Thursday 30 April 2015

Vintage in my soul...

Hello my lovelies!

I was asked this week what actually makes something 'Vintage'.....

As a lover of all things vintage albeit fabric, trims, fashion, social history,
household items etc I have to say I was intrigued...
i absolutely adore scouring around the charity shops, Antique fairs and vintage events to find a lovely snippet of times past.

I have been surrounded my whole life by all things vintage. 
My lovely mum and my Nan had a wonderful ethos of frugal living underlined with 'Make Do & Mend' running through every theme...

As a child I very rarely spent time in a department store or shop unless it was our local grocers or charity shop.
I didn't really like the smell of fusty old moth balls and leafing through old clothes but 
as a teenager my interest increased once I knew how to sew, deconstruct clothes, embellish boring old tops and add accessories to my collection.
I always seemed to be the odd one out when it came to fashion!

So what makes something VINTAGE?

Vintage is the official term for anything over twenty five - thirty years old.
(That makes me officially a vintage gal :) )

I'm really passionate about preserving all those authentic vintage pieces and 
being able to enjoy them even if it means giving them a modern twist.

We all have pieces of living history in our possession....maybe a doily from Grandma's collection
or a well loved teddy from your childhood, a treasured photo from long ago or
a pearly brooch from a long distant memory.....

We live in such a throw away society these days that I do worry we will eventually lose those beautiful keepsakes.
It saddens my heart so to think of it even as a possibility.

Our family treasures should be kept to remind us of our heritage and social history.
Life was never really as rosey as we think it was and often mundane for so many but each and every little gem that we are fortunate to have preserves all those memories.

Use them for display in your house, add them to creative craft projects, collate them into gorgeous keepsake albums, or simply keep them all together in a treasured box with a little note for future generations as to why you have kept them...

One day your possessions will become our children's heirlooms and wouldn't it be wonderful if we could pass on our knowledge and passion to another generation?

So my vintage lovelies....

Have fun preserving the old ways and treasure the beautiful memories you have around you...

toodle-ooh for now!

x x x

Saturday 25 April 2015

Lazy Daisy Tutorial...

Hello my lovelies!
I'm really excited...
As a lover of hand embroidery I thought it would be lovely to bring you all a simple tutorial on how to create one of my favourite stitches...

Lazy Daisy Stitch

Have fun experimenting....

x x x

Wednesday 22 April 2015


Hello my lovelies!

I do hope you are all having a fab week so far....

Yesterday while chatting to one of my lovely customers, I was asked if I 
ever get bored of having to be creative all the time, especially now I 
do TV work?

My reply was simply "No" without even thinking about the reply to which she smiled.

I can't remember a time when I wasn't creative in some way or another either in my fashion sense as I was growing up (not that many people would think I've actually got any now!), my home decor, my garden, through my love of cooking or simply through writing...

I guess I was born with fidgety fingers as my Mum would've said.
I find if I go a day without doing something I miss it....
my fingers itch to get creative and I'm restless to go and explore...

So what is it?
How do you define IT?

What is it about being creative that actually makes me smile?

With so many crafts that I love to do I can't really say it is any one thing really.
I do know I am rubbish at sticking to the rules, following a pattern or reading any guidelines given...

My teachers used to write in my needlework school reports ..... "she needs to follow a pattern and not venture off on her own journey"

I'm sure I was a teachers nightmare really if the truth be told!
I guess I was just a square peg trying to fit into a round hole and failing miserably!

As a teenager, I would spend loads of my spare time drooling over fabrics & trims in our local haberdashery while others were off chasing the latest hunks. 
I would daydream for hours over the many pages of fashion in my weekly magazine wishing I could be designing and sewing...

My happiest times would always be when I could express myself in a creative way with 
paper, paint, fabric, ink and other mediums and the only time I was really happy at school was in Needlework, Art, Cookery & English
Unfortunately back in the days of being a teenager it really wasn't considered cool to be artistic
and get excited about crimplene!
I wonder how many of you felt the same?

These days I am lucky to be able to share my love of creating & designing with a wider audience
who totally get what being creative means and understand a little of how  I tick as a designer...
For me it is so fulfilling being able to share my love of sewing, embroidery, patchwork etc
with others.
I also LOVE being inspired by all the simple things around us that are sometimes so tiny in detail we often miss them as we trundle past on our travels...

...the tips of petals on flowers in the garden
...the swirly scrolls meandering amongst the mass of stone on our traditional architectural buildings
...the glisten of the pond as we walk our dogs

I'm sure you get the picture...
Even at the grand old age of --- I'm a dilly dally daydreamer wandering through life's path in a very 
Bohemian way in my floaty skirts and scarves and yet
I take it all in...
I like to absorb all the wonderful inspiration around me and hopefully share it with everyone through my designs.

So back to my original question of what is IT?
I would have to say IT is what makes you tick as a person when you craft...

It really isn't about being perfect in that particular craft...
I know some teachers out there will disagree but having taught so many children with additional needs it is much more important to have a go and enjoy than to never participate and always wishing you had given things a try...

It isn't about knowing all the facts...

It isn't even producing loads of designs...

IT..... is learning that creativity is simply an extension of ourselves that we can share with others
and knowing deep in our hearts that it is OK to be different from everyone else

If I do nothing else I would like to think I have inspired others to have a go at various crafts & techniques...

