collections

Fabric finds from the summertime

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well hello again, I have had a huge break from blogging over the summer and after settling into new routine (both boys are now at school-some of you may approach this milestone with a tear in your eye but personally I skipped away from school and cycled to my workshop with a smile on my face). So although I have been out and about over the summer and been sewing and making I have shared none of this. So I thought I could post a few pics from the summer.

Here by the seaside we have a summer festival in one of the huge regency squares with music, food, and lots, and I mean lots, of stalls selling brilliant vintage clothes and household stuff and I unearthed some fabulous fabric. Check out this stash which cost £6. Some pieces are big enough for clothes making and some are perfect for around the house. My fav pieces are the kitchen curtain with the stylised coffee pots and plates and the grey barkcloth with flowers and vases. I was a happy bunny when I found this lot and have plans for some pieces and others will go in my modest fabric stash. If you follow me on Instagram (Bluebirdjewellery) then you will have seen these finds along with many more over the summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I just need to get some sewing underway!

To see more find from the car boot and what I’m up to then come follow me on Instagram – Bluebirdjewellery

Bluebird xx

Camping days

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took the little ones on camp last week, but not a little, family, cosy expedition but a rather different type of week altogether. We went on Woodcraft Folk camp as I am a leader with the Venturer group, these are the teenagers aged 12-16. So we trundled up to Derbyshire and camped with approx. 620 teenagers for 8 days! Late nights and lots of fun was had by all and as ever I am astounded at how brilliant young people are. They are funny, thoughtful, irreverent and kind and are not given enough credit by society. I love the info point made of cardboard someone made, see pic above.

They had a central area with workshops, activities, cafes and a solar cinema and ‘the underground printing press’ where a wonderful printmaker had brought a yurt and filled it with printing equipment for typesetting, lino and riso printing and the youngsters could make posters, badges, cards and postcards and they even had postal service so you could send letters to other people on camp.  Check out a few of the posters made by the young people below. (I didn’t get a picture of the poster saying ‘vaginas can change the world’ that a few on my venturers made after going to the gender equality workshop but it is brilliant).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There we workshops on issues such as ‘what class means in the uk’, ‘helping run woodcraft groups if you’re a teenager’, ‘gender equality’ and lots more as well as a craft tent and a solar cinema showing films ranging from Monsters Inc – a hit with my boys –  to Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes.

There was also a bushcraft area where the kids made toasting forks, spreaders, spoons and my boys made some Harry Potter style wands. One of the people in the bushcraft area said she regularly taught ones as little as 2 to use a whittling knife safely and No. 2 son got to whittle, on his own! Heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So much more than I am writing happened on camp and the best bit was watching the teenagers have loads of fun. I am now going to lie down as 8 days with all that lot has left me rather tired!

If you are in the UK and have kids between 6 and 16 then enrol them in Woodcraft Folk as it is a great, great organisation that values peace, equality, sustainability and empowered young people.

Bluebird xx

The Horse Guards Inn

If you love discovering lovely new spots to enjoy a drink and eat yummy food in the most idyllic surroundings then you must pay a visit to the Horse Guards Inn in the lovely village of Tillington near Petworth.

We were on holiday in that area not so long ago and were recommended by Laura (fellow D & O peep) as a must go to spot. We knew the pub would be great on her recommendation but we were overwhelmed by how amazing it was. When we walked in there was an instant warm, friendly and cosy feel, the staff were very welcoming and after ordering our food we decided to take a pew in the garden.  To be honest to say I was totally blown away by this magical space was an understatement, it was just adorable. Deciding on where to sit was quite a decision, should we slump down in the old school deck chairs, perch on a straw bale, have a lounge in the hammock but as we were eating we went for one of the wooden benches covered in sheepskins.

There was so much to see in the garden that it defiantly kept my daughter happy while we waited for our food. Not only did it have lots of lovely bunting hanging in the trees but the place was full of herbs, vegetables and quirky little gems dotted all over the place.

There was also the cutest vintage shop tucked away at the back, obviously could not resist a peek in there.

There was a fab vintage cabinet in the garden where you got all your cutlery and condiments – such a lovely idea and, when the food arrived not only did it look amazing it tasted amazing too.  Everything about the day was just perfect and we will defiantly be visiting again.

BBx

 

Treasure Island – car boot gems

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I escaped from the boys on Sunday and got to go car booting with my best friend. I wandered the aisles without small people dragging me to look at boxes of cars and power rangers! Oh how I love a few hours looking at other peoples unwanted gubbins. I also got a fab zigzag knob coat hook but that has stayed at caravan ready for putting up and being useful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you believe the stall holder only wanted 50p for this beautiful measuring jug.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unlike many of you out there I have a tiny suitcase collection so am looking out for nice old cases but boy have the prices rocketed, this gingham/tartan interiored one was only £3 so I snapped it up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out those old cars and buses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love all the old Ladybird books for their amazing painted illustrations but I have to admit I love the simple images the most I think and my fav from this book is the scissors, now I just need to steel myself to cut out the images and frame them (I know its destroying a book but I really want to put the pages on my wall)!

