07/06/2013 § Leave a Comment
A while ago I came across a panel of vintage barkcloth fabric, dated on the selvedge 1964! I’ve kept it for a couple of years, admiring the details and smiling at the characters, so familiar from my own childhood.
Yesterday was the day when the fabric panel was transformed into four cushions …
I LOVE, LoVe, love barkcloth – the texture with all that almost basketweave, the simplicity of the cotton and on these, the colours – they’re everything I remember about being a child in the 1960′s. I think that’s why it’s taken me so long to make them – they’re like a trip back in time – pure nostalgia. There’s Noddy in his little red and yellow taxi, Big Ears the Gnome and it looks as though Bumpy Dog is in trouble with Mr Plod the Policeman! There’s a toadstool house, some seaside scenes and lots of little Toyland houses too. The more I think about it, I reckon I’m going to have to keep one just for me!
I can’t believe it’s raining today and we’ve had thunder too. The skies are dull and overcast and there’s such a difference from the brilliant sunshine of yesterday – if you read the beginning of yesterday’s post, I reckon it’s all my fault – I jinxed it!
Cushions are for sale in my Adaliza Etsy Shop EDIT UPDATE: 3 now available.
06/06/2013 § 2 Comments
We jaunted down to Dorchester the other weekend, on one of the first beautiful, sunny days. I’m scared to say how wonderful it is to have wall-to-wall sunshine for days on end, just in case I jinx it – but it is SUCH a joy. With ‘taking it easy’ still a high priority, I’ve been fitting in an hour or so every day doing a bit of sewing in the sunshine! Complete bliss!
Back to the jaunt – we visited a huge antiques emporium and there I found a design classic …
I’ve been wanting another swivel chair for my studio ever since I gifted our youngest my red ikea chair last summer. For a couple of weeks, since the studio revamp, I’ve been tottering on top of 4 cushions on the pink retro chair – but it wasn’t very practical. My sewing machine is quite high on its desk, which is fine because it means I can actually see what I’m sewing, but I definitely need a chair that can move around and is a bit higher than the norm.
Don’t you just love this one? The ticket said it’s probably Danish – I think most definitely Scandinavian. It’s so sturdy and beautifully designed. The leather is perfect and all that shiny chrome – it’s a dream come true! Look at the styling on those castor covers – just like a retro air-stream caravan …
Now I can spin and swivel back and forth between cutting table and sewing machine, lean back for a little rest and have proper support for my back. I have no idea about the manufacturer – have you ever seen one like it? I’d love to know more about the designer – I’m sure it was quite expensive when new. I paid the grand sum of £30 for it and reckon it’s worth every penny.
If you’re in Dorchester, have a browse in the Dorchester Curiosity Centre – leave yourself plenty of time, it’s a maze of units spread out in the hugest space I’ve ever seen. There’s a great coffee shop there too – I recommend the pate & toast!
Have you been out and about in the sunshine?
PS – I’ve just listed some super 1964 barkcloth cushions featuring Noddy over at my Adaliza Etsy shop. They’re expensive, ‘cos the fabric is so rare, but I’m hoping they find their way to some new homes very soon. My Secret Garden quilt is off to live in Oz!
23/05/2013 § 7 Comments
OOoooh – you are a nosey bunch, wanting to see inside my wool cupboard! Well, just have a quick look at a quilt that I’ve finished and then I’ll show you …
It’s still chilly enough to need an extra layer to warm your toes in bed or keep over a favourite chair for evening snuggling so I backed this quilt with pure white lightweight fleece. It’s perfect for snuggling and I’ll be listing it in my Adaliza Etsy shop very soon.
EDITED TO ADD: Secret Garden is now sold and will be starting a new life in Australia very soon.
Now, that cupboard …
If you were hoping for wool shop organisation then I’ve been a disappointment. The tubs work well for me as I usually crochet smaller items so I pitch into a tub or two and play with colours. There are a couple of bags of vintage Jaeger Matchmaker that I do keep together and I have another tub of Drops alpaca and lace weight yarns that I’m working my way though, but that won’t fit into the cupboard (yet)!
All my little secrets, shared with you today! Do you like the quilt? I’m working on a Sherbet Pips cot quilt now – such fun!
See you soon
21/05/2013 § 14 Comments
I’ve been busy revamping tables. Firstly, a nest of fairly nondescript but very useful tables that we use every day …
then, my wool cupboard in the studio …
The cupboard is now back in the studio and brimming over with wools. At the weekend I bought a very tired little oak drop-leaf table. I uummmm’ed and arghhhhhh’ed over what to do with it. The lines are clearly 1930′s and it’s extremely well made. I had a hunch that beneath all that dark staining and old polish was lurking some beautiful oak …
This wood was much too good to cover up with any paint treatment. I painstakingly worked to remove all the layers of gunk and my arm was really aching by the time I’d finished the treatment last night …
I’m SOOoooooo pleased with this piece. That’s my grandmother’s Chinese biscuit barrel on top – full of her buttons – and from the same era! That’s the one my grandfather used to empty out to teach me how to count. It makes me feel quite - well, something indescrible – whenever I touch it. I haven’t known quite where to keep it, but now it has a proper home on this special little table.
