Sunday, 29 April 2012

Little Red Rooster

One of my favourite vintage fairs came to town this weekend to Dragon Hall. Little Vintage Lover tours all over Norfolk and has recently shown up in Stockholm too. I've been lucky enough to have a pitch at the fairs ever since they started a few years back now. The atmosphere is always great, lovely sellers, with a mix of vintage goodies, including a DJ, barber and pop-up library.  This time we went along as visitors in search of treasure and to catch up with a few friends. 

Lovely Zoe, who's behind Little Vintage Lover, moves between Norfolk and Sweden where Little Majorette, the band she's part of is based. When I googled their music a while back I came across a review in The New York Times and followed the leads to this video of Overflow which I loved immediately. It's the first time I've tried putting videos on here so fingers crossed it works as I'd love to share it with you.


Right if your toes are still tapping I'll show you the things I found. First off I found my friend Emmie, who was having a bit of a house clearout, which was good as her house is full of wonderful stuff (lots of gnomes). Little Bun picked a small china cat and I spied the jolly cock. I got all round agreement from Mr Bun and the Bun's that we should take him home. Apparently his name is Mr Roos so I'll be polite from now on. I'm not sure if Emmie really wanted to part with him, so I might just be rooster-sitting.


Then when we were catching up with some other friends, one pointed out this gorgeous fabric - which I'd stupidly missed. See I wasn't looking properly or just too much chatting. A bargain of 2 3/4m of lushness. I'm not sure what the fabric is, it's a barkcloth type print, but not barkcloth as it's too heavy a weave.


After a bit more shopping, cake and chat we headed off for food and then home. The Bun's went off to pick up where their game had been left, Mr Bun did more thinking up great ideas and I got to work on a garland inspired by the colours in my new fabric find.


Today I managed to sneak in a bit of sewing time as it rained in a really stupid way today so home stuff was best all round. I started a couple of bags, one in my new fabric and got going on Little Bun's Lila top. When it came to sewing with the elastic thread I gave up in the end. I just couldn't get the right tension and decided that the nice lady in the sewing shop might know what to do.


As I offered to cover some sessions at work last Friday and I'm doing a half day tommorow, there's not nearly enough making time at the moment. I need to get my days off back and I'll be happy - I shouldn't be married to the man whose projects they are should I and I wouldn't say yes so easily.

See you sometime in the week I hope.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

On my own Cloud

Part of organising the Pick 'n' Mix Makers Markets is that I get to meet incredibly talented people.  Some have become friends who I love to catch up with now and then. A couple of them have arranged a get together next week for a few of us, plus a few more creative women I've not met before so I'm really looking foward to that. 

This week I popped in to see a friend who always comes along to Pick 'n' Mix as I'd asked her to save one of her new designs for me. I love visting her home as much as seeing her to be honest. I don't have any pictures to show you, but try to imagine the most magical place, stuffed to the gills with the most stunning thrifted treasures, fabrics and makes. I could just wander staring at it all and probably nicking one or two things if I was a naughty person.


A while back I'd seen her Happy Cloud hanging from a shelf and asked her to make sure she kept one for me. I even bumped into a textile designer who loves Sasha's work. She thought I was lucky to be getting a cloud of my very own.


I hadn't had the time to visit for a while so kept thinking of my lovely cloud and wondering where I'd hang it. Now finally it's home with us and I love it. I had the choice of a few and I couldn't resist the sparkly green sequins.


Across the room from the cloud is my snowman, who hangs there all year round. I love him too much to take him down with all the other christmas decorations.


Little Bun has quite a few of Sasha's creatures too as she's a real fan of her work. There's quite a few creatures to choose from to be honest, all dressed in recycled and vintage knitwear, trims and fabrics, I always want them all.


At the moment she only sells through markets and word of mouth, maybe one day she'll sell online so more people can have one of her gorgeous toys.


Sasha rarely does emails either, instead she sends me the most lovely vintage cards and pictures she's jazzed up herself. I think there's something to be said for this as there's nothing quite like getting a card or a note in the post. 

