Friday, 28 March 2014

flea friday: an old friend (while the pickings are slim)

I have been distracted in the thrifts by trying to find fabrics for my quilting project, and not got much to show this week. However, I have an old friend from London, who was found in a charity shop a few years ago. I still have him and I have been wanting to show him here for a while.

He's got a little bit of a story. When I spotted him those years ago in London, I didn't recognize him at first, all naked and scruffy with a faint smear of lipstick stain on his mutt. He's Paddington, all the way from 1969 - his original Gabrielle Designs silk tag informs on his back.

Even though I didn't know what a famous bear I met, I was very taken by his unusual body shape, which is straw filled and made in mohair. I looked into his wonky old teddy eyes - it was love at first sight, so I bought him.

At home, after giving him a gentle sponge clean (which got most of that lipstick off), I researched the info on the silk tag and found out who he was. He was Paddington alright, and that's why he's got those super long arms and stubby standing-up legs, so he can wear his rain mac and his real childs' gumboots. See him dressed here.

Ever since I got him, I wondered about whether to get him clothed or not. I wouldn't like to be the crazy lady type who puts teddies in old baby clothing, and all I had for Paddington is a vintage baby sunsuit which he tried on once... I guess I prefer him without. There's something so quirky about how he's formed and I think I'm lucky that I got a bear this old in such a great, all the fur is there condition.

A little bit of trivia for the end:  did you know that this kind of Paddington plush was first ever owned by a child Jeremy Clarkson (the sarcy tall guy on the UK Top Gear show) - it was designed and made by his mum for him and his sister as a family present.

I'm sharing this old friend with A Living Space, with We Call It Junking, with Sir Thrift a Lot, and with Me and My Shadow.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

three-line thursday: sprouting postcard by Kelsey Pike

Sprouting postcards by Kelsey Pike

The perfect springtime greeting for a gardener that he or she could put in the salad later!
Snail mail is really the best, especially if it's as creative and fun as this one.
You could start the sprouting while soaking off the pretty postal stamp the sender stuck on.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

sunday textures

Its snowed all day on Thursday, but luckily it melted all on Friday. Saturday was sunny and springlike. I'm hoping for warm sunshine for today too. All is well in the world when the weather is kind. Happy Sunday everybody!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

squares vs triangles

Sitting down with a cup of hot chocolate, I made a plan for the quilt I have been thinking about to make. It will be a first-timer's quilting project.

The idea I'm thinking of is to cheat a little and include a few bigger shapes and combine squares and triangles in the same quilt. For a little while I considered hexagons, but I reckon it'd be too ambitious.

This is a rough plan still, but hoping that it shapes up into a sewing pattern with clear instructions in my head soon so I can begin cutting up the fabric I have already (partly from thrifts, and partly from a generous giveaway).

I need to track down some more vintage textiles with the right colours, patterns, weight and softness as well as need to do the more technical bit and get out my ruler, draw straight lines and calculate numbers.

I hope I can see this blanket through from paper to completion, preferably this year.

If any of you guys out there have some quilting tips for the first-timer shoot away in comments, it will be greatly appreciated - otherwise wish me good luck and smooth stitching!

Friday, 14 March 2014

flea friday: new finds of the favourite kind

Do you find that if you don't go to the thrifts for a while, and when you visit again you come across some really nice things? Or even favourite or coveted items? And sometimes even for so cheap that it's barely believable that they had not been picked up by someone else before you got there? 

Well, I hadn't been to the thrifts since Christmas really. Sometimes it's nice to allow for a break, so that's what's happened. When I visited the other day after all that long while, these were the items that I happened upon:

I love colourful vintage enamel mugs and bowls. This blue enamel fruit bowl grabbed me with its colour and unusual cutout detail. I have not seen this cutout kind of enamelware before. It's unmarked, so I really don't know much about it. My quick research turned up a similar one on Etsy that is marked Made in Bulgaria, 1970.

I have to say I like my vintage enamel a little chipped, for a little patina... if it's chipped in the right places, in the right way. I feel that this one is - what do you think? There's also some faint gilded detail still visible around the edge and running through the middle of the cutout design.

Another favourite find that I like to come across, if it's a nice example, is a vintage Soviet plate marked ZIK. Remember this soup/pasta bowl with the cute flower pattern? I found its friend - a flat dinner plate version - it cost five cents only. Happy!

From the pictures you might have guessed by now what the third find is ... It's also a much loved kind for both me and my boyfriend. I blogged about rya rugs and their vintage yarny cousins before (big rya rug here, fibre art here and chunky tapestry cushion here). 

It's very nice to come across an interesting one in good shape and admire its luxurious amount of real wool pile, the handywork and thought that has gone into making it; the abstract design and the nice retro colourways. It's even nicer if it's going for a great (small) price and I can take it to the till. I parted with three whole euros for this smallish rya rug. I think that's a sweet price for a favourite find.

This week I share with A Living Space, with Sir Thrift a Lot, with We Call It Junking and with Me and My Shadow.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

hello, i'm back!

Did you miss me?

I've been quietly following you guys reading blogposts even though I have not been leaving many comments. I've had a nice break from blogging, thrifting, writing, pressures of all sorts and now refreshed, and with the lovely spring weather and beautiful daylight conditions I feel ready and inspired again.

Here's a little pictorial report on what's been happening here during the radio silence.

First, all the snow melted away, and I found myself being awake for many a stunning sunrise.
I gave up drinking coffee. Instead I've been enjoying the occasional cup of tea - black, with a touch of sugar.
I visited my family in Hungary. While being there, I spent some time travelling by train, which I had not been doing for years. 
I baked a yummy lemon drizzle cake for a birthday lady. It's one of my favourite cakes to eat and to bake too!

Finland too is being warmed by an early spring-like weather. It's still a bit cold but the sun is showing itself and the birds are singing. Last weekend we drove to the nearby sea front and stood on the rocks watching the waves crash and breathed some brisk sea air. 

And lastly, just the other day I went for a peep in a junk shop which was a first since the New Year rang in. So I have a few little things to show you this Friday - hope to see you then!

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