Saturday, July 30, 2016

A-thrifting we will go, a-thrifting we will go, Heigh-ho, the derry-o, a-thrifting we will go

Hello lovelies! Thank you so very much for all your sweet comments re my oh-so-theatrical curtain last week. I can put it in writing that my friend's daughter is deliriously happy with her new window dressing. She really is a sweet young lady.

As my good husband and I have been in the car a lot lately, meandering around the country side for one reason or another, I  have been on the lookout for little, out of the way shops, where behind the door, some treasure might lurk. Finding a new treasure trove always puts a smile on my dial. Some days there is not a single thing that makes my heart sing, but other days.......lalalah does sing the happiest of songs! Those are the Eureka moments, the hit-the-jackpot type moments when a 'find' jumps out from it's hiding place, trips you up and finds itself in your bag ready to begin another life in another home!

We happened upon a tiny, very ordinary little bric-a-brac shop. Most people would drive by this little shop as it certainly had no curb-side appeal. We stopped. I asked my husband if he was coming in, to which he replied "I'm game if you are!" 

When we crossed the threshold, oh my giddy aunt, there was treasure everywhere; a treasure trove of articles of people's decluttering and throwing out their trash. From top to toe items were burgeoning everywhere. My eyes darted here and there, ricocheting from the floor, under the shelves, on the shelves, above the shelves. So many shelves and cupboards hoarding one person's past trash and another person's (li'l ole me) future treasure. They were crammed with bric-a-brac.

What did I find. Well..........

I found this sweet cardie. With it's pretty colour, the embroidery and the pearls.....oh those pearls, it is the perfect find for moi! AND......the label says LAUREN no less. You know the American designer Ralph Lauren; not that that matters to me.....I just love the pearls and embroidery. The best bit is I only paid four smackeroos. Those of you in the know, Ralph Lauren can cost an arm and a leg,  here downunder!

Isn't the embroidery pretty?? And those Lulu Guinness, that sassy, bag designer extraordinaire,  once said" put on your pearls, girls"!

Add a little clutch purse, a string of pearls and perhaps a pair of!

This little soft leather clutch (or you can wear it as a shoulder bag) is a treasure my family bought me many Christmases ago. My daughter happened upon it in a rather swank vintage shop in Sydney. It is a Patricia Smith design, who designed for Moon Bags in the USofA. If you have time visit this link; there are truly gorgeous purses to drink in. Apparently these purses/bags were the rage and are popular by ladies who love vintage. I understand perfectly why these were and still are so very sought after. This truly is the most darling purse. It is absolutely stunning and apparently a one-of-a-kind purse.

 It has petit point, wool needlepoint panel of pansies embroidered on it with a smattering of luxurious beadwork. The pastel colours are so pretty. The little handle is beautiful. It is a hand painted, lacquered wooden panel with pansies, complementing the gorgeous needlepoint. Truly, this is one of my favourite gifts my family have given me. Aren't I a lucky gal to have one of these one-of-a-kind purses in my vintage collection??

Did I say I lurve this cardie?? =)) It is so versatile. I wear it with jeans or dress it up a bit and wear it with a gorgeous lace skirt with cool boots. A wonderful investment for not a lot of cash.

But....I digress. Please forgive me for oohing and aahing over my gorgeous clutch,.......back to the subject of this post. In this funny little shop is I found this pretty bag. It was the pattern and colours that captured my attention.

The pink and green are so pretty and the soft velvety texture is so tactile.

It is a fairly biggish bag; just the perfect size for an overnight bag. A win win, if you ask me.

I purchased this lovely summer dressing gown from a vintage fair quite a while ago. It is fashioned from the most luxurious and silkiest fabrics. I adore the colours and patterns.

It hangs on my screen in my boudoir all the time. Ooops.....I digress, yet again!

Do any of you lovelies have memories of shopping trolleys like this one?

As a small girl, I remember my mum always pulling one behind her when we went shopping. I have been on the lookout for one of these vintage beauties forever.

Of course you have to use your imagination with this one. I am going to remove the red vinyl fabric and replace it with something more lovely and also give it a lick of paint. This will be an excellent repository for some of my pretties. Here are some linen pretties that came home with me from my treasure hunt in that funny little shop.

