Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year!!!!

Goodbye 2012, you've been great...

Thank you all so much for reading and commenting...I've enjoyed my first year of blogging so much, I'm looking forward to sharing 2013 with you all.  I hope the new year brings you all that your heart desires!

Rachel xxx

Saturday, 29 December 2012

so very lucky...

Hello lovely friends!  I hope you've had a great Christmas...ours has been very nice...lots of relaxing at home in our PJs watching films and munching delicious treats.  I seem to have been living mainly on brie, mince pies and port!  I have taken a break from the computer and also apparently from my camera - realised earlier I've hardly taken any Christmas photos!  I'm a bad blogger...

But we still have festivities to sister is visiting from London so we are gathering at my Mum's today for Christmas round 2, and are then heading east to Sussex for further fun and games at New Year with much-loved-not-seen-often-enough extended family.

As I have been neglecting my camera I don't have much to show you...but I would just like to share one gift with you which has made me very happy...

This is a detail of my new bedroom curtains!!  I haven't hung them yet because our bedroom needs some work...decluttering, some more shelves, a lick of paint...but when these are hanging at the window I will be beside myself with joy.  They are 60s, Swedish and stunning.  

There are many reasons why I am lucky - some deep and profound to do with love and family, some basic and fundamental to do with having a home and enough to eat...but today I feel lucky for the frivolous-but-important-to-me reason that I have beautiful new curtains.  I hope that you have also received gifts that make you feel lucky, if you share them on your blog let me know so I can pop over and have a peep!

Rachel x

Sunday, 23 December 2012

creating christmas...

Hello and Happy Christmas!!!  The presents are wrapped, the fridge is stocked, the tree is twinkling and all is merry and bright round our way...

For a lot of people Christmas is a time of continuing family traditions.  But some people don't like it at all, or don't get on with their families.  When I was little we lived quite an unconventional life; my Mum actively rejected a lot of traditions - including Christmas.  It was acknowledged but not really celebrated, which was hard mainly because it was yet another way that we were 'different', and being too different can be difficult when you're small and trying to fit in.  I understand her reasons for not wanting to spend all day with people she didn't feel comfortable with, or make a martyr of herself in the kitchen by slaving over food she doesn't even like.  But I did wish we could find our own way of making Christmas a special time.  

And that's what we do now.  I suppose the advantage of growing up without traditions is that we can invent our own, without fear of offending or disappointing anyone by not doing things 'their way'.  So we have a tree, and decorations - and we go to F's parents on the day, who are the opposite of my Mum in many I get the best of both pressure from my side of the family,  and a lavish Christmas spread that I don't have to cook! 

Christmas is not always an easy time for people, but at its best it's a time to reconnect with those close to us and bring some brightness into these short dark winter days.  So however you choose to spend the festive season, I hope you enjoy it.

Rachel xx

Thursday, 20 December 2012

this moment...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Via Soulemama.
Have a lovely weekend.
Rachel x

Saturday, 15 December 2012

it's getting personal...

Please pop over to my guest post on Modflowers today...we've reached blue in our rainbow of vintage Heals fabric...and it's all about where my love of fabric began.

I hope you're having a lovely Saturday.

Rachel x

Friday, 14 December 2012

this moment...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Via Soulemama.
Have a lovely weekend.
Rachel x

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

local loveliness...

Hello, how are you this week?  I'm slowing down, getting ready for Christmas and looking forward to time off from all the usual routines...the school run seems to get harder every morning!  It's been so cold here, though we've been lucky with bright sunny frosty mornings...but I'd still rather be tucked up under a duvet watching movies with my boys than hustling them out of the door...

I had a busy weekend, starting with the Christmas Fair at Max's school; I'd been staying up late to make stock for a few days beforehand, but as usual the buzz of the fair kicked in and I enjoyed setting up my stall...


I had great fun painting and decorating this little display house and styling it with little vintage goodies; though I'm not sure about my lovely assistant's novel method of 'helping'...

