Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Sewing room tales: My 'other' chair, new to me cupboard, new to me table, Spring makes and tea!

I think that my April Fool's Day post missed the mark (not quite Mr Dimbleby's standard perhaps!) but I am pleased that I was able to make someone snort her breakfast through her nose (no name - no pack drill!)

The year is gathering pace and so is The Great British Sewing Bee - I am on the edge of my vintage seat with it all!  I had divided loyalties last night as I was desperado to finish a little Milly Molly Mandy embroidery (thank you for the idea Streetcomber) for a purse (in DIRE need of a purse this week.........). I would like Chinelo to win - there I have said it.

By the end of this post you might be a bit fed up of this corner!

My sewing room is getting a 'bit full up'.....not  necessarily with sewing-related things.  Looking at this photograph every single thing, apart from the radio and daffodils, is second hand.

'Does she not realise that it all looks SECOND HAND - I think that she thinks that I think it all looks brand new! IT ALL LOOKS SECOND HAND: 'PAPER BAG IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD' SORT OF STUFF' . (How that made me laugh - courtesy of The HATTATS)

The wicker lamp shade was a lucky find on top of the wardrobe - I must have put it there a year or so and then forgot all about it!

'She calls that 'lucky'..... I would call it firewood'  

You may recall that in a previous post I had sold a cupboard in order to make room for a cupboard.....This is my £10 cupboard - nice and chunky, solid oak and just right for putting 'stuff' in.  The content of the cupboard is 'work in progress' as this is part of the previous cupboard content just 'shoved in' for now!  It was all a bit of rash purchase so I had not thought this through - still for £10 I am not complaining.  It is a funny old world because about a week later a different charity shop also had two very similar cupboards (slightly larger) but they were £95 each.

Please note that I have not dusted the glass! I am not a natural dusterer

Every sewing room should have one or tins in it I think...possibly...

At such times it is always best to have a cup of tea

I have various bits of this Dolly Days china - bought at a local car boot a few years back - along with my trusty teapot (£1). I have the matching jug but couldn't find it that day...gulp....

Realised that a bag hanging behind the door 'matches' the china!

Shelves are currently being constructed to go above this cupboard - we bought yet another larger cupboard in the Charity Shop Sales but 'deconstructed' it (it wasn't very nice but has nice wood) in order to make the shelving.   

I have finally sorted out the embroideries to make up the: 'Flying Embroidery Formation' on the other wall and then I will be done......though by then I will no longer have any space left to move..... or indeed sew in......

A few days later the daffs were out, the sun was streaming through the window and  I had dug out one of my old clocks that will eventually go on the wall

 Clock yet to be dusted....shameful really.....

I was a bit fixated by the shadows cast by the sun that day

However I am in the middle of making a Roman fort, road, temple, mosaic, lamp  blind for this room - it is going to be made of barkcloth floral fabric but cannot decide if there should be a vintage embroidered border down both sides.  What would you suggest?

'We would suggest that you HAVE A CLEAROUT'


 You may recall the pair of chairs bought last year for £2 each - the one I painted blue  was shown here and now here is the other one......a pink chair close up.....

Cushion close up really - though I love making cathedral window patchwork this is a very old charity shop purchase - in fact both cushions cost a £1 each many years ago. Ah yes, my friend, we thought they'd never end.......the days when most of my purchases were in the £1 or less category.

I find that nowadays a cushion is essential for my old back

'What is that yellow thing that has snuck in under the radar Jenny?'

Ah, yes, now then Missus ('Channelling Frankie Howerd this morning are we?'), this would be my 'new to me' table.  I am rather partial to a bit of Lloyd Loom.  This was NOT a £1 - this was £25 - it was in the charity shop when I bought the cupboard but I RESISTED it at the time. 


When I went back to the shop to give the manager her purse  the table WAS STILL THERE.



Thank you kindly Martha.  I will  have to get rid of my old chest (steady) to really make 'proper' room for this - but table is already fully laden WITH STUFF!  

How did I manage without it.

