Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Bohemia review

I'm going to end 2010 with a new blog idea - reviews. I know it's very self-indulgent on the one hand, but on the other I really enjoy reviews on other people's blogs! It's really handy to know what a similar crafty person thinks about a book or shop, it might encourage me to read or visit it myself or to give it a miss if they've not been terribly complimentary. Since I already do my occasional Etsy shop features, it makes sense to review some 'real life' stuff as well.

So, on with the review! This beautiful little shop is just up the road from me, where Bruntsfield meets Morningside for you Edinburgh folks. It's called Bohemia and they also have an online shop with international shipping for you guys reading from abroad!

Moroccan pouffe in Jade


The shop itself is really prettily decorated, the window is always very alluring, it makes you want to go inside and buy everything. They sell a range of items; clothes, homewares, adorable kids stuff and the cutest cards and gifts. They're also one of the few places in Edinbugh that stock Cloth magazine (thanks to Elaine for the suggestion there!), which if you sew and haven't checked it out yet then you're missing out!

Avoca Anthology wrap dress


The few times I've been in the staff have always been really friendly and helpful. My only gripe with this shop is that it's quite expensive, a lot of the clothes especially a quite a way out of my price range, but then if you have a bit of disposable income and are looking for something really special, I would stop by here!

Odd Molly silk and lace knickers


This is me signing off for 2010 folks, I've got an exam on Thursday then I'm catching a train down to London to visit Vicky, then to my folks for Christmas. See you all in 2011 and have a lovely festive season! ♥

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Roller skate tote bag

I've been busy with the ongoing cable knit blanket and so haven't had much of a chance to do anything else really! I bought a box to present my crochet cupcakes in but it's a bit big so I'm going to have to make a couple more I think. I've also just started knitting a panda bear hat for Andrew's cousin, she's paying me for it which is nice, any extra cash this time of year is gratefully received! Last year I made her a Hello Kitty bag, which I still maintain is the best bag I've made so far!

In between all this though, I squeezed in making a tote bag for my friend Marlous. Every year she and her fiance host a Christmas dinner for their friends; Andrew and I have been twice now. The food is epic, 4 courses, all hand made from scratch. Last year the main course was roast pheasant, this year it was monkfish (yummy!). We took a bottle of whisky for Adam and I made this bag for Marlous as she's in the local Roller Derby team!



I think my sewing resolution for 2011 should be to branch out from bags! I've made far too many this year!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Sneak peak for 2011!

Here's one of the projects I've been working on for my Etsy shop for 2011 - fat quarters!

I had a big sort-out of my fabric a few months back (mainly because Andrew picked a fight with me about the amount of space it takes up - boys just don't understand) and tried to be really harsh on myself so that the entire stash now fits into one large trunk, one wooden box (still in the process of being made over!) and 2 smaller storage boxes. When I write it out like that it seems like I have loads of fabric...which I guess is the case, though it feels like you can never have enough...


So, to help me pass some along, I decided to make some fat quarters for the shop. That way I'm technically getting rid of fabric, though it will still be in the house, just in my 'Etsy shop box' instead of my 'fabric stash boxes'. See what I did there? Cunning eh? It also motivates me to destash when I know it's adding stock to my shop = greater chances of being found in searches etc. So I guess, winners all round!


I'm planning another giveaway in January as well, I'm 2 hearts away from having 100 hearts in my Etsy shop so I feel like that's a good enough excuse to do a giveaway. Maybe some of the fat quarters will be a prize? Watch this space anyway!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Vintage peacock hairslides

My parents went to Singapore on holiday just before I was born (apparently I was conceived there - too much information fo'sure) and my Mum brought back these lovely peacock hairslides. That makes them at least 25 years old!

She gave them to me a few years back since I have long hair and she has very short hair. When she gave them to me she impressed upon me how special they were to her and how I was to keep them safe. Consequently I've only ever worn them once, to Vicky's 18th birthday party.