Thanks for all your lovely comments on my last post and hello to new followers. I really enjoy writing this here thing, but it makes it even better when I know other people enjoy it too so I appreciate you telling me.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Stitching for You & Me

Righty O - before I say another word I'll let you know what the wonder pink stuff is called that bypasses horrible sanding. Sorry I forgot to mention it before, I should have known there'd be loads more like me out there who just want to get on with the lovely painting bit and not faff with the boring stuff. It's made by International and it's got a really easy name to remember - Easy Sand. Look for a tall square tin and you'll be in business.

Today, in-between meeting Mr Mortgage and waiting for my plumbing mate to turn up I chose one of my favourite day off things to do. I plopped a few fabrics, paper and pens on the table and got busy making patterns, cutting out shapes and managed to stitch a shopping bag.


I've a few projects I want to make from The Liberty Book of Sewing, today I fancied the easy shopper. Pretty much all the patterns in the book are straightforward and I could make them without the book, but sometimes it's good to just sit back, be lazy and be guided by the hand through the whole making thing.  I did have to work out all the measurements and make my own pattern first off so it wasn't all hand-holding to start with.  I used a metre of a 1930's playtime repro print that I'd bought last week. I fancy making a dress or a blouse in this fabric too if I manage to get hold of anymore.


As I was in the mood for chopping up fabric I traced the pattern for the Lila blouse that Little Bun has chosen next. Pale blue birdies from Tanya Whelan's latest collection to go with a pattern designed by her. The only problem so far is that the pattern told me to buy far more fabric than I actually needed so if you use this book I'd say measure your child and ignore the book.

The other bit of cutting going on was Miss Rosey's Ruffle Skirt (from the same book). We're moving out of her black clothes only phase thank goodness and now she wants all sorts of colour and print. I had strict instructions that it had to be large roses for this skirt and I think I did ok with what I found for her. I didn't get a chance to start sewing either of these today, but at least I've done the worst bit (the sewing equivalent of sanding for me).


After all the cutting out I got on with stitching up my bag. I guess as it's in a patriotic red, white and blue it'll be my Jubilee shopper.

It was such a quick and easy pattern to whip up and I really enjoyed making it.


When we road-tested the bag after school, I was amazed with how much stuff we could fit in it. It's so light and floppy that I can chuck it in my bag and use whenever I need more bags. I'll definately whip up a few more of these as it's been really handy already.


The day ended perfectly as after school my clever friend fitted the shower pump and then took the taps off, did stuff and finally solved our lack of bath problem. I never thought I'd get so excited about having a bath as I did tonight.

Have a lovely week.

Colours

I have all sorts of fabrics in my stash that I really love, but at the moment I have two absolute favourites. I love the intensity of the colours and the simple bold prints. I've tons of the greeny, pink, yellow fabric which means all sorts of stuff can be made from it, but I've only a wee bit of the blue floral. I fancy making pillowslips from it, patchy cushions and tons more, but unless I can hunt more down I'll have to be sparing with it and use just a dash here and there.

This afternoon was yet another rainy one, so after helping Little bun bake a cake and sow seeds for an indoor fairy garden I finished stitching the bunting I'd cut up a few days ago. I wanted to see my favourite prints every day, so it seemed the perfect thing to change the bunting hanging above the table. We eat here, make stuff here, play games here and just sit around and talk here so it's a fairly busy spot.









For the first time ever I made proper neat and tidy flags. I normally use pinking shears on the edges and quickly sew both sides together. This time I sewed my triangles inside out and then turned them and marvelled at the neat edges. I'm pleased with them, but I still prefer rough and ready bunting.


All the gorgeous colours in my fabric have been inspiring me. Our dining room's been needing a new lick of paint for a while now. I was going to re-paint the walls the same colour as I still like the pale blue, but then I got my new to me fabrics and my head went off in a whole new direction. I want white walls, but this room just looks cold and miserable with pure white (I tried it when we moved in so that's how I know). Then I saw a lovely cream shade of wall on Yvestown and thought bingo. With my new gingham oilcloth and my fabrics I had the colours sorted for the furniture aswell. It'll be a few weeks before I get a chance to start on the walls, but I can still get going on the chairs and whatnot.


