Tag Archives: home decor

Fleamarket Finds

I’m lucky that I have a BIG monthly fleamarket/collectors fair locally … it’s just as much fun as car boots and charity shops, and the treasure-to-junk ratio is slightly higher …. though sometimes the amount of little china shepherdess figurines is a teeny bit depressing. (Not that there’s anything wrong with them, per se, but they’re really not my thing)

I always go along with a ‘wish list’ of things I’m particularly looking for … it helps me keep my magpie instincts under control.

This time I was looking for a clock for my workroom … I saw an art-deco clock which I ummed over for a while, and then wandered off to have a think about …. and of course, once I’d decided I did want it and went back, it’d gone. And in a failing to learn to strike while the iron is hot, I did exactly the same thing with another clock, not ten minutes later! I’m consoling myself with the notion that they weren’t the RIGHT clock for me.

No such hesitation when I spotted these bad boys …. a pair of rusted old wine crates, covered in dust and spiderweb, but EXACTLY what I needed to replace the nasty old pine wine rack we’ve had since forever.

And the same with these vintage picture frames …. I have a project in mind for these, involving the wartime postcards in an old phot0-album of my grandfathers that I ‘inherited’.

A fair amount of cleaning is going to be needed first, though.

Taking the time to go slow paid off, when I had a good old rummage through the ‘everthing in this box 20p each’ on one stall … I turned up some old linen napkins in varying stages of battered, a couple of embroidery hoops and double-pointed knitting needles …. WIN!

But the star of the show – for me – was a stall absolutely DRIPPING with old linen, lace, ribbon … gloves, hats, oh, heaven! I could have just put the whole lot in my bag and brought it home, but managed to control myself (and I didn’t think the husband would be terribly impressed if I spent the summer holiday fund on old fabric!!)

My stash of linen and lace has grown just that little bit bigger … and do you see that little bonnet at the front there?

It is simply one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen … so fragile, but in such great condition. I can see it playing a big part in a memory cloth, very, very, soon … I have a scrap of a smocked baby dress that it will work with perfectly.

Happy sighs …. and as if old things attract, my lovely mother-in-law gave me a tiny travel secretaire that had been in the family forever, but she didn’t want anymore, when I saw her this week. AND THEN, as if my cup wasn’t already in a runneth-over state, my mum had cleared out some of her old linen and asked me if I wanted it. Umm, bears, woods?

This is one happy magpie!

Bespoke charcoal slow cloth cushion

I’ve been working some more weaving … this is a bespoke cushion from before Christmas, which was intended as a gift … so I’ve delayed posted the pictures until well after the event, to avoid spoiling any surprises!

It all started as an old charcoal cashmere pullover – badly mothed and coming apart at the seams – that had huge sentimental value. A gift for a special man, made from his father’s old pullover… what was wanted was a modern, stylish cushion suitable for a man’s study ….. but the wool was in such bad condition, that the only way to make it into memory cloth, was to make it into slow cloth.

First things first … into an old pillowcase and into the washing machine at 90 to felt it … and I was glad I’d put it in the pillowcase, otherwise I’d still be pulling little black bobbles out of my machine now! Once it was felted and the wool wasn’t going to unravel on me, I cut strips from it, each roughly 5cm across and around 50cm long. I wove them together onto a linen base, and used chevron stitch in black embroidery silk to hold the edges down and together. And then quilted over the top of the whole thing in turquoise silk, ecru cottonĀ and silver metallic embroidery thread, just a fairly straightforward running stitch, because it didn’t want to be too fancy and feminine.

With the top completed, time to turn my attention to the backing … I am the most terrible cheat when it comes to buttonholes … I can do them, but they drive me demented, so if I can get out of it, I will. My favourite cheat, currently, is using old shirt fronts as the backing for cushions. In this instance, an old dress shirt – I thought the black lines worked well with the cushion top colours and lines … and hey presto, buttons and buttonholes already present and correct! YAY!

Top and bottom together, with a 45cm x 45cm cushion pad inside … and I think this is a pretty stylish, masculine, modern cushion, perfect for a study chair!