Crochet toilet roll dolls

Toilet Roll Holder Doll Ages and ages ago I mentioned crochet toilet roll holder dolls in my post More Tea Vicar about tea cosies.

Well, I regularly get searches and even requests for patterns for these lovely retro items.

Like may children of the 70s, we had one of these in our toilet. There seemed to be 2 main styles – crinoline lady and Spanish lady. I’m guessing the popularity of the Spanish variety was due to the rise of foreign holidays to sunny places like Spain.

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to make on of these for a while now and just not getting around to it. Well, drum roll please, I have finally got around to purchasing some dolls! This means I need to get cracking on doing the crochet.Toilet Roll Holder Doll

I’ve had a look at some patterns for inspiration. I say inspiration because I don’t think I ever manage to follow a crochet pattern or a food recipe without ‘improving’ it – which to other people just means me fiddling with something that probably works for 99% of the population…

I think I’m going to start with a Spanish inspired creation. I’ve got quite a good selection of nice bright wools in my stash so it would be good to use them up. Once I’ve done that one, I’ll adapt for different colours and styles.

Well, when I say different colours and styles, and if I’m true to form, I mean that my second one is like to be  zombie toilet roll holder!

Toilet Roll Holder Doll

What would be your design or colour combo for one of these? Would you match the colours in your bathroom or go all out for vintage colours and designs?

If you would like one of these dolls to grace the smallest room in your house – then you can find it here Quirky Purple crochet toilet roll cover doll on Etsy.

Hurrah – we’ve started doing men’s vintage!

Well quite exciting news, or what?

We’ve started to stock some items of men’s vintage. I’ve just been photographing the first batch and getting them ready to go on the online shop.

This first batch are mainly men’s vintage tops, including Lacoste, Polo and some cool collared mod tops.

Here’s a sneaky peek at what will be going online this afternoon –

Men's vintage tops

I’ve got a few more items to sort through yet, but I’ve been a little way laid with sorting out some lovely vintage wedding frocks that I picked up a couple of weeks ago…

You can find our Men’s Vintage section here. I’ll be adding more as I sort through!

Vintage valentines…

Vintage ValentineThere were lots of Christian martyrs named Valentine so there isn’t a definitive Saint Valentine associated with our celebration of St Valentine’s Day. As with a number of other similar Christian celebrations, there was also a pagan festival around the middle of February.

Over the centuries this date has been a celebration for lovers and would be lovers.

Since the days of Chaucer there are valentine poems and verses. In the 18th century, ‘off the shelf’ poems and verses became more available and more popular. By the 19th century, those handwritten notes had started to give way to mass produced cards. By the time we get to the mid-20th century, the exchange of cards had extended to exchanging gifts too.

Now, in the 21st century, Valentine’s Day seems more and more like a day created by the greeting card industry. It’s so mass-produced and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a High Street shop or online shop that doesn’t have a Valentine range. You even find vintage and craft markets geared towards Valentine’s gifts.

I thought I’d share a few of the vintage cards so that we might take a few moments to pull away from the mass-produced bulldozer that is Valentine’s Day!

I also love these Hollywood pin up style and homespun images –

Will you be buying vintage for Valentine’s Day, or will you be looking to make something yourself and make that card or gift extra special?

Feeling shirty?

Shirts are one of those things that never really go out of fashion and many styles are real vintage wardrobe staples.

Think about some of those classic black and white films from the 30s and 40s, you can see some real classic shirts styles on the screen icons.

Shirts were always a big thing for mod girls in the late 70s and early 80s. If you were lucky you could get them from local charity shops, but more likely from Carnaby Street or London markets. Long collars, button-down collars, plain, checked, striped or paisley, teaming them up with a pair of hipster trousers was always a cool look.

Cool shirtsRecently I’ve managed to get hold of some really cool shirts that fit that same sort of style – that mod, come psychedelic, come smart hippy. There are some geometric patterns, checks, velvet and even some frills. They all have one thing in common though – lovely long collars!

