Saturday 31 October 2009

Another find in Grandma's attic

Not 'politically correct' in these days - but it has a certain charm I thought.

It's from the bygone age of Gentlemen's Clubs, where men of a certain class in society could sit around in comfortable leather chairs dressed up to the 'nines'  to have a companionable chat and to smoke their cigars.

The cigars boxes in the Victorian era were very fine wooden boxes indeed, some were covered with fine leather, with the manufacturers often prestigious label taking pride of place.

This one says "Smoke Buzzer Cigars" -  I love the way the body of the butterfly is a cigar!  Very clever
I wonder if this was Grandfather's?

This scrap of leather is a remnant of a bygone era which I thought might look nice a on hanger.........

Or, is it just a torn piece of recycled  brown envelope, aged with Espresso ink, with an image stamped on a sheet of tissue which was host to yesterday's 'gold' leaf on Grandma's box?

Here are some examples of cigar labels from my CD collection, I thought you might like


Some lovely labels.

Look at these

What an outcry there would be today - children and pets playing with cigars!

I love the rooster but.................!

What an outrage this would cause - as if smoking a cigar would make you feel so happy at being a orphan!
I don't think so

There were lots of pretty flower labels - I think they all became collectors items

Last one for today

Friday 30 October 2009

Look what I found in grandma's attic!

A tatty old box!
As usual click on photo to enlarge

It looks a bit battered

And I think over the years the rain or damp might have got at it.

I rather like the violet posy painting on the back

It's a shame it's so dusty, I can't quite make out the signature can you?

I don't suppose it is in too bad a shape for something so old.
I think it looks Victorian

The gold leaf is peeling a bit here and there showing the dark wood.
Want to see what is inside - I know I did!

Looks like grandma's little treasures.

I wonder if that's a portrait of my granny - she is rather gorgeous so she could be!

Ah, bless her cotton socks - some of the contents of her button box

Captured in beeswax, rust and all!  A time capsule of a century ago.
A bit of junk to anyone else - but a treasure to me!

I expect you have guessed.  A bit of hyperbole going on here.  I didn't have a grandma - well biologically I must have had two!  So when I got the bits and bobs from Freecycle, which I posted about here I decided to 'borrow' someone else's grandma, and create a Shadow Box - which I bought from Happy Daze here   It's made from card, cheap, and easy to make into anything you like - in my case a 'dream' just for me.


It's amazing what you can do with white cardboard, some paints, vintage lace, seed beads, leaf sequines (thanks Pat),  broken bracelet junk,  bits and bobs, beeswax (first time I have used it),  metallic 'gold' leaf foil, Espresso ink pad, scratchy something to make wood grain in wax, a scanner and printer, and a crafty individuals little girl collaged image - ripped! - and lots of time and patience of course!

My book has arrived - yippee!

Here is something I treated myself to  - an early Christmas present.

Since discovering Pat's blog, I just had to have this book and teach myself crazy quilting.

It's not in the least bit crazy - neither is it like the traditional quilting - as in big bed quilts.  It is dainty and intricate, and perfect for small projects, in face most of the 'paper' craft I do can be done in crazy quilting instead of collaged or stamped - so too bags, purses, lots lots more!   So it's going to be my winter nights hobby when it is too cold and dark to come to the end of the garden and play in here -my studio shed.

I read the book from cover to cover and followed her wonderful journey.  It wasn't a bit as I had expected -which was a tutorial step by step book.  It was so much more - but I don't want to give too much away.  There are projects, supply lists and links - all the usual things  you would expect but also...................well you will need to get the book.

Inside I spotted to a book mark - which fluttered onto my lap as I turned the page.  But it wasn't a book mark but one of the above glorious butterflies, with a sample of Pat's hand dyed silk ribbon. which you can buy from her Art fire shop together with ready to go kits with colour co-ordinated vintage prints on cotton, and sequins etc - and you can pay in pounds!

Which is great for a beginner like me.
Check out the kits and lots of other goodies on here and there are more on her Etsy shop here

Having spent hours just organising my ribbons, I am well aware how long it takes Pat to punch out a colour co-ordinated butterfly, thread the ribbon, and prepare everything else in the kits.

My goodness they sell out fast!  Pat dyes the ribbons/trims, transfers the images, and sources the other little treasures in the kit to make it unique.

Thank you so much Pat - the book etc is worth every penny - dollar!   It will keep me very busy in the depths of winter.

Thursday 29 October 2009

Something completely different from me!

After digging up potatoes for over two hours today, I was determined to get in here and play.  I don't know if it was the effect of all the brown earth and potatoes - but something completely different happened.

I got very messy with Adirondak Espresso - something new to me.
Paper Artsy squiggles - again a new experience for me.
And Simple Expressions backgrounds - the swirls and dots.
Images from Crafty Individuals book.

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Getting organized

I am working on a proper 'project' a 'grown up' one, which is taking me a few days - totally not like me as I get so impatient and want to get something done in a day, so that I can show and tell!