“I’ll be with you in apple blossom time …”
That song fills my head whenever our apple trees are in full and glorious blossom. I hope you can imagine the delicate scent and the magical feeling of confetti petals falling whenever there’s a breath of a breeze as you sit on the bench with a morning cuppa …
What have you been up to? It’s a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK this weekend so we’re hoping for some more lovely warm sunshine, just like the holiday a few weeks ago. Fingers crossed?
16/05/2013 § 6 Comments
breathtaking – the heady, gentle perfume of a bluebell wood in full bloom, in dappled sunlight beneath the great beech trees …
Today we drove just a few miles out of Winchester, to the bluebell woods. Carpets of magical, mystical arching stems and millions of tiny bells – blue as far as the eye can see beneath the majestic great beeches. I saw a deer in the distance leaping through the woods. So special, so good for the soul.
15/05/2013 § 6 Comments
my sewing room …
This onerous task was long overdue – a total reorganisation was needed and I couldn’t pick up a needle until it was done. A couple of weeks ago, at our local recycling centre, I spied the two sets of wall shelves (ikea, naturally) and bought them both for £8 – complete with wall fixings – just like new. I couldn’t wait to start drilling and that’s all my own work – drilling into the wall, rawl plugs, spirit level and everything. Once the little units were up, I added the narrow picture shelves underneath and they’re exactly the right width for ikea spice bottles, which in turn are perfectly perfect for storing little bows, buttons and bells. I rustled up the crochet snowflake bunting – far too pretty to save for Christmas – and ‘Himself’ treated me to the paper lantern lights! It all came together today – finally!
and by night …
On the opposite side of the room, there are more shelves, a collection of pretty pictures, a tapestry and in front of the window sits my beloved Horizon with scrap bag underneath – overflowing, as always. The table’s newly painted in two-tone pink & grey, to match the little sewing cabinet and stickback chair that I finished last week. Phew!
The tapestry village scene and old prints are all charity shop finds – the deep violet frame is newly painted. The tapestry itself is beautifully worked – all for £5 and my little collection of Mary Rose Young jugs is out of storage at last.
Have you spied the Ladybird books? My favourite is …
Last summer I was again treated to a present – a vintage Ladybird book from the People at Work series. I love the romantic pictures and vintage scenes – the technology of farming has moved on a bit since the old days and I’m sure the farmers are very pleased about that!
Those were the days, when the old Massey Ferguson tractors rumbled across the fields. No safety cabs in sight, though I remember when everyone had to have roll bars fitted. I learned to drive on one of these when I was about 10 years old! Nothing too dangerous – a flat field, a haycart on the back and I had to steer and use only the clutch to move along at a snail’s pace. It was SO exciting. When I was a teenager, my first sweetheart was a farmer and I remember many a happy evening courting, whilst fixing the head gasket on the old Massey before he walked me home across the fields and we stole a kiss at the farm gate!
This evening, the sun finally appeared after last night’s gales and today’s grim and dismal cloud cover. Having spent the afternoon sorting out my room and reminiscing over my farming book, we took a short trip out of Winchester to Cheesefoot Head where the views are stunning …
Everything has turned green, in just a week or so – fresh, brilliant, vibrant hedgerows with cow parsley just beginning to froth and billow and the golden rapeseed flowers covering acres and acres of Hampshire – Spring has finally sprung.
Today has been a very satisfying, happy day. Yes, indeed!
14/05/2013 § 4 Comments
Last year I completed 2.5 scarf/shawls – the .5 was a black one and I’ve never quite finished it, although I did wear it to a wedding in December! Nobody noticed that it wasn’t finished because the deep lace border was (and still is) entirely in my head!
I’m not in the mood for black crochet at the moment, with Spring flourishing and about to burst into our lives. As I write, it’s lashing rain and blowing a veritable gale. It’s pitch dark outside and there have been several nasty banging noises – I hope the shed roofs are still on the sheds in the morning and nothing too valuable has blown down.
My fascination with lace weight yarn continues as I’m creating just for me at the moment – no fairs, no deadlines – I’m having a wonderful time. It’s bliss! My favourite shawl from last year was Tea Rose …
I blogged about Tea Rose and Smoke here and here. They were both worked in Solomon’s Knot or Lovers’ Knot stitch which is basically double crochet with the stitch pulled out a bit! They’ve been very well worn since I made them at the end of last summer and I’m still wearing them almost every day! Last week, I began Moss – a heady yarn compiled from baby alpaca, cashmere and silk – from The Natural Dye Studio based in North Devon. I am finding it very hard to resist treating myself to some more of this yarn – many are named after places from my past – Lynmouth, Withy Pool and Watersmeet. Oh, I desperately need to go to North Devon very soon.
I’m planning to do a tutorial for the stitch and the deep lace border that’s definitely going to be added to this project – 3 sides of lace me thinks! Moss won’t be finished for a while – sometime next month – maybe.
I’ve used the stitch for snoods too – it’s so simple once you get the hang of it …
This one’s my favourite at the moment and is perfect over t-shirts. Just one ball, about 80 starting chain and 20 rows makes a whole snood with a row of double crochet top and bottom – simples! I have a whole collection made from different colours in the Drops Baby Merino collection – it’s wonderfully soft yarn and works up quickly. I love the soft, stretchy, frothy effect of this stitch – and it’s very warm!
What’s on your hook?