Monday, 31 March 2008


You will never find me carrying a tiny clutch or a bijou purse. I like to feel comfy and at home wherever I go, so my big bag is always packed with what I call 'essentials'...

Address book
Post-it notes
Coin purse
Big purse for notes and cards
2 x bars Green & Black's white chocolate
House keys
6 pens
Wet wipes
Mobile phone
Various business cards
Plastic cowboy and Indian toys
Embroidery thread shade card
Bepanthen cream
Little painted wooden guy

I hadn't noticed it before but there's a definite red and pink thing going on in my bag!

Visit Three Buttons to see who else is playing What's In My Bag.

Sunday, 30 March 2008


Friday, 28 March 2008

Week of Vintage Embroidery Patterns: Day Five

Hosted by Floresita at Meet Me at Mikes

Some cute trees from a 1970s embroidery book from Denmark (but fortunately it's in English so there are instructions!).

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Week of Vintage Embroidery Patterns: Day Four

Hosted by Floresita at Meet Me at Mikes

A cute Mrs. Ducky for Thursday! From Aunt Martha's pattern no. 3740. Reminds me that I must do my weekly shop today.

And talking of shopping, here some nice old advertising images that I have on my inspiration board.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Week of Vintage Embroidery Patterns: Day Three

Hosted by Floresita at Meet Me at Mikes

I would love to make this vintage embroidery transfer, it's how I feel at the end of most days - although I would need to add a computer, a sewing machine, a tin of paint, gardening tools and a shopping trolley too! Pah - women had it easy back in those days!


I'm going to a family wedding in a couple of weeks - who knows what the weather will be? In the past three weeks we've had a 40 degree heatwave, thunderstorms, cold days when I've had to fire up the heater, and early autumn dampness.

I needed to buy a new outfit, so I've plumped for this spotty fifties dress and cosy cardie from Boden, which should see me right.

But now I need shoes and a bag!! And maybe a pretty corsage...

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Week of Vintage Embroidery Patterns: Day Two

Hosted by Floresita at Meet Me at Mikes

These patterns came from a book of designs for corded embroidery, but I think you could use them for finer, outline embroidery too.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Week of Vintage Embroidery Patterns: Day One

Hosted by Floresita at Meet Me at Mikes

I'm going to be posting some cute vintage patterns for embroidery and appliqué this week; mainly they are children's designs from 1970s craft books. I especially love patterns from Denmark and Sweden, like this group of houses.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Week of Vintage Children's Illustration
Day Seven

I've been waiting all week to post my very favourite vintage children's illustrations - Ladybird books from the 1950s-1970s!

I've posted about these before, and why I love them so much, so today I am just posting some of my favourite illustrations. And if you like them, you can now buy framed prints of many of the best illustrations from Ladybird here. Yay!

I've really enjoyed digging out my favourite old children's books this week - thanks Pip!

Happy Easter everyone! The Easter Bunny came to our house! Last night the boys put out their new egg collecting bags - we found these really cute ones that came in a pack with 'official rabbit food' (muesli!), and a checklist. We added a glass of milk and a carrot, and lo and behold they were all gone this morning at 6am when the boys woke up! And our garden was full of chocolate eggs (good quality ones of course, as no doubt mummy and daddy will scoff quite a few of them over the next few days!). And I also received, just for me, a giant freckle easter egg, yum, I love freckles! We're just going to hang out together at home today, maybe go for a walk around the lake. Have a great day!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Week of Vintage Children's Illustration
Day Six

Today I've brought out my collection of Twinkle comics again, from the 1970s. When I grew out of Topsy and Tim (see last post), I graduated to Twinkle - every Thursday after school my comic would be delivered by the newspaper boy, and at Christmas time there was always a new Twinkle annual in my stocking - 'full of gay features, puzzles, stories and things to do'.

I adored Twinkle, and all of the regular characters in her comic, like Belinda, Jenny Wren, Nurse Nancy and Patty Pickle. And it felt so grown-up to get my own 'magazine' every week, just like my big sisters who would get Bunty and Jackie comics delivered.

I don't know much about the illustrators behind Twinkle, as they are anonymous, but their style is instantly recognisable. Donna told me her nan was one of the Twinkle illustrators, how cool!

I don't know if Twinkle was available in Australia - I did once find a huge pile of Twinkle comics at Camberwell market in Melbourne, which I added to my collection (imagine how thrilled I was!). I put all of Twinkle collection on to Flickr some time ago, have a look! Aren't the covers just so fab?

Friday, 21 March 2008

Week of Vintage Children's Illustration
Day Five

Here is one of the best ever series of children's books - Topsy and Tim! For those of you who didn't grow up in the UK, Topsy & Tim were the books we all read as kids in the seventies, and they are totally wonderful.

There are over 100 books in this series, all featuring the twins Topsy and Tim. Unlike the children's books that had been published previously, Topsy and Twin were modern kids who we could all relate to - they lived in a suburban house, went to jumble sales and the dentist, had a trendy mum and got bored, excited, naughty, curious and cross.

The illustrations were very simple and engaging, and the stories were too. I love that these books are kind of like a primary-school soap opera, with lots of regular characters like Mum and Dad, Mrs Maypole, Miss Terry the teacher, various pets, next-door neighbours and local shop owners. Who wouldn't be keen to learn to read with books like these around?

Although the books were definitely centred on children, now that I read them as a grown-up I can see that there are lots of little things added in to make parents and teachers chuckle - see my earlier post for one very funny example.

The creators of Topsy and Tim were a married couple, Jean and Gareth Adamson. They had a young family of their own and I think this is evident in the way they have brilliantly captured the emotions of childhood. Gareth died some years ago but Jean still illustrates the modern version of Topsy & Tim. She lives in Cambridgeshire, where I lived too before we moved to Australia, and she holds Topsy and Tim days at local schools. Jean was recently given an MBE for services to children's literature, yay Jean! You can read more about Jean and Gareth here .

Topsy and Tim were given a makeover in the 1980s. The new-look twins are still great, but it is these older editions that I love so much. When I read them now, I am right back there as a six-year-old, rugged up in a polo-neck jumper, tartan pinafore and woolly tights, sitting on the floor in a drafty classroom on a cold, grey Northern English day. The sound of my teacher's voice is in the background, but I am lost in the world of Topsy and Tim!

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Week of Vintage Children's Illustration
Day Four

Today I have chosen books by Miroslav Sasek, one of my favourite illustrators. I was first introduced to M. Sasek by Anne, who runs the website ' 'This Is M. Sasek' ' as well as one of my favourite blogs, I Like .

Since then some of Sasek's books have been re-issued in new, updated editions, and they are available at Amazon and decent bookshops.

Each book tells the story of a city or country. The text is really minimalist, and the illustrations are beautiful and clever, full of funny little details.

I have managed to collect quite a few of the old hardback editions now. My children love them, even though they are a little 'quaint' in places!