Saturday, 31 January 2009

This, that and the other

Thank you to everyone for all of your warm wishes. Receiving all of these comments is truly uplifting and such fun...

Do you like the look of my blog? My lovely friend Pam J. fromthecraftroom made the banner and background for me, using my photos. She has also made my Etsy and web site banners too. She is so talented and her blog and related pages are a true feast for the eyes. Take a look for yourself. Thank you Pam.

Well I finally have my copies of Cloth Paper Scissors. I was told before the article was published that I would get 2 copies and I have waited one whole month for them. Very surreal somehow to see the stitched pieces in a magazine but I must admit to being thrilled to bits!Right then, straight onto 'Finds of the Week'.
Bliss......... is a vintage bird book ......I love 'em. I've got quite a few lovely old bird books, oddly enough!!! Could not resist this beauty. Softly, muted colour plates.

Best of all the colour plates of birds eggs.

Oh.... and onto my bestest find of the week, I could'nt believe my luck when I came across this beauty. A Helena Rubinstein box with the most delightful illustration all over top and bottom of the box. The little figures are a delight.I just adore it, but when you open the box......

what lies within? Four small boxes, which look very much like matchboxes but ....

what lies within? Brooches and earrings!!! Who hoo!!! I think from around the 50's? Someone obviously went on a trip to Engelberg and Interlakin and purchased a few brooches and a set of Gentian earrings as a memento. They are made from a kind of plastic and the detailing is stunning. I just keep looking at them, they are so lovely.

Onto my next 'show and tell'.
Not a 'find of the week' but 'the only thing I have managed to make all week' thing. (Day job has been billy bonkers)!

This is a before piccy and

this is the after piccy.
You may remember that I made a few necklaces from crocheted flowers not so long back, incorporating precious little items and buttons. I have been aching to have another go with the crocheting hook and here we are. I used the doily, above, as the starting point, decorated it with some of my most lovely buttons and other tiny objects and then crocheted the actual necklace incorporating more mother of pearl lovelies.

Bit of lace and a handmade velvet flower chucked into the mix and heading off to Etsyland.
I also wanted to tell you that I have opened up another Etsy Shop called vintagehensteeth
I can't keep buying without something having to go. The house is groaning as it is and the loft, well let's not go there!
So here are a few items I shall be listing.
A real cameo pendant....Some really lovely old knitting patterns.Is'nt she pretty? If only I looked like that and oh to be able to wear a fitted fair Isle type jumper.
The illustrations against the black are so striking of this lovely old paper knitting pamphlet.
They are posing in a very jaunty fashion. The bottom left hand figure is a very brazen or is she doing a Morecombe and Wise 'bring me sunshine' dance.

Inside one of the books is this poor creature. The pattern is entitled 'To flatter the larger figure' said in a truly british accent now. Oh charming, she only looks like a size 12!!!! Poor thing, no wonder her arms are held at a rakish angle, she's breathing in for all she's worth. She can't be comfortable.

Well that's me done for now.
Thank you for stopping by.x

Sunday, 25 January 2009


This may seem a bit of an odd picture to start my post with, but it's what I saw when I finished work last Friday. I looked up and saw lovely blue sky with puffy clouds and I could'nt have felt happier. The conclusion of three weeks of pergatory! I have got the job I applied for........
Oh the relief, of the joy of a new venture, a new challenge and three day week. I work in the Faculty of Art at my local College, working Reception and running the art supplies shop amongst many other duties and I have been very fortunate to work full time but term time. In a month's time I will take on the duties of Fine Art Technician, based in the Print Room at the same Faculty with all the wonderful old presses, screen print units and general print equipment for three days a week. A newly created job, so I am so excited and can't wait to roll my sleeves up and get started. I don't have to worry about trying to look smart each day either, as I shall have to wear a pinny for this new job :-) The other part of the excitement is that I can devote week time to creating, oh bliss. The start of this year really has been one to remember, I said I was going to grab the new year by the danglies!!!
Well after my excitable start, I wanted to show you what I have been mostly making this weekend.
Pendants or as jackie suggested ..... Suspendants!!!! ....made from vintage ladies' suspenders. I'm really pleased with the way they have turned out. I thought they were a little unusual (to say the least) and where there should be elastic I have added layers of muslin and calico, embroidery, bits of this and that. Finished with a shirt button and a brass ring to thread a chain through.

Same one top and bottom, top modelled by myself but a bit burnt out by the light.

Second pendant (below) done in pretty much the same way.

This (below) is worked a little differently, using gorgeous silk embroidery (chopped from a silk blouse, not by me I might add). The button on the pendant came to me attached to this brown silk. I have added seeding stitches, buttons and a little piece of tatting.

Finally onto 'Finds of the Week'. I have done so well this week with my purchases. Here a box of crochet rayon. Love them for the blue against the red typography.

I purchased this book today, it was also a 'must have' and for £1.50 who could say no.

