Sunday, 31 October 2010


What a lovely autumnal day for a photoshoot! I persuaded Andrew to help me take photos of some of the things I've wanted to list on my Etsy shop or blog about but couldn't photograph myself. 3 cameras, 3 dead batteries and a camera phone later we managed to get 8 of the 11 items photographed so fingers crossed for good weather next week so we can try again with (hopefully) a fully functional camera. Oh, to have money and just buy a new camera...


Anyway, here's my brown cord skirt, my second trousers-from-skirt attempt. I'm pretty pleased with it and have worn it a lot already, it's a bit shapeless but is fine for every day use. The trousers used to be a pair of Abercrombie cords I bought off Ebay years ago, I wore them a reasonable amount but they were always a bit tight around the thighs for my liking so when they got splashed with bleach and the bottom hem started to wear through, it seemed the perfect opportunity to convert them to a skirt.


The first photo shows off the skirt best I think, but I just prefer the second photo and since I rarely take a good photo I thought I'd take this opportunity to show off a bit. Also, check out my brogues! They finally arrived, complete with a customs charge (boo), and although they're *slightly* too tight, I'm completely in love. They're leather, I'm sure they'll relax over time!

Note the tweed jacket, a vintage Jaeger find from a few years back, which hopefully will be featuring in a future post since I'm planning on re-lining it using this tutorial from the lovely Tasia at I already have the material, an old dress from my Gran so watch this space...

Friday, 29 October 2010

More new Etsy items

I am on a roll! It's so much easier to keep on top of photographing things when my timetable lets me come home at lunchtime. Otherwise by the time I'm home in the evening it's too dark for decent photos and I'm tired and can't be bothered.

Vintage tie dye silk scarf. I found this in my stash of fabric when I was having a bit of a clear out, it came from my Gran when she died, she had a whole load of neck scarves. I kept the ones I liked for myself, or the ones with sentimental value, and popped the rest in my Etsy shop. Gran would love that I have my own little business and her scarves are being worn and loved!


How pretty is this green sari silk? I bought it ages ago for a dress project (which I'll have to take photos of, the only photo I have of me in that dress I look completely manic!) and have loads left so I thought I'd pop it on Etsy. In the spirit of destashing and all!


Stripy blue and brown stretch fabric. I have no idea when or how I accumulated this one but since I have no immediate plans for it, into the Etsy shop it goes!


Gah, if I ever have the time to really make a go of my Etsy shop, the first thing I'll be doing is buying a new camera. My camera is so rubbish, these photos are all grainy and dull, it's impossible to focus properly and I can't use a tripod because the camera is so temperamental, which means I have to wait for Andrew to help me take full length shots. Ah, to be free of studying...

Thursday, 28 October 2010


What do you do with those projects that you made to sell but weren't quite right in the end? You've put time, money and effort into making them so you don't just want to rip them up or throw them away, but on the other hand you don't want them yourself and you can't sell them so they just sit around gathering dust and making you feel guilty.



I made this noticeboard out of a vinyl record and a load of wine corks, carefully cut in half and glued in place. I've made a few of these in the past and sold them quite successfully but I guess I hadn't done it in a while so I was a bit slap-dash with the glue. Unfortunately when it dried, you can see the glue inbetween the corks so I don't want to list it in my Etsy shop. Sigh. I've popped it on Ebay to see if it'll sell there instead.

Lesson learned: take time and care over items for sale!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

New Etsy items!

Gosh, it's been a while since I listed anything new in my Etsy shop. I've got a big pile of things to photograph, I'm just waiting on either good weather for good light, help from Andrew or time to make them up and photograph them myself.

In the meantime though, I just popped these pieces of fabric in the shop, I'm having a bit of a stash bust since I'm running out of storage space for fabric!

Vintage multi-coloured shiny fabric


Set of two pieces of pink stripy stretch fabric


Other things in the works to be photographed for the shop are:

- Vintage paper parasols
- Fat quarter bundles
- More fabric!
- A vintage silk scarf
- A modelled photo of this dress
- A modelled photo of this dress
- 2 sets of vintage curtains (one 1970s wacky bright pattern and one Thumbelina!)

Watch this space!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

All Hallow's Eve

Well, Halloween and the end of October is fast approaching, what's everyone planning on wearing for All Hallow's Eve? I'm planning an ewok costume, if it works out then photos will most definitely follow!

I was away in Inverness last weekend visiting Andrew's folks and so between being miles behind with work and the dire lack of light and good weather needed to take photos, I'm behind on my blogging as well. I'm planning for Sunday to be 'taking Etsy and blog photos' day and have recruited Andrew for some full length shots of my recent excursions into sewing so hopefully watch this space.

