Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Vintage Fashion

My middle daughter came home at the weekend and announced that as some of the fashion students at the University had gone to New York this week, she had been given a half-term holiday and was to create a new costume project during this time. So to help her with this, we decided to visit the Bath Costume Museum (now re-named The Fashion Museum) this morning.

As residents of Bath we are entitled to free entry, which is an added bonus. It is only a small exhibition, despite the size of the building, as much of it is used for functions and events in the Assembly Rooms.

One of the oldest exhibits is a child's dress which dates from 1660, but the displays span the decades right up to the present day and include two mannequins dressed in jeans, t-shirts and hoodies, complete with skate boards and trainers!

Two glamorous dresses from the 1950's.

Yes, I would quite like to try this one on!

There are various designer dresses too, including this paneled 1970's dress made from leather.
A slinky oriental little number....

....and a fragile lacy evening dress from 1906.

One of Bath's famous residence was Jane Austin - this delicious lace bridal gown is from her era - its size is minute, surely women weren't really that tiny? (Please enlarge photo to see the delicate lace details.)

There are also some underwear exhibits, including corsets, which totally fascinate my daughter -she inevitably designs her costumes around them. As well as an exquisite, but looser fitting, flapper girls undergarment c1920.

A bustle dress from Victorian times - how ever did they breath, let alone sit down?!

I found the hats fascinating, as I have a small collection myself, but none as beautiful as this flower encrusted cloche.
As we left, we spotted a small sign requesting that visitors don't take photographs! Whoops! You won't tell anyone, will you? I just wanted to share these treasures with you this afternoon.
Niki x

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Off on a Jolly.....

I spent a fun few hours yesterday with two lovely people! - Helen, Sue and I went for a 'jolly' to the small city of Wells in Somerset. The weather was mild, but a little overcast, so after a warming hot chocolate in a cafe, we visited every charity shop on the high street.......

Then it was time for a spot of lunch at the vegetarian restaurant 'The Good Earth'. I had a delicious mixed salad, a huge hunk of garlic bread and a cuppa!

There was then just time to head off to the 'Wells Trading Post' which is an antiques/bygones emporium housed in a former 12th century mill.
Sue discovered this little beauty........

....a child-sized wooden dresser, painted in the most gorgeous green chippy gloss paint and handmade in the 1950's. I can picture this looking stunning on Sue's stand at the antiques fairs.
There was a pea green flavour to my purchases too! I bought this Victorian bathroom set of a chamber pot, toothbrush holder and soap dish with cover. The hand crochet doily that I discovered earlier in the day, coordinates surprisingly well.

Thank you ladies for such a jolly, jolly!

(My latest creation made from recycled vintage fabrics.)
Have a lovely weekend, whatever you have planned,
Niki x

Friday, February 22, 2008

'A Bit of Velvet and a Dash of Lace'

I got quite excited when I discovered this book on the Amazon website; particularly as it said that you can pre-order it in the UK - Great, I thought, I won't have to wait for it to be shipped from the States....
I enjoy looking through all of my interior books, so would love to add this one to my collection - I went for the pre-order button......having gone through the check-out, it then said that the estimated dispatch date was 15th September 2008! That seems to me a VERY long time to wait, so perhaps they shouldn't be advertising it just yet?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Springtime Florals.

I have updated my on-line catalogue today with a selection of one-of-a-kind handmade items, with Mother's Day in mind. Each piece is carefully stitched from vintage and antique fabrics, which I select from my collection of pretty floral cottons and linens.

I shall add more items randomly when I can......Hope you enjoy taking a peek!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

And This is Me......

Firstly, I would like to thank Heidi Ann for awarding me the 'You Make My Day' award! Thank you Heidi, you are very kind and its good to know that my generally 'short and sweet' blog posts are enough to make someone’s day!! hehe! I really do appreciate it - thank you!

