Monday, 30 January 2012

Snowdrops and Needlebooks

Hello,

I don't know about you but I love snowdrops. Its a real sign winter is leaving (please, please don't snow this year)
Don't get me wrong I love snow. In small doses. But essentially I am a city girl living in the country and for the last two years we were snowed in for weeks on end. A few days is amusing but then I start seeing mirages of shops in the fields. Even  grocery shopping in Tesco or Aldi sounds appealing. So please please don't snow.
These beautiful snowdrops are in Altamount Gardens, Co. Carlow. Mine are not so impressive yet.


My new needlebook is finished! This should send the problem of disappearing needles into the pincushion.



What a brilliant idea. I can say that without vanity because it wasn't mine.

The cup looks relieved. No more dissection. The cup is a vintage one I had and the orange material in the pincup is from one of my very first purchases on etsy from www.etsy.com/shop/DollDestash , who sells lovely bundles of cotton jersey destined for doll projects. The colour matched the cup so well and the jersey material is great for popping pins in.


Roll on spring,
Take care,
Maria

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Inherited Buttons- Just ask your mom/aunt/granny

Hello,

Are you one of those people who collect buttons? I'll admit it, I have a collection!
It consists of the spare buttons that come with clothes or those that fall off clothes. Or ones I take off clothes that are being binned. (Strictly ones not good enough for hand me downs or charity shops) And the odd one that comes free in a hotel sewing kit.

I now add buttons to some things I make so my selection was running low.
And it occured to me, if I had a jar, my mother had one, I must have gotten the habit from somewhere.
So I asked and I happily collected a large collection of buttons and ribbons from my own mother, in perfect condition. I am a minder, so is my mother.

Then I asked my mother in law and was sure she'd forgotten all about it until yesterday when she appeared with two tins full of treasure! Out came the washing up liquid as soon as she had left.


Check out the nylon thread for mending tights. I never knew such a thing existed.


Enough to keep me in supplies for awhile. So my tip is this, ask your female relatives for their jar of buttons (only if they dont use it of course). Its a thing a lot of people do out of habit and the older generations especially. So ask and you might be pleasantly surprised like me.

Take care,
Maria

Saturday, 21 January 2012

How to create childrens pictures for practically free




Recycled vintage childrens book




Ikea frame & illustration from vintage book

My children are very lucky to have a playroom of their own.
But the problem is it has turned into a toy storage room (read dumping ground) and rarely played in. This means the toys are dragged everywhere and I can only trip over so many in one day.
I sat in the playroom and realised the problem. It was set up two and half years ago and as you know that is a long time in a childs development. The room was aimed far too young. It has been cleared out many times but really just toy removal.
So today began the mission to make the playroom played in again ( and to return the sitting room to a respectable room so I am not mortified when anyone calls in and have to spend an hour trying to make it decent again)
Its been four hours and I've made a dint. Its amazing how many books, puzzles and toys are just too young I had to subtily moving them out of the room without being caught. I'll transfer to charity bags and bins when children are asleep/out.

I upgraded some old pictures while I was at it.


"New" artwork for children
The top picture consists of three matching frames which I bought in Ikea a few years ago. They were very cheap at the time and have plastic in the frame instead of glass, perfect for children if you have a fear of glass breaking! I removed the three colourful pictures that they contained as they were aimed at younger children.
I inserted pages from old childrens books I picked up in a charity (thrift) store. The top right is an illustration from The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Then the other two are from a Lewis Carroll book,

The pirate costume picture is a page from hardback book that was falling apart. It was too damaged to pass to another child so I added a piece of ribbon to the side of one of the pages to cover the book tear and hung it on the wall. It looks cute and is something new out of something destined for the bin. It probably is too young style wise for the children but the illustrations were so cute I couldnt resist.

I leave you with the Mad Hatters song from the Lewis Carroll book:
Twinkle twinkle little bat
How I wonder where you're at
Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea-tray in the sky,
Twinkle, Twinkle.


All the best,
Maria

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Making Doll Clothes Using Vintage Patterns

Hello there,

Last year my little girl asked me to make a dress for her doll. Well actually she asked for a purple haired Sindy doll with a pretty red ballgown. I did explain that I am not a fairy and can't make whatever is wished. I vaguely knew about OOAK dolls and I knew Sindy didn't ever have purple hair so I set about figuring out how to do this. Then the red ballgown consisted of a piece of fabric with a ribbon holding it in place. I got away with it because the recipient is young!! If you've ever worked in miniature, my hat goes off to you!!


I came accross these vintage doll dressmaking sets on ebay last year and am finally going to give them a go. The sets come with fabric with patterns printed into them. You cut out, follow instructions and should have lovely doll clothes. At least I hope I will. It is aimed at children so how hard can it be???? ha ha


Take care,
Maria