Oilcloth Lined Vintage Shopping/Storage Baskets

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Vintage Shopping Basket lined with Floral Oilcloth           £45                       Click to buy

For a very long time I have wanted to do a little batch of Vintage Wicker Shopping Baskets and line them with oilcloth.

As you are probably aware, I have been creating since I was a very little girl and one of my first businesses as a teenager  (yes, you did read that right, I did start very young)  was making baby items.

I used to make really beautiful broderie anglaise moses baskets with elaborate hoods and canopies and gorgeous trimmings and I even made tiny little quilts and fitted sheets.  I also made little children’s rocking chair covers, teddy bear mobiles and nursery decor such as fabric balloon wall hangings from different coloured pastel fabrics, which I padded out and strung with ribbon and made them look like they were floating across the wall.

Another product I made was a gift basket full of gifts such as socks and bibs and various other useful items which I would adorn with little bows and embellishments.  The basket which they all came in was a gift in itself, as I used to line them with wadding and then broderie anglaise fabric and trimming as well.  They would always be adorned with at least 1 bow and were meant to be used as Nursery storage for things like nappies.

Pink Paisley Fabric Lined Basket  SOLD

Pink Paisley Fabric Lined Basket  –  SOLD

Much as I have come on an incredibly long journey with my creativity since then, I find it slightly amusing that all these years on, I am still making and selling fabric lined baskets which lots of my customers love.

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Taupe Gingham Fabric Lined Basket   –     SOLD

Nowadays, I paint and distress the baskets and use many other beautiful fabrics and my customers and I use them for all sorts of storage from papers to toiletries, from children’s toys to hair accessories, varied kitchen storage, books and magazines and also as picnic baskets where I have lined them with oilcloth, as the oilcloth can be wiped clean.

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Cupcake Fabric Lined Basket    £25     Click to buy

 

In my own house, they are used for Doll’s Tea Sets, Bedroom Storage and Papers and I use my oilcloth lined Vintage Shopping Baskets for Ruby’s Lego and shopping locally in my village.  I do love a basket and, as Mr Chandelier will confirm, I definitely do have far too many – with a rather large percentage of those hanging in abundance from my summerhouse ceiling.

 

 

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Pink Paisley Fabric Lined Vintage Hamper    –    SOLD

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Taupe Roses Fabric Lined Vintage Hamper    –    SOLD

 

I also transform Vintage Picnic Hampers and Old Fishing Baskets but the few that I have had time to do have sold very quickly, so I there are very few photographs of them – these two being no exception.  I sold the Taupe Roses Hamper to my hair colourist whilst having my hair done and telling her about them, she didn’t even see it and said she had to have it – how fab was that!

 

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Vintage Baskets waiting to be loved and used again.

 

It did however, take me over a year to find and gather enough Vintage Shopping Baskets so that I could create a batch of 5.  I did have one more, but unfortunately it was damaged, which I did not notice when I purchased it so that has been relegated to the garden and will be painted and filled with something, probably flowers – I will show you what I do with it when I finally get round to dealing with it!

As they are shopping baskets, I had decided a long time ago before I started trying to find them, to line them with oilcloth so that they could be wiped clean which hugely increases what they can be used for.

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Vintage Shopping Basket          £45          Click to buy

I knew they would be hard work and I was right – I really dislike sanding down but unfortunately the process I use means they need to be sanded 2 or 3 times.  I also knew that working with the oilcloth was going to be grief and I was so right.  It is an absolute nightmare to iron  –  which you have to keep doing  –  and an even bigger nightmare to line each basket and work with oilcloth, particularly when you need perfectly folded corners.  I have lined hundreds of baskets with normal fabrics over the years so I don’t say that lightly.

Vintage shopping basket

Vintage shopping basket       £45       Click to buy

However, I never give up and I persevered with them and I am so delighted with how they have turned out.  They all look so pretty in their soft colours, Shabby Chic paint and lovely oilcloths.  The problem is, as always, I make them as if they were for my own home so of course, they look as if they belong with me and I never want to sell them!   Hmmm…………I wonder how many will make it to my Etsy shop!

Do you have lots of baskets in your home and what do you use yours for, I would love to know?

Happy Shopping!

Much Love,

Sarah xx

Craft Storage & Organisation – How to Store Ribbon.

Ok, so I felt it was about time that I did another little storage post as I do have rather a lot of rolls of ribbon and a large amount of ribbon remnants and, as you have probably realised by now, I do buy the odd roll – rarely of course and it is not showing any signs of slowing down.  After doing a rough count a good year or two ago it was 2-300 so by now it will easily be at least 4-450.

