kitsch

A handmade Christmas

This year it's been a rather handmade Christmas. With me not working at the moment we are rather counting the pennies, so handmade made sense financially. But I have to say it's been an absolute joy to have the time to be able to make presents. And having recently completed my beginner's sewing course, what better opportunity to practice?!

I absolutely loved making these presents - from choosing the fabric to cutting to sewing and stuffing - it's been so much fun. And now the presents have been opened, I can safely share some pictures with you :)

First up is a cosmetic bag I learnt to make on my sewing course - I really loved the pattern and thought it made a lovely and very useful gift. I chose the gorgeous kitsch kitties fabric by Michael Miller for this one, as I knew the recipient had a soft spot for this print. And I must confess I loved it so much I had to make one for myself too - but with a different coloured zip for a bit of variety. I chose an aqua polka dot fabric for the lining, as I thought it complemented the colour scheme well. And I had lots of fun making some custom gift tags for the (vaguely) professional touch!

The cosmetic bag seemed like such a good idea, I made more in different fabrics. I knew my sister loved the Tammis Dogs fabric made by Michael Miller (a Tammis Keefe tribute fabric) and I stayed with the same lining fabric I used in my course, as I knew this partnered well. I also fancied making some lavender bags, as I think these are great to pop in your sock drawer or wardrobe - or just to have hanging around looking pretty. So I made a very simple template and got cutting and stitching!

Then, more of the same, but in some different fabrics that I thought the recipients would like. I was very pleased with this pairing of a black and white floral print and polka dots - and the pop of colour provided by a hot pink zip.

I was also very pleased to find a pack of ribbon I had bought from Paperchase a while ago knowing it would come in useful someday. It was perfect for the hanging loops - and I had a lovely choice of colours.

They are definitely not perfect, but I was pleased with them all the same - and I think the recipients were too, which is what matters. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and are enjoying some R&R. TTFN, Z xx

Thrifting fun in Devon

Well, Happy Wednesday everyone! Can't believe how quickly the time is flying - only 7 sleeps until Christmas - eek!

I went to visit my lovely sister in Barnstaple recently for a pre-Christmas get together and some crafting and thrifting fun. It's so lovely to share interests - we had a fun day (or two!) exploring the many charity shops in Barnstaple, I had some refresher knitting lessons and a tutorial on how to make an empire line Blythe dress, and I helped my sister with some Blythe customisation...I think that first moment when you open up one of your precious Blythes needs some friendly support!! We also found the time for some beautiful bracing sea walks with the doggies, even though the weather was rather wild!

Merry Kitschmas from the seven dwarfs!
A most happy and cheerful crochet blanket find. I'm in love!

I thought I'd share some of my charity shop finds with you today, as I really am super excited by them. Normally, I have the worst luck - I visit the charity shops in Oxford frequently and rarely find anything, so this was a most unusual haul!

First up is the most amazing, happy, colourful crochet blanket. I think this was the last thing I found, and my favourite. It is hard to portray how vivd the colours are - especially the green - it glows! I just love the edging too - haven't seen much like this before.

A most happy and cheerful crochet blanket find. I'm in love!
A most happy and cheerful crochet blanket find. I'm in love!
A most happy and cheerful crochet blanket find. I'm in love!

Next up are some finds from the North Devon Hospice, which has an upstairs dedicated to vintage. I squealed rather a lot when I went up the stairs! I found the most beautiful cotton yellow tunic dress - please excuse the photos - it needs a good wash and an iron - but isn't that print just fab! Roll on spring :)

My happy dress
My happy dress

I also fell in love with these pyrex cups and their yellow rose print. In an unusually restrained move, I left them behind the first day whilst I thought about it (do we have the space?) and went back for them the next day and happily they were still there! I'm so pleased I did. They were only £4 too - such a bargain!

