Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sew Recycled.

Just wanted to share with you my 18 year old daughter's final major project piece for her Art Foundation diploma. I am amazed that she could produce this after one year, in a very broad subject, which covered many techniques and art forms. She has gained a pass with a merit, so is thrilled to bits.
She recycled lots of my vintage fabric scraps to create a fully boned corset, with lace and button trims.
It was designed to be worn in a pop video, so she printed the silken fabric of the skirt with sheet music
I've displayed it in our living room on my wasp wist mannequin.
(In between taxiing the girls around!) I finally managed to do some sewing in my new workspace yesterday, too! Hooray!
Niki x

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Quick Post.......

Firstly, I would like to thank every one of you for your kind comments that you left on my new workroom post (I'm so glad that you like it!) and I apologise for not having had a spare moment to come visit you.......I haven't even had time to get into my new workroom yet! My in-laws stayed for the week until Sunday, so I couldn't really disappear into the basement all day.....
Also, my two eldest daughters came home from Uni. (One has just completed her finals and the other has finished her foundation course) Sadly, it has dawned on my middle daughter how in debt my eldest now is and so she is reluctant to continue with her Uni education.....Of course the debt is playing a big part in my eldests future plans and she doesn't know what to do next.....
I run the risk of becoming very political on my blog now, so am going to move on and keep thinks pretty and nostalgic!!
I'll leave you with a couple of photos of my new Foxglove plants, which are now in flower. They are a fairly new variety whose flowers face upwards towards the sun.

I took these photos a couple of days ago, before the awful Bank Holiday weather arrived and laid many of my tall plants horizontal.

Its half-term week now, but I am determined to get in front of my sewing machine sometime this week - have a great one,
Niki x
Updated 1:30pm. Forgot to include this photo of the lamp that I bought at the antiques fair recently. It has now been wired in by my hubby and hangs above the staircase to my workroom. (At the moment with odd bulbs as I need to go shopping!!Lol)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Job Done!

I've finally finished installing all of my craft supplies into my new workspace in the basement.

I even have my PC down here now, so everything that I need to run my business is in one place.
The aqua blue drawers hold my vintage ribbons and lace, with boxes on top storing buttons, brooches, beads etc.
Hubby and I hung my little French vitrine on the wall - we had to go shopping for special wall plugs with the new walls being plasterboard on battens - we're used to drilling into the solid stone walls in the rest of the house.

It holds French ginghams and tickings, as well as a few tiny friends...

And these display boxes hang next to the cupboard. I've had them for around 10 years. They originally came from a certain Scandinavian furniture store, which we do not mention in this house (not a favourite place of hubby's!) so I'm not sure if they are still available.

I gave them a coat of paint and lined the backs in vintage wallpapers. I like the fact that the glass just slides into place, so the contents can be moved and changed at will.
Vintage doll parts are kept in this one, all waiting for make-overs....

My sewing table is placed under the window, so that I have plenty of natural light with a view of the garden and it is next to the door too.
The white painted wooden sewing drawer is the one I had from Heather. I've used it to store my scissors and tools, to keep them close at hand.
Hubby made me the wooden pelmet from an old carved cupboard topper, which I painted aqua. I made the curtains from a vibrant 1930's Liberty print. I am very fond of the fabrics from the 20's and 30's, which I feel look right in our home, as it was built in this era. My table has a patchwork tablecloth made up of more floral 30's fabrics.

My old barbola waste paper bin cost me 50p from a charity shop, many years ago.
At the other end of the room is my fabric stash and more storage, mostly for my website stock, which is safely tucked under the stairs.
I also bought our old washstand down here, which has hat boxes underneath keeping millinery flowers dust free.

A basket filled with old wallpapers.

