Monday, December 21, 2009

Dutch design

I have been doing a spot of internet browsing today and came across this great Dutch online shop BijzonderMOOI . I have seen these angels before, and I really love the pattern design on them, such a simple idea for a table setting. They also have beautful lanterns by the same designer
These candle holders would be great anytime of the year not just Xmas

And well I am seriously tempted by this tape, I've been using some Christmas tape from MUJI on my parcels this year and it brightens my day as well as my customers.

And my final pick is this light shade made from blankets,I really like the way they've used blanket stitch seams and left them on the outside to be seen. We are decorating in the New Year and I am wondering how I could make my own because as gorgeous as they are, they just aren't in my price range.
Well the snow here is falling once again adding to the 6 inches already covering the ground, it really is properly Christmassy here in the Chilterns, very picture postcard and I shall brave the cold tomorrow to bring you some pictures.
Louise x

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just in case you were wondering where on earth I have got to, it has been snowing here........

no not the white fluffy kind, but orders for cushions. I have been working flat out lately and had to employ Laura to overlock 30 covers for me. Sales from my ebay shop have been non stop although they finally seem to be easing now, which is double what I was doing last year. On top of that I've done two fantastic fairs with the girls at More than a Mama. Thankyou to everyone who came to both fairs they have been so well attended and the evening one was absolutely jammed at one point, we had so many ladies trying to shop at once.
Yesterday we put up our tree and Laura made gingerbread, and today we are going for a bit of Xmas shopping, mixed in with dress shopping for Sarah.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Vintage fabric love...

I have been working with some great vintage fabrics this week. The anemones above have clearly influenced Cath Kidstons Pop Flowers fabrics.
This find is by french company Bourrac and is called Parade circa 1950

And finally my favourite, and another french one, a company called Wiart, the colours of this really lift me and I love the combination of blocks of colour and the black and white detail. The fabric itself is woven but really soft and makes such a comfy cushion, one has already been sidelined for our sofa.
Thankyou for all your lovely comments about my cushions. I am having a lovely time whizzing them up and now have the added use of a new overlocker so they are super professional. I really didn't understand how people could rave about an overlocker, they do, they get very excited! but now I have mine I can kind of see what they mean. It thunders along chomping through the fabric and oversewing with its four threads, however I really need to come up with a solution to the waste which at present drops into a box at my feet, having deposited a great deal of fluff all over my legs. You can buy chutes apparently which collects it neatly, I must go in search!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Life here has been pretty frantic and stressful but now the strees is going and we are just left with frantic!! I am so busy with my ebay shop, sales of my cushion covers have been wonderful, and am also trying to keep stock back for a couple of Xmas fairs that I am doing. Blogging has very much taken a back seat.....sorry :(
sarah and I had fun making some leaf images in the back garden (not sure how the colours will show up for you at present as I am on a new laptop and have to sort the colour settings yet)

I made this LOVE cushion the other day and used four of the Pop Flowers colourways from Cath Kidston. I just don't get why this was discontinued it is the most popular Kidston fabric I use.

and for a bit of a Tadaaa! look at this vintage Magic Roundabout fabric I got, a perfect match for the blue spot, so I made up a pait of small cushions which are now in my ebay shop.
Must get around to sorting my Etsy shop which is looking very sad, and restocking Folksy too!
So much to do and so little time!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Still here....still sewing!

Such a long time since I have blogged, but life has been all over the place here and it has had to take a back seat. I still have my youngest at home but we are hopeful that all will soon be well again, her energy is definitely returning and so therefore is mine.
Sewing has been constant the cushions I showed you in my last post are proving really popular as are the ones made from Orla Kiely fabric.

Last Saturday Laura and I went to the Knitting & Stitching show at Ally Pally quite a trek by train, but sooo worth it. I was so pleased to find this fabric which I have used before with a black background. We had a go at extreme knitting on 2 foot long needles using yarn that is the offcuts from the woollen mills up north, in fact we loved it so much we bought some.
I have been brightening the grey days with some purses this one uses a Michael Miller fabric which I may need to get some more of. So far the rotten Royal Mail strikes haven't put off customers, but I have a couple of Xmas Fayres to look forward to.
Had you noticed I hadn't mentioned the builders?.......they should be doing my house by now........I am staying calm but Xmas may not be very stylish or comfortable this year...I'm staying calm..I'm staying calm.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Something simple

Life has been really busy latelyand I have been making up plenty of stock for xmas as I am not sure if I will be able to do much sewing in October and November as we are having work done on the house (fingers crossed). Today I needed something simple and effective to do and so I used some bolder prints to make up some simple cushions and backed them with some bright colours on the back.
I then set up a little photography corner in an effort to improve my photos and I am pretty pleased with the results.

