Objects old, vintage, hand made or upcyled, and old techniques with a modern twist

Vintage Knitting


I came bought this humorous cartoon at a car boot sale earlier in the year. It dates from the  beginning of the First World War (1914), but anyone who has struggled with a knitting pattern will recognise the sometimes strange results that stem from ambitious intentions!


“That looks easy enough…”


“I’m sure tension doesn’t really matter…”


“Well, I suppose that it’s the thought that counts!”


“I can honestly say that I did wear them…”

Monday Mood Board: Dahlias


The Dahlias are still looking gorgeous; I love the gradation of hues, and the structural pattern formed by the petals.


I haven’t made a friendship bracelet since I was at school, but decided to experiment with the method as I have plenty of embroidery thread in lovely colours.

As you can see, I experimented with a few different colour combinations and patterns. The free-form pattern below I made up as I went along, experimenting with changing direction.

I wanted to use the finished piece as something other than a bracelet, so decided to make a short length to use as a zipper pull on a jumper.

As I had cut longer strands of thread than I required for the pull, I left a gap and then knotted a second section below the first to use in another project.


I trimmed the ends and cut the top section free from the bottom section.


The top section became the zipper pull, with the loop used to thread it through the metal ring on the zipper.

This was a good way to use up some of the odds and ends of thread that I had in my stash: now I have to decide on projects for the other pieces that I made…:-)


If you fancy having a go for yourself (and didn’t learn how to make these as a child) then there are plenty of helpful guides and how-to videos to be found online.

Some more lovely vintage and antique embroideries, this time in neutral white and creams. I featured coloured embroideries a few weeks ago, but felt that these understated lovelies deserved their own post! Some are destined to be sold as they are, and some will be upcycled.

Tassel Garland

This is a quick DIY project, ideal as a decoration for summer parties. It is also a great stash-busting project as small pieces of leftover yarn from other projects can be used.


Darning/tapestry needle

Yarn in various colours



First choose your colours. The tassels can be made in any size of your choice, for this garland I made 10 the same size, and one larger one for the centre of the garland. In order for the tassels to be the same length the yarn can be measured out by wrapping it around a piece of cardboard, or another flat object. The thickness of the tassel is dependent on how many strands it contains (therefore how many times it is wrapped around the card).


Tie the bunch of yarn together in the centre, and fold in half.

Next, using the tail of yarn from tying the tassel together, wrap yarn tightly around the top quarter/third of the tassel and tie off. Cut the tails of your tassel to make them even and to open up the closed loops.

Finally thread a large-eyed darning or tapestry needle with your stringing material (yarn, ribbon, cord etc), and pass it through each of the tassels. The top of the tassels should have been wound tightly enough that they remain where you place them on the string.


Et voila, one finished garland to be hung where you desire!



I recently went through the various vintage and antique hand-embroidered fabrics that I have, in the hunt for some material to make bunting for a friend’s wedding. Due to the hours of work that these pieces represent, I am loathe to cut them up, with the exception of any items that are damaged or spoilt by a permanent stain (I remove and bin the damaged area, and use the rest of the material in craft projects).


Depending on the size of the material, the embroidered fabrics can be used in a variety of projects: I really enjoy giving new life to something that someone else has put so much time and effort into, but is now ‘ruined’ for it’s original purpose (e.g. a tablecloth with a stain in the centre).


Using some fabrics that I already have (in this case by upcycling) also means that I am still managing to stick to my new year’s resolution to buy no new craft materials this year!  BLUE-EMBROIDERY

The few pieces that I have shown here are all undamaged items, and as I seem to have collected quite a few pieces in good condition, I have decided to sell a selection- after all, there are only so many tablecloths etc that one person can use!



I am inspired by all things floral at the moment, particularly the vibrant colours that can be found in the garden now that the flowers are blooming!


This is a mish-mash of crafty floral items: the ceramic flowers are vintage, the postcard was from Paperchase, the leather flower was made in this DIY post, and the vintage buttons and handmade lace motifs are awaiting an appropriate project!


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