checks and crochet

A while back I bought some vintage Viyella wool/cotton check fabric which, as usual, has been sitting on a shelf for some time, waiting patiently for the right project to come along. I love the shades of blues, olive, cream and brown that criss cross one another. Then there's the feel of it, ooh so comfy, soft, cosy; just like a familiar pair of pajamas.

I've also been hoarding an ever increasing supply of vintage crocheted doilies in a variety of shades, shapes and sizes. I can't get enough of these, they are everywhere in Blogland now and for such good reason since they lift a project no end. Including this one, I think.

So I made this cushion cover, combining the mannish-ness of the checks with the girly-ness of the doily, which I am completely in love with at this moment in time. I attached interfacing to the fabric for extra sturdiness and backed the cover with a couple of pieces of antique unbleached linen, complete with slubby texture, also keeping the original neatly hand-stitched hem that would have been done a couple of centuries ago.

I'm also totally enjoying making purses at the moment, they're really satisfying my zipping urge. With this one I went a step further than the checks and the crochet ... Liberty, aah yes, a touch of floral always does the trick! You can find it here.

Now then, who's for some haggis?


a winner

Goodness, the past two weeks went so quickly! My Jury Service is all done and dusted and so, too, is the giveaway. I have to say I have felt like the most popular girl in class, it's been lovely (and flattering) that so many of you entered, thank you for giving the old self esteem a major boost!

There has been many a family discussion about just how the winning name should be picked but, as promised, it was left to the children to dream something up. There were a variety of suggestions -
  • attach the names to snails and get them to race, however that would mean finding around 80 beasties which, even in our garden, would be going some
  • put the names in the 'elefun' game and see which was caught in the net first
  • leave the names out on the lawn overnight to see which one the foxes didn't eat
My 'hilarious' husband suggested that had the giveaway ended during the week, I could have asked the judge or, better still, the defendant to choose a winner. Hmmm.

But the method chosen unanimously was to pile up the names and turn on the hairdryer, the winner being the name to travel the furthest distance. Only as MLF was going up the stairs, large silver bowl filled with folded name papers inside, the temptation was too great and she opened one up.

So congratulations to Scented Sweetpeas. Well done Zoe, please email me your postal details and don't forget to let me know if you prefer the original daisy earwires, or plain, gold filled ones instead. I'll get them off to you this week.

Apologies to those who didn't win but this has been so much fun and I'm already thinking about what to offer for the next one!

Have a lovely weekend x


one year and a giveaway - NOW CLOSED

My on-the-ball ten year old reminds me it's over a year since I started this little blog of mine. How quickly the time has gone by! So, I thought I'd mark its first anniversary with a first giveaway.

I wanted to say thank you for following, reading and sending me lovely comments over the past year, and am offering a pair of swallow earrings, handmade by me using 1940's sky blue glass stones and green givre beads from the same period. The stones feature a slight swirl of white, which isn't easy to describe but they remind me of a white cloudy sky. The earwires are made of lead and nickel free plated and lacquered brass but if you prefer, I can fit plain gold filled lever backs instead. I've chosen these because, together with the pink ones I've made, they have been the most popular earrings in my shop to date. They will come in a lace-wrapped padded pouch which I have made using fabric dating from the 1930's, and lined with vintage white cotton.

If you would like the chance of owning these earrings, either for yourself or for a Christmas present with someone else in mind, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post and I shall get the children to devise some ingenious method of picking a winner. They're going to love that!

All welcome, no matter which part of the globe you belong, but followers and regular contributors will have a second bite of the cherry and get double dipped into the hat. I think that's only fair don't you? So if you've been lurking, now's your chance to come out of the woodwork and say hello. And you're more than welcome to borrow the button if you like.

A winner will be announced on 27th November, which will be one year and one month since harmony and rosie opened up its blogging doors. Good luck!

I hope you're all having a fabulous week so far? x


grey wool

I've been a busy bee this week, beavering away making purses to try and grab that pre-Christmas market and re-doing this bluebird purse which has been particularly popular.

I've also made this woollen purse. It's a lovely slate grey colour, lined with 1930's Bavarian purple rosie cotton and embellished with a length of vintage French lace that perhaps Liz may recognise! My mother gave me a panel of this wool but can't remember what she used the rest for as it was so long ago and loves to point out that almost everything is 'vintage' in their house now!

