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A butterdish, a bin, books and a brooch

Home from the holidays, and what a cracking time. Ramona and I spent the first week with a friend and her tiddlywinks camping on a farm in Weymouth. The combination of roaming animals, mountains of haybales to climb, eco credentials, a cheap and perfect organic shop and a whole coastline to itself made this a place we will be heading back to every year for the rest our lives I think!

And this last week, all three of us went away with my folks to hike around the Cotswolds. Every single day involved a charity shop trawl/ car boot, a mammoth amount of reading and a ramble through the countryside. Perfect.  My parents are equally as devoted to charity shopping as Tim and I (my Dad actually recently took up collecting vinyl again just so he could keep my Mum company- love, right there, innit?) so needless to say we came back with a car twice as full as going.

Here are a few of the things that made me yelp Hooray…

We have been looking for a new-old butter dish for a while as our current one smashed and 3 kinds of glue have failed to keep it together. They turn up a lot in charity shops and I am always surprised at just how ugly a butter dish can be! But a few months of hunting and I think this one, with it’s delicate flowers, is really delightful.

 

I think probably one of my weirdest small collections are retro bins. (Mwhaha that totally makes me a bin collector.)  We have one in every room but when I saw this one, with it’s Eric Carle style design I knew I’d find a corner for it. Weird, but handy, no?

 

I am so pleased with the stack of ancient hardback books I got from a car boot. They were 70p each and I got them primarily for *whispers* crafting but since getting them I have opened them up, and read their words and felt their pages and now I really truly couldn’t possibly NOT just leave them be.

The cover of the Book of Common Prayer is falling apart but the colours inside are still resplendent.

 

And it has an inscription to a kind old soul for donating coal to the poor from Churchill’s granddad!

 

I am especially in love with my Hans Christian Andersen Fairytales find- the illustrations are so whimsical.

 

 

And one last illustration, because it is after all Monday- and Magpie Monday at that!

 

Today’s final find is this 20p brooch. Awhite bird flying into a blue cloud, or a seagull into the sea, depending which way you pin it. TWENTY PEE! Hoorrayyyyyy!

Of course, we bought about a million other things too but they didn’t begin with B so they didn’t meet the grade today, I’m afraid. But I am sure they’ll turn up one other Monday in some other bizarre grouping.

Did you find any little Holiday Hoorays this summer?

You are joining in with the Charity Shop Blog Hop, yeah? Linking up on Thursday 13th September? Cool. Just checking.

 

 

Bumblebees and Boats- stitching on books

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What CAN’T you do with a needle and thread?*

It can be therapy- like these prisoners who learnt to stitch their stories.

It can raise political consciousness and beautifully challenge social norms. 

It has helped people find the meaning of life – like this jolly chap who went on a journey to find out about where his clothes came from and ended up trying to sew them all himself.

And then, at its most simple,  it can just make ordinary things look pretty. . .

From that crafty wizz Martha Stewart

I love how needle and thread have replaced pencil.

From Paper Stitch (loads of beautiful art on there)

And I wanted to give it a go.



We have a few funny old books, this one above is from a 1950’s one called “Getting the most of of life” – really, it is just such a load of nonsense. But has a lot of words that evoke images.

If you look carefully you will notice there is poo in this vessel.



These two pages are from “A Treasury of Thought” a delightful book with excerpts from  Shakespeare, indexed by subject. The one above is from the Ships entry and the one below from Bees. I know for some it is pretty much an Awful Thing to be treating books in this way, but I kind of feel you are giving them an extra kudos- letting pages see the light of day that might not otherwise.


They do only take a couple of minutes to do, but I know if I had a tiny dot more patience and took them a bit slower they could look LOADS better. Darn my laziness.

I did wing this one by Ramona to see if she could tell what they were though. “BUMBLE BEE” she yelled. *fist pump*

(Yeah, okay.  Bumblebee is Ramona’s current fave word and is what she defaults to most of the time but still, a leetle bit recognisable, no?)

Joining in with this months Pinaddicts Challenge  over at the luscious  Love Bump – check out the other things I hope to make one day soon on my Pinterest Board. 

PS- So remember that beautiful vintage magazine, Pretty Nostalgic, came to our house to take some pics? Well, the issue is out and you can catch a glance here. The whole thing is STUNNING!

Just a little confession though, our house is not normally that tidy. Not even close. My mum even came round the night before to help us clean up the piles of washing, the  raisins scattered all over the floor, the crumbs and pop corn and garlic skins on the kitchen side, the toys in every corner. Just so you know. Also, just so you know, we don’t normally look quite that wild eyed and deranged, promise.

PPS- I just started a Facebook page, are you on there? I would actually really love it if you wanted to come and say hi, or even just like it, if you are a shy one.

*You can’t:

Eat with it, unless it is really fine spaghetti.

Use it to catch a ball, or put an energetic baby to sleep, or win an Olympic medal with it, or fly with it. Etc, etc.

Vintage handmade cards – cowboys, swallows and deers

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When I was nine I sent an anonymous card to a girl in my class that I didn’t like much.  It said “You and your family smell like egg.” Obviously I failed at the disguise-your-handwriting bit and they totally busted me and I had to miss Neighbours while I wrote her an apology letter.

