Thursday, 26 July 2012

Patchwork, Pyrex, Plates and Stuff

Morning chaps! And by the looks of it it's shaping up to be another nice day. Hurrah! Today I have plans to drag a sunlounger out and bask in it all afternoon. Quite handily, my garden faces west, so if I spend most of the morning doing all the boring stuff like changing beds, emptying the dishwasher and running over the Co-op for things, I don't feel like I'm missing out on the sun. I'm not actually a mad sunbather, but the combination of this horrible weather we've had and my legs being the colour of milk bottles has brought on this need to try and get a little bit of a tan. Plus Miss EF The Younger, the one who is coming on holiday with us only has to open a curtain and she's brown and she's been out there for two days solid and looks like she's had a month in a very hot country and I have some catching up to do on the tan front.
Right, a bit of business before we start, a big hello to girls who are following and thanks for your comments on the award post. Which leads me to this, after I did that post I kept thinking, 'oooh I could have passed it on to this one or that one' and I started to feel all rotten that I hadn't. So, I'm sorry, to all those ladies whose blogs I read and enjoy that I didn't spread it about a bit more. (and there are blimming loads, believe me.)

Let's have a photo shall we?
I think I'll start with my new craze. The English Paper Piecing. See me, even using the right name now...
I have actually cracked on a bit more with this and I have another row of the blues and have sewn the two blocks together. I decided that if I kept it to the nine squares I could stay in control of it, it would be easier to manage and it would be portable enough for me to take on holiday and do round the swimming pool if I fancied it. I won't sew the blocks together any more, I just wanted to see what they looked like. (And kiss it a few times and carry it round the house showing everyone and telling them how clever I am and that I never thought I would be able to do this until they all ran away and hid.)

The colours look clearer on this one taken in the garden. I think I will have to find a thicker white linen than the one I used here, it looks a bit see through. I will find another pair of gone at the crutch trousers to cut up.
I had a small disaster with the papers, well it felt like one to me, when I spent a good hour on Sunday evening using some 1cm square graph paper as a template to cut up some more and then realised I'd made them smaller than the lot that I'd spent hours tacking on to the last batch. I didn't cry, and I pulled myself together amazingly quickly, nothing thrown round the room, no swearing or anything. I just decided that instead of 8cm square blocks I would now be making them 7cm square and sat in the garden for an hour yesterday undoing all the tacking to start again. I told myself that us patchworkers have to remain patient at all times, mistakes will be made but they can be put right in a serene manner without tantrums.

The squares I did before the disaster. Some of them anyway. I have decided to make my tacking stitches bigger because they are barks to get out otherwise, so a lesson learned.
Right, moving on from the sewing before we have patchwork overload and you all run off screaming. Last Saturday Miss EFTY and I spent a nice afternoon in Leigh on Sea. It is my nearest lovely place and we go there quite a lot. There are lots of charity shops there but it is a rare thing that I find anything good in any of them. I'm talking toot now, not clothes. There could be good clothes but I don't always look when I'm there because there are so many shops to look in it would hold me up. I think the reason there is a lack of good stuff is that the people who live there 'get it' and also there are a few vintage shops there and I imagine they are buying up anything worth having before us lowly punters get their mitts on it. Which is fair enough and what I would do myself. What I mean about 'getting it' is this. Even though it's only a couple of miles up the road Leigh has its own vibe. Poncy word but I'm using it anyway. Where I live is very nice indeed but I get the feeling that most of the inhabitants, if they're not really old, like to buy their homewares in Next and shops like that. Nothing wrong with that and I applaud them because it means my local three chazzas have better stuff for me to buy because nobody else wants it. Indeed they are probably laughing at me for wanting to buy things in them. It's like a dirty secret and I look both ways in my village before I go in them in case anyone I know sees me. But in Leigh, it is different. It has an almost Whitstable feel about it but not so posh and distinctly more Essexy in parts. People go there to buy nice things and live there because it has rows of gorgeous Victorian terraces (murder for parking though) and lots of bars and restaurants. Anyway this is what I bought in Leigh. Not even in a charity shop.

He was one of three but I thought buying them all would make him look naff because I think with the other two it made up that see no evil, speak no evil thingy and I didn't want that. On his own he just looks like he's calling his mates to come out to play, or shouting  'Oi... you, get the hoover out and sort this gaff out pronto.'
I find I'm quite into cherubs at the moment, but I think too many would probably be overkill.

