Saturday, 29 November 2008

Didn't we have a lovely time...

...the day we went to Dulwich.

Today was a good day.  A day that whizzed by having not achieved masses but without having done anything arduous (cleaning, housework, chores etc!)  It also started with two hours sewing before anyone else got up because I couldn't sleep.  I get like this when I have ideas in my head.  More of that tomorrow...

East Dulwich is a few miles away from us, a place which one might term an "up and coming" area (overspill from the much more expensive and posher Dulwich Village).  The last few years have seen the welcome influx of some decent but individual shops; lovely housey shops, organic/free range butcher, health/specialist food shops and a street market in North Cross Road.  There was a distinctly festive feeling in the air today. There were several people selling christmas trees on the street and the florist had gorgeous branches of red berries and those little plants I always think of as "mini orange trees". Quite a few shops had christmassy displays in their windows. I snapped a couple but it was hard because there were so many reflections, so apologies about that. 

The window of the yummy Hope and Greenwood sweetie shop was looking lovely...

 


It was absolutely packed inside, all the little children spending their bit of pocket money.  The deli also had an attractive painted window. There are always gorgeous christmas choccies, gingerbread houses and lots of special Italian goods, panettone and so on, in here. We ordered the turkey so I'm feeling a little bit more organised (emphasis on the little bit!)




However, the highlight of the trip and which I think you might like to share, was a visit to the vintage and collectables shop just off North Cross Road.  The owners have for years had a stall on North Cross Road and have now opened up a little shop in a side street too.  The lady was happy for me to take photos and gave the Munchkin some christmas decorations which was really sweet of her.






Myself, I was hankering after the vintage christmas decorations, in particular those baubles...




There were some lovely vintage French magazines which had christmassy covers, entitled "The Two of Us"!




More festive goodies...





Onto a jaw dropping array of Cornishware.  Lots of these pots still had the original labels on.






A stunning selection of vintage tins was next (I was having palpitations by this point!)








Onto a gorgeous red-themed display with a few Freds too...






I can't decide if the red display was my favourite or this one, with the scrumptious '50's kitchen cabinet and its display of blue Cornishware and that fab Saxby's original advertising card.




I'm still searching for the elusive blue Cornishware jug; the lady said they're quite hard to find now. Lucky I'm a girl who likes a challenge!

Finally, a collection of vintage kitchenalia...  We spotted my marmalade (peel) slicer which was £35!  I also recognised the blue flowered tins as my mum used to have these.  Oh when I think of the things that have been thrown away...




I leave you to enjoy your Saturday night with this image which cracks me up each time I look at it! Never was a book description more apt, much to the Munchkin's disgust..!




(Also, please excuse the "murderer's gloves" (my driving gloves) because the Munchkin had forgotten his own and was freezing!)

Friday, 28 November 2008

Pretty in Pink

Do you remember that film?  The quirky Molly Ringwald who worked in the record store, her strange friend Duckie who had a secret crush on her, enter posh boy Andrew McCarthy to sweep her off her feet.    Hmm, I loved that in my teeage years!  I'm digressing again, aren't I?

It's a pretty miserable day here today.  I've been waiting all week for things to brighten up so I could take some half decent photos.  Hooray, yesterday about midday, the sun peeped from behind the clouds...typically, then the 'phone call came: your car is fixed, you can come and pick it up.  Obviously, by the time I was in the car, the sun was a distant memory and the rain was coming down.  So, as I seem to be saying all too frequently these days, apologies for photos that are possibly less than brilliant.

Let's brighten things up a bit.  And what better than with lots of PINK!  This week, I was seized by the need to make some slippers.  I had ages ago bought a pattern for ballet style slippers from "Favorite Things" (American spelling, by the way).  So, I dug it out along with this Amy Butler "Daisy Chain" Dandelion pattern fabric which I'm rather loving at the mo' and hey presto...








They look a bit bonkers and curled up when they're not on your feet, sort of like Rumpelstiltskin slippers.