I adore this yellow rose print :)
I adore this yellow rose print :)

And then my eyes spotted the most fabulous quilted dressing gown. This beauty was just £2.50!! Isn't the print just divine? It came complete with a vintage tissue (used!) in that pretty pocket :) Now all washed and fresh as a daisy. I was originally contemplating cutting it up to make some things, but I don't think I can bear to, so it will stay hanging up for me to admire, and remain a photo prop. I might just have to parade round in it on Xmas day too :)

Granny chic
Granny chic

And that's not it! In this treasure trove of vintage goodness, I also found the beautiful double bedspread below. And THE most amazing seven dwarfs at the top of the page. Aren't they absolutely fabulous? I couldn't believe my luck when I found them :) They are now brightening up my white Christmas tree - and (hopefully) safely located at the top, out of reach of cats :)

A most beautiful pink bedspread

In a different shop I found another fabulous crochet blanket in different shades of purple. I must confess to having quite a large collection of them - perhaps another blog post to show and tell....

More crochet blanket love
More crochet blanket love

And last, but not least, as I was paying for my happy multi-coloured crochet blanket, I spotted some vintage Christmas decs on the counter: 5 for 50p!! Would have been rude not to, so santa and Mr Snowman came home with me, along with a pink bauble or two!

Mr Snowman
Awesome santa

All in all, a thoroughly lovely trip and a most fabulous haul. Now I need a bigger house!! Wishing you all a super lovely and very happy and relaxing Christmas in case I don't "see" you before then! Hope all your preparations are going well. It's been a bit of a handmade Christmas for me this year - pics to follow once the lovely recipients have opened their presents :)

Friday Favourites ~ four fabulous vintage sellers

Happy Friday folks! It's rolled around awfully quickly, hasn't it? Today I thought I'd share four of my favourite "go-to" vintage sellers on Etsy. From left to right we have:

  • Thrifters: a wide range of beautifully curated and photographed vintage items from home decor to kitsch ornaments to kitchenware. This is also the source of my fabulous Japanese kitsch cats which I just adore!
  • Fine and Dandy Marazion: the online arm of the most fabulous vintage shop I have ever had the fortune to visit. Full of fabulous kitsch toys and ornaments and other loveliness that has caught Shevie's amazing eye for treasure. Also the source of quite a lot of my own vintage treasures :)
  • Pomme de Jour: a fabulous collection of vintage fabrics and wallpaper and other homewares, based in France. If the 60s and 70s are your thing, then Tanya has it covered. I've treated myself to some of her fabulous fabrics and there are many more on my wish list!
  • KittyKatDance: a USA based store bursting with colour and happy kitsch ornaments and toys and fabulous handmade Xmas wreaths with bambis...a few of my bambis have come from here :)

Friday Favourites ~ four fabulous vintage sellers

Friday Favourites ~ Vintage market treasures

Happy Friday one and all! Something a little different today. I thought I would share some of my favourite vintage finds over the last several months via some mosaics of my Instagram snaps....

The first mosaic below shows some of the treasure I have found at the vintage market in Oxford. It is held every Thursday in Gloucester Green and is fabulous! I work nearby and try to manage a quick dash round in my lunch hour most weeks. You will find a wide range of different sellers with everything from china to coins to clothes to books to art.... If you live near Oxford, do go and have a browse! Read more about it at www.oxfordantiquemarket.co.uk

The second mosaic below shows other vintage finds I have sourced from lots of places, including these fabulous shops:

Enjoy browsing and treasure hunting and have a fabulous weekend! x

A peek inside my home

Vintage friends

I've been meaning to do an interiors post for ages. Faffing around with my displays happens on a fairly regular basis here, so I wanted to show you some current favourite bits and bobs. We've still (7 years on!) got lots of painting to do, so please excuse some of the grotty walls.

First up is the living room and my vintage "lady tat" shelves as my other half likes to call them :) You might notice a bit of an obsession with Alice Apple's fabulous sausage dogs - I adore them! I'm thinking of painting the wall behind the shelves different chalky pastel shades - maybe a job for my staycation.....

