Sunday, 23 August 2009

Buttons and non buttons

My great Aunt Margaret died at the beginning of the year. She was my dads dads sister. She moved down to Poole with Uncle Ted the year I was born and spent most of her time travelling, entertaining and socialising (or sometimes all three). I don't really know much about my dads side of the family but the snippets I've heared about Margaret are that she was a lot of fun. Margaret and Ted used to socialise a lot and loved to have bridge parties. Ted died some years ago and they didn't have any children so it's been my dads job to sort through her flat. It's a very sixties decorated two bed place in an apartment block with a private swimming pool where the residents used to have pool parties.
So yesterday I got around to sorting through a big box dad had dropped round, knowing I like sewing he gave me all her sewing stuff.
There's quite a bit to blog about so I thought I'd do it in sections so as not to overwhelm. I hope you find these things as interesting as I do. They reflect both Margaret's history and that of sewing at the same time.

There was a box of loose buttons and a small tin by Players Tobacco.

I like it when you find things other than buttons in button boxes, it's like an administrative error in the filing system. If it's small and has no real place to live, or is button shaped it will end up in the button box. Non button items I found in Margaret's button box are a very glam and very tiny retractable tape measure, two thimbles (one of which is from Blackpool Hospital, where I was born. She must have used it to do sewing when she was in there once) and a tiny china arm from an ornament.

Margaret loved to shop, looking the part at any social occasion. She had huge wardrobes full of clothes, shoes, hats and jewellery. Here is a whole stash of spare buttons from the clothes she'd bought over the years. Fancy keeping them all this time.

'Now where's that spare button?'

Some of the buttons even have a little piece of thread with them. The way this care advice label has been worded made me smile. Lovely indeed.

There were quite a lot of buttons on cards too. These range from being 'Empire Made' to British Made' to 'Made in England'

These ones can be boiled, ironed and dry cleaned. What lucky ladies we are.

Monday, 17 August 2009

The queen of clubs

My very good friend Jill visited me this weekend, she has two great blogs The Winter Entertainments Club (originally a night she organised, one was themed on film which I spoke at) and Today I Saw (I have received two postcards from this) We don't get to see each other often as we live far apart. Her enthusiasm for all things heritage based knows no bounds as you can see by her projects. Setting up groups, events and activities left right and centre. She is the queen of (traditional) clubs. Jill's new one is Lovely London Ladies Social Evening I'm attending the first one and I don't think I can actually wait three whole weeks. It's definitely a hat and gloves event and I don't mean the woolly kind!

We tried on lots of beautiful vintage hats at Revival, Jill bought a lovely ladies bowler style one. Making our way through the soggy Kendal streets, seeing what the charity shops and haberdashery stall had to offer, we talked about how we'd like to spend our time and both agreed how important it is that people 'create their own cool', rather than waiting for it to appear.

Let me explain. It's too easy to say 'nothing like that happens here' or 'well of course if I lived in a city I could...' It's great fun, not to mention a tremendous sense of achievement to set up activities, exhibitions, groups, blogs whatever takes your fancy. Even if at first people aren't battering the door down to join in with a little perseverance you will find people who share your interest and take part or maybe they will just like what they see and it will make their day a bit nicer.

Just the (gin and) tonic

I always thought how nice it would be to have an evening to go to each week where other people who liked sewing and such like could meet up in a nice pub and get to know each other whilst getting to know what each other know, if you catch my drift. Sick of waiting for the perfect evening to come to Kendal I started one myself.
Knit, Natter, Stitch and Chatter meets every Wednesday at The Riflemans Arms pub on Greenside in Kendal, a very traditional pub, with mostly male patrons who play dominoes and darts while we click clack and chat away.

We've only been meeting since last month and gradually over the weeks numbers have grown. I have only really promoted the group via word of mouth and using facebook. I was in a Cumbria Life article in June with two friends and a number of people contacted me from that.

Some of us are working on fashion items, here's Mel and the Lizzies knitting their winter wardrobes...

...Jeany's crocheted waist coat for baby Thomas's Alison's smocking (we have so many ideas as to what this could be made into)

Whilst others are working on home furnishings or toys. Lets face it us crafters always have something on the go.

We have a good mix of interests, abilities and ages but we all share a passion for making things ourselves. It's a great way to make some new crafty friends and catch up with some old ones whilst learning off each other and having a right good natter!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Tiny giants at number five

This is a bee that was on our front door on Monday, it was huge! It was bigger than a fifty pence. I tried to get another picture with a coin next to it but it got a bit angry and raised it's front legs at me and then flew at Mr B's foot and then whizzed off into the distance.

We'd seen a lot of dead bees lately, apparently there is a disease from Germany that is killing hives off and an increase in mobile phone signals over the last few years is making it harder for bees to navigate their way home. It was nice to see such a great big healthy one living locally.

Last night Mr B discovered a huge spider in the bathroom, it ran off behind the sink before I could get a glass over it (never kill a spider, it's really mean and also brings bad luck) so no picture either but it really was massive, like something from Australia! I'm sure we'll see it again.

Eggy Weggs

Here is the breakfast I have just finished. All the way round on my driving lesson all I could think about was eggy weggs. Four and a half minutes is perfect for me I don't like them runny.

I hadn't had eggy weggs for years and then had them two days in a row at M's (he likes them done for four minutes) and again when I went to visit FSN (I think she has em on four as well). Eggy weggs is the actual term we use for boiled eggs and soldiers, it cannot be used for eggs presented in any other way. All three of us are mad about eggy weggs. Are you mad about em too?

Myrtle ate the bits out of the lids as a special treat, we don't give her tit bits as we don't want her to beg for food, I put them in her bowl so she didn't know they were part of my breakfast. It probably hasn't fooled her though.

Friday, 7 August 2009

If you go down to the woods today...'re in for a big surprise.

I stumbled across this tiny tiny tea party in the woods across from where we live. All laid out on a little stone table amongst the brambles. The man who lives in the old mill across the river had an open gardens recently, he is self sufficient and has a large space dedicated to growing his own vegetables as well as lots of woodland, I think that this tea party was set up to entertain the children. Imagine finding that little treat!

He also keeps bees. Here they are. Clearly labelled.

Our puppy, Myrtle, likes to eat raspberries. Here she is waiting for juicy one I picked for her. If she picks her own she gets covered in sticky buds, she doesn't care but I do.

Myrtle discovered the remains of a fresh water crayfish, what a find! There are buzzards living around the river, I wonder if one had this for it's dinner? Or maybe it was the heron? I love walking Myrtle around Oakbank, it's great to get out and about. There's so many things to see right on our doorstep and new adventure to be had every day.


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