Saturday, 31 March 2012

a job well done...

Well here we are, the weekend again, and the Easter school break has started - 2 weeks of no school run, and hopefully lots of time to play out in the sunshine (though not much evidence of that yet today!).  It has been a busy week, and here is one of the reasons why....

I have made a lampshade for a friends' 40th birthday present, from some rather lovely 60s Heals fabric (called Conifer, designed by Gay Dulley).  It's not a massive job to make a lampshade, but it is a fiddly one, and if you mess it up it looks rubbish and isn't easy to fix.  I've been feeling tired and not really in a crafting mood, so I had to keep doing a bit and then putting it down to finish later...well I got there in the end and I think it looks pretty damn good.  She likes it anyway, and that's the main thing (she had chosen the fabric in advance, I wouldn't have risked it not being to her taste!). 

I do love the feeling I get when I've finished making something and it looks lovely; hopefully I'll get a chance to get back into my sewing over the next couple of weeks.  I have an urge to do a bit of patchwork, maybe another cushion cover, or maybe I should start something a bit bigger like a might be nice to have an ongoing project to dip into when the mood takes me!  After all, I have got a fair bit of fabric to choose from.....

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Rachel x

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

not enough hours...

What day is it and what's going on?! This week I feel like I'm running to stand still - I love my life and it is full of lovely people and nice stuff to do, but it's a bit like my house - there just isn't enough time or space for it all!  Ah well, must remember to just stop and breathe and enjoy the sunshine....

Everything I do is my choice, none of it is being imposed upon me by someone else (apart from my children and their constant needs for snacks, stories, nappy changes, being taken to or picked up from school etc - and I chose to have them and love them more than anything!), so I am very lucky.  I am going to stop moaning and go and get on with it all! 

Hope you have a lovely day and manage to find time to breathe!

Rachel x

Monday, 26 March 2012

holy moly, not another giveaway!!

Happy Monday! Hope you had a lovely weekend.  Mine was busy but Sunday was by necessity low key, due to having had a bit too much fun at a friends 40th birthday party on Saturday night - I'm so glad I've got the hang of alternating boozy drinks with glasses of water, as I only felt mildly delicate rather than the day long vileness of my youth - Hurrah for growing up!

A favourite blog find of the last week or so is the beautiful dandelion and olive, and true to form there is a giveaway going on at the mo, with a chance to win one of these lovely necklaces, which can be seen along with other gorgeous handmade silver jewellery in their Etsy shop here....

Although I don't feel particularly in need of extra luck at the moment (see previous posts regarding winning giveaways - 3 last week!) I would have to choose the horseshoe, partly because I love the texture of the silver, and partly because my older boy is slightly pirate obsessed, and would snaffle the anchor away at the first opportunity! 

I was a bit worried that people might think I was being cheeky entering more giveaways after my winning streak, but several lovely bloggers have sent very encouraging messages, and Col at hello olive thinks I should enter every giveaway and competition going and see how much I can win in a year! So I shall carry on, and will probably find that last week was just a freaky cluster of lucky moments, never to be repeated, which is fine - although if I win the horseshoe necklace it will be a great wearable reminder of just how lucky I feel right now, in many ways.  

I don't really know what I expected to find out here in the blogosphere, but I have definitely been pleasantly surprised at what a truly friendly place it is!  I am really enjoying discovering so many wonderful creative people, doing their own thing and sharing their creations and the challenges and joys that make up their lives.  I hope you enjoy my own little contribution to the blogging universe, if you do and you're not following me already please join me, and when I get to 50 followers I will do a giveaway of my own and you will get the chance to choose a special piece of fabric or two from a selection of colourful mid-century textile treasure.  

I hope you have a lovely day, thanks for stopping by!

Rachel x

Sunday, 25 March 2012

another giveaway!

Ok, so I know I said I wasn't going to enter any more giveaways for a bit, but how can I not give myself a chance to win this.....?

To give yourself a chance, go to this lovely blog and follow the link to their sponsors' facebook page, like it, and leave a comment on the blog itself to say you've done it.  (Not on my blog, I don't have sponsors who give me cameras to give away - maybe one day!)

I was planning to pop to a new vintage market today with my camera today, but a friends 40th birthday shenanigans last night have left me feeling a tad delicate, so a lazy day at home is about all I'm good for.  Hope you have fun whatever you get up to.

Rachel x

Saturday, 24 March 2012

NO WAY!!!!!