Fingers crossed for a sunny sunday and more car booting soon! Where do you post your thrifty finds? Instagram? Facebook? Blog? I wanna see what you got!

Bluebird xx

Happy Days

We spent a fab few days at Merrylands campsite last weekend.

The rolling buttercup fields were just beautiful, what can I say – lovely friends, lovely food,  lovely weather,  lovely place……happy kids,  happy days.

BB x

half term sunshine

We finally have sun here in old blighty and it co-incided with half term. We have been camping with Woodcraft Folk and had 4 lovely days at the caravan, well one day of rain but who’s counting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We went to a car boot and I bought too many old kids books and a fab Dick Bruna colour matching game for 25p to help no. 2 son learn his colours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope you had a good week of sunshine too and you’re enjoying the spring flowers that are finally out!

Bluebird xx

PS I finally started my crochet blanket so in about 3 years you might see a finished throw in the caravan!

 

london weekend – part 1

I was in London a week and a half ago at The Most Curious Wedding Fair and today I thought I’d share some lovely images of my journey to and from the fair. Below was an amazing painted shop front very close to Spitalfields market. I don’t think this is a shop that exists now but as I went past early in the morning I can’t be sure but wow isn’t it beautiful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On my way to the tube I made my way through Hatton Garden (jewellery quarter for London) and passed my favourite named street, how great is Bleeding Heart Yard for a street name and it even features heavily in a Dickens novel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love the front of this fish and chip shop but by the late afternoon when I passed again it was crammed full of cool young londoners spilling onto pavement but early in the morning it looked lovely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each morning of my weekend I got up at 6.20am to catch a train to London and by the time I arrived in Brick Lane I was in need of a little pick me up and on Cheshire street I found a great cafe with gorgeous and energising berry smoothies with nice little corner to sit in. As I was wandering around a bit before 10am the streets were fairly deserted so i have rather unpopulated photos from this trip!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now if only all gas meters were decorated like this our towns would be fab!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sporting a sunny yellow satchel to match the sunny weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now the Shard is by no means my favourite London building but it is pretty impresive as you approach it from below. I took this with a trolley full of wedding ring gubbins on my way home so next time you’re at London Bridge station look up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 2 of this London trip coming soon with pics of lovely wedding suppliers I met at the fair.

Bluebird xx

 

beach holiday!

Last weekend we all crammed in the little car and drove to South Devon for a family visit. Now usually my pics from this annual visit are of sunny skies and lounging on warm beaches…..not this year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a morning of sunshine (not as warm as it looks) at Blackpool sands near Kingsbridge but after that it was cloudy all round, but that doesn’t stop kids enjoying a scramble over the rocks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This pic of no.1 son below taken moments before half body immersion in rock pool and a swift return to the car!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are ever in South Devon visit Dartmouth Castle and beach and Blackpool Sands – fab but next year please can the sun come back!

Bluebird xx

the fairy tale fair

If you are in the East Sussex area this coming Saturday I would highly recommend visiting  The Fairy Tale Fair situated in Patcham Methodist Church and you will not be disappointed. This whimsical themed craft fair is back this spring after the success of their first two fairs in August & November last year.

The fair is a real community event, welcoming families and all ages to come along and enjoy the crafty creations and treats! All of the stallholders are local Brighton or Sussex makers so it will be a great place to go to purchase handmade, one off gifts that you certainly won’t find on the high street!

We are more than happy to say that Bunting Boutique will be supplying some bunting again to decorate the venue and we are looking forward to seeing what treats we will find there.

Please check out their blog for interviews with crafters, location details and updates on shows.

BB x

sunday treats

I escaped! For one weekend afternoon and evening I left the trappings of family life behind and boarded a train to happiness. Some people if asked what they would do if they won the lottery might suggest buying a mansion, maybe an exotic holiday and nice as those things sound not me, if I had unlimited money I would sign up for weekly workshops with interesting people and sit with like minded souls and make things, all sorts of things and that is just what i did the other day! I went to this.  The very lovely Alexandra Smith of Lola Nova blog was in London giving a workshop to celebrate the release of her new book Simple Sewing with Lola Nova.

Here is lovely Alex helping and encouraging and generally giving us all lots of insight into how she works.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was very difficult to remember not to call her Lola but it is so nice to meet in person someone you have followed online. She came with a lovely assistant, the wonderful Jane from Flaming Nora who helped out and brought lots of lovely fabrics for us to play with. They worked really well together and had a few tales of their London wanderings to tell us too!