Now, I know when we look on luscious pinterest, we see ribbons stored in the most beautiful manner, on wall mounted reels and adorable little shelving units amongst other things.  However, lets be realistic here;

  • Firstly, if you create for a living like me, or even if you are a serious hobbyist, it really does not take long at all to build up a decent stash of ribbon rolls and pieces of ribbon – you don’t see the remnants displayed so beautifully do you?
  • Secondly, in order to store a decent amount of ribbon, you would need to give up a fairly large amount of wall space and you would really want to keep all the ends pinned neatly, so they weren’t all swaying around in the breeze – well you would wouldn’t you!
  • Thirdly, I don’t have any vertical wall space to speak of as my little “Narnia Studio’ has been created from a large cupboard with sloped ceilings on both sides, and at present, it has no window or natural light.
  • Finally, even if I were fortunate enough to have wonderful wall space, I really don’t have the time, or indeed the inclination, to keep my ribbons that neat and tidy all the time – it would be chaos, I know it would – and I really wouldn’t want to give up that much wall space.

So, to that end, how do you store 450 rolls of ribbon and hundreds, if not thousands of ribbon pieces.

I have tried various different options over the years but to be honest what I have always gone back to, as it has always worked for me, is putting them all in drawers.

When I create, I tend to always work by colours so that is mostly how I store all the wonderful craft materials that I have collected over the years.

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Firstly I will give all the same type of product a ‘department’ (I know, Mr Chandelier finds all my ‘departments’ highly amusing too!)  Then, I will sub-divide into colours if there are big enough quantities.  So, with the ribbons, I sub-divided into colours and I have a drawer for each colour, or group of colours i.e;  Reds & Pinks each have their own drawer as they are massive for me, Taupes, Creams & Whites share but they really do desperately need their own drawer now, and the Blues,  Greys and Purples share which is just about ok.

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Ribbon storage – This drawer is sooo not going to close!

This all worked fine for years, but it did get to a point of no return a few months ago at Christmas, when each drawer slowly became more and more difficult to close due to the new rolls I had purchased.  When they practically ‘exploded’ like this one upon opening, I knew that a ‘Ribbon crisis point’ had been reached!  I really had to think about this as I totally did not have any more drawers and I just needed approximately one more row per colour.  I also was having real trouble and ‘annoyance’ getting to my velvet ribbons which I use all the time.  Most of them are large tall reels which I had to sit at the back of the drawers as they were so tall, hence the hassle when I needed them.

IMG_3445.JPGAfter yet another ‘Velvet tantrum’ it suddenly struck me!  How about creating an incredibly luscious ‘Velvets Department’  –  this was the perfect answer, as not only would that generate another row per drawer for the other ribbons, but I would be able to get to them easily in their own drawer, and as I use them so often, I felt they had totally ‘earnt’ their own space!  However, this did unfortunately mean I had to sacrifice a drawer which had some other materials and supplies in it, which still don’t have a home, but we will just ‘brush on over that’ and focus on our luscious velvets!

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Just look at these – they’re almost edible.

You so know how I feel about velvet ribbons so imagine opening a drawer full of them in loads of different colours…….Omg……..Ribbon Heaven……..Love Love Love it!

Now, how do you deal with all the remnants.  Again, it doesn’t take long when as I do, you use ribbons all the time, so I had to deal with these remnants many years ago.  If you don’t have that many, they do look really pretty stored into glass jars  –  ‘not that many’ however, does not seem to be in my vocabulary (Mr Chandelier would so agree with that!)

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The most space saving, easy to find, easy to view solution was to store them rolled into small self closing, clear bags within their own colours.  They can then sit on top of the rolls of ribbon and when you want a certain colour you can pick them up really easily and see both what scraps you have and what the rolls of ribbon are underneath.  It also works really well when I have a workshop, as  I can just take down a few bags of remnants with some rolls and it gives everyone loads of different choices.

To roll the ribbon pieces up, trap the end between your two fingers and then wrap the rest around all your fingers, until it is all nicely rolled into a neat circle.

Obviously, in an Ideal world, (if such a world were to exist) I would have a drawer for just the remnants of each colour but frankly that is just a fantasy world – let’s aim for a window first!!!

 

Velvet ribbons

So here they are, all looking rather lush, screaming at me to touch them and use them and snip a bit off to enhance whatever project it is I am working on.  Incidentally, just between you and me, I don’t know why I make out I am working on ‘a project’ like a normal person when the reality is ‘a lot of half finished projects’, some dating back many years  –  ok ok, maybe just one or two are at least 10+ years old…….Nooooo!  We will just pretend I am normal shall we?……Hmmm…….

