Monday, 30 August 2010

doe a deer

This bank holiday weekend has been rather good (despite it being really cold, oh hello Autumn).
On Friday, me and Steve drove to Bradgate park.  We had a toasted sandwich, some coffee cake and a pot of tea in the cafe, and then went for a walk.  There are lots of deer that live in this park, and on this day, they had wandered over very close to the path, so steve managed to get a few close up snaps!  

I felt like a little kid when we stumbled upon an oak tree.
On Saturday morning we ventured to a nearby road for a street sale, but unfortunately it didn't live up to my expectations.  It had so much potential too, it was really cute how the residents set up stalls on their front gardens and driveways, and there was bunting hanging between the trees, connecting the green and the paths.  Steve did manage to purchase this rather awesome 1990s children's camera though!
In the afternoon we drove to Nottingham to go to Nottingham Contemporary.  We went to see a band called Anxieteam, which is formed of two artists, Jim Avignon and Jon Burgerman.  We had such a good night, here's a little taster of what we watched...

As it is a bank holiday weekend, this meant that we got to have two days of wandering around car boot sales!   Here are a few of the bargains I discovered...
I found lots of new beautiful teacups, and this morning I started to make some more candles to sell at the craft and vintage fairs where I will be holding a stall very soon.
I couldn't resist buying this old game, because it was made in Luton (my home town).  I really have no self control in this area, but I always feel compelled to buy anything that has something to do with Luton or Bedfordshire.  I have an amazing old map of Bedfordshire, which I would like to one day find a frame for.
I LOVE this!  This large brown bag was only 50p, what a bargain.
I just can't explain why I had to have these cat cushions!  What first tempted me, was that my friend Tate has one, and whenever I go to her house I ALWAYS say how much I love it!  £1 for all 3?  Oh, go on then!
Last night I began to make my first ever quilt!  I have always wanted to make one, and now seems like a good time as it's getting chilly already.  Even though we love our home because it is quirky and old, unfortunately with old houses you are also lumbered with single glazed windows and terrible heating, brr!  I think the quilt will take me a while to complete, even though it's a very basic design, I will post some photographs when it is finished!
I have been looking for a diary for weeks, and all I could find were boring and overpriced ones, or ones aimed at teenagers.  So today I decided to buy a boring one, and cover it in some of my amazing circus tents fabric!  I could have done a better job really, but for my first attempt it's not too bad I suppose!


To finish, you should all take a look at How's your weekend? Some of Steves polaroid photographs from our trip to Norfolk were chosen to feature on it yesterday!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

a place to be creative

I said that I would post some photographs of our new art room as soon as it was finished, and I have now realised that it will most likely never be finished.  This is because I am always adding new things to the rooms in my house.  I don't really understand how some people can decide to decorate a room a certain way, and then go and buy everything for it in one trip.  Anyway, the room is currently as finished as I would like it to be, and more importantly, we can now work in it!

My sewing space
The table and the chair were from a car boot sale for a total of £8, and the cabinets on the left were being thrown away by my parents' next door neighbours.

Steve's first ever attempt at putting up shelves, pretty good eh?  As you can see, my little deer and rabbit painting have found their new home!  The pretty floral wreath was a recent present from my Mum.

I have been meaning to find a place to hang this for a really long time, I made this for an art project that I did with my friend Alison in Skegness last September.  It is a little difficult to read, but the embroidery is the names of the seaside towns that I went on holiday to as a child.  More about this project and other projects that we have worked on together can be found here.  Alison is also part of a company called Left Luggage Theatre, who are certainly worth checking out as they have made some amazing work.
Where did you find those astounding curtains, I hear you cry?  I brought them from Oxfam about a year ago, and they have been in a plastic carrier bag ever since.  The other day, I was staring at the drab curtains which were previously hanging in this room, and I suddenly remembered that I had brought them.They fit the window perfectly, and really brighten up the room.
The beautiful illustrations on the wall are drawn by our wonderfully talented friend Amy Blackwell. Her work is amazing, and her blog is really cute and a great read.

oh, look at my collection of ladybird books lined up so neatly, and the jar of knitting needles waiting patiently for me to learn how to use them.
I especially love 1970's craft books.  1980's knitting books are equally as amazing, I have quite a growing collection of these now. 
Steve recently brought me a book called Lovely things to make for girls of slender means (for a change, this one isn't second hand!)  I thoroughly recommend it for anyone who wants to start crafting, there are some great tips and ideas in there.
Finally, this is what I was up to this morning!  Two new cushions for our new sofa bed.  The rose one on the left is made from a vintage Marks & Spencers pillowcase.  The fabric on the right was brought from eBay - originally I was going to use it to make a dress, but I calculated the quantity wrong, so it will now become numerous cushions and bags!

