Friday, 30 May 2014

'Kaffee und Kuchen'

A lovely morning spent with a special friend over 'Kaffee und Kuchen'. This is one of my favourite German phrases-what a wonderful tradition they have of coffee and cake, not that I don't love our British institution of afternoon tea but I'm afraid I have never liked the brew, only coffee! We meet for coffee at different places but a favourite has become the  Par Garden Centre . The cafe has delicious pastries best of all you get free refills of as much coffee/hot choc as you like! They do great lunches too-their fish and chips in Cornish beer batter always looks so tantalising!
The Garden Centre stocks some lovely vintage style gifts, Cath Kidston etc and is always worth a browse.
Today I spotted these wonderful vintage beach inspired items-I love the little lady in her retro swimwear!

I couldn't resist treating myself to this brilliant enamel sign-I have just created a craft room with a seaside theme so it is earmarked to be hung in there tomorrow. 
I make a little range of vintage style hearts with messages and last year designed this 'By the sea' one:
So today I started on a fresh batch of these for the summer. I use Cath Kidston bue mini spot and 'little boats' -this design always reminds me of summers at the coast in times gone by. For the message I handstamp on to white cotton/linen using 'Versacraft' ink. This year I will make some bunting to go with them-this was the plan for last year but the summer ran out before I got down to it!
I am loving meeting new friends here-please do leave me a comment if you have time! Hope you have a lovely, sunny weekend, Alison xx

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Remaking Gatsby

Today I was delighted to get a little influx of orders through my little shop Farmhouse Traditions.  Laura Ashley vintage fabrics have been going well and I'm disappointed to come almost to the end of what I have of the fabulous 'Palmetto':
A classic fabric from 1983 featuring a decorative design in sage/raspberry, this gorgeous design  is reminiscent of the Art Deco styles of the 20s/30s. Perhaps the popularity of it owes something to the fabulous remake of The Great Gatsby! Some of us remember falling in love with everything Gatsbyesque first time round with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow-anyone remember it? 

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Carpe diem!

Another beautiful Spring day here in South East Cornwall as I take an as yet unexplored branch of my life's road-into the world of blogging! I've admired so many wonderful crafting blogs for some time and finally, inspired by one lovely lady recently, it begins.  
I live in an 18th Century ancient (crumbling!)  Cornish farmhouse and it's from here I collect vintage fabrics and haberdashery, make handmade gifts and interior items, along the themes of the traditions of times gone by. 

The surroundings inspire me so much as I imagine what sort of country crafting must have gone on here over the centuries/decades. 
I do hope you will join me in sharing news of my vintage fabric finds, sewing projects and snippets about life here in Cornwall!  

Today I've been working on some simple patchwork cushions to use up some of my Cath Kidston fabric I can invest in some more! Here's some of the well known 'Rosali' :
This one is the gorgeous red Paisley teamed with 'Sprig rose'. I treated myself to quite a bit of this from the Bicester outlet in 2011 -£10.00 a metre, quite a saving but living so far away I don't get this chance very often.
This is the simplest patchwork-squares machined together, backed with a plain cotton. I always put zips in my cushions though, even these small ones so they can get a wash occasionally! 
The chair- 'Number 23' was one of my first vintage finds, in 1979. I spotted it sitting outside a second hand shop in the Midlands town in which I grew up. Walking past several times I don't know why but I just felt drawn to it-it was in a very shabby state with no centre seat. I bought it for £1.00, took it home whereupon my mother shrieked, 'What do you want that old thing for?'  My father rubbed it down, varnished and made a new upholstered seat for it, that you see in the picture. As my father passed away in 1980, it became one of the treasures that would always go with me. I don't know where it originally came from-would it perhaps be from a church? The second hand shop was located almost opposite the main church-just a thought. 
Strangely, years later when I met the love of my life, we were looking for a house together. Being in different areas he looked at a few and short listed some, one in particular. 'It's Number 23, Springfield Road' he told me excitedly.  We bought it of course and spent four happy years there, before moving to Cornwall. Coincidence? Serendipity, or a touch of Fate?