Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Dorset Days

Last week we spent a lovely handful of days in Dorset on holiday with my in-laws. Here are a few little lovely things I spotted.

So many houses had baskets of homegrown fruit and veg outside for you to help yourself ...
A trip to Wareham found a town full of yummy delis & restaurants, quirky places like this vintage and remade emporium, and delicious smelling fish & chip shops ... 
I loved the colours of this boat bobbing out at sea ...
 Check out this fun wedding idea - the owners of the house had hosted a reception there and this sign was made to celebrate all the distances travelled by their guests. It's now become a permanent feature of their cliff top garden ...

Monday, 29 August 2011

Horrockses Fashions

My friend, the Vintage Bride, is a big lover of Horrockses Fashions and I'm with her on this. Their prints, fabrics and dresses are divine. Long since closed down, the fashion label had a lovely retrospective exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum last year, and I was pleased to notice that the brand might be making a come back with this revival website and shop. Check out their blog for a free downloadable pattern of this original Horrockses sun dress.
As the Vintage Bride celebrated a birthday last week, I crafted a Horrockses inspired gift for her. The V&A Shop is currently selling a selection of revival Horrockses fashions and fabrics (you can buy online) - I bought two dainty cotton hankies and used them as decoration for mini cushions.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Where the Wild Thyme Blows

There was A Midsummer Nights Dream theme to the recent wedding of my friends Mr & Mrs Davies, and their invites featured a beautiful illustration of a fairy inhabited tree. And indeed, at their wedding, right in the middle of the dance floor sat a real tree covered in numerous strings of fairy lights which twinkled away as the revellers danced late into the night.

I couldn't go to this pretty English Country wedding as Baby Biddle was only six days old, but inspired by the illustrations and wording on their invites, I made them an embroidery whilst I whiled away the hours awaiting baby.

I dabbled with some new embroidery stitches for this piece to create the leaves. Also, I stupidly hadn't planned what frame it was going to go into so found that it was the wrong size for high street frames. But then I found a company called Pic Frames which will make and send you bespoke frames via the post so I ordered one the perfect size to complete the piece.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The Cookie Crumbles

I love to bake but I'm more of a cake than a biscuit baker. I seem to get cake and cake gets me, whereas my biscuits often turn out too hard and tasting of flour. But when I saw my food hero Nigel Slater making chewy chocolate cookies on his show Simple Suppers a while back, I knew I'd have to have a go. I thought, If there's any one I can trust to help me perfect biscuits, it's got to be Nige. And yippee I was right.
I used this recipe, although I didn't have any hazelnuts, so I substituted the 50g of them with 25g of ground almonds and it did the trick - I'm not into nutty biscuits so didn't miss the coarse hazelnuts. The cookies turned out like a biscuit version of brownies - crisp on the outside with a chewy, gooey centre. And dead easy to make. I'll definitely be making these again. Thanks Mr Slater.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Vintage Jumble

On Saturday, Family Biddle headed over to the little village of Rangeworthy in Gloucestershire for the Vintage Jumble Sale. Organised by the ladies behind the Vintage and Handmade fairs, it was an opportunity for all their usual sellers to get rid of old stock and for vintage hunters to pick up a bobby bargain. Held in a village hall where the echoes of many an am dram spectacular could be sensed, the WI were on hand to serve tea and cake.

We picked up a prettily painted towel stand in mint green for the miniature sum of £9, along with these lovely textile bargains.
This little patchwork quilt was £3.50 and reminds me of the Laura Ashley brown floral prints which adorned my first nursery 30 years ago ...
White tablecloths are ten a penny, so I loved this vintage green number for its unusual colour and dainty hand embroidery. I think it might make a nice shopping bag ...
A four metre strip of luxurious and thick tapestry ribbon which could look lovely decorating a simple cushion cover ...
 I loved these delightful flower shaped buttons in navy and cream, and so nicely displayed too ...

Thursday, 11 August 2011


Today I'd like to remember my gorgeous, wonderful, caring, generous, thoughtful, strong spirited, Northern-to-the-core, proud Darwener, Nan who passed away a year ago today. She was such a huge part of my life. She taught me lots of the crafts that I love today and many a time I have lamented the fact that she gave away all her gorgeous dresses and shoes from the 1950s as she was such a stylish lady and took great pride in her appearance. I miss her lots, although as Baby Biddle came into our lives not long after her departure, it felt rather fitting that he would fill a little bit of the hole she left behind.

With life and death sitting so closely together, I've thought a lot about the different generations of my family, the importance of creating the next generation and the different opportunities that have been available to women throughout the ages. Here are my Nan, my Mum and Me, with our little babies in our arms, generations apart but experiencing the same life changing, incredible event.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

I Am One

Today this blog turns one. Happy Birthday dear blog.

One year ago ... I was directing an outdoor show featuring a cast of 60 teenagers. I was living in central London. My little Biddle family numbered two.

A year later ... Mr Biddle is working on an outdoor show featuring a cast of 60 teenagers. I live in central Bath. My little Biddle family numbers three.

Back when I started blogging, I only followed a handful of blogs: one in America, my sister's and my friend's, The Vintage Bride. So over the last year, as well as getting into writing my own little online journal, I've also had the whole wonderful world of the social network opened up to me. I love that I connect each week with like minded lasses on all sides of the globe - from fellow bloggers in the South West to writers in Europe, Australia and America. I have enjoyed the inspiration, particularly visual, of all the photos, tutorials and tips that are shared by others who share my love of crafting, sewing, thrifting and vintage. I am happy to have been introduced to the delights of Pinterest where I catalogue and share all the beautiful things online. And I am chuffed that whilst I set up my blog really for myself as a way to record lots of the lovely things in my life, I've had over 5000 page views. Small shrift in the blogosphere I know but a little achievement nonetheless.

So to celebrate turning one, here are some number one themed images from Baby Biddle's vintage baby books.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Lusting after Liberty

It's a bit early to be thinking about Christmas but for once, I actually have something on my list for the man in the red suit and white beard (or at least Mr B in fancy dress). Check out these gorgeous Liberty Print Wrap Watches (priced at £90 a pop). I first spotted them in The Observer magazine and I think they are gorgeous every day time pieces.

Looking online, I think this pink floral number with tan leather might be my favourite, but I'll try to pop into the beautiful London store to see them properly if I get chance.
The wrap watches were created after the success of the Liberty Knot Watches, and the double wrap feature means you get glimpses of the lovely Liberty fabric all day long. These knot watches are priced at £55 each.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Radios and Ribbons

Two of mine and Mr B's closest friends got together a year ago and we couldn't be happier for them as their relationship goes from strength to strength. So to celebrate their moving in together, I whipped up a couple of cushions during Baby Biddle's nap last Thursday.

The gorgeous circus print is by Windham from Fancy Moon - I've just noticed that it is currently on sale. And the transistor radio design is a printed linen by the excellent Kokka Fabrics. 

The day before I had Baby Biddle, I was putting together a little cushion making tutorial so I'll get round to uploading that one of these days I promise!

Monday, 1 August 2011


 Dainty, vintage sherry glasses - a gift from a dear friend

Beautiful new printed linen fabric by Kokka from The Makery Emporium

Vintage Florals buttons by Sass and Belle at Fred Aldous