Wednesday, 30 November 2011

~Homemade fabric gift bags~

Like many people, I'm making lots of my Christmas presents.  It occurred to me a couple of days ago that my make-do-and-mending could extend to my wrapping too - I though it'd be more eco-friendly too to make gift bags from the huge pile of fabric in my sewing room.

This small one is made from linen and appliqued with a wool blanket heart.
I must try to be realistic though about what I can do with not much time!
Apparently I sleep-talked last night; anxiously asking for help with all my Christmas knitting...

Monday, 28 November 2011

~I ♥ Blankets~

I love blankets. I don't particularly like the word throw, which sounds too modern, much preferring the cosy snugness of blanket.
I'd like to share 3 of my current favourite blankets with you...
The first one is a granny squares blanket which is very old and was actually crocheted by my Nana B.

 I love the black background and it's made in good quality wool. It's definitely destined for a caravan sofa and I will treasure it forever.

The second is a recent thrifty find in a York charity shop. 

Labelled 'Pet Cover 50p' (hurrah!) it's a small cream Witney blanket in excellent condition.
That was a good find,  that came after a hopeless hour in Selby at the charity shops where I found nothing - and saw a (slightly bobbly and faded) jersey Designers at Debenhams dress priced at £15. Honestly.  But then, that particular charity shop has had a recent revamp and now has laminate flooring!

Lastly, I received a package from Steph at Curlew Country, who now sells vintage treasures via her blog.  This blog, I have to say,  is one of my absolute favourites, having read it now for over 3 years. I spotted a gorgeous crochet blanket, and it arrived safely- wrapped in brown paper and baker's twine.  I love the colours, especially the geranium red and the hot pink.  At the minute it's making the sofa in the conservatory look very festive.

Now my granny squares blanket quota has been met, I am happy to stick with the knitting (under a blanket, of course!) and for the moment ignore my crochet fear!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

~Frugal Face Creams~

Following my last post about *guilty splurge* spending on lovely wool, I thought I'd share my current must-haves in the frugal face-cream department. Unwilling to spend £15 on my usual potion the other week, I bought some of this...

the first cream I ever bought in the 1980s - Astral.
I bought a *huge* pot for £3.
What a fab product, I love the smell - such memories...
but it's a bit too rich for my skin for daytime so, ever on the lookout
for a cheap but decent cream that works...
I came across this range in Home Bargains at £1.99 each - I've used the day cream before too; which was only 99p.  No nonsense. No advertising. No airbrushing. Not tested on animals and a UK company. Oooh, and I'm sure Home Bargains is not just here in the North...their website says there are 250 stores in the UK. ( )

Monday, 21 November 2011

~Knitted Wristwarmers Project~

I know lots of us bloggers lament about just how many projects we have on the go (or WIPs - works in progress); so it's nice to prove that sometimes I can actually finish something in the same season I started it.  I have finished the wristwarmers I started here at the Yorkshire seaside. I'm really pleased with them...
They were easy to knit.  I used King Cole pattern 3299 using reasonable priced King Cole wool in graphite, a lovely marled grey.  Now I've got my knitting mojo back, I've had one of my *guilty splurges*  and bought some more expensive and exciting yarns.
Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK Shade 0124...already on my pins making more wristwarmers...
Sirdar Escape Wool Rich DK Shade 0178...

Wendy Happy Shade Sagittarius , a lovely stripey sock yarn that I have a Sirdar 4-ply hat/glove pattern for.
Is anyone else knitting Christmas gifts this year?

Saturday, 19 November 2011

~Fabric-ation Opening Night~

I was invited by Margaret from to attend the opening night of Fabric-ation in Leeds, which has moved from near the Corn Exchange, to a retail unit on Kirkgate.  We were welcomed with mulled wine, and Margaret's beautiful floral creations were in evidence...