I tried so many colours on the back of this green one but went for the white in the end as its crispness just lets the green sing!
All of the above are listed in my ebay shop which is busy as usual despite the postal strikes.
I have also come by some lovely Orla Kiely cotton which I am going to be using for more cushions tomorrow, however if you would like some I have listed a piece on ebay too.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New ideas

Working on combining my applique with some patchwork today. Some of the free machining is a little too free for my liking but overall I'm liking it and the top stitching really works. I tried hard to keep the applique in the squares, only to find that I actually quite like it when it gets lost in the seams

Monday, September 7, 2009

My mojo ain't workin'

Maybe it's the return to normal routine after the holidays but I am having a real job to get back into it and get my creativity going. Also the fact that the house will be turned into a building site in a few weeks time means I really have to get my act together and fast. I have shops to stock and craft fairs to do!!! move Louise, MOVE!!! So I threaded up the machine and just sewed something, no plan just went with it and did really lacks colour and looking at it now I shall put it back on the machine and work at it some more, but I shall do more of this for my cushions and purses and will keep you updated.
In the meantime just a few thrifty finds to share, see my little owl monebox? I am reliably informed it is from the 60s, I love the colour combination and found a few things to put with it.

A close up shows the leaf pattern on the top edge, now this is inspiring me!

And finally I had to show you this wonderful find which cost all of 99p, this glassware jug has been in use all summer and has a red plastic pop in lid that holds back the ice. I really thought this might not get family approval due to the very grannyish look but everyone loves it!

OK enough stalling I am moving, I am sewing, and this evening I think I need to do some time management planning otherwise nothing will get done.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Skip to week 6!

Oh dear what happened to the last five weeks? No blogging I'm afraid, having recovered from my poorly state (thankyou for all your good wishes, so lovely of you all!) we have been making up for lost time and have so far fitted intwo holidays one to the Hampshire coast and then a week ago to Cornwall, more specifically Marazion. Most of the photos are evening ones as the camera I have at the moment is quite bulky, so there are no photos of St Ives and the Porthmeaor beach cafe or of Mousehole, sorry!

Luckily for us we had fantastic weather and as well as the body boarding and beach fun, managed to visit lots of galleries. The one above is on the Trellowarren estate, my mother being a Vivian this was a place I had longed to visit and it really left me speechless (quite a feat!)

It also has a beautiful little plant nursery run by the loveliest of ladies and a rather large echinacea plant found its way home with us, it's stunning flowerhead swaying in front of me all the way back home!

A shot inside one of the galleries at Trellowarren, it has two!

Set in beautiful gardens the house is very grand, not open to the public as it is a private residence.

Gig rowers out on Mounts Bay in the late evening.

Sarah rediscovered her pocket kite on evening walks across to St Michaels Mount.

We stayed in the most stunning holiday home, a converted coach house. So much space and light, we are stealing some ideas for the new kitchen at home.
Such a shame we only had a week there it was really tough coming home, but we have to be back for Lauras french exam result today (eeek!) and we are off again to morrow for a quick visit back to Hampshire for the bank Holiday weekend.
I will post more photos soon of some great vintage finds, and yes I have been sewing, it's been a struggle to keep the shops stocked though, but I have some new fabrics and will be using and listing those next week hopefully.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Summer Holidays Week 1

The holidays have not had a great start for me as I have not been well, some kind of virus that has put paid to the usual trips out, but I have managed to do a spot of sewing and keep up with orders for cushions and doorstops.

We have been out on shopping trips and are planning a London trip for next week, some fabric shopping for sure!!

Laura is dancing again in this years Pepper Show and luckily this year it has been in the holidays so she gets a good lie in in the mornings. We are going to see it tomorrow, it is a fantastic show lots of dancing in the isles and singing along, we are so lucky to have something like this in our community if you are local you must make a date for next year, you will not be disappointed.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Strawberry conserve

This is a recipe for Strawberry Conserve. It does not set as solid as a jam which I like and the taste is much better and fruitier as there is no added pectin which gives a slightly metallic flavour. Use equal amounts of strawberries and sugar I used 3lb of each and put the strawberries into a bowl, cover with the sugar and leave, covered, for 24 hours, overnight will do.

Transfer to a large pan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Then boil for 5 mins.

Return to the bowl and leave in a cool place (the fridge is fine) for another 24 hours.

Put back in the pan bring to the boil and boil for 10mins.

Leave to stand for 15 mins and then transfer to clean jars and seal with jam jar covers.

This may seem like hard work but it really is a very short amount of time and very little effort for the most amazing results. I love this best on Sunday morning on a freshly baked scone, yes I do get up and make scones on a Sunday morning, just call me Nigella!!

Today has been really lovely, I sat and sewed while the thunder raged outside and a flurry of sales from my shops. Pretty good start to the weekend!


