Vintage sewing boxes

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vintage wooden sewing box with reels of thread

We bought this gorgeous little sewing/work box last week.

open vintage wooden sewing box with reels of thread

We often come across this type of concertina box at markets & auctions, but this one had that little bit of extra quality. It dates from the 1950s and has a lovely, rich colour. It’s cute & compact, but there are lots of compartments for small tools, threads & pins. It has little splayed feet and there’s a nicely turned wooden handle and knobs to top & sides. A real sweetie!!

detail of vintage wooden sewing box with reels of thread

We must have had dozens of vintage sewing boxes in stock over the years and this one has to be one of our favourites. Here’s a little montage of some of the others.

montage of vintage sewing boxes sold by H is for Home

a la Mode

"à la Mode" blog post banner

pile of vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazines

We bought this pile of fabulous vintage French lifestyle magazines this week.

pair of vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazines

L’Echo de là Mode or ‘Echoes of Fashion’.

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

They all date from the mid 1950s.

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

Sometimes magazines from this date have very enticing covers, but can be a little drab inside… not these!

Red and black illustrations from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

They’re full of wonderful colour illustrations featuring lots of ‘New Look‘ fashion articles.

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

fashion article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

They really conjure up images of a spring weekend in Paris or sunny holiday on the Cote d’Azur… very ironic as we bought them on a cold, wet Thursday morning in Todmorden!

holiday article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

holiday article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

ski-ing article from vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

Also, there are lots of cookery articles and interior features…

Advertisement for Advertisement for Cuisine Idéale kitchens from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

Feature on maisonettes from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

Kitchens feature from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

…and not forgetting all the advertisements which are often stunning in magazines from this period.

Advertisement for Duralex from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

Advertisement for Concord washing machines from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

Stove advertisement from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine Advertisement for Phildar wool from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

Advertisement for Tide detergent from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

Advertisement for Omo detergent from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

Advertisement for Omo detergent from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

Advertisement for Thé wafers from a vintage 1950s French "L'Echo de la Mode" magazine

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Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010 blog post banner

collection of postcards and business cards from artists & craftspeople exhibiting at Great Norther Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We spent Friday evening at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair in Spinningfields, Manchester city centre…

handmade enamelled copper nature-inspired figures by Janine Partington who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

…and a very pleasant evening it was too.

colourful handbuilt functional ceramics with hand cut stencil decoration by Ken Eardley who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

The fair expanded into two pavilions for its second year.

colourful handmade screen prints, etchings and lino cuts by Ruth Green who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

A great mix of ceramics, glass, metal, paper and textiles… from both new exhibitors and favourites from last year.

collection of slipware pottery by Hannah McAndrew who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

There were so many great stalls – we’ve just selected a few that caught our eye.

We’ll start with Jane Blease Design.

handmade bent plywood and threaded cotton lamps and artwork by Jane Blease Design who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

She uses plywood and threaded cotton to produce artworks, light shades and jewellery.

detail from a handmade bent plywood and threaded cotton lampshade by Jane Blease Design who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

It’s striking from a distance, then fascinating in the detail.

handmade bent plywood and threaded cotton jewellery by Jane Blease Design who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

A piece of Jane’s work was temptation number one and we’d only been in the marquee for a few seconds!

Moving along to &made,

cushions and cacti-shaped pin cushion from &made who exhibited at Great Norther Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Andrea Lord produces lovely hand-sewn pieces…

cushions and cacti-shaped pin cushion from &made who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

…her items simply & beautifully displayed.

cushions and cacti-shaped pin cushion from &made who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010cushions and cacti-shaped pin cushion from &made who exhibited at Great Norther Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Cushions, wall hangings and rows of gorgeous cacti pin cushions in their little terracotta pots!

cushion and cacti-shaped pin cushions in terra cotta pots from &made who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We mentioned Derek Wilson Ceramics in our post from last year’s fair.

handthrown functional porcelain tableware by Derek Wilson who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

His stand, filled with his beautiful and delicate porcelain, stopped us in our tracks again…

handthrown porcelain jug by Derek Wilson who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

….elegant, understated simplicity.

