Recent Finds

042Just the other Weekend as the sun shone for the first time in a long time our family set off to find some treasures. There is an old market town in The Peak District, Leek, that holds a small collectables, vintage / antiques market every Saturday. Not huge just enough stalls for you to potter amongst and find a couple of none essential but much needed goodies.

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My oldest son enjoys the perusing and ambling, marveling at army badges bits of bullets and other war paraphernalia. My other boy unfortunately soon gets board and has to be promised cake at some point He doesn’t see the excitement an old box can bring.

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What could possibly be inside?……….

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A bit of this, a bit of that, one mans rubbish another lady’s treasure. So what treasures did I find on this day?

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First this lovely Beatrix Potter tray for just £2.00. I know what a gorgeous find. And then ……

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This beautiful book on British Butterflies published in 1951. Whilst I have read some of the book and it is of course interesting, it’s the sixteen colour plates that really drew me too it. That and the gorgeous print on the dust sleeve.

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And of course the youngest was appeased with a not so vintage pair of play handcuffs.

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A Creative Catch Up

It’s been some weeks since I’ve been here,I’m ashamed to say I’ve been neglecting this creative outlet. I’m committing a lot of time to my other blog The Puffin Diaries but this part of me is just as important, this is my creative haven. So in order to bring everything back in line, into the present, I thought I would share a creative catch up with you.

So before Christmas I finished crocheting the baby hat for my new little nephew LSJ. I was very proud of the creation, in navy blue merino wool, with a little peak to the front, another item from Nicki Trench. You will however have to take my word for the brilliance of my work because I forgot to photograph it, but it is exactly as the picture below without the flower, honest.

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Like I said navy blue minus the flower…

The kids and I also made Christmas tree decorations as gifts for school teachers, it was fairly easy and pain free, actually we had a bit of fun. We used air drying clay, cookie cutters, lace fabric, gold spray paint and ribbon. Quite straight forward as you can see from the pictures. Bit late to do a post now but if you are desperate to know the details leave a comment, failing that I’ll try to remember to post December this year.

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Top left – the cut out shapes with pattern pressed in, Top Right and Bottom Left – Sprayed gold, Bottom Right – on the tree

My greatest achievement recently I’ve saved until last. This has made me so very excited……… I crocheted round a stone. This is a project I discovered and pinned it last year. As we visited the seaside in the New Year it was an ideal opportunity to attempt this project. So I did, what more to say other than here it is.

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Very clever don’t you think?

Just as an aside I also rustled up seven skeleton outfits for our local Pantomime which I enjoy helping with. So not a bad creative patch. For the future I will finish making my sons curtains, I’m so close now. And on Monday evening I’m hosting the first meet up of a wool crafting group I’ve started. I will feed back on news from the Woolly Heads, knitting, crocheting, tea cake, chat and inspiration what is not to like.

What creative things have you been up to? Let me know below….

Vases Candles and Jugs

vasesSo my house is a little bit of a work in progress and currently the dining room doesn’t really know what it is. It’s become a space for putting things in and not a room we’ve used to dine in for a while. I’ve been moving things around and putting things in places and I’ve put lots of things on the mantlepiece. Vases, jugs, candlesticks and tea light holders a melange of shape, style,sizes and colour all with a memory attached.

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There is the vase that was acquired on my hen do from a salubrious pizza establishment, how naughty, and the clourful vase that was given to me on my 21st birthday by my mum and my sister, I had yellow roses to go in it. There are candlesticks and a vase from my grandma and a jug bought for me by my boys and then there are the obligatory thrifty finds. All of which I’ve gathered together on this neat ledge.

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Now it comes to moving things around and finding homes and places for them to belong I realise I’ve become quite fond of this array of a display and feel loathed to break it up.

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I think I might just sort around them and see how I go!

