Saturday, 30 July 2011

Skirt in progress

Check out this amazing 'make your own skirt' kit I got from Frances for my birthday. It's from Meme Fabrics, a new fabric shop just opened in Exeter.


This is a lovely present because I've been bitching for a while to anyone who'll listen about how I want to make my own clothes, but I'm too scared to try any more after a few attempts that haven't come out just how I'd like them (see the Frances dress and the tartan car boot sale dress, both of which are fine in a kind of first-attempt-so-so kind of way). I know it's very defeatist but it's intimidating to be faced with an idea and a pattern and some lovely and/or expensive material and end up with...a giant pile of scraps and an angry face. So it's easier to dream about what you would make if you had the time/money/experience and never actually get around to doing it, for fear of failure. I know all failures are learning processes but at the moment I feel like I'm constantly struggling at uni and the last thing I want to do is come home and struggle with a hobby that's supposed to be relaxing. Hence, more knitting, less sewing.


But, I feel like this little bag of goodies could be the project for me. Look at how simple the instructions are! No terrifying bits of paper to trace or cut, no naps and grains and dashed lines and dots and other bits you don't understand so skip and then later on discover why they were so important. And, the added bonus is that if it works with this lovely piece of yellow gingham, I can make it work with any number of colours and patterns from my stash.


Plus, look at how awesome the bag is! I can't think of a better use for the sport pages to be honest.

Friday, 29 July 2011


Wee leather bag, you will be sadly missed. When your strap broke just a few weeks ago (it seems like a lifetime now) and you slithered from my shoulder in the quiet, calm manner that you lived your life, unceremoniously dropping onto the wet muddy grass, I think a little piece of my soul died along there with you.


You were one of my first car boot finds and you served me well these past 4 years. Twice I sent you in for repair and twice you came back to me, as solid and trustworthy as the day I bought you from that dodgy, greasy, 1-tooth-missing man at the car boot sale. I've seen your bigger brother about town, but never plucked up the courage to ask a stranger where they got him from, and if he was indeed related to you. I guess I'll never know where you originated from now, and maybe it's better that way, you'll maintain that air of mystery with you to Bag Heaven.


Wee leather bag, I've left your broken body with the nice people at Manacraft, where I know they'll take good care of you and recycle your parts for other bags that will make other people happy. Every time I sit next to someone on a bus or pass them in the street with a bag of similar hue to you, I'll think of you and wonder if it's your pocket that's holding their mobile or your strap that's lying across their shoulder.

And I'll smile ♥

Thursday, 28 July 2011

6 year anniversary

Andrew and I have been together 6 years as of yesterday. It's crazy how quickly time flies, it seems like yesterday we were walking hand-in-hand across Trafalgar Square and I nervously blurted out, " want to be my boyfriend then?" Ah, so smooth. Saying that, one of our first dates he 'wooed' me with Saving Private Ryan so I guess neither of us played it that cool.


I bought him this letterpress linocut print off The Big Harumph on Etsy. It arrived with super fast postage actually on the day, which was lovely considering I clearly hadn't left enough time when I ordered it, what with exams and all. Still, at least he got a present, I have still yet to get a birthday present (from the 23rd of May no less) so I'm not holding out hope for an anniversary present until maybe the middle of September. Such is life, I have too much stuff anyway!

We did have a lovely day at the beach though, although now my face is an unnaturally red colour. Factor 50 my arse...

Monday, 25 July 2011

Thrifted cork board to inspiration board

I bought this cork pin board a while back from the Omni car boot sale (the same trip where I got these amazing tea cosies and these vintage scarves!) and I've planned for ages to turn it into one of those pretty inspiration boards you see in craft rooms.


I forgot to take a 'before' picture, but I'm sure you all know what a cork board looks like, so here's a photo off google


Well, since it was Vicky's birthday at the start of July, it gave me the kick up the backside I needed to get the old trusty glue gun and not-so-trust staple gun out and get t'prettifying.


I covered the board in batting, then ironed the material and stretched it over the top, stapling it around the edges. I bought the velvet ribbon from the wonderful Edinburgh Fabrics on Clerk Street (who don't have a website sadly) and eyeballed where to place and staple that. The drawing pins had buttons glued to their tops and the pins to hold the ribbon in place are split pins, poked through a hole made with a nail hammered through to the back, then taped on the back and a button glued over the top. Does that make sense? My brain is a bit fried after all the studying!


I'm pretty pleased with the result, it could have been straighter and less wonky had the staple gun not been a giant pile of something indescribable but for the most part, I'm happy.


Lessons learned:

- Spend more than £9.99 on a staple gun

- Measure where to place the ribbon before stapling it in place.


I also bought her this lovely locket necklace off Rose and Raven on Etsy (the same seller as Karen's bird and tree necklace) , I just want to buy everything in that shop to be honest.

In other news, my exam is over (and was every bit as horrid as I thought it was going to be so fingers crossed for me not having to repeat the year) so hopefully blogging and crafting will go back to normal!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Giveaway results!

Thanks to everyone who entered my 50 Etsy sales giveaway! Here are the exciting results...


The winner of the set of vintage knitting patterns is Vanessa!