I got some paints mixed up on Friday morning as I was itching to start painting the tea-trolley that came home with me on Wednesday. 


I love painting, but I really hate all the boring preparation stuff. Luckily I still had the miracle liquid that does the same as sanding without the effort. It's weird stuff that looks like pink windolene, you just rub it on and then off and that's it - ready to paint.


By the end of the day I'd slapped three coats of blue on. Luckily the trolley looked just as it had in my head when I saw it on a cold morning in a rainy field. For now I'm storing a few of my making and gardening books along with a few other bits and bobs on it while the rest of the room slowly sorts itself out.


This weekend, amongst all the rainyness, I tried out another one of my new paints. A while back I'd seen a lovely sharp limey yellow from Farrow & Ball which I knew was just the yellow for me. I managed to get a fairly similar shade mixed from Dulux.


I'd decided to paint the chairs a mix of pink and yellow, but the pink I chose is far too bubblegummy and I'd pictured flamingo. So instead I've painted one eggy yellow and the other blue and I'm pleased with it all so far. The rest will have to wait a few days to get their own lick of colour as tommorow morning I have mortgage man coming over. In the afternoon my friend, who knows about practical stuff, is coming to fit the exciting shower pump I bought on Saturday. Fingers crossed it works so I can have the hottest deepest bath ever.


I realised this post sounds like Mr Bun has left the house. Well he did for a while on Saturday as he took another group to a football match. After one of his players smashed heads with another one, Mr Bun ended up spending the rest of the day in Stevenage A & E. For the rest, he just doesn't do DIY stuff, he hates it pathalogically so I do it. It seems a fair trade to me though to have a man who loves my taste, makes me laugh and laugh, puts up with me (which must be tough at times), believes in following dreams but can't fix a washer on a tap.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Bit of Bootin'

I've been missing my Wednesday carboots. Now I don't start teaching until 10 on a Wednesday it means I can just about squeeze in a 30 minute dash around the carboot after dropping the Buns at school.   As luck would have it I go right past the field on my way to work too. Couldn't be a better arrangement really could it.

It was freeezing and about to rain today so only the die hard house clearance men were there.


I spied a pretty floral jug in one quick grab and run and couldn't resist the cheeky grinning cat in another.


Before finding these two I'd seen a tea trolley, but wandered off to think about it. A bit of looking later and I'd already painted it in my head, arranged baskets and fabric on it so knew it had to be mine. I went back, made my offer and then lugged it back to the car all excited.


My new trolley filled up the back seat nicely which left the problem of how I was going to fit the Bun's in the car later on. In the end Little Bun squeezed up with a couple of wheels in her head and Miss Rosey rode up front surrounded by bags and coats.

It's very brown right now, but I can see it being a thing of beauty. It's already in its new home in the dining room. Little Bun polished it and added fabric to the top for a bit of temporary prettifying.


It all adds to my plan to re-decorate the dining room. I've had enough of the pale blue walls and unpainted furniture. I bought the yellow check oilcloth on ebay last week and that was waiting for me when I got home today. If it's not raining on Friday I might even start painting. Now my colour ideas are in my head I'm feeling all impatient to get going.

If it does rain on my day off I've got a fair few sewing things lined up. I bought a metre of the grey spot roses for Miss Rosey's Ruffle Skirt and the birdy fabric's to make a top for Little Bun using elastic thread (so we'll see if that's a disaster waiting to happen or not).


There's a few things I fancy making from my new book too. Yesterday my support assistant and I did a good swap. I'd lent her my trainers (bought years ago when I had the bright idea that going to the gym was a good thing to do) and she wanted to keep them. A deal was done, swapping my trainers for some Hobbycraft vouchers she'd won. I'd wanted The Liberty Book of Sewing before christmas so it was a real treat to hand over my vouchers and know my treadmill days were behind me.

Let's hope the good things keep outweighing the stupid as not only has our heating packed up, but now the pump has stopped working so we can't run a bath or shower either. I had a big sense of humour failure about it all last night. Mr Bun solved it by handing me a large glass of sloe gin and all was well again. A friend who gets how this stuff works is coming to try and mend it at the weekend before we get too stinky.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Plastic Bob


Before I start rambling on, I thought I'd better show you my all done and dusted Patchy Cushions.