Gerbera & eucalyptus corsage

Eucalyptus Door Wreath

Fabric-ation is the brainchild of Dawn Wood, and is a social enterprise originally set up to support micro crafts businesses and offer craft classes, workspace for designer/makers, hen parties and corporate events in house, and outreach to disadvantaged groups. It is now expanding and evolving in the new premises on Kirkgate. Craft teachers can also hire the space to host classes.  Designer makers can rent some space in the new retail shop to work, and also sell their crafts and creations at reasonable rates plus a commitment to give some hours to work in the shop.  Dawn and her partner Andrew are an accomplished, creative and enthusiastic couple, also running their in-house companies Ages of Elegance, designing bespoke clothing and historical costume, and Military Metalwork, creating reproduction miltary regalia for museums, films and the armed forces.
Current designer makers in Fabric-ation include Jenny Dixon, fashion designer...
Butterfly Beaders for handcrafted beadwork and jewellery...
Missaic unique and bespoke commissioned mosaics crafted by Marlaina Davies.

Image from

And, of course, Margaret's flowers, arrangements, garden gifts and bespoke painted signs from Ready Planted.
Fabric-ation is also the home of the Leeds Fashion & Craft Network (
which is aimed at giving support and networking opportunities to micro-crafts businesses in the Leeds area.
Contact Fabric-ation on Leeds 0013 243 9140 or visit the website for details of classes.

~And the winner is! Fat Quarter Giveaway~

What a busy week! Thankyou for your fabric comments; I have used the random number generator and the winner of the fat quarters are....

1st Country Girl (cotton lawn)
2nd Betty (Navy sprigged fabric)
Well done!
Please send me an email at with your address.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

~Fat Quarter Giveaway~

After a busy week last week I finally managed to finish off my Christmas pudding tea cosy.  As I knitted it in moss stitch, it hung off the teapot like a poor-fitting frock in need of support.  Foundation garments in the way of wadding and lining were needed! I bought this 1940s fabric at a Vintage Fair, and have wondered what to do with it as I didn't want to waste it. So it now has a purpose - keeping my Christmas brew warm.
I'm hoping it will become a tradition to get it out every year. Maybe it will become a family heirloom!
Anyway, Giveaway time again - this time it's fabric from my stash.
To enter the draw to win a fat quarter of pretty craft fabric, please leave a comment below before 10pm on Friday 18th November, stating which fabric you'd like...
Navy sprigged cotton (left) ...or the cotton lawn (right)

P.S. Good luck all!
P.P.S. Many thanks and welcome to all the followers of my blog x

Monday, 14 November 2011

~Time for Tea anyone?~

I hope you will forgive me a bit of blatant self-promotion! I'm not sure whether you've gathered I have a healthy appetite for all things bakey-cakey, vintage china, fairy lights and doilies...Maybe you've read about my 'Time for Tea' underground tearoom events before here & here and also about attending Clandestine Cake Club here.
I'm a member of where you can locate all the secret supperclubs and tearooms around the UK and beyond. This is my avatar below if you have time for a look...
a thrifted teapot with a handknitted cashmerino wool tea cosy!
I would love to welcome you into my home for my 2012 events. I have tickets for 3 dates available - Saturday Jan 21st 2pm
Saturday Feb 25th 2pm
Sat 24th March 2pm
I can seat 8 at each event. You can book tickets via the supperclub website or click on the link on my homepage.
A great place to read about the growing popularity of secret dining clubs is Kerstin Rodgers' book SupperClub - Recipes and Notes from The Underground Restaurant
Supper Club: Recipes and notes from the underground restaurant
I did wonder whether it would be a lovely opportunity to meet up with some of you out there in blog-land; a kind of bloggers AGM perhaps?!?
You can attend as a lone diner, or in pairs or groups; all that's needed is a willingness and desire to meet and chat with fellow afternoon tea guests, and of course, a love of CAKE!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

~I ♥ fabric~

Carefully folding and arranging your fabric stash...

in pleasing combinations of patterns and colours...

will not get the Roman Blind made, the ironing done or the tea cooked!

~Your Handmade Home Giveaway~

Seems that following my whinge that I never win anything, Lady Luck is smiling on me!  Perhaps she thinks I need cheering up after my accident at half-term...Yesterday I received this pretty cardholder I won on Melissa's blog, Your Handmade Home.  I chose this red one as I adore this fabric.

I am so pleased, many many thanks to Melissa.  I will now have to get myself some little cards from Moo as seen here on Daffodils & Snowdrops blog...

Have a look at Your Handmade Home where you can browse and buy handmade goodies for your home, including lots of lovely Christmas decorations and advent calendars.