Reworked shirts are also still very big at the moment, and you can see them in all the High Street shops. Usually though these seem to be a lower quality cotton with those ‘stuck on’ studs. It’s much better to get a vintage or reworked shirt from an independent shop. They will have made all the changes themselves and you’ll get a real individual piece.

A little while ago I did a blog post on re-working shirts, which you can find here.

Reworked shrtsWe still have a few reworked shirts in the online shop, in various sizes and colours.

There are both sleeveless and long-sleeved, but they can also be made to order, by dropping us a note here.

You can find many of these styles at the Quirky Purple online shop.

What’s your favourite style?

Getting ready for Walking Dead Day, ooops I mean Valentine’s Day!

Well on one of my last posts of last year, Christmas Countdown, I mentioned that this year I would get a proper schedule together so I can focus on making things for  markets, fairs and events. So, Valentine’s Day is the next big day on my planner…

February_Walking_DeadAlthough I saw this and it made me laugh, I do already have quite a lot of zombie items on the Quirky Purple online shop here, so I thought I might try to make a few things that would make nice Valentine’s Day presents. Of course, I think zombie items would make very nice Valentine’s Day pressies!

Anyway, here are a few things that I have made that are now in stock and ready to purchase. I’ve been making things that have a nice retro twist, that you won’t find on the High Street, so you can be sure that you will be giving something special. I’m making more, so it’s worth checking out the Valentine’s Day section of the online shop as I’ll add them as I go along.

Baby rabbit with heart

Baby rabbit with heart

Pink hot water bottle

Pink hot water bottle

Pink mug cosy

Pink mug cosy

Purple flower mug cosy

Purple flower mug cosy

Red heart bag charm

Red heart bag charm

Pinl mobile phone cover

Pink mobile phone cover

Pink padded heart

Pink padded heart

Amigurumi panda

Amigurumi panda

Don’t forget we make to order too, so just give us a shout with your ideas and requirements.

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Not available on the High Street – Christmas fairs, markets and pop up boutiques

We’re pretty excited here at Quirky Purple!

We’re off today to set up our area in our first ever pop up boutique collaboration!

I would imagine that anyone involved in vintage, handmade and remade are pretty busy at the moment. What with online sales, Christmas markets and the like, it keeps us all busy. Not just in appearing at market, but also making things for the market.

Last week, it was getting to the stage that every time I made a zombie kindle cover or tea cosy, I sold it. I was on a zombie treadmill for a few days!

Anyway, back to the pop up boutique. We’ve run a couple of stalls at Bartons over the last few months and this first pop up boutique for Nottingham is a collaboration between Bartons and Bluebird Tea Co.

Pop Up Boutique details

Pop Up Boutique details

We’ll admit to being a little bit excited! It starts on Wednesday 5th December at 12pm and runs through until Christmas eve. There’s also a launch night at 7pm on Wednesday 5th December with mulled wine and mince pies (and I think there are also some other lovely goodies). Opening hours are on our Events page.

I hope we see a few of you there. Remember, this boutique has things that are not available on the High Street. You don’t want to buy the same as everyone else. Buy something different, original and maybe a one off!

I like reading zombie books on my Kindle, so…

Well, I do like reading!

Until 18 months ago I liked reading physical books. I liked the whole experience of walking into a book shop, browsing the titles, liking the look of a cover and then reading the back and flicking through. Books even smell nice – that dry, papery smell.

I resisted those new fangled eReader jobbies. How could I flick through one of those and decide whether or not I wanted to read a book? Yeah, OK, I used Amazon to find books a lot more these days, and I like having recommendations based on books I read.

When I went on holiday, I’d take half a suitcase of books with me to read. They actually took up quite a bit of luggage space and resulted one year in a rather embarrassing encounter with customs guards in Cuba – and believe me you don’t want to have any fuss and bother with Cuban custom’s guards!

Well, to cut a long story a little bit shorter, because I love gadgets I bought myself a Samsung Galaxy Tab. Fab bit of kit. Loved it. Then I realised that I could but an Amazon book reader app on there and the lure of free books persuaded me to download it and give it a try. Once I’d downloaded it and logged on I found that I could browse my recommendations and then find freebies. I downloaded a few and was completely surprised… I quite liked reading on the Tab and that I read books even quicker than usual.