The winner of the polka dot scarf is Lorraine of Head to Toe Vintage!


Well done guys, get in touch and we'll organise getting your prizes sent out to you!

Thanks to everyone who entered and keep your eyes peeled for the next one!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Extending the giveaway deadline!

Argh, I'm an idiot! I've planned the giveaway to end tomorrow (Sunday) night but just realised that I'm away on Monday for a week in the hospital, working in the intensive care unit for the horses at the vet school. So I'm not going to be around for a week to post the items to the winners!

Looking after these little guys again!


Consequently, I've decided to extend the 50 Etsy sales giveaway for another week, this time ending on Sunday the 17th of July.

I'm really sorry to those of you who've already entered, obviously your entries still count so good luck! For those of you who haven't entered yet, now's your time!

I'll do the draw when I get back on the 18th, which is a Monday, so keep an eye on your inboxes for then.

In the meantime, check out this lovely bird and branch necklace Heather, MJ and I bought for Karen's PhD graduation present. It's from Rose and Raven on Etsy and I would definitely recommend that shop, the postage was quick and the necklace came packaged in a lovely little box with blue ribbon wrapped around.


I actually bought 2 necklaces from Rose and Raven but I'm not going to show you the other one until the intended recipient has opened it!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Little shop update

I'm having the hardest time with my camera at the moment, the batteries are definitely dying, I have to charge them pretty much every time I switch the camera on. I switch it on, take 5 photos, upload them, switch it off, then next time I need it - 'batteries exhausted'. Queue much sweating, cursing and gnashing of teeth (or bruxism if you'd like the nerdy veterinary term) while I fight the inclination to throw the damned thing out the window, since I can't afford to replace it any time soon.


Vintage grey wool cardigan, made in Great Britain


Hence, the latest addition to the shop is somewhat grey and grainy, after about 57 attempts to get a good photo (with many battery chargings in the meantime) I gave up and just went with the best I could find. I often wonder in these cases if it's better to just not list the item at all, than list it with a sub-par photo and possibly put people off my shop altogether since it makes the whole venture look somewhat amateur. But for the moment, if I didn't list every item with a rubbish photo, I'd have a pretty much empty shop so I'll just grin and bear it. I'm still making the occasional sale so it can't be all bad!

Only 3 more days to enter my 50 Etsy sales giveaway!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Crochet tea cosy

Check out this lovely tea cosy that Vicky made me for my birthday! Isn't it lovely? I love the roses especially, she informs me that they're easy to make so I guess I'll have to learn so I can attach roses to EVERYTHING!


It fits my little teapot perfectly, I use that one when I want herbal tea since Andrew doesn't really drink it. Apparently it was completely made with stash wool as well, which makes it even cooler because it's recycling! Yeah, recycling nerd over here.


Thank you Vicky, I love it!

P.S. Don't forget to enter the 50 Etsy sales giveaway! It closes on Sunday night but so far I've only got 3 entries, so hurry up and enter folks!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Owl jumper

Apologies for the quiet over here at the moment, between placement and studying I'm not getting a huge amount of time to blog. Any time on the internet is restricted to my Etsy shop and decluttering the flat, I'm having a bit of a late spring clean so have been busy giving things away on Gumtree and Freecycle. There's something very satisfying about giving away things you no longer have a use for, especially if it's going to charity or a new home where it will be loved! I just took a couple of bags of stuff to Cash 4 Clothes, it's a relatively new shop down the road from me that takes all kinds of textiles, including odd socks, jeans with holes in the crotch and stained t-shirts. 2 bags gone, £3 in the anniversary fund, hurrah! It's not a lot of money, but it all adds up.

Anyway, I can't show you the 3 projects I've been working on recently because they're all presents so I don't want to give the game away until they've been given! But, I can update you on one on-going project, Vicky's jumper dress. Remember how I was struggling with the wool and the pattern? Well, Vicky's chosen some new patterns and among them is one I've been planning on doing for myself, Owls by Kate Davies.

Kate actually lives in Edinburgh and writes a really interesting blog called Needled. She has so many lovely patterns to chose from, but the following are definitely in my queue for the not-too-distant future!

The amazing Owl jumper. Imogene has knitted one of these and it looks amazing, I definitely want one for myself!


Even better than the owl jumper, the owlet jumper. How cute is this?! One of my friends is pregnant with her first baby and I'm totally making this one for the new arrival!


The tortoise and the hare sweater is so adorable, I might have to try and lengthen the sleeves since I'm a major wimp who gets cold in the summer time, but I love the fairisle pattern.


Ah, to have more time to just sit and knit...

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Latest Etsy update

Here's a few of the latest pretties to end up in the shop. It was pretty hard to part with the fairisle cardigan but in Andrew's words "you have too much knitwear already". You can never have too much knitwear when you live in Scotland love!

Don't forget to enter the 50 Etsy sales giveaway!. You've got just over a week to do it!

Vintage fairisle Scottish cardigan. Check out those awesome clasps!


Vintage fairisle sweater vest.


Vintage floral pussy bow blouse


Vintage red abstract pattern dress


Hand made autumnal print dress


Vintage floral brown sweater


Vintage pinstripe handkerchief with Parisian buildings



Vintage paisley handkerchief