Monday, 26 April 2010

Sunshine and Treasure Seeking

It's been rather too long since I last wrote a post, so I thought it was about time I put fingers to keys and wrote about something new! This weekend was filled with treasure seeking of rather grand proportions...but more about that when I've had time to unpack and photograph the goodies I brought home with me.

Hoorah for sunshine! It was fabulous to have the sun shining over the weekend and in honour of this not-frequent-enough occurrence I filled vintage milk bottles with springtime blooms from our garden.

It seems a shame that milk doesn't always come bottles anymore. They do make such good vases!

I'm going through a bit of a hat craze at the moment, perhaps because of my current City and Guilds project (all about hats!) I bought these two over the weekend...they don't quite fit, but I have grand plans to display hats somewhere in the house.

I bought this fabric over the weekend too. I was drawn to its bright colours like a magpie to something sparkly!

I've been working on a small project over the last few days. I had a couple of Woman's Own magazines from the 1950s and was itching to do something creative with them. I thought I'd start by making a little display box (for my end of year City and Guilds exhibition and perhaps for my stall at fairs too).

Here's how I did it:

Materials - wooden wine box, thin white card, PVA glue, paintbrush/glue spreader, old magazines (you could use newspapers, ephemera, your own artwork...anything paper really!)

1. Cover the wine box with the card.

2. Stick adverts, snippets etc on top of the card, making sure you glue all over the back of whatever you're sticking down (ie, not just the edges).

3. Once all the glue's completely dry, grab a paintbrush or glue spreader and cover every inch of the box's now covered surface in PVA glue. You might need to do it in stages so the glue can dry before you move onto a different side. I'd recommend several coats of PVA glue as this is what seals everything and protects your images once they're on the box.

4. Fill with whatever treasures you fancy!

Some of the snippets I found in Woman's Own to stick on to my wine box made me laugh out loud. This was one of them...this Fifties lady really does look thrilled with her new oven!

This had me in stitches. I wonder what classes as 'interesting socks'?! I read it out to Mr Treasure, who said he'd rather I didn't 'decorate' him as he might look a little bit silly going to work with a carnation in his buttonhole!

By flicking through the pages of the magazines, it became so clear what a 1950s woman was supposed to strive for in life...finding a nice man to marry, taking pride in her home, looking after her family and being serene and beautiful throughout.

Another snippet that had me howling with laughter!

Instant pudding anyone?! I've been fancying a bowl of 'Angel Delight' since I saw this advert (do they even make it anymore?!)

Now, what can I cover with vintage adverts next...?!

Monday, 12 April 2010

An Exciting Announcement...

[fanfare...burst of fireworks...popping of champagne corks]

It's with a huge amount of excitement that I can announce the launch of my own little company. It's called...yes, you guessed it...Textile Treasure Seeker!

For as long as I can remember I've loved textiles and always dreamed of starting my own business. When a contract I was working on came to an end, I decided enough was more working in an office for me (if I could help it) was time to channel my energies into something for myself!

The wonderful people I've met through blogging, the friends I've made and the amazing sense of community and support from all you lovely bloggers out there was hugely inspiring. And so, here I am at the start of a new adventure...and I very much hope you'll all join me for the ride.

So, what will Textile Treasure Seeker have to offer?, I hear you cry! Handmade, vintage-inspired creations, as well as vintage sewing and textile-related bits and bobs - from sewing baskets and embroidered linens, to trimmings, haberdashery and even the odd piece of vintage clothing.

All of my handmade creations are for sale in my shop over at Folksy.

I've had my own labels printed and Textile Treasure Seeker postcards and business cards are on their way!

I've been busily designing and making decorative pieces using vintage images, fabrics and trimmings. No two will ever be exactly the same, so each one is unique.

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon conducting a photoshoot with the fabulous (and talented) Mr Treasure-in-Law!

This is the very first piece I made. It's a small decorative cushion, based on the image of a vintage label. I've picked out some of the detail with hand embroidery and beads. It's called Roses and Cherubs.

This is Art Deco Blossom, a hanging decoration with a 1920s feel.

The back of each piece is made from vintage fabric. It's such a joy to work with so many different fabrics from some of my favourite decades.

As well as selling my handmades over at Folksy, I'll also be at a number of fairs over the coming months. Not only will I have my own creations for sale at the fairs, I'll also be selling all the vintage textile and sewing-related goodies I've been collecting. First off is the Vintage and Handmade Textile Fair in Chipping Sodbury on 3rd July.

Another date for your diary is 28th August when the first ever Cotswold Vintage Fair will be taking place. I'm having a stall at the fair, so do pop along and come and say "hello"!

Please feel free to send me your thoughts about my new adventure, creations, fairs etc. I'd really welcome your feedback!

Monday, 5 April 2010

A Host of Hats

Mr Treasure and I popped to Cirencester at the weekend. Even though it poured with rain for most of the day, we were on a mission to find wallpaper and so we braved the elements! I always have to go for a mooch around New Brewery Arts and it just so happened that there's currently an exhibition of hats.

Gorgeous vintage inspired bits and bobs and works in progress from the latest Artist in Residence at the exhibition.

I hadn't realised that the neat embroidered monograms often found on linen were sewn using templates (the alphabet templates are in the box just by the photo).

Teacups made from hat fabric. I think they'd make great headpieces!

There were so many designs on show...the shapes, colours and textures of them all were fabulous.

It was very serendipitous that we stumbled across this exhibition as I'm currently working on a hat for my accessory project as part of my City and Guilds Embroidery course. I was so inspired by the work on display - it showed me that decoration and detailing can be both subtle and stylish.

I was really taken with Sally-Ann Provan's designs. They're so elegant...

Another of Sally-Ann Provan's hats. This one was my favourite of her designs - I'd love to wear it!

Sally-Ann's designs are so elegantly chic.

It was the fashion designer, Elsa Schiapparelli, who brought shocking pink to the world...and I for one am extremely glad she did. So bold and cheerful!

Sarah Cant's hats were amongst my favourites too. This is part of a wedding veil that she designed. I think it would look amazing going up the aisle!

If anyone's going to a wedding this year, this would the icing on any outfit!

A Sally-Ann Provan design. Her use of cameo motifs is so different and I think they're wonderful!

Sarah Cant's hats are beautifully sculpted and often feature delicate flower decorations.

I could have quite happily taken every hat from the exhibition home with me! I'm a huge fan of hats and wear them as often as I can. My trusty beret has seen me through the wintery months, but I can't wear it all summer long too...time for a new hat purchase perhaps?!

6th March - 25th April 2010
New Brewery Arts, Cirencester