On my bookshelves (currently groaning under the several hundredweight of vintage craft, dressmaking and needlecraft magazines I have acquired, during the last 12 months especially), there remain a few treasured books from my childhood. This little book I am looking through now dates from, I would guess, the 1930s (and no, my childhood was not then!). My Nan used to buy me books from jumble sales when I was about five years old, about the same time I started buying frocks for fancy dress or to cut up to make dolls' clothes. (Yes, I still shudder when I see the scraps of lace in my sewing cupboard which I cut from a 1930s patchwork lace top!). "Secrets of the Flowers" in The Bunnykin Books series has several sentimental post-Victorian melodramatic tales (and yup, I still wipe a tear from my eye if I read one today), all of which are illustrated by flowers with little faces. I have seen Art Deco handbags and tea cosies etc. decorated with little faces surrounded by flower petals, and as I have some doll faces picked up last year, methinks that might be a nice vintage project to try. Until the stitching gets done and I show a photo of what I have made, please enjoy the pictures with the promise of springtime arriving soon.
Sunday, 15 January 2012
This year I am determined to make some real progress in dealing with the mounds of "stuff" that surround us in our home (most of it mine I must confess). Sometimes in quiet moments, I look around whatever room I am in and try to apply my "divide and rule" principle - what would I keep if I were to get rid of two thirds of my possessions? I am acutely aware that having broken our half century a while back and having no children, as we go forward we should strive to become unencumbered by too many belongings. My little vintage French letter rack above finds itself in the winning third. For several years, mr. brocobelle and I contemplated living in France and spent a lot of time there. One hot summer day we pulled over whilst driving and I ran into a little antiques shop in the middle of nowhere and found my treasured china butterfly rack. One to keep.
Bought last year, thinking it would probably not work and happily proving us wrong, my little deco barometer which neatly stands on a shelf or sideboard is another treasure I will keep.
The standard lamp we made out of an antique camera tripod and a vintage pleated silk shade (amazing what you can achieve when you cannibalise a £2 lamp from Asda for its fittings!) will move with us to the retirement flat (not yet, but you know ...)
And while I am still happily working selling my vintage and crafts and developing my vintage needlecrafts, I will hang on to the divine Edwardian hat covered in silk organza blooms above. Although usually stored away in several acres of acid-free tissue, I will try to recreate the blooms soon - watch this space.
What would you keep?
Saturday, 7 January 2012
I know printemps hasn't exactly sprung yet, but I do hear birds singing every bright January morning and some of my shrubs and roses have been flowering all winter long, so a good excuse to turn to a spring wardrobe planning article from a vintage French Marie Claire magazine dating to April 1937.
This is a delightful mix-and-match spring wardrobe feature. I have scanned the two pages which show how you can achieve 12 ensembles using the basic 8 wardrobe items. As the magazine is in quite a large format, it was a little difficult to fit the pages onto my A4 scanner (shopping time for an A3 scanner maybe??), so I have scanned and cropped the garment illustrations for the purposes of composing your toilettes. Note the cute bows at H and I - if you would like to make a bow tie to use as a spring accessory (wear it round your hat or at the neck of a smart blouse), check out my blog post with instructions on making a bow tie out of a redundant neck tie.
A la prochaine ...
Sunday, 1 January 2012
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