So, that was a sneak peak at my new favourite place.  We have now reclaimed our living room as a place to relax, without boxes of fabric everywhere and the constant threat of standing on a needle!
I have lots of new product ideas for Kakes Makes, so I'm off to return to my sewing machine!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

edible cakes and felt biscuits

I have been very busy during the past week, which may have contributed to why I have been suffering with the most irritating cold for the past few days!  I spent a lot of last week catching up with family and friends which was really nice.  My parents had a BBQ on Friday evening (I designated myself the role of being in charge of puddings and Pimms).

I made this yummy white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake and some vanilla cupcakes.  I have made these cupcakes many times now, and they never fail - the recipe is from the wonderful Hummingbird Bakery book.

Myself and Steve finally did our car boot sale on Sunday, which was very successful! Afterwards we had not only made money, but we had made space in the house too!  So, we took a little road trip to Ikea yesterday to purchase some things for our new art room.  Everything is looking really good so far, I will post some photographs once everything is finished!

As for today, I have mostly been feeling sorry for myself due to my sniffly nose, sore throat and temperature!  However, to cheer myself up I decided to try out some new felt brooch ideas (please see images below!)

I must say that the jammy dodger is probably one of my favourite things that I have ever made!  Oh, and I was very impressed that I managed to do blanket stitching around the edges - I am constantly forgetting how to do it.

I do hope that I feel better tomorrow so I can get my little art room finished and so that I can go and see Scott Pilgrim Against the World.

I have such a crush on Michael Cera, swoon!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

cross stitch badges

When I was in Norfolk last weekend, I managed to find some Aida cloth (or as I call it, cross stitch fabric).  I have been meaning to buy some for months, but just kept forgetting.  I have always loved cross stitching.  When I was small, my Mum would keep me occupied while she was sewing by drawing  pictures onto paper and adding some holes with a pencil.  Then I would be given a needle and some thread and I would sew around the picture!  I also remember making a cross stitch greetings card when I was in Primary school and was very proud of myself!   
What I have wanted to do for a while, is to experiment with making some cross stitch initial badges.  So, for the past few days I have been sewing in bed, in the passenger seat in the car and in various other places, and here are the results...


I have been making various letters and have used different colours and fonts.  I will be holding a stall at the Leicester Vintage Fair in October, so I am trying to make lots of new items to sell at the moment.  
Just need to get my craft room finished first!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

The Ladybird Book Obsession

I went on my first real camping holiday this weekend (festivals not included). Myself, my boyfriend Steve and our friends Ivona and Dean embarked on a road trip to Norfolk - the region where most of my childhood holidays were spent. We stayed on a lovely campsite on a farm and lit a camp fire every evening. Last night the sky became really clear so we could see lots of stars, and I tried to look for some constellations. I'm no expert, but I think I spotted The Big Dipper.

Over the weekend, we visited a few different costal towns, including Cromer, Sheringham and Wells-next-the-sea. There were so many bric-n-brac and record fairs, charity shops and second hand book stores. I discovered that Norfolk is definitely the place to head to if you are a collector of Ladybird books, like myself. I came home with this collection...

I started talking to a lady while we were both rummaging through the large cardboard box of Ladybird books outside one store. She asked me why I loved them so much, and I explained how they reminded me of my childhood and how I think the illustrations are beautiful, and so much better than the photographs that they often place inside childrens books now. She told me that she works with children, and that often if a child is struggling with their literacy, she will sneak some Ladybird books in to help them. However the reason she sneaks them in is because apparently Ladybird books are 'frowned upon'. I can't help but think that this is ridiculous. I read these books as a child, and I came away with an A* in my English Language GCSE!

