Friday, 6 March 2009

Friendship's Garden

I was rifling through my precious box of vintage greeting cards and ephemera and my hands fell upon this little gem that was once the lid of a perfume box. I have read the words many times before, but this time interpreted them differently ~ such a gentle sentiment that I thought describes the creative blogging world so perfectly...'Friendship's Garden'.

I definitely feel the need for Spring to arrive; there has been a glimmer of sunshine and I, like so many others it seems, have been moving furniture around to freshen up the house and deciding on new paint colours (white, cream, off white, ivory, with maybe a touch of duck egg blue ~ oh, and a bit more white!) Not much of a departure from what is already on the walls, but I need more light in the rooms ~ it feels like it has been dark for so long...In the winter it is perfect in an old house like ours to have darkness with candles and the fire for a warm glow, but at this time of year I want to banish the log basket, throw open the windows and let the light flood in. I want to look out of those windows and see colour in the garden again ~ am I asking too much too soon?

I crave fresh Spring~like florals and set out in earnest this week to complete a little collection of lovelies that I began to sew before Christmas! Last year I found a small piece of the most gorgeous 1930's floral print and vowed to use every last morceau...

The fabric features delicious little bouquets of flowers in my favourite colour palette of duck egg, pale pink & soft green with touches of white, and it has a washed out sort of 'laundered many times' feel with a slight crinkle that wouldn't budge with an iron, but of course this only adds to its charm...

For this large 'handbag' style lavender filled pillow, I used the floral with an old lace edged handkerchief and trimmed it with a glorious vintage opaline glass jewellery find, which would probably have been part of a necklace. The finishing touch is a drop that I made with 3 faceted glass beads ~ a white aurora, a pale pink and crystal clear. The last bit of heaven is an old French ribbon printed with a teeny floral in the same kind of soft faded colours.

I had this wonderful old painted, moulded glass button in my collection of treasures just waiting for the very moment it would find its rightful place in life again...I love it when you have special things kept, safe in the knowledge that with patience, you will find exactly the perfect fabric and trims for it, and it all comes together like a little family that were meant to be together...

More faded floral linen...I'm so predictable! I am naturally drawn to these soft, often bleached out shades because they are so gentle and easy to live with, they make me feel ~ well, happy! Especially when there is a frost outside like this morning and still need a blanket on the bed...

This little pillow has a feather inner ~ I have this sized pad made especially to my own requirements as I love miniature cushions piled up on beds and chairs and they are practically impossible to find in the shops. It measures just 12" x 6". I made the cover from an old damask cloth, trimmed it with lace and made my own corsage using vintage fabrics. I like the edges to have a frayed raggedy feel, it honestly takes ages to pull away individual threads to get the effect...

The little button in the centre is a Victorian French hand~painted enamel, my absolute favourite kind of button!

I told you there was a glimmer of sunshine ~ hope that this picture doesn't look too washed out, but I actually quite liked the fact that it looked bright and sunny and yes, positively Spring~like! This is one of my favourite old boxes, covered in a faded green fabric and a celluloid portrait panel in the centre ~ I think she looks a little like the Duchess of Devonshire?

Another favourite fabric covered box, a gift that was bought in Bruges. It is a bit fragile, but the bird motif is so adorable and I use it to keep these little lovelies in...

A set of French greeting cards with die cut, embossed scraps and ribbons c.1900. They are so beautiful and the colours fit in perfectly with everything that I love most...

Be still my beating heart...

Isn't this little one enchanting? I wonder if my gorgeous girl would agree to being dressed like this? 'Look what I found in the garden Mummy!'

This paper scrap is an old button card which has been hand~painted to match the buttons that were originally on it. It never ceases to amaze me how much careful attention to detail was given to tiny things ~ buttons used to be such an important design aspect of a garment before zips and velcro came along! I can't find any of the buttons that belonged to this card now, so I must have used them all, but I still love it...

An original watercolour of a strikingly elegant lady painted on a postcard, dated 1904. This is one of those special items that I couldn't ever part with because I think that she is so beautiful and I often wonder who she is...

...I've got at least a hundred of them, but top of the list is the arrival of a new season and with it blue skies, sunshine, flowers and light! My wish for you, is of course the same and to have a lovely weekend in 'Friendship's Garden'...

Until next time,
Ali x


  1. Hello Ali,
    Your collection of antique ephemera is a joy to behold! The button card with the rose is stunning...I've never seen one like that before - not sure how you managed to part with the buttons! I'm hopeless like that!
    Your work is impeccable - every detail is so beautifully selected...I feel a shopping trip looming at your website! ;-)) It must be so rewarding to take your time and come up with a perfect product. I find myself rushed so much these days, that I feel a change in the air for my own well-being...

    Have a lovely weekend...not sure about that weather forecast, but we can dream of spring in 'friendship's Garden' ;-))

  2. I love all the cards - they are beautiful and all your makes with that gorgeous fabric are wonderful.


  3. Oh wow what a great collection!! You are one lucky girl! The button is beyond pretty and the pillows would just make me smile!

