Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy Halloween

                                                    image via Martha Stewart

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Thrift and Thrive

Home made soups are the answer to thrifty meals in the Winter. Root vegetables like Parsnips are great with some curry spices, I just use a pre mixed 'curry powder' blend, saves buying lots of individual spices, if you haven't got them in your store cupboard already.

Simply add some oil to a large saucepan, throw in some chopped onion, garlic, carrot, celery ( incuding the celery leaves), and parsnips. Seal all the flavours in by turning them in the oil, add your spices or herbs if you prefer, add some stock enough to cover the vegetables and simmer until everything has cooked. Then blitz with a hand blender. Eat some and freeze some.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Do You Know Martha?

I can't remember when I first discovered Martha Stewart but it was several years ago, probably more than 20. And Oh how I love her and her super clever ways. What an inspiration she is, she's right up there with Margaret Rutherford and Mary Poppins for me. Like them she gets things done.

 If you're planning any sort of Halloween bash for your children take a look at her website and you'll be spoilt for choice for fun ideas. She always has great clip art for every seasonal event which you can download for a really professional look.

All of these images are from the Martha Stewart magazine which you can get in some shops in this country. Did I say she's American?
Not too sure about this last project, but it looks really atmospheric, doesn't it?

Monday, 24 October 2011

Vintage Life Magazine

I'm super pleased, Shrimpton and Perfect is still a baby less than a month old, but those lovely gals over at Vintage Life magazine have given us a wee mention. Featuring some of the knitwear we've made from Vintage patterns. I'll be taking these and other jumpers and cardigans to the Antiques Fair in Lewes Town Hall on Saturday November 19th. My stall will be a feast of desirable vintage trifles. If you can't make it to that and you want to get in touch please feel free to email me.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Mmmmmmmmmm Moquette.

I'm not sure if this little discovery is gonna be good or not. You see it tempts me to purchase something I don't really need, but I do believe to be beautiful !
London Transport museum shop are making furniture covered in their "tube and bus" material, Moquette. The patterns are so 1930's, and of course deeply desirable. But I'm saving up for a big holiday next year so must resist. Repeat, must resist.
           Not sure why this is called the Harlem cube, but I wouldn't mind a bit of Harlem in my living space.
Look at these amazing fabrics, they've loads to choose from. I'm pretty much loving all of them.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Midnight In Paris

A girlfriend and I went to see this film last night. I adore Woody Allen she is not so enchanted by him. Funny, the things I love about his scripts are the very things she hates. Anyhoo the night was a success.
As usual Woody was taking the rise out of pseudo intellectuals, and highlighting the not so warm and fuzzy characteristics of the American wealthy classes. But Paris was the star of the film, and the storyline was very light and entertaining. Lovely vintage sets too.

Ah me, who remembers Annie Hall?

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Kaffe Fassett's Colourscape.

I am a big fan of both Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably, they are wonderfully creative, and also wonderful in their own right.

I am just finishing a project using Kaffe's Colourscape chunky yarn. The yarn is very similar to the hand spun yarns that I aim to produce myself one day. My friend Ann is an expert spinner and dyer of yarns, and is keen for me to learn, I just can't find the time at the moment. I'm trying to negotiate a 3 day working week with my employer at the moment to free up some time for personal development. Fingers crossed that comes off.
The item I've been knitting is really the first proper thing I've ever made for my husband. It should turn out to be a lovely warm and hopefully stylish cardigan. The self colouring nature of the yarn is really nice.
 This is just one of the arms being blocked, but I'll post the finished article,  Mr. S&P loves a bit of modelling.

Friday, 14 October 2011

The Haslam System of Dresscutting

I'm a knitter, have been since I was quite a little dot. I really enjoy it, and have tried this year to increase my skills by taking on projects that challenge me a bit. I also started crocheting this year, but it still feels like a foreign language to me. The lure of the granny sqaure will keep reeling me in though.
In my ideal world I would also be an expert seamstress, I have a pristine still new and in it's box (in the attic) sewing machine. Perhaps I could follow Miss. Haslam's system of dress cutting?

How amazing for her to set up her own company and work out a sewing and pattern cutting system, in what I suspect was her home town of Bolton.

Honeing her skills and building on her reputation, to create a successful business.
None of the books are dated, but the first one looks quite basic and functional and the images inside look like they may be wartime clothing. I'm loving this glamourous overall, chanelling Lana Turner.

 In the second book the styles reflecting the post war Christian Dior 'New Look'.


Book three looking the most sophisticated, with full colour images. I would so love to make some of these patterns up. Perhaps a project for the future ?

November 2014 Update.

Over 5000 of you lovely readers have enjoyed this post. Quite a lot of you finding me via Pinterest. Could I be so bold as to invite you to follow my blog on a regular basis?  I post about craft, thrift and vintage. I would be more than delighted if you were to sign up as a Google Friend Connect follower, or simply follow me on Bloglovin. I'll do my level best to keep you entertained.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Thrift & Thrive

I do read quite a lot of blogs that are really helpful with tips on frugality and thriftiness. Most of them talk about how to live on the lowest amount possible, because some of these bloggers have serious reasons behind their necessity to count every penny. I'm not in the same situation as them but I am greatly interested in what they say and do, and I have every respect for them, and I also value their tips and advice. I just can't stand waste of any kind, it's just not right. The less wasteful we are the more there is to go round.
For the last few years I have become more creative with left over food, and in using what I already have in the store cupboard. I find it very satisfying to create a truly good meal form odds and ends.
So I'm loving this book, lent by a friend at work.

 Page 170 Spaghetti with Tuna and  Olives, serves 3.

450g spaghetti
1 x 210g tin tuna in oil
1 large onion peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
110g button mushrooms sliced or quartered
450g ripe tomatoes, skinned
tbsp tomato puree
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
50g green olives
a little butter
grated parmesan cheese

First drain the oil from the tin of tuna into a saucepan, heat it gently and fry the onion and garlic until softened. Then add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for a further 2 or 3 minutes. Now add the tomatoes to the pan, then the tuna, tomato puree and Herbes de Provence, cover and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced to a nice consistency. Next add the olives, taste and season. Cook the spaghetti as per instructions, and drain and toss a little butter in. Serve with the sauce and some Parmesan cheese.

I don't usually buy tuna in oil because I think it's extra calories but had some in my cupboard that my son had bought a while ago. It was perfect in this recipe and saved using my normal oil, plus added extra flavour. I swopped the fresh tomatoes for tinned and the Herbes de Provence for a mixture of herbs I already had. Left out the butter, again extra calories, and used a bit of Cheddar on top instead of Parmesan. It was absolutely delicious.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Well Here We Are At Last.

It's always a bit nerve racking when you do something new, especially for me with technology. But for some time I have wanted to upgrade my blog to share more things with you my dear readers. So I have moved to blogger and have changed from a specific vintage knitwear specialist site to a site that encompasses more of my interests.

I am expecting a few hiccups with this new venture, because I'm going to have to learn on the hoof so to speak. But hopefully it will mean I will be better connected to the sites that I'm interested in and also we will all be sharing readers. So better for everyone.