My cards don’t tend to be so cruel these days. They are mostly non existent, which is a bit better, but still rubbish. If I am going to see someone on their birthday then they are lucky and get a nice hand crafted number. But out of sight, out of mind- well, in mind, but not in envelopes or hands which is really more important. This is a problem as half my family live in New Zealand so they are never in sight. However, this is the Year of Change and I have pledged to send a little summin’ on people’s special days.

To make this Actually Happen, and in most thrifty of ways, in a spare half an hour yesterday I cut up some of my vintage Twinkle kids books, placed the images onto some ancient sewing pattern (this is the BEST craft resource – if you don’t already have some sewing patterns, do pick some up in a charity shop for 20p. Great for all sorts) and sewed it onto card.

Well simple but the graphics are cute and retro enough to work mostly by themselves, I reckon. And the old sewing paper just adds an abstract element- those random lines and letters and numbers, and texture. As for the sewing, I only really do this because my sewing machine is so big I can’t lose it where as keeping track of Pritt stick is beyond me.

Cutie little deer, a bit twee, but wouldn’t you like him as a pet?

Love soldiers, hate war.

Got a thing for cowboys? ME TOO!! Check out my Cowboy and Indian jars.

Swallows make my heart sing. Nice poem too- but did you know they had Twitter in 1974? NEITHS!

Needless to say Ramona is in LOVE with this duck card.

Ah, retro adventures.

Got any good quick, thrifty card making tricks?

If you like the look of these kids book graphics – have a squizz at the other things I whipped up with them.

PS If you get any of these cards sent to you anonymously saying you smell like egg IT WASN’T ME.

Vintage Collage – a quick craft

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I have posted before about the utter delights of vintage childrens books– for slashing (Shock! Horror!)  describing them as a “bottomless treasure trove of vintage craftiness”. And indeed, here is another way to showcase their charms. This is a different take on a collage- instead of gluing fun little items onto paper you glue fun little items on to sticks and watch them pop out at you!

I have done this a couple of times, the one shown here was done using cocktail sticks pushed into a bit of candle that I taped up with masking tape (ha, the things you use eh?) but the first time I did it was loads less effort and worked to greater effect so I recommend ze folloving vay…

Take a slim rubber (say, 2cm x 2 cm but .5 cm thick, ish) and a load of pins with big heads. (Gosh, I wish I knew the real names of things sometimes. Surely these have a real name? They are pins but with big coloured balls on the end?)

Take some glue – prickstick or glue gun, something with instant stick.

Take a whole load of teeny tiny papery things you have cut up. Words, birds, numbers, mushrooms. Those tiny photos they give you from the photo shop to preview your pack of pictures.

Bash! Thump! Wham!

Glue the paper things onto the big pin heads.

When they are dry stick them into the rubber.

You are aiming to make the pins invisible so have them sticking out in ways that disguise the other pins.

Working from a central point and out in a kind of sphere works quite well.

Put it in a box frame. This one was £2 from a Mind charity shop.

Bam!

Cut much up recently? Do share 🙂

Thrifty Thursday: The endless giving of childrens annuals

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Childrens annuals are a bottomless treasure trove of vintage craftiness. In the last couple of months I have made a cowboy tin, some bunting, several cards and upcycled a coat hook.  You can pick these up for pennies at car boots or pounds in charity shops that know their stuff; either way it is worth it. You simply can’t exhaust their goodness- you will save wads of cash whipping up gorgeous cards out of their beautiful retro graphics or if you have a bit more time you can craft up a gift for someone- the tin below took about 15 minutes and was lovingly given to my sister (okay, actually she just took it saying “Shall I have this?”)

They provide some great flashbacks (the Blue Peter one with it’s Grange Hill comic strip and epic eighties typeface) and an unhealthy dollop of sexism (sometimes I argue we haven’t got very far with gender equality and then I read Twinkle for Little Girls which stealthily teaches young females to bake and clean through cartoon.) The only problem with them is that they are so cool and old that taking your scissors to them seems quite callous. Get over this hurdle by snipping up the sexist and racist bits- soon you’ll be scissor happy and ready to craft!

The Tin:

Take a Birds Custard Powder tin and cut a comic strip that will fit around the outside of it.

Glue.

Once dry give it a slick or two of varnish.

The Bunting:

Stay with me here, it’s complicated.

Cut into triangles.

Glue onto string.

The Coat Hook:

We had literally been looking in charity shops and skips for a for a bit of wood and hooks to make a peg rail/ coat hook (what do you call these things?!) for AGES.  After a few months we saw a bit of wood by someones bin and thought “PERFECT!” when we turned it over we saw that it already had pegs and was an actual, existing thing! Suffice to say we were exhilarated (just look at our sad, scavangey lives.) It was missing the surface bit of the panels so I cut out two bits of Annual and glued and varnished them on. They are about Dick and his snowballs. Bahahaha.

Hope you find some cheesey, sexist and racist children’s annuals soon!