I found these golden books hiding under a shelf. In the school house, of which I wrote about last week, there is a very large pin/notice board in the wee two year old, girl's bedroom. It is fairly ugly with a gazillion pin holes accumulated over years and years. So, I thought I would cover it up by pasting oodles and oodles of colourful pages from these Golden Books. I adore the illustration of the little girl in the sweet hat on the Prayers for Children cover, so, so very cute! I have kept this cover to do something creative with it sometime in the distant future.

The noticeboard is very large and and it would be too expensive to cover with fabric. good husband and I, pasted page by page, book by book, all over the board. Such a lovely montage of cute illustrations, wonderful language, rhymes, numbers....a plethora of gorgeous imaginations to thrill a wee, small child.

After pasting the pages onto the board and giving them a couple of coats of Mod Podge, I decided that this sweet little girl must have some pretty bunting to hang on her storybook wall. I stitched..."Once upon a time there lived a little girl, Ari......" on polka dot fabric (Ari loves polka dots) and stitched these onto ric rac to bring it all together.

Little Miss Ari sitting on the ladder, supervising.

I machine sketched a cute li'l girl flying a heart balloon at the end of the bunting.

Then, to add the finishing touch I hung some hexagon shelves to give the wall some dimension. I don't think Little Miss Ari is too young to be introduced to the hexagon you?? =) Everybody needs a hexagon or two somewhere in their lives, and the sooner they are exposed to this wonderful shape the better!!

Love, love, LOVE the illustrations of Eloise Wilkin.

 My husband and I crafted the storybook wall for a birthday present for Little Miss Ari who was two years old this week. She really is the sweetest little girl! Those curtains I chatted about last time are coming a little later.....still psyching myself up for them. The truth of the matter is that I just ran out of time.

I am hoping this Golden Book story board filled with rhymes, stories and poems, together with gorgeous illustrations, will not only cover the ugly noticeboard and provide lots of colour and fun from the pictures, but as Little Miss Ari lays in her bed at night and snuggles under the cover of her pretty quilt; she will drift off to the land of counterpane, where her magical dreams will weave in and out of children's slumber.

Though I loved finding the golden books to transform the wall, my favourite thrift find of the day is this piece de resistance, this sweet little chair.

It is a fold-up chair, but the thing that I love is the cane. I have been looking forever for a chair, any chair....big or little....with some cane on it somewhere, to tart up and work some magic on it. I am reading your mind......"what a strange little doesn't look much" but I have plans for this little chair. Let's hope I can pull it off!

It was my clever husband with those eagle eyes of his, who spotted this chair. He said "you know what you have been talking about for ages, well would this funny little chair suit?" Oh my giddy aunt!! It will suit very well, thank you very much. Soooo happy my husband shares 'the thrill of a thrift shop hunt' as well.

Ooops I nearly forgot......this sweet li'l cup came home with me, too. My husband found it and he insisted it would make a pretty addition to my teacup collection. Who am I to refuse a man of such exquisite taste!

This pretty teacup is marked Queens and is called English Chintz.

This English Chintz teacup is a welcome addition to my collection of other pretties.

So, a new favourite little shop to explore when we visit the city. Every time we visit there is always something new. This little shop is not one where you think I won't buy it now, I'll get it the next trip. No siree, if you don't grab your treasure there and then, it will disappear, be gone forever. The proprietor charges such reasonable prices  that everything is snapped up in the wink of an eye.

The thing that really tickles my fancy about thrifting is the amazing finds one happens upon unexpectedly. More often than not the treasures are hidden at the bottom of a pile of stuff.

Anyway, over the next li'l while, hopefully, I will be able to transform my funny little chair into a one-of-a-kind chair that you will never, in a thousand years, find anywhere else. Let's hope what is in my brainpan looks equally marvellous in real life.....fingers crossed. =) You will just have to watch this space.....though it could take a while.

Until the next time........

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A li'l curtain stitching

So.....where did this week go?? It seems that my week got lost in a flurry of a li'l curtain stitching. My week vanished with the playing of pretty textiles. It is my friend's daughter's birthday this week. A very auspicious birthday; she steps into the "fog of pubescent insanity"......a teenager!! That stage of life that we all pass through and come out sometime in the distant future. Do you  not agree, those of you whom have spent many a year with the 'odd' teenager or two.......moments of terribly 'interesting' episodes.

