Thursday, 8 June 2017

Bath: Bloggers & Brollies

Here's a very artistic display in one of Bath's popular shopping areas and very apt with all this rain we've been having, but I wasn't in Bath on Saturday for some artsy farty display...

...I was there to meet these two fabulous ladies...

Yes, we finally got it together and Mim (aka Crinoline Robot), Emma (aka Ivy Black) and myself all met up on Saturday morning next to Bath Abbey for a day filled with gossiping, laughter and of course...truffling out old stuff!

First of all, Mim headed us off in the direction of a great cafe where we had a leisurely catch up and also swapped pressies. Emma had made me a gorgeous bracelet with pictures of 1920s Hollywood beauties and Mim gave me a perfect Pyrex platter that she had brought for me a while ago, but was saving until we met up.

One of the first shops we went into was Anthropologie, which was full of lovely things and a touch quirky too, such as this shop display...any idea what its made from?


Yes, the humble utilitarian peg has been promoted! 

It looks like the pegs have been dip-dyed and then simply pegged onto black plastic netting, which has been threaded through with cotton cord to give it the drape-factor! I'm seriously thinking of giving this crafty idea a go!

On to the shopping - obvs we did the charity shops, Mim brought a fab green dress from the Julian House chazza. Then we walked up Walcot Street and found a proper old school vintage shop - y'know the sort; the one which is crammed to the rafters with great stuff that you have to have a good old rummage about in! I love it, its like going back in time to the 80s and 90s - just like secondhand clothes hunting used to be!

Don't get in their way - they're on a mission!

After lunch in the riverside park overlooked by the abbey...

...Mim took us to one of the best fabric shops I have been to for a looong time! Two rooms full of the most colourful and tempting bolts of fabric...

...we ooh'd and ahh'd like kids in a sweet shop and swore to come back next time with lists of our fabric wants.

It was such as brilliant day and a real joy to be with like-minded people who don't think you're mad when you can enthuse about the joys of a polyester maxi dress!

Roll on our next Bath meet-up...August anyone?

Bath booty: a mug from Anthropologie and gorgeous fabric

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Old Things Redisovered

I was having a clear out of our shed and found two stained glass panels that I made about twelve years ago and had forgotten about. I used to be really into this and even made some window panels for our house, but lead and unborn babies don't mix, so I gave it up when I discovered Monkeychild was on the way and haven't touched my soldering iron since. However, after finding these I think I should pick it up again.

I repainted the wooden frame around the fish panel and hung this and other one on some tree branches in the orchard; its like like having an outdoors gallery.

When Husband was clearing out our former next door neighbour's shed for them he found an old washstand complete with its marble top. As our neighbours had said that we could have whatever we wanted from the shed, these came back with us.

As you can see the wash stand looked very shabby - no wonder after living in the shed for fifty-odd years! 

After a sand-down, I reached for my faithful standby: garden paint and gave it a few coats of purple paint and the change is totally satisfying.

I've been sloshing the paint around quite a bit recently as we decided to turn our tatty summerhouse into a temporary office space for me, whilst our new neighbours' builders renovate their house. Needless to write, that these works are rather  noisy and not ideal when trying to write reports and the like.

So - cue more garden paint and me painting the inside of the summerhouse ; it took a whole weekend to do - longer than I'd anticipated!

Afterwards came the best bit - kitting it out with all the essentials: desk and chair, retro kitchen cupboard and cooker. Luckily, I didn't have to buy anything new, just took a few things from the house and in doing so, made more space!

Its really made a difference, as I can now make a brew when I'm in the garden and also have the perfect writing space - all for the price of a large tin of paint and a few hours work.

During my shed clear out I also found a(nother!) washstand that I brought years ago and had the brainwave to put it on the decking next to the summerhouse, so I now have somewhere to wash my hands after gardening and before I brew up! 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Reclaimed: In Different Ways

This post is going to have a reclaimed aspect to it, as some of my recent activities and buys have had a re-use and recycle theme to them.

Firstly though, is that I landed the exciting opportunity to write a feature about enamel signs for Reclaim Magazine. This magazine is relatively new and I came across the third issue of it last year and was instantly hooked. Each issue focuses on interiors that have a strong sense of style through using vintage and antique furniture and also features people within the reclamation trade; an aspect that's close to home as its an area my Dad used to be involved with.

Luckily I had some photos I had taken previously of enamel signs in-situ on my travels, including those in my collection such as this recent purchase that now lives on the bathroom wall.

But writing the feature also gave me the excuse to make a field trip to Ross-on-Wye to photograph the frontage of the amazing Gwalia shop with its enviable collection of signs. I particularly love the Palethorpes' sausages sign.

After writing and re-writing my drafts, the feature's copy was emailed off to Reclaim last month and now a few weeks later its included in the current issue of the magazine. 

So, what else have I been up to?

Well, it was fab to finally meet up with fellow blogger Emma aka Ivy Black Chat, last month. We met up in Stroud and naturally I had to show her some of the best bargain haunts after having a long gossip in one of the town's many cafes. Check out Emma's blog here for some pics of our day out together.

I've also been busy making Monkeychild's outfit for her school's World Book Day event. The sewing started off fine, but had me swearing like a trooper by the time I finished it. Monkey wanted to go as Violet Baudelaire from the Lemony Snickert books, 'A Series of Unfortunate Events', so to make the outfit I turned to my trusty 1970s Simplicity 9848 girls dress pattern that I originally used for last year's Alice in Wonderland dress.

I used the pattern to make both the grey dress and the laced-up bodice, and luckily found enough lengths of spare fabric in my stash to sew the majority of the outfit. Monkeychild was well chuffed with it, so all my efforts paid off even though its been the trickiest outfit to make.

When it comes to secondhand stuff, I haven't brought much recently apart from a Fair Isle cardigan during mine and Emma's charity shop trail in Stroud, and a pair of patent DMs and a Ghost jacket from eBay.

These were absolute bargains; the DMs have been broken in thank goodness, which makes it a lot easier for the backs of my heels! I used to wear a lot of Ghost stuff back in the early '90s and still have most of them tucked away. Their black dresses looked very gothic and were ideal for clubbing.

Finally, as I started off with a reclamation theme, I'll end with one too. 

I've been keeping my eyes on my neighbours' skip whilst their builders strip out next door. This has paid off as the other day I noticed a set of cupboard doors taken off and left outside, which were original to the house (1900) along with lengths of skirting, door frame architrave and metal door hooks. I asked the  builder if I could take them and he said "Take all you want mate" - so I did!

He even knocked on my door later to ask if I wanted another pair of cupboard doors - too right I did!

This morning I had another knock on the door, but this time it was from a friend, Pollie Math, who had spied the stoneware sink that the builders had also ripped out. She's setting up a local artists' studio and was on the look out for a studio sink and this matched the bill. So, cue her and me (wearing bright pink rubber gloves for grip and steel-toe boots) this morning in the rain and mud, attempting to roll said extremely heavy sink from next door's garden into mine. I think the parents on the school-run outside the house thought we were a total pair of nutters - and they'd be right!

Note polite notice to other skip scavengers in the locality!

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