I'm hoping to add some simple tutorials, tips and online workshops on my blog eventually
so do please keep popping by to say hello

Enjoy your evening my lovelies...

My embroidery is calling so I will venture off to my comfy chair surrounded in silks
and play for half an hour before the light fades...
I hope you enjoy your evening...
Happy crafting folks!

x x x

Saturday 18 April 2015

Keeping Young & Trendy...

Hello my lovelies...
How are we all?

Despite my passion for all things vintage, this week has been an exploration of modern life...
I've finally managed to get my head around modern technology!
I wonder how many of you are the same?

Have you ever thought....
 'Oh I'm to old to try that' or 'What do I need to know how to do that for?'
We all do it... 
What am I talking about?
.....Social Media.

For most of us of a certain age it frightens the pants off us!

Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram....the list goes on!
It's only for the young ones I hear you shout back at me.

Well don't be put off my lovelies!
If I have the perseverance to give them all a go then
 I can re-assure you anyone can get their head around them.

We all say how much our world has changed since our younger days which is something
we used to hear our own parents say. 
I bet you never thought you would ever think you would say the same thing!

But life is an ever changing wheel constantly turning every day....

When you look back at photos of a different era it reminds us just how much times have changed.
I'm sure the Victorians thought the same about such progress of their times as did everyone during the second world war

Well done't be put off folks.
Embrace a new venture however frustrating it may seem to get your head around it...
You'll be surprised at the results.
You'll be introduced to a new community of like-minded peeps, be able to keep in touch with friends a little more and share your love of hand crafting to so many others out there all feeling the same.

This week I managed to work out how to link all my sites together on my blog which really doesn't sound much at all to anyone in the tech world but for me was a huge success!
 If you fancy a nosey simply click on the buttons at the top of the page and pop along...

We are a happy family in the crafting community who love to share our ideas and skills and I think it is wonderful that we have Social Media.
At the press of a button we can have instant access to patterns, tutorials, inspiration, ideas for projects, advice from other crafters and share our smiles with each other.

I simply love it!

Go on... give it a go

Know you'll be hooked :)

x x x

Saturday 11 April 2015

Keeping me on my toes!

How was your week my lovelies?

Since braving it five years ago and becoming self employed I never know what life entails...
I feel I have the luckiest job on the earth...

I can sew, crochet, knit, patchwork and craft to my heart's content 
all under the umbrella of 'work'

it always keeps me on my toes!

Since becoming a Craft Demonstrator with Create & Craft TV last year,
I have had to delve into the depths of my grey cells to create
inspirational ideas for everyone to have a go with all the gorgeous goodies being sold on each show....
Do I enjoy it?

Oh boy yes indeedy!!!
I'm lovin it :)

I'm loving being able to inspire others to have a go...
I still feel like a rabbit in the headlights on each and every show and haven't quite got my head around that side of things but am absolutely taken with being encased with such creativity

I'm well known for my day dreaming glazed look whilst thinking of projects for each show
and I have hand written notes all over the house...

Never knowing whether I am going to be doing a patchwork show or crochet, or embroidery...
I am such a busy bee simply having to buzz into action and crafting in a frenzy (often at midnight when the rest of the world is resting!)
The world of TV is really not as glamorous as you think it is!

It's quite common to catch me working in my little cabin at the bottom of my garden in my PJ's at some unearthly hour in the morning listening to the birds gossiping all around me.

My darling hubby is so used to seeing me covered in cotton snippets attaching itself to every outfit I wear or pieces of wool hanging from my sleeve these days I'm sure he thinks it's part of each outfit I wear!

And yet I am still smiling... it makes my heart sing and my creative soul is soothed for another day

This week?
Well it has been all about Grannies, ripped paper strips, embroidery floss tangles,
needle felted blunders, miles of bunting and Redwork...

Try and pick the bones out of that lot if you will!
As I keeps me on my toes!

Happy Weekend Wishes!

x x x

Monday 6 April 2015

Painting the Fens....

Do you ever just doodle?

You know.... the old fashioned way of ink on paper?

No? maybe it's just me then!
I can sit for hours just doodling(if given the time that is!)
I get an idea in my head and away I go....

As many of you may know I'm a Fen bird through and through...
I can trace my family history back to the early 1700's here in the Cambridgeshire Fens.
i'm very proud of my heritage and feel a great connection with the Fens

Lately I have tried to include some of this history into my designs...

This weekend I decided to design a needle-felted interpretation of the Fens
with a selection of wool rovings...

I started with my doodles as inspiration...

Then simply played.....for hours on end!

The end result was a misty bog filled full of reeds and water violets...

I've still to hand embroider on top with some of the intricate detail and add some more embellishments but so far I'm really pleased!

I can't wait to really get creative now with the wool rovings...
Until now I've only made small projects that I use for accessorizing my bags, jackets or other projects  and they all have been fluffy designs as I love the pre-felted look
but think I've finally found my niche in this craft.

I will share more pics as I create my designs.
It's a breath of fresh air from using fabrics and trims etc and my heart will always 
lie with sewing and embroidering but for now I'm enjoying
taking a small break away.
Continually sewing for TV demo's has sometimes dampened my urge to use my sewing machine (not for too long though!)

All I now need to decided is what to design next...

have a lovely week my lovelies....
Toodle-ooh for now :)

x x x