Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Festive fun

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has ordered from my new shop, I hope that your orders reached you ok, and you are happy with them.

As my last sewing order has been delivered, I can now chill out a bit and enjoy the run up to christmas without feeling guilty that I should be working instead of having fun.

So in the last couple of days, I've been doing a bit of crafting for myself and Ella, which is nice to get back to, because although I love sewing, and love that it's part of my work, it does tend to get a bit repeatative, when your doing the same thing over and over.

On Sunday my sister came home from uni, and I went over to Mum and Dad's to 'Do The Decs'. So Libby, Mum and I, with a little help from Ella got the christmas music going and set to work on decorating the tree. You'll never guess, all the lights worked! Hurrah, this was a good christmas sign, and apart from a little bit of gold bead untangling, and dad complaining after realising that mum had given me their pale duck egg blue baubles, because they match my living room, things went quite smoothly.

For lunch we had homemade chicken soup made from the roast chicken that we had the night before, which was very yummy, and Danny who finally made an appearance (he watched the boxing that night or should I say morning) took Ella to see his dad, so that left me child free for the rest of the afternoon, so Mum, Libs, and I set to work on make some mince pies, and I could be a daughter, rather than a mother for a while. I don't know about you, but sometimes I like to revert to my childhood, when life was much simpler, and the only worry I had was bickering with my siblings!

My aim in life for Ella is to try and recreate some of those moments in my childhood, that I remember with fondness, like baking, and making things with Mum, days out on my own with Dad doing 'grown-up' things, like going to his favourite antiques shop in Hertford, and getting a special treat for behaving nicely.

So with that idea in mind and my most pressing jobs all done, I wanted to spend this week doing some 'nice' things with Ella, and give her some memories to look back on, except things don't always go according to plan do they!

Tuesday morning we set about constructing the 'flat-pack' gingerbread house that I bought from Ikea, and it was a bit of a messy start to say the least.

It said on the box to stick it together with melted sugar, ok, I thought, I can do that, so, sugar in the saucpan, melted, ok, right, how to get it on gingerbread from pan, knife maybe? Lets try, mmm.., bit messy, - by the time the melted sugar went from pan to cold knife to gingerbread it had already set so wouldn't stick the two bits together. Ok, plan B, dip edges in pan and stick together swiftly, yes, that seems to work, ohhh, until you get to the last corner, what next, how about..., ahh yes this wooden kebab stick, so about an hour later, and with sploges and stringy bits of harden melted sugar all over me, the hob and the worksurfaces, eventually the house was complete.

However all this time, Ella has been standing next to me on her stool, saying 'can I do some', 'when can I help', etc and me saying, and getting more stressed, but trying to stay calm, 'In a minute' (my favourite sentence) 'careful darling, this sugar is very hot!', 'I'm nearly finished, and then you can help me decorate it with sweets', and finally resorting to 'why don't I put cbeebies on for a bit while I finish putting this together'.

Next step, the decorating of the house, this went slighty better, as I iced, I got her to stick the sweeties on, working well, good, this is fun, that is until Danny arrives home early from work, and for Ella, all things gingerbread go out the window, while she cuddles and plays with Daddy, Oh well, never mind, I had fun finishing it off anyway, it even has a curly-wurly fence, and it smells absolutely delicious!

Yesterday, I finally got round to getting the tree, and in the morning, before nursery, Ella and I decorated it, after a half and hour of moving all the furniture around, and struggling with the stand to try and get the bloody thing to stand straight!
I'm not that happy with it this year, when I got it home and in the stand it looks a bit lopsided from some angles, but I suppose thats just the way with a real tree.
I always have trouble with the tree, because we don't really have a good spot for it, no corners available, due to the fact we have a corner sofa, and two many doors! so it has to go on a table, against a wall, not ideal, but I have to have one.

The glass star baubles are my new purchase for this year, not cheap at £2.99 each, but I limited myself to three.

The other day I got an urge to make a pomander so I spent the evening on the sofa sticking cloves into and orange, with Danny looking at me funnily, here's how the conversation went:
'what are you doing'
'making a pomander'
'what's that then'
'it's an orange with cloves stuck in it, it smells all lovely and christmassy'
'bit of a waste of an orange isn't it'

Mmmm...., men just don't understand, well mine doesn't anyway.

