Thursday 31 August 2023

18th century scandal and intrigue!

His aunt was accused of murdering her husband on their wedding night.  His widow was taken off to Ireland and imprisoned by her fourth husband.  His daughter was involved in an unhappy marriage which led to a separation!  The women in the life of the 8th Lord Cathcart (1686-1740) certainly led interesting lives.  

These stories from the 18th century certainly caused a sensation when they came to light and writers Sir Walter Scott and Maria Edgeworth used these true stories as the basis for novels.

Read more on my blog post - Lord Cathcart's Women.  (My local history blog - The Greenockian.)

Love, Liz

Thursday 6 July 2023

But will I wear it?

It didn't take me long to crochet this waistcoat.  I wanted it to be blue, and it was a great way to use up lots of little odds and ends of blue yarn that I had "accumulated" over the years.

Added two little pops of red, just for interest.  Enjoyed making it.

I want to wear it, but is it a bit twee?

We'll see if I can build up some courage to wear it!

Love. Liz

Wednesday 24 May 2023

Cross stitch fabric dyeing

I had a piece of 16 count white aida fabric which I hadn't used and was unlikely to use any time soon.  I had already coffee-dyed some previously, so I thought I would try something different.

I bought a Dylon Hand Dye sachet in Vintage Blue and gave it a go.  I tried it first with an oddment of 14 count aida, just to see how it would turn out.  

I am so pleased with the result.  It has very light variations which is just perfect for the new nautical cross stitch pattern I'm about to start.  I didn't use the whole sachet of dye crystals, so have plenty left to use again.

I'm going to try some other colours now that I have had success with this.

Love, Liz

Tuesday 16 May 2023

Nautical things

I changed my tiered tray to show some nautical bits and pieces.

I stitched the seaside house with yachts last year.  It is from a pattern by Carriage House Samplings.  You can read more about it here.

I loved stitching these three little pillows.  My favourite is the pirate.  You can read all about him here.

Hope you like my display - I think it looks quite nice for summer.

Love, Liz

Tuesday 18 April 2023

Coronation Tea Cosy

Just in time for the King's Coronation I knitted a tea cosy in patriotic colours - red, white and blue.

That should keep the teapot warm while I'm watching the Coronation on TV in a couple of weeks.  Isn't time flying by!

I've also got this Union Flag cross stitch which I made ages ago.  I love it!  You can read more about it on a previous blog post here.

Perhaps French Fancies weren't the best choice of cake!

Love, Liz

Wednesday 5 April 2023

Spring Greens

I fell in love with this cute tea caddy - the colours just spoke to me and I just had to have it.  It is just so spring-like!  Obviously I needed to stitch some spring cross stitch bits and pieces to go with it, so I immediately went to my go-to place for perfect cross stitch patterns - the lovely Melisa's blog - Pinker n'Punkin Quilting & Stitching.

I've stitched many of Melisa's free patterns before and knew I'd find something on her blog.  I love this house - Dorothy Mae's Spring House - find it here.  I changed the colours (hope you don't mind, Melisa) to match the spring colours on the tea tin.

I also found this Spring pattern with a cute bunny on Melisa's blog and again changed the colours to match my tin.  You can find it here.

I love how this little vignette has turned out.  Thank you Melisa for the lovely patterns.  I think I need to knit a tea cosy to match now!

(The tea tin is available in other beautiful colours and can be found on Amazon.)

Love, Liz

Friday 31 March 2023

Not just for serving tea!

Use your vintage china to serve up a delicious dessert.

How special would this look on your table on Easter Day as you celebrate with family and friends.

Vintage china just makes everything look that little bit more classy.

This design is Hazeldene, New Chelsea fine bone china.  I made a raspberry mousse and just let it set in the cup.  I think I might make individual trifles for Easter Day.  It is so good to use these beautiful vintage pieces and not just on special days!

Love, Liz

Monday 27 March 2023

Dancing in chiffon and sequins

Did anyone else watch the recent Come Dancing episodes from the 70s which were shown on Sunday evenings at 7.00 on BBC4?  I came across them by chance and was immediately taken back to watching tv with my Gran back in the day.  My Gran went to what she called "sequin dancing" - sequence dancing.  She took me along once, but I have two left feet, so I was not ever invited again.  But she loved Come Dancing on tv.