Hmm, note to self, need a tan.  Time for a holiday.  I wish...

Did you spot that yummy tablecloth?  I bought it from Lucy Bloom at the Vintage and Handmade Fair last weekend.




I can't wait for next year's (hopefully) sunnier weather to lay out a nice table for tea, cake stand, Victoria sponge, you get the picture...

There's been a lot of crafting going on at the HenHouse recently (as usual).  I've been the recipient of some rather lovely books which have been occupying quite a bit of my time.




My "subtle" hints to Mr HenHouse to get me this for my birthday obviously worked...




Oooh, I love this book.  Making fiddly little flowers really appeals to me.  I like projects which I can start and finish in one go.  Here are some pretty pages from inside...








I've whipped up quite a few flowers from this book including a pretty poppy and leaf in a delicious chenille yarn (from Loop, eye-wateringly expensive for a ball of wool but a necessary luxury).  I still need to make the centre but I omitted to buy black chenille yarn at the time.  Oh dear, I suppose I'll have to go to Loop again...




The book is useful because it has a diagram of the stitches for each design and each round of stitches is shown in a different colour, handy for a novice like myself, so I've been able to muddle through a few patterns.  Still quite a few to go to keep me out of mischief. By the way, it uses American terminology so if you're not American, you'll need to get used to thinking of their double crochet as British treble crochet and so on. There is a conversion chart inside (I copied this so that I could have it next to each page as I worked a design).

Next up, someone on my crochet course had this book over which were  all oohing and aahing so off I went, surfing trusty old Amazon.




Another very suitable book for me as it's just lots of little projects. There are more flowers, various "granny" style squares, initials, ideas for flowery cushions to crochet...








I've made a few flowers and I am making an "H".  I've also made this motif...




I also have clever Lucy over at the marvellous Attic 24 to thank for my addiction to her flowers. 






These are great, simple to make in a spare half hour, the chance to combine some pretty colours and endless possibilities to use them to embellish all sorts of things.  By which I mean slippers, of course...






My last book, which arrived this week, was Alicia Paulson's first book, "Stitched in Time".




I think her blog, Posie Gets Cozy, was probably the first I came across, do take a look if you do not already do so.  She has fantastic original ideas and her colour and fabric combinations are to die for.  




The book is sub-titled "Memory-Keeping Projects to Sew and Share" and the idea is that rather than having all your memories stashed away in photo albums or boxes of baby clothes hidden in the loft, you incorporate them into sewing projects so that your memories are with and around you every day.  The projects are split into three sections:  1) For the Little Ones; 2) For Every Day; and 3) For Special Occasions. 

In "For the Little Ones", you might applique a beautiful family tree, make a mobile using greetings cards given celebrating the birth of the baby and photos of the baby etc, a patchwork quilt made from baby clothes, a growth chart, a sleepover pillowcase bearing your 'phone number, a cute stuffed pony and more...








The "For Every Day" section features a laundry bag made from old shirts, place mats and cushions with your personal photos printed onto fabric, a recipe card apron, a pot holder etc.
 









The last section, "For Special Occasions", has projects to make banners and garlands, a doll, a monogrammed stocking, a bag for storing wedding shoes and a little ring pillow amongst other tempting ideas.  








In the appendices at the back, there is general advice on sewing techniques and materials.




I haven't yet done much other than have a look through the book (I fear this could be one of those books which is so lovely to look at I never get around to actually making anything!)  How beautiful the pictures are though.




I know lots of people have discovered the new sewing magazine, Sew Hip. 



 In this first issue, Alicia Paulson was featured along with some photos of her gorgeous studio.  Every time I see this, I get an urge to paint my den duck egg blue!






I'll report more on this book as and when I get round to making something.  I just thought you might want some more ideas for your Christmas list...  Talking of Christmas, I suppose I should get back to making some more gifts.

Happy weekend everyone!  Hen x