Monday, 14 November 2011

November garden

Occasionally I take pictures of things in our tiny garden, we had a tidy up at the weekend and everything is bare, but thankfully there are a couple of treasures to be seen still.
The big beautiful heads of an artichoke......

The studding purple berries of some shrub I cannot remember it's name - no use to anyone I know, sorry. It's just a haze of purple that stays all winter if we are lucky, I love it!

.....and a passion flower, we only had 3 flowers this year so this one is an added bonus to a cold, grey November day in Milton Keynes.

These are on their way out, but still add some lovely yellow to a corner.

Purple and artichokes......just to finish off the day. xx

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The Stony Report

In spite of the first grey day for a long while, the rain held off on Saturday in Stony Stratford (for those interested, it was the setting for that iconic film "Withnail and I").....a lovely traditional town with fabulous high street full of independent shops........and a great Georgian Community Building York Hall!

Foot flow was steady, but very enthusiastic and I think most sellers had a good day. 

Here are some pics borrowed from a Facebook album, by Neighbourhood Laundry :)

Better plug my own work would be rude not too!

Making draft excluders, as you do! Lovely vintage fabrics.

This lady is a neighbour of mine and we had no idea we both did these events until Saturday  "hello Lizzie" :)

This brave man stood outside all day, brave indeed, but he looks happy enough.

A quiet moment, but you ca see how lovely the hall looked and a corner of my stall with a rather lovely display of gingerbread trees in an old wooden crate.

......lots of eclectic sellers with lovely tempting delights and there is a very cute folding table hiding under here that I purchased - so cute it had to come home with me.

Looking forward to Market Harborough on the 19th, I certainly love this mix of Handmade AND Vintage, you get a lovely class of customer - haha! 

Jane x

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Remember, remember - the 5th of November!

haha..... a Christmas fair in Stony Stratford (what else could there be?)

A new venture and outing for some lovely Pre-loved sellers in Milton Keynes and they invited me to their party on Saturday :)

I've got a new range of shrinky cameo's.....

A delicious collection of gingerbread smelling ornaments!

and a few new festive decorations, some smell, some don't!

Hope to see some of you there.....

Jane x

Monday, 19 September 2011

Lovely day in Northampton

......and we managed to dodge the showers of rain!

As advertised, I wandered up to Northampton on Saturday for the 6th Northampton Vintage and Handmade at St Matthew's Parish Centre. Organised by Trevor and Ann, it was the first time I had been there and it was delightful I am pleased to report.

A lovely standard of sellers, with an eclectic range of wear and treasure.

I neglected to take any photo's of my table, let alone anyone else's. So I have borrowed this one from the NorthamptonVintagefair Blog, you can see other stalls and up and coming events there too.

My new Gingerbread trees (at the top of the picture) went down a storm I'm delighted to say, I shall be increasing the 'winter' range for Olney and Market Harbough, coming up in October and November......and the Christmas delights will be making an appearance there too.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Coming up soon......

Coming up next weekend in Northampton, a Vintage and Homemade event, the 6th no less. However, this is the first one Smallbeans will have attended.

Lots to make and do for this event, hope to see you there too!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Happy trees get bigger

For the last couple of days, I have been playing around with celebration 'happy trees'.

Hatching and Matching are easy to celebrate - dispatching?? Celebrate a life in a standing felt tree? I think it's a lovely idea, what do you think?

This one I have made to celebrate 20 years with my husband, 16 years married, but I wanted to go for the 20 year marker with the tree.

Made to order and listed in my smallbeans Etsy shop, I cannot wait to make some seasonal variations for special arrivals and partnerships - let's celebrate!

Here is a wedding version, a small tree, embroidered with the colours of a wedding, and the love birds themselves of course. (and there we are in the picture, July 1995)

Vintage inspired embroidery, and the year of the wedding, bride and groom names on the reverse.

These ones I have made for the children, retrospectively marking their arrivals.

They are stuffed with lavender, so not only mark a special occasion, they smell lovely too.

I also made one for my sisters birthday last week, but just embroidered the day and month, we don't need to be reminded about the year do we Helen?? x

Monday, 6 June 2011

Hatching and Matching

I've been busy for the last couple of weeks making thank you brooches for godmothers and dresses for bridesmaids. Two different events and families but held over the same weekend.

The girls looked lovely at the mum and dads wedding and I. is holding a bouqet of felt flowers made by the bride who might have been inspired by my stitching classes (and was known for getting very frustrated and throwing things around the room!). Rebecca has now done her self proud with these lovely creations and admitted she just needed a reason to make something.

Front and back of dresses :)

M. held a bridesmaid dolly and I made a matching dress for her.

The christening brooches were 'thank you' gifts for the Godmothers from the parents of Amilie. The theme of the day was butterflies and I played around with shrinky dink plastic and my favourite embroidery of the moment, folk flowers.

Sarah also asked me to make a brooch for our vicar, the lovely Chris. She wanted it to say Mizpah, I had heard of the word before, but did some research into its meaning and history. Mizpah brooches were common in Victorian times for being given to sweethearts who were separated but wanted to remember each other forever. Chris is retiring next year and Sarah thought this would be a lovely keepsake for her.

I shall list the spare brooches on my Smallbeans Etsy shop later today......and if you know anyone who might need special small felt 'thank-you', keep me in mind. :)
Thanks for calling by, I would say enjoy the sunshine, but it's grey and raining here. June has arrived!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Handmade & Vintage III

I have been neglecting .....for your home and your coat! opps, sorry, (if anyone is out there?)

