Tag Archives: Vintage

Very tasty pin cushions

20140414-184322.jpgI’ve been making pin cushions out of damaged, vintage embroidered tablecloths.

20140414-184916.jpgThe embroidery was done in the Forties and Fifties and I only recently realised the pattern was already printed onto the linen so in that sense it was easy as they had a pattern to sew on.

20140414-185619.jpgYou can tell how good the person was at embroidery partly because sometimes they didn’t cover the lines properly so you can see bits of the printing which should have been covered.

20140414-190022.jpgThe real art though is in the colours. I’ve been collecting vintage table cloths for 20 years and so often I’ll see one which has been expertly made yet the colours aren’t very inspiring and I always think what a shame to have worked so hard and spent so many hours making it yet the result isn’t too enchanting. That’s unfortunately the case with most of them which is why when I find ones like these it’s like finding gold dust.

20140414-190842.jpgI wonder about the ladies who made them. Were they young, middle aged, elderly ? How did they even have time to embroider tablecloths when they had so much else to do, cooking from scratch, hand washing, looking after their families etc without all the mod cons we have.

20140414-191429.jpgSaying that though, they didn’t have televisions and if I didn’t watch so much TV I could probably embroider at least a couple of large table cloths every week ūüôā I’m glad they did it though so I don’t have to.

20140414-192300.jpgSo here they are all together. I’ve also added some vintage fabric flowers to make them even more colourful and scrumptious.

20140414-192538.jpgAnd here they are all dressed for Easter.
I think a pin cushion should be beautiful because it’ll be next to you while you sew ¬†year after year. Mine is one of the very first things I made and I still love it.

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Filed under Vintage Fabric

Muswell Hill Saturday Market, June 2013

2013-06-08 12.26.13This lovely market is on the second Saturday of every month in “The Village” pub 258, ¬†Muswell Hill Broadway N10 3SH. It’s large, and airy and free to enter, 12-5pm.

These are some of the stalls which caught my eye last Saturday.

Above is the most amazing cross stitch by Emma Congdon ¬† http://etsy.me/194kKdp ¬†This photo doesn’t do it justice at all. Emma sells the kits for people to do themselves and this Muswell Hill one is brilliant.

2013-06-08 12.29.39Marcia Knight makes the most beautiful children’s clothes and sells wool too in scrumptious colours.

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2013-06-08 12.31.34Look at these beautiful dresses !!!  https://twitter.com/Yarnsulike

2013-06-08 12.57.57There was a stall run by a mother and daughter from Margate who sell postcards and little mirrors etc of photos they’ve taken. I bought some of the ice cream and flake cards which are absolutely adorable. ¬†http://www.curlabouttown.com/

2013-06-08 12.37.37Frances Cronin makes these sweet and lovely little rabbits !! There were lots of them but I like the ones in dresses best. I love taking pictures of people’s things for my blog because I like chatting to the lovely people who make things. It’s something they do because they (and me) love ¬†making things. It’s for love, not money.¬†https://twitter.com/franwen

2013-06-08 12.59.02Annemarie Fearley had a stall outside and makes bright colourful owls and other animals with vintage fabric. Lovely for a child’s room or anywhere in the house.¬†https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shes-Got-it-Made/158449937537923

2013-06-08 12.48.47On the way out I bought a box of mixed cakes to take home. I’ve bought from this stall before so I knew they’d be good.

2013-06-08 12.49.14They were all made freshly that morning and the little cheese cakes were out of this world.

There were lots more stalls and it’s a lovely atmosphere but it’s never as busy as it should/could be. ¬†It’s quite a new market so hopefully word will soon spread¬†http://muswellhillmarket.com/

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OMG I’m in the book !! “Pretty Pastel Style” by Selina Lake

I¬†received my copy of Selina’s brand new book a couple of weeks ago and was completely overwhelmed ¬†to find so many pics of my house in it.¬†I’ve taken photos of the pages and I’m not going to write anything with them because that would make me feel silly, like when an estate agent shows you round a house saying “this is the kitchen, this is the lounge” and you just want to ask him to please go away so you can look round in peace. ¬†The photographer is Catherine Gratwicke and the words are by Joanna Simmons.

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The lovely embroidered hoop is by Vicky Trainor

The lovely embroidered hoop is by Vicky Trainor

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Selina's bike

Selina’s bike

Thank you SO much Selina Lake, Catherine Gratwicke, Joanna Simmons and publishers http://www.rylandpeters.com

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Filed under My home featured in Selina Lake's new book !!!, Vintage Fabric

Happy Kitsch and colourful Easter

Easter rabbits 001Poor mummy chick forgot to change the clocks forward and she overslept so she’s an hour behind and no time to do her hair.

Easter rabbits 002My kids think I’ve totally lost the plot ! Do I care ? No I don’t ūüôā

Easter rabbits 003In fact one of my boys is sitting in the front room with his football shirt on watching a game shouting at the top of his lungs every time the ball goes near the net. God knows what the neighbours think.

Easter rabbits 004The other son has just this second phoned me to say he’s on the train and can I fetch him in ten minutes…. errr no I can’t. He seems to think that I sit here with my car keys in my hand all day and night happily waiting for his call. I don’t. He’s 21 !!!!!!!!!!!!