In the meantime though, lets see what Etsy has to share with us on the subject of Halloween. I've filtered out everything but clothing since it relates to my last post and I needed to cut down on the 157,134 results when you type 'Halloween' into the search box!

This Bigfoot Vs. Yeti: Ultimate Throwdown t-shirt made me laugh out loud, I wonder who would win? From TeeShirt Gnome


This Black rhinestone bustier is so glamorous, definitely not just for Halloween. From Dark Pony Designs


Wow, what a super creepy t-shirt, perfect for Halloween! From Cadillac Cowboy.


Friday, 22 October 2010

Alison's picture

My friend Alison gave me this to say thank you for looking after her adorable corgi over the summer. It's made by her sister, who is currently creating a series of illustrations she wants to have made into a children's book. The series is called 'Animal Prosthetics' and involves two animals, joined together in some way.


Alison thought of this one for me because of Hobbes, in case you can't tell from my rather poor photo, it's a hedgehog on giraffe legs. The background to me looks apocalyptic, like this hedgehog has had to fight for his life with the giraffe, who clearly came off worse.

In other news, I'm having a clothes crisis again. Sigh. The Great Wardrobe Sort was good for getting rid of stuff I don't wear, but it's left me with this patchy wardrobe where barely anything goes with anything else. I know the next stage in the process was supposed to be me buying or making the things I need and that worked great for a while with the sandals and blouse (and hopefully soon my brogues!) but it's ground to a halt with my lack of funds and time to either buy or make anything. I'm starting to wish I could just go out and buy a whole load of new clothes, but with my large negative bank balance, it would involve a trip to Primark and that would be against everything I've ever cared for about clothes.

It didn't help that when I was talking to Andrew about it last night, he described my clothes as 'sometimes a bit frumpy' but that it was 'OK, because that's my style'. I think I might cry.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Birthday picture

Well, I had a lovely time up North at the weekend, it was really nice to catch up with folk from my first degree and it was weird being back in Aberdeen and seeing everything that had changed! Saying that, I started the week a bit tired and still slightly hungover and I've been struggling to shift that feeling, it's been a most unproductive week so far!

I took a photo of this just after my birthday and just found it in my photobucket, it's the picture Andrew gave me as a present. It's from the Red Door Gallery in Edinburgh, which is one of my favourite places to visit when I'm in the Grassmarket (along with Armstrong, the most amazing vintage shop!).

We were in the gallery a week or so before my birthday and I saw this print and really liked it, we ended up having a deep philosophical discussion about where the hamster thought it was going in life, it was quite surreal. Anyway, he went back and bought it for me and got it framed and now it's up in our lounge.


It always makes me smile whenever I see it ♥

P.S. apologies for the dire photo, I always wait until too late in the day to take photographs!

Thursday, 14 October 2010


What a rubbish couple of weeks, I'm really looking forward to getting away this weekend! I'm going up North to visit some friends in Aberdeen, I haven't been back since I graduated in 2008 so I'm pretty excited. I had a bit of a rubbish last year in the 'Deen, so by the time I graduated I was desperate to leave and in no rush to come back; 2 and a half years on those feelings have subsided and the rose-tinted spectacles are firmly in place. I'm looking forward to seeing my old campus, it was really love with cobbled streets and old granite buildings, I used to love the colour of the Virginia Creeper climbing up the walls everywhere.


I've had a bit of shoe debacle recently. I bought a pair of brogues from Dirty Betty Vintage last week and they arrived today...but they're too small. I could have cried, it's been such a rubbish few weeks that I was really looking forward to them to cheer me up a bit. Look at how lovely they are as well! I've emailed them round the vet school and if I don't get any takers there or on my facebook then they're going into my Etsy shop.


In an attempt to stop myself sniveling though, I stupidly went back on Etsy to hunt out a pair that do fit me. Step up these little beauties from Puddinp0p! I actually prefer them to the first pair so I'm pretty excited, I just really hope they fit when they eventually arrive! I took a bit of a gamble with the shop, it's pretty new and has barely made any sales (I was the second), but I figure I'm still a new seller so I should support other newbies. Now I've maxed out my paypal account (though it was all money from selling on Etsy so I don't feel too guilty), I'm going to have to make an effort to craft and list some more things to replace the funds before Christmas present season starts!


Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Found by the bin

Goodness, it's going to be another one of those weeks I think. Last week was Andrew's birthday and my Gran breaking her ankle, this week it's the ongoing ankle saga, plus my Grandad on the other side of the family is in hospital over the weekend for a minor procedure. It's nothing serious but anything involving Grandad and hospitals invariably ends up as an Epic Tale Of Woe to be told to every passing person. "Here son, have I showed you mah scar?" pause while Grandad unhitches his shirt and pulls it up to his nipples "Triiiple bypass it were!" Obviously that was less of a minor procedure but you catch my drift. Also I'm going away to Aberdeen this weekend to visit friends, which I'm really looking forward to, but it means I have to work super hard to be sure I'm up to date with studying before I go away. Still, it'll be nice to have a weekend away from uni, I'm already starting to worry about exams again *sigh*

Anyway, before I descend into an irritable ramble about family and uni, let me show you this sad little thing I found by the bins a few weeks back. I reckon it's come out of a little girl's bedroom, maybe they've grown out of it, but it looks handmade. There's a piece missing from the lid but I've left it with Grandad and he's going to fix it for me.


I'm planning on painting it cream, attaching a piece of foam to the lid and covering it with upholstery fabric to make a foot stool for the ugly little sofa that belongs to the landlady. It's a handy place to store some fabric as well!

Ooo, speaking of fabric, I've done a bit of a sort out and I'm planning on listing some on my Etsy shop in the next few weeks. I'm going to make up some fat quarters for quilting and list some individually for dress making or just general sewing. So watch this space!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Work in progress

Crafting for Christmas has started already! I know, I know, it's only October, but in typical Amy tradition I've chosen an epic pattern to knit, so chances are I won't finish it until March next year.

This year I'm knitting an aran afghan for my parents, I found the pattern via Ravelry. The wool is from New Lanark again and is the aran weight in 'Pebble', I really like how thick and chunky it is.


I've already messed up the pattern, having done 2 of the diamonds so far. I can see I've made a mistake in the first one but there's no way it's coming out now, I'd have to frog it back to around the 15th row! It's not too noticeable, once the whole thing is put together I don't think you'll be able to see it. I'm excited to get it done though, if it works then I've got 2 weddings next year that I could make it for!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Tapestry clutch

I'm loving the whole tapestry thing that's going on at the moment! I feel a bit guilty because my brother and I used to laugh at the lady across the street for having a tapestry bag, we thought this was the lamest thing in the world for some reason, so now when I find myself coveting tapestry-related items I think of her and hope she never saw us laughing.


This little tapestry clutch was given to me by Frances for Christmas a few years back and I've used it so much. You know when someone gives you a present and initially you're not sure you like it? That's how I felt about this one, I thought it would just end up sitting in my wardrobe untouched. It came with a whole load of beads all over it that I think put me off, so I took them off and now I love it! It goes with pretty much everything in my wardrobe and the range of colours means you never struggle to match it with anything. It's from an amazing vintage shop in Exeter called The Real McCoy, if you're ever that part of the world then you should definitely check it out, they have some amazing vintage clothes.

Here are some other lovely tapestry bags from Etsy:

Brown leather, handmade AND tapestry?! This bag is such a practical size and is super chic, just perfect. From Vintage Chase.


Ponies and tapestry combined makes for pretty much my favourite ever bag. Recycling at it's most attractive. From My Free Rein


Isn't this the most adorable vintage clutch? Perfect for a night out, just big enough for your money and your lipstick! From Raksniya Vintage


Saturday, 9 October 2010

Birthday cake!

Mmm...chocolate cake...

I made this chocolate cake from the BBC good food site for Andrew's birthday and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. He took it into work to share with his colleagues and they all said they liked it, only 3 pieces were left at the end of the day so I guess that shows they weren't lying! I had a piece and I'm taking the last 2 over to my grandparents, my gran has broken her ankle so hopefully it'll cheer her up!


If I were to make it again, I'd wait for the ganache to set a little before spreading it on the cake. The recipe says to put it straight on as soon as everything has melted together, I found that it was so runny it all basically poured straight off the cake and into the tin it was sitting in! Once it had set a bit I scraped it out of the tin with a butter knife and it spread really nicely then.

Nom nom nom...

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Progress report

Well, the Transformers gloves for Andrew's birthday are coming along nicely, one is finished and the other is about 60% finished. It's his birthday on Thursday so it'll definitely be finished by then, I'm planning on baking a chocolate cake tomorrow afternoon for him to take into work so rest assured, photos of that and the man himself wearing the gloves will follow!