I'd like to wear them on my wedding day, especially since someone who knows what they're doing will be hopefully doing my hair that day!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Grandma's rosaries

My Gran on my Mum's side died just over 3 years ago now and when we were sorting through her things, we found these 2 rosaries. My Gran (Granny Dot we used to call her) was Protestant and so I thought it a bit strange that she owned rosaries, I always thought it was a Catholic thing. I never saw her use them or even hold them, I didn't realise she owned them at all until after she died. I did a bit of reading and realised that you can and do get Protestant rosaries, they're just not as commonly used in the Protestant church.


I remember when I was a teenager there was a trend for necklaces made to look like rosaries or with large crosses and crucifixes. It was really fashionable for a while and girls at school would wear them whether they were Christian or not. I always found it a bit uncomfortable, making something that has such power and meaning for some people into a disposable fashion accessory just didn't sit right, even if I don't believe myself.



Still, there's something fascinating about the rosary I think, like any form of meditation. I'm glad I own Granny Dot's rosaries and I plan to keep them safe and pass them onto my children in turn.



Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Thrifted brooches

Following on from yesterday's post about vintage brooches from my family, here are my thrifted brooches that I've gathered myself.

I'm a big fan of costume jewellery, being rather hopeless at taking care of jewellery, I quite often lose, leave or break my pretty things. It's not through lack of care, I try to take good care of my brooches and necklaces, I just seem to have terrible luck when it comes to jewellery! Clasps come open and drop brooches on the ground, chains will break and necklaces slide silently off my neck, stones will drop out never to be seen again and I'll put things down and then not be able to find them later.

This makes cheap costume jewellery a blessing as it doesn't matter too much if I lose something that I bought for 50p from a car boot sale. After losing the silver locket my parents gave me for my 17th birthday, I worry constantly when I'm wearing jewellery with any kind of sentimental or monetary value. Andrew gave me a small gold locket with a diamond in the face for Christmas about 3 years ago and I love it and wear it all the time, but I constantly catch myself feeling for it to be sure it hasn't fallen off my neck.

These little shiny things I've collected from various car boot sales and charity shops and I love them for their lack of value! I can wear them worry-free and just enjoy them.


This was my first ever car boot buy, for 50p I seem to remember. I bought the little one above because it reminded me of this brooch and I thought if I ever lost this one, it would be nice to have something similar to replace it!


In the future I plan to amass a large collection of costume jewellery that I can pass on to my daughters, nieces and granddaughters! It's nice to have a different brooch for every occasion, day, hat, scarf...the list of possibilities is endless!

Monday, 6 December 2010

Vintage brooches

It's another snow day here in Edinburgh, I made it into uni but almost got stuck and after a slightly hairy drive home (mental note: don't take the small, unploughed, ungritted side roads in the future) am now safely back in my flat.

I'm still beavering away with Christmas presents and since I can't show you half of them because they're for people who read the blog, I thought I'd share these photos of the various vintage brooches I've collected over the years.

There are more to come but I lost the light before I could take them all. Today I'm going to showcase the ones that have come from my family, tomorrow will be thrifted brooches.

These ones came from my Gran when she died, she was quite into her costume jewellery since they never really had enough money to buy the real thing. I really like how sparkley they are though, there's one that goes with almost everything in my wardrobe. I wear them mainly on lapels, though I went through a phase of wearing one on my beret.


This one came from my Mum, she used to wear it when she was at uni. I'm totally gutted that it's lost a stone, it fell out in the car one time and I managed to find it and glue it back on. Then another one fell out in the pub one night and that one was gone forever. When I have some money I'm going to take it to a jeweller and see if they can replace it. It's another one that goes with everything since it has so many different colours in the stones.


This one came from Viv, my mother-in-law. It was originally either her mother or her mother-in-law's, I can't remember which she said. I only got it a few weeks ago, she was clearing out her jewellery box and found a load of stuff she didn't wear anymore. It's so pretty, I haven't worn it yet, I might save it and wear it on Christmas Day.


I love jewellry with a bit of history, at some point I'm going to build a brooch holder to display them all!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Crochettes Secret Santa

I've been invited to Vicky's craft group, The Crochettes, for their Christmas party! We're going out for a 3 course meal (the menu sounds YUMMY!) and doing a secret santa, where everyone contributes a hand-made item into a sack and we take it in turns to pick something out.



