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Larmer Tree 2016

Over the last few years July has come to mean Larmer Tree Festival time and this year was no exception. The vintage market was back in the global bazaar for its fourth year and we had a lovely few days. It was cloudy and rainy and sunny (sometimes all in one morning), but whatever the weather was doing outside the marquee looked fantastic inside as always.

At one point I got a little carried away with decorating myself with temporary tattoos, because I’m not that brave with fashion statements and I figured I could get into the festival spirit by wearing pretty pictures instead of dressing up. They’re so much nicer than the temporary tattoos that used to come in packets of sweets when I was little – I remember having a very naff tattoo of Spider-Man on my arm circa 2002. Luckily 2016 has prettier options.

Outside of our vintage marquee bubble there was lots going on as usual. It’s a really lovely little(ish) festival filled with interesting people, sights, and sounds. You never know what you might find when you’re out and about!

It seems strange that it’s all over for another year, but it is nice to be back home with all the comforts of indoor living again. I’m already looking forward to next year!

p.s. I’m sorry there’s been the sound of crickets chirping here for the last 9 months. The longer it got, the harder it seemed to write a post. But I figured I’d just try and dive back in this time without thinking about it too much. There’s some catching up to do!


Star Garland DIY

It’s been a while since my last craft tutorial, and I thought it would be fun to share the method behind this make – a little garland of stars and moons, perfect for adding a hint of magic for Halloween. In different colours and perhaps without the moons, this would also be a great decoration for Christmas…

Stars and moons garland decoration. Halloween or Christmas decoration idea. Craft tutorial.

Things you’ll need:

  • pencil or pen
  • scissors
  • glue
  • paintbrush
  • paper/card in a variety of colours (I used paper from my stash of damaged vintage books)
  • string/thread
  • ribbon/fabric/lace
  • sewing machine and thread/needle and thread
  • glitter (optional)

Step 1. On the wrong side of the papers, draw star and crescent moon outlines in different sizes. Cut out these shapes. You can do as many or as little as you like, depending on the size of garland you need (I ended up with 20 – 16 stars, 4 moons – for a garland approx. 80cm long).

Stars and crescent moon shapes, cut out from vintage papers. Craft idea for Halloween. Decorations, garlands.

Step 2. Cut a length of your string/thread for each shape and glue one end to the wrong side of the paper. I used Mod Podge, but any PVA glue should work. Leave to dry.

Halloween garland craft tutorial.

Step 3. One at a time, apply glue to the backs of your stars and moons and stick to complimenting papers. Leave to dry, then cut out around the original shapes. (This is so they look lovely on both sides, but you could skip this step if you prefer – bear in mind that the string is likely to twist.) If you’re decorating with glitter, this is the perfect time to do so!

Halloween or Christmas garland craft idea. Upcycled decorations.

Step 4. Choose ribbon, fabric, or lace that compliments the colours of your paper, and cut to the length you need (plus a little extra for pinning/tying up).  Place and pin the string/thread of each star and moon along this length, varying the length of the thread to create a pretty effect. It took me a few tries before I was happy with the layout, so don’t be afraid to rearrange! If needed, add a backing to the ribbon for extra strength.


Step 5. Stitch securely in place – I reverse stitched over each piece of thread as I went along, and then stitched along the whole length another few times just to be on the safe side! (You’ll want to keep a track of where all the threads are to avoid tangles.) Trim any loose ends.

And that’s it! Tie or pin up and admire each time you walk passed…

Lulworth Cove

Isn’t it funny how living near a place often means you never visit it?

You can go pretty much any time you like, but somehow you never quite get there.

The last time I visited Lulworth Cove was back in June 2007. I remember it was cold and grey and rainy, and I was being a stroppy teenager… probably not the best combination for appreciating the natural beauty surrounding you!

This time around the sun was shining and I was on my very best behaviour.

View over Lulworth Cove, Dorset, England.

We had a picnic, a quick walk part way up the path to Durdle Door (well, quickish… it’s a very steep path!), and then we strolled down to the cove to laze about in the September sunshine.

Looking out across Lulworth Cove, Dorset, England. Boats in Lulworth Cove on a sunny September day.

Resting tired feet in the sea at Lulworth Cove, Dorset, England.

Resting tired feet in the lovely cool water.

Lulworth Cove, Dorset, England. Jurassic coast.

We went to the far side of the cove, where there’s an outcrop of rocks – ideal for clambering across in search of rock pools and shells, and perfect for perching on to watch the boats and kayaks, and happy dogs paddling in the water.

Rocks at Lulworth Cove, Dorset, England.

It was also the perfect spot to appreciate how very lucky I am to live where I live.

There really is no place like home.


