeous grub at Jamie Oliver's 'Union Jacks' restaurant in Covent Garden.
The styling was so welcoming, with touches of retro humour, (just look at the arctic roll for pud!)

Debs, (shy and retiring as ever!) modelling her fine feast of delights!

This was honestly one of the best pizzas I ever had, (and I've had a lot!)
What was also fab about it was that is was called a 'Margaret' pizza, (the English version of a 'Margaritta'!)
Sorry for seeming patronising there,I'm sure you worked ot out straight away, however, it took a fair few hours of wondering 'now why was my pizza called Margaret?' before I got it!

Now, the fun really started when we found the loos in the cellar, (yes, I realise just how dodgy that sounds, but bear with me please!)
They had many-a-bangin'-tune-a-playing, and just look at the doors, and the colour scheme, and the stairs!

The lovely Charlotte, also rocking down the 'loo-club-ago-go!

(By the way, the photo of me mate Sam on the stairs is not as dangerous as it looks...she was just pointing to the lettering, and not falling down them while I'm photographing the whole sordid incident for the sake of my blog).
That would be wrong, very wrong.

What a cool van!

And did you know that in Covent Garden you can find Moomin Land?
Oh, yes indeed!

(Arty city shots).

Time to go home...

Scoffing obscure American goodies on the train!
(I can advise against the alluringly named 'Moon Pie', especially whilst travelling, (okay, especially whilst doing anything at all! Bleurgh!)

Monday 22 July 2013

Keep Sake Keep Safe Keeper:

Mrs B is going to have a little rest soon.
So in the run up to the holidays I've been thinking about the autumn, (as you do in this heat wave!)

I love making these little Keep Sake Keep Safe Keepers, and I think could be just the ticket when buying for someone who has everything, as you can always put in some old photographs and mementos of the times you've shared together.

The very innocent looking fawn was a whole day's stitching (with the occasional very un-ladylike swear word thrown in,) but it's the pieces that you have to battle with that often give you the most satisfaction in the end.
(Well, that's what I tell myself after the fiftieth cup of tea!)

Hope you like!

Saturday 20 July 2013

Fringe Benefits!

Getting a big fringe cut into your hair that covers a third of your face
33.3% less wrinkles!

Thursday 18 July 2013

Never Judge A Book By Its Bling.

I never really knew my great Auntie Hilda all that well.
I saw her on occassion and was fascinated by her immaculate marcel-waved hair and flambuoyant glasses.
But she seemed to be from a different time, a different world all together.
I was given a huge pile of her costume jewellery when she died.

And as I sifted through the diamantes and rhinestones, little snippets of her life emerged.
There were keep sakes from dances and souvenirs from holidays.
And there was this:

Never would I have imagined my great Aunt Hilda owning, never mind treasuring, a Popeye brooch (with movable forearm nonetheless!)

And then I realised what I had done, something that I deplore with all my heart.
I had pre-judged and pigeon-holed.
And for that I am truly sorry Auntie Hilda.

Every time I wear this I will remember the lesson that you taught me, and I shall wear my bling with pride.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Playing Around...

I'm still loving my pen and paper app.
Wish there had been something like this little gem when I was at fashion college all those hundreds of years ago!

Monday 15 July 2013

Stitching Revelation!

Sometimes I am so daft I scare myself.
For ages I've struggled with sketching directly onto the fabric before scribbling away on the sewing machine.
Although this wasted loads of fabric, I didn't want my designs to look the same.
But then I thought, why not draw my design, trace it and then stitch through the tracing paper?
Why didn't I think of that before!
And I don't think it looks mass produced because both of these patchwork pins were traced form the same sketch and they look different.
The one on the top seems a bit skittish and the little fellow above seems much more 'together' and self assured.
Do I sound bonkers now?
Here's the original sketch.
With this pair of pins they even turned out as different sexes!
Original sketch.

Mr. Hare.

Friday 12 July 2013

Wish Me Luck Chuck!

Oooo I'm delivering my painting 'Jackdaw and Limpet Shells' to The Fishing Heritage Centre today.
I'm dead excited because it's been selected for the second round of judging for the GO National Open Exhibition.
Fingers crossed and touch wood!