While I was in Leigh I went into the material shop there and was all excited at getting my hands on some fabric and batting. Did that, but came out quite deflated at the non -helpful and unfriendly attitude of the women who worked there. I will go in there again because we are short on fabric shops round here but I won't enjoy it.

You know the other day I said Pyrex was a passing fad with me, well I might have been a bit hasty.

Aren't they dinky? Well they are dinkier than they look in this picture and regular and long time readers might remember that I bought a bigger one of these some time ago. I actually left them in the charity shop twice and then woke up in the middle of the night in a hot sweat (that might have been an age thing) wondering why I had been so stupid and ran back and bought them. See that's the people round here for you. They were in the window display for days but when I ran in there, panting after running from my car, to buy them they were inside on the shelf and no one had bought them. Meant for me, see, waiting for me to go in and buy them. Same with this plate.

I had to ask the woman if they still had it and she went out the back to get it for me. Why I didn't buy them in the first place is a mystery. I think I must have been on a not spending so much money mission. £3.25 the lot so I wouldn't have been able to do much more with that money if I hadn't bought them. Silly mare.
As well as the charity shop stuff I had a little dabble on ebay too and got these.

I've had to stop myself from taking these to bed, I'm so in love.

This one was 99p. Really. 99p. I had to pay P&P which was about a fiver but still bargaintastic. And it came in a box with French writing on it which I have obviously kept because I am a mentaller.

This one came in at about £9.00 but still good I thought for French enamel. Please note we are on a different garden table here, when I went out this morning to take pictures, the leavings of wasp poison were all over the other table. I had more fun than I should have yesterday watching a man (no, he was old, and a bit too flippant for my liking) tog up and spray a wasps' nest up under the eaves. I was waiting for a swarm but my  sister later told me that apparently they go back in to die rather than coming out. I had to find that out from my sister, not the man who charged me £48 and then left his pump up my side alley and had to come back. Anyway, I digress, French enamel jars with all their rusty bits,I love them and will be looking out for more on ebay.

So that's what I've been up to this week. From today I intend to start The Holiday Ironing. The worst part of a holiday I reckon apart from the washing when you get back. I'm not an ironer. I don't go out with my clothes all creased, I'm an every day ironer, I only I iron what I want when I want it, I can't be doing with hours spent in front of an ironing board thanks. Too boring and too many more interesting things to be doing. My wardrobe obviously looks like carnage. Creased clothes all over the shop and gear stuffed in the top where I can't be bothered to find hangers. One day, when I grow up, (and can afford an ironing lady, my sole ambition in life) I will have a lovely organised wardrobe, with colour co-ordinated rows of perfectly pressed garments. I will be able to get up in the morning knowing I have a selection of outifits at my fingertips and not have to start dragging things out and then finding other things to go with those things and then ironing them before I can even go over the Co-op to buy a pint of milk.(And that's along with doing my hair and putting on some mascara and blusher so I don't look dead.) It would make life much easier if I took up doing the ironing but I won't. Apart from before a holiday and that's only just in case the suitcases fly open at Gatwick and a bundle of creased rags falls out causing thousands of holidaymakers to point and laugh and whisper behind their hands about my slatternly ways. So today I shall be ironing in the garden. Probably.
Have a lovely day wherever you are and for the people who live in England, enjoy the sunshine and get your flags out for The Olympics! And by the way, I know I could be on my own here but how excited am I that TOWIE is back? More excited than I should be that's how excited.


  1. Lovely, lovely finds ... lovely patchwork, lovely words ... all just very lovely!! And I don't do ironing either. Unless extremely necessary.

    Have a lovely weekend, and hope sun stays shining! Very dull and grey oop north!

    Claire xxx

  2. lovely indeed! Those bowls...
    Last summer I saw a glass bowl in a charity shop - loved it - but left it- went home for lunch - then regretted it, dashed back...and it had gone.
    Never again!

    enjoy the sunshine blessings x

  3. I love those pyrex bowls ... you were just right to have them ... lucky you! I hate, hate, hate ironing too ... with three little ones, hubby and myself it is a mammoth task ... I look in my airing cupboard and am often confronted with a pile as tall as myself .... I think I need a fairy godmother wielding an iron :) Bee x

    PS Love your blog, you are really funny! A joy to read!

