Sunday, 15 December 2013

Christmas failings!

I really thought that I was being organised in late summer. I began to think about ideas for Christmas themed decorations, and boxes to make, so that I could offer you all lovely Christmas delights.  I bought metres of vintage velvet ribbons, little vintage bisque Christmas figures, and tiny vintage Christmas themed trimmings! Then I got sooooo many commissions, that all these items have remained in a sad little pile at the back of my worktable, destined to be nothing at all this year! I had every good intention, but now it is too late, and I shall have to resign to packing them away into a box, with plans to bring them out next year!  So, I am sorry if you were waiting for Christmas themed delights from me!  This being the first Christmas that I have been doing Little Burrow, to be honest, I didn't really know what to expect. Now I know I need to start earlier, MUCH earlier next year!

So, what has been keeping me busy during the last month? Here is a little taster for you!

You can see all these pieces in more detail over one my Facebook page

Monday, 18 November 2013

Work, work, work.......

Ok.... hands up! I admit that I have been absolutely useless with this blog over the past (ahem) however many months. I am however resolved to be a better blogger (try saying that at speed "better blogger; better blogger; better blogger").  The trouble is now that soooooo much has happened and I have created so many pieces since, that is hard to recap over it all! So this little blog is really just a pictorial recap of my recent work.  I promise to come up with some thing more exciting next week! ;)

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

My Giveaway!!

Well, my 1,000 likes on Facebook crept up on me much faster than I had ever dreamed that it would.  It left me woefully unprepared, and the giveaway that I had decided to do at 1,000 likes, went out of the window!  But, this time, I am going to be prepared!!  I am going to host the giveaway from this blog, as, quite frankly, the Facebook rules for giveaway's have made me feel rather queasy reading them, and left me completely paranoid!  So, I will link from Facebook to this Blog, but in no way is Facebook in any way involved in this giveaway etc, etc, etc. You do not have to share the Facebook status or like it to enter the giveaway.  If you wish to share or like of your own free will, then you are most welcome, but it is not a pre-requisite of this giveaway.  What I would ask you to do is comment below my Facebook post about this giveaway, or below this post on my blog, just so I know you would like to be entered for my giveaway, and I can put your name in the draw at the end.  The winner will be drawn at random, once I reach 1,500 likes on Facebook.  Yes, it's a long way off, but I refuse to be beaten by it creeping up on me again, and being unprepared!!

So, for my first giveaway, the prize will be one of my "he loves me" daisy pendant's, with a choice of a snake chain, or a link chain, worth £22. It will be similar to the one pictured here:

So, off you toddle ..... don't forget to comment below, or comment on my Facebook post!!
Thank you for all your continued support!

Monday, 6 May 2013

the past lives and loves of vintage "things"

Many a time I sit with a piece of vintage loveliness in my hands, and wonder who owned it before me, and what wonderful stories it would have to tell, if it were able.  I find it so fascinating that, in reality, these are all just "things", but they are "things" that once belonged to someone who had their own story, their own loves and losses.  Some of the items I work with, especially the really old fabrics, fascinate me.
I like to think of who might have worn them, and what they would have thought if they knew that something they owned would be being transformed into something else, completely different, 120 years later.  I find certain pieces especially evoking, like the sash ribbons.  Whenever I purchase them, in all their finery, my first instinct is to loop them around my waist, and tie them in a bow at the back.  Then I cannot help but think who the last person was that stood in just the same fashion, making the exact same movements, with the exact same sash, 100 years ago.

A few days ago, during Radio 2's Pause for Thought (yes, I am no longer cool enough for radio 1),  I heard a true story by Baroness Julia Neuberger, Senior Rabbi at the West London Synagogue.  It seemed to encompass the same thoughts that I have expressed here, so thought I would share it with you.

“A few weeks ago, I was away in rural Ireland and a friend rang me to ask if I had any darning wool. She’d been to our local town, and there was none to be had. ‘Probably not, as I’m not a darner’, was my response, but I said I’d look. In my mother’s sewing box I did indeed find some beige darning wool, with ‘Stopwolle’, darning wool, printed in German on it. It must have arrived with my grandparents’ stuff just after the Second World War began. It’s an extraordinary story. My grandparents left Germany as Jewish refugees only a few days before war broke out. People leaving were only allowed to take one suitcase, and no valuables. So a Nazi official came to check they weren’t taking anything forbidden. As he stood there, he said to my grandfather: ‘Ludwig, take what you want- anything you can get into those cases. I won’t say anything.’ He’d been a fellow prisoner of war in France in the First World War. Even more amazing, after my grandparents had left, this same man, we think, and others who’d been with my grandfather in prisoner of war camp, went into the apartment and, instead of looting it, which was the norm, packed everything up and sent it on through France to England. My grandparents were living in a refugee hostel in one room when their furniture, china, glass, pictures and everything else arrived. Everything. Including the darning wool. So that card of darning wool has a story to tell. After the war, my grandparents tried to find the man concerned to thank him, but he had been killed. Yet his courage, and goodness in the face of evil , in horrible circumstances, lives on – in the darning wool, amongst other things. There’s always a reminder of goodness when it happens, and you can often see human goodness in the smallest things.”

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Vintage Fairs and buying overload

Today I accidentally fell into the vintage textile fair held at the Mackarness Hall, Honiton.  It was very careless of me, and shouldn't have been there at all! As some of you may know, I have been on a buying ban this week..... it isn't exactly going very well at the moment!  I wasn't going to go to this fair, but I started having cold sweats at the thought of it happening, and me not being there.  To make it worse, I actually went TWICE!  Yes, that is pure vintage addiction for you!  I dashed there for a quick peruse in the morning, as my littlest son was rather unwell, but as my mother lives with us, it means that I have a rather convenient babysitter!  Then, at the end of the day I rushed back there again, this time with my mother and camera in tow, and my son at home in the capable hands of his Daddy.  Lots of you who follow me over on Facebook, always ask where I go to these fairs, and what they are like, so I took some snaps for you to see.  Unfortunately, my camera breathed its last breathe whilst I was there, and the focus wasn't working very well just before that, so I am sorry if any of them are a bit blurry.  Sheila Hyson runs this fair, and you can find details of her upcoming fairs here
Liz van Hasselt also had her usual marvellous wares at the fair - I buy a lot of my vintage bits from her. She also runs her own vintage fairs.  Liz's Facebook page can be found here: , or you can follow her blog here:   At these vintage fairs or shops, you will mostly find me on my knees, racking through their baskets, drawers, and piles.  I intend to invest in a very good pair of kneepads in order for me to do this in a little more comfort!!!

Beautiful vintage aprons! I wish I had
purchased these too! 

 It is quite a hard job sourcing vintage items for my work.  It is not like modern fabrics, where you can just keep ordering.  You can only work with that item so long as you possess enough of it, then, once it is gone, it is gone.  I always say that if you like one of my pieces, don't think about purchasing it for too long, as for some of them, there will only ever be that one specimen, and once it is gone it is gone.  I trawl all these fairs for more the 3mm vintage 1920's rayon ribbon I bought earlier this year, but I have yet to find any again, which is such a shame, as I love it so much!

I ended up purchasing this lush grey-blue
blanket - I have lots of plans for it! 

How can you not love a Welsh waffle blanket!

Vintage Disney

Vintage undies - just lovely!

I fell rather in love with these shoes! 

Drawer and drawers of buttons! 

Some of Lizzie's lush objects!

Gorgeous box!