Make do and mend – don’t throw it away!

Make do and mendI hate to throw things away.

I like to think it’s because I was a child before the true throwaway society of the 80s really started to take hold. You know what I mean? Once things started to be made to be replaced…

I’m terrible with clothes. There never seems to be a reason to throw anything away. If a button falls off then use the spare. If there’s not a spare can you re-jig the buttons so you can use a replacement where it won’t be noticed? Like the cuffs – you can get away with using similar or statement buttons there. That’s another thing. I save all my buttons. Spare buttons all get put in a tin. If I have to buy a new set of buttons, I save all the old buttons. Why would you throw them away? There’s nearly always something the salvage from clothing – removing sleeves, turning into a skirt, shortening etc!

It’s the same when I get presents for birthday or Christmas. I save the gift bags and re-use them. I save the trim as I’m sure there’s going to be a use for it. I’ve got another box that’s full of trim and ribbons from all sorts of things (posh chocolate boxes have fab ribbons). Also, I save Christmas cards and cut them into tags to put on pressies at Christmas.

AllotmentWe’ve got an allotment too and it’s full of things we’ve re-used. We bordered the beds from things we salvaged on the plot – and believe me there was a lot of crap including 12 huge gas canisters. The council wouldn’t take anything away so we re-used as much as we could and took the rest down the recycling plant. All the borders shown on  the piccie are made from things we’ve re-used either from the allotment, the house, or when friends have been getting rid of things like bricks. Even old DVDs and CDs (free from Sunday papers) make good pigeon scarers!

When I go to the garden centre the first place I look is that sad little shelf or corner where all the half price plants are left to die. You know the ones I mean? The trays were one plant has died, or the big plant that hasn’t been watered properly and looks half dead. Well they’re the ones I buy. Most of my garden is stocked with plants that weren’t at their best when I bought them. There’s something quite cool about buying these half-dead plants and making them look all lush and healthy again 🙂

What do you save and recycle? What can’t you bear to throw away?

Advertisements

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.

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.

follow-me-on-pinterest-button

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!

Yesterday was market day!

Barton's Sunday MarketYesterday we did our first stall at NOT the Camden Market in Beeston near Nottingham. They run on the first Sunday of every month and last month we went to have a look around, liked it, so decided to do our first ever stall there.

I knew that it would be different to our eBay and Etsy shops, so I wasn’t sure what stock to take, so had to take quite a mixture of goodies. This meant quite a lot of trips to and from the car, but it was worth it to see what things people liked at this market, rather than on the online shops. I also took along some new things that I hadn’t even tried online yet.

Well, we sold a few things and took a few orders, spoke to some lovely people, and made some new stallholder friends. It was also encouraging to have a few people say that their daughters would love the clothes we have and would bring them next time or point them in the direction of our online stores.

Also, we were asked a number of times if we would be at the next event as folks were already starting to think about Christmas pressies – we’d better get cracking on more Christmas stock!

Quirky Purple stall at Barton's Not the Camden Market Quirky Purple stall at Barton's Not the Camden Market Quirky Purple stall at Barton's Not the Camden Market

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!

I like zombies and I like tea – yeah, it’s a zombie tea cosy!

Well I’ve always loved reading and will read just about anything – I’ve even been caught reading the back of a cereal packet. I just can’t help myself.

My favourite genres are horror and sci-fi, in particular I like any sort of post-apocalyptic story. This is how I got into zombies. They feature in a lot of these books. I’ve been reading these books for donkey’s year, but all of a sudden zombies seem to be starting to get fashionable.

Not only are there a lot of zombies TV series and films around, it sounds like there are more to come. I’m quite excited about World War Z coming to the big screen soon. I can’t wait for the new TV series of the Walking Dead and my favourite zombie book series, Zombie Fallout, has a new book out soon.

It’s had an effect on fashion too. I keep seeing more and more zombies inspired clothing around, for example:

My Little Zombie Pony at Amazon
Hell Bunny’s Zombie Unicorn Dress
Iron Fist Zombie Stomper shoes
Iron Fist also do a Zombie handbag
Darkside’s Zombie Killer bag
Darkside also do a whole range of t-shirts
Zombie brain knitted hat on Etsy
Even baby clothes at My Baby Rocks

I could go on for ever. Zombies are suddenly cool.

Well, it got me thinking. I’ve been crocheting a lot of things lately. So, I wondered if I could design a zombie tea cosy. I did and below is the result:

Quirky Purple Zombie Tea Cosy

These are now for sale in our Online Shop.

Is that gross enough for you? What’s the best zombie item that you’ve seen?

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