Luckily lots of M's friends were there so he frolicked off to wreak mayhem while I enjoyed some quiet moments before the crowds flooded in....well, not crowds exactly - but it was busy enough.  I sold enough to make it worthwhile being there, and got some commissions for the New Year, so all in all a fun and successful day! 

Later on M's school took part in the local annual Lantern Parade, which was a brilliant community event involving children from at least 3 different schools and many individuals from all over the area.  It was a cold evening, but the kids had an amazing time as the traffic stopped and we took over the streets as dusk descended...

M's class have been learning about ancient Egypt this term, so they designed a Zombie Mummy lantern...

it looked pretty spooky as the sky got darker!

the parade finished in a park, where as well as all the handmade lanterns we were treated to a glowing hot air balloon...amazing.
After all that we went to a friends house where the kids ran riot while the adults warmed up with cocktails...a busy but very lovely day! 

Sorry it's taken me till now to share it with you probably know I am guest blogging over here this week...if you haven't popped over to see what I'm up to there, please do!

Hope your Christmas preparations are going smoothly, it can be a stressful time of year.  I'm feeling pretty calm so far, but there's still a lot to do!

Rachel x

Friday, 7 December 2012

this moment...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Via Soulemama.
Have a lovely weekend.
Rachel x

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

late but bearing exciting news...

Aaargh where have the last 2 days gone?!  In my case they seem to have passed in a blur of tantrums and tears...I don't know what's got into my kids...but I'm not impressed!  I am exhausted though.  The energy it takes to stay calm and rational while being screamed at is quite phenomenal...I have a million things to do and no energy left to do any of it with...I give up.  

Tonight I'm getting an early night in the hopes that I will then have enough energy to spend the next 2 nights sewing till late.  In the meantime, later than planned but here at last, is another of the lovely pieces of fabric I got from the delightful Donna Flower last weekend...

I don't know if it's because I've got young children but I really love prints like this...bright and fun and similar in style to a lot of picture book illustrations from the 60s and 70s.  I'll be making Rufus a cushion cover with some of it, and the rest will join the childrens section of my stash cupboard! 

Before I go I would just like to tell you what I'm up to next may already know...I am doing my first ever spot of guest blogging over on the lovely Modflowers blog!!  She's whisking off to a hot & sunny Christmas in Australia, and me and some of my favourite bloggers will be taking turns to keep her beautiful blog ticking over in her absence. 

I just hope my kids give the tantrums a rest otherwise I might be a bit bonkers by then...fingers crossed.

Hope you're having a lovely relaxing week with no kicking and screaming!

Rachel x

Monday, 3 December 2012

blooming lovely...

Ok I've made you all wait long enough! (Sorry, I really didn't intend this to be an evening post - but it seems like someone round here needs feeding every 5 minutes!).  

As I mentioned in yesterday's poston Sunday I was lucky enough to meet the lovely Donna Flower.  She is a huge inspiration to me.  I remember reading about her in a sewing magazine years ago and thinking how fabulous it must be to make a living collecting and selling gorgeous vintage fabric.  

Donna's stand looked stunning, she really knows how to style her wares to appeal to vintage lovers.  Unfortunately I was so overcome by fabric lust that I forgot to take any pictures - pop over to her blog for a peek at some of the goodies she was selling!  

Her array of vintage goodies was super popular so I had a look at the stack of gorgeous fabric, and when the throng around her died down I found a moment to speak to her...she is charming.  So friendly and a total fabric geek just like me...once I'd introduced myself she ran off to find a bag of fabrics that she'd brought SPECIALLY FOR ME... I was so flattered that I was almost lost for words...and when she showed me what she'd brought I was reduced to gasps! 

I'm sure I don't need to tell you that I didn't come away empty handed...but I did try to be restrained.  Before I went I gave myself a stern talking to and decided that what my stash really needs is a special barkcloth with some pink in it - a colour that is sorely under-represented in my cupboard of joy!  And just look what she'd packed for me...

