Let’s Camp it Up!

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My fabulous enamel mugs posing inside my new Schiaparelli pink washing up bowl.

Are you romantic?  Well, happy Valentine’s Day if you are and happy Thursday if you are not!  Of course I’m expecting a sack-full of red padded envelopes any minute…

This week has been a very changeable one weather-wise with flurries of snow, bone chilling cold, very wet rain and now sunshine.  Really a girl does not know what to wear!

Today I find myself with a whole day in which to contemplate life, and my thoughts have immediately turned to my van which we will be collecting on Saturday.  As I have mentioned before I want it to be practical for doing markets but I also want a really kitsch and over-the-top environment in which to camp (pardon the pun).  At the moment I favour lining it with gathered fabric mounted on curtain wire at the top, middle and bottom.  It would be easy to fit and remove and would give instant glamour and comfort.  I am also planning hanging storage pockets and a small painted cupboard and shelf.  Add the mugs bought specially, the pink washing up bowl and the cute and safe candle lanterns and I think it’s coming together.  In thought at least!  There will be pictures.  Who knows, I might even inspire a few of you to create your own.  If so, I’ll see you in that field near St. Just in Penwith, Cornwall.  You know the one…  I’ll put my red kettle on ready!

Let Me Eat Cake…

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A section of my display at the Bath Artisan Market.

So what does a girl do when she finds herself alone on her birthday?  Well, she starts by having chocolates for breakfast and then she plans a day of vintage rummaging culminating in a quest for cake.  Oh, is that just me…?

I feel I deserve a lazy day anyway after standing in the freezing conditions of Bath Artisan Market from 8.30am to 4pm yesterday.  It was a slow day as it was the first market of the year and people were probably happier to stay in the warm.  The Rupert Bear earrings were the most popular item.   I met some great people and there was a lot of interest in my little Essex machines which were helping to make my stall more eye-catching.  Quite a few people took information about the workshop parties so something might come of it yet.

While I was setting up the stall at silly o’clock in the morning I turned to see The Accountant smiling at me.  He had driven up to wish me well and buy me coffee and cake.  Then he departed like a will o’ the wisp.  Such a lovely surprise – made me feel warmer!

In other news, I have paid the deposit on my van!  It will certainly be easier to load for markets than my Mini Cooper and also brings me a step closer to that camper dream.  So now I will be planning curtains and storage ideas.  I wonder whether you can get pink tyres…?

I ran out of time last week and did not get to finish the Rupert Bear necklaces I hoped to have ready for the market.  These should be completed later this week and I’ll put up a picture then.  They have a slightly Art Deco feel because of the shapes and the colours of the illustrations.  Quite pleasing I think.

Meanwhile the jam jar idea is coming to the fore and will be getting some attention over the next few days.  I think it’s a cute idea and I certainly didn’t see anything like it at the market so it’s all systems go.

Tiny House is looking more than a little dishevelled and sad today after the manic preparations for the market so I must give it some attention – but it will have to wait until tomorrow because, in case I forgot to mention, it’s my birthday today.  Cheers!

Experiments and expeditions!

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My keepsake book cover design sample.

It’s funny how having too much to do brings out the best in me.  I suppose that when there is time to spare it’s easy to say “well, I can do that tomorrow because I don’t have anything else to do”…

Yesterday I made a small patchwork cushion (from a piece of curtain and a thick cotton shirt) on one of the little Essex machines to see if it could be the basis of a workshop.  Although I did manage to complete the cushion it would be a little too tricky for a beginner, so I think I’ll have to stick to strips rather than patches of fabric.  These ‘try-out’ sessions take up valuable time but are vital to ensure people really enjoy the workshops and leave with something worthwhile and pretty.  It was also good to get one of the little machines out as I haven’t used them for a while.  I am taking them to a vintage craft day in aid of Dorothy House and Cancer Research on Saturday 23rd February so I must oil them all up and check their tension!

This morning has dawned bright and sunny, thank goodness, as I am off to my storage unit to root around.  I have a huge list of things to find so I may be some time, but if I’m not back in three days please send out a search party.  I have visions of them finding me, Scott-like, with frozen eyebrows and brittle fingers, clutching a folding chair and a small box of “GlamUpcycling” carrier bags.

On Friday I am going back to choose my van.  I can’t express how excited I am as this idea has been in my head for at least ten years but has always seemed rather out of reach.  I have such plans for its interior – all of which will be removable so I can also use it for markets and shows.  (I have just looked back over this paragraph and realised how sad my excitement will make me look to the uninitiated.  But you understand don’t you?)  I look forward to posting pictures on the gallery page over the coming months.

The “Birdie Heart” design is completed and I now have four cut out ready to be stitched.  I can’t actually make up the book covers until I’ve received the books I ordered, but as long as I do all the hand stitching the rest shouldn’t take too long.

Well, I must don the all-weather gear and head off.  Where did I put that hip flask…?

The Thinker….?!

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Thought you might like another glimpse of Tiny House on this cold day…

Sometimes I just need a sit-and-think session.  To the outside world it must look as if I’ve shut down and I have certainly had my share of comments: “are you ok?”, “cheer up, it might never happen!”, “are you actually going to do anything today?”….!  But I think most creative people would understand this need.  I suppose all I am doing is shutting out all the ‘noise’ of the world and looking at the thoughts in my head.  A wood fire helps the process I find.

Recently I have been looking at other blogs and websites and I’m absolutely amazed at their number and diversity.   People are doing all kinds of things: recycling, upcycling, repurposing, designing, sewing, knitting, crocheting or simply sharing how they have made a beautiful home and life for their families.  Take a look at the likes on my Facebook page (glamupcycling.com) for a selection of my favourites.  They are very inspiring and often uplifting, and it’s good to know that there are so many interesting and lovely people in our world.

Well, this morning the much awaited beginners’ crochet group went ahead and I wasn’t disappointed.  I met some lovely ladies and Verity, who runs this and many other workshops, asked if I would like to collaborate on some projects.  Yes I would please!  We will be getting together soon to work out exactly what this means and I’m very excited to be getting involved.

I was listening to the song Nothing Arrived by The Villagers as I ate my home made soup at lunch time and the line ‘I waited for nothing and nothing arrived’ jumped out at me.  It’s true – you have to go out and make things happen.

I didn’t achieve much crochet but I’m determined that the next time I see Verity I will be wearing the bow we were supposed to make!  Off to the charity shops to find some wool I think…