So....I decided to stitch my friend's daughter a curtain for her bedroom, in celebration of this very important milestone. Not just any 'go to the fabric shop and buy metre upon metre of curtain fabric for a window.....kind'; but a curtain fashioned from beautiful vintage Italian coverlets, similar to the ones I fashioned for our family room.

This is the house, where the curtain will hang forevermore (or at least for the next few years). By then, the said teenager could possibly dig in her heels of teenage angst and demand of her mother to take the curtain down, and replace it with something else!! =))

 Are they not these the most glorious windows?? If you open the gate and wander along the rose-lined path and peek a little closer, you will espy vertical blinds!! Oh no...what were they thinking!!

This building, which is an old school house, is swathed in 100 years of glorious history. Surely a building of this vintage demands window dressing with a little theatre; a little drama! I know, I know, this building was once a school house, and I understand that some old soul on the school board way, way back in the 60's or even the 70's, deemed it appropriate to hang these utilitarian and 'functional' ugly eyesores, but as it is now a home, they need to be banished to vertical blind hell. Me thinks soul-less, vertical blinds should be banned for all eternity???? Surely they are the faux pas of window least in century old buildings.....(Oh.....those chairs out the front are waiting for people's bottoms to be sat upon in celebration of the said owners' wedding. Me and my good husband styled this 'venue' for the wedding, a couple of years back. If perchance you would like to wander around the grounds, of this lovely home, on that perfect day back then.....then you can read all about it here.)

Vertical blinds...yukkity yuk. My sincerest apologies if you are enthused with the humble vertical blinds and are rather taken with them; it's just that they have never entered into my realm of possibility for window coverings.....never have, never will.  I won't allow my mind to slide down such treacherous and slippery slopes. =) Yes indeedy, one will never read any mention on any page in the tome titled "The Kim Sharman Book of Dazzling Window Design", of these less than desirable window coverings!!! Perhaps, if you really, really must; in a modern home, but certainly not in an 100 year, steeped in history, one. the curtains. I gathered my beautiful Italian pretties together and began to cut patches of varying widths and lengths.

Pretty pinks, blues, lemons, greens and mauves of lovely pattern and texture. As I have been collecting these Italian coverlets for a long time now, I am in possession of one serious stash of these scrumptious pretties. These days, these pretties are not easy to find.

I stitched and stitched and stitched some more. Both in the daytime......

And in the night time.

Oh dear, it seems I have a patchwork thing going on. 

As I was stitching the curtain I thought it would look rather hip if I stitched some fringing here and there. Not only are my Italian coverlets filled with glorious patterns, they are edged with pretty passementerie. Doesn't this glorious French word just roll of the tongue. I have cut these elaborate trimmings and fringings from the coverlets for use in many, many projects. Metre upon metre of ornamental edgings. For not a lot of money spent, these Italian coverlets are the gift that just keeps giving.

Day after day, stitching the curtain in my sunny sewing room, it was rather akin to a wrestling match. This 3 metre by 3 metre curtain, together with the lining, weighs a ton. Though playing with these gorgeous fabrics was enjoyable, just between you and me, I must say I wasn't sorry when the stitching for this curtain was finished. Just a little aside.....I am stitching another curtain similar to this one, for the said teenager's younger sister's room next door, who also happens to have a birthday in a couple of weeks,  BUT......I won't think about that now...I need to psyche myself up before another wrestling match!!

Before hemming the curtain I draped it at one of my windows, to see how it looked.....'tis a pity I can't keep it! I have just the perfect spot, where one, oh-so-theatrical window dressing could drape for all eternity!! Oh, how I love a curtain to puddle on the floor!

How's that for a bit of theatre....a bit of drama.

I rather like the touch of gorgeous trimmings, here and there. Fingers crossed the said teenager is enamoured with this pretty as much as I am. =) Of course, if indeed she does not applaud, does not favour this pretty's touch of quirkiness, it's sense of theatre, it can always find it's way back to my humble abode! This pretty will always be welcomed here with open arms. Though, it should be all after consulting with the said teenager I discovered she was rather enthused with the idea of a curtain fashioned from vintage coverlets and pretty trimmings and the like. Phew!!

