Saturday, 24 December 2011

Tis the Season to be Jolly

All Shopped Up!!
The crackers are made  with added ottery tickets 

The tree is finally decorated

with the pressies tucked under

Now the fire is lit

and Milly's got the best spot!

And all is left for me to wish all my new blogging friends that have welcomed me,

"A Very Merry Christmas"
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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Ho! Ho! Ho! Hick!

Well as you can all see by my festive header I have completed the Nativity,  a builder kindly made me a stable and I painted it with Farrow and Ball "Straw".  Im so pleased with these little guys. Take a closer look inside
Ive also finished the other wall light shades, Im still in need of trimmings.(the shades dont fit so well on energy bulbs,they are too square)

Inspired by all the Christmassy blogs I been looking at, I decided to start thinking  about getting the tree down, after all time is pressing on and....
Santa will be dropping in soon enough!
I love putting the tree up, Opening the boxes and enjoying the ornaments as I rediscover them. 
fragile glass ones, some that belonged to my parents

  the Childrens handiwork

This one is 23 years old and was made by my eldest son when he was in infants. I went into his classroom for the day and all the children made salt dough decorations.

My favourite one of all has to be this little gnome. He used to have a banjo made of card , but I broke it while playing with it when I was small.

Of course there were breakages (Im known for being clumsy)

And also tangled lights to deal with.

What Joy!

discovering that I had bought these candle holders last year, Id completely forgot.

I still havent finished.  Of course it doesnt help whe you are distracted by your favourite Christmas Film and
Baileys tipple, Its traditional!


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Sunday, 11 December 2011

Vintage Lampshade Tutorial

Since painting all the downstairs white.  I am not so sure about the results.   
"It looks like an IKEA showroom" said one.
"Im sure when you get your pictures up it will look better"
The pictures were up, so I thought a change of colour of my light shades might inject some much needed colour.
Ive had this idea in my head for sometime. Using a vintage embroidered tablecloth that has been sitting in my linen storage.
Here is my 1st tutorial
Vintage Lampshade Cover Tutorial


1  vintage embroidered tablecloth or similar material with embroidery.
1 lampshade
Needle and cotton (sewing machine optional)
Large piece of cotton material to make template

A tablecloth or old linen with embroidery on.  This one cost me £2.00, hence me not being able to resist buying it. 

If you have carefully unpicked the original cover to use as a template, the next bit wont apply to you.
Getting your spare piece of cotton and using it on the bias, lay it over one half of the shade, pulling and pinning the piece until smooth. Pin the top, bottom and sides as shown of one half, and mark with a pen the frame edges at top, bottom and the vertical struts.

Unpin, layout and cut out the pattern shape, remembering to add seam allowances.
You now have your pattern piece, being one half of your shade.
keep scrolling down having trouble posting here

Your now need to plan how your material is going to fit on your pattern piece.  In my case I want to use this corner pattern, so this would mean adding extra piece to the sides.
Cut out 2 pieces
This was how I made my pieces.  Stitch the material pieces together, machine or hand stitch
 N.B. if hand-stitching make sure you make small stitches as later on the piece of material will be stretched and if the stitches arent close enough the could gape. 
After joining pieces if necessary, press. 
Next put the 2 halves right sides together and tack. 

Turn though and try on the shade

Take note of any necessary alterations e.g. whether it is either too tight or  baggy.
Adjust seams if necessary then machine.
Turn though and press seams open. If not lining the shade finish off all seam edges.

 Now you are ready to attach the cover to your shade.

First make sure your two vertical seams are straight. Try and aline them with the struts.   Then make sure that each piece is centred. Slowly pull the material over the top and bottom of the shade and pin to secure. Make sure the cover is as  tight as a drum. 
be careful with the pins. try and face then inwards so you do catch yourself on them.    

Take a needle with a good thread, to avoid the thread snapping as you tug.  And stitch the cover to the shade with small stabbing stitches.  If you intend to put trimmings on the top and bottoms, it wont matter too much how neat your stitching is.

It looks really striking in the evening.

  Dont you think.
A quirky original vintage cover.  I think I will put some bobble fringing on  the bottom just to finish it off.
I hope you like it.

little update here.  Thought I would add the wall lights that I covered. Here I used  the centre pieces of the tablecloth.
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Thursday, 8 December 2011

A Grand Day Out

Okay.   Pop the kettle on settle down and enjoy.  This could be a long post.

On Tuesday I went on my long awaited trip to York, The Barley Hall and Bettys. 

Barley Hall is set in York and to tourists it could easily be missed.  It is situated between the busy streets of York, and reached by one of the longest and narrowest snickelways of York  Coffee Yard. (being 220' long and 2'11" wide and only 5'10" high in parts)
Bizzarely  Barley Hall was only discovered in 1980s when they were knocking down an office block.  How can you loose a building!  It has been fully restored and well worth a visit, especially since when you purchase a ticket it is valid for 1 year.


and After

So lets take a look in, and the costumes that I have so been looking forward to seeing

 starring Cate Blanchett

This fabric photographed better than it actually looked.  It was very sheer and a very open weave it was not as shimmery as in my photo The above photo is more like how it was.  It reminded me of a dyed net curtain!¬

 starring Keira Knightley 

A dupion silk with a very shabby chic look, all the rushing down the front were not finished off. 

On to my personal favourites


Mr Darcy and Miss Eliz\abeth Bennett

SENSE AND SENSABILITY  One of my favourites

starring Emma Thompson & Kate Winslet (rubbish picture sorry)

And this exquisite hat worn by the marvelous character Mrs Jennings (Elizabeth Spriggs)


I Love hats this one from Persuasion (which I haven't seen yet)

CRANFORD loved this series
Miss Matty played by Dame Judi Dench (who incidently came from York)

Miss Deborah and Miss Matty Jenkyns watch at their gate for the arrival of Mary Smith, the character who represents the young Elizabeth Gaskell in Cranford.


this was such a simple elegant outfit

DOWNTON ABBEY dress worn by Dame Maggie Smith

You could also try on hats, which was great fun 
It all got a bit silly.  We were noiser than the school visitors. Im surprised we didnt get asked to leave!

Afterwards it was on to Bettys, I have always wanted to visit Bettys but there is always a massive queue. As we didnt mind sitting downstairs we got seated quickly

It was all very grand.  I felt very spoit.
It was a great day enjoyed with two good friends