Wednesday 27 January 2010


I don't know about you but since Christmas I have found it difficult to get back in the swing of things. I have much to do but find myself not being able to make a start on anything.

But today I:

Picked up these lovelies on the way home from work

(biscuit barrel)

(poodle and fabric)

(rose jug)

(petit point bag)

Installed my new BT Home Hub (finally!!!)

Installed crucial software on my new (1 month old) laptop and went wireless (easier than I'd thought, don't know why I put it off for so long!)

Took some pictures of items to go into my webshop soon

Played cat-and-mouse with the sun - which kept disappearing at the crucial moments I wanted to take photographs.

Made curry for dinner
(the lowlight of the day - I don't much like cooking and I don't much care for curry - but Mr. Bloom does)

Wrote this post (of course!) and I still have time left to

watch the new series of Desperate Housewives.

Considered a good day!

Sunday 24 January 2010


Once-upon-a-time I had a shelf filled with pink glass which I posted about it when I first started my blog.

It did look pretty but over time the shelf became a bit of an overflow area for things that had no home and started to look rather unco-ordinated and over-crowded.

This weekend my task was to re-organise my little craft room. This was a displacement activity for intalling my new wireless router (which I still haven't done). But since the prospect was equally unappetizing, I instead spent the morning re-arranging the shelf (I justified this by saying that it needed dusting). First everything was removed - it's amazing how much can be squeezed into a small space.

The blank canvas, which I decided would benefit a bit of a makeover.

I had some pretty vintage wallpaper which would be ideal. The shelves do not have a back and I didn't want to paste the wallpaper to the wall, so I cut a piece just a bit larger than the space and tucked it behind top and bottom shelves, with some strategically placed blobs of blue-tac to make sure it stayed put.

As the shelves were a bit wider than the wallpaper, I tacked a length of lace either side as a border. I placed the floral pattern near the top as this would be the part visible once the shelf was filled.

Then came the part we all love, putting things back. I wanted a more substantial look this time and to introduce some colours other than pink. I kept just one pink glass vase - for sentimental reasons ;-)

I included a few blue items to pick up the blue leaves in the wallpaper.

Plus generally a mix of subtle colours. Not everything was put back as it would have looked overcrowded again.

This tiny baby doll has a dolly of her own, the little stick doll is tiny, only 2cm tall - someone with very nimble fingers must have made her.

Beneath the shelf is a small cupboard which was given a re-arrange too - that's for the next post. Meantime there's the small matter of 'what do I do with all this lot!?"

Ah, who cares - let's just enjoy the view!

Wednesday 20 January 2010

A thrifty week

Just when we thought we'd seen the last of it - it's back -drat! Not that I don't like it, just it's settling as a horrible slush, by the time I walked home from work today my shoes and socks were soaked. As for taking photos - hopeless. Of course, when it was sunny yesterday I was busy doing something else! But enough of moaning.

Well, not quite. Last Monday I was bemoaning the fact that having visited all the charity shops in town, I had managed to find only one thing.

Rather a lovely thing, I'll admit, but just the one. 'It's rubbish', I moaned, there's nothing to be had!' But by the end of the week I was eating my words. Having revisited the same shops plus a few more, I had gathered together quite an assortment - mostly for stock but I will be keeping one or two items.

TUESDAY - this gorgeouse paisley eiderdown - my eyes popped out on stalks - plus a striped sheet and cotton eiderdown cover. You can't really see in the pic, but it's one of those that has a huge diamond cut out in the middle, so you can see the design on the eiderdown. I remember having those as a child and always wondering why there was a hole in the middle!

WEDNESDAY - pretty rosebud jug, glass bottle, praying figures and fantastic 70s pink paisley wallpaper - I found two rolls of this in mint condition - enough for a small feature wall or chimney breast.

The wallpaper will be for sale, if anyone is interested please email me for more info.

THURSDAY - two wooden trugs and a wooden box, for makeovers, plus this darling raffia hat - I love the shape and might keep it for use as a sun-hat in the summer (for gardening only!)

FRIDAY - two pretty brooches and a russian doll.

SATURDAY - two mirrors, one wrought iron, painted with pretty metal flowers. The other a bevel-edged painted with a crinoline lady garden scene. Unusually, both are in excellent condition, the painted ones especially are often found with most of the picture worn away. Very difficult to photograph though!

SUNDAY - I had a rest! But all in all a good thrifty week.

Today's task that I have been putting off is to install a new router for my internet connection. I hope it all goes smoothly, but if I don't answer emails immediately, you'll know why. Hope to be back soon!

Thursday 14 January 2010

Displacement Activity

I am very good at procrastination and displacement activity. Currently, my most pressing task is to put the Christmas decorations back up into the attic, they have been packed away since the 6th Jan and are cluttering up the dining room. For some reason (might be the fact that the attic is bulging at the seams) I keep putting off this task, I do not relish the thought of going up there and trying to find some space to squeeze them back in.

So, I am thinking up 101 'more important' things to do. My favourite displacement activities are:
1. Eating
2. Making lists (of things I should be doing)
3. Re-arranging knick-knacks

Following the over-indulgences at Christmas (and before and after) no. 1 is no longer an option.
I have listed everything possible and have to start doing the things on the list, so no. 2 is out.
Therefore it has to be no. 3 re-arranging knick-knacks.

I haven't shown my latest doll purchase - I bought her before Christmas but she hadn't been 'arranged', so I've created a new vignette for her to sit in.

She's the work of Heather from LilyGrace Originals, I first bought one of Heather's dolls a couple of years ago, when I came across her stall by chance at a local Christmas fair. I saw this one (I shall call her Emma for now) on Heather's Etsy site and was sorely tempted but as it was close to Christmas I thought better not.

Then I went to the Christmas fair this year and there she was, so much more beautiful in the 'flesh', the deal was done!

Emma is part of a small range of Georgian style dolls that Heather has created this year. Her head, hands and feet are sculpted from special doll clay, the rest of her body is soft. Heather paints an individual and unique face on each of her dolls, I knew if i didn't buy Emma there and then she would never be repeated. I love her pretty face and her coil of black hair. She truly does look like a Jane Austen heroine.

I've seated her on a wicker dolly-size chair and created a rather flowery vignette around her (on the cupboard on my landing). Keeping her company is my pink poodle lady, another firm favourite.

Another good displacement activity is fiddling around with photos on the PC. I don't have any special graphics software, just HP Image Zone which came with the PC and has a few special effects. This is soft-glow...



Right, what can I do next?

Monday 11 January 2010

Bags of Love

My friend Jayne recently bought her first sewing machine, so for Christmas I made her a 'starter kit' of various sewing accessories.

Rather than just wrap them all up, I made a bag for her to keep them in.

A combination of CK fabrics with a lace trim around the top.

Inside I lined the bag with a co-ordinating red spot cotton and added a useful pocket.

The contents included sewing books, lace and ribbons, patchwork fabric bundles, fancy pins, scissors, needles and thread. Also, this fabric covered darning mushroom - I made a few of these for the V&H fair last May and they were really popular. Unfortunately the vintage ones aren't that easy to come by so I don't know if I will be able to make any more.

I also included a 'voucher' for Jayne - an afternoon's sewing coaching, as she hasn't used a sewing machine before.

I really enjoyed putting this together, and it was much appreciated too. I have some ideas for other 'Bags of Love' - watch this space!