I was about to post this and then remembered the photographs which I had taken before all of  different china and different flowers

My sewing room is really a 'get away from it all/ listen to Radio 4 in peace' room (may I recommend 'Cabin Pressure' and 'In and out of the kitchen' if you are in need of cheering up - both make me laugh out loud - comedy on the radio beats the telly every time for me). I particularly like having the radio on and to hear the clock ticking - childhood memories.   I also share this room with all my files and books for work and frequently cut fabric on top of those files and books because I cannot be bothered to keep putting it all away and get it out again

Here I am flicking through the latest (!)  magazine.  What is the message that this cover is trying to convey?  Any thoughts?  I am thinking that I might start a caption competition here.

A very sad note here : this magazine was my very last purchase from dear Mr Langford.  I have mentioned Mr Langford many, many times over the years both here and on Flickr.  After a relatively short illness Mr Langford sadly died recently - we chatted on his  last day in his shop.  When he told me he was ill I made him  a little card  with 'Mary' on it to thank him and show the influence his shop had had - he was very chuffed - his shop meant a great deal to him.

I will miss him.

Thank you Mr Langford.

Sunny times for you all today I hope

PS: Realised that I have not posted the promised 'Spring makes' as indicated in the title so will do that next time

PPS: I was in  Milton Keynes for work last  weekend...and this weekend it will be Basingstoke...I live the high life I really do!


  1. Sad news about dear Mr Langford, but how lovely that you were able to say goodbye and also show him how much you valued his many treasures. On a happier note, no I'm not bored of my peek into your sewing corner! Thanks so much for sharing, I love that you are able to save so many gorgeous items from an unknown fate. To think how many hours of work went into those cushions for them to end up potentially unloved, thankfully the thrifting fairies sent you to swoop in and rescue them xx

  2. I am relieved that your previous post was April Fool -I googled La Cootard to find myself referred back to your blog - car boot adventures, making adventure but none the wiser as to who but enthralled by the largesse of the personality and drama of your interview.
    Through all your humour you shine with kindness. Such a lovely and lively person with a humourous and great outlook on life. Thanks for entertaining so well!

  3. ~Always, always a treat to view your little corners and rooms of treasure..
    LOVE the cosiness of this little sewing room!
    I'm popping a 'wish' in my wish box so i may have a room like this to potter and putter from day to day..
    Like every one else I'm enjoying the sewing bee too..
    i must confess I have an slight little crush on the very hansom Patrick...
    I've even got my own Patrick ( Mr Rosey Tinted Spec's) to grow a beard, just now..haha!
    Take time to be, dear Jenny!
    Hugs Maria x

  4. Your room corner is fantastic, so much to see. Very keen on the Dolly Days china. Glad to be of help with the Milly Molly Mandy reminder. Was looking at the books again the other day and marvelling at the skill of the illustrations by Joyce Lankester Brisley.

  5. Hello Jenny,

    Well, Milton Keynes and Basingstoke..........for us, we were lucky to get as far as the front door......of the paper bag, of course! You definitely know how to live. Next you will be telling us that you are salting forth to Swindon.......then we shall really hate you!

    Now, yours is the kind of sewing corner of which we heartily approve. Lloyd Loom table, chairs replete with cushions, cheery cups and saucers, tea from china teapots and a radio permanently tuned to Radio 4. Perfect. After all, who needs threads or sewing machines or other needlework paraphernalia? Not us!

    As for the image on the cover of Woman's Own.........this is how one should garden......pristine pinafore covering the day dress, Marigolds to protect those perfectly polished nails and a velvet choker to add that je ne sais quoi.......just a little light tickling of the soil and then time for, back to the sewing corner! Happy days. The Narcissi are delightful!

  6. P.S. ........sallying Swindon that is.....

  7. Oh Jenny, it all looks just fabulous, fresh and dare I say it, bang on trend! I myself have always been seen by others to be old-fashioned, but all of a sudden they're coming to me for tips, haha! I absolutely love the lampshade, i've not seen one like that beforen (oh no, something else to look out for!)

    Just love it all ... apart from poor Mr Langford, of course. I'm sure you were a ray of sunshine in his life.

    Love Claire xxx

  8. Loving that green flowery fabric, those beautiful cushions (the work in those!) I'm still using your cathedral pin cushion but I fear not of those rose cutting seem to have taken :(
    I'm on the lookout for a cupboard to store fabric in and a large sewing table but even secondhand has got out of my reach since it has got rather trendy! Liking the rather arty shadows my dear Jenny... Cx

  9. That Martha one! She's so rude! I love all your bits, Jenny, I really do. xx

  10. Secondhand gorgeousness ... love it!
    Poor Mr Langford.
    M x

  11. Thought it might be an April Fool but wasn't brave enough to stick my neck out and say so.
    Jacqui x

  12. I love your sewing room, lots to see and treasure. What a bargain that bookcase was. Very sad to read of the passing of Mr Langford, but how magical that you got to say goodbye and to thank him. Someone said to me once that people do not really leave us, they just 'go on ahead', and I'm certain he is manning a little shop up there.

