Selina Lake’s Handmade & Vintage Summer Fete

After two great weeks of interning for luxury travel company Mr and Mrs Smith, Saturday was my chance to unwind and reacquaint myself with the world of craft and handmade. The girls and I ventured out to the Handmade & Vintage Summer Fete in Kingston Marketplace and what a wonderful day we had!
Handmade and Vintage Summer Fete
Handmade and Vintage Summer Fete
Handmade and Vintage Summer Fete
The fete was held in the Market House, a beautiful Victorian Grade II- listed  former Town Hall that has been the marketplace focal point since 1840. Beautiful jars and glasses of flowers (peonies and such) adorned every surface. Soothing smells of lavender and tea floated down from the the cosy tearoom at the top of the stairs. On both levels we found stall after stall of gorgeous handmade goodies and plenty of smiling faces. Our first stop was at the Artyard Handmade craft table in the tea room, where the girls cut and stitched and stuffed (with a little help from mummy) a sweet lavender-filled heart sachet for their nannie.
Handmade and Vintage Summer Fete
There was a treat table nearby and we had a scrummy cupcake each from Cakey Bakes Cakes, washed down with plenty of orange squash and coffee.

Handmade and Vintage Summer Fete
Handmade and Vintage Summer FeteEmma from The Bliss Studio was on hand to provide pretty manicures and at the urging of my very girly girls, we each had our nails painted perfectly!

Handmade and Vintage Summer Fete
Handmade and Vintage Summer FeteAs we continued to wind our way around the fete, we stopped to make friends with fellow crafters. Here I am having a chat with the lovely lady behind Clovers Closet.

Handmade and Vintage Summer FeteFabulous accessories by gil fox included gorgeous hats and these vintage-style flower hair slides. I love the clothespin display!

Handmade and Vintage Summer FeteMy favorite find of the day, however, has to be Cheryl-ann Taylor’s “vintage perennial floral adornment accessories”. The most delightful hair embellishments I have seen in a long time! I was totally inspired and enjoyed chatting with her about mummy adventures and juggling a craft business.
Handmade and Vintage Summer Fete
Handmade and Vintage Summer FeteAnd here I am rummaging through my purse to find a business card to swap!

Handmade and Vintage Summer FeteI finally meandered back upstairs to purchase one of Selina’s books and meet the lady herself. She was warm and welcoming and I was surprised to learn that she lives just one town over from me. I was a little bit starstruck and it was the perfect way to end a lovely and inspiring day!
Handmade and Vintage Summer Fete
Handmade and Vintage Summer FeteAnd of course the girls had a great time. 🙂
Handmade and Vintage Summer Fete
Handmade and Vintage Summer Fete

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Thrifty Tuesday – Upcycled shopping bag pouch and butterfly lace headband

I’m back and I’m crafting! Hooray! 🙂

And what better day to return than on a Thrifty Tuesday?

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My first scoop was found after a quick rummage through the hodgepodge craft section of one of my favourite local charity shops.  Two sparkly sequinned appliqués for a cool 50p total! (not sure if appliqué is the proper name, but it’s the best way I can describe them!)

I decided that the smaller butterfly appliqué would be perfect as an embellishment for a headband. A few strips of stretchy lace, a discount shop headband (99p for 5 bands), and a couple dabs of hot glue produced lovely, chic results!appliquecollage

I have plans to make a 1920’s style headband with the leaf appliqué. So very Great Gatsby!

My second thrifty treat came by way of a crumpled shopping bag I rescued from a skip (dumpster) at the top of my road.

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It was a bag from Joules — a lovely shop — and the print was simply gorgeous! I had to make something with it. The bag, literally, said it all…

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Ta da!!  A super cute upcycled pouch!  I lined it with a bit of cotton fabric to make it a tad sturdier and perfectly suited to all sorts of make-up, toiletries, and knick-knacks.  I keep thinking of things to put in it — snacks, hair accessories, spare undies for a cheeky night out? Hehe.

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This week’s finds were just the thing I needed to pull me out of my crafting funk and I’m so happy to be able to share them with you!

Have you found any thrifty treats lately?

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Lost, not found

I feel lifeless.  Just one blog post in June so far.  I’m finally not ill anymore but it seems as though I’ve been zapped of all my creative juice.  I haven’t crocheted, crafted, or stitched in days and it is a lonely and confusing feeling.  I am happiest when I am making and when I come up against a creative block, I feel lost.

I want to run away sometimes. Hide from life. I would love nothing more than to have more space. Space to create, to stash my fabrics and papers and yarns and hooks.  Space for my children to play, to stash their own treasures, to stop the cascade of toys that is currently overtaking my bedroom and living room and kitchen…

I have an oppressive feeling of being trapped. Of not being able to dig my way of this tangle of a mess I call my life right now.  Each time I feel I am moving forward, creating a plan of how to do great things, I feel knocked back.

