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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Potfest In The Park 2011

My husband, Rob, and I went to Potfest at Hutton-in-the-Forest, Cumbria on Friday. There were 100s of craftspeople from 10 countries there: a huge variety of styles, from functional mugs, to jewellery, sculpture, ornamental, wall plaques, animal figures etc etc.

The 'Pots on the Lawn' competition theme this year, was 'Marking Time'. Both Rob and I picked this as our favourite. As you can see the oarsmen are getting distinctly out of time in this piece. The maker is Christine Hester Smith of Dumfriesshire.

These are the three items Rob and I bought: a mug for a gift; an oak leaf bowl for Rob and a 'frog spawn' bowl for me. All three pieces were made by Charlotte and Sigerd Bohmer of Germany.

We also had a nice lunch in the tearoom (all sorts of sandwiches, baps, salads, cakes, ice cream available) and a wander round the walled garden and grounds of the house. The weather was hot and sunny, so it was the perfect day out!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Money Money Money Etsy Treasury

Here's a treasury on Etsy all to do with money. Make it. Wear it. Save it. Wish for it. Spend it.

Click on the picture to see a larger version.
To find out more about the individual items and makers, please click here.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

New Little Red Riding Hood Rag Doll Sewing Pattern from Snowdrop Patterns!

Snowdrop Patterns features homemade raggedy doll and stuffed critter sewing patterns, including nursery rhyme and storybook dolls!  We've just added Little Red Riding Hood to our storybook sewing patterns.  She is 17" when finished and pattern is available in both electronic PDF and paper pattern versions.  Pattern includes instructions, pattern pieces and supply list to make the doll, her clothes and her picnic basket!

Visit us online at www.snowdropshop.com

New Kittens in Mittens, Mailbox Kitty and Baby Octopus critter patterns too! 


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Even More Buttons!

Well, I'm a bit late with my weekly post due to DIY (ugh!), namely painting our lounge over the weekend. But here are a few of the latest buttons added to Love Buttons HQ.

A set of six charming handmade ceramic (porcelain) hearts, with a confetti of different dots of glaze. This set costs £4.75 for six buttons. I have a similar, smaller sized set here for £3.25.

These unusual metal buttons have an 'antique' silver tone finish. They have irregular concentric circles surrounding a concave centre with two sew through holes. This set of three buttons costs £3.00.

Finally, some unused vintage plastic buttons. They have a nice, glossy finish and a trefoil pattern. There are five of the larger size in black; and seven of the smaller size in dark blue. They cost £1.75 for twelve buttons.

Have a great week everyone!

Posted by Julia of * Love Buttons HQ * Love Buttons on Etsy * Love Buttons on Folksy * Love Buttons on MISI *

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Vintage Crop Tops for Hot Summer Fun

Crop tops / blouses are so trendy again this year!Why buy retro new ones, when you can have the originals? Darling little vintage crop tops from peek back, to short, to ones that tie and even longer length crop tops are all available in fun vintage fabrics. Go green ~ grab a vintage crop top and recycle as you show off your tummy this summer, and SAVE! All tops have just been reduced!

60s vintage Crop Top ties blouse DAISY button Hippie boho M

Sleeveless Vintage Khaki Crop Top Shirt western Hippie M L

RAB Cowgirl Goth Fringe Chiffon Vintage 70s Crop TOP M

Vintage Hawaiian crop top Ties L large Postcard Seashell VLV

Vintage Outlet

Monday, 18 July 2011

New Rag Doll Sewing Patterns from Snowdrop Patterns!

New Raggedy Little Leaguer, Johnny Appleseed and Twinkle Twinkle Rag Doll Sewing Patterns are now available at www.snowdropshop.com

Dolls are approximately 19"-20" long and made from tea-stained muslin cotton and yarn.  Easy, beginner level patterns!  Available in both electronic PDF and paper verisons.  Free shipping on all PDF patterns.

Snowdrop Patterns features unique homemade rag doll and stuffed animal sewing patterns perfect for beginners! 


Buttons To Brighten Your Projects!

Morning all! Here are a small sample of the latest buttons added to Love Buttons HQ.

These buttons are some of my favourites! Each one is like a little piece of modern art! This mixed set of six buttons costs £1.50.

Add a Gothic touch to your clothing with these lion/gargoyle head buttons. A set of five buttons costs £1.75. If you just want a single button, it costs £0.49.

Finally, this chunky, square plastic button is decorated with swirls of red - very eye-catching. Great for a bag closure! There is only one available, costing £0.75.

Have an enjoyable week, folks!

Posted by Julia of * Love Buttons HQ * Love Buttons on Etsy * Love Buttons on Folksy * Love Buttons on Misi *

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Bid 46 Auction Site

It has been said that there is no such thing as a free lunch, so how can there be a fee free auction site. The short answer is the sponsor U2 Canvas pays all the bills.

What is the catch – put simply there is not one, so it is win, win, win all round.

