Saturday, 31 October 2009

No pumpkin pics

I grew up in Germany, mumble mumble years ago, and Halloween celebrations as we have them these days were totally unheard of then. Allerheiligen (Allsaints) on 1st Nov. and Allerseelen (Allsouls) on 2nd Nov., were very religious festivals, sombre affairs remembering the dead. The Florists started preparing weeks beforehand, making arrangements like these -

My grandmother used to work for the local florist and spent many hours in the basement of the shop making these wonderful arrangements, and I spend many happy hours helping her.

Then we would all go the graveyard, place our floral arrangements on the graves, light candles in coloured little pots like these -

and although it was a time for quiet contemplation, remembering our loved ones, very peaceful and quite serene in a way, it was also quite a social occasion, as one would of course meet many other family members. Even as a small child, I was not scared of going to the graveyard, it was somehow like going to church, with all those people and candles around, and it was quite beautiful really.
( All the above photos are courtesy of Google Images )

When I was thinking about what to post on Halloween, not having any halloweeny/pumpkin pics of my own, I remembered some photographs I had taken earlier this year at a craft fair. It was held in the gardens of a beautiful mansion

In order to get to the gardens to set up though, we had to go the back way, past the church you can see in the background and through the graveyard, and I was fascinated by the beautiful old gravestones.

I spent a few minutes after the fair taking some pictures, and today seems like a good opportunity to share them with you. They are not ghoulish in any way, I just love the beautiful designs on them, and the way the years, moss and lichen have softened them and created patterns of their own -

These two angels were facing each other on the gravestone. Weatherworn and timeworn, it was very hard to make them out, but I thought they were quite wonderful -

I only had few minutes, so unfortunately I didn't get a chance to go all round the church, or have a look inside. But this wonky little side door did catch my eye -

Enjoy whichever way you are going to spend this weekend! xx

Friday, 30 October 2009

What have I gotten myself into?

Ooher, girls, what on earth have I gone and done, lol? After yesterday's update, more people joined as Followers. When I logged on this morning, we were up to 31, so I chose and photographed six more items, went back to the blog, and realised that yet another person had just joined! Back I went to the stash possibles and took some more photographs.

So this morning, I am adding 7 more items to the GIVEAWAY STASH. Is that enough info? Do I really have to upload photos and tell you in detail what the bits and pieces are? I suppose I had better if I don't want to get myself into trouble, lol.

Lets start with this little baggie. Hundreds, possibly thousands of tiny, sparkly, gorgeously twinkly beads to embellish your creations with. They came from a professional embroiderer ( embroidered dresses for some rather big stars ), so they are good quality beads -

Next, one of my handmade soaps on a gorgeous little vintage plate decorated with roses -
Just in case any of you are concerned, my soaps are all made with pure vegetable oils and butters and are fully safety assessed by a qualified cosmetic chemist ( they have to be in order for me to sell them, the regulations are very strict ).

Two little scraps of vintage rose fabrics, big enough to make little hearts with -

A big vintage button, two tone olive green, fab for a handmade bag, for example -

I also added this sweet little traycloth, embroidered with a crinoline lady and flowers-

Two more scrap pieces of vintage rose fabrics -

and 3 lovely chunky off white vintage buttons -
I really don't want to get the whole stash out again in order to photograph everything together, so if you want to check whats already in the stash box, go here.

Thats it for today. And I am not going to look again until much much later, lol. Any adding on which might have to be done will be done tomorrow.

Cheerio, Liz xx

Thursday, 29 October 2009

The giveaway stash is growing

Since yesterday's post, 5 more wonderful people have added themselves to the Followers thingy in the sidebar, so I had to add 5 more things to the GIVEAWAY stash.

Right, lets get started then. Firstly I added a piece of vintage 1970s Designers Guild fabric, big enough for a large cushion front or a few smaller projects-

Then I added a few yards of this oh so delicate antique French lace, it is absolutely delightful and so elegant in its simplicity-

Next, a couple of yards of a narrow vintage braid-

A doily, can't have a giveaway without one of my doilies, lol-

oh, and Sarah Smith cleaning cloth, because I think they are fab-

So this is the GIVEAWAY stash so far -

Soooooooooo, whats going to be next, if more people join the Followers? Hmmm, I may have some vintage buttons on standby, there may be some lovely 50s embroidered pieces, a selection of small pieces of vintage rose fabrics for your dainty pretties, perhaps a delicate beaded necklace, a luxurious handmade soap on a vintage tea plate .......... I might even have something fabricy, antique, French, and very oh la la in mind....

So, its up to you gals how many more bits and pieces are going to be added to this giveaway, go on, follow, lol. GULP. Put the giveaway button onto your sidebar and link back, and you get a second chance at winning. Just leave me a comment to let me know you have done it.

Back to work now, making lots of lovely giftpacks for the upcoming Christmas Fairs. xx

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

100th post.........

just call me Mrs. Motormouth! I had no idea this blog would grow so much. I started it as a joke, because my darling friends JJ and Joy were forever talking about being in Lalaland, and the three of us are proud members of the Lalalanders United Club. I just couldn't resist starting a Lalaland blog. JJ and Joy are both co-authors on here, however, their contributions are few and far between, sigh.

So it falls to me to commemorate this momentous occasion. In true blogger tradition, that means it is.....................






GIVEAWAY time, woohoo!