Lady of the Manor

In one of my other lives I would liked to have been the lady of the manor, I think I could work the wellies and tweeds during the day and the odd ball gown of an evening. Plus it can’t be too hard to live with a silver spoon in ones mouth. There is only one lady on which to style this look, the unforgettable Audrey Forbes-Hamilton. Her poise and elegance rubbing up against here ballsy attitude mean she carried of this prim look with the confidence it requires.

A look that appeared to be a little fusty in the 80’s today has been given a cool overhaul by the likes of Burberry, of course,Stella McCartney and Chloe to name a few, now this autumn winter, country tweeds are all the rage. I love the way that they have been layered with other patterns or different sized checks in order to create an edgier look. Maybe you could wear your tweed jacket with winter floral blouse or a tweed skirt with tartan tight or add a statement t-shirt and a yellow belt as they did at Burberry.

So with this gorgeous winter trend in mind I’ve been scouting out some vintage Country House pieces to offer at Freda and Me and here are the best, all available at my Etsy shop or click on the pictures below.

A Place for Everything

I am by no means very organised or tidy, I know you’re shocked, that is unless you’ve been to my house. However,  as my accessories, necklaces, earrings, belts and the odd hat are plentiful and I have, in order to maximise my style potential, put some effort into arranging these items. As I’m partial to a little bit  of designer clutter and  because accessories are by their nature so very beautiful I think it’s best to have them on display.

I’ve definitely borrowed this idea from somewhere at some point, a photograph display hanging used for earrings and brooches, genius. I can see and find all my earrings and they look so pretty. It can be a little fiddly getting them in and out but at least I’m not spending ages rummaging through a tangled mass only to find one broken.

This chair is perfect for hanging belts. bags and hats on, although I do have to keep most of my bags in a draw.

This carved wooden hook is a sturdy and attractive holder for all my necklaces, chains and pendants.

This wooden shoe mold has been a toilet roll and kitchen roll holder but I think it is best suited to stacks of decorative bangles.

This picture? Because I love this vintage pink hat and this beaded bag that came from my Nana, that’s all.

Inspire Me 5/11/12 – Ribbons and Braids


Oh how I love a charity shop, especially a slightly higgledy piggledy one in a small  back water of a town where the wealth of it’s content goes unnoticed. These are my charity shops, the ones where I live and with every visit I buzz with excitement at the boundless possibilities ahead. I have even managed to instill the love of rummaging amongst the rails and boxes of these outlets in my children, much to my husbands displeasure. So this last weekend, whilst daddy was else where youngest son and I took a trip to one of these shops.

I always like to look through the tablecloth, curtain, and duvet section but as I set myself to plunder the rail I almost tripped over a box at the foot of it. Looking down a glint of gold caught my eye and as I bent for a closer inspection my heart rate quickened. A floral braid of red, orange and gold is sparkling away on top, I delve in to reveal the items underneath. More braids, pom pom, tassel and decorative. I’m excited, but slightly anxious, there is no price and as always there is a nagging thought of do I need them? A price established with a kindly old lady soon dashes all practical thoughts, at that price who could resist. So I am the proud owner of these beautiful embellishments and they will be inspiring me to make something this week. Bring on the sewing…

So what has made you tingle with possibilities, gasp with creative joy  or urged you to bake, make or create? Maybe it’s a person maybe it’s a place you’ve visit, something you’ve read or something you’ve seen . A picture, words or both. So come along and join in, share your inspirations with me and maybe you can inspire someone else. Or maybe you are looking for inspiration if so check out the list on the Linky page.

I will post my inspirations on a Monday but the list will remain open all week. Sometimes inspiration does not work to a timetable.I would love to know. please share it here….

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I’ve also linked up this week with the Wonderful Magpie Monday, click the badge to see more…

Me and My Shadow

Twisted Fabric Earrings – Tutorial

A kind friend recently donated two beautiful African print swatch books to the cause which is “Freda and Me”. How I oohed and aaghed at the beautiful prints that touch my heart due to my African birthplace. Of course I tingled throughout with the creative possibilities before me, the countless ideas for making. In the end I decided to start with something I had already worked a little on and develop it further, so the twisted brooches I’d already devised (see here)  have inspired the twisted fabric earring. The African prints are exuberant and a delight to work with but any smallish print or plain fabric can be used.

