In the midst of chaos and generally feeling out of control (something which is very alien for the control freak that is me,) what better than to look at fabric. Nothing is likely to bring me more pleasure (except maybe sewing with fabric and of course, buying fabric). Piles in the Den were getting seriously topple-y and as a few new supplies arrived, order was needed in the vintage quarter of stash central.
Handy then that you just happen to have a nine year old keen to earn a few brownie (should that be Cubs) points?
I'm actually quite enjoying this Mummy, he declared after a while. That's my boy. All will not be forgotten when you turn ten next week. Really? How did that happen? That explains the grey hairs then.
But the real chaos is not going on in the sanctuary of my Den, the Den was merely a little diversion. We have never decorated our bedroom since we moved into the HenHouse and it really is (past) time. Yes, that plastered patch on the wall was a doorway that was blocked up and has remained unpainted ever since. Shameful. My beautiful silk curtains took a battering in the fierce sun that floods this room and have become tattered so have now been taken down.
We've never really liked this fireplace. It is not original to the house and doesn't really suit this room though it is an authentic antique piece. We're not going to the trouble of replacing it but I did think it would look better in a less dominating colour. I've got so far as priming it and buying the eggshell paint but there I've had to stop for now.
The real issue you can see below. In one way, it was great to move in and have this whole wall of wardrobes. In another, it would have been really nice if they'd actually had doors! We've had trouble in the past getting someone to make doors for us but finally we've struck gold with our faithful and much treasured handyman. But my oh my, how much stuff we had squirrelled away in there. It took me most of yesterday to clear my section. And the dust; oh dearie me.
The spare room now resembles a cross between a charity/junk shop (which has not received the Mary Portas treatment) and a car boot sale without well, the car boot.
I show you these photos not because I think you're going to find them thrilling but because I want to be able to look at them in a few weeks and see progress! So tomorrow, in comes our super decorator and the transformation can begin. Usually, I love the decorating process and I'd have the whole room scheme planned but other than choosing the wallpaper, everything else is still up in the air.
On to prettier and more fanciful things. As you know, I have a thing for these little felty and/or vintagey brooches.
This special one came from Niki's fabulous shop when we visited a few weeks ago. It's so unusual and seems to be made from a thin plastic, dating to the 1940s.
The big anemone was made by yours truly one morning and has adorned many an outfit since. And then there are these treasures...
I bought these from the Vintage and Handmade Textiles Fair a few weeks ago. They are clearly genuine 1940's pieces, the felt has those beautiful colours it's hard to replicate. I love the round one with the little whirls of felt and I do believe the other is in the shape of a "V" and would have been made to celebrate victory in the Second World War. A bargain for a fiver (see what you miss if you don't visit these fairs?!)
What I really love is that when I turn them over, I can see they never actually made it into brooches and I am enthralled by all those hand worked stitches from seventy years ago, imagining the hands cutting all those little felty leaves, selecting the colours. As a maker, seeing how someone else works is really really interesting.
So, a sneaky half hour in bed this morning, (in the spare spare room - Charlie Boy is thrilled and has taken up permanent residence on the pile of eidys,) saw the little felt pieces finally become brooches as my own fair hands sewed on brooch pins. This weekend, they finally shall be worn as we recreate a little of the era of 1943. Yes, off we go for a little jaunt while Steve the decorator and Lola the cat sitter take over.
(Dress from the London Vintage Fashion Fair in Hammersmith last Sunday.)
See you in a while...