Saturday, 12 December 2009

BUST Christmas Craftacular

Galliers here.... (now that Botkin (Roxy to those who need to know) has decided to get involved with blogging we need to differentiate between postings - so please note these are our sign-ins). Today we went up to Bethnal Green and had a wander around the BUST Christmas Craftacular in York Hall. We were not picked to attend this - so it was interesting to attend as punters. My favorites were: Jazmine Miles-Long - Ethical Taxidermist ( - her beautiful creatures preserved in their deathly loveliness for ever can be seen in the accompanying photos - I was very keen on the handsome crow but I would not have been able to bring it home - it would have been banned by my nearest and dearest, shame... she is very talented, clever and need I say, brave! - they are all "roadkill or died from natural causes". Also Corinne Bannister - who makes handmade undergarments - very lovely - very covetable - Botkin bought some flowery knickers but would not pose with them for a photo!.... (but see photo of Corinne and her stall). Also Andrea Garland - - a fabulous use of pretty and entertainingly worded old tins and pillboxes. She makes delicious natural face, body and lip balms and fills the tins with them - also larger tins such as the Noddy and PC Plod one pictured - as travel kits with tiny potions wrapped in a vintage silk hanky... so clever and so original. I bought after much deliberation - so much choice of container! - a little round gold tin labelled Hollywood La Bonita with lip balm in. AND you get a voucher so you can post the tin to her when its all gone and she will re-fill it for £5!! love it.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Breaking News

Botkin here - very new to this, so I hope i shan't b**** it up - but very very excited - because back here in the 21st Century - we've sold "Lie Back and Think of England" - it will be remade as a wall hanging and is apparently going to hang in "The Breakfast Club" in Hoxton. I am on a mission now to find out where the phrase originated and will let you know!

Other news - I'm stitching tea cosies - check out "Don't Panic" in our Folksy shop, and another's in the pipeline, or at least up in my stitching space - the loft.

Tomorrow B&G are off to BUST's christmas fair at York Hall, Bethnal Green. Currently loving anything "East" - must be the time of year!!!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

I'm coming over all 18th Century.....

I am steeping myself in the 18th Century this week, fired up by the lady I am in the throes of making, in fits and starts!.... I have been looking at portraits of women of the time and the costumes and the wigs.... did you know for instance that the women's wigs were powdered with a mixture of ground starch, flowers and orris root (which is a fixative used in the past in pot pourri)and was often coloured lavender, pale blue, or pink... but they used mostly their own hair with added bits, if you could afford it human hair, or horse hair (although mostly men's wigs were horsehair).... the colours would only have been used for parties and balls, not everyday... that's alright then... I fancy a bit of a Marie Antoinette revival myself... I would love to swan round Sainsburys in a big powdered wig, smallpox patches and a big embroidered dress.... I am so bored with walking into all the shops and seeing endless re-hashes of the 1980s - been there already, done it, did'nt like it much... why is it back? every 3 years it gets trotted out, then the shops are full of neon hoop earrings and stonewashed denim (that was NEVER a good look).... ahem... I digress.... here are a few photos of my latest recreational stitching (I have put dolly divine on hold, got a bit bored) a nice domed glass frame which had a manky old print of venice in it, bit of calico with wadding in between and I am stitching an 18th C. lady on it... from the sketch I did from a postcard... also two recent cushions using my handmade animal templates, I did a sketch and then copied it onto the back of a cereal packet and cut it out and then in bondawebbed fabric... voila!.. they are made from a lovely ochrey mustard linen tablecloth from a charity shop, there is a bear too but its in Kings X at the moment. VERY IMPORTANT NEWS!!!.... THE MAIN REASON FOR THIS BLOG TODAY.... is that Lie Back and Think of England lovers picnic blanket is now up for auction on Ebay all proceeds go to the Sue Ryder charity... so if you like it please bid it up! I would hate for it to go for tuppence ha'penny!... also lots of other lovely things from the Upcycle competition - "Ingrid" the lovely lovely reborn Barbie with a chest reduction (I know how it was done, it sounded painful!) is there, very tempted by her myself. Please look!!!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Upcycled away......

Well!.... have our little tiny shop on and entered our "Lie back and think of England" blanket into it beginning of November... very excited.... lovely to have stuff looked at and it was being judged by India Knight and Wayne Hemmingway amongst others.... BUT.... the competition closed on Saturday and I thought today "ooh, I'll have a quick look at the site and see what happened" and clicked onto the list of entries, saw Feltbugs there, and realised the blanket was missing!! clicked onto the shop listing for it...yep, it said it was entered into the competition and was NFS etc etc. then back to the folksy page and saw a tiny entry from someone on twitter saying 14 entries in competition not recognized including "this lush blanket"... (lush! how nice!!) ... so have since been informed that because I tagged the entry with Sueryder. (note the all important full stop that is what caused it not to be considered by the judges) and not SUERYDER or sueryder or Sueryder... sorry, your problem, not ours, you should have followed the rules... well! I thought I DID !!! ... the embarrassing thing is that this all because of a typo... and I was a legal PA, speedtyping secretary person 15 years ago... !! need to brush up my accuracy. Nothing I can do, competition is finished, tough titties. Would have been so nice to have had it looked it by the likes of the man behind Red or Dead, that was the thing I was excited about most I think... but not to be. Still, will double check every single detail of everything another time and not take it for granted that because it LOOKS like its all fine and dandy... it actually IS!! ........disgruntled of Kew.... AND mice have got into the drawer in my desk in my sewing room where I keep my secret stash of choclit!! and nibbled and shat and looks like they have been running and shitting in my little sofa in there too... so now I have to take the whole bloody room apart, open every drawer and cupboard and basket and box and take out all the fabrics and check for mice communes breeding in them!!! and we had pet mice a few years ago and let me tell you they breed faster than rabbits and are doubly incontinent, they literally run about trailing pee behind them.... as you can see its been a bit of a day today!... but I did win a handmade xmas cake and a voucher for a pedicure at the scout christmas concert raffle.... swings and roundabouts ay?!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Saturday night at 9 Caledonian Road

