Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Bohemia review

I'm going to end 2010 with a new blog idea - reviews. I know it's very self-indulgent on the one hand, but on the other I really enjoy reviews on other people's blogs! It's really handy to know what a similar crafty person thinks about a book or shop, it might encourage me to read or visit it myself or to give it a miss if they've not been terribly complimentary. Since I already do my occasional Etsy shop features, it makes sense to review some 'real life' stuff as well.

So, on with the review! This beautiful little shop is just up the road from me, where Bruntsfield meets Morningside for you Edinburgh folks. It's called Bohemia and they also have an online shop with international shipping for you guys reading from abroad!

Moroccan pouffe in Jade


The shop itself is really prettily decorated, the window is always very alluring, it makes you want to go inside and buy everything. They sell a range of items; clothes, homewares, adorable kids stuff and the cutest cards and gifts. They're also one of the few places in Edinbugh that stock Cloth magazine (thanks to Elaine for the suggestion there!), which if you sew and haven't checked it out yet then you're missing out!

Avoca Anthology wrap dress


The few times I've been in the staff have always been really friendly and helpful. My only gripe with this shop is that it's quite expensive, a lot of the clothes especially a quite a way out of my price range, but then if you have a bit of disposable income and are looking for something really special, I would stop by here!

Odd Molly silk and lace knickers


This is me signing off for 2010 folks, I've got an exam on Thursday then I'm catching a train down to London to visit Vicky, then to my folks for Christmas. See you all in 2011 and have a lovely festive season! ♥

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Roller skate tote bag

I've been busy with the ongoing cable knit blanket and so haven't had much of a chance to do anything else really! I bought a box to present my crochet cupcakes in but it's a bit big so I'm going to have to make a couple more I think. I've also just started knitting a panda bear hat for Andrew's cousin, she's paying me for it which is nice, any extra cash this time of year is gratefully received! Last year I made her a Hello Kitty bag, which I still maintain is the best bag I've made so far!

In between all this though, I squeezed in making a tote bag for my friend Marlous. Every year she and her fiance host a Christmas dinner for their friends; Andrew and I have been twice now. The food is epic, 4 courses, all hand made from scratch. Last year the main course was roast pheasant, this year it was monkfish (yummy!). We took a bottle of whisky for Adam and I made this bag for Marlous as she's in the local Roller Derby team!



I think my sewing resolution for 2011 should be to branch out from bags! I've made far too many this year!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Sneak peak for 2011!

Here's one of the projects I've been working on for my Etsy shop for 2011 - fat quarters!

I had a big sort-out of my fabric a few months back (mainly because Andrew picked a fight with me about the amount of space it takes up - boys just don't understand) and tried to be really harsh on myself so that the entire stash now fits into one large trunk, one wooden box (still in the process of being made over!) and 2 smaller storage boxes. When I write it out like that it seems like I have loads of fabric...which I guess is the case, though it feels like you can never have enough...


So, to help me pass some along, I decided to make some fat quarters for the shop. That way I'm technically getting rid of fabric, though it will still be in the house, just in my 'Etsy shop box' instead of my 'fabric stash boxes'. See what I did there? Cunning eh? It also motivates me to destash when I know it's adding stock to my shop = greater chances of being found in searches etc. So I guess, winners all round!


I'm planning another giveaway in January as well, I'm 2 hearts away from having 100 hearts in my Etsy shop so I feel like that's a good enough excuse to do a giveaway. Maybe some of the fat quarters will be a prize? Watch this space anyway!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Vintage peacock hairslides

My parents went to Singapore on holiday just before I was born (apparently I was conceived there - too much information fo'sure) and my Mum brought back these lovely peacock hairslides. That makes them at least 25 years old!

She gave them to me a few years back since I have long hair and she has very short hair. When she gave them to me she impressed upon me how special they were to her and how I was to keep them safe. Consequently I've only ever worn them once, to Vicky's 18th birthday party.



I'd like to wear them on my wedding day, especially since someone who knows what they're doing will be hopefully doing my hair that day!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Grandma's rosaries

My Gran on my Mum's side died just over 3 years ago now and when we were sorting through her things, we found these 2 rosaries. My Gran (Granny Dot we used to call her) was Protestant and so I thought it a bit strange that she owned rosaries, I always thought it was a Catholic thing. I never saw her use them or even hold them, I didn't realise she owned them at all until after she died. I did a bit of reading and realised that you can and do get Protestant rosaries, they're just not as commonly used in the Protestant church.


I remember when I was a teenager there was a trend for necklaces made to look like rosaries or with large crosses and crucifixes. It was really fashionable for a while and girls at school would wear them whether they were Christian or not. I always found it a bit uncomfortable, making something that has such power and meaning for some people into a disposable fashion accessory just didn't sit right, even if I don't believe myself.



