Friday, 27 May 2011

Down the Garden Path...

Now is the time to dust off your wellies, tidy your trugs and untangle the garden twine.. With an early Spring this year, gardens up and down the land are looking gloriously rich with plentiful blooms. The warm weather of April made us forget the arctic winter and our plants showed willing by shooting up and growing at a rate of knots. Unfortunately this also included the weeds which put on a race to break the record for the biggest explosion of Dandelions we have seen for many a year.

Chelsea Flower show each May has many keen gardeners salivating over Salvias, palpitating over Peonies and swooning over sweet smelling Roses.. not to mention fretting over snails and all the ruin that they can do to your prize blooms overnight. Whether you are an armchair gardener or a hands on gardener, Milly & Dottie have several floral lovelies in the emporium to whet the appetite for green fingered pursuits..

Scatter some seeds around your border and fill the garden with blooms that the bees will love you for ...

To aide your planting schemes .. flick through the pages of this lovely book ..

To keep those pesky moths at bay.. pop one of these pretty Lavender sachets in your knicker drawer or a pocket in your wardrobe, to leave a scent of an English garden ..

Lie back in your hammock and fill your mind with poetry whilst smelling the roses ...

Of course Milly & Dottie always like to put on their best Crinolines whilst pottering about in the garden..

As dear old Monty would say.. Enjoy your garden whatever the weather.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Knickers, Needles & Knitting

Oops you've caught us! Sitting in our stockroom, kettle boiling, munching on the custard creams and leafing through the vintage magazines.

We love browsing through the pages of these old women's weeklies. It's not just the articles and stories that grab us - more often or not its the adverts that really interest us. They tell us so much about the lifestyles and aspirations of the time. These magazines, directly after the war, reflect in their ads, a time of austerity and rations, but also a time of optimism and above all, invention. With goods slowly returning to the shop shelves and rations increasing it's interesting to see that recycling and ingenuity were still required.

During the war, silk as a fabric was required to make parachutes,so the luxury of silk lingerie was forbidden. In May 1947 there appears an article on using parachute silk to make lingerie and a blouse, (Please click image to enlarge). A fallen or discovered parachute became treasure indeed, A case of necessity being the mother of invention if ever there was one! We also found this interesting post here, should you wish to read more.

The 1940s sewing and knitting books that we have in our Sewing Room seem to be very popular. Not just for the vintage patterns and styles but, we think, for the common sense of recycling and reusing that prevails in them. This video is absolutely fascinating.

The wonderful "Make Do and Mend" leaflets produced by the Ministry of Information are packed full of recycling tips and hints - from recycling old tweed jackets, making blouses from oddments and unpicking knitted garments to reuse the wool.

That's if you could get hold of the knitting needles ...

We love the sense of reusing items and perhaps that's one of the reasons we love all things vintage. Sometimes in today's throwaway society it's good to reuse what we already have, to find a new purpose for a pre-used item and take note of all those women's magazines!