It's barkcloth.  It's got pink in it.  And it's SPECIAL!!  Not to everyone's taste I'm sure, but definitely to mine.  It's got a couple of fade lines and imperfections, but to be honest that's a good thing.  If a bit of fabric is too perfect I struggle to use it - I can't bear to cut it up!! This will make some gorgeous cushion covers either on its' own or combined with other fabrics in a patchwork.

It's a curtain, and Donna has kept the other one for herself.  She is truly a fabric addict after my own heart! 

Sorry if this post is a bit word heavy - I had a story to tell.  Thanks for sticking with me if you got down to here;  I hope you had a fun weekend too! 

Rachel x

P.S. I might have bought a couple of other teensy little bits of fabric...I'll show you them

Sunday, 2 December 2012

an exciting day...

What a start to December! Yesterday I went to the Vintage and Handmade Fair in Chipping Sodbury, a little market town near Bristol.  There were lots of lovely stalls selling all kinds of gorgeous bits and pieces...

on the Country Cottage Chic stall there were vintage Christmas tree decorations...

lovely toys and books...

and I loved this elephant from a set of vintage wooden circus toys!

There was also a huge stall run by the lovely Lizzie Van Hasselt with all kinds of amazing vintage loveliness...
stunning french fabrics...
and buttons...
a very special pair of gold party shoes!...
and all so beautifully styled.
I also met the lovely Woo of The Devil Makes work, but do you know - we were so busy chatting I forgot to take any photos of her beautiful stall!  Sorry Woo!

Obviously I love vintage fairs wherever they are, but the main reason for going to this particular one was that I knew the lovely Donna Flower was selling some of her vintage goodies there, and I wanted to have a look at her fabrics in person, and of course meet the lady herself.  I follow Donna's blog and I had left a comment telling her I was planning to go...little did I know she would bring some really special fabrics just for me to look at!  But the sun is shining and we're off out for a walk, so you will have to wait until tomorrow to see if I bought anything....

Hope you have a lovely sunny Sunday!

Rachel x

Friday, 30 November 2012

this moment...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Via Soulemama.
Have a lovely weekend.
Rachel x

Thursday, 29 November 2012

can it be Thursday already...?

well actually it's nearly Friday - where has the week gone?!  I have decided to invent a new Blogging Award...I have called it the Crap Blogger Award and I will only ever be awarding it to myself!  There are at least a million things I should have shared this week...well maybe that's a tiny exaggeration...but I do feel like there either aren't enough hours in each day, or I need an extra me to do all the boring jobs so I can do all the fun stuff like blogging! 

Thank you so much for all your lovely comments about the bits I made for the Craft Fair - it went very well, I sold quite a bit and had a fun day. 

The light was terrible and there was a very busy background behind my stall so I didn't bother taking too many pictures, but here is a little glimpse of my buttons and mirrors, displayed on my favourite vintage plates of course...

One of the nicest things about the fair was that it was at the local secondary school, where M will be going in a few used to have a pretty bad reputation but now it seems like a really great school.  It was the first time they'd held a Christmas fair and lots of pupils and teachers got involved, and I met the Head and she was lovely.  It seems strange to be thinking about it now, but I'm learning that the years zip by so fast and before I know it he'll be off to big school all by himself...*gulp*!

In the meantime his lovely primary school is holding their very well established Christmas Craft Fair next weekend and I'll be there selling more lovely fabric goodies.  I sold a lot on my stall there last year, including big things like lampshades and cushion covers, so I need to get some serious making done over the next week! 

Hope you're having a lovely week, although I haven't been posting I have been trying to keep up with a lot of lovely blogs - apologies if I haven't popped by recently, I may have lurked and not found time to comment!  And sorry for the word-heavy/photo-light post, thanks for sticking with me if you've got this far.... :)

Rachel xx

Friday, 23 November 2012

this moment...