So, it’s been almost 4 months since my last post and I’ve been feeling a bit bad for my poor neglected blog.

I’ve started posts, gotten half way through and given up, come back a few days later and had no idea where to pick them up again, given up…

until now.

when I think what I really want to say is simply:


Vintage card game packet and illustrations upcycled into a decoration for a market stall. Vintage or craft market stall decoration idea. Bunch of flowers and butterflies.


Seaside Finds

The weather was perfect today for a trip to the seaside. My sister, mum, and I headed to nearby Swanage, and – after gobbling up some scrumptious ice creams (chocolate and ferrero rocher flavour anyone?) – we went for a stroll along the beach, where we found a patchwork of little stories in the sand.

There was a heart made of pebbles, broken by the waves…

Partially washed away heart made of pebbles on the beach at Swanage, Dorset. Beach art. Stone and pebble heart.

… a rose (one of three that we found scattered along the shore), its ruby red petals dusted with sand.

Rose washed up on the beach, Swanage, Dorset. Sea rose. Red rose on the sand. Beach finds.

… and a monster patrolling the promenade!

Toy dinosaur on the promenade in Swanage, Dorset. Jurassic coast. Seaside finds. Beachcombing finds.

Paper Characters

The last few weeks, between selling at vintage markets and working part-time in a shop, I’ve been unable to go to the bustling local flea market where I usually find a lot of my materials/stock. It’s a few minutes walk from my house and not being able to go has been driving me a little bit mad – so near and yet so far! But this morning – finally and thankfully – I got to go treasure hunting.

I had a great time rummaging through cardboard boxes full of vintage linens and inspecting table tops crammed with bric-a-brac, and found a respectable stash of vintage goodies to keep me happy for a good while.

One find was very small but no less happy-making for it – a little group of whimsical Victorian ladies.

Vintage paper cut out Victorian ladies. Whimsical Victorian costume fashion illustrations. Antique die cuts.

They all look like they’re enjoying themselves in their own little worlds and they brim with playful character.

Vintage die cut of a Victorian lady. Paper cut out. Whimsical, pretty, dainty, antique style.

Paper cut out Victorian style lady. Vintage paper craft supplies. Whimsical style.

For now they’ve found a new home in my paper ephemera box, waiting for future projects in need of a character or two.

In the meantime, I’m hoping it won’t be quite so many weeks before I get to go a-marketing again…


A Crinoline Lady Bag

A few weeks ago, I was very excited to find a stash of beautiful vintage linens. It got my mind whirring with ideas and my hands itching to get sewing.

And what better piece to start sewing with than a lovely crinoline lady?

Bag made from vintage embroidery of a crinoline lady. Upcycled vintage embroidery. Upcycled vintage linen. Vintage linen upcycling craft ideas.

She’s paired with vintage hankies and fabric, plus a scrap from the hem of a raggedy 1940s nightdress, and is lined with vintage patchwork. The trim is from another piece of vintage linen, found in the same stash as the crinoline lady herself.

Close up of bag handmade from vintage embroidered linens, fabrics, and patchwork. Vintage crinoline lady embroidery upcycled into dainty, bohemian handbag. English country garden style textiles.

Back of handmade bag upcycled from vintage linens and fabrics. Quilted vintage fabric.

And you know what the best part is?

There were two crinoline ladies on that piece.

I’d better get sewing.

Spring Walk

I love the beginning of spring. Every day, the world grows a little more colourful.

It’s a time of contrasts – when the skeletons of trees tower up into the sky and oceans of tiny flowers set the ground alight at their roots.

And it’s a time to be outside, witnessing the world as it slowly comes to life.

With this in mind, yesterday I headed to the gardens at Kingston Lacy. It’s a place where spring springs beautifully (and just a tiny bit magically).

Flowers in the gardens at Kingston Lacy, Dorset, England. Early spring flowers in an English walled garden.

Bookshop in the grounds of Kingston Lacy gardens, Dorset, England.

Daffodils in March. Avenue of daffodils and snowdrops in the gardens at Kingston Lacy, Dorset.


Photo courtesy of the lovely Mama Pippin – thanks mum!

There are flowers blooming everywhere, from avenues lined with cheery daffodils to woodlands filled with bright camellias.


Underneath, the moss covered earth was sprinkled with pink petals.

A carpet of pink petals on the ground at Kingston Lacy. Forest floor covered in pink petals.

And above, the sky was silver.

Chamellias in the gardens at Kingston Lacy.

Pink chamellia in front of trees, Kingston Lacy.

Mum and I had to be careful on our trip – monsters hid in unexpected places, lying in wait for unsuspecting visitors…


And some looked very hungry indeed.


But thankfully, we made it home to tell the tale!