EEEEEEEEP!! My post this morning was about a giveaway on the lovely Jen's blog, little birdie - well, I won it! Outrageously lucky week, feeling slightly freaked out... think F would have preferred a lottery win, but I love the squirrel tea towel so I'm happy! Won't be entering any more giveaways for a bit, winning any more would just be rude.  

My new lucky number (which I've always been fond of).... 

I think I should do one soon, it's time to spread the love!  What would you prefer - some vintage china, a piece of vintage fabric, or a cushion cover in your choice of fabric from a selection? Let me know and I'll start planning - I'm up to 30 followers today, when I hit 50 I'll be sharing some rainbow vintage loveliness with a lucky winner or two.

Hope you all have a lovely, lucky day!

Rachel x

another chance to win!

Welcome to the weekend!! 

to celebrate the loveliness of a sunny Saturday I am sharing a lovely giveaway that Jen at little birdie is doing over on her lovely blog.  She is offering the chance to win one of these tea towels...

The squirrel is called 'Use my Tail' and is by Donna Wilson and the other, 'Blue Geo' is by Fine Little Day, they're both gorgeous, I'm afraid if I was lucky enough to win one I wouldn't be able to use it!  Hop on over to Jen's blog to give yourself a chance to nab one of these lovely treats.

And have a great weekend - if you're in Bristol there's a vintage & craft Magpie Market on Sunday at M Shed museum, doors open at 10.30, I'll be there with my camera (but not my purse, I'm trying to be good!) so hope to see you there.

Rachel x

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

what a week - peacocks and sunshine...

Wow what a week, a bit non-stop but pretty much all good thankfully.  Unbelievably I have won another treat, only a day after winning these!  

Bristol artist Rebekah Leigh Marshall had a giveaway on her Facebook page, and I was the third name out of 3 pulled out of her hat - I got to choose a print, and I have chosen this (with input from F, who has to live with a lot of things of mine that he wouldn't choose, so I thought it fair to involve him in the decision for once!) ...

Isn't it beautiful?! Go and check out her Etsy shop if you haven't seen her work before, it's got some gorgeous prints and cards in it.

And now the lovely Lou has given me a Sunshine Award, which involved answering the following questions and passing them on to another 5 fabulous sunshiney bloggers:

Colour: The point where blue and green meet, variously called teal, turquoise, or aqua depending on the tone -  
            although I'm currently very keen on yellow!
Animal: Cat or bird, depending on my mood - cat for lazing about, bird for freedom (& nest building!)
Non-Alcoholic drink:  Strong coffee in the morning, Earl Grey tea in the afternoon
Facebook or Twitter:   Facebook cause I have a lot of friends who live far away. I have never tweeted, don't think  
           I would know how (or why!).
Getting or giving presents:  Giving, I love choosing just the right thing for someone. When it comes to getting, I  
           prefer to choose for myself cause I'm such a control freak - isn't that awful?!
Flower: Apple blossom
Pattern: bold 60s floral, geometric, spots, stripes - very hard to choose this one!!
Passion: colour & kids, fabric & family, pattern & parenting - variations on a theme!
Number: 5 (same as Lou, another thing we've got in common along with mid-century mania!) 

As you can see I am no good at choosing one thing when 2 or 3 will do! and now I pass these questions onto....

Caroline, Siane, Jo, Karen and Jenny

I don't know any of you lovely ladies well, having met over t'internet through enjoying each others' blogs, so I'll be interested to see what you all answer, and who you link to next...

Hope it's sunny where you are, thanks for stopping by!

Rachel x

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

vintage and flea, part 2

Here's a few more pics of the Vintage market on Sunday, I got a bit carried away with my camera as you can see...

The market is held in a conference room at our local football stadium, I loved the contrast between these ladies with their pretty hats and the background picture of hairy men shouting and chasing balls!

a rail of pretty aprons - the fruity one was hard to resist....
I like the cheeky expressions on these 2's faces...

 some more lovely patterns, I was very taken with the orange, yellow and turquoise circles....
I got chatting to the lady who runs this stall, she had 2 lamp bases that need nice vintage shades, I make lampshades out of vintage fabric - hopefully we'll do a swap...could be the start of a beautiful friendship!
and finally, the curtains that couldn't be resisted....
I must take a better photo of them, but this will do for now.  Me and Lou liked the way the zig-zag pattern looks like giant ric-rac, and I'm a sucker for a daisy shaped flower, so they came home with me, along with a lovely mid-century tea towel.  My tea towel collection will be shared another day, they deserve at least one post all to themselves!

Hope today is treating you well, thanks for popping by.