I love the fabrics in these so much. I could sit and look and then look some more just to get my happy fix for the day. I'll be popping these ones in my etsy shop in the next few days, but I'll definately be making some for us too.

On Saturday Miss Rosey and I set off to try out a new market. She's never come with me before and was really looking forward to it.

The church hall looked great when we arrived, all decked out with bunting. There were a few stalls that caught my eye too for a spot of shopping later on.


Through the day I caught up with a few friends who stopped by and chatted with a few more lovely people who read this here stuff and know me from Pick 'n' Mix Makers Market. 

One very lovely lady bought these tasty cupcakes for Rosey and I as she enjoys reading Bobo Bun so much. Thanks so much Patricia, we really enjoyed munching them, Rosey picked the windmill one.



I sold a few bits, but on the whole it was a slow day. I wasn't disappointed though as I hadn't gone with any expectations and I had a lovely day chatting with Rosey and meeting other lovely people. I'm sure this sounds a bit odd as from a selling point of view the whole reason I bother going to markets is to make a profit. Well I wanted to see what it was all about and as the pitches were so reasonable I knew it was an ok gamble to go and try it out.


I've also had the necessary kick up the bum to get making new stock, so now I just need another kick to get me adding it to my etsy store tommorow. 

We did make sure we came home with a few goodies too. There were a couple of stalls selling some kitsch bits and bobs that really appealed to me. I'm annoyed I didn't get the carousel horse ring - ho hum, but I did get Bob the Elephant (for me), the musical cat for Miss Rosey and ...


Miss Rosey chose the wee white bear for Little Bun. 


I added a few buttons and plastic stuff to my bag too. I'm not sure what I'll do with them, but I think it'll involve a bit of glue.


Our last buys were these Japanese notebooks. One for each of us.


Next Saturday there'll be the Golden Triangle Makers Market in the same hall. A friend of mine has a stall there so we'll pop along and check it out as I think it'll be a good one.

Thanks Lily, Heather and Annie (and anyone else if I've forgotten you) for your technical advice. I've not had a chance to give it a go, but I will very soon so fingers crossed it works. 

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Queenie's Waving


On the way home from our favourite farm on Tuesday we stopped off for a wander around a small town. In a shop window were a row of Queenie's, all slowly waving with glazed expressions. Being suckers for plastic stuff that does nothing more than make us laugh meant we needed one so we rushed in to bag our own Queenie. Now she sits on our windowsill watching and waving while we do kitchen stuff. Our favourite plastic friend was a chubby grinning chinese boy who sat astride a pink dolphin and spun from the ceiling playing plinky music. He fell to pieces a long while back now and I still miss him.


The day after Queenie came to visit, our heating packed up. We've an old knackered Rayburn that heats the house and water, well used to. After it flooded the kitchen with water and then we had an man over who knows about this stuff, it turns out a big thing broke in the Rayburn. Now we've no heating until we magic £3,000 up. I've been busy searching through old coat pockets for a few pennies today, but nothing's turned up as yet. Thank goodness for the woodburner, hot water bottles and the fact it's not the middle of winter.


We'd planned a tramp up to London to visit the V & A today, but had to hang around for another heating man instead. It meant I could sneak a spot more making time in. The Bun's played with Mr Bun and then we all popped out for pizza as I've been pretty rubbish at filling the cupboards with food this week.


This morning Mr Postie delivered a parcel with some fabric I've been searching for high and low. At the moment I'm just loving looking at it and seeing it side by side with some of my other fabrics. I think it'll be finding its way into some bunting and maybe some patchy pillowslips. 


Most of my favourite fabrics for patching have left the shelves and ended up in this basket. There's no room left in here so I've started another bag to keep it company.


Now, as I'll be at the Norwich Makers Market on Saturday (St Thomas' Church, Earlham Road 11 - 4 if you're around these here parts) I've been trying to get a few more new pieces made.

I've patched together a couple of Patchy Cushion covers, stitched and ric-rac'd them and now they just need their backs sorting out. No night-time sewing for me though as it's bloody freezing in the dining room where my machine lives.