And the old chippy painted shelves that I bought the other day, housing antique lace and trims.
There is always so much going on in this household, (as seems to be the norm with modern families these days) that it can be difficult to stay focused on crafting and developing new ideas. It is my hope that this new clutter-free environment will help me get back into my work.
Finally I added this Victorian religious print - I love the quote, which I feel still has so much relevance today.
My first visitor! (And yes, she has been right inside!)
Well, must go for now - my in-laws will be arriving soon to stay for a few days.
Enjoy the rest of your week,
Niki x

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Linens, Fabrics and Flowers.

Today's 'Show & Tell' organised by Cerri is 'Vintage Linens'.

I love red-work embroidery. This one is a French table runner, which I use on my kitchen table.
One of my favourite pieces is this hand embroidered tablecloth with a thatched cottage and garden.
These are also special to me, as they were all made by my grandmother.
As is this one, which was given to me by my Mum when I became engaged (around 25 years ago!)
Well, I know I have been neglecting Blogger for a while, but I have been very busy moving into my new basement workroom. Hubby returned from working away again in the States on Thursday evening. On Friday he made me some fantastic storage shelves, which I gave a coat of white paint to.
Yesterday I spent the day walking up and down the stairs, bringing my stacks of vintage and antique fabrics to their new home - I think I probably walked about 5 miles! I'm so glad that I had managed to keep them tidy from my last mammoth tidy-up, as it made the task slightly easier.

Anyway, they are all in place now and so I shall move on to bringing the rest of my supplies down here and will show some more photos soon.
My middle daughter returns home from Uni on Monday, my in-laws are coming to stay as from Tuesday and then my eldest daughter returns from Uni next Saturday......I hope to find some crafting time some time this year!!
In the meanwhile, I shall leave you with some photos of my Aquilegias, or as my Grandad always called them 'Granny Bonnets'.
I started off with this purple one, the frilly pink and cream one called 'Nora Barlow'.....
And this classic pale pink one.

Well, last year I think some cross-pollinating went on! I like to let the plants seed themselves and I am happy to leave them where they want to grow and so I have a few surprise creations this year....
Lost of frills and exciting colours......
happily flowering with plenty of buds still to open.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend,
Niki x

Monday, May 12, 2008

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!......

WOW! Its been another hottie today! Just wish I had more time to sit here...............

Wish you could join me too....
the Wisteria is blooming now and smells delicious.....

And the Iris are relishing the sunshine.

The white Lilac is at the 'just perfect' stage.
And as my chickens can't get into the front garden to trample it daily (something they insist on doing in the back garden!), it is doing very well. The rambling roses are at the bud stage - I can't wait for those to burst, along with a deep purple clematis.

I hope you have been enjoying some early summer sunshine too.
****For the first time in a long while it didn't rain at the Shepton Mallet Antiques Fair on Saturday. When I used to have an outside arcade stand at this fair, I regularly had textile stock ruined by rain - it was one of the reasons that I decided to stop trading there.....

The inside stands missed out on the lovely warm weather this time though.....

Sue's was one of them and very pretty it was too.

Liz also had some wonderful treasures for sale. The next Shepton fair isn't until September....I wonder what the weather will be like then?....
Some of my purchases included this amazing light fitting, which I bought from Amanda ('Shabby Chick'), who you may have read about on Jane's 'Posy' blog many times. It is going to hang over the new staircase into our basement, when hubby has time.

I love this original Florence Upton print dated 1896 - its the first one that I have seen for a while that doesn't have a sad or scary image. (OK, I'm easily scared! - but if you've seen some of these, you'll know what I mean!) I have wanted one for a while and am going to display it with my original wooden peggy dolls like the ones in the illustration.
This sweet little frame would have been made in the C19th and is gorgeous; as are these precious wedding photos from Paris.
I hope you all had a lovely weekend,
Niki x

Thank you Happy!
date: I am overjoyed to have been given the 'Excellent' award by
'Happy Loves Rosie', which is such an amazingly excellent blog and one which I would send the award straight back to! Thank you so very much, I am chuffed to bits. As for the other four blogs that I should also bestow the award upon....well I'll have to think about that as you are all so excellent.....have a great day! Niki x