Hope the run up to christmas is going well, or as best as it can for you lot, Good Luck!!!

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Website Open for Business, well just about!

Good morning everyone, it's a lovely morning here. Thanks to all of you who entered the giveway to celebrate the opening of my online shop during the week. Sorry I haven't had time to take any photo's of the draw, but Ella picked out three names from the cake tin to win £5 off their first order from my website.
And the winners are.................




Congratulations guys! To receive your discount, when you order use the payment option for cheques and then I'll send you a paypal invoice with the £5 discounted from your order.

Sorry to everyone who didn't win, but I have plenty of vintage bargains on my website, so pop over to The White Verandah and have a browse.

The Last order date for christmas delivery is 13th December (for UK delivery and Paypal, Credit & Debit card payments only (Sorry it's too late to post overseas!)
For payments by made by cheque: cheques will need to be recieved by me by 6th Dec at the lastest to allow it clear in time for despatch. So I recommend paypal just to be on the safe side.

As today's post title suggests, it's not completely finished, I have a few descriptions to complete in the vintage glass section, and a three more pairs of glass candlesticks and a couple more cake stands to add. I'm also yet to receive two more eiderdowns which are still in transit, so remember to check back on sunday or monday. Also the handmade section isn't very full, cause I've been busy with another customers order for the last couple of weeks.

Let me know if you have any constructive feedback, it all helps, and I should think that there might be a few teething problems! But remember to let me know if you have any problems or questions and I will try to sort them out asap.

Monday, 26 November 2007

and the winner is............ (and another giveaway)

Congratulations to Steph from Curlew Country for winning last weeks giveaway, your cake stand will be winging it's way to you asap!

Sorry to everyone else who entered and didn't win, but all is not lost. As I promised last week I am holding another giveaway to celebrate the launch of my new website on the Saturday 1st December. Three lucky people picked at random will each win £5 off their first order. (see the second from last post for a sneak preview of what's will be on offer).
All you need to do to enter the draw is leave a comment on this post before 9pm this friday.
Good luck everyone, and don't forget to visit on saturday morning to see who's won. xxx

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

The Belated Giveaway & A New Arrival

So finally it's here, I have given up on making something for the giveaway and instead have opted for this pretty little cake stand. It was going to go on the website, but unfortunately what I thought was dirt when I bought it, has turned out to be ash inside the glass, I shall have to look more carefully next time!

Apart from it's little fault, (and lets be honest, we all have them!) it is so pretty, and I thought that one of you would give it a good home and a chance to fulfill it's 'christmas destiny' by displaying mince pies or tealights.
To enter the giveaway you will need to leave a comment on this post before next monday morning - when the winner will be picked at random by Ella, everyone is welcome to join in, even if you haven't commented before.
I seem to remember that I also promised you a peek of what is going to be in my new online shop, I hope to have it up and running for the the start of December, a little bit late for christmas, I know, I'm going as fast as I can, but the website is taking a bit of a backseat due to other commitments.
When I finally launch it I will hold another giveway, with '£5 off your first order' for 3 people picked at random, so be sure to come back then.
In the meantime here is a glimpse of what will be on offer.

Aren't these pressed glass candlesticks beautiful, I'm in two minds whether to keep them all for myself! These are priced between £3-£8 a pair

I have managed to collect a good selection of cake stands that are perfect for creating christmas centre-pieces, or for displaying mince pies or christmas cake. Priced between £8-£12

This is a close-up of the Ditsy Rose Double Eiderdown I have for sale, I have two more eiderdowns winging their way to me as well in Pale Green Paisley and Pink Paisley all priced between £65-£80 each.

This 1930's heavily beaded purse would be perfect for the party season

I've found some lovely pieces of china including this cute rose bowl which is £3

I've managed to collect some lovely kitchenalia, but for some reason it all seems to be green!

This beautiful filigree brooch is sterling silver and would make a lovely christmas present. Brooches range from £3-£12 each.