  4. Funnily enough I was in Leigh-on-Sea yesterday. Hubby and I escaped for the afternoon. Had lunch in Ugo's, very nice indeed. Wandered around the Broadway popping into the charity shops.

    I'm not too keen on ironing either. Like a lot of people, I just iron it as I need it.

    Do you really watch TOWIE? I tuned in once, just to see what the fuss was about. I only managed about 10 mins of it. It's awful and really doesn't portray a good image of Essex at all.

    Enjoy the summer as it's all going to end at the weekend

  5. Hello you. Yes, I'm a fan of Leigh. Lots of charity shops but the best one is the one - oh God, I can't describe where it is. Sorry, I'm rubbish like that. Next to an art gallery. Off the beaten track a bit. Run by little old ladies. Prices very reasonable. I think I know the material shop you mean. On the corner. Massive range of buttons, trimmings etc? Love, love, love the jars. No wonder you want to take them to bed with you. Happy patchworking. xx

  6. Hi Missy,LOVE TOWIE,your the first person I've heard in blogland say,wonder if Arg and Gemma will last? ;) Never iron either,only if I have too,its so bad My daughter put a piccie up of me on facebook ironing a blouse to go out on my sons birthday as its such a rare occurance! lol. Great finds, love the cherub and the french enamel.Well done on the patchwork its looking so pretty.
    take care,lots of love juliexxx

  7. There's so much good stuff in this post I don't know where to begin! Love the finds, the quilty stitching, all of it. Ironing? What's that?

  8. Missy I love your choice in fabric this patchwork creation will look lovely once finished. I love all of your finds the jars are distressed perfectly. Love this post leave the ironing for another day that's what I say. Tracy x

  9. Patchwork and Pyrex my two favourite p words! Have you seen Fading Graces idea for reducing time on patchwork? Have a look if not its brill! Ada :)

  10. Hellooooo Missy!
    Firstly great post, brilliant finds too.
    Patch work coming on a treat, actually I am a bit envious because I would love to do this, but alas haven,t started, but drool at yours!
    I am not with you's on the ironing thingy as I quite like it.....
    The reason is I am the most chilliest cold person and I find ironing warms me up! haha, strange but true!!
    Pleasee send some of your sunshine up north for us too, as it is dam well Autumny here..
    Have a super weekend!
    Maria x

  11. Look at you with all this pretty patchwork piecing! Love your grey pyrex bowls, you always find the best treasure!

  12. Aaaah, English patchwork piecing over papers, just recently rediscovered it after years of machine piecing and find it strangely relaxing. I'm really not of the temperament to do patchwork - I'm impatient, don't like fiddly things, have a tendency to slapdashery (new word I invented) and am not too great with the accuracy thing but I just love it and will probably keep on doing it on and off until they come for me.
    I'm always getting rusty enamel things with French writing on - not hard when you live here - but I don't sell them for 99p! I stopped by a wheelie bin the other day 'cos somebody had thrown out a lovely enamel cooking pot in the same orangey colour the original le creuset pans came out in and nicked it for planting something in on the terrace - it had a rusty hole in the bottom which is pants for cooking but no problem for a plant.
    TOWIE? Really? I've never watched it but can't even bear the trailers for it. Still we all have our guilty secrets. I love America's Next Top Model just because it is so camp and over the top ridiculous that it's like watching a comedy show. Everybody is so up their own fundament - the actual wannabee models are like cannon fodder for the presenters and judges and nobody really cares who wins as we'll probably never see them again.
    I'm glad you've got the sun back - my mum is driving me mad complaining that it's too hot after spending the last 2 months moaning about the rain - but sorry that you have met some iffy people. If somebody had left his pump up my side alley I'd be a bit miffed too.

  13. I love it when I find others doing paper piecing's my favourite sort too! Your little patches look so pretty. I loved this whole post, you make me smile :) The ebay French containers are so gorgeous...what an amazing buy.
    Wishing you a happy weekend (with lots of golden tanning sunshine!)
    Helen x

  14. SOO rude Lynn Tialys - but I must admit you best me to that comment!! :-)

    We have a sewing / haberdashery shop near us. I went in at Christmas to get some ribbon and buttons and such things to maybe make some decorations [didn't happen]. But, the point I wanted to make was that she ( and fellow customers) were so miserable and actually quite rude! Not quite what I expected from 'ladies of the cloth' !!!