Still, there's something fascinating about the rosary I think, like any form of meditation. I'm glad I own Granny Dot's rosaries and I plan to keep them safe and pass them onto my children in turn.



Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Thrifted brooches

Following on from yesterday's post about vintage brooches from my family, here are my thrifted brooches that I've gathered myself.

I'm a big fan of costume jewellery, being rather hopeless at taking care of jewellery, I quite often lose, leave or break my pretty things. It's not through lack of care, I try to take good care of my brooches and necklaces, I just seem to have terrible luck when it comes to jewellery! Clasps come open and drop brooches on the ground, chains will break and necklaces slide silently off my neck, stones will drop out never to be seen again and I'll put things down and then not be able to find them later.

This makes cheap costume jewellery a blessing as it doesn't matter too much if I lose something that I bought for 50p from a car boot sale. After losing the silver locket my parents gave me for my 17th birthday, I worry constantly when I'm wearing jewellery with any kind of sentimental or monetary value. Andrew gave me a small gold locket with a diamond in the face for Christmas about 3 years ago and I love it and wear it all the time, but I constantly catch myself feeling for it to be sure it hasn't fallen off my neck.

These little shiny things I've collected from various car boot sales and charity shops and I love them for their lack of value! I can wear them worry-free and just enjoy them.


This was my first ever car boot buy, for 50p I seem to remember. I bought the little one above because it reminded me of this brooch and I thought if I ever lost this one, it would be nice to have something similar to replace it!


In the future I plan to amass a large collection of costume jewellery that I can pass on to my daughters, nieces and granddaughters! It's nice to have a different brooch for every occasion, day, hat, scarf...the list of possibilities is endless!

Monday, 6 December 2010

Vintage brooches

It's another snow day here in Edinburgh, I made it into uni but almost got stuck and after a slightly hairy drive home (mental note: don't take the small, unploughed, ungritted side roads in the future) am now safely back in my flat.

I'm still beavering away with Christmas presents and since I can't show you half of them because they're for people who read the blog, I thought I'd share these photos of the various vintage brooches I've collected over the years.

There are more to come but I lost the light before I could take them all. Today I'm going to showcase the ones that have come from my family, tomorrow will be thrifted brooches.

These ones came from my Gran when she died, she was quite into her costume jewellery since they never really had enough money to buy the real thing. I really like how sparkley they are though, there's one that goes with almost everything in my wardrobe. I wear them mainly on lapels, though I went through a phase of wearing one on my beret.


This one came from my Mum, she used to wear it when she was at uni. I'm totally gutted that it's lost a stone, it fell out in the car one time and I managed to find it and glue it back on. Then another one fell out in the pub one night and that one was gone forever. When I have some money I'm going to take it to a jeweller and see if they can replace it. It's another one that goes with everything since it has so many different colours in the stones.


This one came from Viv, my mother-in-law. It was originally either her mother or her mother-in-law's, I can't remember which she said. I only got it a few weeks ago, she was clearing out her jewellery box and found a load of stuff she didn't wear anymore. It's so pretty, I haven't worn it yet, I might save it and wear it on Christmas Day.


I love jewellry with a bit of history, at some point I'm going to build a brooch holder to display them all!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Crochettes Secret Santa

I've been invited to Vicky's craft group, The Crochettes, for their Christmas party! We're going out for a 3 course meal (the menu sounds YUMMY!) and doing a secret santa, where everyone contributes a hand-made item into a sack and we take it in turns to pick something out.



I've made up these 3 cupcakes, part of them are knitted but oh well. I'm going to buy a little box to put them in with some shredded tissue paper to make them look a bit professional (and also easier to wrap!). I'm quite pleased with them though, and excited to see what present I'll be getting!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

WIP: the epic blanket

It's officially Snow Day Mark 4 here in Edinburgh and I'm supposed to be going to my grandparents' pantomime tonight so we'll see whether I make it or not!

Remember the cable knit blanket I started making for my folks for Christmas back in October? Well, it's getting there slowly! I'm not entirely convinced I'll have it done in time for Christmas but we'll see, I'm sure they won't mind a work in progress present and I'll have plenty of time over the holidays once exams are over to finish it off.



There are a few little mistakes but overall I'm pleased with how it's turning out, it's pretty simple once you get going. I may even knock out a couple more for wedding presents next year!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Snow day mark 3

Well, it's my third day of being snowed in, classes are cancelled and there's inches of ice on the pavements so I'm only venturing out if strictly necessary. Like to get my fringe cut yesterday. Or to go sledging...

Anyway, the free time has given me plenty of time to study and crack on with Christmas presents. I listed these in my Etsy shop the other day, the sun peeked through the clouds just long enough to take some decent photos. They've already been featured in a treasury so I'm pretty pleased with that!



I found them on a thrifting trip to Mussleburgh last week with Andrew's folks, I also picked up a bargainaceous piece of pink velvet for £1! You can check out the shoes over here