March 05, 2015

I Kondoed my bookshelf.

Blogging has introduced me to many new ideas, people and experiences. It sounds like a cliché but it is really true, blogging changes your life!
There are exciting things I am doing in my life today that I would not be doing if I had not started this blog. They are the 'big' things, then there are the 'small' things or changes ie. being influenced by another blogger, being introduced to new things that change your everyday life or routine for the better.

One of my favourite sewing blogs is What Katie Sews and whilst reading it the other day I found a post on the book 'The life changing magic of tidying' by Marie Kondo. Katie had decided to tidy her wardrobe using the guidance in the book. Intrigued I bought the book....I love books, old and new.

I sat down to read it whilst sitting in front of this mess of a book shelf (see below) everything without a home had been stuffed onto its heaving shelves. It looked sad and uninspiring. These vintage shelves were rescued from a warehouse, they were being thrown out. They are old office pigeon-holes. A couple of years ago the talented other half restored sanded and painted them.

I read that Marie recommends starting with tidying your books first. Well...That is all it took folks... I was off on a "Kondo"

In a matter of minutes (well acually about 1/2 an hour) the book shelf was empty. I did as it says in the book, you have to pile everything on the floor.

Then you pick up each book and decide if it makes you happy or 'brings you joy' Easy? No not at all....because you must not start reading them! Eventually the book shelves looked like this....

I then cleaned them and toh mended and gave them a paint 'touch-up' The mose difficult part was putting it all back in. This took all day and I did not even stop for lunch. Gradually the shelves began to come alive with colour..

I wanted to display my favourite objects too, nestled amongst the books...

The next day toh added the last piece of the restoration, a piece that fitted above the pigeon-holes  enabling them to be labelled. The frames for the labels are from the original shelves.

We are a family who love the vintage ladybird books, so we had a bit of fun choosing a six word sentence to fit in the six newly restored label frames.

"Peter and Jane like the dog"

Everything appeared calmer, brighter and fresh. 

I could breath and felt inspired to sew, but thought it best to finish the job in hand first!

Are you waiting for the before and after shots?

...and a close up...

Even the room the shelves are in (our smaller sitting room) appears brighter....

what are you going to "kondo"?

I am now proud to call myself a 'Konvert'. Thanks Katie!

Ps Katies wardrobe 'Kondo" can be found here

March 04, 2015

Enchanted by a collaboration

Q : What happens when two of your favourite retailers decide to collaborate?
A: Perfection and an empty purse that's what!

all images courtesy

This is not a sponsored post in case you were wondering, this is truly from the heart! 
Some of you may already know who I am talking is of course  Uniqlo and Merchant and Mills.

Uniqlo are a Japanese company founded in 1949 with a focus on quality and textiles. They make well constructed casual clothes and accessories for men, women and children. 

Merchant and Mills   based in Rye a beautiful Sussex village. They surely need no introduction on a sewing blog? However just in case they are new to you a brief introduction...

'Carolyn Denham and Roderick Field are Merchant & Mills. The company was formed in 2010 to elevate sewing to its proper place in the creative world, respecting the craftsmanship it entails. They produce a range of card patterns and really useful kits and in profound contrast to the pretty, flowery image of the average haberdasher, they present superb and unusual sewing of notions in stark, utilitarian packaging.'

The Colaboration; T-shirts, sweatshirts and bags for men and women, designed by merchant and mills and manufactured by Uniqlo. 

The result; things I want to buy (lots of them) but they are selling out so fast!

I may have treated myself to a couple of tops....shhhhhhh