I really, really love, the mustard, blue and purple mix. I don't think I'll be too sad if I end up bringing this one home again.


I've still got to stitch leaves to cherry stalks and add flowers to the tops of covered hangers and egg cosies. Alongside that we've school uniform to get and I did promise a bike ride tommorow?  Better get stitching again or I'll have a bare stall won't I.


Thank you once again for stopping by to say hello and hello to new followers. I love reading the comments you leave and really appreciate you taking the time to stop by and say hello. I always like it when there's an easy reply straight back thing on the email as I can speak back. I really like the chat and the sharing of ideas. Lisa from Knitty, Vintage and Rosy stopped by and gave me a really good idea of hers. She suggested I made cushion sized Whoopie Doo cushions instead of just leaving them pincushion sized. Already I'm planning colour combinations in my head.

What I'd really like to find out is how I get the words reply to appear underneath each comment I get left. I've tried to work it out and I just can't, if anyone has the magic know how I'd love it if you wouldn't mind letting me in on the knowledge.

See you soon.


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Four Days

Mid-week I suddenly remembered it was our wedding anniversary. On the radio I heard the words anniversary and I thought to myself, ours is at the beginning of April. Having my head in switched off holiday mode I hadn't got a clue what the date was, so for all I knew we'd missed it. When I checked on the calendar I realised all was fine as our anniversary was on Good Friday. Even though I'd remembered in the nick of time, there was the problem of the lack of one man to celebrate it with. On Friday he was going to be heading off in the wee hours on a mini-bus to take a team to play and watch football. One of the projects Mr Bun set up and runs is an educational soccer programme for homeless and vulnerable adults which has been going for years now. The project has rightly won many awards for all the support it's given to so many people, so I couldn't really moan could I. He did remind me that I'd forgotten anyways - ha!


Good Friday was spent having a lovely lunch with my folks and then having friends over for a sozzled pizza supper. My sweet mum bought the anenomes for me as I'd had these for my wedding bouquet. Plans were to take the Buns out for lunch with us on Saturday, then a friend invited them to come and play for the day as they had a new horse to show them.


In the end it was just the two of us walking along holding hands and doing just what we wanted. We stopped off at the Arts Centre to see an exhibition of Blitz photos of Norwich (which was included in the Baedeker Raids); warmed up with some hot mocha coffee and then I had a quick dash around the Jumble Sale going on in there and picked up the pretty blue apron. Next up we headed off to try out the new Vegetarian restaurant. It was such bliss to look at a menu with a choice of more than two things. The food was delicious and the company was pretty fine too.


Inspired by Jane's, lovely makes I decided to make the Buns some creatures like hers as Easter presents. I managed to finish off these wee bunnies before the real life Buns returned and get them hidden away for the next day.

Luckily the Easter Bunny turned up again this year. Very early on Sunday the Buns searched high and low filling their baskets with eggs before scoffing one or two.


Little Bun proudly gave us all a present she'd made at school. I'm so glad the teachers still make sure the children have time to make these gifts to bring home.

We had a family lunch planned, but we were all uncertain if my dad would be able to come. My dad is 85 and has declined really quickly with his health lately. He struggles to breathe and can hardly walk alongside tons of other difficulties, but he's not old in his head. He has always been a highly active man - sailing, racing cars, playing golf and running his own garage and then a boatyard. My mum is so much younger than dad so it's really not easy for her as she cares for him and can't share life as they used to. Their strong friendship gets them through though. Thankfully mum managed to get dad here and then we could spoil her and give her a day away knowing dad was safe and looked after too.


We had a great lunch with tons of laughter and ended with the choice of a pavlova and my first ever effort at a fruit cake. I really fancied making a Simnel cake, but I forgot it was in the oven and singed a few of the apostles. All the same they taste good.


Today was so cold and rainy so it was an easy choice to decide to just snuggle up at home. Horrible Histories were on, I sat happily making a few more things for Saturday's market and we all munched a bit more choc. A perfect way to end a lovely long weekend.


I hope you all had a lovely Easter too.