I am being toally self indulgent - and doing this just for me - to treasure!

In between painting and drying I have been getting organized - and bagging up my buttons into colour co-ordinations.

I am learning a great deal from blog hopping 'material girls' blogs.

I have been colour co-ordinating my ribbons

Alas these are not silk ribbons, but I can use these to practice with before I start silk embroidery

I have also received my wonderful book and goodies from Pat Winter Gatherings.   I have actually had them for a couple of weeks now and just can't put them down long enough to photograph - but I will soon.

Hmmm - first coat of paint should be dry - off to paint again.

Song Time........

For some reason I keep getting the old song.

"Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile."

going around in my brain today as.............

"Pack up those inches and get them on their way, and smile, smile, smile.
Into the postbox on a rainy day, but smile girl that's your style.
What's the use of worrying - if they are not their style,
Out into the rain I go
Hip hip hoorah - I may be quite a while!"

Monday 26 October 2009

Please don't make me do it again........................

I truly admire anyone who can make inches.  I love gazing at those wonderful individual works of art.   But they give me so much angst.

I just can't make them.  I have big hands, fingers bent with arthritis - and inches are my worst nightmare.

I really like to support forum swaps - and try my best but............................

There is a swap on a forum I belong too, it was an open 'theme' and I sent in my nine Oriental inches - but didn't feel they were my best.  I tried my best - but they lacked something.

So I have spent all of this morning trying again!  (Click to enlarge if you dare!)

They do look better in real life - but as you can see, I can't even arrange them properly to photograph - they are just too small.

I have 'lost the plot' - Idon't even remember which way up some of them are meant to be!  They have a Cosmic shimmer sheen here and there which the photo doesn't show.

In the photo some don't even look square - but they are - they are just not lying flat!

I have made 54 I think, this morning, and I am going to send them all off in the vain hope that the host can find nine suitable.  I still have to write my name on the back of them.

Please, pretty please, don't take offence if I don't  join in any more inches swaps.  I feel about inches, the way most people feel about spiders, or daddy long legs, or snakes.  My grandson loves me to read him a book called 'Arghhh Spiders' - he and his mum are scared of them - I'm not though - but I think I might write a book called 'Arghhh Inches' - and he can have the same delight reading it to me in a scary voice - as I do reading to him!

Sunday 25 October 2009

I won!

Having the problems with my computer internet connections have been such a bind!  But there is always a rainbow out there somewhere and here is mine!

Unbeknown to me, I had won a fabulous prize which arrived Saturday afternoon.

Not for my talents I hasten to add, but for just joining in and making something using a technique from the Time for Crafting on line magazine.

It's full of ideas and demos of techniques, card templates, and the latest 'must haves' in the craft world.    Each  issue gives you a chance to win a great prize which features supplies used in one of the articles.  I think that this is going to kick start my inky papercraft mojo this week - the rainbow of little prima flowers are better than a bouquet.

It is half term holidays this week - so an extra day to play - watch this space

And a sincere thank you to Sara of Time for Crafting - for the surprise.  I hadn't been able to get online for long enough to visit the latest issue of the magazine - to claim my prize - but I got it anway!

And guess what - she even sends the prizes all over the world - now that is a winner!

Friday 23 October 2009

Blog Candy on Adorable Overdose

Gorgeous blog candy on Minxy's  'Adorable Overdose' blog here

Thursday 22 October 2009

Happy Birthday Kath

It is a dear friends birthday today, and I have had such a great time making this Messenger Bag for her.

Kath is of Irish decent, and I love all the little stories she had told me of her parents and grandmother, so the colours etc reflect my 'dreamy' interpretation for this bag.
(Click on photos to enlarge)

I found some vintage silk ribbon which was perfect.  Its the size of a tote bag, and whilst not designed for a weekly grocery shop, it is capable of it.

I envisaged it being used when visiting and taking goodies or presents - rather than in a plastic carrier bag .  Or perhaps on a picnic - or even for storing things hanging on the back of the bedroom door.
Or maybe keeping the holiday scrapbook you made of your trip to Ireland.

Whatever it gets used for - I know you will enjoy it.   And at least it is original - there will never be another exactly the same!

Tuesday 20 October 2009

Happy Daze Blog Candy

Some great blog candy  up for grabs here

Ruth Phillips has designed a gorgeous layout and class for this week's UK Scrappers Home Page class using one of the Happy Daze Page Kits featuring 7 Gypsies Victoria range and some Prima bling.

You can find the kit in the shop.  You can find Ruth's instructions on how to make this lovely layout in the Articles section of the shop here.

To win the Happy Daze Blog Candy of a FREE Page Kit and a £15.00 Voucher to spend in the Happy Daze shop simply become a follower of the blog, exisitng followers are entered automatically.

