This is my very first ever blog post and I’m feeling a mixture of excitement and trepidation! As I type I’m feeling rather sorry for myself with a cold, but as I hate to sit around doing nothing, decided it was time to take that first leap, so here I am, laptop at the ready, morning sun warming my chosen spot on the sofa.
I’ve been yearning to do this for some time, but life sort of got in the way! It’s not until the major renovation works are out of the way that you realise just how much of your time you put into it. Visitors used to say to us ‘How do you find the time?’, but actually, life revolved around it. I could be slapping on lime plaster one minute and checking a roasting chicken the next, but with 3 young children to look after and us both also working, we just had to get on with it!
The children are teenagers now and I work part time. Vintage Home Living is a passion, which I will endeavour to share: our experiences, tips we’ve picked up along the way and offer for sale, items suitable for the vintage home, that we continue to collect, but which are filling our house to bursting point!
When I think about my childhood, I can remember that I was always making things – or as we tend to refer to it now, crafting. Like a lot of children, I loved to make things and in particular turning cereal packets into properties. I had a whole street, with houses and shops. The shops had cling film windows and goods for sale made from dough, resembling bread, cakes and fruit and veg.
Then, when I was old enough to use my Mother’s sewing machine, I began to make dolls’ clothes from scraps of fabric for my more grown up looking dolls. I would find uses for all sorts of things including that little plastic figure of eight piece that is used at the back of a bra strap (I’ve no idea what it’s called?), which made an excellent belt buckle for Sindy.
My parents moved to Cornwall when I was 16 and I couldn’t wait to tackle my new bedroom. Bravely, they allowed me to redecorate it myself. It was the late eighties and black ash furniture was popular at the time. Mum gave me her dressing table stool, which was a brown wood seventies style and I hated it. However, I had a plan. I bought a tin of black paint, a small black ash effect shelf and four connection blocks and turned it into a coffee table. I was still using that table years later when I bought my first flat! Decorating the bedroom wasn’t as straight forward as a bit of paint and paper however. A previous owner had done a dodgy DIY job around the window and I had to learn to mix plaster filler, after pulling out the bundles of newspaper they’d shoved down the cavity. Even at that age I guessed that wasn’t quite the right thing to do!
It was around that time that I started to make my own clothes and bags. As a typically strapped for cash teen, I’d buy clothes from charity shops in larger sizes and take them in myself, or make bags using tablecloths or skirts.
My parents bought me my own sewing machine for my 21st birthday, which was just before I bought my first flat. It was quickly put to good use making Roman blinds and hasn’t really stopped since, contributing to the creation of cushion covers, curtains and upholstery. I periodically give it a little clean and oil and on it chugs.
And on I chug too!!