How do you store your ribbons – I would love to know – do you break down into colours and what about your remnants?

Go and have a ‘Happy Sorting Day’.

Much Love,

Sarah xx

 

Shabby Chic Heart Wreaths – featured on another blog!

Even though I have been creating and selling things I make since I was very young, it still makes me soooo happy when anyone loves and admires my work.  As well as events, I sell so many things just as a result of people visiting my house, either from my children’s friends mummy’s or our friends and family and it secretly thrills me to visit their houses and see my items on their walls or sitting on the side.

 

Even though I should be used to it by now after all these years, it is just such a wonderful feeling to think that they love it that much they want to see it all the time and I really don’t think I will ever ‘grow out of that feeling!’  I do however, resist the urge to squeal and point whilst shouting “That’s mine – I made that – it was me!” like a child (even though my family frequently tell me I do behave like a child, Hmmm……..)

So how wonderful to wake up to a lovely message from Lilybelshomedecor saying that she really loved my work and had featured me on her blog in a post about ‘things you absolutely must buy!’

She featured my Shabby Chic Hearts and this is the post here – go check out her really beautiful pictures, my favourite is the love birds!

Go create some hearts  –  I am creating Easter Bunny things today – Love them so much   –  show you soon!

Much Love,

Sarah xx

 

Where to buy gorgeous but cheap Craft Supplies!

As you know, I use a massive amount of craft supplies and although I do buy a lot of them in large quantities through my trade contacts, I am also constantly picking up all sorts of materials and supplies from retail shops on a weekly basis.

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Divine Trimmings!

I am constantly asked where I purchase my craft supplies from and if I can remember…… Hmmm…., I will always share, as I want the shops I frequent, to carry on stocking all these wonderful materials. The more that we all buy from them, the more they will stock, and the better the prices will be – it’s a win, win!

To this end, I am going to do a regular featureshowcasing the supplies I have bought in the last week or two.  Wherever possible I will do a link to that product to make your life even easier – do you need to traipse around the shops in all weathers – No, you don’t!  I will have done that for you, gosh what a chore!  Obviously, there will be a lot of products that are not available online or are ‘one-off’ items, or possibly even sale but I will still let you know where they are from and how much they were.

I do love a button (or 60 pack) and ribbons are a bit irresistible to me, especially velvets (can cause palpitations), fabric is a weakness obvs – check out this fabric storage post – little wooden pieces and rubber stamps jump off the shelf into my basket (that so happens!).  As for Trimmings, actually, let’s stop now and not even go there.  Who am I kidding, I adore all Haberdashery (my love – no not obsession – started age 6), always have and always will.

Ok, where shall I begin…..Hmmm…

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Let’s start with The Range.  I just ‘popped in’ to see if I could pick up some art books for the teens schoolwork (yes really!).  I ‘bumped’ into a tub of ribbons which were ALL priced  at £1.00 per roll.  I think I have approx  350-400 reels of ribbon and thousands of ribbon pieces so I didn’t think I would find anything but I had to have a little rummage and……  No – OMG – 12.5m  of Duck-egg velvet ribbon for £1.00  Nooooo…. My heart seriously started beating faster and I actually started furtively looking around to make sure no-one else was near me, that might see my unbelievable bargain ribbon and run over! (I know, I do actually think I have a problem too).  Well, here’s what I found; 2 reels of duck-egg velvet (I did actually leave a few reels behind) and 1 reel of brown velvet.  1 pretty gathered lilac ribbon reel – I could see this on dolls clothes and lots of my customers love lilac, 1 reel of simple ribbed lilac and lastly 1 fabulous reel of white ribbon with a silver glitter edge which, ‘I absolutely had to have’ for all the fairies and angels I make.  I know you won’t believe me but I really was being ‘restrained’!!!

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Then, whilst looking at the oilcloths I saw this gorgeous duck-egg fabric which was a perfect match for the ribbon.

I rarely know what I am going to use my materials for but I just ‘see’ things in my head and I could ‘see’ Easter bows.  I don’t know why these things just ‘pop’ into my head but they just do and look, how gorgeous is that bow – it’s almost edible.

It was £3.20 per metre and I just bought 1/2 metre.

 

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Can you see how wispy it is, like hessian?  Duck-egg hessian, love it.  They call it Slub Linen Voile.  Do you think they might have some in pink next time I go?

