Friday, 19 March 2010

Handmade Gifts

This month I’ve been on a pretty tight budget due to solicitor’s fees and my expensive taste in curtains, and slight panic set in when I realised I had three friends birthday’s to buy for. So, I decided to get my sewing box out and mix small bought gifts with handmade birthday badges. Why birthday badges? Well, on my birthday I always feel the need to announce it to the world, particularly on a drunken night out, but have never seen a nice birthday badge, ever. So I decided that since my friends are ‘announce my birthday to the world’ kind of people too, I’d attempt to make them pretty, non plastic, birthday badges. For my best friend Jess I made a circular pink felt badge, covered in sequins, with ‘25’ embroidered on it. She’s Indian and loved the sequin detailing as she said it had a very ‘Indian’ influence. I wrapped the badge up in tissue paper along with a pack of glow sticks (she has a strange love of them), some punky style bangles that she’s been jingle jangling about in since she opened them, and a cute friendship bracelet from Ebay, handmade by the seller and beautifully presented.
From ebay seller once-upon-a-wish.

After making my first badge I felt a bit more creative and decided to make my next one a star. I embroidered ‘22’ on to it and then gave it a sprinkling of sequins. On Jess’s badge I couldn’t decide how to cover up my stitching on the back and in the end decided to leave it as it was, but on this one I decided to back it with contrasting felt. This made the general look of the badge much neater and meant that the brooch fitting was much more secure. Here’s a pic of the finished product. My stitching is definitely not perfect, but as my Mum says, if it was perfect it may have well been made in a factory somewhere.

For Mother’s Day I not only saved some pennies, but gave handmade gifts that meant much more than shop bought ones. I hope so anyway, since my hands and arms were about to fall off by the time I’d finished them! For my Mum I made a felt star, covered in sequins and embroidered with ‘I Love You’ on the back, and embroidered a cotton handkerchief with a cute Scottie from my Sublime Stitching book. For my Nan I also embroidered a handkerchief with a Sublime Stitching design, this time an orange lily, as they’re associated with the 12th July Orange parades (My Nan having been part of the Orange Lodge and an Orange Queen when she was younger).


Friday, 5 March 2010

The Bicycle Bazaar, Ebay and carboot sales

I haven’t blogged for a while and this one attempts to make up for it by being especially long. The last few weeks have been a flurry of paperwork and phone calls and if all goes according to plan I will soon be moving from my rented apartment into my own home, complete with a garden and loft. With my collecting habits I’m particularly excited about the loft part! So with the costs of legal fees looming and my month long trip to America creeping nearer I’ve been sorting through yet more things for The Bicycle Basket Bazaar, Ebay and a carboot sale. My first ever Bicycle Basket Bazaar was really fun and after me being absolutely terrified, everyone was really lovely. I sold quite a few things and now I’ve done my first one I’ll be much more prepared for next time, taking more suitcases and vanity cases to display items in. My old house mate and her Mum came along and bought some jewellery made from vintage components and a silver 80s quilted bag. It was really lovely to see a college friend who my housemate and I hadn’t seen in nearly three years (she admitted to circling us three times before confirming it was us and heading over) and she left with some  earrings made from vintage floral cabochons.

I’ve booked a pitch at the next Bazaar on Saturday 27th March and I’ve been sorting through even more of my vintage collection, managing to part with items that I’ve clung onto for years, much to my friends delight. No doubt I will have sold lots of bits and pieces before the next Bazaar with friends rifling through my boxes and bags of things to sell each time they come round. My friend in London has been sending me texts with the general gist being, ‘save me some beautiful things!’ since she can’t get here to have a rummage. I’ve also been sorting through my general mass of things ready for Ebay and a carboot sale. In fact the weekend of the 27th is going to be a busy one, with me doing the Bazaar on the Saturday and a carboot sale on the Sunday. I love doing carboot sales as my aunt and I club all our stuff together and split the profits, making it much easier and much more fun. Once we’ve set up we spend most of our time people watching, creating imaginary lives for people and deciding whether people look like their dogs; most of the time they do. I also allow myself a quick walk around and try to limit myself to spending no more than £5. Last time I staggered back to our stall with an old battered cabinet as my aunt looked on bemused. She doesn’t really ‘get’ buying at carboot sales. In fact the cabinet is still in my mum’s shed waiting for some love and attention. I’m sure I’ll be able to find a place for it in my new house.

With me being unable to resist buying even the largest of items there are a number of pieces of furniture in my mum’s shed/garage/loft awaiting some love and attention, and a place to live. I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I can’t offer them all a home, so instead I’ve settled for offering them a makeover and finding them a loving home via Ebay. Well it’s more my stepdad giving them a makeover and me choosing paint colours. One items that’s now finished and will be on Ebay by tomorrow evening is a gorgeous vintage kitchen cabinet. I’ve got one really similar in my spare bedroom and use it as a much more attractive alternative to a computer desk. My laptop sits on the pull down top and my many pens and general stationary items are kept neatly in the cupboards. Hopefully it will sell well (since the original handles had broken I insisted on finishing it off with 8 Bombay Duck handles at £4.95 a pop) and quite quickly since we have two vintage ottomans, another kitchen cabinet and a dressing table to move onto. I’m also formulating a plan to fight my way to the back of the garage to get to my vintage basket hanging chair so that can also be found a loving home. When I bought it I had visions of me casually swinging in it while reading poetry or something, hmmm, but since my house is nowhere near big enough for it and I don’t tend to spend my days reading poetry, it must too be found a new home.

Ebay I.D: lilythepinkscurios