Monday, 31 January 2011

Family Threads

Over the weekend, we joined the rest of the Biddle clan to celebrate Cousin Biddle's 30th birthday. Whilst there, Aunt Biddle opened up a big drawer full of the most gorgeous table linens covered in hand embroidery. All of them had been sewn many years ago by Great Aunt Biddle and Great Grandma Biddle. I was in heaven. I felt very honoured to be asked to choose a selection to take home with me - a lovely little recognition of having become part of a new family.

The craftsmanship is exquisite and with most of the pieces, you can barely tell which side was the front and which was the back. I think the embroidery of flowers above is amazing - the colours are so bold, bright and surprising for something sewn a long time ago. I'm going to turn this into a small cushion for another Cousin Biddle.

These doilies for dressing tables and coasters are so dainty. The coasters will make lovely pockets for summer dresses and blouses, and the larger ones will make pretty, decorative pillows for guest beds.

The simplicity of cross stitch looks fantastic on these handkerchiefs - about time I bought some binca and started practising. I loved cross stitch as a little girl.

This tablecloth, again beautifully hand embroidered, has such a gorgeous lace edging with little hidden pockets in the corners, perfect to place coins in and weight it down on a picnic table. I'll be using this for summer parties.

And finally a lovely edge to one end of a simple piece of large white cotton - I'll be putting this away for now with plans to create a roller blind from it when we have a suitable window!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Parcels Through the Post

Isn't receiving parcels through the post one of life's little luxuries? It's such an old fashioned pleasure and long may it continue. I love nothing more than ripping open a jiffy bag.

One of my favourite packages this week was from Backstitch, a fantastic online haberdashery that sells gorgeous fabrics as well as lots of great patterns, many of which are imported from the USA or Japan and difficult to get hold of here in the UK. I've ordered from them before but I was especially delighted with this parcel of two children's clothing patterns from Oliver + S. Alice at Backstitch had beautifully wrapped the patterns in tissue paper and ribbon, and included a hand written note.

Even though I paid for the patterns myself, it felt like receiving a gift. Mr B & I commented on what a difference that personal touch can make for small businesses like Backstitch and I'll definitely be ordering from them again in the future. I barely wanted to open the wrapping, it was so lovely.

How gorgeous are the Oliver + S patterns? I love the packaging and I'm hoping a can make dresses for my Goddaughter and Sailor outfits for the future Baby Biddle which live up to the design of these patterns! I'll report back on my sewing progress in due course.

Other parcels received this week were little treats to myself using my Christmas spending money (I feel about 15 saying that!). First up was a gorgeous new pair of shoes from the ridiculously reasonable Kate Kanzier. I already have a pair of her shoes which are so comfy and get commented on all the time.

These bobby dazzlers were a mere £15 in the sale. A bobby bargain.

And finally, a new pendant from Galibardy, an great online jewellery shop which is also really reasonable. I love balloons and so this makes me smile every time I wear it. This was just £12 and she does a lovely pendant with a boy & girl on a bicycle too for the same price.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

A New Baby and a New Blog

A new year brings a set of new adventures so I think it's time I make two little announcements.

First of all, Mr Biddle and I are expecting our first baby in May - as far as we can tell, it will be a little boy. We are hugely excited about the arrival of Baby Biddle.

And secondly, I've begun a new blog inspired by my first piece of news. Albert and the Lion will chart my exploration into the world of the vintage baby. Having shopped and created over the past couple of years for my Goddaughter and her little brother, I'm aware of how much better little girl products can be compared to boys. So I'm on a quest to find the coolest, vintage-inspired clothes and nick nacks for little boys (I'll still be looking for girls too!) and I'll be reporting all on my new blog.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Robin & Mould

Yesterday, under an overcast sky, we spent a lovely afternoon pottering up and down St Catherine's Hill in Frome with our friends The Vintage Bride and Bridegroom, and their growing baby bump. After a late lunch at the organic Garden Cafe, we explored the mix of vintage shops and boutiques on the hill. The Vintage Bride will be posting a longer feature on the delights of Frome on her fabulous blog which you can read by clicking here.

Whilst in Frome we discovered a gorgeous shop called Holly Anna which stocks vintage and contemporary products and is well worth a trip. The co-owner of Holly Anna, Matt, is lovely and talked enthusiastically to us all for ages about his stock and how much he loves St Catherine's Hill. One of his suppliers are Wiltshire based couple Robin and Mould who make contemporary printed homewares. I fell in love with their printed cushions for children. Isn't the phrase "dream big little one" just adorable?

Images of Robin & Mould from robinandmould on Etsy

I'm kicking myself that I didn't buy one of these yesterday but I'll be returning to Frome next month so I can pick one up then. And I also loved their owl toys with the alphabet on the back.

You can buy Robin & Mould on Etsy by clicking here.

Monday, 3 January 2011

The Beauty of Bath

We've spent our first Festive period in our new home and are constantly amazed by how beautiful the city and the surrounding area is. In the sun or the snow, it is an extraordinary place. Mr Biddle and I love it here.

And even the view from my desk is a lovely one of the garden, here covered in a delightful sprinkling of snow.