I. HAVE. TO. GET. OUT. OF. HERE.

My kids are constantly fighting, screaming, jumping, pinching, whining.  Running amok like caged animals worked into a frenzy by their imprisonment.  I’m tired of being referee. And I’m tired of yelling. And tidying. And cleaning up mammoth messes. I have a collection of cleaning sprays and scrubbing cloths at the ready to tackle the endless finger smudges on walls and pen scrawls on the furniture.

I am a single mom. In every sense of that word. I single-handedly take on the job of mother and father, judge and jury. I am the “fun” parent yet also the one who has to mete out punishments.  I do school runs, parent-teacher meetings, grocery shops, doctor and dentist appointments, ballet classes, homework help, baths, bedtime stories, kisses, cuddles…  I don’t remember the last time I managed to eat breakfast before rushing out the door to get Emilie to school.

I’m not complaining, I guess I am venting.  My kids are what keep me going. But I’ve almost completely lost my sense of self through my devotion to them.  My name is Liam’s mum/Emilie’s mum/Zoie’s mum.

Who am I really?

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Just a little under the weather

I’ve been ill.  This past week all my stresses caught up with me.  At one point I couldn’t even move from my bed, burning with fever, aches and pains in every joint, and a thumping headache to match.  Blogging was out of the question. Breathing was hard enough…

But crochet I could.

And I did.

Behold, my Gumdrop Slippers, careful crafted.

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Someone needs to have a baby so I have an excuse to make more of these sweet things! 🙂

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P.S.  I’m pleased to report that I’m on the mend and have some exciting new projects in the pipeline!

Thrifty Tuesday

I am developing a very healthy obsession with thrift/charity shops.  The deals you can find are so awesome and easy on the wallet!

My latest finds were treats for my wardrobe: a fabulous floral garden party dress and a beaded geometric necklace.

Dress cost: £7

Necklace cost: £3

That’s a sweet new summer outfit for just £10!  Happy indeed!

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I love playing dress up! 🙂

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Quick Vintage Button Necklace – Tutorial

I love home-made jewellery.  You get to create designs to suit your style and when someone admires it you can proudly say “I made it myself!”

Today I’m going to show you how to make a quick, quirky vintage button necklace.  It really is super simple!

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Lately I’ve been raiding my jewellery drawer to find old, broken, or “out of fashion” pieces that I haven’t worn in ages.  A few days ago I found a bracelet that I’ve never worn. It had a pretty piece of floral chiffon type fabric woven into it so I pulled it out and thought, yep I can make something out of that!

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Have a dig through your own jewellery stash or just snip some fabric from an old dress, sheer curtains, or any type of airy material.  Go on a rummage at your local charity/thrift shop and scoop some vintage-y buttons.  A bit of felt and a hot glue gun are the last two ingredients required to make this snazzy piece.  Ready? Get to it!

You will need:

  • 2 thin pieces of fabric long enough to tie around your neck
  • a piece of felt in your choice of colour, cut into a wide triangle shape
  • loads of vintage buttons, beads, fabric rosettes, whatever you fancy!
  • hot glue gun

Vintage button necklace

How to make your necklace:

  1. Lay your buttons out on top of your felt until you are happy with the arrangement. Don’t be afraid to overlap or experiment with different sizes and shapes of buttons!
  2. Using little dabs of hot glue, glue each button in place.  Working from the middle outward helps.
  3. Grab your strips of fabric and tie a knot at one end of each piece, leaving about an inch of fabric loose at the end of each knot.
  4. Flip your felt/button piece over and hot glue the one inch loose end (the end with the knot in it) of each piece of fabric to each side of the felt triangle.
  5. Ta da! All done and ready to wear!

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I feel pretty! How about you? 🙂

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Cheeky cherry baby booties

Just a quick post before bedtime (and just before midnight) to show you my latest crochet project.

Yesterday I was laid up in bed feeling pretty crappy, for lack of a better word.  I reached for my crochet hook and a ball of yarn I had purchased at a craft fair a few months ago but had forgotten at the bottom of my basket.  I decided it was soft yet sturdy enough for a pair of baby booties and I got to work. (you gotta love a hobby you can pursue while lying snuggled up in bed!)

I made the first bootie and saw it was good.  Then I made the other.  Then I decided I wanted to sweeten them up a bit. So I designed a pair of cherries and they looked awesome! I was super proud of my effort!

Here are the finished booties:

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Aren’t they just too cute?!  And if they really take your fancy, they are available to buy in my Etsy shop!

Until next time,

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