I have fashioned many pretties from my Italian coverlets; curtains, quilts, cushions...the odd chair or two.

A jumble of glorious passmenterie and Italian coverlets.

Swirls and swirls of messy passementerie. All that muddled loveliness does warm the cockles of my li'l ole heart. =)

Though the stitching of this curtain  took a long time, I do love it. This past week, the stitching of this curtain morphed into a life of its own. Those Italian coverlets and passementerie seemed to escape their rather confined boundaries, swirling their way throughout the house entangling anyone and anything into their messy, textile web. I am happy to have my tidy and organised home back is my good husband!

This curtain will add a sense  of theatre to that glorious window in my friend's, daughter's room, in the old school house. Window by window, the unsightly vertical blinds are being pulled down and being replaced with curtain adornment more in keeping with the aesthetics of this grand old home! I do believe this curtain is soooo much lovelier than a hideous, vertical you not concur?? Indeed, why have an ugly, vertical blind when one can festoon a window with a bit of fun, a bit of whimsy; bringing a sense of the theatrical to every day.

Until the next time.........

Linking up this week to Mary's lovely Sweet Inspiration Party over at The Boondocks Blog.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A quiet week

Thank you all you lovelies for your kind wishes and prayers for my husband. It always amazes me how the blogging community from the four corners of the globe, support each other in times of trouble; it is a joy to behold. I feel very thankful and blessed!

We have had a lovely, quiet week with no dramas; almost boring, one could say. =) Believe it or not, my husband has been out tending his garden which Ole Man Winter has decimated. My husband figures that he has four weeks to get the garden in order before his operation, because afterwards there will be another period of time when he will have to lie low. When I look at our garden at this time of the year, I always despair at the bleakness of it. I always wonder if  Spring will truly come again and visit us, bringing with it floralicious delight.

As for me I finished stitching the backing for my scrappy-licious quilt.

Now how to quilt?? I really warmed to the idea of straight stitching lines through the diagonal corners, but as my frozen shoulder isn't up to grappling with all the bulkiness of the quilt  I decided to put the quilt on my quilting frame and stitch meandering stitches all over. The frame I have enables me to sit my machine on rollers, enabling me to stitch whichever direction I choose.

For some reason or other quilting on my frame was fraught with botheration. My frame decided not to play nicely at all! I found it difficult to guide the machine over the quilt as there are so many seams both on the quilt top and quilt backing. The needle kept getting stuck, especially in the corners, resulting in  a not so flowing, meandering stitch pattern in some areas. Also for some reason the quilt wasn't taut in the middle resulting in small, so exasperating!

So enough was enough. I took the quilt off the frame and finished quilting on my sewing machine, moving it from side to side, up and down and round and round.....this way, that way....any which way. So much for taking it easy on my shoulder. =)

With the quilting completed I machine stitched the binding on using a pretty floral fabric.

I love this fabric. When I happened upon this pretty fabric I bought metres and metres of it. Alas this is the last of it. Are you like me? Do you get a little sad when a much-loved fabric is no more?

With the quilt finished I am happy with my scrappy quilt. I rather like the meandering effect of the quilting, though I doubt this pretty would win any quilting prizes; no perfect or precision stitching to be seen here. The bright and happy colours and pattern do make me smile. There really is something about a quilt oozing scrappy charm. This pretty does sprinkle a little sunshine and happiness on a rather gloomy, Winter's day.

Miss Maisie has given me her nod of approval.

Finally, after two years, this quilt is done and dusted. One more quilt to be ticked off the 'to do list' .........that I don't keep. =) Now to attend to some other quilts that are waiting to be finished......

My pretty, Cathedral Window.......

and my pretty, scrappy hexie........

I will endeavour to work on these over the next few months; but alas, me wouldn't be me if I didn't start one or two other 'I-just-need-to-make' pretty quilts. After all variety is the spice of life. Me thinks there just might be the beginnings of one or two more scrappy-licious quilts making an appearance sometime soon, down here at the bottom of the world.

Ooooh.....scrappy heaven!

Home is more the sweeter with a few scrappy quilts lying it not??

Wishing you all a lovely week in your Home Sweet Home.

Until the next time........