Rachel x

Monday, 19 March 2012

Yay! I win!

Wow what a day, the sun is out the sky is blue, there's lots and lots for us to do, and I have won a giveaway!  I love Ellen Giggenbach's work, so on Friday when she said she was offering the chance to win these gorgeous paper houses, I had to have a go. 
And I won!  So they are on their way to me all the way from New Zealand, and I need to find a good spot for them.  They make me very happy, they are so bold and colourful.  So a big thank you to Ellen - go and check out her blog if you haven't already, she makes some really lovely prints as well as her 3D paper loveliness. 

With the combination of these lovely treats and the sunshine,  I am  very cheery today.  I hope you are having a great day too! 

Rachel x

vintage & flea - rummaging heaven!

Well much as I love my boys, I'm afraid Mother's day morning was not about me as a Mum, but about me as a vintage & retro addict.  I headed off to the Bristol Vintage & Flea Market which is held monthly just round the corner from my house, with a good friend who isn't really into that kind of thing, but loves me enough to wait with a cup of tea while I got over-excited about the stalls! 

I used to be a sucker for a box of shiny things, but nowadays I'm happy with a photo....
Love the mad expression on this deer's face!
 A lovely vintage style cat from Katie May's Bears....
 If I'd started looking through the scarves, I would have been there all day...

I found that having my camera made it easier to be restrained, if something had a gorgeous pattern on it, I could just take a photo instead of giving it a new home in my already over-crowded house.

I love these 70s M&S trays - I'm glad I already  have a matching tea towel in blues, as I really don't need any more trays but this pattern is hard to resist!
This little basket was very tempting, with its cheerful yellow and floral motif...

  and I love the bright concentric circles on this box...

While I was there I bumped into the lovely Lou, and we spent a bit of time ooohing and aaahing over some rather fabulous curtains, one pair of which I managed to resist (a tad too extravagant, though gorgeously scandi), and one which I didn't - a photo of them will be shared tomorrow!  After all that I allowed my friend to steer me in the direction of a nice local cafe for brunch, and then I was off home to build a den with my boys. A very good day!

Monday has rolled around all too quickly, here we are again - hope you have a good one.

Rachel x

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

 Here's a few moments from my week with my boys...

Hope you all have a lovely relaxing day, whatever you get up to - I'm meeting up with a good friend who lives far away, and going for brunch and a mooch around a vintage flea market - Yay!!

Rachel x

Thursday, 15 March 2012

a busy day...

So as well as pottering around our local treasure troves the other day, I had time to get my sewing machine out to try to make a dent in the list of cushion covers I'm supposed to be making...and here's the result  -

I'm afraid I only managed one, its a vintage 1960s Conran fabric called Prince of Quince - the first ever vintage fabric that I saw on Ebay and recognised from a favourite book, 1000 Patterns edited by Drusilla Cole. It's a lovely thick cotton (maybe with a bit of linen?) that looks like it was printed yesterday, it's in amazing unused condition. It's backed with a nice purple and blue thick woven fabric which I was worried wouldn't look right, but actually I think it works really well.  

The other cushions you can see are another one of mine made with Boras fabric, and one of Jane Foster's gorgeous vintage fabric patchwork cushions which was a present to myself a couple of years ago.  Hopefully I'll get a chance to get a few more made soon, in preparation for selling on Etsy and through local retailers.  Let me know if you're in need of cushion covers, I've got a fair bit (massive understatement!) of fabric ready and waiting for the right home! 

Rachel x

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

I do love a rummage...

Well my camera and PC seem to have put their differences aside, so I can share my photos from my morning off yesterday - a fun half an hour rummaging in local junk shops, wondering what on earth they'd do if anyone wanted to actually buy anything that wasn't in reach...

and wishing I had a spare wall to paper with old record covers...

Ooh the sun's just come out, I'm off to hang my washing on the line - thanks to my lovely friend Dom for letting me take a load round to her house this morning, our new washing machine hasn't been delivered yet!

Have a great day,

Rach x


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

the best laid plans...

The lesson I am learning this week (though I probably should have got to grips with it a while ago) is that if you plan stuff, it rarely works out.  On Sunday I was supposed to have time off from the kids to get some sewing & blogging/photographing done, but for various reasons I ended up with my boys out in the sunshine - not a bad result, but not the one I'd been anticipating! 

Today at the last minute Fgot some time off and decided to take our little one out to the zoo, so I managed to get some sewing done after all, along with a quick trip out to the local junk shop for a rummage - it's so rammed in there you can't get a buggy through the door, so it's not normally an option for me.

