Sunday, 27 February 2011

Life through a lens

As well as planting sweet peas and pots of hyacinths and daffodils this weekend I found a little time to try out my new camera. I've long had an interest in cameras and photography but never been lucky enough to own an SLR. I remember a little Box Brownie that used to live in our garage when I was young - I wonder what happened to that? An Olympus Trip was my favourite for many years and more recently I switched over to a digital Lumix but somehow I can't ever get used to taking photographs without a viewfinder. Peering at a screen just isn't the same. I like my eye to be close to the view - the camera to be an extension of me not something I hold at arms length. My new camera - a Canon 550D - is something else altogether. It won't slip into my pocket like my Lumix but it's a wonderful thing. It needs a bag of it's own, with lots of pockets for all it's bits and pieces. It has dials and buttons, a zoom lens and best of all - a viewfinder.

Of course, I don't know what most of these bells and whistles do yet. My first attempt at macro photography is this orchid (for the technically minded it was taken on the AV setting, ISO400, with auto focus). There's a lot to learn and in a few days Photoshop Elements will be arriving too. Somehow I don't think I'm going to have much spare time over the coming weeks...

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Heart's a Flutter

My love of vintage trims knows no end so I was delighted to find some gorgeous hand-crocheted ones at an antiques fair recently. As soon as I see a basket of doilies or crochet my heart makes a little flutter. Thank heavens my husband has endless patience and is capable of amusing himself while I check out every single piece.

I came away with armfuls of beautifully crafted trims in wonderful condition. My collection being rather large I decided it was time to offer some up in my shop. These little kits team up hand-crocheted trims in creamy beige and pure white with machine-made delicate floral lace, mother of pearl and vintage plastic buttons and even a delicate shell-pink buckle.

Whenever I see hand-crocheted trims I think of the women who, with tiny hooks and fine thread (and much better eyes than I!) crafted beautiful adornments to their dresses and homes. I love to crochet but give me big hooks, thick wool and fast results any day! Maybe it's something to do with having large hands - I just don't think I could do something so delicate without screaming. So thank you to all those women who had the time, patience and skill to make these. I've selected the best bits for my kits - which are now looking for new homes and another chance to make someone's life pretty and special.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

February Treasure Hunt

Recent trips to Marlow and Henley, two nearby towns on the banks of the Thames, have turned up some lovely vintage finds. This French dress clip is so pretty I want to buy a little black dress to go with it and pop up to London for cocktails. Sadly, I'm not a cocktail kind of girl - well, the odd Margarita and me have been friendly but I only own one dress (the one I got married in - little and black yes but with embroidered roses all over) and I'm more of a stay-at-home person. Luckily I think this would also look great on a sweater worn with a pair of jeans.


I couldn't resist this little Scottie Dog brooch either - he doesn't look anything like my little 'fella' but has such an expressive face.

I have a weak spot for anything from the 1930s and this Trifari dress clip is so stylish and of the era.

I also found this marcasite ship brooch complete with swinging anchor. Reminds me of my favourite joke (and the only one I can ever remember) - Question: Where are me buccaneers? Answer: Under your buccin' 'at! (Must be done with a pirates accent.) Now you can see why I don't do jokes!

I'll be putting all of these in my Etsy shop soon.