Inside the most bizarre and amazing dictionary of all things medical. The pic below, may have been a bit racy for it's time, do you think? I could'nt find a date but perhaps 1910/20, not sure.

The following page is entitled 'carrying a helpless person'. about the bleeding obvious!

Next page, rather alarmingly entitled 'Treatment of skin conditions by X-Rays'. The patient does'nt look very happy, and I can't say I blame her.

Next page, 'Magnet for extracting metallic foreign body from the eye'. Look at the size of that instrument!!! I would have fainted with fear, if that had been shoved in my eye.

The other book purchased today, also for £1.50 is Needlework and Crafts. Written by
R.K. & M.I.R. Polkinghorne, blimey what a mouthful. Reminded me of Mr. Tolkinghorne from Bleak House. (The BBC version of Bleak House, how I adore that series).
This was in the back......

and this..

Then onto two large tins of buttons. I was in the right place at the right time for these two tins of lovelies. I visited my local Charity Shop, a down to earth affair, what I call a proper charity shop, where they evidently don't chuck stuff out, because of some stupid ruling. (Don't get me started on some Charity shops throwing out items such as knitting needles because of health and safety, grrrrr). Anyway, I asked the lady if she had any buttons for sale? And these were fetched from under the counter, so I gave her £20 for the two tins. A bargain and for a very good charity too.

I had a silly, stupid smile on my face as I walked back to work, carrying two very heavy sweet tins of buttons.

Well, I think that is all for now. Thank you all once again for all of the comments that have been graciously left. Very much appreciated. I also want to thank lovely, lovely friends who give awards. I apologise if I have not fulfilled my end of the bargain with the duties of being given an award, I'm pretty useless at that kind of thing, but I will endeavour to do so soon.

Thanks for stopping by.x

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Quite a lot to get through here!

I was photographing these two pieces yesterday to pop into my Etsy Shop. Difficult, as they are framed and thus have glass.Definition .... not good.Then I found I had taken these two, which have reflected the bare branches of the Silver Birch above. I kinda like them in a washed out sort of way.
Moving on, you may remember that I mentioned the idea of having a journal as a keepsake book. With that in mind, I copied one of my illustrations of a sweet girl with her pet Hen, onto linen and added some embroidery, which in turn is now decorating one of those gorgeous Khadi handmade paper books. I can't begin to tell you how gorgeous the paper is. Unfortunately, somehow, I have managed to get a blue tinge on the photos I took today.

You can see here though, the off white of the pages and the decal edges. I just love 'em. I thought that if anyone wanted a name and date putting in, I could always type this onto some lovely linen and apply to the inside orange page.
Moving on again.....
Here we have Amelia, a little friend of mine since I was a child, next to a piece of work I finished today. Firstly, she is wearing a Liberty Tana Lawn dress. As you will see further on in this post, she is sporting nothing but her birthday suit. Apologies for this exhibitionism, but she insisted on being in the photos to keep the pages from flying around in the wind. She complained bitterly of the cold, so I made her a little dress to cover her modesty. I hope you will not be offended ;-)
'On her Majesty's Service', is a layered up, collaged piece, with embroidery, buttons and very old boot buttons hanging from the bottom edge. I do so enjoy putting these pieces together, it's as if they speak to me, i.e. "no, not that bit, use that instead"....... "yes, that looks good, now add more of that". Blimey, I sound like a mad woman, well maybe I just am!

One of the sweet matchbox covers used.

AND for the next item......
More pages from my Inspiration book, thought I would show you.
A few snippets of our Ju's work ;-)
Here, as mentioned, Amelia nudey rudey, shows us the front page of my new 2009 Journal.....bit of a mistake using a deep blue background, (note to Viv...ditch the blue background).And another page.... One of my little collections is fishing fly's. (Have I written that correctly)? I have no knowledge at all of the names of these fly, but they are so technically brilliant and very beautiful that I just adore them. Here is Amelia showing you my matchbox book, (last post). I had to show you more, I am so pleased with the darn thing.

The Seagull matchbox cover is so graphic. So much detail in such a tiny area.

And finally, I wanted to tell you about our little incident in the Sliwka household this morning. I came to my studio early and decided to nip back in doors (studio in garden) for a cuppa and wondered what the black mess was on the sofa. Upon closer investigation, I found my dear black sketchbook (Moleskine type) had been attacked with aggression. I turned to Rosie (medium size terrier cross) and asked if she had done it, holding the outer cover out. She gave the game away when she took it off me and carried on ripping it up.
It reminded me of jackie's Willow, chewing up, what was it, carrier bags?

Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather. We had her at 6 weeks old in 1995 and apart from when she was a young puppy, she has never chewed a thing in her life. What's more she had taken it out of my handbag!!!
So I'm kind of upset but astounded at the same time. Has my old girl gone a bit senile? Or is she rebelling in her dotage, as I hope to do some day?

I shall have to make a new cover, as the pages are not too badly torn. What a naughty girly!
Anyway, I'm sure you need a break from me now, so I will close and thank you very much for stopping by.x