Now I need to explain this GIVEAWAY a little bit. One of my lovely followers has told me off for not having a Followers thingy in my sidebar ( didn't really tell me off, lol, but told me it would be a good idea ). So, this is what I plan to do. I am starting the GIVEAWAY with the following bits and pieces -

a length of old cotton lace

a long length of fab pink and white polka dot ribbon

a lavender sack made from 19th Century French ticking fabric and handloomed linen, filled with English lavender

a crocheted corsage decorated with Lucite flowers

a La Croix Rosion facial scrub ( dry, so preservative free )


I am going to put up one of those followers thingies ( hopefully, lol, I am somewhat challenged when it comes to stuff like that ) and for every person who joins there after this post is published ( after the 20 already on there, that is ), I will add something else to the GIVEAWAY stash. It might be a set of buttons, a vintage postcard, a handmade soap, a single huge button, more lace, vintage fabric............. who knows? I'll keep this going for the rest of this week, and then will draw a winner out of ALL THE FOLLOWERS next Monday morning. Not too difficult, is it?

I got myself all excited now, lol, so I had better go get a cup of tea and then try and install that followers gadget.

Toodlepip xx

UPDATE - Floss wanted to put a link into her sidebar, which is of course a great idea, and something I should have thought of, arrgghhh. Still, only just started, so its not too late yet to remedy that. I made a little button for you gals to use if you would like to put it in your sidebar. And for that you get entered into the giveaway draw again!

Now I am off to find three more things to add to the stash.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Can you darn?

In her comment on yesterday's post, where I mentioned darning mushrooms

lovely Sarah from Red Gingham was asking about what was needed for darning socks. Were you serious, Sarah? Well, whether you were or not, no matter, because now you are going to get a lesson in darning anyway! Not from me, I hasten to add, I haven't darned in decades. I still remember the basics, and in theory I should still be able to do it, but in practice? Errrmmm.

Anyway, dear Sarah, so here is what you need - firstly, a sock with a hole in it, but apparently thats not a problem. Then you need a nice fat darning needle, a darning mushroom, which you say you have, and darning wool, which is something like this -

And then, of course, you need somebody to show you how to do it. As I said before, thats not going to be me, lol, but I found this video, which is pretty good. I have no idea how to put the actual video on here, I am so blog challenged, lol.

Sometimes, when I buy antique nighties or sheets, I find tiny little darns on them, which are so neatly done that you can hardly see them. Done with the finest threads and such precision, it really amazes me. I couldn't find anything which I have at the moment to illustrate that, but I did come across an old photo I had taken of a darn on a linen sheet. You really need to click on it to enlarge it to appreciate how fine this darn is -

How I wish I could darn like that!

Last week sometime, I realised that I am getting perilously close to 100 posts! The big day could even be tomorrow. I suppose I ought to do something in true blogger fashion to commemorate this momentous occasion??? Like a bit of a giveaway? Well, you will have to check in tomorrow to see what I'll do. If anything. Might just whistle nonchalantly and ignore it. Yeah right, as if you lot would let me get away with that. We'll see tomorrow. xx

Monday, 26 October 2009

Today is D-Day........

doily day, that is. I had laundered some fabricy bits including doilies, which I had acquired at some bootfair or other, and was ironing them yesterday, when it struck me that, even though I must have hundreds of the things, no two are the same! Some are made with the finest thread and using such intricate designs, others are a little more rustic, made with thicker cotton thread and more basic patterns, but they are all so very charming and I love them to bits. And yes, I use doilies everywhere, both here and in the cottage in France.

I thought I'd show you just the few which I had laundered this weekend. Bear in mind, this is only a fraction of the doily stash, lol, and I didn't pick out any particularly brilliant ones from the stash, they are just the recently found ones -

There you go, all very different but all very charming in their own rights, don't you think?

Sunday was a bit of a washout re bootfairs, because it had been raining so heavily during the week, fields were way too soft. There was just the one teeny little bootfair at a local school, hardstanding thankfully, and we did have a little womble around. One can usually find a couple of little things even at the smallest bootfair.

My DH was happy, because he found a quite specialist plane, errrmm, with an edge to edge blade, which apparently is unusual, and not often needed, but.... occasionally absolutely essential when making whatever it is, errrmm, he is making ( you may have gathered he does like his woodworking ). Also bought a couple of pairs of VERY thick leather work gloves, they are the only things that will let ya fight with brambles and actually win!

I found a couple of things for myself as well. This gorgeous little dish decorated with roses of course, and made in the former DDR ( Deutsche Demokratische Republik ) or GDR (German Democratic Republic). It seems to be numbered and signed, well initialled, and I would love to know a bit more about it. If any of you out there know about this sort of thing, please let me know -

I love old sewing stuff, goes without saying really, and I find darning mushrooms very tactile. Mind you, I havent done any darning in, probably, 40 years or so, but that doesn't mean that one can't get the darning mushies out and give them a quick fondle, lol. I found this ginormous one at the bootfair on Sunday, just look at the difference in size! Frigging heck, what sort of hole is that one for??? Is it even a darning mushroom or is it perhaps for something else? -

I also have a collection of stone hot water bottles, on the stairs in our Victorian house here in England ( the stairs are much wider than modern ones ), and I found this dinky little one to join the big brothers on the stairs. It is only half the size of the ones I usually see, maybe it was for a
baby's bed? -

Oh, and look, look, what I also saw, grabbed very quickly before any eager harpies could pounce on it, and stashed away in my bag with a gleeful grin. Fastest bootfair transaction ever, lolol. No pouring over it for ages, no haggling, just grab, pay and run, lol. The background colour is a divine light duckegg blue, with a hint of green in certain light conditions, the oven gloves and the oilcloth bag are of course covered in delightful roses. Those two bits are just perfect for the cottage as I had already decided to paint the kitchen cabinets in just that colour. I know, not CK, but sort of CK-ish, right? -

Here is something I have been playing with this morning, lol, making words and having a think about what to do with them, old metal stencils!-

I do like wearing nice leather gloves in the winter, and these vintage kid gloves are sooooooo soft and fit so well. I don't often find leather gloves to fit my tiny hands -

I think thats quite enough for one morning. XX