I have not been feeling too well this week but have been down to the allotment and picked the rest of the broad beans to freeze.So I took them out to the garden this afternoon and got the first batch podded and bagged while sitting in the sunshine. I always blanch them and slip them out of their skins, a very satisfying job and much tastier too!

I also made strawberry conserve from our strawberries this year as we had so many, I must take a photo before it all goes. It is much tastier than jam made with pectin or that 'sugar jam' which gives a very artificial flavour I think. I shall perhaps take a photo and share the recipe with you, very simple, fruit and sugar.

I have managed to keep up with sewing orders and much excitement is filling the house as plans are afoot to create another bedroom which will free up space for me to have a sewing room, small it will be but it's mine!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Breakfast anyone?

If there is anything to encourage you to eat a healthy breakfast its good china, I have an assortment of bowls old and new and so these finds have gone into my vintage shop. I really was in two minds about the top one, I love the design and the rim looks to be sponged and then the centre printed with colour hand painted. They both look a bit autumnal, in fact the top one is called October, but you know the weather here in the UK, autumn could start at any time!!
The second one is Midwinter and has a great rounded square shape to it , very vintage.

I am off to Hampton Court Flower Show on Sunday with friends, an annual event which I love so I should come back inspired and hopefully I might managed to remeber my camera!

Friday, July 3, 2009

In my garden

Really loving some of the flowers in my garden, above is a hanging basket.

They are all enjoying the extreme weather we are having down south at the moment.

How delicious is that purple, I planted this to climb with an Albertine rose that you can see just behind it, the are starting to find each other, hopefully next year the effect will be complete.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I came by these beautiful buckles the other day and have been photographing them today out in the garden. They are made of plastic but have the most wonderful pearly effect that makes them resemble mother of pearl.
I love the ice cream colours and was very tempted to keep them for myself, but I must resist.

So they are available here
My vintage store has seen a trickle of sales and is rather fun. I have had items included in treasuries and on blogs which is really lovely too!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cool colours

The heat this week in the UK is set to soar and we have already seen a few dramatic storms. I am afraid I do not cope well with extreme heat and so my activities are kept to early morning and evening when the temperature cools. perhaps in an effort to cool down I found myself choosing cooler colours from my fabric stash to make another elephant cushion today.

This one is in my ebay shop which although it doesn't have the style of Folksy and Etsy really makes up for it in terms of footfall, I just don't get the same volume of sales elsewhere and my experience of ebay has generally been good. Despite a few folks who think it's fine to buy something copy the design and then try and claim copyright! um......yeah right!! Still business is good at present and between trying to use up our phenomenal glut of strawberries from the allotment and keeping on top of Mum duties, I am enjoying making these new cushions and hope to make up a new design in the next couple of days.

In the meantime, keep cool

Louise x

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Look what the postie brought me!

While re organising my stock in my three shops this morning, the postman came and through the letterbox tumbled this little package in a bright green envelope. Look how beautifully it is wrapped and the little badge on the packet was a lovely extra that I hadn't expected. Inside a little stitched pouch a beautiful pocket mirror from Snapdragons Garden
I was so luckyin the new year to win a giveaway from Jane who is based up in Stirlingshire, and when I found myself wanting a pocket mirror I knew just where to go. Her shop is divine and I am a regular reader of her blog too, where she also shows her stunning floristry skills in her totally unique style.
I am so loving my little mirror and have taken it in and out of it's little pouch countless times to admire it today. It is in very good company in my handbag with a new Orla Kiely purse which was a shock anniversary present last week.
Is life here always so lovely and fun? .............. no............I have to go finish cleaning the oven now
Thank goodness for the lovely moments to keep us sane!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Miffy purses

I have listed these today in my Folksy shop. I completely sold out of Miffy purses on Friday and two of these have already sold since being listed! I love the colours in this orange one. I got the Cath Kidston fabric from ebay as it has been discontinued for some time, you wouldn't think that those colours would work but I love it!
And here is Miffy in homage to Orla, next to a stem print and wearing a simple yellow dress that I think Orla would approve of.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Fridays fayre was a huge success! Here are a few shots of my stall and some of the others before the Mums of Berkhamsted arrived. It was so busy and everyone did really well. I had a lovely time selling but also seeing lots of parents whose children I used to care for at the local preschool. I packed my stall full to the brim and was really pleased to have it looking so colourful. We brought out the girls old tiny chairs to use a props to give a bit of extra height and sarah came along first thing to help me set up.
Hearfelt handmade was there looking super pretty.

And the wonderfully talented neviepie cakes were a massive hit with everyone (how she stays so slim with all that temptation I have no idea!)

Millsy was looking delightfully pretty and had such lovely bunting adorning her table.
There are plans afoot for more Bumps Babes and Beyond. Well done to everyone involved for a first time it was a real triumph!
I am having a well earned rest this weekend but will be sewing again on Monday with orders taken at the Fair
Louise x