30 March 2011

My favorite buttons

About 7 or 8 years ago R bought me these lovely enamel art nouveau buttons....not a birthday or anything special, just because he thought they were 'me'. How right he was. I had them put on a very nice trouser suit that I wear constantly.

They were in the original box from Hancock & son, 29 King Street, Manchester. I wonder whether they are still there, I doubt it.

I use vintage buttons on my clothes when ever I can.

Love my new craftcult widgets (right) I can change the etsy treasuries in a heartbeat. I am very pleased with myself.

28 March 2011

An afternoon at the ballet

Yesterday we picked up last minute seats for the National Ballet of Canada, and were lucky enough to get the front circle center box!! I had not read a review of this programme (we get Canada's national newspaper The Globe and Mail, the dance critic is so appalling I refuse to read the columns) so I was thrilled to see Russian Seasons, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky who had been up to Toronto to rehearse. My goodness, the performance was hotter than July.

Appolo, (Balanchine at his best, in my opinion) was beautifully performed. Zdenek Konvalina was a boyish Appolo.The National, in its wisdom has removed the pictures from its website today so I have to give you a photo of Carlos Acosta, whom I saw in the role in Manchester a couple of years back. I never mind seeing a good ballet several times, dancers always bring their own interpretation and view of the work. I also saw this work at Covent Garden many decades ago, Darcy Bussell danced.

Balanchine's 'Theme and Variations' rounded out the afternoon.

One of the times I feel lucky to be living here, we had a super afternoon.

Always difficult to know what to wear to a matinée. I think it shows respect for the performers to make some kind of an effort. Yesterday there was a mix of grubby, sloppy jeans and sparkly, bare, cocktail dresses.
I wore my old gray flannel suit with the vintage mop buttons. If I were 22 and 40lbs lighter this simple but elegant little number in gold tweed might have worked. It can be made to order from Melissa Tabor on Etsy.


25 March 2011

2 lovely surprises, both art deco

The vintage scarves that I have for sale on etsy or to go to market are kept in 3 large plastic totes in my warehouse (converted garage). Really interesting and varied pieces from the 40s -80s, that I sell very reasonably.

Older scarves, or one that go in my Jacqmar, Hermes or Liberty collection, or just my personal favorites stay in the house.
Yesterday I went to get some scarves to list, as usual I just put my hand in the tote and pull out 6 0r 7 at random, and came up with this wonderful, rich art deco silk crepe shawl from the 20s.....sort of vaguely remember it . Its in good condition, will re hem the ends.

I dearly want to keep it for myself...but honestly, I have hundreds of lovely scarves.
This morning I stuck my hand in my wardrobe to put something around my neck and out came another 20s deco silk shawl with double silk ends.

A little fragile, but still very wearable. Problem solved! I shall keep the second one and take the rust one to a vintage clothing and textile show I will be doing in April. It will look stunning.

Speaking of scarves...some one left me a message on Flickr that they wanted to buy one of my Hermes. I am a bit nervous as Flickr is a non commercial site and do not want to run the risk of my photos being removed.

23 March 2011

opened the front door.....

I opened the front door this morning to fetch the newspaper and what did I find?

more snow......just when I thought spring may have been around the corner. It's still blowing and howling and cold.

so to cheer myself up I looked at these two pieces of vintage cotton.

1930's gauzy hydrangeas, from the old store room at my parents pub....many decades before that playground was built.

Spring like dressmaking cotton, from the 50s I would think, bought here in Canada at a church rummage sale. Are they not pretty and romantic?

20 March 2011

No sign of spring yet...

I was hoping to post some images of the first daffodils pushing their way up in the garden, went out to search. No such luck! There is still a long way to go!

but I thought this 70s silk scarf (for sale in my etsy shop, hint hint) was rather spring like.

I like to wake up with the daylight, These cheap wooden shutters have hardly been closed for 30 years.
Last night it was that wonderful moon that shone in.

17 March 2011

The Primary Structures of Fabrics

Not much sign of spring here yet, but I planted these hyacinths in an antique wash bowl. They perfume the entire house and give me hope that spring may be just around the corner.