Whilst the site is new, it is already attracting attention with registered users at over 10,000 and almost 1,000 live auctions. It will be a while before the big boys have to worry but who cares, big is not always best. So take a look yourself and visit Bid 46 today, perhaps you will be persuaded to buy or sell some items yourself.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Latest Buttons at Love Buttons HQ

Morning all! Here are a small sample of the latest buttons to be added to Love Buttons HQ.

These pretty ceramic (porcelain) buttons have an impressed and glazed flower on each heart-shaped button. They cost £3.50 for six buttons.

Fly the flag with these fun, patriotic Union Jack flag buttons. They are heart-shaped, with a shank fixing on the reverse. They cost £0.45 each.

And for my American pals, a similarly patriotic Stars and Stripes flag button. These buttons are white with a bright transfer image on the front. They also cost £0.45 each.

Have fun creating and enjoy the rest of the weekend :)

Posted by Julia of * Love Buttons HQ * Love Buttons on Etsy * Love Buttons on Folksy * Love Buttons on MISI *

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

New Tooth Fairy Rag Doll Sewing Pattern from Snowdrop Patterns!

Tooth fairy sewing pattern includes pattern pieces, instructions and supply list to make the rag doll and her clothes.  Approximately 19" tall.  Rag doll is made from muslin cotton and yarn hair.  Easy, beginner level sewing pattern!  Available in both electronic PDF and paper versions!


Sunday, 3 July 2011

Miniatures To Treasure

Hello everyone! Hope you are enjoying some lovely sunny weather this weekend.

Here are some more curios from Love Buttons HQ.

This vintage wooden set of miniature kitchen articles comprises: a rolling pin, pail, chopping board and scoop. The set was purchased in Yugoslavia in the 1980s. Each piece has one (two in the pail) holes drilled so that they could be used as charms, or added to jewellery or keyrings. This set costs £2.50.

This charming, stylized donkey figure is carved in a translucent white, marbled quartz. The item was purchased in a gift shop in Newton Stewart, Scotland 30+ years ago.
The donkey stands 45mm (1 3/4") high (measuring hoof to tip of ears); and 45mm (1 3/4") in length. It costs £2.95.

Last, but not least, are these eight miniature conference pears, handmade by me 25+ years back. If memory serves (!) they are made from self-hardening clay, painted and varnished. The 'stalks' are made from little pieces of wire. The basket is handmade from plaited and sewn raffia. This set costs £5.00. Miniature citrus fruit and apples are also available.

Posted by Julia of * Love Buttons HQ * Love Buttons On Etsy * Love Buttons On Folksy * Love Buttons on MISI *

Friday, 1 July 2011

Does Your Candlestick Look Like This?

Do you want your candlestick to look like this?

By using old technology, eco unfriendly metal polish and equally old fashioned cleaning methods your candlestick may end up looking like this. Why, because the metal polish you use probably contains acid or ammonia as the liquid component and this will be the result.

Too many antique metal items are being defaced and destroyed by ignorance and down right cussedness. pH Neutral eco friendly metal polishes are available but people are reluctant to change from their good old traditional methods and metal polish that are both time consuming and expensive.

Not convinced, then read further.

Do you regularly wash in horse urine?
Do you regularly splash acid all over your skin?

If the answer to these questions is no, then why subject your brass candlestick to this treatment?

During the 1700´s, metal polish was not available so the butlers and servants made their own polish. The horse was the major means of transport, so large houses had a stable full of horses and hence a regular supply of straw bedding and urine. The straw was ground into a coarse powder and then mixed with the urine to make a paste. This paste mixture was found to be a good cleaner for brass and copper items.

Similarly the cooks would make pickles, jams and marmalade in the kitchen with the produce from the fields and garden. Copper and brass were used extensively as cooking implements during the 1700´s and 1800´s, and during the cooking process it was found that the acid from the fruits and the vinegar used for preserving made the copper and brass items clean.

Thus the metal polish industry was founded. Acid or ammonia was used as the liquid component and coarse ground straw as the abrasive component and the technology has changed very little during the past 300 years. What the metal polish industry does not tell you is the more you use their product, the more you have to use it – good for profits but not so good for your wallet. Also the polish you use systematically destroys the item you are trying to preserve.

The acid etches the surface of the metal and can cause the conditions for pitting and crevice corrosion to begin. The acid also speeds up the oxidation process, so you have to polish more often. Ammonia is an extremely bad liquid to use on brass because brass is an alloy of copper and zinc and the ammonia dissolves the zinc creating the holes known as pitting.

If that was not bad enough, the abrasives used are usually too coarse causing surface scratches but worse still wears away the metal item.

At first glance pH Neutral metal polishes maybe slightly more expensive to buy when compared with the cheaper alternatives, but on closer examination this does not prove to be the case. 

If you calculate the time spent polishing and then add in the cost to repair or replace the damaged item you then get the true cost of using the eco unfriendly polish. Perhaps you want to spend your free time polishing antique metal items over and over again, but it is not my idea of fun.

Easy Shine is a pH Neutral metal polish that does not harm the environment nor the item you are trying to conserve.

For more information about environment friendly conservation and restoration products visit:

Rarity4u Website             -  Website
Rarity4u Art Fire Shop      -  Art Fire Shop
Rarity4u Facebook Page  -  Facebook Page