I took it on holiday with me for a long weekend in Spain but found that I couldn’t read the screen very well outside due to the glare. I got home and took the plunge and bought a Kindle. Why, oh why was I an eReader Luddite for so long?

I’ve downloaded whole series of books and read them one after the other. I’ve downloaded free and really cheap books by authors I’d never have tried before. I’ve read an awful lot of independent authors which I’d never have found in a book shop. And I’ve loved them. I now have new favourite books by independent authors who actually do their own Facebook pages and blogs. One independent author contacted me after leaving a review to agree with me and offer me a free copy of his next book.

Which leads me onto the title of today’s blog. I do love reading Zombie books and I’ve blogged about this before. But, on a Kindle, no-one has any idea what your actually reading (which is probably just as well if it’s one of those awful Shades of Grey). So, I decided to design a zombie cover for my Kindle. Then I got carried away and designed a whole raft of them. I did a skull, a daisy, a robot, a TARDIS, a Union Jack and a mod target (once a mod, always a mod).

They are all for sale in our new Etsy shop:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/QuirkyPurple

Here’s the link through to the zombie Kindle cover – https://www.etsy.com/listing/107013711/handmade-crochet-zombie-kindle-ereader-7

Quirky Purple Kindle covers

I’ve been thinking about some other designs too, maybe for Halloween and Christmas. If you have any ideas for new designs or would like a specific design creating, let me know!

Reworking, customising, fading and studding

I do like to mooch around the garden centre looking for plants that are a bit sad and neglected, and usually in the bargain bucket. I like to buy them, build them up and pop them in the garden or allotment. Most of my garden is stocked with bargain rack plants – and my garden is blooming nicely thank you!

I tend to also like mooch around charity shops and look through the rails to look for odd little items that look a bit sad and neglected. I like to try and think what I can do with them to revive them and make someone want them again.

Well I’ve been working my was through my pile and seeing what I can do with them. I posted an article a little while ago about reworking an old shirt and I’ve been doing some similar things to some other shirts.

Below is what I’ve done with a few shirts – mainly cutting and studding:Reworked and customised shirts at Quirky Purple

Here’s some of the cut of jeans/shorts that I’ve been working on – these have been cut, bleached, and studded:Reworked and customised denim shorts at Quirky Purple

Here’s a few skirts that I’ve recently customised – these have been studded mainly:Reworked and customised skirts at Quirky Purple

It’s quite nice seeing what they actually become as I don’t always know exactly what I’m going to do, and it kind of evolves as I work with the garment.

I’m always on the look out to try new things to try so I’d be interested to hear of any new projects I could try!

These reworked, customised items are available in our Quirky Purple Online Shop – happy shopping!

£100 Asos blogger challenge

I came across this challenge yesterday at the Discount Coder Blog and thought I’d try and give it a go, but with a vintage twist – if at all possible.

Quirky Purple Asos challenge style collageWell, I decided to try to go with a 60s inspired look so thought I’d start with a dress and then add some accessories. It was actually quite tricky to get what I wanted within the £100 budget. The collage here is the overall look. Looks pretty good doesn’t it? And it’s all for under £100! The dress is really cute. I was also tempted for a nice white crochet dress look. There’s also a nice little daisy theme going on here.

Here’s the breakdown of the items and the costs:

Vera Moda 60s Dress at £26.50Quirky Purple Asos challenge - dress
Quirky Purple Asos challenge - shoesAsos crochet ballet flats at £15.00
Quirky Purple Asos challenge - handbagRiver Island handbag at £40.00
Quirky Purple Asos challenge - headbandAsos daisy headband at £4.00
Quirky Purple Asos challenge - tightsGypsy 40 denier white tights at £7.00
Quirky Purple Asos challenge - ringAsos trapped daisy ring at £3.00

This all comes to a sum total of just £95.50.

That leaves enough to buy a nice 60s cocktail...

You can find the challenge and other entries here at The Discount Coder Blog

Could you do this challenge for under £100 and try to give it a vintage look?

Quirky Purple logo Stock changes daily so check us out!
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Quirky-Purple