boxes and bits

Time for an extended show-and-tell of some of the stuff I’ve acquired recently….

boxes of threads.....jpg

Boxes full of second-hand cotton perle. I don’t tend to use this sort of thread much, but I have been recently, so I thought it was sensible to buy the 15 or so balls for £2 when I saw them. Since then I have been working on ideas which involve a lot of cotton perle and other embroidery threads, so something was working on my side. I also bought a big box of old anchor threads the other day – much more pricey at £13.50 for the box, but as there are about 90 skeins, mostly full and all in good colours, I thought it was worth it.

While at the Festival of Quilts the other day I admired, but didn’t buy, lots of space-dyed cotton perle, which my friend told me she uses for hand quilting. This slowly sunk in, and when I got home I realised that it was just what I needed for a quilting project I’m doing as a contribution to a book. Hmm. Too late. Luckily my local shop had some nice stuff which is working out very well. I found some stunning stuff this weekend too, which I will unpack and photograph before too much longer.

cigar boxes.jpg.jpg

What I did buy at the quilt show was fabric, which I really didn’t need, including this very photogenic Michael Miller silver dots. It goes nicely with the cigar boxes from the car boot sale.

The striped silk doll’s dress which I love with a strange devotion. I’ve never been interested in doll’s stuff, not since I was little enough to play with dolls (which has been a while!). But I came across this collection of beautifully-made dolls’ outfits in an antique shop and just fell in love. This little pinafore is so much like the kind of thing I like to wear myself, I think that’s why I love it so much. The buttons are made from brass paper fasteners or something. Its not the best made bit from the whole collection, but it is really sweet.

doll pinafore.....jpg

I bought the cardigan to keep the dress company. And it was only £1.

doll cardigan.....jpg


I would have loved to have these two tiny coats as well, but that really would have blown the budget. They are made of wool and have full linings, seam bindings and everything. Gorgeous!

My dad later told me that his mother (who was a professional seamstress) also made dolls’ clothes. She died a few years before I was born, so none of her sewing stuff made it down to me, which is very sad.


She was an Eaton, so this hatbox addressed to Messrs Eaton amused me.

king tin.jpg

While I was in Wales I decided it was time for some nice tins. I’ve been after tins to keep stuff in at the studio for some time. So I tin-shopped with a mission. And I did very well indeed. This was the first. Isn’t he fine?

top tin

This was the last, the best and the cheapest, at just 50p.

persian carpet tin

There are a few more which I haven’t yet photographed, but have already put into use, containing bits and pieces.


I didn’t buy this tea cosy, but one day I will make a felt tea cosy with a scalloped edge and a bunch of flowers – not quite like this, but not too unlike this.

picnic set

I wish I could have afforded this set up; picnic set, thermos set and matching deckchair. Luckily I was on the train and trying (though I failed) to restrain myself.
Some picnicking will be taking place this weekend and such a set (and 6 deckchairs) would have come in very handy for the cucumber sandwiches, earl grey and strawberries.


One of the places we visited on holiday was the newly-re-opened Ruthin Craft Centre. I was delighted that it had just opened 2 weeks before I got there, as I’ve been waiting eagerly for it to open again. It was lovely, just spot on. Interesting exhibitions, excellent shop (selling lots of things by friends and acquaintances) and a fab cafe which served real tea with leaves and pots.

I finally bought Home, the booklet about Julie Arkell. I’ve been putting it off for ages because its £12 and its a slim pamphlet. Having wanted it for about 2 years, and still wanting it, I decided it was worth splashing out on. I am so pleased, its a delightful booklet full of inspiration and joy. *just do a blog search on Julie Arkell if you want to explore more*


A small piece of inspiration was her lovely organised studio with stuff in covered, labelled boxes. I’ve got a few covered boxes but hoard my fabrics too much to want to use them on boxes. She’s got ones covered in pages from old books, but I have been brought up by book lovers and would fear for my life if I were to cut up old books, however tatty and common they might be. So as I wondered about the car boot sale I pondered paper. And maps is what appeared before me. Old 1950s maps. I love maps. Its ok to cut up old maps. So I did. Then when I told my mum (the map-lover) about this, she happily bequeathed me a pile of her old maps too. So now I have tonnes of boxes and tonnes of maps and no time to conjoin the two.


Buttons. Cherub made. What more needs to be said?
cherub make

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