My pictures, Book launch, Easter 013I was having a happy little Easter blog,

My pictures, Book launch, Easter 007and now I feel like this     Ahhhhhhhh. Happy Easter everyone. Off I go to the station.

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Filed under Easter, My Etsy Shop, Vintage Fabric

A lovely Selina Lake feature with a few of my things included.

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Prima Magazine (March) came out a couple of days ago and I thumbed manically through the pages as the stylist Selina Lake  had borrowed a vintage fabric patchwork throw and three cushions from me.

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Page 81-83 they’re on ¬†!! I was quite exited standing in the magazine section of Tesco at 9pm, my new shopping time which is quite relaxing as it’s not busy and the crying ¬†babies and fed up toddlers are all at home. I think that after about 9pm they should put out a few comfy chairs so that those so inclined could read the mags in comfort instead of leaning¬†heavily¬†on our¬†trolley.

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I could quite happily  spend a whole day in Tescos. I usually spend about half an hour in the magazine section anyway and sometimes meet a friend upstairs at Costa for a nice uninterrupted hour or two of quality catch up time.

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Then back downstairs to meander round shopping¬†leisurely, reading¬†labels,¬†peering¬†at calorie contents, noticing how it’s all so expensive these days and wondering if my kids will notice that I’ve bought Tescos own brand of Special K. (They did and declared it inedible so I gave it to the birds)

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Then I’d go and buy a couple of news papers, go back up in the lift to Costa and ¬†have a nice cake or two which I didn’t have with my friend as we’re¬†fiendishly slimming (not)….

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Then I’d go back down and maybe browse through the ‘colds and flue’ isle wondering if it’s actually worth buying vitamins and then maybe saunter (wearilly, after those two cakes) around the electronic isle looking at phones and ipads.

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By this time I would hope that at least one of my children would have bothered ¬†to phone me to enquire as to my whereabouts….but probably not.

If my local Tesco had a bed and breakfast area for tired shoppers, like a little rest stop with own brand sheets, cheap slippers and mini tubes of toothpaste for those of us who couldn’t face the¬†inevitable job ahead of unpacking the shopping and putting it away then I’d book ahead. As long as I got¬†tipple club card points.

My throw featured here was ¬£140 but to¬†celebrate it being in Prima it’s now the amazingly good value of ¬£95. The cushion was ¬£45 and is now ¬£38.

Stylist Selina Lake ¬†is launching her lovely new book ‘Pretty Pastel Style’ with a wonderful fair with fantastic¬†designer¬†maker stall holders. I went to her last one nearly a year ago and it was so beautiful and quite exiting. It’s in Kingston West London on Friday the 22nd March 2013 and everyone is welcome. There will I’m sure be lots of cake.

The photo here are by Sussie Bell

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Filed under Handmade, Magazine Features, My Etsy Shop, My home featured in Selina Lake's new book !!!, Vintage Fabric

Christmas at home 2012

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A wonderful Day in Brixton

So yesterday I met my lovely friend outside Brixton tube to go to the

Crafty Fox Market¬†¬† in the Dog Star pub which is an amazing place in itself. Just emerging from the station I was struck by the beautiful Victorian buildings and how a lot of them are only one or two stories high ¬†so that there’s lots of sky and light and even with a lot of police around and sirens it still felt magical, to me anyway. It was lovely to be away from suburbia for a day and Brixton is so vibrant and different and exiting. The market was very good with lots of stalls selling high end crafts and a lovely tea & cake area.

cakes with flakes !!

cakes with flakes !!

It got very busy and we headed to Brixton Village two minutes away which I’d very¬†recently¬†heard about.

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Brixton Village

It’s the most amazing place. Huge and all under cover with beautiful vintage shops alongside butchers shops…………

Brixton Market

beautiful cafes and restaurants which are all quite small but with lots of seating ¬†outside and piles of blankets for people to put on¬†their laps if you’re chilly.

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It has the most amazing atmosphere, like a huge¬†commune or family. Very friendly and somehow¬†tolerant¬†and co¬†operative. It’s hard to explain……..

Brixton village

Un fancy ¬† fabric shops, eye opening fish mongers, a stunning¬†enamel kitchenware shop. There seemed to be no¬†hierarchy in any way and the friendliness was palpable, probably because it’s just such a wonderful place to eat, shop, work……

Brixton market

It was a mixture of¬†Mediterranean, Amsterdam, Europe and of course Jamaica. Calm, relaxed laid back and lovely. No¬†pretensions, ¬†no rush…

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We spent some time in a lovely vintage shop called ‘2&6’ owned by Mark who’s a sort of Rolling Stone¬†character of the vintage scene, very friendly, helpful & good company……..

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We bought vintage fabric and Christmas cards from him…..

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My friend and I both agreed that it was like being¬†abroad, somewhere lovely. different sights, wonderful smells, lovely people, very relaxing……..and look what I found in the Jamaican¬†grocers…

cock soup

and what with my name being Nicky Grace..well of course I had to buy it ūüôā

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Filed under London, UK, Vintage Fabric