30 November 2010

Where is she now?

The thrift gods were watching over me during a recent trip to Salvation Army when I spotted this little cotton-canvas tote for 99 cents.
I'm not sure what I like most about it. The raw edges and perma-creases. The stripes. The colours that seem to go with everything I wear nowadays. Lying flat and folded it forms a perfect crayon-like point. Standing tall it liberates a lunch bag-sized vessel I can fill with all my daily essentials.
Of course I also like that it was made by a lady named Marion Webster 'especially for me'. I wonder who she made the bag for, and when. I admire her crisp edges, fraying ends and jaggedy stitches. And boy was she good at matching up stripes. Where is MW now?

28 November 2010

Cut and paste.

Just in time for Cyber Monday I've released several pouches and larger bags into my too-long-empty Etsy shop. This is your chance to stock up on Growin' Up goods at 20% off - simply enter the code keepmewarm at check-out. I'll be running the sale through this Friday 3 December, it'll be a Cyber Week. I'm pleased to offer complimentary gift wrap for you, too, so what are you waiting for. . .?

25 November 2010

Hey gobble-gobble.

pumpkin pie
I'm very thankful to be celebrating my first Stateside Thanksgiving in three years. I'll be making up for lost time with family and of course, food - two family meals plus a couple stop-n-chats. A happy day for you and yours.
Tarheel pie

22 November 2010

Pattern recognition.

Lately I find myself drawn to objects in a bounty of patterns and textures. A couple recent finds to set my heart a-flutterin':
Quilted denim and golden chains are a winning combination in my book - I found this bag at a near-by antique mall for a mere $3!
A local lady named Maude covers bottle caps with crocheted yarn scraps to make trivets (and many other objects) rich in colours and stories. I'm looking forward to an upcoming visit to see more of her handicrafts - she says her house is 'covered with the stuff'! Watch this space. . .

04 November 2010

Home of the London umbrella.

james smith & sons umbrellas.Align Center
When it's raining cats and dogs like today, I think of James Smith & Sons Umbrellas, a beautiful Victorian shop in New Oxford Street. They've been a family business for more than 175 years. The First James Smith started their tradition of umbrella making in 1830 when he opened a small shop in Fouberts Place, off Regent Street. He made the umbrellas at the back of the shop and customers were served at the front.

That tradition is still maintained in the New Oxford Street premises. Their workshops have been situated in the basement and it is there that they still make umbrellas and walking sticks. The shop itself is a perfect example of Victorian shop front design and has remained virtually unaltered for 140 years. Inside it is a unique experience - most of the fittings were designed and made by a fitter employed by Mr Smith.

I was a bit too shy to get photos of the dreamy interior, but you can see a few photos on their website. Check out the seatsticks, walking sticks and canes while you're there!
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