I didn't buy much but I took some photos of the teetering piles of vintage chairs and suitcases, which I wanted to share with you, as well as photos of the cushion cover that I made....but no, apparently my camera and PC aren't talking to each other, so the photos will have to wait for another day.  Instead here's a few of my recent pins on Pinterest, just to give you something nice to look at! 

My most recent object of lust:

a lovely vintage travel poster:

and lastly, a lovely triangular pattern by graphic designer Gary Andrew Clark:

So there you go, some pretty pictures just for the hell of it; here's hoping that my camera and PC make friends again so I can share my thrifting and sewing adventures with you another day.

Happy Tuesday! Rach x

Saturday, 10 March 2012

an apple a day...

Happy saturday!!  it's a bit of a grey day here, but it's been a busy week and we all need a rest, so the drab weather gives us the perfect excuse to snuggle up with a film, coffee, the paper and a pile of lego - a range of entertainments that keep the whole family happy!

It's been an amazing week for my blog, after my coffee with the lovely Lou of littlegreenshed I had the busiest day ever, nearly 200 views and 7 new followers - welcome all you lovely people, and thanks for joining me! 

I've also been having fun over on Pinterest, and this week I gained a follower over there who I've admired for a long time - the lovely Tanya Jerrard AKA Pomme De Jour, who sources gorgeous vintage homewares, wallpapers and fabrics where she lives in France, and sells them on her website and in her Ebay and Etsy shops. Over the years I have treated myself to the occasional tin or piece of lovely fabric from her, and I was surprised and pleased to find that she was keeping an eye on my pins!  So pleased that I had to treat myself to a little something from her Ebay shop that I've had my eye on for a while...

 Yum!! I've been thinking for a while that I don't have enough fabric that's in the yellow/orange area of the spectrum, so once this little beauty arrives I will have a proper rainbow stash. Yay! 
Thanks for popping in, hope you have a lovely day!

Rachel x

Thursday, 8 March 2012

the f word....

Well international women's day is here again, and yes of course every day should be a good day for women everywhere, but it is a reminder that most women in the world still suffer terrible inequalities.  I am lucky to have control of my life and my body, and despite the depressing fact that many women still don't consider themselves feminists, I always have and always will (my profile picture might suggest that!)....

Have a great, creative day, and take a moment to appreciate your freedom, it is hard won and precious.

Rachel x 

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

hurrah for everything!

Wow what a week, from the ridiculous to the sublime - more illness, a broken washing machine, the usual too much boring domestic stuff to do and not enough time or energy.  And then to balance and outweigh all that, the beautiful sunshine, and yesterday meeting up with Lou of, who lives just around the corner from me.  

Our older boys go to the same school so we have known each other to say hello to for a while, but since I started my blog she has been full of encouragement and it was lovely to get together.  She went home and blogged about her visit, and it was funny to see my home from her perspective - she noticed all my favourite things, and made me look at my messy toy strewn house with renewed affection.  She has a lovely Etsy shop with cards of her photos and illustrations, this is my favourite of her new postcards... 

She's getting some A3 and A4 prints in the shop soon, I'm looking forward to seeing them!

So many people read her post and came here to have a look at my little blog, and left such lovely comments, that I'm now feeling thoroughly chuffed and and definitely reassured that people like what I'm doing; just the encouragement I need to get on and open my Etsy shop.  Now I just need to get rid of the germs and the laundry mountain so that I can make the time! 

Thanks for visiting, have a lovely day! 

Rachel x

Thursday, 1 March 2012

boing! and a peek into the future

Spring is here!! Well, I might well wake up tomorrow to grey skies, but we have had a few warm & sunny afternoons recently and they have perked me up no end.  Have been looking after ill boys this week, lots of cuddles, stories and DVDs, no time for sewing but I managed to find a few minutes to rummage about and unearth a few vintage goodies I've had squirelled away.  

March is the month for (hopefully, small children and their germs allowing...) starting up my Etsy shop, I have decided to start small, with a few pieces that I love so hopefully others will too, and add handmade cushion covers, lampshades and spare bits of special fabric as and when I get the chance.  Here is a sneak peek of what I found today..

  a lovely coffee pot (and cups, saucers, sugar bowl...)
 some oh so mid century tea cups...

#4 1970s geometric coffee cups with cream jug...

I hope that's whetted your appetite, by the time April rolls around, these and other treasures will be available to bring a vintage touch to your hot beverages. 

Hurrah for sunshine! 

Rachel x