Wednesday 21 December 2011

It's nearly Chwreathmas

Went to the Power of Making exhibition at the V&A Museum on Sunday.  This exhibition has been on for some months now and as per usual I'm late in jumping on the bandwagon.

Loved it.  It really took crafting to another dimension.

Get a load of this life size "crochetdermy" bear:

This fabulous dress made entirely of pins:

A giant gorilla made of hundreds of wire clothes hangers:

To quote the blurb in the programme "Making is the most powerful way that we solve problems, express ideas and shape our world.  What and how we make defines who we are, and communicates who we want to be."

Mmmmmm.  Quite who I "want to be" with this make, I dread to think......

Yes, dear readers, it's that time of year again when I show you my plastic bag Xmas wreath fashioned from a  wire clothes hanger and strips of plastic bags (the transparent ones you find in the supermarket for fruit and veg).  I know, I know, it's too exciting for words, isn't it?

Last year, it looked like this:

This year, I thought I'd spruce it up a bit and add a couple of glittery penguins and a pink flocked reindeer:

Mr J and P thinks that I've "really gone and done it this time".

At first, instead of the pink flocked reindeer, I had the pair of purple feathery wings that I showed you in this post.  I'm happy, though, with the pink flocked  reindeer.  On the negative side, it does bang against the door when it's windy causing me to remark on more than one occasion "Who the devil is that at the door!".  Mr J and P has also complained that he's been woken up more than once by the knocking reindeer.

The offending "knocking" reindeer in close-up

My, how we suffer for our Christmas creativity.

Bye everyone. Have a good one. xxxxxxxx

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Clutter Clearout

Hold the front page!

Decluttering Debacle at J and P Towers!

Little Miss J and P spent three days, last week, emptying her room of STUFF.  I'm trying to convince myself that this is a good move.

When I asked in a small tremulous voice "What the heck are you doing?", she replied "Mum, I'm having a clutter clearout."  When I asked, incredulously, "Why?" (clutter clearouts are few and far between at J and P Towers), she replied "Seriously, mum, I'm not a hoarder like you!".  Well, that told me.

Mr J and P and myself have been observing this daily de-clutter with horror and something resembling fear at the teetering PILES OF STUFF that have been DUMPED on the landing outside her room (and ours) making the landing and stairs a danger zone. 

I thought that decluttering was meant to be carthartic and liberating.  Quite frankly, dear readers, this exercise has been a complete nightmare for me. 

I've ended up going through the piles and dividing them into more piles than you can shake a proverbial stick at.  At one point we had:

1.  a pile for the charity shop

2.  a pile for recycling

3.  a pile for the bin

4.  a pile for a possible car boot sale

5.  a pile for ebay

6.  a pile to give to friends

7.  a pile which Mr J and P and myself have lovingly rescued containing puffin books (some of which belonged to a little Mr J and P) and annuals (all of which belonged to a little moi).

Apart from the piles for the bin and the recycling, nothing else has left the house and stuff is still languishing on the landing or in bags in our bedroom until I can:  a) get to the charity shop, b) see our friends, c) find somewhere to store the items destined for ebay and the boot sale, d) find shelf space for the lovingly rescued puffins and annuals.

On the plus side, Little Miss J and P's room has become some sort of minimalist haven.  Although, Mr J and P has just reminded me that no-one has tackled what might be lurking under her bed.  Aaaaaargh!   I think we'll be needing a white coat, surgical mask and gloves to investigate the horrors under there......

Friday 9 December 2011

Weird Wings

I was feeling a little smug yesterday.  A bit like one of those supermummies, who, at 8.30 pm on Thursday, when their darling daughter announces that they are dressing up as a fairy at school the next day on some dressy-uppy-day-thingy and they need some wings to complement their outfit and the suppermummy calmly replies "Yes, of course, darling, I'll just whip you up a pair of wings.  Won't take a few minutes..."

Except, that scenario didn't quite happen.  When confronted by this demand at ridiculous o'clock last night, my reaction was "No way, Jose".  After several minutes of whingeing and whining on Little Miss J and P's part,  I thought I had a brainwave.  I plucked the purple feathery wings decoration from the Xmas wreath (I'll be telling you all about the wreath debacle in another post, don't you worry) and attempted to attach them to Little Miss J and P's hoodie.  