I have also been tagged by the wonderful Kim of 'Ragged Roses'.
The rules of the tag are as follows:
Archive Meme Instructions: Go back through your archives and post the links to your five favourite blog posts that you’ve written. … but there is a catch: Link 1 must be about family. Link 2 must be about friends. Link 3 must be about yourself, who you are… what you’re all about. Link 4 must be about something you love. Link 5 can be anything you choose. I think this is a great way to circulate some of the great older posts everyone had written, return to a few great places in our memories and also learn a little something about ourselves and each other that we may not know.

Link 1 - My Family: I admit to keeping my blog fairly non-personal. I originally started writing it as a way to promote my business and to be in contact with like-minded women. So this blog post was an unusual one for me to write and was an update of some of the things we as a family had got up to over the summer last year.

Link 2 - My Friends: It is of course great to make virtual friends through the world of Blogging, but some of the best moments can be when we actually get to meet in person. In this post from March 2007 I wrote about meeting up with friends at a textile fair.

Link 3 - Myself: I've never been very good at writing about myself! I think the only time I have done so, is when I wrote my very first blog post as an introduction. (2 years down the line -Please excuse those goggle glasses and my hair is now more purple than red!! Lol)

Link 4 - A Love: One of my loves is to regularly visit flea markets and antiques fairs. (In fact I was out yesterday looking for more treasures and found the collection of goodies at the very top of this post.) This link is one of my more successful days.

Link 5 - Anything! Although I spend most of my spare moments sewing, I also like to try other crafts, decorating and general interior design. This link is to a little cupboard make-over that I did and was very pleased with, but now realise that I actually never posted a photo of where it ended up. It now hangs above my computer, storing CDs and my camera etc. so I look at it every day when I am Blogging!
Hope this list hasn't been too tedious for you all! Please feel free to join in with the game, if you would also like to share some of your archives with your blogging friends.....
Niki x

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope it's full of nostalgic romance!

Pink roses from my hubby!

Thank You! xx

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Fabulous February!

We were certainly treated to some wonderfully mild and spring-like weather over the weekend. I spent a fantastic few hours tidying up our front garden and discovering all the spring flowers about to burst into life.

I also managed a quick trip out to the flea market to thrift some goodies. Funnily enough, I think I must have been influenced by the warm weather, as most of the pretty items that I was drawn to are reminiscent of spring. (Well, maybe summer too, but who can resist roses?!)

The tiny china teacup is going to live at my friend's cottage; she has her Birthday on Valentine's Day ansd so this will be included with her present from me. The brooches and buttons will be embellishments for some of my handmade items and I am keeping the pretty vase for myself.
The beautifully hand embroidered linen panel has become the main feature to one of my handmade bags.......
And I just love the old fashioned quality of these hand crocheted doilies with the cheerful pansy border.

My middle daughter has been at home from University since Friday evening. She's working on a big fashion/costume assignment, so the house has been turned upside down with fabrics and paints flying in all directions! She tells me that she can't be tidy and artistic at the same time, so I have to put on a brave face and convince myself that the house will recover.....

This is the kitchen after I asked her to clear some space so that I could cook the evening meal...... and perhaps it wouldn't be too much to ask if we could sit down to eat at the table too?!!
But having said that, I used to be just the same messy-moo and have since learnt to be tidy, so there's still time for her, isn't there?!............(wink ;-))
Enjoy the sunshine - Niki x

Friday, February 08, 2008


I'm sure you must have all seen this incredible blog post by the immensely talented Sandra Evertson, where she created a remarkable 'crows cage' masterpiece.

I particularly loved the 'little bitty lacey winged ones' as she called them and was inspired to make my own version. I had a tiny antique bisque dolls body, just 4cm in length, so added a caterpillar-like body, using wadding, tulle and beads.

I then embellished her with vintage lace wings, glitter and pearls.

An old wire lampshade frame was covered in a Victorian cream lace sleeve, which I stitched in place and then added a row of assorted glass beads along the lower edge.

Lengths of narrow lace tied in a bow, synched it in at the top. And then my 'flutterbug' settled on the front!

Little flying creatures often seem to be attracted to artificial light, so I think she looks quite at home there. It now stands in front of my curio cabinet which is filled with vintage floral hats and whimsical collections.

Have a wonderful weekend,