I've made up these 3 cupcakes, part of them are knitted but oh well. I'm going to buy a little box to put them in with some shredded tissue paper to make them look a bit professional (and also easier to wrap!). I'm quite pleased with them though, and excited to see what present I'll be getting!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

WIP: the epic blanket

It's officially Snow Day Mark 4 here in Edinburgh and I'm supposed to be going to my grandparents' pantomime tonight so we'll see whether I make it or not!

Remember the cable knit blanket I started making for my folks for Christmas back in October? Well, it's getting there slowly! I'm not entirely convinced I'll have it done in time for Christmas but we'll see, I'm sure they won't mind a work in progress present and I'll have plenty of time over the holidays once exams are over to finish it off.



There are a few little mistakes but overall I'm pleased with how it's turning out, it's pretty simple once you get going. I may even knock out a couple more for wedding presents next year!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Snow day mark 3

Well, it's my third day of being snowed in, classes are cancelled and there's inches of ice on the pavements so I'm only venturing out if strictly necessary. Like to get my fringe cut yesterday. Or to go sledging...

Anyway, the free time has given me plenty of time to study and crack on with Christmas presents. I listed these in my Etsy shop the other day, the sun peeked through the clouds just long enough to take some decent photos. They've already been featured in a treasury so I'm pretty pleased with that!



I found them on a thrifting trip to Mussleburgh last week with Andrew's folks, I also picked up a bargainaceous piece of pink velvet for £1! You can check out the shoes over here

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Second snow day!

Well, it's officially still snowing here in Edinburgh, uni is closed again and I'm sat in the flat with the radiators on, keeping warm and catching up with studying. Later I'm planning on walking to meet Andrew after work, though I'm banned from throwing snowballs since he got pissy about it last night. Also I nearly hit a poor girl.

In the meantime though, I thought I'd share these amazing vintage sheepskin mittens with you all. They were my Mum's from when she was at uni so are at least 30 years old and I claimed them last Christmas when I was visiting my folks and had forgotten gloves.



They have been an absolute godsend in the snow, they're thick and warm with the sheep wool inside but the leather outside makes them practically waterproof. I can clear the car without getting freezing fingers and throw badly aimed snowballs without getting frost bite. Two thumbs up to the mittens!

All this snow has got me to thinking about how people pull together in times of need. I know it sounds cheesy but yesterday when I was digging the car out and again when I got it stuck in a drift, people were so friendly and helpful, stopping to check we were OK and offering to give us a push. It seems like during a normal day people walk around with their heads down, not making eye contact with each other, let alone speaking to each other, and yet as soon as something happens to unite us suddenly neighbours are offering help to elderly people in their building or strangers will stop to help you dig out your car. It's nice that behind all those barriers we put up to the world, most of us are happy and willing to reach out to each other when needed. I guess it's just a shame that we can't be more like that on a normal day!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Snow day

I'm sure you're all sick of seeing these blog posts but since I'm stuck in my flat with no other photos to post (and it's too grey and dark to take any!), here's the view from my front window.


Genereally at this time of year you can see from this window all the way to Arthur's Seat, across the Meadows. As you can see, this morning you can barely see to the other side of the road!

I started off to uni but was defeated halfway out and had to turn back (what a shame). We dug the car out of the snow twice and eventually gave up and came home, where I consoled myself with knitting, tea and a home baked muffin from Jessica.

Now to catch up on work, sigh...

Friday, 26 November 2010

Tutorial links

Well, between Andrew's folks visiting and being away this weekend to visit my Grandad, it's been a quiet week on the blogging front. It's also been a quiet week on the studying front and since exams are just over 3 weeks away now, I predict a quiet few weeks for blogging.

Apologies everyone, I'll be back on form in the New Year I promise and obviously updating as much as I can over the next few weeks and then the holidays. If you're new to my little corner of the blogosphere though, please don't let it put you off!

I've been contemplating making a tutorial for a tote bag for a while now, I've got my method sorted and although it's probably not that different from other ways of doing it, I was thinking a tutorial might be handy for some people. I know I would have loved a decent understandable tutorial back in the day when I was trying to work it out for myself!