  4. What a very lovely and beautiful fabric with those flowers! You´ve made great things and I´m a bit jealous about all those talented ladies who make such nice treasures.
    The handwriting on the first picture is very nice as well; I surely would keep it also.
    Have a nice day/afternoon and if you like I´ll send you some more sunshine from Belgium! :)

  5. hello sweet sweet sweet...your images make me smile....

  6. oh Ali, you have such beautiful treasures. Thank you for sharing the photos.

    I am with you with the cushions. Part of the reason I like to make my own is so I can have them the size that suits me. I've made a new one today, larger than normal, which is unusual. I love the flower you have on yours.

    Have a lovely weekend. Ooh, can you tell me which template you use for Blogger? I've been trying to convert mine to a three column but have had real trouble doing so.

  7. How nice that you visited my blog and that you will follow mine.
    Now I found yours too by that and what a lovely blog you have.
    I am so trilled that I found make such a lovely things. And I believe you can buy some of these lovely I love them all.

    A nice evening

  8. Oh I forgot.....I would love to see your little girl once.
    They are so adorable when they are little......

  9. As ever your pictures are beautiful, I bet your home is stunning! That poem is lovely.

    Thanks v much for the advice, I seem to lurch from one crisis to another in motherhood where others glide. Still don't know what to do, I feel like both options are letting her down in one way or another :(

    Mel xxx

  10. Hi Ali,

    Thank you for your kind words.
    Your button card is truly amazing, I have never seen anything like it! What a lucky girl...
    ...have a wonderful weekend.
    Emma x

  11. Such dainty pretties filled with scents from a summer garden covered in a bouquet of spring garden florals... a perfect friendship garden.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  12. Hi Ali! I just LOVE your blog!!! I could just look at it all day. It is full of so much beauty!!! You are so blessed. HAPPY DAY!!!

  13. Hi Ali

    What a gorgeous new blog. I'm hooked!! Whilst I can't remember you exactly, I'm sure I'll remember you when I see you again. Did you buy the sheets at the 3-day Fair or the Giant Flea? I only do the Giant Flea now (and am still selling sheets!).

    Presumably you're not a million miles away if you came to Shepton. Are you close enough to visit Dairy House perhaps?

    I love the fabric you've used for the hearts etc.

    Sue x

  14. I just came by to visit you
    What a beautiful blog and photos!
    Hugs, Anna

  15. Hi Ali
    What a lovely post. I love your photos. The box from Bruges made me wonder where abouts in Bruges you bought it. I love Bruges and go there about twice a year. I always buy chocolates from 'The Chocolate Line' Just thinking about it makes my mouth water!!
    You really have a beautiful selection of cushions and bags. I really enjoy looking at your blog.
    Isabelle x

  16. What a lot of beautiful things to look at on your blog. Your hearts are lovely; I especially like the 'handbag style' one. Such pretty cards too and the button card.... well. it's all lovely!

  17. Such lovely fabrics, and wonderful attention to detail! Your work really is something special...

    Thanks for dropping by my blog - it's been great to discover yours.

  18. Your collection of cards,pillows and boxes and stunning. Your so lucky. I have so little time to go scouring about to find such treasures. So for now I'll enjoy looking at yours...
    Thank you

  19. Oh these are beautiful...your work keeps getting even more amazing... beautiful beautiful beautiful...


  20. Thanks for visiting my blog and your compliments for my dressform. I love your blog too! So nice to discover new people this way.

  21. Thank you for visiting me in France.
    I have had such a lovely nostalgic time reading your blog, beautiful fabrics made into exquisite things.

  22. What a gorgeous post - I loved everything! All the details on your wonderful cushions and the perfect vintage cards - greeting and button! My very favorite is that precious box from Bruges.

    I wish I could send you our spring weather - we have had some lovely sunshine. The puppy got to go to the beach for the first time the other day and play ball outside today. She was quite the tail wagger!

    Sending warm, sunny wishes,

  23. Hi Ali,
    You do have exquisite taste and a fabulous collection of all sorts of different things brought together by you and they say so much about the person you are.
    Although there are so many to choose from, I believe my favourite is the old, hand-painted button card - for the same reasons you love it so.
    When I see everyday things, like door hinges and kitchen utensils, worked out with fine engraving or colourful paints, or any sort of hand decoration, I am in awe of past times when life was simpler and so much more beautiful than it is today.
    Your talents with a needle and thread have not gone unnoticed; and I look forward to reading more and seeing more in your blog.

  24. I love all the fabric makes! you are right about the colours, very easy to live with, they'd make me happy too. x

  25. Hi Ali,

    I just came across your blog and had to tell you how much I love it. We have so much in common and what a great collection of ephemera you have.

    I look forward to coming back here!

    Best Wishes

  26. Hello Ali! Thank you for visiting my blog and for your kind words! I like your blog! You make so faboulous things! You're lucky to be able to work with your passions!
    I hope to hear from you again!
    Excuse my bad English...
    Warm hugs

  27. Hello Ali!
    What a beautiful blog and pictures.
    I love it:))
    Have a nice weekend:))
    Greetins Piitis from Finland

  28. I don't even know what to say, because everything is just so beautiful. I really am speechless. I loved every single picture you posted..

  29. Such lovely treasures, You captured the essence of springtime alright!
    Have a wonderful weekend,
    ~ Rebecca


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