  13. Second hand just means previously loved. Great post. Bless Mr Langford. Talking of second hand (sorry order of comments slightly out of kilter), I went into an antique shop in a garden centre once and bought some gorgeous little etched glasses and the shop assistant made a great point of telling me they were second hand! I've often wonder if it was her first day there. Philippa xx

  14. Sorry to hear your loss he sounded like a wonderful person x

  15. May I begin by sending along condolences on the loss of Mr Langford. You've written a heartfelt tribute to him.

    May I next tell you how much I laughed at your April 1 post. It was hilarious and very, very stylish, too.

    And now I thank you for this post's tour of your sewing area. Lots of sunshine and creativity there. As I survey my little apartment's clusters of creative areas, I realize that their boundaries exist only in my imagination. It's possible that I am living in my very own thrift shop surrounded by possessions acquired bit by bit since my 1960s NYC arrival into young adulthood.


  16. This post was cheering me up no end.....that was until I heard about poor old Mr Langford! (The cheery bit was that you had made me feel that I wasn't as Bonkers as I thought, you see I too have sold a cupboard, in order to buy a cupboard! My dear darling husband had pointed out to me how crazy this was....I can now tell him, if it's good enough for Jenny.......) have a great week :) x

  17. oh, ideas for sewing yours....

  18. love love it . you are a colour queen. if you have time can I ask how you put your name on all your photos, have been trying for ages to work it out. thanks hx

  19. Jenny I love to 'see' corners of your home and your lovely treasures. I am glad you 'rescue' such lovely things and share them with us. P.s.You can never have too many cupboards.

  20. What a pretty and cheerful room. I really love the floral cups and colors you have painted your chairs and wicker table. That is a neat radio too. Love the picture on the vintage magazine. I can tell you I don't EVER wear a dress when I'm planting my flowers.

    xo Danielle

  21. Vale Mr Langford. A more fitting tribute I cannot imagine. My sewing room is also stuffed full of 'stuff and nonsense' but if it lifts your spirits it cannot be wrong I say! Now as to the magazine caption.......may I suggest this ,........"dope, what did she mean when she said I am planting dope? "

  22. I can't be the only person who's eyes were drawn to that surprisingly large biscuit tin ! It probably contains the usual bits and bobs but I like to think there's a secret supply of Jammy Dodgers stashed inside.

  23. Poor Mr. Langford.
    I love your "sewing" room. I too have a house full of second-hand bits that also look second-hand and have often been told to consider having a "clear-out" (in quotes because I'm not sure what that means). I do plan very soon to make some room in the garage. Apparently there is more stuff hiding out there.

  24. Despite not knowing him, I feel quite sad about Mr Langford, which says a lot about how well you write and draw us into your world. It's also really sad to see these old shops disappear one by one. Inevitable, I suppose, and one day people will be mourning the loss of Blockbuster video or the local kebab place, I suppose.
    Completely agree about Cabin Pressure - brilliant! (As Arthur would say). I'll have to check out the kitchen one too. I tend to stick with Radio 4 Extra, which means I end up hearing an awful lot of Agatha Christies.
    I hope your new jetset lifestyle is not too demanding, and you can cope with the hedonistic frenzy that is Basingstoke. xx

  25. poor old mr langford - how sad that he didn't have a long and happy retirement - loved your photo's of everything - i'm really enjoying the sewing bee - although i thought the wrong lady left last week - i thought the winner would be either linda or chinelo so i guess i agree with you that chinelo will win now ..... enjoy basingstoke!! xx

  26. What a lovely bright sunny post to read after today's weather (although I am 8 days behind!) Sad news about Mr Langford but you did manage to cheer him up and make him feel really appreciated before he moved on to that big shop. You're right, cabin pressure makes me laugh out loud every time, even if I've heard them before (and it takes a hell of a lot to make me laugh) it's so cleverly written. Your little corner looks a real haven. xx