  {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Via Soulemama.
Have a lovely weekend.
Rachel x

Thursday, 22 November 2012

I've been busy making....

fabric covered buttons...


and pocket mirrors...

and lavender bags!

It's so fun using bits of my yummy fabric stash; I'm also working on some mini bunting and a few cushion covers which is keeping me very busy! 

I've got stalls booked at a couple of craft fairs, the first is this Saturday at our local secondary school.  I'll also be selling vintage fabric squares for patchwork, fat quarters and metre lengths of ribbon from my lovely local craft shop, so there'll be lots of gorgeous crafty bits for those that like to make things, and handmade gifts for those that don't.

I'm off to get the sewing machine out, only 2 more nights to go and still a lot to do!

Thanks to all of you for reading and commenting, and welcome to my new followers - it really does make my day to know that people enjoy popping in here, blogland is such a lovely place and it's nice to have a corner of it that I can call my own!

Hope you're having a good week,

Rachel x

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

rainy day fun...

Hello!! Sorry haven't been around much, nothing wrong, just v busy...I have a post planned about what I've been up to, but the weather has stopped me taking any good photos!  In the meantime, I just have to quickly share something lovely with you.

Do you remember those pattern colouring books from the 70s? I used to love them, and I'm sure they're at least partly responsible for my love of bold patterned fabric!  And now of course someone, specifically a man named Carlton Hibbert, has created a website FULL of amazing patterns, which are free to download and print.  He has saved me on this very rainy day!  

This is a bit of today's pattern by guest illustrator Ekaterina Panova, which me and R have enjoyed scribbling on... (I can't show you the whole thing, but if you go to the website and click on an image you can download the whole page)...

and I'm looking forward to Max having fun with this...

and this...
and this...
and this...

I hope all's well with you, thanks for popping by...I'll be back tomorrow to show you what I've been up to...the sun's just come out so I'm off to take some quick photos before it starts raining again! 

Rachel x

Friday, 16 November 2012

this moment...

  {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Via Soulemama.
Have a lovely weekend.
Rachel x

Sunday, 11 November 2012

time off...

Hello, how has your weekend been?  Mine has been rather special...I've been away.  With friends, and no kids...I know - exciting!!  This was the view from our window...

and this was the view when I looked up...from the hot tub!...

For 2 nights I stayed here with some amazing friends.  We laughed and danced and ate and drank and watched films and painted our nails and stayed up late and wore silly wigs and slept in late and read trashy magazines and NOT ONCE did I have to wipe someone else's bum or make someone else a snack or tidy up a mountain of lego or think about anyone elses' needs but my own.  It was heavenly.  

It was the first time since having M, over 7 years ago, that I have been away from my family.  By this afternoon I was missing them, and it was brilliant to see them and get all the hugs and kisses and 'I missed you Mummy's that were showered upon me when I got back. 

But those 2 days were precious, and I feel soooo relaxed.  I'm going to try to hold on to this feeling for as long as I can.  And we've already booked to go back next year.

I hope your weekend was great too.  

Rachel x

Friday, 9 November 2012

this moment...

 {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Via Soulemama.
Have a lovely weekend.
Rachel x

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

you can never have too many...


Today me and R played with my button tin.  It was a very happy way to spend our time! 

he made me a 'cake'...

and I rummaged through my tin and found all the 'sets' that were held together 
by thread and made...a rainbow (of sorts) - I'm SO predictable!

hmmm, could have tidied the table and/or framed that one a bit better! Ho hum, never mind...was going to take some more photos - this was only about a 20th of what was in the tin, and I've got another tin full of buttons still on their cards...but my camera battery ran out, so that will have to wait for another day.

I've also just ordered some self-cover buttons so that I can use up some of my fabric scraps and have some little things to sell at upcoming Christmas craft when they arrive I'll have even more!  I've never made fabric covered buttons before so it will be interesting seeing how easy/fiddly it is...I'll let you know how it goes.

Hope you've had a lovely day.

Rachel x