Friday 28 March 2008

Precious Paper

Last year I bought some beautiful vintage french wallpaper from Sue at Vintage to Victorian. I was so pleased to have got them, as vintage wallpaper is virtually impossible to find (well, round my parts, anyway). Since that time Sue had enquired on a few occassions whether I'd done anything with it yet, and I always had to say no. Not that I didn't want to, but partly I couldn't bear the thought of cutting into it - you know how it is. I would periodically get it out and carfully unroll it and just gaze, then carfully put it away. The colours are just amazing, not faded but just the right amount of aged-look to them.

I had bought the beige floral one to line the back of my china cabinet, that's been done now. It was quite painless as I only had to cut one piece and I've blue-tacked it to the back of the cabinet, so I can easily remove it if I change my mind. You can see it in the background here. I still have some left which is earmarked for another cabinet.

I didn't have anything in particular in mind for the blue, I just got it because it was so lovely, but a recent puchase of this old chocolate box gave me the perfect opportunity to use some. The box has a nice shape but a lot of water damage to the paper and not really pretty enough for me.

Now it is... I carefully removed the top, repadded and covered it, then replaced the red bow which I thought went well with the colours. It still looks old and battered but now very pretty too, just how I like it.

Another piece was used as a mount for a vintage postcard with some lace and a few flowers added for decoration. I did actually paint the frame cream, but it didn't look nice at all so I quickly scrubbed the paint off before it dried. At least I know that now!

Some smaller pieces were left over so I prettied up a rather plain glass cruet set. I don't think I'll be using it any more!

Even the tiniest little scaps were used to make this flower:

Which now adorns an old index card box. The box itself I covered in a scapbooking paper which I gave a wash with a wet tea bag and added some lace and trim.

I love these 'new' things and I'm glad I finally got around to using some of the paper - and happily I still have a lot left for plenty more projects.

With a wet and windy weekend in store it looks like there might be more crafting on the agenda.

Hope yours is good!

Lucy x

Tuesday 25 March 2008

Been and Gone

So Easter has been and gone, too short but very sweet - I have a rather more rounded than usual tummy as a result! I've put away the Easter decorations, not quite sure what to do with the painted twigs, they are rather bulky to put away, won't keep outside but it seems a shame to discard them, maybe I'll think on the idea of a summer tree. The only remnants of Easter left in the house are the flowers. I got these pretty potted bulbs from my brother and SIL, the wooden sign says 'Spring Flowers'. It had some fluffy Easter chicks on it as well but they've been put away with the rest of the Easter gang.

The daffodils that were determinedly staying in bud at the weekend have finally flowered.

I also bought a bumper bunch of tulips, some of which have replaced the Easter tree...

and the red ones, which flowered rather too hastily, are on another window-sill. They almost look like a competely different flower now. Underneath you can see my Emma Bridgwater biscuit tin which I picked up for £1 last week.

I've had a bit a of a furniture re-arrange in the kitchen as I needed somewhere to put this mirrored sideboard top which had been propped up against the wall until now.

When I moved into my first house, some old furniture had been left behind. This mirror had a matching sideboard base with cutlery drawers, cupboard doors and barleycorn legs, all painted a horrible dark brown gloss. Being young and foolish I immediately wanted to get rid of it but my dad persuaded me to keep the top, I'm glad he did and could kick myself for getting rid of the bottom part. It has travelled with me to every house since, and been stripped and sanded along the way. Fortunately it fits perfectly on top of this sideboard, it justs needs a coat of white or cream paint now I think.

I've moved the table into the middle of the room and it's a much cosier and more useable space now. I just need to retrieve some chairs from the shed now and give those a lick of paint too.

I've had this cakestand for a good while now, and lost count of the number of times I nearly threw it out because I had nowhere to put it. I've re-purposed it as a stand for my serving bowls, which would have been in the cupboard otherwise, I can display two in the space of one.

I've hung one of my favourite picture up too, these cute blue-tits on a blossom branch. This is the vintage version of a clip-frame where the glass was attached to the backing board with black tape. I think I prefer this version.

I hope you all had a lovely Easter and aren't too shocked by the return to normality today.

Have a good week,

Lucy x

Friday 21 March 2008

Happy Easter

Well I'm just about set, I think. We're going round to family for Sunday lunch tomorrow so not much for me to do actually, though I have decided to make a Key Lime Pie to take for dessert - never made it before so I hope it tastes OK.
Hope my daffodils hurry up and flower too.

I was going to show you the eggs I painted last year, but I've put them away so well I can't find them! Looking round the shops, Easter trees seem to be de rigeur nowadays - I had grand plans for making my own extravagently decorated tree, but somehow it didn't happen. My apple tree provided some nice knobbly twigs though which were given a spray of paint. The two-tone effect came about since I didn't have enough paint in one colour.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend, whatever you are doing, hope the Easter Bunny is very generous to you!

Lucy Bloom x

Thursday 20 March 2008

Ready-Made Vintage

I walked home from work this morning with a spring in my step, no work tomorrow and a long-awaited lie-in (I'm not at my best first thing in the morning so getting up at 5am is not my idea of fun). I visited a few charity shops - no pickings today but when I got back, a parcel arrived in the post which made up for it at least ten times over.

I had come across these on Ebay when looking for something completely different, they are vintage cards and scraps. I had a project in mind using cards so I placed a moderate bid, not expecting to win - well you can see that I did.