As some of you may know I have been somewhat housebound for the last couple of months. I was determined to read 'The Primary Structures of Fabrics' by Irene Emery, published in 1965. I bought it at a garage sale several years ago.

My goodness, I am finding it heavy going and academic. Nevertheless, I am plowing on, trying to absorb a page or two (or half a page) a day.

14 March 2011

I bit the bullet

I finally bit the bullet and opened another etsy shop, where I shall list vintage wedding dresses and furs....both a hard sell so I am not expecting much action.

but a dress is already featured in a pretty treasury. '40s chic', my favorite era. Other vintage clothing will be for sale when I get a bit more organized.

Now I will have to figure out how to promote this, any suggestions more than welcome.

12 March 2011

My Friends

My friend Roman came for lunch, and did he ever look spiffy in a purple velvet jacket (very Mick Jagger) turquoise shirt, purple and turquoise tie, turquoise and purple cuff links

and matching purple socks with new Redwing boots. And no, thats not apple juice in his hand.

It was with a heavy heart that I went to the funeral of my friend Elizabeth Harris today.
She was (amongst other things) the manager of the Brickworks Farmers market and took a chance on me, about 5 years ago when she let me set up stall there to sell vintage and antique quilts. It opened lots of doors for me, getting to know the farmers, getting to know the food as well as a fun venue - only 1/2 days as well.
It was the first time I had been in the Metropolitan United Church in Toronto, a stately historic building. Must have been about 1000 people there. All will miss her.

09 March 2011


Whoops ....somehow this vintage Jacqmar silk scarf got left behind. It had fallen behind the drawer. It's the sort I like best, floral, feminine and very English.

I love the weird shape of this plant, I think it is a type of begonia and it came as part of a mothers day arrangement from my daughter a few years back. Are the long spikes really the flower?

07 March 2011

Not for the squeamish..

I am sick of all the bloggers banging on about what's coming up in their garden, and how 'spring is on its way'.
Oh yes, some of the snow is melting...

and the sun is warm at midday..

but this is what is coming up.....yuck!
pictures by my lovely young friend Claudia, who helps me with my little business.

but let us talk of a more pleasant subject.
Yesterday I found an etsy shop with wonderful photographs of the area where I was brought up in South East Kent. PhotographyIS also has a super blog. Well worth checking out.
I am feeling very nostalgic and feel that a trip to Kent is in order.

05 March 2011

Look what I have....

Radka, an interesting and very sweet blogger I follow at my stitching journey, has been working hard on Schwalm embroidery ( white work) I had never heard of this, but have found some terrific sites on the subject.

Inspired, I dug out this vintage tea time linen tablecloth, but I'm not sure what this sort of embroidery is called. As soon as I find out it will go into my etsy shop.

Look what I won!! Julie, is a fellow expat who runs a couple of luscious etsy shops from France, Dorsbien and French Fabrics. She ran a competition on her blog to see who could come up with the most stash......I hardly ever enter an online competition , but a) I knew I would win (smirk) and b) I really wanted the prize of an antique French nightshirt.
I won with a couple of pics of my Liberty scarf stash, but I could have entered my Hermes collection, or my Jacqmar scarf collection.

What Julie does not know is that I only wear antique nightdresses, from a fine lawn and lace little number from the German ambassador's family pre WW1. to a depression era bleached feedsack slip.
I am going to love this and wonder if I might be able to wear it to the beach. Thanks Julie. Her shops are certainly worth checking out.

more etsy news

Expats are having a BNR (buy and replace) tomorrow, its a lot of fun, and items from all over the world will be for sale.

I have moved etsy treasuries to the right hand sidebar and will replace them from time to time (ie, when I am featured or see one I adore). What do you think?

02 March 2011

Finish me!....

Vintage UFOs lurking at the bottom of my (mostly knitting) UFOs. I think I picked these up at church rummage sales; never could resist anything textile related.

They come with threads as well...

Bargello neelepoint, 1960-70s,given the color and the old Eatons bag.....tapestry needle included.

possibly 50s crewel work, instruction sheet and binding too.

20s or 30s, heart shaped pillow and silk threads.

No need to ask why they were not finished, life gets in the way, I suppose.
Much to good and interesting to waste. I shall package them up nicely and take them to my summer shows, but I'm not sure there will be much interest.
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