With reference to the new arrival, no, it isn't a baby, but my parcel from MacCulloch & Wallis Who since 1902 have 'supplied the fashion trade with fine fabrics and trimmings from the same central London premises between Oxford Street and Bond Street in the heart of Mayfair'. They have a great selection of bias bindings including florals, checks, ginghams, velvet, needle cord, and are really good for special things like the vintage laces that I ordered.

this pink gingham bias binding is going to be for the edge of a patchwork quilt that I've started for Ella, I'm guessing it's going to be a while before it's finish though. The buttons are shell printed with roses.

Oh and one last thing, I managed to finish covering and painting my freecyle office/sewing chair after being inspired by one that my sister-in-law did. The fabric is Laura Ashley's 'Clarice'

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Big Knit the movie


No, It's not that I'm lethargic, languid, sluggish, torpid, or inert as my thesaurus suggests, but quite literally Listless and in desperate need of a List!

I don't know about you, but I really love a list, it really helps me to make sense of all the many little things that race around my head, things to do, things to finish, things to start, things to buy. So I thought today I would write my list on my blog, as that way, I can't lose it!

So here it goes......

Hotel job:

  • Make 20 linen laundry bags
  • Make 10 newspaper bags
  • Make 10 cutlery wraps
Family jobs:
  • Make 3 stockings
  • Make Charlotte's curtains
My Jobs:
  • Finish painting and upholstering new sewing chair
  • Finish taking and uploading photo's for website
  • Finish product descriptions for website
  • Make bags from Cath Kidston fabric and oilcloth diaries for website
  • Write christmas card list
  • Write christmas present list
  • Washing Up
  • Laundry
  • Tidy up
  • Dinner
  • Make giveaway prize!! AAhhh forgot again (sorry)
  • Remember to keep scissors away from Ella!
  • Keep an eye on Ella (who has horrible cough and cold, and has given it to me now!)

I'm sure I will think of something else to add to the list as the day goes on, so keep you posted.

I also thought I'd list some things that aren't so pressing, but are making me smile.

Woolly hats on innocent smoothies, all part of The Big Knit to raise money for age concern. Cute, tasty, healthy, and all in aid of charity, what a great excuse to buy them! I bought one yesterday, you can use the hats as egg cosies.

My new stained glass flower, bought for £5 at a antiques shop in Coggeshall.

A new blue jug

My new stash of mother of pearl buttons and buckles that I got on ebay from america.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

the new 'do'

Thanks for all of your supportive comments on my last post, so as requested, here some pictures of the new haircut which I took last wednesday, but haven't got round to uploading till now.

Talk about poser, look at these...

It doesn't look too bad, but it needs a little more 'styling' in the morning and through out the day, than we are both used too. The hairdresser changed the side of her parting to cover the hack job slightly while it grows back, but because of her cows-lick the hair doesn't like to stay in it's new place for too long!

Anyway I had a great weekend last weekend which I shall tell you more about after I've done some work, but in the meantime I will leave you with my Mum's lastest painting which I love. Along with my brother and sister, I bought her the jug a couple of years ago for mother's day. Let me know if you like it as much as me, I'm sure she would appreciate the feedback.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Hair today, gone tommorrow

Yesterday, Ella did something very naughty, imagine my sheer horror to walk in the living room and find her on the floor, surrounded by this....

While I was working in the the other room, she had decided that she wanted a haircut, and used my sewing scissors to hack all her beautiful blonde locks off, and I mean hack, look at this.....

When I rang my husband up in tears, he said he thought that I was going to tell him that Ella had had a terrible accident!
I suppose it's not the end of the world, like he said, well, I know it's not really, but she had such beautiful hair, even strangers quite often used to tell me when we were out together.

(picture of my Dad with Ella before the chop)

I know most children do it at sometime or other, I cut my fringe when I was 5 - rather wonkerly, and my neighbour's daughter cut a bit off the side of her hair, but nothing as severe as this! It's going to be at least a year before it gets back to any thing remotely pretty, I know I sounds a bit shallow, I shouldn't really be encouraging my child that her appearance is that important.

I think secretly she is quite pleased with herself, because now she is going to the hairdressers (which she has been pestering me to go to for the last couple of weeks) and she now has her hair short like a boy (which she keeps saying that she wants as well) Ella-2 Me-nil.
At the moment, having calmed down from my initial rage, and then bursting in tears every half hour or so last night, I'm am now feeling very cross, very sad, and also the inevitable mother's guilt that if I was paying her more attention, instead of working, that it might of never happened.
I suppose I better buy so pretty hats, and hair slides and clips so that she doesn't get mistaken for a boy in drag!