They had been described as mounted on card - I assumed they would be lightly mounted and could be removed, but these are very firmly pasted on, so I have ready-made vintage scrapbook pages.

They are much prettier than they looked in the listing, and probably my photos don't show just how lovely they are (the sun hasn't got his hat on today!).

The backing cards have been covered with a pale pink fabric and the cards and scraps beautifully arranged.

Quite often when buying things in lots there will be some you like and some you don't particularly care for. I can honestly say there is not one single card or scrap here that I don't like. Of course I do have some favourites...

These won't be going into a scrapbook though, I think they will look stunning framed and hanging in a group. I'll be on the lookout for some vintage frames now... oh dear, it's neverending, isn't it!

Saturday 15 March 2008

The Bunny's New Clothes

With Easter just around the corner, not surprisingly there is a strong bunny theme in blogland at the moment. Not one to be left out, my contribution is Miss Maybelle March.

I bought her on impulse in TKMaxx a few years ago and since then she has been living in a plastic bag in the attic whilst I decided whether to keep her or not. Feeling a bit mean about that, I decided to bring her down make her some new clothes. She feels quite the bees knees now:

I decided to keep the hat and waistcoat, but the beige checked dress didn't do anything for her at all. Using the old dress as a pattern I made her new dress from a tablecloth (Gisela Graham, I think) which I had no use for, and some lace trim.

I decorated her hat with a fabric band and flower and glued tiny flowers on her sleeves and the basket handle. I think I'll let her stay now, for a while, anyway.

I've been burning the candle at both ends this week, getting stock made for my stall in Marlborough. I hadn't made anything new since before Christmas so it was about time.

I really like the spring fresh colours of these painted and decoupaged pots. I only made 2 with an Easter theme, but I think the others work well for Easter and all year round.

It felt like I had made loads of things, but when I put them out on my stand, it didn't look like I'd done very much at all. Maybe I need a smaller stand! And I always underestimate how long it will take to make new stock, initially I had planned to go in Thursday, which then became Friday, I finally delivered it this morning.

Well I must go now and clear the devastation left behind by a week's crafting, otherwise we'll be eating takeaway off our laps again tonight. Enjoy the weekend!

Lucy x

Sunday 9 March 2008

Chintz and Country Markets

On the way home from work on Friday morning I stopped off at the local Country Market. This isn't as grand as it sounds, held in a small hall in the town centre. For anyone who doesn't know, (if you do know, please feel free to skip this paragraph) Country Markets were formerly known as the Women's Institute Country Markets, now run as a separate enterprise. I would imagine the Women's Institute is now world famous, following the success of the film Calendar Girls a few years ago. The WI have run Friday morning markets for as long as I can remember, what I didn't know was that in 1995 the organisation split into two groups - the WI which remains a charitable organisation, and Country Markets Ltd. (CML) which is run as a co-operative business.

CML provides an outlet for small home producers to sell their goods locally. As well as food items there are plants and hand-crafted goods. If you are not producing on a large scale, it may be a possible outlet for your crafts. The CML website is here and you can find information about how to join. I couldn't say what kind of crafts would sell well, I think it would depend on the area but the website gives a list of all markets in the country.

I didn't buy any crafts as they were mainly knitted baby clothes, but I bought some fresh farm eggs and home-made scones.

This not being a very exciting picture, I looked around for something pretty to display them on, my collection of chintz was just right.

Well, not exactly a collection as you can see, I only have 3 pieces of china plus a tin. I love this chintz pattern, I've never actively gone in search of these pieces, just happened to pick them up along the way. Actually I don't come across it very often now, at a thrifty price anyway, and I'm happy with my tiny collection. If I find any more I'll add to it, but I think huge amounts could be overpowering unless you have a huge house or a huge dresser, which I don't.

The plate and jam dish are the same pattern and out of all the chintz patterns I think this is one of the prettiest. It's called 'Du Barry' by James Kent, though I think there are many similar designs around.

The nice thing about chintz is that it mixes very well with other china, so you don't need to have a huge collection. I looked around and found some other pieces that I think mix-and-match very well.

The green bowl and saucers are one of my favourite sets, I have them in the kitchen cupboard for use, but I never use them for fear of one breaking. Since I bought them a few years ago I have never come across any more of the same pattern.

Clare at Vintage Home has some lovely chintz pieces beautifully displayed with other china on her dresser, I wouldn't mind some of those, I can tell you! If any of you have a chintz collection, large or small, I'd love to see it.

Having put mine together for the pics, I think they would look rather nice out on display too, I'll have to have a re-arrange - in fact, I think I'm going to have to buy a dresser to put them on. Oh dear, look what I've started now!

Thursday 6 March 2008

Rosy Things

On yet another dark and dreary day I thought pretty roses might bring some cheer. In common with many blogging friends, I wouldn't be a proper vintage-loving girl if I didn't have an abundance of roses around the house. Thought you might like to see some of them.

Rose patterned china...

Rose painted tins...

Tapestry roses...

Doillies, china and bright red applique roses waiting to be made into something special...

(don't look at this picture too long or your eyes may start to go funny!)

Roses on lampshades...and curtains...

My favourite rose prints (one still waiting to be hung on the wall!)...

Roses in the bathroom...

Rosy things I've made that have gone to new homes...

Roses on cushions and on bunnies' heads...

Roses on frames and in frames...

If there could be only one flower in the world, I think for me it would have to be the rose.

Hope you have a rosy day.