Ruth Green Design has proved another favourite with our blog readers – and a shot of her prints always rides high in our Flickr photo viewings.

colourful handmade screen prints, etchings and lino cuts by Ruth Green who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We lingered at her stall for a good while.

colourful handmade screen prints, etchings and lino cuts by Ruth Green who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Her prints, sold in limited edition runs, look fabulous hanging all together.

colourful handmade screen prints, etchings and lino cuts by Ruth Green who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

The Pear Tree, one of her  new designs, was another strong temptation!

You can always guarantee a striking display from Hannah Nunn’s Radiance Lighting

handmade laminated papercut lampshades by Hannah Nunn who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

…the warm cosy glow of her beautiful, nature-inspired shades…

handmade laminated papercut lampshades by Hannah Nunn who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

…the designs hand cut from paper and then laminated.

Adelle having a pit stop in the bar area at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Phew… time for a pit stop… a sit down with a glass of wine!!

First-time exhibitor Ken Eardley made the long drive up from Brighton where he has his studio.

colourful handbuilt functional ceramics with hand cut stencil decoration by Ken Eardley who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

His range of striking pottery with stylised trees, flowers & leaves was a real show stopper.

colourful handbuilt functional ceramics with hand cut stencil decoration by Ken Eardley who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Functional and beautiful – always a winning combination.

colourful handbuilt functional ceramics with hand cut stencil decoration by Ken Eardley who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

No doubt his work will be starring in lots of interiors magazines in the future!

The natural landscape strongly inspires & influences the work of enameller Janine Partington.

handmade enamelled copper nature-inspired figures by Janine Partington who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Trees, flowers, seed heads, birds and animals.

handmade enamelled copper nature-inspired figures by Janine Partington who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

She produces enamel panels, small sculptures and jewellery.

handmade enamelled copper nature-inspired jewellery by Janine Partington who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We’d love to stroll through a magical forest of her making.

Kent-based Maxine Sutton plays with imagery of familiar everyday domestic objects and the natural world.

hand-embroidered and printed textiles by Maxine Sutton who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Incorporating them into embroidered and printed textiles to produce a range of interior products.

hand-embroidered and printed textiles by Maxine Sutton who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

There were lots of eye-catching items on her stand.

hand-embroidered and printed textiles by Maxine Sutton who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We’ve got a standard lamp that would happily accommodate one of her large shades… and we just loved the coffee pot/cafetiere cosies with their Scandinavian feel.

The work of Sarra Kate is bright and effervescent – just like Sarra Kate herself!

colourful textile banners, cushions and greetings cards made from original collages by Sarra Kate who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

Her stand called out to us from a long way away.

detail from a colourful textile banner made from original collage by Sarra Kate who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

She starts her pieces by making colourful collages which are then laser printed onto textiles and paper…

colourful  greeting cards made from original collages by Sarra Kate who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

…which go into making wall hangings, cushions and cards.

Last, but certainly not least, we have Hannah McAndrew, another of our favourites from last year.

collection of slipware pottery by Hannah McAndrew who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

This is where we finally gave into temptation.

collection of slipware pottery by Hannah McAndrew who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We admired her stand last year, filled with its mediæval-inspired slipware pottery.

collection of slipware pottery by Hannah McAndrew who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

This year we just had to take a few of her pieces home!

detail from slipware pottery jug by Hannah McAndrew who exhibited at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2010

We’ve concentrated on featuring homes and interiors products, but there was also lots & lots of fantastic fashion & jewellery – and if we featured any more this post would turn into a novel!

All the makers will be packing up and making their way home as we write this… so be sure to put the fair in your diary for next year!

