Adoring all things vintage, whimsical and downright quirky

Monthly Archives: February 2008

Cath Kidson

Ok, so it might not be the most pressing debate in the entire world, but I have been thinking about these two queens of the chintz and wondered what people’s thoughts were on the encroaching popularity of the Cath Kidson empire – which, to my eyes, is the funkier, younger sister of the more sophisticated Laura Ashley.

Laura Ashley

Is Ms Ashley getting knocked off her throne (upholstered in the finest flowery fabric) by the eager young upstart that is Ms Kidson?

The subject raised its head after the new Cath Kidson shop on Park Street opened up recently – this veritable explosion of colour assaults my eyes daily. For a colour-lover like me, I am totally digging the new range of funky fabrics, even the latest range of clothes make you feel like you should be wearing clogs and cycling through the countryside with a small dog in your basket and paniers full of french bread and strawberries (are you with me?) However, there is the other camp that seem to think that Ms K is over priced and, ehem, a little over rated.

As a purveyor of all things vintage, I am surprised at myself for feeling a bit tired of the whole fakey retro stuff – but only because you can’t turn a corner now without being confronted by some type of 50s memorabilia of some sorts – surely Laura Ashley and Cath Kidson are breathing some life into the old?

We’ll see if Cath Kidson has the longevity gene like old Laura A, who let’s face it, has done a grand job of reinventing herself from the flowery church fete-type frocks of the 80s.

Bring on the revolution!

Retro and vintage boutique

Having just returned from a lovely break in Amsterdam, I managed to snap some great images to inspire me in my designs. If you get the chance to visit, there really are lots of quirky little shops and markets to snap up a bargain or two.

One of my fave shops is on Haarlemmer Straat in the Jordaan area, about five minutes from Centraal Station. They always have such lovely window displays. I fell in love with this funky bag which looks pretty easy to make and thought this polka dot display was the bees knees…

amsterdam-pics-044.jpgpolka dot madness

 Shoes! Shoes! Shoes!

Yes, I was on shoe watch too and found some great second hand shoe shops – I am kicking myself (ha!) for not getting any.

Fab old shoes   More shoes

I picked up some great trimmings in one of my favourite shops on Oud Hoog Straat – some of which have already made it onto one of my latest bags – pictures will be uploaded ASAP.

Finally, I found the Droog flagship store whilst stumbling about the place, attempting to keep my bicycle tyres out of the tram lines. If you haven’t heard of it, Droog is a cutting edge Dutch interiors store famous for such delights as the milk bottle lights which I managed to snap secretly when I peeked in for a good old browse. Check out the rag rug chairs!

 Droog bottle lights         




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Light Bright by Alexander Henry     Leo by Alexander Henry     Daybreak by Alexander Henry

I just have to share my new love – I have stumbled across THE best fabric designer – Alexander Henry. His designs are so beautiful and really capture the essence of retro inspired modern prints. I have just taken a little selection to show here Beach Scenics     Soho Stripe by Alexander Henry     Seaweed Stripe by Alexander Henry

but I really can’t urge you enough to check out the site.

I got mine through Sew Mama Sew but there are a few other suppliers too – unfortunately there is no UK based supplier which means ordering from the US but mine took just over a week to come and I am overjoyed with my choice – I’ll upload some images of the bags I intend to make with them as soon as they are done.  However, for now, here is a little taster of good old Alexander H’s gorgeous collection!!

Factory girl by Alexander Henry   Hollywood by Alexander Henry   Ringo by Alexander Henry

Heart padlockWell I must say, finding nice things to put on here has not been that tricky as there seems to be no end to the wonderful websites on the web devoted to all things gorgeous.  First images are from bedecked which is a must visit shop for any aspiring seamstresses as they have a great range if trimmings and an excellent haberdashery – I’ll be adding them to the fave links in due course. I particularly Pink heart pendant - bedeckedlike this cute peachy pink heart pendant and the ever so weeny heart padlock at the top of the page. I have also been browsing on one of my fave interiors websites,  Twentytwentyone. They have just brought in some amazing new stuff and  if I were a rich girl na na na na na na na na na, I would most definitely buy these uber funky anime style ‘Wrongwood’ drawers by British artist Richard Woods and designer Sebastian Wrong (geddit?)

  Funky drawers Also making it to my eye candy hit list for today is this rather lovely umbrella again from twentytwentyone. It is designed by Chris Kable at Droog Design and gives a dappled light effect but personally, I like the wee birdy perched  on top best – makes me think of summer sipping shandy in the garden or the smell in the air after a good old April shower. Ah!


Now for the last installment of deliciousness, here are some AMAZING bags by new designer Emma Burton (under the name of Elbo.) I totally recommend having a browse on the site, if only for inspiration.

Coco Handbag from ElboAbigail Handbag from Elbo

dsc02030.jpgBrown birdy

My new passion is birds – I am currently making lots of little bird brooches to pin onto your bag, blazer, trench coat, scarf, whatever. I am on the hunt for powder coated pins and haven’t had much luck yet.

Sunday inspiration (despite greyness of sky, the biting wind and horrendous bursts of rain) came fleetingly, mainly thanks to the weather but after a quick browse on some of my fave sites, I soon perked up.

A lovely cup of fresh coffee while devouring the latest issue of living etc. was a much needed lifting of creative spirits, and provided me with a insight into the approaching spring trends – if you don’t subscribe to this mag, then check out the website that has loads of great tips, a friendly forum and a place to blow your own personal design trumpet and upload pics of your home, recent renovation projects and the like.

Another gem, always guaranteed to put a smile on my face is Graham and Green – they have just launched a new range of beautiful things – I particularly like

Graham and Green orchid vase and candleholder
Graham and Green gilded letters
Graham and Green bird paperweight

Also, for those that live in my city of Bristol, good news if you like Cath Kidson – she is opening a shop on Park Street – so now it saves a trip to Bath. She has a new range of clothes too – here are a few things I fancy getting my paws on…

Cath Kidson - beautiful blue dot dress
Cath Kidson - fabric
Cath Kidson butter dish

vintage verityWelcome to my world!

Calling all crafters who are bored of trawling the net for creative blogs only to find that they are far from it???? Join me as I explore the wonderful world of stitching, craft, arty doodlings and other such fripperies.

I decided to launch this blog to provide a resource for people like me who are magpie-eyed creatives looking for an outlet to swap ideas, websites spotted and loved, tips and tutorials, best places to find buttons, ribbons and fabrics, in the UK or internationally.

If you are working on anything spectacularly wonderful, have seen the latest website or can share any local knowledge, then spill here…

beautiful fabricVintage Verity - birdypretty-textiles.jpg


Now, go forth and create!!