Monday, 4 October 2010

Thrifty window gardening

Well, the Windowsill Farm is back, after the disastrous attempt to grow veg in the garden (and indoors).

The potatoes in containers got waterlogged and rotted, the tomatoes on the windowsill generated about a dozen tomatoes before succumbing to a MASSIVE aphid infestation, the beetroots, carrots, leeks and broccoli all may well still produce veg but we're rapidly running out of good weather so I'm not holding my breath. The thyme, rosemary and coriander all died, the beans germinated but didn't get far enough to produce anything before the weather turned and the slugs ate all the strawberries. The onions and garlic vanished (pigeons maybe?) and the salads all grew nicely but were quickly populated by weeds from the rampantly overgrown rest of the garden, meaning I was too worried about eating a poisonous weed to eat any of my salads.

The problem with being on the third floor is that you're not close enough to the garden to check it regularly. I've only really been checking it when I take out the compost, which is about once or twice a week, and so I haven't been keeping a close enough eye on what's going on. The garden is so shaded and damp though that I've decided to cut my losses and move the Windowsill Farm back indoors.

Except this time I've been bitten by the Pretty Plants Bug. I always thought that plants should have a purpose, be edible or smell nice or produce flowers for the house, but now I'm starting to appreciate plants for plants sake. I went to Ikea last week and bought some plants and pretty pots, they make me so happy as I go from room to room in the flat, admiring their variagated foliage or trailing leaves or brightly coloured flowers. I bought a Christmas cacti with bright pink flowers and a pot to match (except I can't pot it up until it's finished flowering, it's a bit small for the pot at the moment) and I'm already getting excited for the thought of it's bright pink flowers complementing the bright pink pot. How cheery will that be in the depths of winter? Once it's potted up I promise to share a photo!


I swapped this succulent with the lady on the next stall at the car boot sale last weekend (I made £30, woop!) for an old filofax and it looks really smart in this old plant pot I had in the house. It sits next to my orchid (bought reduced to clear in Tesco) on the sideboard and they really complement each other.


This sage plant was 20p in Homebase at the end of the summer and it's now sitting on my kitchen windowsill, soaking up the sunshine in it's terracotta charity-shop pot.


These cacti were free with an Ikea voucher I got with my Ikea family card and the lovely container was inherited from Andrew's grandad (who was an unsuccessful bonsai owner). Don't they look lovely now though?


This is my new rosemary so fingers crossed I don't kill it again! The plant and terracotta pot were from Homebase, the plant was £3 and the pot £1.50 so I figure I got a bargain. The peelings tin is another charity shop find, so the kitchen windowsill is now populated entirely with thrifty plants and charity shop finds!

It's made me realise that gardening in the house is every bit as satisfying as gardening outside and that plants don't have to cost the earth to be pretty and useful. I love thrifting, whether it be buying something second hand, swapping it with someone or just plain finding a bargain in a regular shop!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Pin cushion cupcakes

This adorable little pincushion was given to me by Frances for Christmas last year. Isn't it cute? I have a couple of other pincushions that I made that I'll have to take photos of but in the meantime, here's some cute cupcake action for your Sunday morning.


Friday, 1 October 2010

Wee leather bag

I bought this bag a few years back from a car boot sale and I use it ALL the time. It's my 'going-out-to-the-pub-for-a-casual-night-out' bag (as opposed to my going-out-for-a-big-night-out-clutch (photos to follow, its in the process of being fixed) or my every-day-bag).

I'm definitely a creature of habit, once I find a bag or outfit that I know works for me, I'll use it again and again and again. I do like brown leather as well, it goes with everything in my wardrobe and so I know I don't have to think about it when I grab this bag and head out.



This little bag was a proper thrifty find, a steal at £1.50. Unfortunately a few months after I bought it, the stitching started coming out where the handle meets the bag, so it used to spin round and dump its contents all over the pavement. I took it to Timpson to get it fixed and they did a TERRIBLE job, the stitching was all wonky and it started coming out almost immediately. They only charged me £5 though so I guess you get what you pay for. Eventually I bit the bullet and took it to the super-expensive Mana Craft in Bruntsfield, it's a shop that sells and repairs leather items (oh my goodness, their bags...*droools*...) and they charged me £20 but they did an amazing job, it was totally worth it. Now the strap is fixed on with 3 metal studs so I know it'll last me a lifetime. And really, £26.50 isn't bad for a bag that I use all the time!

I'd like to know where this bag was from originally, it hasn't got any labels but I've seen similar ones on people in the street so I wonder if it was popular for a while? Any one recognise it?