    Love your vintage finds and charity shop panic stories :-)

  15. I like the pyrex bowls and the French enamel café container...great finds :) The little cherub is cute as well!
    Ironing is one of my least favourite tasks as well and really only do it if something is in dire need of it (we're talking super wrinkle-tastic!)..otherwise I avoid it at all costs :P
    Enjoy Towie!
    Magie x

  16. Just found you lovely blog I am very envious with your enamel tins love them. Never got into Towie my current guilty Pleasure is Revenge on e4 with a couple of glasses of mojitos
    Have a lovely weekend

  17. Hello my lovely!
    Sorry it's been so long but blogger is being a shite and not letting me comment on the ipad, so i have nicked the Mister's laptop and wayhaaay- comments a-plenty!
    LOVE your french enamelware (is there such a word?) - I've seen it for sale here in the local antiques shop and they cost a fortune- i reckon a few quid is an excellent bargain.
    And well done on your paper patchery - it all looks very pretty.
    BTW I too have a massive aversion to ironing. What a complete waste of time. The kids are used to going out creased and the clothes in my wardrobe are so stuffed in, there is no point ironing them first.
    Very cute Cherub, too. I sometimes find them a bit evil looking and not at all angelic, but yours looks sweet!
    Anyhoos, hope all's ok.
    PS Etsy shop is now stocked to the rafters with jewellery and there's a 10% discount code on the blog, should you fancy indulging!!

  18. More gorgeous patchwork... Lovely fabrics!! It sounds like you're really enjoying the paper piecing? I'm addicted myself :-)
    Thank you for your kind comment on my mini quilt! I'd definitely recommend Nicki Trench's quilting book. I love it... I'm planning on making a cushion based on one of her patterns this evening (if I get time!)
    Hope you have a great week.

    Louise xx

  19. I read this the other day. And didn't post a comment. How goddam rude. I thought I had though. Me hormones are all up sh** creek though and I am forgetful.
    I LOVE Whitstable. So I bet Leigh is lush.
    The enamel cups are brill, the Cherub is a dude and I am well with you on Pyrex. Me and Annaboo (yes, her above) went cherry tree shopping t'other day and I saw all this nice Pyrex but she pointed out it was fake Pyrex so I didn't buy it. Now I wish I had. Does it matter if it isn't genuine? It had roses on it. In fact, I think it was you who commented on it.
    Oh and I NEVER EVER EVER iron. Ironing is a waste of space. For them what do have too much time on their hands. Or something. If I ironed, I've be up til 2am. I literally don't have time. I'd rather blog than iron...
    And what the hell is paper thingammy jiggery???? Patchwork paper??!
    About to blog, with the award mentioned. Thanks again for nominating me my love. Appreciated muchly.
    x xx

  20. Love your sweet collections....the pryex bowls are lovely...pryex always wins my heart and I would be just like you..waking up in the middle of the night...thinking I just gotta have those..NOW.
    Just picked up 2 lovely turquoise bowls today...usually I pay peanuts for them but today I just had to have these bowls and paid a bit more than peanuts..but they are amazing.
    Happy collecting. xoxo

  21. Aaahh Leigh!!! I do love it there!!! Natural edge is one of my fave shops ever!! I see at the vintage and handmade fair held in Leigh too. Xxxx

  22. Hello Missy

    I do so love reading your posts. Its the subtle humour I think or the wit or the down right cheekiness.....useless really to analyses, just be it known I enjoy reading your posts!
    Anther great post then and I'm scowling at this moment because I like all your buys but I continue to scowl because I'm asking myself why can't I find such nice finds!
    I'm off to Amazon to see if I can find an easy peasy book to teach me how to patchwork! I've had it seeing everyone on blog land so in to patchworking and making quilts. I need a book!

    oh yes and my first giveaway is on the go and open to everyone so please do pop in when you can :-)

    Amanda :-)

  23. The Leigh fair is great! It's on two floors. To actually have a stall there is good too but the prices are going up. I've had mixed experience with making money there. Sometimes I've made back money with a little for myself and sometimes I've done really well. Great one to just go to though it's free and on about 3 times a year xx we don't pick maddie up until the 19th but thanks for asking after her, we are all very excited!!! I think they'll be lots of walks in hockley woods and stop offs for drinks at the bull!!! Xxx

  24. Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog :) so glad you liked the blanket. Not sure how I get them to lay flat, there is a bit of a ridge on each square, but I guess it flattens out the more you do. Here's the method I use, if that's any help... (

    Sandra x