Unfortunately the wings were not for attaching.

So, then I had another brainwave.  I found some white felt and white feather trimming languishing in the sewing box.  (No wonder, the feather trimming was languishing, the bloody thing moulted all over the place while I was fiddling with it - v. annoying).

Using the purple feather wings as a template, I drew the outline onto the white felt, cut it out, sewed (yes, sewed) the feathery trim onto the felt and, lo and behold:

A set of feathery wings which I rustled up in MINUTES.

I attached them to Little Miss J and P's hoodie with safety pins.

Here's hoping there are no safety pin mishaps today at school!

So, yes, I was feeling smugly supermummyish until I overheard Little Miss J and P, this morning, say to her little friend over the phone "Yeah, and my mum made me this set of weird wings."  The cheek of the child!

"Weird wings" indeed!

Disgruntled of Blogland. xx

Thursday 24 November 2011

Living the Dream

I'm punching the air
Like I just don't care

Ooh, hark at me, I've come over all poetic.

It's being the lucky recipient of blog giveaways what's done it.  Yeah.

Look at all this lusciousness:

Top Row:  Pins & Needles mag, wooden cotton reel, lacey trim and buttons from Miss Ginger Makes;  Lots of  fabulous stuff from Carolyn of Fashionista Sisters including tea, coffee, chocolate, tea towels, books, a mug and ribbons in her Teatime giveaway; Middle row:  the most gorgeous owl bag made by RosieHearts; the book "Where Women Create" from Sarah B from ShabbyChicSarah with inspirational photos that I've been drooling over on a daily basis

Thank you so much, ladies (and apologies for my rubbish attempt at photo mosaicing).

I did enjoy reading the 1955 issue of Pins and Needles that Miss Ginger sent me.  There's tons of makes to erm... make.  How about this stupendous chick-a-dee handbag perfect for the "discerning young lady":

Never mind knitting this cardie for a little boy or girl, I rather fancy it for myself:

Nothing planned this weekend?  Luckily Pins and Needles have "weekend workshop" projects to keep you busy.  How about making this "delightful modern couch" from an old door and mattress:

Not challenging enough for you?  Well, you could tackle this "versatile" "L" shaped table instead:

It's "smart, practical and easy to make".  Easy to make, my arse.  Look at those scarey diagrams on the left - eeek!

And if that wasn't scarey enough, what about this adjustable see-saw with its "gay horseheads with hand grips and adjustable pivot point". Blimey, it's a bit more demanding than fiddling with my buttons!

One last thing.  It's official.  I'm living the dream.

I've been approached by the manager of one of my local charity shops (well, I go in there often enough) and as of next week, I will be working for a couple of hours a week IN A CHARITY SHOP!!!!

I'm EXTREMELY excited.  Can you tell?

Mr J and P says I'm only doing it to get first dibs on the donations.  How dare he cast such uncharitable aspersions!

I've been approached by the manager before but I decided not to volunteer my services as I don't like him.  He's an annoying little man with a rasping voice who likes to be surrounded by his "ladies", especially on a Saturday when the volunteers are mainly school girls (eeewww).  Hopefully, I won't have anything much to do with him as he doesn't work on the day that I'll be working *breathes sigh of relief*.

Gotta dash.  Must make a start on one of those ridiculously difficult weekend projects..... Pass me the power tools, Mr J and P........... xx

Friday 18 November 2011

Jumble Spoils

It seems an aaaage since I banged on about my luvverly jumble sale buys.  Brace yourselves, dear readers, it's going to be long one.

These embroidered pillow cases were in pristine nick:

50p the lot

Sheet (left) and pillow cases (right) atop yet another candy stripe sheet.

I have plans for the sheets I've been collecting.  I'm going to shamelessly copy Kylie's fabulous idea for a vintage sheet quilt and attempt to make a duvet cover.  Eek!  I'll keep you posted.

