Monday 23 May 2016

Website Closure

If you have been directed here you will have noticed that I have now closed my on-line shop

Having run the shop for ten years I have now decided to concentrate on other hobbies though I will continue to sell some vintage items from this Blog, Ebay, Instagram and my Etsy shop.  Please do check back here regularly to see any items I may have for sale.

Tuesday 2 February 2016

Rivetting Stuff

I love china which has been rivetted.  I don't know why but it is the contrast of metal to mend something fragile, I think.  And it's the fact that we didn't always live in this 'throw away' society; things were treasured, mended and used again and again.  Before adhesives were widely used people would save any broken china for when repairers would visit towns and villages to perform this quite tricky operation.  Nowadays we throw it in the bin and go on the internet to order another one to be delivered the next day!

Tiny holes were drilled on either side of a cracked surface and hand forged metal staples or rivets were inserted to hold each piece together.

These are some of the few pieces I have found that have had this repair done.  Of course, many have been destroyed over the years because the 'crude' repairs have been considered unsightly.  I, personally, think they add more character and certainly authenticize the age of a piece.

A teapot and cup from a Spode Copeland 'Old Bow' teaset produced specifically for Harrods in 1905. 

I can understand why someone would want a Harrods tea set repaired but even this rather utilitarian glass jug has had the rivetting treatment.

I love this very large old dairy jug which has had a considerable amount of repair.

This Spode Italian cup has had the handle repaired.

Do you have any rivetting pieces of china?

Thursday 24 September 2015

Notice Board Tutorial

I have been revamping my sewing room recently and decided to make a new notice board to co-ordinate with the red and grey decoration.  I have covered a notice board with grey and white ticking fabric and added some 'Oh So Vintage' name tape I already had.

If you would also like to make one, it is really simple.....

You will need
Memo board (I used a cork board from Ikea)
Polyester wadding (the sort that you place inside curtains for extra thickness)
Stapler (the sort that will insert staples onto a flat surface, not a paper stapler)
5 Buttons
String or cord

Cover the memo board with the wadding leaving about 2 cms to fold over onto the wrong side.  Staple this to the wooden frame of the board.

Do the same with your fabric and attach this to the back of the board.

Next you will need to attach the ribbon or tape you have chosen to make a criss cross effect.

Staple the ribbon from one corner to the opposite corner so that you have an X.  Mark the middle of each side on the back.   Staple the ribbon to the middle of the top and attach this to the middle of the side, then from the middle side to the bottom of the board.  Do the same on the opposite side.

Next you will need to attach buttons wherever the ribbon crosses over.  I used vintage linen buttons but you could use any.  I sewed these throught to the back of the board.

If you want to hang the board on the wall then mark one third of the way down from the top and staple string or cord to each side.  Make sure it is fairly taut.

Your board is now ready to hang on the wall!

Wednesday 2 September 2015

Upcycling Vintage Textiles

Recently I bought two boxes of vintage textiles at auction.  Rather foolishly I only gave them a cursory look before leaving a bid.  Well, I won them but it was obvious someone had just put a load of damaged and stained vintage textiles together.  They looked appealing but on close scrutiny nothing was saleable!

I was really annoyed with myself but, having put several items in the dustbin, I then washed everything else and sorted it all into what I could salvage.  The result was lots of lace and embroidered textiles which I have now resolved to upcycle and make into various items (mostly cushions).

This monogram P was all I could salvage from one piece and, as soon as I made it into a cushion and added it to my website, it sold.

Some Maltese lace doilies and a lace butterfly have now been sewn onto hessian to make lavender cushions/sachets.  I love the contrast of agricultural sacking with pretty fine lace.

Lace was also sewn onto hessian to make bunting for a vintage wedding.

Another cushion was made from parts of embroidered sheets and tablecloths,

another from a damaged sheet bearing the monogram M C.

and lastly another pair of cushions I have made using a pure linen French sheet and a very pretty hand embroided edging.

There are lots more pieces to 'salvage' and I am looking forward to using them to create more upcycled items.

Monday 13 April 2015

Felix Rasumny Art Nouveau Medal

Sorting through my late mother's jewellery box I found this medal which has intrigued me.  On the front is a Art Nouveau picture of a lady wearing a helmet whilst on the back is written NANCY RECORD and a picture of a rifle and pistol with the Lorraine cross (also known as the Free French Cross) surrounded by thistles.  There is also a very tiny signature of F Rasumny on the front.

Upon further investigation I have found out that Felix Rasumny (1869 - 1940) was a Russian engraver who emigrated to France.  He trained at the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs under masters such as Millet (one of my very favourite artists), Gauthier and Tasset.

In my ignorance I started my research thinking Nancy Record was a person but Nancy is the former capital of Lorraine and the home of Art Nouveau in north east France.  The thistle is the symbol of Lorraine and is a main feature in the coat of arms of Nancy.

Early Lorraine crosses differed but earlier designs are the same as this one in that the horizontal beams are of equal length and equally spaced.  The Lorraine region, because of its location, has hosted many wars and battles.  Twice it was annexed by Germanyand when Hitler took control of the region in WWII General de Gaulle chose the Croix de Lorraine as a symbol of resistance against the German advance.  This is when it became known as the Free French Cross.

There was also much fighting in this area during WWI and I rather think this medal dates from then or even earlier.

This is all I have found out about it but I am fascinated by its origins and wonder if many of these were made and who they were given to.  I haven't found any images or reference to another similar one on the internet.

Wednesday 1 April 2015

Sew and Sew

I have been spending quite a lot of time in my sewing room lately.   I love it in there; it is quite a small room and my sewing table now overlooks the garden.

My daughter gets married in less than a month's time and, as she is having a rustic theme for the wedding, I have been sewing lots of hessian items but mainly bunting.  I have been sewing lace onto the hessian as well as appliqueing co-ordinating fabrics onto it and stencilling hearts with paint.

I worked out that I needed to produce 24 metres and have now done it all!  I have also stencilled lengths of hessian for table runners and sewn a ring pillow (which will be attached to their dog's collar as he is the ring bearer!) as well as covering jam jars for night lights.

Hessian is very messy to work with, all those loose fibres so it was good to have a change and sew with some normal fabric.  I made this pair of cushions from some very pretty vintage French fabric.  I only managed to buy a small piece so this is all I could make from it.  They have been added to my website.

Saturday 10 January 2015

Clandestine Crafting

When it is cold and wet outside I like nothing better than to go up to my little warm sewing room with a cup of tea, shut the door and sew.  Occasionally I turn on Radio 4 but I mostly like to be quiet, with my thoughts and ideas.

These are some of the things I have made recently.