My star is a pure cashmere purse, which could just as easily be used as a small clutch bag. I made it from the small amount left over from this project which you may remember. I hand stitched a couple of Victorian crochet flowers on to one side, interfaced for body and sturdiness and lined it with some beautiful vintage Liberty tana lawn which hales from the 1960's, I think. I already had a zip which matches the print to perfection. I would so love to keep this all for myself but into the shop it goes.

I've been called for Jury Service starting next week and they've advised me to take along a book or something to do during those moments when I won't be needed. So despite the fact I'll be missing out on valuable 'crafting a business' time, I'm hoping to make some progress on my knitting which is coming along very slowly but also very surely.

And given I'm expecting to be fairly busy over the next couple of weeks it seems a good time to have a long awaited first giveaway, so I'll be back with details of that on Monday.

Happy weekend everyone x


home schooled

My little friend was sick last night, poor thing. And given she didn't get much sleep, we didn't send her in to school today.

So imagine my horror to have her bounding around way too early this morning, refusing to go back to sleep.

Imagine her horror then, when I got her to recite the times tables and then do some reading aloud. Ha!

All plans for updating my shop with a variety of sewing makes has been put on the back burner for now and with hubby upstairs in bed watching The Apprentice on the iPlayer (man flu!), there's not a whole heap happening around here right now.

'Home Schooling' and games over, MLF and I have taken to the sofa to watch The Borrowers. I'm thinking there may be the teeny tiniest of chances I may even get in a spot of knitting! Hmm, we'll see!

Happy Monday x



Madamoiselle doesn't do trousers. A dress girl she is, by (strong) preference but she will go for a skirt if nudged in that direction. This fabric (picked up from my favourite shop), yet another last little bit on the bolt, was sitting begging to be taken home. Another cosy Liberty lantana, I love this stuff and, what's more, it was going cheap so how on earth could I possibly refuse?

The trouble is though, I just don't see a winter dress in this colour scheme staying clean for long so I'm hoping that, like me, she'll be unable to resist the print. I mean, who could fail to be won over by wild strawberries, no matter the time of year.

So a tunic it is, from the latest of my Japanese books, only modified slightly to give long sleeves as opposed to the short on the pattern. The back of the pattern gives ties at the neck but for a girl who needs to dress herself, it has to be easier and quicker to fasten than that. Besides, I found some really pretty buttons in Poitiers the other week.

And no sooner was it done, and for all the pattern changes, I realised that actually what I've achieved is pretty much a shorter version of 'eloise'.


splash of colour : november

I'm joining in silverpebble's 'splash of colour' this season. I think it's a great idea and I've been really noticing the wonderful hues that autumn has to offer.

I was driving along the road the other day when I spied this most beautiful of trees, the light illuminating its leaves so prettily. Of course, by the time I'd parked the car, the wind had got up!

At the weekend I saw this huge cloud, framed by the trees, which reminded me of a snow-capped mountain, not quite as grand as Everest but somewhere perhaps like Kilimanjaro.

And, of course, last night. Such a lot of fun, it was all over too soon but the plastic pumpkins are still filled with sweeties. Well, maybe I have pinched one or two - oops! I love the way the children really get into the whole thing and when we met up with some school friends and trawled the streets en masse, it was funny to take a step back and watch them in action. It's not quite so endearing seeing a great group, though, and I wondered how many more years they would get before they resemble the intimidating youths that you dread coming onto your own doorstep.

I had a real hassle of a day today. Getting out of the car on the way back from doing the school run this morning, I noticed the tax disc had expired last night. With hubby on a plane to Singapore and therefore incommunicado (the whereabouts of all insurance documentation a state secret it would appear), I was sent into a panic like no other. It did get sorted eventually, so we are once more upstanding citizens of this great nation, but it took the best part of the day and any plans for crafting went right out of the window.

Feeling stressed and having only a short time before the school run beckoned once again, I sat down for a little knitting session to calm down. Bad idea! Within moments, I had made a mistake and, because I haven't yet worked out how to 'unknit', I had to unravel a few rows before inserting a smaller needle and re-knitting. This I have now done several times and it crossed my mind perhaps there may be a need for a new knitting group. 'Unravelry'. What are the chances of it taking off, I wonder?!

Have a lovely week x