 

I probably should have left at this point as I hadn’t picked up a basket and actually couldn’t carry any more but no, I was in a wonderful trance of prettiness and sparkle, my imagination was in overload and I was having far too much fun.

Then, I spotted some roses trimming strips in 3 different colour ways.  I actually made a gift for a friends daughter with the multicoloured one and used up my stock, so was pleased to find it as I have been on the look out for about absolutely ages for some more – yes I really have.
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Again, just £1.00 per pack, fabulous and soooo pretty.

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Finally, whilst trying to pick up all the things I kept dropping on my way to the tills, I saw these buttons which for just, you guessed it, £1.00 would simply have to come home with me  – I ‘needed’ them, no question, none whatsoever!

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Blog buttons

Pretty Buttons

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I also visited The Works this week and purchased some more brilliant inexpensive craft supplies, some more buttons – well I do use a lot and some of them are very sparkly, which you just don’t see……anywhere…….ever…… and again just £1.00!  Mr Chandelier raised his eyebrows too…….Hmmm…..!

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I also purchased these pretty little flower petals to add to my faux flower department – I felt sure they would be used very soon!

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At present they only have them in pink but I will keep my eyes peeled in case other colours come in as my flower department will need them.

 

 

 

It is all business you understand, poor me, all that visual stimulation is exhausting, really! I don’t know why Mr Chandelier has no sympathy for my exhaustion!

Where do you buy your craft supplies from, can they compete with these prices?

Happy shopping!

Much Love,

Sarah xx

 

 

How to make a Bunny Trug – Tutorial

I always try to make presents for the special people in my life whenever I can.  I don’t know about you, but for me, to be given a gift that someone has lovingly made just for me  means so much more than any shop bought present.

This week, I had to make a present for a cute little one year old baby, whose nursery theme is little taupe bunnies. It is a very small room with not much space so I wanted to come up with something that not only looked adorable, but didn’t take up much room and was practical too!  Hmmm………..quite a lot of thought needed for that one.

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After much deliberation, I decided I would buy a sweet little heart trug and add some wooden bunny shapes which I would paint and distress.

You could of course adapt anything, from a box to a tray or any other item you have skulking around just waiting to be loved!

 

First of all, you need to decide what the end purpose of your item will be and what wooden shapes you would like to add.  Think carefully about the size of both your trug (or other item) and the size of your wooden shapes – how much do you want them to dominate and how many –  if you don’t have your wooden shapes yet, you can always cut out rough paper templates and ‘play’.  For me, this is by far the best bit as I absolutely love to play with all my materials.

This is also when my clear and tidy workspace quickly becomes absolute bedlam as I do tend to get a little ‘lost in my world’ and become a tad over excited and start pulling at jars and drawer contents, tipping everything out all over the place and grabbing at stuff wildly like a child in a sweetie shop – although Mr Chandelier might liken it more to a crazy mad woman who really needs a straight jacket – really!

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Ok, now you have, (unlike some), calmly chosen your shapes it’s time to paint them.  I know they are only tiny shapes but I always do the job properly and prime everything first.  You however, could skip this if you are not a perfectionist like me.  I also knew that I was going to paint the bunnies taupe and would also distress them so I wanted the white to show through when I sanded the edges.  You could just use two different colour paints instead.  Don’t forget to paint the edges  –  but not the back!

 

bunny trug chosen

 

Once your first coat is dry (which is usually pretty quick), give a good second coat of your chosen colour and then when that’s dry a ‘lick’ over one more time for depth when you sand.  Let the paint cure thoroughly before you lightly sand the edges.

For me, much as the little bunnies look ‘ok’ at this point, I wanted more definition around the edges and I wanted them to stand out a lot more, as I felt the edges were too insipid.  This was easily remedied by pulling out the wax.  I literally dabbed my finger into the wax and rubbed it into the bunny edges and then onto the top of the bunny as well.

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See the vast difference between the two – now the left hand bunny stands out really well and gives a far greater contrast which is exactly what I wanted.

 

 

 

Finally, glue the bunnies on and add some little bunny tails (tiny pom-poms).  I chose grey as the Mummy of the child I’m giving this too adores grey and also the white was far too stark against the cream trug.  Last but not least, add a little dotty ribbon tie and voila, one sweet little Bunny Trug.  I love it so much and hope she adores it too.

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Last of all, I made a little gift tag with some gold beading and wrapped it in gold star tissue paper for the final touch and when I handed it over, my friend was really chuffed and said she really, really loved it!  You just can’t beat that feeling, makes me so happy!

 

Go create something this weekend and show me what you made – I would so love to see.

Happy creating.

Much Love,

Sarah xx