Nada

"Nada" blog banner

detail from a vintage cloth pattern designed by Belinda Lyons of a doll called "Nada", an Algerian girl

It’s funny how things happen…

detail from a vintage cloth pattern designed by Belinda Lyons of a doll called "Nada", an Algerian girl

…we were looking at these vintage doll patterns for Oxfam on the internet last night… then we walked into a local antiques centre today and found one!

vintage cloth pattern designed by Belinda Lyons of a doll called "Nada", an Algerian girl

This one’s called Nada and features a young Algerian girl in traditional dress. Here’s another similar one of her patterns that we found featured recently on the Pass the Pattern blog.

detail from a vintage cloth pattern designed by Belinda Lyons of a doll called "Nada", an Algerian girl

They were designed by illustrator, Belinda Lyon. There isn’t a great deal of information about her on the internet. We know she was working in the 1960s/70s – designing fab stuff – including textiles, books etc  She illustrated a number of books by Janet Barber.

vintage psychedelic teatowel of a camel designed by Belinda Lyon

In addition to the sewing patterns, she also produced a series of tea towels for Oxfam – this is her psychedelic camel!

We’ve just set up a Flickr group to share images of her work, so if you have any, please share!

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Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair ’09

We spent a splendid few hours at the launch of the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair. This year, it’s being held in Manchester city centre at Spinningfields.

There are almost 150 stands featuring the work of top class designer-makers from as far afield as Cornwall, Bristol, Argyll, London… with a strong representation from Greater Manchester and the North West. There was a huge turnout of visitors – many bagging themselves some fabulous early Christmas presents (for friends, family & themselves!).

We couldn’t blog about absolutely all the craftspeople there, so here’s a bit about some of the ones who especially caught our eye…

We were both really taken by these delicate and tactile hand-thrown porcelain vessels from Belfast-based Derek Wilson Ceramics. His display was the epitome of pared back, understated loveliness!

Adelle has a soft spot for colourful & playful jewellery like these felt pieces from Lynsey Walters

…and a well-known penchant for vintage and vintage inspired handbags & purses!

These ones above are from Monica Boxley who, as well as using original vintage fabrics, makes beautiful handmade leather handbags inspired by a 1950s one belonging to her mother. It’s named the Marianne in homage.

As we’re on the subject of bags & purses, here are some lovely natural linen examples below from Teresa Green who makes an array of goods using textiles that she designs & hand prints.

If you’re a regular reader of our blog posts, you’ll know that we love pottery. The timeless slipware made by Hannah McAndrew is just the kind of thing that gets us excited.

Her pieces would sit equally comfortably in both an ultra modern pad as well as well as an antique furnished country cottage.

There’s another Hannah exhibiting who’s work we’ve known & loved for a very long time. She’s Hannah Nunn, a lighting designer based a 10-minute drive away from us in Hebden Bridge.

If you’re ever in the area, her shop Radiance is in Hebden town centre. If not, she also sells online.

Ruth Green Design had a lovely display of eye-catching silk screen prints.

In addition to screen prints she has a lovely selection of linocuts and oil on paper works available on her website.

Tricia Needham is another screen printer whose work caught our attention. She makes these tea cosies as well as cushions, bags, scarves and ties (seen adorning the neck of Jon Snow no less!).

One stand that was getting a lot of attention from visitors on the night was Ingrid Wagner‘s…

Ingrid was encouraging people to try their hand at knitting with her giant needles and huge balls of wool & fabric. Ingrid in fact broke the world record last year for ‘extreme knitting’ – using needles three and a half metres long!

The Fair’s on until Sunday 25th October so get down there, it’s well worth a visit!

Sew & Sew

We picked up this wonderful vintage needle book this week…

with its period air travel graphics and ‘pop-up’ details.

After a little research we came across this blog post from Crazyhaberdasher with some fantastic examples of pop-up needle books.

It would look good in my newly organised ‘craft corner’. It has a nice little Victorian pine table, 1950s spindle-backed Ercol chair & anglepoise lamp – along with sewing machine & sewing box.

The 1960s Bernina sewing machine was a great buy – recently bought at auction for a mere £5.00!!

I also have my 50s beech ‘fold out’ sewing box filled with all those essential bits & pieces.

It’s great having everything to hand and easily accessible. If you’re in need of a bit of organisation, here’s our current selection of craft boxes, baskets & bags.

All I need now is to find some time to do a bit of crafting!