Kylie's magnificent quilt cover

Not one flowerytastic handmade tea towel completely unused:

but four of the gorgeous little buggers.  All for a quid.

OMG, look at this profusion of flowers and colours all on ONE tea towel (also handmade):

More unrestrained floral goodness on this unused towel:

Complete with its original sticker:

Four of these embroidered thingamajigs that go on the backs of chairs.

I'm collecting these embroidered thingies as well as tray towels and the like as I'd really like to make this patchwork cushion cover:

Gorgeous innit?  From the CK book "Patch".

Lordy, more flowers in the shape of these Portmeirion Botanic Garden jars circa 1972:

I need jars like I need a hole in the head but, at 25p each, they were crying out for me.

A kitschy black swan vase for 30p:

Yay for more wooden handled kitchen utensils.  As some of you may know, this is yet another one of my collections.  The red handled objet is a knife sharpener - that I know for sure.  The blue looks to me to be measuring spoons - the teaspoon on the left and tablespoon on the right:

But why do these spoons have a hole in them?  Pray tell me do:

A Toni Raymond pickled onion pot for 50p for my friend who collects those beetroot pots and celery pots of a similar ilk:

Seeing as someone, who shall remain nameless, broke one of my prize vases recently, this Trentham jug (30p) has come in handy:

Look!  Look!  Can you tell that I'm virtually hysterical?  I've got my very own printer's tray:

A mere quid!
The printer's tray caused mass excitement among the oldsters as I hauled it around the jumble sale.  They kept stopping me and  a) asking me if I knew what it was, b) telling me what it was  and c) asking me what I was going to do with it.  All of which was a little annoying as all I wanted to do was to carrying on rummaging for booty.  Well really!

So, what AM I going to do with it?  I love that Lakota transformed  hers into an earring storage unit here.  Unfortunately, I don't wear earrings anymore (I know, I'm a shocking dullard) but I do have a little collection, that I haven't told you about, which is currently gathering dust on a window sill.  It could gather dust in the  printer's tray instead!  Genius!  I'll let you know.......

Good grief, I'd forgotten about these.  More embroidered doodahs and stripey sheets:

And finally, (sighs of relief all round) an egg cup to add to my collection of egg cups.  (Do you know, I honestly didn't realise that I had quite so many collections on the go!).  This one isn't vintage at all.  Made by the Italian design company, Alessi, this little fella currently retails for a tenner.  Mine was 20p!

You may be wondering why he has a little peaked cap.... why, to store the salt, of course:

Excitement is reaching fever pitch here at J and P Towers because this weekend is the St Mary's Xmas Bazaar.  Whoop Whoop!    Little Miss J and P is excited because she and her fellow little Girl Guide mates are helping out and that means that little old moi will need to take her along early so that they can  set up the stalls which means that I'll be eyeing up the booty before everyone else!!  Huzzah!  Oh the heady world that is my life.......

Wishing you all an equally exciting weekend.  xx

Friday 11 November 2011

The Joy of Buttons

I enjoyed a very pleasant Saturday afternoon recently playing with my buttons.

I know how to live, don't I?

I spent a great deal of  time: running my fingers through my collection of buttons:

gasping with wonderment and awe at the cornucupia of colours and styles

and squealing with excitement when I came across ones I'd forgotten I had.

Mr J and P has just read what I've written and says that he's a little worried that people might think I'm stark raving bonkers.  I told him that he shouldn't worry as my readers know exactly what I'm on about when it comes to buttons.  We love our buttons don't we?

Anyway, before I come across as being completely insane, I didn't just spend all my time idly stroking my buttons.  Not me.  I actually managed to make something with them.

I found some thin stretchy elastic lurking in the sewing box and with the help of a tutorial from youtube (I used this one here ) I made button bracelets.

Bracelet number one:

Bracelet number two is quite possibly my favourite.  Made with these larger and textured buttons, they look a little like flowers to my (delusional) mind:

Bracelet number three, in bright colours, for Little Miss J and P:

If you want a quick crafty fix that even a simpleton can muster, then I can assure you that button bracelets are the way forward.

Happy weekend everyone! xx