Materials/Tools you Require.

A small piece of fabric light to medium weight, not silky.
Earring Hook.
Needle and Thread.

1. cut 2 strips of fabric approx 25cm x 4cm. They do not need to be perfectly neat, rough edges don’t matter.

2. Tie a small knot in the end of each strip.

3. Take one of the strips and twist the fabric from the knot up until the piece is twisted too the end. It should not be twisted too tight or too loose, see picture below. Once the piece is twisted start step 4. directly.4. Now coil the twisted fabric around the knot and hold in place with a pin. Repeat step 3 & 4 with the second strip.

5. Select which is the front side of the earring. Using a needle and thread stitch through the circle to hold the twisted fabric in place. It can be very difficult to push the needle all the way through the centre of the fabric so I tend to use small stitches on the reverse of the circle, trying to conceal the stitches as best as possible. Ensure all layers of the circle are secure.

6. Once both circles are stitched place them side by side and decide which way you want them to hang and then stitch the earring hook at the top.

7. Finished, there you have a pair of  twisted fabric earrings. If you make the strips longer then the circle will obviously be bigger and thicker fabrics will also effect the size of the earring.

Of course if you do not have the inclination to make your own I have a selection for sale here

Inspire Me 29/10/2012 – Still Crocheting

Inspire Me 29/10/2012 – Still Crocheting

This new found skill has me all in a flutter with ideas, I’ve already blogged about becoming hooked. I started crocheting a circular cushion, shown above and suddenly I could see all sorts of possibilities. The first round of stitches … Continue reading

Colouring Books

I know it’s everywhere in interior magazines but I could not resist, I’ve colour coded our books. Now please don’t be thinking I’ve got too much time on my hands if this is what I do in my spare time. I have had all the books off the shelves anyway so I could paint the wall behind the shelves. I’ve also painted all the other walls in the lounge just in case you’re concerned. So as I was having to restake the shelves anyway I thought we should have a change and here it is. It was very satisfying place the spines in rainbow order and standing back to behold the spectrum. I’m not sure how easy it’s going to be to find our favourite books, although I can recall the colour of most of my cookery books, however it looks very pretty.So pretty I’ve started doing the CD’s, which I think the other half might see as a step to far….

Inspire Me

I do that thing, when my husband can’t stand the towering pile of magazines pushing up my side of the bed or threatening to topple and wipe out one corner of the lounge, I go through the magazines and tear out all the things I like and recycle what’s left. Every kitchen I want, holiday I desire, all the food I need in my life, those dresses I covet, they become a stack of ripped edge paper that creates a new but smaller pile on my side of the bed or in a corner of the lounge.

Recently I found this image of a woolen Chanel dress, it’s from Red magazine back in 2010. I think it’s so beautiful, the knitted texture and the shiny trimming are a match made in heaven. It looks effortlessly simple yet I doubt that is the case and far from inexpensive at £4,145. It got me wondering just how difficult or easy it would be to create such an item, what stitches were used and is it hand or machine knitted? It has definitely spurred me on in my ambition to conquer crocheting and  I was thinking I should try and master some new knitting stitches. Whether I achieve wool craft world domination or not, I am loving being inspired by this dress.

I have a giant peg to which I attach these images, pictures which I hope will inspire me to be creative. It struck me that you lot out there may also look for inspiration in all sorts of places and how I would love to hear about it. Maybe it’s a person maybe it’s a place you’ve visit, something you’ve read or something you’ve seen . A  picture, words or both. So come along and join in, share your inspirations with me and maybe you can inspire someone else. Or maybe you are looking for inspiration if so check out the list on the Linky page.

I will post my inspirations on a Monday but the list will remain open all week. Sometimes inspiration does not work to a timetable.

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