Since I don't have time at the moment, watch this space. But in the meantime, here are some other adorable tutorials from other creative blogs, possibly good Christmas present ideas?

Make your own reusable fabric napkins with Tasia of Sewaholic. Perfect for the Christmas dinner table and as she points out herself, very environmentally friendly!


Make this gorgeous Pin-up brooch holder with Mena of The Sew Weekly. A great way to organise and display your brooches!


I'll definitely be knocking up some of these Reusable tea bags from Lillyella in the new year. I love loose tea but I hate the tea leaves that invariably end up in the bottom of your mug. Perfectly practical and pretty solution!


Sunday, 21 November 2010

Winter clothing

Goodness, it's been a lazy weekend here at Chez Taylor-Dyce. The in-laws are arriving tomorrow for a 3 day trip so yesterday and today have been spent cleaning the flat, but beyond that nothing much has been happening. I've been working on Mum and Dad's Christmas blanket and some other little presents, watching The West Wing (for the second time) and last night attended a lovely cocktail party at Franca's, of Oranges and Apples fame. First mulled wine of the season!

I should really be cracking on with the studying, it's only 3 and a half weeks until my Christmas exam, but I'm caught up with lectures for the first time in my entire studying life so although I should be starting to go back through my notes in preparation, it's hard to get motivated when there's knitting and an open fire...

Recently I've been feeling the need to get back into sewing clothes, I'm very inspired by Tasia over on Sewaholic.net (and super excited for the impending Pendrell blouse pattern!) and Mena over on The Sew Weekly. Unfortunately I won't be able to indulge this urge until after Christmas but in the meantime, I thought I'd bring you my favourite sewing fixes from Etsy...

I've had Sandmaiden in my favourites for a while now, but when these felted wool leggings popped up I fell head over heels. So warm and snuggly and so comfortable, you could wear them under skirts and dresses or sleep in them or just wear them around the house, so many possibilities. Definitely in my favourites for when I (eventually) have some money!


This asymmetric dress tunic from Linaline also fulfills my criteria of being warm, comfortable and stylish. Perfect for the winter!


What an unusual idea! It's a sweater that can also been worn as a cowl! From Max Melody.


Friday, 19 November 2010

Ellie's birthday tote

I made this for my Gran, Ellie, for her birthday. She used to have a tote with the words 'Shop 'till ewe drop' on it and a picture of a sheep but she lent it to someone and now can't remember who's got it or where it's gone.

Since I'm not entirely convinced that it wasn't me that lost it for her, I thought I'd make her another one for her birthday. I'm not 100% happy with how it turned out, the bag itself is fine but the words and the sheep look quite amateur. This is the problem when you free-hand the cutting rather than making a template. Still, Ellie was pleased with it and I guess that's all that matters!



Added bonus is that it cost me nothing but my time, as I already had all the fabrics in my stash. Stash-bust plus money saving (especially important since I'm currently £1500 overdrawn and managed to spend a small fortune in Sainsbury's today. Sigh.) = awesome project in my book, even if I'm not entirely happy with how it looks!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Shop update

Here are the two latest additions to my Etsy shop, curtesy of thrifting in Musselburgh last week.

I really struggled to get decent photos of these, I used 2 different cameras and took photos on two different days and they kept coming out slightly blurry and grey. When I graduate and start to make more of my Etsy shop, I'll definitely be investing in a decent quality camera. I should really get to grips with photoshop as well, I really like the way Clever Nettle displays her vintage clothing, cut out with a white background, it looks so clean and professional. Her blog is lovely as well, in case you're wanting to read more about vintage clothing!

Anyway, this little cardigan is made in Scotland! I didn't realise until I got it home, but the fairisle pattern has little thistles incorporated into it!


How adorable is this sweater vest? It's got little flower buttons and I love the yellow colour, it would be great for layering!


Wednesday, 17 November 2010


Here are the buttons I promised you from yesterday's bargain fabric find post. It's such a grey day here I had to lighten it a little so you could see the detail on the black buttons.


The GPO stands for 'General Post Office', which according to Wikipedia has been abolished since 1969, making these little black beauties at least 41 years old! I'll have to save them for something special I think!