The wonderful music provided by the likes of Ray McVey and Tony Evans and their bands, Barri Haynes doing the commentary and the incomparable Terry Wogan leading the show - what's not to like for us "oldies".  The music is so nostalgic!

The dancers are wonderful.  At first I wondered why the commentator mentioned the colours of the dresses and then I remembered that some people would still have had black and white tv in those days!  The dresses - all sewn by the dancers and their Mums - are wonderful concoctions of chiffon and sequins.  Each sequin sewn on by hand, of course.

My favourite parts of the show are the formation dancing and the military two step - that's the very formal dance where the men salute.  There's a lovely version on YouTube here.  Such a smart dance, and as for those shiny shoes!  Did you watch the original Come Dancing, or am I just getting very old!!!!!  (Don't answer that!!!)  I hope the BBC show more episodes soon!

Love, Liz

Friday 24 March 2023

Filling my Book of Days

I just received some happy mail - these lovely stickers which I ordered from Lunar Lucie on Etsy.  They are for my Book of Days where I keep track of all my cross stitch projects.

I'm really delighted with these stickers, especially the "Embroidery" set - perfect for my sewing book. The "Patchwork Quilted Houses" are just so lovely too.

Since I'm a great vintage fan, the "Vintage Aesthetic" stickers are great too.

Here's a set that I'll keep till December - perfect for Christmas.

Lunar Lucie has lots more collections of stickers on all sorts of subjects which would look great in your Book of Days, or journal.  Go on over and have a look.

Love, Liz

Monday 13 March 2023

A lovely sewing gift

Isn't this just beautiful!  A lovely friend gave me this gorgeous key chain.  Everything on it is sewing related.

Made by Louise Pringle - electicshock jewellery.  Cafe Mor in Patrick Street, Greenock have a wonderful selection of her very unusual pieces.  It is also a great place to meet friends and have coffee and cake!  The Cafe is part of an old church building in Greenock.  Read about it here.

Look at this tiny embroidered bee!  There's also a thimble, thread spool, cute little Singer sewing machine charm and a scissors charm.  Perfect for me.  I'm going use it as a zip-pull on one of the pretty project bags that I keep my cross stitch in.

I'll be reminded of my thoughtful friend each time I look at it.

Love, Liz

Wednesday 8 March 2023

Spring dressing

Gave my Welsh dresser a spring makeover last week.

Kept it quite simple ... for me.

Pink and blue were my colour choices for this year.

I love it, but no doubt little bits and pieces will get added as the months go by!

Hope you are all well.

Love, Liz

Thursday 2 March 2023

My Choice Vintage

I like to occasionally change the accent colours in my kitchen, and this time of year is the perfect time to do that.  Red is my current choice and I was searching about online to find a pretty tablecloth that would look good in my kitchen.  Then quite by chance I was rummaging through my box of vintage linen treasures when I found this gorgeous tablecloth.

Made in Ireland by "My Choice", it was still in its crinkly cellophane cover which fell apart as I lifted it from the box.  Some would say that vintage finds should be left as they are, but I would much rather put it to good use - doing what it was designed to do - covering my kitchen table.

I absolutely love it and it fits the table perfectly!  (Probably should have ironed it before taking photographs!)

It has been a while since I last blogged and to be honest it has been a very rough couple of months.  However if these last few months have taught me anything it is that we, no matter what our age, really need the company of others!  Friends and family are so important and vital for our well-being.  Getting out and about and making ourselves take up opportunities which present themselves is part of what it means to have a decent quality of life.  It is so easy to blog about pretty things and make it sound like life is just perfect and that does serve a purpose, but occasionally it is good to face reality and know that life is not always picture perfect.  I'm going to keep blogging about pretty things and crafting - which has kept me going recently.  Sometimes it is hard to see the light a the end of the tunnel, but it is there and sometimes, when we get there we realise that it burns brighter than it did before.  Keep well, my friends.