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Seasonal Delights

Sorry I haven't been quite update with all of you and your blogs, I'm very busy at the moment, and knee deep in silk curtains, and I can't see an end in sight. I know I said I'd have a giveaway this week, but I haven't finished the prize yet, so can I beg your forgiveness, and ask for an extention please!

I think it's time to come out in the open with what else I'm doing too. Having been inspired by all your wonderful online shops, I have decided to start my own, I've started designing one myself using a very simple online programme, but although it says it has a checkout facility it only works with paypal, and isn't quite what I need, so can I ask if anyone knows of a good, relatively easy, web design prgramme that's Mac compatible, or does anyone know of a reasonably priced web design service?

I will be selling vintage collectables including kitchenalia, eiderdowns, pressed glass, jewellery and bags, alongside vintage inspired gifts handmade by me. Hopefully, this weekend I will be taking photo's of all the stock I've collected and maybe give you a peek next week.

The other weekend, I bought these little beauties from an lady selling her home grown vegetables, completely un-edible, but very pretty.

and in sainsburys whilst picking up a butternut squash, and a festive pumpkin, I came across these cuties, called 'baby munchkin pumpkins' I had to buy them, if just for their name!

Do you think they would be nice stuffed with something and roasted whole? Any recipes you can direct me to?

Yesterday Mum came over to keep an eye on Ella so I could get some uninterrupted work done, and she came bearing a gift, this cute little shelf...

Aren't I lucky! She also walked the dog, paired up all the socks, did some ironing and hung up all the washing! Thanks Mummy xx

This is the Lene Bjerre Oilcloth I bought to make my grandmother a garden kneeler from, I used a little bit to cover a new diary for next year.

I found these pretty Delphiniums at the local market yesterday, I love their vivid blue colour, don't think they're very seasonal though.

Guess what I'm getting for christmas........

I'm so pleased, and am glad it's going to be a gift, because I'm not sure I could justify spending that much on myself in one go!
I know that Steph is lusting after the 'Washed Roses' design but at a huge £200 from the Cath Kidston website, it's just too expensive. But, after some research I happened across this uk based website, Home Vision, that sells the 'Birds' and 'Red Stars' designs for £163.99 and the new 'Washed Roses' for £169.99 with £4.99 p&p which finally convinced me to get one.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Mixed Bag

I've got time to fit in a post, and as the title suggests, this post is an amalgamation of different things I've been meaning to show you.
Last week I was reading Faye's Blog and looking at the wonderful vintage postcards that she managed to bag at a car boot sale, and it reminded me of my one and only vintage postcard that I own that my Dad gave me when I was a teenager.

As you can see, it has my name on it, which is why he bought it when he came across it in an antiques shop, but what is even lovelier is this that the letters are made up of portraits of victorian women.
Unfortunately the writing (in lavender ink!) has faded in places and I find it difficult to make out a few words, so I don't know what it says, but it was posted in 1905 to New Barnet, Herts.

Moving on, here are my new charity shop finds..........

When I saw the glass jar, it reminded me of this from a few months back, and for £1.25 I just had to have it. Next to it is a metre of faux patchwork fabric for 95p.

I also found these sturdy cast aluminium gardening tools, which I thought I could give to my grandmother for christmas along with a handmade gardening holster type thingy or a kneeling cushion similar to this in a pretty oilcloth.

I wanted to show you this plate that my Mum made to comemorate my birth. Before we where born, and up to me going to secondary school she used to be a potter, and she made lots of lovely things for Harvey Nics and The Conran Shop.

Her plates make up most of the crockery on my plate rack and they sit happily along side the usual bits of paper that clutter it up - out of date money off vouchers, old reciepts, a handmade card from my sister, string, vintage tins, a packet of nurofen, some superglue, and the odd photo. She also made the lovely little green polka-dot cup and saucer that I have as my profile picture.

In the next week or so I've decided I'm going to have a giveaway to say thank you to you all, for all the lovely comments you leave me. What I will 'giveaway', I'm not sure yet, but I'll keep you posted. x