Kristie and Coralie's Christmas Cooler opened on Thursday 3rd December 2009 and yesterday was the "opening party". Roxy and I went along with her partner Jules and daughters Eisha and Bee and friends. It was a horrid wet and miserable night and the Piccadilly line was jampacked mainly with young Europeans and their enormous suitcases coming from Heathrow! so we felt rather mangled by the time we arrived at the shop. Every seat in the main room was filled with people drinking cocktails and mulled wine and two tables of "makers" cutting and sticking things. The shop looked great (see photos)... and although K and C assured me that they have had very little sleep recently they both looked fresh as daisies to me.. (ahh! youth....) and seemed to be enjoying themselves whilst working hard. We met our bookclub friend Jane Cairns and her friends including the lovely Katya whose style is 1940s in a glamorous way, as opposed to tea-stained legs and a headscarf!.... she looked amazing and kindly posed for a photo, LOVE that hairstyle, and the dress and the shoes...... after a few rounds of mulled wine we left the young people to get on with it - the place was filling up. We were all hungry and took a chance on an Italian old-style Trattoria restaurant opp. Kings X station and it was very good, Roxy said it was like the Italian restaurants of her youth, murals of couples on terraces, vines, and chianti bottles... but the food was great, and the staff actually Italian!!..... on the way home we decided on a new sewing project.... will be attempting it this week and posting a photo.... - On a completely different note I stumbled across a wonderful blog today "spitalfields life" by the gentle author - he/she is attempting to post every day until 2037 and so far they are lovely, full of interesting people in the area and great stories and photos... do please google it and take a look, I will be following it now.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

And finally.... luncheon.

A lovely fry-up - well it is a cold and frosty day, got to keep me strength up.... the nice young man in the blue shirt and khaki trews was the barman at The Fellow last night - he looked like he had stepped out of the Blitz - I timidly told me I loved his style and could I please take his photo and he graciously obliged!... love the 'tache and short-back-and-sides, and the dolly with the big hair I started yesterday as a bit of recreational (as opposed to Rescued and Revived) sewing, she will be a Marie Antoinette type with a big head of hair (mohair wool) and a large quantity of garments, starting with a lace trimmed chemise (already done but not in this photo), petticoats including a farthingale (if I can fashion one out of a bit of bendy wire), boned corset and big sumptous dress - there is a lovely doll in the V&A - in the textiles dept. I am inspired by - she is in a glass case and you pull out drawers underneath to see all her wardrobe - she is very exquisite and a little creepy! - go and see for yourself. And the photo of ME! is outside the pop-up shop to be - Kristie and Coralie's Christmas Cooler - at 9 Caledonian Road, it was just round the corner from The Fellow pub so Mandy took the photo.

FOLKSY! Meet up at The Fellow Pub, Kings Cross

Well! what a very nice evening I had last night - at the FOLKSY christmas meetup. My mate Mandy (Feltbug) told me about it and took me to The Fellow public house in York Way, Kings Cross. We met James, Rob, Charlie and Frankie of Folksy who are very lovely and chummy, had a few glasses of wine, listened to the man from Sue Ryder (sorry! forgotten his name) who is very enthusiastic about the upcycle competition and bringing his charity together with Folksy to promote using charity shops to source items to re-use and re-create. A few people gave impromptu chats about what they did - including Robyn, of RoseLullabyDolls who gave a demo of how she turns sticks and masking tape into small, beautiful and enchanting people - see her on Folksy - you will be amazed at her ingenuity. (See the photos here) Mandy gave a quick show and tell of her wonderful hand-felting and making fabric coiled bags from strips of cloth and yarn - see photos! JamesB of Folksy a little chat about what they do and hope to do and various other crafters joined in and views were aired. Vanessa and a lovely blonde girl from NZ (sorry! forgot name again) showed us how to fingerknit - by cutting up some old clothes brought by Sue Ryder man into strips - how quick! how easy! how addictive! I met Sarah of Silky Prudence (shop on folksy) who makes soft and tactile knits in gorgeous colours - I want most of it. Dee who hoards mens shirts and turns them into origami-style flowers and roses in the blink of an eye (she also turns boxer shorts into girls tops - ! we were all amazed at that idea, I never thought there would be a way of re-using men's pants but she has found one!) The lovely thing about the evening was that everyone was very friendly and interesting and interested in everyone else - no egos on show! that I saw anyway, and it felt like a very nice little club by the end of the evening. I am so inspired and fired-up today and am looking at Folksy with fresh eyes - now I have met the real humans behind the web-pages and realised how enthusiastic they are about the site as more than a way to make some cash!! - In fact, I've had me lunch (see photos!) and am now off to the sewing room to create.........