I snapped up the leather buttons, you can't seem to buy them actually made of leather any more, it's all fake plastic. The gold one is pretty intriguing, it looks like a crown with a bird (maybe an eagle? Or is that just my over-active imagination?) over the top, I wonder what that represents? EDIT: apparently the gold one is from an RAF uniform, thanks Jennifer!

And all for just 30p!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Bargain fabric buy!

I mentioned in a previous post the amazing bargainaceous shop in Musselburgh, Borders Scrap Store. Well, here's my find, along with some buttons which I stupidly forgot to take a photo of and now it's too dark. Oh well, more photos for tomorrow!


I love toile and though I don't think this strictly counts since it's supposed to be a colour on a white background, it's close enough for me!



Monday, 15 November 2010

Itsa me, Mario!

Andrew and I went to a belated Halloween party on Saturday and he went as Mario from Super Mario! I went as an ewok but only one person got my costume so I haven't posted any pictures here :-(

Anyway, I died the overalls blue and made the hats, so I'm pretty pleased with the boys' costumes! They had a whole bit where Greg (Luigi, Andrew's work boyfriend) held the box and Andrew punched it and gold (chocolate!) coins came out, it was very well received. In fact in the only photo of me in my costume, I'm bent double with a plastic beaker of wine in one hand, scrabbling for gold chocolate coins on the floor with the other. That's right, I'm that classy...



Saturday, 13 November 2010

Vintage '70s curtains

How awesome are these 1970's paisley curtains?! I got them in a trade on Thriftstore but in the recent stash bust, it was decided that they should go. I kept them thinking I would cut them up and use the fabric, but actually they look so great as curtains, it would be a shame to cut them up. I hope they go to someone special, if I didn't have huge tenement windows, I would definitely have them hanging in my kitchen!

They'll be over on my Etsy shop tomorrow hopefully, I'm just waiting on a day where it's not pouring with rain to get some nice close-up photos of the pattern.


Also, I've been pondering my Etsy shop recently. When I graduate and get a job, I'd like to spend more time developing my shop, especially the vintage side of things. I've been thinking that I'd like to change the name, since I've never really been 100% happy with 'Second Fiddle'. At the moment I like the idea of 'Thrifty Pony' since I'd like something that would reflect the fact that I would be selling vintage (with the occasional hand-made item) but also a name that is a bit personal to me. I want a name that includes some aspect of who I am in it, and since I'm mad keen on horses, I figured that would be as good a name as any! I'm in no way settling on that for definite, and I have 18 months at least to think about it but it's a start!

How did you guys come up with the names of your blogs/shops?

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Handknitted vintage goodness

I bought this cardigan at the same time as the fairisle jumper that ended up being resized. I feel like I might have to do a similar thing to this cardigan, I love the colour and design around the yoke, but it's a bit baggy round the middle and has the tendency to make me look pregnant!


For the moment though, I'm happy to enjoy it in all it's handknitted, pregnancy-inducing, baggy vintage goodness ♥

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Thrifty norwegian goodness

Check out this amazing Norwegian fairisle cardigan I found in a charity shop for £4!


That's all for today, I just wanted to share the love ♥

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Fairisle resized jumper

I bought this men's fairisle jumper from a vintage and craft fair last year because I love fairisle, without really thinking about whether it would look good on me at all! It was lovely and snuggly warm, but really rather too large so I could only wear it around the house.

So, after the Great Wardrobe Sort of 2010, it was demoted from the wardrobe and into the pile of 'to be altered' clothes. This pile is made up of clothes that are too small, too large, too short, too long...but too nice to just get rid of. So the plan is to gradually fix them up to bring them back into the wardrobe fold.

Here's the before photo. Excuse the crappiness of the photo, it was taken late at night because I wanted to get the jumper in the wash to shrink it so I could work on it the next day. The silly expression is because I was trying to make a sad face to show how sad it is to have pretty jumpers that don't fit you.


And here are the after photos! I'm really pleased with it and have worn it a lot already, it's perfect for the freezing rainy days we seem to be having at the moment.