I love re-using and re-purposing things, especially when they have come from family. This was all very normal for my Nan’s generation – passing things down, keeping a bottom drawer, finding other uses for things – which seems to be sadly lacking nowadays. Last year I was lucky enough to be given her laundry bowl and basket. Now these items are just amazing! The bowl is an old enamel baby bath. Her baby bath. She’s 91! How cool is that?! I use it for the wet laundry when pegging out, just like she did.
The basket is for the dry laundry (AKA how many odd socks basket). This used to be a fisherman’s basket (her Dad’s family were mainly fishermen, plus they worked the lifeboat in the village) before it was her laundry basket. Her Dad, my great Grandad, gave it to her when she got married, telling her it would last a lifetime! I’ve no idea how long it was used before my Nan and Grandad got married in 1949, but it’s been going strong ever since, and will continue to do so long after I’ve finished with it.
Do you have anything you are reusing or re-purposing that you’d love to share?
I first met Claire at the school gate, when our boys went to the same school. I love the style she uses…dot work…as it’s different to the normal pyrography you see. The above was a gift for my 40th birthday a few years ago as she knows about my love for Harry Potter. Then I’ve bought the House Stark plaque, the reindeer decoration, the flower plate and the absolutely gorgeous ivy bowl.
It seemed only natural that I would ask her if she’d like to collaborate on something for my business, so last year these gorgeous little wooden decorations were finished, and they now appear on the large gift sets. The wood she used for these ones came from fallen branches and some re-purposed table legs. Perfect! Claire is still on maternity leave at the minute but if you’d like to take a look at her other work, you can find her here and here.
Over the years my boys have been through a fair few pairs of jeans. The ones that have life left in them are passed down or go to the charity shop but the ones that have holes in knees etc, are cut up to and the use-able bits of fabric are saved. This isn’t all of my rescued/saved stash!
I’ve been wanting to make myself a new bag as the old one I made was looking a bit tatty round the edges. The outside of the new bag is made using some of those jeans, stitched patchwork style then trimmed into a long wide strip. I then make a long narrow strip that turns into the sides of the bag and the handle. I treat myself to the amazing marauders map fabric a while ago as I always intended it would line my new bag. I added a couple of dividers inside and I made sure I’d got one of the jeans pockets on the front so I could use it as a pen pocket.
My old bag was a similar style but it had a press stud fastening on the front. I’ve made this one with a longer front as I never used the press stud.
I love that my bag has been worn by my kids! I also love that I’ve made it myself, so it’s completely unique. I know it’s not perfect (who needs to follow patterns anyway) but it’s full of love.
I make fab baby burp cloths with cotton fabric on one side and organic terry towelling on the other, but when a friend asked if I could make some custom ones I jumped at the chance. She brought round some off-cuts of these vintage Star Wars quilts as they are huge Star Wars fans, and those gorgeous woodland creatures fabrics. I think I might have to try and find some of those fabrics for the shop as they are lovely, and they are organic which is a big bonus.