An Alice Apple obsession
Eclectic
Bunting makes me smile

Next up is the dining room. Quite a while ago now, I ditched the books I never read and replaced them with some eye candy. I stand and stare at this every morning while I do my yoga practice and it makes me smile every day :)

I ditched the books for these...
Owls rule

So now we head into the bedroom. We painted it aqua a little while ago and I adore the colour. The decor here is rather dominated by owls (I have a very accommodating and lovely husband). I challenge anyone not to smile when you walk in and are greeted by such a fabulous shelf of aqua owls! And there is an owl wall too. And some embroidery hoops above the bed to balance out the owls. They are such a great way to display favourite bits of fabric - and cheap too.

My owl shelf <3
My owl wall
Embroidery hoops update

And last but by no means least, we head into my study - I am very lucky to have a room of my own. It's still very much a work in progress and desperately needs a coat of paint - but I love it just as it is. I'm a big fan of colour and these shelves of happy make me smile, even on grotty dark days. The shelves are picture rails from Ikea and are fabulous as I can swap things around to my hearts content without having to drill holes into the walls all the time :)

My happy shelf #1
My happy shelf #2
My cat shelf

Did you know the O3 Gallery in Oxford has a lovely shop?

And it sells some of my greeting cards (above and below). Plus a whole bunch of lovely other things, including cards, prints, artwork, jewellery and gifts made by local and national artists.

Greeting card designs

The shop nestles neatly on the top level of the circular gallery, whilst the main space is used for exhibitions. You can find the O3 Gallery in the Oxford Castle.

O3 Gallery, Oxford
O3 Gallery, Oxford
O3 Gallery, Oxford
O3 Gallery, Oxford

I just love the bunny necklace below and the fabulous brooches by Sketch Inc.

O3 Gallery, Oxford
O3 Gallery, Oxford

I also adore these stunning rings by Monvatoo - I'll take the owl and the rabbit please ;)

Here are a few more of my card designs available at the O3 Gallery:

Greeting card designs
Greeting card designs
Greeting card designs

Whilst these particular card designs can only be found at the O3 Gallery, you can also buy my cards in packs from my Etsy shop and individually from my Red Bubble shop, along with a range of other prints. Wishing you all a most fabulous sunny summer weekend - get out and enjoy that sunshine!

Fine and Dandy: a treasure trove of vintage eye candy

If you are ever down in Cornwall you *must* be sure to visit the amazing Fine and Dandy shop in Marazion. I can safely say it is the most utterly fabulous vintage shop I have ever seen. The displays are just gorgeous. I wanted to buy everything!! It is run by the lovely Shevie, who has such an amazing eye for displaying things - and for hunting out the finest vintage treasures. Toys are her speciality, but there is a fabulous selection of china and other things too. My photos don't do the shop justice, but hopefully they'll give you an idea of some of the treasures that lay within...

If you can't get to Cornwall, Shevie has a selection of items for sale in her Etsy shop. You can also find her on Flickr and Instagram for a regular dose of vintage goodness :) And for more pics of Shevie's lovely shop over the years please see her Fine and Dandy set on Flickr.

The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *12*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *1*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *10*

I took a few of my Blythes with me to visit Shevie and they looked right at home :) We spent a lovely few hours having a good natter - Shevie is so friendly and welcoming.

The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *18*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *17*

The Easter displays were just gorgeous...

The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *3*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *19*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *4*

And there are shelves of amazingness on display behind the counter of things that Shevie has found or been given (these ones are not for sale) - I could stare for hours...

The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *15*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *16*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *11*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *13*

Everything is displayed so beautifully - there are vintage cabinets, a dressing table and a cot with the cutest lamb decal on it...

The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *2*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *14*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *8*

Eye candy as far as the eye can see...

The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *9*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *7*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *5*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *6*