Sunday, 27 November 2011

Dulton and the economy of spending a bit more...

Hmmm..that was a funny title and I was going to rewrite it, but I think I'll keep it..Are you still with me.. tee hee hee?

This is my dustpan and brush.
His name is Dulton..see

and..he has a weird brush.

Anyway, I was having a conversation with Caroline ( gran plumley. is her other incarnation) at our weekly sewing class, about the merits of spending a bit more on stuff.  Dulton here, is a prime example. He cost me £12 in a sale about 10 years ago and has outlasted 6 of his plastic counterparts- and has kept that glorious smile throughout.

He has shovelled snow, scraped paint,stripped wallpaper and even banged in nails. He has cleared up many unsavoury things as well as, on the odd occasion been used as a dustpan and brush.

A conversation that started with me boasting of his underlay scraping duties and the fact that his plastic relatives would never last the course, got me thinking about the economies of spending more. ( and I promised Caroline that I would put him on my blog!)

I come from a family who are always looking for the cheapest way to do things and it has come hard to me to get out of that mind set.  As I have become older, I now ask myself "should I spend that little bit more?"
Especially if it is something I will use everyday and I want to last a long time, like Dulton.  It is often false economy to by the cheapest, or the most for your money or "not quite the thing you are looking for" because it is cheaper.

It is also the reason why I buy secondhand. That way I don't have to compromise on quality over price.  A great example of this is my handbag. It is leather, it is from Hobbs and it was brand new....£120 I hear you say? Nope £6 from Marie Curie!

Zoe, over at So, Zo...What do you know has written a great post called "how I consume" which is certainly food for thought. I feel quite proud of the fact that I buy secondhand and reuse whenever possible and also understand that sometimes it is worth paying that little bit more....


I LOVE things...especially OLD are my recent EBay purchases

A mattress needle and button hooks
My lovely scissors, a "stiletto" and teeny tiny bone handle crochet hook
 Button hooks were used mainly in the Victorian era as they had so many buttons on boots and gloves that it would have taken hours to do them all up without these little implements.  They are now mainly used by the disabled or elderly.  A couple of these have advertising slogans on for Dr Lovelace soap and the other for Wood Milne shoe shine.  I would like to have met Dr Lovelace, I imagine he had the nurses swooning!

I need to investigate further on the black handled one as it may be made from something called "BOG OAK" hmmmmm...interesting.  

The scissors on the photo to the right were the main thing that attracted me to the listing as they have really pretty handles.  the blue object to the far side is a Stiletto or point turner. It may be Bakelite or modern plastic, I'm not really sure how to tell. It is pretty AND useful anyhow, so I shall keep it.
I think the hook at the bottom is a lace making hook, rather than a crochet hook as it is teeny tiny. I need to look more into the difference between bone and ivory as I am not sure which this is.

Pretty handles
Metal crochet hook, bone crochet hook, "travel" crochet hook and a bone bookmark

Tape measure
 I was hoping that one of these may be a size 4 crochet hook but the only contender is the bone one second from the left. It has a nice barley twist to the end and time will tell what size it is when I start using it!

The tape measure is unusual in that it has the brass stiffener on the first few inches.I have searched around on the Internet to find out why, but to no avail...
UPDATE: I have since been told by my mother in law that the brass section of the tape was used to measure the inside leg for gentlemens suits so that tailors did not have to put their hand up another chaps crotch!!

Some of these may find their way back onto eBay at some point, but if they don't sell, there is a box frame waiting for them!

Sunday, 6 November 2011


Wow, there are so many projects that I want to do right now.

Unfortunately, as I have a household of poorly people needing constant nursing, I haven't been able to do any sewing but I have been able to do a bit of hookery. I made a pair of these slippers.....

Inspired by  the pattern from Zoom Mommy's blog, which can be found here

I have been checking out Ravelry again and have found a free hooky pattern for the Apiary Puff (find it here)by Valarie Lawson,inspired by Tiny Owl Knits, Beekepers quilt.  Now, as a non knitter, I was a bit envious when I found the Tiny Owl pattern, but then my envy turned to joy at finding a hooky version!!!

Now the question is, do I start ANOTHER project..or must I really finish up some of my UFOs.??????

I have made SOME progress on the UFO front.

I've managed to attach all the poms onto a new backing and I now just need to put the pretty base fabric and edging on. I don't think it will be something I can use the machine for as the edging is rather hefty and my machine is a little ancient! I have got a mattress needle ( a curved thick needle) from a thrifted sewing box that I bought in the sunnier days of car boot.  My best advice on this project is too use proper rug backing, rather than try and use hessian backing as I pays to use the right stuff!

The Lady Grey.
I have bitten the bullet and cut out the main fabric for the jacket. It is a black wool cashmere mix and given the choice again, I wouldn't choose that one, but I believe in learning from my mistakes! I shall be making it again for the spring, in a red or purple lightweight fabric and I will be VERY careful with my fabric choice! I am hoping to be able to make it in a size smaller by then :)!

The Lapgan
Again another learning curve here...the lesson this time is one of patience. I have had to unravel 3 rows because I went too fast! It is progressing though and I will have it done by Christmas ( fingers crossed).

The Peony
I find it impossible to do only on sewing project at a time and so, I have cut out the fabric for my Peony.  I am popping into town today to get my 22inc concealed zip and then I just need to figure out how to put it in.  Funny enough, that is the next tutorial at my sewing class, but as I was hoping to finish it to wear at my Aunts funeral on Thursday, I am going to have to wing it myself. If I manage it, I will post some details on here.

Well, as today is my birthday, I am heading off to do a bit of cheeky shopping. Tara for now xx

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Its been a funny old week....

I've had the strangest of weeks and very little time to sew. My brave Aunt lost her battle with cancer last night and it has made me reflect on my own life.

I can either let depression overwhelm me and live a life of "could haves" or I can grasp life by the horns and keep on trucking!  I am going to attempt the later and make my Aunty B proud.

Lets start with my crafty "to do " list.

Things in the UFO pile:

1) The Lady Grey...its my project for my sewing class and I WILL have it done by Christmas.
2) The Pom Pom rug. I ran out of materials, but with a lucky car boot find, I can now get it finished.
3) Mums Ripple Lapgan..My first real hooky project - I really hope that she likes it.

4) My ripple blanket..A long term project I think.
5) The bits of refashion from SSS11..they got put on the back burner when my ear went squiffy!

New stuff to do!

1) My friend has asked me to make her dress into a skirt. Hopefully it will be easy but from experience it won't!!
2) The Peony dress from Colette Patterns ( my bro bought me the pattern for my birthday)
3) A holdall for my dads table to keep the tele remote from going astray. It really annoys me that he can never find it.
4) Lots of storage bags for Little J's various toys sets. Maybe, just maybe, it might help him put his toys away???
5) Some Christmas Prezzies for the family of course..but more on that later.
6) A hooky advent garland ..just like Lucy's at Attic 24

And where to start,....well I may do some Poming this evening and go from there!