Friday, 11 November 2011

~Fairy Nuff~

The Christmas Fair at J's school was a real success. There was a fantastic high standard of stalls, with something for everyone...jewellery, scarves,  fair trade clothes and accessories,( my lovely friend Donna at Sugar Pie Lemon Drop)  2 card stalls, a Phoenix trader, gorgeous French-style brocante and vintage goodies, cupcakes, handmade cushions, painted signs, doorstops, bunting and Christmas decorations. Then there was me...Lavender Attic, with my chutney and bits and bobs. I always feel a bit amateur, but enthusiastic nonetheless, as I don't do selling,  and don't exhibit regularly at craft fairs. However, the chutney flew off the stall and there were tense negotiations over the last 2 jars...eeek! Calm down ladies and gents; it's only pickle! The lavender hearts didn't sell, but the mini-bunting did, and the vintage 1950s, 1960s and 1970s knitting patterns went down well.
I'll share some of my purchases with you too...

These cards are made by a clever lady called Pat from Leeds...very different and great attention to detail. This owl card was available in purple (above) green and this yellow/orange colourway (below) too (£2).

and then when I saw this lovely Christmas Fairy I knew I had to have her...

Wearing her heart on her sleeve and with her hand over her mouth in an oops-did-I-really-say-that way, she is perfect to watch over me! She has a label saying...
"Granting Wishes is really tough...
so please be patient...Fairy Nuff"
Her hair, made from braided and plaited baker's twine, is exquisite.
If you'd like your own fairy get in touch with Lisa and Jane at Yorkshire-based company Twisted Vintage. Very shortly they are opening a shop in Whitwood, Castleford where you'll be able to buy their eclectic mix of handmade country style as well as vintage home accessories and gifts.

I think she looks very much at home. 
Enjoy the weekend x

Sunday, 6 November 2011

~Lavender Hearts~

It's fatal to start tweaking with your blog layout and design...especially when Downton Abbey is on in 8 minutes!
Just finished these lavender hearts made from vintage fabric and buttons. Thought they'd be a nice new header as the previous one felt rather *dull*.

I'm having a stall at J's Primary School's Christmas Fair on Thursday evening. Chutneys, preserves, vintage scarves, tea cup candles and lavender hearts.
See you later in the week x...

Saturday, 5 November 2011

~Sew Sweet Violet Giveaway~

If you've a moment pop over to Sew Sweet Violet before the 11th November and enter her lovely giveaway for an adorable addition to your Christmas tree. Jooles also sells her gorgeous birdies in her Etsy shop.
3 baby Robin bird Christmas tree decorations - Tilda - Patrick, Patsy & Pixie Pecker

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

~Great minds think alike!~

Anne, a colleague of mine from a few years ago who keeps in touch, has a lovely new blog called Marmalade & Catmint, which I know some of you have already visited. Reading Anne's posts about vintage treasures (I love it Anne, you blog just like you're talking to me - fab!) I realised we must both be feeling nostalgic at the moment. I read a bit further and realised - crikey - Anne had made this...

Anne's Tea Cosy
This Christmas Pud Tea Cosy is for S (I think she will be very pleased!)  Read about it here
So what do you think...strange but true I finished this 2 days ago...

My Tea Cosy for Christmas tea drinking

Great minds think alike!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

~Nostalgia - Dylon Dye~

The last time I used Dylon Dye was in the 1980s when I dyed all my clothes black (even the black ones) during my obligatory teenage goth years.  It's been around since 1946 but appears to have been given a revamp and relaunch see  I came across it in a local shop, and bought a few packs.
The colours have all been 'sexed up' with more appealing names and package designs...
Dylon Handwash Dye - I paid £3.35
 I set to work dyeing doilies Powder Pink and Tulip Red - so many not-quite white crochet doilies languishing in my sewing room...time for a bit of make do and mend!
Best results are on cotton, linen and viscose, with a paler colour take on other fabrics. (I also dyed a thermal vest, which has turned out a lovely pale pink).

I prefer the Tulip Red result; very seasonal doilies I think...

But the Powder Pink is very pretty too...
They'll brighten up the table when I host next year's Time for Tea events.
If you're not familiar with the Underground Dining & Tearoom movement visit