Saturday, 25 February 2012

Tootally vintage!

My Tootal scarf stock on the website has got very low, mostly due to the weather in the last couple of months.  It is hard to handwash things and get them dried on the line in winter as the days are so short and if the sun appears isn't very warm or long lasting.
Last week, I finally managed to get round to washing some of the scarves I have waiting in the wings and thought the day was going to be a good one, but as soon as it was time to put them on the washing line, the sun had gone in for the day :-(

I persevered with them all day but to get them really dry had to resort to the airer in the utility room to finish them off!
Anyway, they are now ironed and looking 'Tootally vintage' I love to see them all clean and pressed, in a nice little stack...... Now,  I must get cracking and get them listed on the site!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

A little knitting project!

I used to knit......A lot!
Over the last few years I have scarcely picked up the needles except to knit for my two nephews when they were babies and who are now 13 and 15....shows how long ago I am talking about :-)

Then my friend Jenny (who I stand with at the Nec) became a grandmother in 2010 and I when Alice was born I made her a sweet little cardi in a vintage pink.  I really enjoyed doing it as I found it gave me some clear headspace away from various worries and although I love what I do most of the time, it can become all consuming so it was nice that it wasn't anything to do with work.  I took the needles out again last summer when my other friends daughter had her second baby and was thrilled with how delighted she was with the little cardi and bootees I had knitted.

Things in my personal life have been quite difficult since then, so I decided it was time for another knitting project as a bit of therapy to help clear my head for a hour or so a day :-)
Aran knitting was always my favourite of all as it grows fast and keeps me concentrating enough not to get bored.  I don't mind a bit of stocking stitch but my mind wanders all over the place and I get that I look forward to casting off!
I have chosen a traditional aran pattern for a little boy and have got on quite well as I have finished the back now.


Initially though all was not well,  I had to take it back to the ribbing twice as I went completely wrong!!!
I was just being blase because years ago I could rattle off an aran in no time, but I was really out of practice after years of being in the knitting desert and needed to get back into the right mode.  Needless to say once I sat down for long enough and quietly concentrated for the first couple of inches it was like riding a don't actually lose the skill, you just go a bit wobbly at first :-)

I am now on the sleeves and for the first time ever I am knitting two sleeves on one pair of needles.  A friend of my Mums used to knit for a shop years ago and I remember seeing her doing both sleeves at once but never tried it.  Well........ it's brilliant!

I have nearly finished them and it will be great that when I cast off, two of them are done :-)
I am now thinking I may attempt the two fronts on one needle!

I'll keep you posted :-)

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Birmingham heritage sites


This week we have been on a trip back in time visiting two of Birmingham's fabulous heritage sites.....The Birmingham back to backs and the Museum of Jewellery in the famous Jewellery Quarter.

The Museum of Jewellery is mainly housed in an old jewellery manufacturers Smith and Pepper that closed in 1981 and was left untouched in its entirety until Birmingham council opened it as a museum.  The family firm had run it in a traditional labour intensive way untouched by modern production methods and technology so what you see is pretty well how it would have been during the Victorian era........Fascinating!

The Back to Backs are an amazing survival of a courtyard of working class terrace houses that were built in 1840.  They tell a personal story of the people and families that lived and worked there through the decades from when they were built until 1974.....Wonderful atmospheric, accessible social history.

I love reading about social history but it is so much more interesting and easier to connect with when you can see and hear how people lived their day to day lives.....We really enjoyed visiting both of these heritage sites and thought that they managed to give you a real insight to the past.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Flapper fabulous!

I love the Flapper era of the 1920's... just everything about it....the clothes, shoes and jewellery are an instant thing but I also really like the art from the period, especially graphic art like advertising posters and packaging. 
A pair of my earrings has been featured in an Etsy treasury by Sara and I love everything in it, it combines fashion with art, perfect for me :-)

Just a thought having done that link, wouldn't it be lovely if we could make Etsy mini's of treasuries either from the treasury page or from our treasury favourites page???  I know you can make one of your favourite items and for your shop but it would be wonderful to be able to share some of the beautifully curated treasuries....
Does anyone know if you can do that?

P.S. I have resolved the making a 'mini' problem by usung a widget from Craftcult :-)

NB : The deco brooch pictured is also featured in the treasury and is for sale by etsy seller eakerhouse.