We visited a little bric-n-brac fair in a church village hall in Cromer, where I brought some of my Ladybird books from. We also stopped for a piece of cake which had been made by some of the elderly ladies from the Church. I opted for a piece of coffee cake, and it was delicious! I also made it compulsory that we sat at the table with the most alluring tablecloth...

Down the street, we found a small bookstore, where we spent ages perusing the shelves and boxes. Steve found a set of drawers, each with different items inside. I started rooting through the cards drawer, when I found this dainty card for only 50p. I fell in love with the little bird illustrations on the front, and just knew I had to buy it!

This morning, we visited a tiny, secluded beach which was really beautiful, although incredibly windy! I could have spent hours watching the waves crashing against the beach from the top of the cliffs.

I love the seaside.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Rainy Day Charity Shop Browsing

Today is a typical English summer day. It's raining. I went on a hunt for some pliers and a drill bit this morning so that I can begin experimenting with making some necklaces. I then thought it would be nice to have a browse around some of my favourite charity shops in Leicester. Todays venture was pretty successful! Even my boyfriend found some good bargains! His face lit up when he found a Postal Service 12" for £1.29 and a Sigur Ros DVD for £1.99 in Oxfam. He also purchased a Frank Sinatra Christmas record in Age Concern, I'm looking forward to listening to that while snuggled up in a blanket during the winter months.
I managed to bring home a total of five books, including two more Ladybird books to add to my collection. The first was entitled 'Zoo', which I couldn't resist as it included Giraffes, which my niece is now fascinated with since we took her and her sister to Whipsnade Zoo a few weeks ago. The second was a rather more random choice, 'Baba Jesus'. I'm not great with languages, but it is the story of Jesus, told (I think) in German. My boyfriend questioned my decision to buy this, but it made me giggle so much and it was such a random find, that I just had to have it. I also found a 1980s kids party book for 30p, everything in there reminded me of my own childhood birthday parties, cheese wheels, butterfly cakes and even a ghetto blaster cake. My favourite book purchase of the day was 'The Book of Good Housekeeping' from 1956, sections include Furnishing, Gardening and Entertaining. Here are a few of my favourite pages.

Myself and my boyfriend desperately need to go to a car boot sale, we have so much junk to get rid off and it is all piled up in our spare room. As soon as it's all gone, I am going to turn the room into a studio - I am very excited! My sewing table and chair, fabrics and bits and bobs are all going to migrate upstairs so that we can have our living room back. We are going to buy a sofa bed so that guests have somewhere more comfortable to sleep, and I am going to fill the room with lots of lovely things to make it cosy. It's quite a dark room, so I'm also on the look out for a cute lamp to brighten it up. I have a very specific vision for this room, so I have been buying some odd little kitsch items for it (many of which, my boyfriend does not approve of!).

I couldn't resist this tiny painting of two little rabbits today! Yesterday, I found this similar robin painting in a box that my boyfriend's Mum gave to us, which was full of things that we could sell at the previously mentioned car boot sale. I love birds, so there was no way that this was going anywhere!

Now, I am fully aware that this deer ornament is tacky, but I love it anyway! It was only 75p, and I am already the proud owner of some other rather classy china animals, so she will fit in nicely!

On our return home, we purchased two slices of my favourite cake, Nelson Squares. If you have never heard of such a cake, I have just found a recipe on the Waitrose website here. So here we are inside our little home, sheltered from the rain, and sat down eating our cake with a nice cup of tea!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Mum and Dad

I have had a really nice day today, my parents came to visit us from Luton. We had some lunch at a really nice pub called The Cow and Plough, I ate a very yummy mature cheddar and red onion marmalade sandwich, mmm! The pub is full of old memorabilia, and on the door to the ladies toilet was this amazing vintage metal sign, which I must now find for myself!
After lunch, we had a stroll around some little boutique shops and stopped for a coffee. We later visited the Botanical Gardens in Leicester, where there is currently a sculpture exhibition. It was really nice to walk around such a beautiful place in the sunshine.

It was really nice to see my Mum and Dad, I often miss them now that I live about 70 miles away from 'home'. When I was uploading these pictures from today, I found some old photographs on the computer that I had discovered in their house a few years ago. I just had to post this image, it's one of my favourite photographs in the world. These photo booth snaps were taken in May 1976, just before they were married. I know I'm soppy, but I find them really romantic..!


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