Tuesday's work of art

I have spent all morning whilst my husband is out, shifting two tons of gravel and this is the end result.  Believe me - it is a heck of a lot of gravel -like moving a mountain.  (That is my next door neighbour's car and garages.)  The variegated holly bushes have finally after over ten years, thickened out, so that they could be cut down to make a nice hedge, and still leave me lots of foliage for my Christmas flower arrangements.

It was hard work and I am exhausted - but it was worth it.  The huge pile of gravel has been heaped up for a week, covering the tree stump - and what with me having a cold, and also being so busy it hasn't got done.  We used to have a huge silver birch tree which was taller than the house,  (planted before we moved here) but it had a split trunk and was in danger of crashing in the winter storms, so reluctantly it had to go a couple of years ago.  It covered this whole area with its canopy and you couldn't really see that there was any land here because it was full of shrubs.  Once the tree went,  it left a massive cut down trunk, so gradually I have cleared the land and made it easier to look after.

I rather wish this bit of land was encompassed within our back garden - as we don't get the use or pleasure from it at the side of our home - still I am sure our neighbours appreciate it.

The hedge has been pruned for the winter - in the summer it is a mass of colours and flowers, and covers the fence and hides my studio - but it really does benefit each year from a short back and sides.

My next task is to paint that blue pot dark brown to match the rest of the paintwork - and I really need to paint my studio, before the winter sets in.

I do make sure to leave plenty of berries on the hedge when it has a hair cut

Not only for their colour - but primarily for the wild birds.

Friday 16 October 2009

Vintage sewing treasures

I was so lucky to get these from Freecycle. I have given lots away on that site from a shed to tools, and craft and gardening things.

To get these treasures was amazing.

Some vintage buttons all of which are over fifty years old apparently.   Here is just a selection.  I have been sitting daydreaming of the person who owned them years ago.

I saw the advert for "buttons and bits" and was so lucky to be one of the three chosen.  We went to collect them this afternoon - and I have been drooling over them ever since.

I keep wondering what garments they came from - who was the lovely lady who collected them to 'make do and mend' the family clothes.  The centre circular button looks like mother of pearl in the light.

There were metal 'bits and bobs' in the bag too - can you recognize any of them?

Do  you know what this is please?

It has what feels like a Bakerlight handle and the metal piece is rusty - but in a wonderful way!

How about this?  It feels lovely in the hand.

This had got a long prong on it ending with a hook - do you think I could be a teddy bear's eye?  I wonder what happened to the teddy - did it survive with only one eye - this one looks unused.

And what might this well worn star have come off I wonder.  It has been well 'touched' hasn't it - oh I am so happy, I feel as though I have an inheritance.

Now take a close look at these buttons - I have never seen any like this before - but maybe you have.  They feel as though they are made out of stone -they are quite thick, and are definitely not plastic or metal and are very cold to the touch - any ideas?

They have used the rest - on what I wonder - isn't it all intriguing - and what until you see what else I have

Everything smells so wonderfully musty and old - its like perfume to me!
There is more - just look

This really moved me - the first one has a needle and thread tucked into it.  I haven't touched the needle yet - I am saving that special moment for another day.  Maybe I can use some of these threads in a vintage piece of needlework - what a treasure.

Now this did make my eyes moist - the nostalgia of someone's mother, grandmother, or maybe even great grandmother holding these scissors.  Using those sewing needles, one of which still has a piece of thread in it.  Do you recognize the bit of metal in the middle?  What is it for I wonder.   Are the stubby scissors in the middle made for a specific use?

I have saved the best until last - this tiny fragile decaying box

Look at that - A M A Z I N G!
And this is what was inside..................

Tiny, fragile pieces of material - monogrammed.  So this holds a clue to who owned them once I guess - they must have been the family initials.

I have looked up the name of the manufacturer on the web and could only find one mention - which was in someones scrapbook - no photos or anything - and they date they mentioned for them were the 1860's until the early 1900's - if anyone has any information about them I would love to know more.

To have such wonderful treasures is such an honour - I can't believe my luck

Edited too add

I have spent a lovely couple of hours this evening sorting through the bag of buttons (just a few of which I photographed above).

I have had an email from the kind lady who gave them to me - and here is what she said.

"The items you have been given belonged to my Son in Law,s   grandmother.   His father who is now  93 gave them to me,  as I have known him for almost 30yrs and still see him each week.   So in fact some of the items could be 100 yrs old.  The metal tool was I think for pulling the wool or rag through the hook for making a rug.  The other with a hook on the end is for lacing up the boots or shoes.   The stone buttons were to put in curtains to make them hang properly I believe. The stubby scissors were for toe nails I think and the little corso monograms were some of the family names. I am glad you liked them if you make anything with them I should love to see them. Best wishes  Ann"

Wow - how wonderful is that  - so some of my questions have been answered for me already!  Thank you Ann.  Of course, I can't wait to get going on something to include the buttons - a project for next week!   And I will email Ann a photo before I blog it - you can be sure of that