For those local to MK, there is a Handmade & Vintage at York House on Saturday the 21st of May, 10-4. The previous fairs have been just lovely, great handmade goodies, plenty of vintage treasure and a tasty tea and cakes cafe. What a treat!

I am busy doing other things, I promise, and here is a quick update on my working table this week:

Playing with fancy feathers and hat making materials, suffolk puffs come out and some lovely vintage mother of pearl buttons. I think they would be perfect for a summer wedding or garden party.

Big bows have been popular so I have put some more together with my great stash of big vintage buttons.

....and finally, I am developing my range based on folk art and barge wear. I have re gigged my oak leaf brooch and added a few details. I will see how they go on saturday.
Hope to see you there.xx

Monday, 11 April 2011

An unexpected treasure

Last week my Mum reached one of those birthday's with a 0 at the end. Well done Mum xx
To celebrate the occasion, M&D gathered together family and friends and we all went to the rather grand Chateau Impney near Droitwich for a calvery sunday lunch - large portions+ Sunday Lunch+good company+lovely hot spring weather = winner of a day :)
One of the other guests was my primary teacher at the age of 8 (??) the lovely Gwen (XX) and over the meal she got talking about a vintage wall hanging/quilt she has from a great aunt. I just had to have a look for myself....

Gwen was then worried that she had oversold the piece and it would not be worth the journey!

Well she need not have worried, look at this beauty-

It is about 2m square although it hangs up the side of a staircase so it was difficult to photograph in full and estimate the size.

As you can see, it's an eclectic pick and mix of hexagon patchwork appliqued onto the base fabric, wool embroidery, and finer embroidery depicting leaves, flowers and other pieces of foliage.

I took as many detailed photos as I could, but each section was a bit of a treasure, I especially loved this sweet chestnut leaf, the abstract shapes and colours which make up the of so recognisable leaf.

Gwen inherited the quilt from her own Aunt Gwen and then gave it to her son, who then got fed up with it I suppose and when she found it in a heap somewhere, it was in a very sorry state and had to be mended in places. It' not clear what is original and what is restoration apart from some obvious 'new vintage' fabrics.

The composition was strange, perhaps a quilt which started off as just traditional hexagon patchwork, the centre panel is complete I think. Then 7 patch flowers are appliqued on and around the central piece and the leaves are scattered amongst them. Either the maker got bored with patchwork or they were very daring and just loved playing around with details and abstract ideas. The overall effect is very balanced, but not symmetrical I think.

With my very limited knowledge of vintage quilts and embroidery, I am relying upon Gwen's guess work with the age of the bedspread - 1840's??
It did remind me of a quilt from the V&A last year, but I am no expert so if anyone can cast anymore information I would be grateful :) I cannot find the picture of the quilt which is in my head, I will have to come back and re-post!

I had a lovely day with family and friends and felt very fortunate to have seen Gwen after a good few years, a lovely character full of wit and wisdom and stories....what stories! One that I remember myself is of the class I was in at a local swimming pool and Gwen was leaning over talking to one of the boys and encouraging him to kick is legs, he must have felt a little worried because he grabbed the whistle hanging round her neck and pulled her in! She borrowed an attendants tracksuit to go back to school in.

Monday, 28 February 2011

""Small Trumpet Fanfare""

A few days later than planned (my birthday got in the way of proceedings) I have pulled a name out of a hat for the "happy tree" give away. :)

.....said names

......said hat - famous in Milton Keynes I'll have you know.

......blurred name - I will email you Linda for your land address - hurray!! is the little witness to my event.
It was interesting how many people either didn't look or take notice, mmmmm.
Even on Facebook, mmmmmm
I shall do another draw in aid of Market Research for Mother's day :)
Thanks to those who did notice, see you soon.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

....come on sunshine and a birthday give away :)

It's still chilly here in MK, I don't take my hat off very often, but I have been willing spring on with some new ideas that have been sitting in my head for a while.
This bold brooch was inspired by one of my finds in my Nan's (grandmothers) old jewellery box when she went to the big charity shop in the clouds some 16 years ago.
Her house was stuffed full of 'treasure' I am so pleased I was able to keep much of it, my sister and mom just weren't into these eclectic pieces. Yippee for me!

So, back to the big bow brooch, it is a small silver 3d bow with 2 small scottie dogs hanging on leads. I don't think they were designed to be together but my Nan must have had a creative vision. I had a stall at a H&V fayre on Saturday and they were much admired.
So this one I have proudly listed on etsy here.

I have been making birds and clouds for a while as mobiles and the doggies got me thinking about clouds and birds flying......I was stitching one of these at 'the show' on saturday and sold it instantly, so that's a good sign for my Cloudy Day brooches. The lovely lady was looking for a squirrel - "the world needs more squirrels" she said. Another variation perhaps? Watch this space.

......oh, and then there's my new trees :) Stuffed full with Lavender and handstitched with lots of love and care, I really enjoyed putting together this small copse.

....and here comes the sun, glowing in early spring rays the trees came to life.

To celebrate that glimpse of sunshine and my birthday next week, I am delighted to be giving away one of my trees :)

My first giveaway, so If you would like to take part leave a comment below.
I will be drawing the lucky winner next friday the 25th of February between opening my cards and eating my cake :-)
Link this into your blog and I will put you into the draw twice.
See you soon