We all got to rifle through a stash of fabric, ribbons, buttons, ric rac, bias binding and more, oh how I love another persons fabric stash.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She got us to work on her patches project from the book so we played with colour palettes, textures and generally made our own thing! Look at that pretty fabric spine notebook, Alex made us all one for the workshop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was so lovely to sit and sew and pin and chat and meet some lovely women. Here is the group, minus Nora who stood in for David Bailey at this point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here are some of the nearly completed pieces we made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Such a lovely evening and I just have 1 button to sew on, I was slightly tempted to ‘borrow’ (ahem) the whole set of these buttons you see on my piece for one of my button brooches but I was restrained and proper! I also learnt how to sew bias binding onto a curve so I came home very happy indeed.

So check out the lovely Lola Nova blog if you haven’t already and put Simple Sewing on your Christmas list now. So when you next see a flyer for a workshop you fancy book it up and have some fun!

Bluebird xx

PS I promise I will show you some lovely pages from the book soon but it is evening and my pics will look horrid under artificial light so i will keep you waiting!

autumn tastes

We are a house of crumble lovers here and once the summer starts to fade the hedges around the caravan start to drip with free berries of the best kind, yes its blackberry season! So i planned in advance and made sure I had a nice stash of cooking apples and made up a batch of Rose Elliots crumble topping and off we pottered for a night in the caravan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yummy. If you haven’t made blackberry and apple crumble yet this month then get yourelf out with tupperware in hand and search those hedgerows for beautiful purple fruit and get baking!

Here is Rose Elliot’s crumble recipe

225g plain wholemeal flour

2tsp baking powder

175g butter or vegan margarine

175g Demerara sugar

Cook as you would normally, this is such a tasty crumble and you don’t usually need to add sugar your fruit mixture.

(I am unsure if you are allowed to post other peoples recipes but as this one is available via The Guardian website I have  put it in.)

Bluebird xx

wildwood wonderland

Wildwood, NJ, is the most fantastic holiday spot if you love old motels and signs, if you actually go in season then great for those that love sun, beach and a boardwalk, we did not go in season! In fact it rained the whole time (2 days) we were there but as we went to photograph motels, signs and general wonderfulness we put on our rain gear and went out camera in hand! Boy were we soggy every evening and we had a 2 year old in tow! So scroll down for some Doo Wop delights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This picture is one of my favourites, the colours are just so bloomin fab! One day this will be blown up and framed and put pride of place in the home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How great are all the identical rooms and fab 50′s/60′s colours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have probably over a hundred photos of just motel signs and these aren’t even the best ones, one day I will find all the discs and will show you some more. The wonderful Caribbean Motel below was where we stayed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It had a Tiki style guest lounge, plastic palm trees and of course a kidney shaped pool, plus a beautiful original pink and aqua bathroom and cool old school phones! It even made it directly into one of Mr Bluebirds screenprints. The whole resort of Wildwood is now a heritage site and they are stopping the old motels being pulled down but hundreds were lost in the last few decades of the 20th century.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So my advice is go to Wildwood if you get the chance, but maybe go when its sunny and all the restaurants are open and the funfair on the pier is open and you can wander in the sunshine basking in the heat. We loved it and hope to return to catch glimpses of all the motels we didn’t get a chance to see.

By the way in case you’re thinking we flew to Wildwood from the UK for a rainy holiday and are wondering about our strange holiday plans then I need to say we went on the coach from NY city a few years ago whilst spending a month in the city. Read a bit more about the history here.

Bluebird xx

PS this is not a recent holiday, we took it when we only had 1 son about 4 (oh my god time flies!!!!!!) years ago. Surely this means we can go again soon!!

everyone loves a caravan

Check out these fantastic metal caravans that were 10p each at the car boot, i know one is missing rather essential tyres but 10p each!!! What a bargain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bluebird xx

Patrick edgeley studio visit

You may know that Mr Bluebird is a screenprinter. He has a studio about 20 mins from our house and I don’t often go there as it’s not in Brighton but I went the other day to take some studio shots for possible inclusion in a printing book (more to come on that another day). Now in my experience a working studio is rarely very photogenic due to the work carried out but I managed to get a few shots that aren’t too chaotic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Around the building that houses his studio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I mainly took regular photos but of course some Instagram pics were needed to pretty up the place!

Bluebird xx

P.S. Can anyone tell me how long this love affair with Instagram usually lasts.

 

summertime caravan crazy

Well this summer is more like winter some days over here in blighty this year but we have had the odd few days of lovely sunshine and we try  to get to the Airstream as much as possible. We recently had a great few days with friends, sitting round a camp fire, building dens for the kids and sharing a bbq or two. The kids made crispy cakes and generally ran wild in the woods, fingers crossed for more sunshine in the next 4 weeks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bluebird xx

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