Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Whatever happened to make do and mend? The demise of the sewing box.

Today was a vintage trawl sort of day.
Of the traditional,rummage in a charity shop sort, and not the tip tapping over the internet, making dents in my bank balance with Finnish flower power. And London. Oohh, and not forgetting Slough...

Groovy mod daisies from 1960s Finland...oohh, yes!
It's been a while since I've done a proper charity shop trawl in Swansea.
Swansea not being renouned for its love of vintage, and a certain charity shop policy of binning 1970s d├ęcor for being old fashioned, whilst happily stocking nylon polyester.

However, Uplands did not disappoint.
By sheer coincidence I stumbled upon the very same (discontinued and gorgeous) fabric I'm working with at the moment, unused and a metre and a half in length, for the grand sum of £1!
A case of buyer's remorse, and my gain.

My next find was bittersweet.
Hidden away in a dark recess were the contents of a well worn and well used sewing box, now decanted into various cellophane bags.
Some of the buttons dated back to the 1950s, with many attached to their original cards.

I find it sad that the humble sewing box, once a staple of every household, seems to have no place in the modern home.
Indeed, the most popular sewing kit now appears to be the one that comes in a Christmas cracker.
With a hat and a joke.

Whatever happened to make do and mend?
We have become a disposable society, with basic sewing skills having no place in the overcrowded school curriculum.

But I did walk away with several cellophane bags from this once well used sewing box.
And the uncomfortable knowledge that my own well loved and well used sewing jars will one day suffer the same fate...

Saturday, 19 July 2014

The not so humble banana.

The banana.
Not only the most popular fruit in the world but chock full of healing qualities.
And a reviver of dead roses.

Having neglected an elderly miniature rose bush for more than fifteen years it finally gave up the ghost last month, with sweet pink roses replaced by rather dead looking shoots.
Potbound for all this time, with ever encroaching moss and weedy garlands, it had somehow managed to produce the sweetest roses, year after year.
Consumed with guilt and nostalgia for a plant that has acted as sentry by my door since my son was four foot tall with muddy knees I turned to banana skins - and a very large pot.
For three weeks I fed it discarded banana skins, draped elegantly over the compost, and now, a month later, I have fresh green shoots and a much healthier looking plant.

And a new found respect for bananas.

Having spent nearly a year on a kibbutz specialising in bananas in the dim and distant 1980s, I have always had a soft spot for bananas.  However, when it came to picking them I lasted just three days in the banana plantations of Ginosar, being particularly useless in all things agricultural and much more at home in the children's houses.
Perhaps it was the 4am tractor roll call, perhaps it was the ribbons and lace that were a permanent fixture in my hair, but me and bananas - we just didn't click.
But my friends did, and friendships were cemented over bananas.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Musing on time while doting on flowerpower.

If I had to condense my (rather large and ever expanding) fabric stash to just one decade it would be the 1960s.
Absolutely and without a shadow of doubt.
Although perhaps with a smattering of the 1970s thrown in for good measure.

The last two weeks has seen more than a few impulse buys of 1960s/70s flowerpower via the not so retro internet, including this gorgeous pair of groovy campervan curtains that I'm itching to turn into a sausage dog for the door.
Oh my goodness, I'm so in love with these!

...and closely followed by a beautiful 1970s ditzy floral cotton, staying with the lilac theme, that is en route to becoming a cluster of retro owls.

The first of these owls is Lavender Blue, a large owl cushion.
I love the contrast of the lilac against the powder blue of textured boiled wool.
Baby owls in progress.
And on the theme of times gone by, this has been a week when I've felt the passing of time.
Blink, and it's gone in a flash!  Not only was it my 47th birthday on the 8th, my 22 year old son informed me that I was the same age now as my mum was when I had him, and that I was entering grandparent territory!  Oh my goodness!!!  This is the son that I waved off to uni nearly four years ago, scalped by Catriona. A day I remember as if it was yesterday.  He graduated last week with a 2.1 in journalism and is now back home, complete with trailing leads and clothes, boxes and a mountain of shoes.  And a taste for Pimms.  In the bath. 
Leaving day.
Graduation.  Very proud.